Music and Lyrics

My mind works different than my wife’s. She hears the beat; I hear the lyrics. I think that songs and music are powerful and fuel your soul, and that the lyrics and even the emotion of the artist affect you in some way. Another odd reality of my brain is that it plays with the meanings of words, so I don’t just hear the words; I hear the raw literal translation. This makes songs with weak lyrics grate on the core of my being, and of course I have to air my frustration with my kids. So the meanings of songs is a common conversation that I have with my daughters.

I am rather proud of Xandra at the moment, because she has ruined this song for all of her friends. Her friends will be walking in the halls of her school singing, “Stay With Me”, and turn to her with dreamy eyes and say, “I love this song, its so sweet.” And Xandra will reply, “Why?!? Its awful!”, which produces stunned and confused looks.

Because she is my daughter and because we have talked about this a bit, she will then explain, “Listen to the words… let me paraphrase it for you.” “I don’t love you. You don’t love me. But I’m a man who has ‘needs’, and so you should lay with me.” Then she will show them the actual lyrics:

Guess it’s true, I’m not good at a one-night stand
But I still need love ’cause I’m just a man
These nights never seem to go to plan
I don’t want you to leave, will you hold my hand?

Oh, won’t you stay with me?
‘Cause you’re all I need
This ain’t love it’s clear to see
But darling, stay with me

Why am I so emotional?
No it’s not a good look, gain some self control
And deep down I know this never works
But you can lay with me so it doesn’t hurt

To all the young women out there trying to figure out the world, let me say something to you. You are worth more! You deserve to be loved! A real man’s greatest need is to receive respect and have honor. Sex and intimacy is not a need or a right, and no real man will ever make you feel like you are indebted to share those.

And don’t sing along with songs that suck!

What I think about evolution

This is a conversation that I have had with the girls numerous times over the years. It’s a particularly interesting topic to Angelica and she is the one that asked me to write about it next.

Grand Universe by ANTIFAN REALThis could easily turn into a runaway post and I don’t want it to… so I am going to stick to really high level thoughts that I have and maybe answer specific questions in other posts.

If you don’t want to read all my science rhetoric, then feel free to skip to the conclusion at the end.

In general I think the debate between evolution and creation is pretty much a waste of time. But seeing as it’s the topic of this post, I will admit that I think evolution as a theory is absurd. The main reason for that is I believe in God, which makes contemplating Him doing some or all of the work make sense. If you don’t believe in God, then nothing could be more absurd than some sort of creation fairytale. That is the issue for me; it’s a lot more about philosophy and spirituality than science.

In order for actual science to be involved it would need to follow something close to a scientific method, which is:

The overall process involves making conjectures (hypotheses), deriving predictions from them as logical consequences, and then carrying out experiments based on those predictions to determine whether the original conjecture was correct.

Some have tried, but as of yet nothing has been proven or dis-proven with any logical scientific process. I’m sure someone would love to debate this… feel free.

The Bible is not a scientific text. God gave us the Bible (happy to debate this one too) as a series of books explaining some history, some prophetic writings, and some instructional letters that help to show us an overview about who God is, why Jesus came, examples of how principles in life work and ultimately that everything is supposed to lead us to a profound, all encompassing, deeply loving relationship with Him. He gave us all that we need for that, and didn’t throw in a bunch of stuff that we don’t really need to know. The Bible does not address if there are aliens, if time travel is possible, what the deal is with dinosaurs or, believe it or not, how the earth and humanity were created.

Lots of the older texts in the Bible follow an old storytelling pattern of Summary, Brief Explanation, Detailed Explanation. So “In the beginning, God created the Heavens and the Earth.” That’s the summary… not how; just that He did it. Then it goes on to give seven days of creation, which may refer to 24 hour days, may refer to 1000 year days, may refer to ages of time, may refer to steps taken in order. Moses, who wrote Genesis, could not have predicted that we would get so hung up on this detail. On that topic, the sun was not formed as a stand alone unit until the “3rd day”, so what were they measuring a day with anyway, and who was measuring it??? Adam didn’t hit the earth till the “6th Day”. That’s all the Brief Explanation. Then the real point of the story has some context and that is when Adam is introduced and goes on to explain what God’s and Adam’s relationship was based on. See that’s the point. The creation stuff might give us some interesting insight, but the point is God’s and Man’s relationship.

