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Monthly Archive: November 2006

Nov 30 2006

The Bible as history-4: How science unearths the past

(See part 1, part 2, and part 3.) The two main tools that are available for trying to piece together the real history of Biblical times are those of literary analysis and archeology. In the former, the analysts carefully examine texts for literary clues as to the dates and places where events are reported to …

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Nov 29 2006

The Bible as history-3: Enter modern archeology

An article in The Chronicle of Higher Education (January 21, 2000, p. A19) describes the surprising results of recent archeological research into the period covered by the Bible. As the tools of archeology developed and became more refined within the past two decades, and archeologists themselves felt no need to have their findings conform to …

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Nov 28 2006

The Bible as history-2: Why people think much of it is true

Until very recently, I had (like most people) the vague idea that the basic Biblical story of a people being in captivity in Egypt, then somehow escaping and settling in the land that is now known as Israel and Palestine was true. Of course, one had to allow for the fact that the stories may …

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Nov 27 2006

The Bible as history-1: The basic early story

There are two views of history. Academic history is that which is painstakingly recreated by historians, trying to reconstruct as accurately as possible events from long ago using source materials as close to the original time as possible along with other kinds of evidence. But then there is the view of history as consisting of …

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Nov 24 2006

No more daft women!

(Because I am taking a break from blogging for the holiday, this is a repost from April 4, 2006, slightly edited.) Evan Hunter, who was the screenwriter on Alfred Hitchcock’s 1963 film The Birds recalled an incident that occurred when he was discussing the screenplay with the director. I don’t know if you recall the …

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Nov 23 2006

Thanksgiving and Christmas musings

(Because I am taking a break from blogging for the holiday, this is a repost from Thanksgiving of last year, slightly changed and updated. Happy Thanksgiving everyone!) For an immigrant like me, the Thanksgiving holiday took a long time to warm up to. It seems to be like baseball or cricket or peanut butter, belonging …

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Nov 22 2006

Bush and Vietnam

President Bush finally went to Vietnam this week, after spending his youth trying to avoid going there when that war was going on. Needless to say that this was the source for much humor. Some said that he tried to avoid going this time too but that his father could not get him out of …

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Nov 21 2006

Torture is not fun and games-2

Those who wish to excuse the actions of this administration or minimize the seriousness of torture sometimes take the tack of trivializing it, making it seem as if opponents of torture are making a big issue out of mere playfulness. Take Rush Limbaugh’s response to a caller on his radio show when the events of …

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Nov 20 2006

Torture is not fun and games

You occasionally find people trying to downplay torture by arguing that what goes on in such situation is little different from the kind of hi-jinks that fraternities sometimes indulge in as part of their initiation ceremonies. For all I know, this could well be a slander on most fraternities. But even if it were not, …

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Nov 17 2006

The other foreign casualties in Iraq

The focus of attention to casualties in Iraq has been mainly on US soldiers, with sporadic attention given to Iraqi deaths. The few times when the latter got in the news was when the Lancet came out last month saying that there was a 95% probability that the number of increased deaths due to the …

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