Wednesday, August 31, 2005

For your information

This particular day has the dubious distinction of being Speak Intelligently Day! And for those of you who speak with eloquence every day of the year, this is Speak Brilliantly Day; in which case, this blog is not for you!!

I'm curious. What is the attraction in speaking with intelligence? What makes the human mind aspire toward intelligence? Hummm. I think I've hit upon something! I never thought of that before. Really, don't *most* of us want to appear smart? What is the psychological benefit of such?

It would appear that this is either an intrinsically good thing, or an intrinsically bad thing! Let's rewind to the beginning, where there were only two people in existence. It is possible that, being rather fresh at living, Adam and Eve did NOT have an inordinate amount intellectual prowess, or even an aspiration toward such. Then again, maybe they were brilliant! Maybe, just maybe, God made them as ideal as any two people can possibly be, with IQs that were unheard of (quite literally, too, being the only people on the earth, pretty much anything was unheard of).

Either case being as it may, there appears to have been a tree in the Garden, called the tree of the *knowledge* of Good and Evil. Aha! I think I've hit upon something! Here was Eve, in the Garden, being intrinsically attracted to knowledge, and tempted to obtain it in a less than commendable fashion. She succumbs.

And so we have the turmoil, the darkness, the sin, the death, the struggle. For sake of knowledge obtained. Yes?

So why do so many Anabaptists look down on a higher education? Why have we made knowledge our nemesis. Of course, I'm speaking very generally, most in reaction to a post on a similar topic at the by-log (see link at left).

Then again, what if a higher education is intrinsically bad? What if the quest for knowledge, and even the IDEA of such, began on that fateful day when Eve decided she wanted to know more? And if that is the case, where do we draw the line between learning the basics and a higher education?

I'd appreciate any insight.

Monday, August 29, 2005

Knowing something

Again, influenced by the emotive power of a screaming tenor saxophone and the smoothest beat available, I have decided to begin perhaps the first of a series of evaluations of the validities of the theory of evolution in the classroom (and perhaps in the meantime explain why I think that the link to the left is the funniest sites in the world). The first exposition will be on the subject of "knowing something", and how it effects the way we look at modern science.

First, epistemology is, for those of you who don't know, is, according to, the branch of philosophy that studies knowledge, it's presuppositions and foundations, and it's extent and validity. Basically, as Francis Schaeffer put it, It is how we know that we know. This is pretty much what I'm dealing with.

A problem that we are currently facing as a nation is the one of teaching [I]ntelligent [D]esign in our science classroom, in addition to the theory of evolution. A setback that we face is that ID isn't *science*, as defined by those with a serious bias against it. Indeed, it appears to be the antithesis thereof (again, as defined by those with a antipathetic bias).

Apparently, the very fact of God or a belief in him falsifies any claims to *science* and immediately classifies it as *religion*. This causes a very obvious problem for us Christians. This disallows any stakes that we may claim in the scientific agenda. This is why, when asked if he believes in evolution, the ardent science teacher will say, "No. I don't believe in evolution. I merely accept that the earth is very old and that life has changed very much over a long period of time." They can never call it belief.

As creationists attempting to get a "belief" in God into our "science" classroom, we would do well to recognize this and try to understand why this is so. Truthfully, they have no choice but to believe in something, because everyone has a worldview. Every single person that lives has a biased presupposition as to what occurred to shape the earth and the life in it into what it is now (this makes it impossible for anyone to be completely, totally objective about a subject such as this).

One of the things that shapes science is evidence. According to the University of California Museum of paleontology, "Evidence is the basic stuff of science. Without evidence there is only speculation." Still, the evolutionary theory has been singularly lacking in providing evidence of it's most pivotal *facts*, a transitional state and a gain in genetic information! Indeed, the acuteness of this problem is such that evolutionists cannot nearly satisfy a fundamentalist creationists' questions on the matter! When it comes to evidence, which is basically the substance of what we "know", evolution has failed the scientific method.

