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Michael Ruse was a complete treat as a guest. He is an insightful, energetic, and humorous conversation partner. On top of that, as a philosopher of science, Dr. Ruse brings a career’s worth of insights into the present state of the religion and science conversation. I have quite a bit of gratitude that Dr. Ruse took his time to join the podcast. During the podcast we discuss:

  • the changing shape of the relationship between Religion – Science
  • the battle over Creationism
  • is there a purpose?
  • the meaning of life
  • the problem of holism
  • evil, violence, and the problem of war
  • the New Atheism as a Secular Religion
  •  moving beyond original sin
  • growing up Quaker during war

Michael Ruse is Lucyle T. Werkmeister Professor of Philosophy and Director of the Program in the History and Philosophy of Science at Florida State University. He’s a British-born Canadian philosopher of science who specializes in the philosophy of biology and works on the relationship between science and religion, the creation–evolution controversy, and the demarcation problem within science.

Books from Dr. Ruse

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I am super duper pumped to share my conversation with Robert Wright. For a long time I have enjoyed Bob’s podcast, books, and his new post-Trump newsletter. His return to the podcast follows my visit this past week on his own, which was a bunch of fun.

Here’s a number of topics we tackle:

  • Why Buddhism is True
  • The problem with getting rid of prayers of confession from worship
  • Why everyone could use a class in evolutionary psychology
  • Western love of secular buddhism
  • Robert asks Tripp about confirmation and facilitating experiments in truth
  • What is a “wet baptist”?
  • The role and desire of religious rituals
  • Can religions leave competition behind? Can Christianity become a wisdom tradition?
  • The New Agnosticism
  • The hard problem of consciousness
  • “purpose” in the story of evolution
  • the possibility of moral progress
  • how a simple theist may end up being more accurate than the New Atheists
  • how Process theology’s multiple ultimates gives a different way to connect eastern and western religious traditions
  • the problem of religious pluralism and how to do solve it
  • why I hope Bob talks with Simon Conway Morris

Want to check out more of Robert’s work? Here’s a few places to go.

Here’s the conversation I had with Robert the day before on his podcast
  • Homebrewed Christianity | Robert Wright & Tripp Fuller [The Wright Show] - YouTube

Robert Wright is the New York Times bestselling author of The Evolution of God (a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize), Nonzero, The Moral Animal (named one of the ten best books of the year by The New York Times Book Review), Three Scientists and their Gods (a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award), and Why Buddhism Is True. He is the co-founder and editor-in-chief of the widely respected Bloggingheads.tv and has written for The New Yorker, The Atlantic, The New York Times, Time, Slate, and The New Republic. He has taught in the psychology department at the University of Pennsylvania and the religion department at Princeton University, where he also created the popular online course “Buddhism and Modern Psychology.” He is currently Visiting Professor of Science and Religion at Union Theological Seminary in New York.

The most zesty newsletter I hope you try out Books by Robert Wright

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What is morality for? Where did ‘the good’ come from? Is the human even a trustworthy partner for asking these questions? In this episode I am joined by Dr. Robert Kurzban, an evolutionary psychologist, who has spent his life studying human behavior through an evolutionary framework. Robert was a complete blast to converse with and I grateful he took the time to talk to me off a cold email through the digital-space.

Over the course of our time you will get to know a bit about his own life and research, including….

  • What is Evolutionary Psychology?
  • A Modular Brain?
  • The evolutionary origins and functions of morality and virtue
  • How we hide our agendas from ourselves
  • Climate Change and the public good problem
  • How people of faith can endorse policies counter to the basic tenants of their faith
  • Religion and the abortion debate
  • The coercive force of spotting hypocrisy
  • The role of wisdom in overcoming our biological hardware

Robert Kurzban is an evolutionary psychologist and author of two very readable and enjoyable texts – Why Everyone (Else) Is a Hypocrite: Evolution and the Modular Mind and The Hidden Agenda of the Political Mind: How Self-Interest Shapes Our Opinions and Why We Won’t Admit It. His research focuses on the nature of evolved cognitive adaptations for social life. These include processes involved with cooperative decision making, punishment, morality, close relationships, and mate choice. He uses methods drawn from experimental economics and cognitive psychology to study these processes.

