Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Evolutionary Creationism (7.24.11)


Alright, let's resolve this thing once and for all. 200,000 years is long enough for anyone to have to live in darkness about his origins. How do we reconcile God and Darwin, Adam and evolution, kings and chimps, Elvis and Scatter?

The most daunting aspect of this problem is the possibility of provoking the righteous wrath of Kepler Sings, who, if I get this wrong, might do to me what the Rrrrreverend Jackson wishes to do to Obama. I accept virtually everything he says, by the way. He is a fine spokesman for my right cerebral hemisphere. The difficulty lies in reconciling it with everything else I accept.

Let me preface this by saying that I am more or less willing to adopt what science determines to be "true" -- within sharp philosophical limits, of course -- for the same reason that I am willing to accept the advice of my doctor that if I don't take insulin I will die.

I mean... put it this way. As it so happens, my mother was a Christian Scientist, and I attended Christian Science Sunday school until the age of 10 or so. In fact, you could say that my mother was a devout Christian Scientist, with the exception of the Christian Science part. That is, when we left the plane of theological abstraction for the world of concrete reality, we took medicine and went to the doctor, just like anyone else -- in fact, more so; my mother was a bit of a hypochondriac by proxy. Frankly, there was no attempt whatsoever to reconcile what I heard in Sunday school with what went on the rest of the week, especially if I had a fever of 98.7, in which case it was off to the Doctor.

Which I suppose played a role in sowing the seeds of religious doubt in my mind, being that I became a vocal atheist by the age of complete ensoulment, or by the time I turned nine. So in my case, my Christian indoctrination completely backfired, as it was one of the primary causes of my rejection of it. Obviously, I am not alone in this regard. The absence of elementary consistency was abundantly evident even to a nine year-old, and a healthy mind seeks unity above all else. It is what the mind does and what it is for. It can also analyze into parts, but always for the purpose of synthesizing things into a higher and more complex unity.

The other day, I heard a brilliant analysis of Obama by Rush Limbaugh. He was pointing out that the reason he is reduced to such a stuttering prick (to quote Tommy DeVito) when off the teleprompter, is that he is a deeply divided person, either consciously or unconsciously (and undoubtedly both, in my opinion). He is the polar opposite of, say, Ronald Reagan, who always knew what he thought and could answer any question, for it was simply a matter of returning to first principles and applying them to the problem. Very scientific, if you will.

But one of the intrinsic problems in being a liberal is that you can never reveal your first principles, because if you explicitly articulate them, people will be repelled at what a contemptuous and supercilious asshat you are. Therefore, you must always couch them in terms of "compassion," or "helping the little guy," or "healing the planet," or "unity," or some other such blather. So in that regard, Obama is dealing with a more general problem that is intrinsic to liberalism, which is How to Fool the Idiots. One must be very cautious, because even the idiots are only so stupid. Thus Obama's constant verbal ticks: "uh, uh, uh, let me, uh, say this, uh, uh, I've been completely, uh, consistent about this, blah blah blah."

Being that liberalism is the political embodiment of multiplicity (or of an oppressive "bad unity" to try to heal it), it should not be surprising that its adherents are so intrinsically inconsistent. It's not so much that they are dishonest, but that the whole ideology is dishonest -- it is a lie from the ground up. Which is also why, the worse your character (or the less your intelligence), the better you will fare as a liberal politician, because you will be able to lie with great ease and even fool yourself.

Anyway, in Rush's analysis, he was pointing out that Obama is running several campaigns simultaneously, and that it is obviously a struggle for him to keep them all straight in his head, thus the great difficulty in being consistent and giving straight answers. Because of this, he is always one gaffe away from a major meltdown. For example, he's running one campaign for blacks, but an entirely different one for whites. (I won't even review the whole list, because it would take too much time, and I've already made my point; here is a list of the various irreconcilable positions which Obama must hopelessly try keep straight in his mind.)

My only point is that in the ultimate sense, science is the reduction of objective multiplicity to subjective unity. But the only reason this is possible is because the human intellect mirrors the unity of creation. Our mind operates the way it does because we live in a cosmos, which is to say, an ordered totality. And the cosmos is an ordered totality because it exhibits "nonlocal" internal relations. Because of this, every part of the cosmos embodies and participates in the whole, just as every gene contains the blueprint for the whole body. Again, the cosmos is thoroughly entangled with itself, which is why we may know anything and also why we may know anything. It is how and why Man may be the microcosmos that he is.

Now, metaphysics is all about first principles. As with the example of Reagan above, my intention is to have a completely consistent metaphysic, so that, in order to answer any question, I need only "return to first principles" to answer it. In this sense, Darwinism is a lie, because it cannot furnish any consistent first principles. In fact, whenever a committed Darwinist tries, they end up making self-refuting statements right out of the box, just like a liberal politician.

But so too, in my opinion, do literal "creationists." Of course you are free to insist upon young earth creationism, but you must know that it is going to contradict so much evidence that you will essentially have to split your mind in two. You will live in a scientific world with all of its blessings, and yet, a part of you will have to reject it, or at least not be able to fully integrate it into your belief system.

I made reference to this the other day when I only half-jokingly mentioned that my right brain agrees with Schuon about evolution, while my left brain agrees with Aurobindo (or Teilhard, if you like). One of Bion's adages (which he borrowed from someone else) is that the answer is the disease that kills curiosity. In the case of my book, I've posted in the past about how it was essentially the fruit of years spent in the state of "higher bewilderness," essentially trying to resolve the dilemma of Adam and evolution. In a sense, it would be easy to just come down on one side or the other, and make the coontradiction go away.

But for me to do this, I would feel as if I were back to the life of a Christian Scientist hypochondriac. For better or worse, the way my mind is built, it seeks unity or wholeness, which is a very different thing from "unicity." In other words, to simply accept an ideology -- whether scientific or religious -- and superimpose it on the world would be an example of unicity. Such a worldview will be "consistent" but it will not be complete, as it will necessarily have to omit a lot of details and anomalies.

Or, I could accept both science and religion, and not worry about the lack of reconciliation. Such a world view will be more complete, but it will lack consistency.

The Raccoon, dash it all, wishes to have a maximum of completeness and consistency -- at least as much as Gödel will allow. Which is a lot, once you accept the implications of his theorems, one of which is that truth is prior to our fragmentary logical "proofs" of it.

The point is, there must be a deeper way to harmonize revelation and science. But the only way to arrive at this is to dwell in the bewilderness and actually ratchet up the tension, as opposed to prematurely resolving it. The same thing applies to psychotherapy, at least as Bion envisioned it.

For example, a therapist might know what is going on with a patient after the very first session. But it won't do the patient any good to simply provide him the answer, which would essentially foreclose the evolution of O by superimposing mere (k) upon it. Rather, what you want to happen is for O to evolve into genuine (k) in the patient; it is the difference between (k)-->Ø and O-->(k). In order to accomplish the latter, one must exercise Yeats, I mean Keats, "negative capablity," which is to dwell in "uncertainties, mysteries, and doubts, without any irritable reaching after fact and reason."

If one does this long enough, one will eventually "snap." Now, being that a Raccoon is an extreme seeker and off-road spiritual aspirant, you might say that he wants the ultimate spiritual adventure. Therefore, he will feed his head with inconsistencies and contradictions until it basically explodes. But in a good way.

I think.

Well, I guess I've barely cleared my throat on this one, and now we're out of time. I assume we'll continue tomorrow.

126 Comments:

Blogger julie said...

