What's New Archive ● 2008 ● July
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July 20, 2008
People often say that atheism is a belief in the same way that theism is a belief and that agnosticism is therefore the only rational position. The purpose of this article is to show that, insofar as we share a naturalistic (scientific) worldview, this agnosticism is unfounded.
July 11, 2008
In her intriguing testimonial, Amanda Avellone narrates her journey from fundamentalist Seventh-Day Adventist to "evangelical" atheist. As with many former believers, her transformation from devout believer to full-fledged atheist was a gradual one dominated by a long period of agnosticism. After documenting continual confrontations with various nagging doubts, Avellone notes her surprise at finding that her road to atheism was a liberating one that did not lead to despair, but to genuine joy. She notes that in retrospect, it was her religious devotion that led her to despair, while her ultimate realization that God probably does not exist lifted her up out of it.
July 10, 2008
Struck the last paragraph (which became obsolete in light of new research) and wrote a summary of the whole piece instead. Continuation of the series is planned in future years.
July 5, 2008
New in the Library: Added Should Both Sides of the Debate on Evolution be Included in Textbooks? (2008) by J.E. Hill and Seth Cooper to the Creationist Debates page in the Science and Religion section of the Modern Documents section.
In January 2004 the Spring Hill Review: A Journal of Northwest Culture published a written exchange between J. E. Hill and Seth Cooper (of the Discovery Institute) over whether creationism should be taught in public schools. In his opening statement Seth Cooper not only deviated from the topic at hand by presenting a laundry list of "problems with various aspects of Darwin's theory," but managed to avoid presenting even a single argument for why creationism should be included in science textbooks. Moreover, he never addressed how teaching creationism would provide "balance" to scientific accounts, or whether creationism itself is even a scientific theory. Though there is no debate among biologists about whether evolution best explains the progression of life on Earth, a small group of religious conservatives want their religious worldview promoted in public schools, and thus have taken their views to the arena of public and political opinion rather than peer-reviewed scientific journals.