Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Links and Notes

Blogger ate my first version of this, so I've had to reconstruct it. Usually I save before I hit 'publish', but this had to be the time I forgot.

* Covenant Theological Seminary has a page devoted to free online courseware. While doing other things, I've been following along with the lectures for the Calvin's Institutes course. When I'm done, I'll probably do the same for the Christian Ethics, Francis Schaeffer, and Reformation courses.

* This video of a session from a Seminar in Historical Methods (by Professor Anne McCants) at MIT OpenCourseWare is worth watching; it uses the fantasy of Tolkien and Lewis as a springboard for talking about The Middle Ages as Fantasy.

* C. S. Lewis wrote Out of the Silent Planet in part to mock suggestions that human beings could escape the problems they've created on earth by spreading out to other planets; particularly as found in Olaf Stapledon's science fiction work, Last and First Men (at least as it was sometimes interpreted). But old absurdities die hard.

* The problem of people not claiming dead bodies from funeral homes so they don't have to pay the expenses (HT: LTA)

* Mark Chu-Carroll gives a mathematical argument against Behe's notion of irreducible complexity. My one qualm is that it proves that given a system S, you cannot in general show that there is no simpler system performing the same task; but Behe's irreducible complexity, I take it, is supposed to be showing that a simpler system cannot perform the same task while drawing from the same set of parts, and (although it's possible I'm just missing it), that doesn't seem to be addressed. But some of what he says in the comments, I think, addresses this issue. He also has a good post on Dembski's use of No Free Lunch theorems.

* "The Scientific Advocate" muses on Peter Singer's argument that all animals are equal.

* There was recently a good post and discussion of Public Sex, Privacy, and Shame at "Philosophy, etc."

* I suspected that this might be the case: the New York Times online didn't get the 'Mosquito' quite right. Cognitive Daily has a more accurate version of it. However, I can still hear it, although barely. It's still annoying.

* Bora has reposted his excellent discussion of Lysenko.

* UPDATE: Michael Pakaluk at "Dissoi Blogoi" is looking at Cicero's claim that virtue has splendor, that it shows itself and shines forth. I found his post on manifestation particularly interesting.

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