"Therefore, he will feed his head with inconsistencies until it basically explodes. But in a good way."

Yep, that about sums it up. Anybody got an Excedrin?

7/30/2008 08:44:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

You might say that the previous 1032 posts have been the debris of this explosion....

7/30/2008 08:53:00 AM  
Anonymous Niggardly Phil said...

so we're the FAA investigators trying to figure out what the hell happened, but so we can try to recreate the event?

7/30/2008 08:59:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Yes! It's the difference between that and the Egyptian equivalent, which determined that their pilot couldn't have intentionally downed that plane, because suicide is forbidden in Islam.

7/30/2008 09:01:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

"My only point is that in the ultimate sense, science is the reduction of objective multiplicity to subjective unity. But the only reason this is possible is because the human intellect mirrors the unity of creation. Our mind operates the way it does because we live in a cosmos, which is to say, an ordered totality. And the cosmos is an ordered totality because it exhibits "nonlocal" internal relations. Because of this, every part of the cosmos embodies the whole, just as every gene contains the blueprint for the whole body. Again, the cosmos is thoroughly entangled with itself, which is why we may know anything and also why we may know anything. It is how and why Man may be the microcosmos that he is."

Yes, accepting that One IS, then what is True must integrate and unite higher up with what else is True. To attempt to say that what is demonstratably true - whether in science or religion - refutes the other, is to admit to not understanding either. Using our OC upside down Tree, it would be like a process of trying to excise the upper root, via ganging up with a large grouping of the lower branches. It is self refuting, and Soph destructive.

" For better or worse, the way my mind is built, it seeks unity or wholeness, which is a very different thing from "unicity.""

A big yepper there.

7/30/2008 09:01:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Yes, I see "unicity" as static, and "unity" as a kind of dynamic synthesis. As such, the life of the Raccoon is a perpetual "traveling catastrophe in hyperspace" (in the sense of catastrophe theory).

7/30/2008 09:14:00 AM  
Blogger NoMo said...

Although you may not agree with everything he says (his name is Matt Slick, after all), this article on Christianity and Science earns the NoMo seal of approval for pithiness and, of course, simplicity. It includes some great examples of how ancient writings vindicate science.

Kind of elementary, but hey, you know me!

7/30/2008 09:38:00 AM  
Blogger Warren said...

I'll give the nod to Schuon on this issue, FWIW. Aurobindo's mind was too infected by doctrines of material "progress" which he picked up in Victorian England and then attempted to translate onto the spiritual plane.

I'm sure that I'm being very simple-minded, but I believe in following the scientific evidence where it leads, and interpreting it in light of revelation. And the scientific evidence, so far, is that macro-evolution does not occur. Period. There is not a shred of evidence for it in the fossil record or in experience. The only reason we even think such a thing happened is due to an underlying materialist metaphysic that is self-contradictory and logically absurd. So, unless and until some kind of evidence for macro-evolution turns up, I assume that it's a modernist fairy tale. Huston Smith's idea of Platonic forms of the various species manifesting on our plane seems to me to accord better with the actual evidence.

Regarding the Fall and original sin, etc, I tend to think that, like the Redemption, it is an event outside of time (ie, "before the foundation of the World"). Adam corresponds, perhaps, with Plotinus' "Idea of Man" - the divine archetype of humanity, our "first ancestor" (not first in time, but in primacy). As in quantum physics, any number of different Creations were initially possible, but a choice made by this "Adam" (outside of time) caused one of these to be actualized - the only kind of Creation possible, given the choice that was made. This is why Adam's "original sin" caused not just the human race, but the whole Creation to fall (according to Christian revelation).

My best guess. At least it makes more sense to me than that Genesis is a story about cave-men.

7/30/2008 09:38:00 AM  
Blogger Joan of Argghh! said...

The affable spirit of this post transcends all other posts on this subject, IMHO, and properly reflects the good will and good humor of the Raccoon Way at its most Slackful rest.

Regardless which side of the brain is receiving it, the Truth in today's offering is approachable, and is also unified with little difficulty.

And then, the stunner: unicity!

Absolutely inspired. A word for what seems to many to be the right idea of kumbayah and can't-we -all -just- get -along-ism. Unicity is just insulting to spiritual intelligence; it's nutritional value as appetizing as another rubber-chicken award dinner.

As we watch language and worthy words being co-opted by the insanity of the Left, how appropriate that new and wonder-full words are being coined in the Realm of the Raccoon!

7/30/2008 09:48:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

Heh - I wish I'd coined this one: Hopium.

7/30/2008 09:57:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Warren:

What you say about Aurobindo may well be true, but I believe that as far as he was concerned, he was actually returning to a true interpretation of the Vedas.

His corpus is obviously too vast to summarize -- especially since I have to get to work -- but I just plucked a volume from random, his exegesis of the Upanishads. In it he writes that

"The central idea of the Upanishads... is a reconciliation and harmony of fundamental opposites.... [A] basis is laid down by the idea of the One and stable Spirit inhabiting and governing a universe of movement and the forms of movement....

"The one stable Lord and the multiple movement are identified as one Brahman of whom, however, the unity and stability are the higher truth and who contains all as well as inhabits all."

So I don't think Aurobindo is placing evolution above God, as it were. Rather, he sees creation itself as a dynamic and necessarily progressive movement from "within" God, as the "involved" creation "evolves" or returns to Creator.

In one of his poems, he writes,

O Thou of whom I am the instrument,
O secret Spirit and Nature housed in me
Let all my mortal being now be blent
In Thy still glory of divinity

In short, to the extent that evolution is occurring, Aurobindo felt that it was all in the context of everything "evolving" back toward God.

7/30/2008 10:03:00 AM  
Blogger Warren said...

B'ob,

Very good comments re Aurobindo, and I defer to your deeper knowledge of his thought.

I do agree that he believed he was returning to the true meaning of the Vedas. He was reacting mostly against Sankara's Advaita and Nagarjuna's Madhyamika, which he regarded (correctly, I think) as extreme and unbalanced views.

"He sees creation itself as a dynamic and necessarily progressive movement from "within" God, as the "involved" creation "evolves" or returns to Creator."

Such a view is perfectly consonant, as far as I can see, with traditional Christianity. In fact, the whole idea of evolution is OK with Christianity, I think, as long as it doesn't involve the idea that the whole thing is happening "on its own", or that things are somehow getting "better" because their forms are changing.

"The central idea of the Upanishads... is a reconciliation and harmony of fundamental opposites...."

Maybe this is the whole answer to your original dilemma (Schuon vs. Aurobindo).

7/30/2008 10:28:00 AM  
Blogger River Cocytus said...

I was hoping my comment from yesterday might have made some sense... but perhaps it was too verbose. My point is that nonlocal 'hypostases' call existing hypostases to fulfill the completion of a particular nature. We might say then that 'man' was prefigured (but unknowable) from the beginning of the cosmos, and non-existent within it until it was able to exist. My interpretation of Genesis is that man lived in paradise until he 'ate of the tree' and was banished; this moment coincided, as it had to, with the 'homo sapiens' becoming 'real humans', i.e, pneumatic beings. The first men were cave men, but like Chesterton points out, we don't know how savage they really were. Monks live in caves, and they're such gentlemen!

Each non-local form is calling the fulfillment of that essence. There are so many layers to it (And yet it is one) that to say it all came into being all-at-once and not through time seems to me now, very silly. (no offense) Think of it this way: The 'true' existence, the unchanging one, is both 'past' and 'future' and 'now', but only 'now' potentially, in the past we can see the prefiguration of it, like looking at the final seed before it died and erupted into a plant, and the future is 'void', that is, subject to the action of so many wills that only God can say what might happen.

