About

About Me

I am a trained scientist (my PhD research was in the mathematics of evolution), but I also hold an undergraduate degree in theology from the University of Birmingham, UK – a secular theology school.

This is my religion blog.

I have been studying Christianity for 20 years. In that time I’ve been particularly interested in New Testament scholarship, although I have a soft spot for the study of Christian origins and early church history.

But now I’m mostly interested in religious phenomena more broadly. How religions work, how they are structured, and the stories they tell.

What am I?

Labels are rather black-and-white and may not mean the same to everyone.

I am an atheist: I do not believe in a theistic God. I do not believe in the supernatural. There are models of God I don’t have a problem with, but they aren’t the ones people think of when you say “God”, so I don’t find it helpful to label my beliefs with the term.

I used to be a Christian. I still live in a Christian culture. Most of my friends and family are Christians. I’ve been to church (and still go less often). I would be committed to a church, if there was one like this.

About The Title

The blog’s title is intended to be mischievous. I like to think I know a thing or two about complexity. And what I do know doesn’t help the creationist cause.

The title is also meant informally: I think that the world, particularly our social interactions, are very complex. I think any simple explanation is very likely to be wrong, and I think it is a shame that so many people put forward explanations that are black-and-white. I try to look for color: I prefer explanations that can describe the diversity, complexity and change of the real world.

The Photo

The photo above is taken through the window of the Santa Fe Institute in New Mexico, the world’s most prominent research center for complexity science. I took the photo when I was studying there in 1999.

The math is written in waterbased marker on the windows. SFI is marked by inter-disciplinary scholarship, and when standing in the lounges having discussions, the windows became the whiteboards.

Want to Convert Me?

I appreciate that. I really do. It is a generous thing to want to share with others the blessings you’ve received.

But please, before you do, read and understand this. If you find yourself unable to believe what I say, then I’m afraid we have no foundation for our conversation.