Dave's Mormon Inquiry Weblog
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  Tuesday, March 02, 2004

Selections in a post at A Soft Answer from a review of Prof. Kathleen Flake's new book The Politics of American Religious Identity: The Seating of Senator Reed Smoot, Mormon Apostle (UNC Press, 2004).  She argues that the whole affair was a chapter in American religious history, and that Reed Smoot was the central figure in a key incident in the growth of religious tolerance in the United States.  I don't imagine he felt that way at the time, but it's a nice way to look at things. 11:48:43 PM      

Interesting post with this title at Christus Victor, linking to an article of that name by Stanley Kurtz.  It suggests a link between the decline of conventional marriage in Scandanavia and liberalized marriage laws there, including same-sex marriage.  Sample: The lesson of the Scandanavian experience is that even de facto same-sex marriage undermines marriage.  Interesting reading, appealing to a natural (or unnatural, depending on your point of view) experiment.  Kind of nice to see an empirical context for an argument on this topic. 11:24:15 PM      

Cronaca has a short post entitled Early California Seafarers.  Based on evidence from the Channel Islands (off the California coast), people in North America were voyaging by sea some 8,000 years ago, boosting a theory that some of the continent's first settlers arrived there by boat.  Too early for Nephites, though, even Jaredites (besides, these early Californians travelled on top of the water).  Ancient people knew boats and water travel, but navigation was always a problem.  That's why they hugged the coast, navigating by familiar landmarks.  They were always coasters, not ocean voyagers.  Except the Polynesians, who followed island chains using wind, waves, and stars. 10:56:50 PM      

Yes, it's even worse with pictures--go see Apes, Lies, and Ms. Henn, a little comic strip trying to teach grade school kids they know more than their science teachers (thanks to Pharyngula, a biology blog, for the link).  Okay, I'll admit the cream of the science class doesn't end up teaching fifth graders and some of the kids probably DO know more than their teachers, but it's a nice showcase for the Creation Science mentality that fights its real battles contaminating high school curricula and hoodwinking believing college students.  Let's hear it for BYU, a Christian university that doesn't teach Creation Science.  At least until FARMS finds it lurking in some ancient piece of Egyptian papyrus.

Pharyngula also linked to this Creation Science spoof site that's so good you really have to read to catch it.  Somebody put a lot of work into this one. 9:57:43 PM      

An interesting post with this title at Movable Theoblogical (link on my sidebar), talking about how right-wing Evangelical and fundamentalist religion, which has come to define Christianity in America, has alienated the Democratic half of the country, at least to the extent of avoiding Christian associations in public discourse.  Environmentally minded Dems especially seem to feel no connection. 9:38:33 PM      

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Last update: 3/10/2004; 10:07:44 PM.