The Current Tsunamis

3 05 2008

I was thinking the other day about what we occupy our thinking energy with. Most of it is very futile stuff. Stuff that will not matter even in a decade. Quite naturally and very quickly, what we occupy our thinking with becomes what we occupy our physical energy and time with.
Can I earn more money? Are humans ruining the planet? Should we arrange a national lottery? Should I have kids? Where can I get a safe abortion? Which party should I vote for? Can I look younger? Am I pregnant? Can I get thinner? How can I make my staff more productive? How do I get an advantage over my competitors? How do I get to have more sex, safely if possible? Does this make me look fat? Do I have BO? Are we there yet? I wonder what they think about me? …
These are the kinds of questions we have been trained to ask. And we ask them all day long, and most of the night too… But they are the least important questions. The really important questions we do not ask, but why? Could it be that we unconsciously avoid the real questions? I think so, and, as I have said, we have been trained to ask the frivolous questions, and to ask them only.

We humans have always been open to abuse by religion, science, popular culture, peer pressure, the media, and a myriad of other things. It did not matter so much 100 years ago because ideologies were relatively isolated. Ideas would ripple slowly across the planet, doing an equal amount of good and evil. Today they travel with the force, speed and impetus of a tsunami; an ethos tsunami. Or rather an unending series of ever shorter wavelength ethos tsunamis.
Drip feeding new ideas at the rate of generational growth can be wonderfully stimulating, but to be smashed with wave after wave of ideas is devastating. We must force ourselves awake, to think; to look up from the little questions which threaten to drown us. I’m not suggesting that little questions are invalid; little questions are equally valid, they are just secondary. And as CS Lewis pointed out “you cannot get second things by putting them first. You can only get second things by putting first things first.

The word ‘tsunami’ is a good example. I remember about 10 years ago Leonard Sweet produced a book called ‘Soul Tsunami’. When I heard the title I had to look up the word, today very few people, who can read, need to look up the word ‘tsunami’, it has swept over the continents carried on the susceptible and fluid oceans of the world media.
Another example, with much more impact, is our liberal South African Constitution. Influenced and applauded by current ‘democratic’ super-powers. Yet lacking even the simple redemptive processes that would make it a truly democratic constitution (I wrote a post about it, if you don’t know what I mean: Cry the Beleaguered Country)

So, what are the really big questions?
Someone I asked recently said “Why me? More specifically, why am I so special? Why am I alive? What is the REASON for ME as a person to be here on this planet?
I would regard this as the fundamental question of all questions.
Steven Hawking in “A Brief History of Time” said about this question: “If we find the answer to that, it would be the ultimate triumph of human reason – for then we would know the mind of God.
Hawking’s problem here is that the knowledge he is speaking of is intellectual, categoric knowledge. But scientific ‘knowing’, as we have already established, is not the only way of knowing; and answering the question “what is the reason for me?” is hopelessly outside the self-confessed reaches of the scientific method.
If you have even the slightest inkling of an answer to the question “why me?”, the other questions would just about answer themselves.

