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John Derbyshire on Religion

November 2006

John Derbyshire on Religion. Some excerpts follow. On creationism:

…the Creationists are absolutely correct to hate and fear modern biology. Learning this stuff works against your faith. To take a single point at random: The idea that we are made in God's image implies we are a finished product. We are not, though. It is now indisputable that natural selection has been going on…

On religious experiences:

Of course, the religious people who had these “numinous” experiences described them in religious terms (“I heard angels singing”) while the non-religious gave secular descriptions (“I heard wonderful music”). The experiences reported are all uncommonly alike though, even across cultures. It's obviously the same experience — bright light, beautiful music, a loss of the sense of self (“dissolution”), and so on. It's just that the mind interprets it according to familiar cultural referents, especially religious ones.

I have a lot of sympathy with where he's at, currently. I think it's sad that he's lost so much of his belief, but I'm more and more frequently finding myself wondering how much is important truth, and how much is just the rubbish around it. Meh, might write more on this later.