Sunday, April 29, 2007


I've got a blog-debate happening at the moment with "ET", over at small dead animals.

ET is someone who claims to be an atheist, but not a materialist. As best I can understand it, this means that the material universe is designed, whoops bad word, possesses laws that govern its operation, but that behind these laws there is... nothing.

It's the old "I believe in Laws, but not a Law-giver" position.

Here's my latest post:

ET "This self-organization produces normative habits of organization."

Fine. But since this "self-organization" is itself uncaused, undesigned, and undirected, it still doesn't explain, to me at least, where objective moral truth comes from. The very concept of morality is a stretch if humans are surrounded by a vast, unthinking, amoral, purposeless, cold-hearted, and unfeeling universe that simply self-organizes.

Without a Creator who willed us to exist, designed us to exist, and created us to be more valuable than a blade of grass or a frog, killing a human being is no better or worse than cutting the grass or killing a frog.

A universe without God is totally indifferent to what we do.

You may say, "well, it goes against Reason". Well, so what? Who made Reason God over us? If Reason was never intended, never designed, and is itself unfeeling and unthinking -- an interesting concept, by the way -- why should we be slaves to it?

We may say that it is somehow a terrible thing to take a human life, but that is only because we are thinking more highly of ourselves than our atheism warrants.

An ordered, but uncreated universe strikes me as half-way deism, a position someone takes when they want the comfort of an ordered universe without the obligations attached to belief in a Creator, who, no less than mankind, possesses mind, will, self-consciousness and emotions.

Your choice -- but it strikes me as being nothing more than that.

* * *

ET "Morality is a basic component of reason. And the so-called 'Golden Rule' of 'treat others only as you consent to being treated in the same situation' is, I feel, a conclusion based on reason. No metaphysical agent has to tell me this."

Indeed, but you might wonder where this marvellous cognition and reasoning ability came from in the first place.

Let's say, for the sake of argument, that it is wrong to take another human life because of the golden rule -- "do unto others as you would have them do unto you". Fine. This is human mutual self-interest.

Now let's say that another species from another planet visits us and is hungry. They apply the same golden rule -- they don't kill and eat each other. But what is to constrain them from killing and eating us? Do human beings have intrinsic worth and value that is greater than, say, a cow or a pig or a frog or a lettuce, or do we not?

If we think so, on what non-metaphysical basis? Without a metaphysical agent who designed us, brought us into existence and declares our worth, just who do we think we are in the universe, something special?

And, if as you say the primary purpose of the universe is to conserve energy, does killing and eating a human violate this purpose in some way that killing and eating a cow does not?

Friday, April 27, 2007

Quote of the Day -- C.S. Lewis takes on the environmentalists

This from a letter in today's National Post.

"What we call Man's power over Nature turns out to be a power exercised by some men over other men with Nature as its instrument". -- C.S. Lewis

I don't know in what context C.S. Lewis wrote this, but you would have to go a long way to find an apter description of the socialist-environmentalist movement.

And that's the Way the Ball bounces.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

It suddenly hit me...

I just read Al Gore has been hired as an advisor to the British government.

For what?

Basically, for making a good slide show presentation.

He's not even a scientist.

It reminds me of a fellow, a Canadian, who made a fortune by shilling for the pending Y2K disaster.

There's a lot of money to be made in doom-and-gloom.

Then it suddenly hit me.

Global Warming is Y2K without the pesky reality-check deadline.

Much more lucrative.

It can be milked for 100 years, maybe more.

Better get moooooooving!

And that's the way the Ball bounces.

It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year (NOT!)

A Christmas song, right?

Well, April in Canada and the US is Income Tax Time.

Most definitely not the most wonderful time of the year.

In the States, I believe you have until April 15th.

Here in Canada, we're still thawing out, so we get another two weeks.

I have four tax returns I'm responsible for, so I set aside a week. A week of my life dedicated to tax compliance.

I'm not saying that the Canadian Income Tax system is overly complex, or caters to esoteric situations, but just let me say that if I were a lumberjack who had paid logging taxes, lived in a remote area, while working overseas for at least six consecutive months, I'd have it made.

Still, Canadians and Americans live in two of the greatest countries on earth, speak the greatest language in the history of the world (with the possible exception of Latin), and have ready access to materials and organizations that lead to knowledge of the one true God.

So I guess we can put up with some arcane tax laws.

And that's the way the Ball bounces.

Carbon Credits - It's All About Feeling Good

Way back when (1962), the Diefenbaker-led Conservatives devalued the Canadian dollar from par to 92.5 cents US. The Liberals (who later let the dollar float down to around 70 cents) ridiculed the action, and came out with a piece of funny-money called the Diefendollar -- it was only worth 92.5 cents!

See a Diefendollar at --

Carbon-offset credits remind me of the Diefendollar. They are funny-money, subject to corruption, waste, graft, dishonesty, and deception. So, naturally, the left supports them. (And, apparently, Al Gore stands to profit from them.)

Not-then PM Harper was right about carbon offsets. Every dollar spent on carbon offsets is a dollar wasted, and a drain on wealth-producing nations. They don't actually reduce carbon emissions in developed countries, they just make us feel good.

