Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Dennis Diehl Writes: The Grain of Sand Speaks...Reflect on this Dr. Thiel





The Grain of Sand Speaks...
Reflect on this Dr. Thiel


"Maybe those in LCG should realize that God may not be giving that group as much favor anymore? LCG no longer truly leads God's work. Hopefully, possibly because of its fast today, some will be better able to reflect on that."
Dr. Robert Thiel,
Non Prophet Continuing Church Of God


Dennis Diehl - EzineArticles Expert AuthorPerspective is not something most human beings are really good at. The Churches of God certainly aren't into perspective about themselves as far as I can tell.    We give lip service to "Dear Lord, please bless us in your infinite wisdom for you are so very very large and we so very very small,"  but we usually end up forgetting that and the big head sets in again.

ex·ag·ger·ate
(g-zj-rt)

v. ex·ag·ger·at·ed, ex·ag·ger·at·ing, ex·ag·ger·ates

1. To represent as greater than is actually the case; overstate: exaggerate the size of the enemy force; exaggerated his own role in the episode.
2. To enlarge or increase to an abnormal degree: thick lenses that exaggerated the size of her eyes. To make overstatements.


It is understandable that many leaders in the COG exaggerate just about everything they come in contact with is but is not unique to them.  The Bible actually has played its part in teaching many to exaggerate with its own exaggerations. 

Genesis 22:17
I will surely bless you and make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as the sand on the seashore. Your descendants will take possession of the cities of their enemies, 



Our mere 6 billion are already too many and straining the system.  A mere smudge of humanity is actually descended from Abraham, if he ever existed. Israelites and Palestinians are virtually indistinguishable from each other genetically.  Hebrews were merely the outcast Canaanite clan.  Modern Israelis have very little actually DNA connection to original Hebrews in "the Holy Land." 

Hundreds of billions of stars in one galaxy with hundreds of billions of galaxies in what may prove to be one grape of a universe  on one cluster, on one vine, in one row in one vineyard probably is not what the Creator meant. We now are pretty sure Abraham's descendents won't actually be as the stars of heaven or the sand in the sea, but we'll get to that sand thing in a moment. 

Whether it is the awesome number of booklets one of the Churches produce, the amazing response they had to a TV program,  or the dozens of people that sit before them in church, perspective eludes them.  They can and have "gone them therefore into all the world" in such amazing ways and for many years now that  99+ percent of the planet has never so much as heard of them, much less agreed with them.  Go to any beach, scoop up a bucket of sand from one of them and that's about the amount of influence they have had on this planet with the one truth that must be spread or no flesh would saved alive. 

Now...either they are missing something in all this, or God is way to small for the job himself and not doing so well with it either.  Personally I wish that The Deity has cut out all the middle men long ago.  How much further ahead would we actually be if we didn't have to go through priests, be heckled by prophets or try and figure out who the true and who the false apostles were?  I say the Deity should have, from the start, offered seminars, personally conducted by itself with open question and answer sessions as desired.  A buffet of what the Deity actually approves of as food fit to eat would be awesome!   I'd like to see Gospel Jesus get to know Revelation Jesus and actually hear what the disciples , now apostles, have to say about Paul, but that can be for another time. 

Back to self absorbed and ego centric wanna be's. 

Self consumed and self absorbed, their impression of their importance, understanding and place in the universe becomes laughable even when compared to other churches, denominations, sects and cults...much less splinters and slivers.   In the above quote and view, Dr. Thiel is tsk tsking the Living Church of God for perhaps not being able to be used by the God of the Universe to "do the work"  as in the past.    To Bob, this is no mere coincidence.  Plainly, since his falling out with LCG and their apparent rejection of his awesome self and in sights has occurred, God is packing up too and going with Bob.  Where Bob goes can God and Jesus be far behind?  Ummmm....sure!

What Bob means is that God takes his cues from what Bob does or thinks.  If Bob had stayed, and he may wish he had in time, then we'd know God would stay with them as well.  But if Bob gets offended and leaves, well then, the God of the Universe also gets offended and begins to withdraw his blessing from those that rejected His chosen servant and prophet.  Bob is not the first person I have encountered in my life who thinks this way, but I spare you some pretty pathetic stories of special people I have met through ministry.

Bob hopes their now past fast will help them to see this easily discernable truth.  Actually, I'm just kidding.  This arrogance wrapped in a fake and false humility is beyond offensive and insulting to those who have half the brain it would take to see this.  Those with less than half may not be able to comprehend what they are seeing however and evidently won't or don't. 

So, let's get back to that one grain of sand on the beach thing for true perspective. 

If you were to take one grain of actual sand, stick it on the end of your index finger, extend your arm out and hold the grain of sand up to the heavens , this is what you will find in the space that one grain of sand covers up in the night sky.





The Hubble eXtreme Deep Field (XDF) combines Hubble observations taken over the past decade of a small patch of sky in the constellation of Fornax. With a total of over two million seconds of exposure time, it is the deepest image of the Universe ever made. Credit: credit: NASA, ESA, G. Illingworth, D. Magee, and P. Oesch (University of California, Santa Cruz), R. Bouwens (Leiden University), and the HUDF09 Team
EVERY speck of light and spiral in this photo is one of 5500 galaxies each containing hundreds of billions of stars.  This is what you can hide behind one grain of sand at arms length.  And there is much more behind this but our technology is not there yet.  We're seeing here what these galaxies looked like 13.2 billion years ago.  They could still be there or not by this time. 

One of these...




x 5500 behind one grain of sand on the end of your fingertip held up to the night sky. 

Are we feeling important yet?  Do we actually think the Universe knows about us or is impressed by the COG Self Appointed types or the Pope for that matter?

I going to go with no.  All flesh is as grass is being generous.  Very generous. 

Need more to think about ?  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fgg2tpUVbXQ

I believe the Universe must be teeming with life and much of it way beyond what we are humans can conceive of.  I'm also going to bet that none of it or they have ever heard of the awesome and amazing, over arching and incredible Churches of God or their ego centric and self absorb one man shows of leadership. 

Personal humility and men getting out of their own heads long enough to keep themselves in perspective is not one of the COG leadership qualities that shine through the darkness.  Probably because minds like Dr. Thiel's and others simply cannot imagine a world without their input and "understanding."  It is quite a joke actually.

I think in time, for those with eyes to see and minds to think it through, one can come to see the Bible and it's cultic God that inhabited an obscure mountain in an obscure land barking obscure orders to an obscure people on an obscure planet in a rather average solar system and galaxy is simply too small a god, should it actually exist. 

Instead of sermons and Bible studies, I suggest the COGs, and I mean all of them from Grace Community formerly known as WCG to the most obscure of men trying to be and think more highly than they ought give apologies instead.  Apologies for the big head, ego centric and self absorbed fairly theologically uneducated selves they have inflicted on many other well meaning and sincere humans who simply wish to know what it's really all about.  I doubt you guys have a clue.  I don't, but if I thought I did, I doubt I'd be comfortable presenting myself to the world of sand grains in the arrogant and puffed up manner you guys have mastered

Last week I picked up my mom's cremains.  Ten pounds of stardust.  Ten pounds of sand.  One grain of that sand can block out a billion worlds and none of them ever heard of you who think more highly of yourselves than you ought...









187 comments:

Anonymous said...

Sounds like it's your turn to make silly arguments. Are you now trying to compete with the COG cults? Please don't!

Michael said...

Well stated Dennis - If it's any consolation (:-) very likely in each one of those galaxies there is (or was) at least one civilization with their made up god or gods whom they also believe(d) to be the Creator. And are equally as deceived about their own bigness and importance...

DennisCDiehl said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
DennisCDiehl said...

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Sounds like it's your turn to make silly arguments

Explain to me how the reality of the Universe as we now know it is a silly argument against self center and self absorbed hominids who alone know the mind and almost monthly plans of a Deity and would appreciate it if you would follow them?

Anonymous said...

"Explain to me how the reality of the Universe as we now know it is a silly argument against self center and self absorbed hominids who alone know the mind and almost monthly plans of a Deity and would appreciate it if you would follow them?"

They got some splainin to do, lol!

Interesting how the vastness of the universe has been evoked many times to PROVE their doctrines, but they don't like it when the implications of a vast universe are pointed out as being against the tenability of their teachings.

(Reminds me of how DNA evidence has gladly been used by Mormons for proving family genealogies, but they say it's no good when it's shown to disprove the Book of Mormon.)

But of course, one can KNOW the Truth by having a personal relationship with God. (Problem is, that those with a "personal relationship with God" have all kinds of VERY DIFFERENT "truths"!)

-Norm

DennisCDiehl said...

"Interesting how the vastness of the universe has been evoked many times to PROVE their doctrines,"

The "vastness" of the Bible version of "The heavens declare the glory of God," is NOT the vastness of the Hubbell or the insights modern science has on how time, space and universes may work.

Still waiting on why this is a silly argument.....

That Bible vastness took in about 6,000 stars on a clear night in our neighborhood of a galaxy they would never understand and that being one of billions.

Bible vastness and Bible heaven's are way to insignificant to get the picture.

DennisCDiehl said...

The "heavens" that declare the Glory of God in the Bible are hardly the heavens of Hubbell. At best Bible Heavens are 6000 or so clear night stars, no galaxies of the billions that exist. No idea of the probably billions of inhabitable earth like planets either.

Still waiting on why Bob Thiel stepping back to get his ego in persective is a "silly argument."

Steve Kisack said...

Me thinks we temporary humans limit God and have made Him in our image.

Joe Moeller said...

Someone from 4000 years ago, such as an Abraham, and with having many progeny, as he did, would likely have virtually every single human being on Earth today descended from him. Lots of sailors been hitting lots of ports over the years!

It does not take very long for family trees to cross over. This is why nearly all the presidents are related to all the other presidents of the USA, even Obama.

It is the exponential effect of a doubling of ancestors with every generation. Going back 4000 years means perhaps 2 to the 100th power of potential ancestors, a huge number. In fact after just 40, (or 1600 years), generations the number is something like 175 BILLION potential ancestors.

There just werent that many people around in those days. Perhaps only 200 million at the time of Jesus, and very much less than that at the time of Abraham, perhaps in the range of about 20 million. Therefore, the amount of "crossing overs" from descendants of Abraham would be literally multiple thousands of times for any one individual alive today.

WIthin the past 1000 years, all of us with a European background will find a common ancestor. In fact, ever single person with an English heritage, will find a royal King ancestor within the last 1000 years. Statistical chance and distribution bares this out. In fact, you likely have at least 6 royal ancestors.

HWA used to make a big deal about having a royal ancestry. Truth be known, we all have a "royal pedigree" in there somewhere. WHOOPEE!

We are all cousins and related. It is virtually 100% probable, if not extremely likely, that EVERYONE on the planet is descended from Abraham, .... but then again, we are also related and descended from Constantinople, Atilla the Hun, and Pharaoh as well!

Joe Moeller
Cody, WY

Joe Moeller said...

From Star Trek V...

Kirk: What does God need with a starship?
McCoy: Jim, what are you doing?
Kirk: I'm asking a question.
"God": Who is this creature?
Kirk: Who am I? Don't you know? Aren't you God?
Sybok: He has his doubts.
"God": You doubt me?
Kirk: I seek proof.
McCoy: Jim! You don't ask the Almighty for his ID!
"God": Then here is the proof you seek.
[Hits Kirk with lightning]
Kirk: Why is God angry?
Sybok: Why? Why have you done this to my friend?
"God": He doubts me.
Spock: You have not answered his question. What does God need with a starship?
"God": [hits Spock with lightning; then addresses McCoy] Do you doubt me?
McCoy: I doubt any God who inflicts pain for his own pleasure.

No, God does not need a spaceship. He also does not need petty egotistical tyrants espousing their greatness, importance and brilliance as his oracle to man.

Joe Moeller
Cody, WY

Anonymous said...

It seems like those accusing Dennis of making a "silly argument" can't even muster the mental capacity to provide us with anything more than a shallow, emotion-based, tweet-like opinion. Pretty typical of the hard-core religious and creationists: quite obviously all the logic and scientific evidence is on their side, at least that's what they assert with great bluster and confidence. It's just that they never can quite demonstrate it to anyone else in an articulate, well-argued, meaningful way.

Remember, Anonymous 3:13 AM, perhaps all that is required of you to "prove" a truth in the COG universe is a well-intended dogmatic monologue claimed to be inspired by God with a few "proof texts" from the Bible thrown in, but in the REAL world meaningful dialogue using demonstrable facts and evidence logically presented is what tends to persuade and win others over to your view. It's generally referred to as evidence-based science, which has proven far more effective in arriving at factual truths than faith-based religion ever has.

