Monday, February 13, 2012

THINGS I THOUGHT TODAY BUT DIDN'T SHARE WITH ANYONE (until now)

1. I think it's kind of interesting that there is no product on the market designed to retard hair growth. There are loads of miracle cures for baldness, but none that will stop hair growth. Who has time for a haircut? Have you seen the prices they're charging these days? There is a need for such a product. I can imagine it now- "With just one application of Tate's Miracle Hair Jelly (not available in Oklahoma, Puerto Rico or Washignton D.C.) you can schedule your next haircut for sometime next year." I wouldn't be surprised to learn that such a product already exists but the Barbers are keeping it under wraps. In fact, if I go missing you can bet it was the barbers. I'm told that if you get too close to the truth they'll go all Sweeney Todd on you.

2. I think God created the earth with fossils in the ground. It's possible that dinosaurs never actually wandered the earth.

3. I have never folded a piece of paper evenly into thirds. There must be some trick I'm not aware of, and until I learn it a perfect tri-fold will continue to elude me.

4. I like how excitable Brady Barr is.

21 comments:

al'xae said...

1. They sort of make this product, marked to women for body hair... but really it doesn't work.

Ate said...

Yeah, there are all sorts of anti-hair products.

#2? Really?

Steve said...

Ate? That's me, Steve

BAREFOOT KANGAROO said...

#2? Absolutely. Why not? Artists always create with age. The barn, which is the subject of a painting, presupposes that one day a crew of workers constructed it, that it had weathered storms and the change of seasons, but although we may assume such a history while taking in the picture the artist created it as it is. An author is also unlikely to introduce the main character as a fertilized egg, but as a grown woman. The story line will begin at a certain point and much of what came before is assumed by the reader.

If we begin with the presupposition that the earth is a created thing then it is a small jump to get my comments in #2 above. Did God create Adam as a fetus? A fertilized egg? A separate sperm and a separate egg? Probably not. A plain reading of the text reveals that he created Adam with age- a grown man. Likewise mountains,valleys, soil, sand, and river systems which we know form over time as a product of plate tectonics, erosion, plant matter decaying, etc... were spoken into being in a moment, but they possessed the appearance of age.

Dinosaurs never appear with man concurrently in the fossil record. Although it is not a view I hold dogmatically I am personally persuaded that they never actually lived. I could be wrong I suppose, but when a scientist says that such and such happened millions of years ago I think to myself, "Maybe, but have you considered that the earth may have been created with the appearance of age?"

If you start with the settled conviction that the earth was created by God then you must concede that this is at least a possibility that dinosaurs never actually lived. This would undoubtedly upset my 4 year old son, Jack, but I tend to believe this.

True religion and true science will always arrive at the same conclusions.

Maxon said...

I agree with your last sentence, although it seems a tautology (truth=truth).

Here there is certainly no Biblical dinosaur proof text (outside some vagueness in Job) -- but there is an abundance of evidence of their existence throughout the world. Your position explains away that evidence in service of a "possible" theory that lacks any proof whatsoever -- and, in fact, is unprovable.

Virtually anything is possible, Josh. It's possible that we're all dreaming right now; alternatively, it's possible that we're all characters in the dream of an apatosaurus. It's possible that these words are being dictated to me by Xenu, the celestial dictator of Scientology. It's even possible that I'm a dog -- after all, on the Internet, nobody knows you're a dog.

Discussing possibilities (as opposed to probabilities) is helpful only insofar as it opens your mind to fresh ways of thinking -- as in, for instance, freshman philosophy classes with Dr. Jameson Kurasha. When making conclusions about the world, however, it is best to consider the possible, but stand with the probable. In fact, you owe it to yourself not to settle for anything less.

To do otherwise is to risk being "children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting." Here I think of the 9/11 "truther," the anti-vaccine zealot, the practicing Scientologist -- no longer able to recognize truth because they are focused on a possibility they have elevated to dogma.

Obviously you have not done this, but I still find your position pernicious because it appears to feed the narrative of Christian ignorance. God created reason and has blessed us with science. "Maybe the world was created with the appearance of age" is indeed a possible answer, but it's not one that benefits anyone. Answers of that ilk limit discovery, because they settle for what we can imagine now, rather than reaching for what we can one day learn.

