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Godless Darwin Movie Too Sciency for God-Loving America

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Posted on Sep 13, 2009
chimpanzee
Flickr / Rennet Stowe

Humans and chimpanzees share about 98 percent of their DNA. Blasphemy!

Let’s get something straight, America. Charles Darwin was right. Only 39 percent of you believe that, but his theory of evolution is the basis of modern biological science. Deal with it. A new film about the man can’t get distribution in the U.S. because—this is embarrassing just to type—150 years after “On the Origin of Species,” he’s too controversial in these parts.  —PS

Telegraph:

The film was chosen to open the Toronto Film Festival and has its British premiere on Sunday. It has been sold in almost every territory around the world, from Australia to Scandinavia.

However, US distributors have resolutely passed on a film which will prove hugely divisive in a country where, according to a Gallup poll conducted in February, only 39 per cent of Americans believe in the theory of evolution.

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By ardee, October 10, 2009 at 8:16 am Link to this comment

Anarcissie, October 10 at 10:28 am #

Anyone who gets drunk on tequila will probably inherit the King of Hell the next morning.

You gotta stick to the good stuff…Anejo, that aged int he barrel nectar will treat you fine the next morning.

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By Anarcissie, October 10, 2009 at 7:28 am Link to this comment

Anyone who gets drunk on tequila will probably inherit the King of Hell the next morning.

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By christian96, October 9, 2009 at 10:16 pm Link to this comment

Leefeller—-It is highly probable tequila may be
influencing your mental abilities.  For your mind’s
sake you should give up tequila but even more
important you should give it up for your soul’s sake.
The Bible reads, “Drunkards Shall NOT Inherit The
Kingdom of God.”

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By Night-Gaunt, October 9, 2009 at 11:03 am Link to this comment

Information overload. A filtering process develops as we mature and the biases we have or cultivate too have an affect on what we retain and all we forget. All that too plays into it. Some minds can just retain more and take more of an information load than the bulk of us. Those that are so perceptive of the world that can baffle others.

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By sciencehighway, October 9, 2009 at 10:44 am Link to this comment

My underlying point (and I certainly could have been clearer on this) was that most of us tend to ignore huge amounts of the information that floats by us every day, especially if it’s new data unlinked to earlier thoughts or experience. Much of it simply doesn’t register against the background din until it’s suddenly, literally shoved in our face (my friend’s “Quiche Lorraine” theory), at which point we become hyper-aware of every subsequent reference or occurrence; They were always out there, we just hadn’t noticed yet. I don’t think there’s any more complicated or mystical mechanism in play here. We live in far more complex societies than we evolved to handle; As a basic defence mechanism, our brains learn early on how to triage the input.

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By Leefeller, October 9, 2009 at 9:23 am Link to this comment

Guess a recent example Night Guant, would be just after when I read Ozark Michael’s comments about the flu season and I went on the radio and there was a doctor talking about the same thing?

Probably what seems questionably annoying or amusing is when people make their own coincidences and use them to support a cause or belief, even a hint of opportunism.

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By Night-Gaunt, October 9, 2009 at 8:41 am Link to this comment

You wouldn’t believe how often I stumbled upon books or other material related to what I was working on and thinking about at that time. Dr. Robert Anton Wilson considered how some parts of the quantum universe seems to be affected by some of our thoughts. Aligning some things if-you-will to what we want or need. Not always and not to all people but some of them seem to have this ability. Can most of us develop it? Who knows since this isn’t a scientific experiment yet? Perhaps our brains hold the secrets of the gods as we have collectively imagined over the centuries. Those same powers*, and maybe some wisdom as well to use it. If we survive our growth period as a species.

*Manipulation of the exo-cosom by thought alone.

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By Leefeller, October 9, 2009 at 3:20 am Link to this comment

What seems really strange, is I do not remember this article, nor posting on it?  My manic fanatical disorder requires I forget who, where and why I am, actually I never remember much of what is going on, or it may have something to do with Tequila as my wife keeps insisting?

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By shemp333, October 9, 2009 at 2:37 am Link to this comment

In case you missed it.  This is funny as hell.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5PLNt-HKKAI

The Church of Confusion

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By sciencehighway, October 8, 2009 at 9:34 pm Link to this comment

Gee, all day I was thinking about Quiche Lorraine. Mystery solved.

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By Leefeller, October 8, 2009 at 8:57 pm Link to this comment

Being called back to this thread seems like one of those coinkydinks, like dayjauvoo all over again.

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By Edward Caffray, October 8, 2009 at 1:16 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

There is no reason to believe in an unproven science.

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By sciencehighway, September 24, 2009 at 3:39 pm Link to this comment

CHRISTIAN96: “I don’t know how science
would explain the fact that I mention 2nd Timothy 4:4
to you in a post then a couple days later wake up in the middle of the night, begin watching a tape I made several
days ago in which the teacher is discussing the
deceptions of Satan and uses 2nd Timothy 4:4 as his
first example.”

Actually this isn’t all that mysterious to me. I’ve had many such coincidences in my life, all attributable to any number of explanations: It’s our hard-wired nature to recognize patterns where none may exist, in nature and in our own day-to-day lives - but there’s a lot more going on beneath our conscious existence than we know. As I writer I learned long ago that the process requires a great deal of research and many rough drafts, often interspersed by lengthy gaps, during which the ‘work’ I’m doing probably looks like anything but - relaxing, reading, taking a walk, a shower, even watching some TV. That’s because nothing we hear, read or otherwise absorb is ever really lost, even if we’re not paying attention or are even aware that we’re taking it in. The mind needs time to coalesce all this material and merge it with the requirements of the moment. (I call it ‘cooking time’.) Once that happens, once those new associations and connections are made, it doesn’t matter what I’m doing, even whether I’m asleep at the time, I’ll be drawn back to the word processor to lay down the new ideas. Everything I’ve ever written or edited (everything of value, anyway) has gone through this process, to the point that I’ve learned to build enough time into the schedule to allow for it. Like many other mysterious processes in our universe, it just takes sufficient time and material, but as we’re unaware of the process taking place, we assume we’re dealing with coincidences (which do also happen) or perhaps something more mysterious. Again, we’re way-too-clever apes who create our narratives as we go, whether there’s an underlying rational or not.

But while we’re on the subject, here’s how a good friend of several decades’ acquaintance explains it; She calls it her Quiche Lorraine theory (a name which clearly dates the concept, which she evolved in the late 70s) and it goes like this: One day somebody offers you Quiche Lorraine, which you’ve never before heard of. You like it; You’d try it again. Later that day the phrase Quiche Lorraine comes up in the dialog of a movie you’re watching. Two days later it shows up in your breakfast order. You get the idea: For the next two weeks, something you’d never before encountered seems to pop up in every other conversation. In the intervening thirty-odd years I’ve never heard a better explanation for this still-frequent phenomenon, though admittedly there’s not a lot of either science or mysticism underlying it. We just need to explain our world, especially to ourselves, and as you point out, science remains my tool of choice.

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By shemp333, September 24, 2009 at 3:23 pm Link to this comment

There is only 1 conclusion.  Religion is not a way to think.  It is the opposite of thought.  We all need to shake it off.  It is happening.  We need to continue it.  That will help us form a real future that will benefit our children.  Religion is, in every way, ass backwards.

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By StuartH, September 24, 2009 at 2:55 pm Link to this comment

christian96:

I think the evangelicals who are no longer working from the Bible are most
likely working from a political inheritance that comes through culture and
belief systems that are more about social manipulation.

As a sociologist you are no doubt able to discern how the tragic or near tragic
attitudes and prejudices of one generation can be transmitted down to the next
two or three.  Most families struggle with this, whether aware of it or not.
Larger cultural contexts can remain with people through generations and
centuries. 

The darker side of Christianity that was exemplified by the Inquisition, by
burning heretics at the stake, and so forth are still with us.  Unfortunately, for
those who do not by nature question the origin or validity of attitudes handed
down, this legacy will be harder to resist.  This is why the more hard core
evangelicals, who preach unquestioning belief, tend to be part of this cultural
transmission.  This is probably why the question of Evolution has turned out to be an obsession.  The issue at stake is really about the emancipation of the crowd in being allowed to think and follow evidence where it leads. 

I don’t think that science and spiritual insight are mutually exclusive, so it seems to me that emancipation should not be a threat. 

Recently I was hiking on a hillside filled with petroglyphs.  These are Indian
symbols carved into the surface of hard rocks so that they have survived for
centuries.  Mostly this hillside collection was around 500 to 1,000 years old
with some older ones fading from view. 

I was thinking about a friend of mine, who happens to share an enthusiasm for
Indian lore and spiritual tradition.  He identifies with the red tailed hawk,
largely because one flew down and landed right in front of him once.  As I was
on the brow of that hill, a red tailed hawk came out of the distance and slowed
down as he approached me, at eye level.  He floated there for a little bit, then
climbed and circled me, higher and higher as he disappeared. 

Those sorts of synchronicities happen from time to time, and they are likely to
be some sort of communication within the ineffable warp and woof of things.
We will never be able to quantify this sort of thing.  That’s probably good.  We can be open to mystery without needing to get out a measuring device and diminish it.

I do think we live in a spiritual universe.  I don’t think humans are capable of
enough observation of it to have much ability to talk about it with
words.  Words are a human invention.  Every letter, every syllable come from an
attempt to agree on a common way of describing reality.  We have managed to
negotiate this into a pretty amazing complexity.  But we still are very limited in
what we can use words for.  I like to say that we live on a word road that allows
us to get from one point A to another point B.  But there is lots of terrain off the
road we have yet to build.

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By Leefeller, September 24, 2009 at 2:31 pm Link to this comment

For some strange reason, I am chomping at the bit to again watch “Monty Pythons “the Quest for the Holy Grail,” and play my favorite computer game “Spank the Virgins.”

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By christian96, September 24, 2009 at 1:54 pm Link to this comment

StuartH—-I have watched many evangelicals on TV
and am convinced they believe what they are teaching
even though it doesn’t align with the teachings of
the Bible.  The Bible relates evil anges have the
ability to transform themselves into ministers of
Christ.  I don’t understand exactly how they accomplish this transformation because it can’t be
seen and measured.  However, the evil angels apppear
to be able to influence the thoughts of ministers
without ministers being conscious they are being
manipulated.  Some will attribute their thoughts to
the Holy Spirit even though the thoughts are from
evil angels.  I am fairly adept at discerning the
deceptions because I have spent 32 years studying
the Bible and can therefore recognize error when
I hear it.  If you were an invisible satanic force
capable of influencing the thoughts of people, which
people would receive priority in your efforts?  It
would be those individuals with the ability to
influence the masses, TV ministers, Hollywood writers, producers, actors, actresses, TV personalities, politicans and the list goes on. 

