Continuing with my manuscript on Islam for Latter-day Saints:   Al-Bukhari’s Sahih, which holds undisputed pride of place among Sunnis, is worth describing here in a bit of detail. It is com­posed of ninety-seven books divided into a total of 3,450 chapters. Each book is devoted to a general subject, such as prayer, fasting, alms, testimony, buying and selling, marriage, and the like. About 2,762 separate hadith reports occur in Bukhari’s volumes, but they are often repeated under… Read more

    From an unpublished manuscript with which I occasionally tinker:   It is virtually impossible to imagine a hallucination that continued over weeks, months, and years, involving numerous people whose hallucinatory illusions were so coherent and congruent with one another—people who, apart from their religious views (unacceptable in principle to certain critics), supply no other reason to think them psychologically maladapted. Moreover, many of the events that seem to support Joseph Smith’s story occurred under wholly matter-of-fact conditions: David… Read more

    Having completed undergraduate studies at the University of California at Berkeley and earned his doctorate in molecular biology at Caltech (the California Institute of Technology), Douglas Axe next did post-doctoral work at Cambridge University, where he was eventually appointed to a position as a research scientist.  Here are some additional notes from his book Undeniable: How Biology Confirms Our Intuition That Life Is Designed (New York: HarperCollins, 2016):   Now, if you’re wondering whether it’s legitimate for scientists… Read more

    Curiously, as someone who hates and fears science and who neither knows nor wants to know anything of the subject, I enjoy reading about it.  I typically have about fifteen to twenty books going at a time — by no means all of them about science, of course — and I often fail to finish one book because it becomes buried under new books.  (I’m trying to reform myself on that score.)  Lately, every few days, I’ve been… Read more

    It’s a big book, so I’m going to be working through John W . Welch, et al., eds., Knowing Why: 137 Evidences That the Book of Mormon Is True (American Fork: Covenant Communications, 2017), for several more weeks.   “Did Interactions with ‘Others’ Influence Nephi’s Selections of Isaiah?”  (119-120) Were there people in the New World other than, and prior to, the Lehites, Mulekites, and Jaredites?  Or were the Americas essentially vacant when Nephi arrived? The archaeological and genetic evidence is decisively clear… Read more

    Day after day after plodding day, we move forward:   Over the course of many years, students of the traditions about Muhammad and his companions worked out a complex and sophis­ticated system for testing and classifying hadith. Some hadith reports were ranked as sahih, or “sound,” which is to say that all of the links in their isnads, their chains of transmission, were good ones going back directly to the purported source of the tradition, who was usu­ally… Read more

    It’s going to take me a while to offer even the barest suggestion of the treasures to be found in John W . Welch, et al., eds., Knowing Why: 137 Evidences That the Book of Mormon Is True (American Fork: Covenant Communications, 2017).  So I’ll keep plugging away at the effort.   “Why Is the Lord’s Hand ‘Stretched out Still’?”  (115-116) Modern Latter-day Saints often understand this as a positive thing, signifying the Lord’s mercy and his never-ending compassion.  But, in ancient minds, the… Read more

    After completing undergraduate work at the University of California at Berkeley and earning his doctorate in molecular biology at Caltech (the California Institute of Technology), Douglas Axe went on to post-doctoral work and then to a research scientist position, both at the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom.   In other words, he has some experience in the world of science (both substantively and sociologically).   Here are three related passages from his book Undeniable: How Biology… Read more

    Plodding forward . . .   Actually, what I have been saying is an oversimplification. It was only gradually that the chain of transmitters, known in Arabic as an isnad, became a required part of a hadith report. For approxi­mately the first century after the death of the Prophet, no special care was taken in the transmission of traditions about him. Perhaps the Muslims could not imagine anybody willing to lie or to forge in the name of… Read more

    Douglas Axe received superb training in engineering and molecular biology.  After completing undergraduate work at the University of California at Berkeley and earning his doctorate at Caltech (the California Institute of Technology), he went on to post-doctoral work and then to a research scientist position, both at the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom.   I’ll be extracting some notes from his book Undeniable: How Biology Confirms Our Intuition That Life Is Designed (New York: HarperCollins, 2016):… Read more

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