Saturday, February 14, 2009

Darwin Day: Kwanzaa for the Metaphysically Retarded

I guess I let the Darwin assholyday slip by without a comment, didn't I? Here's something from two years ago. In the interim, I've probably written dozens of better posts on the subject, but this will do. I don't want to deviate from my Saturday policy of reposting things from 24 months ago, or else I'll be overwhelmed by the choices -- 1,200 now, to be exact.

Again, to remind the pathetic victims of materialitis and reductionosis: you needn't bother commenting, because I have no objection to natural selection so long as it confines itself to the children's table, and doesn't elevate itself to a faux religion, a la Queeg -- i.e., metaphysical Darwinism, which is another thing altogether. Even less do I have a problem with evolution, which easily transcends anything Darwin had to say about it.

*****

The minds of these people [the scientists] are too much accustomed to deal with physical things and things measurable by instruments and figures to be much good for any other provinces. Einstein's views outside his domain are crude and childish, a sort of unsubstantial commonplace idealism without grasp on realities. As a man can be a great scholar and yet simple and foolish, so a man can be a great scientist but his mind and ideas negligible in other things. --Sri Aurobindo, Letters on Yoga

I'm going spend one more post wrapping up our discussion of Before the Dawn before moving on -- or in. And when I say "moving in," I mean that literally, for one of the interesting things about reading a book such as this is the exteriorizing effect it has on one's consciousness. Immersion in this kind of gross materialism really can destroy a soul. I do not mean that in the way that a spluttering creationist might mean it, but in a much more subtle way.

However, I do sympathize with the simple person of faith who objects to being bullied by this kind of ham-handed, totalitarian scientistic ideology. (I think this is the true meaning behind the surveys showing that most Americans "do not believe in evolution," for they probably mean the boneheaded and/or totalitarian kind.)

The uncorrupted soul naturally recoils at the idea that Matter is All. As I mentioned a couple of days ago, I can well understand how a religious person might read just a few paragraphs of this book and dismiss it as "satanic," because in a very real sense, it is -- at least without the proper cognitive safeguards. It's very creepy to immerse oneself in this desolate, simplistic, and one-dimensional world that is so disproportionate to the beauty, nobility, and majesty of the human soul.

You needn't believe in the literal existence of satan in order to know that satan is a deceiver, and that the most dangerous deceivers are the terrible simplifiers -- i.e., Hitler, Stalin, and less radical but still extraordinarily dangerous demagogues such as Barack Obama (relax, troll, I am not comparing Obama to Hitler, even though his simplistically appealing radical agenda would destroy the United States as we know it). I forget who coined the term "terrible simplifiers," but I just googled it and came up with this relevant passage (on an unrelated topic) that gives a sense of what I'm talking about:

"The lack of a correspondence between abstraction and reality is all the more significant, since the real world is profoundly complex and contingent and an abstraction is inevitably simple. The terrible simplifiers who love abstractions cannot stand conditions and conventions muddling their perfect, clear theory. If life does not fit the theory, then it is life that has gone awry and must be made to fit. The terrible simplifiers are always perfectly willing, then, to embrace ideological crusades, violence and upheaval to better realise their 'principles'...."

The promise of violence always follows in the wake of the terrible simplifiers, but the violence to the soul actually occurs at the outset, and sets the stage for the physical violence or coercion. The physical violence is a consequence of the rebarbarization that goes hand in hand with the simplification which sanctions the violence by encouraging man to be less than he is.

[Just recently I have been reading a book by Charles DeKoninck which makes the same argument in a different way. In fact, it is similar to an argument I put forth in my book. That is, the scientist begins with the concrete human world (for where else could he begin?). Being that we are human, we are able to abstract things from this world. But the reductionist then makes the wholly unwarranted leap of taking his abstractions to be more real than the real world from which they are abstracted (similar to Whitehead's fallacy of misplaced concreteness). Metaphysical Darwinism is a fine example of this. Again: consciousness can explain much more about Darwinism than Darwinism will ever explain about consciousness. That is, unless you happen to be a terribly simple person.]

