Purpose: Biological, Biblical, or Both?

In one of his early books, Untimely Meditations , Friedrich Nietzsche spins a tale that, in paraphrase, goes like this: Once upon a time, on a minuscule planet orbiting a mediocre star on the edge of a backwater galaxy, clever little animals emerged from the slime¯and not longer after began . . . . Continue Reading »

Antonin Scalia: Not a Catholic (Judge)

On October 16, Antonin Scalia gave the keynote address at Villanova Law School’s second annual Scarpa Conference on Catholic Legal Studies. Speaking on "The Role of Catholic Faith in the Work of a Judge," Justice Scalia reached a conclusion many readers of First Things may find . . . . Continue Reading »

An Alien Grace

Dr. Who , television’s longest-running science fiction show, has returned to planet Earth after battling near extinction. Certainly, for anyone who grew up watching BBC from the 1960 to the 1980s, the mysterious Doctor and his police-box time machine are unforgettable¯so much so, that . . . . Continue Reading »

Life, the University, and Everything

There are questions so big they’re almost laughable. What is the meaning of life? for instance. We’ve been grappling with that one ever since Adam and Eve saw the first exit sign. Our modern technology promises many blessings, but a GPS of life-direction is not among them. In diligent . . . . Continue Reading »

Saving Lost Languages

This is a story¯a creation myth from the Tofa: In the very beginning there were no people, there was nothing at all.There was only the first duck, she was flying along.Having settled down for the night, the duck laid an egg.Then, her egg broke.The liquid of her egg poured out and formed a . . . . Continue Reading »

The UCC’s Ethical Suicide Parlor

On September 18, United Church of Christ minister Kristi Denham announced that a new organization of clergy called the End of Life Consultation Service (ELCS) had been created that would be devoted to ministering to critically ill medical patients . Rev. Denham explained that this organization would . . . . Continue Reading »

Parsing Abortion Statistics and the Law

The report made headlines across the globe, but even those generally sympathetic to its conclusions acknowledged the difficulties in performing a study like this. And the conclusions, as a result, seem to rest on very shaky foundations.The subject is the new global study on abortion just published . . . . Continue Reading »

A Man for All Reasons?

Back in February, I received a phone call from the journalist Paul Elie. I knew his name from a book he published a few years ago, called The Life You Save May Be Your Own , an appealing effort that I reviewed favorably in First Things .He wanted to talk about an article, for the Atlantic Monthly , . . . . Continue Reading »