Friday, June 01, 2007

Left Behind: Mother Evolution's Atheistic Stragglers (5.31.09)

Ricky asked a good question at the end of yesterday's thread: why doesn't the bloody rabbit take a photo of Mackenzie -- I mean beside the fact that the rabbit is not interested in that kind of vegetable? But let's suppose there were a super-intelligent rabbit capable of.... of super-rabbit tricks, like attacking Jimmy Carter. Is there any reason to believe that it would possess anything resembling human intelligence? The same goes, by the way, for so-called extraterrestrial intelligence. Is there any reason to believe that extraterrestrial beings, even if intelligent, would possess human intelligence?

First of all, for a variety of scientific reasons I won't get into, I think the odds of intelligent beings on other planets are vanishingly remote. But even then, the idea that intelligence alone is sufficient to account for the humanness through which our intelligence is channelled is extraordinarily naive. Or put it this way: intelligence is necessary, but hardly sufficient, to account for our humanness. We are nothing at all like merely intelligent apes, but something else entirely.

In my book, I noted that humanness is an ontological station that is anterior to our having entered it. This is why, as we evolved into this space, it was not "empty," so to speak. Rather, it was quite "full," except that much of the information was implicit rather than explicit. It had to be unpacked and brought into being in the material world -- which we have been doing for the past 40,000 years or so. In the most general terms, we have been bringing the Good, the True, and the Beautiful into the world. Our attraction to these things can by no means be explained by (natural) intelligence itself, but is entirely separate from it.

There was a brief discussion of this in yesterday's thread, where Will used the allegory of a village of of the blind: "One individual suddenly develops eyesight, the first villager to do so. Quite the revelation! This individual's spatial sense deepens beyond his previous imaginings. And the colors! He never knew they existed.

"Taking in the sky, he tries to explain the color blue to the villagers. In fact, he tries to explain the concept of sky to them. Bottom line, he can't. He might use analogies like, well, 'blue' is like a coating that you can't really touch, plus it's sort of 'cold-like,' not like ice, but like river water, etc. Some of the villagers might be intrigued with his analogies, but that's a far as it would go. Most would dismiss him, would almost have to dismiss him, as crazy. They simply lack the frame of reference by which he senses colors -- eyesight.

"Anyway, I think that genuine apprehension of God and the Divine Archetypal Realm, to the extent that humans are capable of such, is literally the activation of sense organ(s), that is, a 6th, 7th (and on up) sense organ."

I agree with Will that such higher sense organs would have to correlate in some way with the human brain, but that they could not be reduced to it. For example, let's say that neurologists locate that part of the brain responsible for recognizing artistic beauty. Would this prove that the differences in beauty between, say, a Thomas Gainsborough and a Thomas Kinkade are not really real? This is not as stupid as it sounds, for I guarantee you that in the next six months the New York Times will run another dopey article about some earthbound neurologist who has discovered the part of the brain responsible for religion, or awareness of God, or mystical states. What this proves is precisely nothing -- except perhaps that every interior has an exterior (in the manner described by Ken Wilber) and that Thomas Dolby was right: it is possible to be blinded by science.

In response to Will's comment, I wrote that that our brain architecture "comes into being simultaneously with an encounter with a particular world." Interestingly, the latest research suggests not only that human evolution is still ongoing, but that it can occur much more rapidly than anyone had realized. Thus, the future evolution of homo raccoonicus could occur over the space of a few generations.

In his summary of the latest research, Nicholas Wade makes a number of points that are highly upsetting to the psycho-spiritual left, since he leaves little reason to doubt that various human groups acquire traits and abilities that others do not. He cites many examples, one of which being the Jews who, pound for pound, have contributed more to human excellence than any other group -- even more so when you consider that they have also been the most persecuted group down through history (no coincidence there).

For example, although they represent far less than 1% of the world’s population, Jews have won 15 to 20 percent of the Nobel Prizes, and perhaps constitute an even higher percentage of the world's greatest comedians. On the other hand, the Palestinians have won exactly one Nobel Prize, and of course it was given to one of the most depraved and disgusting monsters who ever drew breath. And the Palestinian contribution to comedy, although considerable, has been entirely unintended -- e.g. the wild-eyed imams with their crazed Friday evening sermons, the comical s'allapstiq "work accidents" in which they accidentally blow themselves up, the frenzied car swarms, etc. Israelis and Palestinians might as well be a different species -- which, in a way, they are. Not, of course, in any horizontal racial sense, but in a vertical sense. To say that one of them is more evolved than the other is a banality of the first rank, unless you are a leftist who doesn't believe in vertical rank.

Not only is this view not racist, but it is the polar opposite, for it means that ethnic traits are not fixed but subject to evolution, change and progress. But for some reason, the left doesn't like this kind of evolution. Rather, they argue that all cultures are equally beautiful and that any differences between them are arbitrary. Furthermore, if you argue that one culture is superior to another, you are a racist. Thus, the left habitually confuses race and culture, making it impossible to criticize -- and therefore help -- a dysfunctional culture without being called a racist. This is precisely what happened to one of the last great liberals, Daniel Patrick Moynihan, who wrote so sensitively of the "tangle of pathology" afflicting African American culture. That all of his most dire predictions came to pass is of no consequence to the ideologically blinded "reality based community" -- the ironically named progressive left, another group that cannot evolve.

In any event, as I mentioned in a comment yesterday, it is clear to me that we are co-evolving the language to describe various "post-biological realities" as we enter into them. This is very much analogous to the early explorers of the new world, who all landed in different areas and came back with diverse and seemingly contradictory discriptions of the flora and fauna they'd found. At first, the descriptions of higher planes are going to be highly subjective and seemingly disconnected from the others, but as we increasingly colonize the space, we start to see how all the descriptions fit together. Certainly that is what I was trying to do with my book, and even more so with the blog, in part because I know that my neurology has changed as a consequence of repeated encounters with the New World. I see things very clearly now that were more shrouded before, just as I see things vaguely now that will presumably become clearer as I go.

You will notice that one of the atheists' biggest complaints about me is that I am "bigoted" against them. Which is true, if you abuse the term beyond recognition. To me, a bigot is someone who discriminates against another based upon some insignificant difference, such as race. It is another thing entirely to discriminate against an ideology or belief system. In this sense, discrimination is the essence of intelligence. I discriminate against atheism because one, I think it is intrinsically stupid, and two, I think it would be highly destructive if a significant number of people were reduced to its influence, instead of being just a small club of eccentrics and misfits.

And yes, when I say "destructive," I do mean destructive of the human being as I understand him. For it would mean the foreclosure of those supramental spiritual realities to which humans have unique access and that we are in the process of bringing into being.

