(Visited 513 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0 Paul warned that Christ followers would be slandered. A book review in Nature shows it is still going on.In Nature recently (18 March), Robert P. Crease reviewed his own book – a practice that is quite unusual. At least we know what the author thinks of his own words. That Nature printed it without any criticism tells us that the journal editors pretty much agree with him. Their headline reads, “The rise and fall of scientific authority — and how to bring it back; Robert P. Crease harks back to the shapers of our scientific infrastructure and what they can tell us about how to handle the threat we now face.” Watch for the bogeyman!So what does Robert say about his own book under Nature‘s imprimatur? The title is, The Workshop and the World: What Ten Thinkers Can Teach Us About Science and Authority Robert P. Crease W. W. Norton (2019). His first paragraph is accompanied by a large facsimile of a piece of art at the Louvre which he describes:Credit: LouvreHanging in the Louvre Museum in Paris is an imposing painting, The Preaching of St Paul at Ephesus. In this 1649 work by Eustache Le Sueur, the fiery apostle lifts his right hand as if scolding the audience, while clutching a book of scripture in his left. Among the rapt or fearful listeners are people busily throwing books into a fire. Look carefully, and you see geometric images on some of the pages.The not-so-subtle message hinges on Galileo Galilei’s famous statement in 1623 that the book of nature is written in mathematical figures — implying that those who decipher it speak as authoritatively as clerics. That was religious heresy.By implication, Paul the Apostle is directing a book-burning campaign – including books of science! Images of Hitler come to mind. Can it be that the humble apostle of love (I Corinthians 13, Ephesians 4:1-3), truth (Ephesians 4:15) and righteousness (Ephesians 4:24) would do such a thing? The man who traveled thousands of miles preaching the grace of God to Gentiles, with the inclusive message that both men and women, slaves and free, Jews and Gentiles, barbarians, Scythians and everyone could all be one in Christ, was a book burner? The man who suffered countless dangers and persecutions himself, including stonings, beatings and imprisonment would persecute those who simply wanted to understand the natural world? What would have motivated Le Sueur to paint such a scene?The book-burning incident comes from the New Testament book of Acts, chapter 19, quoted here in full:13 Then some of the itinerant Jewish exorcists undertook to invoke the name of the Lord Jesus over those who had evil spirits, saying, “I adjure you by the Jesus whom Paul proclaims.”14 Seven sons of a Jewish high priest named Sceva were doing this.15 But the evil spirit answered them, “Jesus I know, and Paul I recognize, but who are you?” 16 And the man in whom was the evil spirit leaped on them, mastered all of them and overpowered them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded. 17 And this became known to all the residents of Ephesus, both Jews and Greeks. And fear fell upon them all, and the name of the Lord Jesus was extolled. 18 Also many of those who were now believers came, confessing and divulging their practices.19 And a number of those who had practiced magic arts brought their books together and burned them in the sight of all. And they counted the value of them and found it came to fifty thousand pieces of silver. 20 So the word of the Lord continued to increase and prevail mightily. (Acts 19:13-20, ESV)Several key evidences from this passage exonerate the apostle of the grace of God from any allegations of book burning.There is no indication that Paul ordered, directed, or defended the book burning. Since Luke is writing about the incident, there is no proof that Paul even knew it was going on at the time. Nowhere does he commend such an action.The passage says that “a number” of people did it, not everybody.The passage indicates that those who burned their own books did it freely out of their own will, not at the direction of Paul or anyone else. This was their personal decision about what to do with their own property after turning from the occult to the true God. Since nowhere else in Scripture is book burning advocated, it is highly doubtful Paul would have ordered such a thing.The books were not books of science; they were books of pseudoscience! They were books of “magic arts” including curses, incantations and attempts to manipulate mystical powers outside of nature for their own selfish interests. Such matters are at polar opposites of science, and of the message of Paul and Jesus.The ones who burned their own books were “those who had practiced magic arts” like the sons of Sceva. They were the farthest thing possible from students of science! When they witnessed the spectacular failure of those who dabbled in controlling evil spirits, and saw, by contrast, the power of “the Jesus whom Paul proclaims,” they wanted nothing more to do with matters of darkness and ignorance.Additionally, though they could have sold the books for “fifty