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UK scientists seek permission to genetically modify human embryos

Researchers apply for licence months after Chinese team become first to announce they have altered DNA<p>Scientists in Britain have applied for permission to genetically modify human embryos as part of a research project into the earliest stages of human development.<p>The work marks a controversial …

Genetics

When science and religion don't mix

My attempt to ground the Bible in the physical world has not been universally popular among believers<p>Book reviewers should listen to Saint Luke. "And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise". I have written plenty of needlessly rude reviews and am, as a result, more or …

Doesn't religion cause most of the conflict in the world?

In this extract from the book For God's Sake, one question is asked to four Australian writers with very different beliefs<p>Rachel Woodlock (Islam)<p>Religion is powerfully motivating and belligerent humans fight over it. Heck, religion has caused conflict even in my diverse and tolerant family. Taking …

Scientology case has judges debating the meaning of religion

Case is brought by Louisa Hodkin, who wishes to marry her fiance in the Church of Scientology's building in London<p>Five supreme court justices have spent a day wrestling with notions of God, nirvana and what constitutes worship in an attempt to decide whether Scientologists may conduct weddings.<p>In …

Too Many Gods, Too Many Religions: All Can't Be True

Most people are surely at least dimly aware of how much diversity there is and has been in human religions throughout our history and all around the …

UFO religion the Raelians want to rehabilitate the swastika

They believe that the symbol has been associated with Nazis for too long and have launched a campaign to reclaim it<p>As the beachgoers of Long Island soaked up the sun last month, their attention was caught by a light aircraft flying above with a flag trailing behind it. On it was a huge swastika and …

What is religion?, part 3: the role of the ritual

Robert Bellah argues that religion is underpinned and preceded by ritual – but that does not make all ritual religious<p>If you treat religion as a natural phenomenon, as Robert Bellah did, two things follow. The first is that what we observe will not have clear or logical boundaries. This means that …

What is religion?, part 4: divinity, God and 'real' religion

Can you have a religion not based around the Abrahamic idea of a God who could, if he wished, behave like a mafia boss?<p>One of the most unnerving passages in Robert Bellah's Religion in Human Evolution is the section where he examines the central Jewish and Christian idea of a covenant with God. He …

How are religions born?

What is religion, part 5: In the systems we know about, either folk beliefs coalesce or a charismatic founder emerges<p>Since they are historical entities, religions are born and die. I'll think about their death some other time. But how do they emerge, and from what? This isn't a question with a …

A Comparitive Religion Fail

<b>One of the subtler</b> -- or sneakier -- arguments by the theocrats among us who wish to teach their particular splinter of Christianity in the public schools is that we should teach the Bible "as literature," or that we should offer courses in comparative religions. With which latter even some …

Religion

How do religions die?

Do they waste away, or get conquered by something better? Perhaps it is easier to think in terms of gods dying, rather than religions<p>If religions are born, they must also be able to die. How does this happen? I think we can discount at once the idea that it happens because people realise that …

The 2013 Create Your Own Religion Competition: Submit Yours!

Did a voice from the sky recently ask you to sacrifice your son? Maybe you're the next Abraham. Have you ever been crucified and then resurrected? Maybe you're the next Jesus. Feeling enlightened after sitting under a fig tree? Maybe you're the next Siddhārtha.<p>Two years ago, the Huffington Post …

The Buddha, Science, and Religion

"This is the supreme thing in Buddhism; this law of nature is the Buddhist God. The law of nature is an impersonal God. Because Buddhism, in fact has a God, it is a religion." -- Buddhadasa Bhikkhu<p>The Buddha was born with a silver spoon in his mouth, raised in the lap of luxury and well into his …

Is religion based on fear?

