Thursday, September 29, 2011

If Engineers Were to Rethink Higher Ed’s Future

I , as an engineer, have been working on this topic since before 2002 when I launched the Biblical Concourse of Home Universities,, but it is interesting to see that even the secular folks are seeing a need to reinvent higher education.  I also have been working on a MOOC. This article comes from a recent issue of The Chronicle of Higher Education.  Let me know what you are thinking about college issues in your replies.

September 27, 2011, 10:27 pm
Atlanta — Walk into a college president’s office these days, and you’ll probably find a degree hanging on the wall from one of three academic disciplines: education, social sciences, or the humanities and fine arts. Some 70 percent of college leaders completed their studies in one of those fields, according to the American Council on Education.You’re unlikely to discover many engineering degrees. Just 2 percent of college presidents are engineers.

Yet, when we think of solving complex problems, we normally turn to engineers to help us figure out solutions. And higher education right now is facing some tough issues: rising costs; low completion rates; and delivery systems, curricula, and teaching methods that show their age.

So what if engineers tackled those problems using their reasoning skills and tested various solutions through simulations? Perhaps then we would truly design a university of the future. That’s the basic idea behind Georgia Tech’s new Center for 21st Century Universities. The center is officially described as a “living laboratory for fundamental change in higher education,” but its director, Rich DeMillo, describes it in terms we can all understand: higher education’s version of the Silicon Valley “garage.” DeMillo knows that concept well, having come from Hewlett-Packard, where he was chief technology officer (he’s also a former Georgia Tech dean).

Applying the garage mentality to innovation in higher ed is an intriguing concept, and as DeMillo described it to me over breakfast on Georgia Tech’s Atlanta campus on Tuesday, I realized how few college leaders adopt its principles. Take, for example, a university’s strategic plan. Such documents come and go with presidents, and the proposals in every new one are rarely tested in small ways before leaders try to scale them across the campus. After all, presidents have little time to make a mark before moving on to their next job.

In a garage, “the rules are different,” DeMillo explained to me. “Universities are set up to hit near-term goals. Few are thinking about what the university should look like years down the road.”
DeMillo already has a number of projects in the pipeline, including a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) and a TechBurst competition where students create short, shareable videos on particular concepts, and the university as a whole is thinking of others. One favorite of Georgia Tech’s president, Bud Peterson, is X-College, which would allow students to essentially design their own degree programs focused on “grand challenges” facing society. It would also allow faculty members to experiment with learning techniques and the semester calendar itself. In keeping with the test-and-learn philosophy, Peterson wants it to start small, perhaps with 50 honors students next fall.
Georgia Tech’s center offers a unique opportunity to experiment in an industry not known for taking risks. At a kickoff event for the center on Tuesday, I moderated a wide-ranging discussion with some leading thinkers on the future of higher ed, and among my questions was this: If you had a chance to run this center, what one project would you put on its agenda?

Among the ideas I found most interesting:
Public research on the common questions. One way for public universities to reassert their relevance is to focus on public research on big common questions facing society.

Create incubators. It’s difficult for policy makers and campus leaders to get their heads around abstract concepts of the future. Bring ideas to life in small ways, and show how they can work.

Improve social engagement. So-called softer skills are more important than ever as technology limits face-to-face interaction. Figure out ways to embed leadership, social, and global skills in everyday curricula.

Interactive learning. Remove teachers from being the center of all knowledge. Learning no longer happens with the teacher in front of a roomful of students taking notes. Find richer, more active ways of learning.

Stop teaching subjects. Teach students how to diagnose problems starting in kindergarten and then give them the knowledge to get better at it. Helping students solve problems teaches them how to think.

Revamp the college admissions process and office. Jonathan Cole, a former provost of Columbia University, said the smartest people on a campus should work in admissions, and that includes faculty members. “They need to get involved in who is living in this house,” he said. Right now, admissions is too tied to test scores, and “we’re getting boring, one-dimensional students,” he said.
So if you had a chance to run this center, what ideas would you put on its agenda?

Monday, September 26, 2011

Chemical Elements Put to Song

Here is a song for your family or school to learn. You could perhaps add a chorus or verse to bring glory to God.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Shema Israel in Math and Science

The implications of the First Commandment "thou shalt have no other gods before me" (Ex. 20:1-3) are far reaching.  In Deut. 6:1-3, some of them are stated "..that thy days may be prolonged..that it may be well with thee, and that ye may increase mightily." 

