This morning, I found a spam comment for this post that was pending approval. Instead of deleting it outright, I’ve decided to respond to it (although not approve it for posting; that would be stupid). So here’s the (unedited) comment/question(s):
With havin so much content do you ever run into any issues of plagorism or copyright violation? My site has a lot of completely unique content I’ve either written myself or outsourced but it looks like a lot of it is popping it up all over the internet without my permission. Do you know any techniques to help protect against content from being ripped off? I’d really appreciate it.
(if that’s your “real” name)
First of all, while I appreciate the attempt at flattery, my blog does not possess that much content (in comparison to other bloggers); I merely scratch the surface. Admittedly, minimal content does not in itself rule out the possibility of being plagiarized or violated (or in a copyright sort of way). However, personally, I do not think any of my material has been stolen/lifted and proffered as the original work of the stealer/lifter. Although, I have seen cases of people plagiarizing others–whether it be on the internet or in print (see here, here, here, and here); and such instances sadden me.
Second, your final question is a good one and I can answer it quite simply: the best technique to prevent getting ripped off is don’t write anything–especially if you think it’s unique or valuable. There is another option, one that would take considerable time and effort: alter the corrupt and evil minds of those who do such things.
YahooScience ran a story this morning about the possibility that science will one day rule out the existence of God. Whoop-de-freakin’-do. This is nothing new, people. For millennia, many notable thinkers, seeking to understand the cosmos in purely physical or materialistic terms, have all reached a similar conclusion. (Leucippus, Democritus, Epicurus, and Lucretius come to mind). But then again, this conclusion is not in any way surprising given the parameters and method of inquiry, which necessarily preclude the existence of anything and everything abstract, spiritual, supernatural and/or divine.
To say this another way: studies of things physical or material can only explore/examine things that are physical or material; such studies cannot explore/examine things that are theological, especially God who is–by definition–not physical or material. (1 Cor 2.14 might work well in this case). Thus, the study of science and the study of theology require different approaches and lines of inquiry; and that is a point that John Polkinghorne has been banging on about for years!
Moreover, feelings of superiority in one field do not provide sufficient or acceptable grounds for demeaning the work and conclusions of another. (This practice of demeaning has characterized the recent polemic against religion, where people of faith [i.e. Christians] are considered “lunatics” or uneducated half-wits). Just because there is no place for the existence (and even activity) of God in scientific inquiry, or just because science believes it can answer all questions pertaining to the universe without positing the existence of God; neither of these necessarily displaces or even disproves the existence (or even sovereign providence) of God. All it proves is that God is not a part of the inquiry.
Let me be clear: I am not opposed to the advances made by science, nor do I think the fields of biology, astronomy, physics, or even chemistry are a waste of time. I am simply opposed to the (paradoxical) assertion that such fields of science (either in themselves or collectively) possess comprehensive–if not complete–knowledge of how the cosmos and life function so as to displace the need for God. “Paradoxical” because the moment Science claims for itself “complete understanding of the universe” is the moment it ascribes to itself a fundamental attribute of divinity.