Saturday, January 31, 2015

Do Non-Living Things Eventually Spawn Living Things?

  Thinking about the Big Bang Theory, and how it all started with non-living things, tonight, the part about evolution I do not understand, is that if there once was no life at all, not so much as any amoeba -- if there once was nothing but elements such as mercury and helium and such, then does that mean life evolved from non-life?
    Are you telling me that if we hang around and watch for a few billion years, life will spring out of -- I don't know, steel or magnesium or something? What brings it about, the right mixture of elements? The right temperatures? Or, if they just sit there long enough, they just eventually come to life?
   It seems either non-living things must spawn living things, or else the Big Bang Theory and the Theory of Evolution are incompatible. You can believe in one, or you can believe in the other, but you can't believe in both. But, I'm guessing they do, indeed, believe the living can be born of the non-living. Or, maybe they just believe that somewhere in that little cluster that expoded to make the universe, there was a living organism of some sort. Surely, they have some explanation, and I'm just too new to the conversation to know what it is.

Kepler-444 and the Chances of Life Elsewhere in the Universe

   The biggest of bangs just had a little bang. Scientists say the Big Bang occurred 13.8 billion years ago. And, now news from a few days ago says we've found a planetary system revolving around a star called Kepler-444 that is 11.2 years old, a system with planets smaller, but not massively smaller than the earth.
   It's got the sky watchers buzzing. They're reasoning, I believe, that if planets this close in size to that of the earth existed that long ago, it increases the chances of life elsewhere in the universe. I haven't yet learned the logic, but it may be that the weight or size of the planet has something to do with how far the planet is from its sun, and that determines how hot the climate is and whether life can be nurtured.
   Now, all this presupposes that life here on earth -- life that requires the temperatures we have -- is the only life possible. No such thing as a creature evolving that could live at 1,000 degrees below zero and no chance of it living at 1,000 above. 
   It also seems the theorists do not believe there are element other than those here on earth: helium, mercury, etc. I wonder if there is a connection there. I wonder if that means that since the elements on earth are the only ones, then those elements dictate that life can only survive in the range of temperatures found here on earth.
   One of the sub-theories of evolution, is that life adapts to its environment. I guess it cannot adapt to or be spawned in real extreme temperatures.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Scientists Place Prehistory as Ending at About 4000 B.C. -- Interesting

   All good science will tell you man descended from the same ancestor as did the ape. And, I'm here to tell you, that if he did, a lot of good evidence is that it happened at about, oh, 4000 B.C.
   Significant, isn't it, inasmuch as this puts when primitive man ceased and modern man began right about the time of Adam and Eve.
   Ever notice how for those millions of years in this globe's existence, the human form is not considered to have had much intelligence? A cave man, is all he was, with a brain allowing him to do little beyond the making of a fire.
   And, ever notice how the human type became markedly more intelligent after, oh, about 4000 B.C.? Or is that my misconception, for I confess that's when I would place the date.
   And, here's another did-you-ever-notice: Did you ever notice how the evolution of man -- that stuff Charles Darwin has us believing in -- seems to have come pretty much to a halt along about, oh, 4000 B.C.? Man remains with the same body characteristics as he did 6,000 years ago. He hasn't changed. You might argue that evolution takes longer than that. Still, the fact remains, the man of 4000 B.C. is the same as the man of 2000 A.D.
  Ever study the different ages of technology? Well, the first was the Neolithic Revolution. It was the first technological revolution in all the millions of years this world has supposedly been here. Ever notice just when it was that this Neolithic Revolution took place? It is said it was 8,000 to 12,000 B.C. That is just in front of the day of Adam and Eve. Is the time frame off some, and in reality it took place beginning with 4,000 B.C.? Even if it is not, it remains significant that of all the millions of years scientists say were involved in evolution, the Neolithic Revolution didn't take place until just shortly before Adam and Eve are said to have been here.
   In a world of evolution, you don't arrive at being modern man all of a sudden, so if the Neolithic Revolution took place just in front of Adam and Eve, it remains significant.
   With the Neolithic Revolution, man swung from being a hunter-gatherer to being a farmer. Agriculture was introduced. But, it was more than that. Man become more sedentary and more prone to live in larger communities. Writing and systems of knowledge were introduced. Art, architecture and centralized administrations were started.
   So, when was the first full-blown manifestation of all the features of the Neolithic Revolution? That would be the Middle Eastern Sumerian cities. And the date for them? Hmm, 5,500 years ago.
   All this lends credence to the theory that if mankind did descend from beasts, the transition to modern man came at the time of Adam and Eve.
   I'm not done. Ever open up your the encyclopedia to find out when recorded history began? It was about 4000 B.C. That means of all the written records that have ever been found, there are no written records of what was going on before about 4000 B.C. Writing was invented about 4000 B.C.
   We have a term, that scientists and historians use: "prehistory." Prehistory is the period before recorded history. It is interesting that prehistory ended about 4000 B.C.

