Monthly Archives: June 2012

A new web page

A good many years ago I owned an interesting guitar built by a guy called John Bailey, who made guitars for Ralph Mc Tell, Gordon Giltrap, Roy Harper, Robert Plant and other folkies and rockers on the London scene in the 60s. He also mader the first flat-back bazouki for John Pearse and a mandolin for Robin Williamson of the Incredible String Band. John died in 2011, some years after he retired to Dartmouth, and I had a chance to converse with him a year or two before. Interest in his work seems now to be picking up. So I’ve done a set of webpages documenting this particular guitar’s 44 … Continue reading

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Another way of looking at it…

For your edification, let’s attempt a synthesis of economics, free will and Intelligent Design. Maybe it will kick off a whole new academic discipline. Or maybe not.

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Fame at last

Whadya know – I have my own Wikipedia entry. Well, not my own, exactly. It’s actually in the entry about luthier John Bailey, who admittedly isn’t that well known. And it’s in a paragraph by Gordon Giltrap in which he mentions in passing that I bought a Bailey guitar off him and later sold it back. Unfortunately Gordon spells my name wrong. But you can link to it **->->->->HERE<-<-<-<-**, and use the search engine’s “find” function, and  there, about half way down … my very own encyclopedia article. What’s the betting some sad atheist comes along and deletes it?

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Money evolves too

I caught a trailer for this year’s BBC Reith lectures on the way to a rehearsal yesterday. Apparently they are being given by Niall Ferguson on “the evolutionary approach to economics.” As far as I can see from Google, they’ll be based on his book The Ascent of Money, which clearly alludes to Jacob Bronowski’s The Ascent of Man, which in turns refers to Charles’ Darwin’s The Descent of Man. None of them, it seems, depends on my first boss’s political slogan, “Sideways with the People.”

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Scripture doesn’t tell us?

In Darrel Falk’s latest intervention on Dennis Venema’s behalf at BioLogos  (#70551), he refers Bilbo back to previous statements of his (and BioLogos‘) position, especially in his replies to William Dembski, on the extent to which God directs evolution.

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Natural and supernatural

Maybe I ought to explain why I consider the combination of a naturalistic, unguided interpretation of creation and evolution, with the admission of the category of “miracle” with regard to the events of the Bible and phenomena like answered prayer, to be illogical. Broadly this is the position that seems to be held by those leading BioLogos, as far as one can ascertain and steer round their provisos and ambiguities.

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Evolution and British Christianity

Whilst desperately trying to find the final quote for my last-but-one post, I came across a file of old Christian magazines from my University years, 40 years ago. Hoarder that I am, I’ve never had the heart to throw them out, and they’re probably unique now. It was interesting to see that there were a few articles about science and faith which give a flavour of the UK Christian climate of the time – more or less confirming my memories of that era.

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How evil is the world?

“Most animals are fated to an agonising death.” “The sheer horror so frequent in the biological world has seemed to make Christianity unintelligible and even offensive.” “[A world] which seems at best to be utterly indifferent and at worst implacably malevolent.” These are all quotes from Christians dealing with a theodicy of natural evil. I have commented on natural evil before, largely on the question of whether the natural world is “fallen” and, specifically, on the history of that doctrine. See for example here,  here   and here. I have pointed out that fallen nature is a relatively recent doctrine, even before evolutionary theory raised the stakes. Nevertheless theodicy of some … Continue reading

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Robert J Russell and relevance

This is probably my last post on Cosmology – from Alpha to Omega, and is essentially a footnote.

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Robert J Russell on Augustine

As I said in my last post Russell seems to follow a common view of Augustine’s “theodicy” that derives largely from John Hick, rather than from Augustine himself. As I said there, actual citations from Augustine are not present in Russell’s book, but rather “examples” in the form of the entire Confessions and City of God. In neither of these works is Augustine pursuing a theodicy at all.

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