Friday, November 30, 2007

Physical Laws Revisited

The other day, I was wondering about physical laws and where they originated from.

This afternoon, I ran across an article by Paul Davies that was being discussed at Telic Thoughts. The article is very interesting and pretty much sum up the belief that I've always had that there are many areas of science which are based upon faith. It's a shame that, in some instances, this scientific faith is considered irrefutible "fact" (as is the case with Darwinian evolution).

In regard to physical laws, Davies writes:
You couldn’t be a scientist if you thought the universe was a meaningless jumble of odds and ends haphazardly juxtaposed. When physicists probe to a deeper level of subatomic structure, or astronomers extend the reach of their instruments, they expect to encounter additional elegant mathematical order. And so far this faith has been justified.


Can the mighty edifice of physical order we perceive in the world about us ultimately be rooted in reasonless absurdity? If so, then nature is a fiendishly clever bit of trickery: meaninglessness and absurdity somehow masquerading as ingenious order and rationality.


The multiverse theory is increasingly popular, but it doesn’t so much explain the laws of physics as dodge the whole issue. There has to be a physical mechanism to make all those universes and bestow bylaws on them. This process will require its own laws, or meta-laws. Where do they come from? The problem has simply been shifted up a level from the laws of the universe to the meta-laws of the multiverse.


[U]ntil science comes up with a testable theory of the laws of the universe, its claim to be free of faith is manifestly bogus.

Chemically Run Meat Puppets

This quote from Denyse O'Leary had me rolling...

"Wait till you see what your materialist masters think about you, meat puppet. Bunch of chemicals running around in a bag."

She reminds readers that the little phrase that the dogmatic evolutionists (Genie Scott comes to mind) love to pass on to their religious friends - "there is no conflict between your religion and current materialists evolution theory" - is bunk.

Truthfully, they're full of it when they make comments like this. Surf the forums for a while...the materialists base their faith on the supposed "fact" that science trumps religion and evolution negates a designer. Hence, God is dead.

That doesn't seem to bother Theistic Evolutionists though. Their faith in a designer who, they seem to agree, has left absolutely no evidence of his hand in the process is mind boggling.

Miller Plays with his Mouse Trap

Behe's reply:

"The problem... is that it's not an argument against anything I've ever said. In my book, I explicitly point out that some of the components of biochemical machines can have other functions. But the issue remains - can you use numerous, slight, successive modifications to get from those other functions to where we are?

"Some of this objection seems a bit silly. Could a component of a mousetrap function as a paperweight? Well, what do you need to be a paperweight? You need mass. You need to exist. An elephant, or my computer, or a stick can be a paperweight. But suppose you go buy a paperweight. What would it look like? Most of them are nondescript, roundish things. None of them look anything like a precursor to a mousetrap. Besides, look at what he's doing: he's starting from the finished product - the mousetrap - and disassembling it and moving a few things around to use them for other puposes. Again, that's intelligent design!"

"The question for evolution is not whether you can take a mousetrap and use its parts for something else: it's whether you can start with something else and make it into a mousetrap. The problem for evolutionists is to start with a less complex system and build a more complex system. Even if every component could theoretically have a useful function prior to its assembly into the mousetrap, you'd still have the problem of how the mousetrap becomes assembled."


"When people put together a mousetrap, they have the disassembled components in different drawers or something, and they grab one from each drawer and put it together. But in the cell, there's nobody there to do that."

"In molecular machines, components have portions of their shape that are complementary to each other, so they connect with each other in the right way. A positive charge can attract a negative charge, and an oily region can attract another oily region. So if we use the mousetrap as an analogy, one end of the spring would have to have a certain shape or magnetism that just happened to attract and fit with another component of the trap. They'd all have to fit together that way until you had the whole trap assembled by itself.

"In other words, if you just had the components themselves without the ability to bring the pieces into position, you'd be far from having a functioning mousetrap. Nobody ever addresses this problem in the evolutionary literature. If you do any calculations about how likely this could occur by itself, you find it's very improbable. Even with the small machines, you wouldn't expect them to self-assemble during the entire life-time of the earth. That's a severe problem that evolutionists don't like to address."


HT: Frank

Thursday, November 29, 2007

New ID Briefing Packet

On my side bar you will find links to the new ID briefing packet that the Discovery Institute recently released in response to the PBS-NOVA documentary "Judgment Day".

