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Tidbits – July 2024

7 debunked evolutionary “evidences”

As Dr. Jonathan Wells has documented in his books Icons of Evolution and Zombie Science, there are long discredited “evidences” for evolution that keep popping up in science textbooks. Why do evolutionists use these bad examples? Because, as lies go, these are pretty compelling ones, especially to high school and college students who don’t know better. And they use them because they don’t have any better evidences. Click on the links below to learn more.

  1. Galapagos finches – Darwin though changing beak sizes was a great proof. But the back and forth change only showed a built-in adaptability.
  2. Junk DNA – Evolutionists presumed the majority of our DNA was just non-functioning remnants of our previous evolutionary stages. Wrong.
  3. Vestigial organs – Evolutionists presumed that parts of the body they didn’t understand were just useless remnants of previous evolutionary stages. They were wrong again.
  4. Backward retina – Our eye isn’t designed the way evolutionists would design it, so they thought that was evidence of bad – i.e. unguided – design. But it’s not bad; it’s brilliant.
  5. Haeckel’s embryos – Embryos of different species were drawn to make it look like we all start life looking the same. But reality is quite different.
  6. Miller-Urey experiment – This intelligently-designed experiment done in a controlled lab setting is often cited as proof that the building blocks of life could come about by sheer luck, in the great outdoors.
  7. Homology in vertebrate limbs – Both frogs and humans have five digits, so does that show we evolved from a common ancestor? Well, no, as we now know very different genes can be at work here.

Go to, or to find out more about each of these.

Education is never neutral

There is a quote circulating the Internet, commonly attributed to Dr. R.C. Sproul and which certainly reflects his views, but that I haven’t been able to trace directly to him. Regardless of whether he said it or not someone certainly should have.

“There is no such thing as a neutral education. Every education, every curriculum, has a viewpoint. That viewpoint either considers God in it or it does not. To teach children about life and the world in which they live without reference to God is to make a statement about God. It screams a statement. The message is either that there is no God or that God is irrelevant. Either way the message is the same.”

One paraprosdokian deserves nine others

A paraprosdokian is a turn of a phrase that might seem to be heading in a certain direction, only to then take a sudden twist.

  • Going to church doesn’t make you a Christian, any more than standing in a garage makes you a car.
  • Always swim or dive with a friend. It reduces your chance of shark attack by 50%.
  • If you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the precipitate.
  • Don’t let the village raze your child.
  • Everything comes to those who wait… except a cat.
  • Two guys walked into a bar; the third one ducked.
  • I used to play piano by ear. Now I use my hands.
  • Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
  • Outside of a dog, a book is a man’s best friend. Inside of a dog it’s too dark to read. – Groucho Marx
  • Last night I removed all the bad food from the house. It was delicious.

Tim Keller on Anglo-Saxon warriors and their feelings

It is for the sake of “authenticity” that we now have men saying they are women. It’s how they feel, so the world has to take them as they identify.

But what this supposes is that we are our feelings, and these emotions define us more certainly than anything else. It also assumes those feelings are so set in stone, so utterly unchangeable, that if our body runs counter to our feelings, it is our body that needs to be changed and not our feelings.

To clear up this confusion, Tim Keller uses a thought experiment (from his book Preaching: Communicating Faith in an Age of Scepticism) to demonstrates that our feelings don’t define us.

“Imagine an Anglo-Saxon warrior in Britain in AD 800. He has two very strong inner impulses and feelings. One is aggression. He loves to smash and kill people when they show him disrespect. Living in a shame-and-honor culture with its warrior ethic, he will identify with that feeling. He will say to himself, That’s me! That’s who I am! I will express that. The other feeling he senses is same-sex attraction. To that he will say, That’s not me. I will control and suppress that.

“Now imagine a young man walking around Manhattan today. He has the same two inward impulses, both equally strong, both difficult to control. What will he say? He will look at the aggression and think, This is not who I want to be, and will seek deliverance in therapy and anger-management programmes. He will look at his sexual desire, however, and conclude, This is who I am.

This highlights how there is something outside us that defines us. The unbeliever may just attribute it to “culture” but even he’ll have to admit that he is more than his feelings. Keller continues:

“…we receive some interpretive moral grid, lay it down over our various feelings and impulses, and sift them through it. This grid helps us decide which feelings are ‘me’ and should be expressed – and which are not and should not be. So this grid of interpretive beliefs – not an innate, unadulterated expression of our feelings – is what gives us our identity. Despite protests to the contrary, we instinctively know our inner depths are insufficient to guide us. We need some standard or rule from outside of us to help us sort out the warring impulses of our interior life.”

