Calico Site (California, +/- 200K Ago)

The science or study of primitive societies and the nature of man.

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Minimalist
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Re: Calico Site (California, +/- 200K Ago)

Post by Minimalist » Thu Nov 12, 2009 4:43 pm

But your statement is just a personal opinion, Min

The lack of tangible evidence for god is not a personal opinion.

There is no tangible evidence. There isn't a lot of intangible evidence other than the drivel spouted by believers.

Meanwhile, the fact that most human groups eventually create such a being is highly suggestive to me that is nothing but man-made stuff.
If triangles had a god, they would give him three sides.” —Montesquieu
"I'm wondering why "God didn't do it" is more rational that "God did it", when there is not a scintilla of evidence either way?"

Because "goddidit" is designed to cut off inquiry whereas goddidn'tdoit" invites people (let's invent a name for them....how about "scientists?"...to continue investigating.

Religion does not prosper when humans become knowledgeable. Look at the empty churches in Europe. Religion flourishes in ignorance and they are highly motivated to advance ignorance whenever possible.


On one board I asked a fundie why creationism was her line in the sand? Why, for instance, did she not also insist that the "driving out of demons" be taught in medical school since her boy supposedly handled cures in that manner. Would you be surprised to know that she couldn't answer?
Something is wrong here. War, disease, death, destruction, hunger, filth, poverty, torture, crime, corruption, and the Ice Capades. Something is definitely wrong. This is not good work. If this is the best God can do, I am not impressed.

-- George Carlin

uniface

Re: Calico Site (California, +/- 200K Ago)

Post by uniface » Thu Nov 12, 2009 6:55 pm

Uniface, her name isn't Victoria. It's Virginia. Virginia Steen-McIntyre.

Sorry.

They say, memory is the second thing to go.

I don't recall what the first is . . .

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Re: Calico Site (California, +/- 200K Ago)

Post by Minimalist » Thu Nov 12, 2009 7:15 pm

I think its the knees.
Something is wrong here. War, disease, death, destruction, hunger, filth, poverty, torture, crime, corruption, and the Ice Capades. Something is definitely wrong. This is not good work. If this is the best God can do, I am not impressed.

-- George Carlin

uniface

Re: Calico Site (California, +/- 200K Ago)

Post by uniface » Thu Nov 12, 2009 8:23 pm

Min wrote:The Creationists pursue a false dichotomy, Dig. They think that all they have to do is poke imaginary holes in the ToE and by default the answer will be their fairy tale.
Objection, Your Honor -- the prosecution is hallucinating.

No fairy tales need be involved. At least, I'm not telling any.

Look at pictures of the ruins around Lake Titicacca in Bolivia. The technology necessary to duplicate them does not exist today. For another example, the foundation of Ba'albek. But they're there -- fingers in the face of the untenable assumption that we're the first to reach an advanced level of technological mastery.

We simply aren't. The evidence is irrefutable.

This being the case, and with the assurance that others before us rose even higher than we have, where on earth is the problem with acknowledging that if we can do genetic engineering, they could too -- and likely did ?

It's as if people have set out to account for the universe armed with a bathroom scale, a yardstick and a thermometer. That they've made some progress is undeniable, but their insistence that every observation has to be accounted-for by their little set of tools is just daft.

One more time (with feeling) : The argument is never really about the observation. It's about the inability of the tool set to account for (validate) it. And because the mentality of the toolkit cannot be questioned, there the matter ends.

Viewed dispassionately, there has been no development in the last 200 years that has conduced more to vanity and hubris in the suggestible than what passes for "science." I kid you not. Read some old textbooks in nearly any field (medicine especially). What passes for facts in them is often absurd. But the tone of haughty, olympian finality in which it is delivered is unmistakable. When I was in school, Biology had nothing to say about the life it was supposedly accounting for at all. It was 100% taxonomy. Labels.

"Religion" depends too much on what you mean by it. But it's pretty inescapable to me that a lot of what's been called (and believed to be) "science" over the years hasn't just flourished because of a climate of ignorance, it's created that very climate. No matter how (in retrospect) laughably ignorant, the blithe, wooly self-assurance of the "educated" that his ideas are the last word is an historical constant. And when questioned, the rejoinder is always what ? "And where is your PhD from ?"

Enough, probably. Maybe too much.

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Re: Calico Site (California, +/- 200K Ago)

Post by Minimalist » Thu Nov 12, 2009 9:49 pm

Somewhere in the archives of this board is a long discussion of Fingerprints of the Gods. However, even Hancock only suggests an advanced human civilization not any sort of Divine Golden Age.

Yes, there are problems with some ancient monuments...but there is enough time in human history ( or perhaps better to say, the history of humans) to allow for an advanced society to have developed and then been done in by Hancock's Ice Age or even E.P.'s comets/asteroids.

