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| Michael Wong
Posted on 10/22/2002 2:49:25 PM PDT by Junior
According to Paramount's official Star Trek web site, surveys show that the average child learns more science from Star Trek than from any other source. This is a source of considerable pride to Star Trek's fans and creators. However, if it is true, it should be a source of considerable consternation to actual scientists and engineers everywhere, as well as any rational person.
Star Trek doesn't teach science; it teaches pseudoscience. Star Trek doesn't even promote science fiction; it only promotes Star Trek. Hardcore Star Trek fans tend to be distinguished not by a fascination with science fiction in general, but Star Trek alone. They even have the nasty habit of imposing the paradigms of Star Trek upon other sci-fi series (for example, wondering aloud why the Colonial Marines in Aliens use pulse rifles instead of rayguns, because rayguns are more "realistic", or assuming that the starships of all sci-fi series must carry many years' fuel supply because Star Trek ships do), or claiming that Star Trek was a pioneer in its genre (despite the existence of sci-fi serials in the 1930's and the sci-fi classic "Forbidden Planet" from which Gene Roddenberry appropriated most of Star Trek's style and format).
Science should be taught in schools, by real professors using real textbooks and real scientific principles, not by television writers using fictional technologies and pathological regurgitation of trendy scientific catch phrases from news stand magazines like New Scientist.
Most sci-fi plays fast and loose with scientific realism, and Star Trek is no exception. That in itself is no indictment of the franchise, but somewhere between the risk-taking space opera of the original series and the sterile self-importance of its spin-offs, Star Trek adopted the insufferable deceit of pseudoscience. Somewhere between the 1960's and the 1990's, the series went from "the engines canna take the strain, Captain!" to "We will need to modify the alignment parameters of the warp coils in order to extend the forward subspace field lobes so that we can reduce the nominally effective mass of the <blah blah blah>". Rick Berman seems to think that's an improvement. Do you?
Star Trek's high-profile promotion of pseudoscience is not just a matter of bad taste; it's a very disturbing form of conditioning for the youth of the country, who seem to be losing the ability to distinguish between pseudoscience and the real thing.
What is Pseudoscience?
Pseudoscience is use of scientific language to describe blatantly unscientific ideas. The film "Ghostbusters" is an amusing parody of pseudoscience; its characters describe their goofy "ghost science" with all the jargon and clinical detachment of a real science. But while "Ghostbusters" is smart enough to know it's a comedy, other forms of pseudoscience such as Creationism aren't. They take themselves very seriously, and they hope you will too.
The trick is to draw you so deeply into the minutae of their deception that you forget to step back and look at what they're selling. In the case of biblical Creationism, they try to sell the idea that the theory of evolution is somehow less scientific than an ancient tribal mythology about the Earth appearing out of nothing in six days (the numerous impossibilities are dismissed because "God doesn't have to obey the laws of physics"), the universe being only 6000 years old despite observations of galaxies millions of light years away, a pile of dust turning into Adam, a rib turning into Eve, the entire concept of childbirth (and by extension, sexual reproduction) being invented afterwards as punishment for disobedience (what was Eve's womb for before that?), the beautifully intricate, interwoven pattern of species geo-location and homology being a pure coincidence, two of all the Earth's species being crammed into a 1500 foot long wooden boat (even though wooden shipbuilding techniques can't scale that high, and it still wouldn't have enough room) and then migrating to all their specialized local ecosystems around the world without leaving a trace of their travels or being killed by the intervening inhospitable climates, etc. It boggles the mind; I knew it was just an allegorical fable even when I was a child, yet there are adults walking around spouting this stuff!
People buy it not because it makes any sense, but because the snake-oil salesmen are preaching to the choir. The choir accepts it because they fervently want to accept it. Creationists want to believe that science somehow validates their religion, transcendental meditation quacks want to believe that quantum mechanics somehow validates their unsupportable claims of telekinesis, and Star Trek fans want to believe that the nonsensical magic-tech of their favourite sci-fi series is actually feasible.
Pseudoscience Diagnosis: 13 Symptoms
The easiest way to spot pseudoscience is to track the authors' methods to see if they follow the scientific method, because they usually don't. I also have a "lucky 13" list:
- Attacks on mainstream science. Look for adjectives such as "dogmatic" or "close minded" being directed toward the scientific community at large. Look for phrases such as "the establishment refuses to even consider this" or "it is curious that no one in the scientific community is willing to examine this possibility", etc. These phrases often preface a theory which is so utterly preposterous, so appallingly devoid of supporting evidence or proper method that it would be laughed out of any scientific journal, so what does the author do? Accuse scientists of being "close minded" for not taking it seriously! It is the ultimate pseudoscience mind game; write a study which is so incompetent that it would receive a failing grade as a school assignment, and when every reputable scientist dismisses it as worthless, quote the uniformity of the rejection as "proof" of the conspiracy of silence! Another common catch phrase is that "mainstream scientists have no explanation for this". When you read that, ask yourself "how do we know that's true?" What if mainstream scientists do have an answer, and this person is just too ignorant to know about it? For example, creationists love to point out that geological strata are sometimes found in a highly perturbed state (eg. inverted, cross-cut, or otherwise disrupted), sneering that "evolutionists have no explanation!" But if you were to ask any geologist, even one who's still an undergrad in university, he would be able to rattle off the explanation without missing a beat (those kinds of phenomena are explained by basic geological processes and can be easily identified as such in situ, thus eliminating the possibility of erroneous dating by a competent geologist).
- One-dimensional analysis. Look for a narrow focus upon very specific subsets of evidence, or one mechanism to the exclusion of all others. Pseudoscientists love to take a particular piece of information and "analyze" it with no regard whatsoever for whether their conclusions fit the rest of our vast body of scientific observations. They also love to discuss a mechanism which has been described in the real scientific literature and act as if it is the only mechanism which is active. For example, a creationist named Barry Setterfield once tried to explain away the vast size of the universe (most of which should be invisible if the universe is young, because its light wouldn't have reached us yet) by arguing that the speed of light was infinitely fast in the first few moments after Creation, and it's been slowing down ever since. He even claims that measurements of c support his theory (they don't). But even if it were true, then how would he explain the Doppler shift observed in the light from distant stars, since increases in c would have reduced or eliminated frequency shift unless the stars' velocity increased just as much as c did? How would he explain the lack of variation in physical constants over the past six thousand years, as evidenced by the fact that human-built structures such as the pyramids have stood throughout much of that time? How would he explain the presence of nearby galaxies or the coalescence of stellar matter if the universe were expanding at such near-infinite speeds at its birth? His theory suffers from tunnel-vision; it's locked upon a particular piece of misrepresented evidence and ignores everything else.
- Distortions of mainstream theories. Look for claims that one mainstream theory violates another one. The most famous example of this trick is the recurring and fantastically nonsensical creationist claim that the second law of thermodynamics prohibits evolution. Can anyone with a brain seriously believe that the entire scientific community somehow failed to notice that one mainstream theory completely violated another one? If someone claims that a theory somehow gained widespread acceptance in the scientific community despite violating fundamental physical laws, it's a sure bet that he's grossly misrepresenting that theory and that he's a practicing pseudoscientist.
- Refusal to examine contradictory evidence. Look for a pattern of either ignoring or dismissing potentially damaging evidence. In the John Travolta/Robert Duvall legal drama "A Civil Action", the Duvall character advises his law students on how to react to the appearance of new evidence. He explains that before they even know what it is, they should instinctively leap to their feet shouting "objection!". So it is with pseudoscientists, because their relationship with mainstream science is not co-operative; it's adversarial, like a legal trial. They're more interested in attacking science than understanding it, so they learn only enough to spout realistic-sounding but ultimately nonsensical jargon. Creationists even renamed their opponents from "biologists" and "paleontologists" and "geologists" and "astrophysicists" to the ridiculous name "evolutionists" in an effort to reinforce this adversarial paradigm. The typical creationist carefully pores through reams of creationist literature but has never even looked at the scientific community's rebuttals, because he's already dismissed them all out of hand as the product of a giant conspiracy. It's inadmissible evidence brought forth by his opponent, and he absent-mindedly grunts "objection!" without even bothering to glance at it.
- Exaggerated complexity. Look for very complicated explanations of what should be very simple concepts. Some like to call this the "smokescreen of superfluous detail", and it's an old trick. Pseudoscientists like to generate fake credibility by quoting a lot of miscellaneous bits of information that aren't really necessary. The idea is to give you the impression that they know a lot more than you do, and in so doing, to make you assume that their theory must therefore be correct. However, even renowned theoretical physicists like Richard Feynman and Stephen Hawking could distill their theories into plain English, so when someone claims his ideas defy intelligible explanation, you should beware. It's more likely he's trying to make his theory so indigestible that you simply shake your head and conclude "this guy sounds like he knows what he's talking about, so I'll just skip to his conclusions". Creationists, transcendental meditation quacks, and hardcore Star Trek fans all tend to do this in varying degrees. There are lots of ways to exaggerate the complexity of any given concept; believe it or not, I've actually seen excerpts of a sci-fi newsgroup troll using quantum physics terminology in order to disprove the accepted definition of an alloy! This is like using Einstein's theory of relativity to explain how a toilet works.
