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Messages - Tralfamadorian

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91
Interzone / Re: This guy is a 'traditionalist' and he is a wanker...
« on: November 19, 2012, 06:29:37 AM »
I'm with Bill here, Cargest. Your last post seemed like a sly attempt to say that "I won" without accounting for the many loose ends on your side of the argument.

The evidence Bill provided was strong, but it seems nothing short of witnessing a species evolve into another in the flesh will convince you otherwise. Well, consider this:

We haven't witnessed the continents move thousands of miles, but we have observed them moving in inches every year. From this we can either extrapolate that the continents have moved thousands of miles over millions of years from their original formation as Pangea to their current positions, OR we can say that God magically placed the continents where they are and only allows them to move a few inches or so back and forth. Which makes more sense?

In addition, I'm interested in hearing your response to the following queries:
  • • Why is the absence of fundamentally different life evidence against evolution when carbon is the only viable basis for life?
  • • Why do science and spirituality need to be integrated?
  • • Why does evolution imply physicalism for you? What do you make of the Catholic Church's wholehearted acceptance of evolution?

92
Interzone / Re: Drugs are for depressed people, period.
« on: November 19, 2012, 06:07:12 AM »
When the doors are fully opened, and are kept open (which is done through spiritual practice during/after the experiences).
This seems line of thinking seems to equivocate enlightenment with flipping a switch in your brain. In reality, spiritual progress happens daily in imperceptible increments as one hones and refines the mind. Perhaps certain psychedelics can be used as a shortcut to speed up this process, but in most cases seem to become an end in themselves rather than a merely a tool. Besides, what's preventing you from opening those doors without drugs? Living a spiritual life is not exclusive to those who use drugs, and I find that the path of most resistance (ie not taking shortcuts) is the most fruitful path. Drugs are superfluous.

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Perhaps they don't need it, but every noble and pious society, with very few exceptions, has used such things.  Greeks, Romans, Japanese, Chinese, Egyptians, Babylonians, Carthaginians, Aztecs, Mayans (all Native Amerinds, actually) - the list is indefinite, because as more cultures rise after this one's fall, they'll be turning to these sources of knowledge for guidance, just as our ancestors did.
These civilizations were great because of strong leaders and strong value systems, and outside of the Hindus neither of those attributes can said to have been significantly influenced by drugs, at least insofar as the Greeks, Romans, Japanese, and Chinese are concerned(None of the major schools of Greek philosophy encouraged drug use, nor did most sects of Buddhism). The shamans and soothsayers of old probably did more harm than good with due to their promulgation of silly superstitions alongside actual Truth. Drug use--for the sake of spirituality or any other reason--is discouraged by most religions, and for good reason: it is an anachronism that should be left for primitive jungle peoples.

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I'm aware that cannabis, for example, should not be taken by adolescents, due to its potentially negative effects on brain development.  However, there seems to be much less, if not no, damage done to a fully formed brain through consuming cannabis (though excessive amounts of CO from smoking can obviously cause problems, like the monkey suffocation they used to parade as "death by marijuana").  I wouldn't want my daughter or son taking any other similar substance until they are physically, mentally, and emotionally mature/healthy enough to make the most out of it.  However, after that point, I can find nothing to suggest that any of these substances might be harmful in any meaningful way, and very much to suggest that their consumption can generate huge benefits for humans.
THC 'dis-orchestrates' the brain and causes schizophrenia-like symptoms.

Furthermore, most of the cannabis users I know (including my -former- self) are lethargic, unmotivated, and live unhealthy lifestyles. Note that I am not accusing you of any of these things. There's always a duck-billed platypus to mess up the nice and neat rules people come up with.

