Archive for February, 2009

Bacterial Science

February 25, 2009

One of the things that gets me is the way scientists assert or imply that, based on what they’ve discovered, God isn’t necessary. The result is that you have some scientists go so far as to assert there is no god. This lead me to think about how bacteria might view their world.

The scientists of dish 8 have been studying the nature of reality now for hundreds of generations. The existence of the nutrient we live in is easily explained by the simple fact that if it wasn’t here, neither would be. Since all chemical compounds are more or less equally likely to occur, it shouldn’t be surprising that there should be several discs of nutrient in this version of the universe. We’re sure there are other universes where it is less frequent or even non-existent.

Given that this nutrient exists with all the molecules of life, it’s hardly surprising that, given enough time, they should spontaneously come together as a bacteria. Once one bacteria was present, it was natural that it would reproduce.

The timing of the two extra-nutrient items was disturbing to many, and viewed as solid evidence for some greater intelligence. However, after careful observation, we have determined that both the “dipper” and the “poisoner” occur on extremely regular intervals. Based on this, we are certain that we will be able to discover purely natural explanations for their behavior. The dipper has enabled us to populate the other discs, and there have been very fruitful exchanges of RNA as a result of this.

The poisoner, on the other hand, periodically distributes toxic chemicals. While the result is mass death, we have always had a remnant that endures. It is fortunate that the poisoner only visits once every 250 generations. Some consider this evidence of a beneficent higher power, but this is clearly unwarranted. If it came more often, we would have been wiped out. The fact that it doesn’t visit more often is merely good fortune, and chance is acceptable for explaining this.

The balmy temperature is similarly viewed by some as a great benefit, but it is now known that a higher or lower temperature would inhibit our growth rate. However, it is natural that we would adjust to the temperature that exists. As can be clearly seen, while some would argue that there must be a higher power, there is simply no reason to assume such a thing from the evidence provided.

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At this point, Dr. Hertzfeld smiled in satisfaction. After thousands of generations, he had successfully created a strain of acidopholous that was immune to all antibiotics currently on the market. This would enable people to take it and not suffer the negative effects of a weakened intestinal system when sick and on antibiotics. With that, he removed the twelve petri dishes from the incubator and placed them in the refrigerator.

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Love vs Judgement

February 16, 2009

One of the things that I hear far too often is something along the lines of, “I just can’t believe that a loving God would send anyone to Hell!”  You know what?  You have a point, but only if you don’t understand what love means.  Love is an attitude that prompts a person to action.  The attitude is quite simple: you desire what is best for another person.  The action that follows is you will do what you can for that other person, even if it involves sacrifice on your part.

One of the things that will flow from this kind of love is a desire to preserve the dignity of the one you love.  As an example, I love my wife dearly, and so I would never do something so unkind as strap her to a chair and feed her three times a day so that she wouldn’t have to go to “effort”.  Certainly, I could justify such treatment as an expression of love, but the reality would be that I was depriving her of human dignity, and actually harming her.  God is like that.  He created us in his image, and as a result he treats us with the dignity we deserve.

Part of the dignity of being human is being able to make choices in life.  I can choose whether or not I exercise (I choose not, and occasionally suffer the consequences of that choice).  I can choose whether to eat healthy or not.  This is the way of life.  I have learned from some of my bad choices not to choose certain things.  For example, I have learned that credit cards are bad for me.  Every time I get one, it gets maxed out within a month and I start dealing with late fees, which lead to over-balance fees, and the whole thing becomes a great mess.

Notice that I learned.  This is because all choices have consequences.  A loving parent teaches a child by allowing the child to make some bad decisions… and experience the consequences.  The trick to parenting is instructing the child, and then allowing the child to learn the hard way if he or she wishes.  Obviously, you don’t want to child to learn the hard way about certain things, like playing in the street.  But the occasional bump or bruise doesn’t do any lasting damage.

So what we have so far is dignity, love, and consequences.  What does God do during our lives?  He calls to us.  He begs with us to choose Him as lord of our lives.  He sent His son to die on a cross that we might approach Him as children.  He woos us, calls us, but ultimately leaves it to us as our choice.  We are given a few years to make a decision: do we want to spend eternity with God or not?

Imagine, for a moment, that Bill and Melinda Gates have a son, and that he has a few billion dollars inheritance.  Let’s call him Bob.  So let’s say Bob decides he wants to get married.  With all the money he has, he’s going to have trouble finding a woman who is willing to love him for who he is.  As a result, he dresses like a bum, leaves his money behind, and moves into a tiny apartment.  He gets a job at the nearest fast-food joint and eats his lunches there.  While working, he falls in love with a woman there.  Alas, she sees him as poor, with no future, and snubs him.  Hurt, he reveals who he is after another women loves him for who he is.  When revealed, both women will suddenly want him.  Will he allow the one who spurned him to marry him?  Of course not!  She made her choice.

The same goes for us and God.  We make the choice with imperfect perception of who He is.  Nevertheless, the choice we make stands.  God gave us a choice: be with me always, or be with me never.  Be the bride of Christ, or be outside the house.  God gives us that choice, and respects that choice.  Bob could claim to be the Gates heir while working fast-food, but no one would believe him.  Christ claimed to be the Son of God, but few believed him.  God is not going to judge you at the last days.  God is going to enforce your choice.  Your choices have consequences, and he will not shield you from them.  This isn’t a lack of love, it is a consequence of love.  He respects you too much to force you to do something you do not want to do.