Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Darwin's Theory of Race Evolution Illustrated

Even more convincing than Haeckel's drawings!

The Role of Christianity in Fostering Good Science - Dr. Jack Collins

This is a report from the recent Science & Faith: Friend or Foes? Conference held at Westminster Theological Seminary.

The popular view presented by the western media and atheists is that science and religion, or faith, are at war. However, historians of science discredit the warfare motif.

As C.S. Lewis (a favorite of Dr. Collins) pointed out, we really need to refer to modern sciences, not modern science. There are various sciences, each with their own methodologies and assumptions.

Our view of science will be informed by our worldview.

1. Where did I come from?
2. Why am I here?
3. Where am I going?

or, a grand narrative, i.e.,

Where we came from - what went wrong - what has been done about it - what are we doing about it

Christianity provides a way of looking at life and approaching science. Darwinism, another. E.g., George Gaylord Simpson, in The Meaning of Evolution (one might be tempted to add if darwinism/materialism is true, then meaning itself is an absurd concept):

"it is already evident that all the objective phenomena of the history of life can be explained by purely naturalistic or, in a proper sense of the sometimes abused word, materialistic factors.... Good and evil, right and wrong, concepts irrelevant in nature except in the human viewpoint.... because morals arise only in man." (p. 344,346).

In 1940 C.S. Lewis addressed Oxford students. He said, "If all the world were Christian, it might not matter if all the world were uneducated. But, as it is, a cultural life will exist outside the church whether it exists inside or not. To be ignorant and simple now--not to be able to meet the enemies on their own ground--would be to throw down our weapons, and to betray our uneducated brethren who have, under God, no defense but us against the intellectual attacks of the heathen. Good philosophy must exist, if for no other reason, because bad philosophy needs to be answered. The cool intellect must work not only against cool intellect on the other side, but against the muddy heathen mysticisms which deny intellect altogether."

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

A Biblical View of Science and Nature - Dr. Vern Poythress

This is a report from the recent Science & Faith: Friend or Foes? Conference held at Westminster Theological Seminary.

Dr. Vern Poythress, an apologetical presuppositionalist, opened the conference with an address on A Biblical View of Science and Nature. His basic theme was that the characteristics of the universe we inhabit "just happen" to correspond with the characteristics of God, its Creator.


* The universe is law-based. Laws are pervasive - it is the regularity of law that permitted, e.g., the astronauts to land on the moon and safely return. Regularity extends from the outer reaches of the cosmos to the microscopic cell.

* Regularity, from Latin regula, rule - ordered according to law, principle or type

Scientific laws have the following characteristics.

* all-places (omnipresent)
* unchanging (immutable)
* all-times (cf. "eternal")

Coincidence (?) that the attributes of law correspond to the nature of God

The universe was spoken into being -- God's speech is the real law, and scientists investigate the proximation. Law is also

* immaterial
* truthful
* omnipotent (i.e., has teeth, e.g., law of gravity)
* invisible
* transcendent

Scientists merely investigate the regularities -- they cannot create or change them.

Are scientific laws the product of a personal God who speaks, or, are we in the midst of an impersonal mechanism that can grind us to pieces?

Law, in ordinary terms, implies a law-giver.

Scientists have to believe in the rationality of scientific laws, yet, only persons are capable of reason and rationality.

Laws are language-like -- they are expressed as vocabulary.

According to Romans 1:19-20 (a favorite verse of apologetical presuppositionalists like Dr. Poythress), it is not that there is not enough evidence from the cosmos to believe in God, a rational Agent must be presupposed to have confidence in the rational composition of the universe; therefore, in refusing to acknowledge God, according to Romans 1:19-20, "it is not that there isn't enough evidence, it is not a matter of being religiously neutral, it is a matter of being idolatrous".

Dr. Poythress is the author of Redeeming Science: A God-Centered Approach.

Monday, March 29, 2010

North Korea Leads the Way

As the above photo shows, North Koreans led the way for Saturday's Earth Hour. They shut off their Blu-Rays, their iPods, iPhones, iPads, their Benz, SUVs, hot tubs, and what-not, and went, as they say at Jack Bauer's CTU, "dark".

