Category Archives: Science

What Would Jesus Drive?

Why are people so dumb? It’s a question I have to ask myself a lot. Almost as much as another question I ask a lot, why are Christians so dumb? Some Christians get so worked up over the evil in the world. They see bad things happening and they go through the roof. They want this movie canceled, that commentator fired, this book burned–when all those things are really just mirrors reflecting the evil in society. That’s not a justification, it’s a simple fact. Rather than run around trying to break mirrors, why don’t we do something about the reality?

It seems to me that’s what Jesus did. He didn’t go for the smoke and mirrors of pop culture, entertainment, or politics. He didn’t go for the cover of Time magazine or a spot on prime time. He didn’t try to get elected to a political office. He just went to where he was needed the most–the people.

He didn’t picket, riot or complain. He didn’t wring his hands, join a commune, or pull out of public school. He didn’t write a letter to the editor or have a discussion over coffee or write a book about how things should be done. He just did what should be done.

The world is sinful. We know. So are you. Knowing how bad we are isn’t the solution. And telling someone that Jesus is the solution doesn’t cut it. It’s what writing teachers always say: show, don’t tell. You have the solution, just live it. Stop your pissing and moaning, because that’s not the message you’re preaching.

So I’m pondering about the stupidity of Christians, and just when I think I’m done, I decide to go off on another tangent and check out the What Would Jesus Drive campaign. If you haven’t heard of it, it’s a pretty interesting approach to promoting efficient vehicles. It’s something the church should be promoting. It’s obviously not as important as spreading the Gospel, but it’s better than picketing homosexuals. Lots better.

So anyway, I went to check out the What Would Jesus Drive site, and I typed in instead. It’s a rather whacked site, but the guy does make one point that I thought was priceless: “So remember, when you’re driving around in your SUV… I don’t care if you have a Jesus-fish on it… [you’ll] still be flipping each other off…” Which really sums up my point nicely. It doesn’t matter what pseudo-Jesus bandwagon you’re jumping on, it’s a wash if you’re just like a Pharisee. The guy may have some strange pictures on his website, but he makes a good point.

And now, thanks to the guy, I have seen the most sacrilegious website ever: And you thought was bad.

It’s the End of the World…

Today I read an article about the world coming to an end. Well, not really. At least an article talking about environmental gloom and doom. It basically said if the entire world consumed the volume of natural resources as the average American than we’d need to colonize two planets to be able to sustain that sort of lifestyle.


That’s what part of me says. The other part says that scientists have been predicting an apocalyptic environmental future since the 1970s. Of course this article was using 1970 as a baseline, and judged environmental decline since then. To be blunt, we ain’t doin’ so hot. But then again it seems like we should know that. There’s so many people in the world, and there’s only so many square miles of earth. And there’s only so many square miles of hospitable earth. It only makes sense that if population growth continues, eventually the number of people will out-pace the number of square miles, and eventually the number of acres, and if it really got out of hand, the number of square feet. Then we’d really be in a pickle.

It just seems like we could be smart and be a little more conscious of the resources we use. But I suppose that’s not the American way.

Where does it go when you flush?

When you turn on the faucet, where does the water come from? When you flush the toilet, where does everything go? When you plug something into the outlet, where does the electricity come from. When you buy an cereal at the grocery store, where does those oh’s come from?

We’re a little disconnected nowadays. We don’t even realize what’s under all the asphalt and concrete. We grow grass and think it’s natural. We let fumes escape into the air and don’t think about where they go or what they do. We eat foods with all sorts of chemicals and never bother to think if it’s okay. We poor chemicals onto our lawns and then sit the kids free to think, never pausing to think what’s seeping into our water.

I don’t mean to be an alarmist. I’m not much of a tree hugger. But these odd little inconsistencies worry me. What would happen if one day power didn’t come from the outlet? What if water didn’t come from the tap? What if the grocery store ran out of everything? Would we even know what to do?

We’re so modernized and technified that we’re completely clueless.

Strange world.

Silent Spring

It’s amazing how disconnected modern man is from nature. We live in a world of concrete and asphalt where nature is confined to a few median strips and empty lots. It’s amazing how we completely forsake nature for own bottom line. I’ve been reading Silent Spring by Rachel Carson lately. It says basically the same thing my Environmental Science textbook said, and it’s amazing the intricacy inherent in nature. It only makes sense that nature takes a beating when we rain down poisons like DDT to control a few pesky insects. Next thing we know the birds are dropping dead.

Carson’s book isn’t exactly up to date anymore. It was written in the early 1960s and I imagine a lot has changed. But I also imagine a lot hasn’t changed. We’re even more disconnected now than we were in the 1960s. Although now there is an environmental consciousness. Although you wouldn’t know it from the president. He tacks conservation onto his energy program as a second thought, and the vice president doesn’t think conservation is worth our effort. They’d rather drill oil in Alaska.

I’m beginning to realize that a lot of man’s problems would be solved if he stopped worrying about the bottom line. That’s all that ever matters. You’d think some things would be more important. You’d think a world full of diverse natural creatures would be worth something. You’d think clean air and healthy people would be worth something.

It’s kind of sad that not much has changed since Carson’s days.


Why is it so difficult to care about the environment? You’d think we’d realize that protecting our natural resources and keeping the planet from going belly up would be important. But I guess it’s not that surprising. Do you have any idea how dislocated the average the American is from nature? Not only do we spend most of our time treading on asphalt or concrete (or at best a harsh, one-species dominated ecosystem–the closest thing to a dead ecosystem–your lawn) but we’re completely disconnected from the food chain. Most people probably think the food chain is a long line of people at the grocery store. We buy so much packaged, frozen, precooked, processed food it just as well be pre-eaten. Why don’t we just get calorie injections and forgo the whole eating thing altogether?

The Water Cycle

The rain falls like a fine mist, soaking everything before you realize it. The falling water makes puddles of our parking lots, streams of our sidewalks, and rivers of our roads. Bare patches of mud become deltas and nature laughs at our attempts to escape it.

The rain falls in the forest, yet there are no puddles. Every precious, life-giving drop is sucked up. What isn’t used seeps through the forest floor and collects in natural creeks, swamps, waterways. A cycle emerges.

Something we forgot.

The Human Body

Science is cool. Tonight I went to the Science Museum of Minnesota.

My favorite exhibit detailed the human body. Watch brain surgery on TV, open a panel and get sprayed with a simulated sneeze, sit down and look at a friend’s magnified eye, and find out how many pints of blood are in your body. And that’s just the interior of the human body. My favorite display featured the outside of our bodies and the way different peoples and cultures perceive the human body. One wall featured photos of everything from breast enhancing pumps to sumo wrestlers to body piercings and tattooings. The opposite wall featured casts of real people’s bodies. They were done by an artist interested in celebrating the diversity of the human body; in contrast to the popular media that glorifies a computer generated physique. The body casts came from a wide range of people including an elderly woman, an overweight man, a pregnant women, and a mastectomy survivor.