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Episode 201: You Made It Weird
"Science Mike" McHargue

You Made It Weird #201: ‘Science Mike’ McHargue

“Science Mike” McHargue (incredibly interesting, insightful blogger, deacon and friend of Rob Bell’s) makes it weird!

Check out Mike’s website for more! And check out his group The Liturgists!

Follow @peteholmes on Twitter and Like the show on Facebook. Watch The Pete Holmes Show on TBS! Buy YMIW shirts!

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  1. karen says:

    My son recommended this one (we challenge each other all the time) and I have to admit that somewhere in the middle, I was so depressed at the message – so glad I stayed for the end.  We need to tell and hear and know stories like this.  The Christian community (of which I am for sure a part) needs to lose its fear of exploring this territory – which we only do by stepping into it, even when it scares us or pisses us off.  Thank you.  The best one I’ve heard yet, from this podcast, BY FAR.  Though I really enjoyed Rob Bell, too, and and (per my son) am looking forward to checking out David Bazan.

  2. Fartymcfarter says:

    This was one of the most enlightening podcasts you’ve had yet. Whether is was “just a cocktail of brain chemicals making me experience it as such”, as you’d say, this one really hit home. 

  3. Matt says:

    I wasn’t pissed off by the comment that science is better for proving things and faith is better for giving meaning.  Mike, I hope you don’t think nearly everyone who believes in Jesus is like that.  Maybe it’s because I’m not from the south, but in Jersey I find people who are like you thinking about the parts of faith we aren’t totally sure about, and feeling it’s ok to do so

  4. Oh good gracious. A lot of pseudoscience in this episode. *sigh*

    • Tony says:

      Why make a comment like this and not follow through? What parts of the episode, specifically, are you referring to as pseudoscience?

  5. Tyler says:

    Pete (and KT Money). If you haven’t listened to David Bazan (great musician doing amazing solo stuff and was the founder of Pedro The Lion), you need to.
    Grew up Evangelical, released Christian records, had a change of heart, released a record he described as a break-up letter with God.
    Super, super interesting guy who would be a great guest on YMIW.
    Thanks for everything, Pete!

  6. Dan says:

    *Quick aside–someone said “I see that Dan posted on the comments.” If you meant me, I’m not the Dan you’re thinking of. I’m just a guy named Dan.


    If you’re still reading this, thanks for answering. Your contributions are great. Sorry I didn’t respond sooner.

    I didn’t mean to imply that you were considering your experience a controlled study. I put “experiment” in quotes specifically because I was substituting that word for your experience. I used that only to express that if considered like an objective experiment, there was bias involved. In other words, it could not be considered an experiment and therefore the conclusion could not be considered in any way objective or “valid” in the science-y/experiment-based use of the word.

    Hope that makes sense.

    What you described just spoke to a larger frustration of mine (frustration isn’t really the right word, but oh well). A lot of people grow up with an expectation of God. They’re raised with it, and often even feel they are “supposed” to have some sort of relationship with God. Whether they are aware of it or not, there’s a bias there.

    So when they then experience something like you did, it gets filed away in the “God drawer” that was created when they were younger. But it’s like ghosts or aliens or anything else. A person who knows about ghosts feels cold in a creepy room and thinks he sees something and it registers in his brain as a “ghost.” A person who never learned anything about ghosts wouldn’t think that. He/she would think they felt cold in a creepy room and might’ve seen a bat or something. If there was no way for them to explain it, the notion of “it was the returned spirit of a deceased person” would probably be the 543,341,022nd most reasonable explanation to them. But because they have already accepted ghosts as a thing, it seems reasonable because it is consistent with what they expect of ghosts.

    It seems that for a lot of people, the threshold for “proof” of God is remarkably low due to their predisposition towards wanting to believe or even just having been made aware of the God-thing when they were young. Rather than accepting that they don’t understand something, or searching for rational explanations, the mysterious can easily be explained by the all-encompassing, all-explaining, undefinable God factor. It’s the easy way out, in a sense.

    And so I was just frustrated by a guy with “Science” in his name seeming to head down that path.

    I wholeheartedly support the idea to have a neuroscientist on the show. I would recommend Patricia Churchland, if for no other reason than she got her start in philosophy and is not as hard line a “only science explains everything” as some others. I think she’d be a good fit for Pete. She’s also married to another neuroscientist and is a college professor, which would possibly be good fodder for a podcast. And she’s been on Colbert, so she’s obviously not averse to having a conversation of which comedy must be a part.

  7. Tom says:

    Easily the best episode of You Made It Weird ever!

  8. mark e says:

    I’ve listened to every episode of You Made It Weird, many of them multiple times. This one was my favorite so far! As someone who has been at a crossroads between faith and doubt for some number of years, I felt like this conversation gave me some epiphanies, tools, or at least permission to progress forward rather than just remaining stuck. Thank you so much, Mike, for your genuine and heartfelt conversation and for even taking the time to come here and respond to people’s comments! I agree with a few other commenters … really would like to learn more from you about how this whole thing went down and what transpired next in your relationships and in the way you approach God. I hope Pete has you back on again!

  9. Millie says:

    I listened to this on my drive home from my grandparents’ house after our Easter dinner tonight and spent most of the drive yelling about how great and interesting everything Mike said was. I want to read all the books he mentioned, especially “That’s Why, Jesus” and “We’re Already Spirit”.

  10. Brian says:

    I see that Dan posted on the comments. Any way someone, or Dan, could list the books you mentioned on the podcasts. They all seemed interested, and to have them in one quick reference location would make it easier for me to research and/or purchase. Thanks