“Science flies men to the moon. Religion flies planes into buildings.”

“Science flies men to the moon. Religion flies planes into buildings.” September 12, 2023


Szekely near Moab
Sunrise at Dead Horse Point, by Pedro Szekely  (Wikimedia Commons public domain image)


With friends — unaccountably, I do have friends — my wife and I spent almost all of today at and around Dead Horse Point State Park and Canyonlands National Park.  There are places in my adopted home state that, I’m compelled to say, are absolutely glorious.  We finished our excursion off with simple but surprisingly good food at the Moab Diner.


Wow zone!
A view, by Clément Bardot, of the Colorado River from Dead Horse Point

(Wikimedia Commons public domain photograph)


The website of the Interpreter Foundation continues to show flickering signs of life!  Today, for instance, these new items went up:

Interpreter Radio Show — September 3, 2023

For the 3 September 2023 iteration of the Interpreter Radio Show, Terry Hutchinson served as the moderator.  He was accompanied by Spencer Kraus, Brent Schmidt, and Hales Swift, along with special guest Don Bradley. Their conversation focused on Come, Follow Me New Testament lesson 40, Zina Huntington and polygamy, and the upcoming FAIR Conference.  An archived recording of that conversation is now available to you, at no charge.

The “New Testament in Context” portion of this particular show, for the Come, Follow Me New Testament lesson 40, “Walk in the Spirit” covering Galatians, will also be posted separately on Tuesday, 19 September 2023.

Interpreter Radio Show — August 27, 2023

Martin Tanner was entirely on his own for the 27 August 2023 episode of the Interpreter Radio Show.  But he was fully qualified for the task:  He manages the Interpreter Radio Show overall, and maintains its rotating roster of participants — it was at his initiative that the Interpreter Foundation launched its radio program in the first place — and he is currently in his thirty-fifth year as the host of KSL Radio’s Religion Today Show, which is broadcast twice each Sunday.

During the 27 August 2023 installment of the Interpreter Radio Show — which has now been freed from commercial and other interruptions, archived, and made available at no charge for your edification and listening pleasure — he discussed Come, Follow Me New Testament lesson 39 as well as critical comments contending that the Restored Gospel was not necessary.

The “New Testament in Context” portion of this show, for the Come, Follow Me New Testament lesson 39, “God Loveth a Cheerful Giver,” covering 2 Corinthians 8-13, has been posted separately:

The New Testament in Context Lesson 39: “God Loveth a Cheerful Giver” : 2 Corinthians 8-13

The Interpreter Radio Show can be heard live and unrehearsed on Sunday evenings each week, from 7 to 9 PM (MDT), on K-TALK, AM 1640.  If (like me) you don’t live in the Salt Lake Valley, you can probably best listen to it live on the Internet, at ktalkmedia.com.

Also up today on the website of the Interpreter Foundation:  As he’s been doing for years now, Jonn Claybaugh has provided yet another set of his concise but helpful notes for students and teachers of the Sunday School curriculum of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints:  Come, Follow Me — New Testament Study and Teaching Helps: Lesson 39, September 18 — 24: 2 Corinthians 8–13 — “God Loveth a Cheerful Giver”

Canyonlands NP Tobias Alt
In Canyonlands National Park, Utah   (Wikimedia Commons public domain photo by Tobias Alt)

In response to my blog entry (“A late thought on a memorable day”), published yesterday, about the terrorist attacks of 11 September 2001, a long-time and vocally atheistic commenter here shared this venerable slogan with us:

“Science flies men to the moon. Religion flies planes into buildings.”

For anybody who wants to evaluate the borrowed witticism above, though (hint: it doesn’t even begin to withstand informed scrutiny; several of the 9-11 hijackers apparently spent their last night of mortality at a strip club), I recommend two important books as first steps on the road to relevant wisdom.  The first of them was written by Robert Pape, a distinguished professor of political science at the University of Chicago, while the second is by Graham Fuller, who. among other things, formerly served as the station chief for the Central Intelligence Agency in Kabul, Afghanistan, and then as the vice chairman of the National Intelligence Council at the CIA:

  • Robert Pape, Dying to Win: The Strategic Logic of Suicide Terrorism (2006) — “One of the world’s foremost authorities on the subject of suicide terrorism, the esteemed political scientist Robert Pape has created the first comprehensive database of every suicide terrorist attack in the world from 1980 until today. In Dying to Win, Pape provides a groundbreaking demographic profile of modern suicide terrorist attackers — and his findings offer a powerful counterpoint to what we now accept as conventional wisdom on the topic. He also examines the early practitioners of this guerrilla tactic, including the ancient Jewish Zealots, who in A.D. 66 wished to liberate themselves from Roman occupation; the Ismaili Assassins, a Shi’ite Muslim sect in northern Iran in the eleventh and twelfth centuries; World War II’s Japanese kamikaze pilots, three thousand of whom crashed into U.S. naval vessels; and the Tamil Tigers in Sri Lanka, a secular, Marxist-Leninist organization responsible for more suicide terrorist attacks than any other group in history. Dying to Win is a startling work of analysis grounded in fact, not politics.”
  • Graham E. Fuller, A World without Islam (2010) — “What if Islam never existed? To some, it’s a comforting thought: no clash of civilizations, no holy wars, no terrorists. But what if that weren’t the case at all? In A World without Islam, Graham E. Fuller guides us along an illuminating journey through history, geopolitics, and religion to investigate whether or not Islam is indeed the cause of some of today’s most emotional and important international crises. Fuller takes us from the birth of Islam to the fall of Rome to the rise and collapse of the Ottoman Empire. He examines and analyzes the roots of terrorism, the conflict in Israel, and the role of Islam in supporting and energizing the anti-imperial struggle. Provocatively, he finds that contrary to the claims of many politicians, thinkers, theologians, and soldiers, a world without Islam might not look vastly different from what we know today.”

I won’t even begin to mention the deep religious motivations of such scientists as Nicolas Copernicus, Sir Isaac Newton, and Johannes Kepler, whose work in the relevant fields of astronomy, physics, and mathematics constitutes the very foundation upon which the “science [rests that] flies men to the moon.”


Nice, no?
A view from the Green River Overlook in Canyonlands National Park, Utah
(Wikimedia Commons public domain image by Phil Armitage)


Posted from Moab, Utah



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