(Edited Jan. 29, 2015)

Monday, January 26, 2015

Rather than answer my questions about evolution tonight, those I tried to reason with on Facebook called me names, assasinated my character, and derided my religion.

Further Exporations into Yesterday's Evolution Question

   Ahh, yes, there is some answer to the question I laid out yesterday. Man lost his hairy covering because he came out of Africa, where it was so warm, no covering was needed. That's an answer, but I'm not sure it does the trick. For, at some stage, man spread to other parts of the earth, colder places. Why is it that at least some of those new climes did not prompt him to adapt again, regrow the hair? For these places were cold, and if adaptation was to be had, this is what was needed.
   Was it that he had already started wearing clothes? And took them with him to the new climates. What got him started wearing the clothes, then? If he lost his covering because he didn't need it, why would he start wearing clothes while still in an environment that didn't require it? Did he become concerned about his morals, and not want to be naked? Perhaps that might work as an answer. (If so, what an irony, for religion would be causing evolution. Such a thought.) Or, did he assume the clothes when he started moving to the new, colder locations? When I go outside on a cold winter day today, even dressed as warm as I can, I still get cold. I do doubt that back then, the primate was dressing warm enough that adapting to the environment would not have meant getting a hairy covering -- or a covering of some kind.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Did an Ape-Like Being Once Start Wearing Shoes and Clothes?

   One weakness in the evolution theory is that while one of its premises is that the species adapts to its environment, it appears mankind went the opposite direction in at least two ways. Why is it that man never developed harder feet, that he doesn't need shoes? And, why is it that he didn't develop a furry covering, that he should not need clothes to keep him warm?
   The evolutionist replies that the species started wearing shoes, and started wearing clothes, so it adapted to the shoes and clothes by developing softer feet and losing the hair. Perhaps that is it, then. Still, it remains that man evolved away from what the environment required, not towards it. Evolution suggests man came from a being that had harder feet and had a hairy covering, things that helped him cope with his environment. One has to ask, if his feet were hard enough, and his hairy covering good enough, why did he start wearing shoes and clothes in the first place?
   And, are evolutionists really suggesting that a being once looking like an ape started wearing shoes and clothes? Picture that in your mind -- an ape-like creature donning shoes and clothes -- and then tell
 me whether some things just do not make sense.
   The evolution of man might, indeed, have happened. I do not know. But, I know there are weaknesses in the theory that man evolved in the manner they suggest.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Hmm. Speaking of fashion, my memes tonight are not coming out well-fashioned.

Power to the People: Yemenis Stand Up to Terrorists

   Power to the people. I half think more people just voted in Yemen than ever voted in the United States. Well, I exaggerate, greatly. Still, an estimate 20,000 marching in the streets of Samaa, the nation's capital, is no small number. And, it is reported that tens of thousands also marched in the cities of Taiz, Ibb and Dhamar.
   They're wanting their president to be returned to power. And, they're just thumbing their noses at the Houthi terrorist group threatening to take over. Some say the Houthi is al-Qaida's most dangerous offshoot. So, to take the streets in opposition to it seems a brave gesture of democratic outcry.
   Voting is little more than adding your voice to others in an expression for a candidate. Sometimes, the ballot box isn't available, so you vote in a different fashion. Houthi had forced Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi to resign from the presidency. Mounting the protest is the Yemenis way of voting him back in. I hope it works.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Same Mechanism Bringing Affordability, also Accommodates Price Hikes

