Food For Thought V

February 16, 2010 Leave a comment

startrekshirt.comEver heard the question “Could God create a boulder he couldn’t lift?”. It’s a common question posed by atheists to stump theists about the nature of God. If you ever find yourself in that situation, here is what you should say: “What does the color green smell like?”. They will initially look puzzled and then say that green doesn’t make a smell, and they would be right.

Asking what the color of green smells like is an illogical question, because it doesn’t have a smell. Similarly, asking if an INFINITE being could be limited by THEIR OWN powers in the form on a FINITE object is illogical. Something to keep in mind.

Trenton Stahl

This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.

Top 5 Webcomics

February 16, 2010 Leave a comment

I am a big proponent of time wasting online. In today’s world there are far worse things someone could be doing than drowning their existence with the entertainment of others. This post is about my favorite webcomics. These have all been on the net for years, and won’t be leaving anytime soon. All of them are funny, all of them are worth looking into.

Be warned, though. By reading any further, you will almost certainly be signing away countless hours of your time to reading these spectacular artistic endeavors.

These comics are in no particular order. Also, the links are to their first issue, not the latest.

1) Questionable Content by Jeph Jacques

A comic focusing on the adventures of a early 20-something indie rock loving guy named Marten Reed and his many friends that are girls (see what I did there?). Also his little anthropomorphic, sentient robot named Pintsize as comic relief. This comic has over 1500 issues, and is updated every weekday. Situational comedy surrounding relationships is the primary advancing device of the plot.

2) Real Life Comics by Greg Dean

This one is about a group of friends (the characters of which are added to and subtracted from over the course of the comic) who live their lives to the fullest. The main character is Greg Dean who lives with his friends. The cast is almost entirely consisting of nerds and geeks (yes, there is a difference) and how they live their life. Shout outs are given to recent movies and video games the the artist takes interest in. There are computer savvy interests here as well. Geek-comedy and pop-culture influences are the driving forces.

3) Abstruse Goose by [author won't divulge name]

A comic very similar to XKCD, (which hasn’t been listed here for it’s sheer number of fans) the artist is very familiar to high mathematics and physics concepts. There is no named characters, but the one that appears in almost every issue is a blue-hatted geek that is either trying, or has gotten a girl. Also, consistent referenced to Star Trek/Wars is notable. Less about laugh-out-loud humor, and more subtle, almost British humor. Those geek-savvy will be the best audience.

4) Ctl+Alt+Del by Tim Buckley

One of the most popular comics online, this particular gem is a classic gamer comic. It centers around two guys, Ethan and Lucas, who love video games and other nerdy things. Pop culture references abound here. This comic is also praised as being (as of the last few years) one of the best looking online. Consistent updating and a loyal fanbase has driven this one to the top for very good reason. Video games, movie opinions, hilarious situations and relationship interweaving are primary plot points.

5) Sequential Art by Phillip M Jackson

Having over 600 issues, this comic is amazingly unknown. Being more a side project to the artist than anything else, SA is a masterpiece in it’s own right. You have a cast of just about every viewpoint and character. There is technically a main character (named Art) but he is co-starring with several friends, all of which have their own characteristics and observations. This comic can appeal to just about anyone, and everyone should give it a chance. The emphasis on artistically-inclined characters lends itself to that community more, but this reviewer is not artistic at all and loves it dearly.

There you go. With all of this info I wish you luck in not calling in sick to work/school tomorrow after delving into these works of genius. After having read all of this, did you noticed me missing anything? Are there any comics you read that should be on this list of awesomeness? Please drop a comment below!

-Trenton Stahl

This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.

Those Pesky Transitional Fossils

January 8, 2010 Leave a comment

As many of you know, I am a believer in the theory of Intelligent Design. Now, going to a public school, this tends to lead to conversations with atheists. Don’t get me wrong, I love to talk to people, as long as they’re willing to keep an open mind (believe it or not, I am too).

So when I talk with a believer in Evolution (thats macro evolution people) the first thing I make clear is that I love nothing more than hearing their perspective, but I want something from them first. I tell them that I want a clear transitional fossil of macro evolution (one species turning into another). That might sound like a lot, but according to Evolution we have been evolving for BILLIONS of years on this earth. Now, assuming this is true, shouldn’t there be many clear examples of this happening? I mean, come on, we should be tripping over this crap in our backyards!

