Stacking The Data

When you analyze things in life you have to be very careful not to allow your world view to stack the data in your favor.  This is extremely difficult to do.  People (humans) have a natural tendency to want things to go their way.  I know I struggle with this constantly.  People just want to be right within their own world.

Global Climate Change Scientists were discovered to be doing this very thing in 2009.  A fudge factor in code, is a way of stacking the data in order to help influence results to turn out the way you think they should.

One needs to be extremely careful as well to not believe they’ve seen all the data.  I believe most of us (at least those of any years of maturity) have heard someone say:

“At my age I’ve seen it all.”

I always want to say “Really?  Because God is INFINITE.  In ALL directions.  Which means he is infinitely big and infinitely small.  Infinitely loud and infinitely quite.  Infinitely colorful and infinitely monochrome.  God is more than we can possibly imagine, more than we can fathom, more than we can ever possibly know.  And you have seen it all?  I think not.”  We can spend an infinite amount of lifetimes and never fathom the depths of an infinite God.

King Solomon put it this way in Ecclesiastes 8:16 – 17 pointing out that a wise man may think he knows the works of God, only to find out that he does not.

Jesus Christ himself said that we must be humble like children in Matthew 18:2-4.  I believe he made this particular comparison because children are mostly full of wonderment.  They are growing, exploring, learning, discovering, depending, needing, wanting, and trusting.  As we get older we become wise and our wisdom leads us to be less dependent, less needy, wanting more than we need, less trusting, and growing less, exploring less, learning less, and discovering less.  We are no longer dependent upon God, but rather upon ourselves and we give God a call whenever we think we need him (which is never because we are certainly wise enough to figure our own way out of situations).

Do not ever think you have seen it all, because God has more than your lifetime can fill that he wants to show you.

And thus, having not seen it all, be careful as to how you try and stack the data from what you have seen and do know.

We all have to make choices in life.  And we are all responsible for those decisions and there are consequences to what we do.  But we do have a choice in how we analyze the data.

When you leave God out of the picture, you stack the data to influence your particular world view.  When you become humble, like a child, you begin to realize and understand the incredible gifts of knowledge that God has blessed you with.  You want to know him more, you want to explore, you realize how little you have and you want more.

Funny thing about data analysis, I may generally interpret the data to support any particular view I have.  I believe Weather Scientists the world over are doing just that today.  They couldn’t possibly interpret the data in an unbiased way at this point because they have stacked the data so heavily in their favor, they have tainted the data pool beyond the point of recovery.

There is one area though where the data will always be sound and firm.  There is one area where you cannot stack the data, where the data cannot be falsely interpreted, and where conclusions will always be validated.

And that area of study is with God.  There is a catch though, God may only be accepted on Faith and not by Sight.  Yes, that is disconcerting to some.  Some are screaming right now that Faith is not Science.  And yet Science exercises faith each and every day.

When we seek after God, with all our heart, and with all our strength, and with all our mind, and with all our soul, he will reveal himself to us.  Because he is God.  God actually wants us to discover him, to explore him, to know him.  And thus he will ensure that any who truly seek after him as a child in wonderment, they will find him.

Those that say there is no God and that they have never found God or evidence of God, have simply stacked the data.  They have never truly sought after God to begin with.  They have been loading up all their data and applying their fudge factors to the data to get it to say what they want it to say.

I’d like to encourage us all (myself included) to start exploring the riches of God today as if we know absolutely nothing about him.  It would be great if we all became little children and all gazed at the world in wonderment once again.  It would be great if we all stopped believing in how wise we are, and how experienced we are, and how much data we’ve amassed over our lifetimes.

If we simply stopped stacking the data in our lives, let go of our biases driven by our world views, and began exploring things without an agenda, who knows the types of changes we could really see effected in the world around us?

WINNERS AND LOSERS

Even as the Seattle Seahawks celebrated their big win the Stock Market took a dive.  There are winners and there are losers in life, but it is not always a zero sum game.

In Matthew 5:3 Jesus Christ said that the poor in spirit have the Kingdom of Heaven.

The word poor used here means destitute, totally without means, and without ability to gain anything on ones own.  It literally means the poorest of the poor.

The word Spirit used here is breath or wind.  It is the very breath of life.  It means the very essence of life and refers to the innermost person.  It is what make you, you.

Jesus Christ says that those destitute in their very being have the Kingdom of Heaven.  They possess the Kingdom of Heaven.  Theirs IS, the Kingdom of Heaven.

The world does not usually equate being poor with being rich.  But in God’s plan it is totally necessary.  It all hinges upon how you approach God.

