A Tale of Two Cosmic Cities

first_imgTwo organizations have prepared curricula presenting grand panoramas of cosmic history.  Each is divided into seven modules – but that is where any similarity ends.  One is a completely materialistic and evolutionary view composed by scientists and educators from NASA and the federal government and major academic institutions and corporations.  The other is a completely Biblical, theistic view put forward by Answers in Genesis, a creationist group.  Here they are in summary outline form:Cosmic Voyage:  A curriculum named Voyages Through Time was developed by the SETI Institute partnership with NASA Ames Research Center, the California Academy of Sciences, and San Francisco State University with major funding from the National Science Foundation (Grant IMD #9730693), NASA, Hewlett Packard Company, Foundation for Microbiology, SETI Institute, and Educate America, according to an article “Astrobiology 101” on Space.com.  The website of Voyages Through Time shows seven headings:The Curriculum:  The overview module stresses the important of key “overarching goals” to be taught students in the year-long curriculum: evolution as cumulative changes over time, the various processes underlying these changes, the differing time scales and rates of change, the connections and relationships across these realms of change, and science as a process for advancing our understanding of the natural world.Cosmic Evolution:  This module teaches that “The universe, the totality of all things that exist, is thought to have begun with an explosion of space and time and the expansion of a hot, dense mass of elementary particles and photons, that has evolved over billions of years into the stars and galaxies we observe today.”Planetary Evolution:  As the title implies, this module teaches that all planets “formed from the same spinning disk of dust and gas,” implying Earth is a cosmic accident that happened to provide an environment suitable for life.Origin of Life:  This module recognizes a lack of scientific understanding, but promises light in the future: “Current evidence from the rock and fossil record indicates that life on Earth began about 3.8 billion years ago.  Yet how life first formed, or even how the biochemical precursors of life developed, and under what conditions these events happened, are not yet understood.  The origin of life is an area of active research, with considerable debate among scientists from various disciplines.”Evolution of Life:  This fully Darwinian module exhibits peppered moths, uniformitarian dating methods, phylogenetic trees and other evolutionary icons to present standard Darwinism: the entire diversity of life on the planet emerged from a universal common ancestor through an unguided process of mutation and natural selection.Hominid Evolution:  The sixth module teaches that humans are products of the same unguided, natural process that produced the first life and all other creatures.Evolution of Technology:  The final module continues its portrayal of evolutionary history up to our present human civilization.  Students are shown the “timeline of major events throughout the history of technology in the context of the evolution of everything, beginning with the Big Bang about 15 billion years ago.”  They are assigned a poster project to show how technologies of the future may evolve.    Nothing is mentioned in the final module, apparently, about the ultimate fate of mankind or the “heat death” of the universe in which all life, and rationality, presumably will have long ceased to exist. :  A curriculum from Answers in Genesis, a private creationist organization funded primarily by private donations and no government grants, takes a very different approach to cosmic history.  The “Seven C’s” outline, first proposed by AIG president Ken Ham in one of his books (see article) also forms the “walk through history” structure of AIG’s Creation Museum that opened last year (05/26/2007).Creation:  The universe began as a purposeful act of an omnipotent, personal God.  The stars, the Earth, all life, the angels and mankind were created in the six days of creation outlined in Genesis 1.  Man and woman were created in the image of God.  They were rational and spiritual beings from the start.  The creation was good and innocent.Corruption:  The first human pair, Adam and Eve, believing a lie of Satan (who had previously led an angelic rebellion), disobeyed God and fell into sin, as described in Genesis 3.  This separated mankind from God and brought a curse upon the world.  Death came because of sin.  The first child committed the first murder.Catastrophe:  The world became filled with violence.  Only Noah believed God; he and his family were spared on the Ark (Genesis 6-9) while God judged the Earth with a world-wide Flood.  