World conquering ducks: A potential reason not to home school

This must surely be a joke. I’m assuming it is. The alternative is just too bizarre to fathom. There are much better arguments against gay marriage than this… This is from, allegedly, a 14 year old New Zealander.

 

Via the Twitters, @Leigh_howard

A nuts argument: I’m no scientist but this doesn’t sound right…

If you’re going to argue against evolution you probably need a more compelling argument than this.

Evolution of a Geek

Here’s a helpful flowchart that will help you understand the geeks in your life.

From Flowtown.

How not to disprove evolution

There is a certain strand of Christianity, particularly in America, who think the solution to the “science v religion” debate is to write letters to the editor trying to engage with the science they are questioning.

Please, brethren, if that is you, at least try to get the science right. We Christians get angry at the way atheists caricaturise Christianity and misunderstand religion. We’d like them to try to understand that we can believe the Bible is the inspired word of God and not see a need to throw rocks at homosexuals or disobedient children. Please extend those in the scientific community the same courtesy – and don’t write letters like this:

Via Geekologie.

The Dawkins Delusion

I went along to see Richard Dawkins in Brisbane tonight. The results were unsurprising. I agreed with most of what he had to say – everything except his starting assumptions and conclusions.

He started by telling us all that our lives are incredibly improbable. That we should never take them for granted, that we should never take our existence for granted, and that we should marvel at our very unlikelihood. Then, he suggested, as his latest book indicates – evolution is the greatest and only show on earth.

Our improbable beginnings began with an improbable meeting of improbable matter that expanded improbably in a way that created stars and then life and then us. Somehow it makes more sense to believe a void created complexity than to believe a God did. But we can’t believe that a void created a God (especially the God of the Bible) who would eventually create a world… Once you start speculating about origins all the options seem possible to me.

It is, of course, improbable that anything like a God could possibly have been involved in the process – because for Dawkins as soon as you can describe the process the notion of an author is redundant. He ridiculed the God of the gaps (which is ridicule worthy) and a bunch of other strawmen. Then he closed with a question and answer session.

He was funny, engaging and most concilliatory. He just isn’t really engaging with any Christian belief that includes the ability to synchronise Christian belief with scientific truths, and he doesn’t seem to think that the Christian lay person is capable of anything but a strict, fundamentalist interpretation of particular passages. He did, in question time, suggest that the enlightened “bishops and archbishops” of the Christian world believe that God may have had some role to play in the start of everything but has then stepped back. Curiously missing the point of the incarnation.

He had a swing at anyone who believes anything on the basis of faith, authority, or feeling (there was one other factor – I forget) – and suggested that evidence is where it’s at. Which is fine. But he doesn’t really have anything to say to those of us who are believers because we think the evidence for the death and resurrection of Jesus is compelling. Like a modern day Don Quixote he spends most of his time tilting at windmills to the cheers of an equally delusional crowd. Until he starts actually engaging with the facts his efforts to discredit his opponents are risible.

I think in the process of answering questions from the floor (particularly one about whether our close relationship to the ape world had any moral implications) he may have suggested it was morally ok to breed with the entities that link us biologically to the apes – the only problem is that they’re extinct.

In question time a couple of people asked about the evolutionary future of humanity – I still want to know how feasible my shirt is – will we one day turn into shape shifting alien robots? Or self healing immortal mutants with retractable claws? I sure hope so.

Shock horror – humans hardwired to sin

Craig linked to this story about Australian’s being the most sinful people in the world. I thought it was interesting.

The finding comes from a BBC Magazine (Focus) article from an issue on sin. I can’t find the actual article – but there is another article from the issue online. An article which suggests that we’re hardwired for sin. Who’d have thought it. You know. Isn’t that what the Bible suggests. Groundbreaking research.

Funnily enough the observations are accurate but the conclusions are all pretty bizarre. All these bad things are actually good things and were useful once upon a time.

And in a funny little twist – it seems our Aussie love of self deprecation is just an ironic outworking of pride, it comes from the same area of the brain.

This is one of those conclusions where Christianity just makes more sense than the science…

“I heard it said that emotions are evolution’s executioners – they are what natural selection uses to make organisms successful at propagating their genes,” says Safron. We’re nature’s puppets – dancing to a pre-ordained tune that’s been reinforced through the generations. Now that’s a great excuse to demolish a cream cake if ever there was one.”

I think:

“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God”

Actually makes a whole lot more sense.

I made a shirt…

I just designed a shirt. The idea came from a tangent on my last post.

It’s called “Future of Evolution”…

Here it is – you’ll be able to vote for it to be produced on Threadless any day now…

If they reject it you’ll be able to order copies from wherever I can get it printed…

Fine tuning

I’ve been thinking a little bit about why I am convinced of the truth of Christianity a little since Mark Driscoll’s Jesus based apologetic made me question the way I approach “theism”, and Dave’s thoughful series on atheism concluded with Jesus as a foundational reason for rejecting atheism and adopting Christianity (not theism). I tried my hand at defending Christian belief on the basis of the historicity of Jesus and the veracity of claims made about him in the Bible here.

I’ve been thinking that while my adherence to Christianity as an accurate representation of a monotheistic God hinge on Jesus and his claims – there are other reasonable reasons to believe in a God who creates and sustains the universe.

