Sermon: Why Practice?

Why Practice?

I came to work one day to find one of my fellow workers reading his bible. This naturally led to a conversation about God, church and the Word. He asked for some verses; I suggested just keep reading and let God speak to you specifically about some verses.

That phase passed and the other day he was reading “The Invisible Man”. I asked what happened to his bible reading and he explained how it seemed that when he tried to get closer to God all these things started happening in his life and he would back off, as he has done this time. I began to encourage him to go to church faithfully and fight through those moments. He is a football coach so I compared going to church like football practice. Without practice you won’t be able to handle the tough moments in the actual game.

The day progressed and this idea stuck in my head and I realized it would be my Sunday morning sermon. It was a strange day at school as we had to escort too many students from their classrooms to the detention hall. You usually do a little counseling along the way with the student. At one point I am watching his desk as he comes back with a student he is gently encouraging. The comment I overheard from the student was: “I just want to do nothing”. Depressed.

By the end of the day Deandre asks me how it is he can try and help someone else who is depressed but when his turn comes he can’t help himself. I now again explained the importance of church comparing it to the importance of practice. I let him know I was going to preach it Sunday morning. He asked me if I could record it. He told me he would let me know how church went for him Sunday.

1 Cor 9:24-10:1 Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it.  25 And everyone who competes for the prize is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a perishable crown, but we for an imperishable crown.  26 Therefore I run thus: not with uncertainty. Thus I fight: not as one who beats the air. 27 But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified.

I. Practice, Practice, Practice

Life is a race, run it to win. Salvation is a race, run it to win. Marriage is a race, run it to win. Work is a race, run it to win.

How can I win? Practice.

Epicetus wrote this about the games: “Do you wish to gain the prize at the Olympic games?-Consider the requisite preparations and the consequences: you must observe a strict regimen; must live on food which you dislike; you must abstain from all delicacies; must exercise yourself at the necessary and prescribed times both in heat and in cold; you must drink nothing cooling; take no wine as formerly; in a word, you must put yourself under the directions of a pugilist, as you would under those of a physician, and afterward enter the lists. Here you may get your arm broken, your foot put out of joint, be obliged to swallow mouthfuls of dust, to receive many stripes, and after all be conquered.”

The church service is the practice field for the church.

Heb 10:23-25 Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful. 24 And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, 25 not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.

Acts 2:42 And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers.

This has been the pattern of the church since the day of Pentecost which this verse refers to. God gave the law and 3000 died. God started the church and 3000 were saved.

The best advice you can give any Christian is “go to church”. Should we be surprised then that Satan does all he can to keep us from church as well as do his most to diminish the church and narrow its access into society.

II. The Crown

There is opposition to your receiving the crown. John 8:44 You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it.

He is a liar with his counterfeit church always available with bright lights shining.

 2 Cor 11:14-15 And no wonder! For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light. 15 Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also transform themselves into ministers of righteousness, whose end will be according to their works.

Be careful when the message is sin is OK. It is not: the wages of sin is death. The wages of Christian sin is death.

Practice by: learning to run the race to receive the crown.

Jesus said: John 10:1 “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who does not enter the sheepfold by the door, but climbs up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber.

John 10:9-10 I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture. 10 The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.

Practice by: being temperate in all things.

Gal 5:19-26 Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, 20 idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, 21 envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. 24 And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.

Practice by: disciplining my body.

Rom 8:13-14 For if you live according to the flesh you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. 14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.

1 Peter 2:11 Beloved, I beg you as sojourners and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts which war against the soul,

Why? To receive a crown that lasts for eternity in Christ.

III. The Warning

Heb 2:1-3 Therefore we must give the more earnest heed to the things we have heard, lest we drift away. 2 For if the word spoken through angels proved steadfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just reward, 3 how shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation,

Be careful when you hear people tell you it doesn’t matter what you do as a Christian. Paul, seems concerned.

1 Cor 9:27 But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified.

The Living Bible: 1 Cor 9:27 Like an athlete I punish my body, treating it roughly, training it to do what it should, not what it wants to. Otherwise I fear that after enlisting others for the race, I myself might be declared unfit and ordered to stand aside.

