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Category Archives: Science
How God works in the world is often regarded (and is indeed) a deep philosophical question. But it actually matters in real life, which is why the Bible says a lot about it. Because it doesn’t do so in a systematic analytical way, but through narrative, poetry, historiography and so on, its importance is often missed by those academics who like systematics.
I had higher than usual expectations whilst I was awaiting my free review copy of this 2022 book by Prof. Oisín MacAmadáin (Expert), not least because the author’s Dublin agent turns out to be related to me by a marriage in Queen Elizabeth I’s time. How unlikely is that? (Well, not that unlikely, since 20 generations ago both of us have 1 million ancestors, around the total population of Ireland at that time, though the fact that both ancestors were Archbishops of Armagh might change the odds a little). Still, that human connection with the author certainly warmed me to the book in advance.
James Tour, as many of you will know, is a noted chemist who wears his Christian faith on his sleeve, unashamedly engaging in apologetics alongside his groundbreaking research, particularly that involving nano-particles.
I’m about three quarters of the way through a book, the reading of which was prompted by a brief exchange here, and a slightly longer one by e-mail, with GD, whose professional expertise is as a fuel chemist. The book, The Frozen Climate Views of the IPPC (Clintel Foundation, Amsterdam, 2023), is an analysis of the IPCC’s latest report, AR6, by a range of “questioning” scientists including those who have been expert reviewers and contributors to IPCC reports. Such analysis is essential because – sobering thought – almost nobody in the world has read AR6, or any of the other IPCC reports, in their entirety.
As I anticipated, our Harvest Festival had a significant section on failure of harvests in poor countries and how we need to help, in this case focusing on Uganda – a country where, but for providential circumstances, I might have worked. I voiced my reservations about the anthropocentrism of harvest thanksgiving nowadays in my previous blog, and I won’t labour the point. What I will mention, though, is another near-universal theme in the kind of video we were shown – that it is the poor who are already feeling the brunt of climate change, witness the increasing droughts being experienced by farmers in Uganda.
One throw-away line in a video for the excellent Christian course Discipleship Exploredcaught my attention. The narrator, speaking of God’s care for us, said that “each drop of rain has its intended target.”
I eventually worked through Joshua Farris’s The Creation of Self, as mentioned recently, and have to say I felt it improved towards the end.
Here is an interesting discussion between journalist Glenn Greenwald and Larry Sanger, co-founder of Wikipedia, on how the latter has become little more than a crude propaganda platform. Sanger has been putting this message out for several years, but like most truth now, a majority of people still have no idea that Wikipedia is anything other than an unbiased source of information. Even earlier this year, or perhaps last, responding to some such accusation of bias, the anchor of The Hill opined that whilst Facebook is unreliable, Wikipedia usually gets it right. Wrong, when the subject is controversial. Greenwald’s disillusion came firstly from seeing how his own Wikipedia entry gradually … Continue reading
We left the last blog post with a simple “toolkit” from Genesis 1 which, whilst it may not “define” man in the way Aquinas sought to do, certainly describes him theologically in a way that enables us to interrogate the archaeological record for biblically human origins.
Let’s start our exploration by considering the scant information Genesis contains on what it took to be a human being “in the beginning.”