Fake Debates. Creationism

090530cloud_dsc1457SsWould you set out to debate whether the picture of the Texas sky is more real than the sky? Or the clouds? Or the light that shines on the sensors in my camera?

They are real. They are not comparable things, but you can not debate which is more real. They are all real.

Would you set out to debate whether philosophy or science is more true?

They are both true. Philosophy is a true method of trying to understand the reality of the creation of which we are a small part. Science is a different true method. We can use one method or another method, but if we want to know as much as we possibly can, we will use both methods and add up the results. Because these methods are different, they tell us different truths.

And if you can’t see anything outside your own discipline, then you will never learn anything you don’t already know.

Fake Debates. Torture.

Changing the subject, loss leaders, asking the wrong question. The purpose of any of these so-called debates is to avoid discussing the issue. The debate about whether or not torture is torture is probably a lot of fun for some people. It allows us to get all excited about something that is not the issue. The issue is that:

1) All high government officials take an oath to support the constitution of the United States of America, and

2) The constitution of the United States of America declares the President and other high officials are required to honor the treaties and agreements of our country, and

3) Torture is a war crime and a crime in the United States of America, both because we agreed to honor the Geneva Convention, and because torture is a crime in the United States of America. It has nothing to do with whoever we don’t like or why we are at war.

Without the rule of law we have no United States of America. Under the rule of law, people must be held responsible for what they choose to do. Otherwise, there is no rule of law. Torturing is illegal. Nobody forced anybody to torture. It’s not possible to force anyone to torture other people.

When we choose to break the law, we know what the consequences are. We make that choice freely and accept the consequences, or we change the law — first and legally.

There is nothing to debate here.

But if we live in a culture where only two human values remain — winning, losing — then of course no discussion is possible and nothing is left to us but the mini-wars of fake debates. And we have shackled our souls to the shame and denial of our own abusive behavior.

Promises, Promises

“What if Americans of all ages, races, backgrounds and beliefs could come together in a series of national conversations on topics of significant importance to the nation? What if we could create a listening and learning environment through structured conversations to lead us to better understand one another, establish common ground and transform ideas into action? What if all of us had a role in making this a reality?”

It’s as certain as sin that we will spend our future forever fearfully circling each other, like Voldemort and Harry Potter, unless we find some way break the win/lose pattern of our toxic culture and talk among ourselves like real people. Believe it or not, there is a way that is well researched, well established and well known in business circles. Check out Promise USA if you are genuinely interested in accomplishing a better future.

Good Job

090520TGT_dsc1150LSs copy“The horse was only curious, but Bitsy had drawn a line in the mud and was not willing to back down just because a thousand pounds of horse wanted something. She placed herself over my knapsack with the shoulder strap across her back, and she clearly intended to stay there no matter how many horses tried to steal it. “(Excerpt from Bitsy’s Book, in production.)

Everyone needs some kind of responsibility — something worthwhile that they can do well. I guess if dogs also have this kind of need, it must be more instinct than thinking.

But too many people, like Bitsy, invent for themselves tasks that cause more harm than they do good. A dog might not know the difference, but maybe that’s why people are gifted with a very special brain. Maybe we were meant to do something very special. If so, we will need to spend more time thinking about the long term results of whatever we decide to do, because up to now the difference between what we could do and what we are doing is a long, sad story.

Evolution

Mr. Don Mcleroy, dentist, resident of my home town, and head of the committee that makes the crucial decisions about what textbooks are permitted in our public school system, believes that “Somebody’s gotta stand up to experts. . .” by which he means scientists who prefer that creationism not be taught in science classes. You can view his statement here.

Furthermore, Mr. Mcleroy still believes that our understanding of evolution is based on fossils. The fact is that our modern scientific belief in evolution is largely based in the elegance with which it answers questions in the field of modern genetics. It’s a far stretch from Darwin, who knew no genetics. If you have any doubt about the accuracy of the above, or if you think it is merely my opinion, I suggest you read “The Language of God,” written by a renowned scientist who is a fundamentalist Christian and has struggled over these issues in his personal life. It’s not about evolution; it’s about science.

Scientists do believe in evolution, but that is not why we want to teach science (and not teach philosophy) in science classes. The basic purpose of science classes is to teach how we do science. Professional science is the study of measurable facts using the scientific method. Professional scientists find it very hard to understand any rationale that wants to remove science from the science classrooms or water it down with other disciplines that are normally taught in the liberal arts curriculum as philosophy or comparative religion. Especially at a time when most of our scientists in training are imported from other parts of the world where real science is taught.

I could easily see a study of science alongside religion alongside creationism in a philosophy class, but it is ludicrous to claim that anything should be taught in the science classroom that is not science. Most of us don’t even know the difference between a measurable fact and an opinion. The world is laughing at us.

And the Earth Shudders

This old earth, the ecosystem, the whole universe, is all about balance. (That’s not just my opinion, read up on physics, biology, or just think about it.) If it were not in balance, it would not exist. Out of balance is not sustainable.

Earth ShuddersLFlats

If I knew how, I would make this picture into an animation that shows the earth yanked back and forth by us — by what we want. We don’t want balance. We want to win; we want someone else to lose. We want either-or. Right-wrong. Fear-hate. Nothing in-between. We want to fight it out and win.

We try so hard. But the harder we try, the more we throw the whole system out of balance. Because in-between is where that sustainable balance point can be found. Between winning and losing, between right and wrong, between good and bad. It’s where the love lives. We will never find the sustainable good life until we start to live in balance. So easy. So sad.

The Glass Half Full

090520TGT_dsc1133sThe glass half full is equally as wrong as the glass half empty. Why? Because the only sustainable reality on this living earth is balance.

The glass half full refuses to look at problems that must be solved if we are to build a sustainable culture.

The glass half full will be blindsided by the negative realities it refuses to recognize.