Here’s another fundamental question: “What’s the point?”
I would rate this question as number 2 on the list of important questions to answer before you die. Let me give you a reason why.
At some point someone asked “Are humans ruining the planet?” Some scientists said, “we might be,” and activists and politicians said “that’s good enough for us and here’s a bunch of rules and guidelines to stop it from happening.” And the Bureaucrats and popular TV talk shows adjusted their song sheets to the key of the new tune.
Now if, instead of getting into a frenzy of activity, someone asked, “what’s the point?” we would have a very different set of behavioural responses.
The planet is doomed anyway, what is the difference if it is now or in a million years? Someone may answer that this may be be the only planet with life. To which the answer is again, “so what?… What’s the point?
It is not a long walk to the most depressing fatalism once we start asking this question. The Stoics and the Epicureans concluded that suicide was a legitimate means of exit… their answer to the question.
Augustine argued the case against suicide using the example of Lucretia the much lauded lady of Roman fable who took her own life after being raped “There is no way out of the dilemma.” Says Augustine. “If she is an adulteress, why all the praise? If chaste, why did she kill herself?” Fatalism is not an acceptable answer to the question. “There is no point” equally cannot be the answer.
Philosophy,” said Dr Michael Eaton recently, “is just an ever increasing scepticism… Post modernism simply means that we are sure that we don’t really know anything… The more you know the more you wish you knew nothing.
The grand conclusion of philosophy is that there is no point to be found in time and space. Possessing intelligence and consciousness is not an end in itself. But this asks more questions than it answers. Why then do we feel such a desperate need to be the object of some purpose larger than ourselves? Why is in not ‘OK’ to simply say “So what, let’s use up the planet ourselves, why restrain ourselves for the sake of some future generation who we don’t even know. The whole planet may be taken out by a meteor anyway and it is going to be destroyed eventually despite our best efforts“?
It’s all in Ecclesiastes if you want to read it, thought through by Solomon 4000 years ago. “There is nothing new, nothing to be gained, no advantage, under the sun.” (“under the sun” is Solomon’s way of saying “here on earth”) and he’s quite right there is no point here on earth, absolutely none. I challenge you to find one that cannot be refuted by logic alone.
Now here’s the clincher: If there is no point at all why do we behave as if there were? As if somehow our reputation will actually matter in a million years.
What’s the Point?” I want to tell you that more people ask this question that you imagine. Now you may be thinking, “didn’t you say that people don’t ask these questions, and this is number 2 on the list.
Yes I did say that, but most people only ask, “what’s the point?” from inside the dilemma of the other questions, they have been trained not to think outside of it. “What’s the point if I can’t earn any more money?” “What’s the point if I can’t have more sex?” “What’s the point if I am fat?” “What’s the point if they think I’m an idiot?” “What’s the point of saving the planet?
People seldom ask “What’s the point of me, us, everything?” We don’t take the question far enough.

Our view of science is the key here. Our view of science will either keep us asking the little questions or force us to ask the big ones (legitimate as the little questions are).
Science claims to deal only with what is provable, or falsifiable, which is a noble pursuit. And so scientists claim to say nothing about what is not provable, or falsifiable. But science does, all the time. There is always a lot of necessary assumption in the science world because of the issues that science is dealing with. Current science has metaphysical implications and requires metaphysical assumptions; and these assumptions rub off, through the current bombardment of idea tsunamis, on absolutely everyone.
Intelligent Design may not be what is defined as ‘science’ but neither is science within it’s own definition anymore. We don’t want intelligent design in the science classroom but are happy to give science as much metaphysical jurisdiction as it wants.
Science can not show how it is that life started nor how it is that reason evolved. How then can it show when a life ends? Yet it is necessarily assumed in science that biology is the same thing as life. Science cannot show how the universe came into being nor it’s purpose. So its beginning is necessarily assumed and it is assumed to be purposeless (I’ve always wondered why having a beginning to the universe is more important than having a purpose to it). We are trained to think in terms of assumptions, to accept them without requiring evidence.

Here are some other fundamental questions:
When I die (not if, when) is that the end of me?
Will anything I do matter in a million years?
Why is there something rather than nothing?
Why are there many, not just one?
Is there a God?
Richard Dawkins attempts an answer to this last question, he says that God is “not very likely“. It is a singularly unhelpful and small minded attempt. Dawkins attempts to answer a big question as if it were a little one. He tries to use science in the form of statistics to answer something with is neither provable nor falsifiable, and for that he wins approval?!?
Every conception is also very unlikely, life itself is highly improbable, universal order is also extremely unlikely; yet here they all are, observable and measurable. The unlikelyness of God is utterly irrelevant to the question, it does not serve as an answer and the sooner we recognise that the better.

So you think that I am trying to convince you to believe what I believe. I am not. I am asking you to ask the questions we have been trained to believe there is no answer to; and to ask them sincerely. I am also asking you to ignore the noise and the distraction of the current idea tsunamis, to lift your head out of the chicken feed and imagine again, beyond your wildest dreams.

Dr RT Kendall said recently, “God offends the mind to reach the heart.
Here is a little question: “How can a just God let people suffer?” Now if God exists only a fool would deny that He does let people suffer, even ‘good’ people; maybe especially ‘good’ people. The Greeks attempted to answer that question by humanising the gods. They imagined their gods having all these powers but subject to their own character weaknesses, these weaknesses translate to the random doses of suffering and blessing we observe.
Dr Kendall’s statement is an excellent, experiential and relational answer to the question; and, like it or not, Kendall’s right.

