Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Black holes and the gift of mortality


Have you heard the latest end-of-the-world scenario?

No, not another "Left Behind" book.

Think something more along the lines of Dr. Frankenstein's monster.

The world's most powerful atom smasher went into operation Wednesday, despite the fears of a few scientists that, when fully operational, it might create tiny black holes that could suck the entire planet into nonexistence.

Other scientists, including of course the more than 8,000 physicists across the globe who collaborated on the project, tell us to ignore the Chicken Littles. They appear to have science on their side, based on this article.

Still, it's hard to ignore doomsday predictions, however farfetched. So yesterday, when I became annoyed over a little matter, the Possibility of Imminent Planetary Annihilation crossed my mind. Then the microscopic black hole of "does this really matter if everything is about to go poof?" immediately sucked up the little matter, squeezing it into no matter.

Seeing the end -- even just a potential end -- tends to change your perspective.

And that, I think, is the gift of mortality. We know, if we dare to admit it, that our lives are short. They could end a week from now. Or tomorrow. Or today. If we keep this uncomfortable fact in mind, surely we are more likely to treat others lovingly, to forgive slights, to make the most of our time, to explore the big questions of meaning instead of sweating the small stuff.

The question remains the same whether the Large Hadron Collider destroys Earth in a few weeks or the planet gets a million-year reprieve: What will each of us do with the time we have left?

147 comments:

Anonymous said...

For me, a type of "seeing the end" occurred with the Fannie/Freddie takeover.

We're not expecting anything as dramatic as an actual black hole (with the possible exception of our national debt, which now resembles one)

It's more like the predicament of the slowly boiling frog.

If you keep waiting while the water temperature keeps rising, you are likely to boil to death before jumping out.

We haven't completely figured out what we should do, but we are seriously evaluating our options like never before.

Our current challenge is to preserve as much wealth as we can and extract ourselves from this economy as painlessly as possible.

My wife and I both agree that it is probably best for our future to do this within a very few years.

-anon1

Iztok said...

Jane: "The world's most powerful atom smasher went into operation Wednesday, despite the fears of a few scientists that, when fully operational, it might create tiny black holes that could suck the entire planet into nonexistence."

Can you tell us who are these scientists (and what is their field of expertise)? Or is this just some doomsday rumor that wasn't even labeled as rumor?

Bob said...

There's nothing to worry about, people. They promised that if the world comes to an end, we'll get our money back.

Danbo59 said...

Death doesn't frighten me. What/Who awaits me after death is infinitely better than anything I can have here.

Dying I'm not so keen on, though! LOL.

Iztok said...

"Death doesn't frighten me. What/Who awaits me after death is infinitely better than anything I can have here."

I agree partially with Danbo.

Death doesn't frighten me. I was dead before I was born and there was nothing. I didn't feel anything, I didn't do anything, simple, there was nothing there before I was born. I expect things didn't change in last few decades so when I am dead again it will be the same.

But to Jane's post. I don't think the issue is "end of world" but issue is that we might learn things people will not like.

Bob said...

Iz:

If you're going to keep stealing Mark Twain's lines, at least get them right. You have the words, dear, but not the tune.

Iztok said...

Bob, I didn't know it came from Mark Twain.

It doesn't matter. Thing is still that issue is not end of the world but knowledge. Religious are afraid of science progress and always were as it diminishes need for religion as we gain more knowledge.

Danbo59 said...

Izzie wrote, "...so when I am dead again it will be the same."

Boy, are you in for a surprise!

Anonymous said...

Danbo, just wait until you face the wrath of Allah.

-anon1

Anonymous said...

Iztok,

Permit me to "rumor-monger" a bit, if you will.

The end of world rumors come from various sources.

One prominent source is the lawsuit by Sancho and Wagner in Hawaii.

Wagner is a former Nuclear Safety Officer (probably not a prominent physicist, though).

One supporter of this lawsuit is a psychology professor, Paul Dixon, of University of Hawaii at Hilo.

They've been opposing such research for years.

-anon1

Anonymous said...

Iztok,

The sad part to me is that the US had plans for the SSC in Waxahachie TX that was cancelled in the early 90's because it was going to cost too much, about $12 billion.

So, we cancelled it.

And, of course found better things to spend our money on such as wars and mortgage bailouts.

And now Europe has the leading edge in high particle physics research.

Fermilab did until recently.

-anon1

Bob said...

It appears that some people would spend their last moments trying to provoke one more pointless argument and then trying to shout over the last trump.

Anonymous said...

Thou shalt know that energy cannot be created or destroyed. And thou shalt know another great law: Energy systems have a tendency to increase their entropy. Upon this hangs the other laws and the prophets.

Not Anon-1

Anonymous said...

Wait! Iztok agrees with Danbo?

I started to break out the champagne. But on second thought, maybe this means the world really is coming to an end. Maybe it really is time to start worrying.

Not Anon-1

Gamecock said...

Jane, I don't think merely "Seeing the end"
makes it "more likely [that we will] treat others lovingly, to forgive slights, to make the most of our time, to explore the big questions of meaning instead of sweating the small stuff."

Without the resurrection of Christ and hope for the afterlife, it seems more likely that people will sweat the small stuff.

As I have alluded to before, when I lost my Dad, grandmother and divorced in close proximity it did concentrate my mind on letting God make me into a heavenly creature that could inherit eternal life for the remainder of my days.

Its a work in progress.

more later

Danbo59 said...

Anon1 wrote, "Danbo, just wait until you face the wrath of Allah."

There is no "wrath of Allah."

bsty74 said...

Iz: "Religious are afraid of science progress and always were as it diminishes need for religion as we gain more knowledge."

Jane wants to know if facing mortality re-directs one's thinking to answer the question of what is the meaning of life.

Using science, tell us the answer to the big question, as she refers to it.

Bob said...

Yes. Then tell us all about how Albert the Great feared science. (That one's for you, Danbo.)

pornstudent said...

I have something in common with all of you--using some of the time we have left commenting on Sacred Space. Yeah!

I also like thinking of the "eternal now." I'm alive now and now is all there is.

I also like thinking how I'm like everything else in the Universe--just here for a moment.

Later, or not.

Bob said...

Oh, and don't forget the hostility of Islam to science. See if you can work some algebra into your answer.

