Archive for the ‘science’ Category
Here’s the latest news: Lonely People More Likely to Believe in God. What the hell does that mean? Seriously? Every day I am simply amazed at the amount of human time, money and energy that goes into such ‘research.’
Here’s a portion of the article:
People who feel lonely or isolated are more likely to believe in God and the supernatural, according to a new study published this month.
Lonely people try to create social connections by reaching out to old friends, making new ones, or as the study suggests, believing in a higher being.
“We found that inducing people to feel lonely made them more religious essentially,” said University of Chicago researcher Nicholas Epley, who led the study, according to LiveScience.com.
Epley and his team induced a group of students to feel lonely by showing a clip from “Cast Away,” a movie where the main character is deserted on a remote island, and told them to empathize with the protagonists.
The University of Chicago researcher explained that previously humans depended on the community to survive and for safety, and “complete isolation or ostracism has been tantamount to a death sentence.”
Although group living is not essential for survival in the modern world, feeling socially connected is. Feeling disconnected and lonely is a painful emotional state for people and can lead to heath problems, both physically and mentally, according to Epley.
“Being socially isolated is just not good for you,” he said.
One group was shown a clip from “Cast Away,” the movie in which the main character played by Tom Hanks is deserted on a remote island, in order to induce a feeling of isolation. The second group was shown a clip from the crime thriller “The Silence of the Lambs” to promote a sense of fear. A third, control group was shown a clip from the sports comedy feature film “Major League.”
All three groups were then asked to describe a pet they owned or knew well and pick three traits from a list that best described them. The list included anthropomorphic traits that related to social connections (thoughtful, sympathetic) and simple behavioral descriptions (aggressive, energetic, fearful).
Participants from the loneliness group were more likely to describe the pet using the anthropomorphic descriptions than those in the fear or control groups.
Are they serious? Oh, please read the article at livescience.com (linked above) so you can see what the other experiments were. It is hilarious. A better way to induce loneliness is to put someone in a room by themselves and give them no means of communicating with others. Or, better, send introverted people to a baseball game where a huge crowd is located (they will be lonely there too!) This is too funny!
Anyhow…I cannot imagine that anyone takes this sort of ‘science’ seriously. I cannot believe that this is going to appear in a peer-reviewed, journal of serious inquiry. Did it really require an academically funded scientific inquiry to figure out that ‘being socially isolated is just not good for you’? You know what the book of Genesis says? “It is not good for man to be alone.” (Genesis 2:18) Whatever the case may be, this new ‘research’ has nothing to do with Biblical Christianity and really gives us no information whatsoever about the nature of belief in God.
These are the intelligentsia of our world! And there are many who will praise this work as something meaningful and something truly astounding.
There is another reason why people believe in God. “How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard?…Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message and the message is heard through the word of Christ.” (Romans 10:14, 17) Loneliness might make a person more open to the message of Christ, but it certainly does not lead to any substantial belief, and apart from the Word of God, in Christ, such belief is nonsense. And what happens when the person is no longer lonely? Do they abandon their belief in God? All this study is trying to demonstrate (however implicitly) is that religion and belief in God are crutches for emotionally unstable people. It is attempting to take away belief in God as a rational act of a rational people for rational, historical, and valid reasons. There is nothing openminded about such a study. This is pure reductionism.
This is another vain attempt by the scientific community to undermine belief in God. It is trying to demonstrate that at some level we can assuage such feelings as loneliness by simply being more involved in community with other people. That is, if we would just have some more friends we wouldn’t need God! Once we have more friends, eliminate the need for God, then we will all be emotionally stable people and we can just do away with Christianity altogether.
On the other hand, it is funny how science keeps doing research that only confirms what Scripture already asserts: “It is not good for man to be alone.” That was God’s word to us. We are the ones who won’t listen; we are the ones who think more research is necessary. But I also promise you that we are the ones who will not listen to God’s remedy in Christ.
ps–I wouldn’t feel particularly lonely watching those films mentioned above in the research. I might feel excessively depressed and suicidal, but lonely? Hardly! It wasn’t the loneliness that such films as Silence of the Lambs inspires (which I don’t think it actually does anyhow) that causes belief in God. It is the horror that such people as Hannibal Lecter actually exist in real life, it is the reality that such levels of depravity and sin are real. On the other hand, the movie Castaway inspired great hope and courage in me; hardly loneliness. Besides Tom Hanks wasn’t lonely in that movie. He had Wilson! And Major League? Huh?
Is this really what scientists are paid to study? What a life!
What do you think this means: De Waal Traces Human Behavior to Apes.
The renowned Yerkes primatologist designed an experiment in which two side-by-side apes were rewarded with the same food after completing the same task. Both animals repeated the task to continue to receive the reward. When one of the apes began to be rewarded for the same task with a better treat, the other animal, observing the unfair treatment, quickly refused to repeat the task, effectively going on strike.
De Waal calls strike behavior an “irrational reaction.”
