April 23, 2010

What is the Alternative — Really?

Buona sera. No, I'm not going to be serious on you. Just a bit of pondering that was too long for yesterday's grouping.

I like many kinds of music. My main choice is rock. There are so many sub-categories and styles, sometimes I wish people would take Billy Joel's remark to heart and say, "It's still rock and roll to me". Even so, I suppose some of the categories are useful. When I want to listen to Christian rock, I don't want to find my way through raunchy stuff until I get there.

One category that kind of grinds my gears is "alternative". Alternative to what? It's still rock, isn't it? Sure, there's a style difference from "mainstream" rock. But then, rock itself is supposed to be non-traditional and rebellious. Also, "alternative" is what the 1970s and 80s punk and New Wave evolved into. (Yes, I said "evolved". In this case, the term is valid.) But I have some news for you, Buttercup. The "classic rock" group The Beatles were doing "alternative" music before the term was even considered!

An even bigger gear-grinder for me is the synonym for "alternative", and that is "new music". Yeah. This genre, through its various incarnations, is thirty years old. It's not "new music" anymore. Stations like WRRV say that they are the "new rock alternative". Well...I hate to break it to you, but there are a heck of a lot of groups that have the same sound.

I put it to you that "alternative" is just another mainstream, and "new rock" is not new.

Not that any of this matters, I just wanted to spout off about it. Anybody else want to join in? While I'm waiting, I'm going to look for some music by Switchfoot.

April 21, 2010

Not a Chance

I maintain there is much more wonder in science than in pseudoscience. And in addition, to whatever measure this term has any meaning, science has the additional virtue, and it is not an inconsiderable one, of being true.
— Carl Sagan

Buona sera.
I was going to go for something lighter, but Lee Strobel fueled more thoughts in me about evolution and random chance.

I have always been amazed when scientists and anti-theists will say ridiculous things like the Carl Sagan (rhymes with "pagan") quote at the top. They will claim that belief in God is not only irrational, but that it takes away the wonder of the universe. Let me ask you something: Which is sillier, to investigate the way God has performed his wonders, or to investigate the dead ends of a philosophy that is based entirely on random chance?

When a biochemist examines the intricacies of, say, a single cell, he or she is faced with astonishing complexity and evidence of design. And yet, there are people who believe that something as amazing as a single cell (let alone, an organism such as a human) can happen by chance, but the computer that they are using is a product of intelligent design. Listen up, Cupcake! If the odds are far enough against something happening, it will
never happen, no matter how much time you give it. A single cell will not form by chance, nor will a human. The odds against it have too many zeroes!

Reality has taken away from some of my joy in science fiction. When The Doctor finds a robotic life form that has "evolved intelligence", it depresses me because it is based on evolutionism and random chance. But it
cannot happen! Robots are far, far less intricate than humans, and do not have any capacity for solo development. Even evolutionists should find that concept to be silly.

Scientists just hate to admit that they do not know something. They have a great deal of faith that evolutionism will be vindicated, that "a mechanism for this to happen will be found one day" and so forth. Have you ever noticed how hot and bothered evolutionists and atheists get when someone offers an alternative explanation like, say, Intelligent Design? Lee Strobel quoted a scientist in The Case for a Creator that scientists propose hypotheses all the time, big deal. But this stuff, no, it's jealously guarded. I believe atheists defend evolution with the zeal of Al-Qaida destroying "infidels". Well, I'm a scientific infidel, because I cannot believe in their random chance faith.

I am not a Creationist or proponent of Intelligent Design because the philosophies of science have failed to explain the origin and complexities of life, the universe and everything. No, accepting Intelligent Design works for many of us because
it is the best explanation. The facts and theories fit. It is more difficult to believe that there is no God than to believe in him. After all, the evidence is for his existence, and against the blind, gibbering god of random chance and evolution.

"Before the mountains were born or you brought forth the earth and the world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God."
Psalm 90.2 (NIV)

April 20, 2010

Atheistic Arrogance Revisited

Buon giorno. Today's visit will not be loaded with references and proofs. Instead, it will be a philosophical discussion to spur mental activity within people who are actually capable of rational thought.

This was sparked by Lee Strobel's book, The Case for a Creator. An atheistic journalist with a background in law, Strobel tells of his discussions with extremely qualified scientists and how he lost his faith in atheism. Yeah, Zeke, I know that's what you're afraid of, but carry on, anyway, willya?

The Case for a Creator goes against my grain in that it takes an old earth view, and I am a young earth Creationist and Catastrophist (read: global flood at the time of Noah). But he still manages to bring up some extremely powerful evidences against random chance and evolutionism.

