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Sic Et Non

In and above the real Pandora

3 weeks 4 days ago
    We spent much of Thursday in the northern Queensland rainforest just inland from Cairns, including the Skyrail Rainforest Cableway.  And I took quite a few notes while we were there.  I’ll summarize a few of them, beginning with this entry.   It’s a remarkable place.  Signage in the rainforest indicates that the filmmaker […]
Dan Peterson

A last alert for this coming Tuesday night

3 weeks 4 days ago
    As in other places around the globe, Australia is seeing some very impassioned debates about the status of Islam and Muslims, about whether Islam is compatible with Western notions of freedom, democracy, religious tolerance, and human rights.  In just the interval since I’ve been here, for instance, a state funeral was held for […]
Dan Peterson

Held Captive in Cairns

3 weeks 4 days ago
    Travel and its vicissitudes being what they are, we drove this afternoon from Port Douglas to Cairns in order to catch our early evening flight back down to Sydney, but our flight was canceled.  Major dust storms in the Sydney area have wrought havoc with air traffic.  So, instead, we’re spending the evening […]
Dan Peterson

In praise of excommunication

3 weeks 5 days ago
    Well, the click-bait headline worked.  Gotcha.   First of all, let me make it plain that I’m saddened by excommunications.  I don’t, as one very small pod of my somewhat unhinged personal critics pretend to believe, rejoice when people are excommunicated.  More precisely, though, I’m saddened by the acts of immorality, the abandonment […]
Dan Peterson

“Round as an orange, my lad!”

3 weeks 5 days ago
    We were in an area of the rainforest of northern Queensland today that, according to what we read and although we never saw them, has a resident family of tree-kangaroos.  We looked.  Too bad we missed them.  (Apparently most people do.  They’re somewhat reclusive, and hard to spot.)   In a similar fashion, […]
Dan Peterson

Compulsory tithing?

3 weeks 5 days ago
    A few days ago, after I had posted an item about plans to build a new high-rise office building in Salt Lake City, one disaffected former Latter-day Saint managed to turn the discussion—as almost always happens in such cases—to the damnably wicked biblical expectation and practice of tithing, reaffirmed in latter-day revelation.   […]
Dan Peterson

“Deluded by worldly life”

3 weeks 5 days ago
    Further notes on which I’m working:   Here are some additional examples from the Qur’an of the opposition between “this world” or “this present world,” on the one hand, and, on the other, “the hereafter” (as at 10:24, 70; 12:101; 13:34; 14:27; 16:30, 41, 109, 122), between “the life of this world” and […]
Dan Peterson

A note on the flora and fauna of Australia

3 weeks 6 days ago
    Some additional notes for myself about Australia, with no claim whatever to originality.  This time, I focus on biology:   Australia is very old and very remote.  It is also, as I remarked yesterday, relatively low-lying.  To sum up, it’s the oldest continent, and the flattest, and, overall, the driest.  Most of it […]
Dan Peterson

My mercenary ways

3 weeks 6 days ago
    Since the question is occasionally asked of me, and since it’s recently generated a weird bit of excitement among a small handful of my more obsessive and implacable critics, I think I’ll explain here what it requires to get me to come and do a fireside.  However, I’ll leave untreated the even more […]
Dan Peterson

Many “worlds” in the Qur’an

3 weeks 6 days ago
      Over the next while, I’m going to be assembling into meaningful units some of the notes that I’ve taken from a careful recent reading of the Qur’an (on which, by the way and coincidentally, I’m currently teaching a class).  Where I cite an English translation, the version that I’m citing is the […]
Dan Peterson

Notes on the natural history of Australia

4 weeks ago
    This is, I believe, my fourth trip to Australia.  (Maybe my third.  I’ve been trying to recall.  In any case, it’s been a while since I was last here.)   It’s an interesting place.  In one sense, for somebody from the western United States, it feels very comfortable and at-home.  In another sense, […]
Dan Peterson

What’s in a name?

4 weeks ago
    Knowing what to call the region often known as the “Middle East” is surprisingly difficult.   What is it east of?  Morocco, which many people consider Middle Eastern, is west of France.  And why should Paris and London be considered the center of the world, anyway?   And what is “the West?”  Is […]
Dan Peterson

Who funds my sybaritic lifestyle?

4 weeks ago
    Early this morning, we flew northward to Cairns, and then drove from Cairns to Port Douglas.  We are, now, much closer to New Guinea than we are to Sydney or even to Brisbane.  This is an area of Australia that I’ve never seen before.  It’s tropical, and ot reminds us quite a bit […]
Dan Peterson

The Church does good around the world

4 weeks 1 day ago
    One of the great things about the Interpreter Foundation is the great people who have come together to make it work.   On Friday evening, for example, my wife and I went out to dinner at Provo’s Bombay House with a couple whom we really like.  The wife, who was formerly a secretary […]
Dan Peterson

On the ground in New South Wales

1 month ago
    It’s often said that, as we age, the time seems to go by faster and faster.   I can testify from personal experience, having long since entered extreme geezerhood, that this is true.  Not infrequently, I’ll be thinking about a film from five or ten years back only to look it up and […]
Dan Peterson

Elvis, as well as President Nelson

1 month ago
    “Apostles of Jesus Christ Use Instagram to Share Savior’s Message”   By the way, I really like President Nelson’s forthrightness:   “This is a global ministry. We are prophets for the whole world, to all of God’s children—not just the members of the Church.”   I can’t recall a president of the Church […]
Dan Peterson

Sigh. It’s the Middle East.

1 month ago
    “A Saudi Murder Becomes a Gift to Iran: The assassination of a journalist has further hurt the Trump administration’s frail strategy of buddying with Saudi Arabia to restrain Iran’s expanding influence.”   The Middle East is a difficult neighborhood.  And, as any reader of the Bible should already know, it always has been.   […]
Dan Peterson

Unrecognized but lethal predators

1 month ago
    We all suspect that crocodiles, much as they may genuinely like us, are not actually our friends.  And there’s reason for the suspicion:  Evidently, they eat roughly a thousand people each year.  (Even taking into account the allegations of my most hostile critics, who like to ascribe to me just about every form […]
Dan Peterson

A Christian, a physicist, and a historian of science

1 month ago
    I’ve long had it in my mind to read the works of the eminent Hungarian-American historian and philosopher of science Stanley Jaki (1924-2009), a priest who held doctorates in both physics and theology.  What little I’ve read from him has been very good.  So I looked for a bibliography of his writings, and […]
Dan Peterson
Checked
1 hour 33 minutes ago
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