Science

Crossfire Canyon: A study in conflict, part one

September 26, 2007 | 44 comments
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Crossfire Canyon is not the canyon’s real name. Following the trend in nature writing, I have refrained from providing any obvious identifying names or details. Otherwise, this three-part series describes actual events and conversations. Mormons in Utah, especially in southern Utah, often find their concepts of stewardship put to the test when predominantly non-Mormon environmental groups act to preserve resources they perceive Mormons (or any others) are abusing under their stewardship ethic or are allowing to be abused. Read more »

Guilting the Lily

August 30, 2007 | 103 comments
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In the Preface to New Genesis: A Mormon Reader on Land and Community, the editors cite an unidentified 1991 report that places each of the thirty largest Christian denominations in one of five categories based on their environmental stances. Read more »

Story Time!

August 14, 2007 | 94 comments
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The day before the cliff swallows return to traditional nesting sites in canyons near where I live in southern Utah, the sky hangs quiet, with only a few ravens, hawks, and eagles spiraling through. The next day, whoosh! Swallows arrive reeling in their folklorico like revelers at an unseen party spilling onto a quiet street. Read more »

Field Notes #4

August 10, 2007 | 41 comments
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It is the destiny of mint to be crushed. –Waverley Lewis Root June 12, 2007 Rained most of the night. Morning’s cool and sweet. Good day to venture into a canyon. Because the storm has left behind puffy white seeds that could blossom suddenly into rain, I replace my extra water bottle with a rain poncho. In honor of the sky, scrubbed to a deep, shining blue, I wear my turquoise tee shirt. Usually I wear a white one with sleeves, but I like to wear this color when I hike. Weather permitting, I do. Read more »

Field Notes #2

July 21, 2007 | 3 comments
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We might use language in our attempts to set boundaries, but language contains in microcosmic acts the macrocosmic thrust toward new form. November 4, 2006 The trail into the canyon is rougher at November’s threshold; run-off from recent storms took the same trail to the canyon’s main water course that I must take. Read more »

Quothing the Raven

July 19, 2007 | 30 comments
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Some weeks ago a friend (an archaeologist and therefore a man of science) and I were discussing a nature writer who was coming to town to promote his latest book. I asked my friend if he liked this writer’s work. He said he did. I said that I did, too, and that I thought this writer one of the better nature writers out there. My friend agreed then added, “Although I wonder if a lot of them aren’t actually writing fiction.” Read more »

Field Notes #1

July 15, 2007 | 13 comments
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Remember the silence around Pueblo Alto in Chaco, so heavy you felt blanketed by its snows, and the desert landscape spread out below, unmoving for miles? That was silence. Not even a breeze singing on the stones. June 8, 2006 Hiked in the rain this morning. Read more »

Sweat

July 13, 2007 | 36 comments
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All winter I plotted how to improve the garden, my first focal point for exercising “good stewardship” over the acre plus we moved to a year and a half ago. Last year’s garden had gone all right. I loved every minute in it, especially the time spent with animals, like Woodhouses’ toads and cliff swallows, which helped keep the garden in good order. But I got a late start and the harvest fell short. This year, I pushed to start my tomatoes on time along with other herbs and veggies that don’t mind sprouting indoors. I schemed how to... Read more »

Science and Nihilism

December 17, 2006 | 45 comments
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Tomorrow morning, at 2 AM

April 2, 2006 | 23 comments
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Once a year, after enduring a grueling six hours of church in one day, I lay down to sleep knowing that during the wee hours of the night I will be robbed of one whole hour. It is time to forever abolish Daylight Saving Time. Read more »

Hermeneutics

February 7, 2006 | 50 comments
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That’s a 25 cent word if there ever was one, something for college kids to show Mom and Dad to prove they got something for their money, something a grad student to lord it over others with in the commons. Read more »

Infertility

January 17, 2006 | 10 comments
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Infertility is a huge topic, as large in its own way as the topic of birth control. Unfortunately, I don’t have the time to do it justice. I fully recognize that this can be an extremely sensitive issue for couples for many reasons. I absolutely do not judge any patients for making choices in dealing with infertility that I would not recommend professionally. I also fully celebrate the life of all children of God, regardless of how they were conceived. With this background in place, I wish simply to make three points. Read more »

Postfertilization effects of birth control methods

January 17, 2006 | 6 comments
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In considering options of which birth control method to use, couples have a variety of factors that they may consider. Read more »

