Friday, September 15, 2017

OCEAN STRUCTURE AND EVOLUTION


OCEAN LAYERS

The tropical and subtropical regions of the oceans have three layers, an upper warm layer, an intermediate layer of rapidly declining temperature (the thermocline), and the bulk of the ocean extending to the bottom.  The intermediate layer is a zone where warm water mixes with colder deep waters.

The layers are maintained by density differences due to temperature and salinity; deep cold water is more dense or heavier than the upper layers.  The surface layer is typically from one hundred to one thousand feet thick.  It floats on top due to its expansion as it is warmed by the sun.  Most of the energy of sunlight that enters the water is absorbed in the first meter; below a few meters only blue light continues until it too is absorbed almost completely in the top 100 meters.

The depth, typically between 50 and 500 meters, of the mixing layer varies with wave and current action depending primarily on wind speed and density differences between the layers.  Constant winds produce higher waves and turbulence which induce deeper mixing.  Thus, the energy of the sun is absorbed and transported throughout the upper layer.  During a hurricane, the energy can be released from the water and strengthen the hurricane.  As the hurricane moves on, a new one may form if the surface water has not cooled much below 80 degrees Fahrenheit.

The winds of storms presumably enable the surface layer to be warmed to greater depths and thus store energy sufficient to produce additional and or stronger hurricanes.

Does global warming contribute to warmer oceans and more or stronger hurricanes?  Probably; a warmer air temperature increases the transfer of heat to surface water at the same time it reduces the rate of loss of heat from the water.

Do hurricanes contribute to ocean cooling, cooler weather, and a lull in hurricanes?  Presumably, hurricane winds increase cooling effect at the surface as turbulence in the upper layer transfers heat to an increasing depth of the upper layer as well as increasing the rate of heat loss at the surface from radiant energy, heat of vaporization of water, and direct water to air transfer.  The reduced water temperature increases the time needed to reach the temperature needed to generate a new hurricane.

THE CONSEQUENCES OF LAYERING

Layers make it more difficult to accurately measure the heat stored in the upper layer.  As warm water is pushed toward the margin of a continent it increases in height and depresses the layers below and forces water of the middle layer into a bulge of middle layer that moves as an internal wave.  The middle layer is squeezed between the lighter warm upper layer and the heavier lower cold layer, both being forced by gravity to seek an equilibrium of level layers.  At the border of the warm and mixing layers, the internal wave (called a seiche by scientists studying freshwater lakes) can have much greater height (relative to the upper surface of the middle layer) than surface waves and move more slowly across the ocean (lake).  I don’t know if oceanographers have studied hurricane induced seiches, but I would presume the initial movement would be a thickening of the near shore warm layer that would thin and push a bulge of the thermocline in a seaward direction.

The depth changes of the two interfaces, one of the mixing zone (thermocline) with the upper layer (epilimnion) and the other of the mixing zone with the lower layer (hypolimnion), may change by hundreds of feet in the ocean as an internal wave passes.  So calculating the energy stored in the ocean from a single location of a depth and temperature profile, or determining if the ocean is warming by a few measurements, is not very accurate if the profile changes with a passing internal wave or warm water is built up along a coast by constant onshore wind that then subsides.

The flooding from a storm surge in coastal areas rises above normal ocean levels as enormous waves break into low-lying coastal areas as they peak in shallow beachfront areas.  The magnitude of their intrusion is amplified by onshore winds, high tides, heavy rain, increased runoff from adjacent areas, and reduced runoff from normal channels or streams due to high ocean levels.

THE OXYGEN MINIMUM ZONE

Below the thermocline is an oxygen minimum zone where, light is insufficient for photosynthesis, and sinking dead organisms or their fragments provide nutrients for bacteria and other organisms to feed upon and deplete the oxygen in the process.  At the bottom of the deeper parts of the ocean, cold, salty, well-oxygenated water replaces bottom water that is slightly warmer.  The process of polar water replacing the deepest water continues until ten thousand or more years later the former bottom water approaches the oxygen minimum zone and becomes part of it until it enters the thermocline, eventually mixing with oxygenated surface water as well as being oxygenated by photosynthetic organisms when light is adequate.

