About jkp

Born: 1949 Interests: truth, music, baseball, words, chess, scrabble, reading Married: 1974, children 1979f, 1981f, 1983m, 1987m, 1989f, 1992m Interested, Intrigued, Introspective, Innovative, Insightful, Investigative Opinionated, Obstreperous, Ornery, Optimistic, Obdurate, Objective (at the least)

It’s Religion, Not Science

Some years back, the Los Angeles Times newspaper ran an editorial lambasting the concept of “Intelligent Design” as a possible second theory to be taught in schools, alongside the only acceptable theory that should be taught: evolutionism. Appealing to “argument by ridicule,” they failed to include facts or reasoned arguments, relying instead on ideas that “any thinking person would accept without question.” I recently unearthed my response to their editorial (to which they never responded) and present it here for your enlightenment. Some slight changes have been made in its presentation, mostly to clarify my original points. I have also added a section on the living cell.

It is one thing to allow free speech to the extent that the editorial staff of a major newspaper has free reign to elevate a scientific theory to the status of unquestioned “fact” (read, “sacred cow”); it is quite another to require a balanced approach. Of the (at least) three issues involved in the debate concerning the teaching of theories of biological origins, I contend that The Times has missed on all three — unfortunately, this is not the game of baseball we are playing (in which case The Times would have merely struck out); we are in a struggle to maintain a society which enables men and women to hold values which will allow that society to survive.

Issue number 1:  Is there an overwhelming scientific basis for the teaching of scientific evolutionism?

Firstly, what of the evidence listed in The Times’ editorial? We see listed: everything that we have learned about genetics, molecular biology and DNA since World War II, specifically the mechanisms of heredity and the genetic code. This, however, is not scientific evidence for evolution, rather it is simply evidence for life as we know it. The fact is, everything listed in the editorial could also be claimed as evidence of the hand of a single Creator; evidence of common design, structures through which each kind of creature could reproduce “after its kind,” use of the same proteins as building blocks in all levels of living organisms, etc. The fact that almost every automobile on the road has doors, tires, and an engine, all essentially of the same design, does not prove that they all evolved out of the same proto-tricycle.

Of course, the use of innuendo might help influence the reader to lean toward evolutionism. “Non-evolutionists are like those who argue the earth is flat.” Non-evolutionists do not believe the earth is flat, but they are not thoroughly convinced the earth is billions of years old, which of course it must be, for that is the only way that a process of evolution would have enough time to get us where we are today. Interestingly, there are other methods of dating the earth (e.g. mineral content of the world’s oceans) besides the circular arguments of “geologic strata plus fossil records indicate long geological ages and evolution, because we know there was evolution that caused the fossils to be deposited over long ages of time and therefore the geologic strata indicate long ages of time.” In reality, however, the issue is moot. An incredibly “old” earth is required for a belief in evolutionism, but it in no way affects its validity. The argument is not about the earth’s age, it is about the scientific basis of origins.

I will just mention here some scientific facts which, at least for me, indicate that the theories of evolutionism are on shaky ground:

The first and second laws of Thermodynamics; essentially the concept of entropy. Left to themselves, things run down. Order degenerates into randomness. Evolutionism claims the opposite: the order and structure we observe today would be the result of millions of years of entropy-resistant accidents.

Chromosome count of organisms “close in evolution.” Except in rare cases, generally fatal, parental chromosomes combine to give children the same number of chromosomes. The reader should, as an exercise, start with a single cell with a given number of chromosomes, split it a few times, mutate it as necessary, generate any number of deviant offspring, here and there throwing in changes of chromosome count, using as much imagination as possible. Then, study the actual chromosome counts of life forms in the so-called evolutionary tree. The magic those mutations must have achieved is simply beyond amazing.

The missing link(s). It is not only between men and apes that there are no links; the gaps exist between every well-defined form of life. Rather than holding to the concept of gradual evolution, many leading theorists in the field are sounding more and more like creationists – “changes in life forms occurred in quantum leaps;” there were no proto-birds or proto-man; one day there were birds from lizards; one day there were men from something-or-other! Fortunately, nay, even miraculously, at the very moment one of these ex-lizards or ex-something-or-others sprang into being, there was at the very least one compatible mate available to facilitate the continuation of the new species!