7/30/2008 10:31:00 AM  
Blogger NoMo said...

I find it significant that Jesus seemed to take the creation account fairly literally when addressing the Pharisees' question about divorce (as recorded by both Matt and Mark). I wonder how He might phrase it for today's Pharisees?

7/30/2008 11:36:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Negative capability" comes from Keats, by the way, not Yeats.

/godfrey

7/30/2008 11:38:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Thank you. Duly noted.

7/30/2008 11:52:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

That's what I get for dwelling in uncertainties, mysteries, and doubts, without any irritable reaching after facts.

7/30/2008 11:55:00 AM  
Blogger lance said...

Warren, So was the "Garden" a completely metaphorical event then? Was God just attempting to create a set of worshipers and it failed? What do metaphorical coverings look like when one is hiding from God?

7/30/2008 11:56:00 AM  
Blogger walt said...

"...one must exercise Keats "negative capablity," which is to dwell in "uncertainties, mysteries, and doubts, without any irritable reaching after fact and reason."

Hmm. Smells familiar.

Sort of the High-ness of Minus, rather than Me-ness.

Good post, Bob! Keep it going!

7/30/2008 12:03:00 PM  
Blogger River Cocytus said...

The Fathers teach that before the fall, Adam and Eve were clothed in the uncreated light. Given the notion that Paradise, that is, the Garden, was a Spiritual place (which does not mean that there wasn't any substance to it nor that it was simply a metaphor) to dwell there would require being completely spiritual. Loss of that would cause 'banishment' - however you wish to describe it. It is like there was a vertical impact into the horizontal cosmos - a fall.

Simple enough!

7/30/2008 12:08:00 PM  
Blogger River Cocytus said...

PS - I think it's similar to the idea of laws being angelic powers. They're not merely metaphors for things that happen, but super-realities. Thus perhaps it is better to think of the Garden as a kind of supernatural archetype of all that is, which once lost can only be regained through long suffering. Thus it is literally real without having to 'have a place where you can find the guy with the flaming sword guarding it' - that's in your heart.

7/30/2008 12:12:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

Lance said "What do metaphorical coverings look like when one is hiding from God?"

Probably something like questions about what the meaning of Is, Is....

7/30/2008 12:13:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

Thoughts that seek not to reveal, but to cover and obscure... to hide you spiritual nakedness.

7/30/2008 12:17:00 PM  
Blogger Robin Starfish said...

Multiplicity Gone Wild, or Unicity We Can Believe In.

7/30/2008 12:18:00 PM  
Blogger Warren said...

Lance: No, no, and I don't know.

What RC said. I think he and I are on the same page, or at least in the same chapter.

7/30/2008 12:22:00 PM  
Anonymous maineman said...

Van, you mean thoughts like, oh, to just grab something random,"There's got to be some way I can make it so that there's no more suffering or poverty"?

7/30/2008 12:30:00 PM  
Blogger Ray Ingles said...

Warren: "And the scientific evidence, so far, is that macro-evolution does not occur. Period. There is not a shred of evidence for it in the fossil record or in experience."

Bob: I call this a "dimensional defense mechanism," because the way it most commonly works is to render the meaningful meaningless by unconsciously attacking the links that connect them.

7/30/2008 12:31:00 PM  
Blogger NoMo said...

Drop the "un" and you've got a perfect self-diagnosis, Dr. Ray.

DDM - I like it. You may be on your way to recovery!

7/30/2008 12:47:00 PM  
Blogger River Cocytus said...

Macro-evolution is not by natural selection. I think that's the point. We don't know the actual mechanism, or rather, the level which science has reached currently (and proceeded to seal itself off from growth) can not accommodate for the type of process it takes to move from no eye to human eye. How do these structures emerge? It is not explained by simple natural selection. My explanation of the nonlocal form is to say, there are forces - which we do not yet understand - which drive against natural selection to create an environment in which it can function. That is where I agree with Warren.

7/30/2008 12:51:00 PM  
Blogger mushroom said...

River said: My interpretation of Genesis is that man lived in paradise until he 'ate of the tree' and was banished; this moment coincided, as it had to, with the 'homo sapiens' becoming 'real humans', i.e, pneumatic beings.

Adam and Eve were as deathless and eternal as their Creator prior to the Fall. Therefore, they are not "material" beings as we understand that now. To become "human" for Adam was devolution.

Does that agree with what you're saying?

7/30/2008 01:14:00 PM  
Anonymous maineman said...

River,

Wouldn't that then be supernatural selection?

7/30/2008 01:14:00 PM  
Blogger Robin Starfish said...

Obama's shooting pure uncut hopium through his earholes. Maybe there's the slightest chance it will shock him enough to put him into rehab before the election.

Naaah.

From his Rolling Stone interview:

What are you listening to now? What's on your iPod?

When I was in high school, probably my sophomore or junior year, I started getting into jazz. So I've got a lot of Coltrane, a lot of Miles Davis, a lot of Charlie Parker. I've got all the artists we've already talked about, but I've got everything from Howlin' Wolf to Yo-Yo Ma to Sheryl Crow to Jay-Z.

Stuttering prick example of 'what I learned about myself during the campaign".

The whole RS interview says more about the slithering Jan Wenner than the Obamessiah.

7/30/2008 01:17:00 PM  
Blogger erasmus said...

River Cocytus says:

"We don't know the actual mechanism, or rather, the level which science has reached currently (and proceeded to seal itself off from growth) can not accommodate for the type of process it takes to move from no eye to human eye. How do these structures emerge?"

Through the magic of random determinism! Or through the magic of chaos theroy! Or through, uh, something...

Help me out here Ray. I need to call your model something. I'm not going to call it "Darwinsim"?

Maybe the emergence of these structures is implicit when the amount of energy within the universe (the energy contained) and the geometry of space-time (the geometric container) are properly taken into account.

7/30/2008 01:18:00 PM  
Blogger Magnus Itland said...

When you feel the need to foray into science to justify your religion, have you not already left the simple faith? I remember one of my mystic teachers saying, on the topic of Cain's wives: "That was before my time." He left it at that.

Do not overextend yourself by trying to conquer what is not your Promised Land.

7/30/2008 01:38:00 PM  
Anonymous ximeze said...

erasmus:
Could you be mocking our Mascot?

Tisk Tisk

7/30/2008 01:38:00 PM  
Blogger Robin Starfish said...

Sidebar - the Man.

7/30/2008 01:38:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Robin--

Very funny Obama link! It's like he's so burdened under layers of lies, that he can't ever just spit it out. Reminds me of what brother Kramden would say to brother Norton: will you get on with it!

7/30/2008 01:47:00 PM  
Blogger River Cocytus said...

Yes. But - recall this line, "Let them not eat of the tree of life lest they become immortal..."

It's weirder than that.

Supernatural selection. I was gonna say that, but I thought, no... too gimmicky...

But now that the cat's outta the bag...

...

7/30/2008 01:58:00 PM  
Blogger Warren said...

RC,

I agree that if macro-evolution does occur, that natural selection does not come close to explaining it (although it seems to do a pretty good job explaining so-called micro-evolution).

To clarify my position: I am not denying that macro-evolution occurs - it may or it may not, and it doesn't upset me in the least either way. All I say is that there is no evidence (yet) that it does occur.