Leefeller—-I don’t know if I would call it human
“nature’ but perhaps human “propensity” to try to
understand the nature of their unusual experiences.

Sciencehighway—-We are down the same road.  You
are wanting science to explain experiences where I
leave the door open for subjective interpretations
to explain experiences.  I don’t know how science
would explain the fact that I mention 2nd Timothy 4:4
to
you in a post then a couple days later wake up in the middle of
the night, begin watching a tape I made several
days ago in which the teacher is discussing the
deceptions of Satan and uses 2nd Timothy 4:4 as his
first example.  I have had numerous types of experiences.  Years ago, I went to California with
the intent that I would learn to write scripts for
televsion programs and movies and then write Christian oriented TV programs and movies.  Instead
of complaining about the Anti-Christian material on
TV and in the movies I would write Christian oriented materials.  I wasn’t successful.  While in
California someone suggested I attend Jack Hayford’s
church “The Church On The Way” in Van Nuys, Calif.
One Sunday I drove to Van Nuys. I was living in
Pasadena.  As I turned the corner to go to the church there was a large 16 wheeler truck parked
in front of the chuch with my last name written on
it.  I thought that was strange.  After the services
I ask a fellow cleaning the church, “Why is that
truck parked out front?”  He replied, “Oh, it belongs to a fellow across the street.  He parks it
there.”  A Christian bookstore was next to the Church.  I went in and began looking through books.
As I was reading a book “All About Angels” by Miller
I heard the loud sound of thunder outside.  I bought
the book, wrote about the experience on the inside
cover, and threw the book in my car trunk.  Months
later, I was driving though West Virginia when I
came upon some cabins near Petersburg, West Virginia.  I stopped and asked the lady how much it
would cost to stay in a cabin.  She replied, “If you
will stay a week I will only charge you $5 dollars
a night.”  I stayed a week.  One morning I awoke and
the first words in my mind were “I come to the garden alone.”  I thought “I’ve heard those words
somewhere.”  But I couldn’t remember where. That
night I found the book “All About Angels” in my
trunk. On the inside of the book I had written the
page # I was reading when the thunder occurred.  When I opened to that page number I noticed “I come
to the garden alone” the very words that 1st came to
mind when I awoke that morning.  Science can’t
explain that experience but it sure was an abnormal
experience for me.

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By Night-Gaunt, September 24, 2009 at 11:12 am Link to this comment

Don’t forget it was humans that forced the bison off those cliffs as an easy way of killing them. Humans are too good at that these days. Too many tools to do so and too few hands that control them.

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By StuartH, September 24, 2009 at 9:57 am Link to this comment

Leefeller:

Eric Hoffer definitely should not be forgotten.  He was a humble man, who
believed in his work on the docks.  But he had a penetrating mind. 

I think that is a great thought to recall at this moment.  I think it is human nature. 
Are we really smarter than a herd of buffalo? 

Only in some respects.  We are just as capable of running over a cliff.

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By sciencehighway, September 24, 2009 at 9:25 am Link to this comment

Good Morning Christian96,
Again, I believe we simply approach our respective relationships with the larger universe from different perspectives. I, too, have spent a great deal of time gazing into the heavens, whether they’re displaying breathtaking storm activity, the spiral arm of our Milky Way galaxy splitting the sky overhead, or - a rare treat
visible from our Canadian property - a shimmering Northern Lights display. We’re also fortunate enough to spend much of our time in open deserts as well as ‘dark sky’ zones, where street and commercial lighting has been regulated to limit light pollution, making for some remarkable night skies.)

And while I do allow room for the grand mysteries, even the as-yet-unknowable (science is full of such… ponderables), I like to separate my reveries into that which can be understood through observation and research, and those matters that lie beyond this realm, if any; Things I can’t measure or even Google with any reasonable expectation of consistency. I don’t deny the existence of such forces, I just don’t think I or anyone else has the necessary data, instrumentation or imagination to measure or even clarify such queries, so I reserve that for meditation, dreaming or reading for pleasure (there’s a good deal of terrific science fiction that has much to say on these topics) and other late night reveries.

I take great pleasure in nature’s incredible beauty and diversity, the vast and humbling majesty of it all. I just don’t feel the need for a mystical, untestable back-story. The better our tools are the farther we see, and the miracles that have been discovered and explored in my lifetime alone stagger me.

I apologize in advance if this next thought is in any way insulting, but to me, it’s not dissimilar to the UFO debate that’s raged since I was a kid. Last year we did a documentary about the history of the Space Age, a film that took us to Roswell, New Mexico, where Robert Goddard developed the earliest liquid-fueled rockets, and where, allegedly, one of the most famous alien incidents took place. We covered that aspect as well, but I must say I didn’t see anything that required an alien presence to fully explain what transpired. Still, millions of otherwise rational people believe, and who am I to argue with that? 

I just think we tend to see what we’re predisposed to see, with the event fulfilling our expectations. We’re pattern-discerning creatures. Our innate need to make sense of our surroundings, to provide a narrative for our world, draws us to see pictures in clouds and star formations - patterns we can no more expect others to notice or agree upon that we can describe the color blue to someone blind from birth. And sometimes that can be a difficult fit with the wisdom our species has handed down from generation to generation, much of which was penned long before we’d figured out the underlying science. Imagination and deeply purposeful parables filled in those blanks, leaving a legacy of great literature, art, poetry and spiritual writings, with stirring beauty and profound, resonant truth to be found in every bit of it.

Oh, and Ardee, sorry about the style issue. I spend very little time on these forums and almost never engage directly, but you’re right, and I’ve been sloppy. It’s probably because I see this as more ‘train of thought’ than actual writing, which is also why I don’t bother going back to edit or correct grammar or punctuation. The result is undoubtedly clunky but at least it’s heartfelt, if also hard to read. I’ll try to do better in the future.

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By Leefeller, September 24, 2009 at 8:49 am Link to this comment

StuartH

In my simple search to understand why some people feel the need to force their opinions or beliefs on others, I was referred to Eric Hoffer and found Hoffers writing most enlightening.

Having little disagreement with Hoffer’s synopsis in which all mass movements have similar characteristics, whether religious, political and other movements.  From my memory, movements seem to have the same ingredients, dissolution of the individual, disregard of the truth and a propensity to force their belief on others.

Hoffer maintained, even noble causes in the beginning,  are changed in the end, by those taking over from the original idealism’s. 

From personal experience in several different organizations I have experienced this vary characteristic, of course in much smaller scale. It seems maybe, this is human nature?

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By StuartH, September 24, 2009 at 8:09 am Link to this comment

christian96:

Synchronicity, is a term that Carl Jung coined to describe coincidences that
seem to have meaning.

They can be taken as a cosmic clue, like a reading from the Tao Te Ching.  The
meaning, if you can perceive one, is subjective like poetry. 

Native American philosophy incorporates synchronicity much more than
“objective” Western systems do. 

“And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto
fables.”

By itself, this is not instructive.  One can view the strong belief in deception
that the hard core evangelicals seem to be driving the Republican Party into in
that light.  I imagine that many of those people use this to prove that they are
right and everybody else is in error.

The key element of the Jungian interpretation of synchronicity is that it is like
dream interpretation.  The nature of the coincidence has to be incorporated
into your own internal meditations.  What becomes public later are conclusions
you reach as a thoughtful person through whatever process you go through.

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By ardee, September 24, 2009 at 4:41 am Link to this comment

sciencehighway, September 21 at 1:01 am

As a professed professional writer perhaps you might value the paragraph a bit more….A personal peeve of mine,non use of paragraphs the lack of which makes reading posts so much more difficult.

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By christian96, September 24, 2009 at 2:51 am Link to this comment

Sciencehighway____I awoke a couple of hours ago and
could not go back to sleep. I decided to read a
magazine “Tomorrow’s World” I receive from a goup
of Christians who have a TV program on WGN Chicago
on Sunday Mornings at 6am EDT with the same title as
the magazine “Tororrows’s World.”  I don’ usually
get up at that hour so I tape the program to watch
later. I haven’t watched last weeks program for
several days.  I decided to get out of bed and watch
the program.  The host, Richard Ames, related that
he would be discussing Seven Satanic Deceptions.
I wrote “Satan: False Doctrines” in a diary I keep.
Immediately after writing “Satan: False Doctrines”
I heard thunder rolling outside.  I didn’t think
anyone would be up so I slipped on some slippers
and walked outside in my boxer shorts and stood in
the middle of the road looking at the sky.  I notice
horizontal lightning directly above me which appeared
to be coming from some low lying whie clouds.  I
continued to watching the lightning light the sky.
After a verticle streak of lightning hit very close
to me followed by a loud clask of thunder I decided
to go back into my condo.  I began listening to the
seven deceptions of Satan.  The 1st one was titled
“false doctrine.”  Then, as an example of false
doctrine Mr. Ames used 2 Timothy 4:4 “And they shall
turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be
turned unto fables.”  That was the same scripture
I quoted to you in my comments on Sept. 20th at 11pm.
Coincidence?  Perhaps!  However, I have similiar
experiences quite often.  I keep a record of them
in my diary.  I don’t really know how to explain
them but I do believe they are more than coincidence.

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By sciencehighway, September 20, 2009 at 10:01 pm Link to this comment

Christian96, I’m more convinced than ever now that we’re approaching similar issues from differing perspectives. There is clearly a mystical element to your appreciation and study of the Bible that I don’t share and quite likely will never fully comprehend, but I too have been moved or inspired by some of the tales within, as I have throughout my life by the work of Proust, Shakespeare, Twain, Bradbury, Vonnegut and countless others. Good writing is good writing - in fact I’ve even been moved by one or two of the fables that you point out were honored at tonight’s Emmy Awards (despite the glaring absence of our own category.) Although I’ve also written for drama, comedy, variety and childrens’ TV over the years, I find documentaries the most satisfying, and not all that different from the other forms. All are a way to shed light on the human condition using every tool in the filmmaker’s kit. We’re all storytellers at heart, despite the added need for documentary producers to have at least two verifiable sources per declared fact - a requirement that appears to have been stripped away from network newscasts. I do have to clarify one misunderstanding: Although I watched Edward R. Murrow as a child I never met him. It was Walter Cronkite whom I interviewed for a series we produced on the history of the Space Age. Through his 1950s series “The 20th Century” as well as all those NASA missions, Walter felt like my personal guide to that extraordinary era, and it was an honor beyond description to be allowed to reminisce with him about those years. He was deeply concerned with the effects of the commercialization of network news that had occurred since his departure, but he also expressed great faith in the power of human intellect to eventually see through any smokescreen - an optimism I happen to share. Quite beyond the amount of time I’ve spent in these trenches (I suspect you and I are around the same age), I’m fairly sanguine about the current trends towards simplicity in increasingly complex times. The pendulum always swings back. And even if it didn’t, storytelling - whether prose, sitcom or the true tales we tell of amazing people and deeds - not one bit of it will connect with an audience, will have lasting power and influence, unless a solid nugget of truth lies at its core. We humans can go badly wrong; We can trust the wrong leaders or influences, but only for a time. In our hearts and minds we know the truth when we hear it. No matter how heated the debate, if truth is on the table, truth will out. Eventually.