In Paul’s letter to the Romans (chapter eight) he quoted the Ecclesiastes theme that the whole world, indeed the universe, is subject to meaningless vanity… If you discount God.
Someone once said” “God has the key of all unknown but He will not give it to you, So you had better trust him to open all the doors.
If we leave out God – we are just animals. When we take away from the human the image of God all you have left is animal.

From His hand” is the Ecclesiastical contrast to “under the sun“.





Hindsight

18 04 2008

I saw an insurance billboard recently with these words;
With foresight, who needs hindsight?

It got me thinking… who indeed?
Well here’s my conclusion:

There are always 3 or 4 generations involved on the playing field at any given time with a few spectators on each end of the spectrum.
If the second generation, the ruling generation (most of the decision-makers of life are from this generation that’s why I call them the ruling generation) is making a successful go at it, then it is my view that the generation before them (the first generation) had exceptionally clear hindsight. The second generation has clear foresight but only at the expense of the first generation’s hindsight. The third generation is a little blind in both directions and will tend to blunder, creating a foresight blockage but giving the fourth very clear hindsight, the fifth then begin the cycle again by converting the fourth’s hindsight into foresight.

There are many examples of this phenomenon, perhaps the best is the generations after the world wars and the consequential economic depressions. The war/depression generation had a huge amount of hindsight. They set up a productive generation with a great deal of foresight in the 50’s. Who in turn created a generation with very little of either in the 60’s and 70’s. They then created a new generation of hindsight cold-war people who gave rise to the current generation with enormous foresight.
It’s like sociological seasons.
I think we all need hindsight, foresight is not possible without it. But we also need foresight. In a sense we need to make our mistakes, because hindsight is not possible without it.

The Greeks I think had it right in their language 3000 years ago. What a marvel Ancient Greek is. Language has certainly not evolved since then, if anything the reverse is true.
They had a number of words for Time. But the three key words were: Hora, Chronos and Keiros.
Hora is a fatalistic word, it has hindsight written all over it. When my grandfather (who is now 93 and not only still driving but servicing his own car too) moved from his house I asked him what he wanted to do will all his old rusty bits of steel and broken tools. “You can’t throw those away,” he said, “you never know when you might need them.” He is a classic hindsight generation man, and I love him!
Hora describes time as a master to whom we are all subject.
Chronos is the opposite, Chronos describes time as the servant of man and opportunity as available to the quick and the hungry. Compounding interest is a product of the Chronos mind. Chronos people are classically foresighted, but with a lack of hindsight they tend to create problems that their foresight, by it’s mere existence, is blind to.

Keiros is to me a word to live by. It is providential, granted (as I said – a word to live by). Opportunities are coming and will keep coming. Keiros says that we should use both foresight and hindsight to recognise which opportunity to take and which to leave. Hora is over cautious reluctant to take any opportunity, always focused on what might go wrong. Chronos rushes in where angels fear to tread, grasping at every opportunity as if opportunity itself was the key to life. A Keiros man is both prudent and full of Joy, he’s at peace and he has mastered fear… not just his fears, but fear itself.

Keiros is a word that teaches me what The Eagles seem to know already… “Learn to be still.





On the Origin of Species by Means of Creative Selection

2 01 2008

I’d like to present an alternative theory to the current theory of evolution

My problems with the current evolution theory are not many, but they are fundamental.

A Tyrannosaurus rex bone is found and ‘proved’ to be 68 million years old. It is collected and examined along with many other similar evidence of extinct species.
Then a remarkable thing takes place, the scientists tell us that the bone informs us that the Tyrannosaur has a lot in common with chickens. I presume that they mean that both species have bones, and not that chickens are much smaller, covered with feathers and are not carnivorous. (The trouble we would have if chickens ever found out that they were related, even by decent, to Tyrannosaurs. We could say good bye forever to cheap white meat!)
Then I read that the Tyrannosaur / Chicken similarity is that the Tyrannosaur amino acids MOST closely match those of the Chicken. If that is want is meant by ‘similarities’ then the Tyrannosaur amino acids had no option but to be closest to some other species.