One of the things you have no doubt noticed in the flurry of atheistic interest in my blog is that they admit to not understanding my ideas, and yet, object to them in the most strident terms. The reverse is obviously not true: there is nothing about atheism that cannot be understood by a normal adolescent schoolboy. But one of the atheists asks, "Does anyone understand what this guy is talking about, because there is no content that I can discern. It is literally vacuous, and atrociously written to boot. From any rational perspective, it is empty and devoid of coherence or significance [and] preposterously boring."

Another one writes of my "lurid and vacuous prose" which is "completely and utterly meaningless when analysed, hermeneutically [perhaps he meant "hermaneutically" --ed] or otherwise." Furthermore -- or less -- "even Bob couldn't explain rationally what he means by it, yet one does not have to be a psychiatrist to understand what his real problem is. Gagdad Bob is just another pathetically feeble individual" and even a "true psychopath." (Speaking of abusing clinical terms; in any event, how can I be a psychopath when they admit that they don't even understand me?)

Another one confesses total ignorance of what I write about, but then, in typical atheist fashion, assumes that the ignorance resides in me rather than her. She admits that my writing is a "confusing mess" to her, and that "Honestly, I think Bob spends more time thumbing through a thesaurus than he does with actually trying to make his thoughts coherent. It seems to me he's more concerned with impressing people with his 'fancy' words than he is with people understanding what he's trying to convey. What's the point of writing for others in the way Bob does, when you end up making your readers incapable of understanding what you're writing? Perhaps his stringing together a bunch of those 'fancy' words gets people to think he's understanding the issues on a higher plane, and those who are easily led follow along like sheep, believing that they're just too stupid to understand someone with such supposed 'important' thoughts/feelings. His 'followers are led to believe they're in the presence of somebody really important and special."

And this one is also too funny to ignore: "Regarding the chances of reaching the 'Racoons,' it would be silly to argue that any of them would ever be convinced to abondon their belief in god. However they may come to realize that this person whom they occasionally refer to as 'Fearless Leader' (and who refers to his own son from time to time as 'Future Leader') is a gross, opportunistic narcissist who does not truly share their values."

Like the Palestinkians, their humor is always inadvertent.

Anyway, given that my writing is empty, irrational, literally vacuous, devoid of content, incoherent, and insignificant, how can it simultaneously be a dangerous threat to atheists? If it is literally devoid of content, then that means there can be no objectionable content.

But again, as I have said all along, atheism is nothing more and nothing less than a frank confession of total ignorance of any ontologically real spiritual plane transcending the senses. It is simply the "final common pathway" of a spiritual failure to launch with diverse causes. Which is fine. If that's how they choose to live their lives, who am I to argue with them? I'm a liberal. I'm all for them squandering their liberty in any way they see fit. How can that pose a threat to them?

These are divisive times, both horizontally -- which is obvious -- and vertically, which is the true source of the horizontal strife, for cultural space is developmental time. As Will pointed out, "Obviously the most fractious time is when the outsiders [i.e., the vertical explorers] begin to expand in number and outreach. This is when the distinctions between old language and new would be most divisive. Attempts at conciliation between old and new would be inevitably, necessarily futile. Those of the old persuasion would have hope of becoming new -- should they so desire -- but the new can never return to the old status. They either eventually succeed in establishing newness or they are eliminated by the reactionary old."

Evolution is a harsh mysteress. I guess it would be nice if atheists were capable of understanding my writing, but then they wouldn't be atheists.


Anonymous said...


cousin dupree said...

You forgot to add "Jew-lover."

Nick said...

Bob, if you were a Tongan all you would have to do is look at an atheist and they'd understand!

Susannah said...

That's why I love this place. :)

juliec said...

Raccoons, I think Ben could use some prayers right now. Anybody know how we might set up a collection or something?

Susannah said...

Julie, I can't follow the link. :(

will said...

>>Jews have won 15 to 20 percent of the Nobel Prizes, and perhaps constitute an even higher percentage of the world's greatest comedians.<<

Comedians and great song writers, too.

Gagdad Bob said...

I just sent Ben a link for the amazon honor system, so hopefully he'll be able to put up Skully's Tin Cup or something similar....

walt said...

So, first thing, I dutifully click on 'Mackenzie,' and before reading today's post, learn the B'ob is a confirmed bigot, Raccoons are strangely insane, and that JWM has erupted in a "tirade."

JWM in a tirade? Hmmm. I only know folks here from their posts....

Dupree, redux: "This is your brain on atheism."

juliec said...

Sorry, Susannah - I'll just write it. It's also on Bob's main page.

jehu said...


Having a great time reading your One Cosmos...superb writing, the best I have ever seen. You could be the C.S. Lewis of this century, at least you are a true and original thinker. (More rare than an honest liberal).

I like the idea of a pre-existing field that the neural network of the human brain can discover and co-resonate with, seems to be the subject of most mystics as to what you are really trying to do in meditation.

Another that thought and wrote about this concept regarding species was Dr. Robert Bloom, the great South African paleontologist and physician. He mused that species have to have an existing OTHER, field that brings about the form of that species. He thought that is why it is very hard to introduce species to new areas, the first couple of generations die out, all because the field that governs that species is not existent in that area.

I witnessed this myself when people I know tried to introduce African Antelopes in a mid-western state.

I think he called that field a morphogenic field. Seems to me related to quantum mechanics, like the wave/particle duality, you only see what you setup the experiment to see.

So Secular Humanists types ONLY see the neural network, like cavemen that will break open a T.V. to find the little people inside.

The human brain is much more a radio receiver than a stand -alone generator. Or in metaphysical language, "we are designed as channels." The question is "channels of what?"

Jehu (LGF)

late convert said...

Susannah, try this.


hoarhey said...

I find it ironic the obsession with leaders and followers.
These same people who claim to be above all that will then turn around like sheep and vote for the Grand Nanny of them all, Hillary Rodham.
Bob, not to step out of place or anything, God knows I wouldn't want to seem uppity or tread upon your sacred station or anything of the sort so please forgive me for the following transgression but wouldn't Jews make up two one-hundredths of the population? ;)

Gagdad Bob said...


Spoken like a true Raccoon! Except the excessive praise part. Being a sociopath, I am quite capable of blowing my own horn.

By the way, are you sure you understand my writing? The atheists say it's impossible, and who ya' gonna believe, them or your flying I?

Jehu said...

Something else interesting about the Jews, is when they go astray from their calling (The calling of Shem via the pronouncements of Noah) they also introduce great evil into the earth, think of Marx. (and others).

So the Jews have introduced both Judaism, and Christianity (True revealed religion). And they introduce truly Satanic doctrines when bent away from their purpose.

All the sons of Noah had a calling. Shem is given to be the spiritual leader, (Jews, Arabs). Japheth is given authority as the civil leader (All the great empires and Western Civilization are Japeth derived. (Indo-European)

And Ham (Authority over the physical). All the great physical inventions such as domestication of animals, discovery of mountain passes and what to eat and not eat came from Hamitic peoples, etc...

