Sunday, January 15, 2017

Remembering Creation

Remembering Creation

So empty that
motion rushing lines converging, diverging
each singing to each other in hoarse metallic voices
rushing past causing motion.
Wind that would whip through my hair
if there were hair
or air
but singing metallic lines don't need air.
breathing needs air.

as in a fireworks fire cracker, from the center in parabolic sea urchin shaped explosion
come folding out like fast motion petals
clouds, particles of gas.
Streaming , each not in lines but
in a bubbling frenzy boiling in all directions bouncing against winds and gravity
Newly forming.

Hard fall against a rock planet.
Splash down against a shallow puddle
on dark rock cut edges and smooth pools.
Body which can now feel.
Feel the hardness of the rock.
Cold and warm flash through in waves of torrents of rain
padding the body through no clothes
all wetness but
skin against rain droplets
skin against the delicate clinging line of a few inches deep water pool.

With sound of rain beating tiny insect landings on rock and in water.
The invention of death by drowning.
The invention of fright from death.
Getting up from the water
cold air rushes through wet skin.
Awareness of light expanding empty dark eyeballs
life in the distance
large deeply colored dinosaur with leather and beads for skin
from behind
now inventing directions
coming at me.
Means food means run means fright means hard breathing
and hard padding of feet quickly placed against ground
pounding it into soil
which sprouts palm trees and fern fronds
to rasp against thighs and shoulders
and push them away.
Push into them into darkness mass of plants filling space.
tangle of vines and growing stems
into textures call vision into existence
that eat vision 'till it can't escape
Neither can a new sense, smell
called into existence, absorbed by insect odors        |
and moist ground and rotting flesh of things eaten and half eaten and not eaten and yet living but also dying
Every thing that is soft here is living and dying.
But living with sound of insect rasping snake sliding dropping of seeds by birds up and screeching and flapping sounds of flying
and animal grabbing
claws digging into soft parts
to eat and new sense of taste of what smells
hard taste to tongue
which is eaten
Taste which is craved for which is eaten.
Taste which is good which is eaten again.

Ahead in dense tangle 
making order
cutting from tangle a womb
made of light from fire.
Around it sitting
around fire in the middle
which is seen bright fingers 
spreading coldness and thinness of night
spitting sparks, young worlds of day up into the night of high trees
Sound which sparks are born from popping and snapping of wood
which are fires born from.
heat pushing against body facing fire.
Lack of heat pulling out of body away from fire towards cold dark night.

No more stories to talk around the fire because day then night is tiring so sleep
muscles coming apart
tension spreading on firm flow of ground under tent.
Inside tent with air and breath and clothes and heat
inside sleeping bag with breath and heat
protection from outside cooling

into morning now cold
Do not leave inside of breath bag heat of sleep from dreams
but discipline and urging of morning
out of bag diving out into cold damp morning.
Sounds of others with fire and water and pots and "good mornings"
Stiffness seeping back from firm cold ground into stiff cold bones
unzip tent bird-sounds tree-whispers cold and dew singing on grass rush in
contaminate and mix and drown air of breath and warmth and sleep.
Step out creating movement out of cold clammy bones into dew and rocks and twigs snapping and grass
to water splashing
shock and shiver of water slapping
cold and shivering of awakening
washing away firmness of sleep ground dryness in crevices of face
taste of soap which is morning not yet good to eat.

to make food a field which can be plowed
find oxen, catch oxen
hands on firm muscle and rough skin of oxen muscle movement under skin.
Latch up to tools which 
will dig into earth
turn it up to air
air out the earth
gentle crisp musth of growing molds insects roots in soil rising
softness compacting under feet sand through toes
pattern and pain of pebbles embedded in soil much softer.
Rows of turning soil
rows after rows keeping track of rows and tiredness
of time of waiting working movement fun monotony.
Heat and bath of warmth of sun beating down on body
wet dripping from hair to combat sun skin.

Now cool rows of corn crops can hide a person from the sun 
in rows
pattern in rows straight
or rows broken in the other direction
rows of corn stems from soil to air above the head
rasping of dry corn leaves against arms
ground firm air robust with summer daytime in nostrils
opening sight out the other end of the corn crop ocean.

corn rows into rows of God size
monoliths in straight rows and
rows of rows in corner made directions
rows of blocks laid by God
along streets along side walks.

people milling 
Din of people milling but hearing no one.
Traffic sounds also and 
cars stopping and going by and trucks with huge bellies bleating, breaking
Lights on buildings far and higher lights on cars lights on signs lights on planes
Energy of motion of living massiveness of oppressive smell and sound
into any building of different types of food
city food of hotdogs and soda and gyros  and pretzels and pizza
the dry bottom and slick molten oily cheese on top
burning against skin stuck hot oily cheese.

