Darwin

darwin-62912_1920               Charles Robert Darwin (1812-1870) 

By the word of the Lord the heavens were made,
their starry host by the breath of his mouth.
Psalm 33:6 

It is dogmatically accepted by academia and most scientists that Darwin’s theory of evolution is rock solid and anyone who denies it is an outlier.  Charles Darwin wrote On the Origin of the Species in 1859. A naturalist, Darwin used the science available to him at the time to develop his theory of evolution.

It has been accepted by science ever since despite advances in science to a molecular level from the 19thcentury.  As a result, more scientists are rejecting Darwin’s theory.

Evolution, at its core, says that all species have evolved over time by natural selection, including the human species.  To the evolutionist, believing that intelligent design by a God is heresy. But more scientists are agreeing with the concept of Intelligent Design (ID).

In order for there to be Intelligent Design, there has to be a Designer. Evolutionists do not want to admit that. That would be opening Pandora’s box.

I am not a scientist, not by any means. I was miserable when I took science courses like biology,  physics and chemistry.  That’s probably why ended up an English/Econoomics major and lawyer rather than a doctor. But I made friends with doctors like Ike Manley, a surgical professor at the UNC Medical School for a decade before moving to Raleigh where our paths crossed.

Ike Manley wrote two books: the first titled God Made, and later Slaying the Dragon of Evolution. I read his first book in the 1990’s at a time when I really hadn’t thought much about this issue. Ike’s medical school education taught him that evolution could be best explained by science.

As a medical doctor, Manley realized that evolution could not stand up to medical or scientific scrutiny. He came to believe that the human body was unique and was not  a result of some random cosmic accident.

He created the Triangle Association for the Science of Creation, whose task and goal is to increase awareness of scientific evidence that supports the literal Biblical account of creation and refutes evolution.

Our educational systems (including medical schools) treat evolution as a gospel.  Well, until recently, when 1000 scientists rejected evolution and said that Darwinism cannot explain a lot of things and therefore doesn’t hold water.

The dissenting scientists collectively state: “We are skeptical of claims for the ability of random mutation and natural selection to account for the complexity of life. Careful examination of the evidence for Darwinian theory should be encouraged.”

Secular academics are reluctant to let go of the theory of evolution and natural selection.  If that gets thrown out, then what?  How could 87% of scientists in a 2009 Pew survey be wrong?

Michael Behe, a scientist, has written a book titled Darwinism Devolves: The New Science about DNA that Challenges EvolutionBehe notes that Darwin couldn’t know anything about molecules 160 years ago. He adds:  “The cell, which we now know is filled with sophisticated molecular machinery, was thought (by Darwin) to be made of a simple jelly called protoplasm.”

In an interview in World Magazine of Nathaniel Jetson, a Harvard PhD in cell and developmental biology, confirms Behe’s position. Jenson found that his study of cell and developmental biology actually deepened his faith as a Christian. It also countered Darwin’s theory.

Jenson’s book, titled Replacing Darwin: The New Origin of the Species,  comes down clearly on the side of the Biblical account of creation through God, the Intelligent Designer.

Why does this issue matter? Academia has become increasingly secular in a post-Christian era, even in the face of scientific skepticism over one of their coveted dogmas.  The next generation has been taught Darwinism is “accepted science” that there is no God, and He had no hand in our humanity.

Like gender fluidity, the theory of evolution is no longer scientifically valid. But for evolutionists to admit that God had a hand in mankind would be to open the door to the existence of God in a post-Christian era.

Our challenge is to not shy away from an academic tradition that is foisted on the next generation as “science”, when in fact, science does not confirm it anymore.  Christians need to push back when asked about this issue. They need to do it with scripture and science on their side.

MENTOR TAKEAWAY:  I urge mentors to take time to educate themselves on the scientific evidence in favor of creationism through Intelligent Design. Get your mentees to do the same using some of the materials I have listed below.

FURTHER READING:

Scientists Rejecting Darwinism (www.dissentfromdarwin.org)

God Made, by Isaac Manley is available from Amazon.

Slaying the Dragon of Evolution by Manley is also available from Amazon.

Darwinism Devolves by Micahel Behe is available from Amazon.

Replacing Darwin: The New Origin of the Species  is available at Amazon.

WORSHIP:  Listen to Mercy Me sing “I Can Only Imagine.”

MENTORLINK:  For more information about MentorLink, go to www.mentorlink.org.