Interesting in the crucifixion of Christ all three great racial divisions are represented in their sphere. Shem (the Jews) participate in the spiritual side of His crucifixion. Japheth (Pilate...the Romans) have the civil authority to crucify Him. Ham, ( a man named Niger) carried the cross when He fell under it. (Physical participation in the crucifixtion).

Gagdad Bob said...


Just did a fact check from another source -- it says that "although they make up less than half of 1% of the world's population, betweeon 1901 and 1950 Jews won 14% of all Nobel Prizes for Literature and Science, which increased to 29% between 1951 and 2000."

Gagdad Bob said...

So yes, that was a typo....

Susannah said...

This was astounding. My hubby told me about this experiment with frequencies this last night, so I looked it up. It's beautiful!

River Cocytus said...

jehu: speaking of 'everything interior has an exterior' it seems that the negroid bone structure, which is associated most commonly with folks from Africa, has thicker, stronger bones than the other two general structures (mongoloid and caucasoid.) They also happen to be the ones who invented gospel/blues - the music which would unseat the lofty mindgames of the euro-elite academe's music.

Gagdad Bob said...


That is a spiritually subtle point that is easy to misinterpret, but I myself have in the past compared Marx to the "anti-Moses." Saying this is no more "anti-Jewish" than reference to the "anti-Christ" is anti-Christian.

Jehu said...

One correction on all the great civilizations as having been Japheth derived. Only Egypt was Hamitic, but Egypt was not included in Daniel's vision of the great empires of Babylon, Persia, Greece, and Rome.

Egypt having been judged long before those civilizations arose, and that judgement was in large part, or totally, because of anti-Semitism.

A warning, I think, to all the nations, become anti-Semitic, and you wil see your civilization ended, and ended quite abruptly. Because you have universally denied, what Bob and others here call the vertical, or recognition of the spiritual component of man. Anti-Semitism is the sign that you have shut the door, permanently, purposely to any spiritual growth or awareness.

James said...


I just had an interesting thought. I've noticed that our recent invasion of atheistic trolls has colored Bob's posts and the comments section. There is nothing like having your beliefs and world view challenged, no thats not quite right, there is nothing like having you faith challenged. It forces you to make sure your house is in order and questioning faith forces you to look deeper. I am still reeling from the River of Fire article, which I might have never known about if we didn't find ourselves on a road with a troll bridge. In a way the atheists serve God even if they don't believe in him. Which is ironic, funny, and I'm sure it annoys the hell out of them.

Jehu said...


Yeah, since I am most decidedly NOT anti-Semitic, I hardly ever defend myself from the PURPOSELY mis-interpreted understanding of what I say on that subject.

It is like my comment upon the division of the races. Men make that negative, but God intended the races to reflect the triune nature of man (Body, Soul, Spirit). And historically the races have followed the division of labor that Noah prophetically imparted to his 3 sons, even as to responsibilities for the crucifixion.

Only fools and the terminally dishonest think the Jews alone crucified Christ...we were all in the mob that shouted for a murderer to be freed (us), and Him to be killed.

Jehu said...


Interesting to note that part of the physical sphere given to the "colored" races, is IMO much of popular culture. So you can see the influence of blacks here in America, music, sports, entertainment etc.

Now same rule applies as does to the Jews, when channeled to the good, music, dance, sports are elevating factors. Think Blues, or the old spirituals (Blues came from the old spirituals). Think in sports of a Michael Jordan (A joy to watch, on a level that was...well magical).

Yet now think of gangsta-rap, a degrading, polluting influence, or think of the boasting and arrogant black athletes (whites too), but I don't watch the NBA much now because of the arrogance, the self-involvement I just find ugly.

And whites, when on their game give us the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution. When off their game, they give us Dachau.

Col. J. C. Beaglehole said...

Yes, there is also the well known phenomena of the anti-Raccoon, or "Kookoon." Come to think of it, I am quite sure I was a Kookoon before I was a Raccoon. Which reflects the truism that you can only evolve in the higher to the extent that you have assimilated the lower, a concept entirely foreign to Dame Edith -- as if I have to remind anyone.

Arbiter Lupus said...

Good book and good blog. It's a good day when I read the One Cosmos blog. Thanks Mr. Godwin. -Steve

River Cocytus said...

jehu: or the KKK - or the Nazis. They become the 'monster that is the State' which seeks to by its own hand and imagination order everything in the way it sees fit. It was then the Japhethites who invented Science Fiction, which in its purest form has two themes: Science making monsters, and Science dehumanizing man. They're only distinct because theme 1's monsters were not men to begin with, while theme 2's were. Think of real Science fiction like the soul-level version of the spirit-filled prophecies of the Israelites and Jews and later the Christians.

CrypticLife said...

As you point out, many tend to be slipshod on arguments on culture and race, assuming because they cannot criticize a race they cannot criticize a culture either. This tends to lead to restrictions on free speech for some reason.

I do think, for a similar reason, you ought use a word other than "evolution". Though the word has both general and scientific meanings, the nominal form is generally fairly tightly associated with the scientific. The scientific isn't what you mean by evolution, as that would quite literally be racist -- the creation of a separate race, or subspecies, with differing characteristics from homo sapiens sapiens. That's not what you mean, is it, despite your reference to advances in theory suggesting evolution can occur in bursts within a few generations?

You use the analogy of the one-eyed man in the valley of the blind used once again. Interestingly, I've read a story regarding this, a hypothetical piece in which a sighted person was stranded in an isolated village of the blind. He anticipated becoming their ruler, but found he quickly became a beggar instead, unable to function within the society. I'm sure all of you find yourselves as royalty, however.

I do like the idea of the supraintelligent lagomorph, though I suspect he would like to take pictures. Rabbits are relatively visual, for animals. The overall point that their intelligence would be different is valid, however, and that might make them what one would call "less human". As intelligence is necessary but not sufficient, however, the other quality you speak of is not based on intelligence. Does this mean that some animals, were they but gifted with greater intelligence, have a capacity to be more human than humans themselves? If you are not a racist, are you a specist?

CrypticLife said...

I might add, suppose raccoons (our food-washing friends) were gifted with intelligence equal or surpassing humans?

Jenny said...

Thankfully, I understand your writing and ideas just fine.

River Cocytus said...

crypticlife: Probably? Sales for security devices would skyrocket.

Jehu said...


Good analysis of most Science Fiction themes. There are others by some of the best writers. Orson Scott Card, and Arthur C. Clark. I think it was Card that wrote a story about a man that buys this sort of planetarium where there are intelligent, culture creating ant-like creatures. There are two groups and he treats one with love and attention, and another with neglect and capricious destruction.

