Science/Tech.

No God, No Science by Michael Hanby - Review

You can know "what" without knowing "how", but you can't know "how" without knowing "what" - this is my short summary of this wonderful book. Modern science seeks to study complex things by isolating parts and assessing the various interactions between them. The book masterfully demonstrates that such a technique cannot be accomplished without a prior recognition of form, essence, and categories. In other words, the scientist must identify "what" a thing is and "what" its parts are before applying the scientific method of isolating those parts. But "what a thing is" is an irreducibly metaphysical question, rooted in the concept of differences. It is a question of being rather than merely a question of action. Hanby shows that the question of what makes things different cannot be answered from within a purely physical world, but only outside or above that world, requiring a "meta" physical viewpoint. However, the modern Darwinist claims there is no "outside" of the physical world, that there is no God or spiritual force beyond mere matter. Thus their science is at an end, unless they borrow concepts of form and essence from outside their system. Hanby counsels modern scientists to understand the impossibility of their task and to embrace the metaphysical concepts that everyone tacitly accepts in their lives as actually lived.

Hanby further shows how the metaphysics required to identify things - the "what" - requires not a vague spirituality, but the trinitarian God described in the Bible. He catalogs the impasse the ancient Greeks encountered in trying to determine the essence of objects and shows how the biblical doctrines of creation and the incarnation of Christ are required to solve the puzzles that ultimately stumped Plato, Aristotle, and Plotinus. Relying heavily on classical sources, Hanby summarizes the...  See my full review at Amazon

Einstein's Relativity and the Quantum Revolution: Modern Physics for Non-Scientists

DVD lectures from The Teaching Company. Layman's explanation of modern science discoveries.

Physics The Easy Way

Physics seems formidable to many, but this book does truly make it much easier to understand. "Easy" is relative, but this is the best book I've found for high school homeschoolers. It has plenty of real math problems so it's not a dumbed down "story" of physics. Rather, it takes you slowly from easy concepts to more advanced... [More]

PHP Example for Amazon Signed Request

Simple Example of PHP changes to comply with Amazon's requirement to Authenticate and Sign all Requests to AWS, now known as the Product Advertising API. This may affect some homeschool websites.

Amazon documents hint at how to do this, but there's no sample code for PHP - Here's how I got it to work

How to Block Facebook Ads

Here's how to block all Facebook ads. No more silly tatoo ads and get rich quick ripoff ads... This takes just 2 or 3 minutes to setup and yields hours of ad-less Facebook browsing bliss.

This only works with the FireFox browser - It's in wide use and works better than InternetExplorer.
If you need it, get FireFox here: http://www.mozilla.com/en-US/

Now assuming you have FireFox....

1. Install the FireFox addon by visiting: https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/1865
-- Click: Add To Firefox
-- Click Install button

...read on for the whole story.....

Shared Web Hosting - Simple Start, Unlimited Potential

Bluehost.com $6.95 HostingMany folks are interested in having a site on the internet - from a simple blog to a full featured private website. Many parents realize the career possibilities for their children and would like them to learn advanced internet skills and eventually build and manage a website, possibly for a family business. There are many options, in fact so many as to be overwhelming. Here's what I suggest. Follow this plan and work at your own pace, depending on your current skills and your goals. You can start for free and later have that full...

Update on "Proving God Exists" article

I wrote this short article on "Proving God Exists" about 15 months ago. Last week, it received a rush of new traffic via Stumble-Upon, along with new comments from various readers. Three of the comments led to dialog which may interest theists, Christians, and skeptics alike.

Learner.org Free Online Courses/Video

Learner.org offers many online classes programs and lectures suitable for high-school homeschoolers. I've enjoyed The Art of the Western World. This is a PBS style documentary with vivid detail that is a joy to watch. The program is not produced from a biblical viewpoint so parents should watch it with their children and discuss the various interpretations offered by the program.

Another great help to parents is learner.org's The Mechanical Universe. This complete introduction to high-school and college physics will interest student and parent alike. It's not a rigorous classroom lecture, but another PBS style documentary. Just enough math is provided to motivate the student to dig deeper and interact with the concepts and equations found in traditional "textbook" physics. Study Notes and coordinated textbooks are available for purchase on the site. We haven't seen these personally.

Take advantage of these Arts and Science programs, as well as the dozens of others offered at learner.org.

Proving God

While there are various proofs for God's existence, I've found this to be the simplest and therefore the most compelling. If you can refute this, let me know. Seriously, I believe this sums up the claim in Romans 1:19-20 and is undeniable. I'm sure others have expressed this argument, but here it is in my words....

Why Algebra?

The question "is Algebra really needed if my child is not interested in math/science?" comes up now and then among homeschoolers.  Here's what I think:

Algebra is essential.  Not everyone will solve equations for a living.  But you need to be able to think in terms of "functions" - meaning how one thing varies as a result of a change to another thing on which the first thing is dependent.  To have an intuitive sense of this is priceless.  Algebra trains this type of thinking.  "Functional" thinking works in politics, relationships, science, finances, etc - really in all of life. 

Algebra is just learning to convert various functions into different forms so they can be understood and manipulated more easily.  This idea of "transforming" one problem into another type is also essential.  Some problems are truly unsolveable as presented, but clever rethinking may show how it can be solved from another perspective - another essential life skill!

Algebra is wonderful to train proper thinking, as there is always an "objectively" correct answer - not a subjective "I think/you think" impasse common to so many of the "soft" sciences.