Evolution:  More evidence that your church will ignore.  Story is from one of those crazy, leftist websites.  You know… National Geographic.

Using its fins to walk, rather than swim, along the ocean floor in an undated picture, the pink handfish is one of nine newly named species described in a recent scientific review of the handfish family.

See it here

Arizona vs Mexico?

There has been a lot of talk about Arizona’s controversial laws as of late, specifically the SB 1070: “Support Our Law Enforcement and Safe Neighborhoods Act”.  For those of you who’ve been living under a rock, let me fill you in on the details:

Arizona and its residents have been complaining for a long time about the presence of illegals (coming over the border from Mexico).  This has allegedly resulted in increased drug traffic, increased violent crime and a heavy increase in costs for medical care and prisons. (According to Arizona State Senator Sylvia Allen)

The law is basically this:

The new SB1070 Arizona immigration bill lets the state police perform checks on a “reasonable suspicion” that a person might be an illegal immigrant and make arrests for not carrying ID papers. Previously, police could not stop and check identification papers on a mere suspicion that someone might be an illegal immigrant. Police could only ask about an individual’s immigration status if they are suspected of involvement in another crime.  quote source

Supporters claim the law will help enforce arresting and deporting illegal aliens, those against the bill claim that this will usher in a “Nazi Germany” type of environment where regular Americans (naturally born, or naturalized) will be constantly harassed, illegitimately arrested and detained.

Even though we are only in the eve of seeing this new law in action, already there have been reported cases of the worst case scenario which leads to only more questions around the simple morality of the law.

It seems to me that this law is the knee-jerk-reaction to the federal government not doing enough to solve the problem, which is too many people getting past the “border patrol” (who have a long history of dropping the ball).

In the event that you find yourself in massive credit card debt, the first step is to STOP USING THE CARD before attempting to pay off the balance.  Seems like common sense here that the same solution can be applied.  Let’s concentrate on fixing the border problem before passing laws to combat the problem after it has already happened.

Of Dragons and Asphalt

Every time we get the idea of heading up the mountains there is always a huge effort of timing, preparation, and planning.

From loading 350 pound bikes onto a rental truck, a NINE HOUR drive, packing, to getting vacation time from work there is much to be done. It always seems like a lot of work for just a few days away.

Helmet, jacket, gloves, boots, camera, video camera, memory cards, batteries, cash… Jesus, where am I going to put all of this on that little sport bike? White knuckles, check. OK, let’s go.

That first ride up 28 instantly erases the memory of all the painstaking effort and time, the planning and weather watching, the overtime and crazyness of the preparation.

Clicking my bike into 3rd gear and laying into the throttle, hearing the scream of the engine bouncing off of the canyon walls, the natural laws of physics start to make sense in a Taoist kind of way.

When riding at high altitudes at a “reasonable” rate of speed (lol), your ears will deafen and pop like they do on an airplane. I always try to avoid swallowing or popping them, because when your lean angle is just right, you can actually HEAR the relationship between the road and your tires over the screaming exhaust. Like the soft murmur of a distant conversation. I’ve never been a religious man, but that sound is as close to enlightenment as I’ve ever been.

A Christian Nation?

A very interesting conversation I had with a guy on one of the forums I frequent has prompted me to think about the perceived connection between Christianity’s moral beliefs and the US Constitution’s Bill of Rights (and the rest of it, really).

I think About.com’s post here sums up the logistics of what most people would argue as far as the language of the law is concerned, but let’s talk for a moment about the possibility that the roles may be reversed.

Just for kicks, take a moment and join me on an “atheist’s view” of the world:

If we assume that man created God, then we make the same assumption for the “word of God”, or more specifically to this conversation, the 10 Commandments.  Suddenly, it becomes easy to see that ideologies based on “common” morality (and by common, I mean socially accepted) don’t necessarily have to be born of deity.

Or, in other words:  “Thou shalt not kill” isn’t Christianity, it’s common sense.

A general understanding of ethics shows that these 10 rules purportedly sent down to Earth by God are really just a re-iteration of basic, fundamental human morality, or more specifically, the principle of enlightened self-interest with some fear-based propaganda built in (honor no other idol, shalt not say the name in vein, etc).

My purpose here is not to create atheists (contrary to the claim of some hate mail I’ve received LOL), but rather to challenge people’s minds to entertain other possibilities.