- Use of scientific terms as meaningless "key words". Look for jargon terms whose relevance is not established. Pseudoscientists love to sprinkle scientific terms throughout their discussions without explaining how they prove their point. I've actually talked to Trekkies who used "phase coherence" as proof of firepower, and religious zealots who used "superstring theory" as proof of creationism! In both cases, the keywords are very real, but it's a fallacious leap in logic to go from keyword to conclusion without explaining the connection. Instead of showing that the connection exists, they expect you to prove that it doesn't, as if there's nothing wrong with constructing arguments out of unexplained catch phrases.
- Unverifiable sources. Look for statements like "I heard somewhere", "I read in a book once", "there was an incident a few years ago", or "everyone knows". They either can't remember the source of their evidence or they won't allow you to subject it to examination. One generally doesn't bother citing sources when describing mainstream points of view (eg. "the speed of light is 3E8 m/s") because the information is so pervasive and the scientific community is in such great consensus that it's ridiculously easy to check it and no specific source need be named. But when bringing up obscure and contentious events (eg. "some guy carbon-tested a living person to be a thousand years old") there is no excuse not to list the source, because it's difficult or impossible to look it up without a reference. Other examples of unverifiable sources are the spoon benders and mind readers who use unverified experiments as their evidence. They conduct "demonstrations" on their own terms and they refuse to subject themselves to controlled testing, calling upon a variety of excuses which all amount to the same thing: they don't want to be exposed as charlatans. They're just magicians who crossed the line between entertainment and fraud. The great Johnny Carson used his knowledge of magic tricks to debunk or embarrass a few of these fakers on his show, but a lot of people still believe in this nonsense anyway. Another example is the Catholic Church, which verifies "miracles" all the time without letting real scientists or their strict methods into this verification process.
- Ignorance of energy requirements. Look at the inputs and outputs of a theory to see if they make sense, regardless of its inner workings. Thermodynamic mass/energy balances are a commonly used "sanity check" in science and engineering; for example, if you've calculated that a machine should produce 10 kW of work and 2 kW of waste heat but the meter tells you that it's drawing 20 kW of electrical power, then something must be wrong. Of course, pseudoscientists don't perform these checks. For example, look at "young Earth" creationism. Conservation of mass/energy dictates that if the Earth's mass coalesced into a 12,750km wide sphere 6000 years ago, then roughly 2.4E32 joules of gravitational potential energy was converted into heat. This is a lot of energy, ladies and gentlemen; in fact, it's enough to vapourize the entire planet! Without tens or hundreds of millions of years to coalesce and radiate heat into space, where did all of it go? How did the Earth cool and become inhabitable so quickly? Let's say it took six days to dump this heat; its surface luminosity would have been more than 900 GW/m². To put that in perspective, that's 15,000 times as bright as the Sun! And yet Genesis almost comically says that the Earth was covered in water the moment it was created. So what if we back off and dump that heat over an entire millenium instead of just six days? Its surface luminosity would have been nearly 15 MW/m², which is still nearly a quarter of the luminosity of the Sun. Its surface temperature? More than 4000 K. Adam and Eve? Toast. Did all of the energy simply disappear? Are we going to resort to saying that God doesn't have to obey the laws of physics, which nullifies the entire concept of creationism as a science? The same criticisms apply to Velikovsky's "Worlds in Collision" theory; he completely ignores the question of where the necessary energy will come from, or where it went. The idea of a mass/energy balance is to conceptualize a process as a black box; what goes in must either come out or manifest itself in the energy state of the box. It doesn't really matter what's going on inside; the left side of the equation must equal the right side. If it doesn't, then you're dealing with pseudoscience.
- Appeals to authority. This one's easy to spot. The most annoying attack of the pseudoscientist is to simply refer to important-sounding literature written by people sympathetic to their cause, and then insist that you should read it because they can't or won't explain it to you. If they can't explain it, then what business do they have even mentioning it in an argument? It is a logical fallacy to claim that you're right because somebody else says so, and this applies equally to vague references and the blizzard of out-of-context quotes that creationists are fond of using. If they truly understand their sources, they should be able to explain their reasoning rather than making vague reference to them and then demanding that you do the leg work. I've lost count of the Trekkies who have E-mailed me insisting that I should read "The Physics of Star Trek" because it proves that warp drive and transporters are real. Well, I actually have read that book (since it's written by a real scientist, it actually debunks Treknology at almost every turn), but even if I hadn't, they would still have a logically invalid argument because they don't explain how the book proves their point. It isn't enough to mention the name of a source and use it as a magical incantation to smite your enemies; you must also understand it and be ready to explain and defend its arguments.
- False, fraudulent, or inapplicable credentials. Creationism is by far the worst offender in this regard. The validity of an argument is not determined solely by the credentials of its author, but creationists know that a lot of lay people believe just that, and they're perfectly willing to invent credentials in order to satisfy this belief. They've organized their deception to such a high level that they've actually formed numerous creationist "diploma mills", which exist for the sole purpose of issuing impressive sounding scientific credentials to completely unqualified religious zealots. There are universities out there which grant science degrees after as little as six weeks, which are unaccredited, and which often don't even have a science department. Some of them are accredited by theological institutions and offer correspondence courses for as little as $15, and at least one (the university of physical sciences in Phoenix, Arizona) has no campus or professors whatsoever. Creationist abuse of credentials can also take other forms, most commonly in the case of physicists or mathematicians who act as though their background makes them biology experts. I've personally spoken to an assistant professor of observational cosmology at the University of Toronto who's a perfect example of this phenomenon; he discounts biological evolution but he knows far too much about astrophysics to accept young Earth creationism, so he selectively believes in the parts of creationism for which he hasn't performed enough research to have a qualified opinion. He bristles at other creationists who mistrust astrophysicists but he has no problem dismissing the entire field of biology as a fraud. Naturally, his church proudly cites him as proof that creationism is gaining acceptance in the scientific community (groan).
- Outright fraud. Look for "facts" which seem to shake the foundation of science to its core, thus making you wonder how the scientific community could have possibly missed or ignored them, because chances are they aren't real. One cannot dismiss creationist observations out of hand because that's fallacious, but when a creationist makes reference to stunning "facts" which have supposedly gone unnoticed by the scientific community, the hair should stand up on the back of your neck and you should look into it. Creationists have no problem whatsoever claiming that the ratio of Carbon-14 and Carbon-12 in the atmosphere is totally random over time (it isn't), or that year by year measurements of the speed of light show a decrease (they don't), that constant radioactive decay rates are an "unjustified assumption" (they aren't), that millions of tons of meteorite material fall on the Earth every year (they don't), that evolution theory is "in crisis" (it isn't), that scientists selectively publish data which fits their theories (even though the creationists get all of their supposedly damning figures from the scientific literature which is supposedly censoring information), that the Sun is rapidly shrinking (it isn't), that geologic and radiometric dating techniques have been invalidated (they haven't), that the consensus of multiple dating techniques is a form of circular logic (it isn't), or any of a large variety of other lies.
- Leap of faith One of the oldest tricks is to state a real fact and then say that it "suggests" or "leads to" a pet theory without explaining why. They quietly expect you to make a leap of faith from point A to point B with them, and if they're lucky, you won't notice. Young-earth creationists are particularly fond of this tactic. The purity of limestone deposits "suggests rapid precipitation", and they don't bother explaining why. Mountains and valleys and all other geological structures "are consistent with a global flood" but they don't bother to explain how.
- Hothouse publication. Look for articles published outside of the world of scientific journals, but which nevertheless are written with the style and bearing of a genuine scientific research paper. Creationists are by far the worst offenders in this regard; they have an entire industry of their own "creation science" journals, symposiums, conferences, etc. If a research paper had any validity, why wouldn't they publish it in a real journal where it would lead to much greater prestige in the scientific community? Why wouldn't they publish it in a real journal where the scientific community (the people they're supposedly trying to reach) would actually read it? Why do they always insist on publishing their articles in journals whose readers don't have the background to properly critique the work? Could it be that they know a real geologist, astrophysicist or biologist would effortlessly destroy their arguments, so they must pitch them at people who don't know any better? Could it be that they want to publish their articles in a journal which won't publish rebuttals? Take a wild guess.
Recurring pseudoscientist claims about mainstream science "cover-ups" bear further examination. Picture this: you're digging and you find what appears to be a fragment of an australopithicene skeleton. After more detailed investigation, you discover that you were mistaken. As an honest scientist, you naturally make the facts public, shrug your shoulders and think "oh well, better luck next time". Months later, you see a creationist website on the internet which has twisted those facts into the following: "a researcher dug up bones which he claimed to belong to the missing link, but it was exposed as a hoax. Even the original researcher was eventually forced to admit that it was a fraud!"