"Inferences are logical conclusions based on observable facts", says the University of California. "Much of what we know from scientific study is based on inferences from data, whether the object of study is a star or an atom." They then go on to reason that, even though no one has ever seen the inside of an atom, we can know what is inside it by inferences. They liken this to "inferring" that the world is billions of years old, via "multiple lines of evidence." My question to them is this: What are those multiple lines of evidence, and where are they found?

One of the constraints of science is the limit of a repeatable test. The foremost problem in saying that we can infer information from the past the same as we can from an atom or star is that the atom and star exist in the present, quite obviously, while the past is just that: past! It only happened once! Moreover, no one was there to see it! I repeat my previous question: What are those multiple lines of evidence, and where are they found?

If anyone has an answer for my question, or an opinion concerning the content here (contrary or otherwise), please leave a comment.

The Anatomy of a Wasted Life

If there's anything that I hate, it's the thought of a wasted life.

During a particularly busy part of my life, as I was leaving for something one evening, my dad said, "You know, Nic, It's not a bad thing to not have something to do every once in a while." To which I replied, "Yeah, it also does one no good."

Living a Godly life is dangerous; not living it is even more so. If you're new, hold on tight. If your a seasoned pro, you can identify.

First of all, what's the difference between a wasted life and a non-wasted life? What does it matter to say that I have NOT wasted my life thus far, and do not plan to do so?

To start off with, we need a gauge with which to measure wastedness. I was talking with our youth leader, Reuben, about retirement, and I said, "I hate that word. I refuse to retire. I refuse to sit in a Nursing Home. I refuse to buy a motor home and travel the Untied States of America. (sic) Ever. I'm going die running." The newest member of our youth group replied to that in singularly non-sequitur form by saying "Well I'd rather retire than work myself into an early grave." Now, I was fine with that, sort of, until he added "Which is probably what I'll do."

Good grief! The apathy towards the only Cause that is worth an early grave. Now while some people don't even pretend to WANT to understand what it means to have zeal, passion and hope, THAT blew me away! For a 15 year old to look at his life and say "Humm, I guess I'll probably not be successful (even carnally! -Nic), so I'll probably have to work my tail off for the rest of my life. Guess I'll just die a little earlier, then. Oh well."

Never ONE thought as to what the purpose is of his existence on earth, or what had to take place for his existence to have purpose in the first place!

I heard a song a few days ago that asked "How can it be that none of the deeper questions cross your mind? Are you afraid to find surprises?" Then the chorus: "Don't you wonder where hope comes from and where Love was born and why does the sun break through the clouds and melt the pain away? Doesn't it make you want to know the Source?" I wanted to scream those lyrics from the roof of the car I was driving in, all the way through the ages into a new era of apathy haters, and burn out the spirit of struggle that is so undeniably prevalent in our society, particularly our youth today.

Ladies and Gentlemen, I am ready for a SERIOUS battle, waging war on the very existence of apathy in our culture, and I'm taking soldiers, people to take on the challenge of destroying a spirit that has taken down the very hope for a strong future. And I'm not talking about a monetary success, either, I'm talking about the future of the effective conservative Mennonite movement in particular. And maybe this isn't anything new. Maybe this is old hat and apathy has been a problem for more than just this generation. That's not the point. The point is, this is a problem now, and it's apparent to me because I live, as a conservative Mennonite Christian youth, in this culture, at this time.

Any comments on this would be appreciated greatly, as well as any insight on how to solve this problem. Remember, non bloggers, you can leave comments too!

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Love. A paradox.

The following is a peice that I wrote a week ago, in some wierd kind of pensive mood after a period of something of a self-conflicting social something or another. If you don't get it, don't worry. I'm not sure I got all of it either. The emotion of reading it is half the experience. It will conclude my post for today.

Seeking love, knowing the Lover, and thereby having found the former, yet continuing the search with passion. It's one of the great paradoxes of life.

Who am I? Why am I that? What point is there in my being such?
I'm an expression. Of peace. Of hope, and, primarily, of the Love[r], the ultimate Artist.

