Monday, June 30, 2008

Words Kill or they Give Life - You Choose

The message at church yesterday was one of those "in your face" moments for me. I've been quick to lose my temper with my 3 guys lately. There's been a lot of stress over finances due to the fact that our latest spec home is still sitting on the market without any potential buyers. Unfortunately, I seem to be taking out my anxiety on Mr. FtK and the boys.

I have a lot of patience with friends, but when it comes to my family, I often let loose with my words when I'm frustrated. In fact, right before I left for church yesterday, we had quite the family squabble over several issues. I unleashed a string of obscenities (on Sunday morning, no less) and stormed out of the house leaving them all in the wake of my wrath. They were planning to go with me, but I left them at home as I pulled out of the driveway furious and alone.

...and then, BAM!!

Pastor shot me right between the eyes with the message.

The messages for the past several weeks have been based on passages from the book of Proverbs. Wisdom abounds from this particular book in scripture, and the verses addressed today are certainly words to live by.

"Words satisfy the mind as much as fruit does the stomach; good talk is as gratifying as a good harvest. Words kill, words give life; they're either poison or fruit - you choose"

Proverbs 18:20-21

No doubt those of you who have been on the receiving end of my rants in regard to the ID/Evo will recognize this tendency that I have to flip the irate switch when I feel that someone is in the wrong. Thankfully, God graced me with the ability to quickly recover from my anger, but those in the path of my immediate fury are often left lightly singed.

Can you imagine what this world would be like if we were able to keep a better hold on the words that come out of our mouths at times? Words start wars, and we'd all be wise to think before we speak (or type for that matter). Did you know that the book of Proverbs mentions the power of our words 114 times?

I met up with my guys later at the ball field and I pulled my oldest away from the crowd and apologized for the way I had acted earlier in the day because I had been especially nasty with him. I told him how proud I was of him and that I had lost my temper over some relatively insignificant issues. I hope he got the message, but you can't take back those words once they've slipped from your mouth. All you can do is own up to them and try to figure out a way to put out the fire you've started. James 1:19 is another helpful verse in this regard: "My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry".

If you're interested in listening to Pastor's message, hit this link, and in the little green box on the right, click the 6/29 message titled Personal Treasure #5.

I like this verse from Proverbs so much that I'm going to post it on my side bar under moderation policy. Hopefully, it will remind me to shut up and think before I blather on in a fashion that is hurtful to others.

I have no doubt that you will all help keep me in check...

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Friday, June 27, 2008


Check this out...

While we're on Jindal, this was just the latest in a big news week for the Louisiana governor, who is a favorite of social conservatives. Over the past three days, he signed into law two different bills that were staunchly backed by conservatives and evangelicals. On Wednesday, he signed a law allowing for chemical castration of child rapists (on the same day the Supreme Court struck down a Louisiana law permitting the death penalty for child rapists). And he's just signed a law allowing teachers to foster "critical thinking" about evolution--a law critics said could amount to sneaking the teaching of evolution in the public schools.




Of Cigarettes, Hypnosis and Epic Failure

A couple months ago, my mother-in-law brought me a newspaper clipping and a check for $50. She wanted Mr. FtK to go to one of those hypnosis sessions that supposedly helps you kick your smoking habit.

*eyes rolling*

My mother-in-law is an absolute sweetie, so I thought...what the heck. It can't hurt anything, and he's already tried....

*peppermint sticks
*cold turkey (more times than I can count)

...with absolutely no luck. Heck, at one point I even taped up posters all over the kitchen that depicted various stages of lung cancer. They were seriously nasty. But, alas, the longest he's ever gone without a smoke has been about 2 weeks.

This hypnosis session was offering a seminar with it, so I figured $50 isn't much for a little incentive again.

I figured I would have no chance of talking him into being hypnotized, but he surprised me and agreed to do it. He said he really wanted to try to quit smoking again, so he'd give it a shot. I was going to go with him to an evening session just to see what the heck they were offering, but he chose to go to the afternoon session since both boys had ball games in the evening that he wanted to attend.


So, the day of the session he heads out at around noon and doesn't return until after 3pm. I was really busy with work when he came home, so I didn't get a chance to talk to him at length. But, he seemed to kind of avoid me when I asked him quickly how it went.


He purchased $230 worth of "vitamins" from the hypnotist to help him stop smoking. This was quite a shock to me because, number one, Mr. FtK is not one to be taken in by a gimmick, and number two, he's a serious tightwad. He didn't tell me right away because he knew I'd blow a gasket, and unfortunately he knows me pretty well. Of course, I immediately asked him if they hypnotized him before he bought the "vitamins" or He was not amused, but he said the hypnotist made sure that if anyone wanted to purchase the pills, they did so before they were hypnotized.

So, at this point I was thinking...crap, we're out $230, but it's a done deal so maybe just the fact that he spent so much money will be incentive to stop smoking. I mean, I could certainly hold that over his head..."honey, put down that cigarette or it's like flushing $230 down the toilet".


It's probably my fault because I made a $20 side bet with my oldest that he'd be smoking within 2 weeks. Of course, he didn't know about that bet...unless my kid told him.


He did quite well at first...mainly because he was steering clear from the things that trigger smoking. He didn't drink coffee in the mornings, and he stuck with some of the other things that were suggested at the seminar. He also took the vitamins which I think may have helped just a bit with the nicotine withdrawal. He wasn't as edgy as some of the other times he's tried to quit.

But, when he started his new job, he was working outdoors a lot and I knew he was probably sneaking them here and there. Then I started catching him coming out from behind the garage at times looking horribly guilty. I started checking his truck on occasion, and sure enough, he had a stash in there every time. I'd throw them out, but he'd just get more a couple days later. Yesterday, I found 2 empty packs and one with about 6 left. I tossed them and headed up to his office with a cup of water in my hand and dumped it on him.

Immature, thy name is FtK.

Ah well, back to the drawing board. Honestly, I don't think he'll ever quit smoking...guess I better take out more life insurance on him.

[Sis, when you read this, DO NOT, I repeat DO NOT mention his epic failure to Mom or anyone else, or he will unleash on you. Oh crap, I forgot. Mom can read this now that she's up and running on her new Internet connection. Oh, well...both of you shut up about it!!!!]

The Academic Freedom Act signed to Law in Louisiana

AWESOME. Read more about it here.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Oh dear...

PZ won't be pleased. Neither will 80% of my readers.

My new bumper sticker...

New Louisiana Bill on Evolution: A Wedge for Creationism or an Opportunity for Reason?

Here's a great article written by Jason Streitfeld, an obviously confident atheist who realizes that condemning critical thinking in our science classrooms is not a wise choice...