These creatures build great structures that reflect their ideas of this unseen ruler (him). The creatures that are mistreated first build beautiful structures showing a beautiful face of their so-called god. But as the mistreatment goes on they slowly make the idol more and more ugly.

The other creatures keep making the idol more beautiful...can't remember the end of the story, I think the mis-treated creatures finally build weapons that can escape the planetarium and they kill their keeper.

And Arthur C. Clark's childhoods end, or the Sentiniel, are just Roman's 8 re-worked in a Sci-Fi Format. (The manifestation of the sons of God).

dame edith waterfowl said...

Oh, balls, JC. I have assimilated YOU, you trousered Dark Night of the Soul, and if that doesn't constitute "the lower", then nothing in this world does.

Now hush and be quiet.

And return the harpsichord to Waterfowl Manor immediately!

Gagdad Bob said...

cryptic life--

Actually, it is scientism that has misappropriated the word evolution when they mean natural selection, which accounts for only a tiny aspect of the evolution which occurs on every level of being. Evolution is by definition progressive whereas natural selection is by definition not.

River Cocytus said...

jehu: I can't claim that analysis for my own, It belongs to my mom. I just find it to be quite useful and probably very accurate most of the time.

Joan of Argghh! said...

Good thoughts by Jehu and Bob on the pre-existing field in evolution.

That there was light before men could see it redounds to the, "as above, so below" understanding of Truth.

There was Truth long before we developed the "organs" to see it.

It makes us no less a creation to acknowledge our physical lack in the very beginning, any more than it lessens one who now towers in the vertical realm to remember when the Light of Truth first hurtled into his darkened soul. (Which probably hurt!)

walt said...

James -

Oh, I do agree! Even in what I experience as detritus, I keep finding nuggets! Not uncommon to have to just stop...and remember to breathe.

CrypticLife said...

Sure, Gagdad, but you do cite the "latest research" indicating evolution is ongoing, and can take the space of a few generations. Presumably here you are speaking of research involving evolution arising from natural selection. The vertical evolution you speak of can be attained far more quickly, no? If you take a Palestinian infant and raise them in a Jewish household, surely they would be as evolved as their housemates.

You indicate that natural selection accounts for a tiny aspect of the evolution that occurs on every level, but I would suggest, given the difference in progressivity towards some presumed end, it accounts for no aspect of evolution at all under your definition. No?

Gagdad Bob said...

No. In my book I try to reconcile natural selection and supernatural election, so to speak, and see no conflict unless one tries to reduce the one to the other.

Gagdad Bob said...

And actually, according to Wade, you could not necessarily take a baby from one evolutionary stream, place him in another, and expect him to flourish. The psychologist in me doesn't want to believe that, but I will naturally yield to whatever the truth is. Interesting that Wade makes the same argument as the Bell Curve, but since he writes for the New York Times, he gets a pass on all the scurrilous charges of racism.

Gagdad Bob said...

By the way, Schuon wrote some beautifully sensitive things about the archetypal differences between the races. But like Seinfeld's comment that he "loves Asian Women," such sensitivity and perceptiveness are likely to be confused with racism.

ximeze said...

Arbiter Lupus: would that be Working Dog?

However did you manage to get hidden camera footage of our Athitrolls reactions to reading this blog?

Thanks for sharing.

Robin Starfish said...

2D or Not 2D...
doors of perception
often just turn out to be
somebody's garage

River Cocytus said...

Honestly, I have a soft spot for 'em too.

Behold: Woot!!!!

Just sayin'.

walt said...

You defined your terms:
"...when I say "destructive," I do mean destructive of the human being as I understand him. For it would mean the foreclosure of those supramental spiritual realities to which humans have unique access and that we are in the process of bringing into being."

I've been known to express opinions - especially political opinions - that come across as "too strident," or "a bit much," at times. What I'm trying to say, but fail to articulate properly, is that I believe this/that is destructive, exactly in the sense you used above.

Ahh, clarity! Thank you for the words!

Smoov said...

"Aritificial" selective forces can have profound effects very quickly. A spectacular example of this concerns our good friend canis familiaris (friend to man, that is, friend to raccoons I'm less sure of). It was long thought that the process of transforming the wolf into the common dog must have involved incredibly complex selective pressures applied over millennia. Dogs are very unlike wolves in many, many ways. In fact wolves cannot be domesticated unless they are taken within a day or so of their birth.

The Russians conducted an experiment using foxes. They selected for only one trait: tameness. The method was simpicity itself: extend a gloved hand into the cage. Those foxes which growled or bit were excluded. Those which did not were mated with other similarly phlegmatic foxes. So far, so good. The bombshell was this: not only tameness, but a whole host of other traits began to appear at once in the selectively bred foxes. Principle among these were changes in coloration (the familiar black and white coloration common to so many dogs) as well as changes in facial structure and other physiological aspects of the animal which gave it an overall more dog-like appearance (and behavior). This all happened within perhaps 7-10 generations (blink of an eye in evolutionary terms).

I'm not sure how this relates to Stephen Gould's theory of "punctuated equlibrium", but it seems to me to have quite major implications for the way human development has played out over relatively short time spans. I've heard it suggested that Ashkenazi (but not sepahardic) Jews came by their higher IQs (115 average) because they were forced into the financial occupations in Europe for centuries. This tended to favor cognitive abilities over strength, endurance, etc.

Whatever the case, there are clearly differences between races and even narrower groupings. Personally I don't see that this has much to do with racism unless it is used to justify the valuing of races differently, or some other such sinister purpose.

Prayers up for Ben & Patti. I'll keep a look out for Ben's cup. Which reminds me, I haven't hit the Gagdad cup in a while...

Gagdad Bob said...


That's a good point -- perhaps the genome, like langauge, simply gives access to entire worlds of implicit meaning. To say that the DNA of humans and apes is 99% identical tells you at once how critical AND how trivial it is!

Smoov said...

To clarify, the fact that foxes can be transmuted into proto-dogs so quiclky and simply makes me wonder whether Bob isn't on to something (if I understand him correctly) in suggesting that there could be real, relatively rapid change reflected in our physiology as we venture forth as spiritunauts...

Can our conscious and self-directed movement toward God engender transformations similar to those seen in the foxes, although on a much higher and more rarefied plane?

Of course this is highly speculative. It reminds me a bit of Rupert Sheldrake's morphological fields. He has been shunned by mainstream scientists for decades, yet there remain those convinced that he is far ahead of his time.

will said...

Smoov, it's only speculative insofar as the secular sciences go.

Those in the gnosis have always been well aware that there are physiological changes implicit in genuine spiritual metamorphosis.

A universal quickening - and I think there's plenty good reason to believe we're in one now - would imply changes in the very fabric of materiality.

River Cocytus said...

Well, this is gonna be cheesy, but don't the spiritual gifts kind of fit that description, I.E, healing? I mean, just to start with.

