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Tag Archives: language
I’m thinking about factive verbs this morning in relation to such things as global warming, God’s existence, evolution, the future of the stock market, etc. ESTABLISH, for example, is a very strong, emphatic verb, as in, “I’ve established the truth … Continue reading
Blaise Pascal once wrote someone the following: “I have made this letter longer, because I have not had the time to make it shorter.” Today we might say that Pascal gave his reader, not the short version of his thought, … Continue reading
For being an early and vigorous defender of the theory of evolution by natural selection against its critics, 19th century biologist Julian Huxley became known as “Darwin’s bulldog.” In the late 20th and early 21st century, the sinewy and quick-witted … Continue reading
If you’re an atheist and have concluded that free will doesn’t exist, where does that leave praise and shame? Atheist Jerry Coyne, who does not believe humans have free will, suggests that it leaves praise and shame in the dust: … Continue reading
If you’re inclined to believe that your dog or cat has thoughts, but lacks a sophisticated vocal language for communicating them, Harvard psychologist Steven Pinker agrees with you. He argues that language isn’t, strictly speaking, necessary for thought. Interesting. ___
. Thomas Aquinas thought that vegetables and animals have souls. According to him, the soul of the vegetable—its matter and essential form—is to take in nutrients, and the soul of the animal is to enjoy access to the senses and to move. But … Continue reading
. A color engraving, from 1814, with this exchange: ‘My sweet honey, I hope you are to be let with the Lodgins!’ ‘No, sir, I am to be let alone.’
A plenitude is something or someone completely full of it (whatever it happens to be). And so the question arises: is God best defined as a plenitude, as when David Hart calls God “an absolute plenitude of actuality”? In other words, is … Continue reading
I have two questions. Here’s my first: if a crumb from a cookie falls to the kitchen table and breaks into four pieces, do you now have one cookie crumb divided by four, or four cookie crumbs? Here’s my second … Continue reading
Once you acknowledge (as I do) that the universe appears, paradoxically, as either self-created or always existent, and that it consists of atoms and the void and nothing else, then there is nothing in that universe that can tell you, as … Continue reading
“I wonder if you wonder.” Great layers of inuendo and connotation in an exchange of wits between Barbara Stanwyck and Jimmy Stewart in the film noir classic, Double Indemnity (1944): And here’s another great example of insinuation in a different genre:
The Daniel Dennett deepity slide that Jerry Coyne took a picture of here is one that I wrote into my notebook (I was at the same conference). A deepity, according to Dennett, “is a proposition that seems to be profound … Continue reading
How language shapes the way we think. How the Internet is impacting our writing.
Pat Boone has given us yet another compelling reason to oppose gay marriage: Webster’s Dictionary! I noticed this powerful use of logic by Pat Boone today in a World Net Daily editorial that he penned (or, at least, word processed): Not just the … Continue reading
Not Out of Mesopotamia: The New York Times Today Reports that Scientists Contradict the Bible, and Locate the “Garden of Eden” in Either West or East Africa
The Bible’s book of Genesis puts the first man and the first woman (Adam and Eve) in a garden called Eden, and claims that this garden was located along the Tigris and Euphrates rivers in Mesopotamia (modern day Iraq). But the New York Times … Continue reading
Whether or not the source for H1N1 was a Mexican pig farm (and this is by no means certain), the implication that this virus is somehow a “Mexican flu” and should be called Mexican flu borders on the racist, and carries … Continue reading