The Bible does not in any way say how He did any of it, except that he made man out of the dust of the earth, and that may even be referring to the fact that we are made up of a handful of elements that if separated and water removed would amount to a pile of dust. The only actual account we have from the good book of something being made where there were witnesses is Eve. God put Adam to sleep, took a rib from Adam and formed Eve. There are a lot of interesting sciencey things about that but my point for this paragraph is that God took something that was in one form and made a new “iteration” using part of the old. God does a lot of things in patterns, so who knows if God didn’t start with a small micro-organism, then systematically make iterations from one creature or plant to the next using a part of the old??? Or what’s to say that He didn’t snap His finger (or speak it into being) and make everything happen in the blink of an eye?

The main point here is that Creation people don’t have much to cling to that proves that God did it.

That’s not to say that there isn’t science in scripture. There are loads of anecdotal stories that align with what we know about science… that is science that can be proven. The Bible discusses alternate dimensions – something beyond the reasoning of the ancient world. It refers to stars that sing, which was not proven until quite recently. There are a handful of the miracles of Jesus that show His control over atomic phase, and bunch of other quantum physics principles. The Bible confirms actual science and actual science never disagrees with anything in the Bible.

The Bible says that there was a flood that covered the whole earth (as does the writings of EVERY other ancient religious text). It also says that when God created the earth to start with there was a solid layer of water above the atmosphere and a solid layer of water under the earth’s crust, and that on a specific day that was all released. Very recently a large amount of water was found under North America’s tectonic plates… enough water to replace all the water in the world’s oceans. If these two things were the case, then a rupture the size of the Marianas Trench would release an ocean of that magnitude in a fountain that would go high enough to destabilize the outer water layer and all would crash down and cover the earth. Then the greenhouse environment that would have kept everything even temperature would go away and ice caps would draw enough water back, fairly quickly, to reveal enough inhabitable earth to live on… which also explains sedimentary anomalies like denser elements are on the bottom, fields of dinosaurs buried in instant mud slides, palm trees in Greenland, and a host of other observable phenomenon.

So what’s my issue with evolution?

I have a number of scientific issues with an evolution that does not include God (because as far as I am concerned, God could have directed evolution by prompting genetic adjustments in the womb).

I could go really in depth on any of these issues, but… I won’t at this point. “The Big Bang” could very well have happened, but even Stephen Hawking in a Brief History of Time, says that everything can be quantified back to a single super dense atomic particle that could have burst into all that we know and see, but the problem with all those equations is that the particle would be inert. That means that it can’t blow up on its own… someone or something has to pull the trigger. Later he goes on to theorize that some inverse of gravity might be the trigger, but these are only theories to explain what had to happen when the answer “can’t” include God. (By the way, I loved that book)

Dead things don’t evolve. Science has been able to see that species have survived because predators always go after the weakest, meaning that the strongest – and purest – genetics get passed on. In order for evolution to happen, animals would have to go through a transition from one functioning set of parameters to another, and in the middle neither set of parameters would function well… making it weak… meaning its going to be prey. Some of the adaptations would kill the animal if not done perfectly the first time. The bombardier beetle is a good example of that. It creates two chemicals in its abdomen that when sprayed together creates an explosion that can blow a spider far away. It sprays these chemicals in a finely tuned set of minuscule drops because if they were steady streams, they would propel the beetle to kingdom come. Imagine all of the attempts that evolution must have had to make to get that formula right, and if its not just right, then boom. Which means that the genetic trial would not be passed on to any offspring and that would mean evolution would have to try again. Lots more examples of this, but like I said, dead things don’t evolve.

We can’t make it happen. 600+ (its well over 700 now) and 10,000+ lifecycles trying to force fruit flies and bacteria to mutate and not one singe generation benefited from a mutation, and the predominant end organism was exactly the same as the first generation. This isn’t just exposing them to environmental anomalies, but actually introducing genetic changes, and still nada, and the real atmosphere and environment has never put any of our world’s critters through anything like that. If we can’t do it to one or two species under those circumstances, then how am I to believe that it happened billions and billions and billions of times to create the “successful” (because remember, unsuccessful adaptations = dead animals = they don’t evolve) changes that resulted in all that you see on the earth today?!?