As the feel-good Liberals made clear with their self-congratulatory passing of Kyoto (followed by... nothing), western actions on global warming are largely about self-congratulatory appearance rather than substance.

Compliant and complacent feel-good populaces will be content to be told that Kyoto targets are being reached, regardless of the actual effect on global warming, which, if Kyoto succeeds, will range from miniscule to infinitessimal.

Sound do-good pollution-curbing measures can be supported by all, but C02 is not a pollutant, and this is not just dumb, it's scary.

And that's the way the Ball bounces.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Pet Peeve #2: Canadian Income Tax Forms

I'm entering T5 information into my online income tax software, trying to figure out what boxes to enter. Problem is, according to the Income Tax software, "Boxes 24, 26, 10 and 12 do not need to be entered." O-K. Then why aren't they shaded-out or something?

Worse, the boxes appear on the CCRA (Canada's IRS) form in the following left-to-right sequence: 24-25-26-13-18-10-11-12-21-22-23.

What's up with that?

I'm sure there's a rational reason for all this, still, it makes for a very haphazard and inefficient data-entry experience.

Multiply by maybe 10 million hapless taxpayers and preparers, and it translates into a lot of wasted productivity.

That's why I'm calling it a pet peeve.

The Truth Gored

Al Gore's An Inconvenient Truth is an impressive, convincing piece of work. It would put the fear of climate change in the heart of any reasonable person.

Problem is, a lot of it overstates the case and the most of the rest is simply not true.

But it supports the current politically-correct storyline of manmade global warming caused by vile environment-hating governments (i.e., Republican and Conservative) in collusion with greedly industrialized corporations. It fits the simplicitic notion of man=bad mother/nature=good).

So it's understandable that it is now being mandated to be shown in public schools in Canada.

Problem is, it will not be shown in a critical thinking class; it will be shown to indoctrinate; it will function as propaganda.

For example, it is unlikely that The Great Global Warming Swindle will be shown alongside of it, or that an article by Iain Murray "Gorey Truths - 25 Inconvenient Truths for Al Gore" will be presented to aid in critical analysis.

Mr. Murray's article is well-worth reading. 25 pithy points.

You can check it out at

And that's the way the Ball bounces.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Planting Doubts about Dawkins (part 2)

For an atheist, much of life necessarily entails deep delusion, either unconscious or wilful, because the logical implications of atheism are unbearable.

Why do I say this?

Because atheists recognize that there are laws, such as the laws of physics. But they deny a Law-giver.

They believe that life on earth has the appearance of design, but no Designer.

They believe in consciousness, and conscience, and rational thought, but deny the existence of anything beyond the material universe.

They believe in logic; but deny an intelligence behind the universe to make logic logical. Without God, it is illogical for logic to exist, let alone to be universally reliable. Simply put, an atheist's appeal to logic is illogical. If an atheist cedes the objective existence of logic, then they forfeit the right to state that the universe is purely material -- because logic is immaterial.

They believe that their brains are reliable processors of information and abstract thought, but they also believe that these brains are undesigned. How much confidence would you put in a computer that had been randomly thrown together from scrap electronics components?

They believe in humans' capacity for creativity, for design, for wilful behaviour, but deny the possibility that the universe itself is likewise the product of creativity, design, and wilful behaviour.

On a practical level, they believe in abstract, immaterial notions such as morals, love, and justice and honor. But, without God, these cannot exist in any real or absolute sense. Since atheists are materialists, these deeply held concepts can be nothing more than chemical reactions in the human brain creating illusions.

Atheists talk about human rights; but deny the Giver of Life who is the foundation of all human worth and value and all legitimate human rights. Without God, humans are no more valuable than a frog, killing a human being no greater an offence than smashing a rock, and the ideas of intrinsic human dignity and worth, fundamental human rights, and morals, are nothing more than polite fictions we use to think more highly of ourselves than we ought and to provide some social cohesion.

Of course, no atheist can live with these worth-negating ideas. When an atheist holds his newborn, it is unlikely that he looks in his newborn's eyes and rehearses the atheist's mantra: "you are the product of blind chance, without ultimate purpose or value. We have brought you into a world that has no design or purpose to live a life that will be ultimately meaningless. The beauty I see in you and the love that I feel for you are merely chemical reactions in my brain concocted by blind and unfeeling evolutionary forces to increase your odds of survival. If someone were to kill you, I would feel badly, but my feelings have no ultimate authenticity or meaning, and you are, ultimately, no more important than a rock".

As Ravi Zacharias has pointed out, the logical implications of atheism are simply unbearable. But, many atheists would rather stick to their gloomy worldview than admit the bright existence of a God who not only gave us physical laws, but also moral laws. A God before whom we are both subordinate and accountable (why be a subordinate when you can be "a god", why be subject to a Law-giver, when you can be your own lawmaker - it seems we really haven't advanced beyond Genesis chapter 3!).

Tragically, atheists deny themselves not just a God who is a just moral agent, but also a God who is merciful and gracious, full of loving-kindness. A God, in fact, who is the Love behind love.

If God exists, Love exists; if God does not exist, love is an illusion.

Take your pick. I'll opt for Love.

