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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

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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: , ,

Nerdiest Pickup Line Ever

December 15, 2009 Leave a comment

About a week ago I was confronted with a girl who called herself a nerd at heart. I asked if she played games, she said no. I asked if she played DnD, she said no. I asked if she was a cosplayer, she said no. I finally asked what she did that made her think of herself as “nerdy”, and she couldn’t answer me.

And so, I decided to come up with a way to determine if a girl is truly a nerd or not. Go up to her, and say this:

“Will you be my Gatekeeper if I’ll be your Keymaster?”

If you get a weird look, move along. But, if by some strange chance she happens to get a sparkle in her eye, you know you found a keeper. (Cooincidentally this is also the nerdiest pickup line EVER) If you want some reference, take a look at this clip:

Basically the nerdy guy and the girl are being possessed by demons, and look to seek the other out in order to have sex, which would then open the gate to…the other dimension. Hey, its a classic!

-Trenton Stahl

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

What Would You Kill For?

December 11, 2009 2 comments

Back in September I took a two day, defensive handgun training course at the FrontSight Institute. Before I had gone, I knew how to shoot a gun, where all the parts were, etc. However, once I was there, I realized that I didn’t know what I didn’t know. They taught me things that have brought my skills with a pistol to a level rivaling people who have shot all their lives.

One of the parts of the course, though, was one I hadn’t expected. They gathered us into the large conference room and gave us a lecture on the different aspects of gun ownership, one of which was when to kill. Now, I am sure if you went up to any handgun owner, most of them could give you a generally vague idea of when they would pull the trigger, usually involving the risk of life.

Before I went to FrontSight I had an idea as well. My sentiments were that if a person was threatening my life, or the life of another, or was breaking into my house/car, I would fire without hesitation. This is something I had never REALLY considered, it was always more philosophical than anything. I had done some research and discovered that Washington (the state I live in) has whats called “Stand Your Ground” gun laws. That is, you can shoot someone for endangering your life, the life of another, or committing a class A felony. Matches pretty well with what I was thinking, huh?

What I had failed to consider is that this is a far more complicated world than I had envisioned. After taking the FrontSight course, I sat down and seriously considered what I would shoot someone for, as there are several factors to keep in mind:

-After shooting someone, no matter what, you are likely going to jail, at least for a short while.

But It Was Justified!

-If there is any doubt in the case, you will likely be prosecuted, which will take time and a lot of money to defend yourself.

-Your family and friends may see you differently for having killed a man, regardless of it being justified.

-If you did ANYTHING wrong in the shooting (shot the person in the back, was mistaken on your report of how many shots you fired) they will use that against you in court.

-The obvious grief you will have to live with for the rest of your life for taking a life.

These are all things I have thought long and hard about. I have come to the conclusion that while it is technically legal to kill someone for taking your stuff, it isn’t worth it. The policy I have chosen to adopt is one of “if I’m not willing to die for it, I’m not willing to kill for it”. I am willing to die for my family, or even (believe it or not) a person on the street I don’t know. What I’m not willing to die for is the CD collection in my car that I see some punk stealing in the middle of the night.

Don’t get me wrong, I have no compunction drawing down on him and placing him under a citizen’s arrest until the cops show, but popping the lock on my car isn’t worth a death sentence in my book.

Now here’s a different situation: A person has broken into your house, and you hear him rummaging around downstairs. What do you do? I know what I’d do, I’d go down and double tap him in the chest without a second thought. He is in MY house. And while he may just be there to steal something and get out, I can’t know that. Also, he may have a gun. I would never be willing to risk the life of my family by drawing him down and ordering he get down on the floor.

How about this one: Your on the street and see a woman getting mugged, what do you do? If he were holding her at knife point, I would pull out my gun and tell him to assume the position he no doubt knows well. If he makes a move, he’s dead. If he were to have a gun, I would take aim and fire, knowing that even if he didn’t mean to kill the woman, I don’t know where the gun is going to end up, or what the person is going to do in the future.

One last scenario: your on the street and you see a man run up to a woman and steal the infant in her arms. You pull out your gun and take aim. You have a clear shot, can’t miss, but you don’t know the circumstances. That could be the child’s father, or it could be a joke, or even if you are correct in that its a kidnapping, what if the baby is seriously hurt when the man falls? They could even be killed! This was a scenario that a friend put to me a while back and I still don’t have an answer. If I shoot and it’s a misunderstanding, I am responsible for the possible deaths of both child and man. If I don’t fire, and it is a kidnapping I could have prevented, I would never be able to forgive myself if anything bad came to the kid.

What about you? Under what circumstances would you use deadly force? Are they the same as me, or different? Comment below.

-Trenton Stahl

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

REVAMP!

December 5, 2009 1 comment

Ever since I started this site back in April, I have been running it under a very loose sense of timeliness. For the most part, I posted articles about whatever, whenever the mood struck me and that was fine.

However, I have decided to step it up. From now on I will be uploading content on Tuesdays and Fridays. More well thought-out topics and discussions will be held for Fridays, and things like funny pictures and interesting links will be for Tuesdays. There isn’t any particular reason I am choosing those two days, it’s more of a whim. All posts will be (hopefully) submitted by about 8am.

To commemorate this shift, I have changed themes to fit the more serious nature of the dedication behind the site, I hope you all like it. In addition, I have changed the secondary title of the site. Where before it read “a meandering of thought without form”, it now reads “a meandering of thought given form”. I can assure you, it is quite true. This is a blog about failed perceptions of reality, and how they can twist society into something it should never be. It being named AdvancedApathy is to make clearer the sense of message I am trying to get across, society needs to wake up.

Also, I have a couple of friends who are working on starting their own podcast series. Knowing these two, it will be some of the most entertaining material you are likely to find. The episodes will be hosted in AdvancedApathy, and I will post when I am sure they will be ready to launch.

