Posts Tagged ‘religion’
The land of Shavron is a nice place, seemingly favored by God. But, because of its location, it has found itself in the middle when its neighbors go to war. Many, many years ago, the Holy One appointed three Judges to rule over the people of Shavron. The current Judges are Gideon, the judge of battle; Deborah, the judge of instruction; and Samson, the judge of commerce.
This is a time of fear and uncertainty in Shavron. The neighboring lands are being menaced by the black leopards of Chetz. The only way to prevent a Chetzian attack on Shavron is to appoint a king, or other ruler, of Shavron; then, the Chetzians will leave them alone. Gideon, a rabbit, is totally against the idea, because it would mean abandoning the Holy One. He, and Deborah, a cheetah, try to convince Samson, a wolf, to join them before the Council to change their minds. Samson refuses, not convinced of the seriousness of the situation.
Gideon and Deborah return to Eldos, the capital, to find that a queen has already been chosen by the Council, a red fox named Jezerah. Along with Iya, the power behind the throne, she turns Shavron into a dictatorship. High taxes are imposed, repression is increased; the usual. The Holy One knows what’s going on; He tells Gideon that He will never abandon Shavron, and that things will get worse before they get better.
Gideon spends the next couple of years in an impregnable mountain top prison; Samson and Deborah are similarly mistreated. Under such circumstances, it would be easy for anyone to lose their faith, but that does not happen to Gideon.
I was very prepared to not like this book (and talking animals usually do not bode well), but it’s pretty good. It’s not just a good story, it’s also a good story.
The Judges Chronicles: Rebirth of Shavron, Ivan Sugarwood, 2006, ISBN 1600342752
At the beginning,defines ian evolution as ‘a process whereby life arose from nonliving matter and subsequently developed entirely by natural means.’ But he tempers evolution viability with questions raised from ‘irreducible complexity’ in the biochemical processes. Assailing unanswered questions arising in evolution theory, contends: “At the tiniest levels of biology — the chemical life of the cell — we have discovered a complex world that radically changes the grounds on which ian debates must be contested.”
admits to Catholic heritage in a biochemistry ambiance; as such, from the very first, he writes with one hand tied behind his back. The biological metaphysician in Behe is the Creationist in critique of Darwin’s . Like all traditional ists, he tempers conservative spirituality with generous helpings of liberal doctrinaire.
Science conceived the idea of cellular existence at about the same time as Darwin’s voyage and evolutionary vision. He could not access Behe’s considerable library on cellular structure, to advanced molecular knowledge, nor even to contemporaneous theoreticians Matthias Schleiden and Theodor Schwann, who concluded: “cells compose the entire bodies of animals and plants, and that in some way the cells are individual units with a life of their own.” Behe described Schleiden and Schwann as biochemists at work in the early to middle 1800s — the time of Darwin’s travels and composing notes to write “The Origin of Species.” In this regard, new discoveries in the field of biology were not available to the intrepid Darwin.
Behe assigns Darwin’s theory to a ‘Black Box’ of unanswered questions. He denigrates Darwin’s broadly based theory and creates a few ‘Black Boxes’ of his own: to wit, the perception of ‘irreducible complexity’ in cellular development, even when such complexity can be further reduced, to the very least atomic particle and to atom affinity toward symbiosis. He posits the last remaining box to be the cell — opened to reveal molecules — the bedrock of nature. But does not the bedrock of nature rest, not in molecules, but in single atoms and these somehow affected by subatomic particles, and other forces yet unclassified or unproven as energy incentives. Basic biochemistry must perceive the assembly of two or more atoms to constitute molecular creation. ‘Hydrogen atoms’ are the most abundant element in the universe, used in production of synthetic ammonia and methanol, in petroleum refining, and in organic materials hydrogenation. Within hydrogen and oxygen qualities rest the propensity to create water; all it takes is two hydrogen and one oxygen atom to create a molecule of water; even so, a catalyst is necessary to instigate precipitation; notwithstanding, all other molecules result from different atom combinations.
Admitted by Behe, Black Boxes sometimes occur within Black Boxes and sometimes the new boxes demand we revise all of our theories. Thus, Darwin cannot be the only theorist creating Black Boxes without qualification or resolution. Behe quotes the Santa Fe Institute’s Stuart Kauffman, who suggested the Darwinian theory of evolution to be true and to account for the molecular structure of life. Of course, Darwin could not explain molecular structure because the knowledge and biochemistry tools available today were not widely available in Darwin’s day!
A fault is found in Behe’s consensus to denigrate ‘natural selection’ as unworthy to account for the ‘irreducible complexity’ common to cellular development. Contrary to Behe’s view, the ‘irreducible complexity’ found in cellular development does not obviate a chance for ‘Natural Selection’ processes. He strains at a gnat and swallows a camel!