In Deut 6:4-5, we are given the Shema Israel, which was recited morning and evening as the prayer of Israel and considered to contain all the principles of the Decalogue.  Since the Decalogue is the summary of God's Laws, then the Shema Israel could be considered the summary of the summary of God's Laws .Jesus cited this as the "first and greatest commandment" in Matt 22:37

"Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God is one Lord.  And thou shalt Love the Lord they God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might."  Deut. 6:4-5

When we have only one God and worship only one God, then we begin to see that there is unity and purpose and providence in everything created and happening.  We get a little glimpse of thinking God's thoughts after him.  Therefore, for the Biblical thinking Christian there is a uni-verse, a unifying thread connecting every subject and detail, it is God's design and purpose which can often be, at least partially, discovered and result in bringing Him Glory.  The alternative to a universe is a multiverse with no unifying truth, just randomness, purposeless, matter and actions.

Praise God for His unified universe!  These are some of the thoughts that give rise to connecting discussions in mathematics and science with sociology, economics, psychology, evangelism and everything else.   Because they really are related in real life through God's purposes.  A secular viewpoint keep the subjects disconnected from each other, real life, practical applications, history,  and the news.  Do you see how that could take the joy and blessing out of learning!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Faster than light particles found, claim scientists

Ian Sample,  Guardian, September 23, 2011

"It is a concept that forms a cornerstone of our understanding of the universe and the concept of time – nothing can travel faster than the speed of light. But now it seems that researchers working in one of the world’s largest physics laboratories, under a mountain in central Italy, have recorded particles travelling at a speed that is supposedly forbidden by Einstein’s theory of special relativity.

Scientists at the Gran Sasso facility will unveil evidence on Friday that raises the troubling possibility of a way to send information back in time, blurring the line between past and present and wreaking havoc with the fundamental principle of cause and effect.

They will announce the result at a special seminar at Cern – the European particle physics laboratory – timed to coincide with the publication of a research paper (pdf) describing the experiment."

What does the Bible teach about going back in time or traveling faster than light? Do you think this paper is valid science?  Did they follow the scientific method?  How could this research be used to glorify God?  Who paid for this research and did that have an influence on how the results were reported?

It may be a while before you understand the details of their report, but some Christians need to understand these physics details in order to help show how the results bring glory to God and support Biblical creation.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Should You Obey Evil Instructions?

The idea of whether or not to obey government authority when asked to put chemicals into the air that would harm the health of people was discussed today in a class and reminded me of this Milgram's Obedience Experiment.  You could reenact this experiment in your church or school or home and report the results.  There have been several videos repeating this. Is there a theory or a law taught here? What would you have done?  What does this say about our military forces? Which if any of God's Commandments have been violated?  Who violated which commandment?  How are these ideas being used to control people in your town? This is what makes the fields of psychology and sociology interesting.  It is also when there is a great need for Christians to take these fields captive to the obedience of Christ as the authority, not only over Christians, but over everyone.

There are two more parts to this last video if you are interested.  Would/should a Christian conduct such an experiment?  Why or why not?  Should US soldiers obey authority if they are asked to put a known toxic chemical into the air over an American city?  What Biblical principles justify your answers?

Monday, September 19, 2011

A Christian Philosophy of Education - By Gordon Clark

This book was influential in my life.  When I first read it, I felt betrayed by my Christian pastors and teachers.  No one ever told me how thoroughly my education could have been Christian and the advantages to having a thoroughly Christian education. Here are a few quotes to give you the flavor of Gordon Clark's writings.