In point of fact, there are plenty of reasons to think that the theory of evolutionism is flawed, if not completely wrong. The simple truth of the matter is, people believe it because they want to believe it (hopefully, it is not the case that they believe it because someone in authority told them to believe it), not because it has been proven true. That is why biologists, archaeologists and geologists are stumped when asked for proof of macro-evolution.

(I added the following section on the living cell today (1-19-2013) as I was typing in my old letter-to-the-editor. For me, it is probably the most important and telling issue in this ongoing debate.)

Far more incredible than the concept of macro-evolution (which is not just genetic adaptation, but the actual emergence of totally new species), is the argument for the random events that resulted in life itself. I suppose scientists could be forgiven for believing in the random emergence of life when they knew less about genetic and molecular structures, so that “spontaneous generation” became a valid theory until proven wrong by rigid scientific procedures. Yet, believers in evolutionism still cling to a theory of “spontaneous generation” in a new form: that some mysterious combination of atmospheric and climatic and chemical and molecular events resulted in the “creation” of life. That is why the scientists of today are desperate to find, first of all water which supports life, on Mars. And then, if only we can discover the necessary amino acids, voila, life must be possible anywhere!

The problem with all of this is that now we know too much about the cell, the building block of life. But no one seems to go back to the basic issue of the living cell. Yes, some combination of events could easily produce complex amino acids. But a living cell is not just some random conglomeration of amino acids. It is, in fact, a micro-factory. The incredible thing about the living cell is that it is a construct which contains, within itself, the very instructions for building itself. The closest man has come to this concept is with the computer virus, which (surprisingly?) is designed by an intelligent (if malicious) programmer to reproduce itself.

But the cell is far more complex than the most well-designed computer virus. And, unlike a virus, it is able to reproduce within a normal environment, not requiring a host. The amazing way it reproduces is to have a virtual digital data-base reader (RNA) scan the instructions for building a cell (DNA) and, step-by-step, create pre-fabricated components with incredibly complex and complementary shapes, assembling the proper components for a new cell. Once the new cell is complete, it is shoved forth into the world to begin its own unique existence. But here’s the catch: a new cell can only be built inside an existing cell. This is far worse than the chicken-egg conundrum. Here is the question: “Which came first, the living cell, or the instructions for building a living cell?” You see, the instructions would be useless, to the best of our understanding, unless they were carried out inside a cell. But if you started with a cell, it would have to be pre-loaded with the instructions for the next cell!

So the simple concept of the origin of life is infinitely complex. Do you actually believe that some confluence of random events caused the emergence of an entity that contained within itself the instructions for building itself??? If so, I claim that your credulity is beyond that of those who believe in a flat earth. And yet, this is the primary building block on which the theory of evolutionism is based. Without a first cell, there is no hope of genetic modifications that over aeons of time can produce life as we see it today. But how do you get to the first cell? How do you arrive at any entity that contains within itself the precise instructions for building itself? Personally, I think that the scientists who are so enamored with SETI, the search for extra-terrestrial intelligence, are looking in the wrong direction – instead of peering out into deep space, they should be peering with amazement and fascination into the living cell!

(… to return to the original letter…)

Issue number 2: Can any theory of origins be a scientific theory, or is it of necessity a religious position?

The basis of scientific theory is the generation of an hypothesis, definition of a controlled testing environment for that hypothesis, and the support or rejection (either fully or in part) of that hypothesis by repeatable experimental results. When it comes to the issue of origins, we are left with only the ability to hypothesize. Certainly we should like to assume (and indeed we do assume) that the same laws of science which we observe today were operational at the time of chemical, biological and genetic origins (excepting entropy?). But there is no way to define repeatable tests, either of the actions of a “Creator,” or of billions of years of random molecular fluctuations. Thus, regardless of what we now observe as verifiable, we all choose to perceive the origins of the world and of life in terms that fit our basic beliefs. Of course, if we are determined to believe that there is no God, refusing to believe in even the possibility of a Creator, fearful of the possibility that we might have an ultimate responsibility to Him, we find ourselves forced to believe an alternative – evolutionism is, in effect, the only other choice.