The way public schools in America teach science simply isn´t working. Students don´t learn how exciting and dynamic scientific discovery can be. Instead, they memorize (or, at least, they try to memorize) dry facts and formulas. Rarely do they engage in the sort of critical thinking and comparative analysis that makes science such an integral part of civilization.

Amen to that, brother!!! I have mentioned time and time again how much I've learned about science due to this debate. The controversial aspect is so tantalizing that it's impossible not to get excited about science when considering all that we have yet to discover about our universe.

This new bill may be supported by those who wish to see Creationism and Intelligent Design taught in public schools. However, what the bill supports is exactly what American students need: encouragement to think critically about controversial topics.

The bill is designed to "create and foster an environment within public elementary and secondary schools that promotes critical thinking skills, logical analysis, and open and objective discussion of scientific theories being studied including, but not limited to, evolution, the origins of life, global warming, and human cloning."

The thing is, that not only does the bill allow for critical analysis of evolution, it also protects teachers who have been persecuted in the past by fervent creationists for teaching evolution. Both sides win with this bill.

Ultimately, by reacting negatively to this bill, atheists and supporters of Darwinian evolutionary theory are proving their opponents right: they are acting like reason and the facts are not on their side. This could be enormously damaging to their cause.

In short, let the students hear it from all sides and discuss it in the classroom. Whatever the outcome, it can´t be worse than what we have now.

Exactly. Distrust in science and scientists is on the rise, and as long as scientists and organizations like the NCSE continue their current course of sending out the troupes whenever anyone raises their hand with a question about evolution, that distrust is only going to get worse.

What the hell are you all so afraid of? If your theory is as solid as you propose, you have absolutely nothing to fear. Is your theory so weak that it can't stand up to a little criticism?

[HT: EN&V]

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Expelled Hits Canada

The documentary Expelled will open in Canada this weekend, and reviews are starting to pop up already. Kevin Miller, screen writer for the documentary, links to the typical Darwin dunked liberal reviewer. Peter McKnight, from the Vancouver Sun, is clueless.

AJ Derxsen provides an excellent rebuttal to McKnight's nonsense, although it will probably never see the light of day in the Vancouver Sun. He makes some interesting points to consider.

Some tidbits...

Would you argue that intelligence never leaves any signs of itself? The converse, of course, is that if ID theory is wrong, then all is randomness and that, too, should be empirically demonstrable. Therefore I must ask you: What evidence can you show me that all phenomena are, at base, totally random?


And instead of lauding ID critics Ken Miller and Francis Collins, you should instead be appalled at their philosophical inconsistency and hypocrisy. They claim to believe in the God of the Bible, yet the Bible teaches that all of us should be able to perceive His handiwork in creation. But these men deny that any such perception - which ID theory would exemplify - is even possible. What’s more, standard evo-theory insists on the very randomness of the phenomenon, which randomness logically excludes a Designer.

Yet in the Judeo-Christian religion God is most definitely a Designer! This makes Miller and Collins hypocrites, not thinkers to be lauded. Sure, it’s logically possible for God to have used an evolutionary process to get what He was after - but it would not be random. Or at least, it could not be random within the parameters of Judeo-Christianity, to which Miller and Collins claim to subscribe. (And here again I remind you that if evolution really exists and is really random, then it is unpredictable, and if unpredictable, then untestable, so by your own standard it is not amenable to scientific study.)

If you missed Expelled on the big screen, be sure to check it out when it's released on DVD!

Be nice to cousin BoBo

MADRID (Reuters) - Spain's parliament voiced its support on Wednesday for the rights of great apes to life and freedom in what will apparently be the first time any national legislature has called for such rights for non-humans.

Parliament's environmental committee approved resolutions urging Spain to comply with the Great Apes Project, devised by scientists and philosophers who say our closest genetic relatives deserve rights hitherto limited to humans.

"This is a historic day in the struggle for animal rights and in defense of our evolutionary comrades, which will doubtless go down in the history of humanity," said Pedro Pozas, Spanish director of the Great Apes Project.

*eyes rolling*

Why stop there? Shoot, isn't every organism on earth related to the human race?


Cancer Research, Prayer, and St. Jude

Be sure to read this excellent article by Michael Egnor.

Yet Myers used this tragedy to denigrate religious faith. Noting his subsequent conversation with a pediatric oncologist in which he learned about the progress that has been made in the treatment of childhood cancer, Myers claimed:

How does she [the oncologist] do that [successfully treat some children’s cancers]? With science. She sent me a whole stack of references on the amazing progress that has been made over the last several decades, thanks to clinical trials and evidence based medicine… If we want to cure … cancers…, don't look to magic, or wishful thinking, or ancient shamanistic wisdom, or prayer — we've had those for millennia [sic], and they do nothing…What we need is more research, more doctors, more clinical trials, and more money.[Emphasis in original]

He points to graphs showing the remarkable improvement in outcomes of children with acute lymphocytic leukemia over the past 40 years. And indeed there have been significant improvements in the outcomes for many kinds of cancer in the past few decades, particularly in children’s cancer.

But, leaving aside his dubious tactic of using the death of a relative to advance his ideology, I take exception to his claim that prayer and religious faith had nothing to do with the improvements in the treatment of cancer.

The remarkable progress in the treatment of cancer in the past several decades had a lot to do with faith and prayer. Myers misunderstands the origins of modern medical science and the history and nature of cancer treatment.

Advances in science and cancer treatment emerged, not from science in isolation, but from a culture that made science possible and that directed the fruits of scientific work toward good and compassionate goals. The culture from which science has emerged is Judeo-Christian culture, and modern science has arisen only in Judeo-Christian culture. Why has science been so closely linked to this specific culture?

The scientific investigation of nature using the scientific method depends on the metaphysical view that nature is rational and that natural laws can be discovered and used by human beings. The Judeo-Christian understanding of God and of man’s relationship to God accords with these preconditions for successful science. The application of science to care for the sick presupposes the view that we have an ethical obligation to help the weakest among us. The atheist view of metaphysics — that the universe has no purpose and no designer and no transcendent ethical code — provides no impetus to scientific inquiry or to the compassionate application of scientific knowledge. Modern science arose in Judeo-Christian culture — a milieu of faith and prayer. It arose from Judeo-Christian culture — and nowhere else — for a reason.

Read the rest of the article HERE.

The following provides an example of the power of prayer...

[Edit: Spelling error flagged by Eureka/Dave. I have no idea why I *always* misspell Dr. Egnor's name. He's Dr. E*n*gor to me for some weird reason.]

More Skuttlebutt on Killer Tiller

Our very own infamous Kansas baby killer clinic has evidently been under investigation for the following:

"Ms. Davis gave us a very specific eye-witness account about the incident," said Operation Rescue President Troy Newman. "We were told that the baby was 35 weeks gestation at the time of the abortion. The baby came out and was moving. Sella looked up at Ms. Davis, then picked up a utensil and stabbed the baby in the left ribcage, twisting the utensil until the baby quit moving. At 35 weeks, there is no doubt about viability. This is murder in anybody's book."