This is not an actual book review, and I want to make it clear that I'm putting my words in here as well as Strobel's words.

In my own thinking, scientists are rejecting established cosmology and assumptions, but the orthodox scientific philosophy does not like to make that widely known. When I was teaching Creation Science about fifteen years ago, there were books available going against the establishment, such as The Big Bang Never Happened. That was certainly not a Creationist book, the author came up with another philosophy entirely that was outlandish. His problem was simple: Orthodox scientific philosophy did not have the facts on its side.

I liked one area that Strobel emphasized, how scientists like to say that the Earth is nothing special, just another rock in space like millions of others. The problem is that there are too many special considerations and extreme coincidences that have to be in place to make life possible on Earth. It is all a very delicate balance, including the orbit of the moon, distance from the sun, the sun's position in the galaxy (too close, radiation from the galactic center will make all life impossible, for instance), the kind of galaxy that we are in and so forth.

When you get into astronomy, geology, biochemistry and everything else, you can see that everything happening by chance is laughable. Saying that there is a creator is a logical part of the process, capice? Even simple cells are astonishingly complex, and we keep moving up into more difficult processes. Complicated systems within complicated systems — smacks of intelligent design, doesn't it?

I have had to deal with the faith of orthodox science many times, and people insist on following the blind, gibbering mad god of random chance, despite all the evidence that they are full of hooey. (I've known people who are willing to believe the impossible, that our position in this universe is a series of fantastic coincidences. Oh, please.) And remember, evolutionism is the justification for leftist political philosophies, but never mind about that now.

And these clowns have the audacity to say that I'm a fool for believing that the evidence points to a Creator! Agonizing. True science is willing to go where the evidence leads, and not ignore possibilities that do not fit the presuppositions of modern scientific philosophies. How scientific is this? Even though the evidence is not there, or contrary to what is observed, just believe in evolution, discoveries will be made to vindicate our beliefs. That is not science, that is faith!

One book title I remember is The Wisdom of Evolution. Uh, last I knew, the only thing that could have wisdom would be an intelligent entity, not the processes of random chance. The arrogant atheist wants to destroy my faith and have me replace it with his mad god. Fuggedaboudit! The evidence is on my side, and I can't help it if he is going to choose to be willfully ignorant.

Anyway, back to Lee Strobel. I am giving a qualified recommendation for The Case for a Creator. It will show to anyone with the ability to think that the evidence does indeed point to a Creator. Here's my response to that silly "poster" at the top of the page:

April 18, 2010

That Good Old Mystical Experience

by Cowboy Bob Sorensen
Edited August 27, 2015

My father had the belief that when people are getting into something very heavily, it is because they are seeking a religious (or mystical) experience. I have thought about that off and on for many years, and I see the truth of it more than ever.

People have said that there is a "God-shaped hole" in everyone's life that needs to be filled, and only the right shape will fill it. A friend of mine on Facebook suddenly cut loose and started making "friends" seven ways from sundown, as well as becoming a fan of assorted things. These things are of a mystical nature, everything from a spiritual version of UFOs, social justice movements, necromancy and all sorts of hocus-pocus things. To use the vernacular, those things "creep me out".

People have a need for a mystical or religious experience. They keep looking in the wrong places.
"Enlightenment" / Fabian Nick / FreeImages.com
What are ways that we seek our own mystical experiences?
  • Sports
  • Music star idols
  • Sex (I admit, sometimes it feels like Heaven, but you're not there)
  • Career
  • The object of our romantic affections
  • Science
  • Science fiction
  • Evolution
  • Atheism
  • Religion and ritual
  • Angels
  • Fantasy
  • "New" religions
  • Intellectualism
  • Hobbies
  • TV and movies
  • Politics
You get the idea, that list can become huge. Mix and match while you're at it. Whatever distracts you from having a personal relationship with God, taking a great deal of your time, becomes our religious experience.

I want to expand on the politics aspect. Ann Coulter has a book called Godless: The Church of Liberalism. It was fascinating! Naturally, it was from a political standpoint, but the truth is there: Liberalism is a kind of religion itself, with its own beliefs and sacraments. Last week, I heard an atheist Jewish liberal caller on the Mark Levin show get cornered. Levin said, "Liberalism is your religion". The caller said, "Yes". (The way the caller responded, I kind of wondered if it was the first time he had admitted that to anyone, even himself.) If you are forced to engage in political or religious conversations with liberals, keep an eye out for the attitude of fanatical religious devotion.

