Monday, July 23, 2012

Creationism vs Evolutionism

Okay, time for a recipe:
1: Get obtain equal amounts of stubborn evolutionists and stubborn Christian in the same room.
2: Close all exits, barricade them with heavy objects
3: Bake for 30 minutes
4: Open the doors. If you don't see either party dead as a result of the other, then the result will be a creationist debate leading up to said homicide.

I’ve recently been privy to such a debate, which didn't end the same way as the above recipe would indicate. The way these debates go, both parties use natural places, events, and animals to disprove each other. Whether it's a rock formation which tells of rapid re-polarization of the magnetic field, or a meticulous evolutionary ancestry diagram, or some beetle or giraffe which can't possibly have evolved from something prior (due to several subsystems inside said animals which would be useless unless they mutated simultaneously, which is very, very unrealistic), these two parties will inevitably meet up several times a year, trade falsehoods about each other, then leave in a huff.

To the Evolutionist: please stop. I believe your idea is more sane, as my God is a sensible and logical God, and the theory of evolution has been proven a few times in human history (Google: Samurai Crab). This is not to say I believe in it all the way, as there ARE holes in most ancestries that cannot presently be filled. There are, however enough complete section of the ancestries that I can accept the theory.

To the Creationist: I had a Creationist as my Biology teacher, and in his single-minded attempts to sell Creationism to my class, he almost forgot to teach the curriculum. He had several Creationist posters in his room, and one pertained to geology's proving Creationism. There's on rock formation near a volcano , which twists. I forgot what that means, but somehow that points to a very young earth. Point is, I don't enjoy when someone takes one small section of the Earth that has some small exceptions, packages it, and displays it as if it speaks for the entire world. If you've got evidence, I’d prefer evidence that speaks for the entire world. I do enjoy looking at the specimens which seem to reject an ancestor, though.

For both sides, I say this: Drop it. To the Evolutionist, I couldn't care less. It's a fun theory, and opens doors to interesting ideas. To the Creationist, I’d suggest you read a little more into the world God gave us.

I believe that either theory misses the point entirely. In the Bible's story of creation, I believe the things that are being created aren't important. It's that God created. Every day in the “seven” consisted of something that was started by God, made by God, and deemed worthy by God. It focused on the Creator, not the creation. If we bog ourselves down hyper-focusing on how we got here, we miss the point of why we are here.

Instead of Creationism or Evolutionism, I propose Creation. The fact that it happened.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Pisgah's Done For

The AP tests are an integral part of the academic system. These tests ($95 each) cover many subjects, and allow students to, if they achieve a certain score on them, exempt from certain classes in college. When a student takes the AP test, they notify their college of choice, and they arrange their classes with said exemption in mind. In some students' cases this year, they arranged to exempt four classes, wiping an entire semester or more off their degree path. It is the high school's job to ensure that, once the students finish these tests, said tests make it to the College Board centers. This usually requires a small amount of effort, such as recording the tracking number, putting special devices to track it more directly, and various other methods.
My school, Mount Pisgah Christian School, has not been overly kind to me. Most of this is due to my feelings about the institution. I see the school as one more heavily interested in athletics than should be healthy for a College Preparatory school. I also see that it neglects the arts program, though there has been a movement to rectify this issue. Among the other small issues, they have an college adviser whose idea of “college advisement” is to shun regular channels of providing information (email, paper, phone), and instead have two or three vital, oral only, face-to-face meetings with all the parents at times that prohibit working adults from attending. This lack of professionalism from a person who claims to speak for a school that prides itself on professionalism is depressing, to say the least.

Two days ago I was notified, not by the school, not by an administrator, by a fellow student on Facebook that Mount Pisgah Christian School, a school priding itself on its seamless and painless college advisement and assistance system, lost 108 out of the 148 AP tests taken this last year. When I researched more into the debacle, it got worse.

All throughout June, several of my classmates called the school, asking about the AP exams, concerned because of the overwhelming importance of them. Pisgah assured them everything was “to schedule”. One of my classmates called fifteen times in the week leading up to the deadline for grades, and many others called nearly as much. Each time, they were assured to the complete and total grip the school had on the situation. In truth, two things happened: either they knew of their lack of control, and were scrambling to fix it before it went public, or they were completely oblivious, trusting completely in the process. (Either Liars or Blindly Trusting)

Now, let's get damages down on this one. $10,260 for the cost of the AP tests lost. After that, there are still plenty of other damages (one friend cited $7000 for cost of extra classes) that I can't and won't fathom. Then, there's the damaged accreditation. Apparently, the system Pisgah runs under every year is to pack all the tests up into one box and place it in a communal place for a courier to get it a few hours later. Now, someone tell me how long it takes to go to said box, open it, doctor the information, and close the box, tape and all. Not only that, but I have not heard that they have a tracking number on the box yet. It's been two months. This system has been what Pisgah worked under for years. (Untrustworthy)

I am not one to enjoy pointing fingers. I am not one to enter a courtroom, unless required to. I trust in and support the right of people to solve their disputes alone, face-to-face. With this in mind, I doubt the mulish mind of Mount Pisgah will easily bow to this pressure. At the moment, Pisgah deflects the blame, putting it on the courier (UPS is reliable, ask my father. 18 billion packages a year, one or two thousand are bound to go missing), the College Board, or the various people directly responsible. But I’ve noticed the only thing more mulish than the mind of Pisgah is the minds of angered Pisgah parents (Try getting through Pisgah's parking lot when school lets out, and you'll see how bad they are when jovial). Worse still, Pisgah's clientele have much deeper pockets than the school does. There are a few that are lawyers. What a tort storm.

