Archive for July 2013

An invitation to dinner

July 31, 2013

Dear P.Z. Myers and Aron Ra,

P.Z., thank you for your response, and Aron, for your response, to my recent blog posts. P.Z., there’s no history denial going on here, just some skepticism of deep time claims. Do you mind if I am skeptical that men in the 21st Century haven’t got a very good handle on unrecorded history? Also, I’m totally against an Aristotelian “fixity of species” approach to biology. I agree with your statement that biology is a dynamic process. In reference to the concept that genes and genomes change over time, if you want to call that “evolution”, fine, but do you mind if I just call it “population genetics research”? Of course now, to show how populations morph without genetic change, you have to add on epigenetics, too.

21st Century science certainly does show how genes and genomes change over time, but it also shows there are limits to that change. I’m skeptical that genomes have changed as much as you think they have.

Aron, as a Christian, I believe God is in charge of my profits, so don’t fool yourself into believing you have “wounded” my supposed “cash cow” in any way. You haven’t. I look at this as an opportunity to interact with folks I normally wouldn’t get to talk to, and hopefully defuse some intolerance and bigotry along the way. In America today, we need people who aren’t wasting time being “against creationism”, but instead are tolerant of religion, AND are out promoting and doing 21st Century Scientific research. We need more producers, not more protesters ūüôā

Anyways, I would be happy to take y’all to dinner in The Woodlands on Friday evening. I am certain we could find some things we agree on, while discussing and tolerating each other’s differences. If y’all are interested, just leave a comment here (my comments are private until approved, so I will keep your emails confidential).

Peace,
David

HMNS Continues Support of Anti-Religious Bullies

July 31, 2013

human sin makes us respond irrationally to people who are different

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Before Martin Luther King and the Civil Rights Movement, there was a man named Jackie Robinson who broke through the “color barrier” in professional baseball. His story is beautifully portrayed in the movie, 42. It is so sad how intolerant and bigoted whites were towards blacks back then. They were so cruel, using their power, influence, and Darwinistic nonsense to bully non-whites into submission and falsely portray themselves as “superior”.

Thankfully in America today, we don’t see this extreme intolerance and hatred towards others on the same level so many non-whites experienced in the past. But Scripture reminds us that all of us are sinners (that means me, and that means you) in need of a Savior(Romans 3:23). So, until the King returns, we should not be surprised to see 21st Century humans responding with intolerance and bigotry towards those who look and think differently. ¬†And just like intolerance toward non-whites was fueled by irrational and anti-intellectual groups wearing costumes (think “KKK”), expect the same from 21st Century groups that promote 20th Century, pre-Civil Rights intolerance.

Who am I referring to? Well, it’s the same group I posted about yesterday, who, like the KKK, are planning to come in costume to the Texas Home School Coalition’s annual convention in the Woodlands. And what are they doing there? Well, believe it or not, their purpose is to display their intolerance towards Christians who have a different opinion about dinosaur history than they do! That’s right, they’re protesting DINO HISTORY. They are intolerant of folks like me and the fact that, by God’s grace, we trust the authority of His word over the authority of men in costumes.

The atheists will be at the THSC convention this Saturday, Aug. 3. Atheist Aron Ra has encouraged them, in KKK bigotry fashion, to attend in costume¬†((Warning! Aron is quite the capitalist, fueling his anti-religious bigotry with ‚Äúpop-up‚ÄĚ advertisements that appear when you click on any links, plus ads to the side of the blog text).

On Sunday, the same group is planning on having an anti-religion rally disguised as an “Answers in Science” meeting at the Houston Museum of Natural Science. I’ve asked HMNS to cancel the meeting, and let this group of intolerant bullies meet elsewhere. We don’t approve of bullies in the classroom, so why does HMNS approve of them in their lecture hall? The atheist gang is certainly entitled to express their opinion and display their intolerance of others for the world to see. I just think it’s wrong for HMNS to profit off of renting intolerant bullies a place to meet.

Yesterday, Brad Levy of HMNS (713-639-4629, press “2” and ask for Brad) gave the excuse that it’s “too late in the game” to ask them to cancel. No, it’s not too late. After I tweeted my blog post to @hmns, I received a response from HMNS VP of Marketing and Communications, Latha Thomas (713-639-4712), who informed me “Organizations are permitted to rent our event space, unless we determine, at our sole discretion, that an event is reprehensible or repugnant.” I called Latha today, but she never returned my call. I am wondering if she has seen any of the comments on my blog post from yesterday? I wonder if HMNS would think any of these are “reprehensible or repugnant?”