The presence of oxygen gradually decreasing as water moves from the bottom to the oxygen minimum zone, and its long residence time, is evidence of the reduced biomass and long lives of individuals of the abyss.

EVOLUTIONARY CONSIDERATIONS

It should be obvious that the rigors and size of a hurricane have a potential the eliminate individuals less well endowed with survival adaptations of structure, physiology, and behavior.  It may be a tug-of-war between those survivors and ones better adapted to intervening weather and conditions. 

The stratification of the non-polar portion of the ocean, with the cold, sunlight-lacking, enormous abyssal zone covering over half of the earth’s surface, provides a place of refuge for species adapted to those conditions.  There are different ways of adapting, but one, the pogonophorans, have had security by living in a tube they secrete embedded in the sediments.  Like many others in the abyss, they have extremely long lives, low metabolic rates, and ability to take up nutrients from very low levels in the water.  Their circulatory system may be a critical component of their living deeply embedded in perhaps anoxic sediments while supplying oxygen to the embedded part for tentacles in the sea-water.  http://evolutioninsights.blogspot.com/2013/06/evolution-in-deep-sea.html

Joseph Engemann    Kalamazoo, Michigan    September 15, 2017

Sunday, August 20, 2017

EVOLUTION: ASTEROID CONTRIBUTIONS

The anticipation of the eclipse on August 21, 2017 made me reflect upon the intersection of objects orbiting in our solar system.  The nearest star to our Sun is about 18 trillion miles away.  Beyond that, and in all directions, are trillions of other stars.  A lot has happened in our 13.7 billion year old universe.  But I want to consider asteroids found in our solar system.

EVOLUTIONARY ROLES OF ASTEROIDS

1.  Stirring the pot for chemical evolution.

Whether they formed from condensation in the gaseous cloud giving rise to the sun and its protoplantary disk, or via collision(s) of orbiting planets, moons, and satellites, they exist in abundance, orbiting in a belt extending from the orbit of Mars to the orbit of Jupiter.  Smaller numbers have orbits intersecting earth's orbit; many have probably already been cleared by the earth and the moon from our orbit.  Some evidence of a peak in asteroid strikes a few hundred million years before the Cambrian has been claimed.

The early strikes may have contributed two things.  Elements and some simple organic compounds, the latter formed in the protoplanetary cloud before liquids and solids condensed, added to the chemicals available for early chemical evolution leading to living systems.  Larger asterioids may have made depression of various sizes in locations, some of which were favorable to the process described in earlier posts.  In addition to the delivery or useful chemicals, the mixing affect of material ejected around the impact area may have enabled useful different products to be combined.

2.  The origin of sex.

http://evolutioninsights.blogspot.com/2014/03/science-extinctions-and-evolution.html   is a post including a view of how asteroid extincton events may have spurred the origin of sex.
"The starvation of protists during the early life extinction events meant degrowth to eventual fatal levels if they could not eat another protist or, better yet, fuse with another to make a viable mass.  Perhaps the reductions during degrowth resulted in a reduced genome lacking essential genes.  Or continued reduction after fusion made the survival of only the normal genome [haploid set of chromosomes] an outcome that over time developed the needed stable genetic controls." (my 2010 Evolution Insights ms. p. 89)

3.  Making room for new species.

Reduction or extinction of dominant species may have enabled diversity to develop with less threat to survival in early poorly adapted stages of evolutionary lines.

The Pre-Cambrian/Cambrian unconformity may have been due to an intense period of asteroid bombardment opening up reduced predation which allowed pogonophorans to adapt to shallow seas as they gave rise to the hemichordates.

The end of the Paleozoic ended the dominance of trilobites and some other very successful groups.

The end of the Mesozoic Era with the demise of the dinosaurs simplified the success and rise of birds and mammals.

4.  Asteroid collisions were a probable cause of the abyssal region of the ocean serving as a refugium, or shelter, for some ancient animals, most importantly, the pogonophorans.  Pogonophoran adaptation to the deep sea allowed them to survive extinction events and repopulate, not only shallow water but portions of the ocean abyss that became anoxic, after oxygenated water currents from polar seas to abyssal regions was reestablished.

