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Faith is By Choice An LDS Faith Blog

Sic Et Non

Mormon Voices

1 month 1 week ago
    FairMormon, Book of Mormon Central, and the Interpreter Foundation are not competitors.  We’re friends in a common cause.  We cooperate.  We’re interconnected.  Every year for a very long time, for example, at least one of the speakers at the annual FairMormon conference came from the old FARMS, the Foundation for Ancient Research and […]
Dan Peterson

Some urgent news, along with some very old news

1 month 1 week ago
      It’s rather late notice — I’ve been very busy over the past few days — but I’ll be speaking in West Jordan, Utah, tonight (Thursday, 15 March 2018) at 7 PM, on the topic of “The Temple and Ascent to God.”  My remarks will focus largely but not quite entirely on the […]
Dan Peterson

Death and Consciousness

1 month 1 week ago
    I’ve been reading Erasing Death: The Science That is Rewriting the Boundaries Between Life and Death (2013) by the Anglo-American specialist on cardiac-arrest resuscitation Sam Parnia, M.D., Ph.D.  A former fellow in critical care medicine at the Weill Cornell Medical Center in New York City, he was, at the time he wrote this […]
Dan Peterson

Stephen Hawking, RIP

1 month 1 week ago
    Stephen Hawking, one of the foremost scientists of the past half century — and almost certainly the most prominent of them in the public mind — has died.   Astonishingly, and against all odds and most medical predictions, he made it to the respectable age of 76.   I trust that, by now, […]
Dan Peterson

Some notes on one of my heroes

1 month 1 week ago
    Continuing to move very slowly ahead:   How was the Islamic world able to maintain so much unity in the midst of political chaos and breakdown? Perhaps the crucial factor was the existence of the international class that we have called the ulama. These religious authorities, whom I have com­pared to Jewish rabbis, […]
Dan Peterson

For Interpreter

1 month 1 week ago
    On Saturday night, my wife and I attended a solid performance by the Utah Opera of Ruggero Leoncavallo’s Pagliacci, coupled with a hilarious performance (the best I’ve ever seen) of Giacomo Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi.  It’s a great thing to have such a good opera company in the state.  One of the many things […]
Dan Peterson

“Shadows of Other Worlds” (Part 3)

1 month 1 week ago
    Some final notes from  Scientific American titled “Shadows of Other Worlds,”  Scientific American (March 2018), by Professor Joshua N. Winn, an astrophysicist at Princeton University:   The Kepler satellite, which will shortly be retired, has distinct limitations in identifying and characterizing exoplanets.  For one thing, the transit signal of an exoplanet can tell us a planet’s […]
Dan Peterson

What characterizes the “Middle Periods” of Islamic history?

1 month 1 week ago
    Still moving forward with the manuscript:   Overall, it can be said that the characteristic of the Middle Peri­ods of Islamic history is political disintegration. Constantly shifting political boundaries made for instability and unceasing conflict. And the distinguishing mark of what Hodgson calls the Early Middle Period is, with the obvious exception of […]
Dan Peterson

“Only the fool will say in his heart that he is glad that it is true.”

1 month 1 week ago
    The late Sterling M. McMurrin (1914-1996), whom I met on a few occasions, was a professor of philosophy at the University of Utah who also served as the Commissioner of Education for the United States during the administration of President John F. Kennedy.  (Since then, the office has been raised to full cabinet rank as the Secretary […]
Dan Peterson

“Shadows of Other Worlds” (Part 2)

1 month 1 week ago
    Professor Joshua N. Winn, an astrophysicist at Princeton University, has an interesting article in the current (March 2018) issue of Scientific American titled “Shadows of Other Worlds.”    I shared a few notes from it on Saturday.  Here are some further items:   The Kepler satellite, which has contributed hugely to identifying exoplanets, is about to retire. […]
Dan Peterson

“Party Kings” and Crusaders

1 month 1 week ago
    Into chapter six of my manuscript:   At the same time, in distant Spain, the surviving Umayyad caliphate, which had endured for so long after the Abbasid over­throw of the Umayyads in every other part of the empire, also col­lapsed. Muslim Spain, lovingly known to the Arabs as Andalusia, became a collection of […]
Dan Peterson

On Science and the Church

1 month 1 week ago
    According to the conception of geologists the earth passed through ages of preparation, to us unmeasured and immeasurable, during which countless generations of plants and animals existed in great variety and profusion and gave in part the very substance of their bodies to help form certain strata which are still existent as such. […]
Dan Peterson

Everyone Else Makes Such Lonely Heavens

1 month 1 week ago
    Finishing up with the thought that I began with yesterday, from Fiona Givens and Terryl Givens, The Christ Who Heals: How God Restored the Truth that Saves Us, pages 105:   The tide did not turn decisively against a generous and forgiving God until a few centuries after Origen.  “Since about the fifth or perhaps […]
Dan Peterson

Decline and Response

1 month 1 week ago
    My manuscript now begins to treat what I call, following Marshall G. S. Hodgson, the “Early Middle Period,” which will last from AD 945 to AD 1258:   The so-called “Shiite Century” that followed the close of the High Caliphal period actually lasted for a little more than a hundred years, from 945 […]
Dan Peterson

A School of Souls

1 month 1 week ago
    Oh, what the heck.  The book is so good that I’m going to share just a little bit more with you from Fiona Givens and Terryl Givens, The Christ Who Heals: How God Restored the Truth that Saves Us, pages 104-105:   No loving parent would propose a plan that shuts the door of […]
Dan Peterson

“Shadows of Other Worlds” (Part 1)

1 month 1 week ago
    Joshua N. Winn, an astrophysicist at Princeton University (who, according to the principle first discovered and announced by certain virulent anti-Mormons, must be a Latter-day Saint because only Latter-day Saints like Russell M. Nelson, Dallin H. Oaks, Henry B. Eyring, John F. Kennedy, Gerald R. Ford, and Professor Joshua N. Winn use middle […]
Dan Peterson

The End of the High Caliphal Period

1 month 1 week ago
    Moving on with the manuscript:   I have tried, by means of this rather lengthy digression into word origins and word borrowings, to give some idea of the variety and richness of Islamic civilization at its peak. It was a remarkable human achieve­ment. Yet, like other human creations, the great Abbasid Arab empire […]
Dan Peterson

Above our heads, beneath our feet, and beneath our dignity

1 month 1 week ago
    There’s even a bit of pretty good scientist humor here:   “Hawaii: Where Evolution Can Be Surprisingly Predictable”   I was happy to see the article mention the late Harvard evolutionary biologist Stephen Jay Gould’s famous comment that, if you replayed life’s tape—that is, if you rewound time and allowed evolution to play out […]
Dan Peterson

Beauty and Belief

1 month 2 weeks ago
    I’ve had a busy few days.  That’s why I’m a bit behind on my regular blogging.   Among the high points, though:  On Wednesday, my wife and I enjoyed an evening performance — of his music, in an autobiographical vein — with the film and musical theater composer Alan Mencken.  Thoroughly enjoyable.   […]
Dan Peterson

What the West Owes the East (Part 16)

1 month 2 weeks ago
    A few more words from my ongoing manuscript about Islam for a Latter-day Saint audience:   In music, tambourine comes to us from Arabic, as does the name of that most Western-seeming, most apparently Renaissance European of all instruments, the lute. Our word cable somehow managed to substitute a “c” for the “h” […]
Dan Peterson
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4 hours 59 minutes ago
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