Politics, God and Religion vs. Science


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Social climber
the Wastelands
Mar 14, 2013 - 09:06pm PT
just as we can't prove that yellow dinosaurs are right now flying around somewhere in the universe

Mar 14, 2013 - 09:12pm PT
Just plain juggling words around to make you look like you know what you're talking about won't help you Norton .....

Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
Mar 14, 2013 - 09:26pm PT
Well, scientists are pretty sure they have found the Higgs boson particle. I'll bet any Repub candidate who expresses a belief in this find will have the full weight of the Tea Party against them. The ignorance of many, let's say most, Republicans in Congress mut have Galileo rolling over in his grave.

Social climber
the Wastelands
Mar 14, 2013 - 09:27pm PT

I know that you don't "like" me, probably because I have said that I don't believe in a god as you do, and you do go after most anyone you don't happen to agree with.

But really, Werner, for a couple of years now you take your little shots at me, unprovoked and out of the blue, and not for any good reason that I can think of other than you are a stupid old man with nothing to add to any conversation other than acting like a child and pouting and calling everyone "stupid"

So, why don't you just go f*#k yourself, and know that I am going to call out your simple little childish sh!t all the time, you ignorant horse's ass.

Mar 14, 2013 - 09:30pm PT
I was right!

You're still juggling words around to make yourself think that you know what your talking about.

It's still not helping you .....

Somewhere out there
Mar 14, 2013 - 10:34pm PT

 Wiki says - Some[11] even point to the Chernobyl disaster as a possible fulfillment of this prophecy, as the name Chernobyl is said to translate to "wormwood."

You biblical kooks need to read more into the bible than there is. Ultimately you will grow closer and closer to you personal idea of what god is…..

You are welcome

Just noticed a troll edit:

Norton and Werner… My money is on Braun being the troll
Bruce Kay

Gym climber
Mar 14, 2013 - 10:41pm PT
You're still juggling words around to make yourself think that you know what your talking about.

Juggling or not, you must admit he does have a point Werner.

Mar 14, 2013 - 10:52pm PT
You guys want to see how it played out?

It's kind of funny.

First Norton says:

I suppose now that one particular poster will state that we humans are so arrogant to conclude that rocks and plants don't think like humans do,

So I go Hmmmm why not play with this since he's building his own quicksand sinkhole.

and I say:

Rocks can't think at all.

And if you believe rocks are living entities you're definitely stupid .....

I put stupid in the end on purpose to see what happens LOL.

Then I use the juggle words ploy.

So he steps in his own quicksand sink hole and gets pissed. :-)

Yeah .... I'm a bad boy sometimes ..... LOL

Bruce Kay

Gym climber
Mar 14, 2013 - 11:05pm PT


Ice climber
chingadero de chula vista
Mar 14, 2013 - 11:17pm PT
Pardon me for stepping into this, but supposing, just for the sake of the question, that rocks could think, would they be thinking about Politics or God or Religion or Science or being climbed? Sorry.


Mar 14, 2013 - 11:32pm PT
If they were smart they'd be all over The Flames.
Bruce Kay

Gym climber
Mar 15, 2013 - 12:24am PT
Coz, Werner may respectfully sling sh#t at you and vice versa but with those who he has no particular bro relationship with the guy can be a total c#&%, as I can attest to. I could give a fuk but no sense in painting it any other way. There may have been a time for mu tual respect but I,m damned if I recall when that ever was.

Mar 15, 2013 - 12:42am PT
Me and Coz never slung sh!t at each other.

You're projecting again.

Norton always gets on people about not thinking for themselves.

He rails all over people all the time in that stupid republican thread.

Then when someone actually does think for themselves and takes him to the cleaners for the sh!t he set himself up for
and then steps into that sh!t that he created, then he gets pissed.

He's more pissed at himself.

making it look like he's pissed at me isn't gonna help him, lol

You fall for this all the time yourself Bruce ......

Bruce Kay

Gym climber
Mar 15, 2013 - 12:55am PT
I give up. Go look in a mirror.

Mar 15, 2013 - 01:01am PT
You said you gave up a while ago.

Are you really gonna now?

Or is it another bluff.

Either way it's not gonna help you ......

Mar 15, 2013 - 02:54am PT
Computers are great because they generally do what you tell them to do.

People never do what you tell them to do.

There is an oxymoron somewhere in these internet arguments. Maybe we confuse the media with the message.

Bruce Kay

Gym climber
Mar 15, 2013 - 10:33am PT
This sounds like a hoot. Anybody checking this out?

