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It’s time to say enough is enough about the football program at USC, because really they don’t deserve the hype they get year in and year out and here’s why. I cannot tell you how stoked I get when USC loses to a crap team in their Cupcake Pac 10. Unfortunately the problem is, you can’t expect them to stay down on the rankings because their seems to be this bias towards them. It just so happens that if they played in a real conference with half the teams in the top 15, yes I’m talking about the SEC or the Big 12. It’s really easy to stay in the top 10 when you play absolutely no one! I realize USC played #5 Ohio State, however the Big 10 is just one step above the Pac 10 and I’m going to throw it out there, the Buckeyes won’t even get to the Rose Bowl.

My main beef here is that teams that have to play top 25 teams almost every week shouldn’t drop as far in the polls. Georgia for instance lost to #8 Alabama, and now they are #10, whereas USC lost to Oregon State who is unranked. The system is flawed and it panders to teams in easy conferences, which is why OSU made it to two national championship games and got whooped on both times. I actually wouldn’t mind seeing USC in the national championship game and seeing them in the position of OSU this year. Maybe that would prove that it doesn’t matter how ‘stacked’ you are, all that matters is whether you are playing real competition or not.

Alright so it has been awhile since I have contributed into the mess we call the Internet.

As the title says I’m writing about the new documentary film called Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed. I haven’t seen the film yet but I’m about to go see it. Let me begin by saying I in no way plan on refuting evolution and building up ‘creation’ or ‘intelligent design’. I just feel like in our society we totally give evolution a free pass. So I think this film starring Ben Stein is a great thing. However I do know that many out there are criticizing him and the producers for lying to the professors about what the film was about. I pretty much think that is the most ridiculous thing to be critical of. Seriously if I dedicated just enough time to get a Ph.D in a field like biology and I believed in evolution, there is absolutely no possible way you could get me to be in a movie that is going to completely rip on what I believe in. Where as if someone approached me saying they were making a movie about both evolution and ID, I’d be much more willing to give honest answers to get other people to believe what I believe. I realize that some scholars may have been willing to still be featured in Expelled if they knew the agenda but I might give different answers. On another note, if you’re going to consent to being in a film about evolution don’t you think you would research the people involved. It’s no secret what Ben Stein Believes in. So if Ben Stein shows up to interview me about evolution that would raise red flags.

Let me end by saying that I do not necessarily endorse the agenda of refuting evolution in order to get people to believe in ID or creation. I don’t really know if its possible. I do think it is perfectly ok to make a film on whatever the heck you want to make a movie about. So this business about completely dismissing Expelled because God forbid you disagree, then I think you need to get a grip.

Edit: After seeing the movie, my main comment is the final line spoken by Dawkins. In response to Steins comment of what would he say to God if found out there was a God, “why did you make yourself so hard to see?”

if you go by creation, in the beginning God was literally amongst the people, in relationship and community. Humans had the power of free will and thus ate of the forbidden tree of the knowledge of good and evil. At which point the first humans were expelled to a place where God was not just there. If God was your next door neighbor would you really have free will? Well it would at least be hard to not believe in him; therefore you get the choice to believe in evolution. Some Christians believe in evolution as well, and they aren’t all liberal as the movie suggested. Many Christians believe in 7 periods of time because God doesn’t work in time like we do.

I also don’t think think it proves anything looking at how bacteria mutates and develops immunity to antibiotics, just like how humans have the ability to defend themselves against certain diseases is a larger scale of what bacteria is doing all the time. I think it would just common sense to DESIGN creatures of all sizes from bacteria, to cells and beyond to be able to do that. Feel free to contribute whatever dialogue you would like. The only thing I get annoyed about is not really paying attention to what is being said. I think we need to go into the conversation with the idea in mind that you may change your belief, otherwise there’s no point in talking because it’s just I’m right you’re wrong and we’re both going nowhere.

Well here we are on Christmas Eve, and my feelings on Christmas are just all over the place right now. Thinking about the Savior of all mankind coming as an innocent vulnerable baby, and all of the notions that go along with that. My pastor gave a message on it yesterday and he talked about how “we would be lost without Christmas”, and I leaned over to my girlfriend Joey and my friend Brian to also point out that “we would be Jewish”. Or maybe we would be nothing at all, I’m not sure. Life would most definitely be different without Christ’s first coming, I’m not sure we would be lost though.

The other thing I think about a lot is gifts; most people do it, those that do not might donate the money they would spend on gifts. I personally love to give gifts, it’s really fun to just go buy something for someone you love and see their faces light up with surprise. I also enjoy receiving gifts, and I think that I treasure a gift much more than I treasure something I bought myself. One Christmas a friend spent the night and actually stole some CDs my mom gave me for Christmas and I was more upset because they were given to me! So when I think about all that I quickly think about grace, and how grace was given to me for free. So I think in the end thats what a gift at Christmas symbolizes to me, just how to hold on to the gifts we receive, cherish them and never think of them as being cheap because someone sacrificed something for you to receive that gift.

Conflict Free Diamonds

As we’re just days away from Christmas, anytime I turn on the television I’m inundated with diamond commercials. After learning about “conflict free” or “blood” diamonds I have been very frustrated to see the marketing campaigns of the diamond industry. I hate how they advertise like it’s the ultimate way of showing someone that you love them, but if you think about the circumstances of how the diamond was extracted its kind of hard to find love in it, as diamond mines are sometimes run by rebel groups who use the money to finance their insurgencies. These rebel groups commit mass human rights abuses against the population. I realize that there are those people out there that are just completely full of themselves who will never understand, and only care about having a diamond; but for us real people who actually use our hearts we should find substitutes to buying diamonds. Like Cubic zirconia, the only way an untrained person can tell the difference is that the “prismatic fire” is greater in a cubic zirconia, there’s also pearls which I think are really pretty too. The best way to get a conflict free diamond is to not buy a diamond!

Braving the Elements

For the past 3 years I have driven a 1994 Toyota Corolla, or Corie the Corolla. She has treated me well, I got her my freshmen year of college and that summer I drove out to western North Carolina with her. I took her to Chicago a few times and Iowa City too, we went places. However I didnt trust her to get to Mississippi either time that I went, and was able to borrow my dad’s Camry for both those trips. Well When we got back from D.C. on Monday night I was going to take my girlfriend Joey home and also drive to Young Life club, but Corie would not start. The next day I tried to start her when it was a little warmer still nothing. I thought about it the past couple days and I knew that it might not be that expensive to fix this time but it would also have been the third time I’d have to pay for repairs. I had to replace the alternator and the battery at the same time, then a few months ago my headlights stopped working and it was not a matter of replacing the bulbs I had to replace the switch which was REALLY expensive so the third time was just too much for me. I had planned on buying a new car at the end of the school year so I decided that 6 months early would not be a big deal, so I looked at carmax for Honda Elements because they’re amazing cars. For my past couple road trips I realized that a sedan is so uncomfortable for that long in a car so I knew that an Element would be a nice deviation from those feelings of being cramped, they also have a ton of cargo space and the seats fold down into a bed. It just so happened that a local dealership had a 2004 Element with 50,000 miles at a great price and its also orange, the color I originally wanted so it was a no brainer. Unfortunately as I type this out it’s being sleeted on with freezing rain so that hurts a little bit but I think Ellie will be ok.

The only thing I have struggled with is what Mahatma Gandhi said “Live simply so that others may simply live”, in knowing that I have decided to cut back my expenses in several areas and also increase my giving to people in need. I’m also picking up more hours at work to offset the increase in cost for gas.

Sean Taylor’s Tragic Death

                                                                                               Sean Taylor

Yesterday as I was sitting in the Baltimore Washington International Airport I heard the news that Sean Taylor of the Washington Redskins had been shot in the leg. I assumed that he would be fine for many reasons, however I was wrong and completely shocked when I turned on espn to learn that he had died at around 5:30 am this morning. He was shot by someone still to be determined who broke into his Miami home. There is so much at play in this situation, first and foremost I think that Taylor deseves to be remembered as a great football player, current University of Miami quarterback Kyle Wright said this, “He was always hard-working and took football seriously. Probably if you asked me who was the best football player I’ve ever played with, I’m pretty sure it [was] Sean”. Lastly as I was watching Outside the Lines my conclusion is that I question the use of weapons as a means of defense. I have this feeling that the risks of shootings goes up greatly when weapons are pulled for a means of defense. Many athletes carry weapons and Taylor allegedly had a machete, maybe that was why shots were fired. I’m not positive by any stretch of the imagination, weapons can save lives in some circumstances but sometimes losing possesions is worth far less than your life.

Out East

I’ve been traveling again for the holidays to see my family. I’ve been in Washington D.C. for the past 4 days. My nuclear family was transplanted in the midwest thanks to the United States Army but my whole family is from this area.

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