Friday, December 15, 2006

Intellectually Inferior Christians

David Sklansky has issued a challenge to Christians. He is willing to wager $50,000 for anyone who can pass a polygraph exam on two tenets of Christianity: 1) that Christ rose from the dead, & 2) that those who do not profess faith is Christ will not enter Heaven. The second part of the wager is that he and the challenger will both take the math portion of either the SAT or the GRE in half the normally allotted time, and whoever scores lower will pay the other $50,000.

His premise is that people who agree with those two basic beliefs of Christianity are less intelligent than those who do not. Of course, all it would really prove if Sklansky won the bet is that Sklansky is better at a math test than the individual challenger. In case you didn't know, Sklansky has written several books about the mathematics of Poker and describes himself as a child math and logics prodigy.

A few quotes from Sklansky in the thread:

Their beliefs make them relatively stupid (or uninterested in learning). Or only relatively stupid people can come to such beliefs. One or the other.

The condescension of otherwise intelligent people toward those of us of faith is annoying and amusing at the same time.

And I really can't even conceive of someone who can legitimately pass that polygraph doing great on the exam. The only way it is conceivable I could lose without getting cheated is if I am rustier than I realize or if I happen to make the occasional careless error that is impossible to fully guard against.

So, if someone gets past the polygraph and then does, in fact, best Sklansky on the test, he'll blame it on the challenger cheating or his own rustiness.

It's a "no win" bet for any challenger because of the parameters of the wager. not to mention that many of us who could probably give him a run for his money on the test are too smart to wager $50,000 on such a proposition.

For the record, I believe the two things he includes in his polygraph portion, and at one time, I think I could have been in the game on the math test. I took both the SAT and the GRE in my school career. I missed one question each on them. On the LSAT, I missed one question in the Logical Reasoning section and aced the Logic Games section.

Even if Sklansky could get a perfect on the test and a challenger, let's say me, only missed one, Sklansky would have won his $50,000, but how can he honestly say the challenger did not do "great on the exam"?

Thursday, December 14, 2006

A Plot Full of Intrigue

Okay, so I took my car back to the repair shop again. They had the right valve this time, but after installing it, there was still a problem with the car. Turns out, I need the computer replaced. The guy said he can get the part for about $45, so it'll be back to the shop one more time. I decided to go ahead and have them replace the Fuel Level Sensor as well. I've been driving around for almost a year without a working fuel gauge. It'll be nice not to have to keep my eyes on the trip odometer the entire time I drive. After putting all this work into the car, I'm pretty sure I'll be driving it until it just won't go any more.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Valvular Relief

I took the Intrigue in to have the Check Engine light checked out. Turns out that a valve has gone bad in the system of the SAIP. I guess I should be glad it's not the pump gone bad already.

This probably means I won't be going out and buying a different car afterall.

Sunday, December 10, 2006


Nope, not about the Pixar film. A few years ago, I bought a 2002 Oldsmobile Intrigue that had about 19,000 miles on it. After I drove it for 30,000 miles, the Check Engine light came on. I took it in and had the Secondary Air Intake Pump replaced. About 30,000 miles later, the Check Engine light came on again. Again, it was the Secondary Air Intake Pump (SAIP). That one lasted 2 days before going bad. SAIP #3 survived about 2 weeks before I had to take it in yet again. The Check Engine light came on the very next day after SAIP #4 was installed. Since I knew what the problem was, and knew it really didn't affect my car's performance, I ignored it until I had to get it fixed in order to pass the annual vehicle inspection. So, I took it to a different shop this time and had SAIP #5 installed. I got the car back Wednesday evening. Saturday night, after only 150 miles, the Check Engine light came back on. If it's the SAIP again (and I'm sure it is), I think it's time to get rid of this car. Other than this problem, the car has been pretty good for me. I've had a couple of tires blowout, and my Fuel Level Sensor went out this past year, but the only real issue has been the SAIP.

I wanted to drive this car until it just wouldn't go any more, but I can't put up with replacing the same part over and over and over again.


Jody and I watched Luther last night. Beautiful movie. I checked up on some of the history today, and there are a few overly dramatized inaccuracies, but for the most part, the story is correct.

Two very interesting points to me were Luther's stating that he had not read the New Testament even though he had been a monk for some time and Cardinal Cajetan saying that the Bible is too complex even for most Priests to understand so providing it in the language of the people would be a bad idea. Those two points illustrate a lot of the reason why Luther (and Calvin and Melancthon, etc.) was deperately needed in the 16th Century.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

I'll Pass on the Nachos

My wife got Nacho Libre from Blockbuster, and we watched it last night. Actually, I watched it all. Jody gave out about halfway through. I'm not sure if that had more to do with the muscle relaxant she had taken or the overall stinkitude of the movie. I tend to like Jack Black, but this movie was plain boring.

I lost count of the number of different accents Black used. I can remember hearing more of a Spaniard tone early in the movie. At other times, he did get more of the Mexican accent right (I'm sure there are a variety of Mexican accents, but I'm familiar with a large number of Mexicans and Mexican-Americans, and the accent is fairly consistent). At one point, Black has an Italian accent. It was distracting.

If you want to see a good Jack Black movie, check out Orange County or School of Rock.