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smijer

Ian Plimer is one of the usual crackpots.

My advice is to be careful making pronouncements outside your area of academic expertise.

phil_style

"I am a nuts-and-bolts environmentalist. I am interested in clean water, clean air, reforestation, sustainable agriculture, things like that. The global warming business – yes, it is a business, which is why Enron was a fierce proponent of cap-and-trade – is a distraction from the fundamental issues."

iLkewise. Unfortunately the quality of water in a local river cannot be marketed to the masses. Global issues [read climate change] command a global audience and thus global sized dollars. Local issues (point source pollution, water quality, ground contamination, biodiversity loss) don't

JohnFH

Nice try, Smijer. Whether you like it or not, Plimer is a respected scientist whose book is creating a stir.

I weep at science being reduced to a band-wagon enterprise. Science has always thrived on dissent, contrarian thinking, and fearlessness in the face of opposition. Plimer, who is a geologist, knows this intimately, if nothing else based on the history of his own discipline.

If you don't know the story of modern geology, how long it took for plate tectonics to be accepted by the hoi polloi, once you know the story, it ought to change your understanding of how science advances forever.

Smijer, do you know anyone who is a meteorologist? If not that, perhaps an air quality engineer? Someone you can ask about climate change over a beer in a relaxed setting? If you did, you might be surprised at how little they claim to know.

I have no idea what you think is gained by qualifying dissent on an issue like this as the reserve of crackpots.

But thanks for the link to a scientist who speaks for the "moral majority."

If you are interested in hard data, a good place to start is here:

http://www.cru.uea.ac.uk/cru/data/temperature/nhshgl.gif

Compare that graph with the graph of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere:

http://earthguide.ucsd.edu/globalchange/images/fig10.html

Even if we assume that the carbon dioxide increase is anthropogenic in its entirety - a matter of intense dispute among scientists - the graphs do not correlate to the degree they would have to, to make the kind of claims that the "moral majority" delights in making.

Somewhere back in the 8th grade, I was taught to compare graphs like these, and note how they refute simplistic theories. It's a pity I've not forgotten my 8th grade math. If I had, my amnesia would protect me from so-called crackpots like Plimer.

On another note, I appreciate your post on Polanski. It's good to see you stand up to the "Moral Majority" of Hollywood. You may have more in common with Pilmer than you know:

http://tete-tete-tete.com/2009/09/rape-rape/

Martin Shields

Hi John,

You're right that to reject simplistic theories. But rejecting any simplistic connection between CO2 and temperature rise does not imply that there is no connection, nor that it is anthropogenic, just that there's no simple connection. For example, does Plimer discuss the effects of Global Dimming on countering the effects of greenhouse gases during the period before improved pollution control mitigated the dimming effects? That would explain the apparent discrepancy in the graphs, at least in part.

It strikes me as ironic that Plimer, who expended much energy opposing Young Earth Creation Science, on this issue occupies the side equivalent to that which he so vehemently opposed: the minority largely consisting of non-specialists publishing non peer reviewed material verses the majority of scientists in a broad spectrum of disciplines subject to extensive peer review. Claims of financial incentive and other impure motives can readily be levelled at both sides.

Being an Australian, there are a number of reviews of Plimer's book at the ABC's (that's "Australian Broadcasting...") website.

Oh, and btw, it's Plimer, not Pilmer.

JohnFH

Hi Martin,

Spelling error corrected. Thanks for pointing it out. I have the book on order, so I can't answer your question about what Plimer thinks of soot and sulfate levels yet.

It sounds as if you are suggesting that "global dimming" is masking the forcing effect of carbon dioxide increases. Excuse my boneheadedness, but the suggestion does not get past the things I learned in 8th grade math. Look at the sulfate and ozone lines in this chart:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Global_dimming

Compare them to the graphs I linked to in my previous comment. One thing is clear: decreases in ozone and sulfate do not correlate with the ups and downs of temperature change any more than the carbon dioxide line does.

It is painfully obvious: the sum of the carbon dioxide, ozone, and sulfate lines does not generate the temperature change line any more than its parts do.

My problem is simple. I learned a lesson as a teenager: do not trust the conclusions of others, no matter how many people with the right degrees tell you you should. Especially when they make an appeal to authority, as you are doing: consider that an index of how weak the arguments in favor of their position are.

I learned the lesson as a young environmentalist. My hometown is Madison Wisconsin. A nuclear engineer at the UW-Madison, a loner, a maverick, despised by his colleagues, was making the claim that the safety measures in place at nuclear reactor were inadequate. He would make one evidence-based presentation after another, but his colleagues were not about to be confused by the facts.