I am not accustomed to reading a book this simple and "mechanical." Although I breezed through hundreds of them in the course of writing my own, it's been awhile. Naturally, in order to complete chapters 1, 2, and 3 of One Cosmos, I had to familiarize myself with the latest findings in cosmology, theoretical biology, paleoanthropology, etc. But my specific concern in writing those chapters was mainly one thing: origins. What is the origin of the cosmos? Of life? Of the human subject? Existence, life and mind; or being, will, and interiority; and eventually freedom, truth and love. What is the nature of these things? What do they imply about the cosmos?

In posing these questions, my view was much wider than the scientist, for I didn't just want to know how life arose, but what it means that a supposedly dead cosmos can spontaneously come to life and then understand its own truth. What does this say about the kind of cosmos we inhabit? Is it just a meaningless and trivial fact, or does it cause us to rethink what sort of cosmos this is from the ground up (or top down)? Indeed, it would imply that that is the wrong question, for to the extent that we are able to understand it, the cosmos would have to be a form of the soul's sensibility, not vice versa.

Irrespective of whether humans became human 45,000 years ago or 15,000 years ago or 6,000 years ago, what does it mean that our cosmos has an interior horizon -- this calm, reflective center in the midst of swirling creation -- in which it may contemplate its deepest truths? For I can well understand how humans could change as a result of becoming better adapted to their changing environment. But the random change of natural selection can tell us nothing about our miraculous capacity for transcendence of everything, including ourselves, in the light of a priori truth.

Only man is built for transcendence. A man who fails to transcend himself sinks beneath himself. He is not a proper man, but a beast among beasts. What can it mean that the cosmos has produced a being who hangs halfway suspended between what he is and what he is to become, between is and ought, between our genetic blueprints and a transcendent blue prince?

For there is no humanness in the absence of the ought. But here again, subverting this reality is behind the agenda of the materialists, for there can be no "ought" in a purely material world. Rather, there is only is. With this brutal reduction, man, whose roots are aloft, is severed from himself and condemned to a narrow ideological prison of his own making.

It is instructive that one can rapidly skim a book such as Before the Dawn in one's spare time in a day or two, and fully understand it. There is nothing remotely difficult about it or about Darwinism in general. Queeg and his liztards are proof of this.

On the other hand, not only can one not skim, say, Meditations on the Tarot or casually enter the spiritual cathedral of Meister Eckhart, but it takes a lifetime of preparation and "interior work" in order to appreciate them at all. They will be entirely opaque to the uninitiated, regardless of what they think they understand. Furthermore, any work of a true spiritual master is infused with a light and a force that facilitates a direct transformation of consciousness, and mysteriously keeps their words both fresh and inexhaustible, so that one may return to them time and again for new insights. At different times in your life and at different levels of spiritual maturity, they will speak to different parts of you. This is axiomatic: "When I was a child, I understood as a child." (A fine example of the type of higher evolution routinely discussed in the Bible.)

Back to the terrible simplification of the modern Darwinian synthesis. This is it: Everything = Random Error + Environmental Selection (E = RE + ES). Got it? That is all you need to know because that is all you can know -- although just how you can know it is a bit of a mystery, since it too must ultimately be reducible to RE + ES.

Nevertheless, it easily answers all questions. Religion? E = RE + ES. Human groups that endulged in this fantasy somehow had more reproductive fitness, that's all. Language? E = RE + ES. Apes that spoke had more babies. Love? E = RE + ES. A trick of the genes. Just a way to get you to reproduce. Beauty? E = RE + ES. The creation of illusion in order to make the pursuit seem worthwhile. Intelligence? E = RE + ES. Intelligence implies progress, something which is strictly forbidden in the Darwinian view. Nothing is any more or less intelligent, only better adapted to its environment. Wisdom? Don't even go there. No, can't even go there.

E = RE + ES. Got it? Now that you've got it, please bear in mind that you are not permitted to have any other thoughts about reality, because this is the answer that exhausts all questions. It is the graveyard of real curiosity, which is now rendered a pointless hindrance to your reproductive fitness.

Ironically, this satanic reductionism cannot avoid carrying a sacred ought of its own, as reflected in the anti-religious jihad of the obligatory atheists -- the simple Dennetts and even simpler Queegs. Yes, The Gospel According to Darwin (Tail wiggle: Walt) insists that the good news of E = RE + ES should be celebrated on Darwin Day, February 12, the day our scientistic savior was born. For this is the day that the word -- the only word there actually is, E = RE + ES -- became flesh. Naturally, before that, the word existed -- it cannot not exist -- but no one knew it.

