Archaeopteryx isn’t the only evolutionary icon losing its claim as the ancestor of birds. In recent months we’ve seen paleontologists increasingly arguing that the entire clade of dinosaurs should no longer be considered ancestral to birds. As the WSJ article states:There are lingering doubts that birds today are descendants of dinosaurs. Researchers at Oregon State University recently argued that the distinctive anatomy that gives birds the lung capacity needed for flight means it is unlikely that birds descended from dinosaurs like archaeopteryx and its kin. Their findings were published in June in the Journal of Morphology.As paleontologist John Ruben of Oregon State was quoted saying when his article was published:But old theories die hard, Ruben said, especially when it comes to some of the most distinctive and romanticized animal species in world history.
"Frankly, there's a lot of museum politics involved in this, a lot of careers committed to a particular point of view even if new scientific evidence raises questions," Ruben said. In some museum displays, he said, the birds-descended-from-dinosaurs evolutionary theory has been portrayed as a largely accepted fact, with an asterisk pointing out in small type that "some scientists disagree."
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
The idea of heaven is actually a later development in Jewish and Christian theology. Read the book of Job. The closest that Job gets to the idea of an after life is the question: “If a man dies, will he live again?” So then, what is the book of Job really about? It is about a man confronted with severe suffering who is struggling to find the meaning in the midst of his suffering. It is a struggle between two choices: “curse God and die” or “though He slay me I will trust him.” Faith is not about the after life. Faith is about this world. What faith will I need in heaven where there is no suffering or challenges?
On the other hand, heaven is always presented in the Bible as a reward. How can it be a reward if it is not preceded by challenges?
Saturday, October 03, 2009
"You shall not steal, nor deal falsely, nor lie to one another."
(Leviticus, 19:11, NASB)
Long before I became a Christian, I remember my family taking me to movies when I was a young child. We hardly ever bought popcorn, soft drinks, or candy at the movie theater--in fact I can't remember a single time when we did. When I became a teenager I remedied this by going to dollars stores and purchasing cheap boxes of candy and hiding them in the pockets of my pants, my coat, or on one of my friends. I justified this behavior to myself by saying, "I have a right to eat whatever I want and to buy it from whomever I choose." I also remember thinking, "The cost of food in movie theaters is six times what it is in other stores! Why should I not try to save money?"
Years later, after becoming a Christian, I realized that this behavior was not in keeping for a Christian. Here are thoughts along this line for your consideration.
1. Sneaking candy into movie theaters is a violation of a posted theater policy. I've never encountered a movie theater which permitted its patrons to bring in food or drinks from home. Most of us would never knowingly bring a video camera into a theater and tape the movie we're watching in order to distribute it illegally on the Internet. But sneaking candy into the movies is equally dishonest. Why is that? Because knowingly acting in violation of any business's policy and pretending that I'm not is intentionally dealing falsely with others, a clear violation of scripture as noted above.
2. Sneaking candy into movie theaters destroys the theater's ability to make a profit. Have you ever heard someone say, "The concessions is where theaters make their money!" In many cases this is true. If I am truly eating something I am not authorized to bring, based on my acceptance of the agreement to not bring outside food into a theater, I have deprived the theater of its profit. If this is indeed stealing, Christians should cease from this practice. (Eph. 4:28)
3. Sneaking candy into movie theaters creates a bad example for others. Christians and non-Christians, especially children, can be influenced by the behavior of others. If others see us doing this practice, they will likely imitate it. If it is something that causes us to sin, it may cause them to sin when they do as we do.
4. It is often the "little things" that make Christians look like hypocrites to the world. A Christian might say, "I've never murdered, or committed adultery, or cheated on my taxes." Very well indeed. But one who stumbles in one point of honesty has violated the truth. "He who is faithful in a very little thing is faithful also in much; and he who is unrighteous in a very little thing is unrighteous also in much." (Luk. 16:10)