Great resource for educators!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

How did Physical Laws Evolve?

Just curious.

Human Chromosome #2

Ken Miller and Darwinists in general are very fond of using human chromosome #2 as a testament to their faith in common descent.

Evolutionists like to pose these points as their evidence:

All great apes apart from man have 24 pairs of chromosomes. There is therefore a hypothesis that the common ancestor of all great apes had 24 pairs of chromosomes and that the fusion of two of the ancestor's chromosomes created chromosome 2 in humans. The evidence for this hypothesis is very strong.

Evidence for fusing of two ancestral chromosomes to create human chromosome 2 and where there has been no fusion in other Great Apes is:

1) The analogous chromosomes (2p and 2q) in the non-human great apes can be shown, when laid end to end, to create an identical banding structure to the human chromosome 2. (1)

2) The remains of the sequence that the chromosome has on its ends (the telomere) is found in the middle of human chromosome 2 where the ancestral chromosomes fused. (2)

3) the detail of this region (pre-telomeric sequence, telomeric sequence, reversed telomeric sequence, pre-telomeric sequence) is exactly what we would expect from a fusion. (3)

4) this telomeric region is exactly where one would expect to find it if a fusion had occurred in the middle of human chromosome 2.

5) the centromere of human chromosome 2 lines up with the chimp chromosome 2p chromosomal centromere.

6) At the place where we would expect it on the human chromosome we find the remnants of the chimp 2q centromere (4).

Not only is this strong evidence for a fusion event, but it is also strong evidence for common ancestry; in fact, it is hard to explain by any other mechanism.

Of course it's hard to explain in other terms if you've been slipped the Darwinian Blue Pill, but let's go ahead and consider the following...

The problem with the conclusion, and with much of the discussion, is that it mingles the evidence with the explanation--so the conclusion, as stated, assumes that there was a common ancestor between apes and humans, which makes it difficult to use it as evidence for a common ancestor. To untangle this, let's rewrite the conclusion so that it no longer makes this assumption:

The evidence that human chromosome 2 is the fusion of two chromosomes is overwhelming. The two chromosomes it appears to derive from are directly analgous to chromosomes that are found in apes.

However, once you make this change, an explanation that agrees with creationist accounts of human ancestry just falls out. It would go something like this:

Humans were created in a separate creative event from the other primates, but with 24 chromosome pairs just like them. At some point early in human history, fusion of the chromosomes occurred to give us the 23 pairs we have now. All living humans are descended from those in which the fusion occurred.

The point is simply this: the evidence points to the fusion of human chromosomes, but gives no indication when this happened, except that it must have occurred to a creature that was the ancestor of all living humans. Since none of the apes share this fused chromosome, there is no reason at all to date this fusion any further back than warranted, so it becomes unnecessary to even posit the existence of a common ancestor between apes and humans based on this evidence alone.

What is interesting is this: at first glance, looking from an evolutionary perspective, this seems to have dealt a death blow to creationist accounts of human origins. (The main problem for the creationist is why God would have chosen to create humans with chromosomes that have useless bits in them i.e. the telomene sequences in the middle, and in a way that mimics fusion of 2 chromosomes).

But actually, the evolutionary interpretation has overstepped the mark -- it doesn't demonstrate common ancestry, it assumes it. All the way through it talks about the chromosomes of a common ancester etc. But by putting the evidence into the evolutionary framework ahead of time it has confused what the evidence actually points to. The evidence does indicate (assuming that the God-created-it-to-look-like-fusion explanation is invalid) that human chromosomes were once more similar to those of apes than they are currently, but that is all.

The article also states:

Not only is this strong evidence for a fusion event, but it is also strong evidence for common ancestry; in fact, it is hard to explain by any other mechanism.

The main basis for saying this appears to be the statement: "At the place where we would expect it on the human chromosome we find the remnants of the chimp 2q centromere". But of course, as the author explains later, we don't actually find the chimp 2q centromere -- there is no label on it saying "I'm a chimp 2q centromere". What we find is the remnants of centromere that is in the same place, relative to certain sequences, as the 2q centromere is in chimps. All this shows is that the ancestor chromosomes (i.e. before the fusion event) of current human chromosomes were closely analagous to chromosomes of apes, including chimps.

