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Tuesday, December 07, 2010

The making of a thinking Creationist part two - Bye Bye Babylon

PS - The Arsenic Bacteria hullabaloo is a tempest in a teapot.  

As usual, Darwinists make a big deal of a finding that they do not yet completely understand and wind up making claims they cannot defend.   Stay tuned and see.

When last we left Radar...

"Was I going to charge through life and grab all the gusto I could, or was there some purpose and plan and force behind the material world, an unseen ideal or eternal truth that was like a magnet pulling on me to align myself in one particular way?"

I didn't know




At age 24 going on 25, the decision was tending towards hedonism.  Fortunately I was not a sociopath, I did detect intrinsic value in other people.  I mostly avoided the bad dudes and the bad bosses, spend as much time as possible with friends and non-ugly chicks, played a lot of sports and went to college classes part-time...and I was lucky.   Oh man, was I ever lucky.   When I drove drunk I never killed anyone including myself but a couple of times it was amazing I got home in one piece.   When I got stopped by cops I always managed to hide the drugs in the right place and never was stopped by one with a drug dog.

One girl was a problem.  I had promised I would come back for her someday assuming I grew up.   I even planned on giving it a try.   Take a shot at true love?   But a close family member stole a large amount of my money and I couldn't afford to try to pick up, move back to California and take life on without money, a car or a job.  That's when I saved enough to buy the Cruiser and settled back into college life.  That's when I decided to let the idea of looking for the right girl hit the circular file.


Miraculously I never contracted an STD.  I never got caught doing anything illegal even though I did all sorts of illegal activities.  This just reinforced the idea I had that I could think or talk my way out of anything.  Yeah, I was just going to keep on being a carefree hedonistic bachelor until at least age forty and then maybe I would possibly think about considering marriage?  After all, the one girl I had wanted to marry, I had realized I was too wild and selfish to ruin her life by marrying her and I just didn't fall in love with anyone else and then circumstances had intervened.  So why not just be draggin' the line?

Joseph, son of Jacob, was sold into slavery by jealous brothers as recorded in the Book of Genesis.   He wound up in prison.   I wound up enslaved, so to speak, within the military.   Joseph later was imprisoned but was eventually released and was responsible for providing shelter and relief from a great famine for the rest of his family and all of Egypt and bringing the Jews to Egypt, where they were welcomed and accepted (until years later, when Joseph was dead and the memories of his exploits largely forgotten by the new Egyptian Pharoah).   So many times, when something bad happened to Joseph, he could have given up all hope and not made an effort to keep up his mind and body and spirits.  God allowed Joseph to endure apparently bad things in order to accomplish greater things.

SO SAD




Then one night I slept with a girl who was just a friend - one time - and got her pregnant...even though she was supposedly on the pill.    No use majoring in minors but I did have a girlfriend at the time and she solemnly told me that, "You are the kind of guy who should never get married."   Maybe that seemed true.   I was a selfish immoral hound.   I thought I was a lone wolf and suddenly I am considering getting a harness and pulling a dogsled?   Moment in time - me sharing a joint with a guy who had just been drafted by the NBA (and got hurt his third year in) asking me if he thought he should marry his girlfriend (who I didn't like) and here I was marrying a friend that I didn't love?    I didn't know what to tell myself, let alone him.

I was going to be a father.  So I married my baby's future mother.   She and I were the kind of people who went to bars and would sit around by candlelight and burn incense while getting stoned out on good pot and talk philosophy.   But we were not the kind to kill babies.   Oddly enough I realized I would rather give life with this particular girl a shot than be an absentee father sending support checks out every month.

My daughter was born prematurely.  She was in an incubator, tiny, had not yet opened her eyes.  I was standing there looking at her and asked permission to wash up and stick my hand in the incubator.   I stuck in my right hand and her tiny little hand wrapped around my little finger and those eyes opened.   The first thing Sara ever saw was me.   I was absolutely and completely sure I was glad to be her daddy.  I still am!

