Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Evolving Under the Banyan Tree with the Holy Spirit Dangling Down

Man is himself "made in the image of God": only man is such a direct image, in the sense that his form is an "axial" and “ascendant” perfection and his content a totality. Man by his theomorphism is at the same time a work of art and also an artist; a work of art because he is an “image,” and an artist because this image is that of the Divine Artist. Man alone among earthly beings can think, speak and produce works; only he can contemplate and realize the Infinite. --F. Schuon

Some commenters failed to understand my point about Man, -- not this or that man, but Man as Such -- that he cannot evolve further, because he is the end of evolution. As Northern Bandit put it in a comment, we are adequate to the Absolute, and that is as far as you can go -- unless you think you can "be" the Absolute, which is an absurdity on the way to a crime.

Of course this does not preclude such categories as improvement, learning, purification, illumination, union, etc. Again, we are not the Absolute; we only know it. Nor are we (yet) the likeness of God, only the image. I accept the Orthodox view that our own personal evolution, as it were, takes place between image and likeness, or potential and actualization. To put it another way, all men are born with the potential of becoming the likeness, but few people make it all the way. We call them saints, or starets, or mystics.

A few readers will no doubt wonder how this squares with Sri Aurobindo's cosmic evolutionary scheme, but I don't think his views can be wrenched from their Hindu context. We're talking mostly about Christianity here, in which the "descent of the Supermind" has already occurred; we call it the Incarnation, which is the bridge between God and man that assures us that our own little ladder goes all the way to the top floor. In the absence of the descent, we could only ascend so high from the doubthouse to the repenthouse.

I have said before that in my view Aurobindo was (without knowing it) very much "Christianizing" Vedanta, no doubt because of his western education at Cambridge, in which he absorbed not only Christianity and evolutionism (which was all the rage at the time -- and not just the Darwinian kind), but the whole Western canon.

Other methods of yoga are purely "ascending" paths, like, say Plotinus in the West. Only Aurobindo's is a descending, this-worldly path, the goal of which is to "divinize" oneself and creation -- very much analogous to the Christian goal of personal theosis and of redeeming the world. This is not to immamentize the eschaton, in which the distinction between transcendence and immanence is obliterated and man is made God. Rather, it is to live in the dynamic space between them.

And I fully accept Aurobindo's thesis that in order for there to have been an evolution, there must have been a prior involution. This idea is concordant with hermetic Christianity and Kabbalah, and basically means that God is both the ladder and the goal.

Just yesterday I was reading a very clear expression of these ideas in Kallistos Ware's The Orthodox Church, in which he describes the point at which "Christianity" really began. Was it with the Incarnation? The Transfiguration? The Resurrection? No, not exactly. Those were all cosmically necessary, but not quite humanly sufficient causes. It was with Pentecost, which marks "the descent of the Holy Spirit on the Apostles at Jerusalem.... On that same day through the preaching of St. Peter three thousand men and women were baptized, and the first Christian community at Jerusalem was formed" (emphasis mine).

The preaching that day that was so effective because it embodied a horizontal propagation of the vertical descent into Peter. Absent the descent, his words would have been mere pneumababble with no intrinsic power (or celestial mandate) to convert others.

Have you ever seen a banyan tree, like the ones in Florida, where I'll soon be visiting? It's a very strange tree, in that it sends down filaments from the branches, which descend to the ground and create what looks like another ascending trunk of a separate tree; it's as if the root system is above, not below. No wonder they're considered sacred symbols in India. You might think of the body of Christ as analogous to the banyan tree, which has all the individual "trunks" that are really just part of the single tree descending from above.

Elsewhere, Ware perfectly describes the (↓) (↑) symbols used in my book, as applied to Christianity. He quotes St. Paul's statement about Christ sharing "our poverty (↓) that we might share the riches of His divinity (↑)." This process of man's gradual divinization is called theosis:

"No one less than God can save humanity; therefore if Christ is to save, He must be God. But only if He is truly human, as we are, can we humans participate in what He has done for us. A bridge is formed between God and humanity by the Incarnate Christ who is divine and human at once."

And here is the money quote, from John 1:51: "Hereafter you shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending (↑) and descending (↓) upon the Son of Man." And as Ware adds, "Not only angels use that ladder, but the human race." (Please note the critical point that when the Third Person of the Trinity Incarnated as a man, he also did so as mankind, otherwise we would have no access to the ladder.)

I think that Schuon was the quintessential humanist, in a way that a secular humanist can by definition never be, since the latter denies any genuine possibility of the (↓) and (↑) that are our lifeline and our salvation. Some of his observations about Man are luminously and beautifully accurate:

"Man is spirit incarnate; if he were only matter, he would be identified with the feet; if he were only spirit, he would be the head, that is, the Sky; he would be the Great Spirit. But the object of his existence is to be in the middle: it is to transcend matter while being situated there, and to realize the light, the Sky, starting from this intermediary level. It is true that the other creatures also participate in life, but man synthesizes them: he carries all life within himself and thus becomes the spokesman for all life, the vertical axis where life opens onto the spirit and where it becomes spirit. In all terrestrial creatures the cold inertia of matter becomes heat, but in man alone does heat become light."

