Sunday, October 23, 2011

IndoctiNation: The Movie

What people are Saying about IndoctriNation:

"Every Christian parent with a child in a government school should see this [movie] and be forced to confront their unwillingness to do what Scripture requires for the children on loan to them by God. A mass exodus from government schools is the only way to preserve the souls and minds of our children."

Cal Thomas (America’s most widely syndicated op-ed columnist)

"This is the most important issue facing the Body of Christ, an issue that must be addressed and put to rest forever. IndoctriNation is an extremely important movie. Every church in America should show IndoctriNation. Every Christian should show IndoctriNation to their friends."

Ted Baehr MovieGuide

What is Biblical Freedom?

Recently I sent out a statewide email to North Dakota home educating families asking them to consider attending a training seminar on how to become a delegate for Republican Candidates.

In my email, I mentioned that "We need candidates that understand Biblical and constitutional freedom and are willing to fight for both in the context of home education as well as other areas.

I received a question from Christian college professor asking what Biblical freedom was?

Here was my reply to him, which was not intended to be thorough, but something to provide a place to help begin some discussion on the topic:

“Biblical freedoms (liberties) are simply freedoms that can be traced back to Scripture such as: socialism is stealing, abortion is murder, limited role of civil government, sound money etc.

In the political context this would also include considering the use Biblical qualifications for choosing civil servants, since freedoms are lost where those qualifications are not used.

 Noticing too that as self-government (self-control) is lost to a society, then the civil government reach and influence and cost increases, which proportionally takes freedom away from the people.

Of course the freedom from the guilt of sin and the ceremonial laws etc. would be included in the broad view of Biblical freedom too."

Deut 4:5-8 shows that God's Word/Law is applicable and most righteous.  In my simplified question form, can man really come up with better laws or systems of government than God?  When man does, it is called humanism or a derivative of humanism. Did God leave man to figure out government on his own or did he teach us the most righteous principles of government and qualifications for leaders in his word? This still allows for some varying forms, such as a righteous King or righteous representatives etc.

Can we worship God any way that is not forbidden or are we to worship God in the way that he prescribes?  Deut 12:32, Matt 15:9 would point to the later. Does this apply in all we do?  When should we not worship God?  Prov 3:6

Therefore, sticking with the limited government thoughts, and pondering what does the Bible teach about the role of civil government from both the old and new Department of Education, no Department of Social Services, no Economic Develop Commission, no Ag Department....instead free market, home and church education, pastoral counseling, church caring for poor, and not many jails since emphasis on restitution and protection of private contracts and property etc. 

Romans 13 is seen by many Christians today as a command to obey almost any law by any government, but it says "ordinance of God...good...minister of God...evil..." Can something other than God's Word define good and evil and be considered Biblical? Long story, so here is a link to a few historical thoughts in an old blog post:

We are to render unto Caesar what is Caesar's, which would include taxes (tribute) for at least "wrath's sake", but not our Children, not our faith, not the truth of God's Word, nor our allegiance to the King of Kings, and not our vote toward unbiblical civil laws or civil servants!
How would you elaborate on these thoughts?

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Presidential Politics and Qualifications

I was watching the Republican Presidential debate in Las Vegas last night and noticed that Ron Paul was the only candidate with constitutional positions.  Our family campaigned for Ron Paul and I was a Ron Paul delegate for Ron Paul to the North Dakota Republican Convention in 2008, but Ron Paul isn't the perfect Presidential candidate either.  He believes in evolution, doesn't use the Scriptures to support his political positions, and therefore is not Scripturally qualified to be President.

According to the Word of God, the qualifications for a civil servant are found in Exodus 19.  The New Testament qualifications for elders could be used to elaborate on these, but these simple but profound requirements would change America, if only Christians vote accordingly.

Key Qualification:
21Moreover thou shalt provide out of all the people able men, such as fear God, men of truth, hating covetousness; (Remember, that men are not women, fearing God means not bowing to political pressure or democracy, truth is only found in God's Word and therefore laws would need to be aligned with God's Law/Word, and that coveteousness includes all form of socialism and the redistribution of wealth and would eliminate the modern banking system based on debt and fiat currency).

