Friday, February 27, 2015

The Parable of Collins Thompson and the World Mourning Center

   In the year 2032, Collins Thompson turned to the latest in technology to make him a masterful mourner. That was the year that technology became so far advanced that it became possible to have a picture of every person in the world who died each day. So, Collins had the pictures flashed before his eyes, one every second.
   Trouble is, he found he couldn't view them all. There just wasn't enough time in the day. With 155,000 dying each day, even if he viewed them straight through 24 hours a day, he would fall short of viewing them all.
   What to do? It seemed every person deserved at least a second of his time. So, our friend Collins Thompson decided morning needed to be a group effort. He opened the World Mourning Center, and invited people in to help him mourn. Each of the dead now could be given five screen seconds.
   Well now, I suppose this little story is a little odd to some of you. And, I suppose you are right to say Collins Thompson was a little odd for engaging in such an activity. But, I beg from you a thought or two: Will you concede that each life is worthy of our notice? The story does make that point, doesn' it?
   But, draw a second point from the wee little story, for while it is worthy that we give our attentions to each passing, it is simply a fact that time, as a resource, requires us to devote our attentions to other things. There is a phrase, "Let the dead bury the dead." Perhaps our tale offers some meaning that might be attached to those words. Whether that is what those words were meant to convey, I do  not say, but I see how one could apply the story to those words.

There's Much Room for Improvement in Our Prison System

   One good thing about the debate on whether the prison should be moved, is that it is making this state cognizant of the prisoner, and of rehabilitating him.
   I do not know if there is an a social issue where there is more room for us to do better. The reformation of the prisoner is something we, as a society, can vastly improve on. We, simply, are failing to do a lot of things right.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

State Officials Shouldn't Give Decision to Those with Different Interests

   If your responsibility is to provide governance, and you want to do your job the best you can, you set about establishing the fairest of laws, and the best of government services.
   Like, shall we say, prisons? Doesn't a good elected official seek to ensure that the prison will do the best job of rehabilitating the prisoner as can be done? Let's say, you have a site that has the prisoners close to their legal representatives, close to medical help, and -- most importantly -- close to volunteers.
   Maybe your job as an elected official is to leave the prison right where it's at.
   There are others who have other jobs. If you are a real estate developer, you might seek to use the property for its highest real estate benefit. That's a real estate developer, though. It would be perfectly understandable for them to use the property that way. They have a different interest.
   Now, let's say you're a government official, and you turn the responsibility of deciding what to do with the property over to real estate developers, is that wise? You know full well what the are going to do, and their guiding goal isn't likely to be squarely centered on good governance.
   No, I don't like it that the state has a commission headed by (if I have heard correctly) someone from the real estate industry. And, I like it even less that the commission is now asking that they be allowed to make the final decision on where the prison will go.
   Government officials should do their own job and not leave it to those who have different interests. Let the elected officials make this decision, and let's hope they base it largely on what will be best for rehabilitating the prisoner.
   Yes, a vibrant economy is important. And, yes, good governance means you also seek a vibrant economy. But, let it be the legislator who weighs that factor in, and not the real estate developer.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Let Us Consider the Evolution During the Life of a Person

   It is because the theory of evolution is important that I come with tonight's thoughts of the evolution of a person. More specifically, I take adaptation to environment and reflect not on what it does to future generations, but what it does to a person during his or her lifetime.
   The athlete is example #1. No athlete ever reached the NBA, NFL or MLB without evolving, without adapting to the environment of the sport, without becoming better than he or she was when he or she started. A runner goes from running 10 minute miles to 6 minute miles by adapting to the environment of running.
   An overweight person? He or she might have genetic dispositions. I do not know. But, I do know, often they reach overweight status by adapting to the environment of having plenty of food to eat.
   The bodies of those receiving medical attention respond to the environment of medications and surgery by recovering. Other times, people's bodies respond naturally, recovering on their own, without medicines or surgeries.
   What of adapting to the weather? Does a person's body, for example, become more adept to living in cold weather after it has been in it for a while?
   If the principle of evolution is true, then the process likely takes place throughout the fuller history of living creatures, not just in the extension of generations. While many change of features might not be observable within a lifetime, it appears others are. While I do not know that these things are commonly mentioned as being part and parcel of evolution in biology books, perhaps they should. They should be a formal part of the study of evolution.


