The evolution of evolution. An elusive quest for truth.

The evolution of evolution. An elusive quest for truth.

Ever since Charles Darwin’s book, “The origin of the species” evolution has been used to justify the social bias de jour, from white supremacy to male supremacy, to evolution of thought, evolution of speech, evolution of social behavior. The argument is: “There is no god, therefore all has congealed by chance, we are all animals anyway.”
In my childhood in Sweden our family lived is a small community where grades 3-6 were taught together in one class. This meant that the teacher did allow a lot of freedom to explore on my own books in the school library. They had not thrown away any old books the last forty years, so I had quite a selection of old textbooks to choose from. Cephalic_index_svgOne in particular caught my eye. It was about anthropology and classification of races by skull index (Cephalic index, see fig). It was originally based on the works of the Swede Anders Retzius (1796-1860). His research was to classify old bone fragments, but his findings were now extrapolated to explain the evolution of man. There were pictures of people of all kinds of races, with the Nordic, blond and blue eyed being the most evolved, and the black race, with some exceptions much closer evolutionary to the apes. Not only that, but since men have 40% larger brain volume on the average than women, men are further evolved and that is the reason women should not vote. Being 9 years old I believed everything, since it was in a book. I especially liked being superior to girls.
The next time evolution was taught it was the standard stuff with the horse’s hoof being a nail; fishes grew legs instead of fins and so on. We also have a lot of rudimentary organs, not only the appendix, but tonsils and tailbones too. Since the organs are rudimentary, we can remove them without impunity, especially tonsils. And this time around in evolutionary teaching dogs can evolve to look quite different, but people are all equal, and girls are as smart as boys (especially the blond Lithuanian girl that later emigrated to Canada. I had to admit she was both cute and smart).

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gamma-garden-8[5]The third time around, this time in high school biology we tackled some of the hard stuff, mutations being a necessary ingredient for evolution. I read up on radiation gardens, where we can grow superior plants, since we know that at least 10% of mutations are beneficial, just weed out the bad ones and superior plants will emerge.
The radioactive gardens are now but a memory, since it was discovered that nobody could find any positive mutations that way. The closer you got to the source, the worse it got.
It turns out that positive mutations are rare indeed. The ones most commonly found are in viruses, but they are positive only from the virus’s point of view. Survival of the fittest tends to weed out bad mutations, but does nothing to explain the mechanism for speciation creep; it tends to reinforce the speciation boundaries. The genetic code that allows adaptions in species is already there, so when the changed environment occurs, we are changed accordingly. None of the mechanisms we have used to explain evolution holds up to examination. The mathematics is just not there. And a system this complicated and beautiful, where so many parts of it are at a mathematic optimum is not possible to bootstrap. The mathematical probability that this could have occurred by chance is less than the chance of finding the right elementary particle in the known universe. We are left with the humbling fact that we do not know the mechanisms. Yet the textbooks still explain discredited mechanisms as evolutionary facts to yet another generation of kids, thus depriving them of the wonder that there is something beyond themselves, which they can try to grasp. They are left not realizing that there is always one more level of understanding that is beyond them. By not accepting any explanation other than what can be deduced from observation and then presenting them as sufficient facts to explain a mechanism that cannot mathematically have occurred, the scientific community is violating the fundamental rules of scientific exploration. Do not present as fact a mechanism that has no possibility of having occurred by chance.

 

The four chaplains day, Feb. 3, 2014.

Feb. 3 is “Four Chaplains Day” in America by unanimous act of Congress in 1988, under President Reagan. I had never heard of it until pointed out by Rees Lloyd, but their story is truly inspiring, and ought to be taught in school, printed in newspapers, and retold in radio and TV.

On Monday, Feb. 3, at 1 p.m., ceremonies will be held dedicating a permanent plaque at Mt. Soledad National Veterans soledadMemorial honoring the selfless heroism in World War II of the Four Chaplains – Rev. George Fox (Methodist), Rabbi Alexander Goode, Father John P. Washington (Roman Catholic) and Rev. Clark V. Poling (Dutch Reformed).

Times have changed. This is the same Mt. Soledad which cross has been deemed offensive by a Federal Judge in Dec. 2013

The judge said it’s “unconstitutional.”
Todd Starnes at FOX News reported:

A cross atop Mount Soledad in California is an unconstitutional religious display on government land and must come down, a federal judge in San Diego ruled late Thursday.

U.S. District Judge Larry Burns ordered the cross, which honors veterans, must be removed within 90 days — a decision that could result in the case being sent back to the U.S. Supreme Court. Burns immediately stayed his order pending an expected appeal.

The original lawsuit was filed in 2006 by the American Civil Liberties Union on behalf of the Jewish Veterans of the United States of American and several other Southern California residents.