They've done David Suzuki proud.

Will the rest of the world follow their er, not shining, example?

And that's the way the Ball bounces.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Air Canada Downer Upgrade Coupons

I was awarded some Air Canada upgrade coupons. Phoned to request an upgrade on tomorrow's Toronto-Phoenix flight. Was told that the Tango Plus upgrade coupon has to be Tango Plus M or U. The Tango Plus I booked was a measly L.

I told the customer service rep. I had no way of knowing this as the website class of fare simply says, "Tango Plus". She informed me, in that condescending way that only Air Canada employees seem capable of pulling off, that the upgrade-eligible M or U class Tangos are "very expensive", and, wait for this, "you cannot book them online -- you have to call Air Canada". Well, pardon me for using the Air Canada reservation website and thinking I could use a Tango Plus upgrade coupon when I, you know, booked Tango Plus!

Air Canada's upgrade coupons are effectively, how does one put this, useless -- and I told her so. At which point, we mutually agreed the conversation was over.

Montreal-based, government-backed, union-sogged, privileged, Air Canada vs. the energetic, entrepreneurial, Calgary-based WestJet.

Paradigms for the two Canadas. One belongs to yesterday; the other, tomorrow.

I know which one I want to become Canada's airline.

And that's the way the Ball bounces.

UPDATE: Turns out what she told me about having to call Air Canada wasn't quite true. I found this: "When booking on, always use the “Display Only Fares Eligible for Upgrade” option on the “Select Flights” page. This option allows you to enter the serial number indicated on your certificate to view the lowest fares eligible for an upgrade with that certificate." I tried this, and the cost of the ticket, one-way, went up by $450.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Second-Annual Let-There-Be-Light Day

Tonight, at 8pm. daylight-local-time, I will set my house ablaze, figuratively speaking. The reason? I shall be sending a light-signal into the far reaches of space in a noble attempt to communicate my presence to intelligent life on other planets. NASA does this with a budget of billions; I'll be doing it at a cost of around thirty-nine cents.

While others "go dark" in the name of an enfeebled, guilt-ridden, CO2-poisoned, heat-drenched humanity, I say, along with that other Absolutely Splendid Chap, "Let there be Light!".

And that's the way the luminescent Ball bounces.

Mark Steyn Phrase of the Day

Concerning ObamaCare and the tax implics:

"the remorseless governmentalization of American life and the disincentivization of the private sector. " -- Mark Steyn

Hear, here!

Friday, March 26, 2010

Canada Takes A Dangerous Cultural Turn

Canadian professors are warning about a dangerous cultural turn being taken by the imperiled nation. And no, we're not talking about legalization of prostitution (pending), state-sponsored euthanasia (pending) or the normalization of same-sex parenting (fait accompli -- in Ontario you now have Parent 1 and Parent 2 on your birth certificate, instead of the, you know, Neanderthal "Mother" and "Father").

No, the danger we are being warned about is university scholarships for children of Canadian soldiers killed in the line of duty. THAT's what counts for a dangerous cultural turn in 2010 Canada.

Here's what sixteen professors at the University of Regina had to say:

“... support for Project Hero represents a dangerous cultural turn. It associates heroism with the act of military intervention. It erases the space for critical discussion of military policy and practices”.

"It erases the space"? Does this even mean anything -- it erases the space? You give an orphaned child a university scholarship and you can't have a discussion? Is this even reality-based?

"It associates heroism with the act of military intervention."

Well, yeah. What would you associate it with, courageous letter-writing?

These 16 professors all have safe jobs in a safe country because a generation ago Canadian soldiers engaged in a decidedly unsafe military intervention which secured their present freedoms.

What makes me think that The Regina Sixteen all lean to the left?

And that's the way the Ball bounces.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Good News on the Piracy Front

For years now African pirates have terrorized the seas, kidnapping victims, and stealing cargo at gunpoint. The world has looked on. The US has been busy with other matters, and the UN, as we all know, or should know, is pretty much useless at actually accomplishing anything.