Have a look with me as to how this ‘scientific’ process takes place:
First it is supposed, through bone structure, that birds evolved from dinosaurs. Then this chicken evidence comes in that seems to support that supposition.
John Asara, director of the mass spectrometry core facility at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical School and HMS instructor in pathology:
“Most people believe that birds evolved from dinosaurs, but that’s all based on the architecture of the bones. This allows you to get the chance to say, ‘Wait, they really are related because their sequences are related.’ We didn’t get enough sequences to definitively say that, but what sequences we got support that idea.”
Then in another study Mary Schweitzer from North Carolina State University found that extracts of T. rex bone reacted with antibodies to chicken collagen, further suggesting the presence of birdlike protein in the dinosaur bones.

So suppositions are build upon each other with no one actually having been there, which is fair enough; until Schweitzer says something like this:
“The mere existence of such exceedingly ancient protein defies a longstanding assumption. When an animal dies, protein immediately begins to degrade and, in the case of fossils, is slowly replaced by mineral. This substitution process was thought to be complete by one million years… For centuries it was believed that the process of fossilization destroyed any original material, consequently no one looked carefully at really old bones,”

Now my logic has to ask, what if the bone was not actually 68 million years old? What if the first supposition was false? What is now called an ‘assumption’ (that proteins become mineral after 1mil years) when it used to be science, is actually the supposition we should be looking at instead of all the others.

Then I discover that radiometric dating is dependent on 3 further suppositions, 1. that no radiogenic atoms are in the rock from another source than from the radioactive atom being measured. 2. That the rock, after hardening, remains in a closed system. 3. That the radioactive decay remains constant.
So in the case of potassium-argon (K-Ar) which is used to date very old rocks and thereby the dinosaur bones found in them. It must be assumed that no radiogenic argon (40Ar) is in the rocks when they are formed, it seems reasonable to assume this because argon is a gas which should escape from the rocks while they are hot and liquid.

Then I read about a radiometric dating failure in New Zealand’s north island.
Mount Ngauruhoe erupted between May 1954 and March 1955 with thick lava flows and no further eruption has occurred since.
The dating was done in a respected lab Geochron in Boston.
The ages of the samples range from between 0.27 to 3.5 million years!
Lab errors were ruled out, the results were real an put down to excess argon from magma deep in the earth. 
Now despite the horror that supposition 1 is so easily refuted for rock we did observe, what bothers me most is that if there is a difference of 3.23 million years on such a young sample what then are the differences being detected in ‘very old’ rocks? What guide is there that stops a palaeontologist from putting the Tyrannosaur’s age at 68 million because 33 million would not fit his theory but both fall in the possible range?

How am I to trust a method that I can’t verify that fails when I can verify it? 
So I have but one conclusion, that instead of objective looking and then coming up with theory, the science community has embraced one theory (amongst others) with the blind passion of a lover. 
If evolutionists ever pray, I suspect that they thank Natural Selection for saving them from having to believe the repulsiveness of theology, yuck.

I have to wonder how much science is being done based on suppositions because the theory is just so nice and exciting, the fun we can have when mom and dad leave the house to us kids.

Then I read of evidence of humans coexisting with dinosaurs, fossilised shoe soles found in Triassic rock and I wonder further if evidence that supports the theory is the only evidence receiving funding?

This is the kind of conclusion that is drawn by ‘science’:
When human-like track left in sandstone of the Upper Carboniferous Period were found in Kentucky they were investigated by numerous scientists and concluded that they are genuine (even going so far as to count the sand grains under magnification to ensure that the it was compressed at the bottom rather than carved). Then In Scientific American the geologist Albert G. Ingalls wrote, “If man, or even his ape ancestors, or even that ape ancestor’s early mammalian ancestor, existed as far back as the Carboniferous Period in any shape, then the whole science of geology is so completely wrong that all the geologists will resign their jobs and take up truck driving. Hence, for the present at least, science rejects the attractive explanation that man made these mysterious prints in the mud of the Carboniferous with his feet.” Ingalls suggested that they were made by some unidentified amphibian. But a human-sized Carboniferous amphibian is just about as problematic for evolutionary timetables as humans in that era!
Suddenly science is not so fun for the scientist, because it’s not saying what the scientists want it to say, it must be very frustrating. But no matter, he simply choose not to look at it, no one significant will really care because evolution, after all, is The Theory.

