Tuesday, April 28, 2009

the Beatles on scientific epistemology

c'mon...tell me you see it too...

"Nowhere Man"

He's a real nowhere Man,
Sitting in his Nowhere Land,
Making all his nowhere plans
for nobody.

Doesn't have a point of view,
Knows not where he's going to,
Isn't he a bit like you and me?

Nowhere Man, just listen,
You don't know what you're missin',
All the world's at your command.

He's as blind as he can be,
Just sees what he wants to see,
Nowhere Man can you see me at all?

Nowhere Man, don't worry,
Take your time, don't hurry,
Leave it all 'till somebody else
lends you a hand.

Doesn't have a point of view,
Knows not where he's going to,
Isn't he a bit like you and me?

Nowhere man please listen,
you don't know what you're missin'
Nowhere Man, the world is at your command

He's a real Nowhere Man,
Sitting in his Nowhere Land,
Making all his nowhere plans
for nobody.
Making all his nowhere plans
for nobody.
Making all his nowhere plans
for nobody.

Friday, April 24, 2009

question of the day

Question: when will you have your first/next child?

Answer, me: when the dissertation is done.

Answer, sister: when my kitchen is remodeled.

Answer you?

Friday, April 17, 2009


Today I got my copy of volume 12 of Stone-Campbell Journal, which includes my pretentiously entitled article "How to Talk about Religion and Science...Rationally." It's probably unfortunately not apparent how ironic I conceived that title to be, but in its original form the paper was a presentation for a session on "Re-imagining Faith and Reason" at the 2007 Christian Scholar's Conference--hence the "rationally." It's probably even less evident that the "how to" is meant ironically, though I dare to hope that reading the article makes that at least somewhat clear.

Also included in the volume is a review of the one-volume commentary from ACU Press, The Transforming Word, which includes my little essay on religion & science. The review singles out my essay, which would be a good thing, if the reviewer had in fact said something positive about it. Instead the essay is criticized for being too general to be helpful, which I personally find to be quite fair--that's pretty much exactly how I feel about it. Sigh.

And now to click over to the ol' CV and change the "forthcoming" to "12.1 (2009): 31-38."

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

AIDS: New York and Rwanda 2009

This year is my--and Clare's--third year to participate in the AIDS Walk. One of us can legitimately say that she's been doing this her whole life. That would be Clare.

The first year, I brought the stroller but spent most of the time carrying Clare in my homemade Maya sling, although I also pawned her off on other willing CCFB walkers. The second year, Clare was sick and running a fever, so I left her at home with Brent and went walking without her. But since Clare was the bigtime fundraiser, I think she legitimately deserves the credit.

This year is different; we will participate in raising money but we will probably not actually walk. Our time together on Sundays at CCFB is getting more and more precious as the weeks go by, and none of us wants to miss even one chance to be together, even for something which has itself turned into a CCFB annual event like the AIDS Walk.

We're a quarter of the way to our modest goal of raising $100, because I believe in putting my money where my mouth is. If you'd like to help Clare and me make our fundraising goal for the third year in a row, click here to get to my donation page, and we thank you.

While you're at it, pause for a moment to consider how much effort and general human kindness and goodwill goes into organizing the raising of these funds for the GMHC in New York every year...and think about the millions of AIDS sufferers in Africa without the benefit of such massive organization and affluent givers to help them. Greg Kendall-Ball is raising money in order to partner with the organization Physicians for Human Rights, to document the effect PEPFAR funds have on the lives of people in Rwanda. Greg's goal is to use his skills as photographer and visual storyteller to help organizations like Physicians for Human Rights effectively communicate--thereby enabling them to better help the people they seek to serve. As Greg says on his site, "Statistics can tell part of the story, but putting a real human face on this global pandemic is crucial." Click here to read more about this trip and to reach his donation page.

Greg's fundraising strategy is microdonations from as many people as possible--so consider splitting what you might put toward Clare's and my AIDS Walk fund, and give some to Greg. A little can go a long way. It might even go as far as Rwanda.

commentary: which whos are Whos

received a political email forward today which contained at least one statement I do in fact wholeheartedly agree with:

"But the meaning of marriage – how it is defined and who defines it – is tremendously important for our entire society, because it has implications that go well beyond the desires of two consenting adults."

The italics are mine, because that is indeed what I see to be the central struggle: how it is defined, and who defines it.

The power of defining is, as this statement suggests, a political one. And in this country, which at least attempts to place political power in the hands of a broad constituency rather than concentrated in the hands of a few (rich white male) persons, the power of defining ideally belongs to everyone--more accurately, all citizens (leave aside who has the power to define "citizen," although that question truly gets at the heart of the difficulty of inclusive democracy, and the immigration issue in this country puts that front and center, yes?).

Which means that "the power to define marriage" is (again, ideally) a collective power shared by all citizens. And as long as you're honest enough to admit that there are in fact gay people who are American citizens, then you ought to be honest enough to recognize that they too are (ought to be) included in the "who" who gets to define things. Including marriage, which as this statement at least implicitly grants, is a social and political institution in addition to being whatever else you might believe it is.

Or, you're claiming they're not a "who." They're a They.

And as Horton would remind you: "a person is a person, no matter how small; a person is a person is a person, after all."