So what the world needs to hear from Christians then, is:

  1. Your feelings are answerable to a standard that is outside of yourself.
  2. Your culture can only offer an ever-changing, baseless standard.
  3. Your Maker made you for a purpose, and we can only be our most “authentic selves” when we yield to the One who knows us better than we know ourselves.

A tribute of sorts

Reagan once shared a quip about a teacher who had:

“…taught her class about magnets and all their properties and then several weeks later gave a test and asked them what it was that was spelled with six letters, began with an M, and picked up things. Eighty-seven percent of the class said, ‘mother.’”

Reason to pray

For those who find prayer difficult, there are many reasons to persist, one of which Willem J. Ouweneel lists in The Heidelberg Diary:

“There is a peculiar element in the Catechism’s answer [H.C. answer 116] that we should not overlook. God gives his blessings ‘only to those who pray continually.’ Here, a direct causal link is seen between our prayers and God’s answers. Some people feel that God’s sovereignty implies that he cannot make himself dependent on what humans ask. If God would depend on humans, in whatever small way, they argue, this would ruin his sovereignty. They overlook the fact that, apparently, God has sovereignly decided to involve human actions and decisions as well as prayers in his ways with the world…”

SOURCE: (h/t Jan Broersma)

On the value of one plus one

“…there are no words to express the abyss between isolation and having one ally. It may be conceded to the mathematician that four is twice two. But two is not twice one; two is two thousand times one. That is why, in spite of a hundred disadvantages, the world will always return to monogamy.” – G.K. Chesterton

11 things to do instead of screens

Summer is here and as blogger Arlene Pellicane noted, “more free time usually morphs into more screen time.” While the pull of screens might persist, there is so much your kids can get up to. Here are 11 suggestions, but a 12th might be to have your kids create their own activities list.

  1. Play ultimate frisbee, or create your own backyard frisbee golf course.
  2. Wash your car… and your neighbor’s or grandparents’.
  3. Take an online course (programming, logic, Dutch, etc.).
  4. Have a yard sale for a good cause. Canvass for donations, make posters, etc.
  5. Create a list of books, with your parents’ help, that you should read before you leave home… and then read some of them.
  6. Play a board game. Change some of the rules to invent your own version.
  7. Do a chore, unasked, every day.
  8. Design and create a pro-life chalk picture for your driveway.
  9. Write, and draw, a series of stickman comics. Recruit a friend to do it with you.
  10. Get outdoors, swimming, biking, rollerblading, paddleboarding, or whatever.
  11. Compliment three people a day.

Are you interruptible?

If it ain’t an emergency your kids shouldn’t interrupt, right? That’s a good general rule, because we want our kids to be patient, and not think the world revolves around just them. But we also want them to understand God gave them parents to be there for them. So it can be overdone.

As I heard noted on a podcast, even Jesus was “interruptible” – the woman who reached out to touch Jesus (Luke 8:43-48), and the men who lowered their friend through the roof (Mark 2:1-12) weren’t waiting patiently.

Busy parents need to note that it is often the unplanned conversations that really matter. Yes, your daughter might already be late for bed, but if she’s sharing now, right before you’re heading out her bedroom door, maybe you’re the one who needs to learn some patience… so you can stop and listen. There is a balance to be had, but if you want your kids coming to you with their troubles – and you should want that – then you need to be interruptible.

Not just a G-rating

You have three kids wondering what they can do, and meanwhile laundry still needs to be folded, and you haven’t even begun figuring out what dinner will be. “What about a movie, Mom?” That sounds like just the idea, an animated classic, with a nice safe G-rating of course.

But wait just a second! The authors of a 2014 study called “Cartoons Kill” compared death in kids’ films with adult dramas and found that main characters were more likely to die in the kids’ movies! If you find that hard to believe, consider what happens in just a few of Disney’s biggest hits:

  • Bambi – Bambi’s mother is shot by hunters
  • The Lion King – Simba’s father is murdered
  • Frozen – Elsa and Anna’s parents are drowned
  • Tarzan – Tarzan’s parents are killed by a leopard
  • Finding Nemo – Nemo’s siblings and mother are killed by a barracuda
  • The Fox and the Hound – Tod’s mother is shot

The researchers concluded:

“There was no evidence to suggest these results had changed over time since 1937, when Snow White’s stepmother, the evil queen, was struck by lightning, forced off a cliff, and crushed by a boulder while being chased by seven vengeful dwarves.”

While “effects of exposure to animated depictions of death have not been studied,” one experimental study showed an impact: “…children who watched a movie about drowning were less willing to try canoeing than other children.” The study’s authors wanted parents to understand that while animated films may have a G or PG rating, they can still have a death count comparable to adult films.

Hay mon!

