4ththought

All we really need to be happy is something to look forward to….

Science is So Full Of Shit

Science Is So Full Of SHIT!
(A Scientific Discussion of God and Science)

As you might have guessed from the title of my talk, I’m a geek who has spent countless wasted hours on the internet debating the origin of life. I’ve done it with the most moronic believers in God and some very intelligent atheists. And vice -versa. And while the God people could be stupefyingly obtuse, it was the science guys who were truly Full of Shit. Here’s my reasoning:

Science’s holy grail is that EVERYTHING can be explained in terms of natural processes and it has a long and successful track record to support that contention. In keeping with that point of view, science’s Origin Of Life Hypothesis is this – Given the right conditions, spontaneous emergence of life is not only possible but inevitable. The proof is right in front of us! We’re Here! It happened so therefore, OBVIOUSLY it is possible and no supernatural intervention is required. To explain how life started we just need to unravel how it happened and the scientific method can and will get us there.

So I asked myself, if this is so, why do we not try the experiment? It took a long time, millions of years, you say. Well sure, if you have to wait on happy accidents and just the right conditions it does but we don’t have to depend on chance. We have evolved into really intelligent beings and can control things to get the conditions just right so we should be able to speed up the process. It takes nature millions of years to make diamonds but we can now do it in mere days using technology. So give the OOL experiment a head start, a really BIG fucking head start and speed things up as much as possible. After all, we already have a lot of pretty good theories about how and where life evolved so why not try them out?

We know, or at least have a pretty good idea what conditions were like on earth around the time life got started, and fuck it, we haven’t got all day to wait on results so if we scientists have any ideas for any conditions that might help, go for it! Give it the best chance you can imagine. It’s a reasonable tradeoff, and only fair because we don’t have millions of years to wait for the answer, we want the answer NOW! Or at least by the time our grant runs out ūüôā

The first thing you need are the building blocks of life, amino acids, about 20 specific ones. The first pussyfooted experiment of this type was the Miller-Uray experiment, that was the one where they put the early earth atmospheric gases and material in a sterile sealed flask, put a sparking gap thingy in there to simulate lightening, let the sparky thing run for awhile and then analyzed the results. And holy shit, they actually found a few of the required amino acids. They’ve even found some on meteorites that might not have been picked up on the way through earth’s atmosphere. So SEE, science says, life in a test tube! But that’s BULLSHIT! ¬†Let’s say you stumbled across a naturally occuring source of concrete building blocks on some uninhabited planet. ¬†Pretty unlikely but let’s say it happens. ¬†But is it then reasonable to also assume that because there are skyscrapers on Earth that the blocks on our newly found planet will eventually self assemble themselves into buildings? ¬†There is long fucking way from a few amino acids to the absolute simplest self reproducing organism, which is what you need to kick start natural selection. ¬†But still, the undeniable existence of life is right here in front of us so it needs explaining.

So why not do THIS experiment? Screw all the problems with generating all the right amino acids (and none of the wrong ones which totally fuck things up) , let’s start with a massively big sample of all the ones we need, none of the ones we don’t, give it the best possible environment, and I mean screw trying to reproduce early earth conditions, we’ve got smart scientists up the butt just dying to show how life can start without any “God shit”, so if they’ve got an idea that might help move things along, do it!

But if nothing else, science is always fair and objective, so make it fair.. There is only one thing you can’t do. No God Shit, no information of any kind can be introduced to the system. It goes without saying that the experiment has to be hermetically sealed, no sneaking in any stray bacteria, viruses, DNA or RNA of any kind. And no cheating. No laser beams modulated to encourage any desired orders to any emerging polymerase, no fancy DNA sequencing gizmos, because that is the very essence of “God Shit”.

What you CAN do is instrument this thing up the wazoo to measure and detect anything promising going on. Keep it clean but grab a sample any time you want. Any problems that come up, you know, the ph is getting out of whack, a little more or less light, heat, or pot stirring needed, whatever, go ahead and adjust it, anything to make life easier I say.