Actually, we do acknowledge scientific disciplines which treat doctrines based on revelation as closer to the truth than doctrines based on speculation from stale evidence alone. Most notable among these are the fields of archaeology and history. Original documents written by even the most suspect of eyewitnesses or even descendants of the people involved are used to establish historical perspective. The fact that a document exists which claims to reveal our origins should certainly not be claimed as a reason for rejecting the possibility that it may have happened that way. And the fact that the document is part of a religious heritage should not preclude it from consideration.

Issue number 3: Does the first amendment of the U.S. Constitution, the “free speech/ free exercise” clause, actually forbid the presentation of a point of view unless it is the State’s point of view?

Note, we are not talking about presenting the theory of creation as the only view; on the contrary, we are in fact being presented with evolutionism as the only view given state support, not only in that it is the only doctrine being taught, but also in terms of funding through public taxes. In fact, one thing is quite clear: the case is “open and shut.” Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof. Any decision to require the teaching of evolutionism without providing another point of view is a clear violation of this clause. I, for one, do not care to see atheistic humanism, with its trust in the god of Random Chance, as the state-established religion. (I have yet to see that Random Chance has done anything consistently right.)

Incidentally, I am a computer programmer; my work consists of imposing intelligence and design onto the basic building blocks of electrons, bits, and bytes. All the evidence of design which I see in my particular field is the result of another intelligence imposing his or her will onto initial chaos in order to obtain a greater complexity and more useful function. We haven’t yet matched the computational complexity of a snail, let alone a man. And when, and if, we do, it will not prove a single thing concerning origins. But it should cause us to wonder which of the two theories is most similar to our accomplishment: Intelligent Design or Random Chance.

The bottom line is, Evolutionism is religion, not science.

Think about it.


What is the Ideal Climate?

Global Warming, Global Cooling, Climate Change

The debate is on, and it wouldn’t be a major issue except for the fear, the skepticism, the disdain, the cost, the mistrust, the potential for disaster  that it engenders. Not too many years ago, the threat was global cooling – Earth was in line for a new ice age. The Earth made a U-turn. Suddenly  the temperatures were rising, and global warming was the new nemesis. Icebergs would melt, sea levels would rise precipitously, mankind would be  decimated. Then, in the last few years, the warming trend seems to have paused. So a safer term was found that covers all the bases: climate  change. Here is the new fear: things will change! If we cool, oh dear. If we warm, fear fear. So, who has decided that change is bad, and that our climate today, right now, or maybe a few years ago, is the climate we should always have? And who really believes that man has the insight and capability to knowledgeably manipulate the environment in such a way as to make predictable changes in Earth’s climate? Are we really willing to pay for this rash experimentation?

Solar Radiation, Earth’s Impact, Man’s Influence

For what it’s worth, something, or some combination of things, is causing changes in the climate. This is not particularly germane to our primary focus, but it does perhaps apply to how we get there. Given all the  possible influences, and all the evidence of climatic fluctuation, is the ideal climate a possibility?

It’s patently foolish, if not to say absurd, to deny that Earth is warmed by the Sun. Located within a narrow band that supports life, the Earth orbits the Sun in a nearly unbelievable position. A small deviation toward or away from the Sun would mean the end of our existence. Is it any wonder, then, that very slight changes in position, such as that caused to northern and southern locations by the tilt of the Earth, would change the relative warmth  of the hemispheres? But, then comes the point of controversy. Is the Sun a stable source of warmth? Is it possible that the solar output fluctuates significantly? What if the heat output of the Sun were to decrease? Today, do we play ostrich in the sand and ignore evidence of current warming occurring on Mars? Where is Occam’s razor in the face of evidence like this? For other data on possible solar impact, see “sunspots.”

