Metro State Atheists

Promoting Science, Reason, and Secular Values

Victor J. Stenger Quotes

Pulled these from Positive Atheism’s Big List of Victor J. Stenger Quotations

But, as we have seen, movement does not require a mover, and modern quantum mechanics has shown that not all effects require a cause. And even if they did, why would the Prime Mover need to be a supernatural anthropomorphic deity such as the Judaeo-Christian God? Why could it not just as well be the material universe itself?Vic Stenger, discussing Aquinas’s adaptation of Aristotle’s ideas as “proof” of the existence of God, Physics and Psychics (1990) p. 88

Scientific evidence for God’s existence is being claimed today by theists, many of whom carry respectable scientific or philosophical credentials. “He” who is neither a “she” nor an “it” supposedly answers prayers and otherwise dramatically affects the outcome of events. If these consequences are as significant as believers say, then the effects should be detectable in properly controlled experiments.
Victor J Stenger, Has Science Found God? (draft: 2001), ch. 3

In short, evolution is as close to being a scientific fact as is possible for any theory, given that science is open-ended and no one can predict with certainty what may change in the future. The prospect that evolution by natural selection, at least as a broad mechanism, will be overthrown in the future is about as likely as the prospect of finding out some day that the Earth is really flat. Unfortunately, those who regard these scientific facts as a threat to faith have chosen to distort and misrepresent them to the public.
Victor J Stenger, Has Science Found God? (draft: 2001), ch. 2

And, yet again, because I can predict the line of criticism that this book will generate, I need to make it clear up-front that I am not claiming that the absence of evidence eliminates all possibilities for a god to exist in every conceivable form. And, I am not evaluating all the theological and philosophical arguments for or against God. I am simply evaluating the scientific arguments and claimed scientific evidence for a deity according to the same criteria that science applies to any extraordinary claim. I conclude that, so far, they fail to meet the test.
Vic Stenger, on life growing up in New Jersey, in Has Science Found God? (draft: 2001)

To most theistic believers, human life can have no meaning in a universe without God. Quite sincerely, and with understandable yearning for a meaning to their existence, they reject the possibility of no God. In their minds, only a purposeful universe based on God is possible and science can do nothing else but support this “truth.”
Vic Stenger, Has Science Found God? (draft: 2001)

Any strategy that attempts to reinforce faith by undermining science is also doomed to failure. Showing that some scientific theory is wrong will not prove that the religious alternative is correct by default. When the sun was shown not to be the center of the universe, as Copernicus had proposed, the Earth was not moved back to that singular position in the cosmos. If Darwinian evolution is proved wrong, biologists will not develop a new theory based on the hypothesis that each species was created separately by God 6,000 years ago.
Vic Stenger, Has Science Found God? (draft: 2001), Preface


November 3, 2008 Posted by | atheism, Christianity, god, Qoutes, religion, science | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Venom In The Veins

Venom

in the

Veins

It’s my property! Why, I paid $985 for this here piece of flesh, and I have the right to do what I want with it.

Pounded under the slave block’s gavel,

bid-$1-2-430 bid-$2-4-580 bid-$3-4-850 bid-$5-6-1,000

& Sold, & Sold, & Sold, & Sold,

heart beats, heart beats, heart beats, heart beats

Four million hearts beating

Imprisoned

For Life

For Greed

For Lust

for

the rhythm of planting, picking—

FLESH

Turned into MONEY,

Blood

Poured into crops,

Fusing with the dirt

And

Raining from the sky—

Southern trees bore a strange fruit

Blood on the leaves and blood at the root,

Black bodies swinging in the Southern breeze,

Strange fruit hanging from the poplar trees.

Across the street,

in the White Churches,

BREAD turned to CHRIST’S FLESH,

and

BLOOD

to WINE

So if’in I want to rape it, hate it, mutilate it, that ain’t none of your business. I can even kill it if I want to ‘cause it’s mine, and you can’t stop me. Though me killin’ it would mean I was downright crazy given what I just paid for it. But when it gets old and useless, and I’ve gotten my money’s worth, I just might hunt it for fun. Now you just get on out of my way before I start to showin’ my hate for you, you anti-Christian piece of Northern trash! It’s in the Bible; they’re heathens, savages, inferior, don’t believe in Jesus, and even when converted, they still the sons of Ham. My preacher taught me the word of God. He should know. God’s never wrong, and We Southerners have God on our sidde [ssssss-slap]

God on our siiiiid- [sssss-slap]

God on our siiii- [ssss-slap]

God on our sssss- [ssss-slap]

God on ouuur- [ssss-slap]

God onnn -[ssss-slap]

“Oh, yes ye converted heathen, God has a message for thee; be meek and mild my child in the face of thy travails. Submit and repent; think only of Heaven, not this world, and the next will be yours.”

