03 February 2007

First Australians

I've come across some comments of late regarding the "First Australians." Namely that they can be traced to folks in Africa from 50,000 years ago yet there is no evidence for a journey across land from Africa to Australia. Anyone have some book or article recommendations on this fascinating subject?

End Of Days

It is perplexing to me that those who view the various prophetic texts of the Bible (or those which are claimed to be prophetic that is) assume that the texts were written for some future audience. A more natural reading of the Revelation of John of Patmos in my eyes is one which assumes that the narrator of that work was writing for an audience in close proximity to his own time. That is one concerned with the Christian state of affairs in the Roman Empire. For example, and here I won't go into too much detail, there is plenty of scholarship which rather persuasively argues that the famous numbers 666 (or 616 depending on the version of the text one looks at) in fact refer to Nero and that presumably the fear was that he would come back from the world of the dead to persecute Christians once more.

02 February 2007

Books On Dover

The always excellent Panda's Thumb has a nice round-up on the slew of books being published on the Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District case.

Multiverse & Philosophy

I ran across this article titled "Multiverses and Cosmology: Philosophical Issues." I just printed it out and thus have not as yet read it. Still, the abstract makes it look like an interesting overview of the some of the pressing issues associated with the multiverse hypothesis. I'll comment on the piece once I've read it.

Dancing "Sarko"

See and control Sarko as he dances!

Of course Sarkozy may be dancing in real life, since a new poll indicates he has increased his lead over his chief rival Royal. Still a 53% to 47% split likely means that we should expect a tight race (assuming both get through the first round).

Richard Dawkins Q&A

This is approximately an hour long Q&A session (which follows a reading of Dawkin's new book The God Delusion) that takes place at Randolph-Macon Women's College. A number of the questions which are put to Dawkins come from faculty or students who attend Liberty University.

Though I love Dawkins' wit, one does feel bad for those interlocutors who get skewered by him.

01 February 2007


This piece is a bit long to quote in its entirity, so I'll simply provide a link to the sweet story of Philemon and Baucis as told by Ovid in the Metamorphoses (the translation is by A. S. Kline).

As a means to entice interest I'll relay some of the story here. Jupiter and Mercury are journeying through Asia Minor (modern day Turkey) and they conceive of a plan to test the generosity of the people there by knocking on doors while disguised as beggars. Well as you can imagine they come up empty handed at every house they visit until they come on the home of an elderly and impoverished couple named Philemon and Baucis (note that the gap between the haves and have nots in Roman society was quite wide). The couple take them in and serve them as fine as meal as their meagre resources allow. Of course the Gods are pleased by this act of selflessness and...

The rest is for you to discover if you so desire. Enjoy.