My hearing isn’t quite what it was, and I’m determined to have as much fun with it as I can. So I shared the joke when I couldn’t figure out what it was that my neighbor’s dad was up to that day. This 60-something gentleman has his own karaoke machine, so when his wife said he had left “to reggae,” it at least seemed possible.

It turned out, however, that the retired farmer had gone “to rake hay.”

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In a Nutshell

Tidbits – June 2024

Good parenting is time-consuming In The New Tolerance, authors Josh McDowell and Bob Hostetler recall the method one dad used to teach his teenage son to see through the messages being presented in pop music. The son was allowed to buy any album he wanted so long as his dad listened to it beforehand. "If dad approved not only of the language but of the more subtle messages in the music, fine; if not... dad would always explain his decisions." At one point this father rejected three straight albums, which didn't leave his son all that happy. And it wasn't so easy on the dad either; he had to spend a long time listening to some lousy music. Nowadays parents might go song by song instead. But either way, by investing "quantity time" with his son – by slogging through track after tracj – this dad was able to equip his son to know and appreciate what was praiseworthy, and to see through what was shameful and unworthy. No biggie, right? "As my friend Terence McKenna used to say, 'Modern Science is based on the principle, Give us one free miracle and while explain the rest.' And the one free miracle is the appearance of all the matter and energy in the universe and all the laws that govern it from nothing, in a single instant." – Rupert Sheldrake A tip to talk to your kids about God by Jay Younts In Matthew 16, Jesus presents his disciples with a two-part question. It is a masterful question and one that parents can use with great benefit. Jesus asks his disciples, “Who do people say that I am?” When the disciples finish giving their answers, Jesus makes the question personal. He asks, “Who do you say that I am?” Peter quickly proclaims that Jesus “is the Christ, the Son of the Living God.” This question revealed the content of Peter’s heart. You can use this two-part question effectively to help you understand your children’s thoughts. For example: “Hey kids, what do you friends say is causing all of the damaging weather the country has been having?” “What do you think has been causing this weather?” or: “What do your teammates say about major league stars using performance enhancing drugs?” “What do you think about PED’s?” There are many, many possible situations that this two-part question can help you better understand your children. For this to be effective, your concern and questions must genuine.  They should flow out of normal conversations. This is a tool to help you gather data. If you want to use this more than once, then don’t immediately correct an answer that you think is wrong. You are asking for their opinion, don’t penalize children for doing what you asked. Rather, use the answers you receive to help plan positive ways address your children’s thoughts and correct them if needed. It is always a good idea to follow Christ’s example in interacting with people. SOURCE: Reprinted with permission from Good News vs. good advice What's the difference between good news and good advice? Douglas Wilson gives the illustration of a teacher who, at the beginning of the term tells students to take careful notes, study hard, and listen with attention. That is all good advice. However when exam day comes the teachers notices one student who is staring, just staring, at his blank test sheet - he's written nothing. The teacher could give some more tips: relax, clear your head, take some deep breathes. Those would all be good advice. But if the teacher says, "Scoot over - I'll take the test for you," that there is Good News! Socialist says something smart! "I'd rather vote for what I want, and not get it, than vote for what I don't want and get it." – Eugene V. Debs, Socialist candidate for President in the 1900, 1904, 1908, 1912, and 1920 American elections. Weighing words "There are two kinds of people who don’t say much – those who are quiet, and those who talk a lot." – Unknown (but pretty in accord with Eccl. 5:2, 9:17, Prov. 10:19, Prov. 18:2 & Prov. 29:20) G.K. Chesterton on dragons and monsters Chesterton valued reading fantastical fiction to children, or at least the sort where good triumphs. He wrote: “Fairy tales do not give the child his first idea of . What fairy tales give the child is his first clear idea of the possible defeat of . The baby has known the dragon intimately ever since he had an imagination. What the fairy tale provides for him is a St. George to kill the dragon. Exactly what the fairy tale does is this: it accustoms him for a series of clear pictures to the idea that these limitless terrors had a limit, that these shapeless enemies have enemies in the knights of God, that there is something in the universe more mystical than darkness, and stronger than strong fear.” A common Bible-reading blunder Some of people’s favorite Bible verses are actually misleading because they are isolated from their broader context. In the movie Soul Surfer, after Bethany Hamilton loses an arm to a shark attack, she grabs hold of Philippians 4:13 – “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” – as an assurance that she will again return to surfing. But when we look to the broader context in which this verse appears we see it is not about being able to do everything but rather about the author, the apostle Paul, being able to endure anything through Christ. In the January 2015 issue of Solid Ground ( Greg Koukl succinctly summarizes what’s going wrong here: "A host of popular verses have been consistently misunderstood by