Missing Alcatraz? What if you could take a pill to forget that you’re missing it?

Alcatraz isn’t on tonight, but I’ve been meaning for some time to discuss one of the interesting ideas raised on the show. It’s one that other sci-fi has explored before: the idea that memories make us who we are, and that there could be a treatment for twisted thinking or simply intense sadness or anger [Read More...]

Ceiling Cat’s Commandments

HT Jerry Coyne. While this is worth sharing just as  religion and cat humor, it also connects with my interest in religion and science fiction. Thinking about what other species, whether terrestrial or extraterrestrial, might think about God or morality is an interesting thought experiment. And on that last topic, see this amusing bit of [Read More...]

Doctor Who: The Two Doctors

Having had “The Three Doctors” and “The Five Doctors,” the next offering of a story in which the Doctor meets himself in a previous regeneration is “The Two Doctors.” Patrick Troughton is the only Doctor who appeared in all of them, and to good effect, since he is certainly one of the most entertaining of [Read More...]

Doctor Who: Vengeance on Varos

We all have some parts of our mind that we consider unworthy, some memory that makes us shudder and squirm. The above quote from the character Quillam in the Doctor Who episode “Vengeance on Varos” captures one aspect of the Sixth Doctor admirably – some of the harshest characteristics of the Doctor, from his arrogance [Read More...]

Fringe: A Better Human Being (Hubris and Fidelity in the Multiverse)

Yesterday’s episode of Fringe, “A Better Human Being,” explored a couple of interesting religious and philosophical themes related to modern science and scientific possibilities. The more obvious of the two relates to the doctor who, when using IVF to help women get pregnant, implanted them with “improved” genetic material to try to make “a better [Read More...]

Doctor Who: Resurrection of the Daleks

Resurrection of the Daleks is one of the darker episodes from the era of the Fifth Doctor. Once again given the opportunity to prevent the Daleks from getting a fresh start, the Doctor is determined not to miss the chance again. But the Doctor finds killing even the creator of the Daleks, Davros, something that [Read More...]

Outrageous! The Skewed Values of Many American Christians

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Martin Luther King and the Quest for a Just Society

This semester, my freshman seminar course “Faith, Doubt and Reason” focuses on utopias, dystopias, and the quest for community and a just society. Since we start tomorrow, the day after Martin Luther King Day, I moved the readings – in fact, viewings – up to the very first day of class. Most people are familiar [Read More...]

Doctor Who: The Savages

The episode “The Savages” is significant for several reasons. It was the first episode to have one single title for its multiple parts – earlier “episodes” had completely separate names for the individual parts, and no clear name for the unified story that was told across them. It also was, I believe, the first time [Read More...]

The Lord’s Prayer in Indiana Public Schools?

As if the news of attempts to get creationism into science classrooms were not bad enough, there is another proposed law that seeks to allow schools to mandate the recitation of the Lord’s prayer. Here’s the text of Senate Bill 251: Sec. 4.6. (a) In order that each student recognize the importance of spiritual development [Read More...]

Torchwood: Reset

This episode seems like the ultimate LOST/Doctor Who/Torchwood crossover. Martha Jones teams up with Torchwood to take on…Charles Widmore (actually, Professor Copley, played by Alan Dale). The similarity would have been there even if the same actor who played Widmore on LOST had not had the role he did in this episode. We still find [Read More...]


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