Bob said...

And Brother Mendel. (There's another one for you, Danbo.)

Anonymous said...

Danbo wrote:

"There is no "wrath of Allah.""

Boy, are you in for a surprise!

Iztok said...

"Boy, are you in for a surprise!"

Danbo, are you speaking from personal experience? Is your experience from when you were dead different then mine? Tell us how it was before you were alive.

Iztok said...

"Jane wants to know if facing mortality re-directs one's thinking to answer the question of what is the meaning of life."

What makes anyone thing that there is or supposed to be meaning of life at the first place? To make oneself important?

Iztok said...

s/thing/think

Gamecock said...

PS

Living in the moment is the best option!

pornstudent said...

I often remind myself that, "This is my moment."

Danbo59 said...

Iztok wrote, "Danbo, are you speaking from personal experience?"

Yes.

Iztok write, "Is your experience from when you were dead different then mine?"

No, it's just that I don't deny God's existence.

Iztok wrote, "Tell us how it was before you were alive."

It was serene and joyful. I -- and all others -- lived in the mind and heart of God. He knew us before we were formed in our mothers' wombs.

You haven't forgotten, either. You've just decided to follow someone else. Your choice, your problem, your soul.

Iztok said...

Danbo: "It was serene and joyful."

You are a liar! You didn't experience ANYTHING before you were born. And you don't really KNOW anything about when you will die but none of us know so I will let the future slide. But to obviously lie about your past would certainly get you to hell if existed. Lucky for you it doesn't.

"You haven't forgotten, either. You've just decided to follow someone else. Your choice, your problem, your soul."

Are yo saying I am lying? What would I gain by doing so? I don't pretend I experienced something before I was alive. There was nothing when I was dead (which was before I was alive). I don't follow anyone. Some of us just don't need to be followers as we are leaders and/or independent. Also, no such thing as soul, another made up thing on your end. You provide no evidence for your assumptions once again.

Not to mention the whole post was truly just nice blaming the victim attempt.

Bob said...

Wow. A life without meaning. Or intellectual honesty. That's what we atheists are selling? Gamecock, how do you sign up for a religion?
Do you have to know someone?

bsty74 said...

Iz "blame" "victim" ??

With no God, and therefore no moral absolutes, how in the world can you have "blame" and "victims?" When a zillion years ago a little algae got eaten by a big ol' amoeba, did the algae complain about being a victim?

Stop being so inconsistent - you advocate this lifestyle, so it's just the natural outflow of living your "independent," "don't need a leader" "we all evolved" "science is everything" way.

Please, if life had no meaning, for what purpose do the fittest survive, and what drives them to be the fittest?

Iztok said...

Bob: "That's what we atheists are selling?"

We are not selling anything. We offer you the truth and knowledge. It is up to you if you will take it or buy the pig with a lipstick on.

Iztok said...

bsty74: "Please, if life had no meaning, for what purpose do the fittest survive, and what drives them to be the fittest?"

If you explain why there must be a meaning and/or purpose for the fittest to survive I should be better able to address your question.

I am not saying that science is everything but it sure is the best way we found so far to learn things we know and things we will know.

I think you've been fed this all "atheists advocate such and such lifestyle" crap from your so called leaders who also pretend to know things they have no way of really knowing. We don't have any particular life style or advocate one. We are just being honest and don't pretend we know things that are ultimately unknowable. We are not pretentious and self absorbed to think this universe around us was "designed" just for us. What a selfish thought!

If you really want to know about morality, you should read the following book: "The Science of Good and Evil: Why People Cheat, Gossip, Care, Share, and Follow the Golden Rule" by Michael Shermer. Now stop with stupid "if there is no God there is no morality". We have morality as it is obvious in our society but that doesn't imply that any god (let alone God) exist or is needed for.

Anonymous said...

“Please, if life had no meaning, for what purpose do the fittest survive, and what drives them to be the fittest?”

Obviously the fittest aren’t striving to be the fittest so they can get on with the next step in the Christian God Plan – that thing called death, the part where souls are redeemed and there is eternal life with God, just for believing in Jesus as their Lord and Savior. Rather it appears they are trying to avoid all that. Therefore maybe that’s their life’s purpose, and the reason they survive and strive to remain fit enough is to avoid death, or strive to reproduce themselves so that someday their progeny will conquer death.

Life expectancies have been on the increase for centuries. Now that science is decoding human genes, it’s just a matter of time before someone figures out how to control the life gene. Sorry, God. You should have filed a patent.

Maybe then we can argue sometime in the far, far future whether it’s best to (A) give up and die and live forever with Jesus in some arrangement about which we haven’t a rational clue, or (B) continue in this life, which we understand. Seems if one chooses Plan B, he or she had better give serious consideration to doing well (getting "fit")in their studies at an early age so they can get a good job and enjoy that long life, rather than be miserable for millennia.

There won’t be many choosing Plan A. After all, the pro life crowd will call that choice “murder”.

Not Anon-1

Gamecock said...

Bob

I have never known of any one-person religions. You are surrounded my an overwhelming majority of Americans that are members of churches.

But what I was referring to was not religion per se, but rather the hope for eternal life and the accountability that entails for like on Earth.

You are welcome to join me at Carmel Baptist any Sunday!

ps and Bob, I didn;t say life for atheists have no meaning.

smile

Bob said...

I tried to be a one-person church, but half the congregation walked out. Thanks for the offer. God, if there is God, bless.

Yes, Iz, I know. I stole it from Voltaire.

Danbo59 said...

No, Izzie, I'm no liar. God knew us before we were formed in our mothers' wombs. We were there -- so was/is He. And some of us are overjoyed to think we can go back to Him at the end of our lives here.

I'm sorry if your life has no meaning. I'll pray -- again -- that you find it.

Iztok said...

Danbo, question was about experience before you were alive. Not the stories they told you AFTER you were born.

On the topic of Assembly of God (Palin's church):

http://ffrf.org/news/2008/assembly_of_god.php

Pentecostals are “gifted” people. Besides speaking in tongues, they also practice other “gifts of the spirit” (charismata) described in the New Testament, such as “interpretation” of tongues, prophecy, faith healing (”The prayer of faith will save the sick,” James 5:15), miracle working, and discernment of “evil spirits.” I saw some “casting out of spirits” (exorcisms) in that church. The Assemblies of God practice a direct worship, often with tears and raised hands, in intimate “spiritual” (emotional) connection with the creator of the universe. They are in love with Jesus and think he has a special love for them.