I have to be honest with you: If I belonged to a labor union, I would be highly offended by this. Said the article:
De Waal, whom TIME magazine designated as one of “100 People Who Shape Our World,” described the uncanny similarities between human and ape behavior in the inaugural lecture of the Life of the Mind lunchtime lecture series on Wednesday.
It is amazing to me that people get paid to a) nominate people like De Waal as 1 of 100 people in a world of several billion who ‘shape our world’, and b) make ‘discoveries’ like De Waal made and be nominated as 1 of 100 people out of several billion who ‘shape our world.’
If striking is an ‘irrational behavior’ imagine how irrational it is to go to work on an assembly line. Now that would be a study I would be interested in reading.
To borrow a phrase from R Dawkins, this is all ‘very amusing.’ And I am sure that Prof. De Waal’s will go a long way to improving the relations between striking labor unions and management. All management has to do is give them a better prize and the union worker will stop acting like an ape. Thank you, Professor, for such enlightening research! I nominate you for one of the Ig Nobel’s!
Perhaps some of my more scientific friends could help me with this story because I’m not quite certain what to make of it at this point. Artificial Life. Here are a couple of questions.
First, is he serious about this being used to ‘combat global warming’?
Second, are there any ethical issues concerning what he has ‘created’ (shouldn’t he say, ‘what I have evolved’? I mean, he didn’t really create it did he? Seriously.)
Mr Venter said he had carried out an ethical review before completing the experiment. “We feel that this is good science,” he said. He has further heightened the controversy surrounding his potential breakthrough by applying for a patent for the synthetic bacterium.
What does ‘feeling’ have to do with it? I’m sure there are others who ‘feel’ this is ‘bad science’. ’Feelings’ should have nothing to do with whether or not this is ethical, good, or even science.
Third, how is it ‘a new life form’ if it starts out by being ‘transplanted into a living bacterial cell’?
Fourth, is this guy really naive enough to believe this statement he made:
Mr Venter believes designer genomes have enormous positive potential if properly regulated. In the long-term, he hopes they could lead to alternative energy sources previously unthinkable. [My emphasis.]
Nothing has ever been properly regulated. This is wishful thinking.
Fifth, explain this statement:
“We are not afraid to take on things that are important just because they stimulate thinking,” he said. “We are dealing in big ideas. We are trying to create a new value system for life. When dealing at this scale, you can’t expect everybody to be happy.”
What ‘thinking’ does he hope to stimulate? What is the ‘big idea’ here? What is the new ‘value system for life’ he hopes to create? Seriously, what would this sort of work do to help the world live better, happier, and with more value for life? I think it is too bad we don’t consider humans people created in the image of God instead of products of changes incurred climbing ‘mount improbable.’ Then we wouldn’t need a new ‘value system’. But what is the ‘value system’ he hopes to create?
Sixth, is this in any way another attempt by man to ‘play God’? Does this story say anything to us about what we really think about life, God, and Darwinian evolution? If yes, what? If no, why?
Well, I’d really appreciate any feedback you could give me. I’m up in the air on this one so I’m asking for a little guidance. Thanks.
It appears that scientists do have a sense of humor about themselves. It is refreshing to see that not all scientists take themselves so seriously. This is actually quite a refreshing story and I wish I had known about the Ig Nobel Prizes before today. The lead paragraph:
Ice cream may never be the same now that Mayu Yamamoto of the International Medical Center of Japan has discovered how to extract vanillin, the essence of vanilla flavor, from cow dung. Don’t pooh-pooh Yamamoto’s accomplishment. It may not win her a Nobel Prize, but it has netted her an honor equally exclusive. At a ceremony at Harvard University last night, Yamamoto received the 2007 Ig Nobel Prize for chemistry. A local ice cream shop even whipped up a special flavor in her honor–Yum-a-Moto Vanilla Twist–although the ice cream makers avoided scatological flavoring.”
What a nice story (and I’m serious!).
Turns out there were other similar episodes by Baylor University. Click Here.
It seems that even ‘historically Christian’ universities are not above fear. Seems that even Baylor University is getting in on the action against professor Bob Marks. In part:
“As many of you have heard, Marks, a distinguished professor of electrical and computer engineering, has been conducting research that ultimately may challenge the foundation of Darwinian theory. In layman’s terms, Marks is using highly sophisticated mathematical and computational techniques to determine if there are limits to what natural selection can do,” he wrote. “At Baylor, a Christian institution, this should be pretty unremarkable stuff. I’m assuming most of the faculty, students and alumni believe in God, so wouldn’t it also be safe to assume you have no problem with a professor trying to scientifically quantify the limits of a blind, undirected cause of the origin and subsequent history of life?
“But the dirty little secret is university administrators are much more fearful of the Darwinian Machine than they are of you,” he said. [Emphasis mine]
“Here’s what’s going on: Somebody within the scientific community let [Baylor dean Ben] Kelley know that Marks was running a website that was friendly to intelligent design. Such a thing is completely unacceptable in today’s university system – even at a Christian institution. Kelley was probably told to have the site shut down immediately or suffer the consequences,” Ruloff said.
