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Well, I have already written about this group and they are still active and going strong. My uncle has listened to them and may join up for the $75 fee. A friend of mine is having a presentation at his house (with some misgivings already) about the whole thing.

I went with my uncle to a presentation recently and the fee for the “Regent” tuition package went up from $16,000 to $20,000. Wow. Last year the classes were once a year for a month in Phoenix. The problem is that most people can’t really pack up and leave for a month and stay in a hotel in Phoenix. Now they are broken up into six one-week segments, still in Phoenix. It appears that all of the classes are taught each week so that you can go there and get the classes any time the college is open. It appears that the $20,000 tuition will not cover your hotel or travel expenses, even for one trip down to Phoenix. Here is a list of the classes taught. For $20,000 plus travel, lodging, and meals, you can be taught:

Bookkeeping: how to use Quickbooks to track several accounts. There are several free resources on how to do this.

Building your team: assembling professionals to help you in your investing. Maybe an accountant, an attorney, a real estate agent, a title company, and a handyman might be a good place to start. This is not rocket science. There are even several property management companies too if you don’t want to worry about doing it yourself.

The coursework is very thorough, but it is not any kind of bargain for $20,000.   There are many websites that also sell information on real estate investing, and if you can learn pretty well from books, you could buy tons of books on investing and do just as well learning wise and a whole lot better money wise.

Part of the trick of investing in real estate is a touch of luck.  The house next to mine went into foreclosure from a bankruptcy and someone bought the house for an OK price.  The prior owners held over tenancy for a period of several months until an eviction was effected and they moved out.  The house was a mess, but not really damaged.  The new owner spent thousands of dollars in legal wrangling to evict the prior owner and had to pour in money to fix it up some.

That is the rub and part of the angle Nouveau Riche University pushes.  You need to sell their system with the high comissions to have the cash flow to cover the down times.  Either way, you might be better off saving that $20,000 and buying some books instead.

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There is a general theory of evolution as propounded in Charles Darwin’s 1859 work, On the Origin of Species which is also mis-placed in the library as a non-fiction book.

As part of a continuing effort to find some sort of proof of evolution, some scientists point out bacteria that have become resistant to antibiotics and virus strains that have become more lethal and call it “evolution”. These changes are what some people call “micro-evolution” or a variation in species. The bacteria have not become a new species but a antibiotic resistant strain of the same bacteria, just like scientists have identified several strains of the flu virus but they are still the same bacteria or virus, not a new species of virus. That a species can change and have different traits is not new at all.  Some hunters prefer to use a Labrador Retriever instead of a Doberman Pincer because they have different traits. They are both of the same species [canis domesticus].

This post deals with macro evolution or the random creation of a new species.  Macro-evolution does not happen. Human intervention can at times produce a new species, but the new species is typically sterile. Mules for example are a cross between a horse and a donkey and mules are sterile. There has been a significant degree of hybridization in the plant kingdom caused by human intervention and not by accident.

There are many religious people who want to believe that God may have used evolution as a tool in the creation because it somehow makes more sense in light of physical evidence at hand. This is misguided and wrong. The evidence is far from showing any support for macro evolution and transitional species. It is apparent that God will allow nature to take its’ course when it will not interfere with His purposes, but that is not the same as evolution.

The LDS Church is very clear that it teaches creation. The Standard Works have three versions of the creation in Genesis 1, Moses 2, and Abraham 4. The creation is also mentioned several times in the Book of Mormon and the Doctrine and Covenants. The lds.org web page has a section titled “Gospel Topics”. It does not have an entry for evolution but does have an entry for creation.  It has been said that the LDS Church does not have an official position on evolution, but it is very apparent that the Church teaches creation. By their very nature, Creation and macro evolution are diametrically opposed to each other.

