Europe - Thy Name is Cowardice

A few days ago, I received a newsletter from Lamb&Lion Ministries. One of the articles included a reference to a blistering piece written about a year ago by Mathias Döpfner, entitled "Europe — Thy Name is Cowardice." Those fluent in German can read the original article here, but if not, you can find a full translation at Snopes.com. I found Mr. Döpfner's article to be bold and extremely to-the-point. He definitely isn't going to pull any punches! I encourage all of you to read it; it's only a little over 750 words, so it shouldn't take that long. But because nearly 800 words is way too long for a post on this blog, I'll just comment on the article in general. Mr. Döpfner starts out by quoting a journalist named Henry Broder, who said a few days before this article was written that "Europe's family name is appeasement." The Europeans definitely do have a history of appeasement. The article points out that attempts at appeasement cost millions of Jews their lives during WWII. It allowed communism to gain a stranglehold on Eastern Europe and Asia. Today, this same theory of appeasement turns a deaf ear to the suicide bombings in Israel by terroristic Palestinian Muslims. And now, says Mr. Döpfner, we are faced with "a particularly grotesque form of appeasement." Since Islamic violence has been escalating in Holland and other parts of Europe, Germans have proposed appeasing the terrorists by instituting a national Muslim holiday!
A substantial fraction of our (German) Government, and if the polls are to be believed, the German people, actually believe that creating an Official State "Muslim Holiday" will somehow spare us from the wrath of the fanatical Islamists. One cannot help but recall Britain's Neville Chamberlain waving the laughable treaty signed by Adolph Hitler, and declaring European "Peace in our time".
"All Experience hath shewn" that Muslims look on such hopeless guestures as signs of weakness. Claiming that Islam will be stayed by a national Muslim holiday is like playing music from "The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe" when a cougar is about to pounce on you.
Only two recent American Presidents had the courage needed for anti-appeasement: Reagan and Bush. His American critics may quibble over the details, but we Europeans know the truth. We saw it first hand: Ronald Reagan ended the Cold War, freeing half of the German people from nearly 50 years of terror and virtual slavery. And Bush, supported only by the Social Democrat Blair, acting on moral conviction, recognized the danger in the Islamic War against democracy. His place in history will have to be evaluated after a number of years have passed.
We self-sufficient Americans may argue about the ethics of Bush's policies, but Europe knows him for what he is: a man who is not afraid to do everything he can to stop the flood of Islamic terrorism. Mr. Döpfner angrily blasts Europe for sitting back on its haunches and doing simply nothing. It is not because of "our morals", he says. It is because of "our materialism":

We Europeans present ourselves, in contrast to those "arrogant Americans", as the World Champions of "tolerance", which even Otto Schily justifiably criticizes. Why? Because we're so moral? I fear it's more because we're so materialistic. For his policies, Bush risks the fall of the dollar, huge amounts of additional national debt, and a massive and persistent burden on the American economy, because unlike almost all of Europe, Bush realizes what is at stake — literally everything. While we criticize the "capitalistic robber barons" of America because they seem too sure of their priorities, we timidly defend our Social Welfare systems.

Stay out of it! It could get expensive! We'd rather discuss reducing our 35-hour workweek or our dental coverage, or our 4 weeks of paid vacation, or listen to TV pastors preach about the need to "Reach out to terrorists, to understand and forgive". Appeasement? Europe, thy name is Cowardice.

I wholeheartedly agree. In Him, D3


God like an Elephant? I don't think so!

There is a story supposedly told by Buddha that has no doubt been floating around for centuries. It is an analogy that claims to explain the truth about all religions. It is the story of The Blind Men and the Elephant.

"Once upon a time there was a certain raja who called to his servant and said, 'Go and gather together all the men in this city who were born blind, and show them an elephant.' The servant did as he was told. He said to the blind men assembled there, 'Here is an elephant,' and to one man he presented the head of the elephant, to another its ears, to another a tusk, to another the trunk, the leg, tail, and tuft of the tail, saying to each one that that was the elephant. "When the blind men had felt the elephant, the raja went to each of them and said to each, 'Well, blind man, tell me, what sort of thing is an elephant?' "Thereupon the men who were presented with the head answered, 'Sire, an elephant is like a great rock.' And the men who had observed the ear replied, 'An elephant is like a fan.' Those who had been presented with a tusk said it was a spear. Those who knew only the trunk said it was a snake; others said the body was a wall; the leg, a tree; the tail, a rope, the tuft of the tail, a brush. "Then they began to quarrel, shouting, 'Yes it is!' 'No, it is not!' 'An elephant is not that!' and so on, till they came to blows. "Brethren, the raja was delighted with the scene. "Just so are these preachers and scholars holding various views blind and unseeing. . . . In their ignorance they are by nature quarrelsome, wrangling, and disputatious, each maintaining reality is thus and thus."