" A narrow technical training provides no safeguard against being deceived.  Only a liberal arts education that uncovers three thousand years of human motives, foibles, reflections, and devices offers hope."  p. 19

"There is only one philosophy that can really unify education and life.  That philosophy is the philosophy of Christian theism.  What is needed is an educational system based on the sovereignty of God, for in such a system man as well as chemistry will be given his proper place, neither too high nor too low. p. 21

"...unless a thinking begins with God, he can never end with God, or get the facts either." p. 31

"The atheist who asserts that there is no God, asserts by the same words that he holds the whole universe in his mind." p.38

"Non-theistic justifications of arithmetic are failures because non-theistic theories of life are failures." p. 59

"In the Christian view, motive is as important as the overt act." p.66

"Experimentation itself, as the philosophy of science shows, is based on philosophic principles. The choice of methods of experimentation is directed by the experimenter's view of what the world is like." p. 68

"The early American colleges were distinctly Christian institutions.  But the public school system, unlike the colleges, was not so inspired." p. 69

"The Scriptures say that the fear of the Lord is the chief part of knowledge; but the schools, by omitting all reference to God, give the pupils the notion that knowledge can be had apart from God."  p. 73

"..Christians should organize as many schools as possible, and seek to dismantle the tax-supported school system.  The exercise of liberty is essential to its preservation.  p. 190

"Besides History there are Physics and Mathematics.  So far as their details are concerned, it is harder to infuse the courses with Christian material.  But it is not hard to do so when the discussion turns to their significance." p. 195

"The just about knowing more and more about less and less until one knows everything about nothing has almost come true." p. 195

"Broad views of the sovereignty of God as affecting all parts of the universe, and the consequence that science and theology form a single, organized, intelligible system, are both inspiring and necessary; but the only proof of which they are capable is their application to the details of physics, psychology, education, politics, and all else."  p. 215

Gordon Clark penned this book in 1946.

What do you think?

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Thermite and Liquid Nitrogen

One of you asked about this idea as an experiment.  Seems like this is best to watch someone else do, rather than handle the dangerous thermite yourself, at least until you know how to handle it safely.

Thermite is commonly used to melt steel, really fast, like during the controlled demolition of a skyscraper made with steel columns.  Many scientists and engineers (  figure that on 9/11/ 2001 World Trade Center Building 7, near the Twin Towers, and maybe the Twin Towers themselves actually came down using thermite, not the airplanes crashing into them.  One video is below regarding that.  Thermite was found in the rubble.
Thermite is an aluminum powder with a metal oxide which produces an aluminothermic reaction known as a thermite reaction. It is not explosive, but it can create short bursts of extremely high temperature. A thermite reaction is initiated with some type of detonator and it can burn at temperatures of thousands of degrees. 

 Have you ever seen a controlled demolition? What do you think about 9/11/2001? Why don't the government reports address the details of WTC Building 7?  Why all the fuss by thousands of engineers and scientists?  Can we trust our government? Have governments in history been trustworthy? How do we learn the truth about these things, since we weren't there and the evidence is not available to us? Did 9/11 cause people to draw closer to God? Did 9/11 bring about more Biblical government in the US? What physics or chemistry experiments would you like to perform toward determining the truth about this event?

The Open Chemical Physics Journal Active Thermitic Material Discovered in Dust from the 9/11 World Trade Center Catastrophe
Niels H. Harrit, Jeffrey Farrer, Steven E. Jones Kevin R. Ryan, Frank M. Legge, Daniel Farnsworth, Gregg Roberts, James R. Gourley and Bradley R. Larsen Pp 7-31

We have discovered distinctive red/gray chips in all the samples we have studied of the dust produced by the destruction of the World Trade Center. Examination of four of these samples, collected from separate sites, is reported in this paper. These red/gray chips show marked similarities in all four samples. One sample was collected by a Manhattan resident about ten minutes after the collapse of the second WTC Tower, two the next day, and a fourth about a week later. The properties of these chips were analyzed using optical microscopy, scanning electron microscopy (SEM), X-ray energy dispersive spectroscopy (XEDS), and differential scanning calorimetry (DSC). The red material contains grains approximately 100 nm across which are largely iron oxide, while aluminum is contained in tiny plate-like structures. Separation of components using methyl ethyl ketone demonstrated that elemental aluminum is present. The iron oxide and aluminum are intimately mixed in the red material. When ignited in a DSC device the chips exhibit large but narrow exotherms occurring at approximately 430 °C, far below the normal ignition temperature for conventional thermite. Numerous iron-rich spheres are clearly observed in the residue following the ignition of these peculiar red/gray chips. The red portion of these chips is found to be an unreacted thermitic material and highly energetic.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Geoengineering the Climate

Perhaps I will be able to grow blueberries and low bush cranberries in ND after the pH lowers due to the sulfur added to the air turning to sulfuric acid after a few months in warm soil!  What do  you think of this?  Should governments be manipulating the air you breathe?  Should tax money pay for this?  Is global warming or "climate change" an issue or not? Have you noticed chem trail experiments in your area of the country?  Which of God's commandments does it violate when someone puts a chemical in the air you breathe?

