Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘Religion’ Category

This very moment is the time, the opportunity for every Muslim, especially every Imam, the entire Islamic world, to speak openly, publicly and denounce the evil violence of all those who claim to act on behalf of Mohammed and Islam.

They do not claim to act on behalf of radical Islam or Islamist ideology; they claim to act as Muslims for Islam.

Now – Now is the time to stand and speak. Now.

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

This is the second in a four-part series by AAH Contributing Writer, Indy-based author, counselor and blogger, Dr. Phillip D. Sparks.

Yes, we still welcome your comments, challenges, agreements, monkey wrenches, doubts, rants and questions.

The Sun - a perfect sphere Photo AP

Old Verses Young Earth: The Evolution-Creation Debate, Part II

By Dr. Phillip D. Sparks

– – –

Most discoveries that support a young earth never make it to the current media sources. One of the most reputable journals is Science and this piece of evidence was published in a 2003 issue. It reported soft tissue being discovered in the femur of the dinosaur Tyrannosaurus rex. This dinosaur has been dated at about 65 million years ago. But if the date is true the soft tissues would have long disappeared. Similar discoveries in fossils dating to millions of years have also been found. One of these was in salamander fossil supposedly dated 18 million years ago. Proteins just do not survive that long.

We know the sun is getting smaller every day.

If the world was several billions years old, when we project back that far, the sun would have to have been so big and so hot no living thing could have survived when the first live formed, let alone allow proteins to exist within the organic soup.

Oil supposedly was trapped in the earth several million years ago. This oil is under pressure so that when it is tapped by a drill it comes to the surface with great force. However these oil basins leak and the pressure slowly leaks out. If the world was even several million years old, the pressure would have all leaked out. This is not what the research shows.

stan-femur_009-2

We can date unfossilized dinosaur bones as a few thousand years old using carbon 14 not the 60 million years that evolutionists tell us. Due to the half life of carbon 14 it would all be decayed unless the world is much younger than evolutionists tell us.

For natural selection to explain life forms as we know them, advantageous mutations must have occurred. We know that most all mutations are harmful, so the best explanation is that God created the kinds of organisms that we see on earth today less than 10,000 years ago.

– – –

Next post in the series:
Evolution – Science Says No

Previous post: Old Verses Young Earth: the Evolution-Creation Debate, Part I
– – –

To read the biographies of Dr. Sparks and our other contributing writers, and to find links to their posts at AAH, go here.

– – –

References for further reading:

Science (journal)

Blackhills Institute

Stanford Solar Center

Sun’s protective ‘bubble’ is shrinking, The London Telegraph

Michael Brown’s Mike’s Origins Resource

Read Full Post »

This is the first part in a four-part series by AAH Contributing Writer, Indy-based author, counselor and blogger, Dr. Phillip D. Sparks.

We welcome your comments, challenges, agreements, monkey wrenches, doubts, rants and questions.

– – –

Old Verses Young Earth

By Dr. Phillip D. Sparks

– – –

For evolution to be true the earth must be billions of years old.

Adam_and_Eve,_Sistine_Chapel - Wikipedia source

For example, dinosaurs are said to have existed 65 million years ago. Gradual change brought about by selective mutation tries to explain our current life forms. This philosophy known as uniformitarianism assumes that past rates of change have occurred at the same rate that we experience today.

Furthermore, science attempts to show that everything that we see now in our natural systems can be explained by natural chemical and physical laws. Since God is excluded from that world view.

The evolutionary belief is inconsistent with faith in a creative God.

Man does not exist very well outside of a spiritual realm, so we find several spiritual avenues coming forth proclaiming to bring a life of peace but evading the debate about the history of life forms.

They just believe that there is a spirit of some type that we can contact but falls short of giving it a name other than calling it divine.

For creation to explain the current life systems that we see there has to be an explanation of the current fossil record based upon a shorter time frame, probably less than 10,000 years. The mysterious event recorded in Biblical history is the world wide flood. I call it mysterious because we fail to stop and think about the impact such a flood would have on natural geologic and biological systems.

Bonaventura_Peeters_-_The_Great_Flood_-_WGA17128

Recently, geologists examining the sedimentation of earth strata are suggesting that the strata formed rapidly rather than over millions of years as originally thought.

