YEC and Dispensationalism — The discussion on my 1000th post has been interesting: the relationship between young-Earth creationism and dispensationalism. Dispensationalism is the theological system that divides salvation history into “dispensations” or periods of time in which God relates to humans in distinct ways. Usually, the last dispensation—that is, the End Times—is just around the corner. Popular dispensationalist authors have included Hal Lindsey (The Late Great Planet Earth), Tim LaHaye (Left Behind), and Charles Ryrie (The Ryrie Study Bible). I was a member of a dispensationalist YEC church in college, and was greatly blessed by the teaching and people, but I am now neither YEC nor dispensationalist.
Catastrophic Plate Tectonics — I have made a few comments on Jay Wile’s post Those Plates, They Are A-Movin’ on his Proslogion blog. Most YECs now accept that the evidence for plate movement is overwhelming, so they have proposed various models for hyper-rapid plate movement during Noah’s flood. The most popular explanation among mainstream YECs right now is something called Catastrophic Plate Tectonics. Of course, to them CPT explains everything, and problems with CO2 and SO2 production; cooling rates, the structure of oceanic crust, hot-spot volcanism (e.g. Hawaii-Emperor Seamounts), guyot formation, and differentiation of subduction-related magmas are inconsequential.
No room in the middle — Veteran Indiana senator Richard Lugar was defeated in the primary election by a Tea Partier. Lugar’s comments after his defeat point to the divisiveness that characterizes modern American politics:
Too often bipartisanship is equated with centrism or deal cutting. Bipartisanship is not the opposite of principle. One can be very conservative or very liberal and still have a bipartisan mindset. Such a mindset acknowledges that the other party is also patriotic and may have some good ideas. It acknowledges that national unity is important, and that aggressive partisanship deepens cynicism, sharpens political vendettas, and depletes the national reserve of good will that is critical to our survival in hard times….
I don’t remember a time when so many topics have become politically unmentionable in one party or the other. Republicans cannot admit to any nuance in policy on climate change. Republican members are now expected to take pledges against any tax increases. For two consecutive Presidential nomination cycles, GOP candidates competed with one another to express the most strident anti-immigration view, even at the risk of alienating a huge voting bloc. Similarly, most Democrats are constrained when talking about such issues as entitlement cuts, tort reform, and trade agreements. Our political system is losing its ability to even explore alternatives. If fealty to these pledges continues to expand, legislators may pledge their way into irrelevance. Voters will be electing a slate of inflexible positions rather than a leader.
I got this quote from Internet Monk.
Paper napkins — Lazyhippiemama informs us that the average American uses 2200 paper napkins per year. If each of us used one less paper napkin per day, that would reduce our paper napkin use by 313,000,000 paper napkins per day. [That comes out to a reduction of 114,245,000,000 paper napkins per year].
Canada doesn’t make cents — Canada is not only eliminating the one-cent coin, they are changing the appearance and composition of the loonie and toonie ($1 and $2 coins) to save money and make them more difficult to counterfeit. The Canadian cent was eliminated primarily as a cost-saving measure. United States cents are also expensive to produce (it costs more than two cents to make a cent), but so far the only thing the U.S. government has done about it is to criminalize the melting or export of pennies (and nickels).