Darth Edgar

How did I not realize sooner that the character of Edgar on Heroes is played by Ray Park, who also played Darth Maul in The Phantom Menace? Well, I suppose the make-up does obscure his identity a little… [Read more...]

Zwinglian Redactor Hypothesis

Although I was among the first to spread the news of Jim West’s returns, I am finding my scholarly skepticism kicking in. The blog that is so claimed contains no evidence of felinophobia, no photos of people at Wal-Mart, and very little sarcasm. My theory is that a Zwinglian redactor recovered some fragments of the works [Read More...]

Star Trek, Religion and Ethics

It would be possible to do a whole course just on religion in Star Trek (including, particularly in the original series, the lack of religion in places where we’ve come to expect it). In addition to encounters with many beings that might be considered “gods,” Star Trek also tackles many difficult issues, such as the [Read More...]

Dollhouse at the End of the World

If Dollhouse is any indication of what having a definite end in sight does to science fiction storytelling on TV, then we’re going to be satisfied not only with Dollhouse but also with Lost. Tonight we had longstanding mysteries solved, and yet at the same time unexpected twists and turns to keep us enthralled. If [Read More...]

Jim West is Back

Jim West is apparently back (thanks to Loren Rosson for drawing attention to this fulfillment of prophecy) - although having witnessed the appearance of +Wrong, I was half expecting a new blog called “Dr. Jim East” to materialize and offer simulacra and simulations of classic westian cat-hating Zwingli-loving sarcasm.  I wanted to find a photo of Jim West [Read More...]

Scrutinizing the Sci-Fi Syllabus

I’ve spent the morning thus far trying to finalize my syllabus for Religion and Science Fiction. I’m now going to share form it is currently in, in the hope that some readers with time and inclination may provide some feedback. If you see anything obvious that ought to be explicitly mentioned but isn’t, or relevant readings [Read More...]

Linguistics and the Dating of Texts

I first spotted the news about the decipherment of a 10th-century BC inscription, which turned out to be in Hebrew, on Scientific Blogging about 4 hours ago. Now I see the news has reached the biblioblogosphere. James Tabor relates the find to debates between minimalists and others. Bob Cargill rightly counters some of the hype [Read More...]

Conflicting Views on Religion and Science Fiction

I spent quite a bit of today (when I wasn’t shoveling snow) working on finalizing the syllabus for my religion and science fiction course. The main thing that had to be done was filling in some of the readings (and making some tough choices about what, as interesting as it might be, will have to [Read More...]

The Human Spark

I watched The Human Spark on PBS last night, a show about human evolution and what makes us distinctive, hosted by Alan Alda. I think even those who generally keep up to date on the natural sciences will find it interesting and informative. One thought that struck me as I watched was the contrast between the [Read More...]

Mind The Gap

Rocky Carvel posted today about the tension between losing the Biblical moorings of conservative Christianity and a vibrant and powerful experience of Christianity. I can really relate to his post: in my case, I think that having had a life-transforming experience actually gave me the courage to engage in critical thinking about what I believe and in [Read More...]

Clarence Goodwin Chair of New Testament Language and Literature

Last semester, my department chair discovered that there is an endowed chair at Butler University which has been unfilled for some 60 years, the Clarence Goodwin Chair of New Testament Language and Literature. The chair was last held by its first and (to my knowledge) only occupant, Bruce Kershner. Since then, it has been unfilled – until [Read More...]

Pop Culture and Philosophy: Best Book Subtitles Ever?

There are a number of volumes in the series Popular Culture and Philosophy (from Open Court – take a look at some of the forthcoming titles!) and the Blackwell Philosophy and Pop Culture series from which I’ll be using chapters as readings this semester. But the thing I love most about both these series is [Read More...]

When Jim West Is Away, The Cats Can Play

Jim West was famous for many things, among which hatred for cats. And so now that he’s no longer blogging, we can post videos like the ones below without fear of retribution. First, there’s a cat that is being called “Ninja cat.” Good luck trying to prevent it from sneaking up on you! And here’s [Read More...]

Creationists Are Not Stupid

The Panda’s Thumb reproduces a speech by James Downard which argues that it is not lack of intelligence that explains why people (religious believers, atheists, and probably everyone) believe things that aren’t supported by evidence or even have evidence against them. I had to skim parts of it, but hope to return to it, as it [Read More...]


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