Robert is proud to have served as both the editor-in-chief of the journal Evolution & Human Behavior and President of the Human Behavior and Evolution Society.

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Physicist and regular contributor to the religion & science conversation, Dr. Karl Giberson is on the podcast. You will get to hear the inside story of this ex-evangelical scientist’s changing relationship to science and the church he first knew. Ultimately Dr. Giberson couldn’t see a way for the American evangelical community to reconcile with science and today, while still a Christian, works in a Catholic context.

The topics we cover are wide-ranging and include:

  • Physics & Cosmology
  • the Multiverse (and his skepticism)
  • the fine-tuning of the universe
  • chance, randomness, and divine action
  • (the lack of a) literal Adam and Eve
  • life after evangelicalism
  • LGBTQ equality in the church
  • evangelical anti-intellectualism

Dr. Giberson holds a PhD in Physics from Rice University. Dr. Giberson has lectured on science-and-religion at the Vatican, Oxford University, London’s Thomas Moore Institute, and at many prestigious American venues including MIT, Brigham Young University and Xavier University.

Dr. Giberson has published more than 200 reviews and essays, both technical and popular, in outlets that include NY Times, CNN.com, the Guardian, USA Today, LA Times, Salon.com, Discover, Weekly Standard, Quarterly Review of Biology, Perspectives on Science & Faith, The Edge.org, and Books & Culture. He has written or co-authored 10 books, and contributed to many edited volumes. Currently, Dr. Giberson is a faculty member at Stonehill College where he serves as the Scholar-in-Residence in science and religion.

Here’s Karl’s critical review of Lawrence Krauss’ account of Creation out of Nothing that gets mentioned.

Here’s the book recommendations from Dr. Giberson

Here’s a few of my favorite books by Dr. Giberson

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You don’t have to be an Old Testament hater. I know it seems popular and pretty easy to dismiss the Hebrew scriptures, BUT it is a heresy and almost all the reasons you will think of apply to the New Testament as well. Here’s the deal – the reason we are easily attracted to ditching the Hebrew scriptures may be we really don’t want to read, hear, and listen as they intend to be heard. For that very reason I was pumped to Rolf Jacobson write the Homebrewed Christianity Guide to the Old Testament. The book is awesome.

We talk about the book and a bunch of other things in this podcast. I also hadn’t preached in 2 weeks when we recorded it, so there’s a small sermonette in the middle of it. [You can avoid a sermonette in the middle of a podcast by inviting me to speak :)]

We are just starting a zesty reading group with Thomas Jay Oord and you should join.

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In this episode we are going to talk about a bunch of different topics in the larger science and religion conversation. Topics include cosmic history, divine action, the history of religions, astrotheology, and even extraterrestrial life. We are joined by a living legend in the field, Ted Peters. Ted is a Research Professor at the Center for Theology and the Natural Sciences. He is Research Professor Emeritus in Systematic Theology and Ethics at Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary.

You can check out his personal website for an overview of all his different work.

The Center for Theology and the Natural Sciences has a bunch of resources. Below are links to a few articles of Dr. Peters that touch our conversation:  “From Big History to Cosmic History” , “Introducing Astrotheology”, “Science and Religion: Ten Models of War, Truce, and Partnership”, “Should CRISPR Scientists Play God?”“Transhumanism and the Posthuman Future: Will Technological Progress Get Us There?”

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Greg Jarrell is a friend and hero of mine. It was a real honor to not only have him on the podcast, but help host a little party to celebrate the release of his new book A Riff of Love. Greg is a founder of QC Family Tree, a community of hospitality in Charlotte, NC, where he shares life with his wife, Helms, their two kids, and a host of other neighbors who have become kin.