With or without man, there are important, large-scale events occurring in the Earth that have significant influence on its climate. Predominantly we see the impact of volcanic activity and forest fires. Volcanoes can have massive and world-wide effects, sometimes through an immediate cooling, but sometimes through warming based on cloud cover and trapping of greenhouse gases. Forest fires can have the same multiple effects, and following the fire, the lack of trees can mean a reduction in the natural demand for CO2.  Let’s not forget the normal life cycle of the Earth. We have oxygen-based life which breathes in O2 and exhales CO2. Then we have the plant kingdom, which consumes CO2 and releases O2. The more CO2 we have, the more the plant kingdom can flourish. The more the plant kingdom flourishes, the more human life can be supported. Where is the bottom line?

Then we have the question of how much man influences the climate of Earth. Is it enough to trust man-made models to measure man’s contributions to changes in Earth’s climate, especially when those creating those models believe that man is the primary culprit? And by their own admission, proponents of the theory that man’s activities are causing catastrophic changes, the rhetoric they invoke is biased toward scare tactics and hyperbole. Is the generic term “scientists” enough to convince us, by the methods of “proof by authority” or even “proof by threat?” For many in today’s world, the answer is “YES,” or at least “yes,” or maybe even “probably”. This, when even the fastest supercomputer today can predict tomorrow’s weather sometime next week. And yet, the brooding question remains: do even the loudest fear-mongers really believe their own words? Consider the following:  is there any evidence that Al Gore is actively buying up land in northern Canada?

Is the Earth warming? Is the Earth cooling? Does the Earth contain enough flexibility as an eco-system to mitigate the changes, albeit over time, so that the rate of actual climate change is reduced? For an interesting look at some possibilities,
see this overview of global warming.

The Past, The Present, The Future

For a historical look at our global climate history, see this climate history.The information is the result of research and may suffer the same weakness that any historical endeavor can encounter. But it provides us at least with a thinking
point that we must not ignore.  
For a look at the past, the present, and the future potential, see past, present, future.  This second site, of course, has its detractors. The “man-is-the-culprit” cadre opposes it violently. But personally, I lean toward the data on this site, rather than the “man-is-predominant” claims.

But now, finally, we come to the real issue of this post.  Perhaps the Earth is cooling. This is unlikely – all the models, whether those that blame man or those that acknowledge the influence of outside forces, look for a rise in the Earth’s temperature. Even without the models, unbiased observation seems to provide the same result.  So perhaps the Earth is warming. Or maybe, it’s in a stasis, oscillating between a cool point and a warm point, as we’ve seen over the last few years. What’s your opinion? What’s your preference?

Current climate alarmists have all their scare tactics pointed toward higher temperatures than we currently experience. What is the basis for this scare? WHAT AUTHORITY IS THERE THAT TODAY’S CLIMATE IS THE RIGHT ONE? Which climate is best for the Earth? Which climate is the best one for mankind, for our survival? Every winter, one of the greatest causes of death in Europe is cold-related.  Wouldn’t it be better to warm Europe up? The Climatic Optimum, at 1 to 2 degrees Celsius warmer than today would increase crop production and increase livable land overall. Even during the Little Climatic Optimum, settlements were established in Greenland and Iceland, expanding the productive potential on Earth.

CHANGE MAY NOT BE BAD – IT MAY BE BENEFICIAL. Why is today’s climate the right one? Who defines the best climate for the Earth? This seems a rather parochial and stolid viewpoint – “what I have experienced and am now experiencing must last forever.” I, for one, would welcome a warmer Earth. Let’s see food production rise. Let’s see plants thrive. Let’s see prosperity we haven’t seen before.  Let’s get our heads on straight!

What can man do to prevent volcanic activity and unbounded forest fires?  Are we up to that kind of challenge?  Instead, maybe we should focus our financial efforts on helping stamp out starvation and disease in Africa.

Agree or disagree, it’s grist for the mill.

Finding and Presenting a Different Perspective

A Different Perspective

Like it or not, everyone comes to important issues with a different perspective. But can we somehow see beyond our default perspective, clarifying and expanding on the underlying theme? The goal at dearthword is two-fold: to honestly pursue multiple perspectives that lead to truth, and to present different perspectives to you that, hopefully, will lead to truth.

