Friday, October 28, 2011

Scootie Royale Defends "Expelled"

I wasn't very impressed by the movie, "Expelled," but Scootie Royale, who describes himself as an "Agnostic Darwin Heretic" was, and he has written an in-depth article about criticisms of the movie: "In Defense of Expelled.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

The Fact of Original Sin is not the Issue

We are being told that genetic evidence shows that the human species didn't begin with two people, but more likely with several thousand people. And enemies of Christianity hold this up as evidence that the doctrine of original sin is, as Jerry Coyne recently put it, "a metaphor."

Now I'm only a layperson in theology, so I don't know exactly how original sin is defined. I've always thought it referred to our natural inclination to rebel against God and to want to be gods, ourselves. And that is certainly more than a metaphor. It is indisputable fact. If you doubt me, try raising a two year old. Whether humanity began with two people or ten thousand, none of us naturally wants God to be in charge of our lives, and all of us want to be the sole masters of our fate.

One of the reasons that Jesus died, so we Christians believe, is to help us to put to death our natural inclination to rebel against God and to want to be gods. We try to take Jesus' life into ourselves in various ways, through baptism, communion, prayer, fellowship, and attempts at obedience and love. And through attempting to take up our cross daily and deny our natural tendencies to want to be in charge, slowly, imperceptibly, our old nature will die away and a new nature of wanting and living the way that God wants us to live will grow. We do not believe that we will reach a state of perfection in this life time, but only when we finally see Jesus will we be changed in the twinkling of an eye to be like Him.

The issue, then, is why we do have original sin? Most Christians have believed that originally humans were created with a natural inclination to want God to be God, and not themselves. The first pair of humans were thought to have rebelled against God, and lost this natural inclination to obey God, and now we all have a nature that rebels against God. But if humanity began with several thousand people, how do we explain our natures? Did they all disobey at the same time? Or is there some other explanation? It is worth pondering.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Marilyn vos Savant on Specified Complexity

My hometown newspaper, as so many other newspapers do, carries Parade Magazine on Sundays. Marilyn vos Savant, someone who scored higher on IQ tests than any other person, has a regular column in Parade known as Ask Marilyn.

Today's column was of particular interest to me and any other ID proponents who might read it:

"I’m a math instructor and I think you’re wrong about this question: “Say you plan to roll a die 20 times. Which result is more likely: (a) 11111111111111111111; or (b) 66234441536125563152?” You said they’re equally likely because both specify the number for each of the 20 tosses. I agree so far. However, you added, “But let’s say you rolled a die out of my view and then said the results were one of those series. Which is more likely? It’s (b) because the roll has already occurred. It was far more likely to have been that mix than a series of ones.” I disagree. Each of the results is equally likely—or unlikely. This is true even if you are not looking at the result. —George Alland, Woodbury, Minn.

My answer was correct. To convince doubting readers, I have, in fact, rolled a die 20 times and noted the result, digit by digit. It was either: (a) 11111111111111111111; or (b) 63335643331622221214.

Do you still believe that the two series are equally likely to be what I rolled? Probably not! One of them is handwritten on a slip of paper in front of me, and I’m sure readers know that (b) was the result.

The same goes for the first scenario: A person rolled a die out of my view and then informed me the result was one of these series: (a) 11111111111111111111; or (b) 66234441536125563152. It was far more likely to be (b), a jumble of numbers."