How sweet. I suppose that all religions are really just different interpretations of the same basic God-aura. We can call it "religious pluralism." WRONG! The interesting thing is that those who quote this story always place themselves in the position of the raja. We, the dirty argumentative "preachers", are relegated to the position of blind men, groping around for something we supposedly know nothing of. They say that all religions are the same. Fine. They can believe that if they want to. But promoting religious pluralism is no different than promoting any other religion. They are in the same boat, "just as blind" if you will, as we are! Besides, the position that all religions are the same is fundamentally absurd. Why? God is not something subjective, like my favorite flavor of ice cream. If God or a god actually exists as a fact, then His supposed characteristics cannot be both contradictory and true! It is a logical impossibility. Mutually exclusive facts do not exist. Jesus said that "I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No one can get to heaven apart from Me." Islam says that "There is no god but Allah and Muhummad is his Prophet." Get it straight: if Christianity is true, nothing else is. The same goes for Islam, Roman Catholicism, Mormonism, and a host of others. But let's give the religious pluralists the benefit of the doubt (without allowing them the position of all-knowing raja). In this case, we are all blind men arguing about something we have never seen. What we need is a man who is not blind. Someone who can see the thing that we argue about so fiercely. A Man did exist who claimed to be this "seeing man". His Name was Jesus Christ. He could see . . . because He was the very thing that we argue about. He is God. But what is so special about Him? Other men have claimed to "see" what no one else can see. Buhhda himself, with the analogy I just quoted, was such a man. Muhummad claimed to have visions of an angel who told him about God. Hundreds of men, like David Koresh (Branch Davidians) and Joseph Smith (Mormons) were supposed vessels of knowledge about God. What makes Jesus different? Today, we can visit Muhummad's grave. And Joseph Smith's grave. Mary and a myriad of saints, the Roman Catholic objects of worship, lie moldering in their coffins. Every other man who claimed to be God's vessel of truth is dead and gone. The grave of the Lord Jesus Christ is empty. In Him, David S. MacMillan III


Global . . . Fluctuation?

I recently wrote an article questioning whether the rise in hurricane intensity and frequency was caused by global warming. This sparked a lively controversy, so I followed it up with another article. New information has pushed me to write yet a third article, which you will see here. European scientists are concerned that the deadly summer heat wave of 2003 that killed thousands in France and triggered massive forest fires (see image at right) may have accelerated the growing greenhouse gas levels. When the temperature goes up, vegetation withers up and dies. Since plants cycle out the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, a loss of plant life means a corresponding increase in CO2. However, other scientists say that this is simply not a problem. The key lies in the specific way that plants absorb CO2. Plants use energy from the sun (photosynthesis) along with soil nutrients to separate CO2 into its constituent elements: oxygen, which is released back into the air for us to breathe, and carbon, which the plant uses to grow. Carbon acts as fuel. The more carbon that is absorbed, the faster plants grow. This means that abnormally high CO2 levels trigger runaway plant growth . . . that in turn synthesizes more carbon dioxide than normal, bringing the levels back down. Story taken from a live radio broadcast on National Public Radio. So it seems like all this hype that environmentalists have been screaming about for decades isn't such a big deal after all. God designed our planet to cope with physical imbalances . . . just the way He wanted it to. In Him, David S. MacMillan III


Crippled Jetliner Skids to Safety in Los Angeles

Breaking News Yesterday afternoon, JetBlue flight 292 took off from Burbank, heading for JFK International in New York. The jet was loaded with 30,000 pounds of fuel for the cross-country flight. However, upon takeoff, the pilot realized that something was wrong with the front landing gear. He immediately called in a distress call. A fly-by showed that the hydraulic mechanism to lower the front gear had malfunctioned. Instead of being aligned front-to-back with the jet, it was turned 90 degrees from the norm! There was no way that this jet could land normally; at the best the crippled gear would shear off upon landing, sending the nose into the ground and skidding the massive aircraft across the runway. The pilot flew to the LA airport, where the runway is 10,000 feet long. When you're stopping without brakes, you want a lot of skidway under you. He circled for over three hours, trying to burn off fuel, since an Airbus 320 cannot dump excess fuel. They wanted as little high-octane fuel as possible in case of fire upon landing. Final approach. The pilot lowered the rear wheels to the ground, and the jet sped along the runway at a terrific speed. Slowly and carefully, the nose was lowered until the front wheels began to scrape along the ground. Plumes of smoke rose as the rubber burned against the asphalt. The wheels burned down to the metal, and a gigantic plume of flame (see photo at right) erupted from the gear, searing the belly of the speeding jet. The captain held the burning gear against the ground and reversed the engines. The wheels burned lower and lower. Any moment, they were sure that the gear would snap off entirely. At the reduced speed that they were going, this would send the nose of the plane diving into the tarmac. Everyone watching television and listening to the radio breathed a collective sigh of relief as the flames subsided and the damaged jet slowed, then stopped. With the front wheels a puddle of rubber around the smashed front gear, the captain wiped his forehead, then began turning off the controls. I can imagine the words of the passengers as the flight attendant informed them that "it is now safe to turn on cellphones," and the shuttle wheeled out to pick up the passengers. "Well, hon, the landing was a bit bumpy, but we're down in LA. You can pick me up in about thirty minutes." Praise the Lord! You can bet that there were no atheists aboard that plane when it was all said and done. In Him, D3