I hope to God that this report is the result of a disgruntled employee...

"We also understand that because Ms. Davis' employment at WHCS was terminated, that damages her credibility," Newman continued. "But we have every reason to believe that the story she told us was true. We have been able to confirm many of the other things she told us. Ms. Davis came forward because she was troubled by what went on at the abortion clinic, and was seeking peace. We pray she finds it. "

In March, 2008, Students for Life in America released an undercover video where Tiller told them that if a baby is born alive during an abortion, "It's just sloppy technique. It is just technique that is reprehensible." He added, "The guy that did that ought to have his head beat up."

...but, knowing Tiller's long history in regard to late term abortions, it wouldn't be surprising if this report is accurate. I don't know how Tiller can live with himself knowing that he's responsible for killing hundreds of infants.

Thirty-five weeks? My two boys were both born at 36 weeks and the other at 38, and they were both considered full term. Do they actually even perform abortions at 35 week???

Disgusting beyond words...

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

PZ's off on a rant AGAIN...

It seems that PZ Myers was a tad miffed after reading Gordy Slack's article that I pointed out yesterday.

LOL...PZ went ballistic, and it appears that Gordy Slack responded to his little rant.

It never ceases to amaze me that guys like PZ are let loose on our university students. If you want to see the most juvenile post perhaps every written by a professional university biology professor, get a load of this one.

The University of MN employees some real winners, eh? Talk about a rebel rouser and instigator of hatred...and he's supposedly a "tolerant" liberal.

Why on earth the more intelligent scientists don't tell that guy to put a sock in it is beyond me. I've seen a few stand up to him...then PZ foams at the mouth, and they back down. Bizarre.

Here's the money quote from Slack's comment:

I like to watch PZ turn red and stomp around like Rumpelstiltskin as much as most of you probably do. (Otherwise, what would we be doing here? We're not really learning very much here, are we?)

True enough. PZ's rants are entertaining, though it's amazing that some people actually follow this guy like their Billy Graham of Atheism. Kinda tells you something about the atheist mentality.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Inane Quote for the Day

This one would be labeled under willful ignorance:

Coincidentally, I also finished reading OAT [Ken Miller's new book Only a Theory: Evolution and the Battle for America's Soul]. this afternoon. Like you, I find that Miller presents some very clear arguments against the ID notions. His experience in undergrad education shines through, and the prose should be accessible to anyone with a decent education and an ability to think (which leaves out most of the denizens of Uncommon Descent, alas).

Unlike you, I don't find that his theological arguments are more problematic than before, simply because I think that ALL theological arguments are silly. I can't (won't) make a distinction between one silly argument and another. There is simply no reason for me to think very much about these rationalizations. And I can't predict how a Christian will react to these rationalizations, since I find it impossible to get into the mind-set of such folks. As far as I am concerned, if Miller's apologetics dents the willful ignorance of even one Christian, it's all good. It is quite clear that we can't reach some of these folks by scientific arguments alone... [my emphasis] about close minded, arrogant and ignorant all wound up into one comment.

"I don't know a ding dong thing about that religious stuff cuz there ain't no reason for me to think very much about such rationalizations. I iz smart damn it!, and smart guys don't believe in God. We've got science, and them science guys tells us that there ain't no such thing as a designer. We is nothing more than the by-product of a molecule like blob that arose from primoridal sludge. Now, that there don't take no faith to believe!!"

The Faith of the Materialist

I finally ran across an honest materialist who recognizes that ~faith~ comes to play in his scientific beliefs.

From the article:

First, I have to agree with the ID crowd that there are some very big (and frankly exciting) questions that should keep evolutionists humble. While there is important work going on in the area of biogenesis, for instance, I think it's fair to say that science is still in the dark about this fundamental question. It's hard to draw conclusions about the significance of what we don't know. Still, I think it is disingenuous to argue that the origin of life is irrelevant to evolution. It is no less relevant than the Big Bang is to physics or cosmology. Evolution should be able to explain, in theory at least, all the way back to the very first organism that could replicate itself through biological or chemical processes. And to understand that organism fully, we would simply have to know what came before it. And right now we are nowhere close. I believe a material explanation will be found, but that confidence comes from my faith that science is up to the task of explaining, in purely material or naturalistic terms, the whole history of life. My faith is well founded, but it is still faith.


Which leads me to a final concession to my ID foes: When they say that some proponents of evolution are blind followers, they're right. A few years ago I covered a conference of the American Atheists in Las Vegas. I met dozens of people there who were dead sure that evolutionary theory was correct though they didn't know a thing about adaptive radiation, genetic drift, or even plain old natural selection. They came to their Darwinism via a commitment to naturalism and atheism not through the study of science. They're still correct when they say evolution happens. But I'm afraid they're wrong to call themselves skeptics unencumbered by ideology. Many of them are best described as zealots. Ideological zeal isn't incompatible with good science; its coincidence with a theory proves nothing about that theory's explanatory power. don't see an admission like that every day. Most materialists get hysterical if you suggest that their ultimate beliefs are grounded in faith.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Eudora's post

Here ya go, Eudora. Feel free to express your opinions about religion, atheism, Hitler, etc., etc..

Have a ball, honey.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Gay Rights Theologians: Remolding Scripture to Suit

Tom Gilson at Thinking Christian writes an article on homosexuality that is well worth the read.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Darwinian Evolution is Being Overhyped as the Cornerstone of the Biological Sciences

Check out the latest ID The Future Podcast. It focuses on the Darwinian propaganda machine that pushes evolution as the Cornerstone of the Biological Sciences.

Robert Crowther explores the growing number of claims that Darwinian evolution is the foundation of biology, the backbone of science, and the source for many new biodiscoveries. Are the assertions true? Is evolution the cornerstone of the biological sciences? Listen and find out.

I'm thrilled to have run across this podcast because it is very pertinent to my previous post.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Common Descent vs. Common Design

As I stated in my previous post, it seems to me that this “battle”, as Ken Miller refers to it, between the Evolution and Intelligent Design communities is based almost entirely upon religion, theology and philosophy. For years, I’d been convinced that the scientific elements of the debate could be discussed and concessions made so that both sides of the debate over origins could be considered in the science classroom without the unwanted drama.

Well, I was obviously seriously mistaken.

Then I started wondering if maybe they're right. Perhaps the issues being discussed between the advocates on both sides of the fence really have no beneficial consequence in the realm of scientific research. Rather, it seems that the concept of truth is what we're ultimately reaching for. Yet, when I think back to the Menuge/Myers debate, PZ Myers asserted that science is not about truth, but about what works. So, what is it about the concept of common descent that is so much more valuable to scientific research than common design?