So said the Southern Baptists, Methodists, Presbyterians, and cohorts.

(and the country whispers but that was so long ago; that was not us; I’m not to blame…. but look and listen and understand it is here now; it is racism; it is killing you, me, the haters and the hated—and yes, even most the ones that stand by, doing nothing)

The vomiting has begun

AGAIN

The bile is rising

AGAIN

The venom in the veins

Courses hardy

Again,

Throbbing, pulsing

AGAINf

Lub dub, Lub dub, Lub dub:

The throb of life calling for

MURder, MURder, MURder, MURder

chanting in a viperous tongue

slithering from

the Reptilian brain,

spitting

H A T E

K I L L.


When did slavery end?

When did it end?

Physical fact,

Or

State of mind?

Emotional?

Spiritual?

Cultural?

As law?

Or

Law enforcement?

But only the sightless believe

It ended in 1864.

Jim Crow’s reign, segregation, culture of terror, KKK, politicians, Good-White-Men-with-Family-Values. Black ink on White paper records 3,437 African-American lynched up to 1951. Not recorded: every Beating, Stabbing, Crippling, Broken bone, Fried human, Burnt house, Vigilantes Hunting in packs…..

Rising in the pride of the South, strong in their conviction, pleased with their Tradition, Southern Governors and Senators spoke out for what their cold, lizard hearts and squalid eyes and fetid brains claimed as Truth. the “Negro” is inferior. With God (& their ‘way of life’) on their side, they made sure no African American sat on a jury; lynchings took place with impunity as community picnic entertainment, photographed with pride—placed in the family album next to the wedding reception.

(and the country whispers….but that was so long ago… that was not us; I’m not to blame…. but mark and listen and understand it is here now; it is racism; it is killing you, me, the haters and the hated—the Lovers and the Loved—and yes, even most, the ones that stand by, doing nothing)

Woodrow Wilson, a racist Enforcer, segregated the federal government: 1902-1910. One man—the country followed.

1955, a 14-year-old Chicago boy visiting in Mississippi crossed an invisible “white’s only” boundary he didn’t even know existed. His punishment: eyes gouged out, beaten to death, then, finally, shot in the head, thrown into the Tallahatchie River, a 75-pound fan tied around his neck with barbed wire weighing his small body down. Only 54 years ago (and the country pretends… it was so long ago…but oh how wrong we are. It happened during my lifetime. And it was not the end.). Two men arrested, not held or punished; the haters enforced their reign of terror, and J. Edgar Hoover’s FBI promulgated hate, intimidating civil rights workers, giving aid to lynchers, discrediting Martin Luther King, Jr., serving him up to the murdering mob.

1968, only 41 years ago, racism killed Martin Luther King, Jr.

1981, two KKK members in Alabama randomly chose to lynch 19-year-old Michael Donald. For the very first time, the killers were found guilty, but the prosecutor has been number 1 on the Aryan Nation hit list ever since. 1981, Only 28 years ago, during the lives of my children.

I beheld my caring, open-hearted lover

Ignored

Every month, every week, every day, every hour

We strolled through a store

Sat together for coffee—or more.

Eyes glided blankly past her to see only me,

Ask me what I wanted

Fuss over me

Serve me

While she stood next to me:

Invisible

Black

But

Invisible

Except in the Glares of the Police.

The Stares of the Guards

The Malevolence of the Whites

Sniggering, Blithering

As we passed by.

I learned to read

The nerve-quickened pulsing

at the edge

Of her jaw,

The muscles set

—Tightly—

from

neck

to

shoulder

blade,

Petrify,

and

Rip

her throbbing, open heart

APART.