So, I was heartened to read this:


'Pirate' dies as ship's guards repel attack off Somalia

A suspected pirate has been shot dead as private guards repelled an attack on a cargo ship off Somalia, in what may have been the first such incident.


Why the BBC felt the need to put Pirate in quotes, and compelled to qualify the sentence with "suspected", I have no idea. When you attack another ship on the open seas, you're a pirate. When you're shot, you're a dead pirate.

Sometimes, lethal force is necessary. This is one of them. Lawlessness in a nation or people group must be quelled.

Pirates, beware.

And that's the way the banishing-the-buccaneers Ball bounces.

Killer icicles terrorise Russians...

Five people killed, 147 injured following Russia's coldest winter in 30 years.

Proof that global warming kills.

Read all about it.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

The Liberals Are Up to Their Old Tricks

Prior to their defeat a number of years ago at the hands of the Conservatives, the Liberals were hot to trot to legalize prostitution -- more than that, they wanted to rehabilitate the whole concept of prostitution to make it "just another job choice". EI benefits, Prostitutes-R-Us at the local high school job fair, the whole nine yards. When Liberal schemers go to bed at night they lie awake dreaming of that day of dawning social justice when their sisters, daughters, wives, and mothers will be able to take up the job of "sex worker" without dishonor or distinction.

Conservatives, on the other hand, dream of saving women from such bondage.

Thwarted by the Conservative win, Liberals are lusting to get back in power. They are raising the ugly issue of abortion, trying to derail Conservative Canadian efforts to help women overseas raise their children in health and safety. That's not good enough for the Liberals. They want to make sure that overseas women have access to safe, lethal abortions.

Would Liberals try to get back in power at the expense of promoting abortion?

You bet.

I thank God I am not a Liberal.

And that's the way the Ball bounces.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

A Healthy Date with Destiny


Steyn: "governmentalized health care not only changes the relationship of the citizen to the state but the very character of the people".

Right. Social entitlements de-moralize citizens -- witness the eroding effect of readily-available state welfare on personal initiative and responsibility.

Also - keep in mind. When healthcare is "free", someone always pays -- and it's never the politicians who vote themselves lavish healthcare plans that exceed that of the general populace. In Canada, politicians decry "two-tier" healthcare, all the while cynically and hypocritically accepting added drug, dental, hospitalization benefits that are not generally available to Joe and Josephine Public under the "free" and universal provincial plans. Oh, but, mustn't have two tiers of healthcare. Government workers generally also get in on the lavish extra-benefits -- leaving Joe and Josephine tax-payer out in the private sector to pay for it all.

And where governments are, can selfish, thuggish unions be far behind? Mustn't have for-profit healthcare, but overpaid, overbenefited janitors can only be a good thing.

And Steyn is also right that, whatever is passed now, it will be amended ad infinitum until it ends up being what the socialists really want -- and you can bet your bottom dollar that paying for abortion will be part of it -- no matter what the Democrats solemnly assure tonight.

Don't get me wrong. I'm not against compassion. And I'm not against treating those who genuinely can't afford to pay. It's called Christian charity. But Big Government is not the same thing as Christian charity. And Big Government is not an efficient answer to a nation's healthcare needs. The role of government is to do for citizens what they cannot do for themselves -- traditional responsibilities like military defense, treaties, public roads, etc.

It will take a generation for this to work its way through the fabric of America. But one thing is sure. Personal initiative and responsibility will not be strengthened by this legislation. Can that be good for America?

Ottawa University Threatens Ann Coulter With Hate Speech Prosecution

... and this before she even sets foot in Canada! THIS is Canada, circa 2010.

And this is Canada's theme song (to the tune of Santa Claus is Coming to Town):

You better watch out
You better not cry
Better not pout
I'm telling you why
Speech Po-leese iz coming to town

They're making a list
And checking it twice;
Gonna find out
Who's naughty and nice
Speech Po-leese iz coming to town

They sees you when you're sleeping
They knows when you're awake
They knows if you've been bad or good
So be good for goodness sake!
O! You better watch out!
You better not cry
Better not pout
I'm telling you why
Speech Pol-eese is coming to town
Speech Pol-eese is coming to town

UPDATE: Mark Steyn weighs in and labels it a Pre-Crime. Drat! While I'm Santa Clausing my way through this, he comes up with the pithy, punchy pre-crime prescription. This explains why he is Mark Steyn, and I'm not.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Teeth-Chattering News

And no, it's not climate change.

