29 March 2010

God and Dog

This is a wonderfully beautiful song about God and dogs and unconditional love. Enjoy.

28 March 2010

Materialism and the Mind

Here is an article that discusses six features of the human mind that are not addressed by materialism. They are: Intentionality, Qualia, Persistance of Self-Identity, Restricted Access, Incorrigibility, and Free Will. The author, neuroscientist Michael Egnor, goes on to say:

"
So is the materialist inference that the mind is caused entirely by the brain plausible? Please note that materialism has failed to offer any explanation for any of the six salient characteristics of the mind. Not a single salient characteristic of the mind is a property of matter. The strict materialistic explanation for the mind — the attribution of immaterial mental acts and properties to brain matter — is, by definition, a materialist superstition, a 'false irrational conception of causation in nature maintained despite evidence to the contrary.'"

He also states:

"
In Wolfgang Pauli’s deathless phrase, the materialist explanation of the mind ”isn’t even wrong.” It’s superstitious nonsense. Materialism can’t explain the mind, because the salient characteristics of mental states ... do not admit material explanations."

Since materialist science deals with matter alone, which is to say only third person objective features, it can say nothing about anything that occupies a first person subjective position, namely mind. Unfortunately, materialists insist that the mind is entirely explained by the brain or by what the brain does, despite the inability of materialist science to approach anything subjective in nature! Materialism can never say anything about the mind and yet that is exactly what leading materialists do when they assert that the mind is the brain! Go figure.

-Dee

24 March 2010

The Bible & Archaeology (The Ark of What? Part 3 of 3)

Here is the second and final video presentation of "The Ark of What?" I hope you have enjoyed this series. This will probably be the last post of March.

20 March 2010

The Ark of What?

From 4 March 2008.

Professor Tudor Parfitt, from the University of London's School of Oriental and African Studies says he has found the Ark of the Covenant. Now if this is true he has just made the greatest archaeological discovery of all time and would probably become a multimillionaire overnight as every producer on the planet would want to turn his story into the latest Hollywood blockbuster. But not so fast.

What he claims is the Ark is not the same item described in the Bible. There are many refrences in the Bible that give a good description of what the Ark looked like, its size and decorations. Of course Parfitt can't accept that the ancient Israelites could make a chest that size and cover it with gold, ignoring the fact that they just came out of Egypt which led the world in gold working at the time, built similar chests for holding religious objects, and that given the rich history the Jews had in Egypt (starting with Joseph being Vizier and Moses being Crown Prince until he was exiled) it is likely that one of the 600,000 of them knew how to work gold.

He also brings up the fact that since Egypt had no gold coin then the Israelites would have to steal "huge" gold ritual objects to turn into the covering for the Ark. Never mind the fact that gold is the most malleable of all known metals. In fact as one source puts it "A single ounce of gold can be beaten into a sheet measuring roughly 5 meters on a side. Thin sheets of gold, known as gold leaf, are primarily used in arts and crafts for gilding." If a single ounce of gold can be beaten into a sheet that big there is no need for a huge amount of gold to cover the inner and outer surface of the Ark. Just a little bit will go a long way.

Don't forget that almost every royal tomb had been broken into and the vast stores of gold had been stolen from them. Stolen gold was a readily available comodity in ancient Egypt, that is, unless you got caught. With 600,000 people I'm sure at least one of them could have gotten away with enough gold to coat the Ark.

Parfitt instead looks to a passage from Deuteronomy (10:1-5) that doesn't mention gold or cherubim or anything like that. It is very brief and very vague and in line with Biblical scholars and lay people throughout history Parfitt decided to put his words into the mouth of Moses and uses this passage to justify something that the Bible doesn't say: namely that the Ark was not an elabourate chest covered in gold and such but was a simple wooden drum. Yes, it was a drum, not a chest, a drum. He claims that it was brought down to Africa after the first temple was destroyed and taken to a tribe of people called the Lemba (who have been shown to possess DNA from the Temple priests). He claims the drum that was the Ark decayed over time and was remade again and again and now exists as a broken wooden object in the warehouse of a museum in the middle of a war zone called the Ngoma Lungundu. He even had a two hour History Channel documentary (now called just "History" and not "The History Channel," which seems incredibly arrogant) that was an extreme disappointment just like with Zheng He who didn't discover America before Lief Ericson.

What he is doing is not archaeology. It is Biblical revisionism and an excuse to get grant money to fund his pet trips to Africa so he can have a good time with his Lemba friends and laugh at all serious scholars of the Bible. Maybe I'm just too attached to the notion that the Ark of the Covenant has inspired too many people to be a heap of wood and that the writers of the Bible just invented some fictional bill of materials for its construction, but why would there be so many refrences to gold that are fake and only one refrence not mentioning gold being correct? Why would there be design specifications if there was not an actual object (you can argue that Noah's ark was a fabrication but a simple gold inlayed chest the size of a large suit case seems tiny enough to grant something of the sort was actually built)? Maybe I just want there to have been a real Ark of the Covenant too much to accept that every time the Bible says it was a chest for holding objects that it was talking about a stupid musical instrument that bares no resemblance to what is described in the text. Anyway, I still say Prof. Parfitt is wrong and is making a mockery of serious archaeology in what he is suggesting.

Some quotes from the above most link.

"What Parfitt found cannot be described as a wooden box, roughly 4 ft. x 2 ft. x 2.5 ft., gold-plated and carried on poles inserted into ring. In fact, it an old drum with an uncharacteristic burnt-black bottom hole, the remains of carrying rings on its corners; and a raised relief of crossed reeds that Parfitt thinks reflects an Old Testament detail."