Hydrogen and Oxygen have the inherent propensity to produce water — without creature influence. Might we not conclude, the same combining force exists in other atomic essence? Gold ore does not appear as an initial occurrence, but gold atoms have the propensity to assimilate under the right conditions-into grains, nuggets, and threads of metal. The B cell antibody mimics atomic attraction, its ‘Y’ extension from cell body construction, on its split extension, is so configured as to fit the shape of encountered objects (bacteria), and thus bond — which B cell then replicates its antibody properties. And does the human brain not resemble polypeptide evolvement folded into quaternary structure? We find much resemblance in visible assemblies and microbiology. Does not a polypeptide endure the same fold around its backbone as a developing fetus?
Behe demonstrates the cell to be a molecular machine and describes molecular steps in the production of AMP, a mononucleotide found in cells. First, a composite molecule begins the building processes with assembly of carbon, oxygen, and phosphorus, as the host molecule. Thus we begin an incredibly complex system of atom substrates addition and subsequent discard of no longer needed atom components. Evolvement, from one stage to another, motivates attraction of yet other atom composites; with each additional composite inhering the ability to reject unneeded atoms and thus prepare for the next fusion. A dozen sequenced diagrams illustrate Behe’s ‘irreducible complexity.’ Whoa! Irreducible? Is AMP not the product of evolution?
Contrary to Behe bias, AMP production, similar to other molecular designs, cannot be separated from Darwin’s larger scale hypotheses; for, molecule development also derives from nonliving matter and is subsequently developed entirely by natural means!
Creationism appeals to majority intellect; and often,paints its own evil contrast to Creation purity. But such represents a mere placation of metaphysical convictions and thus a relish enjoyed by majority consensus. After all, Michael J. Behe was a Catholic first, a Biologist second, and an Apologist third. It makes little sense for Behe to bash Darwin’s evolution theory, in light of his own AMP molecular development living side-by-side with Darwin’s evolutionary processes.
In the interest of science, Behe devised understandable biochemistry processes involving ‘irreducible complexity,’ and contributing much to reader enlightenment. We recommend this book as a means for modest intellects to understand how living creatures derive from quantum incentives., or Intelligent Design, then, remains unresolved and left to individual determination. Yet, research is available questioning the distinction between ‘irreducible complexity’ and evolution. Intelligence, as in AMP segments, must seek its own destiny.
Abel Adams grew up in a Christian home in a quiet town in Maryland. His Aunt Delilah predicted that he would some day be a preacher — little did she know the road he would take to get there. He had the advantage of a loving family, “wise counsel and educational opportunities.” He traded all that for a world of drugs, and.
Abel seemed to rebel from early in his childhood. He stole from his family and fought against the consequences. He befriended Yogi even though his mother warned him that “he looked like bad news.” Following in his friend’s steps he began using drugs. The two stole a motorcycle and ran away from home, leaving a trail ofalong the way. “My parents are probably worried sick and I don’t even know why I left.” He turned himself in and his parents picked him up, but their relationship became more strained instead of better. Abel’s drug use turned to LSD and wine. He began selling to support his habit.
One day Abel met a Prophet of God. The man told Abel about Jesus and asked him to read Isaiah 53. As Abel walked about he heard the Prophet say, “Brother, you’re living in a grace period. You never know when it will run out.” Abel didn’t listen and continued down the path of destruction. From armed robbery to insurance fraud to a satanic cult, Abel was spiraling downward. Even joining the military didn’t stop Abel’s drug use.
Eventually Abel’s Aunt Delilah’s prediction came true. Abel knew that God loved him and that Jesus Christ would set him free. But the real change came in jail. Abel was going throughbut it was more than that, his eyes were yellow, he was very ill. Abel was told he’d be “dead by Christmas.” He reached for his Bible and began to read, “For whosoever calls upon the name of the Lord will be saved.” “God gave Abel the gift of and the ability to forgive others. God gave him the ability to love those who had hurt him. These two gifts – and love – were his , his grace.” Abel’s life would never be the same, “Praise God, it would never be the same!”
“Grace Period” by Robertis one of those stories that you will never forget. Mr. is an extremely talented author. He has the amazing ability to pull the reader into the story. From the moment I began to read “Grace Period” I was hooked, I didn’t lay this one down until I’d read every word. I’m not sure any review can do justice to this amazing story. Abel Adams comes to life on the pages, each of us will see a bit of ourselves in the character. We don’t have to use drugs or steal things to see badly we need the saving grace of Jesus. The cover is beautifully done, darkness with a hint of light and an abstract arrow tease the reader to what they will find inside. I did find a few editing mistakes but have no other criticisms. Well-done Mr. ! I highly recommend this book to everyone.
Galileo, Darwin, and Hawking: The Interplay of Science, Reason, and Religion
Grand Rapids, Mich. William B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 2005.
205 pages. $21 paperback.
