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Wednesday, September 29, 2010

God Had an Accident

I heard a very learned man on the radio today. A professor of physics, astronomy and natural philosophy (I didn't realize you could have unnatural philosophy). He was explaining, as fact, his opinion on the origins of complex, intelligent life on Earth. Go to http://www.abc.net.au/brisbane/conversations and look for the interview with Marcelo Gleiser. Listen and marvel at the absurdity of an intelligent man describing the miracle of life as an aberration.

Here are some further examples of this man's outrageous folly. Life is a wonderful accident without purpose. This imperfect universe and the life in it are chance outcomes of random conspiracy. Humans are animated stardust. I have to stop. I want to use very strong language to condemn this nonsense.

I am not impressed by people who are "puffed up" with knowledge. I am a simple man so I like simple arguments. What is the origin of life? There are only two possible answers. God, or an accident.

I am not a product of chance. I am not an accident, and neither are you. God doesn't have accidents, and only fools deny the existence of a Creator.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Bonobo Bonkers

Bonobos are a little known species of ape whose communities are ruled by bi-sexual females. They live on the south bank of the Congo River in Africa where, unlike gorillas and chimpanzees, they don't wage deadly wars over territory. They do have fights but these are often settled by quick aggressive sexual encounters.

The existence of the fascinating Bonobo ape was revealed to me when I listened to the AM program on ABC radio (http://www.abc.net.au/am/content/2010/s3010902.htm) As with all little known species, the Bonobo are endangered. Much like the whales which beached themselves in Spirits Bay, New Zealand last Wednesday, the Bonobos, fortunately for them, have human champions who are willing to do whatever they can to save them. Sally Coxe is dedicated to the preservation of the Bonobo apes, and she believes that they can teach people some lessons in humanity. Presumably she's not suggesting we have wild sex with everyone who we disagree with. Says Eric Campbell on AM, "Some scientists believe the Bonobo's behaviour can explain a lot about our own. When resources are plentiful, people tend to be caring and sharing. Scarcity of resources tends to bring out our inner chimp."

These words are humanistic nonsense. People know how to cooperate and share resources, they just don't always choose to do it. The inner chimp reference is of course a reference to our alleged common ancestry. The inner chimp is a myth created by God haters who want animals to have the same status as human beings. I get both frustrated and amused by the constant efforts of many people to categorise humans as animals. We are not animals and we did not evolve from animals. We are the high point of God's creation, fashioned in His image. The fact that we sometimes behave like animals does not make us animals.

The only lesson I learn from the Bonobo apes is that God's creation is astonishingly diverse. Why aren't apes still evolving into humans by the way?

Saturday, September 18, 2010

What do Experts Know?

Some people are very emotionally disturbed about the Federal Government's $43 billion national broadband plan. The Coalition Opposition has an alternative, cheaper plan which they put up against the government's plan during this year's (2010) election campaign. Independent MP, Tony Windsor was said to have been swayed to supporting the formation of a minority Labour government by , at least partially, advice from an telecommunications expert about the respective broadband plans.

Rabid opponents of the Government and all things Labour, have tried to discredit the expert who advised Tony Windsor by saying he wasn't qualified to give an expert opinion. Chris Smith, on his 2GB radio program, produced his own independent telecommunications expert, and invited the so called expert who advised Tony Windsor, to take part in a debate about broadband technology. Fearing an ambush from Chris Smith, the pro Government plan expert brought some reinforcements: you guessed it, another independent telecommunications expert. The two experts presented their credentials and in my view were equals. Two men with access to the same information, analysed the broadband options within the framework of equivalent education and comparable professional experience, and came to different conclusions.

Leaving aside the fact that the debate was a farcical attempt by Chris Smith and his independent expert to grind personal axes against the Labour party, and smear the credibility of the other expert by attacking his integrity, what other conclusions could I, as a listener, draw? I am not an expert. Who do I believe?