Paul Joseph Watson Friday, September 16, 2011: Scheme designed to lead to program to inject sulphur into upper atmosphere to ‘prevent global warming’

Despite the pseudo-science of global warming being discredited with each passing day, scientists are preparing to field test an “artificial volcano” which is eventually intended to lead to mammoth geoengineering programs which will inject sulfur particles in to the atmosphere at high altitudes, a process that other scientists have warned will cause widespread droughts and other drastic consequences.

“Next month, researchers in the U.K. will start to pump water nearly a kilometer up into the atmosphere, by way of a suspended hose,” reports Scientific American.

“The experiment is the first major test of a piping system that could one day spew sulfate particles into the stratosphere at an altitude of 20 kilometers, supported by a stadium-size hydrogen balloon. The goal is geoengineering, or the “deliberate, large-scale manipulation of the planetary environment” in the words of the Royal Society of London, which provides scientific advice to policymakers. In this case, researchers are attempting to re-create the effects of volcanic eruptions to artificially cool Earth.”

Read the rest of the article and see the video here:

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Bartlett Farm Fall Bee Inspection

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Liquid Nitrogen Icecream

This is one of my favorite experiments to learn about safe handling of liquid nitrogen.  There are many recipes on the web, here is one that looks tasty!

Liquid Nitrogen Ice Cream

5 or more liters of liquid nitrogen and associated safety gear
2 quarts (1.9 liters) of Half and Half1 cup (237 ml) of sugar
4 teaspoons (20 ml) of vanilla (optional)
2 cups (473 ml) of strawberries (or whatever flavor you like)
wooden spoon
wire wisk
large plastic punch bowl

1. Mix the Half and Half, sugar and vanilla in a large plastic punch bowl with a wire wisk.2. Add the flavoring. Wire wisk the mixture further if needed.
3. Pour a small amount (about 250 ml) of liquid nitrogen directly into the plastic punch bowl.
4. Stir the mixture with a wooden spoon. Be careful not to splash!
(Anyone near should be wearing gloves and goggles!)
5. Keep adding small amounts of liquid nitrogen until the mixture becomes too thick to stir. 6. Allow any excess liquid nitrogen to boil off before serving.

"Liquid nitrogen is nitrogen in a liquid state at a very low temperature. It is produced industrially by fractional distillation of liquid air. Liquid nitrogen is a colorless clear liquid with density of 0.807 g/mL at its boiling point.  At atmospheric pressure, liquid nitrogen boils at 77K (-196C; -321°F) and is a cryogenic fluid which can cause rapid freezing on contact with living tissue, which may lead to frostbite.”

What would happen if you dip a balloon filled with air into liquid nitrogen?  Try it!  Why did God create nitrogen? What is the chemical symbol for nitrogen?  What is your favorite ice cream? Would liquid nitrogen change the flavor of ice cream?  What would you do with an endless cheap supply of liquid nitrogen?  How much does liquid nitrogen cost?  How long will it last in your refrigerator? How would this be helpful on a farm?

References 1, 2

Sunday, September 11, 2011


Baraminology is a new field of biology and is the creation science alternative to classifying biological organisms with evolutionary thinking. It is not yet complete, but neither is the evolutionary three or five or other kingdom classification systems. God created by kinds that don't have common parents. He created plants, he created animals, he created people. He created horses, he created dogs, he created lizards, he created fish. Evolutionary based classification systems attempt to connect all kinds and species. The Bible and the creationist work on the Baramin system of classification don't connect the kinds. Here is one drawing to get you thinking about Baraminology and some quotes on the key points. There is still plenty of room for further research into God's taxomony of biological life.

