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'Explore as much as we can': Nobel Prize winner Charles Townes on evolution & intelligent design
UC Berkeley News ^ | 06/17/2005 | Bonnie Azab Powell,

Posted on 05/16/2007 6:54:51 AM PDT by SirLinksalot

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To: ahayes
Why thank you for insulting me once again. I hope you’re proud of your godliness in taking the fight to the unbelievers.

I am so sorry. I am not trying to insult you at all. I do NOT equate your history you laid out as equivalent to Torquemada. I used that bloody, profane murderer as an illustration of how a person might, in fact, profess to be sincere, but sincerely WRONG.

I don't know you, and you have been nothing but polite to me here, so I have no reason at all to deliberately insult you. Please accept my sincere apologies.

Looking back, I can see how the quick quip could be taken as hateful and vicious. I do apologize.

You mentioned that "once again" I have insulted you. I hope that there are not other examples lurking above?

501 posted on 06/11/2007 1:29:28 PM PDT by DreamsofPolycarp (Libertarianism: u can run your life better than government can, and should be left alone to do it)
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To: js1138

It doesn’t matter IMHO. They are all subjective.


502 posted on 06/11/2007 1:29:40 PM PDT by RightWhale (Repeal the Treaty)
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To: RightWhale
There are 30,000 Christian sects in this country. I do not know if that includes the many flavors of Catholic. They obviously all disagree on something or other yet are Christian anyway. What does that mean?

it means alot of em are wrong. Sorry, I couldn't help myself. Original sin and all that.

503 posted on 06/11/2007 1:32:11 PM PDT by DreamsofPolycarp (Libertarianism: u can run your life better than government can, and should be left alone to do it)
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To: js1138
How does one distinguish true revelations from false?

The Wright Bros had a motorcycle shop and they had birds in the yard. Revelation! They put wings on a motorcycle. Whether the revelation was true or false is not yet known but it is working at the moment.

504 posted on 06/11/2007 1:32:46 PM PDT by RightWhale (Repeal the Treaty)
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To: DreamsofPolycarp
it means alot of em are wrong.

They are probably all wrong somewhere or other. But, at least they are working on it.

505 posted on 06/11/2007 1:34:39 PM PDT by RightWhale (Repeal the Treaty)
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To: RightWhale

The guests at the wedding come from someplace ... 30,000 sects you say? Wow!


506 posted on 06/11/2007 1:53:18 PM PDT by MHGinTN (You've had life support. Promote life support for those in the womb.)
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To: js1138
Now as soon as theists in general quit pretending that they can find God in the laboratory, the better off will be both science and religion.

I find God everywhere, including the library and laboratory. With apologies to Dawkins, I was not aware He had been either banished from the laboratory or left Himself without witness there. He has not done so in any other place on earth.

507 posted on 06/11/2007 1:53:37 PM PDT by DreamsofPolycarp (Libertarianism: u can run your life better than government can, and should be left alone to do it)
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To: js1138
The things that are settled are common descent and a greater than four billion year old earth.

LOL!!! Common descent -- from what??? :^)

508 posted on 06/11/2007 2:02:15 PM PDT by betty boop ("Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind." -- A. Einstein)
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To: MHGinTN

I don’t know myself. That is what I have heard lately more than once, but things being the way they are it might be somebody’s guess and others are just repeating. Still, I would guess something in the thousands.


509 posted on 06/11/2007 3:49:28 PM PDT by RightWhale (Repeal the Treaty)
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To: DreamsofPolycarp; hosepipe; Alamo-Girl; andysandmikesmom
It is interesting that Tim Leary’s defense for using “hallucinogenic drugs (LSD) “ was that LSD was not “hallucinogenic” at all, but rather “psychedelic.” His argument was that he was not “seeing things that are not there” but rather experiencing a level of reality that is truly “there” and observable to those under the influence of mind altering drugs and in meditative trances.

Actually I think Leary's argument might have legs. I would think it of great interest to science to find out. To use my friend hosepipe's analogy of the rider and the donkey, the rider would be mind, and the donkey would be brain. Since mind -- consciousness -- has its seat in the physical brain, it would be interesting to see how alterations in the brain state affect the mind. This would seem to be especially interesting in view of Alzheimer's disease, the cause and progression of which seem to be poorly understood.

I can't imagine that the federal government's various health institutes haven't looked into the matter of how these "psychedelic" compounds alter brain states, and how cognition is affected thereby. I just figure they have, in a big way. What is surprising is how little about their findings has reached the public. I've always wondered about that.

I guess their answer was: Throw Timothy into the slammer.

What is less clear to me is how psychotropic drugs could challenge the epistemological basis of western culture. Please share your thoughts with me?

Thank you so much for writing, DreamsofPolycarp!

510 posted on 06/11/2007 3:53:04 PM PDT by betty boop ("Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind." -- A. Einstein)
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To: betty boop
how these "psychedelic" compounds alter brain states

They have reached public awareness and even FR and continue to do so. Caffeine included.

511 posted on 06/11/2007 3:57:05 PM PDT by RightWhale (Repeal the Treaty)
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To: js1138

p.s.: I find the Witnesses to be perfectly lovely people. They still come to see me every now and then. And then we get to have an “ecumenical moment,” based on a reading from Scripture.


512 posted on 06/11/2007 4:00:57 PM PDT by betty boop ("Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind." -- A. Einstein)
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To: betty boop

It has been shown that electromagnetic stimuli can ‘induce’ similar phenomena as found in near death experiences. Some have taken this to mean that phenomena such as the ‘tunnel of light’ and the ‘being of light’ are constructs purely of brain eletromagnetic origin. That doesn’t follow though because electromagnetic stimulation may in fact open the ‘channels’ by which the phenomena occur, meaning the tunnel and the Being of Light may infact be real and the lab stimulation only institutes the phenomenological awareness. It is something interesting to be studied, IMHO.