The search for evidence, the desire for proof, the yearning to know more and more about the wonders of God's creation -- these are inclinations to support and feed. They are, I believe, expressions of the Spirit, Who has, after all, come to guide us in truth.

BAREFOOT KANGAROO said...

I am frankly unconcerned about the narrative of Christian ignorance. That's vichy talk, and you know it! Sticks and stones may break my bones, blah blah blah. You and I both begin with a belief in an all-powerful creator God, which to their minds is akin to a child's naive belief in a fairy tale. You and me both is just a couple a ignant hicks, Steve. The Gospel is foolishness to those who are perishing. I doubt very much that Christendom will ever be able to satisfy so called intellectuals who you would have me kow tow to. Tell the truth, are you more embarassed by my comments or are you seriously intellectually offended? We've been branded as simpletons in this country since the scopes trial and even before that. You better grow a thicker skin or join them. My statement may bring my worldview into starker, more uncomfortable contrast with the rest of society but the only way to avoid the charge of being an ignorant, apple-knocker, hick is to avoid the whole creation thing to begin with. I wonder what you would avoid discussing to avoid feeding into the narrative of Christian ignorance. Maybe I'm addressing what is more troubling- worldly ignorance of the Creator. Such a confrontation is far more important than exhorting me and my ilk to don a veneer of scientific respectability to make ourselves more palatable.

Fine, I'll amend my earlier comments and state flatly that I think it is most probable (not possible) that dinosaurs were created as fossils because this agrees with the data of scripture and the fruits of scientific discovery.

If you accept that God created the world with age- mountains formed, grown man, soil in the valleys- then my comments are just a logical extension of that line of thinking. If you can radio carbon fossils to a date before the world's creation then I feel it is worth considering that they were created with age.

I'm an educated man, and although I'm not possessed of above average intelligence I am not a dolt either. I am intellectually curious, and I am not some kind of an evangelican Taliban who wants to do away with such worldly pursuits as science, math and girls. For goodness sakes, you should not be so quick to reduce me, a friend, to such a caricature.

Maxon said...

Bah! You are indeed possessed of above-average intelligence. And like all humanity, you have a responsibility to your divinely created intellect to seek out the truth, avoiding shortcuts and frauds. In no way do I wish to reduce you to a caricature, even for purposes of argument.

I'm neither embarrassed nor offended by your position. I would say only that when Christians are falsely accused of ignorance, our response should not be to revel in it. It is precisely because the Gospel is foolishness to the world that our approach to nature should not be. There are significant parts of existence (creation, salvation, etc.) that, I believe, can only be settled through faith. But there are many parts of existence that can be explained quite well by reason, and should be! We must be able to rightly judge the difference to be trusted that there is one.

My issue is not about donning a "veneer of scientific respectability" -- it's about basic issues of knowledge and probability. No serious person I know considers belief in God to be a fairy tale; that is the language of the extreme polemicist. Indeed, science has no real answer for the creation of the universe, and instead (mostly) busies itself trying to explain what it can thereafter. There is no reason for a groundless surmise to compete with the scientific record on the issue of dinosaurs: that's not even close to what the Gospel (or "the data of scripture") is about.

If you choose a conclusion, you can always fiddle premises around to reason back to it. I do not believe that it is necessary to salvation, or (more to the point) required by the text of Scripture, to accept that the universe was created only tens of thousands of years ago. I suspect this might in fact be the root of our disagreement.

BAREFOOT KANGAROO said...

I am disappointed at so well-reasoned a response. I was already gleefully anticipating a lengthy comments spat. I love a long, drawn-out fight in the comments section.

Sad.

I called your comments "Vichy talk!" Nothing? C'mon, man! Let me have it!!!

BAREFOOT KANGAROO said...

P.S. For the record, I still believe dinosaurs were created as fossils.

Rocket Surgeon, Phd said...

I'm not going to go in swimming with you guys but I will wade in just far enough to say that suggesting dinosaurs were created as fossils is a premise nicely served for paperback scriptures but not the holy ones.

Josh, would you say the same is true of Wooly Mammoths? Their carcasses have been found in an amazing array of stages - from complete bleached sets of bones to some still having all their hair and with undigested food still in their stomachs.

Was the petrified forest created petrified?

