Category Archives: Music

The metaphysics of jazz drumming

I want today to take another tilt at the question just how theory-laden our view of the world is, following a frustrating conversation with an atheist at BioLogos (whose posts were “liked” by a good number of non-atheists there). He just couldn’t see why his naturalist view of a “Nature” containing only the “material” governed by “laws” and “chance” (metaphysical concepts all) is not simply self-evident truth, into which one might somehow be able to fit a God if there were enough evidence. The “evidence”, of course, would have to be investigated using the methodological naturalism that excludes God a priori, and in the extraordinarily unlikely situation that it jumped … Continue reading

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Devolution revisited

The Intelligent Design biochemist Michael Behe not long ago critiqued laboratory evidence for evolution, based on instances of loss of function, as “devolution”, and as a result brought the disdain of many Evolutionary Creationists down on himself because, you see, “there is no such thing as devolution in science.” One poster at BioLogos escalated that by saying that nearly all ID scientists believe (equally stupidly) in devolution. We’ll pass by that entirely baseless hyperbole as typical of the man, but Behe did use the word, so let’s think about it.

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RIP Trevor Sandford

I’ve just heard of the death of my old university friend, Trevor Sandford, who in those days was part of the best Christian acoustic group around, Water into Wine Band. He first introduced himself by finding his way into my room when I was out, and leaving a cryptic note signed “Rover T”, but before long I met him and found he wanted me to play support to WIWB, or as it was then called the even more unwieldy Bill Thorp’s Water into Wine Band, on a tour of the Cambridge college common rooms and bars. And so I ended up being Jon Garvey’s Water into Newcastle Brown Ale Band … Continue reading

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What we did on our holidays

Little time to blog this week, as I was doing marathon production sessions of the material recorded by my band The Rock Section last week. It’s a covers band, so nothing original to hear, but I was quite please with the results. A sample here, and if any one’s still interested after that, full tracks here. Back to biology in the near future.

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RIP Dave Swarbrick

The demise of this great traditional fiddler was not unexpected, after a long history of emphysema and a double lung transplant, but still sad.

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Easter Holiday

Well, if I failed to get published on theology and biology in the academic world, I had a minor success in the Cambridge alumni magazine CAM this week with a piece based on an article I sent them last year on the Cambridge University Folk Club, which at one stage, back in the age of dinosaurs, I ran. You can find the magazine online here, and we’re on page 39. Oh yes – and since we’ll all be busy over the weekend, remember that Christ has died; Christ is risen; Christ will come again.

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When creation is not good enough

I found myself astonished by the sheer scale, and immediacy, of media outpouring over the death on Monday of David Bowie. I don’t know what it was like elsewhere in the world, but from the first “We heard half an hour ago…” on the non pop-culture BBC Radio 4, pretty well the whole radio output of the day seemed to be replaced by every available media person’s appreciations, however trivial. Here was the BBC news: “I’m sorry to have to cut short your thoughts on tomorrow’s national doctors’ strike, but you’ll appreciate that in the light of David Bowie’s death this specially extended programme…”

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Pentadactyly Live

News being slow at the moment, I thought that for light relief I’d link to a video someone’s posted on YouTube of part of the set I did at Lyme Regis Folk Festival last weekend. After all, the song Pentadactyly arose from discussions about the pentadactyl limb both here and on BioLogos.

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Facing the Music

On a light note, I just want to record a small personal record over the weekend. I played music at 5 gigs and in 4 different genres on 7 different instruments within one 24 hour period. Nearly 8 hours on stage in all. Not bad for an old man. Lucky I had that early-morning pizza before the start. It somehow reminds me of Phil Collins playing Live-Aid on both sides of the Atlantic.

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RIP John Renbourn

Thursday saw the passing of one of the great acoustic guitarists of the world – and one of the formative influences on my more limited technique.

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