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Your assertion that drug-taking cannot enhance IQ is baseless.  You could provide no source for that claim, since we don't yet even know all of the psychedelic narcotics.  As things stand, there are synthetic drugs which increase (temporarily?) your IQ (e.g. nootropics); there may well be naturally occurring substances which do the same (and may even trip you out, maaaan).
I have experimented with nootropics such as piracetam and aniracetam, and while they did provide a high kinda sorta like marijuana, what with enhanced perception of colors and more abstract thinking but minus any euphoria or body high, in the end all they did was make me psychotic. Not smarter. I did a lot of research on those drugs, and not once did I encounter a reliable source for the claim that such drugs increased IQ.

There is a paucity of research on the effects of drugs on IQ. But seeing as it is mostly genetic, and that the part that is experiential is done developing by the end of childhood, common sense informs me that drugs cannot raise IQ. I wouldn't be surprised if they lowered IQ, though.

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Furthermore, the more I understand, the less important IQ is.  It is a measure of intelligence, but is not intelligence itself; at that, it cannot denote wisdom, and the wisest might appear to have no intelligence (which might be true!).
I made this point myself:

Quote from: Tralfamadorian
Second, intelligence and wisdom, though there may be a correlation between the two, are not the same.

However, don't kid yourself: IQ is important and will determine your lot in life; wisdom is not the be-all end-all. I want to be a computer programmer. In order to be a programmer, one has to have above average intelligence. I am sure you have similarly aspire to take up a profession which requires a baseline level of intelligence.




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As a mild aside: there seems to be a hell of a lot of wimpish, modernistic thinking going on around here.  If you're concerned so much about your physical, mental, or social wellbeing that you don't want to push the boundaries, that's fine: you probably shouldn't.  That said, don't try to make yourselves out as being somehow "better" for allowing insecurities.  I could not live with myself if I left so grand an avenue unexplored; it is in my nature to accrue experience, in whatever way.  Life is for living, not for finding excuses not to live!
You show weakness here -- you have been insulted so you insult back. So be it.

Drugs are not indicative of an adventurous spirit. Such a claim could not be further from the truth. Drugs are for those who have given up on life and choose to retreat into their own minds to hide from big bad Reality. Failing to see the beauty that is all around them, they 'augment' (read: distort) their perceptions with poisonous substances. Drugs are akin to life support: when a user isn't high, they're dead -- the only thing keeping them going is the thought of getting high again. They seek to rationalize their decadent lifestyles by advertising drugs as the path to enlightenment, but the only path drugs provide is a dead end. If you want to have an adventure, go hiking at your local state park, hit on that cute girl at the coffee shop, or try learning something you've never thought yourself capable of. Adventures are to be had wherever your comfort zone ends. The one place they are not to be had is in your own mind, where you are always safe and in control.







/troll =]

But see? Insulting someone else's lifestyle just because it differs from your own only makes for more venom and vitriol. I am not preaching, I am probing.



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Here's a very small list of things which entheogens have helped me achieve (or, have suggested might be a good idea): regular (daily) meditation; no more alcohol; greater appreciation of my parents, as well as others around me; growing plants in my home; improved range of composition; spiritual insights along Sufi lines (the Way of the Heart seems to be mine); greater "connection" with my body, with others, with animals and plants, and even some objects; greater fluidity/ease of thinking; comfort in day-to-day life.  These are not temporal effects; rather, they have lasted, some of them for over two years.  It's more about the way in which one interacts with the world than about any one specific skill or set of skills; my relationship with the world has been made more whole/inclusive due to the use of these substances.
Were drugs really necessary to arrive at those conclusions?

I'll go through my 'revelations':
-- The complimentary nature of the sexes. I remember thinking this on my first acid trip. All it takes is interaction with the opposite sex to realize this.

-- The importance of family. Again, common sense stuff that just takes a little bit of self-reflection.

-- A good day is a productive day. I'll admit, smoking weed made me realize I was wasting too much time playing videogames. Probably would've realized this anyway once I got into physical fitness.

-- Telepathy. This is the only revelation I probably never would have had without drugs. Not too terribly important, though.

-- The importance of never giving up. A cliche, but seemed profound at the time. Experienced this thought as a fractal, as though every thought I had during the trip was a permutation of this idea. Really a no brainer.