"A splinter has carbon-dated the drum to 1350 AD, making it probably the oldest wooden relic in sub-Saharan Africa, but far too new to be the Ark of the Covenant. Undaunted, Professor Parfitt declares, 'There can be little doubt that what I found is the last thing on earth in direct descent from the Ark of Moses.'"

"OK, I watched it. The 'scholarship' was so bad, my eleven-year-old son was correcting the professor. This is pure sensationalism."

"The professor will make a lot of money and gain a lot of notoriety, but there is not a serious scholar in the world who will respect his 'discovery'."

-Dee

16 March 2010

Size DOESN'T Matter?!

From 20 July 2007.

Do we really need a brain? Fundamaterialists say "yes" because to them the brain magically creates consciousness through pixie dust or something. Science says "perhaps not."


























There is the brain scan (or better yet, lack of brain scan) of a man in France who is a fully normal and functional unit in society. Here is a man with almost no brain and yet he is just like anyone else. The Fundamaterialists are scratching their heads, which are far up their asses, trying to ignore people like this because they present possible evidence that consciousness is independent of physical matter and isn't generated by the brain at all. Thanks to Michael Prescott for the links.

-Dee

12 March 2010

The Randy Prize

6 June 2008

Here is a very good and lengthy article about the Randi million dollar prize and how it's a scam. Scientists don't take the prize seriously. Many people who have tried to apply for the prize have been ignored by Randi. Estimates for the cost of winning the prize (applicants must pay all expenses) exceed the million dollars in prize money, meaning you'll have to lose potentially millions to win Randi's million dollars. Even fellow magicians criticize his prize:


"According to paranormal investigator Loyd Auerbach (who, like Randi, is a member of the magic fraternity): "The suggestion that ending the Challenge after 10 years supports any statement that psi does not exist or someone would have won the challenge, is absurd on many levels. "The procedures for the Challenge included several hurdles in favor of, and multiple "outs" for Randi and the JREF that any discerning individual capable of any kind of extraordinary human performance would think twice about (and here I'm not just referring to psychics and the like)."

Randi lies like a Persian rug about everything and anything in regard to the challenge, for example Gary Schwartz recalls:

"James Randi has a history of engaging in the twisting of the truth...Randi's recommendation of Dr. Krippner was certainly acceptable to me. However, when I contacted Dr. Krippner directly to see if Mr. Randi’s statement about him serving on the panel was correct, Dr. Krippner was concerned. Dr. Krippner explained that he had previously emailed Mr. Randi stating that he would not agree to serve on such a committee. The truth is, Dr. Krippner was not willing to serve on the panel, and he made this clear to Mr. Randi."

Richard "Dick to the Dawk to the PhD" Dawkins warned the not so amazing Randi that there are a number of paranormal phenomena that may become recognized by science soon and this could jepordize his reputation as the gatekeeper of what is science and what is quackery (in The Amazing Meeting #3). Surprise, surprise Randi is discontinuing his challenge in 2010, perhaps on the eve of some psi phenomena like the Ganzfeld telepathy experiments being vindicated?

Why, even on the video "The Case of ESP" some skep-dick brought up the Randi prize as a weak retort to the video, which neither set out to make a positive statement about Randi, his prize, or Psi for that matter; the comment was promptly deleted. There's enough hate and filth on the internet already. In case you are curious, the video was intended only to point out that a particular skep-dick willfully lied when trying to debunk Charles Tart and his associates as SRI. If you watch the video you can notice where I point out first a conscious lie followed by a completely irrelevant comment designed to distract people from the real crux of the issues at hand.

-Dee

11 March 2010

Hero

I'm reprinting some entries that were on the old Urban Mystic that got taken down. This one is from 21 February 2007.

A few days ago I finished reading a book,
The Empty Land by Louis L'Amour. This book is amazing because it presents something that so few books today (or movies or television programs or anything else for that matter) even consider a possibility: a real hero. The main character, Matt Coburn, is a real hero. He's not some grey area, he's not out for revenge, he's not looking for some boon or reward. Matt Coburn fights for what's right because it's the right thing to do. He is an altruistic hero who seeks to help others and get nothing in return; in fact he knows in return he'll be asked to leave town after he helps free it from crime! Now that's a hero. There are people like Matt Coburn on earth. You hear about them in the news when that labourer pushed the man out of the way of a train or on 9/11 when people went back into the burning buildings to save others when they could have gotten themselves to safety. But books these days don't care about the real honest hero. They want "anti-heroes" or vigalantees seeking revenge. I for one enjoy reading about heroes, actual or fictional. Everyone should go out and read this book; it's good spiritual detox from the materialistic culture that bombards us every day.

-Dee

05 March 2010

Life of Lincoln

William, a regular commenter at Michael Prescott's Blog provided three links for similarities between JFK and Abe Lincoln. By the end of reading the first link I was stunned off my gord. Some nay sayers will say that it is all coincidence, but when you have that many parallels there can be no denying that something other than coincidence is at work here. I'm not putting out any positive hypotheses, just stating that coincidence can't be behind the similarities between the two presidents lives, deaths, families, policies, and friends. Take for example:
  • Both presidents were elected to the House of Representatives in ‘46.
  • Both were runners-up for the party’s nomination for vice-president in ‘56.
  • Both were elected to the presidency in ‘60.
Both had friends Adlai E. Stevenson, both were succeeded by Southern Democrats named Johnson who were former senators who choose not to run for reelection who had urethreal stones, both were born second children, were named after their grandfathers, married women age 24 while they themselves were in their mid-30s, both were boat captains, had served in the military, fought for the rights of blacks, studied law, were over six feet tall, etc., etc.

Here is another link.

-Dee