Smoov said...


Just the thought fills me with hope and wonder.

Ironically the secularists have their own horizontalized version of this in the form of the "singularity" as popularized by Ray Kurzweil, et al. Kurzweil is your typical autistic genius in that he has mastered a scary amount of scientific, socilogical and technological material which he uses to back up his compelling theories, yet he blindly makes the elementary error of reducing Mind to brain (quite literally, he asserts that all that we are can be reduced to binary notation).

Here again the horizontal men produce distorted, stunted versions of vertical Truth, projected on to the purely material plane.

If only Kurzweil would read One Cosmos he could save himself a lot of rummaging about in blind alleys.

Gagdad Bob said...

I think it can be fruitful to think of both the Transfiguration and Resurrection along these lines. With regard to the latter, I have always been struck at how those closest to Jesus didn't even recognize him immediately but mistook him for the gardener, for example. On another occasion he walked and conversed with a couple of disciples, and they didn't recognize him either. Fascinating implications.

River Cocytus said...

It sort of indicates to me that how we actually 'recognize' people is not fully understood, either... wild.

Smoov said...

I for one by no means dismiss the profound significance of Kurzweil's singularity. I just reject all the flim flam about AI replacing the brain (which he equates with humanness in toto.

The fact that we are in the midst of a technological "quickening" can hardly be disputed, and Kurzweil demonstrates this most convincingly. The technological substrate we are excreting as a species surely has some role in a larger transformation. To state an obvious example, when else in history would One Cosmos have been possible? Who knows when and if what is discussed here will reach some tipping point and spill out across the web, lifting millions of lives? I'm not suggesting OC would be the catalyst, but perhaps it might be one small spark in a spreading fire...

The implications of nanotechnology and ever-deeper and wider global communications are staggeringly profound, and must have deep spiritual ramifications. It is part of the arc, in my view, but what part I really don't know...

gumshoe said...

"A universal quickening - and I think there's plenty good reason to believe we're in one now - would imply changes in the very fabric of materiality."

Will -
seen strictly from a materialist's
viewpoint,the omnipresence
and depth of penetration of the Internet globally,(whether welcomed or blocked),would support your suggestion of "changes in the very fabric of materiality",non??

from a "no-borders" worldview,
the Internet is both the agent of change and the as-yet-half-formed landscape.

in many ways,it's a mind-scape being populated and colonized.
..and given human-nature,won't be w/o borders of some kind for long.

looked at from another perspective...Spirit had pentrated all of this long,long ago.

wretchard at Belmont Club had this interesting recent thread:

Thursday, May 31, 2007
Money For Nothing and Your Links For Free

River Cocytus said...

I always say this, and this is why I take 'transhumanism' I.E. AI's/singularity talk with a grain of salt is because I studied AI's. They are basically only as smart as the collective group of folks who work on them, or even just the smartest guy. Sometimes I think that the KIND of intelligence that machines are to possess is different than we want to believe it is; some sort of believe that 'intelligence' is generic and humans are just smart.

But, looking at Heinlein, I've often thought that machine intellect is prefigured to be something entirely different; like they are flipped archetypes of all of the creatures, with man at the center like an axis. Or some such.

Anyhow, my impression is simply that, we don't know what machine intelligence will look like really, but right now many want it to look like human intelligence, which is something we may be incapable of completely understanding, being that we're kind of soulbound.

Jehu said...

AI is bunk IMO, until men can design machines that can truly contemplate (and wonder) about their own existence. Far beyond brain, the brain is a container for mind, and the mind a container for what? Science is stuck in a childish tantrum.

Constantly taking apart the frog to see what makes it tick, but always then killing the frog and then denying the principle of life.

Like our ever bigger machines to smash apart the smallest particles of matter producing a bewildering "particle zoo," because of a preponderance of a mechanistic view of things, science keeps building bigger and bigger "machines," thinking they will ultimately yield understanding of the universe (Trying to win the award for longest run-on sentence above).

Or better put, the denial of the Holistic properties of the universe, and life itself, including the mind, seems to me to produce sort of a dumbness, and stubbornness. So science lives in such denial they don't even research IF, and how before Noah, there was no rain, but a mist rising up from the ground to water the earth.

Or they do not even study auras (Kirlian photography) for the study of human diseases and diagnoses, but develop ever more complex and expensive machines.

Would not a good designer have built into the human body a diagnostic tool? Of course, we do that with machines. But if you deny a creator/designer, then you will stupidly NOT look for design in anything, even though the universe screams design and intent from macro to micro.

Smoov said...

I just paid a visit to LGF. There is an article on the front page about demonic Palestinian children which induces physical pain to read.

Athiests are one thing. However I'm fed up with having to apologize for being a "bigot" when it comes to Leftism. We have a duty to stand up and denounce the wickedness in this world, and it doesn't get much wickeder than the Left. The further left you go, the worse it gets. For decades they have systematically supported the most evil regimes available, from Stalin to Pol Pot to Castro, Chavez and most tellingly the truly other-worldly (as in Dante's Inferno) Palestinians.

The Left is rotten to the core, and they are the reatest threat America has ever faced. I hope GB keeps giving it to them with both barrels. There is no "dialog" possible with this ideology. It is up to us to rescue as many as possible from the depradations of this sinister force.

PrincessSpirit said...

G-BOB: Your writing is Anything but vacuous & insipid, LOL! Its precious to me for many reasons: is a Smile-bringer, a Ready Comfort & Spiritual Respite from a Flatland-Insane world.

If ur Blog, Books & Words confront Trolls & Orcses, challenges em to crack open dusty Dictionaries or tap-Google a word or 2, well, Mission Accomplished! Their Cro-Swinenon & Neanthill brains have actually evolved a micron or 2 which is gargantuan growth for them. (Too bad their foreheads are still severely sloped - a possible reason behind their spir. retardation?) The Zenith of being Non-human, Trolls spiritually de-evolve down the Vertical til they resemble Orcs & worse flotsam & jetsam. Their problem of Evil isnt just a political or psychological one; its ultimately a Spiritual one, needing Godly-Spiritual resolution-healing vis-a-vis Organic Spiritual Relationship w/God-Grace-Truth.

Spirit witnesses to Spirit & Maturity to Wisdom. Maturity & Spirit resident within ur words resonates w/many who enjoy reading here; those w/o Spirit wont hear Wisdom nor Spirit well tho they catch a glimmer from time to time, Spirit-willing. Mature peeps appreciate your writings as Diners w/a discerning evolved palate truly appreciate Gourmet Food, Fine Wine, Exquisite Fruit. For Us, OC is a Delectable Creative Feast; to the rest OC casts crumbs into their spiritual-famine God-rejected self-embraced Narcoplates; but they insanely reject even crumbs. "Even dogs know to lick the crumbs dropped from their Masters table..." said the Samaritan woman to Jesus. Since Trolls wont even heed crumbs theyre sayin theyre Infinitely Less Evolved than dogs.

