My Christmas Present

I received a Davis Pro weather station for Christmas. Tim insisted we get the cabled version rather than the wireless one as he argues that the data collection is more reliable. My previous weather station, a Digitech, tended to drop out every time the rain blew too hard or when it rained, so he may be right.

The hardest part of the installation was the cabling., which still isn’t finished properly. Being an older house, there are lots of little nooks and crannies (or gaping holes) to shove cables into. Even though the temperature was in the low to mid 30s this morning, the inside of the roof wasn’t too hot, due to the insulation blanket the builder put in when we replaced our roof last year.

We just have to connect the data logger to the server and we will have lots of info on our local weather.

Martin Lloyd-Jones: “Why could we not cast it out?”

“Why could we not cast it out?”


Mt_17_14-15.Gustave_Dore.JesusHealingTheLunatic

And he said to them, “This kind cannot be driven out by anything but prayer.”  Mark 9:29

“You failed there, he said in effect to these disciples, because you did not have sufficient power. You were using the power that you have, and you were very confident in it. You did it with great assurance, you were masters of the occasion, you thought you were going to succeed at once, but you did not. . . . You will never be able to deal with ‘this kind’ unless you have applied to God for the power which he alone can give you.

You must become aware of your need, of your impotence, of your helplessness. You must realise that you are confronted by something that is too deep for your methods to get rid of or to deal with, and you need something that can go down beneath that evil power and shatter it, and there is only one thing that can do that, and that is the power of God. . . . We must become utterly and absolutely convinced of our need. We must cease to have so much confidence in ourselves, and in all our methods and organisations, and in all our slickness. We have got to realise that we must be filled with God’s Spirit.

And we must be equally certain that God can fill us with his Spirit. We have got to realise that, however great ‘this kind’ is, the power of God is infinitely greater, that what we need is not more knowledge, more understanding, more apologetics, more reconciliation of philosophy and science and religion, and all modern techniques — no, we need a power that can enter into the souls of men and break them and smash them and humble them and then make them anew.  And that is the power of the living God.

And we must be confident that God has this power as much today as he had one hundred years ago, and two hundred years ago, and so we must begin to seek the power and to pray for it. We must begin to plead and yearn for it.  ‘This kind’ needs prayer.”

Martyn Lloyd-Jones, Revival (Wheaton, 1987), pages 18-19.

Coral Reefs Can Take The Heat, Unlike Experts Crying Wolf

Interesting article from reef scientist Peter Ridd about why coral bleaching is not the disaster some would have you believe. From Watts Up With That

 

Coral Reefs Can Take The Heat, Unlike Experts Crying Wolf

  • Date: 26/12/18
  • Peter Ridd, The Australian

This unreliability of the science is now a widely accepted scandal in many other areas of study and it has a name: the replication crisis. When checks are made to replicate or confirm scientific results, it is regularly found that about half have flaws.

Scientists from James Cook University have just published a paper on the bleaching and death of corals on the Great Barrier Reef and were surprised that the death rate was less than they expected, because of the adaptability of corals to changing temperatures.

It appears as though they exaggerated their original claims and are quietly backtracking.

To misquote Oscar Wilde, to exaggerate once is a misfortune, to do it twice looks careless, but to do it repeatedly looks like unforgivable systemic unreliability by some of our major science organisations.

The very rapid adaptation of corals to high temperatures is a well-known phenomenon; besides, if you heat corals in a given year, they tend to be less susceptible in the future to overheating. This is why corals are one of the least likely species to be affected by climate change, irrespective of whether you believe the climate is changing by natural fluctuations or because of human influence.

Corals have a unique way of dealing with changing temperature, by changing the microscopic plants that live inside them. These microscopic plants, called zooxanthellae, give the coral energy from the sun through photosynthesis in exchange for a comfortable home inside the coral. When the water gets hot, these little plants effectively become poisonous to the coral and the coral throws them out, which turns the coral white — that is, it bleaches.

But most of the time, the coral will recover from the bleaching. And here’s the trick: the corals take in new zooxanthellae, that floats around in the water quite naturally, and can selectselecting different species that are better suited to hot weather.

Most other organisms have to change their genetic make-up to deal with temperature changes — something that can take many generations. But corals can do it in a few weeks by just changing the plants that live in them.

They have learned a thing or two in a couple of hundred million years of evolution.

The problem here is that the world has been completely misled about the effects of bleaching by scientists who rarely mention the spectacular regrowth that occurs. For example, the 2016 bleaching event supposedly killed 93 per cent, or half, or 30 per cent of the reef, depending on which headline and scientist you want to believe.

However, the scientists looked only at coral in very shallow water — less than 2m below the surface — which is only a small fraction of all the coral, but by far the most susceptible to getting hot in the tropical sun.

A recent study found that deep-water coral (down to more than 40m) underwent far less bleaching, as one would expect. I estimate that less than 8 per cent of the Barrier Reef coral died. That might still sound like a lot, but considering that there was a 250 per cent increase in coral between 2011 and 2016 for the entire southern zone, an 8 per cent decrease is nothing to worry about. Coral recovers fast.

But this is just the tip of the exaggeration iceberg. Some very eminent scientists claim that bleaching never happened before the 1980s and is entirely a man-made phenomenon. This was always a ridiculous proposition.

