Saturday, December 20, 2008

Reflections on Christ

This is beautiful! How have I not heard of it before?

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

On Evolution

I came across a date today, and I don't remember it exactly, but it was in the year 1859.  (Hey, do you remember every date you see?)  So, that's 140 years ago.  Which made me do some thinking.  What was life like in 1859?  Wikipedia says we had a grand total of 33 states.  Right there -- that says a lot.  Abolition was the hot topic; the Civil War would break out two years later.

Now, that might make it sound like a lifetime ago.  Which it was.  But in 140 years, some things haven't changed a bit.  Example: one of the biggest headlines of the year announced U.S. Congressman Daniel Sickles' arrest for shooting a man who had an affair with his wife.  Yup.  That was 1859.  People are people.  Always have been, always will be.  ...Everything else, though -- science, inventions, technology -- has evolved so drastically it would be hard to believe it's only been 140 years.  In fact, most things have evolved and eventually discarded.

Yes, everything has evolved.  Except, ironically, the big hit of 1859: evolution.

It was 1859 when Darwin's The Origin of Species was published.  Immediately, it sold out.  How many ideas from 1859 are (1) even still around, let alone (2) widely, generally discussed, and (3) touted as general fact?  I mean, 1859?  Weren't we still bleeding people using leeches?  Weren't doctors prescribing mercury and lead as medicines, and cocaine for toothaches?  

I'm not saying evolution is wrong.  I'm just saying it has some holes.  Holes that, as time has marched on, tend to be getting larger instead of smaller.  And it sure would be nice if science continued to explore multiple explanations for the wide variety of life on this planet, rather than just trying to patch the same old holes for 150 years.  And I'm not just talking intelligent design.  How about something totally unheard of?*  After all, the very idea of science, its very essence is to question, to probe, to search out.  But science has accepted evolution (for lack of a better explanation) cart blanche and now (1) refuses to consider other explanations brought forth, and (2) ridicules those ideas, (3) just keeps trying to patch those same old holes.  And the idea that every living thing has evolved from a single-celled organism -- well, proving it?  That's a pretty big hole.

*Scientist Michael Ruse suggests crystals.  He is considered one of the great scientists of our day, so I will not laugh out loud.  Or if I do, it's a blog, and you'll never know.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Betsy Tricks

Well, Betsy continues to know no bounds to her tricks. Over Thanksgiving, her greatest joy was clapping. Smiling and clapping. Clapping and smiling. Granted, she's been clapping now for several weeks, but apparently, there's much more to clap about at Memaw and Poppa's than there is in boring old Provo. Pretty dang adorable, I have to say. Actually, she loved crawling, too, but that's been going on now for, gosh, at least four or six weeks. Zipping everywhere!

Also over the break, she began pulling herself up to a standing position. She'd use the mantle in the Shea's living room or the edge of the tub. What glee! You could just feel her excitement when she stood, finally, all the way up on her own. It didn't always last very long, but she'd just doggedly start working at it all over again.

The stranger anxiety most kids go through at her age is really manifesting itself in Betsy -- but not in the usual way. She's more social than ever! Oh, nobody loves to smile and coo at strangers the way Miss Mary Elizabeth Shea does. ...But when it's just her and I, well, nothing will do but holding her. I can't set her down, let alone walk a few feet away!

Our latest advance happened just yesterday. She's started consistently signing more! Technically, I think she started doing it when we were in Washington over the Thanksgiving break. The only catch is that she does it by clapping, of course. So you feed her a bite, she claps. You feed her again, she claps. Then chews. Then claps. It took several episodes before we could really be sure she was truly signing more. She not only signs while eating, but while playing games with Daddy. That's totally the cutest part!

Old standby tricks she's been doing for a long while now include holding her hands up to be held, feeding herself with finger foods, and perfecting the art of a graceful fall.