Michael Mann, one of the chief protaganists of the climategate scandal, has an op-ed piece in the Washington Post this morning that attempts to obscure the scientific issues in a cloud of misdirection. Sometimes you should just know you’re in trouble and take the 5th.

Continue Reading December 18, 2009 at 7:25 PM 29 comments


Earlier this week the UN World Meteorological Organization published a press release that shows the bewildering subtlety of the statistical arguments that climate policy needs to consider. The press release notes that 2009 is on pace to be the 5th warmest year on record (i.e., during the industrial age) and that this decade (2000’s) will have been the warmest decade on record, with the 1990’s the second warmest decade. The press is largely reporting that this data implies global warming is continuing.


Continue Reading December 9, 2009 at 7:27 PM 6 comments


Given my recent post on the inconsistency between the professed environmental concerns of the Community of Christ and its responses to environmental issues, and given also my personal experience in giving scientific advice to government agencies, I feel an ethical obligation to comment on something being reported as “climategate”.

In the past few days, either hackers or whistleblowers have posted numerous e-mails on the web which have been obtained from Britain’s most prestigious climatic research center in East Anglia. This is the custodian of one of the most important models and climatic data sets that the international community (and the United States government) is relying upon in its plans for development of a “green economy” and greenhouse emissions regulations.

These e-mails appear to show, at minimum, a scientific establishment at East Anglia that has closed its mind to flaws in its own analyses, errors in its computer models, and to new data that might modify its previous conclusions or lead governments or citizens to support different policy preferences.

That increases the chance for policy errors. And hiding that fact from policy makers and the public opens the door for some of the most important decisions this generation of humans will make to be corrupted. I can’t imagine a more important case of possible scientific misconduct to be investigated.

Continue Reading November 24, 2009 at 9:55 PM 6 comments


I am an avid reader of Morgan Deane (see his listing in the Science and Theology section of the blogroll) who studies the Book of Mormon from the perspective of an infantryman who is also a military historian. He recently produced a tactical analysis of the battle for Nephihah (as described in Alma) that induced me to spend time last week extending Morgan’s ideas on Nephihah to the operational and strategic level. He has graciously published my comments as a guest post.

Continue Reading November 14, 2009 at 2:12 AM Leave a comment


DNA conclusively shows that America was first settled by people who were separated from the rest of humanity approximately 20,000 years ago. The founding population contained 5 human haplotypes (A,B,C,D and X) that imply clear association with a Siberian basis for the settlement. Apologists for a historical basis for the Book of Mormon have tried to find ways to refute this information.

My question is, “Why?” This is the kind of evidence an apologist would want to find to support a historical interpretation of the Book of Mormon.

Continue Reading October 16, 2009 at 6:01 PM 26 comments


TH drops in with a new post about how our elegant views of God as creator run into aesthetic reality in a contest between youthful excitement, DNA extraction, and super-glue.

TH has also created her own blog, “In Our Makers Image” — which you’ll find in the Blogatorium section of the Blogroll to the right — to dwell on more clearly theological issues. Check it out after you’re finished here.

Continue Reading October 12, 2009 at 10:07 PM 2 comments


I noted in the previous thread some doubts about whether my denomination’s response to its perceived calling was quite serious yet. Several environmental items this past week caught my attention in this regard.

Continue Reading September 26, 2009 at 7:05 PM 11 comments


Apostle Susan Skoor of the Community of Christ has just published a moving personal testamony about the sacredness of creation. All too recently, while walking along a beach on the Pacific Coast with her husband and sister, a large wave randomly rose up and swept her husband out to sea and to his death.

Continue Reading September 5, 2009 at 5:56 PM 13 comments


I hadn’t planned another post on this topic, but this is too good to pass up. New Scientist has an updated report today on the Brass Ball which I discussed in an earlier post.

Continue Reading July 29, 2009 at 3:17 PM 3 comments


As science acquires the capacity to explain more and more that we once considered miraculous — as it asserts the authority to enter what had once been ceded as the magisterium of the church — what responsibility does it have to maintain rigorous scientific standards in drawing conclusions about phenomena in the newly “occupied” territories? How does science envelop religion while still being respectful of religion, and faithful (irony intended) to science?

The question becomes significant because many people do not realize just how much territory has been “occupied” since Galileo first stood under the judgement of the church centuries ago. They are still debating evolution when the science, like some 1950’s horror monster, has already enveloped them and moved on.

Here are some things that come out of simple extrapolation of basic Western science. Simply an exercise in consciousness-raising about consciousness when you look at science on time scales well within our technological imaginings, let alone out into deep time where all of human history looks like the lifespan of a mayfly. These are among the miracles that science asserts the capacity (now or eventually) to explain. So what does science owe religion? And what does science owe science?

Continue Reading July 26, 2009 at 7:05 PM 35 comments

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