Friday, December 25, 2009

evidence 1: wrapping paper

Devout evolutionists, particularly those with arms raised skyward in protest against the idea of an intelligent creator, posit that life has resulted in this blank and isolate universe due to a series of random evolutionary shifts in cosmically-charged biological and chemical interactions.

Devout creationists, particularly those with hands wedged deeply into their pockets (clutching tightly to their iPhones and blackberries) in protest against the idea of randomly-happening life, posit that our existence has resulted, within this largely blank and isolate universe, due to, in large part, “God.”

I am on a mission (or what some scientists may call an “experiment”) to figure out which belief is “more right.” I’m looking for evidence, and I’m starting from the assumption that every one of my encounters (interpersonal and intrapersonal, real and virtual) will fork-over data to help make sense of, … in this experimental case, … one of only two possible answers:

HYPOTHESES

Ho: There is not an intelligent designer
H1: There is an intelligent designer

This is a video of wrapping paper, and I think the footage offers evidence supporting the hypothesis (Ho) that there is NOT an intelligent designer. If an intelligent designer existed, one would only find “certain” things (as if by intelligent choice) wrapped in paper. That almost everything is wrapped in paper would support the hypothesis (Ho) that wrapping paper occurs randomly.




If wrapping paper were NOT random, one would find only certain things papered-over. The evidence might then illustrate a strategic selection of wrapping paper. Perhaps the shower curtain, but not the shower brush, would be papered.

This video illustrates how wrapping paper *may* simply “occur,” with no pre-existing thought, behavior, or plan.

It would appear that this experiment (“EVIDENCE 2010)” has, thus far, yielded the following results:

Ho: +1
H1: +0

Now before I go-off, "hoof-in-mouth," proclaiming that universal randomness rules the day, more data should be gathered.

… and remember, this is all anonymous.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Thursday, December 17, 2009

evidence: the preface

I'm new to faith.


I want to believe in God.

But I thirst for proof of God, which is related to faith in very strange ways.

"What's a thirsty guy to do?" one may say. Look for evidence?

Now that seems easy. So let's try:

Until it gets old, I am going to throw out (right here on this sparsely visited and tended to blog in the desert) some of the random events, and/or people, and/or encounters that I personally experience. Then, I'm going to digest those in a way that beats with the heart of complete anonymity (don't tell anyone). One of two explanations will do. To simplify matters:

Either God is real. Or, it's all BS.

Let me say that differently, and in terms that make scientific sense:

HYPOTHESES

Ho: There is not an intelligent designer
H1: There is an intelligent designer

OUTCOMES
I will find evidence supporting Ho or H1.

(p.s. - I'm ripping-off this idea from my good friend and mentor, Steve Fuller. I'm just making it different, ... kind of doing it in a better way.)

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

sensemaking elsewhere



This video does a pretty good job of illustrating how different people make sense of things quite differently. What is more interesting to me, however, is how for the really, really BIG ideas, ... like God, there seems to be a lot of agreement across cultures. In fact, there are some striking similarities among all of the world's major religions. Now there is some really big differences too, particularly if one goes from cultures that embrace Islam to cultures that embrace Christianity to cultures that embrace Hinduism or Judaism or Buddhism, etc.

If we look for the similarities, they are there, and if we look for the differences, they are there too. We will find what we seek, right? So how do we make sense of Jesus in a world with other gods?

Nancy Cain writes: "In the book Jesus Among Other Gods, Christian apologist Ravi Zacharias tackles these kinds of tough questions posed by postmodern people. Are all religions equally valid? Can one determine spiritual truth? Does man even need God? Don’t Buddha, Mohammed and Jesus all merely represent different paths to the same God?

Jesus Among Other Gods focuses on the major world religions of Buddhism, Islam, Hinduism, and Christianity. The author compares the claims of Jesus Christ with those of the spiritual leaders of other religions.

Helpful insight in the blending of Eastern and Western understanding is laced throughout the book. Zacharias has lived in both cultures. From that perspective, he brings in cultural nuances and observations many authors would miss.

In this serious work, Zacharias presents the clear differences between who Jesus said He is and how Jesus lived His life, contrasted with the life and claims of other religious leaders. The focus of the book is Jesus’ distinctive response to questions of identity and origin.

At the beginning of the new millennium, Christians find themselves to be living in a religiously sensitive time. “Philosophically, you can believe anything, so long as you do not claim it to be true,” Zacharias said. “Morally, you can practice anything, so long as you do not claim it to be a 'better' way. Religiously, you can hold to anything, so long as you do not bring Jesus Christ into it. How does one, to a mood such as this, communicate the message of Jesus Christ, in which Truth and absoluteness are not only assumed, but sustained?"

How do you make sense of Jesus among other gods?


Monday, December 7, 2009

where are they?



I've been thinking: Theories of Evolution and Natural Selection would make a whole lot more sense if we had more (inter) galactic friends. It almost seems like our existence is not so random after all.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

doubt

It's always been interesting to me how God comes through to "simply-broken people like me." It's never how "you think" you want or need it, ... but He always comes through, ... often in ways that make no sense.

I threw-up grace ... regurgitated, into the universe, my doubt, ...shirked the possibility of Nobel Existence for the sake of selfish death, ... and my good friends, ... who've experienced and lived with similar questions faith, ... asked me to read a book, ... which has been on my shelf for probably 3 years now, ... never having read it, ... up until now.

Brennan Manning (1990, 2000) writes in the "
Ragamuffin Gospel:"

"You are accepted, accepted by that which is greater than you, and the name of which you do not know. Do not ask for the name now; perhaps you will find it later. Do not try to do anything now; perhaps later you will do much. Do not seek anything, do not perform anything, do not intend anything. Simply accept the fact that you are accepted."

If that happens to us, we experience grace" (Manning, 2000, p. 29).

... and wow, what an awakening.

Manning (2000) goes on earlier talking about coming to terms with that gift in saying, "My deepest awareness of myself is that I am deeply loved by Jesus Christ and I have done nothing to earn it or deserve it" (p. 27), ... and in reading that, .... like messages in bottles, ... I'm reminded of the mess that God finds me in, ... and I'm reminded of the belief that there is no-thing I need to do but accept Him accepting me.

My doubt has been temporarily erased, ... and when it comes back, ... and I know that it will, ... I will try to remember that there is no-thing I can do to make God love me more, ... and there is no-thing that I have done, ... or will do, ... to make God love me less.

He just loves me, ... and if I love Him (through Jesus) back ... nothing is impossible. When I follow our Brother toward our Father, ... I'm in Grace. And even when I don't follow, ... grace is till here, ... but He wants me like a father wants his son, .. . full of joy and peace, ... being humbled by the confidence of indescribable acceptance , ... and so my most important first-step is to listen and follow, .... knowing that our Father loves me too (!), regardless my worshiping moments and treasures of what's fallen.

"For grace proclaims the awesome truth that all is a gift. All that is good is ours not by right by by the sheer bounty of a gracious God. While there is much we may have earned -- our degree and our salary, our home and garden, a Miller Lite and a good night's sleep -- all this is possible only because we've been given so much: life itself, eyes to see and hands to touch, a mind to shape ideas, and a heart to beat with love" (Manning, 2000, p. 26).