How would a scientist’s work be affected if they were to adhere to the ID paradigm rather than the Darwinian paradigm, for instance? In other words, what’s the difference between the two concepts, and how would those differences affect the scientific research of two scientists working side by side while holding opposing views? Why is it considered a prerequisite to adhere to common descent, and how would a Darwinist soar ahead of the IDist due to his adherence to the notion that every single organism on planet earth evolved from that very first molecule through the mechanisms of evolution alone?

Scientists always point me toward nesting hierarchies and how important this information is to science. While I certainly agree, I wonder why the resulting research could only be met through strict adherence to the concept of common descent. Since Linneaus was classifying organisms before Darwin arrived on the scene, it seems to me that either belief (descent or design) would suffice in continuing these classifications throughout history. Scientists can predict that many organisms will share common similarities and differences under either assumption. The only way to confirm and document those organisms into a particular classification is to physically dig into the organism itself and see if your predictions are accurate. Your first predictions would be based on morphology (as much of Linneaus’ were), but as the hierarchy of biological classification's advanced, more information would come to light making it easier to predict where other organisms fall within their niche on the hierarchy charts. I’m still very confused as to why common descent is so important to the study of biology other than it’s an ingrained mind set making it impossible for scientists to realize that considering common design would produce virtually the same scientific results. The only difference that lies between the two camps are whether the mechanisms of evolution alone are capable of producing the results we observe in all of nature.

Maybe an example would be helpful here. The following is a question that was asked of me when I was visiting a pro-Darwin forum...

How does common design [rather than common descent] explain the difference between an ice fish and a similar related fish that still has functional globin genes?

I'm not talking about what you term "adaptation within a species". I'm talking about changes that occur between species, fish in this case. If you accept that microevolutionary changes can generate new species of fish, why do you have problems with evolution as an explanatory framework? You're an evolutionist.

OTOH, if you don't accept this sort of macroevolutionary change, you are basically saying that this closely related fish, with a functional globin gene is the same species as the Antarctic ice fish.

First of all, maybe we need to get our definitions in sync so that we aren’t talking past each other. So, let’s consider how scientists define species...
What is a Species?

Despite our increasing ability to understand the finest details of organisms, there is still debate about what constitutes a species. Definitions of species tend to fall into two main camps, the morphological and the biological species concepts.

-Morphological species concept: Oak trees look like oak trees, tigers look like tigers. Morphology refers to the form and structure of an organism or any of its parts. The morphological species concept supports the widely held view that "members of a species are individuals that look similar to one another." This school of thought was the basis for Linneaus' original classification, which is still broadly accepted and applicable today.

This concept became criticized by biologists because it was arbitrary. Many examples were found in which individuals of two populations were very hard to tell apart but would not mate with one another, suggesting that they were in fact different species.

Mimicry complexes supplied further evidence against the concept, as organisms of the same species can look very different, depending upon where they are reared or their life cycle stage (some insects produce a spring brood that looks like one host plant and a summer brood that looks like another).
The morphological species concept was replaced by another viewpoint that puts more emphasis on the biological differences between species.

-Biological species concept: This concept states that "a species is a group of actually or potentially interbreeding individuals who are reproductively isolated from other such groups."

This definition was attractive to biologists and became widely adopted by the 1940's. It suggested a critical test of species-hood: two individuals belong to the same species if their gametes can unite with each other under natural conditions to produce fertile offspring.

This concept also emphasized that a species is an evolutionary unit. Members share genes with other members of their species, and not with members of other species.

Although this definition clearly is attractive, it has problems. Can you test it on museum specimens or fossil data? Can it explain the existence of species in a line of descent, such as the well-known lineage of fossil horses? Obviously not.

In fact, one cannot apply this definition easily, or at all, with many living organisms. What if species do not live in the same place? What about the hybrids that we know occur in zoos? These problems are serious enough that some biologists recently argued for a return to the morphological species concept.
So what is the best way to define a species?

Most scientists feel that the biological species concept should be kept, but with some qualifications. It can only be used with living species, and cannot always be applied to species that do not live in the same place. The real test applies to species that have the potential to interbreed.

Most importantly, the biological species concept helps us ask how species are formed, because it focuses our attention on the question of how reproductive isolation comes about. Let us first examine types of reproductive isolation, because there are quite a few.

Obviously, ID supporters don’t question evolution at the microevolutionary level, although I’m well aware that the terms micro, macro, and species are defined in slightly different ways depending on whom you’re talking to and how convoluted the discussion becomes. But basically ID supporters question the ~extent~ to which the mechanisms of evolution are responsible for major morphological changes from one organism to the next throughout history. Some ID supporters have no qualms with the concept of common descent, while others critically consider the evidence supporting the notion that all of nature evolved from that first single molecule that arose from primordial sludge and find it wanting.

Empirical evidence is extremely rare in support of speciation, and the examples put forth by evolutionists are not impressive when considering the massive morphological changes and information packed organisms that have evolved since that first molecule started the evolutionary process. Where did that increase in information come from?

The loss in functionality of the globin gene in ice fish is a perfect example of evolutionary change. But, when one considers that a fish is a fish, this example does nothing more than provide an example supported with empirical evidence showcasing the ability that all organisms have to adapt to their environment. The loss of information in the ice fish could most certainly have resulted due to common ancestry among various species of fish. Natural selection is a wonderful thing, but just how much is this mechanism, along with the other mechanisms of evolution, capable of? That’s the pertinent question that many ID supporters consider.

So, as I address this type of question time and time again, I wonder if I’m not articulating my response correctly or if I’m still missing something. Perhaps some of the other ID supporters reading this post would be able to help me out. Is is vital that scientists adhere to common descent, and is this example of the globin gene impossible to concede to unless you do so?

Not only is speciation a major technical problem in evolutionary biology, but novel body plans are an enigma to Darwinism as we have never seen such changes take place. Virtually all the evidence is based on inference.

Consider Stephen Meyer’s peer-reviewed essay...
Novel Body Plans

The problems with the neo-Darwinian mechanism run deeper still. In order to explain the origin of the Cambrian animals, one must account not only for new proteins and cell types, but also for the origin of new body plans. Within the past decade, developmental biology has dramatically advanced our understanding of how body plans are built during ontogeny. In the process, it has also uncovered a profound difficulty for neo-Darwinism.

Significant morphological change in organisms requires attention to timing. Mutations in genes that are expressed late in the development of an organism will not affect the body plan. Mutations expressed early in development, however, could conceivably produce significant morphological change (Arthur 1997:21). Thus, events expressed early in the development of organisms have the only realistic chance of producing large-scale macroevolutionary change (Thomson 1992). As John and Miklos (1988:309) explain, macroevolutionary change requires alterations in the very early stages of ontogenesis.

