Thursday, August 19, 2010

Ken Ham's Math Problems Solved!

It appears that my confusion in Part I has to do with Mr. Ham's poor wording--and/or my inability to read properly--and not his math:

5% of those who are now 20-29 and at one point in life attended church regularly, stopped doing so before elementary/middle school. (Hence Ham's stated 95%)

40% of those who are now 20-29 and at one point in life attended church regularly, stopped doing so before high school. (Hence Ham's 55%... 100% - [5% + 40%])

Since 11% of those who are now 20-29 and at one point in life attended church regularly but now longer do so, were still attending church regularly during college. This complete shift in focus totally threw me for a loop. But, 55% - 11% = 44%, so 44% of those who are 20-29 and no longer attend church regularly, stopped before college.

Thus, based on Ham's wording, we must assume that this last 11% left during or sometime after college.

So, despite being incredibly unclear in my mind, his math does check out.

In Part 2, it turns out that I was the one who made the serious error. I rightly assumed that they should have been percentages, but my mistake was to assume that these two percentages from mutually-exclusive groups necessitated that adding them together should come to 100%. This was not the case. Rather, 34.3% of Group A agreed, 69.7% of Group B also agreed, 28.9% of Group C... and so on.

Thank you all for helping me figure this out! As frustrating as it is for me to learn that my math skillz truly are completely dull, I am happy to know that the numbers--when untangled from what I perceive as poor wording--do come out correctly.

As for Ham's conclusions, assumptions and ideas... well... I'll get to that at some point.

I am happy to report that the last chapter contained no math which confused me. ...mostly, I'm sure, because the last chapter had no math whatsoever. Had I been confused then, well, more than just my math skillz would be missing...


Thank you, again, to those who set me straight. I appreciate you taking the time to correct my thinking.

 ~Luke Holzmann
Filmmaker, Writer, Expectant Father

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Confused by Ken Ham Math 2

Let's say I have a sample size of 1,000 individuals. These individuals can easily be sorted into various groups. So, I ask them a question, say, "Do you understand how to label your values?"

This is how many people answered yes:

Those who passed Algebra with an A - 34.3
Those who failed - 69.7

Those who plan to retake Algebra - 28.9
Those who will never touch a math text again - 78.3

...I decided to do a little simple addition:
34.3 + 69.7 = 104.0
28.9 + 78.3 = 107.2

So, I ask you--since Ken Ham and his number crunching buddy and his editor couldn't be bothered to check his numbers or give me a label of what kind of number I'm looking at--what does it mean that 107.2 of my 1,000 said yes?

 ~Luke Holzmann
Filmmaker, Writer, Expectant Father

Monday, August 16, 2010

Confused by Ken Ham Math

Help me out, friends! I used to be good at math, but I've since lost all of my skillz. Let's say I give you this:

Of all the 20 to 29-year-old people who were virgins but no longer are so:

  • 95% were virgins during elementary and middle school years
  • 55% were virgins during high school
  • 11% were still virgins during college

I would be horribly mistaken to say that "11 percent of those who lost their virginity did so during their college years." I would also be completely misreading my data to say, "Almost 90 percent of them lost their virginity in middle school and high school. By the time they got to college their virginity was already gone!" Further, I'd be remiss to state that "about 40 percent are losing their virginity during their elementary and middle school years!"


Reasoning (equations I'm using in my head):

100% of all virgins
-95% virgins during elementary and middle school
5% lost during that time period

95% virgin prior to high school
-55% virgin during high school
40% lost during that time period

55% virgin prior to college
-11% virgin during college
44% lost during that time period


So... can someone please explain what Ken Ham is doing on page 31 of "Already Gone"?

 ~Luke Holzmann
Filmmaker, Writer, Expectant Father

Thursday, July 08, 2010

Brown Paper Bag Floor

I recently mentioned on my SonlightBlog that we have a brown paper bag floor. Curious, some of you asked for more information. For those of you not interested in learning more about how to create a brown paper bag floor for your home, move along. There is plenty of more interesting stuff on the internet.

So, what is a brown paper bag floor?

A. An inexpensive and yet good looking floor covering alternative you can do on your own.

Good looking? See for yourself:

Brown Paper Bag Floor in Our Home Office

Close Up on the Paper Floor

What you need:
  • A floor (preferably ugly wood or concrete)
  • Paper (preferably brown, like contractor's or kraft paper, though you can use packing paper or grocery bags without printing on them)
  • Glue (cheap white glue, purchasable by the gallon)
  • Polyurethane (water-based, low odor worked best for me)
  • Brushes
  • Rags
  • ...assorted other stuff

What you do:
Tear the paper into irregular medium sized pieces (approximately 8"). Crumple and then flatten to create a texture. I suggest you do this before hand as it makes gluing faster.

Clean the floor you're going to cover. Spread some glue and stick your paper pieces down. Slightly overlap your pieces, but try to avoid glue on the top of the paper as this stains darker.

