Archive for the ‘Musings’ Category

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In the End

The year is going to be over! First, just a note to my readers, I will not have access to a computer on weekdays for the next two weeks, so please don’t expect anything new to appear on this blog. I’ll still be posting on the weekends though! I’ve had lots of inspiration over the week and can’t wait to type!

Reflecting on my life this year, it has been a good and fulfilling year. Personally, I have grown much, and I must admit, from training in the army. It has taught me to be stronger; to stand up, speak up and fight for what is right. With the very little personal time I had, I have also grown to be desperately dependent on God, and on the time spent with Him. These are perhaps, the two things that I am most thankful to God for.

2010 has been a year of learning how to deny myself for Christ. Again and again, throughout the year, I was repeatedly tested, especially with the things I did in my little time. It was to choose to do the things that last forever, instead of the things that do not. It was not easy, but God always had a way for me to overcome. By bringing me through these things, God has become so much bigger to me, and a lot closer. When I thought I had lost, I had actually gained even more.

These are just some things that I would like to share with all of you. I would encourage you to reflect too! See how God has been good to you, and then strive for a greater adventure with Him next year!

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of current and life

Is electrical current a scalar or a vector quantity?

My teacher asked me that a year ago while I was still in school. I immediately gave my answer: electrical current travels through a medium, and it’s direction is determined by the medium. Therefore, having no intrinsic direction of it’s own, it must be a scalar quantity. And she seemed quite happy with that, so was I. My answer was challenged two days ago however, and I have been becoming increasingly unhappy with that answer. What if current does not travel through a medium? It would then be possible for it to possess a direction of it’s own.

After thinking about it, I have refined my answer. The vector quantity discussed in this case would be the drift velocity of the charges. The definition of electrical current is the rate of flow of electric charge with respect to time. Therefore, it is but a count of number of particles in a defined period of time, in this case, a second. Unlike velocity, which implies physical displacement and thus physical direction, a count of charges would merely be a scalar quantity.

As I read books written by various authors, on the account for the universe we are in, I can’t help but realize one thing- many of them have lost the essential qualities of a scientist. They are quick to dismiss the option of an intelligent designer, and take great pain and effort to find ways to prove existence solely using science. If I could explain the whole process they took to do that in layman terms, I would. But I can’t. Here’s an example. Miller’s experiment was to prove evolution. So, he put a mixture of methane, hydrogen, water and ammonia into a tank and sent a electrical spark through it. And the result of amino acids changed the thinking of the world. However, much of the early atmosphere of the earth was not of such composition. Miller had only used the substances most likely of creating proteins to prove his point.

Many times we like to stick with the status quo, happy with what we know. It is much easier not to have our beliefs challenged. In physics, we call it inertia. But to fellow brothers and sisters reading this, I challenge you to challenge yourself. Don’t accept the Bible for what it is and just what it says.  Be ever questioning and strongly perceiving, so that you may give a better account to those who challenge it themselves. There is nothing to gain in worldly knowledge. Only wealth and fame and the praise of men. If the fool says there is no God, many fools would be great scientists. And fools indeed. I’ll be convinced if anyone can show me how their Nobel prizes get them to heaven.

In the end, knowledge will perish with the world, just like our material possessions. As physicists put in so much effort to find the god-particle, prove the M-theory and whatever else that may relieve them of the answer of a god, I urge you to take part in the things that last for eternity. Be assured of your salvation, love and do good, and be an excellent testimony to the people around you.

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the old-fashioned way

I learnt about this group of people in secondary school- the conservative older generation. They are the people who frown upon everything we young people do nowadays. Why can’t these people see that things are changing now? We are talking about globalization and change for efficiency. They should learn to accept our new and youthful culture and behavior. Or so I thought then.

As I think about it now, I realize that I have been becoming a more conservative person. I still have good reason and rationale for the things I do, and do not follow tradition easily. But in all other areas of beliefs, relationships and the people close to me, I am starting to see a lot of value in the principles that the “older generation” hold. As I allow God to take the lead in my life, shaping my character according to His Word, I start to do things a lot differently from the people around me. What these things are I guess I won’t mention.

Maybe being conservative has a negative sound to it. I prefer to think it as conservative with reason and sound values.

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hahaha, okay this is going to be ‘not a post for everyone’ so once you realize that you’re of of them, do not be obliged to keep on reading :D.

During field camp we had a rest and recovery day, so we borrowed a laptop and projector to watch G.I Joe. One of the futuristic weapons they had was the LAW, probably a pun played on the Light Anti-tank weapon that we use today. Okay so after a time of pondering, I realized that Laser Artillery Weapon was a contradiction in itself. Think- Lasers are emissions of radiation, and emitted photons must travel in a straight line. Artillery is a name given to arms that attack using a projectile shell, meaning the ammunition travels in a curved path. And the whole point of it is to hit target that maybe be blocked by obstacles.. like jungles..

So then tell me, how can an artillery gun work with laser. I thought of a few ways:

First, the laser could be a guiding device from say, a satellite, so that the gunner could use the MGR and other data like the velocity of the target to know where to fire the shell. That works.

Second, perhaps by that time, they might have found out how to bend light. Seeing that they could create an invisibility cloak, I wouldn’t be surprised. So perhaps the laser was the destroying property. Travelling in a projectile motion, it would hit it’s enemy over any obstacle. Maybe it could travel in zigzag lines to avoid more complicated obstacles 😀 Now that would be cool eh?

Alright I’ve been so sick of doing infantry everyday that this is what I would think of anytime. Now get back to your life.. haha! I’ll be back soon with another post.

