Private Equity Drove 50% Returns on University Endowment Funds; How You Can Join in This Investing Feast

A recent headline in the Dartmouth student newspaper reads, “Dartmouth’s endowment posts 46.5% year-over-year returns, prompting additional spending on students”.  That seems like really great investing performance. But the sub-headline dismisses it as less-than-stellar, by comparison: “The endowment outpaced the stock market, but fell short when compared to other elite universities that have announced their endowment returns.” After all, fellow Ivy League university Brown notched a 50% return for fiscal 2021, which in turn was surpassed by  Duke University at 55.9% and Washington University in St. Louis at 65%. The Harvard endowment fund managers are a bit on the defensive for  gaining “only” 34% on the year.

The stock market has done well in the past year, but nothing like these results. What is the secret sauce here? Well, it starts with having money already, lots of it. That enables the endowment managers to participate in more esoteric investments. This is the land of “alternative investments”:

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Humor in Christian Apologetics: Mia Langford [2020 NCCA, 10]

The intellectual defense of the Christian faith (“apologetics”) is often seen as serious business. Mia Langford, however, makes the case that humor is a key part of being human. As such, humor can contribute to both the content of apologetics and the communication of that content.  Here I summarize and comment on her talk, “Humor: The Black Sheep of Apologetics”, given at the 2020 annual National Conference on Christian Apologetics (NCCA).

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Christian Apologetics Insights from David Geisler, Ray Ciervo, and Prem Isaac [2020 NCCA, 9]

This continues my writeups of material from the 2020 annual National Conference on Christian Apologetics (NCCA). Here I will summarize and comment on talks by David Geisler, Ray Ciervo, and Prem Isaac. Most of these items deal with classic apologetics themes such as what the Christian message is and how it is best presented and defended in our modern milieu.

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Another Intelligent Design Straw Man Attempt to Demonstrate a “Waiting Time Problem” for Evolution

The Intelligent Design (ID) crowd is jubilant over the publication of a paper by a trio of ID authors (Ola Hössjer, Günter Bechly, and Ann Gauger) in a sub-prime but legitimate journal. This paper is an example of a common straw man argument employed by ID. In the straw man approach, you set forth some weak or flawed “straw man” version of your opponent’s position, knock it down, and then proclaim victory.

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Posted in Evolution, Genome, Uncategorized | Tagged , , | 11 Comments

Suggestions for Comfortable and Effective Face Masks, e.g. Korean KF94’s

With Covid cases and deaths surging despite widespread vaccinations, face masks are back in. Back when the pandemic first hit in early-mid 2020, all commercial masks of any kind were allocated to medics/first responders. Back then, the only mask option for the rest of us was to cobble together something made of regular cloth. But studies I looked at show that the protective performance of those cloth masks, and even standard rectangular surgical masks, is quite poor [1], compared to the KN95 and similar masks which are now available to the public.

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Is the Old Testament Trinitarian? by Jonathan McLatchie [2020 NCCA Confc. 8]

The doctrine of the trinity can be deduced fairly readily from a number of New Testament verses, although it was not fully formulated and endorsed until two or three centuries later. But how can this concept be reconciled with the strong monotheism taught in the Old Testament?

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How the New Testament Sees Christ in the Old Testament: Talk by Mel Winstead [2020 NCCA Confc. 7]

From the start, Christians have interpreted various passages in the Old Testament scriptures as referring to Jesus of Nazareth as the Messiah. The overall topic of interpreting the Old Testament from a Christian viewpoint was addressed by two talks at the 2020 annual National Conference on Christian Apologetics (NCCA):   The Problem of How the New Testament Writers Used the Old Testament by Mel Winstead and  Is the Old Testament Trinitarian? by Jonathan McLatchie. As part of our series of coverage of selected talks from that conference, I summarize here the contents of the presentation by Dr. Winstead.  I will give a brief introduction, then try to state the speaker’s case in his own words, and finally offer my reaction.

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Jesus in Old Testament Prophecy — Class Handout

Preface for blog: As part of a series summarizing some talks from a 2020 Christian apologetics conference, I plan to post an article describing talks dealing with treatments of the Old Testament. In order to off-load some material from that planned post, I wanted to first publish a listing of some passages that are commonly cited in this area. Below is a set of notes for a church discussion of Christian interpretation of certain Old Testament passages. I drew these up several years ago, and am posting them here now, unedited, primarily to serve as reference material for the planned subsequent article.

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Making Essene Bread: Uncooked, Sundried Sprouted Wheat

INTRODUCTION: INITIAL SETBACKS WITH SPROUTS

A couple of weeks ago I tried sprouting a medley of sprouting seeds. This was partly a project to do with my grandson. Instead of just sticking to alfalfa, I was seduced by enthusiastic discussions and reviews online about sprouting a variety of plants. So, I got some mesh jar lids and purchased a suite of seed mixtures on Amazon. Each mixture, sized for one jar-load, came in its own little plastic bag.

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Confirmatory Coincidences Among the Gospels – Timothy McGrew [2020 NCCA Confc, 6]

The Ring of Truth: Undesigned Coincidences in the Gospels [Oct. 14, 2020] was presented by Professor Timothy McGrew of Western Michigan University at the 2020 annual National Conference on Christian Apologetics (NCCA). Prof. McGrew discusses a number of cases where something which is perhaps puzzling in one gospel is explained by a passing observation in a different gospel. These instances support the view that substantial eyewitness testimony lies behind each of the four gospels. I will summarize his case in mainly his words, and reserve my commentary until the end.

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