Our friend Ray, of course, seems to believe that he has got such evidence - if so, then give that man a Nobel Prize! But I strongly suspect that what he has actually got are some very large inferences and rather romantic leaps of faith, all based (perhaps unconsciously) upon a materialist metaphysic - a metaphysic which, humorously enough, would (if true) rule out the very possibility of there being valid inferences about anything whatsoever. So I remain a sceptic.

7/30/2008 01:59:00 PM  
Blogger erasmus said...

Ximexe says:

"erasmus:
Could you be mocking our Mascot?

Tisk Tisk"

I really like the phrase "random determinism" and I want ever so much to associate it with Ray.

I'd like Ray's imput before I label his position.

If he prefers, it can be "chaotic determinism".

And every mascot needs a slogan. "Darwinism" is not a pretty slogan. Nor is "I don't really know."

7/30/2008 02:00:00 PM  
Blogger River Cocytus said...

Er, what I mean is that the Fathers say (here I go again...) That God intended us to eat of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. I think time was intended to unfold, but in creating free wills, God made certain that he would not be determining how it would go down. Part of his eternal kenosis, ya know.

Thus we are not so much devolved, since spirit does not evolve, as we are beneath ourselves.

7/30/2008 02:01:00 PM  
Blogger River Cocytus said...

Ray, read this.

You can't escape it... it's inevitable!

7/30/2008 02:02:00 PM  
Blogger erasmus said...

I suppose another slogan would be (Ray)-->(Ray), but that isn't much fun to say out loud.

7/30/2008 02:10:00 PM  
Blogger erasmus said...

Hmmm, maybe Ø-->(Ray) would be better, but now I'm just pulling stuff out of nowhere.

7/30/2008 02:12:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Actually, I kinda like that last one, Erasmus - it has a nice flow to it, rolls smoothly off the tongue.

7/30/2008 02:32:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Robin, I got halfway through that RS article, but then I had to stop - I feel like I need a shower to wash off all the excess lube.
Ew.

The audio portion is so telling - how do you get this:

"In conversation, his thoughtfulness is punctuated by an easy wit, much as his clockwork campaign is a stage for his eloquence and charismatic gifts as a leader."

out of that random mess of incomplete sentences and partially thought thoughts?

The effects of hopium are dangerous, indeed.

7/30/2008 02:40:00 PM  
Blogger NoMo said...

I may just have stumbled upon Ray's theme song (gotta watch where I'm walking).

*^)

7/30/2008 02:46:00 PM  
Anonymous christopher said...

GBob
I am way behind on this one and can have no opinion at all on the various comments, except the one about how kind this post is while it holds true to the topic. Way to go!

As for what you wrote about the built in yearnings of mind and the reason for them, I say Ho!

Decades ago I came to the same conclusion, stating to myself that the universe is not a trick or hoax and therefore if illusory then still in a kindly or at least neutral way. This is the first thing that must be settled, the issue of trust. Thus my mind is in the image of the world is in the image of God, a kind of equation that became my First of all Firsts. I am because the world is, because God is. As a matter of existence it does not reverse, but as a matter of mind it does, a matter of symmetry. The starting point. This closely follows the business of illusion not being hallucination (because the world is not a hoax). Thus I choose through faith that I can trust my senses and intuition to show me a veiled something that unveiled I will still in some way recognize.

I was in my twenties when I hollered BS! to any other choice, firmly putting to rest the possibility that the experience that saved my life was either hallucination or some demonic nastiness. This is a matter of faith and must be because first principles as we all know cannot be proven within the system.

But I will never forget the tension of fearing for my soul in the early years and how I had to work so hard, study so much to find the clues that permitted me to take my leap of faith. The remnant of that time is for me a goad to vigilance. I am never quite at rest in this matter any more than a true soulful scientist is, ready to change everything if I must on the basis of new revelation if it comes.

7/30/2008 02:50:00 PM  
Anonymous ximeze said...

Aha! Today's post has solved a riddle that's been bugging me for a couple of days.

Scenario: read Kempler's comments & altho they 'made sense', kept sensing something was 'wrong'. Reread them several times: yep, they're ok, but the 'wrongness' got stronger. WTF! Best I could come up with was that somehow 'Joy' was missing....?

"He is a fine spokesman for my right cerebral hemisphere."

Doh! Frankly, that had never occured to me (well, I AM a girl, so no snickering Van)

"...and a healthy mind seeks unity above all else. It is what the mind does and what it is for. It can also analyze into parts, but always for the purpose of synthesizing things into a higher and more complex unity."

There was nothing 'wrong' with Kempler's comments, it was just my left-brain squawking cause it was feeling left-out of the party. Now I gno to look for it.

OC is the Synthesis-To-Unity Bomb!

7/30/2008 02:59:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Being that he hasn't commented today, I hope it's clear that I wasn't criticizing him... It was actually a compliment. I think that prophets speak in that kind of resonant language, which is something that maybe I'll get into tomorrow....

7/30/2008 03:03:00 PM  
Anonymous ximeze said...

erasmus

How about "Uncarved Block"?

7/30/2008 03:15:00 PM  
Blogger erasmus said...

ximexe says:

"erasmus

How about "Uncarved Block"?"

Hmmmm. Sounds kind of wooden to me.

7/30/2008 03:27:00 PM  
Anonymous cousin Dupree said...

Look what happens when the stuttering prick goes off the teleprompter. If the MSM wanted to, they could turn him into the biggest public idiot since Dan Quayle.

7/30/2008 03:34:00 PM  
Anonymous christopher said...

Warren wrote
"As in quantum physics, any number of different Creations were initially possible, but a choice made by this "Adam" (outside of time) caused one of these to be actualized - the only kind of Creation possible, given the choice that was made. This is why Adam's "original sin" caused not just the human race, but the whole Creation to fall (according to Christian revelation)."

God I love this site. I have the exact same feeling about the ongoing creation - that is, Adam in your sense is current, is you and me now, this lifetime. The fall is in this sense, and is an agreement between me and God. This in reference to "as above so below" and "in the beginning is now and ever shall be" with God infinitely active in sustaining creation NOW. Thus my "beginning" is a microcosm of the original beginning.

7/30/2008 03:55:00 PM  
Blogger erasmus said...

Christopher says:

"I was in my twenties when I hollered BS! to any other choice, firmly putting to rest the possibility that the experience that saved my life was either hallucination or some demonic nastiness."

I would think that if it saved your life then demonic nastiness was probably relatively easy to exclude as a possibility. Not so much the hallucination possibily, though.

I can say that your particular experience appears to be well outside of my list of "things people experience" that are associated with religion/spirituality.

I am, however, adding it to my list.

7/30/2008 03:58:00 PM  
Blogger River Cocytus said...

Chris: yes, I think that's correct, provided we do not remove the distinctness of the two. Likewise with the holy icons: In a sense the image is its prototype, but while remaining distinct.

7/30/2008 04:04:00 PM  
Anonymous maineman said...

Geez, RC, nothing like coming back after a long layoff and getting called gimmicky. But dontcha kinda like it?

On Obama, I love the part where he says he doesn't get off on all of the attention. Wow. He really does think we're stupid.

It's obvious by the clip that he's working on his "arrogance" problem as best he can, but he really can't because it permeates him. No matter who he tries to be, he's still him.

I thought for awhile, and still kind of do, that he may perform some masterful slight of hand that proves the Antichrist is an active part of this. But the more I see, the more I'm beginning to suspect that we're just watching Icarus go down.

