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Sabbath School for a New Generation

Among Seventh Day Adventists, Sabbath School is a time for discussion and learning. It is the belief of this site that Sabbath School should be an exciting venue for the discussion of new ideas, instead of rehashing old arguments. So welcome to a virtual Sabbath School, a Sabbath School for a new generation.

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I am an Electrical Engineer, working at Intel in the Portland area. I received my undergraduate degree from Walla Walla College and graduate degrees from the University of Southern California. The views expressed on this website are my own and do not reflect the viewpoints of anybody else. I reserve the right to change my mind at any point in time.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Jesus' tomb???

A couple of film makers have claimed to have "discovered" Jesus' tomb. James Cameron, of course, is famous for that one movie that made about $2 billion. The director is Simcha Jacobovici who recently made the documentary, Exodus Decoded. I saw this on the Today show yesterday as well as on Countdown with Keith Olbermann.

I am planning on watching it, but I don't expect a very high quality product. The problem is Simcha Jacobovici has a reputation for making sensational "discoveries." These usually involve looking at the evidence (you might call it twisting the evidence) in a very different way than what is accepted by scientists. He will leave out evidence that contradicts his "hypothesis" and build a very convincing story based on a part of the data. The atrocities are documented in this review of Exodus Decoded, which also includes a dialogue with Simcha Jacobovici, so read the whole thing. However I think this quote sums it up nicely.
By the end of the film I grew weary of the piling-on of amazing discoveries. Each one is historically dubious and requires a willing suspension of disbelief.

I expect this upcoming film will have many of the same problems.

Update: I forgot to mention one small detail. The tomb they claimed to have discovered wasn't empty. In the tomb there was a box labled "Jesus son of Joseph" and box labeled "Judah son of Jesus" along with a box attributed to Mary Magdalene.

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Inconvenient truth

I watched An Inconvenient Truth this weekend. Al Gore has put together a stunning and compelling picture of the danger our planet faces. The Oscar was well deserved. At the end of his movie, they list a website that gives suggestions on how to reduce our carbon footprint. Many of these ideas make sense from an economic perspective and not just environmental. For example, riding my bike to work saves me $1 - $2 a day depending on the price of gas. Additionally, I am hoping it will save on my healthcare costs down the road. Some of these ideas have already been implemented in my household and some still need to be done.

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Thursday, February 15, 2007

Evolution Vs. Creationism

Here is an interesting compilation of videos featuring scientists and their view about Evolution and Science and Creationism.

The video below is the section on peer review and how the process works.