Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Miracles? We got no stinkin’ miracles!

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A big nail in God’s coffin are all those miracles attributed to Him and His Son: the plagues of Egypt, the parting of the Red (or Reed) Sea, the destruction of Jericho’s walls, the talking donkey, the water into wine, the Resurrection, et cetera, et cetera.

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All the miracles of the Bible (and legend) can be explained in physical terms, strange physical terms perhaps, but explainable.

A miracle - -a real miracle - -would be something like a pyramid hovering a hundred feet in the air, or the total evaporation of the Mediterranean Sea, or the reversal of Jesus’ time-line (whereupon He avoids crucifixion).

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Today, a miracle wouldn’t consist of a laying of hands and the fainting of the person upon whom those hands laid; the miracle would take the person back in time to where their frailty wasn’t a problem.

Another miracle – a real miracle – would be for a fully stocked and ready to go McDonald’s to appear, ex nihilo, in the midst of Darfur’s refugee camps.

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And a visible, rational symbol or marking, displayed suddenly on the moon, for all Earthians to see, would be miraculous.

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Raising a Lazarus from the dead was interesting, if he was truly dead, but Christ showing up now, as he was during His ministry (two thousand years ago), would be amazing – rather miraculous.

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God needing men to write down His words doesn’t bode well for an omnipotent Being. A true God would provide His Book fully transcribed, and without grammatical or spelling errors.

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(The Bible, the Koran, and the Book of Mormon apparently were not contrived by a true God, if any god at all.)

Changes in physical laws are not possible, and tweaks that seem to alter those laws are quantum artifacts, which are far from miraculous; strange perhaps but not miraculous.

No, we, and no one else, has experienced a true miracle, and that alone should indicate that if a God exists, He’s adept at sleight-of-hand and that’s about it.

Friday, July 20, 2007

The UFO Arena (minus the phenomenon itself)

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Science won’t intrude on the UFO community, and science won’t surely take a gander at the UFO phenomenon, not since the tainted Condon Committee, for the United States Air Force, seemed to eschew UFOs and flying saucers in its final report of 1968.

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(Wikipedia has a thorough encapsulation of the Condon Committee’s efforts here:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Condon_Report )

But science is wrong by avoiding a study of UFOs, since the phenomenon offers grist for several scientific disciplines, including psychology, sociology, mythology, and even quantum physics (as we detail elsewhere).

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The problem for science is that they’d have to deal with the quacks, cranks, and UFO vagrants who’ve captured the phenomenon beginning in 1947, distorting its relevance by self-aggrandizement and totally inept (amateurish) investigations – and that includes astronomer J. Allen Hynek’s foray into the UFO world (first for the Air Force’s Project Blue Book and later for his own Center for UFO Studies).

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The UFO phenomenon is intriguing, and curious scientists – curiosity being the general demeanor of scientists – would normally be inclined to check out such a sporadic and circumstantial presence in the upper air.

The militaries of the world have taken notice, as have news media; the former seriously, the latter much less so.

But science, in this instance, just as it has with anything in the paranormal world, chooses to ignore or anathematize UFOs, and this because of the fanatic buffoons who’ve commandeered the phenomenon.

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One can’t blame science, or scientists, from avoiding the UFO arena. What have they to gain by immersing themselves in a scrutiny of UFOs which will bring them opprobrium (as it has already for some) and ridicule?

The phenomenon doesn’t have the academic cachet that science feeds upon, and exploits for it own ends: career advancement, grant monies, recognition by peer groups, and university or corporate tenure. (The seeking of truth, nowadays, is at the bottom of many scientific goals.)

Yet, it’s the foolish ambiance that UFO arena purveys which has kept the phenomenon from a niche in the scientific pantheon.

If one looks at the investigation methods of “ufologists” (the mantle the hobbyists of the phenomenon has assumed) or the grammatical presentations of their hypotheses, one will be stunned by the lack of professionalism or even an understanding of logic and a decent methodology.

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The UFO community is diverse, but doesn’t include, at any level, spokespersons who give the impression that they are learned in any discipline that might lead them to a considered approach for unraveling the UFO mystery.

(One noted “ufologist” was heard to say, during a recent UFO documentary, that some UFO circumstances collaborated [sic] each other.)

There is a pretense in “ufology” that the phenomenon has been studied or investigated seriously and professionally but any perusal of the UFO material and UFO groups extant will show otherwise, and dramatically so.