Rita Prepares to Ravish Gulf Coast

Breaking News Hurricane Rita expanded into a Category 5 storm with 165-mph winds just a few minutes ago as it roared across the Gulf. Mandatory evacuations of Galveston, the expected "Ground Zero" of the hurricane, will begin at 7 PM. Texas governor Rick Perry has already advised families to move out now, saying that "Homes and businesses can be rebuilt, lives cannot . . . Now is the time to leave." Officials say that Galveston has never seen a hurricane of this magnitude. Obviously, there will be no massive flooding akin to Katrina and New Orleans, but with winds possibly reaching 200 miles per hour roofs will be coming off of houses and mobile homes will roll. This is not the place anyone should be. As Rita nears the northeast coast of Texas, the likelihood that it will strike The Big Easy once again is quickly decreasing. We cannot, however, forget the way that Katrina swung north to smash through the below-sea-level city seemingly at the last moment. Some speculate that it would be better if New Orleans was hit once again instead of some other place, since now the city is practically leveled and empty anyway. However, this would likely result in even less salvageable buildings and supplies in that area. The U.S. Minerals Management Service reported yesterday that 15 oil drilling rigs and 136 pumping platforms have been evacuated, representing approximately 11 percent of the oil output from the Gulf (Miami Herald). Damage from Katrina and now the Rita evacuations have cut normal Gulf oil production of 1.5 million barrels a day roughly in half, according to the government agency. Since Katrina evacuations began Aug. 26, the storms have cut more than 26 million barrels of oil production. This means that 4.7 percent of the Gulf's annual production has been sliced! We're talking about a major gas shortage here. Interestingly enough, a barrel of crude oil can yield anywhere from 8 to 32 gallons of gasoline, depending upon how much asphalt, butane, paint thinner, etc. is made from the same barrel. If the Feds wanted to (I'm not saying that they should because it would call Constitutional issues into question), they could limit the amount of extra-fuel oil products that are manufactured to make up for the lost oil refineries. As is shown by the image on the right, Rita is projected to smash directly into the Galveston area, then continue up through Houston and Dallas (the major population centers of Texas) into Oklahoma. Currently, images from the Weather Channel show that the hurricane is about 2/3 the size of Texas. Even though it is a Category 5 already, it has yet to hit the main body of the Gulf Stream source just southeast of the Texas coast. Landfall is expected to take place early Saturday morning. But if residents don't leave right now, they likely will not be able to make it out at all. Click here to see a map of your area color-coded to show the level of alarm. So, if you are anywhere close to the Gulf Coast, get off of your seat, turn off your computer, and GET OUT NOW! On another note: if you are separated from your friends and family, but in safe conditions, please visit Gulf Coast Connection to post your profile and stay in touch with your friends. In Him, D3

The Crux (or Crescent) of Islam

A recent article I wrote concerning the Iranian nuclear program sparked a lively debate in the comment section. I thought it was a good idea to post my thoughts on the subject: The majority of the Muslims in the Middle East are conservatives. They pray 5X a day, make their little pilgrimage, etc., and hope they can get into heaven. They openly rejoice whenever a terrorist bombing occurs. Many give financial support to terrorist entities. Muslims are not guaranteed their salvation. One of Muhammud's closest friends said that "Even if I had one foot in Paradise, I would not trust to the cunning of Allah." Muhammad himself did not know for sure whether he would "make it". The only way for a Muslim to be sure he will get to Paradise is to die while killing the infidel. If they succeed in this, all past history of failures and mistakes is glossed over, and they are ushered into heaven where their 70+ virgin wives await them ASAP. Such are the so-called "fundamentalist" Muslims, who make up a larger percentage than you might think. Many Muslims do not follow the Koran to the letter out of convenience' sake. They figure that they have more than a 50% chance without going on a terrorist mission, so they shoot for the easy way. However, if there is any open demonstration against the "infidel", these conservatives will quickly become radicals. Obviously, a nuclear holocaust is the very first thing that radical Muslims want! The more conservative Muslims who hold high office in Iran pay lip service out of one end of their forked tongues to us, and meanwhile hand weapons and funding to terrorist groups who are willing to do the "dirty work". One of the commenters said that "Iran says it's only planning to use the nuclear technology for the purpose of energy." Sure. Then why, when offered an annual supply of pre-manufactured nuclear fuel, did Iran refuse? The US and Great Britain offered to supply lower-grade nuclear fuel free of charge. But Iran had to have the higher-grade stuff . . . capable of making bombs. Israel is not hostile to the Muslims. They offend the Muslims simply by existing! Islam teaches that the Jews were turned into pigs and monkeys because they were so vile. Muslims will not stop attacking Israel until it is pushed into the sea. One of the commenters said that "the US then should be willing to disarm completely rather than complain about other countries feeling threatened and therefore wanting the weapons." Maybe if I set an example by destroying my handgun (hypothetical), the criminals will follow the example and do the same, but I don't think so. If Iran has nuclear weapons, the knowledge that using them would cause a nuclear holocaust might keep the conservatives from using them in an all-out attempt to destroy the U.S. and Israel. However, if the fundamentalist faction got their hands on some nukes, they wouldn't hesistate to start making plans for a full-scale attack. Therefore, anyone can see that it is in our best interest to keep nukes out of Islamic hands and in our own. To quote Teddy Roosevelt, "Speak softly and carry a big stick." If we carry the stick and make sure no one who hates us has one, maybe we won't need to use it. In Him, D3


Gulf Coast Connection!