So science rejects the facts and has already been reduced to job preservation for the academic community. Global Warming (a theory created and manipulated, this time, by politicians for power) is quickly following the same path. Real evidence is squashed because too many science jobs are at stake.

Lastly when I look at the theory of evolution by natural selection I am left with some unanswered questions that I am told just to accept, that science will eventually answer. Now that would be reasonable except for the fact that they are fundamental questions.
How did it happen without direction so quickly? 4 billion years.
Why is the universe, without direction, so orderly?
Why did gender evolve when other systems are better?
Why do some evolve and others not?
With all the evidence of species way older than humans there must be some evidence of pre-HomoSapien showing how they evolved. Where is it?
How did reason evolve? This question is the most fundamental of them all, and all the others point to it.

—————————————————————————–

On the other hand I think there is a very good theological theory than retains the person-hood of God so that he is not reduced to a process or simply the sum total of everything (which is the same theory as evolution but given by Buddha instead of a scientist).

Let’s say that what we observe, by our own reason, when we are examining our own reason that our own reason is something vastly different to anything like a natural process. Let’s say that reason seems to give both order and meaning to nature. That nature, left to itself, produces chaos. But reason is nature’s obvious husband (if you’ll excuse the term), reason appreciates and nurtures nature in a way that nature could never do to itself.
Now this seems to be the obvious observation on this planet (except when reason is abandoned for base knowledge and thus it joins the procession towards chaos – this only happens by humans because it seems that only humans have the capacity and the will to abandon reason for knowledge as in the example I gave about the evidence of the Carboniferous human). When reason is adhered to nature comes to order, responds to the firm hand placed on it. It rebels sometimes but never in a counter move, never with either reason nor knowledge, only with basic matter and brute energy, fine things that they are.
Then when we look outward and see that there is something very similar taking place in the universe, that there is order. That the little skirmishes of disaster are kept well apart by vast tracts of space.
It leads me to conclude that there is some Reason who is watching over and guiding the whole show, kept it from entropy. In the same way I keep my pool from natures invasion. Then I begin to feel more like a patron of the grandest theatre ever, that the scale and order is there to engage my reason instead of my reason simply being the end of a long process. Now that is exciting!

Now it seems that most men thought this way from the beginning that they looked all over for this reason, first at the sun (obvious I suppose). It is a long and detailed story, but men were more interested in power and knowledge than in reason and order. So they tried to get their gods to do stuff for them, to protect them even against other’s gods, to bring them rain for their own benefit, etc.

Now, for sake of length, I also suppose a few things:
1. that God is there, not completely hiding but watching. That he is indeed all powerful and absolutely creative and completely reasonable (hence utterly ethical).
2. That death, pain and suffering are not the great evils we’ve made them to be, though they are not trifles and we ought to be involved in alleviating all three in others as well as ourselves.
3. That the universe is really old.
4. That many species that were are no longer, and that the evidence we have of them is like family photographs from 6 generations ago. It is very hard to imaging if the girl in the family really loved her brother or if she at some point stole his bicycle and swopped it for a doll.
5. That there is more evidence suggesting that species were slowly introduced on the planet than there is that they evolved out of pervious ones.
6. That men have become corrupted by an appetite for knowledge that has caused them to abandon reason because knowledge leads to temporal power but rationality leads to temporal subjection to rationality, and hence ultimate freedom.
7. That the purpose of God is to evolve, by direction, a new species out of this planet. Who are unified in a way we don’t currently understand, rational and uncorrupted. And that this rich earth in this rich universe is the tool he is using to do it.
I believe in Evolution by Creative Selection.





One god further

16 12 2007

I was listening to a talk given by Richard Dawkins the other day; Richard Dawkins, if you don’t know, is a Professor of Biology at Oxford who calls himself a militant athiest. In his talk the Professor made a number of statements that got me thinking. One of them was this: “We are all atheists about most of the gods humanity has believed in, some of us just go one god further.

He was speaking about all people, including theists and he is, in the first point, quite right. We are indeed all atheists about most of the ‘theos’, the supposed deities, that men have believed in over time.