This had major consequences in geology and the subsequent environment for life after the survivors spread out over the earth.Confusion:  After the Flood, people again strayed from the Lord and sought to build their own pagan empire.  God confused their languages at the Tower of Babel (Genesis 11).  This began the origin of separate nations, languages and cultures, as people separated from one another to the far reaches of the earth.  False religions sprung up – many with distant but corrupted memories of the Flood, and of the one true eternal Creator God.Christ:  Since the Fall (Genesis 3:15), God had promised a Redeemer, the “seed of the woman” who would crush the serpent Satan’s head.  In the fullness of time (Galatians 4:4), the promise of God’s prophets was fulfilled in Jesus Christ (Luke 4:16-21).Cross:  God’s righteousness demands that sin be punished.  Christ took the punishment for man’s sin on himself at Calvary.  His sacrifice offered a full pardon for sin, and his resurrection demonstrated the power of God to raise from the dead all who have put their trust in him.Consummation:  The curse will be lifted at the end time when Christ returns in glory.  God will create a new heavens and a new earth, where the redeemed of all ages will rejoice with God forever. Augustine of Hippo was an influential Christian theologian and philosopher of the 5th century.  He was well acquainted with the pagan and secular worldviews of his age as well as the Biblical worldview.  In his classic The City of God, he contrasted the pagan and Christian views of reality by portraying them as two cities: the city of the pagans, and the city of God.    The city of the pagans consists of people who live by their sense impressions alone.  Their philosophers build systems of the world from the imagination of their own hearts.  The common people fear natural and political disasters, such as the fall of Rome that had recently occurred in Augustine’s time, and face death without hope or with false hope.    The city of God, Augustine said, consists of those who trust God’s revelation.  They live their earthly lives in hope of heaven, like Abraham, who “waited for the city which has foundations, whose builder and maker is God” (Hebrews 11:8-10).  They walk by faith convinced in the trustworthiness of God’s promises.    The two cities are thriving in 2008 with zeal like that of a presidential campaign.  Both have a message, a mission, and the means to propagate their contrasting views of reality.Among the dozens of arguments that could be debated back and forth between these two opposite world views, let us consider just two: one piece of evidence, and one logical argument.  The logical argument is this: to argue anything, you need confidence in unseen realities that are true, universal, necessary and certain, such as the laws of logic, the validity of inductive and deductive reasoning, the correspondence theory of truth (that our sense impressions relate to an external reality), the correspondence of human rationality with truth, and the moral superiority of telling the truth instead of lying.  None of these things can evolve from an explosion of matter and energy in time.  Remember, they told us that this constitutes the “totality of all things that exist.”  So unless the evolutionists wish to violate their own principles by claiming that these intangibles are real, true, universal, necessary and certain (i.e., by plagiarizing from the theists), their world view has been falsified at the starting gate.    Before getting into the piece of evidence, allow one aside on a practical note.  You see that the evolutionary world view is being promulgated by the government, corporations, and leading scientific and academic institutions.  If the previous argument makes sense to you, you may wonder how it is possible that so many smart people could believe a self-refuting proposition.  If that is a problem, read this article at AllAboutScience.org.  Consider also that the pagan, evolutionary worldview is ancient.  Most leading Greek and Roman philosophers were evolutionists – even those who believed in pagan gods, because to them, the gods evolved, too, from a primordial chaos.  Having a majority of leading intellectuals promoting the secularist world view, therefore, is as old as Rome or Babel – or the antediluvian world, for that matter.  Don’t be surprised.  Truth is not a function of majority vote, popularity, or political power.In our civilization, the Darwinists usurped the scientific institutions in the 19th century (01/14/2004 and 02/25/2007 commentaries) and have systematically marginalized the members of the city of God who had dominated scientific inquiry since Augustine.  So the evolutionists who control Big Science today should be considered no different from a situation where Druids, Gnostics or Epicureans were to wrest the institutions of power and portray themselves as the “scientists” or soothsayers of their day, and use public funds to promote their religion as the cultural truth.    