Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Site Seeing

I've decided to combine three elements of my sidebar into one, and economize them a bit, under the title Site Seeing. These are simply websites and blogs that I find interesting. Some of the sites, blogs in particular, cover politics, but the fact that I'm linking to them should not be taken as an endorsement or agreement.

First are several philosophy websites and blogs. Dallas Willard is a professor at USC, and is an expert on the philosophy of Edmund Husserl, the founder of phenomenology. His site includes most of his philosophical essays. But Willard has made a name for himself in the Christian community by writing some incredibly insightful books on spirituality and Christian living (I wrote about one here), and his site also includes a large collection of his essays on these subjects as well. If you're a Christian, I can't recommend strongly enough that you get to know his writings. Victor Reppert's blog, Dangerous Idea (derived from his book C. S. Lewis's Dangerous Idea, which defends the argument from reason) is where he writes about philosophy, theology, C. S. Lewis, politics, etc. Dangerous Idea 2 is dedicated exclusively to the argument from reason. Just Thomism is an absolutely outstanding philosophy blog, one of the best around. It's written by James Chastek. Bill Vallicella's blog, Maverick Philosopher is equally outstanding in this regard. The Prosblogion is a group blog written by numerous philosophers of religion and very interesting. Another link is to William Lane Craig's site Reasonable Faith, although you have to have a username and password to access much of it. If you don't want to do that, his old site is still up, and has most of the stuff available from the new site. Craig's contribution to academia is primarily in defending Christianity. He has written numerous articles on philosophical proofs for and against the existence of God, as well as issues regarding the historical Jesus. I also link to a site on his debates. I'm also including the Philosophers' Carnival which links to various philosophical blogposts every three weeks, but is hosted by a different blog each time.

Next are some sites dealing with Christianity and culture that are definitely worth your time. Books and Culture is an online magazine, although its most recent articles are usually only available in print. Yet it's still very much worth checking out. Another excellent online magazine is First Things. Next is a purely online resource called Leadership U. They have plenty of articles on religion and culture, philosophy, science, etc. An excellent blog on contemporary culture is The Anchoress, written by Elizabeth Scalia, who also writes at First Things.

I've also listed several sites that deal chiefly with religion and science. Bede's Library is the apologetics site of James Hannam, a philosopher and historian of science, and the author of God's Philosophers: How the Medieval World Laid the Foundations of Modern Science (US title: The Genesis of Science: How the Christian Middle Ages Launched the Scientific Revolution. James's website explodes many of the myths surrounding the alleged conflict between science and Christianity, and I'm very pleased that he invited me, and a few others, to join him on his blog Quodlibeta (formerly Bede's Journal). The Counterbalance Interactive Library has a bunch of lectures and articles by leading scientists and philosophers of science, arguing most points of view. It really is an excellent resource. Another site is Reasons to Believe, a Christian ministry. I've belonged to a local chapter of it, and they also do an excellent job. However, they are critical of evolution, something I find unnecessary. Nevertheless, that is pretty much the only point where they conflict with contemporary science; most of the site demonstrates how modern physics, astronomy, and cosmology not only fit within the Christian worldview, but support it, often to the exclusion of other worldviews.

As for science simpliciter, I link to the Carnival of Space, which updates interesting stories and facets of space travel every week. Cosmic Log is a blog written by Alan Boyle and focuses on science, especially space science (something I'm very interested in), but also comments on other issues. It's a good starting place for scientific news and discoveries. A few sites that promote space exploration and getting permanent human colonies on other solar system bodies besides the earth are the Mars Society and the Moon Society. You can probably guess which bodies they have in mind. They are actually in slight conflict, since the Mars Society advocates their Mars Direct program to go directly to Mars without first setting up stations on the Moon. Two more sites along these lines are the National Space Society and the Planetary Society. Finally is Vintage Space, an excellent blog dealing with the history of space exploration.

Now for miscellanea: First is Homestar Runner. If you don't already understand why I'm linking to them, any argument would be futile. It's the source of my (former) nom de cyber, Tragic Clown Dog. Actually, it was a toss-up between that and Mushy Chamberpot, but my wife nixed the latter. Next, Things of Interest. I discovered this right before I started writing this blog. This guy writes all kinds of stuff, but the most interesting are his short stories. He is reminiscent, to my mind, of Fredric Brown, who I consider one of the better SF writers around in terms of short stories. I write short fiction too, and frankly I was starting to get a little impressed with myself before I read this guy's stuff. Some of the blogs from my old blogroll that successfully made the transfer include: Raskolnikov, Lost in the Cosmos, which I originally found by doing a Technorati search to see if anyone linked to my first blog. After reading him a few times, I was hooked. Besides, how can you not like a guy who names himself after a Dostoyevsky character? Wayfaring Stranger is written by Tyson, who I met him online a few years ago, after he linked to me. He's a father and a pastor, and has prayed for me during some hard times. Very nice guy. His blog is mostly concerned with religious issues from a specifically Christian perspective. Jacob Longshore writes the Wordverter blog. We know each other face to face, because we studied at the same school. Also a very nice guy, and an expert on C. S. Peirce (pronounced "purse").

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