So now I am just another cog in the machine

I was also going to college, but we had a philosophy assignment for a final.   We had to apply the teachings of B.F. Skinner to construct an Utopian society.    I spent many hours working on the premise and trying to figure it out.   But I finally came to the end of myself.   Men need to set goals to accomplish things and they must be free to succeed or fail.  But people are also selfish and, if you meet their needs, will sit on their butts and do nothing.   Some parents do not instruct their kids, but if the state is in charge of the children, where is the love and nurture and what happens to individuals?   Who rules this society?  What are the consequences of failure?   I had read too much Ayn Rand to believe in nanny states and I had known too many people too well to believe in man's humanity to man.   As a Robin Trower song of the 70's asserted, "takers get the honey, givers sing the blues."  I quit going to college.  Yep.  If man could not devise a Utopia and there was no God and there was no particular purpose to living,  why bother?   I knew I could make a lot of money at a factory in town where a family friend was a foreman and I decided to quit school for awhile and pile up some cash in the steel industry.

Too Rolling Stoned



About that same time my wife hit the post-partum depression skids and began making me absolutely miserable.   I was working hard at a good job, making enough to support her and the baby and a cat and she wasn't working, but when I would come home from work I was getting attitude.   It got so bad that sometimes I would just leave home and hang out with some of the guys...and the guys liked hanging out where there were girls.   I began to consider maybe divorcing the mother of my child.   I came thisclose to actually going home with another woman.   Didn't do it, but I figured that if I was considering adultery I should just get divorced. I reached the Bridge of Signs.



But my wife went to church and "got saved."   Suddenly she wasn't a harpy from hell, she was sweet and loving.   I was a little weirded out.   Just going to church had turned "The Taming of the Shrew" into "When Harry Met Sally?"   But I quit thinking about divorce for the moment and stopped going to the bars with the guys and came home after work.   At work I snuck vodka or gin in to pour into my cans of Pepsi and every break we would go out to the parking lot, drink beer and smoke pot.  I had moved to night shift so I would work at night, come home to sleep and then be up in the afternoons.   So I was still partying, but avoiding women and spending more time at home.

Because of Jesus



After my wife had been going to church for awhile, the church pastor came over to talk to me and explain what being a Christian meant, who Christ was and why my wife had changed overnight.   I'd heard it all before...but on this night something was different.   On the inside.  All the teaching on the Bible with teachers that asserted that it was cobbled together by itinerant priests and shepherds and rewritten later...all the years of reading every philosopher and mystic I could find from classic Plato to modern Pirsig...all the years of living for myself and perfecting ways to sin efficiently and without legal consequences....all the lies...all the everything all meaningless as I realized that I could believe that Christ was who this pastor said He was and at that moment the entire world made sense.   I completely gave up on my ability to save myself or understand life and I totally admitted to myself and God that I was a sinner who loved myself above anything else and I asked God to change me and save me from myself and my sin.