   If a bill is to be paid, someone has to pay it. And, as a corollary, The person must have the ability to pay. Simple truths, these are, and obvious.
   So, let's say you want to raise the price of your medical services, or the price you will charge for a college education. If you keep in mind the rules we just set forth, you won't just go out and jack up the prices.
   You will first seek out someone who can afford the bill.
   At first take, you might think you are in trouble. After all, medical patients often just don't have the money. Nor do poor college students.
   So, you get wise. You find a third party with deeper pockets. For the hospital bill, you get the insurance company. And for the college tuition, you sign on the student loan company. Suddenly, instead of small, average-income citizens, you have large corporations paying the bills. Regardless if you charge a high fee, they are going to have enough money to cover the bill.
   Here's the rough part: The small, average-aged citizen usually still ends up paying, in the long run. He doesn't have to come up with the money in one lump sum, which is the thing he cannot afford to do. But, he still pays the bill. It's just that he pays it across time. With insurance, he pays monthly premiums. With education, he pays off the loan with payments after the fact. It should be noted that sometimes, though, the citizen never ends up paying the full price. How much money he puts into insurance might never equal large medical bills. Other buyers of the insurance end up paying the rest. And, in some situations, another third party -- government -- steps in to help.
   So, we have an irony. The very system that allows the citizen to afford medical needs and to afford a college education, also serves to accommodate prices being raised.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

With Lenders and Insurance Companies Involved, Prices Might Go Up

   Should someone give thought to third-party economics? The traditional market situation involves a buyer and a seller, but with what I shall call third-party economics, a third party is involved in the transaction.
   And, as far as keeping prices down, this sometimes means trouble.
   The two forms of third party participation that come to mind as I write this are insurance and loans. When it comes time pay the bill, insurance and the loaner each become the paying party. In the case of insurance, the customer has paid the third party in advance, while in the case of loans, the customer pays after the fact.
   In both cases, there becomes a bigger pocket than the pocket of the customer. Insurance companies have bigger pockets than the customer, generally, and the same is true of lenders. They have bigger pockets than those of their customers.
   In yesterday's blog, I said one principle of economics is that if money is placed on the table, someone will sweep it off. In other words, if there is money made available, someone will gladly take it.
   So, if there is a bigger pocket to reach into, there is a greater chance the price of the product will increase. I do say that this is the only reason medical costs are so high, but I do wonder if it is one. And, likewise, I do not say it is the only reason college tuition is so high, but I do wonder if it is one.
   With third-party economics, prices sometimes -- not always -- go up.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

If We do it Right, Then I Might Favor Free Community College

   Gave a little thought to President Obama's proposal that community college be free. One determinant factor to me, is whether the price tag for the college education is going to go up or down if we make it free.
   I think a college education is too expensive. Regardless who is paying for it, the cost needs to come down.
   I don't have time to look up the statistics, but I wonder how the price tag for high school compares with that of community college. I suppose high school is less expensive. If we convert college to fit the economic model we have for high school, we should be able to reduce the cost.
   There is a principle of economics I once came up with. If you put money on the table, someone will sweep it off. Currently, much of college education is paid for through student loans. As long as that loan money is there, the colleges and universities sweep it off the table. They can charge high tuition rates, because there is a source (the loan) that is going to pay the money regardless how high the tuition.
   But, if college is free, there is no student loan.
   I don't favor free community education if Uncle Sam is footing the bill. Uncle Sam simply goes into debt to pay its bills. That leaves no cap on how much money can be placed on the table. But, if we model the economics for community college after that of our high schools, property taxes foot the bill. No one likes their property taxes to go up. They won't allow it. There is resistance to high tuition rates.
   So, yes, if we do it this way, you might -- maybe -- sign me up as a proponent of free community college.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

I Don't Know Whether I Favor Universal Community College

   What shall we call it? Universal community college? Socialistic community college? One day after we celebrated Martin Luther King Jr. Day -- and many who honored him quickly added that the one thing they didn't like about him was his leanings toward socialism -- President Barack Obama, in his State of the Union address, called for free junior college for America's youth.
   Socialism, yes. But, our K-12 education program is socialism. Our postal system is socialism. Maybe all that is socialism is not necessarily bad.
   Rather than just reject the idea for being socialistic, I try to digest President Obama's suggestion fast enough to have a more solid opinion. But, alas, I have none to offer tonight. I do not know whether I favor universal community college ("universal" in the sense it would be available to all high school graduates).

