04 January 2008

Commentary and Confusion

This post is in response to Mark's (a reader) comments and involves the last two posts on this blog. You can read Mark's full comment below.

Mark --

1. Is this the Mark of salmon dinners, Kinkos and Columbia? Or is this some other Mark I don't know?

2. Your recent reply was quite interesting, much more enlightening, and in many points elicited my approval. I'd still be scared for my country and scared of my fellow countrymen if they elected this character, but hey . . .

3. I don't expect a President to be a genius. I am, however, a bit sick of this American anti-intellectual attitude that so pervades our nation's politics. We should not be voting for someone that we'd "like to have a beer with" but rather for someone with an impressive and nuanced knowledge of politics, both interior and exterior.

4. In his own words -- Huckabee in 1992: "I feel homosexuality is an aberrant, unnatural, and sinful lifestyle, and we now know it can pose a dangerous public health risk."

5. "He also publicly supported creationism, a philosophy advocated by fervent Christians, arguing that students should be exposed to the study of the doctrine as well as evolution." (Washington Post, January 29, 2007)

6. "In August of 1998, Huckabee was one of 131 signatories to a full page USA Today Ad which declared: "I affirm the statement on the family issued by the 1998 Southern Baptist Convention." What was in the family statement from the SBC? "A wife is to submit herself graciously to the servant leadership of her husband even as the church willingly submits to the headship of Christ." (www.dailykos.com)

7. And here we can see what a strong grasp on foreign relations he's got -- Hope this one's more of an "idler" than the one we've got now.

8. Finally, regarding the part of your comment that reads "Also, is Jesus in the new testament scary, love-mercy-forgivness-healing? If someone were to follow(really follow:i.e. "Jesus words abiding in the follower, and the follower abiding in Jesus) him, would that person be scary?"

My answer is a resolute "NO" -- I have yet, however, to find very many people in this country (or in this world for that matter) that I could truly cite as followers of the New Testament Jesus. At least not in the public eye.

Wasn't Jesus the guy that hung out with lepers? Do you think that Huckabee was being very "Jesus-y" when he advocated putting HIV infected people into isolation in 1992?

If this is the salmon-dinner Mark from Columbia, don't take this badly. If it isn't that Mark, I don't really care how you take it, but you shouldn't take it badly either.


May I(indeed my name is Mark) comment on my comment, to clarify. What will follow will be a quote by quote analysis of my reading and response, perhaps I was reading too much into such a brief post, as i also replied briefly. Hope that you are doing well. Blessings, Mark.

PRB:"I am so scared."
Mark:analysis:hyperbole, certainly.
The DPRK is a little more frightening if you want to be scared.
: comment:none

PRB:"This man might be funny,"
Mark:analysis:I agree he is.It is nice to have someone in authority/leadership with a sense of humor.

PRB:"and he might play the geetar real nice, "
Mark:analysis:I have never heerd him play geetar but he probably plays better than me.

PRB:" but he's still a bit of a an idiot"
Mark:analysis: merely a loose slur, for surely, even though he cannot absorb, at such a staggeringly fast rate, multiple non-native spoken languages like Mr. Bond, surely he is not an idiot. He must have some capacity for intelligently dealing with people and their complex messes. Although, he does lack the breadth, depth, and precision of knowledge of international affairs of all the nations in the moment, their histories and possible futures, not excluding his own country. So let's make a standardized test for politicians that will measure their domestic and international aptitude.This way we can refer to them by impersonal numbers, make ourselves feels smarter, and avoid slurs.

PRB:" and a religious zealot."
:comment:"you sound a bit zealous yourself."
:post-analyis: zealous in convicting someone of not being acceptable by PRB's undefined approval system, which is probably too complex and intuitive to layout on the blog. By zealot do you mean active,living according to the "grace" and "mercy" and transformative power of his Jesus.

Remember that Huckabee's Jesus was a zealot as well, and was crucified, and he called for repentance and obedience to himself. Sound like a lunatic, on top of zealot, a chocolate iced Kripy Kreme donut with sprinkles on top.

Does Huckabee play with snakes like the pentacostals, molest children like r.catholic priets, bomb abortion clinics?

Perhaps our culture lacks men who can assert themselves and tolerate assertion, thus "men" run around screaming "zealot" and "idiot."

PRB: "Please tell me that we've learned something over the last seven years."

Mark:analysis:yes we have. bush, lied, lies, and will lie. presidents are initiators or idlers. sometimes they make bad decisions, and get faulted from all sides.
:comment:"with great skepticism i ask, would he be as/so menacing if here were to be zealous like his Jesus."
:explanation: skepticism that any politician would ever tell the truth, so how long until we see the dark side of Huckabee. Or, will we be faced with one of the minority that his Jesus spoke of when He said "wide it the path that leads to destruction and narrow that leads to life, few who find it"

Also, is Jesus in the new testament scary, love-mercy-forgivness-healing? If someone were to follow(really follow:i.e. "Jesus words abiding in the follower, and the follower abiding in Jesus) him, would that person be scary?

Perhaps fear of Huckabee is misdirected, perhaps he should be evaluated against the Jesus he proclaims. This works with Bush. He is a war monger hungry for oil.


  1. indeed this is salmon-mark.
    but it is bread these days.
    one day perhaps i will play the guitar well enough that when we run across each's path we can sing together or have a good time heckling eachother in front of a crowd.

    indeed i don't take this badly, actually i miss you and rosie says hello. she also said while we were watching "saving private ryan" that the translator looked like you and has some of your manerisms.

    in response to:
    1. see above

    2. do we not tend to characterize the destructive actions of our leaders based on our world views?
    if hillary were to get elected grow some balls and start a war, what metric would we use to decide to be fearful of?

    3.i agree, anti-intellectualism is as pervasive as the humidity in columbia: bad stuff.

    4.so he believes that is what his bible teaches. what is the foundation to object that his view on homosexuality is immoral?

    5.the following is not my writing but is just arithmetic from 6th grade.
    what is scary about creationism anyway?

    get a cup of coffee. and a pencil.

    Can Random Molecular Interactions Create Life?
    Many evolutionists are persuaded that the 15 billion years they assume for the age of the cosmos is an abundance of time for random interactions of atoms and molecules to generate life. A simple arithmetic lesson reveals this to be no more than an irrational fantasy.
    This arithmetic lesson is similar to calculating the odds of winning the lottery. The number of possible lottery combinations corresponds to the total number of protein structures (of an appropriate size range) that are possible to assemble from standard building blocks. The winning tickets correspond to the tiny sets of such proteins with the correct special properties from which a living organism, say a simple bacterium, can be successfully built. The maximum number of lottery tickets a person can buy corresponds to the maximum number of protein molecules that could have ever existed in the history of the cosmos.
    Let us first establish a reasonable upper limit on the number of molecules that could ever have been formed anywhere in the universe during its entire history. Taking 1080 as a generous estimate for the total number of atoms in the cosmos [2], 1012 for a generous upper bound for the average number of interatomic interactions per second per atom, and 1018 seconds (roughly 30 billion years) as an upper bound for the age of the universe, we get 10110 as a very generous upper limit on the total number of interatomic interactions which could have ever occurred during the long cosmic history the evolutionist imagines. Now if we make the extremely generous assumption that each interatomic interaction always produces a unique molecule, then we conclude that no more than 10110 unique molecules could have ever existed in the universe during its entire history.
    Now let us contemplate what is involved in demanding that a purely random process find a minimal set of about one thousand protein molecules needed for the most primitive form of life. To simplify the problem dramatically, suppose somehow we already have found 999 of the 1000 different proteins required and we need only to search for that final magic sequence of amino acids which gives us that last special protein. Let us restrict our consideration to the specific set of 20 amino acids found in living systems and ignore the hundred or so that are not. Let us also ignore the fact that only those with left-handed symmetry appear in life proteins. Let us also ignore the incredibly unfavorable chemical reaction kinetics involved in forming long peptide chains in any sort of plausible non-living chemical environment.
    Let us merely focus on the task of obtaining a suitable sequence of amino acids that yields a 3D protein structure with some minimal degree of essential functionality. Various theoretical and experimental evidence indicates that in some average sense about half of the amino acid sites must be specified exactly [3]. For a relatively short protein consisting of a chain of 200 amino acids, the number of random trials needed for a reasonable likelihood of hitting a useful sequence is then on the order of 20100 (100 amino acid sites with 20 possible candidates at each site), or about 10130 trials. This is a hundred billion billion times the upper bound we computed for the total number of molecules ever to exist in the history of the cosmos!! No random process could ever hope to find even one such protein structure, much less the full set of roughly 1000 needed in the simplest forms of life. It is therefore sheer irrationality for a person to believe random chemical interactions could ever identify a viable set of functional proteins out of the truly staggering number of candidate possibilities.
    In the face of such stunningly unfavorable odds, how could any scientist with any sense of honesty appeal to chance interactions as the explanation for the complexity we observe in living systems? To do so, with conscious awareness of these numbers, in my opinion represents a serious breach of scientific integrity. This line of argument applies, of course, not only to the issue of biogenesis but also to the issue of how a new gene/protein might arise in any sort of macroevolution process.

    6.the context of a wife submitting to her husband comes from the new testament "wives submit to your husbands, as to the Lord", but is followed by the requirement that "husbands love your wives as Christ loved the church."

    why is a husband loving his wife not objectionable?

    7.perhaps his smile will win over KimJongIl. :)

    8.he might hang out with lepers, but they are relatively rare in the states.
    the running of a state government, not to mention a nation, would make one so busy that spending time with such would be so short and sparse as to be condemned as photos ops.

    his remark about hiv patients is fairly pragmatic considering the damage that it does and its pervasiveness. but pragmatism hurts feelings and that is how elections are won- by feelings.



  2. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MDUQW8LUMs8

    I hope this has illuminated a few things.