Important Pages

Welcome to Reflections from the Other Side (aka OtherSideReflections; aka OSR). Here are some of the best pages to visit on this blog:

General Overview
  • Welcome!: My first post. An overview of my beliefs & the scope of this blog.
  • About This Blog: A quick summary of what I write here, and why.
  • About Me: A very brief autobiography.
  • Post Indexes: Every two months I provide a quick summary of my posts; find them here.
  • OSR on Twitter: My Twitter account. Includes interesting OSR-related quotes, statistics, and article links, plus quick thoughts of my own.
  • OSR on YouTube: My YouTube account. Includes a list of my favorite OSR-related YouTube videos.

Post Series
I've written multi-post series on a number of topics. Here are some of the more significant ones.

An index and summary of my posts covering the books Why Evolution Is True and Jesus, Interrupted can be found here.
  • The Why Evolution Is True Series – I follow along with Jerry Coyne as he lays out the myriad evidence for evolution from fossils, vestigial features, biogeography, direct observation and other areas.
  • The Jesus, Interrupted Series – I summarize Bart Ehrman's presentation of contradictions, forgeries, and other problems with the Bible and the early church.
The "Creationism Notes Refuted" Series – A point-by-point response to the young-earth creationist material my sister was exposed to at her Christian school.
  • Part 1: Introduction, human transitionals & the Flood
  • Part 2: Fruit fly article, dinosaurs, dating methods & old earth "counterexamples"
  • Part 3: Young earth "evidence," design arguments & intelligent design
  • Part 4: Scientific "persecution," other evolution criticism, evolution as "evil" & evolution and Hitler
The "Dan Barker–Dinesh D'Souza Debate" Series – A summary of their March 2011 debate on the question, "Is Religion the Problem?"
  • Pre-debate: Discussion between Rational Thought @UCSD & Dan Barker
  • Part 1: My initial thoughts and the opening statements
  • Part 2: Rebuttals, Q&A, concluding remarks and my analysis
The "Evil in the Bible" Series – An in-depth, passage-by-passage look at the reprehensible things the Bible has to say on a number of topics.
  • Slavery in the Bible: Slaves are property, can be held for life against their will, can be violently beaten, and are to obey despite mistreatment.
  • Misogyny in the Bible: The Bible sanctions the rape of female captives and encourages the submission and censorship of women.
  • Murder in the Bible: God massacres thousands of innocent people, including children, and commands his followers to do the same.
  • Homophobia in the Bible: Homosexuality is considered disgusting, immoral, and worthy of death and eternal torment.

Other Noteworthy Posts
It's hard to pick just a few. Here are some of my most useful writings:
  • Creationism and Blind Faith: Four examples of creationist individuals and organizations clinging to the Bible in opposition to the evidence.
  • Why Believers Think Prayer Works: How the placebo effect, confirmation bias and six other factors strengthen religious faith in prayer.
  • What It Means to Say I'm an Atheist: I establish a few basic principles, then clear up misconceptions about certainty, morality and more.
  • The Euthyphro Dilemma: A summary of the biggest problem with God-based morality, based on the question, "Does God make commandments because they are good, or they good because he commands them?"
  • Conceptualizing Eternity: My attempt to help people catch the smallest glimpse of what an infinite afterlife would really be like.
  • When Our Need for Explanation Backfires: I explain why agent-based explanations are compelling, provide biblical examples of filling gaps in our knowledge with "God did it," and point to a better alternative.
  • Where Morality Comes From: How evolutionary principles like parental investment, kin selection, reciprocal altruism and cooperation combine with enculturation to form a God-free foundation for human morality.
  • Problems with Biblical Prophecy: Vagueness, fabrication of events and other factors explain most "fulfilled" prophecies—and the rest failed outright.
  • 10 Questions for Christians: A condensed list of reasons to be highly skeptical of Christianity based on history, science, philosophy and common sense.
  • Two Approaches to Ignorance: Understanding a fundamental difference between science and religion: how they respond to a lack of knowledge.
  • The Problem of Poorly Communicated Salvation: If the Christian God existed, he would have made the criteria for gaining entrance to heaven perfectly clear... but he didn't.
  • The Death of the Soul: How philosophy, biology and neuroscience demolish the idea that you are a spiritual entity in a physical body.