"Man -- insofar as he is distinct from other creatures on earth -- is intelligence; and intelligence -- in its principle and its plenitude -- is knowledge of the Absolute; the Absolute is the fundamental content of the intelligence and determines its nature and functions. What distinguishes man from animals is not knowledge of a tree, but the concept -- whether explicit or implicit -- of the Absolute; it is from this that the whole hierarchy of values is derived, and hence all notion of a homogeneous world. God is the 'motionless mover' of every operation of the mind, even when man -- reason -- makes himself out to be the measure of God."

115 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Some commenters failed to understand my point about Man, -- not this or that man, but Man as Such -- that he cannot evolve further, because he is the end of evolution.

We don't fail to understand your point; you're just wrong.

2/24/2010 08:30:00 AM  
Anonymous Petey said...

Folly to the geeks, a stumbling block to the clueless!

2/24/2010 08:50:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

Sorry for the OT, pressed for time.

Sussannah, you mentioned the other day something like 'another of 1,300 reasons to homeschool'... well you can chuck all of those, this is the only reason you need.

Read this not for what I've got to say, but for what is coming your way, and may even already be in your town. Includes links to Pajamas Media article and to the actuall doc's.

Fight this one! Forget about stimulous... schmimulous... it this sneaks by unopposed... we're done.

2/24/2010 09:04:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh no! Kids might be forced to be introduced to the concept of evolution!

2/24/2010 09:25:00 AM  
Blogger Northern Bandit said...

Dunno if this is the same Anonymous as yesterday. In any case this one is obviously impenetrable.

All I can say to you is: I thank God with all my heart I did not remain what you are.

2/24/2010 09:57:00 AM  
Blogger walt said...

That's a lovely illustration of a Banyan Tree. I didn't know they grow in Florida.

Just for fun, Here's a photo from Wiki of a big one. I gather there's a sign near it:
"The signboard says the tree is in the Guinness Book of World Records for the widest canopy at 1.5 hectares and with about 2880 prop-roots."

And for what it's worth, I'll play the role of polar opposite to Anon's flailing, as the "punctuation" you put on the whole concept of Man in relation to God and Evolution just seems like clarity squared to me.

Thanks!

2/24/2010 10:07:00 AM  
Blogger Ricky Raccoon said...

“Oh no! Kids might be forced to be introduced to the concept of evolution!”

If it were merely “introduced” as a “concept” I’d laugh with you. But instead, your clever use of language is giving you away. It is simply taught as fact. It discourages serious consideration to alternative explanations for “what Man is”, such as what Bob does. Worst of all, it nips “wonder” on the greatest subject in the bud. Right when they’re budding.

Skydirt again, Bob.

2/24/2010 10:28:00 AM  
Anonymous hoarhey said...

I am among Banyans.

2/24/2010 10:29:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

All I can say to you is: I thank God with all my heart I did not remain what you are.

Whatever makes you happy...but I'm the one who has evidence and science on my side, regardless of what you claim is "Truth".

Ricky Raccoon...you are of course aware that there is an unbelievable amount of evidence that demonstrates the evolutionary process. You feel that schools should instead be spending time on fairy tales such as Noah's Ark, and Jesus riding around on a dinosaur? Is that fair to children?

And "alternative explanations", huh? Do you also support children being taught "alternatives" in regards to marriage, and drug use, etc?

Anyway, going back to my original point, the idea that mankind is the end of evolution is patently absurd. Those of you who preach "humility" while simultaneously embracing such pompous and narcissistic (and wholly unsupported) viewpoints--"we're as good as it gets, and WE'RE right about God!"--should be ashamed of yourselves.

2/24/2010 10:38:00 AM  
Blogger Ricky Raccoon said...

I'm sorry...but everytime somebody says Banyan.. I think: Gold, Bob, gold!

2/24/2010 10:39:00 AM  
Blogger Ricky Raccoon said...

Uh…you’ve inserted a lot of your imagination there. I think that’s obvious.

I would be happy if the material were presented like this:

“Some scientists think…”

That’s not too much to ask is it? Dr Berlisnki is much more interesting. Check out his videos. He doesn’t leave out the things left out…those things which keep Darwin’s theory from being not even a theory.

2/24/2010 10:46:00 AM  
Blogger Ricky Raccoon said...

"Jesus riding around on a dinosaur"

You know, you really should get new material..

2/24/2010 10:47:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Some scientists think" what, exactly? The fossil record speaks for itself. Hominids have been evolving for millions of years. We're just the latest version.

2/24/2010 11:00:00 AM  
Blogger Ricky Raccoon said...

It speaks for itself?
There's that imagination again!
I'll "put you some Berlinski" later on. Gotta get back to the grindstone.
Promise to be back?
:-)

2/24/2010 11:03:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sure, although it's frustrating when someone comes along and deletes me, which is a significant possibility.

2/24/2010 11:07:00 AM  
Blogger PeterBoston said...

I'm not an old hand of the comments section so perhaps this has been discussed many times before - but why do the trolls harp on some backwoods story of evolution?

There is nothing in Christian Orthodoxy that precludes evolution. If anything Genesis 1-2 suggest it in the only "scientific" language that would have been available to our ancestors 4,000+ years ago - that the first human was made from the earth and that all other humans followed from his body. There were no DNA textbooks available.

