Interesting Thoughts on Evolution

I just ran across an engrossing article carried by U.S. News and World Report: Divining Nature’s Plan.

It’s about Conway Morris’ new book Life’s Solution : Inevitable Humans in a Lonely Universe, in which the renowned paleontologist evidently suggests that humans were pretty much the inevitable result of an evolutionary process and leaves open the possibility that God could have designed us as we are without needing to specifically create our species.

Wow.

What Good Is Christianity?

I just ran across a fascinating compiliation of the positive influence of religion (and Christianity in particular) on society: Good Faith.

The author gives extremely specific examples of how faith helps with issues such as substance abuse, marriage, parenting, altruism, sex, crime rates, health, happiness, and freedom.

It’s an impressive list.

So the next time a classmate (or professor) begins talking about all the evils that religion is responsible for, be sure to mention all the good that religion is responsible for as well.

College Rankings, Louie Giglio, and the Fall Launch

FYI: US News & World Report recently released its 2003 college rankings, and Stanford came in fifth overall. Pretty neat!

I was more impressed, however, by a brief chat I had with Louie Giglio (founder of Passion Ministries) today. No–I don’t know him personally. Yes, we actually did have a chat.

Anyway, he told me that Stanford was his favorite campus. He just loves this place! That made me happy.

Finally, Stanford starts school next week. That means it’s like we’re accountants during tax season. BUSY! If we fall behind on our emails or otherwise fail to be responsive please forgive us.

A Perspective On The Greek System

Relevant Magazine just ran an article on the social Greek system (as opposed to the honors Greek system) — Sororities and Fraternities: Take Em or Leave Em?.

The Greek system isn’t very popular here at Stanford, but if you’re considering it you might want to read the article. It comes at the Greeks from a fairly positive perspective: Fraternity and sorority life has a rather notorious reputation and history on many college campuses, some good, most bad. They are reputations driven by the horror of tragic headlines and the laughable pranks of John Belushi in Animal House. In fact, Greek life is often a tale of two lifestyles: one acceptable and one tragically degenerative.

P.S. Be sure to check out the readers’ comments at the bottom of the article–they’re really interesting!

I Almost Laughed Out Loud

So Paula and I were driving through Menlo Park today (the town just north of Stanford) when we saw a house for rent. We decided to call just to check on the price.

$9,500 a month.

It boggles my mind–whoever rents that house will wind up paying $114,000 a year ON RENT!

Back in Lousiana our ministry BOUGHT a house and a six‐unit apartment complex for almost $25,000 less.

Somehow, I was able to refrain from laughing out loud on the phone.

Take Hope, Math Majors!

Aoccdrnig to rscheearch at an Elingsh uinervtisy, it deosn’t mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, olny taht the frist and lsat ltteres are at the rghit pcleas. The rset can be a toatl mses and you can sitll raed it wouthit a porbelm. Tihs is bcuseae we do not raed ervey lteter by ilstef, but the wrod as a wlohe.

This is all over the net, and I don’t know who originated it (but I do know the author was clever).

Before you get taken in by it, notice that there are heavy contextual clues built into each sentence and that all words of three letters or less are left in correct order. It’s interesting (and worth posting on the dorm bulletin board), but I wouldn’t cite it in any papers if I was you.

Anyway, welcome to Stanford (or welcome back, depending on who you are).

If you’re a new student, you might want to check out our advice on living with a roommate.

*sigh* When It Rains, It Pours

Today Paula and I are printing up a batch of newsletters and this afternoon we leave for the District Ministers’ Renewal in Monterey (we’re looking forward to that), on Friday and Saturday we’ll be doing some work at the Destination: Campus conference (we’re looking forward to that), on Sunday we’re speaking at a church in San Jose (we’re looking forward to that).

And last night I learned that one of our student’s roommates is involved in a cult and is trying to recruit people and we have to help her deal with it (we’re not looking forward to that).

If anyone ever invites you to be a part of the International Church of Christ (as opposed to the Church of Christ, which is a legitimate Christian denomination), please run.

That is all.

Quick Baby Update

It’s been a while since I’ve posted. Sorry!

We went to Pasadena to visit Brian and Courtney and had a great time. We’re going to miss those guys when they move back to Missouri.

We also got to visit Saddleback’s college ministry and I got to meet the director, Mike. That was nice.

In any event, I think most people who read this are more interested in the development of Baby Davis. We’ve started putting some photos in our gallery.

Paula is feeling fine. She gets tired more frequently and food isn’t quite as tasty to her as it was. Overall, though, she’s pretty much the same.

We had our second ultrasound recently and had a chance to see the baby wiggle like a catterpillar and got to observe the heartbeat. Pretty cool.

Another Article on Scientists Who Believe

One of the most popular articles on our website is Scientists Who Believe, a listing of influential living scientists who are Christians. Obviously, this is of interest to college students!

That’s why I was so excited when I ran across an article in the British paper The Guardian titled Science Cannot Provide All The Answers.

Here’s an interesting excerpt from the middle of the article: modern science did not emerge 400 years ago to challenge religion, the orthodoxy of the past 2,000 years. Generations of thinkers and experimenters and observers — often themselves churchmen — wanted to explain how God worked his wonders. Modern physics began with a desire to explain the clockwork of God’s creation. Modern geology grew at least partly out of searches for evidence of Noah’s flood. Modern biology owes much to the urge to marvel at the intricacy of Divine providence.

But the scientists — a word coined only in 1833 — who hoped to find God somehow painted Him out of the picture. By the late 20th century, physicists were confident of the history of the universe back to the first thousandth of a second, and geneticists and biochemists were certain that all living things could be traced back to some last universal common ancestor that lived perhaps 3.5bn years ago. A few things — what actually happened in the Big Bang; how living, replicating things emerged from a muddle of organic compounds — remain riddles. But few now consider these riddles to be incapable of solutions. So although the debate did not start out as science versus religion, that is how many people now see it.

Paradoxically, this is not how many scientists see it. In the US, according to a survey published in Nature in 1997, four out of 10 scientists believe in God. Just over 45% said they did not believe, and 14.5% described themselves as doubters or agnostics. This ratio of believers to non‐believers had not changed in 80 years. Should anybody be surprised?

And a great paragraph from further on: Doubt, expressed most potently 3,000 years ago in the biblical book of Job, is the greatest scientific tool ever invented, he says. To do good science, you have to doubt everything, including your ideas, your experiments and your conclusions. “People like Richard Dawkins characterise religion as doubtless, tub‐thumping, blind certainty. But it isn’t like that; he knows it is not like that. There is Job, on his ash‐heap, doubting everything, but wondering where the light comes from, and how the hail forms.”

You probably won’t know most of the scientists quoted in the article as they’re all British. It’s still a good read, though. read the full article

Friends and Proverbs

I just saw an article on Boundless that seemed relevant: Friends and Proverbs.

I waved goodbye to my parents as they pulled their minivan out of my dorm parking lot. Nervous yet excited, I embarked on the chapter of life called college. I was in a new domain all on my own. Though the academic challenge I would encounter felt daunting enough, my biggest fear was being alone. I wondered how I would make friends.

If making friends at Stanford is one of your concerns, check out the article. It’s about two different kinds of friendship and how to tell the difference between them.