“Enjoy your wailing and gnashing of teeth, because reality is coming to bite you HARD.”

“Religion is a mental illness.”

Or how about this from “Answers in Science” speaker Aron Ra (who is not a scientist), whose blog is subtitled: “Science doesn’t know everything. Religion doesn’t know anything.” Should that be HMNS’ new motto, too? I certainly hope not! Pray for HMNS directors to make a wise decision about all this, and see the anti-religious bullies for what they are.

Pray also for atheists like Aron Ra, who defy reason and scholarship by presenting a false battle between science and religion. In Advancement of Learning,¬†Francis Bacon, founder of the scientific method, said that “a man cannot be too well studied in the book of God’s word or the book of God’s works.” He also said we should “Study first, the Scriptures, then nature,” and that we should be careful not to “unwisely mingle” the two together. Bacon’s foundation for connecting Scripture and nature was Matthew 22:29. It was obvious to Bacon, and it’s obvious to me and many other Christians, that there is an incredible unity and diversity between God’s word and His works, or “divinity and philosophy” as Bacon said, or “religion and science” as moderns say.

Only a fool would say there’s a conflict between science and religion. Pray that, instead of pushing intolerance and bigotry, that God would change these atheists hearts. Otherwise, the more they bully, and the more groups like HMNS continue to profit from their intolerance, the closer we’ll get to separate fountains.

HMNS To Sponsor Religious Intolerance, Bigotry

July 30, 2013

atheist protest signsThis weekend (Aug. 3-4, 2013), atheists plan to display their bigotry and intolerance of Christians at two locations. Their first display of irrationality will be outside the Texas Home School Coaltion’s annual convention in The Woodlands. Then, on Sunday, they will take their show to the Houston Museum of Natural Science, who stands to profit off their bigotry and religious intolerance by renting them Moran Lecture Hall.

In the photo, you can see some of the signs they plan to wave, which make irrational, untrue, and downright goofy claims. The photo is found on the blog of atheist Aron Ra (Warning! Aron is quite the capitalist, fueling his anti-Christian bigotry with “pop-up” advertisements that appear when you click on any links, plus ads to the side of the blog text). If you would like to hear Aron completely reject reason, click here and listen to a clip from an audio debate he had with Sye Ten Brugencate.

Because God is a necessary precondition for rationiality, rejecting God equates with rejecting reason. Atheist Aron Ra makes this obvious in the audio clip, as apparently he uses magic instead of reason to define things. Of course, Aron and all atheists use reason to understand and evaluate anything, which exposes the fact that they know God exists.

Atheist rejection of reason is obvious on their protest signs, too. For example, take a look at their foolish sign that ends with “don’t handicap your kids with creationism.” This is obviously false for many reasons, one of which is that the founder of the scientific method, Francis Bacon, was a young earth creationist! In his book¬†New Atlantis, he described a “College of the Six Days Work”, dedicated to advancing science for the Glory of God and service of mankind.

It is self-evident to the Christian that from the beginning, God commands Christians to “do science” (Genesis 1:26-28). He lets us know that He created us in His image, so we are obviously designed to be creative, too. A Christian education that emphasizes the creativity of God (rather than man) is more likely to produce a very creative individual, one who may go on to be a great mathematician, scientists, engineer, doctor, etc.

And no, it’s not just 1 job that requires creationism, as another atheist protest sign reads, it’s ALL jobs that require someone who can think creatively!

I am particularly disappointed that the Houston Museum of Natural Science (HMNS) does not seem to have a problem with making a profit off of such a religiously intolerant group. Not only are they attacking Christianity, they are attacking one man in particular, Ken Ham. It is un-American to support such religious intolerance and false claims that Christians are “anti-science”. Christians are not anti-chemistry, anti-physics, anti-biology, etc! I am sure that we would all make a lot more headway in scientific things if atheists showed a lot more tolerance for historical interpretations that differ from theirs, and focus on advancing testable, repeatable science instead.