So the author claims we can rule out other accounts of human origins, but is unjustified in doing so. The reason for this logical mistake is that he/she has intertwined the evidence and the evolutionary explanation so tightly, and seen that they fit so well, that the author cannot imagine another explanation would fit. In reality, the evidence fits a creationist explanation equally well--there is nothing contrived or tricky about what I have presented, and if evolutionary theory did not exist, there is nothing in this evidence that would make creationists think of common descent. The idea that humans originally had a complete set of chromosomes that correspond to ape chromosomes, rather than only 23 out of 24, does not shake creationist ideas one little bit. We already knew there was a vast amount of similarity between humans and primates both in terms of physical characteristics and genetic material and structure. It is a mistake of the evolutionary mindset to assume that observing similarities necessarily brings you to the conclusion of common descent. Taxonomy based on physical characteristics was already a very well established science when the idea of common descent came on the scene, and people from both the intelligent design and the creationists camps have no problem in understanding physical and genetic similarities that are not rooted in common descent -- that is, it is easy to think of perfectly adequate reasons why a designer (either an unknown intelligence in the case of ID, or God in the case of creationism) might have reused designs.

A lesson for both sides to take away is the importance of detaching yourself from your current position in order to see where the evidence actually points. It is easy to imagine that because evidence fits with your position, and fits very well, it therefore not only confirms your position but disconfirms the rival theories.

Just something to think about...

EDIT: Here is another link on chromosome fusion.

When an educator brings up this particular chromosome fusion event, be sure to consider and share the following questions:

1) HOW did this fusion event happen?
2) At what stage in reproduction?
3) Do you have one fusion event in one person?
4) If so, HOW is that reproduced into the population?
5) Can this “human” with the fused chromosome reproduce with the primate with two separate chromosomes?
6) If not, then does this require two chromosome fusion events?

Pangea not matching up?

Hmmm,very interesting...

For a quarter-century or more, the prevailing view among geoscientists—supported by paleomagnetic records in rock—has been that the portion of the ancient supercontinent of Pangea that is now the Colorado Plateau in southern Utah shifted more than 1,300 miles north during a 100-million-year span that ended about 200 million years ago in the early Jurassic Period, when Pangea began to break up.

But new research by a team of geoscientists from the University of Michigan and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln challenges that theory, based on extensive climate modeling studies and sedimentary records found from Wyoming into Utah and Arizona.

In a paper published in the Nov. 23 issue of the journal Science, U-M geophysicist Rob Van der Voo and co-authors report findings that indicate the area must have remained at the equator during the time in question.

"It's a puzzle, a 'conundrum' is the word we like to use," said Robert Oglesby of UNL. "And in the Science paper, we're not solving the conundrum, we're raising the conundrum."

HT: Creation Evolution Headlines

Monday, November 26, 2007


Here is something that most of us will never see...a sunset at the North Pole with the moon at its closest point.

HT to those naughty boys at ATBC.

Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Twas the Night of Thanksgiving

'Twas the night of Thanksgiving, but I just couldn't sleep.
I tried counting backwards, I tried counting sheep.

The leftovers beckoned -- the dark meat and white, But
I fought the temptation with all of my might.

Tossing and turning with anticipation,
The thought of a snack became infatuation.

So, I raced to the kitchen, flung open the door And
gazed at the fridge, full of goodies galore.

I gobbled up turkey and buttered potatoes,
Pickles and carrots, beans and tomatoes.

I felt myself swelling so plump and so round,
'Til all of a sudden, I rose off the ground.

I crashed through the ceiling, floating into the sky
With a mouthful of pudding and a handful of pie.

But, I managed to yell as I soared past the trees
"Happy eating to all - Pass the cranberries, please!"

May your stuffing be tasty, may your turkey be plump;
May your potatoes 'n gravy have nary a lump;

May your yams be delicious, may your pies take the
prize; May your Thanksgiving dinner stay off of your


100th Birthday Celebration

Yesterday my Grandfather became a Centenarian. We're leaving tomorrow to have a big family reunion and celebrate his birthday this weekend. The man still runs a farm in Western Kansas, and just two years ago (at 98 yrs. old!) I watched him lasso and tackle a calf that needed to be moved to another pasture. Crazy...he's awesome. I hope I inherited the man's longevity genes! He's also a very fine Christian, and I feel blessed to be a part of his legacy.

Here are a few interesting facts from 1907, the year of his birth.

