Monthly Archives: September 2011

Another song of the month…

I’ve just put up another new song on my website, again for a limited period. In case anyone’s interested, that is. It’s about death and hope, I guess – set in a funeral parlour, but I lost the cheesy organ music, except for relics of a hymn in the song itself. Strings and cor anglais courtesy of my E-mu Proteus, but otherwise me.  Hope you like it. Once I’ve posted all the current songs it’ll be time to put the new album up.

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Stop the glot…

The Labour leader Ed Milliband was on the lunchtime news just now, speaking from the party conference. Because it was a prepared speech, his cultured English was punctuated by entirely gratuitous and hugely annoying  glottal stops. Now I’m not averse to this regional variation, it being common from my childhood in the ghettoes of Guildford. But those of who went to Grammar School soon lost it with most of the rest of the patois. When I use it (not infrequently) it is part of a complete linguistic package, not grafted willy nilly on to Received Pronounciation. Milliband forgets to do it when he’s answering questions. 

Posted in Politics and sociology | 1 Comment

On philosophical bias

Jerry Coyne has celebrated Amazon’s offer of a free Kindle version of James Shapiro’s Evolution: A View from the 21st Century by asking for comments on the book. (Beware: some people seem to have been charged for their download!) Coyne hasn’t read it himself, but says that Shapiro is “heterodox in his views.” He should know, since they are both at the University of Chicago. Even so, “heterodox” seems an odd choice of words.

Posted in Creation, Science, Theology | 3 Comments

And while we’re typing…

Talking about the magical abilities of time, here’s my B B Warfield quote for today, anticipating Bill Dembski by a century or so, and without the maths: “What chance cannot begin to produce in a moment, chance cannot complete the production of in an eternity… What is needed is not time, but cause. Even an eternal process cannot rid us of the necessity of seeking an adequate cause behind every change… We may cast our dice to all eternity with no more likelihood than at the first throw of ever turning up double sevens.” Warfield, of course, never adequately grasped that natural selection can slowly build up even single sevens as … Continue reading

Posted in Creation, Science, Theology | 3 Comments

Monkeys at programming

Here’s an amusing one. Virtual monkeys actually succeeding in typing the Works of Shakespeare. The monkeys type out nine letter sequences which are then ticked off if they match any sequence in Shakespeare. As mathematician Dr Ian Steward points out in the article, the methodology is a little flawed. But it doesn’t take a mathematician to see that you could do the work in no time by using one letter sequences, or “point mutations” as they are called in biology. The programmer says, “This project is my attempt to find a creative way to attain an answer without infinite resources.” You might conclude that he has more resources available than … Continue reading

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Le alto on La Niña

Finally got my alto sax back from lending it to someone, so I added an alto part to the new song. I think it sounds better – certainly more like what I originally intended.

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Interesting mystery

BioLogos is, from its statements, committed to reconciling an Evangelical Christian position with mainstream biological science – hence “bio” and “logos.” In a whole series of posts commencing here I queried why it gives so much space to the far-from mainstream Open Theism. But other interesting streams are present there too.

Posted in Creation, Science, Theology | 6 Comments

Survival (or extinction) of the fittest (or luckiest)

Darwin’s original theory caught the world’s imagination because it was simple and plausible. Hereditary variation was obvious, and natural selection could mimic the role of the intelligent livestock-breeder in ensuring that the best-adapted organisms survive. In later versions of the “Origin” he adopted the term “survival of the fittest”, which he personally viewed in Malthusian and, at times, even eugenic terms. There is no doubt that Darwin had in mind “progress” and “perfection”, as reflected in the beautifully adapted and diverse life-forms we see all around us. In a previous post I tried to show by analogy that the progress of science has complicated, and weakened, that simple view. But I … Continue reading

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The Logos in other times (2)

My last post showed the relationship of Jesus the Logos of God to the Old Testament. But Jesus was also very aware that his ministry in the flesh was of very limited duration. He spoke to his disciples about his continued support for them, despite his impending departure, and this was not in any way vague or mystical teaching.

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The Logos in other times (1)

In the last post I showed how the whole of John’s gospel (and 1 John) weave a network of ideas together to give substance to the theme of his prologue: Jesus as the Logos of God. The conclusion was that for John, Jesus the person should never be divorced from his actions and, particularly, from his teaching. It is all of them together that constitute the logos of God. Today I want to continue the theme by showing that John’s “logos” extends beyond Jesus’s personal teaching to include that of the prophets before him. The following post will extend that to the apostles after him. John sees (or rather, Jesus … Continue reading

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