Saturday, June 30, 2007

Don't touch what is nachos....

Nacho Libre is coming out in DVD soon... I can't wait to buy it. Here is an ad for it that I found hilarious and you might, too.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Hers and his theological worldviews

Finally Paris is free! Yay!!!!!

Anyway-ish,... according to this quiz, here are mine (left) and Shane's (right) theological worldviews. We're both Evangelical Holiness/Wesleyans, but Shane's more of a Catholic than me. Whuddathunk?


Tuesday, June 26, 2007

My first harvest!


Okay, no... these are my zucchinis!

I cut three zucchinis! Yay! They were ittybitty just 10 days ago... and today they were 7 inches long. Shane is incredulous about how quickly they grew. People around here joke that this is the season in which everyone keeps their car doors locked so that they won't get zucchini gifts left in them. Ilove zucchini so I can't wait to get that many zucchinis. I'll eat them any which way; fried, baked, with corn, raw with dressing, in soup, and on and on.
I hope I grow lots of them because at the store because they aren't consistently fresh. When they are passed their prime they taste really awful and bitter.

Now, let's see about the tomatoes, jalapenos and cucumbers!

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Evolution as part of God's design

I have no reason to believe that evolution did not happen. You could say that I recognize that evolution is part of God's design.

Physicist Stephen Barr recently wrote,
There are two fundamentally different battles raging in the current debates about evolution. The first pits nearly the entire scientific community against creationists, who believe that they are upholding the veracity of Scripture by denying that evolution happened at all.

The second battle concerns not the fact of evolution but the standard neo-Darwinian explanation of it, and the issues at stake are primarily philosophical and scientific. Leading the charge in this second fight is the Intelligent Design movement.

It may come as a surprise, but even the leading Intelligent Design advocates believe that the Earth is billions of years old, that the fossil record reveals a story of life on Earth evolving over billions of years, and that we and other animals are descendants of a common ancestor or ancestors.

Where Intelligent Design advocates disagree with most scientists is in the mechanism of evolution. Another way of putting it is that they disagree with scientists regarding the natural mechanism for producing complex biological structure.

Most scientists believe neo-Darwinism is the correct theory of how biological structure forms. Biological structure is characterized by complexity and functional interdependence of parts. Neo-Darwinism proposes a natural mechanism for producing this complex biological structure: it is the combination of random genetic mutations and the winnowing process called natural selection. The claim is that this mechanism works even if the genetic mutations that fuel it are statistically random, in other words, if the genetic mutations are done by blind chance.

The question for science is whether the neo-Darwinian account of evolution is sufficient to explain all instances of biological complexity. Many scientists are confident that it is—which can be considered odd, given that (apart from speculation) little is known about the steps by which some complex structures actually evolved.


Intelligent Design theorists believe that the neo-Darwinism account is insufficient. They argue that there are certain biological structures that could not arise in a single big step, which would be prohibitively improbable, or even by a series of little steps, since these structures are “irreducibly complex.” (“Irreducible” here means that every element of the structure must be in place for it to function at all. Michael Behe uses the analogy of a mousetrap, which can’t catch any mice until all the parts are there.)

I'm not convinced that Intelligent Design advocates have got it right. For one, I'm not sure how one would test their hypothesis, whereas it may be possible to test neo-Darwinism. Imagine that experimental results show that, under certain circumstances, some strain of bacteria evolves over thousands of generations some new feature of the kind that Intelligent Design theorists would recognize as irreducibly complex. This would suggest very strongly that neo-Darwinism was true.

Now don't go thinking I'm an atheist. Acceptance of neo-Darwinism is in no sense rejection of Christian truth. The Catholics will at least back me up--the Catholic Encyclopedia of 1913 says "The gist of the theory of evolution as a scientific hypothesis . . . is in perfect agreement with the Christian conception of the universe; for Scripture does not tell us in what form the present species of plants and of animals were originally created by God."


On the subject of an intelligent designer, I would say that the intelligent design is in the laws of the universe. The order of the universe is more beautiful and subtle than anyone had previously thought. It is precisely the intelligible structure of the world, which natural science has elucidated with such spectacular success, that points to its being the product of intelligence (I suggest you read some books by Paul Davies if you want to read more about this).

The orderliness we observe in nature can arise spontaneously from mere chaos. Since ancient times this fact has been seen as evidence for a cosmic designer. Analysis of examples of order arising from chaos (randomness if you want) reveals that the orderly structures found in things (such as the solar system) are manifestations of a more impressive orderliness at the level of fundamental laws. These laws are written or designed into the universe, which suggests a writer or designer.

Richard Dawkins called the universe “a blind watchmaker." If it is, one could call it profoundly miraculous, for it is much more fantastic to design a watchmaker than a watch. We shouldn't pit evolution against design, if we recognize that evolution is part of God’s design.

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Saturday, June 23, 2007

Mountain Lake and Thai House

Last Saturday we drove about 25 minutes to Mountain Lake, where Dirty Dancing was filmed. We were looking forward to hiking around the property a bit with li'l innocent Chispita since there's a huge publicly accessible nature area there. Unfortunately, we had to turn back.

So for all you people in internet land trying to find the answer: it's no, pets are not allowed at Mountain Lake, but you wouldn't know that by checking the property's website. You'd think that something that is prominently posted all over the grounds and leads the staff to ask you to leave ought to be on the website. We let them know this fact.

Oh and internet-land people, the lake is pretty low this year, as you can see in the picture. They don't mention that on the website either.

On another note... I like Thai food. And I thought there was only one Thai place around. A place called Cafe de Bangkok had just opened up in Blacksburg last fall. I thought it was okay, but something didn't taste right to Jessica (I mean, kika).

Well, a friend told me there are two Thai food places in the greater Blacksburg-Christiansburg-Radford area (well, at least two that we know about). The other one is Thai House Restaurant, near Radford, and based on what we had last night for dinner, we think it's better. It was spicy!

So even though Cafe de Bangkok has a slick website, don't be fooled! The Thai House is very good, even if it's not as crowded. Bring your friends and help keep `em in business!

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Thursday, June 21, 2007

Wow, check out your sunscreen.

This is so very interesting. A report that lists the best and worst of the stuff you put on your face and body. Check it out. Warning, you may browse for days... it is a long list. But VERY interesting.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Monday, Monday

Just sitting here at the dining table... reading news and upcoming events on-line.

And I stumbled across this event Chautauqua 2007. I am seriously curious to check it out because there will be a flea circus! I have always heard of such things, but didn't think they were for real??? Hopefully we will plan our weekend well and get to see it.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Some of my plants...

These all didn't make it to the garden patch because there were just too many. So, I just planted them as back up in case the rabbits or other animals attacked the garden patch.

My zucchini is starting to "bloom".

My cilantro is still kinda wimpy. I am not sure exactly how to harvest it?? If I cut some stems, will it grow back? I don't know.

In the left bucket there are two small cherry tomato plants growing in the center. They are surrounded by basil. In the right bucket I am growing jalapenos. Perhaps there are too many in one pot. I've gotta go get more pots.


Sunday, June 03, 2007

So, today is a really nice day.

It's pouring rain outside, it's 64 degrees, and we have our windows open. I can't believe how nice it feels right now. I typically don't care for rainy gloomy weather, but this doesn't feel gloomy. Our backyard area is all green and lush again so it feels like we are out in some tropical rainforest- reminds me of Chiapas in Mexico. We left our windows wide-open last night, so we woke up to the sound of rain. I never knew that I'd like that. I guess since it isn't cold it is actually enjoyable. :)
What a pleasant surprise.