What happened here? Pseudoscience spin-doctoring, of course. They're hoping that the reader will interpret any perceived weakness in mainstream science as conclusive proof of their alternative explanation. This is a false dilemma fallacy, in which the pseudoscientist assumes that you will then have no choice but to leap all the way to their preposterous alternative theory (it's a bit like saying you have doubts about the accuracy of a thermometer that reads 25°C, so the temperature must be -80°C). Since scientists always conscientiously document their own mistakes, they provide plenty of material for pseudoscientists who aren't nearly so ethical, and who are trying to prove, ironically enough, that these very same scientists are engaged in a cover-up!
You've probably noticed that I've reserved most of my ire for creationists. That's not an accident; creationists are by far the most prolific abusers of pseudoscience in the world. Click here to see more examples of Creationist pseudoscience.
TOPICS: Culture/Society; Miscellaneous
KEYWORDS: crevolist; nasa; pissandmoan; pseudoscience
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posted on 10/22/2002 2:49:25 PM PDT
To: balrog666; Condorman; *crevo_list; general_re; Gumlegs; jennyp; longshadow; PatrickHenry; ...
An oldy but a goody. Ping.
posted on 10/22/2002 2:50:47 PM PDT
A very "scientific" debunking of creation "science." Another contribution to my collection. Thanks
posted on 10/22/2002 2:53:54 PM PDT
The classics never go out of style!
posted on 10/22/2002 2:56:32 PM PDT
A fun read...
posted on 10/22/2002 3:05:31 PM PDT
Dr. Hawaiss(SP) of Egypt was inspired to study the past because of the writings of Cayce! I ,myself, was inspired to study Aerospace Engineering due to the likes of Star Trek and 2001. Inspiration pays an important role in the future of our youth.
posted on 10/22/2002 3:16:01 PM PDT
Trying to orbit science around darwin...
is like trying to put the sun in orbit around the moon---
Darwin is an assteroid----klunker....
no fuel---lotta assh/slag!
Halebopps---cargo cults...govt work/well-fare!
Ape ancestry science rejectionist---me!
Few people realize yet just how responsible bureaucratic NASA is for keeping science fiction from becoming science fact (despite its' $15.3 billion dollar annual budget). It's documented daily at the following conservative watchdog website:
In the John Travolta/Robert Duvall legal drama "A Civil Action", the Duvall character advises his law students on how to react to the appearance of new evidence. He explains that before they even know what it is, they should instinctively leap to their feet shouting "objection!". So it is with pseudoscientists, because their relationship with mainstream science is not co-operative; it's adversarial, like a legal trial.
Much is explained here.
posted on 10/22/2002 3:47:12 PM PDT
If kids are getting more science from ST than from school, it is more likely the school's fault for making the subject terminally boring. I like Star Trek. Bite me.
posted on 10/22/2002 3:54:04 PM PDT
... it's a bit like saying you have doubts about the accuracy of a thermometer that reads 25°C, so the temperature must be -80°C.
Spontaneous life/matter and animal morphing is mainstream science?
I've been in countless evolution/creationism debates, which never produce anything of value. Why? Because the creationist assumes his position as true and undeniable, so discussion is pointless. Whatever arguments you may offer about physics, biology, etc., they won't work, so don't bother. The argument will always come back to "Well, God doesn't have to obey the laws of physics." Well, ok, so then why do you need to provide a physical explanation of creation at all? Why does the Bible say creation happened in this way and not in that way? Even the creation story in Genesis is a primitive description of a physical process.
Whenever you point out a piece of evidence, such as the fossil record, they will say "Well, how do you know this is true?" (and attempt to "debunk" everything). Ok, so let's hold the Bible to the same standard. How do you know the story in the Bible is true? Of course, the answer is obvious: because the Bible is true, duh. And there you have it.
To: billybudd; gore3000
Many posters, even many on this site, have vehmently expressed the view that Christianity held back the advancement of human progress,
The charge that Christianity has held back scientific progress is utterly ridiculous. Perhaps the best example of pagan materialistm is atomism. The fortuitous and mindless joining of atoms holds absolutely no prospects for scientific inquiry and neither does the fortuitous and mindless mutations held by present day materialists.
Only theories which deny mindlessness and propose order can be the source of scientific inquiry. It is this belief in order, in natural laws which as stated in our Declaration come from God that has proven to be the source of the scientific spirit and scientific progress in the Christian West.
12 posted on 9/15/02 6:07 AM Pacific by gore3000
I have to agree with you, Sir. If I'm debating someone, on ANY topic, and they interject God or the Bible as proof or evidence or as arguments; indeed if ANY religion comes up, I must end the debate. At that point, Faith and not Facts are being discussed, and Faith by its very nature is unprovable one way or another.
It scarecely matters what my OWN beliefs are. Once religion is used to debate fact, law, OR science, we have entered a theological, not scientific, discussion, and I am unwilling to be swerved like that.
posted on 10/22/2002 4:21:30 PM PDT
by Long Cut
To: Long Cut
As I see it, evolution is an ideological doctrine. If it were only a "scientific theory", it would have died a natural death 50 - 70 years ago; the evidence against it is too overwhelming and has been all along. The people defending it are doing so because they do not like the alternatives to an atheistic basis for science and do not like the logical implications of abandoning their atheistic paradigm and, in conducting themselves that way, they have achieved a degree of immunity to what most people call logic.
488 posted on 7/29/02 5:18 AM Pacific by medved
Great quote. Thanks for posting it.
294 posted on 10/18/02 11:59 AM Pacific by AnnaZ
To: Junior; All
Of course, some people do not like to debate science at all, and prefer Faith, which I suppose is easier to do if you're absolutely convinced that yours is the true one.
However, some would countenance no debate at all. Witness the bizarre attempts to spam THIS thread with gibberish. Unfortunately, the individual doing so does his own cause little good, and his credibility even less.
posted on 10/22/2002 4:41:03 PM PDT
by Long Cut
I have no idea what you're saying. But let me take a stab at it anyway. You complain that evolutionary theory, and modern cosmology, could not possibly be true because the complexity of our environment couldn't have been caused at random. First of all, this has nothing to do with creationism, but sounds more like an argument used by proponents of "intelligent design", which is essentially Evolution-Plus (evolution guided by God). And actually, "intelligent design" is not a theory at all because it cannot be distinguished from evolutionary theory. The whole point of a random event is that we do not know what caused it. That's the definition of randomness - lack of knowledge. So if you want to say mutations happen because God wills them, ok, go for it. It doesn't change anything about explaining the mechanics of evolution, so it is really irrelevant to the science to say "God causes mutations".
Originally the word liberal meant social conservatives(no govt religion--none) who advocated growth and progress---mostly technological(knowledge being absolute/unchanging)based on law--reality... UNDER GOD---the nature of GOD/man/govt. does not change. These were the Classical liberals...founding fathers-PRINCIPLES---stable/SANE scientific reality/society---industrial progress...moral/social character-values(private/personal) GROWTH(limited NON-intrusive PC Govt/religion---schools)!
Then came the SPLIT SCHIZOPHRENIA/ZOMBIE/BRAVE-NWO1984 LIBERAL NEO-Soviet Darwin America---the post-modern age
"Well, how do you know this is true?"
If the alleged scientist can simply glance at a vector in 3-space and say if it describes a potential field, I might listen further.
I took a few minutes to decipher that post, and I must say I agree with a lot of what you said.
These were the Classical liberals...founding fathers-PRINCIPLES---stable/SANE scientific reality/society---industrial progress...moral/social character-values(private/personal) GROWTH(limited NON-intrusive PC Govt/religion---schools)!
Where you and I diverge is on the Evolution/Communism thing. You seem to view Darwin and evolution as the beginning of the end for enlighted, moral civilization, while I think Marx, class struggle, and the "dictatorship of the proletariat" are the true dangers.
God bless you, I think we both have a common enemy in the BRAVE-NWO.
452 posted on 9/7/02 8:54 PM Pacific by Dakmar
Now I follow, thank you. Actually, I don't disagree with this at all since I see the left as abandoning the uncertianty of democracy and majority rule for the assurance technocracy and expert rule.
152 posted on 9/10/02 12:17 PM Pacific by Liberal Classic
Main Entry: tech·noc·ra·cy
Date: circa 1919
: government by technicians; specifically : management of society by technical experts
Main Entry: 1ca·bal
Pronunciation: k&-'bäl, -'bal
Etymology: French cabale cabala, intrigue, cabal, from Medieval Latin cabbala cabala, from Late Hebrew qabbAlAh, literally, received (lore)
: the artifices and intrigues of a group of persons secretly united to bring about an overturn or usurpation especially in public affairs; also : a group engaged in such artifices and intrigues
synonym see PLOT
Main Entry: fas·cism
Pronunciation: 'fa-"shi-z&m also 'fa-"si-
Etymology: Italian fascismo, from fascio bundle, fasces, group, from Latin fascis bundle & fasces fasces
1 often capitalized : a political philosophy, movement, or regime (as that of the Fascisti) that exalts nation and often race above the individual and that stands for a centralized autocratic government headed by a dictatorial leader, severe economic and social regimentation, and forcible suppression of opposition
2 : a tendency toward or actual exercise of strong autocratic or dictatorial control < early instances of army fascism and brutality -- J. W. Aldridge >
- fas·cist /-shist also -sist/ noun or adjective, often capitalized
- fas·cis·tic /fa-'shis-tik also -'sis-/ adjective, often capitalized
- fas·cis·ti·cal·ly /-ti-k(&-)lE/ adverb, often capitalized
But while "Ghostbusters" is smart enough to know it's a comedy, other forms of pseudoscience such as Creationism aren't. They take themselves very seriously, and they hope you will too.