Finding a different perspective, at the least, requires discipline, self-doubt, optimism, flexibility, and a willingness to change. To a great extent, restlessness is implied. This can’t be all there is! What happens when the rind is peeled off? Is this an acorn, or is it an oak tree? What of caterpillars and butterflies? Sufficient monkeys, given sufficient time, would indeed produce the works of Shakespeare – but in that context, it would have no more meaning than the next set of random letters. So what is the contrast of meaning, of communication, with regards to randomness and noise? Is there a message that we’re missing?

Hopefully, you will recognize my attempt to communicate with you. I will endeavor to share with you profound insight, rather than random noise. This may require you to seek a different perspective; it most likely will require me to present a different perspective. Grapple with what I say. Try to digest it. I hope it will be for you as honey from the honeycomb. I would hope you find at least an unexpected morsel. Be tenacious. Hear what I say, regard what I say, slow to reject, slow to deny. I welcome you.

A Glut of Different Ideas

a glut of different ideas

It may seem quite strange in the midst of a dearth of words to find a glut of different ideas. But the concept of dearthword is not to remain in need, but rather to fill the need with sufficient content to reach a point of plenty. Of course, if this were filled with “same old ideas” there would not be much use of filling up the discourse. In the overwhelming data storm building around us, there is so much noise that culling the valuable becomes a full-time job, often futile.

If nothing else, different ideas provide a needed contrast. Again, our discourse attempts to find that contrast, but does not promise 100% efficiency. If we opine on world events, on morality, on probability, on believability, on the unlikely but possible, on perspective, on belief systems, or any of the other myriad threads that confront humanity, the attempt will be to find the fresh and the unique and the true.

We hope to incorporate different ideas in all that we touch here. Why? Because otherwise we would be just the same as any other. How boring.

insight in application


This post is added to validate the insight keyword for increasing access to my viewpoints by incorporating keywords with high potential. The use of the keyword is not invalid. Our eyes typically give us sight that is outward. This may, in fact, be useful as one facet of sight that is inward. Finding the truth, the inward nature, the intuitive aspect is of paramount importance – why else would we attempt to present answers?

Insight does not often come easily. What comes easily is habit, inertia, rashness, following the herd, partial understanding. we find ourselves in combat with various forms of “proof”: by circular reasoning, by appeal to authority, by threat, by length of argument, by proof-biased models. The list can be extended indefinitely.

It requires insight to sift through the noise. Hopefully, although its application to my viewpoints may not be complete or even pervasive, there will be enough of it to give you, the reader, at least one “Aha” moment, when at least part of the fog lifts. This, in essence, is my goal.

different christian music

I once overheard someone (I think a non-Christian) remark that the Christian music industry is all the same.  They were of the opinion that there was a cookie-cutter mentality that essentially created a predictable theme and content; styles might be different but the themes and messages were very rigid.  Whether or not that is true is not the issue I want to address here.  I believe there is a place for different christian songs, but to get a foot into the door of the industry is incredibly difficult.  There is a long-standing emphasis on a particular form, something along the lines of ABAB, ABBABCA, ABACBA…  You name it: Verse, Chorus, Bridge then mix at will.  There is virtually no room for Theme, Expansion, Re-state theme.  Or how about “Single Message.”  Or “Establishing a general mood.” There must be many options.  We need different ideas; unique ideas. Perhaps AbAbC, where b is a small transition, not a chorus.

I am 62 years old.  I still think like I’m 18.  Since about 1967 I’ve written music that others have enjoyed but that has gotten nowhere near being published.  This becomes less and less an issue of monetary gain.  Most of what I’ve written are very different christian songs.  I call it music to soothe, to re-focus, to become open to the Lord.  One major difference is that this music requires you to listen.  This can be rare in today’s society. We’re used to quick glimpses, or music in the background. But some of my music can be very long.  Songs like “The Beauty of Holiness,” which is, in form, AAA, that is, “Verse Verse Verse.” Also, I’ve taken a number of Psalms and virtually put them to music as is, some with very slight changes.  These include Psalm 46 (God is our Refuge), Psalm 47 (Clap Your Hands), Psalm 100 (Make a Joyful Noise), Psalm 114 (When Israel Went Out), Psalm 130 (Out of the Depths), and Psalm 148.  Others, somewhat in the same vein, have undergone more structural change:  Proclamation – Psalm 2, Psalm 107 (O Give Thanks), Jeremiah 33:3 (Sing Allelu), The Rocks Would Cry Out, and as previously mentioned, The Beauty of Holiness.