Most pentecostals are fundamentalists, believing that the bible is perfect and true, the only source of truth. I did not know a single Assembly of God believer who was not a young-earth creationist who believes dinosaurs roamed this planet a few thousand years ago. They believe in the non-metaphorical existence of demons and Satan (who, according to the book of Revelation, is a seven-headed dragon) who are roaming the earth luring vulnerable souls into evil. They believe in a historical talking snake and donkey, and in the existence of witches, wizards, and evil creatures that can infect not only an unlucky individual but an entire geographical region, which must be purged by prayer.



… They believe in an approaching Armageddon, a fiery end to the world, which they will escape in the Rapture. And that is what makes them so dangerous. They don’t really care about this world. They don’t want peace on earth — they want the violent biblical prophecies to be fulfilled so that they can get to heaven and be rewarded with eternal life. They want to say, “We told you so!” One of the pastors at Sarah Palin’s church announces that “the storm clouds are gathering.” Another of her Assembly of God pastors reports that “Sarah is a great woman. A religious woman.”

When Sarah Palin told her Assembly of God church earlier this year that the war in Iraq is “a task from God,” she was not speaking allegorically. As a pentecostal fundamentalist, she has to believe, as I used to preach, that we are indeed living in the end times. This is no harmless delusion. In America there is “no religious test,” and anyone can run for high office, as an individual, but that doesn’t mean we must not fear religious zealots exercising control. Although the First Amendment guarantees private citizens the “freedom of assembly,” the establishment clause requires that the government should be free from the Assembly of God.

Anonymous said...

"For what purpose do the fittest survive?"

If you survive, you get to choose your own purpose.

If you don't survive, your options are more limited.

-anon1

Anonymous said...

We hear a lot about moral "absolutes" from the religious.

They have them, we don't.

But I really don't see that they all agree on exactly what these "absolutes" are.

Their "absolutes" seem relative to me.

-anon1

Iztok said...

Anon1: "But I really don't see that they all agree on exactly what these "absolutes" are."

They mostly all agree that "the others" will go to Hell ;)

Anonymous said...

Iztok,

"Mostly" all agree is correct.

Even that isn't an "absolute".

-anon1

Iztok said...

"Even that isn't an "absolute"."

That is true. Good example is how "absolute" is Bible about beginning of life. Mostly everywhere life in the Bible begins with "breath". In fact several times "breath" means "life". Yet now most disagree with Bible claiming life beings at conception.

It is clear that "absolute" is a synonym of "my way".

Anonymous said...

Muslims, of course, have the same problem.

Each is following the absolute truth as contained in the Quran, but few can agree on what it says.

They even have arguments about the phases of the moon and when to start their holy festivals.

They can't all just agree on the actual astronomical data to tell them when the phases begin but must resort to "traditional" eyewitness methods just because that's the way they did it 1400 years ago.

And yet those same people will claim that Islam promotes science without seeing any contradiction.

-anon1

Gamecock said...

Good answer Bob, even if it was from a Frenchman?

Anonymous said...

Iztok,

You know, of course, that it all depends on what the definition of "breath" is.

Someone can just say that it's "God's" breath being breathed at the time of conception.

Problem solved.

Or not.

Either way you get the absolute answer you need.

-anon1

Albert E said...

Religion without science is blind. Science without religion is lame.

Iztok said...

Albert also said the following:

"When the solution is simple, God is answering."

"There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle."

And most importantly:

"It was, of course, a lie what you read about my religious convictions, a lie which is being systematically repeated. I do not believe in a personal God and I have never denied this but have expressed it clearly."

Bob said...

God is being.

Anonymous said...

I opened my Observer this morning to find an insert and DVD containing the movie previously aired on CNN and Fox news: "Obsession - Radical Islam's War Against The West".

I wonder which political/religious group paid for that,and what they hope to accomplish other than informing me of what I already know - there are radicals everywhere who are glad to trample freedoms. (The fact Michael Medved endorses the DVD on the insert might be a clue).

Next weekend, will the Observer have another DVD and insert titled "Coercion - Radical Christianity's War Against Separation of Church and State"?

-Not Anon-1

anony 4 said...

That DVD was paid for by a right wing group called Clarion Fund(article in local section of todays paper)to instill just in time for the election unreasonable fear in the voters again.

The Charlotte Observer(just another advertising revenue whore) is acting as an enabler to these reprehensible fearmongers

Anonymous said...

Cool. Nutcase DVD. I'll have to comb through my Observer again.

My first nutwing propaganda dissection was of a John Birch Society pamphlet back in the late 1960's equating the Peace Symbol with Satanism.

Total horses--t, but it taught me a lot about detecting half-truths in propaganda as a young lad.

Got it from a church (of course)...

-anon1

Anonymous said...

Whoops, that was the early 70's.

Apparently the piece is a classic and still available.

Put out by American Opinion magazine:

GUMAER, DAVID E Peace Symbols: The Truth about Those Strange Designs
Belmont, Mass.: American Opinion, (1970). Illus. with photos. Wraps. 16 p. ¶ Gumaer traces the origins of the peace symbol to the "Satanism of the Middle Ages," concluding that it is a "symbol of the anti-Christ!".

Totally fantastic nutcase crap of the first order.

I got my first real taste of ripping apart right wing propaganda with this little gem.

I would order a copy, but I don't want the Birchers to benefit a dime.

-anon1

Bob said...

Iz:

How are you coming on your critique of Albert the Great and Mendel? We're waaaaiting.

Iztok said...

Bob, which particular aspect are you referring to?

Bob said...

You claimed, in confident if broken English, that "religious" "always were" "afraid of science progress," because "knowledge diminishes need for religion." Extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof. Alfred the Great is a Catholic saint. Mendel was a Catholic monk. I asked you to explain how their religiously-supported and religiously-applauded careers support the claim that "religious" people or "religious" institutions -- your choice -- "always were" "afraid" of "science progress." Someone who claims to offer "the" truth should have at least a little evidence to support such bold claims. Now's your great chance. (I let you off the hook on Islam's never-faltering fear of scientific progress because the evidence of that is obviously zero.)