Yet recent studies in developmental biology make clear that mutations expressed early in development typically have deleterious effects (Arthur 1997:21). For example, when early-acting body plan molecules, or morphogens such as bicoid (which helps to set up the anterior-posterior head-to-tail axis in Drosophila), are perturbed, development shuts down (Nusslein-Volhard & Wieschaus 1980, Lawrence & Struhl 1996, Muller & Newman 2003).5 The resulting embryos die. Moreover, there is a good reason for this. If an engineer modifies the length of the piston rods in an internal combustion engine without modifying the crankshaft accordingly, the engine won't start. Similarly, processes of development are tightly integrated spatially and temporally such that changes early in development will require a host of other coordinated changes in separate but functionally interrelated developmental processes downstream. For this reason, mutations will be much more likely to be deadly if they disrupt a functionally deeply-embedded structure such as a spinal column than if they affect more isolated anatomical features such as fingers (Kauffman 1995:200).

This problem has led to what McDonald (1983) has called “a great Darwinian paradox” (p. 93). McDonald notes that genes that are observed to vary within natural populations do not lead to major adaptive changes, while genes that could cause major changes--the very stuff of macroevolution--apparently do not vary. In other words, mutations of the kind that macroevolution doesn't need (namely, viable genetic mutations in DNA expressed late in development) do occur, but those that it does need (namely, beneficial body plan mutations expressed early in development) apparently don't occur.6 According to Darwin (1859:108) natural selection cannot act until favorable variations arise in a population. Yet there is no evidence from developmental genetics that the kind of variations required by neo-Darwinism--namely, favorable body plan mutations--ever occur.

Developmental biology has raised another formidable problem for the mutation/selection mechanism. Embryological evidence has long shown that DNA does not wholly determine morphological form (Goodwin 1985, Nijhout 1990, Sapp 1987, Muller & Newman 2003), suggesting that mutations in DNA alone cannot account for the morphological changes required to build a new body plan.

Consider this: To claim that something like bacteria evolved into birds and humans, you must consider that the hypothetical series of steps had to traverse hundreds of vital organs. After a new vital organ evolved, one should wonder how the organism had survived before it had that vital organ, because without the newly evolved vital organ, the “critter” is (by the definition of vital) dead! Macroevolution must produce greater complexity which requires large increases in information. New vital organs and irreducible complexity would be examples of greater complexity. Where is the empirical evidence that this has actually occurred? Can you show me any natural process that produces large, nontrivial amounts of information? Natural processes tend to destroy information. All living things contain gigantic amounts of information! Here’s a question for the scientists out date, what are some of the most beneficial mutations to organisms in their natural environments that scientists have observed through the years?

In regard to the ice fish example, whether you consider the loss of the globin gene a significant evolutionary change at the species level is certainly in the eye of the beholder. Again, the mutation that occurred resulted in a loss of information. The fact that we can provide empirical evidence of this type that implies that the ice fish evolved from a related ~fish~ is not significant in regard to the question of design vs. common descent.

Something else that was directed toward me in the forum discussion was this accusation...
The onus is on you to show that common design has this sort of explanatory power, NOT to cast stones at the current paradigm. If your paradigm is as good as the current one, prove it.

First of all, the explanatory power of natural selection is not in question, and virtually every piece of empirical evidence used by scientists to support common descent are microevolutionary changes which are also a part of the design “paradigm”, if you will. Second, I most certainly have the right to cast stones at the current paradigm without providing you with a new one. Consider the following...

Norman Macbeth wrote a brilliant treatise in 1971, Darwin Retried: An Appeal to Reason. The book was endorsed by Sir Karl Popper, the great philosopher of science. Macbeth, a skilled lawyer (J.D. from Harvard) with razor-sharp logic, was invited to join the monthly meetings of the curators of the American Museum of Natural History. The discussions usually dealt with evolution; namely, how could it have happened. Macbeth responded to this type of accusation that one must provide an alternative explanation rather than “cast stones at the current paradigm”. Macbeth wrote on pages 5–7:

The proponents of a theory, in science or elsewhere, are obligated to support every link in the chain of reasoning, whereas a critic or skeptic may peck at any aspect of the theory, testing it for flaws. He is not obligated to set up any theory of his own or to offer any alternative explanations. He can be purely negative if he so desires. ...

I have been rather surprised to discover that many biologists dispute the propriety of a purely skeptical position. They assert that the skeptic is obligated to provide a better theory than the one he attacks. Thus Professor Ernst Mayr of Harvard rules out admittedly valid objections on the grounds that the objectors have not advanced a better suggestion. I thought at first that this was a personal foible of Mayr’s, but it has recurred in so many other places that it must be a widespread opinion.

So, in conclusion, I guess I question whether either paradigm (Design or Darwinism) would produce more fruitful research over the other? It seems to me that the arguments center on philosophy and a quest for truth in science rather than a means in which to advance scientific research.


I welcome all comments, but I will allow them with a few stipulations. Dialogue must be respectful. If you feel it mandatory to talk down to me, you’ll be walking on very thin ice. If you bring up YE arguments, your comments will be immediately deleted because this post is in reference to ID and common descent.



Dr. Walter Brown - via this dialogue thread. I have paraphrased or transcribed in full several sentences from Brown’s responses in that particular thread discussion.

Also: The Process of Speciation

Edit: 6/19 for clarity

Ken Miller initiates the Battle for America's "Soul"

Evidently, it's no longer about's about religion and the battle between IDists and theistic evolutionists for America's soul. Bear in mind that this cry for "battle" is coming from a theistic evolutionist...not an ID supporter. Ken Miller states that he is a Christian who believes that God's chosen method of creating life on planet earth was through the process of common descent. Miller is highly opposed to ID, so either he rejects the notion that God had any involvement in the process of creation after initiating the big bang, or he believes God steps in, but that His hand in the process is completely undetectable. In fact, according to his previous book, Darwin's God, he stated that he believes God is "scientifically undetectable".

Miller has written several biology textbooks, and here are a few quotes from them in regard to evolution...

(1) “[E]volution works without either plan or purpose … Evolution is random and undirected.”

Biology, by Kenneth R. Miller & Joseph S. Levine, pg. 658 (1st edition, Prentice Hall, 1991)

(2) “Darwin knew that accepting his theory required believing in philosophical materialism, the conviction that matter is the stuff of all existence and that all mental and spiritual phenomena are its by-products. Darwinian evolution was not only purposeless but also heartless–a process in which the rigors of nature ruthlessly eliminate the unfit. Suddenly, humanity was reduced to just one more species in a world that cared nothing for us. The great human mind was no more than a mass of evolving neurons. Worst of all, there was no divine plan to guide us.”

