Skip to main content
Home
Faith is By Choice Striving to Build Faith in the Church of Jesus Christ

Sic Et Non

Our Egyptian bawwab, Kamal

6 days 8 hours ago
    For the last three of the four years that my wife and I lived in Ma‘adi, south of Cairo, we lived in a multi-level apartment building directly adjacent to Cairo American College.  The apartments above us occupied entire floors, and were rented by people with relatively cushy corporate or diplomatic positions.  By contrast, […]
Dan Peterson

Two near-death experiences from early Latter-day Saint history

1 week ago
    Here are a couple more stories out of Church history that are featured in my friend Brent Top’s forthcoming paper on “The Near-Death Experience: Why Latter-day Saints Are So Interested,” of which he kindly gave me a manuscript copy last week:   In 1838, Phoebe Woodruff, the wife of Mormon apostle Wilford Woodruff, […]
Dan Peterson

“Intelligent Design Wins Another Nobel Prize”

1 week ago
    LOL.  That blog title will work like catnip on a few of my online critics.   Fairly often, somebody on the internet of whom I’ve never heard will confidently and sneeringly observe that, as a certified religious fanatic and a demonstrable fundamentalist loon, I reject evolution.  Sometimes, when I gently respond that I […]
Dan Peterson

The Church in India and the Foundation on the Radio

1 week ago
    The latest installment of the bi-weekly Hamblin-Peterson column in the Deseret News has now appeared:   “The two great epics of India”   ***   In that light, or maybe even completely regardless of that light, ome of you may be interested in an interview with Dr. Taunalyn Ford Rutherford regarding “The Church […]
Dan Peterson

“Jane and Emma”

1 week ago
    It was not, so far as I could see, an auspicious opening.  Not, at least, here in Cedar City.  And I was deeply disappointed by that.   My wife and I were literally the only two people in the theater for the 9:45 PM showing of Jane and Emma.  There were at least two […]
Dan Peterson

Coming up this month at BYU

1 week 1 day ago
    The following items are mostly aimed at students.  But not entirely.  The public would be especially welcome at the evening interfaith panel on 16 October and at Hanan Munayer’s lecture on 17 October.  And I doubt that anybody would be turned away who is interested and who wants to show up, except perhaps […]
Dan Peterson

“Order and symmetry of pristine mathematical purity”

1 week 1 day ago
    Two quotations from Modern Physics and Ancient Faith, by Stephen M. Barr, a cosmologist and theoretical particle physicist at the University of Delaware:   “Science has given us new eyes that allow us to see down to the deeper roots of the world’s structure, and there all we see is order and symmetry of […]
Dan Peterson

I can’t walk away from this role

1 week 1 day ago
    New today in Interpreter: A Journal of Mormon Scripture — we’ll get the name adjusted fairly soon! — which, I’m reliably informed by someone who regularly invents and posts negative fictions about the Interpreter Foundation and about me, and who is in no position to know anything about our bank account, is in […]
Dan Peterson

Margaret Barker at BYU

1 week 2 days ago
    A last-minute and mostly too-late reminder, sent to me earlier today by my friend Jack Welch:   Margaret Barker, a Methodist scholar of Bible and Temple Studies, will present “Creation Theology, Temple, and the Environment” at BYU. Dr. Barker works with faith communities to raise awareness of pressing environmental issues such as the plight of the world’s waters. […]
Dan Peterson

A blessing that came to me from growing up in a non-academic family

1 week 2 days ago
    There were times, particularly in my early graduate school days, when I thought that my having come from a completely non-academic family had worked against me.   I have friends and colleagues, themselves with strong Ph.D.s from prestigious schools, who have fathers and grandfathers and multiple siblings with professional and academic doctorates — […]
Dan Peterson

A note on Darwinism and worldviews

1 week 2 days ago
    Notes from a manuscript that really can’t even be said, right now, to be “in progress.”  But it’s there, waiting for me to return:   Why does the public care so much about Darwinism and evolution?  Nobody becomes exercised over quantum mechanics, the role of chlorophyll in photosynthesis, or general relativity.  It is […]
Dan Peterson

“A strange part of this experience”

1 week 2 days ago
    I’ve mentioned the meeting on Tuesday afternoon in which I shared the platform with Elders Randy Funk of the Seventy and Gary Stevenson of the Twelve, as well as with Elder Robert S. Wood, an emeritus member of the Seventy, who was the moderator.  The only other non-General Authority speaker beside myself was […]
Dan Peterson

“Returning to Bethlehem: A Cultural Pilgrimage”

1 week 3 days ago
    I want to call attention to an exhibit that will shortly be opening at Brigham Young University’s Museum of Peoples and Cultures.  Those who have visited Bethlehem will find it of special interest, I think, and those who have not yet been to the city of Christ’s birth will be able, through this […]
Dan Peterson

Was Joseph Smith dictating from a (perhaps concealed) manuscript?

1 week 3 days ago
    Yet another item from an unfinished essay of mine:   Not long after speaking with his mother, Emma Smith, Joseph Smith III wrote a letter in which he summarized some of her responses to his questions. She wrote for Joseph Smith during the work of translation, as did also Reuben Hale, her brother, […]
Dan Peterson

Humility in science

1 week 4 days ago
    These unpublished notes are focused on science.  But they shouldn’t be taken as singling science out for unique censure.  All human enterprises are fallible.  Science is actually, on the whole, pretty good at correcting itself — though not quite as good as some devotees of scientism imagine.   A note on humility. There […]
Dan Peterson

A very nice afternoon in Salt Lake City

1 week 4 days ago
    I had the pleasure and the privilege of speaking to a conference of Latter-day Saint chaplains this afternoon, up in Salt Lake City.  I’ve done this two or three times before, but not for several years.  This time, it wasn’t just military chaplains, but also hospice chaplains, police chaplains, chaplains associated with the […]
Dan Peterson

“We recognize what is lovely because we have seen it somewhere else”

1 week 4 days ago
    New, from the Interpreter Foundation:   “‘Abound in Hope’: Stories of the Saints in the DR Congo, Part 6”   ***   For those who like to keep adding to their files, here are two new items.   First, for the already bulging “Utah is a provincial backwater and a Mormon-riddled hell on earth” […]
Dan Peterson

Some thoughts on demographics

1 week 5 days ago
    Demographic shrinkage of the West relative to, say, the Islamic world — and that shrinkage is dramatic — and of the more prosperous and highly educated portion within Western society relative to other classes, will have (is having) economic, political, and social effects far beyond its impact on the specific people who’re deciding not to have […]
Dan Peterson

Of Europan spiky ice spires and related matters

1 week 5 days ago
    My recent debate adversary, Dr. Michael Shermer, has a useful piece in the October issue of Scientific American:   “Why Do People Kill Themselves?  Why do people die by suicide?”   ***   This coming Friday, 12 October 2018, there will be a planetarium show at BYU under the title of “October Sky […]
Dan Peterson
Checked
3 hours 58 minutes ago
Subscribe to Sic Et Non feed