Easy Exam Question

Bob Cargill tweeted that he likes to give students at least one easy question on the exams he gives. And he showed what that looks like: I dread to think what Bob would do if a student actually picked “B”… [Read more...]

A Spaceman Came Traveling

The Christmas song by Chris De Burgh: [Read more...]

Review of Existence by David Brin

If you are among those who have complained that there is insufficient hard science fiction, imagining a future that is a realistic extrapolation based on what we now think are genuine possibilities and genuine constraints, David Brin’s novel Existence may be what you have been longing for. The future of the internet and our interaction [Read More...]

Doctor Who: Ghost Light

The Doctor Who episode “Ghost Light” is the penultimate episode from the classic series. For those interested in the intersection of religion and Doctor Who, the episode is full of food for thought and discussion. Early in the episode we are treated to a visit to a house by one Rev. Ernest Matthews, Dean of [Read More...]

Doctor Who: The Power of Three

Whether you enjoy Doctor Who for the humor or the drama, or both, and whether you share my interest in religious themes in the show or not, there was a lot to love about tonight's episode, “The Power of Three.” There were no fewer plot holes than in the holiest of previous episodes. But if [Read More...]

Scooby Doo vs. Doctor Who

It has been observed that some science fiction stories seem to make the opposite point to the one made in the classic cartoon series Scooby Doo. This image highlights the contrast well, using Doctor Who as the specific example: We can all appreciate stories that explore scenarios in which aliens visited our planet in the [Read More...]

Doctor Who: The Ambassadors of Death

The episode “The Ambassadors of Death” has as its downside something characteristic of a great many Doctor Who episodes, and arguably of the entire phenomenon of LOST: a suspense-filled and intriguing premise is eventually resolved in a manner that doesn’t live up to the build-up. Nevertheless, the premise and the exploration of it is itself [Read More...]

First Contact?

A Facebook friend shared this, and it seemed worth passing along. Reflecting on possible alien religious beliefs, and how they might or might not resemble those of human beings, is a great thought experiment. So what do you think? Is the scenario in the cartoon possible, in your view? Would you be happy, or disappointed, [Read More...]

Doctor Who: The Faceless Ones

The Doctor Who episode “The Faceless Ones” from the Patrick Troughton era is a gripping mystery set largely in Gatwick Airport, where aliens have infiltrated and are working to abduct human young people. Most of the action revolves around the Doctor’s attempt to determine what exactly is going on, who is responsible, and why they [Read More...]

Doctor Who: The Rescue

The Doctor Who story “The Rescue” is a relatively short (two-part) but nevertheless powerful episode. With “The Dalek Invasion of Earth” having seen the departure of Susan, “The Rescue” introduces a new young girl to fill the function she did, namely providing a relatively young person’s perspective and involvement in the action. In fact, it [Read More...]

Thutmose and Hyksos Discuss the Gods

In discussing The Daleks’ Master Plan recently, I neglected to include one important element related to religion. The Doctor, the meddling monk from “The Time Meddler,” and the Daleks, all find themselves in the vicinity of the great pyramids, one of which is being completed and prepared to house the treasures of the pharaoh. There [Read More...]


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