“Why so many smart people aren’t happy”

    I’m fairly happy.  I guess maybe I shouldn’t admit that, though . . .   http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2016/04/why-so-many-smart-people-arent-happy/479832/   Posted from Petra, Jordan     [Read more…]

Day Two in the Royal Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan

    We were up fairly early this morning and off for a visit to the extensive and impressive ruins of Jerash, which was known anciently as Gerasa (or Γέρασα).  Although the site seems to have been inhabited from prehistoric times, the city as we know it was founded by Alexander the Great, apparently as a kind [Read More…]

“Odd baby names show Mormons are unique . . . just like everybody else”

    I’m proud to say that, this article notwithstanding, my wife and I chose perfectly normal American names for our twelve children:  LaFritz, George Quayle, Pride of Panguitch, VerDonihah, Wasatch Lon, Mahonri Moriankoomer, Bathsheba, Mitt Romney, Ponderize, Deseret Ann, Akish Lynn, and Dieter.   Odd baby names show Mormons are unique . . . just [Read More…]

“‘Parallels’ of prophets not parallel”

    Have you encountered the claim that Jesus is merely a more or less (or even entirely) fictional character who parallels the lives of, among others, such figures as Krishna, Osiris, and similar semi-historical or completely mythical heroes?   It’s really popular in some pop-atheist circles.  And the triumphant form in which I’ve commonly [Read More…]

A major cause of disbelief

    Half of disbelief in God in the world is caused by people who make religion look ugly due to their bad conduct and ignorance. al-Ghazali (d. AD 1111)   Posted from Amman, Jordan     [Read more…]

“Did asteroid impacts incubate Mars’ ancient oceans?”

    Did Mars actually have oceans at one time?  If so, was its water brought by asteroids?   http://news.discovery.com/space/did-asteroid-impacts-melt-up-mars-ancient-oceans-160425.htm   Although — I’m reliably informed by atheist critics who don’t actually know me — I hate and fear science, I find much of it quite fascinating.  (My two chief interests are astronomy/cosmology and geology.)  Please [Read More…]

National Public Radio: “What it’s like to be a Muslim in Idaho”

    http://www.npr.org/2016/04/24/475473657/idaho-muslims?utm_medium=RSS&utm_campaign=religion   I was in Idaho Falls a few weeks ago for a Mormon/Muslim dialogue.   My Muslim counterpart for that dialogue was a professor at Idaho State University, in Pocatello, Idaho.   I believe that he told me that the majority of the anti-Muslim activity in Pocatello (to the fairly limited extent [Read More…]

“Power of one: BYU grad hopes to help solve big problem in refugee camps”

    Have you wondered what you might do to help refugees, to rise to the challenge of the “I was a stranger” effort recently announced by the Church?   Do you live in Parowan, or in Bountiful, or even in deepest Orem, where no such refugees are to be seen?   Do you think “I’m [Read More…]

Today in Amman

    The formal tour doesn’t start until tonight, Jordan time.  But most of our people are already here, so we joined together for a relatively brief city tour.   We drove through several of the districts of the city, which has changed dramatically since I first visited it in 1978.  (For one thing, the [Read More…]

Did you ever play a game called “Marco Polo”? Here’s another one.

    I don’t deny for a moment that there are major problems in the Islamic world today, and that a great deal of evil has been and is being committed by Muslims in the name of Islam.   I don’t appreciate being told, as I routinely am in emails and elsewhere, that I’m whitewashing [Read More…]