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Faith is By Choice Striving to Build Faith in the Church of Jesus Christ

Sic Et Non

The benefits of eating crickets, and other cutting-edge science

3 months 1 week ago
    Two more passages from James Hannam, The Genesis of Science: How the Christian Middle Ages Launched the Scientific Revolution (Washington DC: Henry Regnery, 2011).  Hannam earned a bachelor’s degree in physics at Oxford University and a doctorate in the history of science from the University of Cambridge, and his book his a healthy antidote to […]
Dan Peterson

Two more volumes from the Islamic Translation Series

3 months 1 week ago
    The Islamic Translation Series, which I launched and led at BYU, didn’t (of course) restrict itself to publishing works by the great al-Ghazali.   Here, for example, are two more volumes that we published early on, in, respectively, 2000 and 2001:   The Philosophy of Illumination, appeared in a dual-language edition that featured […]
Dan Peterson

Interpreter’s Sixth Birthday Party

3 months 1 week ago
    The Interpreter Foundation celebrated its sixth birthday last evening with about eighty-five volunteers and guests.  The centerpiece of the evening — apart from the extravagantly delicious grilled meats prepared by Bruce Webster — was a report by Dr. Jeffrey Mark Bradshaw (one of Interpreter’s vice presidents) and his wife Kathleen of their recently-completed […]
Dan Peterson

Israel, in May 2019

3 months 1 week ago
    Several people have asked me recently whether I’m going to be leading another tour to Israel.  The answer is Yes.  I will be leading another tour to Israel in early May 2019.  I’ve led such tours at least once annually every year for . . . I dunno.  Maybe about ten years now. […]
Dan Peterson

“The Song of the Galaxies”

3 months 1 week ago
    “In the last few years astronomy has come together so that we’re now able to tell a coherent story [of how the universe began]. . . .  This story does not contradict God, but instead enlarges [the idea of] God.” Joel Primack, Fellow of the American Physical Society, Professor of Physics at the […]
Dan Peterson

The first books from METI

3 months 1 week ago
    There was a period of several years when Brigham Young University stood, in an important sense, in the forefront of work on classical Islamic philosophy and science, thanks to a project dreamed up by a BYU faculty member notorious for his perpetually seething hatred of non-Mormon religions (and, for that matter, of pretty […]
Dan Peterson

“Astro Worms”

3 months 1 week ago
    Some people, including several notable scientists puzzled by the difficult problem of the origin of life on Earth, have suggested that at least very simple living organisms might have come from extraterrestrial sources.  A few have even hypothesized what is called directed panspermia, the idea that such organisms might have been deliberately “seeded” […]
Dan Peterson

Friday at FairMormon and Interpreter

3 months 1 week ago
    I’m very pleased that the first copies of the Interpreter Foundation’s newest book — Matthew L. Bowen, Name as Key-Word: Collected Essays on Onomastic Wordplay and the Temple in Mormon Scripture (Orem, UT: The Interpreter Foundation, 2018) — have arrived from the press.  It will be a few days or weeks before they’re generally […]
Dan Peterson

Again on scientism (and science)

3 months 1 week ago
    John was silent for a few minutes. Then he began again: “But how do you know there is no Landlord?” “Christopher Columbus, Galileo, the earth is round, invention of printing, gunpowder!” exclaimed Mr. Enlightenment in such a loud voice that the pony shied. “I beg your pardon,” said John. “Eh?” said Mr. Enlightenment. […]
Dan Peterson

Regarding the supposed creation of a whole new Mormon narrative

3 months 1 week ago
    Another gratifying interview this morning, with Professor John Turner of George Mason University.  He is a gracious and articulate man; his students are lucky to have him.   Our interview with Professor Turner is part of a very conscious and deliberate effort to make our film project about the Witnesses to the Book […]
Dan Peterson

Another quick thought about scientism

3 months 1 week ago
    Aristotle famously distinguished four types of causation: efficient causation, material causation, formal causation, and final causation.   The difference between them can be illustrated very easily with reference to, say, Michelangelo’s well-known statue of the young David of the Old Testament, about to fight the giant Goliath.   Let’s take the material cause […]
Dan Peterson

Men Who Knew

3 months 1 week ago
    “I beheld with my eyes. And handled with my hands the gold plates from which it was translated. I also beheld the Interpreters.”  (Oliver Cowdery) Quoted in Reuben Miller, Diary (October 21, 1848), quoted in Richard Lyman Bushman, Joseph Smith: Rough Stone Rolling: A Cultural Biography of Mormonism’s Founder (New York City: Vintage, 2007), 78.   […]
Dan Peterson

“Muslim Identity” (Part 10)

3 months 1 week ago
    I close this little series with the tenth and final installment of an article that I originally wrote for Richard C. Martin, et al., eds.,  Encyclopedia of Islam and the Muslim World, 2 vols. (New York: Macmillan Reference USA, 2004), on the subject of “Muslim Identity”:   The Persistence of Islamic Identity Through the […]
Dan Peterson

A note on scientism

3 months 1 week ago
    I have occasionally used the term scientism here on this blog.   Some of my critics claim that, by scientism, I mean science that has come to conclusions of which I disapprove, or that conflict with my religious beliefs.   This isn’t even remotely accurate.   Mistaken science is still science.  Unpleasant scientific […]
Dan Peterson

“Muslim Identity” (Part 9)

3 months 2 weeks ago
    What follows is the ninth (and penultimate) installment of an article that I originally wrote for Richard C. Martin, et al., eds.,  Encyclopedia of Islam and the Muslim World, 2 vols. (New York: Macmillan Reference USA, 2004), on the subject of “Muslim Identity”:   Iran, the ancient Persia, resembled Egypt in its long and […]
Dan Peterson

Adolf Hitler and Charles Darwin

3 months 2 weeks ago
    The most recent iteration of the bi-weekly column that Bill Hamblin and I write for the Deseret News was published on 20 July 2018.  Titled “Was Hitler Religious?” and following Richard Weikart’s book Hitler’s Religion: The Twisted Beliefs that Drove the Third Reich (Regnery History, 2016), we set forth the claim that Hitler was neither […]
Dan Peterson

“Is Faith Compatible with Reason?”

3 months 2 weeks ago
    Another passage from Joseph Smith comes to mind as I think about our various friends and neighbors who have been, are, or soon will be serving as missionaries for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints around the world:   “A man filled with the love of God, is not content with […]
Dan Peterson

“Muslim Identity” (Part 8)

3 months 2 weeks ago
    Below is the eighth installment of an article that I wrote for Richard C. Martin, et al., eds.,  Encyclopedia of Islam and the Muslim World, 2 vols. (New York: Macmillan Reference USA, 2004), on the subject of “Muslim Identity”:   The Mughal Empire Founded in 1526 and lasting until the mid-eighteenth century, the Mughal […]
Dan Peterson

“Go ye into all the world”

3 months 2 weeks ago
    My wife and I have reached that point in our lives where many of our friends are retiring and/or serving missions.   This afternoon, we attended a sacrament meeting in another ward and stake where former neighbors of ours spoke.  It was their missionary “farewell.”  They’re heading off for two years to Berlin, […]
Dan Peterson

Kepler, Theology, and the Solar System

3 months 2 weeks ago
    I’m sometimes assured that even religious scientists don’t allow religion to infect their science.  Instead, they compartmentalize it and keep it strictly separate from their rational thinking.  And this, say such critics of religion, is the best case scenario.  More commonly, religion is the irrational enemy of science.   James Hannam’s book The […]
Dan Peterson
Checked
6 hours 7 minutes ago
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