Archive for the ‘Biography’ Category

Stephen Hawking’s Scientific Legacy


(Preposterous Universe) – Sean Carroll:

Stephen Hawking is the rare scientist who is also a celebrity and cultural phenomenon. But he is also the rare cultural phenomenon whose celebrity is entirely deserved. His contributions can be characterized very simply: Hawking contributed more to our understanding of gravity than any physicist since Albert Einstein. …

preposterousuniverse stephen-hawkings-scientific-legacy

Stephen Hawking: A Brief History of Time


Numismatic Evidence to Contradict the Gospels


(Κέλσος) – Matthew W. Ferguson:

Numismatics is a useful piece of data for assessing historical reliability, since ancient coins furnish archaeological evidence that we can use to corroborate or contradict ancient narratives.

Can such numismatic evidence be used to evaluate the depiction of events found in the NT Gospels? Well, it turns out that it can. But rather than corroborating the Gospels, what scholar Fabian Udoh finds in To Caesar What Is Caesar’s – a scholarly monograph on tax administration in Roman Palestine from 63 BCE to 70 CE – is that the archaeological record actually contradicts the Gospel narratives. …

celsus 2018/01/12 numismatic-evidence

Craig Keener: Biographies and Jesus

Happy Newton Day!


(New Statesman) – Richard Dawkins:

December 25th is a date to celebrate not because it is the disputed birthday of the “son of God” but because it is the actual birthday of Isaac Newton, one of the world’s greatest men …

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Isaac Newton

Henry Marsh: “Ukraine is like a Trabant that wants to be a Ferrari”


(Guardian Science) – Robert McCrum:

Henry Marsh is a celebrated neurosurgeon who travels the world teaching his exacting craft. Robert McCrum joins him in Ukraine as he tries to save the life of 11-year-old Viktoria. …

theguardian 2017/nov/26 henry-marsh

Henry Marsh: Admissions: Life as a Brain Surgeon

An Easily Distracted Genius


(Guardian Books) – Robin McKie:

Walter Isaacson’s illuminating study explains why the original Renaissance man left so many paintings unfinished. …

theguardian 2017/oct/23 leonardo

Leonardo da Vinci: The Last Supper

Fictional Characters in Historical Literature


(Κέλσος) – Matthew W. Ferguson:

One thing that may surprise modern readers is the creative license with which ancient authors would blend history and fiction. Take, for example, the characters depicted in Plato’s dialogues. Socrates, who was a historical person, features as the main subject of these texts, but he is often depicted engaging with named characters who are quite possibly Plato’s invention.

Since we have good evidence that ancient authors would invent fictional characters across a number literary genres, including historical literature, this raises the question as to whether there could be such fictional characters in the Gospels and Acts. …

celsus 2017/10/15 fictional-characters

John H. Fritz: Plato and the Elements of Dialogue

The Secret Lives of Leonardo da Vinci


(New Yorker::Books) – Claudia Roth Pierpont:

Walter Isaacson’s biography portrays a man obsessed with knowledge and almost impossible to know. …

newyorker 2017/10/16 leonardo

Walter Isaacson: Leonardo da Vinci

Marie Curie: War Hero


(Discover Blogs::The Crux) – Timothy J. Jorgensen:

At the start of World War One, X-ray machines were still found only in city hospitals, far from the battlefields where wounded troops were being treated. Marie Curie’s solution was to invent the first “radiological car” – a vehicle containing an X-ray machine and photographic darkroom equipment – which could be driven right up to the battlefield where army surgeons could use X-rays to guide their surgeries. …

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Marie Curie in mobile X-ray unit

How I Became an Agnostic


(FTB Geeky Humanist) – Dr Sarah:

This is the fifth in a short series of posts I’m writing about the subject of why, after investigating reasons for theism, I ultimately became a non-believer (first an agnostic, ultimately an atheist). …

Was there a god or wasn’t there? I thought over all the reading I’d been doing. All the inconclusive arguments, each one of which seemed to have its possible counter-argument.

If there was such a thing as conclusive proof that God did or didn’t exist, by this time I would have found it. We didn’t have such proof. I certainly didn’t rule out the possibility of it showing up at some unspecified time in the future, but what we had right then was what we had right then. Right then, we simply couldn’t prove the matter either way. There was, in short, only one sensible recourse; to become an agnostic. …

geekyhumanist how-i-became-an-agnostic

Hi Ho The Glamorous Life


(Good Tickle Brain) – Mya Gosling:

Being a full-time Shakespearean comic artist and author is pretty much the best thing in the world, but the creative process is not always straightforward. Here’s a behind-the-scenes look at the ups and downs of my chosen career. …

goodticklebrain 2017/9/28 life

Mya Gosling: Waiting For A Funny