2012.07.24

How much of how we understand and organize reality is constructed via an imaginary narrative? And how critically important is it that, in developing our scientific methods of inquiry and explanation, we work in close communion with our own imaginative resources in the interpretation of said reality?

Do we have a choice?

God designed the forces that created us, and the physical world as we experience and understand it, from nothing and in six days’ time.

We, and the physical world as we experience and understand it, are the result of brute and impersonal evolutionary processes that have contributed to our beginning, some four billion years ago.

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And does it matter where we start?

2012.07.22

“Honestly, I like everything, boyish girls, girlish boys, the heavy and the skinny.”

“I always play women I would date.”

-Angelina Jolie

2012.07.21

I’m doing research for a paper I’m writing on my visit to the Creation Museum in Kentucky. As part of the research, I read a short pocket guide I purchased from their book store, entitled, ‘A Young Earth: Evidence that supports the biblical perspective’. It focuses on alleged problems with radioactive dating techniques, carbon-14 dating, and the related issues of concern in determining the age of the earth. Below is an excerpt from the last chapter of this book, ‘Trusting in Authority’:

‘Many will interview leading scientists and researchers to present an air of authority, but what if the authority figure has an agenda?

Actually, everyone who presents information to you has an agenda. The information we get from these sources is not the raw data, it is usually a conclusion about the data. The conclusions are always colored by some sort of bias- despite claims of neutrality.

Take a fossil find as an example. The fossil is simply pieces of rock or other material found in the ground. This evidence cannot speak for itself- it must be interpreted! It is quite easy to identify the bias of interpretation by looking for certain clues. Phrases such as “common ancestor” and “million years” tell you that the authority relies on an evolutionary philosophy to explain the fossil. Words like “Designer” and “created” tell you that the authority relies on the Bible to understand the fossil. Both have a bias when interpreting the data.’ (-pages 93-94, A Pocket Guide to a Young Earth)

I really enjoyed stumbling upon this excerpt. I think because somewhere deep down, even the relativist in me knows there are some thoughtful, relevant qualifications to be made; some seemingly subtle, yet worthwhile points of clarification that can be made here. And, I think, there can be a way to craft those points that wouldn’t alienate anyone with an agenda that prioritizes genuine understanding, regardless of their point of original reference.

“My sense of the holy is bound up with the hope that some day my remote descendants will live in a global civilization in which love is pretty much the only law.”

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“To say that truth is not out there is simply to say that where there are no sentences there is no truth, that sentences are elements of human languages, and that languages are human creations.  The suggestion that truth– is out there is a legacy of an age in which the world was seen as the creation of a being who had a language his own.”

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“There is nothing to be known about anything except an initially large, and forever expandable, web of relations to other things. Everything that can serve as a term of relation can be dissolved into another set of relations, and so on for ever. There are, so to speak, relations all the way down, all the way up, and all the way out in every direction: you never reach something which is not just one more nexus of relations.”

Richard Rorty