Wow and gee whiz! Science for a Sunday.

      Unless I’m seriously mistaken, there were no confirmed planets outside our solar system when I was a kid.  We assumed that they were there, but we didn’t know it.  Now we do.   (Of course, we can — just barely — see only the very biggest of them, which is why the [Read More…]

“Resident Aliens”

    A colony is a beachhead, an outpost, an island of one culture in the middle of another, a place where the values of home are reiterated and passed on to the young, a place where the distinctive language and life-style of the resident aliens are lovingly nurtured and reinforced. . . . The [Read More…]

George Ritchie and his powerful claimed near-death experience

    About a week ago, I posted a quotation from George D. Ritchie, M.D., regarding the near-death experience that he purported to have had in 1943, when he was twenty years old and serving in the military.   One critical reader, responding, took me to task for giving any credence to Dr. Ritchie, a Virginia [Read More…]

Apocalypse, Now

    Sadly, it seems pretty definite that Mitt Romney won’t be challenging Clinton/Trump.  But he also won’t be voting for either of them:   “Mitt Romney says Donald Trump will change America with ‘trickle-down racism’”   He’s right, of course.  The president isn’t merely the chief executive; he (or, now, she) is a symbol. [Read More…]

“Give Us Strength According to Our Faith in Christ”

    In the 168th scripture roundtable posted by the Interpreter Foundation, which is directed toward 2016 Gospel Doctrine lesson 24, Martin Tanner and Bruce Webster discuss Alma 13-16:   Scripture Roundtable 168: Book of Mormon Gospel Doctrine Lesson 24, Give Us Strength According to Our Faith-in Christ     [Read more…]

Will Mr. Donald Trump turn out to be a pathetic loser, like those he loves to mock?

    What has been, up to now, Mr. Donald Trump’s favorite poll shows him falling significantly behind Hillary Clinton:   http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/436486/donald-trump-down-11-points-his-favorite-poll   Now, it’s possible that Mr. Trump could still win.  Or, to put it more accurately, that he could fail to lose.   Hillary Clinton is a terrible candidate.  She’s uncharismatic, cynical, and not [Read More…]

“More Than One Witness”

    Martin Tanner, Mike Parker, and Dan Peterson come together for the 167th scripture roundtable posted by the Interpreter Foundation.  It’s devoted to Alma 8-12, which is the focus of 2016 Gospel Doctrine lesson 23:   Scripture Roundtable 167: Book of Mormon Gospel Doctrine Lesson 23, More Than One Witness       [Read more…]

“Transoceanic Voyaging: How Ancient America Became Civilized”

    A previously unpublished book by my longtime friend, the eminent scholar John Sorenson, is now available online:   https://archive.bookofmormoncentral.org/content/transoceanic-voyaging-how-ancient-america-became-civilized     [Read more…]

Are we hardwired to protect women more than (and, sometimes, at the expense of) men?

    http://www.nyu.edu/about/news-publications/news/2016/06/08/chivalry-is-not-dead-when-it-comes-to-morality.html   I can think of at least two possible (and very gratifying) angles from which one might be able to derive some indignation at this:   1.   It  ignores patriarchal oppression of women.   2.   Some especially ardent feminists detest it when men hold doors open for women.  But this article seems [Read More…]

BOM Alma 25

    Today’s reading, Alma 25, illustrates — as if more examples were needed — how the cycles of conversion and apostasy, rise and fall, war and peace never come to a stop.   It’s valuable for its depiction, too, of how the bitter hatred felt by the Amulonites eventually destroyed them.  This is virtually [Read More…]