SUBSCRIBE:  You can receive an email notice of each post by clicking on the icon at the top right corner and entering your email address.

 

 

Advertisements

Fluidity

So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.  Genesis 1:27

I would never have thought that I would be writing on this topic. The premise is that your sex at birth does not determine your gender. This is the result of the LGBTQ movement which has lionized the Christian world for being “homophobic” or worse.  They often use the “hate” word.

The Christian view of male and female in Genesis starts with God creating man and woman in His image. He did not create “other”, nor did he assert that even if one is born one way, you can discover your true sexual identity over time.  We are, after all,  “fearfully and wonderfully made” (Ps. 139:14).

As one writer notes, “our gender (at birth) is foundational to our existence.” Each gender is fully human and needed in order to represent the completeness of humanity.”  Amen.  

Call me old fashioned, but biology provides a definition of male and female. Each one has either an X or a Y chromosome in their DNA. That hasn’t changed, but what has changed is that the social sciences are now giving in to pressure from the LGBTQ community to redefine male and female to include transgenders and others. 

According to one publication, there are now 112 genders as of 2019. The idea of a binary male and female goes out the window.  One is “Anongender” which is a “gender unknown to both yourself and others.” Confused?  You are not alone.

The gender fluidity movement says, effectively, you toss out your birth gender and then choose which one you want. Your gender at birth is just a suggestion of who or what you are. It’s fluid, remember?

It defies science and also leads to some difficult life issues. Ask any therapist and they will affirm that gender confusion leads to some very bad emotional messes in life where depression and suicide are prevalent. I asked a Christian counselor friend about this post, and she said: “Great Topic!” 

Older generations are literally dumbfounded by this concept of gender fluidity. Nonetheless, it is out there, and it is infecting the next generation with concepts and faux “science” based on their concept of inclusivity.

One would be surprised at how pervasive this has become. Children’s books and textbooks are being rewritten to embrace this new idea.  No matter that it throws out thousands of years of social culture on its head. 

Proponents of gender fluidity argue that a binary choice of man and woman is a modern idea.  They never read Genesis. Sweden has adopted a gender-neutral environment in school so that there are no more boys and girls; they are referred to as “friends” and they don’t use “him” or “her”.

The same is happening in schools and colleges here in the U.S.

Still confused?  You bet.  To complicate it even more, the American Psychological Association (APA) has issued Guidelines for Psychological Practice with Boys and Menin 2018.  It is an attempt to describe what masculine behavior is (or should be, in their opinion). 

As one author notes, of the eight Guidelines offered by the APA, some are true, some are useful, but there is “one that is glaringly wrong.”  The problem? Well, the Guidelines assumes that all defining characteristics of masculinity is a learned social construct. 

Translated, your masculinity only comes from your environment. “Men are that way because they are taught.” Hmmm – what happened to things like testosterone or DNA?  Did anyone suggest that men were “created” in a certain way? 

She concludes (correctly) that whether God designed them (men) or evolution did, men are physiologically different at birth. Period. The APA and social scientists are denying this basic tenet.  

Gender confusion is now getting into Christian universities where one college, Azusa Pacific University (APU) recently redesigned its Standards of Student ConductAPU bowed to pressure from Brave Commons, an LGBT organization, who claimed that the original Standards “unfairly singled” out LGBT students. 

Now, at APU, gay romances are accepted, but sex and marriage between them is not. This is a slippery slope. The next step will be to accept gay (or other gender) marriage. 

This is challenging to everyone.  Christians need to educate themselves and the next generation about biblical truths and which are being obscured by a movement that is blurring what God designed. I have just touched the surface on this topic. Read 5 Things Every Christian Must Know in Further Reading for more.

I would be remiss in not saying that Christians are under a command to love others unconditionally, even those who insult and hate us. Jesus never promised that it would be easy in this day and time of gender dysphoria. 

MENTOR TAKEAWAY:  Mentors have to stay on their toes to answer questions about gender fluidity from the next generation. They need to be able to communicate to their mentees a correct biblical view on this topic. 

FURTHER READING:

Alphabetical List of 112 Genders?   Dude Asks

Sweden’s Gender-Neutral Schools

Much Ado About Gender Roles.  Christianity Today

Complementarians Issue New Manifesto on Gender IdentityChristianity Today

Psychology group offers a confused take on masculinity  World Magazine

Azusa Pacific Okays Gay Romance (But not Sex and Marriage)   Christianity Today

God and the Transgender Debate by Andrew Walker is available at Amazon and theGoodBook.com.