One thing liberals hate about Conservatives is that most Conservatives consider themselves Christians. (How real their beliefs are, well, that's between them and God.) So, leftists hate Christianity (and beat up on Judaism for good measure), so they stomp on that as well as on Conservatism. The party of peace, love and grooviness is anything but that. There is more peace, love, kindness, generosity and all those things that liberals are pretending to represent on the side of Conservatives. And I believe much of that comes from their Christian hearts. That's right, I said it! Our belief is not in an elected official.

Let me go a bit further. How much better would Conservatism be if the Christians involved were active in their relationships with God? Also, would liberalism even exist if liberals took God and the Bible seriously? (I have to grant them this, though, that the Jesus and Christians portrayed on movies and television would put anyone off!) Want to get things straightened out? Jesus is waiting to talk. The real one, that is, not the wimpy one that people imagine so they can feel comfortable with him.

April 16, 2010

Time Wasters: Accumulating

Look, I can't make them put a quality product in the dispensers. If they want to take the cheap way out, people will just use more. Then, the cheapskates will actually wind up paying more.

Oh, hi. Glad you're here. I was discussing cheapness with Nicky. I'm not going to talk about that with you. At least, not today. But I am going to talk about wasting money and time.

"Is this going to be a GTD thing, Cowboy Bob"?

I think it qualifies, yes.

Thinking back on my past lives and how much I have changed, I realized how much I felt that I had to accumulate. Years ago, it was difficult to get a decent audio recording from a television broadcast. Technology was different, and I was poor. I had to rig up something, splicing into the TV's speaker wires and using an input on the cassette deck. I just had to have the sermons by certain TV preachers, and built up a sizable collection.

This ran into money for tapes, stick-on labels, cassette storage albums (they were like notebooks, each side would hold eight tapes) and so on.

Similarly, there were some radio preachers that I liked. For some reason, I did not feel compelled to record all of their stuff, just special occasions. But some offered study materials as companions to their lectures, and I had to have those, too. Fortunately, they were free, even though I donated money on occasion.

Most of the cassettes were not played again. The study guides and other materials? Never touched. If I remember correctly, I wanted to have them "just in case" I was going to lead a Bible study group or something. Looking back, I know that it was just an excuse and there was some deeper neurosis at work.

I would get fond of a music group, and have to have the entire set, everything that was available. Some albums were downright crummy, with maybe one or two good songs, but at least I had the set!


I hope other people can see themselves in this. If so, my message is that you're wasting your time and money. You don't have to be obsessed with completing a set and "having all of them", whatever "they" are.

You don't need to get stuff "in case you might need it later". That is a clutter trap of the first order. I had my materials in storage containers of one kind or another, and then trashed it or gave it away. Time, money, energy could all have been put to better use. Granted, downloads, podcasts and the like only clutter up your online storage, but still, do you really need them all?

Just get what you like and need. Think before doing; that will help prevent you from getting irrational about accumulating stuff.

But I have to add that it is truly liberating when you realize that you do not need to love stuff, and that accumulating actually becomes a prison of your own making.

April 10, 2010

Amazing What People Believe

Situation 1: The Bible is comprised of 66 books that span a time period of over a thousand years, several languages, authors from various walks of life (including kings, fisherman and shepherds), yet it speaks with unity on all sorts of subject, including the most controversial. Just try to do that with ten of your own friends or co-workers!

Hundreds of prophesies regarding the life, death and resurrection of Jesus have been fulfilled, and some of those prophesies were made a thousand years ahead of time.

Archaeologists have verified the Bible, and a leading archaeologist said that no archaeological find ever contradicted the Bible. Also, the New Testament was written by eye-witnesses of the events related, which would mean that contemporaries could have easily quelled the excitement by their own eye-witness accounts to the contrary.

Response to Situation 1: "There is no evidence to even believe that God exists, and I certainly cannot believe that there is any validity to the Bible."

Situation 2: A man or woman claims to have been contacted by aliens from outer space. They have a message of peace for mankind, and deliver their message telepathically through their chosen vessel, who writes a best-selling book and makes money, even though the only evidence anyone has for the existence or message of these wonderful space beings is the word of the author.

Response to Situation 2: "I believe! Sign me up!"

April 6, 2010


Addendum: When I wrote this, I thought I was being original with the title. It turns out that the name is in use commercially. Oops! One real company has a product to filter your spam, and uses the "Spam-O-Matic" name. To be clear, I wrote about a product that contributes to the spam problem and is totally different. Sorry for any confusion. 

