Has Islamic civilization ever contributed anything of any value to the world?

India's Taj Mahal

  I had an exchange last week with somebody who assured me -- based, so far as I could tell, on the many minutes that he's spent listening to talk radio -- that Islamic civilization is an oxymoron, and that it has never contributed anything whatever of any value to the history of science, art, medicine, mathematics, law, philosophy, or literature. Tomorrow, I'll be administering a midterm exam in one of my classes that, along with some basic information on … [Read more...]

“The Puzzling Galaxy at the Edge of Time and Space”

2 sorts of galactic spirals

  This discovery threatens to overturn some very common and basic assumptions about the evolution of stars and galaxies, and may tend to weaken one of the more subtle arguments against a divine role in creation ("Why did it require so many billions of years, in a universe supposedly designed for intelligent life, for the metals necessary to such life to … [Read more...]

“Matthew 11 and Luke 7, 11-13. Coming Unto Christ and Learning of Him”

stained glass of Jesus blessing small children

  Dr. Taylor Halverson, a member of the board of the Interpreter Foundation, offers some helpful New Testament insights: http://www.mormoninterpreter.com/matthew-11-and-luke-7-11-13-coming-unto-christ-and-learning-of-him/   … [Read more...]

Latter-day Saint humanitarian work

Women getting water in Africa

  I've been reading, yet again, online claims that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is nothing but a business, thinks of nothing but profits and profit centers, is motivated entirely by the greed of its leadership, and does nothing for the poor and the distressed (especially when they're not members of "the Corporation"). With that in mind, once again, it's worth taking a look at, among others, these two … [Read more...]

“Of Cops, College Students, and Religious Liberty”

The Culpeper Standard

  The superb Cassandra Showell Hedelius, an attorney, weighs in on two significant cases involving religious liberty and gay rights: http://ldsmag.com/of-cops-college-students-and-religious-liberty/ I myself have addressed each of these cases in two previous posts, here and here. And, while we're at it, Rod Dreher, a respected conservative author who isn't a Latter-day Saint, considers the case of Eric Moutsos, that (now former) Salt … [Read more...]

On chasing perfection

A 1962 photo of Vince Lombardi in black and white

  Perfection is not attainable.  But if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence.  (Vince Lombardi)   … [Read more...]

“Taking a leaf from the Armenians’ book”

St. Gregory of Narek, Armenian Doctor of the Church

  Few Western Christian realize that the first country in the Old World to become Christian wasn't Constantine's Roman Empire.  It was Armenia. And one of Armenia's great medieval figures, St. Gregory of Narek (ca. AD 951-1003), a monk, poet, theologian, and mystic, has just been declared a "doctor" (i.e., a major, recognized teacher) of the Roman Catholic Church by Pope Francis.  This is a big deal:  There are fewer than forty such "doctors," including eminent … [Read more...]

Meet Earth’s other moon!

La Luna de Roberto M

  Ha!  You thought we had only one? Think again: http://www.realclearscience.com/articles/2015/03/02/earth_has_another_moon_and_it_has_a_crazy_orbit__109108.html   … [Read more...]