Month: May 2017

Culture, Science Fact of the Day

Random thoughts and links 5-29-2017

Does Capitalism Hurt Women? The article answers no. I think the abbreviated explanation is satisfactory. What might actually be leading to apparent increases in autism? I am aware of no scientific evidence for the connection between autism and vaccines, but all that bluster might be a bit of a distraction from several contributing factors that …

Culture

The Best Article I’ve read in the WSJ

In an unusual occurrence, I found a pretty good WSJ article today in which the author argues that nationalism (what I’ve called friendly-competition nationalism or neighborly concerned nationalism in private conversations) might solve some of the problems with poorly assimilating Islamic cultures around the world: To wit, for most people everywhere, humanity is “too large and …

Christianity, Culture

Does Religion Cause All Those Wars?

Reposted from my old blog. This post was meant to be a brief response to Sam de Britto’s short article on the relationship of God-belief to war. It mostly became a rambling essay spring boarding from his thoughts. Atheists are goofuses Sam de Britto posted a piece in the Sydney Morning Herald about God and …

Film, Culture

The Dark Knight Trilogy and Intertextuality: Stallone, Dumas, Hugo, and Dickens

I’ve always loved intertexuality. I especially love the interplay between books and film. Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight Trilogy is a great example. The movies have many resonances. For instance, the trilogy is intentionally based upon Dickens’ Tale of Two Cities. Most obviously, when Commissioner Gordon reads from the book: It is a far, far better …

Ethics, Christianity, Culture, Philosophy

Atheists and Toleration

  John Locke famously argued that atheism/atheists ought not be tolerated in a religiously free society: Lastly, those are not at all to be tolerated who deny the being of a God. Promises, covenants, and oaths, which are the bonds of human society, can have no hold upon an atheist. The taking away of God, …

Culture

Clown World: laws against child abuse are insensitive to people from abusive cultures

In Minnesota, citizens are concerned about the increasing prevalence of female genital mutilation amongst new Minnesota residents. So, a bill was passed to prohibit the practice, but a lot of folks aren’t happy. Republicans, reliably afraid of looking bad for making democrats unhappy had this to say: Now, the author of the Senate version is …

Mindset

Francis Bacon and the virtues which tend to fortune

Here’s a favorite section of mind from Bacon’s essays: It cannot be denied, but outward accidents conduce much to fortune; favor, opportunity, death of others, occasion fitting virtue. But chiefly, the mould of a man’s fortune is in his own hands. Faber quisque fortunæ suæ [Every one is the architect of his own fortune], saith …

Contemporary Trends, Christianity, Education

Why I don’t resent the Walmart crowd

One of the most startling elements of modern evangelical academia is how disdainful many of them are of the average parishioner. I sensed this happening to me in seminary and once I realized it, I started to see it in books. Then Twitter was invented and I started following more of these scholars to whom I …

Health, Science Fact of the Day

Bad News for Weight Gain: There is a point of no return

In report published last July researchers concluded that under the typical conditions of care for obese and overweight individuals that: “current nonsurgical obesity treatment strategies are failing to achieve sustained weight loss for the majority of obese patients. For patients with a BMI of 30 or greater kilograms per meters squared, maintaining weight loss was …

Science Fact of the Day

Science fact of the day: No such thing as healthy obesity

While I have my questions about the BMI scale and its ability to predict health for those with low body-fat percentages, it has proven a remarkable predictor of health in the general population (low body-fat people are rare in the United States, after all). Anyway, in a study published in 2016, the authors concluded that: Low …