7/30/2008 04:16:00 PM  
Blogger River Cocytus said...

maineman (please forgive me)

He just means he stopped masturbating to it.

Jeez, to have to be the one who tells everyone...

(I will never live down this comment.. therefore I cannot resist posting it!)

7/30/2008 04:22:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Dupree,

"If the MSM wanted to, they could turn him into the biggest public idiot since Dan Quayle."

Since they're so clearly not up to the task (too busy helping him "not" get off on all the attention), I guess it's up to those of us who do see the naked dude parading around the square, hoping to be made emperor.

7/30/2008 04:34:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

I'd like to think we're offering him a metaphorical fig leaf, but he probably wouldn't take it from us anyway ;)

7/30/2008 04:36:00 PM  
Blogger Ricky Raccoon said...

Gagdad,
I’ve wondered occasionally what Schuon would “sound” like if he commented here. Mr. Kepler brought it up again…made me sit up straight. Because he made no bones about it, I liked that right away. This is not to say he is on Schuon’s level. Maybe he is. Anyway, this feels like I’m talking behind his back… My point is there was one part that rubbed me wrong, but not because I thought it was incorrect. Which part is was is not important. When I read it again and closer I found I didn’t really disagree. I think it had to do with breaking through a shell to something that already resides deeper. Maybe like the resistance of a mind parasite. I may be using that critter too loosely. But if you don’t know you have one, how will you know until you break ‘im?

7/30/2008 04:38:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

I love Kepler's comments, the way he stands up for orthodoxy without apology. I'm the unorthodox -- or at least non-orthodox -- one. I suppose I have such a vertical orientation to scripture, that the horizontal aspects don't concern me much. In other words, if the world started yesterday or 13 billion years ago, it's still a miracle. Whether or not we evolved from apes, the human being is still in the image of the creator. We are still a vertical descent, whatever happened horizontally. So science certainly poses no threat to my worldview, especially if it is considered through the lens of perennial truth.

7/30/2008 04:50:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

And the idea of Schuon hanging out here is a very good premise for a sitcom...

7/30/2008 04:53:00 PM  
Blogger River Cocytus said...

Bob: So... evolution
Schoun: Man, not this again. Look, are we going to start with the Upinshads, the Bible or ... what? Seriously
Bob: Either sounds good!

Also, Good stuff here

And...

From Joe vs the Volcano:

"My father says that almost the whole world is asleep. Everybody you know. Everybody you see. Everybody you talk to. He says that only a few people are awake and they live in a state of constant total amazement."

7/30/2008 04:58:00 PM  
Blogger River Cocytus said...

Er, not to double post overly but Lileks was so funny today that I nearly lost my breakfast

7/30/2008 05:00:00 PM  
Anonymous Schuon said...

Mr. Godwin. Do you have something that you wish to share with the rest of the class?

7/30/2008 05:03:00 PM  
Blogger Ricky Raccoon said...

It wasn’t me. It was Bob.

7/30/2008 05:06:00 PM  
Blogger Ray Ingles said...

So, like, what would count as evidence for "macroevolution", like eyes?

(I was reminded of this comment I saw on a different site: "It's like saying that there's 'microwalking' which is what I do from the car park to the office every morning, and down to the shops on weekends, and that can result in changes of my location over time on a small scale; but the idea that people, over tens of thousands of years walked out of central Africa into Europe, then over to Asia, across to North America and into South America - that's 'macrowalking' and it's impossible. God must have put them there.")

7/30/2008 05:09:00 PM  
Blogger Ray Ingles said...

Here's a koan that Dawkins proposed once. "What good is 1% of an eye?"

7/30/2008 05:11:00 PM  
Blogger River Cocytus said...

Ray: If there were men on the moon we'd have to ask how they got there.

They didn't walk.

7/30/2008 05:14:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

What am I doing, Mr. Schuon? Learning about God and eating some pizza.

7/30/2008 05:14:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

But the real question is, are you going to share the pizza?

7/30/2008 05:18:00 PM  
Anonymous schuon said...

Sit down, Mr. Spicoli!

7/30/2008 05:21:00 PM  
Anonymous Jerry said...

He can kiss 2% of my as*!

7/30/2008 05:23:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

(Ha - I'm slow on the uptake today)

I've been thinking about this, Mr.
Schuon. If I'm here... and you're here... doesn't that make it our
time? So I thought I'd order us a pizza. Just leave me a lot of bologna...

7/30/2008 05:35:00 PM  
Blogger Ray Ingles said...

River - What's the hypostasis of a ring species?

7/30/2008 05:36:00 PM  
Blogger Susannah said...

I loved Kepler's singing. :) Loved your post, too, Bob, because I'm interested in learning more about your perspective. Since I do come from the orthodox perspective, I don't really agree with it, but it's a pretty minor variance from the spirit of OC.

Ray's giving science lessons again. Hallelujah!

7/30/2008 06:04:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

Well.

This seems somewhat less than cosmic, but at the very time you were writing about eating pizza... I was eating pizza.

Not that surprising, it being the food of the Godz and all, but still.

There you go.

Safinating C? (fascinating somewhat scrambled).

7/30/2008 06:24:00 PM  
Blogger River Cocytus said...

Ray: easy. What is a species?

7/30/2008 06:26:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

Oh... come on ray... even Wiki's article on the development of the Eye is more interesting than that one.

If you're going to miss the point, at least do it with interesting pointers.

Sheesh.

I take it you didn't have Pizza tonight?

7/30/2008 06:35:00 PM  
Blogger QP said...

I'm too sure about the term "orthodox" perspective, but I can point us to B16's.

I googled "Ratzinger and creator" and after reading 5 articles, I settled on this, the first one, to link to. A "Ratzinger and evolution" search is another rich vein to mine.

I love the Pope!

Father Austriaco, in this essay,responds to the Catholic creationist movement by arguing that contemporary exegetes have sufficient reason to move beyond a literalist reading of the Genesis text. He begins by summarizing the three hermeneutical principles employed by then Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, now the Holy Father, Benedict XVI, in his non-literalist interpretation of the six-day account of Genesis, traditionally called the Hexaemeron.

[Reverend Nicanor Pier Giorgio Austriaco, O.P., received his Ph.D. in biology from M.I.T. in 1996 and his S.T.L. from the Dominican House of Studies in 2005. He currently serves as an assistant professor of biology and adjunct professor of theology at Providence College in Providence, Rhode Island.]

7/30/2008 06:42:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Excellent. Benedict comes very close to being an Orthodox Raccoon. All he's missing is a few good one-liners in his encyclicals.

7/30/2008 06:55:00 PM  
Anonymous Slim Pickens said...

Just supposin' there, Ray, that you was an expert in Quantum Mechanics, and you wanted to explain it to an old re-tarded cowboy -- like myself.

I think high math is long division. So you're goin' have to explain it in real simple terms without none a' them E-kwashuns. So, you'll explain it to me.

Then, 'cause I ain't really dumb, just under-edjudikated, I'll misunderstand you, cause you'll be talkin' 'bout a cat in a box and whether it's dead er not. And, I'll say, "Well, hell, son, open th' damn box."

So, now you know how these boys and girls here feel when they're talkin' about stuff you think you understand 'cause the words look vaguely familial-yer.

The truth is, son, you understand these here folks about as well as a brain-damaged American squirrel understands a readin' of Goethe in German. The difference is the squirrel ain't laborin' under no delusions that he knows what's a'goin' on.

7/30/2008 07:19:00 PM  
Blogger Joan of Argghh! said...

Slim, you're mah hero!