And that's the way this created (and loved) Ball bounces.

Planting Doubts about Dawkins (part 1)

Richard Dawkins is the author of The God Delusion. He's trying to be to atheism what the apostle Paul was to Christianity.

Should Christians be scared?


Anyone who has communed with God lately knows He's still alive and well. Still sitting on His throne. Still beholding the hearts of men, still weighing our thoughts. Still hiding Himself from the "wise and prudent" and revealing himself unto babes.

Dawkin's Rant reminds me of the passage in Scripture where God laughs -- and it's not with joviality -- Psalm 2:4: "He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh: the LORD shall have them in derision."

James Beverly of Tyndale Seminary in Toronto has written a one-page critique of Dawkin's book in Faith Today.

Dr. Alister McGrath of Oxford is publishing a rebuttal entitiled, The Dawkins Delusion?, out soon.

While waiting for Dr. McGrath's book, you can read Alvin Plantinga's critique of Dawkins, published at

Dr. Plantinga is a well-respected Christian philosopher. (Isn't it great that Christians have philosophers and theologians and apologists and all these specialist roles to help defend and advance the faith!)

Pet Peeve #1: "Please Pay This Amount"

Do you have any pet peeves? I know I do. I define a pet peeve as a relatively minor recurring irritant or annoyance. Today I'm starting a new feature -- pet peeves.

I'm starting with one that's currently staring me in the face.

I'm looking at a bill from Superior Propane. In big letters it says, "Please Pay This Amount". If you take this to mean that they want me to make a payment, you would be wrong.

Glancing down the invoice, and getting into the really tiny fine-print, you will see that it also says "Credit Card Payment. Your Credit Card will be debited..."

With our busy, complex lifestyles, I have bills that get paid automatically via credit card, bills that get paid via automatic deduction from our chequing account, and bills that I pay online. Occasionally I even write a cheque. It gets confusing.

It doesn't help when I receive something in the mail that says "Please Pay This Amount".

What the invoice really should say is "Please DON'T Pay This Amount".

And that's the way the Ball bounces.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Time Weighs in - 51 Things We Can Do To Fight Global Warming

The April 9, 2007 edition of Time (Canada) is a huge Special Double Issue dedicated to global warming. The headlines border on the irresponsible. Consider:

"Our feverish planet badly needs a cure".

The planet is not fevered. It has experienced a slight overall rise in temperature. Worse, this headline suggests that the Earth has a single optimum climate and that any variation constitutes a malady. Misleading, irresponsible journalism.

"Treating the First Casualty". Hurricanes like Katrina have happened in the past; they will undoubtedly happen in the future. Attributing the Katrina tragedy to global warming in a cause-effect manner is opportunistic. Why not attribute last year's calm season also to global warming and tout the benificent effects?

Among the lifestyle-changing ideas the Special Edition suggests: change your lightbulbs, use a clothesline; ride the bus; wear old clothes, ride the bus.

My favourite one is number 31: Wear green eye shadow. I just couldn't bring myself to read this one, but I suspect wearing no eye shadow (as I am committed to doing) is even better.

Another one -- plant a tree in the tropics -- is worth considering. The latest wisdom is that tropical trees are GOOD -- they absorb C02, while trees in temperate latitudes (like the US and Canada) have a warming effect -- they are BAD.

If this is so, shouldn't a corollary action to planting a tree in the tropics be cut down a tree in Canada or the US?

Perhaps Time is pro-life when it comes to trees. Come to think of it, a lot of trees were killed to produce this edition of Time.

And, while Time didn't hesitate to say "wear your old clothes longer", advice you won't hear from the uber-trendy fashion industry, Time didn't suggest that consumers cancel their C02-causing magazine subscriptions.

It seems that one's commitment to combating global warming ends at the point where self-interest begins.

I'm not going to cancel my subscription to Time, but I am going to let it quietly expire.

And that's the way the Ball bounces.

Crushing ice imprisons sealing ships

CBC are treating the story of the 100 sealing vessels trapped by crushing ice as a straight news story -- as they should.

Imagine the spin if the story supported the global warming storyline -- the headline would be someting like "Killer Ice traps 100 vessels -- more havoc expected".

Meanwhile, on page 51 of the April 9, 2007 Canadian edition of Time Magazine, I'm feasting my eyes on an impressive photo of an icebreaker cutting through the Arctic ice like butter, along with the caption, "An icebreaker had it easy last year as the Arctic Ocean began its annual melt prematurely. Scientists were onboard to study the change".

Perhaps, to round out their education, we should fly a few of these scientists out to the sealing vessels trapped in the ice.

Along with a Time magazine photographer.

And that's the way the Ball bounces.

(with apologies to Alexandre)

Sunday, April 15, 2007

CBC: Global Warming: Doomsday Called Off

Global Warming: Doomsday Called Off is a CBC Newsworld video presentation.

Here's what they said about it, back in 2005 when it was presented:

Sunday November 27, 2005 at 7pm ET on CBC Newsworld
In this eye-opening documentary viewers will discover how the most respected researchers from all over the world explode the doom and gloom of global warming.

Humans stand accused of having set off a global climate catastrophe by increasing the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

The prophecy of doom is clear and media pass on the message uncritically.