Only thing left to do now is sit back and wait for those molecules to combine themselves into something alive see that inevitable life spontaneously spring into existence. You don’t actually need to wait for a wombat to leap out of this thing, That would take MUCH too long! Even something like an E. coli bacteria, about the simplest living thing we know , even that would take WAY too long even under our optimized conditions. No, let’s be realistic here. What we are looking for is that specific chain of polymerase, a string of instructions for how to build a bacteria (that’s what DNA or RNA is) if we get THAT out of this soup, we can legitimately declare success! The steps from there to the living organism aren’t trivial but hey!, we will have proved that as unlikely as it sounds, order does spontaneously spring out of chaos.

And this is no trillion dollar boondoggle, it’s a CHEAP TO DO experiment so expense is not a problem with such an important and fundamental question at stake. It would only take a tiny fraction of the cost to send a man to Mars which we are now planning to do. And lets be honest, there is no practical reason for going. No, the real reason to go is the hope of finding possible signs of life and give us the answer to the question. They don’t talk about it much, mostly we get a lot of BS about the human need to reach out, that need which must have served some evolutionary advantage in out distant past.

Oh we are curious, no denying that, but let’s be honest about what we really want to know. Science really wants to prove that life is possible elsewhere in the universe. Which is FINE! I mean, who wouldn’t want to know? But wait a minute, if we want to know if life really is a spontaneous process that can happen anywhere with the right conditions, Why the fuck spend all that money to go all the way to Mars? We can do the experiments that will prove it’s possible right here on earth for a fraction of the price and with a much higher likelihood of success. So why don’t we do it? Think of it! The origin of LIFE could be solved once and for all! No more listening to all that God shit or the even more lame “Intelligent Design” mumbo jumbo.

Did you have a feeling I was going to tell you why? Of course you did, and I’m not going to disappoint. Here is the reason no real scientist will ever do such an experiment:

Because intuitively they know it hasn’t got a prayer of working and so do you. And every good scientist is intuitive. I don’t mean just some emotional hunch they feel or a groundless hope. This intuition is based on everything they’ve learned in their life, professional or private. They know before the first dollar is spent if an experiment has a chance of success or not. It’s the same in every field of science. Physicists knew long before that fabulously expensive Large Hadron Collider was built that they would likely find the Higgs Boson. They did the math and the answer said it should be there.

So what is the basis for that intuition that tells them the OOL experiment is a dead end? It’s from knowing that the odds of that specific string of polymerase millions of “bio-bits” long that make up the instructions for even the simplest life coming together by chance are so long that winning the lottery every week for a year is much more likely. They know those odds can be calculated with reasonable accuracy and that there hasn’t been enough time in this universe’s 13.78 Billion year history for it to even come close to happening. This too they know intuitively, so they don’t actually do the math, I guess it’s just too depressing to see in black and white that what you have passionately believed to be possible is not.

That is why the OOL experiment will probably never be done.

I say probably because there may come a time when some scientist is so desperate for a grant that he WILL propose the experiment in spite of all the disparaging snickers directed at him by his fellow scientists. And chances are, some government agency will give him the money to do it.

But the really funny thing is that none of those snickering scientists will be able to say why they are laughing under their breath. If they really believed in the commonly accepted theory on the origins of life, the experiment is perfectly reasonable.

And that is why I say Science is So Full of SHIT!

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Going crazy – A Confession

Let me get this out of the way right off the bat. There, Ive already violated my first two rules for Blogging: Don’t start out by talking about yourself (who cares?) and Don’t use clich√© expressions (extra demerits for three-in-a-row). My third rule is Don’t overuse parenthetical expressions but I’ve given up on that one. I can’t stop myself, and it really ticks me off that Apple made it so hard to use them on iPads. I’ll try to do better on the clich√© thing.

There are probably many good reasons for starting a Blog that promises an answer to the human condition ( we are All going crazy) with a paragraph of one-liners. My reason was probably due to a perverse philosophy I acquired from some unknown author who said: *Rules are for those not wise enough to make up their own*. I try to moderate that attitude by pairing it with another from Lt. Callahan (AKA Dirty Harry) : * A man’s got to know his own limitations*. I give myself a B+ on the first but not so good on the second. A better reason for starting out with a joke is that Life is funny (if only in retrospect) and I’m convinced that even God loves to laugh.

