“Dark Matter Might Clump to Form Planets”

    If the theorizing mentioned in this article is at all correct, the universe has just become even stranger than it already was:   Dark Matter Might Clump to Form Planets   See also “Materialism isn’t what it used to be.”   “I have no doubt that in reality the future will be vastly more [Read More…]

He played a poor hand very, very well.

    “Life is not a matter of holding good cards, but of playing a poor hand well.” Robert Louis Stevenson (1850-1894)     The Scottish novelist, poet, essayist, and travel writer Robert Louis Stevenson — author of such works as Treasure Island, The Black Arrow, Kidnapped, The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, The Master of Ballantrae, [Read More…]

Discrimination and Religious Liberty

    Some time ago, I posed a rather pessimistic review of a new book on whether a balance can or should be found between gay rights and religious liberty:   “Religious Freedom and Discrimination: Why the Debate Continues”   Here’s a more optimistic review of that same new book:   “Religious Liberty vs. Anti-Discrimination: [Read More…]

“Diving into the afterlife in Hawaii”

    Here’s a column that I wrote during a previous visit to Maui, and which some, perhaps, might find interesting:   http://www.deseretnews.com/article/865597083/Diving-into-the-afterlife-in-Hawaii.html   Posted from Kaanapali, Maui, Hawaii     [Read more…]

“Is It Foolishness to Dream of Terraforming Mars?”

    Some years ago, a Latter-day Saint scientist with whom I was speaking ventured the passing hypothesis that what we have in the various scriptural and other creation accounts of the Mormon tradition might well be records of a process of terraforming, of making a suitable candidate planet actually adequate to sustaining human life. [Read More…]

Friedrich Engels, of Marx-and-Engels fame, is back in fashion!

    I’ve always despised the romanticization of Che Guevara, the transformation of a murderous and possibly sociopathic communist thug into a dashing, iconic tee-shirt image.   And now we have the pending glorification of the co-author of the Communist Manifesto:   “Engels Returns to Manchester”   “Engels Returns to Manchester (2)”   Scores of millions [Read More…]

“Instructor says BYU-Idaho fired her for a Facebook post”

    Several people have written, asking me what I think about this:   http://www.deseretnews.com/article/865685087/Instructor-says-BYU-Idaho-fired-her-for-a-Facebook-post.html   One even wanted to know whether, as an employee of BYU-Provo, I dared to speak publicly on the subject.   The answer to his question is that, yes, of course I dare to speak publicly on it.  Obviously, though, since the [Read More…]

“Doomsday averted on the Temple Mount, for now”

    Some of you may have heard of this incident — e.g., “Students safe after deadly terrorist attack 1 mile from BYU Jerusalem Center” — a few days ago.   Here, though, is some very useful background to the story:   http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2017/07/israel-palestinians-jordan-turkey-temple-mount-islam-attack.html   Jerusalem’s Temple Mount may well be the most politically sensitive thirty-seven acres [Read More…]

On Maui

    “I went to Maui to stay a week and remained five. I never spent so pleasant a month before, or bade any place goodbye so regretfully. I have not once thought of business, or care or human toil or trouble or sorrow or weariness, and the memory of it will remain with me [Read More…]

“Jehovah’s Witnesses Ban Appeal Rejected by Russia’s Supreme Court, Allowing Government to Seize Worship Halls”

    I’m worlds apart both in theology and, I think, in sensibility from the Watchtower Society.  But this is a deeply regrettable development — a catastrophic setback, really — for religious liberty and freedom of conscience, not only in Russia but beyond:   http://www.newsweek.com/jehovahs-witnesses-russia-ban-appeal-637816?utm_campaign=NewsweekFacebookSF&utm_source=Facebook&utm_medium=Social   This article from the Salt Lake Tribune may hit a [Read More…]