If you approach God rich in Spirit, wealthy, and self-sufficient, there is nothing God can do for you.  You stand on your own and you do not truly need what God has to offer.

But when you approach God poor, and destitute, and truly in need, in your innermost being, God has the riches of Heaven itself ready to make you rich.  When you are poor, God is ready and able to make you rich.  When you are rich, before God you think you do not need God and do not seek him out.

And it is your Spirit, your very breath of life that you are poor in.  Try going a week, a month, several months, or a year without taking a breath.  You constantly need to breath.  You must replenish the oxygen in your body through breathing.  And that is exactly how God wants you to approach him, constantly in need, and always desiring replenishment.

God’s infinite riches are available, but only those who are in the greatest need, only those gasping for Spiritual Breath, those who are truly poor in Spirit, will be the ones to seek him out.  And they will find that theirs IS the Kingdom of Heaven.  Presently, and with great resources to supply all your needs.

Whether a winner or a loser in sports, or a winner or a loser in the Stock Market, or a winner or a loser in anything else in life, you cannot possess the Kingdom of Heaven unless you are poor in Spirit.

Win or lose in this life, in this world, in the present game, there is a greater gift to be gained, the gift of the Kingdom of Heaven.

So the question becomes, How is your spiritual wealth?  Because the wealth of your Spirit will determine your Kingdom health.  And that truly is the greatest riches of all.

The Big Game

Here we are and it is Super Bowl Sunday and most of America is excited about the big game.  Most people that are excited about the game are cheering for their favorite team to win.

I am cheering for the Seattle Seahawks to take home the trophy.  Not that I have any particular ties to Seattle, Washington although Microsoft, Inc. is headquartered near there and a co-worker at another company went to work for them and encouraged me to do the same.  I thought better of it at the time.

However neither do I have any particular tie or rivalry with the Denver Broncos although Denver is a couple of hours north of Colorado Springs, Colorado where I actually did have a firm offer from a company that I turned down and ended up in Richmond, Virginia instead.  Denver, CO might have had another appeal in that Seymour Cray had moved there and was doing some exciting work with bio-molecular memory.  Sadly, he died in an automobile accident a few years before I had the opportunity to move there.

No, I am looking for a Seattle Seahawks win simply because in conversation with my cousin I discovered he was cheering for the Denver Broncos and I couldn’t possibly let that stand, now could I?  I had picked the Seattle Seahawks as a favorite for the Super Bowl rather early on in the season though.  And everyone likes to pick a winner.  It doesn’t hurt that my neighbors a couple of streets up (whom we will be watching the big game with) are from Denver and are cheering for the Broncos.  A little friendly rivalry will make the game all the more exciting.  As for my cousin, we have a bet (a gentleman’s bet between family members) for some Rocky Patel Cigars.  Specifically three Rocky Patel Edge cigars.  Winner take all, no spread on the points.  My cousin is not a cigar smoker so I’m not sure what he was thinking.  If he wins, he’ll probably just turn around and send them back to me for my birthday.

As an amusing aside, someone at work did point out to me that both states that have now legalized the recreational use of Marijuana are the two states that are sending teams to the Super Bowl.  I’m not sure what that means other than the fact that fans in both states are going to wake up tomorrow morning wondering if their team won or not.  Of course I suppose the same could be said for alcohol use, but that is a thought for another time.

No, as I was saying, I turned down the job offer in Colorado Springs and took one in Richmond, VA where a few years later I had the opportunity to make the acquaintance of Terry McAulay who is the referee in today’s big game.  You can find Terry’s career stats here.  Terry is also a graduate of Louisiana State University where my sister is a College Professor today.  It is interesting how choices in life work and how things tie together.

Thanks for wading through my past life choices.  If you’ve made it this far and I still have your attention, what I wanted to get to was the Big Game.  And by that I mean the Big Game of Life.  Sure the Super Bowl is exciting, however we all have the opportunity to play in the most exciting arena of all each and every day.  And that is the arena of Life.

When I was in grade school I was an avid reader.  One of the most impressionable books I remember reading is Get in the Game by Bill Glass.  Bill Glass was a Defensive End for the Detroit Lions and the Cleveland Browns.  Bill wrote a book about his NFL career, but more importantly he wrote a book about the game of Life.

His point in the book was you can never win the game if you never play the game.  Many people will complain about never having the opportunity to play.  And Bill talked about that in the book as well.  He pointed out all the players in the NFL that sat on the bench and never took the field.  But they were IN the game.  They went to practice, they worked hard, they were with the team, and they were there, ready to play should the coach decide to put them in.

