Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘faith’

In the 6th edition of “On the Origin of Species” Charles Darwin lamented over the power of “steady misrepresentation” of the facts and observations of his work 150 years ago. Those were days when God’s grace meant you could be hanged for opposing what everyone knows was the “WORD”.

While there has been a steady diet of multidisciplinary science that continues to support, extend and find nuances of his findings on natural selection, genetic drift, mutation and speciation, there is, and will always be groups that obfuscate the information in favor of their own approach to origins of life and man in particular.

As authors Glenn Branch and Eugenie C. Scott have laid out in their review in the recent Scientific American, these various miscreants of misinformation; these groups or people that have no science, no peer review, no database of exceptions, no body of anecdotal evidence to support their views also have no conflicting data points they can point to in support of their views. In fact, their approach is not about science, evidence, methodology or technology. It is about “faith in dogma” and it is shared by millions of people around the globe.

The real pariah in the whole mess is the body of people that take a “live and let live” approach. You know who they are… “Hey, as long as they don’t make me kiss a ring, they can do what they want in Rome.” These are the people who traffic in ambivalence. They too will always be with us. They sit on a fence, not necessarily supporting dogma and yet the view that man is a kin of other primates, that our hiccup reflex is a remnant of our fish history, or that we have to deal with the almost two dozen versions of extinct humans (Viktor Deak) is just upsetting enough, if not unconventionally disturbing for them to ignore. (As if prayer for soldiers being shot at isn’t or holy wars where millions have died are somehow, in comparison, OK.)

Remember Galileo who was convicted of suspicion of heresy for following the position of Copernicus which went contrary to that laid down by the Roman Catholic Church authority of Holy Scripture.  All of this today is still about the dogma of faith vs. data of science. Same stuff, different year.

There have been crusades, ethnic cleansing and the other stuff that made up the Dark Ages. And here we are in the Spring of 2009 reviewing our civilization and thwarted by those who don’t want people to figure out what the heck is going on out there.

Enter Governor Bobby Jindal who is a potential presidential hopeful of those currently out of favor in US politics. In 2008 he literally signed the Louisiana Science Education Act into law.

Marketed as supporting critical thinking in classrooms, the law threatens to open the door for the teaching of creationism and for scientifically unwarranted critiques of evolution in public school science classes [in Louisiana].

(Branch and Scott, 2009)

Does it sometimes seem to you that, while we may have evolved, there are some that didn’t get the memo? Next FOX News will be telling me that Mike Huckabee, former Presidential hopeful (who believes in the literal and biblical interpretation of Genesis) will administer the plan.

Chezz!

Read Full Post »

Lets consider a dying star. Any dying star. 

They are out there you know… dying, forming and changing as assuredly as Earth’s season’s change only their timeline is highly skewed toward the million year epoch.

On a gross level, all those stars out there dying do pretty much similar things when they die.   Eventually they turn into ‘white dwarfs’ and, as they cool from exhausting their nuclear fuel, they gain mass and become very dense cinders in the sky.  The consensus is that white dwarfs are the end stages of the evolution of low or medium-mass stars – like our Sun, which is why dying stars are interesting.

Once the hydrogen content of our Sun is exhausted, the Sun will balloon into a ‘red giant’ on the way to becoming a ‘white dwarf.’  Besides colorful and taking a long time, the Sun will slough off its outer layers for a couple million light years and in so doing will destroy the balance that used to exist in our space time continuum.  The dying star’s planetary nebula that forms will engulf everything in our solar system as far out as Mars.  Long before that happens of course, it will completely and irrevocably change everything in our solar system for a couple of million light years out. More to the point, it will envelope Earth.  That’s right.  Earth get’s zapped millions of years prior to the Sun’s end and there is ‘zip’ one can do about it.  It’s over. 

Long before the planetary nebula is sloughed off and changes our solar system, Earth will be destroyed along with all life and McDonalds.  Even cockroaches will be zapped back to energy stuff.

While we are all content today on watching the unfolding of the latest hockey standings or Brittany Spears’ faux pas, there are some things out there that are even more important than world peace and redistribution of wealth. 

Which brings up some interesting questions...

The first question I have is, “Whose god is going to intervene and prevent this from happening?”  I mean you can’t have it both ways… you can’t have subjects of your faith if you mess them up that badly.  If you call this end to everything ‘your’ omnipotent doing then you are some weird deity to what that to happen.  If you say it that is due to misbehavior mankind, then why zap my gardenias?   Why put an end to anteaters?  What I am suggesting to the gods out there, if you want a bunch of followers come up with a different solution than the Big Zap.  You may want to advocate a less drastic set of consequences. If you do you’ll get a lot of followers.   Just a thought.

If this is an Armageddon promised by some gods, I’d like to know which one because I am pretty sure me and my friends want to invest in a different one; one with a different value system or one that doesn’t view all everything (life and non-life) as cataclysmally irrelevant. Until the end is here or near I’ll put my efforts in that one and see if I can’t steer him or her or it to come to some middle ground.  So, find me that deity and I’ll become a priest. 

The next question I need an answer to is, “Who is going to discuss whose mystical work this is and what justification it has?”  I’d like to know. Today it would seem to be Islam vs. Christianity but that may not be the players in the future.  Maybe the players in the future will be some minor deities like minor gospels in Christianity that were passed over for various reasons.  If that is the case, now is your time to shine and speak up.  Then again, it seems like if you are going to start a new religion or overtake an existing one you’d have to do some planning on this topic.

Let’s move on…

I’d like to know what the actions are available to those that think empiricism and science can get us off Earth to a youthful and vital planet in another solar system related to a newer or younger star that will support my lifestyle.  So here is the question:  “Should I study religion or physics to make that happen?”  I mean, if there is a chance of a solution without solving some transporter problems to exoplanets that will support life, I’d like to take a shot at that or tell my tetra-giga-grandchildren to forsake nano-polymer mica-physics and take up numerology or Poly. Sci. courses so that we can talk this over somewhere down the road.

So, “If talk will not work then what courses do you suggest?”   “Should I go the way of philosophy and semantics of S. I. Hayakawanot the actor – or a minor scholar at a major university?”

Another question… “If things were to get really ecumenical, how will I approach it if I am here in the Northern Hemisphere and the deity or transporter headquarters is in Rio de Janeiro?” 

And a follow-up question or two…

“Will there be subjects or delegates if there is immigration to another planet?” 

“Is biotelemetry going to be involved or some other form of information transfer?”

“Will my lineage be a factor or is there going to be some other criteria?”

 

I think that anyone’s answers to these questions will help a lot and get me headed in the right direction so feel free to share what you know.

 

Gratefully,

Mason Ross

Read Full Post »