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Saturday, 25 February 2017

The sad story of Pastor Saeed, missionary wife abuser

I ran across this blog today, and it pretty much says everything I've been thinking about the Saeed Abedini fiasco. So without further ado I will link to it, here. At the bottom of that page there should be several other links to the rest of the story.

I'll check back from time to time to make sure the link is still good.

Wednesday, 15 February 2017

Who are our neighbors?

On my way through town the other day I noticed that several yards contained the same sign, with a message in Spanish, English, and Arabic. Now, I happen to be proficient in all of these languages, so I was able to discern some differences in the translations.

First of all, it was obvious that the English version was the original one. It read, "No matter where you're from, we're glad you're our neighbors."

Now, all three of these language have the capability to address someone in either a formal or a familiar way; as it happens, the familiar is obsolete in English, so the original is in what would have earlier been considered the formal construction, but is now the only way of expressing such a sentiment. However, the formal construction is rarely so used in Arabic--as is the familiar in Spanish. So one would not expect the two translations to have the same construction. They don't; but ironically, the Arabic uses the rare formal construction, and the Spanish the rare familiar. Thus the Arabic is more a formal equivalency translation than the Spanish.

But ironically, given that English no longer distinguishes between number in the second person, the Spanish version is an exactly literal translation of the English, while the Arabic version is more of a paraphrase. It would literally read, "It doesn't matter where your country [is], but we're glad that you're our neighbors."

I wonder if the owners of these signs first looked up the online database of registered violent and sexual offenders to see how many had moved into their neighborhood, before so welcoming them.

ETA: I just realized why the Arabic is in the plural. In Arabic, one has to distinguish between male and female in the singular (not so in Spanish); this construction is the only possible way to translate in a gender-neutral manner. Thus the Spanish and Arabic separately convey different nuances of the English.

Tuesday, 10 January 2017

A self-contradiction in Evolutionary Theory--and what they've done about it

I've been musing some more about fatal flaws in Darwinism--specifically, the element of the Theory that an overriding motivation in all living organisms is to pass on their genes to the next generation (a la "The Selfish Gene"). Contrast this with the reality that throughout the animal kingdom, mothers have to protect their young from being killed by their own fathers.  For example, in his book Ring of Bright Water, Gavin Maxwell shares his friend's frustrated attempt to raise offspring of the Scottish Wildcat. He reports that wild toms would mate with housecats, but would then return to slay their offspring the moment they were born.

Ah, says the evolutionist, but the Wildcat thrives, therefore the toms must not be killing their purebred offspring. Yes, since the Wildcat is about twice the size of a housecat--this is only because the Wildcat queens are able to defend their young against the same predatory toms. But this begs the question of where the first Wildcat came from in the first place. If toms always kill their hybrid offspring, then the first Wildcat tom, whoever he was, would have been driven to kill his offspring, the first set of half Wildcat kittens. Evolutionist hold to two irreconcilable axioms: First, that animals are driven to propagate only their own genes; and secondly, that new genes spontaneously arise in the offspring of animals that didn't have those genes. Thus, under a real-world scenario, as soon as a female gives birth to offspring with new genes not present in either parent, one or the other parent will be driven to kill it, to ensure that only offspring carrying its own genes survive.

Evolutionists are certainly stumped by this contradiction, but their steadfast belief in Evolution drives them to the even more contradictory belief that there must be some evolutionary benefit in partially extinguishing the next generation--to the point that they would actually believe that some unseen hand is guiding the cannibal parents to weed out the least fit of their offspring ahead of any indication of such fitness, in order that the most fit--the most likely to push Evolution along--have a better chance of survival.

In this article, we can read how a computer model was used to demonstrate this! How convenient. If one can't find actual animals to portray the behaviour one wants to observe, just create some on a computer and program them how to act. These are the levels to which true believers will stoop, rather than give up their useless religion.

Tuesday, 6 December 2016

A sister, a wife: Lingering patriarchy in the Newer and Improveder NIV

It is well known that the major impetus behind the latest two revisions of the New International Version was egalitarian. Egalitarianism has gradually taken over most denominations, even those among whose major distinctions against sister denominations was their greater reluctance to embrace it.
Don’t we have the right to take a believing wife along with us, as do the other apostles and the Lord’s brothers and Cephas[that is, Peter]? --1 Corinthians 9:5 NNIV
Now, there's a major problem with this verse for egalitarians: it's written from a patriarchal perspective, and the CBT has done nothing to soften that blow, as much as it is in their power to do so.

One well-known Bible scholar, Eldon J. Epp, has gone so far as to write an entire book promoting the idea that among the early apostles were women, specifically one named Junia. But what happens when we try to plug her name into this verse?

Don’t we have the right to take a believing wife along with us, as do the other apostles and the Lord’s brothers and Junia?
Oops. The CBT sure missed that one in their global search-and-replace. Their puzzling reluctance* to ever use the gender-sensitive word 'spouse' really got them in trouble here. Furthermore, even the very phrase 'take a wife' reeks of patriarchy.

Look for a global search-and-replace of 'spouse' for 'wife' in the next NIV update. But while they're at it, they may as well replace 'husband' too, just to be fair.

*All the more puzzling because, at a recent event hosted by an equal-opportunity seminary where one of the professors is a member of the CBT, a professor was heard to ask a the male half of a married couple, "Is that your spouse sitting next to you?"

Saturday, 12 November 2016

Beware of Cragslist late responders!

Inasmuch as my readers often arrive at this blog desiring that something they had heard either be confirmed or debunked (and it seems to usually be the latter), I offer this latest entry as a warning to those who sell items on Craigslist.

Craigslist, like fire, can either serve or destroy. Probably the most successful Craigslist users are those in search of something; it seems like most scams prey on those offering a product or service. This has been my experience. Some months ago I put an item for sale--let's call it a Gadget--on Craigslist. I got one phone call the first week, then nothing. My listing rapidly dropped to the bottom of the page and it was unlikely that I would hear from any more prospective customers. Then, after a couple weeks of silence, a steady trickle of emails started appearing in my inbox. They all had the same features:

1. Subject line--it was lifted directly from the listing. Gadget - $250 (Pokeyville)
2. Sender's email--always a gmail account with a made-up-looking prefix like jffbo42p or pdly6doo.
3. Text--always something vague, never mentioning the item or the price, such as:
"Do you still have it available for sale?"

After I respond, the second email is equally programmed but still vague as to any details. It goes something like this:
Glad you still have it! Hope it's in good condition like you have stated in the post, I want you to remove the craigslist advert and consider it sold to me. The price is fine. I would have love to come pick it up and pay you cash but am out of town. I don't want to miss out of this deal so am willing to cut you a certified check as payment. I'll have a pickup agent come to your location after you've cashed the check. I need the following information:
Full Name:
Address:
City:
State:
Postal Code:
Cell Phone:
Last Asking Price:

I need all this right now so that I can forward it to my secretary to mail out the payment to you ASAP.
Okay, by now alarm bells should be going off. The prospective buyer has provided nothing but randomly generated information (sometimes even using a different gmail address for the second response), but wants to know way more information on me than I will ever give out to a random person. My second email always says, "Sorry, cash only," and that ends the conversation.

So, here are thing things to watch for:
1. An email address that doesn't carry any information you could use to identify the person
2. Nothing in the body of the email to specify the item you are selling
3. Urgency/willingness to pay extra/desire to use an agent on the part of the buyer

If you see these red flags, DON'T give out any information not already in the listing.