This little video is really interesting, and it takes only about nine minutes to watch:   “Wormholes Explained: How They Would Break Spacetime”   Will we someday be able to travel throughout the universe using such channels?  Or is that just a pipe dream?  Could this be the way that divine beings move about?   We should, of course, be very careful about wedding theology or doctrine too closely to the changeable findings of whatever contemporary science has… Read more

    Often called “The Prayer of St. Francis,” it almost certainly didn’t originate with him.  Its first known appearance was actually in French, in December 1912.  He lived from 1181/1182 AD to 3 October 1226.  But it’s still wonderful:   Lord, make me an instrument of your peace. Where there is hatred, let me bring love. Where there is offense, let me bring pardon. Where there is discord, let me bring union. Where there is error, let me bring… Read more

    On Friday, it being Friday, a new article appeared in Interpreter: A Journal of Mormon Scripture:   “Missourian Efforts to Extradite Joseph Smith and the Ethics of Governor Thomas Reynolds of Missouri”   Happy weekend!   ***   But what about the journal’s title?   Within the past day or two, President Russell M. Nelson, whom believing members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints regard as a prophet, seer, and revelator, has issued an official… Read more

    Many, many years ago — on 6 November 1996 — back long before I was as decrepit and washed up as I now am, I presented a little item on “The Concept of God in Islam and Mormonism” to a gathering on the campus of Brigham Young University that was co-sponsored by BYU’s Muslim Student Association and by the University’s David M. Kennedy Center for International Studies.  My discussion partner was Imam Siraj Wahhaj, of the Taqwa Mosque in Brooklyn,… Read more

    For those who may have missed the obituary for Richard L. Anderson — whom I consider a friend and a faithful-academic hero — and/or for those who might be interested in attending his funeral services, here’s a link:   I paid hasty and inadequate tribute to him on this blog and on the website of the Interpreter Foundation:   “Richard Lloyd Anderson (1926-2018)”   And here’s another tribute:   “In memoriam: Richard Lloyd Anderson (1926-2018)”  … Read more

    Here’s an item that I posted on this blog back in December 2014 that, I think, still says something that I want to say:   In a thought-provoking article posted yesterday on her blog, Flunking Sainthood, Jana Riess raises a very interesting issue:   When our general leaders combine an intense focus on young women’s shoulders with near-silence on war, torture, racially-motivated violence on the part of police, and crimes against humanity, we should understand that as a… Read more

    All our surest statements about the nature of the world are mathematical statements, yet we do not know what mathematics “is” . . . and so we find that we have adapted a religion strikingly similar to many traditional faiths. Change “mathematics” to “God” and little else might seem to change. The problem of human contact with some spiritual realm, of timelessness, of our inability to capture all with language and symbol—all have their counterparts in the quest… Read more

    Another of the books that appeared in Brigham Young University’s Islamic Translation Series (which, before the whole thing came to an end, blossomed and expanded into the broader Middle Eastern Texts Initiative) was the rather massive The Metaphysics of The Healing, written by Ibn Sīnā (or, in the popular and familiar English corruption of the Hebrew corruption of his original Arabic name, by Avicenna), and translated by Professor Michael E. Marmura, of the University of Toronto.   Avicenna (ca. AD 980–1037)… Read more

    First off, I readily admit that Mysteries of the Middle Ages, the title of a book by Thomas Cahill, is a bit hokey.  It’s reminiscent of the worst kind of “documentary” on the History Channel or the Discovery Channel, or, even, of those billboards you still sometimes find along rural roads (“Astonishing Caves of Mystery!  See Gravity-Defying Waterfalls!  Marvel at the Three-Hundred-Year-Old Midget Lady!”), advertising ramshackle places where the laws of nature are suspended and you can witness… Read more

    Life cannot have had a random beginning. . . .  The trouble is that there are about 2000 enzymes, and the chance of obtaining them all in a random trial is only one part in 10^40,000, an outrageously small probability that could not be faced even if the whole universe consisted of organic soup.  (Sir Fred Hoyle [1915 – 2001], British astrophysicist)   ***   This is a long but truly fascinating article:   “The Scientist Who Scrambled… Read more

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