So you skip practice, you don’t do what you need to do to be a contributing part of the team and the big moment comes, and you are not ready.

1 Peter 3:15 But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear;

Conclusion

Mark Brunell and Billy Joe Hobert

Mark Brunell: takes the Huskies to the Rose Bowl and victory as a Sophomore. Injured, sat out with limited time playing as Junior. Back up as senior, only because of suspension of Billy Joe Hobert, he leads the team to victory in his last Rose Bowl. He is drafted in 5th round without much of a pro future. He gets picked up by Jacksonville expansion team and leads them into playoffs 3 of their first 4 years. He even got a super bowl ring as backup quarterback and place holder for the Saints in 2009.

Billy Joe Hobert: Gets his chance to take team to National Championship with Brunell’s injury. He would lead the team the next year until he was suspended for getting undisclosed loans from Huskie boosters. He would be drafted into the NFL in the 3rd round way ahead of his teammate Brunell. He failed to shine and when called upon to go into a game for Buffalo he admitted he had not taken the time to learn the plays. That was the end of his pro career.

Mark Brunell the college Christian speaker, even testifying at Seattle’s Billy Graham Crusade goes on to overcome diversity and rejection to have a career in football.

Billy Joe Hobert with all of his talent, destroys the Washington Huskie football program and fails to produce in the pros with drinking and divorce being his mode of operation.

The end of the story: Mark Brunell chases money and gets slaughtered in the 2008 meltdown and has to declare bankruptcy; Billy Joe Hobert finds Christ and living a stable married life.

 

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Merry Christmas

Last Spring we were visiting Laura Michelle in San Diego. At church one of the young men greeted me with a “Merry Christmas”. I responded and enjoyed the experience. I asked the girls he was with what that was all about. They let me know that he greets everyone that way all through the year so that he can do it during Christmas without being expelled from school.

One of the early clues that something different was happening with President Elect Trump was an column by Mark Steyn. He described his son’s reaction to a Trump rally early on in the primaries. It wasn’t like a normal political speech. In the middle of the speech he paused and said: “Why can’t we say Merry Christmas?” He was on to something.

I see now that Bernie Sanders is telling us that Trump won because of America has had enough of this political correctness. He is right!

Saying Merry Christmas will just feel better this year! Thanks Mr. Trump.

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Tebow’s John 3:16 Stats

I thoroughly enjoyed this. Tim Tebow is recapping the stats around his team’s victory over Pittsburg so many years ago in the playoffs. Worth the view here!

It starts with his wearing Jn 3:16 under his eyes in the collegiate national championship game which he won. Three years later they are playing the Steelers.

He throws for 316 yards. Average catch 31.6. Average run 3.16. Time of possession 31.6 minutes. Viewers 31.6 million.

What he seems most impressed with is the 95 million google hits on Jn 3:16 that day.

And well he should be. God is big, don’t even try to understand how big.

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

A Moment in Time

My last post was on Oct. 1, 2016. The next day we would start revival with Larry O’Halloran. I would take him to the airport on Oct. 6 and continue out to Nevada to see my mom who was dealing with stage 4 lung cancer. The time was coming for her to sell her house and she wanted me to make sure I got my father’s dress swords. I drove my truck out there with the intention of taking some garage things home with me along with the swords.

I got there Friday night and had a good night with my sister Laurie and Mom. The plan was for Mom to sell the house and go live with my two sisters in Lodi CA. That Saturday’s chores got put on hold as she received an offer on the house. There was some bargaining during the day with the final offer being agreed upon and the final paperwork to be signed Monday. We went to Mass that Saturday night followed by McDonalds with the ladies and priest Father Jesus.

Mom would come to church with me in Reno the next morning. I have always enjoyed preaching to my Mom. She wears the smile of a proud mother. She has relationships in the Reno church and they treat her very well. Pastor Louis Oliver has been allowing me to preach in his church for the last 25 years as I would visit my parents and now visit Brooke who married Billy in the Reno church. Barb, the pastor’s wife, would have a gift to give my Mom as we headed home.