Note: This post edited and corrected 1/21/15.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Here's my MLK Quotes for the Day

   Martin Luther King, Jr. This might have been one of his best quotes, as a reflection of his greatness, for he did not teach bitterness, did not teach violence.
  "Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred."
   Nor did he teach, Just leave us alone to go our own way. Instead, he said, "I have a dream that one day right there in Alabama, little black boys and little black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers.
  I wonder if that inspired the Three Dog Night song that says, "A child is black, A child is white. together they go, To see the light, A beautiful sight."
  For teaching friendship, not spite, for teaching friendship, yes, Martin Luther King was a great American.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Montana Case Cause for Reconsidering if We're Doing Things Right

   A video is making the rounds of a Montana police officer breaking into tears just after killing an unarmed man. "I thought he was going to pull a gun on me," a sobbing Officer Grant Morrison says.
  "Maybe he was. Maybe he was," says a comforting fellow officer.
   It was the second death Morrison has been cleared of. Six months before this incident, he shot and killed a man with a replica gun. He was also cleared of wrong doing in that case before this one occured.
   So, it is not surprising he was distressed at being right back in the same situation. Also, his tears may well have come from regret for the loss of a life. Bless him for those things.
   I remain wishful we trained officers to avoid taking life when possible. In Morrison's case, he was standing outside of an open passenger door, with the suspect in the car when he became concerned the man might be reaching for a gun. I play through in my mind what might have happened if officers were trained to avoid deadly confrontations, even if it meant "backing down." Officer Morrison could easily and quickly have stepped out of immediate danger with a step out of line with the door. The suspect, though, could have swung out another door, and, if he had had a gun, could have used the weapon on a running Officer Morrison, who would have been retreating behind the cover of his own car. Moments later, other officers would have arrived and the officers would have had the upper hand in a shoot out.
   But, that is the scenario if suspect did have a gun. In this case, he did not. If Morrison had backed away from the door, within moments backup officers would have arrived and in all likelihood Ramirez would have been arrested without being shot. Everyone would have lived.
   Some would say it is fully ridiculous to even consider that the officer should back down. I am not so sure. Preservation of life should be the highest concern. I am not to the point of saying officers should back down, but I am considering that maybe, in some situations, they should.
   I also think of the many times I have heard it said if you do not comply with a police officer, you deserve to get shot. I think of how that is pounded into our heads time after time, to where officers surely might begin to think they have the right to take someones life if that person is not obeying. In the video of Officer Morrison shooting Richard Ramirez, Morrison repeatedly yells, "Hands up," before shooting. Ramirez didn't comply. Morrison may well have worried Ramirez was reaching for a weapon, but the thought that he might have shot in part simply because Ramirez was not complying haunts me. It is not wrong to consider that. Though we have the video of the shooting, we do not have the mindset of the officer, nor of the suspect. In considering whether justice was done, we should consider all scenarios.
   I say, thinking on these things is good. Considering how we are responding to dangerous encounters, and whether lives are being lost is a worthy thing. If we are, as a society, reconsidering our methods, it likewise is worthy. We might decide we are doing things right, but at this point we should see enough reason for concern that we at least take a time out and reconsider how we are handling things.

Baga Attack Deserves as Much Attention as Charlie Hebdo

   I, too, wonder at there not being more news and more outrage over the massacre by Boko Haram of, reportedly, 2,000 souls. However many were killed, it was a significant massacre, one that it would seem should deserve our highest concern. Some have suggested news out of Africa does not get as much attention as news out of Europe, and thus the Baga attack was overshadowed by the Charlie Hebdo attack. I wonder, for it does seem the number of lives lost in Baga demand our attention as much as those lost in Charlie Hebdo.

