Google Honors Nicolas Steno

From First Thoughts

Take a look while it’s still up (or read more about it  here ): Google today honors Nicolas Steno (1636-1686), considered one of the founders of modern geology, with a “doodle” on their home page. An inquisitive young mind, Steno’s early forays into the study of . . . . Continue Reading »

The Growing Cult of Santa Muerte

From First Thoughts

Over at CatholicCulture, Jeff Mirus discusses Andrew Chestnut’s relatively new Devoted to Death: Santa Muerte, The Skeleton Saint . Mirus’ piece is simultaneously a book review and an introduction to a steadily-growing cultic practice which is both fascinating and frightening, and is . . . . Continue Reading »

Don’t Serve the Public

From First Thoughts

On Sunday, NPR ran a feature purporting to offer a definitive analysis of the ongoing battle for religious liberty (lately the “War on Religion”) against recent government mandates. While it’s encouraging to see issues like the HHS contraception mandate and the rights . . . . Continue Reading »

New York’s Tragedy

From First Thoughts

NYC41Percent , an initiative founded last year in part by New York Archbishop Timothy Dolan with the aim of calling attention to (and thereby reducing) the eponymous abortion rate in New York City, has just released statistics for 2010 [note: not 2011, as it takes over a year for stats to become . . . . Continue Reading »

A Brief Reply to Jacques Berlinerblau

From First Thoughts

My previous post on the rise of ‘secular studies’ seems to have touched a nerve with Jacques Berlinerblau, who in a post  for the Chronicle of Higher Education blog  fulminates furiously. First, it’s worth restating that many of the critiques I voiced (particularly those . . . . Continue Reading »

For Budding Thomists

From First Thoughts

Looking for something to fill the long hours of summer? Probably not yet, standing as we are in the midst of Advent’s high tide, but for those of you who like to plan ahead, it may be worth taking a look at this four-day conference . “Thomas Aquinas and the Mind/Body Problem,” taking . . . . Continue Reading »

Bangs and Whimpers

From First Thoughts

Has American popular culture hit a dead end—-essentially stopped evolving and contented itself with endlessly regurgitating the past? That’s the premise of a rather  provocative essay  in the January issue of  Vanity Fair  which speculates that, rather than having . . . . Continue Reading »