When two experts interpret information differently and therefore have divergent views on what practical application of those facts should follow, how does a layman like me decide who is right and who is wrong? Who has the authority? Who should I believe?

We have experts declaring that the war against illegal drugs has been lost, but nobody in government is listening. We have other experts wailing about the end of the world being hastened along by climate change and nearly everyone is government is listening. We have telecommunications experts saying fiber optic is the only way to go because it is future proof while other experts assert the technology will date, and the Government's plan will be a $43 billion white elephant. There are many voices claiming to speak the truth and demanding that we believe them. Who should we believe? Who can we trust? As Pontius Pilate said to Jesus, 'What is truth?'

There is no answer in this final sentence.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Blood on the TongueBlood on the Tongue by Stephen Booth

My rating: 3 of 5 stars


Booth still annoys me, as in other Fry and Cooper novels, with very slow paced narrative filled with interesting information which may or may not enhance the story, while at the same time compelling me by virtue of intrigue and wonderful characters. I prefer faster pacing but Booth's ability to plot so intricately is impressive. Overall an enjoyable read and I think I've become just a little but addcited to Fry and Cooper.



View all my reviews

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Pride goes before a Fall

"I was all on my own in a situation that I'd no control over - I started praying...it became a chant as I repeated it over and over to show my sincerity."

In 1999, aged 17, Jesse Martin became the youngest person ever to sail around the world solo. His feat has recently been emulated by coincidentally named compatriot, Jessica Watson who completed the trip three days before her seventeenth birthday. The above quote comes from Jesse Martin's book, Lionheart, which tells the story of his amazing voyage.

When he was in the middle of a fierce storm in which he really believed he might die, Jesse asked God to save him. He later attributed his survival partly to luck, but mostly to the power of the human spirit - no thanks to God. More relevant and powerful to Jesse is the "spirit of adventure which lies in all of us...with faith that we as humans will be able to overcome any hurdles."

Jesse's religion is humanism which is a religion based on pride, and pride is the worst of all sins. Pride caused sin to enter the perfect world God had made. Pride says, 'I don't need God or anyone else, I can do it by myself.' Pride cannot admit fault or weakness. Pride is still destroying lives today, even as you read this.

It's insulting to God to cry out to him in times of trouble, then ignore Him and give yourself the credit when things turn out well.

(see my September 4, 2010 post for more on humanism.)

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Political Faultlines

The doomboosters and nay-sayers are in full voice declaring the minority Labour government is on shaky ground and won't last three months, let alone three years. We are just one by-election away from political catastrophe. All the positive talk about a new era in Australian politics is being drowned out by passionate pessimists and ignoramuses.

Coalition supporters are predicting the end of the world as the Axis of Evil (Labour and the Greens) plots the downfall of modern Australia. People are suggesting the Independents have prostituted themselves in their dealings with their enemies. The Coalition itself is moaning about the illegitimacy of the minority government led by a Prime Minster who hasn't been elected...again.

We have a democratic system for dealing with hung parliaments. Due process was followed and in case you haven't heard, the final seat count is Labour 76, Coalition 74. It's as simple as that really. The Coalition and their supporters need to build a bridge. You lost. I repeat, due process has been followed. A minority government has been formed and it is led by Julia Gillard's Labour Party. Don't like it? Too bad.

Here's a sporting analogy because there is nothing like a sporting analogy, is there?
NRL: National Rugby League. Suppose your team is clearly the best throughout the regular season. They win more games, score more points and concede less than any other team. They qualify for the play-offs in 1st place. Also in the play-offs is a team which only won half of its games in the regular season, and is statistically inferior. These teams meet in the Grand Final and your team loses. That sucks, but according to the rules of the competition, the only thing that counts is winning that final game.