Now serious criticism has arisen from a number of heavyweight independent scientists. They argue that most of the climatic change we have seen is due to natural variations.

They also state that if CO 2 is to play a role at all -it will be minuscule and not catastrophic!

This story presents a series of unbiased scientists as our witnesses.
We will hear their eloquent criticism of the IPCC conclusions illustrated by coverage of their research work.

* * *

How this slipped past the CBC screening process, I can't imagine. It certainly doesn't follow the official script for global warming alarmism.

Some of the points I take from the video:

1. Rio vs. Today: The first climate conference was in Rio in 1991. It concluded that man was responsible for global warming; Today we realize that most of the warming that Rio accused man of in causing in fact occurred as the result of natural processes; only the warming of the last 30 years is currently attributed to man.

2. Climate is incredibly complex; climate simulators must necessarily also be incredibly complex, however, since climate is imperfectly understood, the resulting climate models cannot be demonstrably accurate; none agrees with the others; yet it is these models that are being used to attempt to shape the policies and behaviours of sovereign nations.

3. It appears that Earth's climate has self-correcting mechanisms built into it that work to preserve a rough equilibrium. For example, in a speech Bill Clinton voiced scientists warnings that archipelegos like the Maldives will disappear under rising sea levels. However, the sea levels of the Maldives may in fact have been receding. More importantly, if the earth continues to warm, this will result in increased water evaporation. This should result in more water being deposited at the poles as snow, thus preventing catastrophic sea level changes.

4. Satellites and balloons are two diverse ways of actually measuring temperature. These two diverse methods both give the same results: they indicate that the mass of the atmosphere is warming at a slow, undramatic rate unlike what is found in the climate models. This actual observational data is not greeted well by most in scientific community - it doesn't fit their picture of the world.

If you're interested, you can check this out at:

Is a person more important than a cartoon?

If you are an atheist, the answer must be "no".

Atheists are stuck with the proposition that we are uncreated. We exist by pure chance-plus-time in an unfeeling, unthinking, uncaring universe devoid of purpose or design.

A cartoon, on the other hand is the result of conscious choice, intent, and design. It is wanted. It has a purpose. Unlike humans, it has an author who cares about the characters he has brought into being.

So a cartoon is more valuable than a human being.

I used an argument along these lines recently in a G&M discussion about evolution. Inevitably in a discussion on this topic, one of the early posters mocks those who believe in creation. Somewhere during the course of the argument, I posted the following, in response to someone who argued,

"You can't use "creation" as proof of a creator.":

My answer:

No, but you can, for example, use a cartoon as evidence for a cartoonist, whom you may have never seen or met. We are much more complex than a two-dimensional cartoon character -- yet those who would never imagine a cartoon without a cartoonist are happy to contemplate complex living, breathing, thinking beings who hope and dream and love and contemplate eternity as ultimately meaningless and worthless products of mindless, purposeless chance-plus-time.

* * *

For me, it's easy, and a happy thing, to believe in a Creator. One who holds us morally accountable, and yet who has, through lavish grace, generously made a way for us where, left to our own devices, there would be no way.

And that's the way this created Ball bounces.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Our Mother Earth

Here are two headlines juxtaposed at today's

Celebrate Our Mother Earth and Save up to 39%

coupled with

Mother's Day is May 13th.

I'm not sure if the two sentiments are connected. Does this mean that Earth Day falls on May 13th this year?

"Celebrate Our Mother Earth" -- it's almost creepy, in a pagan worship kind of way.

I realize that "Mother Nature" is just one of those dodges -- like the Easter Bunny and Santa Clause -- that the unregenerate mind uses to slip around and avoid Godthought, and I know it is considered acceptable to talk about Mother Nature in a way that "Celebrate Our Creator's World" would not be, but still, "Our Mother Earth" makes me uneasy.

It's almost like creeping paganism right out of the book of Romans -- "rejecting worship of the Creator, they worship the creation".

Christians need to resist such notions, and to think, and speak, in Christian thought-forms.

And that's the way the Ball bounces.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Alexandre/Global Warming: C02 Saturation Theory


I just learned about "saturation theory" over at Small Dead Animals (SDA).

The theory is this: C02 occupies a very narrow spectrum affecting blocking of the sun's rays. It's like a flashlight shining on a billiard table. Without any balls (C02) on the table, the light goes straight through to the other side of the table. For every billiard ball added to the table, the probability increases that some light will be reflected.

But. At some point, adding additional billiard balls will have no further effect, because there are sufficient balls already on the table.

Some scientists are saying this point has already been reached with C02, and adding more C02 into the atmosphere will have no further effect.

We need more science, and less catering to anti-western, fear-mongering activists.

And that's the way the (billiard) Ball bounces.

Monday, April 09, 2007

In Him was LIFE

In him was Life, and this Life was the light of men.

Jesus is the way, the truth, the Life.

In Him was Life.

He came into this world. Men and women were confronted with Life. A life that those close to him touched and handled. His detractors came face to face with One in whom the Life of God dwelt. Were they perplexed, confused, troubled? When he walked by the road, and healed the blind man, people saw the Life in action. When they heard him preach, they heard the Life pouring out of him (my words are spirit and Life). When he raised Lazarus, they saw the (I am the Resurrection and the) Life at perhaps its most triumphant moment, triumphing over the stench-death of a fallen son of Adam.

