Getting somewhere requires effort,
faith to push on,
it's easy to screw up,
Friday, October 14, 2011
The speed of light, and other constants that maybe arenít
Fri, October 14, 2011 | link
Energy equals mass times the speed of light squared." Albert Einstein This was proposed by Einstein in the early
1900s. They measured the speed of light to be 299,792,458 meters per second or 299 792 km/hr.
We all know that famous equation E=mc2 where c=speed of light.
This was the speed that light moved
forward in a vacuum and we have considered this to be something that is always the same and that nothing could move
faster than light for many years now.
But is it?Here is a quote from Wikipedia suggesting it may not be “In
late September 2011, physicists working at the OPERA experiment published results that seemed to suggest beams of
neutrinos had travelled from CERN (in Geneva, Switzerland) to LNGS (at the Gran Sasso, Italy) faster than
the speed of light, arriving (60.7 ± 6.9 (stat.) ± 7.4 (sys.)) nanoseconds early (corresponding to
about 18 metres in a total distance of 730 kilometres”
Let me put that into everyday English. That neutrino from CERN arrived before
people would have seen it leave if they could see that far.
This is the light equivalent of hearing a bullet after it hits something near you
(because sound travels slower than bullets).
Whether neutrinos do in fact travel faster than light is still to be determined since it could
be a measurement error
but it is sure a very interesting consideration.
What does it mean to you and I?
Not a huge amount!
But it will influence us! For example, how many of us know about quantum mechanics,
but we live along very well without it. However, do you know we couldn’t enjoy life without it as it is a fundamental
part of the transistor which revolutionized radios and electronics. No iPod or iPad
or modern radio without scientists understanding quantum mechanics.
So, we need to have somebody take note of these things and they
build up many aspects of our universe.
So why are people so worried about the speed of light being exceeded? It is because the speed of light
is the constant that ties together space and time and matter.
So suddenly our view of ourselves as the great “understanders” of life
and the universe comes into question again.
Just as we get to be little god’s the basis if our self worship is shaking.
We may smile at the scientists worry, but
let me suggest each of us puts our faith in ourselves more than we should. We consider certain things about ourselves as unchanging and “us”.
We are totally like this or that! We never change in this area.
Sometimes it’s fitness, other times its beauty, other times its our wealth,
or our humor or our wit, wisdom or ability to think clearly.
Let us realize that one incident can change all self-confidence
and bring out self-delusions to a shaky self-doubt.
I have seen this with men who when they loose their jobs, start questioning whether
they are worth anything. Or women who when their children leave home cannot be consoled as they have lost their meaning in
I prefer to understand constants can change, but know there is one that will not. It is best described by that old, old song by Keith Ward;
“On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand;All other ground is sinking sand, …”
Trusting in this one unchanging
constant that will never fail or change is where true confidence can rest.
My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness;
I dare not
trust the sweetest frame,
But wholly lean on Jesus’ name.
Jesus is the one we can trust, his grace is sure, his promises true and
he will be the one who extracts us from life’s difficulties and deaths danger.
So today, I am not concerned whether they prove or disprove the
speed of light can be exceeded, but I am concerned that I walk in the eternal way that is constant and to be trusted.
What about you?
Thursday, October 13, 2011
What is better my plans or the ultimate plan?
Thu, October 13, 2011 | link
Every day we get faced with having
to plan.I am a project manager in the software business dealing with large corporations and muti-million dollar projects.
Without planning millions of dollars are lost.
Just last week I heard of a bank that had been running a team of over 100 people
at over $800 per person per day for two years cancelled their project because the planning failed. That’s about 220
days x $800 x 100 =$17,6 million that was wasted!
Millions wasted every year because people who should know
better, plan badly.
Today I have to explain to someone that they have planned badly and their trusted employee planned even worse.
about how we plan our lives?
Can we know what
Do we know how to make the best decisions?It isn’t always easy! One thing I know is that we must have
God’s input on our plans if they are to be successful. I am not looking for strange voices from the ether, but rather
the solid application of the truths found in God’s words.
When we take to heart what the bible says, our decisions
are based on god’s truth. We don’t lie, we love others and try and do what is best for them, we serve rather that autocratically rule,
and yes, sometimes in times where we are doing all this and seem to still have indecision, Holy spirit prompts us and guides
us in a quiet gentle way.