All this I remember, and am satisfied

Stonybrook, NY

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Jehovie Pamphlet: Can Science Satisfy What We Seek In God?

(as usual this is a rambling sketch just now.  hard to write, my computer's been stolen!)

how does science knowledge satisfy what we seek in god?  Creator, comforter,  listens in time of prayer, answers prayers, metes out justice, forgives, comforter and gives out justice.  How can science address that or should it?  When we suffer there are some responses. Compassion surely.  That we can give one another.

And if one is alone?  is that a good state for humans?  maybe not and is why we create god!  and why cant earth, the moss,  the giving ecosystem be comfort enough?  the ecosystem is kali giving AND taking.

where else is comfort? knowing we are PARTS of this creation that it is happening THROUGH us. chemically, ecologically, evolutionarily... but that creator is not the most comforting!  the raging tearing apart and putting together mother creating out of risk and death and rampant experimenting with genes and embryos! (is y we created comforting myth of father creator)

how we learn to comfort each other? that is appeal of jesus. he is model how to listen to each other and empathize.  but he give LESSONS?  like the buddha?  dunno, wonder whats in the tradition. certainly somewhere is meditation but it’s not the same.  so some form of buddhist/science practice is required to learn to get beyond our fear and desires and general head chatter so that we can truly be present to one who is suffering and be able to listen, empathize and accept.

the other response to suffering is to work on releasing one from attachment to ego which is cause of suffering. realize that this majestic historical creative drama of life is bigger than our petty ideas of ego! but that is personal choice: value attachments to self and fellow humans in the now or value the grand billions year sweep of evolutionary creativity?

see... christians want it both ways they want an infantile version of reality, they want to cheat.  they want to worship the creator and at same time worship the individual soul in eternal heaven.  sorry, watch your mom.  she IS kal,i playing trial and error with genes to make and destroy children higgledy piggledy in the grand drama of creative evolution. THAT is how we got here!  yes god created us in her own image and she is KALI!  to not accept this is to disrespect our mothers.  so what i gotta preach is how to comfort and then teach to accept the frightening aspect of the way we are part of this grand evolutionary drama.  even to come to be in awe and thanks of it as horrifying as it can be sometime.

take even this tack.  so i have the image of evo toying with me, creating in me many quirks, some very difficult to live with bit at same time, in the evolutionary drama ANY of these quirks can come to be an act of creativity if *I* can find or MAKE an ecological niche for them to thrive in.

AHA. in evo there is just as much creativity on TWO scales.  there is the variation and selection across generations but at same time it works because ORGANISMS THEMSELVES ARE CREATIVE.  EVERY organism we know of is creative, can explore its environment by trial and  error, try out new niches to live in, and of course is free to mix diploid genes into haphazard haploid gametes AND many options to choose mates either higgledy piggledy or with many creative strategies or quirky tastes!  look at female birds desiring showy males or bower birds and song birds creating to attract mates!

but at any rate through it all we have to accept the possibility of personal failure.  there is no creativity without it.

but bar, there are plenty who do not care about creativity or art or risk. who might think it a risky frivolity we cannot afford, as we struggle to just make ends meet or to keep rigid order in society to curb frightening chaos. how do you respond?

well? why are we struggling? what kind of safe society do we want? how CAN we keep it safe?  apart from retreating into some fantasy that the father god will always watch over or we can retreat to eternal blissful static heaven, we must realize that this universe IS IN FACT CHAOTIC.  It’s in our genes, in our behavior, its in the very mathematics when even 3 or more perfectly predictable automotons interact.

to create an orderly society to thrive in this world requires creative trial and error. but lets not create a cult of GENIUS about creativity that it is only the ability of the few who have been gifted by some  ultimate god source! creativity does NOT come from on high down through us.  Creativity comes from the ground up!  even the lowly bacteria is creative, then SO MUCH MORE are each of you! if you are alive you are creative!  it is not such a mystery anymore. i teach it when i teach math.  JUST TRY SOMETHING!  Yes, your first few tries might fail, and so you keep trying.  eventually you will find something that works. something you uniquely find for your situation. to be willing to fail requires that we are supportive and accepting of one another.

this is of course something the society of science teaches and practices. to be supportive of each other in our failures because we value this creative quest.

buddhist practice unnatach from ego reduce suffering, or dive into cause of suffering that it is part of this chaotic rich fragrant creative universe and love THAT more than hate suffering.  learn to accept suffering, it is not the worst fate!  numbness is, stasis is. A boring universe full of nothing is.

suffering is from error and error is the flip side of exploratory play, integral parts of creativity. learn that creativity is REQUIRED to thrive in this crazy universe and we CAN ALL BE CREATIVE, do not fear it

why do we say god can comfort and forgive and mete out justice?  because we say he is the creator of this universe.  well… what if i said that we are ALL creators in this universe?  then maybe we too can have power to comfort!