well-meaning Christians because of a simple mistake they’d never make with other writings. Here’s their blunder: They think there are verses in the Bible. What I mean is, the numbers creating individual verses give the false impression that sentences or phrases stand on their own as spiritual truths. But they almost never do. When you ask, “How does this verse apply to my life?” you may be assuming it has significance – and therefore, application – disconnected from the larger narrative or flow of thought. That’s the problem. Most people would be surprised to discover there actually are no verses in God’s inspired Word. They were added 1500 years later. As a result, some of the most popular passages have been consistently misread by believers because the numbers got in the way." Evangelism is vital, but why? "Mission is not the ultimate goal of the Church. Worship is. Mission exists because worship doesn't. Worship is ultimate, not missions, because God is ultimate, not man." – John Piper Bible reading blunder II As incendiary blog post titles go, this one was scorching: “The One Page of the Bible I’d Like to Rip Out.” But this truly was addition by subtraction: Chad Bird wants to rip out a page that is “blank except for three words: ‘The New Testament.’” As he explained: …it’s more than a page; it’s really a mind-set that this page represents. It’s the wrongheaded assumption that a radical separation exists between the Old Testament and the New Testament. This way of thinking dams up the waters of the first part of the Bible from the last part of the Bible. In reality, yes, the biblical stream flows deeply and freely from Malachi to Matthew, but too many Christians don’t see it that way. They see two, very distinct, often even opposing, bodies of water. They look to the left and see the “river of law” in the OT; and to the right they view the “river of Gospel” in the NT…. Rather than confessing that the writings of Moses and the prophets are Christian scripture, they treat them as Jewish scripture from which Christians might learn a few things. So you see, it’s not so much that I want to rip the page out of the Bible that divorces the OT from the NT, but that I want to rip that mindset out of the heads of modern Christians. Those forgiving privateers Spotted on a T-shirt: “To err is human; to ‘arr!’ is pirate.” Pierre vs. Justin on abortion Back in 2014 Liberal Party leader Justin Trudeau announced that anyone running for his party in the next election would be expected to vote against any limits to abortion. In response pro-life Conservative MP Maurice Vellacott shared an old newspaper quote to contrast Justin Trudeau's views on abortion – as an unquestionable and absolute right – with that of his father, Pierre. Though the former prime minister eliminated most of the unborn’s legal protections he was against the unfettered access his son supports. In a May 25, 1972 article the then Prime Minister Trudeau was quoted in The Montreal Star saying: You know, at some point you are killing life in the foetus in self-defense – of what? Of the mother’s health or her happiness or of her social rights or her privilege as a human being? I think she should have to answer for it and explain. Now, whether it should be to three doctors or one doctor or to a priest or a bishop or to her mother-in-law is a question you might want to argue…. You do have a right over your own body – it is your body. But the foetus is not your body; it’s someone else’s body. And if you kill it, you’ll have to explain. It’s hard to determine which Trudeau’s position is the more detestable: the father who admitted that another body – another somebody – was involved and still wanted abortion to be allowed in many circumstances, or the son who has never made such an admission, but wants abortion allowed in every circumstance. Answering a fool In Proverbs 26:4-5 God says we shouldn’t argue with fools…except when we should. Do not answer a fool according to his folly, or you yourself will be just like him. Answer a fool according to his folly, or he will be wise in his own eyes. The danger in responding to fools is in coming off looking like them. So if a fool is just hurling insults in an online flame wars we shouldn't engage with that kind of folly, because we’ll be likely to come off like just another angry fool. But when a fool offers an argument, then we can answer his folly by showing where his argument will logically take him. So, in an online forum an abortion advocate wrote: I don't get why a human that lives 80 years with modern medicine is more important than a tree that lives 500 years. Long-living trees are more important than short-living humans? We can expose the folly here by following it to its logical end. And we will glorify God when we contrast this foolishness with the wisdom of what God says. Our response might look something like this: God says that man is the pinnacle of creation, but you place us somewhere behind trees. Do you live your life consistent with that belief? Do you read books? (You do know what those are made of, don’t you?) Have you sat around a campfire and enjoyed watching the flames dance over countless wooden carcasses? What is your home made out of? Your coffee filters? Do you use toilet paper? If you’re participating in the slaughter of trees your lifestyle shows even you don’t believe trees rate above humans. So reject your lie and explore what God has to say about his creation, and how Man is to care for it. And that begins with caring for the littlest and the weakest who are made in His image right from conception. One reason we want really smart cops In his book, The Notes, Ronald Reagan offered one very good reason why extra smart officers would be ideal. He shared a quip about a rookie cop who was asked, in an exam, how he would go about breaking up a crowd. The officer replied, “I’d take up a collection.”...