I have no idea whether or to what extent he was able to publish his theses in peer-reviewed journals, but even a rudimentary grasp of the sociology of knowledge is enough to cast doubt on the fact that, if he was unable to publish much of anything in peer-reviewed journals, this is a reason to dismiss his arguments.

The engineer took his evidence to the press and to the public. He was shouted down in the public square. I can still picture in my mind's eye a snapshot as it were of this forlorn researcher.

He was ignored. He was dismissed. Until, of course, what he predicted might happen, happened. Three Mile Island.

The theory that the 0.6-0.8 degree Celsius temperature increase since the beginning of the Industrial Era is largely the result of human activity has been called into question by plenty of qualified scientists. Among the skeptics, there are a bunch of loud-mouthed crackpots. Beware in particular of lawyer types. People who pass themselves off as disinterested seekers of the truth but argue like defense lawyers should be trashed without mercy.

But don't let apologists for ideology brand X or Y mask a different reality: there are plenty of other scientists who are not ideologically-driven. As it happens, they are all over the map on the pertinent issues. The consensus, on closer analysis, is not a consensus at all.

A dimming effect obscures the reality just alluded to: the appeal to morality. It is immoral to question the recommendations of the IPCC.

I would point out that in biblical studies, the appeal to morality is just as pernicious. Once it is permissible to tar someone as immoral because they don't accept a particular hypothesis, all bets are off in terms of science properly so-called.

Sam Norton

More grist for the mill:
http://www.theregister.co.uk/2009/09/29/yamal_scandal/

smijer

You know... there are crackpots of this sort in every field. Some are effectively lobbyists - that's often the case in Climate Science... people with ties to libertarian political ideology or monied by industries that profit on pollution. We had a similar thing with the tobacco industry a few years back. Creationists include some similar personalities. Some are the old guard who committed to a strong view while the debate was young and never could admit that the evidence didn't go their way. I'm reminded of ornithologists who lost the debate over birds and dinosaurs - Alan Feduccia being the #1 contrarian on that matter.

Plimer may not be immoral for rejecting the AGW hypothesis, but he's definitely in a minority... and more importantly, the evidence is stacked high against him and his arguments have been soundly rebutted.

People outside the field... say an old testament scholar... would be well advised to take Plimer with a grain of salt... And should they not do so, they would be advised to be cautious repeating his arguments and coloring them with the appearance of an authoritative stance.

The link I applied to his name is a review of the book - but also found there is a link to a very good 46 page point-by-point rebuttal. It's a pdf file. I recommend absorbing that point-by-point critique before forming a personal opinion. And, I recommend not speaking as an authority on the matter - regardless of personal opinion - until you've put the same kind of effort into that field of study as you have into the one in which you are most well-versed.

JohnFH

Smijer,

Thanks for the link, and I will enjoy comparing the rebuttal to the original argument once I've read it.

I am astounded by your appeal to authority. It is the opposite of science and sound judgment. You are free not to trust your own judgment. Perhaps your grasp of mathematics is such that you feel you have no option but to trust whomever you think are experts. But in that case, your claim that the experts are on one page, and the crackpots on another, is suspect to say the least.

"Nullius in verba" is the motto of the Royal Society of London, the academy of sciences of the United Kingdom. Literally: "On the words of no one." But it is exactly this which you recommend.

I have a different concept of what it means to be a public intellectual. A public intellectual worth her salt will proudly stand with a minority viewpoint if it appears that a majority is cooking, trimming, or mishandling the evidence.

A public intellectual will examine the evidence for himself and demand that it be available for examination - the article to which Sam Norton links chronicles a miserable parody of science to which some of the "Moral Majority" climatologists have been party.

A public intellectual is free to note the ideological affiliations of interlocuters, for example, that Plimer is, evidently, a libertarian; that you, evidently, are an anti-libertarian, but will focus on an interlocuter's arguments regardless of ideological location.

I welcome in my field of expertise the questions and doubts of non-specialists. That includes you, I would surmise.

I consider it my responsibility to explain to non-specialists my field's recondite theories - beginning with the evidence, not an appeal to authority. I have noticed the same approach among climate scientists of my own acquaintance. They do not dismiss the issues I raise out of hand. They seek to understand my questions. They help me sharpen my critique in a responsible way.

You claim on your blog to be "careless" at the moment. If you really were, you would not be making an appeal to authority.

smijer

I don't see how you are mistaking my remarks as an appeal to authority. I appeal to concensus, yes. And, I recommended to you that you become familiar with the field before joining the dissident viewpoint. I never said that Plimer was wrong because he is a non-expert. I said he was a minority (concensus), and I said the evidence was stacked against him (evidence), and I said that those lacking expertise in the field would be wise to spend some real effort acquainting themselves with the evidence, the methods by which it is acquired, and its implications for model before holding a strong opinion on it - especially one that dissents from the concensus view among those who have done those things.