Today, I met a guy at church named Ryan. Ryan lived in Longbeach, Mississippi until Hurricane Katrina hit; his family moved out right before the storm came through. Since his neighborhood and home is now in ruins, he will be staying in this area for about a year. We decided to start a website to help teens displaced by the hurricane connect with their friends who are also displaced. So, he and I created a Blogger account to set this up. The website url is http://gulfcoastconnect.blogspot.com. Anyone who has been displaced by the hurricane can send us an email at gulfcoastconnect@gmail.com with their name, information, contact email, and a picture if they wish. Then, we'll post their info on the site. I'll be setting up a search engine on the blog so that visitors can find their friends. So check it out! In Him, D3


Iran Prepared to Share Nuclear Ability

Iran recently re-opened its nuclear research program (see my earlier article here). Now, they have declared that they are ready to share this nuclear ability with other impoverished nations! Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad repeated promises that Iran will not pursue nuclear weapons. Then he added: "Iran is ready to transfer nuclear know-how to the Islamic countries due to their need." Due to their need? The only need that these nations have is to jihad against Americans. I wouldn't trust Iran or any other Middle Eastern country (barring Israel, of course) with nukes or any other nuclear ability for a single minute, let alone decades! To read the full article from CBS, click here. In Him, D3


Roe v Wade? No, Man's Opinion v God's Law!

I'm posting one of my assigned essays for my Legal Assistant Course through OakBrook. It's quite dense, but if you are interested in Roe v Wade or want to fall asleep, this article is for you!

Roe versus Wade can be considered to be the height of our government’s rebellion against God. To be sure, there have been more heinous judgments since then, but in this case the ever-rising conflict of man’s opinion against God’s law can be most clearly seen. It is to our benefit to examine this case to better understand the problems that riddle our culture today. The argument by the Court centers on the concept of “personal liberty” as possessed by the mother. This concept is based on the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which states that no state law can “deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law.” It is on this one word, “liberty,” that the Court’s argument rests.

Another important reference to “liberty” exists in the Declaration of Independence. “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, and are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, among which are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men. . . .” Here, the Founders pointed out that our rights proceed from and are dependent on our Creator; that we as human beings are subject to a higher power than the government. This reflects a God-centered basis for authority, where each jurisdiction is appointed by God to secure the rights that were divinely given in the first place.

Sadly, however, our Supreme Court has forsaken this Biblically-based system for one formed by man. Our Founders felt that it was necessary to anchor their legal philosophy in our inherent, God-given, unalienable rights; an “idealistic” philosophy of law, wherein all judgments are based on an objective, “ideal” standard. Instead of following the Founder’s lead, today’s Courts have begun to look at legal procedure from a “realistic” mindset, weighing out competing “interests” compared to changing societal norms.

In Roe versus Wade, the court claimed that the right of “liberty” in the Fourteenth Amendment was broad enough to cover personal privacy and physical freedom. This was then extrapolated to include a woman’s “right” to “terminate” her pregnancy. However, their reasoning fails miserably.

John Jay, the first Supreme Court Chief Justice, stated that we are a Christian nation. As Christians, we are accountable to God alone for our personal actions. If, as the court seemed to posit, pregnancy is solely the “mother’s” ordeal, than the decision to have an abortion would be outside of the civil government’s authority. Unfortunately for the Supreme Court, they fail to point this out in their case. Instead, they gesture violently towards the Fourteenth Amendment, calling the Texas law forbidding abortion an “infringement of the woman’s right of privacy”.

Moreover, the bench covered up the rights of the unborn in a cloak of deception. By feigning concentration on the woman’s “right of privacy”, and weighing this against the “state’s interests”, they successfully swept the unalienable God-given right of life beneath the carpet of a “realistic” legal philosophy.

Recall that the Declaration spoke of the God-given right to life as being inherent and unalienable. In other words, the personal rights of every human being: life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, cannot be weighed out or exchanged. They are irrevocable and cannot be compromised. Such rights are in sharp contrast to the Court’s assumed “right to privacy”, which they admit is “not unqualified and must be considered against important state interests in regulation.”

If the supposed “right” of a woman to “terminate her pregnancy” does indeed exist, it is but a “qualified” right, this is still somewhat duplicitous. An inherent right is by nature unqualified. The philosophical concept of a right is based on an unchanging principle; if a right can be weighed out subjectively it is nothing more than a temporary privilege. A qualified right is a contradiction of terms. However, the Court has decreed that this new concept of a “qualified right” exists in the Constitution. Roe versus Wade was not a comparison of a state’s regulatory interests with privacy rights. This case was a battle between a supposed, Constitutional, “qualified” right and a God-given, unqualifiable right affirmed in the second paragraph of the Declaration of Independence!

When men reject the clear “laws of Nature and of Nature’s God”, they inevitably end by pitting their own, subjective truth against the Law of God.

"For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for . . . mortal man. . . .” (Romans 1:21-23)

God help our nation!

In Him, D3


California Judge Rules Patriotic Pledge Unconstitutional

Today, a federal California Judge ruled that the Pledge of Allegiance is unconstitutional. This is a ruling that is sure to be brought before the U.S. Supreme Court, probably under the judgment of John Roberts, whose Senate confirmation hearings ended today.

Michael Newdow, the vehement anti-pledge atheist, was barred from bringingMichael Newdow views earlier decision by Supreme Court to throw out his case on procedural grounds suit the last time he tried because he lacked custody of the child he was claiming to protect. However, now he represents other parents who also object to their children hearing the phrase "under God". As a result of this, U.S. District Judge Lawrence Karlton has ruled, based on an earlier District Court decision, that this phrase violates the "Establishment" clause of the First Amendment and therefore must be stricken from the pledge.

Karlton has issued a statement saying that he is prepared to sign a restraining order preventing the recitation of the pledge in California until further notice. His full decision can be downloaded here.

