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Archive for March, 2012

Cover of "Atheist Delusions: The Christia...

Cover via Amazon

I’m reading an interesting book right now called Atheist Delusions: The Christian Revolution and Its Fashionable Enemies by David Bentley Hart.  It’s a look at mostly historical arguments that people tend to use against Christianity – it a major cause of war and death, it’s unthinking dogmatism led to the Dark Ages, it’s oppression of science, etc. – and how those arguments are grounded in myths that can be dispelled by a careful look at the actual history.  It’s pretty fascinating, but it’s also fairly slow reading because the author really loves words, especially long ones I’ve never seen before like ‘farraginous’.

I’m in the section now dealing with science and Christianity throughout history, and how the conflict between the two is a modern day invention, and not something that’s been going on for hundreds of years despite what some people may think about the Galileo incident.  I came across this quote, and thought it was worth sharing.   Incidentally, the ’embarrassing case’ he mentions at the beginning is Galileo vs. the Church, which could more accurately be described as Galileo vs. the Pope, since the problem came more from a disagreement between the two of them than any Catholic church-wide hatred of science and reason.

Rather, the case is an embarrassment because, in serving for some as a convenient epitome of some supposedly larger truth about Catholicism or Christianity (despite its being the only noteworthy example of that truth they can adduce), it has tended to obscure the rather significant reality that, in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, Christian scientists educated in Christian universities and following a Christian tradition of scientific and mathematical speculation overturned a pagan cosmology and physics, and arrived at conclusions that would have been unimaginable within the confines of the Hellenistic scientific traditions.   For, despite all of our vague talk of ancient or medieval “science”, pagan, Muslim, or Christian, what we mean today by science – its methods, its controls and guiding principles, its desire to unite theory to empirical discover, its trust in a unified set of physical laws, and so on – came into existence, for whatever reasons, and for better or worse, only within Christendom, and under the hands of believing Christians.

 

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I got smoked 6-0, 6-0 in a singles tennis match tonight for my league.   I don’t mind losing nearly as much if  I at least manage to win a few games along the way.  So while I stew over my loss and think about what I need to work on (serving, returning serves, volleying, forehands, backhands, lobs, and overheads basically), you get to learn something.  The subject of this week’s random Wikipedia article is:

Edvard Beyer.

Interesting.   You know what I learned?

Norwegian words looked cool and weird.

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Apparently last week wasn’t just a break from school, but a break from blogging as well.  I know you’ve been waiting on pins and needles for the next installment, and for that I apologize.  I did.  Other things kept pushing blogging to the back-burner.  I did get to take my son to the Museum of Discovery and to a circus over the break.  I got to visit with friends, and spend a night with my brother and his family.  I played some video games, read some books, and watched a couple of movies.  It was a good week.  Now I think I’m recharged enough for the last sprint for May and summer vacation.

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Norfolk State Spartans Logo

Image via Wikipedia

Thanks, Norfolk State.   It was exciting to watch you win, and I like to root for the underdog, but you just shot my bracket dead.   I had Missouri making it to the final four.  Do you hear that?  The final four!

Who am I kidding? I can’t stay mad at you?  Three cheers for 15 seeds upsetting number 2’s!

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Zombies as portrayed in the movie Night of the...

Image via Wikipedia

I’m pretty sure that the zombie apocalypse will begin on a Wednesday night.  I say that because Wednesday night is the night I take the garbage out, and every time I wheel the big green bin to the road I wonder what I would do if I happened to see a figure moving slowly towards me down the road, shuffling in and out of the light of the street lamps.

Do I run back into the house?  Do I go check on the man, just in case it’s not the zombie apocalypse, but someone who needs help?

If it is the zombie apocalypse, how should I prepare?  We usually park my wife’s Civic in the garage and leave the Santa Fe in the driveway.  But wouldn’t it be better to have the much larger vehicle in the garage, where we can safely get to it (as long as the garage door is down) in the event our house becomes surrounded?  The Santa Fe can hold more, it would be better for busting through a wall of walking dead once we open the door, and my favorite CD is in it.

Once I gathered my wife and son, where would we go?  I’ve always thought the school would be a good idea.  It has ample food supplies (mostly canned goods and meat chock full of pink slime, but who can afford to be picky when the zombies come), and it’s a tornado shelter so it should be relatively secure.  Plus there’s the chemistry lab, which you would think might be good for making something to fight off zombies.  I’m not sure what, however.  I guess we could throw some acid on them, but that seems like it would work a little too slowly, and if it didn’t work we would end up not just with zombies, but acid-covered zombies and that  would be worse for everyone.

The problem is, the school has a lot of glass frontage – doors and windows and whatnot.  So where else would we go?  The church?  No.  It has all of the glass and none of the food supplies.  Stockpiles of kosher crackers and grape juice would only last so long, and I’d feel really bad eating it.

But wait a minute, Beebe has a National Guard armory.   Now that seems like an ideal place assuming it lives up to the armory name.  And yet I’ve seen my fair share of zombie movies.  Eventually the military gets their orders to contain the situation by laying waste to everything and everyone in the immediate vicinity, and I don’t want to be at ground zero.

Hmmmm.

This bears some thinking about.

Next garbage day is only a week away.

 

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Steaks on a grill

Image via Wikipedia

Imagine my surprise as I’m perusing my Yahoo! news earlier today, when I run across this headline:

Eating Processed Meat and Red Meat Significantly Raises Risk of Death

I was shocked!  Shocked, I say!  I’ve known for a long time that eating processed meats and red meat were bad for you.  Heck, most of our ground beef apparently contains ‘pink slime’, and when I think pink slime I think of something that eats people and can only be stopped by the cold.

But nobody told me that if I didn’t eat red meat, I MIGHT NOT DIE.  Just read these quotes from the actual article.

Eating a serving of nuts instead of red meat was associated with a 19% lower risk of mortality.

Choosing poultry over red meat was linked with a 14% lower risk of dying.

Thank goodness we had chicken tonight instead of steak.  All the time and lives wasted searching for fountains of youth and elixirs of life, and all we had to do was quit eating the bacon of death.  It’s almost enough to make a person go vegetarian.

But, man I love steak!

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Literacy testing made this one week feel like three, so it’s nice that the weekend is finally here.  One more week and I’m on Spring Break!  Sometimes I like to go up to people in the business world and ask them when their spring break is and then act really confused when they tell me they don’t get one.

Ha!  I don’t go up to people.

The subject of this week’s random Wikipedia article is:

Haji Agus Salim Stadium.

When I read the article I was surprised to see that they mostly played football here, but I clicked the link and it brought me to an article about soccer.  I flagged the page as unreliable and sent a message to Wikipedia, but I haven’t heard back.  Imagine!  Mistaking soccer for football!  What, do they think just because they use a ball and their feet they can call it whatever they want?  Next it’ll be ‘Hey!  Let’s go to the gym and play some dribble-ball.”  Or “Let’s head out to the ol’ diamond and play some bat-ball.”  Crazy!

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