Farewell. The Flying Pig Has Left The Building.

Steve Hynd, August 16, 2012

After four years on the Typepad site, eight years total blogging, Newshoggers is closing it's doors today. We've been coasting the last year or so, with many of us moving on to bigger projects (Hey, Eric!) or simply running out of blogging enthusiasm, and it's time to give the old flying pig a rest.

We've done okay over those eight years, although never being quite PC enough to gain wider acceptance from the partisan "party right or wrong" crowds. We like to think we moved political conversations a little, on the ever-present wish to rush to war with Iran, on the need for a real Left that isn't licking corporatist Dem boots every cycle, on America's foreign misadventures in Afghanistan and Iraq. We like to think we made a small difference while writing under that flying pig banner. We did pretty good for a bunch with no ties to big-party apparatuses or think tanks.

Those eight years of blogging will still exist. Because we're ending this typepad account, we've been archiving the typepad blog here. And the original blogger archive is still here. There will still be new content from the old 'hoggers crew too. Ron writes for The Moderate Voice, I post at The Agonist and Eric Martin's lucid foreign policy thoughts can be read at Democracy Arsenal.

I'd like to thank all our regular commenters, readers and the other bloggers who regularly linked to our posts over the years to agree or disagree. You all made writing for 'hoggers an amazingly fun and stimulating experience.

Thank you very much.

Note: This is an archive copy of Newshoggers. Most of the pictures are gone but the words are all here. There may be some occasional new content, John may do some posts and Ron will cross post some of his contributions to The Moderate Voice so check back.


Tuesday, November 15, 2011

A Minister Finds Science

By BJ Bjornson

I have to say that I quite enjoyed this little article by a former minister who has a newfound appreciation for science.

I've always had a penchant for humanities over science. My passion, if you will, has been the human condition. Language and literature; theology and theatre.

. . .

But lately science has caught my attention. Not sure how this happened. Maybe it was the breathtaking images of stars being born in distant galaxies courtesy of the Hubble Telescope. Or maybe it was going to Antarctica to discover that fossils of Jurassic Age subtropical vegetation are buried there. The continents have drifted over millions of years, in case you're puzzled.

At any rate, science is fascinating. You scientists already know this but perhaps it feels so new because I've spend my entire adult life puzzling and promoting stories which attempt to explain the unexplainable. 

How did we get here? Why do bad things happen? What are the sun, moon and stars? Are we alone?

All cultures have mythical explanations, from the polytheisms of Greece, Rome and Scandinavia, say, to the monotheisms of Judaism and its offshoots of Christianity and Islam.

. . .

Stories are wonderful. They are told and altered and retold around the campfire. A great flood, a great escape or a great battle. Our tales are shaped to meet our needs and aspirations for saviours and such.

Stories motivate and instruct. I love the story of a little engine that pulled the train to the crest of a hill with gumption. I love the story of Dorothy Gale and all that she and her friends learn in a land called Oz. Did a train actually get over the hill with optimism and gumption? Is there a land of Oz? Of course not.

But when it comes to tales that try to explain, we have to step back and ask ourselves if we believe the story or the lesson. And if it's just the lesson, then what really happened?

. . .

I'm not a scientist. Never will be. But at this point in my life, it seems more fascinating and fruitful to learn about what we actually know, than to argue over which supernatural explanation for life and its woes is the right one.

As I say, I very much like the article and the quite logical thinking it displays. Never too late to learn just how wonderful a tool science is and just how incredible the real universe actually is.

Still, I can�t help but wonder what this guy�s former congregants are thinking.

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