PZ Myers posted Entry 1939 on January 24, 2006 09:28 PM.
Trackback URL: http://www.pandasthumb.org/cgi-bin/mt/mt-tb.fcgi/1934

Conservative religious groups are once again making grade school textbooks the battleground. In California, supremacists and revisionists are trying to make radical changes to kids' textbooks, inserting propaganda and absurd assertions that are not supported in any way by legitimate scholars. The primary effort is to mangle history, but they're also trying to make ridiculous claims about scientific issues.

Such as that civilization started 111.5 trillion years ago, and that people flew to the moon and set off atomic bombs thousands of years ago.

(OK, everyone, let's all do our best imitation Jon Stewart double-take: "Whaaa…??")

Yeah, these aren't fundamentalist Christians, but Hindu nationalists with very strange ideas—still, it's the same old religious nonsense. Two groups, the Vedic Foundation and Hindu Education Foundation, have a whole slate of peculiar historical ideas driven by their religious ideology, and are pressuring the California State Board of Education to modify textbooks. They want to recast Hinduism as a monotheistic religion, whitewash the caste system and the oppression of women, and peddle racist notions about Aryan origins.

This is what happens when religious dogma is allowed to dictate educational content—reality and evidence and objective analysis all become irrelevant. The earth is neither 111.5 trillion years old, nor only 6,000 years old, and the errors and misperceptions of old priests are not a sound foundation for science. It doesn't matter whether those priests spoke Sanskrit or Hebrew, since their ideas are the product of revealed 'knowledge' rather than critical, evidence-based research, they don't belong in a public school classroom.

Heck, what am I saying? It's just another idea, right? Let's teach the controversy and allow orthodox Hindu supremacists to battle it out with fundamentalist Christian dominionists in front of sixth graders. It should be exciting and enlightening.

(via Butterflies and Wheels)

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Comment #75512

Posted by Moses on January 24, 2006 9:42 PM (e)

Yeah! Teach the controversy! W00t!

Comment #75530

Posted by Lord Monar on January 24, 2006 11:02 PM (e)

I wonder if the DI will want to include this bunch of wackos under their “Big Tent”.

Comment #75532

Posted by Jack Krebs on January 24, 2006 11:09 PM (e)

And see this thread at http://www.kcfs.org/cgi-bin/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic;f=3;t=001257

Marshall Klarfield believes that aliens from the tenth planet settled here some tens of thousands of years ago and are responsible for genetically engineering human beings - apparently there is a group of people who believe this. Marshall has posted regularly on the KCFS forum, and now wants to write the Kansas BOE. We’ve told him to go for it.

Comment #75541

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on January 24, 2006 11:35 PM (e)

Marshall Klarfield believes that aliens from the tenth planet settled here some tens of thousands of years ago and are responsible for genetically engineering human beings - apparently there is a group of people who believe this. Marshall has posted regularly on the KCFS forum, and now wants to write the Kansas BOE. We’ve told him to go for it.

Well, that’ll give Luskin something to do, anyway. (grin)

Ask this Marshall guy to make sure to mention Dembski and Behe’s “space aliens” BS, often and prominently.

Let them choke on their own words.

Comment #75547

Posted by theonomo on January 25, 2006 12:42 AM (e)

Why not just stick to theories for which we have EVIDENCE and PREDICTIVE POWER? By this criteria the age of the Universe would be noncontroversial (several billion years), but most of Darwinism would be laughed out of the classroom. Thank goodness we have physics to remind us of what real science looks like.

Comment #75548

Posted by Mr Christopher on January 25, 2006 12:46 AM (e)

Where are the Raelians when you need them? If we are to teach the controversy we’ll have to include Raelian inspired atheist intelligent design less we be found guilty of being unscientific and and dogmatic. And note the Raelians have published as many peer reviwed papers in legitimate scientific journals as Behe and Dembski combined.

Raelians promote atheist intelligent design which will pass the constitutional lemon test. According to our good friend the Raelians, the designers are not god(s), they are a master race of space aliens. They also claim to be in contact with the intelligent designers. Yup, they pose a race of alien folks created humans. Isn’t that what Behe and Dembski have been saying all along?

“Space aliens” - Dembski

“Time travelers” - Behe

Someone should contact the Raelians and invite them to join the IDCBT (Intelligent Design Creationism Big Tent). There is plenty of room for all philosophical and scientific theories in the IDCBT, And no icky knowledge stunting definitions of science either. Anything goes in the IDCBT, baby, so bring on the Raelian space alien intelligent designer master race!

Finally, in the spirit of the IDC Big Tent, I leave you with the original message sent by the Intelligent Designers to Rael (a French media hack) back in 1973,

“We were the ones who designed all life on earth”
“You mistook us for gods”
“We were at the origin of your main religions”
“Now that you are mature enough to understand this,we would like to enter official contact through an embassy”

I hereby nominate the theologian known as William “it could be space aliens” Dembski to be the official Ambasador of Good Will to the Intelligent Designers.

.

Comment #75549

Posted by Ethan Rop on January 25, 2006 12:50 AM (e)

Whatever. We’ve experimentally verified and can estimate the relative contributions of evolutionary mechanisms to the process, hence we can make predictions about outcomes.

Physicists can’t even tell us whether or not gravity is due to the curvature of space, force particles, or both.

Comment #75552

Posted by Carol Clouser on January 25, 2006 1:15 AM (e)

“The earth is neither 111.5 trillion years old, nor only 6,000 years old, and the errors and misperceptions of old priests are not a sound foundation for science. It doesn’t matter whether those priests spoke Sanskrit or Hebrew…”

Without getting into what precisely old Hindu priests may have said in Sanskrit pertaining to a 111.5 trillion year old earth, the fact of the matter is that no Hebrew priests ever claimed a 6000 year age for the earth. The Hebrew Bible says no such thing, nor does it imply any such thing anywhere. This is nothing but a discredired and disproven falsehood perpetrated by athiests, such as PZ, who refuse to become informed about a book they cannot read themselves.

Comment #75556

Posted by David Gehrig on January 25, 2006 1:35 AM (e)

Carol Clouser wrote:

the fact of the matter is that no Hebrew priests ever claimed a 6000 year age for the earth

The Hebrew calendar is traditionally considered to begin at the time of creation (more or less), and is currently at the year 5766.

Comment #75559

Posted by Registered User on January 25, 2006 1:46 AM (e)

This is nothing but a discredired and disproven falsehood perpetrated by athiests, such as PZ, who refuse to become informed about a book they cannot read themselves.

I have a book about you Carol that says you’re a doo-doo head marketing lowlife with her head buried deep inside her own wazoo. I have no reason to doubt my book’s veracity. You have been informed about my book. You’re welcome.

Comment #75561

Posted by Carol Clouser on January 25, 2006 2:16 AM (e)

And, PZ, as an addendum to my previous post, I don’t know of any Jewish organizations, of any theological persuasion, that is pushing for ID or any religious views to be introduced into public education, in science classes or anywhere else.