Kenneth Hagin had a teaching on Zoe, the God-kind of Life. He used the Greek word Zoe to express the idea that in Christ there was a special kind of life not found in ordinary, unregenerate human beings. He was right in this.

How could it be otherwise? How could the Author of life not have Life in himself? life from Life.

This Life became incarnate. It did so for a number of reasons. One, to offer, as a man, a righteous life to God. Two, to suffer, as a man, for the sins of man, and to offer this suffering to God as a substitutionary punishment for man's sins.

But there's another reason He became a man.

The Life became a man so to become mortal, to make it possible for the impossible to occur - for the Life to die.

Think of the impossibility of the Cross. That the Life that existed from before the creation of the world, that existed with God and as God from eternity, should become non-life. Should become a self-contradiction. How can the Life become dead?

And so Christ the Life became a man so that he could die.

But the Life of God in Jesus Christ is, ultimately, indestructible. Death tried, but couldn't hold him. He was like one of those fishing bobbers. You can hold it under water, but as soon as you release it, what happens? It bobs up to the surface. It is contrary to the nature of Life to be held by death -- unless death is somehow stronger and more permanent than Life.

Death really tried to hold Jesus Christ, but it couldn't. It's grip began to weaken. It's grasp began to slip. And then...


The heart began to beat again! The mind began to work again! The spirit was infused with life again. He was alive!

He cast off the grave clothes, neatly folded the face cloth and put it to one side, and emerged unheralded and unknown (but not for long!) from the tomb. The greatest moment in the history of humanity, and no man or woman was there to witness it or record it (maybe the angels greeted him)! Oh, I wish they had had webcams focussed on the tomb! (But don't you think, when we get to heaven, Jesus will take us through the entire Bible, event by event, and explain it all to us.)

Having tasted death once, for all, He is alive for ever more. He cannot die. Why? Because He is the Life from whom all life derives its existence and before whom all life shall one day bow.

Now, for the "application".

You've been to the cross and accepted Christ's death on your behalf for your sins. You've been penitent, truly sorry for your sins and your sinful state.

Now, receive the life of Christ. It is available to you, as a gift, because of Easter.

He was put to death for our sins, but raised for our justification.

If we have been reconciled to God by his death, how much more shall we be saved By His Life.

Receive the Life that is in Jesus Christ.

It is offered to us.

Put on the Lord Jesus Christ.

He offers Himself to us.




Until your hearts beat as one.

And that's the way the Ball bounces.

Global warming -- let's just chill

The latest headlines are a chilling testimony to the reality of global warming.




What do the deniers say now?!

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Were you there? (concluded)

Were you there when the stone was rolled away?
Were you there when the stone was rolled away?
Oh! Sometimes it causes me to tremble, tremble, tremble.

Were you there when the stone was rolled away?

Were you there when Christ rose up from the dead?
Were you there when Christ rose up from the dead?
Oh! Sometimes it causes me to tremble, tremble, tremble.

Were you there when Christ rose up from the dead?

* * *

Lord, show me your hands -- I see the wounds
Show me your feet -- I see the wounds
Show me your brow, oh, I'll kiss it now
This kind of love - makes me weak in the knees
Weak in the knees

I hear your love calling me
I feel your love lifting me --
This is what I'm going to do
From the depths of an empty tomb
I'm going to rise and worship You
Rise and worship You
Rise and worship You
Your love reached down, down, down, and lifted me!

The Spirit of the Lord has raised Jesus from the dead. Total vindication. Total victory. Total credentials, authority, power. A name -- such a name! Above all names both in in heaven and on earth. See the chains of sin, guilt, depravity, shame -- all dropping to the floor. See every demon in hell and on earth -- quivering and bowing before that wonderful name.

This, the resurrection day of our Lord, is the Day the Lord has made.

We will rejoice, and be glad in it.

We will walk in it.

We will proclaim it.

Be glad, O daughter of Jerusalem -- behold your King!

Happy Easter to everyone!

It's Saturday, but Sunday's coming

The Saturday between Good Friday and Easter Sunday is a strange day. It is absolutely empty, a void between the drama and passion of Good Friday and the triumph and mystery of Easter Sunday.

It is the single day in history when the human and spiritual powers of evil (seemed to have) prevailed, the only day where the man Christ Jesus is dead from start to finish. Friday he was alive, and died. Sunday, he was dead, but, well, we'll wait for it.

But Saturday, he remains dead, and the powers that put him to death have a day to think back with satisfaction on what they accomplished.

Their contentment will be short-lived.

It's Saturday, but Sunday's coming.

Being the Jewish Passover sabbath, they would have spent their time in high religious ritual, the eyes of the faithful once again upon them, secure in the knowledge that the meddlesome interloper had been dealt with by the finality of death. What could be more final than death?

It's Saturday, but Sunday's coming.

