Wednesday, September 17, 2008


Wow, two posts in a row bouncing off P. Z. Meyer’s Pharyngula. One might take me for a scientist if they haven’t noticed the heavy sprinkling of spirit on my observations, which Mahakal, points out P. Z. lacks. Anyway, I came here to rave about the video he posted which I embedded below.

There are so many delightful things in this conversation I hesitate to comment for its superfluity, but that’s rarely stopped me before. Tangents are what they are. My favorite comment was on the fact that Darwin had the Origin of the Species pretty much completed by 1840 but didn’t publish until 1853 because he didn’t want to upset his God fearing wife. Wilson pointed out that here 200 years later 51% of the population of the US believe strictly in creation while 34% more believe evolution can be spun into intelligent design or "God dood it all, smart ain't'e?", leaving a mere 15% of my fellow countrymen who realize the import of Darwin’s discovery. He was the first person to grasp man’s place in life on earth and that it had nothing whatever to do with a creator. As Wilson, a gifted scientific writer, said, his was the greatest contribution to man’s discovery of the reality of life in world around him.

Toward the end they got to discussing a finding which is raising a controversy throughout the entire field whose basis is that if you are human you are equal to all other humans. For science to show that different strains of humans have different capacities alerts defenders of civil liberties to indication of racial profiling. Despite the history of disastrous results for indigenous cultures whose vulnerability to diseases carried by exploration crews who were immune, the latest theories of the nebulous diversion within homo sapiens has some scientists running around like monkeys. It is to laugh. One person’s certainty is another man’s prejudice.

I am including a series of emails between a favorite commenter, lilwave, my daughter and I, begun with my special invitation for her to critique the video in return for my reviewing her recommended reading of “The Shack”. It serves to exemplify some of the debilitating results of faith-based certainty. I invite anyone to jump in anywhere to help resolve this impasse. I fear there is none.

I have just watched an hour show that I wish for you to watch and send me a critique of. It is a Charlie Rose Interview with James Watson and E. O. Wilson on their two books on Charles Darwin for the 200th anniversary of his birth. I would carry on more but I am putting together a post, which will have further enthusings within. I read the Shack with as open as my mind can be, please do the same for this request.

First I believe that everyone wants to know the truth. No one wants to believe a lie.

I do not dispute that Darwin was a genius. Why would anyone not want to investigate the ideas of such great minds like Darwin, Leonardo DeVinci, and Einstein. They were all gifted with seeing into science in a way that was almost like looking into the future.
On evolution though.... I know there are several steps to evolution from cosmic evolution, chemical evolution, to the two areas of organic evolution(macro and micro). Some parts can be proven true but some parts are given theories that still do not exclude God. There is nothing that proves to me that God was not the beginning. To me everything started with Gods creation process.
Now, the part of evolution that I have the biggest doubt about is macro-evolution. There is no proof to support macro evolution yet evolution scientist expect that theory to be accepted over ones belief in a creator. My spirituality/spiritual relationship with the creator is my own proof that there is something more than the ideas behind macro-evolution. Macro-evolution is where some try to use their theories to prove God does not exist. A theory is not enough for me to deny what I have come to know as the creator.
Really the only part of evolution that I do agree with is in micro-evolution. In micro-evolution DNA adapts to all the things of the environment in which it lives. Simple variations within kinds for survival. It is this means of survival in which I think God created it to do.
When someone says they are an evolutionist, to me, they hide behind the truth of micro-evolution to justify their claims of rightness in all aspects of evolution theories.
It is ridiculous how the scientific community has controlled the ideas of those who want to investigate the creation theories. You should watch the movie "Expelled."

Why is creation theories such a threat to evolution theories if all we are really after is some proof either way?

“Any serious science student will become aware of a spirit that manifests itself in the laws of the universe and that spirit is vastly superior to that of man. We don’t know 1 millionth of 1% of anything. ” Albert Einstein

Here we go again. That you would put "Expelled " up to counter the generations of biological research represented by the conversation in that interview is a perfect example of unprovable belief claiming more authority than realistic scientists who honestly admit that the closest we are to knowing are more and more probable theories always open to new experience. If you can come out on the religious side of such a comparison and fault science for not claiming truth as its shortcoming, the only thing you have proven to me is that you have lost all sense of reason.

If there is any primary reason we are making a mess of the planet and our relationships with our neighbors it is the ingrained belief in the myth that this world was created especially for humans which manifests in our lives as greed, covetousness, ownership(and the endless junk we turn out to have lots of things to own) and an attitude of superiority over what we don't want to understand beyond making it into food for more babies or more toys to hook them on. I don't believe Christianity was the originator of this myth, especially since it was a collage of other religions copy/pasted in an editing job that's still going on. Oh, those immutable words of God, where are they now. but over the past two thousand years have been the biggest pusher, profiter and exploiter of using flattery over the truth of our true place in nature. Creationism is what has created a nature conquering, throw away culture of Western civilization.

