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Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Young Authors...and Readers

I was blessed with a magical night tonight. I spoke at Howard County Public School's Young Author Awards Ceremony. It was one of those nights you long for as a writer--you get to touch kindred spirits and maybe even inspire a few.

These children, these precious lights in a dark world, they are so talented and so pure of heart. I pray that their innocence would remain and that their talents and hard work would not be tainted.

I wouldn't have a book published today if it weren't for my students who challenged me to write. They threw down the gauntlet for me. Tonight, I threw down the gauntlet for these magnificent young authors. I bet they pick it up and run with it.

And on top of it all, so many kids bought books. I am thrilled to think of how many of them, even now, might be reading by flashlight under the covers…somewhere in Howard County.

Never alone.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Expelled Backlash and the Scientific Method

Okay, I am dying to see Expelled the Movie. I am desperately interested in all things related to the Evolution versus Intelligent Design controversy. And I must admit, coming from the man who once uttered, "Bueller? Anyone...Bueller?" it simply must not be missed. And kudos to the Angus Young private schoolboy attire. I wonder if that is purposeful.* But I digress.

As I said, I haven't seen the movie. I will, God willing, before the radical left wing conspiracy drives it out of theaters. Hey, if they can blame just about everything on us...

Nonetheless, I have been paying attention to the backlash unleashed by the movie Expelled. There are very interesting conversations taking place in all circles of society--especially in the blogosphere.

I took part in one blog debate just recently and thought I'd post my thoughts on the matter here as well. My .02, for what it's worth.


Very cool discussion. I'm very glad to hear so many diverse views on this subject. It interests me greatly.

I'm not a scientist in the formal sense, but it seems to me that we all are in the common sense. So, I'm looking at the Scientific Method with a little common sense. And here are my "common" conclusions.

First, the Scientific Method:

* Ask a Question
* Do Background Research
* Construct a Hypothesis
* Test Your Hypothesis by Doing an Experiment
* Analyze Your Data and Draw a Conclusion
* Communicate Your Results

Okay, here goes:

* Ask a Question: How did the earth and everything that lives upon it come into existence?

* Do Background Research: I've discovered that the earth, its ecosystems, its gravitational properties, and its position in the universe, as well as, the forms of life living upon it are extremely complex.

* Construct a Hypothesis: Since it is irrefutable that the earth and the living beings upon it are complex and since other complexities in my experience have had an intelligent designer, I hypothesize that the earth and all living things upon it also had an intelligent designer.

* Test Your Hypothesis by Doing an Experiment: I attempted to create a world with all manner of complicated systems and life forms. And: it worked. I've written several novels.

* Analyze Your Data and Draw a Conclusion: I'd be pretty surprised if the novels I've written showed up by accident or chance. I'm guessing the odds would be pretty steep that a coherent plotline could be randomly generated. I've also used a microwave oven to pop popcorn to munch while writing. I'm thinking it's pretty obvious someone created this ingenious (and mighty handy) microwave.

And I've also noted that, like my novels, other works of art have been purposefully created by intelligent artists. And when I look at the many paintings by a certain artist, I notice many similarities in style, medium, perspective, and subject matter--everything from brush strokes to color selection.

Put quite simply an artist's works have similarities that can be traced directly back to the artist. So when I see that chimps and people have similar features--or even Endogenous Retroviruses, I don't see common ancestry, but a common artist.

* Communicate Your Results: The most logical explanation for the appearance of a complex world and all its inhabitants is that there was an intelligent designer involved.

*Pun very much intended.