Flood hydrology explains precisely how layering could have formed with simultaneous trapping of life forms within the layers. Layering would have formed based upon sedimentation rates rather than on geological time periods. So the flood explanation is consistent with Scripture and fits the scientific evidence of what we find in the earth.

Next time I will provide you with some more evidence for a young earth.

– – –

Introduction to the series, The Evolution-Creation Debate.

To read the biographies of Dr. Sparks and our other contributing writers, and to find links to their posts at AAH, go here.

– – –

For further reading on both sides of the question from bloggers, scholars, and so on. Be warned: It’s just the tip of the iceberg:

http://www.phy.syr.edu/courses/modules/ORIGINS/origins.html

http://www.creationresearch.org/

http://ncse.com/media/evc1

http://www.icr.org/

http://www.imagesandmeanings.com/2012/10/an-honest-look-at-flood-mythology.html#axzz2g6xYQ88C

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/news/evolution-creation-debate

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Creation%E2%80%93evolution_controversy

http://thevirtueorreason.blogspot.com/

http://www.conservapedia.com/Evolution

http://ncse.com/rncse/24/6/winning-creation-debate

Read Full Post »

The_Creation_of_Adam

About this Series

This is the introduction to a new four-part series by one Indiana-based contributor who’s got his slant.

– – –

This subject has been debated for many decades. At least.

One of the best known and perhaps the most seminal moment in the modern-day argument came in the Scopes trial of 1925 (formally known as The State of Tennessee v. John Thomas Scopes and commonly referred to as the Scopes Monkey Trial).

Clarence Darrow and William Jennings Bryan, 1925

In the last fifty years, more and more scholars, not to mention every flavor of non-academic under the sun, have appeared on the debate circuit, on either side, to varying degrees of success or embarrassment, depending.

It may not be an everyday topic for everyone, but it does raise its controversial head on a fairly regular basis.

When I was a college student At Indiana State I came across a Christian scientist-scholar, Dr. Duane Gish, who really impressed me, never mind the fact that I was not to follow in his footsteps. I was impressed that he had so boldy and forcefully faced – and often faced down – his opposition. He was, perhaps at least in academic circles and creationism circles (can they possibly interlink?), the best-known.

Gish_Duane

For a bit of reading about Dr. Gish, his publications and research, and his views, go here:

http://www.icr.org/

Wikipedia

answersingenesis.org

gish - Article and Drawing Copyright 1996 Skeptic Society

There are many others. They are, most are, marginalized by any and all who don’t accept their views, of course. But their arguments haven’t gone away, and they’re not likely to. And while their arguments may have been disapproved, interestingly they have not been disproved. And so it goes.

– – –

The Evolution-Creation Debate

By Phillip D. Sparks, PhD

You have not heard too much about this controversy recently, but it is a big factor in our mental health. I have been asked by a group here in Indianapolis to join them in their seminar presentations to churches. Churches are losing their young people in droves because they are not finding reasons to believe provided by the clergy.

I want to write a series of blogs about the issue and I hope that you benefit from the content.

The topics will include
1) Evidence for a young earth.
2) What is being taught in our schools.
3) What has been found in the rocks of Israel.
4) How the subject of Evolution/Creation affects our mental health.

Most of us believe what we think is based upon truth. Some unfortunately shape their beliefs around what they perceive will satisfy their own ego. Dr. Bill Bright, the founder of Campus Crusade, said years ago that many base their belief upon principles that will support their own moral choices. With our young people, the issue affects them in a subtle way.

Essentially they do not know where they came from or where they are going; therefore they do not have a purpose in life established by their creator. So we have a huge population that belongs to the, dah generation.

After my graduation from college the issue of creation/evolution hit me square in the face. I had been raised in the church but some of the strongest teachers in the biological sciences at Purdue University had thrown doubt into my mind that the belief system taught by my Christian Educators had any validity.

I had to find out the truth.

So I spent several years studying and researching and found out there was a basis for faith after all. I even developed a seminar that I gave at several churches in Wisconsin and Minnesota. One group even asked me to come to French Lick, Indiana to present. Now after 40 years God has led me to this group here in Indy that need some help in making presentations to groups all over the country. What I will provide over the next few weeks is a thumbnail sketch of what we present. Hope you keep on the lookout for the articles.