Tuesday, February 24, 2015

With the Housing Should Come a Job

   The homeless deserve a home, they do, but should it be more than a homely home? Utah's legislature is considering a housing project that would benefit the homeless.
   I agree you should put a roof over their head, feed them, and help them. But . . .
   I guess I don't know how fancy the housing will be, or even if it will be specifically for the homeless, or anything at all about the proposed project.
   But, just on the principle, what are my thoughts?
   I believe in taking care of the poor. But, I also like the idea of private charity doing it, instead of government. So, are the private charities not doing an adequate job? And, if they are not, is there anyway to get the public to rally around them and help them do more?
   And, should there be a housing project, even if it is the charities that built it?
   I like the idea of more shelter for the homeless. Many just don't fit into the shelters. But, no, I do not know that I like a here's-a-TV-and-everything-else-you-want home. Do we make it so comfortable they don't have the incentive to go out and get jobs?
   If we provide that comfortable of housing, each placement in a home should come with placement in a job, mandatory.

Monday, February 23, 2015

The Snow Shovel-Welding Barker Seems to have been Justifiably Killed

   Matthew Taylor was justified, it appears. Taylor is the officer who shot and killed a snow shovel-welding James Barker on Jan. 8.
   Barker not only swung the shovel so hard that he broke bones, but hard enough to dislodge a Taser gun from the officer's hand. That answers one of my questions: Did the officer consider non-lethal response?
   And, prior to that part of the tussle, the officer (according to his own witness) was about to retreat off the porch, where the fight had commenced, but as he was about to do so, was hit by the shovel. If that is, indeed, true, then it answers a second question of mine: Why not -- even if you are a police officer -- flee to avoid the confrontation?
   We will never know all. But, with the evidence District Attorney Sim Gill appears to have received, he made the right decision in not charging Officer Taylor. More, it seems likely this was a case where the officer did do the things you would hope he would do to avoid taking the life of another human being. I will wonder why Officer Taylor didn't shoot just once (instead of firing three shots), or why he didn't shoot to maim. But, it appears Taylor was fearing greatly for his life. He says Barker grabbed at his holster or gun at least twice. 
   "I know if he gets my gun, he's going to kill me," the officer is quoted as saying. "He's still coming. (He's) grabbing for my gun. His one goal was to try and kill me," 
   I continue to wish officers were not trained to kill so much. Was this a case where the assailant's life could have been spared? We may not know for certain, but for all that we do know, the decision not to hold Taylor to blame seems correct.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Does Science Suggest Our Emotions have Physical Properties?

