Science & Evolution
Posted 4/21/14 at 6:58 AM | Olabode Ososami
Just reflect on the new possibilities. You want to pay for some groceries and a new technology scans your face instead of your credit card … bringing up information associated with your identity. These technologies will not just serve to criminalize a part of the population, but will defeat any desire for anonymity or freedoms and remotely control access to services based on predetermined profiles.
Should we trust a central electronic policing that can stop an individual’s ability to procure a can of coke at the till … or disallow the entry of an individual into a bus if systems percieve a civil threat? These technologies are quite close in maturing to pilot rollouts and it is still unclear how legislation should regulate an ability to pick you out from anywhere in the globe and the power it confers on those who will manage these capabilities.
The 21st century marked the advent of formal declaration that we can no more pretend to be nations ruled by the authority of the word of God and this theme propelled a new regime of rights to be freed from what was called religious dogmas. It seems, before the mid-century, society will celebrate a new Biometric Surveillance ability to impose a perfection as defined by a government we trust more than the Creator. Will the guardian angels of the 21st century be dispatched through electronic detection machinery capable of a 24 by 7 monitoring, control and restriction of all movements … stopping for example an escaped convict from purchasing a cup of coffee … but with scope for other potential abuses? FULL POST
Posted 4/7/14 at 11:58 PM | CP Blogs
Two university economics professors have authored a peer-reviewed research paper on the role of "information manipulation" - the exaggeration of "climate change" - to advance international environmental policy agreements.
Nanyang Technological University assistant professor Fuhai Hong and Hong Kong University of Science and Technology assistant professor Xiaojian Zhao authored the paper "Information Manipulation and Climate Agreements" for the American Journal of Agricultural Economics. The research paper abstract states the following:
It appears that news media and some pro-environmental organizations have the tendency to accentuate or even exaggerate the damage caused by climate change. This article provides a rationale for this tendency by using a modified International Environmental Agreement (IEA) model with asymmetric information. We find that the information manipulation has an instrumental value, as it ex post induces more countries to participate in an IEA, which will eventually enhance global welfare. From the ex ante perspective, however, the impact that manipulating information has on the level of participation in an IEA and on welfare is ambiguous.
Climate Depot, Jayson Lusk and others offered critical commentary which resulted in the authors making a public statement to clear up any confusion: "We never advocate lying on climate change." FULL POST
Posted 3/30/14 at 9:25 PM | Jeffrey Goodman
Science does for Noah what Russell Crowe Couldn’t
While many people have heard of the story of Noah and the Flood, do not expect to see the Bible’s account portrayed in the new movie featuring Russell Crowe, released in theatre’s March 28, 2014. Not wanting to give much of the movie away, the screenwriter took more than creative license with his distortion of the Biblical account, including his invention of monstrous rock people. As far as artistic merit, at one point Russell Crowe looked a bit like Jack Nicholson in The Shining when he comes after his family members.
I watched a YouTube interview with people on the street answering questions about the story of Noah regarding this movie. At the end of the interview a significant number of the people said they were Christians. Yet few knew the story of the Flood. Most said they did not believe the story to be true, or that God had a right to destroy the people because of their wrongdoing.
As a Christian, is it important to know what the Bible says? In Hosea God says his people die from a lack of knowledge. In the Bible the story of Noah and the Flood is told in a few pages. While scientists do not believe 40 days of rain could produce a world-wide flood that would cover the mountains, the Bible story when properly translated gives information that leads to a scientific explanation and direct scientific evidence for the Flood.
Below you will find an earlier blog that I wrote that presents scientific support for the Bible’s account of the Flood.
Posted 3/18/14 at 10:01 AM | Brian Wallace
We share many of our basic functions with animals, but our higher reasoning gives us the ability to live outside of our basic instincts. However, this is not always a good thing. This infographic outlines some of the areas where we might learn to live better by taking a cue from our animal bretheren.
Posted 3/13/14 at 6:20 PM | Mike Keas
"The cosmos is all that is, or ever was, or ever will be." That's how Sunday's premiere of the new TV series Cosmos began. This echo of Carl Sagan's famous statement of naturalistic faith is the organizing assumption for this new series, now hosted by the best known planetarium director in the country, Neil deGrasse Tyson.
