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From: Solon8/18/2011 9:47:50 PM
1 Recommendation   of 61261
 

Evolution sucks! God knows the proper reward for rape! You get to marry her! Lucky victim! In our so-called "Evolution" we are losing our moral compass. We must get back to Yahweh the compassionate and wise!

(Deuteronomy 22:28-29 NLT) If a man is caught in the act of raping a young woman who is not engaged, he must pay fifty
pieces of silver to her father. Then he must marry the young woman because he violated her, and
he will never be allowed to divorce her.

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From: Greg or e8/19/2011 12:41:53 AM
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Evolution is false on it's own merits. The latest excretions of the hate-infected pustule of poker, aside.

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From: Greg or e8/19/2011 12:45:56 AM
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Book Review: The Grand Design by Stephen Hawking and Leonard Mlodinow

The Grand Design by Stephen Hawking and Leonard Mlodinow landed on bookstore shelves in 2010 following a great deal of pre-release buzz from newspapers, blogs, and television. The authors’ conclusion was no secret: “Because there is a law like gravity, the universe can and will create itself from nothing,” and therefore, “It is not necessary to invoke God to light the blue touch paper and set the universe going.”1 Have Hawking and Mlodinov found the theory of everything, as they seek to answer the ultimate questions about life? “How can we understand the world in which we find ourselves? How does the universe behave? What is the nature of reality? Where did all this come from? Did the universe need a creator?”2


The authors believe that science is the surest way to answer these questions, as other means have failed. “Traditionally these are questions for philosophy, but philosophy is dead.”3 They write that philosophy hasn’t kept up with the physics and can’t speak to such questions. Instead, the reader should look to science: “Scientists have become the bearers of the torch of discovery in our quest for knowledge.”4 While rejecting philosophy in word, Hawking and Mlodninow nevertheless affirm it in practice, adopting scientism as their philosophy.

So in a brief book (8 chapters at some 180 pages), Hawking and Mlodnivow describe their “candidate for the ultimate theory of everything, if indeed one exists, called M-theory.”5 According to this theory, our universe is not the only one. Instead, “M-theory predicts that a great many universes were created out of nothing. Their creation does not require the intervention of some supernatural being or god. Rather, these multiple universes arise naturally from physical law.”6 And this idea is the main goal of the book – to argue that physical laws do the creating without the need for God.

According to Hawking and Mlodinow, “Ignorance of nature’s ways led people in ancient times to invent gods to lord it over every aspect of human life.”7 Throughout the book the authors paint historical vignettes of ignorant, superstitious ancients who invented fantastical deities to account for things that science has since answered. Whether savage tribesmen, popes, Greeks, or young earth creationists – the wisdom (and condescension) of science conquers all. Thus a false dichotomy of science or religion is erected that is no respecter of persons.

Theirs is a universe governed only by the laws of physics. Asking for the origin of these laws is a non-starter for Hawking and Mlodinow, for “Unless one endows God with some other attributes, such as being the God of the Old Testament, employing God as a response to the first question merely substitutes one mystery for another.”8 In addition, on their view, there can be no exceptions to the laws of physics, for “A scientific law is not a scientific law if it holds only when some supernatural being decides not to intervene.”9 Furthermore, “these laws should hold everywhere and at all times; otherwise they wouldn’t be laws. There could be no exceptions or miracles. Gods or demons couldn’t intervene in the running of the universe.”10

After defining away the possibility of miracles and extolling the power of physical laws, the authors further support their position with scientific determinism: “given the state of the universe at one time, a complete set of laws fully determines both the future and the past. This would exclude the possibility of miracles or an active role for God.”11 As Hawking and Mlodinow would put it, “This book is rooted in the concept of scientific determinism, which implies that the answer to [the question of miracles] is that there are no miracles, or exceptions to the laws of nature.”12 And hence the spiral from scientism, to determinism, to reductionism: “…so it seems that we are no more than biological machines and that free will is just an illusion.”13

Reading The Grand Design is a mixed experience. It is part history and part philosophy with plenty of discussion of physics. Most welcome is what readers of Hawking’s A Brief History of Time enjoyed before – a fascination and wonder at the universe. Much of the book is an absorbing tour through quantum physics. Along the way the reader also finds full-color photos, diagrams, and illustrations. A significant part of the discussion of M-theory involves the authors’ description of their approach, which they call model-independent realism.

Along with the quantum physics, however, Hawking and Mlodinow offer some quantum leaps: “Quantum fluctuations lead to the creation of tiny universes out of nothing.” But, not to worry, “a few of these reach a critical size, then expand in an inflationary manner, forming galaxies, stars and, in at least one case, beings like us.”14 Thus, “We are the product of quantum fluctuations in the very early universe.”15 Rest assured, “Bodies such as stars or black holes cannot just appear out of nothing. But a whole universe can.”16 So why is there something rather than nothing? “Spontaneous creation is the reason there is something rather than nothing, why the universe exists, why we exist.”17

The authors have set out – and achieved – their goal: “We claim … that it is possible to answer these questions purely within the realm of science, and without invoking any divine beings.”18 The question is, are their answers correct? As for Hawking and Mlodinow, they are confident that the complete theory of the universe “will be a model of the universe that creates itself.”19

In sum, The Grand Design is fascinating and entertaining, even if somewhat anti-climactic. For Hawking and Mlodinow, scientism, determinism, and reductionism rule the day. Unfortunately, The Grand Design has rejected philosophy – and then done it poorly. For the rest of us, nothing still comes from nothing, and universes still don’t create themselves.

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From: Greg or e8/19/2011 12:58:34 AM
   of 61261
 
Hawking and the Grand Designer MP3 by Peter S. Williams



In a recent podcast, philosopher Peter S. Williams presented a talk entitled Hawking and the Grand Designer. All of Williams' talks are great, but this one was particularly useful dealing with the content of Stephen Hawking's book The Grand Design(book review here). This also has a good Q&A at the end.

Full MP3 Audio here (70 min)
Enjoy

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From: Greg or e8/19/2011 1:08:38 AM
   of 61261
 
The Evolutionary Argument against Naturalism (Video)

Explain the evolutionary argument against naturalism.
Click on permalink to watch video
Posted by Gregory Koukl at 03:30 AM in AA:Greg, Philosophy, Video | Permalink

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From: Solon8/19/2011 7:52:51 AM
1 Recommendation   of 61261
 
Evolution sucks! Those "scientists" are full of it. They just don\t get that Yahweh made all that there is in 6 days of hard work and that was only about 6000 odd years ago. The generations to the Christ (who watches over every single poker hand) make this very clear. Dinosaurs and people lived together for the first 2000 years. People rode them like horses. Then they all were kilt and started making fossil oils which is why we now have tar sands in Alberta. If scientists would read the wisdom of the bible which was written by desert scholars instead of their stupid biology books they would understand that all creatures were created in one week and that Adam gave all the animals names when he was looking for a mate (dinosaurs were made before Eve but none of them suited). These are facts and proven by the Holy word of my very best friend--the Christ! Praise His Holy Name!

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To: Solon who wrote (15797)8/19/2011 11:24:52 AM
From: longnshort
   of 61261
 
I thought you and that other wacko said there was no such thing as aliens.

Heck not only does NASA say there are but that they will kill us over Global Warming.



Aliens may destroy humanity to protect other civilisations, say scientists Rising greenhouse emissions could tip off aliens that we are a rapidly expanding threat, warns a report


Comments (729)
Ian Sample, science correspondent guardian.co.uk, Thursday 18 August 2011 19.04 BST Article history


When they see what a mess we've made of our planet, extraterrestrials may be forced to take drastic action. Photograph: PR

It may not rank as the most compelling reason to curb greenhouse gases, but reducing our emissions might just save humanity from a pre-emptive alien attack, scientists claim.

Watching from afar, extraterrestrial beings might view changes in Earth's atmosphere as symptomatic of a civilisation growing out of control – and take drastic action to keep us from becoming a more serious threat, the researchers explain.

This highly speculative scenario is one of several described by a Nasa-affiliated scientist and colleagues at Pennsylvania State University that, while considered unlikely, they say could play out were humans and alien life to make contact at some point in the future.

Shawn Domagal-Goldman of Nasa's Planetary Science Division and his colleagues compiled a list of plausible outcomes that could unfold in the aftermath of a close encounter, to help humanity "prepare for actual contact".

In their report, Would Contact with Extraterrestrials Benefit or Harm Humanity? A Scenario Analysis, the researchers divide alien contacts into three broad categories: beneficial, neutral or harmful.

Beneficial encounters ranged from the mere detection of extraterrestrial intelligence (ETI), for example through the interception of alien broadcasts, to contact with cooperative organisms that help us advance our knowledge and solve global problems such as hunger, poverty and disease.

Another beneficial outcome the authors entertain sees humanity triumph over a more powerful alien aggressor, or even being saved by a second group of ETs. "In these scenarios, humanity benefits not only from the major moral victory of having defeated a daunting rival, but also from the opportunity to reverse-engineer ETI technology," the authors write.

Other kinds of close encounter may be less rewarding and leave much of human society feeling indifferent towards alien life. The extraterrestrials may be too different from us to communicate with usefully. They might invite humanity to join the "Galactic Club" only for the entry requirements to be too bureaucratic and tedious for humans to bother with. They could even become a nuisance, like the stranded, prawn-like creatures that are kept in a refugee camp in the 2009 South African movie, District 9, the report explains.