Buon giorno. For years, I've been telling people in person, through e-mail and in my Weblog that they should "clean up" e-mail messages before they forward them. Not only as a courtesy to their readers (we often have to scroll though a load of crap before we finally find the message two thirds of the way down), but to cut down on spamming.

"How do personal messages forwarded with e-mails add to spamming, Cowboy Bob?"

I knew you couldn't resist asking.

Here's a letter that I got from a company, asking me to review a spammer's tool:

Dear Bob,

May I ask you to write a review for Jet Email Extractor 6.5.130759 tool on your blog? I will give you a registration code in exchange.

Here is the link:


You may place this link alone without description or on existing post or create new post with a short description (language and text is up to you)

Here is brief information about our Product:

Digeus Jet Email Extractor is a great helper in conducting email marketing campaigns. Every email campaign requires large lists of email addresses. It's almost impossible to extract the email addresses manually. It was designed to collect targeted email addresses of potential customers to boost your sales and revenue.

Digeus Jet Email Extractor will build huge targeted mailing lists. It connects to lots of news servers and retrieves email addresses from the headers of each and every article in chosen target-related newsgroups.


* Captures email addresses at very high speed. Multithreaded. Average speed is 100,000 emails per hour!
* Extracts not only user's email but also name. Your direct marketing will be personalized! Adding personalized content to email marketing messages is great benefit
* Automatically removes duplicate and incorrect email addresses
* Extraction is strongly targeted to specific audience (you choose your audience by selecting target-related news groups);
* Exports the results into text file (mailing list)

For more information please visit (deleted)

Barbara Stuart
Tech Writer
Digeus, Inc

Can you believe the nerve of these people? Obviously, Babs here does not read my material. One simple fact is that I hate spammers. (If they give me crap about this, I can publish the full message headers and give her a real headache.) It's one thing to send out group mailings to people that you think may be interested in what you're saying. It's quite another to send out sales letters to people you don't know. That's clear-cut spam.
This particular puppy seems to be targeted for action in Usenet. But Usenet is dying off, so no wonder this mail extractor is marked down. Funny, too, that one of their other products is for the user's computer security. Yeah, right. They make a Spam-O-Matic, and people are going to think that their "security" isn't full of holes?

What I want to emphasize is that this is only one tool! There are extractors for that e-mail that people send to each other. Yes, that's right, those things you send with the Subject Line looking like "FWD:FWD:FWD:FWD: Subject: I Want You To Fall for the Same Hoax I Just Bit Into".

Plus, you left everybody else's e-mail address in there — a spammer with a utility just picked up a nice, fresh new set of addresses with the help of you and your friends. That's right, I said it! You come to me for the truth, so don't fuss when I give it to you, capice?

It's time to learn some safety and courtesy when you send out a group mailing.

Think about it. Didn't you just send a "Forward this to twenty people or God will drown a kitten" message just yesterday?

See that "Forward" button? Fuggedaboudit. Well, sometimes I use it to keep the subject line, but I delete the "FWD" stuff out of there. It's useful for attachments, too, like Uncle Don's "Hot Babes of Brazil" video; I don't have to re-attach it to the new mail if I start with the "Forward" button.

Copy and paste. It's a skill you should have picked up in your first week of using a computer. Click, drag, highlight. Then, CTRL+C (for copy). Open a new e-mail, click in the body of it, and CTRL+V (for paste), or a right-click and select "paste" from the drop-down menu. No, don't copy the addresses, Clyde! Just the real content that you want to send.

Load up the "BCC" field. That's the "Blind Carbon (or Courtesy) Copy" area; nobody knows who else gets the mail (family, friends, lovers, friends of lovers, business associates, etc.). Not only is your mail much, much tidier (as my own mail recipients know), but it's safer for them, and spammers get nothing from it. I've had people tell me that they don't want other people seeing their e-mail address, so this trick solves that problem, too.

Send it to yourself. Most mailers will not let you get away with leaving the "To:" field empty, so that's why you send it to yourself. Even better, you can send it to your auxiliary e-mail account. You know, the one you use to sign up for things because you're forced to use a valid address. Oh, please! Don't tell me that you don't have a throw-away account...

Everybody with me on this? Let's do our part to keep the Internet clean — at least, in this area. You're also protecting your friends and yourself. Plus, you're causing a great deal less irritation online.

Want to practice? Send this article to your friends using your "BCC" field (or yes, you can use the e-mail icon at the bottom of the article). They need edjamakating. (But if you do copy and send the text, I'd appreciate some credit; paste the URL from your browser in the message, if you don't mind. Tanks a lot, Pal! Tanks a lot!) Happy tidy e-mailing!

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