In their lawsuit, each of the adult plaintiffs testified that they were made to feel like "political outsiders" due to the government's "embrace of Christian monotheism." Karlton claims that his decision is "one which will satisfy no one involved in the debate" but which "accords with my duty as a judge of a subordinate court." He is referring to the earlier decision by a higher district court which ruled in favor of Newdow the last time.

Such a decision as this one will likely be appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court. However, Newdow's chances there look pretty bleak. FOX News Correspondent Megyn Kendall on the Brit Hume show had this to say about this issue:

"In my opinion this does not look like a court that is ready to strike down the Pledge of Allegiance. When they punted the first time, several of the justices, including Rehnquist, O’Connor and Thomas all wrote concurring opinions saying we should kick this thing out on the merits, too. We shouldn’t just punt on the procedural ground, we should throw it out on the merit . . . everybody concurred that it ought to be thrown out."

You can view the full transcript of the Brit Hume Show here.

The Washington, D.C.-based Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, a party to the case, has announced that it will be appealing the decision to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

It seems that even though the Pledge of Allegiance has been temporarily taken from California, it will be restored, as the Supreme Court Bench doesn't seem likely to strike it down. However, it is a shame that such an absurd case has come this far. Karlton's decision stated that "the pledge's reference to God violates school children's right to be free from a coercive requirement to affirm God." His claim that he is only following the decision of a higher court is hogwash. "Coercive requirement to affirm God?" Give me a break!

In case you haven't seen it lately, the First Amendment reads as follows:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, nor prohibiting the free exercise thereof.

So Congress can't establish a particular denomination as the national religion. I don't see anything there that would make school children's acknowledgement of the fact that God exists "unconstitutional"!

Can any of you readers explain this to me? It seems to me like Old Judge Karlton needs to see a psychiatric specialist or something.

In Him,



Supreme Court Oath of Office

As a student of OakBrook College of Law, I receive articles written by the college staff on a regular basis. This is an article The Supreme Court Justices and other federal judges take the following oath of office: I, _________, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will administer justice without respect to persons, and do equal right to the poor and to the rich, and that I will faithfully and impartially discharge and perform all the duties incumbent upon me as ______ under the Constitution and laws of the United States. So help me God. The language of this oath is not in the Constitution, like the oath for the President. The Congress has prescribed the wording of the oath. See 28 U.S.C. 453. I wonder what impact it would have if Congress modified the oath of office for judges to include a commitment to the principles of the Declaration. This could be done as follows: " ... under the principles of the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the laws of the United States. So help me God." As you know, an oath of office is a serious matter. Maybe this language would cause the judges to consider the relevancy of the philosophy of government articulated in the Declaration when interpreting and applying specific provisions in the Constitution. Robert J. Barth Associate Dean


Refuting a refutation of supposed attacks on evolution

On my joint-owned blog, The Truth About Macroevolution, we had a comment left by a John Connolly that, instead of giving evidence for evolutionism, gave 15 rebuttals of what he considered to be creationist attacks on evolution.

As far as we can tell, he copied the article verbatim from The Scientific American. John Rennie, the editor in chief of the Scientific American, wrote the article in early 2002. The full editorial can be viewed here.

Since this article is rather long, I won't post the entire thing here. Instead, I'll respond point-by-point, email style, significantly cutting down the original.

When Charles Darwin introduced the theory of evolution through natural selection 143 years ago, the scientists of the day argued over it fiercely, but the massing evidence from paleontology, genetics, zoology, molecular biology and other fields gradually established evolution's truth beyond reasonable doubt.

"Massing evidence.". Isn't it strange that no matter how much I beg them, evolutionists have yet to present one valid point of evidence that can even come close to holding water?

Some anti-evolutionists, such as Philip E. Johnson, a law professor at the University of California at Berkeley and author of Darwin on Trial admit that they intend for intelligent-design theory to serve as a "wedge" for reopening science classrooms to discussions of God.

Schools are supposed to teach objective truth. If it is obvious to the reasonable person (scientist, layman, etc.) that it is objectively true that God created the universe, shouldn't it be taught in schools?

Besieged teachers and others may increasingly find themselves on the spot to defend evolution and refute creationism.

It is of interest that the majority of cases concerning this issue deal with teachers that are "besieged" by the government and by secular science in an attempt to stop them from teaching the truth of Creation.

Next, The Scientific American lists 15 common arguments against evolution and their summary "refutations".

1. Evolution is only a theory. It is not a fact or a scientific law.

He goes on to give a long analysis explaining that when scientists call something a "theory", it doesn't mean that it is a theory along the lines of the scientific method or that they distrust it; it is a theory just like the Theory of General Relativity. I understand that. However, we contend that evolution never even made it past hypothesis level; it is a theory along the lines of the scientific method only if you give it quite a bit of slack (see my article for further explanation). In subsequent defense against the allegation that evolution relies on indirect evidence:

All sciences frequently rely on indirect evidence. Physicists cannot see subatomic particles directly, for instance, so they verify their existence by watching for telltale tracks that the particles leave in cloud chambers. The absence of direct observation does not make physicists' conclusions less certain.

This fails to realize that the so-called "evidences" for evolution are much more indirect than subatomic particle theory. The difference is this: subatomic particles exist in the present. Evolutionism is a speculation that states that, in the past, natural selection and mutations combined to turn molecules into monkeys into men. Since we don't see this happening today, this is an unobservable speculation about the past; it has nothing to do with repeatable natural processes that we see around us (like subatomic particles).