For ENV's responses to the Cosmos premiere, see:
The historically inaccurate material on Bruno that dominates the premiere episode has been debunked mutliple times by historians of science. See, for example, Jole Shackelford's essay about the myth "That Giordano Bruno Was the First Martyr of Modern Science" in the book Galileo Goes to Jail: And Other Myths About Science and Religion, edited by Ronald L. Numbers, 59-67 (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2009). Although this book's essay on intelligent design is inadequate, the other essays, like this one on Bruno, are well done. Jay Richards' blog linked above gives you the essential information you need about what really happened to Bruno, and why. FULL POST
Posted 2/26/14 at 11:36 AM | Christian Post Guest Voices
By David Murray
One of the young men in my congregation is at Northwestern University in Chicago this week, starting an experimental stem cell treatment for multiple sclerosis that is his only hope of living beyond his twenties. Frustratingly late diagnosis, rapidly worsening symptoms, and disappointingly ineffective drugs had all combined over the past 12 months to produce a sense of helplessness and hopelessness.
Then through a member in our church listening to the radio one afternoon, Trent found out about the extremely rare but revolutionary treatment that the brilliant Dr. Richard Burt of Northwestern is trialling on a very few select patients. A number of amazing, we might even say miraculous, providences followed that have resulted in Trent not only being accepted for the trial but the $150,000 cost being met – partly by a generous donor, partly by a phenomenal church collection, and partly by a group of young girls in our church who caused a state-wide shortage of cookie dough! FULL POST
Posted 2/26/14 at 9:39 AM | Tim Challies
The headline says it all: “The Dawn of the Designer Babies.” Scientists have developed a new technology meant to eliminate genetic abnormalities in newborns. They do this by combining the DNA of three people instead of only two. The procedure has been successfully tested in monkeys and now the FDA is considering whether the trial should expand to humans. At first the procedure would be available only to women who are likely to pass on debilitating genetic diseases to their children. After that? Well, we can only imagine.
The history of technology shows that we would far rather ask the “can we?” questions than the “should we?” questions. We are more interested in ability than morality. Lest we get cocky, we ought to admit that this is true in the small picture as much as the big picture, in the living room as much as the laboratory. Our relationship to technology is such that on some level we tacitly believe technology’s gifts to us must be good. We believe this when the new social network or the new cell phone comes along and we believe this when the new experimental procedure comes along. FULL POST
Posted 2/21/14 at 2:53 PM | Mark Ellis
By Mark Ellis
Some believe human beings evolved from a single-celled creature, which gradually becoming more and more complex over a vast time span. But what if the oldest single-celled bacteria ever found contained intricate, synchronized motors more complex than a Boeing 747?
In November, 2012, two scientific groups from Osaka University in Japan and Aix-Marseille Université in France made a startling discovery.
They set out to uncover the power behind the tiny tails (flagella) that allowed the MO-1 marine bacterium to swim. Using electron cryotomography—an electron microscope and very cold temperatures — they found this “simple” creature’s tails are powered by seven motors, arranged in a hexagonal array, with all gears interacting with 24 smaller gears between them.
“This is the earliest bacteria ever found,” says Mark Rose, founder of Genesis Alive. “They found it in rock they claim is three billion years old,” he notes. “That means it’s the oldest, most complete single cell.” FULL POST
Posted 2/21/14 at 1:56 PM | Larry Dozier
The atheist Professor of Philosophy pauses before his class and asks one of his students to stand.
'You're a Christian, aren't you, son?' (Professor)
'Yes sir,' the student says. (Student)
'So you believe in God?' (Professor)
'Absolutely!’ (Student) FULL POST
Posted 2/21/14 at 1:28 PM | Michael Bresciani
After reading the reviews, publishing some on our website and finally taking the time to listen to every word and nuance of the debate between creationist Ken Ham and Bill Nye the science guy. The idea of rating one against the other to determine who won the debate melted away like snow in July. After hearing only one single answer from Bill Nye and Ken Ham’s follow-up reply the abject spiritual poverty of modern man became perfectly evident – it was blaring.
Nye offered one of the worst explanations of entropy, sometimes called the second law of thermodynamics, ever heard. It was as if he was espousing the idea that the law, which states that everything in the universe is decaying, could be overcome simply by the warm glow of the sun.
We almost expected someone, anyone, to stop the debate long enough to remind Nye that the sun is also subject to the second law, it too is slowly burning up and will someday be gone altogether. But Nye’s mesmerization with science magic could not be de-lustered. FULL POST