In the new Joseph Smith manual for Priesthood and Relief Society this year and next is this quote from the second lesson:

We admit that God is the great source and fountain from whence proceeds all good; that He is perfect intelligence, and that His wisdom is alone sufficient to govern and regulate the mighty creations and worlds which shine and blaze with such magnificence and splendor over our heads, as though touched with His finger and moved by His Almighty word. … The heavens declare the glory of a God, and the firmament showeth His handiwork [see Psalm 19:1]; and a moment’s reflection is sufficient to teach every man of common intelligence, that all these are not the mere productions of chance, nor could they be supported by any power less than an Almighty hand.

(Emphasis added.) God’s power is sufficient for the creation and order of the Universe. This bit of wisdom from the Prophet Joseph Smith Jr. sheds additional light on this scripture in Abraham 4:18 “And the Gods watched those things which they had ordered until they obeyed“.

Clearly the LDS Church teaches creation. The exact details, time lines, order of creation of individual animals and other details inquiring minds want to know are not set forth nor does it have to be.  The truth is that God created the universe.

Current scientific theory holds that the continents are drifting and moving slowly and have always moved slowly but that they once were joined in a super continent called Pangea.  The Bible in 1 Chronicles 1:19 indicates that the Earth was divided in the days of Peleg.  The days of Peleg were after Adam and Eve.  Doctrine and Covenants 133:23-24 states that prior to the Savior returning and ruling on the Earth, the Earth will be put back as it was before it was divided.  3 Nephi chapter 8 talks about the destruction in America being so great that new mountains and valleys were formed, cities buried in water and other serious geological changes in a very short time.  Attempts at scientific explanation of these events is not helpful in understanding them.  The elements obey the commands of God.

Scientific evidence in favor of macro evolution is not as plentiful as people like to think. There are problems with radiometric dating of artifacts and the conclusions drawn from such dating.  Anachronistic items have been found in coal deposits including a gold chain, a brass bell with an iron clapper, as well as human bones and other artifacts that should not be present in coal that is postulated to be millions of years old.  Carving and other human caused marks have been found in petrified wood.  People have reported finding animals in the last hundred years that would appear to belong to the age of dinosaurs.  Much of this evidence flies in the face of macro evolutionary theory.

When a scientific theory is presented for consideration, the onus is on the presenter to show the evidence in support of the theory and devise tests that will indicate the validity of the theory.  There have been no sufficient tests to show that macro evolution is even possible.  Most mutations that occur are not beneficial to the organism and will often cause it to die.  One exception to this rule is the random mutation of viruses, but they are simple one-celled organisms designed to mutate and propagate.

The Fossil Record is not complete, nor does it really conform to what macro evolutionary theory would have us believe.  There is an excellent book called Forbidden Archeology by Michael Cremo.   The author has other books and a website that discuss archeological evidence, how it is collected, categorized and used.  Essentially, evidence gathered is only analyzed in light of macro evolutionary theory and its’ preconceived notions of natural historical progression.  Fossil evidence from physical sciences indicate human life from hundreds of thousands of years ago to possibly millions of years ago.  Of course from a theological view, that information is also flawed but this information serves to illustrate that not even all of science can agree on a uniform theory of how we came to be here.

There is no evidence that fully supports the theory of macro evolution.  The current experimentation fails, the fossil record has no transitional forms and shows evidence of human habitation well before the evolutionary time line would indicate the presence of human life and coal deposits show that it does not take millions of years for coal to form.

God made the Earth and created the life that inhabits it.  The Earth and the Universe obey Him.

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“‘Science’ (that wonderfully convenient personification of the opinions, at a given date, of Professors X, Y and Z)” — Aldous Huxley

“Therefore, I will proceed to do a marvelous work among this people, yea, a marvelous work and a wonder, for the wisdom of their wise and learned shall perish, and the understanding of their prudent shall be hid.” — 2 Nephi 27:26

“And they began to reason and to contend among themselves, saying: That it is not reasonable that such a being as a Christ shall come;” — Helaman 16:17-18

“The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new discoveries, is not ‘Eureka!’ but ‘That’s funny…'” — Isaac Asimov

True science follows the observable truth wherever it goes and develops principles over time and many repeated experiments. Often these experiments will modify or change the theory being tested. We often speak of the Law of Gravity, which is a law, but there is also Newton’s theory of Universal Gravitation which explains the motion of planets and the gravitational attraction between objects. Newton’s theory led to the discovery of the Planet Neptune because the motion of other planets in the solar system could not be sufficiently explained without the presence of Neptune. The Earth is the biggest object in our immediate vicinity and therefore in everyday life we are primarily concerned with our attraction to Earth.