thousand pieces of silver,” they didn’t want their books to remain and potentially lead others into occultic dangers.Other passages in the New Testament show Paul’s attitude as friendly to science. For instance:In I Thessalonians 5:21, Paul says “test everything; hold fast what is good.” That is the heart of science: testability.In Acts 17:11, he commended the Bereans as “more noble” than others, because they searched the Scriptures for evidence that what Paul preached was indeed true. He didn’t expect his listeners to take his word for it.In Philippians 4:13, he says, “whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.”Most importantly, he advocated testing the evidence for Jesus’ resurrection. In I Corinthians 15, he listed the eyewitnesses who saw Jesus alive, including 500 who saw him at one time. Many were still alive, he mentioned, and could be interviewed. Also in Acts 17, he appealed to verifiable evidence for God, both to the Gentiles in Lystra and to the scholars in Athens.Luke, the writer of Acts, also told his reader Theophilus that Jesus showed himself alive “by many infallible proofs” (Acts 1:3). Both Paul and Luke valued truth ascertained by evidence and invited their readers and hearers to test their claims with verifiable facts they could investigate themselves.For these and other reasons, the painting by Le Sueur and the allegations by Richard Crease amount to slanderous attacks against a righteous historical figure who brought peace and unity to a world lost in the darkness of superstition and the occult. Not all books are equally valuable, anyway. What would Crease wish to do with a book on how to make a hydrogen bomb at home, or how to make a pressure cooker bomb and sneak it into a crowded place? The issue of “book burning” leaves this question unaddressed. Since Crease is slandering Paul in particular, what does he think of promoting copies of the New Testament, which contains Paul’s story and 14 of his letters? (see commentary below). What does Crease think the Ephesians should have done with their books of magic arts and pseudoscientific falsehoods?Crease continues his attack against Paul, with Galileo as his hero, using fake history and his straw bogeyman to suggest that Christians (like Paul the falsely-alleged book burner) are intolerant of science. Thus he perpetuates the “warfare thesis” of science vs religion which has been repeatedly debunked by historians of science (see our biography of Galileo).Today, St Paul is making a comeback: the authority of science is again under attack. In areas of national and global consequence — from climate to medicine —political leaders feel confident that they can reject scientific claims, substituting myths and cherry-picked facts. I have spent five years investigating why this has happened and what can be done.Artist: J. Beverly GreeneBut would Paul have approved of the religious censorship against Galileo? Most assuredly not. Paul would have recognized the church of the 17th century as heretical, far removed from the gospel of Jesus he preached, and illustrative of the false teachers he warned about to the very elders in Ephesus where the book burning had occurred years earlier. Does this man sound like a book burner? Look into his heart in Acts 20:I know that after my departure fierce wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock; 30 and from among your own selves will arise men speaking twisted things, to draw away the disciples after them. 31 Therefore be alert, remembering that for three years I did not cease night or day to admonish every one with tears. 32 And now I commend you to God and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up and to give you the inheritance among all those who are sanctified. 33 I coveted no one’s silver or gold or apparel. 34 You yourselves know that these hands ministered to my necessities and to those who were with me. 35 In all things I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’”The “Galileo myth” is one of seven myths that historian of science Dr Michael Keas discusses in his new book, Unbelievable: 7 Myths About the History and Future of Science and Religion. In Evolution News, Keas points out how “the Galileo myth goes marching on” in spite of numerous debunkings by historians (also hear him discuss it on ID the Future). Keas even argues that atheists – not Christians – are now embracing the occult.As for “scientific authority” that Nature worries about falling, is not authority the very concept that science rose to challenge? The statement is an oxymoron: science is the opposite of authority. Nullius in verba was the motto of the Royal Society for the Advancement of Natural Knowledge: “on the word of no one,” meaning “nothing by mere statements by authority.” Scientists should “Test all things; hold fast that which is good.” Preach it, brother Paul.The pompous, self-righteous, misinformed statements by author Robert P. Crease should make him ashamed of himself. Not only is he perpetuating fake history about a great man—Paul—Crease is a radical censor himself! While book burning is perhaps the most permanent form of censorship, Darwin-worshipers, among