We stopped at one of her favorite restaurants on the way home. We would discuss the protestant altar call. She understood going forward to receive Christ; but what were all of those people doing at the altar? We had both responded to a TV presentation we watched together when I was about 21. Since my salvation she has prayed with me several times. I was able to compare the altar call with the Catholic communion service. Both have a moment of recognizing and confessing sin, a Sin Offering, the protestant then surrenders his will to Christ and the Catholic receives the graces of Communion, the Burnt Offering and finally both return to their seats at peace with God, with family and the world; the Peace Offering.

She had a comfortable afternoon eating, sleeping and watching TV with me. We watched “St. Vincent” with Bill Murray together with her running commentary. I made her a nice salad with lamb riblets. I found her putting more and more weight upon me during the course of the day as she would do the little movement required. I realized I would have to extend my stay until my sisters could make it back in two weekends. She needed my help.

I put her to bed about 11:00 that night. There was medicine that still needed to be taken and about 12:00 we started that process. One thing would lead to another until I found myself calling 911 and administering CPR. My mom passed away.

Not sure what to say next. I have stayed very busy with school and church but sometimes I feel like a walking Zombie; with that zest for life that I have prided myself in, despite my 61 years, harder to find or drum up. I have had a good prayer life during this time “casting my cares upon Him” and want to start looking forward to the future again.

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

After the Republic

 

I read an article “After the Republic” by Angelo Codevilla. I have included a few highlights. It ends with a phrase “threshold of a revolution”. Is it really happening?

 

In today’s America, a network of executive, judicial, bureaucratic, and social kinship channels bypasses the sovereignty of citizens. Our imperial regime, already in force, works on a simple principle: the president and the cronies who populate these channels may do whatever they like so long as the bureaucracy obeys and one third plus one of the Senate protects him from impeachment. If you are on the right side of that network, you can make up the rules as you go along, ignore or violate any number of laws, obfuscate or commit perjury about what you are doing (in the unlikely case they put you under oath), and be certain of your peers’ support. These cronies’ shared social and intellectual identity stems from the uniform education they have received in the universities. Because disdain for ordinary Americans is this ruling class’s chief feature, its members can be equally certain that all will join in celebrating each, and in demonizing their respective opponents.

And, because the ruling class blurs the distinction between public and private business, connection to that class has become the principal way of getting rich in America. Not so long ago, the way to make it here was to start a business that satisfied customers’ needs better than before. Nowadays, more businesses die each year than are started. In this century, all net additions in employment have come from the country’s 1,500 largest corporations. Rent-seeking through influence on regulations is the path to wealth. In the professions, competitive exams were the key to entry and advancement not so long ago. Now, you have to make yourself acceptable to your superiors. More important, judicial decisions and administrative practice have divided Americans into “protected classes”—possessed of special privileges and immunities—and everybody else. Equality before the law and equality of opportunity are memories. Co-option is the path to power. Ever wonder why the quality of our leaders has been declining with each successive generation?

Moreover, since the Kennedy reform of 1965, and with greater speed since 2009, the ruling class’s immigration policy has changed the regime by introducing some 60 million people—roughly a fifth of our population—from countries and traditions different from, if not hostile, to ours. Whereas earlier immigrants earned their way to prosperity, a disproportionate percentage of post-1965 arrivals have been encouraged to become dependents of the state. Equally important, the ruling class chose to reverse America’s historic practice of assimilating immigrants, emphasizing instead what divides them from other Americans. Whereas Lincoln spoke of binding immigrants by “the electric cord” of the founders’ principles, our ruling class treats these principles as hypocrisy. All this without votes or law; just power.

Foul is Fair and Fair is Foul

In short, precisely as the classics defined regime change, people and practices that had been at society’s margins have been brought to its center, while people and ideas that had been central have been marginalized.

Fifty years ago, prayer in the schools was near universal, but no one was punished for not praying. Nowadays, countless people are arrested or fired for praying on school property. West Point’s commanding general reprimanded the football coach for his team’s thanksgiving prayer. Fifty years ago, bringing sexually explicit stuff into schools was treated as a crime, as was “procuring abortion.” Nowadays, schools contract with Planned Parenthood to teach sex, and will not tell parents when they take girls to PP facilities for abortions. Back then, many schools worked with the National Rifle Association to teach gun handling and marksmanship. Now students are arrested and expelled merely for pointing their finger and saying “bang.” In those benighted times, boys who ventured into the girls’ bathroom were expelled as perverts. Now, girls are suspended for objecting to boys coming into the girls’ room under pretense of transgenderism. The mainstreaming of pornography, the invention of abortion as the most inalienable of human rights and, most recently, the designation of opposition to homosexual marriage as a culpable psychosis—none of which is dictated by law enacted by elected officials—is enforced as if it had been. No surprise that America has experienced a drastic drop in the formation of families, with the rise of rates of out-of-wedlock births among whites equal to the rates among blacks that was recognized as disastrous a half-century ago, the near-disappearance of two-parent families among blacks, and the social dislocations attendant to all that.

If trying to persuade irredeemable socio-political inferiors is no more appropriate than arguing with animals, why not just write them off by sticking dismissive names on them? Doing so is less challenging, and makes you feel superior. Why wrestle with the statistical questions implicit in Darwin when you can just dismiss Christians as Bible-thumpers? Why bother arguing for Progressivism’s superiority when you can construct “scientific” studies like Theodor Adorno’s, proving that your opponents suffer from degrees of “fascism” and other pathologies? This is a well-trod path. Why, to take an older example, should General Omar Bradley have bothered trying to refute Douglas MacArthur’s statement that in war there is no substitute for victory when calling MacArthur and his supporters “primitives” did the trick? Why wrestle with our climate’s complexities when you can make up your own “models,” being sure that your class will treat them as truth?

What priorities will the ruling class’s notion of scientific truth dictate to the next Democratic administration? Because rejecting that true and false, right and wrong are objectively ascertainable is part of this class’s DNA, no corpus of fact or canon of reason restrains it or defines its end-point. Its definition of “science” is neither more nor less than what “scientists say” at any given time. In practice, that means “Science R-Us,” now and always, exclusively.

Who, a generation ago, could have guessed that careers and social standing could be ruined by stating the fact that the paramount influence on the earth’s climate is the sun, that its output of energy varies and with it the climate? Who, a decade ago, could have predicted that stating that marriage is the union of a man and a woman would be treated as a culpable sociopathy, or just yesterday that refusing to let certifiably biological men into women’s bathrooms would disqualify you from mainstream society? Or that saying that the lives of white people “matter” as much as those of blacks is evidence of racism? These strictures came about quite simply because some sectors of the ruling class felt like inflicting them on the rest of America. Insulting presumed inferiors proved to be even more important to the ruling class than the inflictions’ substance.

How far will our rulers go? Because their network is mutually supporting, they will go as far as they want. Already, there is pressure from ruling class constituencies, as well as academic arguments, for morphing the concept of “hate crime” into the criminalization of “hate speech”—which means whatever these loving folks hate. Of course this is contrary to the First Amendment, and a wholesale negation of freedom. But it is no more so than the negation of freedom of association that is already eclipsing religious freedom in the name anti-discrimination. It is difficult to imagine a Democratic president, Congress, and Supreme Court standing in the way.

In fact, the United States of America was great because of a whole bunch of things that now are gone. Yes, the ruling class led the way in personal corruption, cheating on tests, lowering of professional standards, abandoning churches and synagogues for the Playboy Philosophy and lifestyle, disregarding law, basing economic life on gaming the administrative state, basing politics on conflicting identities, and much more. But much of the rest of the country followed. What would it take to make America great again—or indeed to make any of the changes that Trump’s voters demand? Replacing the current ruling class would be only the beginning.

Because it is difficult to imagine a Trump presidency even thinking about something so monumental as replacing an entire ruling elite, much less leading his constituency to accomplishing it, electing Trump is unlikely to result in a forceful turn away from the country’s current direction. Continuing pretty much on the current trajectory under the same class will further fuel revolutionary sentiments in the land all by itself. Inevitable disappointment with Trump is sure to add to them.