But I disagree with his second point, “some of us just go one god further.” I think Professor Dawkins is not being very honest, the truth is that we all go ‘one god further’, even Professor Dawkins goes, as he says ‘one god further’.

Instead of putting himself into an new enlightened position as he supposes, the Professor has instead put himself back at the beginning. I’d like to suggest that this stance is merely a development dressed up as progress, it is not progress at all. In fact evolution, by definition, denies progress altogether. Evolution is a philosophy of development, rolling out of one change and rolling into another, going somewhere while going nowhere. It is a thought older than history itself and instead of revealing something new it simply shuffles the hand we’ve been dealt.

 

A little while ago I was in Washington State in the USA and I caught one of those marvellous ferries from Bremmerton to Seattle, these ferries are like floating malls they each carry about 50 or 60 cars, perhaps more, and I’m sure they could carry more than a thousand people. One thing which struck me was that when one boards the ferry one is not too sure where the ferry itself starts and where land ends. There is a complicated system of rails and ramps, and the boat (if I may call it that) is so big that the waves don’t make it move enough for me to be sure that at any time I have left the land. One has the urge to go further onto the boat just to make sure one is actually on it.

I think that illustrates Professor Dawkins’ position quite well. He assumes that he is on the land speaking to all the people on the boat and he’s calling all on the boat who are unsure of it’s destination to come off of it to where he is. But he is mistaken, what is really dry land is much further back from where he is standing and it is getting further away while he is standing still. This is so because if he were to take an honest look back, he would see that not only is he in the same boat, but also the vessel has already been launched from the docks and is sailing off.

 

Complexity,” says the professor, “is the problem which any theory of biology has to solve, and you can’t solve it by postulating an agent that is even more complex thereby simply compounding the problem.” But has the professor not done exactly the same thing? If one were to ask him what it is then that he believes he would not answer, “I believe in nothing for I can prove nothing.” Many thousands of years ago the Greek Cynics began to answer the question exactly like that. Using my illustration that stance would be indeed to remain on the shore or to jump off the boat and attempt a swim back.

The true cynic does not call all other cynics out of hiding because if one calls ones-self a “respectable cynic” (who is guided by some impulse to be an honest voice in the community, saving people from errors of the past) then one is no cynic at all. If the Professor is not a cynic then he must have a belief. He calls it a theory but don’t be blinded by the semantics, a theory is simply a belief. I say ‘don’t be blinded by the semantics‘, I do not mean ‘don’t be blinded by the science‘. The science is not what concerns me at all. In fact what I wish is that the evolutionist adherence to the rules of English were as rigid as their adherence to the rules of science.

 

A theory of biology, or any other theory, does not solve anything, neither does it have to to remain a theory (a bad theory is just as much of a theory as a good one). Professor Dawkins says it does. In the same way the belief in a deity does not bring that deity to life (a wrong belief is just as much a belief as a right one). A theory may legitimately exists without there being any way at all of proving it either way, and we are called every day to reject hundreds of them, in the same way that mankind has been asked over the centuries to reject hundreds of ‘theos’.

What is it that makes professor Dawkin’s theory ‘the one to believe‘? It must be all the proof, the fact that the theory solves the complexity problem and so graduates from theoryhood to become truth… But it is not presented with such proof, or have I missed something? I have yet to read of evidence, and even if I had, on what grounds should I believe it. What I have heard is a lot of suppositions, suppositions that would turn Socrates over in his grave.

Here are some examples: 

Dan Dennett says about sheep’s symbiosis with man that it is a “clever move of natural selection itself.” I would like to know how it is that a process is able to make a clever move? Perhaps he is a closet Jedi, expressing his belief in Mediclorians? He goes on; “The designs discovered by natural selection are brilliant, unbelievably brilliant… but the process itself is without purpose, without foresight, without design… The design is there in nature but it’s not in anybody’s head, it doesn’t have to be, that’s the way evolution works.” Well, this Natural Selection character is sounding almost as much like a person as I have been lead to believe that Evolution herself must be; if it does not ‘create’ then it is able to ‘discover’ Not even animals discover. “that’s just the way evolution works,” is a statement of faith in the same category (or boat) as “you are the Christ, the son of the living God.” Mr Dennett it seems has as much faith as Professor Dawkins.