If you are also disappointed that HMNS is profiting off of the anti-Christian “Answers in Science” meeting (you can see the sign announcing the meeting in the photo above), please consider contacting them to kindly but firmly express your displeasure. You can contact them at 713-639-4629, press “2”, and ask for Brad Levy. I asked Brad that if, for example, a group asked to have an “Answers in Science” meeting, and it turned out their meeting was to discuss “scientific” findings that Jewish people were inferior and Hitler was right about wanting to kill them all, would HMNS support that? Brad immediately answered “no”. Brad is Jewish, so it was obvious to him a meeting like that would be about religious intolerance coupled with unscientific claims. But it is also obvious that the atheists “Answers in Science” meeting is about the same things, religious intolerance coupled with irrational claims that Christians are “anti-science”! Unfortunately, Brad and others at HMNS are having a hard time understanding why they should instantly respond “no” to both my anti-semitic example AND to the real “Answers in Science” anti-religion meeting planned for Sunday. Please contact them and help them correctly reason through this.

One reason Brad gave for not canceling the atheist’s room rental was that it is “too late in the game” to ask them to relocate. Well, no it’s not too late to ask the intolerant and bigoted group to have their meeting somewhere else! It is not too late for HMNS to NOT make a profit off of them. Please pass this on to anyone you know who loves science and opposes religious intolerance in America, and do what you can to encourage HMNS to cancel the “Answers in Science” rental of Moran Lecture Hall.

Pray for the atheists, and remember too that while we were ALL yet sinners, Christ died for us (Romans 5:8). Pray that God would turn many atheist hearts to repentance this weekend, as He has already done for us who call Him Lord and Savior.

A Citadel of Christian Values

July 27, 2013

Robert Fiske Griggs (1881-1962) is best known for discovering The Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes, site of the biggest volcanic eruption in over 100 years. He is also known for the 1922 book he authored of the same name (click here for a free pdf version). What he is less well-known for is being a godly husband and father to four children. His oldest son, David Tressel Griggs, became a fairly well-known scientist himself. In a biography about him, published by the National Academy of Sciences (surprised?), it says that David’s “parental home was a citadel of Christian values, based on love, fidelity, and truth.”¬†

Wow! Biographies like that should remind us of a few things, one of those being that there is no battle between science and religion. That is make-believe nonsense propagated by anti-Christian bigots. Christians are commanded to “do science” from the get-go in Genesis 1:26-28.

More importantly though, this should remind us all to hope and pray that we will leave a legacy like the Griggs family has. We should ask ourselves “What will people write about my family when I am gone? Will they say it was a citadel of Christian values, too?”

Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 

Hebrews 12:1-2

Talking Dolphins

July 25, 2013

While it is self-evident that God designed humans in His image, and gave us the responsibility to manage His creation (Genesis 1:26-28), it is also obvious He created other creatures with quite a bit of intelligence, too. Dolphins are a great example, and researchers are learning more about their ability to communicate with each other, even responding when their “signature whistle” is replayed to them. A recent Wall Street Journal article discusses recent research findings, and includes an audio clip of dolphins responding when their “name” is replayed back to them. Below are some video clips my family shot recently in Port Aransas, TX. Dolphins are very curious, and occasionally will come right up to the boat. In the video, you can see the dolphins, hear them echolocate (rapid clicking sounds) and communicate with each other (whistles).¬†Some of them have also learned to wait patiently near fishermen, and when an undersized fish is caught and released, they pounce on it! They also like to “hitch a ride” at the bow of moving boats.

When around wild dolphins, remember that they are, well, wild, and they have teeth! Try to enjoy them from a distance (federal law says 50 yards), but if they come up to you, don’t gun the motor and race away from them, because you might hit one and injure it.¬†Instead, just enjoy them!¬†If you are swimming or wadefishing and they approach, just relax and be observant. They are curious yet cautious, which is how we should be, too.

Free thinkers to protest the freedom to think?

July 13, 2013

Really? People who tout themselves as “freethoughts” activists are going to protest free thinking? Where? When? Why? How? What should I do?

Where: Outside the Texas Homeschool Coalition’s annual homeschool convention in The Woodlands.

When: August 2 & 3, 2013. The protesters (atheists) are planning an orientation meeting Thursday, Aug. 1 from 8-9 p.m at the Bayland Community Center.

Why: The freethoughts activists are protesting the freedom of Americans to trust God’s word as true in every aspect, including historically true. For some reason, they are particularly concerned about dinosaurs. They are upset with how Christians like myself interpret dinosaur history!And historical interpretation is what they are protesting, not testable, repeatable science.