ASTEROID FORMATION

The space between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter is about 205,000,000 miles.  That is more than two time the 93,000,000 miles distance of the earth from the sun.  The dwarf planet, Ceres, wanders around the sun in a path using up about one-tenth the space between Mars and Jupiter orbits.  Craters exist on all the planets as well as many moons and larger asteroids.

Daytime surface temperatures on planets beyond earth are below freezing.  But Venus and Mercury are closer to the Sun and have temperatures much higher than boiling.  The extreme cold of outer reaches of the solar system means that many of the orbiting objects may be ice or other frozen gases.  The density of meteorites and/or asteroids may be high enough to suggest that their origin was closer to Earth and Mars.  Along with the gap in presence of planets in the asteroid belt, it suggests to me that collision of planet(s) and other large objects were the origin of much of the debris in the asteroid belt.

The reduced spacing and high orbital speed of the planets closer to the Sun would seem to be conducive to more asteroid inducing collisions.The orbital speed in miles per second for Earth is 18.5.  Speed decreases to 3.37 miles per second for Neptune which is about 30 times further from the Sun than Earth.  While we take a year to go around the Sun, it takes 165 of years for Neptune do so.

The rocky composition of planets nearer the sun is more like rocky asteroids than the gaseous planets beyond the asteroid belt.

The above factors would seem to indicate one or more collisions, involving one or more planets shattering, was a major source of asteroids.

Joe Engemann      Kalamzoo, Michigan    August 20, 2017

Monday, August 7, 2017

SCIENCE: NUCLEAR WAR

NUCLEAR WAR

The chance of having nuclear war seem to be increasing.  Threat of mutually assured destruction  is unlikely to dissuade doctrinily inspired terrorists from annihialating those not sharing their views.  That particular threat seems to be diminishing since most countries with nuclear capacity seem to be less inclined to provide necessary materials to terrorist groups.

The threat from North Korea, controlled by a seemingly megalomaniacal dictator, is greater with the increasing nuclear and missle capacity they are developing.  Their limited capacity would seem to make it certain they would not be able to hold the whole world hostage, but that might not prevent them from eliminating South Korea from the face of the earth if the dictator thinks the rest of the world will not come to South Korea's aid.

HIROSHIMA

The horrendous destruction dealt Hiroshima with a relatively small atomic bomb stuck fear into the world as it helped bring a rapid end to World War II.  Perhaps it saved far more lives that would have been taken in a prolonged continuation with conventional warfare.  But few today are likely to think it is morally acceptable to be the first to use a nuclear bomb under any circumstances.  Perhaps the overwhelming capacities both Russia and the United States have to detroy civilization have been a factor detering nuclear war as well as conventional wars that might escalate to comparable detruction.

EARLY FISSION FEARS

As high school students enrolled in a science class when the world was jolted by the atomic bomb, our knowledge of nuclear physics and heredity was insufficient to make us comfortable entering the atomic age.   Chain reactions were thought to possibly trigger explosion of the whole earth.  If the explosion didn't get us, perhaps new mutant animals would take over and destroy us.

We eventually realized chain reactions would not have enough fissile material in the environment to engulf the earth.  Genetists realized radioactive contaminant caused mutations would most likely cause the death of those with too high a mutation load, and the mutations are likely to be similar to already existing mutations which are mostly detrimental for organisms by causing the failure of function of genes.  The few good mutations may only duplicate other already existing ones.

Unfortunately, fears of radioactive contamination were realistically based on continuing pollution porpotional to the half-life of the radioactive elements involved.  Radioactive iodine in milk and dairy products had a short half life so it is greatly diminished by months of storage.  Plutionium, produced by fission of uranium 238, is more of an extreme danger because of its long half-life.  Airbourne debris from nuclear testing reached far distant places around the globe, laplanders in northern Europe had their food chain receive greater loads of radioactivity than many intermediate locations.  Strontium 90 is a radioactive isotope with a half life of about 28 years, it is metabolized much like calcium in biological systems, so it persists in milk and bone for a long time.

AN IMPERFECT SOLUTION

In a perhaps delusional self-satisfied moment, after completing a manuscript on creativity, I thought, "If I'm so damned smart, why don't I try to solve the world's biggest problem".  Atomic war popped to the top of the list.  The technology was already in the hands of several countrys, including the Soviet Union, considered the greatest threat by many.  Mutually assured destruction, a capacity resulting from a race between the United States and the Soviet Union, made a recognized first strike an unacceptable solution for both.  But what about an irrational leader in a group able to steal or otherwise get nuclear capability?

The best hope, I thought, if some level of rationality exists in the rogue nation or group, is beyond the control of the strongest country.  I thought the United Nations could publicize a policy that any and all deploying nuclear weapons against others will be subject to prosecution and punishment, regardless of lack of existing legislation, and any who stop such deployment will have the protection of the rest of the world.

Our United Nations ambassador sent me some literature of what the U.N. was doing, I think I got notes from our senator's offices, and one of Representative Wolpe's staffer's sent me a quite enthuiastic reply.

Why its imperfect

Today, the concept does not seem an effective solution for dealing with terrorists willing and able to recruit and mislead followers into blowing themselves up along with innocent civilians.  The phenomenon of North Korea's Kim Jong Un making brutality and lack of freedom a normal life is making the rest of the world uncomfortable.  I suspect he is smart enough to know it will be his end if he initiates a nuclear attack.  I hope our leader is smart enough to not initiate a premptive strike.  I think a lot of prayers are in order for a world cure beyond our capability.

It would be very difficult to penetrate the strict control in North Korean with a glimpse of a personal right or authority philosophy to take action against rash decisions of their leader.  Isolated terrorist groups brain-washed by aberrant spiritual leaders are unlikely to be persuaded to prevent nuclear terrorist actions by any action of the rest of the world.  Their actions may be terrible, but world-wide destruction seems unlikely; conventional international cooperation will hopefully prevent their potential strikes.

Go green and

Just remember that wars, violence, dictators, disease, famine, eruptions, earthquakes, floods and all sorts of disasters have been around as long as civilization has existed.  But so has the sun, the moon, and the stars.  Vist with friends, family, and neighbors; take a walk in the woods or a park, sit on the beach and watch the waves and the seabirds; look at the stars at night; and consider the billions of years since rhe dawn of creation and realize that the love of God is with you and billions of others, along with a few deep breaths, it should make you feel better.

Joe Engemann     Kalamazoo, Michigan   August 7, 2017

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

SCIENCE: MEMORY

The July, 2017, issue of Scientific American cover featured an article on "Our Memories" by Alcino J. Silva about advances in learning and memory.  His lab "had shown that the CREB gene was needed to form long-term memories.  . . . . by encoding a protein that regulates expression of other genes needed for memory."  The assignment of emotional memories as well as linking of memories are among things discussed.

The July-August, 2017, issue of AARP BULLETIN has a news item about an "electrical brain stimulation" research team, led by Michael Kahana, of "Neuroscientists at the University of Pennsylvania" who "have shown for the first time that stimulating the brain when it's foggy can significantly boost memory function.  Conversely, stimulating the brain when it's sharp can impair thinking skills."

Panel discussions on TV news shows remind me of both stimulation and impairment when one persons comments stimulate another to interrupt and make it difficult for the first person to complete their statement clearly.

LINKED MEMORIES

Linked memories are undoubtedly part of the difficulties some veterans with post traumatic stress disorder experience, such as terror-filled memories triggered by loud noises.  Emotionally charged memories may be linked with memories formed at the same time and may include visual, auditory, olfactory, and tactile stimuli that can later have a role in recollection of the associated memory.

Such linkage may be a factor in the use of mnemonics for remembering sequential  or associated items. Since newly forming memories may be linked sequentially in a physical sequence in the brain, activation of one item in the list may aide recovery of others in the sequence.  It isn't just harried mothers that use the name of the wrong child and then sometimes go through the list of all their kids before getting the right name.  Anyone with an overloaded schedule is likely to do something similar without it being a mental defect.

