“Goddess” – an excerpt

“Okay, so then why don’t you stop the suffering?”

“Stop the suffering?”

“Yes! Stop the suffering!  There is terrible suffering all over the world. You have the power. My…sister…was killed…and she was…in terrible pain when she died.  So, why don’t you make it just stop!”

Hestia looked at Leanne with a peculiar expression on her face. She placed her hand on Leanne’s shoulder and looked at her very intently.

“Sweetie, I wouldn’t know how to stop suffering. Well, not in the way that you mean it anyway. And even if I knew how I still wouldn’t do it.”

“You wouldn’t do it. You would just let little children…”

“Little children, little puppies, little kittens, fawns, rabbits, bears, sharks, trees, vegetables. Humans are no more deserving of being relieved of their suffering than any other animal that exists or has ever existed.  You have to understand that suffering has occurred for billions of years on this planet. Living things suffer and die. It happens at the microscopic level and it happens to entire ecosystems. Suffering is virtually synonymous with life.

“Do you understand what that means? Suffering is one of the things that driveevolution. If I were to find a way to relieve suffering amongst all creatures, then evolution would either stop or become dramatically less efficient. Humanity would not exist without suffering.

“And what does it even mean to stop suffering? Do I prevent the goat from feeling pain while in the tiger’s mouth? Or do I stop the tiger from attacking the goat in the first place? If the goat doesn’t understand what it is to suffer, would it even feel motivation to get away from the tiger in the first place? Fear is one of the driving elements of survival of a species, and great fear could only be described as being a form of suffering. Without fear, the tigers will eat all the goats because the goats just won’t care.

Leanne sat down, her eyes brimming with tears. “But Susie was in so much pain…”

Hestia sat next to her and placed her hand on to Leanne’s cheek. “And now you are in pain because of your loss of Susie.  You are suffering because of this loss. Do you want me to take away that suffering, so that you don’t care one way or the other over the loss of your sister? You could say that her pain was the greater, but where is the line drawn? As I say repeatedly, I am not all-wise.

“And that means that I wouldn’t know how to create a utopia for you either.  A world without pain–without the suffering of any creature–would be a stagnant world.  To make it so that each creature is happy eating only vegetables and that humans are happy all happy learning about the world…sweetie, I barely understand what ‘happiness is! I couldn’t make such a place, and if I could evolution would stop completely. It would simply be an artificial zoo that I would have to prevent physical reality from affecting for all eternity. I literally could not do that. I am a product of physical reality; I don’t exist in opposition to it.”

An Awkward Age

sky_in_late_april_1I remember growing older
I remember ages five to ten
I remember being slapped on playgrounds
Walking and never knowing when
…they would come
Never a place to run

It’s what all the teachers call
an awkward age
Well I wish that I
Could find out why
I was
…so uncool
And I didn’t know
why I was hated so
I never even met them
“It’s just the way kids are,” they say
“Grow a spine, wish it away.”

I remember growing older
I remember ages twelve to eighteen
I remember waking marked and bloody
And always wishing I could not be seen
…by a soul
crawling into a hole

Well it’s what all the doctors call
an awkward age
and they call them zits
or pimples leaving pits
but then
…pain is pain
And the scars it left
and all the marks I’ve kept
are more than on my face
Into my soul the phrase I’ll heap
“Beauty’s more than just skin deep

I remember growing older
I remember being one and forty
I remember her being in the bathtub
with bad pen marks darkly
…on her arms
crying over all the harms

Now its what I will choose to call
an awkward age
when her mind did start
to fall apart
and I
…grew so strong
And I managed to
do what I had to do
Never mind my own needs
My mighty shoulders may be sore
but I can always take on more

I remember growing older

I remember ages five to ten

I remember being slapped on playgrounds

Walking and never knowing when

they would come

Never a place to run

It’s what all the teachers call
an awkward age
Well I wish that I
Could find out why
I was
so uncool
And I didn’t know
why I was hated so
I never even met them
“It’s just the way kids are,” they say
“Grow a spine, wish it away.”