  I sat down to write this blog two hours ago, but found my body was reaching the point in a Sunday afternoon where it gets sleepy. So, I postponed, and as I now return to write, I use what happened as evidence to forward my postulate.
  Behavioral patterns, including sleep patterns, come from our DNA.
  Maybe, this was already an established scientific fact, long before I got to it. I am not scholar enough to know, Maybe I am but traveling on well-traveled ground in arriving at this postulate. Did we already suppose our mannerisms and character traits are products of our DNA? Did we believe every choice and decision we make comes from our DNA? Did we already know our talents and abilities, our fears and emotions -- and even our beliefs -- all come from our DNA? Everything we are and everything we do comes from our DNA.
   I don't lift a fork, but what doing so comes from my DNA.
   Such is my theory.
   Notice, I didn't say these things are dictated by our DNA. I purposefully avoided that. I may treat that in a separate post later.
   When I went to bed, I was feeling groggy. Sleep was due. I would guess I had received six-and-a-half to seven hours sleep the night before. That's not a lot, but at least as much as I usually get. I am postulating, then, that it was not only lack of sleep, but past practice, that led me to feeling groggy. A pattern I had developed was contributing to my feelings of sleepiness.
   How do I know it was DNA? Well, when a bird flies, it doesn't just fly without physical forces being at play. It takes air pressure to lift it. It takes the function of wings to bring about the flight. Nothing is just done without physical properties being at play. Everything has a vehicle.
   So, are we to say that is not the case with behavioral patterns? Are we to say there is no physical presence of emotions and feelings and mannerisms? If they do not have a physical presence, what are they? You may believe they exist without being in substance form, but I tend to think otherwise, and am postulating that all things have matter.
    And, if it is not to be called DNA, what shall we call it? I don't know if this physical presence I speak of is among the already discovered DNA, or if it is a form of DNA yet to be identified. But, I believe our emotions, abilities, choices, and, perhaps, our thoughts, have physical presence.
      I hesitate to quote scripture, but a scripture comes to mind tonight as I write how perhaps our emotions and feelings and thoughts have physical presence. I am lucky enough to turn right to it, although I remember only that it is toward the end of the Doctrine and Covenants.
   "There is no such thing as immaterial matter. All spirit is matter, but is more fine or pure, and can only be discerned by purer eyes." (Doctrine and Covenants 131:7)
   Does that scripture apply? Perhaps. Perhaps not. To me, it does. But, perhaps while spirits are made of matter, that does not means emotions are.
   This postulate on feelings and dispositions and such being in our DNA does have precedence, even if it hasn't been stated (and it probably has). I cannot call up an example, admittedly, but it does seem I have read of studies of criminal behaviors being passed from one generation to another. And, in a book I am reading on evolution, I hear how sheep dogs are bred to be sheep dogs, which is a trait you might not think could be passed from one generation to another. This is a proven example of a character trait being passed from one generation to another.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Should We Let the Atheists be the Authorities on How Life Came About?

   I am a believer in my God, firmly. Then, along comes someone called the evolutionist and tells me evolution is a proven fact, and therefore there is no God.
   One does not follow the other. If evolution is a fact -- and well it might be -- it does not mean there is not a God. Rather (supposing it is true), it means God is an evolutionist, for He created all things and if He did it by evolution, then He did it by evolution.
   What should we do, then, if we learn science teaches evolution is a solid, proven, undeniable fact? I have a saying: Truth does not run from knowledge. To the contrary, it embraces it. It yearns for it. It seeks it out.
   So, it should be with us. We should seek for all the knowledge we can find on this topic. I wish we, as LDS people, rather than demurring on evolution, would become the authorities on the topic. I am not only glad our schools teach evolution, but wish they taught it more intensely than in any other state, that our students became the most educated in the world on the topic. If evolution is true, and unless and until we find out it isn't, we should be soaking up everything we can learn about it.
   We should not leave it to the atheists to be the authorities on how life came about. If this is knowledge about our God, we should want to be at the forefront.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Perhaps These Dilemmas are a Test of Our Values

  Not all so long after efforts to move the prison from Point of the Mountain -- even though it might be the best site for the prisoners -- comes an attempt to move homeless services away from downtown -- even though that might be the best location for the homeless.
   Who are we trying to serve? Yes, it is true Point of the Mountain would be a windfall to commercial real estate agents, and a profitable location for the companies that would locate there. And, yes, it is difficult to argue downtown businesses might be better served, financially, if the homeless were not there to blight the image of the area.
   But, what of the prisoners, and what of the poor? If we were to locate the prison solely based on what is the best site providing resources for rehabilitation, might we not stay at Point of the Mountain? And, likewise, the downtown area has many advantages for the homeless.
   Perhaps these dilemmas are a test of our values. Do we value rehabilitating the prisoner enough that we look for the very best site available, and not give it up when real estate concerns come calling, saying it is they, and not the prisoner, we should be concerned about? Do we care for our poor so much that we look to locate them wherever will serve them best, and not surrender that location even though businesses plea for us to prioritize them ahead of the poor?
   It is said, home is where the heart is. Well, in dealing with the prisoners and the poor, the heart is where the home is. We will perhaps know where our heart is by where we place their homes.
   In closing, while I am not saying it is right or is wrong to say what I have just said, it is perhaps good to reflect on whether it is. Am I being too judgemental, too accusative? There perhaps are many who would both move the prison and move services for the homeless whose hearts are, in fact, with them, despite not agreeing that this is the time and instance that something should be done for them.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

U.S. is Home to 5% of Population -- And 25% of the Prison Population?

