The Haitian earthquake crisis points out differences in the humanitarian approaches of the two main Restoration denominations, and, in light of the elevation of caring for the poor and needy in the list of purposes for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, raises strategic questions for the future.


Continue Reading January 26, 2010 at 5:19 PM Leave a comment


After several serious posts on climate, I thought it was time for something on climate that — I sincerely hope — proves entirely whimsical.

I remembered seeing something about ice as a teenager while reading the Doctrine and Covenants cover to cover. Sure enough, I found it in what is LDS D&C Section 133 (The Community of Christ version is numbered Section 108). So, if any of you reading this from the “north countries” should observe that the snow doesn’t entirely melt next summer as it usually does, please feel free to draw the appropriate prophetic conclusions. (And don’t buy property too near the shoreline of Salt Lake — Lake Bonneville was much larger.)

Continue Reading January 11, 2010 at 7:42 PM 6 comments


Recently I was requested by Mormon Heretic to prepare some posts about the process by which the Community of Christ adds to its Doctrine and Covenants that would be of interest to an LDS audience. MH has now posted the first of these at Mormon Matters.

UPDATE: MH has now posted a second, follow-up post on Mormon Matters that discusses some of the “headlines” from the proposed CofChrist Section 164 that will be most notable to LDS readership.

Continue Reading January 5, 2010 at 10:48 PM 10 comments


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

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