Friday, January 16, 2015

The U.S.'s Military Presence in 12-13 African Nations

   I'm reading along in a story about how the media neglected the Boko Haram massacre of, reportedly, 2,000 people when I come to the final sentence, which asks how often have stories appeared about the presence of U.S. military operations in 12 sub-Saharan African nations.
   Say what?
   I google and find a Washington Post story from May 2014 suggesting most of these deployments are small, such as 10 troops in Mali, serving to "liaison" with French and African troops. Some deployments are on intelligence-gathering missions, such as the 80 troops in Chad searching for the 276 schoolgirls Boko Haram kidnapped. (This is an old story, so are these troops still there?)  Some are there to support drone planes. The largest group of soldiers is at a major U.S. military base, Camp Lemonnierin, in Djibouti, with about 4,000 troops being there.
   It does not appear any of the troops are involved in shooting-their-guns-type combat. Thus, perhaps, the lack of news coverage.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Self Preservation Should not be the Only Concern

   Self preservation is the highest concern in how police officers handle dangerous encounters. I do not know that that is wrong. But, I believe that just because it is the highest priority, does not mean we should sweep away other concerns.
   Like saving the life of the other person. When life can be spared, yes, I think it should. And, I do wonder if we miss on many an opportunity to do that.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Bless Officer Vincent for Feeling Sorrow for Having to take a Life

   With this morning's sun came the third homicide in Utah this year, and all three were officer-involved killings. Officer Jason Vincent shot and killed Jeffrey Neilson when Neilson pulled a knife.
   This incident, though, comes with a report of regret on Vincent's part. Neilson's boss, West Valley Police Cheif Lee Russo, reported, as quoted in the Deseret News, that Vincent arrived at work, "rattled, as anyone would be when confronted with a situation like this. This is not what a police officer coming to work, or going to work, wants to encounter on any day. He's upset with what happened."
   Bless Officer Vincent. It sounds like he regrets he had to take someones life. All lives matter, whether they be those of blacks, police officers, or drug-involved people who pull knives on officers. Bless Officer Vincent for feeling sorrow over having to take a person's life.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

So, They Started an Investigation

  And, they started an investigation. So goes the old Simon and Garfunkel song. And, to change the lyrics just a little: It wasn't against the law. It wasn't against the law.
  It just seems to me that perhaps some of these officer shootings could have been avoided. Darrien Hunt was chasing around with a sword, and the fear was he might take someone out, so they shot him. I've wondered if this killing was justified. I don't know. But, I certainly question it. and I do wonder if their training influenced the officers in their decision to shoot him. We could list police shooting after police shooting, all with questions. Perhaps some or all were justified. Perhaps not. James Barton and his officer, according to a witness, wrestled on the ground for 10-15 seconds before the officer pulled his gun and shot him dead. Was it justified? Was it really a shot of self defense, or was it a shot of retribution? I don't know, but I certainly wonder. And, I also wonder if he was just doing what he had been taught to do, either in his official training or from public sentiment.
   It does seem the continuing pattern of killing suspects indicates that is what the officers are trained to do. No secret there, some might say. Why an investigation? It's common knowledge.
   The old Simon and Garfunkel song -- altered version -- starts playing in my head, again: It wasn't against the law. It wasn't against the law. So, they started an investigation.
   I just think we should be careful what we teach. Taking a life is something we should not choose to do if we can avoid it. If we are teaching shoot to kill, then should we be teaching it? Or should we be teaching that while there are times to kill, there are also times not to kill?
    It is time to evaluate what we are teaching and and time to consider the consequences we are reaping. The toll will not change if we do not change our attitude.

Monday, January 12, 2015

The Kill, Kill, Kill Mantra Pervades Our Society

   All I know, writes someone on Facebook, is that if someone swings a shovel at me, I'm shooting him.
   Ahh, my friend, therein lies the problem. We encourage each other to kill. We listen to each other and we echo each other and pass the mantra along: If someone threatens me, I'm shooting them. We whisper in each other's ear, so to speak, saying, kill, kill, kill.
   I say we are too quick to kill. Defending yourself does not have to mean death to the other person. Yes, there are times when killing is justified, when it must be done to defend yourself or your family. But, I do so believe we egg each other on beyond that. We begin to think it our right to kill if the other person attacks us. It becomes an attitude that pervades our society.
   And, if this is the attitude, should we be surprised if we reap a chorus of killings in which we are left to wonder if they were justified? Some might be, but I study them and wonder, and am inclined to believe a number could have been avoided.
   I wonder if we have sown the wind, and are now reaping the whirlwind. If we teach each other to kill on a whim, we should expect eventually the mantra will take hold, and there will be a host of killings that rather should be avoided.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