Dogs (not Trolls) are Mans Best Friend becuz they Respond - not Reject - relationship. Trolls refuse to stop rejecting. As w/any self-Foolfilling Pass-Agg prophecy, Fools reject precisely what they demand & need. Their thought process is Circularly Insular (perpetual rats-on-treadmills) a clear depiction of crazy-making & Evil, evolving neither Vertically nor Horizontally.

Ur Blog invites Trolls to *Exit Treadmill Here* to embrace God-Spirit, sumfink even a few Racoons here still do not embrace well yet in an organic-relational way; tho they profess head-belief in God, yet they do not RELATE Organically w/Him. Still their Spirits are stirred & they Respond. Trolls & Orcs habitualy Flatline Spiritually & Commit Spiritual Suicide by rejecting Godly Organic relating becuz they demand to relate on their terms not Gods.

Wisdom is Fruit born of Organic Relationship w/God, not reached via Gnostic Fornication (Head Knowledge) nor by Weepy Sappy HumanoEmotionalism (Mercy w/o Truth=Humanism.) Its only reached thru self's submission to God (chosen dependence upon Him in response to His Being, Grace & Truth/Love) & thru digestion of His Truths as our own truthcrumbs never make a hearty enuf meal. Proverbs tells us where, when & how to find Wisdom. Your Blog helps point the way as well but Trolls refuse to read Maps.

Homo Sapiens Stoopidicus is pandemic in its Spiritual Pathology now as it de-evolves down-Vertical to reinfect Horizontal. Insanity morphing into pandemic Pneumapathology engulfs entire nations. Troll senses are split apart nearly wholly from God-Spirit & Maturity, so all they can do is hurl invectives & insults at You, their convenient target in Blogland, as passive-aggressives always hostilly blame others who are not the problem - simply a treadmill ruse constructed to avoid confronting their tyrannical 2yr old megalomaniac screaming inside.

They think You are their emotional tampon?! How absurd. Like any P-A they are fearful to change so they remain resentfully on their treadmills, mad at You, God, Bush, the World - angry w/all but their sick self.

Trolls are a Mess o Fear & ur Blog terrifies & mystifies em as Light terrifies creatures loving darkness, even as they gnash their teeth & fret to be free of The Dark. Trolls have no peace, only numb passivity or aggressive hostility until they choose His Way. No Growth w/o God.

Hah, Sociopath? You? LOL! Hardly! Crude armchair analysis & name-calling in spirit of "You're a boogerhead too!" is just self-mirror-flinging. You are like a Master Tailor expertly repairing & zipping the split halves of Spirit & Maturity together, showing & inviting others to evolve from A-Holes into Whole Beings of Wisdom, which few experience relationally in the NOW.

U R Spiritus Profundis. Pity poor Trolls for the Sociopaths They Remain, for having zippers but lacking a will-skill to challenge their own self to zip-up thereby becoming Whole beings. Sorry you suffer such abuses; but remember you do not suffer alone, plenty o peeps up the Vertical suffer but are not deterred from reaching their God-Goal. More Verical to You.

Thank You for sharing your Vertical Vision & inspiring us to go "further up + further in," to keep smacking skeeter blood-suckahs off so we dont die a death of a thousand bites or get infected w/their poisons. Kudos to You, G-Bob. Keep Doing that Vertical Voodoo that Yoodoo - Yoodoo It So Fyne!

~ PrincessSpirit ~

juliec said...

Nice photo, River :)

Susannah, I liked that "spooky rice" video. It's fascinating how the higher the frequency, the more complex the pattern formed. It was almost like watching the process of cell division as the frequency increased. Interesting, too, that there seemed to be a pattern correlation with notes of the scale; if the frequency was sharp or flat, the pattern was diffuse, but when it was on pitch the pattern was crisp.

Smoov - I read about those foxes. One thing I remember about that study was that the foxes also developed more puppyish characteristics - floppy ears, puppy vocalizations at an older age, and many traits that we humans consider very cute. Thanks for reminding me of that study - now I want a fox :)

Smoov said...


AI is bunk IMO

Whether AI strictly speaking is or is not "bunk" is irrelevent (and I agree with you for the most part). The technologies commonly referred to in the context of the "sigularity" include more than just AI. We are using a primitive form of these technologies right here today. Surely the ability of like-minded (but compariatively uncommon) people to communicate in "real time" has some spiritual impact. I know that coming here has affected me spiritually. Will refers to a "quickening". I see no reason why an aspect of that process could not be technological in nature. After all, we are not just homo sapiens, but also homo faber.

Jehu said...

On another occasion he walked and conversed with a couple of disciples, and they didn't recognize him either. Fascinating implications.

The other side of this coin can be seen when on the mount of transfiguration they saw Moses, and Elijah, along with Jesus. And Peter, having never seen a picture of Moses or Elijah, names them immediately. Somehow spirit knows spirit. Identification is at a plane beyond the human soul, or physical. Peter knew who they were. Much as many now seem to identify politically, ideologically, with evil, because they themselves are evil. Why the convergence of the Left with murderous Jihadists? I think spirits of a feather, are tethered together.

juliec said...

the flip side of that is when Moses came down from the mountain bearing the second set of tablets. His face shone so that the people were afraid to look at him, and he had to wear a veil.

Jehu said...


Couldn't agree more. I am dissing the notion that a complex machine (or program) is, or ever can be "self aware." Some proponents like to intimate that AI is "intelligent." Yes like my parrot is intelligent. AI is programmed, but no more self-aware than my refrigerator.

As regards to the is a construct that is mimicking the growing transition in humanity that we are all connected...the reversal of the Cain attitude of "am I my brothers keeper."

Yes were are, so as long as most of the world dwells in tyranny and darkness, in primitive religions, and the life of dumb beasts, we are being shown (the narcissistic West) that you are involved, willingly or unwillingly, the earth is a sphere, not a collection of separate plates staked in space.

This is why I hate the cry of the Left to get out of Iraq, or let a Hitler or Stalin do what he wants, or kiss the ass of a Castro. They NEVER think of anyone but themselves.

They care less about the little Iraqi girl raped by Jihadist scum, or brutalized by Saddam's sons. That IMO makes the Left, just like Cain. And that is not to defend Bush's stupid handling of this war.

The Left will hate fathers, but suddenly find they are useful when it needs to ship a little kid back to Cuba, when his mother died trying to get him to freedom.

The Left hates freedom, but most especially the type of freedom that allows both self-seeking, materialism, AND the freedom to seek God. They will welcome Islamic tyranny that excludes the liberal seeking of God, even if it denies the ability to live a life of self-indulgence, and that is a terrible hatred for true spirituality.

