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Monthly Archives: December 2014
Is it coming?
Imagine an island off the coast of a continent. Two birds from the continent–a male and a female–get swept up by a storm and find themselves stranded on this island. They go on to mate and a new species of … Continue reading
A New Golden Age? The Empty Soul Revs Up, Getting Ever Better at Gobbling Things Into Its Seemingly Bottomless And Insatiable Abyss, And We Call It Prosperity
Some good news. We are basically living in the most peaceful and prosperous moment in human history. Ever. Here’s Fraser Nelson, editor of The Spectator: A study in the current issue of The Lancet shows […] Global life expectancy now … Continue reading
First, there was never a bottleneck of two people that accounts for the diversity of humans living today. Second, geneticists tell us that the diversity of contemporary humans derives from no less than 12,500 black African ancestors, 2,500 of whom … Continue reading
30 years of work on string theory without experimental verification has not deterred Columbia theoretical physicist Brian Greene. He’s still betting on string theory. Money quote from his January 2015 article in Smithsonian magazine: I’m gratified at how far we’ve … Continue reading
In our bodies, oxygen and glucose are transformed by protein machines in our cells into the molecule ATP. ATP is the bomb. It’s what stands between you and “the point of no return.” Shakespeare seems apt here (from Hamlet’s famous … Continue reading
Peak Left? Playing off the idea of peak oil, Walter Russell Mead, in The American Interest, declares this moment in Obama’s presidency to be “Peak Left” for the United States. The tide is going out for liberalism, says Mead, and we’re … Continue reading
Who Shapes and Defines the Clay, and Who Cuts the Deck of Definition? Hylomorphism, Aquinas, Sartre, and Evolution
What is hylomorphism? Hylomorphism is a term out of classical philosophy (first used by Aristotle, later picked up by Aquinas) where a designer takes raw material and uses her mind and hands to impose purpose and form on it, as … Continue reading
In Summa Contra Gentiles, Book IV, ch. 52, here’s what Thomas Aquinas says is the sufficient reason for God withdrawing and withholding his protection from the descendants of Adam and Eve, leaving them exposed to dissolution (coming apart), degeneration, death, and … Continue reading
I don’t think highly of confidence men, especially on matters of metaphysics. I’m not at all confident, for example, that everything can be reduced to physical causes, as the confidence atheist proclaims. Maybe there are two worlds–a physical and a … Continue reading
Thomas Aquinas was the Leninist of his day; he was a Party man. For Aquinas, nothing should be done without reference to The Party. All focus should be on The Party. The Party is the Trinity (Father, Son, and Holy … Continue reading
I’m an antitheist. I don’t think, on balance, that religion functions as a force for good in the 21st century. Seven reasons: Religion perpetuates women’s inequality. One element of religion that is quite bad, and that makes me an antitheist, … Continue reading
Two horses–look again– Winged, like cherubim– Watering at a marble trough, Ivy in riot about them. Reality? Silence, bones Saline, a coffin–not a trough– And a tale in the main that Had been uneven, rough, harsh. I’d have done it differently. This … Continue reading
A Bit of Advice for People Who Think They Ought to Have Others’ Approval–or God’s Approval–for What They Value
If you look around you and find that you’re the only person who values a particular thing, you need to have the self esteem to say, “It still has value for me.” And if you don’t value what others value–or what … Continue reading
God didn’t prevent the Holocaust, but we would have. And God didn’t prevent the 2004 Christmas tsunami that killed over 100,000 people, but we would have. And Nature doesn’t care if death is the engine of evolution, but we do. … Continue reading
As an agnostic, I think that both theists and atheists have reasons, some of them good, for believing what they do. It’s not just thoughtlessness or blind faith that causes someone to declare for theism or atheism. My issue is … Continue reading
Jesus came and was crucified two thousand years ago. Wasn’t that supposed to quell God’s wrath against humanity? Jesus was supposed to have gone up to heaven in a cloud with the intention of being back quickly. He’s still not … Continue reading
Since abandoning her monthly Salon gig a few years back, Camille Paglia hasn’t had much of an Internet presence, but when, beyond her book writing, she does surface, she writes thought provoking things. Here’s a bit of what Paglia recently … Continue reading
Who are you, really? Neuroscientists tell us our gut microbiome consists of 100 trillion organism with different DNA from what we inherited from our parents, and that those microbes are connected to our brains via the vagus nerve. Thus those … Continue reading