Charles Darwin (you know, the father of the theory itself) said:

Why is not every geological formation and every stratum full of such intermediate links?  Geology assuredly does not reveal any such finely – graduated organic chain; and this is the most obvious and serious objection which can be urged against the theory.*

Interesting. There are many scientists that claim to have such fossils. Also interestingly, one of the most well recognized proponents of the theory is late Stephen J. Gould, an ardent evolutionist, and he admits that they just don’t exist:

The absence of fossil evidence for intermediary states between major transitions in organic design, indeed our inability, even in our imagination, to construct functional intermediated in many cases, has been a persistent and nagging problem for gradualistic accounts of evolution.**

Note that he didn’t just say there weren’t any fossils, but that they haven’t been able to even imagine what they might be. Here also is a quote from the late Dr. Colin Patterson, senior paleontologist of the British Museum of Natural History, and author of the book, Evolution. A reader sent him a letter questioning him why he had not presented any transitional forms and in reply he wrote:

I fully agree with your comments about the lack of direct illustration of evolutionary transitions in my book.  If I knew of any, fossil or living, I would certainly have included them ….  I will lay it on the line – there is not one fossil which one could make a watertight argument.***

So why do so many scientists persist that there are fossils where none exist? The answer lies in them not wanting to be wrong. Unlike most theories in the scientific community, Intelligent Design is never considered because people feel it bears too close to God and religion. Science has gotten to the point where they believe they can learn everything, and that God has no place in the equation. Considering that the first pillar of science is to not have predisposition to a belief before experimentation, this seems highly hypocritical.

In another post, I will soon explain the many fossils pro ported to be transitional, but in fact aren’t. For now, I urge all of you to do your own research and find the truth. Keep in mind the difference between micro and macro evolution: micro is small things like birds getting different beaks due to different environments, and humans getting darker skin color. Macro evolution is the transition of one distinct animal species to another.

-Trenton Stahl

This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.

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*C. Darwin, Origin of Species, 6th ed. 1872 (London: John Murray, 1902), p 413

**S.J. Gould, in Evolution Now: A Century after Darwin, ed. John Maynard Smith, (New York: Macmillan Publishing Co., 1982)

***C. Paterson, letter to Luther D. Sutherland, 10 April 1979, as published in Darwin’s Enigma (Green Forest AR: Master Books, 4th ed. 1988), p. 89

Is School Killing Creativity?

January 6, 2010 2 comments

I’ll be honest with you all, I didn’t come to ask this question on my own. There is this amazing video of a TED presentation made by Ken Robinson about how he believes the school system as we know it is killing creativity in young people. [see end of post]

Now I don’t think of myself as a psychologist or sociologist by any means. Instead, this article is mostly centered around the perspective of a student, currently enrolled in the public school system. Also, I was in a private school from the grades 7-10, and have that perspective as well.

Lets look at the goal of the school system. The purpose surrounding it all is to educate the youth of America for as many career opportunities as they can, in the shortest time possible. In theory, this is a very worthy goal. After all, many people, either due to family situations or personal preference, choose not to go to school, and need to have all their education in grades 1-12. But here is where we start to have an issue: instead of giving the youth as wide of horizons as possible, the schools are focusing more and more on 3 main subjects. Math, English and Science.

If we were all Vulcans this would be just fine. But we’re not, we are human beings and as such we need things like music and art to have a deep culture with ties to the past. Look at the french, as far as they have gone to contribute in the fields of science and literature, they are most proud of their artistic expression and heritage. As one of the most, if not THE most, powerful nations on the planet, we are striving to make our children have a leg-up on the international competition, but at what cost?

In reality (as Ken points out) we are a society that is making the college professor (PhD of course) the ideal intellectual goal. Unfortunately it’s not just us, almost all countries are doing this! With international travel and cooperation at an all time high, it is getting easier and easier for our Asian cousins to take the high paying jobs that we would otherwise have had. With that in mind, what’s the problem? Why the heck shouldn’t we do anything and everything to stay at the leading edge in the race for intellectual superiority?

I’ll tell you why: because it’s killing us. Millions upon millions of people around the world are going to a workplace every day that they hate, to a job that pays too little, to be berated by a boss that thinks he’s god. As a result, happiness in the workplace is so low that there are psychiatrists who make their whole living off working specifically with white collar businessmen who have trouble dealing with the stress. This is ridiculous.

To get back to the point, what I am saying is the same as Ken: put more emphasis on the arts. Ensure that art classes have the same funding potential as any other, because what use is having all the knowledge in the world, if the only people around to share it with are mindless slaves to their “intelligence”.

An Apology Issued

January 5, 2010 Leave a comment

For the last couple weeks I have been incredibly busy with a few personal issues, and I apologize for not updating. Tomorrow (wednesday) I will do a special update to make up for the slack.

Thank you for your patience, and expect the update at 8 am tomorrow.

-Trenton Stahl

Categories: Informative Tags: , ,

Weekly Pictures, Theme: Demotivational Posters

December 15, 2009 2 comments

-Trenton Stahl

Note: I do not claim to own, or to have made any of the above pictures. All pictures are watermarked to their respective owners.

Categories: pictures Tags: , , , , ,

Food For Thought IV

December 15, 2009 2 comments

Liberal organizations like the Brady Campaign strive to eliminate guns all together. My question is how they think that will help, considering that criminals wouldn’t follow the laws to turn in the guns. The way I see it, only the law-abiding citizens that should have guns would allow their guns to be taken. Not only that, but criminals then would know that pretty much anyone is undefended.

-Trenton Stahl

This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.

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