Smoov said...

Let's see if that worked...

Before I had a generic jet as my picture. While many of our customers fly these aircraft, my company is a bit more modest at this point. Nonetheless our Pilatus PC-12 is noteworthy (any airplane buffs out there?) in that although it is a single-engined turboprop it has a pressurized cabin, 320 mph cruise and seats up to 8 in comfort. The other nice thing is that it can land at around 75-80 mph.

Smoov said...

Oh, plus it has a proper lavatory. Believe me, it makes a big difference.

Smoov said...

I'm switching back to the jet picture because the Pilatus one doesn't render very well at that tiny size.

I'd put my own mug up there, but we aren't supposed to get too free with the info over the web due to the nature of our business.

Friday evening beer chatter.

juliec said...

I liked the orange background on the Pilatus picture - too bad it didn't render well tiny.

will said...

gumshoe - >>seen strictly from a materialist's
viewpoint,the omnipresence
and depth of penetration of the Internet globally,(whether welcomed or blocked),would support your suggestion of "changes in the very fabric of materiality",non?? <<

It would indeed - from a materialist viewpoint. I did have something more elemental in mind.

NoMo said...

GB - In a comment by Mackenzie to Crypticlife over at Mack's site, he says, "By the way, have you read Gagdad's latest article? Now he's saying that I'm little more than a vegetable, who does not even warrant the attention of rabbits." So, I think he does understand you after all.

ximeze said...

Smoov said: "Oh, plus it has a proper lavatory."

To counter the awful image in my mind's eye of a gaping hole in the plane's floor, please define 'proper lavatory.'

cousin dupree said...


You are en fuego. What took you so long to find the pack?

Smoov said...


Heh. The choices are "none" or "proper", as in the type you have in an airliner. Planes with no lavatory are less than ideal for 5 or 6 hour flights. Especially if there is beer in the mini-fridge.

Smoov said...


Plane pictures hardly hold a candle to that lovely picture you have. Am I correct in assuming that it is a self-portrait?

juliec said...

Thanks, Smoov - yes, it is :)

Susannah said...

Julie, I hadn't noticed that about the sharp/flat tones! But I watched it again, and you're right!

I think I've watched it seven or eight times now.

"Yes were are, so as long as most of the world dwells in tyranny and darkness, in primitive religions, and the life of dumb beasts, we are being shown (the narcissistic West) that you are involved, willingly or unwillingly, the earth is a sphere, not a collection of separate plates staked in space."


Ricky Raccoon said...

Bob said:

“But like Seinfeld's comment that he "loves Asian Women..."

“Seinfeld”, I’ve found is another soon to be dead language.
I spoke a little of it with an intern last week and he didn’t know what I was talking about.
Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

Anonymous said...

It is more of less common knowledge at the present time that we are not merely seeing what is "external" to us. Our seeing is, in fact, an electronic apparition, developed in the nervous system of the brain. In other words all of our experiences are visionary projections or fabrications of our nervous systems.

Likewise, our sense of being physically embodied is communicated to us as consciousness through the subtle electronics of the nervous system. We are experiencing an apparition, an electronic sense of being identified with a gross physical body. The position in which we are experiencing perceptions is an extremely subtle position.

Mind is not merely in the brain and less than the brain. Mind is the circumstance of consciousness in its association with objects of all kind. Mind is universal, infinite in extent.

We are like radio transmitters and receivers, immersed in a vast ocean of electronic signals, a chaos of constantly changing patterns of energy

We are presuming a limited condition oif being, based on identification with attention in a grossly patterned state of embodiment. This embodied attention is surrounded by a massive psychic form or individuated state of energy. Each of us in our normal "waking" state is living out that condition of gross embodiment.

That is the disposition that defines "sanity" in our time. It is also the disposition that informs all of exoteric religiosity. Free exploration of the subtle and psychic realms of existence is absolutely taboo.

We are constantly propagandised into keepimg our attention in what is out "there"---no depth allowed.

Stay tuned to your TV set. Most peoples lives are "informed" by the grossly patterned "reality" and fantasies of TV land. Ever noticed how much violence there is on TV.

cousin dupree said...

I'll buy that.

Uncle Mikey said...

Man this is good stuff. I feel sorry for those who can't fathom it, and I don't just include atheists in that group. It's like wanting to give someone ice cream for the first time but knowing they're lactose intolerant. Sad in all directions.

Anyway, Bob for Emperor. I could write for a year and not end up with anything as thought-provoking as this single post, and you turn one just like it out every day. You have a fine gift, and just like God hopes you will, you share it. Good for us.

ximeze said...

Quick! Better get out my foil hat.

Is this the same Aninny that went on & on about TVs taking over the planet?

Course, last night a co-worker at the Cherry-packers showed me a plum-sized cherry & I totally believed HIM, even tho it turned out to BE a plum, with a cherry-stem inserted.

Oh well.

juliec said...

Hey, Van - I think Uncle Mikey has a video clip of you on his blog!

Anonymous said...

Many people claim to be religious and to be profoundly commited to to traditions that belong to a higher view of human culture, but very few people have a sense of the powers behind the world, or an experiental understanding of the psyche, or a moral grasp of what it truly means to be religios, or a heartfelt commitment to how one must live in order to realize a truly religious life and destiny.

True Religion is to enter ecstatically into the Domain of Radiant Being/Esistence that is beyond the limited personal self, or body-mind. It is to engage in higher intuitive, mystical, moral, and emotional processes that lead into and then beyond the realms of the psyche and even sll the realms beyond material visibility. However, very few people have any understanding of this process, or even any hope or knowledge that such a process may actually exist.

True religion is based on the psychic connection to Reality. There is no true religion without profound psychic activity. True religion expresses the inherent disposition and motive of the pysche, or the intuitive,feeling core of Man--male & female. The contemporary "religion" of civilised popular societies has little or no psyche remaining from its psychic, feeling origins.

The usual TV entranced man in our time is limited only to verbal thinking and exploitation of his physical existence. Everything else is taboo.

The psyche is the deep disposition of UNION with That which is Radiant and Alive. Only the unitary and self-transcending disposition of the psyche, rather than the separative and rigidly self-defining disposition of the conventional TV mind, can provide the foundation for true religion and a true humanity. Anything else is sub-human and benighted.

in othe words said...

PrincessSpirit has true GagDadian potential.....unlike me she obviously understands the beginning and end of BoB's book..:)


NoMo said...

Ximeze - Thankfully, I still have my foil fez on from when PrincessSpirit showed up. Oh, sorry, my TV's calling...gotta gets seriously pissed if I don't stay focused.

will said...

>>True Religion is to enter ecstatically into the Domain of Radiant Being/Esistence that is beyond the limited personal self<<

The entrance and a lot of the semesters aren't always all that ecstatic.

Big Black Steinway said...