We have stepped over the threshold of a revolution. It is difficult to imagine how we might step back, and futile to speculate where it will end. Our ruling class’s malfeasance, combined with insult, brought it about. Donald Trump did not cause it and is by no means its ultimate manifestation. Regardless of who wins in 2016, this revolution’s sentiments will grow in volume and intensity, and are sure to empower politicians likely to make Americans nostalgic for Donald Trump’s moderation.

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

This New World

I see the cross-dressing men in high school. They seem to attract no attention that I can see. The high school has a designated bathroom for people who have switched their identity by choice. I can tell young people are trained to not pay any attention to them one way or another. Of course, all hell would fall on them if they  were to tease or confront in any way. That seems to be the makeup of this generation; I kind of live and let live.

I caught this article by Kathryn Hinderaker (possibly the daughter of a Powerlineblog guy) entitled “Why Millennials Hate Trump”. Here are some quotes:

 

College is all about political correctness. With PGPs and safe spaces abounding, students in college today are trained to be careful. From day one, every teacher includes a “Statement of Inclusion” on his or her syllabus. Students include their gender pronouns in the signature of their emails. Say you’re not a feminist and you immediately become a misogynist. The list goes on. It has been ingrained in the mind of every recent college student to use extreme caution when speaking, as to not offend someone. Donald Trump is quite clearly the opposite of this. His unfiltered railing and ranting is like nails on a chalkboard to our college-trained ears.

Everyone must have a cause. College students are expected to campaign for and adamantly help and protect those we decide to be “disadvantaged.” And to show how charitable and selfless we are, we slap a sticker on our laptop or pin a button to our backpack. But even these small, small gestures of recognition of a cause instantly boost our egos. We tell others we’re involved with charities because we’re changing lives, but we all secretly know it’s just because it will look good on our grad school application. Nevertheless, we still see ourselves as social justice warriors; heroes to the disadvantaged everywhere. Trump, with his focus on American values and the American economy, is a disgrace to our socially aware selves. Our laptop stickers cringe when we hear “lower taxes” and the buttons on our backpacks try to escape at the sound of anything vaguely capitalistic. Because anything that benefits America, we have been taught, causes terror and hardship for the rest of the world.

“Make America Great Again” is irrelevant to college students because we can’t believe that America has been or ever will be anything but selfish and greedy. I’m reading a book for class right now on how capitalism is causing climate change. Last year, we discussed how the Constitution set us up for failure. I’ve even heard students chastise one another for claiming that America is the greatest country in the world. Because what’s focused on in the college classroom is not the insanely cool experiment that is America, but the horrific greed of the western world. Claiming America is superior to any other country will immediately mark you as naive, and probably a racist, too.

I say all this tongue-in-cheek, of course. I love my school to death. But there is no doubt that my classes and professors consistently push a liberal agenda in their teaching. So even if students do think they align more with conservative values, they would never be able to vote for Trump. He’s the butt of teacher’s jokes and the epitome of everything we’ve been taught is wrong with the world.

After reading this I was a little amazed. I have always thought the PC thing was a little far fetched but am only now beginning to realize how indoctrinated the younger people are.

 

So here is the redeeming story. Meet His Majesty. Here are some quotes; enjoy:

“A student has taken advantage of the opportunity afforded by University of Michigan’s new pronoun policy, which allows students to list their chosen pronouns on the official bios that are sent out to their teachers.

The student, Grant Stroble, has listed his pronoun as “His Majesty.”

He is stunning and brave. Applaud his courage. Weep openly, if you must.”

Stroble—a conservative student and member of Young Americans for Freedom’s Board of Governors—told The College Fix that he has no problem with students asking to be identified in the manner that makes them most comfortable. But he found the university’s new policy to be absurd:

In an interview with The College Fix, Strobl said that “I have no problem with students asking to be identified a certain way, almost like someone named Richard who would like to be called Dick. It is respectful to make a reasonable effort to refer to students in the way that they prefer.”

However, he added that he does have a problem when the university institutionalizes the use of pronouns that are completely arbitrary and may possibly sanction people for referring to someone different than their preference.

Strobl continued, “So, I henceforth shall be referred to as: His Majesty, Grant Strobl. I encourage all U-M students to go onto Wolverine Access, and insert the identity of their dreams.”

