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Feature | Salvo 46

The Miracle Element

Fine Tuning & the Carbonization of Worlds by Hugh Ross

. . . The fact that carbon exists at all is nothing short of a miracle. And for Earth to have been blessed with neither too much nor too little carbon, either of which would preclude the existence of advanced life, is another miracle. And the fact that Earth has its stores of carbon distributed into the just-right locations for the thriving of human civilization ranks as yet another miracle of divine design. Let's explore these miracles in some detail. . . . ►►►

Department: Parting Shot | Salvo 45

Mommy Nearest

The Priority of Motherhood by Marcia Segelstein

. . . Our culture needs to encourage and support women who put their children's needs ahead of their own, at least for a time. "The truth is," Komisar writes, "we can do everything in life, but not at the same time. We cannot raise healthy children if we are not there for them emotionally and physically." Society used to value motherhood instinctively. How could motherhood not be important? As C. S. Lewis said, "Children are not a distraction from more important work. They are the most important work." . . . ►►►

Feature: Headquarters | Salvo 44

Grounded Faith

Sinking Roots for Youth Ministry in an Age of Advanced Skepticism by Terrell Clemmons

. . . Millennials are the first generation of Americans to grow up in a culture where skepticism is the default setting. Their parents may have accepted "because my church says so," but they're not buying that. And really, why should they? Instead of aiming for "sticky faith" then, what parents and leaders need to work toward is a grounded faith. And in an environment of default skepticism, this will require beginning at the beginning: Does God exist? . . . ►►►

Department: Maneuvers | Salvo 44

The Unthinkable Universe

It Strangely Points Where Materialists Dare Not Boldly Go by Regis Nicoll

. . . Nagel, who himself is not a strict materialist, lets on that materialism is a belief system grounded, not in a rational examination of how the world is, but in a non-rational sensibility of how a person feels the world should be. The conflict arises because, as Heisenberg explained, "The ontology of materialism rest[s] on the illusion that . . . existence, the direct 'actuality' of the world around us, can be extrapolated into the atomic range." That leaves materialists to explain the unexplainable, absent the Cosmic Authority, with a stranger-than-fiction narrative in which everything comes from nothing through lofty labels and clever constructs. . . . ►►►

Department: Opening Salvo | Salvo 43

Wreckers in the Dark

Social Ills & Opposition to Safe Harbor Lights by James M. Kushiner

. . . Wreckers sometimes refused to aid a floundering ship and even went so far as to place false lights to guide ships into danger. Sometimes they killed wreck survivors. Moderns will shake their heads at the wreckers' violence and opposition to the increased safety brought by lighthouses. Yet many people today oppose measures to make life's seas safer for children because they benefit from child endangerment. Consider how many occupations are tied to the shipwreck of the modern family . . . ►►►

Department: Collateral Damage | Salvo 44

Silicon Debauchery

More Evidence the Hookup Culture Is Human Malware by Nancy R. Pearcey

. . . A society's view of sex reflects its deeper commitments—its prevailing ethos or worldview. The sexual liberation ethic stems from an underlying idea that the world is a product of blind, material forces. As a recent New Yorker article put it, "the loyalty oath of modernity" is that "nature is without conscious design . . . the emergence of Homo sapiens was without meaning or telos" (purpose). And if the human body is said to have no meaning or purpose, neither does sex. On one hand, that means we are free to make up our own rules. On the other hand, it means that under all the hype about being bold and experimental is a fundamental despair—the belief that sex is insignificant in a literal sense: signifying nothing. . . . ►►►

Department: Camouflage | Salvo 41

Whirled Views

A Framework for Mapping Reality & Engaging Ideological Confusion by Terrell Clemmons

. . . Salvo readers should be familiar with the concept of agenda—driven science, and to those who listen with an ear to discern it, it's clear that Sagan, Rose, and Tyson are using science as they understand it to advance an agenda—to influence the way people think, with the aim of changing their behavior. This is the stuff of propaganda, and like most propaganda, Cosmos served up a slickly produced package of truths, half-truths, and subtle lies, skillfully laced with running undercurrents of moralistic appeals to emotion. How does one respond to wholesale agendas like this without coming off as an abject contrarian? Try the worldview reset. . . . ►►►

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. . . . ►►►

Feature | Salvo 40

Champ Change

Darwinism's Rumble in the Jungle by Regis Nicoll

. . . Darwin's theory of evolution was founded on the pillars of natural selection, random and unguided natural processes, gradualism, and common descent—the validity, of which, say its evangelists, comes from the strength of the evidence. But despite the best efforts of its handlers to keep the pillars of evolution propped up with peppered moths, missing links, and other just-so stories, the champ has been showing signs of fatigue for some time now. Over a decade ago, British historian Paul Johnson noted that "the Darwinian brand of evolution is becoming increasingly vulnerable as the progress of science reveals its weaknesses." And here's why. . . . ►►►

Feature | Salvo 36

ETI In the Sky

What the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligent Life Means for Us by Hugh Ross

. . . Whereas previous generations of astronomers lacked the telescope power needed to detect operating Dyson spheres, today's astronomers possess that capability. Four Swedish astronomers noticed that if Dyson spheres surrounded a large number of stars in a galaxy, both the apparent luminosity and the color of those stars, as seen from Earth, would change, while the galaxy's gravitational potential would remain unchanged.3 The team proceeded to search for records of such changes in the latest galaxy survey databases. But out of a sample of 1,359 spiral galaxies searched (only spiral galaxies are candidates for hosting advanced life4), the team failed to detect the existence of a single Kardashev III-level civilization. I am sorry to disappoint Stars Wars fans (or Star Trek fans), but apparently there is no faraway galaxy hosting a confederation of intelligent civilizations on thousands of planets. . . . ►►►

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. . . . ►►►

Column: Person of Interest | Salvo 36

Marriage Matters

An Interview with Patrick Fagan by Marcia Segelstein

. . . Patrick Fagan is the founder and director of MARRI, the Marriage and Religion Research Institute (see Allied Front). MARRI studies the impact of marriage, family, and religion on society. Once a practicing psychologist, Dr. Fagan moved into the field of public policy as the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Family and Community Policy at the Department of Health and Human Services under President George H. W. Bush. He recently announced the launch of Marripedia, an online social-science encyclopedia that makes research related to family, marriage, sexuality, and religion accessible to the public. Dr. Fagan spoke with us about what makes for a healthy society, the importance of what he calls "the two great loves," and what he sees as a growing crisis for men. . . . ►►►

Salvo 46

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