It’s a conspiracy! (Not.)
There’s also the story of Guillermo Gonzalez who was denied tenure at Iowa State University:
Gonzalez, who will be out of his job at ISU after the 2007-2008 year if the decision is not changed, was rejected by officials despite his publication of 68 peer-reviewed scientific articles, nearly four times what his own department suggests as a standard for “excellence.”
It’s a conspiracy! The opposition to Darwinism is paranoid! There is no suppression in the scientific community! It’s all a vast right wing conspiracy and the dead Jerry Falwell is leading the charge!
OK. Enough of that. On to other matters. You might not know it, but over the weekend, I guess, Atheists from around the country (or globe) got together for a worship service, Crystal Clear Atheism. The preachers included Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris and others. They delivered stirring messages from their bibles (The God Delusion, etc.) and they fellowshiped together.
Said the article:
By contrast, Harris’s speech was a more tempered critique of the atheist movement itself. While Harris said he believed science must ultimately destroy religion, he also discussed spirituality and mysticism and called for a greater understanding of allegedly spiritual phenomena. He also cautioned the audience against lumping all religions together. [emphasis mine]
And why? Well, as Richard Dawkins:
But they are a proudly elitist and self-certain minority. When asked what the main difference between believers and atheists was, Dawkins had a quick answer: “Well, we’re bright.”
That certainly cinches it for me! So they are afraid of opposing views, they think they are ‘bright’, and they think that religion must be destroyed. Well, that makes for a great weekend doesn’t it? I really don’t know why I waste my time with this stuff. I guess I think it is funny that the things I’ve been saying keep proving to be true. Oh, sure, many people will deny that it is true and will spin it their way, but there it is. I’m reminded of something Jesus said one time. It’s a very simple phrase, but it packs a terrible punch to the confidence that atheists and evolutionists have in their ‘brilliance’:
“Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.” (Matthew 24:35)
And Job said:
Then Job replied to the LORD : “I know that you can do all things; no plan of yours can be thwarted.” (Job 42:1-2)
My thoughts? Give it your best shot you atheists, you Darwinists, you evolutionists. Go ahead and do what you will. You will never conquer Jesus Christ. His people you may hurt, his people you may scar, his people you may exterminate. But you cannot, you will not, thwart the plans of the Lord. The earth is His, and the fullness thereof. Good luck with that little enterprise, Mr Harris!
“If it is of men, it will surely fail. But if it is from God you will only find yourselves fighting against God.”–another atheist who tried to wipe out Christianity and failed.
Soli Deo Gloria!
I have an apology to make, sort of, to evolutionists. For a long time I have been referring to them as Darwinists. I am sorry I have done so because I think I may have misled them into thinking that they have more credibility than they actually have. The entire idea of Darwinism is bunk. So, I am sorry for calling you Darwinists. From now on I shall refer to people who believe in evolution as Darloserists. I realize this movement will take some time to get underway, but I think it is time for rational, reasonable, thinking people to stop assuming that Darwinism has the dominant voice or the final voice on the origins of men and women or any life for that matter. I’m tired of Darloserists thinking they are the only ones whose voice matters when it comes to science, origins, and the way life ought to be perceived–or thinking that their voice matters at all. Consider what the Lord God said through Isaiah the Prophet:
For this is what the LORD says—
he who created the heavens,
he is God;
he who fashioned and made the earth,
he founded it;
he did not create it to be empty,
but formed it to be inhabited—
“I am the LORD,
and there is no other.
19 I have not spoken in secret,
from somewhere in a land of darkness;
I have not said to Jacob’s descendants,
‘Seek me in vain.’
I, the LORD, speak the truth;
I declare what is right.
20 “Gather together and come;
assemble, you fugitives from the nations.
Ignorant are those who carry about idols of wood,
who pray to gods that cannot save.
21 Declare what is to be, present it—
let them take counsel together.
Who foretold this long ago,
who declared it from the distant past?
Was it not I, the LORD
And there is no God apart from me,
a righteous God and a Savior;
there is none but me.
22 “Turn to me and be saved,
all you ends of the earth;
for I am God, and there is no other.
23 By myself I have sworn,
my mouth has uttered in all integrity
a word that will not be revoked:
Before me every knee will bow;
by me every tongue will swear.
24 They will say of me, ‘In the LORD alone
are righteousness and strength.’ “
All who have raged against him
will come to him and be put to shame.
(Isaiah 45:18-24, NIV)
The only voice that matters is the Voice of God.
