Archive for June, 2011

June 28, 2011

Losing it at 50

We’re discussing excess weight, not patience, sanity or finances. These are all practical subjects for the over 50 demo but I don’t have much experience with the latter three.

                                                              – Flashback 20 years –

Losing it at 30 was relatively easy. A new expensive looking upscale digital scale in a friend’s bathroom proved irresistible. The readout was shocking, so much so I loudly announced the results to him without considering the embarrassment factor. I was 30 pounds overweight at age 30 meaning high school weight + 30. Where the hell did that come from? This was in the spring. By that summer I had lost 35 lbs., earned a nearly visible four-pack and spent many hours tanning by the pool.

                                                                           How?

Diet and exercise, surprise! I ate better types of food. By extension provided my young kids with nutritional foods too, a tradition that continues in all our lives. In addition, playing basketball, Frisbee, tossing assorted balls around, etc. and doing push-ups on a semi-regular basis became a part of the routine, again. At age 30 simply deciding to be thin again and taking a few obvious steps to get there was all it took. All was good until my mid-forties when the middle began to bulge but by just 15 or 20 lbs. Medium build guys can and often do hide that much under their shirt without much notice.

                                                                     Then came 50

Half a century old, the benchmark came too soon as it does for us all. One of the birthday presents came from nature; 25 lbs. of belly fat added to the perpetual 15 I was evidently resigned to live with. Ok, no problem, just repeat what worked at age 30 but six months later, nothing, no weight loss at all. Frustration led to complacency. In the blink of an eye 10 more lbs. appeared. Two pair of pants and a couple of shirts still fit, barely. My lap fat balanced a dinner plate perfectly which was handy, gross, but actually useful. My body was rebelling. Walking a mile was an effort. Making the bed left me breathing hard. I felt old.

                                                         Get busy living or get busy dying

It’s simple math. If the calories consumed are greater than the calories lost weight is gained. Research on the subject showed, without exception, that a person of my height can consume about 2000 calories and be weight neutral. More than 2000 add poundage, less decreases it, easy. When making only low-cal choices 2000 translates to a lot of food. Shaving 500 should be easy enough and at that rate all the excess me should be gone in about a year. This is without factoring in exercise. One problem with this glorious plan, the experts were wrong, all of them. For those over 50 subtract 500 calories from the daily intake number, at least that’s my experience. Therefore 1000 was the new target number which was diligently followed and without too much distress. Exercise is great but concentrating on diet is the key. A broken foot throughout most of the 10 month loss-a-thon proved this. I’m back to high school weight. Maintaining during the past year has been easy. 1500 calories plus regular exercise is a simple, effective formula.

Losing weight is like losing years. The fountain of youth is attainable. The motivation to lose weight is best driven by wanting to be and feel healthy. It’s not about vanity. Crunches are about vanity. By that logic I’m not egotistical, right? Never

June 16, 2011

Evolution vs.Creation

“Evolution is a bankrupt speculative philosophy, not a scientific fact. Only a spiritually bankrupt society could ever believe it. Only atheists could accept this Satanic theory.” ~ Jimmy Swaggart

The theory of evolution was challenged by religion when first publicly demonstrated by Charles Darwin in the mid-Nineteenth Century. The religiously fervent still rejects the idea of man evolving from ape but over the past 150 years opinions have certainly evolved and most religious persons today accept evolution to be true. Those who remain unconvinced believe there is a debate to be had regarding the age old question of ‘how we got here.’ They insist the Biblical version and not the scientific theory of evolution holds the true answer.

The foundations of scientific and intellectual integrity cannot accept the teaching of the religious theories of creation as an alternative point of view to evolution. This is because science involves the constant attempt to disprove hypotheses while religion simply accepts what has been written to be true. Religion is based on faith that is never questioned while science is based on knowledge that is constantly questioned. Gravity is universally accepted as true although it is a theory no more positively proved than is the theory of evolution.

Human DNA is 98.4 percent identical to the DNA of chimps

Many religious people of the 15th century believed the earth was flat while scientists and intellectuals such as Aristotle 2000 years earlier knew that it wasn’t. The fact that there is no definite proof of evolution does not make the process any less true although its exact route is the debate of evolutionists. Only scientific methodologies produce science, beliefs do not, a matter that is a fact and not subject to political maneuverings or majority vote.

The exact method by which evolution occurred and continues to occur is argued among scientists. Some scientists suggest that mutations are responsible for evolution. An animal is born with a specialized new trait that happens to be beneficial for its survival such as a longer neck, larger teeth, thicker fur, higher developed senses, etc. This animal thrives and produces offspring that carries the same inherited trait therefore live longer and produce more offspring than others of its species. Eventually the new type ‘wins out’ over the original species and a new species has born.

Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution.

Darwin proposed that animals adapt to a new environment over long periods of time, millions of years, which he named natural selection. On his famous trip to the Galapagos Islands in the mid-1800’s, Darwin witnessed tangible evidence for his theory regarding the origin of all species. The 13 islands are relatively close in proximity but are vastly different geographically, some had desert-like conditions, others more tropical, some sandy, some rocky for example.

Darwin noticed the variations of the same species which had adapted to the different conditions on different islands over time and eventually evolved into a new species. His conclusions were based on evidence and reason plus have been the subject of scientific scrutiny for more than a century and a half in a highly technological period in history. This gives the theory credibility unlike the mythical ‘evidence’ provided by creationists.

If we are going to teach creation science as an alternative to evolution, then we should also teach the stork theory as an alternative to biological reproduction.

Some might say the sky, earth and everything on it is evidence of God’s creation but for evidence to be considered credible by scientific standards, it must be verifiable and offer more than simple conjecture and wishful thinking. Most religious persons will defiantly assert that their particular religious beliefs are correct and that other religions and science are flawed which causes conflict between differing religions. There are few such conflicts in science.

Scientists welcome debate on newly developing hypotheses and generally accept substantiated theories such as evolution. In today’s modern society, we are often willing to give credit to science for providing us with the great knowledge we have regarding how things work and our position in the universe. It is science that has led to the developments that make our lives easier and more productive, enabling us to reach even further in our pursuit for knowledge.

Today the theory of evolution is about as much open to doubt as the theory that the earth goes round the sun.

Even those who consider themselves quite religious generally realize that there are specific scientific reasons why people become ill and acknowledge that God is not punishing someone by giving them a disease. They believe the Earth is round and revolves around the Sun as opposed to what the Bible teaches. In the time of Christopher Columbus, enlightened people knew the Earth was round but dared not admit it from fear of being accused of heresy, a capital offense in medieval Europe. After the 1492 voyage, the Church could no longer suppress what had been scientific evidence because it was now an undeniable truth.

Science is based on credible evidence therefore will ultimately prevail over religion as the accepted truth. Rational is the key word when discussing evolution in a society where some still refuses to think critically, to challenge their own beliefs or honestly investigate the questions all us have.

 

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