513 posted on 06/11/2007 4:06:27 PM PDT by MHGinTN (You've had life support. Promote life support for those in the womb.)
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To: betty boop

Not only did my mother have Alzheimers, I have worked for many many years with mainly and exclusively Alzheimers patients...I have taken care of them, and observed them...and many of them do indeed have hallucinations, some very happy hallucinations, some very sad and frightening hallucinations...Most of those that I have cared for are in late stage Alzheimers, many of them completely bedridden, with their minds practically gone...an ugly disease for sure...

Because Alzheimers patients are so fragile anyway, often depending on what stage they are in, I just accept that what they are seeing, and hearing and experiencing, tho not being seen or heard, or experienced by me, are nonetheless as real as can be to them...and their health and happiness is what I have always been concerned with..too many people want to tell Alzheimers patients that what they are experiencing is not real, that it is imaginary...that only sets them back even further...for me, allowing them to have their hallucinations, and yet be there for them, when these occur, and assure them that I will keep them safe and sound, is the best I can do for them...should I ever get flip with one of them, and treat their hallucinations as if they were just fairy tales, would do a great disservice to them....

I have always been concerned with taking care of these patients in their daily lives, and concerned with their immediate needs and wishes..I have seen the devastation that Alzheimers brings to these fine folks and their families...I wish there were something that could be done for them, and hope that eventually modern medicine and modern medical technology will someday come up with some answers and some very good treatments and possible cures...

Hopefully with a better understanding of the mind, and a better understanding of how the mind actually does work, perhaps future generations wont have to face the horror that Alzheimers is...until that time comes tho, having hallucinations will become a part of many Alzheimers patients lives...


514 posted on 06/11/2007 4:51:59 PM PDT by andysandmikesmom
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To: betty boop
I find the Witnesses to be perfectly lovely people. They still come to see me every now and then.

Me too. I sit them down, ask if they will read a quick scripture reading with me ( I am usually busy), and ask if I can pray with them. I pray that God will remove the hardness of all of our hearts, and grant a true spiritual awakening within us, make us cling to the free grace offered to us in God, who is the only Savior, offered in Christ on the cross, and help us to repent of the lie that anything we can do will please him, so that we will, both now and on the day of final judgment, trust in the righteousness of Jesus alone to save us from eternal damnation in Hell. Then we read John 3, and I ask them if they have experienced the new birth of the Spirit, are indwelt by Him and know the reality of the Holy Spirit living within them, applying the benefits of the death and righteousness of the risen Christ. Sometimes they leave IMMEDIATELY, sometimes we have a good talk, and sometimes (rarely) they will allow me to pray before they leave. They are PEOPLE MADE IN GOD'S IMAGE, not automatons. Scriptures and prayer, Scriptures and prayer. Get involved in a longwinded talk on some abstract Russellite doctrine and you make enemies. Talk about Christ and his mighty power and who knows what might happen?

515 posted on 06/11/2007 5:30:16 PM PDT by DreamsofPolycarp (Libertarianism: u can run your life better than government can, and should be left alone to do it)
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To: Alamo-Girl
When God is speaking to you, you'll know it. Nevertheless, we are commanded to test the spirits.

'Twas waiting for such a remark.

One of the issues that comes up is the ansatz of equal a priori probabilities, that one must 'suspend judgement' in order to avoid bias and presumably maximize one's chances of arriving at a correct interpretation.

And this is all well and good, with a mechanistic, even a chaotic (tho' impersonal) system.

But once will, motive, and intentions come in...

and you are in the realm of trust, faith, and belief...

There are scoundrels and charlatans among those professing to teach Christ as much as among 'spiritualists'...

so too, why not among the spirits themselves (if they exist, which was granted for the sake of argument)

Cheers!

516 posted on 06/11/2007 6:31:36 PM PDT by grey_whiskers (The opinions are solely those of the author and are subject to change without notice.)
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To: betty boop; ahayes; hosepipe; DreamsofPolycarp; RightWhale; Alamo-Girl
Other than the certainty of our own mortal death, I don't know where you're going to find certainty in this world.

You forgot taxes!

...this IS Free Republic, after all!

Cheers!

517 posted on 06/11/2007 6:33:46 PM PDT by grey_whiskers (The opinions are solely those of the author and are subject to change without notice.)
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To: ahayes
My point is there's no way of qualitatively distinguishing a Christian divine revelation from any other religion's experiences.

No logically consistent, reproducible way.

Because such experiences are inherently personal.

Cheers!

518 posted on 06/11/2007 6:35:07 PM PDT by grey_whiskers (The opinions are solely those of the author and are subject to change without notice.)
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To: ahayes
If I were you I would be a bit concerned to have to admit my divine revelation cannot be qualitatively distinguished from a psychotic episode or drug-induced hallucination.

In principle this applies to all sensory-mediated experience.

Cheers!

519 posted on 06/11/2007 6:36:38 PM PDT by grey_whiskers (The opinions are solely those of the author and are subject to change without notice.)
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To: js1138
It is good to hear this from you. Now as soon as theists in general quit pretending that they can find God in the laboratory, the better off will be both science and religion.

Late to the thread as usual.

What does the part in bold refer to? Did I miss something upthread?

Ear horn firmly in place, sonny. :-o ??

Cheers!

520 posted on 06/11/2007 7:42:41 PM PDT by grey_whiskers (The opinions are solely those of the author and are subject to change without notice.)
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