“We support the government paying tribute to those who served bravely in our country’s armed forces,” the ACLU’s Daniel Mach, said in a statement to the San Diego Union-Tribune newspaper. “But we should honor all of our heroes under one flag, not just one particular religious symbol.”

Bruce Bailey, president of the Mt. Soledad Memorial Association, expressed disappointment in the ruling.

“It is unfortunate that the Ninth Circuit left the judge no choice but to order the tearing down of the Mt. Soledad Veterans Memorial Cross,” Bailey told Fox News. “However, we are grateful for the judge’s stay that gives us an opportunity to fight this all the way to the Supreme Court.”

Now back to the story of the four chaplains:

It was on Feb. 3, 1943, that the troop ship Dorchester, with 900 soldiers and the Four Chaplains aboard, was torpedoed in the dead of night on its way to Greenland. The explosion ripped through the Dorchester from below the water line. Many troops drowned below decks as the Dorchester flooded and swiftly began to sink in the frigid sea.

The Four Chaplains acted to calm and aid the troops, in part by distributing life jackets to those who became separated from their own in the chaos and darkness created by the torpedo blast. When there were no more life jackets, each of the Four Chaplains, knowing that it meant certain death, took off his life jacket and put it on a soldier without one. They continued to help troops into lifeboats, until no room was left.

Then, as surviving soldiers who witnessed it later testified, the Four Chaplains went to their deaths together, their arms linked, praying for the troops and singing hymns, until the Dorchester sank and they disappeared beneath the sea, selflessly sacrificing their lives “so others may live.”  in so doing “they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.” (Revelation 12:11, KJV)300px-Escanaba-Dorchester_rescue

It was and is an awe-inspiring, magnificent act of quiet heroism, of selfless service and sacrifice for others, of faith and love lived, an example to be celebrated, commemorated and emulated, and never to be forgotten. (The Four Chaplains story in more detail is available in this previous column of Rees Lloyd.)

Congress awarded the Purple Heart and the Distinguished Service Cross to the Four Chaplains in 1944. The Medal of Honor was proposed but was not awarded due to the requirement that it can only be awarded to combatants. In its stead, Congress later created a Four Chaplains Medal and an unprecedented Congressional Medal of Valor in 1961. The American Legion continues to advocate that an exception be made and the Medal of Honor be awarded to the Four Chaplains.

A measure of how the Four Chaplains are honored and revered by veterans of today is expressed in statements issued by two of America’s greatest living military heroes, to be delivered on their behalf at the ceremonies dedicating a plaque to the Four Chaplains at Mt. Soledad on Feb. 3.

Retired Maj. Gen. Patrick H. Brady, Medal of Honor (Vietnam), considered America’s most decorated living veteran, who has described the generally unknown or ignored humanitarian acts of American troops while in war in Vietnam in his book, “Dead Men Flying: America’s Battlefield Angels” (WND Books), issued this tribute to the Four Chaplains:

“As one who has been honored by many great men up to and including the president of the United States, no honor has been more satisfying than my Humanitarian Award from the chapel of the Four Chaplains. Their legacy of courage and sacrifice is vital for our nation’s survival. Our youth need to know that courage is the key to success in life and that God will give us all we ask for. You can’t use it up – and their faith is the foundation of their courage. Sacrifice is love in action, the source of happiness and our eternal inheritance from the Four Chaplains.”

Retired Adm. Jeremiah A. Denton, seven years and seven months a prisoner of war in Vietnam, later U.S. senator (Alabama) and author of the classic book on the tortures inflicted on American POWs by their communist captors, “When Hell Was In Session” (WND Books), issued this statement on the Four Chaplains:

“The Four Chaplains proved their faith with ultimate sacrifice – not in a flash of combatant action – but with peaceful discernment, humble devotion and extraordinary valor. They lived this life knowing God’s real presence and eternal promise. Blessed with men of this caliber, our nation must do the same.”

These tributes of Gen. Brady and Adm. Denton will be included as other veterans and patriots honor the Four Chaplains at Mt. Soledad, beneath the cross there honoring veterans – which the intolerant secular extremists of the ACLU, which has become the Taliban of American liberal secularism, have been suing to destroy in an abusive and fanatical litigation attack now in its 24th year.

For more information about the Four Chaplains Day ceremonies, which are open to the public, and all are invited to attend and honor the Four Chaplains at Mt. Soledad National Veterans Memorial, Feb. 3, at 1 p.m., read more at http://www.wnd.com/2014/01/four-chaplains-day-dont-expect-the-aclu/#RAEdTVojRzpclswv.99

How do we celebrate Christmas?

How do we celebrate Christmas?

My wife and I came to America many years ago. I came from Sweden, my wife came from Denmark.

