Friday, May 14, 2010


It's human nature, I suppose, to whine and complain about how tough things are, how boring life is, how there's nothing to do, how awful George Bush was, and so on. Next time you're tempted to complain about your life perhaps you'll recall a story told me by one of my students, an immigrant from one of the most hellish places on earth - Sudan. He recounted an event that happened to him when he was a boy (he's thirty-something now). His name is Jacob, and here's what he said:

When the Muslims attacked our people and drove us out of our villages, we walked hundreds of miles as a group to safety. One time we were being chased by the militia so we were running to cross the river to get away. Most of us had not learned to swim and the river was full of crocodiles so the crossing was full of danger but we had to cross because the militia was coming upon us with guns and swords. Then, on the other side came Arab soldiers to shoot us when we got across. It was a terrible time. Some strong men carried a rope across the river for people to hang onto as they crossed. Some of us were killed by crocodiles. Many older men, women and children drowned. Many others were shot in the water from both sides of the river. I was a boy at the time and fortunately I knew how to swim. I do not know how, but I got across the river even though my two friends were killed. I was able to climb to safety on the other side along with the others who got across safely. I believe it was God's power that saved me on that day!

Kind of makes many of our concerns and troubles seem petty, doesn't it.


Mirror Images

Why do some atheists think it's a bad idea to draw too close a relationship between naturalism and Darwinism? One possible reason is they fear that eventually some astute judge will realize that Darwinism is essentially of the same philosophical genre as intelligent design and will conclude that if ID is religious then so, too, must Darwinism be. This judicial epiphany will ultimately eventuate in the loss of Darwinism's position of privilege in publicly funded schools.

Casey Luskin makes this point in an interesting essay at Evolution News and Views.

The fact that Darwinism and ID are philosophical mirror images should be obvious to all but the most otiose of observers, but for some reason, it's not. Darwinism claims that physical processes and forces are capable of explaining all of the biological facts of nature. ID is simply the denial of this claim. Why, then, should the latter be ruled "religious" while the former is not? How can one claim be deemed to be science, while it's negation is deemed to be religious?

If the courts ever realize how simple this matter is they're going to find themselves in the awkward position of having to rule that either ID is science, even if it's false (Richard Dawkins' position), or that Darwinism is essentially religious, even if it's true. It'll be interesting to watch judges and lawyers trying to massage that porcupine.


Econ 101

Here's a fast-paced primer on why our economic predicament is so dire. It's good, but I advise that you use the pause button to allow you to digest the information:

Whether it's Greece or California, it seems clear that excessive spending and borrowing leads only to disaster. I can't think of any example from history when it hasn't. So why has the Obama administration, and to a lesser extent the Bush administration, nevertheless spent us to the brink of catastrophic collapse? Are these people economic or historical illiterates? Are they stupid? Are they deliberately trying to destroy our economy? Are there any other possible explanations?