Tag Archives: Brain

MUST-LISTEN: J.P. Moreland lecture on Christianity and science

I found the lectures here at Apologetics 315. These are GOOD. He covers a lot and you’ll get a lot of interesting stuff to think about. This is actually a great lecture – the old J.P. Moreland back in fine form. He’s going over a ton of arguments for theism from science. I’ve counted SIX so far, so this is a really good lecture, and perfect for beginners.

    • The full MP3 audio is here.

      He doesn’t talk about habitability at the galactic, stellar, or planetary level, though.

      I am a little busy mailing out everyone’s gifts today! I apologize for the light blogging. Please go and read just a few chapters of that Dalrymple book that I posted yesterday if you need something to read, or check out these round-ups:

      More from Neil Simpson: Another reason it is hard to stay in the Methodist church

      Neil Simpson is a methodist??? How is that even possible?

      Mailing these gifts will only take a few hours, and then I’m on vacation until January 4th!!! I promise I will write a ton then. I’m also working on an application for the Droid platform, but it’s a secret.

      I’m giving away this stuff to people this year:

      • Unlocking the Mystery of Life DVD
      • Icons of Evolution DVD
      • The Privileged Planet DVD
      • Darwin’s Dilemma DVD
      • Signature in the Cell book
      • The William Lane Craig vs Christopher Hitchens debate DVD
      • Money, Greed and God book
      • Greer-Heard Forums from 2005 and 2009
      • and other specific things they asked for

      If you guys are giving away apologetics gifts, please write your ideas in the comments. I did gift exchanges with atheists, so now I have atheist books to read! Bleh! I only want to read atheists in debates, because listening to them blab without rebuttal is very annoying.

      New books of interest to Christian apologists

      These might strike your fancy:

      • God Is Great, God is Good: Why Believing in God Is Reasonable and Responsible,
        by William Lane Craig and Chad Meister (InterVarsity Press, 2009)
      • God’s Battalions: The Case for the Crusades,
        by Rodney Stark (HarperOne, 2009)
      • Hitler’s Ethic: The Nazi Pursuit of Evolutionary Progress,
        by Richard Weikart (Palgrave Macmillan, 2009)
      • Life After Death: The Evidence,
        by Dinesh D’Souza (Regnery Press, 2009)
      • Money, Greed, and God: Why Capitalism Is the Solution and Not the Problem,
        by Jay W. Richards (HarperOne, 2009)
      • The Recalcitrant Imago Dei: Human Persons and the Failure of Naturalism,
        by J.P. Moreland (SCM Press, 2009)
      • Signature in the Cell: DNA and the Evidence for Intelligent Design,
        by Stephen C. Meyer (HarperOne, 2009)

      Rodney Stark is an agnostic, but he does a good job of telling the truth about the history of Christianity. If you want to see a good book added to this list, leave it in the comments and I’ll take a look.

      Oh, by the way, check out this quiz that The Way the Ball Bounces found from Apologetics.net.

      How corroborative near-death experiences falsify atheism

      Over at Apologetics 315, Brian Auten has linked to this podcast from Dr. Gary Habermas. The lecture was delivered to the students and faculty at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo in 2003.

      Habermas goes through several examples of corroborative near-death experiences written up in peer-reviewed medical journals. This is scary! And if it’s true that we have non-physical minds that can exist outside the body, then materialism is false, and atheism is disproved again.

      The MP3 podcast is here. (72 minutes)

      There are two cases that you should really know about, and you can read about them in this London Times article.

      Excerpt:

      There are thousands of reports of OBEs but the two most famous cases are Pam Reynolds and Maria’s Tennis Shoe. Reynolds, an American singer, watched and later reported on with remarkable accuracy the top of her own skull being removed by surgeons before she moved into a bright glowing realm. But it was Reynolds’s account of the surgical implements used and the words spoken in the theatre that make the case so intriguing.

      Maria, meanwhile, underwent cardiac arrest in 1977. She floated out of her body, drifted round the hospital and noticed a tennis shoe on a window sill. It was later found to be exactly where she said it was. The shoe was said to be invisible from the ground and not in any location where Maria could have seen it. Such stories suggest that OBEs should be scientifically verifiable.

      Sleep tight, atheists! I’m sure there’s nothing to these stories… nothing at all!

      Mu hu ha ha haaaaa!

      Note: I would not use this argument in a debate. But I do find it interesting and I am open-minded. I haven’t decided whether these are real or not, although I am a substance dualist and believe in a real non-material soul that survives the body. If anyone has a solid NDE story, send it to me.

      Understanding the effect of sex on your brain chemistry

      This article was sent to me by my friend Andrew. It’s by Marcia Segelstein.

      Marcia is trying to make the same point about sex that Miriam Grossmann made in her book “Unprotected”. The point is that although bureaucrats and educrats love to tell people about the riskiness of behaviors like smoking and obesity, they don’t tell people the truth about the dangers of casual sex, because they don’t want to antagonize special interest groups like feminists and gay activists.

      In the article, Marcia talks about the mental effects of casual sex. She talks about dopamine first, but the one I want to tell you about is called oxytocin. It is very important that you parents of young ladies understand this and present this evidence to your daughters. (The male version of this phenomenon is also explained in the article, it’s called vasopressin).

      Excerpt:

      Oxytocin is another important brain chemical we are now learning more about.  Oxytocin helps females, in particular, bond with other people.  When a new mother breastfeeds her infant, for example, oxytocin floods her brain.  The effect is powerful.  She feels a strong desire to be with her baby, and is willing to suffer the sleepless nights and inconveniences that come with having a baby.

      Oxytocin also helps females bond with men.  When a woman and man touch each other in a loving way, oxytocin is released in her brain.  It makes her want more of that loving touch, and she begins to feel a bond with her partner.  Sexual intercourse leads to the release of even more oxytocin, a desire to repeat the contact, and even stronger bonding.  But, like dopamine, oxytocin is values-neutral.  It’s a chemical reaction, or, as the authors write: “[I]t is an involuntary process that cannot distinguish between a one-night stand and a lifelong soul mate.  Oxytocin can cause a woman to bond to a man even during what was expected to be a short-term sexual relationship.”  So when that short-term relationship ends, the emotional fallout can be devastating, thanks to oxytocin.

      Another significant finding about oxytocin is that it produces feelings of trust.  That can be good or bad, depending on the situation.  “While the hormonal effect of oxytocin is ideal for marriage, it can cause problems for the unmarried woman or girl who is approached by a man desiring sex….[T]he warning is that a woman’s brain can cause her to be blindsided by a bad relationship that she thought was good because of the physical contact and the oxytocin response it generates.”

      This is why Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse says that the only smart sex is married sex. Otherwise you are just coarsening your own self. Neil Simpson calls this the duct tape theory of sex. He explains why sex is like duct tape here. Don’t order your children around – give them the data so they understand the why of chastity.