Biology: Discovering Life, by Joseph S. Levine & Kenneth R. Miller (1st edition, D.C. Heath and Co., 1992), pg. 152

Sounds like evolution = philosophical naturalism, no? Yet, Miller is a Christian who believes that ID has no place in academia, that his own philosophy about the origin of life is the correct view for Christians to take, and that ID is counter productive to Christianity...go figure.

According to Michael Behe, Miller's book doesn't offer anything new in regard to the scientific issues in this debate, and if you've read Darwin's God, you'll already be quite familiar with the content of his new book.

It appears that the focus of Miller's new book is on philosophy rather than science. I've read Darwin's God and I've also read The Edge of Evolution. When comparing the two, Miller's book was a fast read...the science was minimal, and it sounds like his new book is a repeat of the same. But, when reading Behe's book, The Edge of Evolution, I found that he concentrated almost entirely on the scientific issues in this debate. Parts of it were quite challenging for the layperson.

Theistic evolutionists claim that ID is nothing but an attempt to squeeze religion into the science classrooms, but when considering the content of Miller's last two books on the topic, he doesn't come across as well versed in the scientific discussions surrounding this debate as Michael Behe does.

If you really want to understand intelligent design, Miller is not the one to turn to. I lost respect for the man quite some time ago after attending a lecture where he blatantly misrepresented what happened here in Kansas in regard to the science standards fiasco of 2005. Since then Evolution News and View has reported on so many of his blunders that it's difficult to believe much of anything that comes out of his mouth.

If you want the honest scoop on Intelligent Design, the better bet would be to pick up a copy of William Dembski's new book, Understanding Intelligent Design: Everything You Need to Know in Plain Language

Thursday, June 12, 2008


Here I sit in my storm shelter again. We're under a tornado warning, so we grabbed some burritos and we're hanging out in a little 9X12 concrete shelter/storage area in a portion of our basement. Fun times.

Last night Manhattan took quite a hit. Some of the buildings on the Kansas State University campus were damaged.

I just hope if we're going to get hit, it hits our home rather than the home my husband just finished building, because our home builder's insurance policy ran out on the thing, and we haven't renewed it yet.


Yikes, we just heard that a tornado touched down briefly right next to the high school that is a mere mile from our house.

Pray people...

EMA to Honor Ben Stein's Free Speech

From here:

The Entertainment Merchants Association (EMA) will recognize Ben Stein with its “Freedom of Expression Award” during EMA’s Home Entertainment Awards ceremony June 24. The ceremony is part of EMA’s Home Media Expo 2008, June 24-26 at the Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas.


“Just being a conservative in Hollywood categorizes Ben Stein as courageous,” said Bo Andersen, president of the EMA. “But more, he has fearlessly articulated, as only he can, views that would be considered provocative by many and established himself a leading conservative voice in the nation. In his latest cinematic work, Ben Stein boldly and without equivocation, embraces a free speech stance and a different world view in the discussion of intelligent design versus evolution.”


Is His "Torment" Justified?

Is there a God? Does the supernatural exist? Is it possible that the entire universe was the product of a purely accidental, natural 1st cause? If there is a God, what was his purpose in making us?

Both the Christian and the Atheist ponder these questions, and even the most ardent supporters of either faith doubt their conclusions at times. Yes, even PZ Myers, the prideful atheist biologist and associate professor at the University of MN has, no doubt, struggled with those questions during thoughtful moments when he's not addressing his followers. Though, given the confidence in his response to someone who emailed him about their "tormenting" doubts as to what the mechanisms of Darwinian evolution are ultimately capable of, he writes with much bravado and certainty.

The email he received read as follows...

I'm tormented.

I appreciate the struggle many creationists are having about evolutionary science. I find myself tormented as I observe the world around me.

What I seem to be focused on is how a plant or animal is self aware of it's need to evolve? How does a tree know how to "evolve" it's seed to fly on the wind? How would a lizard "know" that it needed to develop camouflage to survive?

I can't imagine [how] any plant or animal other than human would have the ability to "know" and as well as pass it along via DNA to future hundreds of thousands of generations?

I'd appreciate your feedback…this is really starting to bother me.

Unfortunately, this particular person seems to have either misunderstood how evolution works, or he really blew it when posing his concerns to PZ. So, of course, PZ seizes on that misunderstanding and provides his response...

The first part of the answer is that the organism doesn't know that it must evolve. There is no plan, no guidance, no goal imposed ahead of time, the tree or lizard are not following a program that says they have a goal. The outcome emerges as a consequence of selection and chance.

The tree did not plan ahead. In a population of trees, there was chance variation in how far seeds fell from the parent; seeds that fell in the shade of the parent would not flourish, while seeds that were fortuitously caught by the wind and fell further away were more likely to thrive, and produce more offspring. Lizards that blended in with their environment were less likely to be eaten, and had more offspring that, inheriting their parents inconspicuousness, were also less likely to be eaten, and variation in their progeny was selected further approximations to camouflage.

There is no "know", no awareness. Darwin's insight was that life didn't need it to produce a pattern of change — unguided random variation, filtered after the fact by natural selection, produces an appearance of design.

And yes, this is a fact that many people find troubling. We're brought up thinking we're cuddled in the swaddling hands of a god who has a grand plan for us all, and that every little up and down in our life is the product of some cosmic intent — it's reassuring and makes us feel important. It's an interpretation unsupported by any evidence, too, and often contradicted. We live in a world of chance, and we're all on our own.

OK, readers, maybe you have a better explanation. Go ahead, chime in with a comment and explain how we're going to wean the general public away from their imaginary sky father.[my emphasis]

What irritates me is the way in which scientists like PZ explain how evolution works. They take the most simplistic examples possible, and we're to assume that these explanations account for their belief that everything on the planet is ultimately the result of evolutionary mechanisms evolving with that first lucky molecule that happened to accidentally pop into existence. I've attended lectures by both Eugenie Scott and Sean Carroll, and they made reference to these same type of easily supported microevolutionary changes in expectation that their audience would then accept, as fact, the entire molecule to man scenario.

But, when I listen to gentlemen like Dr. David Berlinski question the evolutionary paradigm, he echos my own incredulity in regard to how Darwinists can possibly assert that they have the evidence to make such bold claims about common descent with relatively so little empirical evidence to support the inference. Berlinski is much more articulate than I, so listen to his concerns in regard to whale evolution...

...and, bear in mind that this is merely one transitional account (here is a link to a recent interview with Berlinski as well). Speciation is an important area to consider when contemplating the issues that Berlinski addressed. Empirical evidence supporting speciation occurring through evolutionary means is sorely lacking. It is deemed a "major technical problem for evolutionary biology" as noted in a recent article from The Scientist...

