On a Science, Faith, and Ethics Book

Last month I read Science, Faith, and Ethics: Grid or Gridlock? A Christians Approach to Controversial Topics in Science by Denis Alexander and Robert White (2006). Since it has been a while since I have posted on this topic, the timing is good for a short book review.

Dr. Alexander and Dr. White are British scientists who are also involved with the interaction between religion and science. They skillfully defend how science works, how religion plays an important role in our life, and how they two are not in conflict.

While science makes a difference in what we know about the world, religion makes a difference in how we think about the world. As science makes new advances, we face moral and ethical decisions; such as decisions around nuclear energy, the environment, genetic engineering, DNA therapy, and many more. Therefore, in order for us to make grounded decisions, we should be knowledgeable about both science and religion.

The first five chapters examine the science, religion, and the relationship between them. Establishing the similarities and differences between these disciplines sets the stage for the relationship between them. Chapters 6-8 examine specific issues around evolution, genetics, and the environment. Chapter 9 concludes the 168-page book about being a Christian in science today.

There is no question in my mind that too few people know much about science, religion, and the interplay between these two influential disciplines – thus many are incapable of making an informed decision about something they think they know, but actually don’t.

Science, Faith, and Ethics: Grid or Gridlock? is an easy read, so I highly recommend this book as one of the early books to read in a journey to learn more about the topic – but not the only. After all, the more one learns, the more they will discover how little they know – thus, how much more there is to learn. Here are some resources to get started on the topic.


On Start Your Santa Engine

The start of the Christmas season actually depends on the perspective of the holder. To some retailers, Christmas display replace Halloween items on November 1st – which is about the same time all-Christmas music radio broadcasts start.

Some individuals say the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade starts their season. For others, it’s the Black Friday shopping craze. YouTube allows me to relive my official start of the Christmas season whenever I want because my favorite seasonal commercial is from my youth. Here’s a 1994 remake of the classic from the 60s and 70s.

Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 77

Congratulations to Reds first baseman Joey Votto for winning the NL MVP. Not bad for a guy who beat Albert Pujolis for the award, but was not good enough to be selected by either the fans initial All-Star vote or by Phillies manager Charlie Manuel as an All-Star reserve. Sorry Charlie, but you blew it.

Congratulations to Josh Hamilton for winning the AL MVP. Besides being very deserving, the great story continues.

On the DWTS Season
Dancing with the Stars’ disappointing season is finally over. Upon ABC’s announcement of the cast, I politely said that having Bristol Palin on the show was not a good idea. Meanwhile, this loyal fan stopped watching three weeks ago as I’ve had enough – but I didn’t shoot my television. Congratulations Jennifer Gray, and thank you voters for saving us from embarrassment.

Meanwhile this week in the world of Palin Palooza continues: Sarah’s Alaska on Sunday (40% less viewers), Bristol’s DWTS Monday and Tuesday with shots of Mom, Sarah’s book release too, and the most-fitting turkey on the table Thursday – plus who knows how much in the future. OH … a sure fit hit and commercial time bonanza – Why not a Palin Family Christmas TV special!

On 47 Years Ago
Those of us who are old enough remember where we were on November 22, 1963 – the day of President Kennedy’s assassination. Monday’s news had several interesting reflections of that day. Here’s something I wrote in 2009.

On some Random Tidbits

  • The Today show and NBC News did a great viral video to I Got a Feeling (Black Eyed Peas). If you didn’t see it, click here – then see if you can catch 13 different studio personalities.
  • A recent Bones episode brought forth the Bone Sucking Snot Flower, so here’s a link to this unique organism.
  • If that’s not odd enough for you, see this National Geographic report about flying snakes.
  • 2010 has been a tough football season for me as all my teams struggle: alma maters Bowling Green State University (2-9) and University of Cincinnati (4-6), plus the pathetic play of the NFL Bengals (2-8). That’s 8-23 misery so far with more games to go.

On the Holiday Weekend
Thanksgiving and its long weekend are upon us. While thankful for my readers, my plan is to take a break for the holiday after tomorrow’s post, thus enjoy time with my family. More importantly, a safe and blessed Thanksgiving to you and your family – plus a simple gift below from A Frank Angle.

On Thanks for a Giving Joshua

After seeing this story about Joshua Williams a few months ago on the NBC Nightly News, I knew that I had to feature him in a post. With Thanksgiving upon us, now is time to feature his cause and action.