Anonymous said...

Norm wrote: "Problem is, that those with a 'personal relationship with God' have all kinds of VERY DIFFERENT 'truths!' "


This is an issue that religionists have yet to effectively grapple with. In the final analysis, it's the actual "proof" that most COGer's retreat to after having failed miserably to persuade most others in the modern "open marketplace of ideas" by their various arguments, which are almost always circular in nature and about as substantive as wet tissue paper upon rigorous examination.

Yes indeed - which god, which truth, because throughout human history and the world there have been many different ones claimed.

Again, as always, they are ultimately left with only one honest response: "MY God, the one and only TRUE God, whom you refuse to believe in, will prove it to you by bringing horrific punishment and death upon all you unbelievers!"

And that's why the Founding Fathers of the United States refused to give religion a sword, because history shows the only power that can truly "convert" others to a irrational faith-based view is threat of physical violence. The world of Islam is just one of many historical examples that can be cited to demonstrate this reality.

Anonymous said...

Yup; he spends a lot of time pointing fingers. I guess its therapy for being damaged goods. But we all are flawed, hence we all will die one day; not some of us, but all of us; and until mr. D can figure out a way to get around this, he remains just as much a sinner as the delusional people he likes to mock.

Anonymous said...

Once again, Anonymous 9:21 AM, your remarkable verbal clarity and flawless logic is absolutely stunning. You simplistic fundamentalists never disappoint because you never seem capable of saying anything that actually adds to the discussion, only the same old basic mantras mindlessly repeated over and over and over again.

DennisCDiehl said...

"and until mr. D can figure out a way to get around this, he remains just as much a sinner as the delusional people he likes to mock."

Who do I mock rather than challenge to think rationally? I am well aware of my own mortality . I have no desire to get around anything. I rather like to face it and plow right through.

Anonymous said...

I have always had low self esteem, so never had any problem seeing myself as an unknown unremarkable piece of sand. That God would turn to me and take care of some of my petty and daily woes is perhaps self exultation, but once I thought that.... Now what was the point I was going to make --- forgot even my mind is turning to stardust. But we have to be involved with the world and people we know and all the petty problems it is what we are and where we are.

Anonymous said...

Yeah that's right. Gg ahead and believe there is no God and that the Universe came by accident out of nothing. That requires even more faith.

Anonymous said...

Upon returning on a flight back from the feast of tabernacles I ran into several fellow church members also returning from the F.O.T. We had a very plesent conversation.

I was waiting to pick-up my lugage and I struck-up a conversation with a man I didn't know. I told him I was returning from the Feast of Tabernacles. He said, "the feast of what?".

To us the F.O.T. was a huge event but to the most of the world it is something they have never even hoard of.

What a small little world we lived in as Armstrongites.

Head Usher said...

"Yeah that's right. Gg ahead and believe there is no God and that the Universe came by accident out of nothing. That requires even more faith."

No, actually it doesn't. All it requires is shifting from saying "I know" to admitting "I don't know." Religions create lots of false certainty. It's a lot more honest to admit uncertainty. The bible is filled full of a lot of talk, but "talk is cheap." That's wiser than anything Solomon came up with.

Anonymous said...

You mean your faith (just talk) is stronger than mine (in God) so you do know how he Universe was created out of nothing. You better write a paper quick smart! LOL.

Anonymous said...

The pathetically weak "science is just another form of faith" argument has always been popular with fundamentalists, and it really helps us to understand the extraordinarily shallow thinking anyone who promotes it actually engages in.

Science principally requires empirical evidence, not blind belief in the absence of tangible evidence or rational logic. That's why religion is faith-based. It never has been evidence-based, except for the relatively recent assertions by Christian apologists, such as the so-called scientific creationists and the even more recent version of it, the intelligent design movement.

In actual historical fact, much of Christianity fought against it in principle, especially against the practical discoveries of science. One of the more well-known examples is Catholicism against the mounting evidence for heliocentricism, to cite just one of hundreds of instances that could be given. Protestant Christian ministers argued against the use of anesthetics when crude yet relatively effective forms of it were discovered in the mid 19th century in order to relieve certain forms of human suffering. "God meant for us to feel pain - this tool of the Devil is against the will of God!" the theists shouted in self-righteous disgust.

So please stop promoting the false view that science and religion are somehow compatible at their very foundations - they aren't. The only reason modern Christians make this claim is because they can no longer seriously argue against the basics of the scientific method. It just has proved too successful in the real world. Many Christian predecessors in the Middle Ages were furiously against the thought process now known as science.

So please let's end that ridiculous argument that science and faith are compatible in fundamental principles, and that they are just two equally valid roads to knowledge.

Anonymous said...

And Anonymous 6:45 PM, if you seriously want to have a meaningful discussion on this issue, you're going to have to explain your view with a little more clarity. As it is, your meaningless above "tweet" is nothing more than what a petulant third grader would write when his claim for belief in Santa Claus has been disputed:

"You mean your faith (just talk) is stronger than mine (in God) so you do know how he Universe was created out of nothing. You better write a paper quick smart! LOL."

Then you folks wonder why your religion is slowly on the way to extinction, and that serious thinkers don't take your ungrounded claims and assertions anymore seriously than they would claims for astrology or palm reading.

Anonymous said...

Are "tweet-like" comments discouraged on this blog? I prefer them over meaningless atheist essays.

Anonymous said...

"Go ahead and believe there is no God and that the Universe came by accident out of nothing. That requires even more faith."

Plasma physics says the universe always existed. Only the scientifically discredited Big Bang theory says it came from nothing.

Anonymous said...

Very good Dennis. I don't know how much your mom understood about all this, but I believe she had every right to be proud of you, and I bet she was. You are doing a great job with all these articles you are writing. You were born to teach, and we, your readers, are a small group but we are the beneficiaries of your talent, hard work, insights, and years of experience. Thank you.

Jesus.

Anonymous said...

Those who allege that they their way of thinking is more rational than another still fares no better than the dumbest of animals at the end of the day.

Not only is what u harp on just pure vanity, but u also you add the sin of selfrighteousness.

Anonymous said...

"how the Universe was created out of nothing."

The Catholic church long believed that God created the universe out of nothing.

Now, first off, that is not even biblical. The Book says God made the things that are seen from those things that are not seen, i.e. not from nothing, but that the physical was made from the spiritual.

But more to the point, in the early days of the now completely discredited (someone please tell the brain-dead media that) Big Bang theory one of the key architects of the Big Bang was a catholic theologian-scientist?

Coincidence? I think not.

In other words, the now discredited Big Bang is, in part, Catholic theology. It was never good science, for a lot of reasons.

Jesus.

Anonymous said...

Dennis, thank you, once again, for a great article! You put so well into words the thoughts that I can't .

I want to respond to Anon and the hateful attitude expressed on this blog. Isn't it funny that those who regard themselves as Christians (legalistically anyway) can be "mean" and "unloving" towards others. That so defeats "love God" and love your "neighbor". Then worst, their hate speak is childish and vengeful without making a thought out rationale for their opinions. Hmm. This may be a emotional teenager who is caught up in religion and their hormones.

Anonymous said...

"Yeah that's right. Gg ahead and believe there is no God and that the Universe came by accident out of nothing. That requires even more faith."


Do you believe in leprechauns? If not, does it require faith? Does it require faith for you to reject the existence of Thor, or Allah? Of course not. It requires no faith to reject the existence of invisible, magical beings.

Paul Ray

Anonymous said...

A personal comment:
In reading through the article post by Dennis I see it fits with goal of this blog site, which is to expose and reveal some of the flaws associated with those who were once a part of the efforts of HWA and the organizational structure that evolved under his leadership.
This may be a worthy goal, but Dennis has gone beyond this goal and tackled the goal of destroying religion and its influence on humanity. This is not the place to address biblical theology and its value to humanity, but I will point out that a secular view of the universe will never replace a religion that promotes the existence of an eternal intelligent Being that has a life similar to, but superior to human life.
Dennis and those who agree with the belief that human life is limited a natural evolvement from an unknown source of chemistry following unknown definable laws may be able to accept the idea that their mother and other relatives are nothing more than a few pound of stardust from a burnt out star that had a momentary flash in something that has no purpose or value, but the average person who experiences life will not.
I may have missed the point of the post, but hope the parents of Dennis had maintained a better hope than that. It would be tragic to think that my family saw life from that perspective when I am laid to rest.

Anonymous said...

To believe in a specific scientific or non-scientific claim may take some faith.

Faith is often placed in the persons making that claim.

Faith is often placed in the system which is assumed to be in place. A system which is assumed to operate by the "scientific method" but is subject to politics, corruption, and error, like anything else.

Faith in the "journalists" who know jack about science but think they know which "experts" to listen to.

In the COGs people think they are putting faith in God but they are really putting faith in men. The preacher who says he did such and such on a particular date and that was the start of a time cycle. No proof, just faith.

Or the preacher who says Joe was put out because he has this or that problem, but nobody is allowed to talk to Joe to find out the minister is full of it.

Faith in Matthew who said Mary was a virgin even though Matthew never examined her vagina.

Who were the two or three witnesses to her virginity?

Faith in Mary who could have been a loose young girl.

Faith in the people who gave them the cannon.

You need a pile of faith in men to be in a COG.

Joe Moeller said...

An important lesson in life is to realize how much we see the "world darkly" thru our own lenses, biases, heuristic thinking and the like.

This goes for everyone, including scientists, atheists, believers , you name it.

It takes faith to go on an airplane, go on the freeway, eat something. Any one of those things could kill you. We make assumptions, and hope for the best, and all of us do it every single day.

It takes faith to even believe that you exist in reality. WHAT IF ... this is all just a dream? Once you start playing the WHAT IF game, you will find yourself going around in circles of doubt, and going mad.

So we are all gambling on things, as nothing is truly knowable. You learn this quickly when you take Philosophy 101.

So you gamble on "reasonable assumption". I shoot for at least a 80% certainty on disputable areas, and 95%+ in more measurable areas ... say like "It is good to brush your teeth".

But that litmus for everyone is extremely flexible and individual. It comes again with bias , heredity, heuristic (herd) thinking and experience, and all of these are unique to each of us.

In the area of religion, the question is answered better for some than for others. We cannot use scientific method for something that has happened in the past, as the "past" is not repeatable nor subject to testing. We have to rely on reliable witness, and history, all of which pass thru the lense again of human fallibility.

We all struggle with the concept of control.

How do we prove that there was a George Washington? Odds are that there was, and there is good "evidence" and "witness" for such, but WHAT IF ...it was a Grand Conspiracy to create a fictional character? Indeed , in some ways Washington is a myth, the Cherry Tree incident is myth, as is Lincoln retuning overdue books 20 miles to the library.

I conclude that it is not fair to overjudge the person who speaks of his "personal relationship" with God. How am I to know? All of us again are experiencing our own "personal relationship" with the universe and all forms of reality as well!

Each one of us has our own unique universes going on in their head. We tend to be a very judgmental and fearful creation. When we realize that the best that we can do is argue our own unique "probability"
we realize just how little control we have over a lot of things.

There is great freedom in discovering how little we truly know for certainty. It is good to say "I dont know" and to say it often. There are personal absolutes for me, so dont get me wrong, but they are MY absolutes.

Perhaps this is the beginning of becoming "a little child" as Jesus referred to. Im afraid that all of us, believer and skeptic alike are all in need of a little humility.

You are all practicing faith, like it or not.

Joe Moeller
Cody, WY





DennisCDiehl said...

I like this description of how the cycle of life and death can work. It was so much easier and less burdensome for mom to cremated. I have done a lot of funerals that drag out for the living and getting lowered into a hole in a very expensive piece of furnitue seems merely for the living.



Compared to the great vastness of the cosmos, the ocean of deep time, my individual existence is a blip, a bubble in the foam on the surface of a flowing river. I am a momentary arrangement of atoms and molecules – an arrangement that lives and moves, to be sure, an arrangement that thinks, laughs, appreciates beauty, dreams, and loves – but a mere arrangement nonetheless, a transient state, an ephemeral gathering. Soon the blip will go out, the bubble will pop, the arrangement will dissolve, molecular bonds released by entropy. My consciousness will cease. But the molecules that once were me will still exist. The atoms that made up my body – iron, carbon, oxygen, nitrogen, all the heavy elements forged in the crucibles of dying stars – will remain. Liberated from their temporary home, they will rejoin the rest of the planet, taking new shapes, finding new arrangements, becoming part of other life. I will become merged with everything.

