Tag Archives: religion

Jerry Coyne on the Odd Couple: Why Science and Religion Shouldn’t Cohabit

Yesterday I watched this lecture by Prof. Jerry Coyne (he has a popular blog on wordpress as well – see and subscribe, if you haven’t already,- whyevolutionistrue.wordpress.com). He is a biologist by profession and an atheist by heart. Or perhaps is it the other way around? Be it as it may, in this public lecture you will hear about how some religious crackheads and spiritual symphatysants rationalize, market and sell their nonsense as being in accord with the truth-seeking, problem-solving and ever-evolving scientific enterprise.  Jerry vividly examines whether the choir of the religious cats really sings in unison with the wizards of the lab and other craftsmen of the rational jazz. His conclusion is a definite NO. The religious cats sing an entirely different tune and use a peculiar set of musical notes, which no one but themselves can decipher and understand. Perhaps a tune for the hearts, but definitely not for the minds of the listeners. These cats play guitars with no strings, pianos with no keyboards and rock the cross as a saxophone. They even play tennis without a racket and basketball without a ball. In the words of Jerry: “Theology is the biggest waste of time in the history of human intellect. (I’m talking about academic thought here; if you count “all thought”, then replace “theology” with “religion.”) It makes no progress (except to discard the tenets that science disproves) and reaches no conclusions about either the existence or nature of gods.” Continue reading

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First class entertainment: Mormons Reloaded

crowd

My secret prayers have been answered. Again. A while ago I was contacted via phone by my Mormon acquaintances from the other day. They had my phone-number from our first meeting, which, if you still remember, happened more than two months ago (see one of my first posts). So we started talking. The polite brother invited me to visit his sect. “Hell, yeah. No need to ask me twice.”, I thought to myself. “Free of charge Entertainment with religious fanatics. Could there be anything better than that? No way, No How! That was exactly what I wanted.” So we made a date. As you know (and if you don’t, you should), I am quite open-minded towards religious and other weird folks. In fact, in a strange, bizarre and somewhat perverse way I find them very entertaining , even funny to an extent (unfortunately they rarely realize it for themselves). The very thought of speaking with someone who knows the Truth with a capital T behind the curtains – like how the world really works, what is the real purpose in life, or how to live, to be merry and happy etc.- increases my oxytocin levels way beyond normal. So, I had high hopes and I was looking forward to the great circus ahead. And, if I may run a little ahead of the story, I was not disappointed. Far from that. I had a great time and I enjoyed a truly magnificent show, in which I played the pivotal role. First class entertainment. What’s even better, it didn’t cost me a penny. The show was free for grabs. I seized and relished the moment. But let’s not get carried away. Back to the nitty gritties.  Continue reading

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Mormons

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What would you do if a young American in a black suit approached you on a street and offered you his spiritual advice? Would you take the gamble and return the act of kindness (his invitation for an interaction with you) by sacrificing a couple of minutes of your valuable time? Would you listen to what he has to say and offer? Now, imagine, that this young and ignorant punk were a Mormon, would this make any difference to you? I can answer only for myself. In the past two weeks I have had the pleasure and honor of meeting three youthful Mormon lads – Reeves, Fox and one other guy, whose name I don’t remember (all American – from Washington D.C., Texas, Utah respectively). This is a remarkable accomplishment in itself of which I am quite secretly proud, amazed and amused at the same time. Ever since my early 20s I have had a fervent desire to discuss matters spiritual with the convinced knee-benders, involved shareholders and serious gamers of any self-congratulatory sect or religious enterprise. From then on, I have had many stimulating and boring conversations with all sorts of people – self-proclaimed gurus, notorious avatars, serious meditatiors, legion of New Agers, Micky Mouse Zen-masters, country priests and pastors, monks and nuns, psycho-babblers and herbalists, even with a guy who managed to convince himself that he had a direct communication line with God himself and his heavenly hierarchy. Continue reading

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