Latest Posts

‘Forgetfulness in the learners’ souls’

A most worthy piece in The New Atlantis by Matthew B. Crawford, “The Computerized Academy,” examines some of the implications of computerization and technological advance on the traditional liberal education. Among the important trends that Crawford observes is the application of a consumer/producer relationship model between student and teacher. Continue Reading...

The Scientific Study of Consciousness

An article posted today at LiveScience explores the problems facing scientists who attempt to explain human consciousness in terms of human disciplines like physics or biology. According to the story, “Roger Penrose, a mathematical physicist at Oxford University, believes that if a ‘theory of everything’ is ever developed in physics to explain all the known phenomena in the universe, it should at least partially account for consciousness.” Consciousness studies is become a hot topic, along with areas like string theory: “No longer the sole purview of philosophers and mystics, consciousness is now attracting the attention of scientists from across a variety of different fields, each, it seems, with their own theories about what consciousness is and how it arises from the brain.” The narrow modern definition of science as referring only to the study those things occuring in the natural world limits the field of inquiry to an extent that makes spiritual or non-physical things necessarily inexplicable. Continue Reading...

Faith and Judging

In the weeks that have passed since the announcement of the nomination of John Roberts to serve as an Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court, an old debate has moved into the forefront once again: can a person with deeply held religious beliefs (in Judge Roberts’ case, a devout Catholic) hold a high political or judicial office and still abide by the Constitution? Continue Reading...

The Orange and the Green

This review in the latest issue of Books & Culture by John Copeland Nagle, associate dean for Faculty Research and professor at the Notre Dame Law School, reflects on a book on the environmental history of China, by Mark Elvin. Continue Reading...

A Little Heat Now, or a Lot Later?

Acton senior fellow Marvin Olasky writes about two examples of churches placing the needs of Christians and evangelism in the developing world above their own congregational comforts. In the first piece, Olasky discusses Mount Zion United Methodist Church just outside of Baltimore. Continue Reading...

Is Anyone Listening?

In a column in today’s Washington Times, Arnaud de Borchgrave looks at the growing gap between executive compensation and the pay of just about everyone else. He quotes a Wall Street Journal study showing that in 2004 the median salary and bonus for CEOs soared 14.5 percent, while paychecks for salaried employees averaged a 3.4 percent increase. Continue Reading...

‘They picked on the wrong Armenian!’

Check out this Seattle Weekly article, detailing the experience of Armen Yousoufian, who sought public disclosure of records in 1997 relating to “the proposed new Seahawks stadium, now called Qwest Field, which was built largely with public money.” When faced with government foot-dragging in release of the records, “Instead of giving up, Yousoufian was energized by the rejections. Continue Reading...

Aces High or Low?

If this isn’t a great example of power corrupting, I don’t know what is: see this Reuters report on an encomium to leader Kim Jong-Il on a North Korean website. Among Kim’s remarkable talents is his accomplishment of a “feat unmatched in the annals of professional golf by shooting 11 holes-in-one on the first round he ever played.” Update: He did it with one arm tied behind his back and blindfolded, while chewing gum. Continue Reading...

Tolerant Evangelism

The abstract from an article in the latest issue of Dutch Crossing: A Journal of Low Countries, Volume 28, numbers 1/2 (Summer/Winter 2004), published by the Association for Low Countires Studies in Great Britain and Ireland: Edward Dutton, “Tolerant Evangelism. Continue Reading...