Despair.com

Welcome to The GeoChristian. Out of over 600 posts on my blog, this one on demotivational posters is the one people find most often via search engines. The purpose of The GeoChristian is twofold: 1. To enhance science literacy within the Evangelical Christian community. 2. To present a Biblical Christianity that is hostile to neither science nor the environment. I invite you to browse around and read some other posts.

I was never really motivated by motivational posters, but I get a good laugh out of demotivational posters from despair.com. Here are a few samples:

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Grace, Hope, and Peace

Stem cells from adult skin cells

This is very important news.

After years of having abortion advocates and liberal politicians pushing embryonic stem cells on us—despite the greater promise all along of other stem cell techniques— researchers have found a way to coax human adult skin cells to become stem cells. This takes care of both the ethical problems of using human embryos and the difficulty of getting a human body to accept cells grown from another individual. It will soon be possible to grow stem cells from your own skin; no risk of rejection there.

I have no doubt that the pro-abortion industry and lobby will continue to press for embryonic stem cell research for some odd reason.

Read more:

Stem Cell Holy Grail — World Magazine

Stem Cell Vindication — Charles Krauthammer (quoted at Cyberbrethren)

Praise God, and keep on praying.

Grace and Peace

For the Beauty of the Earth — Chapter 5

Chapter 5 of For the Beauty of the Earth, by Steven Bouma-Prediger is called “How should we think of the earth? A theology and ethic of care for the earth.”

The most promising ecological ethic is one that asks not primarily, What do we need to do? but Who do we need to be?

Neither cosmocentrism, with its “ethic of adoration,” nor anthropocentrism, with its “ethic of exploitation,” is adequate since both tacitly assume a dualism between nature and history, differing only in which has priority. Only a theocentric perspective, which refuses to accept such a dualism, is able to cultivate a proper “ethic of responsibility.” For these and other reasons Richard Young concludes that “the Christian Scriptures, when interpreted through a theocentric perspective, offer the most satisfying and realistic solution of the environmental problem.”

It is as false to claim that concern for the earth is not a legitimate feature of authentic Christian discipleship as it is to claim that care for the earth is the sum total of what it means to be a disciple of Christ. As the “Evangelical Declaration on the Care of Creation” puts it, “We resist both ideologies which would presume the Gospel has nothing to do with the care of non-human creation and also ideologies which would reduce the Gospel to nothing more than the care of that creation.”

The challenge ahead is to persuade Christians that care for the earth is an integral feature of authentic Christian discipleship.

Jesus Christ is Creator, Integrator, and Reconciler; yet many who call on his name abuse, neglect, and do not give a care about creation. That irony is there for all to see. Honoring the Creator in word, they destroy God’s works in deed. Praising God from whom all blessings flow, they diminish and destroy God’s creatures here below. The pieces of this puzzle do not fit! One piece says, “We honor the Great Master!” The other piece says, “We despise his great masterpiece!” — Calvin DeWitt

Grace and Peace

An Exceptionally Simple Theory of Everything

In Physics, we just finished a unit on Einstein’s special theory of relativity. Relativity is counterintuitive at first, but most high school seniors can grasp the basic concepts once some groundwork is laid. After going through time dilation, length contraction, the twin paradox, and E=mc2, we took three days to watch “The Elegant Universe,” a PBS/NOVA episode on string theory (available online here).

String theory is an attempt to explain how gravity relates to the other fundamental forces: electromagnetism, the strong force, and the weak force. In its current form, it requires that there be eleven dimensions (the three of space we are familiar with, time, and seven hidden dimensions), plus alternative universes that parallel our own. It is highly speculative and difficult (or impossible in some respects) to test by experiment.

We watched the movie (which is very well done and entertaining) and then discussed it. My students didn’t have a problem with there being extra dimensions (nor do I), but expressed skepticism about the possibility of parallel universes (as do I). Perhaps the reason some physicists are so willing to accept this whole theory is that it attempts to explain the big bang (origin of the universe) without a creator. But, of course, even if string theory could explain what caused the big bang to occur, it still hasn’t answered the big questions:

  • Why is there something rather than nothing?
  • Where did the laws come from that govern the universe?

Because of the whole multiple parallel universe thing, many Christians have problems with string theory. An alternative to string theory has recently appeared, proposed by a surfer/snowboarder physics PhD named Garrett Lisi. His model is based on an elaborate geometric model called E8. Its math is way beyond most of us, but is simpler than the math that goes into string theory. It has received positive reception within the physics community, but has not yet been thoroughly evaluated.

New Scientist has an article on Lisi’s proposal here: Is mathematical pattern the theory of everything?

Lisi’s paper is posted online: An Exceptionally Simple Theory of Everything (609 kb pdf). I look at the math in this paper and am amazed that anyone can follow it, but I guess that’s why God made physicists. And this is simple compared to string theory!

In the 1500s and 1600s, the reason that heliocentrism was accepted by scientists over geocentrism was because the mathematics of planetary motion was much simpler if one placed the sun at the center of the solar system rather than the Earth. If E8 (or whatever it ends up being called) passes initial scrutiny, it could replace string theory as the “theory of everything” that physicists seek.

Thanks to: Glenn at Be Bold, Be Gentle.

The E8 system, with each point corresponding to a particle, some of which have not yet been observed:

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Grace and Peace