The fossil record shows many things lived at the same time as extinct dinosaurs, including extant (meaning still alive) starfish and coelacanths. Apparently, the so-called freethoughts activists say we’re lying about the human-dino coexistence thing because we have yet to uncover a fossil of a human riding a dinosaur while holding a coelacanth that ate a starfish. Unless this fossil grouping is found, then atheists will claim the Bible is a book of lies and Christians who believe it are liars. Therefore, since freethoughts activists apparently never lie, and possess a perfect understanding of history, we can trust them over God’s word! And if we don’t buy into their belief that freethoughts activists are the source of historical truth instead of God, they will make laws to suppress our skepticism. Of course, I’m joking here, but are the atheists? Unfortunately, I don’t think so.

How: So how did all this come about? Well, it started when some Houston-area atheists realized that Ken Ham of Answers in Genesis would be a keynote speaker at the THSC Convention. Because Mr. Ham trusts the authority of Scripture, he trusts the Bible’s account of history over other versions that attempt to insert evolution and millions of years to the story. Mr. Ham blogged about the atheists intolerance to Christianity, as well as their unprofessional debate challenge.

What should I do?: First, pray! Then, do! Pray that if the protest actually happens at all, that it will be peaceful. Pray that all Christians (including you!) will make an effort to show the love of Christ to the atheist protestors, and engage them in thoughtful discussion. And bring your friends who may be considering homeschooling, too!

Pray for opportunities to kindly show atheists the folly in their reasoning about so many things. Using reason, the law of non-contradiction (a law of logic created for us by God) states that you cannot be “A” and “not-A” at the same time. You cannot promote yourself as a “freethoughts activist” or a “skeptic” while at the same time protesting someone else’s right to think freely and be skeptical about the way you think yourself. You can’t be “pro-freethoughts” AND “anti-freethoughts”, “for skepticism” AND “against skepticism”, “pro-science” AND “anti-science”. Only an unreasonable fool would think they could.

Pray for opportunities to show atheists that their protest is not about scientific things, but about historic things. Christians are not anti-science. In fact, click here and watch how to start a Christian homeschool science co-op. Or click here to learn more about my company and our goal to encourage homeschoolers to finish calculus in high school, and add a few science and math CLEP and AP exams to the transcript along the way. Our goal is to raise the standard in math and science education, not lower it to government school levels or worse.

Pray for ways to show the atheists that they cannot be pro-science and anti-science at the same time. Science confirms human life begins at conception. Therefore, in order to protect all human life, we need to protect all babies in the womb, from the moment of conception onward. Anything less is murder. To defend the right to murder a baby in the womb is anti-science and just plain wrong.

Also, in the 21st century, high school and college biology textbooks are becoming bloated monsters. Something has to go to make room for teaching 21st Century advances in biology, including epigenetics and bioinformatics. Many chapters have way too many pages devoted to speculative historical claims about origins, dogmatically asserting only one interpretation (evolutionism). A pro-science person would want to reduce or remove the history to make room for 21st Century science. An anti-science person would reject the 21st Century science in favor of page after page about origins. Ask the atheist which they would choose to include in an already oversized biology textbook, new science or history? If they would rather keep the history, then they are anti-science, which contradicts their claims of being pro-science.

A great analogy I¬†read¬†recently said “To use science to promote atheism is like using a man‚Äôs child to prove he does not exist.” Only a fool would say Christians are anti-science. One of God’s first commands to Christians in Genesis 1:26-28 was to think scientifically. Do we have different interpretations of history than atheists? For the most part, yes. But even Christians don’t all have identical interpretations of history, and neither do non-Christians for that matter. Natural history research is not the same thing as scientific research, and not discerning these two is what generates most of the anti-creationism hysteria. ¬†Francis Bacon, the founder of the scientific method and a young-earth creationist, warned us to be careful about muddling the two.¬†The way we each interpret history is something to discuss, not protest.¬†

Finally, pray for repentence! God changes hearts, and He can change the heart of the most hardened anti-Christian activist. Remember what He did with Paul, a man who was wise in his own eyes until God opened his eyes and allowed him to see the true Source of everything, including reason. Simple logic reveals you cannot claim to be a freethinker, while at the same time protest the rights of thousands of Christian parents to freely consider the best educational options for each of their children. Pray that God will use the THSC convention to remove the blinders from many.