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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. . . . ►►►

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: Parting Shot | Salvo 44

Deadly Harvest

Patriarchy & the Violence of Fatherless Men by James M. Kushiner

. . . Patriarchy is about fatherhood. It is about fathers raising boys and young men to become fathers themselves. A whole generation, or neighborhood, of boys without fathers will succumb to the chaos and violence of Beelzebub, Lord of the Flies. Wherever you find many fatherless young men not being trained for fatherhood, you will find most of today's violent crime. Family in Greek, patria, based on pater, is often translated as nation and is thus the root of patriotism. But where there are fewer and fewer fathers, there can be no enduring patria, no homeland, no security. . . . ►►►

Column: Headquarters | Salvo 28

Highly Creative

Three More Things Only a PhD Can Believe by Louis Markos

. . . In this essay, I will highlight three more absurdities that, despite their apparent differences, all hail from the same source. The attentive college student who takes classes in the sciences, the social sciences, or the humanities will quickly discern an unstated but unshakeable commitment to a grand scheme of cosmic evolution. Whether the subject being taught is biology, sociology, or literature, the professor will invariably proceed from an unquestioned faith in the factual truth and explanatory power of this vague, but all-encompassing evolutionary theory. And that faith, far from being confined to the laboratories of evolutionary biologists, is one that has entrenched itself at the heart of nearly all secular universities and, sadly, many Christian ones as well. . . . ►►►

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: Opening Salvo | Salvo 29

All Played Out

The Unsavory Legacy of Porn by James M. Kushiner

. . . I don't miss the Playboy Building with its 9-foot sign looking down on Michigan Avenue. As I passed by the various doctor's offices at the other former "Playboy Building," now busy with people coming to find out why their bodies aren't working properly and what can be done to heal them, I kept wondering what will it take for our cultural leaders to admit that the sexual revolution didn't work. The destruction of "ancient taboos and biblical morality" has led to disaster: broken homes, fatherless children (like Dorothy Stratten), abortion, venereal diseases, and sexual addictions—would any society flourish by promoting the underlying causes of such afflictions? . . . ►►►

Column: Headquarters | Salvo 31

School Deform

How Common Core Promotes Cultural Engineering by Killing the Imagination by Robin Phillips

. . . America's founders understood that a healthy democracy requires that citizens learn to think critically, to ask questions, and to develop well-ordered faculties of reason and imagination. Citizens who were inculcated in the ways of sound thinking would be able to preserve the riches of our cultural heritage. This was the same vision articulated by Plato, who argued in The Republic that the highest goal of all education is knowledge of the Good. By contrast, when the architects of Common Core tried to describe the goal of education, they were unable to articulate anything higher than "college and career readiness" and "21st century literacy" for a "global economy." . . . ►►►

Column: Deprogram | Salvo 43

Up for Grabs

In Science, When 'Anything Goes,' Everything Goes by Denyse O'Leary

. . . Ruse reflects on the role played by popular science celebrities in spreading the postmodern approach: "Science is an inflated medium of exchange these days . . . but its value has been eroded by the charlatans making obviously partisan and sometimes wild and contradictory 'scientific' claims." Pop science celebrities have been around for as long as any of us can remember. But Ruse chronicles a subtle shift. Both Stephen Hawking and Neil deGrasse Tyson have made clear that philosophy is either "dead" or "a useless enterprise," something one certainly did not hear from past icons like Albert Einstein. . . . ►►►

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. . . . ►►►

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 44

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