Kingdom Come




So I was a Christian.  I quit the rock band I had joined.   God changed me from the inside out and suddenly I wanted to read the Bible like a hungry man wants a meal.   I quit smoking pot.   It was illegal and I decided I should.   Then I quit getting drunk.   I didn't need it.   I started going to church, taking notes on the sermons and then looking things up in the Bible later.   I quit drinking and doping and going to bars with the guys.  I quit smoking cigarettes because the smoke was bad for me and my family.   I was just a new man!  Not a perfect man, not one that looked any different (at first).   But I shaved off my beard and cut my long hair because it seemed to me that I wanted to look like most Christians looked because I was glad to be a Christian and I didn't care if my old buddies didn't like it.   Thank God for Robert Charles Wood, who had the guts to go try to explain the Bible to a very big and furry factory party animal because the guy's wife had become a Christian and hoped and prayed that lightning would strike her husband, too.

~~~~~~~

God become my strength and song




If all that above is too much information for you, oh well.  Yes, I studied the Bible constantly and most particularly the New Testament so I understood how a Christian was expected to conduct himself and live day  to day.   To a lesser extent I read Proverbs for wisdom for my brain and Psalms for my heart.  I rarely read anything else at first.    I probably read the entire New Testament through three times in the first month I was saved (and I can read pretty fast, but I was absorbing it).    I was a Christian, but I was a believer in evolution.

Nobody at church talked much about evolution.   I had taken college classes and read and studied up on dinosaurs and other extinct creatures.  The whole move up the evolution ladder didn't conflict with my new faith because the church I went to concentrated on day to day, rubber meets the road matters of loving others and loving God.   So there was no conflict.  This was in the 1970's, when there was one unified voice amongst scientists.  Life evolved from simple life forms up to complex man.   We had the Haeckel embryo charts, we had evidence of missing links being found in China and Africa, the horse evolution chart and, after all, the rocks of the Earth all stacked up neatly from Pre-Cambrian all the way up to Cenozoic and, well, it was SCIENCE and I was making the Holocene glow with a Jesus slant, man!

The Power of Love





So I figured that the Genesis story was allegorical, and that once I understood God and the Bible better I would figure out how all that worked together.  I was busy learning principles of  being a good husband and father and friend.   I was throwing away lies and drugs and replacing them with truth and chewing gum.   Yes, quitting drugs and drinking was easy because I had the peace of God within me and didn't have any need to self-medicate.   I was not going to take psychedelic drugs to experience some kind of nirvana because they were illegal and I just didn't need that stuff.  But quitting cigarettes was hard and so I would chew gum whenever I wanted a smoke.   Needless to say I chewed cases worth of gum before I had the victory over the desire to have that Kool Filter King.

The Radarzoic Period

In 1977 I was a hard-drinking and drugging and living party animal who was born to run  I was restarting my career as a rock singer.  Then I got someone pregnant.  Then I got married.

In 1978 I was ready to dump the wife and try something else.  Then she got saved.  Then she began praying for me.  Then the pastor came to talk to me.   Then I got saved.   Then God began working on me.

In 1979 I was a Christian.   I began talking with the pastor and assistant pastor and learning more.  I began bringing kids and teens and some adults to church in a church bus.  I began singing in choir.

By 1980 I was a pillar of the church, with lots of other young married couples as friends.  I had become more successful at work and was moving from Union to management.  We signed a land contract with friends to buy a house just three blocks from my work. 

I was still a believer in long ages and macroevolution and the geological column and Uniformitarianism.  Nothing I heard in church caused me to investigate whether that was true or not, but it was what I was taught in grade school and high school and college and by magazines and books and television and movies.  The simple words of the beginning of the Book of Genesis seemed to be contrary to this, but I had put that on the back burner.   There was bound to be a plausible explanation for the possible disagreement there...a misunderstanding, an interpretation, I didn't know or care.   It had nothing to do at all with my daily life, my attempt to know God better, to be a better man, to succeed in life.   I was ready to go back to college and use my GI Bill to finish up my degree while still working and providing for family.   1980.

Phil Keaggy playing in 1980



