Last night = brutal. I’m just about ready to go and find Dan Brown and shoot him – not for making a controversial book that dissects the Christian church, but for allowing a 2 hour and 45 minute movie to be made based on the book so that movie employees have to work until 1:15 AM instead of going home and getting their beauty sleep. I have determined that Dan Brown is responsible for all the ugly people in this world.
I worked from 6 PM Tuesday night until about 1:05 AM this morning. Thankfully, Ron started the movie a bit early so that it would be over sooner. I like it when the projectionist does that. It means that I can go home just that little bit earlier – it’s not much, but it’s the thought that counts. I was driving home after work, and I glanced down at the clock to look at the time. I can now say that for probably the first time ever, I have witnessed 1:11 AM. I mean, I’ve been awake at that time before, but I don’t think I’ve ever noticed it before. I didn’t know there was such a thing, but apparently they’ve instituted a 1:11 AM now. Interesting. I wish they had also instituted a law forbidding anyone to be awake at that time. It would sure make things a lot easier for me.
In spite of being up so late last night (and indeed, this morning as well), I was glad to find out that I wasn’t that tired today. I mean, I can’t say I’m 100% awake, but I think I’m at least over the 50% threshold, which is good. That means I’m semi-alert and not fading in and out of consciousness. In fact, I was alert enough to have a nice little argument with Brian today in Chemistry class. He was telling me how he had to do an essay test in his Economics class today, and so his thesis was talking about how fast food companies used deceit and manipulation to achieve their goals. The book he had read (and seemed to know inside and out) was called Fast Food Nation, and he was telling me all about it. I, on the other hand, was arguing with everything he said. He talked a lot about how “they” did this and “they” did that, and I would ask him who “they” were. When he replied saying that “they” were the fast food companies, I said, “Oh, so all of these fast food restaurants do this? Every single one of them?” He was trying to generalize some horror stories he told me to apply them to the whole industry. He also was trying to connect the unsafe working conditions in slaughterhouses to the fast food corporations, which really has no connection. But anyways, at the same time, I guess I was helping him review his points for his essay. So hey, I try to help out when I can. Actually, wait – scratch that. I try to argue and win whenever I can.
On a somewhat related topic, a thought popped into my head a couple days ago that I decided I should share. It has to do with truth. I guess with the whole Da Vinci Code thing going on telling people to “seek the truth,” it only makes sense that we should be trying to figure out what exactly the truth is. After all, we can only seek the truth if we know what we’re looking for, right? As I thought about this a little bit, it struck me that the whole argument that has existed for centuries really has to do with this: Is the truth that we seek rational truth or irrational truth? In other words, is the truth about the world around us logical and orderly, or illogical and chaotic? On the one hand, if truth is rational, it leans toward the idea of a master Designer, who created the universe with order and purpose. On the other hand, if truth is irrational, it points toward the theory of evolution, the randomness that is inherent within the universe.
People have been searching in these two areas for all of time. Ancient civilizations carefully measured the phases of the moon, the mathematical processes of the world around us, and other ideas that led them to assume the existence of a God, a Creator. As the ages passed, people lost hope in the complexity of this process, and some delved into the other side of the spectrum. Eastern philosophies thrive on irrationality and throwing logic out the window. Evolutionists take a look at the seemingly random processes of the world around us and point to an irrational world. But ultimately, these are just opinions, right? Who’s to say that one person got it right and another didn’t? The ancient Egyptians were pretty sophisticated for their time, but they didn’t have the knowledge of the physics of quantum mechanics and other discoveries that we have now. So who’s right? Where is the truth in all of this?
Well, let’s look a bit closer at the arguments for each side. If the world is inherently rational, then things seem to make sense, correct? We can think, and the logical assumptions that we make can be traced back to a logical world. If the world is logical, then we can derive logical conclusions from it. But if the world is inherently irrational, the situation becomes increasingly complex. Evolutionists claim that a random universe happened by chance to produce life. Assuming that is true, then, how does the human mind process things logically? From where do we derive our sense of order and pattern? In other words, if a random circumstance created the brains that we possess, then how can a randomly created mind form ordered thoughts? People who ascribe to this philosophy must first take a logical, ordered look at the world around us, and then form these views. However, if the world is ultimately chaotic, then any thought processes formed to express the view of an illogical world are just as chaotic.
When it really comes down to it, an irrational world just doesn’t make sense. And that very well may be the case. If the world is in chaos, then it shouldn’t make sense. And any logical patterns we see around us are merely aberrations, situations that happened to become logical by random chance. Let’s assume that can happen for a moment. It’s as if you throw paint on a canvas and it happens to form a picture, but theoretically, it would technically be possible. It’s the whole monkeys-on-typewriters argument. However, assuming that it happens, we come to yet another dilemma. A random universe that happens to form a coherent situation is, as previously stated, an aberration. However, how can one have a deviation without a pattern? Does not the randomness become the pattern, and the logical situation become the deviation from that pattern? It’s a paradox.
Let’s take DNA for an example. DNA is, at the heart, random. There are four nucleotides which comprise DNA, and each of these could be selected for any position. When sexual fertilization is involved, the process becomes more random, as each half of one mate’s DNA can be matched with each half of the other mate’s DNA. The fact that this random process forms a human being (or a dog, or a plant, or a platypus) instead of a puddle of goo is again, an aspect of chance. However, take one person’s DNA. This very specific sequence of nucleotides will form that person. Now, switch a nucleotide to create a mutation, and you have my example. The random sequence of nucleotides became the pattern, even though there really was no pattern to begin with. It was just a random selection of nucleotides, but once the deviation occurred, it became a pattern – it’s the only way to know that a deviation occurred to begin with, correct?
To summarize, if the world is irrational and chaotic, then it creates a paradox. The logical situations which occur in the world as a result of chance show that the random pattern was deviated from. Therefore, to determine the pattern involved, one must determine what the universe should be like – in the absence of any of these deviations. People holding to the philosophy of an irrational universe have no way to do this. To determine what a perfect world with no deviations should be like, they would have to imagine a perfectly random universe. But, in order to determine what a perfectly random universe is like, the ordered universe must be compared to the random universe to show what it is not. How does one describe an ordered universe, if no example exists? To describe an ordered universe from within a random universe is a paradox. In other words, a world made up of random situations, or a mind made up of random thoughts, cannot determine what is order and what is not. In contrast, a world made up of ordered situations, or a mind that is logical and orderly, can easily determine where patterns occur and where they do not. The logical mind has a basis on which to determine the patterns which exist in the world. Any random occurrences are just aberrations from that pattern – although I would tend to argue that if an orderly Designer exists, then the things that we see as random are not, in fact, random. They simply seem random from our point of view.
Anyways, sorry for that. I had to get that out, because it was swimming around in my head and I didn’t want it up there anymore. Things like that tend to confuse me until I sort them out, so if it confused you, well, go back and read it a few times through until you understand it. I tried to explain myself as best I could, but a former Philosophy student is not always easy to interpret. Sorry for that. I’m done talking for today. Have a good one!