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Category Archives: God
Clarity. A must-view, short video from Vox surveying some of the political science data on authoritarianism and its relation to Trump. A really excellent summary.
SPRING God gave me a rose And God is love. The rose made me Sneeze. I have Asthma. The rose Landed Me in hospital. That can’t be right If God is love And gave me a … Continue reading
I don’t like the phrase “not my president.” I understand the sentiment, but I think it would be a more accurate reflection of that sentiment to say, “not my America.” Trump’s America is not my America in exactly the same … Continue reading
In a recent article at The New York Times (“Why We Believe Obvious Untruths”), two cognitive scientists, Philip Fernbach and Steven Sloman, claim that dispersed knowledge is a ready and overriding explanation for why people profess belief in foolish things … Continue reading
If liberal democracy is to survive this time of testing, we’re all agreed that Trump needs to be, at minimum, checked, but in terms of how to do that effectively, well, that’s a very difficult question. So far, the complexity … Continue reading
Information. Physicist Brian Greene, in his book The Hidden Reality (Knopf 2011), gives a three word definition of information: “Information answers questions” (252). Curiously, in physics you can give a three word definition for entropy as well: entropy measures questions. (That is, … Continue reading
Well, I’m searching for something that reflects accurately the emotion evoked in me by this election result. When the past year was ongoing, it was the ending of Hitchcock’s The Birds that seemed the apt metaphor for what I was … Continue reading
Samantha Bee here is being funny–and yet her theory is troublesome because so plausible. Maybe Trump can’t read. Or, at least, not well. Are we really about to elect–in the 21st century, and to the highest office in the land–a … Continue reading
An interesting floor mosaic at the University of Notre Dame memorializing the evolutionary biologist who coined the familiar saying, “Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution.” The image of the double helix of DNA recalls the … Continue reading
Hmm. Moloch? A face mask without a self? Ever bigger guys pressing down on the littlest guy? There’s something Kafkaesque about this “stairway to nowhere.” An Escher painting catching real humans? It recalls a trilobite or exoskeleton–or perhaps an ant … Continue reading
__________ In the video above, from Harvard Medical School, bacterial evolution is on display in real time. At the end of the video, there’s even an overlay of the the branching family trees that developed in the experiment. That’s the … Continue reading
71 years ago, the Allies liberated the Nazi death camps, and, aghast in the knowledge of what had transpired in them, there seemed to be a fresh collective resolve globally to “never again” generate the sorts of conditions that might … Continue reading
Some Christians claim that Allah represents the Mark of the Beast; that the Greek letters for 666 resemble the way Allah is written in Arabic. I’m no fan of Islam, but demonizing Islam as Satanic and prophesied as the cipher … Continue reading
Father Zossima and the Grand Inquisitor meet the 21st century in real time. A yoga studio infused with a strong caffeine dose of old-school mysticism and guru deference has turned (surprise!) cultish. Here is an especially amusing paragraph from the … Continue reading
Past and future vision. The ability of mental flight through time–to remember the past and model alternative futures–is our evolutionary superpower as a species. These past and forward-looking capacities help us navigate the world really, really well. We are the … Continue reading
The two selves in the Bhagavad Gita. One of the most enduring pieces of world literature is the Bhagavad Gita, and one of the keys to reading the Gita is to understand its doctrine of the two selves. In the Gita the two selves are: … Continue reading
Nietzsche Wonka: After The Historicist And Linguistic Turns In Philosophy, Can We Go On Speaking? And If So, Of What?
Once you’ve been exposed to Wittgenstein, Derrida, Richard Rorty, Stephen Greenblatt, and Nietzsche (“truth is a mobile army of metaphors,” etc.), and have absorbed the consequences of their insights surrounding the quest for certainty, is it coherent to any longer … Continue reading
The Frustrated Penis vs. The Frustrated Imagination: Thomistic Natural Law Sets up a War Between Body and Brain, Countryside and City
If you’re a Thomistic-style theorist of natural law, you look at an organ like the penis and say that, obviously, its form and function are directed to reproduction, and thus, if you put a condom on it, you are (and … Continue reading
From an evolutionary perspective, why did nature give us free will? I say it never did. It’s the wrong question. We’ve never had free will. The beneficial adaptation that nature gave us is not free will, but a wide-ranging imagination, … Continue reading
The religious logic spoof below is actually pretty darn revealing. Monotheists really do make orientation to truth paramount, but their epistemology is flawed (pointing to books, tradition, or pontiffs for sources of genuine discovery and direction). Thank goodness for the … Continue reading