Quotes: Short and Interesting

Persistence of being - 2024 April

[Prompt: The Darwinian evolutionist's view is that we arrived at our current identity by an purposeless, unguided process which is just fitness to survive.]

We could say instead that the pattern of reality is persistence of being. If I say that, you are in the religious world again. The idea that survival is something - the idea that beings want to continue to exist, this idea is a religious idea! You have to go into the religious realm to understand the idea that being has a tendency to persist and to perpetuate itself. - Jonathan Pageau

 

Wandering - 2024 Feb

If you don't know where you're going, you'll wind up somewhere else. Not all those who wander are lost. - J.R.R. Tolkien

 

Reverse Engineering

Some see biology as a science no different from chemistry or astronomy or geology. [However], biology is reverse engineering a technology far more advanced than ours. - Brian Miller

 

(Quote context and citations are in the notes.)

 

Scientific Explanations

The great deception of modernism is that the laws of nature explain the world to us. The laws of nature describe the universe, they describe the regularities. But they explain nothing. - Ludwig Wittgenstein

 

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Cello Recital - Vedro con mio Dileto

2024 Mar 16

I performed an opera aria on the cello. I played in a combined recital for the studios of Ellen (my teacher, center below kneeling) and Lianne, her long-time good friend and collegue.

Recital cellists in a group

Where does math come from?

2024 Mar 9

Where do abstract things such as math come from? Since they aren’t material things, you can’t go to the store to buy them. You can’t get math by growing it or by digging it out of the earth. And are they real and/or true?

Although the ideas for abstractions might start from things in the material world, abstractions are mental products and exist only in the mind. We see the similar color of trees and emeralds and think of greenness. We observe similar shapes in the outline of an egg and the ripples from something dropped in water and think of roundness. We hear a gentle speaking voice or feel plush fur and we could think of softness.

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Is Christianity exclusive?

2024 Feb 26

Is Christianity exclusive? Maybe.

Christianity is very inclusive because it includes all people and all ethnicities and all cultures.

However, what is distinctive about Christianity is what it offers. The promise of Christianity is a relationship with the God represented by Jesus.

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Kayaking trips 2024

2024 Jan 21

Mukilteo-Whidbey, Jan 21

  • 12 mi between Mukilteo and Whidbey Island

My plan was to cross to Whidbey and catch the (free) ferry back. There was light rain the whole trip.

Late afternoon from Mukilteo Lighthouse Park, I paddled over to the ferry being loaded and crossed its parked wake; it was full of interesting squirrelly eddies. A crewman from the bridge stayed outside observing me before the boat left. Afterward, I saw a harbor seal feasting on a fish, flipping it up as it ate, in silhouette only the head and bones remaining.

Crossed SW to the tip of Whidbey. Above the clouds, the sun was setting with yellow brightness and it converted the water into golden moving sand. Looking back (NE), it was icy gray, with a rainbow. The sky was a gradient between the two with some tiny spots of blue.

The crossing was good practice for keeping a course against angled rollers and wind. It was mostly dark when I reached the island tip. However, light from the mainland reflecting from the clouds never allowed real darkness. Heading toward the Whidbey ferry, the shoreline was kind of boring in the shadows, but the house lights were interesting.

A ferry was leaving just before I got to the ferry dock. I estimated it would take longer to wait for the next ferry than cross on my own (turned out pretty true), so I turned east. Against the Whidbey shoreline, there had been no wind, however, a stiff wind was against me all the way to the mainland beach. It was good exercise and good technique practice. Tired and yawning on the way home.

a triangle across Possession Sound

Everybody Believes in the Supernatural

2023 Sep 7

Our universe happens to exist. Most people subscribe to the Big Bang's explanation of its cosmological origin. In this, our universe began in the finite past, bursting into existence from a single point and expanding out to size.

All things naturally physical (including energy and matter), all physical laws of our universe, all space and even time itself did not exist without this singularity. Absent this singular event, nature itself did not exist. Therefore since the event was not of nature, it was by definition super-natural. In the Big Bang model the origin of the universe was supernatural.

Others believe the universe had an infinite past, always existing with its characteristic features. This view would seem to make the issue of origin disappear, but it does not.

In our physical world real infinities are never actual because they are unable to exist. There cannot be an infinite quantity of things because there are a finite number of particles available in the universe. There cannot be an infinite number of events because then there would never be an event to start the event sequence. Infinity is only a concept we play with in our minds because infinity itself is supernatural.

However, we exist. Since an infinite past in our natural world is impossible, an infinitely old universe would be supernatural.

Therefore, the existence of the universe through either the Big Bang or an infinite past is supernatural. Of these two ideas most scientific lines of evidence point to the first, making it the preferred view. So then because of our universe, everyone believes in at least one great miracle.

Mechanistic Causes

Since everything that begins to exist has a cause, the next great question is what was the cause of the Big Bang? We already know it was not natural (of our universe), however, it might still be a mechanistic cause. A huge issue that this cause must also explain is why our universe is constructed with hyper precision to support life.

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Why I am Still a Christian

2022 Sep 14

I was born into a Christian family. However, today my view on Christianity is not the same as it was when I was a child.

Often a person remains in the religious belief system they grew up in. If they do leave their belief system it may be for reasons that involve experience, rationales or evidence. I however am still a Christian, and it is because of evidence, reason and experience.

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Good News: Read all about it!

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This is an approach based on what Jesus taught and is pragmatically useful both for those that follow Jesus or for those that just admire him.

About the Groves

Larry and Melanie

I'm Larry Grove, and my wife is Melanie. We have three adult sons and our family has continued to grow.

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