Five Reasons Why Clickbait Works
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There’s two opposing theories about posting stuff in the week between Christmas and New Years. On the one hand, everyone’s off having a good time and not paying attention to the internet. On the other hand, nobody else is posting anything so you have a better chance than usual of actually being noticed by the folks who do. It’s been a while since I have posted a diary on The Catholic Astronomer about this blog itself, so I am taking these off-days to do so. Since the self-referential title promised five points (I just made up the number five now, I have no idea how many points I’ll have) let me start numbering them. Even though we don’t charge you for reading it, this web site is not free. I pay (a pittance, admittedly) to our bloggers, and that money has to come from someplace. In addition we pay a standing fee to Cyrcle Systems for regular maintenance, etc. Some months … Continue reading

Fan Mail Poetry
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I get fan mail now and then; but this one included a poem, which I thought I would share, just for the fun of it! Dr. Will Buckingham is a reader in Writing and Creativity at De Montfort University, in Leicester, England, adjacent to the River Soar. He’s the author of a number of books, both academic and fiction, including children’s books. He included this note: “I was rummaging through some old boxes prior to moving house, and I stumbled across a bunch of notebooks from something like ten years back. Leafing through, I found a short poem that I’d written having seen you talk at the science museum in Birmingham. A few days after the talk, if I remember rightly, I was teaching a writing class, and I was encouraging my students to write sonnets, so I weighed in and produced the attached poem. The title is ‘The Pope’s Astronomer’’. I’m more of a fiction/philosophy writer than a poet, but it … Continue reading

Questions from our readers…
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An email from a blog reader, who writes: “I have just read Would You Baptize an Extraterrestrial and have a couple of questions. By the way, I am a practicing Catholic but with education only in medical science, and none in philosophy. Theology I have tried to study on my own. “The first question is regarding your brief references to transubstantiation. I think I understand what you mean by saying the old physics and metaphysics is not a wrong explanation, just no explanation at all. My question is whether or not you believe that transubstantiation should be referred to only in theological terms? Or whether there is a modern science explanation of its meaning, and if so, what it would be. “The second question refers to what I’ve read in another book, this time by a modern philosopher (Edward Feser). He speaks of hylomorphism, involving four irreducible causal components of material substances, and then about the ‘rational soul’ being the … Continue reading