A Cleverly Designed Device

THINKING BEFORE I SPEAK

The fly

A research student wrote a thesis paper about a fly.

He extracted one leg from the fly and asked the fly to jump from one hand to the other. The fly jumped. (Insect lovers, please bear with me for a moment.) He removed the second leg and repeated the command. The fly jumped again. He pulled out the third leg and told the fly to jump. Once more, the fly jumped. He yanked out the final leg and commanded the fly to jump one more time.

This time the fly did not jump. The student promptly wrote down his conclusion: When you pull out all four of a fly’s legs, it loses its hearing.

A deduction based on false assumptions leads to an invalid conclusion, and we simply cannot base conclusions on impeded judgments or limited assumptions. — Ravi Zacharias

Fernando Ortega

—Pass Me Not

Rio Junior

In my hand is Rio Junior.

One of the birds of the heavens… As David Helton puts it… Hoatzins to crows to pigeons - all those different colours and feathers and all the migration routes and songs and egg shapes and mating displays; the passerines, the ratites, the galliformes, the raptors… And God saw that it was good.

And then we took His place, manipulating genes, we’ve turned around and subdued every one of them, directly and indirectly, en masse and individually. And now that we’ve got genetic engineering we can do it even faster and more cunningly, right up to the bitter end.

God set it up, we knocked it down, We are the winners. But why aren’t we saying, “This is good”?

The Book of Books: What Literature Owes the Bible

Article on The New York Times by Marilynne Robinson:

Each of these works reflects a profound knowledge of Scripture and tradition on the part of the writer, the kind of knowledge found only among those who take them seriously enough to probe the deepest questions in their terms. These texts are not allegories, because in each case the writer has posed a problem within a universe of thought that is fully open to his questioning once its terms are granted. Here the use of biblical allusion is not symbolism or metaphor, which are both rhetorical techniques for enriching a narrative whose primary interest does not rest with the larger resonances of the Bible. In fact these great texts resemble Socratic dialogues in that each venture presupposes that meaning can indeed be addressed within the constraints of the form and in its language, while the meaning to be discovered through this argument cannot be presupposed. Like paintings, they render meaning as beauty.

Somehow enjoyed the article.

“I cannot begin to wonder why a prey would help its predator in its hunting strategies.”

Q: Hi Audrey, I happened to read your entry titled ‘Amanda’ and am curious to know the answer to the question you posted in your concluding paragraph, if you would so take the time to share with me.Regards, Philip Stanton.

A: Hi Philip, I take it that you were referring to the question below:

"When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him, and the son of man that you care for him?"

The question was taken from Psalm 8 of the Bible written by a past ruler of Israel and Judah by the name of King David. So back to the question… Who or what is man? Interestingly, the psalmist answers himself. After he poses the question, he writes:

"You have made him a little lower than the heavenly beings and crowned him with glory and honor. You have given him dominion over the works of your hands; you have put all things under his feet, all sheep and oxen, and also the beasts of the field, the birds of the heavens, and the fish of the sea, whatever passes along the paths of the seas. O LORD, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!"

If we understand the answer, we would understand that (to quote Ravi Zacharias) the glory of what it means to be human is that we can celebrate the glory of the universe in its immensity and intelligibility. The universe cannot return that compliment. Our names, our identities, our relationships, our destinies all hinge on this starting point, a First Cause. King David’s answer, if understood, puts value on the individual as having transcendent worth. To dismiss man’s life as ultimately random is to also dismiss the mind with which one makes such judgment. I hope I have somewhat answered your question.

It really isn’t an easy question to answer without writing an essay, so if this confuses you, as always, I’d gladly accept that the mistakes are all mine. There are thousands of questions in my mind as well, and there are surely many things I have yet to understand or even accept… But if you do have more questions for me, just send them over.

Ask me anything only with no expectations.

Amanda

I just found out that in the very early stages of my life, I was called Amanda.

I know this because I just saw it in several of my appointment cards that date back many years ago. I don’t know when exactly that name was changed, and neither do I know why, among my brothers and I, I was the only one not given a name found in the bible despite me being the middle child.

They thought it was good on the first child, then they changed their minds on me, the second child, and then switched back to their old views on the third child.

Did they forget to give me a biblical name? Or did it only matter to them that the guys must have biblical names, but not so much the girl? Did something happen when they were choosing my name? Did God in his booming voice say to my parents, “Hold it man and woman! Now that thou hast conceiveth and beareth this child, this baby girl thou hast conceiveth shalt not be named from the WORD!” And so thus sayeth the LORD and thus my parents obeyed? (Apologies for the archaic manner of writing; I was just trying to impart some old-fashioned flavour for reasons unknown.)

Or did they just decide to forget the bible altogether and go with a modern name simply on the basis of it sounding good? Not that I would consider such an act to have fallen under the realm of immorality, no, I have no problem with my English name. On the contrary, I do like it very much.

But this has clearly shed some (unique) light on who I was, whether superficially, or perhaps, on a whole new level deeper than my curiosity would take me.

Strange enough, as far as name-giving goes, it is amusing that I was born at exactly 3.33pm with a head circumference (HC is what the pros call it) of exactly 33cm. Had I been born at 4.44pm, I might have been a genius. 5.55pm might increase that probability (of being a genius and of giving everyone in the room a nasty shock).

What I have always found more amusing is the fact that the first 5 numbers of my IC number, in exactly the same order, is the infamous 90210 which most Americans know as a long-running TV drama series, preceded by Beverly Hills 90210, apparently the world’s most famous zip code.

When your identity comes down to merely letters that form words and numbers that make sense only to devices, I find myself asking this:

When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him, and the son of man that you care for him?

Truth be told, many of us might know the answer, but not many of us understand it.

“Rejected light is the parent of the densest darkness, and the man who, having the light, does not trust it, piles around himself thick clouds of obscurity and gloom.”

—Scottish pastor Alexander MacLaren

Go ahead. Right on.

This is so amusing… One single thing hits you hard; it’s such great inspiration, and no questions asked, it’d be the only thing you think about… Like the finishing line which you’re told to never lose sight of… you stare at it so hard, so focused, never tearing your eyes off it, never, not for a second, never…. never…. never… never realising, never knowing this line… this line stretches all the way turning and twisting, this line, this line is a noose around your neck. Go go go, you all will say, like the greatest fools I have ever come across.

Friendly fire is more necessary than friendly.

“If you do not stand firm in your faith, you will not stand at all.”