Realize that there is no possible way under heaven for mortals to know any of the cosmic evolutionary stories that were presented above in the secular diorama.  It amounts to a grand, sweeping creation myth for today’s secular culture.  The reigning shamans strive to maintain their power over the propaganda outlets.  That is why, as a minority of the population, they work so diligently with lawyers and special-interest groups to guarantee that the “accepted” cultural myth be inculcated, without contradiction, at the secular monasteries (public schools), where students are unwitting novitiates into the cult, and in the courts, academies, media and government institutions.  Otherwise the common-sense observation that design demands a Designer would be too obvious.    Some of their methods for achieving and maintaining dominance are: shaming the opposition (see ridicule and intimidation), linking their doctrines with “science” (see association and bandwagon), refusing to seriously consider opposing arguments (see card stacking and sidestepping), and clouding the problems of their story in generalities (see glittering generalities and equivocation).  For other techniques see the Baloney Detector.Now, on to just one piece of evidence among many that could be raised in support of the city of God.  Without controversy, scholars know that the book of Isaiah was written long before Christ.  Regardless of what one thinks of the Old Testament, one cannot deny the book of Isaiah precedes the arrival of Jesus of Nazareth by at least a century and a half (liberal view) or seven centuries (conservative view), because a complete manuscript was found in its entirety in Cave 1 at Qumran when the pre-Christian Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered in 1947; portions of 21 other copies of Isaiah were subsequently found.  If you agree with this so far, now read the following excerpt from Isaiah carefully, and ask yourself, about whom is the prophet writing? (Isaiah 52:6-53:12).  Read the section now and come back.    This is just one of dozens of Old Testament passages, beginning as far back as Genesis 3, that were fulfilled literally in Jesus Christ.  Jesus himself announced his presence as a fulfillment of Isaiah’s prophecy (cf. Isaiah 61 and Luke 4).  More of these Old Testament prophecies are discussed in the recent DVD The Case for Christ.  They were powerful enough pieces of evidence, in combination with many other arguments and evidences from creation and history, to convince hardened skeptic Lee Strobel that the Bible’s world view was true.  In the film, he challenged viewers to make it a project to look at the evidence fairly, and come to a point of decision.    You may not be ready to hang out with Ken Ham or other creationists, whom the media love to portray as Bible-thumping buffoons (as if media portrayals are any guide to how to think about things).  You may have many more questions about science and the Bible.  At least start considering what city you will call home.  Does anything else matter? (Isaiah 55).(Visited 16 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Venrock: Still Hustling After All These Years

first_imgRelated Posts Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market Tags:#Interviews#start Venrock has quite a history as a VC firm. In the 1930s, Laurance Rockefeller pioneered early-stage financing by investing in the entrepreneurs who started Eastern Airlines and McDonnell Aircraft. In 1969, Venrock was founded to continue this heritage of investing in and building entrepreneur-backed companies, beginning with Intel. You will find a bunch of household names in its portfolio, such as Apple, as well as more recent Web tech ventures, such as CC Betty, BlogHer, Bungee Labs, and SlideShare. Venerable, perhaps, but not one to rest on its laurels, as Brian Ascher explained in our recent interview.Listen to the InterviewDownload the MP3.Questions and MP3 GuideQuestion #1: The Venrock history is amazing: Intel, Apple, etc. How does this help Venrock select and assist great ventures today?Skip to 1:11 in MP3Summary: Brian made it clear that “you cannot rest on your laurels in the venture business. You have to show up hungry and passionate every day.”Question #2: How can Venrock stay focused on early-stage? Do you keep the fund deliberately small?Skip to 2:47 in MP3Summary: Despite a track record that would allow it to raise much bigger funds, Venrock keeps its fund as small as $600 million. In bio tech and clean tech, large amounts of capital are still needed. But Venrock is happy to do small deals for capital-efficient Web tech ventures.Question #3: User experience is critical, and we recognize a great one when we see it. But is it just magic? What can ventures do to create consistently great user experiences?Skip to 4:00 in MP3Summary: Brian emphasized the basics: hard work, lots of testing, and