February 2, 2011
Sorry for the relative lack of activity around here lately. One reason is that I’ve been busy with some side jobs. I’ve also been reading a lot, and I do mean a lot. I’ve read over 20 books in the past two weeks. Recovering from a surgery provides ample time. Another reason is that I discovered an old friend; no, not booze, I’m talking about old-fashioned pen and paper. Up until a few years ago, I wrote exclusively on that medium. I would fill notebook after notebook of notes, snippets, stories, rants and whatever else came to mind. While I’m not going to get all high-and-mighty and go on a, “real writers use pen and paper” crusade, I will say there are very distinct differences between analog and digital medium, and I suggest that writers get the best of both worlds.
That said, in lieu of a “real post,” here are some interesting links I’ve come across in the past two weeks:
Courtesy of Victor Reppert, Archaeology and the Bible, parts 1 and 2. Part 2 was probably the single most persuasive rebuttal I’ve read to those who make variants of the claim, “Archaeology has falsified the Bible.”
Richard S. Hess, Ph.D., reviews Kenneth Kitchen, On the Reliability of the Old Testament.
In my experience, most of the comments at Debunking Christianity amount to partisan atheist rubbish, but a few commenters stand out from the crowd by having something intelligent and non-vitriolic to say. Adam Lewis is one of them, and he recently wrote on Why Religion Is Persuasive.
On a Google search for Psalm 34:8, I found this blog, which contained a link to this conversion story, which I think we all should read. The author tackles the problems of varying Bible interpretation with a critical mind, and details his experience with an in-depth chronology of his own personal beliefs. I found it fascinating, and, I’d imagine any (a)theist can find something of value therein.
Here is a link to the writings of the Apostolic Fathers.
Though it wasn’t to my article, John W. Loftus finally gave me a response that doesn’t amount to handwaving or snide denigration, here. Kudos to him. I have yet to respond, because, well… Debunking Christianity is, like I said: more casualties of the culture-wars as opposed to intelligent discussion. I’ll get back over there, though, as soon as I get in the mood. For me, commenting there is not unlike cleaning a toilet: something I’d rather not do, but, at the same time, something good to do.
From the Cornell University Library: “…fine-tuning data does not support the multiverse hypotheses.” Bayesian Considerations on the Multiverse Explanation of Cosmic Fine-Tuning [PDF 188KB].
Along these lines, the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy ponders Teleological Arguments for God’s Existence.
From Rick E. Berger, A Critical Examination of the Blackmore Psi Experiments.
Lastly, I enjoyed the following admonition from Karla.