Honolulu Chapter

Archive for 2015

Did you know that only 9.8% of American college professors are atheists?! So much for New Atheist mythology to the contrary!

Sociologists Neil Gross and Solon Simmons used data from a new, nationally representative survey of American college and university professors to test the long-running assumption that higher education leads to irreligiousness.

Source: Are American College Professors Religious? | Amarnath Amarasingam

If transgenders are trying to enter the wrong locker room at your school, the ADF will defend your school for free!

Despite the recent ruling by the U.S. Department of Education against a suburban Chicago high school, no school has to allow boys in girls locker rooms, or vice-versa. That’s according to Matt Sharp, legal counsel with the Alliance Defending Freedom, or ADF — a group that offers free legal counsel t

Source: Why No School Has to Allow Boys in Girls Locker Rooms | Julie Roys

Christians can sometimes get intimidated when others throw out objections to the Gospel message. However, many times the objections offered are a result of bad reasoning or biased thinking. In this short video clip, Lenny identifies several logical fallacies that are frequently volleyed against Christians and provides ways to show how to defeat flawed logic.

Source: Witnessing Tips: Identifying Logical Fallacies (video) | Come Reason’s Apologetics Notes

Interesting correlations between autism and atheism. Is ability to empathize a factor?:

“Religious believers intuitively conceptualize deities as intentional agents with mental states who anticipate and respond to human beliefs, desires and concerns. It follows that mentalizing deficits, associated with the autistic spectrum and also commonly found in men more than in women, may undermine this intuitive support and reduce belief in a personal God. Autistic adolescents expressed less belief in God than did matched neuro-typical controls (Study 1). In a Canadian student sample (Study 2), and two American national samples that controlled for demographic characteristics and other correlates of autism and religiosity (Study 3 and 4), the autism spectrum predicted reduced belief in God, and mentalizing mediated this relationship. Systemizing (Studies 2 and 3) and two personality dimensions related to religious belief, Conscientiousness and Agreeableness (Study 3), failed as mediators. Mentalizing also explained the robust and well-known, but theoretically debated, gender gap in religious belief wherein men show reduced religious belief (Studies 2–4).”

Source: PLOS ONE: Mentalizing Deficits Constrain Belief in a Personal God

“Hawking and Krauss can’t help pronouncing on philosophical issues. They seem to think that science is really the way to answer these questions and so they tell us the ‘truth’ from a scientific perspective. The irony is that, having ignored philosophy, they proceed to give us their own philosophical answers dressed up as the simple ‘scientific truth’. Doing poor philosophy in the name of science does nothing for the credibility of science.”

Source: Krauss, Hawking, Atheism and (a lack of) Philosophy – Saints and Sceptics

“Some who were wise, however, could see that “wicked things were written on the sky.”[4] The next century (the 20th) would either be wonderful or it would be a nightmare. Enter H.G. Wells novel, A Modern Utopia (1905), the book which inspired Aldous Huxley’s vision of the future in Brave New World (1932), and later, George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty Four (1949).”

Source: Death of Man | Christian Apologetics

“There are several strong reasons to believe that functionalism is not true. The most popular argument against functionalism is Searle’s Chinese Room argument. The argument was published in 1980 by John Searle, who is a prominent philosopher of the mind at Berkley. It has been said, with only a bit of exaggeration, that the modern debate about philosophy of the mind mostly entails attempts to refute Searle’s Chinese Room argument.”

Source: Is Your Brain a Computer? – Evolution News & Views

“Aside from the fact that Judge Jones shouldn’t have even done an effect prong analysis of whether teaching ID establishes religion, his analysis was itself extremely flawed. We’ve elaborated on that before. In fact, his analysis was so flawed that even a leading anti-ID legal scholar, Jay Wexler, attacked it as follows:

‘The part of Kitzmiller that finds ID not to be science is unnecessary, unconvincing, not particularly suited to the judicial role, and even perhaps dangerous both to science and to freedom of religion. (Jay D. Wexler, “Kitzmiller and the ‘Is It Science?’ Question,” 5 First Amendment Law Review 90, 93 (2006) (emphasis added).)'”

Source: Ten Years After the Dover Case, Judge Jones Misunderstands His Critics – Evolution News & Views

Baby born without brain turns 2, claps, giggles, says 1st word – Evidence for the existence of souls:

Doctors said Aaron would not progress beyond the mental age of a newborn, but he loves to giggle and clap, and recently said his first word: “mummy.”

Source: Baby born missing most of brain turns two, says first word

“So it’s fair to say that what is “natural” is the spontaneous degradation of information. Mechanisms designed by a mind, by contrast, can overcome the natural tendency toward “pandemonium.” We know from experience that it takes the guidance of goal-directed intelligence to proofread and correct errors in digital code. The BBC News aptly calls this process debugging. Ever see an unguided debugger of computer code?”

Source: Chemistry Nobel Prize Based on Design Inference – Evolution News & Views

Is the doctrine of “Original Sin” based on an Augustinian error? It has never made common sense to me, and it clashes with Ezekiel 18:20 and Romans 5:12 (“…because they sinned…” — not Adam). Imho, there has to be something awry with the standard rendering of the parts of Romans 5 which seem to support it (old eisegesis untouched due to tradition?).

I don’t see it as necessary for corporate atonement at all.

Scot McKnight writes: Behind the Reformation is Augustine; behind much of modern evangelicalism, especially in the Reformed circles today, is the Reformati

Source: Augustine’s mistake about original sin – Gentle Wisdom

The claim that because one holds a particular position makes them “biased” and therefore unqualified to objectively weigh a matter is widely assumed, but it’s completely mistaken. While biases can lead people to ignore or deny certain facts, biases are absolutely necessary to be an informed human being.

Source: Answering the Bias Objection | Come Reason’s Apologetics Notes

“Somehow, many people in malaria-endemic countries acquire natural immunity to the disease by adolescence. Researchers even know that their immune systems do it by recognizing the var-gene proteins. The difficulty is in figuring out how to do it artificially.”

Source: Networks Untangle Malaria’s Deadly Shuffle | Quanta Magazine

A woman who was a believer was raped, and lost her faith as a result. The phony faith she was taught set her up with false expectations of a pain-free life. The “health and wealth” gospel is a fraud which does great damage through it’s false promises:

Source: Stand to Reason | Christians, You Will Suffer

Actor Clint Walker’s near-death experience:

 

Every culture has its own origin story. Today, two options are abiogenesis and the Genesis story. What do these two propose? Which is right about the origin of life?

Source: A Deeper Look at the Origin of Life

Is it reasonable to believe in the creation of the Universe? Some leading physicists think so – links included to video clips by Mike Strauss.

Source: Are Creationists Stupid?

Argumentum ad mathematicum Growing up as a young lad, I had an interest in mathematics. This interest waned a bit, starting in pre-calculus (doing summation the long way just doesn’t jibe well with…

Source: The Importance of Set Theory to Apologetics

Bottom line? There is One for whom worship is appropriate, and it is anthropomorphic to project its impropriety for us onto Him:

One of the more flimsy objections to the concept of God I’ve heard is “Why would God create beings so they could just turn around and praise him? Doesn’t that seem needy or egotistical? Why does an all-powerful God need us to worship him?” The question displays both a superficial understanding of what worship is and how it shapes the believer. It also demonstrates an amazing level of arrogance by the person who thinks that he should never have to show deference to his creator.

Source: Is God An Egomaniac In Desiring Worship? (video) | Come Reason’s Apologetics Notes