The Swedes used to have lutfisk for Christmas Eve Supper, the Danes a pork roast with all the trimmings.

But we both liked to sing our Christmas songs, I sang my Swedish songs, she sang her Danish songs.

Coming to America we learned to love the traditional Christmas Carols, especially those with German, Welsh and Irish origins, not to mention the Negro Spirituals. Christmas music is so beautiful and inspiring. But we were not yet born again followers of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior, we just sang them happily anyway walking around the Christmas tree on Christmas Eve after dinner, but before gift giving. Then we came to a vibrant and joyful faith and we started to go to church Christmas Eve where we always ended up singing “Silent Night” to live candles for everybody in the whole congregation. It started at 7 P.M. so we had to eat a little earlier. Our children had settled for Swedish Meatballs with Lingonsylt (Cranberries) and a fruit bowl in which there was one almond. The one who got the almond got the almond gift – usually a tree ornament. After we came to faith there was just one thing missing – Jesus birthday cake. You can see it for yourself here: (In the background is the Advent Candles, all lit with the center light also lit on Christmas Eve)

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It is a normal cake bottom, usually in three layers with say vanilla cream in one layer and maybe apricot jelly in the other. Strawberries, raspberries, or whatever is fine too. It is overlaid with Marzipan and a Rose of Sharon is created on top into which is placed one birthday light. We light the light and sing Happy Birthday Lord Jesus after we come back from church, then we sing more carols around the Christmas tree. Las of all do we share our gifts.

There is no Santa in our Christmas. The Lord Jesus gets the honor. This is the way it should be, at least for us.

 

Thoughts on Rev Billy Graham’s 95th birthday. A Limerick.

The Rev. Billy Graham just celebrated his 95th birthday with a special message. What a life this man had! And God even gave him the grace to give a “final” message on God’s grace, ending with the sinner’s prayer. I watched the moving messages, but then it hit me;  In the form of a Limerick:

You spoke to the billions on earthsarah-palin-billy-graham

How much is a life like that worth?

In God’s eyes it’s the same

As that bum that just came

to the cross. Of God’s grace there’s no dearth.

Picture, right: Sarah Palin congratulates Billy graham on his 95th birthday. Franklin Graham and Todd Palin are the other two.

Early winter in the Arctic, NW passage blocked. Yachts caught. A Limerick.

The winter came fast to the Arctic.

Some yachters’ reaction? Lethargic.

They believed global warming

and ignored every warning.

Their faith beat their judgment – it’s tragic.

News item from Sail – world.com:

http://www.sail-world.com/USA/North-West-Passage-blocked-with-ice%E2%80%94yachts-caught/113788

The Northwest Passage after decades of so-called global warming has a dramatic 60% more Arctic ice this year than at the same time last year. The future dreams of dozens of adventurous sailors are now threatened. A scattering of yachts attempting the legendary Passage are caught by the ice, which has now become blocked at both ends and the transit season may be ending early.

Check the map:

 Alt_North%20West%20Passageshowing%20ice%20blockages1

And the chart:

 N_stddev_timeseries

In fact, the Arctic has been colder than normal every day this year since May 6:

 meanT_20132

The situation is no better in the Antarctic:

 S_stddev_timeseries

It is clear that this year is a year with increasing ice cover. This is yet another sign of the upcoming little ice age, predicted by the behavior of the Sun.

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Prayer at the cross at Mt Nittany. A Limerick.

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Some friends from of old came to pray

how this land, full of sin lost its way.

So we went to the cross

to bemoan the great loss.

GOD answered: “I’m with you alway.”

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Sunset over Mt Nittany, State College Pa. Aug 14 2013

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Sunset over State College.

A pot-smoking paranoid boy could have been Obama 35 years ago.


A pot-smoking paranoid boy
Was Trayvon, sought fights just for joy.
Said Obama: “You see,
that boy could have been me.
I know, I am from Illinois.”

A black New York City pastor ripped into his congregation for seeing through hateful black eyes for condemning George Zimmerman and defending Trayvon Martin who he called “a pot-smoking munchies, paranoid 17-year-old boy.”

In a sermon recorded (the first video) the same day a jury of six women declared George Zimmerman not guilty in the death of Florida teen, Trayvon Martin, chief pastor at the ATLAH World Missionary Church in New York City, James David Manning, railed at his congregation for defending Trayvon Martin because he is black.

Read more at http://www.christianpost.com/news/pastor-calls-trayvon-martin-pot-smoking-paranoid-17-year-old-boy-rails-at-church-for-being-black-on-verdict-100472/#yxFrrzCqeucZG7TG.99

The second video is from President Obama’s unscheduled appearance at the daily White House press briefing Friday Jul 19 2013.