Let dry.

Apply a coat of polyurethane and let dry. Ventilation is preferable during this step. Hanging a sheet to close off the room can work if you were to, hypothetically, attempt to do this in the middle of winter. Repeat this step 5-6 times.

Admire your work. Allow time to set.

Easily repaired with a little glue, a piece of paper and more poly.

 ~Luke Holzmann
Filmmaker, Writer, Empty Nester

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

The Cost of Christianity: Forgiveness

In church you hear one message: Turn to Jesus as your savior because He makes everything better. Sure, life still has it's ups and downs. But wouldn't you rather have God on your side through that?

Faith in Jesus saves. No more need for thought. You want saving, don't you?

If you answer, "Not yet," then we adjourn until next week. If you answer, "Yes," then we say the prayer. You can come back next week where you'll again hear the wonders of walking with Christ.

At the moment, I'm sick of it. I'm done. Count me out of such pathetic religious babble. I've had enough.

Becoming Christ-like is nothing like that.

So what is the cost of following Christ? I've heard of things like giving up porn, abandoning alcohol, reducing your rage, and surrendering your ambitions. And I'm sure there is a part of this that includes all of that. But that's not where I am at the moment. No, tonight I'm a lot more basic than that. I'm near square one: Forgiveness.

"Will you forgive me?" she asks, not daring to come closer.

"I don't know," I spit. "That's asking a lot of me."

"I know," she breathes.

I stew. The pain, the anger, the frustration. It's all there, very real. I want to hate her. I want to be furious. I want to feel this way forever because... because I have the right to. It may be petty, but it's real. Very real. "I have to eat this if I forgive you."

"It sounds very bitter."

"It is."

"I don't want it to choke you. Is there a way that it doesn't have to choke you or be bitter?" She really wants to know. It would hurt her too much if it choked me. And she can't bear more bitterness.

Bible truths start nudging my brain. These aren't lessons you learn in Sunday School. These aren't messages you hear from the pulpit. You've heard about your need for forgiveness. You've been told over and over again that you forgive because of how much you have been forgiven. You can even remember a time when someone told you that your ability to forgive rests on God's ability to take care of you and take that burden from you.

But I want to hold this burden. I want to choke on the bitterness of forgiveness. I want to be crushed under the weight of the wrong done to me. I don't want it to go away. I certainly don't want it replaced with something like intimacy and fondness. Even the thought of those words makes me want to spit.

And this, I realize as I stew silently, is why there is no transforming power of Christ in my life. This--and other things like it--are what make Christianity so impotent in my life. This is why I see no power, no heart change, no awesomeness in following Christ. This is why Christianity is simply so hard for me to share: Because it costs so stinkin' much! And if I'm not willing to make the payments, I'm certainly not going to ask someone else to do the same.

"I forgive you," I grumble. I'm a man of my word, and if I'm going to follow, I'm going to follow... even if it's terrible. Even if it costs too much. Even if it isn't worth it.

I cling to the burden a moment more, feeling Christ gently prying it from my hands. I scream, 'I don't want to let You have this!' I curse at my Savior. I swear at the One who forgave me. I scream profanity in the face of Him who promises to repay whatever I'm going to lose in this exchange of forgiving.

I'm feeling the cost.

It hurts. This is faith in action, and it hurts.

I let go.

The world, sadly, doesn't crumble. My wife slides closer and puts her arms around me. Life can go on. I've exchanged my pain, anger and frustration for forgiveness. Christ's blood has covered the difference. I paid the price of following Christ and He paid me back with more. Much more.

But it wasn't fun. It wasn't nice. It was worse than paying a needless bank fine. It was awful. Horrible. Terrible.

But here I am, a couple hours later, writing about it. And not in a vehement, vengeful, violent way. I'm okay. I'm okay in way that I wouldn't have been years ago before God started working this forgiveness thing with me.


A few months ago I almost wrote a piece about the ineffective nature of Christianity. I was going to argue, and argue well, that if we could just grasp one simple concept, we would be perfect. It was this easy:

Realize that, no matter what, you'll be okay. Even if you're not okay, you'll be dead and, therefore, okay. So just let everything roll off you.

If we could do that, I'm convinced, we'd be fine. Wars would end. Hatred and rage would cease. Generosity would flow. The world would experience harmony and love the likes of which has not been seen since the Fall.

...but I realized something tonight: That can't happen. When we let things "roll off" we forgive. We take that burden. We eat that cost. And it is heavy. It is bitter. And if we have no place to put it, nothing to pay us back, then we just carry it ourselves and become overwhelmed.

This is why Christianity is so powerful: We have a God who offers to carry those burdens, to replace the bitter drink with a cup full of good things... like intimacy and fondness.

The cost of following Christ is great. But the payoff is worth so much more.

And I think I may just be beginning to understand these things...

 ~Luke Holzmann
Filmmaker, Writer, Expectant Father