Watch the replay below.

A moderated debate between astrophysicist Jeff Hester, and Christian apologist, William Lane Craig

Pigeon Chess: A Retrospective

There is an old adage: “Never play chess with a pigeon. He craps all over the board, knocks over all of the pieces, and then flies home to his flock to declare victory."

William Lane Craig is a very accomplished pigeon. ;-)

 

Watch the replay below.

A moderated debate between astrophysicist Jeff Hester, and Christian apologist, William Lane Craig

Pigeon Chess: A Retrospective

There is an old adage: “Never play chess with a pigeon. He craps all over the board, knocks over all of the pieces, and then flies home to his flock to declare victory."

William Lane Craig is a very accomplished pigeon. ;-)

 

Is Theism Rational in an age of science?


Those who wrote the Bible imagined a small world, with God and the heavens above and the underworld below.

Lacking other explanations, they saw themselves as products of divine creation in a world shaped by God’s whim.

A lot has changed since then.

 


Enjoy the discussion. And please reach out if you or your organization are looking to up your game, or if you need an impactful speaker. I bring a unique and powerful perspective to the question of finding personal and organizational success in times of change, and customize my work to the specific needs of clients.  I don’t debate Christian apologists for a living, you know!  😎 

 


 

Your Brain Hallucinates Your Consciousness

This is a very useful introduction to the science of how our brains generate our conscious experiences. These experiences are inside-out rather than outside-in. Our conscious experiences are generated by our brain, drawing more from our brain’s internal model of the world than from the world itself. This science, which is crossing the often called uncrossable barrier between mind and body, undermines the last realm within which theists look for justification of belief in God.

Read more

 

 

Opening Runthrough

A run-through of my opening presentation.
Opening Runthrough Slides

Opening Runthrough Slides

Slides for opening presentation.

Morality and Ethics

A discussion of my thoughts on morality and ethics. The “objective morality” supposedly provided by theism is anything but, and typically does far more harm than good. Only by rejecting theism can we get beyond the evolved sociobiological, relativist mandates that shape theistic morality and construct objective, normative moral and ethical principles.
Morality and Ethics Slides

Morality and Ethics Slides

Slides accompanying responses to WLC’s argument that God is needed as a source for morality and ethics.

Anil Seth on The Predictive Brain

Setting aside WLC’s Kalam and Fine Tuning arguments, the rest of what he talks about all boils down to our understanding of the nature of our brains, minds and experiences. On that score, WLC is locked into an understanding that dates back to Descartes. But at the moment we are in the midst of a revolution in our understanding of the nature and function of our own minds. From perception, to consciousness, to memory, to you name it, everything related to our cognition is predictive and constructed. This new understanding undermines the last remaining gaps within which God might have been hiding.

Guth and Vilenkin debunk WLC

WLC’s Kalam argument relies heavily on work from Borde, Guth and Vilenkin (2003). WLC misrepresents that work, which actually negates the conclusions of his Kalam and Fine-Turning arguments. I found excerpts from on-line interviews with Guth and Vilenkin debunking every point of both arguments.

Rather than establishing the need for a creator of our universe, WLC’s favorite cosmologists: (1) Establish the multiverse as a seemingly unavoidable consequence of current cosmological theories; (2) Argue that to the extent it can be described by non-quantum space-time the multiverse has a beginning; (2) Demonstrate that such a multiverse can arise quantum mechanically without a cause; (3) Present the multiverse as physically more sensible than a one-off Big Bang; (4) Answer the problem with Fine Tuning; (5) Argue that the apparent low entropy of our universe is a consequence of inflationary cosmology; and (6) Point out that we do not know how to calculate the probability of things like Boltzmann Brains or even understand why they need to be taken seriously.

Can we put away this Kalam and Fine-turning silliness now?

Nova Memory Hackers

Nova Memory Hackers

Memory and eyewitness accounts are constructed and highly maleable. This is Cool stuff that also happens to undermine WLC’s understanding of the human mind. This NOVA is a nice walk through the surprising topic. (As of April 2019 the program is available on NetFlix. A lot has been learned even in the three years since this program was first broadcast.

