So Renee and I have officially survived our first Christmas together. We’ve done Christmas with my entire family and now we’re in Ohio with Renee’s family. I’ve also successfully transitioned from 24 to 25 today… yup, hit the quarter century mark.
From 12/25/05 Available Here
From 12/24/2005 Available Here
So last night I caught the tail end of CNN’s program on Jesus and I expected that when all was said and done I’d be very disappointed. Surprise of surprise, I wasn’t: they did a really good job.
I only caught the tail end where they were discussing his death and resurrection. They appealed to a wide variety of scholars including Roman Catholic scholars as well as Bart Ehrman and NT Wright. I think they accurate captured the reason for Jesus’ death and didn’t try to just blame the Romans or blame the Jewish authorities, and instead got it right that they two were in cahoots. They also did a good job with the resurrection, and made the point that while science can’t explain the resurrection, none of the supposed explanations adequately explain the faith that developed in subsequent years. They closed with this comment from NT Wright, “The best explanation for the rise of the Christian faith is that Jesus was in fact raised from the dead on the third day.”
It was also nice to see that “objective” scholars (typically Crossan, Marcus Borg, etc.) didn’t get much attention as they often do because those “evangelical” scholars can’t be trusted because they have an agenda (as if Crossan and Borg don’t?).
Anyway, my accolades this morning go out to CNN for a job well done.
From 12/23/2005 Available Here
So Intelligent Design has gotten a lot of attention lately, especially with the ruling in the Dover case in Pennsylvania. The case at this point is moot, because the citizens of Dover voted out the whole school board because of their actions. (To which Pat Robertson warned the citizens of Dover that they had voted God out of their city and to not be surprised if natural disaster hit them… thanks Pat, you’re a real gem. It’s no wonder people can’t stand Christians, anyway)
My beef with “evolution” is this: it’s not proven. In fact, no scientific theory is proven. I was trained in physics so I spent literally hours working with Newton’s laws. Newton’s laws are not proven. In fact, to the contrary, they have been found to be less than useful in situations where objects are traveling near the speed of light. Does this mean that Newton’s laws are wrong? It’s the wrong question.
Scientific theories are precisely that – theories. They are explanations of observed phenomena. They may be more or less useful and accurate, but they are theories nonetheless. I am not a biologist but unless biology has been exempted from the ordinary rules of science (sarcasm duly noted) one must admit that this is what the theory of evolution is: its an explanation of observed phenomena. It’s not a fact, its not proven, it’s not some sacred cow that doesn’t deserve to be tested.
If I taught high school physics it would a high crime again science to teach only Newton’s laws because we live in world where Newton’s laws don’t provide good explanations for everything, but they do do a pretty good job of explaining a lot of what we deserve.
So here’s my point: does intelligent design deserve teaching in our public schools? I’m not sure, I’m not up to date on my Intelligent design knowledge. But let’s be real and honest and stop trying to deceive everyone into believing that scientific theories are unquestionable.
My second point is this: there is an official religion of public education, secular humanism. I am not going to say whether this is a bad thing, but let’s stop pretending that by seeking to keep all religion out of public school we’re not appealing to another religion, we are. Any statement about god is by nature a theological statement, so to say that god does not exist, or god is not, or even god is a pink banana is a theological statement. Thus, by preventing the teaching of anything about god our public schools are in fact embracing secular humanism as their official religion. Again, I’m not saying this is a bad thing. I think if our schools we to embrace another religion it would undoubtedly be far more trouble that it’s worth. But my point on this is the same as intelligent design, let’s be honest about it rather than pretending that evolution is a proven fact and that there isn’t a public endorsement of a specific religion.
So despite being a Syracuse basketball fan for my whole life, and following them closely since my Junior year of college, I had never actually seen them life in person. However, I remedied that situation last night and took care of part of my dad’s birthday present as we went to see SU vs. Illinois-Chicago last night. Minus the end of the first half, when Ill.-Chicago went on a 10-0 run to close the gap from 32-20 to 32-30, it was a good game. SU came out and went on a 7-0 run at the start of the first half to get the game to 39-30 and from there on in the game was never in doubt.
SU didn’t shoot the ball especially well (Gerry McNamara’s 2-13 from beyond the arc is case in point) but Terrance Roberts’ 19 points along with McNamara’s 18 led the way to victory. I think it’ll be interesting to see how this team does when the Big East Season rolls around. It is a shame that Pitt build such a small stadium and henceforth doesn’t sell any public tickets for Big East games.