I remember growing older

I remember ages twelve to eighteen

I remember waking marked and bloody

And always wishing I could not be seen

by a soul

crawling into a hole

Well its what all the doctors call

an awkward age

and they call them zits

or pimples leaving pits

but then

pain is pain

And the scars it left

and all the marks I’ve kept

are more than on my face

Into my soul the phrase I’ll heap

Beauty’s more than just skin deep”

I remember growing older

I remember being one and forty

I remember her being in the bathtub

with bad pen marks darkly

on her arms

crying over all the harms

Now its what I will choose to call

an awkward age

when her mind did start

to fall apart

and I

grew so strong

And I managed to

do what I had to do

Never mind my own needs

My mighty shoulders may be sore

but I can always take on more

Mist

daydream-1I’m certain that some of you will recognize that this is written to the tune of Time by Pink Floyd from Dark Side of the Moon.  For those of you who don’t know the song, I’m interested to hear your impressions of it as raw poetry.  I can’t read it without the rhythm going through my head.

——————————

Mist

Quoting all day from the writing that pretends to be reason
Blinding the eyes with the muck and the lies there within
Building up rules with invisible tools from your home schools
Casting out doubt and the skeptical shout as the symptoms of sin

Happy basking in the blissful
Ignorance is such a joy
You are right and they are wrong
And in your faith they can’t annoy
And yet one day you find
Most the world is laughing at you
You were aiming with your guns
Not knowing you were blind

The arrogant truth with intelligent proof has ignored you
Reality goes without hearing a word that you say
Your fantasy world, with its circular curls dims the clear view
May crumble and expose eyes to the sharp truth of day

The dance of life has gone without you
So much beauty you have missed
Playing with the phantom faeries
In the truth obscuring mist
Knowing truths and building reasons is the faithful thinker’s way
The book is wrong
The fight was over
Well before you had your say.

Reemergence of Hope

live.pgI  remember being young and full of youth and sprite
And every day I woke up and burst out to the light
And all my dreams and complex schemes to stand on top the world
And every thought a new soul bought to brace a life unfurled

Yet even then the fear of when we show ourselves to be
a non-superstar-istic oh so humanistic vulnerable imperfect being
To be average means so little yet to be normal means so much
Our hands just flesh and bone with no Midas gilded touch

And as the years go past, we fight to hold on to those dreams
but dreams are schemes that reality deems to push off as extremes
and we go along watching death of song begin to rule our lives
and the struggle just to live on must take over all our drives

And then we realize what we lost, and before we give all away
we fight for something we know not what for we know we cannot stay
so afraid of losing all that we forget to give
or so afraid of dying that we forget to live

Creationist Terms Defined for Creationists

definitions-1KIND:
1. A distinction between groups of different animals.
2. An infinitely variable and complex description of similarities between animals.  A miraculous creation of the All-Mighty, instantly becoming whatever it needs to be in order to dismiss evolutionary arguments.
3. A speciation metamorphism.

GAP THEORY:
1. A period of time between the first and second verses of Genesis during which cool things like the fall of Satan occurs and the earth has a chance to grow old enough to not contradict radiometric dating or problems like the speed of light which exist for young earth creationist.
2. More generally, anything not explained in the Bible that needs to be explained in order for it to be compatible with what we actually know about the universe.

RAID EXPERIMENT:
An experiment which conclusively proves that accelerated radioactive decay is possible by demonstrating conclusively its impossibility.  The experiment demonstrates that scientists are silly for not accepting a theory which necessitates the extinction of all life on earth, which is clearly a minor difficulty which will be solved sooner or later.

CHARLES DARWIN:
1. A brilliant but deluded scientist.
2. An evil, satanic, non-scientist.

THE SCIENTIFIC COMMUNITY:
1. A bunch of brilliant but deluded people who believe Charles Darwin despite overwhelming evidence supporting his theories.
2. Evil people who reject the truths of God’s Bible in favor of the lies of Satan’s reality.

CREATION SCIENCE:
1. A scientific discipline composed of brilliant and non-deluded scientists without degrees who use the Bible as the only source of truth and play with reality like silly-putty to make it fit.
2. A theory in vogue before it was thrown out by the courts and a new science called Intelligent Design took its place.

INTELLIGENT DESIGN:
See Creation Science.

DARWINISM:
Anything proposed by science which contradicts the Bible in any way.

