“The _____ of _____ by Means of Natural _____”



Journalist Ian Monroe has created a new version of Darwin’s On the Origin of Species with all the words that do not appear in the King James Bible (33,000 of them) blacked out. The purpose, he explains in a statement:

I wanted people to reflect on the nature of language, and particularly on fundamentalism, and the notion of ‘the Bible said it, I believe it, that settles it,’ which seems to preclude most concepts in a modern worldview. I also thought it would be pretty funny to actually see what it would look like if you could visually remove all those modern concepts.


Andrew Sullivan & Sam Harris Working on a Book

On his blog The Daily Dish, Andrew Sullivan writes:

Since our online dialogue a couple of years ago, Sam and I have become good friends, and we are planning to turn our conversation into a little print on demand book, with some contributions from other atheists and believers. If you’d like to get on an email list so that when we manage to put this all together, we can notify you and tell you how you can get a copy—for your own or, we hope, teaching use or a basis for discussion groups—send an email to samandandrewdialogue@gmail.com. I’m a bit swamped right now but we hope to get this done soon.
We are going to donate all proceeds to St Jude’s Children Research Center.
This is about trying to restore a civil conversation between serious people of faith and sincere non-believers, to try and defuse and depolarize this debate some more.


The Spiritual Aspect of the Human-Animal Bond

Our friend Barbara King, an anthropologist at The College of William & Mary, has just published her newest book, Being With Animals, looking at the complex and deep connection we have with the animal kingdom. King traces the evolutionary and spiritual history of the way we relate to animals—expressed through cave art and hunting, domestication (described as a process of mutual engagement), and various religious traditions—and shares some of her own personal history with monkeys, apes, and cats.
As she sums up the book:

The idea is WHY are we so obsessed with animals, HOW did that come about in evolutionary and religious contexts, and WHAT does it all mean for the ethics of our relating with animals?


“Nothing Substantive” in “Signature of the Cell”

At BioLogos, evolutionary biologist Francisco Ayala has reviewed Discovery Institute fellow Stephen Meyer’s “intelligent design” book Signature in the Cell.
Here’s a snippet:

Meyer asserts that the theory of intelligent design has religious implications. “Those who believe in a transcendent God may, therefore, find support for their belief from the biological evidence that supports the theory of intelligent design” (p. 444). I do think that people of faith may find in the world many reasons that support their belief in God. But I don’t think that intelligent design is one of them. Quite the contrary. Indeed, there are good reasons to reject ID on religious grounds, in addition to scientific grounds. The biological information encased in the genome determines the traits that the developing organism will have, in humans as well as in other organisms. But humans are chock-full of design defects. We have a jaw that is not sufficiently large to accommodate all of our teeth, so that wisdom teeth have to be removed and other teeth straightened by an orthodontist. Our backbone is less than well designed for our bipedal gait, resulting in back pain and other problems in late life. The birth canal is too narrow for the head of the newborn to pass easily through it, so that millions of innocent babies—and their mothers—have died in childbirth throughout human history.
I could go on about human features that betray a design that certainly is not intelligent.

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