I have a penchant for foreign films (subtitled, not dubbed) and when I saw that the Indian movie The Lunchbox was going to be shown at the cinema, I knew what I wanted to do for my birthday.
What an absolutely delightful treat! Ila, a young housewife who yearns for more spice in her marriage, decides to employ the services of Mumbai’s dabbawalas by cooking hot lunches to be delivered to her emotionally-distant husband, Rajeev. The lunches don’t get delivered to Rajeev. Instead, they get sent to Saajan, a widower who is looking forward to retirement.
When Ila discovers that there has been a mix-up but that the recipient enjoyed the food, she starts putting in notes with the lunches. Thus begins a correspondence between Ila and Saajan.
I loved this movie because it is a story about people and their relationships (or lack thereof). It was subtle and yet managed to convey a lot of deep messages about life’s dreams and regrets and the possibilities for second chances.
Mr Yewnique remarked afterwards that he really enjoyed the film, too, and that he much preferred it to many of the films that come out of Hollywood. Some of the trailers that were shown before the film, showed characters being loud and obnoxious – and that was supposed to be a feature, not a bug!
Anyway, I digress.
The Lunchbox is best watched followed by a meal at an Indian restaurant! :D
“Weird Al” has done it again!
When I saw this, I thought, “Please, please, please let there be something about it’s and its.”
This video has gone viral. When I first watched it, it had been viewed eight hundred thousand times. Now, two hours later, it’s over a million.
In the video, he makes mention of using proper pronouns, but does not go into detail. Pity.
(I had not heard the original before today. Now that I have, I must say the parody is much better!)
Continuation of Panda’s Thumb series on Understanding Creationism.
Many creationists assume as self-evident that evolution precludes the existence of God, not because of any qualities intrinsic to evolution, but because their concept of God is dependent on creationism. Officially, creationists usually teach that the Bible is our only infallible revelation of God’s existence, but in practice the “fact” of special creation is treated as a primary basis for belief in God. The “testimony of nature” is implicitly held up as proof of God’s existence. Every time a particular piece of purportedly creationist evidence is described, the underlying implication is that God’s existence depends on six-day special creation. Thus, to even propose that evolution could be true is automatically a “challenge to the evidence” for God’s existence.
The assumption that “evolutionism” and “secular science” denies God’s existence applies not only to the suggestions that evolution might be possible, but more generally to any challenge to creationist arguments. While some creationists take pains to discard the more outlandish arguments, others will fiercely defend obsolete and ridiculous theories simply because of their perceived apologetics value. This stubbornness is the source of animosity and division between the various creationist movements; each group points to “concessions” and “compromises” the other groups make, because any compromise is considered a tacit admission that maybe the evidence for God isn’t quite as strong as it would otherwise be. Such arguments are all God-of-the-gaps arguments, of course, but this fact goes unnoticed.
The idea that evolution is a religion (among YECreationists) is a rather baffling one to me. I once was told, “If you believe in it, then it is your religion!”
Ken Ham also promotes the idea that ‘evolution’ and ‘millions of years’ is a religion. This is puzzling, because he also equates them with atheism.
Continuation of Panda’s Thumb series on Understanding Creationism.
Once they cannot deny that both the fossil record and the genetic evidence are unassailably valid, creationists unveil one more argument: “common design”.
Common design – that morphological and genetic similarities are the result of a designer re-using the same parts – is the perfect creationist argument because it can apply to absolutely anything. No matter how obvious the path of descent is, creationists can simply claim it was intentional. They may also use it in combination with the other objections. For example: “Common design created genetic similarities in creatures with similar environments, similar diets, or similar appearances. These similarities reduce the number of phylogenetic trees to the point that researchers can simply pick whichever one happens to match their evolutionary assumptions.”
The obvious problem is that common design is unfalsifiable. There’s no limit to what it can explain, no level of commonality it cannot be used with. We recognize that an explanation which can fit literally anything is useless; it doesn’t tell us anything. Unfortunately, creationists don’t care whether their explanations are falsifiable. Their presuppositionalist background tells them that it doesn’t matter whether explanations are falsifiable – it’s just necessary to make sure they have the right presupposition at the outset, and everything else flows from that. As long as their denial of mainstream science seems vaguely plausible, they are okay.
So instead of pointing out the unfalsifiability of common design, it’s better to let them use it, but challenge them to take it to its logical conclusion. If their divine common design can really produce the observed levels of genetic similarity, then it should also produce clear and obvious genetic similarities in species that aren’t anywhere close on the evolutionary tree. Not just small sequences in common, but entire gene suites. If God is in the practice of re-using the exact same gene sequences in creatures that happen to show up close together, then we should see the same thing in distant species. Species identified in mainstream science as examples of convergent evolution – the same traits or abilities having evolved separately – should have perfectly matching gene sequences placed there by the creator. For example, bats and birds evolved echolocation separately using different genes, but the “common design” argument would predict the same exact gene sequences.