1998, three men, all members of a white supremacist prison gang, murdered James Byrd, Jr., a 49-year-old Texas father of three, who had accepted an early-morning ride home from work with the three men. Because it’s what white racists do, they attacked him, dragging him to his death behind their truck, then moseyed off to a barbecue. 1998, only 11 years ago, as the radical Christian Right gained its stranglehold on the Republican party, fought for religion in politics, anti-immigration, anti-gay, anti-everything “not them.” They’ve perfected the attack ad, blaming the “other,” hunting the scapegoat, preying on and harnessing the collective ugliness within us. And as they’ve discovered, there is more than enough to destroy this country without the need of a nuclear bomb. (and the country ignores….IT is not going away…IT grows on hate, and the agony is ascending once again, again, and again, flooding the land.)

Finally, on June 13, 2005, the US Senate formally apologized for its failure to previously enact a Federal anti-lynching law. All earlier attempts had been defeated by filibusters by powerful Southern senators. 2005, only 4 years ago (and the country sighs, it is over…Oh, how very wrong are we. Look anywhere; there IT is).

And once again the lynching comes

as mobs find courage in numbers.

Have Faith for Faith’s sake,

preserve Tradition for Tradition’s sake

Hate for Hate’s sake

With God, Government, and Police on their side.

For as far back as we have evidence, humans have practiced human sacrifice: scapegoats, the pariah, the “other” to put upon them the blame and shame of the community, to be the sacrifice for the sins of all, originally to drive them out of the community and leave them to die—or ritually kill them in cleansing ceremonies. Human sacrifice for the rest of our sakes; human sacrifice to the gods. The one we know best is the dying/rising god, the god that promises immortality. The names may change but the promise of sin-free immortality remains the same: Osiris, Dionysus, Tammuz, Odin, Ishtar, Persephone, Baal—Jesus. Christians say Jesus is the last; THEY say Jesus took the sins of all so no one else would have to suffer; THEY say they follow him….and yet…and yet….and yet, THEY continue scape-goating—sacrificing others, projecting fears, hatred, anger, perverted thoughts onto entire populations.

What an excuse to commit genocide (Indians, Jews, Blacks, Muslims, Immigrants—take your pick).

What an excuse to kill ( so many to choose from).

What an excuse to be a vigilante (a buffet of life to slaughter).

What an excuse for murdering in the name of love.

Diagnosis:

The psychosis of humanity made manifest, running amuck, ranting, wrecking, reeking havoc, assaulting, lynching, Effacing to avoid facing themselves.

Playing God, they slaughter.

The herd hunts again,

Rulers of Deceit:

The Rogue and the Righteous

—The McPalins of the World—

Forging the grandiose

Hate-Fest

To Feast,

Draped

in rancid lies

They

Dredge

the

Sludge in the drains—the slime—

Lining the social plumbing,

Lurking in the twisted shadows

Out of sight

But

Never

Out of mind.

Left too long to rot and mold

In the grime

of history

—denied—

Bubbles in repression,

Churns sour in our souls,

Flings out its tentacles for the light of day

Births hate from guilt,

Pain from shame,

Displaced blame gobbles the refusal to atone

No matter how hard we try to scrub the claims of conscience away,

Racism

is

Our Nemesis,

Our cyanide rage,

Our Gangrenous hate.

Crawling on the unmasked:

Neighbors,

Church members,

Farmers,

Butchers,

Jury-sitters

Bakers

Law-makers,

ALL

Beasts craving to be fed Again

US-made

Vampires

Raping

Their Country,

Devouring

Their Young.

(With God on their side)

Thanks to:

Abel Meeropol for the lyrics Strange Fruit

The Southern Poverty Law Center:

Morris Dees, Joseph J. Levin, Jr., and Julian Bond,

Billie Holiday, Bessie Smith, all those who’ve been hurt & still will,

All who’ve fought and still continue to

Charging Shame to:

All that aid & abet fear of those who are different

All that feed off hate

All that incite violence against those who disagree

All that are complicitous, consciously or not

By riki mathews, The Trickster

(Some aspects of original format have not been preserved)

October 30, 2008 Posted by | god, Poetry, Politics, religion, The Trickster | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

R.E.S.P.E.C.T-What it means to mean with regard to Religion.