But why a celebration, unless it is a funeral, since E = RE + ES spells the end of our humanness as such?

Because it's built into our genes, silly. Celebration increases social solidarity and therefore reproductive fitness. Pretty pathetic way for these beta males to try to meet women, if you ask me.

Blue prince:


Get-a-clue prince:

56 Comments:

Blogger Niggardly Phil said...

Bob, did you ever read Richard McKeon? I bought volume one of his writings, but I got terribly confused.

Just curious if anyone else had given it a go.

2/14/2009 09:25:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Nope, never read him.

2/14/2009 09:34:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

Irrespective of whether humans became human 45,000 years ago or 15,000 years ago or 6,000 years ago, what does it mean that our cosmos has an interior horizon -- this calm, reflective center in the midst of swirling creation -- in which it may contemplate its deepest truths? For I can well understand how humans could change as a result of becoming better adapted to their changing environment. But the random change of natural selection can tell us nothing about our miraculous capacity for transcendence of everything, including ourselves, in the light of a priori truth.

Okay, so last night in my reading, this passage caught my eye:

"Languages differ, my son, but mankind is one; and speech likewise is one. It is translated from tongue to tongue, and we find it to be the same in Egypt, Persia and Greece... Speech then is an image of intellect; and intellect is an image of God." - Hermes

The reason it did had to do with a conversation I had last night about feral children, the ones who never really gain the capacity for speech. Maybe I'm wrong, but it seems that humans in the wild, even though they have the capacity, don't develop anything that could be recognized as humanness - abstract language and thought, the Word, without it being taught to them. And if they aren't taught this in early childhood, they'll never really learn it. Maybe the reason we spent 100,000 years making crude handaxes (not so different from chimps with their pointy sticks, really, and does anyone expect them to spontaneously start wearing clothes, signing words or creating art? Of course not - unless someone teaches them) is because O was waiting for the right time to gather up a few of our furbears and give them Language lessons.

I like the new ◉ in your title, by the way (or has it been there all along and I just never noticed?). Now to finish reading the post...

2/14/2009 10:00:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

...and am I just imagining things, or did the post expand?

:D

And before I forget,
Happy Valentines Day, Bob & Les!

2/14/2009 10:12:00 AM  
Anonymous Reptilicus said...

A viscious attack! Viscious!
We hatessssss the Gagdad preciousss. Hatessss him foreversss. nasssty raccooonsessss. ach ssss

Reptilicus

2/14/2009 11:00:00 AM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

(I think this is the true meaning behind the surveys showing that most Americans "do not believe in evolution," for they probably mean the boneheaded and/or totalitarian kind.)

Aye. Those poll questions ain't very specific, and evolution has become an oversaturated word.

2/14/2009 11:19:00 AM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Also, on the same vein, even when I was in school during the 60's and 70's, most of the science teachers were leftists who didn't hide their hatred of religion and liked to ridicule

One science teacher I had bought into the overpopulation everyone is gonna starve to death by 2000 scare. He even showed a film from some nutty scientist who believed cockroaches and ants would take over the world soon.

Well, he got the cockroaches part half right if you count leftist governments.

Then there was global cooling, acid rain, depleted ozone, power lines cause cancer, and all the usual scientistic apocalypse scenarios. Talk about shrill.
Of course, Queeg denies this happens in public schools since it didn't happen to him in Catholic school.

BTW, I wonder why Queeg even bothers to say he believes in God. Why believe in God when he's on the record as sayin' he don't believe in miracles or supernatural occurances, and he attributes everything to natural selection which cannot operate without supernatural guidance.

To hear him and Darwinian scientists talk, NS would have to be sentient.

2/14/2009 11:39:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

While I'm not a big fan of teaching ID as science (as opposed to metaphysics), the irony is that people would actually be much more interested in evolution if it were taught that way. The fear is just pure hysteria, which is always true of the left.

I mean, either way, you're dealing with the identical facts. One person says they reveal intelligence, the other, randomness. What difference does it make to the conduct of the actual science? None.