Bread: $0.05/loaf
Milk: $0.31/gal
Car: $500
House: $4,500
Stamp: $0.02/ea
Avg Income: $897/yr
DOW Avg: 59

-Theodore Roosevelt was President
-Oklahoma becomes 46th state
-First Daily newspaper comic strip—Mutt and Jeff
-US Population is 87,008,000
-Annual Teacher’s Salary Averaged $325.
-Average worker makes $12.98 per week for 59 hours
-Radiometric Dating finds Earth is 2.2 billion years old
-Albert Einstein postulates E=mc2. (I think the actual year was 1905)
-Joseph Rudyard Kipling receives the Nobel Prize in Literature for stories such as The Jungle Book (1894), The Second Jungle Book (1895), Just So Stories (1902).


Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Praying for Rain

From this article...

Last week, the Governor of Georgia in the US held a public prayer meeting for rain as a crippling drought threatens to dry up rivers and reservoirs. Divine intervention has been called on before in many other similar disasters. In April the Australian Prime Minister John Howard urged his whole country to pray for rain.

But there are potential pitfalls. In the mid1880s the State of New York suffered a prolonged drought, and a clergyman, the Rev Duncan McLeod, organised a prayer meeting for rain for his community. But one of the local farmers, Phineas Dodd, firmly believed that nature would take its own course without any prayers, and refused to attend.

Just hours after the prayers, severe thunderstorms broke out bringing torrents of rain. During the storm, lightning struck Dodd’s barn and burnt it to the ground. Outraged, Dodd took the minister to court and sued for damages, arguing that the thunderstorm was the direct result of the minister’s prayers.

Mr McLeod was caught in a dilemma because he could not deny that the prayers had brought the rain. Instead, his lawyer argued that the prayers were only for rain, not thunderstorms and lightning, so his client could not be held responsible. The case was dismissed.

Blondes make men act dumb

Science says so! *eyes rolling*

WHEN men meet fair-haired women they really do have a “blonde moment”. Scientists have found that their mental performance drops, apparently because they believe they are dealing with someone less intelligent.

Researchers discovered what might be called the “bimbo delusion” by studying men’s ability to complete general knowledge tests after exposure to different women. The academics found that men’s scores fell after they were shown pictures of blondes.

Of course, we need to consider the evolutionary angle here as well!
Others believe its origins go far deeper. According to researchers at St Andrews University, north European women evolved blonde hair and blue eyes at the end of the Ice Age to make them stand out from their rivals at a time of fierce competition for scarce males.

ROTFL...they cannot be serious.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Get your Expelled Gear!

Okay, PBS/NCSE/"Judgement Day" had their little party yesterday, so we're up next. The film Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed will be at a theatre near you this February.

So, to help advertise the movie, get your Expelled gear here! As soon as you purchase the shirts or hat, you'll be a walking advertisement for the upcoming movie.

I like the hoodie, and it lists the Expelled website which is helpful. I thought I might stick a few business size cards in my purse and when someone asks what the heck is on my shirt, I'll slip them a card with the website listed on it.

The T-shirts would be great to wear to the gym as there are always people around to shoot the breeze with who might be curious as to what the movie is about.

"Judgement Day" corrections...


For several corrections to last night's PBS "Judgement Day" documentary, link HERE.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

The Christmas Rush is ON!

The insanity has begun. I attempted to do a bit of shopping this morning, and found myself wanting to scream. The Christmas shoppers are already out in full force, and every time you turn around, you run into someone's cart. People are swarming everywhere!

I'm a rare breed...a woman who doesn't like to shop. I'd rather do just about anything other than shop, but there comes a point where you have to break down and do it or you don't eat and you run out of toilet paper. Can't have that.

I'm also horrific at picking out Christmas gifts. I'm horribly indecisive which leads to last minute frantic shopping. Hate that.

I'd love to just order all my gifts on line, but I know it would be less expensive to shop the stores during the Christmas sales.

I have run across some lovely Christmas cards on line though.

First off, we have the lovely Christmas creation theme...

Matthew 2:9 is featured on the inside along with the words, "May the Maker of Heaven and Earth light your way this Christmas".

...and then, of course, we have the Darwin Winter Solice.

the evolution of tradition.
Celebrate Winter Solice

Such a tough choice, isn't it?

Hmmm...I think Dembski was right.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Foreward by William Harris

The website featuring the new ID book, The Design of Life, now has a 'Look Inside' feature. You can get a feel for what the book is going to cover by checking out the Table of Contents.