It took little Mikey long enough.
posted on 10/22/2002 5:04:51 PM PDT
Running joke is 'evo-science'...
biggest cult of oxy-moonie-morons---art bells!
Latest evo gem--artist...
Sure. All domesticated animal husbandry is proof of evolution but in the case of planned animal husbandry, man, rather than environmental influences, play the role of selectivity. Try to think this through, which, I realize, may not be easy. If you cross a poodle to a poodle, do you get a wolf? (Knock, Knock)
Now: Do you care to give me scientific proof that God exists?
I'm not kidding. You people amaze me.
294 posted on 8/25/02 12:02 PM Pacific by AllSmiles
Like FR 'patrickhenry'...
"search for the creator via evolution"---
"total--only evolution" too---NO competition!"
The papal encyclical rightwingprofessor-whack thinks/interprets---"professes evolution"...
could abortion be next???
donh..."if the sun can create crystals-snowflakes...human life would certainly follow"---
(Why, if the sun can create crystals and snowflakes, can't it create life?)
(How much different is my paraphase of your rhetorical question---statement!)
also by donh...Hitler and nazi germany were all Christians---creationists!
(With this statement we can safely say bankrobbers/murderers are auditors/morticians!)
dominick harr..."just like a ball bouncing down the stairs----evolution created everything"---
jennyp..."anarchist evolutionary(natural) capitalism---Christianity(manmade) is communism"---
and patrickhenry doesn't know..."if prior to darwin---if science existed"...
SkyRat...Divine hammer-retribution from above via evolution!
exdemmom...evolution is the "lug wrench" that fixes science--biology/life!
Running sores of evo schlock!
Few new ones by the vade--junior--ph evo cult...
More schlock---latests(evo proof/matches/links)...
over---abundance of dung for beetles...schlock providence/miracles
ground depressions on earth surfaces collect liquids producing ponding---more spontaneous schlock opportunities/diversity...
motion/movement is created via biological interference/resistance in gravitational force fields...
foot/toe ground contact---attractions/balance...
My own...how evo schlock made us...
Insects vibrate molecules and gas particles---sound...and how humans procreate via words/instruments---music/songs.
I get it!
This schlock is so simple...natural---unplanned---no design!
Only logic--sense--sanity could schock the evo-schlock world...if it could penetrate it!
One more evo gem by allsmiles...
I really don't care who is crazy as long as they are tame. But the religious are not tame. They insist upon imposing their lunatic beliefs upon the rational and the children of the rational. That's where you get yourselves in trouble. If you have any confidence in what you are saying at all, be content to keep it to yourselves, as atheists are.
381 posted on 8/26/02 5:42 AM Pacific by AllSmiles
Yeah...as atheists are?
All quotes accurate---some paraphased!
To: Long Cut
At that point, Faith and not Facts are being discussed, and Faith by its very nature is unprovable one way or another.
You do realize, don't you, that you're operating from a throughly modern definition of "faith"?
posted on 10/22/2002 5:09:12 PM PDT
Free Republic is an online gathering place for independent, grass-roots conservatism on the web. We're working to roll back decades of governmental largesse, to root out political fraud and corruption, and to champion causes which further conservatism in America. And we always have fun doing it. Hoo-yah!
To: Havoc; All
You mean as opposed to the manifold attempts of evolutionists to shuffle a pile of theories endlessly as a moving target so there is never the same theory to debate from day to day or year to year? So preposterous is it that when one theory is roundly disproven, another crops up in it's place so as to give an appearance of having a clue about something scientists are rather utterly clueless about and rather well demonstrate it on the evolution side.
The creation story has been around for thousands of years and unchanged. The story of creation is proven by our surroundings. The funny thing is that in order to believe evolution, you guys have to rely on "faith". Faith that these scientists have the first clue of which they speak because most of what they offer in theory is not only not observeable, has no example in science that is proveable and requires one to buy into a story they create and regularly change based on opinion.
And I love scrambling eggs for ya'lls faces in presenting things you can't just explain away. The odds of everything ya'll claim to have happened by chance actually ever happening become so improbable across time that stacking these things up begs the to ruin all your theories (what's the name of that there razor?). The odds of random happenstance of sexual reproduction alone.. LOL. I know, let's not dwell on things that make you look too bad for putting your faith in a bunch of men whose literal story changes with the wind. One wouldn't wish to make you look too silly.
100 posted on 10/22/02 5:09 PM Pacific by Havoc
Evolution is...a manmade ideology/agenda w/o a reality content---check!
Your Stardestroyer.net link points to this.
posted on 10/22/2002 5:36:52 PM PDT
Why, yes it does. And this is a problem why?
posted on 10/22/2002 5:38:27 PM PDT
The easiest way to spot pseudoscience is to track the authors' methods to see if they follow the scientific method, because they usually don't. I also have a "lucky 13" list:
The author missed a few items which could be added to his list:
- Call everyone who disagrees with you a liar or slimer.
- Repeat all your old lies, even when they've just been demolished.
- Say: "You execrable piece of lying garbage" to rational opponents.
- Call your opponents "Taliban thugs."
- Blame communism, Hitler, etc. on your opponents.
- Accuse your opponents of being anti-Christian. And finally ...
- Accuse your opponents of abusive and insulting debate tactics.
Why, yes it does. And this is a problem why?
Not a problem. Chuckle.
The ranks of the resurgent Empire continue to swell. What say you, citizen? Are you ready to join the Empire? Are you ready to fight for the glory of Coruscant? If you are, then join now. Fight for your people. Fight for your Emperor!
Decades after the disastrous Battle of Endor, our saviour finally arose from the ashes of the Empire. He bore the noble bloodline of Vader and the dark power of the Sith. It was under his leadership that the Empire was reborn. It is under his leadership that we shall accomplish the unprecedented: the conquest of a new galaxy. A galaxy bereft of strong leadership. The galaxy of Star Trek!
Young cadet, it is time for you to prove your mettle. It is time for you to bring civilization to the uncivilized, backward savages who live in this "Federation". Let the slaughter begin!
posted on 10/22/2002 5:45:46 PM PDT
You forgot #8:
Spam with totally unrelated gibberish any science-based thread with which you disagree on theological grounds.
The fact that some people's Faith is so weak that ANY scientific discussion MUST be supressed thus, lest it cause the believer ANY questioning thoughts, is quite ironic, given the tactics employed.
posted on 10/22/2002 5:54:34 PM PDT
by Long Cut
It's an opinion piece. You seem to be backhandedly dismissing the fellow's points simply because he's a Star Wars fan. I play Space 1889; should my views be discounted because I'm a Victorian SF fan?
posted on 10/22/2002 5:54:46 PM PDT
Comment #38 Removed by Moderator
Dr. Hawaiss(SP) of Egypt was inspired to study the past because of the writings of Cayce!
Sad to say, I was, too. But I'm much better now. :-)
Here's the breakdown---approximations...
45% creation and evolution(confused/schizoids/wavers)...JUNIORS
10% hard core atheists/materialists---EVOLUTION only whacks/psychos(outta reality)...PH/vape!
An avowed atheist, Dr. Maurice Rawlings wasn't concerned about God, heaven, or hell until confronted with the harrowing experiences of his clinically dead patients before resuscitating them.
There is no debate about the existence of a literal hell in his mind now.
Most of his cardiology patients were ordinary people who didn't necessarily think of themselves as being particularly good or bad, but were totally shocked to find themselves in hell when they died. They describe their encounters as being in "total darkness and untold terror" or "moving toward volcanic flames filled with people crying out in agony."
One patient, Charles McKaig, dropped dead during an EKG treadmill test. Once revived, the terrified man, with his hair standing on end, gripped Rawlings and begged, "Don't let me go to hell again." The befuddled doctor muttered a prayer he had heard about asking Jesus into one's life as savior and the man repeated it. The patient's heart stopped again and he was immediately transported to heaven. He was resuscitated a second time and described the most brilliant colors he had ever seen and about meeting relatives there.
Howard Storm, an art and literary professor, was an atheist who says the only god in his adult life was himself. His experience was slightly different. He was drawn toward a bright light as gentle voices beckoned him to come. As he walked with the group, the light diminished and their voices became increasingly more hostile.
Once in total darkness, hundreds of people viciously attacked him. They weren't monster-like creatures, but ordinary people who had lived selfish lives on earth and now lived in a world that was entirely selfish and cruel.
