Monthly Archives: September 2010

If You Don’t Know The Difference Between Idaho And Iowa, Geography Ain’t Your Only Problem


  A little more than two years ago when I told my friends in Michigan that my wife and I were moving to Boise, Idaho they said “Boise, Idaho! Why on earth do you want to move there? You want to get away from the cold weather.” The facts are that Boise’s winters are shorter and warmer than Michigan’s. Snow accumulation, if any, is only a few days and it melts away.
  A week later if I happened see the same person they often inquired, “Now where in Iowa are you moving, Des Moines?” I quickly correct them. I don’t want ignorance to preside. The next thing you know textbooks in Michigan will be saying the main crop in Idaho is corn and in Iowa potatoes.
  When first visiting Idaho a few years ago the natives proudly ask as if they wanted to sell the state, “What do you think of the scenery?” I replied, “Scenery! What scenery? You can’t see any. The mountains are in the way.”
  Now, here for awhile, I’m becoming familiar with the demographics (that’s an out-of-state word). Many people who live here are not from Idaho. Many are from California. I have a theory why so many Californians move here: Somebody in California already had their vanity plates. Chances are if you see a vanity plate there’s a California connection.
  When informing a native Idahoan I’m from out of state, quickly I add, “But not from California.”
  Several years ago on a visit I rode in a pick-up truck with an Idaho rancher. He was showing me his 12,000 acre ranch. In Ohio, where I’m originally from, we call them townships. We traveled on a state highway that ran through his property. I asked him if he was worried about getting stopped by the police while drinking the beer tucked between his legs. He replied, “In the old days the cop would help me drink what was left of my six pack to get rid of the evidence. Now days they’d take me to court. Whose the judge gonna believe his poker playin’ drinkin’ buddy or some fresh faced deputy who earns less a year than I pay in taxes?” 
  A year ago in Boise a man stopped a robbery in progress. He pulled out his revolver and told the robber he was the police. The robber was held at gun point until the real police arrived. Now he is charged with impersonating a police officer. A few years ago he wouldn’t have had to buy a meal in any local restaurant for a month. Come to think about it a few more years ago the robber would not have been alive to testify. The police go undercover and impersonate a civilian why can’t a civilian impersonate a police officer?
  Idahoans like many others who were born and raised in the West live with a dreadful fear that change is coming their way. It is the disappearance of a way of life. It is the way of life I heard mentioned by writer Baxter Black. He called it “the cowboy way.” It’s when a man’s word is his bond. He looks you in the eye, shakes your hand, and that’s it. Anything other than that pays the mortgage for a vacation house in Baja for some lawyer.
  We all live in times of dreadful fear. The lines of right and wrong, morality and immorality, and ethics and situation ethics have clouded thinking and reason to the point where people are as uncertain about what makes us unique creatures as knowing the difference between Des Moines, Iowa and Boise Idaho.


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Hawking, Hawks Snake Oil


The theory of evolution is perfect for the closed-minded and those lacking the desire to study the origin and reason for existence and the meaning of life. Evolution has no meaning. It has no reason. Evolution is a series of accidents, and if you will excuse my sarcasm, ended up being pretty darn amazing.

As lad taking biology in high school I had neither questions nor an inquiring mind. I just believed because it was in the text book. I assumed it was well-reasoned and studied.

It was about this time I noticed my dog liked to chase down rats and kill them. His method was always the same, run them down and grab them by the back of the neck. Death for the rat was swift. Who taught him? Why always the back of the neck. Lions kill prey in much the same manner. It paralyzes the animal with the bite to the back of the neck and renders it helpless. Chance?  Was information shared between the two species and passed on, but how did ole Duke become privy to it. He had little contact with other dogs and the conversations were little more than a butt sniff.

I brought the similar methods to the attention of my biology teacher. He was momentarily impressed that I was observant beyond girls. He merely answered the similarities as instinct. That satisfied my curiosity and I went back to observing girls.

Instinct is not a scientific answer. Are not scientist taught that everything is cause and effect? For existence to be so perfectly balanced and orderly it seems that ‘effect’ had to be predictable. There had to be at least experimentation and calculation. This leaves nothing to blind chance.

Stephen Hawking announced recently the universe came into existence without God. The world was waiting for his pronouncement. Now we know for sure. Wow Stephen, what choices did you have? Either it is or isn’t. On the other hand Stephen had 40 years of academic study to come to that conclusion, natural selection took what? – 20 million years give or take to come up with an amoeba or bacteria. 

At times Hawking has chided Newton for his assertion that order in the universe gives evidence of design, thus a designer, and that would be God. Hawking at one point was willing to conclude that the universe did have an initial cause and found no problem labeling it ‘God.’ Why the change?

Indeed, many scientist are intellectually and academically head and shoulders above the general population. Many lack moral guidance and stability other than what they have been given instinctual (like ole Duke going for the neck of the rat). For them to arrive at the conclusion God is the first cause they must logically conclude they must come to know him. They must obey his moral laws and principles and not their own. Pride prevents them from coming to logical conclusions. Because they think that proof of God is beyond the average brain they feel there are few rivals to dispute them.

Science and religion have crossed paths before. Religion has tried to use science to advance its goals and sometimes those goals have been to subjugate people and promote  the aspirations of ruling entities. Science has felt that its role, in many instances, has been to free and advance people. While that is true in many instances, those ruling entities have hijacked science in the same way it did religion. Thus we see fraud from the Piltdown Man to global warming.

Demiti Mendeleev was the first to see the order of elements that make up matter. When he began to quantify them in a Periodic Chart he left blanks. So certain of order, he knew those blanks would be discovered and filled in. He was correct.

Scientists often times see faith in a creator as a crutch for the simple minded.  In the Bible at Hebrews chapter 11 and verse, one faith is given a very scientific definition. “Faith is the assured expectation of things hoped for, the evident demonstration of realities though not beheld.” This quotation from the Bible begs the reader to base faith on ‘evident demonstrations of realities not seen.’ Theorists, professors, and teachers ask for belief in them only, something that God does not even expect from adherents to faith. He wants us to look at the world around us, see divine authorship, appreciate its order and intricacies and learn from them. Think what the great minds of our day could accomplish if their study was based upon coming to know God. The results would be staggering. 

Scientist today, in some respects, use the same method in finding the origins of man. They find a fossil, look at our anatomy, and conclude there must be a link – missing link.

At least once a year the media jumps on some fossil finding with all the glee of a high school sophomore’s first slow dance and declare it the ‘missing link.’ The impression is left that such ‘missing links’ are forgone conclusions, but the science is that there is nothing  remotely to suggest they exist. Science and media are collecting random stuff like a crooked detective and district attorney making a murder case against a wagon full of Amish farmers.

Where we see order, design, and purpose of such intricacy and harmony do we not want to know not only why it came about, but why? Does a man walk in a field and stumble upon and arrowhead and conclude that it was formed by the wind and water or does he conclude it was fashioned by a native centuries earlier and perhaps want to know about those who fashioned it?

Looking for the missing link is akin to taking your eye of the bouncing ball. It diverts attention. Scientific discoveries should remind us of a creator with design and purpose. It should move us to want to know him and not dismiss the universe as a mere blind force of nature. 

Hawking’s fragile body and condition has been sustained by design. If left to chance he would have passed long ago. It would be impossible to quantify the will and stamina he has exerted to continue his life. He is truly an amazing man – a man. His conclusions are to be taken no more seriously than the annual announcement that a missing link has been found.

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