   "The U.S. is home to five percent of the world's population, but 25 percent of the world's prison population." So says a statement from a new organization aiming to push for judicial reform. "With 2.2 million people currently in the nation's prison or jails -- a 500 percent increase over the past 30 years -- the system costs American taxpayers $80 billion per year. Mass incarceration is not making us safer but is contributing to racial tensions, fracturing communities and growing costs to taxpayers."
   What do we do, then? Let everyone go free, or at least a lot of them? For surely we don't want to be the most incarcerated nation on earth. No, not America, land of the free.
   It might be interesting to see what this new group, the Coalition for Public Safety, will come up with.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Leaving the Ninety-and-Nine to Seek Out the Prisoner

   A prison reform bill would bring an "epic shift" in how Utah treats its prisoners, according to the bill's sponsor, Rep. Eric Hutchings. I am not familiar enough with the specifics of what is being proposed. I might oppose some of the proposals. I do, though, think it wonderful that we are addressing an overhaul of our prison system. To me, reforming the prisoner should be one of society's greatest concerns. From a Christian standpoint, these are the lost sheep, the ones for which the shepherd leaves the ninety-and-nine to seek out and save.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Our Character is Often Molded by Our Environment

   Evolution? I sometimes wonder about the evolution of a single person. The adaptation of each of us to our environment.
   I think of a scripture. "Make no friendship with an angry man; and with a furious man thou shalt not go; Lest thou learn his ways, and get a snare to thy soul." (Proverbs 21:24-25)
   And, I think of the old adage that we are no better than the company we keep.
   We are molded by our environment, to a large degree. What we believe and how we conduct ourselves is much the product of what we are taught and what we observe. It is a large element in determining who we become.
   For all of this being true, the interesting thing to observe would be the exceptions, the times a person is not the product of his or her environment.

Monday, February 16, 2015

The Second Day Might have been Creation of the Solar System

  On the second day, "God made the firmament." Depending on what this means, there is a parallel here, to what science teaches. Setting up a solar system is one of the very first things that must happen. Now, I don't know that setting up the solar system is, indeed, the heart of what the writer of Genesis is referring to, in speaking of the firmament.
   But, it is one of the possibilities, and I wonder.
   He might be referring to all of the universe, the creation of the whole universe. Who knows, when God said, "Let there be light," that might have been the Big Bang, and then creation of all the stars and everything else followed on the second day. Maybe that is the firmament being referred to.
   But, I wonder if Genesis isn't suggesting a more limited approach as to what the firmament is. If we assume that the light created the first day refers to the sun being established, then whatever happens on the second day is something that follows creation of the sun.
   And, creation of a solar system is that something.
   So, while there are other possibilities of what "the firmament" is referring to -- and they might be as good of possibilities as the solar system -- the solar system is a worthy thought.
   The solar system is the nearest of our heavenly neighbors. Creation of it likely accompanied  creation of the earth. So, that the organization of the solar system should be part of the creation story is a natural fit, and possibly what is being referred to.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

The Second Day Corresponds to What Science Teaches

  In the second day, God made the firmament. This is significant (to me). "And God called the firmament Heaven." There is parallel here, to what science teaches. Setting up a solar system is one of the very first things that must happen.
   Oh, perhaps it can't be just any solar system. It must have a planet at the right distance from its sun so that life will be sustainable. Just the same, setting up a solar system is one of the very first things that must happen.
  Just weeks ago, news came of the oldest solar system yet to be discovered, revolving around a star called Kepler 444. The scientific community buzzed with excitement, as the discovery was said to increase the chances of finding life on other planets, for the planets in the Kepler system were almost of the right size that life might could be supported.
   "And God made the firmament . . . And God called the firmament Heaven." Second day. A parallel can be drawn here between what the creation story teaches, and what science teaches.
  (A sentence was edited out Feb. 23, 2015.)

Did Light Come During the First Day, or the Fourth?