He tried to pray and blurted out anything he could remember. Each time he said, "God," the assailants stopped abruptly, shrieked in fear and moved away. Eventually, they left him bruised and bleeding. He laid there for what seemed like an eternity.
In a weakened state, he sang "Jesus Loves Me," which he had recalled singing as a child. Jesus appeared, tenderly picked him up and completely healed his wounds. All the pain and horror evaporated and he was filled with indescribable love.
Before returning, the angels showed him a video recording of his life from beginning to end. Whenever he was loving and considerate of others, God, Jesus and the angels rejoiced and when he had been selfish and manipulative, they grieved. He came back to earth with a changed heart, determined to love people.
Former atheist Dr. Donald Whitaker, a research scientist and physician, spent the most horrific night of his life on the brink of hell, tearing at bed sheets and pulling the mattress over him to shield himself from the penetrating darkness. He waited frantically for a friend to come, whom he had cursed years prior when the man told him about the Lord.
Whitaker quickly became a believer and concludes, "It's very easy to be an atheist when you're successful, when you're one of the most powerful men in your part of the country, because you don't need God, but it's very difficult to be an atheist when you are on your death bed."
John 3:16 says, "For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life."
Repeated encounters with his patients convinced Rawlings to get his own life right with God by accepting Jesus Christ as his savior. He has published a book/video, To Hell and Back, detailing the accounts of his patients and urges readers/viewers to be aware and prepare for the impending afterlife.
posted on 10/22/2002 6:09:26 PM PDT
Many posters, even many on this site, have vehmently expressed the view that Christianity held back the advancement of human progress,
The charge that Christianity has held back scientific progress is utterly ridiculous. (Symptom #1) Perhaps the best example of pagan materialistm is atomism. (Symptom #6) The fortuitous and mindless joining of atoms (Symptom #3) holds absolutely no prospects for scientific inquiry and neither does the fortuitous and mindless mutations held by present day materialists. (Symptom #4)
Only theories which deny mindlessness and propose order can be the source of scientific inquiry. (Symptoms #5 & #6) It is this belief in order, in natural laws which as stated in our Declaration come from God (Symptom #9) that has proven to be the source of the scientific spirit and scientific progress (Symptom #11) in the Christian West.
12 posted on 9/15/02 6:07 AM Pacific by gore3000
7 out of 13 Symptoms used.
posted on 10/22/2002 6:10:11 PM PDT
The thing that always bugged me is, where in the bible is God telling Adam (or one of his descendants) How He Did It? Because obviously, God didn't write Genesis. Some guy did. I would think that the story of God giving his Children the creation story is an important one. Why isn't that story in the Bible?
I play Space 1889; should my views be discounted because I'm a Victorian SF fan?
Do you have a web site devoted to fantasizing about imaginary weapons and people? Do you devote any time to calculating the relative strengths of these imaginary weapons? If you do, you may have a bean loose, much as I suspect this young individual has.
posted on 10/22/2002 6:11:12 PM PDT
A good definition of pseudoscience is rendered at this link, as well as OTHER good stuff.
Not all of it is 100% FReeper friendly, as the site has the potential to annoy the Left as much as it does conservatives, but some good information, and critical thinking, is to be found there.
posted on 10/22/2002 6:17:29 PM PDT
by Long Cut
posted on 10/22/2002 6:33:39 PM PDT
Your Stardestroyer.net link points to this.
No doubt they have brought new scientific insights from the far ends of the galaxy! Either that or they are bunch of fruitcakes!
posted on 10/22/2002 6:45:10 PM PDT
Again, I'm reminded why I don't hang out on the evo vs. creo threads. This is probably only the second or third such article I've read in over four years on FR. Thanks to the appropriate title, article worth saving.
posted on 10/22/2002 6:49:24 PM PDT
Yes Patrick you constantly insult people as in this post, you lie about them, you take statements out of context, you try to tar all opponents with the faults of those who do not represent them, and you are a thug who regularly tries to destroy threads through vicious attacks on people who disagree with you. So yes, you are all those things and much worse.
posted on 10/22/2002 6:51:52 PM PDT
Saved from hell
Howard Storm's near-death experience
Before his near-death experience, Howard Storm, a Professor of Art at Northern Kentucky University, was not a very pleasant man. He was an avowed atheist and was hostile to every form of religion and those who practiced it. He often would use rage to control everyone around him and he didnt find joy in anything. Anything that wasnt seen, touched or felt, he had no faith in. He knew with certainty that the material world was the full extent of everything that was. He considered all belief systems associated with religion to be fantasies for people to deceive themselves with. Beyond what science said, there was nothing else.
On June 1, 1985, at the age of 38, Howard Storms had a near-death experience due to a perforation of the stomach and his life was since forever changed. His near-death experience is one of the most profound, if not the most profound, afterlife experience I have ever documented. His life was so immensely changed after his near-death experience, he resigned as a professor and devoted his time attending the United Theological Seminary to become a United Church of Christ minister. The following is the account of Pastor Howard Storm's near-death experience reprinted by permission.
An invitation from strange people
(Howard Storm is in intense agony and dying)
Struggling to say goodbye to my wife, I wrestled with my emotions. Telling her that I loved her very much was as much of a goodbye as I could utter because of my emotional distress.
Sort of relaxing and closing my eyes, I waited for the end. This was it, I felt. This was the big nothing, the big blackout, the one you never wake up from, the end of existence. I had absolute certainty that there was nothing beyond this life because that was how really smart people understood it.
While I was undergoing this stress, prayer or anything like that never occurred to me. I never once thought about it. If I mentioned Gods name at all it was only as a profanity.
For a time there was a sense of being unconscious or asleep. Im not sure how long it lasted, but I felt really strange, and I opened my eyes. To my surprise I was standing up next to the bed, and I was looking at my body laying in the bed.
My first reaction was:"This is crazy! I cant be standing here looking down at myself. Thats not possible." This wasn't what I expected, this wasn't right. Why was I still alive? I wanted oblivion. Yet I was looking at a thing that was my body, and it just didn't have that much meaning to me.
Now knowing what was happening, I became upset. I started yelling and screaming at my wife, and she just sat there like a stone. She didnt look at me, she didnt move and I kept screaming profanities to get her to pay attention. Being confused, upset, and angry, I tried to get the attention of my room-mate, with the same result. He didnt react.
I wanted this to be a dream, and I kept saying to myself, "This has got to be a dream." But I knew that it wasn't a dream. I became aware that strangely I felt more alert, more, more aware, more alive than I had ever felt in my entire life. All my senses were extremely acute. Everything felt tingly and alive. The floor was cool and my bare feet felt moist and clammy. This had to be real. I squeezed my fists and was amazed how much I was feeling in my hands just by making a fist.
Then I heard my name. I heard: "Howard, Howard come here."
Wondering, at first, where it was coming from, I discovered that it was originating in the doorway. There were different voices calling me. I asked who they were, and they said: "We are here to take care of you. We will fix you up. Come with us."
Asking, again, who they were, I asked them if they were doctors and nurses. They responded: "Quick, come see. Youll find out."
As I asked them questions they gave evasive answers. They kept giving me a sense of urgency, insisting that I should step through the doorway.
With some reluctance I stepped into the hallway, and in the hallway I was in a fog, or a haze. It was a light-colored haze. It wasnt a heavy haze. I could see my hand, for example, but the people who were calling me were 15 or 20 feet ahead, and I couldnt see them clearly. They were more like silhouettes, or shapes, and as I moved toward them they backed off into the haze. As I tried to get close to them to identify them, they quickly withdrew deeper into the fog. So I had to follow into the fog deeper and deeper.
These strange beings kept urging me to come with them. I repeatedly asked them where we were going, and they responded: "Hurry up, youll find out." They wouldn't answer anything. The only response was insisting that I hurry up and follow them. They told me repeatedly that my pain was meaningless and unnecessary. "Pain is bull***t," they said. I knew that we had been traveling for miles, but I occasionally had the strange ability to look back and see the hospital room. My body was still there lying motionless on the bed ... My perspective at these times was as if I were floating above the room looking down. It seemed millions and millions of miles away. Looking back into the room, I saw my wife and my room-mate, and I decided they had not been able to help me so I would go with these people.
Walking for what seemed to be a considerable distance, these beings were all around me. They were leading me through the haze. I dont know how long ... there was a real sense of timelessness about the experience. In a real sense I am unaware of how long it was, but it felt like a long time maybe even days or weeks.
As we traveled, the fog got thicker and darker, and the people began to change. At first they seemed rather playful and happy, but when we had covered some distance, a few of them began to get aggressive. The more questioning and suspicious I was, the more antagonistic and rude and authoritarian they became. They began to make jokes about my bare rear end which wasn't covered by my hospital dicky and about how pathetic I was. I knew they were talking about me, but when I tried to find out exactly what they were saying they would say, "Shh, he can hear you, he can hear you." Then, others would seem to caution the aggressive ones. It seemed that I could hear them warn the aggressive ones to be careful or I would be frightened away.
