Day Five of the Thirteen Days of Solstice


We're celebrating the 13 days of Solstice rather than the 12 days of Christmas. I'm done writing and editing books, so I'm highlighting each one of them in reverse chronological order, leading up to the 25th of the month.
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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 my earlier book, Christianity is not Great, 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

VS

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.

There is no higher authority than the consensus of scientists working in a given field. If nonscientists want to dispute that consensus they'll just have to wait until that consensus changes, since they don't have the knowledge or skill-set to dispute it. There is a great deal in this book that argues for the consensus of scientists working in their respective fields, who go on to show the implications for Christianity.

Here you can read an excerpt from my introduction on the value of objective scientific evidence and how to spot science deniers.

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 Sheila, now my wife, when it came out in 2016. 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 ten 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 asked him 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, and Coyne was defending Dawkins's right to refuse debating William Lane Craig, a creationist. I don't know, and still don't know.

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. I'm puzzled why people do things to friends, yet don't inform us why.

That's all for now folks!

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John W. Loftus is a philosopher and counter-apologist credited with 13 critically acclaimed books, which are not very popular judging from the meager sales. At this season I'm retired with a fixed income and would appreciate a one-time solstice gift to help me get by. If my work has benefited you at all, it would encourage me to keep doing what I'm doing for as long as I can. My marriage has suffered because my wife often complains I spend way too much time online. But if I could make a little money doing what I do she probably wouldn't complain any more, and you would see me writing more.

Please support my work this season by sharing my posts, or by subscribing, donating, or buying my books at Amazon then telling others about them! As an Amazon Associate John earns a small amount of money from purchases made from Amazon. Buying anything through them helps fund my work here, and is greatly appreciated! The ads here don't bring in much money at all. Since most people use an adblocker I'm thinking of doing away with them altogether. I hope this season of the year brings you cheer, peace, good health, and healthy relationships! Thanks for your support!

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