I'm not in Favor of Legislation Excempting Public Officials

   Comes a post on Facebook, noting legislation is proposed that would exempt public officials not wanting to do so from issuing marriages licenses to gay couples.
   My first thought is that it might be a worthy law, as it would allow a person not to be required to do something he or she doesn't believe in. Do we not want to protect the rights of all?
   But, after a little more thought, I am against such a law. If these marriages are legal, perform them. If you are a public official, uphold the law. By performing the marriages, it does not mean you agree with them. You are simply acknowledging that those getting the licenses have the right, by law, to be married. Marry them, then. To pass such a law as this, exempting some officials is going to bring ridicule upon Utah, from some quarters, while not achieving anything that actually reduces the number of these relationships.
   If you are a public official called upon to issue these licenses and do not feel you should do so, then, yes, you probably ought to find a different line of work. It is not so different than a person in a BLM office who does not believe the land should be violated, and who therefore would refuse to issue a drilling permit. Bless that person for their wanting to protect the land, and bless them for their opinions, but they probably are in the wrong line of work and ought to find another job.
   And, it is exactly the same as a person who must issue alcohol permits, but doesn't believe people should drink alcohol. Do we create a law for them, excempting them from performing the task? I think not, and I think we do not create a law excempting the BLM workers, either.

The Case of a Shovel-Wielding James Barker

   This James Barker, the man who wielded a snow shovel against an officer, what do I think of his being fatally shot? I watched the video. Couldn't tell if the killing was justified. Couldn't even tell if the video camera came loose before the shovel connected. Do not know what the officer's thought process was.
   But, I do think officers should be trained to make split-second decisions in such situations, deciding whether to shoot at center body mass, or to shoot to maim. Don't think the training should always call for them to shoot for center body mass. That would be training them not to make the split-second decision between life and death. I think of ourselves, and how we are often able to make split-second decisions. Yes, I think it is not only possible, but necessary to make quick decisions, as life is too sacred to kill a person if it is not necessary. Train them on when to shoot center body mass, when not to shoot center body mass, and when to not shoot at all. Train them on what to do and when to do it, and the odds of them making the right decision are better.
   If you train them to always default to shoot-to-kill, or to always shoot at center body mass, you are not training them to save lives whenever possible. And, yes, that should be part of the training.
  In this case -- in the case of James Barker -- the officer might have been justified. I don't know. I do know his training probably came into play and imagine he had been taught to shoot to kill or to shoot at the center body mass. Even supposing he might have made the wrong decision, then, if there is fault, I am not sure it is his, but rather the fault lies in the training.

Friday, January 9, 2015

In a Gym Thinking About the Creation

   I once sat in a gym, listening to a speaker. I do not remember who the speaker was or what he said, but I do remember my thoughts. I looked up at the basketball hoop. There was a rim, and a net attached to the rim. I thought how impossible it would be for the net to thread itself to the rim on its own. We could lay the net down next to the rim, and wait for millions of years. There could be storms and lightning and earthquakes and such for as long as time might last, but there would be nothing to cause the net to thread itself to the rim.
   So, I concluded that if it took a person to perform such a simple building task, how much more was it necessary for something that is complicated to be directed by a human if it was to be created.
   My thinking had a flaw. It made an assumption. It assumed that if it takes a human to create a hoop or make a shirt or make a car, then that rule applies to the creation of living things. While complicated non living things might require a person to create them, that rule does not necessarily follow for living things.
   Still, my thoughts while sitting in a gym have value.
   While mud is made when rain falls, how many other things can you think of that are created without the need of a person to manage their creation?

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Creation of Man a Thing for Thought and Consideration

   How did mankind come into existence? "Intelligent design" is the theory suggesting there is a being guiding and directing the creation of living things.
   Now, while is is common for a person to direct the creation of a car or a computer, does it necessarily follow that a person is behind the creation of everything? No, it does not. We can see that some things might be created without a person directing them. Mud, for example, forms when it rains.
   But, conversely, does the fact that it seems obvious that things can be created without a person directing them mean that there cannot be a person behind the creation of all things "natural"? No, that does not follow, either.
  More to the point, does the fact we can see some things created without the direction of a human mean that living things are created without the direction of a divine creator? No, it does not. When we speak of proofs and things that are provable, the creation of man by a divine creator might be a difficult thing. But, so is it also not to be proved that there was not a divine creator directing and guiding the creation of living things.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Reports from 'Civilian' Boards Should be Answerable to the Public

  I find it strange that the civilian review board does not release its report of the killing of Dillion Taylor. The notion that it is a "civilian" board suggests to me it exists to make things answerable to the citizens. If it then comes out with a report, but doesn't release it, that is not being answerable to the public.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

What if We had this Attitude Towards Those We Disagreed With?