iteration.Question #4: Tell us about Adify. Does Google just suck all the profit from online advertising? How can intermediaries create value today?Skip to 5:20 in MP3Summary: Brian identified three areas of opportunity. First, better targeting by analyzing social media conversations. Second, ad exchanges. Third, branding via video advertising (see below).TurnHere: Crowdsourced Video Ad ProductionOne of the ventures Brian mentioned seems like a great idea. TurnHere answers the need for video ads produced at the right price. Paying a big agency to produce video ads is okay for a big brand, but what about small companies that want the emotional and branding power that only video can deliver but don’t have the budget? TurnHere uses crowdsourcing to pay videographers a fixed fee. Videographers often have spare time in their schedule and would fill it with lower-priced jobs if the process was simple enough. Neat idea: this will be interesting to track.Listen to the InterviewDownload the MP3.center_img Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… bernard lunnlast_img read more

How To Develop A Festival Strategy For Your Film That Doesn’t Waste Time Or Money

first_imgI’ve submitted my films to dozens of festivals over the years and have screened at quite a few – although in the early days if I knew what I do now I could have saved a lot of time and money. Follow these tips for finding the right festivals (and having a higher acceptance rate).Getting your film into the right festival is an art of it’s own. Not only do you need to be careful about the content that you submit and how it’s submitted, but just as importantly you need to make sure that the festivals you submit to are worth your time and effort.In order to develop a festival strategy for yourself, it’s important to first identify the different types of festivals to see where your film fits in. After all, the average festival submission can be anywhere from $20 – $100, so even just applying to 10 – 15 festivals can start costing you thousands of dollars. Let’s take a look at the different types of festivals….Top Tier FestivalsImage from FlickrIf you’re just starting out, you may have your sights set on some of the larger festivals – Sundance, Cannes, Toronto, etc. These festivals are of course amongst the largest and most prestigious in the industry, but they should be approached with caution as their acceptance rates are extremely low. For instance this year Sundance alone received nearly 13,000 short film submissions, and they will only be screening 150 or so. It’s important to keep that kind of statistic in mind when applying to these festivals as the chances of getting in are pretty slim.That said, if you feel your film is strong enough to compete then by all means submit it – just don’t get too discouraged if it gets rejected as that is not necessarily a reflection of the quality of your work. If you do get into one of these festivals however, it can truly launch your career – especially if your film is a feature. So to re-iterate – don’t rule out these large scale festivals, but also don’t put all your eggs in one basket.Mid-Range FestivalsI consider festivals like Slamdance, Palm Springs, and South By Southwest to be mid-range festivals. They are large enough that they get lots of media exposure and celebrity appearances, but smaller than the top tier festivals (meaning your film may have a better shot of actually getting in).Personally, I feel that these festivals are the sweet spot for up and coming filmmakers. Not just because your chances of getting in are higher, but also because when you do get in your film may get more attention than it would have at a larger festival where it is competing with huge films that can overshadow yours. Many filmmakers that have had films in large festivals and mid-range festivals have actually seen more success with their film as far as exposure and sales from the mid-sized festivals, so keep that in mind.Niche FestivalsRight now there are an abundance of niche festivals and they are growing rapidly every year. Niche can mean anything from a genre festival (like Fantasia International Film Festival) to themed festivals (women’s rights, African American, etc.) to small regional festivals that now exist in just about every town in North America.Some of these festivals can be particularly good options as they have a higher acceptance rate of films (giving you a better shot at getting in), but they also can connect you with an audience that is more likely to respond well to your film given they are attending a niche festival in the first place.Another benefit of these festivals is that they are usually relatively inexpensive to submit to, so it can’t hurt to submit to quite a few of them. The only real downside to these festivals is that it can be difficult to assess the quality level of them before you’ve actually seen them in person. Be sure