because we can practice meditation, and accept our role as creative, we don’t have to lash out in always predictable responses to hurt and we have the capacity to turn situations on their heads and create an open space of possibility and forgive!

and justice?  vengeance?  punishment?  what is all that?  Ah so now i must bring in our radical acceptance of creativity. We cannot be creative unless we are susceptible to failure AT ALL LEVELS.
these levels include:

genetic mutations leading to differences like male, female, homosexual, transgenders, black, white (and everything in between), ugliness (whatever that might mean), mental illnesses of all sorts,  radical genetic defects of horrible birth, even spontaneous abortion (between 25% and 50% of all conceptions end in spontaneous abortion the mother is not even aware of!).

and even while our adult bodies are growing, the genetic EXPLORATION of cancer, its hard to watch, yes, i know, but if we weren’t susceptible to it our ancestors would not have even evolved, we’d still be a planet of lowly bacteria or even no life at all.

and all sorts of horrible genetic diseases. and even infectious diseases the most intimate attempts at organisms to join ecologically. the reality is that life must eat life to live. that is what life is, cycles of birth and death, growth and destruction. Growth without destruction would quickly USE UP the entire universe and then HALT!  there must be cycles.

and human failure due to us trying things out in our own ways and even willful disobedience and the fact that we are vulnerable so we hurt and are weak so we take the easy path and lash out in anger and violence...

it is not our own FAULTS that evolution gave us this peculiar propensity to join in ecstatic mobs following single leaders or ideologies and warring with one another… Not our own faults that we don’t  immediately have the strength to find that meditative calm to accept suffering while we seek out equitable solutions,  so we instead  lash out immediately to take from others to satisfy our needs.

So here I need to dive into a very difficult topic.  Human will power.  What ARE we?  Are we robots destined to act out the programs in our genes?  If we have mental illness or have moments of weakness, laziness (humans are some of the laziest species I’ve ever met), does that mean that we have morally failed some great battle?  For sure I cannot by pure power of will grow a new arm.  I cannot by pure power of will memorize a 1000 digit number.  Not without practice.  What ARE the boundaries of our strength of will, our moral responsibilities?

In many cultures we have ideas that all men are equal (and women less equal etc..) and that all men have been CREATED equal by the perfect God, and therefore that those of us who do not show the Calvinistic behavior of succeeding by focused strength of will, must have instead chosen to reject this God, and therefore must be reformed, punished or even done away with.

Alas, we just cannot assume we now understand just what humans are yet.  We really don’t know.  For sure we know there is a combination of some mind activity and certain genetic constraints which tangle in a complicated way.  And each of us as a very different genetic mix.  We are NOT EQUAL. 

And that is the beauty of it.  That ongoing exploratory variation is what this creation is all about.  Not about some done deal created by a perfect creator god in the infinite past for some crazy cooked up purpose born out of our hellish awakenings when we were first becoming human long ago.

IT IS DIFFICULT to be human.

the first step in accepting all this horror about each of us is to wake up from the fantasy of heaven, that a perfect eternal god created us perfect with a plan, but to realize that we are one of evolution's GRAND EXPERIMENTS! this is a frightening thing to have been born a human with our higgledy piggledy mix (and each of us has a different mix) of wondrous capacities and horrifying failures.

when we realize this reality we realize we must truly have compassion for ourselves and others. and it is ONLY each of us who can offer this compassion and forgiveness. we are hypersocial and we are on this
wild creative journey together.

and if there is no one who can listen to us pray? what kind of prayer do we want?  to grant our wishes? thats just infantile! go out and seek. maybe there ARE people who will help us achieve our goals!

to feel  listened to? why on earth are we expending monumental effort to build a god for this instead of helping EACH OTHER learn to listen? most of us can learn to do it!

a prayer in which we are listening? for what? for wonder? for new ideas insights about our predicament? the important thing here is to realize that if we go into prayer with preconceived notions about who we are 'praying TO', we are limiting what we may be open to hearing. merely meditation to get out of our head chatter? this requires no one to pray to.