   On Facebook, someone tells me they lost their testimony of God trying to reconcile evolution with the creation story. They point out that plant life came the third day, and yet a day later God made two great lights, one to rule the day and one to rule the night. How can that be, we have to ask, as the sun's light would be needed for photosynthesis. How can plant life come before light?
    But notice that up a few verses, if you go up to the first day, you find God had already created light for His planet. "And God said, Let there be light, and there was light." That is the third paragraph in the story. It is the fourth sentence. I find it of note that light not only comes before plant life, but that light comes so early in the creation, as that parallels science. As scientists look for life on other planets, one of the things they look for is a planet revolving around a star. This set-up of earth revolving around the sun would be one of the initial things necessary. Even so, Genesis has it in the first day. "And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day." That suggests a sun placed in proximity to earth as an initial step.
   How to explain the fourth day repeating it all, then? I do not know the answer, but I know there is an answer.
   One possible answer that settles well for me, in my mind, is that while God adjusted the light in the fourth day, the translation that came down to us does not make it clear that that was an adjustment of the lights, rather than a creation of light. It is in the fourth day that the story mentions a lesser light to rule the night. Placing a moon to orbit the earth might not have been part of the first day, but rather it came the fourth day, as the story suggests. Also, it is not until the fourth day that the light is given as something by which to count the days and the years and to divide the seasons. Could it be, that while there was light in the first day, the pattern of the earth spinning on its axis was not yet solidified, nor was the spin around the sun solidified to the time frame it eventually reached, thus the seasons and the days and the years were not established. until the fourth day.

Friday, February 13, 2015

The Love of Guns is the Root of Much Evil

   The love of guns is the root of much evil. I read how Craig Hicks, the alleged murderer of the three Chapel Hill students, prided himself in his gun.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Four Places Where I like the Genesis Story Better

   Four questions the creation story in genesis answers better than the current teachings on evolution:
   1. How come no other species has evolved to an advanced intelligence stage? The Bible's answer, is that God placed man over all other creatures. If another species were equal to man, man wouldn't have dominion over them. Says Genesis 1:28: "And, God said . . . have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth."
   2. Since the inception of the homo sapien, why has not any other species branched off looking different than man, having a little bit of a different form? The thinking among evolutionists, is that there has not been enough time. I like the answer in Genesis better. It says God created man to look like Him. So, if man looked like something else, this wouldn't be so. Genesis 1:27 says, "So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he he him."
   3. Why are there only two sexes? It doesn't matter the species, and it doesn't matter if it is animal life or plant life, in those cases where there is sexual reproduction, it involves a male and a female, just the two sexes. Genesis 1:27 says, "Male and female created he them."
   4. How come we can't trace back, just in recorded history, changes in the lion, or the bear, or the fox, or the goose? Actually, I confess, I do not know this for certain, and I should verify it. Still, the answer might be in Genesis 1:24. "And God said, Let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind, cattle and creeping thing, and beast of the earth after his kind: and it was so." Whether evolution took place leading up to the current life forms, what I am interested in is what is happening to the current life forms. Are they changing? If they are, this scripture still applies, but it has better application if the life forms are not changing.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

DNA, not Environment, Might be Driving Force Behind Evolution

   One creature grows furry hair and a snout, and runs around on four legs. Another is shapened into somewhat like a garden hose, and crawls around on the ground, Are we to say that nothing more than adaptation to their environment brought such diversity?
   To me, it doesn't make sense. It is not enough. There must be something else that steers one creature to become one thing, and another to become another. What is it? The direction of God might be the simple answer. But, in scientific terms, it could be DNA.
   Now, I confess I don't know much about DNA.
   But, I do understand that the color of our eyes, for example, is determined by our genes, drawing from those of our ancestors. You might have several generations with blue eyes, then along comes a green-eyed child, as green was somewhere back in the genealogy of the person.
   So, what if it is the same with determining which animals evolve? What if way when it was just a simple organism, there was DNA in it that provided that some would become apes, some would become fish, and some would become birds. Just like the green-eyed child, you don't necessarily end up with the characteristics of your parent, but rather the DNA hidden for generations eventually comes to play and you grow into an ape, or a fish, or a bird.
   Once, while studying abortion, I read how the simple organism that first evolves has a DNA map that dictates what the child will look like. It is all mapped out from the start. Maybe, just as there is DNA that maps out what a person becomes, there is DNA that directs what creatures will evolve.
    There is a catch to this theory. It does go against current science. Currently, if I am correct, science holds that there is no end product. The creature evolves in no set direction. If there is advanced life on other planets, for example, then that advanced life form probably does not look like a human. The theory I am putting forth, on the other hand, comes with the thought that there might be end forms. Once the creature reaches a bear, or a horse, or a human, then that is the end, for that is the form dictated by the DNA. The creature might have different varieties, but it locks into being a bear, or a fox or a deer.
  (Note: Post slightly altered 2/17/15)


Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Did Charles Darwin Leave a Big Hole Uncovered?

  There must be another driving force besides natural selection in determining what a species looks like.  I am not a studied person on evolution, to know if it teaches of other factors. I think to go buy Charles Darwin's On the Origin of Species and thumb through it to find if it mentions any other factors guiding the development of features in a species. If Darwin didn't identify any other driving force, he left a big hole in explaining how life came about.
   To suppose that all living beings are molded only by their environment is clearly not so.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Questions about Evolution

   I've a lot of questions about evolution, and I might develop some in separate posts. For now, I'll just list some of the questions.
   If intelligence is important to survival, why are not all creatures becoming smarter, or are they?
   If speaking to humans would help, why does not any other creature adapt to speaking to us?
   If evolution is a constant, what will the human evolve into next?
   If we were to look at the things we most need to adapt to, would we be able to guess what the next stage of our evolution will be?
   Could man have evolved, then been killed off except for two people -- Adam and Eve?
   How long does it take to go from one life form to a completely different one? Surely this has been studied, hasn't it?
   Is there no such thing as evolution in some species, maybe even most of them that are now on earth? I know this question would quickly be thrown out by the evolutionists. Still, I wonder.
   Could the bones being found come from different worlds? Could one earth pass away, so to speak, and be used in the creation of another?


Sunday, February 8, 2015

Is the Creation Story a Precurser to the Theory of Evolution?

   The writer of the Bible is the original evolutionist. Well, that is true only if God did use evolution to bring about the creation, which we do not know. But, I ask you to consider if the originator of the theory of evolution might be the person who wrote the Bible, for the story in Genesis might be the first place where evolution is set forth.
    Yes, Moses might have gotten to this before Darwin. Maybe, maybe not. It depends on whether God used evolution to create man, and, on that, I don't believe we know.
   Read Genesis with an eye that God might have created the earth using evolution, and wonder.
    For starters, what of it, that in the story of Genesis, the order of things follows much the same order of that of evolution, plant life coming ahead of animal life, and animal life before human life, as if one leading to the other.
   Go on. Study some more. Go to where the story begins.
   "In the beginning, God created the heaven and the earth." Although I am not a believer in the Big Bang -- maybe I just haven't studied it enough yet -- what it says here is in line with the Big Bang (or, at least with some kind of beginning point), for the heavens and the planets would have come first. You can't have a mortal person unless he has a planet to live on, and you can't have a planet unless it has a universe to be in.
   "And the earth was without form and void."  "Without form"? "Void"? "Void even leaves open the notion that something was created out of nothing. I believe the universe has always existed, but, with the universe being unending, can one universe be created by a big bang, while other universes already exist? Who knows what happened.
   "And God said, Let there be light: and there was light." My understanding is that, according to science, about the first step towards making a place where life could be, is that there must be a star for the planet that is to be inhabited. So, that as early as the third paragraph, it says, "God said, Let there be light," is of significance.
   "And God said, Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear: and it was so." Does that match with the continental drift?
    "And God said, Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life." Scientists teach, I believe, that all life came out of the oceans.
   Well, I stop here, and give no more examples, for the moment. I do not say these things are right. I only wonder. I know there is a God, and He was the creator. But, I do not know how he went about the creation.
   Evolution? If I am to study it, if I am to learn that science says it is a proven and indisputable fact, then I believe it worthy to turn to the scriptures for what they might offer, for they are true and what is in them is true. If I am to study evolution at all, I should reflect on what my scriptures say, pondering, thinking and wondering. My thoughts might be right, or they might be wrong, as I study the scriptures. But, studying them and reflecting on them is the right thing to do.