7/30/2008 07:21:00 PM  
Anonymous Petey said...

I smell Will in the house.

7/30/2008 07:31:00 PM  
Blogger Joan of Argghh! said...

Must be free Will...

7/30/2008 07:36:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

"...he was a man at ease.
but somethings happened,
it's come to this,
he's undergoes a metamorphosis...


(shhhh!)

;-)

7/30/2008 08:08:00 PM  
Anonymous ximeze said...

Oh dear, had not meant my 2:59 Mr Kepler (Kepler, not Kempler) comment as criticism of the content of his comments.

(You're right Ricky, it does feel like talking behind his back)

The Aha! was about the mechanism that was suddenly clear: a way to resolve these kinds of internal puzzles. Mr Kepler's comments were just one-set of long-term bafflement for me: no-clue-how-to-resolve-these riddles & no idea even, where to start.

It had never occurred to me at all that a 'wrongness' could be a Rightbrain / Leftbrain parsing issue. Now I realize that if something passes the 'Not BS' test, which Mr Kepler's comments did, and does 'not sing internally', it's likely a failure, on my part, in being unable to unpack the notes so I can hear the tune that's playing. Now I know where to look.

It was the sudden, internal, clicking-into-place of a method to approach these riddles.
Too cool!

7/30/2008 08:19:00 PM  
Anonymous ximeze said...

or should it be 'able to unpack'....

7/30/2008 08:26:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Ximeze, I was having the same trouble.

From the article QP linked,

"Sticking to a literalist reading of Genesis would do violence to the original meaning of the human author and thus to the truth God wanted to manifest through his words."

I think any Raccoon knows this, either consciously or sub-consciously, which is perhaps why the difficulty at first with Kepler's commentary yesterday; it seemed at first he was advocating literalism, when really it went much deeper than that.

7/30/2008 08:33:00 PM  
Blogger NoMo said...

Sing, Kepler!

Please?

7/30/2008 08:51:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bob- I guess I'm a "lizard"- Over 5000 posts at LGF, and remarkably, I haven't been banned yet. I'm certain you and everyone here who has read LGF over for the last few years will know who I am, although I do not post dozens of comments each day because I actually have a life, and a job.
The one thing that always amazed me was the "lizards" who post numerous times each day. I mean do the math- divide the number of comments by the number of days since they registered, and some people there seem to have NOTHING better to do than peruse and post at LGF not only all day, but all week and all month. I'm talking about dozens of posts, everyday.
Anyway, I've been trying to figure out what CJ's obsession is with the
creation/evolution argument. I guess he doesn't care that he's turning off (and banning) a lot of his most loyal readers/posters just because they disagree with him.
I know when I go to LGF, as I just did, I was shocked to see ANOTHER evolution thread.
I just rolled my eyes, as I'm certain a lot people who USED TO regularly read LGF do, and came over here to see what's going on.

7/30/2008 09:11:00 PM  
Blogger NoMo said...

Read this tonight and was reminded again why I keep chipping away...

"Everything in the Sacred Books shines and glistens, even in its outer shell; but the marrow of it is sweeter. If you want the kernel, you must break the shell."

- St Jerome

That nearly anyone in the world can open those books today for themselves, and seek out the sweetness of lasting Truth, is to me, the greatest miracle. "Whoever has ears, let them hear."

7/30/2008 09:30:00 PM  
Anonymous Kepler Sings said...

Bob,

I think I can see where you are heading, and science can go on proving, not a problem at all, they may even prove species DO evolve, but at this time I don't think there is any credible evidence.

And the universe has definitely evolved via pre-set physical constants. Wonderful to read the first few seconds of the Big Bang, or star formation or formation of planetary system. All backed by impressive math and observation.

And if GOOD science proves species evolved, I will lay down my sword. As far as Christian theology though; original sin by one set of parents, I don't see how that can be allegory or metaphor. If it is then Christ is merely, or would only need to be, allegory.

I know I am using the Bible to defend the Bible, but some things have to be assumed or there is no further conversation.

Whether gibbering apes pranced about and God put His spirit on one of them, or God created a single man out of dirt (good allegory, even in an Evolutionist sense right there) I leave to paleontologists and anthropologist, I am not curious about everything. God forbid I pick a fight here, some here wield language like John Dillinger wielded pistols.

Probably more than even the direct attack on my faith via Evolution what irritates me is the superior and smug tone of those that are practicing a religion far more doctrinaire than mine, yet they pretend to be O, so objective!

7/30/2008 10:14:00 PM  
Anonymous Kepler Sings said...

Read through a lot of comments here and I don't take anything said here as personal criticism. This is an exceptional community of what I consider real intellects, of real thinkers. I mostly just sit and drink in and add my somewhat Old Testament gut-fighter input.

Something not usually known is that you must be taught to think, I think I first got a glimpse of that through reading C.S. Lewis. And before that the thousands of mostly science fiction books I read as a kid.

I read Bob's book and enjoyed it immensely, although I skipped most of the math (sorry). I immediately liked the idea because I am well aware that the words we have used to convey the OTHER, the Divine, the Center, if you will, have been just about ruined by religious misuse.

I myself will stay pretty close to scriptural terms because that is years of study, and the words were not destroyed for me, I made them come alive as they were.

And I am really not as doctrinaire as some suppose, I just HATE Pharisees, who showed themselves on LGF, and show themselves everyday as our modern Left, media and other such pigs and destroyers.

And if people have some approach to God other than mine, as long as they are after truth in the inward being, they will find it, perhaps we will all meet each other in the same place. I sense this place is hell on poseurs.

7/30/2008 10:43:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Kepler Sings wrote:


"I know I am using the Bible to defend the Bible, but some things have to be assumed or there is no further conversation."

Now doesn't that just inspire confidence in KS's veracity?

Some things just have to be assumed...yeah. That'll get it done: Not.

7/30/2008 10:58:00 PM  
Anonymous Kepler Sings said...

This is somewhat dated, but still a very good read regarding creation versus evolution. By Arthur Custance, a Professor of Biology at the University of Toronto. I believe he died in 1984.

His doctoral thesis was ten volumes called the Doorway Papers. It is a very good read with all the gazzilions of footnotes to scratch the academician's itch. Some here might particularly enjoy the book titled Noah's Three Sons. Some very good work here on the early appearance of man, and migration routes, and little known facts such as all cultures on earth no matter how remote, or different, have only two things in common.

One is they all have a story of a great flood, and a boat. The other is all cultures celebrate a Holiday like our Halloween...celebrating death etc.

Not bad evidence pointing to an actual flood event that marked early man so that it is the only universal story in all cultures. Another good book in the series is the one about Evolution and Creation.
www.custance.org

7/30/2008 11:04:00 PM  
Anonymous Kepler Sings said...

annonomous the dumb troll said:

"I know I am using the Bible to defend the Bible, but some things have to be assumed or there is no further conversation."

Now doesn't that just inspire confidence in KS's veracity?

Some things just have to be assumed...yeah. That'll get it done: Not.



Probably missed this little PRE-AMBLE written by men so much dumber than you:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

7/30/2008 11:11:00 PM  
Blogger Magnus Itland said...

I have no doubt that there is a good scientific explanation for macroevolution. Why? Because this is God's mode of operation. He does not resort to "magic" unless it is to make an important point. Notice in the Gospels how each miracle is a sign with a deeper meaning, which nourishes the soul. I see the same thing in my own life. The way things happen at the right time and place is virtually never "magic" but always miraculous. I also see the same thing in history. Look at how various prophecies are fulfilled without the use of vulgar magic. It would simply be out of character for God to use magic to create the species when he could make an understandable process for it. The latter would simply be a more intelligent design.

