In case you were too busy celebrating Bastille Day to keep up with your required blog reading, here are a few posts to notice.
What is science? asks a practicing LDS biologist. It is a language game and a way of speaking about the world. It devises models of reality and tests them against data from the assumed real world. It provides probability rather than certainty: “It gives you the odds that things are a certain way.” But “its successes speak for themselves” and “[w]hen you bet against well-established findings in science, you’re playing risky odds.” So … bet on science. Unless you think science is not always a good bet.
If you like Barkeresque restatements of Old Testament history, read “The Priestly Suppression of Ancient Truths.” It revolves around that burning question: Whatever happened to Zerubbabel? The standard story is that the last thing the Persians (who governed) wanted was a local Israelite leader on the scene with pretensions to the kingship, so Z. was quickly removed (although this is not spelled out in Ezra and Nehemiah). This post tells a different story, suggesting it was a vast right-wing Zadokite priestly conspiracy to usurp power from the rightful Davidic line.
- Who said BCC is just anecdotes and short stories? JNS reports the results of a 2000-respondent survey about what Mormons seem to know, or not, about the Book of Mormon.
- Another report on Prop 8 encouragement at an LDS sacrament meeting in California.
- Given how much shelf space has been given to pro-SSM posts lately, you owe it to yourself to read this summary of The Case for Marriage.
These are always interesting to read, I’m glad you keep pointing good posts out.
Thank you, Dave, for the link. I don\’t know that I meant for the post to have such political overtones, but I thank you for your review. I really do think \”restatements\” or reconstructions of Old Testament history are in order, as it becomes more and more apparent that the texts that have come down to us represent only certain points of view at the expense of others. To quote Barker on the topic:
Since the Deuteronomists and their successors were a major influence on the formation of the Old Testament — the collection and preservation of the texts that survived the destruction in 597 BCE, for example — there is a complex problem facing any attempt to reconstruct the original temple [or history in general]. There may be complete texts that never became canonical — 1 Enoch is a good example — and there may have been earlier versions of the Hebrew text underlying the present form, as the Qumran fragments suggest. The reason for the exclusion and alteration of those texts is very likely to be that they were evidence for the position the Deuteronomists sought to to supersede. Any reconstruction that relies on their written evidence is therefore at a distinct disadvantage. Since conventional scholarship takes their canonical texts as the norm, a great deal has to be undone before any real progress can be made.
I tend to agree with that statement and think a little looking outside the canonical \”box,\” so to speak, is good for us.