Tim Keller on “The New Atheists”
Tim Keller: One bad thing about “The New Atheists” books is they weren’t just saying that religion is wrong, they are actually saying that even respect for religion was wrong and that we shouldn’t even be courteous and respectful to religious believers, but we really just need to get rid of it all.
And for that’s I think it has a recipe for disaster. That certainly doesn’t bring about civil discourse at all.
The other thing is weird about “The New Atheists” was, most people in the last 30 years came to understand that knowledge is perspectival [sic]. We’ve seem that move away from this idea that you can have this objective view from nowhere, the old enlightenment, you know, scientism. And I’ve talked to a number of philosophers who are not Christian believers who are themselves atheist actually who told me it seems like all the guys who wrote “The New Atheists” books just refuse to take Philosophy 101. They just did not listen to what’s happened in the last 40 years about knowledge. They’re just so sure that if you can’t prove something, then we don’t have to believe it.
And so there’s a kind of epistemological naivete about the books, and there’s also something about them that I think really doesn’t help civil discourse at all.
I do hope that they all get passé, not because I don’t respect the people’s convictions; I just don’t think that they are all that helpful.
Question: What’s on your reading list?
Tim Keller: Frankly, I like C. S. Lewis, Dorothy Sayers, G. K. Chesterton is a Catholic. These are all people who wrote 80 to 100 years ago; smart British people. By and large, I would say they were more insightful for Americans now who are searching, because Britain began, they get more secular before America did. And so smart and thoughtful Christians back in the ‘30s, ‘40s, ‘50s, ‘60s anticipated trends that now we’re seeing in America today.
That’s one of the reasons why I do like Lewis. And one of the reasons I do like a lot of the people around Lewis or people that Lewis like, like, G. K. Chesterton who is a great Catholic thinker, very acerbic and very funny.
Recorded on: December 8, 2008
The Pastor refutes aggressive atheism.
Explore how alcohol affects your brain, from the first sip at the bar to life-long drinking habits.
- Alcohol is the world's most popular drug and has been a part of human culture for at least 9,000 years.
- Alcohol's effects on the brain range from temporarily limiting mental activity to sustained brain damage, depending on levels consumed and frequency of use.
- Understanding how alcohol affects your brain can help you determine what drinking habits are best for you.
If you want to know what makes a Canadian lynx a Canadian lynx a team of DNA sequencers has figured that out.
- A team at UMass Amherst recently sequenced the genome of the Canadian lynx.
- It's part of a project intending to sequence the genome of every vertebrate in the world.
- Conservationists interested in the Canadian lynx have a new tool to work with.
If you want to know what makes a Canadian lynx a Canadian lynx, I can now—as of this month—point you directly to the DNA of a Canadian lynx, and say, "That's what makes a lynx a lynx." The genome was sequenced by a team at UMass Amherst, and it's one of 15 animals whose genomes have been sequenced by the Vertebrate Genomes Project, whose stated goal is to sequence the genome of all 66,000 vertebrate species in the world.
Sequencing the genome of a particular species of an animal is important in terms of preserving genetic diversity. Future generations don't necessarily have to worry about our memory of the Canadian Lynx warping the way hearsay warped perception a long time ago.
Artwork: Guillaume le Clerc / Wikimedia Commons
13th-century fantastical depiction of an elephant.
It is easy to see how one can look at 66,000 genomic sequences stored away as being the analogous equivalent of the Svalbard Global Seed Vault. It is a potential tool for future conservationists.
But what are the practicalities of sequencing the genome of a lynx beyond engaging with broad bioethical questions? As the animal's habitat shrinks and Earth warms, the Canadian lynx is demonstrating less genetic diversity. Cross-breeding with bobcats in some portions of the lynx's habitat also represents a challenge to the lynx's genetic makeup. The two themselves are also linked: warming climates could drive Canadian lynxes to cross-breed with bobcats.
John Organ, chief of the U.S. Geological Survey's Cooperative Fish and Wildlife units, said to MassLive that the results of the sequencing "can help us look at land conservation strategies to help maintain lynx on the landscape."
What does DNA have to do with land conservation strategies? Consider the fact that the food found in a landscape, the toxins found in a landscape, or the exposure to drugs can have an impact on genetic activity. That potential change can be transmitted down the generative line. If you know exactly how a lynx's DNA is impacted by something, then the environment they occupy can be fine-tuned to meet the needs of the lynx and any other creature that happens to inhabit that particular portion of the earth.
Given that the Trump administration is considering withdrawing protection for the Canadian lynx, a move that caught scientists by surprise, it is worth having as much information on hand as possible for those who have an interest in preserving the health of this creature—all the way down to the building blocks of a lynx's life.
The exploding popularity of the keto diet puts a less used veggie into the spotlight.
- The cauliflower is a vegetable of choice if you're on the keto diet.
- The plant is low in carbs and can replace potatoes, rice and pasta.
- It can be eaten both raw and cooked for different benefits.
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