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Science would have to start from scratch to avoid the miscreant accretions that have accumulated around UFO episodes, many of which are, in their original form, scientifically interesting, to say the least.

Can science retake the phenomenon, and give it credibility? Perhaps. But science would have to work around the ufological vultures who won’t give up their hobby easily. UFO mavens are dogged about their avocation; fanatic, as we’ve said.

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Is a workaround worthwhile? Maybe. Since UFOs are rife with attributes that may not pay off in material dividends, but could pay off in ways that are much more beneficial, to the human mythos and civilization, even if they (UFOs) end up being nothing more than a projection of mentally deficient persons, which is what the UFO arena consists of pretty much right now.

N.B. Log on to a web-site, UFO UpDates at http://www.virtuallystrange.net/ufo/updates/latest/ for examples of the oppugnations mentioned above.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

The Great Maw of Blogging

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The seeming infinite panoply of blogs are easily comprehended, and dealt with, by visitors only seeking those that are of interest to them. That’s easily done.

But what about the comments that many blogs receive from their visitors?

Those comments are archetypally evanescent, in every way.

The time wasted in commenting by normally intelligent persons, or somewhat sensate persons – we discount the anonymous commentators who represent mental scum – is monumental; the material generated evaporates faster than ice in the Mojave.

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But for some oblique reason, persons will spend valuable minutes of their lives, spewing forth opinion, rant, and sometimes valuable asides, but it is all in vain. And that the comment-makers don’t understand this is baffling, in a psycho-social sense.

This blogging syndrome is even rife at Seed magazine’s Science Blogs venue, which we’ve touted here. (The blogs are fine; it’s the comments which are transitory and often useless, in a very real sense.)

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Science Blogs is an arena where highly intelligent and intellectual persons ruminate about issues in science and peripherally related matters.

If comments there are virtually useless, you can imagine how vacuous comments are at other blogs.

(Media has taken to incorporating comments and opinions of the great unwashed and have, by so doing, destroyed what little credibility media once had.)

Blogs will, ultimately, enter the abyss of nothingness that Sartre indicated would overtake humanity at some future time. (That abyss is almost upon us, if one scrutinizes the lacunae of intelligence that permeates the blogosphere and media, news media, as it exists today.)

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The fad of blogging, like that of e-mail (which is being replaced by social networking sites, such as MySpace and Facebook, for teens and other cognoscenti), will terminate in a few years surely, and all the crud and dissolute ramblings, along with the few erudite posterings, will enter the limbo sate of the internet; the postings won’t become extinct, but they will be fossilized for all intents and purposes.

So why do we continue to blog, casting pearls before swine generally? And why do some continue to comment, even when they are overwhelmingly ignored or have their comments relegated to the internet dustbin?

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Everyone needs existential validation. That’s why the mob congregates around the networks’ morning news shows (Today and GMA). Being seen on television confirms one’s existence, and now blogs and responses to them do the same thing, only more easily.

Acting thoughtful, by responding to blog posts, makes one appear to comprehend life and the vicissitudes of the blogosphere.

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But it’s all folly, and human beings are nothing if not foolish, as Shakespeare, and others, have prominently noted.

So, we go on blogging, and some will continue to provide vapid, inane responses, and out of all this shall come certitude perhaps, or more evidence of human madness.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Where’s Waldo? (Or how science escapes INTO reality)

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The CERN particle accelerator is poised to allow physicists (and other scientists) to probe the most fundamental building blocks of nature, the absolute infinitesimal reality of quantum particles.

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To what purpose however?

When biochemists and medial researchers dig into DNA and genetic structure, they do so with the intent of discovering what malformations cause cancers and other diseases that plague humankind.

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Their means goes to a beneficial end.

But particle physicists? What do they get with their inordinate curiosity about the structure of elemental particles?

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That is, when all is said and done, how is mankind, civilization, advanced or helped by their potential discernment of the bases for reality?

One science gets beneath gluons and subterranean quarks, what does that do, in practical way, to further evolution?

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The monies being spent to get the CERN accelerator/lab up and running represent an obscenity when one considers how many persons in the world are without food, or the basic necessities of life.

Sure, wars are spending much more than what’s being thrown into the CERN basket, but wars are initiated by maniacs, not supposed intellectuals.

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The psychiatric mechanism that explains this behavioral quirk is called an escape INTO to reality (not an escape FROM reality).

