Showing posts with label Religion. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Religion. Show all posts

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Travelling in Japan - Day 2 (part 2)

For much of the afternoon and early evening, our group was on foot, exploring temples in Kyoto. We walked to Ryosen, Kiyomizu, and Yasaka temples.










 Tokyo and Kyoto are very humid right now, with varying clouds and clear sky as the days progressed.  Portions were also very crowded.  It's very easy to unintentionally bump into people.


I don't know if this is a daily thing, or we visited Kyoto at the right time, but there were a lot of Japanese dressed in traditional attire, both men and women.  It kinda reminded me of Renfair in the US.


Friday, October 03, 2014

Quick view of the Bible's anti-"pro-life" stand

In the case of abortion, the bible isn't clear at all. What is does say is that the fetus/unborn/still birth (however translated by the various attempts), is worthless and never experiences anything at all. This is not one of those "therefore" attempts to get the bible to say something that it doesn't. This is actually what the bible says. No deduction or interpretation needed. In fact, the bible considers this as such a fundamental matter of fact, the bible uses it as justification to espouse a whole other point. Then, there's the law that allows parents to request to have their children (presumably all the way into adulthood) killed just because that cannot handle them. Oh, yeah, there is that one law that treats the accidental killing of an unborn by someone other than the husband in a completely civil matter...not murder all at, but rather a small fine paid to the husband, on par with what we would pay for a traffic fine these days. The presumes that it is indeed the husband's right to end the pregnancy himself, since he is treated at the owner of it, much as he would have to right to kill his sheep for the next meal. Here's the best part of all, the bible does in fact actually mention abortion directly! And you know what? The bible not only doesn't ban abortion (nor call the act murder), but the bible actually provides rites (the procedure) for how abortions should be conducted. The bible is completely conflicted on this whole idea of "abortion", especially when someone tries to falsely argue that the bible somehow forbids them.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Notion of Creation is not a theory, and scientific theories aren't proposed notions

Bible based knowledge does not lead to new scientific knowledge.  People used to think the Bible was useful to learn about nature.  They did try to use it as a guide to make new discoveries.  However, over time, scientists started finding out that the Bible just gets so much wrong.    The Bible literally has almost every major point wrong about the universe, from its description of Earth as a flat world with a tent over head to its description of rabbits as cud chewers. The value of the Bible is it's a general moral guide taken in the context within the times each portion was originally written/re-written. Taking it for more than that is truly grasping as straws.  People discovered the hard way that the Bible was not a good starting point to learn about nature. That's why the practice of referring to the Bible as a source for science was stopped over time.
So, to that point, Creationism based on the Bible isn't a theory. It is a failed notion. A theory isn't just a proposal. It is a proven working model of the Universe with a lot of peer reviewed data, from which accurate predictions can be made. To extend this further, those predictions often create new areas of exploration and further growth of knowledge, directly leading to new technologies, either in the exploration of the theory or as a result of knowledge learned from the theory. Last major invention spurred by Bible belief was the telescope, and use of that technology disproved that belief; the creator being forced to recant his statements about reality and live under house arrest for the remainder of his life.

On the other hand, Darwin didn't create the Theory of Evolution, he proposed the core concepts based on his observations. Evolution was born out of the peer review process with much more independently collected data. Evolution wasn't a theory until there was a massive amount of data and extraneous amount of analysis of that data, from which the natural model was molded.

Why is Creationism not a theory? Because it doesn't have one iota of this. The supporters want a magical shortcut, using circular arguments and cherrypicked research of other people's works in the form of anecdotes and impressive looking fake equations. No actual proven predictions come from Creationsm nor from its child contrivance called Intelligent Design. Creationism is the end of knowledge, not its birth. That is why is it not a theory and it is not science. Now, that said, the challenge is always there for Creationism supporters to objectively collect data and test hypotheses. Even if they don't prove their hypotheses, at least new knowledge would come from that. This process has yet to be undertaken by Creationist (and Intelligent Design believers), or if it has, results have been hidden.

Examples of observations that would grow knowledge along the Creationist track:
  • Find DNA in mammals that cannot be traced back to a common ancestor or introduced by some other natural process.
  • Show completely distinct lifeforms with no ancestry at all. 
  • Find data that offers new evidence to reinterpret apparent evolution in our own species, from malaria resistance to lactose persistence.
  • Additionally, find data that better explains why pre-agricultural humans did not have cavities and modern humans with no cavities is almost unheard of? (Hint, that has been very well explained with a recent study of mouth-dwelling bacteria and their evolution to adapt to our changing diets, along with our own evolution for such too.)
These examples cannot be explained with anecdotes.  Hard evidence has to be presented from scientific studies using the Scientific Method.  Research doesn't count for this.  New evidence has be presented.  That evidence must be collected and peer reviewed.  Until that happens, Creation Notion can never be put on equal footing with any Scientific Theory, especially the Theory of Evolution.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Real Soldier vs. Fake Soldier

I am nearly literally sickened when I see a Christian preachers on TV, who are watched by hundreds of thousands if not millions of Americans, and who claim that Christians are being persecuted in America.  Here's what's really happening.  Just for he record, this has been reported equally by Christian sources.


But then, here's what other Christian sources claim is going on in the military.  


It's one step more ridiculous than the bully who forces you to hit yourself and asks "Why are you hitting yourself?"  This situation is the bully hitting you directly and saying "Stop hitting my fist with your face!"  Not only that, this story outrageously insults our armed forces by even using them as such an example in the first place!  Disgusting.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Senseless Sunday: skin deep lunacy



  • The next leap year where Feburaury does not have a full moon is 25721.


  • The current definition of the term "Blue Moon" dates back to March 1946, in which Sky and Telescope magizine mistakenly misinterpreted the definition of the term from 1937 Maine Farmers' Almanac. "Blue Moon" originally referred to the third Full Moon in a season which has four Full Moons2.