to check out their website and do some homework before submitting so you don’t end up wasting your time.So Where Do You Submit Your Film?I truly believe in a multi-faceted approach to this. You don’t want to only submit to a handful of top-tier festivals and risk not getting in anywhere, but similarly you don’t want to only submit to the really small festivals either as you may not get the exposure you’re looking for. Your strategy is going to differ based on the genre of your film and the length as well. For instance if you have a Grindhouse slasher flick, you’re probably going to do better at the niche level, which is great as you may end up screening at a couple dozen niche festivals and cleaning up with awards and prize money.Even so – it’s worth submitting to a number of mid-sized festivals and top-tier festivals because genre films can of course screen anywhere. Conversely, if you have a slightly larger scale film that might have some recognizable names or faces in it, than go for the gold and submit to mainly top tier and mid-range festivals. Having a name actor in your film doesn’t guarantee acceptance by any stretch, but it certainly helps.If you think your film has a realistic shot at a big festival than go for it. Just pace yourself so that you don’t blow your festival submission budget just on a few festivals.If you have a feature film (as opposed to a short) you also need to be cognizant of the ‘premiere status’. Many large festivals want to have a world premiere for all of their features, so you want to make sure to time out your submissions carefully. You might apply to Cannes at the same time as a small regional festival, and if you were to screen at the regional festival first, there is a good chance that Cannes would disqualify your film even if they wanted to accept it otherwise.This doesn’t apply as much to smaller or even middle of the road festivals, but if you are going after the big guys, be aware of this and make sure you wait to hear from them first before premiering anywhere else. As for short films – there is a lot more leniency. Festivals still generally do prefer a premiere, but it’s very unlikely that your film will get cut out of the running for screening somewhere else. Actually in many cases the opposite can be true. Once your film gets some momentum on the festival circuit, other festivals will start to approach you and request that your film is included in their festival – effectively bypassing the submission process. This is most common with large/top-tier festivals but can happen with any festival that gets a decent amount of exposure.How To Plan It OutOne of the biggest keys to your festival run success is simple preparation. Know before you even write your script which festivals you want to target. Write your script with that in mind and be realistic about your goals. Once you have crafted a product that is really strong but also focused and targeted toward a specific type of festival then you’ll be in a really good starting place.Make sure you time out your production/post schedule carefully as well to ensure you’re meeting the right deadlines and getting your packages out in time. This is especially relevant for features that are going after major film festivals. Most importantly, diversify your submissions – send out a few to the major players regardless of your genre/length, but also send out a number to the mid-sized festivals and niche festivals. Every film will need it’s own unique strategy, but speaking for myself – my strategy going forward on my next feature will be:Submit 30% to major festivalsSubmit 50% to mid-range festivalsSubmit 20% to niche festivalsThis is generally a good ratio for many indie films, but could be off the mark if you’re doing something very specific or heavily genre based.Another point to make is that you don’t need to go at this alone. There are some really great festival consultants out there that can help guide you through this process. If you’re unsure about which path to take, meet with a consultant and see what they have to say. Even if you end up spending $500 on the consultation fee, you may actually save money in the long run as they can tell you pretty realistically which festivals you have a better shot at getting into. So rather than submitting to 30 festivals blindly, and getting into 2 or 3, you might end up submitting to 10 and getting into 7 or 8.And finally, make sure not to get discouraged when you don’t get accepted to a festival – big or small. It doesn’t necessarily mean they didn’t like your film, it just means it didn’t fit with their program. Many amazing films have been rejected from major festivals and have gone on to get theatrical distribution, and many films that were accepted to festivals like Cannes or Sundance never saw the light of day. Festivals aren’t the be all end all, but they are a great launching pad for your film when approached strategically.last_img read more