Professor Leslie Orgel who died this year said “evolution is cleverer than you are.” Well if that is the case then Evolution must be more of a person than I am. Unless one takes the Buddhist stance that we are in the process of becoming God along with everything else and that God is the sum total of everything, which is precisely nothing. If that is the case, we come all the way back to that troubling old word ‘God’; concept, person or both and we have to answer a very silly question: How can nothing do so many brilliant, and clever things?

Paul Mccready says   “Over billions of years on a unique sphere chance has painted a thin covering of life, complex, improbable, wonderful and fragile. Suddenly we humans a recently arrived species no longer subject to the checks and balances inherent in nature have grown in population, technology and intelligence to a position of terrible power. We now wield the paint brush.” I feel a little like a child told about Santa for the first time who asks ‘but how does he get round the world in one night?‘ I’d ask Paul Mccready 2 questions: 1. How is it that chance managed such a complex and wonderful living painting with inherent checks and balances (none of which I deny)? You see, when I leave my car, my dog, my garden, my work or anything else to chance it seems to go in quite the opposite direction (he does not dignify chance with a capital letter even though he treats her as a person, when I went to school proper nouns were always spelt with a capital; I wonder if his ‘chance’ character ever gets mad?). Perhaps his answer would be that there is chance and there is Chance, but he’d probably like to avoid looking like he’s trying to appease her. Perhaps he’s Buddhist in which case he’d much rather appease you and I who, after all are becoming God. The only other answer I could imagine he would give is that this statement is only a theory, by definition incomplete, and that one should not jump to faith conclusions based on flowery English, that for all he knows chance could very well be a person, by his language she certainly acts like one. But then he should say so should he not? 2. The other question I’d ask is this: How can something as sublime as this chance, be so clumsy at to hand the brush over to us humans?

 

My concerns are language and logic concerns, not scientific ones. Perhaps all of these faith statements (Christian preaching included), like cigarette packets, should carry a health warning. “Listening to these theories could induce you to believe them as fact.” But that is what all honest theistic preaching does. It calls people to faith when faith is all they can have. It does not, like the preaching of the non-thiest, call true what is yet to be established and so, by poor English alone, hide in the small print the faith deposit required to believe the theory.

 

I think it is worthwhile debating weather or not Darwin’s theory (or any other) is true, what I cannot live with is a theory that denies faith in anything and then asks people to assume it’s true while still calling itself a theory. It is like saying “Faith is a concept we intellectuals have grown out of, except faith in our theory which must be true because we’re intellectuals.

If a theory’s job is to answer a problem then only upon answering it satisfactorily to the rigourous demands of logic does it graduate. It is then no longer a theory but a fact.

This is a very difficult thing, the Existentialists demand that the only theory to have done it is the theory of self. The Christians say that the theory of Christ has done it and in so doing He has qualified a number of other theories as fact. And the Athiests seem to be swaying (because sway they must) towards evolution’s theory. These are all unestablished theories, all of them requiring faith in a concept that becomes more and more a person the longer one looks at it. Only one of them is honest enough to admit to requiring faith in a super-natural person right from the start.

Evolution’s theory described as a myth would look something like this: Evolution is very much like a benevolent, super-relaxed, all powerful, active yet unconscious female goddess. She has a daughter called Natural Selection who seems slightly more conscious but unable, it seems, to ask “where am I? who am I?” Everything is kept in some order, despite their dream status, by what can best be described as a third person, a spirit, the spirit of Nature who keeps house, keeps the other two from bumping into things and causing too much damage, points their wands in the right directions and such. Nature is either mortally afraid or incapable (no one is sure which) of waking them, but she has no real power of her own. They form, in fact, a trinity related somehow, one would think, to the Adams family… Looking at evolution this way it is clearly a religion too. It’s easy to poke fun at a myth one does not believe, but doesn’t one gets offended when fun is poked at a myth one does believe?

 

Dawkins admits it himself when he says: “When athiests like Stephen Hawking and Albert Einstein use the word god they use it of course as a metaphorical shorthand for that deep mysterious part of physics which we don’t yet understand.” I use the word God as a metaphorical shorthand for the deep mysterious person which I have no hope of ever really understanding. Both of these postulations require a measure of faith my friends; and neither of them solve the complexity problem. Mine requires less faith because it does not pretend or even attempt to solve the complexity problem, the atheist’s postulation does pretend to solve it.