Here is the scriptural context:
13And it came to pass on the morrow, that Moses sat to judge the people: and the people stood by Moses from the morning unto the evening. 14And when Moses' father in law saw all that he did to the people, he said, What is this thing that thou doest to the people? why sittest thou thyself alone, and all the people stand by thee from morning unto even? 15And Moses said unto his father in law, Because the people come unto me to enquire of God:  16When they have a matter, they come unto me; and I judge between one and another, and I do make them know the statutes of God, and his laws.
17And Moses' father in law said unto him, The thing that thou doest is not good. 18Thou wilt surely wear away, both thou, and this people that is with thee: for this thing is too heavy for thee; thou art not able to perform it thyself alone. 19Hearken now unto my voice, I will give thee counsel, and God shall be with thee: Be thou for the people to God-ward, that thou mayest bring the causes unto God: 20And thou shalt teach them ordinances and laws, and shalt shew them the way wherein they must walk, and the work that they must do. 21Moreover thou shalt provide out of all the people able men, such as fear God, men of truth, hating covetousness; and place such over them, to be rulers of thousands, and rulers of hundreds, rulers of fifties, and rulers of tens: 22And let them judge the people at all seasons: and it shall be, that every great matter they shall bring unto thee, but every small matter they shall judge: so shall it be easier for thyself, and they shall bear the burden with thee. 23If thou shalt do this thing, and God command thee so, then thou shalt be able to endure, and all this people shall also go to their place in peace. 24So Moses hearkened to the voice of his father in law, and did all that he had said. 25And Moses chose able men out of all Israel, and made them heads over the people, rulers of thousands, rulers of hundreds, rulers of fifties, and rulers of tens. 26And they judged the people at all seasons: the hard causes they brought unto Moses, but every small matter they judged themselves.

Ron Paul is a Christian, but does not speak Scripturally in the public square, which is a common and flawed strategy of many Christians in our day.  This is a flawed approach, because it educates people out of Christian thinking and justifies decisions based on man's mind, which is humanism. The Christian faith is not a private affair, but a very public, world changing affair.  Christians were persecuted and died in the early church and all throughout history because they stood against the gods of their day (Caesars).

Ron's Paul's Statement of Faith: My faith is a deeply private issue to me, and I don’t speak on it in great detail during my speeches because I want to avoid any appearance of exploiting it for political gain. Let me be very clear here: I have accepted Jesus Christ as my personal Savior, and I endeavor every day to follow Him in all I do and in every position I advocate. It is God Who gave us life. As He is free, so are those He created in His image. Our rights to life and liberty are inalienable.

Since there are no fully qualified Republican or Democrat Presidential Candidates, our family will be looking to support a Biblically qualified candidate from another party when the option arises because we expect God to bless obedience to His Word versus our choice for the lesser of two evils.

In the mean time, I think Ron Paul's budget, which includes cutting $1Trillion is the only one that will begin to make some progress in the right direction. Ron Paul would cut the Department of Education along with lots more, which both would have a positive affect private research and educational endeavors. Take a quick look at the graphs and list of agencies he would cut here: 

Here is an article that elaborates more on the Biblical qualifications for civil office:

How would Ron Paul's budget or a Biblically

Monday, October 17, 2011

Leonhard Euler

Euler was the son of a pastor of a Reformed Church in Basel.  His mother was a pastor's daughter. Their family was friends with Johann Bernoulli, who was Europe's greatest mathematician.  Euler begain college at the age of 13.  He started studying theology, Greek and Hebrew as required for becoming a Reformed Pastor, then Bernoulli convinced him to pursue mathematics.  He wrote a disseration on the propagation of sound in 1726.  He got second place to a famous naval architect for the best way to place the masts on a ship in a Paris Academy Prize Problem competition.  Later won the prize 12 times.

Euler was a devote Christian who believed the Bible to be inspired.  I would like to find his book Rettung in english to see how he defended the divine inspiration of Scripture.

