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Ending the life of an innocent human being is wrong!
So.  Some analysis:
Pro-choice people cannot legitimately say that
the “product of conception”
is not alive
or that he is not innocent
or that he is not a human being.
All are quite obvious facts.
By definition they are ending whatever-he-is through an abortion or “termination”. 
The only thing left is to doubt the assertion that the act is wrong.
But if ending the life of an innocent human being is not wrong,
then how am I safe
from having my life ended?
How are you safe?
Who decides?
To God be all glory,
Lisa of Longbourn

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Like many children, my fascination with mammoths began long before I could understand the science.  Maybe I caught the tone of mystery when anyone wrote or talked about these huge wooly beasts of the past.  As I have grown up, I have gradually gained more knowledge of the mysteries surrounding mammoths and their ice age.  Like the dinosaur question, how did they all die?  Why were they living in Siberia and Alaska in the first place?  These ivory-tusked creatures of legend have on occasion been found mummified, almost whole, standing upright in the permafrost.  How did that happen, and what does it tell us about the climate of the past? 

For a creationist, curiosities related to extinction and weather always bring to mind the Flood.  How much did the world change when God judged mankind by sending a global catastrophe?  Are we still affected today by the aftershocks of the Flood?  So for a person like me, a book giving a scientific creationist perspective on the Ice Age and the Mammoth mystery is gold.  Michael Oard, a meteorologist, has written such a book. 

Frozen in Time is well-constituted, moving through a thorough introduction of the subject and mysteries to a presentation of the Creationist Flood model and its Ice Age mechanism followed by a summary of secular theories and their difficulties, finishing with an exploration of the evidence for and against the proposed explanations for the Ice Age and the demise of the seemingly out of place mammoths.  Michael Oard is willing to criticize both secular and creationist scientist for jumping to conclusions about the extinction of mammoths, pointing out that a deep snap freeze is not necessary to preserve a few mammoths in standing position with relatively unspoiled food in their stomachs.  His book provides an alternative and points out that most mammoths appear to have died and been buried in more normal ways. 

Aside from including very interesting tidbits about mammoth finds, other large mammals associated with the Ice Age, elephant taxonomy, and weather patterns, Frozen in Time is an important book because it is yet another evidence that the sciences built on uniformitarianism (demanding an old earth and repeating processes in nature) cut the floor from under themselves.  By excluding short timelines and catastrophic possibilities because of their bias, secular scientists have no chance of following the evidence where it leads.  Like trying to figure out which paints to mix to create green when the existence of blue is denied, the scientists are figuratively mixing any color except for blue, and are frustrated that they have not been able to explain green.  This is bad science. 

Creation science, on the other hand, not only solves puzzling natural phenomenon (and no, we do not solve everything by saying “God did it.”), but provides us with useful sciences and models.  In this book are included speculations about cavemen, about classification, the adaptability of animals to different climates, geology, geography, global warming or cooling, and migration of man and beasts. 

To God be all glory,

Lisa of Longbourn

Frozen in Time

PS: 

Here’s what I don’t understand.  Why, when the evidence works for biblical creation and worldwide flood – but not for uniformitarian, old-earth evolution – would you compromise your Christian belief in the literal history of the Bible to subscribe to the secular theory? 

When a Creationist does something predictive, like entering conditions they believe were existent immediately following the Deluge into weather pattern models, their presuppositions yield predictions that are founded by scientific evidence.  Here I want to be completely honest about my claim.  I’m not saying that a creationist who knew nothing of the Ice Age put flood data into models for meteorology and geology and bam! there was an Ice Age in the model.  What I am saying is that creationists, who had already developed the theory of flood ramifications (plate tectonics, volcanic and geothermal activity, massive amounts of water in the air and on the continents draining into the oceans, dispersion from Ararat), put the puzzle pieces together and connected these models to the Ice Age.  When applied, their results matched the evidence. 

The secular scientists who reject the Bible’s claims about history, especially on origins, age of the earth, and the Flood, have observed and know that there was an Ice Age, but had no preexisting mechanisms they could apply to the historical advent of the Ice Age.  So all of their efforts have been to study the data about Ice Ages and devise possible mechanisms, according to the traditional scientific method.  Except every time they test their hypotheses with computer models, the predictions fail to account for the data.  In fact, many times the uniformitarian (long-age) theories have resulted in predictions directly contradicting the data.  What’s more, the more puzzling questions of the Ice Age (Mammoths in Siberia, Hippos in England, ‘disharmonious associations’) are left unanswered, and never answered as part of a comprehensive model of the Ice Age. 