Okay, its a imperfect analogy but aren't they all? Let's accept the umpire's decision and get on with the game. Let's believe that things will be better and that this government will be effective. Not all legislation will be contested. In fact according to Senators Minchin (Liberal) and Milne (Greens) roughly 80% of legislation which comes before the Senate passes easily with bipartisan support. The rest should be, and will be hotly debated. That's what a parliament is for, isn't it? And if you think all 150 of our representatives in the lower house are in it for personal gain, then you need help.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Excerpt from Devolution

Turning around quickly she said, ‘Hush, where’s your father?’

‘Swimming in the living room. You don’t mind if we talk, do you?’

‘No,’ she said, smiling, ‘I kind of like it. It must be such fun for you to be able to voice with your friends at school.’

He scratched his nose and played with the buttons of his shirt. ‘That’s what I wanted to ask you about actually.’

Sensing the serious tone in her son’s voice, 2 rotated her hoverchair to face him.

‘Has dad said anything about our school being closed down?’

‘He,’ she hesitated, and 3 noticed her uncertainty, ‘He says it’s almost a done deal. He’s been pushing hard for years now and has finally gathered enough support among the other councilors to go ahead. Of course he is the education minister.’

Keeping his eyes fixed on the liquid floor, 3 felt a surge of anger in his veins and his head began to ache again. ‘It’s not fair, mum. It’s just not fair.’

Wisely, his mother tried a change of subject to attempt to calm him, ‘What about your dream? Did you want to tell me about it?’ she said. But he turned abruptly and left the room talking to himself. She tried to project a warning to him to stop voicing, but he was so angry she could not penetrate his thoughts.

In the bathroom, 3 looked at his image in the mirror and cursed. His head, a little large for his body, its shape oval yet triangular, narrowing at the forehead. Eyes wide-spaced, under no eyebrows and long lashes, nose flattened, mouth too wide. As far as Newtonians could be attractive he probably looked all right, but how would any girl ever find him attractive? How would a particular Adonite girl desire this ugliness? If he was to be forced into single tribe education then it probably wouldn’t matter anymore. Obviously looks would play no part in the partnering of Newtonians, but he desperately wanted to stay in mixed schooling. Of course there was no hope of him ever partnering with a girl from another tribe but so much of a teenage boy’s world was fantasy, and 3 was no different. He burned with passion for his friend, the goddess, Veena.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

The Power of Humanity

I love how people ascribe greatness to human accomplishment; giving all the credit to mankind without so much as a tip of their collective hats to God. There is a phrase which always makes me cringe: triumph of the human spirit.

What keeps a person alive in a desperate situation? Is it determination? Physical strength? The power of humanity? No. It's hope. Where does hope come from? Circumstances? Positive thinking? The triumphant human spirit? Think again.

What makes people confident enough to share the road with other motorists, tens of thousands of complete strangers? Faith in other people that they will obey the road rules and drive safely, and faith that cars will do what they are supposed to do. Would people bungee jump without faith in the strength of the elastic cord? Does faith come from positive thinking?

What is it that makes people sacrifice themselves for others? Their time, their money, their very lives? Love. Is unconditional and sacrificial love a human quality? Does it emanate from within the almighty human spirit? Is it yet another accidental by- product of evolution?

What is the origin of these three life sustaining immortals: hope, faith and love? The motto of the Australian Red Cross is 'the Power of Humanity' but I don't think humanity is all it's cracked up to be. All goodness originates with God because God is good. All love begins and ends with God because God is love. On what grounds then can we boast of triumphs of the human spirit? We can help people, even save a few but we can't save everyone. We can heal people of diseases but in the end they'll still die. 'We spend all of our lives going out of our minds, looking back to our births, forward to our demise.'(They Stood Up for Love by Live)Desperately clinging to life because we know we cannot avoid death. Pretending we are the masters of our own destinies.There is no life without faith, hope and love and these three come from God. Therefore there is no life without God.

Humanity is not powerful. It is weak and foolish. Paul says that the foolishness of God is wiser than man's wisdom , and the weakness of God is stronger than man's strength. (1 Corinthians 1:25)