David Gehrig,

You are wrong. The Hebrew calendar works its way backward through the chronological history of the Jews, as depicted in the Bible, all the way to Adam. But nowhere does the Bible claim that Adam was the first human, despite what people who cannot read the Hebrew Bible say or believe.

I am not saying that you cannot find some ancient Jewish scholars who supported a 6000 year old earth before the scientific evidence to the contrary emerged. But these were personal opinions, not gospel or the word of “priests” representing the Bible. Nothing of the sort.

Comment #75566

Posted by Renier on January 25, 2006 4:18 AM (e)

Gasp! PZ, *slap on hand* you evil atheist that refuses to believe Carol’s version of reality :bible, not any bible, HER old Hebrew super dooper errorless, perfect, holy, divine version, new testament excluded, since Carol think it is junk.

Carol, why is your special version “bible” worth more than Sanskrit? Maybe the translators just got the Sanskrit wrong, just like the translators got your bible wrong???

Carol wrote : I don’t know of any Jewish organizations, of any theological persuasion, that is pushing for ID or any religious views to be introduced into public education, in science classes or anywhere else.

Good. No, really! I agree that ID must stay out of education. In fact, all religions should stop targeting children for indoctrination.

Comment #75568

Posted by Very worried, very very worried on January 25, 2006 4:40 AM (e)

We are going to get crazier and crazier attempts to get crazier and crazier things taught in schools in a world where social constructivism is an increasingly popular ( or increasingly influential) viewpoint among educators and thinkers. I believe ( don’t quote me) that these Hindu creationistst are enabled and inspired by these “developments” in thought. ( I hesitate to call them “developments” because they haven’t changed in essence since pre-socratic Athens).

A thought that I’ve been pondering lately is that maybe, as tragic as it is, we actually need a relativistic educational system to allow students to deal with the world, an idea can be both BS and necessary, culturally relativism coupled with universal cultural tolerance might be incoherent, but arugably it did a lot of good. Would you be willing to let your kids be exposed to Hindu creationism if ( theortically) it made them more tolerant and understanding, or even more enviormentally aware? It’s sort of a noble lie thing. I am pretty sure we don’t need such a noble lie, but hypothetically if we did, would it be right to teach it in schools?

Comment #75572

Posted by Renier on January 25, 2006 5:25 AM (e)

Very Worried

I understand what you are saying, but giving these people a little finger will result in them grabbing the arm. We cannot allow them one inch of leniency. If they get a foothold into the door then there will be no stopping them. Look at history to calculate what will happen.

I agree that tolerance is a good thing, and I try to practice it, but tolerance is not a word understood by these religious Fundy people. They only tolerate their own kind, and even then not always.

No, it’s about freedom. They would take every freedom away if they were given half a chance. I am not willing to give them half a chance. They also think all people should be like them and believe what they do. You really want these people telling kids how they are supposed to be and what they are supposed to believe? As Ingersol would put it, “It will not do”.

Comment #75573

Posted by guthrie on January 25, 2006 5:54 AM (e)

CArol, although your comments are good for thread derailment, all you have to do is post the original hebrew and Landas interpretation/ translation of it. This would then give us something to think about, whereas right now, your debate style is more along the lines of “My dad says…” which is not exactly helpful.

Comment #75579

Posted by Miguelito on January 25, 2006 7:16 AM (e)

I demand that Scientology be taught as fact too. Children need to know that humans were infected with spirits implanted by the evil, alien-overlord Xenu 75 million years ago.

Comment #75580

Posted by the pro from dover on January 25, 2006 7:16 AM (e)

I always thought the 6000 year old earth thing (at least for Christian fundamentalists) came from
Bishop Ussher in the 1500s who calculated the figure from the bible. Regardless the outpouring of demands from all these religious/metaphysical groups wanting their origins beliefs taught equally is good news for us because what we’re interested in is highschool science classes. None of us should really care about comparative religion courses and the more squabbling among the chosen all of whom posess the revealed truth the better. I would bet that there would never be a consensus among them to a unified design or creation theory or means of speciation and diversification to compete with current scientific theories (including fledgling abiogenesis hypotheses) even if they all reject “Darwinism” (whatever that is). It may be true that “the enemy of my enemy is my friend”, and its also true that intelligent design is a political movement (where strange bedfellows can be found more frequently than even on Brokeback Mountain), but when salvation is at stake there’s no room for compromise. One of the major differences between fundamentalist and mainstream Christian protestant demominations is that in the former what matters is what you believe and in the latter what matters is how you live your life. Expressions of radical belief are very impressive to people like Pat Robertson and whatshisface Buchanan and this is why they supported clemency to Karla Fay Tucker who converted to Christianity while on death row. This was because she did’nt become a work-for-justice-and-help-the-poor type of Christian but became a babbling-in-tongues-and-handling-serpents type favored by fundamentalists. As far as I can tell Pat Robertson believes that as we speak Jonas Salk and Mahatma Ghandi are roasting in eternal hellfire and damnation. So the stakes are huge for these people, protecting the tender beliefs of their schoolchildren from ideas that may interfere with the rapture that they all believe in and desperately want to occur sooner rather than later. We realists just dont want it taught to our kids in taxpayer funded science courses. The answer for them is obvious to me: home school your kids and send them to bible college; and they’ll never humiliate you by winning a Nobel Prize in a scientific field.

Comment #75585

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on January 25, 2006 7:56 AM (e)

Why not just stick to theories for which we have EVIDENCE and PREDICTIVE POWER?

So much for ID then, huh.

Comment #75586

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on January 25, 2006 8:00 AM (e)

Hey Carol, why again should science give a flying fig about your religious opinions?

Why again should your religious opinions be considered as “evidence” for anything?

Comment #75587

Posted by Shirley Knott on January 25, 2006 8:02 AM (e)

So much for ID? Hell, so much for theology.
No evidence and no predictive power, despite Carol and her alleged husband’s nonsense.

hugs,
Shirley Knott

Comment #75589

Posted by thordaddy on January 25, 2006 8:08 AM (e)

Lenny,

If ID is devoid of evidence and predictive power then how is it that you have such an awareness of it? Are you able to dissociate from your scientific self to an “unknown” state to discuss something scientifically “unknown?” Please elaborate?

Comment #75590

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on January 25, 2006 8:10 AM (e)

One of the major differences between fundamentalist and mainstream Christian protestant demominations is that in the former what matters is what you believe and in the latter what matters is how you live your life. Expressions of radical belief are very impressive to people like Pat Robertson and whatshisface Buchanan and this is why they supported clemency to Karla Fay Tucker who converted to Christianity while on death row. This was because she did’nt become a work-for-justice-and-help-the-poor type of Christian but became a babbling-in-tongues-and-handling-serpents type favored by fundamentalists.

Yes indeed. When fundamentalist Christian was first formed as a political/religious movement, in 1910, it was through a series of booklets titled “The Fundamentals”, containing 94 articles by 64 writers. Fundamentalism was formed as a response to three things, (1) “Higher Criticism” – the scholarly effort in Europe to examine the Bible using standard techniques of literary anaylsis, (2) science (and in particular evolution), and (3) “The Social Gospel”, the idea that Christians should work together with other groups to improve living conditions here for everyone.

We all know, of course, why the fundies don’t like evolution. They don’t like “Higher Criticism” because it undermines all their ideas about the Bible (and despite all the fundie yammering, what they really worship is the Bible, not a god). As for the “Social Gospel”, they rejected it (and still do) because (1) fundies do not like to associate themselves with anyone except True Believers (the doctrine of “separation”, and (2) fundies have always believed that the return of Christ is imminent, and that therefore the task of the church should be to save as many souls as possible before the world ends, instead of wasting time trying to improve conditions here (this is one reason why fundies reject environmentalism, for instance).

Comment #75591

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on January 25, 2006 8:11 AM (e)

If ID is devoid of evidence and predictive power then how is it that you have such an awareness of it?

Because ID is a theocractic political movement, and I am very aware of theocratic political movements.

If you think ID has evidence or predictive power, how about SHOWING it to us.

(sound of crickets chirping)

Yep, that’s what I thought.

Comment #75592

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on January 25, 2006 8:13 AM (e)

Are you able to dissociate from your scientific self to an “unknown” state to discuss something scientifically “unknown?” Please elaborate?

Huh? What the hell are you gibbering about?

Comment #75595

Posted by Moses on January 25, 2006 8:16 AM (e)

Comment #75589

Posted by thordaddy on January 25, 2006 08:08 AM (e)

Lenny,

If ID is devoid of evidence and predictive power then how is it that you have such an awareness of it? Are you able to dissociate from your scientific self to an “unknown” state to discuss something scientifically “unknown?” Please elaborate?

My cat’s butt has no predictive power, but when she sticks it my face when I’m watching TV, I’m very well aware of it…

In other words, your post was a fallacy. Lenny’s awareness of ID doesn’t mean ID has predictive power.

Comment #75598

Posted by B. Spitzer on January 25, 2006 8:21 AM (e)

I think the first comment, by Moses (#75512), is the best.

We should all pick up this news item and spread it. Wherever ID proponents pop up insisting that schools “teach the controversy”, we should bring up this “controversy” as well.

Of course it won’t deter the diehard ID supporters, but it will definitely show the fence-sitters exactly what “teaching the controversy” opens the door to.

Comment #75601

Posted by Moses on January 25, 2006 8:41 AM (e)

Comment #75561

Posted by Carol Clouser on January 25, 2006 02:16 AM (e)

And, PZ, as an addendum to my previous post, I don’t know of any Jewish organizations, of any theological persuasion, that is pushing for ID or any religious views to be introduced into public education, in science classes or anywhere else.

And Carol goes down in flames again:

In December 2005 a group of Orthodox rabbis, primarilly from Chabad Hasidic Judaism, convened in a conference at Florida International University for an International Conference on Torah & Science. In this conference Chabad Jews invited and worked with Protestant Christian William A. Dembski, of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. Dembski is an advocate of rejecting scientific views of evolution and inserting Christian views of theology into public school science classrooms. One of the conferences’ organizers is Rabbi Sholom Lipskar, who believes that science in schools leads to drug abuse and the breakdown of families, and advocates that intelligent design be taught as science in public schools. In response to a question asking if this was merely a back door to teaching religion in public schools, Lipskar responds “It’s not a back door, it’s a front door!.”

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Judaism_and_evolution

You can always count on a fundie to lie or just trip themselves up with their arrogance and/or ignorance. Even if they have their own “special bible.”

Comment #75602

Posted by Tyrannosaurus on January 25, 2006 8:43 AM (e)

Posted by theonomo on January 25, 2006 12:42 AM (e)

Why not just stick to theories for which we have EVIDENCE and PREDICTIVE POWER? By this criteria the age of the Universe would be noncontroversial (several billion years), but most of Darwinism would be laughed out of the classroom. Thank goodness we have physics to remind us of what real science looks like.

Buuaahhh ha ha ha ha. Darwinism. That is a strawman if I ever seen one. Get your act together stupid!!!!!. Anyway don’t talk about physics as real science or is that you have no knowledge of the “debate” between quantum vs relativity vs strings, vs ……. oh what the hell I am already all strung up in the controversy. See theonomo nothing is clean and clear except only in the head of a dummy :)

Comment #75608

Posted by Jon on January 25, 2006 9:05 AM (e)

Why not get rid of schools altogether?

Roger Schank suggests that we get rid of schools altogether…how would his idea fit in?

Comment #75612

Posted by Moses on January 25, 2006 9:16 AM (e)

Carol,

Since you are gracing us with your presence and special bible knowledge, I (as a former minister in training turned atheist) have a task for you. If you’re “tough” enough. Or your “special bible” gives you the insight.

Please correctly match these names Horus (Egyptian), Jesus (Christian), Mithra (Persian), Buddha (Indian), Krishna (Indian) to the following profiles:

* Born of a virgin.
* He was of royal descent.
* He crushed a serpent’s head.
* He performed miracles and wonders, healed the sick and walked on water.
* He preached “the establishment of a kingdom of righteousness.”
* He taught chastity, temperance, tolerance, compassion, love, and the equality of all.
* He was transfigured on a mount.
* Crucified in a sin-atonement and was resurrected 3 days later.
* He ascended to “heaven.”
* He was called the “Savior of the World” and the “Light of the World.”

* Born of a virgin.
* He was a child teacher in the Temple and was baptized when he was 30 years old.
* He was baptized.
* He had 12 disciples.
* He performed miracles and raised one man from the dead.
* He walked on water.
* He was transfigured on the Mount.
* He was crucified, buried in a tomb and resurrected.
* He was also the “Way, the Truth, the Light, the Messiah, God’s Anointed Son, the Son of Man, the Good Shepherd, the Lamb of God, the Word” etc.
* He was “the Fisher,” and was associated with the Lamb, Lion and Fish.
* He was called “the Anointed One.”

* Was born of a virgin.
* He was a great traveling teacher and master.
* He had 12 companions or disciples.
* He performed miracles.
* He was buried in a tomb.
* After three days he rose again.
* His resurrection was celebrated every year.
* He was called “the Good Shepherd.”
* He was considered “the Way, the Truth and the Light, the Redeemer, the Savior, the Messiah.”
* He was identified with both the Lion and the Lamb.
* His sacred day was Sunday, “the Lord’s Day.”
* His religion had a Eucharist or “Lord’s Supper.”

# Was born of a virgin.
# His father was a carpenter.
# His birth was attended by angels, wise men and shepherds, and he was presented with gold, frankincense and myrrh.
# He was persecuted by a tyrant who ordered the slaughter of thousands of infants.
# He was of royal descent.
# He was baptized.
# He worked miracles and wonders.
# He raised the dead and healed lepers, the deaf and the blind.
# Used parables to teach the people about charity and love.
# He lived poor and he loved the poor.
# Was crucified between two thieves.
# He rose from the dead and ascended to heaven.
# He is the second person of the Trinity, and proclaimed himself the “Resurrection” and the “way to the Father.”
# He is to return to do battle with the “Prince of Evil,” who will desolate the earth.

* He was born of a virgin.
* He was descended of royalty.
* He was baptized.
* He had 12 disciples.
* He lived poor and with the poor.
* He performed miracles and raised one man from the dead.
* He walked on water.
* He was transfigured on the Mount.
* He was crucified, buried in a tomb and resurrected.
* He was the son of “the father.”
* He was called the fisher of men and the lamb of God.

And anyone else can join into this game of comparative savior mythologies. Feel free to test your knowledge of the ‘one true faith’ verses the ‘pagan’ religions that it doesn’t (wink) resemble or borrow from at all…

Comment #75613

Posted by An Enquiring Mind on January 25, 2006 9:17 AM (e)

Calling TomKat! Calling TomKat! I can’t wait to see TomKat lecture Mister Matt how the Scientologist theory of origin of the species should be included in high school bio classes and call Matt glib again.

Comment #75623

Posted by Bayesian Bouffant, FCD on January 25, 2006 9:31 AM (e)

So much for ID? Hell, so much for theology.
No evidence and no predictive power

Surely not! Take Christianity for example.

Matt 23:36 (following assorted gibberish about the end of the world) Verily I say unto you, All these things shall come upon this generation.

Matt 24:34 Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled.

That’s a nice clear prediction.

Comment #75629

Posted by Gorbe on January 25, 2006 9:41 AM (e)

Yes, but the Hindus are wrong and going straight to hell. So there! /sarcasm

Comment #75634

Posted by Gorbe on January 25, 2006 9:47 AM (e)

At least the Space Aliens Theory might actually be testable in some way since we would be presumably dealing with material entities. But, until such a theoretically falsifiable model exists and taken seriously, it no more belongs in a science class than other faith-based ideas.

Comment #75635

Posted by Gorbe on January 25, 2006 9:51 AM (e)

the fact of the matter is that no Hebrew priests ever claimed a 6000 year age for the earth. The Hebrew Bible says no such thing, nor does it imply any such thing anywhere. This is nothing but a discredired and disproven falsehood perpetrated by athiests, such as PZ, who refuse to become informed about a book they cannot read themselves.

I’m sure William Jennings Bryan (that atheist who apparently could not understand the Good Book) is spinning in his grave over that remark.

Comment #75636

Posted by Carol Clouser on January 25, 2006 9:56 AM (e)

Moses,

Lipskar is an individual and is entitled to his opinion. My comment above, which you quoted and should have read, referred to organizations. Not even the Chabad Hasidic movement, one of the most extreme within the Jewish landscape, is actively pushing for ID or any religious views to be taught in public schools.

Comment #75648

Posted by AC on January 25, 2006 10:37 AM (e)

Hmmm, would that be Buddha, Jesus, Horus, Mithra, and Krishna?

Carol wrote:

But nowhere does the Bible claim that Adam was the first human, despite what people who cannot read the Hebrew Bible say or believe.

So then, why the spotlight on Adam?

Comment #75651

Posted by C.J.Colucci on January 25, 2006 10:51 AM (e)

Ms. Clouser has told us time and again that the Bible, properly translated and understood, is fully consistent with science. Maybe it is, but I don’t read Hebrew and have too many other demands on my time to undertake the effort, especially when experts through the centuries have created translations I have so far had little reason to doubt in their essentials.
But I could be wrong. I ask Ms. C., in good faith and in good will, to tell us what some of the relevant portions of the Bible say, chapter and verse, and explain what she thinks they mean and why she thinks they are consistent with the evidence of science.
I am not being snarky here. I really want to know.

Comment #75653

Posted by Raging Bee on January 25, 2006 10:56 AM (e)

Forget Xenu – kids need to learn about Xena first. There’s no better example of “intelligent design!”

Comment #75654

Posted by Arden Chatfield on January 25, 2006 10:57 AM (e)

And anyone else can join into this game of comparative savior mythologies. Feel free to test your knowledge of the ‘one true faith’ verses the ‘pagan’ religions that it doesn’t (wink) resemble or borrow from at all…

You might be wasting your time here. Carol doesn’t care about the NT. She’s a bizarre brand of OT literalist who’s here trying to sell books, despite the continued deafening apathy from everyone here. She’s trying to piggyback this agenda onto the efforts of the IC/Creationists. I strongly suspect she has no interest in any non-Judeo-Christian religions. And by the way, don’t try reasoning with her, it’s a BIG waste of time.

Comment #75655

Posted by Raging Bee on January 25, 2006 11:04 AM (e)

Ms. Clouser has told us time and again that the Bible, properly translated and understood, is fully consistent with science…

Looking for scientific insight in the Bible is a bit like watching “Brokeback Mountain” to learn about the trees in the background: you might get some good bits of data, but you’d be MISSING THE POINT!

Does Carol actually believe the Bible was written – by whoever – to teach people about natural phenomena? Does anyone, of any or no faith, really believe that the Bible is about anything other than Man’s relationship to God?

It sounds to me like Carol’s entire field of study is one long hijacked thread…

Comment #75656

Posted by steve s on January 25, 2006 11:16 AM (e)

Carol should take it over to After the Bar Closes, instead of junking up threads.

http://www.antievolution.org/cgi-bin/ikonboard/ikonboard.cgi?act=SF;f=14

Comment #75657

Posted by k.e. on January 25, 2006 11:18 AM (e)

Moses
I think there are a few more savior myths you could call up
by all accounts the virgin birth was de rigour for old time heroes, heck anyone important conveniently replaced mommy’s hairy helper with the old penetrating shaft of light. Roman Emperor Augustus, Alexander the Great just to name 2 well known historical figures.

Even your namesake was repeating an old cliche when he did the baby in the basket in the water thingy ‘borrowed’ from an Egyptian myth that had itself been borrowed it from an old Persian myth.

Those common threads are all symbols that were understood by the originators of these stories as a tried and true ‘common understanding’ popular in those days as a method for organizing the masses into the service of the state through a socio-religious reality.

That method is alive and well …Israel, Iran and some may argue the US although the narrative may be different the reality is ‘reality’ is a social construct. Whoever gets to define that reality can choose to make whatever they like ‘real’ the funny thing is ‘Darwinism’ seems to test the honesty of the current crop of social realists.

Each Hero you mention followed the archetypal ‘heroes journey’ best described, by yes an American, Joeseph Campbell in amongst other publications “The Hero with a Thousand Faces” quite interesting stuff really.

Go to a 3rd world country and scratch the surface and magic is more real to the uneducated there than daylight.
It would seem parts of the US have more in common with those countries than the first world.

One would wonder if downgrading of education would provide an advantage to those in power and in a democracy, what would it take to bring this to the attention to people who may object to that. Does it matter ?

Comment #75661

Posted by JONBOY on January 25, 2006 11:33 AM (e)

Moses, As Arden said “You my be wasting your time with Carol”
YOU ARE, We now have to wait to see if David Heddle shows up to rescue fair Carol. He can tell you all about the Xtian bible point of view, and why bats are birds insects have 4 legs, and talking snakes and donkeys are the norm.

Comment #75679

Posted by David Gehrig on January 25, 2006 12:33 PM (e)

Carol Clouser wrote:

David Gehrig, You are wrong.

That’s catchy. Think I’ll have it engraved it on my tombstone.

Carol Clouser wrote:

The Hebrew calendar works its way backward through the chronological history of the Jews, as depicted in the Bible, all the way to Adam.

… who is traditionally considered to have been brought to life in the first week of creation, since the Hebrew word for what God created in Genesis 1:26 is “adam.” It’s true that many orthodox Jews do not take that “week” literally, but it’s also true that many do. And it’s especially true, Carol, that you cannot arrogate onto yourself, as you attempt to several times in this thread, the right to declare “what the Bible really says,” any more than you can claim to know what every line of Shakespeare really means. Although that one wouldn’t surprise me, since you arrogate onto yourself the right to declare to a Jew what the epoch of the Jewish calendar means.

Comment #75681

Posted by BWE on January 25, 2006 12:44 PM (e)

If ID is devoid of evidence and predictive power then how is it that you have such an awareness of it? Are you able to dissociate from your scientific self to an “unknown” state to discuss something scientifically “unknown?” Please elaborate?

My god, read this

Comment #75612
Posted by Moses on January 25, 2006 09:16 AM (e)
I’ve never seen that framed as a challenge before. That may be my all time favorite post here at PT.

Comment #75682

Posted by Rocky on January 25, 2006 12:46 PM (e)

The whole basis of “Yahweh” is a manufactured falsehood, as is “Jehovah”, (a name invented in the 12th century). If anyone cares to investigate, you’ll find that Judaism is a rip-off of other religions, primarily Sumerian. Interesting reading, which fully documents that this religion, (and the Christianity religion that evolved from it), are both bogus war god worshiping nonsense.
This site, http://www.bibleorigins.net/index.html,
is actually one of many I’ve been reading that factually documents the development of the “Yahweh Cult”. I have discussed this information with informed Christian theologians, and they very quickly fall into the “you just gotta have the faith and believe” mode. Facts and evidence are meaningless. Very sad…….

Comment #75687

Posted by BWE on January 25, 2006 1:00 PM (e)

Yeah yeah I know. But try that challenge on a fundy. It’ll throw ‘em for at least a little loop. It could quite possibly turn them gay.

Comment #75692

Posted by k.e. on January 25, 2006 1:19 PM (e)

Yeah BWE
again we arrive

riverrun, past Eve and Adam’s, from swerve of
shore to bend of bay, brings us by a commodius
vicus of recirculation back to Howth Castle and
Environs.

Fundamentalist sexual repression

Its all there

Comment #75693

Posted by Carol Clouser on January 25, 2006 1:19 PM (e)

C.J. Colluci,

Unfortunately, there just is too much to discuss and analyze and it cannot be adequately treated in a few lines by posting on this thread. I have a few great books to recommend to you, but I do not wish to encourage the false but persistent accusation repeated here ad nauseam that I am interested in selling books. So you are on your own. Or, contact me via email.

AC,

I assume your question pertains to why the Bible shines a spotlight on Adam. The short answer to that is that the story in the garden and what follows occur with him.

David Gehrig,

You are apparently as clueless of what the Bible says as that tiny minority of orthodox Jewish fanatics who (still)interpret the days literally. The Hebrew word for what God creates in Genesis 1:26 is NOT, as you state, “adam”, but “the human”, referring to the species, humankind, both male and female, as the Bible explicitely states a mere few words later. Your translation renders the verse as “And God created the Adam” (HA-AUDUM). Are you referred to as “the David”?

First inform yourself of the facts, get an education, then you will be entitled to post. Right now your successive posts on this topic just reveal more and more of your ignorance.

Comment #75695

Posted by k.e. on January 25, 2006 1:29 PM (e)

You know Carol I think you ARE ONTO something there !

Adam IS the “Missing link” !
Which species of hominid did gOD created ?

Dang ….that’s the birds and the bees out the door.

mere projection Carol

Make up anything you like it’s just noise.

Comment #75698

Posted by Arden Chatfield on January 25, 2006 1:37 PM (e)

First inform yourself of the facts, get an education, then you will be entitled to post. Right now your successive posts on this topic just reveal more and more of your ignorance.

Carol, of all people, is now dictating who is ‘entitled to post’ at Panda’s Thumb??

Comment #75699

Posted by rocky on January 25, 2006 1:37 PM (e)

There was no Adam, again, it’s all a myth, stolen from elsewhere……

Professor Blenkinsopp of Notre Dame University on Atrahasis and Gilgamesh motifs in Genesis:
“…just as Genesis 1-11 as a whole corresponds to the structure of the Atrahasis myth, so the garden of Eden story has incorporated many of the themes of the great Gilgamesh poem.” (pp. 65-6. “Human Origins, Genesis 1:1-11:26.” Joseph Blenkinsopp. The Pentateuch, An Introduction to the First Five Books of the Bible. New York. Doubleday. 1992. ISBN 0-385-41207-X)
I understand that Genesis’ Adam is -in part- drawing from Gilgamesh and Enkidu. Adam’s sleep in Eden is Gilgamesh’s sleep of 6 days and 7 nights in Dilmun, an earthly paradise like Eden. Adam’s change of clothes, animal skins for fig leaves upon leaving paradise, is Gilgamesh’s change of clothes upon leaving Dilmun (animal skins [his clothes having worn-out, he slays a lion and makes his clothes of its body] being replaced by man-made woven garments). Gilgamesh’s failure to attain a new lease on life due to a serpent’s actions, it eating the life rejuvenating herb he obtained, mirrors Adam’s failure to attain immortality because of a serpent’s actions. Adam’s change of clothes also is drawing from Enkidu being naked and then clothed by the harlot before leaving “the steppe” called in Sumerian Edin and in Akkadian/Babylonian Edinu. Also mirrored is Adapa’s change of clothes before leaving Anu’s heavenly abode in the myth titled “Adapa and the South Wind”.
Adam’s companions being animals is drawing from Enkidu having only animal companions until the hunter brings a harlot or temple prostitute called Shamhat to the watering hole, enticing Enkidu to lay with her. When, after 6 days and 7 nights of sex, he attempts to return to his animal companions they flee. The harlot, a temple prostitute, asks him, “Why seek companionship with animals, he now possesses knowledge like a god”, she provides him “food fit for a god” instead of the grass he ate with the animals, and shares her garments to cover his naked hairy body and they leave the steppe, called Edin in Sumerian, and go to meet Gilgamesh in Uruk (biblical Erech of Genesis 10:10). The harlot most likely lies behind Eve, for later, when Enkidu is dying, he curses the harlot for robbing him of his innocence. Before her appearance he roamed naked with animals for companions and ate grass and was not ashamed of his nakedness, just as Adam and Eve were naked and unashamed in Eden. She introduced him to civilization, teaching him that nakedness was wrong, men must be clothed, and to “eat food fit for the gods”, perhaps an allusion to the myths that stress that the gods made man to plant, harvest and present food to them so that they need not toil anymore on the earth for their food. Perhaps Enkidu’s cursing of the harlot, blaming her for his impending death is behind God’s cursing of Eve, telling her she will bear her children in pain and sorrow and that her husband will bear rule over her ? We are informed by the Epic of Gilgamesh that the harlot takes Enkidu by the hand “like a MOTHER” and leads him to civilization. Perhaps the biblical notion of Eve meaning “MOTHER of all living” (Ge 3:20) recalls this epithet originally bestowed on the harlot Shamhat ? The god Enki is also another Adam prototype. In an edenic garden of Dilmun, in the east where the sun rises, Enki eats 8 plants belonging to his wife without her permission in order to “acquire wisdom and to know” them. Enraged, she curses him with death, but relents later. When he complains of her curse causing his rib to ache, she makes a goddess called Nin-ti to heal his rib (Nin-Ti means “Lady of the rib”). Some scholars have proposed Eve’s being made of Adam’s rib may lie as a “twist” to this myth.

Comment #75700

Posted by Steviepinhead on January 25, 2006 1:41 PM (e)

Renier re Carol’s…

old Hebrew super dooper errorless, perfect, holy, divine version, new testament excluded

… (whew!) “Bible.”

Priceless!

Would it be okay with you, Renier, if we just boiled this down to Carol’s Super Dooper Bible?

(Or maybe the KLV (King Landa Version) would be even shorter…)

Comment #75702

Posted by Miah on January 25, 2006 1:56 PM (e)

Carol Clouser wrote:

referring to the species, humankind, both male and female, as the Bible explicitely states a mere few words later

Pray tell dear Carol, why then would there be a need for EVE?

I’ve heard of your above school of thought before and the only thing I’ve concluded:

They’re all wrong because there IS NO GOD. Or any supreme being of any kind.

There are only humans, whose actions of mercy and good will have been immortalized by ancient myths and legends.

There are also only humans, whose actions of pure hate and eveil have been immortalized by ancient myths and legends.

Comment #75703

Posted by David Gehrig on January 25, 2006 1:56 PM (e)

Carol Clouseau wrote:

You are apparently as clueless of what the Bible says as …

* rolling eyes *

You’re referring to Gen 1:27. You ignore – presumably intentionally – that the name first comes up not in 1:27 but in the previous verse, 1:26, where it is definitely not “ha-adam” but “adam” – not “the Adam” but “Adam.” Thereby explaining the ubiquity within not just traditional Judaism but also in traditional Christianity and traditional Islam of the belief that Adam was the first human created.

To the rest of the Panda’s Thumb types – this is the first I’ve bumped into Carol; is she usually this rhetorically duplicitous, or was she saving it all up for me?

Carol Clouseau wrote:

First inform yourself of the facts, get an education, then you will be entitled to post. Right now your successive posts on this topic just reveal more and more of your ignorance.

I especially love quoting stuff like this from people I’ve just proved wrong. Please post more examples of your arrogant invective; they’ve been delightful so far, in a Charles X. Kinbote “I am the world’s leading scholar of John Shade” kind of way.

Comment #75707

Posted by BWE on January 25, 2006 2:08 PM (e)

So carol, will you help me with the correct translation of:

Deuteronomy 33:11 (New International Version)
Bless all his skills, O LORD, and be pleased with the work of his hands. Smite the loins of those who rise up against him; strike his foes till they rise no more.

Comment #75712

Posted by BWE on January 25, 2006 2:16 PM (e)

I’m sorry carol I have one more to translate:

Genesis 19:5-8

5 They called to Lot, “Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us so that we can have sex with them.”
6 Lot went outside to meet them and shut the door behind him 7 and said, “No, my friends. Don’t do this wicked thing. 8 Look, I have two daughters who have never slept with a man. Let me bring them out to you, and you can do what you like with them. But don’t do anything to these men, for they have come under the protection of my roof.”

Thank you.

Comment #75713

Posted by Arden Chatfield on January 25, 2006 2:19 PM (e)

To the rest of the Panda’s Thumb types — this is the first I’ve bumped into Carol; is she usually this rhetorically duplicitous, or was she saving it all up for me?

You’re not being singled out. She’s been here for several months, and she’s been exactly like this the whole time. The only difference I’ve noticed is that she seems to be getting more irritable as time goes on, but she still keeps coming here anyway.

Oh, ask her about Landa’s book. That will fill in a lot of the background here.

Comment #75714

Posted by Arden Chatfield on January 25, 2006 2:21 PM (e)

I especially love quoting stuff like this from people I’ve just proved wrong. Please post more examples of your arrogant invective; they’ve been delightful so far, in a Charles X. Kinbote “I am the world’s leading scholar of John Shade” kind of way.

I think you are overestimating your ability to silence Carol with reason. :-)

Comment #75716

Posted by C.J.Colucci on January 25, 2006 2:27 PM (e)

Ms. Clauser:
Not even one small verse, with commentary? How about the one commonly translated “each according to its kind?”

Comment #75717

Posted by Grey Wolf on January 25, 2006 2:27 PM (e)

To the rest of the Panda’s Thumb types — this is the first I’ve bumped into Carol; is she usually this rhetorically duplicitous, or was she saving it all up for me?

Carol is here mostly to try and sell Landa’s book, one which, according to her, contains the ultimate correct translations of the Bible and incidentally demonstrates that there is no conflict between the literal Bible and science. The one person I know to have bought the book remained utterly unconvinced, though.

If you try and pin her with things like “how did Noah live 5 centuries”, however, she will admit that miracles are excluded from conflict. She’s seemingly blind to the fact that “miracles are outside science” and “all of what the Bible says is compatible with science” are completely contradictory.

Finally, she has yet to address such blatant impossibilities in the Bible like cud-chewing rabbits and internal inconsistencies like the length of Noah’s trip. Also, she tends to ignore the points that she cannot answer.

Hope that helps,

Grey Wolf

Comment #75720

Posted by BWE on January 25, 2006 2:31 PM (e)

Are these guys (on-topic) really hindus? I read those linked pages and they remind me of a lot of groups that engage in wishful thinking. None of the substantive claims have direct links to scholarship for example. Is there any scholarly interest in these flying machines they talk about? And what about the levitation thing. Can yogi’s (not the bear) levitate for real? I mean, I’d think that would be a big deal if you could use anti-gravity to float around. I would. I mean, that’s peter pan. I’d be right on that stuff. You know, I have read a lot of thinking and science around the christian magical claims, but I’ve not found much on hindu yogi claims of supernatural ability. Anyone?

Comment #75723

Posted by AC on January 25, 2006 2:39 PM (e)

Carol wrote:

The short answer to that is that the story in the garden and what follows occur with him.

I’m confused. If the creation of “Adam” is really the creation of the human race, who is the couple in the garden? Are they still the first humans?

Basically what I’m trying to understand is this. If the couple in the garden are the first humans created, then they warrant a page in the mythos for that alone. The “tree incident” would be coincidental. But if they aren’t the first humans created, why would the bible choose to spotlight them? Why not the other, previously created people?

BWE wrote:

Are these guys really hindus?

It seems to me that they are Hindus in the same way that American fundies are Christians. They use the religion as a basis for their own particular brand of crazy beliefs, but most adherents of the religion would ask them what they’re smoking.

Comment #75725

Posted by Carol Clouser on January 25, 2006 2:47 PM (e)

David Gehrig,

You have proved me wrong?! I think you are jumping a bit too fast to conclusions there.

Oh, before I forget, please do spell my name correctly. Or do you read names as sloppily as verses?

Now, back to Genesis. First God converses (not stated with whom, but that’s another matter) and says, “Let us make..AUDUM.”, then the act occurs, “And God made THE AUDUM”, then “male and female made He them”. These verses are right near each other so it is most reasonable that they speak of the same thing. Now, which is more reasonable, “Let us make humans”,(same plural as singular here), followed by, “and God made the human”, followed by “male and female made He them”, or “let us make David” (for emphasis I replace Adam the name with David) followed by, “and God made THE David”, followed by, “male and female made He THEM”?

I rest my case Mr prove me wrong.

Comment #75727

Posted by Jim Harrison on January 25, 2006 2:49 PM (e)

There’s a funny parallel between all these off-topic discussions of Biblical exegesis and the argument between the ID/Creationists and the biologists about abiogenesis. The biologists focus on evolution, what happened after the origin of life, while their opponents obsess about how life began as if everything important happened at the origin. The meta-message here is that what counts is the beginning, just as traditional believers imagine that they can answer all questions if they recover the original sense of the canonical texts. In both cases, people are bemused by a Master myth, what might be justly called the Myth of Myth–the false notion that things are understood when we identify their Source. Hence the recurrent, but incredibly unintelligent obsession with finding an actual flood at the root of the Noah story as if that would explain anything.

It’s perfectly possible to trace some of the origins of the Jewish Bible to the traditions of other people just as the God of the Jews and Christians is obviously an amalgam of several tribal deities (Yahweh, Baal, El, etc.). This kind of research, though legitimate, may not be particularly important, however, since what the various religions became depended far more on what the sucessive generations made of the old traditions than on some miraculous potency of the textural source. Truth told, a lot of the original material of Judaism is not very promising–you have to be faithful indeed to be inspired by Leviticus–but some of the structures of thought, feeling, and imagination that have been erected on these dubious foundations are rather impressive. By the same token, don’t you just love what natural selection did to the barely activated sludge of the Proterozoic era?

Comment #75730

Posted by David Gehrig on January 25, 2006 3:05 PM (e)

Grey Wolf wrote:

Carol is here mostly to try and sell Landa’s book, one which, according to her, contains the ultimate correct translations of the Bible and incidentally demonstrates that there is no conflict between the literal Bible and science. The one person I know to have bought the book remained utterly unconvinced, though.

Ah, okay. The “I’ve got the Bible all figured out, just buy this book” type. All I needed to know.

Carol Clouseau wrote:

Now, which is more reasonable

In either case you’ve got a problem. Either God is a liar (He didn’t mean “let’s create Adam” when He said exactly that in 1:26), or he said one thing and then immediately turned around and did another (sorta the same way that the Kansas school board said they wanted to improve science education and then forced creationist-canard attacks on evolution into the curriculum instead).

Anyway, arguing with fundies who can’t admit it when they’re wrong is boring. So long, Carol.

Comment #75737

Posted by Madam Pomfrey on January 25, 2006 3:22 PM (e)

David Gehrig: “Anyway, arguing with fundies who can’t admit it when they’re wrong is boring.”

They’re usually humorless, too, and tend not to pick up on the jokes.

OH NO, I SAID MINKEY!!

:-)

Comment #75742

Posted by Proteus454 on January 25, 2006 3:55 PM (e)

(Almost) off-topic, re: the bit about Hinduism in the esteemed PZ’s statement.

Apparently, Hinduism IS (technically) a monotheistic religion - On the grounds that all the gods and goddeses in the Vedic pantheon are essentially facets of the same, awesome One Being.

Bisecting rabbits in my opinion, but then notions like that are why I’m an atheist in the first place. (The rest of the ideas expressed are, of course, complete nonsense).

Comment #75748

Posted by limpidense on January 25, 2006 4:42 PM (e)

Why aren’t people who post bible rants completely unrelated to the thread topic not INSTANTLY sent to BW??????

THIS IS GETTING BORING!

Comment #75751

Posted by BWE on January 25, 2006 4:46 PM (e)

Can you give us your translations carol?
Genesis 19:5-8 and Deuteronomy 33:11
You see, those verses are among a few from the old testament that seem like they would point to a provincial god, one that does, in fact contradict scientific findings. I can explain further but I might just have a bad translation so I am waiting for a good one first.

Wow, an entire religion founded on incorrect data. Like cloning human stem cells.

Comment #75754

Posted by PZ Myers on January 25, 2006 4:52 PM (e)

Good point. Please stop responding to Clouser – she has nothing of interest to say. And if I have to go through each new comment and manually dispatch them to the bathroom wall, I will get very peevish.

Comment #75755

Posted by AD on January 25, 2006 4:52 PM (e)

On the subject of Hindu Fundamentalism (Hindies?), more of the same.

They’ll end up in the same boat with the ID people at trials like Dover, and walk the same plank regarding a verdict.

Thank God our court system, as of yet, has not gone insane.

Comment #75767

Posted by Wesley R. Elsberry on January 25, 2006 5:25 PM (e)

Why aren’t people who post bible rants completely unrelated to the thread topic not INSTANTLY sent to BW??????

Because the thread owner has to send each one individually there. Neither Reed nor I have had the time to work out a hack to allow a mass tag/move/rebuild operation for that yet. But it certainly is on the to-do list.

If we have any MT hackers out there who would like to contribute a little time to this project, get in touch with Reed at the admin email address.

Comment #75773

Posted by BWE on January 25, 2006 5:39 PM (e)

What is BW?