The Fine Tuned Universe argument, the idea that conditions in the universe are extraordinarily balanced and complex, has its detractors. It has its scientific explanations – like the anthropic principle (that things could only be this way for life to exist – ie that life couldn’t possibly have happened in any other way). And it has its Christian proponents – like William Lane Craig.

I find it pretty compelling. Atheists using a frame work of naturalism find it mind blowing but explainable. And once they have an explanation they don’t need a cause. Because to add a creator to the mix would create something else that needs a creator. I think it’s an odd paradox that none of their equations of chance – including the whole multiverse concept – ever factor in a universe with an omnipotent God. Surely if multiple universes exist then each one has a probability of developing a God powerful enough to destroy all the other universes? Monotheism is the natural outcome of this school of thought.

On a side note – I want to ask Dawkins or any evolutionary biologist a question. Given infinite time will humans eventually evolve into shapeshifting aliens? That would seem, based on Transformers, to be the evolutionary pinnacle.

I’m happy to accept much of the science of evolution. But I wonder what happens when you do that and remove God from the picture. What does the end point look like? How long before we can fly?

The quote below is the reason for this post. And it seems particularly dumb. To me the idea that there are a lot of things in the universe that can kill us, and want to, is a case for an intervening creator, not a case against…

I want to do a fast tirade on stupid design. Look at all the things that just want to kill us…
Most places in the universe will kill life instantly – instantly! People say that the forces of nature are just right for life. Excuse me? Look at the volume of the universe where you can’t live. You will die instantly. That’s not what I call the garden of Eden.

This is all stupid design. If you look for what it intelligent, yeah you can find things that are really beautiful and clever – like the ball socket of the shoulder – there are a lot of things you can point to. But then you stop looking at all the things that confound that revelation. So if I came across a frozen waterfall and it just struck me for all its beauty, I would then turn over the rock and try to find a millipede or some kind of deadly newt, put that in context, and realize of course that the universe is not here for us – for any singular purpose.

So now nature is not right for life which makes life less probable, not more, and the atheists embrace it. I would have thought the greater the improbability of life the greater the case for God. Am I missing something? The fact that bad stuff happens naturally – and that there are things out there that can kill us fits with Christian doctrine rather than contradicting it…

I love the part of the quote that equates the concept of Eden – a safe haven – with the whole universe. It’s just dumb.

These arguments come from this video – and I found them here. Be warned – this video contains a frame depicting abnormal and aborted fetuses.

Even without the specifics of Jesus I find the argument for a creator much more compelling than a naturalistic understanding of things.

T-Shirt Appreciation Day: Stop evolving

Yeah. Cop that Neanderthal man. This one is $20.95USD.

Small change

I thought this was pretty funny. It’s from here.

And along the same theme

Shirt of the Day Two: Nuclear evolution

The nuclear revolution will have untold benefits for the human species. Like extra limbs. Apparently.

From SnorgTees.

Evolution of a Nerd


My first post on this blog highlights my ongoing descent into nerdhood. While I don’t have the bespectacled (yet), triple-chinned, past-eating figure as described here, I have taken some healthy steps in the direction of becoming a nerd.

1. Blogging. To the readers who have ‘tuned in’ (sorry I don’t know what the web equivalent is) hoping for some of Nathan’s regular rants, my apologies. You got me. Some of you might think this is an improvement but let me assure you that I have much less creativity than my much more linguistically apt other half.

2. Study. Nathan and I have embarked upon a year of “pseudo study”, in which we’re learning Greek, going through the Westminster Confession and reading Calvin’s Institutes. Nathan is also preaching once a month and I’m sure that other opportunities will present themselves throughout the year.

As for Greek I’ve found it less tiresome than I’d anticipated. I actually like it. Bring on the Greek. Some days I catch myself at work wishing I was at home studying. Point in case for nerdish behaviour.

3. Glasses. Recently I’ve found myself asking my children to write bigger in their workbooks. I’ve also been looking at the dots on the tops of the Greek letters and wondering why the author was too lazy to write them properly. I’ve been getting headaches if I study for more than half an hour. I’m pretty good with reasoning and logic so I knew it was time for a visit to the optometrist.

Thankfully the news was good. I have two relatively minor problems which weren’t real concerns, however, as they were causing me trouble studying we decided to invest in a pair of specs. I don’t want glasses and I don’t like them. Nathan assures me that he thinks I’ll look great in glasses but I’m not so sure he’s telling me the truth. We’ll wait and see.

4. I use Chrome. Google Chrome that is. I didn’t even know that using Chrome was a sign of nerdhood but apparently it is.

Despite embracing these facets of nerdhood be assured that I won’t start playing World of Warcraft, develop poor hygiene or start talking about RAM any time soon.

photos-224

A much further developed species than I.

Evolution over time

The war between creationists and evolutionists is long running and intense. It’s perhaps most hotly contested at Wikipedia – which is, as we know, representative of the prevailing views of a particular topic.

The conflict has been visualised. Here. And is now included in reduced form below for your viewing pleasure and edification:

Controlled Evolution: Intelligent Design?

How many of these have you used? Are designs getting clunkier and more complex? Or more intuitive?

Really, it’s just a cool pic.

Here’s the original post – complete with family tree