In Matthew 25:14-29 Jesus Christ likens God’s Kingdom to a rich ruler who entrusts his talents to his servants while he is away.  When he returns, the servant he is angry with is the one who did nothing with the talent he was entrusted with.

We are all entrusted with talent in life.  We did not necessarily get to choose which talents we were given.  However we are all responsible for the talents we have.  And we cannot do anything with those talents unless we get in the game.  This is primarily one of the reasons I started this blog.  Because win or lose, I at least want to be found to be in the game.

I don’t know if your team will win or lose today.  I hope my team does.  I don’t even know if you have chosen a team or if you even care about the game.  What I do know is we are all responsible for the Game of Life.  And there will come a day of reckoning when we all have to give an accounting for the talents we’ve been entrusted with.  And unless you Get in the Game, you may have a hard time with the coach.

When is a Day not a Day?

Sometimes my musings are current and other times they are reflective.  And thus, at points, my Blog may come across as a little random or disjointed.  My apologies, but at times I just start thinking about things that leads me down a rabbit hole.

Today is one such day.  If you and I were having a general conversation about Life and Religion, we might go through several topics and levels before arriving at the Creation story in Genesis within the Bible.  Furthermore, we might then have several discussions about Creation vs. Evolution, and the question might come up “Could God have used evolution to create the world?”  There are thousands, nay millions of Christians today that say they believe in God, they believe in the Bible, they believe the Creation story, BUT … Whoa!  What “but“?  I thought you believed?  Yeah, but what about Science?  What about the allegorical nature of the story?  What about … and fill in whatever questioning nature you wish to throw in here.

Well what about them?  I love a good challenge, unfortunately I am human and can only deal with these things one at a time.  So at another time I hope to come back and discuss these things.  For now, I’ll concede that there are Christian’s (lots and lots of them) who ask the question about Evolution and then try and force fit it into their understanding of the story of Genesis.  There are two general schools of thought on this.  The first is that all of that Evolutionary stuff happened before Genesis 1:1.  All of the Big Bang stuff, the formation of the Earth, the Dinosaurs, etc. all happened prior to Genesis 1:1 and the Bible simply picks up the story there.  That is one discussion.  The second school of thought is that all of the Evolutionary stuff happened within the first chapter of Genesis.  Genesis, with a keen eye toward brevity, compressed about 4.5 billion years of history into the first chapter and then picked up where the story gets to be really interesting.  It is this second school of thought on Genesis I’d like to consider today.

The people that accept this school of thought modify and adjust their world view in order to mash two competing philosophies together.  Creation and Evolution.  And generally, the way they do this is to redefine a day.

Here is the basic line of reasoning.  Genesis Chapter 1 lays out several things happening on day boundaries.  In order to fit hundreds of millions of years into a day, our day detractors will point out that a day is a thousand years to the Lord.  They find this in a couple of different places.  One might be Psalm 90:4 and the other is 2 Peter 3:8.  It all comes down to the Hebrew word yom (pronounced yome) and the debate as to whether we are talking about an age (as in a period of time – the Medieval Age) or an actual 24 hour day.

So here we are, Genesis Chapter 1 verse 1 and God is starting to Create.  And as God creates, we draw to the close of the first day (Verse 5).  And I will point out to our day detractors at this point that all Hebrew scholars agree that when we see the word yom bounded by Evening (ereb) and Morning (boqer) that the definition is one 24 hour day.  And in an absolute amazing disregard for logic and fact, our day detractors will brush away what the Scripture is telling them and insert their own reality as it matches up with their already defined world view.

OK, so the Bible very clearly says the Evening (ereb), which is indisputably sunset or the end of the day.  And the Morning (boqer), which is indisputably sunrise or the beginning of the day, and we are left with a bounded 24 hour period or one day.  Thus yom, in this instance, must be referring to a 24 hour day and not an age.  And while many scholars will agree with this we still have our day detractors.

So my question then becomes, when is a day not a day?  I mean I need to know what the parameters are so that I may interpret the Bible correctly.  So, please tell me:

Genesis 1:14 – God defines seasons, days (yom – plural), and years.  An age, or a 24 hour day?

Genesis 1:16 – God sets lights to rule the day (yom) and the night.  An age, or a 24 hour day?

Genesis 2:17 – In the day (yom) that Adam/Eve eat of the tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil they shall surely die.  An age, or a 24 hour day?

Allow me to compress this a little bit: Genesis 3:8, Genesis 3:14, Genesis 3:17, Genesis 4:14, Genesis 5:1, Genesis 5:2, Genesis 5:4, Genesis 5:5, Genesis 5:8, Genesis 5:11 …

Did Noah wait 40 days before opening the window of the  the Ark?  Was Jonah in the belly of the fish for 3 days?  Did Jesus Christ spend 40 days in the wilderness, 3 days in the tomb?  When in the world is a day not a day?

