Proving Religion, Disproving Catholicism?

Wiccan Triple Moon - clearly the Wiccan's are right.A strange article from Brian Thomas: “Evidence of Eternity in Our Hearts?

People believe what they do for a wide variety of reasons, but it seems that some beliefs – politics and religion being being perhaps the most famous – may be in some way “hardwired.” Studying children from Ecuador, a recent paper (pdf, press release) looked at the belief in a “pre-life” of people from indigenous rural and urban catholic society. Thomas explains:

Natalie Emmons and Deborah Kelemen of Boston University conducted two studies on 283 children from Ecuador. They reasoned that survey participants from the jungle lived closer to life and death events and would have biologically based ideas about pre-conception existence, while the Catholic student participants from the city had more exposure to religious teaching that life begins at conception and therefore would “reject the idea of life before birth.” Surprisingly, both groups of students maintained that a core aspect in each person lives even without the body.

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Corralling The Millennials

Comic sans genesisIf the contents of my RSS reader are any indication, a couple of months ago the evangelical corner of the blogosphere (and perhaps elsewhere) held a lengthy debate on how to keep what they called “Millennials,” or “Generation Y,” in the church. While not acknowledging that this discussion occurred, the ICR’s Henry Morris III offers his advice in his article Reaching The Millennials: A Crucial Connection. That’s the feature article of the November issue of Acts & Facts (pdf here) – I’ll add a proper link when the article appears on the website [Edit: Done].

For context, the ICR is using these dates to delineate the boundaries of the generations:

Here’s a list of the generations living in the United States today:

  • The greatest generation: born before 1928
  • The silent generation: born between 1928 and 1945
  • The baby boomer generation: born between 1946 and 1964
  • Generation X: born between 1965 and 1980
  • The millennials or generation Y: born between 1980 and 1994
  • Generation Z: born after 1995

While I can’t claim a great deal of insight on the religion side of the equation,* topics similar to this pop up regularly in other circles. Continue reading

The Devil’s Work

IlluminatiAs you may have noticed the tagline for this site is presently “Part of the Grand Materialist Conspiracy.” I changed it a few months ago from something along the lines of “Just another anti-creationist blog” after I noticed that people linked here during internet debates would often take one look at it and apparently assume that it was placed there by a previous reader as a note that anything I say can be simply dismissed.* The correct explanation, as I naively believed would be obvious to all, was that it was a somewhat self-deprecating modification of the default wordpress tagline, “Just another WordPress.com site.” The new version was written in the hope that even the likes of forum creationists would realise that it is not meant to be taken seriously, but today’s Days of Praise devotional by Henry Morris III, Satan’s Strategic Plan, reminds me that this may be an unreasonable assumption. Continue reading

One Book, One Dogma

A medieval bulgarian bibleTwo articles in the January Acts & Facts edition argue a similar point. According to them, the young Earth creationist approach of biblical literalism is superior to world-views influenced by observation of the actual universe. The articles aim their attacks primarily at fellow Christians who don’t take the YEC position, but take slightly different angles.

The first is by Jason Lisle, and is called The Two-Book Fallacy. It begins:

The founder of the scientific method, Francis Bacon, taught that God has written two books: the Scriptures and the book of creation (or nature). Today, many professing Christians affirm this view. After all, the Scriptures teach that God’s attributes are clearly seen in nature (Romans 1:20). So we can learn about God through both Scripture and science—the systematic study of nature.

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Superstitious From the Beginning

To return, at last, to the DpSU for Thursday, last week – Oldest Temple Topples Evolutionists’ History of Religion. To give you some background, the relevant Wikipedia article begins:

Göbekli Tepe is a Neolithic (stone-age) hilltop sanctuary erected at the top of a mountain ridge in southeastern Anatolia, some 15km northeast of the town of Şanlıurfa. It is the oldest known human-made religious structure. The site was most likely erected by hunter-gatherers in the 10th millennium BCE (c. 12,000 years ago) and has been under excavation since 1994 by German and Turkish archaeologists. Together with Nevalı Çori, it has revolutionized understanding of the Eurasian Neolithic.

It seems that it’s taken all this time for Mr Thomas to notice. Here’s the picture of the site that everyone’s using, for some visual context: (you can find a gallery of images here)

Göbekli Tepe, specifically the picture from wikimedia commons that everyone's using Continue reading