Reductionism

One of my favorite quotations from I know not where – other than on the inside cover of a textbook sent to me twenty years ago – is:

“Everything is what it is and not something else.”

Today I heard excerpts from two TED talks. In one, a neuroscientist commented that primates eat raw food and consequently spend most of their day foraging and chewing. Cooking food enables us to get far more nutrients by reducing the need to chew and also to absorb the nutrients more easily. She concluded apropos of nothing much at all, cheerfully, “we’re just animals.”

Another neuroscientist laughed at philosophers who say things like “the brain is unable to understand itself.” She then cheerfully concluded with no real argument – “we are our brains and our brains are just machines.”

Continue reading

The Non-religious Objection to Homosexuality Cannot be Sustained

At his blog, [Correction: A commenter says she’s a woman] in a post having nothing to do with the present topic, EvolutionistX writes

Take the most common argument against homosexuality: “God says it is a sin.” Young people are fairly atheist, believe in separation of church and state, and think a god who doesn’t like gay people is a jerk. This argument doesn’t just fail at convincing young people that gay marriage is bad; it also convinces them that God is bad.

By contrast, a simple graph showing STD rates among gay people makes a pretty persuasive argument that the “gay lifestyle” isn’t terribly healthy.

She’s not the only one to make such an observation. Radio talk show host Michael Medved has said much the same thing, that we should avoid religious arguments against homosexuality in the political arena.

Problem is, if God doesn’t oppose homosexuality then there’s ultimately nothing wrong with it. Continue reading

Roebuck’s Standard Orthosphere Disclaimer

I don’t like drawing attention to myself but sometimes it’s necessary.

As (I think) the sole Protestant writer at the Orthosphere, I find myself in a bit of a tricky situation. On the one hand I don’t want to be unnecessarily provocative. On the other hand I blog mainly to teach important truths, especially to my son and other young people. And the most important type of truth is Christianity.

And teaching this truth often requires that I teach what is known as Protestant doctrine. (It’s actually biblical doctrine.) I’m not looking to pick a fight with Catholics and Eastern Orthodox. I’m just teaching. But sometimes non-Protestant commenters call my teaching heresy. Continue reading