It's funny how 1980 seems like yesterday.  Thirty years ago.  I was 28 years old and weighed 195 pounds and could work the tubing machines at work or drive forklift or band up the tubes or load the flatbed trucks with forklift and overhead crane.   I was strong as an ox and happy as a clam (although frankly why a clam would be happy kind of escapes me) and I was a Union steward but the front office was giving me some extra responsibility.  I was pretty sure they were going to offer me a foreman's job (and in fact that did happen later).    

Inevitably, just like everything else, God had a plan.   Oh yes, I think that God has a plan for my life, a plan that is completely subordinate to His overall plan and a plan that is not about me being rich and famous.  I believe in the Creator God of the Bible.   That is my worldview.   I admit it and clearly see it.   Some of you have worldviews and don't know it or admit it.  Hey, that is your problem.   Naturalistic Materialism is a belief system just as Christianity is a belief system.   Keep thinking about it and eventually you will get it...if you want to get it.  But I digress...

God is not my alibi




There was this famous hydrologist, a guy who is now passed on, the late Dr. Henry Morris.  He and a fellow named John Whitcomb had written a couple of books and recorded a few lectures and did some traveling around the country discusssing something they called "creation science."   One of my friends at church gave me a tape to listen to by Henry Morris and, when I asked, he lent me the entire series.   Henry Morris was a man who studied floods and how they worked and what they left behind.   He claimed that the rock layers left behind, those layers with all the fossils that I used to hunt for?  Yeah, those!   He claimed that all those layers were left by the Noahic Flood and the aftermath thereof.   He claimed that the actual evidence supported a literal interpretation of the Genesis account of both creation and the history of humanity.   Well, I had to investigate that and find out if what Henry Morris had to say had any validity...

To be continued...





And no, I do not think rock music is "of the devil!"



I am a Holy Soldier



And my wife wants this played at her funeral....although all at once!



17 comments:

Anonymous said...

tl;dr

Oh and puh-lease, Radar... You say,

"As usual, Darwinists make a big deal of a finding that they do not yet completely understand and wind up making claims they cannot defend. Stay tuned and see."

So wrong. So pitifully and painfully wrong. First off your entire assessment of the original articles again displayed your challenges when it comes to reading comprehension. The main thrust of the articles on this particular bacteria WAS NOT that they "ate" arsenic, it was that the DNA structure was actually composed of arsenic to some degree (unlike anything else on earth). Now, relative to your overblown criticisms, as I said before, your beef is with mainstream science reporting, not scientists themselves (that said, the individual scientists behind this particular paper may deserve some scorn, although not for the reasons you would put forward). In the end, unfortunately, with the way the media operates these days (blogs included), scientific study results usually get sensationalized and it sucks. That said, it's precisely episodes like this that makes science so great. I mean, before you were able to complain about the study because it didn't fit with your world view, actual scientists were hard at work looking at the science behind the study to make sure everything was Kosher. Apparently it wasn't. In addition to the scienceblogs link critical of the study that I posted in your first blog post on the Arsenic bacteria, here are a few more articles critiquing the results and NASA's handling of the whole thing.

http://rrresearch.blogspot.com/2010/12/arsenic-associated-bacteria-nasas.html

http://www.slate.com/id/2276919

http://www.nature.com/news/2010/101207/full/468741a.html

Oh and make sure, Radar, that you note that the actual science based criticisms of the study and it's highly publicized results, do not jive with the criticisms coming from your creationist masters. Although, upon further inspection, the post script of your creation.com article does link to the exact same scienceblogs article I left in your first post (SB also happens to be the home of Parangula BTW) and also one I have linked above. Too funny. As Jon has recently pointed out, it is just so weird that you guys (YEC creationists) will dismiss, as idiots, anyone that goes against your worldview (like say for example, all Geologists), yet when they support your own assertions, you hold them up as bulletproof experts in their fields. Shocking. Or rather, it would be shocking if it weren't also par for the course.

- Canucklehead.

radar said...

"My creationist masters?"

Are you on some kind of medication? This is NOT the arsenic bacteria post anyway, plus as usual you are reading way too much into the hype of this bacteria. It will be another "nylon-eating" scenario once they finish the research, just variation within kind being manipulated by man to whip up a headline and then slink away into the background.

radar said...