2/14/2009 12:33:00 PM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Good points, Bob.
One can only conclude that leftist indoctrination, PC, and a stifling of free creative thinking, is the clear and present danger the West faces.

And that has been plagueing us for several decades.
It's not like the mention of ID is going to suddenly turn us into a theocracy, as Queeg fears so much.

And contrary to the lies being told, ID is not a religion, so it doesn't open the door for Islam or any other actual religion to be given "equal time".

If Bibles and prayer in the classrooms, prior to their banning, didn't turn us into a theocracy, then a short presentation of ID sure won't.

I cooncur that a metaphysics class would be ideal, along with history, civics, math, readin' and writin', and all the stuff that ain't bein' taught in most public schools.

ID is not a threat, since it doesn't replace science and only raises possibilities and questions (much better framed in metaphysics but fat chance getting that in a public school in the present hostile environment).

2/14/2009 02:54:00 PM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

"For there is no humanness in the absence of the ought. But here again, subverting this reality is behind the agenda of the materialists, for there can be no "ought" in a purely material world. Rather, there is only is."

And even that depends on what the meaning of is is. :^)

I love the contrast of those pics, BTW! Transcendence vs cluelesside.
The ludicrous lizard is hilarious, LOL!

2/14/2009 03:18:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

I just now got around to clicking the Solomon Burke link from yesterday's comments. He has 21 kids???

Obviously, he preaches what he practices.

The fact that he also runs a funeral parlor is an interesting contrast.

2/14/2009 03:33:00 PM  
Blogger walt said...

Aha! I see by the post that you are reading DeKoninck's book. I'll be interested in your thoughts about it.

I was really "hoping" there'd be some stimulus in the bill recently passed for my "needy condition" when it comes to buying books -- for truly, I can buy them much faster than I can read them. But I gather my needs remain un-addressed by Congress.

Referring to people "reduced" to a solely material existence, you wrote: " With this brutal reduction, man, whose roots are aloft, is severed from himself and condemned to a narrow ideological prison of his own making."

And perhaps even "more" than just an ideological prison, as the Socialist screws tighten, and limits are put on speech and travel, medicine and income -- all expressed in socially compassionate terms, of course!
I was wondering today just how much of this "prison effect" would actually touch us, and to what extent a Raccoon could continue-on, doing what he or she "ought"?

wv sez: get some acres, boy!

2/14/2009 03:58:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Walt, that's an excellent question. I've been wondering much the same, what with Obama hiring on a staff member whose job appears to be solely a professional digger of oppositional dirt. Combine that with the "all your medical records are belong to us" portion of the stimulus plan (plus I'm certain quite a few other things which I've not seen), and it could get downright dangerous to express raccoonish sentiments.

Which should never get in the way of what a raccoon ought to do, but may affect our ability to discuss these things with each other over time.

If Aurobindo could find enlightenment while sitting in a prison cell, so should we be able to find connection with O whatever our circumstances may be.

Does make me wonder about the benefits of taking up a hobo lifestyle, though...

2/14/2009 04:28:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

So far with the De Koninck, it's heavy-metal Thomism, which has a certain vocabulary that one must understand in order to follow along.... I sense that he's saying many of the things I say, only in a different tradition.

It's times like this I realize that, in addition to not being a scholar, I am no logician, since I don't have the patience to plod along from A to B to C. Rather, I just wing it and hope for the best. Intuition, I suppose. Or intellection, in that I just describe what I see, and cut out the middleman.

In any event, it's interesting that St. Thomas arrived independently at conclusions that were already known by me some 700 years later.

2/14/2009 04:33:00 PM  
Anonymous Petey said...

Don't worry about Obama. Events will soon enough overtake him and his fiendish plans. Patience, my children, patience.

However, in the mean time, if the porkulus bill is going to suppress growth and send inflation through the roof, what's a guy supposed to do? Buy gold?

Dupree is especially concerned, because as a result of more sophisticated genetic screening, none of the sperm banks will accept his "deposits." Now he wants to know if he can "donate" his body to science while he's still alive. But only for the right price.

Confusing around here....

2/14/2009 04:44:00 PM  
Anonymous Skully said...

Ammo stocks are shootin' through the roof.

2/14/2009 05:02:00 PM  
Anonymous Skully said...

Petey-
Just be glad Cuz ain't holdin' up a sperm bank.

