Archive for June, 2009
It caught my attention last nigth that I’ve been writing this blog for a year now (hard to believe). So, I decided to look up the stats for the year. UFO Religions had 39,500 visits in its first year! Thanks to those who stopped by to read!
Nice, brief article by professor Ted Peters.
I recently joined a Yahoo discussion group for users of Starry Night software (TM). I have the software and have been dabbling with it, trying to learn how to use it for specific things. This morning in my email I was treated to the discussion of astronomers about the 2012 issue. In short: they say it’s nonsense, and there are a LOT of reasons to think so.
Here’s a wonderful link that very thoroughly, and painstakingly, debunks all the Mayan 2012 calendrical predictive paleobabble. It’s long, but worth the time, at least if you care about “white and nerdy” astronomy and calendrical science.
Here’s an additional paragraph from the discussion group:
What will happen on December 21 is that the sun will cross the galactic equator (which is not the same thing as the galactic plane), another event which is nothing special, and happens every year. There’s a slight variation in timing because the year isn’t an exact number of days long – the timing pretty much repeats every four years. The Mayan calendar rolls over on December 21 2012 as the various cycles the Mayans used to adapt the length of the year to the length of the day all coincide on that date. There’s no more significance to that event than when the various cycles of the Gregorian calendar coincide. We keep counting the years from an arbitrary starting point, while the Mayans started over again – but in both cases, it’s just a way of keeping track of time.
Why am I posting this on UFO Religions? Because some people want to link 2012 to the end of the world, and also link the end of the world with ufology.
Since I am an amateur in these matters, I’d like someone who has expertise to read through the material at the link above (and it’s very detailed and targeting a number of apparent myths associated with 2012) and tell me where the material at that link is flawed. I will gladly then post those criticisms on the Yahoo group for a response.
I’ve said on occasion (on other grounds) that biblical prophecy has nothing to do with the 2012 stuff, and this material does little to make me backtrack. I personally think it’s a mistake to connect eschatology with UFOs. I do, however, think there is a possible connection between biblical prophecy and the kind of *thinking* that is part of UFO religious doctrine. Those are two different things.
Those of you who have perhaps heard one of my talks on why Christianity could indeed sustain an ET reality would have heard me comment on physicist Paul Davies’ ideas about religion and ET. I’ve more or less said Paul should stya with physics and avoid talking about religion since most of what he says lacks coherence. Let me add logic to that “avoid this” list.
Below is a short summary of Paul Davies’ thoughts on the self-made universe.I got them from Uncommon Descent, but I reproduce them here since I need you to read them before I tell you what’s annoying me (and any other clear thinker) again:
Why does the universe seem so fine-tuned for the emergence of life – including intelligent life capable of asking that “why” question?
Paul Davies of Arizona State University in his new book “Cosmic Jackpot” argues that the cosmos has made itself the way it is, stretching backward in time to the very beginning to focus in on “bio-friendliness.”
When asked by Alan Boyle why the universe is bio-friendly? Is it intelligent design, or blind chance, or none of the above?
Davies replies: “There are three popular responses; the intelligent-design argument; the idea that if we had a final theory of physics, then all of the undetermined parameters in the laws would be fixed by that theory; and the third is the multiverse.
What I find lacking in the conventional intelligent-design argument, is that they appeal to something outside the universe that has to be accepted as given and cannot be proved. I’d like to try to explain as much of the universe, including its bio-friendly laws of physics, from within the universe – and in a way that doesn’t appeal to something outside of it.
Even standard physics says the laws of physics are friendly for no reason, but have just been imprinted upon the universe at the time of the big bang from without, by some unknown mechanism. Again, the argument makes an appeal to something outside the universe, instead of something intrinsic to it.
For most people, the first interpretation is, “Well, God did it.” What I’m saying is that that gets us nowhere at all. It just shoves the problem off to some other realm. But saying “God did it” is no worse than saying “the laws of physics did it.” They both basically appeal to something outside the universe.
The problem with saying God did it is that God is unexplained, so you’re appealing to an unexplained designer. It doesn’t actually explain anything; it just shoves the problem off. But to say that the laws of physics just happen to permit life is no explanation either.”
Uh . . . okay. But I have a simple observation to make at this point. Davies’ words supposedly are to be taken as though the self-made universe (I guess that’s in one of his three options — maybe the multivere — but I don’t want to put words in his mouth) is superior to intelligent design or palin old physics and its laws. Here’s my question: Either the self-made universe is operating within and at the behest of the laws of physics, or it isn’t, in which case OUR universe is operating outside the bounds of the laws of physics that physicists have constructed (for our universe, if you’re following). So which is it, Paul? If the former, then your self-made universe idea is as defective as the “plain old laws of physics” view you just criticized. If the latter, then you have a universe that planned itself by laws of physics other than the laws of physics that operate within it. We have “wholly non A” coming from “wholly A” by some sort of “natural” generative process. At that point, one has to wonder where the EXTERNAL “wholly non A” laws of physics for that sort of goofy operation came from. Thanks for solving nothing (again).