For All

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men* are created equal…”

*originally denoted white, male, landowners.

The Land of the Free learned over time that “all men” was more than white, male, landowners. “all men” has grown more inclusive. But, we won’t be the land of the free until “all men” is “all people.”

Women.

People of Color.

Gays.

Lesbians.

Bisexuals.

Transgender.

The question: “But what can *I* do?”

The answer: join the struggle with tangible action.

Call your representatives and demand that gender identity and sexual orientation become protected classes. Or write a letter.

Don’t sit silent when racist or homophobic speech is shared in white or hetero spaces.

Support efforts to reform the criminal justice system and add accountability for police brutality.

You can start, today, ensuring that America behaves as if the Declaration of Independence means what is says: “…Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness” for ALL.

photo credit: In Congress via photopin (license)

My website is a safe place for people whose beliefs about God are changing. Many are recovering from spiritual abuse or trauma. Please remain civil and kind in the comments section at all times.

Rise of the New Copernicans

I believe we are living in a truly historic moment of human development.

Some sociologists try to capture it by talking about "millennials," but that's too generational. I've also talked about the model of Spiral Dynamics, but that can be western-centric. Both these models catch a glimpse of something big, but they don't tell the whole story. Somehow, modern science, multiculturalism, the Internet, and the blurring of traditional human divisions is altering how people relate to each other.

About a year ago, I joined with friends from the Windrider Institute and the John Templeton Foundation to work on a series of short films describing how human consciousness is changing in our era. I've shared different segments over the last few months–and now I'm thrilled to share the ENTIRE, COMPLETED series with you.

The New Copernicans thesis is based on the work of Dr. John Seel. Huge thanks to my friends John Priddy, Jacob Marshall, and Josh Wiese for their amazing contributions. I hope you find this work insightful and inspiring–-I certainly do.

The New Copernicans

My website is a safe place for people whose beliefs about God are changing. Many are recovering from spiritual abuse or trauma. Please remain civil and kind in the comments section at all times.

Reader Mail - Atheist in Church

Subject: Atheism

Message: I consider myself an atheist- because in almost all contexts when God is described, the subject of that description is not something I consider well-enough evidenced to accept as real. Of course, in your case- that description of god is not at all what the vast majority of theists subscribe to (a good thing in my opinion.) However, I also am going to a Christian church with a strong focus on community and diversity, makes good judgments about which causes to support with our giving, provides a great springboard for community interaction, and usually isn't afraid of tough questions. I dig it. Anyway, while I admit I have barely scratched the surface of how you might describe yourself, your axioms of faith don't seem to describe anything that necessarily contradicts an atheist's view of religion. Is this non-atheism a part of your attempt to pretend as Rob Bell suggests? I guess- the main substance of this question is- what is the necessary difference between you and an atheist, and are there any tips you might have for an atheist attending a Christian church who often feels overwhelmingly isolated in thought, but for their own reasons chooses to stick around that environment? I really appreciate your taking time to give this a read.


Hey Austin,

I'm recovering from a motorcycle accident and I have a concussion. Forgive me if any of this doesn't make sense.

What I've learned from neuroscience and cognitive psychology is that labels are a big deal. The labels we apply to ourselves create a powerful bias. When we encounter evidence that undermines our chosen label research indicates we unconsciously filter it. This isn't some rational process where we evaluate information and make a decision–this is an automatic function we're not well aware of.

People love to label themselves. Doing so creates both social identity and cognitive certainty. Those are two things we crave because evolution trained us that we thrive when we live in a tribe and when we make good guesses about the future. For example, if a hunter gatherer guesses well about a rainstorm, they can avoid a flood and find more food.

Social labels create in-groups, but they also create out-groups. Certainty in our self labels mean we reject information about the world. I want the best, most truthful understanding of reality. So, I pretty much don't waste time assigning labels to myself.

Am I a Christian? An atheist? I'm not sure either of those labels describe me completely, and I think both describe me partially. Both manners of thinking and being inform my life, and both have something to teach me. I'm not looking for a place to land my ideologically airplane. Instead, I do my best to be open to new ideas and experiences, while honoring the traditions and cultures that have brought me where I am.

That means I need to honor what Billy Graham taught me, even as I honor what Richard Dawkins taught me.

I'm a skeptic, and I look for evidence to support my claims. But I'm also fascinated with Jesus, and the God he represents. I refuse to call heads or tails–I say let the coin spin all day.

Hope this helps.

Peace, love, entropy,
Science Mike

My website is a safe place for people whose beliefs about God are changing. Many are recovering from spiritual abuse or trauma. Please remain civil and kind in the comments section at all times.

Faith vs. Science

I've been working on a series of short films with my friends at The Windrider Foundation. The subject is the New Copernicans–a thesis by Dr. John Seel about the changes facing our society that are generally attributed to "millennials." John's work is fascinating, and frankly explains a lot without dismissing an entire generation as "lazy."

Episode 10 explores the tension of faith and science via my podcasts. You really should check out the whole series though.

I hate to do an entirely self-promotional blog post, but I'm too excited about a couple of recent articles about my work not to. The Kernel did a profile on me as part of their issue about podcasting. It's the fastest telling of my story, and the first time I've been turned into a comic illustration.

Also, the New York Observer did a write up following my most recent appearance in Manhattan. I was really nervous about that event because New Yorkers have a lot of entertainment options available beyond coming out (in the rain!) to see a podcaster. So, you can imagine my surprise when I walked out on stage and saw full crowd–the event sold out.

What's all this got to do with you? It turns out there are a lot of us interested in open, honest conversations about science, faith, and life.

My website is a safe place for people whose beliefs about God are changing. Many are recovering from spiritual abuse or trauma. Please remain civil and kind in the comments section at all times.