Wondering what was happening, I continued to ask questions, and they repeatedly urged me to hurry and to stop asking questions. Feeling uneasy, especially since they continued to get aggressive, I considered returning, but I didnt know how to get back. I was lost. There were no features that I could relate to. There was just the fog and a wet, clammy ground, and I had no sense of direction.
All my communication with them took place verbally just as ordinary human communication occurs. They didn't appear to know what I was thinking, and I didn't know what they were thinking. What was increasingly obvious was that they were liars and help was farther away the more I stayed with them.
Attacked by bizarre beings
Hours ago, I had hoped to die and end the torment of life. Now things were worse as I was forced by a mob of unfriendly and cruel people toward some unknown destination in the darkness. They began shouting and hurling insults at me, demanding that I hurry along. And they refused to answer any question.
Finally, I told them that I wouldnt go any farther. At that time they changed completely. They became much more aggressive and insisted that I was going with them. A number of them began to push and shove me, and I responded by hitting back at them.
A wild orgy of frenzied taunting, screaming and hitting ensued. I fought like a wild man. All the while it was obvious that they were having great fun.
It seemed to be, almost, a game for them, with me as the center-piece of their amusement. My pain became their pleasure. They seemed to want to make me hurt by clawing at me and biting me. Whenever I would get one off me, there were five more to replace the one.
By this time it was almost complete darkness, and I had the sense that instead of there being twenty or thirty, there were an innumerable host of them. Each one seemed set on coming in for the sport they got from hurting me. My attempts to fight back only provoked greater merriment.
They began to physically humiliate me in the most degrading ways. As I continued to fight on and on, I was aware that they weren't in any hurry to win. They were playing with me just as a cat plays with a mouse. Every new assault brought howls of cacophony. Then at some point, they began to tear off pieces of my flesh. To my horror I realized I was being taken apart and eaten alive, slowly, so that their entertainment would last as long a possible.
At no time did I ever have any sense that the beings who seduced and attacked me were anything other than human beings. The best way I can describe them is to think of the worst imaginable person stripped of every impulse to do good. Some of them seemed to be able to tell others what to do, but I had no sense of any structure or hierarchy in an organizational sense. They didn't appear to be controlled or directed by anyone. Basically they were a mob of beings totally driven by unbridled cruelty and passions. During our struggle I noticed that they seemed to feel no pain. Other than that they appeared to possess no special nonhuman or superhuman abilities. Although during my initial experience with them I assumed that they were clothed, in our intimate physical contact I never felt any clothing whatsoever.
Fighting well and hard for a long time, ultimately I was spent. Lying there exhausted amongst them, they began to calm down since I was no longer the amusement that I had been. Most of the beings gave up in disappointment because I was no longer amusing, but a few still picked and gnawed at me and ridiculed me for no longer being any fun. By this time I had been pretty much taken apart. People were still picking at me, occasionally, and I just lay there all torn up, unable to resist.
Exactly what happened was ...and Im not going to try and explain this. From inside of me I felt a voice, my voice, say: "Pray to God." My mind responded to that: "I dont pray. I dont know how to pray."
This is a guy lying on the ground in the darkness surrounded by what appeared to be dozens if not hundreds and hundreds of vicious creatures who had just torn him up. The situation seemed utterly hopeless, and I seemed beyond any possible help whether I believed in God or not. The voice again told me to pray to God. It was a dilemma since I didnt know how. The voice told me a third time to pray to God.
I started saying things like: "The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want ...God bless America .." and anything else that seemed to have a religious connotation. And these people went into a frenzy, as if I had thrown boiling oil all over them. They began yelling and screaming at me, telling me to quit, that there was no God, and no one could hear me. While they screamed and yelled obscenities, they also began backing away from me as if I were poison. As they were retreating, they became more rabid, cursing and screaming that what I was saying was worthless and that I was a coward.
I screamed back at them: "Our Father who art in heaven," and similar ideas. This continued for some time until, suddenly, I was aware that they had left. It was dark, and I was alone yelling things that sounded churchy. It was pleasing to me that these churchy sayings had such an effect on those awful beings.
Lying there for a long time, I was in such a state of hopelessness, and blackness, and despair, that I had no way of measuring how long it was. I was just lying there in an unknown place all torn and ripped. And I had no strength; it was all gone. It seemed as if I were sort of fading out, that any effort on my part would expend the last energy I had. My conscious sense was that I was perishing, or just sinking into the darkness.
A rescue by the light
Now I didn't know if I was even in the world. But I did know that I was here. I was real, all my senses worked too painfully well. I didn't know how I had arrived here. There was no direction to follow even if I had been physically able to move. The agony that I had suffered during the day was nothing compared to what I was feeling now. I knew then that this was the absolute end of my existence, and it was more horrible than anything I could possibly have imagined.
Then a most unusual thing happened. I heard very clearly, once again in my own voice, something that I had learned in nursery Sunday School. It was the little song: "Jesus loves me, yes I know ..." and it kept repeating. I dont know why, but all of a sudden I wanted to believe that. Not having anything left, I wanted to cling to that thought. And ... and I, inside, screamed: "Jesus, please save me." That thought was screamed with every ounce of strength and feeling left in me.
When I did that, I saw, off in the darkness somewhere, the tiniest little star. Not knowing what it was, I presumed it must be a comet or a meteor, because it was moving rapidly. Then I realized it was coming toward me. It was getting very bright, rapidly.
When the light came near, its radiance spilled over me, and I just rose up not with my effort I just lifted up. Then I saw and I saw this very plainly I saw all my wounds, all my tears, all my brokenness, melt away. And I became whole in this radiance.
What I did was to cry uncontrollably. I was crying, not out of sadness, but because I was feeling things that I had never felt before in my life.
Another thing happened. Suddenly I knew a whole bunch of things. I knew things ... I knew that this light, this radiance, knew me. I dont know how to explain to you that I knew it knew me, I just did. As a matter of fact, I understood that it knew me better than my mother or father did. The luminous entity that embraced me knew me intimately and began to communicate a tremendous sense of knowledge. I knew that he knew everything about me and I was being unconditionally loved and accepted.
The light conveyed to me that it loved me in a way that I cant begin to express. It loved me in a way that I had never known that love could possibly be. He was a concentrated field of energy, radiant in splendor indescribable, except to say goodness and love. This was more loving than one can imagine.
I knew that this radiant being was powerful. It was making me feel so good all over. I could feel its light on me like very gentle hands around me. And I could feel it holding me. But it was loving me with overwhelming power. After what I had been through to be completely known, accepted, and intensely loved by this Being of light surpassed anything I had known or could have imagined. I began to cry and the tears kept coming and coming. And we, I and this light, went up and out of there.
We started going faster and faster, out of the darkness. Embraced by the light, feeling wonderful and crying, I saw off in the distance something that looked like the picture of a galaxy, except that it was larger and there were more stars than I had seen on earth.
There was a great center of brilliance. In the center there was an enormously bright concentration. Outside the center countless millions of spheres of light were flying about entering and leaving what was a great Beingness at the center. It was off in the distance.
Then I .. I didnt say it, I thought it. I said: "Put me back." What I meant by telling the light to put me back, was to put me back into the pit. I was so ashamed of who I was, and what I had been all of my life, that all I wanted to do was hide in the darkness. I didnt want to go toward the light anymore I did; yet I didnt. How many times in my life had I denied and scoffed at the reality before me, and how many thousands of times had I used it as a curse.
What incredible intellectual arrogance to use the name as an insult. I was afraid to go closer. I was also aware that the incredible intensity of the emanations might disintegrate what I still experienced as my intact physical body. The being who was supporting me, my friend, was aware of my fear and reluctance and shame. For the first time he spoke to my mind in a male voice and told me that if I was uncomfortable we didn't have to go closer. So we stopped where we were, still countless miles away from the Great Being.
For the first time, my friend, and I will refer to him in that context hereafter, said to me: "You belong here." (His "friend" is none other than Jesus Christ.)
Facing all the splendor made me acutely aware of my lowly condition. My response was: "No, youve made a mistake, put me back." And he said: "We dont make mistakes. You belong."
Then he called out in a musical tone to the luminous entities who surrounded the great center. Several came and circled around us. During what follows some came and went but normally there were five or six and sometimes as many as eight with us. I was still crying. One of the first things these marvelous beings did was to ask, all with thought: "Are you afraid of us?" I told them I wasnt. They said that they could turn their brilliance down and appear as people, and I told them to stay as they were. They were the most beautiful, the most ...
As an aside, Im an artist. There are three primary, three secondary, and six tertiary colors in the visible light spectrum. Here, I was seeing a visible light spectrum with at least 80 new primary colors. I was also seeing this brilliance. Its disappointing for me to try and describe, because I cant I was seeing colors that I had never seen before.
What these beings were showing me was their glory. I wasnt really seeing them. And I was perfectly content. Having come from a world of shapes and forms, I was delighted with this new, formless, world. These beings were giving me what I needed at that time.
To my surprise and also distress they seemed to be capable of knowing everything I was thinking. I didn't know whether I would be capable of controlling my thoughts and keeping anything secret.
