Sunday, February 15, 2009

Awesomest Fort EVER!

This afternoon, I decided to break down the couch, slide over the table and the rug, tip some chairs, drape blankets,, and make a fort. It was pretty much the best thing that's ever happened in my whole life. (Ok... that's not entirely true.)

Anyway, because the fort was so incredibly awesome, I decided to document it so I could show you the righteous awesomeness that was happening in Apt. 507 today.

Check that out! Isn't that the best thing you've ever seen? Oh, and in case you're wondering, yes, it does take a full ninety degree turn. Go ahead, you can say it... "Whoa."

Here's Norah entering the Eastern door.

Here she is hanging out in the middle

And here she is popping out of the South door.

Don't worry... Rach got to play as well.

That's really all I have to report on. If you want, I could talk a long time about the paper I'm writing on Simeon Stylites. But I'm guessing there are two, maybe three people who read this thing who would care even a little bit. Maybe I'll throw up a link to the paper once it's written.

Saturday, February 14, 2009


I just saw this on the cover page of CNN today. Which is awesome, because that mummy is in the building that I go to school in every day! I actually popped down after class on Thursday to check it out. HOW COOL! Man, I love this stuff. Here's the article.

Darwinism vs. Creationism

Pious Fictions

I read an article in NPR today discussing a law that was recently passed in Louisiana which protects teachers who want to raise doubts about Darwinism. I think the typical response to such news is that Louisiana is in the Bible-Belt, and therefore the schools in Louisiana are now free to be a little more religious. But I think that's the wrong way to look at it. I think the Louisiana ruling is actually more in line with the goals of science, because it permits questions. The fact that there are laws that make it illegal for teachers to question something worries me.

I don't want to get into my beliefs about Darwinism. I think that, like many such debates, the reason for the disagreements are largely semantic. Intelligent Design arguments are largely viewed as synonymous with Creationism. Similarly, Darwinism is largely equated with Evolution. I want to say that Intelligent Design and Creationism are actually antonyms, and that Darwinism is not synonymous with Evolution. By separating these terms, I think reasonable, critical, scientific debate can once again continue. Let me show you what I mean by defining the four words more clearly.

Evolution is the belief that species change over time. Breeding and natural selection can result in changes in an animal's genetic make up that are severe enough to result in animals that are significantly variant from their parent generations.

Darwinism is the belief that all species underwent evolution, eventually resulting in what is known as speciation. Breeding and natural selection resulted in such dramatic differentiation that one species became a new species. Therefore, all life originated from basic genetic material that was generated through purely natural means, and all speciation visible in life on earth was the result of natural selection and natural evolution without any intelligent oversight.

Notice that not all Evolutionists are Darwinists, but all Darwinists are Evolutionists.

Intelligent Design finds major gaps in Darwinism, and concludes that Darwinism is improbable to the point of being a mathematical impossibility. Because current science only accepts Darwinism as the explaination of speciation, Intelligent Design theorists posit that there must be some intelligence orchestrating the the mechanisms of Evolution.

Creationism accepts Genesis 1-3 as literally true. God created the world in 6 days. Dinosaurs never lived. A man was made out of mud, and his wife was made out of his rib, and everyone else came from them.

Notice that Creationism is actually opposed to Intelligent Design because it denies the methods of Evolution. These are not two sides of the same coin, they are two contradictory beliefs. We're not talking apples and oranges, we're talking apples and galaxies.

The problem is that everyone who believes in Intelligent Design and everyone who believes in Creationism agree that there is a God. So, they are painted with the same brush. Similarly, everyone who believes in Darwinism believes in Evolution, and these two are then painted with the same brush. The fact of the matter is Intelligent Design is much closer in it's beliefs to Darwinism than it is to Creationism. But still, when Darwinism and Creationism fight, Intelligent Design is always the collateral damage. The sooner science accepts that Intelligent Design is divorced from Creationism, the sooner we'll stop having to write silly laws that make it illegal to ask questions.

Oh, and in researching to write about this, I found this little gem. It's about a society that actually still thinks the earth is flat.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

I love Jesus but I Drink a Little

I saw the following clip from the Ellen DeGeneres show the other day and, well, I was laughing out loud so hard that snot flew out of my nose and splattered on the computer screen. So, you've been warned.