Iztok said...

Bob, you are right. I should have qualified better with "most of religious".

Mendel was obviously foremost scientist.

As with most dogmas they do sometimes at certain occasions have their bright moments but in general that is not their DNA.

We only need to look at the latest events (trying to get back on Jane's topic). She never provided links or information about scientists that are supposedly opposed to the colider due to its potential danger. I suspect it is due the fact that they are either not scientists or their expertise is far from the field exploring things colider would offer. We've seen however pretty interesting objections to the colider from religious so called scientists. Those who obviously stand to lose most when science discovers more about beginning of the universe. If I were bluffing my way through like them I too would share their fear.

Turk the Tailor said...

What I admire most about the “religious” – and by that I mean the fundamentalist, Bible-is-God’s-Literal-Word thumpers – is their tenacity in spite of tremendous odds (against them being right).

Take the ongoing search for Noah’s Ark as an example. All the patient, rational scientiific reasoning in the universe will never sway them from their belief that such a vessel not only exists on Mt. Ararat, but that Noah really did march two of everything into it. That includes the Giant Pandas, llamas, mountain lions, polar bears, duckbill platypuses and Tasmanian devils that the Biblical patriarchs never knew existed.

I think that if mankind were to whittle away at Ararat until it was completely level, and then sifted every ounce of dust from it – that would be the only way to prove the ark isn’t there and that the Bible is not meant to be taken literally. The thumpers seem to feel that myths are bad; therefore they feel obligated to defend them as truth.

The truth is not the myth but the theology behind it. What they should hold important is how it describes what early mankind thought its relationship was to God, and the belief (at least at that time) that mankind’s apostasy will be punished, but that God still redeems some.

Bob said...

I'm sure Mendel would be pleased to learn that he, at least, gets a pass on your righteous day of judgment. But "most of religious" is just as bigoted and simpleminded as "religious." If you keep paring this grunt down in hopes of coming up with an honest statement, you get the following: "I speculate that some people who fear science may fear science because of religious belief." Pretty lame. But, the original libel is still out there, isn't it? Kind of like a rumor that the spreader casually disowns.

Iztok said...

Bob, how about finding us those few scientists that Jane mentioned in "despite the fears of a few scientists" statement?

So instead of this speculation started by Jane we can actually see some facts? I failed to find those scientists that have background to evaluate mentioned atom smasher.

So we will see who is fear mongering?

Anonymous said...

Turk,

You could sift through all of Ararat, find no evidence of an ark, and still not make a difference to the believers.

As the Ohio State Motto says:

"With God, All Things Are Possible".

The believers are sure to make up SOME explanation that's good enough for them to continue believing.

After all, the Bible (or Quran for that matter) is infallible.

It is up to us to "understand" it in such a way as to make it so.

It's not about facts, but about creating a "believable" narrative.

You can see this in our political campaigning as well.

-anon1

Iztok said...

"Have not money, the thirst for possessions, for power and even knowledge, diverted man from his true destiny?"

Scary.

Iztok said...

To give credit to the Church where credit is due...

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/religion/2910447/Charles-Darwin-to-receive-apology-from-the-Church-of-England-for-rejecting-evolution.html

"The apology, which has been written by the Rev Dr Malcolm Brown, the Church's director of mission and public affairs, says that Christians, in their response to Darwin's theory of natural selection, repeated the mistakes they made in doubting Galileo's astronomy in the 17th century."

I guess at one point Baptist and Pentecostals will follow. Just wonder how long will it take them.

Danbo59 said...

Jane asked, "What will each of us do with the time we have left?"

I will continue to pray for the misguided -- those who refuse to acknowledge the existence and love of God Almighty; those who use the fact that they cannot explain everything in life to argue against God; those who have let a a certain pain in their life turn to anger against God in the form of denial of His existence.

Where charity and love prevail....

Turk said...

Anon1,

I’m an Ohio State fan, and have been looking for the silver lining that might have come from that Collapse in the Coliseum.

I thought I found it: The Buckeye Nation can now admit that they have just an average team. No more of this O-Hype-O State stuff to get hopes up. We could be like…well…like the Gamecocks. Always with high expectations, but always a bridesmaid, yet always filling a huge stadium with the happy, unsuspecting faithful. Then I recalled that OSU has never beaten a team from the state of South Carolina, and that tarnished that silver lining. Maybe the Bucks could downsize into the FCS and solve all the team’s problems!

You mentioned the motto of “With God, All Things Are Possible”. I wonder about the fans' and teams' relationship with God. There must have been some OSU fans asking God to intercede and grant a miraculous victory. There must have been some USC fans doing likewise. So how do we interpret the results from a theological viewpoint?

Had the Buckeyes, who usually kneel in a circle with their coaches after their games for a prayer, somehow apostatized and received God’s punishment? Did God favor the Trojans because of their cocky, confident, belligerent nature? Should the Bucks turn to a new God?

Iztok said...

Danbo: "I will continue to pray for the misguided -- those who refuse to acknowledge the existence and love of God Almighty; those who use the fact that they cannot explain everything in life to argue against God; those who have let a a certain pain in their life turn to anger against God in the form of denial of His existence."

Danbo, we don't refuse to acknowledge we just find no evidence to accept. Sorry, most of us trust knowledge and reason in every aspect of our lives (and so do you) and some of us extend this to so called supernatural as well.

I am not angry or in pain, I know I can't explain everything, none of this is an issue. Just because we can't explain things people invented gods in the first place. Gods are ultimate free lunch when it comes to explanation.

I am sorry you are blind and not able to see that. Your church took over hundred years to realize it was wrong and Church of England realized another mistake as well. It takes tens and hundreds of years for religious "leaders" to realize they've misguided everyone on certain topics. history shows us that science ultimately as the right answer on the other hand there is no recorded history where religious claims turned to be right and science to be wrong (certain theory was wrong and new or improved one better explained facts but that is science to its core).

I am just sorry that you might be dead before you realize there is nothing there and wasted precious time of your life for nothing.

Iztok said...

Let's help save Bristol Palin.

http://www.savingbristol.com/page2.html

Iztok said...