"The Darwinian macroevolution model is represented by a single tree of relationships, every form of life being related to every other form of life (Figure 1). In the baraminic model there is a forest of trees without connecting roots (Figure 2). One of these rootless trees would have branches representing only human diversification, another for canids, another for felids, etc. For people reared on an evolutionary diet, the above menu can be difficult to swallow and digest, because students of biology have been taught to think genetic relationship rather than genetic discontinuity. "

Here is how the Christian researchers are viewing their work in Baraminology:

"It is like there has been a huge snowfall covering the trees to the top, and we are digging down into the snow to identify the connections, the branches, limbs, and trunk. Is there one tree below? Or is it an orchard of separate distinct trees? As the data slowly come into view we will have arguments about what is connected to what, or whether there is discontinuity at a given place."

It sure would be nice for this to have already been figured out, before we study science and biology, but it seems that this process of man taking dominion by naming things in alignment with God's creating of things is still work that needs your generation to flush out the details of.

Try sketching out a few kinds yourself to see how far you get. How far can you get starting with your favorite pet? Penguins? What problems do your notice with the five kingdom system: kingdom, phylum, class, order, family, genus, species? What problems do you see in discussing a new system of classifying biological life? How far does the Bible go in biological classification? Does body, soul, spirit all need to be part of baraminology characteristics? How would you differentiate a fly from a horse from a eukaryotic cell or person specifically and Biblically?

References 1, 2, 3

  1. Genesis 1:11
    And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself, upon the earth: and it was so.
  2. Genesis 1:12
    And the earth brought forth grass, and herb yielding seed after his kind, and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed was in itself, after his kind: and God saw that it was good.
  3. Genesis 1:21
    And God created great whales, and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind, and every winged fowl after his kind: and God saw that it was good.
  4. Genesis 1:24
    And God said, Let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind, cattle, and creeping thing, and beast of the earth after his kind: and it was so.
  5.  Genesis 1:25
    And God made the beast of the earth after his kind, and cattle after their kind, and every thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind: and God saw that it was good.
  6. Genesis 6:20
    Of fowls after their kind, and of cattle after their kind, of every creeping thing of the earth after his kind, two of every sort shall come unto thee, to keep them alive.
  7. Genesis 7:14
    They, and every beast after his kind, and all the cattle after their kind, and every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind, and every fowl after his kind, every bird of every sort.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Automotive Crash Testing

A few problems in physics class today reminded me of my days working at the General Motors proving grounds in Michigan.  I was running mock Cadillac cars with new v8 engines over the Belgian block tracks and recording stresses in the newly designed engine brackets, on which I had placed 83 strain gages onto, after stress coating to know where the sensitive points were. 

The car crash problem in physics is simple math, but useful in studying and designing for impact crashes.  The video below is a crash test.  Keep in mind, lots of work precedes this kind of expensive test.  Including computer modeling of everything possible.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Telescopes - Web Access and Simulations

There is an amazing world in the heavens which God created and now there are some great ways to explore space from home!  I'll share a few links here to major observatories which you may like to visit online or in-person.  The Worldwide Telescope is also amazing. You could use that to make an amazing music video to glorify God.  Go for it, I would be happy to give extra credit for such work.

Here is a list of observatories that you can control remotely!

Well now, it seems like you don't even have to buy a telescope anymore, but if you are like me, it is still fun to make or buy and have your own telescope to play with.  Here is the telescope that I want to build when I have time:

Ground-based Observatories and Telescopes
AAO (Anglo-Australian Observatory)
APO (Apache Point Observatory)
ATNF (Australia Telescope National Facility)
BIMA (Berkeley, Illinois, Maryland Association), operator of Hat Creek Radio Observatory)
Calar Alto Astronomical Observatory
CFHT (Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope)
COAST (Cambridge Optical Aperture Synthesis Telescope)
CSO (Caltech Submillimeter Observatory)
CTIO (Cerro-Tololo Interamerican Observatory)
ESO (European Southern Observatory)
ESO La Silla Home Page
FCRAO (Five College Radio Astronomy Observatory)
GONG (Global Oscillation Network Group)
GBT (Greenbank Telescope)
Haystack Observatory
IRTF (Infrared Telescope Facility)
JCMT (James Clerk Maxwell Telescope)
Keck Observing Information
KPNO (Kitt-Peak National Observatory)
Kuiper Airborne Observatory
LBT (Large Binocular Telescope)
Lick Observatory
LIGO (Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory)
LMT (Large Millimeter Telescope)
Mauna Kea Observatories
McDonald Observatory
MDM (Michigan-Dartmouth-MIT Observatory)
MMA (Millimeter Array)
MMT (Multiple Mirror Telescope)
Mount Stromlo and Siding Spring Observatories
Mount Wilson Observatory
NAIC and Arecibo Observatory (National Astronomy and Ionosphere Center)
NOAO (National Optical Astronomy Observatories)
NRAO (National Radio Astronomy Observatories)
NSO(National Solar Observatory)
National Undergraduate Research Observatory
Nobeyama Radio Observatory
NTT (New Technology Telescope)
OLVBI (Orbiting Very Long Baseline Interferometry)
OVRO (Owens Valley Radio Observatory)
Palomar(Palomar Observatory)
SEST (Swedish-ESO Submillimetre Telescope)
SOFIA (Stratospheric Observatory For Infrared Astronomy)
UKIRT (United Kingdom Infrared Telescope)
VLA (Very Large Array)
VLT Observatory (Very Large Telescope)
VLBA (Very Long Baseline Array)
Whipple Observatory
WIRO (Wyoming Infrared Observatory)
WIYN Observatory (Wisconsin Indiana Yale NOAO)
Yerkes Observatory
Web Links: Space-based Telescopes
ASCA (Advanced Satellite for Cosmology and Astrophysics)
AXAF (Advanced X-ray Astrophysics Facility)
Compton Gamma-Ray Observatory (CGRO)
Compton Gamma-Ray Observatory (CGRO) description
COBE (Cosmic Background Explorer)
EXOSAT (European X-ray Observatory)
FUSE (Far Ultraviolet Spectroscopic Explorer)
HEAO 1 (1st High Energy Astrophysical Observatory)
HEAO 2 (Einstein Observatory/2nd High Energy Astrophysical Observatory)
HST (Hubble Space Telescope) at Space Telescope Electronic Information Service
HUT Astro-1 and Astro-2
INTEGRAL (International Gamma-Ray Astrophysics Laboratory)
ISO (Infrared Space Observatory)
IUE (International Ultraviolet Explorer)
ROSAT (Roentgen Satellite), GSFC overview
ROSAT Scientific Data Center at MPE
ROSAT Guest Observer Facility
SOHO (Solar and Heliospheric Observatory)
SIRTF (Space Infra-Red Telescope Facility)
Space VLBI Project (Very Long Baseline Interferometry)
VSOP (VLBI Space Observatory Programme)
XTE (X-ray Timing Explorer)

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Pascal Wager (Christianity in Mathematics) - David Asscherick

Blaise Pascal, a mathematician, argued that if reason cannot be trusted, it is a better "wager" to believe in God than not to do so.

The wager is described in the book Pensées this way:

If there is a God, He is infinitely incomprehensible, since, having neither parts nor limits, He has no affinity to us. We are then incapable of knowing either what He is or if He is.... ..."God is, or He is not." But to which side shall we incline? Reason can decide nothing here. There is an infinite chaos which separated us. A game is being played at the extremity of this infinite distance where heads or tails will turn up. What will you wager? According to reason, you can do neither the one thing nor the other; according to reason, you can defend neither of the propositions.

Do not, then, reprove for error those who have made a choice; for you know nothing about it. "No, but I blame them for having made, not this choice, but a choice; for again both he who chooses heads and he who chooses tails are equally at fault, they are both in the wrong. The true course is not to wager at all."

Yes; but you must wager. It is not optional. You are embarked. Which will you choose then? Let us see. Since you must choose, let us see which interests you least. You have two things to lose, the true and the good; and two things to stake, your reason and your will, your knowledge and your happiness; and your nature has two things to shun, error and misery. Your reason is no more shocked in choosing one rather than the other, since you must of necessity choose. This is one point settled. But your happiness? Let us weigh the gain and the loss in wagering that God is. Let us estimate these two chances. If you gain, you gain all; if you lose, you lose nothing. Wager, then, without hesitation that He is.

