Author Archives: Jon Garvey

About Jon Garvey

Training in medicine (which was my career), social psychology and theology. Interests in most things, but especially the science-faith interface. The rest of my time, though, is spent writing, playing and recording music.

The price of slavery

Re-reading Olaudah Equiano’s Interesting Narrative I paid too little attention to a passage in which the enslaved African is negotiating the price of his manumission in the late 1760s. I noticed the human interaction involved with his generally benevolent Quaker owner (which was what Equiano intended as an author), but glossed over the actual monetary values, simply because to my modern eyes they seemed small.

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What really happened AFTER Wuhan?

I’ve just finished Sharri Markson’s excellent and thorough book on the lab leak from the Wuhan Institute of Virology, whose reality I believe she establishes beyond reasonable doubt through testimonies from whistleblowers at the lab to Mike Pompeo, Secretary of State under the last US president, as well as through examining the science of SARS-CoV-2 itself.

Posted in Medicine, Politics and sociology, Science | 1 Comment

I’m not religious, but…

It was interesting, and not totally surprising, to hear that Bishop Michael Nazir-Ali, the former Bishop of Rochester and one-time candidate for the Anglican Primacy, has given up on the Church of England and defected to Rome. His reason, as you probably guessed, is the liberal wokeness of the present C of E, and the desire to be in a church which clearly teaches the faithful the apostolic doctrine rather than fashionable intersectionality and environmentalism.

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Heavenly battles fought in England

A reader has pointed me to the blog of another retired UK doctor, who evidently shares my conviction that the current unusually disordered state of the human world has an element of the demonic to it. In fact he expressed surprise that things have deteriorated less quickly than he predicted last year. Interestingly he attributes the present easing here to the role of Christians, as opposed, sadly, to the general response of denominations and church leaders both to COVID in particular, and the rise of what James Lindsay usefully labels “Identity Marxism” in general.

Posted in Politics and sociology, Theology | 3 Comments

Can’t get no worse

This week has seen the Conservative Party Conference here, and there has been surprisingly little comment about the slogan on the wall that is intended, I suppose, to inspire farmers in the shires and the newly-won working class in the north to support Boris Johnson in these difficult times.

Posted in Politics and sociology | 4 Comments

The social psychology of oppression

Olaudah Equiano, the 18th century African slave whose autobiography became an important part of the anti-slavery movement, is in the news again. This is in part because of a “woke” introduction to a new edition of this book, and also because he was mentioned in the press as heavily featured in the National Maritime Museum’s Slavery gallery, which is to be “de-colonised,” initially in the form of notices in the gallery by the management saying how white supremacist the exhibit is.

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More reflections on Sodom

In online discussions of the recent Nature paper on Sodom a prominent strand was the disdain of survivors of the New Atheist cause for the Genesis account. In some cases this extended to dismissing the scientific article because it might seem to give credence to the fairy tale Genesis. A bit like those scientists who suppress discoveries in biology so as not to give ammunition to the creationists.

Posted in History, Science, Theology | 2 Comments

Spy v spy v spy

Tom Lehrer used to introduce his song about nuclear tests by informing audiences he had once worked at the Los Alamos testing site. “I had a job there as a spy.” When the people laughed, he added they ought to know that everyone working there had been a spy of one persuasion or another. The whole COVID thing is rapidly beginning to look rather like that, so here’s an update on the current evidence, as a kind of DIY conspiracy construction kit. In all seriousness, looking at the various established motives might help, in Sherlock Holmes fashion, to “exclude the impossible” and come closer to the truth. Or it might … Continue reading

Posted in Medicine, Politics and sociology, Science, Theology | 2 Comments

The facts behind the stats

A very short post today, simply giving this link to an important report on the admission data for a large UK NHS hospital trust. “John Dee,” a retired NHS statistician, does an in-depth analysis of the data on admissions, morbidity and deaths relating to COVID-19, and finds that what the publicly available statistics describe bears little relationship to reality. Given the “lockstep” phenomenon see across the world regarding COVID, I have little doubt simnilar things are true for non-British readers.

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Sodom goes mainstream (and Gomorrah we die?)

I’ve mentioned the excavations at Tall el-Hammam before, for example here and here, in connection with the increasingly plausible theory that this site is the biblical Sodom, with a highly unusual destruction layer from the 17th century BCE. Now, in case you’ve not noticed, a major article in Nature by a specialist group explores the destruction evidence in detail, and concludes that the most likely explanation is a Tunguska-type airburst around the year 1650 BCE.

Posted in History, Science, Theology | 6 Comments