Merry Kitzmas!

Several bloggers have drawn attention to the fact that it was 5 years ago today that Judge Jones handed down his verdict in the Dover trial regarding Intelligent Design. Among those who have posted is Lauri Lebo, who covered the trial and wrote a book about it, The Devil in Dover: An Insider’s Story of Dogma [Read More...]

An Experiment in Testing Digital Literacy

As I mentioned previously on my blog, this semester I tried something different in my class on the Bible. Rather than focus on recall and testing memorization, I focused on the ability to identify reliable sources of information. And so the final exam allowed them to use computers and presented them with questions that we [Read More...]

Scholarship and the Language of Belief

Student assignments I’ve read this year seem to describe the conclusions of scholars as their “beliefs” about a subject much more frequently than I’ve noticed in the past. I wonder whether other professors have noticed something similar, and if so, how you respond to the use of such language. Personally, I think the appropriate language to [Read More...]

Seussian Gnosticism

Students of Gnosticism are bound to be familiar with Sethian, Valentinian, and a few other varieties of Gnosticism. But Colby Whittaker, a student at Duke University, has uncovered evidence of a neglected branch: the Seussian Gnostics. I couldn’t decide on an excerpt and didn’t want to reproduce the whole thing without permission. So you’ll just have to [Read More...]

Why the Man in Black Couldn’t Find the Light

Apparently it is sometimes to be found in the vicinity of Buffalo, New York.(See the post on IO9 for the explanation). [Read more...]

The New Archaeology of the Mediterranean World

Bill Carraher has closed his well-known blog Archaeology of the Mediterranean World and begun a new one. He explains the reasons, including a discussion of the failure of those deciding on his tenure to show even the remotest interest in his blogging. All academic bloggers will probably want to read his post as we continue [Read More...]

Jim Bull Responds to Michael Behe

Jerry Coyne has posted a response to Michael Behe’s recent article. The response is written by Jim Bull, an experimental evolutionary biologist at the University of Texas in Austin. The response manages to be appreciative of Behe’s scientific competence and yet also explain why the article is not a challenge to mainstream biology’s understanding of evolution. [Read more...]

God Hates Figs

From Pithless Thoughts via Richard Hall. [Read more...]

There’s Always A Bigger God

Steve Wiggins has a reflection on the quest for scientific evidence of the divine. I was particularly struck by the concluding sentence: Even if God is discovered and described in the laboratory…those standing outside will always believe, with Anselm, that there is an even bigger one somewhere out there. It is an interesting question both [Read More...]

My Software, My Choice

Having recently mentioned the moral issues related to sentient programs and artificial intelligences, and the ways that science fiction provides opportunity to reflect on and explore such issues, I had an idea for a science fiction short story or one-off TV show on the topic. It imagines a future in which debates much like those [Read More...]

Trei Crai de la Rasarit

Here’s another Romanian Christmas carol performed by Corul Madrigal: “Three Kings from the East.” [Read more...]

On the Fringe: Dates and Times are Irrelevant to Television Nowadays

Fox has reacted to speculation that its shifting of Fringe to Friday nights starting in January is a sign that the show’s death is near. Fox is suggesting that, on the contrary, this represents a freaky Fringe-style attempt at reanimation of Friday nights. Here’s the commercial (HT SF Signal): The truth is that a great [Read More...]

Can We Trust the Gospels Like a Child?

It would be inappropriate to apologize for the pun in the title of this post, since the fact that you read it means I chose not to go ahead with making it. The blog Like a Child, authored by a self-described “former scientist” wrestling with matters of doubt and faith, has posted the first part [Read More...]

Political Jesus on Tron Legacy

Rod at the Political Jesus blog has a brief review of TRON Legacy. It is an indication of what those who have seen it found interesting that I have been getting lots of visitors coming to the blog via search engines, looking for information about isomorphic algorithms. I hope to return to that topic in [Read More...]