And, yes - knowing as I do that you have expertise in your field, I would not presume that my doubts about any issue would be sufficient to undermine what you say about it. I appreciate that you are willing to entertain my perspective, and to help me understand yours. But you won't catch me making comments about your work that are similar to this upon reading the latest from Dan Barker:

The historical Jesus myth – yes, it is a myth, is a distraction from the fundamental issues.

(sorry for the NT reference, he's the quickest pseudo-respectable crackpot I could bring to mind anywhere close to your field).

JohnFH

Smijer,

Too funny. Dan Barker who?

You are making an appeal to authority when you suggest that non-experts should trust the majority opinion of experts in any given field of study.

Such advice is a recipe for intellectual torpidity.

No, the evidence is not stacked against the minority point of view. I don't know how you know it is. You are allowing yourself to be hoodwinked by the usual nonsense according to which ten weak and inconclusive arguments add up to a strong, conclusive one.

I have studied the issue, ever since a brilliant meteorologist at the UW-Madison, when I was just a kid, fomented a global *cooling* scare.

I mine for hard data first of all, and the fact that leading consensus climatologists have not seen fit to publish the raw data on the basis of which they make their pronouncements prejudices me against their theory.

I was immunized long ago against *models* of the kind you mention. My first taste of them was with the book Limits to Growth (1972), which I read with a university professor while a freshman in high school. I fell for them hook, line, and sinker, just like the professor. What I now have is what you might call buyer's remorse.

Later, I ran across anthropologist Mary Douglas's provocative 1982 book “Risk and Culture: An Essay on the Selection of Technical and Environmental Dangers.” She and Aaron Wildavsky argued that environmentalists’ complaints reflected an antipathy toward dominant social hierarchies. The authors compared environmentalists to religious cults and superstitious groups of the past.

The only trouble with the anthropological take on environmentalism as a social movement is that it is true.

But I remain a chastened environmentalist.

For the rest, you are not comparing apples to apples. I could produce a list of quotes a mile long from accredited experts in the field of climate science and cognate disciplines which express doubts about the consensus model. It is their doubts and their alternative theories that must be considered, not mine.

On your part, if you wish to sow doubts into my mind about some viewpoint I hold in my field of expertise, all you have to do is cite hard evidence and work from there. My field has been ploughed over many times, so it's probable that you will have no trouble finding "authorities" who have expressed opinions like the one you wish to represent.

Marilyn

The Limits to Growth. Now there’s a flash from my past. It was 1978, and I was a student at Carleton College, Donella and Dennis Meadows’ alma mater. Then-Carleton professor Paul Wellstone was leading a freshman Poly Sci class through the Meadows’ book, as well as a new Foreign Affairs think piece on sustainable energy, Amory Lovins’ “The Road Not Taken.”

I’m not a natural scientist, but I do know from my work in the social sciences that when it comes to quasi-experimental empirical research, we often don’t know what we claim to know. The placement of the first brick affects the whole wall. Kuhn (1970) tells us that we often take the paradigm’s foundations for granted, overlooking the impact of things such as initial subjective research design choices. Then there’s the fact that journals are favorably predisposed towards the dominant paradigm, implying that confidence levels are not what we think. And, of course, let’s not forget that a case can be made for our sample size being effectively equal to one. The global climate debate is not over.

smijer

I hadn't actually suggested that yet... but on the other hand, it's impractical for any individual to gain a specialists understanding of more than one or two fields in their lifetime. So the options for someone who wants to have an informed opinion are limited. All else being equal, it makes sense to pay more attention to the expert consensus than to fringe contrarian views. For those of us with the luxury to explore the issue more deeply, it makes sense to give a fair hearing to contrarian views, but it doesn't make sense to adopt them based on a superficial hearing of the evidence.

I appreciate the view that studies that refuse to release their raw data deserve extra scrutiny and perhaps less attention. It is the norm to at least produce the methodology used for creating usable data from the raw, but ordinarily it isn't too difficult to find the raw if called for. Is there a study you have in mind you'd like some help finding the raw data for?

I think you may be conflating climate science with environmentalism. I'm sure its true that climate scientists are more concerned with environmental concerns than the average joe, but their jobs are not as advocates. The problem with the anthropological model of environmentalists is that it is an anthropological model. As with anthropological models of religion, the models are a reflection both of trends in the behavior of environmentalists and trends in anthropological methods. Unless anthropologists and sociologists have gotten into climate research, they can't tell us much about AGW. Bringing in the softest of the soft sciences as a critique of hard science is not compelling to me. Nor is rehashing the speculation about global cooling that accompanied the early years of climate science and was played up in the press. I remember a lecture at Georgia Tech from a meteorologist who gave us every reason to believe that the ozone hole was an artifact of wind currents only. He was wrong, but he made a convincing case. Maybe your global cooling guy did the same for you, but neither represented a large scale multi-decade analysis of climate patterns approaching the state of today's climate research.