-- The existence of other minds radically different from my own (but at the same time, identical). I remember blacking out for a second while thinking this on acid, not sure why. Again, common sense stuff you teach yourself as you learn and grow.

et cetera...

With the exception of telepathy, none of these things truly required drugs to realize. I admit drugs have an interesting way of 'crystallizing' thoughts, but they really just get you to think about and appreciate the obvious, something that can be achieved by mindfulness alone.

93
^ Stay classy, metal hall

94
Interzone / Re: Female fronted pop/rock
« on: November 17, 2012, 03:32:49 AM »
I've always liked this Feist song.

95
Interzone / Re: Drugs are for depressed people, period.
« on: November 15, 2012, 08:04:44 PM »
No, the "War on Drugs" is a misguided, resource wasting, corporate backed pissfuck of a policy. It is utterly idiotic to think that we can wage "war" on drugs. Fucking preposterous - you can only war in a literal sense vs living things, but even metaphorically it's stupid. Why doesn't it cover the abuse and illegal distribution of most prescription drugs? Why do some prescription drugs have side effect lists that are incredibly extensive? Why is a drug like Oxycontin legal, when it's little more than synthetic heroin? Oh right - financial backing by empty-headed bigwigs; pharmaceutical companies that make a ton of $$$ from the sale of those drugs. I'm not saying coke or heroin are good things, but neither is draining money, manpower, and time into a policy that is almost entirely ineffective (isn't it like >90% or so of illegal drugs still make it into the US? yeah, nice job DEA). Plus, this "war" was started by one of the most deplorable bastards to ever weasel into the Presidency - Richard Nixon. Just another reason to abhor it.
I never said the war on drugs was effective, just pointing out the (good) intentions behind it.

The war on drugs is largely futile, but what other choice do we have? It's a catch-22: Either we legalize drugs only to witness large swathes of society tear themselves apart as addiction rates soar, or we continue this pointless war and keep wasting untold amounts of money, countless man hours, and hundreds if not thousands of human lives fighting a beast that seemingly grows a new head every time we cut one off.

If the countries drugs come from weren't corruption-laden shit holes, then perhaps we could make some real progress. But until they clean up their act, the war on drugs is indeed a Sisyphean endeavor.   

Oxycontin isn't exactly legal. It's a schedule-II substance, meaning its use as a prescription medication is (supposed to be) very tightly controlled. Opiates/opioids have legitimate uses -- I sure as hell wouldn't have wanted my wisdom teeth out without them.

Why doesn't the DEA crack down on prescription drug abuse? I'm sure they already do, but it's lower on the priority list because terrorist cells and other entities that threaten national security are often funded with drug money from schedule-I substances. That's not to say big pharma is innocent, but in this case, I'd say they are mostly guilty of negligence; it is doubtful there is a big evil pharmaceutical conspiracy to farm cash from junkies.



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It's another one of our "THIS IS GOOD AND THIS IS EVIL" binary ways of thinking in the US. It will bring little else but failure.
If you have any better ideas, I'm all ears.


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To address an earlier point made by you, Traf - I will probably never touch stuff like coke or meth, same with most psychedelics. I don't think that I'd enjoy them. However, certain other drugs, like caffeine, THC, and alcohol I find use for. I strive to maintain a realism about my usage - when they do not benefit me anymore, or when I do not find enjoyment in them anymore, I will stop. Enough will be enough, when it is enough.
Fair enough. Like I said before, I do not care if you use drugs or not. A person cannot be judged through a binary right/wrong filter, as you say.

However, Dinaric Leather is on to something -- drug use is often a symptom of depression and/or other maladaptations to reality. My personal experience seems to confirm this: To most, drugs are, at best, a mindless distraction, and at worst, a crippling emotional crutch.

