“America must pummel ISIS”

Mt. Rainier on a nicer day

  An interesting statement of a hawkish stance on responding to the so-called "Islamic State": http://nationalinterest.org/feature/unleashed-america-must-pummel-isis-12457 My attention was caught by the authors' distinction, and how they made it, between the military vulnerability of the "Islamic State" and the relatively elusive character of al-Qa‘ida. It parallels quite closely the distinction that I often make (in print and, as r … [Read more...]

“Can space expand faster than the speed of light?”

The relationship between energy and mass

    For those of you who woke up this morning wondering about relativity, this will be an interesting read: https://medium.com/starts-with-a-bang/ask-ethan-80-can-space-expand-faster-than-the-speed-of-light-23dff8c10f3d  Posted from Vancouver, British Columbia    … [Read more...]

On a Sinking Ship and Its Captain

Sweet Briar president's house

  My friend and former Maxwell Institute colleague has posted a remarkable story of what seems pretty clearly to be academic incompetence and malfeasance: http://fornspollfira.blogspot.ca/2015/03/on-sinking-ship-and-its-captain.html This story didn't occur at Brigham Young University.  Posted from Langley, British Columbia    … [Read more...]

“Evidences and Witnesses of the Book of Mormon”

The temple in Langley

  On Saturday, I spoke to a relatively small audience at the University of British Columbia's downtown Vancouver Robson campus on "The Perplexing Book of Mormon."  That evening, I spoke to another modest audience at the Vancouver Stake Center about some of my favorite pieces of evidence for the authenticity and antiquity of the Book of Mormon.  And, tonight, I gave a slight variant of that same talk to a very large audience, a capacity crowd, at the Langley stake center di … [Read more...]

On not taking certain critics seriously

Caution: Trolls at Play

  I don't know anything about Cara Lynn Shultz.  But she seems to have some of the same anonymous critics that I do: “It's hard to take someone seriously when they leave you a note saying, 'Your ugly.' My ugly what? The idiot didn't even know the difference between your and you're.” Cara Lynn Shultz, Spellcaster    … [Read more...]

Is the Book of Mormon wrong about the year of Christ’s birth?

tarjumaat mukhtalifa min kitaab murmuun

  Here's an interesting article -- and a challenge -- from my friend and former Maxwell Institute colleague Matt Roper: http://etherscave.blogspot.ca/2015/03/the-600-year-prophecy-of-birth-of.html I might add -- and I hope that I don't get him into trouble for saying this -- that Matt's online "Howlers Index" is very much in the spirit of the old Foundation for Ancient Research and Mormon Studies and the first years of its successor organization, … [Read more...]

“Cities and Civilization: Of Babylon and Zion”

Model of ancient Rome

  I've been delinquent in calling to your attention this thoughtful Deseret News column by Dr. Taylor Halverson: http://www.deseretnews.com/article/865624181/Cities-and-Civilization-Of-Babylon-and-Zion.html  Posted from Langley, British Columbia    … [Read more...]

“Do religions try to keep their scriptures inaccessible?”

The Lenox Gutenberg

  I'm a bit late with this: The most recent Hamblin-Peterson column was published in the Deseret News yesterday: http://www.deseretnews.com/article/865624688/Do-religions-try-to-keep-their-scriptures-inaccessible.html But being late has its benefits.  It allows me, for example, to point to the really amusing comments that followed this particular column.  "Karen R.," a Texas atheist who responds to everything I write, thought that s/he had caught m … [Read more...]