Most of the members of White Heart and White Cross disbanded to raise families and a few of them became music pastors at their respective churches. Why did Christian Rock music die out? Mainly because Christian rockers get married, have kids and give up touring.

I was a music pastor and a youth pastor, so I got to meet a few of the musicians from groups such as Petra and White Heart and Skillet and Newsboys and Third Day. One reason Skillet is still touring is because the lead singer/bass player married the keyboard player so they have a portable marriage. Most of these guys are playing music to encourage Christians and help draw new people to know Christ. Most of them are just very nice people to talk to...

I like and understand music people. Not everyone "gets" music. It might be like some people like dogs and some don't, not sure. I love dogs and love music and love life. I am never bored. How can anyone be bored? I would like the world to stop for a few weeks and let me catch up on some reading...I have two stacks of books about two feet high each to get to...maybe I should get a Kindle?

I chose following Christ and singing for churches instead of doing gigs with a rock band and I suppose a small part of me wishes I had formed a Christian rock band and stayed with it and given it a real chance. Came close, never got it together. Oh, well. We did have a family vocal band and we did have fun and this Christmas we are going to perform a concert for ourselves for old times sake. Me and my sons and daughters minus one Godson who was an integral part. Uncle Sam has him playing in a sandbox for Christmas, if you know what I mean.

Pray for our troops, will you guys? Most of the military over there also have spouse/children/parents/siblings back home wanting them back.

radar said...

Oh, one more thing...I am pretty sure both Rex Carroll, the lead guitarist of White Cross and John Entwistle the bass player for The Who and maybe even Phil Keaggy as a teenager were all "tapping" before anyone had heard of Eddie Van Halen. Not dissing Eddie, but he didn't invent anything new with his tapping style, he just helped popularize it and he really did it well. Toss in Clapton and Hendrix and Tony Palacios and Jimmy Page and...I love shredders!

Anonymous said...

"It will be another "nylon-eating" scenario once they finish the research, just variation within kind being manipulated by man"

Can we take it you have some evidence to back up this allegation?

Lying for Jesus is not a noble occupation.

highboy said...

"Are you on some kind of medication?"

He needs to be.

Anonymous said...

Well, you two would certainly know, I suppose.

ZZZZZZIIIIIIIIIINNNNNGGGG!!!

- Canucklehead.

Oh and Radar, you are the one that talked about the arsenic bacteria in this post, not me. And how on earth do you assert that I am "reading way too much into the hype of this bacteria"? Um, that would be you, bud, not me. I've been posting the scientific criticisms of the study. Are you even paying attention any more?

And why would anyone waste their time on something so ineffectual as "praying" for the troops?
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/12082681/ns/health-heart_health/
When they could actually do something for the people that have fought for your country?
http://www.fallenheroesfund.org/Donate.aspx
Prayer is useless, donate instead.

Anonymous said...

I should note that having a loved one in a war zone over the holidays is nothing to snark at. Prayer on the other hand...

I hope very much that he returns to you guys safe and sound.

- Canucklehead.

radar said...

Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain. Darwinists are trying to make ridiculous and invalid claims about the Mono Lake bacteria.

First, it was released as a NASA astrobiology project. But Mono Lake is in California and as far as I can tell California is not yet in outer space, even if the governor must be from Planet Nine.

Second, these were bacteria that lived in an arsenic environment naturally and researchers tried weaning them off of phosphorus artificially and making them be supported on arsenic. So in fact "ate" arsenic is a pretty good description.

Third, they have not yet figured out how the arsenic bacteria made the adjustment to the arsenic environment but they certainly did NOT have them do it long-term. The bacteria immediately reverted to form when phosphorus was made available.

Fourth, they do not know if these bacteria could live and produce on their own.

Fifth, there is no evidence that any new information entered the genome but rather it appears that the ability to adjust to the environment was present within the genetic pool of these bacteria and that some of them had this information and could adjust. Some could not and died.

So how this actually is anything more than another example of a brilliant design feature of bacteria, made by God to live just about anywhere in various extremes of temperatures and chemicals and etc? Variation within kind. Yahoo, you are caught up to Mendel.

radar said...

Some of you creeps making comments about not praying for the troops should find another blog to annoy. Just go away.

Prayer does help, and I promise you I know lots of stories from guys who were in Afghanistan and Iraq. I know of entire units that prayed together before every trip over the wire. One of my Godsons has done a couple of tours as an IED hunter in and around Baghdad, a captain, and his entire unit prayed for safety daily. He never lost a man.

God has bigger plans than one guy's life, but He tells us to pray about things. My son was leading a foray over the wire one day and he just got a bad feeling about taking the route so he took his group another way. The Humvee unit behind them took the normal route and got ambushed and all were killed or wounded. They all called the place "ambush alley" but that was that one time and once is all it takes.

My buddy who is now back home, they were rebuilding an airfield in Iraq and their commander decided the unit needed to take a break and come back to the job the next day. Their work hut was blown away by a random missile attack that day.

All three of these situations, the leader was a praying man and all three situations were life-threatening. My son would have been ambushed, my friend would have been blown up and my Godson faced IED terrorists daily for two full tours and not one bullet or explosion touched him or his men. They drew fire, took hits on their hardened vehicle, and etc, but they all came home in one piece.

God may choose to allow things to happen but He will listen to those who call out to him. I remember one WWII vet who used the old saw but he meant it..."There are no atheists in the foxholes, son." He said. He'd been among the Marine units that went island-to-island in the Pacific. He told me everyone prayed, gave names to their vehicles or tanks or planes or heavy guns and put pictures of pretty girls from back home up on the walls. They just about all cussed up a storm and they just about all did things they wanted to forget. God bless them all!

radar said...

Another thing, my Dad carried a "picture of Jesus" in his wallet. He told me he took it everywhere with him from the time he went overseas to fight until he got home and then kept moving it from wallet to wallet. He never talked about religion and we never went to church, so I grew up not a believer but I did remember my father and that picture. After I became a Christian he had a heart attack and I flew out to see him.

He was glad I was there and he was sorry about all sorts of things. He said he became a Christian before he went to Korea and, when he got home he decided that religion was a personal thing and churches just wanted your money.

Funny thing, that. My church is like a big extended family. Most of the money my church collects goes to support missionaries and help poor families in need while the paid staff all have to work side jobs to get by or are married to someone working full-time. Dad didn't know what he was missing.

Anonymous said...

I think you are being the creep here Radar. It is amazing to me that you think that the lives of your family, friends, blah, blah, blah ... are more important in the eyes of your "god of the bible" than the lives of those that were killed or wounded (including innocent children). You should be ashamed of yourself.
Have you considered how offensive what you wrote in the posts above would be in the eyes of christian parents who have lost their sons and daughters? Are you saying that they didn't pray for their kids at all, or that they didn't pray hard enough?
The people you describe above GOT LUCKY, bottom line, just like that platoon that followed your son's platoon got unlucky, extremely unlucky. I mean, most christians would say that god had a "plan" for those men and women, but if that's the case then PRAYER IS USELESS.
Do something to help others or donate money. Its way better for humanity in the end, especially if the alternative is all that useless praying.
Prayer is useless and its been proven (see link in my post above). Stop reading meaning into random events. Sorry to break it to you, buddy, but in the grand scheme of things, you really aren't very important.

- Canucklehead.

Anonymous said...

"it appears that the ability to adjust to the environment was present within the genetic pool of these bacteria and that some of them had this information and could adjust"

Are you aware of any evidence to support this?

Anonymous said...

Re. the anecdotal evidence of prayers preventing deaths of praying men etc., I can understand that such high-stress situations would ramp up the superstition factor.

But if what you're saying is actually true, then there would be verifiable evidence of this - namely, that the number of casualties would be skewed toward non-believers and the number of survivors skewed toward praying, devout believers.

Is there any such evidence? If not, then all you've got here is a case of confirmation bias.

Anonymous said...

So... Radar, do you have any such evidence? If not, are you willing to concede that it may be a case of confirmation bias?

Anonymous said...

And lest we forget:

"It will be another "nylon-eating" scenario once they finish the research, just variation within kind being manipulated by man"

Can we take it you have some evidence to back up this allegation?

Anonymous said...

So far this looks like a no.