Monday, August 19, 2013

The Chicken or the Egg?

...except for being completely wrong!

a dead chicken, a young oak,
a silk worm spinning dress fabric,
and a very early person

 It seems that this concept is a little more difficult than the original author thought.
You can claim that a hen's egg is not a chicken, but you would be incorrect. A fertilized hen's egg contains the complete genetic map and material of a chicken.
You can claim that an acorn is not a tree, but an acorn contains the complete genetic map and material of a tree.
You can claim that a silk worm is not a dress. Finally, you would be correct. A dress is a man-made object. Some are made from silk, but no one in their right mind would confuse a silk worm making silk with a dress because silk doesn't ever become a dress. It only ever becomes the fabric used in the making of a dress. A ball of silk does not grow into a dress in nature, but an acorn grows into a tree and an egg grows into a chicken. This is because an acorn and an egg are, respectively, stages in the development of a mature tree and a mature chicken.

The same is true of a human fetus. It contains the complete genetic map and all the genetic material of a mature human being. It is a stage in the development of a person—same as a child, a young adult, or even an old codger like me. This is not religion. This is science.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Teach a Man to Fish?

Many years ago, on my way to the movies with some college friends, I was approached by a homeless panhandler who asked me for some money to buy a can of soup. I gave him what I could spare. A couple of hours later, when we were on our way back to the dorms, the same guy approached with the same request, he was hungry and needed some soup. This time though his speech was slurred and he was sipping cheap wine out of a paper sack. Obviously he had spent my money on a different kind of hunger.

I didn't give him any more money, but I did eventually have an epiphany of sorts related to the incident. While the homeless guy may have squandered his gift from me, I had not squandered mine.

I still give money to panhandlers and the needy where I find them. I don't worry that they may be scamming me or that they may use the money for something other than they claim. That's their problem. If I withhold my generosity, I may be depriving an honest person in real need. If I occasionally give to someone who isn't as deserving as they appear, I may not have enriched their lives, but I have enriched mine.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Pope Francis Goes After the Pedophile Scandal...I Hope

(Reuters) - Pope Francis wants the Catholic Church to "act decisively" to root out sexual abuse of children by priests and ensure the perpetrators are punished, the Vatican said on Friday.
I hope this is true. It's hard enough to defend my faith anyway, but when the first words out of every detractor's mouth have to do with predatory pedophiles in the priesthood it's impossible. There is no satisfactory reply that defuses this bomb of the Church's own devising and makes it possible to discuss Catholic theology on it's merits. No one seems to be able to get past it, and I'm not sure they should.
There are probably darker periods in Church history. The Spanish Inquisition comes to mind, as does the second Borgia Pope, Alexander VI. Still, this modern chapter of the Church's failure to live up to it's charter is unique in the innocence of its victims, and that's what everyone is understandably upset about.
Pope Francis has an opportunity to make amends of sorts. I don't think this can ever be set right, but it can certainly be stopped in its tracks and prevented in the future. That's the very least the Church can and should do.