"Even in literature and art, no man who bothers about originality will ever be original: whereas if you simply try to tell the truth (without caring twopence how often it has been told before) you will, nine times out of ten, become original without ever having noticed it." - C.S. Lewis

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

"Everyone's asleep!" and the perfect father

Okay, so before I do my *real* post I have to share with you guys something my little sister Gabrielle (age 4) said this evening....

She had just taken off her princess dress-up outfit and then claimed that she didn't want to put her real clothes back on.  We were in the schoolroom in front of the big picture window.

 Me:  Gabrielle, you better put your clothes on, or all the neighbors are going to see you without NOTHIN' on!  *in mock horror*

Gabrielle:  No they won't!  They're all asleep!  (points to the houses)

Me:  No....they're not...(it's about 5:30)

Gabrielle:  Yeah!  See, the houses are PITCH BLACK!

Me:  But that doesn't mean they're asleep.

Gabrielle:  Oh yeah...maybe they're playing hide-and-seek in the dark.  After dinner.  *some thought*  If they already had dinner.

I thought that was hilarious.


My real post is a little something I was thinking on the other day...I'm sure most of you have heard of the American boy, Sean, who was kidnapped by his mother and taken to Brazil.  His father battled the Brazilian legal system for five years to get his son back, and finally did on Christmas Eve 2009.  If you haven't heard the story, take a couple minutes to look at the website, Bring Sean Home.  We watched a documentary about the whole thing the other day.  Besides feeling all warm and fuzzy at the end, I was touched by several things in the story.

The father, David Goldman, had a sad story.  His wife took his son to Brazil on what he thought was a vacation with his wife's Brazilian family, but after his wife got there she called him several times and hysterically demanded a divorce and full custody of their son, Sean.  Of course, he refused, and said in the interview that he had no idea why his wife wanted a divorce.  That alone is tragic enough.

An international treaty demands that abducted children be returned to their country of birth/citizenship within six weeks, but Brazil paid no heed to the treaty, and only after five long years of battling, agony, pain, and worrying for his son did David get Sean back.  During that time, David's wife had remarried and died after birthing a daughter, but her family refused to give Sean up, and even, the documentary said, told the boy derogatory things about his father to try and turn Sean against his own dad.

All the while, David was dedicated to one thing: getting Sean back, no matter the cost, no matter the time, no matter the drain on his physical well-being.  If you had seen his face when he talked about his mission you would know what I am talking about.  It was a mission that he was determined to complete.  David was tormented by the thoughts of the emotional trauma Sean must be going through and the lies his Brazilian family might be telling Sean about him.  All he wanted was his little boy home safe, even if it took years.  He was a dedicated father who loved his little boy with all that he had in him.

 Now...that led me to realize - this is a human father we're talking about here!  I was somewhat taken aback with the thought that God, our heavenly Father, loves us even more than David Goldman loves Sean.  He is the Perfect Father - all he wants is to have his lost children home safe...no matter the cost, no matter the time.  And he will do ANYTHING, whatever it takes, to get us back.  Even when people try to smear him and convince his children he doesn't care about them and he's a harsh and judgmental ruler...nothing they can say will deter him from his one goal.

Can you imagine how Sean's father would feel if he was forbidden from ever seeing Sean again?  Telling his son he loved him?  Can you imagine how the Perfect Father feels when a child of his rejects him or never comes home, never finds out how much he is loved?  EVERY TIME a person dies without never knowing his Father, it hurts him the same way.  Because he cares for every one of us, more than we will ever know.

He longs to hold us in his arms and tell us he loves us.  And whether we know it or not, there's an aching place inside us that wants to run to him.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

A chance for life

"Miracles are a retelling in small letters of the very same story which is written across the whole world in letters too large for some of us to see."  - C.S. Lewis

Everywhere you look today, there will be something that attracts your attention, whether it be media, sports, activities, shopping, or even schoolwork.  There's always something to keep you busy, something to do or see.  But the problem is, none of it has any substance.  Our world is full of things that aren't real - that don't really matter.  We need things that do matter.

That's why I've decided that I'm not going to have just another entertaining blog.  We have enough meaningless distraction around us, but not nearly enough that makes us think.  So this blog will be different.  If nothing else, I hope it gets you thinking.  And I don't want it to be just another opinion out there - I want, more than anything, to inspire you to take a new look at things and use your own common sense to make decisions.