As I hinted to Ishtar above, the linear view of history is that mankind displaced the Neandertal some 30,000 years ago and then sat on his ass until 6,000 BC before starting to farm. They keep telling us that these were people who were exactly like us. Then look what we have done in the last 1,000 years. Either they were a lot more lethargic than we are OR there is something wrong with the linear view. I guess I don't have to tell you what side of the fence I am on.

However, I don't see where that has anything to do with evolution. Or creationism.
Something is wrong here. War, disease, death, destruction, hunger, filth, poverty, torture, crime, corruption, and the Ice Capades. Something is definitely wrong. This is not good work. If this is the best God can do, I am not impressed.

-- George Carlin

Ishtar
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Re: Calico Site (California, +/- 200K Ago)

Post by Ishtar » Fri Nov 13, 2009 12:09 am

Minimalist wrote:
But your statement is just a personal opinion, Min
The lack of tangible evidence for god is not a personal opinion.

There is no tangible evidence. There isn't a lot of intangible evidence other than the drivel spouted by believers.

Meanwhile, the fact that most human groups eventually create such a being is highly suggestive to me that is nothing but man-made stuff.
If triangles had a god, they would give him three sides.” —Montesquieu
Min, this is still just your opinion. Nobody knows the answer to this question, including science. So there is no evidence EITHER WAY.

"Goddidn'tdoit" DOES cut off a line of inquiry. It cuts off a line of inquiry into the possibility of an Intelligent Designer as we see from this news story came which out only the other day. It tells us that Richard Dawkins is refusing to debate with Stephen Meyer about how there is evidence of a designing code within DNA, as Meyer showed in his book, Signature in the Cell: DNA and the Evidence for Intelligent Design.

And as you know from the famous Ben Stein interview with Dawkins, Dawkins does admit that this signature exists but, moving ever closer to Sitchin and Von Daniken, is now of the opinion that we have been created by a master race of advanced intelligence on another planet .. .if that isn't an Intelligent Designer, I don't know what is!
Seattle – Richard Dawkins, the world’s leading public spokesman for Darwinian evolution and an advocate of the “new atheism,” has refused to debate Dr. Stephen C. Meyer, a prominent advocate of intelligent design and the author of the acclaimed Signature in the Cell: DNA and the Evidence for Intelligent Design.

“Richard Dawkins claims that the appearance of design in biology is an illusion and claims to have refuted the case for intelligent design,” says Dr. Meyer who received his Ph.D. in the philosophy of science from the University of Cambridge in England.

“But Dawkins assiduously avoids addressing the key evidence for intelligent design and won’t debate its leading proponents,” adds Dr. Meyer. “Dawkins says that there is no evidence for intelligent design in life, and yet he also acknowledges that neither he nor anyone else has an evolutionary explanation for the origin of the first living cell. We know now even the simplest forms of life are chock-full of digital code, complex information processing systems and other exquisite forms of nanotechnology.”

In Signature in the Cell, Dr. Meyer shows that the digital code embedded in DNA points powerfully to a designing intelligence and helps unravel a mystery that Darwin did not address: how did the very first life begin?

Signature in the Cell has just entered its third printing according to publisher HarperOne, an imprint of Harper Collins, and has been endorsed by scientists around the world, including leading British geneticist Dr. Norman Nevin, Alastair Noble, Ph.D. chemistry, formerly Her Majesty’s Inspector of Schools for Science, Scotland, and Dr. Philip Skell, a member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences.

Dr. Meyer challenged Dawkins to a debate when he saw that their speaking tours would cross paths this fall in Seattle and New York. Dawkins declined through his publicists, saying he does not debate “creationists.”

“Dawkins’ response is disingenuous,” said Meyer. “Creationists believe the earth is 10,000 years old and use the Bible as the basis for their views on the origins of life. I don’t think the earth is 10,000 years old and my case for intelligent design is based on scientific evidence.”

According to Discovery Institute, where Dr. Meyer directs the Center for Science & Culture, the debate challenge is a standing invitation for any time and place that is mutually agreeable to both participants.
So this shows that "Goddidn'tdoit" has already made up its mind as much as "Goddiddoit". And more than just refusing to debate people, Dawkins has used his influence to shut down his opponents. Michael Cremo (co-author of Forbidden Archaeology) was due to speak at the University of Kent just near to where I live. But Richard Dawkins and some of his cronies actually cancelled Michael's talk there. Now that, in any other walk of life, would be called censorship. And anyway, what's Dawkins so afraid of that he cannot let others explain their views? If their views are so off the wall, surely letting them speak would be the best way to expose this?