A recent study of 400-year-old corals has found that bleaching has always occurred and is no more common now than in the past. Scientists have also claimed that there has been a 15 per cent reduction in the growth rate of corals. However, some colleagues and I demonstrated that there were ­serious errors in their work and that, if anything, there has been a slight increase in the coral growth rate over the past 100 years.

This is what one would expect in a gently warming climate. Corals grow up to twice as fast in the hotter water of Papua New Guinea and the northern Barrier Reef than in the southern reef. I could quote many more examples.

Read the full GWPF story  here.

Peter Ridd was, until fired this year, a physicist at James Cook University’s marine geophysical laboratory.

More Extreme Weather Events?

When the earth failed to burst into flames, or even to heat at the rates the computers predicted, the activists pointed to what they called extreme weather events such as tornadoes and cyclones. They were supposed to increase in number and intensity. 

The reality? Not so much. In fact the long term trend is actually the reverse of that, at least in Australia and the U.S.

From wattsupwiththat.com

2018 will be the first year with no violent tornadoes in the United States

 

From LMT Online

In the whirlwind that is 2018, there has been a notable lack of high-end twisters.

We’re now days away from this becoming the first year in the modern record with no violent tornadoes touching down in the United States. Violent tornadoes are the strongest on a 0 to 5 scale, or those ranked EF4 or EF5.

It was a quiet year for tornadoes overall, with below normal numbers most months. Unless you’re a storm chaser, this is not bad news. The low tornado count is undoubtedly a big part of the reason the 10 tornado deaths in 2018 is also vying to be a record low.

While we still have several days to go in 2018, and some severe weather is likely across the South to close it out, odds favor the country making it the rest of the way without a violent tornado.

If and when that happens, it will be the first time since the modern record began in 1950.

2005 came close to reaching this mark. That year, the first violent tornado didn’t occur until Nov. 15, much later than typical for the first of the year, which tends to come in early spring.

This year’s goose-egg may seem to fit a recent pattern.

In simple terms, there have been down-trends in violent tornado numbers both across the entire modern period, and when looking at just the period since Doppler radar was fully implemented across the country in the mid-1990s. A 15-year average as high as 13.7 in the mid-1970s will drop to 5.9 next year.

Expanding to include all “intense” tornadoes, or those F/EF3+, this year’s 12 is also poised to set a record for the least.

Right now, the mark there is held by 1987 when there were 15 F3+ tornadoes. As with violent tornadoes, this grouping is also exhibiting both a short and long-term decrease in annual numbers, likely for similar reasons.

The causes for 2018′s lack of violent tornadoes are many, but one key factor is high pressure tending to be more dominant than normal throughout peak season this past spring. This was particularly so during April and May, when tornado numbers were below to well below normal.

Although the country ended up seeing a number of memorable tornado events after the spring, including several this fall, in most years over half of the tornadoes occur from March through May. Making up those numbers is difficult at other times of the year when ingredients for them are less likely.

Despite the downtrend in annual numbers, studies continue to find that more tornadoes are happening on fewer days. In that light, it is certainly possible this drought won’t last much longer

The Myth of the Pagan Origins of Christmas

The Myth of the Pagan Origins of Christmas

It’s generally accepted that early Christians adopted December 25th as the day of Christ’s birth to co-opt the pagan celebration of the winter solstice. Some believe this fact undermines Christianity.

But according to Professor William Tighe, this “fact” may actually be a myth.

Based on his extensive research, Tighe argues that the December 25th date “arose entirely from the efforts of early Latin Christians to determine the historical date of Christ’s death.” He also goes so far as to claim that the December 25th pagan feast of the “’Birth of the Unconquered Sun’… was almost certainly an attempt to create a pagan alternative to a date that was already of some significance of Roman Christians.”

Tighe explains…

In the Jewish tradition at the time of Christ, there was a belief in what they called the “integral age”—that the prophets had died on the same days of their conception or birth. Early Christians spent much energy on determining the exact date of Christ’s death. Using historical sources, Christians in the first or second century settled on March 25th as the date of his crucifixion. Soon after, March 25th became the accepted date of Christ’s conception, as well.

Add nine months—the standard term of a pregnancy—to March 25th, and Christians came up with December 25th as the date of Christ’s birth.

It is unknown exactly when Christians began formally celebrating December 25th as a feast. What is known, however, is that the date of December 25th “had no religious significance in the Roman pagan festal calendar before Aurelian’s time (Roman emperor from 270-275), nor did the cult of the sun play a prominent role in Rome before him.” According to Tighe, Aurelian intended the new feast “to be a symbol of the hoped-for ‘rebirth,’ or perpetual rejuvenation, of the Roman Empire…. [and] if it co-opted the Christian celebration, so much the better.”

As Tighe points out, the now-popular idea that Christians co-opted the pagan feast originates with Paul Ernst Jablonski (1693-1757), who opposed various supposed “paganizations” of Christianity.

Of course, to Christians, it really doesn’t matter that much whether or not they co-opted December 25th from the pagans, or vice versa. The Christian faith doesn’t stand or fall on that detail. But it’s nevertheless valuable for all of us to give closer scrutiny to shibboleths—such as that of the pagan origins of Christmas—which are continually repeated without being examined.  ​



This post The Myth of the Pagan Origins of Christmas was originally published on Intellectual Takeout by Daniel Lattier.