whom Crease fellowships, have other effective ways of “burning” the memory of books he doesn’t like: books by creationists with PhDs in science, books by advocates of intelligent design who are similarly well-informed and well-qualified in science to critique the reigning dogma of Darwinism. In his Slaughter of the Dissidents trilogy, especially vol. 3, Censoring the Darwin Skeptics, Dr Jerry Bergman documents pervasive and active censorship of anti-Darwin books in libraries, in bookstores, in academia, in funding sources and in mainstream media. (A Darwin skeptic is not necessarily a creationist or ID advocate, but someone who merely doubts the ability of mutation and selection to explain life. That’s enough to get censored by the DODO crowd.) Such censorship is equally effective as book burning.So let us ask Crease for his opinion: what should be done with intelligent design books and creation books? Should they be freely available on shelves in the Science section? Should they be sold and advertised? Should students have opportunities to read the evidence presented by scientifically qualified Darwin skeptics? Do you, Robert Crease, support the free exchange of ideas in science? Do you disavow the censorship that is going on? If yes, then we advise you to read some of the best works yourself, like Signature in the Cell and Undeniable and others by PhD scientists. But if you are a DODO head, you belong in Le Sueur’s painting, your face instead of Paul’s, and your hated books in the fire.Dr Bergman has published 3 books of true stories of careers ruined by Darwin bigots, and radical censorship against creation views.
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Share Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest By Jon Scheve, Superior Feed Ingredients, LLCOn Monday the USDA will release the stocks report and tell us how much grain is still in the bins. In 7 of the last 14 years the stocks for corn were higher than estimates. The good news is that it has only happened 1 out of the last 4 years. The problem is that when the stocks are higher for corn than the estimates they tend to be pretty far off. When the stocks report is smaller than estimates the difference is usually quite small.The bean stocks report has been erratic and hard to predict. However, with the already large carryout any change up or down is probably not as important as what the yields start to look like as harvest begins this upcoming week.There is snow in Montana and it could work its way east. There are forecasts for cool weather working into the Dakota’s and western Minnesota over the next several days. Farmers in these areas were hoping that it would not freeze until nearly Oct. 1. So, it seems as though most of the corn and beans in these areas will make it to maturity. Should I pay commercial storage?Last week I discussed which crop farmers should store at home, if they don’t have 100% on-farm storage. The next storage questions I’m frequently asked are…. What do I do with my grain in a commercial facility? Do I sell across the scale or pay storage?There are three factors to consider:How much does the commercial facility charge to store grain at harvest?What is the current basis level and how much higher could it go at that facility?How much is the interest on the grain stored at the facility? Why aren’t futures prices on the list?Many farmers choose to store unpriced grain commercially because they think prices will go higher later and they want to sell at higher values. However, in reality futures values don’t matter when deciding if someone should pay for commercial storage. If the farmer doesn’t like the current futures prices, they can buy the futures back in a hedge/brokerage account when they sell the cash grain in the commercial storage facility. Their risk exposure is basically the same as having unpriced grain in storage.(Note, there are many different ways to re-own grain. The purpose of this newsletter is not to discuss those strategies but instead look at the decision of paying commercial storage or not.) How much does the facility charge?Storage costs are probably the most important part of the decision to store commercially. As harvest beings some end users have minimum charges while others have dumping charges included with storage fees for a specific amount of time. While costs vary, I’ve found typically storage fees average 5 cents per bushel per month for corn and beans. Why basis mattersThe difference between basis levels at harvest and where they will likely go is the second most important part of the storage decision. Historically basis values increase 30 to 40 cents on average from harvest to the following spring or summer for both corn and beans. The following shows basis levels near my farm for both crops. Generally speaking, what I have found is that corn basis values increase 4 to 5 cents per month from harvest to late spring or summer, which is slightly less than paying the average monthly storage cost at a commercial facility. Bean basis values increase slower with the higher basis value being seen in late summer. This means that usually beans will only increase 3 to 4 cents per month on average. Loan interest also needs to be consideredLeaving grain in storage means farmers won’t get paid for the grain while waiting for higher prices and their operating note will continue to collect interest. This monthly cost is figured by multiplying the grain’s cash value and operating note interest rate and dividing by 12 months. If cash corn is $3.50 and my operating note is 5.5% interest, it costs 1.6 cents per month to store the corn. If cash beans are $8.25 and my operating note is 5.5% interest, it costs 3.75 cents per month to store the beans. Why I don’t think storing grain commercially is a wise decisionOn average storing unpriced corn costs about 6.6 cents per month. While storing beans commercially is likely to be closer to 8.75 cents per month. If we assume average monthly basis value increase of 4 to 5 cents for corn and 3 to 4 cents for beans, paying to store grain at a commercial facility doesn’t make financial sense.If farmers have unpriced grain at harvest and can’t store it on the farm, the better solution would seem to be sell the grain at harvest and consider some type of a re-ownership plan to participate in a futures rally. Please email [email protected] with any questions or to learn more. Jon grew up raising corn and soybeans on a farm near Beatrice, NE. Upon graduation from The University of Nebraska in Lincoln, he became a grain merchandiser and has been trading corn, soybeans and other grains for the last 18 years, building relationships with end-users in the process. After successfully marketing his father’s grain and getting his MBA, 10 years ago he started helping farmer clients market their grain based upon his principals of farmer education, reducing risk, understanding storage potential and using basis strategy to maximize individual farm operation profits. A big believer in farmer education of futures trading, Jon writes a weekly commentary to farmers interested in learning more and growing their farm operations.Trading of futures, options, swaps and other derivatives is risky and is not suitable for all persons. All of these investment products are leveraged, and you can lose more than your initial deposit. Each investment product is offered only to and from jurisdictions where solicitation and sale are lawful, and in accordance with applicable laws and regulations in such jurisdiction. The information provided here should not be relied upon as a substitute for independent research before making your investment decisions. Superior Feed Ingredients, LLC is merely providing this information for your general information and the information does not take into account any particular individual’s investment objectives, financial situation, or needs. All investors should obtain advice based on their unique situation before making any investment decision. The contents of this communication and any attachments are for informational purposes only and under no circumstances should they be construed as an offer to buy or sell, or a solicitation to buy or sell any future, option, swap or other derivative. The sources for the information and any opinions in this communication are believed to be reliable, but Superior Feed Ingredients, LLC does not warrant or guarantee the accuracy of such information or opinions. Superior Feed Ingredients, LLC and its principals and employees may take positions different from any positions described in this communication. Past results are not necessarily indicative of future results.
We have a wee living roof on our home. After a couple of false starts, it’s looking quite winsome. Since it has posed a number of challenges, I thought I’d share our experience. Mistakes, after all, are more instructive (and entertaining) than successes.How it startedNot well, actually. I was excited about the project—not only were we going to do something new; the result, a wildflower meadow, was going to be on view from our master bedroom. Ready to grow! Planting day #2: wildflower and grass seeds Planting day #1: sedums But when it came time to build it, our general contractor, Bob Vetter of Pacific Circle Construction, informed us that the bids were astronomical—about six times what it would cost us to put on a conventional roof.Getting the cost downI relayed this news to Bill Wilson and Apryl Owens, our living roof design team, and they were hugely disappointed too. So we all put on our thinking caps. Bob consulted with several roofing subs and advised us to consider a conventional 5-ply built-up roof (BUR) as the base layer. This was beefier than the normal 3-ply BUR, but because we really didn’t want to have any leaks, we felt that the extra measure of protection was a worthwhile investment, even though the living roof protects the BUR from its worst enemies, the sun and puncture risks.Bill and Apryl determined that they could build up a custom assembly of filter fabric, drainage medium, and engineered soil mix. This would eliminate the proprietary, off-the-shelf living roof system that might have been cost-competitive for a large commercial installation but was far beyond our budget. They also decided to install it themselves, lacking qualified installers for their custom system. And they managed to scrounge up a roll-end of the critical component, the drainage medium, from a larger job. It’s something like bubble wrap, designed to retain a small amount of moisture at the bottom of the assembly just long enough for the plants to absorb it.All that brought the price down to roughly double what a garden-variety (yes, pun intended—sorry, I couldn’t help myself!) flat roof would cost. We were getting not just a roof, but a roof with an exceptionally long life expectancy and a whole new annex to our garden (complete with irrigation system), so we deemed this a good value.A little dramaConstruction went mostly without a hitch—that is, if you don’t count the fact that our roofing sub ended up in jail before finishing our job. Frankly, we were glad because, before that happened, he thoroughly creeped us all out. But that really has nothing to do with the living roof, so I’ll skip the gory details.He did complete the 5-ply part of the job, fortunately. The rest of the roof (standing-seam metal, which we also quite like) was finished up by an off-duty firefighter who moonlighted doing sheet metal work. He did a fine job, although he did forget to button down a skylight, which we only learned upon finding it on the back porch one morning, after a particularly gusty storm. Our first clue? A puzzling patch of water on the stairs. Amazingly, the skylight suffered only a minor dent on one corner.Bill and Apryl installed the living roof assembly and drip system themselves, as planned, and did a beautiful job.A few more hiccupsIt was a while after the whole project was done before I got around to planting—it’s been about two years now. I purchased a bunch of sedum (four varieties) from Rana Creek, now famous for the living roof on the new LEED Platinum California Academy of Sciences, and planted them with help from my neighbor Dawn and our kids. Then I seeded with California native annual and perennial wildflowers and grasses from Larner Seeds. Then I watered, then I waited.As it happens, I didn’t water enough, and I waited too long.We had planned to install an automatic timer on the irrigation system but hadn’t gotten around to doing it, so I had to activate the system manually. In general, my garden policy is one of benign neglect. In this climate, if you’re not drought tolerant, you will wither and die pretty quickly if you’re in my garden. Even though the roof garden was right under my nose, I’m sorry to say that it was no exception.I can now attest that sedum is, as billed, extremely drought-tolerant, albeit slow-growing. I don’t think I lost a single one. All the wildflowers and grasses I’d chosen were also drought tolerant—but they did require moisture to germinate, and that’s the part I muffed. I tried, mind you. I’m just a lousy plant parent. (This is why I don’t have many plants in pots: They really must have access to a scintilla of moisture in the ground if they’re to have a prayer of surviving.)Take 2After several months of good intentions and seriously flawed follow-through, I reseeded. This time I was a bit better about the watering, and got some wildflowers going. Not a stunning crop, but enough to cheer me considerably and alleviate my sense of shameful negligence.I should mention that not all of this was my fault. There was a conspiracy to thwart me on the part of my irrigation system. It was finicky. In fact, for a long time I thought it was broken. After the first planting, I succeeded in getting it to deliver water only a couple of times, then the valve—mysteriously—failed to produce water. So I resorted to hose-watering. This is what really foiled me. If maintenance is not easy, I confess to being easily deterred; there are too many other maintenance tasks that demand my attention but don’t represent such a challenge—laundry, for instance. I can pretty much do laundry in my sleep (which is a good thing).I talked to Bill about the @#$#% valve, and he suggested that I take a closer look at it; perhaps it just needed a tweak. I tweaked, with no luck, and another few months went by with me watering sporadically. Then one day when I could no longer remember all the details of my challenges with the @#$#% valve, I resolved to have another look. So look I did, and tinker, and lo and behold, the valve cooperated—and has ever since.Go figure.Third time’s the charm!Having conquered the watering challenge (lame as it was), I seeded for the third time, and watered somewhat diligently. I also enlisted the help of my gardener, who up until that time had no responsibility for the roof. I’m quite prepared to admit that his attention is probably what turned the tide. And so we now have a roof full of vibrant color, well into its second spring. The grasses have been slower to start than the wildflowers, but they’re coming along nicely. I had a fair amount of lupine last summer, and I’m hoping we’ll get some repeats. My first batch of California poppies for the year bloomed a week or so ago, and we have a couple of varieties I don’t remember from last year.All in all, I’m quite pleased with the view.