The Fiction of Memory

“Our memories are constructive. They’re reconstructive. Memory works… like a Wikipedia page: you can go in there and change it, but so can other people.” – Elizabeth Loftus

The Neuroscience of Consciousness

The last “gap” in which theists might try to hide God is the nature of our conscious experience. Mind/body dualism is an idea that goes back at least as far as Descartes, and the boundary between the two has long been thought to be uncrossable by science. That is rapidly changing. We are in the midst of a scientific revolution to rival that of the revolution in physics a century ago. In this talk, Anil Seth goes into our understanding of conscious experience.

Evolution in Real Time

This video is simultaneously both spectacularly cool and spectacularly frightening. It shows a laboratory experiment in which of the course of a few days bacteria evolve resistance to high concentrations of antibiotic. It is the best real-life demonstration I have ever come across of how biological evolution works, and just what it can accomplish. The next time someone says, “evolution can’t do such-and-such,” send them the link.

Thermodynamics and the Origin of Life

Here is a very nice discussion of Jeremy England’s work on the thermodynamic origin of life.
Great Deceiverism 101  Explanation or Theory? Therein lies the rub.Posted in For Your ConsiderationUnreasonable Faith

Great Deceiverism 101
Explanation or Theory? Therein lies the rub.

If someone can’t tell you how they would know that they are wrong, they don’t have a clue whether they are right.

This article originally appeared in my Astronomy Magazine column, For Your Consideration.

Read more

One Step at a Time  The  not-so-mysterious origin of lifePosted in For Your ConsiderationUnreasonable Faith

One Step at a Time
The not-so-mysterious origin of life

Once seemingly incomprehensible, the origin of life no longer seems such a mystery. Most of what once appeared as roadblocks are turning out to be superhighways.

This article originally appeared in my Astronomy Magazine column, For Your Consideration.

Read more

For now, here are links to a few relevant articles from my monthly column in Astronomy Magazine.

 

  • Our Roots in the Cosmos  There’s nothing mythical about this creation story.Posted in For Your ConsiderationUnreasonable Faith
  • It’s Genetic  Returning engineering to its rootsPosted in For Your ConsiderationUnreasonable Faith
  • Brains in a Box  Pleistocene thinking in a post-Pleistocene worldPosted in For Your ConsiderationUnreasonable Faith
  • Postmodernist Airplanes  Science is not just another world viewPosted in For Your ConsiderationUnreasonable Faith
  • Not Science Fiction  Three cheers for multiverses!Posted in For Your ConsiderationUnreasonable Faith
  • The Octopus and ET  Is intelligence an evolutionary forced move?Posted in For Your ConsiderationUnreasonable Faith
  • Not The End of Science  The emerging science of processPosted in For Your ConsiderationUnreasonable Faith
  • In a Shark’s Eye  Science and the experience of wonderPosted in For Your ConsiderationUnreasonable Faith
  • Our Need to Know  We crave certainty, even when it is only an illusionPosted in CoachingThoughtsUnreasonable Faith
  • A Dunning-Kruger Universe  Everyone, it seems, has a “theory”Posted in For Your ConsiderationUnreasonable Faith
  • The Hermeneutics of  Bunk  Alan Sokal and postmodernism’s black eyePosted in For Your ConsiderationUnreasonable Faith
  • Cassandra Smiling  Science, politics and a march in the rainPosted in For Your ConsiderationUnreasonable Faith
  • Our Roots in the Cosmos
    There’s nothing mythical about this creation story.

    For the first time in history we can tell the story of our existence beginning with the origin of the universe, and ending with you sitting there reading this article. And an amazing story it is!

    Republished from my Astronomy Magazine column, For Your Consideration.”

    Read Article

  • It’s Genetic
    Returning engineering to its roots

    Genetic algorithms are revolutionizing our world by reconnecting engineering with its four-billion-year-old roots.

    Republished from my monthly Astronomy Magazine column, For Your Consideration.