The exciting part is that William Harris writes the foreward for the book. He played a instrumental role here in Kansas during the 2005 Science Standards controversy. I had the opportunity of meeting him when I attended a series of lectures in Kansas City. I also made it to one day of the Kansas Science Standards Hearings where he was an expert witness.


God is both Truth and Love. You can only know the truth to the degree that you love.

Love the truth and you will understand the truth.

If you do not love, you do not know love.

Love with a humble heart and the Truth will love you. You will know what philosophers cannot know and even what philosophers do not want to know.


HT: Amanda Witt


Okay, this is exciting...

I kept getting hits on my sitemeter from the new website launched in response to the PBS documentary scheduled for this coming Tuesday, and I wondered what the heck was going on. So, I take a look at the site, and guess what I find? My blog is listed under the resources tab!!

I'm giddy...

I better start behaving myself!

Friday, November 09, 2007

The following link is another newly launched website in response to the PBS documentary: Intelligent Design on Trial...

Hopefully teachers will be interested enough in the subject to do a little googling after they view the documentary or read the subsequent "teaching guide". Perhaps they'll surf in the right direction! We can only hope...

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Vestigial structures

Reading the excerpts from the new book authored by Dembski and Wells that I highlighted in my last post, I found a paragraph I thought I'd share:

"Vestigial structures are entirely consistent with intelligent design, suggesting structures that were initially designed but then lost their function through accident or disuse. Nevertheless, vestigial structures also provide evidence for a limited form of evolution. From both a design-theoretic and an evolutionary perspective, a vestigial structure is one that started out functional but then lost its function. Yet, in the case of evolution, vestigiality explains only the loss of function and not its origination. Vestigiality at best documents a degenerative form of evolution in which preexisting functional structures change and lose their function."

Chapter 5, The Design of Life

So much for the mysterious vestigial structures...

The Design of Life

"When future intellectual historians list the books that toppled Darwin's theory, the Design of Life will be at the top."

Michael Behe
Author, Darwin's Black Box

More here.

Early Man - The Fossil Record

[Better view of the chart here.]

I count a total of approx. 1,140 individuals represented in the hominid fossil record. The chart provides the hypothesized lines of human evolution from 5 million years ago to the present. So over a period of 5 million years, we have 1,140 examples of early man. Stunning.

The site also provides this information:

Hominid fossil remains are precious. Complete skeletons are extraordinarily rare before recent times. Teeth and lower jaws, and the facial and upper cranial bones of the skull, are the most common fossils to survive from any period. Skulls are almost never found intact but must be reconstructed from fragments. Thigh bones are next most often retrieved, while remains of the feet, hands, pelvis or spine are extremely rare.

In other words, most of the "individuals" on the list are represented by skull fragments or a few bones, and in worse case scenarios a few teeth.

You can visit Talkorigins to take a gander at the list of the most "Prominent Hominid Fossils" that have been discovered. Read it carefully to get a feel for the type of bone fragments these discoveries are based upon.

Also consider the hoaxes or errors made when paleoanthropologists have become a bit eager to make a monumental find:

Piltdown Man
Nebraska Man
Homo Habilis
The Misconception about Homo rudolfensis
Homo erectus
Neanderthals: Their Anatomy and Culture
Leakey and his transitionals
Israeli researchers: 'Lucy' is not direct ancestor of humans

Here's a picture of 'Lucy' and Donald Johanson:

Lucy is one of the most complete fossil finds we have that supposedly tells a story about our ancient ancestors. Unfortunately, from the article linked above, we are told that Lucy has lost her status as one of our direct ancestors.

Personally, it appears to me that there is next to no evidence that these bone fragments provide any proof whatsoever that that fossil record supports the assumption of ape to man transitionals.

Consider the range of human variability in the world today. We obviously have a variety of characteristics that make us simliar but different. But, does human variability support the notion of common descent? Do the skull fragments that have been pieced together portray a transition between ape and man, or do the fossil finds merely belong to either a particular species of ape or a human rather than a "missing link"? Below are examples of *real* people that portray vast differences in human characteristics.

Obviously, most of the information we gather in regard to early man is based on speculation and assumption as written history is virtually non-existent until approx. 7BC.