5 Things Every Christian Must Know About the Transgender Debate Andrew Walker

Teacher Fired for Refusing to Use Transgender’s Preferred Pronoun

WORSHIP:  Listen to Victor’s Crownwhich proclaims that “Jesus has Overcome the World”.

MentorLink:For more information about MentorLink, go to www.mentorlink.org.

SUBSCRIBE:  You can receive an email notice of each post by clicking on the icon at the top right corner and entering your email address.

Arrogance

arrogance

The arrogance of man will be brought low and human pride humbled; the Lord alone will be exalted in that day, Isaiah 2:17

 I used to joke that when I was 21, I thought I knew everything. When I was 31, I was sure I knew everything. But then at 41,  I realized how little I really knew at those earlier ages. Now that I am approaching 75, I can now see that I had a lot to learn even at 41.

Fortunately, I learned humility when I discovered I was not the brightest guy in the room.  There were others far smarter than me. God tends to humble the proud.

In a way, I was no different from today’s millennial. They might not know everything, but they think they do because it is on their hand-held digital devices.  But their knowledge often comes with a not so welcome guest: arrogance.

So, what is arrogance? It is defined as “attitude of superiority manifested in an overbearing manner or in presumptuous claims or assumptions.” There were probably times in my life when I was arrogant but didn’t realize it.  Humility was not my strong suit when I was young and naive.

In a recent MentorLink Institute session on Skype with pastors around the world, one of the participants came up with a mathematical definition. He said “Anger + Pride = Arrogance.”

An example is the popular “kiss off letter” by college students to their parents. It notifies parents that they reject everything taught them because they are learning something different in college.

The letter ends with “PS: Please continue to send money.”  I am not making this up.

The attitude of superiority and entitlement affects both millennials and Generation Z.  Tim Elmore posits that one of the reasons for the rise of arrogance is due to an overload of information at their fingertips. It is also a rewarded behavior on social media. People who are assertive (and arrogant) appear to get ahead in life.

Research cited in Psychology Today is illuminating. A German study showed that “arrogant students (and arrogant people in general) need to feel dominant and superior”.

An extreme version of arrogance is the narcissist in our culture. They comprise about 30% of the younger population according to a recent study.  What is scary about that statistic is that it has doubled in the last decade, while the opposite trait, empathy, has declined by 40%.

Narcissism includes self-absorption,  egocentrism, and a general overestimation of ones’ importance leading to a sense of entitlement and a disregard for others.

Narcissists are never wrong. Ever.  Just ask them. “People are more narcissistic when they’re young: ‘It’s a self-absorbed stage of life’” according to research by a professor at Emory University.

Research shows that young people who face adversity early in life develop a “healthy sense of their limitations” so that it tends to diminish their narcissism later in life. In other words, people grow up by facing trials and failures, just like I did.

Many of the next generation have had bad parenting.  One parenting style has been described as the lawn mower parent,  replacing the helicopter parent who hovers over their children. This parenting style is one that wants to mow down any adversity that a child might experience in life.  Sadly, that means they don’t get to grow up normally.

Probably the best example of lawn mower parents is the recent  revelation  that wealthy parents cheated and bribed to get their children into prestigious universities over the last decade. Now the parents (and their undeserving children) will face the consequences, criminal and otherwise.

One actress and her husband managed to convince a University that their daughters were being recruited for crew, when in fact neither of them had ever rowed before.

Tim Elmore offers three suggestions on how to deal with students who think they know everything (even when they don’t). One of them is worth repeating here. He suggests putting the student into a context where they have to use their knowledge.

Link them with a non-profit that needs help or take them to places where they can see that their opinions don’t actually work in reality. Basically, you need to get them to broaden their perspective.

Colleges are now complicit in developing a student body to think only one way. Recently, a professor was forced to take a leave of absence at NYU.  He dared to take on the PC culture which mandated that he only think (and teach) one way. So much for academic freedom.

The challenge here is to recognize arrogance for what it is and what it is doing to the next generation. As noted, it has increased exponentially in an environment where the next generation has been protected from failure and adversity. They haven’t learned valuable hard lessons of the real world.

MENTOR TAKEAWAY:  A mentor who has been bruised by life along the way is in a position to walk beside the next generation and give them insights and perspectives that they haven’t experienced.

RESOURCES:

Tim Elmore:  Arrogance: What to do When Your Students Know Everything.

