A few things happened in D.C. I wanted to share (and no not *that* unfortunately). I watched the entire series by Dawkins called "The Genius of Charles Darwin" on the long flight. Great series.
This put me into the frame of mind that led to the making of this video. As I mentioned in a message, the museums really are just a chronicle of killing, whether it be the ICBMS in the aerospace museum, the natural history museum with its obvious display of nature's violent and random evolutionary bridge to nowhere, or the art museums where every character painted was either involved in a war themselves or directly influenced by one. Maybe we can credit the contemporary art section for having very little killing on display despite scarcely deserving to even be in the museum (which is why it is tucked away in the rafters).
The other thing that happened was I saw an extraordinary HBO special on Ted Haggard and what he is doing after his fall from grace. You all must watch it. The man actually manages to get me feeling sorry for him... to an extent. I see Ted Haggard as an extremely simple mind, almost juvenile, with an amazingly and profoundly naive sincerity. He was banned from Colorado, could not find a job, ran out of money, was shuffling his family around from place to place always somewhere between that dopey euphoric smile and a nervous breakdown. The film was made by the same person who did a documentary on the man in the height of church glory. She gains access to his trust and she pulls no punches.
I am curious to see what my dad will think of this movie. I think that my development from encouraging believer to atheist has troubled him. He knows that I don't believe, but he doesn't grasp that I can't believe. He is a "god used evolution to create all this" person, which makes sense as long as you don't grasp evolution. The trouble with the belief lies mainly in neuroscience. If you can somehow square that the human brain was "designed" for self-deception, and that its one great criterion for selection apart from basic survival were all those qualities that get 17 year olds to spread their legs the fastest, then the belief stands. I've found no way to reconcile an intentional force driving the process.