Although Talkorigins mentions that...
One sometimes reads that all hominid fossils could fit in a coffin, or on a table, or a billiard table. That is a misleading image, as there are now thousands of hominid fossils. They are however mostly fragmentary, often consisting of single bones or isolated teeth. Complete skulls and skeletons are rare. certainly seems to me that you could fit the 1,440 individuals represented by bone fragments in one coffin. I think someone should gather replicas of all of these early men and put my assumption to the test!

I'll end my post with this quote from Gereth Nelson (Wall Street Journal Dec. 9, 1986):

We've got to have some ancestors. We'll pick those. Why? Because we know they have to be there, and these are the best candidates. That's by and large the way it has worked. I am not exaggerating.

PBS Documentary: ID on Trial

For those of you who haven't caved to the Darwinian dogma propaganda machine and plan to watch the PBS Documentary on the Kitzmiller trial next week, please consider reading all the links at the following site:

The Truth About the Dover Intelligent Design Trial

Perhaps NOVA will highlight that link on their show! LOL...when pigs fly.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Thursday, November 01, 2007

The Golden Compass

[Disclaimer: This post is not suggesting censorship, nor do I promote a boycott of the following film. I merely want Christian parents to realize that this film is based off a series of books with an anti-religious theme.]

This movie is based on Philip Pullman's trilogy of books titled 'His Dark materials.' The author is a militant atheist whose professed purpose with these books is to turn kids away from Christianity. Pullman is a supporter of the British Humanist Association and an Honorary Associate of the National Secular Society. New Yorker journalist Laura Miller has described Pullman as one of England's most outspoken atheists.

The movie has been cleaned up to avoid a lot of objections, but the movie is of course bait for the books which are anti-religious in theme. The books get progressively worse with the heroes (children) in the 3rd book actually killing God, who is depicted as a little shrunken man.

Snopes has more information on Pullman, the movie, and the triology.

Quotes from Pullman:

"I don't profess any religion; I don't think that its possible that there is a god; I have the greatest difficulty in understanding what is meant by the words 'spiritual' or 'spirituality'"

In a 2003 interview with The Sydney Morning Herald, Pullman left little doubt about his intentions when he stated that:

"My books are about killing God."

From reviews of the trilogy at, it appears that the first book is very tame, with the second two becoming increasingly anti-religious. Here are a couple reviews from the last book of the series:

And as religion seems to be brought up in many of the reviews, I would like to address it briefly too. Everyone is entitled to their beliefs, of course. But Pullman spends so much of this book talking about how close-minded and judgmental organized religion is, he just comes across as close-minded himself. All his characters who believe in religion are evil, corrupt, ignorant, or stupid. It just seems very hypocritical to be so judgmental about religion when he is preaching open-mindedness. His belief in atheism is fine, of course, but he allows it to overtake his story, and the plot suffers as a result.

I bought the trilogy after seeing that the movie was slated for release this fall. I was blown away by the Golden Compass. Pullman is a superb storyteller and the high adventure and incredible imagination that went into the first book was mind blowing. I remember thinking that surely this was a story that would surpass "The Wizard of Oz" as a cultural cornerstone of fiction. Having read "Paradise Lost" also played to my aspirations of intellectualism while reading the books.

But when "The Subtle Knife" adds a new hero and makes an almost predictible jump to our world - present day, so begins a slide away from wonder. Still through incredible writing ability Pullman makes an enjoyable read of it, though nowhere near the story "The Golden Compass" is. The heavy themes certainly start leaving a childrens book mentality far behind. It becomes unclear if the writer hates (and hate is not to strong a word here) religion or just Christianity. Certianly Christianity has all his ire.

By the time we get to "The Amber Spyglass" the exciting beautiful story is a full blown anti-sermon on atheism with all the rhetoric of the most zealous puritanical ministers. "He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster" Says Nietzsche, and that may be what transpires. There are confusing story segments aligned it seems with the sole purpose of pontification. Story arcs that border on boring,such as the spyglass itself, seem wholly irrelevant. Morally bizarre situations rule the day: Broaching sexuality for minors, excusing evil characters actions in Machina Ex Deus fashion, rebellion and out right lieing as a virtue. Some of this could have been interesting if it were a topsy turvey things are not what they seem story, But that ship sails early on. Instead there is no forgiving the lack of motivation for characters early actions. The climaxs are all underdeveloped as far as reasoning. The coming of age subplot has nothing to do with character. Petulance is only rewarded.