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By christian96, September 20, 2009 at 8:00 pm Link to this comment

I fell asleep this afternoon only to be awakened
to some stimulating comments following this article.

Shemp333—-You aren’t the first to express ridicule
towards my religious beliefs but thanks for the
apology. For my own health I’ve learned to let
ridicule roll off my back.  After all, you and others
aren’t attacking me personally but just expressing
disagreement with my IDEAS.

Sciencehighway—-I find it interesting we are discussing the influence of the media on the night
when the Emmy’s are being awarded mostly for fables.
A few are being awarded for non-fiction productions
such as documentaries.  The Bible scripture I was
referring to is 2nd Timoth 4:4, “And they shall turn
away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned
unto fables.”  Since it mentions “ears” perhaps the
scripture is referring more along your idea relating
to words used by such people as Glenn Beck, Rush
Limbaugh, politicians and any other people using
words to deceptively mislead people.  Another usage
of the same word occurs in Titus 1:14, “Not giving
heed to Jewish fables, and commandments of men,
that turn from the truth.”  This was not an antisemitic expression because it was made by the
Apostle Paul himself an Israelite.  The same word
was again used by Paul in 2nd Peter 1:16, “For we
have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we
made known unto you the power and coming of our
Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his
majesty.”  As a counseling psychologist, I am
interested in the verbal and visual influences of
media fables.  I’ll give you a personal example.
When younger I wanted to be accepted and loved
by women.  I noticed in the movies that Clark Gale
was accepted and loved by women.  Therefore, I grew
a moustache and spent many years squinting my eyes
like Clark Gable.  I drank and fought like Clark
Gable.  It’s rather ironic I worked for years as a
school psychologist in Ohio about 25 miles from where Clark Gable was born.  I will admit that my
drinking and fighting came from other environmental
experiences other than Clark Gable. 
I learned from Buckminister Fuller that little more
than a century ago most people did not get away from
the place where they were born more than a radius
of 25 miles.  Therefore, role models for children
came from the communities to which they were exposed.  Now with the advancement in communications
the role models for children can come from all over
the world with just the flick of the “on” button
on their TV sets.  The question confronting us interested in understanding people is, “How does
the verbal and visual aspects of media influence
the attitudes and behaviors of humans?”
I find it disturbing that media executives would make a comment that people “don’t want to learn
from TV programs.”  When I watch TV it usually is
just to learn something.  I watch The Discovery
Channel, The Learning Channel, National Geographic
Channel, Science Channel, Documentary Channel, etc.
At times I’ll watch a sporting event or watch a
movie but not very often.  Of course considering
my educational experiences I proably wouldn’t
refer to myself as an “average” American.  I find it
interesting you met Edward R. Murrow.  He came to
the small coal mining community where I spent my
formative years to do a documentary on conditions
in coal communities.  That would have been approx.
1951 when I was in the 5th grade.  I’ve often
considered contacting NBC to see if I could get a
copy of his program.

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By sciencehighway, September 20, 2009 at 2:23 pm Link to this comment

‘Personally, I believe the fables in media
are having a strong influence on the deteriation of
the family.  The divorce rate is now over 50% both
within and outside the church.  What is influencing
the thoughts and behaviors leading to divorce?’


I must say, this discussion has taken some fine and fascinating turns - vastly more affecting and worthwhile than the partisan shouting match it seemed to be a day or two back. Christian96, you have really surprised me with the depth of your concerns and considerations, which, of course, has far more to say about my own limited expectations from the ‘religious’ side of this debate. I still maintain that science - both its methodology and hard-won knowledge base - are the only reliable tools for comprehending our universe, but I have been very impressed by your curiosity and life-long need to both know and comprehend. As others on this forum have suggested, there are many possible sources of both information and philosophy available through this very keyboard. I hope they’ll continue to factor into your worldview.

As for your specific point quoted above, ‘fables’ is a term that can cover a lot of ground, depending on the reader’s specific agenda. You might be referring to the type of storytelling favored by networks and thus required of their drama and sitcom producers, whereas I might think it more closely describes the mischievous   narrative served up by the likes of Glenn Beck and Fox News. But I can add one observation from my personal experience. For more than thirty years now I’ve been a writer/producer/director of science and history documentaries, mostly for folks like PBS and a few well-known science-based channels which I choose to not specifically identify. Our various series and specials have largely focused on the history of the Space Age, so there’s nothing too controversial there. And yet we’ve seen a definite shift in network sensibilities, especially as the smaller specialty channels have gradually merged or been bought outright by larger corporations. Whereas once (back in the 80s and 90s) we were mandated to explore the depths of a story or event, with the sole and welcoming exception of PBS the rule these past seven or eight years has been to avoid complexity and keep our stories as simple as possible, with minimal reliance upon witness interviews (the dreaded ‘talking head’) detail or narrative. The past seems to matter so much less these days than the far more exciting present and future, and scientific details (and proofs) now get culled from scripts as a matter of course so they don’t ‘slow down the flow’. We’ve been specifically warned on more than one occasion that “nobody wants to learn anything from TV; After a long day they just want entertainment, so that’s what we provide.”

I’m not saying this is the source of the dummification of America that others have commented upon, but I do speak from lengthy and personal experience at the network level, so please make of this observation what you will. On a final, utterly personal note, having grown up in the glorious era of broadcasters such as Ed Murrow and Walter Cronkite (whose own science programs and space coverage in the 50s and 60s were a huge inspiration, and whom I was fortunate enough to meet and spend time with during one of our recent projects), I have to regard this disturbing trend as at least part of the problem.

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By shemp333, September 20, 2009 at 2:17 pm Link to this comment

christian96,

  I do apologize for being so harsh in earlier comments.  I think we both want an honest exchange of ideas.  It is refreshing to see that.  I really have thought that the only way to deal with superstitious nonesense is ridicule.
  That being said,  I’m happy exchanging views with you.  It is always beneficial to both sides.  We both gain a bettere understanding of the argument.

StuartH,

  Sorry I don’t get your argument disagreeing with me on the subject of creationism.  Want do you have to add?  Surely it is a literal interpretation of the bible…  What do you not agree with?
  Of course there is no science in the bible… It had not been invented yet.  And your claim that there are some human footprints next to dinosaurs is seriously incorrect.  There were apparent hoaxes…  all shown to be fakes.
  That being said,  I don’t really think we disagree do we?

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By Anarcissie, September 20, 2009 at 12:20 pm Link to this comment

‘Personally, I believe the fables in media
are having a strong influence on the deteriation of
the family.  The divorce rate is now over 50% both
within and outside the church.  What is influencing
the thoughts and behaviors leading to divorce?’

A little science: if you look at time series graphs, for example http://www.math.hope.edu/swanson/statlabs/proj1_sample2.html, you’ll see that there was a steady rise in divorce in the U.S. in the 1970s, peaking around 1980, and then declining slowly somewhat after that.  I can’t think of anything significant happening in media during that period, fabulous or otherwise, but maybe I’m overlooking something.  My guess is that marriage and divorce rates are strongly linked to economic factors rather than media content.

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By StuartH, September 20, 2009 at 11:55 am Link to this comment

christian96:

“The media is full of fables.  As a society we need to understand more precisely
how those fables mold the thoughts and behaviors of humans, especially
children.  Personally, I believe the fables in media are having a strong influence
on the deteriation of the family.  The divorce rate is now over 50% both within
and outside the church.  What is influencing the thoughts and behaviors
leading to divorce?”

That is an interesting point, along with your background in counseling.  I too,
have noticed that there is a spiritual element (although others may wish for
different terminology) in mental health therapy.  I have a close relative who has
been in chronic care treatment for many years and it is a very Skinnerian
paradigm, probably because it is about management pragmatics.

I watch dramas on TV with an eye towards deconstructing them.  If you ask
yourself where the writers and producers are coming from, aside from the ease
of production logistics, you get a mythology which has some unfortunate
elements.

You have probably noticed, for instance, that the writers for the cop dramas
like CSI and so forth are driven to ramp up the melodramatic value of the villain
in the plots to the extent that, they are no longer depicting anything like real
people.  They are hyper real. 

What is this about?  We need a fix on righteous anger.  We get home from work
and need mental oatmeal and vicarious vengeance so we can transfer feelings
of frustration onto the perpetrator.  Then we can really enjoy seeing the
comeuppance. 

That’s pretty simple.  It’s kind of the mental equivalent of too much sugar in
the diet.  Since movies and TV are so new, and the whole environment we live
in so unprecedented, we don’t have a good way of dealing with this.  Hell, most
people don’t believe that they can be affected by ideas in the mental
environment the way they are affected by viruses. 

I think our species is very vulnerable to the effects of a mass manufactured
dreamlife.

One of the wisest people I have ever come across brought all
this up in a late night session over a fire in a tipi.  There are a handful of people who might really deserve to be called medicine men, from various tribes such as the Lakota, who travel around offering healing ceremonies from the traditional ways.  I was stuck by the line I remember the most:  “we live in a state of illusion and our struggle is to become awakened.”

I think if you look around at a consumer culture that has been so surrounded and saturated by advertising messages coming from all directions and in all forms, you see that the country we live in sometimes seems to have become one giant shopping mall.  Is there a reality outside the mall anymore?

Tying this back to evolution, it seems to me that the technology to create a media environment is so recent, that we have no generally effective defense. Going forward, evolution means more active awareness, rising above a passive role as merely being part of an audience.  I agree, we should be discussing how
to move forward, instead of arguing over the ancient past.

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By StuartH, September 20, 2009 at 11:31 am Link to this comment

shemp333:

“Creationism is believing that the literal story of creation as is read in the bible is 100% correct and true. “

Actually it isn’t.  There is nothing in the Bible at all about science, unless you interpret the six days of Genesis literally.  That would seem to be the crux of it for some. 

Those who seem to be the most eager to promote this, seem to be focusing on other beliefs, such as the origin of the earth in 4,000 B.C.  This figure was calculated in modern times by a preacher.  There are some fossil dinosaur tracks that appear to have human footprints as well.  The relevance of this to the Creationist/ID argument is that geologic time has to be wrong, and that the work of paleontologists which creates a sequence of species is wrong.  Therefore there is not such thing as evolution.  Therefore Creationism ought to be taught in high school science classes.

The Dover, PA case (see previous citations) was the only argumentation I have seen that actually cuts into this aspect.  The idea that there can’t have been evolution because the earth was created in a flash by the Creator, is an idea that has not been backed up by any observations or experiments to indicate
any aspect of this idea might have some merit.  It is based on an untestable assumption.  But, it is also not based on the Bible, although people might claim it is.

