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Department: Basic Training | Salvo 40

The Good Life

It's to Know, Serve & Love the Truth by James Altena

. . . What is a life well lived? What is an exemplary life—a life that I would wish to strive for, to emulate, to have others remember as worthy of admiration? What principles ought to guide me in living such a life? At the Christian university where I teach, every freshman must take an introductory liberal arts course that reflects upon this question. Typically, the initial essays I get in response are self-centered: life is all about "finding happiness," "living your dreams," "pursuing your passions." Why does no one ever mention being virtuous, or faithful, or living to serve others? Since I ask all my students to answer this question, I thought it right that I, too, should answer it. I hope my response will give my readers occasion to pause, to pose this question to themselves, and to answer it worthily. . . . ►►►

Feature | Salvo 37

You Gotta Believe

Atheist or Not, You Already Have More Faith Than You Realize by James S. Spiegel

. . . You might say that your belief in the reliability of your senses is an article of faith. After all, it is something that you hold to be true without conclusive proof. Moreover, it is a conviction that has practical consequences for every moment of your waking life. Wherever you go and whatever you do, you conduct yourself according to this conviction that your senses are reliable. In short, you devoutly trust your senses. This is just one of the ways that all of us live by faith, regardless of what our particular worldviews happen to be. There are many other unprovable beliefs that we all share. Faith, it seems, is not really an option but is fundamental to the human condition. . . . ►►►

Feature | Salvo 33

World War Sex

A Global Revolution Imperils Men, Women & Children by Benjamin J. Vail

. . . After my conversion to the Catholic faith, and given my background in the study of sociology and interest in political and social developments, I began to realize that sexuality is the issue of our time. We live in a time when sexual norms are being turned completely upside down, which is unique in human history. No society has done this. No society has ever said, "Live out your sexual drive any way you like," but our society does. I think this issue of sexuality is the main attack on the dignity of the human being, and on society as a whole, because if a society lets go of its morality in general, and especially in the area of sexuality, it tumbles into anarchy and chaos, and this can result in a new totalitarian regime by the state. . . . ►►►

Department: Camouflage | Salvo 42

The Darwin Tales

It's Time to Remit Darwinian Storytelling to the Annals of History by Terrell Clemmons

. . . . . . For if there truly is no way of determining what is "fit" other than by seeing what survives, then Darwin was arguing in a self-confirming circle: the survival of the survivors. In rhetorical terms, this is what's called a tautology—a statement that is true by definition, due to the construction of the language by which it is expressed. In effect, Darwin's proposed mechanism—natural selection—rested on the observation that "Survivors survive." To which any clear-thinking middle-school student might say, "Well, duh." . . . . . . ►►►

Column: Deprogram | Salvo 33

Proving Grounded

Multiverse Supporters Put the Brakes on Falsifiability by Denyse O'Leary

. . . Here is a prediction: To the extent that science is dominated by naturalist atheists, falsifiability will not survive as a criterion. That's because it depends on the idea that there is something out there that can falsify things—call it "god" or whatever you want. Instead, whatever speculation supports the multiverse or some similar shibboleth will count for far more than any failure of evidence. And the naturalist atheists' next war will, of course, be against the very idea of evidence. What evidence counts for will depend on who is presenting it and what causes it is thought to support. . . . ►►►

Feature | Salvo 42

Bot Behavior

Whether Humans or Robots, We Need Moral Programming by Richard W. Stevens

. . . for the human mind to possess knowledge and moral reasoning powers, there must be an outside source of that knowledge and power. The source would have to be intelligent enough to understand morality and skilled enough to instill the morality data and software into human minds. Dr. Zacharias is correct: morality, the software of good and evil, must come from a higher source than undirected physics, chemistry, or biological hardware. . . . ►►►