A BIT ABOUT NERVOUS SYSTEM FUNCTION

The structure of the brain with memory and thinking intensive areas having several layers of neurons, with multiple fibers (dendrites and the axon with its branches) make it practically impossible to map or solve exact storage patterns.  The tangle of fibers is only one part of the complexity.  At the synapse, or gap at the junction of a fiber with the next neuron, the impulse (depolarization wave) results in the release of a neurotransmitter.  There are neurotransmitters with various functions, some that stimulate, some that inhibit, and others with a range of speed of action or persistence.

The neurotransmitter at the neuro-muscular junction is typically acetyl choline.  It causes the muscle cell membrane to send a depolarization wave along its length, causing contraction of the muscle.  Choline esterase is an enzyme in the gap that breaks down the acetyl choline allowing its constituents to be recycled into acetyl choline in the original fiber.  Because neuro-muscular junctions of other animals use the same process some of the most rapid acting insecticides are choline esterase inhibitors.  Our large size makes it more likely to kill insects before the concentration we are exposed to kills us.  I had a student who would come back for the Fall Semester, after working fogging for mosquito control in Northern Michigan resorts most of the summer, with obvious twitchiness.  He survived it and was an effective biology teacher for many years.

MEMORIES, LIES, HONESTY, AND CREATIVITY

I have made the point in an earlier post that honesty is beneficial in developing creativity of a beneficial sort.  It may be that a liar has more linked memories on a topic, perhaps half of them untrue.  Does it then become impossible for them to distinguish truth from fiction?  An hour or so ago a panel on CNN was discussing our president's blend of fact and fiction had an early expression in his noting his marvelous home run to his classmate who reminded him it was just a single.  Apparently he was oblivious to the fact and repeated his recollection of his magnificent home run.

Scientists try to be honest and truthful in their work.  But complications due to complexity and sometimes relying on opinions of leading scientists, who have unintentionally given erroneous views credibility, can perpetuate and increase errors.  My early evolution blogs focused on one particular instance in the calculation of the ancestral tree of animals in which the pogonophora should be recognized as a remarkable link.

IMPROVING MEMORY AND OR RECALL

   for memory
Learn a bunch of connected things in uninterrupted fashion.
Multi-tasking is an interruption.
Its all important.
Repetition may help, especially if your mind wandered.

    for recall
Activate the appropriate regions of the brain by thinking about related things, locations, functions, people, times.
Be rested, fed, happy and comfortable or relaxed (don't be bothered if it doesn't come immediately)

   long-term preparation
Read, listen to music, play games, socialize, exercise, eat a balanced diet, sleep, meditate, appreciate nature and the world around you, and it certainly wouldn't hurt to pray, love God, your neighbors, and yourself.

Joe Engemann     Kalamazoo, Michigan  August 2, 2017

Friday, July 7, 2017

EVOLUTION: THE SIXTH EXTINCTION

The Sixth Extinction

I recently finished reading The Sixth Extinction by Elizabeth Kolbert (2014, Picador Press of Henry Holt and Company under license from Pan Books Limited).  I was even more impressed by the book than I was by the interview of the author by Brad Plummer noted in my comments in a March 6, 2014 post -

http://evolutioninsights.blogspot.com/2014/03/science-extinctions-and-evolution.html

, a post only accessed three times in the past three years, the same amount the immediately preceding post had during the same interval.

Kolbert does a remarkable job of presenting understandable and interesting accounts of extinctions, especially of the one humans are now causing, beginning with ice age humans.  I discuss the role of pre-Cambrian “origin of sex” being catalyzed by extinction events that may have been more numerous and violent than the six major extinctions recognized in subsequent eras.

She notes the current adoption of Anthropocene epoch as the beginning of a new era shaped by changes in the fossil record due to human activity.  The most notable change is the greatly increased rate of extinction of species.  Maybe we should have an additional label of Plasticene, or something comparable, for the sedimentary inclusion of a marker of plastic bags and other debris with which we have littered and labeled our environment.

As an adjunct to her remarkable book, it might be worth noting the brief essay on Numbers of Species in the post noted above.  It precedes the one on the Origin of Sex in the same post.

Her account of the extinction of the Great Auk (chapter III, The Original Penguin) filled a void in my background about the bird but is typical of our heedless behavior in causing species extinctions.  The extinction affecting many frog species (chapter I, The Sixth Extinction) may have taken longer without our aide in spreading the causative microorganism.  Rainforest, bats, and other current problems are all very worth reading.

I was especially saddened by the update on the demise of corals.  The double whammy of acidification of the ocean and ocean warming make recovery or coral reef ecosystems very unlikely during our lifetime.  But her description of her visit to One Tree Island as well as Heron Island brought back memories of a week I spent on Heron Island sixty years ago.  The hazardous walking on “pie crust” which she describes is mostly just on the tips of staghorn coral that seem sheared off by their inability to grow above low tide level.



                      Heron Island "pie crust" in background at low tide

Although her background is as a writer, especially for The New Yorker, she consulted with many scientists and, I think, reflects quite accurately current views in a very understandable and interesting way.  Her book may have the impact of Silent Spring by Rachael Carson about fifty years ago.

Joseph Engemann     Kalamazoo, Michigan     July 7, 2017

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

GOD: ABOUT FACE

GOD: About Face

On the preceding post, God Wrap Up, I expressed the view that I wouldn’t enumerate all the ways God has acted in my life.  Within twenty-four hours I was reading a reading designated for the day that made me reconsider that view.

Tobit and Tobiah

  In Tobit, chapter 12, Raphael says “Thank God!  Give him the praise and the glory.  Before all the living, acknowledge the many good things he has done for you, by blessing and extolling his name in song.  Honor and proclaim God’s deeds, and do not be slack in praising him.”

In a few posts, I have mentioned how things, usually considered adversities, worked to cause my mental development to go in various ways, such as a more contemplative way because of physical and health limitations, a disposition to eliminate early consideration of life options, and in general- take a haphazard approach to career development.

What Raphael, “one of the seven angels who enter and serve before the Glory of the Lord”, said to Tobit and his son, Tobiah, may not have been meant for me, but deserves consideration.

Possible Intercessions

I thought it was miraculous when I escaped a head-on crash as I foolishly tried to pass a string of closely grouped cars while returning from a ballgame by myself during my first or second year of high school.  There seemed to be no room to get back in line but I did so with no damage.  I didn’t even have a moment to ask for divine help.

During October of 1951 I was on a troop-ship, the Muir, when it encountered a hurricane in the North Atlantic.  The ship was over 700 feet long, but it was dwarfed by enormous swells that could well have broken it in two or turned it over.  I had plenty of time to ask for help and prepare for the end, for whatever reason, we emerged from the hurricane safely, thank you God.

Requests Answered

Our last child was born looking healthy, but within a few hours darkened and gasped for breath due the acute respiratory distress caused by hyaline membrane disease, a usually fatal disease at the time as we knew about it causing the death of President Kennedy’s infant son, Patrick.  An incubator with oxygen administration made some improvement in color but gasping continued.  Our pastor visited and talked with my greatly distressed wife and said he would go and say a prayer or bless the infant.  Within an hour he had departed and a nurse came down to tell her the baby was breathing normally.  We verified that and were thankful and greatly relieved.

A few years later my wife had a large and deep cut on her leg when a large glass bottle a clerk accidentally pushed off a counter hit a shelf and broke on the way to her leg.  The injury seemed to be healing normally but in a week or so it was becoming more painful and walking was difficult.  One day it seemed to be getting especially worse in soreness or pain, swelling, heat and redness.  I went upstairs to check on the kids but mostly to worry and think how impossible it would be for me to raise three kids by myself.  I was reminding God of the graces we were promised that accompanied the sacrament of matrimony.  Within ten minutes I was back downstairs with my wife and found that the redness was gone the temperature was normal.  She said she had been praying also when I went upstairs.  The symptoms were gone except for the scar which persists to this day.

