NaClhv

Theology, philosophy, science, math, and random other things
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  

A record of the total solar eclipse on 2021-12-04, in Antarctica

Unfortunately, the best pictures I have of totality are poorly lit and out of focus, and of course we couldn't see the eclipse itself. This isn't what I wanted. It's not what I would have chosen. But it was still beautiful and magical in its own way, in its darkness and flaws. I've always held that reality, compared to any alternate possibility, has a goodness all its own - simply because it's real.
2021-08-02

How to handle the Delta variant

The vaccine may be only 39% effective against infections by the Delta variant.

Granted, this is just in one study from Israel, for just certain kinds of vaccines. But still, I've spent a great deal of time over the last week thinking about this number. Why is this such a big deal? Because, if this is true, and if that 39% holds constants across a variety of circumstances, then we're in a lot of trouble. This would mean that the Delta variant would be unstoppable, EVEN WITH THE VACCINE.

2021-05-10

Evidence for a historical Adam and Eve

Here is my claim: the scientific contents of my interpretation is a major piece of evidence for the veracity of the biblical account of Adam and Eve, and for Christianity as a whole. In other words, I’m not settling for mere “compatibility” with the known sciences; what we have here is actual, strong, positive evidence, and everyone needs to adjust their beliefs accordingly.
2021-04-12

Is evolutionary science in conflict with Adam and Eve?

I have contributed to a white paper mapping out the different ways to understand Adam and Eve alongside evolution. You can find it here. It turns out that there are a multitude of ways holding both at the same time - far larger than what is popularly conceived! The paper mainly points out this expansive […]

A record of the total solar eclipse on 2020-12-14

The covid pandemic added a new layer of difficulty to everything. Combined with the other challenges intrinsic to such an endeavor, I felt like everything was fighting me every step of the way. In fact, I initially conceptualized this trip as a sequence overcoming these difficulties: I was going to impose my will upon the world in the face of these challenges, and bring about my intended results. We'll see how that turned out.
2020-06-09

A book review: The Generations of Heaven and Earth

But Jon Garvey goes far above and beyond that - and explores many topics related to GAE from many different angles. Some of these were very new to me: that's what made this a much harder read than I anticipated, in a good way. I learned a lot. In this book he covers topics as varied as the possible locations for Eden, comparative ANE mythology, primeval 'monotheism' all over the world, theories of salvation, the meta-narrative of the Bible, the all-important "image of God", and more.

Many places can reopen now, but "how" matters more than "when"

Remember, we need to keep R0 under 1. We need enough social distancing, personal protection, disinfecting, and other such measures, so that each infected person causes less than one additional infection. That's the "how". The question of "when" almost doesn't matter in comparison. If we really get the "how" right, much of the country can open now, or very soon. If we get it really wrong, then it won't matter how long we wait - we'll never be able to safely lift the lockdowns. That's why we must reopen very carefully and deliberately.

Re-analyzing the Stanford COVID-19 antibody study

Stanford's antibody study in Santa Clara County [...] reported a population prevalence of 2.5% to 4.2% for COVID-19 antibodies, and a corresponding infection fatality rate of 0.12% to 0.2%. This result, if true, would have huge implications, as the lower fatality rate would dramatically change the calculus on important policy decisions [...]. However, this study has also received numerous criticisms, most notably for the results being inconsistent with the false positive rate of the antibody test. Here, I attempt to derive what the results ought to have been, under a better methodology.

Coronavirus endgame: how we get back to normal

Where do we go from here? And how do we get things back to normal, as quickly as possible? Some people are fantasizing an apocalyptic future, where we stay locked in for months and venture into the virus-infected outside world only to fight over food and toilet paper. Is that what lies ahead? It's clear that our current level of suppression cannot persist indefinitely, but how will it end, and what will life look like when it does?
2019-12-31

A book review: The Genealogical Adam and Eve

[T]he idea of Adam and Eve as a recent common ancestor is absolutely groundbreaking, and Dr. Swamidass does an excellent job of explaining it. Personally, I've been thinking about how to interpret the Genesis creation story for a very long time - most of my life, really - and this idea was the key piece that finally put everything in place for me. It opens up many interpretations, all of which compromise nothing on the inerrancy of the Scriptures, or the scientific data on evolution.
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