I did not say that.

2/14/2009 05:07:00 PM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Obama's flunkies would never know what were sayin' anyhow.
Hell, I don't know what were sayin' half the time.

Aplausable deniability.

2/14/2009 05:10:00 PM  
Anonymous Skully said...

I predict stupid otherf*ckin' "green" stocks will go up...for awhile, form a green bubble and slime the donks, leavin' them green with envy.

Okay, more green.

Skully on the economy.

2/14/2009 05:15:00 PM  
Blogger walt said...

To me, it seemed appropriate that Dupree was thinking of "romance" on Valentine's Day.

2/14/2009 05:50:00 PM  
Blogger Susannah said...

Speaking of people simple of faith (moi, for instance), I just read about the 1983 Bahnsen/Stein debate.

www.bellevuechristian.org/faculty/dribera/htdocs/PDFs/Apol_Bahnsen_Stein_Debate_Transcript.pdf

2/14/2009 05:54:00 PM  
Blogger Susannah said...

Sorry, 1985. Typo!

2/14/2009 05:56:00 PM  
Blogger Susannah said...

"When we go to look at the different world views that atheists and atheists have, I suggest we can prove the existence of God from the impossibility of the contrary. The transcendental proof for God's existence is that without Him it is impossible to prove anything. The atheist world view is irrational and cannot consistently provide the
preconditions of intelligible experience, science, logic, or morality. The atheist world view
cannot allow for laws of logic, the uniformity of nature, the ability for the mind to understand the world, and moral absolutes. In that sense the atheist world view cannot
account for our debate tonight."

Dr. Bahnsen, from that transcript.

2/14/2009 06:05:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Since this is Valentine's day, I'll just put the question out there.

Do raccoons Yahoo in any special way? Or just like the lower members of humanity?

Are special considerations around mating given by the furry ones?

Curious George

2/14/2009 08:05:00 PM  
Blogger jwm said...

Raccoons yahoo just everyone else- mouse over and click.

vw: wablo (isn't that at town in Ilinois?)

JWM

2/14/2009 08:17:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Dude, if you're looking for furries, you're in the wrong place.

And of course when we Yahoo, it's special. Why would we bother if it wasn't? And we're still not looking for sexual disciples; we have real (which isn't to say perfect) relationships with people we love, who love us back.

If you ever grok that you might actually be able to consider yourself to be inching (millimetering?) along the right path.

***

Petey, just make sure Dupree doesn't start sending out personal ads for sperm donation (like this guy, though I don't recommend looking even if you aren't easily creeped out. It's like closing Pandora's box). Some people might take it the wrong way. And contrary to what he might say, it really isn't worth its weight in bouillon.

As to what we should be doing, I can't say. We're trying hard to keep stimulating the economy, but we're hoping that once the package goes through it'll start stimulating us. Not that there's much hope of that.

2/14/2009 08:30:00 PM  
Blogger Susannah said...

BTW, Bob, I'm still laughing over the title of this post! Hilarious!

2/14/2009 08:39:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

I've a question.

(and yes, inflation, gold, hosed, etc)

When you begin noticing that the stories and tales you take a liking to, begin to reveal themselves as metaphysical weavings in physical garb... is it realy the tale that is deep, or that you are bringing deep into the tale?

If every winkin', blinkin' and nod begins to take on significance and depth in your eyes... is that a problem?, are they taking on significance that is not there... or are they props for ideas you're wishing some significant Other would just come out and reveal?

Yes... there is Bushmills in my beer... why do you ask?

(Hey Susannah... missed the 'hey' last time... good to see you.)

2/14/2009 11:44:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

Julie said "Maybe I'm wrong, but it seems that humans in the wild, even though they have the capacity, don't develop anything that could be recognized as humanness - abstract language and thought, the Word, without it being taught to them. And if they aren't taught this in early childhood, they'll never really learn it."

We are political animals...difficult as it is to admit for an individualist, there is no "I" without an "US"... We are....


And yep, noticed the dot in the O showing up in the "One Cosmos" tab to (how did you do that?)... cool.

2/14/2009 11:51:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

Ben said "While I'm not a big fan of teaching ID as science (as opposed to metaphysics), the irony is that people would actually be much more interested in evolution if it were taught that way. "

I get what you're saying Ben... but something that always whissspers as the edges when I hear that... is the implied demotion of metahpysics that they (Not you Ben) smuggle in with the thought.