In other words, macroevolution is inherently understandable (given enough data) because it is part of cosmos, and cosmos is understandable because it is made by God, and we were made in his image. God's "reason" in the material world is understandable by humans and not by any other species. How is that not proof of God and of a "special creation" (in one sense of the word at least) of the human spirit?

The universe will always be mysterious beyond our understanding; but the fact that we can understand it at all is an even greater mystery.

7/30/2008 11:27:00 PM  
Anonymous ximeze said...

"Now doesn't that just inspire confidence in KS's veracity?"

Yes, actually it does. However, given the tone of your comment, A-no-no, don't have confidence you'll have a clue as to why.

7/30/2008 11:34:00 PM  
Anonymous Kepler Sings said...

magnus itland said:

I have no doubt that there is a good scientific explanation for macroevolution. Why? Because this is God's mode of operation. He does not resort to "magic" unless it is to make an important point.

Your point is exactly the opposite of what Christ was showing us about God. Yes God initiates process, or physical law. He also revealed through Christ that He is above or outside of process, what are so many of the miracles of Christ (water to wine, loaves and fishes feeding multitudes, power over death, power over all aspects of creation AND the processes that rule that creation.) And none of what God did is vulgar magic, it is a demonstration that He is the one with authority over it all, He is the OWNER. What is this squeamishness among modern man to confront the immediacy of a living God? His name given to Moses was I AM! Meaning I am the one that continually manifests NOW, in the present. We will never apprehend the full power of God if we do not step back from this fetish of denying He is outside of and surrounds all space and time.

This is also the intent of the doctrine of evolution, to divorce ourselves from the real power of God to create us into His image...Now. I know many people that have accepted God, and everything changed for them NOW! Many never touched the drugs again, never walked in that anger or hate, or drunkenness again.

I just heard a story tonight in my Bible study where one of the members has been praying for her niece who has been in bad times, drugs, gangs etc. She owed a gang leader $3,800.00, and they almost killed her a few months back, knifing her, sending her to the hospital.

So yesterday she accepted Christ with tears and sincerity, and one half hour later she called this woman that led her to Christ, nearly hysterical with joy.

Because someone whom she had done a favor for a few years back called her to give her $3,800.00. And that person had no idea that she needed exactly $3,800.00 to get these murderous gangsta's off her back.

I have witnessed such things in this same exacting precision that I don't know how you can attribute it to anything but a God that knows all about us, and moves immediately for us...if we are but humble, and who is more humble than someone that has come to Him fresh from the grave they have made of their lives?

And yes our perfection takes a long time, but probably in no small part because we do not believe He is that powerful, that immediate, that available.

7/31/2008 12:49:00 AM  
Anonymous Slim Pickens said...

"The other day, I heard a brilliant analysis of Obama by Rush Limbaugh."

Rush uses his tongue purtier than a two dollar whore!

7/31/2008 04:53:00 AM  
Anonymous Skully said...

I couldnt've said it better myself, Slim.
But, good as Rush is, he ain't gotta thing on Bob. Just listen to this:
"For example, a therapist might know what is going on with a patient after the very first session. But it won't do the patient any good to simply provide him the answer, which would essentially foreclose the evolution of O by superimposing mere (k) upon it. Rather, what you want to happen is for O to evolve into genuine (k) in the patient; it is the difference between (k)-->Ø and O-->(k). In order to accomplish the latter, one must exercise Yeats, I mean Keats, "negative capablity," which is to dwell in "uncertainties, mysteries, and doubts, without any irritable reaching after fact and reason."

Hell, I dunno what he's sayin' but damn! That's just Beautiful, man!

7/31/2008 05:02:00 AM  
Blogger Magnus Itland said...

Kepler,
I am not your enemy, but I will joyfully be your "opponent" if that is needed to clarify your thoughts.

The example you use from your bible study, is that not exactly what I implied? "Vulgar magic" in that case would be to create money out of thin air, or perhaps send a shining angel to deliver the money in the sight of shocked neighbors. This is not how God normally works. Why not? Not because of weakness, but because of kindness. (In this, God is an example for all men, but especially those in power.)

The seemingly coincidental nature of God's intervention is not a sign of weakness, but is possible exactly because He is aware of all things we need, before we are.

I have myself been saved from imminent peril on several occasions. Each time, it took such a form that the random observer would think "well, that was a coincidence". One coincidence after another!

As for the ministry of Christ, I hope you don't really believe he did his miracles to show off his superpowers. Explaining the deeper meaning of each miracle is something I should leave to saints, for I am entirely too shallow to deepen your faith the way it deserves. I am merely a gifted economist. But there is much lore on the miracles as signs. I assure you, demonstrating God's power to the unbelievers was far from Jesus' intention. And in this, as in all things, he did what he saw from his Father.

The Lord is a God who hides. Not out of fear, but it is His will to give us plenty of room.

7/31/2008 05:06:00 AM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Listen Skully, Slim...it's really not that difficult. It just looks intimidating because of all the unfaniliar symbols, but once you know what those symbols represent...guys?

Skully, it's 0500! % in the freakin' mornin'! Why are you gettin' the grog out?

7/31/2008 05:09:00 AM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

We're gonna need it if'n you go and try to explain all those purty words, Cap'n!
'Sides, Slim says that his stomach is too delicate for java in the mornin'.

7/31/2008 05:11:00 AM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

7/31/2008 05:14:00 AM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

That's right, Cap'n, you see, I'm gettin' over the tail end of a bad case of burritoitus, and joe just sets it off somethin' fierce!

Slim

7/31/2008 05:17:00 AM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Skully, I've told you about this! Get yer own account! Now, everyone is gonna get all confused and everything with you n' Slim usin' my name...aw hell, give me a grog too!
I can't wait for the java.

And where did you find Slim Pickens?
Wait...don't answer that, I don't wanna know.

7/31/2008 05:21:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

Kepler Sings said "Probably more than even the direct attack on my faith via Evolution what irritates me is the superior and smug tone of those that are practicing a religion far more doctrinaire than mine, yet they pretend to be O, so objective! "

Oh...No doubt about it.

"Something not usually known is that you must be taught to think, I think I first got a glimpse of that through reading C.S. Lewis. And before that the thousands of mostly science fiction books I read as a kid."

YES! And it is the particular tales of the West, Religious and secular, the poetic form and imagery of them, which have formed and passed down Western Civilization to us, they Educate, 'lead us out' of our closed selves, teach us to Think, to Reason, far more deeply and beyond that of the sludge which our modern schools pretend to be 'education'. We allow those tales to perish at the worlds peril.

"Because someone whom she had done a favor for a few years back called her to give her $3,800.00. And that person had no idea that she needed exactly $3,800.00 to get these murderous gangsta's off her back."

Actually, I think that makes Magnus's point - her morning wheaties didn't spontaneously burst into hundred dollar bills, a person, alive NOW, out of the that portion of us that is in continous touch with the NOW, deicided for whatever Reason, to pay her debts. That, to me, is far more meaningFul, than a bowl full of legal tender.

The real Magic happens when we open up to what is The Good, The Beautiful and The True, the abounding resonance and harmonies which result fill the Cathedral to overflowing, for those with ears to hear, those who bark 'coincidence' are just like the deaf who dance to the drum beats, being the only portion of music which they can experience.