ATHEIST:
1. Anyone who claims to reject the existence of God so that they can sin whenever they want.
2. Someone who knows that God exists, but denies Him so that more people will sin with him.
3. A Satanist.

AGNOSTIC:
A misguided soul who is rightly subject to ridicule by both Atheists and Theists alike.

MIRACLE:
Something that is accomplished by God, who is not subject to the rules of reality, using means that are entirely explained by the rules of reality, but leaves no evidence that can be found by the rules of reality.

TRANSITIONAL SPECIES:
A Darwinist myth that has never been found in the fossil record.  Silly scientists currently accept about 10,000 such myths.

GENETICS:
God’s miraculous building blocks, which allow for micro-evolution but never macro-evolution and do nothing to support the Darwinist theory despite the fact that it is necessary to develop new vaccines and medicines and exactly parallels the fossil records, which also does nothing to support the Darwinist theory and doesn’t prove anything.

BIBLE:
1. The inerrant word of God.
2. The greatest and truest source of knowledge ever created, as evidenced by the vast strides in knowledge that took place between 450 and 1300 AD when the book was religiously followed throughout Europe.

HELL:
The place where all of the scientists, atheists, agnostics, Jews, Buddhists, Hinduists, everyone who has never heard of Jesus, Christians who have not given away all of their possessions, Christians who have not obeyed all of the Biblical rules laid down in the old testament, and all children too young to accept Christ as their savior will go to burn in everlasting torture.

HEAVEN:
The place you go to if you don’t go to Hell, where the saved get to sing God’s praises through all of eternity and live in a beautiful mansion on a cloud.  Current population: 8.

MONOTHEISM:
The belief that there is only God, the Father, the Son, the Holy Ghost, a host of angels, Satan, the Virgin Mary, millions of dead relatives, and several hundred saints to whom one can pray and receive supernatural intervention.

Links, Climate Change, and RNA (Unrelated but on my mind)

rnaI look with some amusement at the “debate” raging in my last post between Reginald and Mike. Mike is an expert at wordplay, and I find him frankly not worth arguing with. He is not nearly as dumb as some YECs (Young Earth Creationists), but his reason is by nature flawed under the incredible weight of the very, very obvious. I won’t bother really to argue with him, as he quibbles over the color of the flowers in the forest, somehow managing to ignore the trees that exist all around him. The evidence for evolution has long been irrefutable, and our understanding of it and the gaps within it seem (to my untrained brain) seem to be increasing and filling exponentially.

I, myself, have just undergone an epiphany of sorts, having finally having it beat into my head that man-caused global warming is very much a reality. I was, for many years, deceived. I put too much trust in people pretending to be scientists and pretending to use the scientific method. I was a big proponent of the “Junk Science” website, and, considering myself reasonably scientifically literate, I actually believed the bullshit they slung there.  I guess I am prepared to recognize ignorance, or even deception when one is motivated by faith or by “higher” goals. However, I was unprepared to deal with people who deliberately take good science and distort it, or out-and-out lie about it, for such a base reason. I was naive enough about humanity to believe that no one would put the entire planet at risk for the sake of a few extra dollars in their pocket. They are being deliberately deceptive, and the only motivation I can see for them to be this way is pure greed. If their motivation lies in another direction, I am unable to imagine what it could be. Lying for the sake of religion can be argued as simple ignorance (most of the time).  Lying for the sake of greed, particularly on such an important topic as the earth’s climate, goes beyond loathsome.

Back to developments in biology, Ida is a somewhat significant find, but it is exceptional only in its completeness…it is an exquisitely preserved specimen that fills in a gap in the fossil record, but not nearly as critical a gap as my previous entry implied. (see this video link, which puts Ida into the correct perspective far better than I possibly could.) Reginald’s fossil is more interesting from a human family tree perspective.

Even more important with still insignificant media attention was the synthesis of a critical part of DNA in the laboratory using conditions present on early earth. A part of the RNA molecule has been created in a laboratory. That such a complex molecule could be synthesized from “simple” organic chemicals really goes a long way to smashing many creationist arguments to bits. Not that they will ever acknowledge it as such, however. Life from non-life (abiogenesis) has absolutely nothing to do with evolution, but they have been lumped together in the mind of those who don’t understand the science. Without knowledge of the science behind it, evolution does seem to imply the abiogenesis.