    Read Article

  • Brains in a Box
    Pleistocene thinking in a post-Pleistocene world

    In some ways we are creatures out of our time. Behaviors that once served us well can be dangerous in a world where the only constant is change.

    This article originally appeared in my Astronomy Magazine column, For Your Consideration.”

    Read Article

  • Postmodernist Airplanes
    Science is not just another world view

    It’s easy to tell this airplane wasn’t designed by a postmodernist; it flies! Science: When it really matters, nothing even comes close.

    This article originally appeared in my Astronomy Magazine column, For Your Consideration.

    Read Article

  • Not Science Fiction
    Three cheers for multiverses!

    Reality need not conform to our preferences. To complain that multiverses are “outlandish” or “unscientific” is to ignore the history of scientific discovery.

    This article originally appeared in my Astronomy Magazine column, For Your Consideration.

    Read Article

  • The Octopus and ET
    Is intelligence an evolutionary forced move?

    Evolution has no goal, but there are things that it stumbles onto over and over again. If the other-worldly octopus is any indication, intelligence could be common wherever complex life appears.

    This article originally appeared in my Astronomy Magazine column, For Your Consideration.

    Read Article

  • Not The End of Science
    The emerging science of process

    Fundamental change is always messy. As science tackles the complex processes that shape the real world it is having to reinvent itself on the fly. Welcome to the Wild West!

    This article originally appeared in my Astronomy Magazine column, For Your Consideration.

    Read Article

  • In a Shark’s Eye
    Science and the experience of wonder

    Alone, 100 feet underwater, with a shark in its element, I am overwhelmed by a mixture of awe, beauty, joy, and intellectual wonder at the world that brings us together. In that moment, I experience just what science is all about.

    This article originally appeared in my Astronomy Magazine column, For Your Consideration.

    Read Article

  • Our Need to Know
    We crave certainty, even when it is only an illusion

    The human brain craves the sensation of knowing like a drug addict craves the next fix. If real knowledge is uncomfortable or not at hand, we are quite content to just make something up, then convince ourselves it’s real. In a world where knowledge matters, that’s dangerous.

    Read Article

  • A Dunning-Kruger Universe
    Everyone, it seems, has a “theory”

    Some people are sure they know more than the experts, but it can take a lot of knowledge to realize just how wrong an idea is.

    This article originally appeared in my Astronomy Magazine column, For Your Consideration.

    Read Article

  • The Hermeneutics of Bunk
    Alan Sokal and postmodernism’s black eye

    Some years ago, NYU physicist Alan Sokal wondered whether anti-science postmodernists could recognize politically-correct-sounding nonsense even if he rubbed their noses in it. The unwitting subjects of the Sokal Hoax jumped at the bait.

    This article originally appeared in my Astronomy Magazine column, For Your Consideration.

    Read Article

  • Cassandra Smiling
    Science, politics and a march in the rain

    On a cold day in April, 2017 scientists gathered in Washington DC and cities around the world for the March for Science. Their message was a single powerful idea. Truth is not a political expediency. Reality cannot be ignored. In the year that has followed the vital importance of that message has only grown.

    This article originally appeared in my Astronomy Magazine column, For Your Consideration.

    Read Article

Click on thumbnail to select post:

 

Is Theism Rational in an age of science?  © Dr. Jeff Hester
Content may not be copied to other sites. All Rights Reserved.

  • Great Deceiverism 101  Explanation or Theory? Therein lies the rub.Posted in For Your ConsiderationUnreasonable Faith
  • One Step at a Time  The  not-so-mysterious origin of lifePosted in For Your ConsiderationUnreasonable Faith
  • The Mind’s Siren Call  Being certain is a primrose pathPosted in For Your ConsiderationUnreasonable Faith
  • Constrained Hallucinations  How the brain uses science to perceive the worldPosted in For Your ConsiderationUnreasonable Faith
  • Entropy Redux  Why our universe isn’t boringPosted in For Your ConsiderationUnreasonable Faith
  • Entropy’s Rainbow  The statistically likely path to complexityPosted in For Your ConsiderationUnreasonable Faith
  • Cassandra Smiling  Science, politics and a march in the rainPosted in For Your ConsiderationUnreasonable Faith
  • EPA Rehash  A suddenly partisan NASA faces its futurePosted in Thoughts
  • The Hermeneutics of  Bunk  Alan Sokal and postmodernism’s black eyePosted in For Your ConsiderationUnreasonable Faith
  • A Dunning-Kruger Universe  Everyone, it seems, has a “theory”Posted in For Your ConsiderationUnreasonable Faith
  • Our Need to Know  We crave certainty, even when it is only an illusionPosted in CoachingThoughtsUnreasonable Faith
  • A Saguaro’s universe  Building a cactus starts with the Big BangPosted in For Your Consideration
  • If someone can’t tell you how they would know that they are wrong, they don’t have a clue whether they are right.