I don't know where you got the division of micro and macro for evolution. It sounds like a your way to try to divide and conquer a theory that is cohesive from one end to the other, which would only be attempted by someone who doesn't understand what they want to destroy. Your definition, " Macro-evolution is where some try to use their theories to prove God does not exist. " There is nowhere in any part of evolutionary science designed to prove that God doesn't exist. It just does — as collateral damage to the bullshit of creationism being a byproduct of the higher purpose of gaining a clearer picture of how it all works and man's place in it. That anonymous "some" you snuck in there craftily using their theories are actually just going along developing their theories with no consideration of any creator when one of you blind faith believers decided to get up in their shit raise hell because he realized that the theory is reasonable enough to upset the faith in the apple cart. Evolution, gays and clothing made of three materials; three things true believers must avoid. So tell me, does your macro evolution fail to prove the earth is older than six thousand years to you?

As an example of your refusal to use reason in favor of unprovable faith and the source of the heart sore depression with which your attitude clouds my optimism for the future, I give you your statement, " There is nothing that proves to me that God was not the beginning." I couldn't agree more, but you have said nothing as a justification or a point of reason. You are saying nothing exists to prove that God had anything to do with any part of life. If scripture is your proof, we are finished here. If you claim that the image of Jesus appeared on the Cheeto you got stuck in your ear and it sounded like he was talking to you, how do you know it wasn't Tony the tiger? Everyone has an inner voice. They are more likely to hear it if they are not afraid to be alone physically and mentally and more likely to identify the voice with whatever deity is worshipped locally according to their degree of reverence. People who have never heard the notion of a creator or taken it to be a fairy tale are free to posit any observation they may imagine they perceive. The Native Americans called it the Great Spirit, despite the insistence of the White man to read that as God. Free spirits represent the rich diversity that stabilizes the balance that religion seeks to tip with faith based certainty. Open minds are too tuned to the spirit of nature to suffer the uniformity absolute indisputablility requires. Gotta be free to grow.

You didn't address my example of different images appearing to different cultures if the Shack were written in Iraq or India. I have never doubted that you are following your inner voice, dear. What gets me is that you are so close to seeing life as it is, yet somehow insisting on making it fit a bad movie about a God who wants to keep you beholden to him and guilty for betraying him so you will never relax into who you are without such control, how free you are in the spontaneous freedom of equality with all of life, not just the parts that fit your unprovable knowing. But as your quote from Einstein states, "We know less than .00000001% of anything," so what make you so sure you know it all and science has fallen short of religion because it limits itself to theories. The spirit that is the universe and manifests itself in the patterns, the laws we detect is the theme, the tao, the way of everything — superior in that it is the common thread running through the entire universe of varieties of manifestations just as I am the common thread through, the gestalt of all my cells, the learning-to-become a self-realized being, more than the sum of my parts but deaf, dumb and blind without them. The gestalt, that more than a simple total is the process of becoming symbiotic with the spirit of the universe, the way of all things. Picturing the universe as a place created as a gift to the creator's exceptional creation, man, is so obviously narcissistic I can't believe it isn't dismissed just for that. But then, most of science is too — just not as man heir to deity — as in man to the stars to spread our wonderfulness.

You stated in large letters "Simple variations within kinds for survival." as the limit you can accept as the role of DNA in the scheme of life. So what is responsible for the variations of kinds, or the variation in all life, plant and animal, over millions of years traceable all the way back to one celled beings. And what was there to survive if God made it just for us?

As I said in my request for your review, I was working on a post in praise of the video when I recommended it to you specially. Your answer was such mainstream Creationist propaganda that I thought including it in the post would be a good illustration of the everyday conflict that plagues the faithful trying to make belief trump the experience of natural contradiction. Please don't resent my publishing this, after all I'm spreading the words of what you believe. Isn't that the aim of people with such authority from god as to say dinosaur fossils are God's test of faith in a six-thousand year old world? Oh, and that part about believing the parts of evolution that don't prove the Bible is bullshit; evolution is the most inclusive view of the observable universe ever conceived and expanded upon since. It's kinda like pregnancy: there's no partially pregnant, there's only abortions like religion attempting to prevent ideas coming to fruition because they don't look like Jesus.


Mahakal / מהכאל said...

Perhaps this will break your impasse, or at least provide some room for discussion.

Evolution does not proceed by random mutation but by a deliberate, conscious process. We do not randomly have children, after all, but by an act of procreation between two people. Consciousness pervades all evolving processes. There is no reason to discount consciously directed evolution.

Mahakal / מהכאל said...

By the way, what sensory organ do you perceive your inner voice with? Where do you think that voice is coming from? Who do you think it is?

No gotchas, just wondering how you would describe this.

Yodood said...

Your attempt to break the impasse will probably find more agreement more from a creationist than from me. Although much of my life is a conscious process I find nothing deliberate about it other than the imagined purpose I may assign it for however long it keeps my interest. Since I have directed myself deliberately away from the purpose of climbing the status heap toward the purpose of observing nature to better harmonize with it, there is little deliberation left going on.

Even your example of two people deliberately having children is pretty far off the mark to my way of thinking. What percent of our runaway population do you recon was a deliberate attempt to conceive versus accidents and rape? I think random wins here too. Consciousness of pregnancy being caused by intercourse implies nothing about the intention to conceive. That's far too far a stretch to make a case for a supreme director, master of intelligent designer for me.

To the second comment, when I say "voice" I am using a metaphor for the absolute root theme on which all variations are based and from which they emanate whether manifested as physical phenomenon perceived by the body's sensory apparatus or ideas perceived by the gestalt of our genetic memory's skill at recognizing patterns greater than the sum of the cell's reports on the way of nature despite the variables in time or space; sort of an ongoing déja vu. The voice is not of time or space anymore than truth can be derived through logic alone and even when apprehended only a variation may be expressed about it never the totality in words fewer than it would take eternity to invent and pronounce, by which time it's already off into a new variation, wouldn't you know. Yeah, there's nowhere it's coming from or any who it is, merely an observer relishing all the eyes though which it observes the endlessly variable versions of itself just for the purposeless delight life is. There may be an evolving component to this voice, this observer progressing from digital, waking eye-blink snapshot awareness of preexisting complexity to analogue refinement of the complexity by the process of awakening. I have yet to experience the lesson that can answer that. But then, you didn't ask. Have I answered all you asked?
Is this the question that never stops asking? I feel like I am.

Mahakal / מהכאל said...

There are no "accidental" pregnancies in the sense that I mean, nor is rape without a conscious, directed choice on the part of the rapist. The outcome of the action may not be known in advance, but a decision was made by some consciousness to cause it.

I do not mean that you must be consciously aware of this deliberation, far from it. But to say that no choices are being made, that this is all just "happening" in some accidental way, is I think to miss the conscious element.

This does not depend on agreeing with a particular telling of creation, either. That consciousness pre-exists matter is I think a very self-evident thing, to those who have given it any consideration. For if consciousness emerges from matter, where does it materially reside? Nowhere at all, and everywhere.

Choose your metaphor, though. I don't insist on any particular way of speaking.

Mahakal / מהכאל said...

By the way, thank you for clarifying how you perceive your inner consciousness. I think you explained well.

Since you are monistic in outlook, I presume you must recognize that you are that consciousness. Would that be correct?

The Hebrew name is יהוה

It means: I AM WHO IS

This is the God self.

Does this metaphor bother you and if so, why?

Yodood said...

Unconscious deliberation? When you say things like that you sound as groundless as a creationist. Claiming there are no accidents implies a master plan, creator, intelligent designer.
Whether consciousness preexists matter seems moot when consciousness does not include prescience that can know the results of action down through all time. Sorry Mahakal, thanks but no thanks. Your approval, not required.

And yes, capital "G" god implies a different kind of superiority than the gestalt of an entity being more than the sum of its parts, so I cannot use it to describe the voice I have found deriving from the intelligence of body and mind to imply a spiritual thread common to all my parts. And I in turn am a part in a yet greater gestalt, on and on in layers of a mobius loop onion skin to zero and back again with no reversal of direction.

Mahakal / מהכאל said...

Language is confusing, unfortunately. When you sleep, you are said to be unconscious, but you are not without consciousness. Your consciousness is simply on a different level.

Consciousness exists at all times even when you are without conscious awareness. Inner consciousness is prescient of everything, outer awareness is not. Still, it is all one consciousness.

Yodood said...

I agree with you on the continuity of consciousness throughout life (When I sleep and dream nothing, my consciousness knows it) but the prescient part has never been direct experience of the Akashic plain but I have certainly intuited it by the logical projection of the momentum of Karma, a rather pedestrian technique of approximating awarenes of potential and possibilities.

Lilwave said...

I did not approve my personal e-mails with you to be a part of your blog. TAKE IT OFF NOW!! Use someone else as your dart board. When I told you to keep your ranting out of my e-mails and save it for your blog I did not mean you had the liberty to exploit me in the process. Leave me out of your freakin' blogs just like I have been left out of your life. If I want my opinion to be shared with the masses, I'll post them myself.

Yodood said...

There's nothing personal in my quote of you except the mentality it takes to watch an hour conversation about Darwin and Evolution at my request for a critique and never mention anything about it other than the word evolution and the distorted creationist mindset you had before you watched. It is a perfect example of the problem faced by rational thinking when attempting to discuss anything with religious certainty in the unprovable. It stays. You, on the other hand are free to leave anytime.

Lilwave said...

Nothing personal other than using me as the example to throw your sarcastic opinions toward and asking others to break our impasse. What an ego you have. I can't believe you used me especially after the rest of the dialogue our e-mails contained. I'm not ashamed of what I believe nor does discussing them with rational people bother me. I'm just over discussing them with YOU!

Yodood said...