We began to engage in thought exchange, conversation very natural, very easy and casual. I heard their voices clearly and individually. They each had a distinct personality with a voice, but they spoke directly to my mind, not my ears. And they used normal, colloquial English. Everything I thought, they knew.
A life's review
They all seemed to know and understand me very well and to be completely familiar with my thoughts and my past. I didn't feel any desire to ask for someone I had known because they all knew me. Nobody could know me any better. It also didn't occur to me to try to identify them as Uncle or Grandfather. It was like going to a large gathering of relatives at Christmas and not being quite able to remember their names or who they are married to or how they are connected to you. But you do know that you are with your family. I don't know if they were related to me or not. It felt like they were closer to me than anyone I had ever known.
Throughout my conversation with the luminous beings, which lasted for what seemed like a very long time, I was being physically supported by the Being in whom I had been engulfed. We were in a sense completely stationary yet hanging in space. Everywhere around us were countless radiant beings, like stars in the sky, coming and going. It was like a super magnified view of a galaxy super packed with stars. And in the giant radiance of the center they were packed so densely together that individuals could not be identified. Their selves were in such harmony with the Creator that they were really just one.
One of the reasons, I was told, that all the countless beings had to go back to their source was to become invigorated with this sense of harmony and oneness. Being apart for too long a time diminished them and made them feel separate. Their greatest pleasure was to go back to the sources of all life.
Our initial conversation involved them simply trying to comfort me. Something that disturbed me was that I was naked. Somewhere in the darkness I'd lost my hospital gown. I was a human being. I had a body. They told me this was okay. They were quite familiar with my anatomy. Gradually I relaxed and stopped trying to cover my privates with my hands.
Next, they wanted to talk about my life. To my surprise my life played out before me, maybe six or eight feet in front of me, from beginning to end. The life review was very much in their control, and they showed me my life, but not from my point of view. I saw me in my life and this whole thing was a lesson, even though I didnt know it at the time. They were trying to teach me something, but I didnt know it was a teaching experience, because I didnt know that I would be coming back.
We just watched my life from beginning to the end. Some things they slowed down on, and zoomed in on and other things they went right through. My life was shown in a way that I had never thought of before. All of the things that I had worked to achieve, the recognition that I had worked for, in elementary school, in high school, in college, and in my career, they meant nothing in this setting.
I could feel their feelings of sorrow and suffering, or joy, as my lifes review unfolded. They didnt say that something was bad or good, but I could feel it. And I could sense all those things they were indifferent to. They didnt, for example, look down on my high school shot-put record. They just didnt feel anything towards it, nor towards other things which I had taken so much pride in.
What they responded to was how I had interacted with other people. That was the long and short of it. Unfortunately, most of my interactions with other people didnt measure up with how I should have interacted, which was in a loving way.
Whenever I did react during my life in a loving way they rejoiced. Most of the time I found that my interactions with other people had been manipulative. During my professional career, for example, I saw myself sitting in my office, playing the college professor, while a student came to me with a personal problem. I sat there looking compassionate, and patient, and loving, while inside I was bored to death. I would check my watch under my desk as I anxiously waited for the student to finish.
I got to go through all those kinds of experiences in the company of these magnificent beings. When I was a teenage my fathers career put him into a high-stress, twelve-hour-a-day job. Out of my resentment because of his neglect of me, when he came home from work, I would be cold and indifferent toward him. This made him angry, and it gave me further excuse to feel hatred toward him. He and I fought, and my mother would get upset.
Most of my life I had felt that my father was the villain and I was the victim. When we reviewed my life I got to see how I had precipitated so much of that, myself. Instead of greeting him happily at the end of a day, I was continually putting thorns in him in order to justify my hurt.
I got to see when my sister had a bad night one night, how I went into her bedroom and put my arms around her. Not saying anything, I just lay there with my arms around her. As it turned out that experience was one of the biggest triumphs of my life.
The therapy of love
The entire life's review would have been emotionally destructive, and would have left me a psychotic person, if it hadnt been for the fact that my friend, and my friends friends, were loving me during the unfolding of my life. I could feel that love. Every time I got a little upset they turned the lifes review off for awhile, and they just loved me. Their love was tangible. You could feel it on your body, you could feel it inside you; their love went right through you. I wish I could explain it to you, but I cant.
The therapy was their love, because my lifes review kept tearing me down. It was pitiful to watch, just pitiful. I couldnt believe it. And the thing is, it got worse as it went on. My stupidity and selfishness as a teenage only magnified as I became an adult all under the veneer of being a good husband, a good father, and a good citizen. The hypocrisy of it all was nauseating. But through it all was their love.
When the review was finished they asked: "Do you want to ask any questions?" and I had a million questions. I asked, for example, "What about the Bible?" They responded: "What about it?" I asked if it was true, and they said it was. Asking them why it was that when I tried to read it, all I saw were contradictions, they took me back to my lifes review again something that I had overlooked. They showed me, for the few times I had opened the Bible, that I had read it with the idea of finding contradictions and problems. I was trying to prove to myself that it wasnt worth reading.
I observed to them that the Bible wasnt clear to me. It didnt make sense. They told me that it contained spiritual truth, and that I had to read it spiritually in order to understand it. It should be read prayerfully. My friends informed me that it was not like other books. They also told me, and I later found out this was true, that when you read it prayerfully, it talks to you. It reveals itself to you. And you dont have to work at it anymore.
My friends answered lots of questions in funny ways. They really knew the whole tone of what I asked them, even before I got the questions out. When I thought of questions in my head, they really understood them.
I asked them, for example, which was the best religion. I was looking for an answer which was like: "Presbyterians." I figured these guys were all Christians. The answer I got was: "The best religion is the religion that brings you closest to God."
Asking them if there was life on other planets, their surprising answer was that the universe was full of life. Because of my fear of a nuclear holocaust I asked if there was going to be a nuclear war in the world, and they said no. That astonished me, and I gave them this extensive explanation of how I had lived under the threat of nuclear war. That was one of the reasons I was who I was. I figured, when I was in this life, that it was all sort of hopeless; the world was going to blow up anyway, and nothing made much sense. In that context I felt I could do what I wanted, since nothing mattered.
They said: "No, there isnt going to be any nuclear war." I asked if they were absolutely sure there wasnt going to be nuclear war. They reassured me again, and I asked them how they could be so sure. Their response was: "God loves the world."
They told me that at the most, one or two nuclear weapons might go off accidentally, if they werent destroyed, but there wouldnt be a nuclear war. I then asked them how come there had been so many wars. They said that they allowed those few to happen, out of all the wars that humanity tried to start. Out of all the wars that humans tried to create, they allowed a few, to bring people to their senses and to stop them.
Science, technology, and other benefits, they told me, had been gifts bestowed on humanity by them through inspiration. People had literally been led to those discoveries, many of which had later been perverted by humanity to use for its own destruction. These friends of my friend wanted war, because of the level of our technology, to be put aside. We could do too much damage to the planet. And by the planet, they meant all of Gods creation. Not just the people, but the animals, the trees, the birds, the insects, everything.
What happens after death
I asked my friend, and his friends, about death what happens when we die? They said that when a loving person dies, angels come down to meet him, and they take him up gradually, at first, because it would be unbearable for that person to be instantly exposed to God.
Knowing whats inside of every person, the angels dont have to prove anything by showing off. They know what each of us needs, so they provide that. In some cases it may be a heavenly meadow, and in another, something else. If a person needs to see a relative, the angels will bring that relative. If the person really likes jewels, they will show the person jewels. We see what is necessary for our introduction into the spirit world, and those things are real, in the heavenly, the divine sense.
They gradually educate us as spirit beings, and bring us into heaven. We grow and increase, and grow and increase, and shed the concerns, desires, and base animal stuff that we have been fighting much of our life. Earthly appetites melt away. It is no longer a struggle to fight them. We become who we truly are, which is part of the Divine.
This happens to loving people, people who are good and love God. They made it clear to me that we dont have any knowledge or right to judge anybody else in terms of that persons heart relationship to God. Only God knows whats in a persons heart. Someone whom we think is despicable, God might know as a wonderful person. Similarly, someone we think is good, God may see as a hypocrite, with a black heart. Only God knows the truth about every individual.
God will ultimately judge every individual. And God will allow people to be dragged into darkness with like-minded creatures. I have told you, from my person experience, what goes on in there. I dont know from what I saw anymore than that, but its my suspicion that I only saw the tip of the iceberg.
I deserved to be where I was I was in the right place at the right time. That was the place for me, and the people I was around were perfect company for me. God allowed me to experience that, and then removed me, because he saw something redeeming in putting me through the experience. It was a way to purge me. People who are not allowed to be pulled into darkness, because of their loving nature, are attracted upwards, toward the light.
I never saw God, and I was not in Heaven. It was way out in the suburbs, and these are the things that they showed me. We talked for a long time, about many things, and then I looked at myself. When I saw me, I was glowing, I was radiant. I was becoming beautiful not nearly as beautiful as them but I had a certain sparkle that I never had before.
