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Column: Deprogram | Salvo 46

AI Apprehension

Is Artificial Intelligence Taking Over? Or Is a Fashionable Panic Afoot? by Denyse O'Leary

. . . AI will make a big difference, Marks reckons, but not by producing brains with metal shells. Rather, he laments, Google knows where he is every second of the day, and where we are, too. No authoritarian regime in history, not even 1984 in fiction, had such potential power. . . . ►►►

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. . . . ►►►

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 | 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. . . . ►►►

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? . . . ►►►

Department: Reconnaissance | Salvo 32

To Those Who Wait

You Can't Have It All by Mark Oshinskie

. . . Perhaps most fundamentally, the willingness to postpone conception until one's late thirties is based on the culturally encouraged but mistaken notion that women and men are equal in all ways, including biologically. Laws and cultural messages can foster notions of gender equality, but biology does not conform to these notions. Though it seems paradoxical to say it—perhaps because they were so widely touted as boons to women—synthetic birth control and abortion have placed women at a great disadvantage relative to men. . . . ►►►

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. . . . ►►►

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: 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 46

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