2. Natural selection. . . . (read the rest of this article)


Global Warming: Putting the cart before the horse!

A recent article that I wrote concerning Hurricane Katrina and global warming sparked a lively discussion about the subject in the comments section. So, I've decided to write a longer article dealing expressly with the global warming controversy.

The concept of global warming arises from the existence of greenhouse gases. These molecules (Carbon Dioxide, Ozone, Methane,and many others not produced by man) trap heat from the sun and hold it to the earth, keeping it a comfortable temperature. If it were not for these gases, the earth would radiate nearly all its heat back into space at night, freezing each and every one of us when it's dark and frying us in the daytime.

Naturally, a major imbalance in the amount of greenhouse gas would either result in superheating or supercooling of the earth, both of which would be disastrous to our health. Since the time of the industrial revolution, the amount of CO2 (Carbon Dioxide) produced by the hand of man has increased dramatically. This means that if we don't stop this, our atmosphere will get too hot, right?

Wrong. CO2 is only one of many, many gases that act in this wise. You can click on this link to see a long list of greenhouse agents at Scorecard.org. Also, the overall amount of greenhouse gas produced by man compared to that produced by natural process is hugely unbalanced; this site points out that human activity produced only 0.28% of the full amount of greenhouse gas that is cycled through yearly. So the propensity for any imbalance being a simple natural fluctuation is huge.

But, in any case, there has been a large increase in atmospheric levels of CO2. The figure below, taken from this site, shows just how much:

Looks pretty bad, doesn't it? But take a look at the bottom of the chart. This graph has been truncated, or cut off at the bottom. The span of the chart is from 250 ppm to 360 ppm; only 31% of the actual length of the chart. In other words, the actual CO2 growth line is just as long but only a third as harsh.

So, is there a corresponding temperature increase that matches the CO2 increase? The answer is a resounding NO! The data given by environmentalist wackos would seem to suggest that it is increasing; see this image from The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change:

However, the proof is in the pudding yet again. Take a look at the temperature span: from -0.8 degrees C to +0.8 degrees. That's a full graph span of only about 2 degrees Fahrenheit! A more honest example of this data would be as follows:

What happened to all the crazy ups and downs? This graph shows a y-scale spanning 8 degrees Celcius instead of the paltry 1.6 degrees Celcius. A change in the temperature of 1.6 degrees is not significant, especially when it varies as much as is shown in the chart. A change of 8 degrees is . . . which is exactly what we don't see. It is likely that this increase of 0.15 degrees is just natural fluctuations.

So why isn't the increase in man-made CO2 mirrored by an increase in temperature? As I pointed out before, man-made CO2 is only a small fraction of the huge amount of greenhouse gas. We don't know how much CO2 would cause a noticeable increase . . . would tripling the CO2 do the trick? How about increasing it by a factor of 10? 100? We simply don't know. However, it is obvious that global warming won't produce significant change for a long, long, time. Some people have claimed that the increase in CO2 is "building up" for a huge increase in the temperature. But such speculation is nothing more than "the stuff that dreams are made of."

When their data has failed them, the environmentalists inevitably come up with their last defense: the environmentally correct Pascal's Wager. Pascal's Wager basically points out that a non-Christian has nothing to gain if they are right and everything to lose if they are wrong.

The members of PETA and EPA always turn this around like this: "Well, since we don't know how much more CO2 it will take, we'd better be safe than sorry! If we are wrong and the CO2 didn't cause global warming, than we've lost nothing, but if we are right, then we will have gained everything!" Sounds appealing, but no cigar. The costs to cut down on greehouse gas output are simply enormous compared to the highly speculative benefit of decreasing the temperature .01 degrees.

The environmental wackos have put the cart before the horse.

In Him,


Who's Really at Fault?

After the devastation from Hurricane Katrina has begun to come under control, hundreds have begun playing the blame game. "Bush didn't do this." "The National Guard didn't do that." "The Federal government should've responded quicker." But oh, we can't possibly cast any blame on the Mayor of the Big Easy or the Lousiana governor. Everyone knows that Bush caused the whole hurricane in the first place.

I received a forwarded email with an article from some reporter in Florida. Who knows if it actually is from a reporter who's been "researching what went on before the storm hit", but the author makes quite a few excellent points nonetheless. Take a look.

I think all of Mayor Nagin's pomp and posturing is going to bite him hard in the near future as the lies and distortions of his interviews are coming to light. (Mayor Nagin claimed when the National guard arrived, the men were sitting around playing cards and would not respond to his pleas for help in evacuation.)

On Friday night before the storm hit Max Mayfield of the National Hurricane Center took the unprecedented action of calling Nagin and Blanco personally to plead with them to begin MANDATORY evacuation of New Orleans and they said they'd take it under consideration. This was after the NOAA buoy 240 miles south had recorded 68' waves before it was destroyed. President Bush spent Friday afternoon and evening in meetings with his advisors and administrators drafting all of the paperwork required for a state to request federal assistance (and not be in violation of the Posse Comitatus Act or having to enact the Insurgency Act). Just before midnight Friday evening the President called Governor Blanco and pleaded with her to sign the request papers so the federal government and the military could legally begin mobilization and call up. He was told that they didn't think it necessary for the federal government to be involved yet. After the President's final call to the governor she held meetings with her staff to discuss the political ramifications of bringing federal forces. It was decided that if they allowed federal assistance it would make it look as if they had failed so it was agreed upon that the feds would not be invited in.