I like what Jeremiah says;
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper
you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
Jeremiah 29:11 NIV
These I have found to be true and good words.
These are words that encourage me as I move through my day together with all the uncertainties and bad decisions of others.
Prayer is a
deep resource that brings peace and guidance.
I trust today if you need to plan you will allow God to be your wisdom and guide in these decisions. He wants
to prosper us!
Wednesday, October 12, 2011
Variation! Why were are not all identical! It was Godís plan!
Variation! Why were are not all identical!
It was God’s plan!
Wed, October 12, 2011 | link
variations are in God’s plan?
Yes! Not all variations in genes produce horrible weird creatures like
the science fiction movies tell us. Sometimes they just change something simple! In fact, most variations are part of the normal flow of life. We humans
come in all shapes and sizes, colors and characteristics, don’t we?
Same with many other living creatures!
Generally, we as males and females
mix up our genetic material when we reproduce.
mix-up of the two people creates a third.
The new little person gets 23 chromosomes from mom, and 23 from dad. Let’s say one parent has straight
hair and another has curly hair, then they can be understood as having different alleles for hair. (Different genes
of the same characteristic are called an “allele”).
So there is a hair characteristic from my mom and one from my dad. All this is part
of the same chromosome pair (called a “homologous” pair) in my body. Any different characteristic, freckles and
lack of them, may be another allele group on my DNA, etc.
So we get our attributes from our biological mothers and fathers.
We don’t have them all from both mom and dad, we end up
with characteristics selected from one or from the other. On the same chromosome pair, one chromosome (mom’s) may be
straight hair, and the other chromosome of the pair(dad’s) may be curly. What we actually get may be curly hair! In
other words, we may get that characteristic selected from dad, not mom. The same sorts of choices are made in similar ways
for every characteristic of each human.
The sex cells take a copy of our own chromosomes. We have 46 chromosomes in 23 pairs but sex cells only have
23 chromosomes and they are not in pairs.
These combine with another sex cell when our parents get together to form us, one half (23 chromosomes) from
our own mom, and the other half (23 chromosomes) from our own dad.
For simplicity let’s call our own mom, “grandma” to
our child, and our dad, “grandpa”.
When our own sex cells form, they take half of our chromosomes into the sex cell (sperm for guys and ova
for girls). So Grandma and grandpa’s chromosomes are selected randomly to build up 23 chromosomes in a new sex cell.
Some of the 23 will have originally come from Grandma and some from Grandpa.
Now Mom’s ova (sex cell -23 chromosomes) and Dads sperm(sex cell-23
chromosomes) combine into the child’s 46 chromosomes. So really, the child is getting a selection of chromosomes from
two sets of grandparents randomly selected and this produces their own unique set.
I know it’s complicated, but hey, God never said everything
was going to be simple did he?
Stay with me, it will get simpler soon, but before that we need to do a bit of statistical thinking.
Since there are 23 chromosomes from Mom in
the child, there is about 223 different options on what she could pass across. Dad has 223 different options on what he could pass across. [That’s what probability theory tells us]
Now, 223 is 2x2x2x2x2x2x2x2x2x2x2x2x2x2x2x2x2x2x2x2x2x2x2x2
about 8388608 different options!
However, since there are two parents the number of ways that those original chromosomes could be
arranged is 246
This is 70368744177664 different ways our parents can pass on their
we are 1 out of 70 368 744 177 664 children types that mom and dad could have produced!
Our world will reach 7 billion people this year, i.e. 7 000 000 000.
Notice that if one pair of parents
could produce all the children on this earth(all different), it would still be less by a factor of 10 000 than the total number of different children than one parent could produce
and have each one of them different!
Amazing isn’t it?
Makes us feel rather unique and special doesn’t it?
God wanted us to be different
from each other,
or he wouldn’t have set up this mechanism to ensure we would be different.
Let’s remember that when he says we should love our neighbour
as ourselves, he wants us to do exactly that!
Differences are part of God’s plan! Others are not expected to be the same, or do the same as ourselves.
We need to love others despite the variations and variability that comes from the way God chose to have them put together.
how special each person is as we deal with people today!