As if it would be alright to condecend to a nod to metaphysics, as long as there were some fossils to prop 'em up....

2/14/2009 11:58:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

Gagdad said "In any event, it's interesting that St. Thomas arrived independently at conclusions that were already known by me some 700 years later."

LOL! I've been having much the same thoughts while reading his ideas on Law.

2/15/2009 12:03:00 AM  
Anonymous ximeze said...

"When you begin noticing that the stories and tales you take a liking to, begin to reveal themselves as metaphysical weavings in physical garb... is it realy the tale that is deep, or that you are bringing deep into the tale?"

Van, me thinks take a liking to is the operative phrase here. The 'liking' would be in part because there's more there there to reveal. The stories & tales must have enough 'space' to turn about and move around inside, otherwise nothing can be brought into them.

Ever even been tempted to try it with stuff as airless as a Deepak?

(wv thinks ya oughta stick with crervo)

2/15/2009 12:30:00 AM  
Blogger Magnus Itland said...

I can't say anything about Raccoon woohoo, but I can tell you how porcupines do it:

Carefully. VERY carefully.

2/15/2009 03:45:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Van:

Genuine myth is written by no one and everyone, and therefore begins to take on the contours of time-tested, transcendent truth. It is like a revelation "from below," so to speak. Schuon has some helpful things to say:

"The mythological wording of a traditional perspective is essentially determined by a spiritual and social interest which in an ultimate sense coincides with the truth... The sacred wording contains in its own way the infinite Truth, failing which it could not serve an interest concerning that very Truth.

"The notion of myth usually evokes a picture of traditional stories charged with a wealth of symbolism and more or less devoid of historical foundation; however, in defining myth one should not lay undue stress on this supposed lack of historical basis, for the function of myth is such that once it has been properly understood the question of historicity ceases to have any practical importance.

"What guarantees the spiritual function of a sacred story is its symbolism on the one hand, and its traditional character on the other. In the case of stories belonging to the Mahayana, it is the Buddha who stands surety for the reality and hence for the efficacy of the story; that is to say, if he does not guarantee absolutely the historical truth of the facts, at least he guarantees the certainty of
their spiritual truth, which takes precedence over the historical aspect, and he guarantees also their power of salvation which is the reason for the myth’s existence."

2/15/2009 05:36:00 AM  
Blogger Sal said...

It was 'Christmas in February' over at LGF, alright. And he did have one of those polls about how benighted we are, not believing in the Big E.

Bob, know anything about Peggy LaCerra, the evolutionary neuroscientist? She had an article about the new understanding of the creation of "I" in Spirituality and Health. It concurs with what Julie said about feral children, your points about the mother as matrix, etc. But she also sounds a lot like Ray with a doctorate.

wv: hephirei. If a Raccoon worked for you...

2/15/2009 06:35:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

No, never heard of her.

2/15/2009 06:47:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

⊙!
I finally found it, tucked away amongst the mathematical symbols in my character palette.

I don't know if PC users have such a handy little tool. I didn't even know I had it until I needed it for a graphic project I was doing last fall.

2/15/2009 08:35:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

I said “If every winkin', blinkin' and nod begins to take on significance and depth in your eyes... is that a problem?, are they taking on significance that is not there... or are they props for ideas you're wishing some significant Other would just come out and reveal?”

Well looks like I did type that comment out loud… well…. What I was talking about, was that of late I’ve found when watching shows I wanted to watch, or got stuck watching like it or not, I’ve been ‘seeing’ them illustrating metaphysical truths and values all over the place, though those I’m watching them with look at me as if I’ve lost my mind if I mention them. Shows ranging from, on the least embarrassing end of the spectrum, “Battlestar Galactica”, to the ‘can’t believe I’m admitting out loud that I’ve seen it’ end, such things as the series “The OC” (well… with 7 weeks of being unemployed, even I have to put down the books sometimes), where I’m reasonably sure the writers didn’t have in mind what I found in my mind to be illustrated in it.

Gagdad said “Genuine myth is written by no one and everyone, and therefore begins to take on the contours of time-tested, transcendent truth. It is like a revelation "from below," so to speak.”