There is a famous anecdote inspired by Euler's arguments with secular philosophers over religion, which is set during Euler's second stint at the St. Petersburg academy. This may have been embleshed by the translators according some.  Here is the story:

"The French philosopher Denis Didero was visiting Russia on Catherine the Great's invitation. However, the Empress was alarmed that the philosopher's arguments for atheism were influencing members of her court, and so Euler was asked to confront the Frenchman.

Diderot was later informed that a learned mathematician had produced a proof of the existence of God He  agreed to view the proof as it was presented in court.

Euler appeared, advanced toward Diderot, and in a tone of perfect conviction announced,

"Sir, \frac{a+b^n}{n}=x, hence God exists—reply!".

Diderot, to whom (says the story) all mathematics was gibberish, stood dumbstruck as peals of laughter erupted from the court. Embarrassed, he asked to leave Russia, a request that was graciously granted by the Empress."

Taking this thought to the modern day, we could use the same idea and state with full Biblical conviction that:

Sir, \frac{a+b^n}{n}=x, hence God exists, because God created mathematics, gave man the ability to understand and use mathematics, and because everything gives God glory.

From Colossions 1:16-17:

For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.

Mathematics is both a visible and an invisible thing!
Ref. 1, 2

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Pig Physics

No kidding!  While looking for biomechanical studies on the motion of hogs, I found the following interesting article written for orthopedic surgeons.  On our farm, we regularly wrestle pigs to the ground in order to weigh them, and watch our 700 lb boar ruin perfectly good 1/4 inch steel rods in fencing with a playful bite.  This study shows how physics and the tools of engineering (e.g., strain gages) can help us learn more about the science of pig bones and their abilities and design. The full article is here.
Jaw muscles and the skull in mammals: the biomechanics
of mastication
Susan W. Herring , Katherine L. Rafferty, Zi Jun Liu, Christopher D. MarshallDepartment of Orthodontics, Uni ersity of Washington, Box 357446 Seattle, WA 98195-7446, USA

Among non-mammalian vertebrates, rigid skulls with tight sutural junctions are associated with high levels of cranial loading. The rigid skulls of mammals presumably act to resist the stresses of mastication. The pig,  Sus scrofa, is a generalized ungulate with a diet rich in resistant foods. This report synthesizes previous work using strain gages bonded to the bones and sutures of the braincase, zygomatic arch, jaw joint, and mandible with new studies on the maxilla. Strains were recorded during unrestrained mastication andor in anesthetized pigs during muscle stimulation. Bone strains were 100
- 1000 , except in the braincase, but sutural strains were higher, regardless of region. Strain regimes
were specific to different regions, indicating that theoretical treatment of the skull as a unitary structure is probably incorrect. Muscle contraction, especially the masseter, caused strain patterns by four mechanisms:   
1. direct loading of muscle attachment areas; 
2. a compressive reaction force at the jaw joint;
3. bite force loading on the snout and mandible; and 
4. movement causing new points of contact between mandible and cranium. Some expected patterns of loading were not seen. Most notably, strains did not differ for right and left chewing, perhaps because pigs have bilateral occlusion and masseter activity.

Johannes Kepler's Personal Creed

I was cleaning out old files today and ran across a copy of Johannes Kepler's Personal Creed, but first, here are a few details about Mr. Kepler's personal life and character.

One of the most accomplished and influential scientists of his time, and a passionate defender of the Christian faith who believed he had been called by God to glorify Him in the study of His Creation. He was a man immersed in both the Scriptures and his exploration of the heavens such that his scholarly writings often burst forth with biblical quotations and songs of praise for God the Creator.

Here are a few clips from the helpful reference below:

Smallpox nearly claimed his life as a youth and probably caused the visual impairment he endured from boyhood on (Baumgardt, p. 22). He was raised as a Lutheran and developed a profound love of God and the Scriptures which would characterize him as an adult.

At Tubingen Kepler studied philosophy, mathematics, and astronomy in addition to theology. Two sightings as a boy had piqued his interest in the heavens: the great comet of 1577 and a lunar eclipse in 1580 (Caspar, pp. 37-8).

Kepler held that man, having been made in God‟s image (Gen. 1:26, 27), comes to know His goodness more fully through a systematic investigation of His works:  For He Himself has let man take part in the knowledge of these things and thus not in a small measure has set up His image in man. Since He recognized as very good this image which He made, He will so much more readily recognize our efforts with the light of this image also to push into the light of knowledge the utilization of the numbers, weights and sizes which He marked out at creation. For these secrets are not of the kind whose research should be forbidden; rather thy are set before our eyes like a mirror so that by examining them we observe to some extent the goodness and wisdom of the Creator" (Harmonies as cited in Caspar, p. 381).

Kepler married Barbara Mueller, the twice-widowed daughter of a wealthy mill owner, in 1597, and became the doting step-father of her seven-year-old daughter Regina. The next two years would see the couple bury two infant children,
Still worse tragedies were to befall Kepler in 1611. Six-year-old Friedrich succumbed to smallpox in January and the grieving Barbara contracted typhus and died in July (Caspar, pp. 202, 206).
No less remarkable than the profundity of his scientific thought was his perseverance through unrelenting trial and hardship. He suffered the loss of his first wife and seven of his children and was plagued by a frail constitution and a host of chronic illnesses, including poor vision, fever, stomach ailments, and boils (Caspar, p. 369). Nevertheless, he found time to author eighty books and numerous other smaller works (Tiner, p. 194). Ongoing religious persecution had disheartened him but could not break his resolve to follow his conscience. Undaunted by the innumerable laborious calculations he must perform, he succeeded in discovering the orbit of Mars, the first step in his transformation of astronomy.
KEPLER'S Personal Creed:
I believe . . . that the World of Nature, the World of Man, the World of God - all three fit together. We see how God, like a human architect approached the founding of the world according to order and rule and measured everything in such a manner.

I believe . . . that together with the Holy Scriptures came the book of Nature. Should the kind Creator who brought forth nature out of nothing deprive the spirit of man . . . of every heavenly delight. I had the intention of becoming a theologian . . . but now I see how God is, by my endeavors, also glorified in astronomy for the heavens declare the glory of God.

I believe . . . that our Creator has given us a spirit in addition to the senses, for another reason than merely to provide living for ourselves . . . Man's soul is something quite different from the others part of man, and the soul is kept alive, enriched and grows by that food called knowledge. I am eager to publish my observations in God's honor who wishes to be recognized from the book of Nature. I am a Christian.

I believe . . . only and alone in the service of Jesus Christ . . . in Him is all refuge and solace.

Ref. 1

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Biblical Limits on Genetic Engineering

The video below will abruptly bring you up to date with some advances in genetic engineering. The Bible does teach us that there is a moral limit to scientific experimentation and industrial production, which is being violated today.

For example, in Lev. 19:19, it says that "You are not to breed cattle with a diverse kind." Many Christians have seen this verse applied to hybrid cattle, livestock and pets. However, it also seems relevant to mixing human and animal DNA or human and plant DNA, which is now being done in private laboratories.

It is amazing and interesting to me how the Bible applies to these high tech science endeavors and thereby helps guide us in our choice of work and career. It also helps us know how to vote and inform our civil magistrates with regard to these matters.

I have a Christian friend in Minnesota (John Mesko) who was an Extension Agent for Purdue University, then worked for Dow Chemical.  He tells of the true story of him being in a meeting where the Dow corn genetic researchers were reporting on the anti-fertility results of a new strain of genetically modified corn.  It was hailed by Dow Chemical leaders as a breakthrough in GMO corn because it could be fed to people in third world countries to reduce the population in the next generation.  As a result of this, John Mesko left Dow Chemical and now runs Lighthouse Farm.  He presented these details at a home school convention in Fargo, ND a few years ago.