Column: Operation ID | Salvo 42

Mutant Destruction

Does Cancer Really Innovate? by Jonathan Wells

. . . A rough analogy would be to compare the rusting of steel with the smelting of iron ore. We see the same chemical pattern, namely, the inter-conversion of iron and iron oxide. Rusting converts iron to iron oxide, and smelting converts iron oxide to iron. The two are polar opposites. The first is explained by unguided natural processes, but the second requires intelligent design. The Iron Age would not have happened without human intelligence. . . . ►►►

Department: Camouflage | Salvo 33

Unnatural Births

Assisted Reproductive Technologies & Their Side Effects by Terrell Clemmons

. . . In 2006, Angela Collins and Margaret Elizabeth Hanson, a lesbian couple from Port Hope, Ontario, wanted to have a family. They selected a donor identified as possessing an IQ of 160, a bachelor of science in neuroscience, a master's degree in artificial intelligence, and who was working on his Ph.D. in neuroscience engineering. He had also been described as an eloquent speaker and mature beyond his years. They bought his sperm from Georgia-based Xytex Corporation, and Collins gave birth to a . . . . . . ►►►

Department: Basic Training | Salvo 41

Improbably So

Fine-Tuning Is Unlikely, but Unlikely Things Happen All the Time by Tim Barnett

. . . This response may have some rhetorical force, but it makes a fundamental mistake. To expose the error, let me give you another illustration. Imagine your best friend has been murdered and the lead suspect is on trial. In fact, DNA evidence puts the suspect at the scene with the murder weapon in hand. As a result, the defense attorney turns to the jury and says, "The DNA evidence makes it highly unlikely that my client is innocent. But unlikely things happen all the time. For example, for you to exist, your mom and dad had to meet, fall in love, and have sex at just the right time. . . . Would any jury accept this response? I think we would have to say no. But why wouldn't they accept it? It is because there is a better explanation; namely, that the suspect really is the killer. . . . ►►►

Department: Camouflage | Salvo 36

Mind Control

Safeguarding Yours from the Modern Cult of Experts by Terrell Clemmons

. . . "Religious upbringing linked to less altruism," announced ScienceDaily. "Children from nonreligious homes are more generous, altruistic than observant ones," trumpeted Newsday. And the UK Guardian's header bordered on the childish: "Religious children are meaner than their secular counterparts." Science Codex at least showed enough restraint to headline its report in the form of a question, "Does religion make kids less generous?" Well, does it? Science said it. Does that settle it? Of course it doesn't. As apologist Frank Turek says, science doesn't say anything. Scientists do. And because scientists, science writers, and mainstream journalists are all fallible human beings, a level-headed response calls for some critical thinking every time a new finding is being heralded in the name of science. . . . ►►►

Feature: Headquarters | Salvo 43

Quo Vadis, U?

When Christian Universities Lose Faith by Daniel Adler

. . . Just what is a Christian university? The question is as complex as it is pressing, in no small part because of the increased sec-ularization of higher education. As historians James Turner and Jon Roberts argue in The Sacred and the Secular University (Princeton University Press, 2000), Protestant universities founded on religious principles in the early days of America had, by the late twentieth century, largely abandoned these convictions. This change occurred in the span of about 200 years, a relatively short window of time. Institutions once dedicated to the faith now serve as contemporary temples of secularism. . . . ►►►

Department: Logistics | Salvo 42

God & the Gaps

A Response to Data-Free Models for Origins by Hugh Ross

. . . By resting their case for nonbelief on Christians' inability to refute every imaginable non-empirical (non-evidence-based) hypothesis for our universe and life, some nontheists present us with an impossible challenge. What they demand would require complete knowledge not only of the physical universe but also of everything that could conceivably exist beyond the universe. The problem here is obvious. Given that our powers of investigation are constrained by the space-time dimensions of the cosmos, no human mind nor any device created by human minds can ever assemble a complete database cataloging all the properties of the universe, let alone what lies beyond. Our inability to ever gain absolute proof, however, does not mean that we cannot access adequate practical validation of the need for a Creator. . . . ►►►

Salvo 43

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Salvo 43

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