November 30, 2005
I want to draw your attention to a comment on my previous post on Quake magazine which provides this link to a post on Caveat Lector, a blog by Alex Perkins, a friend of mine from Greek class, written in response to the discussion of this topic by Andrew and I. I very much appreciate the calm and rational tone of the post and the fact that Alex has decided to address the topic intellectually rather than emotionally. I have posted a lengthy comment on the subject there. I reccomend that all of you read Alex's original post and my...
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Christian Carnival XCVIII
Christian Carnival XCVIII is up with a link to my recent post, "Can The New Testament Be Both Influenced By Plato and Inspired by God?" There were an unprecedented number of entries this time (44, I'm told) on a variety of subjects. Check it out....
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November 29, 2005
More on Quake magazine
The Daily Pennsylvanian has published an editorial by Andrew Rennenkamp discussing Quake magazine (which I discussed previously here). As far as I can tell, they have decided not to publish Phil's letter, but I was unable to find out for certain as they do not seem to post letters to the editor online. If you look at the comments to Andrew's editorial, you will find that it is drawing quite a bit of flack, with a lot of criticism (a large percentage of it ad hominem) and relatively little support. This is, of course, typical of the attitude to sex...
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Quote of the Day
"We know that while there have been, on the one hand, able philosophers who recognized nothing except what is material in the universe, there are, on the other hand, learned and zealous theologians who, shocked at the corpuscular philosophy and not content with checking it's misuse, have felt obliged to maintain tha tthere are phenomena in nature which cannot be explained by mechanical principles; as for example, light, weight, and elastic force. But since they do not reason with exactness in this matter, and it is easy for the corpuscular philosophers to reply to them, they injure religion in trying...
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November 28, 2005
Can The New Testament Be Both Influenced By Plato and Inspired by God?
The God Or Not Blog Carnival is a cool idea. It happens once or twice a month. For each carnival, there is a theme and the carnival host selects an approximately equal number of posts on that theme by atheists and theists for inclusion. The theme of the December 12 carnival is miracles. I have dealt substantially with miracles on this blog in a general way already, and so I've decided to post on applying my views to one very specific miracle which is central to the claims of Christianity and especially Evangelicalism: the inspiration of Scripture. The story so...
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November 23, 2005
Within the last 24 hours, Philosopher's Carnival XXII has gone up at For Those of You At Home, and Christian Carnival ICVII has gone up at Thought Renewal. The Philosopher's Carnival links to my recent post on judicial activism, and the Christian Carnival is linking to "Ivy League Elitist ... Porn?". At the Philosopher's Carnival (though not at the Christian Carnival), it is customary for the host to comment on each of the posts. Ian Olasov ends his very kind remarks on my post with the line "Now all we need to do is force our elected officials to speak...
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November 21, 2005
I was checking my blog status on technorati and found a link to my post on Transliteration vs. Translation from a site in a language I couldn't even identify! It looked Germanic to me (but what do I know), so I tried to plug it into the Google translator for German to English and it didn't work. According to the author's blogger profile, he is a theology student in Sweden, so I guess the blog must be in Swedish. How fun! Only I can't read it, and I can't find a web-site with automated translation from Swedish. Amazing how the...
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Ivy League Elitist ... Porn?
This September, the Student Activities Council of the University of Pennsylvania approved the funding of Quake, Penn's "literary erotica magazine," and the first edition of the magazine was distributed on Penn's campus last Friday. Phil Gommels, the chairman of the SAC executive, is a devoted Christian and a personal friend of mine. He has publicly stated his opposition to the funding of Quake and plans to submit a letter to the editor for publication in the Daily Pennsylvanian, the campus newspaper, in the near future. I have obtained an early draft of his letter, which reads as follows: To the...
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November 16, 2005
Republican Opposition to Privacy Amendment Would Alienate Libertarians?
Today's New York Times has an Op-Ed entitled "Can I Get A Little Privacy?" in which Dan Savage argues that Democrats should propose a constitutional amendment to gaurantee a right to privacy. He goes on to claim that Republican opposition to the amendment "would alienate not only moderates, but also ... libertarian, small-government conservatives." Really? As I've discussed before, right-libertarians (and he certainly isn't talking about left-libertarians of the ACLU variety - what do the Republicans care about them?) are by definition opposed to the concept of "positive rights." Now, perhaps Savage has in mind a wording that would turn...
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November 13, 2005
Translation vs. Transliteration
Transliteration is the practice of taking words from one language, written in one alphabet, and putting them in another language with another alphabet. Bible translators often choose to transliterate words and thus create new words in English, instead of using existing English words with equivalent or nearly equivalent meanings (sometimes because they don't think English has a nearly equivalent word). According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the following words entered the English language through (or at least are first attested in) translations of part or all of the Bible ...
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November 7, 2005
Renewable Energy and the Death of Quantum Mechanics (Wishful Thinking)
From The Guardian via Slashdot: Dr. Randell Mills of Blacklight Technology claims to have invented a new energy source that supposedly works by moving the electrons of hydrogen atoms in ordinary water closer to the nucleus, thus causing a very large release of energy. Dr. Mills calls the new form of hydrogen "hydrino." The (alleged) new technology would reduce energy costs to about 24% of the coal energy, or 20% that of nuclear. There is only one problem: according to quantum mechanics, Dr. Mills's results are impossible. In standard quantum mechanics, the smallest possible distance between the electron and the...
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November 4, 2005
What is Judicial Activism?
An article in today's New York Times about the continuing Supreme Court confirmation process discusses the degree to which "ideology" should or does play a role in judicial confirmations. In the course of this discussion, both Democrats and Republicans are accused of hypocrisy in this area, and they are obviously guilty on this point. Virtually all senators claim that ideology shouldn't matter for their own party's nominees, but should for the other party's. It goes on to discuss the question of "judicial activism." The Times quotes extensively from Professor Lee Epstein of the Washington University in St. Louis School of...
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November 3, 2005
I apologize for the lack of real content on this blog recently. I've been very busy working on the Underground Shakespeare Company's
production of "Titus Andronicus"
, which opens tonight! Those of you who are at Penn (or otherwise in the Philly area) should come out and see it. Details here
. Once the show is over at the end of this weekend I should hopefully have more time for everything, including blogging (once I catch up on the school work I'm getting behind on during this show). In particular, look for a post on "Creation science" in the near future.
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November 1, 2005
It has come to my attention that comments (and probably also trackbacks) on this site have not been working (probably for a long time). They should be fixed now. If you encounter any problems, please let me know by email. Thanks....
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