They are if you run around in the rain with 10 foot steel pole!

Oh, -ec-static. Sorry. carry on!

ximeze said...

I only ran to the storage unit 5 mins away to get my foil-protected smurf suit & when I get back, people are PP2 dropping all over the place.


Did I miss a chapter? Has Dupree been working overtime with that delete key?

River Cocytus said...

Mack noticed her comment and commented on it. I dunno... guess Dupree is always on the job...

NoMo said...

With foil firmly in place, see 1:52.

wv: pzzvaoeu (who'da thunk?)

ximeze said...

PP2 was on the AnthiMack Show?

Don't tell you guys are still reading that drivel. Like PP2, that stuff got the two-paragraph-test-for-horses**t treatment. Yup, smells like dung.

Of course, you're still young in body & have time to spend however you choose. When the alloted 4 score & ten horizon gets closer, one gets to feeling there are better ways to spend what time is left.

wv dedicated to nomo: kanqfezn

OMG, totally missed 1:52. And that was without foil-protection.

Way to go!

juliec said...

Foil-protected smurf suit? Now that I'd like to see :D

Though it does suggest you're rather smaller than I imagined...

cosanostradamus said...

Just turned on the telly and Pleasantville is on the TVLand channel.


vogz said...

Apparently John Kerry is a bigot, too.,8816,1626498,00.html

"Kerry talked with several potential picks, including Gephardt and Edwards. He was comfortable after his conversations with Gephardt, but even queasier about Edwards after they met. Edwards had told Kerry he was going to share a story with him that he'd never told anyone else—that after his son Wade had been killed, he climbed onto the slab at the funeral home, laid there and hugged his body, and promised that he'd do all he could to make life better for people, to live up to Wade's ideals of service. Kerry was stunned, not moved, because, as he told me later, Edwards had recounted the same exact story to him, almost in the exact same words, a year or two before—and with the same preface, that he'd never shared the memory with anyone else. Kerry said he found it chilling, and he decided he couldn't pick Edwards unless he met with him again."

jwm said...

Tirade? Good heavens, I had the flamethrower set at 'lowball snark and insult'. I'll have to get that thing calibrated.
Good to see you here. I've always enjoyed your posts at LGF.
On The Quickening, technology, etc.
Consider that we (the regular crew here) have never seen one another in person. We do not know the sound of each others' voices. We do not even have the clues that a hand written note might give through penmanship and style, heck-we don't even have a choice of fonts.
No one here knows where any of the others live. Yet no one worries that thoughts and prayers for one another will be routed properly to their intended recipient. How does that work, Huh? But it does!
There is a community here. We hear that Ben's wife was injured and we send our prayers. Just as when I had some health problems and you sent them to me. There is a connection. And I don't think it can be explained (to my satisfaction) ;) by the proper transmission and arrangement of electrons on a computer monitor. There is a vibration, a resonance that I feel, and that I do not doubt for a minute that others here feel it as well. Cybershiping?
Fellowcybin? (sounds a lot like an amusing fungus.) Too tired to be clever, here. That's all.

wv: facunvoy It hates me, and I can't wish it into the cornfield.


Lisa said...

Ben, keeping your wife in my thoughts and prayers. Thank God she has you to take such good care of her!

Anonymous said...

Here is a link to an interview of Christopher Hitchens that exposes his flat on his back horizontal view of religion.

Anonymous said...


I did a search of my Bible (interesting how fast I can do that now) and found one occurrence of the word Niger. (Acts 13:1). It was associated with a man named Simeon in Antioch.

Matthew identifies a man named Simon of Cyrene as the bearer of the cross. Acts 13:1 does include the name of a Cyrene named Lucius who seems to know Simeon that was called Niger but I find your Shem, Japheth, Ham connection rather tenuous on this point.

River Cocytus said...

Hmm, I totally missed it too. Unusual, that.

Van said...

juliec said... "Hey, Van - I think Uncle Mikey has a video clip of you on his blog!"

Amatuer... I don't need to use my hands.

Van said...

JWM said "There is a community here. We hear that Ben's wife was injured and we send our prayers. Just as when I had some health problems and you sent them to me. There is a connection."

I had the same reaction after I saw the ref to Ben's site a bit ago - I've never seen anyones face, or heard their voice, but that chilled the heart....

Very interesting. Not to belittle our bod's at all, but the thing is, that we don't have 'ourselves' in the way of our communication here - it's pure thought to thought.

(which emphasises the need for the foil lined smurf suit)

Anonymous said...

Atheist here, so load up your flame throwers. I've read this blog periodically for a long time. I don't remember what or who first brought me here, but it was interesting enough that I put it on my weekly schedule.

What made me comment here for the first time was this:

"Atheism is nothing more and nothing less than a frank confession of total ignorance of any ontologically real spiritual plane transcending the senses."

I think that's a pretty sensational operational definition, though it's not entirely right.

One reason I read this blog is my own occasional apprehensions and experiences of deeply meaningful things that I can't wrap my brain around. I don't know whether these things are real or just a happy confluence of brain chemicals. I leave the question open, but admit to being highly interested in the answer and strongly hoping that "real" is the way it turns out.

Still, I remain an atheist because I don't *know*. I wouldn't care to defend my suspicions about the possibilities of the transcendant under cross-examination.

You're painting atheists with way too broad a brush, like assuming that because the Uruk Hai have two legs that all bipeds eat hobbits. Or all atheists eat hobbits. You get my geeky point.

It's a human failing common to all ideologies and commitments to claim more certainty than can be justified. In this respect, the main difference between the religious and the secular is that the secular pride themselves too highly on not having this fault and the religious all too frequently don't give a damn if they do.

Anyhow, I find what you write interesting and eloquent, and don't have a hard time understanding what you're driving at. I suspect the trolls who've recently annoyed you by claiming you aren't coherent have something that binds them together more than their atheism: their addiction to pseudo-intellectual disdain and faux-ennui as the first refuge of the poseur.

I mean this as constructive criticism: You should lay off tarbrushing all atheists. There are lots of honest ones (most of whom, admittedly, don't put "atheist" at the top of their resumes or self-descriptions) who don't consider their atheism a religion.

Gagdad Bob said...


Thank you. I have emphasized on a number of occasions that my criticisms are ONLY leveled at the doctrinaire, activist atheists (who are generally reactionary anti-theists), not toward people who are genuinely indifferent to God and certainly not to agnostics, which is an honorable position.

Everyone here is entirely open to anyone with doubts and to anyone who has a genuine question about religion. But nearly all of our troll-atheists are not here in good faith to learn, but to instruct -- even though they have nothing to teach but a doctrtine or stance that we long ago rejected.

So keep reading, and please feel free to ask questions.

Alan Mackenzie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Gagdad Bob said...

Remember, kits & coons -- this is your brain on atheism.