The arguments will merely shift to a new gap, of course. We may, with time, be able to create a functioning cyanobacteria within a test-tube, but I personally doubt that we will be able to go beyond that. The earth itself took billions of years to get beyond that step, so my unscientific guess would be that the next step is far more difficult. A cyanobacteria is still a long way away, and also is still a long way away from a living animal.   It really doesn’t matter.  No amount of evidence can convince one who refuses to be convinced. Nothing is provable beyond unreasonable doubt.

Thus, the battle for the world’s “soul” will rage on. The forces of cultural evolution will continue to shape the battle. Reason will force those with something to lose from truth to battle against it more furiously. In order to survive in a world where truth would destroy them, the fundamentalist will have to deny reality even more vigorously. If this were simply a matter of reason I would have some reason to hope that the YECs would eventually change their mind. However, we are dealing with a mindset that believes that a book written by the hands of men is more to be trusted than reality itself. The more successful the reasonable, the more destructive the unreasonable will have to become in order to maintain their world view. When arguments work less and less, violence, the last resort of the ignorant, is likely to become more prominent. It is only through the blind following of an inflexible philosophy that one man can turn another into a demon. The man without dogma has no reason to fly a plane into a building. A man who refuses to think is easy pray for someone or some thing that has motive to do their thinking for them.

For a while I was feeling guilty with my obsession with religion and creationism, but I’ve come to realize that it really is nothing new.  My first book was going to be about religion.  My first fiction novel with have strong religious elements (coming at it from a decidedly non-Christian perspective, however.)

So, I post without apologies.  This is who I am.  Enjoy, if you can. 🙂

Amazing Ida Proves Existence of God!

Amazingly Unlikely Fossil Proves God's Existence!

Amazingly Unlikely Fossil Proves God's Existence!

Let’s be honest.  Ida just sounds too good to be true. Even practical scientists are having a hard to trying to temper their enthusiasm

I mean,what are the chances that the best preserved fossil specimen in history also happens to be the vital missing transitional link between apes and humans, and that this discovery would occur just at the time when the Young Earth Creationists were gearing up for their next major battle. (Okay, I don’t know that the YECs are gearing up for their next major battle, but odds are pretty good, as they ALWAYS seem to be gearing up for their next major battle.)

Bone marrow? From a 47 million year old fossil? Particularly one of such spectacular importance? Fur samples? Actually being able to tell what the darn thing had to eat last?

Well, what can one say? It’s a freakin’ miracle !

It is such an amazingly unlikely miracle that it more or less goes to PROVE that God exists. I mean, what are the odds? Millions of fossil finds, and the best also happens to be the most important.

Well, extra-ordinary claims require extra-ordinary proofs. It certainly SOUNDS from the initial talk that this thing was examined for skulduggery for two years within an inch of it’s former life. I want to wait for a while before I start jumping up and down about the thing, because it SOUNDS too good to be true. My initial reaction is to believe it, however. If it’s a hoax, it’s going to get too much scrutiny for too long a time for it to survive as a hoax for long. I’ll let the scientists fight it out.

But, seriously, if true, the odds against such a perfect specimen have got to be astronomical. For it to exist, one is almost tempted to say that God preserved it for us. “Here, you morons. You want a transitional species? Here it is! Creationists and IDiots, forget your silly fight. I created the Universe, and life evolves through natural selection. Get a brain already people! This is HOW I WORK!!!”

Of course, Creationists and IDiots are doing nothing of the kind. This fossil find is no big deal to them. Certainly nothing that shows transitions between “Kinds”. Of course, they never give a clear, scientific definition of just what the hell a “kind” is, so it’s an impossible target to hit, as it can be moved at will.

So, provided this fossil does not turn out to be an incredibly elaborate hoax (which I kinda doubt), we finally have a nice link in our evolutionary family tree that seems to act as common ancestor to both humans and apes. It not only is an excellent transitional species, but an excellent example evolutionary process. Not only that, our finding proves that God exists.

(I say this tongue in cheek, of course. But, seriously! Damn! What are the odds!?)