Why I Don’t Believe “Believe” Means what You Believe it Means

People all the times be saying, “Faith means believing in things which ain’t so.” Or sometimes, “Faith means believing things without, or sometimes in the teeth of evidence.” And from these quotes, we can learn that some people, despite having been born and raised in the Christian West, have NO IDEA what the Bible says or what the church has taught for 2,000 years. I personally think 2,000 years would be enough time for everyone to find the time to see what the Bible says before they go off writing books about it, but apparently I am being presumptuous. Thus to help you, my friends, I will show you what the Bible says:uncle sam copy Read more of this post

Evolution 101- part 14: Vestigial Organs and Other Recent News from the 1940’s

Remember, normal text is copied from Evolution 101 by the Understanding Evolution team! (New Year’s Pledge: Less Data, MORE DARWIN!) http://evolution.berkeley.edu/

BOLD font is me, Rent A Friend 2000, being Bold.
Adaptation: An adaptation is a feature that is common in a population because it provides some improved function. Adaptations are well fitted to their function and are produced by natural selection.

It’s like beating a dead horse, but here I go again: Natural Selection CANNOT PRODUCE ANYTHING. All it can do it SELECT, or choose, from what is already there. That’s what the name means- nature selecting certain things to survive and others not to. Look at their example of Natural Selection in a previous section: Birds eat the green beetles until there are no more green beetles. What is left? Brown ones. Did the birds eating the green ones PRODUCE the brown ones? No. It only removed the green ones. So to say adaptations are PRODUCED by natural selection is again either ignorant or deceptive.  On the other hand, maybe I’ll get a bag of M&M’s and eat all the green ones, and then claimed I invented the red ones. Can I sue for royalties on that?I’ll therefore skip the list of examples they provided of alleged “adaptations.” Read more of this post

The Blind Men and the Elephant (and Zoo Keeper Adventure Steve)

Your Rent A Friend is listening to the score from Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
His mood is pretty good, though his contacts are pretty dry .

Whenever people talk about the differing religions of the world, someone will come up with the following analogy, or some variation thereof. In fact, mine is a variation thereof. So there. Of.

There is a zoo where works zoo keeper Adventure Steve. He takes care of all of the animals, including an elephant named Zito. The elephant in turn takes care of his rubber duck. The rubber duck doesn’t take care of anyone. She just floats around in Zito’s water dish.

One day, a bus full of philosophers came to the zoo on a field trip. They were the Society of Smarty Pants Philosophers (the S.S.P.P.), and their field trip was also a contest (As everything is for the Society of Smarty Pants Philosophers). When they got off the bus, they were all blind folded and lead to the elephant to see who had the smartest pants (metaphorically speaking).
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Is there a Ducky in Pascal’s Box?

Your Rent a Friend is listening to Dashboard Confessional

His mood is negatively effected by cheap French Onion Soup

Are you a gambler? Do you love the thrill of tossing those dice, spinning that wheel or pulling the leaver? Are you, like me, seriously disappointed by the new slot machines where you push a button? I mean, seriously! Push a button? Pulling the leaver is half of the fun! Where else in life do you get to pull a leaver anymore? Maybe if you’re a mad scientist creating a monster in a lightning storm, but for the rest of us (Or mad scientists in nice weather I suppose) we want the leaver! Don’t take away the only interaction I have before my money disappears forever! I want a leaver to pull and spinning pictures of fruit! I’d get that feature in my next car if it were available.I myself am not really a gambling man. The primary reason is this: I will always lose. You’re better off betting against me than against the Chicago Cubs. If there are dice in my hands, I am going to lose. I think it’s my spiritual gift. Which brings me to today’s topic. What if I could offer you a bet with a certain and amazing pay off?  Yes, you have to pay in at the front, but you can’t lose anything, and you have the chance of winning vastly more than you can possibly imagine. Sound good? Let me give you a metaphor: “Is There a Ducky?”!
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The Science Behind Birthday Cake

Your Rent a Friend is listening to: Pete Special’s Mozart Street

His Mood is: tentatively snacktastic

Not long ago we had hiked to the end of the Metaphysical Map and discovered that Knowing and Believing are impossible to separate, like duck-tape and leg hair. Along the way, we examined one of the biggest opponents to this idea, which is the position declaring “Science” to be the only real way to discover truth. And of course I pointed out that, if you choose to believe this position, it will not be based on scientific evidence. Sometimes the reasons which compel me to take a side in a debate are not hard to comprehend. This is one of those times.

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Science, Faith, and Papaw

Your rent a Friend is Listening to: Snow Patrol’s A Hundred Million Suns

He is feeling: Much better, thank you

I’ve been explaining the difference between belief and knowledge, and their need for each other. Belief and knowledge are like John Lennon and Paul McCartney. You can separate them if you try hard enough, but it doesn’t result in anything worth listening to. It only serves to show how very much they need each other. Thus, anti-faith “scientism” is the Yoko Ono of the Metaphysical world.

The pop culture fight between belief and knowledge (or between faith and reason, or between religion and science, depending on what TV news program you are watching) is actually about the kind of evidence one chooses to accept. The word “Faith” is used to imply a belief based on the authority of the source, as opposed to evidence which is quantifiable (which means you can count them, like marshmallows) or empirically verifiable (which means it’s learned with the five senses and likely to be the subject of one of the lab projects in your science class work-book).
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