This post, I'm going to get to the bottom line - what I believe about the origins of the earth and why.  I haven't really written anything like this before, so bear with me.  And it might be a little long, but I hope you keep reading.

I believe in the creation of the earth by an Intelligent Designer, as opposed to the hypothesis of evolution.  And not because my parents say so, or because the Bible says so, but because I took the time to think about it (although I agree with both what the Bible says and what my parents believe).

I'm studying biology this year, and to many, reading into high school biology would mean strenghtening the student's belief in evolution.  But that would only happen if the textbook teaches evolution, which nearly all, if not all public school textbooks do.  The student would also have a part in that if he or she simply believes what they hear or read without actually thinking about it.  Fortunately, I do not have a textbook that teaches evolution, and also thought the logic through.  So, biology had just the opposite effect for me.  I have found that it is dangerous to the hypothesis of evolution if a student thinks too much, or even at all, about what they are being taught.  If they do, then the hypothesis of evolution very nearly disproves itself.

Take cells for example.  I am fascinated by cells.  Every biology textbook deals with cells.  No matter what the viewpoint of the textbook's author, it will almost without exception teach the parts of a cell, their functions, what cells do what, and their properties.  I'm no scientist, but from what I've seen, any self-respecting evolutionist author just might as well leave the whole discussion of cells and DNA right out of his textbook (and without those, everything else starts tumbling down).

The conundrum is a simple one.  Read any semi-technical explanation of any type of cell and you will see that there is no such thing as a simple life form (even in prokaryotic cells, the "simplest" type, which are hailed as being the closest relations to our oldest ancestor).  A cell has to perform at least eleven basic life functions to survive on its own.  If even one of those functions is absent the cell will die.  There is no margin for error.  Random chance would have had to get it right the very first time - everything in place, formed correctly, with built-in protection from harmful chemicals, and the cell programmed knowing exactly what to do (including, I'm assuming, asexual reproduction).  There was no time for a slow process of evolution or adaptation.  It was either exactly right the first time or it was dead.

That's not so impossible, right?  Well...uh...no.  Let me illustrate for you just how impossible it is.

Let's take a look at your primordial soup now.  Disregarding the fact that the environment had to be just right (air? water? a vacuum? a gas bubble?  where did any of these elements come from, anyway?), we now observe a swirling mass of chemicals, the origins of which we have no idea.  Allow me to use my imagination for a moment (after all, that's all that anyone's ever done regarding the origins of the earth, to a certain extent).  Now, supposing that all the ingredients necessary to create a living cell were already in this soup, we settle back and wait for random chance to produce life (a process called spontaneous generation, or abiogenesis, which has never been observed in nature).  A few million years go by...

We realize we might be waiting a while.  Let's give random chance a hand.  In fact, we'll go light on it by only asking it to produce DNA, not a functioning cell.  A lot easier, right?  You think?

We enter a lab primed with exactly the perfect conditions for generating life and pick out exactly the chemicals needed to create life, no more, no less (we don't even know them all, but let's assume we do just to make things easier).  We let them swirl around together.  We've helped random chance a lot, right?  That's made the job easier.  It should have, anyway.

Finally, we get more than a little frustrated.  Random chance is just not doing its job, and we've worn out our copy of Robinson Crusoe.  So we break down and bring in a team of experts - the most brilliant scientists in the world who know DNA as much as it can be known.  "Create life from these chemicals," we tell them.  So they set to work.  They use all their collective ingenuity, forethought, care, and planning that a human can muster.  They spend time, a lot of it, in that lab trying to create DNA.

But they can't do it.

"Why is that so important?  That doesn't prove anything," you say.  All right.  Let me break it down for you.

It's true that random chance can do some things that humans can do.  Take bingo, for instance.  There is a chance that, say, a six ball will fall out at a specific time.  But it is also true that a human can do everything random chance can do (they can make the six ball fall out).

Think of it this way.  You take all the supplies needed to build a house and repeatedly drop them onto the ground in a heap (okay, the foundation is already there, just to make it easier).  You do it again and again and again, but clearly you will never get a house, no matter how many times you drop the supplies onto the foundation, even if you did it for billions of years.  We're talking a house complete with plumbing and electricity - not only are the odds astronomical, it's impossible.  The catch is, a human CAN build a house, complete with plumbing and electricity, with exactly those materials.  How much more impossible would it be for random chance to do something a human cannot?  I don't think I need to remind you that DNA is so much more complex than anything involved in making a house, so much so that humans, who are the most intelligent living things known to inhabit this earth, haven't even learned everything there is to know about it.