I will become part of the trees that grow wherever my ashes are scattered, joining the ecosystem of the forest. I will be in the slow green heartwood of the trunks as they patiently tick off the centuries, in the buds that burst forth in spring and in the leaves that explode with color in autumn. I will be the sparkle of sunlight on the surface of a flowing mountain stream. I will sink into the earth and mix with the groundwater, eventually flowing back and rejoining the ocean where all life on this planet ultimately began. I will be in the waves that crash on the shore, in the warm sheltered tidal pools, in the coral reefs that bloom with life, and in the depths that echo with whale songs. I will be subducted into the planet’s core and join the three-hundred-million-year cycle of the continental plates. I will rise into the sky and, in the fullness of time, become dispersed throughout the atmosphere, until every breath will contain part of me. And billions of years from now, when our sun swells and blasts the Earth’s atmosphere away, I will be there, streaming into space to rejoin the stars that gave my atoms birth. And perhaps some day, billions of years yet beyond that, on some distant planet beneath bright alien skies, an atom that once was part of me will take part in a series of chemical reactions that may ultimately lead to new life – life that will in time leave the sea that gave it birth, crawl up onto the beach, and look up into the cosmos and wonder where it came from.

And the cycle will begin again."

I do not want to "destroy religion," as someone said. I want to understand religion and not be told just to "Trust and Obey for there is NO OTHER WAY."

Faith fails when you get the facts. I can say "I don't know," just fine and often.

"

Anonymous said...

If you move the E=MC2 backwards from it's apex, you get the big bang.

Still, it's nice to see that some of our Hispanic brothers are here with us on the blog. Glad you're here, Jesus.

Joe Moeller said...

Dennis and all:

It is a worthwhile question to ask, "Is there meaning to all of this" or is it just random chance?

If it is just all random chance, then I am in absolute awe of the entire universe. Who could imagine that randomness and mindlessness could be so AMAZING!

If there is a designer, I also am in absolute awe of the entire universe too.

We are sapient and have self awareness. We are aware of the present and the future. Why did atoms decide to go that extra leap in achieving acutalization? What purpose does that serve? Regardless, it creates a great cognitive dissonance for us if we ponder it.

Before we "be" we were stardust and the like, whether we are believers or skeptics. However, I dont get much satisfaction, purpose or meaning, from the fact that my current skin atoms were once part of a super nova, and perhaps will be again someday.

Im glad that this gives you some peace, but it is not enough for me. Perhaps it is ego, but I find it strange that this pile of atoms, ie, calcium , magnesium and zinc , called Joe Moeller , goes to this much trouble to be alive, and to ponder existence.

All the rocks I see out on the ranch are some of the laziest and most non inquiring dudes I have ever known. Yet here we are , animated ROCKS. Why I ask would minerals go to so much trouble and effort, especially since they are so lazy and prone to entropy.

Perhaps the biggest testimony to a creator/designer is that there is the WILL TO LIVE in all living things. Just how do we explain this , the will to live, to just natural events? Truly a mystery to me, and again one that causes me to be a searcher.

Luv,
Joe Moeller
Cody , WY



Inquiring minds have to know.

Anonymous said...

After making a series of speculations where his stardust would be included Dennis said assumes he will be part of a cycle that “will begin again."
My Comment:
I have my doubts that the cycle of life will be a repeat of the past in which the unique experiences that make up an individual human being will ever happen unless there is something recorded that would reestablish this human uniqueness.
I do not doubt that some people can look at things in this manner, but when I look at life from a broader perspective I believe many if not most have a self awareness of the human exist that has a greater purpose than to be fertilizer for another cycle of life.
I do not criticize people for such beliefs, but I question the indication that such beliefs will contribute to a world order that will improve human relationships and add to the joy of experiencing life.

DennisCDiehl said...

Being aware that we are aware is our unique gift. It also produces a certain anxiety because we know we shall have to give up form, get old if we are lucky and die. Religions are born from this observation and fear. It is why when one picks on the origins of belief or beliefs the reaction is great. We had it all figured out so don't upset the view.

It is not comforting to be to be comforted by that which may not actually be so. I know I'd be happier if I had faith in something but, at this time, I do not. I want to know what I did not know about the Bible and was not told. I claimed to know all about the Bible , what it said and what it meant. I WAS WRONG and not well trained in it. But then again, undoing simplistic views and thinking critically are not the friends of religion. They don't have experts in Apologetics for nothing.

When I hear "the Bible is inerrant and you can't point out ONE contradiction," I cringe. Heard this one again just yesterday. When it is presented as written by "God", same reaction.

Churches are not happy places for thinking people. Our government does not teach critical thinking in schools for a reason. Churches...the same. It messes up the group and may hurt the income.

I still get teary at How Great Thou Art and the words in each verse. It touches on both hope in religion and the awesome realization of the universe around us, though Bible heavens are not Hubbell heavens as I noted.

I am a mix of emotions . I simply want to belive what is actually true, not what is speculatively true or simly unprovable.

DennisCDiehl said...

" I simply want to belive what is actually true, not what is speculatively true or simly unprovable."

I also want to learn to spell believe and simply better :)

Anonymous said...

Yes, I've noticed that many people who post here are atrocious spellers, and could really use some very basic instruction in putting an intelligible English sentence together that actually means something to a reader. Maybe they are frantically texting their message from a phone, but still that's no excuse.

Of course, it's a fairly common observation that the vast majority of fundamentalists are very poorly educated and terribly inarticulate so perhaps that explains many of the incomprehensible rants one sees here in the comment section, most notably from the "My God is the true God, and all you unbelievers are going to suffer and fry" crowd, which seems to be increasing of late, and greatly diminishing the overall quality of discussion.

DennisCDiehl said...

Anonymous said...
"Yes, I've noticed that many people who post here are atrocious spellers, and could really use some very basic instruction in putting an intelligible English sentence together that actually means something to a reader."

Gary knows me well enough not to post the first commentary I send him. Most of what I write I do so rght out of my head and quickly. Most don't take more than 20 to 30 minutes. I can look right at a sentence and not see the mistake until I send it the first time. Then I see it.

I more "channel" than write . LOL I can keyboard as fast as I can talk to myself in my head. There have been times when the computer cuts off or something trashes the article in the midst of it and I simply know to just forget it. I can't reproduce it a second time. I have, however, lost the art of handwriting.

Anonymous said...

I grew up in the day when HWA rolled out the "truth" about every conceivable thing, most importantly The Wonderful World Tomorrow. We were kept rapt in our seats, told that we would be the first to be resurrected, or maybe not to die at all, to be kings and queens over the sorry masses in the second resurrection. We'd prepare for the hoards of sinners, all brought back naked as the day they were born. The humbled masses lining up for white robes and housing assignments. It was such cool science fiction to my teenage mind! But now I'm nearing my golden years, and can't believe I bought into those bill of goods. I will admit that I DO still believe in a resurrection. I so desperately want to believe that I will see my dead Dad and Brothers, and relatives and friends long past. But every now and then, doubt creeps in, and I have to push out the feeling that maybe this IS all there is. Maybe the Bible was given to us to keep us placid, ever hopeful. The only sure way to find out is to die. At my brothers service 10 years ago, I said that he finally gets to see what happens next. As I get older, I kinda get excited, well, maybe it's not excitement, more curious. I don't fear death, really. If this really IS all there is, then when I die, that's it. And if it isn't, well then, it will be one great, joyous time. No more tears, bliss. I'm planning on it.

Anonymous said...

"If you move the E=MC2 backwards from it's apex, you get the big bang."

How much time have you spent researching Plasma Cosmology? Zero? That's what it looks like.

Jesus -- Divine, not Hispanic.

Anonymous said...

"I do not fear death"

Me neither. It will be a relief to be out from under the Zionists, Obama and the NWO.

Head Usher said...

Joe, there is a difference between risk tolerance and faith. We know that the probability of a plane crash, i.e., is low, and so we tolerate the risk. That is NOT faith. Faith is the failure to reject a claim that has ZERO evidence to support it. Every day, we know that thousands of planes are taking off and landing safely all over the world, and every time a plane crashes, it is reported on the news. We are constantly surrounded with the raw data evidence of how low the probability is that we will die in a plane crash. When I get on a plane, I am drowning in a rich, textured evidence of how safe air travel is, and how unlikely it is that I will die on this specific plane. The residual probability, risk, I tolerate. But there is NO FAITH involved, because I am drowning in EVIDENCE. If only I had found any evidence whatsoever that any deity at all was involved in my life, answering my prayers, etc., maybe I would have failed to reject god. But there came a point in which I could no longer afford to entertain the many fanciful claims of Armstrongism, but more generally, of christianity itself. Now it kind of bothers me the way the bible itself, especially the writings attributed to Paul, kind of flaunt the fact that their claims are unsupportable, and suggest that the failure to reject groundless claims is somehow virtuous, instead of a great weakness that makes one vulnerable to all sorts of con artists.
***
For all those who here defend the practice of failing to reject indefensible claims, I would simply point out that this practice sets a person up to accept all kinds of nonsense, from groundless conspiracy theories, to all manner of health claims, UFO stories, ghost stories, and all the various hobgoblins of little minds. The failure to reject indefensible claims contorts one's mental faculties in bizarre shaped pretzels. Along the lines of Paul Ray's succinctly stated post, I reject the existence of leprechauns, unicorns, fairies, Zeus, Osiris, Yahweh, space aliens, bigfoot, yeti, the Loch Ness monster, Peter Pan, the Wizard of Oz, Adam and Eve, Noah's Ark, ghosts, and many other unsupportable bedtime stories. For so long as there fails to be evidence, I will reject such claims. When the evidence presents itself, then, and ONLY THEN, will I believe. That's how I filter out all the garbage that credulous people are always bombarding me with.
***
"If you move the E=MC2 backwards from it's apex, you get the big bang."
Not necessarily. Maybe you get an inflationary scenario, first proposed by Alan Guth in the 1960s. An inflationary model creates the ripples necesary for stars and galaxies to form that the "big bang" does not. Importantly, the "big bang" fails to take into account the existence of the fabric of spacetime as a distinct ingredient of the universe we take for granted. The "big bang" is a Newtonian theory. Inflation is an Einsteinian theory.
***
I am usually pretty good at spelling, but have known some very intelligent people who weren't. Especially in this newly mobile internet age, many assumptions about the sacredness of spelling are just beginning to be challenged. I find no good purpose in being a grammar nazi. Language is arbitrary and conventional, and what the population of native speakers of a language believes is "correct" changes over time.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 6:04 PM wrote: "It was such cool science fiction to my teenage mind! But now I'm nearing my golden years, and can't believe I bought into those bill of goods."


And of course, we know how susceptible and easily attracted to pleasing illusions the teenage mind can be. I too was drawn in by WCG literature when I was 18, incredibly naive and terribly uneducated. Researchers tell us the average age for religious conversion - and this holds true across cultures worldwide - is between the ages of 15 to 19.

Now to me, that REALLY says a lot, especially considering what morons most of us are at that unsuspecting age, and gullible enough to fall for virtually anything. As a wise old man once told me, "Youth and foolishness go very well together!"

Anonymous said...

Jesus--

Forgive me, but you have sinned. Plasma cosmology is not well-accepted. Less well-accepted than the big bang, which has already fallen out of favor.

Also, the statement about "E=MC2" and "apexes," makes no sense as it is formulated. What suggests a small beginning is the expansionary nature of the universe, discovered by Edwin Hubble's groundbreaking observations, not the relationship between matter and energy stated in the equation E=MC2. Also, there are no apexes, global maximums, or whatever, inherent in either of these ideas. There is however scale minimum implied by Hubble's work, although not by E-MC2. Einstein actually goofed by inserting a made-up term into his equations to make the universe static. He later admitted that he viewed this as the most embarrassing mistake of his career.

Anonymous said...

Head Usher wrote: "Now it kind of bothers me the way the bible itself, especially the writings attributed to Paul, kind of flaunt the fact that their claims are unsupportable, and suggest that the failure to reject groundless claims is somehow virtuous, instead of a great weakness that makes one vulnerable to all sorts of con artists."


Who was it, Tertullian, who once proclaimed "I believe BECAUSE it is absurd." When fundamentalist folks who occasionally comment on this website try to defend the lunacy they puke out as "God's Truth" they are following Tertullian's epistemological principle to the letter. No wonder Walter Cronkite observed that fundamentalist religion will be the greatest threat to 21st century humanity.

Anonymous said...