What hope have I to turn the world? Whereupon do I step into the world of certain blur? Of living death. Where is death? Beacon, oh Light! please beam hells death into existence! But of course, this is hope against hope. Wish against Truth. No.

The bells toll. Run! RUN! At the door, finds nothing restful, all is moving, spinning round, and Love and Thunder fight. Fury rages, old maids wishing all was calm and still as Nativity. But were it such, the calamity would yeild no end.

Never a thought that rushed through my subconcience semi-reality hit me like it did that day. "Love beat Thunder when blood and water flowed." Oh Love! whatever lives within me, That great paradox proclaim! For such is always, never ending, overflowing world without end.

Monday, August 22, 2005

White House Media

Today was interesting. I did something I'm convinced none of you have ever done before. I phoned in to the White House Media Department, and asked them to put me on the list of people that gets faxed whenever there's a media event in Ohio. My Internation Press Credentials are currently rated only well enough to get info for Ohio events. Sometime, I'll maybe add to that, but it costs.

The Lord is good, and true, and consistent. And He's taught me a lesson. Again. "Just wait, Nic," He says, "You'll have your adventure. Just stay where you are and grow." And with His voice of comfort, and hands of a tender warrior, He lays my fears to rest. The whole big picture fits perfectly into His hands, with enough room left to hold yours, too, if you just let Him. Such huge, infinite hands. All the future, perfectly invisible from the viewpoint of the tip of one of His fingers, looking down into the palm of His hand. What an expanse. What sheer size!

No one reading this can fathom the peace of such release without experiencing it firsthand. Believe me.

All the pressures, all the responsiblities. All of it gone at a whim, if only He speaks the word. Just a word. No more excuses to just sit around. Wonderful.

This is me.

To be completely honest, the fact of my posting again has little to do with letting you know who I am (this is me), but rather to get all the particulars sorted out about this blog, trying to figure out what I have to do in order make it look like all of my cool friends, and to make make you aware of all the aforementioned cool people's blogs via linking them to my site. Some of these things can only be accomplished by posting again. One of the things I wanted to do was put a picture in my profile, so I'm going to post a photo in this blog, then link it to my profile.

Anyway, here I sit, listening to... you guessed it! Jazz!!! Hurrah for freedom! Huzzah for music with feeling! Although, while it's not what one would call sacred, it certainly is soulful. Wow. has a stream coming over iTunes, and that's the kind of all internet radio stations, in my opinions. Another cool one for all you sacred accapella music lovers out there is (sp?). They also have a stream over iTunes, but you may be able to access it on the site itself. They have some bangin' music!

So, for now, this post is coming to a conclusion. Whatever comes hereafter is of no consequence, I'm only trying to get things sorted out.

The right foot

Take a step. Look back to make sure it was the right move. Analise it.

I'm being incredibly influenced by the music coming over the internet radio I'm listening to. iTunes radio has a few groovin jazz stations, and one of them is going for it right now. It's amazing how music and that type of thing influences the way you think. I couldn't be in a pensive mood right now if I tried. Screaming saxes, synthesizers bangin it out. So invigorating. All the freeflowing patterns, never stopping, often repeating, but never monotonous, and never predictable. I love jazz.

The right foot. I suppose I don't really know what I mean by that. All I know is that, for all practicle purposes, my life it right. Just plain right. I'm so blessed. I feel like sometimes I go through the fire. God testing me to see if I really trust him, am really able to lay my life into his hands. Wonderful blessings. Best foot forward.

The Lord is telling me something. I wonder what wonderful thing he will reveal to me next. He is the greatest schoolmaster I've ever had. He's also the only one that I really, really *want* to listen to! For the past few weeks, I've just really been wandering about my life's direction. Not sure where the Lord would have me. Now, I am finally realising that God is going to take care of the details. All of them. That's what he meant by not worrying about tommorow. It's so wonderfully freeing to know that the future isn't in my hands. My hands could never hold it. But God is infinite, and is as concerned about my relationship with him as anything or anyone else. How incredible. Even more incredible is the fact that it is so with EVERYONE!