Of course, if I started talking about ecosystems, reproduction, movement, and the human body...I'll be here all day.  So I'm done now.

I think that what a person believes matters.  In fact, it is the most important thing about them.  I also think that what we believe should influence what we do.  Random chance, by definition, is the most unreliable thing there is.  That's why I'd rather not hang my fate on it.  I refuse to trust that random chance did what a human cannot.  Because really, all it boils down to is trust.  No one was actually there when life originated - so I'm I'm going to trust that an Intelligent Designer created the universe, especially when this earth has the mark of intelligent design all over it.

My point is, don't just believe it.  Think about it for yourself.  Use your common sense - you could find that there's a whole lot you've been missing.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Some pics of the pup

Some pics of my little vizsla pup Jublilee - aka Jooble Wooble...

I know they're kind of dark, but whatever.  This is just a few of the ones I took one night when she was asleep and unsuspecting.  But then the flash woke her up...  =D  My favorite is the first one.


Sunday, January 10, 2010

It's clean! But it's about to get dirty...

Under my bed, I mean.

Okay, so now that I actually have a blog, I seem to be devoid of ideas and things to post.  Imagine that.  So I'll put up something my writer friend Brianna sent me:

"Every year, English teachers from across the USA can submit their collections of actual analogies and metaphors found in high school essays. These excerpts are published each year to the amusement of teachers across the country. Here are last year's winners:  

1. Her face was a perfect oval, like a circle that had its two sides gently compressed by a Thigh Master.

2. It was an American tradition, like fathers chasing kids around with power tools.

3. He was deeply in love. When she spoke, he thought he heard bells, as if she were a garbage truck backing up. 

4. She grew on him like she was a colony of E. coli, and he was room temperature Canadian beef.

5. She had a deep, throaty, genuine laugh, like that sound a dog makes just before it throws up.

6. Her vocabulary was as bad as, like, whatever.

7. He was as tall as a six-foot, three-inch tree.

8. The revelation that his marriage of 30 years had disintegrated because of his wife's infidelity came as a rude shock, like a surcharge at a formerly surcharge-free ATM machine.  

9. The little boat gently drifted across the pond exactly the way a bowling ball wouldn't.  

10. McBride fell 12 stories, hitting the pavement like a Hefty bag filled with vegetable soup.

11. From the attic came an unearthly howl. The whole scene had an eerie, surreal quality, like when you're on vacation in another city and Jeopardy comes on at 7:00 p.m. instead of 7:30  

12. Her hair glistened in the rain like a nose hair after a sneeze.

13. The hailstones leaped from the pavement, just like maggots when you fry them in hot grease.

14. Long separated by cruel fate, the star-crossed lovers raced across the grassy field toward each other like two freight trains, one having left Cleveland at 6:36 p.m. traveling at 55 mph, the other from Topeka at 4:19 p.m. at a speed of 35 mph.

15. They lived in a typical suburban neighborhood with picket fences that resembled Nancy Kerrigan's teeth.  

16. John and Mary had never met. They were like two hummingbirds who had also never met.

17. He fell for her like his heart was a mob informant, and she was the East River.

18. Even in his last years, Granddad had a mind like a steel trap, only one that had been left out so long, it had rusted shut.  

19. Shots rang out, as shots are wont to do.  

20. The plan was simple, like my brother-in-law Phil. But unlike Phil, this plan just might work.

21. The young fighter had a hungry look, the kind you get from not eating for a while.

22. He was as lame as a duck. Not the metaphorical lame duck, either, but a real duck that was actually lame, maybe from stepping on a land mine or something.

23. The ballerina rose gracefully en Pointe and extended one slender leg behind her, like a dog at a fire hydrant.

24 . His thoughts tumbled in his head, making and breaking alliances like underpants in a dryer without Cling Free.

25 . He spoke with the wisdom that can only come from experience, like a guy who went blind because he looked at a solar eclipse without one of those boxes with a pinhole in it and now goes around the country speaking at high schools about the dangers of looking at a solar eclipse without one of those boxes with a pinhole in it."

I love it.  Pure, unadulterated randomness.