I can see people jumping up and down on how tasteless the above link is. And I agree. Being pro-choice it is not my decision to make for Bristol.

Only point made there is that many think Bristol is being pushed into making the decision not so much about keeping her baby but to marry baby's daddy. Keeping the baby is a good thing but that one has to marry self described redneck who doesn't want kids is another thing. Does Bristol have a choice or did McCain/Palin camp make decision for her? I feel that everyone should be free to make a choice and Bristol really didn't have one.

Danbo59 said...

Iztok wrote, "Danbo, we don't refuse to acknowledge we just find no evidence to accept."

The evidence is all around you. It's called Creation. Creation and the development of life on Earth had as much chance as evolving without the intelligent design of God as does a person a shredded dictionary throwing up into the air and finding that when it falls it has done so in a manner that produces a Shakespearean play. It just isn't logical.

Iztok claims, "I am not angry or in pain,...."

You're not very convincing. All your hatred spewed toward Christians says otherwise.

Iztok wrote, "I know I can't explain everything, none of this is an issue. Just because we can't explain things people invented gods in the first place. Gods are ultimate free lunch when it comes to explanation."

Perhaps gods were invented by the frightened, but God was not invented. He was, is and always will be and He was revealed to man in the beauty of Creation -- not invented by man to explain his fears.

Iztok wrote, "I am sorry you are blind and not able to see that."

We are all blind in one way or another, but I am not blind in the manner you suggest. In any case, Who causes the blind to see? The deaf to hear? The lame to walk? The Triune God, that's who!

Iztok, "Your church took over hundred [sic] years to realize it was wrong and Church of England realized another mistake as well. It takes tens and hundreds of years for religious "leaders" to realize they've misguided everyone on certain topics."

To what mistakes are you referring? People make mistakes. The one true apostolic Church, headed by Christ, cannot make a mistake.

Iztok writes, "history [sic] shows us that science ultimately as the right answer on the other hand there is no recorded history where religious [sic] claims turned [sic] to be right and science to be wrong (certain theory was wrong and new or improved one better explained facts but that is science to its core)."

Once again, in English? God created science. It's how He reveals parts of the wonder of Creation to us. There is no conflict between science and God.

Iztok wrote, "I am just sorry that you might be dead before you realize there is nothing there and wasted precious time of your life for nothing."

I might be dead before I realize? Hmmm, so I will be able to realize after I am dead?! Sounds like you're not too convinced that this is all there is. Good for you!

j. said...

danbo59

While it may be from good intentions that you pray for all those who do not hold your specific beliefs, do you ever consider how your attitude and certitude that what you believe is absolutely true is a form of arrogance and hubris which contradicts the the call for humility that I understand Jesus asks of his adherents?

Would not admitting that one does not know the so-called absolute truth be more humble and open than constantly proclaiming that you have all the answers?

And as far as science and religion being in harmony,then if you believe that sinceely then you should have no trouble with evoluton,or stem cell resarch, birth control etc.
Oh what is that?...oh yes, it's proper science only if your high priests calls it science.

And your so-called evidence of God in "creation" is a personal and subjective view that neither your church or you has any way to prove empirically. Show us in your books or in the matter around us one shred of physical evidence that points to the "manufacturers label"

Anonymous said...

J,

In Southern Speak, "I'll pray for you" can be shorthand for "I'm right; you're wrong; so there (to put it politely).".

-anon1

j. said...

anon1,

Unfortunately that "Southern Speak... I'll pray for you" infests other parts of our nation even from that fundy "American Idol celebrity" who is governor of Alaska :) The delusional mental virus of religious extremism knows no borders.

Iztok said...

Danbo, I can see you are very ignorant on both how probability works and how evolution works. Yet you spew your ignorance as it was fact.

Probability of what happened might be low but probability of what happened AND God made it is even lower. Basic math my friend, basic math.

You don't seem to grasp that evolution is small changes over vast period of time. Are you denying that we had millions of years to evolve? Are you denying that we change (as a species) over time? Are you denying that environment in conjunction with change make certain trades more advantageous then others? Those three are basically the core to evolution. So which one do you disagree with?

Danbo, how many times I've said I love Christians and hate Christianity? You understand the difference, don't you? It is from your own playbook of love the sinner hate the sin, love homosexuals, hate homosexuality.

Yes your own Church admitted mistakes in their doctrine. They pardoned scientists they were about to burn at the stake. Most of the Christian world now accepts evolution as a fact (based on the stance of their Church). They issued apologies to Darwin and Galileo.

Also, your logic is false about "Creation".

When A implies B and B exists, we have no way of knowing anything about A. Again basic math. So simple to grasp yet so far away from your reach. (A = creator, B = creation in your example)

1. A => B
2. B

We don't know anything about A from the above as we could easily find out that C => B is also true. One learns this in about 8t grade.

The Lombard said...

Does anyone know where the word "science" comes from?

Iztok said...

The word science comes from the Latin "scientia," meaning knowledge.

http://www.sciencemadesimple.com/science-definition.html

Science refers to a system of acquiring knowledge. This system uses observation and experimentation to describe and explain natural phenomena.

Iztok said...

Since we've defined science, perhaps someone would define God.

abelard said...

Wasn't "scientia" a theological term?

the lombard said...

I think it was. In fact, I think I wrote the book on it.

Iztok said...

More on science with provided references.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Science

abelard said...

We sure learned a lot from the Jewish and Muslim scholars, though, didn't we? Those were the days.

Danbo59 said...

j, you are confusing science with the abuses of science. Stem cell research is fine as long as it doesn't involve the murder of children. Contraception isn't science -- it's the abuse of scientific knowledge.

Nice try, though.

Oh, BTW -- no problem with evolution. God craeted it, too.

Danbo59 said...

j, Jesus din't ignore the facts for the sake of hubris. Sin was sin. He didn't beat around the bush. The problem with militant atheists like you and Izzie is that any attempt at backbone is immediately flagged as a lack of humility or hubris.

No, it's called moral character.

Izzie, how many times are you going to show us that you know what "A >= B" means? Whoop-de-doo. It don't mean a sack of potatoes when your entire premise is incorrect. But then again, e = m(c-squared), if you get my drift.

And I prefer quantum physics to basic math.

Danbo59 said...

Iztok, please look up "The Grignard Reaction." Now do you see what I mean about god and religion?

j. said...

danbo59

How is preventing unwanted pregnancy an abuse of science? Are you saying that anytime two people have sex or make love that procreation is the only purpose of that union? So if we masturbate we are committing a mortal sin because we have spilled our seed?

If you accept evolution then do you accept that the way life evolved could have had different outcomes?

Why would the perfect God that you believe in use such a convoluted imperfect process with so many "dead ends" and twists and turns to produce humans which I suppose you assume are the expected cumulation of billions of years of time.

Are you implying then that all of 14 billions of light years of space time are just here for human purpose? Now that is really hubris to the infinite degree.

Why would God need to offer us salvation if he created a "perfect" universe through evolution?

galileo said...

Actually, I am the one who owes the Church an apology. I could not prove my model of the solar system was correct, and I was wrong to insist that I could. I should have said that my model was a hypothesis, as the Church asked, and left the heavy lifting to Kepler and Newton.

Bob said...

I have a more important question. How come Iztok, J., and the rest all sound like Ricky Ricardo? Did they all go to the same school?

j. said...

danbo59,

If you have followed my previous posts you may remember I have said a number of times that I am an agnostic and am willing to admit that "I do not know". You though address us with emphatic no prisoners allowed statements like your previous posts and others.

A person can have plenty of moral character and principles without asserting that the particular truth you embrace is the only truth. It's self absorbtion and narcissism and arrogance to imply that only your church has the truth because you ignore the almost infinite context of the universe with which we live in. You and your church have no personal knowledge of 99.99999% of the universe you live in so you have no authority to state that you know the absolute of anything.

To ignore or deny the context of the immensity of the universe is to leave out the major part of the reality we live in.

j. said...

Bob

Ricky Ricardo was my mentor and Lucy my hero :)

Bob said...

J.:

Too bad you're not as free with your opinions as Fred was with his money.

j. said...

Bob,

Thanks for the witty comback.
Fred spent his money on girls and gambling off the set.

So we should just leave all opinions here to those who only defend absolute black and white ideas?

How much intellectual fun would that be?

Anonymous said...

God is Babaloo.

-anon1

j. said...

So is the sound of thunder when Ricky beats his drum?

Bob said...

Legion:

It would be better if "we" did not express "our" opinions until "we" learned English. In the words of Tom Lehrer: "If someone cannot communicate, the very least they can do is to shut up."

Danbo59 said...

j asked, "So if we masturbate we are committing a mortal sin because we have spilled our seed?"

Yes, I am saying that!

Bob said...

It's not really a mortal sin, but for some people, it adds up.

Anonymous said...

Bob,

You got a lot of 'splaining to do!

Not Anon-1

Bob said...

I wan her bout dos twin beds.

Iztok said...

Danbo: "Izzie, how many times are you going to show us that you know what "A >= B" means? Whoop-de-doo. It don't mean a sack of potatoes when your entire premise is incorrect."

You are absolutely right. I was pointing out that your premise is incorrect. Thanks for admitting it.

Iztok said...

Danbo: "Iztok, please look up "The Grignard Reaction." Now do you see what I mean about god and religion?"

No, what has the aforementioned reaction to do with god or religion? It is a chemical reaction. Nothing unnatural about it.

j. said...

danbo59

You do sound like you live a strange fantasy world...divorced from reality.

So all those involuntary noctural emmissions that young men have must add up to a lot of damnation:)

Iztok said...

"So all those involuntary noctural emmissions that young men have must add up to a lot of damnation"

Not to mention 40+% of embryos that never implant. Lots of killing going on.

j. said...

Bob:

I have not seen anybody here communicate in any other language but English. Grammer and sentence construction may be rough in some posts but most get their point across. We are not writing graded colleges essays here.

Bob I must admit as a compliment though,you come across as someone erudite and thoughtful and your writing style displays effective and succient ideas.

Was the Legion a reference to we non-believers as a band of devils:)

Bob said...

Weren't the devils the ones who saw that Jesus was divine? But, anyway, the meanings of "legion" are legion. I am a prophet, not an interpreter.

Anonymous said...

Oh no, not onanism!

Anonymous said...

danbo59,
Masturbation Saves Lives

Danbo59 said...

Iztok wrote, "No, what has the aforementioned reaction to do with god or religion? It is a chemical reaction. Nothing unnatural about it."

Look deeper. I am, frankly, not surprised that you cannot see the relevance.

Danbo59 said...

Iztok droned, "So all those involuntary noctural emmissions that young men have must add up to a lot of damnation."

Nocturnal emissions are not masturbation.

Iztok drooled, "Not to mention 40+% of embryos that never implant. Lots of killing going on."

Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz. Dust the cobwebs off that one, will you?

Masturbator said...

danbo59,
Saving lives is a good thing according to every religion I know. See Masturbation Saves Lives.

Danbo59 said...

M said, "Saving lives is a good thing according to every religion I know. See Masturbation Saves Lives."

Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz. The cobwebs have simply multiplied.

Anonymous said...

Will someone turn off the jizm machine before we all drown?

Make Jizm , Not War said...

danbo59,
You're tired or bored with saving lives? See Masturbation Saves Lives. It's easy and free.

Danbo59 said...

MJNW wrote, "You're tired or bored with saving lives? See Masturbation Saves Lives. It's easy and free."

So does preventing abortions. And that's free, too! Let's start with stopping abortions. Once those lives are saved, we can move on to discuss your proposal.

Note to Jane -- Can we have some level of decorum in the acceptance of any "alias"/"screen name"/"account name?"

Masturbate Now! said...

danbo59,
Why wait? 200,000 lives a year can be saved.

Anonymous said...

Oh, dang. I was thinking of using the name Onanymous.

-anon1

Danbo59 said...

MN wrote, "Why wait? 200,000 lives a year can be saved."

Because stopping abortions gets a bigger bang for the buck, so to speak. We could save MILLIONS of lives a year as opposed to a paltry 200,000.

Anonymous said...

Update on end-of-world...

Don't put all your AIGs in one basket.

-anon1

Anonymous said...

This country has been run (ruined) by morons.