  • Atheists outnumber all but nine organized religions in the World.


  • The skin of a polar bear is black. Though the fur appears white, it's actually clear.


  • More often, you will use more gas making a left turn than making a right turn.

Thursday, June 02, 2011

Cross-country trip - day 2

Day two of my journey across America was met with viciously perfect weather in Salt Lake City, UT. I didn't have time to do any real sightseeing, so I did Japanese tourist-style sightseeing (I drove by a couple of important sites, and took a picture). I did go to a little hole-in-the-wall place called Bruges Waffles & Frites (of Man V Food fame). They serve waffles Belgian-style, and have double-fried fries called frites. My waffle was good, though for the price, it didn't seem like enough food.

The drive eastward from Salt Lake City into the mountains is beautiful. The mountains are as green as I can imagine. They are offset with gorgeous white caps of remaining snow. The drive was windy and fun. There was barely any traffic.

Wyoming was a pleasant drive as well, for awhile. The mountains gave way to rocky hills. One hill looks as though it's a bunch of mountain trolls mooning the freeway (see the picture). Eventually, the Great Planes appeared. Let me tell you, the Great Planes are boring! This fact becomes even more important on the next day of my trip.

I stopped briefly in Cheyenne, WY before continuing on to Denver. Driving in the rural states is different from the urban states. The left lane on the freeway is really only for passing in the rural states. Don't hang out there. I travelled fairly close to speed limit for most of my drive through Nevada, Utah, Wyoming and even Colorado. I almost never got passed by anyone.

I didn't have enough time to do any sightseeing in Denver. That will have to wait for another time.

Monday, November 09, 2009

Largest building ever built *discovered* in Egypt

If ancient descriptions are correct, and if the recent discovery is what some think it to be, the lost Labyrinth of Egypt may be at Hawara. This was a massive temple that was described by many ancient authors, such as Herodotus, to house 3000 rooms. The walls of each room were filled will paintings and hieroglyphs. Some have presumed this labyrinth housed the lost Hall of Records, dispite other theories that place it under the Great Sphinx of Giza. I'm not going to go on about this. Just check the links.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Bible Self-invalidation

Its funny when the bible is read in parts, its easy to make general statements about the validity and unity of its overall message. However, when taken on the whole, its message just falls apart. As a child, I remember learning the scripture at Proverbs 30:5 that says that every word of God is true. Essentially, the message I was taught that this god can do anything except lie. By extension, the bible consists of his words, so the bible is true without exception.

The problem with this is that the bible's god does lie, and these lies are actually recorded in the bible. This would be irony if it wasn't unexpected. Isn't that ironic?

Several scriptures specifically say that their god either lied himself or caused others to lie, including
1 Kings 22:23, 2 Chronicles 18:22, Jeremiah 4:10, Jeremiah 20:7, Ezekiel 14:9 and 2 Thessalonians 2:11-12. To reconcile this contradiction, believers in the bible will often just excuse it off with a comment like, "God cannot lie, but is able to cause others to either lie or tell a lie." Not only does this not explain the discrepancies where their god is actually said to lie, but it is completely illogical to make this distinction. Their god is said to speak to believers through prophets. If his prophets lie because of his inspiration, that is no different than himself telling the lie.

I don't point all this out to show that the bible is flawed. Its flawed nature is fact. It doesn't need to be pointed out unless someone starts trying to argue that it is some sort of perfect holy book. I point out the flaws to show that the bible cannot be used as justification for beliefs in gods. The god of the bible is just an idea that is used for agendas of individuals or groups of people. That god doesn't really exist; at least not in the way bible believers think.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Basic info on Documentary Hypothesis (origin of Torah)

Documentary Hypothesis (also known as JEDP) proposes that the first five books of the Old Testament (Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy, known collectively as the Torah or Pentateuch) represent a combination of documents from originally independent sources.

Development of the hypothesis arise from attempts to reconcile inconsistencies in the ancient texts of the Torah. According to the influential version of the hypothesis formulated by Julius Wellhausen (1844–1918), there were four main sources, and one final redaction. These sources and the approximate dates of their composition were:

  • J, or Jahwist, source; written c. 950 BC in the southern kingdom of Judah. (The name Yahweh begins with a J in Wellhausen's native German.) The writings where likely based on early oral and written sources, maybe even original from cultures outside of Israel.
  • E, or Elohist, source; written c. 850 BCE in the northern kingdom of Israel. J and E may have been combined at some point after the fall of the northern kingdom of Israel in 722 BCE.
  • D, or Deuteronomist, source; written c. 621 BCE in Jerusalem during a period of religious reform. P, or Priestly, source; written c. 450 BCE by Aaronid priests.
  • R, or Redactor, source; written c. 400 BCE by the last editor(s) who combed the what was available from the previous sources to combine them in to the final Pentateuch. This editor may have been Ezra.

According to Wellhausen, the four sources present a picture of Israel's religious history, which he saw as one of ever-increasing centralization and priestly power. In effect, this exposes a de facto conspiracy by the individuals in the various eras to shape the documents to suit their contemporaneous needs.

Although rejected by most Judaism and Christian faiths (for fairly obvious reasons), modern forms of Wellhausen's original hypothesis have become the dominant scholarly view on the origin of the Pentateuch. Most contemporary Bible experts accept some form of the Documentary Hypothesis, and scholars continue to draw on Wellhausen's terminology and insights. In the area of New Testament scholarship, proposed solutions to the synoptic problem often bear a strong resemblance to the Documentary Hypothesis.

References:

http://www.cs.umd.edu/~mvz/bible/doc-hyp.pdf

http://www.religioustolerance.org/chr_tora1.htm