If you would like a seminar in your church or for your church group contact me at sparks39@tds.net.

– – –

Next Week: Old Verses Young Earth
– – –

Read Dr. Sparks’ biography here.

Read Full Post »

I …

This piece was originally published on my birthday in 2009. And while I figured I ought to write something around my Big Day again this year – but don’t like the prospect of recycling this one in November – I have decided I’d better get it done now.

Having said this, I re-read it recently and there are a few things I’d say again if I could, so here goes. And anyway, my bet is plenty of people either have never read it or don’t remember it. Bad and risky policy, I suppose, but it’s my blog, and I’ll re-post it if I want to.

– – –

I was told, I guess during my last high school english course, that when writing, say, for public consumption, a person should avoid the use of “I” as much as possible. Of course, I am not very good at this, and ever since then, I have been plagued with constant guilt that I am horribly self-centered and narcissistic, and that’s truly why I can’t get away from it.

On the other hand, I’d rather think it’s simply a fundamental lack of writing talent.

Ultimately, I worry it’s both.

Anyway, here it is, reconsidered and updated a little.

– – –

Papa Ed and Uncle Verl

I …

…eat red meat (not much these days) and any wild game (my personal food rule is I’ll try anything twice); hunt, and deeply appreciate wildlife – and often get emotional about it; enjoy shooting clay pidgeons as much as actual hunting; like to get my hands dirty; love my family; miss the friends I do not see or speak with anymore; like mechanical stuff; like to chop wood in winter; think that old movies and classic literature are the best.

…miss my grandparents and friends who are gone; miss the smell of the corn in late July and early August; and am anxious to go to Aspen again.

…am hung up on certain movies (and the original stories), like Pride and Predjudice, The Proposal, Children of Men, Dan in Real Life, Wuthering Heights, and the frustrations and conflicts and possibilities I feel when reading Hemingway and Fitzgerald.

… like to recommend movies to people and think that Crash and Invincible are especially worth seeing, then discussing with people you care about.

… am sorry I threw the eraser at Melody Dillingham in second grade and would ask her forgiveness if I could.

… am fascinated by space and nature.

…feel an intense and exhilerating sense of being, of self-awareness and of doing what I ought – when running and riding, especially on a trail…

…and very thankful I still can.

Jaces+White Fish 2007

…care too much about interior decorating for my own good; still wish I had my ’69 Land Rover 19 years after selling it; want to go to the cabin in Canada every year and was filled a deep sense of joy and accomplishment when my son, Jace went for his first time – like something really important in life had just happened.

…think that Martin Luther King, Jr. ought to get just one day a year and Eisenhower should have gotten one a long time ago.

…would like to pick morels next Spring, and and am always willing to pay someone to FedEx a freshly-picked box to me.

…believe that as Americans, we are free to be as stupid as we want to be…

…and as great, and good and decent.

… am overly nostalgic about most everything; get mad too easily (but am getting better at it); am mellowing.

…am still learning; miss home; love Colorado, but smell Canada when I step outside early in the morning.

…enjoy politics…too much, and was mystified and made nearly insane in 2012.

…am sometimes thankful, thoughtful, and thoughtless. Many times.

Jace and Dad - 2001

…used to love to play a good game of football in the rain and still will when I can, and love to play catch with Jace and toss a baseball for him to take a swing at…

… and believe there is nothing like the feel and sound of a hardball being hit with a wood bat.

Many times, maybe most of the time I don’t know why, but believe asking why is pointless. And have stood at the grave of a friend; of too many friends, alone, looking and thinking; listening, remembering, and felt everything… and in some way, hope it never fades too much. And leave from that place and return to the Living, my family, and am restored somehow.

…intensely love to see my son’s smile and to hear my wife’s laughs, and am reassured by both.

0701121505-01

…used to like traveling alone but then wished I could share what I saw along the way.

… struggle with things I cannot see and feel.

…struggle with myself.

…am hopeful and amazed… but not always.

…am very happy to just be here and amazed at the prospect of what’s next.

