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

Sic Et Non

Have modern scientists pretty well nailed science down?

11 hours 48 minutes ago
    I read 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 few months ago.  Parnia is a former fellow in critical care medicine at the Weill Cornell Medical Center in New York City.  At the time that he […]
Dan Peterson

The Temple and the Gulag

13 hours 1 minute ago
    I’m pleased to announce that videos of the presentations that were given on the campus of Brigham Young University on 10 November 2018 at the fourth biennial “Temple on Mount Zion” conference are now beginning to appear on the website of the Interpreter Foundation:   These videos are, and will continue to […]
Dan Peterson

“‘Gangster-jihadist’: The profile of the Strasbourg terrorist is a familiar one” (Part 1)

1 day ago
    There is something in these little reports on the late Chérif Chekatt that is worth noting:   “‘Gangster-jihadist’: The profile of the Strasbourg terrorist is a familiar one”   “Chérif Chekatt: who is the Strasbourg shooting suspect? French police say the gunman is one of 12,000 ‘gangster-jihadists’ who exist under the radar”   Did you […]
Dan Peterson

Consciousness after brain-death?

1 day 5 hours ago
    Some time ago, I read 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

Correcting a bit of imprecision

1 day 7 hours ago
    New, on the website of the Interpreter Foundation:   “Book Notice: Becoming the Beloved Disciple“   ***   In case you missed these pieces:   “Gregory L. Smith, ‘Gossamer Thin: 2 Nephi’s “Flaxen Cord” and the Anti-Masonic Thesis'”   ***   On re-reading it, I see that I wasn’t precise enough in the first […]
Dan Peterson

Remembrance of (Weird) Things Past

1 day 7 hours ago
    It seems that CNN is in the process of producing a two-hour documentary on the Elizabeth Smart kidnapping case, to appear sometime next year on its HLN channel.   I’ve just returned from being interviewed for slightly more than an hour by CNN’s field producer on the project.   It has been literally years […]
Dan Peterson

O great mystery

2 days ago
    Our friends Jeri and Steve Covey kindly invited us to their welcoming home last night (along with quite a few others, including a number of friends) for an evening of excellent Christmas music — violinists, pianists, vocal solos, choral quartets and sextets, a harpist, along with a couple of superb dancers — followed […]
Dan Peterson

We don’t yet know

2 days 4 hours ago
    Since, to a substantial but not exhaustive degree, I am the result of Norwegian ancestry, perhaps this can count as family history:   “First Stone Age farmers in Norway ‘gave up’ after short period of time: The end of the Stone Age, or Neolithic, was a time of major change. People tried their […]
Dan Peterson

A Year-End Report

2 days 7 hours ago
    On behalf of the Interpreter Foundation and in my capacity as its highly paid chairman and president, I sent a year-end Christmas thank-you note out yesterday to the Foundation’s volunteers and donors.  Included in that letter were (among others) the following paragraphs:   The end of the year is also a time to look […]
Dan Peterson

“A hack that denies the realities of Islam”

2 days 22 hours ago
    Every once in a while, I have a disheartening encounter online with a virulently anti-Islamic person.  It’s especially discouraging when that virulently anti-Islamic person is a Latter-day Saint.   I had such an online encounter just now, this evening, with two very ardent critics of Islam.  It occurred on some sort of LDS-oriented […]
Dan Peterson

On the surprisingly modern story of a medieval Muslim

3 days 9 hours ago
    This item from the United Kingdom, kindly shared with me a few days ago by (I think!) Matthew Wheeler, would fit nicely into both your “Religion Poisons Everything” and your “All Muslims Want to Kill Us” files:   “Mosques and Muslim groups donate an amazing 4869kg to foodbank”   ***   Here is […]
Dan Peterson

My Secret

3 days 10 hours ago
    Responding to my immediately previous post, a reader asks  “What’s the secret to getting tickets every year?”   It’s a good question.  Tickets are very, very difficult to get.  There is huge demand, and there are only 21,000 seats in the Conference Center.  With three performances, that’s 63,000 people who get in.  I’m […]
Dan Peterson

A December evening in Salt Lake City

3 days 22 hours ago
    Every year, several couples from our neighborhood work hard to secure reservations and obtain concert tickets.  Then, on the agreed evening, they come up to The Roof Restaurant in the Joseph Smith Memorial Building for its excellent buffet dinner and its magnificent view of the Salt Lake Temple, followed by walking through some […]
Dan Peterson

On the Attempted “Anti-Masonic” Explanation for the Book of Mormon

4 days 10 hours ago
    New, for your enjoyment and edification (and at no charge!) in Interpreter: A Journal of Mormon Scripture:   “Gossamer Thin: 2 Nephi’s “Flaxen Cord” and the Anti-Masonic Thesis”   ***   A good piece from Jeff Lindsay, drawing on an essay by Stan Spencer:   “It Depends on What the Meaning of ‘It’ Is: Reconsidering […]
Dan Peterson

Vegan Diets, Intestinal Bacteria, Bad Behavior, Neanderthals, and the Moon

4 days 11 hours ago
    To me, the phenomena described in this article raise intriguing questions about the nature of intelligence or consciousness, but also, in a sense, about the nature of ant “personhood”:  Is the colony itself the unit of “personhood” in the case of ants, rather than the individual ant?  Would this be true of other […]
Dan Peterson

“A rose has sprung up, from a tender root”

4 days 13 hours ago
    Every year since I launched this blog, I have called attention to some of my favorite Christmas music.  So I’m doing it again.  And I’m particularly in the mood since yesterday was, without giving further details, a remarkably gratifying day.  Out of the blue and unexpectedly so.   I remember very clearly when […]
Dan Peterson

“What I Saw When I Was Dead”

5 days ago
    In 1988, only a year or so prior to his death, Sir A. J. Ayer, formerly the Wykeham Professor of Logic at the University of Oxford’s New College, a principal figure in logical empiricism and/or logical positivism and analytic philosophy more generally, as well as a quite vocal and argumentative atheist, wrote an […]
Dan Peterson

“The Nativity, according to Luke”

5 days 2 hours ago
    Bill Hamblin and I published the following column in the Deseret News on 11 December 2015:   When we think about the Nativity of Jesus, we tend to harmonize what the Gospels have to say. We often assume that the shepherds and the wise men all came on the night of Jesus’ birth, […]
Dan Peterson

Of blindness and willful blindness

5 days 11 hours ago
    The latest installment of my bi-weekly “Defending the Faith” column appeared in the print edition of the Deseret News this morning and, for the first time in quite a few weeks, went up online on the Deseret News website rather than at LDS Living:   “Exploring how ‘Faith is Not Blind'”   Speaking […]
Dan Peterson
1 hour 36 minutes ago
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