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By Leefeller, September 20, 2009 at 8:59 am Link to this comment

First of all Christian96, hope for a speedy recovery from your ailment. Seems you and I have had this discussion before in regard respecting individual rights toward belief and non belief, I may be wrong it may have been another poster.

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By christian96, September 20, 2009 at 7:48 am Link to this comment

Shemp333—-Thank you for the definition.  Creationists would have a hard time proving HOW
the universe was created because the Bible doesn’t
provide that information.  As far as the universe
being created in 6 literal years as we measure years
I personally don’t believe that.  The Bible teaches
that time is relative.  The statement is made, “a
year with man is as 1,000 years with God.”  That
statement is probably symbolic.  My belief is
that the “time” of the creation of the universe is
not what people should be spending their time on.
There exists more pressing issues, such as what a
child experiences in their life and what influences
their interpretation of those experiences. Movies
and television are recent developments when considering the history of humans.  We need to better
understand how movies, television, and other media
influencing the perceptions of humans, especially
children.  The Bible makes predictions of conditions
that will exist on earth just before the return of
Christ.  One of those predictions made thousands of
years ago is that humans would turn their back on
truth and give their thoughts over to “fables.”
The media is full of fables.  As a society we need
to understand more precisely how those fables mold
the thoughts and behaviors of humans, especially
children.  Personally, I believe the fables in media
are having a strong influence on the deteriation of
the family.  The divorce rate is now over 50% both
within and outside the church.  What is influencing
the thoughts and behaviors leading to divorce?  These
are issues I am more concerned with rather than the
creation of the universe.

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By shemp333, September 20, 2009 at 6:38 am Link to this comment

Creationism is believing that the literal story of creation as is read in the bible is 100% correct and true.  However it is that one defines true…  so there are different beliefs and groups within the creationist crowd.
  Basically it’s all about the bible being true.  That is the basis and then the believers go out from there trying to prove the bible as true instead of allowing the evidence to lead where it may.

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By ardee, September 20, 2009 at 3:58 am Link to this comment

“Why roaches are still here but velociraptor isn’t.”

Lucky thing that…Imagine the size of the spray can one would need!

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By Night-Gaunt, September 19, 2009 at 8:09 pm Link to this comment

Well Christian96 just use a search engine and you can get all the data you need without spending too much time on it. However you are being curiously confusing here, you say you don’t know, don’t care but here you are anyway writing about it. I have no degrees etc, just what I have learned on my own. I make no pretense to superior knowledge in any area.

I understand about physical infirmities and such. Personally if a Book isn’t easily understood in the first reading that is supposed to be “divinely inspired” then I would question such an assertion. But then I agree with the hypothesis that we are religious, in general due to biological reasons connected to survival behavior. The few of us who don’t are just natural variations found in any population as a safeguard for when the environment changes. If you don’t have that flexibility you die out. A maxim that Darwin himself uttered. Why roaches are still here but velociraptor isn’t.

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By christian96, September 19, 2009 at 3:19 pm Link to this comment

No one as yet has explained the definitiion of
creationism.  If I had the time and desire I would
pursue the issue on my own.  However, growing old
with ill health I have to place a priority on how
I invest my time.  Creationism is just not something
that interest me.  I am more interested in trying
to understand the behavior and attitudes detrimental
to the growth of all humans.  Why does a married
man kidnap, rape, and kill a child?  I am interested
in trying to understand the cognitive mechanisms
behind such behavior.  Let me set the book straight.
I am not a Christian because it is something that
was passed on to me through my environment.  I don’t
still believe in Santa Claus which was passed on
through my environment. I am a Christian because I
have been studying the Bible for 32 years.  I wish
I could explain 32 years of study in a few paragraphs
but I can’t.  I am writing a book for teenagers to
try to help them understand how Christianity relates
to their everyday lives.  When I get the book completed and can find a publisher then you will be
able to better understand why I believe in Christianity.  I have master and doctoral degrees
in Counseling and Child Development, taught at several major universities, along with serving as
School Psychologist for public school systems.  In
my academic studies there were many issues involving
humans that couldn’t be explained through the
theories and research offered through academia.
However, I could find answers for those issues in
Christianity through understanding the influence of
spiritual forces on the attitudes and behaviors of
people.  I can’t offer scientific research to confirm my beliefs but to this point I have found
no better explanations.

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By ardee, September 19, 2009 at 3:04 pm Link to this comment

Oh goodie, quotes!

“A heretic is a fellow who disagrees with you regarding something neither of you knws anything about.” William Cowper Brann

“Good people are always so certain that they are right.” Final words of Barbara Graham in Gas Chamber 6/3/55

“Theology is an attempt to explain the unknowable in terms of the not worth knowing.”
H.L.Mencken

“The trouble with Communism is the communists, just as the trouble with Christianity is the christians.” Mencken again

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By stcfarms, September 19, 2009 at 2:57 pm Link to this comment

I guess that christian missed this “Religion is a disease that you get from your
parents and give to your kids” W. C. Fields.

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By Night-Gaunt, September 19, 2009 at 1:54 pm Link to this comment

Yes so do I, also there is a companion book on the subject. It was literally I.D./Creationism on trial. They even had a sympathetic judge but because they could not prove their case the way the scientists did they lost. Everyone should see this including all those board members who what a religious based science taught in schools. Then we wouldn’t have to do this in a never ending circle.

The Black Box of creationism just isn’t science, there are no two ways about it.

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By shemp333, September 19, 2009 at 1:51 pm Link to this comment

christian96,

  And with your “thinking” if you were born to different parents with muslim ideals instead of christian ones you would just replace Jesus with Mohammad and yell ALLAH AKBAR!
  They are just as beyond evidence as you are,  but they think they know better.  I say you’re both completely off the playing field.

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By shemp333, September 19, 2009 at 1:42 pm Link to this comment

StuartH and everyone,

  Good choice.  It’s called,  “Judgement Day.  Intelligent Design on Trial.”  You can google it from PBS or NOVA. 
  I’ve watched this before.  I live in the county next to the town of Dover,  PA,  which is in York county.  I’m east in Lancaster,  PA.  It says everything one needs to know about that trial and is thoroughly entertaining as well!  I recommend it as well.  I watched this case very intently as it was happening.  You can learn quite a lot by watching it.  If I recall correctly it is in 12 parts for easy downloading.

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By StuartH, September 19, 2009 at 1:33 pm Link to this comment

christian96:

The reason that this thread got started, a new British drawing room drama
featuring the presence of Charles Darwin, is that there is a controversy over
Creationism (re-branded as Intelligent Design.)  The I.D. variation came up
within the past ten years as a school textbook featuring this as a theory to
teach in science classrooms alongside the theory of evolution. 

You can watch a whole documentary about this on the PBS website, if you
search for “Dover, Pa” which is a town in which a court case that picked over all
this came to a decision fairly recently. 

In Texas, a larger controversy is brewing that should be interesting to watch in
the context of the 2010 and 2012 elections.  7 out of the 15 members of the
State Board of Education, elected from districts across Texas, are Creationism
activists.  The Governor, pandering to the extreme right wing, appointed a
chair recently, who is also a Creationist.

The SBOE has been the scene of a struggle over textbooks for nearly thirty
years now.  Far right wing Christian evangelicals out of East Texas have been
arguing line by line over textbook content.

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By shemp333, September 19, 2009 at 1:14 pm Link to this comment

Ok christian96,

  Your level of thinking (obviously) is not based on what science would define as “reality”.  Why is it so important to you that a 2,000 year old book be real?  Because your parents told you so? 
  Mother Goose spun some fairy tales have some good moral lessons,  but we don’t run around looking for talking geese now do we! 
  Why are you so anxious for the end of the world?  People have wrongly predicted the end of the world thousands, if not millions,  of times over and ALL have been wrong!  What makes you so astute above all the others?  You read 1 book?
  I would say it is obviously antithetical to the good of our species to proclaim,  “The end is Niegh”  While we stop trying to make the world a better place,  and tell ourselves we were supposed to end it anyway.  ‘cause an invisible guy told us so.

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By Night-Gaunt, September 19, 2009 at 1:13 pm Link to this comment

Samma-el was Lucifer, an Angel of Light first, so it is backwards in what you just related. Omnipotent means that it is God‘s fault for the fall of course. From the war with the 1/3 of angels to Adam and Eve’s choice to have the knowledge of the difference between Good and Evil. (Too bad they couldn’t have a taste of immortality.)* Something they did not have before. Omniscient means It knew what was going to happen so it was expected. You can bet that with all the different versions of humans that could be created It could find a pair that followed It‘s orders and would have stayed in Eden. But then this is a myth that concerns human psychology and promotes people to make better choices—-not any kind of reality. Like Aesop‘s Fables did. “What is the moral of the story junior?” Why don’t pursue knowledge of the universe on your own, only follow the dictates of the deity to the letter and never stray from that razor sharp path for the yawing abyss is on both sides to welcome you!

*We could be very close now in understanding the mechanisms that could extend our lives to 100’s of years to start and then indefinitely.

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By christian96, September 19, 2009 at 12:56 pm Link to this comment

I should be more knowledgeable of Creationism but
I’m not.  Are the Creationists claiming the creator
is from a specific religion(Christian)?  Or are
they trying to teach that some force created the
universe as oppossed to the idea that the universe
evolved?  I don’t see the ideas being mutual
exclusive.  The creator could have created the
universe using some concepts of evolution to arrive
where we are!  As a Christian I’m am concerned
about the signs Jesus told his disciples(Matthew 24)
would exist just before the time of his second
return.  Never in the history of earth have all
these signs existed at one time as they do presently.
For example, Jesus said the gospel would be preached
throughout the world before his return.  With the
technological developments made in communications
we have reached the point where the gospel can be
preached throughout the world(satellites, etc.)
The evil spiritual forces depicted in 12th chapter
of Revelation seem to account for the global wickedness we see today.  Satan and his angels are
cast to the earth and go about destroying the
earth and people calling it home.  2nd Peter discusses Satan transforming himself into an angel
of light and his angels transforming themselves into
Christian ministers.  Which would account for the
diverse doctrines being taught within Christianity.
The problem for scientists is the spiritual forces
cannot be measured with the extant methodology used
by scientists to accept or reject hypothesis.  Maybe
as String theory achieves further advances with
different dimensions perhaps they will be able to
quantify and qualify spiritual beings and forces.

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By shemp333, September 19, 2009 at 11:36 am Link to this comment

aaaaaa….  pie fights.  One of the 3 Stooges highlights!  Hey Moe!  Hey Larry!  Look out!!!

