affirmation/s

Dinosaurs, Chess, Evolution, And Wonder

Dinosaurs, Chess, Evolution, And Wonder

"Life" Issues, affirmation/s, awareness, Biology, Chaos Theory, conflict, conservatism, Cosmology, Creation, critical judgment, culture, Evangelicalism, Evolution, Fundamentalism, God, Ideology, Paleontology, physics, Randomness, Rationality, Science, Secularity, Theology, Uncategorized, Universe
I have been reading for at least the second time, maybe the third, Richard Dawkins’ magisterial book about evolution, The Greatest Show on Earth (hereafter Show). Like the other one or two times I have read Dawkins’ book, it was an exhilarating ride. Until I read the appendix, which pertains to how the theory of evolution is, to this day, received in the US and non-Scandinavian Europe. That appendix to Show is a real downer. (I reacted similarly when I first read the book.) It turns out that, even in the supposedly enlightened First World – again, the Scandinavian countries are the blessed exception -- around 80% of respondents accept a theory of evolution that accommodates some kind of supernatural explanation, e.g., God did it all according to a literal reading of Genesis, chapter 1; o
Jock Straps, Jesus, And Junior High

Jock Straps, Jesus, And Junior High

"Life" Issues, affirmation/s, awareness, bigotry, body, Challenge, Change, Christianity, conflict, conservatism, critical judgment, culture, Discernment, Education, emancipation, Equality, Fascism, hate, Hope, Ideology, Lipophilia, Lipophobia, Religion, resentment, social justice, Tolerance, transformation, Uncategorized
Over the last several years, there has been a lot of chatter in the media about the obesity epidemic afflicting the United States, especially young teenagers of junior-high age.  I will not rehearse the linked statistics here:  you probably know them better than I, since, unlike your faithful Skeptic-In-Residence, most of my “Skeptic’s” readers are parents.  (However, in fairness, I do have a PhD in being a kid ... a fat kid in particular. So I do have some modest competence to say what I say below.) I have even written humorously here and, somewhat humorously, here about my own struggles with weight, body image, and exercise. But this is really no laughing matter. Now, as far as the biological, somatic, and nutritional dimensions of the problem are concerned, basically no one is laugh
Treason, Treachery, And The Trauma Of Trust

Treason, Treachery, And The Trauma Of Trust

"Life" Issues, Abrahamic Traditions, affirmation/s, Atheism, autonomy, awareness, betrayal, Challenge, Change, Character of God, Christian Church, Christianity, Church, community, Compassion, conflict, conservatism, courage, covenant, critical judgment, Discernment, doubt, Downton Abbey, Edward VIII / Duke of Windsor, empathy, Ethics, existentialism, faith, God, Julian of Norwich, Lewis, Patheos, Queen Elizabeth, Rationality, Religion, Scripture, Secularity, Spirituality, T. S. Eliot, Theodicy, Theology, Uncategorized
In a recent “Skeptic’s Collection” column, I used the “Vergangenheit” episode of the critically acclaimed Netflix series The Crown as a springboard to a broader discussion of the relationship, within the Christian tradition, of forgiveness and trust. Implicit in my discussion was a critique of the conception of this relationship among, not all, but broad segments of the progressive-Christian community, which seems to often believe that the two are, if not strictly synonymous, then at least closely related. I argued to the contrary:  that trust is always, at best, conditional, even on those occasions when forgiveness is absolutely required. My question is this:  if we transpose that transaction between the Queen and the former King (now Duke) from a human to a theological key, is the Qu