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Further Reading

DEPARTMENT

Opening Salvo

Salvo 9

by James M. Kushiner

That Brian Greene is one smart guy. Seriously. I’ve read one of his books, The Fabric of the Cosmos, and it is clear that he has done his scientific homework as a physicist.

But I was underwhelmed when I heard him recently on a radio talk show. The host asked him if he thought there was an afterlife and if there was any evidence for one. Well, Greene said, sure, there could possibly be an afterlife, but he didn’t think so, and there was absolutely no evidence for one.

Later, he became a little bolder. He saw no need at all for a Creator, since the laws of physics, operating on particles for a very long time, could have, step by incremental step, produced the cosmos and you and me and the rest of the world. People who don’t believe this probably don’t grasp just how long a time we’re talking about—billions of years!

Greene averred that he is just a “bag of particles” operated upon by the laws of physics. What is “life” anyway? Ultimately, we who are “alive” aren’t really that much different from the rocks on planet Earth—we’re all just arrangements of particles subject to the laws of physics.

But if we’re all just particles, is there any reason to “privilege” human beings over carrots? (Seriously, see Wesley J. Smith, p. 7.) Or is there any reason to privilege one human being’s ideas over those of another? Actually, no, explains Regis Nicoll (p. 32); that is, unless one of the human beings happens to be a scientist.

Indeed, the many scientific successes of the last 100 years have led many to accord authority to “science” and scientists. How many times have you heard someone in the media or the academy declare, “As science now tells us . . .”?

But if science has become our font of worldly wisdom, why do so many insist on ignoring scientific facts, logic, and reason when those facts and logic tell us things we don’t want to hear? That abortion kills human beings, for example? Or that pornography has bad consequences both for the children who see it online (see p. 18) and for society (see p. 25)? Or that “no-fault divorce” is bad for society and devastating for children (see p. 46)?

How is it that today’s prevailing views on so many moral issues fly in the face of the evidence? Is it willfulness? Could Brian Greene be wrong after all? Could we be something other than bags of particles controlled by the laws of physics? Rational creatures, perhaps, who nevertheless are subject—and often succumb—to temptation?

Or is, as folks like Greene might argue, our succumbing to temptation just another proof that we are particles responding to laws of hormones? In other words, is it that we just can’t help ourselves?

We at Salvo think all of us can help ourselves. That’s why we publish. So don’t get discouraged by the many powerful lies that we report in our pages. After all, it’s liberating to understand those lies, and their dangers, and to realize how little power they hold over people smart enough to think outside the bag of particles. So, enjoy Salvo 9 and use it wisely—spread the word!

—James M. Kushiner, Executive Editor 


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FROM THE CURRENT ISSUE

The Darwin Tales: It's Time to Remit Darwinian Storytelling to the Annals of History by Terrell Clemmons

Engendered Confusion: The Chaos of Postmodern Sexuality by Laurie Higgins

Zombie Killer: The "Icons of Evolution" Have Joined the Ranks of the Undead by Denyse O'Leary

My Favorite Zombies: Can We Let Them Rest in Peace? by James M. Kushiner

FROM THE PREVIOUS ISSUE

Eye Openers: Eight Common Factors for Atheists Changing Their Minds About God by Matt Nelson

Tuning Out the Universe: How Naturalism & Post-Fact Science Ignore the Evidence We See by Denyse O'Leary

Deep-Seated Rights: What They Are & Why You Have Them by Steve Jones

Improbably So: Fine-Tuning Is Unlikely, but Unlikely Things Happen All the Time by Tim Barnett

The Long Red Shadow: Mike Shotwell Has a Message for Millennial America by Terrell Clemmons

The Good Life: It's to Know, Serve & Love the Truth, Not the Pursuit of Happiness by James Altena

Taking Polls Apart: Human Complexity Foils Electoral Predictions by Denyse O'Leary

Morality as Story: The False Charity of Modern Journalism by Rebekah Curtis

Can We Talk?: It Is Crucial That We Put Our Minds to Contentious Issues by James M. Kushiner

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