On the surface, Dick Teresi’s Lost Discoveries: The Ancient Roots of Modern Science—from the Babylonians to the Maya is an eye-opening and thought-provoking book on the history of non-Western science. It is a book I would recommend to anyone who believes in the “Greek miracle,” who takes Carl Sagan’s words about the Ionian birth of science at face value, and generally anyone who wants to take a less white, less Western perspective on both science and history as wholes. However, anyone who reads this must also be able to question what they are reading, ask for the author’s sources and motivation, and be ready to think for themselves despite the author’s biases.
A Brief History of Time by Stephen Hawking is undoubtedly one of the—if not the—best-known science books of the twentieth century. Its 2005 follow-up work, A Briefer History of Time, starts its foreword with a note on the original 1988 bestseller’s sales: “A Brief History of Time was on the London Sunday Times best-seller list for 237 weeks and has sold about one copy for every 750 men, women, and children on earth.” From the perspective of today’s reluctance to ponder the greater questions posed to us by science (and the even greater unlikeliness that one is willing to pick up a science book at all), I’m astounded that that many people sat down and read a work like A Brief History of Time.Read more
“The universe just seems to be so finely tuned.” “How can you look around at this world we live in and not believe that it was designed?” “Do you really believe that this all came about by chance?”
Whether you’re a theist or an atheist, it’s likely that you’ve either said or heard these things more times than you can remember. The argument for the fine-tuning of our universe is one of the most popular among apologists and counter-apologists, and for good reason. Not only can it include an appeal to emotion and experience, but the science of it all has fascinated great minds for centuries, including that of the late Stephen Hawking. So what really is the fine-tuning argument?Read more
In my last post within my Back to Basics series, I gave a breakdown of and an objection to the Kalam Cosmological Argument. In the post, I pointed out that William Lane Craig, the best known modern proponent of the argument, believes that Occam’s Razor backs up his claim that God is the simplest explanation of the beginning of the universe. I rebutted his points in that I believe that the Kalam Argument, and its ultimate claim—”God did it”—couldn’t even be saved by Occam’s Razor, because they were too simple.Read more
There are a handful of famous arguments for the existence of a god. Some have been around for centuries, and new arguments are popping up every day. One such argument is the kalam cosmological argument. A classic which has recently been re-polished and re-popularized, it has withstood the test of time in its field.
The kalam cosmological argument sounds a lot more complex than it really is. There’s not much more to it than a simple, yet flawed, syllogism of three steps. They are: Read more