Epistemology leaks

The discussion on this thread, with Lou Jost about the human particularity of reason (or the lack thereof) and with GD on the varying degrees of epistemological certainty within science, set me thinking about how in practice it’s impossible to wall off kinds of knowledge that, in theory, are quite distinct. Continue reading

Posted in Philosophy, Politics and sociology, Science | Leave a comment


Here’s a pleasure for the weekend. My church friend, whose job gives him responsibility in the preservation and management of the three ancient West Country moorlands near here, sent me this video link. Bodmin Moor, Exmoor and Dartmoor are ancient geologically (Carboniferous), archaeologically and even spiritually, way back to the end of the ice-age. Dartmoor’s wildness has meant ritual sites being preserved for millennia, and even some of the stone crosses you will see probably date back to late Roman times.

The time-lapse photography, I find, enables one to see nature with fresh eyes, familiarity usually tending to dull our sense of wonder somewhat.

Posted in Creation | 6 Comments

Powers and principalities

I’ve recently been reading a book on the theology of evil. That’s an important topic in its own right, though regulars will know my position that the physical creation is neither intrinsically nor derivatively evil (see several 2011 posts on it starting here, and I’m still waiting and hoping for the publication of a proper paper on it). In this blog, majoring on creation doctrine rather than hamartology, I tend to follow the dictum of the late great guitarist John Martyn:

I don’t wanna know about evil
I only wanna know about love

Continue reading

Posted in Creation, Theology | 22 Comments

The limitations of (excluding) natural theology

Much discussion recently amongst the usual suspects (including both BioLogos and Uncommon Descent) on a Wall Street Journal article by Eric Metaxas, suggesting an increasing support for theism from modern science. Unfortunately it’s behind a pay-wall, but seems to have majored on cosmic fine-tuning, together with support for the “rare earth” hypothesis. Continue reading

Posted in Creation, Philosophy, Science, Theology | 24 Comments

Proving divinity and divining proof

As regular readers here will know, I’m no Aquinas scholar, though I’ve found some of his thinking extremely helpful in gaining a better understanding of reality,  especially in the discussion of origins. But even I – and no doubt many of you – have some awareness of the annoyance of Thomists at the misrepresentation of Aquinas’ Second Way of demonstrating God’s existence, by some of the New Atheist writers. Ed Feser, for example, has devoted a few blog posts to it and in his book on Aquinas pours scorn on the “stock caricature”. Continue reading

Posted in History, Politics and sociology | 2 Comments

Fortune rota volvitur

Not much blogging this week, because I’ve been trying to do an arrangement for massed saxophones of Carl Orff’s totemic opening to Carmina Burana, O Fortuna. It rather tickles my fancy how it contrasts with the last arrangement I did, Driving in My Car by the ska band Madness. The idea was to have some kind of cosmic fanfare for a gig we’ve booked at the end of this year, to accompany the switch-on of our town’s Christmas lights. As you’ll hear from a clip of the original, it might require burning the whole town down to do it proper justice: Continue reading

Posted in History, Music, Philosophy, Politics and sociology, Theology | Leave a comment


Last week I was repainting our living room, work that invites having the radio on in the background. And even if it doesn’t, having paint on your hands prevents you switching the thing off. And so it was that I heard three programnmes back to back bearing on similar subjects. Continue reading

Posted in Creation, Philosophy, Theology | Leave a comment

A New Heaven and a New Earth – J Richard Middleton

I first became aware of the idea that the future hope of Christians is bodily resurrection on a renewed earth, rather than spiritual translation to heaven, back in 1971, through an unusual theological source: the British music newspaper The Melody Maker. Continue reading

Posted in Creation, Theology | 22 Comments

Western values

Dreadful events in Paris yesterday. Amidst ongoing dreadful events in the Middle East, of course. Not to forget an ongoing list of dreadful events perpetrated by anti-creation Islamists over the years. Much of the coverage today is about the need to show fortitude in the midst of attacks on the civilized values of democracy, diversity, tolerance and freedom of speech. Continue reading

Posted in Politics and sociology | 5 Comments

The bell curves! The bell curves!

After the last post it occurs to me that change ringing is quite a clear illustration of the combinatorial problem in evolution. This is, essentially, that the number of variables involved in any form of genetic evolution based on random variation is so vast that they quickly outstrip the search resources of the universe. Continue reading

Posted in Philosophy, Science | 17 Comments