By the way - I said I was careless about politics. And, I am. I said that I care about religion and science yet, but am too dumb to say much about them. But I know enough about science to realize that Ian Plimer is barking up the wrong tree.

JohnFH

Marilyn,

Thanks for the memories. I can't help but think you were blessed to have Wellstone as a professor. He was an unusual politician, and I mean that as a compliment. Like Russ Feingold, a national politician I have respect for (I don't mean to say I agree with everything he says; far from it).

But since I believe that Prov 21:1 sums up the world of politics, I'm more interested in integrity and moral courage than the preening of popinjays:

http://ancienthebrewpoetry.typepad.com/ancient_hebrew_poetry/2007/07/metalepsis.html

Smijer,

Thanks for the conversation. You make some excellent points. Your faith in the hard sciences is, truth to be told, music to my ears. On the other hand, your belief that climate science has come of age and that the models of past, present, and future climatologists now devise are reliable, betrays, I daresay, a firm lack of awareness of the state of the discipline. You can't hide behind the observation that a non-specialist will not understand a field with anything like the necessary grasp of detail and perspective in this instance, since 100 hours of reading in climate science, 10 if you are a fast learner, will prove my point.

The data issue is hot right now, thanks to the intervention of the Royal Society's Philosophical Transactions B, your bedside reading and mine, I'm sure. I recommend this post (and follow the links, for a first orientation only):

http://www.frankhagan.com/blog/2009/10/01/climate-change-change/

I read Hagan for the same reason I read you, Smijer: while I don't share your respective political bents ("careless," as you say; right-libertarian in Hagan's case), I appreciate your commitment to serious debate.

Martin Shields

Hi John,

You're right about appeals to authority, but I suspect there is some truth to Smijer's points as well — the idea that everyone can make fully reasoned and valid assessments of complex data is proving to be less and less viable as that data becomes more specialised and more complex. Can you decide whether String Theory is true? If 90% of all physicists affirmed its truth would you be inclined to accept it as a valid theory, or would you remain agnostic? If, then, a significant number of chemists argued that the theory was false, would that sway your opinion?

Perhaps the intellectually honest thing to do would be to remain agnostic. Yet the title to this post implies that you are not agnostic on this issue. Furthermore, given that you don't actually yet have a copy of the book, the opening paragraphs of your post themselves read just like the very appeal to authority that you decry.

Either way, I'm afraid I'm unconvinced by your dismissal of the interconnectedness of the various components in the graphs in the links. When I look at this graph, the modelled line is quite close to the observed line and, if anything, demonstrates that the model may be overly sensitive to volcanic effects. Furthermore, there may be some problems with the application of 8th grade maths to complex and possibly chaotic systems (are the relationships linear? is there a lag effect? are there threshold levels which influence the relative contributions of the various components?). I doubt anyone suggests that modelling based on these five factors provides a comprehensive account of all climate phenomena. Nonetheless, if the data on the graph is correct, then correlation is actually quite impressive.

JohnFH

Hi Martin,

I stand by my title, because AGW amounts to a myth, that is, ideology in narrative form, if as you suggest the proper response to the climate change debate is agnosticism.

If the proper response of the average bloke to the AGW scare is agnosticism, then the scare is a distraction.

There are tons of environmental questions about which agnosticism is not possible, things like clean water, clean air, reforestation, and sustainable agriculture. Back to the basics, please. Put apocalyptic scenarios aside. The sky can't always be falling, and yet never actually fall.

I make no appeal to authority; I question it. However, as I've already noted, it's not as if I am the only one to question one or more of the foundations of the AGW scare, and/or the policy solutions currently under consideration or already enacted in response thereto.

In their respective fields of specializations, there are plenty of scientists that do. It is simply false to suggest that scientists like Plimer who question the consensus are fringe and can safely be ignored.

The more consensus-supporters make this kind of argument, the more it looks like their arguments can be reduced to one: accept the consensus on authority. This is the opposite of science.

Your points about the math of the theory are precisely my own. As you say: are the relationships linear? Is there a lag effect? are there threshold levels which influence the relative contributions of the various components?

And how do the various factors interact with one another (positive and negative feedback)?

Two other, more fundamental questions relative to the graph you cite: how are relative weights assigned to the five factors in this model of climate? How does the *modeled forcing response* relate to hard data?