(Caffeine? I assumed that we were all talking about recreational drugs =P )

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PS - interesting thought - do you folks consider sugar to be a drug? I saw a documentary on drugs which treated it like one; a fascinating take on it, and it backed up the claim with some pretty compelling arguments.
A common definition of drug is any substance that affects the body or mind that is not a food. However, the argument could certainly be made. Ingesting sugar does cause a small spike in dopamine levels.

96
Interzone / Re: Drugs are for depressed people, period.
« on: November 15, 2012, 04:26:44 AM »
The war on drugs is the war against consciousness.
I disagree, I think it's a war against a destructive lifestyle. I like Conservationist's take on the matter: Legalize drugs in California, then check up on them in 50 years to see how things panned out. Most likely result: something like the Mad Max movies.

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I'm not trying to say that I have a "tolerance" to drugs or some bullshit and that they don't affect me. Buddhist monks were given LSD and they experienced barely any affect. But I don't have the luxury to be a buddhist monk...
I'm gonna have to ask for a source. Though I suppose it is possible to discipline one's mind to such a degree that drugs would not affect one's thoughts. I would not, however, construe this to mean that LSD opens up a spiritual plain of existence otherwise only accessible to ascetics.

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I choose to remain in society, and I can benefit from certain aids. Usually I write for all, but in this thread I write only for those who can understand, because drugs are the most misunderstood of all (second after consciousness). Be fucking ruthless with yourself, don't give yourself any slack, see what you can See. I'm telling you that the human form isn't the ideal, there is more than this mortal coil; I am here transcendent and I don't expect you to believe me, but I do want to say that I don't fucking get all caught up in thoughts on drugs, I don't go homeless, I carry a great job, I write and I have a great life, and I'm in full fucking control of my entheogen use. I'm a shaman and I don't know anyone like me... maybe I'm the only one... I'm not spectacular, the rest of you are just stupid, that's all. I'm just fucking sane.
Are you high? Your self-righteous rambling suggests so.

 It is rare to find a person who can responsibly use drugs, but I will not deny that they exist. Maybe you're one of them. I don't care if you use drugs or not. What I do care about is when people make asinine claims like "drugs make you smarter". First of all, that's very vague. What kind of drugs? Does jenkem make you smarter? Second, intelligence and wisdom, though there may be a correlation between the two, are not the same. Drugs may afford spiritual insight (LSD), increase abstraction of thought (Marijuana), or enhance one's focus (Amphetamines) but do they increase your IQ? Certainly not.


97
Metal / Re: 'One Man Metal' documentary -- Xasthur comes out the closet
« on: November 15, 2012, 03:50:08 AM »
Meh, Xasthur doesnt seemd weird, he seems like he is an overgrown teenager living on welfare......
From what I gather, he never matured past the "nobody understands me" phase of adolescence.

There is nothing romantic about the solitary lifestyles of these individuals. They are not Victor Frankensteins, they are emo autists.

98
Interzone / Re: Drugs are for depressed people, period.
« on: November 15, 2012, 02:42:10 AM »
Query: If a drug's positive effects of increasing one's awareness and insight are great, and its negative effects of causing slight blind spots or tiredness or extremely minor hangover effects are very few, what the fuck is wrong with being more intelligent? If you don't think drugs can do this, then that's a separate discussion. But I don't fucking 'trip' on drugs. I don't get disorientated. I don't get 'fucked up'. I don't have trouble speaking, I don't get nervous, I don't get thoughts running through my mind, I don't lose touch with reality, I don't experience illusions of grandeur, etc. I can simply think more effectively. Period. Depending on the drug, of course. But most people aren't ready for this advanced thinking, it would contradict all the scapegoat beliefs they cling to so dearly about their self-identity and the nature of reality. Most people get 'fucked up' on drugs.
Bull fucking shit, Transcix.

I used to participate in the "who's the savviest drug user" pissing contest too, but then I grew up.

Drugs do not make you more intelligent. They provide fleeting insights that seem more profound than they really are because you are in an altered state, and then leave a residual brain fog after the high is over. Perhaps you've forgotten what it's like to be sober.