Science is a very useful and important field of study. The problem is that people begin to think that science must be correct about everything and our religious principles must give way to these immutable scientific truths. Sometimes this belief goes so far as to exclude anything that can’t be explained by science. This goes too far.

Science only can explain things that you can see, hear, smell, weigh, measure, taste, touch, and calculate. By the strict measures of science, you can’t define love and how it feels but love is a phenomenon that we are familiar with. Most of all, Science is excelent for describing physical phenomena but can come up short in explaining why.

Science doesn’t leave space for the resurrection, the atonement, or any number of truths that are evident to Latter Day Saints. Science is a useful tool but if it is the only tool in the tool box we are sorely lacking in an ability to explain the world around us.

There’s an old joke about some scientists who have learned so much about life and genetics that they decide to have a little competition with God. The meet up with God and ask him to create something and then the scientists will try to copy it. God picks up a handful of dust, blows on it and a human body is formed and God says: “Behold, here is man who I have created.” The scientists try to copy God by picking up some dirt and before they get started, God says: “No, no. Get your own dirt.” (rimshot)

God knows wayyy more about true science than anyone else on Earth will know for a long time. Maybe one of the laws of science is also obedience of the elements to the voice of the Creator.

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There is a book commonly read in High School, Fahrenheit 451, by Ray Bradbury.

Many High School teachers claim that it is about censorship, Sen. McCarthy and authoritarian government. This column wrote about how the book really illustrates the problem of a TV culture including the problem of focusing on non-important things.

It turns out that Ray Bradbury agrees. From an LA Weekly article:

Bradbury, a man living in the creative and industrial center of reality TV and one-hour dramas, says it is, in fact, a story about how television destroys interest in reading literature.

“Television gives you the dates of Napoleon, but not who he was,” Bradbury says, summarizing TV’s content with a single word that he spits out as an epithet: “factoids.” He says this while sitting in a room dominated by a gigantic flat-panel television broadcasting the Fox News Channel, muted, factoids crawling across the bottom of the screen.

His fear in 1953 that television would kill books has, he says, been partially confirmed by television’s effect on substance in the news. The front page of that day’s L.A. Times reported on the weekend box-office receipts for the third in the Spider-Man series of movies, seeming to prove his point.

Glad to I got the point of the book.

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This article is about the real school curriculum. If you want a different curriculum, find a private school or home school your children.

As a teaser:

Look again at the seven lessons of schoolteaching: confusion, class assignment, dulled responses, emotional and intellectual dependency, conditional self-esteem, surveillance — all of these things are good training for permanent underclasses, people derived forever of finding the center of their own special genius. And in later years it became the training shaken loose from even its own original logic – to regulate the poor; since the 1920s the growth of the school bureaucracy and the less visible growth of a horde of industries that profit from schooling just exactly as it is, has enlarged this institution’s original grasp to where it began to seize the sons and daughters of the middle classes. . . .

School is like starting life with a 12-year jail sentence in which bad habits are the only curriculum truly learned. I teach school and win awards doing it.

I should know.

For the nerd in your life, this article may be useful. Another teaser:

It’s important for nerds to realize, too, that school is not life. School is a strange, artificial thing, half sterile and half feral. It’s all-encompassing, like life, but it isn’t the real thing. It’s only temporary, and if you look, you can see beyond it even while you’re still in it.

If life seems awful to kids, it’s neither because hormones are turning you all into monsters (as your parents believe), nor because life actually is awful (as you believe). It’s because the adults, who no longer have any economic use for you, have abandoned you to spend years cooped up together with nothing real to do. Any society of that type is awful to live in. You don’t have to look any further to explain why teenage kids are unhappy.

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