I Ran into a Friend Today

I ran into an old friend of mine, Michael, earlier while at work. We grew up together in a neighborhood just a few blocks from where I currently live. We had largely the same friends and the same pastimes since the sixth grade, til high school ended and we went our separate ways.

Since high school, nearly fifteen years ago, I could probably count the conversations we’ve had on two hands with fingers to spare. Funny how that works.

But today we talked as if no time had passed. Continue reading I Ran into a Friend Today

How to Prove an Atheist Exists, Biblically

As a bit of a follow-up to Definitively Proving God’s Existence, I want to add that in the Hebraic myth discussed in 1 Kings 18:21–40, God was proven to be real by Elijah’s sacrifice being accepted, with a spontaneous combustion of the sacrifice caused by God himself.

The prophets of Baal had no such luck with their sacrifice, as in the myth, their god did not exist to aid them in any way.

How would this play out in a contemporary context, if a believer in the God of the Bible decided to make a sacrifice to God as a show of faith in showing that he is real, in the face of unbelievers who may be making a counter sacrifice?  Continue reading How to Prove an Atheist Exists, Biblically

Enabling Form Validation on WordPress Comments

For over a decade, On Sixes & Sevens has accumulated comments from a wide variety of people — many who have posted confidently using their real name and what seem like valid email addresses while others have chosen anonymity with pseudonyms and pretty obviously fake email addresses.

The websites entered with the comments have been just as varied — from links to personal sites that match the rest of the information given (name, email address) to links to Google to strings which don’t resemble a valid website address at all. You know what I mean: “none,” “http://no,” “na,” and so on. Users for whatever reason don’t want to leave the field empty (even though it isn’t required), so they put in some invalid data if they don’t have a website.  Continue reading Enabling Form Validation on WordPress Comments

How to Add Whimsical Form Field Placeholders to WordPress Comment Forms

The WordPress comment form is a humble little thing: a few form fields, an explanation or two, and not much else, barring any plugins or customizations, that is.

Users who have left comments already will be greeted with a form that is already filled out the next time they visit, thanks to a cookie which WordPress sets, but what about before their first comment?

Would-be commenters are greeted by empty form fields for their name, email address, and website address, which is straightforward enough, but what if you want to jazz things up ever so slightly by adding some placeholder text to these form fields.  Continue reading How to Add Whimsical Form Field Placeholders to WordPress Comment Forms

Definitively Proving God’s Existence, One Way or Another

As a skeptic, I have often asked for proof that God — specifically the God of the Bible, the religion of which is an overwhelming majority in my area — exists, to which I’m often told that there is no proof that God exists, that it simply requires faith, or that there is plenty of proof but that it takes faith to actually accept that proof.

I’m also often challenged to prove that God doesn’t exist, the implication being that one cannot prove a negative and so cannot prove that God doesn’t exist, leaving open the possibility that he does exist.

The Bible even goes so far as to say that you cannot test God (Deuteronomy 6:16; Luke 4:12), and some apologists will say that you cannot test God from a position of a lack of faith but that those who have faith in God can test him because they already know he’s real.1

Would you believe, though, that there is an experiment described by the Bible which is entirely repeatable and which can be performed by any group of people, provided one of them is a believer in the God of the Bible and the other isn’t? Continue reading Definitively Proving God’s Existence, One Way or Another

The Past Two Years

It has been a while since I’ve written a journalistic update here. It looks like the last time I may have was over two years ago, in June of 2013, when I wrote about my journey as a blogger. It’s not that long ago, though it seems like ancient history.

When I wrote that, my daughter was just over a year old, and I was I was in the beginnings of a relationship with Jade. I had no idea what direction I wanted to take my website efforts in — the archives of 20102015 are a greater amalgam of content from various domains and false-start blogs than the archives of 20032009 ever were.  Continue reading The Past Two Years

Go Support the Mars Generation!

For the past several months, I’ve been a fan of Abigail Harrison — Astronaut Abby — an aspiring astronaut who spends a lot of her time inspiring other young people, including children, to appreciate and be involved in STEM education and activities.

Two things stuck out to me about this astronaut-in-training:

  1. I’ve no doubt that she must be ridiculously busy — school, space exploration advocacy, fundraising, etc. — but she seems to respond to everything! For someone shooting for the stars, she sure is down to Earth!
  2. She hopes to be the first astronaut on Mars! This is awesome on numerous levels. There has, in my lifetime, been no positive event that rivaled that of decades before my birth: the moon landing. To bear witness in my lifetime to a human setting foot on Mars — especially one whom I’ve had brief conversations with? WOW! More wonderfully, and more long term, my daughter will get to watch Abby’s project grow, and in her teens or twenties, she will (I hope!) get to witness Abby’s Mars landing as live as it possibly can be!

We need something to hope for, something to inspire us in the same way that the space program inspired us back in the fifties and sixties. We need to see ourselves not as separate peoples divided by invisible border lines but as a global human species.  Continue reading Go Support the Mars Generation!

In Remembrance of 2001/09/11

Today marks the fourteenth anniversary that a handful of faithful Muslims chose the path of martyrdom in an act of terror against the United States.

On Sixes & Sevens and Secular Now would like to remind you that religions — especially the Abrahamic religions of Judaism née Hebraism, Christianity, and Islam — have antagonism toward human cooperation built into their core scriptures.  Continue reading In Remembrance of 2001/09/11

Five Things Christians Get Wrong (About Their Own Religion)

Two-thousand years ago, a small religion popped up in the Middle East, inspired by Paul née Saul of Tarsus’ teachings about a man named Jesus.

Just as quickly, that religion died. It went extinct.

That’s not to say that “the faith” didn’t continue; rather, it rapidly evolved into something altogether different and incompatible with the original religion of Paul.

The traits which evolved are legion — encompassing everything from how Christians ought to live to nuances in what they are to believe — but I took a few moments to lay out what I consider to be the five biggest ways in which Christians get their own religion wrong. Continue reading Five Things Christians Get Wrong (About Their Own Religion)