This blog will be different for me since this one won’t be loaded with facts, figures, cites and other drab blather that I normally write. This blog is about respecting religious views. Faith. An illogical belief that is devoid of proof. Where else in our discourse do we actually use this word properly? I don’t mean the colloquial meaning, in sentences such as “I have faith in him/her”. For instance, when has anybody (that isn’t completely deranged) actually had faith in any material object? For those that do, society tends to pluck up out and have them reside in a special rooms with padded walls. Why? Because it is obvious that any unjustified and illogical belief in material objects is absurd. So then, why do we tolerate it when the faith is in something that we can not see and is not material? It seems to be that this is far more absurd of the two choices because in the first, at the very least, the material object’s existence can be objectively verified. This is not so with the later case. Back to the original question. If we can lock people away in loony bins for believing illogical and wholly unjustified beliefs about reality and material objects why can’t we lock away or merely question these people and make them defend their claims. Here’s where the problem of respect rears it’s ugly head. The reason is, society has deemed faith a virtue, for reasons that baffle and confuse me. If there is one sociological question I want conclusively answered, it is why this obviously failed way of thinking has gained the attribute of being a virtue. Patience is a virtue, and honestly, when it comes to this topic, I’m out of it. Faith isn’t a virtue anymore than Tinker Bell is. Having faith is something we grow out of as children once we attain more concrete knowledge for ourselves about the world around us. Much like we grow out of having constant temper tantrums for all manner of reasons and crying when our mother leaves to go the store. We should not, under any circumstances, be required to respect this view anymore than we respect peoples views and beliefs about anything else in our discourse. Imagine a world in which you’d be admonished for questioning someone’s opinion that the Holocaust never took place or about their political views. That’s the road to fascism and theocracy, paved with the assault on our freedom of speech. Faith isn’t worthy of respect because it has no attributes worth respecting. Religion, all religion, in the same breath is lacking in components that deserve our respect at all. People will respect others out of empathy for one another. However, views are part of who the person is, and thus, contrary to popular belief, if you don’t respect someone’s views, beliefs or faith that doesn’t mean you don’t respect them as people. All the proof you need for this is the scientific community. Pick up any peer-review journal and you’ll be inundated with humbleness and criticism. And yet their aren’t radical groups of scientists roaming about threatening people with death for blaspheming the Theory of Evolution. The goal should be for humans to understand one another and respect each other, NOT our views and beliefs about reality. Let all those that feel it isn’t ok or “right” to question and criticize the religions beliefs of other people, what are you scared of? That we might convince others, and quite rightly, that religion may in fact be outdated and no longer serves our species a purpose? Atheists/agnostics/humanists/freethinkers, don’t be afraid to question or criticize the beliefs of others, especially religious beliefs because it’s socially taboo. You have the right of free speech, for now. Use it. It make be the very thing that guarantees you that right in the future.

-Joel

President

Metro State Atheists

October 11, 2008 Posted by | philosophy, Politics, religion, science | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

2012: Apocalypse Not

Written by Joel

THE WORLD IS GOING TO END DECEMEBER 21, 2012!!

Well, no, probably not. There is a good chance this is wrong. This 2012 Apocalypse hysteria is not a small nutjob movement based on fuzzy thinking and very little compelling evidence, it is in fact a very large nutjob movement based on a fuzzy thinking and very little compelling evidence. Need proof of that? An Amazon.com book search for “2012″ generated 91,450 results. So one can conclude that there exists a market for this crackpot idea, a large market. Most intelligent people (most people reading this blog) understand, without me having to explain it to them, that this idea of a 2012 apocalypse is as wrong as the prediction that the world was going to end in the year 2000…oh no wait, the prophecy was ignorant to the fact that the Gregorian/Julian calendar started with the year 1, so actually the world was going to end in 2001, but that didn’t happen either. If you need proof that the world did NOT end in 2000 or 2001, you need only notice that we are still here talking about the fact that it didn’t happen. The 2012 apocalypse hysteria is based on, what proponents of the idea call several “key pieces of evidence”. Let us now examine this “evidence”, to see if the claims stand up to skeptical examination. However, it must be pointed out, that the “evidence” the proponents claim to be evidence, imply their own claims, which we shall examine.

