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Faith is By Choice An LDS Faith Blog

Sic Et Non

Education Week, Religious Liberty, and More

8 hours 15 minutes ago
    I’ll be speaking at Brigham Young University’s annual Education Week this year, starting on Tuesday and continuing on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday.  I’m speaking each of those days from 12:30 PM to 1:25 PM, in the ballroom of the Wilkinson Student Center.   My theme is “Pivotal Figures in Religion and Politics in […]
Dan Peterson

A few more thoughts on “scientism”

12 hours 46 minutes ago
    Unorganized notes from another as yet incomplete manuscript:   C. S. Lewis: “Let us suppose a race of people whose peculiar mental limitation compels them to regard a painting as something made up of little coloured dots which have been put together like a mosaic. Studying the brushwork of a great painting, through […]
Dan Peterson

Some items on the character of Joseph Smith

13 hours 16 minutes ago
    From an uncompleted manuscript:   The second president of the Church, Joseph Smith’s immediate successor, was Brigham Young. Recalling his own early experiences with Joseph Smith, he remarked, Who can say aught against Joseph Smith? I do not think that a man lives upon the earth that knew him any better than I […]
Dan Peterson

A memorable person

1 day 7 hours ago
    I’ve had a number of very interesting and quite unexpected experiences over my absurdly long life and, at some point, I need to write them up.  Among those experiences, I’ve been privileged to meet a number of quite fascinating people, including such folks as the last shah of Iran, the radio operator for […]
Dan Peterson

Two Christian Arabic Books

1 day 11 hours ago
    Many, many years ago, when I was still a graduate student at UCLA, my friend S. Kent Brown introduced me to Father Samir Khalil Samir SJ, an eminent authority on Christian Arabic literature, during some academic meetings in Claremont, California.  Father Samir encouraged me — and that’s putting it rather mildly — to devote […]
Dan Peterson

A Note on Theology, Galileo, and Change in Science

1 day 13 hours ago
    Dr. Melik: This morning for breakfast he requested something called “wheat germ, organic honey and tiger’s milk.”  Dr. Aragon: [chuckling] Oh, yes. Those are the charmed substances that some years ago were thought to contain life-preserving properties.  Dr. Melik: You mean there was no deep fat? No steak or cream pies or . […]
Dan Peterson

A Significant Event in Late September

2 days 8 hours ago
    We had dinner with Royal Skousen and his wife this evening, and I was surprised and delighted to be able to be able to leaf through Royal’s next publication:  He had with him the massive proof copies of The Nature of the Original Language, parts 3 and 4 of volume 3 of the […]
Dan Peterson

Worm Holes, Mini-Moons, Dark Matter, and Very Old Galaxies (Yawn!)

2 days 15 hours ago
    This little video is really interesting, and it takes only about nine minutes to watch:   “Wormholes Explained: How They Would Break Spacetime”   Will we someday be able to travel throughout the universe using such channels?  Or is that just a pipe dream?  Could this be the way that divine beings move […]
Dan Peterson

Seek, first, to understand

2 days 16 hours ago
    Often called “The Prayer of St. Francis,” it almost certainly didn’t originate with him.  Its first known appearance was actually in French, in December 1912.  He lived from 1181/1182 AD to 3 October 1226.  But it’s still wonderful:   Lord, make me an instrument of your peace. Where there is hatred, let me […]
Dan Peterson

The O-So-Mysterious Interpreter Foundation!

3 days 11 hours ago
    On Friday, it being Friday, a new article appeared in Interpreter: A Journal of Mormon Scripture:   “Missourian Efforts to Extradite Joseph Smith and the Ethics of Governor Thomas Reynolds of Missouri”   Happy weekend!   ***   But what about the journal’s title?   Within the past day or two, President Russell […]
Dan Peterson

A Pleasant Memory and the Horror in New Mexico

3 days 14 hours ago
    Many, many years ago — on 6 November 1996 — back long before I was as decrepit and washed up as I now am, I presented a little item on “The Concept of God in Islam and Mormonism” to a gathering on the campus of Brigham Young University that was co-sponsored by BYU’s Muslim […]
Dan Peterson

“Once in a saintly passion”

3 days 17 hours ago
    For those who may have missed the obituary for Richard L. Anderson — whom I consider a friend and a faithful-academic hero — and/or for those who might be interested in attending his funeral services, here’s a link:   I paid hasty and inadequate tribute to him on this blog and […]
Dan Peterson

Mathematics, Water, and Global Warming

4 days 7 hours ago
    All our surest statements about the nature of the world are mathematical statements, yet we do not know what mathematics “is” . . . and so we find that we have adapted a religion strikingly similar to many traditional faiths. Change “mathematics” to “God” and little else might seem to change. The problem […]
Dan Peterson

“The Metaphysics of ‘The Healing'”

4 days 12 hours ago
    Another of the books that appeared in Brigham Young University’s Islamic Translation Series (which, before the whole thing came to an end, blossomed and expanded into the broader Middle Eastern Texts Initiative) was the rather massive The Metaphysics of The Healing, written by Ibn Sīnā (or, in the popular and familiar English corruption of […]
Dan Peterson

“Mysteries of the Middle Ages”

4 days 12 hours ago
    First off, I readily admit that Mysteries of the Middle Ages, the title of a book by Thomas Cahill, is a bit hokey.  It’s reminiscent of the worst kind of “documentary” on the History Channel or the Discovery Channel, or, even, of those billboards you still sometimes find along rural roads (“Astonishing Caves […]
Dan Peterson

Unforeseen Complexities in Darwin’s Tree of Life

5 days 7 hours ago
    Life cannot have had a random beginning. . . .  The trouble is that there are about 2000 enzymes, and the chance of obtaining them all in a random trial is only one part in 10^40,000, an outrageously small probability that could not be faced even if the whole universe consisted of organic […]
Dan Peterson

“Lord, it is good for us to be here”

5 days 9 hours ago
    From time to time, when I worship with my home congregation or, as tonight, visit with good friends (some of whom will shortly be leaving to serve others overseas for a couple of years) and share, among other things, “talk of poems and prayers and promises and things that we believe in,” it […]
Dan Peterson

A Modern Apostle

5 days 17 hours ago
    I was happy to see this:   “Apostle Speaks to Japanese Youth in Their Language at Face to Face Event:  Latter-day Saint youth from all over Japan participated in the first regional Face to Face broadcast in their country on Wednesday, August 15, 2018.”   For what it’s worth, I first met Elder […]
Dan Peterson

Places to avoid next week, as well as in October and November

5 days 19 hours ago
    For anybody who plans on attending BYU’s Education Week this year, which runs from 21 August through 24 August, I’ll be speaking from 12:30 PM to 1:25 PM in the ballroom of the Wilkinson Student Center, on the theme of “Pivotal Figures in Religion and Politics in Early Christianity.”  This is actually a […]
Dan Peterson
5 hours 19 minutes ago
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