Finally, why does the graph you cite look so darn scary, whereas Fig. 2 in one of the latest overview analyses of the subject ("Recent Warming Reverses Long-Term Arctic Cooling," Darrell Kaufman et al., Science 325 (2009) 1236-1239; 1237) does not? (I presume it's easy for you to get a look at Science magazine; if not, I'll send you a pdf.)

The graph I cite presents analogous information about temperature anomalies relative to your graph, but sets the data in a longer time frame, scales the results in a non-sensationalistic fashion, and illustrates the way the averaging formula used in such graphs relate to actual data series.

Maybe I had an exceptionally good 8th grade math teacher, but these are the kind of questions I was taught to ask, and the kind of issues in graphing I was trained to be aware of.

In short, I could not agree with you less when you say that the correlation is quite impressive. How the *modeled forcing responses* relate to actual forcing remains to be determined.

I have long made it a rule: I'm happy to look at models, but only after I've been introduced to the data, hard, soft, proxy, whatever, and the known issues with that data.

Martin Shields

John, if you haven't read Plimer's book how is your claim that "[h]e confuses his readers with the facts" and that "[i]t will throw your article of faith into question" not an appeal to authority? Furthermore, when you say "[t]he book has received high marks from the scientific community" — isn't that an implied appeal to authority (otherwise it is a largely irrelevant comment)?

You suggest that many of the responses to criticism such as Plimer's amount to appeals to authority. I agree that we can largely ignore those responses and assign them negligible weight in the task of assessing the worth of his work. Nonetheless, in the very first comment on this thread there's a link to a page with a comprehensive review and response to Plimer's work (which itself points to this PDF). This sort of response does warrant some attention and does call into question your confidence in the veracity of Plimer's claims.

You also ask why the graph I linked to looks "so darn scary." But if the graph in Science to which you refer is this one, then I'd have to say it looks far scarier. If that's not the graph, I'm afraid I can't get to a copy of Science easily for a few days (at least). If that is the graph, then the longer timeframe tends to highlight the rate of increase over the last 60 years and so the pace of change against other shifts in conditions over the past millennia. The other graph (from about 1900 to 1990) is hardly scary given that it fails to demonstrate deviation from a long-term trend and so it really cannot be determined whether the changes are cyclical or usual in some other way. The long-term graph over 2,000 years with a rapid and sudden deviation in the last century is far more troubling.

Finally, your initial claims about the graphs appeared to be pointing to a lack of simple correlation: "the sum of the carbon dioxide, ozone, and sulphate lines does not generate the temperature change line any more than its parts do." Mathematically speaking "sum" does not suggest you've attempted to incorporate those complicating factors we've mentioned above. Rather, it seems to assume a relatively simplistic relationship between the parts (an implication enhanced by your repeated reference to 8th-grade maths), because if the other considerations do play a part then there's no easy way to assess such correlation by simply looking at the respective graph lines.

Where does that leave us? Are humans solely responsible for global warming and other aspects of climate change? Perhaps not. Are we entirely innocent? That would seem to be claiming far too much. Hopefully the global warming doomsayers are wrong, but I don't think the evidence supports the notion that human activity has played no part in the warming over the last decades.

JohnFH

Hi Martin,

The only reason I mentioned that there are climate scientists who speak positively about Plimer's work is because there are others who go out of their way to do the opposite, and go into bash-the basher-mode. All of this is to be expected and conforms to what else we know about the sociology of knowledge.

I am happy to stop harping on consensus-dissent issues so long as it is understood that dissent is to be encouraged and respected, not dismissed out of hand just because a consensus scholar has taken the time to mount a lengthy defense of current majority opinion and made it available on the internet. That doesn't do it for me. It just raises more suspicions.

But I will take it as a challenge to eventually compare (A) the conclusions Plimer criticizes with (B) Plimer's conclusions and (C) those of Plimer's critics, in a couple of cases in the context of this blog.

No, you found a different graph from the one I was referring to from the cited Science article. It's not the one you will find reproduced in the media because it doesn't feed the appetite for AGW scare-mongering. That's the way it goes, as I see it, based on a hermeneutics of suspicion that I don't think is ill-founded and is based on decades of observation.

As far as how to read the graphs and the math of the whole thing, no, I'm not about to back down. I am not content with claims that current models are reliable but it's very complicated and take our word for it.

I'm interested first of all in data series, actual, proxy, whatever. I very consciously mention 8th grade math because it turns out that these modeling projects, since the time of The Limits to Growth to the present, have been shown to be cases of garbage in garbage out with haunting regularity.

The models fail at the 8th grade level long before they fail at the PhD level.

Martin, you are an OT scholar as I am. I suspect you agree that a similar dynamic is at work in our field. For example, both maximalism and minimalism w.r.t. the history of Israel cook and trim the data in unacceptable ways in a number of basic ways long before they do so in extremely subtle ways that only specialists are able to understand.