    This article originally appeared in my Astronomy Magazine column, For Your Consideration.

  • Once seemingly incomprehensible, the origin of life no longer seems such a mystery. Most of what once appeared as roadblocks are turning out to be superhighways.

    This article originally appeared in my Astronomy Magazine column, For Your Consideration.

  • Being certain lights up our brains like a junkie’s next hit. Literally. Unfortunately, being certain and being right are two very, very different things.

    This article originally appeared in my Astronomy Magazine column, For Your Consideration.

  • The unique worlds we each consciously inhabit – the only worlds we will ever experience – are constrained hallucinations, products of hypothesis testing by our predictive brains.

    This article originally appeared in my Astronomy Magazine column, For Your Consideration.

  • A month’s worth of sunlight could pay the entropy bill for a billion years of biological evolution. Entropy is evolution’s best friend.

    This article originally appeared in my Astronomy Magazine column, For Your Consideration.

  • Entropy is often maligned as the enemy of order. In truth, without the inexorable march of entropy, the universe would be a very boring place.

    This article originally appeared in my Astronomy Magazine column, For Your Consideration.

  • On a cold day in April, 2017 scientists gathered in Washington DC and cities around the world for the March for Science. Their message was a single powerful idea. Truth is not a political expediency. Reality cannot be ignored. In the year that has followed the vital importance of that message has only grown.

    This article originally appeared in my Astronomy Magazine column, For Your Consideration.

  • When I look at NASA’s new Administrator, Jim Bridenstine, it is his fellow Oklahoman Scott Pruitt’s EPA that jumps to mind. As politically uncomfortable science is pushed aside, NASA’s history of nonpartisanship appears headed for an abrupt end. Will a strongly partisan NASA have a target on its back?

  • Some years ago, NYU physicist Alan Sokal wondered whether anti-science postmodernists could recognize politically-correct-sounding nonsense even if he rubbed their noses in it. The unwitting subjects of the Sokal Hoax jumped at the bait.

    This article originally appeared in my Astronomy Magazine column, For Your Consideration.

  • Some people are sure they know more than the experts, but it can take a lot of knowledge to realize just how wrong an idea is.

    This article originally appeared in my Astronomy Magazine column, For Your Consideration.

  • The human brain craves the sensation of knowing like a drug addict craves the next fix. If real knowledge is uncomfortable or not at hand, we are quite content to just make something up, then convince ourselves it’s real. In a world where knowledge matters, that’s dangerous.

  • The iconic saguaro cactus gives the desert an otherwordly beauty. That beauty does not exist in isolation. It embodies the fascinating and awe-inspiring processes that have shaped the universe, going all the way back to the Big Bang itself.

    This article originally appeared in my Astronomy Magazine column, For Your Consideration.

Over his 30 year career as an internationally known astrophysicist, Dr. Jeff Hester was a key member of the team that repaired the Hubble Space Telescope. With one foot always on the frontiers of knowledge, he has been mentor, coach, team leader, award-winning teacher, administrator and speaker, to name a few of the hats he has worn. His Hubble image, the Pillars of Creation, was chosen by Time Magazine as among the 100 most influential photographs in history.
©Dr. Jeff Hester LLC, 5301 S. Superstition Mountain Dr., Suite 104 #171, Gold Canyon, AZ 85118