When Demanding Reason Isn’t Reasonable

In his book, Science in a Democratic Society, Philip Kitcher puts forward the idea of “chimeric epistemologies” when referring to people who reject certain facts contained in the “public system of knowledge,” people whom Kitcher names “Deniers” (155-6).  He goes on to state:   The Deniers are not simply at odds with evolutionary biology but with swaths of other areas of inquiry—consensus views about radioactive decay, parts of standard cosmology, and stratigraphy, for example. They suppose that researchers working in a number of fields have certified certain proposed contributions incorrectly. How has this happened? The Deniers typically cannot say, for
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Book Review: “The Reason for God” by Tim Keller

This book would be great for an ardent believer who is looking for a way to justify their claims, or a doubting believer who needs encouragement, or even an agnostic looking for a reason to believe.  However, the informed skeptic will not be persuaded by this book because it has several major flaws.   First, it is insulting to skeptics (a term he uses interchangeably with atheist).  It refers to them as emotionally hysterical, dishonest and lacking integrity.  It is quite difficult to take this book seriously, or expect to get anything useful out of it, with ignorant assertions like
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Remembering 9/11

Every year at this time, I see various responses to the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon on social media. One of the popular memes is, “Never Forget.” Indeed, I will never forget. Remembering 9/11   Today, I am writing about my memories of 9/11 as an inhabitant of Manhattan on that day. I had only lived in New York City for a number of months and was new to Columbia University’s Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. I was in biochemistry class with Dr. Jeffrey Zubay that seemingly normal Tuesday morning. Class was from 9am until
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Soulless: Why My Mind Won’t Survive the Death of My Brain

One of the consequences of skepticism concerning the supernatural involves the human mind. Many people believe that we all have souls that will, in some form, survive our deaths into an afterlife that may or may not involve re-incarnation at some point. This kind of thinking relieves certain existential tensions about dying and ceasing to exist, for isn’t it more soothing to think that we will somehow go on in an afterlife than to accept that our mind will be destroyed upon the death of our brains? However comforting it may be to think that we have souls that will
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