As far as your last paragraph is concerned, let's be clear.

The "cautious pricks" (heard in the hallways of academia) and the all-out contrarians agree: temperature change is a function of (1) imperfectly understood long-term and short-term natural trends over which human beings have no control; (2) human activity, some of which leads to cooling and some of which leads to warming.

How significant the human contribution is remains a matter of legitimate dispute.

Only the doomsayers think otherwise, but they are legion at the moment, and have the biggest megaphones at their disposal.

Beyond that, I'm told it is clear that none of the very costly counter-measures under consideration stand a chance of making more than a slight dent in the warming trend in the first place. In short, as soon as one moves from science to public

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    a place to explore what it might be like if Christians finally got the head, heart, and hands of their faith re-connected (archive)
  • Conversational Theology
    Smart and delightful comment by Ros Clarke, a Ph.D. student at the University of the Highlands and Islands, at the (virtual) Highland Theological College (archive)
  • Daily Hebrew
    For students of biblical Hebrew and the ancient Near East, by Chip Hardy, a doctoral student at the University of Chicago
  • Daniel O. McClellan
    a fine blog by the same, who is pursuing a master of arts degree in biblical studies at Trinity Western University just outside of Vancouver, BC.
  • Davar Akher
    Looking for alternative explanations: comments on things Jewish and beyond, by Simon Holloway, a PhD student in Classical Hebrew and Biblical Studies at The University of Sydney, Australia
  • Deinde
    News and Discussion by Danny Zacharias
  • Discipulus scripturae
    Nathan Stitt's place
  • Dr. Claude Mariottini
    balanced comment by a professor of Old Testament at Northern Baptist Seminary, Lombard IL
  • Dr. Platypus
    insightful comment by Darrell Pursiful, editor at Smyth & Helwys Publishing, on the New Testament faculty of Mercer University
  • Dust
    A diary of Bob MacDonald's journey through the Psalms and other holy places in the Hebrew Bible
  • Eclexia
    The heart and mind of this Bible and theology blogger sing in unison
  • Eat, Drink, and be Merry
    The journey of a grad student with a love for ancient languages at Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary (archive)
  • Elizaphanian
    Rev Sam tussles with God, and limps away
  • Emerging from Babel
    Stephen investigates the potential of narrative and rhetorical criticism as a tool for expounding scripture
  • Evangelical Textual Criticism
    A group blog on NT and OT text-critical matters
  • Evedyahu
    excellent comment by Cristian Rata, Lecturer in Old Testament of Torch Trinity Graduate School of Theology, Seoul, Korea
  • Exegetica Digita
    discussion of Logos high-end syntax and discourse tools – running searches, providing the downloads (search files) and talking about what can be done and why it might matter for exegesis, by Mike Heiser
  • Exegetisk Teologi
    careful exegetical comment by Stefan Green (in Swedish)
  • Exploring Our Matrix
    Insightful reflections by James McGrath, ass't. professor of religion, Butler University
  • Faith Matters
    Mark Alter's place
  • Ferrell's Travel Blog
    comments of biblical studies, archaeology, history, and photography by a tour guide of Bible lands and professor emeritus of the Biblical Studies department at Florida College, Temple Terrace (FL)
  • Fors Clavigera
    James K. A. Smith, professor of philosophy at Calvin College, thinks out loud.
  • Friar's Fires
    an insightful blog by a pastor with a background in journalism, one of three he pens
  • Gentle Wisdom
    A fearless take on issues roiling Christendom today, by Peter Kirk, a Bible translator
  • Giluy Milta B‘alma
    by Ezra Chwat and Avraham David of the Institute of Microfilmed Hebrew Manuscripts, Jewish National and Hebrew University Library, Jerusalem
  • He is Sufficient
    insightful comment on Bible translations, eschatology, and more, by Elshaddai Edwards
  • Higgaion
    by Chris Heard, Professor of Religion, Pepperdine University
  • Idle Musings of a Bookseller
    by James Spinti of Eisenbrauns
  • if i were a bell, i'd ring
    Tim Ricchiuiti’s place
  • Imaginary Grace
    Smooth, witty commentary by Angela Erisman (archive). Angela Erisman is a member of the theology faculty at Xavier University
  • James' Thoughts and Musings
    by James Pate, a doctoral student at HUC-JIR Cincinnati
  • Jewish Philosophy Place
    by Zachary (Zak) Braiterman, who teaches modern Jewish thought and philosophy in the Department of Religion at Syracuse University
  • kata ta biblia
    by Patrick George McCollough, M. Div. student, Fuller Theological Seminary, Pasadena CA