The account of creation in the sequence from "Let there be light" to Adam is eerily consistent with modern cosmology. It's a childish story when placed next to a text on astrophysics but quite amazing when placed properly in time somwhere between the Iron Age and the Middle Bronze Age.

If anything, the biblical story of creation makes an objective case for Revelation. We can be fairly certain that the presence of a Being that existed outside of space and time who willed all matter into existence was not a common topic of conversation thousands of years ago. Where could such a crazy idea come from?

Thank you for the time and effort you put into this blog. It has been the starting point for thought and study for me on more than one occasion.

2/24/2010 11:19:00 AM  
Blogger Ricky Raccoon said...

That was a joke about stalkers. I know you'll be back :-)

2/24/2010 11:23:00 AM  
Blogger Ricky Raccoon said...

Thank you, Peter.

2/24/2010 11:25:00 AM  
Blogger PeterBoston said...

I saw a bonsai of a Banyan tree at Morikami Park in Boca Raton.

It was about 4 feet wide. I was told it was 100 years old.

One of the most spectacular things I've ever seen.

2/24/2010 11:26:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We can be fairly certain that the presence of a Being that existed outside of space and time who willed all matter into existence was not a common topic of conversation thousands of years ago. Where could such a crazy idea come from?

The explanation of things that couldn't be understood any other way at the time, of course.

Please note that my points are:

1) that the idea that modern man is the "end" of evolution is absurd

2) that evolution's been proven to such a point that we should without question be teaching it to every child in school

I have no problem with an idea that the Bible does not preclude evolution.

2/24/2010 11:28:00 AM  
Blogger Ricky Raccoon said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

2/24/2010 11:32:00 AM  
Blogger Ricky Raccoon said...

We understand your points.

A bobo in there. Take two:

But why “should” we teach it to every child?

Don’t confuse that question with some idea that I think we shouldn’t. I, nor anyone here, never said it shouldn’t be taught. I'm interested in why you think we should. On what do you base your "should"?

2/24/2010 11:35:00 AM  
Blogger Magnus Itland said...

On the contrary, the notion that man as species can evolve further is absurd.

If you were to grow wings, or a pair of extra hands, or triple your IQ, would that help you find a truer truth than truth? A more virtuous virtue than virtue? A more beautiful beauty than beauty? What, exactly, would you achieve? You would either remain man, or become another animal, of which we already have many. In what sense is that "evolution"? Is that not just random change?

2/24/2010 11:41:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You may understand my points, but Peter's response was pretty much a non sequitur.

Again, I come back to:

[Man] cannot evolve further, because he is the end of evolution.

This demonstrates a fundamental lack of understanding of evolution. There is no magical endpoint. If all this writing somehow lasts another million years, whomever's around then will laugh at it.

We should teach evolution for the same reasons we teach biology, physics and astronomy. It's good science, encourages critical thinking, and helps us understand the universe.

You may take that last sentence and claim "but that's what we're doing here", but most people don't agree with that.

Since I screwed up the word verification, I shall also reply to Magnus Itland: we've already seen evidence of evolution since biblical times (people have become taller, being the "fittest" and having women choose them as such), and I for one don't know what will be different thousands or millions of years from now that will keep us evolving.

2/24/2010 11:44:00 AM  
Blogger walt said...

Bonsai Banyan Tree at Morikami Gardens (scroll down)

2/24/2010 11:51:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Magnus:

Brain size has something to do with spirituality. Our big brains make some nebulous contact with God available today.

Probably if we doubled the size and complexity of the brain, we could directly communicate with God clearly and in real-time.

The part of the brain that controls intuition is where this contact occurs.

God is drenching us in His arcane supra EM communication frequencies on multiple "bandwidths" as it were, but we can't quite pick it up with our rudimentary organs.

Better brains through genetic drift or through artifice will get the job done, and the sooner the better so as to clear up all this confusion.

2/24/2010 11:58:00 AM  
Blogger Ricky Raccoon said...

Anon,
There is more to Man than his biology. Or he is just an animal.

...is our point.

2/24/2010 11:59:00 AM  
Blogger Ricky Raccoon said...

"We should teach evolution for the same reasons we teach biology, physics and astronomy. It's good science."

I do not beleive it is sound science. Therefore it is not good to teach it as such. Unless, you say it is not sound,then that would be "good" enough for me.

2/24/2010 12:02:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Or he is just an animal.

And I can accept that.

The previous Anonymous was someone else, if that wasn't apparent.

2/24/2010 12:02:00 PM  
Blogger PeterBoston said...

I did not say the Bible - I said Christian Orthodoxy, which is the sum of some 1,900 years of human experience since the last Bible text was penned. It's fashionable to mock Christianity as averse to science but the facts speak otherwise.

A person of true intellectual curiosity would wonder why modern science in particular, and scientific inquiry in general, had been sustained only in societies with a dominant Christian tradition?

2/24/2010 12:08:00 PM  
Blogger Ricky Raccoon said...

"And I can accept that."

Then we are through.

2/24/2010 12:17:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I do not understand the appeal of such a static view of man and the cosmos.

If I have this right, according to you lot, all the billion-odd years of biological evolution was toward a preordained goal, namely us, sitting in front of our computers and belching words at each other. Now that we're here, nothing's going to change for better or worse, we just reflect the Absolute all day long in the form of blog posts.