Head Usher, you mentioned that "Inflation is an Einsteinian theory."

Are you sure about that? I was always under the impression that Einstein saw the cosmos as a steady-state universe, rather than an actively expanding one, which to my knowledge was essentially discovered by Edwin Hubble during the 1920's. Perhaps I'm not well acquainted with the terms here and am misunderstanding them. I'm not an expert in physics, and am willing to be corrected if I'm wrong.

Also, I'm not a grammar Nazi, but I must admit I find it quite irritating when folks trying to avoid that label constantly use it as an excuse for dumbing down the splendors and clarity of the English language. For instance, in my mind there's no such thing as Ebonics, only poorly-spoken ghetto slang "English" whose highest expression seems to be rap music lyrics. Not necessarily something we want to aspire to! An occasional spelling error - OK, we all make mistakes. But I refer to folks who can't seem to think any deeper than a "tweet" - and who literally cannot write an intelligible sentence because of non-existent punctuation and obvious ignorance of fundamental grammar and the most elemental basics of sentence structure. This is becoming more and more of an issue in today's world, especially with the "dude" culture. The Dean of Liberal Arts at a well-known Midwestern university once informed me that American business is now having to spend 8 BILLION dollars a year teaching college grad new-hires remedial English so they can actually write an understandable sentence. And this is for kids who by that time have experienced 17 years of formal schooling!

Head Usher said...

First, let me correct myself, in that cosmological inflation was first proposed by Alan Guth in 1980, not in the 1960's. When I said that inflation is an Einsteinian theory and the big bang was a Newtonian theory, I meant that inflationary theory makes use of Einstein's warpable, expandable, space-time, which is an integral part of relativity, and the big bang theory, as originally proposed, did not.

It's easy to overlook that until 1924, visible galaxies had always been thought to be nebulae within the Milky Way. It wasn't until Hubble proved the Andromeda "nebulae" was 10 times further away than any star ever observed before that we grasped that our whole conception of the word "universe" had been limited to a single galaxy.

The idea that the universe was static was an old default assumption from an old conception of a small "Milky Way universe." Planets wandered, but stars were static. Einstein's work on the "cosmological constant" which he fabricated to keep a steady-state universe was immediately abandoned when Hubble conclusively announced an expanding universe in 1929. So, it isn't fair to characterize Einstein as a "steady-state guy," any moreso than anyone else at the time.

Inflationary theory proposes that not only was matter and energy brought together, but that space itself was only just beginning to unfurl during those early moments of the universe, and moreover, the spatial dimensions have continued to expand ever since, explaining the observation that every object in the universe appears to moving away from every other object. The big bang theory, as originally proposed, thought only in terms of a material singularity and its subsequent fragmentation, much like the way billiard balls break in the first move of a pool game, which is a Newtonian conception. There are many problems without an expansionary spatial fabric, and a solely Newtonian "big bang" cannot be made to produce the universe we observe.

As stated in official terms, the inflationary theory has been subsumed into the "big bang" and is now accepted as the mechanism of the "big bang," so, just to clarify, what is meant by "big bang" has changed over time.


"folks who can't seem to think any deeper than a 'tweet'"
The conventions of English are changing. How we write, spell, and yes, even think, is being affected by technology, including Twitter. But, this is entirely separate from the development of effective communication skills, which will persist among some and be absent from others, despite changing conventions. You're also grappling with separate subcultures that don't even speak "English" per se, but only dialects thereof, and I sure don't understand some of them. So, you're lumping together three different things under the label of "dumbing down" and not all of those things are properly treated with such a broad brush. By whatever technologies we find our communication liberated or constrained, we would all benefit from a little more skill and a little more thought, regardless of how large our fingers might be in relationship to our keyboards.

DennisCDiehl said...

Great comments and perspective Head Usher. Refreshing that some former COG even know the concepts and propositions.

I like Neil De Grasse Tyson and how he explains things we currently suspect or know. He has a infectious enthusiasm for all things physics and cosmology.

The Holographic Universe/Brain concept is interesting.

Maybe we ARE the SIMS

Anonymous said...

The fact is, all of the elements found on earth, hydrogen, iron, etc., are found in the universe. If the universe truly was a product of evolution it would be teeming with life.

Just as you don't have to go far to find those elements, neither would there be a struggle to find life. But we haven't found life in outer space, despite evolution.

Anonymous said...

In school they used to say that the amoeba is the simplest life form. But there is not a single person on earth that has been able to create one using the individual elements it is composed of.

We don't have the knowledge or the intelligence to do so; not so simple is it? Therefore it takes knowledge and intelligence to create even the simplest of life.

Therefore one must think in order to CREATE life; hence, I think, therefore I AM.

Anonymous said...

So to believe in evolution is an act of faith.

Allen C. Dexter said...

"But we haven't found life in outer space, despite evolution."

What a dumb statement!

Just how far have we ventured into space? A few probes to the planets and a few bootprints on the moon. That's barely stepping outside one's door. It would take longer than one, and usually several, lifetimes with present technology to get to the nearest extra-solar planetary system.

I'm sure the universe is teeming with life, but it's going to take time to locate and document it -- much longer than any of us probably have left. And, don't hold your breath over contacting any technologically developed life. That took billions of years right here, and it's questionable that we can survive long enough for anyone else to discover us, with our tendency toward political and religious madness.

Allen C. Dexter said...

"Faith fails when you get the facts. I can say "I don't know," just fine and often."

So true, Dennis. Faith is a copout, an ignoring of the facts.

Anonymous said...

The folks who insist on asserting that accepting the growing evidence for biological evolution is an act of faith simply astonish me. Their pea-sized brains refuse to reconsider their illogical position that has no basis in reality whatsoever. To repeat once again: the findings of science are based in factual evidence, not faith. And if science misinterprets such evidence, then over time the enterprise as a whole corrects itself as new facts shed further light. It doesn't take any faith whatsoever to accept the reality of gravity or atomic theory - it does take a logical, humble mind willing to accept facts that may prove uncomfortable to our cherished assumptions, and one unfettered by religious mythology that give a false sense of certainty. Same thing with evolutionary theory.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 7:02 AM wrote: "We don't have the knowledge or the intelligence to do so; not so simple is it? Therefore it takes knowledge and intelligence to create even the simplest of life."


OK, now can you explain to me how that line of reasoning therefore specifically demonstrates the existence of the Judeo/Christian God of the Bible, say as opposed to the hundreds of other Gods proposed at various times over the course of human history? I ask this question sincerely because it seems to me Christian apologists make a massive unjustifiable leap of blind faith to get to the specific God they have been culturally conditioned to accept and want to worship.

Anonymous said...

I merely said that we lack that knowledge and intelligence needed to create even the most miniscule and rudimentary form of life, therefore it takes one of advanced knowledge and intellect to bring life into existence.

If u want to call such a one God, that is ur prerogative.

Anonymous said...

As for your generic and cliche retort "that doesn't prove God exists" argument, I merely stated that living things are so complicated that it would take a thinker who is more knowledgeable and intelligent than we are to compose it, let alone animate it, sustain it, and give it the ability to reproduce.

We can't even build, with existing materiels, a robot that can independently balance itself, let alone create the molecular structure of the materials it is made of.

Anonymous said...

Why are evolutionists always calling people dumb? Why do human beings always resort to the lowest common denominator? Your call my statement dumb but you wouldn't want me saying that to you (regardless of the merits of the statement).

That kind of behavior is very human, and is very telling of human character.

Now, regarding life in space, according to the logic of the theory of evolution, life should be as common in outer space as the elements that are commonly found there; the elements are as close as our own solar system, but where is the life?

Therefore evolution is a theory LITERALLY WITHOUT SUBSTANCE!

Anonymous said...

Human beings are made up of billions of cells: there are bone cells, blood cells, fat cells, etc.,etc., etc.

Each one of those cells can replicate, and each is PROGRAMMED to replicate only under certain conditions, and serve certain functions, etc., etc, etc.

Each produces waste which also have a cellular molecular structure. We humans not only lack the intellect and knowledge to create such systems, we in our natural state, cannot even see them.

Anonymous said...

An elephant brain is larger than ours, and so too is a whale's. The notion that a large brain is an indicator of superior reasoning is not factual.

Anonymous said...

The fact is that the elements of life are commonly found in our solar system and throughout the universe but life as we know, i.e. life composed of those same elements is, at the very least, not found, despite the commonality of those same elements.

The fact is the very molecular structure of the elements that make up the building blocks of said elements (which are the building blocks of that which we can actually see with the naked eye) is too complicated for the human mind create, hence it takes someone more advanced than a human to engineer it.

Anonymous said...

The fact is u have yet to find life in space so ur theory currently is more about trusting in the unknown rather than the known.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous, your above array of rambling, disjointed comments really didn't meaningfully address the specific question I put to you. Instead you just used it merely as a launchpad to shoot off yet another series of incoherent statements.

For instance, you said above that "Each produces waste which also have a cellular molecular structure. We humans not only lack the intellect and knowledge to create such systems, we in our natural state, cannot even see them."

OK, so what is your point? Yes, there are indeed many things far below the perceptual threshold of the unaided human senses - and also far beyond it in terms of the wider cosmos. And so scientists using science, and armed with intellect and knowledge, have over time devised machines and methods that DO allow us to come to see, know and come to understand such things. So again I ask, what is your main point?

I truly would like to have a reasonably intelligent discussion on this subject, because I think it's the most important topic the human mind can consider. But I find most of those who angrily comment upon the issue dreadfully unequipped to have meaningful discussions in a genuine spirit of good will.

I may be in error, but your sources of information seem to be outdated creationist claptrap that constantly berates science in general and evolutionary theory specifically without really understanding the vast amount of evidence that supports it. I say this because some years ago I would spend long hours on the Internet discussing the origins controversy. This would lead to some truly fascinating, educational and mutually beneficial exchanges of views...until the arrogant, know-it-all creationists would inevitably join the discussion and start posting rambling comments much like yours. Yet, almost without exception, time and time and time again they proved themselves utterly incapable of being able to coherently address the specifics I and others would bring up, and often remarkably ignorant of some of the most crucial discoveries in the field.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 12:01 PM said: "The fact is the very molecular structure of the elements that make up the building blocks of said elements (which are the building blocks of that which we can actually see with the naked eye) is too complicated for the human mind create, hence it takes someone more advanced than a human to engineer it."

And so who or what would that "someone" be then?

Anonymous said...

Does any of this stuff matter? Is anyone actually being persuaded to change their beliefs or viewpoints? It's been my observation that most people, unless there is some sort of "event" in their lives, pick what they are going to believe, and then spend the rest of their time collecting evidence to support those beliefs.
It is a rare individual whose beliefs are dynamic, maleable with additional input, as opposed to static.

Krik von Zipper

Allen C. Dexter said...

"Now, regarding life in space, according to the logic of the theory of evolution, life should be as common in outer space as the elements that are commonly found there; the elements are as close as our own solar system, but where is the life?

Therefore evolution is a theory LITERALLY WITHOUT SUBSTANCE!"

We'll know when we find it, maybe in the oceans of Europa, the subsoil of Mars, or somewhere else. You sound like some Spaniard laughing at Columbus for thinking there was land to the west with people on it because he or she couldn't imagine such a thing.

Thankfully, the world isn't totally full of people like you. There have to be some questioning, thinking people around or we'd still all be hunter gatherers terrified of every natural phenomenon.

Allen C. Dexter said...

Anonymous, Anonymous, Anonymous. I can't tell who the hell is who, or how many "Anonymouses" there are. At least a couple will sign their names at the end. They, at least, aren't total faceless and nameless cowards.

Anonymous said...

Krik, all I can say is that it matters a great deal to me personally. I would agree with your observation that perhaps the vast majority of us do indeed just seek to accumulate evidence for what we want to believe. This is mentally the comfortable path of least resistance for sure. But the history of science proves that humans can go a long way in discovering objectively true facts, often in the face of embedded and long-established beliefs, that we can then use to improve our lives.

My own tangible life experiences have provided irrefutable evidence to my mind that most of what I used to believe has in time proven erroneous to one degree or another. So to have a dynamic, malleable mind open to revised input seems a most reasonable strategy to navigate through this baffling journey we call the human life experience.

I think one of the greatest dangers fundamentalist religion poses to mankind - and history certainly bears this out in great abundance - is the false, shallow, rigid and often violent sense of certainty it tends to generate within the human mind. Just observe the typical ossified COG mindset in practical action as expressed by it's most ardent proponents. Is this how we want to live - never growing, never expanding, never improving, never adapting? Look what regrettable fruit this lazy mindset has produced within the wider COG community.

