Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Global warming on hiatus?

The news is out. Computer hackers broke into the system for the UN's Climate Research Unit (CRU) at the University of East Anglia (UEA) in England and put 160 megabytes of emails and info on the Internet.

Among the emails are admissions by the pro-Global Warming scientists that much of the data they were collecting did not show any warming, and so they were working together to suppress or fix the data to their liking.

Al Gore's "Inconvenient Truth" has likely become very inconvenient for him, as the skeptics now have strong evidence that there is a global conspiracy afoot by pro-climate change scientists and politicians to grab up power by unethical cheating.

Senator Inhofe (R - OK) is going to call for an investigation. As a long time skeptic, who was often mocked for his stance, perhaps he will see his reputation restored.

While I do not deny that climate change can occur, or that man may influence it, we need to take a step back and restudy this claim. The reality is, previous periods of warming have been beneficial to life on earth. Cooler periods, such as the mini-Ice Age, have brought major death (black plague in Europe in the Middle Ages, for instance). The last big Ice Age 12,000 years ago wiped out many species of animals. Meanwhile, the warming periods increased productivity and raised the living standards of most Europeans and others.

Don't forget, in the 1970s everyone was concerned about Global Cooling. The issue of any climate change must be considered, given our many coastal cities, etc., but we need to make it an issue of real and quality science. Allowing a group of frauds, whether they are scientists or otherwise, to threaten vast amounts of our global economy, simply based upon bad or fraudulent data, is unthinkable.

The question is: will Al Gore make a statement reassessing the issue he so strongly has made and "earned" a Nobel Peace Prize over?

Monday, November 09, 2009

20 Years Ago: The Berlin Wall fell

I entered the US Air Force in 1982. I won't forget the year in South Korea, guarding the perimeter of an Air Base. Or standing inside the small building in Panmunjom, where discussions are held between North and South Korea, with Chinese and North Korean soldiers standing nearby watching us. I can't forget the tensions of the Cold War that began a decade before I was born.

I'll never forget President Ronald Reagan at the Brandenburg gate saying, "Mr Gorbachev, tear down this wall!"

No one in 1988 would ever have expected the change would come so quickly.

And I'll never forget the joy in the faces of people in East and West Berlin, as they climbed the wall, used picks and sledgehammers on it, and flooded through the gates into each others' open arms after decades of separation. The Soviet Union collapsed soon afterward, giving freedom to millions and an end to the Cold War. Liberty is an awesome feeling, especially when you have seen it from the other side of a concrete wall for years.

I still have my little piece of the Berlin Wall.

The small piece of concrete is in my bedroom, in my Dad's old jewelry box with his old tie tacks and favorite memorabilia. He died 20 years ago this year, as well. 1989 was a poignant year for me, filled with sadness and happiness. But with the range of emotions comes the hope of brighter futures, where walls come down and people embrace in unity and friendship.

Christ brought forth freedom from death in the future resurrection. It will be a day when the walls of Hades are torn down and we will be able to embrace deceased friends and relatives once again. And the freedom will be an awesome feeling.

Monday, November 02, 2009

Are Gnostics a form of heresy?

On her blog, April DeCondick (Professor Rice Univ, scholar on Gnosticism) has been doing a few interesting blogs lately. Recently, she gave a quiz on her blog to ask "how gnostic are you?" I scored a 10, a reformed gnostic.

The discussion on that thread was interesting as a LDS friend of mine, Stephen and I discussed why and why not Mormonism could be seen as a form of modern Gnosticism.

April is now asking if Gnosticism is heretical, and why? She notes the former discussion, showing that Mormonism is different from Orthodox Christianity, for many of the same reasons Gnostics were considered heretical anciently. Thoughts and comments?

The Forbidden Gospels: Are Gnostics heretics?

While I do not believe in many of the specific things that Gnostics stood for, I do believe that there is always a sense that orthodoxy really delimits the believer of God. Margaret Barker (OT scholar and Methodist minister) notes that the Deuteronomists of Josiah's day were the orthodoxy that Jeremiah warned about. They changed the temple rites, removing angels and the Tree of Life from its center.

While we should not be so open minded as to let our brains fall out, perhaps a new review of ancient things can enlighten us as to what the Bible historically has to teach us.