Even belief that there is truth as opposed to non truth is a theory. A concept that only the cynics deny. In fact the cynic can be defined as one who is an ‘atruthist‘, which is more of a problem for him than it is for the sceptic who says that his reason causes him to doubt his reason. The cynic says that his reason causes him to deny his reason. That is like presenting with stomach juices so strong that they dissolve even one’s stomach. It is an agonisingly fatal position.

The evolutionist is no cynic, he has spent too much time and money at school to take such a position. But the evolutionist’s disciples will have no such advantage to take for granted. They will be true cynics.

Evolution says that authority exists but is perpetually sleeping. How long then until its stewards attempt what they think will be an easy coup? It has been attempted before.

 

Personally speaking I battle to believe this evolutionary theology, I think there are better theologies; so I am an Aevolutionist and I am calling all those closet Aevoltuonists out there to nail their colours to the mast; to refuse to be bullied by a vigilante theory of the intelligencia, who, like a self-appointed clergy, have moved into the neighbourhood offering an intellectual protection that the average man fears to refuse. An IQ Mafia with 180+ thugs who threaten to ridicule the 100 man. We must protect future generations from an age darker than the world has ever seen. Where every every ‘right’ is called “stupid irrationality” and every ‘wrong’ is called “pragmatic” by the priests of the spirit of Nature.

 

I think that kitchenware is wonderfully useful stuff, what I cannot tolerate though is a used pot calling a kettle black.





The Waters Above – Chaos, Randomness and God

11 12 2007

 

I am always amazed at the amount of movement and the sheer size of clouds when you’re flying amongst them. I just can’t imagine what forces could possibly keep so much water hovering and swirling in the sky? Making random shapes on such alarming scales.
Big random stuff has always intrigued me. It makes me wonder why something so big is so random. It doesn’t alarm me that small dust particles suspended in liquid bounce randomly around; especially since Einstein came up with a pretty good theory to explain it. I can live with random packets of light being emitted by hot objects. I can even cope with the fact that atoms could be at any number of places at the same time. But it’s in large scale randomness that I start to wonder what it is that keeps all this matter from absolute chaos.
What is stopping it spinning out of control? Tsunamis, hurricanes, floods and the like are just the edges of chaos. Would God stop a tsunami that would kill a million? How about 100 000 or 35 000? What is His limit? Does He have one? At what point does God intervene?Many have suggested that God must be just an ancient concept dreamt up to quench the minds men. Some imaginary scaffold to make sense of the randomness. Steven Hawking in A Brief History of Time says: “If one likes, one could ascribe this randomness to the intervention of God, but it would be a very strange kind of intervention, there is no evidence that it is directed toward any purpose. Indeed, if it were, it would by definition not be random.” Steven Hawking cannot conceive of a random intelligence. But surely random direction must be within the grasp of a God, indeed if it were not He would, by definition, not be a God.
The cynic says it this way: Ecclesiastes 9:11 “11 I have seen something else under the sun: The race is not to the swift or the battle to the strong, nor does food come to the wise or wealth to the brilliant or favour to the learned; but time and chance happen to them all.”
And the speculator puts it like this: Job 28:20-28 “20 Where then does wisdom come from? Where does understanding dwell? 21 It is hidden from the eyes of every living thing, concealed even from the birds of the air. 22 Destruction and Death say, ‘Only a rumour of it has reached our ears.’ 23 God understands the way to it and he alone knows where it dwells, 24 for he views the ends of the earth and sees everything under the heavens. 25 When he established the force of the wind and measured out the waters, 26 when he made a decree for the rain and a path for the thunderstorm, 27 then he looked at wisdom and appraised it; he confirmed it and tested it. 28 And he said to man, ‘The fear of the Lord–that is wisdom, and to shun evil is understanding.”
The randomness of the clouds is not the issue; the genetic chance of my existence is not the issue; neither is the predictability of crystal formation the issue. Those things are just the smoke screens of the logic of the science religion. The issue is this: do you believe in large scale Random Direction? do you even believe in small scale Random Direction? Or, to ask the question another way, do you believe in God? He seems to require an answer.