Amazingly enough, our day detractors will define other days as a 24 hour period of one rotation of the Earth.  Just not the days they need to modify to validate their world view.  The two verses I marked in red above, refer to the Creation of Adam and Eve and the day thereof.  I suppose our day detractors might want to make those an age so that it fits their world view (man Evolved over millions of years) but then Adam immediately lives 130 years (consisting of 24 hour days) in Verse 3.

Are you selective with a day being a day?  I believe there are two problems with redefining things to be something they are not.  The first is it is intellectually dishonest.  When you accept this fallacy you bring any real definition into question.  As in “What did you mean by that?”  And then second is you fit things into your world view, instead of accepting them for what they are, and you miss the truth and wonder before you.

Why not try letting a Day be a Day?  It might just open up a whole new world of freedom to you.  And it might also expose the miracles of God in a much more substantial light.

Who Is Your Imaginary Friend?

I’d like to stay with the comment of the individual who posted on Ken Ham’s FaceBook page (See yesterdays blog: MURDERER OR NOT?).  Specifically the end of his comment:

“It saddens me that an adult could believe such things as fact. You are robbing your children of their lives and wonder by filling every unknown with an imaginary friend. Indoctrination is abuse.”

I am extremely amused whenever I hear this argument from individuals who simply want to force their version of reality upon me.  It is not that they want to have an honest conversation about Life, Religion, Politics, Science, or Philosophy, rather they simply want to shut down any opposing point of view or any theory that doesn’t match their particular world view.

So what saddens me is that there are adults that actually believe (a) The U.S. did not successfully land men on the moon and return them safely rather it was all a hoax.  (b) That aliens crashed into the Earth at Area 51 or Roswell NM and the U.S. Military is keeping it a secret.  (c) That the U.S. Government was involved in bringing down the World Trade Centers on 9/11/2001.  (d) That this doll in Key West is actually possessed by evil spirits.  (e) That some Government Agency knows more about you than your closest friend or relative.  (f) Almost any of the wacky stories that I am entertained by nightly on Coast To Coast AM.  (g) That Cuba is a much better place to be than America because of their healthcare.  (h) Anything at all Michael Moore says.  (i) That President Barrack Hussein Obama has a high approval rating.  I could literally go on and on and on.

I certainly do not know the individual who posted on Ken’s FaceBook page, but I do know other individuals who have made the same ridiculous statement.  And the vast majority of the other individuals I know only care about one fantasy world and one only.  And that is the one they believe I live in.

I am willing to bet whatever fortune I do not have that this particular individual has no problem whatsoever with (a) Santa Clause.  (b) Easter Bunny.  (c) Tooth Fairy.  (d) Jack Frost.  (e) Cupid.  (f) Loch Ness Monster.  (g) Big Foot.  (h) Swamp Thing.  (i) Paul Bunyan and Babe.  (j) Teddy Bears.  (k) Any imaginary childhood friend other than a God.

Is it not somewhat interesting that the only imaginary friend/fairy tale these people want to stamp out is the one labeled Christianity?  All the rest are perfectly fine.  Just not this one.

And he seemingly wants to stamp it out for the children.  Why we are robbing the children of their very lives and wonder by propagating some imaginary friend on them (yes, a fairy tale).  What our FaceBook posting friend never considers is that I am obviously a victim also.  I must have had my life and wonder robbed as a young child.  Balderdash!  Is it not of some wonder that every child that has ever succumbed to the allure of Santa Clause eventually outgrows it.  I have many friends who were brought up in the Church who haven’t set foot in one in years.  I have friends whose parents are Christian and yet they profess to be atheist.  And I also have friends whose parents are anything but Christian and yet they profess Jesus Christ.  It would seem that there is this one imaginary friend who stretches across the boundaries of a lifetime, and that is decided upon on a case by case basis with each person making an individual choice.  Our FaceBook posting friend conveniently ignores all the evidence and inserts his own world view in order to interpret the data as he sees fit.

Why would any right thinking individual outgrow Santa Clause, yet not outgrow the person of Jesus Christ?  Why is Santa Clause such a good and healthy imaginary friend and fantasy, yet the person of Jesus Christ is not?  Why is there one particular person, one particular set of followers, and one particular book that is so threatening to people?