   A person I interact with on Facebook notes, as a child he was asked to not show up for school when the origins of man were to be discussed, due his believing in evolution.
   I wish it were that instead of discouraging someone to show up in such a situation, we would think it neat to have someone with a varied opinion. I think it would be wonderful if we looked at such as an opportunity to learn why others feel as they do, just to be appreciative of the way they feel.
   What if we were like this? What if you were in, say, a political group that opposed President Obama and planned to discuss it at an upcoming meeting, and got word that someone ardently in favor of Obama wanted to come and share his views?
   "Wonderful, wonderful," you say, as you get word the person is coming. "This will be a chance to understand why some people really like President Obama."
   Let's say, you favored or opposed same-sex marriage, and were planning a meeting just to discuss all that was going on with the topic, and got wind someone from the other side wanted to come and address your group.
   "What? You have got to be out of your mind!" your friend says, upon hearing the person wants a chance to speak. "This is our meeting. You are telling me they really expect we will let them talk, right in our own meeting."
   "Yes and yes, definitely!" you reply. "We will have to limit their speaking time, because we don't want the meeting to go to long. But, it will be wonderful to hear what they have to offer. I just think it a nice opportunity to be friends with them, to sharewith each other why we feel the way we do."
   Hmm. This isn't sounding at all like the way we normally (check that -- ever) treat each other.

Monday, January 5, 2015

If a Principle is a True Principle, it Seems it Should Work More than Once

   I am not as sure of evolution as most. I tend to disbelieve man came from the same ancestor as the ape. Perhaps, though, yes, perhaps we did. But, whether we evolved from another creature or not, I contend the evolution theory does have weaknesses. One, is that we only have one advanced species today, the homo sapiens. It seems to me that if evolution in s true principle, there should be on this earth now not just one species that has descended from prehistoric creatures, but two or three, at least, for if the principle works, it does just work once and stop, it keeps on working.
   Some would respond by noting Neanderthals, Cro-Magnons, Denisovans, and perhaps others, were separate species. While science does accord them as separate species, it remains that the homo sapiens are the only extant species. No other species -- perhaps ever -- has the mental acuity of the homo sapiens.
   The evolution process, supposing it is where we came from, has only worked once. I repeat, if a principle is a true principle, it does seem it should work more than just once.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

It is Hard for Us to Feel Deep Sorrow for Some Sins, but We Must

   There are some sins so common, so seemingly small, that we don't begrudge ourselves much for having them.
   Some would say, all of us gossip a little, all of us get angry, all of us mock at others, all of us tell partial lies or misrepresent the truth. These are small things, we tell ourselves, and we never get around to repenting of them. We expect small errors in our lives, for no one is perfect.
   A number of weeks ago, I became somewhat sorrowful over a sin I had committed. It occurred to me I needed to have sorrow if I were to have the impetus and the drive to change my ways. And, it occurred to me, we seldom have that sorrow for all these sins we see as small, or common. I told myself that when I see these sins spring up in my life, I must throw myself into a sorrowing mode, even coming to tears, if I can, if I am ever to have hope of changing, of getting these sins behind me.
   Today, it occurred to me that the Lord is mindful these small sins deserve deep sorrow, for he uses such language as "woe unto you" against them. "Woe unto them that are wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight!" he says of pride in Isaiah 5:21. I would think if the Lord is using "woe unto you" in warning against pride, yes, it is something we should repent of in sackcloth and ashes.
   But, when was the last time you were taken to deep sorrow, maybe even tears, because of your pride?
   "And again, I say unto you, is there one among you that doth make a mock of his brother, or that heapeth upon him persecutions? Wo unto such an one, for he is not prepared, and the time is at hand that he must repent or he cannot be saved!" (Alma 5:30-31)
   Yet, making a mock of others, pointing out their weaknesses and ridiculing them, is such a common thing, that many of us do it without it even occurring to us that we are doing wrong. No godly sorrow there. No sackcloth and ashes, yet the Lord has warned us that unless we repent, such offenders cannot be saved. That doesn't exactly follow the nobody-is-perfect-so-don't-break-yourself-in-pieces-trying syndrome.
   Sorrow saves. Remorse is our friend.