When he was four, his grandmother gave him $20, but he gave it away to someone homeless. Less than a year later, he wanted to do something to feed hungry children. Shortly thereafter, Joshua’s Heart, a foundation focusing on hunger relief was born. Joshua is now nine years old, and the foundation is going strong.

Amazingly, Joshua discovered something early in life that many never figure out – the importance of caring for and helping others. Whether you see it in the spirit of religion or not, he is an example and the spirit of what humans can do for one another. In today’s bitter, partisan times in our in-your-face culture, Joshua Williams is a beacon of goodness.

Besides the foundation’s video below, here is a link to the foundation and one to the NBC News story I saw. During this Thanksgiving holiday, I thank Joshua for being a model of giving.

On 85

I have not posted anything about numbers in some time, but today is a good opportunity. As mentioned here several times, my dad passed away on September 19 at age 84. Today, November 20 he would have been 85. So in the A Frank Angle spirit, here’s a toast to 85. For posts about other numbers, click Numbers in the Categories section on the right sidebar or click here.

In Language

85, eighty five, ottanta cinque, attio fem, Achtzig fünf, seksen bas, quatre-vingt cinq, and LXXXV

In Mathematics

  • 85 is a whole number, an octahedral number, a centered triangular number, a centered square number, a decagonal number, and a Smith number
  • 85 is the product of two prime numbers (5 and 17), and is therefore a biprime
  • 85 is only divisible by four numbers: 1, 5, 17, 85
  • 85 is 1111 in base 4

In Science

  • The element astatine (At) is atomic number 85, thus one neutral atom has 85 protons and 85 electrons
  • 85 C = 185 F and 358 K
  • 85 F = 29 C and 302 K
  • 85 K = colder than you can imagine
  • NGC 85 is a galaxy in the constellation Andromeda
  • 85 Io is a large main belt asteroid
  • 85 Pegasi is a multiple star system in constellation of Pegasus
  • 85 Ceti is a variable star in the constellation of Cetus
  • 85P/Boethin is a periodic comet

In History

  • Federalist No. 85, by Alexander Hamilton, was the last of the Federalist Papers’ (1788)
  • Lima Site 85 was a battle in the Vietnam War
  • 85th Congress met from January 3, 1957 to January 3, 1959, during the fifth and sixth years of Dwight Eisenhower’s presidency with both chambers having a Democratic majority

In the Arts

  • The 85 Ways to Tie a Tie, a book by Thomas Fink and Yong Mao
  • 85 Days: The Last Campaign of Robert Kennedy a book by Jules Witcover
  • Live/1975–85, an album of live recordings by Bruce Springsteen (1986)
  • 80–85 a compilation album by Bad Religion (1991)
  • Cupid & Psyche 85, an album by band Scritti Politti (1985)
  • 45/85 was a television documentary on World War II
  • Minuscule 85, Papyrus 85, Lectionary 85 are early Greek manuscripts of the New Testament
  • “85”, a 2000 rap single by YoungBloodz

In Geography

  • The high-rise apartment building shown in the opening credits of The Jeffersons is located at East 85th Street and Third Avenue. Manhattan
  • Arabigere 85 is a village in India
  • Interstate 85 (I-85) connects Petersburg, Virginia (near Richmond) and Montgomery, Alabama.
  • U.S. Route 85 extends 1,479 miles (2,380 km) north-south border-to-border through in the Midwestern United States from Fortuna, ND to El Paso, TX
  • Since Latitude 90 degrees is at the respective poles, latitude 85 degrees N and S are near their respective poles

In Commerce

  • 85 Degrees Café
  • E85 fuel is 85% ethanol and 15% conventional gasoline
  • MCS-85 was a family of Intel processors including the 8085
  • TI-85 was a graphing pocket calculator by Texas Instruments
  • KC 85 was a family of small computers built in East Germany in the 1980s
  • PMD 85 was a personal computer built in Czechoslovakia in 1985
  • Learjet 85 is an all-composite plane being developed by Bombardier Aerospace
  • British Rail Class 85, a category of UK train locomotives
  • DRG Class 85, a category of German train locomotives
  • TK 85 was a clone of the Sinclair ZX81 made in Brazil in 1895
  • EF 85mm is a photographic camera lens by Canon
  • F-85 is a family of Oldsmobile cars

In the Calendar

  • Year 85 C.E. Ptolemy born
  • Year 85 is also Berber calendar 1035, Buddhist calendar 629, and Muslim calendar year 85 AH

In the Military

  • 85mm is a common caliber for cannons
  • SU-85 was a Soviet tank
  • TR-85 was a Romanian battle tank
  • Tu-85 was a prototype Soviet bomber
  • ASU-85 a Soviet self-propelled gun
  • CZ 85 is a Czech 9mm semiautomatic pistol
  • PT-85 is a Korean tank
  • 7.62 Tkiv 85 is a Finnish army rifle
  • HG 85 is a Swiss fragmentation grenade
  • Taurus Model 85, a 9mm revolver made in Brazil
  • Linesman/Mediator radar systems
  • Type 85 (Chinese Tank)
  • A Chinese produced variant of the SVD (rifle)
  • Type 85 refers to certain military equipment, such as Type 85 (submachine gun)
  • Type 85/YW 306, 23 mm cannon

In sports

  • In MLB, St. Louis Cardinals retired #85 for former owner August Busch, Jr., the highest uniform number retired in all of baseball represents his age at the time
  • In NFL 85 is retired for Chuck Hughes (Lions) and Jack Youngblood (Rams)
  • In NASCAR , car #85 has raced only 34 times with only 1 top 20; most commonly raced by Bobby Gerhart

In Miscellaneous

  • The ISBN Group Identifier for books published in Brazil
  • The radix of the Ascii85 (sometimes called Base85) binary-to-text encoding
  • The IQ and nickname of Aaron in Alien 3
  • A85 is the Dutch Defence in the Encyclopaedia of Chess

Happy 85 Dad. Our loss is your gain as we know you are happiest now with Mom.

Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 76

On My Palin Plight
I continue to boycott Dancing with the Stars as long as Bristol Palin continues as a contestant. Nothing against Bristol, plus she’s worked hard, but she should have been gone weeks ago.

Since her mother recently launched her multi-week infomercial on TLC to promote herself under the disguise of a tribute to Alaska, I suggest a 24-hour All-Palin, All-the-Time Channel for satellite and cable viewers. Pay-be-view events could make a bundle – even a prime time mud-wrestling catfight between Mama Grizzly and Lisa the Cat Murkowski – but it would not get a dime from me.

On Wrangling a Rangel
Rep Charles Rangel (D-NY) is a long-time member of Congress. At age 80, he had a chance to walk away from Capitol Hill, but chose not to do so – thus has just been burned by the House Ethics Committee. I know Congressional Ethics is an oxymoron, but there’s no sympathy from this camp.

Meanwhile, in their respective caucuses, Congressional party reps took my advice by selecting new party leaders in both chambers. Oh … that was in a dream!

On Cincinnati Dry
Cincinnati receives an average annual rainfall of 39.9 inches – and to think that half way through November we are down 9.0 inches of rain for the year. Wednesday we receive our first widespread rain in quite some time. Although we only received about a half inch, the ground is so compact and hard that water still gathered in low spots – at least it keeps the dust down. Meanwhile, the final two months typically delivers 6.4 inches of precipitation. I hope we get some water!

On a Handbell
Last weekend we played a very glorious, majestic arrangement by Kevin McChesney of Holy, Holy, Holy. Unfortunately, I cannot find either a video or a recording of this grand piece.

On a Recipe
In 2006, Food Network featured an Iron Chef battle between Rachel Ray-Mario Batalli against Giada DeLaurentis-Bobby Flay. Rachel made an interesting spaghetti dish, for which my wife and I developed a recipe from watching the show several times. Cranberry-sausage spaghetti may seem like a strange combination, but it is good stuff – so here is the recipe. Try it!

On a Tribute to Long Ago
On October 29, 1950, 22 died on a short-after-takeoff crash of a charter plane carrying the Cal Poly football team from the Toledo airport. Ironically, earlier that day the team lost at Bowling Green, my eventual alma mater. At a recent BGSU home game, the school held a moment of silence for that fatal crash. Here are two interesting articles looking back at that event, one from Toledo and the other from San Luis Obispo.

On the Weekend Ahead
Contrary to my normal pattern, I have a special tribute post for the weekend (coming Saturday).

Local broadcasts for MLB teams can be legends, one Seattle recently lost theirs – Dave Niehaus. This clip of great Mariner moments features his calls.

Have a safe weekend!