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Archive for May, 2007

God in the Nucleus

May 29th, 2007 5 comments

The strong nuclear force is what holds the protons in an atom’s nucleus together via interactions between gluons and quarks (sub-atomic particles). If this force did not exist protons we repel each other because of the electromagnetic force and atoms could not form. If the electromagnetic force did not exist, negatively charged electrons would not be bound to the positively charged nucleus and atoms could not form. Good thing they are there, eh? I find it amazing how God setup the universe.

David from He Lives has up a post that I wanted to share with you that sheds some more light on the forces of the atom: Go Nuclear On Me. He notes a few things about the strength of the nuclear forces that are extremely interesting (but read the entire post):

If the strong nuclear force were just 4 percent stronger, the diproton would form, which would cause stars to so rapidly exhaust their nuclear fuel as to make complex life impossible. On the other hand, if the strong nuclear force were just 10 percent weaker, carbon, oxygen, and nitrogen would be radioactive and again life would be impossible.

Now some might claim this as some form of the anthropic principle, but personally I just see this as another piece of God’s hand in the world in which He has created. How awesome is science?

Categories: Religion, Science Tags:

Blogging The Qur’an

May 27th, 2007 2 comments

In a similar vein to David Plotz’s Blogging the Bible, Robert Spencer, director of Jihad Watch, will be blogging the Qur’an over at HotAir. I am hoping to keep up with his posts and maybe even try to read it along with him!

Check out Hot Air introduces: Blogging the Quran for their introductory remarks and Blogging the Quran for Spencer’s introduction and thoughts on what he wants to do with this project. An excerpt from his intro:

To understand the motives and goals of Islamic jihad terrorists, one good place to start might be to explore what they themselves say about why theyre doing what theyre doing, and what they want. That in turn will lead you to the Quran (or Koran), the Islamic holy book. The jihadists quote it frequently and portray themselves as those who are following pure Islam, the genuine article as it is taught in the Quran and Islamic tradition. So in the course of my work explaining the jihadists objectives, Ive quoted the Quran a great deal and hardly a day goes by without my being accused of cherry-picking violent passages, and quoting them out of context. Meanwhile, the Council on American Islamic Relations and other Muslim groups say that in order to understand the true, peaceful Islam, we should read the Quran.

I think this will be a pretty interesting venture. I am hoping to learn a bit more about the Qur’an as I have only read parts of it. It will also be interesting to see how Muslims react to this. Follow his posts to see how things unfold!

To help keep track of the posts Spencer has written, I have put up a Blogging the Qur’an page that will link to all the various discussions. Stop by there to see where things are at!

Categories: Blogging, Religion Tags:

An Argument Against the Heliocentric Model

May 24th, 2007 9 comments

Alternate post title: Somewhere a village is missing their idiot (but I thought that might be a bit harsh…).

It appears this isn’t satire, which is bizarre. The winner for one of the most unbelievable posts goes to: Heliocentrism is an Atheist Doctrine. Yes that’s right; someone is actually arguing against the Heliocentric model (that is that the earth [and other solar system bodies] orbit the sun as opposed to the Earth being stationary and everything else orbiting us). I had no idea that was even possible!

The two problems I have are that the author 1) thinks he is using science to support his ideas and 2) uses the Bible to support his claims. As far as the first problem goes, it is extremely offensive as someone who enjoys science a lot to see someone make outrageous claims that have no basis in reality and think they are actually talking science. The second problem is worse I think, although is pretty common. People, both Christians and not, have been interpreting the Bible in strange ways for ages. I just think it is amazing that someone in this day and age can show such blatant disregard for both science AND the Bible at the same time. Usually people just pick one or the other! ;)

Here is the deal, the Bible can stand just fine along with science (I have said this is numerous posts - see The God of the Bible is also the God of Science, Creation Science, and Science vs. Religion). The Bible, and certainly God, does not need our defense. It especially doesn’t need our defense in ways that are completely unfounded.

I am not going to address each of his supposed arguments because I feel like arguing FOR the Heliocentric model is like arguing for gravity. If you DO want me to address any of his points, please let me know and I will gladly do so.

As a PS, I noted this in the comments of his post: “I have a feeling you are one to believe that if you dropped a hammer and a feather in a vacuum, you would think the hammer will hit the ground first.” His response: “Of course it would!” Now, I understand there are a lot of people who do not understand that, that’s fine. But if someone is making scientific claims, especially claims about the dynamics of the Solar System they had darn well know that mass has nothing to do with free fall. I also asked what his scientific credentials were and he hasn’t responded to that yet, I will update if he does.

Categories: Science, Theology Tags:

Blog Reading Using a Feed Reader

May 23rd, 2007 4 comments

Many of the bloggers that stumble across this post will know all about this already, this post is for those that don’t know what a feed is and/or want to know how use feeds to help reading blogs. I wanted to write this because I know there are lots that could benefit from using feeds but don’t really know how. If you read a lot of blog or news sites that update frequently, feeds will be extremely helpful.

Earlier this month, I suggested that you subscribe to my blog’s feed from feedburner (if you would like to do that, please do so here), if you have no idea what that means, this post is for you!

Read more…

Categories: Blogging Tags:

A Bold Plan From Bill Whittle

May 22nd, 2007 6 comments

Bill Whittle is an amazing essayist. If you have never read him before, go read everything you can, perhaps even buy his book (a compilation of his essays), over at Eject! Eject! Eject! You will be well served to read and ponder what he has to say.