Pilate, unfettered by sabbath constraints, would have resumed his political activities, and maybe had a chat with his wife about her dream, and her warning not to have anything to do with the man. Maybe he thought about his cynicism, if that is what it was ("what is truth?"), and his catering to the crowd and political expediency. Ah well.

It's Saturday, but Sunday's coming.

The disciples were in complete disarray, but it seems the woman at least had the sense to begin thinking about honoring their master by planning to visit his grave when the Sabbath ended. And how many knew about Peter's betrayal? Was he on the outs with the gang, or did it no longer matter now that their leader was gone?

It's Saturday, but Sunday's coming.

I wonder what Joseph of Arimathea thought about, the day after he provided his own tomb for Jesus. Did he have any inkling that he was a participant in a drama of cosmic significance, and that this was his moment? Was he with the disciples, and did he talk with them? Was he a hero with them for having the presence of mind to request Christ's body and make his own tomb available?

It's Saturday, but Sunday's coming.

And Mary. What about Mary? Did she think back on the prophecies concerning her son, how her heart would be pierced. And how Jesus' life began and ended; first, in someone else's manger, and then in someone else's tomb. Surely someone deserves a better break from God than that! Did her faith in God waver for even a moment?

Ah yes, Saturday.

But Sunday's coming.

Sunday's coming.

Sunday's coming.

And that's the way the Ball bounces.

Friday, April 06, 2007

Global warming warning issued: Canadian group facing starvation

Starvation of funding, that is.

This according to today's National Post:

... future Canadian studies on adaptation to the consequences of global warming are in jeopardy because they are being starved of funding, warns the head of a major research foundation.

Since 2000, the Canada Foundation for Climate and Atmospheric Sciences has relied on $110 million in federal grants to fund numerous peer-reviewed studies at universities.

But its requests to the previous Liberal and current Conservative governments for more funding in recent years have fallen on deaf ears.

"We haven't been able to fund anything new since July of last year, no matter how compelling it could be," said Dawn Conway, executive director of the foundation.

If it only gets funded if it's "compelling", doesn't this tempt competing climate professionals to inflate their claims? How can we depend on groups like this to provide dispassionate information? Certainly in the press the claims have become ever-more intense until they have begun to sound less like science and more like scaremongering.

Were you there?

Were you there when they crucified my Lord?
Were you there when they crucified my Lord?
Oh! Sometimes it causes me to tremble, tremble, tremble.

Were you there when they crucified my Lord?

Were you there when they nailed Him to the tree?
Were you there when they nailed Him to the tree?
Oh! Sometimes it causes me to tremble, tremble, tremble.

Were you there when they nailed Him to the tree?

Were you there when they laid Him in the tomb?
Were you there when they laid Him in the tomb?
Oh! Sometimes it causes me to tremble, tremble, tremble.

Were you there when they laid Him in the tomb?

Were you there when he died to set us free?
Were you there when he died to set us free?
Oh! Sometimes it causes me to tremble, tremble, tremble.

Were you there when he died to set us free?

In church, today -- were you there?

To be continued...

Today's headline juxtaposition

Once again, courtesy of Drudge:

1. Panel: Global Warming a Threat to Earth

and this:

2. Easter Bunny Bundles Up: Cold Just About Everywhere

Take your pick.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

At least one death was blamed on the wintry weather: a Tale of Two Headlines

Two headlines juxtaposed today on Drudge:

1. A prediction: Climate Change Threatens New Dust Bowl

WASHINGTON (AP) - Changing climate will mean increasing drought in the Southwest... according to a new study.

2. A weather report:

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) - A spring storm brought more than a foot of snow... closing schools, tangling traffic and knocking out power to more than 180,000 homes and businesses.... At least one death was blamed on the wintry weather...

Which of the two stories is likely to receive media play and be discussed in schools; the one involving an unprovable prediction, or the one about nearly 200,000 homes and businesses losing power and the loss of human life?

We all know the answer. The theoretical one that fits the model of mounting climate-change hysteria.

And that's the way the Ball bounces.

Coming to a lab near you: hybrid human-animal embryos

It's one of those "pardon me while I throw up" topics: the creation of hybrid human-animal embryos.

It's going forward.

It's a way of showing one's "commitment to science".

Only fringe "pro-life" groups oppose it (another reason I'm glad I'm a Christian).

In the UK, a ban has been called 'unnecessarily prohibitive'.

A select UK committee said any human-animal chimera embryo should not be allowed to develop past 14 days and there will be safeguards to ensure that none of these hybrid embryos are implanted in women -- that would be wrong.

Committee member Evan Harris said: "Ministers have never provided a rational basis for their ban and their only supporters are pro-life groups and anti-science campaigners who oppose all embryo research."

How about the rational idea that a human embryo has intrinsic value and the implicit right to be born and not used to serve someone else's self-serving agenda?

In a letter to Tony Blair, the Association of Medical Research Charities (AMRC) said there had been growing disquiet about an outright ban. Spokeswoman Dr Sophie Petit-Zeman said the AMRC respected the sensitivity of the issue but that it was important to balance concerns against the medical benefits that might be lost if it were outlawed.

"This is a test of the government's commitment to science," Mr Willis said.