A U.S. dentist is accused of placing paper clips inside the teeth of root canal patients while billing Medicaid for more expensive stainless steel posts.

OK, but tell me he at least used new paper clips.

AGW Skeptics Keep Alarmists Sane!!!

This just in...

Shock: Green Guru Lovelock warms to skeptics! 'The skeptics have kept us sane...They have kept us from regarding climate science as a religion.'

To which I say, we have not!

The proof:

Gore Attaches Global Warming as Cause to Last Weekend's Storm in Northeast.

AGW causes a) droughts, b) floods, c) hot temperatures, d) cold temperatures, but, mainly, e) carbon credit millionaires! AGW is astrology, and Gore is the crystal-ball-gazer-in-chief, with millions of followers!

Gore is on his way to becoming an AGW Climate-Credits Billionaire. It's hard to see the forest when your livelihood depends on seeing only the trees -- an inconvenient truth!

However, the Ball Bounces has its own offset-credits scheme up its sleeve -- stay tuned!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

It's Getting Better All the Time

This just in from Time magazine (a print-based weekly news magazine that people used to subscribe to): "The fact that climate change evidence that was "very likely" a few years ago has now been declared likelier still by the comprehensive Met Office report suggests that the evidence for human-caused climate change is getting better all the time."

Ah yes. It's getting better all the time.

Can't get no worse.

Read more:,8599,1971702,00.html#ixzz0i7XXE0cZ

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Philly Cheesesteak, Whales, and Irish Potatoes(*)

I'm in Philadelphia for two days. Is it cool to say Philly? Or is it faux-cool, like saying Frisco for San Francisco? Nobody from the Bay Area says Frisco; if anything, they'll talk about The City.

Anyway, I've been feasting on Philly Cheesesteak Sandwiches- "we use a Half Pound of Premium Sirloin Steak". On the menu, it's not Philly Cheesesteak Sandwich, it's simply, "Cheesesteak".


I love to buy local, regional stuff. Bought something tonite called "Irish Potatoes". If anyone knows/can guess what they are (without looking it up), I'll give you a free one-month subscription to the online edition of The Way the Ball Bounces.

Meanwhile, this just in from Reuters: "Sushi chef, restaurant charged with serving endangered whale". Personally, I think a restaurant should serve a whale, especially an endangered one who probably needs to eat, but, that's just me.

And that's the way the Irish potato-Ball bounces.

(*) first time in the history of English these words have been used together in a sentence.

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

My Final Last Kick At The Winter Olympics Can

OK, here's another one: snow-shoveling.

Why not have Olympic snow-shoveling? It could be done in relay teams. All kinds of research money would be poured into new, improved, ergonomic snow shovels, lift technique, optimum size, weight, length, etc.

It would result in a better world.

Only problem -- we'd get the better snow shovels just as the last flake of snow succumbed to Al Gore's warming globe.

Snow shoveling -- something Canadians can really get behind.

All you need is gloves!
All you need is gloves!
All you need is gloves, gloves, glove is all you need.

And that's the way the snow Ball bounces.

Monday, March 08, 2010

My Last Kick At The Winter Olympics Can

I proposed family tobogganing as a new Winter Olympic sport in a previous post; that went nowhere. I'm giving this one last shot.

The Winter Olympics have a lot of weird events. The two-man luge -- what's up with that?! The weirdest, though, is where you a) ski, b) stop skiing, c) shoot a rabbit, d) skin the rabbit, e) cook and eat the rabbit, and then f) continue skiing. This is repeated until you either finish the course or are full.

What do these weird winter Olympic events have in common? They're all Eurocentric. At the Vancouver Olympics, we apparently celebrated aboriginal culture a lot in the opening ceremonies. I try to avoid the opening and closing ceremonies because they have little to do with sport and a lot to do with a pseudo-spiritual, salt-free, religion substitute.

