News & Blog

6th December 2016

‘How much faith does it take?’ Arguing for Creationism on Facebook

By Stephen Pihlaja   For the last 10 years, I have been studying interactions between Christians and atheists on YouTube and social media, focusing particularly on how they structure arguments and categories to fit very specific social contexts. One recurring issue in my work, and one that seems particularly prescient as we collectively practice saying the words ‘President Tump’, is how arguments about theology and…

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22nd November 2016

Henry Neville Hutchinson: Dinosaurs, Evolution, and Faith

By Richard Fallon No one could accuse the Reverend Henry Neville Hutchinson (1856-1927) of being close-minded. He belonged to the Geological Society, the Anthropological Institute, the Royal Geographical Society, the Zoological Society, the Folk-Lore Society, the Palæontographical Society, and the…

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25th October 2016

Old Categories, New Territories, and Future Directions: A Response to Bernard Lightman

By Peter Harrison Map of Universe, 14th Century. Bodleian Library A note from the editor: In a previous article on this site, historian of science Bernard Lightman offered a reflection on the new work of Peter Harrison. Harrison’s book, The Territories of Science and Religion, seeks to outline how conceptions of science and religion have changed throughout history, and details the inadequacy of projecting our present categories…

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11th October 2016

Material Apologetics: Interpreting the Purpose of Answers in Genesis’ Ark Replica

By Tom Kaden Recently, the conflict between religion and science—or, to be more precise, between a loud religious minority and an important part of modern biology—took the unusual form of a 150-metre-long wooden ship. After about six years of planning and building on July 7, Answers in Genesis, America’s largest creationist organization, opened its Ark Encounter theme park in Northern Kentucky. In a later round of…

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27th September 2016

Persuasion in the Evolution Wars

By Tom Aechtner Rodin - The Thinker   I would like to think that I’m a rational person; an individual who logically considers my actions and attitudes.  For instance, it’s my hope that when faced with an advertising campaign I would thoroughly study every claim an advert might make, rather than being affected by flashy images or persuasive rhetoric.  My guess is that I’m not alone in thinking this about…

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13th September 2016

Peter Harrison’s The Territories of Science and Religion: A New Peter Principle

By Bernie Lightman The front cover of Harrison's The Territories of Science and Religion. Peter Harrison’s new book,[i] based on the Gifford Lectures that he delivered at the University of Edinburgh in 2011, is essential reading.  It is the most important study of the history of science and religion since the publication in 1991 of John Brooke’s Science…

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16th August 2016

Can creationists be pro-science?

By James Reilly The Creation of the World and the Expulsion from Paradise,…

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5th July 2016

“The most pestilential book ever vomited from the jaws of hell”

By Sylvia Nickerson Radicalism and science at the publisher John Chapman In the latter nineteenth century several British doctors, philosophers and naturalists embraced scientific principles as the ones upon which society should best form itself for the future. The theory of evolution, the atomic theory of matter and the theory of the conservation of energy were the core theories upon which this new group hoped to reshape society for the…

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27th May 2016

What is the history of “Antievolution”?

By Adam Shapiro Perhaps nobody wants to be an “Anti.” In the American abortion debates, both sides typically self-identify as “Pro-” (Choice or Life) and debase their opponents as being “anti” something-else; anti-abortion, anti-life, anti-women. People, organizations, and statements may be described as Anti-Islamic, Anti-Family, Anti-Semitic, Anti-EU, Anti-LGBT; those descriptors are most often used critically. We seem to live in an anti-anti era, and as a historian, it’s important to…

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17th May 2016

Prophecy, Mistrust and Development: Religion and the 2014-15 Ebola Epidemic in Sierra Leone

By Ben Walker One night in June 2015 in Freetown, Sierra Leone, the Ghanaian Prophet Daniel Amoateng roared to a crying, praising and screaming crowd that there would be ‘No more Ebola’. Backed by the clanks of an electric keyboard, the noise became rapturous with call, response and cheers as Amoateng declared over and over that the disease must ‘touch nobody’. Aside from prophecy, Amoateng donated…

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