The ‘common designer’ argument rings a bell. In the Jonathan Park series, Dr Park said, “Evolutionists think that similarities point to a common ancestor, but Creationists say that it points to a common Creator.” Meaning, God just used similar pieces to create all the different plants and animals. Like using Lego.
In the creationist worldview, the ideas proposed by Darwin came from a desire to explain the existence of life apart from God. They believe all “evolutionary science” came out of this particular worldview. But that is simply not the case. Darwin was not setting out to explain life apart from divine creation; he was discovering the mechanism behind the already well-established progression of life on Earth. Naturalists already understood that life had existed for millions of years at the very least; they already knew that the geologic record showed innumerable species living and flourishing and going extinct all one after another. Creationists like to frame the story as though Darwin invented the theory of common descent and then looked for evidence to fit it, when in fact his theory explained the evidence that already existed.
The Panda’s Thumb has been featuring a series by David MacMillan, a former young-Earth Creationist, on understanding Creationism.
During my tenure as an active young-earth creationist, I never once heard other creationists accurately describe what evolutionary theory is or how it is supposed to work. Nor did I understand it myself. Creationists often seem familiar with a lot of scientific terminology, but their understanding is filled with gross misinformation. Thus, a host of misconceptions is believed and taught throughout creationist circles, making it almost impossible for actual evidence to really sink in.
From listening to the Jonathan Park Audio Adventure Series, I would say that the above is correct. There is just enough scientific terminology in the programs to persuade the listener to believe that what is presented is accurate.
If the purpose of our clothes is to glorify God, how are you doing so by wearing something that obviously causes others to sin in their minds? Yes, it is everyone’s job to control their own eyes, but you ALSO have a responsibility to not give them reason to sin.
Warning: Contains Photographs of Men
Actually, you know what? Stuff all that nonsense about what to wear or not to wear so as to not make someone else stumble. There are some people that are gonna look and go “Mmm…” no matter what you’re wearing. If you have a Y-chromosome, I’m gonna look. There is a reason why a friend a uni dubbed me ‘the most heterosexual person’ she knows.
The friend from church who said that he had an article to share with me about how believing in young-Earth Creationism is anti-Christian — well, it turns out it wasn’t an article after all. (I must have misunderstood/misheard. Sorry.)
He shared his thoughts with me. Here are some of them:
There is so much evidence for evolution now, not just from biology, but from many other fields such as mathematics and physics.
He has heard of people taking the Creation Account in Genesis literally, but has never heard of Ken Ham or Answers in Genesis. Colour me surprised! Sometimes it is good to be reminded that YECism is really a very, very small subset of society.
Since there is so much evidence for evolution, if you say that the Creation Account in Genesis has to be interpreted literally, you are effectively saying that God is a plotter.
And that, is anti-Christian.
I’ve reached the end of the currently available Candy Crush Saga levels (Level 605). One other friend got there before I did! I think she was playing at the same time and just beat me to it!
Now to go back and try for three stars for each level.
Those of you who have been following my blog and have been reading my posts on Creation/Evolution will know that I am a Christian who accepts the Theory of Evolution. What few people may realise is that it is only on my blog that I state this openly; I rarely am this open in real life. Then again, real life seldom affords opportunities where one needs to state one’s beliefs with regards to evolution.
The pastor at our church has been doing a series on ‘Sharing Our Faith’ on Sunday mornings with a more in-depth study on Tuesday evenings at the church. Usually, Bible Studies are held in people’s homes, but for this series they are at the church. Since my two daughters go for Girls’ Brigade on Tuesday evenings, I thought it would be good to join the Bible Studies. (GB is obviously ‘unbiblical’ because it is an age-segregated, gender-segregated activity!)
Last week’s study was on ‘Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.’ (1 Peter 3:15)
We split up into groups and tackled some of the common questions/challenges that non-believers/non-Christians may have.
Our group was assigned questions 7, 8, and if we had time, question number 1. I hoped to get through the discussion quickly and tackle Question #1 because it was ‘What about evolution?’ Furthermore, I had to leave the Bible Study before the session was up because I needed to pick up one of my daughters from Girls’ Brigade.
There was space under the question to write down some thoughts. I wasn’t sure how it was going to be received by the rest of the group, but I wanted the chance to read it out loud to them.
The minutes ticked along and we were quite involved discussing Questions 7 and 8. Finally, finally, we got to Question 1 and, would you believe it, I had to go. So, I made my apologies and said, ‘…but I would like to read what I’ve written down: I do not believe that the gospel message is in conflict with the theory of evolution.’
To my pleasant surprise, everyone in the group (four of them), agreed with me! One even said, as I gathered up my things, that he had an article which showed how NOT believing in evolution is anti-Christian.
I look forward to reading that article.