As you can guess by now I'm sorry I read anything past "The Golden Compass" and worse I paid for them. When I pickup a book I'd rather not be preached at religious or otherwise unless I am in the religion section. This is not escapist fiction, It's a personal diatribe. Insidiously wrapped in a childrens story.

What Has Atheism Done for Us?

A recent commentor offered the following:

Religion is going to get us all killed when a nuclear war starts in the middle east, and will be cursed by the remnants of humanity.

It is hoped that the New Atheism will wake people up and they will realize that a Constitutional Convention is over.

I will be blunt, religion must be liquidated, there is no time left to argue. there are dozens of new atheist books out and dozens more on the way. The times they are a changin.

Interesting....and my reply was that the problem with that statement is that the "New Atheism" movement is every bit as dangerous as the most fanatical fundamentalist cult.

They preach absolute hatred from their way or the highway....anyone who doesn't agree is an idiot..."religion must be liquidated".

In that light, Dinesh D’Souza, who just recently debated Christopher Hitchens, offers the following...

What Has Atheism Done for Us?
By Dinesh D'Souza
Wednesday, October 31, 2007

My new book What’s So Great About Christianity, just out, is already an bestseller, a Wall Street Journal bestseller and No. 16 on the New York Times bestseller list. On Saturday C-Span broadcast my debate with God Is Not Great author Christopher Hitchens. Many people have commented that this is the best debate on the topic of Christianity v. Atheism that has yet been held. If you haven’t seen it, you can find the debate on my website Following the debate, AOL posted the video on its main page, and asked people to make up their minds and vote on who won. Modesty prevents me from disclosing the answer.

Richard Dawkins, author of The God Delusion, watched the debate and reported with some agitation that the audience seemed to be applauding more for me than for Hitchens. Dawkins commented on his website that the New York crowd must have been a "dopey" lot. But if you listen to the debate, you will see that both atheists and believers were well represented. The audience applause was initially stronger for Hitchens, and only as the debate went on did it trend markedly toward me. So is Dawkins suggesting that the audience was very intelligent to start with but became more "dopey" as the debate went on? More likely we are seeing evidence of the "Dawkins delusion," an unwillingness to use good sense and face facts when Dawkins' own belief system is called into question.

One of the most interesting questions in the debate was posed to Hitchens by a man from Tonga. Before the Christians came to Tonga, he said, the place was a mess. Even cannibalism was widespread. The Christians stopped this practice and brought to Tonga the notion that each person has a soul and God loves everyone equally. The man from Tonga asked Hitchens, "So what do you have to offer us?" Hitchens was taken aback, and responded with a learned disquisition on cannibalism in various cultures. But he clearly missed the intellectual and moral force of the man's question. The man was asking why the Tongans, who had gained so much from Christianity, should reject it in favor of atheism.

In my response, I noted that when the missionaries came to India, they sometimes converted people by force. Even so, many Indians rushed on their own to embrace the faith of the foreigners. And why? Because they were born into the low caste of the Hindus. As long as they remained Hindus, there was no escape; even their descendants were condemned to the lowest rungs of humanity. By fleeing into the arms of the missionaries, the low-caste Hindus found themselves welcomed as Christian brothers. They discovered the ideal of equal dignity in the eyes of God.

If we look at the history of Western civilization, we find that Christianity has illuminated the greatest achievements of the culture. Read the new atheist books and make a list of the institutions and values that Hitchens and Dawkins and the others cherish the most. They value the idea of the individual, and the right to dissent, and science as an autonomous enterprise, and representative democracy, and human rights, and equal rights for women and racial minorities, and the movement to end slavery, and compassion as a social virtue. But when you examine history you find that all of these values came into the world because of Christianity. If Christianity did not exist, these values would not exist in the form they do now. So there is indeed something great about Christianity, and the honest atheist should be willing to admit this.

By contrast, does it make any sense to say, as Hitchens does in his book's subtitle, that "religion poisons everything"? Religion didn't poison Dante or Milton or Donne or Michelangelo or Raphael or Titian or Bach! Religon didn’t poison those unnamed architectural geniuses who built the great Gothic cathedrals. Religion didn’t poison the American founders who were for the most part not Deist but Christian. Religion didn't poison the anti-slavery campaigns of William Lloyd Garrison or William Wilberforce, or the civil rights activism of the Reverend Martin Luther King. The real question to ask is, what does atheism offer humanity? In Tonga, as in America, the answer appears to be: Nothing.