2017 Big Ten football preview Iowa Hawkeyes

Iowa’s Josey Jewell (43) tackles Wyoming’s Avante Cox during the 2017 season opener on Sep. 2. The Hawkeyes went on to defeat the Cowboys, 24-3. Credit: Courtesy of Ben Smith | The Daily IowanLocation: Iowa City, Iowa 2016 record: 8-5 (6-3) Head coach: Kirk Ferentz Current record: 2-0 All time record vs. OSU: 14-46What has happened thus far in 2017 The Hawkeyes outlasted in-state rival Iowa State, 44-41, in overtime in Week 2. In its season opener, Iowa’s defense stymied Wyoming’s offense, led by likely first-round pick Josh Allen, and the Hawkeyes won, 24-3. Impact Player While senior linebacker Josey Jewell is a menace, the Hawkeyes’ inexperience on offense places greater importance on running back Akrum Wadley. The senior rushed for 1,081 yards, averaging 6.4 yards per carry, in 2016. Through two games, Wadley has 234 rushing yards and a touchdown. Wadley can be dynamic in space, which he showcased late against Iowa State when he turned a short catch out of the backfield into a 46-yard, game-tying touchdown, made possible by three broken tackles and a slick stutter-step.Strengths Because some things never change, Iowa’s running game will be sturdy behind an experienced offensive line and the legs of Wadley and James Butler, a graduate transfer from Nevada who owns back-to-back 1,300-plus rushing yard seasons. The O-line was dented in Week 2, with right tackle Ike Boettger lost for the year, but because the Hawkeyes often substitute linemen to keep players fresh and develop young talent, they should have enough depth to overcome Boettger’s injury. Jewell, a preseason All-American, leads a defense that returns six of last year’s front seven. The Hawkeyes should be stout against the run and put pressure on opposing offensive lines. The reason they limited Wyoming’s Allen to 174 passing yards was because Allen had little time to throw. Weaknesses The Hawkeyes are inexperienced at quarterback, receiver and defensive back. Whether Iowa is a legitimate threat to win the Big Ten West or is its usual eight-win self comes down to the performance of those units. Sophomore quarterback Nate Stanley showed promise against Iowa State, throwing for 333 yards and five scores, but it’s a small sample size.  Junior college transfer wideout Nick Easley has 11 catches so far, giving Iowa another target alongside senior receiver Matt Vandeberg, whose 2016 was cut short by a broken foot. Even so, the Hawkeyes lack a game-changing playmaker on the outside. Safety Miles Taylor, a three-year starter, is the only returner in the secondary. Other players, like sophomore Manny Rugamba, have seen the field, but not consistently. If the secondary is at least average, the Hawkeye front seven is good enough to handle the rest. read more

HEA Members Will See A Rate Increase On Next Months Bill

first_imgThe primary driver of the increase is HEA’s greater reliance on its higher priced baseload gascontract going forward to fuel generation, compared to lower priced gas spot market opportunitiesthat HEA has been able to act upon year to date. This rate increase is effective to all HEA members. The COPA is adjusted on a quarterly basis and primarily reflects the cost of natural gas used to generate power for HEA members. According to a release, HEA proposes an increase to the Cost of Power Adjustment (COPA) rate from $0.06701 per kilowatt hour (kWh) to $0.07270 kWh, which is an increase of 8.49%. Facebook0TwitterEmailPrintFriendly分享Homer Electric Association, (HEA) members will see an increase in their monthly bills beginning July 1, 2018. The average residential member who uses 550 kWh/month will see a $3.13 increase in theirbill.last_img read more

Halibut Cove Live Gearing Up For The First Summer Fundraising Event

first_imgThe first event weekend on July 14, and 15, will feature the Dan Mac Band presenting “Wonders of Wonder”, a high energy tribute to the music of Stevie Wonder featuring vocalist John “Pypes” Teamer. All proceeds from the event benefit the Homer Foundation. The Homer Foundation’s mission “is to enhance the quality of life for the citizens of the greater Homer area by promoting philanthropic and charitable activities.” Joyce Steward, Executive Director of the Homer Foundation: “The Homer Foundation is a community foundation, we are a non-profit. We work with donors who trust us with their charitable dollars, we invest them and the earnings are distributed back to the community for charitable projects.”  The event takes place at the Quiet Place Lodge concert venue located six miles across the bay from Homer in the community of Halibut Cove.center_img Tickets are still available, and can be purchased at halibutcovelive.com Facebook0TwitterEmailPrintFriendly分享The 8th annual Halibut Cove Live fundraiser event kicks off on July 14, with live music, local vendors, and a floating stage.last_img read more