But even if another human listens to us, we come to realize that ULTIMATELY they cannot share our unique experience of our self and that at heart we FEEL RADICALLY ALONE!

being human WAS NOT AN EASY GIFT!  being born into this MONSTROUS labyrinth of neural nets capable of imagining infinite cosmos can be horrifying! in truth because we wire ourselves from the time we are embryos so stochastically and into such a large network of neurons... we ARE each SO DIFFERENT FROM EACH OTHER! Possibly at root, ALIEN to each other.  We don’t tend to think this is so, I believe, because our facility with language and our amazing abilities to mimic and imagine…  it may be truly impossible for each of us to comprehend what it is like for the other to have their experience of

so then what? maybe a first step is to accept this! so many religions so many political systems, medical systems, education systems want to imagine that we are created equal (American fantasy) or that at our core souls we are the same (christian fantasy) and CAN experience each other’s reality (Buddhist fantasy). but what if this is not correct? then we are barking up the wrong tree and have to find a different way?

so what can we do when faced with this radical state of unknowable complex difference of hundred trillion connection neural net that is our selves? what god can we commune with? where the comfort?

this universe is radically creative! we certainly have only BEGUN to explore that! only recently have we discovered 2 to 100 million species (we still dont know how many, but alas we DO know that we are erasing significant numbers of them through our economic growth).  Dug out 4 billion years of history during which wild trial and error have created these myriads of species and during which 99% of all them have passed away.  We’ve opened our eyes and discovered a hundred billion galaxies of a hundred billion stars each with their own planetary systems that might or might not be playing out their own billion year long evolutionary dramas (funny it took brains of a 100billion neurons to count those 100billions!). Opened our own skulls and counted our nets of 100billion stochastically wired neural nets. We are even beginning to explore the mathematics of how pattern, creativity can evolve out of simple rules of physics and math played out in systems of all these billions of interacting parts.

why IS the universe SO MANY PARTS?

maybe complex intelligent life COULD happen because there are 100 thousand billion billion planets to try it out on over billions of years! Each planet surface composed of 10^37 (now the numbers get TRULY big and I have to resort to mathematical notation.  10^37 means 1 followed by 37 zeros, that’s 10 billion billion billion billion!  At this point one must practice doing lots of math to truly appreciate what’s going on here!!!)  interacting molecules (and a billion years means particles nudge each other 10^24 times. They are bounce into each other VERY fast!).  That compounds to a mindboggling 10^84 operations in which to fiddle around with and invent life!

See, after spending so many years learning how creative math can be when played over such huge numbers... maybe god can simply be 10^84 interactions!  You may laugh at such a simplistic notion… but until you spend years learning the craft of mathematical and physics complexity… don’t be so fast!

but now that ive taken you to such horrifying dizzying heights can i bring you back down to a comforting human scale? the question was, how can we commune with such mindboggling mechanics when we are feeling at our most achingly human?

[probly go look at how the bhagavad gita does it!]

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

some mosses on wall

Some mosses growing on a stone wall in town.
look, there are three different species, growing in a patch the size of a pea
the silvery one is Bryum argenteum

further on is some colorful Orthotrichum anomalum
and further on is some Schistidium rivulare

might as well post some more mosses from another wall in town

here is another Orthotrichum anomalum

 here is Schistidium rivulare with more mature capsules

here is some Orthotrichum strangulatum

here is rivulare with strangulatum.  i can't tell the leaves apart without a microscope!

here are two mosses who's names i don't know yet.  maybe they'll sprout capsules in the summer and I'll look some more

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

My Fifteenth Aster Species!

Symphyotrichum tenuifolium, a salt marsh aster, new for me in my new salt marshy kinda home Gloucester Mass.

look at those beautiful phyllaries!

Maybe i'll write a post about my experience getting to know 15 species in a genus of plants (actually the genus Aster has been exploded into a dozen species by now.  I've met Symphyotrichum, Eurybia, Ionactis and Doellingeria)


Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Analytic Categories and Theories or Gestalt Feel Of Raw Nature or Both?

finding order in the chaos of raw nature:  ever since childhood i've always been in awe and held sacred my sense of the special textures of nature (as opposed to those produced by boring people and their parking lots, vinyl siding, rooms full desks, parking lots, cars, beauracracies etc...).  now growing up i learned about 50 different plants from my dad mostly.  but still when i looked around me outside i saw mostly raw texture and it is usually bliss.

some years ago i took some botany classes and began to learn to identify plants. this often involved looking at them in minute detail and also arranging them in groups (genus, family, etc...) after awhile i learned to identify about 550 of the plants i saw around me in new york state (north east u.s.).  where once i saw raw texture, i now immediately jumped from individual to individual and assigned names (and memeories of their personalities).  pretty much everywhere i went i could recognize almost all the plants in my visual field as individuals.

for awhile this disturbed me and i thought this anayticity would kill the blissful gestalt feel i got from landscapes.

but no.  eventually it all melded together into a much more powerful sense of landscape.

one thing that peering closely at plants (shape of leaf, hairs on leaf, pattern of leaf joining stem, number and arrangements of petals stamens pistils sepals bracts...) did for me was to simply BLOW MY MIND that the creativity going on here was amazing.  this feeling was enhanced by realizing that these amazing details (as far in as i could see with handlens microscope) are all grown from within because plants are in fact whole villages of single celled alage families shpaping each other as they kept breeding and population booming.

but the main thing was that i was able to freely oscillate between analysing by individuals and having gestalt experience and the two really enhanced each other rather from detracting from each other.  in fact once i assimilated the ability to recognize 100s of different kinds of individuals in a landscape that just made my sense of gestalt texture THAT MUCH RICHER.

it's still like sex out there for me.