  • Ketuvim
    Learned reflection from the keyboard of Jim Getz
  • Kilbabo
    Ben Johnson’s insightful blog
  • Kruse Kronicle - contemplating the intersection of work, the global economy, and Christian mission
    top quality content brought to readers by Michael W. Kruse
  • Larry Hurtado's blog
    emeritus professor of New Testament Language, Literature & Theology, University of Edinburgh
  • Law, Prophets, and Writings
    thoughtful blogging by William R. (Rusty) Osborne, Assistant Professor of Biblical and Theological Studies as College of the Ozarks and managing editor for Journal for the Evangelical Study of the Old Testament
  • Lingamish
    delightful fare by David Ker, Bible translator, who also lingalilngas.
  • Looney Fundamentalist
    a scientist who loves off-putting labels
  • Menachem Mendel
    A feisty blog on rabbinic literature and other Judaica by Michael Pitkowsky, Rabbinics Curriculum Coordinator at the Academy for Jewish Religion and adjunct instructor at Jewish Theological Seminary (New York)
  • mu-pàd-da
    scholarly blog by C. Jay Crisostomo, grad student in ANE studies at ?
  • Narrative and Ontology
    Astoundingly thoughtful comment from Phil Sumpter, a Ph.D. student in Bible, resident in Bonn, Germany
  • New Epistles
    by Kevin Sam, M. Div. student at the Lutheran Theological Seminary, Saskatoon SK
  • NT Weblog
    Mark Goodacre's blog, professor of New Testament, Duke University
  • Observatório Bíblico
    wide-ranging blog by Airton José da Silva, Professor de Bíblia Hebraica/Antigo Testamento na Faculdade de Teologia do CEARP de Ribeirão Preto, Brasile (in Portuguese)
  • Observatório Bíblico
    Blog sobre estudos acadêmicos da Bíblia, para Airton José da Silva, Professor de Bíblia Hebraica / Antigo Testamento na Faculdade de Teologia do CEARP de Ribeirão Preto, SP.
  • Occasional Publications
    excellent blogging by Daniel Driver, Brevard Childs' scholar extraordinaire
  • old testament passion
    Great stuff from Anthony Loke, a Methodist pastor and Old Testament lecturer in the Seminari Theoloji, Malaysia
  • Old Testament Pseudepigrapha Blog
    A weblog created for a course on the Old Testament Pseudepigrapha at the University of St. Andrews, Scotland, by James Davila (archive)
  • On the Main Line
    Mississippi Fred MacDowell's musings on Hebraica and Judaica. With a name like that you can't go wrong.
  • p.ost an evangelical theology for the age to come
    seeking to retell the biblical story in the difficult transition from the centre to the margins following the collapse of Western Christendom, by Andrew Perriman, independent New Testament scholar, currently located in Dubai
  • PaleoJudaica
    by James Davila, professor of Early Jewish Studies at the University of St. Andrews, St Andrews, Scotland. Judaism and the Bible in the news; tidbits about ancient Judaism and its context
  • Pastoral Epistles
    by Rick Brannan and friends, a conceptually unique Bible blog
  • Pen and Parchment
    Michael Patton and company don't just think outside the box. They are tearing down its walls.
  • Pisteuomen
    by Michael Halcomb, pastor-scholar from the Bluegrass State
  • Pseudo-Polymath
    by Mark Olson, an Orthodox view on things
  • Purging my soul . . . one blog at a time
    great theoblog by Sam Nunnally
  • Qumranica
    weblog for a course on the Dead Sea Scrolls at the University of St. Andrews, Scotland, taught by James R. Davila (archive)
  • Ralph the Sacred River
    by Edward Cook, a superb Aramaist
  • Random Bloggings
    by Calvin Park, M. Div. student at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, South Hamilton MA
  • Resident aliens
    reflections of one not at home in this world
  • Revelation is Real
    Strong-minded comment from Tony Siew, lecturer at Trinity Theological College, Singapore
  • Ricoblog
    by Rick Brannan, it's the baby pictures I like the most
  • Rightly Dividing the Word of Truth
    Nick Norelli's fabulous blog on Bible and theology
  • SansBlogue
    by Tim Bulkeley, lecturer in Old Testament, Carey Baptist College (New Zealand). His Hypertext Commentary on Amos is an interesting experiment
  • Ancient Near Eastern Languages
    texts and files to help people learn some ancient languages in self study, by Mike Heiser
  • Midrash, etc.
    A fine Hebrew-to-English blog on Midrash, by Carl Kinbar, Director of the New School for Jewish Studies and a facultm member at MJTI School of Jewish Studies.
  • Phil Lembo what I'm thinking
    a recovering lawyer, now in IT, with a passion for a faith worth living
  • Roses and Razorwire
    a top-notch Levantine archaeology blog, by Owen Chesnut, a doctoral student at Andrews University (MI)
  • Scripture & Theology
    a communal weblog dedicated to the intersection of biblical interpretation and the articulation of church doctrine, by Daniel Driver, Phil Sumpter, and others