The evidence is pretty damning. (Oh but this is just prohibitionist propaganda, right? Please.)

99
Interzone / Re: Drugs are for depressed people, period.
« on: November 14, 2012, 05:09:48 AM »
As with most aspects of an individual, one's attitude towards drugs largely depends on the family. While Cargest and I may have been anomalies, having great parents, I'd wager over half of all drug users come from single parent or otherwise dysfunctional families.

My main motivations for drug use were peer-pressure and iconoclasm. My friends who I'd grown up with all started using drugs, so my options were: A. make new friends or B. join them. In my youthful naivety, I hopped on the bandwagon. Also, at the tender age of 15, I was searching for a identity separate from the straight-laced, clean cut, goody two-shoes persona my parents wanted me to assume. Typing this out made me realize my parents did play a role, but it's not that they didn't give me enough love and attention, but that they wanted me to be something I wasn't. That is the downside of 'traditional' parenting -- certain personality types are very resistant to the idea of being 'molded'.

I will never regret using drugs. I'm just glad I went through that phase while I was young; whenever I meet a 21 year-old who is just getting into drugs, all I can do is roll my eyes.

To the folks who still use drugs: When will enough be enough? Surely you don't plan on using drugs for the rest of your life?

100
Interzone / Re: The high costs of unskilled people
« on: November 13, 2012, 05:10:08 AM »
These people would be a valuable asset if the US still had manufacturing industry.

101
Interzone / Re: Keeping your mind flexible
« on: November 10, 2012, 04:05:03 AM »
Really?  Whenever I'm idle, I like not thinking.  It's far more enjoyable, and far more elucidatory, in my experience.
For everything there is a season. Sometimes one has to clear the mind, sometimes one has to fill it up.

102
Interzone / Re: This guy is a 'traditionalist' and he is a wanker...
« on: November 09, 2012, 06:34:52 AM »
The consensus of the entirety of the world's geniuses counts for nothing if they are not privy to all of the information.  The true belief of one below average man is worth more if that belief is founded upon a comprehension of Truth as a whole, rather than upon a collection of facts which may cease to be.
Sure. One could have an IQ of 200 and still know nothing about life. But we're not talking about spiritual knowledge here. We're talking about science, and science is science.  If the axiom "God is the Creator and Overseer of the Universe and all in his creation is based upon His Forms" was stipulated into the canon of science, science would cease to be science, and become something more like a religion. Science requires empirical evidence and most sane believers in God agree that belief in Him is a personal matter, a matter of faith -- not something that can be proven by a formula or experiment. Introducing God into science is like introducing a pan-flute into death metal: they don't mix, nor should they. Besides, Belief/Unbelief in God has absolutely no bearing on whether one's ideas about the world are correct or not. Throwing scientific consensus out the window because they don't subscribe to your religion is absurd.


Science is profoundly useful to us insofar as it improves our quality of life and deepens our understanding of our place in the Universe. When nu-atheists like Dawkins hijack science and try to answer spiritual/philosophical questions --such as our purpose for being here--with it, is when science oversteps its boundaries.


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And yet an initial assumption is made which severely limits the range of that reality, to the extent where human progress in areas beyond that limit has halted in the West (except where synthesis of Eastern and Western mysticism has occurred).
I like the Catholic Church's approach: keep science and spirituality separate. Maybe in 1,000 years we can synthesize the two, but for now they each serve a distinct purpose: one informs us of the material world and one informs us of the inner, metaphysical world. I realize that the two worlds are one and the same, but at this point in time, we must keep them separate for pragmatism's sake.



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It means that we would very likely have multiple different "kinds" of life, instead of the singular one we have now.  As far as evolutionary theory goes (especially as regards origins of life), it is statistically unlikely for us to have the situation we have now (one singular basis of life).

What competition?  Different forms of life would need and provide different sets of resources - a carbon-based plant will not feed a silicon-based hufflewump.  Perhaps living space might become an issue, but even then, we'd expect fossils of other distinct kinds of life, not simply masses of recombinations of variations of the carbon-based cell.

