God does not die on the day when we cease to believe in a personal deity, but we die on the day when our lives cease to be illumined by the steady radiance, renewed daily, of a wonder, the source of which is beyond all reason.
-- Dag Hammarskjold
Le coeur á ses raisons, que le raison ne connait point.
-- Blaise Pascal

Essays on various topics

This page is intended as a repository of my essays, and a spur for me to write. I hope you will find something worthwhile here that you didn't bring with you. If you'd rather go elsewhere, you may find something of interest here.
Like all proper web pages, this one is eternally under construction, so why bother with a cute worker logo?

Essays I've written for the Mad Scientist Network are collected here.

My faith position in a nutshell
This short essay was written for a panel discussion with our First-Year Seminar class, to open a discussion of faith and life. It's a pretty good description of where I am as of 10/22/2004.


The mechanics of a miracle
This essay, written for the Mad Scientist Network, answers a request for help in speculating about "how Jesus performed miracles." Whether I gave her what she really wanted is debateable... but you can see how my mind is working on the topic.


And now for something completely different...
This essay was published in the Winter 2003 issue of Phi Kappa Phi National Forum. I wrote a biannual science column for them from Summer 2000-Winter 2003. I haven't posted essays from National Forum as a rule, but this one has something to say, about the mythical "teacher/scholar," which I think is important.

Anecdotal reflections on September 11, 2002
This is a companion to my essay What should we then do?, and consists of five quotes from various sources. It was read at a first-anniversary prayer-and-reflection meeting at Bluffton College. See also my open letter to President George W. Bush of September 12, 2001.

Modern Science and the Resurrection
Here I make the (possibly) surprising claim that the monistic view of human nature, forced upon us by modern neurochemical and neurophysical science, strongly supports the Christian doctrine of the Resurrection of the Body.

Reparations for slavery have already been paid
This essay points out the amount, in blood and treasure, paid for slavery during the process of its abolition.

What should we then do?
This is a response, written in September 2001 and revised, to the events of September 11, 2001. See also my open letter to President George W. Bush of September 12, 2001.

What proof is there that Jesus ever existed?
This essay was written for the Mad Scientist Network. Eventually I hope to expand it and provide references. The fact that this is still (wrongly) considered a live issue is shown by a recent article on the Secular Web.

How can scientists be Christians? Hasn't science pretty well killed God?
This essay was written for the Mad Scientist Network. Eventually I hope to expand it and provide references.

How can evolution possibly be compatible with the Christian God?
This essay addresses a question raised by a rather bald assertion in the previous essay. This initial version is short and has no references. See also my review of Michael Ruse's Can a Darwinian be a Christian?

An impertinent resumé of the Anthropic Cosmological Principle
This essay gives some short arguments against taking any form of the Anthropic Principle seriously.

Models of the Solar System: the Failure of Theory
I wrote this essay for Bluffton College's (now Bluffton University's) non-major physical science course. It discusses the breakdown of four-element, Aristotelian physics in the context of the Copernican revolution. This link will open a new window.

This essay is part of my series on the question, What is Science? written for our non-major physical science course.

Why are Catholic bibles different from Protestant ones?
This essay discusses the origins of Scripture and the so-called Apocryphal books of the Bible.

Philosophy of Science
These essays were written for the Mad Scientist Network, and are concerned with philosophical (as opposed to religious) aspects of science.

I presented on two topics at the Central Region ACS Meeting in June 1999.
 

I have submitted three abstracts to the 33d Central Regional ACS Meeting, June 11-13, 2001
 

Miscellaneous links related to the essays:
 
The Bible was given not that we might judge it, but that it might judge us.
-- Bishop Nikolai Velimirovic of Serbia,
Konzentrierungslager Dachau,
ca. 1944

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