RSSCategory: American Culture

God’s attractive nuisance: the Tree of Knowledge

May 12, 2006 | By | 70 Replies More
God’s attractive nuisance:  the Tree of Knowledge

Imagine for a moment that you go into your neighbor’s home one day and discover a large homemade bomb sitting in the middle of his living room.  “Don’t touch that.” your neighbor tells you, “If you do, the bomb will explode and our entire block will be destroyed.”  How would you react?  If you have […]

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Why the creationist argument that “irreducible complexity” disproves evolution is utter nonsense

May 10, 2006 | By | 26 Replies More
Why the creationist argument that “irreducible complexity” disproves evolution is utter nonsense

Irreducible complexity refers to a system (e.g., a living organism) in which the various parts work together to produce a given function, such that the function will not occur if any of the parts is removed.  Creationists claim irreducible complexity disproves evolution. Evolution refers to the natural adaptation of a species to its environment over time, […]

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The Same Only Different?

May 10, 2006 | By | 1 Reply More
The Same Only Different?

I’m something of an amateur historian.  I find most rewarding research that shows how someone–an individual, a community, a movement–got to where they ended up.  It’s the most instructive part of studying history, because you can begin to see how things relate, how one incident, taken in isolation, may make no sense at all, but […]

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Bush’s “Wag The Dog” presidency

May 9, 2006 | By | 2 Replies More
Bush’s “Wag The Dog” presidency

Further to Sarah’s post about films that help make sense of George Bush’s presidency, another film that should be required viewing for anyone trying to make sense of Bush’s America is the movie, “Wag The Dog.”  As entertainment, it’s a disappointing movie; but, as political commentary, it utterly anticipates George Bush’s presidency. The movie, released in […]

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Is God merely an imaginary friend for adults?

May 4, 2006 | By | 39 Replies More
Is God merely an imaginary friend for adults?

Earlier this week, I was watching one of the Christian-content religious channels on television (there are two such ‘church channels’ in my city) and I was listening to the televangelist say that “even if you have no friends in this world, God will be your friend.”  Immediately after hearing these words, I was struck by […]

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Wither Thou Goest…

May 3, 2006 | By | 2 Replies More
Wither Thou Goest…

Since the trial in Dover, PA over Intelligent Design, it must be obvious hat nothing was really settled other than a specific legal question.  I think it would be a good idea for every one interested in this issue to find and read the decision handed down by the judge.  But the furor shall continue.  […]

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Benjamin Franklin’s essay about Native Americans

April 30, 2006 | By | 3 Replies More
Benjamin Franklin’s essay about Native Americans

Erich’s post about George Washington and not prejudging the opposition reminded me of a superb essay written by Benjamin Franklin about Native Americans, titled: “Remarks Concerning the Savages of North America” (1784). The essay is reproduced below and I think it illustrates why Mr. Franklin is considered one of America’s most important individuals. ====================================== Savages […]

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Balancing Moral Dilemmas on Top of Our Everyday STUFF

April 22, 2006 | By | 1 Reply More
Balancing Moral Dilemmas on Top of Our Everyday STUFF

Interesting missive, that moral rules, dirty secret, thing.  Got me thinking.  I am one of those people with too much stuff.  I’m also one of those people who would just as soon give money or time to kids on the other side of the world as pay my own bills, but that’s a different problem […]

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Framing the abortion debate (part 1): What is the missing premise?

April 20, 2006 | By | 1 Reply More
Framing the abortion debate (part 1):  What is the missing premise?

A logical argument, known as a syllogism, looks like this:      PREMISE 1:  All dogs have wet noses.      PREMISE 2:  Max is a dog.      CONCLUSION:  Max has a wet nose. Easy, right?  Now, let’s see what happens when we remove one of the premises:      PREMISE 1:  All dogs have wet noses.      […]

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