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Archive for December, 2010

One of the goals that I set for myself this year, that I’ve never been able to accomplish before, was to read the entire Bible.  Well, I finished it yesterday.   I can’t say that I retained a lot, or that there weren’t times when I wasn’t very focused while reading, but I did it.

I also read 28 books, 9 of which were nonfiction, and 5 were re-reads – although if you count the bible I actually read 94 total books.  I watched 66 movies, but I’ll probably watch Inception today so that will be 67, I was shooting for watching six a month, so I was close.   And I beat 9 video games, although my actual goal was just to beat more than I bought, and I fell short of that by…well…a couple.

I wanted to write more, and my blog helped accomplish that.  I’ve written 154 posts since I started on May 21st including this one.

And finally I wanted to spend as much time as I could with my family, and I think I’ve done that, although I can always do more.

I hope everyone has a safe and happy New Years tonight.  Time to start thinking about what I want to accomplish in 2011.

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It’s the end of the year, and that means it’s time to reevaluate the last 12 months and organize the things we like into easily digestible lists.  Being a fan of video games, I especially like looking over the best of the year lists on the sites I frequent.  I’m not going to make my own list – most of the games I played this year came out in 2009 or before ( I have a huge backlog of video games I’m working through, along with a huge backlog of books and everything else.  I blame my son.) – but here are links to some other lists:  Kotaku (there top four are buried in the article), Gamespot, Gamesradar, and of course CNN.

I think it’s pretty clear what the choice for game of the year should be.  If it’s not number one on the list, it’s number two.

Red Dead Redemption.

Oddly enough, this is one of the few new games I played this year.   It really is a fantastic game.  Who wouldn’t like a huge, open-world Western where you play an anti-hero culled from the same brood as Eastwood’s man with no name forced to hunt down the outlaws he used to run with?  And the picture?  That’s exactly what the game looks like.  It’s good.

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I guess it’s obvious I took a couple of days off blogging to celebrate Christmas.  I’m going to celebrate my return by copping out of doing a real post.  The subject of this weeks random Wikipedia article is:

Gopalapuram Parthasarathy.

It will be interesting to see if anyone finds my blog by searching for Gopalapuram Parthasarathy.  They will leave disappointed.

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Merry Christmas!  Have a wonderful holiday with your friends and family.

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Evangelical Atheism is the term I prefer for the New Atheism movement.  These are the guys like Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, Daniel Dennett, and Christopher Hitchens who actively attack religion in favor of atheism.  In their world there can be no coexistence.  Religion must be stomped out for the betterment of mankind.

Another good term for them is ‘fundamentalist’.

Or maybe ‘bigot’

This article actually does a good job of explaining what I’ve concluded.  Especially the sections titled ‘Too-Simple Atheism’, and ‘Dawkins’ Inverted Theism’.

What you should immediately notice if you ever read these guys or listen to their interviews is what exactly they are attacking and calling ‘religion’ or ‘Christianity’.  You should notice that it’s not theology or esteemed theologians.  It’s fundamentalist religion that they attack, and the way they treat it, you would believe that it stands for all religion.  They attack the dogmatic, close-minded, stick-to-your-beliefs-despite-all-evidence-to-the-contrary folks who tend to make the news in the name of Christianity.

But you know what?  Fundamentalist Christianity is generally pretty lousy.  It’s no wonder they can attack it and feel confident doing so.  A lot of fundamentalist Christianity is derived from poor reasoning and poor theology.  If the Evangelical Atheists had more than the apparent cursory knowledge of Christianity that they’ve demonstrated, they might still be atheists, but at least they could engage the faith on a more meaningful level.

Also, the idea that science has advanced to a point where faith and/or God are no longer necessary is just as ludicrous a statement as William Thomson’s, possibly apocryphal quote “There is nothing new to be discovered in physics now. All that remains is more and more precise measurement.” at the end of the 19th century.  To make such a statement demonstrates a refusal to accept the natural limitations of science and a misunderstanding of the nature of God and what it is His existence is able to explain.

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Now here’s a great story.  A bunch of elementary school students in England have had their experiment and write-up published in a prominent scientific journal.   This is the best quote in the entire article:

Science is cool and fun because you get to do stuff that no one has ever done before.

How do I get my students to feel the same way about science that these elementary kids do, so that one day they will be published in prominent scientific journals?

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Wouldn’t it be great if this week’s random Wikipedia article just happened to be about something related to Christmas?   Well, too bad it’s random, because it didn’t happen.  The subject of this week’s random Wikipedia article is:

Emilie.

Yep.  Not even anyone special named Emilie.  Just Emilie.  How lame.

Unless your name is Emilie.

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