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Weekend Reads 7/6/19

Ancient Chess Piece Bought For £5, Sold For £735,000

Sotheby's Alexander Kade, specialized in European sculpture and works of art, told BBC that when he first saw the piece as the family brought it for valuation, he exclaimed: "Oh my goodness, it's one of the Lewis Chessmen!"

Young Earth Creationists and the Flat Earth Conspiracy

If someone is actually willing, in this day and age, to adopt the belief that the earth is flat, the problem is not with their science education. It’s with their willingness to believe absurd, easily disprovable conspiracy theories.

Hmm. Where have I encountered that before? Oh right! Young earth creationism.

Young earth creationists like Faulkner are consigned to rushing around putting out flat earth fires without any seeming awareness that they created the conditions for this situation.

Cities are beginning to own up to the climate impacts of what they consume

Climate optimists argue that it is possible to reduce our production emissions without substantially changing our lifestyles. (Electric cars are just as good!) But what if those lifestyles — in which consumption is perpetually rising — are driving increases in production emissions elsewhere? What if they are making it more difficult for other countries, the ones producing the goods we consume, to reduce their emissions?

Spoiler: They are.

Letting go of the plan and embracing the dream

If God had a plan, then at every possible fork in the road God was making intentional choices to act or not to act, and those choices were pre-scripted. (Mack truck about to hit toddler—divert or not? Cancer about to kill young woman—heal or not? Mass shooter about to enter elementary school—intervene or not?) If God had a plan, then the divine capacity for empathy—for genuine surprise, true horror, unyielding sorrow—couldn’t help but be blunted. Why would anyone grieve their own perfect plan?

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