Conclusion:

I’ve seen a number of evolution / creation debates, and I have yet to see evolutionists find religion after being proven wrong; they go back and figure out logical answers to the questions they couldn’t answer and carry on. I have seen people come face-to-face with a love and peace and deep inner knowing that they are desired by God, accept and follow Jesus, and then turn almost immediately to believe in one form of God directed creation or another. I have seen people receive miracles, arms grow back, ears open, instant healings, observable things, and accept the message that comes with those… mainly that the reality of Heaven is within arms reach (the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand), accept and follow Jesus and almost immediately turn and believe in creation as well. Conversely, I have seen people that are not set in their faith, get exposed to some good arguments that make them challenge their ideas of the existence of God, and when God gets explained away, they turn and almost immediately turn and begin to believe evolution.

It is a product of your philosophy and your belief in God… and your belief in God is not a product of your view of creation. I believe in God, and I believe in creation, and I believe all the stories in the Bible, and I am a curious scientist, and all those things are compatible.

And to the Christians out there that want to see the world a better place, put down your need to be right and your need to have all the answers and your need to know all the rules, and just get really good and letting a love that you couldn’t have produced on your own flow through you, and let Him take care of the rest.

Conflict, Compromise and Social Skills

This isn’t a question that my girls have asked me per se, but its a discussion that we have had around our house for the last week or so.

Christy Clark Jim IkerHere in BC the teacher’s union is on strike, so school hasn’t started for my kids yet this year. The government and teacher’s union have been fighting for a great many years and the situation is hot and heated and controversial and everyone has an opinion and they hold those opinions with great emotional conviction.

Here’s my problem with where things are at.  I am not upset with the teachers; they have a difficult and thankless job. I am not upset with the government; they were elected under the promise of financial accountability and balanced budgets and this is one facet of trying to deliver on that. I am not upset with the people at the bargaining table; they are humans, trying in an imperfect way to do what they think is the best.  I am upset with you.  (Not you specifically, but the “greater you” that makes up everyone on social media that is involved in the greater social discussion and commentary flooding my Facebook wall.)

We live in a weird age. I have noticed that my teens have NO conflict resolution skills. They almost never meet face to face, but end up chatting with lots of people over various forms of instant messaging and social media. When something happens that is awkward or someone says something that might be taken the wrong way, you can simply stop answering their texts. Imagine acting like that with everyone in a room… you say something awkward and all of a sudden everyone just acts like you disappeared.  You can scream at the crowd and say, “no, no, you misunderstand!”, but still they ignore you. That would never happen. It might be awkward, but you would have to – and get to – deal with it right then and there.

Something else that is weird about the age that we live in is the ease with which your voice can be heard by the masses. Anyone can sit down at a keyboard and write something that sounds plausible and have it published and read by thousands. There is no burden of proof, or references for cited material, or even any requirement to try and be truthful. I’ve seen people write some crazy stuff and if it gets shared enough, even legitimate news media will republish it to try and fill the insatiable demand for tantalizing news.

When you put all of the above together, you have some very good people exhibiting some very bad behavior. Economists are on the side of the government, but should they share something about their opinion, they are sure to get hate mail and have their moral character called into question, but not face to face. No, they will be blasted over social media or email or text or other forms of communication that don’t require you to look into the eyes of the one that you are berating and recognize that you are hurting them.

Parents with special needs kids are mostly on the side of the teachers, but should they post something about their opinion… watch out. Parent’s with kids in private school or home school have mixed opinions, but can they share them as part of the discussion without being slandered in return?

And then there is hate. If you support the teachers, then support them, but why do some people feel entitled to degrade the personal character of our Premier? If you support the government, that’s fine, but then why is it ok to blast unfounded hateful comments about the union president or their demands or about unions in general?

This is something that social media makes available but society should not. These are basic social skills…

I have a friend that likes to read and share articles that have various degrees of different opinions. The other day, she posted an article that was mostly pro-government, but from a perspective that she hadn’t seen anywhere else, so she shared it asking what people thought. I read the article. It was an interesting perspective. She took the post down within a couple hours because her inbox filled up with hateful comments and personal attacks. It wasn’t even specifically her opinion, just something she thought was interesting.

No one knows the truth. Only those in the actual bargaining discussion knows the truth of what is said in there. Everything else is hearsay and conjecture and opinion and some outright lies. There is no requirement that you validate your sources and make sure that whatever you post is true, but understand that they are opinions and thoughts that support your own stance and… they may be partially incorrect or taken out of context, so accept comments for and against with understanding and dignity. If you disagree with something that you read, by all means post a comment, but do it with grace and tact.

“Treat others the way that you want to be treated”, but I’ll add something to that… Treat others wherever they are, the way that you want to be treated when you are face to face.

Just my opinion.