At the Black Gate

Some observations on the costs vs the benefits of blogging for the writer. On the one hand, you might offend potential readers. On the other… BFD?

My thoughts on the defense of YEC

First, I must express my appreciation for Bethyada’s willingness to put up. Well done. It is all too rare in an Internet filled with people eager to express an opinion yet unwilling to actually make an actual case for what they believe. I think this is to be commended in anyone, regardless of how little I agree with them, and I would be pleased if this became a place where arguments for a wide variety of opinions were subjected to critical assault from all sides.

My vote on the matter would probably have been most precisely expressed as a 2.5, roughly between “Reasonably presented and some aspects were thought-provoking” and “Reasonably presented but completely unconvincing”. I am a Creationist only in the broad sense, by which I mean that while I am a Christian who believes in creation by intelligence rather than raw time+chance, I also believe the historical truth of the origins of Man and the Earth to be significantly stranger and less compehensible than either the Biblical literalists or the abiogenesis advocates imagine. I should point out that I have virtually no idea of what form that stranger and incomprehensible truth actually takes, but it renders me a virtual agnostic on the general issue of origins.

While I put great credence in documentary evidence, I think much of the YEC case is based on a forced literalism that is absent from most historical readings of the Bible or other historical documents. I am no more concerned about the literal seven days than I am with determining what color the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil was. In my opinion, those Christians and anti-Christians who impute great significance to belief in the specifics of the events recounted in the early chapters of Genesis are largely missing the essential points of Christianity. Since I am skeptical of the crude imprecision of secular scientists as they make wild assumptions about events they did not witness, it should surprise no one that I am equally skeptical of the attempts of the theologically inclined to impute very specific meanings to events neither they nor the author of Genesis witnessed either. And since we do not understand either God or His ways, there is absolutely no chance that we can reasonably hope to properly understand the information He has communicated to us through generations of men who did not understand it either. If the first generation Christians, many of whom were there and lived through the relevant events, saw the truth of Jesus Christ as though through a glass darkly, how much more obscure must the truth of Genesis be to those of us who live today?

As others have commented, Bethyada did a much better job of communicating what YEC was and what it was not than he did in actually making a case for it. While that was in line with his clearly stated intention, the title turned out to be somewhat of a misnomer as he did not spend much time on the defense that was previously indicated to be the subject. I also thought that more positive evidence in support of his position was in order; there was little to indicate any specific young age and one simply can’t reach “less than 10,000 years” even upon proving “not 4.5 billion years”. But, he did show that there are legitimate reasons to look with a skeptical eye upon the conclusions about the age of the Earth and the age of Man that are so flimsily supported by oft-contradictory sciences.

All in all, I thought it was a reasonable first effort and I expect that everyone will learn how to make continually more effective cases going forward. So, I’m pleased to give Bethyada the privilege to call out someone on a PUOSU at his discretion in the future. In the meantime, I would welcome suggestions on what the next topic should be and who should present it. I know there’s at least one individual who is willing to post on Calvinism, which would parallel nicely with the coming continuation of the Omniderigent-Aprevistan discourse, (and I imagine that the PDF will be most attractively formatted), but perhaps there are others interested in different topics worth considering as well.

Random thoughts

The generation of idiots aka Baby Boomers have to be the most trivial, most foolish, most contemptible generation in the history of the planet. Gail Collins explains one of the many reasons why:

The Woodstock-mania must drive young people crazy since it is yet another reminder that the baby-boom generation is never going to stop talking about the stuff it did, and that when they are old themselves there will probably still be some 108-year-old telling them how everybody slept in the mud but that it was worth it because Janis Joplin sounded so awesome and the people were all mellow.

It was a concert to which a bunch of young adults went 40 years ago. BFD. And yet, the Idiot Generation is still rambling on and on about it as if it was ever actually significant to anyone or anything, let alone history. Gibbon wept. Can you imagine The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire with a long chapter entirely devoted to the seminal importance of a well-attended concert? Actually, I suppose I can, but where was the Belisarius of Woodstock when the world needed him?

The Idiot Generation is the first and only generation to fail to grow out of their teenage years. They don’t drive the rest of us crazy, they have simply caused us to conclude that they are, and have always been, collectively nuts. This goes well beyond the usual parent-child divide; every generation of teenagers believes it invented sex, but the Baby Boomers are the only ones who still believe it as obese, grey-haired, rock-n-rolling AARP members. Instead of going to a concert, my grandfather’s generation went off to war in their teens, kicked the asses of the Nazis and Imperial Japanese, came home to build the richest economy in the world, and never once appeared to worry about being cool, much less what anyone happened to think of them. Meanwhile, we have the inevitable avalanche of “60 is the New 35!” articles to anticipate next year. What a bunch of historical losers.

On to more important matters. I think the acquisition of Michael Vick by the Eagles is a great move. Donovan McNabb is basically the plus version of Vick, a little less athletic and a little more accurate, and he seldom plays 16 games in a season. Andy Reid may be a fat bastard, but he’s a tough, non-nonsense, fat bastard and he won’t permit any media circuses. I’ve always hated the massive and ludicrous overrating of Vick by the sportswriters – he was never, ever going to “reinvent” the quarterback position – but he’s got great utility in a Slash/Wildcat role and as a backup to McNabb. Nice move by the Eagles as it makes a strong team even stronger.

The Vikes look very good, especially if the Williams Wall ends up avoiding their four-game Starcaps suspension. Sage Rosenfels isn’t going to be an all-pro, but everyone keeps forgetting that he doesn’t have to be for the Vikings to be significantly improved. A B- quarterback is a massive improvement over the collection of D+ players that have been taking the snaps over the last four years. And yes, I’m still irked that they didn’t go after Drew Brees when he was available.

Speaking of the NFL, DJ Gallo’s theory about the evil genius’s master plan holds together just a little too well to be entirely dismissed….

What’s the feeling on the VPFL this year? I’m very much looking forward to the season, but I’m not feeling the burning fantasy fever this year. I don’t know why.

And finally, while there are funnier things than handicapable lesbian sciff-dorks freaking out about a casting call for a Stargate Universe episode that involves temporary body switching, there aren’t very many. And the endless crying about stereotypes… I recommend doing what straight white men do when they get tired of “entertainment” that portrays them as clueless, bumbling fools in endless need of salvation by smart, independent women, wisecracking children, noble negroes, saintly homosexuals in loving, monogamous relationships who would never DREAM of visiting a bathhouse, and now, apparently, quadriplegic body-swappers of unreliable Sapphic inclination: ignore it and create stories that appeal to you.