So, without further ado (dang it!) …

I Once saw him, God I mean. Even back then it was not my first awareness of the Creator. At age 25 I was already convinced of his (or her,as you wish) existence so I didn’t know why he chose this occasion to personally confront me like that. I could cushion the blow and try to save some shred of credibility by saying it was a dream (it happened at night) but that would be a lie. But if it helps I’ll tell it as if it were true.

It began without any lead in or introduction. When I was a kid my dreams had elaborate beginnings; the scene would fade in gradually and they often had titles spelled out in 3D block letters that scrolled up into the sky like in a Star Wars movie. Sometimes there was even music that fit the theme of what was to follow. This wasn’t like that. It began like someone striking an arc with a welding machine just inches in front of my face. Naturally, my eyes automatically snapped shut and I averted them by looking down. The awareness of the situation came instantly; I was standing in front of God. Shutting my eyes had no effect on my ability to sense him there in front of me. It was as if my entire body could see light.

There was No music and no dialog either; all communication took place in emotions that came out of nowhere. My first one was of being somewhat embarrassed by my cloths; shorts and T-shirt didn’t seem right to meet God in. That thought was wiped away immediately with assurance from him that it didn’t matter.

My neighbor Jimmy, who was one of three people I’ve told, explained that it was because God loves us unconditionally. I did in fact feel very loved during the encounter but I definitely got the message that what we think mattered a great deal to him and that love has its reasons and is definitely not blind. What specific thoughts I had had was not spelled out to me but I experienced a wave of approval for them that was humbling in its intensity, coming as it were, from Him.

To make the telling even more embarrassing, Jesus then came from somewhere to my right and placed a white robe around me. Jesus had the exact same presence as God. Not that I felt dismissed but I knew the encounter was over then.

Jimmy explained the robe as Jesus covering our sins so that we could be forgiven and that they appeared the same because Jesus is God. My natural inclination is to debate stereotypical answers but my neighbor seemed really happy with his interpretation so I let it go. Sin had never come up in the meeting and there were definitely two separate entities there with me. I’m just telling it like it happened.

It was’t the starting point but I think it did mark a significant milestone in my personal journey of going crazy.

The Sound of a Trumpet

The sound of a trumpet played well has a magical way of gripping my soul. It is the timber of the sound itself that gives it that power, not the intricacy of the notes or the melody of the song, although I like those too. And the sad thing is that the beauty of this instrument is almost impossible to record. To fully appreciate it you almost have to hear it live.
That is probably why I was so easily persuaded to join an obscure ( at least in the US) kind of musical group known as a British Brass Band. Americans think of brass bands as those marching musicians in parades or on football fields at halftime but the British variety perform on stage and wear jacket & tie.
Although trumpet is what I wanted to play, the opening available to me was Tenor Horn; an instrument that looks like a baby Baritone and sounds something like a French Horn. When played properly it makes a sound that can only be described as ‘a thousand years old’. The girl who played second chair next to me had the sound down perfectly even though she lacked the technical skills to be 1st chair. I had those skills but not the sound, I kept trying to sound like a trumpet.
The real reason I was in the band was a girl named Wendy. She played first chair Coronet, the instrument that replaces Trumpet in British Brass Bands. She was my ideal of female beauty but it was the sound she could make on that horn that made me want to worship her lips. I found it hard to play when the piece called for Tenor because it meant I could no longer concentrate on the sensuous sound coming from Wendy’s horn. I got to hear her play for three wonderful years until her graduation from music school ended our association. I almost said ‘affair’, I loved the sound so much.