Viruses are "our life"; this is how they are able to interact with us.  The basis of their existence is the same as that of ours.
Sorry, but I just can't seriously entertain this idea. Carbon is most assuredly the only basis for life there is. I'm not sure what 'statistics' are informing you that life could be silicon based, but basic chemistry seems to suggest that the thought is bunk. Few compounds can bond with silicon, certainly not enough to provide for the myriad of chemical reactions necessary to sustain life.



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Surely you see that we've entered the realms of speculation, here.  While it is statistically likely, given evolutionary theory, for multiple kinds of life to evolve contemporaneously in apt conditions, it is impossible to know how these different forms might be.  What is lacking, from the evolutionist perspective, is a rigidity of their account which can explain the existence of a sole form of life on this planet; evolutionary theory is so simple/"one size fits all" that practically any degree of complexity of life could be heralded as "evidence" of the mechanism.
It seems very simple to me: Carbon, from an atomic perspective, is the only suitable element for sustaining life, in that it is extremely versatile and builds a suitably large vocabulary of molecules. There are no other "types of life" because it is physically impossible to construct a living organism out of Silicon, or any other element besides carbon.

Here's a choice selection from a DLA blog troll that effectively illustrates the absurdity of your claim.
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A liberal muslim homosexual ACLU lawyer professor and abortion doctor was teaching a class on Karl Marx, known atheist.

Before the class begins, you must get on your knees and worship Marx and accept that he was the most highly-evolved being the world has ever known, even greater than Jesus Christ!”

At this moment, a brave, patriotic, pro-life NavySEAL champion who had served 1500 tours of duty and understood the necessity of war and fully supported all military decision made by the United States stood up and held up a rock.

”How old is this rock, pinhead?”

The arrogant professor smirked quite Jewishly and smugly replied “4.6 billion years, you stupid Christian”

”Wrong. It’s been 5,000 years since God created it. If it was 4.6 billion years old and evolution, as you say, is real… then it should be an animal now”


The professor was visibly shaken, and dropped his chalk and copy of Origin of the Species. He stormed out of the room crying those liberal crocodile tears. The same tears liberals cry for the “poor” (who today live in such luxury that most own refrigerators) when they jealously try to claw justly earned wealth from the deserving job creators. There is no doubt that at this point our professor, DeShawn Washington, wished he had pulled himself up by his bootstraps and become more than a sophist liberal professor. He wished so much that he had a gun to shoot himself from embarrassment, but he himself had petitioned against them!

The students applauded and all registered Republican that day and accepted Jesus as their lord and savior. An eagle named “Small Government” flew into the room and perched atop the American Flag and shed a tear on the chalk. The pledge of allegiance was read several times, and God himself showed up and enacted a flat tax rate across the country.

The professor lost his tenure and was fired the next day. He died of the gay plague AIDS and was tossed into the lake of fire for all eternity.

Semper Fi


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I don't; this isn't my battle ; ) Creationists, however, make as much sense as evolutionists do: God did it.  That retroviral DNA, like all DNA, results in us being the way we are; why should it not also be apparent in creatures which are very similar to us, or even those who are distant?  The architect might wish to use the same building materials for radically different constructions.  That medieval Japanese and English houses were both made of wood does not mean that they have even remotely similar origins.
"sequence of retroviral DNA" isn't really analagous to "building material". It'd be more like finding the exact same blueprint for the exact same house in both medieval Japan and England.


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I've shown that the postulation of God satisfies Occam's Razor as well as the postulation of an "evolutionary mechanism"; one entity is suggested in each case.  Furthermore, I have stated repeatedly that, ultimately, the postulation of God as an entity becomes the postulation of a sole entity (whereas physicalism must posit an entity every time an instance is encountered).
You're conflating philosophical materialism and evolution. While the former implies the latter, the latter does not necessarily imply the former.