And I have a question for our FaceBook poster.  After removing prayer from schools, the study of creation from the classroom, and Nativity scenes as a form of Christmas decoration,  who in the world is he afraid of?  It is not Christians who are pushing their religion on the simple minded as we our led to believe, rather it is the strong minded (I might say close minded) who are attempting to rip Christianity from the fabric of our very lives.

Indeed, a little imagination is a good thing.  But when I start defending my imaginary friend, one must conclude that that I am either delusional or else there is more to my imaginary friend than meets the eye.

I am a huge admirer of Dr. Ravi Zacharias.  I was privileged to be at a session once where he was answering questions and I heard him say “It’s my fantasy and I’m perfectly happy with it, so leave me alone”.  Indeed, the one fantasy that no one wants to leave alone, is Christianity.

My world view has an answer for this.  It says we wrestle, not with flesh and blood, but with principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.  What is strange is that those that would shut down my world view would even care.

So my  friend is more than just imaginary.  He is quite real.  His name is Jesus Christ and he is the Son of the Most High God.  Who is yours?

Murderer Or Not?

Amanda Knox is once again in the news and once again has been convicted of murder in Italy.  Some have suggested that this is double jeopardy (tried for the same crime twice) and that if Italy were to request extradition of Ms. Knox that the request might be denied based upon those grounds.

However, I’ll admit I do not have much of an opinion (or an interest) in Ms. Knox one way or the other.  It is simply an interesting tidbit on the news.  What I am interested in is murder itself.  And by that I mean more of the legal aspect of murder and not so much the act of murder.

You see, as Ms. Knox discovered herself, murder carries a very specific legal definition with it that must be proven in a court of law.  Specifically that definition says that it is: the killing of another human being under conditions specifically covered in law.  It is also rendered this way: the crime of unlawfully killing a person.

And thus it is the legal aspect of murder that interests me.  But before I get to that, there is another rather interesting event coming up in a few days.  Bill Nye (The Science Guy) will be debating Ken Ham at the Creation Museum on February 4th, 2014.  I’ll recommend the debate (if you are free) now, but I am currently more intrigued by this exchange about the coming debate from Ken Ham’s FaceBook page.

If you read the posters accusations carefully (from the above link), you would have discovered this at the end: “God if He existed is a murderer, and stands idly by as his “good” creations rape and murder each other and does nothing because free will. It saddens me that an adult could believe such things as fact. You are robbing your children of their lives and wonder by filling every unknown with an imaginary friend. Indoctrination is abuse.” (Excerpt of post in response to Ken Ham on his FaceBook page).

Ken (rather aptly if I do say so myself) addresses the concerns laid out in this statement.  I would like to repeat one though.  The accuser claims here that God stands idly by as his “good” creations commit all kinds of crimes.  And yet the Bible is the one book that not only defines Good and Evil, but also explicitly states that mankind is NOT good:

10 As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: 11 There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. 12 They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one. Romans 3:10-12 KJV

The “good” creation the poster refers to is from the book of Genesis 1:31 where God calls everything he has made “very good”.  And indeed, God was pleased with his work.  But I note that this was before the fall of man and God was referring to the state of his creation, not whether or not that creation would end up doing good or evil things.  God’s creation is good, it is also seeped in sin and thus there is evil in the world.

However I digress.  The point I wanted to address is the posters opening few words.  Where he pointedly accuses God of being a murderer.  This is not a new concept put out by this particular poster either.  No, it has been used time and time again by those attempting to show inconsistencies between a loving God and the God described in the Old Testament of the Bible.  Some go as far as to even add up all the deaths in the world attributable to God.  As if some really large number will make God all the more evil than just a single, solitary, murder.

However this is a completely disingenuous accusation on the part of these people.  Firstly and foremost they completely destroy the definition of murder.  Remember murder is a legal term and it specifically refers to a human taking another human’s life unlawfully.  God is Creator, and is definitely not human (although God did take on the form of a human – but that is a thought for another time).  Think of it this way, if a bear kills a person in the woods, do we then arrest the bear and put it on trial for murder? No, of course not.  The bear is no more subject to the laws of man than the fish in the sea are.  So why then do we attempt to ascribe our laws to God?  Because he first gave the law to man?  And how is that fair?  Perhaps our children should be subject to the exact same set of laws we are subject to.  If so, I imagine there would be a lot of parents standing in the corner tonight.  We are the creation, he is the creator, it is not we that get to apply the laws to him, but rather he who applies them to us.

These folks that shake their fists in the face of God and call him a murderer are unaware of the great atrocity they have just committed by flipping the roles of God and Man around.  Would they put God on trial?  Who would be the jury of God’s peers?  Who in the world would be judge?  And how in the world do these folks expect to prove that the lives God took, he took unlawfully?