However, Dawkins must be continually awoken in the dead of night with a stabbing and gnawing doubt in his guts about the solidity of his position. He has foolishly declared that because science has shown that the Earth is much older than 10,000 years, that also proves that there is no God. It's hard to imagine any kind of ignorant assumption more crass and baseless than this one ~ and also one more insulting to spiritual beliefs that existed long the metaphorical language of the Old Testament was misunderstood by literalists.

It's disappointing to think that our civilisation will lose its way over something so simple as a lack of imagination.

I like your Montesqueiu quote, and also Uniface's one about the ant, as they are both examples of what happens when we try to fit God or gods into our own tiny mental parameters, which is what religions do, (It is also what science does, as Uniface points out, with "the inability of the tool set to account for (validate) it. And because the mentality of the toolkit cannot be questioned, there the matter ends.")

But religions are about a faith or belief in God or gods and NOT a direct experience of God or gods.

Before religions, there was shamanism, which doesn't demand a faith or belief in God or gods, but gives a direct experience of gods (the Greek word for spirits).

A direct experience in the spiritual energy that creates, sustains and eventually destroys this creation is not blind faith, and it bursts through the tiny mental parameters we try to put on it. You've heard the expression, "It blows your mind" I'm sure. The direct experience of the divine intelligence of Spirit literally blows your mind, because it is so huge. Far from cutting off a line of inquiry, it expands the mind to ever infinite possibilities.

There are plenty of people who have had a direct and tangible experience of this divinity, through shamanic-like practises, who would laugh at your insistence that yours is the most "rational" view. It's only the most "rational" view to you because it's the only one you have, due to lack of experience. And so long as you close down any other line of inquiry, it will always remain to you the most "rational" view.

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Re: Calico Site (California, +/- 200K Ago)

Post by Minimalist » Fri Nov 13, 2009 8:47 am

It cuts off a line of inquiry into the possibility of an Intelligent Designer

It doesn't cut off a scientific line of inquiry, Ish.

Come on. People believe lots of stupid shit. Let's not pretend that makes it valid.
Something is wrong here. War, disease, death, destruction, hunger, filth, poverty, torture, crime, corruption, and the Ice Capades. Something is definitely wrong. This is not good work. If this is the best God can do, I am not impressed.

-- George Carlin

uniface

Re: Calico Site (California, +/- 200K Ago)

Post by uniface » Fri Nov 13, 2009 9:07 am

There's another aspect to this as well -- one that might be less contentious.

The notion of "divinity" riles people. But if you detach from the inherited mindset and consider the "gods" from a wider perspective, they've often been anything but role models. Mount Olympus was an ongoing soap opera. The Greek gods were humans writ large. (This, as I take it, is a clue of no small value).

The one characteristic that identified a god was immortality. Not perfection, decorum or even elemental decency. Immortality.

And with this, we're squarely into how relative the assessment is to the one making it. As far as our cats are concerned (assuming they are at all), we're immortals. They come into being and depart this veil of tears, generation after generation, but we remain. Human immortality is a Cat Truth.

It's likely the same where we're concerned. The Hebrew scriptures know nothing about anything "eternal." The term (operant concept) translated "eternal' or "forever" is olam. Meaning, when followed through its occurrences, "until the conclusion of a set period of time implied by the context." Thus a servant who has his ear pierced is not (as translated) a slave forever, because he isn't going to live that long. He's a slave until he dies.

Life expectancy is the independent variable in all of this. The rest is window dressing. And would life expectancy have been one matter addressed by (now "prehistoric") genetic engineering ?

Is it not odd, then, that we can survey the warfare of YHVH against the gods of other peoples, of Satan against Christ, of the Indian gods against each other (complete with flying chariots and atomic missles), of the Greek gods against the Titans and the rest of it, without the least suspicion that they were telling us something ? (So much for omnipotence. To say nothing of omniscience -- Vulcan having, apparently, not the least idea of what his wife Aphodite was getting up to while he was at work until it came out afterward).

Only from a truly myopic perspective, IMHO, can the whole concept of "divinity" (as preserved in such literature as has come down to us) be reduced to "religion," and that, in turn, written-off as the projection of human inadequacies.

Which says nothing about Religion, in and of itself. But does, as it seems on this end, rescue a baby from an ocean of bathwater.
Last edited by uniface on Fri Nov 13, 2009 9:25 am, edited 1 time in total.

uniface

Re: Calico Site (California, +/- 200K Ago)

Post by uniface » Fri Nov 13, 2009 9:21 am

Min wrote:It doesn't cut off a scientific line of inquiry, Ish.
But it does, Min. Provided we're sufficiently catholic in outlook to credit that science (knowing, inquiry) may transcend test tubes and technology.

Try it this way. Stories (especially jokes) can communicate insights otherwise impossibly abstruse by aligning two bits of experience that are generally kept in separate compartments. In the best of them, the involuntary laugh at the punchline acknowledges a shock of recognition. It isn't the terms they're couched in that matter -- it's the essential truth they expose.

So then. The Easter Bunny, Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy are drinking in a pub . . .

No they aren't. They don't exist !.

This cuts off any possibility of communication. At its root.

As does, First, you've got to prove that they exist. Using a bathroom scale, a yard stick and a thermometer -- the accepted tools of scientific inquiry.
Last edited by uniface on Fri Nov 13, 2009 9:27 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Calico Site (California, +/- 200K Ago)

Post by JSteen » Fri Nov 13, 2009 9:23 am

Ishtar, when you make a proposition (eg, existence of a god), the burden of proof is on you - not those who don't believe it. If you say the earth is carried on the back of a turtle or that the leaders of the earth have been replaced by aliens in disguise or that we are all just the dreams of a demon or that the teletubbies are manifestations of Shiva, your propositions aren't on an equal footing with those who don't believe you. You might be right but you'd need to prove it because you're the one making the proposition. If I say something as simple as 'there's a green rock in that box over there' the burden is on me, not the skeptics.

To the person who replied to my comment that intelligence had plenty of time to evolve before 250K years ago with "then why did they treat Virginia like that" (or words to that effect), the (possible) mistakes of the science community have no bearing on the reality of evolution. The best analogy I can come up with for you would be if I said there must be no god because of all the evils perpetrated by religious people throughout history. You'd say the one has no bearing on the other, yes?

uniface

Re: Calico Site (California, +/- 200K Ago)

Post by uniface » Fri Nov 13, 2009 9:35 am

Taking the liberty of intruding, it might be well to note that science increasingly depends (as E.P.G. pointed out) on ideas that aren't demonstrable.

No one can demonstrate the "validity" of the square root of minus one. No one can even conceive it. But it works, and, in some calculations, a lot hinges on it.

Validity is ultimately gauged by outcome prediction.

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Re: Calico Site (California, +/- 200K Ago)

Post by JSteen » Fri Nov 13, 2009 9:38 am

I'll go along with that, uniface.

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Re: Calico Site (California, +/- 200K Ago)

Post by Minimalist » Fri Nov 13, 2009 9:58 am

The Easter Bunny, Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy are drinking in a pub . .

Ish, if you wish to believe in the above....and there is as much evidence for them as any of the others....I am not going to deny you that right.


Just don't expect me to come along for the ride.
Something is wrong here. War, disease, death, destruction, hunger, filth, poverty, torture, crime, corruption, and the Ice Capades. Something is definitely wrong. This is not good work. If this is the best God can do, I am not impressed.

-- George Carlin

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Re: Calico Site (California, +/- 200K Ago)

Post by Ishtar » Fri Nov 13, 2009 10:07 am

JSteen wrote:Ishtar, when you make a proposition (eg, existence of a god), the burden of proof is on you - not those who don't believe it.
JSteen, when you start reading what I write, we might start to make some headway.

I'm not making a proposition for the existence of God . ... I would never do such a thing.

If you read what I actually say, I'm making the point that there is no more scientific evidence for God or gods to exist that there is for god or Gods not to exist. The matter has never been explored by science because, as Uniface says, it doesn't have tools for the job. Therefore, I am saying to Min that it is no more rational to believe in a god than it is to not believe in a god.

It's a much nicer point, I grant you, so do try to concentrate. :(

And Min, just because people believe "all sorts of shit", as you say, makes no difference to that argument. And you can try to throw mud at my argument all you like by bringing up the Santa Claus and Easter bunny, but most thinking people will see through that.

As someone on my forum has just posted:
I see very little difference in the nature or character between the "religious zealot" and the impassioned "sceintific atheist". Both disciplines arose as one as Man first attained consiousness and started to ask "why" and "how". At some point there was a parting of the ways.

Image

Incidentally, Dawkins used to be a Christian fundie ~ he's just traded in his Bible for the Origin of Species.

The real neutral position, imho, from which an open and honest inquiry could be made, would be agnostic, not atheist.

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Re: Calico Site (California, +/- 200K Ago)

Post by Minimalist » Fri Nov 13, 2009 10:11 am

I spend an awful lot of time on atheist boards which are eternally beset with xtian (and other) clowns who seek to drop in, sprinkle a little jesus dust, and convince us that we are "wrong." As a group, we have only one basic tenet.
We do not believe in gods. Any of them. Including your spirits.

Just as you have now tried to do you would not believe how that simple statement is twisted into some sort of "religion" by people who cannot think in any other terms.

The world would be so much better off it it didn't waste its time praying to the non-existent for help that isn't coming.
Something is wrong here. War, disease, death, destruction, hunger, filth, poverty, torture, crime, corruption, and the Ice Capades. Something is definitely wrong. This is not good work. If this is the best God can do, I am not impressed.

-- George Carlin

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