(Edited Feb. 10, 2015)

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Evolution is a Topic that Should Excite Christians

   I do not think evolution is a topic Christians should run from. Rather, it is a topic that should excite us. The creation of man is a religious topic. How God came to place man here is a matter that should be of great interest to us.
   My thoughts on what a Christian is, includes that he is a lover of truth, a seeker of truth. Truth and the gospel go hand in hand.
  So, if all of science is saying evolution is how we came about, we should turn a listening ear, perk up, and want to know. "Nowadays, it is no longer possible to dispute the fact of evolution itself," writes Richard Dawkins in a book called, "The Greatest Show on Earth."
   I cast my eyes up one paragraph from that statement, and find Dawkins noting that once people thought the sun was smaller than the earth, because from the information available to them, that was the reasonable assumption. But, we now have enough evidence that the sun is larger and it is no longer a matter in which new evidence will ever change what we know. Some things will never be disproved, Dawkins says, then adds, "Evolution and the heliocentric theory weren't always among them, but they are now."
   If evolution is a set fact -- and it certainly appears it is -- it does not mean there is no God. Dawkins might make such a connection, but he is wrong. Nor does it mean Adam and Eve never existed. Dawkins might think so, but, again, he is wrong.
   I do not know, for certain, how God went about the creation, but I see there is great evidence that He used evolution. If He did, He did. I have no problem with that.

Are the Links as Common as the Known Species?

   If we had access to all the really old skeletal finds, if they were listed online, perhaps, would we be able to see as many links as we do existing species? Would we find as many bones of the creature that came before the common ancestor of the rabbit and the leopard as of the rabbit and leopard, themselves?
   For that matter, of all the bone finds we have, how many of them fall into the category of links? To me, I wonder if there shouldn't be just as many bones from the links as from the known species, themselves.
  (Edited Feb. 13, 2015)

Friday, February 6, 2015

I believe somewhere in my life I have heard this comparison. After I wrote this, I searched to find if it is true, that water purifies as it tumbles downstream. I couldn't find it. So, I don't even know if the premise is true.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

If Environments Differed, Why Didn't Man Evolve into Separate Forms?

   Man came out of Africa, it is said, and migrated to the other climes of earth. Some were hot, some were cold. Some would have placed him fishing in oceans, and other had him chasing the hills for his meat. Not every environment was the same.
   So, why is man all the same? Why did only one form evolve?
   He might have swung from trees in one environ while not a tree was to be had in another, but rather there was nothing but parched land to walk on. He faced even different foes of nature,  for even the beasts he fought against probably varied from clime to clime. And even the diseases and pestilences he encountered probably differed.
    So, why did just one form of a man evolve? The clothes he threw on his back varied. It is they that were dictated by the environment, not the form of the man, himself. Maybe he hunched over a little more back in those early years and maybe he was shorter, but the form has remained basically the same, and that despite the different climates that should have pressured different looks
   Doesn't adaptation to the environment suggest that different types of humans would have evolved? And, in migration, many of these humans became so far removed from each other that there would not have been much cross-breeding going on between them, that they should remain the same.
   Yes, different races developed, but can we look at those different races and see the influence of environment in their differences? Skin pigmentation is perhaps the chief thing. If it is a result of environment, why didn't the environment affect us in other ways, in our form? None of us have a different form, such as being web-footed or fur-covered.
   Differences? I am told some in high climates have wider nostrils and broader chests, to accommodate breathing the thin air. And, some of those in colder climates developed shorter limbs, so the blood would not have to go as far when circulating. I have not double-checked those thoughts, but would guess they are correct. If so, they temper the point I am making, a little.
   At this point, noting men from different climes share the same form, and noting that image appears to be the same as when homo sapiens were first to have come about, I think of a scripture. "So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him." (Genesis 1:27)
   Is it significant that only one image, one form, of the human evolved? for if all men were to be in the image of God, indeed, only one image would evolve.
   I wonder if in this matter, as to why man did not evolve into different forms, if religion does not hold a better answer than what evolution does.
    (Post edited and parts rewritten Feb. 8, 2015)

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

If Man has been Here for 200,000 years, Why aren't there More of Us?