Saturday before the storm hit the President again called Blanco and Nagin requesting they please sign the papers requesting federal assistance, that they declare the state an emergency area, and begin mandatory evacuation. After a personal plea from the President Nagin agreed to order an evacuation, but it would not be a full mandatory evacuation, and the governor still refused to sign the papers requesting and authorizing federal action. In frustration the President declared the area a national disaster area before the state of Louisiana did so he could legally begin some advanced preparations. Rumor has it that the President's legal advisers were looking into the ramifications of using the insurgency act to bypass the Constitutional requirement that a state request federal aid before the federal government can move into state with troops - but that had not been done since 1906 and the Constitutionality of it was called into question to use before the disaster.

Throw in that over half the federal aid of the past decade to New Orleans for levee construction, maintenance, and repair was diverted to fund a marina and support the gambling ships. Toss in the investigation that will look into why the emergency preparedness plan submitted to the federal government for funding and published on the city's website was never implemented and in fact may have been bogus for the purpose of gaining additional federal funding as we now learn that the organizations identified in the plan were never contacted or coordinating into any planning - though the document implies that they were.

The suffering people of New Orleans need to be asking some hard questions as do we all, but they better start with why Blanco refused to even sign the multi-state mutual aid pack activation documents until Wednesday which further delayed the legal deployment of National Guard from adjoining states. Or maybe ask why Nagin keeps harping that the President should have commandeered 500 Greyhound busses to help him when according to his own emergency plan and documents he claimed to have over 500 busses at his disposal to use between the local school busses and the city transportation busses - but he never raised a finger to prepare them or activate them.

This is a sad time for all of us to see that a major city has all but been destroyed and thousands of people have died with hundreds of thousands more suffering, but it's certainly not a time for people to be pointing fingers and trying to find a bigger dog to blame for local corruption and incompetence. Pray to God for the survivors that they can start their lives anew as fast as possible and we learn from all the mistakes to avoid them in the future.

An excellent article, don't you think?

In Him,



New Name: the Same Site

Hey Cyberspace,

As you've probably noticed, this site has experienced a MAJOR facelift. Not only has a new header image been posted, but I've entirely changed the name of the site! What used to be "D3's Blog" is now "In Rejection of Mediocrity"!

I had been thinking about a name change for quite some time, and I recently decided on something similar to "In Pursuit of Mediocrity". Of course, I didn't want to put in "Pursuit" but rather something exactly opposite. "Rejection" seemed to fit the bill pretty well, so that's what I went with.

I'll also be renovating quite a bit of the sidebar content. A while back, I discovered that post pages can be used as separate sections, so that's where I put my Links and BlogRoll Stats. Soon, BlogRoll Chats will follow.

I'm also thinking about adding cycling "thought for the day" and "Scripture of the day" sections in the sidebar with their own RSS feeds and maybe even some animated image links.

Does anyone have any suggestions as to what I can do to make this site easier to navigate and more attractive?

In Him,


Gas Prices Soar in Wake of Katrina

One of the most widespread but least horrendous things Katrina has done relates to gas prices. The hurricane severely damaged 12 oil rigs in the Gulf, 5 of which will have to be scrapped. Eight major refineries that produce gasoline, diesel and jet fuel and heating oil were stopped last week and several more had large output cuts. That dropped the region's refining capacity by nearly 90 percent, contributing to a surge in retail gasoline prices and spot shortages around the country. 36,000 of the 55,000 oil workers in Lousiana lived in the direct path of the storm, which means that it will be a long, long time before all the oil plants are fully functioning. As a result, gas prices have shot skyward in tandem with the Labor Day weekend and the traumatic impact of Katrina. Costs at the pump quickly climbed to over $3.00 a gallon in most American cities, but in the areas close to Katrina's path even higher rates were a norm. A record $5.87 a gallon at a BP station was reported in Atlanta, Georgia. In most cases, the rising gasoline prices were simply efforts by the station owners to make sure they could afford the next shipment. In other cases, the stations were raising prices to avoid running out of gas. Jim Klun, the owner of a Marathon Petroleum franchise, dropped his prices Thursday, admitting that it had increased prices too much in the confusion that has gripped gasoline suppliers and retailers all over the country since Monday's storm. Dealers like Klun insist that they aren't trying to take advantage of customers. Typically, they keep only one to three days of supply on hand, and they claim that they have to raise prices to afford the next delivery of higher-price fuel. While there are no official price controls, laws in some states do place general limitations on gas price increases. Gas retailers say they frequently take the heat for huge price increases, but most are at the mercy of large oil companies that set the price they pay for their wholesale fuel. This makes a disaster like this one tricky for everyone involved. Mr. Klun said he consistently priced 20 cents over his wholesale cost. Even with gasoline prices at $2.99 the morning of the hurricane, posting a $3.69 price on Wednesday shook him like never before. "I've never been close to that," Mr. Klun said. In the light of this expanse of pump costs, many are turning to other sources of fuel. Take a look at this article that tells how diesel trucks actually can run on strained vegetable oil! In Him, D3


Mounting Hurricanes caused by Global Warming?