I write this post in response to his essay You Are Not Alone Part 1 and Part 2. He has a bold vision; the title of his essay eludes to it, technology now allows us to communicate and share ideas in a way that was never possible before, people working together with shared values and virtues can truly change the world. It starts with the individual, not just any individual, but yourself. If we actually aspire to be virtuous, what will happen?

The essay introduces a working ideology for a strong and prosperous society, it is one that he calls a tit for tat society:

Tit-for-Tat combines generosity and toughness. And look at the terms used to describe the most successful strategic version of Tit-for-Tat: Nice. Retaliating. Forgiving. Non-envious.

He then provides examples of why this ideology works, I quote one here:

Everything the West has achieved all the science, prosperity, security and freedom is based upon the free exchange of ideas. We tolerate offensive ideas so that this free exchange of information may continue. Disagreement is the crucible of wisdom. The price we pay for this cooperation is the daily offense we suffer at the exposure to ideas we find distasteful.

However, when radical Muslims living in the West demand that their religion not undergo these same stresses and trials and turns violent burning buildings or killing those who disagree with them well, we as a society have a choice. We can be always cooperating, which rewards that behavior, or we can retaliate, which punishes it.

Which do you think reward, or punishment is likely to produce more of this savagery, and which less?

And frankly, which behavior is more worthy of contempt: slapping someone repeatedly in the face, or watching someone thank his assailant for doing it to them? That is not moral superiority. That is the neurosis of the masochist.

Read the rest of Part 1.

Part 2 then delves into how to best make a culture that functions in this way happen. The crux of the plan is the focus on values and virtues and the dedication of the individual to such aspirations.

Today, when we think of virtues, we tend to think of things like prudence, chastity, modestypretty cold porridge. But to the Greek, the Virtues were dynamic and bold. More, Aristotle and others believed they were harmonized that is related, interconnected, so that to not know one was to imperfectly know the rest.

They were dionethic, he said, built by rationality the virtues of understanding of substance, science, wisdom, the practical crafts and the practical mind.

And there were ethnic virtues, built by by custom courage and temperance; the property-based virtues of generosity and goodwill; honor-based virtues like pride, assertivity and control of anger; the social virtues of wittiness, honesty and friendliness; and the political virtue of justice.

What kind of society would a citizenry so educated and versed produce?

Good question. I think we should try and find out.

I want to make a quick interjection here. Bill is proposing something here that does not require religion (including Christianity). That is perfectly fine because not everyone in America is Christian or religious. But I do want to suggest that all the things he suggests should be things that are actively sought and striven for by Christians. Try going to church and reading your Bible; it will be impossible to get away from the same call that Bill is making. The difference is that for Christians, acting in such a way is not the end all of things.

One of the things that I am very excited about locally that relates directly to Bill’s call is a new non-prof whose board I will be serving on once it starts up more fully: Ivy Roads: Northwest Student Mentoring. Ivy Roads is the brain child of Ron Jacobson, a doctoral candidate in education at the University of Washington. From their vision statement:

We are focused upon purposeful investment in tomorrow’s leaders. It is our contention that our world is in need of leaders with integrity, compassion and wisdom. Most centers of higher learning (public and private) do an excellent job of training graduates in areas of job skills and knowledge, but are not equipped to carry out effective programs of character development. In the current makeup of the college and university structure character development has been left to sporadic residence hall programs, outside religious institutions, and the family. Ivy Roads is filling this gap in diverse and creative ways. Specifically, Ivy Roads is focused upon mentoring post-high school students in issues of integrity, leadership, and service.

So if you are in the Northwest, and you want to know more, let me know and I will try to get you in contact with the people that can get you the information you need. On a more global scale, Bill is starting up a community projected called Ejectia! (yes, he knows it is a silly name and no, that link does not work yet) where

We, together, can build a virtual community where people can go to be refreshed, encouraged, educated, entertained and improved. Such a place will invariably produce better citizens and better citizens make a better society.

Sounds pretty good, doesn’t it?

One of the things I would like to see in an online discussion/forum is not the standard “fight for your side of the argument till you collapse” method, but a place where the arguments are not just stated and defended, but where they are always related back to the virtues we are trying to aspire to. I don’t just want to know your argument, I want to know how it fits in, I want to know how it will make things better. If things are done this way I think those virtues could become a reality in a more concrete way. Arguments (especially arguments online) never seem to really change anything, but it we can show how our ideas work and why they should be implemented, we could actually cause change.

What are YOUR thoughts on this? What would society look like with these virtues? How can you help make that happen? Oh, and go introduce yourself to everyone at Eject! Eject! Eject! and let them know what you can do!

If you are a Technorati user, you should vote for this “Where’s the Fire?”: Bill Whittle has big plans backed by big virtues.

Categories: Social Commentary Tags:

3 Year Blogversary!

May 21st, 2007 2 comments

I suppose it is kind of silly to post this late (I was away from my computer this weekend, ok??), but I am going to do it anyway! May 19th marked the 3rd anniversary of my blogging experience! I started out asking the question: Why am I Here? I think over the last three years I have tried to figure that out and I suppose my answer is “because I enjoy it!” I truly enjoy what a blog allows me to do; I can look back on the things I have been thinking about, I can interact with a wide variety of people and topics, and I can push myself to learn more about things that interest me. I know there are other reasons to blog, those are just what have come to mind. So here is to more blogging, more discussion, and more interesting things to talk about!

Categories: Blogging Tags: