April 16, 2018

Zuckerberg, Hate Speech, and Congress


by Cowboy Bob Sorensen


Mr. Markie Goes to Congress

As you probably know, Facebook is having some difficulties. Because of the data scandals, their stock is plummeting, and people are quitting it — including Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak. Do some searching for "reasons to quit Facebook", and you'll see that warnings are not only sounding now, but have been for years.

He offered his standard apology, but people are not expecting much. It didn't mean much before, after all.

via GIPHY

Mark Zuckerberg had himself a little discussion with the US House and Senate. It's not just about selling information, but about discrimination, censorship, and hate speech. Fazebook has a reputation for allowing terrorist speech (here is one report), then they get on the prod and slap down non-leftists (here is an example, his campaign was "shocking and offensive"). Two black women (I know they're two black women, they keep telling us this) who go by the name of Diamond and Silk, had their Page taken down. There was a great deal of publicity, and it is back up now. Just a coincidence? No, I don't think so.

Zuckerberg said that hate speech is "linguistically nuanced". Sounds like a four-bit term, but it actually has no meaning. My take on it is that this term is like "hate speech", vague and to be manipulated for someone's convenience. In Facebook's case, censoring Christians, Israelis, and non-leftists.

Interesting that Bookface is selling information, but is not all that concerned with fake names. I've reported obviously false information, such as some jasper that had a profile icon and name that sounded like he was out of the killer robot from outer space franchise. Others were equally outrageous, even deliberately offensive to Christians and creationists. Same old story:
Thanks for your report - you did the right thing by letting us know about this. We looked over the profile you reported, and though it doesn't go against one of our specific Community Standards, we understand that the profile or something they shared may still be offensive to you. We want to help you avoid things you don't want to see on Facebook.
And so on. I have also reported hardcore sex video clips, hate speech, and more. Bookface allows stuff that decent people abhor, but hypocritically bridles or bans decent people. Facebook is run by leftists, which is well known.

You know that raid on Trump's lawyer (violating attorney-client privilege)? Maybe they could have saved time by asking Markie.


I Have a Fake Name...

...and my real one (which you won't find). There is a very long story, but I'll have to tell some of it. In the midst of using the service, I was suddenly shut down. (No prior disciplinary actions against me, either, so it's not like I made one too many bad moves.) I had to prove I was old enough! What brought this on, I had no idea at the time. After showing my ID, I was still shut down. Why? They can't tell me "for security reasons". After testing with other names and where I used them (such as commenting in a certain atheopath group), I reluctantly agreed with the assessment of others: one or more angry atheists who is in power (or has friends in power) on Fazebook wanted me silenced. That's what they do when they cannot deal with logic. However, I kept The Question Evolution Project going. Atoms-to-atheopath evolution is foundational to atheism, you know.


Slapped Down for Alleged Hate Speech

On Sunday, January 21, 2018, I was logged out of Facebook by the Powers That Be. Seems that something posted at The Question Evolution Project was deemed "hate speech", and removed. It was a repost of an article called "Stopped in Time: Another Atheist Killing Spree". Let's take a gander at the notice:


Used according to  federal copyright law, Fair Use doctrine, for educational purposes (click for full size)
Let's see now... checking their rules, was it about...
  • Race? No.
  • Ethnicity? Not unless "atheist" is an ethnicity, so, no.
  • Sexual orientation? No.
  • Gender? No.
  • Disability? Aside from mental and spiritual disabilities, no.
  • Religious affiliation? Waitaminnit.
Your typical village atheist claims that atheism is a "lack of belief" in God, spirits, and the like, and not a religion, but that's all we have left. So, Fazebook is declaring atheism as a religion! Actually, despite the denials of adherents, atheism most definitely is a religion. But Bookface is unlikely to know that.

The atheopath who reported my "hate speech" later bragged about it, and blamed me that his own anti-Christian, anti-creationist Page was removed. I don't have that power, and he has done quite a few things to upset many people. 


Facebook's Future Relevance

When I responded to their replies of, "Nuh uh, nothing wrong with that obviously fake name or with the blatant anti-Christian obscenities you reported", I told them that they are not too big to fail. Facebook could become as relevant tomorrow as MySpace is today. People are leaving Fazebook for alternatives, or even nothing at all. 

I have no idea how many warnings from people and even the law that Zuckerberg and his ilk are going to ignore. If they change their ways, there is a chance to salvage Facebook. But I think the damage has been done, and they are spiraling downward.

Below is a video by Chris Plante, syndicated talk show host out of WMAL. He's my favorite commentator. This was edited for the main parts. (If you want the fun and information from the original three-hour show, complete with news and commercials, click here.) I respect Chris. I do not respect Zuckerberg or Facebook a whole lot.



April 8, 2018

Dealing with Persecution

by Cowboy Bob Sorensen

Although some sidewinders try to deny it, persecution of Christians is increasing in Western nations. Some professing Christians think that they are promised a life of giddy happiness, but we should expect persecution (1 Peter 4:12-14, Matt. 5:10-12, Matt. 24:9, John 15:20, 2 Tim. 3:12) , and we've had to deal with it since the beginning.


Christians are facing persecution, and it is increasing
Credit: Pixabay / Gerd Altmann
Some of the persecution is nonviolent, having to do with having our rights to freedom of religion and free speech eroded. We also have to deal with bullying, defamation, misrepresentation, criminal cyberstalking, and so on. Reports of direct, personal violence against Christians, such as this one, are more frequent.

Do you know the origin of the word persecution? We got it from the French, who in turn got it from the Latin. It means to follow with hostility. Some make a point of following us on the Web, then lying about us on forums, weblogs, harassment on our own social media accounts, and so on. (One poltroon complained about being "talked about behind is back" on weblogs and such, even though he was not named. Then he did the same thing by maligning Christians by name on atheopath sites. He's blind to his hypocrisy. But what do you expect from someone who calls God a liar?) It's interesting that follow has taken on a new meaning with the internet, since you can follow people on social media.

Atheists and anti-creationists get on the prod and attack Christians and biblical creationists with unfathomably bad logic and terrible science. They also like to pretend that they are trained psychologists. Instead, they are plagiarists of Wikipedia and atheistic propaganda clearinghouses, trying to build up their egos and justify their rebellion against God.

When standing up to them, Christians often encounter accusations of the "Dunning-Krueger Effect", which is essentially saying that atheists are smarter than us because they see how stupid we are, and we cannot see it. Similarly, when we point out their errors in logic or how they do not understand certain aspects of science, they accuse us of projection, which is a defense mechanism found in paranoid people. Basically, a person "projects" his or her feelings onto someone else, often anger or blame.

Related to those is when we point out the realities of persecution, even providing links to news stories, atheopaths brush it off and accuse us of being "paranoid". That is a dismissal of the reality of the situation (often by those doing the persecution), and moving the goalposts so that the Christian is at fault. (Folks like that like to attack the person instead of dealing with concepts.) Last I knew, paranoia is supposed to be diagnosed by trained professionals, and not by anonymous, uneducated people who are doing the persecuting. I suggest that they get examinations and treatment, and they should check for paranoia, the Dunning-Krueger Effect, and projection within themselves.

I did things a bit backward on this article. That follows below is a video by the late Adrian Rogers, "How to Prepare for Persecution". The material I wrote above is probably nothing that Dr. Rogers experienced, since he died in 2005. This message was in a series on the book of Revelation, but it is a good stand-alone sermon. Below the video is a link to the MP3 if you don't cotton' to watching the video.



MP3 direct download, click here.

April 1, 2018

No Reason to Doubt the Resurrection of Jesus

The bodily Resurrection of Jesus from the dead is the lynchpin of Christianity, because without it, our faith is in vain (1 Cor. 15:14, 19). The Creator of the universe (John 1:1, Col. 1:16) took on human form (he pitched his tent among us, John 1:14) and died on a cross for our sins (Phil. 2:6-11). Jesus defeated death by rising from the grave (Hebrews 2:14, Romans 1:4). Indeed, the entire Bible lays out God's plan of redemption of mankind from sin.


Scoffers try to find excuses to disbelieve the bodily Resurrection of Jesus from the dead. The Bible is reliable, and the evidence is clear.
Credit: Pixabay /acperez1
Some folks do not want to accept the historical narrative of the Bible. This is clearly from bias, not logic. Compare the Bible with legends and the sacred books of other religions, and there is a marked contrast: details. Other accounts are vague while the Bible gives specifics, many of which have been corroborated through archaeology and history. Mockers have attempted to come up with ways of dismissing the Resurrection, but those fail under scrutiny. The New Testament documents are abundant, the oldest of which are dated within a few decades of the actual events. Other ancient texts are far fewer in number, with more significant time gaps.

The Gospels are prima facie historical accounts and completely reliable. We are given the record of eyewitnesses (Jesus appeared to Mary Magdalene, and entrusted women to spread the news of the Resurrection, which was unthinkable in that culture). Also, we have the validity of Scripture, so there is no legitimate reason to doubt the Resurrection of Jesus.
Unlike many world religions, Christianity’s origins are not shrouded in an unwitnessed, mythical past. The Christian faith centers on the person and work of Jesus Christ. His life and miracles were witnessed by thousands, and His sacrificial death on the Cross was also a public spectacle. Three days later, God raised His Son from the dead, and over the next forty days, Jesus appeared to hundreds of individuals.

Overstating the importance of the Resurrection is impossible. It conclusively demonstrated Christ’s power over the grave, secured our hope of eternal life, and proved that He truly was and is the Son of God. Because He rose, Christ also proved that every non-Christian belief system is false, and that He will eventually return to judge this world (Acts 17:30–31).

So it’s no surprise that people have tried to deny the historic reality of the Resurrection. The attacks began the day of the miracle (Matthew 28:11–15) and have continued until the present day, from the Jesus Seminar to the recent “Jesus myther” fad. The ongoing assaults demonstrate that nobody has found a workable alternative. The biblical and historical evidence is just too overwhelming.
To read the rest or download the MP3 version, click on "Resurrection — No Doubt About It".



March 12, 2018

Roku Is My New Friend

by Cowboy Bob Sorensen

Like many other people in these here United States, we became tired of the ever-increasing prices for cable TV, and decided to join the "cord cutters" revolution. This is the streaming video thing happening. We did not even know it was such a big deal!


Cable Itself Became Expensive

Sure, cable television is very useful, especially for specialized channels or for people who live in areas that do not have over-the-air broadcast variety of availability. The biggest complaint is that prices keep going up. Another complaint is that you can get hundreds of channels but nothing to watch, or the same movies on several channels. (Satellite TV is not an option for us, and that has its own set of problems.) We started with the company of many names, one of which was Time-Warner Cable. We got the package of three services that had phone, high-speed internet and television. Prices kept going up, and when Charter Communications bought Time-Warner Cable, it became Spectrum. When the price reached about $244 USD a month and my bank account kept zeroing out, it was time to change.


There was Talk of Streaming Television

Y'all know about streaming, it happens on teh interweb all the time. You can hear a tune or watch a video while it is still downloading to your device, and when you turn it off, the content is gone. Big difference from a more standard download that stays on your computer. With streaming, you can watch live broadcasts of some television channels and podcasts. For a while, we were watching Netflix on the Wii gaming device, since it hooks up to the internet, but lost interest.

I remember hearing Ian Juby mention Roku back when he was doing Genesis Week. He said his program was available on the Genesis Science Network, which is available online and the Roku device. But since I could watch Genesis Week on YouTube, I wasn't all that interested in Roku.

But I kept hearing about it.


Making the Change

Spectrum offered us scaled-back packages, but they were still too expensive. Having done some reading up on Roku in the past, when the cost of Spectrum cable became too much to handle on our budget (and resentment at the constant price increases), we got serious about finding out our options. However, we don't watch that much television. What we do watch, we want to continue to see, you see. Can a Roku help with that?

I learned that Roku is an established player in the streaming competition. Someone stated that they use a gadget called "Fire Stick" in their house. Wazzat? Turns out it's a product of Amazon, and some versions work with Siri voice activation. Naturally, it has a heavy emphasis on Amazon rentals and purchases. Google is joining in the fray with "Chromecast", which has some nifty features where you can "cast" videos from your computer to your television. Apple TV and others are also joining in the streaming TV marketplace.

The prices on these things vary quite a bit, from about $29 to much higher. The more expensive versions have more capabilities, but we didn't feel the need for those. Roku is even installed in some "smart TVs". Just get us some channels and we'll learn as we go along, you savvy?

Roku is based in Los Gatos, California, which is considered a part of the Silicon Valley. Appropriate location. Their devices and services are primarily used in the US and Canada, but other countries have some of their services as well. Humorous observation: Pluto TV, another California-based service (mentioned below) has a channel called Cats 27/7. Los gatos is Spanish for "the cats". Except it's not for the ones you want in your home. Maybe that observation isn't so funny after all.


Special Hardware Needs

Since these streaming widgets work off the internet, you must have WiFi happening in your abode. Some have a direct ethernet connection plug, but the one that we needed did not. Besides, even though ethernet supposedly does not suffer from signal degradation over long distances, even if we had the right kind of TV, running the cable would be a logistics nightmare in this apartment.

Most of the major companies market toward newer televisions and HDMI connections are necessary. Yes, you can get a converter, but those can be expensive, and they still may not work with your set. Roku has the Express Plus, which works with both HDMI and our old composite set. So, we got that one.


Roku Express Plus and composite television

There's our Roku Express Plus. I wanted to show just how small it is (the Roku "Stick" models are not exactly huge, either). My distance glasses are next to it for perspective. I tampered with the screen and added an image so the picture looked better, and for another purpose that will be mentioned later.


Source: Imgflip, which directs us to the original video from Roku
The basics for connecting are not complicated. Users need to select the correct input.

"But Cowboy Bob, I'm content with my cable TV provider!"

Because our TV has multiple inputs, I was able to do something I thought was ironic, and watch our Spectrum TV through the Roku. Yes, we were not going to just jump into it, and did a side-by-side comparison to see if we wanted to invest more money by paying for channels on Roku. Some folks may want to have both cable and a streaming device so they can have more channels (both paid and free) than they know how to handle.

When I called Spectrum to cut out both the phone and television, they tried mighty hard to keep us and offer package deals. No go. But we have to keep the internet connection, since there are almost no other options here. Later that day I took back the DVR and remote. The guy looked...sad. Almost like I had slapped him in the face. Nothing personal, buddy, it's just business. And my money.


So Much to See

Roku has thousands of channels available. Many of these are free, and you can get classic movies, old television programs, comedies, musicals, cooking, anime, more recent movies, and more. One free venture is Pluto TV, which has many channels in itself, and you can even download it to your PC or smartphone. (I don't want TV on my smartphone, the screen is tiny and I don't want to waste battery power. But that's just me.) Some of the programs rotate; what was available last month has jumped the corral fence, and new stock has been herded in for this month. The Roku TV channel itself does this as well.

English is not your preferred language, or you want to improve your linguistic skills? There are many channels for viewers who want international content.

With all those things to watch, you may still want to see something that is unavailable for free. If you search on the main Roku screen, you are given the option to rent or buy movies and television episodes so they will be there when desired. You can also add those big names like HBO and such for a monthly fee.

Since I am a Christian, I looked for those channels. Yes, they are there, but many are Heretic Central, and not so many that are Bible-based. Also, I found a wagon trainload of Westerns, especially the very old ones.

There is also so much to hear as well. Quite a few radio stations are also available.


A Political Moment

Some folks of the leftist persuasion may want to skip this section. Those are the people who believe and propagate false reports about school shootings. In mid-February 2018, it was stated that there were eighteen "school shootings" year to date in the US. People have connotations of the extreme incidents where evil or deranged people went on shooting rampages in schools. However, the reported number is false, where incidents were included in the figure that should not have been there.

Naturally, Democrats and other leftists blamed the National Rifle Association and Donald Trump. NRA memberships have benefits, such as discounts on car rentals and such. Those leftist sidewinders wanted a corporate boycott (that's who they are and what they do), and several companies removed benefit participation. Obviously, they do not have the kind of spines that once made this country great. In the wake of the ridiculous bullying by the left, NRA memberships have soared.

Roku carries two NRA channels. Even though they are based in ulta-leftist California, Roku wasn't having any part of it. I speculate that since the NRA memberships have increased so dramatically, Roku may be glad they held their ground. Thanks, Roku!


Being of Some Account

Many of the services, including Roku itself, require users to have an account. This is generally free. A couple of times, I had to create an account, sign in, and enter the code on the TV screen so I could have the channel. When that happens, it's only once for each that requires you to sign up. Fine, I have a business email account. So far, this has not resulted in spamming.

Pay channels are plentiful, with a range of prices. Some are about $5 a month, others are $50 or more, depending on the package you choose. (I reckon that if you got one of the big packages, you might not be too keen on getting all those other channels. Clutter can happen quickly.) We opted for three pay channels. Most of these have free trial periods. (So far, I have not seen one yet that doesn't have a free trial period.) Unless you get something like an annual plan, you can cancel at any time, even after the trial period. Same with the free channels, just delete them and/or close the accounts if you've a mind to.

Many of these channels (pay and free) have apps or web access so you can watch the content on something other than a TV. These accounts often give you control over what channels appear; you can enable and disable some items.

DirecTV is smart. They have a long history, and were bought out by AT&T. At the end of November 2016, they launched DirecTV Now in the United States. This is a subscription service that is accessed through streaming providers and online. In areas where the provider has successfully negotiated and contracts allow, people can watch many channels live. See, this kind of "get with the program" is what cable providers need to consider if they want to survive — in my unhumble opinion. 

Portable

Since you have an account, your stuff is available on other Roku devices. You may have one for your main TV, and another in the bedroom. Same material. For that matter, if you have a "stick" version, you can take that with you. It was described as being useful for dorm rooms, hotels, and so on — as long as you have a WiFi connection available and the TV is modern enough to accept it. Sounds good, I might have to try that if I travel again.


Non-Certified Channels

There are some channels that are not officially recognized, called private, non-certified, hidden, and so on. Some are for test purposes, and any could come and go at a moment's notice. Looks like I could have The Question Evolution Project channel (as implied in my picture tampering). However, can't be doing things that violate copyrights! Some private channel makers do that, and Roku has shut some down. With things like YouTube and other video services, I wonder why I would need to make a channel. Maybe someday.


Streaming is Growing into a Deluge

The whole streaming business is growing, and growing rapidly. Things are changing almost monthly, with more services and channels being added. It's interesting to see how these providers and streaming services have developed, and I'm curious to see what the future brings.

There are many sites with information and tips to help people commence to doing the cord-cutting thing, and you can find more on social media, including forums. Several of those sites are linked in this article.


Disadvantages

These are based on my experience, observations, what other people say, and so forth. They may be common among all streaming devices. Again, this technology is developing and growing mighty fast, and these disadvantages may be a thing of the past soon.
  • The Roku remote is tiny and could be easy to lose. However, you can download a remote control to your smartphone, which some people prefer because of the phone's keyboard option. Each service has a different menu layout for you to navigate, and many are tiny. I'm about ready to get out the binoculars so I don't have to keep standing close to the screen to see what's happening in menu land.
  • On a related note, the sites for some of the services are user hostile. Very annoying to navigate, and some are mighty uppity, saying they won't support your browser. Quit with the prima donna stuff, Sally, and make things usable.
  • Local channels are difficult to obtain through streaming, so you may have to subscribe to pay services or get an antenna. Because of contracts between providers and such, people are not able to stream certain channels that are not in their area. You can pay extra for some, such as CBS All Access. I want to see MacGyver and a few others, but to pay? Well, sometimes you just have to, and the CBS thing also has content that is only for subscribers. You know, like Hulu, Amazon, Netflix, and others are doing.
  • Lack of DVR is a big problem for us, since some shows we like are on at inopportune times. Providers like YouTube TV ($40/month) and others have a kind of cloud DVR service. Just interrupted myself while writing this and signed up for YouTube TV, I'll let you know how it goes. One of our other pay channels may be getting put out to pasture. 
  • Similar to DVR, channels that provide live TV need to ramp up the "on demand" services. Even if last week's episode is kept available for a short period, say even two weeks, I suspicion that it would please quite a few people.
  • Finding where you left off can be difficult. Where was that movie, again? I started it Thursday night, had to stop, now it's Sunday evening. Maybe I'm asking too much because of all the channels involved, but it seems like there could be a "bookmark" function on Roku.
  • The media player needs work. Great idea to hook up streaming with your computer so you can watch on a bigger screen, but other developers have taken up the slack. This article mentions two of the possibilities, but I have not tried them. I think Roku needs to improve their version of that service.
There are other disadvantages, but they can be endured, worked around, or we wait until the services get more developed. Several of these are more like preferences than actual disadvantages.

Over All, It's Awesome

Will there come a time when offices, waiting rooms and such are using streaming devices instead of cable? Cable providers need to wise up. Although I'm just sharing my experience and not hawking for any particular service (having almost no knowledge of the other streaming devices and their services), I get to wondering if I should sign up for the Roku affiliate program. Yes, I'm enthusiastic and even having some fun. Also, I can breathe easier because now I can pay my bills without fear of zeroing out my bank account.


via GIPHY

February 22, 2018

Science Does Not Correct Itself

by Cowboy Bob Sorensen

There is a connotation of science where scientists gather information, make a hypothesis, test it, revise as necessary, it becomes a theory, and eventually a law. Somewhere along the line the thing gets put out to pasture if the facts are recalcitrant. Such a view is not only naïve, but ignores human nature. Scientists are human, after all. 


Scoffing at new material

One expression I have encountered when discussing the origins controversy is that "science corrects itself". Aside from the reification fallacy (science is not a living thing, but scientists may correct themselves), this has been shown to be false — often in areas of technology. Great inventors were laughed at, such as Robert Fulton and the Wright brothers. It was said that if people move too fast (aside from dangerous acceleration, change of direct, and deceleration), they would have physical problems or even die. Scoffers were silenced by results. Some people attribute this ridicule to fear of technology; fear of robots and artificial intelligence may or may not be founded. I reckon it started with the industrial revolution.


Science is does not correct itself, and scientists tend to protect the consensus
Credit: Pixabay / Gerd Altmann

Phlogiston

Resistance to change has appeared in other scientific areas. People cling to the consensus; they may not want to "rock the boat". For example, scientists believed that phlogiston was the invisible ingredient that caused things to burn, and some were adhereing to it long after it was disproved.


Death in the hospital

A much more tragic insistence on consensus was with Hungarian doctor Ignaz Semmelweis. Women were dying from infections in hospitals after giving birth, and he used excellent critical thinking skills to isolate the problem and present a solution. Although he did not know why having doctors and students wash in a chlorine solution helped, deaths declined markedly. His peers laughed at him, and refused to consider the results, partly because he could not show the cause. His poorly-written treatise also hurt his purpose. He died a broken man, and he was only trying to save lives. Semmelweis was later vindicated by Pasteur and Lister. See "Ignaz Semmelweis: Medical pioneer persecuted for telling the truth" for more.


Blaming the staff

As an aside, the company where I work was having problems with completing data production. The Clock Nazi was blaming the staff for not working hard enough, and for "cheating". When I tried to offer my data processing skills and asked questions, he was blaming the day shift, while the night shift was "working harder". I pointed out that all the indications were of a software problem, since there was a major change about the time the problems began (the IT people at The Company frequently foul up the system). I wanted him to consider several factors, including timing, results, what changes were made, and other things. He insisted on blaming the staff. After he was made to go away, his views continued with his successors, since they prefer to listen to people on the inside instead of listening to the people who actually do the work. We will never know if I was on the right track or not. Admittedly, this is not about science per se, put it is about logic, human nature, and especially pride.


Overpopulation

In 1968, expert on insects Paul Ehrlich published The Population Bomb, which put people into a panic. He had projections about the bleak future of mankind due to overpopulation, which were discredited. It has been said that the entire population of the world can fit into New Zealand, New York City, Texas, Alaska...depends on who you read. I'll allow that it would be a mite uncomfortable, though. (I still have a vague memory of Overpopulation, a poster from the 1970s by John Pitre. The land was full of people packed together like sardines, with no land in sight. Probably inspired by Ehrlich. It was hysterics, not reality.) I suspicion that this population excitement was based on leftist political agendas. Even though the concepts were refuted, some people still have a kind of extreme overpopulation concept today. For more about Ehrlich and his book, I recommend the first part of this podcast of The Briefing, free to listen, download, or read the transcript.

Climate changes

For a time, it was thought that the world was going to have another ice age, and that idea persisted until fairly recently. Then it became global warming. Today, we hear most often about global climate change. There are scientists who reject man-made global warming, and the climate alarmists have been show to use faulty data and outright fraud. This fearmongering is based on old Earth and evolutionary concepts, which are based on circular reasoning and preconceptions. These fears are also based on an assumption that God does not exist or is not in control of his creation. 

Climate change is a darling of secularists, leftists, and globalists, who reject rational interpretations of true data. Instead, they prefer the hype and bad information, as climate change activists play on fears and the ignorance of science. Just look at the alarm over carbon dioxide, for example. Don't these clowns know basic science, and how plants need the stuff and give us oxygen in return? 

Evolutionary consensus

I'll end with Darwin's speculations about evolution. Although scientists disagree on so many areas, and although it has been falsified many times, Darwin's true believers crank out rescuing devices left and right. Speculations are passed off as actual scientific research, and there is an overabundance of terrible science and worse logic. Even though the logical conclusion is special creation, the implication that the Creator has told us about himself in his written Word is anathema to secularists. They are proudly rebelling against God, and upholding the erroneous consensus.

In the linked article about Semmelweis, you can see this quote: "The Semmelweis reflex is the informal name coined for the tendency of people to deny new evidence or knowledge that contradicts established beliefs or their worldview. As Semmelweis experienced, long-held ideas can remain entrenched despite potent evidence to the contrary, and people can and do persecute those who challenge the consensus, even when the consensus is wrong." Some folks go haywire and cry, "Katie, bar the door! We don't like the facts!" Evolution is an effort to remove God from the equation and essentially say that we created ourselves. God asked Job if he was going to blame God for his troubles so he could justify himself (Job 40:8), and I see many atheists and evolutionists attempting to do just that.




Pride

I'd like to add another aspect.

I believe that people want to think they're special, smart, right, and so forth. People professing atheism demonize God, the Bible, Christians, creationists, and so forth in what appears to be a pitiful effort to justify their rebellion against God. Scientists refuse to relinquish the consensus in light of new information, and the public follows what "scientists say" when it is convenient. Sure, people detest admitting they're wrong, even at their eternal peril. It all comes down to pride. That was Satan's downfall, and he's been using it to appeal to humanity ever since. God hates undue pride, and we have to rely on him to keep ours in check.

While some scientists make some corrections, a consensus can be firmly entrenched, and some will not change their views because it results in boat rocking as — well as pride problems. In addition, some scientists may have political or atheistic motives to protect the consensus. Science is definitely not self-correcting. Those who know the truth have to lead the cavalry charge up the hill and present the truth.

February 12, 2018

Genetic Tampering, Ethics, and Evolution

by Cowboy Bob Sorensen

This is an important topic for any day, but even more so for Question Evolution Day. Western civilization has strong Christian roots which have, in turn, effected ethics. That is mighty helpful, since modern science was mostly founded because of the biblical worldview. Unfortunately, with postmodernism, Darwinism, and materialism galloping wild and free, ethical and moral concerns in science are fading into the background. One example is of scientists who want to keep human embryos alive even longer before killing them.


Question Evolution Day cloning genetics CRISPR editing ethics

Other countries do not have such ethical constraints from the get-go. China has been working on the CRISPR genome editing tool, and are "unfettered by rules". While we have ethical concerns, the ChiComs are materialists and force atheism on their people, so we know where their "morality" will lead. 

In addition, China is moving forward with cloning, announcing that they have successfully cloned two monkeys. The concept of cloning gets some folks on the prod, with visions of glass vats full of bubbling water and creatures in various stages of growth. It's not that easy, requiring a great deal more than test tubes and storage units. 

Although "identical" twins are not absolutely identical, they are natural clones. However, there are genetic variations that occur in cloning. If someone had the means and took a notion to clone a hero or a tyrant, when the child became an adult, he or she could have a far different personality than that of the source. Like gene editing, cloning is also an area where people have wrestled with ethical questions. At the moment, unethical secularists seem to be persuading people to their point of view.

Do we want people with a materialistic worldview in charge of such potentially beneficial or destructive ideas as cloning and genome editing? The Western world is becoming increasingly secularized, while places like China don't pay ethics no nevermind. Atheism is enforced, even though it is irrational and incoherent, and science is not possible in a consistent atheistic worldview.

Christians who believe the Bible know that we were created in God's image, and humans have value and dignity. The idea of cloning humans should be alarming to us, as well as the probabilities of increasing eugenics and abortion. Hopefully, we can present the biblical creation worldview and supporting evidence so people will begin to question evolution. They need to see that life has purpose and value, and we are not just cosmic and biological accidents. People also need to see that evidence supporting special creation and refuting evolution is largely withheld by secularists. Ultimately, we hope to see them repent and trust in Jesus Christ for their salvation.