So, the term science is now being equated with a hard-core atheistic view in which a human embryo has purely functional value and no intrinsic value as a fledgling human being created in the image of God. How monstrous can we be? How long can this go on before God pulls the plug and says, "enough!"?

And why aren't the churches speaking out about this?

What if...

What if the earth was warming, but there was no evidence it was man-made?

Would the attitude of environmentalists be then?

Would they still view the present situation as a crisis? Or would they argue that this is just part of the ebb and flow of life on earth, and that a) nature is well-equipped to cope with the natural rise and fall of temperatures, and b), if some people (such as those living in coastal areas) are inconvenienced, well, tough.

After all, current temperatures and trends are well within the range of past temperature fluctuations.

And, natural processes, such as volcanic activity, spew out far more C02 than humans do.

I'm just wondering to what extent the current attitudes are shaped by an inherent anti-western, anti-man bias.

And that's the way the Ball bounces.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

NPR: "The debate seemed to affect a number of people".

NPR Public Radio recently broadcast a debate on global warming. The debate was conducted in New York, part of a debate series known as Intelligence Squared U.S. (based, like many fresh cultural ideas, on a British format).

Three experts argued in favor of the motion "Global Warming is Not a Crisis"; three others argued against it.

During the debate, Richard Somerville (on the "It's a Crisis" side) admitted that water vapour has a much bigger greenhouse effect on temperature than carbon dioxide. But then he said, "but we can't do anything about it". So... carbon dioxide is the boogy man only because water vapour is outside of our reach?

In a vote before the debate, 30 percent of the audience agreed with the motion that global warming was not a crisis. Less than one in three. Almost twice as many -- 57 percent-- believed it was a crisis, and and additional 13 percent were undecided.

Ninety minutes later, 46 percent agreed that global warming is not a crisis, 42 percent still believed it was, and 12 percent were still undecided.

Think about it. The number of people who believed that global warming was not a crisis increased by a full 50% as a result of 90 minutes of rational debate-- now that's headline material! And worth of discussion in every school across the country.

So is the corollary -- the number who believed global warming is a crisis declined by over 25% in 90 minutes -- one in four who walked into the meeting believing global warming was a crisis walked out believing it was not.

NPR spun the results this way:

"The debate seemed to affect a number of people".

Indeed. Another unscripted public event that went horribly wrong.

The debate was entertaining, informative, and well-worth a listen. For either the full debate or a condensed version, go to:

Listen for yourself.

And that's the way the Ball bounces.

One winner, and nine hundred and ninety nine thousand nine hundred and ninety nine losers

A Canadian woman has just won a $1,000,00 dollar lottery. For the second time in a year. And, no, she doesn't work at a retail lottery store.

What do Christians think of lotteries?

Besides the facts that

a) your chances of winning make it rationally illogical to participate,

b) those who can least afford it spend the most on lotteries, and

c) lotteries are a way of trusting in the vagaries of luck rather than the certainty of God's providential care to those who love him,

there's a d):

d) For every million dollar winner, there are 999,999,999 losers. Lotteries are based on voluntary partipation in a scheme where everyone wishes that others will lose so they will win. Winning consists of taking money that others had tried to use to take yours. Nothing, no good or service, is produced or provided to others. Participating in lotteries is the epitome of anti-social, and, therefore, anti-Christian behavior.

Giving to charity is the opposite.

Which of the two best defines Canadians (and Americans)? Does anybody know how much is given to charity vs. spent on lotteries?

We know that conservatives give more -- far more -- to charity than liberals.

I wonder who spends more on lotteries?

And that's the way the Ball bounces.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Got milk?

Got milk?

If you're in the US, the answer, apparently, is "no".

We've just finished a trip from Toronto to Phoenix and back.

When we stopped in Indiana at a McDonald's (which now puts the cream and sugar in your milk for you, why I don't know) and asked for coffee with milk -- not cream -- we were told we could have coffee with creamer, or coffee with cream, but not milk. When we incredulously insisted on milk we were told we would have to buy a container of milk. Which added about a buck-fifty to the price of our large cup of coffee, which we split. (In their favour I must admit the McDonald's milk container is the cutest thing imaginable, complete with a screw-on lid.)

Even more incredibly, we found this to be consistently the case from Indiana on down and back again. Bad enough that this should happen at a McDonald's, but there was even a sit-down IHOP restaurant in Oklahoma City that charged us for a glass of milk when we insisted on milk in our coffees.

With all the stress on healthy, reduced-fat eating, and companies bending over backwards to present a health-conscious image to the public, you would think that American restaurants would falling all over themselves to offer customers milk in their coffees rather than cream.

But you would be wrong. No bending. No falling. Creamer, or cream.

In one McDonalds, when I asked for milk rather than cream, I was told somewhat hopefully that we could get "half and half". As if, "well, half of it would be milk!". Half and half is is a split-the-difference between 18% cream and 2% milk at 10% butterfat. To my mind and taste it's still 100% cream. (Maybe I should have said, "I'll have the half-and-half -- hold the cream half!)

As we headed north, and reason once again began to waft in the air, we did have a McDonald's guy in Michigan who offered to put milk in our coffees for us even though it wasn't on the menu. This greatly perplexed the McDonald's order-taker who couldn't figure out how to ring it in properly.

