Posts tagged ‘academia’

January 23rd, 2014

Q&A 36: Don’t Get a Degree in Apologetics

by Max Andrews

Question:

Hey Max,

I’ve been reading your blog for quite some time and enjoy it very much. From afar, you seem to have life (as in goals and scholastic intentions) figured out. That being said, I’m looking for some guidance and I think you’re more than apt to help. Currently, I’m a philosophy/biblical studies major at Dallas Baptist University and plan to go on to graduate school for either Apologetics or Philosophy. That being said, what advice you do you have to give to undergraduate students who plan to do graduate work? Is an MA in apologetics worth it? If you’re a Christian philosopher, are you not by default an apologist? If so, why limit yourself to apologetics? Does the world really need another internet apologist? I’ve just got some concerns that cannot be answered from this side of the diploma, and I was hoping you could comment.Thanks!
Nolan
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August 23rd, 2013

Unsolicited Advice to Serious University Students

by Max Andrews

I figured it was about time for me to distribute some unsolicited advice. I haven’t always been successful in my academic career so I may not be an authority here. However, that’s not to say that I haven’t done well either. I wanted to share my scholastic habits with those university students who want to take their education seriously. I cannot offer guarantees but it’s my hope that you do what works for you and practice the habits that will produce a successful academic career.

  1. Education is a joy. The greatest trick the schools have ever pulled on us is to make us think education is purely pragmatic. Education is merely to accomplish an end for financial gain or the requirements to get into a good sports team, etc. Those who have bought into this idea have fallen prey to anti-intellectualism.
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April 12th, 2012

Having That ‘Academic Aesthetic’ – The Sententias Store

by Max Andrews

I have recently added a new feature to the website, Academic Alley, the store here at Sententias.  I’ll be developing and adding more stuff later on but I have a partnership with Amazon, which allows me to do this.  There will be two major sections to the store: the academic aesthetics and books.  The academic aesthetics has items similar to what I have and use that add to the picturesque academic persona and atmosphere.  For instance, in me office at home I have a desk surrounded by bookshelves with my personal library.  Some decor I have in the office is some large canvas paintings (say, 5′ x 4′), two different types of globes (I’ll keep one in the office and the other one elsewhere in the house), a recliner off to the side with a lamp for some casual reading, a love-seat and coffee table for a comfortable atmosphere, my wife’s desk, and seven tobacco pipes on a pipe rack.  The pipes simply add to the atmosphere and actually keep that rich smell in the air.

February 17th, 2012

First Century Manuscript of Mark?–A Word of Caution

by Max Andrews

I’ve seen Dr. Dan Wallace’s article on a possible copy of Mark dating back to the first century float around the blogosphere, Facebook, and Twitter.

These fragments now increase our holdings as follows: we have as many as eighteen New Testament manuscripts from the second century and one from the first. Altogether, more than 43% of all New Testament verses are found in these manuscripts. But the most interesting thing is the first-century fragment.

It was dated by one of the world’s leading paleographers. He said he was ‘certain’ that it was from the first century. If this is true, it would be the oldest fragment of the New Testament known to exist. Up until now, no one has discovered any first-century manuscripts of the New Testament. The oldest manuscript of the New Testament has been P52, a small fragment from John’s Gospel, dated to the first half of the second century. It was discovered in 1934.

Not only this, but the first-century fragment is from Mark’s Gospel. Before the discovery of this fragment, the oldest manuscript that had Mark in it was P45, from the early third century (c. AD 200–250). This new fragment would predate that by 100 to 150 years.

This is certainly exciting for Christians but I want to give a word of caution.  Many people may have quickly read this sentence in the article: “How do these manuscripts change what we believe the original New Testament to say? We will have to wait until they are published next year… [continues on about what we can know now]” There are certain things we can derive from this manuscript but let’s not get overconfident about this.  We need to let this be reviewed over and over. We need to let the scholars write papers, review the work, and debate these things.  New information, especially like this, need to be reviewed and go through the process.  Let’s use what we can know from it but we need to allow the process to take place before we go wild about it.

October 30th, 2011

An Update on my Brief Hiatus

by Max Andrews

As many of you know I’ve been in the hospital for five days due to some Crohn’s related problems.  I went in last Tuesday with pains that were very similar to my last flare up, which led to me to a major surgery that should have spared me 3-5 years.  Anyways, I’m in recovery mode from this most recent flare up though I’m not completely out of the woods yet.  I’ll be heading up to UVA in the next few weeks to have a procedure/consultation on how to treat this from here on out due to the still unknown spots on my liver.

I hope to be getting to some more blogging in the next week or so here.  I’m halfway finished with my review of Skeptic Magazine’s review of William Lane Craig in their recent issue.  Additionally, I’ll be lecturing in the next few weeks on fine-tuning, the multiverse, and the problem of evil.  I already have these lectures prepared from earlier lectures but I’ve been reading more papers on the multiverse and I’m looking forward to sharing my thoughts on here. Aside from blogging, I’m a little behind in my research for my epistemology course.  I’m hoping to do research on the role of inference in belief formation and belief/paradigm change.  I’m also amidst my graduate research on fine-tuning and the multiverse as well as my research in my Thomas Aquinas course on Thomas’ thoughts on creation and time.

More to come later on, again, sorry for the lack of updates and posts.

June 7th, 2011

Academics Have a Sense of Humor Too

by Max Andrews

I was just doing some research on my thesis, which evaluates the fine-tuning argument for design from physics and cosmology as it stands in relation to the multiverse.  I use the Cornell arXiv database for most of my pre-print articles. I did a search for the anthropic principle and I found this paper written by Douglas F. Watson titled “On the Anthropic Principle in the Multiverse:  Addressing Provability and Tautology.” I have never heard of this physicist and the paper seemed fairly simple to read.  Well, I’ve been quite busy for the past couple days so it’s been sitting in one of the tabs in my browser for quite some time.  Tonight I got my desk a little more organized and decided to get some reading done.  I started reading and discovered that some of his footnotes were quite odd like, “This may or may not have been ‘borrowed’ from a recent talk by Alan Guth.” Who does that?  It then goes on to talk about how his acronym is better than one of his colleagues and how the other paper’s citation count renders their theory irrelevant.  He closes the paper with,

We conclude that time will tell whether or not you matter, however further consideration of the blatant circularity of this entire argument needs to be investigated which has the potential to render this entire paper ipso facto meaningless… Assuming no permanent blacklisting, DFW would like to thank any future employer.  DFW is funded by his adviser in exchange for a modest publication rate along with superlative and punctual morning coffee.

Even though this database is very credible and has excellent papers, I couldn’t get upset of Watson’s paper.  I kind of wish I had found it while in the middle of a long series of research.  This humor would have lightened the load a bit.  Notice his figure I share below.  I’m not saying I agree or disagree, but you can’t help but smile.  So, I guess this isn’t really a paper, but rather a scholastic comic strip maybe?