I think it is high time that the Darloserists be exposed for what they really are: Mean-spirited egoists whose only ambition is to undermine the Word of Truth, that is, The Word of God. I think it is time that the cover come off their supposed quest for truth, which is masked by the blanket word ‘science,’ and expose it for what it is: Materialism, Humanism, Atheism, a world of anarchy without God or reference to Him or submission to His Son Jesus Christ. But this world belongs to the Father. I’m sick of my children being indoctrinated by preachers of Darloseranity. I’m sick of their religion being shoved down my throat every time they discover a new square centimeter of bone in some out of the way desert. I’m sick of their propagandists spewing out their dogmas and doctrines from their unassailable pulpits in universities, high schools, and elementary schools across the country and suppressing the voices of those who dissent. I’m tired of evolutionists assuming there is even a debate to be had!
I’m tired of their maniacal attacks on all things religious and especially all things Christian. I’m tired of their attempts to undermine the Word of God. I’m tired of their shallow logic that they believe is unquestionable because they possess a bone fragment or a, well, bone fragment. I’m tired of these elitists telling me that Jesus did not Resurrect from the dead and then telling me that life just ‘sprung up’ from nowhere. I’m tired of them telling people that the Bible is a 2,000 year old book we can’t trust but Darwin’s 200 year old book we can. (Does that mean when Darwin’s book is 2,000 we can quit trusting in it??? We should have stopped trusting in it a long time ago!)
The Scripture says: In the Beginning God Created. There are no other options.
I think science has done many wonderful things for humanity. I am pleased they continue to make advances in such areas as Nuclear, Biological and Chemical warfare. I’m glad that scientists continue to do tests on animals to make certain that their products are safe for human consumption. I’m glad scientists are able to tell us all about the human genome but cannot tell us how to solve simple problems like hunger and thirst or death. And thank God for the scientists who worked on the Manhattan Project! Where would be without them!? And where would we be without safer abortions and euthanasia??
Yes, blessed science has done many wonderful things: Penicillin, computers and the internet (although Al Gore had a hand in that too!), homogenization, chocolate and much, much more. And for these we can be truly thankful that God has imparted wisdom to us. Still it is time to keep all this in perspective and get back to the truth that this world was created by God, for God, and because of God. It’s time that the Word of God be trumpeted across the Land and around the World. It’s time that Jesus was exalted and glorified and Darwin was humiliated and left to rot. It’s time that the Darloserists were revealed for what they really are: People who believe a lie so deeply they think it is the truth, people who are easily duped (see my post on Dawkins), people who can only argue that those who disagree just ‘don’t understand.’
Yes, yes, yes. There are some broad generalizations in here. Yes, yes, yes, there are some deceived Christians who believe Darloserism. Yes, yes, yes, science has done more than give us chocolate and plastic and post-it notes. It doesn’t change the fact that Darloserism is the greatest hoax ever perpetuated on this planet by the father of lies. Every scientist in the world could announce today that they believe in Darloserism and they would be wrong. The Bible is the only Word of Truth concerning our origins and our ends.
We read in Scripture our great ‘theory of everything’, the beginning and the end, the reason for our existence and the reason for our continued safety:
He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. 16For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him. 17He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. 18And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. 19For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, 20and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.” (Colossians 1:15-20, NIV)
Soli Deo Gloria!
In discussing the Resurrection, Dallas Willard makes a very good point in his essay: Blind Science vs. Blind Faith: Some Thoughts on Breaking the Deadlock. He writes:
This student was walking across campus with a professor whose field is religious studies. In their conversation, the student happened to mention the resurrection of Christ. The professor’s response: The resurrection is inconsistent with the laws of physics. Now, in fact, the laws of physics lie at a considerable conceptual distance from phenomena such as human death and decay and their possible reversal. This particular professor in any case, would have little if any idea where to begin showing that resurrection conflicts with physics—or why it matters, if it does conflict. Indeed, who would? Very few, I would imagine. “Science” was vaguely invoked to end the discussion, just as in other contexts, “religion” is used for the same purpose.
He then goes on to explain:
The professor who invoked physics is surrounded constantly with things and events for which no physical explanation yet exists, nor even the beginnings of one. Just look at the physics texts and see. A most obvious case is the existence of the physical universe itself, as well as of life and human consciousness. When confronted with the de facto inability of physics in this respect, the academically sanctified dodge is to invoke chance, along with huge spans of time, for everything to “work,” and further, to invoke the promise of what science (really, physics) supposedly will be able to explain in the future as it continues to make progress. But chance is not something that can produce or explain anything. Rather, it is invoked precisely at the point where there is no known explanation or cause. And if something is, indeed, impossible, it will not help to have more time to get it done. We need a demonstration of the possibility, for example, of life’s emerging from the inorganic, and then we can talk about time. But the assumptions of this “scientific” evasion are so complicated and culturally protected that most people confronting it do not realize they have been handed intellectual sawdust instead of bread.
But Willard notes that ‘religion’ often does the same thing by often merely invoking the ‘God of Great Power’ argument. That is, both sides invoke their own non-explanations as a ‘means of holding its ground.’ I agree with this assessment and take it a step further and say that Christians need to be able to explain the ‘reason for the hope they have’ to anyone who asks. I agree that it is not enough to say to the atheist or non-believer that we believe something because ‘God is powerful’ enough to do it. Frankly, that is beside the point.
