Monthly Archives: May 2010

Miracles of Healing Are Miraculous

Kathryn Applegate in a post about the human immune system at Biologos.org.

I believe God is sovereign over all of creation, but I don’t imagine he is presently curing my cold by directly controlling the specific gene rearrangements and optimizing mutations in each of the millions of B cells in my body. Could he do so? Of course! But if that were the case, why bother making billions of antibodies in the first place? The evidence suggests that God has chosen to work through a random process, one which involves the routine creation and destruction of millions of cells that never get used. This is the ordinary means by which God maintains our health. The miracles of healing recorded in the Bible are miraculous precisely because they don’t occur by this normal, natural process.

Tale of Two Eukaryotes

A study looks at the odds that 23 “universal proteins” would appear in bacteria, archaea, and eukaryotes under different origins scenarios. The most likely expanation? By far, that they all share a common ancestor.

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2010/05/100513-science-evolution-darwin-single-ancestor/

Did I Allow That?

Karl Giberson explores how responsible God must be for any suffering He “allowed” while creating living organisms via evolution.

I allow my children to drive my car by themselves. If they run down a pedestrian, did I allow that? God allows gravity to function in a regular way. If a tree falls on my head, did God allow that? … The world may very well be such that saying “God allows” is not an accurate description of the freedom that exists in nature.

What You Asked For

Seen at Tom Scott’s blog Derivadow.com. From the point of view of web architecture I think that he gets the definition of “stateless” wrong, but the closing sentence here is the stuff of bumper stickers.

The web isn’t politically / ethically neutral and wasn’t designed by people who are / were politically / ethically neutral. Which is why the most important design decision of the web was statelessness … Statelessness means everyone has equal access to information regardless of age or gender or ethnic background or physical location or physical ability etc etc etc. Because the web doesn’t care about who you are, only what you asked for.

They All Like Pepperoni Pizza

Karl Giberson in a post at BioLogos about laypeople presuming themselves wiser than they really are.

Professor Everyman would have us believe that the “scientific orthodoxy” or “consensus” is just an opinion poll. Scientists all believe the earth is billions of years old; they all like pepperoni pizza; and they all think blue is a great color. We can be lemmings and go along with the crowd or we can think for ourselves, and order sausage pizza, prefer green, and believe the earth is 10,000 years old. … To go along with the majority in this case is caricatured as abandoning your own thinking in favor of blindly accepting someone else’s.

We hear calls to present both Intelligent Design and evolution to high school students and let them make up their own minds. Is this really a serious proposal? How can this possibly work? Questions that leading scientists with Ph.D.s have explored and debated for decades are to be presented to 17-year-old high school students to adjudicate during a 50 minute class right after lunch?

In Dr. Giberson’s usage it seems that “scientific consensus” is when there is a convergence of several separate lines of evidence all supporting the same conclusion, such as the age of the Earth. If astronomers, geologists, and physicists use different methods to arrive at similar conclusions about that age, then this is a consensus among scientific disciplines that gives weight to their agreed-upon conclusion. Scientific Consensus should not be about the preferences of the scientists involved. “My colleagues and I prefer to view the Earth as 4.5 billion years old, and are disinclined to the number 10,000, and so we’ve agreed to use the larger number. That makes it a consensus.”

Site Theme Changed

I’ve changed the theme of the site for the sake of freshness. This post is merely here to make the change a matter of written record in the article archives. I’m going to change the way I post quotes from other sites so that these articles will look better under the new theme. Many of the things I’ve posted lately consist of only a quotation from somewhere and a link to go read it in context. These quote-then-attribution posts don’t look good under the new theme because the attribution is often hidden behind a link to “read the full article.” I’m going to start posting these quotes in the format attribution-then-quote to give the reader context from the very start.

On the Edges

Text of a David Hayward cartoon.

Jesus: There is no center. There are no edges.

This is the sort of open-ended expression of love-over-all that I’m given to agree with on a reflexive level. I have a mind that chews over my reflexes though, after the fact, and I’m still trying to decide if I agree with this statement. Is it possible to be outside of Jesus’ program if what you’re doing is an expression of true Love?

How You Should Pray

Philip Pullman’s version of the Lord’s Prayer in his book, The Good Man Jesus and the Scoundrel Christ. From a review at Slate.com

This is how you should pray. You should say: Father in heaven, your name is holy. Your Kingdom is coming, and your will shall be done on earth as it’s done in heaven. Give us today the bread we need. And forgive our debts, as we shall forgive those who are indebted to us. And don’t let the evil one tempt us more than we can resist. Because the Kingdom and the power and the glory belong to you for ever. So be it.

All the Color

If you’re seeing the world in black and white, you’re missing all the color.

William Saletan persuading us to “distrust polarization” in an article at Slate.com

What I’ve always seen as the “gray area” Saletan sees as colorful. I like his rendering better.