Monday, 28 January 2008

Stone Age

Two trips to the Stone Age. A National Geographic report from 2005 states that: "Despite invasions by Saxons, Romans, Vikings, Normans, and others, the genetic makeup of today's white Britons is much the same as it was 12,000 ago..."

They forgot to mention those roving Ephraimites who dropped in for a cup of tea and a biscuit after the fall of Samaria, and then took the place over.

"The notion that large-scale migrations caused drastic change in early Britain has been widely discredited, according to Simon James, an archaeologist at Leicester University, England."

"They were swamped culturally but not genetically."

Who's going to tell Craig White and Steve Collins?

The second trip actually takes us way back further, then fast forwards through time. The bright young things at Vancouver Film School have produced a short but impressive presentation called Duelity that puts the Genesis creation story up alongside the scientific story of origins. It's very, very clever, approaching each view from the alternate perspective. Click "watch" then view each of the segments in order (creation, evolution and then the split screen version.) Trust me on this; you won't want to miss it! ... and watch out for that apple!

Finally, a memory trip into WCG's Stone Age (a.k.a. the 1970s): Remember Ralph Helge? Often seen in close proximity to Stanley Rader, Ralph reigned in Pasadena as church attorney and legal counselor for many years. The United News reports that Ralph has recently been ordained an elder (non-salaried?) in the UCG.

88 comments:

Tired Skeptic said...

I felt I was watching those cartoon inserts in Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy which wasn't as good as something written by Douglas Adams but very good for film students. A class project, perhaps?

Questeruk said...

As in all things, you can pick and choose and emphasise according to your viewpoint.

The National Geographic report was refering to ‘The Tribes of Britain’, written by archaeologist David Miles. How accurate is what he is saying? The article also says:-

“Miles acknowledged that the techniques used to explore genetic ancestry are still in their infancy and that many more samples are needed to fully understand the origins of the British people.”

This is a comment useful to remember before going off gung ho as to what this means.

Lussenheide said...

The Helge switch to UCG is hilarious if not totally predictable!

Old Ralph stayed on with WCG for many years after 1995, sued on behalf of WCG to suppress the written works of HWA from having free domain, etc. A friend to the ex-patriate movement you could not call him.

Yet, suddenly, after he gets himself retired, (and probably golden parachuted, along with probable payment from WCG for nondisclosure et al.) he shows up at the door at UCG and suddenly, its..."Hi Ralph, lets just give you an Eldership, just like the good old days". Meanwhile, surely, some local deserving "everyday member guy" who has been a true saint, really giving to the handicapped, or widow is probably ignored by the COG elite class.

Same story can be said about Mike Germano and LCG. Suddenly shows up, and its instant empowerment and a job with the "Living Universtity".

Such is the way the "Good Old Boy" network operates in the COG. Like an old Fraternity at a ritsy college, the "AC Connection and Club" is tight and continuing.

There really is a "blue blood", aristocracy that operates in all of the COGs. Good luck finding a voice or a place unless you are from the proper "pedigree".

Bill Lussenheide, Menifee, CA USA

Anonymous said...

I particularly enjoyed the evolution vid, it shows clearly how absurd the idea is.

Questeruk said...

Comparing evolution and a 6000 year universe is comparing two things both of which defy the evidence.

Creating and running the universe is a very big project – as is designing a gigantic system of life forms on this planet.

I was a software engineer for many years. Before any major system was introduced, or even a minor change – there is one cardinal rule – Test it and test it again. You don’t just code up a system, and hand it over to the customer – there is no way it can or will work. After the system has been designed, it has to be built, and then tested and re-tested. The more complex the system, then the more testing is required, to see how the various components interact.

If mankind has the same style of mind as God, which certainly the Bible indicates – then it is no surprise to find that God tested out a lot of levels of life, to actually ‘run the system’ to see how things interacted over a period – just what combinations worked well together, what combinations didn’t work well. And ultimately of course, as you would expect, test running with human prototypes before the ‘real live plan’ was put into action.

No surprise that a wide variety of remains of these test runs can be found, prior to the set-up of the earth for the ‘live run’ - the recreation of the surface of the earth, its life forms, and the supreme creation, mankind.

God doesn’t just ‘magic up’ things – they are designed, and also God learns – a number of places in the Bible show this – including God saying that it had ‘never entered into His mind’ some of the evil practices that mankind would devise. Certainly God learns. Equally certain, God will test out His designs and creations.

The fact that HWA taught the so called ‘gap theory’ doesn’t somehow invalidate it. An old universe and earth, with a comparatively recent refashioning of the surface of the earth and its life forms, is compatable with both the Bible and the physical evidence.

Anonymous said...

"it is no surprise to find that God tested out a lot of levels of life, to actually ‘run the system’ to see how things interacted over a period"

Uh, is this GOD you're talking about? Are you saying your god isn't savvy enough to manage His (Her?) own creation without a few million years of product testing. That kind of reasoning is worthy of a Dankenbring.

Wise up Q, the "gap theory" is full of holes.

Anonymous said...

"I particularly enjoyed the evolution vid, it shows clearly how absurd the idea is."

As opposed to the "a magic being who lives in a magic place called heaven created all living things instantaneously with his magic power" idea?

Paul

Anonymous said...

"those roving Ephraimites who dropped in for a cup of tea and a biscuit after the fall of Samaria"

Surely you mean "a cup of tea tephi and a biscuit"?

Anonymous said...

There was an opening sequence on "The Simpsons" that showed the evolution of Homer Simpson, the best yet!

Anonymous said...

Gavin,

Great job in presenting the goings-ons in the Churches of God!

Questeruk said...

One of the brands of “Anonymous” said...

“Uh, is this GOD you're talking about? Are you saying your god isn't savvy enough to manage His (Her?) own creation without a few million years of product testing.”



A four year old child may confidently expect his dad to fix anything – maybe a shattered china cup. In reality buying a new cup is the simplest and more efficient answer. The view of the child doesn’t match the reality.

Sometimes man’s idea of God can be much the same. Human beings designing a car build prototypes and test them in many ways, some they test to destruction, crash test others, modify the design of others.

However it seems man expects God not to be permitted this pleasure. Yes, the pleasure and luxury of taking time, producing different designs, trying them out, modifying them.

Why should humans somehow try to limit God so that God is only to be allowed to produce the perfect finished product, instantly! Well fortunately, God doesn’t need to limit Himself to what human beings say He must do.

Certainly God takes time in designing His creation. To anyone with a belief in God its self evident that God is working with physical humans, potentially to move them on to something higher. If that isn’t designing, testing and improving something over a period of time, I don’t know what it is.

Richard said...

When I read about Ralph Helge's ordination, I thought back to a sermon he gave in 1986 in Pasadena after the death of Herbert Armstrong.

A tape of it was sent to all churches, apparently to "legitimize" the passing of the baton to Joseph Tkach. Several times in the message he quoted Mr. Armstrong as saying: "This isn't government by committee, Mr. Helge!"

And yet what sort of church government is he accepting now? At least outwardly?

Gavin said...

The Gap Theory is covered in a reasonably comprehensive way in Wikipedia.

The idea is indefensible scientifically: nobody would come up with it unless they were trying to shoehorn bible proof texts into conforming with the geological record. But as the Wiki article demonstrates, it's also problematic biblically. At best it's a clumsy attempt to rescue biblical literalism from its own folly.

But if questeruk or anyone else can find an article in a peer reviewed journal that supports the Gap Theory - either from the scientific or biblical angle - hey, let us all know.

Neotherm said...

Questeruk:

Creating things perfectly from the beginning is not a limitation.

Herman Hoeh came up with the blasphemous idea that since man must engineer things in progressive stages that God must do the same. I have seen this in material Hoeh presented at ministerial refresher courses back in the Eighties.

In so doing, he created God in the image of man.

There is a sidebar here. The Christian God and the Armstrongite god are very different. Armstrongites will be the first to assert this. The Armstrongite god lives in time and space, has a body, does not know the future and must create things by progressive development, from simple to complex. I don't know who this god is but it is disturbing to think about. I believe that the Armstrongite god, the one that HWA worshipped and drew his inspiration from may actually exist. But it is not the God who created our reality. I actually feel very uncomfortable writing about this.

-- Neo

Technologist said...

I view God as a Master Technologist: I often ask His help with complex technology and He seems to have helped me understand and work with the technology each time I asked for the help.

If this continues to work, then it might be reasonable to ask for help in other areas....

Byker Bob said...

If I understand the British Israelism theory correctly, if the theory were to be true, white people native to the English countries and the USA would need to have more than just negligible dna similarities to Sephardic and Ashkenazic Jews. I'm thinking there would probably need to be greater than 50% of the dna shared amongst Brits and Jews, if in God's eyes, the US and BC could be considered to be the descendents of Abraham.

In fact, from this National Geographic article, most of the British dna originates with the indiginous peoples of the British Isles. When I researched the British melting pot before, I learned that these indiginous peoples were the Picts. Celts, Romans, Normans, Angles and Saxons all intermarried with the indiginous peoples and became assimilated, virtually ceasing to exist as separate groups within a few generations.

It is really difficult for me to understand how intelligent people can read the historical evidence, let alone the latest dna research, and still hold to British Israelism. I believe such people's logic is based on simply finding the wealthiest nations existing at this point in history and just guessing that "Oh, these must be the offspring of Abraham, because they have all the blessings!" Frankly, you could apply the same logic to any point in history, and deduce who the birthright people might be. And, then you fill in the blanks with guesswork about prophets visiting such countries, the coronation stone, and linguistic similarities. Such things would never pass as legitimate proof to real ethnologists or historians, but they sound nice enough to facilitate manipulation of the uneducated "dumb sheep".

Some of the Germanic tribes spread out into Russia, too! Russian people are white people. How did the Russians escape being one of HWA's lost tribes? Leaving them out was almost as bad an insult as what he did to the poor Germans!

BB

Questeruk said...

Neotherm said...

“Creating things perfectly from the beginning is not a limitation.”

Please don’t misunderstand what I am saying here. No way am I saying that creating things perfectly is a limitation. I am not in the business of criticising God.

What I am saying is that we should not limit our minds to think that God can/will ONLY create things perfectly from the beginning.

My point is that while it would seem that God probably did create the angels perfectly from the start, (although later some of them did not stay perfect), on the other hand who is going to claim that God created man perfectly from the beginning? Of course He didn’t – but not because of some incapacity of God.

It was God’s intention to create mankind that way, to allow them the freedom to voluntary submit themselves to the will of God, and to God’s principles. Mankind is imperfect at the moment because that’s the way God designed things to be.

No way am I attempting to blaspheme God, or the way He works. Rather I am saying we shouldn’t try to limit our view of God that He can ONLY create things absolutely perfect.

If He desires to do it a different way, as He appears to be with mankind – then that is His prerogative. Mankind has no say in the matter. That is what I mean by us limiting God in our minds.

Tired Skeptic said...

I believe such people's logic is based on simply finding the wealthiest nations existing at this point in history and just guessing that "Oh, these must be the offspring of Abraham, because they have all the blessings!"

As I've said before, this proves that the Italians from the Roman Empire are Israel!

Questeruk said...

Gavin said...
Re The Gap Theory:-
“as the Wiki article demonstrates, it's also problematic biblically. At best it's a clumsy attempt to rescue biblical literalism from its own folly”.

Interesting how different people can read things in different ways. I have just read the article, and to me the supporting scriptures quoted for an ‘old earth’ are barely challenged, while the ‘criticisms section’ against the idea seem decidedly weak.


“But if questeruk or anyone else can find an article in a peer reviewed journal that supports the Gap Theory - either from the scientific or biblical angle - hey, let us all know.”


There are plenty of ‘old earth’ articles on the web, I could quote a few non COG sites if you like..
However, finding a peer reviewed article is a different thing, as Gavin well knows. An article which even implies that ’some greater force’ is by definition considered unscientific, and therefore it is rejected.

This isn’t because of the ‘old earth’ idea. How many peer reviewed ‘intelligent design’ articles have appeared in scientific journals? I know of one – it caused a great stink because it bypassed the usual channels which would have rejected it – the publication it appeared in has said it won’t do it again.

Suggesting or implying ‘God’ in an article makes it invalid for peer review. For a peer review, God is unscientific.

Of course plenty of other subjects are also excluded if they go against the current popular scientific thought. It’s a bit like mainstream religion – a group cannot be considered as acceptable if they do not teach the trinity.

Now finding a peer reviewed journal that supports the idea from a biblical angle? Just what journal would that be? I think this is a contradiction in terms, but let me know which ones you had in mind.

Anonymous said...

questeruk,

We are sort of in the modern equivalent of the Dark Ages. Just as new ideas and information were suppressed or outright silenced back then by the church, today's publications and proponents of evolution suppress or silence anything that challenges what they 'know' to be truth 'today'. I would not think all is lost though. Just as eventually it was admitted that the earth was round and revolved around the sun, someday we'll know, for sure, the story of life.

Corky said...

The reason ID or creationism is unscientific is because it cannot be tested. ID, therefore, cannot be falsified and only consists of and assertion of, "God did it".

Since ID has no evidence to support it's theory, it doesn't qualify as a scientific theory.

The Creationists is then left to attack evolution, which is the only viable theory presented to explain the evidence.

In the imagination of the Creationists, if they can poke holes in the theory of evolution, then the default position is ID.

Sorry, but even if evolution proved to be a wrong theory, Creationism would still not be the default position, because it would still be only an unsupported and unverifiable assertion.

Anonymous said...

"Suggesting or implying ‘God’ in an article makes it invalid for peer review. For a peer review, God is unscientific."

What a fabulous cop-out. This allows the religionist to by-pass reality (science) in proposing their Bible-inspired ideas. As Corky pointed out, the reason ID (and Old Earth) are not published is because there is no scientific data to support them.

By the way, I thought ID had nothing to do with God. Uh-huh.

Paul

Anonymous said...

"Sorry, but even if evolution proved to be a wrong theory, Creationism would still not be the default position..."


And where does this position come from? Christians time and time again claim that the Bible and Jehovah weren't on their minds when they came to the conclusion that Jehovah, er, I mean Something just Had to Create everything.

"Genesis had nothing to do with it! I came to this conculsion by observation!"

Poppycock. What is interesting is that this creator just happens to be a God. Why is that? Why not a super-advanced alien civilization? Why a God?

Answer: Because they came to the conclusion that the universe and everything in it was created by God from *reading the Bible*. This idea did not come from observation, or disproving evolution.

Paul

Byker Bob said...

We know that God set up earth and its ecology systems to be self sustaining. There also seems to be a tremendous capacity for adaptation and mutation inherent in the process.

My vote would go for "theistic evolution", with Adam and Eve being the first "God conscious" beings. Cavemen before them were simply animals with human shape and form. At some point in time, God dropped a new "engine" into the human animal.

BB

Anonymous said...

Really, Bob? I thought you said you weren't a bible inerrantist.....

Corky said...

Byker Bob said...
We know that God set up earth and its ecology systems to be self sustaining.

No, we don't know that. We might believe that and want it to be like that but there is no way to know that.

My vote would go for "theistic evolution", with Adam and Eve being the first "God conscious" beings. Cavemen before them were simply animals with human shape and form. At some point in time, God dropped a new "engine" into the human animal.

Then your vote would dishonor your ancestors who invented ways to make fire and learned flint knapping. If you have ever tried to make an arrow head or spear head with flint knapping techniques, you shouldn't dis your ancestors for knowing how to do it when you don't and calling them "animals in human form".

We are still animals in human form and no smarter than our ancestors were - we may know more than they did and live better than they did but can you make a stone ax and use it? Can you cook your food with no pots and pans? Boil water with an animal skin? They could.

Anonymous said...

Byker Bob may take comfort in that there are those who say that Russia and some of the Slavs are part of the lost ten tribes.

But as he rightly says,DNA has failed to establish a link between the nations of Western Europe and the Jews.Yet, DNA can establish a link between the Ashkenazim and the Sephardim over at least a couple of millenia.

Even discredited Nennius says that the UK is Japheth,likewise Dr J.A Wylie from the Victorian Era.Even Sharon Turner asserts the UK is descended from Japheth.

Joop van Vogelberg

Byker Bob said...

PH, I'm not a Bible inerrantist. Can't you tell by the fact that I did not take the creation narrative literally?

Knowledgeable scientists have traced man back hundreds of thousands of years. But, they concede that up until about ten thousand years ago, man as a race made very little progress. Their theory is that once man became able to record his thoughts in primitive written form, knowledge accelerated, and the species underwent relatively rapid development, a development that continues even to this day. Knowledge suddenly was able to accumulate.

This was interrupted by the Dark Ages, when human development went on retard. The Alexandrian library, where much of the knowledge of the day was stored, was destroyed in a series of events, causing much irreplaceable knowledge to be lost. During the latter part of the Dark Ages, the Muslim countries became advanced by comparison to the Christian world. Finally, with the dawning of the Renaissance, knowledge began to be reaccumulated.

No, I am not a Bible inerrantist, but since abiogenesis cannot be duplicated in the lab, the only alternative is a first cause, or creator. I know it really bugs people when we point out that abiogenesis is a totally unprovable theory, but that's the way it is. Perhaps Corky, Paul, and others are working on abiogenesis in their home laboratories as we speak, and this gives them the faith they demonstrate in atheism.

BB

Anonymous said...

"No, I am not a Bible inerrantist, but since abiogenesis cannot be duplicated in the lab, the only alternative is a first cause, or creator..."


But previously you said "God." Not creator, or first cause, but "God." How did you arrive at that?

And how can "God" be the only alternative? How did you arrive at that?

Paul

Anonymous said...

"...and this gives them the faith they demonstrate in atheism."

BB, do you believe in flying purple unicorns? If not, would you say that it takes faith to maintain your disbelief?



Paul

Corky said...

Byker Bob said...
No, I am not a Bible inerrantist, but since abiogenesis cannot be duplicated in the lab, the only alternative is a first cause, or creator.

Just because the "first cause" may be presently unknown, does not translate to "a creator" did it. It simply means that abiogenesis has not been verified - yet.

There may be other alternatives to life on this planet. It could be that life can't help but happen when conditions present will support it. It also could be that it arrived here from someplace else via a comet or other means.

One thing it does not mean is that life was sparked by a "God" who would also need to be "created" in order to exist.

Who taught this "creator" what it knows about creating life and running a planet? Did it's knowledge just "POOF" into existence too?

Byker Bob said...

Hey, guys, He just happens to be a close personal friend. And, as with all my other friends, there's a lot I don't know about Him.

I do know that He's concerned with goodness and happiness, and that tends to bring a fullness into people's lives. Kind of makes you want to be on His side, too.

BB

Anonymous said...

Eeeeps! Sorry, Bob, I really didn't mean to bring a sh!tstorm down on your head. :(

I was referring to this statement, guys, not Bob's blanket God statement:

"Adam and Eve being the first "God conscious" beings."

Since there is absolutely zero proof there was an "Adam and Eve", that's what I meant by Bob's bible inerrantism. As for the rest of it, let the man alone. It's not like he's a member of a splinter, or anything. If Bob wants to believe in flying purple unicorns, as long as he doesn't charge people admission to see them, it's his own personal choice.

Sorry Bob. :(

Anonymous said...

Ralph Helge was sporadically attending LCG in Los Angeles last year. Although not committed to LCG, he gave a sermonette on Atonement and was promptly never seen again. That LCG would put this uncommitted, recent WCG refugee in a teaching role seems questionable. Might they have been engaged in a bidding war with UCG for Helge? After all, Rod is big on getting known names to come with him (see Raymond McNair), ostensibly because he seeks gaining legitimacy from men rather than from God.

Anonymous said...

Now.

Before the sh!tstorm descends upon me, let me quickly add that I do not subscribe to a personalized God theory, from a particular holy preacher, text, or otherwise.

The closest I come is divine soup theology, coupled with what I know about quantum physics/mechanics.

Thus, if there is a generative force to the universe, it is logically extra-dimensional to the universe itself.

Therefore, we cannot accurately (at this point in time) perceive exactly what this generative force is.

Sure as shooting this generative force is not, for me personally, the Egyptian god Neb-er-tcher, which is the one all bible-believing christians actually pay allegiance to, whether they choose to accept that fact or not.

Getting back on-topic, let us think up creative and witty captions for this picture of Helge et al, at Herbie's funeral, shall we??

Questeruk said...

Which one is Ralph?

Front row, on the left, with Raymond McNair's chin resting on his shoulder??

DennisDiehl said...

PurpleHymnal Said: (Great name!)

"The closest I come is divine soup theology, coupled with what I know about quantum physics/mechanics."

Now that was a refreshing comment! Good on ya!

From my perspective and having studied human origins for about 15 years, it seems that consciousness in humans was the key. By this I mean, the observer mind and the ability of humans to talk silently to themselves in their head with language. That is a 100,000 year + gift that came from somewhere. I think that when language came into the mind, then came memory and planning ahead. Neanderthals and all others before seemed not to have planned or changed much over 200,000 years. No new tools and a contentment with just living in the now.


The hard question is that of human consciounsness or as some call it, "the Ghost in the Machine," "the observer" or "who is watching the whole thing as movien in the mind in the dark?"

For example. Eyes don't see. Eyes tranform frequencies into electrical signals on the retina that are sent to the back of the head through the 12 lbs of meat called the brain and "displayed" as a movie in the dark.

The pictures are in our heads.

Ears don't hear. They transform waves into sound in the head. The world is silent waves and frequencies....How cool is that.

The question that makes us human is who or what is watching the movie of what the eyes transform from frequencies to pictures? And how is it all done in the dark?

I love this stuff!

It's why I bore people with the the hope of being a spirit (the ghost in the machine) trapped with a mere five ways of sensing in a limited carbon based wetsuit.

Near Death experiences and interesting accounts, especially from children up to about age 8 on past life memories may be a window into some other experience to come. We can hope.

Quantum physics may be more of a how and why of life than religion.

Somewhere and somehow, the observer in the mind came on the scene. The ego is the bullshit mask that clouds the observer.

But I have my doubts that getting free of the current limits on the ghost in our machines can only get out into the universe if it accepts blood sacrifice of a deity that was merely inconvenienced or a weekend 2000 years ago.

I can't relate anymore to Atonement by execution. Makes the ghost in my machine nuts.

So see, "I" am nuts. We knew that!

Rodroid said...

Hey,
Leave BB alone. None of us believes in flying purple unicorns. We believe in flying purple hymnals...at least that's what mine looked like the last time I saw it flying toward the trash can back in '95.

Anonymous said...

Corky said: "There may be other alternatives to life on this planet. It could be that life can't help but happen when conditions present will support it. It also could be that it arrived here from someplace else via a comet or other means."

"One thing it does not mean is that life was sparked by a "God" who would also need to be "created" in order to exist."

"Who taught this "creator" what it knows about creating life and running a planet? Did it's knowledge just "POOF" into existence too?"

Corky, I see where you are going with this but I want you to think about an old joke that you have probably heard before but is very relevant to this post of yours. I'll spare you (and everyone else) the entire joke and you can find it here:

http://www.getyourowndirt.com/

I'm not a bible literalist either, so don't get your anti-creationist / christian back up.

The point is where did the dirt come from? Birthed from the solar system? Where did that come from? Big Bang? Where did the material for that come from? And so on...

The universe, by its very nature implies design, not a cosmic f-up.

DennisDiehl said...

"We believe in flying purple hymnals...at least that's what mine looked like the last time I saw it flying toward the trash can back in '95."

Oh..Rodroid...twas not a foe that deride, for that I could endure!

We could find ourselves running over walls and flying through the windows leap. Personally, I think I'd get hurt doing that.

Oh well, death shall them seize and to the tomb alive they shall go down...so it's all good :)

Smile Brethren! :(

Byker Bob said...

Wasn't there a one eyed, one horned, flying purple people eater back in the '50s? I believe that was a very cool song!

I bet customizer and cartoonist Ed "Big Daddy" Roth could have done a lot with that! I'm thinking of a theme car. Maybe a '40 Ford, flamed and with huge tires, and a big Chrysler Hemi engine. The people eater salivating as he's driving, his torso protruding out of the sun roof, and right hand gripping a big shifter. Roth could have called this monstrosity the Herbert W. Armstrong Theologymobile, and the front license plate might have read: HWA-666.

Google "Ed Roth" or "Ratfink" and see the type of stuff I mean. The dude was cooler than ol' Basil because he not only drew cartoons, he also built hotrods.

BB

Anonymous said...

"For example. Eyes don't see. Eyes tranform frequencies into electrical signals on the retina that are sent to the back of the head through the 12 lbs of meat called the brain and "displayed" as a movie in the dark.

The pictures are in our heads.

Ears don't hear. They transform waves into sound in the head. The world is silent waves and frequencies....How cool is that.

The question that makes us human is who or what is watching the movie of what the eyes transform from frequencies to pictures? And how is it all done in the dark?"

Dennis,

You describe a full color home theater system in a biochemical cranium box! 25 watts per channel RMS. Comes with a binaural stereo sound system already installed in the carbon base chassis, all at no additional cost to the end user.

Imaging

Corky said...

Yes, Charlie, where did dirt come from? On the moon we found a fine coating of cosmic dust but on earth we have many feet, yards or miles of dirt.

From things that have lived and died on this planet, is where all the dirt came from. Piled up from eons of time and life and death on the planet.

Billions of years of life and death and passage of more time and laying down of layers of sediment etc. and we have coal and natural gas and oil in the ground.

Want to pretend this all happened since the creation of Adam and Eve 6,000 years ago? Go ahead, but you are wrong and it is obviously wrong.

Anonymous said...

Flying purple hymnals! Now that made my day! :D

Dennis, I'm glad you liked my divine soup theology remark: Did I mention it tastes like chicken? ;D

But seriously, I agree 100%. If there is anything out there, and the ghost in the machine (us) is a small reflection, or the slightest shadow of it, it's not going to care that we didn't starve ourselves from sundown to sundown, year in and year out, on an arbitrary date of our own choosing.

Unless, of course, the ghost in the machine is what gets installed into the divine soup, when the user goes offline. In which case all those hypocritical bible-beaters really will be in for a hell of a ride...of their own devising.

The more I think about it, the more logic it makes, that the ghost in the machine, if not having done right by its own standards, ends up getting spit back out of the divine soup for a reboot into a fresh install. But I always eschewed reincarnation theory, so I look upon my sudden leanings towards it as highly, highly suspect of an indication I might be falling back into a religious mindset.

On a slightly-less related tangent to your comments, they have been successfully able to replicate NDEs (near-death experiences) with 50 to 100 mg of injected ketamine, suggesting that these "near-death" experiences are actually anything but.

Even the bible agrees there's no hell (Anyone seen Pam Dewey's latest creation on this? Highly recommended, you can find it here.), which by logical extension means there's no heaven either.

Well! Enough metaphysics from the flying purple hymnal tonight (this morning)! Let us caption the picture!

"Abraham? Who gives a fig about Abraham, Herman? What I want to know is who's got the blackmail photos on Joe."

Questeruk said...

Corky said...

"Want to pretend this all happened since the creation of Adam and Eve 6,000 years ago? Go ahead, but you are wrong and it is obviously wrong".

Please try to keep up, and stop trying to flog a dead horse - is there anyone posting here, of whatever persuasion (including Tom), that believes in a 6000 year old universe? Probably not.

DennisDiehl said...

PurpleHymnal said

"they have been successfully able to replicate NDEs (near-death experiences) with 50 to 100 mg of injected ketamine, suggesting that these "near-death" experiences are actually anything but."

Or we can hope that ketamine release is held in store to break down the wall between this reality and all reality?

Some psychiatrists speculate that schizophrenics suffer from having fewer filters on reality and their illness is the inability to handle all the incoming realities normally not available to humans.

I wish I had had a few less filters during my minstry years.

Tired Skeptic said...

12 lbs of meat called the brain

It's three pounds.

Unless you are incredibly fat headed.

'Probably work for the Armstrongists.

Anonymous said...

Corky, Either your are deliberately dense or think that anyone that doesn't 'believe' in evolution automatically is a six day, let there be light, creationist.

Since you obviously missed the point I will try to be more direct and clear. The universe, *matter* had to come from somewhere, place, thing. The universe has a border.

You say there is no proof of God because you can't point to a location and say look and see! There it is!

I put the same criteria on abiogenesis and evolution. Show me that life can spontaneously pull all of its parts together, begin the chemical reactions and processes necessary to live, and reproduce and then I'll believe it. Not before. Show me one species can produce another species and I'll believe, not before. You believe that all matter that is has always been and that it wasn't created, fine. I believe that God always has been and wasn't created.

Byker Bob said...

No matter what any of us believes, it all gets back to something that was always there, doesn't it? And, everything behaved according to natural processes, and laws of physics that still work in the same ways today.

I believe that I know why there is belief and disbelief. Inert matter does not expect anything of any of us. It just exists. The existence of God implies to most (except perhaps deists) that something might be expected or required of us.

I've asked many times, isn't the question of God's existence the most important and compelling aspect in each of our lives? If God does exist (I happen to believe that He does), wouldn't knowing that be the main piece of knowledge that you would want in your arsenal?

BB

Anonymous said...

Charlie said:

"You believe that all matter that is has always been and that it wasn't created, fine. I believe that God always has been and wasn't created."

I find it so much easier and logical to believe in what can be observed, than that which cannot.

It is so much easier to believe that matter has always existed as we are able to see it and interact with it every day. When I used to beieve that a God always existed, it was because I was taught that from infancy and it was a faith, a belief. Not because of personal observation and interaction.

I bet I can safely say that we all know matter exists. I could also say that some of us here believe a deity exists. The difference is knowing verses believing.

I feel more comfortable believing that something I can see and interact with (matter) has always existed. Evidence seems to indicate this conclusion too.

I no longer feel comfortable believing that an invisible deity that cannot be observed or interacted with has always existed and performed magic and made all that we see here.

Having once been a believer, I know where they are coming from though. I think we all would love to have conclusive proof one way or the other.

Thomas Munson

paco said...

Byker Bob said:

"I've asked many times, isn't the question of God's existence the most important and compelling aspect in each of our lives? If God does exist (I happen to believe that He does), wouldn't knowing that be the main piece of knowledge that you would want in your arsenal?"

Bob, that is exactly the question that got me involved in Armstrongism 45 years ago. I eventually decided that I cannot know the answer to that question (at least in this lifetime)unless a creator chooses to definitely show up physically and in a manner that leaves no doubt as to who and what "he" is. Until then I have no confidence in the existence of an alleged being who could, but chooses not to, make himself clearly known.

Screwing around with some "devine plan" that is already pre-ordained makes no sense unless "god" is interested in jerking people around.

Corky said...

"In the beginning God created the heavens (insert 9 billion year gap here) and the earth (insert 4.5 billion year gap here) and the earth was without form and void"

Yeah, that makes sense. And then 4 days later God created the sun, moon and stars (again?).

The evidence for the existence of God just keeps piling up, doesn't it? Well, something keeps piling up anyway, and we used it for fertilizer down on the farm.

Anonymous said...

'Until then I have no confidence in the existence of an alleged being who could, but chooses not to, make himself clearly known.'


Joh 14:7 If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also; and from now on you do know Him, and have seen Him

Anonymous said...

'Until then I have no confidence in the existence of an alleged being who could, but chooses not to, make himself clearly known.'


Joh 14:7 If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also; and from now on you do know Him, and have seen Him

Questeruk said...

‘Corky said...
"In the beginning God created the heavens (insert 9 billion year gap here) and the earth (insert 4.5 billion year gap here) and the earth was without form and void"

Yeah, that makes sense’


Yes it does make sense – glad we are in agreement at last Corky!

v1 "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth."

The guessed 13.5 Billion years ago 'Big Bang'(at least that’s the current estimate, no doubt it will change a few more times, and likely enough Big Bang itself go out of favour again) which was the point at which the ‘dirt’ Charlie was asking you about came into being – the material for the heavens and the earth, regardless of how long it was before that material formed the earth.

v2 "and the earth was without form and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters."

(Hello, an already formed earth, and day one creation not started yet!)

The ‘4 days later’ comment has such a self evident, obvious meaning, that even Corky must actually realise what that meaning is.

Corky said...

Exo 20:11 For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth . . . and everything in it.

About 6,012 years ago - or not.

Anonymous said...

Dennis--I think we all wished we had a few less perception filters on, when were in the cult.

Release of ketamine into the neural system at the onset of death may indeed "break down the barrier" and provide a light-show for the ride, however, once the neuronal system that generates the light-show fizzles out, the light-show ends, and so does the one we're living right now.

Since time has been demonstrated to be an entirely subjective reality, the experience of a dying brain's last gasp may feel like it lasts an eternity, as has been reported by NDE "survivors". I use the term loosely because I, for one, do not believe the average NDEr was, based on too much accumulated medical evidence, anywhere near total brain-death.

In subjective time to the observers of the dying, the experience might last only a few seconds, or minutes.

The critically-thinking question to ask is: Why are there not more stories of the terminally ill, who have extended dying processes, experiencing extended "near-death" experiences? Because they are truly dying.

The only ones who have come back from "the other side" and reported on "death" are the ones who have survived sudden, traumatic medical emergencies. That, true, they might not have survived even twenty years ago, but still.

So. Given all that, do I still believe in the ghost in the machine? Yes, because without it, we would not be having this discussion.

Is the divine soup aware of us, and in desperate need for us to be aware of it? I think not, which is why the brain evolved time's arrow and subjective experiential input unique to each individual.

I do believe, however, that if the ghost in the machine goes back into the divine soup after the end of it all, there are only two possibilities:

1. The spirit, soul, gnosis, whatever you wish to call it, remains intact, and the experience of the hereafter is consistent with what the soul has believed throughout its lifetime.

2. The "soul" is reabsorbed into the divine soup, mingles with all the other extra-dimensional energy, and then gets recalculated, reshaped, and re-inserted into the next vessel that comes along, as "someone" else.

I'm partial to the second theory, but as it basically conforms the Second Law of Thermodynamics, it therefore cannot be extra-dimensional. Which I believe, quite strongly, the divine soup is. (Remember--it tastes like chicken!!)

Since our minds are incapable of processing what might lie extra-dimensionally (even if we could see it), we really have no basis to discuss what might be out there, or what "it" might "want" (as those are constructs of our own reality).

Questeruk said...

Corky said...
“Exo 20:11 For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them.”

Good verse, yes precisely. Referring to the refashioning of the earth as documented in Genesis 1v3 onwards.

Checking the meaning of each word makes it clear - the heaven (or ‘lofty sky’) - the earth (as in country, field, ground) - the sea (as in large body of water).

In modern language you would say God made the atmosphere, the surface of the land, the sea, and everything in them all (i.e. the living things, both plants and animals).

This very clearly refers back to the refashioning of the earth. Nothing about creation of the universe or of the earth itself – as you would expect.

I won’t bother quoting the second half of the verse, as it brings in a whole new subject!

ned said...

If the Gap version of creation had any credibility, then...

There would be overwhelming evidence of a global catastrophe just 6000 years ago (give or take a decade).

That evidence would be the subject of intense speculation, research and those peer reviewed papers someone mentioned.

Scientists would be desperate to explain that evidence. It wouldn't prove the Gap Theory, but it would certainly back it up and be the subject of intense debate.

So why isn't it?

There IS no evidence. Quite the contrary.

Playing games with the Hebrew Bible and allowing for a pre-Adamic world is only an evasion, and not a particularly clever one.

It didn't happen that way. If it did the evidence would have to be there. You can't have that kind of planet-wide disaster without all kinds of MEASURABLE, DATABLE geological consequences.

If gap creationists want to be taken seriously they need to come up with some hard data - not conjuring with proof texts.

If the evidence existed they could.

WHERE IS THE EVIDENCE?

Anonymous said...

Ned - You need to look into the various ways rock is formed. Specifically, layers of rock in the geologic column. Layers are made up all at once by some type of major event. It can be volcanic, flood, meteor, earthquake, others, a combination of several. This is how you get fossils and rock. The eons in between the layers hold very little evidence of what lived and how long. If an elephant were get caught up in a massive mudslide, several thousand years from now someone might find its fossilized remains. If that same elephant were to fall over dead, of old age, 20 years from now, nothing would be left.

Corky said...

It would seem that maybe some folks are not out of the "stone age" yet.

It is clearly evident that the Bible begins in the late bronze/early iron age (Gen. 4:22).

There was no early stone, middle stone or late stone ages in the Bible and nothing of the copper age and the domestication of cattle. Quite the contrary, God created cattle - as is, and man had nothing to do with it.

We know those things aren't true. Men domesticated and changed the wild beasts by selective breeding to have cattle, God didn't create them.

God did not create the golden delicious apple, the red delicious apple or the edible almond. Man did that. Man did a lot of the creating of what we see today, even before man created and invented writing.

Lost knowledge? Yes, a lot of it is lost of how we learned to do such things. Can you make an arrow head of flint with all your computer knowledge? I bet you can't and I bet you can't cut stone to make a pyramid with only stone and wooden tools either.

The problem modern man has is that they think our ancestors were stupid and incapable of making up stories about Gods etc.

They were smart enough about doing it that we are still fooled by those idiotic things even today in face of all the scientific evidence to the contrary.

By all means, if we don't see for ourselves the answer to why it rains, or why life began, or how life began, or why we want to live forever - let's bring in "God did it" and that will solve everything.

Byker Bob said...

Here's a pregnant question waiting to be asked. Independent historical verification of the OT can be both difficult and nebulous. Much of this is due to the fact that it all happened so long ago. Also, an educated person must always take into consideration the allegory when reading such things as the creation narrative.

However, the historicity of Jesus is extremely well documented. His impact on the modern world is very significant, 2,000 years after the fact.

How does one throw out the God of the Old Testament, when Jesus is so easily documented? I know we've all seen speculation about Appolonius of Tyana, Jesus Barabbas, Jesus ben Pantera, etc. But that's all pretty hollow. The entire history of the world would not have been divided into BC and AD over such fake, and nearly unknown "messiahs".

Fake messiahs were a dime a dozen during the time of the second temple. There was something very distinguishing and very special about Jesus Christ, or He would have been totally forgotten like these other unnamed and unknown messiahs. Even Muslims believe in Jesus. They just see Him as a prophet rather than the Messiah.

BB

Questeruk said...

ned said...
“If the Gap version of creation had any credibility, then...

There would be overwhelming evidence of a global catastrophe just 6000 years ago (give or take a decade).”

Ned, as Charlie pointed out, most fossils are formed quickly, due to some geological event, whereas most of the time a fossil record is not being left.

Your 6000 year ago comment is obviously a complete ‘red herring’. The approx 6000 year ago reformation of the earth would not leave fossils – the destruction of the previous era would have been earlier then this.

There is plenty of evidence of mass destructions in geology. The disappearance of dinosaurs is the most commonly known one, but by no means the only one.

Other ideas come and go. About twenty years ago the ‘snowball earth’ idea came in – a virtual complete destruction of nearly all life on earth, prior to the dinosaur destruction. Did it happen? – science is divided on this. Even something this gigantic is not that easy to demonstrate conclusively.

It may be nice to think science has all the evidence tied up – the reality is few scientists agree on the interpretation of the mass of evidence before them.

Corky said...

However, the historicity of Jesus is extremely well documented. His impact on the modern world is very significant, 2,000 years after the fact.

Where are those extremely well documented historical Jesus evidences located?

The resurrection is said to be a well documented fact too, however, outside the Bible, there is no evidence of either one.

There is nothing written about the existence of Jesus or the resurrection outside the Bible until the late 2nd century.

There were "christians", no doubt, but they couldn't even agree amongst themselves if Jesus existed in the flesh or was just a Gnosis, i.e., a personification of what they saw as a perfect man.

Christianity only survived because of Constantine making it the state religion of Rome.

And, time is not divided into BC & AD except by the Christian Church's influence in the making of the calender. The Jews still don't use it in figuring what year it is and neither do the Chinese, and scietists use BCE and CE.

Anonymous said...

Constantine didn't make "Christianity" the state religion of Rome. Constantine took the Egyptian mystery schools' teachings of the triune god Osiris/Isis/Horus, slapped a fresh coat of his own personal Mithraism onto it, and "Christianity" as we know it today was formed, in a last-gasp attempt to shore up the crumbling Roman empire. It didn't work.

King James I, under pressure to unify an increasingly disharmonious United Kingdom that was threatening to blow, re-invented Christianity in his own mold, and thus we have the widespread King James Version (and does anyone really stop think about what that means) Bible which has been extant up until very recently.

James didn't do it because of divine revelation, he was doing it for the same reason Constantine did, and took a political page from the Roman emperor's playbook.

While it didn't work for Constantine, it certainly worked for James, and thus we have the descendant offshoots of that in "the new world" today.

I will leave it for the astute reader to draw the parallels between Constantine, James, and the conservative American political right, which just happens to be using fundamental evangelism, and the "New International Version" (strangely enough in English) of the bible in exactly the same manner.

ned said...

My last shot in "getting through" on the Gap Theory. Fossils are not an issue, and I didn't mention them.

Imagine the earth covered with water, tohu and bohu. Beneath are the remains of an entire antediluvian word - not just animals, Neanderthals, but forests, eco-systems.

And this is just 6000 years ago?

Forget fossils, grab a geology text book. Look for planet wide sedimentary layers at the appropriate depth. The evidence should be overwhelming.

Is it?

Go grab a text on geology - or chat to someone with some knowledge about earth's real history - and find out for yourself.

Meantime, spare us all the cheap apologetics.

Corky said...

6,000 years ago . . . nothing happened. There is no reason whatsoever to think that the earth was re-recreated at that time, none whatsoever.

There is no evidence of a worldwide flood 4200 years ago and no evidence of an Exodus by Jews from Egypt 3,300 years ago either.

It's all so much bunk and BS made up by a priesthood returning from Babylon upon the decree of Cyrus to build a temple to Marduk in every capitol city of the exiled peoples in the empire.

Purpose? To collect tribute from the populations of the lands from which the exiled originated.

Questeruk said...

It is readily admitted that there were 'mass extinctions' at the end of the late Pleistocene era, around 11,000 years ago, where 'up to 95%' of species died out.

This has been downplayed - and obviously evolution cannot allow the quoted 95% to become 100%, or they hit a problem.

Anonymous said...

Corky said: '6,000 years ago . . . nothing happened. There is no reason whatsoever to think that the earth was re-recreated at that time, none whatsoever'

No-one know how long the 'gap' of Gen1:2 was - perhaps millions of years.

Anonymous said...

Corky said:
'There is no evidence of a worldwide flood 4200 years ago and no evidence of an Exodus by Jews from Egypt 3,300 years ago either'

A useful title is by David Rohl: A Test of Time. He demonstrates 'the archaeologists were looking in the right place for the Israelites - but the wrong time' He has pics of the Israelite camp site in Goshen

Corky said...

That there is a time gap between the first two verses of Genesis is an invention that is not supported by the rest of the Bible.

There would actually have to be two time gaps. One between the creation of the heavens and the creation of the earth and another gap between that creation and the re-creation.

Of course, we can always say that it's not literal and is really an allegory of the creation of the Hebrew people.

That's the problem with the big book of fantasy, it can be interpreted any way you like.

Anonymous said...

OK I know I said I wouldn't beat this dead horse, but if you really really REALLY want to know where the creation account in Genesis came from, for pity's sake read the original manuscript here.

It's verbatim. The world-ocean, The Word, it's verbatim. Genesis is based on the creation mythologies of the Egyptians. You can argue back and forth all you like, but there is no escaping the FACT that the book of Genesis in the King James Version bible (and the Catholic version too) is lifted almost whole cloth from the creation account in the Egyptian mythos.

Anyone who, after reading the link I've just posted, still refuses to accept that, is a bible apologetic.

(And the first one who says "Oh, they just called god and Jebus different names because the Egyptians didn't have bibles!" gets fish-slapped with a wet trout.)

Jared Olar said...

If you really really REALLY want to know where the creation account in Genesis came from, for pity's sake read the original manuscript here. It's verbatim.

I don't think you know what the word "verbatim" means. Gen. 1-2 is certainly not a verbatim copy of the Egyptian myth of Creation.

The world-ocean, The Word, it's verbatim.

There is some resemblance, but in the Egyptian myth, before the heavens and the earth are created, there was a preexistent, eternal Chaos or ocean called Nu. Before creating the universe from the primordial chaos or world-ocean, Neb-er-tcher transformed himself into the Creator god Khepera. But in the Hebrew myth, God preexists all things, creating the heavens and the earth, but the earth He had made was chaotic and covered with a world ocean. God then brings order to the primordial chaos that He had brought into existence. Thus, the Egyptian myth is not the same as the Hebrew myth. In one, the Creator and primordial matter are both eternal, and the Creator shapes matter into the universe that we know. In the other, the Creator prexists all things and brings primordial matter into existence, and then shapes matter into the universe that we know.

Genesis is based on the creation mythologies of the Egyptians. You can argue back and forth all you like, but there is no escaping the FACT that the book of Genesis in the King James Version bible (and the Catholic version too) is lifted almost whole cloth from the creation account in the Egyptian mythos.

Almost whole cloth? Then why doesn't the Egyptian myth say anything about a week of six creative days followed by a divine sabbath rest? And why doesn't the Hebrew myth mention the goddess Maat, or say anything about how the Creator god Khepera had sex with his own shadow, thereby bringing the gods Shu, the air, and Tefnut, water vapor, into existence by an act of masturbation? Shu and Tefnut then copulate and bring for Keb, the earth, and Nut, the sky. Keb and Nut then copulate and bring for Osiris, Horus, Set, Isis, and Nephthys. In the Hebrew myth, there is just one God, and the air, waters, earth, and sky are not gods, but are created things that do not have sex with each other. In contrast to the pagan creation myths, there is no cosmogony in Gen. 1-2, no account of how the gods came into existence through masturbation and incest. It requires a fatal lack of reading comprehension to conclude that the Genesis myth was lifted almost whole cloth from the Egyptian myth.

Anyone who, after reading the link I've just posted, still refuses to accept that, is a bible apologetic.

The word is "apologist." And you don't have to be a Bible apologist to notice that the Egyptian myth and the Hebrew myth have very little in common. In fact, if there was any influence between the Egyptian and Hebrew myths, we can make a nice case that the Egyptian myth was derived from the Hebrew myth. After all, this Egyptian creation legend is found in a text that wasn't written until 311 B.C. -- but I think the consensus even among Bible critics and skeptics is that the Book of Genesis was written by 600 B.C., and likely was written well before that. So, if we want to spin cockamamie theories that two extremely dissimilar myths that no one could confuse with each other are in fact genetically related, why must it be the Hebrew that came from the Egyptian and not the other way around?

Anonymous said...

Hm, well, if you want to pick apart this particular text I have provided, I've gone through it word-by-word, in comparison to the King James Version biblical scriptures here. The other messages in the thread outline the other parallels I have found, and this is just from a brief skimming of a very limited sample of Egyptian texts.

(The masturbation thing was subverted into the "through the holy spirit, Christ was created" doctrine by the way, and explains why the various christian churches so demonize masturbation, lest their pagan roots start to show.)

If you want to pick on me because apologist is the word and not apologetic, you go right ahead and fill your boots; I've seen both used, and didn't know there was "one true way" to use the term. My, uh, apologies. ;)

Finally, if you think I'm just some out-of-left-field whackjob promoting a new and untested theory, might I refer you to professional theologian and New Testament scholar Tom Harpur and his book (and the subsequent documentary on same, which will soon be available on DVD), The Pagan Christ.

The documentary as it aired on CBC, is available in five parts here.

Now. Would you like to discuss this topic on a more even keel, or are you just going to dismiss me out of hand because I said my ingrained Armstrongism made me afraid of the way your churches looked?? I didn't say it was right, I just said that's what it did, and I apologize if it offended you.

Jared Olar said...

The other messages in the thread outline the other parallels I have found, and this is just from a brief skimming of a very limited sample of Egyptian texts.

To establish genetic derivation, it takes a lot more than finding religious parallels. Otherwise we end up in the La-La Land of Alexander Hislop’s The Two Babylons.

(The masturbation thing was subverted into the "through the holy spirit, Christ was created" doctrine by the way,

Masturbation involves stimulation of the sexual organs apart from sex. Christianity does not maintain that there was any sexual stimulation involved in the virginal conception of Christ. One can rightly speak of masturbation when discussing the origins of the gods in pagan cosmogonies, but not in Jewish and Christianity mythology.

and explains why the various christian churches so demonize masturbation, lest their pagan roots start to show.)

Nonsense. If Christian objections to masturbation are grounded in an impulse to obscure the pagan origin of a doctrine of the masturbatory virginal conception of Christ, then why does Orthodox Judaism also classify masturbation as unnatural and a perversion. Jews and Christians who object to masturbation as unnatural have always looked to the “be fruitful and multiply” blessing of Genesis. It has never been extrapolated from the doctrine of the Virgin Birth.

If you want to pick on me because apologist is the word and not apologetic, you go right ahead and fill your boots; I've seen both used, and didn't know there was "one true way" to use the term. My, uh, apologies. ;)

I wasn’t picking on you, just correcting your grammar. “Apologist” is a noun that refers to a person who engages in a verbal or written defense of some proposition, idea, doctrine, or organisation. “Apologetic” can be an adjective, but when used as a noun, it refers to the apologia or apology, that is, the arguments presented by the apologist.

Would you like to discuss this topic on a more even keel, or are you just going to dismiss me out of hand because I said my ingrained Armstrongism made me afraid of the way your churches looked?? I didn't say it was right, I just said that's what it did, and I apologize if it offended you.

I wasn’t offended. “Non gustibus disputandam” and all that. For one thing, some of our churches are frightfully ugly, and Catholicism also has a strong strain of aesthetically excremental religious art. Anyway, I know exactly what you mean, as I was brought up as you were --- it takes a while to acquire a taste for religious art that is produced by a culture that is alien to you.

I don’t think you’re “some out-of-left-field whackjob promoting a new and untested theory.” The ideas you’re espousing have been around for a while. I just don’t think they are adequately supported to merit our credence. In particular, there is insufficient evidence to support the Egyptian genetic hypothesis of the Hebrew creation myth --- and it’s impossible to affirm, as you did, that there is a large degree of similarity between the Egyptian myth and the Hebrew myth. The differences far outnumber the similarities.

Jared Olar said...

A useful title is by David Rohl: A Test of Time. He demonstrates 'the archaeologists were looking in the right place for the Israelites - but the wrong time' He has pics of the Israelite camp site in Goshen.

I hate to break the news to you, but David Rohl and his major reinterpretations of the archaeology of the Ancient Near East are viewed as pariahs by reputable archaeologists. His ideas are basically a form of mitigated Velikovskyanism -- the same basic method of reinterpretation of ancient archaeology as found in Herman Hoeh's Compendium, only nowhere near as flaky. I've got an excellent study paper by an Egyptologist that completely demolishes Rohl's attempted re-do of Egyptian history and shows that it just doesn't fit the evidence. Now, that's not to say that he hasn't correctly identified the Hebrew settlement in Goshen -- stopped clocks and all that, you known. But you should be aware of the quality of scholarship that you're reading -- Rohl is not a reputable Egyptologist or archaeologist.

Jared Olar said...

Where are those extremely well documented historical Jesus evidences located?

They are conveniently compiled in a collection of ancient Christian documents known as the New Testament.

There is nothing written about the existence of Jesus or the resurrection outside the Bible until the late 2nd century.

Perhaps you meant the late 1st century? Jesus Christ is mentioned by Josephus and Tacitus in the late 1st century and very early 2nd century. In the early 2nd century, Pliny refers to Christian belief in the divinity of the man Christ. Christ and His resurrection are discussed in the epistle of St. Clement to the Corinthians, written in the last decade of the 1st century, and in the epistles of St. Ignatius, written in the first decade of the 2nd century.

There were "christians", no doubt, but they couldn't even agree amongst themselves if Jesus existed in the flesh or was just a Gnosis, i.e., a personification of what they saw as a perfect man.

Your representation of "Gnosis" is unsupported by the primary sources. Gnostics did not view Jesus as a fiction, a mere literary personification of the perfect man, but as an incorporeal spirit sent to liberate man from the material universe and enable him to be reabsorbed by the Father.

Christianity only survived because of Constantine making it the state religion of Rome.

Only trouble is, Constantine never made Christianity the state religion of Rome. It was Theodosius who did that. To be sure, Constantine patronised the Church, but he never abolished the pagan cults and he continued their traditional patronage, even though he no longer participated in them. As for whether or not Christianity would have died out if not for Constantine's patronage, just keep in mind that the Empire had tried repeatedly to stamp out Christianity prior to the 300s A.D., and yet the Christian population of the Empire grew steadily and substantially throughout the 200s A.D. Before Constantine's Edict of Milan the Empire made one final desperate attempt to crush the Church, but no nation or state can survive if it tries to extermine half, or close to half, of its own population. It's not cynicism or political opportunism to recognise that and to seek to foster internal peace and harmony.

scientists use BCE and CE.

Some of them do, some of them don't. "BCE/CE" is Newspeak, leading one to wonder just why the "Common Era" is numbered as it is. Saying "BCE/CE" instead of "B.C./A.D." is the same sort of ideological bowdlerisation that we used to do as Armstrongists: "stake" instead of "cross," etc.

Constantine took the Egyptian mystery schools' teachings of the triune god Osiris/Isis/Horus,

The gods Osiris, Isis, and Horus were never believed to be a triune god. There is only one religion that has ever taught that there is only one God in three Persona. Pagan triads of gods, or pagan gods and goddesses exhibiting triple unity, are not the same as or even analogous to the Christian Trinity.

slapped a fresh coat of his own personal Mithraism onto it, and "Christianity" as we know it today was formed, in a last-gasp attempt to shore up the crumbling Roman empire. It didn't work.

Purple, are you aware that Constantine supported orthodox Christianity for a while, but later supported Arianism? Did you know that for most of the 300s A.D., the Emperors were emphatically not friends of orthodox Christianity, but were either Arians, semi-Arians, or neopagans? Constantine's successors did attempt to remake Christianity, but they encountered strong resistance from the Church. This theory that Christianity was the product of Constantine's alleged syncretism just doesn't agree with what history tells us. Armstrongists understandably like that theory a lot, but if you've left Armstrongism behind, you ought also to leave such conspiracy theories and Armstrongist-style pseudohistory behind too.

By the way, if his attempt to shore up the Roman Empire didn't work, then how come Constantinople did not finally fall until 1453?

King James I, under pressure to unify an increasingly disharmonious United Kingdom that was threatening to blow, re-invented Christianity in his own mold, and thus we have the widespread King James Version (and does anyone really stop think about what that means) Bible which has been extant up until very recently.

The KJV is still extant. Also, King James did not reinvent Christianity in his own mold. He was an Anglican, and Anglicanism was invented in the 1500s, not the early 1600s.

James didn't do it because of divine revelation, he was doing it for the same reason Constantine did, and took a political page from the Roman emperor's playbook.

On the contrary, there can be no reasonable doubt that James, for all his flaws and faults, was a sincere Christian. He wasn't cynically using religion as a political tool, but was motivated by his religious faith to do the things he did.

Anonymous said...

'Rohl is not a reputable Egyptologist or archaeologist.'

Have 'reputable archaeologists' never got it wrong?

Jared Olar said...

Have 'reputable archaeologists' never got it wrong?

They get things wrong all the time. But not to the extent that Rohl gets things wrong. Like Herman Hoeh did, Rohl identifies Pharaoh Shishaq with Rameses II, placing the accession of Rameses II about 930 B.C., when Egyptologists place Rameses II in the 1200s B.C. To identify these two Pharaohs as one, Rohl places Dynasties XXI and XXII parallel instead of consecutively -- but that gives us dual office holders for all the senior benefices in Egypt. It just doesn't make sense. Pharaoh Shishaq was Shoshenq or Soshenq I, not Rameses.

By the way, I should clarify that I didn't say Rohl wasn't a trained Egyptologist. He's definitely that. He's just not a reputable one, due to his radical and unsupported "New Chronology."

P.S. The article I'm cribbing from here, "Temporal Fugues," by Dr. Chris Bennett, uses "B.C." instead of "B.C.E." Also, Bennett opines that Rohl could be right in his identification of the chronological context of the Israelite Sojourn in Egypt. You just need to treat anything by Rohl with great caution.

Anonymous said...

To Jared Olar,

Before you suggest that my interest in historical theories drawn from -gasp- actual history are merely "conspiracy theories and Armstrongist-style pseudohistory", I suggest you take a long, hard look in the mirror, and reflect on the fact that your apologetic (I think I used it right in this instance; feel free to correct me if you disagree.) is coloured by your own Roman Catholic Church perception filters, as you are a believer in same.

I have an open mind; I'm not saying it's cut-and-dried; I am just saying, at this point in time, with all the evidence I have been presented with (and it is far greater than the space of this comments section can hold), it seems likely to me that this is what happened.

I am not the only one who shares these views, and they are neither paranoid, conspiratorial, nor Armstrongist in nature. I believe there's some verse in your bible about casting stones? We shall have to agree to disagree on some points, because clearly we won't be able to discuss it, in anything other than an inflammatory way.

I could outline for you the exact theology behind how Osiris, Isis and Horus are a triune god, and how they are a very likely source for the christian notion of "trinity", but you clearly do not wish to admit that the similarities exist, so I will save you having to "debunk" my arguments point-by-point, from a Catholic perspective.

Shall we diverge paths on an amicable basis at least?

Questeruk said...

Following my comment about 'mass extinctions' at the end of the late Pleistocene era, around 11,000 BCE, where 'up to 95%' of species died out, there was a report a few months ago about research from Northern Arizona University by
Ted Bunch, Northern Arizona University NAU adjunct professor of geology and former NASA researcher who specializes in impact craters and Jim Wittke, a geologic materials analyst at NAU. They are:-

“co-authors of an upcoming paper that describes an extraterrestrial comet impact as the cause of the event 12,900 years ago leading to the documented mass extinctions at the end of the Ice Age.”

They go on the describe:-

“a four-inch-thick "black mat" of carbon-rich material from sites on the North American continent. The black mat appears as far north as Canada, Greenland as well as in Europe and to the south as far as the Channel Islands off the coast of California and also eastward from California to the Carolinas, with two sites in Arizona.

Upon examining this black mat, evidence of mammoths and other megafauna and early human hunters, who were known as the Clovis culture, was found beneath the black mat, but it is missing entirely within or above it. It is this significant discovery that has led the research team to conclude that an extraterrestrial impact wiped out many of the inhabitants of the Late Pleistocene era”.

Jared Olar said...

your apologetic (I think I used it right in this instance; feel free to correct me if you disagree.) is coloured by your own Roman Catholic Church perception filters

Oh, there's no question about that. None whatsoever.

I have an open mind; I'm not saying it's cut-and-dried; I am just saying, at this point in time, with all the evidence I have been presented with (and it is far greater than the space of this comments section can hold), it seems likely to me that this is what happened.

In reference to your comments on Constantine role in the history of Christianity, I would suggest you have not been presented with all of the evidence, or for some reason are not adequately interacting with it and accounting for it. In reference to your comments on Egyptian religion, I don't think you are taking proper account of the totality of the information found in the Neb-er-tcher legend and the Hebrew creation myth.

I am not the only one who shares these views,

Of course. And yet, as the saying goes, truth is not determined by a majority vote.

and they are neither paranoid, conspiratorial, nor Armstrongist in nature.

No, not paranoid. But the notion that Constantinian syncretism accounts in any way for Christianity as we know it is indeed a conspiracy theory -- it requires the same kind of faulty and tendentious interpretive methodology that is the essence of conspiracy theory, and which is characteristic of Armstrongist rewrites of the historical record.

I believe there's some verse in your bible about casting stones?

Oh yes, there are quite a few verses about casting stones, especially in the Pentateuch. ;-)

We shall have to agree to disagree on some points, because clearly we won't be able to discuss it, in anything other than an inflammatory way.

We might be able to discuss it, but I'm rather a history geek, and I'm apt to be blunt and tactless -- and to razz and tease -- when I encounter statements that are not borne out by historical sources. Just ask Bob Thiel. Well, okay, don't ask him, as he's never yet conceded when I took him to task for his pseudohistory. Anyway, it's nothing personal, even if it's unpleasant at times.

I could outline for you the exact theology behind how Osiris, Isis and Horus are a triune god, and how they are a very likely source for the christian notion of "trinity",

I'm not unfamiliar with ancient Egyptian religion, and am well aware that Osiris, Isis, and Horus were never thought of as triune in any sense like the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Indeed, they were never presented as just one god, nor as the only god. As for the source of the Christian notion of "trinity," the development of that idea is clearly traced in Christian sources from the first century through the fourth century. There's no need to speculate about Christians borrowing pagan Egyptian concepts of deity, as our sources amply demostrate the growth and development of Christian theology, through writers such as St. Justin Martyr, St. Irenaeus, St. Hippolytus, Tertullian, Clement of Alexandria, Origen, St. Gregory Thaumaturgus, St. Dionysius of Rome, St. Dionysius of Alexandria, St. Athanasius, St. Gregory of Nyssa, St. Hilary of Poitiers, . . . It took a lot of back-and-forth and to-and-fro and bickering before Christians finally settled on the dogmatic definition of the Trinity, and at no point in the process can we trace the developing concepts back to the triad of father Osirius, mother Isis, and son Horus.

but you clearly do not wish to admit that the similarities exist,

No, I said there are similarities, but similarities are not enough to substantiate a genetic theory.

Byker Bob said...

Hey, Purple.

I've been reading your comments here and on another forum/blog. I'm glad you opened up some of your recollections, understandings, and theories behind Horus, and Jesus here for discussion.

The reason I was happy to see your posts here was that I knew Jared would set things straight. He's got an awesome bank of historical knowledge, and has been very effective in dispelling not only some of the falsities folks use to support agnosticism or atheism, but also in dispelling the false histories presented by HWA and his lackeys.

In being a seeker of the truth, discernment is very important. You can always know who is well rooted by the fact that they can quote knowledgeable reliable sources. I don't pretend to be a historian myself, but I can see the difference between someone who speculates about Horus, Mithra, Jesus ben Pantera, etc, and someone who has actually made an exhaustive study of all the reference works pertaining to those individuals. It's like night and day.

BB

Anonymous said...

To Jared Olar-

As I stated, I have an open mind and my views are by no means cut-and-dried. This is just what makes sense to me at this time, based on what I have read (and I have stated some of the sources for my leanings).

My assertions to the contrary, I do not wish it to appear that I am not constantly questioning my own views, I am the last person who wants to be closed-minded about my own beliefs!

Which is likely why your "Armstrongist!" comment rubbed me the wrong way. I take full responsibility for that, and I apologize if I sounded snappish in response.

So! What would you recommend, as a good reference, for more information on the Neb-er-tcher creation-mythos of the Egyptians?

I have read, and am rereading The Egyptian Legends of the Gods by Budge, published 1912. If there is some more recent or exhaustive volume you would recommend, I would be interested in learning of it.

I first became interested in studying the Egyptian legends for their similarities, after watching the documentary The Pagan Christ. This is based on the book of the same name by Tom Harpur. Have you read any of Harpur's work?

I do not wish to come across as being a Pagan Roots hard-liner, which is why (as I said), based on these things that I have read/discovered very recently, this is what makes sense to me, at this time.

That said, we shall have to agree to disagree (for the moment) on the similarities between the Egyptian texts and the KJV. You may not see any similarities, and I may see more than I should, and the truth (as it always does) lies somewhere in the middle.

I believe the trinity concept was taken from Isis being represented as having Osiris' belly, then it is stated that Isis conceived in the form of the (star) Septet or Sopthis. This was all drawn from the Budge texts.

Horus is sometimes represented in the Egyptian legends (so the documentary stated) as being his own father, I believe this may be in part due to the fact that Isis has the belly of Osiris, at least by the hieroglyphs recorded by Budge from one particular stone.

I believe this is the part of the Egyptian legends that may have been utilized for the trinity doctrine. Budge has his own theory on the origin of the trinity doctrine, to wit:

Having described the coming into being of Khepera and the place on which he stood, the legend goes on to tell of the means by which the first Egyptian triad, or trinity, came into existence. Khepera had, in some form, union with his own shadow, and so begot offspring, who proceeded from his body under the forms of the gods Shu and Tefnut.

As I stated on the forum where I brought this up, little did the ancient Egyptians know we'd be arguing about whether or not Khepera's shadow was a person, several thousands of years after the legend was extant.

Likewise with my views re: Constantine and the Nicene council, my stated views are aligned directly with what were presented in the documentary. If you can recommend a (non-biased) text that differs greatly, I would again, be interested in learning which text you would recommend.

One question I would be interested in hearing your answer to, given that you do not seem to believe that the Roman Catholic religion had any referents to paganism at all, do you believe that Constantine brought some of his Mithraism to RC christianity, or do you discount that as well?

Anonymous said...

Again to Jared Olar-

Some further points: I was aware that Arianism was a close contender for becoming the RC church's main theology, but what little I read about it was only in passing, and suggested that Constantine opposed it.

I was not studying the passage closely, and likely either misinterpreted or read a faulty dialectic (it was on Wikipedia). I think the latter is most likely.

We will have to disagree again, with regards to James I's sincerity of faith or not. There is no way it can be proved, to either of our satisfactions, that he was or was not thoroughly devout and perfectly "christian" in his motives to translate the bible into common (for the time) English.

Can we agree that James did do it in order to unify the Anglican churches? They were under great pressure from both the Roman Catholics, and their own internal inconsistencies, at the time.

At least, that is the understanding I have of the history as it has been presented to me. If you feel I have erred, I welcome your input as to where I may be mistaken.

Anonymous said...

And, to BB: The reason I've been posting so much about this stuff is because I know there's something "off" about it, no matter how much sense it makes to me, superficially.

Why? Because it's a belief system, and all belief systems are corrupt. I still, uh, "believe" that. No matter how attractive the Pagan Roots movement looks to me, based on what little I know about it at this time, it's still a belief system. One I need to get an objective view of, in order to have it knocked out of my head.

You see, I want to be debated on the topic, by an intelligent and intelligible opponent (haven't found one yet, although you promoting Jared gives me hope), precisely so that my thinking will be debunked, so I can put away these theories for once and for all, so I might retain the open-mindedness that I try and keep at all costs.

Anonymous said...

Looks like Jared doesn't want to "set things straight" after all BB. Or maybe he's just busy.

As for me? Ah well. The underlying concept of the truly unknowable god is a good starting-place, unfortunately in their zeal to both connect themselves to their truly Pagan Roots, and get away from them at the same time, the Gnostics seem to have built up their own personal little shop of horrors.

Careful examination of the religious system of the Gnostics reveals a very carefully inverted form of catholicism, which is likely why Jared doesn't want to touch the debate with a ten-foot-pole (for which I must apologize to Mr. Olar, I intended no offense, and did not realize it at the time).

As with all religious systems, if you read through enough of the stuff on the Gnostic library site, you will notice that they repeat the refrain that "it is very important not to take some parts of Gnostic theology and leave the others aside".

Translation? "Pay money to our church and go through all our brain-washing rituals, and you'll get a chance at the brass ring, yo. Because we are the one true church!"

Yeah no. Been there done that still dealing with the fall-out.

Next!

ripley said...

I haven't read every word of this thread, but Gavin's original post has a testimonial from one of Weinland's followers that says:

"Until Ronald I believed that perhaps E.T's were responsible for life on earth but now I know better."

I mean, really.