I can't wait to take apart and put back together the mosscape!

i suppose this is the same phenomenon as my experience of all science. Many argue there is a dichotomy between reductive science and holistic view of nature, but from my experience with computer science (hardware and programming) i've coined the phrase constructive science. 

In computer science we look at the process we want to program up and top down take it apart into finer and finer peeices until all the pieces are simple enough to conceive. then we go the other way and build our program up from the peices to more encompassing wholes, all the while manageing complexity and making sure it all works together.  sometimes we go back up and down higgledy pigledy..  sometimes we make subtle tangled hierarchies (though we try not to, very hard to manage!  (though biology uses them all the time))

i've definitely mastered the abiltiy to use reductive science to take apart the phenomena around me into mechanistic parts and interactions.  but then i immediately use that knowlege and experience to put the parts and interactions back together into a heady WOW.

when i'm in the right frame of mind, i can intuit the whole gamut of complexity from atoms to molecules to proteins to protein assemblies to organells to cells to tissues to organs to organisms and have no trouble feeling that the person before me is a PERSONALITY and MACHINE at the same time.  my experience of what a MACHINE can be BLOWS AWAY most common conceptions of machine. 

realize that by the time i get to level of cell i can do a meditation wherein i can visualize walking around new york city and seeing ALL THE BRICKS (which i can count by a series of multiplications, and do a calculation and realize that a cell has more molecueles than all these bricks...) and imagineing them to be little transformer robots that are proteins and the whole city swarming with this army of transformer robots taking apart and putting each other together and arrangeing and dancing and reproducing a whole city just as a cell can reproduce...  takes practice.  i should teach everyone how to do it!!!

and then i do it again when i realize that a brain is a society of a 100billion of these cities all having a conversation with each other...

i have no need for concepts like soul or spirit...

"Fuck!", A Preliminary Analysis

the simple word 'fuck' is disturbing?  what is the function of the word 'fuck'?

well it's basic meaning is to have sex.  some men use it; "to fuck a woman"  some women use it; "let's fuck".  is it so qualitatively different than "lets make love"?  I suppose fucking doesn't have to involve love.  but does all 'lovemaking' that isn't 'fucking' involve love? why not play? 

we need a detailed  anthropology of 'fuck'

nevertheless it's other basic meaning is "this is fucked up".  when this is 'fucked up'  something precious, valuble, someone's life work broken almost beyond repair.  At that point that personi is deeply distressed.

and to 'fuck you' is to be red in the eyes angry enough to kill you?

another function of the explitive "fuck" is to show that you are loosing control, control of social protocol, lest you wouldn't say it!  you would modulate the display of your moods skillfully amongst your fellows.

and what about the origins of this thread?  in response to what he finds are frighteningly stupid and dangerous humans, Kutastha mutters, "human beings... fucking idiots"  he doesn't mean they are having sex.  maybe he means they are capable of, raping each other, perhaps he means they are getting red in the eyes angry/sick enough to kill each eather? or indeed they ARE raping their mother earth in their quest for heaven?

would it be so foul as to say: "human beings... ignorant immature murdering idiots"  not at all. 

I see, his use of the word "fucking" shows it is HIS eyes that he has let gone red with anger, and thus HE is now a potential threat.

and.. it is not as fun to say!  there is a satisfaction in saying "fucking idiots" when you are hyped up angry. It blows off steam!

to say "fuck" is to let the wind out violently, to burst, to loose control.  don't do it in public.  ah... that is precisely what happens in sex!  then to have sex IS to 'fuck', and we don't do it in public either. 

And to talk about it in public politer words are used, "to come", or "to cum", "to climax" (latin, academic), "to have orgasm", "to jizzm"  to lighten the explicative nature of it.  so it is alright to clinically describe the act, but not let the act acutally burst forth in public, unless it's laughter or jazz or a sneeze...

why then would a woman say to a man, "let's fuck"?  is it a game of danger?

why at heart it is!  in many moments in human time and place, to fuck a woman WAS to threaten her with death!  even if it WAS love making!  to fuck a woman out of wedlock was to saddle her with birth and shame, saddle her bastard child with shame.

but even love making threatens a woman with death, threatens her with creating life, possibly dying, 50% chance of spontaneously aborting.  even lovemaking is fucking!  fucking up the works!

creation IS fucked up!  That's our basic story.  when we die don't  we fight against it as if someone, something has fucked us over?

