Weekly Buzz: 12/22/14

Sam Harris Big Lebowski

(Photo, sans text: Max Geiger)

You won’t believe what Sam Harris said about Francis Collins, leader of the National Institutes of Health. Find out what he said, and why it made me think of The Big Lebowski.

“Atheist Sam Harris Attacks Accomplished NIH Scientist Dr. Francis Collins for Being Christian”

Sam Harris is at it again. He lashed out against Francis Collins, director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Check out this Christian Post story, which quotes Harris:

Harris also argued that while Collins is “obviously a very smart guy who has made real contributions to science,” his religious convictions are a point of intellectual concern.

“[Collins], I think, is sensitive to how unseemly it is for the head of the NIH to talk about these things. So when you ask him for details, he says, ‘Well, this is all very complicated and you should consult the work of John Polkinghorne and N.T. Wright,'” Harris asserted.

“And when you consult their work, you get just pure madness. It is just a word salad, which is foisted on scientifically illiterate people by scientifically literate people for reasons that are patently emotional.”

Polkinghorne and Wright don’t write pure madness. You can disagree with these scholars without resorting to ridiculous ad hominem attacks. Harris’s aggression reminds me of The Big Lebowski. After reading Sam’s latest aggressive statements, I felt just like Lebowski in this clip.

What do you think of Sam Harris’s comments about Francis Collins?

“God Isn’t Dead in Gotham”

The Wall Street Journal interviewed evangelical pastor Tim Keller.

“Bill Nye Explains Evolution with Emoji”

The title says it all. In the video below, watch the “Science Guy” explain evolution in this creative way.

“Yes, atheists can be fundamentalists”

Sarah Jones wrote a great article about atheism and fundamentalism. Check out this snippet:

Fundamentalism as an ideological category has historically been limited to religion. But as atheism grows and begins to double as a political identity for many, I propose expanding that category to include nonbelievers. . . . This strain of atheism is simply an echo of religious fundamentalism, by virtue of being principally a reaction to it. It should therefore be placed in the same ideological category, and treated the same way we treat religious fundamentalism: As an impediment to pluralism.

She’s right. Many extreme atheists and Christians have much more in common with each other than either would like to believe. Jones’s piece is nuanced and helpful!

What do you think of this Daily Show piece, and the rest of this week’s buzz?

3 thoughts on “Weekly Buzz: 12/22/14

  1. I have no clue about John Polkinghorne and N.T. Wright but I do agree that it is bizarre at least to devote your whole life to rationally understanding the world via science and then let that all go out the window on Sundays.


  2. Sam Harris is starting to garner the same reputation for his atheistic fundametalism as is Ken Ham with his literalistic religious fundamentalism. I have to just shake my head and chuckle. How anyone can be so arrogant and simultaneously ignorant just boggles my mind… I can understand a metaphysical naturalist not “getting” Wright or Polkinghorne because or their assumptions, but to call it “pure madness” and just a “word salad” is absurd.


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