October 2, 2007

I had the privilege of having lunch today with a couple of my colleagues and Sean B. Carroll, who is doing some of the most interesting work at the cutting edge of biology, more specifically in the field of evolutionary developmental biology (or evo devo for short). I had students read a significant number of chapters from both Carroll’s recent book The Making of the Fittest as well as Michael Behe’s The Edge of Evolution. Today I learned that Carroll… Read more

October 1, 2007

One feature I wish my Blogger blog had was the option to subscribe to comments, which would allow the comments section of the blog to become a forum for ongoing discussion and conversation, should anyone desire to use it that way. Many blogging sites do not offer this option, however, which is why I thought I’d mention a few alternative ways of keeping track of comments (and not merely blog entries, which one can easily track with RSS feeds).First, there… Read more

October 1, 2007

I wonder how many readers of this blog entry are thinking “OK, I know the first two, but…” In a recent article with the nice title “Raiders of the Faux Ark” there is a call to take back archaeology from the crackpots. Biblical archaeology may be the hardest to recover, since its name gives an indication of its origins as a movement to prove the Bible’s validity using archaeology. But to the surprise of many who were initially encouraged by… Read more

October 1, 2007

I recently offered a parody of intelligent design on my blog, trying to show what it would be like if the same logic and arguments were applied to chemistry. It was then pointed out to me that at least one group seems to have made a similar argument, but intending it to be taken completely seriously! I’m no longer laughing (although perhaps I’ll contact them and see if they will link to my web page – if they did, perhaps… Read more

September 30, 2007

Where does the border run between history and fiction? Sometimes it runs through a single work. There have been interesting discussions about topics along these lines, such as whether Luke is a reliable historian, and how we know what we know historically, on April DeConick’s excellent Forbidden Gospels blog, and whether there are a wider range of genres in the Bible than many assume on Parchment and Pen.The subject is a complex one, and best illustrated first with contemporary examples,… Read more

September 29, 2007

Being a nerd is far more acceptable these days. I just watched “Chuck”, the new NBC series, which I taped on Monday when it premiered, but only managed to watch this evening. The story revolves around a member of the “Nerd Herd” tech support employees at a “Sell More” store. Although the story in some ways recalls Johnny Mnemonic, Chuck is not enhanced through any actual technological add-ons, and thus he is different from both Johnny Mnemonic and from Jamie… Read more

September 29, 2007

I’m just so glad someone finally said something! It has for a long time driven me crazy the way ads are added to a web page advertising the very viewpoint that the page is dedicated to combatting!Now the question is: what do we do about it? I’d suggest starting a movement, such as “Gathering Of Internet Nerds Growingly Annoyed by Google Ads”, but the acronym is already taken. Read more

September 28, 2007

This reflection began as a response to an event at which three of my colleagues presented three different perspectives on the topic of despair. My colleague in religion, Chad Bauman, made a wonderful presentation about the four noble truths of Buddhism as well as the book of Job and the issues of despair and inexplicable suffering in a monotheistic context. Another colleague of ours mentioned during the question time afterwards that he has always found the book of Job problematic,… Read more

September 28, 2007

I apologize for the somewhat lengthy title for this new movement (“Group Of Intellectuals Negating Godless Atomism + Generic Atheism”), and for the fact that it fails to produce an acronym. (Really, it doesn’t, don’t try). Earlier attempts to find a shorter name, such as Showing Atomism To Answer Nothing, also failed to produce an acceptable acronym. But the name is not what is important, but what our movement stands for. All around the world, children are being indoctrinated with… Read more

September 28, 2007

In a recent post I directed readers to the many scientific papers on the web site of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. These illustrate the vibrancy of many scientific fields, including evolutionary biology.In discussions on the Uncommon Descent blog, on the other hand (where it was refreshing to have William Dembski himself acknowledge up front that he does not believe in common descent), there is a close-knit community of people who declare that evolution is a dead… Read more

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