   ISIS and Jordan? Measles? Nay, those are important topics, but I remain interested in evolution tonight. Now, I know it is considered an irrefutable fact that man evolved from a one-cell organism, and perhaps it is so, then.
   But, I remain with questions. Like, if our species began to evolve 200,000 years ago, why are there not more of us? Look at how the earth has been filled with humans just in the last few thousands years. There have been diseases and plagues and wars to reduce the population, but it has soared upward, just the same.
   So, a few thousand years versus roughly 200,000 years. Why not more people? Why was the earth not filled with people long, long, long ago? Or was it, at some point, or at many points, only to be killed off by ice ages or such? I believe the last glacial period was 8,000 to 12,000 B.C. and I am not studied enough to know if much of man was killed off at that time. No time to study tonight. But, I still wonder. Even if that ice age killed off the better part of us, it leaves about 4,000 years before the time when most say Adam and Eve were here, time for a lot of people to be added to the earth's surface.
   Just saying.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Will Man Someday be Manufactured Like a Car off an Assembly Line?

   Will the day come that scientists will be able to manufacture a human, not growing him, and not cloning him, but just putting him together like a car off an assembly line?
   Such is the question I pose on Facebook, to a group of atheists. I asked it to an atheist friend at work, and he said, Yes.
   For my atheist friends, here's the follow-up: If man can do it, then why not God? Most atheists laugh at the notion God just snapped his fingers, and the man was created.
   Me? I don't know how the creation came about. I know the Bible is true, and I know Adam and Eve were real, but I don't know whether God just created them, or used evolution.

Monday, February 2, 2015

These People (Including Me) Should be Allowed Their Opinions

   Now, why should a religion be criticized if it calls for civil rights for the same-sex community and at the same time asks for the right of religious expression?
   If you favor equal housing and employment opportunities for those of same-sex, you don't oppose them there. But, if you oppose their right to religious expression, why?
   I am a member of that faith. I know and love people of same-sex unions. I hail the call to give them their employment and housing rights.
   Marriage? I hesitate. Not only do I have the teachings of my faith that marriage is between a man and a woman, but I have the words of the Bible. Am I to be allowed to follow my leaders, and to follow the Bible? If I bear no malice toward them, if I show love toward them, am I to be given the middle finger and showered with 20 shades of hatred if I simply believe marriage is between a man and a woman? If I say, "If you marry, you will still be welcome in my workplace, still be welcome in my rental unit, and I will still want to be around you and enjoy a friendship with you. But, no, I do not believe your marriage is right," am I to be thrown to the pavement?
   Intolerence is not in having an opinion of what another person does, but rather it is in how you treat them as a result of that opinion.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Do the Scriptures Hold Insights into Whether Life Comes from Non-Life?

   I wonder what of this thought, that life might come out of non-life. I'm told, its a proven fact, that it was achieved in 2010 by a team led by J. Craig Venter.
   Well, I don't know. I do know that God was the guiding force behind the creation of man, and of all beings. I like, though, to weigh what I learn in such matters against the scriptures.
   And, I am not so sure the scriptures rule out abiogenesis (that is what they call the process of life arising from non-life). Tonight, I will share with you one scripture, and we will consider what it has to say on the matter.
   "And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and man became a living soul." (Genesis 2:7)
   This scripture does address the topic. It does deal with the non-living becoming the living. It does speak of man being formed out of the dust, which might be a way of saying, out of the elements. Is there anything to the wording, that God breathed into him life? Can we take a non-living thing, and it remains non-biological until life is "breathed" into it? To me, and to others, that breathing of life into it would refer to the spirit entering the body.
   Oh, I think and wonder of more. I know some of what I wonder is not correct in theory, but I think it not wrong to consider all things. I wonder at the thought of scientists, that life comes from amino acids, and I read somewhere of someone inferring heat is involved, and I think of the term used in the scriptures, that man is no more than "dust and ashes."