Clare Carlisle: Bertrand Russell – part 3: Christian thought is itself aware of the dangers of fear – something Bertrand Russell overlooks in his critique of religion<p>The most powerful aspect of Bertrand Russell's critique of religious belief is his claim that religion is based on fear, and that …

Ian Barbour dies at 90; academic who bridged science-religion divide

For Ian Barbour, the deadly possibilities of the Atomic Age raised questions that science couldn't answer — a perplexing situation for a young physicist after World War II.<p>He responded to the challenge in an unusual way: After completing his doctorate in physics he enrolled in divinity school and …

There’s A New Religion Named After Kanye West - XXL

Kanye West, as of late, is often linked with the word "religion." It's to no surprise then, that someone (who wishes to remain anonymous) took the …

Martin Luther King, Jr. On Science And Religion

Martin Luther King, Jr. is justly and most famously remembered for his heroic work in being one of the major leaders of the Civil Rights movement. But beyond his work, he was also a brilliant thinker, philosopher, and theologian.<p>One of King’s best works is his book <i>Strength To Love</i>, which is a …

Philosophy is not religion. It must not be taught that way

A new draft syllabus for A-Level philosophy has been published. Out goes free will and aesthetics – in comes compulsory philosophy of religion<p>For A-level students in the UK, there is only one exam board that runs a real philosophy course. And that's about to be changed into yet another religious …

Teaching religion: my students are trying to run my course

Evangelical students cannot tolerate diversity of opinion and resist secular critiques of their views. My job is no longer the joy it once was<p>I'm a senior academic in a religion department at a Russell Group university. Before you ask, no, we're not training would-be vicars. And no, we're not in …

Why Christianity was the wrong civil religion for Rousseau

Jean-Jacques Rousseau – part 4: The state needs common values, argues Rousseau, but Christianity will not do because there are so many non-believers and its doctrines divide opinion<p>Having irritated atheists last time, I now want to turn to Christians. The vast majority of them, including the most …

Do Scientists Pray? Einstein Answers a Little Girl’s Question about Science vs. Religion

Whether in their inadvertently brilliant reflections on gender politics or in their seemingly simple but profound questions about how the world works, kids have a singular way of stripping the most complex of cultural phenomena down to their bare essence, forcing us to reexamine our layers of …

Ada Lovelace, the World’s First Computer Programmer, on Science and Religion

Science and religion have long been pitted as diametric opposites, and yet some of humanity’s greatest minds have found in science itself a rich source of spirituality — there’s Albert Einstein’s meditation on whether scientists pray, Richard Feynman’s ode to the universe, Carl Sagan on the …

Religion vs. Humanism: Isaac Asimov on Science and Spirituality

Science and religion have a long history of friction as diametric opposites. But some of humanity’s greatest minds have found in science itself a rich source of spirituality, from Albert Einstein’s meditation on whether scientists pray to Richard Feynman’s ode to the universe to Carl Sagan on the …

Mark Twain on Religion and Our Human Egotism

A large part of what made Mark Twain the greatest American satirist was his capacity for cultural nitpicking, from his irreverent advice to little girls to his critique of the press to his snarky commentary on the outrageous requests he received. But one subject to which Twain applied his exquisite …

Turns Out, Science and Religion Get Along Just Fine

Brian Resnick @b_resnick<p>Feb. 20, 2014, 7:29 a.m.<p>If it ac­com­plished any­thing at all, the re­cent evol­u­tion-versus-cre­ation de­bate between Bill …

From Buddhism to Baha'i: Black Faith Spreads Across All Religions

Most African-Americans have historically embraced Christianity as their religion. But host Michel Martin hears stories that show the broad diversity of faith experiences for African-Americans.<p>Transcript<p>MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:<p>Let's turn to Faith Matters now. That's the part of the program where we talk …

Syria's Christians find themselves, once again, persecuted and taxed for their religion

Throughout the long, turbulent history of the Middle East, when your religion is in the minority, you often pay dearly for it. That seems to be true for Christians in Syria now, in areas controlled by Islamic extremists.<p>Roman Pagans taxed and persecuted Jews and early Christians. Christians taxed …