The Curiosity Index (22.02.2018)

Billy Graham (1918-2018)

The great evangelist of the 20th century has graduated to glory. You probably won’t find better or more comprehensive coverage than at Christianity Today. I loved When Billy Took Britain By StormA lot has been written and more of course to come just don’t expect all of it to be glowing he was human after all.

Syria conflict: Will powers end up in direct war?

I think the chances of this conflict escalating are increasing all the time.

75 Years Ago Today: The Incredible Story of Hans and Sophie Scholl

On February 22, 1943—75 years ago today—in Munich, Germany, two siblings made the ultimate sacrifice on the altar of conviction. They risked and lost, fought and failed, but not without leaving a lasting imprint. Their names were Hans and Sophie Scholl.

I reviewed an excellent book about Sophie Scholl and the White Rose here.

The Enlightenment of Steven Pinker

Here’s a book that atheists will make a fuss of and in an excellent take-down review, Peter Harrison shows why it falls short.

For the sceptical reader the whole strategy of the book looks like this. Take a highly selective, historically contentious and anachronistic view of the Enlightenment. Don’t be too scrupulous in surveying the range of positions held by Enlightenment thinkers – just attribute your own views to them all. Find a great many things that happened after the Enlightenment that you really like. Illustrate these with graphs. Repeat. Attribute all these good things your version of the Enlightenment. Conclude that we should emulate this Enlightenment if we want the trend lines to keep heading in the right direction. If challenged at any point, do not mount a counter-argument that appeals to actual history, but choose one of the following labels for your critic: religious reactionary, delusional romantic, relativist, postmodernist, paid up member of the Foucault fan club.

Brilliant.

David Attenborough’s ‘dulcet tones’ have become a U.K. dance sensation

One of my favourite stories of the year so far

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