  • Scripture Zealot
    by Jeff Contrast
  • Serving the Word
    incisive comment on the Hebrew Bible and related ancient matters, with special attention to problems of philology and linguistic anthropology, by Seth L. Sanders, Assistant Professor in the Religion Department of Trinity College, Hartford, CT
  • Singing in the Reign
    NT blog by Michael Barber (JP University) and Brad Pitre (Our Lady Holy Cross)
  • Stay Curious
    excellent comment on Hebrew Bible and Hebrew language topics, by Karyn Traphagen, graduate, Westminster Theological Seminary, Philadelphia PA (archive)
  • Sufficiency
    A personal take on the faith delivered to the saints, by Bob MacDonald, whose parallel blog on the Psalms in Hebrew is a colorful and innovative experiment
  • The Sundry Times
    Gary Zimmerli's place, with comment on Bible translations and church renewal
  • Sunestauromai: living the crucified life
    by a scholar-pastor based in the Grand Canyon National Park
  • ta biblia
    blog dedicated to the New Testament and the history of Christian origins, by Giovanni Bazzana
  • Targuman
    by Christian Brady, targum specialist extraordinaire, and dean of Schreyer Honors College, Penn State University
  • Targuman
    on biblical and rabbinic literature, Christian theology, gadgetry, photography, and the odd comic, by Christian Brady, associate professor of ancient Hebrew and Jewish literature and dean of the Schreyer Honors College at Penn State
  • The Biblia Hebraica Blog
    a blog about Hebrew Bible/Old Testament, the history of the Ancient Near East and the classical world, Syro-Palestinian archaeology, early Judaism, early Christianity, New Testament interpretation, English Bible translations, biblical theology, religion and culture, philosophy, science fiction, and anything else relevant to the study of the Bible, by Douglas Magnum, PhD candidate, University of the Free State, South Africa
  • The Forbidden Gospels Blog
    by April DeConick, Professor of Biblical Studies, Rice University
  • The Naked Bible
    by Mike Heiser, academic editor at Logos Bible Software
  • The Reformed Reader
    by Andrew Compton, Ph.D. student in the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Cultures (focus on Hebrew and Semitic Languages) at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)
  • The Sacred Page
    a blog written by three Catholic Ph.D.s who are professors of Scripture and Theology: Michael Barber, Brant Pitre and John Bergsma
  • The Talmud Blog
    a group blog on Talmud News, Reviews, Culture, Currents, and Criticism
  • Theological German
    a site for reading and discussing theological German, by Mark Alter
  • theoutwardquest
    seeking spirituality as an outward, not an inward quest, by David Corder
  • This Lamp
    Incisive comment on Bible translations in the archives, by Rick Mansfield
  • Thoughts on Antiquity
    By Chris Weimer and friends, posts of interest on ancient Greek and Roman topics (archive). Chris is a graduate student at the City University of New York in Classics
  • Threads from Henry's Web
    Wide-ranging comment by Henry Neufeld, educator, publisher, and author
  • Tête-à-Tête-Tête
    smart commentary by "smijer," a Unitarian-Universalist
  • Undeception
    A great blog by Mike Douglas, a graduate student in biblical studies
  • What I Learned From Aristotle
    the Judaica posts are informative (archive)
  • Bouncing into Graceland
    a delightful blog on biblical and theological themes, by Esteban Vázquez (archive)
  • Weblog
    by Justin Anthony Knapp, a fearless Wikipedian (archive)
  • Writing in the Dust
    A collection of quotes by Wesley Hill, a doctoral student in New Testament studies at Durham University (UK), and a Christian who seeks the charism of chastity
  • גֵּר־וְתוֹשָׁב
    by David Miller, Associate Professor of New Testament and Early Judaism, Briercrest College & Seminary, Caronport, Saskatchewan, Canada
  • ואל-תמכר
    Buy truth and do not sell: wisdom, instruction, and understanding - a blog by Mitchell Powell, student of life at the intersection of Christ, Christianity, and Christendom
  • משלי אדם
    exploring wisdom literature, religion, and other academic pursuits, by Adam Couturier, M.A. in Old Testament/Hebrew Bible (graduate of Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary)

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  • Ancient Hebrew Poetry is a weblog of John F. Hobbins. Opinions expressed herein do not reflect those of his professional affiliations. Unless otherwise indicated, the contents of Ancient Hebrew Poetry, including all text, images, and other media, are original and licensed under a Creative Commons License.

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    Copyright © 2005 by John F Hobbins.