Two similar instances a few years apart between 35 and 45 years ago when I was at my wit’s end trying figure out what to do about a problem I was having with my wife.  I went out to do some yard work and think about it.  I was tearfully explaining my problem to Jesus and offering my suffering in support of his.  I immediately calmed down and could no longer remember the problem.  It seemed like it meant he had suffered enough for both of us and didn’t need mine.  For whatever the reason, I was grateful.

Guidance or Answers?

God has a special role for each of us.  I began to see the way he had shaped my life after a half a century of life.  It is apparent now that the purpose of this blog is a step along the way.  It became much clearer when I took the 2007 discovery of my bone marrow disorder as an indication that I didn’t have much time to complete my intended evolution book to show scientists evolution and belief in God are not only compatible but desirable.  A version was completed in late 2009, about a year past the limit of time I thought my myelodysplasia would give me.  A bleeding problem cessation in early 2013 was followed by my beginning this blog due to my thinking it was God’s intercession or message for me to get busy and do it.

So now I have reached a point where it is time for me to pause and make some end of life preparations before they are left in a mess for our heirs.  If any energy is left after that I may blog haphazardly or work on adapting them to an internet book or more.

Joseph Engemann     Kalamazoo, Michigan      June 13, 2017

Friday, June 9, 2017

GOD WRAP UP

GOD WRAP UP

The title misses the fact God is the ultimate and infinite spiritual being not subject to wrapping up, a concept limited to things associated with the physical world.  But I think it is time to wrap up or otherwise treat and summarize my blog topics related to God.

As I write this, thinking about my twofold concern.  One, of helping scientists see that it is OK to believe in God, and two, helping believers to see that evolution is the way God created the living world’s diversity.  I was surprised by the fact that the two seemingly opposing views fit in my early, unpublished manuscript on creativity, “The Two-Way Street.”  Science and an understanding of causality can lead to a belief in God.  Belief in God as the mysterious creator should make the facts of nature serve as evidence of God.  The two polar opposite views are, or should be, compatible as well as comforting facts.

The things I was going to write have mostly been said before in my earlier posts.   Several of the ones in the post below are repeated in the list following.

http://evolutioninsights.blogspot.com/2015/05/god-posts-list.html  Twenty-three posts (including several duplicates from this list) may be of interest

http://evolutioninsights.blogspot.com/2013/05/god.html

http://evolutioninsights.blogspot.com/2014/05/finding-god.html  This post is about an observation that applies to having our mind primed for finding something; it could be a clue to finding God.  You have probably experienced something analogous when searching for pieces to assemble a jig-saw puzzle.

http://evolutioninsights.blogspot.com/2015/01/god-and-religious-traditions.html

http://evolutioninsights.blogspot.com/2015/01/our-relationship-with-god.html

http://evolutioninsights.blogspot.com/2016/09/meeting-god.html

http://evolutioninsights.blogspot.com/2017/04/where-is-god-in-science.html

http://evolutioninsights.blogspot.com/2017/04/can-scientists-believe-in-god.html

http://evolutioninsights.blogspot.com/2017/05/first-communion.html

http://evolutioninsights.blogspot.com/2016/09/god-healing-and-miracles-1-introduction.html  Five more September 2016 posts complete this topic.

This was intended to be a final post on this topic.  It may be.  But I think I have covered most items I wanted to present before I meet the inevitable end of my physical life on earth.  The more personal aspects of my relationship with God will be limited to things already said, perhaps in other words.  The miraculous interventions in my life do not pertain to the factual aspects of the evolution highlights discussed.  Supernatural claims for personal miracles are not presented because natural causes are possible for most of them although timing and other factors make me think otherwise.

The facts of my life are available and possible evidence that the things I have discovered are unlikely results of my almost aimless path.  For that, for family, for relatives and friends, and for a life in this great country, I thank God.  And I am almost penitent regarding posts where I have said unflattering things about Donald Trump; perhaps I’ll apologize to him if we both get to heaven.

I do not sign this with my emeritus status at a local institution because my professional training and experience do not qualify me to write about spiritual matters.  So you are in the same boat with me, children of God, both of us intended for eternal life.  Let's hope we make it,

Joseph Engemann    Kalamazoo, Michigan     June 9, 2017