If you were still up in the air about it, here is another reminder of why you chose to homeschool your kids:
Lindsey’s case is just a small example of a widespread problem in American schools: sexual misconduct by the very teachers who are supposed to be nurturing the nation’s children.
Students in America’s schools are groped. They’re raped. They’re pursued, seduced and think they’re in love.
An Associated Press investigation found more than 2,500 cases over five years in which educators were punished for actions from bizarre to sadistic.
Irvine & Tanner(AP) – 2007, Sexual Misconduct Plagues American Schools
Melinda had a really good post on the STR blog today. Here is the content:
Christopher Hitchens accuses Christians of creating make-believe characters. Belief in God is like believing in leprechauns. Theism and leprechauns violate Occam’s Razor, a kind of general principle that entities ought not be multiplies in explanations, at least none beyond what is necessary for the explanation. Hitchens is confident that materialism explains the universe; thus God is unnecessary, just as leprechauns. However, he’s incorrect that materialism adequately explains the universe; and he’s also wrong that God has no explanatory power. God isn’t like leprechauns because these little green men don’t explain anything.
Materialism can’t account for the beginning of the universe or morality, two major questions crying for explanation. Various naturalistic theories attempt to get at the cause of the universe, how something came from nothing, but no theory is an adequate explanation and is actually philosophically unfeasible. Effects need causes and God is a reasonable and adequate cause for the beginning of the universe. William Lane Craig has advanced this argument best in the Kalam Cosmological Argument.
Morality is an unnatural, meaning nonmaterial, feature of the physical world. Just for starters, moralities universality and incumbency just find adequate explanations in science. The Moral Argument for God’s existence has been advanced for centuries and scientific progress hasn’t antiquated it.
Occam’s Razor advises us to keep explanations simple. But it also guides us to multiply entities necessary to explain a phenomenon. Materialism is too simple because it fails to explain all that needs explanation. Leprechauns don’t fill that role, but God does.
–Melinda Penner,STR 2007
My wife and kids got me a block of briar and a stem for my birthday because they knew I would probably enjoy trying my hand at making pipes. I love woodworking and I love pipes and those are two hobbies who’s affinity for one another can’t be held in question. Well, three months later here we are. It’s not beautiful but I’m please with it for my first go round. It smokes good too so that’s what matters. I ordered another block of briar and a sanding drum that I’m hoping will ease the process a bit. This time around I pretty much relied on my rasp and drill press for everything.
I just finished reading Doc Searls column in the most recent issue of Linux Journal. In it he dicusses the book Elements of Style by Strunk and White. As anyone who has read it can tell
you, it’s an absolute gem of a book(more like a pamphlet). Even though it’s probably been 10 years since I read it, and even then I only read about 2/3rds of it, it still influences my writing more
than anything else I’ve ever read. So, needless to say my interest was piqued when I saw the subject matter Doc was hitting on. About halfway through the column he references some changes that have
been made in the most recent edition of this classic. Here is the quote in question:
The current entry in Wikipedia notes, “An anonymous editor modified the text of this 1999 edition. Among other changes, he or she removed White’s spirited defense of ’he’ for nouns embracing both
genders. See the ’they’ entry in Chapter IV and also gender-specific pronouns.” In his forward, Angell puts it more gently, “This edition has been modestly updated .. .with a light redistribution of
genders to permit a feminine pronoun or female farmer to take their places among the males who once innocently served him. Sylvia Plath has knocked Keats out of the box, and I notice that ’America’ has
become ’this country’ in a sample text, to forestall a subsequent and possibly demeaning ’she’ in the same paragraph.”
–Doc Searls, Linux for Suits(LJ-Nov07)
So someone has edited out the “he”, in obvious contrast to E.B. White’s feelings on the matter. Nevermind that it’s his book. Once you’re dead I guess all of your legacy is fair game, but I just
have one question: Why? Just look at the whole scope of what was done in the plain. Someone removed an entire section of White’s material from his own book. Again, why? Evidently, because our
current sensibilities can’t handle patriarchy in any form. Not even linquistic custom. It offends modern notions of equality in all things. Why should Hot Fries have a picture of Andy Capp on the
bag instead of his wife? It’s that silly. There is no gender-neutral singular pronoun in the English language. Get over it. We will always resort to “he” or “she”. Custom dicates “he” as the
I just can’t believe that someone would edit this classic book over something so silly. If redacting portions of books based on offensive notions is ok, then why does Mein Kampf even exist
anymore. It should have been edited out of existence by now. Evidently I don’t fully understand all of the nuance of political correctness… or maybe it’s just tripe. I hear Occum calling for his
Wow! It’s been over a week since my last post. My bad. I’ve been swamped with work lately. I have been thinking about something other than work though. I was listening to last week’s STR broadcast when the topic of the age of the universe came up. As I have stated in my bio, I am pretty committed(although I’m open to good arguments) to a young earth creation so this was of particular interest to me, since Koukl is inversely committed to an old earth creation. He went over some of his reasoning and it gave me a little clearer picture of where he’s coming from with his thinking on this issue. In particular, he was very taken with an old creation based on the light from distant stars.
The argument goes like this: We see the light from stars that are millions of light-years away. It takes a year for light to travel one light-year. Therefore, the light we are seeing from those stars now was originally given off by that star millions of years ago. Got it? It’s a very simple and compelling argument and I’ve given it a lot of thought over the years. I have a couple of thoughts on it that I think are solid, although with anything technical I am always open to correction, so feel free to send hatemail.
First, I want to say what I don’t believe. I do not think that God created stars, and at the same time created all the light between here and there. I think Koukl’s star light article deals a fairly crushing blow to that argument. I do believe that the speed of light is not constant and has fluctuated with time, but I do not believe that it was so significantly faster in the past as to have made star light get here really fast. That argument is just too far out there beyond what is provable for me to be comfortable with.
Instead, I think that the expansion of the universe must have something to do with this issue. When my wife and I took an astrophysics class in college we were told that the expansion of the universe is best pictured as a balloon with dots on it(the dots represent galaxies). As you blow up the balloon the dots get farther and farther apart. But my thought was, if you also draw lines connecting all of the dots to one another then as you blow up the balloon the lines stay connected. These lines would represent the streams of light being emitted from the galaxies. I don’t want to misuse the balloon analogy and I hope I’m not doing so but it makes sense to me.
So here is one possible argument:
- The big bang happens 10,000 years ago.
- The universe begins rapid expansion and star formation.
- As the universe expands the light waves from the stars expand with it.
- The stars continue to get farther and farther away by expansion but we still see their light due to that same expansion.
The one thing I’m sure of in this argument is that if the universe is expanding then it can’t be just stars that are affected. The light coming from those stars must also be affected by the expansion. I’m not sure of much beyond that since I’m no physicist but it makes sense to me. I heard a theoretical physicist on the Discovery channel one day say that when it comes to space itself following the laws of physics, all bets are off. When space itself moves(as in expansion) then who knows what effect that has on the objects themselves that reside in that space.