25 December 2013

Did the Baby Wake?

The setting is Seattle, the weather meek and mild
The characters: A maiden, a man, and a child.

But wait! There's still one more, and our setup is complete
The maiden's jealous sister, whose name I won't repeat.

The sister was a witch (yes, it seems that we still have them)
The maiden was with child, but the witch's womb was barren.

The Warlock would not be pleased if he had not successors
So she devised a plan much akin to her ancestors.

She made a shopping trip to Pikes Place (yes, witches do this too)
To buy a few ingredients for a potion she would brew.

Some flying fish, some foreign dish, a busker man's dread-lock
And a couple soggy worms that she picked off from the side-walk

She threw it in her pot, she made it froth and foam
And did every single thing that you should not try at home.

When the vile stew had boiled, with an odor that would kill
She gathered the remains of it, and put it in a pill.

If you exit off of 405, and drive past WaSU college,
You'll find house 17, that's the man and maiden's cottage.

The witch dropped by one day, just to see how things were going
The maiden was not doing well, for the baby was still growing.

"Does it hurt, honey, when the baby grows inside?
Here, take this ibuprofen, I'm sure it will subside."

And when the time arrived for the baby to come out
He rushed her to the hospital, but the midwife was in doubt

Sweat trickled down the maiden's cheek, she writhed and groaned in pain
She pushed and pushed and pushed, but the baby never came.

"I'm sorry," said the doctor, "for you and for your wife.
The fetus that's inside her womb has shown no signs of life."

The man knelt by his mistress, and kissed her fevered head
The girl let out an anguished cry, "my baby boy is dead!"

Now this may seem fantastic, you'll have to take my word
The following stanzas are most dreadfully absurd.

He pressed his ear against her belly, and cried "his heart is beating!
Our baby is not dead, my love, he is only sleeping!"

"In every single family, you'll find this rascal pup
That lazy little child who simply won't get up!

His father tries, his sister tries, his brother tries it too,
But alas! No one in the family knows exactly what to do!

No living man on earth can arouse that sleepy head
A mother is the only one who can drag him out of bed!"

The maiden disbelieved it, but for his sake she tried
She whispered lovely things to the sleeping boy inside

Of happy summer days, of birthday cakes she'd bake
And countless other things they'd do if only he would wake

The games, the songs, the fairy-tales, the plates that he would break
And all the messes she'd clean up if only he would wake

The friends and enemies he'd meet, mistakes that he would make
And countless other tales to tell, if only he would wake

The wife that he would marry, the paths that he would take
Of all the life he had to live, if only he would wake

You have never seen a mother who has longed so much for pain!
If only he would kick and scream and be alive again!

Did the baby wake?




And then I woke up.

16 December 2013

Why Militant Creationists are Stupid

This post is a bit of a mouthful. You might wanna take a break and go Christmas shopping halfway through. But if you read all of it and share your thoughts in the comments, it counts as a Christmas present. :)

You've probably heard the basic arguments against Darwinism:

-Life cannot come from non-life
-Nature is so complex it can't have evolved from chance
-Anyone who thinks otherwise needs to take a long walk off a short dock

That last one isn't exactly an argument, but it's a favorite from both sides of the debate. And here's a head's up, Darwinists. Every creationist argument is a variation of these three.

With that said, I have been less sympathetic to the creationist crowd than the atheists.  I am a Christian and have no intention of becoming anyone else, but there are sects of people (whom I will refer to as militant creationists) who are more antagonistic than their professed arch nemesis, namely Richard Dawkins.  Here's one example.

Probably the worst history course I took was World History in "Christian perspective".  The teacher was fine, but the textbook certainly shouldn't be on the shelves. From the very first page, I knew something was off. The first historical event discussed was the seven days of creation.


Here's the dictionary definition of history:

noun: history; plural noun: histories
  1. the study of past events, particularly in human affairs.

What's the emphasis here? Human affairs. Where were the humans during the seven days of creation? Who was there to record it?  Where were the eyewitnesses? Any historian will tell you that an event in which no humans were present cannot be taught as history. This is the first mistake of militant creationists: intelligent design cannot be proven.  No matter how many scientific references you find in the Bible, the Bible is not a science textbook.

So what do you call the seven-day story of creation? A myth.

That sounds a little weird coming from someone who believes in the Genesis account, I know.  But that's because we all have a skewed idea of Myth. Most people tend to think that mythology is for tales around the campfire and to get the cooks to go hunting for Sasquatch. Although it can be very useful in this respect, we've got to clear this misconception out of the way. What is a myth?

Here's the best definition I've found. Owen Barfield was a close friend of C.S. Lewis.  He was a huge inspiration for the Narnia books, and a brilliant writer and scholar. This is how he defines a myth:

“Myths congeal multiple levels of meaning from a time before there was any recognizable form of history into a single poetic narrative which has an intuitive correspondence with experienced reality transcending time.”  

In other words, myths are explanations of things that happen where no humans are present. In science, myths are called "indirect observation". We can't see atoms, but if we assume they exist, it explains the nature of things like fire and water.  Actually, the majority of things taught in science (the core of the earth, black holes, and everything in between) are explanations of things where humans are incapable of physically observing. By this definition, science is glorified mythology.

Now that's different than saying "Christianity is a myth" which many materialists like to proclaim. There were over 500 eyewitness accounts of Christ's resurrection, and men and women will still suffer the pain of death in his name 2000 years later. There is no question that Jesus existed and had a significant impact on world history. Even if you don't believe he was the Son of God, you cannot deny that he existed. Fairy-tales can last for millennia, but nobody, however deluded, would die for a fairy-tale.