Are you going to take a case by case stance on every such instance?
If they uncovered a set of Komodo Dragon fossils or the fossil of a Clydesdale would you say those too were put there in that state?

Youre not just talking science, you're talking theology...assigning a prank to God.

Points for a good imagination but c'mon man...Joseph Smith had a good one too.

BAREFOOT KANGAROO said...

Wooly Mammoths were known to exist concurrently with man as late as the last ice age. I personally subscribe to a young earth view of the creation account. If you're an old earth kind of guy then more power to you. You can join the pope's camp of grafting evolution inot the creation account. Science currently contends that dinosaurs went extinct 65 million years ago, which I contend was before the earth was created, or for that matter before time was created. Incidentally, the fossil record from the days of the dinosaurs do not contain many of the types of animals that are explicitly described as being created in the Genesis account. What do you make of that? According to the best scientific evidence available to us, such animals as horses do not appear in the fossil record as early as 65 millions years ago. So your clydesdale example is a moot point. You could argue, I suppose, that the clydesdale evolved from a Triceratops or some crazy thing, but then you would be the one emplying a good imagination.

I think my view is the only one that satisfies the data of scripture and the conclusions of scientists. So, no, I do not take a case by case approach. If science points to an origin before the world's creation then I contend that was created with the appearance of age. If the best evidence points to an origin since the world's beginning in Genesis than I accept that.

As for God playing a prank, I think you're on shaky ground because you would claim to know the mind and intentions of God which he has not made plain. His ways are above our ways. His thoughts are above our own. His reasons for creating the world as he did are, to some degree, unknowable.

Can you guys at least agree with me that God created some things with age? For example, was Adam created as a full grown man. Was Eve, likewise created a woman? Was there sand on the first shore? Were mountains and valleys spoken into being? Would you agree with that?

A Christian should have no difficulty with the question, "which came first the chicken or the egg?" The chicken of course. God spoke the fouls into being and they then proceeded to procreate.

john tate said...

Science has a place in our modern hermeneutic that is unhealthy. Our understanding and application of the Bible need not accommodate the evolving conclusions of an imperfect discipline. Should the consensus of the scientific community change on the matter of the age of the earth tomorrow - I expect the theology of the theistic evolution and day-age adherents to change just as quickly. This is a problem for sure. I stand with the interpretation of the vast majority of all saints through all the ages - that God created the world in six twenty-four hour days and then rested for another twenty-four hours.

john tate said...

Luke's genealogy which traces Christ back to Adam presents a problem. Suppose each "day" in the creation account was actually thousands or even millions of years - then Adam would have to be created on the last day of a million-year age for the genealogy to be legitimate.

BAREFOOT KANGAROO said...

A good word, Brother John.

Guys, I think we have not discussed enough my other controversial statement regarding the excitability/likability of Brady Barr, or the theological implications thereof.

Maxon said...

I don't know who that person is!

I can't reply in any depth now, or address the Luke point, but I can say that I believe one reason why the Genesis account is written as it is, is to account for the wide disparities in human knowledge throughout existence. An explanation in the scientific language of any era would have rendered it incomprehensible to the rest. That does not relieve us of our duty to approach the text with the benefit of truth as currently revealed.

john tate said...

What's up Steve?!

None of the biblical authors took dictation. They were concerned that their audience alone comprehend their writings. Moses understood that the earth was created in a week, he communicated that, and the Holy Spirit breathed life into it. If God took a million year sabbath rest - Moses could have easily communicated that in way that could have been grasped by the ancient mind. The Spirit breathed life into a composition that couldn't be clearer: "And there was evening and there was morning, one day." (Genesis 1:5)

Maxon said...

(Brady Barr, I meant; I don't know who BB is!)

Sarah said...

Go, Pope!

sharon said...

Josh is, as always, utterly and unquestionsbly correct. Guys, come on. Josh, good mind, sir!

BAREFOOT KANGAROO said...

Nice try, Rosie. It comes off as a little disingenuous though or maybe even mockery. Next time try something like, "At first I was critical of Josh's position, but as I read on I found the force of his argument extrememly persuasive and undeniable in its force and eloquence. As a result of this debate I have been won over to Josh's position. Dinosaurs were probably created as fossils. Huh...who knew?"

sharon said...

That would have been WAY better. Should have tskrn me up on my offer.