I guess Survivor producer Mark Burnett tipped his hand when he made that Sarah Palin reality show, not to mention his continuing association with ass clown Donald Trump. Surely he's a maverick, a Tea Partier, a birther, a red state kind of guy. And as the Palin show also suggests, his politics seem to inform his artistic choices. So perhaps we should not be surprised at his latest project: The Bible, a five-part miniseries that attempts to condense the Good Book into 10 hours of Good TV. It's already a smash hit for the History Channel -- the most-watched cable TV show in the U.S. this year (airing on Sunday nights, natch). Burnett told The Daily Mail: "The hand of God was on this."

Far be it from me to suggest that the hand of God could use some time in film school. But as dramatic misfires go The Bible could rank with the Star Wars Holiday Special.

Cramming the Bible into 10 hours requires more trimming than a yak on prom night. Nonetheless there's a lot of dross to be eliminated. No one wants to see the detailed genealogies of Moses, or the laws concerning mildew. And the filmmakers wisely omit tales like the deaths of Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Moses' brother Aaron. The two lads present an offering to the Lord but do it wrong, and like a displeased and omnipotent five-year-old at a birthday party, the Lord incinerates them. Savvy filmmakers know that sort of psychopathic behaviour alienates your audience. Even Tony Soprano didn't do that sh#t. But keeping the audience onside is a challenge with this material, and Burnett and company don't always play it straight. This is not exactly your patriarch's Bible.


The Bible opens on the storm-tossed Ark as an apparently Scottish Noah editorializes about what brought the Flood ("Wrong choices! Wrong decisions!") and tells his lucky passengers the tale of Creation and the Garden of Eden, all while being knocked around by the waves and trying to avoid bumping into a couple of giraffes in a surprisingly empty ship. (No dinosaurs, which explains a lot.) Adam and Eve are white supermodels, but other races will be dutifully trotted out thanks to arbitrary casting decisions, a practice which extends to the dramatizations of familiar Biblical tales. For example, the angels of the Lord who visit Sodom turn out to be martial arts sword masters, dispatching the unholy with wicked ninja moves. Thus continues a long, proud tradition of Biblical interpretation.

Think of a typical TV episode recap ("Previously on Downton Abbey...") and you'll understand the sort of depth and complexity offered by The Bible's pell-mell rush through the Book of Genesis. Abraham the patriarch exhorts his people to do all sorts of things because, well, God spoke to him. Particularly curt is the horrifying tale of Abraham's near-sacrifice of his son Isaac. "What's the matter?" asks Abraham's wife, Sarah. "God wants a sacrifice," Abraham answers blandly. "My boy, come with me."

Since these filmmakers, like many before them, have decided that a visual portrayal of God is a step too far, we simply see Abraham squinting at the sky and talking to himself. This makes Abraham look very much how a man who claims to hear messages from God would look today if encountered at Main and Broadway. Probably not what was intended. At least Moses gets a burning bush to chat with.


It's not so much the supernatural aspects of the tale that make it tough to dramatize -- modern audiences are accustomed to that via The Avengers, Harry Potter, et al. It's more the point of view. Abraham and other warriors shout "Trust in God!" and then proceed to slaughter their enemies without mercy. Cinematically this works when the enemy are Imperial stormtroopers, and for believers the scenes might work the same way. But when Joshua shouts "Israel!" before massacring the terrified inhabitants of Jericho, it takes a very partisan observer not to wish he could be hauled before the Ancient International Court in The Hague. Later, after Samson brings down the temple on the Philistines, the narrator notes approvingly: "Samson's sacrifice killed thousands." The ancestor of the modern suicide bomber?

The tale of Samson also shows how The Bible's creators occasionally fudge the Biblical viewpoint to gain sympathy. "Our people should never mix," an onscreen Philistine grandee snarls when the Israelite Samson marries into their tribe. Yet in the Old Testament it is not so much the Philistines as Samson's people who object to the marriage -- and we are told that Samson's intermarriage is simply the Lord's way of bringing destruction upon those people whose name entered our language as a synonym for the uncultured (a historical injustice reinforced by years of Biblical education. Archaeology has uncovered evidence of connections between Philistine and Greek culture and suggests that in some ways ancient Philistinian civilization may have been more advanced than the Hebrew).

In fact one selling point of this series is the opportunity to grab a Bible and follow along (preferably with a modern translation) to see where Burnett and co. are playing fast and loose with the source material. Hopefully it's an approach that will be pursued by at least some of the Sunday school teachers who are sure to use this series as a teaching tool.

