Do Some People Use Smartphones To Make Telephone Calls?

HT Marc Cortez The image, even if facetious, still encourages me to think that I am right to focus increasingly in my teaching on matters of digital and information literacy. If you don’t know how to track down reliable information, you won’t be effective in proving someone wrong – or God forbid, learn that you [Read More…]

Doctor Who: Paradise Towers

I find myself in two minds about the episode “Paradise Towers.” It certainly gives impressive expression to the Seventh Doctor’s persona. But the plot of the story seems in many respects to bring things down to the level of a relatively unconvincing children’s show. And while Doctor Who has always been a show for children, [Read More…]

…Why Is There Still Dust?

Inspired by a comment shared on Jerry Coyne’s blog. Presumably most will grasp that this is satire of the foolish question sometimes asked by opponents of mainstream science, “If humans evolved from monkeys, then why are there still monkeys?” Obviously the same ridiculous question could be asked of young-earth creationists and anyone else who takes [Read More…]

Bart Ehrman on the Existence of a Historical Jesus

Preparing for the appearance of his new book, Did Jesus Exist?: The Historical Argument for Jesus of Nazareth, which is now in stock on Amazon.com, Bart Ehrman has published an article on the topic in the Huffington Post. His conclusion is “Whether we like it or not, Jesus certainly existed.” To see how he gets [Read More…]

Matthew Morgenstern reviews Charles Häberl’s The Neo-Mandaic Dialect of Khorramshahr

Here’s the conclusion from a review of the book The Neo-Mandaic Dialect of Khorramshahr by my co-worker on the Mandaean Book of John translation project, Charles Häberl: In summary, we have before us an outstanding contribution to the study of one of the rarest Semitic languages spoken today. Häberl is to be thanked for having [Read More…]

The Doctor vs. Scotty

This is a follow-up to my motivational poster Doctor Who/Star Wars mash-up of the Doctor and Leonard “Bones” McCoy. If you join in one of these memes, please do share a link to your creation here! [Read more…]

Doctor Who: Time and the Rani

Sylvester McCoy is the Doctor that I have seen the least of, as of my writing this. Very few episodes with Sylvester McCoy as the Doctor had made it to America during the peak of my teenage fandom. This is not surprising, as they were very recent of just airing in the U.K. at that [Read More…]

Dammit, Jim, I’m the Doctor

In thinking about a talk I’m going to be giving on religion and sci-fi, in which I’m planning on comparing the treatment of religion in Star Trek and Doctor Who, I found myself brainstorming about possible humorous titles, which led me to make this mash-up: One could do a whole meme series, alluding to all [Read More…]

Why Be an Atheist Rather Than a Pantheist?

I keep coming back to this question. Richard Dawkins, in his book The God Delusion, says that pantheism is just “sexed-up atheism” (p.40). I have never been able to grasp why someone who believes this would choose atheism over pantheism. Seriously, if you had a choice between anything, and that same thing sexed-up, which would [Read More…]

Happy St. Padme Day!

Via George Takei on Facebook [Read more…]