But at least we got our milk.

And, of course, once we got to Canada, land flowing with milk and maple syrup, getting milk in our coffees ceased to be a problem.

And that's the way the Ball bounces.

The Great Global Warming Swindle - an outline

The Great Global Warming Swindle is a British video production available at

It would be good for it to be presented in schools along side Al Gore's Inconvenient Truth. It is unlikely that this will happen.

Key points [my comments are in parentheses]:

1. The earth's climate is always changing.

2. The change that we are experiencing is well within historical norms.

3. Dissenting voices are met with intolerance and de-funding.

4. Global warming is not scientific -- it is political, ideological, moral and even religious.

5. Carbon Dioxide (Co2) has been 3x even 10x greater than it is now, without apparent effects on temperature.

6. Many people whose names are included in science reports disagree with the findings.

7. Conclusions are politically-driven.

8. Bibliographies include reviewers and non-scientists, not all of whom agree with the findings.

9. "Since no other scientists disagree you shouldn't either" is false logic.

10. Climate scientists need there to be a problem in order to get funding. "This may not be a problem" will not get you funding. Thousands of jobs now depend on global warming. It has become a government-funded, government sustained industry. [Not unlike the poverty industry.] There are now climate journalists, whose careers depend upon a sustained crisis.

11. The thrust of the proposed solution is to hinder development in the third world.

12. A media scare has become the defining idea of a generation.

13. The world in the past has been both a lot warmer and a lot colder.

14. The warming trend we are now experiencing began 200 years ago.

15. In the past, the Thames froze over. There are paintings to support this. Further back, there was a medieval warm period. Climate enabled a much different lifestyle in the medieval period -- the cathedral building era. Vineyards in England.

16. During the Holocene Maximum, temperatures were much warmer than today -- and this lasted for thousands of years. This did not wipe out the polar bears.

17. Climate change is perfectly natural.

18. Warming began well before cars and airplanes were invented.

19. After the 2nd world war, during the industrial boom, temperatures fell for four decades. Only in the 1970s did they start rising. [Critics respond that this was due to fluorocarbons being introduced into the atmosphere at that time, which caused global cooling.]

20. C02 forms only a small part of the earth's atmosphere. It is .054%, an incredibly small portion. The portion added by humans is even smaller. Only a small percentage of gases in the atmosphere are greenhouse gases. C02 is a minor component of greenhouse gas. Water vapour is by far the largest. Greenhouse gases trap heat in the troposphere. This troposphere should be hotter. Satellites and weather ballooms are used to take the temperature of the atmosphere. Actual data show that the warming that we are experiencing is likely not caused by greenhouse gases. [Critics say that the readings were off, and have been "corrected" -- it's unlikely that "off" readings that support global warming theories get scrutinized.]

21. Al Gore's presentation is based on ice core surveys. These surveys show a clear relationship between temperature and C02. "When there is more C02, the temperature gets warmer". The link is actually the wrong-way-round. Temperature changes lead C02 by 800 years -- so C02 is not driving the increase in temperature; the increase in temperature is driving the increase in C02.

22. Carbon Dioxide is a natural gas produced by all living things. It is not a pollutant.

23. Humans produce a small fraction of the C02. Volcanoes produce more Co2 than all factories put together. More is produced by animals and bacteria. Dying vegetation produces even more. The biggest source, by far, is the oceans.

24. The ocean is the major reservoir into which C02 goes. If you heat the ocean, it emits C02. If you cool it, it absorbs more C02. Oceans are so big and so deep they take hundreds of years to heat up and cool down. Their "memory" of temperature fluctuations runs into thousands of years.

25. In the past 150 years, the earth has warmed by just over 0.5 degrees celsius. Most of this occurred before 1940.

26. If C02 doesn't drive earth's climate, what does? 6.5 billion humans are tiny relative to the greatness of the sun.

27. Late 1980's Piers Corbyn began predicting weather based on sun spots.

28. 1893 - Edward Monda observed during the little ice age, very few sunspots.

29. Sunspots correlate to temperature changes on earth to a remarkable degree. Sunspots rose until 1940, fell until 1970, and now have risen again. This data has been analyzed over 400 years, and it fits.

30. The sun affects us directly through its rays, and indirectly through subatomic particles which produce clouds. When the quantity of cloud-forming cosmic rays go up, the temperature goes down, and vice-versa. Clouds and climate are very closely linked. Climate is controlled by clouds; clouds are controlled by cosmic rays, and cosmic rays are controlled by the sun [and the sun is controlled by God -- "there shall be signs in the heavens above and the earth beneath"]. The intensity of the sun's magnetic field more than doubled during the 20th cc.

31. Global warming advocates talk about the harm of coal, oil and gas, but never the benefits, nor the harm caused by their proposed solutions. Four million children die yearly from the effects of indoor smoke in third-world countries. Many adults die as well.

As Christians, we are interested in truth. At present, it seems right to oppose the tsunami of man-made global warming because, like darwinian evolution, it is based on ideology, not science.

The heavens declare the glory of God.

And that's the way the Ball bounces.

"... nothing intellectually compelling or challenging.. bald assertions coupled to superstition... woefully pathetic"