Thoughts on “The Greatest Show On Earth”

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One visitor commented that, if I’m really interested in a better understanding of the creation/evolution debate, I should read “The Greatest Show On Earth” by Richard Dawkins*. It’s a good idea for a Christian of this era to have a working knowledge of evolution. Given that Richard Dawkins has gone to the trouble to write the book to make the essentials of evolutionary theory accessible to the everyday person, this book is a good chance to hear it argued by a passionate advocate of atheism.

Young-Earth Creationism and “No Death Before the Fall”

Young-earth creationists teach that the doctrine of “no death before the fall” is an important argument for a young earth. That means, they say, that before Adam and Eve’s first sin of taking from the forbidden tree, there was no death of animals. Consequently they see the fossil record as presenting a problem for old-earth creationism: there couldn't have been millions of years of death before that first sin took place. Is this Biblically sound?

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Young Earth Creationism and the Plain Meaning of the Bible

One of the arguments of young earth creationists, in defence of young earth creationism vs old earth creationism, is that YEC stays faithful to the “plain meaning of scripture”. They say, any other variety of creationism is a compromise that leads inevitably to loss of faith. I admire the desire to stay faithful to God’s pure word. For that reason, I was once attracted to Young Earth in the first place. However, now I think that the “plain meaning of scripture” is actually something other than what YEC thinks.

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Zero Compression for ODF Documents

If you're a user of a version control system (VCS) such as Subversion, you may know about delta compression which allows the repository to efficiently store a new version by just storing the deltas compared to the previous version. But if you are storing ODF (e.g. OpenOffice) documents in version control, you may have heard that you're missing out on the benefits of delta compression because ODF documents are compressed. A minor change in a document can cause large-scale changes in the document, so the VCS can't work its delta compression magic.

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Graphical Diff for ODF documents using OpenOffice.org

At work we use Subversion for just about all our software project data: source code, design documents, reports. Design documents are usually in MS Word, Excel and Visio. TortoiseSVN is great at using MS Word's "track changes" feature to do a graphical diff of two versions of a document.

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