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I was having a lesson on the subject just yesterday, and one question was posed to me- What is my motivation? Specifically, in the army, the first things I thought of were incentives for performing well, proving proficiency, etc.. Today however, I think I found one of them.

We were having a night compass course, where individually we would have to go into the forest and locate different checkpoints with only a compass. I thought I’d do it slowly at first, as I was already tired out from the day course. Something changed that, my Wing Commander said that the first few to finish would be allowed to go back to the wing first, meaning more admin time! Now that really spurred me on. With no light at all except from the moon, I literally ran(yes, not even jogged) from checkpoint to checkpoint. Despite falling into 2 metre deep pits, tripping over roots and rocks and getting caught in vines, I just got up again and ran. And I did get back rather early.

Reflecting, I suppose time was the motivation for me. Being in the army, it’s hard to get those. But time is but a transitional reason. What my true motivation is, is what I would use with the time.

Perhaps you too, can start reflecting on your motivations! Think deep, look for the roots that make you move, do more, and excel.

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Science and Religion

Here’s a short essay I wrote for GP about a month ago, decided to put it up 😀

‘The more science advances, the more religion will decline.’ To what extent do you agree?

Of all the living being on the Earth, humans have been the only species to have studied and understood nature. And by doing so, have been able to use the knowledge to innovate and create. Many developments in the sciences and modern technology have transformed our lifestyles tremendously, bringing convenience and improvements to them. However, there is one aspect of human life that has seen through these changes, never ceasing to exist- religion. Faith in supernatural beings and beliefs in afterlife have experienced reforms, revivals, and even suppression throughout the many years. It is, however, still existent today. Although the recent developments in the schools of thought in science have increasingly clashed with the beliefs of many faiths, it is still possible for both to co-exist in society.

Many critics often speculated that the improvements in science, and new discoveries would cause the death of religion. These views were based not just on archaic scientific theories like Darwin’s Theory of Evolution, but also on recent breakthroughs like Quantum Physics. This new school of thought suggested that the future of the Earth was determined purely by calculated probabilities, or in other words, chance. This clearly disputed the fundamental beliefs of many religions. Islam and Christianity, for example, support the idea of predeterminism, that God, at any point in time, knows the fate of the world. A phrase in the Islamic Qur’an, “Nothing will happen to us except what Allah has decreed for us,” suggests preordainment for its believers. Such occurrences of conflict with proven scientific truths may lead to heated arguments among groups. But science, being able to justify itself through logical, observable explanations, may eventually cause people to doubt their faiths. Then, it is likely that the existence of religion in the lives of some people, decline.

However, with developments in the institutions of science, people may come to the realization that a God exists, and thus, subscribe to a faith. As more is discovered about nature and The Earth, it may dawn on scientists that there must be a divine being which created everything. Molecular biologists have discovered the uniqueness of every cell in the human body, and declared Darwin’s Theory untrue. Even accomplished scientists such as Isaac Newton and Albert Einstein believed that a God created the Universe. Scientific advancements may prove the beliefs of religion wrong. But inevitably, many professionals themselves are brought back to acknowledging the existence of a God. Because of this, science may continue to develop, but the influence of religion will concur with it.

Furthermore, many have and will see the importance of religion in our societies as a moral compass, accompanying the improvements in technology. Not only have the recent years seen discoveries in schools of thought, but also the use of new technology in improving our lives. This has been evident in medicine. Stem cell research, for instance, has shown a possibility of reproducing parts of the human body. A human in a vegetable state could be kept alive with machinery for an indefinitely long time. Many religious leaders have expressed their concern over such issues, as they are seen as prolonging, or even creating life. However, it seems unavoidable that medical institutions continue to advance in technology despite strong religious views towards such development. People expect more from science with each major advancement, and the future might see artificial organs such as hearts, lungs, and perhaps even brains to prolong human life. What can stop these progressions would be the human conscience. People of many cultures would oppose these advancements based on their moral values. And these morals may be affirmed by religious beliefs. Thus, it is probable that the world starts turning to religion as a moral compass to govern the limits of scientific development. In this way, science and religion will co-exist.

One reason for the continual existence of religion in human lives was that it was of intrinsic value to them. The successes of the world are but material rewards. These do not last as human life eventually ends. Thus, faith brings a lasting meaning to lives. For example, the recent global recession which affected the Singaporean economy saw more people going to mosques and churches. As the working population worry about their salaries and jobs, religion gives them hope. Even as the future brings economic downturns or natural disasters, many would turn to their faiths as science fails to solve their problems. Hence, as such suffering continues to exist in the world, so will religion, regardless of developments in science.

Ultimately, it is to be expected that science and religion continue to exist in society, even though improving technology may pose ethical issues. Most monotheistical religions like Judaism believe that human beings are God’s special creation. As mentioned earlier, we have been the only ones who understood nature and caused change in our lives. As we were given intelligence by God, we should use it to benefit the society and improve our lives. In Judaism, Physicians who practice the administration of medicine and researchers are God’s partners in preserving life. Religion therefore, may limit scientific advancements at times, but also can promote it as beneficial for the community. And then, it will, together with science, remain as essential aspects of human life.

It may be observed that science and religion have an unusual relationship. Sometimes, they may conflict and at other times, complement each other. As much as we wonder at the new discoveries in science, we must also acknowledge the need for religion to define its limits. In this way, humans, bestowed with the priceless gift of intelligence, may use it with responsibility by giving advancements in science and religion equal placing in our lives.

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