Hell Belief

Prometheus Unbound

Three problems with it:

  • Hell belief is authoritarian. If it is true that most people go to hell, and it is eternal torture over flames to be there, then the only way to save yourself from such a ridiculous fate is to get with the program pronto and never fall out of line or question too much.
  • Because you may doubt your own salvation, hell belief sets up a¬†viscous¬†psychological cycle that drives one into self-recriminations and self-policing, accompanied by cowed submission before the authoritarian Father.
  • Capture-bonding. Hell belief tends to drive one into an emotional state akin to the experience of Winston Smith in Orwell‚Äôs chilling climax to 1984¬†(‚ÄúHe loved Big Brother‚ÄĚ). It is the Stockholm Syndrome translated into religion (the source of love and hostage-taking is coming from the same source).

Hell belief is great for spreading religion, not so great for supporting the mental balance and critical…

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Faith, Farce, or Fraud?

Of all the religions on Earth you have to give credit to the ones built around the Mayan calendar. They truly are able to ‘believeth all things’. When the Earth and all it’s inhabitants did not end or ‘ascend into the 5th Dimension’ as they predicted, they simply explained that the ‘Company of Heaven’ respected our collective request to delay it. Of course consistency is not important to them so if you prefer you can chose to believe that we and Earth (or Gaia as they call it) did in fact ascend on Dec. 21,2012 and it is only fear that prevents some of us from seeing it; kind of like the ’emperor’s new cloths’. Some things did change after that date; web domain names like ‘The2012Scenario’ had to change ( or be redirected) to something more timely.
Other basic beliefs include things like:
1. The GFL (Galactic Federation of Light) is coming to expose and free us (Soon!) from the evil Cabal which controls all of us from behind the scenes.
2. 9-11 was an inside job by George Bush and others in the Cabal. Ditto for the recent Boston bombings, the tsunami that destroyed the nuclear plant in Japan, etc, etc.
3. We were either descended from or created by members of the Galactic Federation who are made up from races all over the Galaxy.
4. Most of us have lived thousands of lives on this and other planets but we just don’t remember them.
5. There is no Time. Time is an illusion. Which is a pretty funny concept for a religion built around a calendar.
6. You should contribute ( via convenient PayPal button) to these ‘Lightworkers’ who work tirelessly to bring you these truths via channeled messages from GFL members like SaLuSa, Commander Ashtar, Poofness and countless others.

To the true believers waiting for the Mother Ships to appear in the skies, GFL to you. For others, take a look, it can be very entertaining.

Why are we not all dead?

I’ve often wondered why Darwin’s theory is not tested by taking it to its logical conclusion. If Darwin’s Tree of Life branchings are all blindly striving for dominance, should not something like an omnivorous monster that consumes everything until its species expires eventually evolve? You cannot explain it by saying that such an eventuality would not serve it’s ultimate survival. Evolution presumably has no such goal. Some would say that we are that monster species but the evidence does not support that conclusion.

4th Thoughts on the Petraeus Affair

 

The press and the public have already passed judgement on the episode of General Petraeus and his affair. ¬† There was never any real speculation about it. ¬†His own admission that “it was a stupid mistake” ¬†would seem to preclude any conclusion ¬†other than that it was simply a case of a prominent man undone by his lust for an attractive woman. ¬†But I can’t help but wonder if there was more than that. ¬†
   Here was a very intelligent man with all the other attributes needed to take him to the top of his profession after which he is given the post of director of the CIA.  I have not read his biography but by all generally known accounts he was a man of great self control.    Is this the profile of a man who sacrifices everything for sexual gratification?  
     My real question is, why is it so easily accepted that it was lust that undid him?  Why is it so hard to believe that it might have been love?  And if it was love,  why do we find the excuse of lust so much easier to accept?   Or is it that love would raise too many uncomfortable questions, not about the General, but about ourselves and our ethics.  
¬† ¬† ¬† A pragmatist would just say that he is a married man and the most expedient way to preserve his marriage and get on with his life is to say ‘Mea Culpa’ and ask for forgiveness for his sexual infidelity. ¬† ¬†Would you really expect his wife to forgive him for falling in love with another woman? ¬† Society’s answer is ” of course not” , ¬†but what I would like us to do is to confront the contradictions in this scenario. ¬†
Consider this:   We have come to believe that it is more acceptable to yield to lust than to fall in love,  that lust can be forgiven but love can not.   What kind of mental judo got us to accept that?