The most unappealing outcomes would arise if extraterrestrials caused harm to humanity, even if by accident. While aliens may arrive to eat, enslave or attack us, the report adds that people might also suffer from being physically crushed or by contracting diseases carried by the visitors. In especially unfortunate incidents, humanity could be wiped out when a more advanced civilisation accidentally unleashes an unfriendly artificial intelligence, or performs a catastrophic physics experiment that renders a portion of the galaxy uninhabitable.

To bolster humanity's chances of survival, the researchers call for caution in sending signals into space, and in particular warn against broadcasting information about our biological make-up, which could be used to manufacture weapons that target humans. Instead, any contact with ETs should be limited to mathematical discourse "until we have a better idea of the type of ETI we are dealing with."

The authors warn that extraterrestrials may be wary of civilisations that expand very rapidly, as these may be prone to destroy other life as they grow, just as humans have pushed species to extinction on Earth. In the most extreme scenario, aliens might choose to destroy humanity to protect other civilisations.

"A preemptive strike would be particularly likely in the early phases of our expansion because a civilisation may become increasingly difficult to destroy as it continues to expand. Humanity may just now be entering the period in which its rapid civilisational expansion could be detected by an ETI because our expansion is changing the composition of the Earth's atmosphere, via greenhouse gas emissions," the report states.

"Green" aliens might object to the environmental damage humans have caused on Earth and wipe us out to save the planet. "These scenarios give us reason to limit our growth and reduce our impact on global ecosystems. It would be particularly important for us to limit our emissions of greenhouse gases, since atmospheric composition can be observed from other planets," the authors write.

Even if we never make contact with extraterrestrials, the report argues that considering the potential scenarios may help to plot the future path of human civilisation, avoid collapse and achieve long-term survival.

• This article was amended on 19 August 2011. The subhead said the report was "for Nasa". This has been corrected.




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To: Solon who wrote (15797)8/19/2011 12:24:55 PM
From: average joe
   of 61261
 
The False Dilemma: Ancient inroads towards a New Age

The world around us has vastly changed in the last two decades. Is this just a stand-alone phenomenon, or does it instead fit into a larger cycle, one that may be thousands of years old? If so, can ancient wisdom teach us certain insights on how to face some of the challenges of our modern society? Philip Coppens According to Hindu tradition, an era known as Kali Yuga began in either January or February of 3102 BC. For some, it is said to last 432,000 years, while others claim it has already ended, or is about to end. Either way, all accept that the Kali Yuga is a gradual forgetting of our divine origins, a fall into matter, or a “solidification”, to quote the term used by the French alternative philosopher René Guénon. Coincidentally, 3100 BC roughly marks the beginning of the ancient Egyptian civilisation, as well as the beginning of the Mayan Calendar, which is to end in 2012 AD. In short, it seems that “civilisation” coincides with the Kali Yuga and both are definitely defined by materialism.

Equally, the 8th century BC Greek poet Hesiod, spoke of a Golden Age, Silver Age, Bronze Age and finally, the current age, that of iron. Iron definitely defines our era: our primary modes of transport (car, ship, plane and train) are all metallic; many of our modern buildings and most of our bridges rely on it; our modern house-hold appliances (fridges, cookers, washing machines) have it as one of their main components. Still, it is said that our ancient ancestors were afraid of iron, for it was believed that it did something to the soul. Specifically, it was said to deny or inhibit access to spiritual realms. It is said that civilisations who knew of iron, refused to use it in the construction of their monuments to the dead. If so, since, it is clear that we have come to embrace iron. Indeed, we might assume that the Iron Age is something of prehistory, but in truth, it defines our modern era even better. Whether we look at the labyrinth of Knossos on the Greek island of Crete, or the Turkish Çatal Hüyük, or the hypogea on the Italian island of Sardinia, we find the depictions of the bull. Interestingly, Hinduism links morality with a bull, known as Dharma. The tradition explains that in the first age, the Satya Yuga, the bull had four legs; in each successive age, morality declined, each age taking one leg of the animal: the bull today therefore has only one leg. No wonder therefore that our time is seen as a Dark Age, when Mankind is the furthest possible from God. It is linked with the demon Kali, who stands for strife, discord, quarrel and contention, which is an apt description of a century in which tens of millions of people died in two world wars.

Robert Schwartz in “Courageous Souls” relates that “during the course of my research, I came across a young man who in meditation contacted a future self, that is, an incarnation of his soul at a future time. The future self told him that people of the future refer to this time on Earth as ‘The Fear Ages’.” Schwartz observes that fear is the predominant emotion of our time, part of our daily existence to such an extent that we no longer tend to notice it: television and newspaper news is one continuous stream of scaremongering, aided by governments that underline the don’ts and dangers.

Contrast this with the ancient Egyptian frame of mind, which was that of Maat: the world consisted of two forces, order and chaos, whereby it was the task of the ruler to balance these.

Fear is a repressive force, which stifles creativity, which is precisely why the Western economy in the past twenty years has gone through a series of artificial “happy pills”: the dot.com bubble – which burst – the housing market – which collapsed – and the introduction of surveillance systems anywhere is not so much the implementation of a Big Brother agenda, but a desperate attempt to inject novelty into a dying economy, one that was based on greed, an altogether not very noble principle; in fact, one of the seven cardinal sins.

The desperation of the old paradigm is made apparent when the solution to the 2008-9 collapse of the finance industry was seen as a mixture of fiscal stimulus, greater regulation and new structures, in short, Big Brother methodologies and more of the same. Economic experts, however, noted that what was truly needed was a call for moral behaviour, as it was the lack of, which created the demise of the old economic paradigm. For centuries, usury was banned by the Church. Debt in Judaism is seen as a form of slavery. Sharia banking still forbids usury. The “Christian West”, however, had served the daemon Mammon. But, as if the goddess Maat will indeed always seen balance once the scale has tipped too far in one direction, the financial crisis itself burnt off the labours of greed.

Still, greed projected on the masses equals comfort. And whereas the collapse of the financial markets burnt off the sin of greed, Man’s dependency on comfort remains more than ever intact.

Amidst the viral infection that was monetary greed, the world has also seen a tremendous amount of novelty. In 1995, I was one of the first to have non-office email access. In 1999, at least in Britain, free email accounts were offered. Broadband only came into full swing a few years later. Since, we have digital TV, digital cameras, and now digital camcorders. Today, we have integrated mobile technology into our daily lives, but as with any new phenomenon, we have not yet matured to it completely: we use it at inconvenient moments, while a survey showed that some Blackberrys remain close to the bed, so that the noise of an incoming message will awaken the person, and he or she can reply to it.

But in less than one decade, the world has become a radically different place and it has become a Crystal Age, or sand, the basic ingredients upon which we store all the information we call computer technology. Equally, with a revolution in the airline and car industry, for the first time, the world truly is a global village. For the first time in history, we are contacted to almost anywhere on the globe, and can be anywhere on the globe, at affordable prices, in less than two days.

Still, this New World is only there as a capability, which relatively few use. Fact of the matter is that though we can get half-way across the world in a day, this at a price of less than your average month’s wages, it is equally a fact that we fear the world “out there” and cannot – we think – safely visit large portions of our world; many Europeans are afraid of visiting, let alone renting cars, in the States and we all “know” that most of the Middle East, including Egypt, is a den of terrorism and haters of the West. Alas, only a few decades ago, we conquered the final frontier, space, but today, many are scared to walk through a neighbourhood park at night.

Where is spirituality in all of this? In the Kali Yuga, spirituality has degenerated into religion, and religion has descended into fundamentalism. We live in a time where the Catholic faith has condemned “The Da Vinci Code”, and Islam “The Satanic Verses”. Both are novels. It was once said that faith could move mountains, and faith was at the heart of the Crusades. But today, it seems, faith is fragile, dogmatic, and shaken by – mediocre – novels. Religious institutions have become afraid, and feel they have to defend their dogma, rather than “go with the flow” and adapt where needed and should see this as a sign of strength and versatility. When fear rages through the corridors of both state and church, we are indeed in an Age of Fear.

Kathleen McGowan in her book “The Book of Love” highlights how the re-emerging face of Christianity as defined by the discovery of the Nag Hammadi gospels and the Dead Sea Scrolls, which formed the inspiration for “The Da Vinci Code”, reveals an altogether gentler, more loving side to Jesus. It is a face of Christianity that dogma and political power removed from that religion in the third century AD. When in the 20th century, the Nag Hammadi and Dead Sea scrolls were recovered, the Church showed its worst face, trying to control the translation and thus hoping that if anything were to be uncovered that would go against the Church doctrine, power could stifle that which might reveal a truth. It is no doubt ironic that whereas the Church was able to do just that, shortly afterwards, it was unable to do anything about the interest created by “The Da Vinci Code” and like. McGowan, however, queries why simple teachings of love and faith and community would be considered more dangerous today than that they ever were, and why the Church so desperately tries to suppress this message of love. It is, perhaps nothing more or less, an expression of our “zeitgeist”, the spirit of our time.

What has happened to us? Whatever fear one tackles, at the core, is the realisation that what we fear, is the unknown. We fear “them” and this fear is for some expressed as a conspiracy theory of how “they” are out “there” to get “us”. For some, “them” are terrorists, an evil conspiracy of Illuminati, or a neighbour or family member who has it “in” for “us”. Our age is one of “us” versus “them” – and “they” are never truly identified, which is why there is such fear. It is the chaos of “them” “out there” that is believed to upset our natural order. But where is the balance, Maat? Worse: where is the sense of community, required to maintain that balance?

When we look at monuments like the Great Pyramids, or Stonehenge, we now know that these were not built by evil rulers using slave labour. Instead, we know that the pyramids were built by ordinary people, who were well looked after, and who achieved a seemingly impossible task, because they were doing it for the greater good: it was a community project and the result is, in the case of the Great Pyramid, the only surviving wonder of the world, a structure that has stood there for at least 4000 years, and – unless we decide to tear it down – will stand there eternally. What structures of modern society will survive? What truly common building projects have we achieved in recent decades? When you look at Britain, the country chosen to deliver the 2012 Olympics and hence the nation that should best reflect the mood of our times, you find great internal division over the Olympic Games – a last vestige of collaboration, though more and more eroded in controversy and strife.

Instead, the largest buildings Mankind has recently built are normally financial towers, monuments of greed, like the Twin Towers of New York. They symbolised greed and avarice so much, that their destruction became a symbol of destroying the Western hegemony. It is therefore clear that for the 20th century, greed was the new religion. 9/11, whether a true terrorist event or the result of some form of conspiracy, underlines the us versus them mentality, the central feature of the Fear Ages.

What do we truly fear? Comfort is the key determinative of our time. It is what drives our economy, what is responsible for clinical obesity in large sections of the Western world, and it is the one thing we fear losing – and hence why we live in the Fear Ages.

It is little reported that the dawn of civilisation, linked with a sedentary lifestyle and hence the need for agriculture, is vastly different from what most assume. Anthropological and archaeological studies have shown that the sedentary lifestyle was undesired by many of our roaming hunter-gatherer ancestors. Agriculture required a discipline, resulted into economics (the exchange of goods), based on more measured values, with money being the sum of it all. Money was a means to measure, but in the end, it became – and is – the end, though it is clear that its end, to some extent, is now occurring: money is once again being introduced within a real framework, where it always should have sat, but from which it began to escape from the 12th century onwards… interestingly, in a mechanism that was developed by those infamous Knights Templar. They devised the idea that any pilgrim or, specifically, crusader, could deposit money e.g. in France upon his departure, and, once in the Middle East or back in France after the voyage, could have access to it; the cheque was born. Of course, many of these people died en-route, which explains the wealth of the Knights Templar. And their demise on Friday, October 13, 1307 on specific orders of the French king has always been seen as something extremely negative, but, at the same time, it is equally a fact that the king precisely did what he had to do to keep the virus of greed destroying his nation. 700 years later, all Western nations were required to “bail out” the banks – history had repeated itself, but this time, the financial greed had become so widespread, that a system that should have been obliterated, had to be kept artificially ticking over.

So how do we rectify our problems? What we have forgotten, is the creative imagination, a sense of exploration. We rarely “boldly go”, and we might argue it is because wherever we go, someone has gone before. But there is a difference between a voyage as Mankind, and a voyage of Man. Mankind is making giant leaps all the time, but we have forgotten how to make small steps for individual men, embedded as we have become within the repetitive habit of comfort; we no longer leave – in all senses of the world – our “comfort zone”.

This is supported by a media who builds up heroes in days and is then quick to pull these people down – showing how very human they are. And, indeed, why would anyone want to excel, when it appears that “they” are out “there” to pull “us” down? Equally, our modern heroes have been defined by overcoming a particular weakness: Richard Branson has dyslexia and Stephen Hawking can no longer speak, but there is no global figure of global transformation, though Nelson Mandela is perhaps the closest modern hero we have, after Gandhi’s death. No-one else comes close. Where are the heroes of the old Homeric hymns?Was it any different in the past? It might not appear to be, as we currently see history as a continuous sequence of wars and strive. By focusing on wars, the chaos, we have redefined history as a series of fears. In truth, history is nothing of the kind. We remember the pyramids and temples of Egypt; we remember the paintings of the Renaissance; the relics of the past, that which has survived, and what sits inside our museums. These are examples of exploration, if only because of the tales faced by explorers. Take the Mitchell-Hedges crystal skull. A genuine mysterious artefact, brought to Britain by a larger than life character, who uttered the words: “Life which is lived without zest and adventure is not life at all.”

Rather than trying to explore this artefact and the cultures to which it belonged, all discussions focus either on absurd new age stories, or bullying tactics by the powers that be and who claim to know it all, and who claim that no genuine mystery is present there. Or anywhere else. Science does not explore death; it treats near death experiences with disdain; ghosts and like are fodder for sensationalist television programmes and scorn of newspaper editors. We know it all, and there is nothing to explore. Move along, nothing to see, nothing remaining to be explored. The biggest falsehood of our times have been achieved by, once again, reducing the big world out there, just like the city lights have blocked out the big expanse of the night’s sky. We can literally only see as high as the tallest skyscraper and the next block, even though we negotiate towns in cars that could keep going from sea to sea, country to country, if we wanted to. Instead, a drive to get the morning paper, the supermarket and shopping mall are our modern explorations. For all the rest, we need television, in all of its reductionism of what reality is: reality television, which is scripted from the first to the last minute – fooling the audience even more. Fear has meant that we have tools of exploration at our disposal, which we never use. We have 4x4 but how many have ever been off-road, let alone on a gravel path?

The proof, as always, is in art. Art is an expression of the artist’s inner world, an introversion/introvision, made – created – in this world: the extravert phase, which brings the balance, the realisation. But today’s art lacks the inner vision, highlighted by the leading artists of our time, whereby an unmade bed going for millions (Tracy Emin) is seen as art. It is, as it typifies our era. And Emin is therefore – alas – a true artist.

There might nevertheless be good news. As mentioned, the age of Iron is turning to crystal and sand and though many are seeing the negative – we do, after all, live in the Fear Ages – of the new technology, the fact of the matter is that it has the potential to liberate us.

For one, our window on the world, is a monitor, whether computer or television and we spend endless time in front of it. Television is becoming more interactive and with digital television, we become master of seeing what we want to see, when. The “slave phase” of that medium is nearly over. Though many see mobile technology as a dependency, the fact is that mobile technology is the right type of technology: it is mobile. The fixed landline meant we could only communicate whenever we were physically near a device; today we can phone when desired. Though at present we use it quite often too often for no real purpose, this comes with everything novel, and will wear off over time.

Technology will be able – and is beginning to – work directly on the brain, providing vision of different realities which previously only hallucinogenics were able to offer us. Politically, our attitude towards drugs remains warped. Following 9/11, the West invaded Afghanistan while that country’s primary source of income – the opium poppy – had been almost eradicated by the Taliban regime. During the first year of Western occupation, Afghanistan instead reported a record-breaking harvest of opium.

Remarkably, developments in computer technology are not linear. The computer had created virtual worlds long before we realised the computer could be used for “social networking”: the very type of community and sharing that was – and to a large extent remains – missing in society, but which was key to our ancestors.

But look at the computer communication methodology of a decade ago – chat rooms and especially forums – and look at MySpace and Facebook, and you will see an enormously different “feel factor”. Chat rooms were populated by people who logged on under aliases and acted out inner fantasies with which reality could not cope. Forums were – and largely remain – a platform for ego trips and quarrels. The name “forum” was therefore aptly named, as in the olden days, it was where the village gathered to gossip and “popularly condemn” certain members of society. In fact, at one stage, I joked that World War III was likely to start on a forum.

The newer social networking sites are far more… social. We have friends and we can drop them if we have experienced any negativity from them. About one year ago, I had a dozen or so friends on Facebook. Since, that number has risen to more than 300. A year ago, I made contact with a friend of a friend in Malta and spent a most enjoyable day with her. As a result, this technology had given me the opportunity to meet a new friend, purely through the power of Facebook. Since, I have become reacquainted with school friends and others whom I hadn’t seen for years, purely because the means of staying in touch were not adequate enough for both our personal circumstances. I have met other “Facebook friends” since at conferences and lectures and through their “status”, I know what concerns them and whether it all goes swimmingly, or whether some need a more “human touch”. I can be in “touch” with them easily, and almost instantaneously. A weekly telephone conversation with my parents has reduced in length, to deeper and more essential conversations, as all the “what did you do in the past week” has been cut down: my mother has read it already, and knows my state of mind, via Facebook.

In medieval times, maps placed dragons and other creatures at the edge of the explored world: beyond, danger lied. Brave sailors nevertheless set course for new worlds, even though they apparently believed the world was not round, and they therefore might just fall into an unknown abyss. In the 20th century, brave men crawled into the dark confined quarters of space capsules to explore a world beyond this Earth. Some, like Edgar Mitchell, had mystical experiences, making him no doubt the first human, extra-terrestrial shaman. His message, unfortunately, has become lost and NASA, which once symbolised the boldly going to where no man had gone before, has become the topic of intrigue, with accusations that we never went to the moon and that they are hiding many things.

Our times will indeed be marked as the Ages of Fear. Though Columbus will have known fear, he faced it, and boldly went. We fear the world will end, whether through a nuclear holocaust or man-made global warming – the latest in a series of “fear campaigns” that tells us that we now need to fear not just the Red Menace outside, nor the terrorist living within our society, but we need to fear ourselves. We cannot be trusted, not with cigarettes, alcohol, food, sex, and soon, no doubt, the amount of times per minute we breathe. Those who believe they are free, have instead fallen for extra-terrestrial fears, with claims that “they” will imminently arrive, either to free or to enslave it, or alternatively the magic – or doom – of 2012 and the end of the Mayan calendar, the prophecies of Nostradamus, etc., while the “anti-establishment” tells us we need to fear that establishment, which is here to control us, enslave us – sometimes, apparently, in cahoots with these evil aliens. Those whom many believe have liberated themselves from the false belief of religion, have merely fallen for a new threat, and have accentuated that fear, and normally also believe that resistance is futile, as “they” are Big Brother and all powerful. After all, “they” covered up the existence of alien life, have UFOs in storage in secret government facilities, and… not even all presidents are told of this.

Fear has a paralysing effect. In truth, “they” who control – the elected officials – are as afraid as us, and most often afraid of us, and how we will react and whether their decisions will be popular or not. Therefore, when a country like the United States is facing a new fear – an economic downturn – the elected officials instead will focus on the question whether or not non-human primates – monkeys – should be allowed to cross federal borders. Faced with something we cannot address, we look elsewhere and build up nothing into something. It is equally what has happened with our modern heroes, who come from nowhere, and largely have never gone anywhere. They are not, alas, true heroes and even the last great heroes – the astronauts – are, as just mentioned, now quite often seen as fake: that the moon landings were all hoaxed and staged. Fear and ridicule go hand in hand, for the mind thinks that if we ridicule something, it becomes less fearful.

Us human primates have become ostriches. The ostrich is said to bury his head in the sand when it is fearful, for that way, it will at least not see what happens next. Since many years, we live in an age of ostrich politics. Whether we accept it or not, fear has paralysed us, at this moment in time from the waist down, but potentially soon, from the neck down. Like a paralysed person, Mankind needs help with so many things, and feels like no-one is able to provide it. We look to God Out There, ET, or whomever, without realising that it is not they who have paralysed us in a beam of light emanating from His finger or their spaceship, but that our fear is entirely homebrewed, manmade… and imaginary.

The imaginary is today the bailiwick of the computer. The computer is slowly integrating with our physical self. A bionic eye will allow us to interface directly with a virtual world. At the moment, virtual worlds largely are reflections of our “reality”: we buy and sell virtual real estate in Second Life and do all the mundane and materialistic tasks there. The old adage of “As Above, So Below”, has become “As here, so on the computer”. So far, it seems, no-one has realised that this virtual world can be as hallucinogenic as we want it to be. The sky and the power of our imagination are the limit. In short, the virtual world of the computer can become true art: the programmer who today programs boring lines of code, can transform that code into a liberating framework, a virtual construct, which can become the art of the 21st century. It will be sacred space, for what we are able to do there, could be on par with the visionary experiences of the shaman. All it needs is a shamanically-inspired programmer, and a new world will be created. Everyone in the world would – could – be introduced to the power of the mind, free from the body. Technology can deliver, and could deliver, within a matter of years. It is as easy, and as close, as that. The only “problem” is that someone needs to “just do it”.

In the 17th century, science “as such” became defined: it broke from the ranks of religion, and in the West went its separate ways. Many will argue that since, it has lost its morality, also fell for the daemon of greed, but also because science is now able to venture anywhere – from abortion, cloning to genetic modification of various forms of life – without a clear plan as to why precisely some of these scientific revolutions occur. Indeed, however great the cloning of a sheep may be from a scientific point of view, what is the point, precisely?

At the same time, the science of archaeology is slowly beginning to uncover radically different origins of Mankind; the world of geology and archaeology has broken the idea that the world was created in 4004 BC. We are beginning to unveil older beginnings, and can only wonder in awe at the cave paintings in northern Spain and Southern France, painted by our ancestors more than 20,000 years ago. In the 20th century, culminating in the 1990s, alternative theories of archaeology focused on a lost Golden Age: Atlantis, Lemuria, the Sphinx. In the 21st century, these belief systems are both confirmed and abandoned: archaeology has uncovered evidence of extremely ancient cultural sites, like Göbekli Tepe, 12,000 years old. That Golden Age is not “lost”; we are uncovering it, and we can learn its lessons, if we so desire.

But archaeology itself, its publication, popularisation and integration within society is a slow process. The matter is complicated as science is not interested in the mind. Egyptian religion for example, apart from surveying which deity was what, is totally left untouched by academics. Science cares greatly about seeing the body as a machine that can be operated, changed, improved, but it has no interest in looking at the mind, its processing unit. Indeed, the shaman was a scientist of the mind, exploring it both inside and outside of the body, but modern science shies away from studying hallucinogenic or (near) death experiences, and largely doesn’t even touch the mind within the body. As a whole, science has therefore removed the spirit from everyday existence, arguing – on what basis? – that it is a matter of religion, or psychology – a “soft science”. But it is a matter of fact that our brain is hardware. And would you tell a computer programme that whereas the machine he is working on is hard science, the lines of code he has written, is soft science and that he is therefore inferior to the hardware specialists? The fact of the matter is that a computer without software, is useless. Absolutely worthless. Yet we somehow believe that is not the case for the human body and the mind? And we do not hold scientists accountable for this lack in ambition, this unwillingness to take a step into the unknown and explore? But wasn’t that what science was apparently all about, and why it broke away from the bonds of religion, as it was apparently only meant to confirm the existing dogma?

In the Dark Ages of the Mind, in which we are now, there is great polarisation. We see the world as bad versus evil, the “material world”, which quantum physics tells us is nevertheless not at all that “material” and which actually relies on the disposition of thought – the mind – to decide what’s what. Indeed, quantum physics has put the mind back into the centre of reality and is telling – painfully slowly and quietly, it has to be said – Mankind that this “real world” is as fictitious as the virtual computer worlds we have created. It is a world held together by a type of “consensus” of all of us: we live in a consensus reality.

I find it greatly amusing that in the 1970s, Uri Geller bent a metal – iron – spoon as a sign of defiance to this paradigm. When the experiments were broadcast, hundreds of children in front of televisions all of a sudden began to bend spoons too. Their parents had not yet told them that we apparently couldn’t bend metal, as metal just doesn’t do that kind of thing. But for a mind not yet told it cannot, it clearly could.

One of the enlightened thinkers of the 20th century was Carl Gustav Jung. He studied under Sigmund Freud, who believed – despite while in London living just a few blocks from the residence of theosophist Helena Blavatsky – that everything about the mind was reductionist, and often the result of… fear or negative experiences. Jung, instead, was an explorer of the mind and had mystical experiences of his own. At the end of his life, he even focused on UFOs and linked them, and various other aspects he observed within the Western world of the 1950s, as an embryo of the “Age of Aquarius”: a new era. Or, perhaps, the end of the Kali Yuga.

Fact of the matter is that we are close. All the building blocks are there, though in truth, have always been there. The problem is that we remain polarised. One of the great “illnesses” of our times is “bipolarisation” and the fact of the matter is that Mankind as a whole is bipolar. It is either black or white, but in truth, the world is all grey. The debate is not whether God exists or not, which is a debate used so as to avoid talking about morality and the greater common good, which is the Go(o)d we should embrace and strive for, whether or not there is a larger power out there. The fact of the matter is, that this greater Good is good for all of us, and each of us. We simply need to realise that there is middle ground and that it is this middle ground, the area of consensus, socialism and community, which is what needs to be sought. The last century has taught us that communism didn’t work, but it is clearly that capitalism as such doesn’t work either. It’s a realisation that is slowly dawning.

There is a need for middle ground: the excluded middle which in our Age of Fear and materialism, has always been lacking. We burnt witches and we condemn those with a different view of our world. As to those who have a different view of reality, they do not even get discussed, or convene in forgotten villages or towns and live in “communities”, which should be seen not as an example of communism, but of social interaction, which not necessarily serve as a model for the New Age, but is nevertheless evidence that it can work, and from which we can learn the positives. And there is evidence that this is working. After Europe experienced two world wars that divided it not only during the wars, but for four decades after the second as well, Europe is now beginning to work collectively, as a union. And it will be up to leaders of nations to lead, rather than find excuses.

The problem is that we – typical of the Kali Yuga – still operate within the fallacy of a false dilemma, the either-or fallacy), in which we believe that any situation has only two alternatives, black or white, and only those are considered, when in fact there are other options. In fact, the best outcome is often a synthesis, of the old and the new: the ancient code that remains present and accessible to us, and which science has and is uncovering, but which needs to be fed back into our present civilisation, to enrich it, and to steer it upwards again. It is the path of the excluded middle, or the excluded third. At some point in time, the Latin phrase “Tertium non datur” was coined: “there is no third (possibility).” There is a third possibility. That is the Ancient Code.

This article appeared in Ancient Code: The Book (2009).

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To: Brumar89 who wrote (15783)8/19/2011 2:55:44 PM
From: Cogito
   of 61261
 
The basic argument of evolution-deniers is that science can't answer the question of where life came from in the first place, and therefore evolution is false.

Of course, evolution doesn't purport to explain where life came from in the first place, it only explains why there are so many different species, which are mostly very well adapted to their environments.

But it's not as if Intelligent Design has an answer for where life came from, either, other than to say that somebody smart and immensely powerful made it. So basically, you're saying that since we don't know exactly how everything got started, it has to have been the work of a magical Guy in the Sky.

And where did the Creator come from? If you can't explain that, you haven't answered anything. You've only kicked the can back up the road a bit.

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To: Cogito who wrote (15800)8/19/2011 3:06:23 PM
From: longnshort
   of 61261
 
Ah I see besides all your other problems you are also a stalker, liberalism is truly a mental disorder. seek help

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