For a man who claims to be religious, Ken Ham certainly has a negative view of religion. io9 reports that he has denounced the Smithsonian for promoting naturalism. So when he wanted to denigrate naturalism why did he use the word religion?
It’s rare that anyone pointedly saying science is a religion, is using the term religion in a positive sense.
So to celebrate, I’ve added Religion as a new Creationism Card.
Creationism Cards, collect the set!
In possibly related news, I’ve had an uptick in end-times email in my inbox.
I started with Geocaching at the weekend. It’s something like hide ‘n’ seek for people with a GPS or smartphone.
So how does it work in practice? I looked for geocaches near me, and one that caught my eye was Welcome to the Withybeds. I’ve joined Radnorshire Wildlife Trust, but I hadn’t been to Withybeds yet. I made it the first cache on my list of things to find, and found it pretty much where I expected.
The river Lugg at the Withybeds.
The Withybeds reserve is small but pleasant, on the north side of Presteigne. I’m not sure how much longer it would have taken me to find the time to visit, if it hadn’t been for the geocache.
You cannot legally use clips of debates in the Houses of Parliament satirically, because mocking middle-aged men mooing at their opponents would undermine the dignity of parliament.
I’ve been seriously thinking about moving to Ghost or Medium for writing. Ghost uses Markdown, which I like is handy for when I write in StackEdit.io. Medium has a very simple interface. It’s not customisable, but the flip side of that is that you don’t waste time trying to customise it.
I gave Medium a go with two short stories I’d written. I was going to post some serious and researched science articles, but I chose to put up the short stories as I’d not be bothered if got no views. Here are the results.
Something that puzzled me about the resurrection was how a period of thirty-six hours or so became three days. There are other things too, but the period from death to Easter morning isn’t even forty-eight hours. Where does three days come from? Couldn’t ancient people count?
It turns out they could, but they counted differently.
Possibly praying that he doesn’t have to sort out the numerical problems.
In ancient Greece and Rome they used inclusive counting. This is where you count the first and last things in a series. For example, how often are the Olympics held? We would say every four years. The Greeks would have said every five years, and they called it a penteric festival. Here’s how you get five years for the Olympics.
Year one: Hold the Olympics.
Year two: The Isthmian and Nemean Games.
Year three: The Delphic Games.
Year four: The Isthmian and Nemean Games (again).
Year five: The Olympic Games.
The Romans also used this system of inclusive numbering for their calendar. Jerusalem at the time was in the Roman Empire.
Counting of the days where you start and finish is what gives three days. Jesus has to die before sunset on the Friday. The reason for this is at sunset a new day starts in the Jewish calendar. This second day carries on to sunset on what we could call Saturday. At sunset the third day starts. Now Jesus can rise any time he likes and he’ll have risen on the third day.
With careful timing he could have kept it down to just over twenty-four hours.
Whether or not it happened is another discussion, but inclusive counting shows why the ancients were happy to say ‘on the third day’, even though they knew it was well under two full days.
Edit: Bill Thayer has more festivals with inclusive counting.
I wrote someone out of my will today.
It was five years ago I had chemotherapy for cancer. It should have been six, but I held off getting a diagnosis because I was in the last year of my PhD and helping out with elderly relatives. I wasn’t strictly in denial about having cancer, but the timing was bad. Relatives died which caused more problems. When another close relative was hospitalised it was obvious there wasn’t going to be a convenient time.
I was diagnosed on a Monday afternoon and operated on the following day. It wasn’t that bad a situation, someone else had cancelled their operation due to snow. I was offered either their spot, or else wait a few weeks for the operation. Hanging around with the tumour inside me seemed like a really bad idea, so in I went. The follow-up was a brief course of chemotherapy.
There’s been a lot written about how bad chemotherapy is, but I had no problem. Here’s a selfie from five years ago while I’m having chemotherapy.
I pottered around the house and had no trouble at all. I didn’t have any problem, though one day I did fancy some Jaffa Cakes and there were none in the house. So I went out to the shops to get some. This is a map of how far away the shop was.
Map via Google Maps
I was tired well before the first corner. Continue reading