Anyway, here's my last kick at the Winter Olympics can: Dog-sledding.

Dog-sledding. Why not? They ride horses, don't they (in the Summer games)?

Why not have dog-sledding races? Wouldn't that be a genuine winter sport? And wouldn't it celebrate diversity considering its origins? And wouldn't it maybe give Inuit a leg-up on a winter Olympics event?

Anybody else out there think this is a good idea?

Oh sure. You may say that I'm a dreamer. But I'm not the only one. Some day the world will join me, then the Olympics world will be as one.

Imagine! Dog-sledding -- coming to a Winter Olympics near you.

And that's the way the dog-sledding Ball bounces.

Sunday, March 07, 2010

Coyotes Ahwooooooo! [updated]

Went to a Coyotes game against the Anaheim Ducks. It was free hat night! Got our hats. Will get a free Oggie's [Pizza] Stix if the Coyotes score on a power play. They do! Will get a Burrito Supreme from Taco Bell (with purchase of a drink) if the Coyotes get three goals. They do! Will get a free Krispy Kreme donut if the Coyotes get a shut-out. Four seconds remaining. Three, two, one, it's a donut!

Just ate the donut. Too sweet, but delicious.

Will update on the Burrito and the Pizza Stix.

And that's the way the Coyote-howling Ball bounces.

PS -- heard a couple of coyotes outside of our condo a few nights back.


Went to Oggie's for the Pizza Stix. They require we hand over the ticket. Decide to give them one, keep one for Taco Bell. While the Pizza Stix are being made, we garminize our way over to the nearest Taco B. Get the Burrito Supreme. Turns out it's worth two bucks. Taco Bell lets us keep the ticket. Swing back to Oggie's. Use the second ticket to order a second Pizza Stix, this time, with a Pepperoni topping for $2 extra.

The Pizza Stix turn out to be an $8 value -- half a medium pizza crust brushed with oil and garlic, and then slathered with cheese! Served with ranch dip and marinara sauce. Wow!

We paid $22.50 for each ticket -- $30 face value.

Hat - worth $10
Burrito - worth $2
Donut - worth $1
Pizza Stix - worth $8

So, the evening out cost us $45, we watched a very gratifying 4-0 shutout game where the home team won, and we got about $40 in "extras".

And THAT's the way the Ball bounces!

Thursday, March 04, 2010

Now That's Service!

Wanted to rent a car for one day in Toronto. Saturday 7pm to Sunday 7pm. Pick up at airport, drop off at Yonge-Steeles. Noticed the Yonge-Steeles location closes at 4pm. Skype-Called to ask what the procedure is, since they close at 4pm and I'd be returning it at 7pm.

"You pay another day".

O-Kay. Thank you, Hertz!


Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Canadian Angst

Canadians' exultation at winning the Gold in men's Olympic hockey has turned to a deep funk over revelations that a Tim Hortons ad, "based on a true story" is not really er, based on a true story. This has led to a season of quiet yet intense soul-searching among Canadians.

The donuts I've been eating... they're real, aren't they?

Story here.

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

There are only two kinds of people... (3)

Those who drive with dark-tinted windows, and those who don't.

The Phoenix guy driving the late-model luxury-large SUV who a) littered, and b) didn't signal lane changes in dense traffic, falls, predictably I think, into the former category.

I drove along side of him, to get a look at the guy. Could see nothing.

Here's my thoughts on deep tinting.

1. It's illegal in several states/provinces. Here's the law for Arizona:

Front Side Windows Must allow more than 33% of light in.
Back Side Windows Any darkness can be used.
Rear Window Any darkness can be used.

2. It is a safety issue. It is an important addition to a driver's total information base to be able to see a fellow-driver. Is he paying attention? Which way is he looking? Etc.

3. There might be a justification for it from a sun/temperature perspective, or an anti-theft perspective.

So, I guess I'll cut the guy some slack on this one, but the dark-tinted windows seem to fit the profile of a litter/non-signaler.

Memo to Phoenix Police dept.: in addition to red cars, start monitoring cars with deep-tint windows.

And that's the way the clear-windowed Ball bounces.

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