An August 29th TIME article asked this question: Is Global Warming Fueling Katrina?. Jeffrey Kluger, the author, starts out rather open to the Global Warming Bandwagon. However, he wavers back and forth between the two sides before settling somewhere in the middle. I have to say that, as usual, I have a very definite opinion on the issue (isn't that what the blogosphere is all about?). Kluger pointed out that hurricanes have been happening for a long, long time; long before "human beings began chopping down rainforests and fouling the atmosphere." I don't know why he includes the rainforest comment; radical environmentalists oppose rainforest demolition because it causes extinction. The rainforests have little or nothing to do with global warming. Admittedly, however, he does list a basic "recipe for disaster". 80 degree+ ocean temperatures, a cool upper air layer and a warm lower layer, plenty of humidity. Stir well, preferably with a preexisting weather disturbance, and watch the music! As the storm spins away from the equator, the "coriolis" effect of the earth's rotation magnifies the spin (southern hemisphere hurricanes spin opposite from northern ones), heating up the action and producing a major storm like Katrina. The article goes on to list some disturbing facts about the increase in hurricanes. From '95 to '99, 33 of these devastating storm sliced through the Atlantic seaboard, smashing all previous records. And the average intensity of the storms is rising as well. A study from MIT shows that hurrican wind speeds have increased nearly 50% in the past half-century. The leader of this study, MIT hurricane specialist Kerry Emanuel, points out that "There seems to be a clear correlation" between "increasing strength and length of storms and a temperature increase of 0.5 degrees Celcius on the surface of the sea during the same period." But even the experts disagree. William Gray, hurricane forecaster at Colorado State, says that the study's findings are inconsequential. "It's a terrible paper, one of the worst I've ever looked at." He does not believe that the worldwide level of cyclone insensity is increasing, and questions Emanuel's position that "global warming" is causing the surface of the ocean to warm. Gray said that the ocean-temperature increase is natural. On this point I would have to agree. Phenomenon like the cyclical El Nino fluctuation and a myriad of others make attempted connections between the burning of fossil fuels and increase in hurricanes rather absurd. According to Patrick Michaels from the Cato Institute on the Brit Hume Show, when looking at the data for the Atlantic basin over the last 50 years, "only 10 percent of the variation in hurricane strength and frequency from year to year is related to sea-surface temperature." He went on to point out that although Atlantic hurricane frequency has increased since the late 1990s, it was quite low for several decades, ending around '95. This means that we were below the long-term mean for several decades.

"We've now come up to run above the long-term mean. And when you add several years of below and several years of above, you know what you get? Average!"

Makes sense to me. Besides, an overall temperature increase of 0.5 degrees Celcius, when previous deviations from the average have gone as high or low as nearly 2 degrees, isn't really that incredible. It helps when you put it all in perspective. Global Warming theory predicts average temperature to rise steadily, contoured to the rise in greenhouse gas output. Although the greenhouse gases produced by humans have skyrocketed, there is no significant matching increase in how hot it is. End of scenario. What do you guys think? In Him, D3


Katrina: the Height of Devastation

Hurricane Katrina was undoubtedly one of the most horrific natural disasters in United States history. Three days after the maelstrom nearly leveled the Lousiana and Mississippi coasts, over 80,000 are still trapped in New Orleans alone. Hundreds of thousands have been made homeless in just a few days. The original blast of wind and water was bad enough, with 27-foot storm surges and gusts powerful enough to rip gigantic structures apart and carry ships across the land. Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour said Tuesday that the coastal city of Biloxi "looks like Hiroshima," with 90% of the buildings leveled or damaged beyond repair. But the water dumped as Katrina continued through the U.S. flooded rivers and lakes, bursting dams and spilling billions of gallons of sewage, gasoline, and putrid water into below-sea-level New Orleans. What has become one of the most-viewed pictures of the tragedy was taken by the Coast Guard on August 29th (see image at right). The photo shows one of the major highways completely flooded, with overpasses leading straight into the brine. Although officials have refused to release any casualty lists, they say that the death toll is probably in the thousands already, with tens of thousands more still at risk. Right now, people are still huddled in attics and on rooftops, hoping beyond hope to be rescued. But help is not far away. National Guard and Coast Guard helicopters have been working around the clock, hoisting stranded refugees from their perches and carrying them to safety. Thousands of people left homeless are crowded into the giant Louisiana Superdome, where conditions are steadily worsening. Sadly, however, this is the least of worries now. Looters are rampaging through flooded cities, destroying what little is left of them. Some are only trying to get food. But most . . . are not. When the water began to rise, officials threw open the doors of the jails in the Big Easy, releasing thousands of convicts into the streets. These desparate criminals have stolen automatic weapons and roam New Orleans in gangs, looting anything and everything in sight. In bursts of anger, they have even taken to firing on rescue helicopters. New Orleans mayor Ray Nagin has declared the equivalent of martial law in the devastated districts due to the mounting chaos. A large contingent of the police force has been told to stop relief efforts and end the looting. BlackHawk and Chinook helicopters will be flying in 240 Regular Army troops from Fort Hood to Louisiana to quell riots and aid in the rescue work. After surveying the damage, Bush is asking Congress to approve a $10.5 billion relief package for the ravaged territory. He said that even so it will take years for the area to recover. And the hurricane season is not yet over! What can I say? I will end with a quote from Luke 21:
"There will be signs in the sun, moon and stars. On the earth, nations will be in anguish and perplexity at the roaring and tossing of the sea. Men will faint from terror, apprehensive of what is coming on the world, for the heavenly bodies will be shaken. . . . When these things begin to take place, stand up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near."
Even so, come quickly, Lord Jesus! In Him, D3