…am thankful, relieved and humbled to be forgiven.

dad-and-jace-at-bettes-color-001

… and not necessarily in that order.

Read Full Post »

The Unwanted

Americans have a history of being fair and oft times perhaps too fair, too sensitive to foreign concerns.

Like everyone else, we also have a history of making mistakes.

General George Washington warned against making the mistake of forming detrimental international bonds and the dangers of foreign alliances. The same could be argued for going too far in respecting another’s beliefs or culture.

In the aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombing and subsequent death of murderer Tamerlan Tsarnaev, somehow, perhaps because of religious sensitivity, perhaps because of in-the-box thinking, or perhaps because of other unknown or unspoken issues, authorities determined he must be buried, and buried in the United States. This decision was flawed and doomed from the beginning.

Tsarnaev1_custom-cb1edbaf6228cdedf1de80a59d51f4b7d601801c-s6-c10

It surely must have been obvious to all involved that a “domestic burial” would be disastrous. We do not know the inside details, but what is surprising to us is that we have heard no mention in the broader news media of cremation and / or burial at sea.

So we continue in various ways to be bound by others, even dare we say – foreigners. The controversy and frustrations for “us” and the authorities were inevitable.

Understanding that Islam forbids it – it is against the law and custom of Islam to cremate a body – most essentially, because it desecrates and disrespects the physical body, there are three issues to consider:

First, it should be a universally understood fact that in carrying out the heinous act he and his brother did, he (they) effectively violated their religion and discarded the tenets that some argue prove Islam to be a religion of tolerance and peace.

In the betrayal of his own religion and adopted home and the people and communities he supposedly became a part of, he desecrated and disrespected everything. He desecrated and disrespected his neighbors, his community, his body, his life, his family, his religion, his culture, his rights, and so – his burial and so-called resting place – his eternal peace, if such a thing can be done, if such a thing is real.

The second is radical: to cremate Tsarnaev’s body anyway. It would most-decidedly resolve the issue for any community in the United States, which is – or at least, should be – the first concern. He is certainly due no respect or safety from desecration from anyone. But while this could be seen as a practical necessity it could also backfire tremendously and with lasting affect.

(At this point, no rational, sober person should attempt a reference to the alleged handling of Islamic Moro warriors by General ‘Black Jack’ Pershing – it is simply not true and not worthy of any further treatment here. Anyone with such curiosity can find plenty of trash on the Internet to read all day.)

Third, and most realistic and more practical is burial at sea. It should have been done in the first place. US Special Forces buried Osama Bin Laden at sea. (And recall it was done with all due deference to and respect for Islam.) If it was done in that case, it can certainly be done in this one. This is clearly the best option. If any of his family really wanted the body, they could find a way to get it done, but they have not.

Literally, no one wants it. This alone makes it our option.

Tsarnaev’s body should be surreptitiously disinterred and buried at sea by law enforcement authorities, either state or federal. It should have been the obvious answer from the beginning. They should do it immediately.

Read Full Post »

The Colors of Indiana

Fall Colors - Raymond Gehman

I suppose it is fitting that the first bona fide question submitted to Ask A Hoosier.com is about the Fall colors in Indiana – when do they come?

The short answer is: Generally, October. But that’s generally.

If I were to recommend a single source for authoritative information on Indiana’s fall colors, I would say checkout Outdoor Indiana’s September 2005 article, “Rainbow on the Bough” (www.in.gov/dnr/fall/Fall-Color-Article.pdf). This particular recommendation is because I am loyal and these guys are smart.

Now, before I go too far, let me say – I am not a professional. I am a passionate and longing ex-patriot Hoosier, displaced to another state, where, although absolutely beautiful at any time of the year – Colorado – the people boast of the beautiful – single – color of the aspens – yellow. It is an annual ritual in Colorado for residents and visitors alike to make the traditional weekend trek to the mountains to view the aspens. And they are in fact beautiful. They grow in thick groves on the steep mountain sides, in the rolling meadows of the high alpine elevations throughout the state. The small, delicate leaves become an almost luminescent glowing bright and golden yellow, and with their fluttering back and forth gently in the breeze they seem to have a living celebratory, purposeful motion about them. As if they know they’re on display; and they are. It is a sight worth seeing.