The train is about to wreck.

Please turn off your cellphones and watch the signals.

-anon1

Masturbate for life said...

danbo59,
There's no reason women couldn't stop having abortions at the same time as guys masturbated more often. It's likely that the more guys masturbate, the fewer unwanted pregnancies and abortions there will be. 200,000 men dieing each year from prostate cancer isn't "paltry." - Masturbation Saves Lives

Danbo59 said...

MFL wrote, "200,000 men dieing [sic] each year from prostate cancer isn't 'paltry.'"

It is compared to the number of deaths each year from abortion.

Masturbate for Life said...

danbo59,
Is there a reason guys couldn't masturbate more often at the same time as women stopped having abortions? - See Masturbation Saves Lives

Anonymous said...

No, because...

Every sperm is sacred.
Every sperm is great.
If a sperm is wasted,
God gets quite irate.

-Monty Python

Iztok said...

Danbo: "Look deeper. I am, frankly, not surprised that you cannot see the relevance."

Could you point out where is any evidence of any connection? I am saying you are making things up. It is up to you to prove the connection.

Iztok said...

Danbo: "Iztok droned, "So all those involuntary noctural emmissions that young men have must add up to a lot of damnation.""

Well if you would actually check the facts you would see that this wasn't my quote. But why bother with the facts?

Iztok drooled, "Not to mention 40+% of embryos that never implant. Lots of killing going on."

I am just pointing out the result of comparing embryos to babies. I can't help it if you are having conflicting views.

Iztok said...

Danbo: "So does preventing abortions. And that's free, too! Let's start with stopping abortions. Once those lives are saved, we can move on to discuss your proposal."

Sure, let's start with spontaneous abortion issue first since those are vast majority of all abortions. So pray to your God and when he resolves this then we can move to those human caused ones. Until then keep on praying and see if he answers.

My bet is that he doesn't answer and you know that and you will continue to only oppose to human caused abortions. Let's not hold humans to higher standard then your all loving god. Start from the top.

Anonymous said...

Iztok,

The other complication the anti-abortion crowd rarely considers is that no one could tell whether an abortion was spontaneous WITHOUT an investigation.

If you refuse to investigate, then it would be just like refusing to investigate the death of an infant.

That would be a ridiculous situation, but seems like a logical extension of the "right to life" for an embryo.

We would need special teams of investigators to cover this and who knows what other types of invasion of privacy would be needed to record and monitor every embryo under protection of the law.

Would there be Embryo Protection Services just as we now have Child Protection Services?

We would probably need "conception certificates" and "spontaneous abortion" certificates just as we now have birth certificates, or face the risk of imprisonment for murder/manslaughter.

-anon1

Anonymous said...

And it gets even worse if you consider all the voluntary acts that contribute to a higher instance of miscarriages (aside from those inflicted purely at the whim of "God")

Under "right to life" laws for an embryo any of the following would have to be considered as a cause of death:

Smoking (man or woman)
Diabetes
High Blood Pressure
Chlamydia
Hypothyroidism
various autoimmune diseases
etc.

And how would you prove that the spontaneous abortion was from "natural" causes and not one of the above, or any other "artificial" cause?

It's just a huge mess.

-anon1

Iztok said...

Danbo: "j asked, "So if we masturbate we are committing a mortal sin because we have spilled our seed?"

Yes, I am saying that!"

Wow, people really read weird in the story of Onan. It was about him refusing to impregnate his brother's widow not about spilling the seed.

Anonymous said...

That's the whole problem with the Bible.

You can latch onto whatever interpretation you wish, so it is useless as an "absolute" guide to morality.

Either, both, or neither interpretation would be seen as the truth by someone.

Is it spilling the seed, not doing his duty to knock up his dead brother's wife, or spilling seed on the ground instead of somewhere else.

Your choice. All sins, all not sins, one a sin, the other not, or all forgiven so not a problem anymore.

-anon1

j. said...

And while the biological foundations of real "life" on this planet is being increasingly jeopardized,the supernaturalists rather live in mindless fantasy worlds,whining about "spilled seeds" and personal salvation.

What we need salvation from is a paradigm where we have let ourselves be governed and controlled by willful ignorance and medieval ideas. We need another transformantive Enlightenment to overcome the chaos,insanity,darkness and utter irrationality that fundamentalist religion and unsustainable consumerism has led us to into.

Our species has the intelligence and capacity to be smarter and wiser than this. If we are to culturally evolve to be wise stewards of the world we have inherited, I seriously doubt that traditional religion which is obsessed with unverifiable supernatural fantasies will be the way we find practical and rational solutions.

It's time to grow up and take responsibility for the real world as it is,not live in convenient denial by escaping into comforting,self-absorbed myths.

Iztok said...

"Your choice. All sins, all not sins, one a sin, the other not, or all forgiven so not a problem anymore."

Nah, remember some believe in predestination. Some even think God has a plan. So it if it is predestined or God's plan then masturbating is part of his plan. But then again if God is all what they claim to be then Adam and Eve were framed and suffering is only here for God's amusement.

You know, sometimes I wonder... especially about those who think God has plan for everything. Then they go and pray for something to happen/not happen. Seriously? You think that such an omni being will change his plan to suite your little you? Wow, what a presumption.

Not to mention those who say they have faith in God, then they sure look both ways when they cross the street not to get hit. It is either you have faith and go across and accept your faith or you don't have faith and look both ways before you cross the street. Just goes to show the hypocrisy of their sayings.

Or perhaps... it is not all God's plan because, just maybe... there is no God?

Anonymous said...

J,

I'd like some serious relief from this "faith based" economics BS we've been getting lately.

Our leaders are mostly clueless as to what's happening.

And the so-called "conservatives" won't pay for any "big government" spending that actually helps people, but they'll bail out financial institutions and pay for useless wars.

All while lowering taxes and giving rebates.

Isn't anyone on the Repug side smart enough to see that this is the same as the "buy now, pay later" BS that got us into trouble in the credit market?

Just put it all on the tab.

Drunken fratboy may have had his allowance cut, but he still has those credit cards.

No money down, get a refund from your "equity" and no payments until 2009.

Adjustable rates, too.

We can all buy 3 wars with that kind of financing.

What a deal.

