Day Nine of the Twelve Days of Solstice

We're celebrating the 12 days of Solstice rather than the 12 days of Christmas. [I know, I know, Solstice is today the 21st, the first day of winter. It used to be on the 25th. I just thought of doing this series of 12 posts too late on the 13th of this month. So we're celebrating the Solstice of a historical date in the past for some, er, Christian reason.]
Anyway, I'm done writing and editing books, so I'm highlighting each of them leading up to the 25th of the month when we party. I'll tell you something about them you probably don't know. [See Tag Below]

Firstly, Christianity in the Light of Science was dedicated to Victor Stenger, the fifth horseman, who had written:
Throughout history, arguments for and against the existence of God have been largely confined to philosophy and theology. In the meantime, science has sat on the sidelines and quietly watched this game of words march up and down the field. . . . In my 2003 book, Has Science Found God? I critically examined the claims of scientific evidence for God and found them inadequate. In this present book, I will go much farther and argue that by this moment in time science has advanced sufficiently to be able to make a definitive statement on the existence or nonexistence of a God having the attributes that are traditionally associated with the Judeo-Christian-Islamic God. --From the Preface to God: The Failed Hypothesis.
After disagreeing with my chosen title for Christianity is not Great, highlighted earlier on day six of the twelve days of Solstice, Prometheus Books accepted my book proposal on the condition they would have the final say in naming it. They basically didn't want it named after Stenger's NY Times Bestselling book, such as Christianity: The Failed Hypothesis. After eliminating a few titles it came down to two:

Christianity in the Light of Science: Critically Examining the World’s Largest Religion


Christianity Under the Microscope: Scientifically Testing the World’s Largest Religion.

I liked the second title best, and still do, as did several others.

When I was working on the largest book I had published, Christianity is not Great, Stenger had sent me a second chapter, which I didn't have the space for. So I included it in this book, a fitting way to honor Stenger's work. It was his last published piece, published posthumously. It was also my last book with Prometheus Books.

Table of Contents

Part 1 Science and Religion

1) Guy P. Harrison, How to Think Like a Scientist: Why Every Christian Can and Should Embrace Good Thinking

2) David Eller, A Mind is a Terrible Thing: How Evolved Cognitive Biases Lead to Religion (and Other Mental Errors)

3) Sharon Nichols, What Science Tells Us about Religion: Or, Challenging Humanity to “Let It Go”

Part 2 Science and Creationism

4) Victor Stenger, Christianity and Cosmology

5) Phil Halper and Ali Nayeri, Before the Big Bang

6) Abby Hafer, Intelligent Design Isn’t Science, and it Doesn’t Even Try to Be Science

Part 3 Science and Salvation

7) Robert Price and Ed Suominen, Saying Sayonara to Sin.

8) Julien Musolino, The Soul Fallacy

9) Jonathan Pearce, Free Will

Part 4 Science and the Bible

10) Robert R. Cargill, Biblical Archaeology: Its Rise, Fall, and Rebirth as a Legitimate Science

11) Rebecca Bradley, The Credibility of the Exodus

12) Rene Salm, Pious Fraud at Nazareth

Part 5 Science and the Christ

13) Aaron Adair, The Bethlehem Star

14) Valerie Tarico, If Prayer Fails, Why Do People Keep At It?

15) Joe Nickell, The Turin Shroud: A Postmortem

Prometheus Books spent a total of zero dollars on promoting my books. I didn't promote this one all that much myself. I was busy dating on my soon to be wife when it came out, in 2016. For the record it may be the best book I've ever had published (I think this of several of my books depending on the perceived audience!). If science is the best and only way to know about the nature of nature, its workings, and its origins, as well as which religion is true (if there is one), then this book is the shit, no shit!

Jerry Coyne: A few months after it was released my friend Jerry Coyne wrote a piece mentioning and recommending the top new science books, but he didn't mention mine. Earlier I had asked him for a blurb but he declined, so he knew of my book. He even knew Dr. Maarten Boudry wrote a blurb for it, offering some absolutely stunning praise:
In this indispensable volume, John Loftus and his colleagues demonstrate all the different ways in which science undermines and threatens religious belief. The only way you can rescue God from this book is if you force him to retreat so far that you might as well stop believing in him. I defy you to read this volume and still believe that religion and science shall ever meet. John Loftus will never receive the Templeton Prize, but he should. This collection alone will further our understanding of science and religion more than all the previous winners combined.
[To read the other blurbs and to buy this important book, click here.]

Up until this time Jerry and I emailed each other from time to time, Jerry offered me advice and asked me what I thought. So I emailed him, wondering why he didn't mention my anthology or recommend it. I said something like, "Why did you mention those books and not mine? You should have done so." (From memory). I was hurt and may have been a bit too forceful. Or, his problem with me may have been because I disagreed with him over debating creationists, since at that time Dr. Hector Avalos was about to debate a creationist.

Coyne shocked me by writing back saying he never wanted to hear from me again. He may have even blocked me because I've sent him 2-3 emails since that time about other books of mine, without an acknowledgement from him. I have no idea about this. It has saddened me since. His endorsement would have been a big boost. Endorsement or not, I miss his friendship. So Jerry, let me know what I did or said, so I can consider whether to apologize. Until then, I'm puzzled why people do things to friends yet don't inform us why.

That's all for now folks!

John W. Loftus is a philosopher and counter-apologist credited with 12 critically acclaimed books, including The Case against Miracles, God and Horrendous Suffering, and Varieties of Jesus Mythicism. Please support DC by sharing our posts, or by subscribing, donating, or buying our books at Amazon. Thank you so much!