Key piece of “evidence” #1: The Mayan Calendar

The Mayan Calendar may be the most popular, but by no means compelling, piece of “evidence” the proponents of ancient prophecy use to bolster their claims of Apocalyptic fantasies. The main claim using the Mayan calendar is that “on December 21, 2012, for the first time in approximately 26,000 years, the Sun will rise to conjunct the intersection of the Milky Way (eye, heart, center) and the ecliptic plane. The sun aligning with the galactic center, is referred to as the Cosmic Cross. According to the ancient Maya, this date will mark the end of one world as we know it and the beginning of another”(4). With the wonders of the Internet it possible to learn about a great many things from the comfort of one’s own home. So here, I shall demystify the Mayan Calendar. First, let us acknowledge what a calendar, any calendar, or any time keeping device or system for that matter, truly is. Any time-keeping device is merely an arbitrary, and altogether human invention, not more necessary, in the cosmic scheme, than our inventions of anything else. These devices and systems are important only to us, for our own selfish means of prosperity and survival. Most calendars, of every culture and age, have a few features in common which tells us something both about the regularity of the cosmos and about human nature and observation. These features include a set, 20-30 day months based on the phases of the moon, woven into a longer count of a 365-day year based on how long it takes for the Earth to travel around the sun, and set within all of this days that the people consider scared or at least somehow different from other days for various cultural reasons. The Mayan calendar, as well as our own Gregorian/Julian calendar, have exactly these features. Although culturally different and separated by a vast amount of time, our calendar and that of the Mayan’s are quite similar. Not for any trivial, pseudo-scientific reason but because we are all humans observing the same cosmos. The Mayan calendar is arranged thusly: it is composed of “a ritual cycle of 260 named days and a year of 365 days. Taken together, they form a longer cycle of 18,980 days, or 52 years of 365 days, called a ‘Calendar Round’”(1). Further, the calendar can be broken down even farther. The 260-day ritual calendar, is composed of “two smaller cycles of days numbered from 1 to 13 and an ordered series of 20 named days”(1). The names of these days varied greatly among the the peoples and cultures that unitized it, however, “the names for the ritual days differed throughout Mesoamerica, scholars believe that the various calendars were synchronized based on their use in divination. In particular, each named day was thought to have certain fateful characteristics, but most of the details have been lost”(1). The Mayan calendar, just like all other systems of time keeping was extraordinarily arbitrary. This is proven by the fact that “the start of the 365-day year varied”(1). Also, “the 365-day year was divided into 18 named months (uinals) of 20 days” and, coupled with a religious superstition about the world, “one month of 5 “nameless” days, called Uayeb. The nameless days were considered extremely unlucky, causing the Maya to observe them with fasting and sacrifices to deities”(1). The Mayan’s also had a system in place in order to designated their calendar days, like we do today. “Each ordinary day had a fourfold designation—in order, day number and day name in the 260-day cycle and day number within the month and month name in the 365-day cycle. Thus, each of the 18,980 days in the Calendar Round had a unique designation (e.g., 12 Caban 15 Ceh)”(1). By now, 2012 Apocalypse advocates are jumping up and down about something called the Long Count’; “a continuous marking of time from a base date”(1), which was put in place by the Mayan’s to “describe a given date more accurately”.(1) The most crushing blow to the 2012 myth, may be the fact, in fact a theme throughout this blog, that even the start of the ‘Long Count’ is inherently arbitrary; “Ahau 8 Cumku (3113 BC) was the base date used by the Maya for the start of the present era”(1). Not only that, but even more astonishingly, the calendar isn’t set to end on December 21st of the year a.d. 2012, it is in fact “due to end in AD 2011″(1).

We have our own “ritual calendar” composed of “named days” ourselves. We need only observe that we engage in festival celebration and relax the necessity for labor on a great many days during the year, i.e. The Fourth of July, Christmas, Hanukkah, Labor Day, Memorial Day etc. We also have our share of superstitious “unlucky” days”, namely any number of Friday’s that happen to be the 13th of any given month, Halloween, and, in the recent past, June 6, 2006 due to the way we numerically represent the date, 6/6/06. Our calendar lacks a “Long count” but that would be about the only real difference between the two in terms of features. However, no one alive today claims that our Gregorian/Julian calendar predicts any apocalypse or end-times scenario.