If this isn’t the feel-good story of the year, I don’t know what is.”

And I agree.

 

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Crick’s Full Circle

I use a photo of Francis Crick in my science slide show. He discovered DNA along with Watson in the 1950’s. He realized immediately the impossibility of DNA happening through some kind of Darwinian magic (mutation and natural selection). So I ask: “How does he think DNA developed?” I get several guesses; but usually someone comes out with the right answer: “Aliens”. Yes, that is what he believes. It is called panspermia, kind of like sexual seed from aliens being spewed out through the universe and happening to fall upon planet earth.

I came across this Mark Steyn remembrance of Crick following his death. Here are some quotes:

Francis Crick is dead and gone. He has certainly not “passed on” – and, if he has, he’ll be extremely annoyed about it. As a 12-year old English schoolboy, he decided he was an atheist, and for much of the rest of his life worked hard to disprove the existence of the soul.

Afterwards, already 30 and at a loose end, he mulled over what he wanted to do and decided his main interests were the “big picture” questions, the ones arising from his rejection of God, the ones that seemed beyond the power of science. Crick reckoned that the “mystery of life” could be easily understood if you just cleared away all the mysticism we’ve chosen to surround it with.

That’s the difference between Darwin and Crick. Evolution, whatever offence it gives, by definition emphasizes how far man has come from his tree-swinging forebears. DNA, by contrast, seems reductive. Man and chimp share 98.5 per cent of their genetic code, which would be no surprise to Darwin. But we also share 75 per cent of our genetic make-up with the pumpkin. The pumpkin is just a big ridged orange lump lying on the ground all day, like a fat retiree on the beach in Florida. But other than that he has no discernible human characteristics until your kid carves them into him.

The university at which he practiced his science is filled with ancient college chapels, whose presence so irked Crick that, when the new Churchill College invited him to become a Fellow, he agreed to do so only on condition that no chapel was built on the grounds. In 1963, when a benefactor offered to fund a chapel and Crick’s fellow Fellows voted to accept the money, he refused to accept the argument that many at the college would appreciate a place of worship and that those who didn’t were not obliged to enter it. He offered to fund a brothel on the same basis, and, when that was rejected, he resigned.

His militant atheism was good-humored but fierce, and it drove him away from molecular biology. As the key to the mystery of life, DNA seems a small answer to the big picture, so Crick pushed on, advancing the theory of “Directed Panspermia”, which is not a Clinton DNA joke but his and his colleague Leslie Orgel’s explanation for how life began.

“We do not know… uncertain… not too far out… we do not know for certain… we suspect… chances are…” And thus the Nobel prize winner embraces the theory that space aliens sent rocketships to seed the earth. The man of science who confidently dismissed God at Mill Hill School half a century earlier appears not to have noticed that he’d merely substituted for his culturally inherited monotheism a weary variant on Greco-Roman-Norse pantheism – the gods in the skies who fertilize the earth and then retreat to the heavens beyond our reach.

He didn’t see it that way, of course. His last major work, The Astonishing Hypothesis, was a full-scale assault on human feeling. “The Astonishing Hypothesis,” trumpeted Crick, “is that ‘You,’ your joys and your sorrows, your memories and your ambitions, your sense of personal identity and free will, are in fact no more than the behavior of a vast assembly of nerve cells and their associated molecules. As Lewis Carroll’s Alice might have phrased it: ‘You’re nothing but a pack of neurons.'”

Perhaps the combination of human quirks and sparks that drove him to chase his double-helix are merely a chemical formula no different in principle from that which determines variations in the pumpkin patch. But, even if Francis Crick is 75 per cent the same as a pumpkin, the degree of difference between him and even the savviest Hubbard squash suggests that as a unit of measurement it doesn’t quite suffice.

It is too late to retreat now. Francis Crick set us on the path to a biotechnological era that may yet be only an intermediate stage to a post-human future. But, just as a joke that’s explained is no longer funny, so in his final astonishing hypothesis Dr Crick eventually arrived at the logical end: you can only unmask the mystery of humanity by denying our humanity.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment