The Bible is the most popular book ever written.  However, you wonder how many people actually have read it all the way through.  For if a person truly read the Bible with a discerning eye, would it be possible for them to believe what has been written on its pages?  Jack Miles, an American author who won a Pulitzer Prize for his book God: A Biography, said this about the subject, “Much that the Bible says about him is rarely preached from the pulpit because, examined too closely, it becomes a scandal.”

For example, would readers believe that there was actually someone physically present at the very beginning of creation who would have heard the famous words, “Let there be light”?  Then again, would they believe that snakes could talk?  Why would they believe in a god that lied (about dying if you ate the apple) whereas the supposed bad guy (the snake) told the truth?

So the enduring question is just how accurate is the information in the Old Testament, is it fact or fiction?  After all, archaeologists have not been able to find a worldwide flood in the timeframe provided by the Bible.  Perhaps even more telling is the dating given by the Bible for the creation of the first man since science says that homo sapiens has been around for hundreds of thousands of years, if not more.  What’s more, the chronology given in the Bible is at odds with the chronology found in ancient Egyptian records.  So let’s try and break it down.

 

The Old Testament

Genesis starts with a creation story which is brief, but somewhat detailed.  Then there is no record, other than the family tree, for what takes place in the next three thousand years.  So if you don’t know your own history, how would you have any concept about the Creation, unless…

you had borrowed the creation story from older writings.

 

What older writings would that be, you might ask? Well, the Israelites were a group of Semitic tribes, among many Semitic tribes.  But exactly where did they come from?  Well, the Bible says that Abraham was a Sumerian who came from the city-state of Ur.  Archaeology claims that it has found this ancient city in southern Iraq and that it dates to 3800 B.C.  The Sumerians were a very advanced civilization who invented modern writing (as far as we know).  Among their writings, is the Eridu Genesis which is the oldest creation and flood story known to man.  Since the Israelites forefather (Abraham) was a Sumerian, there is good reason to believe that they may have modeled the biblical Genesis tale after Sumerian writings.

The next detailed story in the Old Testament is the story of Noah and the flood. In the Noah story, we get the first reference to what is, in effect, a Chosen People.  Noah and his family have been specifically chosen by god to be the only survivors of the human species.  Along with Noah, the ark was said to have contained two of every species of animal.

Aside: Of course, that would have been physically impossible, although it would have been very possible for their DNA to have been stored on such an ark.

The Bible then goes on to say that the planet was peopled from the three sons of Noah.  A couple of problems with that story are as follows:

 

  • There’s no explanation as to how we went from eight people (Noah, his wife, his three sons and their wives) to seven billion people in such a short period of time.  Never mind that the children of the three sons would have had to have married each other as no one else was said to have survived the flood, unless…there were survivors (i.e. rather than a worldwide flood as the Bible states, the flood  may actually have been confined to a rather small area of the Middle East).

 

  • Genetically speaking, it’s never been shown how one human skull type can evolve into a different skull type (i.e. the different racial types could not have all evolved from Adam and Eve or from Noah, as the case may be), unless… there was more than one Adam and Eve.

 

After Noah, there is more genealogy stuff for seven or eight generations, but little, if any, real history.  So the Bible story really starts with Abraham and continues with a telling of the history of his descendants.  Here’s where it gets murky.  You see, there’s no hard evidence in the archaeological record, or other writings, that many of the biblical patriarchs ever existed.  Perhaps even worse, the chronology of the Bible doesn’t match the chronology of the archaeological record.  What gives?

 

Origins of the Old Testament

Now the Israelites had been polytheists from the beginning (e.g. see Exodus 20:3).  It’s true that they worshipped Yahweh (Jehovah), but only as one god amongst many. As late as the 6th century B.C., the Israelites worshipped the goddess Ashtoreth who was considered as important a god as Yahweh.  Chapters 10 and 11 of Genesis give a list of all nations.  It’s referred to as the Table of Nations.  As for Yahweh, he was allotted Israel (see Deuteronomy 32:8-9).  So the Israelites were in fact a Chosen People, chosen for Yahweh that is.

Nothing that Moses did changed the fact that the Israelites were polytheistic. The Israelites  eventually rejected Moses and his Ten Commandments and remained polytheistic for the next 1,000 years or so.  As for the Ten Commandments, they apparently were lost to history and then miraculously reappeared and were accepted at face value (see 2 Kings 22:8-13).

The Old Testament was compiled in the 6th century B.C. (or later) after the Israelites returned from exile in Babylon and rebuilt the Second Temple.  Prior to their exile, the Israelites were still polytheist.  However, when they returned they (the scribes/priests) had mysteriously become monotheists.

“So what changed?  Simply this: Beginning in the 6th century BCE, the Persians became rulers over most of the ancient world (the Achaemenid Empire it was called).  Now the Persians worshipped Ahura Mazda as part of their religion which was called Zoroastrianism.  One little known fact about Zoroastrianism is that it was the very first religion based on the concept of monotheism.  Ahura Mazda was omniscient, omnipotent and omnipresent.  Creation was accomplished in six days and began with a single couple. God (Ahura Mazda) gave his commandments to the Persian prophet Zoroaster on the top of a holy mountain (like the Moses story on Mt. Sinai).  All of this, of course, is eerily similar to the Pentateuch” (The Greatest Story Never Told – The Ethical Warrior).

So the Old Testament was in reality an attempt by the ruling Persian king to convert the Israelites to monotheism, with Yahweh getting a promotion to “the one and only god”.  The overarching concept of this monotheism was the dualistic religion of Zoroastrianism which was grafted on top of the ancient Mosaic belief system of the Israelites.  In the process, the nature of God was radically altered from an angry, jealous tribal god to the Zoroastrian’s omnipotent, universal God Ahura-Mazda. Only now, he would be known as Yahweh.

Except Yahweh wasn’t the Most High, now was he?

 

“When the Most High divided their inheritance to the nations

When He separated the sons of Adam

He set the boundaries of the peoples
 according to the number of the children of Israel.

For the Lord’s (Yahweh) portion is His people

Jacob (Israel) is the place of His inheritance.”

- Deuteronomy 32:8-9

 

 

 

 

 

 

The recent news from Iraq about the plight of the Yazidis has a few wrinkles in it.  First of all, the media typically identifies the Yazidis as Christians, although they are not. The media also has overlooked a major element of the story. You see, the Yazidis are Caucasian and some of their children are indistinguishable from many American children.  For example, here’s a picture of one Yazidi child.

 

Historical background

Historically the Yazidis, mostly Kurdish-speaking people, have lived primarily in Iraq, Syria, and Turkey as well as further north (e.g. Armenia and Georgia). Yazidis are monotheists who trace their roots back to Adam (sound familiar).  Many of their religious beliefs were derived from Zoroastrianism, arguably the first monotheistic religion and a forerunner to Christianity, Judaism and Islam.

 

Yazidis, Aryans and the pharaohs

So what do the Yazidis, Aryans (ancient Persians) and some of the Egyptian pharaohs have in common?  Well, for one thing, they were all Caucasian. So too, the mummies of other ancient Caucasian people have been found ‘round the globe (from China to North and South America to the Canary Islands off the west coast of Africa).  According to the history books, this is considered to be impossible. Yet, impossible it is not (for obvious reasons).

 

DNA tells the story

So you might ask how come we haven’t heard of this before?  Well, the story has been intentionally suppressed for hundreds of years.  However, DNA testing has recently cracked the door wide open.  DNA tests on King Tut, the famous child pharaoh of Egypt, proves that he is directly related to most men in modern day Europe.  Further, King Tut and these European men all have a common Caucasian ancestor who lived in the area near the Black Sea some 10,000 years ago.

Aside: The Black Sea is bordered by Turkey and Georgia, among other countries.  Turkey and Georgia, can you spell YAZIDI?

 

The origins of Caucasians

The history books say that the Caucasian race can be traced back to the Caucasus Mountains of the Black Sea some 10,000 years ago.  While Caucasians still live in that area (Russians in the south of Russia, for example), some of them were said to have migrated in ancient times with many migrating into Europe which resulted in the establishment of Western Civilization.  That theory is based in part on language with respect to the Indo-European family of languages (which include Spanish, French and German, among many others) which is said to have originated in the area generally between the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea.  Today, over 3 billion people on the planet speak a Indo-European language making it the largest language family in the world.

Of course, Caucasians also migrated east to China and to parts of India and Pakistan.  Anatolia (modern day Turkey), which lies just south of the Caucasus Mtns. was originally home to various groups of Caucasians.  Caucasians also migrated  to Iran (where they were known as Persians or Aryans).  Then to, there are the Tazidis who migrated to Iraq and Syria (where they still live today).  In North Africa, the Berbers and the Tuaregs have been the dominant ethnic groups for thousands of years and they are also Caucasian.  So Caucasians have lived from China all the way to America, including portions of India, Pakistan, the Middle East and North Africa.  After the King Tut DNA results, plus the existence of assorted mummies of Egyptian pharaohs, Egypt was definitely home to a Caucasian population in ancient times and still is today to some extent.

Aside: I’ve left out the Middle East’s Arab population although as Semites they’re also Caucasian!

 

A biblical perspective

The Hebrews of the Old Testament and the ancient Egyptians both descended from Noah, the Egyptians from Ham and the Hebrews from Seth. So to begin with they were kissing cousins (literally). Their bloodlines, especially that of the royal families, were mixed many times, one of the most famous of which was Sarah’s marriage to the pharaoh Tuthmosis III.

Of course, they lived a stone’s throw away from each other.  At times Egypt controlled Canaan and at times the Hebrews migrated to Egypt, often because of famine. For good measure, the Bible even states that Esau and King David had red hair.  So too, Mary Magdalene has always been portrayed by artists as having red hair although it is uncertain where that idea originated from.

 

History, the lie commonly agreed

So what’s been missing from the history books?  Well for one thing, the Yazidis look pretty much like some of the major figures of the Bible – and why not.  Caucasians presumably originated from the Caucasus Mountains which is very close to the Middle East (something akin to New Yorkers crossing the Hudson River to live in New England).  After all, Abraham’s ancestors hailed from Turkey at one time.  Even today, you can go to Iraq, Iran and Syria and see children with light-colored hair and eyes. Just ask the Yazidis.

What’s missing is the history of the Caucasian race in the ancient Middle East, where they originally came from and where they went to.  Ancestry is a funny thing.  You never know who you’re related to.  Just ask the U.S. presidents (who are virtually all related) – even Barack Obama!

 

 “History is the lie commonly agreed upon.”

- Voltaire

 

 

Growing up in a Christian family, I may have taken certain things for granted.  Take Christianity, itself, for example.   Most of what I learned about Christianity I learned from our minister.  It never occurred to me that I should ask him how he knew the things about which he spoke, especially since they had happened 2,000 years (or more) ago.  As Brian McLaren, a Christian pastor himself, said, “One of the problems is that the average Christian in the average church who listens to the average Christian broadcasting has such an oversimplified understanding of both the Bible and of church history – it would be deeply disturbing for them to really learn church history.”

So here’s a little pop quiz, the answers to which may surprise you.

 

Fact or Myth:

The Bible is a religious book . True, but incomplete.

The Bible is actually a compilation of a number of religious scriptures.  Some of the stories relate to events that occurred over 5,000 years ago (according to the chronology given in the Bible itself).  The Old Testament stories were purportedly passed on through oral tradition, some for as much as 3,000 years before they were written down.

 

The Bible is the Word of God.  Myth.

The Bible is more correctly the Word of Man about God.  Certainly, God didn’t write the Bible and there is no proof certain that it was even inspired by Him. To confuse the matter even more, some Christian denominations use different Bibles which include or exclude various scriptures, so there is no one universal “Word of God”.  Finally, some scriptures have never even been included in any bible.  Even early church father Origen of Alexandria did not take the Bible literally.  Origen had this to say about the Genesis story, “For who that has understanding will suppose that the first, and second, and third day, and the evening and the morning, existed without a sun, and moon, and stars? And that the first day was, as it were, also without a sky? And who is so foolish as to suppose that God, after the manner of a husbandman, planted a paradise in Eden, towards the east, and placed in it a tree of life, visible and palpable, so that one tasting of the fruit by the bodily teeth obtained life? And again, that one was a partaker of good and evil by masticating what was taken from the tree? And if God is said to walk in the paradise in the evening, and Adam to hide himself under a tree, I do not suppose that anyone doubts that these things figuratively indicate certain mysteries, the history having taken place in appearance, and not literally.”

 

The Bible was written by Jews, about Jews and for Jews.  Fact.

For example, Jesus and his disciples were Jewish.  For the most part, Christianity did not even exist when the events of the Bible took place.

 

Matthew and John were disciples of Jesus.  Fact.

However, it would be more correct to call them by their Hebrew names (Mattithyahu/Matthew and Y’hochanan/John).

 

The gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John were eyewitness testimony.  Myth.

Except for Paul’s letters, the various books of the Bible were not written contemporaneously with the events that they were describing.  Most historians/theologians agree that the gospels were based on older sources.  Therefore, the Bible is not based on eyewitness testimony.  In fact, except for Paul’s letters, there is no proof as to who wrote the different books of the Bible.

 

The first Christian church was founded by Paul in Antioch. Fact.

However it must be noted that after the crucifixion of Jesus, the disciples were initially led by James, the brother of Jesus, through the auspices of what is referred to as the Jerusalem church. The Jerusalem church was the first movement to spread the teachings of Jesus.  To some extent, the teachings of Paul conflicted with the teachings of the disciples as can be seen in the New Testament.

 

Christian dogma is based on the Bible. Myth.

While some Christian dogma can be found in the Bible, some can not.  For example, the words “the Trinity” are not in the Bible.  As for original sin, that concept is attributed to Saint Augustine (354-430 AD).

 

The Christian belief in monotheism is supported by the Bible. Myth.

Prior to the establishment of rabbinical Judaism (circa 6th century BCE), the Israelites were polytheist which has been confirmed by archaeological findings and as can be seen in the Old Testament itself.  For example, Psalm 82:1 says that, “God stands in the assembly of El; in the midst of the gods he renders judgment.”  Actually, the concept of monotheism is attributed by scholars to the Egyptian pharaoh Akhenaten (circa 1300 BC).  Prior to that, people (by definition) had to have worshipped many different gods.

 

So, how many questions did you answer correctly?  It might surprise you to know that many Christian ministers didn’t know many of the correct answers either.  As I’ve said before, though, sometimes it’s easier to simply repeat what you were indoctrinated with than to seek the truth.

 

 

“For those who believe, no proof is necessary. For those who don’t believe, no proof is possible.”

    – Stuart Chase

 

So Nancy Pelosi is at it again, essentially stating that Hamas is a humanitarian organization.  Way to go Nancy! John Kerry, for his part, has the backing of nearly all of the world’s major governments and yet has been ineffective in brokering a cease-fire between Israel and Hamas.  So the needless violence continues.

A series of maps of Palestine have been making the rounds recently with no serious explanation of the context as to how this area has changed over the years.  Therefore, a little history lesson probably is required.

To begin with, the country of Palestine has never existed.  Never. No kidding.  The way that everyone talks about Palestine one would swear that Palestine was a real country, at least at some point in history; but no, Palestine has never been a country.

Palestine was the name given by Western powers to a large part of South Syria after the end of WWI, which ended with the defeat of the Ottoman Empire who ruled that area for the previous 600 years or so.  As for the Palestinians, the word was then used to refer to all people residing in the general region of Palestine, regardless of religion or ethnicity (even Christians and Jews).

After World War I, the Ottoman Empire was carved into little pieces by world leaders. It was at that time that Iraq and Syria, for example, became nations for the first time.  Don’t ask   what gave them the authority to do that – more on that later. The League of Nations, a forerunner to the United Nations, mandated that a large area of the old Ottoman Empire would be set aside for a Jewish homeland.  That area was given the name Palestine, and accordingly their action was referred to as the Palestine Mandate. Once that was accomplished, they then carved out three-fourths of Palestine to create a new Arab state. Of course politics being what it is, the new Arab nation called Transjordan (later renamed Jordan), was given to the Hashemite family (Saudis) to rule because they aided the British in fighting the Turks (Ottoman Empire). The Palestinians, who made up the vast majority of the people living in Jordan (and still do), were left out in the cold.  Politics is wonderful, isn’t it?

Fast forward to 1967.  In 1967, Israel was attacked by neighboring Arab states and at the conclusion of the Six-Day War took possession of certain parts of Jordan (generally known as the West Bank), among other lands.  The United Nations has since declared that these are occupied territories.  Again, what gives the United Nations the right to dictate to sovereign nations?  Besides, down through history the winner of wars has always acquired so-called “occupied territories”. Otherwise by the same logic, California, New Mexico, Arizona and Texas are occupied territories because they were acquired by the U.S.A. as the result of their war with Mexico.  So once again, politics rules the day.

The seeds of discontent in the Middle East were sown by politicians at the end of World War I and their meddling continues to this day through the United Nations, or otherwise (for example, the U.S. government provides substantial financial support to both Israel and Hamas). The truth is that, in politics, war benefits many people whereas peace does not. Because of their financial support provided to both Israeli and Hamas, don’t you think that the U.S. government could pretty much dictate terms of a Middle East peace if they wanted to?  After all, they committed large numbers of troops to Iraq and Afghanistan to presumably bring stability to those countries.  Why not to Palestine?  Politics is why not.

So the next time you hear the call for a Palestinian homeland, just remember that for politicians it is just rhetoric – part of the process of continuing the conflict rather than ending it.  After all, the Palestinians already have a homeland – it’s called Jordan.

 

“The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.”

     – H. L. Mencken

 

 

 

 

 

In 2006, Mitch Albom wrote a book entitled The Five People You Meet In Heaven.  You may have heard of it as it was a best-seller at the time.  The premise of the book is that you won’t know what impact you have had or will have had in your lifetime until you die and go to heaven.

It’s an interesting premise and a great book too, in case you haven’t read it.  The premise is somewhat true, although incomplete.  Here’s the reasons why:

Reason #1: You are not born, at least not as you understand it.

Reason #2: You do not die, at least not as you understand it.

Reason #3: There is no place called Heaven, at least not as you understand it.

That’s saying quite a lot so, if I haven’t lost you already, let’s try and break it down.

It was none other than Albert Einstein who said that reality is an illusion.   Max Planck, the father of modern science, added another layer to the mystery by declaring that the physical world is organized by consciousness.   Despite the mystery, scientists have had some insights, though, into the nature of reality. Here are some interesting ideas on the subject:

  •  The act of observing is an act of creation – physicist John Wheeler
  •   Man experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings as something separate from the rest – a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. – Albert Einstein
  •  Our reality is an expression of a deeper order of existence that exists beyond space and time. – Michael Talbot, The Holographic Universe

So according to a number of scientists, our reality is really an illusion of consciousness, which harkens back to indigenous people who have always believed that reality is nothing more than a dream and that when we “die” the dream ends and we return home.  If that is the case, what do we make of the physical world and our physical bodies?  One way of looking at our physical selves is that they are a container, a suit if you will.  Our bodies, then, can be more aptly viewed as vehicles for Creation to observe itself.

As Michael Talbot says, the source of Creation (heaven, for some) is beyond space and time and that is where we truly exist, and have always existed. Not here, but there.  Think of the Source as a flashlight in a dark room (the universe).  When you are “born”, the flashlight projects your light onto a wall of the room and when the flashlight is turned off you “die”.  Of course, when you are ready to be reborn, your light can be projected onto another wall and you would then don a new suit.

Going back to The Five People You Meet In Heaven, I believe what needs to be added to its premise is this – since you have always existed you can not be born, nor can you die.  It’s an eternal circle of life.  Further, when you “die” and go to “heaven” you will be surprised to find that all of your loved ones are there, be they “dead” or “alive” in this world!  Such is the illusion of life.  Of course no one, not even religion, is going to tell you that.

Unfortunately, man is too preoccupied with surface values to notice the magnificence of nature, his true reality or his purpose in life.  We blindly accept other people’s definition of good and evil, right and wrong or our place in the universe.  Hopefully, you’ll eventually meet your five people in heaven.  However when you do, I highly doubt it will be what you expected.

 

“We are all visitors to this time, this place.  We are just passing through.  Our purpose here is to observe, to learn, to grow, to love…and then we return home.”

- Australian aboriginal proverb

 

The End of Science

07/21/2014

 

In 1996, John Horgan, a writer for Scientific American, wrote the book The End of Science. Ever since, it seems that certain scientists have been fretting over whether the role of science is diminishing because there is a limit to knowledge.

Andrew Strominger, a physics professor at Harvard University, would certainly disagree with Horgan. In a 2013 interview, Strominger said that while science knows very little about understanding the fundamental laws of Nature the “fun is just beginning” with regards to new discoveries. However, while Strominger admitted that there are a lot of things that scientists are sure that they don’t understand, they can still describe them in a very precise way. Really! One can precisely describe something that they don’t understand. It’s probably better to just admit that you don’t understand it and leave it at that.

Actually, I agree and disagree with both Horgan and Strominger. Strominger is right, but for the wrong reason. While it’s true that we have not fully explored the cosmos, there are limits to our knowledge of Creation. Science has actually admitted as much. It was none other than Albert Einstein who declared that, “The human mind, no matter how highly trained, cannot grasp the universe.” In other words, the fundamental laws of Nature are beyond man’s ability to comprehend them.

Einstein’s thinking goes like this: ““As far as the laws of mathematics refer to reality, they are not certain; and as far as they are certain, they do not refer to reality.” Science’s own theory of quantum mechanics partially explains why. According to that theory, our physical world vanishes into vortexes of energy, into a quantum world beyond space and time, a world which is beyond our ability to experience. Since science is a process of observation and measurement, it can not prove what lies beyond our world, be it in a parallel universe or in another dimension within the Multiverse, or wherever else. Assuming that we even have the ability to understand the unexplainable (which is doubtful), there is still a limit to our knowledge because there is a limit to our ability to observe all of Creation (i.e. Creation, not just the Universe).

Max Planck, the father of modern physics, said that there is no such thing as matter, per se, and yet science continues to look for it (dark matter, for example). It’s sort of the trade secret of quantum physics – all there is, is consciousness. According to Planck, it’s consciousness that organizes quantum energy to produce “matter”. Of course, they don’t want you to know that you exist in a virtual reality matrix because that would imply the dreaded G word (i.e. “intelligent design”). After all, it was Jim Gates, a physicist at the University of Maryland, who said that there are computer codes embedded in the fundamental nature of the Universe!

 

“Science cannot solve the ultimate mystery of nature. And that is because, in the last analysis, we ourselves are part of nature and therefore part of the mystery that we are trying to solve.”  – Max Planck

 

Some say that the universe created life; further, that the universe has always existed and will always exist. Of course, that’s just a theory. No one has been able to explain exactly how that could be possible.

Einstein said that space/time (our universe) is a construct. So, the operative question is: Who constructed it? If our universe is simply a composition of naturally occurring elements (like, say, oxygen and hydrogen), then something had to have created it.

One of the hot topics in science today is what came before The Big Bang. Many scientists now believe that there is something beyond our universe, be it parallel universes, other dimensions or whatever. The implication is that there was a beginning to life, or a First Cause, that is outside of space and time (outside of our universe) and, therefore, beyond our ability to observe or understand. That means that science doesn’t know what caused our universe to come into existence in the first place. As Andrew Strominger, a physics professor at Harvard University, put it, “A singularity is when we don’t know what to do. What’s so embarrassing about singularities is that we can’t predict what’s going to come out of it.”

On the other hand, perhaps the universe created life through its own intelligence. In that case, it’s obviously an intelligent life form. We would then have to give a name to this intelligent life form. As I’ve suggested before, perhaps we could call it Bubba. However, for some, God might do just as well.

Yet, many people believe that they can use their own intelligence and logic to define the world that they live in. However, our perception of reality is severely limited, as it’s based largely on our physical senses. It was Albert Einstein that first told us that reality was an illusion and quantum mechanics has confirmed it. Therefore, what may seem logical to us is merely the brain’s interpretation of sensory data and not necessarily an indication of what is real. After all, what is truly real? In his book The Holographic Universe, Michael Talbot explained that reality is simply an expression/reflection of a deeper order of existence that exists beyond space and time. This “order of existence” then would have had to have been responsible, either directly or indirectly, for the Big Bang.

Yet, man has the arrogance to think that he somehow knows everything about the unknowable. As Stephen Hawking said, “One can’t prove that God doesn’t exist, but science makes God unnecessary.” I’m curious. Could God ever be unnecessary? Does Hawking feel that a Creator would not have provided the impetus which eventually would have resulted in all things, including science? I assume that what Hawking is really saying is that we should pray to him instead of to a higher power. However, he has yet to explain to us just who created God. Was it science?

 

“Beyond all finite experiences and secondary causes, all laws, ideas and principles, there is an Intelligence or Mind, the first principle of all principles, the Supreme Idea on which all other ideas are grounded.”

    – Plato

The Prophet Speaks

06/30/2014

A number of people seem to have liked “Conversations With A Prophet” so I endeavored to bring him back again. Fortunately, I was able to ask the following questions and got these responses:

Query: What existed before the Big Bang?                                                                             Reply: Creation has always existed in one form or another, even before the Big Bang.

Query: Okay, but since energy can be neither created nor destroyed, our universe must have come from somewhere.                                                                                                           Reply: As it applies to this universe, it is true that energy can be neither created nor destroyed. However, the rules of physics don’t apply beyond space and time. So, technically it came from nothing.

Query: Nothing?                                                                                                                       Reply: To be more exact, nothing that you would understand.

Query: So when Joseph Campbell said that “God is a metaphor for that which transcends all levels of intellectual thought,” was he correct?                                                                    Reply: Yes, except that God is much more than a metaphor.

Query: So Stephen Hawking was wrong when he said that, “One can’t prove that God doesn’t exist, but science makes God unnecessary.”                                                                          Reply: To refer back to Joseph Campbell, isn’t science an intellectual thought (emphasis mine)?

Query: Okay, but why do some scientists, like the aforementioned Stephen Hawking, insist that science trumps God?                                                                                                       Reply:  He is an atheist, isn’t he?

Query: I get that, but can’t science tell us whether or not there is a God?                          Reply: Science is a process of observation, is it not?

Response: Yes.                                                                                                                        Reply: Do you understand that science cannot prove what exists beyond space and time simply by observing the universe?

Query: I had a discussion with an atheist friend of mine about morality. He said that atheists can be moral too. I reminded him that Sartre, an atheist himself, agreed with Dostoevsky that if God does not exist, everything is permitted. Who is right?                                               Reply: Yes, atheists can be moral too – because they have the same innate wisdom that all men do. Interestingly enough, though, that innate wisdom comes from the very source that they reject. Sometimes, people reject that which they can’t explain as they seek certainty in their lives.

Query: Why is there such animosity between atheists and Christians?                               Reply: Some Christians are certain that they are right because of their faith while some atheists are certain that they are right because it’s so obvious, at least to them, that Christianity is – shall we say – illogical. However, certainty is an absurdity. People who do not have open minds will forever be arguing with one another and will never learn anything. They will be forever committed to a certain way of believing and thinking and a certain way of life.

Query: So who is right?                                                                                                          Reply: Neither one.  Christians who believe that their holy book is holier than all other religions are taking a giant leap of faith – based on what? Did God favor only the holy men of their religion above all others? As for atheists, they often say that God doesn’t exist because Christianity is not believable. Even if Christianity fails to make a case for its god, it doesn’t mean that God doesn’t exist – only that one rejects God as defined by Christianity.

Aside: The Prophet told me later that God doesn’t need anyone to worship him at all.

Query: So where does mankind go from here?                                                                       Reply: Be the co-creators of reality that you were always meant to be. After all, didn’t Jesus say that all men are gods and will do greater things than him?

 

Epilogue: For a man who isn’t religious, it seemed out of place for him to be quoting the Bible (John 10:34 and John 14:12). Then again, who am I to argue with a prophet.

 

 “The cosmos is within us. We are made of star-stuff. We are a way for the universe to     know itself.”

                      – Carl Sagan

 

 

Once upon a time the top scientific minds in the world believed that the Earth was flat. The same thing is true with respect to the Sun revolving around the Earth. Of course, science now says that the Earth revolves around the Sun. That’s the beauty of science. It’s always changing.