So why would a person, who claims to believe in God and the Bible, trade belief in the most reliable historical document ever written, whose predictions are universally proven by the evidence, for a theory whose science, hypotheses, and predictions are so unsatisfactory and questionable?  Christian, you don’t have to compromise, or try to fit secular philosophies into your Scripture.  They have no evidence.  To switch sides on such unconvincing assertions is foolish! 

Skeptics who like to comment on this blog, if you’re going to object to the claims made here or in any of these books I’m reviewing, you’re going to have to be more substantial than the ad hominem attacks that the creationists are ‘lying’ or ‘stupid’ or ‘bogus scientists’.  A battle of name-calling is misplaced on this blog.  If you want to discuss evidence, models, or the logic and reality of presuppositions, please comment.  We all benefit from critical thinking. 

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Flood Legends  by Charles Martin

In a short 120 pages (and appendices with translations of flood legends), Charles Martin introduces his readers to interpreting mythology. Can myths be true? If they are, how would you know? Focusing on three accounts of a global flood taken from cultures around the world, Charles Martin compares the similarities and differences. Did the legends, and dozens like them, have a common origin? The comparable details indicate not only that the legends are derived from the same story, but that the tale is a common memory of an actual event. Which versions are most likely to be accurate, and why?

On page 119, the author states his reason for investing time in research, translation, and writing Flood Legends: “Contrary to what many may believe upon reading this work, this is not about ‘proving’ a global flood. It reaches deeper, asking us to abandon preconceived ideas and to think. We should be willing to look for connections – not only those connections that dwell in metaphor, but also the kind that dwell in history.” By taking the case of the flood legends, so universal in traditional lore across humanity, he demonstrates the prospects that come when we take stories at face value, first testing the possibility of truth before disregarding them as imaginative inventions.

I appreciate the immense effort and talent of the researcher, Charles Martin, whose passion led to this book. Though he was repetitive at times, he made some important points in a simple, straightforward way. The true value of this book to me is the intriguing sample of flood legends found in the appendices.

To God be all glory,

Lisa of Longbourn

New Leaf Press

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This is an exercising post. I want you to stand up and try the following:
Look at your clock.
Jump. You probably moved up and down.
Slide left. Slide back to the right.
Slide forward. Slide backward.
Stand still.
Step left. Step right. You probably moved both up-and-down and left, up-and-down and right.
Look at the clock. How much time has passed?

Refer back to your exercises to help you answer the following questions.
Can you move in one dimension?
Can you move in two dimensions?
Can you move in three dimensions?
Can you do any of those without moving through time?

In science today, there are four accepted dimensions. We tend to call these space-time. There are three spatial dimensions (sideways, forward, vertical), and one dimension for time. These four dimensions are connected, sometimes in mysterious ways allowing for the concepts of wormholes and time travel. More practically, these connections are used in Einstein’s famous Special Theory of Relativity and General Theory of Relativity, which are applied all over physics today with some very helpful results.

I don’t know if this is Einstein’s own illustration, or some textbook writer’s, but the principle belongs to Einstein’s Special Theory of Relativity: Time is relative. This is proven, supposedly, by the fact that if you were to throw a clock at the speed of light (something no one has done), the hands would shorten, and thus they would travel the dial at a different speed. Since we use a clock to measure time, obviously time is relative to the speed at which one is traveling. That is what a physics book once taught me. What nonsense! The measurement of time does not equal time. Time is not contained in the length of the hands on a clock; it is described by them. So while I’m not arguing necessarily that time is not relative, I am saying that the reasons we think it is are less than persuasive.

In the very least, we ought not classify time in the exact category as the spatial dimensions, because, as shown, we can move in any one of those dimensions without moving in another one. We can also move in two or even three of those dimensions, but the choice is ours. Human experience has not produced a circumstance in which anything has moved in a spatial dimension without moving in time. In fact, we cannot even fail to move spatially and keep ourselves still in the “dimension” of time. Hypothetically we could stand still in time, moving outside of time or existing without time. But there is no observational evidence of this phenomenon.

So I remain a little skeptical of the description of our universe as four-dimensional (let alone boasting more dimensions, as some theoretical physicists like to suggest). How tied is our matter and energy reality to time? What is time? Is it linear? Does perception define time? What is the meaning of action, thought, or existence outside of time? Can time really accelerate? Can it change direction? Some physicists are suggesting, based on observations, that space is actually stretching. Can time stretch?

To God be all glory,

Lisa of Longbourn

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I’ve been curious of late about the variety of fruit suddenly available.  Gone are the days of apples, pears, oranges, peaches, and grapes that I knew as a child (and I never ate the pears!).  There are far too many fruit to keep up with.  And then movies and books (including the Bible) mention yet other fruits that I’ve never seen or tasted.  How do you choose a ripe one in the supermarket?  In what family is the fruit?  Is it sweet like all fruits should be?  What do you do with it once you get it home?  Are there any poisonous parts of which I need to be aware?  Wikipedia may not answer all of these questions, but it gives a start. 

 

Fig – a false fruit, actually a flower that blooms inside the bud.  Grows natively in Iran and the Mediterranean. 

 

Sycamore – in the Bible, a fig tree: “mulberry-fig”

 

Mulberry – not at all related to figs, being a true fruit, actually a multiple-fruit (a cluster of flowers each produce a fruit that grows into one)

 

Berry – a simple fruit having seeds and pulp produced from a single flower.  The entire ovary wall ripens to produce the edible fruit.

 

Date – grown on a palm tree, contains one seed.  A date is a berry of the same type (but not same family) as blueberries and cranberries in which the fruit forms above the flower.  Drying does little damage to the flavor or nutrients.

 

Plum – a sweet fruit related to apricots, peaches and cherries. 

 

Prune – a dried plum

 

Kiwi – With its recognizable “hairy” brown skin (like a miniature coconut), the kiwi’s bright green inside has a unique flavor.  The rows of black seeds are edible. 

 

Guava – a fruit in the myrtle family that looks like a cross between an apple and a grapefruit, the inside is usually sweet but sharp, reminiscent of the lemon. 

 

Mango – When ripe, the sweet fruit is eaten.  The taste does not vary between orchards, and is strong and resinous.  Inside is a single seed. 

 

Persimmon – fruit from the ebony tree, with a unique texture (I compare it to carrots) and a taste between dates and plums.  Eat only when fully ripe, and peeled. 

 

Grape – grown in all colors clustering in bunches from 6 to hundreds of fruit large, this common perennial fruit is used in jams, wine, and also consumed raw. 

 

Olive – a naturally bitter drupe (type of fruit) processed to taste better.  They are harvested green or left to ripen into black olives.  Obviously we get olive oil from them.

 

Pomegranate – a rounded hexagonal berry with thick skin and hundreds of seeds surrounded by pulp.  The skin is usually reddish.

 

Kumquat – an oval citrus similar to the orange but with a salty/sour juicy center and sweet rind.  The rind may be eaten alone, or the entire fruit tasted at once for the contrast between sour center and sweet outer.

 

Avocado – a large berry containing a pit, it ripens after harvest.  The fruit is high in fat content, and not sweet.

 

Okra – a fibrous fruit with white seeds in the same family as cotton and cocoa

 

Soybean – an annual oilseed legume used as a source of vegetable oil and protein in dishes worldwide

 

Pepper – chilis, myrtles, and peppers.  Most commonly “pepper” brings to mind the black peppercorn. 

 

Chili – technically a berry, often used as a spice.  Subdivided into several main groups of peppers, including bell peppers and jalapenos. 

 

To God be all glory,

Lisa of Longbourn

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Books Read in 2009!

Ahhh!  Is it 2009 already!  I guess it would have to be, but I’m really not prepared for 2009.  I liked 2008 – as a number – much better.  Funny, because I would prefer 9 the digit to 8.

Ok here is what I have read so far (and I’ve told you everything, but not all together):

10 Most Common Objections to Christianity by Alex McFarland (This is a book that our high school girls small group went through this fall.  It was a really good defense of the Bible and the existence of God.  We got a basic course in apologetics through it.  The appendix for small groups in the back was a great help.  My one reservation is the weakness of his chapter on evolution – but only in the area of the age of the earth.  If I were a skeptic, I don’t think I would be flattened by all of the points in this book, but some of them are pretty convincing!)

Desiring God by John Piper (Read this book.  Don’t get turned off by the term “Christian hedonism.”  Christian is an important modifier.  God calls you to enjoy Him, for life in Him and through Him to be all about relationship.  Get some good teaching on some great verses to help you put it into practice!)

Coming to Grips with Genesis by Terry Mortenson and Thane H. Ury (see full review)

The Empty Cradle by Philip Longman (see full review)

Prodigal God by Timothy Keller (see full review)

Old-Earth Creationism on Trial: The Verdict is In by Dr. Jason Lisle and Tim Chaffey (see full review)

The Grand Weaver by Ravi Zacharias (A quick read, unusual for this author, this book is a how-to on finding God’s will for your life, emphasizing faith in the sovereign plan of God.  Using the illustration of the father-son teams of weavers who make the wedding saris of India, Dr. Zacharias talks about the perfection of the Father’s plan even when we don’t see the design emerging yet.  One of his favorite topics is the Trinity: “unity and diversity in community”, and he uses it to communicate the love of God for us His children.  The second half of the book, comparable to other reformed works on the purpose of a Christian’s life, focuses on worship as a way of life.  In this book the Anglican roots of the author emerge more than in anything I have read or heard of his, as he revels in the imagery and tradition of the church as it pertains to worship.  The best part about this book to me was the quotes, which I can hear Ravi reciting in his crisp Indian-accented English.  I wish I could live in his library, because I have no doubt that this Christian apologist owns copies of the cherished volumes he quotes. )

Persuasion by Jane Austen (Yes, I read it again.  And it is still wonderful, far exceeding any movie renditions to date.  I want everyone to know this sweet story and to emulate the gentle, helpful, good, passionate Anne Elliot.  I also wish everyone to have her happily ever after!)

The Eighth Shepherd by Bodie and Brock Thoene (Centered on the story of Zacchaeus, this dramatization of the gospels teaches the importance of humility before the Shepherd-King who hears prayers and has come as doctor to the sick.  Enter Jericho.  Read of figs, taxes, sycophants, blind men, slaves, and the faith that could set any man or woman free.  Ask the question with Shimona whether it is better to be sick and know your need or to be healed by an excommunicant and feel alone.  Why does God save and heal?  What comes after that?  Perhaps God sends out the healed as instruments of more healing.  Shimona demonstrates courage, faith, gentleness, and a choice-love that doesn’t make sense but won’t be denied.  Can God use the love of His children to soften the hearts of the sick and the lost?  I loved the Ezekiel passage about shepherds placed between chapters.  What a warning to Christian leaders, and encouragement to those who are fed by the Great Shepherd.)

Chronology of the Old Testament by Dr. Floyd Nolen Jones (see full review)

Ninth Witness by Bodie and Brock Thoene (is another of their novels dramatizing the life of Christ, this time focusing on his twelth year Passover in Jerusalem.  I confess I didn’t like this one as much as most of this series.  The authors seem to be making Jesus and Simon Peter boyhood friends, and they felt it necessary to portray Mary and Joseph as adopting children rather than them being fathered by Joseph and mothered by Mary, the plainest interpretation of the New Testament account.)

The Chosen by Chaim Potok (see full review)

Pagan Christianity? by Frank Viola and George Barna (see full review)

Reimagining Church by Frank Viola (see full review)

The Shadow Within by Karen Hancock (see full review)

Newton’s Revised History of Ancient Kingdoms by Sir Isaac Newton (see full review)

Shadow Over Kiriath by Karen Hancock (see full review)

Unveiled Hope by Scotty Smith and Michael Card (see full review)

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Jane Austen and Seth Grahame-Smith (Despite contamination with inappropriate and disturbing material, this is a parody of the classic novel beloved by refined women everywhere.  I get the impression that Seth believes he can improve Jane Austen’s work.  Often retaining the original language, he adds his interpretation of the story – things you know he was always longing to say he guessed about the characters’ true intentions or activities – and the ridiculous addition of zombies.  Most versions of Pride and Prejudice retain the same characters and plot, but this is a rather amusing twist that ends up changing the characters significantly.  To describe this book I have told everyone that the famous scene where Mr. Darcy first proposes involves the exact dialogue of the original, but Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy are literally dueling.  Go figure.)

Already Gone by Ken Ham and Britt Beemer with Todd Hillard (see full review)

Betrayal: France, the Arabs, and the Jews by David Pryce-Jones (A summary of centuries of French policy and prejudice, including some world history especially in the 20th century.  David Pryce-Jones researched the archives at the Quai d’Orsay for internal memos and official reports detailing the Foreign Ministry’s policies towards Jews and the Arab world, proving that all France has ever intended was to be more prominent and powerful than the Jews or the ‘Jewish-dominated’ United States.)

Flood Legends by Charles Martin (see full review)
Blink of an Eye by Ted Dekker (see full review)

The cry in Cry, the Beloved Country by Alan Paton, is not a yell from rooftops. This is a crying book, with tissue and red eyes and the ache in your throat when you try to hold back the tragedy from taking over you. There are no answers in this book, only the brave resolve to do what is right and to speak the truth, knowing that some things belong to God, and He alone can rescue mankind. South Africa, like all of our nations, has for decades and centuries been in the brokenness that needs God. Still men are praying, and crying for their beloved country.

JRR Tolkien: Myth, Morality & Religion by Richard Purtill (see full review)

Get Married by Candice Watters (Some encouraging stuff and some challenging ideas and some points of view that weren’t helpful. I believe God wanted me to read the book, so I did.)

Gertrude McFuzz by Dr. Seuss; Yertle the Turtle by Dr. Seuss; I had Trouble Getting to Solla-Sollew by Dr. Seuss; The Butter Battle by Dr. Seuss (who knew Dr. Seuss didn’t just write silly nonsense! Some of his books are actually allegories and parables. I much prefer them if they rhyme, but am rather unhappy when the rhyme is only accomplished by inventing a word.)

The Ultimate Proof of Creation by Dr. Jason Lisle (see full review)

Return of the Guardian-King (Legends of the Guardian-King, Book 4)
by Karen Hancock
(see full review)

Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie (The classic children’s story about growing up. Not quite like the movies. Great writing, quirky quotes. I cannot figure out whether JM Barrie was trying to say something with his story, or a lot of things as they popped into his head. He seems to be fond of manners and humility.)

God and the Nations by Dr. Henry Morris (see full review)

Perelandra by CS Lewis (is the richly poetic tale of Ransom’s trip to the planet Venus, where he encounters the first created woman of the land, the Eve.  Ransom discovers the purpose for his visit when his old enemy, Weston, splashes into the Perelandrian ocean, bent to tempt the woman to prove she is “grown up” by moving out of the will of God.  While this question is strongly presented, there are other parts of the story more moving.  The opening description of the fluid islands and sensuous sights and smells, the intriguing but unfathomable moodiness of a world that is femininity incarnate – this is a strength of the story: the environment is a character.  As a character, it can be accepted or rejected or even abused.  Will one take the next wave as it comes?  Does a man try to maintain his plane when the island swells first into a hill and then dips into a valley?  If a fruit is good, must one drink of it again even when full?)

To God be all glory,
Lisa of Longbourn

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Lately I’ve been in a state of mind that can soak up information, and comes up with really good questions – well I think they’re interesting, leading me to more and more questions (and occasionally to comprehension).  One field that’s been appealing this week is physics.  I’m reading a book, Reinventing Gravity, that has me thinking about the basics of physics – and marvelling at how much of our universe we humans don’t understand. 
 
So I would be ok with exhaustive comments answering the following questions, or referrals to books or websites that could help me understand these things.  I took physics in high school, no problem, and have given a great deal of skeptical thought to Einstein’s Special Theory of Relativity.  This is because I’m fairly convinced the speed of light is not constant.  So if you mention the speed of light in your answer, I’ll probably enjoy it more.  I understand that I’m missing a few levels of knowledge between high school physics and the edges of theoretical physics I’m trying to reach.  Give me your best shot. 
 
You can also use the comment section to add your own questions.  The compilation of questions is great food for thought and theory. 
 
Some physics questions:
Are forces energy? 
What is light? 
     Does it have a constant velocity? 
     Is its speed constant? 
     If the velocity of light is not constant, what force acts on it? 
          What is the equal and opposite reaction? (Whence is the energy subtracted?)
 
What is electricity? 
What is magnetism?
 
What is heat? 
     Is it motion in and of molecules,
     or that which causes motion in and of molecules,
     or the output of motion in and of molecules?
 
What is gravity? 
How is gravity related to attraction and acceleration (gravitational mass and inertial mass)?     
     What is the significance of the relationship? 
     Does the resistance or escape of an object from gravity take any energy away from the gravity-exerting objects? 
     Does gravity curve space, or is it the effect of curved space? 
 
If gravity is the effect of curved space, what makes space curved? 
     Matter and energy? 
     Is anything else (such as time) curved by these things as well? 
     If spacetime can be curved, what else can be done to it? 
 
Can spacetime be stretched? 
     If spacetime can be stretched, what stretches it? 
     Are opposing forces of gravity like Curling brooms, creating a smooth path for matter and energy? 
 
 
How do permittivity and permeability relate energy, electricity, gravity, and matter? 
     What does density have to do with them? 
     What force causes nature to abhor a vacuum?  
 
 
(To quote The Little Mermaid), What is fire and how does it burn? 
     Must fire produce light? 
     Can light be produced without fire/burning? 
     Must fire produce heat? 
     Are there other ways to convert matter to energy? 
 
Oh my goodness, does time have to come into this? 
     How is time related to the measurement of time? 
          Must there be a direct correlation?
 
To God be all glory,
Lisa of Longbourn

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