As usual, I have some items that I'd like to share with you. These are my main sources and inspirations for this article. First is from The Briefing Podcast by Dr. Albert Mohler. Free to read the transcript, listen online or download, click here. Second, "Monkeying around with cloning". I hope you'll listen and or read them. Remember, we are created beings, not accidents of materialistic processes.

January 10, 2018

Archaeology Supports the Bible

People who doubt the authenticity of the Bible, whether unbelievers or liberal "Christians", will occasionally appeal to archaeology in their attempts to reject God's Word and continue riding the owlhoot trail. However, they are showing massive ignorance as well as relying on fallacious reasoning. Although the Christian's faith is based on the Word of God, there is evidence for our beliefs. Maybe I'm unusual, but I actually found the material I rounded up and presented below to be rather exciting.


Archaeology supports the Bible, history, and the Bible's authors
Credit: Pixabay / Heather Truett
Archaeology is a newer science when compared to some of the more established disciplines. The subject matter requires careful excavation of unoccupied areas. This is a huge reason that Jerusalem and other areas are left alone, as not only do people live there, but buildings are erected on much older foundations. 

When some people claim that the Bible is historically inaccurate because certain things have not been discovered by archaeologists, they are committing a passel of fallacies. For one thing, they conveniently overlook the fact that archaeologists have verified many accounts in the Bible, and other historical documents have supported it as well. Also, if something has not been found, that proves nothing and is often times a fallacious argument from silence. Two additional areas of bad reasoning to keep an eye out for include arguing from incomplete or suppressed evidence, personal preference. Gotta watch out for tricky disbelievers, they suppress the truth and try to justify their rebellion against God (Rom. 1:18-23).

Scoffers are also arguing from presuppositions; they are biased against the Bible from the get-go. Add to that some arbitrary assertions, erroneous interpretations of other historical records, and you have people acting like evolutionists — they can't find evidence because they already expect the Bible to be wrong. 

Also, a frequent trick from atheists and liberal "Christians" is to try and put Bible-believers on the defensive. This includes utilization of the genetic fallacy, rejecting material they don't cotton to. They want evidence for the Bible from outside it, showing their ignorance again of what all the Bible entails. Atheists and other unbelievers make assertions with a "prove me wrong" attitude, but we need to call them out on their fallacies and have them back up their claims — and not just with the confirmation bias of, "I found a liberal scholar who agrees with my preconceptions" kind of thing.

Another area of bad thinking I need to mention is prejudicial conjecture. That's when someone has an uninformed, biased opinion and needs to express it. Atheists do this frequently, especially about biblical creationists. 

Now we come to some things that I really hope you'll examine, and mayhaps file away for when you need information on these examples of archaeology supporting the Bible.
Was the Bible written by men who were inspired by God or was it written by men who were telling tall tales, motivational stories, or trying to deceive in order to gain something for themselves? Were the authors of the books of the Bible who they claim to be? Because if they were not then we have a problem, how did men who were either delusional or deceptive write a book that, apart from authorship, contains evidences of divine origins? That is, how did writers who were lying or deceived get the details correct? That is one overall evidence that the Bible writers were authentic.
It is not possible to actually confirm that any particular individual wrote a book of the Bible, apart from what the Bible says and what has been passed down from tradition. The same is true for all ancient manuscripts. There are no signatures to compare, no fingerprints, just copies of what they wrote that have been passed down through the centuries.  What we have now is archeological evidence and old manuscripts.
To finish reading this first article, click on "Who Wrote the Books of the Bible". Then I have some more material below.

The above article focused on the authors of the Bible, and this next one goes into some fascinating detail on locations in the Bible. It's by an archaeologist, Dr. Bryant Wood.
As our Western culture increasingly abandons all semblance of Christianity, more and more people think the Bible is just a bunch of myths. . . . The short answer is encouraging. Archaeologists have found evidence that supports the Bible, but many times the evidence is ignored because of preconceptions about the Bible’s historicity, or their dates or places are wrong for the biblical events. The longer answer is even more exciting. Any supposed contradictions turn out to be human errors, not Bible errors. Consider five of the most common examples.
To read the rest or download the MP3 version, click on "Digging Past the Doubts". Also, I recommend this short article discussing the importance of how the Bible is historically accurate, and how it applies to our theology, "Genesis is both History and Theology".  



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