A recent survey showed that one in four people still believe that the Sun orbits the Earth. So it’s probably fair to say that 25% of the people haven’t learned what is considered to be a basic science lesson. The scientific explanation for this is that lighter objects orbit around heavier objects due to gravity. At least that’s the way that it has been explained.

Here’s where things get a bit murky, though. If the Earth was rotating around the Sun in a circle, it would return to its original starting point after one year. However, after one year the Earth is actually billions of miles away from its starting point at the beginning of the year. I’m sure that sounds strange, but let’s break it down. The traditional picture of the Earth rotating around the Sun has the Sun in the middle of the picture with the Earth rotating around it in a circle. I believe that picture is, for the most part, incorrect. Here’s why.

The truth is that life doesn’t move in circles, but rather in spirals (think DNA or the Fibonacci Spiral).  So too, planets, suns, solar systems and whole galaxies move in spirals. So in the picture of the Earth rotating around the Sun, the Sun is not really stationary (as pictured). That is, the Sun is in motion constantly rotating around the galactic center.

Our entire solar system is obviously, then, moving through space together. The solar system, including the Sun and the Earth,  is moving at approximately 450,000 miles per hour, while the Earth separately rotates at 67,000 miles per hour relative to the Sun.  The only way for them to move through space together is for the Sun to drag the Earth along behind it (not unlike an RV towing a car)!

Now I don’t expect the scientific community to accept my logic. Admittedly, I’m not a scientist and I didn’t follow the scientific method. However, in science, things are always changing as old theories are being replaced by new theories. After all, the Earth was once flat, right?

 

“The difficulty lies not so much in developing new ideas as in escaping from old ones.”

- John Maynard Keynes

A Tale of Two Eves

06/16/2014

There were apparently two Eves, two mothers of all mankind. One, according to the Bible was created some 5,000 to 6,000 years ago. The other, according to certain anthropologists, first arose out of Africa perhaps 200,000 years ago and is referred to as Mitochondrial Eve. So will the real Eve please stand up. While the Bible, as I’ve mentioned before in a number of other posts, has never been able to come close to proving its timeline, science continues to struggle with its own theories. I say theories because they’re always changing or as Ashley Montague once said, “Science is proof without certainty.”

Take the theory of Mitochondrial Eve for example. Based on the work of Alan Wilson and Rebecca Cann, science discarded its previous concept of the origins of man and fully embraced Wilson and Cann’s “Out of Africa” theory. Again, it was simply a “theory”. In their seminal paper entitled The Recent African Genesis of Humans Wilson and Cann actually posited, “that all humans today can be traced along maternal lines of descent to a woman who lived about 200,000 years ago, probably in Africa.” The operative word here is probably and yet science gladly embraced it as fact.

Of course, the issue is now somewhat moot as Wilson and Cann realized that their findings were flawed. Based on their new tests on Australian Aboriginal mitochondrial DNA, they put the origin of man back to 400,000 years ago, in their opinion earlier than any other racial group. That’s Australia, mate, not Africa. The thing is that science is like a dog with an old bone. That is, it doesn’t want to give it up  the “Out of Africa” theory.

As for myself, it doesn’t matter what science and religion believe in or which dogmatic idea holds sway at any point in time. As Bernard Werber so eloquently put it, “The point is not to
believe or not believe. 
What matters is to ask 
as many questions as possible.” As for religion, it will be forever be married to the idea that God created the world in six days and science will constantly be in love with its theory du jour. Through it all, probably no one will believe that it would have been possible to have had multiple Adam and Eves in various locations around the planet; further, no one will believe that man had existed on this planet for millions of years; no one will believe that evolution was aided and directed by off-planet entities; and certainly no one will believe that there is a God, a prime creator of all things, but that he is not the god of the Bible. Instead, we are stuck with the tale of two Eves.

 

“Every conscious thought you have, every moment you spend on an idea, is a commitment to be stuck with that idea and with aspects of that level of thinking, for the rest of your life.”

- Kevin Michel, Moving Through Parallel Worlds To Achieve Your Dreams

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