Unfortunately, the AP tests are unrecoverable. They are lost. Even if we found them, the College Board will not take them in such a possibly criminalized state. I was planning on retaking the AP courses in college, simply because I love learning. I’m staying out of this. But other students are much more involved, much more effected by this. This next month will be painful for my Nequam Mater.  

Wednesday, July 11, 2012


Today I speak on one of the various incentives my demon has placed to enhance my introverted nature. In everyone's life, there is the comfortable range of what one is willing to accept and understand. Beyond that, the world is harsh and dangerous, and one is usually very adamant against interacting with said world. Even still, the world encroaches, brushing off the worst of its realities onto the person. The taxes needed to be paid, the constant talk of the horrible state of mankind, the uncertainty of the daily interaction.
The very worst element to brush off onto one's person is that of another person. Because most of life's troubles these days come from another person, or another structure created by said persons (see, government), the introverted soul is baleful at the thought of the meeting of another one, especially if said 'other one' has no such introversion. If you were to lock an extrovert and an introvert in the same room, the introvert would certainly die, and two familiars would exit.
Now, the world of the introvert is such: two computer screens radiate me in questionably safe light, as I soak in content most unquestionably unsafe, from violence, to prostitution, to humor. I have a glass of water, always full. I sit in a chair, and my only discomfort is the overheating of my rump. I control my environment. I have the solid promise from all the glories of the internet that I will be contented for the time I sit at that chair.
The world outside the screens, though, is varied. It has ultiple types of people. I stayed clear, afraid of the erratic behaviors of the world. Then I met people on a one-on-one basis, started knowing people by name. These people with names were “friends”. These “friends” were pleasant. I was smiling. Honest happiness. No artificial screens, lasing my eyes, burning my retinas, requiring harder prescriptions to see. No box, no four walls. The world opened. I had my first real passionate dreams and childish aspirations of flying.
The converse, though, was also present. My dreams shifted from purely fantastical, beautiful, lucid, and epic; they became serious, baroque, noir at times, including more violence, and vague. I began embracing the world outside, and the world inside languished.

I went back to my old world, and now I live in equilibrium. My introverted side gives me my imagination and my mind, and y extroverted side gives me my true pleasure. All in moderation, I say.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Fireworks and LDRS31!

This next week is going to be FUN. I’m off to the largest rocket launch in my life, launching the largest rocket in my life (650 lbs on liftoff, 120 lbs of which is propellant), and the Discovery Channel will be there!

 This last week, I put together a fireworks shoot for the Capital City Club, with the owner of said rocket. Burl Finkelstein is an amazing man, who will one day get a post all about him. For today, though, I’ll talk about that fireworks shoot. Over two hundred shells. Over 900 pounds of black powder. I shot off more black powder that day than most people do in their entire lives, even most gunmen. Interestingly enough, I found the construction more fun than the shoot itself. Now that the mystery of the event is done, I no longer find the fireworks to be as enticing and myserious. Instead, I enjoy the labor of setting it all up. More than I should....

 But I can't stay, I need to help my father pack! See you in Rochester! Oh, before I go, here's one of my poems!

 More to come!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

My Demon, Simper

I have a demon. Everyone say hello to Simper. On the grand scheme of things, he's not that bad. We even have talks every now and again.
He's a sad man. He made himself known to me at age seven, taking my innocent soul to temptations I’ve learned to hate. He guided my hand as my mind languished silently, listening to nothing but my own mind. Over time, however, I’ve refined the art of tempting the tempter.
You see, Satan himself never opens his eyes to the truth of salvation and grace, just as we think not of an enemy's point of view. He is quite the child in this capacity. It is this damning flaw of narrow-minded Pride that allows such reverse tempting of his children. Everybody has a personal demon; I believe that we are all born with them. One is thrust upon us as soon as Satan can send one, for he only has a hundred years to convince us he doesn't exist. Every little bit that God will allow, Satan rebels. What further way to rebel than to have seven billion damned souls here, assigned to one person for a lifetime?
I do not believe in a guardian angel for each of us, however; I believe that such a concept would impinge upon our Free Will. Furthermore, they are often not necessary. Physical ailments are such that an angel, a being solely of spiritual mass, could not assist. On the spiritual assist, it's not needed. Of course, God may send an angel to protect certain people at times, and I will not attempt to fathom why. (As I stated before, I believe that God expects different things out of everyone, and the path one takes to believing in Him is more varied than the number of people alive. There have been over a hundred billion people on this earth, and their paths to salvation or damnation are unique to the person.)
I digress. Satan trains his Tempters to instantly reject humanity's logic, for, as we are half-mortal, half-spirit, our knowledge about the spiritual realm is limited and broken. However, the Damned One gave me a curious Tempter. When I was about age fourteen, I saw the presence of my demon. My temptations suddenly had a source, a wellspring. After that realization, a bitter battle was waged in my mind over control of it.
Let me give you a reason why this was a difficult battle. Simper takes the form of a large Harpy Eagle on this earth, with brown feathers, save for blood red around his head, tail, and wing tips. He dug his claws into my shoulder from birth, and over time my body grew around the talons, burying them in me. If you've ever seen an eagle fighting, you can understand my qualms. His seven-foot singspan beat against me as I scraped and bit as his plumage and claws. For four long years, we've taken pieces of each other and thrown them around, sometimes throwing them at others (and I’m sorry to those people), whose demons would use the scraps of our struggle to further their own goals. .
He was whittling me down, and I felt my resolve weaken. When I was on the ground, crushed by my own lack of will to fight him, he came again and dragged me to my desk. And, whilst he reveled in his victory, his spirit rifled through my mind. You see, he was courting me for quite some time, and lusted for the mind within. When he perused my thoughts, he found that I was sorry for him.
Now, this is how you trap a demon, and he quite agrees. You show him that you care for him. Simper's master cares not for his own. The worst thing you can do to Satan, then, is care for his spawn. It's humorous how much that damages and spites the King of Pride. It also had an incredible impact on Simper. After witnessing my sorrow for his plight, he at first attacked me again, hating the notion of the grace I showed him. His rage subsided to the first tears he has ever shed. He kept prodding my mind, and my soul witnessed to him.
His claws retracted out of me, and he flew away, abandoning his post. Months later, he returned, digging his claws into me again. I accepted him, even as he half-heartedly tempted me again. He eventually let me know Satan had rejected him, and he was a stray spirit.
Now, he builds up courage to rejoin the father, even though I tell him it's for the best. He's been at the tempting life for thousands of years, taken many men to their downfall, and he is afraid of what God will do. He says he is a novice at tempting, as many demons today have been at it since before the time of Jesus (they say it was a simple time for damnations).
With many ancient demons, it's no wonder how easy it is to fall astray. I consider myself fortunate to know a demon so personally, so I can tell you about him. But I am one mere man. My demon is new. My demon is young. If he fails in the mission he gave up on, I will take him to the father, and vouch for his salvation.
My demon's name is Simper. Who's yours? 

Sunday, July 1, 2012

The Case for Christ #1

Today, I am confronted with the difficult task of proving, without a shadow of a doubt, that my faith in God is based in proof. The impregnable barrier of “proving God”, if you will. This problem, I must admit, I cannot answer using the senses and the world given to me. Sure, I can conjure up all sorts of images to bolster a believer's faith in Him, but I aim not to convince the believer. I aim to convince a nonbeliever of the Truth. With my tools limited as they are in this case, my case for Christ is quite impossible. All my conventional tools are useless against a nonbeliever.

Now, a believer, at this moment, would tell me there's plenty of proof, and I would agree. I would say I see god in everything I see or experience. Unfortunately, that reply would only spurn a nonbeliever to further oust me from its influencing circle. Thus, I must eschew the normal Christian responses, and thus attempt to corral its interest through logic and reasoning. As I said, this is nigh on impossible.

It is as if you were to explain the third dimension to a line. Or, if you are reading this as a nonbeliever, it would be like explaining a ghost to Stephen Hawking. He'd just get pissed off.

Thus, I must go at it a different angle. Even still, this is a difficult angle. I must use the human experience to argue God's existence. I must argue how, in the wake of human fallacy, we all need an immovable, unwavering deity to solidify ourselves. At this point, the nonbeliever calls my God a dictator, a controller. In response, I can freely agree. If I do, though, I lose the nonbeliever by the “damning” (note the irony) truth.

Instead, I bring in Free Will, to which the nonbeliever (forthwith called “Jim”) cites the “rat in a track” example. “You cannot be truly free,” Jim says, “if there's a higher deity who's already set everything in place.” At this point, I can see Jim's smirk through the internet. Now, I can again truthfully and happily say, “Yeah, you're right!”, but I’d again lose poor old Jim.

Instead, I reply, “Does the rat know he's being corralled into one decision, one outcome? No!” But, then again, how much more advanced is the scientist running the tests? In much the same way, God's that much more advanced.

(this argument again loses poor old Jim, because I used the G-word. I can't throw God in the equation directly, because that's somewhat of a buzzword. There's no proof for god, remember?)

So I throw a “higher power being much more advanced than us” into the mixing bowl, and it turns a slight brownish color. Jim thinks I’m delusional, and I’m out of a chance to witness to him. I’ll keep trying...

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