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By stcfarms, September 19, 2009 at 11:31 am Link to this comment

You can try the nerdtest.com forum, but then, preaching to the choir does not
get converts.


By StuartH, September 19 at 1:03 pm #

  This forum seems to me to be dysfunctional when everyone decides to just
hurl insults back and forth like pies.

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By StuartH, September 19, 2009 at 11:28 am Link to this comment

Night-Gaunt:

Perhaps if you pasted in the last bit of the URL.  Another way would be to use
part of the URL in Google.  Or just look for Book of Revelations and the URL
should be in the first or second page.

Now I see why you have gotten into this stuff.  I thought that Canticle for
Liebowitz had an interesting premise, although it didn’t seem to me that he
quite brought it off. 

You have mentioned Dominionism before.  Do you have a sense of how far
back this stuff goes?  I’m thinking that this current Creationism craze came
about really recently, maybe just since the Reagan era.  I know people were
nuts about the Book of Revelation back in the early ‘70s.  But then, I was in
college and a lot of people were also going nuts trying to figure out what the
“White Rabbit” song was all about.

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By Night-Gaunt, September 19, 2009 at 10:57 am Link to this comment

Sorry StuartH but the url isn’t working, get shunted to an “Oops!” location.

The Creationists aren’t fully in agreement either, some are old earth, others are young earth and have the “science” to prove it. Wait till you see those geocentrics! http://www.geocentricity.com/ to get an idea of how their cosmology works along with their peculiar views of the earth as well all couched in a mixture of religious and scientific terms. I use it in my research for a novel (or more) about the USA being taken over by a certain sect of Aryan Crusader Christians in the near future. It isn’t pleasant and I used the spring board of Margret Atwood‘s 1986, “The Handmaid’s Tale” and the Republic of Gilead as my template. The 1990 movie of the same name is a very good adaption by the late great Harold Pinter and directed by Volkor Schlondorff.

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By StuartH, September 19, 2009 at 10:29 am Link to this comment

By the way, I found an online referent to the Book of Revelations which seems
pretty useful, in case anyone cares to glance through it. 

I’m having to think about what my biblical history professor was referring to in
describing Jewish anti-empire activists.  This description describes a body of
apocalyptic literature but it doesn’t seem particularly Jewish in nature.  It sounds
like early Christianity combined with a disagreement with the Roman Empire. 

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/apocalypse/explanation/brevel
ation.html

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By StuartH, September 19, 2009 at 10:03 am Link to this comment

ardee:

Well, I have been enjoying this exchange, too.  This forum seems to me to be dysfunctional when everyone decides to just hurl insults back and forth like pies.

I think that one can try to use the literacy we were (hopefully) taught in school and maybe the potential could be realized for this technology to foster the sort of dialogue that the Enlighened Public concept might benefit from.

It seems that at present, this forum doesn’t represent much dialogue, since that skill is beyond our conditioning as media consumers, but dueling letters to the editor is a great leap beyond merely receiving what editors and producers think
we ought to in total passivity.

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By ardee, September 19, 2009 at 9:19 am Link to this comment

StuartH, September 19 at 11:27 am

Regardless of my agreement or disagreement with your position, I enjoy your posts.

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By StuartH, September 19, 2009 at 8:27 am Link to this comment

ardee:

I once took a course on biblical history, amazingly enough, in college.  There is a large body of scholarship on various aspects of how the pieces of the Old and New Testament came to be written and what the context was in which they were written.

As recently as two or three years ago there was a nonfiction book that came out, surveying the most recent scholarship specific to the Book of Revelations.  I’m sure it is on Amazon.

It is reminiscent of The Wizard of Oz.  Look up the symbolism actually used by L. Frank Baum.  How many people realize that it is political?

christian96:

There have been a number of scientists who have written about the wonder of the universe, referring to a sense that behind all of it, seems to be a motivating source, a Creator. 

My sense of the argument is that it is not necessary if everyone stipulates that the world of science cannot measure or quantify the mystery of the spiritual nature we may or may not feel as individuals. 

Creationism, however wants to shoehorn religion into science classrooms.  But there are no hypothesis that can be subject to any sort of inter-observer recording or quantification methodology. 

There are people all over the world, for instance, scratching their heads over how one might go about proving the existence of the soul.  So far, no one has figured out a way. 

You can measure some things.  Others are in the realm of the purely subjective.  I can say that I see beauty, but how can you quantify what exactly that means?  You can’t.  Poetry works in this way. 

I believe, for instance, that I have had an experience with the spiritual dimension, but I could not prove that to anyone.  It is strictly a subjective judgement. 

It may be that someday, we will advance into more sensitive measurement capabilities and begin to prove “String Theory.”
The essence of this theory is that there are other dimensions.

I don’t know if there is an argument over this or not.

Chaos Theory is mathematics and is used in weather forecasting, so there are elements that are proveable if you understand the math.  There are elements that are theoretical, however.  Again, I don’t know that there are religious objections to Chaos Theory.

It could boil down to whether you believe animals have souls just as humans do.  That would seem to be a matter of subjective judgement as well. 

But that is speculation.  The motivation behind the effort to push Creationism is schools is apparently a well kept secret.

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By stcfarms, September 18, 2009 at 11:20 pm Link to this comment

Sadly he cannot take that journey with his version of god. Sapience requires
that all pre conceived notions be either proven or discarded, his version of god
would not stand the test.

By sciencehighway, September 19 at 12:58 am #

I do so because your last post makes me wonder whether I may have
misjudged you prior to my earlier reply. It’s clear to me now that you are
indeed a thoughtful and curious individual, though it’s possible that you’re
lacking some admittedly arcane scientific knowledge. Unfortunately, to stake
your entire proof on your opinion that “the statistical probability of this design
occurring by chance is rather remote…” is comparable to those equally curious
ancient cultures who, knowing no other explanation for lightning, assumed,
quite reasonably actually, that it could only be the wrath of an angry god.
We’re storytelling creatures. It’s how we’ve learned to pass down knowledge,
and if we don’t know the answer we’re clever and imaginative enough to make
up some pretty wonderful things. Sometimes deep and poetic truths, not to
mention some wonderfully evocative metaphors, can be imparted this way,
and I would never deny the good these parables and life-lessons have
provided. But science is an on-going, multi-generational process. As Isaac
Newton said, “If I have seen further it is only because I stood on the shoulders
of giants.” Over the centuries, as sharper instrumentation and new ways to
model the structures and processes of the physical universe have clarified
both our vision and understanding, we have one by one abandoned our most
cherished myths, even as we no longer require the capricious whims of angry
gods to explain the patterns of nature. You’re quite right that the odds of a
planet such as earth forming in the ‘sweet spot’ of the solar system are long,
even improbable, and yet, thanks to breakthroughs in deep-imaging systems,
optics and computer imaging technology that have occurred over the past two
decades, we’re beginning to see (as opposed to infer) planetary discs forming
in nebulae hundreds of light years distant, and will thus be able to deduce
exactly how common such an occurrence is. The only requirements for the
formation of an earth-like body at just the right distance from just the right
star are time and sufficient space for lots of tries, and our universe offers
plenty of both. Likewise, we’re on the verge of understanding exactly how
stem cells differentiate - research which will have a profound impact on
medicine that you yourself might benefit from very soon. I envy you the surety,
grace and poetry you’ve found to guide your life, and only ask you to consider
that those of us who call ourselves rationalists - the ones who insist upon
noodging and prodding every nook and cranny of the available universe into
giving up her secrets - might have motivations, hopes and dreams as pure and
benign as your own. We’re all just seeking truth, each in our own way. It is my
well-tested belief that the knowledge we all seek is available - through
observation, study, experimentation, in-depth discussion, and (here’s the
tough part) the willingness to read more than one book.

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By sciencehighway, September 18, 2009 at 9:58 pm Link to this comment

Christian96: “...we all know the earth is in a position that if we were slighly closer or further from the son life would not exist. The statistical probability of this design occurring by chance is rather remote.  Therefore someone or something must have created the earth to be within its location to the sun.  On the microscopic level scientists have discovered a very complex structure to the human cell.  Some human cells become legs, arms, heart, brain, etc.  Who or what is responsible for the differentiation of these human cells?  Again the statistical probability this happened by chance is rather remote.  The cells must have been designed to differentiate.”

Christian96, I’m glad you’re out of hospital and hope you’re feeling better. Please forgive this ancient agnostic for engaging once more in this discussion; I do so because your last post makes me wonder whether I may have misjudged you prior to my earlier reply. It’s clear to me now that you are indeed a thoughtful and curious individual, though it’s possible that you’re lacking some admittedly arcane scientific knowledge. Unfortunately, to stake your entire proof on your opinion that “the statistical probability of this design occurring by chance is rather remote…” is comparable to those equally curious ancient cultures who, knowing no other explanation for lightning, assumed, quite reasonably actually, that it could only be the wrath of an angry god. We’re storytelling creatures. It’s how we’ve learned to pass down knowledge, and if we don’t know the answer we’re clever and imaginative enough to make up some pretty wonderful things. Sometimes deep and poetic truths, not to mention some wonderfully evocative metaphors, can be imparted this way, and I would never deny the good these parables and life-lessons have provided. But science is an on-going, multi-generational process. As Isaac Newton said, “If I have seen further it is only because I stood on the shoulders of giants.” Over the centuries, as sharper instrumentation and new ways to model the structures and processes of the physical universe have clarified both our vision and understanding, we have one by one abandoned our most cherished myths, even as we no longer require the capricious whims of angry gods to explain the patterns of nature. You’re quite right that the odds of a planet such as earth forming in the ‘sweet spot’ of the solar system are long, even improbable, and yet, thanks to breakthroughs in deep-imaging systems, optics and computer imaging technology that have occurred over the past two decades, we’re beginning to see (as opposed to infer) planetary discs forming in nebulae hundreds of light years distant, and will thus be able to deduce exactly how common such an occurrence is. The only requirements for the formation of an earth-like body at just the right distance from just the right star are time and sufficient space for lots of tries, and our universe offers plenty of both. Likewise, we’re on the verge of understanding exactly how stem cells differentiate - research which will have a profound impact on medicine that you yourself might benefit from very soon. I envy you the surety, grace and poetry you’ve found to guide your life, and only ask you to consider that those of us who call ourselves rationalists - the ones who insist upon noodging and prodding every nook and cranny of the available universe into giving up her secrets - might have motivations, hopes and dreams as pure and benign as your own. We’re all just seeking truth, each in our own way. It is my well-tested belief that the knowledge we all seek is available - through observation, study, experimentation, in-depth discussion, and (here’s the tough part) the willingness to read more than one book.

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By christian96, September 18, 2009 at 8:53 pm Link to this comment

StuartH—-Excuse my delay responding to your
questions.  I just got home from attending Rosh
Hashana(Jewish New Year)services with a group of
Jewish people who believe that Yeshua(Jesus) is
the messiah. I probably should correct myself.
Jews are descendants from the trible of Judah, which
is only one of the 12 tribes of Israel.  I would be
more correct to refer to the people at services
tonight as Israelis.  I hate to expose my ignorance
but I am not familiar with Karl Rove.  As to the
genesis of the terms “creationists” and “intelligent
design” once again I have to plead ignorance.
Someone on this site said they became prominent in
the 1980’s but that doesn’t mean they were first
used then.  I haven’t taken the time to research
the history behind the terms.  It just isn’t important to me.  I believe the argument for creationism or intelligent design centers around a
couple of concepts.  For example, we all know the
earth is in a position that if we were slighly
closer or further from the son life would not exist.
The statistical probability of this design occurring
by chance is rather remote.  Therefore someone or
something must have created the earth to be within
its location to the sun.  On the microscopic level
scientists have discovered a very complex structure
to the human cell.  Some human cells become legs,
arms, heart, brain, etc.  Who or what is responsible
for the differentiation of these human cells?  Again
the statistical probability this happened by chance
is rather remote.  The cells must have been designed
to differentiate.  To use an example from the Bible,
God instructed the Israelis to circumcise on the 8th
day.  Scientists have now discovered the infant
develops blood clotting capability on the 8th day.
The human heart of a fetus begins to beat on the
8th day.  How did this process develop?  A better
question, “Who designed this developmental process?”

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By ardee, September 18, 2009 at 5:01 pm Link to this comment

StuartH, September 18 at 10:52 am #

I am now confused, Stuart, but do not worry, I am familiar with the feeling.  There is, to my knowledge only one Book of Revelations, and it is found in the New Testament, the last book in fact; Wiki says:

“The Book of Revelation, also called the Revelation of St. John, the Apocalypse of John, and the Revelation of Jesus Christ, is the last canonical book of the New Testament. It is the only biblical book that is wholly composed of apocalyptic literature.”

Thus I am in search of some clarification as to your noting it to have been written by Jewish Activists, unless, as John was a Jew prior to becoming one of the twelve apostles, that is your meaning.

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By StuartH, September 18, 2009 at 1:29 pm Link to this comment

christian96:

First of all, I am happy to hear that you are out of the hospital, and sorry to hear that you had to be in there. 

We have been beating some questions back and forth, which we could use your help on if you are in a mood to put on your academic hat and give a lesson on who is who and what is what!

You said, “Don’t use the word Christian to get elected to a political office or promotion at work.  That’s taking God’s name in vain.”

I take it that means you aren’t happy with the Karl Rove style of politicizing Christianity.

In my reading up on this, from what I can tell, the mixture of concerns that are lumped together and referred to as “Creationism” (now rebranded as intelligent
design) are fairly recent.  When did this actually arise?

Since the New Testament speaks of essential ethics for all humans and does
not have any reference to any sort of science, why is it necessary to think that
ethical and moral concerns cannot co-exist with questions about the material
aspects of existence, like what dirt is made of and how the Earth was formed?

What motivates the concern that stirs such passions over this among
evangelicals?

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By christian96, September 18, 2009 at 1:09 pm Link to this comment

I just read many comments.  Leefeller comes close
as anybody to the purpose of someone “banning” the
movie and then someone else making sure that the
“banning” was publicized so people would rush out
to cough up their bucks to see the movie.  Christians
are about a diverse group as any other group. I just
got out of the hopital about an hour ago.  Yesterday,
a surgeon implanted a defibrillator to correct any
rhythm abnormalities I may experience.  I am very
very grateful for the science behind the development
and implantation of the defibrillator.  Now,
there exists other people calling themselves Christian who refuse to go to doctors.  There exists
wide diversity among people calling themselves
Christians.  You need to also look at the motive
for calling yourself a Christian.  God said, “Do not
worship me in vain!”  What does that mean?  Vain has
to do with vanity.  Don’t use the word Christian to
get elected to a political office or promotion at
work.  That’s taking God’s name in vain.

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By StuartH, September 18, 2009 at 12:37 pm Link to this comment

Anarcissie:

The South was very Democratic until Johnson signed the civil rights bill, when
he remarked to Bill Moyers, then his aide, that he had just given the South up to
the Republicans for a generation. 

I happen to have an old yellowed newspaper published by the Masons in the
1920s that is full of articles about little ordinary day to day things that church
auxiliary groups were doing in support of the local Ku Klux Klan.  There are
smiling church folks handing baskets of goodies for the poor to smiling guys
in robes.  There is one dramatic photo in which a whole lot of hooded figures
are standing next to a burning set of crosses, that forms a large crucifix.  Very
matter of fact.  Very Christian.  A friend of mine discovered in the files of a
large company that made church furniture, a photo that at first glance looked
like the bowling league.  You look closer and it is the company Klan. 

Christianity has been in some dark places.

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By Anarcissie, September 18, 2009 at 12:29 pm Link to this comment

The kind of people who voted for Bryan and Free Silver used to be opposed to foreign wars and imperialism, whereas the big-city urban types saw at least a business interest in them.  The aggressive program of imperialism and world domination that followed World War 2 was put together by liberal Democrats (Truman, Marshall, Acheson), but the hinterland types of that time were often isolationist and non-interventionist.  It is interesting that they were flipped.

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By StuartH, September 18, 2009 at 11:48 am Link to this comment

Just a little bit of reading has piqued my interest.  The contemporary anti-
science, and pro-war evangelism at the core of the far right would seem to
have arisen quite recently, since the 1980s. 

Although the famous Scopes “Monkey Trial” depicted in the movie, “Inherit the
WInd” happened in the 1920s, it was possibly only an ancestral precursor to
the more contemporary Creationist movement. 

Who steered this form of Christianity off the road into the deep dark ditch it is
currently mired in, would seem to be more about the Moral Majority politics
with its source in the leadership of Karl Rove and Richard Viguerie that
culminated in the election of Bush.  Very recent.  Probably that explains why
Jesus all of a sudden is a cold warrior. 

The recent move to re-write history to remove the “wall of separation between
church and state” would seem to have arisen quite recently as well, much more
recently than Creationism and possibly as a reaction to the reaction against it
during the Bush years. 

The evolution of the evolution issue.

Again, for those people arguing this has to do with the core of the faith in its
literal interpretation of the Bible, it doesn’t.  Those people are being played.

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By Anarcissie, September 18, 2009 at 10:12 am Link to this comment

I’m not very interested in the historicity of Jesus.  Outside of a personal experience of Jesus, which some Christian sects insist on, or other mystical or traditional transmissions, what we have of Jesus is not the historical Jesus but a work of literature in which he appears as a character, a rather complex and seemingly self-contradictory character, described and interpreted by several different people in somewhat contradictory ways.  (This is not, I think, a language problem; I’ve read the Gospels in the original Greek and I haven’t found anything greatly out of line with the popular translations.) 

As a result, as the (conservative) Ortega y Gasset remarked, “Whoever goes to the Gospels looking for the justification of his theories will be surprised.”)  Or something like that.  Perhaps the original of the character, should he reappear in the modern world, would not be so difficult, but what we have is the character, not the person.  This character can’t be lined up with any modern political theory except some strains of anarchism, which is not surprising since there is a considerable history of anarchist movements being inspired by the Gospels (for example, the Diggers or the Dukhobors).  I certainly don’t see him as an inspiration for liberalism, with its concerns for property, progress, self-actualization, liberty under law, and so on.  You don’t need these things if the world is soon coming to an end.  “Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they do not toil, neither do they spin, yet Solomon in his glory was not arrayed like one of these” was not spoken by a liberal.

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By StuartH, September 18, 2009 at 7:52 am Link to this comment

ardee:

I was referring to the Book of Revelations, which seems to have become enshrined
as The Main Gospel to the far right wing.  My theory is that, because people fear
the future, they hope for a way out of here and soon, rather than face all the
dilemmas and complexities of our time.

Revelations was written as a work of code by Jewish activists, who were under a
lot of severe repression at the time and, if caught with it, needed it to be
incomprehensible.

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By ardee, September 18, 2009 at 3:16 am Link to this comment

StuartH, September 17 at 4:16 pm #

Common theory believes John wrote Revelations while on Patmos. As it is a part of the New Testament is it entirely accurate to attribute it to “jewish activists”?

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By StuartH, September 17, 2009 at 1:16 pm Link to this comment

Reading the Gospels has to come with a grain of salt.  Several actually.  First,
this is the set of writings that was adopted by the conference of 300AD.  There was stuff left out on purpose.  There are no women gospel writers, for instance, except on the cutting room floor.  The main point at that time was social control in support of the development of the nation state, forged by cruelly subjugating Celtic tribal societies and creating the economics system we know now as fuedalism.

Thus, there is a strong propaganda aspect to the particular writings that were chosen to be included in the Bible. 

Another aspect is that we don’t read the original language.  We may or may not have the phraseology even close to the original. 

Revelations was written in code because Jewish activists of the time feared terrible retribution.  To understand what the meaning in it is, one would have to really be up on the exact context - and maybe those who actually can claim to be are long gone.  Much of what people are in a fever over now is pure fiction. 

All of our interpretations are from modern sources, mostly within the last two or three hundred years, and probably are much more recent than that. 

Much of what one hears about evangelical beliefs are not from the Bible at all. The irony is that people who shout the loudest that they are biblical literalists seem to not see just how obvious it is that what they are saying has nothing at all to do with the Gospels, or even the Old Testament. 

If Jesus came back he would think this was all quite the strangest thing.

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By Anarcissie, September 17, 2009 at 12:11 pm Link to this comment

When I read the Gospels, as I do occasionally, I don’t find liberalism or progress.  The main character seems to anticipate an early end to the current world, and he prescribes a radical system of behavior which cannot be associated with any modern political theory except, perhaps, anarchism.  (It is clear he regarded the state of his time as part of a fallen world which is soon to decay: not a stone shall remain upon a stone, and those who take the sword will perish with the sword.  And he did not recommend another, except the Kingdom of Heaven, whatever that is.)  He advocates non-violence for his followers, but violence on the part of his Father in Heaven, who is going to cast the unrighteous into a lake of fire, is all right.

Most people really can’t digest this stuff.  They know there’s something there, but they can’t make it out.  Hence the wide variety of views and the burning mutual hostility of the different Christian sects and subsects.

As for liberal Christianity, I’ll leave it to Richard Niebuhr to criticize and make fun of it:

“The captive church is the church which has become entangled with this system or these systems of worldliness. It is a church which seeks to prove its usefulness to civilization, in terms of civilization’s own demands. It is a church which has lost the distinctive note and the earnestness of a Christian discipline of life and has become what every religious institution tends to become—the teacher of the prevailing code of morals and the pantheon of the social gods. It is a church, moreover, which has become entangled with the world in its desire for the increase of its power and prestige and which shares the worldly fear of insecurity.”