In our conversation we talk about his story and just how a southern baptist church boy ended up on a search for community, justice, and belonging. It was a blast and I am sure you will enjoy it. 

Don’t forget to sign up for the upcoming reading group on Open and Relational Theology Reading Group with Tom Oord. The group kicks off March 1st but you will get all the sessions no matter when you join. Plus it is ‘pay what you can’ so you can definitely afford it.

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 It’s time for the great reversal!!

Brain McLaren takes the roll of the interviewer and turns to me for the A’s to the Q’s. It was a blast.

Personally I am extremely honored that Brian not only watched (and enjoyed) my film, The Road to Edmond, but that he took the time to plan a fun conversation about it. You will learn a bit about the movie production, writing, acting and such, but also hear us wrestle with the topics the film itself tackles.

Hopefully the conversation inspires you to go watch the film this month (Feb 2019), while it is available for your streaming pleasure at jesuslovesourmovie.com.

Brian D. McLaren is an author, speaker, activist, and public theologian. A former college English teacher and pastor, he is a passionate advocate for “a new kind of Christianity” – just, generous, and working with people of all faiths for the common good. He is an Auburn Senior Fellow and a leader in the Convergence Network, through which he is developing an innovative training/mentoring program for pastors, church planters, and lay leaders called Convergence Leadership Project. He works closely with the Center for Progressive Renewal/Convergence, the Wild Goose Festival and the Fair Food Program‘s Faith Working Group.

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I love Tom Oord. It is rare someone as intelligent as Tom is simultaneously committed to the life of the church, sensitive to people’s lived experience, and advancing the intellectual quest in multiple areas. In this episode I talk with Tom about his newest book, God Can’t: how to believe in God and Love after Tragedy, Abuse, and other Evils.

During this conversation we both share a number of personal stories. Some of them may be a bit intense if you are listening with kids or the expectation of just nerdiness. For more academic conversations with Tom check out the previous episodes below.

Thomas Jay Oord is a theologian, philosopher, and scholar of multi-disciplinary studies. Oord is an award-winning author, and he has written or edited more than twenty books. A twelve-time Faculty Award winning professor, Oord teaches at institutions around the globe. A gifted speaker, Oord is known for his contributions to research on love, open and relational theology, science and religion, and the implications of freedom and relationships for transformation.

Previous Visits of Tom to the Podcast Open and Relational Q&A with Thomas Jay Oord Why Go Wesleyan? with Thomas Jay Oord Evil, Providence and the Love of God with Tom Oord Thomas Jay Oord really loves talking about Love [Barrel Aged]
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This most zesty episode was part of the Cosmic Campfire reading group. I joined Science Mike, Mike Morrell, and a couple thousand nerds as we read through a new collection of spiritual memoirs – How I Found God in Everyone and Everywhere. Keith Ward was one of the contributors and he jumped on video chat to talk with Mike and I for the group.

It was an energetic and fun conversation that covered a number of topics from science, physics, materialism, idealism, the Cosmic Christ, spiritual experiences, religious pluralism, divine action, and more. Ohhh and you hear how this Oxford Philosopher went from being an atheist to an idealist and then converted to Christianity in India.

Keith Ward is a British philosopher, theologian, priest and scholar. He is a fellow of the British Academy and a priest of the Church of England. He was a canon of Christ Church, Oxford until 2003. Comparative theologyand the relationship between science and religion are two of his main topics of interest. He was Regius Professor of Divinity at the University of Oxford from 1991 to 2004.

Don’t forget to check out some amazing free lectures of Keith. Literally quality, zesty, nerdy, and free lectures.

Here’s his previous podcast visits:

<- we will be reading Keith during this upcoming group, so join up today. Five Keith Ward Books To Enjoy

Recommendations From Keith

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