Science Lacks a Single Documented Case of Evolution

   If scientists are unable to produce on this one point, I believe, their theory that man and horse evolved from a common ancestor suffers heavily. 
   If I could, I'd tap them each on the shoulder and ask, "Hey, do you have even one documented case of what you are talking about? Is there, in all of recorded history, even as much as one documented case of bat after bat giving birth until little bit of change after little bit of change, eventually one gave birth to a bird? Just one documented case, that's all I'm asking for.
   Is there even one recorded case of a lion evolving from an elk?  I mean, has anyone ever followed a herd of cattle through the years until what once was an elk is now a lion?
  Argue, if you will, that there are, indeed, bones that, indeed, have been unearthed showing the transitions. You will say that they find one set of bones that looks halfway between a bat and bird, and that proves the point. No, that is not documentation; that is speculation. That proves you found a set of bones that looks halfway like a bat and halfway like a bird. 
   Bottom line is, science lacks a single documented case where one individual person or animal evolved into another.

Friday, January 2, 2015

If Evolution Works, Why Would it Work Just Once?

   I do so wonder why some claim evolution of man is a scientific fact. I do not see that. At all. I find the theory of evolution flies in the face of scientific evidence. If evolution is a law of nature, then that law should work again, and again and again. If man on earth evolved once, why not some humanish creature a second time? And a third?
  If evolution is a true principle, it doesn't just work once and quit. It works again and again. Why then, in all these millions and billions of years, should there be only one instance of man evolving from an ape? Why do we not find some other humanoid having evolved, or some other advanced creature capable of competing with man?
   Just once?
   I believe one of the tests of whether a scientific study is to be accepted, is that it can be confirmed by a second study. If man evolving from a common ancestor of the ape is to be listed as the study, where is the second study? Where is the second time this has happened? Forgive, but if you cannot come up with one, then perhaps you should consider that evolution does not fit squarely into the scientific method of evaluating what is true.
   (Note: My argument is not that evolution did not occur. For my part, I do not know that. My argument is that there is this weakness in the evolution argument.)

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Maybe My Face Didn't Get Smashed Enough

   Maybe my face didn't get smashed enough. I sit here, two and a half months after going over the handlebars of my bike and planting my face in the cement, wondering whether life can be rejuvenated through death (well, maybe not death, but through injury and rebirth).
   Not my whole life, just the life and youth of my face. As a 60-year-old, my face no longer has the look of youth. Is there a process that would spark the cells to rejuvenate?
   My thoughts drift to a story of how lasik eye surgery was discovered in the Soviet Union, Story has it, a man with impaired vision had a pop bottle splinter his eye. When the eye healed, presto!, his vision was restored. I wonder if the story has any validity at all, for a Wikipedia article, rather than mentioning that, credits the work of Columbian ophthalmologist Jose Barraquer, who cut slim slices of the eye to even it. It seems from the article that it isn't cell replacement that brings about the restored vision.
   But, still I wonder about cell rejuvenation. I wonder if you can not kill, but stun the cells in a way to prompt rebirth. My thoughts go to shock treament, and how that gets the heart pumping again. I guess that is different, because the electric pulses start the heart to beating again, whereas skin cells have no beating or pumping process to shock back to life.
   I also think of muscle building, and how it is said you break the muscles down in order to build them up. Could this also be true for skin rejuvenation?
   I think of a guy I ran into this past week who said he gives blood and that it rejuvenates his body, with the new blood he produces being superior to the blood he gets rid of.
   A quick word search shows me no such thing. It may be true, but if it is, I just am not finding it.
   But, I do find something similar. A website speaks of ones own blood plasma being used to rejuvenate . . . skin! Yes, the results are fewer wrinkles and healthier looking, smoother skin.
   Maybe instead of re-enacting my face plant -- with the hope of achieving even greater damage -- I should just get on a plane and fly down to Florida, and get this plasma treatment done.