Stay tuned

And yet even with the reverent and thoroughly uncritical approach taken by the makers of the History Channel Bible, they can't drain all the fascination, horror, and humanity out of the King James Bible. There's just so much to work with. And things finally get interesting when Saul and David appear on screen. The storytelling is still crude and rushed but here at least are tales in which God is far less important than politics, paranoia, power, sex and treachery. (Vancouver viewers will also note that God cuts David more slack than Alex Edler gets from Alain Vigneault.)

Watching this long narrative of triumphalism and divine destiny, I was often reminded of the Israeli backpacker I recently met in India. He cut short an incipient discussion of Mid-East politics by proclaiming, "God gave our land to Abraham. That is all I need to know."

He'll love this series -- at least the first half. But The Bible's point of view is going to turn on him pretty soon. History Channel keeps reminding impatient Christian viewers of this with promos featuring Jesus (Diego Morgado) reaching toward the camera and saying, "I am coming soon!"

After all, History Channel didn't pull in over 13 million American viewers by pandering to minority groups.

I've had some peripheral experience with Mark Burnett and never noted any particular political or religious tendencies but his most obvious characteristic was phenomenal ambition and opportunism along with a keen understanding for pop culture psychology.

Which I suppose when you think of it, makes him a perfect purveyor of religion
Bruce Kay

Gym climber
Mar 15, 2013 - 11:11am PT
I just thought of something. Some psych major should think of doing a bio of Mark Burnett's professional history for a thesis subject. Here is the premiss:

MB started early with a fascination for spectacle and human drama, initially with a stint in the British special forces (or whatever its called) then taking part in the first "Adventure" Races, the Raid Galoise. His ferocious ambition drove him to holliwood and ultimately to develop his own backwoods soap operas in the Eco Challenge Adventure Race series which he sold broadcast rights to. From out of this fertile muck sprang the origins of Reality TV, Which discarded all the anoying expense and risk of the races while nurturing the gratuitous machavelian intrigues that formed the real success of the whole shebang.

Problem is, its sustainability relies on fresh spectacle as it is firmly anchored in the realities of the here and now. Mark spent the past decade milking this theme with nothing resulting better than some Sarah Palin or Trump idiocy or Survivor add nauseum.

How better to exploit the basic needs of his audience?

Well, What did other successful snake oil salesmen do?

Trad climber
Santa Cruz Mountains and Monterey Bay
Mar 16, 2013 - 11:34pm PT
Credit: TomCochrane

Although i was raised in the church, my personal orientation of interests has always been dedicated to the sciences...the assumption being that the sciences were rising above the superstitions and bigotry of the past.

As i gained experience in life, i also collected experiences that were not readily explained by my studies of the sciences, but i kept faith that all would be explained with further studies.

This thread has inspired me to do a lot of further reading and re-examine some of my basic assumptions.

It seems that the more we learn and the farther reaching our instruments, the bigger and more extensive are the unanswered questions.

So far my personal results have been coming to an understanding that the sciences have certainly served to expand our knowledge and awareness of many things...but some in the community of scientists are no less opinionated, bigoted, taboo ridden, and myopic than other recognizably superstitious societies...

It seems the sciences have been co-opted as the new religion to control and limit the thoughts of the human community.

However many of the basic assumptions of the sciences are probably wrong...as discovered by dedicated scientists doing research and verification of the basic 'laws of science.'

Unfortunately, open-minded scientists who are not so crippled by sanctioned opinions, and who become interested in unusual phenomena tend to keep their interests quiet in order to avoid the scorn and ridicule of their colleagues. That has to change...and is changing...

We have much to learn, and some opinionated scientific bigots are heading for a severe reality adjustment.

Mountain climber
Okinawa, Japan
Mar 17, 2013 - 12:12am PT
I just came across a series of three interesting and easy to read articles about what is known and not known now in high energy physics.

The God Particle: Six big consequences of the Higgs boson discovery.

Beyond the Higgs Boson: Five More elusive particles.

Life after Higgs boson: What's next for the world's largest atom smasher?


As for Tom's comments, yes I too have learned that scientists can be bigoted and use science like a religion.

However, I don't think scientists are any more a danger to society than religious believers. It's the power and money hungry among both groups and especially those who act in their name, who are the problem. Empire builders have no conscience, whatever their affiliation.

Speaking of which, one of the first results of sequestration, is that all four branches of the military have cut all tuition assistance for higher education. Military sports teams are still being flown around the world and we spend more on military bands than the entire State Dept. budget. Who needs an inquisition to quiet the masses when you can control them with money?
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