Leonardo said...

OK, Allen, I stand corrected, and admit you make a good point about posting anonymously, as it CAN get quite confusing when so many do it. So, I will post from now on using my old name from Ambassador Watch days, Leonardo. How's that?

Byker Bob said...

Allen,

I think the problem is that many of the anonymi have never really participated much in the blogs and forums. If they had, we'd be able to tell pretty much who they were by their literary style, ie favorite words they repeat, sentence structure, state of belief or non-belief and their supporting reasons, etc. Some have changed their screen names several times over the past ten years, but you can still recognize them even with their new name.

It's the "drive by" confrontational anonymous posters that seem to cause the types of problems with which you are concerned.

BB

Leonardo said...

In some comments above the topic of potential life elsewhere in the universe arose. Might I suggest that we try, at least for a moment, to rise above the petty and divisive special creation/evolution squabbles that tend to characterize this controversial topic?

I suppose one basic line of questioning we’d have if life other than that which we find on earth truly does exist somewhere else in the cosmos would be inquiries into it’s very nature: would it be rather primitive as compared to human life, such as bacteria or some other microorganism? In this event, we would probably discover it rather than it discovering us. Or, on the other extreme, might such life possibly be light-years ahead of us in sentient development, possessing such intelligence that WE would be considered a lower level life form to them, like a rodent would compare to us?

Some years ago I read a paper written by a Jesuit astrophysicist who addressed this very issue. If I recall correctly he was doing it at the request of the Vatican, just in the event, however remote it may be, that meaningful contact with extraterrestrial life ever does become an actual reality rather than mere science fiction, and what would be the Catholic response to it, etc. As you can imagine, it was quite a thought-provoking read.

If we could communicate with such beings possessing far superior intellect than ours, probably the very first question I’d like to ask them would be how they explain their existence in the cosmos, assuming this would even be of interest to them. It seems to me how they might respond to this question would explain much about them.

Highly unlikely, at least in our lifetimes? – probably. Anyway, something to reflect upon. Of all the physical creatures inhabiting planet earth, as far as we know only we human beings could even remotely conceptualize such things.

Why not exercise that capacity every now and again?

Leonardo said...

Here's another mind-blowing video that backs up the spirit of what Dennis was saying in the original post. Time for a humbling reality-check, my friends!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ufl_Nwbl8xs

Leonardo said...

And now another short yet thought-provoking video that underscores the spirit and intent of Dennis' original post - yet another humbling reality-check, my friends!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=17jymDn0W6U

Anonymous said...

"Forgive me, but you have sinned. Plasma cosmology is not well-accepted. Less well-accepted than the big bang, which has already fallen out of favor."

I never said that Plasma Comsology is well accepted. Why would a pile of lying self-seeking careerists in gutless academia take the risk of accepting it when it's safer to perpetuate the Big Bang myth. What I'm saying is that it makes a hell of a lot more sense than the Big Bang. Hey people, stop reading into things, DAMN IT!

Anonymous said...

I will not attempt to teach Plasma Cosmology here. I don't have a few months to spend reteaching what's already out there. But now that I've mentioned it, maybe one of the readers here will get their head out of the sand and go read about it. The Big Bang dopes have hijacked science and they and the creationists act like there is only one scientific theory to discuss, which happens to be the stupidest one imaginable.

Jesus.

Anonymous said...

BIG BANG! BIG BANG! BIG BANG!

Another drive-by shooting.

Anonymous said...

Can't come up with anything to rebut so you resort to irrelevant rhetoric. I dare you to argue the point. Defend your point of view if you can.

Anonymous said...

I have made these points on evolutionist blogs before and their response is always the same: avoid arguing the point; make personal attacks; use distractions.

Anonymous said...

What is it about the evolutionist that makes him always regress to personal insults when debating a point?

Anonymous said...

To the anti-bigbangers: And the compelling, well-documented evidence for your poorly expressed assertions would be....

Come on, obviously you're a genius in your own mind, so your deep of understanding of plasma cosmology must be so powerful that surely you could summarize it in a meaningful manner for us ignorant laymen.

Anonymous said...

The fact is that posting anonymously means I won't be subject to having my name insulted on so called blogs like mr. D does to various people.

Every time I post, whether on a religious blog or a evolutionist blog I find that those who disagree with me begin to insult me and say bad things about me.

This they do because their arguments are full of holes and they have no defense for their point of view.

Anonymous said...

You have just been judged by your own words. Not only do you not say anything that "adds to the discussion" you add personal insults to your rhetoric.

You, just like mr. D, prove that you are merely the same kind of person that you so arrogantly insult, only your point of view is different.

Anonymous said...

Fact is there is no evidence of life in space but evolutionists believe there may be based upon A THEORY......

That's not faith?

Anonymous said...

Offer an intelligent answer and not some childish insult:

The female elephant is a four legged creature whose mammaries are at the front legs not the hind ones.

How do you explain the reason why in evolutionary terms? Did the position of the teets evolve to accomodate the baby elephant's trunk or did the elephant's trunk evolve for reasons unknown?

Anonymous said...

What or who that someone is is not the point. The point is it takes intelligence to Create even the most basic of cells, let alone sustain those cells, give them the ability to replicate, cause them to aggregate and become another entity, sustain it and give it the ability to reproduce.

It takes intellect to do all those things. Not only do we not have such intellect, but we cannot even keep ourselves from dying; yet we balk at the possibility of there being another Thinker greater than ourselves?

Retired Prof said...

"Therefore evolution is a theory LITERALLY WITHOUT SUBSTANCE!" says Anonymous March 9, 2013 at 11:13 AM.

Absolutely right. Just like every other theory, it's an abstraction, which is the name for any concept "literally without substance." Theories are not the only abstractions. So is history, and the Dow Jones Industrial average, and the unemployment rate, and the weather forecast, and the speed limit. All abstractions.

In other words, the simple fact that a thing is without substance does not mean we can afford to disregard it.

Velvet said...

"It is a rare individual whose beliefs are dynamic, maleable with additional input, as opposed to static."

I think you mean "malleable" but why is it rare? Come the Great White Throne Judgement, that's going to be the state of anyone who has ever lived or died.

I mean, it's rare now, but it won't be in future. That said, my beliefs are definitely not static. There is that whole "growing in grace and knowledge" thing. (Though when trinitarians say that to me, they say it with the attitude, grace = trinitarianism, whereas I personally believe that grace = salvation...but I'm getting away from my point.)

Given that I went from a fairly staunch (and very self-righteous) zealot, to agnostic, to very bitter atheist, and back to what I would like to think is a less self-righteous believer, I would say that demonstrates my beliefs are NOT static. But the Church when I was growing up, took this same attitude, that doctrines were/are dynamic, through progressive revelation and additional input.

(Note I said PROgressive not REgressive, the way the Evangelicals stepped backward in time, to teach things that Jesus never taught, things that His followers never believed.)

Anonymous said...

Your question relates to pectoral mammary glands in mammals, since most mammals have abdominal mammary glands. But elephants are not the only mammals with oddly placed mammaries - four-legged primates and humans have them as well. And other mammals have rather odd forwardly placed mammary glands along the mammary ridge (basically the area from the armpits to the groin) too: manatees behind each front flipper, for instance, and bats as well. Baby elephants would have to move their trunks (which are highly flexable) out of the way no matter where the location of their mother's nipples. I'm afraid the way your question is phrased has given you away, as it demonstrates a lack of understanding on your part as to how gradual evolutionary changes occur, which often happen simultaneously to and in tandem with multiple factors both within the organism as well as the external environment. For a more detailed explanation of these principles in action do some reading on the evolution of the blood clotting cascade, an area that has seen some fine research done in the past decade or so. But as it's stated, your question is based upon the overly simplistic, cartoonish and highly inaccurate either/or version of evolution often seen in young earth creationist literature, which often leads people into very unproductive, dead ends. I hope this helps somewhat, but one can only answer a rather nonsensical question just so far.

Allen C. Dexter said...

"The female elephant is a four legged creature whose mammaries are at the front legs not the hind ones."

So are the human females, primates and I'm not sure how many others as I'm no biologist. What does that prove? Mammary glands seem to always be up front somewhere and in some creatures they occupy the entire abdominal area. Shows variety, nothing more.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 6:33 PM wrote: "The point is it takes intelligence to Create even the most basic of cells, let alone sustain those cells, give them the ability to replicate, cause them to aggregate and become another entity, sustain it and give it the ability to reproduce. It takes intellect to do all those things."


But precisely HOW do you know that? You have just made an extremely broad and dogmatic assertion with no backing whatsoever, apparently other than the fact that you can't envision it, so therefore it can't be so true. Before the 20th century you probably wouldn't have been able to envision the truth of atomic theory, though by now it's been proven at both the theoretical and practical levels. Have you ever read some of the works of Dr. Victor Stenger, such as HAS SCIENCE FOUND GOD? I suggest you do because he addresses many of the simplistic lines of reasoning you seem locked into, and which you base your claims on because you seem utterly incapable of reasoning outside such presuppositions.

Head Usher said...

What a strange turn this thread has taken...

"The fact is, all of the elements found on earth, hydrogen, iron, etc., are found in the universe. If the universe truly was a product of evolution it would be teeming with life.

Just as you don't have to go far to find those elements, neither would there be a struggle to find life. But we haven't found life in outer space, despite evolution
."

The fact is, the elements found on Earth are found throughout the universe in roughly the same proportions. The proportions of elements in the human body itself are roughly in line with that of the universe as a whole. Why do people insist on arguing things predicated upon such obviously false implications, such as "life depends on just having all the right elements." Just because all the right elements are common does not mean that life should be common. Everyone knows that life depends on a great deal more than just having the right elements.

The Earth is a very rare place. Why? Well, for one, because of the presence of liquid water. Where in the universe, besides Earth can you find water in a liquid state? If any of these anonymous posters know, there are a lot of researchers who would like you to clue them in. The right conditions for life are in short supply. Why anyone would suggest that we should expect to find life in the absence of liquid water is beyond me.

You've said nothing here about the relative merits of evolution. You've only succeeded in demonstrating that you have difficulty forming a cogent argument. If you have a point to make, please take the relative facts into account first, then tell us what you're still having a problem with, and then perhaps we can have a real discussion. Assuming that's something you actually want.

DennisCDiehl said...

All, well most, interesting observations in the discussion. I am sure that if the Neil DeGrasse Tysons and others who have actually done the hard work of physics and cosmology were to read these threads, they'd put them to rest factually .

What always seems true is that there are those who always need to explain physical reality and the findings of science well done in ways that the belief system about their particular religious spin and needs comes out on top. We explain our world so our never to be questioned beliefs survive and others don't. It's why discussion is endless. You can't test a Deity in the equation or a plan of salvation or who and what Jesus did, say or meant in relation to Cosmology. They really aren't connected no matter how one plays with scriptures of men who knew far far less than we do today.

The Universe and all its components is a very big place. I personaly can't comprehend it and the how and why eludes me which is why there is a hunger to know in most humans to begin with. It is the wanting to know that leads to learning. Of ten religious dogma prevents one from really wanting to know and one will only venture out into good science if they know it will not upset their current views, which of course, are the correct ones. I never met anyone who knew they had wrong views or in the COG context, were in the wrong or false church. It simply does not work that way.

Any way, off post, but great discussion.

DennisCDiehl said...

Our reigious beliefs and needs tend to inform the science rather than the other way around

Anonymous said...

My Comment:
I have looked at the many comments made here and elsewhere regarding faith, science, and history. It seems the debating that goes on really misses the whole point of life. Why is there such conflict in these discussions? It should be obvious that faith has nothing to do with either science or history. As has been pointed out; true science deals with hard facts and true history deals with factual events. The problem I see lies in the fact that no living human being can have all the factual information needed to determine what is truly factual without fiction.
The real battle involved in these debates is related to what is defined as religion. My definition of religion is the belief in a superior being that is superior to human life as we know it. I realize this is an over simplification of the subject, but it will serve my purpose. As pointed out above there may have been hundreds of gods in human history, which doesn’t seem to be a problem, but it is the God revealed in the Judeo/Christian bible that some people have a problem with. Why is it people feel intimidated and /or rebellious by these ancient writings? What makes their authority more valid than other sacred writings? Who or what is forcing people to adjust their lives to follow the God revealed by these sacred writings? Why do people feel they need blind faith or that people have blind faith if they choose to follow the sacred writings? These are just a few of the questions that are difficult to answer
Let’s face it everyone is a free moral agent. In the USA right now no adult is forced to adhere to any religious belief even if there are laws that may prohibit total immorality. People may respond to fear tactics, but I believe this is not what drives religion today. The primary attraction of Christianity is relationships that reflect a faith that has a genuine love and hope that goes above and beyond that experienced today. I admit that faith without reason can lead to disaster, but if our reason is to improve how we relate to each other as we work our way through this earthy journey those things that relate to science and history will not be all that important.
AB

Vaughn said...