I think you are confusing Earth and Heaven. Angels may be content to do nothing for eternity but reflect the glory of God, but humans are a different story. We are indeed on a journey from matter to animals to something greater, but only someone with a radically limited imagination could believe we've arrived at the final destination.

2/24/2010 12:44:00 PM  
Blogger Fido said...

Why would an animal worry about such things.
That's what I'd like to know.

2/24/2010 12:53:00 PM  
Anonymous maineman said...

Anony, you're beginning to sound like a global warming nut-job. First of all, you keep confusing a belief in the overarching influence of natural selection with evolution proper, which is one of the reasons why you're not grasping what people here are trying to convey to you and why your thinking is so convoluted and confused.

Secondly, if Darwinism were a scientific enterprise rather than a materialistic belief system, it would have been discarded long ago for lack of scientific support. It has demonstrated nothing, to paraphrase Chesterfield, about how one thing can turn into something else. It says nothing about the origin of the species, and the support that has been cited for it is essential based on Mendelian genetics.

You need to spend some time reading outside of the dogma that makes up the "settled science" here, because you're talking through your hat and it's interfering with your understanding of much more significant material and concepts.

2/24/2010 01:09:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A person of true intellectual curiosity would wonder why modern science in particular, and scientific inquiry in general, had been sustained only in societies with a dominant Christian tradition?

Correlation does not imply causation...but I reject your assertion anyways.

2/24/2010 01:28:00 PM  
Blogger Ricky Raccoon said...

Anon (whichever one),

Below is a good part of the Dr. Berlinski video series on youtube that I think illustrates well the deficiencies of the so-called theory.

Please keep in mind, like the good Dr. here, my gut, to my satisfaction, tells me evolution probably happened as Darwin imagined, based on the fossil record, etc. But that is not science, nor fact, however.

In the following clip, Dr. Berlinski gets into some of what is required to make it even a theory. They are not insignificant things. My point is, I find his skeptical approach very intriguing. Certainly more fascinating than it was ever presented to me in school. The number of transitional sequences in particular.

This is the alternative “way” of teaching the material I’m talking about. It is more honest and truthful. That is all.

Part 3

2/24/2010 01:31:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I do not understand the appeal of such a static view of man and the cosmos.

Really? I understand the appeal perfectly fine, I just don't understand how someone could be so deluded as to really believe it, and/or spend so much time trying to convince others (and himself).

Your post was awesome, though.

2/24/2010 01:32:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You guys need need some work on basic logic.

Humans are animals -- but that doesn't mean they are only animals.

To make an analogy, churches are buildings, and so are houses and skyscrapers and sheds. That doesn't mean that a church is only a building, or is somehow reduced by the fact that it shares with other buildings some structural features and history.

2/24/2010 01:32:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Youtube is blocked here at my workplace, but I will indeed watch your link at an opportune time.

2/24/2010 01:34:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You guys need need some work on basic logic.

Humans are animals -- but that doesn't mean they are only animals.

To make an analogy, churches are buildings, and so are houses and skyscrapers and sheds. That doesn't mean that a church is only a building, or is somehow reduced by the fact that it shares with other buildings some structural features and history.


Your stated logic is sound, but...so?

2/24/2010 01:36:00 PM  
Blogger Ricky Raccoon said...

Anon 1:34,
Use a name or something, will ya.
We can't tell who is who.
Jeepers. How many times do we have to say that.
You can't be taken seriously otherwise. And sometimes you sound as if that's what you want.
Is this rocket science?
Vent

2/24/2010 01:39:00 PM  
Blogger Northern Bandit said...

but I'm the one who has evidence and science on my side, regardless of what you claim is "Truth".

Absolutely. You win. We're totally wrong! How could I have not seen it before!

Now, kindly go back to your blog and we'll all meet you there tomorrow so that you can be our new guru. No need for you to come back here. Honest, we'll be there!

2/24/2010 01:40:00 PM  
Blogger Northern Bandit said...

Here's the problem with most of the trolls. They come sliding in here, read a few posts, and proceed to unload the contents of their little minds without the slightest understanding of the deep background needed to make sense of what is said here. Virtually all "regulars" here have:

1. Read the book
2. Absorbed many hundreds of posts here
3. Read a number of the books on the reading list

And even then the concepts presented can be elusive at times.

Would a troll presume to deduce the intricate details of quantum thermodynamics from thin air just because he's flown a kite? Why do these people presume to understand the intricacies of the epistemological concepts here with a similar depth of background?

To the anonymous trolls with a Discover Magazine level of knowledge about Darwinian evolution, everything looks like a roulette wheel. They apply their shallow understanding of the world here like a bull in a china shop.

I think Bob pointed out some time back that you really cannot carry on a conversation with these people because only one side understands what the conversation is even about.

All of this is unnecessary for those who are actually interested in what OC is about. A bit of humility and a lot of patience might yield results. As for convincing us that we're wrong and you're right: Woof!

2/24/2010 01:50:00 PM  
Blogger Northern Bandit said...

Anonymous:

FYI: "Woof" means: I don't debate atheists for the same reason I don't debate my dog: I always lose.

2/24/2010 01:51:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Absolutely. You win. We're totally wrong! How could I have not seen it before!

Now, kindly go back to your blog and we'll all meet you there tomorrow so that you can be our new guru. No need for you to come back here. Honest, we'll be there!


Under scrutiny, any argument presented by Bob and his followers quickly deteriorates into:

1) I'm smarter than you, and/or
2) You just don't understand, and/or
3) You're smarter than me!

2/24/2010 01:51:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There was a *sarcasm* before the text of number 3 there, but it was edited out as an html tag.

2/24/2010 01:52:00 PM  
Blogger Ricky Raccoon said...

I don't understand what you are saying.

2/24/2010 01:54:00 PM  
Blogger Ricky Raccoon said...

Based on the “anon record”, which is overflowing with evidence - evidence up the wazoo - all the stupid anon comments belong to anon.
That’s my theory and I’m sticking it to it.

2/24/2010 01:55:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The uncomfortable truth is that biology IS destiny, and that includes spiritual destiny.

The body is the sticking point. Aurobindo knew it. He concluded we must transform the body if we're going to ascend further up the vertical axis.

This is why spiritual folk (including the raccoons) pound their heads against the lid that separates Man from God, and in their frustration at not breaking through, conclude this is as good as it gets, and settle down to wait for Jesus.

The missing ingredient is time. Given enough time, the body will be divinised (probably by growing a bigger brain) and the lid will be breached.

However, who wants to wait eons for that? Why not build ourselves a fitter body and brain and speed things up?

2/24/2010 01:56:00 PM  
Blogger Ricky Raccoon said...

NB,
No doubt.
Sometimes they seem reasonable, and sometimes I feel like trying…is all can I say in my defense.

2/24/2010 01:57:00 PM  
Blogger Jack said...

Anon-

I think Northern Bandit laid it out quite clearly. I too would recommend:

1. Read the book
2. Absorbed many hundreds of posts here
3. Read a number of the books on the reading list

You may or may not end up agreeing with the position taken here at One Cosmos, but at least you'll have a better idea what everyone is talking about.

*YOU* are the guest here, no one is actually obligated to convince you of anything.

Do the homework yourself and then start asking genuine questions (i.e. not assertions thinly disguised as questions). I can guarantee you that if you do so, the conversation will go far more pleasantly.

Otherwise, it is curious that you seem to bother about all this so much. Something to think about.

You may find that the resistance you complain about may in fact be coming from a spot much closer to you than you think.

2/24/2010 02:02:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

1. Read the book
2. Absorbed many hundreds of posts here
3. Read a number of the books on the reading list


I'm sure you all could be convinced that Carrot Top is God, too, with enough brainwashing and groupthink.

2/24/2010 02:06:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Otherwise, it is curious that you seem to bother about all this so much. Something to think about.

Well, yes, on this we probably agree.

2/24/2010 02:08:00 PM  
Blogger Ricky Raccoon said...

Yet none of your brainwashing and groupthink seems to ever work. Hmmm. See? I find this fascinating..

2/24/2010 02:09:00 PM  
Blogger Northern Bandit said...

*Sigh*

One thing I'll say about Michael Moore joining the NBA that I can't say about Anonymous: Moore would have a freakin' clue that he's out of his depth.

But go ahead, keep it coming all day if that's what makes you feel better.

2/24/2010 02:09:00 PM  
Blogger Jack said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

2/24/2010 02:09:00 PM  
Blogger PeterBoston said...

When ya' don't know nothin' about what you're talkin' about call the other guy a name.

It works for the Democrats.

2/24/2010 02:10:00 PM  
Anonymous son of a preacher man said...

In this technological age Anon is the new Legion.

2/24/2010 02:12:00 PM  
Blogger Ricky Raccoon said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

2/24/2010 02:12:00 PM  
Blogger Ricky Raccoon said...

I would like to raccoomend to the bored that we coin this new discovery, "Jack's Law".
If it's alright with Jack..
All those in favor say, woof.

Woof!

2/24/2010 02:14:00 PM  
Blogger Jack said...

A new variation on Godwin's Law:

As an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Carrot top approaches 1.

Has it really come to this!?

2/24/2010 02:15:00 PM  
Blogger Ricky Raccoon said...

Here's another fav Berlinski o' mine: Random Mutations

2/24/2010 02:16:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

When ya' don't know nothin' about what you're talkin' about call the other guy a name.

It works for the Democrats.


You called me a troll. What have I called you? Or anyone?

2/24/2010 02:17:00 PM  
Blogger Jack said...

Sorry I had repost to make a minor correction there.

Jack's Law sounds good to me! :)

2/24/2010 02:17:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

*Sigh*

One thing I'll say about Michael Moore joining the NBA that I can't say about Anonymous: Moore would have a freakin' clue that he's out of his depth.

But go ahead, keep it coming all day if that's what makes you feel better.


I'm aware how deep you all are, but it's not exactly Truth you're deep in.

2/24/2010 02:18:00 PM  
Blogger Ricky Raccoon said...

Jack,
You messed up the fossil record!
(My comment comes before yours now :-)

I'm leaving it like that.

2/24/2010 02:18:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yet none of your brainwashing and groupthink seems to ever work. Hmmm. See? I find this fascinating..

"In science it often happens that scientists say, "You know that's a really good argument; my position is mistaken," and then they would actually change their minds and you never hear that old view from them again. They really do it. It doesn't happen as often as it should, because scientists are human and change is sometimes painful. But it happens every day. I cannot recall the last time someting like that happened in politics or religion." -- Carl Sagan

2/24/2010 02:19:00 PM  
Blogger Jack said...

Dang it! now what will all the future internet archeologists think?!?

All due to my sloppy cutting and pasting.

*sigh*

I am going to watch a carrot top "comedy" routine on the youtube as punishment. Harsh, I know! But the punishment fits the crime!

2/24/2010 02:21:00 PM  
Blogger Ricky Raccoon said...

Well, if Dr Sagan said it, it must be so..

Spent a lot of time in religious circles did he?

(BTW, I'm a Sagan fan. Bigger than you even. Prove it.)

2/24/2010 02:22:00 PM  
Blogger walt said...

I, for one, am not interested in "groupthink."

However, "brainwashing" sounds downright refreshing!

2/24/2010 02:22:00 PM  
Blogger Ricky Raccoon said...

Don't do it Jack!!!

2/24/2010 02:23:00 PM  
Blogger Ricky Raccoon said...

Walt! you lurker...
:-)

2/24/2010 02:24:00 PM  
Blogger walt said...

Rick -

What -- was there something to be gained by participating?

2/24/2010 02:27:00 PM  
Blogger Ricky Raccoon said...

No pain no gain?

2/24/2010 02:30:00 PM  
Blogger PeterBoston said...

I'm kinda new to the comments - do I still get included in the groupthink or just the brainwashing?

BTW. I especially like the vertical/horizontal division. It allows the unwashed portion of my addled brain to better categorize things.

2/24/2010 02:30:00 PM  
Blogger Jack said...

oh, the horror...the horror...

So many awful props, so many bad visual puns!

My eyes are burning!

2/24/2010 02:30:00 PM  
Blogger Ricky Raccoon said...

Peter,
I think the dues are up to $1.75now. Dunno. I bought the lifetime membership.
(Sorry Bob.)

2/24/2010 02:33:00 PM  
Blogger mushroom said...

In all terrestrial creatures the cold inertia of matter becomes heat, but in man alone does heat become light.

I like that.

2/24/2010 02:37:00 PM  
Blogger Magnus Itland said...

Y'know, I'm still waiting for the anonymice to evolve names. Or even nicknames. Or even a signature.

As for bigger brains: A bigger house is great, but you can get a long way by clearing out the garbage. Conversely, if you just keep piling it up, no manor will be large enough.

wv: dens. Yeah, verily.

2/24/2010 02:38:00 PM  
Blogger Northern Bandit said...

Anon:

Among many, many other things that you patently don't get, a biggie is that many (possibly most) of us here have made massive changes in our world view over the years. A lot of us were atheists, and we certainly have a full layman's understanding of Darwinian evolution. This isn't a Sunday school class.

Our point is simply this:

1. You don't know what you don't know (neither did I for many years)

2. You can't follow what's going on here much less argue points because of #1.

3. Only patient study will allow someone to absorb the philosophical concepts sufficiently to be able to say anything interesting here. Some "trolls" have been quite well versed and at least they are interesting. Arrogance combined with willed ignorance is just annoying.

2/24/2010 02:39:00 PM  
Blogger mushroom said...

Looks like we can just let the Anons argue among themselves.

wv says it's a form of moderism

2/24/2010 02:47:00 PM  
Blogger Northern Bandit said...

Magnus:

I've yet to see a single random mutation.

Where are the:

Anonyyous

Aonnymous

Anonymoua

or even the

Mamamia!

They don't seem to evolve at all...

2/24/2010 02:48:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Our point is simply this:

1. You don't know what you don't know (neither did I for many years)

2. You can't follow what's going on here much less argue points because of #1.

3. Only patient study will allow someone to absorb the philosophical concepts sufficiently to be able to say anything interesting here. Some "trolls" have been quite well versed and at least they are interesting. Arrogance combined with willed ignorance is just annoying.


I've already noted that your weak arguments quickly deteriorate into this, every single time.

And I'm not particularly concerned about whether or not I seem "interesting".

Another Sagan quote:
"You can't convince a believer of anything; for their belief is not based on evidence, it's based on a deep seated need to believe."

This blog is such a magnificent example of this. Congratulations on "believing".

2/24/2010 02:48:00 PM  
Blogger Jack said...

"You can't convince a believer of anything; for their belief is not based on evidence, it's based on a deep seated need to believe."

And are you so sure that this quote doesn't apply to yourself?

2/24/2010 02:56:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

And are you so sure that this quote doesn't apply to yourself?

Of course. I operate on evidence.

2/24/2010 02:57:00 PM  
Blogger Jack said...

Perhaps. But maybe you don't have all of the "evidence" that that everyone is referring to here. Hence the suggestion to engage in further study.

Could doing so actually hurt you? Are you afraid of the so-called "group think"?? If you are so impervious to delusion, then I say dive right in and see what it is actually being proposed here. And then you can *really* show everyone how wrong they are!!

2/24/2010 03:05:00 PM  
Blogger Northern Bandit said...

Anon:

Explain "evidence".

For that matter, explain empiricism and Kant's categorical imperative. I could go on.

The point is you have a mass of unarticualted a priori assumptions a mile thick. You somehow think that you are oh so rational and that you what? Rely on the scientific method?

Do you even understand what the word "metaphysical" means? Seriously, do you? Don't you realize that this blog is about metaphysical discussions which transcend (and embrace) the scientific method, by definition?

And isn't there a Star Trek convention somewhere where you can order pizza and Dr. Pepper and talk Sagan all night?

2/24/2010 03:07:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is the height of silly arrogance to make all sorts of incorrect and slanderous assertions and then when called on it, claim that your opponents do not have sufficient depth of intellect to comprehend your profoundities.

Or put it another way: if you want to blather about Cosmic Verticallity or whatever, be my guest, that's your department and I wouldn't want to interefere with the pleasure of amateur metaphysics. hen you talk about Darwinism, science, the left, or the actual universe, you impinge on my territory and if you say something stupid you may expect to get called out.

2/24/2010 03:11:00 PM  
Blogger Northern Bandit said...

Nobody here said you don't have the intelligence to understand any or all of what we are saying here.

We are saying that you obviously lack the background (primarily in philosophy) to meaningfully discuss the topics at hand, yet you persis in lobbing non sequiters around as though they are cogent insights.

The whole thing about evolution as it relates to the Absolute was patiently explained to you several times. You showed absolutely zero comprehension (I wouldn't have gotten it either, when I was as ignorant as you on these matters).

It's your arrogance that galls, not any lack of intelligence.

2/24/2010 03:16:00 PM  
Blogger Jack said...

hoo boy.

I think I'd rather be forced to watch Carrot Top video's a la "A Clockwork Orange" than continue with this guy.

Good Luck!

2/24/2010 03:17:00 PM  
Blogger Northern Bandit said...

Moving along...

Via Instapundit, the progressives have rejected one of their own for being too real, man.

FTA:

Atlanta Progressive News has parted ways with long-serving senior staff writer Jonathan Springston. Apparently, Springston’s affinity for fact-based reporting clashed with Cardinale’s vision.
And, no, that’s not sarcasm.
In an e-mail statement, editor Matthew Cardinale says Springston was asked to leave APN last week “because he held on to the notion that there was an objective reality that could be reported objectively, despite the fact that that was not our editorial policy at Atlanta Progressive News.”


Can't make this stuff up, as Glenn says.

2/24/2010 03:20:00 PM  
Blogger Northern Bandit said...

Anon:

Given that "the actual universe" is "[your] territory", isn't there somewhere else you should be?

wv: ovelis
(Like maybe on planet Ovelis?)

2/24/2010 03:32:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The last Anonymous to post was not me (the Anonymous who has posted most of these comments)

Not that I disagree with his thoughts...also not that I disagree with the statement that things would be easier if we chose other names...I'm just saying, really.

2/24/2010 03:41:00 PM  
Blogger Grant Maher said...

The dividing line in this dust-up has to be the "conversion experience."

All raccoons have had one; ask any.

The non raccoon will not have had one.

And this is why we get talk about depth and profundities that are undefined.

The conversion experience is an encounter with the legendary "O". It is the evidence that flips the lay person into raccoon territory and forever after runs her life.

A single five second encounter is all it takes.

To help anon understand the raccoon, he will have to hear some conversion stories.

Even then, he will not believe.

Then, when his date with "O" rolls around, he will believe, and he will be a raccoon.

That is how it is, anon. For real.
So who wants to testify on behalf of anon?

2/24/2010 03:53:00 PM  
Blogger Jack said...

"But the heart of religion is not altered states but altered traits of character." -Huston Smith

2/24/2010 03:58:00 PM  
Blogger Ricky Raccoon said...

""You can't convince a believer of anything; for their belief is not based on evidence, it's based on a deep seated need to believe."

If Sagan actually said, I am no longer a fan.
of that quote.

2/24/2010 04:44:00 PM  
Anonymous LaFayette said...

100!

2/24/2010 06:14:00 PM  
Anonymous LaFayette said...

D'oh!

2/24/2010 06:14:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

aninnymouse said "The last Anonymous to post was not me (the Anonymous who has posted most of these comments)"

Wrong. Every aninnymouse, past, present and future, using the nic 'Anonymous' said it and is responsible for it. If you don't like the guilt of your associations, get a nic of your own, or shaddup already.

aninnymouse said "It is the height of silly arrogance to make all sorts of incorrect and slanderous assertions and then when called on it, claim that your opponents do not have sufficient depth of intellect to comprehend your profoundities."

Correct, so stop saying such things and shaddup already.

aninnymouse said "Another Sagan quote:
"You can't convince a believer of anything; for their belief is not based on evidence, it's based on a deep seated need to believe.""

This would be the same Carl Sagan (a childhood favorite of mine... read all of his books - Broca's Brain and Dragons of Eden mucho many times over) who said if the oil wells in Iraq were lit on fire, we'd be plunged into something akin to a 'Nuclear Winter'.

Apparently his belief's were not based on the best of evidence... if any. So shaddup already.

aninnymouse said "Whatever makes you happy...but I'm the one who has evidence and science on my side, regardless of what you claim is "Truth"."

I believe that that's the same thing the head of the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change shouted into the phone as India hung up on them and pulled out of the panel.

Shaddup already.

2/24/2010 07:21:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

And that's 100.

(the crowd goes wild)

2/24/2010 07:21:00 PM  
Blogger Warren said...

>> It is the height of silly arrogance to make all sorts of incorrect and slanderous assertions and then when called on it, claim that your opponents do not have sufficient depth of intellect to comprehend your profoundities.

Agreed. So cut it out.

2/24/2010 08:02:00 PM  
Blogger Warren said...

Damn it Van, you beat me to the punch!

2/24/2010 08:03:00 PM  
Blogger NoMo said...

Anon - I observe that you're missing one small realization here. That is, your sin nature and it's adverse impact on your ability to think or reason. Get that cleaned up and we can talk.

wv: You "didin" jes say dat.

Yes, I did.

2/24/2010 08:57:00 PM  
Anonymous Thank you sir may I have... said...

Trolls to OC:

Whazzup wit what yer sayin don' make no sense. Splain please?

NB to Trolls:
We don' gotta splain. We read da book! We smart enough already!

Anon:
Don' youse guys evolve or sumpin?

RR to Anons:
NB, Van, etc, DON' ANSWER DAT! LEMME DO IT! No douchebag. We done evolved aready! You otta try it sometime, caveman. We so evolved we won't even splain it!

NB:
Yeah, uh, dumb guys. Read the same books we did! Then you won't be wantin to talk about the same things we don't be wantin to talk about. Together! It'll be GREAT! THEN we can LOVE you cause we'll all be...evolved! Till then, screw you wannabes! We be 2 evoluted 4 U.

2/24/2010 09:29:00 PM  
Anonymous math, the queen of sciences said...

104-RR=78.

Nuff Said. Pleez.

2/24/2010 09:48:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

meth queen said "Nuff Said. Pleez."

eh. Now if you could have arranged it to come out to where the balance or difference came to 33... now that would have been nuff said.

2/24/2010 10:08:00 PM  
Anonymous math, the queen of sciences said...

Whoosh.

Woof.

U hafta talk to RR bout that. It's a math problem, not an ego problem.

If U dandy lions were half as far up the cosmic flagpole as you think you are you sure wouldn't be here brayin bout your reading list.

I know why I'm here: I just stop in to kick the donkeys.

Heeeeeeeeeee Haw.

2/25/2010 04:34:00 AM  
Anonymous math, the queen of sciences said...

Correction:
In this case, it's a math problem and an ego problem.

2/25/2010 04:38:00 AM  
Blogger Ricky Raccoon said...

Gesundheit!

2/25/2010 05:15:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

Hey meth queen and anon - we're laughing at your superior intellect.

Hee-Haw.
(BTW - what with being lefties and all, you're the one with the donkey's, doofus)

2/25/2010 05:31:00 AM  
Blogger Ricky Raccoon said...

He reminds me of a stalker from Gil Bailie’s place.
No there there.
Show me the there.

2/25/2010 05:38:00 AM  
Anonymous lurker uncloaking said...

Dear anonymous…(AKA as ”Legion”)…I have been occasionally posting on this site since 2006, and I can assure you, that if you want to be taken seriously, given a little (very little) respect, or not have your posting skipped over….. GIVE YOURSELF A FREAKIN’ NAME!!!! One of the heretofore unwritten rules of “Post a Comment On: One Cosmos” is that ‘anonymous” is a code word meaning clueless, irrelevant, smelly troll, arrogantly and condescendingly wrong, or…all of the above. If you can’t even think up a Non De Plume (such as I choose to use), at least assign yourself a number. Anonymous#666 has a nice ring to it. Otherwise… remain anonymous, and gratefully accept the mass quantities of steaming poo that will be deservedly flung at you.♠

2/25/2010 05:57:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

Speaking of Show Me, regarding the issue I linked to in my first comment yesterday... everybody out there had better be checking if this 'Race To The Top' program is being implemented in their state - 40 out of 50 (or 57) are getting involved. I met with a couple of our local teachers last night who have been trying to raise the alarm around our state (MO)... this thing is big bad news folks.

And you Homeschooler's out there... if you think they won't be coming for you after they've finished 'consolidating' all local school boards into multi-state consortiums... you're dreaming dangerous dreams.

2/25/2010 05:57:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

"Man -- insofar as he is distinct from other creatures on earth -- is intelligence; and intelligence -- in its principle and its plenitude -- is knowledge of the Absolute; the Absolute is the fundamental content of the intelligence and determines its nature and functions. What distinguishes man from animals is not knowledge of a tree, but the concept -- whether explicit or implicit -- of the Absolute; it is from this that the whole hierarchy of values is derived, and hence all notion of a homogeneous world. God is the 'motionless mover' of every operation of the mind, even when man -- reason -- makes himself out to be the measure of God."

I finally had a quiet moment to sit and read this post... talk about a welcome, resolving, message.

Thanks Gagdad, I needed that.

2/25/2010 06:02:00 AM  
Blogger Ricky Raccoon said...

Thanks, Van. I'll check that out.

2/25/2010 06:45:00 AM  

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