As we head out to interact with others today, let us each realise every person we meet is a unique creation.
By respecting that,
we respect our creator don’t we?
Have a wonderful variation filled day!
Tuesday, October 11, 2011
'Do not have sex with any of your close relatives. I am the Lord.í
Tue, October 11, 2011 | link
"Men are pigs. [They will] pretty much have sex with anyone, fat, skinny, married,
single, complete strangers, relatives."
~Hugh Laurie as Dr. Greg
Wow! Cynical right!
We know that today our laws forbid having sex with close relatives.
This is perhaps a reflection of the laws in the bible found in Leviticus 18, but even
people who do not trust the bible or believe in different god’s know this is an important rule.
Scientists tell us we need to be careful of disobeying this rule because it could have nasty repercussions!
For many years
people just noticed that if this guideline was disobeyed, then people ended up with illnesses and weird things happening to
Then science got involved and we started to find out why.
If you read a previous blog entitled “Wonderfully
made! The gene’s, chromosomes, and the DNA miracle!” you will have found out that we are programmed to look
certain ways and have certain abilities by strands of DNA that exist in our cells.
In this blog I pointed out that these are represented by “base
pairs” that I explained were a bit like having a long path of two types of couples all mixed up.
One girl molecule type called
”Adenine”(A), only wants to hold hands with guy partner molecules types called “Thymine”(T).
The other girl molecule type is “Cytosine”(C) who holds hands with “Guanine”(G), the other guy moleculetype.
These are not really
guys and girls, but these “base pairs” combine to give each living thing uniqueness.
Hereditary depends on DNA.
of genes occurs when the DNA strand of one of the chromosome pairs split and one half goes into sex cells
ready to combine with another’s sex cells as a result of the coming together of two people of opposite sex as they have
sexual intercourse. There are two types of sex chromosomes. (In the previous blog I explained a chromosome is a long twisted
are X types and Y types of chromosomes. Women have XX and men have XY types as sex chromosome pairs.
Now genetic disorders are disorders that happen when a specific coding of DNA allows certain things to vary from
that of a “normal” person. Sometimes these variations do nothing, but sometimes they are a program
for a disease. However, often the defective coding isn’t present on the DNA of both parents and so the person is unaware
they have the disorder in their DNA code. The illness never happens.
If both DNA strands (one from each parent) have the
same disorder pair the likelyhood of the disease is changed to be almost certain.
This means that since close relatives
have very similar DNA, the chances of both parents having the same disorder code in their DNA is greatly increased.
is why it is important not to have sex with a close relative.
Now, consider this. . . we found out about
this DNA helix of genes in April 1953. The bible provided the warnings below about 1400B.C. A subset of these warnings from
Leviticus 18 below shows God understood we needed to know this about 3500 years ago. (PS: The Egyptians didn't get this so
Moses was not simply repeating Egyptian learning). Here are some of the guidelines. . .
“"’You must obey my laws. You
must be careful to follow my rules. I am the Lord your God. Keep my rules and laws. The one who obeys them will live by them.
I am the Lord.
" 'Do not have sex with any of your close relatives. I am the Lord.
" 'Do not bring shame on your father by having
sex with your mother. Do not have sex with her. She is your mother.
" 'Do not have sex with any other wife of your father. That
would bring shame on your father.
" 'Do not have sex with your sister. It does not matter whether she is your father's
daughter or your mother's daughter. It does not matter whether she was born in the same home as you were or somewhere else.
'Do not have sex with your son's daughter or your daughter's daughter. That would bring shame on you.
" 'Do not have sex with
the daughter of your father's wife. She was born to your father. She is your sister.”
Words of wisdom that have taken centuries to understand!
Now we know why in more detail than ever before.
For centuries people protected themselves simply by following God’s advice from the bible.
This shows that sometimes, we don’t
have to know the complex detail to follow God with wisdom. However, knowing the details sure helps a little
and it increases our understanding of how amazing our God is, doesn’t it?
So today, I want to have compassion
for those that simply follow God’s word without having to know why. I want to give them space to believe,
because sometimes that’s the best way to be wise.
Monday, October 10, 2011
Wonderfully made! The geneís, chromosomes, and the DNA miracle!