In the argument of faith over fact, I like what Neil deGrasse Tyson said:

"Does it mean, if you don’t understand something, and the community of physicists don’t understand it, that means God did it? Is that how you want to play this game? Because if it is, here’s a list of things in the past that the physicists at the time didn’t understand [and now we do understand] [...]. If that’s how you want to invoke your evidence for God, then God is an ever-receding pocket of scientific ignorance that’s getting smaller and smaller and smaller as time moves on - so just be ready for that to happen, if that’s how you want to come at the problem.

"A Conversation about Communicating Science". © 2007-2011 The Science Network. January 20, 2011.

Anonymous said...

Speaking of tits and such, evolution has a better answer to "why do men have nipples" than the bible does.

Anonymous said...

AB, your essential argument above is so riddled with ignorance I don't no where to begin in answering it. So let's try to quickly analyze just one salient point that jumped out at me.

For example, AB says: "As pointed out above there may have been hundreds of gods in human history, which doesn’t seem to be a problem, but it is the God revealed in the Judeo/Christian bible that some people have a problem with. Why is it people feel intimidated and /or rebellious by these ancient writings? What makes their authority more valid than other sacred writings? Who or what is forcing people to adjust their lives to follow the God revealed by these sacred writings?"

AB, does the obvious presumption in your argument really need to be pointed out? You come at this entire thing from the viewpoint of a culture which has had a very strong influence in it of Judeo/Christian beliefs. People have a "problem" (as you put it) with supernatural deities in general, and with the Christian one in particular simply since that is the specific one invoked in Christian influenced culture. If this discussion were taking place in the context of an Islamic culture, then Allah would be the god in question, etc. Then again if this discussion were attempted in an Islamic culture, we'd all probably be arrested and beheaded for having taken part! Isn't religion grand? And who would we be able to "thank" for it: Allah, of course!

Another point you made was: "People may respond to fear tactics, but I believe this is not what drives religion today."

Are you serious?! So, in your estimation, fear of the future, fear of the unknown, fear of punishment by a supernatural being intent on punishing all unbeleivers has little or no influence on people's decision to adopt all the zany beleifs and rituals associated with religion? Like I say, where does one even begin to address this view - except to say I think it safe to presume the vast majority of observers of religion would agree that primal fears rooted in the unknown plays a major role in motivating religious ideology and practice.

Anonymous said...

Tyson did no hard work. He is a parrot, put out there because he's black, and they have to have a Negro in science to hide the scientific but politically incorrect fact that, on average, Negros have a low IQ. Just more evidence that "science" today is often more about politics than science.

Anonymous said...

Negros are good at blab, not so good at thinking (take that other airhead front-man Obama for instance) so Tyson makes a good politically correct parrot for the establishment.

Anonymous said...

"To the anti-bigbangers: And the compelling, well-documented evidence for your poorly expressed assertions would be...."

On the Web. Learn to use google. I will not reteach the basics. Believe what you want, I don't care. I am trying to point open-minded people in a saner direction, not trying to repeat what's already out there.

Joe Moeller said...

In the argument a couple of posts ahead, it is stated that religion is a reaction, or is motivated by the fear of the unknown and the fear of death.

There is SOME degree of truth there, and as a believer I will confess to that, BUT again as just a simplified part of the equation.

However, I ask in response, of a fair give back from the other side.

I propose that atheism has , to some degree, (Not en toto) a motivation to be free from "Moral Restraint" and the desire for sexual, carnal, or many other manifestations of self expression, free from guilt, judgement or tether.

We are all selfish beings with conflicting motivations. I ask the atheist to be honest in examining all of his motivations.

Luv
Joe Moeller
Cody, WY

Anonymous said...

Well, Anon 11:47 AM, you are doing a pathetically poor job of "leading people in a saner direction" then, but I think we all know that you are posing as someone having certain expertise in plasma physics that you simply don't possess, and that's why you cowardly shirk away from and never engage in specifics, which of course you are far above in your vaunted knowledge, which very obviously you acquired by "googling" and watching two-minute YouTube videos! Not exactly the kind of "education" that gives one a sound grounding in a topic, especially one as complicated as astrophysics. This comes through loud and clear in the shallow and ignorant ways you express yourself.

Anonymous said...

Contrary to your lies, I have spent a lot of time researching Plasma Cosmology. There are books on it and web sites. Use google, lying coward. The facts are at your fingertips. You are not worth my time, since you're too uneducated to use google or read a book anyway.

Plasma dude.

Anonymous said...

Hey big-banger, if you use google it might lead you to amazon.com. Ever heard if it? Or do you only know about youtube and only watch the 2-minute videos there?

Plasma dude.

Anonymous said...

And, Anon 11:47 AM, you've proven that you can't even make the simplest argument with any kind of cogency, a fact made painfully clear in your various rants of the past day or so, so no wonder you refuse to "teach us the basics." So yeah, it's probably best you go back to the skinhead racist group you probably come from, where you can comfort one another in trying to explain away the microwave in background radiation of the cosmos, something plasmists have the hardest time doing, so hard in fact, that it's never been done!

Anonymous said...

MBR was explained by Eddington before the BB was invented.

Anonymous said...

Hey big-banger, you probably never even hear of Eddington? Right? Admit that you're dumber than the "skinhead" you deplore! LOL.

Anonymous said...

YO! waz up Plasma Dude - well, at least now I understanding a little more now about the origins of your pathetic verbal expression skills, since you're a self-proclaimed "dude." Not exactly a generation known for its articulateness or eloquence using the English language, and certainly not for its intelligence. Then again, rap music being your highest form of expression, what more can be said.

Good luck in your attempts to convert the world to plasma physics. You might start at Cal Tech or M.I.T., however, rather than websites like this.

Anonymous said...

I try not to get into debates over evolution anymore after discovering that creationists aren't interested in hearing the evidence, or actually understanding evolution- the Bible says man was created with magic, so that's that. Anything otherwise is a lie, evidence or no.

Also, the majority of creationists debate a straw man version of evolution, because their sources are other creationists.

So- if you want to argue against evolution, if you want to disprove it, you'll need to understand it. I urge all creationists to study evolution, just for the purpose of finally understanding evolution. Whether you accept the evidence or not is besides the point- you'll be educated and can therefore reject evolution on what you see as credible terms, not just the same old disproved ignorant talking points gleaned from creationist websites and pamphlets.

The best place to start is Donald Prothero's "Evolution: What the Fossils Say and Why It Matters." I challenge each creationist to get a copy.

Paul Ray

Anonymous said...

creationist are armchair paleontologists. They read articles and books but never actually do the hard work of paleontology, nor could they. So it is with cosmology. Fundamentalists must wed their immovable beliefs to every discovery, no matter how bad the marriage is.

dd (Ipad)

As far as motives. I can only speak for me. I see big problems with the Bible . It's origins, writers, errancy and history are as advertised no matter the apologetic. I love science and origins. I feel I simply wish to know the truth of life, the why's and hows. I don't have expectations as I once did. I enjoy the journey. Filtering science through the Bible, or the Bible through science is a mistake. They are not actually compatible IMO no matter what radio preachers scream about here. They have not done the hard work of science, paleontology, cosmology or physics. Most of them here have not even done the hard work of theology which they claim expertise in, but I find them merely Bible readers. Congregants even less so in my experience.

Anonymous said...

Hey big-banger, FYI I don't listen to rap. Once again, your ad homenim attack has missed the boat.

You are a fool who trusts in the establishment. Sounds like you can't think for yourself, Wigger.

You have as much FAITH in the establishment as a religious zealot, perhaps moreso.

You are getting hysterical.

Plama dude.

Anonymous said...

Paul, I've tried to get creationists to read Prothero's book - even relatively intelligent ones. And I've NEVER known one to ever be willing to read it. I've even done the hard work of condensing in summary form other similar introductory books for folks who've asked me to, such as Finding Darwin's God. But again, no dice. The fact is that most religionists are terribly fearful of taking a serious, unbiased look at the vast array of evidence accumulated in the past 150 years for biological evolution, especially the relatively new DNA evidence. And why? Because it might possibly cause an existential crisis in their lives, which can be an extremely difficult thing to endure. I know, because I was an ardent self-righteous creationist at one time, and I had to face the painful facts that the version of "evolution" I bought into and found joy in ridiculing wasn't the version that real scientists speak of and research about.

To another subject: You just gotta love the cute tactics of folks like Plasma Dude! You know, like accusing others of ignorance and being dumb while writing his incomprehensible "tweet" posts at about what, maybe a 4th grade level of written expression?

But Plasma Dude, believe me, you're gonna need a LOT of help when it comes to writing your doctorate convincing the rest of us of plasma physics...beecuz writing and spelin like this jus wont git u anywere, ef u no what i meen!!!!!!! it jus come across like sumone whu hadnt been taut much LOL LOL LOL.

You'll find as you mature that you need to build an argument in a step by step fashion, laying out your basic lines of evidence and reasoning, explaining things as cogently as possible. You'll fins this will go considerably further in persuading others, certainly much farther than ridiculing folks for being ignorant, and refusing to engage people because you see yourself as so much more advanced then they are.

Anonymous said...

1) Intelligent people focus on the concepts, not typos. Simple-minded people focus on typos.

2) I am not trying to convince people, simply point the FEW who might have an open mind to another option that most have heard little or nothing about.

3) Most people have a closed mind which is why I won't waste time on them, especially when the facts are already out there. Why reinvent the wheel?

4) If you had enough brains to actually read my posts, I've said as much already, so clearly you are unteachable anyway, and thus not worth my time.

Plasma dude.

Anonymous said...

Oh, and Plasma Dude, have you ever heard of things called paragraphs? Ideally they're composed of several intelligible sentences setting out a main idea, and clearly leading to an unambiguous point. Then another paragraph is employed when the point or idea becomes slightly different in specific tone or content.

So many people nowadays act as if literally every single sentence they write must be set off as an individual thought unit. But this kind of writing is very wearisome on the reader. That's where paragraphs come in handy.

Anyway, when sequentially strung together meaningful paragraphs lead to the overall end result called clarity of written expression - and this is so much easy to read than separate staccato-like sentences thoughtlessly strung together like a bullet list. Your readers may not always agree with what you've written, but at least they can clearly understand what you've written.

A basic analysis of your writing style is that you angrily blast out random and frequently unrelated sentences AT your reader, often using inappropriate ridicule and accusation, rather than gently putting intelligible concepts INTO your reader's minds, so that they can then decide whether what you've communicated is valid or not. And perhaps even making them want to read more of what you might have to say.

As it is you pretty much completely cut off a fair hearing for your ideas, many of which may be truly worth consideration, due principally to your attack-oriented style of expression.

Just a word to the wise. As the ancients used to say, "Speech is the most accurate index of the mind."

Anonymous said...

I read a lot of books, but anyone who thinks 2-minute videos are a waste of time should watch this short George Carlin video on critical thinking skills and the mind-control of the establishment. A smart guy can say a lot in 2 minutes.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-PkWf9M3rUw

Plasma dude.

Anonymous said...

When they can't refute the message, they attack the messenger, or his typos, or his paragraph style.

Plasma dude.

Anonymous said...

Oh my, Plasma Dude, with such an arrogant know-it-all attitude like that I'm afraid you're going to have one hell of a brutal ride through life. And further, I think you'll find for the most part that nobody will be interested in any concepts you espouse because your abrasive self-righteousness and raging anger entirely take up center stage.

Leonardo said...

Plasma Dude, who cares how many books you've read if you are entirely incapable of or unwilling to briefly summarize and articulate the key concepts involved in ways that can be clearly communicated to others without making them feel they're being beat over the head with a baseball bat?

Civil give-and-take dialog plays an indispensable important role in meaningful discussion - the oil that lubricates the gears of human interaction, if you will. I've always enjoyed and profited greatly by being around well-read people, and with folks conversant in topics I may know little to nothing about. But only when they can convey major ideas they've come across in their reading in ways that make me want to read about such things as well myself. Folks who cruelly ridicule their listeners for not having read the same books they have, or of being unfamiliar with the contents of such books, completely miss opportunities of being able to share worthwhile knowledge with people while at the same time totally alienating a great number of others.