Persons, and in this instance, scientists of the highest caliber, who shirk the reality in which they find themselves – this Earthly vale – do so because they can’t cope with the horrific human condition that pervades and prevails here on Earth.

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(The Mars-probers are equally disturbed.)

The CERN contingent propagandizes, as have scientists of every generation, that they are seeking the origin of the creation. That may be so, but what happen when they discover that origin, as if CERN will be the vehicle by which that happens?

Discovering the ultimate iota or iotae doesn’t do anything for the advancement of life here, or anywhere.

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Yes, curiosity, scientific curiosity even, is the promulgator of CERN (and other diffuse explorations). And those involved are not committing moral or ethical crimes, unless one posits that there are sins of omission at work in the CERN objective.

Quantum physics shows us that reality is goofy. Deconstructing quantum particles may or may not make that reality less goofy.

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But if CERN does get to the heart of reality, what do we have? A clue to the Creator? A pattern that explains nature once and for all? An abyss that tells us that we’re part of a random insanity from which there is no escape?

Yes, CERN is an obsession for some. For the rest of us, it’s a psychologically induced scientific boondoggle.

And for mankind? CERN is nothing more than a search for Waldo, without the charm of that pursuit.

Monday, July 09, 2007

It doesn't compute....

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Sure, evolution explains the physical advance, even the mental advance of human beings, along side the physical changes and slightly increasing mental abilities of the animal kingdom (the fauna) and, yes, the plant kingdom (the flora).

And the whole evolutionary track, particularly slow and not so deliberate – consider the dinosaurs – throws a chink in the armor of the Intelligent Designer.

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The piecemeal pattern of evolution is hardly intelligent, but that’s obvious to Darwinists, and the creationists, and neo-creationists, have to accept, at some point, that the whole of creation was conceived by haphazard natural selection or a procrastinating Creator.

The universe, with its infinite longevity, is also a product of chaotic physical laws – not Newtonian laws, but meta-quantum laws – or the plans of an addled Creator.

But that’s not the point here exactly.

Avatars, such as Moses, Ankhenaton, Lao-Tze, Jesus, Mohammed, Joseph Smith et alia, all brought soppy bromides to their audiences; they brought nothing of a technical or quasi-technical nature – nothing that would advance or help humankind survive materialistically or practically.

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The gods who supposedly proffered information to prophets or their alleged progeny were highly deficient in the physical laws of the universe or refused to divulge those laws for some obtuse reason.

And the promises of an impending paradisiacal Eden never materialized, and still haven’t arrived. (See Jesus dictum that his generation wouldn’t pass away before the things he promised would come to pass: Mark 13:30.)

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So what is the program? Is procrastination as much a part of nature as it is for the gods? What’s the end-game? Is there one?

Neither evolution nor an Intelligent Designer, or even a Supreme Being, appears to have a conscious, well-thought out plan for humans or the Universe.

It just doesn’t compute….

Monday, July 02, 2007

The Science blogs at Seed magazine’s web-site

Seed Magazine (online at http://www.seedmagazine.com) is an erudite periodical covering science, in all of its diversity.

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The magazine also hosts invited blogs at its web-site (above), and those blogs are, generally, interesting and often volatile, especially by way of comments they accrue.

(Click on the left side of the web-site, where Bloggers is entitled, to find the panoply of blogs Seed endorses.)

What’s intriguing is that many of the blogs have a sexual ambiance about them, subliminal usually, but blatant more often that one might expect from the presumed stuffy academics who make up the large proportion of bloggers that Seed likes.

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Some of the blogs have sexual innuendo that is vulgar, some bloggers are desirous of making contact with like souls, and some Seed bloggers are just exhibitionists.

But the blogs posts are always vibrant, and edifying; the comments even more so.

Here are some of our favorite Seed blogs - -we haven’t scoured all of them yet:

Thoughts From Kansas

A Blog Around the Clock

Chaotic Utopia

Developing Intelligence

The Daily Transcript

The Loom

Adventures in Ethics and Science

Afarensis

Commonground

Pharyngula

Page 3.14

Good Math, Bad Math

Dr. Joan Bushwell's Chimpanzee Refuge

Respectful Insolence

Stranger Fruit

Dynamics of Cats

Aardvarcheology

So if you’re intellectually inclined, want to broaden your science outlook and/or acumen, or just want to indulge in sly sex (occasionally!), check out the bloggers at seedmagazine.com.

You’ll come away smarter than you are now, and orgasmicly fulfilled perhaps.

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