Our musical modes are different, Classical, Jazz, Gospel(!)... but they are in harmony, and I recognize the Melody. Definitely not in opposing you Kepler, just using another arrangement of the Song.

7/31/2008 05:44:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

Ah, I see Magnus already said it.

7/31/2008 05:47:00 AM  
Blogger Ricky Raccoon said...

Mr Kepler,

A couple of things aligned I think with most of what you say, before I have to scoot to work:

As I mentioned to Bob about a year ago, I was changed physically round about 27 Jan 2007. There is no question in my mind about it.

RE Ray or those like him and the $3,800, I have no doubt that he will have no problem believing that story. Except the part about it being a miracle. This would be against his “religion”, so I don’t blame him. He’s just doing what he set out to do. As you and the rest of us know, there is no way any of us can talk him out of it. As much as I get frustrated with the guy, I wouldn’t have it any other way. When it happens, he’ll know. And he will be changed. Stand back when it happens.

RE the “process”, when God follows it, maybe even a completely connected evolution, this too is a gift to us, maybe more of one to the scientist as he needs it more than others. If he wants to find the science behind the miracle, God has it there for him, and proportioned to him. Like Bob, finding out how it is doesn’t matter so much to me any more. Not as much as that it is. Spending even the small amount of time on the vertical that I have, I’ve found the gifts are greater.

RE change, miracles and proportion, I think God will not appear to me as a burning bush in any literal sense (now I’ve done it) because I get the sense we both know I couldn’t handle that much reality in one sitting. I would change too much. I would have to. Besides, that level of impact is not necessary (for me) to reveal the larger Reality. He seems to keep it juuuust under obvious. Or at least He used to...

7/31/2008 05:55:00 AM  
Blogger Ray Ingles said...

River - Re: species, you make my point for me. Thanks! :-> As to the Uncarved Block, I'll refer you back to Bob's discussion of 'attractors' in phase space. Some systems, it doesn't matter what "preconceptions" you pre-load them with; they converge on the same state over time.

As to "men on the moon" - that's exactly what 'irreducible complexity' is supposed to be. Again, I'm not aware of any cases that have held up to actual analysis.

Van - The point of that link was that, if'n you don't like reading, you can watch the show.

7/31/2008 06:17:00 AM  
Blogger Ray Ingles said...

Slim: If'n there weren't people sayin' things I know ain't so, 'cause I seen 'em, I'd kindly be more inclined to take their word for it on the other stuff. But when these over-edjimicated types tell me a steer cain't live off o' just feed & water, it's gotta be chowin' on some meat somewhere, well, pull the other one.

7/31/2008 06:24:00 AM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Hi Julie!
Babbazee has been using hopium for several months, at least.
Usually like this:

"Hopium for the asses(TM)." Ha ha!
I love that line.
(TM in parentheses may appear closer than it actually is).

7/31/2008 06:30:00 AM  
Blogger River Cocytus said...

Magnus, those miracles occurred because - perhaps one might say - the people would see them and understand they were acts of God. People today 'know too much' (i.e. think they do) to accept a real miracle. But God never ceases working the power of his love through all things.

7/31/2008 06:34:00 AM  
Blogger Ray Ingles said...

Erasmus - You could call my model "evolution" if you like, assuming we're talking specifically about biological complexity.

7/31/2008 06:36:00 AM  
Blogger River Cocytus said...

Ray: It's a matter of explanation. To some people, your explanations are like the epicycles of the geocentric theory. You would say, "Look, great explanation, makes sense!" Someone else looks at it and says, "Um, doesn't seem like it to me." Just because the math 'works' doesn't make it right.

You may need to first set aside the assumption that evolutionary ideas challenge religious ones fundamentally or that we're here trying to bitterly dismantle the inevitable, the religious fundies that we are.

Those two set aside, consider that like Kepler, we have looked at it and are not convinced. It is unsurprising that two people would see the same evidence and come to different conclusions. Happens all day, every day.

7/31/2008 06:39:00 AM  
Blogger Magnus Itland said...

River,
in fact there is mention of the occasional town where the disbelief was so strong that Jesus did few if any miracles. And when his opponents demanded signs, he promised to give them none, except for the sign of Jonah. Ever after his death and resurrection, there is no hint of him stopping by Caiaphas of Pilate to say "Hey bub, betcha didn't expect to see me again!". Well, he might, but I think we would have known somehow.

7/31/2008 06:53:00 AM  
Blogger NoMo said...

As to why miracles? I'm partial to this answer.

Further, aren't true miracles out-of-the-ordinary direct and divine interventions in the world? The parting of the Red Sea, Jesus walking on water, the resurrection of Lazarus, etc. Some certainly view them as a violation of the natural order of physical laws, while others maintain that they are a natural manifestation of God's work.

Ini the Book, miracles are also known as powers and signs (Mark 9:39; Acts 2:22, 19:11) and mighty works (John 10:25-28). They are a manifestation of the power of God over nature (Joshua 10:121-14), animals (Num. 22:28), people (Gen. 19:26), and illness (2 Kings 5:1014). They are produced by God's power (Acts 15:12), Christ's power (Matt. 10:1), and the Holy Spirit's power (Matt. 12:28).

Anyway, that's the story in the Book - and it seems to be stickin' to it.

7/31/2008 07:03:00 AM  
Blogger NoMo said...

At the end of his account, John wrote, "Jesus did many other things as well. If every one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written."

I can't wait to someday get into the REAL library.

7/31/2008 07:30:00 AM  
Blogger River Cocytus said...

Nomo: In truth, there is no hard and fast distinction between the miraculous and natural law. Both are a result of the action of the will of God. Why they seem so different to us - is not entirely clear. I think it is perhaps that there are regular phenomena and irregular phenomena. Chronos and Kairos if you will. It is important to dissect and know the regular phenomena, for they are mathematical in language. But it is also important to be aware and in awe of the irregular phenomena, for they are are more.. artistic in language. Thus the total order is neither symmetric (like some neo-Platonists seem to like to believe) nor irregular (as some post modernists might have it) but rather a fruitful tension between the two - like Music.

7/31/2008 07:32:00 AM  
Blogger Ray Ingles said...

River - I don't assume all y'all think "evolutionary ideas challenge religious ones fundamentally or that we're here trying to bitterly dismantle the inevitable", but, well, I do see some of that.

(I also think that some of the conflicts y'all do see - and yes, there are some - aren't actually conflicts, but different ways of looking at the same thing.)

7/31/2008 08:29:00 AM  
Blogger erasmus said...

Ray says:

"Erasmus - You could call my model "evolution" if you like, assuming we're talking specifically about biological complexity."

I was looking for more of a metaphysical model that would make a good "slogan". Beyond "biological complexity". I'll review your website (FAQ) at some point and we can try again. No time today.

7/31/2008 09:57:00 AM  
Blogger Susannah said...

Ray--

I freely admit I'm not the sharpest tack in this bunch, but I still don't understand the point you were trying to make by linking to gulls, slightly different gulls, and even more slightly different gulls. So?

7/31/2008 10:33:00 AM  
Blogger Ray Ingles said...

Susannah - The point is that a "species" is a fuzzy concept. The gulls on either end of the ring are so different that they can't interbreed. The only reason they are considered to be the same species is the existence of the intermediates that they can interbreed with. If there's an 'archetype' that governs species, then the boundaries between them in the real world are fuzzy, and can be crossed.

Once you understand that, the transitions in the fossil record leap out at you.

8/04/2008 10:41:00 AM  

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