Willard makes one other point too that I found especially insightful:
It is painful to observe that our culture provides no friendly meeting place for the authorities of science and religion to engage in good‑faith efforts to understand the truth about our life and our world. How many people seek or find the preparation required to deal profitably with issues such as resurrection and the laws of physics? To be genuinely open to truth and able to seek it effectively is surely one of the greatest human attainments. I am convinced that it can come only as a gift of grace. It implies faith in a cosmic context where one no longer feels the need to hide, to invoke explanations that really explain nothing at all but simply enable one to hold a position with an appearance of reasonableness.
Again I agree. For all the arguments I have with certain Darwinists who have visited here, I have to say that they most likely are searching for truth. I have probably not done as well in explaining the truth from the Biblical perspective as I should have, and that is where I must grow. Christians own the greatest Truth in the entire Universe. We need to be able to carefully reason together with those who are opposed or simply do not believe. Perhaps if Christians, and I include myself here, will learn better how to articulate the truth of the Resurrection in history of Jesus Christ (among many other things) such a dialogue will open up between Christians and non-believers. Perhaps such a meeting ground does exist where such dialogue and the quest for truth can take place in good-faith efforts. Perhaps there is hope.
There doesn’t need to be ‘two sides’ which, in Willard’s words, ‘never come into contact.’ He says ‘important work of reconciliation needs to be done.’ His answer?
Progress is possible if a vast number of Christians, devoted and qualified, will permeate all dimensions of society and bring the Spirit and power of Christ to bear upon the points where the authority structures of the intellectual professionals are in blind conflict with genuine faith in Jesus Christ.”
And what I would say is this. The ‘intellectual professionals’ would do well to stop discrediting the Christian point of view merely because it is a Christian point of view. It is not invalid simply because it is, for lack of a better term, unpalatable to the intellectual or because it invokes faith or because it believes in a metaphysical idea. If the ‘intellectual’ will create space for the Christian to even have a voice, to be heard, without fear of ridicule and condescension, much progress will be made towards the end of reconciliation. But I don’t seriously think such a conversation can take place as long as the Christian point of view is dismissed before it is ever in the door or as long as the credentials of the Christian are discredited simply because the person possessing them is a Christian. I think Prof Willard has made a fine point. What do you think? Is such a dialogue even possible?
You can access many more essays on Christianity at Dallas Willard on-line. I’m not suggesting that you are going to be satisfied with everything he says (I surely wasn’t), but you will find some carefully reasoned essays and arguments that will help us all as we try to create such a space in this world for the dialogue to either get started or, in some cases, continue.
I just happened upon this happy story from the UK: Bishops Urge U.K. Lawmakers to Reject Human-Animal Embryos
Last week, the U.K. Human Fertilization and Embryology Authority (HFEA) decided to allow scientists to create hybrid embryos – a move described by Scotland’s Catholic bishops as a “horrific prospect.”
Despite ethical concerns, the fertility clinic regulator agreed that the decision could lead to developments in therapy for diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.
Well, as I have always said: The ends justifies the means (well, I didn’t really say that, but I heard it somewhere). I have to say that science never fails to amaze me with their prowess. I remember hearing a line in that amazing movie Jurassic Park where one of the characters says something like, ‘Just because you have the power to do something doesn’t mean you should’ (or something like that).
This is simply outrageous.
The Catholic Church in Scotland, however, said that a “moral boundary is being crossed” by the proposals, which involve removing nuclei from animal eggs and replacing them with DNA from human cells.
Is there no end to the hubris of these people?
I think there is actually something to this. If you think about it, this has its roots in the very sin that pervades our existence. Remember, in the beginning, the Lord said, “It is not good for man to be alone.” (I fully realize there is a difference between being ‘alone’ and being ‘lonely.’)
Everyone feels lonely from time to time, but some people have it much worse. These individuals consistently feel lonely for years, often despite having friends and family. Researchers have long known that such chronically lonely people are less healthy. They suspected cortisol, a hormone that regulates the body’s response to stressful or threatening situations, was to blame, because it’s found in higher levels in people who feel isolated. But the mechanism remained a mystery, and one nagging question persisted: If inflammation drives most loneliness-linked diseases, how can cortisol, with its anti-inflammatory properties, be the culprit?
I agree that research should be done into this field, but I disagree with the conclusion that researcher Steve Cole comes to:
Cole hopes doctors will someday be able to use the genetic markers his team discovered to identify at-risk patients and keep them healthier with anti-inflammatory drugs such as aspirin. “We can’t change them into the happy, laughing life of the party,” he says, “but we can keep them out of the coffin.”
I confess that I don’t really know what he means by this. Is he saying, “Out of the coffin at an early age,’ or ‘Out of the coffin forever’? I hope what he means is the former because the latter is just hubris.
Then Christ would have had to suffer many times since the creation of the world. But now he has appeared once for all at the end of the ages to do away with sin by the sacrifice of himself. 27Just as man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment, 28so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many people; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him” (Hebrews 9:26-28, NIV).
I’m not disagreeing with the article. I’m just saying that I think our lonliness is deep seated precisely because of sin. I agree that over the course of time sin has so warped us that it probably has disrupted and corrupted the genetic structure of our lives.
Finally, and I don’t mean this is a sarcastic way, but it has been argued that the environment affects our gentics. I wonder if the research indicates how the environment has affected the genese they are concerned about in this particular study. Finally, I wonder if perhaps there is any evolutionary advantage to these lonliness genes? I’m being serious because for all the joking around I do, I think lonliness is a serious problem in our increasingly solitary world.
If you are interested in the full study, Science has made it available in .pdf form here. If I get time, I’ll read it too. My thoughts above are only on the article reporting the study itself.
Here’s how the world of ‘science’ wishes to indoctrinate our children: They lie. That’s right. See this story about The Down to Earth Guide to Global Warming.
But Robert Ferguson, president of the Science and Public Policy Institute in Washington, D.C., published findings today that reveal a “glaring scientific error.”
On page 18 of “The Down-to-Earth Guide to Global Warming,” the book has a graph accompanied by the statement, “The more the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, the higher the temperature climbed. The less carbon dioxide, the more the temperature fell.”
And there’s more!
“The authors mislabeled the blue curve as temperature and mislabeled the red curve as CO2 concentration,” he explained.
Ferguson said the David-Gordon “manipulation” is critical because the central premise of the book argues CO2 drives temperature, “yet the ice core data clearly reveal temperature increases generally precede increasing CO2 by several hundred to a few thousand years.”
“This fact may have been too inconvenient for David, who instead presented young readers with an astoundingly irresponsible falsehood,” Ferguson said. “Parents and teachers of these children should be concerned.”
What I wonder is this, if the evidence is so overwhelmingly true, why resort to lies? Why, oh science, why?
And there’s more!
Ferguson argues the peer-reviewed literature is “unanimous” in finding that in climate records CO2 changes historically have followed temperature changes and cannot have caused them.
“The book is mischievous for concluding that this deceptive graph has anything to do with ‘discovering’ a link between additional CO2 concentrations and ‘global warming,’” Ferguson declares.
Well, I for one am very concerned about this. How can we possibly trust science if they must resort to lies to support their case? How can I trust them on such serious issues as cow flatulence and polar bear populations? How can I trust science about my great-grandparents’ (several times over) evolutionary links? My entire world has been shaken. I’m just not sure if I can believe in evolution any more! I’m gonna have to rethink it all. The lie has been revealed!
PS–The Down to Earth Guide to Global Warming is co-authored by Laurie David and Cambria Gordon. It is published by Scholastic and probably costs way too much money, but should help David and Cambria firm up their retirement funds because there are people who will buy it. I also imagine that we will soon see a plethora of publishing house apologies for the ‘oversight’ and explanations about how the ‘image was accidentally reversed by a cross-eyed machine operator’ who had a grudge against David. We will probably also learn that he was recently fired from his job after 58 years of faithful service.
And another question: What scientific credentials does Laurie David have that she can write such a book? These people are so unbelievably full of themselves.
There’s even a forum for the book!
And biographies of the authors!
You can buy the book from amazon for an amazingly low price of $10.87!
Uh, I should point out that neither David nor Gordon are scientists. They are activists. Neither, so far as my research is concerned, has a degree in any scientific field of study. Gordon did write a book title: Fifty Nifty Crafts to Make With Things Around the House. David once traveled around on a ‘biodiesel tour bus.’ This makes both of them authorities. So we should really start taking global warming seriously.
Here are a few stories that I found interesting. You might find them interesting too!
First, according to new research, Neanderthals weren’t wiped out because of a dramatic climate change.
A study published in the Sept. 13 issue of the journal Nature suggests abrupt global cooling was not the final calamity that wiped out Neanderthals.
The study does not, however, offer any direct clues about what did finally kill off the Neanderthals. (Climate)
I think this is encouraging because if cold weather didn’t kill Neanderthals, then perhaps we moderns will be able to survive the impending heat waves of Global Warming. Humans (or any variations of humans) are remarkably adept at surviving calamities that other beasts cannot survive.
Then there’s this: (Climate Cuts)
WASHINGTON — The government’s climate change research is threatened by spending cuts that will reduce scientists’ observations from space and on the ground, a study says.
A major problem, the National Research Council said Thursday, is the program director’s lack of authority to organize spending and research among the 13 different agencies that study the impacts of climate.
Looks like it’s tough luck for the polar bears. *Sniff*
And here’s the most important new of all (Cow Flatulence)
Eating less meat could help slow global warming by reducing the number of livestock and thereby decreasing the amount of methane flatulence from the animals, scientists said on Thursday.
In a special energy and health series of the medical journal The Lancet, experts said people should eat fewer steaks and hamburgers. Reducing global red meat consumption by 10 percent, they said, would cut the gases emitted by cows, sheep and goats that contribute to global warming.
I would think just the opposite. I would think that if we ate more cows there would be less cows. What are we going to do when the the cow population starts running amok? I cannot believe this is serious science. I cannot believe that this is serious journalism.
And finally (Cataclysm)
Astronomers have spotted a planet that has survived the massive ballooning of its parent star, providing the first optimistic evidence for the long-term survival of Earth.The discovery, detailed in the Sept. 13 issue of the journal Nature, could motivate other scientists to look for similar red giant survivors.That in turn could eventually lead to an answer to one of astronomers’ favorite questions: Will Earth survive the sun’s swelling when it goes through its own red giant phase in a few billion years?
Well, seriously, in a few billion years? I guess we had better start worrying about this now then, right? I mean, what are our children going to do with this serious condition we have left them in a few billion years? We had better start hoping that we have evolved out of our current state when the sun starts expanding in a few billion years. We better get some scientists on special space ships to fly out to the sun and tell it to give us an extra billion years or so that we can begin building shelters! Or maybe we need to ask the sun, nicely, if it will just not go through a red giant phase in a few billion years.
As they said:
“For sure this discovery will move other people to look for other similar systems, so in a few years we will have much stronger constraints for the models,” Silvotti said. “At that point, it will be possible to do relatively good models for what happens to the planets in general in the red giant phase. So in the end we might know what will happen to Earth.”
Here’s what Peter wrote:
10But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything in it will be laid bare. 11Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives 12as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming. That day will bring about the destruction of the heavens by fire, and the elements will melt in the heat. 13But in keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, the home of righteousness. (2 Peter 3:10-13, NIV)
But there is hope: His Name is Jesus. Instead of worrying about things we cannot change, things we cannot stop, things we cannot in the least bit of a way control, let’s listen to Jesus, the only hope we have here on earth. He is the only Way.
Soli Deo Gloria!
I love stories like this not because it justifies anything that I have said or believe, but precisely because it shows how much people don’t know. I don’t talk politics here often, in fact, maybe never, but anyone with an ounce of intellectual integrity has to admit that Al Gore is about as big a joke as there is when it comes to his ideas on how to preserve the earth, global warming, and the internet. (Well, I’d rank Leo DiCaprio up there too. Poor kid, he went from the cute kid on Growing Pains to big time hollywood loser in no time flat. That’s too bad.)
Anyhow….as one person noted well, this recent revelation only demonstrates that there is no real scientific consensue on the cause of global warming, not whether or not the globe is actually warming. Read here. For a taste:
WASHINGTON, Sept. 12 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — A new analysis of peer-reviewed literature reveals that more than 500 scientists have published evidence refuting at least one element of current man-made global warming scares. More than 300 of the scientists found evidence that 1) a natural moderate 1,500-year climate cycle has produced more than a dozen global warmings similar to ours since the last Ice Age and/or that 2) our Modern Warming is linked strongly to variations in the sun’s irradiance. “This data and the list of scientists make a mockery of recent claims that a scientific consensus blames humans as the primary cause of global temperature increases since 1850,” said Hudson Institute Senior Fellow Dennis Avery.
What I am glad for is this: There are scientists who take their jobs seriously and are willing to risk their names and necks (to left-wing, liberal jihad) to give both sides of the story. I’m glad there are scientists who are willing to do this.
But there’s one thing I don’t understand. How do we know who to believe? If one scientist, with great credentials says, “Yes, man put up too many Burger Kings and Wal-Marts and caused global warming,” and another scientist, with equally impressive credentials says, “No, global warming was caused by sunspot cycles,” how are we to know who to believe? Does one side or the other have an agenda? Do both have an agenda? Does someone stand to profit from the proliferation of such information? (Why does Al Gore fly around in that big ol jet-airliner?)
Perhaps there is a scientist among us simple folk, us un-scientific folk, who can help us understand who and what to believe? And how can we believe without consensus? And how can there be a consensus when so many scientists with good credentials disagree about so many things? (I noticed in the essay the words ‘peer-reviewed’ several times.) Jon, where are you when I need you most!?
In other related, but unrelated news, we now have to worry about polar bears. Yes, I’m afraid that the WWF (not the World Wrestling Federation; they are now the WWE) has issued a warning that is somewhat related to the whole global warming thing:
Geneva – Polar bears could die out by 2050, the WWF environment organization warned Tuesday following a new US study. The report by the US Geological Survey predicts that climate change and melting sea ice could drive two thirds of the creatures to extinction by mid-century, which WWF said was “almost certainly an underestimate.”
The WWF insists the reality is even worse than the study suggests as sea-ice loss was consistently underestimated by current computer models.
“Politicians are still fiddling at the edges while the Arctic succumbs to global warming; but in the meantime, they are sending one of the world’s greatest species on its way to extinction,” added Hamilton. [emphasis mine--jerry.]
So a note to all you politicians: Instead of trying to keep humanity alive until 2050, you ought to be doing something about the Polar Bears! Don’t you understand that it is the polar bears that matter! SAVE THE POLAR BEARS! I don’t understand why this is so difficult for you to understand. Look, if all the politicians would shut up and quit talking so much, perhaps there wouldn’t be so much hot air in the world and then those polar ice caps wouldn’t be melting so much and depriving polar bears of life. (I saw some polar bears at a zoo one time and they seemed to be enjoying the mild climate, and the easy food quite well.)
Or, could we blame it on computers…
“We have had a Greenhouse Theory with no evidence to support it-except a moderate warming turned into a scare by computer models whose results have never been verified with real-world events,” said co-author Singer. “On the other hand, we have compelling evidence of a real-world climate cycle averaging 1470 years (plus or minus 500) running through the last million years of history. The climate cycle has above all been moderate, and the trees, bears, birds, and humans have quietly adapted.” [See the link above to the first article; emphasis mine--jerry.]
Maybe we should get rid of computers, scientists, and politicians and then the rest of us could live our lives in peace the way God intended us to. I’m tired of all these folks who think they hold power doing nothing but trying to scare up another problem for us to worry about each day. Why don’t they just shut up?!
PS–Also try: Cracker Boy on Polar Bears.
PPS–How can two people look at exactly the same ‘evidence’ and come to conclusions that are night and day? I have to admit here that I need not a little help from some of my more scientifically inclined visitors.
I just finished reading DA Carson’s How Long O Lord? Reflections on Suffering and Evil. This is a well written book (as all of Carson’s books are) and it is a good introduction to the subjects of suffering and evil. I came across this paragraph near the end of the book and I thought that you might enjoy it:
The sad truth is that science has taught many of us to adopt some version of the ‘God-of-the-gaps theory.’ In this view, God sets everything in motion and allows it to chug along in line with the laws that he himself sets in place. But every once in a while God intervenes. He actually does something. We call it a miracle.
Biblically speaking, of course, this is nonsense. I would never deny that God has created an ordered universe. But the biblical view of God’s sovereignty is that even now, at every second, he sustains the universe. Indeed, he now mediates every scrap of the infinite reaches of his sovereignty through his Son (1 Cor. 15:25), who now is ‘sustaining all things by his powerful word’ (Heb 1:3). A miracle is not an instance of God doing something for change; it is an instance of God doing something out of the ordinary. That God normally operates the universe consistently makes science possible; that he does not always do so ought to keep science humble. Above all, this view of God’s sovereignty means that we should draw comfort and faith even by observing the world around us–as Jesus did.” (216-217)
I thought this would be a good reminder to everyone who visits of just exactly where we stand in this world. Thank God that all things are held together in Jesus. Thank God for Jesus: The Way, the Truth, and the Life. Thank God for salvation through Christ alone. Thank God for his mighty work of Creation. Thank God for evolatheists who remind us each day of the wonders of our hope in Christ and the Will of God.
Thank God that the suffering and evil in this world is not entirely without meaning. Thank God that though we have trouble in this world we can take heart because Jesus has overcome the world.
Soli Deo Gloria!
You know I am passionate about science and that I am always looking for some new information that will help those of us on planet earth live better, more productive lives. Well, I came across this story at www.foxnews.com (I realize this automatically discredits the story, but I’ll post it anyhow). (That picture you see, well, that’s probably carrying our mother and father on it!)
Well, here’s another, uh, evolution story. Oh, it at least is an origin of life story. Here’s how it begins:
Life almost undoubtedly began in space, and specifically in the hearts of comets, rather than on Earth, a new study claims.
Chandra Wickramasinghe, an astrobiologist at Cardiff University in Wales, and his team say their calculations show that it is one trillion trillion times more likely that life started inside a slushy comet than on Earth.
“The comets and the warm watery clay pools in comets are settings in which the organic molecules are transformed into living structures in comets,” Wickramasinghe said. “That transformation is more likely in some comet somewhere in the galaxy than in any small pond on the Earth.”
It sort of makes one wonder what these people actually have to do to earn their Ph D’s. Thankfully for us, it is all still speculation:
Wickramasinghe and his colleagues’ idea rests on the assumption that comets are full of porous clay particles that can hold water in a liquid form for eons.
Cometary missions such as Deep Impact have found evidence for a variety of silicates existing inside comets, but not clay per se, Morrison said.
The “assumption that Earth has very little clay while comets are full of clay is the key to their argument, and it is at best speculation,” Morrison said.
It is also an open question as to whether comets do indeed contain liquid water inside them and whether other star systems support comets at all, let alone clay-, water- or life-bearing comets.
If you’d like to subscribe to the prestigious International Journal of Astrobiology, it’s going to cost you: $300 for an institutional subscription, $109 for an individual subscription (must be very few people subscribing). Is there biology in the stars for us to actually study? Is there biology in the stars for people to write journals about?
Well, have fun this with theory! Seriously, what are the actual academic requirements for a degree in Astrobiology?