However even more disingenuous than the destruction of the terminology for murder, is these folks can’t even ascribe the correct number of deaths to God.  If they bothered to understand God for who and what he is, they would soon realize God is the only being responsible for any human death.

There are far too many references for me to look up and link to tonight.  So I leave some of these as an exercise to the reader.  But God is clearly established as the giver of life, and the deliverer of death in Genesis.  God tells Adam and Eve that if they disobey him they will surely die.  When Satan challenges God over his servant Job, God clearly tells Satan that he may not take his life.  Why?  Because only God may take a life.  The scriptures also clearly state that it is appointed unto every man once to die.  How can it be appointed unto man to die unless it is God who is the arbitrator?

No, God is clearly the holder of life and death and as Creator is that not clearly his prerogative?  It is absolutely amusing to me that so many people want to defend abortion as a woman’s right over her own body.  Sure!  She can do with that fetus anything she wants to!  And yet if God takes a life, suddenly he is a murderer?  Why?  Doesn’t God get to do anything he wants to with HIS creation?

And before you try and throw a “we’ve reached the point of viability” argument on me, go back and re-read your Scriptures.  Our very breath of life is sustained by God.  He literally holds his Creation together.  He sustains it moment by moment.  You are no more viable without God than a child in the womb is without its mother.

Abortion rights are apparently OK except when God allows the life to be taken.

So murderer or not?  I, unlike the gentleman who addressed Ken Ham over his upcoming debate with Bill Nye, cannot find it within myself to be quite so naïve as to address God as a murderer.  That is rather shallow thinking.  It also gives me pause to consider whether or not the legality of murder might apply to God’s laws and not just man’s.  We might want to consider that when granting the woman’s right to choose.

Interpreting Data

I have the opportunity to work with medium to large data sets on the job.  And the data sets are very significant to the customer.  So we need to be careful with the data.  However I am a pretty impatient person and sometimes I want to skip ahead in processing based upon assumptions about the data.  Every once in awhile I make a correct assumption, however, by far, most of the time I end up being wrong.  Fortunately the great people I work with don’t mind a little trial and error.  They are, however, quick to point out the errors in processing and the flaws in the assumptions.  We need to be careful, methodical, and detailed oriented when dealing with significant data sets.  And we need to constantly challenge our results and our analysis of the data.

Imagine my surprise then when a topic such as Global Climate Change comes up.

Before I even get to the discussion, I just cannot let this ridiculous terminology stand without giving it some challenge.  When former Vice President of the United States Al Gore wrote his book Earth In The Balance (published in June of 1992) the only thing we knew of man made weather change was Global Warming.  Now, some 22 years later, with little more data than before, and actually with data supporting changes other than Global Warming, the terminology has changed.  Now we use Global Climate Change.  This is just plain disingenuous and false science to boot.  If I ever observed data contrary to my theory (which is what has happened with our Weather Scientists) and I simply changed the name of my theory in order to make the data support my foregone conclusions, I would be laughed out of the room and banned from the community.  This is not what Scientist do.  But we have become so goofy with our terminology and our rush to validate our own fanatical fairy tales, we have actually squashed the two terms together (as if that makes any sense at all): NASA brings the two terms together to conveniently cover all possible cases.  Now, thanks to creative Scientific Theory naming, we can make all data fit either term and thus our fantasy Theory holds no matter what the data says.

But back to the data.  So when this discussion comes up at work, I am faced with the usual plethora of Global Climate Change supporters and this confuses me.  I ask about this and I am told that there is this study or that study and that the data is pretty conclusive.  And I am even more confused.  Lets put this into perspective, the same Scientist that are crying about Global Climate Change will tell us that the earth is about 4.5 billion years old.  We have actually collected and recorded about 100 years of climate data during human history.  The vast majority of that is simply temperature data.  And the first 25 to maybe even 50 years of that was taken on equipment nowhere near the precision of todays instruments and compared to todays readings might be considered to be in the ball park, but not exactly exact.  That is about 100 years of data for a 4.5 billion year old system (using their supplied Earth age mind you) of which 1/4 to 1/2 is probably suspect.  Let me put this into perspective for you: Earth Age Vs Weather DataSee the thin red line on the end?  The one with the arrow pointing to it?  That is the 100 years of weather data we have collected over the supposed life span of the Earth.  That timeline is to scale (well to scale as best as your computer screen will render at this resolution anyway).  It is almost ludicrous that so little data could support so big a theory and actually tie it into the effects of mankind over less than the given time period.