What Makes the Arrogant so ArrogantPsychology Today

Narcissists are Everywhere   Washington Post (2106)

Narcissism is Alive and Well in America Psychology Today

Lawn Mower Parents are the New Helicopter Parents   

Here’s What happened when I challenged the PC culture at NYU   Washington Post

FBI Sting of College Admission Cheating MSN

WORSHIP:  Listen to Christy Nockels sing You Revive Me.

MentorLink:For more information about MentorLink, go to www.mentorlink.org.

SUBSCRIBE:  You can receive an email notice of each post by clicking on the icon at the top right corner and entering your email address.

Lifetime Learning

learning

Let us discern for ourselves what is right; let us learn together what is good. Job 34:4

A lot of folks think that learning is something you do in school, and when you are finished your education, you can relax. My experience was otherwise.

In my profession (law), there was a constant need to upgrade my skills and knowledge. One of my specialties was tax law which was not static and unchanging.

It only took new legislation or an important court decision to change your advice. What worked yesterday may not work tomorrow if the underlying law changes.

I made it a point early in my career to increase my skills and develop new areas of expertise. It paid dividends in my career, and I was regarded as an “expert” by other professionals and colleagues.

In the last 20 years, states began to require lawyers to get called “continuing education.”  They imposed annual minimums of educational requirements in order to maintain a law license.

For me, that was never a problem because I was already accustomed to attending conferences or seminars in order to stay current on developments. Other professions (accounting, medicine, etc.) also have continuing learning requirements.

You don’t have to be in a profession to need or develop learning habits. People in business or other fields need to develop a lifelong learning mentality. In fact, having a yearning for learning is an important value for the next generation to embrace.

In today’s world, corporations, educators and politicians are all beating their drums for people “to continually upgrade their skills”  because of advancing technologies like Artificial Intelligence.

Some companies have internal training programs, but others want employees to educate themselves on their own time and at their own expense. Tim Munden, an executive with Unilever, PLC in charge of employee training says this: “We’ve put a huge emphasis [on learning] on shifting the responsibility to the individual.”

Mundens continues: “There’s no way on earth we can send people to enough training courses to make a shift we need to adapt to the world around us. People need to take that on themselves.”  Well said!

Some corporations are better than others. KitchenAid, a kitchen appliance company, has realized that the best way to retain employees is to “grow” them. They provide skills training to their existing employee base.

A manual job is no longer a “dead-end job”, but one which permits one to receive an education and aspire to a better position. Admittedly, this is not entirely altruistic, but the company has seen an improvement in employment retention.

The winners in the next decades will be those who take personal responsibility and initiative to develop lifelong learning habits.  The Wall Street Journal has an article with stories of six individuals who learned the importance of increasing their skills, and even what mistakes they made along the way.

Continual spiritual learning is important, too. A study shows that if a  person is not in scripture at least four times a week, they are not growing and are losing ground spiritually. Continual  learning is not just for careers.

While reading is important, millennials are not readers.  Still,  most of today’s news, books and information is available by audiobooks or podcast, which may have more appeal to the next generation who don’t read much. Even theDaily Skimmcomes in a podcast format.

For spiritual learning with the next generation, you can use the MentorLinks’ 40 Days with Jesus, or use The Bible Project which has video lessons on every book in the Bible.

The Bible Project uses animation to illustrate the narrative. Apps like YouVersion provides many resources including the ability to read the bible in dozens of versions.

My learning continues non-stop. I love to follow trends that affect our culture and so I get steeped in a broad range of subjects. I also love to read scripture.  My daily devotions are important for me to stay grounded.

The challenge is to encourage the next generation to see lifetime learning as something to embrace for a future world. They are facing potential job extinction from new technologies and AI. Having information in your hand  on your mobile phone is not enough to survive in a changing world.

Learning is not a “one and done” phenomenon which stops upon graduation. The next generation cannot rely on their employers to provide them with all the training or skills that they might need to advance. They need to learn self-reliance.  

MENTOR TAKEAWAY:  If there is anything that will be more important to a mentee, it is instilling in them that their jobs are not safe from competition, either by others or technology. Their long-term success in their careers is tied to their willingness to become lifelong learners.

FURTHER READING: ‘I’m still Under Construction’; Six Tales of Lifelong Learning. WSJ, 2/22/2019

One Fix for the Worker Shortage Is to Grow Your Own

Wall Street Journal

The Daily SkimmPodcast and Email

WORSHIP:  Listen to Christ Tomlin sing Not to Us.