And more severely:
“A God without wrath brought men without sin into a kingdom without judgment through the ministrations of a Christ without a cross.”

I’m not recommending this belief system; I’m just pointing out that it has little in common with liberalism or science.  Especially science, where nothing mitigates the absolute indifference of nature, what Pascal called the frightful emptiness between the stars. (“Le silence éternel de ces espaces infinis m’effraie.”)

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By Night-Gaunt, September 17, 2009 at 11:36 am Link to this comment

Once they figure it it is they who must be the benevolence, justice, the ones to make parameters for us to live by for the here-and-now as humanists they will still push their phantasm projection on all of us. One that is of the stern, punishing, narcissistic variety all powerful and uses humans to do ‘his’ dirty work to the fallen.

The other is that the individual needs to have autonomy for themselves. As adults not treated as children to be ruled with a master’s hand as we are now both in gov’t and the church. But will be mature to such a level I don’t know?

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By StuartH, September 17, 2009 at 11:36 am Link to this comment

Anarcissie:

You could be onto something in the ongoing tragedy of existence.  However, there is no reason to think that there is not a Divine plan behind suffering, or any other possible way that humans could conceive of for the future to be better than the past.  Scientists see a reason for faith in the complexity, not a reason to hide under a simplistic blanket. 

My point is that there are two Christianities.  One is inspired by Jesus of Nazareth as represented in the gospels, and which tend to motivate the more liberal denominations to emulate Jesus through good works in the world.

The other is not inspired by Jesus.  Instead, it seems inspired by an interpretation that has duct taped Jesus’ mouth shut and uses him as mere window dressing.  They instead seem to be concocting a theology out of bits and pieces of the darkest spiritual visions of the European and American past.  A generation ago, this was the Christianity that supported the Ku Klux Klan in my home town.  This is the Christianity that seems to be against Darwinism. 

Probably not very many of this crowd can actually analyze why because they have been told not to question and instead to just repeat indoctrination on the subject.  That seems left up to people like you or me who might venture to question. 

This darker Christianity, all alone out of all the other religions is based on regimentation, is against education, wants to return society to an ideal (but nonexistent) past, and is against science.  This has to do with the clarity of mind, direct observation, and testing hypothesis which is the intellectual skill set of science.  You can’t keep biased fatuation with a system of bunk promoted by used car salesmen going if you adopt scientific reasoning skills.

American society only works if the educational system and the civic system are based on ever improving critical thinking skills in the general population, looking forward to a future that progresses. 

Thus, these Christians are really afraid of the future.

But I am curious to pinpoint how this happened.  A literal reading of the Bible contains no references to science.  300AD was well before modern science emerged into any sort of public discussion.  You can talk about Archimedes or Plato, but these were obscure to Europeans of the first few centuries.  There is no relationship between deductive reasoning and being a moral person that should require a conflict.

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By Anarcissie, September 17, 2009 at 9:10 am Link to this comment

StuartH:
’... I really don’t get why evangelicals got stuck in this rut.  They really didn’t have to.  This has nothing to do with the Bible or with the ethical system that Jesus was espousing, through the gospels.  Were he around today, it is doubtful his concerns would include getting involved in this controversy.

What is worrying is that alone out of all the religious groups out there, evangelicals seem to bear a serious grudge against science and are willing to go to quite some lengths to attack it and prevent education that is scientifically based from gaining ground.  Apparently evangelical Christianity is really about regimentation and not questioning. ...’

Science and Evangelical Christianity have some very strong conflicts.  For one thing, science as it is practiced (not ideal science, everyday science) makes very strong claims about its knowledge of reality, as do the more ardent religious types.  From the point of view of the Evangelicals, then, science is another religion which competes with theirs.

The competition is not merely theoretical.  Evolution suggests many things that most religious people are not going to like, such as progress (if it is progress) not by means of intelligence but through blind bumbling and enormous, incalculable suffering.  In Evolution, every attribute of our bodies and the minds within them was purchased from utterly indifferent nature by the pain, torture and death of every creature whose genes guessed wrong as well as by the tiny minority who guessed right and got to produce our ancestors.  It is not a pretty picture, to say the least—a hell of confusion, waste and torment.  I can understand people who think there must be some moral order, some benevolence in the universe not caring for it.

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By NYCartist, September 17, 2009 at 8:47 am Link to this comment

I am skeptical that the Darwin movie can’t get a US release.

Disclosure: I do not read much of Chris Hedges since
he said hostile things about atheists, and has so much “moral/religious” stuff in his point of view.
Religion and politics don’t “mix” well for me, an
atheist Jew.

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By Leefeller, September 17, 2009 at 6:37 am Link to this comment

Guess this movie is not going to be an Oscar burner,  means no sex or violence or swearing by usual movie standards. To make money in movies one has to rate it R, so necessary for bringing in the bucks.

Publicity, negative as well as good is all publicity, several recent movies came out and made sure the Pope himself wanted them banned, so everyone from the religious side wants to see from a hubrus side for the outrage, and the non religious want to see the egg on both sides of religions outraged face. 

After all, isn’t this what it’s all about?

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By StuartH, September 17, 2009 at 5:59 am Link to this comment

Having looked into this a little more, it appears possible that theater distribution investment hasn’t jumped forward because this is a dull movie. 

Nevertheless, the UK Independent quoted a group that seems to be touted as a Christian Variety sort of publication that is warning church groups about this. They are of the strong opinion that the theory of evolution is “silly.”

I really don’t get why evangelicals got stuck in this rut.  They really didn’t have to.  This has nothing to do with the Bible or with the ethical system that Jesus was espousing, through the gospels.  Were he around today, it is doubtful his concerns would include getting involved in this controversy. 

What is worrying is that alone out of all the religious groups out there, evangelicals seem to bear a serious grudge against science and are willing to go to quite some lengths to attack it and prevent education that is scientifically based from gaining ground.  Apparently evangelical Christianity is really about regimentation and not questioning. 

The real problem for the US is that we cannot afford backwardism.  We have to resolve to not allow those who are afraid of the future to influence national direction setting.

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By Night-Gaunt, September 16, 2009 at 9:05 pm Link to this comment

Sorry FlyoverCountryBoy, Hitler had no interest in Darwin nor as did Stalin either. There views were with occultism and Lamark respectively. Orthogenics is divinely directed evolution*, like breeding a specific trait in an animal. In this case the “best” humans (arbitrary traits) with some other being to produce a teleost, or the final divine end product or perfect offspring. A theozoa in the mystical nomenclature of Lanze. No Darwin here boyo.

Stalin was swayed by a scientific quack named Lisenko who took Lamark‘s ideas of environmentally acquire characteristics that would appear in offspring and set Russian science back 60 years! No Darwin in sight!

The USA is in a position to follow in the backward footsteps of Russia and Germany of 70 years ago. Too bad too. We are on the verge of life extension like you wouldn’t believe and those like myself would want to avail ourselves of that while the rest of you are happy to die and wait for that proof that will come too late moldering in the grave.

*The majority of those 39% believe in that kind of evolution, only 13% accept the scientific form alone. Those aren’t good numbers at all.

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By ardee, September 16, 2009 at 2:42 pm Link to this comment

Prisons are built with stones of law;
and brothels with bricks of religion.

William Blake

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By stcfarms, September 16, 2009 at 1:52 pm Link to this comment

“Religion is a disease that you get from your parents and give to your kids” W.
C. Fields

By mike112769, September 16 at 4:37 pm #

Well, in that case, religion is a disease. When a religion is introduced
somewhere, it is said to be “spread” there. Diseases spread. Ideas should be
shared.

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By stcfarms, September 16, 2009 at 1:39 pm Link to this comment

And now it has made my day. Christian96 will, of course, claim
that the reverse is true and offer some piece of scripture to
‘prove’ his theory. I cannot wait.

By shemp333, September 16 at 4:33 pm #

I read this a few months ago and it made my day. 

“Science flies us to the moon.  Religion flies us into buildings”.

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By mike112769, September 16, 2009 at 1:37 pm Link to this comment

Glider and Anarcissie are right. Who says this show was banned because of the American Taliban? This movie looks more like a love story “chick flick” than a controversial story about god versus science. Anyone who is so willfully ignorant as to deny the proof of evolution is not worth listening to anyway. As an example, I give you Chrisian96. This type of person is the textbook example of what is wrong with America today. Too many people letting ancient superstitions cloud their perceptions of the world. Religion is fine, if you can keep it to yourself. Oh wait, they can’t keep it to themselves! They are required to testify to the unwashed masses (by the point of a sword, if necessary). Well, in that case, religion is a disease. When a religion is introduced somewhere, it is said to be “spread” there. Diseases spread. Ideas should be shared. If the vast majority in our country really believe in creationism over evolution, well, evolution has shown us what happens to a species that collectively engages in something idiotic. Serves us right for allowing their poison to “spread.”

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By shemp333, September 16, 2009 at 1:33 pm Link to this comment

I read this a few months ago and it made my day. 

“Science flies us to the moon.  Religion flies us into buildings”.

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By stcfarms, September 16, 2009 at 1:32 pm Link to this comment

I have been living in the midwest far too long…

By PogueMahone, September 16 at 4:24 pm #

stcfarms - 90% may be a bit on the high side, still, the remainder puts me in
good company with an awful lot of folks.  In the US alone, the non believers
are equal to or greater than the population of California, which is a significant
number of people ignored by the MSM

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By PogueMahone, September 16, 2009 at 1:24 pm Link to this comment

By stcfarms, September 16 at 4:18 pm #


It works so well that over 90% of humans fear to even question the existence
of the creature.

“I have never let my schooling interfere with my education” Mark Twain

stcfarms - 90% may be a bit on the high side, still, the remainder puts me in good company with an awful lot of folks.  In the US alone, the non believers are equal to or greater than the population of California, which is a significant number of people ignored by the MSM

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By stcfarms, September 16, 2009 at 1:18 pm Link to this comment

It works so well that over 90% of humans fear to even question the existence
of the creature.

“I have never let my schooling interfere with my education” Mark Twain

By PogueMahone, September 16 at 3:56 pm #

Chritian96 ( who would be Mithrasism96 if not for Constantine) stated in a
very early post that, as a christian, at death he would be in heaven and the rest
of us would be in hell.

There exists zero evidence for the existance of his fictional nailed god man.

Hell is a cruel concept invented by priests to frighten children and the
gullible.  Preachers who teach this doctrine should be tried for child abuse

It appears to work at times.

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By PogueMahone, September 16, 2009 at 12:56 pm Link to this comment

Chritian96 ( who would be Mithrasism96 if not for Constantine) stated in a very early post that, as a christian, at death he would be in heaven and the rest of us would be in hell.

There exists zero evidence for the existance of his fictional nailed god man.

