“Some Other ‘Pseudo-Sciences’”

Hurrian language zone

  Another sidebar comment  from John Gee on the Jenkins/Hamblin exchange: http://fornspollfira.blogspot.com/2015/06/some-other-pseudo-sciences.html   … [Read more...]

Notable reactions to the Supreme Court’s diktat

Anthony Kennedy's place

  Three religious comments: A Statement from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Here We Stand: An Evangelical Declaration on Marriage Why Homosexuality is Not Like Other Sins And a thoughtful piece from my friend and former student Ben Huff: A Nation Divided   … [Read more...]

The Two Ways

GQC 1870-1880 LoC

  Reading over at the valuable Ether's Cave blog run by my friend and former Maxwell Institute colleague Matt Roper, along with my friend and former Maxwell Institute colleague John Gee, I saw this.  I like it so much that I'm altogether stealing it.  I hope that Matt won't be too angry:  "Without anything wherewith to steer her" (Mormon 5:18)   George Q. Cannon, having witnessed more than fifty years of Church History, offered the following ref … [Read more...]

Today, 171 years ago

Today's Carthage

  On 27 June 1844, in Carthage, Illinois, the Prophet Joseph Smith was murdered by an anti-Mormon mob along with his brother, Hyrum Smith, patriarch to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  John Taylor, later to become third president of the Church, was grievously wounded in the same attack. The official announcement of their martyrdom, based at least in part on the personal account of John Taylor, now appears in the Doctrine and C … [Read more...]

On science and peer review

Scientists in a chemistry lab

  Steve Smoot kindly sent me this note:  Thought you'd appreciate this.   http://www.vox.com/2015/5/13/8591837/how-science-is-broken  That science can fail, however, shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone. It's a human construct, after all. And if we simply accepted that science often works imperfectly, we'd be better off. We'd stop considering science a collection of immutable facts. We'd stop assuming every single study has definitive answers that should b … [Read more...]

Light summer reading

Tunisian statue of Ibn Khaldun

  What is Mark Zuckerberg, the founder and CEO of Facebook, reading this summer?  Why, he's reading the Muqaddima, by the great fourteenth-century Arab social theorist Ibn Khaldun! http://fortune.com/2015/06/27/non-business-summer-reading/?xid=soc_socialflow_facebook_FORTUNE I thank Jabra Ghneim for bringing this to my notice.  I could scarcely be more pleased about a summer-reading recommendation than I am with this one. The Muqaddima … [Read more...]

New Testament 186

W, H. Hunt, painting of the friend at midnight from the NT

  Luke 11:5-8 Following on his presentation of "The Lord's Prayer," and leading into a promise that God will respond to prayer, Jesus offers a very human portrait of a person who will grant another's request, if not because he's feeling benevolent at least because the petitioner has been insistent and he wants him to go away. It's actually pretty funny, and -- despite our long-standing habit of reading the scriptures with grim solemnity -- I … [Read more...]

“Who and what are the Yezidis?”

A Yezidi man in traditional attire

  The latest installment in the biweekly Hamblin/Peterson column for the Deseret News: http://www.deseretnews.com/article/865631534/Who-and-what-are-the-Yezidis.html   … [Read more...]