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Enough Notes To Decide Dawkins' "God Hypothesis" Wasn't Worth Further Reading

pg 31:

"The God of the old testament is arguably the most unpleasant character in all fiction: jealous and proud of it; a petty, unjust, unforgiving control-freak; a vidictive, bloodthirsty, ethnic cleanser; a misogynistic, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestiliential, mealomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capriciously malevolent bully."

It would be interesting to respond to this.  The character of yhvh in tanakh from b'reishit to malakhim is curious.  The experience that the human characters have is another thing.  And then there is the experience that the writers are trying to portray.  In fact, the question is: JUST WHAT is each writer trying to do?  So for instance some people angry at religion want to assume that the writers are lying for the purpose of scaring stupid people into listening to priests.

"it is unfair to atttack such an easy target.  The God Hypothesis should not stand or fall with its most unlovely instantiation.. nor the opposite face gentle jesus."

>God hypothesis:

>there exists
>a superhuman intelligence
>supernatural intelligence
i don't understand the meaning of supernatural.  i wonder if he's gonna do some anthropology in this book.

>who deliberately designed
>and created
>the universe and everything in it,
>including us

That's too much and too little i'm afraid!

pg 32 he has a hard time sticking to a topic. 
"it is not clear why the change from polytheism to monotheism should be assumed to be a self-evidently progressive improvement.  But it widely is..." till you get rid of just one MORE god, and presto atheism..

will he explore this?

he gets lost.  it looks as if he is going to DESCRIBE polytheism, instead he gets lost on a tangent about tax exempt status of religions.. very poor.

pg 35 this is just glib sophomoric "nya nya na nya nya" he is poking at people he thinks are dumb.  He's doing no carefull ethological work on the religious behavior of Homo sapiens.  he's just cocking his feathers fancifully so the girls will like him.

pg 36 he makes sure to call FEMINIST theologians "ditzy"  nice.

oh so now he comes out and says

 "I am aware that critics of religion can be attacked (!?!  see, he's in FIGHT mode, a boy!) for failing to credit the fertile diversity of traditions and world-views that have been called reigious.  Anthropologically informed works , from Sir James Frazer's "Golden Bough" (?!?) to Pascal Boyer's "religion explained or scott atran's "in gods we trust" fascinatingly document... read such books and marvel at the richness of human gullibility (more off handed remarks)"

"but that is not the way of this book.  I decry supernaturalism in all its forms, and the most effective way to proceed will be to concentrate on the form most likely to be familiar to my readers - the form that impinges most threatening on all our societies. "

the 3 great monotheism which trace themselcves back to the mythologial abraham.

"this is a good moment to forestall an inevitable retort..the god dawkins doesn't believe in is a god i don't believe in either..  i don't believe in an old man in the sky with a long white beard... that's an irrevelent distraction.. from the fact that what the speaker really believes in is not a whole lot less silly"

"I'm not attacking any particular version of God or gods.  I am attacking any particular version of God or gods.  I am attacking God [listen to dawkins puff up his opponent so that he looks like a mighty davy to his goliath!], all gods, anything and everything supernatural wherever and whenever they have been or will be invented."

well that's a lofty goal.  it's also terribly general.  and that doesn't sound like the approach of a biologist.  Dawkins is NO biologist!

pg 37  quote at top of page, there he goes again with that "barbaric bronze age text" bullshit.  gore vidal this time.  what bronze age text?  no evidence that it comes from bronze age...

D says that judaism is older and CLEARLY the ancestor of christianity and islam.

the judaism we know today, rabinic judaism seems to have grown side by side with christianity.  do we REALLY have any knowlege of it BEFORE christianity developed on the scene?  judaism "originally a tribal cult"  does that have a specific meaning or does D just mean to paint a picture of a bunch of head hunters dressed in feathers?  "originally a tribal cult of a single fiercely unpleasant God, morbidly obsessed with sexual restrictions, smell of charred flesh, his own superiority over rival gods and with the exclusiveness of his chosen desert tribe"

huh?  he's describing judaism by refering to a god, whom he is trying to show is imaginary?  he's taking a text which he believs to be fairy tales as an anthroplogical account of a moment in history of human peoples?

these 'theists' are stupid!

then he points out christianity and islam are spread by the sword. 

then we see that this is NOT the work of a scholar, but a pop book by a celebrity:

"for most of my purpose all three Abrahamic religions can be treated as indistinguishable.  unless otherwise stated i shall have christianity mostly in mind, but only because it is the version with which i happen to be most familiar [so he doesn't have the guts to do the hard work and LEARN about the others?  some animal ethologist.  he's LAZY!] for my purposes the differences matter less than the similarites.  and i shall not be concerned at all with other religions such as Buddhism or Confcianism [that's a religion?]  Indeed there is something to be said for treating these not as religions at all but as ethical systems or philosophies of life."

huh! interesting game he is playing.  every thing he DOESN'T like, he'll call a religion, and everything he likes will be called an ethical system or philosophy.  i suppose he wants to focus on the idea of an intelligent being who created the universe for the purpose of playing out a drama with ONE species, Homo sapiens, for whom he has a particular plan.  hmm.. 

so first of all some census data.  what percentage of people who use the word "god" use it in that sense.  and why do people use the word "god" to mean other things?

