Thursday, January 04, 2018

Quotes of Note


“It is very likely that within fifty years when all the trivial, verbose disputes about the meaning of Teilhard’s ‘unfortunate’ vocabulary will have died away or have taken a secondary place, Teilhard will appear like John of the Cross and St. Teresa of Avila, as the spiritual genius of the twentieth century.” 
- Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen, in his 1967 book FOOTPRINTS IN A DARKENED FOREST

Monday, January 01, 2018

Whither the Extended Synthesis?

I missed this confab at Oxford back in July of this past year, but this brief conversation between Fraser Watts, Michael Ruse and others is one I want to come back to, either here or at my Forbes blog.

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Michael Ruse and Teleology

My review of Michael Ruse's new book from Princeton University Press, at the Wall Street Journal.

Sunday, November 12, 2017

The Quotable Darwin

Fans of Janet Browne's epic two-volume biography of Charles Darwin will not want to miss her new book, The Quotable Darwin (Princeton University Press), which features a broad selection of Darwin's personal and professional observations on life, liberty, and of course science.

Read more at Forbes...

Saturday, November 11, 2017

A New Galileo Book...

...which I reviewed recently at Forbes. I met Fr. Scotti at Portsmouth Abbey School some years back, and am happy I was able to help him bring his book to the attention of the folks at Ignatius.

Friday, February 17, 2017

David Bentley Hart on the limits of natural law theory


"In abstraction from specific religious or metaphysical traditions, there really is very little that natural law theory can meaningfully say about the relative worthiness of the employments of the will. There are, of course, generally observable facts about the characteristics of our humanity (the desire for life and happiness, the capacity for allegiance and affinity, the spontaneity of affection for one’s family) and about the things that usually conduce to the fulfillment of innate human needs (health, a well-ordered family and polity, sufficient food, aesthetic bliss, a sense of spiritual mystery, leisure, and so forth); and if we all lived in a Platonic or Aristotelian or Christian intellectual world, in which everyone presumed some necessary moral analogy between the teleology of nature and the proper objects of the will, it would be fairly easy to connect these facts to moral prescriptions in ways that our society would find persuasive. We do not live in such a world, however." 

--From his 'Back Page' essay in the March 2013 issue of First Things.

Wednesday, February 03, 2016

The Melancholy Choice


If men are compelled to make the melancholy choice between atheism and superstition, the scientist, as Bacon pointed out long ago, would be compelled to choose atheism, but the poet would be compelled to choose superstition, for even superstition, by its very confusion of values, gives his imagination more scope than a dogmatic denial of imaginative infinity does. But the loftiest religion, no less than the grossest superstition, comes to the poet, qua poet, only as the spirits came to Yeats, to give him metaphors for poetry.

-- Northrop Frye, The Anatomy of Criticism (second essay, p. 125)