MentorLink: For more information about MentorLink, go to www.mentorlink.org.

SUBSCRIBE:  You can receive an email notice of each post by clicking on the icon at the top right corner and entering your email address.

 

 

 

 

 

Emotionalism

emoji

The sights you see will drive you mad. Deuteronomy 28:34

The millennial generation is tied to their emotions. According to the definition of emotionalism,  they tend to respond with undue emotion. They even make decisions based on emotion.

In a recent seminar with college students, close to 80% admitted to Jolene Erlacher, an expert on millennials, that they made decisions based on emotions, rather than using critical thinking, logic or reasoning. Unfortunately, emotions will only carry you so far.

Emotionalism carries over to their communication. “Their world has fewer words and a greater number of images” according to Tim Elmore.  Expressing nuanced emotions through graphics is fine, but their world is far more tied to deep emotions.

Using a smiley faced emoji doesn’t give a true insight into real emotions inside them.

We recently had dinner with a friend and his wife who we hadn’t seen in a couple of years. The dinner conversation turned sour when he started ranting about how he hated a particular politician.  It almost spoiled a nice evening. His hatred had no limits.

It was difficult to listen to someone who was so wrapped up in his emotions that he became irrational and belligerent.   That’s what emotions can do, even to someone who has a graduate degree.  It clouds judgment.

He is not alone today, although he is no millennial. But he has company with the next generation. The emotions displayed by him put the conversation into an “I’m right” and if you disagree, “You’re wrong” mode. There is no middle ground, and facts, logic, and statistics don’t matter.

It leads to uncomfortable discussions, even among friends. Civility and the ability to discuss a topic goes out the window. There was no openness to even examine another perspective.

Our experience with my friend shows a downside to living on your emotions. It can lead one into a “if it feels good”, it must be the right thing to do, even if reason and logic points the opposite direction.

You can see a form of emotionalism in  millennial communication.  They use emojis and emoticons freely.  Someone has described these as “new-age hieroglyphics.”

For background, emoticons showed up around 1982. These consist of punctuation marks, letters, and numbers to make an icon that reflects an emotion, such as “:-)” or its opposite, :-(.   They are often read on their side.

Emoji came from Japan in 1999 and the word means “picture” and “character” in Japanese. We recognize them as cartoony faces, pictures of animals, including those in the above graphic.

I see them on social media and my granddaughters reprogrammed my phone so I can create my own emoji.  I feel like I am still in Latin One trying to learn tenses of verbs.

What’s interesting is that because they are relatively new to the scene  our courts are having to deal with them to interpret what message was actually being sent. An emoji in a message can change the meaning of the words entirely. They are often used in texts between people.

A study concluded that 20% of people using an emoji in a tweet would have changed it if they had realized that it conveyed a confusing message.

Part of the confusion is that software developers have created their own emoji for their platforms. Microsoft emojis look different from Apple emojis which look different than Samsung emojis.

Communicating with emojis is not going away, particularly with a generation that has grown up with them. While I am fine communicating with graphics, I go back to my point in the beginning of this post which is that life is more than emotions.

I watched a short video last night where a U.S. Senator was interacting with a class of students who were taught to believe that a climate change agenda costing $93 trillion dollars was a good idea.  The Senator replied that while it was a lofty goal, the reality was that it was unaffordable.

The students reacted emotionally and said she was “wrong” in her thinking. Reality, facts or logic didn’t matter. They were right, after all.

Emotions do not replace critical thinking. It also leads to a tendency to ignore any other input on a topic that you have latched on to emotionally.  The antidote for emotional decisions is an open mind that is committed to learning and reading.

Our challenge is to help the next generation learn how to think, not what to think. Introducing things like The Skimm into their lives is a start at informing them about contemporary issues.

TAKEAWAY: A mentor can help mentees be open to new ideas and concepts, even if they are at odds with their emotions. A decision or opinion based on emotion can lead to a decision which will be later regretted.

FURTHER READING: The difference between emoji and emoticons.

Emojis in different platforms.

Courts having difficulty interpreting emojis.

The Daily Skimm can be seen here. It comes in a podcast, too.

WORSHIP:  Listen to Amy Grant sing Better than a Hallelujah.

MENTORLINK: For more information about MentorLink, go to www.mentorlink.org.

SUBSCRIBE:  You can receive an email notice of each post by clicking on the icon at the top right corner and entering your email address.