I suppose it’s a situation of when you become so accustomed to looking for the fundamentals, your mind begins to ignore the fluff and finds those fundamentals which even the worst stories – if they have any claim to the term – can’t avoid including. Sort of like if you get stuck next to a sewage plant, that particular smell soon ‘vanishes’ from your awareness. I suppose what I was mostly wondering, is, what risk is there of unintentionally overlooking the dangerous nature of the goblet of poison you’re handed, while seeing only the gold ring laying in the bottom?

Ximeze said “Ever even been tempted to try it with stuff as airless as a Deepak?”
Good point, there are wastes through which no light can be found shining.

Ximeze said “wv thinks ya oughta stick with crervo”
Oh yeah, switching to a product typically associated with having worms in the bottle… that’s gonna bring a better frame of mind. Yeah, I see that happening.

;-)

2/15/2009 09:54:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

"Leave your comment
O Ø ʘ (?!) (↓) (↑) (¶) →(¶)← (n) (o) (---) ( ) )( (•) (K) (L) (H) (-K) ♀(container) ♂(contained) (•••) •••(•)••• PS<-->D"

hmmm
... - - - ... - - - ... - - -

wv:pringl

With pringles, I've no problem having just One.

2/15/2009 09:58:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

Speaking of tales, here's a chilling (if nicely illustrated) one. We may have skipped around a bit from the proposed sequence, but it's all laid out there. Between that, and this article (via Gecko), and the Solviev short story of the AntiChrist from last week (or was that two weeks ago?), it looks like we've got our work cut out for us in the next four years.

*sigh*

Some days, you just need to see a panda.

2/15/2009 09:58:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

Van,

I caught up with the OC last week (I know, I know - it's train-wreck TV); I see it as excellent advice on how not to live.

I think the answer (to your original question) is that you are bringing deep into the tale. Which isn't to say that it isn't there, just that it is regardless of the artists intentions. Often, even counter to the artists intentions. But it takes open eyes (and an ⊙pen mind) to see it. If it's any consolation, I find myself doing the same thing, not just with tv or stories but with almost everything anymore.

Another way to put it is, we all see the world through a particular set of filters. Speaking for myself, the filters have been adjusted for depth since acquiring my raccoon mask, and having been so adjusted it often takes a conscious effort to take anything at face value these days.

2/15/2009 10:08:00 AM  
Blogger QP said...

O Ø ʘ (?!) (↓) (↑) (¶) →(¶)← (n) (o) (---) ( ) )( (•) (K) (L) (H) (-K) ♀(container) ♂(contained) (•••) •••(•)••• PS<-->D

I'm developing a liking for it - I think ©¿©/

2/15/2009 10:09:00 AM  
Blogger Ripples said...

"What is the orgin of cosmos, life, human subject, existance, freedom truth and love and ect...What is the nature of these things." I see one can find the answer in the Question (once Teacher ask me),"What is the nature of your mind?

2/15/2009 11:01:00 AM  
Anonymous ximeze said...

Oh yeah, switching to a product typically associated with having worms in the bottle… that’s gonna bring a better frame of mind.

But but but they're very special worms Van

2/15/2009 11:08:00 AM  
Blogger Ricky Raccoon said...

Bob,
This a great post.
A couple questions though:

1. As you said, no one here denies these scientific facts of evolution and such – it all fits comfortably under the much greater Cosmos. But if that little nugget is true, then why can’t this Queeg fellow and the rest of his kind get off their duffs and evolve like the restuvus?

2. You followed their math: “Love? E = RE + ES. A trick of the genes. Just a way to get you to reproduce”, But what I’d really really really like to figure out is, how did my genes get to be so damn smart and why don’t they just explain this mission to me instead of tricking, well, all of us really, into doing, well, everything? Who died and left them boss? I mean, if they can handle the truth, why can’t me and Toots?
This is war. Who the hell do my genes think they are?!

2/15/2009 12:58:00 PM  
Blogger Ricky Raccoon said...

Van,
RE tales, what you say reminds me of a Hemingway quote, but the “why it does” is only a bit on the tip of my tongue. In this private letter excerpt he is talking about “The Old Man and the Sea”:

“Then there is the other secret. There isn't any symbolism. The sea is the sea. The old man is an old man. The boy is a boy and the fish is a fish. The sharks are all sharks no better and no worse. All the symbolism that people say is shit. What goes beyond is what you see beyond when you know.”

I don’t think he is saying there was no symbolism in his “myth”. I think, intentional of Hemingway or not, the boy and the old man and the shark were personal knowledge reformed as archetypes and that readers projected what they saw onto them from there own personal knowledge. Like there are unlimited ways up a mountain, or mountains in general, but everyone is still talking about the peaks.

2/15/2009 01:45:00 PM  
Blogger jp said...

Petey says:

"However, in the mean time, if the porkulus bill is going to suppress growth and send inflation through the roof, what's a guy supposed to do? Buy gold?"

The problem with gold is never a question of knowing when to buy it. It's knowing when to sell it.

I've never seen an investment that can spike and crash quite like gold.

Well, pets.com did, but that was never an investment.

The nice thing about an ounce of gold is that it will always buy you a nice suit.

So if you want to be able to buy 10 nice suits in the future, go ahead and buy 10 ounces of gold now.

At least the stimulus bill is living up to it's billing. It's stimulating porkbarrel spending.

Let me try to describe the porkulus bill with some of the comment symols I see here above me....

(•••)+(-K)→ Ø

I think that sums it up.

2/15/2009 04:29:00 PM  
Anonymous maineman said...

Julie,

Thanks for the link to that Ledeen article. I heard about it but couldn't run it down.

Maybe it's that I recently partook of the cup that cheers, but I think it's very important for it to get circulated throughout cyberspace.

2/15/2009 04:37:00 PM  
Anonymous maineman said...

Meanwhile, on the ID thing, it seems to me that the only place it can be addressed, given the absence of metaphysics in the high school curriculum, is in a science class.

As long as Darwinism is going to be taught there, the limitations of that world view need to be addressed. The whole thing would be more in the domain of the philosophy of science, though.

Doesn't that make sense?

I noticed, by the way, that a recent poll indicates that a majority of Americans now think ID should be taught alongside Darwinism.

2/15/2009 04:54:00 PM  
Blogger jwm said...

Ok, gang. If there's anyone else still hanging around I just got something special up at the wfb No spoilers. Check it out.

Oh, and there's one symbol that I might add to the list. It's a special troll indicator:

t(..t)

JWM

2/15/2009 04:56:00 PM  
Anonymous ximeze said...

Maineman,
In case you're interested, there was a Part 1 (?) to We're All Fascists Now (dated 2/12)

2/15/2009 08:00:00 PM  
Anonymous maineman said...

Thanks, X.

2/15/2009 09:18:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maybe if they take this.

Jeez.

Another article on it is here

2/15/2009 10:34:00 PM  
Blogger Susannah said...

Ricky, great comment! I've often had the same thought, but never put it as well. "Boy, is "evolution" smart."

2/16/2009 07:50:00 AM  
Blogger The Western Chauvinist said...

Hey all,

Just wandered over here from American Digest and wanted to thank you, Bob, for your excellent post. Here's the money line for me:

"It is the graveyard of real curiosity, which is now rendered a pointless hindrance to your reproductive fitness."

This is the argument for ID in the science classroom. Science philosophy is all about being perpetually curious. When curiosity is dead, science cannot progress. There are really good questions yet to be answered by the theory of evolution:

How do random mutations and natural selection explain sexual differentiation and reproduction?

If all is random and purposeless, why is nature invested in perpetuating life at all?

As you suggest, Bob... intelligence?

Consciousness?

...and many more. To which, an honest scientific answer is, evolution doesn't answer these. Perhaps it will some day, or perhaps you, dear high school science student, will develop a theory which better answers these questions.

I just removed LGF from my toolbar as I'm so tired of the constant promotion of "Metaphysical Darwinism" (love that term). Got myself labeled a "troll" for commenting to that effect. It may be the only badge of honor I ever earn!

BTW, Who is/are Queeg/s and liztards? Is this a reference to LGF or Darwin fundamentalists in general? Please enlighten.

2/16/2009 07:31:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Yes, Queeg is Charles, and the liztards are his readers who confirm his paranoia and prop up his brittle narcissism.

2/16/2009 08:14:00 PM  

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