"That is very fine. Yes, I must wager; but I may perhaps wager too much." Let us see. Since there is an equal risk of gain and of loss, if you had only to gain two lives, instead of one, you might still wager. But if there were three lives to gain, you would have to play (since you are under the necessity of playing), and you would be imprudent, when you are forced to play, not to chance your life to gain three at a game where there is an equal risk of loss and gain. But there is an eternity of life and happiness. And this being so, if there were an infinity of chances, of which one only would be for you, you would still be right in wagering one to win two, and you would act stupidly, being obliged to play, by refusing to stake one life against three at a game in which out of an infinity of chances there is one for you, if there were an infinity of an infinitely happy life to gain. But there is here an infinity of an infinitely happy life to gain, a chance of gain against a finite number of chances of loss, and what you stake is finite.

Mathematics led Pascal to Jesus Christ!

What are the atheist arguments against Pascal's wager? How could this be used in evangelism or encouraging believers today? How has mathematics brought you closer to God?  What is the scientific probability that God exists that atheists would agree with?  Is this viewed differently amoung evangelicals today? How would John Calvin view Pascal's wager in light of works v. faith and election?  Consider talking to your neighbors about Pascal's wager for some interesting discussion and blog about it.

Antinomianism and Science

Are the old testament moral and civil laws relevant for today? Antinomianism is the view that says they are not. Does this impact decisions on what science to pursue or not to pursue or who should pursue what?  First, let's talk about Deut. 4:1-8, especially verses 5-8.
5Behold, I have taught you statutes and judgments, even as the LORD my God commanded me, that ye should do so in the land whither ye go to possess it. 6Keep therefore and do them; for this is your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the nations, which shall hear all these statutes, and say, Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people.
7For what nation is there so great, who hath God so nigh unto them, as the LORD our God is in all things that we call upon him for? 8And what nation is there so great, that hath statutes and judgments so righteous as all this law, which I set before you this day?

So, if God gave really good laws to Israel such that their laws will be the envy of nations, do you think you can think of any better laws than God's laws for civil society today?  Can non-Christians use human reasoning to think of better laws regarding, theft, money, building codes, accreditation, traffic signs, human cloning, and GMO foods than God's laws and laws that fit the general equity of God's laws?  Should be funded by the government under Biblical law standards? Should NASA be funded by tax dollars to search for extraterrestial life on other planets Who can be trusted with truth in setting and maintaining the standards for the exact unit of length,  mass, time etc?

Friday, September 2, 2011

What do engineers do?

Engineers design and make things, lots of things, from roads to electronics to kitchenware to clothing, to medicines and medical equipment. A mom was asking recently for some references for her son to be able to choose which type of engineering he would like to pursue as a career. Below is a list of links that I provided, which includes many videos that would be of interest to most anyone. 

In 2008, engineers held about 1.6 million jobs. Following is the distribution of employment by engineering specialty:

Civil engineers278,400
Mechanical engineers238,700
Industrial engineers214,800
Electrical engineers157,800
Electronics engineers, except computer143,700
Computer hardware engineers74,700
Aerospace engineers71,600
Environmental engineers54,300
Chemical engineers31,700
Health and safety engineers, except mining safety engineers and inspectors25,700
Materials engineers24,400
Petroleum engineers21,900
Nuclear engineers16,900
Biomedical engineers16,000
Marine engineers and naval architects8,500
Mining and geological engineers, including mining safety engineers7,100
Agricultural engineers2,700
Engineers, all other183,200

See what you think of a few links below and then tell us what you learned about what engineers do.  What do Christian engineers do that non-Christian engineer cannot or wouldn't do?  What do you think needs to be engineered better?  Why do you think that engineers are considered the slaves of modern corporations? How do you think an engineer would be helpful in the home or farm or small business? How is God like an engineer?  Who are some famous engineers in history? Engineers in the Bible?
Engineering and natural sciences managers Engineering geologists, see: Geoscientists Engineering managers, see: Engineering and natural sciences managers
Engineering technicians
Engineers, computer software, see: Computer software engineers     
Engineers, diesel, see: Rail transportation occupations
Engineers, locomotive, see: Rail transportation occupations
Engineers, rail yard, see: Rail transportation occupations
Engineers, railroad, see: Rail transportation occupations
Engineers, ship, see: Water transportation occupations
Engineers, stationary, see: Stationary engineers and boiler operators
Christian Engineering Societies