Key piece of “evidence” #2: The I-Ching

Believers in the 2012 apocalypse myth refute this objection by claiming that there is independent, corroborating evidence in the form of an ancient Chinese book known as, The I Ching. Let us now investigate this so-called “evidence”. The I-Ching, or Book of Change, is “an ancient Chinese system of divination, based on a book of Taoist philosophy and expressed in hexagrams chosen at random and interpreted to answer questions and give advice”(2). This system is “a set of predictions represented by a set of 64 abstract line arrangements called hexagrams (卦 guà). Each hexagram is a figure composed of six stacked horizontal lines (爻 yáo), where each line is either Yang (an unbroken, or solid line), or Yin broken, an open line with a gap in the center). With six such lines stacked from bottom to top there are 26 or 64 possible combinations, and thus 64 hexagrams represented.”(3). The system was supposed inspired or given supernaturally, the date ranges from 2800 BCE-2737 BCE (3). The fundamental augment the 2012 myth proponents point out is its age and extraordinary precision of it’s predictions. The way the I-Ching supposedly predicts future events, for an individual or global, has its own dubious history. “The oldest method for casting the hexagrams, using yarrow stalks, is a biased random number generator, so the possible answers are not equiprobable. While the probability of getting either yin or yang is equal, the probability of getting old yang is three times greater than old yin. The yarrow stalk method was gradually replaced during the Han Dynasty by the three coins method. Using this method, the imbalance in generating old yin and old yang was eliminated. However, there is no theoretical basis for indicating what should be the optimal probability basis of the old lines versus the young lines. Of course, the whole idea behind this system of divination is that the oracle will select the appropriate answer anyway, regardless of the probabilities.”(3) So here we have a system which itself has changed its method of prediction, starting out as very biased and then changed to a seemingly more random system to give the impression that if a prophetic prediction appears to come true that the “randomness” can be explained away by the invocation of the supernatural. However, the predictions of the I-Ching work on the same principles as that of Astrology, a phenomenon known as The Forer Effect which is “tendency of people to rate sets of statements as highly accurate for them personally even though the statements could apply to many people”(5). This was discovered by Psychologist Bertram R. Forer, who “found that people tend to accept vague and general personality descriptions as uniquely applicable to themselves without realizing that the same description could be applied to just about anyone” (5). This is how the I-Ching’s so called predictions work and thus cannot be considered genuine predictions. This includes the doomsday date of December 21, 2012.

Key piece of “evidence” #3: The Bible

Yes. I know. You’re probably tired of this argument too, as it has been conclusively found to have not predicted anything and wasn’t written for predictive purposes. Here, I will not focus on the whole Bible but only that book which has be touted as the great predictor of the apocalypse, The Book of Revelation. The Book of Revelation was written towards the end of the 1st century AD by a man, known only as John. This is not the same John that wrote the Gospel of John, conclusively shown to be the case after a thorough statistical analysis of the two texts, but is someone very different. He is known as John of Patmos. This is due to his references to himself as “John” in Rev 1:1, 4, 9; 22:8 (6,7). He refers to his exile to the island of Patmos, of the coast of Asia Minor (modern day Turkey), in Rev 1:9 (6,7), where he wrote the Book of Revelation. During the time John wrote Revelation, what is now modern-day Turkey, was under the control of the extremely powerful Roman Empire. This fact alone is enough to derive the true, non-prophetic meaning from Revelation. I will not go into lucid detail here but two symbols should be clarified. The seven headed demon or beast is an allegorical reference to the seven Roman Emperors that had ruled till John’s time. Although scholars can’t agree on which specific seven emperors John was referring it is at least clear that it is a reference to Roman imperial power. John goes on further to associate the beast with seven hills. Rome is known as the city of seven hills, as then as is today, because it is build on seven hills (7). Not terribly inventive. The other is that of the now infamous, Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, mention in Rev 6:1-8. The four horsemen in the order they appear in the Book of Revelation , with associated color and meaning, are: White (Conquest), Red (war), Black (Famine), Pale (Death)(7,8). This imagery harkens back to the mythical story of the Jews fleeing Egypt in the Old Testament book of Exodus and the imagery of the the ten plagues. Since John was writing about the Roman Empire and Roman persecution of the Christians of the day, he was doing the same kind of writing the Jews did when writing Exodus. John was saying that God will intervene, exact justice for his downtrodden people, in the same sort of way that is written about in Exodus, via plagues. In other words, John wasn’t necessarily being completely original here. Now, to the point. How does this connect to the 2012 myth? Believers in the 2012 myth claim that because The Book of Revelation predicts the end of the world, it MUST mean December 21, 2012. This commits two fallacies. The most obvious of which is confirmation bias. The second, to a lesser degree, is post hoc, ergo propter hoc, which means “After this, therefore because of this”(9). Thus, this piece of evidence is more flimsy the preceding and as flimsy as the next, and last that shall be presented.

