I didn’t have time over the week before taking off to write about Boskone. I was on a few fascinating panels, including one on Darwin, one on Galileo (with the redoubtable Mike Flynn, who has a new novel out now), and one on the Future of Faith, with James D. MacDonald, James Morrow, author of The Philosopher’s Apprentice, and Greg Bear, author of (take your pick) any number of excellent science fiction novels.
Mike’s Galileo panel was more than apropos (“Guilty as Charged!”) as I had been asked by Catholic World Report to do a piece on Galileo given the many conferences and festivals taking place this year, the 400th anniversary of his telescopic observations.
Meanwhile, Ken Miller’s been getting a lot of attention from atheists since his book was reviewed by Jerry Coyne. As I mentioned below, Coyne’s ‘problem’ with religious scientists doesn’t measure up, and I have to say here, it seems to me, Massimo Pigliucci similarly fails to get the better of the argument.
Apropos of Massimo, this might be a good place to ask some heavy hitters amongst the philosophy bloggers I check regularly…why is it that so many atheists are hugely impressed by the ‘problem of evil’? Massimo, like so many, starts from the presupposition that the Biblical God’s goodness is defined in moral terms. He predictably proceeds from this assumption to the observation that there is so much unpleasant suffering in the world that this God must be a beast or a sadist, and therefore doesn’t exist.