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I'm aware of the idiocy of the majority of creationists - those creationists with any idea of biology are the first to lament their incapable brethren.  Surely the majority of evolutionists are as misinformed and dogmatic in their reinforcement of ideology?
But of course. The 90–9–1 principle applies here: 90% have no clue and are probably using creationism/evolution to prop up their ego, 9% have a degree of knowledge on the subject, and 1% actually make contributions to their respective field.





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We seem to have two camps in evolutionary theory: those who believe that "macro-evolution" happens gradually, as supported by the idea that micro-evolution can account for speciation (look into animal breeding for more examples of the limitations of genetic variance), and those who believe that it happens suddenly, as "supported" by the fossil record, in which entire genera of animals appear fully formed, with perhaps a ten to thirty thousand year gap between themselves and any proposed "ancestors".  Clearly, these two camps are at odds with each other.  I'm still waiting for solid evidence that evolution has occurred from one species to another.
There is much we don't know about evolution, but I'll still take it over the 'POOF hypothesis' any day of the week.

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By the way: vast swathes of the area around Chernobyl - yes, many which were blasted with radiation - are now paradises for local wildlife, having been deserted by fearful humans.  Generations of animals exhibit no ill effects from inhabiting an iradiated zone.
Because the radiation levels have gone down significantly. Had the radiation's intensity remained as it was when the reactor melted down, it is doubtful the area would be a wildlife paradise.

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Just talk to animal and plant breeders around the world.  It's a terribly well known fact, and I'm disturbed that there isn't much in the way of scientific literature on a phenomenon that is so widely understood.
Are you sure you're not confusing limited variance with the maladaptions that result from a small gene pool?



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It's not anthropocentrism in the slightest; it's talking about the unity of Life, and attributing that to a single Creator.
Yes, my mistake. I made a hasty generalization. 

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Evolutionary theory has nothing within it to discount the idea that other forms of life might have arisen, fundamentally different to our own.  On its own, evolutionary theory does not predict that life will be singular, as it is; creationism does.  Surely this points out the illogicity of the arguments coming from the evolutionary camp, when they try to claim that fitting their theory to the facts of the world is "proof" of their theory, even when that theory might easily have fitted any number of other scenarios!
Fundamentally different lifeforms have not and will never exist. Here's NASA on the matter. If this is one of the pillars of creationism then I can see why it isn't taken seriously.


By the way,do you make of the Catholic Church's acceptance of evolution, Cargest? Surely they are, at least to a degree, still purveyors of Tradition. Cardinal John Henry Newman once wrote “the theory of Darwin, true or not, is not necessarily atheistic; on the contrary, it may simply be suggesting a larger idea of divine providence and skill.”  Indeed, is God such a fuckup that he had to divinely intervene to implement his plan for creation? Evolution is far more eloquent and more befitting of God.

Apologies for the terseness of my responses.

103
Interzone / Re: Get your Opera on
« on: November 08, 2012, 05:03:37 AM »
Great post. I find opera grating and too long-winded to hold my interest. But it is still rather early in my classical listening career so perhaps it will 'click' at some point.

I quite enjoyed playing Dvorak's Slavonic Dances in high school orchestra. Eastern European composers don't get enough respect around these parts.

104
Interzone / Re: Keeping your mind flexible
« on: November 08, 2012, 04:47:05 AM »
Whenever I'm idle--which I try to minimize but is sometimes inevitable, especially when at work--I like to do stream of consciousness, conjuring up as many things as I can in my mind's eye. Sometimes what you imagine can reveal the contents of your subconscious.

105
Interzone / Re: Drugs are for depressed people, period.
« on: November 08, 2012, 04:41:55 AM »
I took LSD a few times and had rather profound experiences contemplating 'otherness' and the warrrior spirit. Craving to push my mental boundaries to the limit, I decided one day to combine LSD with copious amounts of amphetamines. It was the most terrifying, horrific, macabre experience of my life. My mind wasn't straight for a long time. I haven't touched drugs outside of alcohol since.

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