-anon1

j. said...

anon1

I agree...just let those whining greedy bad boys of the financial world (who say the no hold-free form-free market will solve it all)run into hard times and the hypocritical "small government" conservatives will run to save them.

After all they must help the hand(lobbyists and CEO's) that feed them and screw the rest of us.

Anonymous said...

J,

You're right about the lobbyist influence for sure. We've been sold down the river primarily by the Repugs, but the Dumocrats didn't help either.

Phil Gramm is the main culprit in this. He's the architect of deregulation that made this mess possible, both in 1999 and 2000.

This is some scary sh-t going on right now. Just recently Gramm called it "whining". What a jerk.

He has done more damage to the US than a hundred Osama Bin Ladens, but I doubt that he'll serve his time in Gitmo.

The AIG debacle is directly related to his Commodity Futures Modernization Act (sounds nice, but isn't).

It created the totally unregulated markets that brought down Enron and nearly took down AIG.

Phil Gramm's wife, of course, was on the Enron board and took home quite a paycheck from all that.

Phil has been on the bankroll of UBS Warburg as Vice Chairman and is a major bank lobbyist.

Lots of fat checks from that, too.

Of course, he was guiding McCain until recently.

McCain, of course, was part of the original S&L scandal in Senate as one of the members of the Keating 5back in the 1980's.

These people know they can get away with anything because they KNOW how stupid the average American voter is.

They are con men of the first order.

They distract the ignorant masses with BS and then rob us blind.

If anyone hasn't noticed, I'm pretty pissed off right now at the whole mess.

And everyone is covering the election like it's a fricking popularity contest.

The only real question I have is:

WHY IS EVERYONE SO F-ING STUPID?

-anon1

Anonymous said...

I wonder if the families living in the garbage dumps of the Philippines have much time to explore the big questions of meaning.

I think they are too busy sweating the small stuff just to survive.

The same could happen here.

Sometimes the obscure, small stuff has a way of causing huge problems.

-anon1

Pete said...

Jane,
I try to put things in perspective, not take myself too seriously, and enjoy life.

anon1,

How are you going to, as you said, "extract ourselves from this economy as painlessly as possible?"

We have Vanguard stocks/bonds but we've kind of decided not to invest anymore in them, instead putting any future money in CDs and IRAs at the NC State Employee's Credit Union.

Anonymous said...

Pete,

Extracting is difficult for us.

The property is the hard part.

The investments are somewhat easier, but still painful.

I hate what these b-stards are doing to everyone.

A tax is much better; at least it's predictable.

Basically, we try to diversify our investments globally and keep a larger than usual amount in cash.

But at this point, global markets are melting, too.

All the real money in the world is in the Middle East and Asia, China in particular.

Most of the world will go begging for cash to them.

They control our destiny now. We not only need their oil, but their cash as well.

So, we keep a good stash of cash in CD's and such (at least a year or more income in our "emergency fund").

T-Bill rates are near 0% now, the lowest since 1940. People are desperate for security, no need to pay them interest.

Money Market funds are "breaking the buck". That could continue.

For a while I was counterbalancing my funds with some oil/gas investments, but that dropped, too, now maybe back up. That may work short term.

As much as I don't like it, even gold is looking good now, but as we've seen recently, that can whipsaw as well.

I have in-laws in China and see that as our ultimate out if things continue as they are.

If nothing else, our future tax burden in the US will likely be much worse.

My mother-in-law recently said "the only money that's yours is the money you spend".

That is looking truer every day.

No safe havens.

Maybe cash, but the dollar is likely to go down as well as we keep borrowing and printing money.

I'm not stupid, but everything I look at now looks bad.

I'm about to "go Mormon" on this and start hoarding canned tuna.

-anon1

Danbo59 said...

He said to (his) disciples,
"Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life and what you will eat, or about your body and what you will wear.

For life is more than food and the body more than clothing.

Notice the ravens: they do not sow or reap; they have neither storehouse nor barn, yet God feeds them. How much more important are you than birds!

Can any of you by worrying add a moment to your lifespan?

If even the smallest things are beyond your control, why are you anxious about the rest?

Notice how the flowers grow. They do not toil or spin. But I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of them.

If God so clothes the grass in the field that grows today and is thrown into the oven tomorrow, will he not much more provide for you, O you of little faith?"

Luke 12: 22-28

They don't call it The Good Book for nothing.

Anonymous said...

Danbo,

I'm sure the children picking through the garbage dumps of Manila find that inspiring.

But, silly old me, I'm sweating the details, saving my family's a$$ best I can.

Sovereign wealth funds are/will be buying the US at firesale prices.

Learn Arabic or Chinese.

Your new masters will be either Muslims or atheists.

I, of course, am going with the atheists.

-anon1

g said...

Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways and be wise.

Anonymous said...

Good time to be an ant.

Aesop had it right.

-anon1

Danbo59 said...

Anonymous said, "I'm sure the children picking through the garbage dumps of Manila find that inspiring."

I hope so, for those who hunger and thirst for righteousnness shall be filled.

Read Mt 5: 3-12.

Bob said...

Wouldn't Luke 6:20-26 be more inspiring?

Anonymous said...

Danbo,

I'm gonna skip the "Good Book" for now, thank you.

Aesop is more to the point and doesn't require me have weird beliefs about crackers.

-anon1

j. said...

danbo59

Your statements are a classic example of what a mind on too much religion looks like...fried.

Legion said...

What they said.

Anonymous said...

Echoes of the 80's S&L crisis...

Now conservative, small gov is looking at a new incarnation of the Resolution Trust Corporation
(or something like it).

Isolate the cancer (bad mortgages) and kill it slowly in a controlled burn.

This is how we pay for letting the foxes watch the henhouse.

Might bring stability to the people who screwed it all up.

Taxpayers take the risk.

Foxes off the hook to look for more chickens to kill.

-anon1

Anonymous said...

Now isn't it just an amazing coincidence that at the end of the last 2-term Repub presidency (Reagan) we had the S&L crisis and at the end of this 2-term Repub presidency (Bush) we have a such similar crisis?

Let's see now, deregulation, followed by bad lending practices...

Sound familiar? It should.

Now look up the Keating 5 and see who's still around from that.

Those sly foxes are still at it.

-anon1