"The simple definition of the God Hypothesis with which i began has to be substantially fleshed out if it is to accomodate the abrahamic god.  he not only created the niverse; he is a personal god dwelling within it, or perhaps outside it (whatever that might mean) [well?  which is it?  is there a unified enough conception of this god for you to write about or NOT?] possesing the unpleasant human qualities to which i have alluded"

then he makes a passing mention of thomas paine's 'deist god'  saying at on one hand he is very different, almost the laws of physics, but a supreme intelligence nevertheless.

is he going to really explore in detail the demographic that thinks about god in the way he is sloppily fleshing out?  and is he interested in the breadth of huuman conceptions associated with god and religion or not?  is he going for UNDERSTANDING or RIDICULE?

p39 and now he gets distracted again by discussing the founding of the united states as a secular state...  i don't get this guy.

and now pg 40 he does ask an anthropological question (for a moment he forgets he's nder attack?  if the u.s. was founded secular and england was a religious state why are the tables now turned?
1) u.s. has immigrants who hold onto religius identitties for cohesion
2) england was wearied by all the religious wars
3) becase u.s. was secular rival religions were free to compete for congregants and the market went wild.
4) the english system with its country vicars evolved into a kind of benign deism.  (but WHY?)

and now he wants to know if any of the founding fathers were out and out atheists.

he's so confused.  i thought this was his chapter on the 'god hypothesis'???

pg 44 comparing to public attitude to atheists: " yet the jewish lobby is notoriously one of teh most formidably influential in Washington."

huh?  up there with oil and pharmaceuticals?  no data of course.

why is this brit, writing mostly about AMERICAN social phenomena?

this is so sloppy is this a chap on God hypothesis or a rambling about current events of violence in america against atheists?  i'm confused.

oh that was all supposed to be a subchapter on the 'deist hypothesis'  this writing sucks.

pg47.  now he will talk about agnosticism.  wait.. he hasn't even defined the god hypothesis for me or at least described how people use it..  in detail.

he begins by calling agnostics "namby pamby, mushy pap, weak tea, weedy palllid fence sitters".  Oh that's scholarly!  That's discussion!

pg 47 so he says it's alright to be agnostic on teh topic of what caused the permian extinction.  Well, yes, i can ask for a detailed description of the permian exitnction.  masses of paleontolical data, strata fossils.  how se define extinction rates, morphospecies etc...

but, Dawkins, you haven't defined the God hypothesis in enough detail yet for me to decide whether i agree, refute or remain agnostic.

hell you quote sagan as saying it's reasonable to be agnostic on the question of whether there is life elsewhere in the universe.  do you mean life with dna, rna, rna polymerase, ribosomes, tRNA, tRNAases, ATPase and the host of bioenergetic redox catalysts that run the whole thing inside lipid membranes?  or do you mean something more general?

he says two kinds of agnosticism: TAP  something caused the permian extinction and we WILL or CAN eventually find the evidence.

PAP what color do you see when i see red, there is NO way to find evidence.  so i used that argument with tom, but now i am not so sure.  we ARE beginning to taese apart the nrural processes.. but will we ever be able to relate them to experiencing?  Will i EVER be able to decide whether a very complex computer program which passes teh turing test for me, EXPERIENCES also, something like me?  i say i cannot be sure that another human even experiences being alive in the way i do.  but then again, there are times when i'm NOT experiencing being alive, so i may be able to track down neural correlates to the times when i'm experiencing and the times i'm not?

so i don't know what to say about this topic yet!

so now pg 50 he says the god hypothesis (which he really hasn't sketched out yet) is a scientific hyptothesis to which we may not have enough evidence or may NEVER have anough evidence but what we CAN do is at least say that the probablity if its truth is way less than 10% or 2% or 0.0002%.  hm..  the more precisly you want to do that the more precisely you want to define your hypothesis.  and then justify narrowing such a broad range of human behavior into such a narrow hypothesis, or prove to me that a substantial and important portion of humanity follows it.

he presents a spectrum:

1) god 100% jung knows there is a god
2) god 99% well i aint certain but i strongly believe and live accordingly
3)god >50% very uncertain, inclined to belive
4)god nogod 50% can't tell either way
[how on earth does one measure the diff between 4 and 3?  a tad silly, no?]
5)god<50 br="" disbelieve="" inclined="" to="" uncertain="" very="">6)99% no god  can't know for certain but it's really improbable, i live as if not
7)100% no god.  can't imagine many can justify this stance

dawkins says he's 6 leaning on 7.

position 4 (which i don't understand how one can measure) is not the same as PAP, no way to decide.  If PAP then no way to even assign probabilites.

russels orbiting teapot: it would be close to impossible to prove it aint out there. (huh?  we can look at the records, no teapots were launched into space)  (furthermore you produced this teapot example precisely as a kind of intellectual clever arguement.  that's NOT the way the god hypothesis came about.)

one camp says one should be agnostic about teapots.  one camp atheist.

oh russel is saying some religious think that it is the job of the atheist skeptic to provide eveidence against religion, not the job of the religious to provide evidence for.  so he supposes that saying there is a teapot is the same as saying there is god, and it's silly for skeptics to have to bring forth an exhaustive search out there for the little thing.  surely it is the burden of the proposer of the teapot to bring evidence.  One problem with this paralel is that russel just cooked up the teapot idea for the sake of argument.  The god idea has been evident in human cultures around the world for 1000s of years with 100s of millions of adherents.

if russel says there is a teapot out there, i will just ignore him as being a looney or being too clever.  if 100s of millions of humans over earth for 1000s of years say there is a god, i'm gonna look into it.  at least to find out what they mean and why.  i wouldn't care less whether russel meant his teapot to be ceramic or iron.

oh, pg 53, his point is here is an example of a hypothesis while we can't find exclusive eveidence, the probablitity of there being a teapot is NOWHWERE = to the probability of there NOT being a teapot.  So we don't bother to look.  so just because you can't PROVE "god doesn't exist" doesn't mean that we can't say "he VERY probably does not exist"

ok.  why not stronger contention:  "why are you even INTERSTED in such arcane stuff.  There's children and history and meadows and experiments and civics..."

well, this is all well and good. i know how to think about whether and how a teapot can or cant get into orbit around the sun.  but i still don't know how to think about what people MEAN by god.  and i suspect that dawkins won't help me.

"...when asked whether i'm an atheist to point out that the questioner is also an atheist when considering zeus... wotan... flying spaghetti monster.."

hmm... is this solid?  i think not.  Can dawkins assert that any given christian does not believe in zeus?  do either of them even KNOW WHAT IT MEANS to believe in zeus or not?  what's the hypothesis?  that he throws thunderbolts while sitting on clouds?  ok, bar then what about allah?  people believe in allah, now.  ditto.  how do i know that that christian professing his christianity doesn't have roughly the same conception as another particular moslem has about allah?  Just that they speak different languages?   i suppose it all boils down to how literal.  What's the definitions?  Moslems say jesus is NOT god.  Christians say jesus IS god.  The HISTORICAL? jesus?  That god became human for a time?  Do all who call themselves christian beleive this?  Gabe?  ****

and what about the retort, "come on Bar, you know damm well what most people mean by god"  umm no, i spent a few years in college researching that, asking that, exploring that, i don't know what they mean.  I don't even know what red looks like to them.  Do you know what durga means?  hmm... she's insecure, she heryo worships.  she's in love with her bishop in a way i would never be.  she was in love with me in a way i wasn't in love with her.  she WANTS someone to guide her.  she doesn't think she can go out on her own and define the way to go.  she has spent her life in administrative support roles.  so had Tanya.  and with tanya, could i even say: "I know your conception of religion is wrong"?  NO, there was a point in her thinking process beyond which i could not break into.  she kept very hidden.  therefore there is no way i could say her conception was wrong, becuase there was no way i could even FIND her conception.

couldn't you guess?  yeah.  i could guess that she wanted parents that loved her and her total religious behavior was in response to that.  it's not a matter of logically defined entities.  hence this atheist-theist arguement is only so much ruffling of feathers.  silly.

but important point.  do you suppose there are masses of people who CAN'T sustain a skeptical life dealing with reality every day but who can only master a lower grade of existence of touching relity a little, following along and spending most of their time in a constructed world?

whether they believe in god isn't the issue, the issue is: are they constitutionally capable of leading self directed lives?  Is democracy REALLY possible?

suppose people like dawkins had their way and 100s of millions of believers went into therapy and got cured of their belief.  First of all... are they even capable of letting go?  and if so, are they strong enough to live without it?  It's been the way for the masses for 1000s of years, maybe 10s of thousands.  Does Dawkins and his ilk have ANY grounds to believe that the majority of humanity can master life to the level that his fellow academics can?

i have my doubts.