But, back to the militant creationists. After this textbook came in teaching this myth as fact, they made a rather rude inference to evolutionists. The following pages were dedicated to "Evolution, humanism, and the destruction of man".

Is this snooty or what?

The writers claim that "this idea cannot explain the beginning of world history, and it gives a false impression of man".

Forget for a second whether this is true or not. The question you need to be asking is, "is this a sermon or a history textbook?"

This is the second mistake of militant creationists, of historical and scientific background: evolution cannot be disproved.

Evolution is also an explanation of something that happened outside of human experience; therefore, it is also a myth. You could say that the apes were eyewitness accounts, but then again, they had the unfortunate disadvantage of being apes. After all, the idea of writing things down did not occur to them till at least 40 million years later, nor do we have the liberty of sitting down for coffee with our ancient ancestors and debriefing the origin of our existence. (Evolutionists are equally guilty of teaching myth as fact, but that's for another post).

No matter how much evidence you find supporting either side, neither can be taught as fact. With that, let's move on.

After this textbook had sufficiently irked me, the writers went on to praise the great scientists like Isaac Newton, Galileo, and Albert Einstein--much less for their actual work than for their Christian faith (even though Einstein was most likely a deist).  Then, for some reason, they decided it was worth our time to dedicate an entire chapter on evolution, titled, in big bold letters, "DARWIN: A THREAT TO MODERN SCIENCE."

The opening paragraphs reads:
"Around the middle of the 19th century, a number of foolish errors arose from the failure of scientists and other men to keep their thinking in line with God's word. The error that was destined to affect the thought of great masses of people by the dawn of the 20th century and to detour many scientists from their true work was Charles Darwin's theory of evolution."

Every single sentence in this paragraph is dripping with groundless bias. "Foolish errors", "detour" and "their true work" are all subjective statements, and here they are being taught like the law of gravity.

Read on:

"Darwin did not possess the intellectual gifts that helped to make the great founders of modern science remarkable. 'I believe that I was considered by all my masters and by my father as a very ordinary boy,' he wrote, ' rather below the common standard in intellect.'"

They go on to insinuate that Darwin was an idiot because he didn't like math. Darwin writes, "I attempted at mathematics, but I got on very slowly. The work was repugnant to me, chiefly from my not being able to see any meaning in the early steps of algebra." The historian writes:

"Without ability in mathematics, Darwin lacked the chief tool of the great scientists."

Again, forget whether the statement is true are not.  The problem is that they are using this as an attack on his credibility and intelligence. In other words, because Darwin was an ordinary boy, he was obviously incapable of any contribution to science.  When I read that, this is what I saw:

"Well kids, if you don't have an unnaturally augmented brain like Einstein and can't do trig problems in your sleep, you might as well give up on making a difference in the world, because only the prodigies and geniuses are useful to us."

Even if Darwin's mathematical inadequacy did affect his scientific career, Christians have no right to talk. David was a shepherd.  Gideon had never fought in his life. Moses couldn't speak in public. Jesus Christ was a carpenter's son.  Militant creationists will loudly proclaim that "God uses ordinary people to accomplish His purposes" but dismiss Darwin because he was "ordinary".

Militant Creationist Mistake Number Three.

With that said, Darwin made some profound and scientifically sound observations on his trip the Galapagos Islands. Animals do adapt and evolve in accordance with their environment. Stronger species do stamp out the weaker species. Evolution and natural selection does, in fact, happen.  Whether this explains the origin of man is a different story. Like the account of Jesus, you cannot deny that it exists, and like the account of Jesus, Darwin's conclusion must be taken on faith.

So there you go. That's three reasons why militant creationists are stupid.  You could say that I simply got a bad history textbook, but I could have give you several more examples from other curriculums or conferences I've visited, that all express the same ideas. I found this history textbook the most concentrated example of those ideas.  Understand, I believe that every single atom in creation points towards an intelligent Creator. I could go on to say why atheism is stupid too, but...I'll leave that to the militant creationists.

-The Minstrel Boy

(Next post is a continuation on the flip-side of the subject and a followup of "A Fault in the Soul", which has received some confusion and warrants elaboration.)

12 December 2013

A Non-Subjective Song about Humans and Other News


First try at sound mixing. Don't throw up. (And thanks to John-Luke for telling me that the ocarina was out of tune).

Inspiration goes to  Hard Times by Charles Dickens and my frustration with Bellevue College.

"Louisa was impelled to throw herself upon his breast, and give him the pent-up confidences of her heart. But, see to it, Thomas Gradgrind must have overleaped at a bound the artificial barriers he had for many years been erecting, between himself and all those subtle essences of humanity which will elude the utmost cunning of algebra until the last trumpet ever to be sounded shall blow even algebra to wreck."

 Also, a drawing about the human condition:

Are you scared? You should be. This is a scary drawing. It's probably the scariest thing you'll ever see on this blog. 

 And need I inform you that HANNAH IS COMING HOME IN FOUR DAYS.  Anyone who wants to come over and party is welcome.  Right now I'm trying to find a seamstress to make a Hannah-sized dress that looks like this:

Which is a marionette puppet I bought from the Czech Republic (only 40 bucks!! wowzers!!) along with THIS little rascal:

I call him a rascal because he took a week to get him untangled. In case you've been wondering, I'm working on a music video, which will hopefully be coming out this Christmas, including but not limited to marionette puppets and Hannah-sized dresses.

 Sometime I'll post videos of the speeches I've been competing with this year. They're loads of fun. Anyway, I'm off! Have a great Christmas y'all! Swing by here sometime, will ya? 

-The Minstrel Boy