Imagery of dinosaurs obscures need to think

Published 11:32 am Monday, July 11, 2011

I offer another potpourri of my thoughts, as random as they may appear. I write most columns as essays, which I introduce with an attention device and thesis. The body of evidence or reasoning follows and then I conclude with a return to the thesis with an action step. Today’s is not this and must be read differently. I suggest you read one statement and then think it through before proceeding to the next.

We saw a wonderfully done IMAX show on dinosaurs in Milwaukee. I wish I had a script of this so I could highlight such constant phrases as, “it could have been,” and “it might have been,” and “some scholars think that,” and “they may have,” and “they would have” and on and on.

They also several times featured how one theory that had been accepted by all the paleontologists for generations was brilliantly exploded by a more recent scholar who “revolutionized” their understanding. The focus was put on the “new development” without acknowledging any embarrassment that the lot had been entirely wrong for years. There was bare acknowledgment that today’s theories might yet be equally revolutionized any day now by yet another brilliant scholar.

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If viewers listen critically, they will come away with a reasonable perspective. But few do listen critically. They come away absolutely convinced all this has been proved, and the imagery is so strong it persists against all evidence or logic.

Our teenage granddaughter asked with amazement, “You lived through the Great Depression?…Were you happy?” I assured her we were very happy and I have wonderful memories of a perfectly happy childhood. She persisted, “How could you be happy in the Great Depression?” I had to explain that our family was happy, and we had a very happy church. I never heard the word “depression,” and I knew nothing about it until I studied history in high school. We were frugal, and I presumed this was normal. I can’t say this was normal, but it certainly was usual and seemed normal at the time.

America is not a Christian nation—but we could make it so. God intended the kingdom he created with Israel eventually to be for all nations, and America’s founding fathers recognized its practical wisdom. The great error of the founding fathers is they presumed humans can achieve what God made clear only he can accomplish. America will become a Christian nation in the sense and to the extent Christians live the kingdom of God within this civil but evil society.

If you want to build a strong friendship, find some serious disagreement and work it through; you will create such a friendship as you never had.

The person unaware and unconcerned about his ignorance is doubly ignorant, perhaps hopelessly so.

The first step toward healing is to discover the disease; the first step toward salvation is to confess the sin.

The person who enjoys such a secure position that he never needs to deal with objections or opposition is in the position of heading toward a very great fall of his own making.

You can indeed put a square peg into a round hole, if the peg is small enough that its corners get in even if its straight sides do not adhere to the curved sides of the round hole. But this trick doesn’t constitute a fit, and a square peg is still not a fit for a round hole. So it is with a lot of things we managed to get into another unnaturally; we’ve done something without accomplishing anything.

The most profound objection to same-sex marriage is so obvious it often “goes without saying.” It is not only morally wrong, but ontologically impossible. Nothing has meaning, much less existence, if it doesn’t have properties that belong to a universe of the thing. With only particulars and no universals, the thing does not belong to a broader thing.

Without such essential properties as sex that compliments and completes, a professed “marriage” simply isn’t a marriage at all. Neither a male-male nor a female-female relationship has the essential — i.e., of the essence — property of male-female. A red ball has the properties red and round; a round object that is green is not a red ball. It just isn’t; calling it a red ball doesn’t make it one.