Sixteen hundred years ago, Augustine decided that the best model for the-and- interplay was one of interaction and in Galileo, Darwin, and Hawking, philosopher of and Phil Dowe argues that pattern continues today.
In his praiseworthy book, Dowe offers up four views of the-and-religion relationship: naturalism, religious science, independence and interactivity. The first two brand the relationship as uncomplimentary, the third as unrelated, and the latter — which Dowe favors — sees religion and science as harmonious and dependent. He backs up his findings with detailed accounts of the history and philosophy of science-and-religion.
Dowe also reveals that ancient Christian belief made a single God the author of two: the book of Scripture and the book of nature, which must correspond with each other. Augustine harmonized them. He counseled Christians to read scripture literally except where it conflicts with science, and then to interpret it metaphorically. Moreover, he advised reading Scripture as a spiritual work, not as science.
Conflict arises only when one book is exalted, the other demonized. If both receive equal recognition, either they serve separate functions, as in Stephen Jay Gould’s non-overlapping magisteria, or they mutually benefit each other, as Dowe argues clearly and logically in this book.
In Dowe’s first case study, Galileo is placed under house arrest by the Inquisition for promulgating Copernicus’ idea that Earth revolves around the sun. Surely, this is conflict. Yet, Dowe notes, the Vatican’s need for a better calendar and, therefore, a more accurate cosmology inspired Copernicus’ work, which he dedicated to the Pope. Moreover, this discord lay not between religion and science, but between sciences — Aristotle vs. Copernicus — for Augustine had harmonized Scripture with Aristotelian science.
More generally, the idea that God created people in the divine image — rational and capable of governing — inspired early science. Rational people can discover the workings of God’s rational world. As Dowe argues, governing requires power and scientific knowledge of nature increases power; therefore, humans should pursue science. These ideas gave early scientists the optimism and impetus to engage in science. Dowe claims the subsequent success of science supports the thesis that we do, in fact, share in the divine image.
Religion motivated Darwin, Dowe’s second case. As a student at Cambridge, Darwin studied William Paley’s Natural Theology, a design argument for the existence of God, and wrote On the Origin of Species in part to refute it. Yet, many scientists — including Darwin — think God and evolution compatible.
In evaluating Hawking, Dowe shows how even atheism is a way science and religion interact. The big bang gives the universe a beginning, reviving an old argument for the existence of God. Moreover, discovery that the universe is fine-tuned for the existence of life generates a new design argument. These God-promoting ideas, Dowe writes, drive the development of the “Hartle-Hawking no-boundary condition,” wherein the universe has no beginning and thus needs no creator. To avoid evoking God to explain the fine-tuning, other cosmologists hypothesize about the existence of multiple universes. According to Dowe, atheism drives an amazing amount of contemporary science, from Richard Dawkins’ biology to Hawking’s cosmology.
And Dowe is right. Partition between the two fields seems unlikely. Science is used to support religion, and religion — or lack thereof — stimulates science. Galileo, Darwin, and Hawking is worth pondering in all its detail.
Gaea, Robina Williams, 2009, ISBN 9781606191835
Third in a series, thisnovel is about Quant, a house cat who can cross between physical dimensions (and do a lot more than that).
Gaea (Mother Earth) has had it with mankind’s wanton destruction of her resources, including plants and animals. After being physically attacked by a man, and left in a ditch, Gaea is ready to wipe mankind off the map. Quant, now in the form of a humanoid seraph, takes Gaea to visit God, the Lord of All (the Big Boss). God allows Gaea to warn mankind, or otherwise kick him in the rear end, but if there is any vengeance or smiting to be done, He will do it (and no one else). The pair gather a few friends, including Briareos (with fifty heads and one hundred arms), Cerberus, the three-headed Hell Hound, Demeter, Zeus and Triton, to see if they can change mankind’s thinking.
Meantime, the brothers at a rural friary are entering the world of green living on the orders of their leader, Brother Polycarp. Their initial reaction is reluctant, at best, but they soon get into the spirit of starting a vegetable garden, baking with fruit from their own orchard, and occasionally walking instead of always taking the car. Quant uses them as an example to Gaea that some humans are trying to live the right way.
When those giant factory fishing vessels, with the nets that destroy the ocean floor, are at sea and about to deploy their nets, they are suddenly best by huge storms that come out of nowhere. They speed back to port to try again tomorrow. The same thing happens time after time; clear skies instantly turn stormy. The sonar systems on all submarines suddenly and permanently malfunction, for no apparent reason. Large parts of the world experience bizarre weather patterns, like dust storms and snow in summer, while those that are living in harmony with nature, like the friary, experience beautiful weather. Does mankind start to get the idea? Does he realize that using the resources of Earth in moderation is actually a good idea?
This is a really well-done novel with a strong, but not overdone, environmental message. The next time you litter or waste resources, just think, Gaea is watching.