This theory of evolution is really a framework for thinking about change in the living world. It provides no specific guesses for the kinds of traits that may exist, no strong requirements or prohibitions on how they may interact to make a complex organism or ecosystem, and no commitments to how innovation can occur. Even the problem of how a differentiated population ultimately divides into two distinct species (posed in the title of Darwin's seminal work) remains a major technical problem in evolutionary biology.

Consider all we observe in nature today, and ask yourself if the incredible complexity and order of the universe can possibly be the result of nothing other than, in PZ's words, "unguided random variation, filtered after the fact by natural selection" that produces an "appearance of design". And, while we're on the issue of design, why do scientists refer to the design we observe in nature as merely an "appearance" of design? I've always been taught that science follows the evidence wherever it leads, and both Creationist and Darwinist agree that nature most certainly appears to have been designed. Why twist that fact and deem it merely an illusion?

Getting back to the incredible complexity, beauty and intricacy of life, I'd like to share a series of Youtube clips from the Incredible Creatures that Defy Evolution video series, vol. 3. I watched the first DVD in this series several years ago, and the subject matter provides many insights that are interesting to consider before deciding to taking that leap of faith and commitment to the evolutionary paradigm. The complexity of nature is vast and astounding...are we to assume that it all came about by chance?

Incredible Creatures that Defy Evolution III - Part I
Part II
Part III
Part IV
Part V
Part VI
Part VII
Part IX
Part X

"The Heavens declare the glory of God.” Psalm 19:1

"What can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made." Romans 1:19-20

Monday, June 09, 2008

Vox & PZ to Debate??

Seems that Vox Day, the author of The Irrational Atheist, and PZ Myers have been invited to debate the existence of God this coming Saturday on a Minnesota radio program.

Great timing for me, as I've been working on a post addressing a couple of PZ's posts over at Pharyngula.

Recently, he stated that "There is no historical evidence for Jesus".


Wow. As a cock sure supporter of atheism, I'd have thought he'd be a little more familiar with the historical evidence supporting the existence of Christ, but evidently he's not.

That kinda shines a whole new light on how familiar he is with apologetic arguments that support the existence of God as well. He seems to indicate that he is relatively well versed on the topic as he complains that he has never found any intelligent arguments for god. One wonders how in-depth his knowledge is on the subject.

Well, now it looks as though we may get a taste of what PZ does or does not know about the arguments in favor of the gods. Vox and PZ have been asked to debate the topic on the Northern Alliance Radio Show of Minnesota.

How fun is that??!

It doesn't look like PZ has accepted this invitation yet, but it would certainly be a difficult one for him to back out of, IMHO.

I'll keep you updated...

[Side note: Isn't Vox hawt? But, I promise that his good looks will not affect my discernment in analyzing their arguments fairly.]

UPDATE: PZ tries to back out...

Wait -- I complain about the absence of intelligent arguments for God, and Vox Day pops up his little pin head and squeaks about miracles and bleeding statues and liquefying holy relics?

Vox, you don't qualify. You're a pathetic little twerp with delusions of grandeur.

Wow. In PZ fashion, he starts in with the ad hominem attack and makes statements about Vox that are not backed up with evidence. Someone should go over there and ask that PZ provide support for his statement that Vox "squeaks about bleeding statues and liquefying holy relics". I believe a retraction may be in order. First of all, I can't imagine a studly dude like Vox "squeaking", and I don't recall him talking about bleeding statues and holy relics that liquefy. But, who knows....maybe PZ can point out those quotes.'s at times like this that I wish I wasn't banned from PZ's palace. He's coming across as extremely cowardly by refusing to debate Vox.

Shoot, Vox recently lambasted new atheists in his latest book, so this would provide the perfect opportunity for PZ to set him straight! What gives?

If you're allowed to mingle with PZ's choir boys, get on over there and encourage PZ to do the courageous thing....DEBATE VOX DAY THIS SATURDAY.

Friday, June 06, 2008


...the word that always starts a major debate within seconds after the word rolls off the tip of your tongue, and it's a debate I hate getting involved in. So, I'll link to Maci as she makes some good points...

Picture this: Instead of picketers holding signs of condemnation, how about signs of love? How about signs that say, "We will adopt your baby and find a safe home, we'll pay for everything, we'll give you a place to stay . . ."

Thursday, June 05, 2008

I'm Skeerd...

OH. MY. GOODNESS... there is one holy heck of a storm front moving through Kansas at the moment, and it seems to be heading our direction. YEEK!!

Right now Manhattan is in the middle of it. [TAKE SHELTER, DAVE!!!]

Everyone say a little prayer for us Kansans...even you atheists!!!!

[heading for the shelter...]

[edit: Yea! The brunt of the storm seems to have slid past Topeka...must have been all those atheists prayers that saved us.]

Okay, this HAS to be some kind of hoax..right?

From here:

"I get 100 miles to the ounce on water," Anthony Brown told WJXX-TV in Jacksonville. "I can run any water – distilled water, drinking water, tap water."

"Right now it's using a little bit of gas. If anything, it's getting a fuel vapor. I've got the fuel injection system shut down," he added.


"Can we pull the cover off and uh get to the injector part of it?" asked a technician with Whites Automotive.

"Sure," said Brown. "When you separate the water from the oxygen from the hydrogen, it cooks and it cooks down to a brown color. We're not having any waste product off of it. Everything is consumed and burned."


The station's report has prompted a cross-section of comments on its messageboard, including:

Standard Oil, Exxon, BP and all of OPEC will be on him now like buzzards on a carcass.

He is definitely not inventing anything new, the technology has been out for a while ... . There are several places to buy the conversion plans/kits. One guy in California converted his vehicle and now does the conversion work for those willing to pay him to do it. My question is why are the auto makers not taking this technology and running with to mass produce vehicles? Is Big Oil paying them not to go with this technology?

This same sort of claim has been made for over a century, and has been proven a hoax or fraud every time. I could explain all the ways it violates the laws of thermodynamics. The fact that he claims to be supporting a ministry were included in the report is further proof that the interviewer didn't have an ounce of sense. If it was a real science breakthrough, the religious claims wouldn't matter. Scammers love to claim they're working for God. It engenders good feelings and thus an added measure of trust from the simple-minded fools who might be taken in by their claims.
Last year, WND reported on another Florida man looking for an energy breakthrough with water.

John Kanzius, a retired broadcast engineer from Sanibel Island, Fla., experimented with radio waves and salt water.

"On our way to try to do desalinization, we came up with something that burns, and it looks in this case that salt water perhaps could be used as a fuel to replace the carbon footsteps that we've been using all these years, i.e., fossil fuels," Kanzius said.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008


Stuff like this truly pisses me off.


If you want your child to receive religious instruction during their school hours, choose a private school that is in sync with your religious beliefs.