But when all is said and done, it’s one color.

Colorado Twilight near Crested Butte, CO - by Michael Anderson

My response to native Coloradans, meant to be engaging and ever-so-gentle probably comes out somewhat thankless and bitter anyway. “If you think the aspens are beautiful, you ought to see the trees in Indiana in the Fall!” If they don’t say it, they’re probably thinking it: “…And you can go back and live there, too…” Well, maybe I can’t explain myself properly. The best thing to do – really – is just to shut up and [enjoy the] color[s]. And, as I said, they are beautiful.

Indiana colors begin changing as early as September in certain parts of the state; primarily the northern-most region, and work their way down. The leaves are in their full vibrancy across the state by mid-to-late October. But it also depends on the tree species themselves. By late October-early November in Indiana, in my recollection, the leaves are mostly down, and so (in my opinion) provide for good-to-better squirrel huntin’ (This is due to my poor marksmanship. I can’t hit a thing with a .22 unless I brace it against a small tree, and I can’t see well enough to fight my visual way through all the leaves. So I wait. My waiting, by the way, is also due in part to the decline in mosquito activity. By this time the air is cool enough they’ve gone on home, and I’m not bothered by this mean and ungodly distraction.)

Maple Leaves

The maples are my personal favorite. Fiery bright reds, oranges, yellows, and the smeared spectrum of colors in between. The oaks produce these flaming bright colors, too, but also give us deep purples as a powerful bonus to their majestic display. And as I am from west-central Indiana, I have to say my home area is just incredible with its Fall colors in full splendor. But the full and final, hands-down nod goes to southern Indiana, and specifically, I have to award it to Brown County. It’s a glorious explosion. But it also demands an awe-inspired silence. For specific proof of this, make the drive on State Road 46 out of Bloomington toward Nashville anytime in October. As you travel along toward Brown County State Park (a must-visit), you’ll begin to see long-distance vistas to the south and east that will virtually command silence – a peace – just in the seeing of it.

I suppose when it comes right down to it, every county in the state – certainly the southern half – is vibrant almost beyond description. And nearly every state east of the Mississippi for that matter (recall I wrote in my earliest introduction to Ask A Hooiser.com, that whereever you are, whomever you are, it may not be, we may not be so different after all).

The visual experience is nearly spiritual, and for many, it is exactly that. The connection between us and God is surely pondered during this time of year in Indiana more than any other time: The miracle that we, in our natural state, are made to enjoy this so much, to respond with such an overwhelming sense of awe and appreciation. Did He do this for us? He must have. Were we made specifically with the capacity to feel this event as an actual experience that somehow makes a difference in our lives? It seems so.

ag_fall

If the debate as to the reality of God is assured to continue for eternity, so too will the presumed evidence proclaim its glory.

(For those of you who may be so inclined, check out the New Testament, the Letter to the Romans, chapter 1, verse 20. I was first presented with this very concept, that of evidence, while riding a ski lift in Colorado, when my friend, Jeff Lough turned around in the bench seat we were sharing, looked back across the valley surrounding Copper Mountain in Colorado, and confidently and with real amazement and appreciation said, “No one can tell me God doesn’t exist.”)

Go see for yourself. This one bit of evidence is not debatable.

If it is hard to describe the Fall colors of Indiana with grand and majestic words, it’s easy enough to say, “You just gotta see it.”

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »

Audrey Williams

Humanitarian. Pianist. Cellist. Teacher. Music Creator. Engineer

WanderLust

Notes from a Global Nomad

wthhistory

The Rise and Decline of a Small Town

Art Out The Wazoo

"There is no art without contemplation." - Robert Henri

Southern Indiana Agitator

Jeffersonville's Kelley Curran on politics, the media and more

Featherheart's Weblog

a place of poetry and photography

The Deep Friar

Digging a hole. And filling it up again.

Shannon A Thompson

You need the world, and the world needs good people.

Prego and the Loon

Pregnant and Dealing With Domestic Violence

Double Agent

The website of Steve Robert Simmons offering selected writings and personal essays. [Painting: "The Winding Road" by T. C. Steele (1907)]

%d bloggers like this: