Weekly Buzz: 7/7/14

Michael Ruse

Michael Ruse, right, is a hilarious philosopher of science.

This week’s buzz features a philosopher of science who will make you laugh out loud, non-Christians who perplexingly consider the Bible the word of God, and the 8 best tweets about Tim Howard and Jesus—the other guy known for saving.

Michael Ruse and Jim Bradley Discuss Science and Religion

Krista Tippett moderated a fascinating discussion between Ruse, an atheist philosopher of science, and Bradley, a Christian mathematician. (You can also read a transcript of their talk.)

While Tippett and Bradley make some great comments, Ruse really steals the show.

An English-born former Quaker, he cracks some hilarious jokes:

  • The moon is to light the way home for drunken philosophers.”
  • The definition of a philosopher is a blind man in a dark room, looking for a black hat which isn’t really there. . . . The definition of a theologian is that he’s somebody who finds it.”

Ruse combines his humor with a penetrating intellect. He observes that “Western science is very much a product of Western culture.” Supporting his point, Ruse examines the relationship between Charles Darwin’s science and British culture:

Karl Marx, writing to his friend Engels, about a couple of years after the Origin of Species was published in 1859, said, “Isn’t it remarkable how Darwin finds British industrial society down amongst the plants and animals?” You know, struggle for existence, Malthusian population, division of labor, all of these things.

“Malthusian population” refers to Thomas Malthus. He thought that disaster and sickness prevent human population explosion, making existence itself a struggle.  PBS explains Darwin’s expansion of this idea: “other animals’ populations must also be kept low by a struggle for existence, in which only the best adapted survive.” I guess you could say Darwin adapted Malthus’s thought. Pun intended.

New “BioLogos Basics” Video

Carl Sagan once said, “we are made of starstuff.”

But what do stars have to do with life on our planet? Well, BioLogos just released a short video, in their “BioLogos Basics” series, that answers this question.

These short videos from BioLogos are accessible, informative, and fantastic. Check out their video about evolution and the Bible.

Non-Christians Who Consider the Bible the Word of God?!

According to a recent Gallup poll6 to 11% of non-Christians view the Bible as the actual, literal word of God.

Gallup Poll

Ted Olsen and Ruth Moon, at Christianity Today, combined Gallup’s data with the General Social Survey (GSS). Using this larger sample size of non-Christians who take the Bible literally, Olson and Moon make some observations:

For the most part, we’re talking about the “nones.” . . . More than four out of five non-Christian literalists are “nones” (81%). About 10 percent are Jewish. The remaining 9 percent identify with other non-Christian religions.

Olson and Moon identify the consequences of these survey results:

And if nearly half of non-Christians think the Bible is the word of God, “literal,” “inspired,” or otherwise, it may have profound implications for evangelism, outreach, interfaith cooperation, social justice advocacy, and a host of other issues that are often divided too neatly in public discussions.

Either that, or some awkward survey questions really need a makeover.

What do you make of these poll results?  Are you a non-Christian who takes the Bible literally, or considers it inspired in some way?

8 Best Tim Howard/Jesus Tweets

Speaking of inspiration, if you watched the USA lose to Belgium last week, you saw a great performance from goalie Tim Howard. After he made a World Cup record sixteen saves, Twitter exploded with comparisons between Howard and Jesus. 

Don’t have time to read through all these comparisons? Don’t worry, the CNN Belief Blog found the 8 best tweets for you.


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5 thoughts on “Weekly Buzz: 7/7/14

  1. Not sure which is more confusing: Non-Christians who take the Bible as the Word of God, or Christians who have no opinion of the Bible :\

    On the former, I wonder the extent to which these individuals took “Word of God” to be a catchphrase or something similar instead of actually asking their opinion of its divine attributes.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Great point about the Christians who have no opinion of the Bible! I didn’t notice that group until you mentioned them.

      Regarding the non-Christians who view the Bible as the word of God, I agree with you. Perhaps “word of God” is a false cognate: non-Christians and Christians might have different definitions of this phrase.


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