Not being ready to face the earth again, I told them that I wished to be with them forever. I said "I'm ready, I'm ready to be like you and be here forever. This is great. I love it. I love you. You're wonderful." I knew that they loved me and knew everything about me. I knew that everything was going to be okay from now on. I asked if I could get rid of my body, which was definitely a hindrance, and become a being like them with the powers they had shown me. They said: "No, you have to go back." They explained to me that I was very underdeveloped and that it would be of great benefit to return to my physical existence to learn. In my human life I would have an opportunity to grow so that the next time I was with them I would be more compatible. I would need to develop important characteristics to become like them and to be involved with the work that they do. Responding that I couldnt go back, I tried to argue with them, and I observed that if I bear that thought the thought that I might wind up in the pit again I pled with them to stay.
My friends then said: "Do you think that we expect you to be perfect, after all the love we feel for you, even after you were on earth blaspheming God, and treating everyone around you like dirt? And this, despite the fact that we were sending people to try and help you, to teach you the truth? Do you really think we would be apart from you now?"
I asked them: "But what about my own sense of failure? Youve shown me how I can be better, and Im sure I cant live up to that. Im not that good."
Some of my self-centeredness welled up and I said, "No way. I'm not going back." They said, "There are people who care about you; your wife, your children, your mother and father. You should go back for them. Your children need your help." I said. "You can help them. If you make me go back there are things that just won't work. If I go back there and make mistakes I won't be able to stand it because you've shown me I could be more loving and more compassionate and I'll forget. I'll be mean to someone or I'll do something awful to someone. I just know it's going to happen because I'm a human being. I'm going to blow it and I won't be able to stand it.
I'll feel so bad I'll want to kill myself and I can't do that because life is precious. I might just go catatonic. So you can't send me back." They assured me that mistakes are an acceptable part of being human. "Go," they said, "and make all the mistakes you want. Mistakes are how you learn." As long as I tried to do what I knew was right, they said, I would be on the right path.
If I made a mistake, I should fully recognize it as a mistake, then put it behind me and simply try not to make the same mistake again. The important things is to try one's best, keep one's standards of goodness and truth, and not compromise those to win people's approval. "But," I said, "mistakes make me feel bad." They said, "We love you the way you are, mistakes and all. And you can feel our forgiveness. You can feel our love any time you want to." I said, "I don't understand. How do I do that?" "Just turn inward," they said. "Just ask for our love and we'll give it to you if you ask from the heart."
They advised me to recognize it when I made a mistake and to ask for forgiveness. Before I even got the words out of my mouth, I would be forgiven but, I would have to accept the forgiveness. My belief in the principal of forgiveness must be real, and I would have to know that the forgiveness was given. Confessing, either in public or in private, that I had made a mistake, I should then ask for forgiveness. After that, it would be an insult to them if I didnt accept the forgiveness. I shouldnt continue to go around with a sense of guilt, and I should not repeat errors I should learn from my mistakes.
"But," I said, "how will I know what is the right choice? How will I know what you want me to do?" They replied: "We want you to do what you want to do. That means making choices and there isnt necessarily any right choice. There are a spectrum of possibilities, and you should make the best choice you can from those possibilities. If you do that, we will be there helping you."
I didn't give in easily. I argued that "back there" was full of problems and that here was everything I could possibly want. I questioned my ability to accomplish anything they would consider important in my world. They said the world is a beautiful expression of the Supreme Being.
One can find beauty or ugliness depending on what one directs one's mind toward. They explained that the subtle and complex development of our world was beyond my comprehension, but I would be a suitable instrument for the Creator. Every part of the creation, they explained, is infinitely interesting because it is a manifestation of the Creator. A very important opportunity for me would be to explore this world with wonder and enjoyment. They never gave me a direct mission or purpose. Could I build a shrine or cathedral for God? They said those monuments were for humanity. They wanted me to live my life to love people not things. I told them I wasn't good enough to represent what I had just experienced with them on a worldly level. They assured me I would be given appropriate help whenever I might need it. All I had to do is ask.
The luminous beings, my teachers, were very convincing. I was also acutely aware that not far away was the Great Being, what I knew to be the Creator. They never said, "He wants it this way," but that was implied behind everything they said. I didn't want to argue too much because the Great Entity was so wonderful and so awesome. The love that was emanated was overwhelming.
Presenting my biggest argument against coming back into the world, I told them that it would break my heart, and I would die, if I had to leave them and their love. Coming back would be so cruel, I said, that I couldnt stand it. I mentioned that the world was filled with hate and competition, and I didnt want to return to that maelstrom. I couldnt bear to leave them.
My friends observed that they had never been apart from me. I explained that I hadnt been aware of their presence, and if I went back I, again, wouldnt know they were there. Explaining how to communicate with them, they told me to get myself quiet, inside, and to ask for their love; then that love would come, and I would know they were there.
They said, "You won't be away from us. We're with you. We've always been with you. We always will be right with you all the time." I said, "But how do I know that? You tell me that, but when I go back there it's just going to be a nice theory." They said, "Any time you need us we'll be there for you." I said, "You mean like you'll just appear?" They said, "No, no. We're not going to intervene in your life in any big way unless you need us. We're just going to be there and you'll feel our presence, you'll feel our love."
After that explanation I ran out of arguments, and I said I thought I could go back. And, just like that, I was back. Returning to my body, the pain was there, only worse than before.
(Howard Storms near-death experience ends here. Return to life wasn't easy for Howard. In addition to his physical problems, he had to face the usual array of uncomprehending and insensitive responses to his new spiritual condition. It began in the hospital, he said. "I felt this overwhelming sense of love for everyone. I wanted to hug and kiss everyone, but I couldn't even sit up. I would say, "Oh you're so beautiful" to anyone and everyone. I was the joke of the floor. People found it very amusing." Like other near-death experiences, Howard's sense of empathy expanded, as well as his compassion. He could, he said, feel the emotions of others more powerfully than his own. Howard decided to enter the Christian ministry after his near-death experience.
1 Cor 15:35 But someone may ask, "How will the dead be brought back to life again? What kind of bodies will they have?"
1 Cor 15:36 What a foolish question! You will find the answer in your own garden! When you put a seed into the ground it doesn't grow into a plant unless it "dies" first.
1 Cor 15:37 And when the green shoot comes up out of the seed, it is very different from the seed you first planted. For all you put into the ground is a dry little seed of wheat or whatever it is you are planting,
1 Cor 15:38 then God gives it a beautiful new body--just the kind he wants it to have; a different kind of plant grows from each kind of seed.
1 Cor 15:39 And just as there are different kinds of seeds and plants, so also there are different kinds of flesh. Humans, animals, fish, and birds are all different.
1 Cor 15:40 The angels in heaven have bodies far different from ours, and the beauty and the glory of their bodies is different from the beauty and the glory of ours.
1 Cor 15:41 The sun has one kind of glory while the moon and stars have another kind. And the stars differ from each other in their beauty and brightness.
1 Cor 15:42 In the same way, our earthly bodies which die and decay are different from the bodies we shall have when we come back to life again, for they will never die.
1 Cor 15:43 The bodies we have now embarrass us, for they become sick and die; but they will be full of glory when we come back to life again. Yes, they are weak, dying bodies now, but when we live again they will be full of strength.
1 Cor 15:44 They are just human bodies at death, but when they come back to life they will be superhuman bodies. For just as there are natural, human bodies, there are also supernatural, spiritual bodies.
1 Cor 15:45 The Scriptures tell us that the first man, Adam, was given a natural, human body but Christ is more than that, for he was life-giving Spirit.
1 Cor 15:46 First, then, we have these human bodies, and later on God gives us spiritual, heavenly bodies.
1 Cor 15:47 Adam was made from the dust of the earth, but Christ came from heaven above.
1 Cor 15:48 Every human being has a body just like Adam's, made of dust, but all who become Christ's will have the same kind of body as his--a body from heaven.
1 Cor 15:49 Just as each of us now has a body like Adam's, so we shall some day have a body like Christ's.
1 Cor 15:50 I tell you this, my brothers: an earthly body made of flesh and blood cannot get into God's Kingdom. These perishable bodies of ours are not the right kind to live forever.
1 Cor 15:51 But I am telling you this strange and wonderful secret: we shall not all die, but we shall all be given new bodies!
1 Cor 15:52 It will all happen in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, when the last trumpet is blown. For there will be a trumpet blast from the sky, and all the Christians who have died will suddenly become alive, with new bodies that will never, never die; and then we who are still alive shall suddenly have new bodies too.
1 Cor 15:53 For our earthly bodies, the ones we have now that can die, must be transformed into heavenly bodies that cannot perish but will live forever.
1 Cor 15:54 When this happens, then at last this Scripture will come true-- "Death is swallowed up in victory."
1 Cor 15:55 O death, where then your victory? Where then your sting? For sin--the sting that causes death--will all be gone; and the law, which reveals our sins, will no longer be our judge.
posted on 10/22/2002 6:56:49 PM PDT
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