Believe me, you don't want religious instruction of any kind at the high school level. When your children enter college, the religion courses are such a convoluted mess, that hopefully they'll never have to sit through one of those either.

[Note: I AM NOT implying that it is not a good idea to study other religious faiths, but rather that from one religion professor to the next you really have no idea what kind of garbage they're going to add due to their own philosophical or religious ideals. Personally, I've found that the best place to discuss religious beliefs in a public school setting is during history classes as you learn about different cultures.]

HT: Jason.

Monday, June 02, 2008

When the Lord Closes a Door, Somewhere He Opens a Window

I think my favorite film of all time is probably The Sound of Music. It was first released the year I was born, and the first time I saw it was in a theatre when I was around 9 or 10 years old. My Mom took my siblings and I, along with a neighbor family that had twin girls the same age as I was.

For the next few weeks that followed, we played "The Sound of Music" almost non stop. Between my brother and sister and I, the twins, and their younger sister, there were six of us who had the scene where the Von Trap children march down the stairs to their first meeting with Maria memorized, and we could perform it perfectly (or as perfectly as 6 kids under the age of 10 can manage). I can still vividly remember playing Liesl under the shade tree in the neighbor's backyard.

There were so many great lines in that movie, and one of my favorites was when Maria tells Captain Von Trapp, "Reverend Mother always says when the Lord closes a door, somewhere he opens a window".

That has happened to me so often in life, and though I've struggled with letting Him take the reigns rather than worry myself into an anxiety attack over what the future holds, I've certainly found as I've become closer to God in my personal life, handing over the reigns has become easier.

The past ten years have been quite the roller coaster ride with both Mr. FtK and myself being self employed, but with all the worries about whether we'd make it from year to year, we've also had many, many blessings. One was that we've been able to spend much more time with our two boys than we would have if we were still employed by the companies we had previously worked for. We were also able to build our own home, which saved us a huge amount of money, though looking back I have no idea how we managed it while working full time. The word miracle often comes to mind.

This past year, we've really felt like God was closing a door in regard to Mr. FtK's business. We've been concerned about the housing market and his future opportunities in designing and building homes, and we've also wondered if he should consider a career move due to the fact that he's not getting any younger and presently he does a large part of the physical labor himself.

He applied for several jobs we found in the local newspapers and on-line, but had no luck. Honestly, in hindsight I was pushing him and sending in resumes for any job I thought he might possibly be able to land. I wasn't trusting my husband or God to find an appropriate job, and I was being pushy and panicky about the whole situation. When I finally said "screw it, I'm handing it over to Him because He'll lead us in the way we should go", things changed. I relaxed about the situation, and low and behold, my husband ran across a job on his own. We were at my son's baseball game, and Mr. FtK was shooting the breeze with an old college friend who graduated from KSU's architecture department the same year as my husband did. He is part owner of a landscaping company in town, and he mentioned that they were looking for someone with my husband's background. Funny how things work out, and the interesting part is that his job started today...the same day that I knew I would be taking a pretty drastic cut in income from June-August. That constant reliable source of income will certainly be a blessing.

As a person prone to worry and anxiety, I've found great solace in my faith. I look at life as a training ground or learning experience for the life that is to come. I believe that what we learn here will make our experience in eternity all the more satisfying somehow. My faith also helps me strive to look for the bright side of life and try to find the humor in even the most difficult situations. It's always there if you look for it.

As my husband left for his first day at his new job this morning, I said a little prayer for him as a touch of anxiety filled my mind. Closing his business has been a hard decision to make because the past few summers the boys have really enjoyed working with him, learning from him, and just being with him. They were kind of sad to see him give it up as they will no longer have those opportunities. So, as my prayer continued, it turned into a request for answers in regard to whether we're making the right decisions for our future. I found myself wishing that God would just make a quick personal appearance and assure me that we're heading in the right direction. Well, the big guy didn't appear before me, but He did lead me to Tom's post later in the morning, which helped ease my touch of anxiety over our decisions. Tom's message reminds us that our future is grounded in the past. It's a very good article and leads to the ultimate assurance...

With all who follow Christ, though, we have an even stronger promise that whatever happens, the ultimate destination will be very, very good.

So although it looks as if a door has been shut in regard to a life we've known for a decade now, we can rest assured that that open window will always point us toward the ultimate reward.

How to Rebut Barbara Forrest Explained in Two Words

Expose Hypocrisy.

Boy, Casey hit the nail on the head there! Actually, that advise works in most debates with virtually all ardent Darwinists.

I finally saw what all the hubbub was about...

Rather shocking really. I'm amazed a Pastor would act like that in front of his congregation. It's way wrong, IMHO. That's why it's wise to keep politics out of the pulpit.

Are Conservatives more honest than Liberals? seems that may be the case if you're one to believe the polls.

Consider these results:

Is it OK to cheat on your taxes? A total of 57 percent of those who described themselves as “very liberal” said yes in response to the World Values Survey, compared with only 20 percent of those who are “very conservative.” When Pew Research asked whether it was “morally wrong” to cheat Uncle Sam, 86 percent of conservatives agreed, compared with only 68 percent of liberals.

Ponder this scenario, offered by the National Cultural Values Survey: “You lose your job. Your friend’s company is looking for someone to do temporary work. They are willing to pay the person in cash to avoid taxes and allow the person to still collect unemployment. What would you do?”

Almost half, or 49 percent, of self-described progressives would go along with the scheme, but only 21 percent of conservatives said they would.

When the World Values Survey asked a similar question, the results were largely the same: Those who were very liberal were much more likely to say it was all right to get welfare benefits you didn’t deserve.

The World Values Survey found that those on the left were also much more likely to say it is OK to buy goods that you know are stolen. Studies have also found that those on the left were more likely to say it was OK to drink a can of soda in a store without paying for it and to avoid the truth while negotiating the price of a car.

Another survey by Barna Research found that political liberals were two and a half times more likely to say that they illegally download or trade music for free on the Internet.

And, again with the relative morality thing...liberals are all about it:

The honesty gap is also not a result of “bad people” becoming liberals and “good people” becoming conservatives. In my mind, a more likely explanation is bad ideas. Modern liberalism is infused with idea that truth is relative. Surveys consistently show this. And if truth is relative, it also must follow that honesty is subjective.

Sixties organizer Saul Alinsky, who both Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton say inspired and influenced them, once said the effective political advocate “doesn’t have a fixed truth; truth to him is relative and changing, everything to him is relative and changing. He is a political relativist.”

During this political season, honesty is often in short supply. But at least we can improve things by accepting the idea that truth and honesty exist. As the late scholar Sidney Hook put it, “the easiest rationalization for the refusal to seek the truth is the denial that truth exists.”