This is opposite to what God wants. God wants parents to have their quivers full of children!
Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is his reward.
 As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of the youth.
 Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them: they shall not be ashamed, but they shall speak with the enemies in the gate. Psalm 127

Thales of Miletus (c. 620 BCE – c. 546 BCE)

"The ancient Greek philosopher Thales was born in Miletus in Greek Ionia. Aristotle, the major source for Thales’s philosophy and science, identified Thales as the first person to investigate the basic principles, the question of the originating substances of matter and, therefore, as the founder of the school of natural philosophy. Thales was interested in almost everything, investigating almost all areas of knowledge, philosophy, history, science, mathematics, engineering, geography, and politics. He proposed theories to explain many of the events of nature, the primary substance, the support of the earth, and the cause of change. Thales was much involved in the problems of astronomy and provided a number of explanations of cosmological events which traditionally involved supernatural entities. His questioning approach to the understanding of heavenly phenomena was the beginning of Greek astronomy. Thales’ hypotheses were new and bold, and in freeing phenomena from godly intervention, he paved the way towards scientific endeavor. He founded the Milesian school of natural philosophy, developed the scientific method, and initiated the first western enlightenment. A number of anecdotes is closely connected to Thales’ investigations of the cosmos. When considered in association with his hypotheses they take on added meaning and are most enlightening. Thales was highly esteemed in ancient times, and a letter cited by Diogenes Laertius, and purporting to be from Anaximenes to Pythagoras, advised that all our discourse should begin with a reference to Thales (D.L. II.4).:

Thales made his money as a traveling merchant and accumulated enough money to support his work as a philospher and mentor in his later years.  When traveling to Egypt on a business trip he used angles and shadows to measure the height of pyramids.  He used similar triangles to calculate the distances of ships from shore.  He also was involved in the proof of the basic axioms of geometry.  He was the first to bring logical proofs into the study of geometry.

His philosphy was certainly not Christian. In fact, he reduced all reality to water, that's right water as god!  He believed that everything was filled with gods, an active power in the material things of the universe, empiricism.  The "look and see" exclusive reliance on observation also called the a posteriori way is seen in Thales, which of course rejects Biblical revelation.

The a priori way is also seen in Thales, which means "stop and think."  That is another means of humanism, in a sense, by placing man's mind and ability to think or observe above faith in God and His revelation by his Word.

References 1

Monday, October 3, 2011

Liquid Mountaineering - Running on Water - Surface Tension

Since General Science students are studying surface tension, I thought you would all appreciate this video.  It is NOT how Jesus walked on water!

But how do you measure surface tension to predict the speed at which you would have to run to stay on the surface?  We could probably figure out a way.  Here is an instrument that gives one method of quantifying surface tension.

And speaking of surface tension in colder climates brings up the use of snowmobiles in summer or waterskiing behind horses in a river!

Let the Fluoride Discussion Begin

Here is an introduction to and a status report on fluoride in water and toothpaste and more.  Watch these videos and you will get an idea on why the Bartlett family buys non-fluoridated toothpaste and drinks non-fluoridated water.

What do you think about this? What other research can you use to support your understanding of the use of Fluoride in the United States? This discussion got started in chemistry class, but does affect us all!

How can we bring glory to God in Math and Science?

Giving glory to God in the details of life, which includes science and math, is simple and a blessing to both God and us.  There are many verses which teach us that we are to glorify God, here are two:
Psalm 34:3 " Glorify the Lord with me; let us exalt his name together.

Psalm 50:23 "Whoever offers praise glorifies me."

Indirect verses such as the three below also teach us how to glorify God by praising Him and acknowledging his authority, power, presence, and involvement in every detail of life.

2 Cor 1:3 "Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort."

Col 1:17 "And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist."

Prov 3:6  "In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths."

We can glorify God knowingly and on purpose in many ways, such as by praising Him for who He is and what He has done in creation of the universe and the creation of math and science.  We can give him glory by obeying His word in our understanding and attitudes regarding work and homework.  Work and homework  are not part of the curse, but a part of our privilege to serve God by creating things like he did for for the first six days!  "Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work" Exodus 20.   Work of any and every sort can be a joyful experience when done in collaboration with the Holy Spirit.

Romans 8:14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.
Romans 14:17 For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.
Noah Webster in 1828 wrote this about the word "Glorify:"

1. To praise; to magnify and honor in worship; to ascribe honor to, in thought or words.

Psalm 86:9 "God is glorified, when such his excellency, above all things, is with due admiration acknowledged."

How do you glorify God in your math and science experiences? How would you like to grow in your ability to glorify God more in your math and science experiences?  How do you not (or have not) give(n) glory to God in your math and science experiences?