July 11, 2007

Last night I finally watched Ghost in the Shell 2 – Innocence. As also with the first Ghost in the Shell movie, this one was packed with action, amazing animation, philosophical questions and quotations from the Bible. It is great to be able to watch such things and know I am doing research! The theme of the movie obviously ties in with my current work on artificial intelligence and religion. I’ve also read some of Philip K. Dick’s philosophical writings… Read more

July 10, 2007

I realized that it might be easier for some if I actually post the video itself on my blog, and it seemed about time I learned how to do that, so here it is! Read more

July 10, 2007

The world we live in is full of mysteries. When we envisage the self-replicating molecules that drive life on this planet, we wonder how they could have arisen, and we seek explanations. Likewise with the very fact than anything exists at all, we wonder why there is something rather than nothing.To say “God did it” is not an explanation. To suggest that an omnipresent, omnipotent, omniscient being is somehow self explanatory and a way to eliminate mystery is misguided. This… Read more

July 9, 2007

I just had to share this item from the Pharyngula blog. The rock that the creationism museum in Kentucky is based on is full of fossils, which obviously support the scientific understanding of life and its history. The blog links to a YouTube video about the rocks and the fossils they contain. Read more

July 9, 2007

I was recently asked to provide a quotation that could serve as a “motto” in connection with an interview I gave to a Romanian journalist. I did not have one readily prepared and ready to go, but I quickly decided upon the following:Man’s knowledge and mastery of the world have advanced to such an extent through science and technology that it is no longer possible for anyone seriously to hold the New Testament view of the world – in fact,… Read more

July 8, 2007

Today in my Sunday school class (which has been studying John’s Gospel) we reached the beginning of John chapter 8, the story of the woman caught in adultery. The story itself is one of the most famous stories about Jesus there is. Yet among New Testament scholars, the story is famous for other reasons.The textual evidence, although strongly suggestive that the first 11 verses of John 8 did not originally belong to this Gospel, are intriguing. The earliest manuscripts omit… Read more

July 8, 2007

Although I am a Protestant, I must confess that the idea of ‘sola Scriptura’, of ‘Scripture alone’, doesn’t work. It could perhaps theoretically work in Islam, where one can (assuming one doesn’t take a critical approach to the text) assume the unity of the book as a given. In the case of the Bible, such assumptions are impossible. In order to speak of ‘Scripture’, one has to accept the authority not only of those Jews and Christians who made the… Read more

July 7, 2007

I have a reasonable amount of sympathy for the film and record companies who want us to buy their products. I’d be delighted if, rather than reading the electronic version of my book on NetLibrary or some similar database, all those interested in my book would go buy a copy. The truth is, however, that books like mine (a revised version of my doctoral dissertation) are of specialty interest, and most people who read it will borrow it from a… Read more

July 6, 2007

I finished watching the movie A Scanner Darkly based on the novel by Philip K. Dick. I also have a book with collected philosophical and other essays by Dick checked out from the library, in connection with my ongoing research on religion and artificial intelligence. Although AI doesn’t really feature in A Scanner Darkly, religion certainly does, beginning with the title, which alludes to the Biblical image of seeing in a glass or mirror darkly (which of course made sense… Read more

July 6, 2007

Fans of the current Battlestar Galactica series will recognize the title of this blog entry as the first words of dialogue spoken on the miniseries that started it. The question is asked by an evolved cylon who poses the challenge to a human armistice officer. It was only today that the full significance of these words struck me, for some reason. The question is presumably one that had, at some point in the past, been asked by humans of the… Read more

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