Why do I mention all this?  My motivation is building to force a birthing process, to getting my songs published as downloadable mp3s, just to let others see what different christian songs can be like.  Some are just in the instrumental stage – no lyrics sung, although the lyrics for a couple of them are easily associated with the music, and would be available along with the music.  I’ve composed the background music with a Korg T1 synthesizer, and although I’m mostly pleased with it, I’ve never taken the final steps to polish it.  Also, where vocals have already been added, I’ve been reluctant to go back and take the changed background and re-record the vocals (which at this time in my life would probably require finding other vocalists).  At any rate, the goal is publish, and maybe then to expand the offering to songs I haven’t yet put together.

Then, there are a couple of other attempts at extremely different christian songs which I still need to take the effort and enlist the help of others to bring out.  One I would even call an operetta, which I think is emotionally invasive, bringing out a powerful statement of the crucifixion and resurrection of Christ.  The fascinating thing is, the vehicle for this opus is Psalm 22.  When complete, this will probably be a 20-25 minute long piece of music.  Another one is entitled “Once (Eden) Now,” which listens to Adam and Eve as they experience death in the garden, and then life through the grace of God.

So, as I write this, my excitement builds.  If you have somehow come across what I have just written, advise me.  Are you willing to take a look, on a sampler basis, at some different christian songs?  Because if it’s worth it to you, it’s doubly worth it to me.  The potential line-up:

Come Lord Jesus – Instrumental Proclamation, Chord Variety, Spirit and Bride say “Come.”
Majestic – Instrumental, a Declaration, Chord Variety
Proclamation (Psalm 2) – “Our God Will do as He Pleases”
Psalm 46 – God is our Refuge, mostly from the Psalm, Yahweh of Hosts is with us
Psalm 47 – Clap Your Hands, directly from the Psalm
Psalm 100 – Make a Joyful Noise, directly from the Psalm, then obedient
Psalm 107 – Thematically from the Psalm – what God has done for us
Psalm 114 – Directly from the Psalm, music only, an unexpected style
Psalm 130 – Almost directly from the Psalm, with interlude, a Psalm of hope
Psalm 148 – Instrumental only, emphasizing the 4-part counterpoint arrangement
Psalm 148 – Praise ye the Lord, directly from the Psalm, 4-part counterpoint bkgd
Jeremiah 33:3 – Sing Allelu. Story line, quest, discovery, ending in Praise
The Beauty of Holiness – A walk into glory. Lyrics exist. With vocalists will re-release

Psalm 22 – The exact words of the Psalm, interwoven with the Gospel
Glory and Honor – Instrumental, words available (multiple tempi)
Once (Eden) Now – Experience the fall and rise
Psalm 150 – Praise ye the Lord, from the Psalm, very rough copy
The Rocks Would Cry Out – A declaration of praise. Difficult melody. Unpolished

Please refer to our products page for the currently available MP3 versions.

(Sample: Psalm 148 instrumental)



Apologies to eventual readers of these “blogs.”  This “out-of-the-box” entry is a method suggested for creating tags that eventually will increase traffic to this web site.

I do encourage you to read what I have to say, and consider my products (which as of now consist of one (1) book, “Truth as Strange as Fiction.”)  I personally believe this book is out-of-the-box compared to other products on the market, and that you would personally be benefitted by reading it.  You may not prefer the style, but I think that if you will make the effort to glean its content, you will come out ahead. It’s available at amazon.com, both in paperback and as a Kindle edition.

My final reference to out-of-the-box is just a gratuitous entry to emphasize the keyword.  Sorry!

Experimental Filler

Life is ephemeral.  At least from our perspective.  I suppose, to a fly or a single cell, life would be even more so, but I don’t have their perspective.  How much of our thoughts and actions and decisions are driven by our sense that we don’t have the time to pursue a thorough solution?

I’m calling this experimental filler since I’m really just rambling and experimenting with the web site to see how things turn out.  But even so, it’s worth thinking about.