Hell is a cruel concept invented by priests to frighten children and the gullible.  Preachers who teach this doctrine should be tried for child abuse

It appears to work at times.

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By stcfarms, September 16, 2009 at 12:52 pm Link to this comment

It is a good thing god does not exist, with that attitude I
would be forced to break his nose.

By christian96, September 16 at 2:22 pm #

Psalm 2:1,4:  “Why do the heathen rage, and the
people imagine a vain thing?  He that sits in Heaven
shall laugh: God shall have them in derision.”

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By Mustacio, September 16, 2009 at 12:29 pm Link to this comment

“Vestigial structures”  If you don’t know what these are and do not believe in evolution look it up.

It’s no surprise many hardcore Christians deplore science for it seems so adamant about having this thing called evidence to back up its theories. 

Don’t get me wrong the concept of “faith” has been the greatest social evolutionary invention that human beings have come up with.  How else to control massive numbers of people then to invent the concept of shared morality.  But what faith does not need, is one shred of logical evidence.  It only needs dogma.

I think a bumper sticker I read once said it best, “Dear God, Protect Me From Your Followers.”

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By StuartH, September 16, 2009 at 11:38 am Link to this comment

christian96:

Why do the Christian rage nonsense?

Nobody actually ever explains why Christians have any reason to think the Bible
prescribes any sort of point of view regarding science, or inquiry into questions
about how it is that species increase in complexity over millions of years.

The 6,000 year idea isn’t in the Bible.  It comes from a certain set of preachers
whose prognostications wouldn’t seem to have stature as gospels.

Having a sense of the spiritual awesomeness of the universe actually is enhanced
by a knowledge of science.  Why be so small?

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By christian96, September 16, 2009 at 11:22 am Link to this comment

Psalm 2:1,4:  “Why do the heathen rage, and the
people imagine a vain thing?  He that sits in Heaven
shall laugh: God shall have them in derision.”

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By Random Items, September 16, 2009 at 10:53 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Remember when the church ruled the western world?
It was called the Dark Ages.
Does any one wonder what the world would be like if the
Romans hadn’t caved in?

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By stcfarms, September 16, 2009 at 10:05 am Link to this comment

The upper classes do try to sequester knowledge but there is a loophole. I
have a ninth grade education and a criminal record, no college or university
would even consider letting me take a physics or chemistry class but were
more than happy to sign me up for a basket weaving course. With the student
ID I could ‘drop in’ any class that I wanted with no questions asked. I took
classes at most of the major institutions and got the same level of education
that some spoiled rich kid got (except that I actually learned something). My
education cost very little and since I had no use for the diploma (knowledge is
it’s own reward) it was very cost effective. Yeah, I know that i shoulda be
tooked a english course…

By Anarcissie, September 16 at 11:19 am #

bogi666:
’“Conspiracies of the Inferior”, H.L. Mencken on the June 1925 Scopes Trial.
“The so called religious organizations which now lead the war against the
teaching of evolution are nothing more, at bottom, than conspiracies of the
inferior man against his betters. They mirror very accurately the congenital
hatred of knowledge, his bitter enmity to the man who knows more than he
does…...”’

A conspiracy is an agreement to commit a crime.  I don’t think it is a crime
(yet) for people to disagree with their ‘betters’, whoever they might be.  Nor
does it seem natural for an animal with a brain to hate knowledge.  Clearly,
something is going on with Evolution versus Creationism (and with the social
conflict over other stories) which Mencken doesn’t understand.  To say that it
is simple class conflict does not seem to fit the case: while the upper classes
do sequester knowledge, they also sequester material wealth, and this doesn’t
cause the lower classes to hate material wealth.

Report this

By stcfarms, September 16, 2009 at 9:41 am Link to this comment

Here is a bit more truth: 71% of the earth is ocean and if Darwin’s friend
Mathus was right the ocean may give us just enough breathing room to
survive his prediction. We can build floating islands to clean up the planet and
make it the garden it once was. No god, no government and certainly no
corporation will help us, it it is to be done then we must do it ourselves.

By Kesey Seven, September 16 at 10:45 am #

Here’s a bit a truth:  The Bible is a book of ancient Herbrew laws, history, and
myth.  Enough said on that.

I lean toward being a deist, right there with Albert Einstein.  My interpretation
goes something like this:  The laws of the universe are God’s will.  In other
words, God’s not so much concerned with whose play parts you’re playing
with, but whether your procreating with those parts and if said procreation is
overpopulating the earth. Overpopulation violates a basic law of the universe
and therefore a law of God: Thou shalt not overpopulate your planet. 

Other thoughts:  There is no heaven and hell when thinking of the universe as
God. No individual immortality, no individual souls. This life is it and we
should cherish it because it is all we have and we’re all one, all part of the
universe.  When I die, when you die, all we will ever have is the life that goes
forward, our descendants and the other life on this planet, which is why we
need to work very hard to preserve out planet to keep it thriving for our
sometimes magnificent species. 

Just a final thought:  Ever watched an atomic bomb detonate?  We lost our
right to be superstitious when we created a sun on earth, a supreme violation
of the laws of the univerese.

Report this

By stcfarms, September 16, 2009 at 9:31 am Link to this comment

Damn, my vacuum only tells me that my #4 cylinder has a weak spring or a
burnt valve, yours is certainly more interesting…

By paul bass, September 16 at 10:35 am #
(Unregistered commenter)

By stcfarms, September 14 at 3:27 pm

“To my knowledge the vacuum has never spoken or
created any laws, outside of the laws of physics, which we all must obey. “

my vacuum tells me that brooms are evil.. and women are inferior.. and what
kind of hat to wear

Report this

By bogi666, September 16, 2009 at 9:11 am Link to this comment

Anarcisse, I’m sure Mencken is glad for your feedback. Being a writer, just perhaps he was using metaphors to make his point.

Report this
Leefeller's avatar

By Leefeller, September 16, 2009 at 8:46 am Link to this comment

Wisdom may only be perceived, intelligence may be acquired depending on the individual doing the acquiring. The opposite of intelligence seems to be idiot or even worse imbecilic. (imbecile a stupid idiot).  Something I read recently stated one should never argue with an idiot, for one lowers himself to the same level and the idiot is an expert in his field. Though this seems to make sense reality is much deeper than stated.

Christian96 who do you mean when you say you?

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Anarcissie's avatar

By Anarcissie, September 16, 2009 at 8:19 am Link to this comment

bogi666:
’“Conspiracies of the Inferior”, H.L. Mencken on the June 1925 Scopes Trial. “The so called religious organizations which now lead the war against the teaching of evolution are nothing more, at bottom, than conspiracies of the inferior man against his betters. They mirror very accurately the congenital hatred of knowledge, his bitter enmity to the man who knows more than he does…...”’

A conspiracy is an agreement to commit a crime.  I don’t think it is a crime (yet) for people to disagree with their ‘betters’, whoever they might be.  Nor does it seem natural for an animal with a brain to hate knowledge.  Clearly, something is going on with Evolution versus Creationism (and with the social conflict over other stories) which Mencken doesn’t understand.  To say that it is simple class conflict does not seem to fit the case: while the upper classes do sequester knowledge, they also sequester material wealth, and this doesn’t cause the lower classes to hate material wealth.

Report this
sciencehighway's avatar

By sciencehighway, September 16, 2009 at 7:59 am Link to this comment

Christian96: “The real reason you reject
Christianity is probably related to the fact that
you are doing something the tenets of Christianity
tell you not to do!  Just like a little child
crying in a grocery store because they want a
candy bar while their parent knows the candy bar
in no good for them.  In all likelyhood you want to
play with your own or someone else’s genitals…”

Dear Christian96, what’s it like being you? Putting aside the underlying point of your many sad, angry comments (which - correct me if I’m wrong - appears to add up to ‘Thought is bad’), I do have to congratulate you on the intriguing suggestion that, in our evil childlike minds, candy bars are on par with genitals, both ours and others’. You do get, of course, that the reason you’re here to entertain us has quite a lot to do with the reality that some folks you’ve known, possibly even been close to, played with each others’ genitals at least once? I know, I know… horrible, but what are you going to do? I suppose that oddly poetic, frequently misinterpreted and tragically misapplied book you fancy can help you rationalize away that stark little chunk of reality, but it’d be such a shame to minimize the one and only lucid thing you’ve said all day. You know what they say about a stopped clock? Probably best to quit while you’re ahead. I think you’ve inadvertently reached your limit.

Report this

By Kesey Seven, September 16, 2009 at 7:45 am Link to this comment

Here’s a bit a truth:  The Bible is a book of ancient Herbrew laws, history, and myth.  Enough said on that.

I lean toward being a deist, right there with Albert Einstein.  My interpretation goes something like this:  The laws of the universe are God’s will.  In other words, God’s not so much concerned with whose play parts you’re playing with, but whether your procreating with those parts and if said procreation is overpopulating the earth. Overpopulation violates a basic law of the universe and therefore a law of God: Thou shalt not overpopulate your planet. 

Other thoughts:  There is no heaven and hell when thinking of the universe as God. No individual immortality, no individual souls. This life is it and we should cherish it because it is all we have and we’re all one, all part of the universe.  When I die, when you die, all we will ever have is the life that goes forward, our descendants and the other life on this planet, which is why we need to work very hard to preserve out planet to keep it thriving for our sometimes magnificent species. 

Just a final thought:  Ever watched an atomic bomb detonate?  We lost our right to be superstitious when we created a sun on earth, a supreme violation of the laws of the univerese.

Report this

By paul bass, September 16, 2009 at 7:35 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

By stcfarms, September 14 at 3:27 pm

“To my knowledge the vacuum has never spoken or
created any laws, outside of the laws of physics, which we all must obey. “

my vacuum tells me that brooms are evil.. and women are inferior.. and what kind of hat to wear

Report this

By bogi666, September 16, 2009 at 6:26 am Link to this comment

Christian69, 0h 96 excuse me, comes unglued real easy. He has made god in his own image as have the other 90% of pretend christians who worship the anti Christ and the false doctrines which are televangelized for our viewing nausea. They are congregations of fools who are abused, insulted and called foul names by their preachers who then beg the same fools for money and the fools give them money. This is Christian96

Report this

By bogi666, September 16, 2009 at 5:58 am Link to this comment

“Conspiracies of the Inferior”, H.L. Mencken on the June 1925 Scopes Trial. “The so called religious organizations which now lead the war against the teaching of evolution are nothing more, at bottom, than conspiracies of the inferior man against his betters. They mirror very accurately the congenital hatred of knowledge, his bitter enmity to the man who knows more than he does…...” Another Mencken quote, who was an atheist. “if upon dying I should be in the presence of God I will promptly walk over to God and apologize for being wrong”. Of course, God would forgive him, according to the bible.

Report this

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