So I can just hear the but, but, but’s rolling in now.  We have all of this other data!  What about the ice core samples?  Doesn’t the data from the ice cores give us a greater history of the Earths climate changes?  Huh, No.  They do not.  Everything we believe we know from ice core samples is theory and conjecture.  Furthermore we’ve apparently run off and studied ice cores with Global Climate Change in mind.  We specifically LOOK to bend the evidence in favor of the theory.  Once again, in my world this would be called junk science.

And lastly, good scientific theory is meant to be challenged, debated and defended.  It is meant to be peer reviewed.  But by far (do a few WEB searches yourself if you need supporting evidence) the folks that support Global Climate Change shout down any dissenters time, and time, and time, and time again.  I don’t know about you, but the last time I checked, ridicule and shouting over your challenger as a tactic to defending your theories and data was NOT considered good scientific practice.  And yet that is exactly what is happening today.  Once again, junk science.

So why do the really, really smart people that I work with and others around the world just automatically buy into the whole Global Climate Change agenda?  I believe it stems from laziness.  Not that they are lazy in their ways, it is just that most individuals are far too busy with their every day lives to be worried about checking data reported to them.  And so they become lazy, and as a result somewhat trusting of what they are told (Why Al Gore has it in his book so it must be true).  Thus they don’t take the time to analyze the data on their own.

I believe if they did, there would be a BIG difference in what we see and know and believe about the story of Global Climate Change.

Data is important in our lives.  But don’t let the INTERPRETATION of the data in your life lead you down a path that one day you might regret.

Life Isn’t Fair

There is a philosophy of fairness gripping our world today.  Governments speak of inequities that exist between rich and poor, healthy and sick, happy and sad.  The have’s and the have not’s.  It is unnerving to some that so few could have so much and so many could have so little.  They want to right the wrongs, spread the wealth around, and build one great big happy utopia.  It has been tried time and time again through philosophies such as socialism, communism, or collectivist activism.  And each time it has failed.  And yet it is strived for.

The amazing thing to me is that no one ever asks the question as to why the inequities exist in the first place.  If your world view embraces a God you might ask the question as to why God allows some to be rich and some to be poor.  If your world view does not embrace a God you might ask the question as to why we cannot make things equal across the board.  We struggle with the fact that Life just isn’t fair.

Something that might be considered is that if your world view encompasses a God, then he might be the arbitrator of fairness in life.  Perhaps it is God who rewards and who takes away.  And all of our shuffling, and redistribution, and efforts cannot alter the plans of a God.

If your world view does not encompasses a God, then you are fighting the great cosmic entropy and the randomness of the Universe itself is beating down upon your very efforts.  Of course if your world view does not encompass a God, one might ask where your compassion comes from anyway or why you even care.

Either way it is an impossible task and the question then becomes why does it consume us so?

There is one world view that embraces, understands, and works within the great divides in life.  And that world view is the Christian world view.

For me, inequities in life are understandable and are readily worked with.  My world view of a God is not only liberating in this sense, it is also practicable in helping me deal with and change the inequities that touch me on a daily basis.

This is because the very definition of God is infinite in every direction and all encompassing of everything.

Recently I saw the question: why would a perfect God allow bad things to happen to good people?  And the answer was (and is) very plain to me.  Could a God build a perfect world?  Of course he could.  But if he did, where would my choice come in?  Where would my opportunity come from?  Or where would I be tested and proven to be true.

I love the quote of former Congressman J.C. Watts who said his grandmother used to tell him that true character was doing the right thing in the woods when no one else was around to see or to record the events.

The “world” is our woods.  And our “woods” is full of unfairness and challenges.  It is up to each and every one of us to do the right thing even if no one records it.  Why?  Because that is our test of character.

The Marines have a slogan: Do the Right Thing, At the Right Time, For the Right Reason.  If everything were equal across the board, there would be no measure of character, because everyone would always act the same way.

So why would a God allow such a system to exist?  Why would a God test us in such a way?  Well for me it goes back to my God’s infinite nature.  All of the myriad of differences in the world (and indeed the Universe) are all tiny reflections of an infinite God.  They are an expression of who, what, and why he is.  The inequities in life allow God to work.  The system allows God to be God.  Not for himself, God cannot suddenly stop being God, but rather for us.  It allows us to see God for who he truly is.

You see, from my world view, without sickness we would not know healing, without pain we could not know relief, without poverty we could not measure wealth, without suffering we could not measure joy, and without disobedience there could be no Grace.  It is the very antitheses of the system that allows us to see the beauty on the other side.  We make the mistake of believing that we may know beauty without ever having experienced ugliness.  But if all you had ever known in your entire life, from birth, was beauty, and you asked me to describe something other than beauty, how would I do that?  And how would you conceive it?  I contend it would be impossible.  And if the only thing you ever knew in life was beauty, where would your sense of appreciation come from?  And from what standpoint would you experience accomplishment?

No, Life isn’t fair, and I’m afraid you can do everything in your power to change that and you will find that it will always be that way during this age.

Rather than engaging in some vain fight to change something that we cannot, why not take it for what it is?  The opportunity to Do the Right Thing when no one else is around to see you do it.  Literally the opportunity to Do the Right Thing, At the Right Time, For the Right Reason.

If we all did this, we might all just be surprised at the growth of our Character,  and the changes in inequities that it just might effect within our world.

Is There A God?

One of the harder hitting and more intriguing questions asked in Life, Religion, Science, and Philosophy is: “Is there truly a God?”   I might suggest here that the question ought to be asked within Politics as well, but alas, it would seem that most of our Governments today have either convinced themselves that it makes no difference whether or not they explore this question, or that the answer to it has no bearing on their functions or actions (as if they are outside of the impacts of the question).

To some, it might seem as if this is an unanswerable question, although the vast majority of the world has already answered it for themselves.  Some have let others make the determination for them, essentially giving them the answer.  Some pursue this question relentlessly day-in and day-out.  And a few don’t have the time or effort to pursue it.

Others may ask why it even matters.  For a segment of the population there will be those that will understand why I would start with such a question, the rest may be confused or otherwise surprised that I would jump out of the box with this question.

But for me (and many others) this is a foundational question.  It is one that shapes your world view.  It directly effects how you view Life, Religion, Politics, Science, and Philosophy.  It is a life-changing question and its impacts are far reaching.  And it is a question that is current and relevant today (Reference this news story for a list of Celebrities whom you might think believe in a God since they claim to be religious).

It also is a question that bares ones biases.  And since I am desiring an honest and sincere pursuit of the interesting things in Life, Religion, Politics, Science, and Philosophy, it is a question that I must start off with.  It is a question that is seminal to any really interesting discussion of Life, Religion, Politics, Science, or Philosophy.  It is not a question to which everyone will agree upon an answer on, but it is a question that we should all agree has far reaching effects on our day-to-day lives.  And so, as for myself, I begin with: “Is there a God?

Obviously there are three distinct answers to this question.  There are those that would say “No.  Absolutely not.”  Those that would say “Yes. Absolutely there is.” and then there is everyone else.  I put ‘everyone else’ in the category of “I don’t know”, “I don’t care”, “Maybe there is or maybe there isn’t”, or “It doesn’t really matter one way or the other.”  But however you answer this one question will shape the way you approach everything else in life.

Consider Dr. Stephen Hawking or Dr. Richard Dawkins for example.  They have absolutely stated that there is no God.  Their answer to the question is “No.”  And that answer shapes their world view and their pursuits in life.  In the case of Dr. Hawking it has been an almost continual life time goal to establish the fact, once and for all, that there is no God.  They state rather emphatically that there is no God (and seemingly, have done little to persuade the list of Celebrities referenced in the news article above).

Secondly consider Dr. Billy Graham, or Dr. Rick Warren.  They would assuredly answer the question “Yes.”  And that answer in turn shapes their world view and pursuits in life.  And they have very different foundation they build upon than those which Dr. Hawking or Dr. Dawkins build upon.

The third category I will not discuss at this time other than to say that anyone who believes the question has no bearing on their life or that the answer to the question does not affect their lives one way or the other, are people who are blinded to the effect that one simple choice has already had upon their lives.  In other words, their choice of apathy has just as much a profound impact on their foundational life beliefs, and does the choice of those who say “Yes.” and those who say “No.”  I suppose I could throw Dr. Richard Carrier in here as an example skeptic, except he really is not.  He is as much of a “No.” person as any of the other “No.” persons out there.  Unfortunately I tend to believe that by the time one has risen to enough prominence level to be used as an example, they are no longer in the third category but are rather firmly ensconced in either the “Yes.” or “No.” categories.

So this is a good place to start, it is interesting to me, and it broadly sweeps all aspects of Life / Religion / Politics / Science / Philosophy.  It is a question to end all questions.  Is there really and truly a God?

My answer is YES.  Absolutely there is.  For me, it is the only model that makes sense.  For me, it is the only model the evidence supports.  For me, it is the only model that answers all the other questions that life throws at you from any category.  Of course there is a God and he is the foundation for understanding all other pursuits in Life / Religion / Politics / Science / and Philosophy.

The discussions that matter.

%d bloggers like this: