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Is evolutionary chance impossible? 
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Post Re: Is evolutionary chance impossible?
ant wrote:
Correct - but sorta correct :P
I am generalizing about certain common atheistic bigots, not prominent atheists like Smolin or Dawkins. Quite frankly, I greatly admire Dawkins and his work. I'm against his militant attitude against religion, but nevertheless, I admire his work.

In his book, The God Delusion, Dawkins recommends Finding Darwin's God, by Kenneth R Miller. It's a great book.
I look to serious atheists who, like Dawkins, are intellectually honest enough to admit they don't have all the answers.
I forgot which debate it was, but in that debate, Dawkins stated that although he believes it is highly improbable that there is a god, as a scientist he can not rule out the possibility completely. His opponent responded by indicating that at best, by definition that would make Dawkins an agnostic and not an atheist.

Thanks for correcting my assumption of which segment of atheists you were talking about. It's really important for us to be clear on what we don't know. Theists say that God explains everything; atheists may exhibit the same thinking in saying that science has explained everything, or they may be making a faith statement when they say science will explain everything.

Somebody said recently that we can be against only a particular conception of god, and I think that's true for Dawkins, Hitchens and the rest. They are in fact writing against the monotheistic God as well as any other that also supposedly has revealed the truth to select humans and requires of them definite beliefs and actions. That is what they call religion, even though many object that the word needs to be more broadly applied. Dawkins may have said that he can't rule out, through science, the existence of god, but I wager that he would say he can do so regarding the God of the Bible. I would agree with him on that, being 100% certain that the God portrayed there isn't real. I still can't offer proof to satisfy believers, but I see no point in hedging about what I think. So I am atheist regarding that god and any other that is a theism in a meaningful sense. I'm agnostic about a mysterious 'something else' that we may not be able to comprehend or discover.


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Sun Feb 05, 2012 3:13 pm
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Post Re: Is evolutionary chance impossible?
ant wrote:
Thanks for your post, Robert. Just one quick question:
Quote:
Evolution is completely mechanistic. Positing any non-mechanistic factors is primitive illogical thinking that fails to engage with reality.
Have you addressed my initial questions/comments regarding the origin of life?
Although your argument demonstrates mechanistic evolutionary processes, why does it not commit a genetic fallacy of irrelevant conclusion? We must be careful not to rely too heavily on fallacious tactics.
ant wrote:
It's fascinating to me how fervent militant atheists are with their feverish insistence that there is no god. It is nearly identical to religious fanaticism, something they also claim to detest. It's really quite funny when you think about it. As I've stated before, when science becomes dogma, it is no better than religious dogma.

Hi Ant, this is all good grist to the mill. I have faith in science, so you are right in my case, just in your observation that there is a similarity in the certainty displayed between some forms of militant atheism and religion.

However, the big difference is that militant atheism is compatible with everything we see, whereas theism is incompatible with everything we see. So dogmatism in science, which means regarding ideas such as the theory of evolution as necessarily true, is actually far better, more informative and more accurate than any religious dogma, simply because it is true. Far better to insist on correct ideas than to insist on false ones. Moral reasoning should start with evidence.

As to the supposed 'genetic fallacy' arising from the observation that science has not been able to create life, yes the origin of life is an unknown. The possibilities are that when you have the ingredients for life on a planet, it will eventually happen (scientific evolution), that life is seeded from elsewhere in the universe (panspermia), or that an old man in the sky, egged on by Jesus at his right hand, said 'let there be light' and behold it was good, evening and morning, the first day (theism).

Looking at the history of each of these ideas, theism sought to explain creation before humanity had the scientific knowledge to formulate a more plausible account. The fact that we cannot yet explain how life started does not make theistic explanations more plausible than atheist explanations.

You certainly have a flourish when it comes to rhetoric, ant. Just in one short paragraph, we get "fascinating .. fervent militant atheists .. feverish insistence .. nearly identical to.. fanaticism.. quite funny .. when science becomes dogma"

Sadly, your attack on science is entirely free of content, except the observation that the efforts of science to avoid faith are futile. To argue with religious evangelists with their rigid certainty and arrogant moral vanity, science has to adopt the same attitude of faith, saying that scientific knowledge is absolutely correct while religious error is absolutely false. Scientific purists see this as degrading the method of science, but politically it is necessary, simply because expressing doubt allows unscrupulous opponents to manipulate the public.

It is not that religion is meaningless, because we can still salvage some symbolic value in Genesis and other texts, but that anyone who says religious claims may be literally true when they conflict with science is insane.


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Post Re: Is evolutionary chance impossible?
The only thing is, Robert, that I would have to ask, what "attack on science?" The criticism has been not of science but on certain proponents of science who most likely aren't themselves scientists. I'm not joining in that criticism here, just saying that I suspect that it's more typical of scientists not to ballyhoo the superiority of science. They tend to be a more cautious lot, very conservative in fact about claims. Sam Harris says that he's always impressed by the severe restriction of what researchers are willing to advocate; they don't go far out on the limb at all, even about matters that may seem minute. Harris says this in order to refute the conception that scientists are arrogant defenders of Science. Most don't care to man the political barricades, and for that we can be thankful.

Probably Richard Dawkins is the scientist who very publicly has promoted science in general as a better way to find out the truth. But he seems to be atypical of this reticent profession, and in addition he is too smart to think that the name "science" confers any credibility, since bad science is not uncommon. It may be non-scientists who place a bit too much faith in anything falling under the rubric of science.


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Mon Feb 06, 2012 8:51 am
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Post Re: Is evolutionary chance impossible?
ant wrote:
. . . It's fascinating to me how fervent militant atheists are with their feverish insistence that there is no god. It is nearly identical to religious fanaticism, something they also claim to detest.
It's really quite funny when you think about it.
As I've stated before, when science becomes dogma, it is no better than religious dogma.


I wouldn't describe any of BT regulars as militant atheists. I know they exist, but they just don't seem to hang around here. Whereas we do get Creationists rolling through here every once in a while. One even took up residence for a couple of years. I always try to remember that theists are rarely Creationists, and I would suggest that theists might want try to remember that the vast majority of atheists are not Atheists. Creationism and Atheism (with a capital 'A'—defined as ideological belief that God definitely does not exist) are both fringe positions. Although I think there are a lot of Creationists out there, and some people, like Dawkins, are often viewed as militant atheists when, in fact, they are just railing against the stupidity of Creationism.

These heated debates over the existence of God probably have more to do with the belief in God as the fallback position when science doesn't have an explanation. I would say the guy who started this thread was attempting to offer a simplistic explanation for the beginnings of life in order to make room for his belief in God. It's the classic God-of-the-gaps argument. I was trying to cut through the chase and get to the crux of the matter which is that there's no scientific evidence for God and belief in him has to be based on faith. If someone needs to belittle science to make room for God, it's a fallacious approach out of the gate and any kind of rational debate is impossible.


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Mon Feb 06, 2012 10:58 am
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Post Re: Is evolutionary chance impossible?
This attitude that scientists are "above having faith" is a purist line that makes them seem oh so holy in their principled reticence. There is arrogance and there is arrogance. Saying you cannot know anything with certainty is arrogant, and a lie. This affected humility is a dangerous deceit.

It leaves the public in doubt as to the truth of scientific knowledge because scientists come across as cowards who lack the courage of their convictions. So we get a failure of political engagement by timid scientists and a refusal to enter moral debate about the big questions of our day, such as climate change.

The idea of atheism as unmilitant is a lukewarm failure of integrity. But militancy does not mean hostility towards religion, it simply means absolute certainty regarding epistemology, that science presents a consistent and coherent materialist explanation for reality.


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Mon Feb 06, 2012 11:22 am
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Post Re: Is evolutionary chance impossible?
Robert Tulip wrote:
This attitude that scientists are "above having faith" is a purist line that makes them seem oh so holy in their principled reticence. There is arrogance and there is arrogance. Saying you cannot know anything with certainty is arrogant, and a lie. This affected humility is a dangerous deceit.

It leaves the public in doubt as to the truth of scientific knowledge because scientists come across as cowards who lack the courage of their convictions. So we get a failure of political engagement by timid scientists and a refusal to enter moral debate about the big questions of our day, such as climate change.

The idea of atheism as unmilitant is a lukewarm failure of integrity. But militancy does not mean hostility towards religion, it simply means absolute certainty regarding epistemology, that science presents a consistent and coherent materialist explanation for reality.


I think you're misreading my post, Robert.

An atheist is simply someone who is without belief in a god. In science, the question of the existence God—whatever flavor of God is being offered—is not generally addressed for the same reason a teapot orbiting Saturn is not addressed. There's no evidence for it, and so no reason to put much thought into it. Likewise, scientists don't generally concern themselves with the supernatural. Confidence in science is based on the preponderance of evidence.

However, wherever the stupidity of Creationist thinking threatens to insinuate itself into our lives, all thinking people should take action and protest loudly. This is no longer a question of the existence of God, but the role of religious dogma in our lives. If Creationists want to do away with the study of evolution in our schools, we should all fight that, atheists and theists alike. Belief in God is not relevant to this issue, or shouldn't be at least. An atheist might be more inclined to fight against religious dogma, but the atheism has nothing to do with it.

I completely agree that science presents a consistent and coherent materialist explanation for reality. But for complex psychological reasons, some people seek mystical explanations anyway. I think that's why it's so important to be able to distinguish faith from science.


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Last edited by geo on Mon Feb 06, 2012 11:56 am, edited 2 times in total.



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Post Re: Is evolutionary chance impossible?
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However, the big difference is that militant atheism is compatible with everything we see, whereas theism is incompatible with everything we see.


I disagree with this, but you have a right to that opinion.

Quote:
So dogmatism in science, which means regarding ideas such as the theory of evolution as necessarily true, is actually far better, more informative and more accurate than any religious dogma, simply because it is true.


You are being far too lenient with your definition of science as dogma. I think you know that though.


Quote:
As to the supposed 'genetic fallacy' arising from the observation that science has not been able to create life, yes the origin of life is an unknown


Robert,
How on earth did you reason that the genetic fallacy I was referring to was based on the premise that science has not been able to create life?? I am totally perplexed by this.

Quote:
Sadly, your attack on science is entirely free of content, except the observation that the efforts of science to avoid faith are futile.


Robert,

Why it is you think I'm attacking science is beyond me. Re-read Dwill's post and mine. My questions run deeper than sitting in a Darwinian classroom listening to atheists ramble on ad nauseum about the mechanics of evolution and how it explains the origin of life. GO AWAY, YOU DIRTY THEISTS! WE KNOW IT ALL BECAUSE THE EVIDENCE IS IN!!

Quote:
but that anyone who says religious claims may be literally true when they conflict with science is insane.


How is that relevant to this entire conversation, Robert?
I think that was more of a general expression of anger than relevance to what we've been discussing here.


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Post Re: Is evolutionary chance impossible?
ant wrote:
Have you addressed my initial questions/comments regarding the origin of life? Although your argument demonstrates mechanistic evolutionary processes, why does it not commit a genetic fallacy of irrelevant conclusion?

Ant's argument is
A. Science says the universe is mechanistic
B. Science concludes that therefore evolution of life is mechanistic, therefore
C. Science commits a 'genetic fallacy' of irrelevant conclusion because B does not follow from A.

However, in this case B does follow from A, so ant is wrong. The only 'genetic fallacy' argument I can see in this context is to claim that because science cannot explain the origin of life it cannot exclude a supernatural creator. If there is another supposed fallacy then ant should explain it.
ant wrote:
the ingredients were all there in the soup. I mean, it's that simple. It all makes logical sense. :roll:

ant, you are entirely disingenuous if you think your comments such as this eye rolling caper do not read as a direct attack on science.

You say we should roll our eyes when people claim that the origin of life is a purely material event. That is an attack on science by you.

As to whether 'this entire conversation' relates to the truth of religious claims, ant may wish to read the opening post and the thread title which directly imply truth of religious ideas that conflict with science, not to mention the use of rolling eye smilies by one disingenuous participant aimed at casting aspersions on the scientific worldview of atheism.


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Post Re: Is evolutionary chance impossible?
Quote:
There is arrogance and there is arrogance. Saying you cannot know anything with certainty is arrogant, and a lie. This affected humility is a dangerous deceit.


This is a great comment.


David Hume (I'm certain you know this) held that we have no impression of causation, of one event making another event happen. All experience shows us is one thing after another. The connections between them can not be experienced. Also, we have no impression of enduring things. Our experience is constantly changing. The sensations we have do not endure and are not constant.

How might this apply to evolution?
How will evolution explain the connections that might have preceded biological life to get it started?
If things that endure throughout time can never be proven to exist, and if God fits that description, how can you rule out ITS existence?

It has been said "people see, eyes dont." How might that impact our ability to attempt to disprove the existence of something?
Is it reasonable for an atheist to claim an intelligence beyond our sensations/impressions does not exist?


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“For it is owing to their wonder that men both now begin to and at first began to philosophize; they wondered originally at the obvious difficulties, then advanced little by little and stated difficulties about the greater matters, e.g. about the phenomena of the moon and those of the sun and of the stars, and about the genesis of the universe. And a man who is puzzled and wonders thinks himself ignorant” (Metaphysics, 350 BC)


Last edited by ant on Mon Feb 06, 2012 1:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.



Mon Feb 06, 2012 12:56 pm
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Post Re: Is evolutionary chance impossible?
Quote:
Ant's argument is
A. Science says the universe is mechanistic
B. Science concludes that therefore evolution of life is mechanistic, therefore
C. Science commits a 'genetic fallacy' of irrelevant conclusion because B does not follow from A.


I stopped right there because you are misunderstanding what a genetic fallacy is and how it applies to what I originally stated.

Robert, this is embarrassing.


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Post Re: Is evolutionary chance impossible?
ant, it doesn't do your case any good to make opaque comments and then patronise me for failing to understand you. I doubt that anyone else here has the foggiest idea what you are talking about or why you are embarrassed. You refuse to explain the so-called fallacy but just tut tut about how stupid I am for not reading your mind. Maybe there is no fallacy and you are imagining it?

The material on David Hume does not help you at all. All Hume showed was that without a recognition that there are necessary truths, such as the connection between cause and effect, we are lost in the mire of doubt. We should regard evolution as a necessary truth, as a condition of experience.

Matter and energy endure through time. We know this because it matches completely to all our observation and is a necessary condition for experience. The existence of God, in any meaningful sense, is not a necessary condition for experience in the same way the persistence of matter/energy through time is necessary.


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Post Re: Is evolutionary chance impossible?
geo wrote:
An atheist is simply someone who is without belief in a god.
That happens to be one popular negative definition of atheism, but other definitions are also possible. Atheism can also be defined positively, as belief that natural explanations are sufficient and exhaustive.
Quote:
In science, the question of the existence of God—whatever flavor of God is being offered—is not generally addressed for the same reason a teapot orbiting Saturn is not addressed. There's no evidence for it, and so no reason to put much thought into it. Likewise, scientists don't generally concern themselves with the supernatural. Confidence in science is based on the preponderance of evidence.
That is true for science, which in philosophical terms rejects all certainty. However, atheism extends beyond scientific caution, to assert that the teapot definitely does not exist because it is absurd and impossible. In this positive sense, atheism is a form of faith, holding that the consistency of our universe means that claims that are inconsistent with scientific knowledge are definitely false, such as the existence of God. Scientists may regard the assertion that there is no teapot orbiting Saturn as baseless dogma, but that only illustrates the impotence of science when it refuses to comment on matters that sit outside immediate evidence. There is a broader question of whether we accept ideas that are incompatible with what we know. Neither God nor Bertrand Russell's orbiting teapot are compatible with what we know. Deductively, both should be absolutely rejected on that basis alone.
Quote:
However, wherever the stupidity of Creationist thinking threatens to insinuate itself into our lives, all thinking people should take action and protest loudly. This is no longer a question of the existence of God, but the role of religious dogma in our lives. If Creationists want to do away with the study of evolution in our schools, we should all fight that, atheists and theists alike. Belief in God is not relevant to this issue, or shouldn't be at least. An atheist might be more inclined to fight against religious dogma, but the atheism has nothing to do with it.
Belief in God is entirely relevant to the problem of efforts to undermine rational tuition. Theist belief in God is not rational, so provides a threshold that once crossed allows all manner of miraculous fantasies. Atheism is a logical natural strategy to protect against the promotion of irrational fantasy.

However, we should distinguish between religion and Theism. It is entirely possible to maintain religious ritual traditions and to hold reverence for ethical teachings and symbols as a way to build community, while rejecting any Theist claims that contradict science and logic. This is the line taken by Episcopalian Bishop John Shelby Spong. Even texts such as the creation stories in Genesis can be read in a way that is meaningful for a scientific audience. The threshold of error in this material is when we start thinking that these supernatural superstitions give any basis for beliefs that contradict scientific knowledge.
Quote:
I completely agree that science presents a consistent and coherent materialist explanation for reality. But for complex psychological reasons, some people seek mystical explanations anyway. I think that's why it's so important to be able to distinguish faith from science.
The term 'mystical' is another interesting one. Science does not exclude mystical explanations, in the sense that there are deep mysteries of the universe that we do not comprehend. There may well be patterns in nature that shape our destiny in ways that are completely mysterious to our current level of scientific knowledge. But that does not mean that such patterns are unnatural or supernatural. If we accept there are natural mysterious patterns in the universe, we may find there is still room for faith in a way that is compatible with atheism.

Even science has need for faith. For example, ant raised the problem of Hume's scepticism, his argument that there is no necessary connection observable to the senses between a cause and its effect. If we hold that there must be such a connection as a condition of our experience, this certainty is a matter of faith. It means we regard the causal evolutionary material nature of the universe as axiomatically true. We therefore find that true faith is at the foundation of scientific knowledge.

The well of faith has been contaminated by a pervasive error that misinterprets Hebrews 11:1, where faith is defined as "the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen". The universal law of causality is "evidence of things not seen" and so can only be accepted as a matter of faith. But causality differs from God, because we have continual evidence for causality, while we have none for God.


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Post Re: Is evolutionary chance impossible?
ant wrote:
Is it reasonable for an atheist to claim an intelligence beyond our sensations/impressions does not exist?


You're defining a deity it seems, which is not reasonable to rule out. According to that definition, I'm agnostic. If you mean to include the god of the bible in your definition, then it is reasonable to say he does not exist, at least as represented by the bible.

Robert Tulip wrote:
If we hold that there must be such a connection as a condition of our experience, this certainty is a matter of faith. It means we regard the causal evolutionary material nature of the universe as axiomatically true. We therefore find that true faith is at the foundation of scientific knowledge.


Why must we have certainty? Only when you're certain is faith required. Don't be certain, but be confident. Its utility as a bulwark against harmful fundamentalism does not make it a truthful position. Useful, but not truthful.


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Post Re: Is evolutionary chance impossible?
The problem here goes back to the debate between the ideas of Hume and Kant over scepticism. Kant famously said Hume 'woke me from my dogmatic slumbers' with his comments on how we can know about causality. Kant's answer was that for knowledge to be possible we require necessary truths.

Without certainty over simple questions such as the existence of space, time and causality, Kant argued that human experience would be impossible. We obviously do not know everything about these simple questions, but broadly, we know that the universe is big, old and mechanistic. Everything in our experience confirms these a priori assumptions.

If we say we can have confidence but no certainty, we say we are certain of nothing, which means we know nothing. That is solipsism. As soon as we identify any simple proposition that we consider admits of no doubt, for example 'the universe is big and old', we have a foundation upon which we can build with absolute systematic logical certainty. Otherwise we are left assenting to absurd statements such as 'I am unsure if the universe exists'.

The proposition 'the universe is mechanistic' is at the basis of all science, but is rejected by spiritualists. As such, its logical status may not be as firm as the proposition that the universe is big and old. I'm going out on a dogmatic limb here and saying that I think the universe is mechanistic.

On ant's postulate of a mystery intelligence governing the universe, my view is that there is intelligibility, for example in the laws of nature, but not intelligence. Intelligence is a function of life. It is a category mistake to describe non-living entities like the sun as intelligent. We should subscribe to a philosophy that is compatible with experience. Imagining that God exists other than as poetic metaphor is incompatible with experience.


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Post Re: Is evolutionary chance impossible?
Quote:
If we say we can have confidence but no certainty, we say we are certain of nothing, which means we know nothing.


It's semantics all the way down Robert. Who says we need certainty in our knowledge? You're nesting the requirement for certainty in one concept after the other in an attempt to make it a requirement.


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BOOK FORUMS FOR ALL BOOKS WE HAVE DISCUSSED
Oliver Twist - by Charles DickensSense and Goodness Without God - by Richard CarrierFrankenstein - by Mary ShelleyThe Big Questions - by Simon BlackburnScience Was Born of Christianity - by Stacy TrasancosThe Happiness Hypothesis - by Jonathan HaidtA Game of Thrones - by George R. R. MartinTempesta's Dream - by Vincent LoCocoWhy Nations Fail - by Daron Acemoglu and James RobinsonThe Drowning Girl - Caitlin R. KiernanThe Consolations of the Forest - by Sylvain TessonThe Complete Heretic's Guide to Western Religion: The Mormons - by David FitzgeraldA Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man - by James JoyceThe Divine Comedy - by Dante AlighieriThe Magic of Reality - by Richard DawkinsDubliners - by James JoyceMy Name Is Red - by Orhan PamukThe World Until Yesterday - by Jared DiamondThe Man Who Was Thursday - by by G. K. ChestertonThe Better Angels of Our Nature by Steven PinkerLord Jim by Joseph ConradThe Hobbit by J. R. R. TolkienThe Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas AdamsAtlas Shrugged by Ayn RandThinking, Fast and Slow - by Daniel KahnemanThe Righteous Mind - by Jonathan HaidtWorld War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War by Max BrooksMoby Dick: or, the Whale by Herman MelvilleA Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer EganLost Memory of Skin: A Novel by Russell BanksThe Structure of Scientific Revolutions by Thomas S. KuhnHobbes: Leviathan by Thomas HobbesThe House of the Spirits - by Isabel AllendeArguably: Essays by Christopher HitchensThe Falls: A Novel (P.S.) by Joyce Carol OatesChrist in Egypt by D.M. MurdockThe Glass Bead Game: A Novel by Hermann HesseA Devil's Chaplain by Richard DawkinsThe Hero with a Thousand Faces by Joseph CampbellThe Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor DostoyevskyThe Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark TwainThe Moral Landscape by Sam HarrisThe Decameron by Giovanni BoccaccioThe Road by Cormac McCarthyThe Grand Design by Stephen HawkingThe Evolution of God by Robert WrightThe Tin Drum by Gunter GrassGood Omens by Neil GaimanPredictably Irrational by Dan ArielyThe Wind-Up Bird Chronicle: A Novel by Haruki MurakamiALONE: Orphaned on the Ocean by Richard Logan & Tere Duperrault FassbenderDon Quixote by Miguel De CervantesMusicophilia by Oliver SacksDiary of a Madman and Other Stories by Nikolai GogolThe Passion of the Western Mind by Richard TarnasThe Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K. Le GuinThe Genius of the Beast by Howard BloomAlice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll Empire of Illusion by Chris HedgesThe Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner The Extended Phenotype by Richard DawkinsSmoke and Mirrors by Neil GaimanThe Selfish Gene by Richard DawkinsWhen Good Thinking Goes Bad by Todd C. RinioloHouse of Leaves by Mark Z. DanielewskiAmerican Gods: A Novel by Neil GaimanPrimates and Philosophers by Frans de WaalThe Enormous Room by E.E. CummingsThe Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar WildeGod Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything by Christopher HitchensThe Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco Dreams From My Father by Barack Obama Paradise Lost by John Milton Bad Money by Kevin PhillipsThe Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson BurnettGodless: How an Evangelical Preacher Became One of America's Leading Atheists by Dan BarkerThe Things They Carried by Tim O'BrienThe Limits of Power by Andrew BacevichLolita by Vladimir NabokovOrlando by Virginia Woolf On Being Certain by Robert A. Burton50 reasons people give for believing in a god by Guy P. HarrisonWalden: Or, Life in the Woods by Henry David ThoreauExile and the Kingdom by Albert CamusOur Inner Ape by Frans de WaalYour Inner Fish by Neil ShubinNo Country for Old Men by Cormac McCarthyThe Age of American Unreason by Susan JacobyTen Theories of Human Nature by Leslie Stevenson & David HabermanHeart of Darkness by Joseph ConradThe Stuff of Thought by Stephen PinkerA Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled HosseiniThe Lucifer Effect by Philip ZimbardoResponsibility and Judgment by Hannah ArendtInterventions by Noam ChomskyGodless in America by George A. RickerReligious Expression and the American Constitution by Franklyn S. HaimanDeep Economy by Phil McKibbenThe God Delusion by Richard DawkinsThe Third Chimpanzee by Jared DiamondThe Woman in the Dunes by Abe KoboEvolution vs. Creationism by Eugenie C. ScottThe Omnivore's Dilemma by Michael PollanI, Claudius by Robert GravesBreaking The Spell by Daniel C. DennettA Peace to End All Peace by David FromkinThe Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey NiffeneggerThe End of Faith by Sam HarrisEnder's Game by Orson Scott CardThe Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark HaddonValue and Virtue in a Godless Universe by Erik J. WielenbergThe March by E. L DoctorowThe Ethical Brain by Michael GazzanigaFreethinkers: A History of American Secularism by Susan JacobyCollapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed by Jared DiamondThe Battle for God by Karen ArmstrongThe Future of Life by Edward O. WilsonWhat is Good? by A. C. GraylingCivilization and Its Enemies by Lee HarrisPale Blue Dot by Carl SaganHow We Believe: Science, Skepticism, and the Search for God by Michael ShermerLooking for Spinoza by Antonio DamasioLies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them by Al FrankenThe Red Queen by Matt RidleyThe Blank Slate by Stephen PinkerUnweaving the Rainbow by Richard DawkinsAtheism: A Reader edited by S.T. JoshiGlobal Brain by Howard BloomThe Lucifer Principle by Howard BloomGuns, Germs and Steel by Jared DiamondThe Demon-Haunted World by Carl SaganBury My Heart at Wounded Knee by Dee BrownFuture Shock by Alvin Toffler

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