Thanks to everyone who has been supportive of my efforts, and enjoy.

-Trenton Stahl

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

Categories: Informative Tags: , ,

Cameras In Classrooms: The Pros And Cons

November 27, 2009 10 comments

Having just recently started attending public school, I have found the topic of cameras interesting. Something I have noticed is that no one seems to care. People go about their day oblivious to the round, black semi-spheres that watch their every move as they go about their business. It seems to no one that this is a problem. Let me give you two opinions on the subject.

Yes, we are watching.

Pros:

Being what they are, and what their purpose is, it isn’t too hard to make an argument for cameras in school.  Currently, they are only in the hallways and this allows for privacy in the classroom. If someone were to be hurt in the hallways, and accusations were flung, it is simple to see what happened and why.

I am sure there are many instances when a person is accused of doing some wrong and not being able to defend themselves. No doubt those people would have loved having irrefutable evidence of their innocence, I know I would have appreciated it in varying situations with my past.

And lets not forget another important way it could be important for student arguments: evil teachers. If you have ever had any serious problems in school with authority, you can agree that administrators almost always take the side of the teacher in a he-said, she-said predicament. Let me give you an example; your a student in a classroom and your breath is terrible, and a girl you really like is about to sit down next to you. Being the stud you want to portray, you take a piece of gum and are about to begin chewing, when you remember you aren’t allowed to chew gum in that room. You put it away and simply go about the class period.

Detention!

Now, at the end of class you are about to leave but the teacher asks you to stay after class for a minute. They tell you they saw you chewing gum and issue you a detention. You object, explaining the situation. They don’t believe you and proceed to take you to the principals office because your being disrespectful. There, the principal automatically takes the side of the teacher just because shes in charge.

THIS ACTUALLY HAPPENED TO ME. And I know I would have wanted a video to prove me right and the evil mistaken teacher wrong. So what could be bad about having cameras in the classroom?

Cons:

The slippery slope is whats wrong. The intrinsic problem with giving power to people is that it will eventually be abused. Some argue that our school system is not as easily corruptible as, say, the government. However, this has been shown to be false, as seen in Safford United School District No. 1 v. Redding. In this case, a 13 year old was strip searched at school, without any kind of parental contact,  under the belief that she had ibuprofen. She didn’t. The fact remains that any system needs checks and balances to its authority, or else people and powers are abused.

So, what could be done with cameras? Think about that for a second. At this moment, many public schools already have cameras in the hallway without problems, seeing everything. If they are in the classrooms then there really is no privacy anywhere (except maybe the restrooms). What will happen then is up to your imagination. Conversations between students could no longer be private, any small indiscretion and slip of the tongue will be remembered always, and if anything is said that does not meet the standards of the establishment…well, just read 1984 by Orwell to get a picture of what I mean.

Conclusion:

In a perfect world, you could trust the government and their representatives (school) to carry out the law equally and fairly. However, since this not a perfect world, we cannot. The fact is we need to not allow ourselves to give up every right we have, in the case being privacy. So much of our lives are monitored and watched, that I can’t help but feel we shouldn’t force upon the students of America any more pressure than we already are.

Because, really, how much more as students can we deal with?

-Trenton Stahl

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

Top 4 Free Audio Book Selections

November 8, 2009 3 comments

ITS FREE!

Sorry about that, but it had to be said. The first line is many times what is heard most clearly. I am a big believer in free, and love to pass around what I learn about for others to experience. If you had checked out my links to the left, you would notice that they all lead to free software, programs, and entertainment for everyone. So in this article, i am going to give you a short list of the best (in my opinion) 4 audio books you can get (FOR FREE).

Infected

1) Infected & Contagious by Scott Sigler

Infected is the most thrilling book you will ever read (rivaled only by Contagious). It is about a disease that is running rampant through communities, making people become homicidal maniacs, and killing even there own family. Paranoia, fear, rage, and suspicion are all that the infected become. Contagious is the sequel to infected, and I know you will be dying to listen to it once you hear Infected.

 

 

 

2) 7th Son Trilogy by J.C. Hutchins

When a story starts with the President of the United States being murdered, you know its going to be good. Clones, conspiracies, high technology, military coups, plotting, killing and ultimate evil is alive and well in this trilogy. Arguably the best part of all of this is that its a series, meaning that much more material to experience!

 

 

 

3) One Among The Sleepless by Mike Bennett

Ever had a noisy neighbor? How about someone who just annoyed you unbelievably? Ever wanted them dead, even for a moment? Mike Bennett explores many facets of human emotions and how we interact with one another. And while this story takes place in England, it relates to anyone and everyone. Bennett does a marvelous job bringing you to the edge of your proverbial seat with anticipation of what he’s going to put the characters through next.

 

 

 

4) Shadowmagic by John Lenahan

John Lenahan wrote this novel with the purpose being to create a family-friendly story for his young son. What came out of his work was, in my humble opinion, one of the finest pieces of fantasy I have had the pleasure to experience. The story has a teenage guy being transported to Tir na Nog, the mystical land of the ancient Celts. “Dont you just hate when that happens?”

What follows is his account of finding completely unexpected twists and turns that change his world in ways he can barely understand. Warning! This story may make you wish you were in a fantasy world.

 

 

So there you go. In no particular order, those are my favorites. Because of fairness to the other authors, I didn’t include Scott Sigler’s other works (which means read them people!). If you are not already on the Podcast novel scene, consider this your invitation. Believe it or not, all of these are legally on Podiobooks.com for free. Pass this around and by doing so you will be spreading happiness and appreciation for a new form of story telling.

Do you have favorite podcast novels? Thinking of writing one? Comment below! It’s anonymous!

-Trenton Stahl

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