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Saturday Selections – Oct. 14, 2023

Click on the article titles below to go to the linked articles…

Evidence for design: the push-pull principle

Evolution is supposed to happen in small, random steps. What it can’t account for is the push-pull principle, when two independent systems are needed to start and stop a body function. This would require that these two systems evolved not in small random steps but in a tight simultaneous choreography.

On Hamas: so this is what they mean by decolonization

RP contributor Jonathon Van Maren encourages us to listen to what they are telling us. John Stonestreet and Timothy Padgett also weigh in, on the reality of evil:

“Hamas didn’t simply attack Israeli military units or take out strategic targets. They mutilated the bodies of Jewish soldiers, killed entire families, kidnapped children and the elderly, and sexually assaulted women and girls before either killing them or carting them back to Gaza as trophies. One of the kidnapped is a survivor of the Nazi attempt to exterminate the Jews.”

The crisis of trust in science

In recent years “Science” has been celebrated as our only reliable guide, and not really to be questioned. But how is this God-substitute doing? Well, in 2016, Nature reported that more than 70% of researchers had “tried but failed to reproduce another scientist’s experiment, and more than half have failed to reproduce their own experiments.”

Homosexuality is getting pushed in evangelical churches under the guise of neutrality

We’ve seen it happening in the CRC, and now mega-church pastor Andy Stanley is leading the way for sexual compromise in his influential mega-church. As Stand to Reason’s Alan Shlemon notes:

“Andy Stanley is either naïve or crafty. Either way, he’s dangerous. He’s naïve if he thinks he can host the Unconditional Conference and it will not corrupt the church’s teaching on sexual ethics. Or he’s crafty and is using this conference to change the theology of his church and possibly other churches. Either way, he’s dangerous.”

Why Johnny can’t read…. but can spell G-A-Y

God gave us His Word, and thus, Christians love and promote literacy. While the Enemy can misdirect literacy, he can also use ignorance, which might be the best explanation for why many of his schools aren’t that interested in the ABCs. This article is a shocker.

“With large majorities of their students incompetent in English and math, Los Angeles schools are ramping up efforts—for more gay pride and gender indoctrination.”

When artificial intelligence makes art, what becomes of the artist?

A machine can make a picture, but can it discover meaning?

Stop the [mud] slinging in politics (2 min)

Potty humor aside, this makes an important point – insults don’t advance an argument and don’t win hearts or minds.


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Saturday Selections – Oct. 7, 2023

The challenges and reality of climate modeling (5 min) Steven Koonin is a scientist whose experiences include time as undersecretary of science at the Department of Energy in the Obama administration. He's also written Unsettled: What Climate Science Tells Us, What It Doesn't, and Why It Matters and the point he's arguing here is that scientists need to speak with a lot more humility in acknowledging the uncertainty about the conclusions their climate models come to, since they are built on assumptions upon assumptions. For his 1-hour-long interview on the same topic, click here. What makes a man manly? (10-min read) Evolution and God have two very different answers to that question, as Nancy Pearcey explains. Evolution leads to bad science example #6819: human tails Once every few hundred million times or so, a child will be born with what looks somewhat like a tail. Charles Darwin pointed to these instances as examples of our evolutionary origins - throwbacks to tailed ancestors we once had. Then: "In the 1980s, scientists took this theory and ran with it. They argued that a genetic mutation, evolved by humans to erase our tails, could sometimes revert back to its ancestral state." It took a long time, but the facts finally overwhelmed the evolutionary assumptions - these are not evidence of our origins, and not tails at all, but major mishaps, typically associated with an improper fusing of the spinal column. Ranked Choice Voting (RCV) Though I myself am a fan of Ranked Choice Voting – where you rank all the candidates from your first preference down to your last – it does have its downsides, which are explored in the article above. While there is no perfect electoral system, some are better and others worse. For example, electronic voting machines are touted for their convenience, but their coding is most often a proprietary secret, which is just one reason they don't allow for the accountability and transparency that pen on paper ballots can offer. And of course, the problem with all democratic systems is that voters can be very wicked and they may just get what they voted for. COVID-19, hygiene theatre, masks, and lockdowns: “solid science” or science veneer? (15 min read) "In an ideal world, there would be some process by which our public health agencies, at least, could come to recognize and admit how badly they managed to 'follow the science' on COVID-19, and how vast was the gulf between their expressions of absolute certainty and what the scientific literature showed at the time was, in fact, a sea of uncertainty. Until such a 'truth and reconciliation' process takes place, it is hard to see how public trust in public health institutions might be restored." Unintended consequences: a reason for restrained government Chesterton is said to have quipped "If men will not be governed by the Ten Commandments, they shall be governed by the ten thousand commandments," his point being that if men won't be restrained by God, then the government will have to step in, and they'll do a hodge podge of it. As opposed to God's divine law, governmental rules and regulations are a clumsy tool, devised as they are by fallible men and often at a great distance from the problems they are trying to address. So it is then, that governmental "solutions" often cause bigger problems – unintended consequences. Understanding this reality, lawmakers should, in humility, use the tool of lawmaking only when they absolutely must. ...