Key piece of “evidence” #4: Terence McKenna/Timewave Graph

This piece of “evidence” has its basis on the Mayan calendar, so I will not recount that bit. However, this addition to the Mayan part must be mention, lest I be lambasted by the believers in the myth for not being “complete”. Terence McKenna (November 16, 1946 – April 3, 2000) was a writer, philosopher, and ethnobotanist. He is noted for his many speculations on the use of psychedelic, plant-based hallucinogens, and subjects ranging from shamanism, the development of human consciousness, and the Novelty Theory – Time Wave: Zero Point”(4). He is also responsible for the Timewave graph. First, we must understand Novelty Theory, which isn’t a true scientific theory at all; “The theory proposes that the universe is an engine designed for the production and conservation of novelty. Novelty, in this context, can be thought of as newness, or extropy (a term coined by Max More meaning the opposite of entropy) (4)”. No scientific evidence for this so called “theory” has been found, ever. Thus one can conclude that it most probably bunk and that McKenna was just a little affected by the psychedelic hallucinogens. However, this “theory” isn’t going away yet. Further, “According to McKenna, when novelty is graphed over time, a fractal waveform known as ‘timewave zero’ or simply the ‘timewave’ results. The graph shows at what time periods, but never at what locations, novelty increases or decreases. Considered by some to represent a model of history’s most important events, the universal algorithm has also been extrapolated to be a model for future events. McKenna admitted to the expectation of a “singularity of novelty”, and that he and his colleagues projected many hundreds of years into the future to find when this singularity (runaway “newness” or extropy) could occur. The graph of extropy had many enormous fluctuations over the last 25,000 years, but amazingly, it hit an asymptote at exactly December 21, 2012. In other words, entropy (or habituation) no longer exists after that date. It is impossible to define that state. The technological singularity concept parallels this, only at a date roughly three decades later. According to leading expert Ray Kurzweil), another concept called cultural singularity (essentially cultural dissolution, or language dissolution), parallels this as well. McKenna claimed to have no knowledge of the Mayan calendar, which ends exactly the same day that the Timewave graph does: December 21, 2012 (4)”. This is a long quote and requires some dissection. The graph argument is worthless precisely because there is no objectivity in it. McKenna could easy, and probably did, fix the placement of the “Timewave Graph” such that it did end on December 21, 2012. The pseudo-science regarding “newness” and so forth is so laughable as to be unworthy of further discussion. Lastly, the idea that McKenna knew and researched things such as the I-Ching and wasn’t aware of the December 21, 2012 date is so unlikely as to be nearly impossible. Lining up a graph with a timeline doesn’t prove or predict anything because doing such is riddled with subjectivity and thus is not science.

Conclusion

December 21, 2012 is most certainly not the date that the world is going to end. Above, I have conclusively set forth why the 2012 myth is bunkum and should not be taken seriously. It should also be pointed out that every last Apocalyptic/End Times prediction has failed to come true. We know this because we are still here, mocking those predictions and those who made them. Yes the Mayan’s and Chinese were an advanced and successful ancient peoples. However, we’ve learned much since their time and has rendered their superstitions not only false, but out-dated and unnecessary. So, don’t worry about 2012. There will be a Christmas and a Happy New Year party in New York for 2013 and we’ll all be exactly 4 years older.

Resources

1 Encyclopedia Britannica(http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/370868/Mayan-calendar)
2 Encarta Online Dictionary (http://encarta.msn.com/dictionary_1861619882/I_Ching.html)
3 Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/I_Ching#History)
4 Crystal Links (http://www.crystalinks.com/2012.html)
5 The Skeptic Dictionary (http://www.skepdic.com/forer.html)
6 Ancient Evidence, Discovery Times Channel
7 Bible Gateway (www.biblegateway.com)
8 The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse
http://www.apocalipsis.org/fourhorsemen.htm
9 How to Think About Weird Things: Critical Thinking for a New Age (Paperback) (Third Edition), Authors: Schick, Theodore, Jr., Vaughn, Lewis.2002:McGraw Hill ISBN: 0-7674-2048-9

September 25, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 15 Comments

   

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