How can you blame others of not being able to refute your message when you've not been willing to take the time and consideration of making that message clear or intelligible in the first place? For instance, I have a very good friend who is a physics professor, with a doctorate in such from Cal Tech, and, believe it or not, we have wonderful discussions on subjects such as plasma physics, and other related topics. So I think if you give me, and others like me, a chance you may find there are more folks familiar with the topic than you think. But discussing the details of plasma theory is a totally secondary issue here because, like I say, you turn off your potential audience before ever giving then the chance to seriously engage. Or worse, never giving them anything substantive to engage with from the very start, except for perhaps a resume of your personal greatness.

This is what I mean by "tweet" communication. There are just some concepts and ideas that have to be sufficiently explained. Not necessarily in great detail, but at least such that they can be made comprehensible to those hearing or reading. Some topics are so vital that they sometimes need to be discussed at greater length than short, quick sentences allow.

Please be willing to at least consider some of the things I've said.

I think if you do you'll find yourself entering into meaningful discussions much more smoothly, and gaining much more from them. Remember, the wise and learned play both the role of teacher AND student, for none of us know everything there is to know.

Anonymous said...

"Just a word to the wise. As the ancients used to say, 'Speech is the most accurate index of the mind.'"

Presumably they were referring to content, not typos or paragraph style.

Plasma dude.

Anonymous said...

"Oh my, Plasma Dude, with such an arrogant know-it-all attitude like that I'm afraid you're going to have one hell of a brutal ride through life."

Well, that is your perspective. But I can handle it.

"And further, I think you'll find for the most part that nobody will be interested in any concepts you espouse ..."

Well, nobody who is closed minded.

Plasma dude.

Leonardo said...

But when typos and poor grammar get in the way and present constant road blocks to comprehension, how can anyone sufficiently understand the content to begin with?

That's the entire reason for correct spelling, adequate use of punctuation, intelligible sentence structure, etc. These things are not just random, useless rules made up by English professors and Grammar Nazi's who have nothing better to do with their time. With English at least, most of them arose during the time of the later Middle Ages as aids in promoting clarity of meaning, because without such practical linguistic tools misunderstandings are far more frequent. They serve the purpose of making a message far more clear and unambiguous when used, and are so much easier and more pleasant to read.

To cite a popular though perhaps rather crude saying: "Grammar is important! Capitalization is the difference between helping your Uncle Jack off a horse and helping your uncle jack off a horse."

Anonymous said...

I don't know why anyone would hope to sell a controversial idea by being a poor ambassador for it. I don't know why anyone would expect the recipients of insults and ultimatums to buy controversial ideas because of the coercion. I don't know why anyone who is unwilling to even discuss the relative merits of a controversial idea in relationship to the relative merits of other more obviously reasonable ideas, would think that others would expect to find any merit in said controversial idea, such that they would want to even take a second look, you know, based strictly upon its merits, all extracurricular "sales tactics" aside.

Plasma dude, you're asking others to do what feels like waste a bunch of time researching a wacko theory which has been rejected by those who have looked at it, and then criticizing them for being resistant to wanting to do that. And why should we buy into a "big banger conspiracy" in the first place? Where's the merits in either your theory or your conspiracy?

Just a thought, but maybe you could kindly put up or shut up. Give us a reason why we should expect to find a jewel in the pile of stinky garbage you're asking everyone here to sort through. If you're either not knowledgeable enough or else not conversant enough to do so, both of which I think everyone here are just beginning to have niggling little doubts about, kindly consider bloating someone else's blog?

~toodles for now~

Anonymous said...

Yep, I too would have to say that anyone who responds with little more than a snotty condescending attitude and a George Carlin Youtube video when attempting to overthrow about 99.9% of astrophysics when asked to explain himself, then yeah, a hundred red warning flags start going up. I've often found when someone really knows what they're talking about, they can rather effortlessly explain and defend their views. Plasma Dude may or may not have some valid things to say, I just don't know because he appears to be quite unable to make his case at all. And then there's the whole other issue of his coming across as an extremely arrogant and belligerent person. The massive and very apparent chip on his shoulder seems the size of Mount Rushmore.

Anonymous said...

Maybe Plasma Dude needs to ask himself WHY people seem so closed minded to his ideas - something he seems to repeat quite often. Perhaps his approach to persuasion is the major stumbling block, as people just don't take too kindly to acidic little smart asses.

Retired Prof said...

I've seen a reminder on other blogs that pertains here. Maybe we could erect a sign:

DO NOT FEED THE TROLLS


It's like setting out dog food for the raccoons, 'possums, and skunks. At first watching the wildlife is entertaining, but pretty soon they're knocking over the garbage cans and strewing trash all around.

Anonymous said...

Why can't people on this blog rebut an argument without making personal insults? If you think someones statement lack coherency why not just rebut the premise?

What is the evolutionist obsession with looking down on others; it reminds me of those self-righteous religious people who have a holier than thou attitude.

How can you people look down on religious people when you behave with the same arrogance as they do?

Anonymous said...

Common means frequently occurring. The elements found on earth do frequently occur in space.

According to evolution life on earth evolved from these common elements; since that is the case then life in space should be equally as common as these elements.

We haven't found any yet, but we believe it is out there because we have the substance of things hoped and the evidence of things not seen.

Anonymous said...

If it is true that life evolved from common elements...

Does it logically follow that everywhere you find these common elements you will therefore find life?

NO!

Your argument is invalid.

Evolution does not mean what you think it means.

Enjoy ASCII #facepalm
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Anonymous said...

wow!...so many comments....some are like a drop of visine...while most keep throwing sand.....
If you made it this far with some sand still in your eye, wash it out with this:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4PN5JJDh78I

peace
another seekeroftruth

Anonymous said...

DennisCDiehl said...
" I simply want to belive what is actually true, not what is speculatively true or simly unprovable."

Not possible. What you thought you knew was true, wasn't. Now we know that we don't know. Enough happened. It still does. Plan on it. You can be sure we don't know. We can't know ABSOLUTE or ULTIMATE truth. That is God's responsibility(whatever that means). We CAN build and form more functional beliefs, whether it's another scientific step forward or a more peaceful and loving society.

DennisCDiehl said...
"I also want to learn to spell believe and simply better :)"

LOL...let's spell it H-O-P-E :)

peace
another seekeroftruth

Anonymous said...

Retired Prof -- you are a troll.

Anonymous said...

Leonardo: Grow up.

Anonymous said...

Maybe people who got their itty bitty feelings hurt should stop twisting what Plasma Dude said, stop imputing motives, give up the personal attacks, stop speaking for everyone else on here, quit nit-picking, stop pretending to be literary giants, and go read a book.

Anonymous said...

Three fingers pointing right back at ya, plasma dude.

Anonymous said...

"...ask himself WHY people seem so closed minded to his ideas..."

Contrary to another one of your false and stupid accusations, I do NOT wonder why people are closed minded. The answer to that is obvious ... people are opinionated in general and they are brainwashed by the BB theory and the news media as I already indicated. No secret there. It's been going on long before I entered the debate and supposedly closed everyone's mind with my supposed arrogance.

Such stupid comments are why it's not worth the effort debating with idiots. They go on and on and on and on with irrelevant junk and one can never satisfy them. They are not interested in truth, just in looking smart, while they make endless false allegations.

Plasma Dude.

Anonymous said...

oh, okay, now you've twisted my arm THAT far, I suddenly feel an intense desire to go spend countless hours reading books about underground cosmology and science conspiracies.

Wait! The desire just passed. Sorry. Let go of my arm?

Anonymous said...

:yawn:
sockpuppet diva drama
:/

Allen C. Dexter said...

I'm out of this so-called discussion. It has become ridiculous.

Anonymous said...

HOLY CRAP!

Is someone from the Texas Board of Education posting here?

-Norm

Anonymous said...

"... go back to the skinhead racist group ..."

Well, I did not come from a skinhead racist group, but I am proud to be one who stands up for my own people. What are you, a Negro? An illegal alien? A race traitor? A wigger?

Or maybe one of those multicultural goof-balls that is destroying the West.

Demographics prove that due to a negative birth rate among whites and massive legal and illegal immigration everywhere in the West, the White race will be essentially extinct in a few decades. Thousands of years of the greatest civilization ever will be over. Rather than whining about "racists" you should be doing something about it. Unless you're black, in which case I suggest you go back to Africa.

Plasma Dude.

Anonymous said...

My point is that the theory of evolution relies heavily upon the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. It is said that there may be life in space, but there is no proof.

The only fact is that there is evidence in space of the same eleents that are found on earth. The fact is there is no evidence of life..

The fact who believe in the spirit world do, and eah side looks down upon the other. as if one is better than the other.

The fact is that each is just a living corpse on borrowed time: one believes he will die and rot like any other animal, the thinks that he will go to heaven even though he is a sinner.

Anonymous said...

I believe that Silvio Berlusconi is going to take over Europe and invade England.

Leonardo said...

Well, Plasma Dude, I finally learned something new from you today, as I had never heard of this term before you graciously introduced me to it!

wigger — n. slang, derogatory. A white youth who adopts black youth culture by adopting its speech, wearing its clothes, and listening to its music [from a blend of white + nigger]

I would still contend, however, that your overall approach might not be the most effective way of introducing plasma cosmology to people unfamiliar with it.

Just my opinion.

Anonymous said...

I think he is an alien life form with advanced mind control skills.

Anonymous said...

"My point is that the theory of evolution relies heavily upon the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen."

Then you know nothing of evolution. I suggest you study it. Try Donald Prothero's "Evolution: What the Fossils Say and Why It Matters."

Paul Ray

Byker Bob said...

Good Grief!!!

BB

Anonymous said...

Paul, people who say things like "the theory of evolution relies heavily upon the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen" are the latest in a long line of those who try and inevitably fail to somehow weld both worldviews together, as if they are mutually compatible. I admit, though, that such proposers appear to know little of either perspective. I think it rather naive on their part, and refer to it as the Rodney King strategy: "C,C,C,Can't we all just get along? Please. Can't we just get along?"

Though I'll be the first to admit that I don't think either worldview has ALL the answers. There's just too many missing pieces of the puzzle, too many things yet that we don't know.

Leonardo said...

I understand your frustration, Byker Bob, I truly do! To me this whole thread, which occasionally contains some excellent comments, shows nonetheless what results when you get a lot of folks together venting their emotional opinions upon controversial subjects they actually know so very little about. Then throw in some who couldn't reason their way out of a paper bag, add to that those who write so poorly it's as if English was their third or fourth language, and, well, here we are!

Anonymous said...

"...those who write so poorly it's as if English was their third or fourth language..."

Or those who read so poorly they can't understand what the rest of us find clear. Then there are those who pretend not to understand because they need some incidental issue to attack, because their own arguments lack substance. Who do these people think they are fooling?

Anonymous said...

"...those who write so poorly it's as if English was their third or fourth language..."

What you mean to say is...

"...those who write so poorly it's as if English WERE their third or fourth language..."

Nice work, literary genius.

Anonymous said...

I made a comment awhile back that was justly criticized. When I made it I assumed there was a broader understanding of biblical theology and the philosophy of religion. My point was that the focus should be on improving the way we related to each other before we attempt to solve all the problems in science and history.
Since making that comment I have read many comments expressing personal beliefs and find that many of those beliefs both for and against a particular subject do not consider both sides of the issue before making dogmatic statements.
I admit I have firm beliefs regarding the value of the Christian faith and yes I know the history and how it has been developed over the years. I also have a good grasp OT development and the stories that have been put together, but I focus on the principles that can be used in improving the moral quality of humanity and the ability of relating with other people.
I find that illogical or inaccurate personal beliefs are a fact of life and should be exposed, but I do not judge the value of the person by their beliefs or disbeliefs. I admit I do cringe when see some comments. I wouldn’t talk about DB’s cat the way people talk about other people. Of course his cat may be more intelligent and righteous.
AB

Anonymous said...

Perhaps Leonardo is confused over the meaning of BB. BB can mean Byker Bob or Big Bang. Does that clear things up for you Leonardo?

By the way, Leonardo was probably gay. Is that why you use his name as your moniker? Or do you see yourself as some kind of know-it-all
Renaissance man?

Anonymous said...

"George Carlin Youtube video when attempting to overthrow about 99.9% of astrophysics..."

The George Carlin video, as I said already, was about critical thinking, not the BB. I can see why some people on here can't understand other people's writing. They have zero reading comprehension skills.

Plasma Dude.

Anonymous said...

Like Plasma Dude was reminded yesterday, people who literally can't make a single relevant comment in a civil manner without resorting to cutting, mean-spirited insults are going to find their style of communication very unsuited to life in the real world outside of internet posting. It's fairly clear that such types spend most of their time with others in the very safe and artificial "virtual" world of blogging - apparently so they can hurl putdowns and insults at others without getting busted in the mouth like they would in the actual world.

Good luck, Dudes, you're going to need a lot of it in the years ahead - for arrogant, know-it-all attitudes such as you constantly exhibit just won't have much of a future in the real world of civil human interaction.

Anonymous said...

Funny, but I've never been busted in the mouth. That's just wishful thinking on your part.

I'm not arrogant, it's just that I have very little tolerance for liars who keep twisting my words and people who like to act smart talking about stuff they know nothing about. People like that need to be put in their place, and somebody needs to do it.

Plasma dude.

Anonymous said...

Yes, I agree, Plasma Dude, sometimes people do indeed need to be put in their place. But caustic people like you aren't the ones to do it because you're entirely too arrogant and ignorant, and not at all qualified for the task. You act as if you are an expert in plasma cosmology, and yet you've literally said NOTHING that would indicate a real working knowledge of the field. For evidence of this, just go over and slowly read through this thread once again in its entirely, and see who comes out the fool in this regard.

Lots of empty claims with no clear explanations whatsoever, check.

Plenty of boasting on your part as to how well-read you think you are, check.

Massive amounts of insults directed toward other people's lack of reading comprehension, lack of internet skills, lack of intelligence such that they have been unable to derive any meaning from your extremely vague posts, check.

But a quite noticeable lack of readable, cogent or knowledgeable posts from you is the one thing that stands out most. And this obviously isn't my impression only - it's shared by a number of other people here as well.

You claim you "have very little tolerance for liars who keep twisting my words" - but your words are so hostile in tone, and your posts often so unintelligible and void of any meaningful content, it's no wonder that people here have to struggle to figure out what you actually mean by them. I think this is what you perceive as people "twisting" your thoughts, because they are so incomprehensible to most readers.

Anyway, these are just a few general impressions, which will be my last because it's become obvious now to me that you're here not to contribute meaningful comments to the original topic of discussion, but rather to verbally beat up people with your personal opinions about plasma physics (which you clearly don't have a working knowledge of, or else it would have been readily apparent in your posts), obsolete race ideologies that peaked during the Nazi regime in Germany, and other various claims of how the rest of us are duped by the established system of modern cosmology, etc.

Anonymous said...

Something I wonder about is, why is Plasma Dude, Plasma Dude in the first place? Why are you so invested in it? Did your daddy come up with it? If not, how has this arcane theory become so intertwined with your identity? Why are you so rabid to convert other people into its cultic order who you don't know, and arguably don't give a damn about? Why did you choose to make your life revolve around a debunked cosmological theory? Couldn't you have found something better and more profitable, like Amway? It's not too late to find a better pet idea. Or better yet, get a dog and decide to respect other people complete with the beliefs they already have. And maybe think about seeing a doctor for some ADHD medication on the way back from the pound. You're way too attention-seeking.

Anonymous said...

Plasma u should ignore their personal attacks; that is just a clever way for them to change the subject and thus control and censor.

Humans often resort to these things because of their hatred for other's point of view. Their kind historically use a variety of ways to wear down those whom they want to silence, not limited to just name calling as many of these who have no code of behaviour demonstrate.

Anonymous said...

What is the athiest's code of behaviour? Admittedly, although they don't keep them, at least the god boys have the 10 commandments and the bible and it may give one or two of them pause.

But what of the evolutionist? Numerous times they have resorted to name calling, mocking, arrogance.

They have no system of respect for others. Their creed is derived from animal instinct: flight or fight; no respect for any they perceive as inferior.

Anonymous said...

No wonder at all that hitler was an athiest, and apparently he fathered many children.

DennisCDiehl said...

"Anonymous said...
What is the athiest's code of behaviour? Admittedly, although they don't keep them, at least the god boys have the 10 commandments and the bible and it may give one or two of them pause.

But what of the evolutionist? Numerous times they have resorted to name calling, mocking, arrogance.

They have no system of respect for others. Their creed is derived from animal instinct: flight or fight; no respect for any they perceive as inferior."

What planet are you from? This is the most stupid evaluation of reality I have ever read. You need to get out more and meet a variety of people who live in a bigger world.

Anonymous said...

Hello again Anonymous.

Once again you twist my words and try to force me to explain things that are irrelevant, or that I've already explained, or that I've said I have no interest in explaining because there are already good explanations out there. Good grief, do you ever learn?

I did not choose the name Plasma Dude because I'm obsessed with it, I just thought I should use a moniker to help people identify who made which post. Once again, you read way too much into things.

Anybody who was interested in learning a bit about it has long since gone off googling "plasma cosmology" while you remain here thinking I owe you a concise and lucid explanation, all gift wrapped, put on a silver platter, geared to your level, and which meets your demands for perfect paragraph structure, and without any typos. But you would not accept my explanation anyway because your faith is in the establishment, as you have already indicated.

Those who look into it will learn that a lot of smart scientists, though a minority, believe there is a scientific explanation for the universe that does not require believing everything came from nothing 13 billion years ago.

But if you want to believe that, you go right ahead, or believe in the 6000 year plan for all I care. I do not feel the need to convert anyone. You are wasting everybody's time.

Plasma Dude.

Byker Bob said...

There are probably as many atheist codes of behavior as there are atheists. Wide variance.

Codes become most noticeable when they are practiced by a collective. The USSR was widely noted as having been an atheist state, and the example of humanity which that nation exemplified was deeply flawed. Another visible collective would be the activist atheists in our own nation whose mission it is to rid society of all remaining vestiges of God or church or Christianity. What I've found to be true is that human propensity to stereotype extends to all identifiable groups, not only political, religious, racial, or sexual orientation ones. It's another example of I-O thinking, and it's also cruel, because it unfairly reduces individuals to an attack-worthy status, without even taking the time to get to know them.

BB

Anonymous said...

"... obsolete race ideologies..."

You seem more interested in fitting in with Negros than in truth or even the survival of your own people. Or maybe you _are_ a Negro but won't admit it. That might explain your low reading skills, absence of logic, pretense to literary expertise, and constantly forgetting what I've already told you.

Plasma Dude.

Anonymous said...

If you look at the number of times the "experts" have radically altered their view of the universe, anybody who thinks the currently widely accepted theory is the final say, has no concept of the history of science, and no concept of the number or seriousness of the difficulties with the current theory.

Plasma Dude.

Anonymous said...

And, I should add, such people have no concept of the fallibility of the experts and the establishment, in which they put their nearly blind faith.

Plasma Dude.

Anonymous said...

I'm terribly sorry, Plasma Dude, but you've already proven beyond any question whatsoever that a "concise and lucid explanation" of anything is way outside your power of intellect and written expression.

But nice excuse though.

Well, gotta go down now to the local bar so I can shuck & jive outside all day with da brothers, you know what I be sayin'?

Science Guy said...

Plasma Dude, as I'm sure you know, science has no "final say" - and anyone who understands the scientific methods realizes that. Anyone who believes otherwise simply removes themselves from the discussion due to ignorance. Science just offers provisional explanations that best fit in with known facts ascertained thus far, yet always subject to further revision or complete debunking in the light of further facts or a better interpretation of them.

But in order to do the latter, you must first present documented facts and reasons for replacing current explanations - in this case, big-bang cosmology.

You're problem is that you've provided no clear facts, not one, nor a coherent explanation at all for your pet theory of plasma cosmology, not even the most basic summary, but rather the majority of your words have been wasted on insults and groundless accusations totally unrelated to the original discussion.

So thus far I would have to agree with your critics - you're a dreadfully poor communicator and an embarrassing representative for your belief in plasma cosmology.

I fully realize the only response you'll be capable of answering the above charges with will be further childish putdowns and insults, and howling cries that your words are being twisted, but that will only prove my point, not the validity of plasma theory.

Anonymous said...

Plasma Dude, I thought you'd appreciate this interview on gun control granted by one of the most articulate and penetrating intellects of our time:

http://piersmorgan.blogs.cnn.com/2013/03/07/snoop-lion-on-guns-in-america-we-are-guilty-as-americans-of-promoting-the-gun/?hpt=hp_tvbx

Leonardo said...

I'm kind of wondering if there is a reasonable way of ending this dispute peacefully. How about this: Plasma Dude, would you be willing to recommend just one specific source, say a book or website, that lays out the fundamentals of plasma theory in a comprehensive yet meaningful way, why it might be a more reasonable explanation of the cosmos than big-bang theory, what arguments are in its favor, what arguments current astrophysicists use against it, what counter-arguments plasma theorist would put forth, and so on?

Would you find such a request reasonable?

Anonymous said...

"You're problem is that you've provided no clear facts, not one..."

That was never my intention. As I said a few times now, I am not trying to convince anyone, just point the FEW who might be interested to another possibility, so they can research it on their own, if interested.

No matter how many times I point that out, some people just can't grasp that I'm not here to argue.

And why do they look to me for an explanation, since they claim to think I'm stupid anyway? They seem to just want to argue. If anyone really cares to know, they can find an explanation.

This is the most redundant conversation I've ever been in.

I have to keep repeating myself.
I have to keep repeating myself.
I have to keep repeating myself.
I have to keep repeating myself.
I have to keep repeating myself.
I have to keep repeating myself.

Plasma Dude.

Anonymous said...

The silliness of this conversation has taken on a comical aspect, which I find very amusing.

Plasma Dude.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps if I write using an echo sound effect, it will drive the point home and make my allegedly inscrutable writings clear.

I'm not here to argue, to argue, to argue.

People can research it on their own, their own, their own.

If they are interested, interested, interested.

Plasma Dude, dude, dude.

Anonymous said...

And why would I be interested in what CNN thinks about gun control? Didn't you know they are a fake news organization that never lets a crisis go to waste? They are as phony as a three dollar bill.

Plasma Dude.

Anonymous said...

This Russia Today video claims Fox was caught red-handed faking the news. But this is just the tip of the iceberg. They are not the only one. CNN has also been caught (google for it). So much for trusting the establishment.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=4FwvQYLKK98#!

Plasma dude.

Anonymous said...

Well, Plasma Dude, I guess now that you've openly expressed your actual motives, and revealed your unwillingness to point us in any meaningful directions to further our understanding of plasma theory, we can all go home now.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 4:06, Plasma Dudester was given plenty of chances to make himself clear, but it's as plain as day that this kid is truly as dumb as a rock.

Anonymous said...

Just another one of the conspiracy theory kooks that Armstrongism has managed to attract, I guess.

Anonymous said...

Don't pretend like you're the only one who's repeating themselves. A lot of other people here have been TRYING to drive these points home to you, which you don't seem to be getting:

We're not interested.

We don't want to waste our time researching it.

We don't want to argue either.

Please stop insulting other people just because they're not interested.

I hope this makes everyone else's apparently "inscrutable" responses crystal clear.

Case closed.

Anonymous said...

What kind of rebuttal is that. You merely have proven what I have been saying all along. You offered no proof to the contrary; all you had to offer were personal insults.

You have absolutely no problem taking that tone; you speak your mind without regard to how others feel; why? Because you don't have a code of conduct.

Anonymous said...

I wonder if he most rational scientifically minded athiest could survive more than a week lost in the amazon forest? He should be because of his superior highly evolved intellect. Certainly he would fare better than the primitive less evolved indigenous people.

Anonymous said...

As long as a human is well fed, sheltered, and in relative safety he will begin to imagine there is no god.

I call on the powers that: take away the food and let his life be in peril for a spell; if he survives the experience he'll come out of it as meek and humble, as a newborn pup.

Anonymous said...

An athiest and a god boy were walking in the Serengeti plains; each thought self superior to the other.

A pride of lions came upon them.

The atheist relied on his intellect but the lions killed and ate him. The god boy prayed to his god but the lions killed and ate him.

Both ceased to exist and the lions went on their way.

Anonymous said...

"...all you had to offer were personal insults."

And you don't? Go back and read your own posts.

Anonymous said...

We can only speculate that there might be other Class M planets (to use Star Trek terminology) in the universe, or other sentient beings on those other worlds. Back in the WCG days, we were so sure that all those other solar systems were there to be developed by new members of the God family---well, at least Gerald Waterhouse seemed sure of it! It's hard to admit that no human knows.