Embryonic stem cell research

January 17, 2006 | 24 comments
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The issue of embryonic stem cells has been discussed in this forum before, here, here and here. Ongoing current events, however, make this issue salient for another examination. Read more »

Fat Makes a Comeback

April 20, 2005 | 13 comments
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The CDC is airing its dirty laundry this week, as a new report comes out claiming that last year’s CDC report on obesity is basically hogwash. In the old numbers, obesity was this bomb descending on America that was going to wipe us out. It claimed that obesity caused 400,000 deaths/year, making it the number two cause of death. Thus, obesity wipes out the equivalent of Utah Valley every year. Read more »

Thoughts on evolution

December 10, 2004 | 206 comments
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I suspect that when many people think about how God created humans, they have a subconscious image of Him carefully designing each system and part, essentially the same way a human engineer would. But increasingly that’s not how human engineers work. Read more »

Stem Cells, part 1

December 7, 2004 | 294 comments
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Until recently I had the good fortune to be a member of Matt Evans’ Elder’s Quorum class. Matt asked me a question once that I couldn’t answer, and still can’t. I’m hoping T&S can help (and I hope Matt doesn’t mind!) Read more »

A House Of Order

December 6, 2004 | 11 comments
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My wife Angela is a veterinarian. She’s also apparently a really good Relief Society enrichment teacher (I’m not allowed to go to these things, but I have this on good authority). A few weeks ago the enrichment lesson subject was “A House of Order”, from Doctrine and Covenants 88:119: “Organize yourselves; prepare every needful thing; and establish a house, even a house of prayer, a house of faith, a house of learning, a house of glory, a house of order, a house of God.” This scripture primarily refers to the temple, of course, but it’s also often used to... Read more »

A Sense of Place

December 1, 2004 | 41 comments
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It’s been five months since my family moved from the edge of the country to the middle, and I’ve never felt so out of place. The change of season is to blame, of course: it happened quite quickly, here, on the day before Thanksgiving, when the low sky let fall flurries of snow and something else, too–a dampening of the light that makes everything look different, somehow. I’m not pleased. Read more »

Religion as Secular Epistemology

November 3, 2004 | 30 comments
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Well, we have ourselves a new president. Meet the new boss, same as the old boss. A week or two ago, Brandy Siegfried mentioned Ron Suskind’s article “Faith, Certainty, and the Presidency.” I didn’t read the article, but I heard Suskind talk about it on NPR, and found it very interesting. Read more »

Fairies & Ectoplasm

September 7, 2004 | 12 comments
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Fairies & Ectoplasm

Over the past few weeks, I have been listening to a biography of Houdini as I drive to and from work. Among the many things that I have learned is that Houdini was acquainted with Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, creator of Sherlock Holmes. In his later years, Doyle became interested in Spiritualism, a religion of sorts that involved communication with the dead. Doyle attended seances and expressed an interest in other spiritualist phenomenon. Doyle was attracted to Houdini, whose powers seemed to have a mystical dimension. During the early years of their acquaintance, while they were still on good... Read more »

This Post Is Mostly True, +/- 3%

August 3, 2004 | 32 comments
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There is a maxim that the man with two watches never knows what time it is. The funny thing about this is that the man with one watch certainly doesn’t know any better than the man with two, he just thinks he knows what he does not. The man with two watches can maintain no such illusion of certainty because he has two watches with two (possibly ever so slightly) different times. He has been forced to recognize the existence of error. Socrates would be proud. Read more »

The Coming of the Clone Wars

February 13, 2004 | 39 comments
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One of my best friends is a biochemist, and he recently pointed out to me that while the a great amount of ink is spilled and blogs filled with debate about SSM, in his mind a farther reaching event has occurred: South Korean (Hanguk mansae!) scientists have cloned a human cell and grown it into a blastocyst. Read more »

Mormonism and Evolution

January 7, 2004 | 21 comments
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Evolution has been a topic of much debate in many Christian churches, including the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS or Mormon Church). Members fall into various categories: those who reject evolution outright, those that accept some principles of evolution, and those that accept the theory of evolution in its entirety thus far. I fall into the middle camp since I accept some principles of evolution such as adaptation and natural selection, but I find some parts of the theory problematic. However, I believe that the theory of evolution is currently the best scientific theory that attempts... Read more »