Mon, October 10, 2011 | link
you ever considered that every living thing we know is created by the simple combinations of 4 different things!
Everything living has them!
There is nothing
living that does not.
What am I talking about? Well,
every living creature has chains of gene’s linked together in chromosomes. These chromosomes live in our cells in something
called a nuclei. (The home environment of the chromosomes!)
Now for that explosion of information!
The group of gene’s in chromosomes that define a living
thing is called the genome. In humans, the genome has 23 pairs of chromosomes. Humans are considered (as
far as we know) to have somewhere between 30,000 and 40,000 genes. That’s a lot isn’t it?
Now that is not really the
amazing part, what is amazing is what a gene is made of!
A gene is made up what
is termed “base pairs” in a “DNA strand”. We will consider DNA in a shortly, but let us concentrate on base pairs for now. Think of them kind of like guys and girls
holding hands, standing alongside each other in parallel lines up a long twisting path. Guys and girls mixed up in
any order of pairs, but always holding hands with only the opposite sex couple they have chosen.
Consider that in the DNA world there are only two types
guys and two types girls. These always wanted to hold hands with their specific partner type.
Let us say one girl type is
called ”Adenine”(A), and this girl type only wants to hold hands with guy partner types called
“Thymine”(T). The other girl type is “Cytosine”(C)
who holds hands with “Guanine”(G), the other guy type. So now I have set up the base pair idea
imagine thousands to millions of these couples all standing on a long twisting path holding hands. We could represent
G T G G A T G C T A C …etc.
T C A C C T A C G A T G …etc.
Notice that A only holds hands with T, C only
holds hands with G. (Boy and girls are allowed to be on either side of the path, but one is on the left and the other
on the right)
In reality, the length of the path of DNA that makes up
a chromosome is about 22 000 000 base pairs long.
So if these base pairs were people squished together, with each
person using only 1ft of path, the chromosome would be represented by a path 6700km long or about 4200miles long.
To put this into perspective the distance from San Francisco (close to western most California in U.S.A.) to Lubec, Maine
(eastern most point of U.S.A.) is reported to be 3,452 miles. So this is quite a long path and a lot of “base pairs”
Considering we get 23 pairs of chromosomes (46 chromosomes) in a human nuclei which is
in a human cell, isn’t it incredible God has even given us the ability to understand this?
of A-T and G-C base pairs grouped into this line-up represents what in biology terms is called a DNA string. A Deoxyribonucleic
reality is of course more complex compared to my simple set of letters above, but the diagram from Wikipedia gives us a basic
idea of what it is.
See this DNA helix which is computer generated view of DNA.
The pairs are the rungs of this ladder shape.
Now see the detail of this view. . .
Exploded into detail …
This shows one side of the base pair “Adenine” holding
hands with “Thymine” right up at the top. G-C is at the bottom. [See Wikipedia for detail]
The way that
these parallel lines arrange themselves in the DNA is the code that describes how we are made up. It is the
building blocks or “code” of each living thing. The combinations in these rows are always Adenosine-Thyamine(A-T)
or Guanine-Cytosine(G-C) “couples”, but they can be in reverse order as well (T-A) and (C-G).
Now why am I even discussing this?
is very cool knowledge and may help some of us get up to date on some science discoveries of our recent past. However,
more than this it gives us an opportunity to really understand what Psalm 139:13-14 NIRV is saying when it
says. . .
You created the deepest parts of my being.
You put me together inside
my mother's body.
How you made me is amazing and wonderful.
I praise you for that.
What you have done is wonderful.
I know that very well.
What is incredibly amazing is that God created every living thing out of only two types of “couples” or more correctly “base
pairs”. All the diversity and differences of life, all the amazing complexity we see around us, was
created from these two simple items.
What a plan?
[For those interested the P in the diagram it is phosphorus, N=nitrogen, H=hydrogen,
O=oxygen and we can see the base pairs are made of these elements]
We are fearfully and wonderfully made!
Isn’t our designer amazing?
Who could have imagined
the complexity and wonder of what God has designed?
Let’s just be amazed by God’s design and
how he miniaturized this complexity and placed it into all of the approximately 50 trillion cells we have in our bodies.
What a God!
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