Comment #75775

Posted by BWE on January 25, 2006 5:42 PM (e)

Oh. Never mind.

Comment #75776

Posted by Arden Chatfield on January 25, 2006 5:44 PM (e)

‘Bathroom Wall’.

Here:

http://www.antievolution.org/cgi-bin/ikonboard/ikonboard.cgi?s=43d7b6e1c6eaecd4;act=ST;f=14;t=155

Comment #75791

Posted by Steviepinhead on January 25, 2006 6:49 PM (e)

It probably wasn’t deleted, but simply moved to the BW.

As has been explained several times.

Moved is not gone (most of my funniest recent posts, er, IMHO that is, seem to be ending up there…) and PT is not DaveScott’s playpen.

Comment #75804

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on January 25, 2006 7:38 PM (e)

Apparently, Hinduism IS (technically) a monotheistic religion - On the grounds that all the gods and goddeses in the Vedic pantheon are essentially facets of the same, awesome One Being.

No, not in the sense that you seem to mean.

There is no “god” in Hinduism, in the sense that we usually mean in the Judeo-Christian-Muslim traditions. The One Being that you refer to is Brahma, and Brahma is not a god, not a person, not a divine ruler. It answers no prayers, it interferes in nothing, it produces nothing by itself. Brahma is, simply, everything. In Hinduism, everything in the universe is seen as a part of everything else – and Brahma is the totality of those inter-relationships.

So Hinduism is NON-theistic, rather than MONO-theistic. Just like Buddhism and Taoism and Zen.

In Tantra, the tradition that I have studied the longest, there are thousands of “gods” and “goddesses”, but it is understood that these are all symbolic depictions of different aspects of reality, and are not intended to depict actual supernatural entities. (This is one reason why Hindu/Tantric sects are so unresisting to adopting different gods from different cultures and integrating them into the Hindu pantheon — Buddha, for instance, is accepted as an avatar of Shiva. Since they’re all just symbolic anyway, it’s no big deal to add or subtract divinities as desired.)

There are, of course, some Hindu sects that take the Vedas as literal descriptions rather than as illustrative symbolic imagery. The Hindu creationist nutters are one of them. They are tiny minority within Hinduism and are viewed by most as a lunatic fringe — just like the fundemantalists are within worldwide Christianity.

Comment #75805

Posted by PZ Myers on January 25, 2006 7:40 PM (e)

Look, everyone, right up there I asked you all to ignore that nitwit Clouser…and then what happened? A whole bunch of posts replying to Clouser. I have to manually shift those things around, and it is a pain in the butt, so if you keep it up, I’m simply going to close all comments.

Comment #75811

Posted by Arden Chatfield on January 25, 2006 7:49 PM (e)

There is no “god” in Hinduism, in the sense that we usually mean in the Judeo-Christian-Muslim traditions. The One Being that you refer to is Brahma, and Brahma is not a god, not a person, not a divine ruler. It answers no prayers, it interferes in nothing, it produces nothing by itself. Brahma is, simply, everything. In Hinduism, everything in the universe is seen as a part of everything else — and Brahma is the totality of those inter-relationships.

So Hinduism is NON-theistic, rather than MONO-theistic. Just like Buddhism and Taoism and Zen.

I agree that Buddhism/Zen and Taoism are nontheistic, but why don’t you think Hinduism is polytheistic? You know, Shiva, Krishna, Ganesh…

Comment #75815

Posted by Jim Harrison on January 25, 2006 8:01 PM (e)

It’s quite impossible to say exactly what a religion is or isn’t since, as I like to put it, religions have no bones in ‘em since they are unstiffened by extra-imaginary content. That said, Hinduism in practice is probably more like monotheism than anything else, which is why, the many Muslims were historically able to assimilate Hinduism to the religions of the Book rather than to paganism. The notion that most practicing Hindus pay much attention to highly abstract notions about Brahma is a bit misleading. Just as most Buddhists don’t spend much energy trying to achieve Enlightenment–good karma or relying on Amida Buddha suffices–most Hindus practice a religion of devotion (Bhakti) to a personal God. There are umpteem temples to Kali, Vishnu, and Siva. Brahma is mostly found in books on comparative religion. Of course educated Indians know all about the transcendent one, just as educated Buddhists can tell you about nirvana. The transcendent mysticism is a real part of the tradition, but probably not a big part. By the same token, the fact that Jewish, Islamic, and Christian mystics experience something beyond or beneath God doesn’t mean they aren’t monotheistic most of the time. (Maybe we should talk about these beliefs like chemists talk about chemical bonds: 90% monotheistic, 5% mystical monism, 5% paganism on the analogy with 80% covalent, 20% ionic or even 70% pinot noir, 15% merlot, 5% cab.)

Comment #75829

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on January 25, 2006 9:17 PM (e)

I agree that Buddhism/Zen and Taoism are nontheistic, but why don’t you think Hinduism is polytheistic? You know, Shiva, Krishna, Ganesh…

As I said before, in Tantra, the tradition that I have studied the longest, there are thousands of “gods” and “goddesses”, but it is understood that these are all symbolic depictions of different aspects of reality, and are not intended to depict actual supernatural entities. (This is one reason why Hindu/Tantric sects are so unresisting to adopting different gods from different cultures and integrating them into the Hindu pantheon —- Buddha, for instance, is accepted as an avatar of Shiva. Since they’re all just symbolic anyway, it’s no big deal to add or subtract divinities as desired.)

Shiva is symbolic of the male, hard, unyeilding destrictive side of reality (the equivilent of the Taoist Yang). Shakti, depicted as Shiva’s mate, is symbolic of the female, soft, yeilding creating side of reality (the equivilent of Taoist Yin).

The sexual union of Shiva and Shakti (depicted in most Hindu temples) is symbolic of the interplay of opposites, the cycle of creation and destruction from which all reality flows.

None of the Hindu gods or goddesses are intended to be real. They are all human-made, and they are all intended to be symbolic depictions of different aspects of reality.

Comment #75831

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on January 25, 2006 9:22 PM (e)

most Hindus practice a religion of devotion (Bhakti) to a personal God.

That’s right. By doing so, they hope to symbolically invoke this or that portion of reality to help them with this or that thing they want to do. In the same vein, it’s not unusual for a person to move freely from one god to another, depending on circumstances. It’s sort of like Catholic patron saints.

Once again, though, this is all just symbolic – for most Hindus, there is not actually any such god up there doing anything to help anybody with anything. It all comes from inside the individual, and the symbolic god-worship is just a way for them to focus their efforts.

As noted, there are some sects that do. They are a small minority within Hinduism.

Comment #75849

Posted by BWE on January 25, 2006 10:25 PM (e)

Ok, I just consulted my uncle who has studied yoga for decades and has a shrine in his house to hanuman, a hindu monkey god. He agrees with lenny. He is now(lenny), as far as I’m concerned, the authority on these matters so you should all just believe him. All these different meditations they learn are all to connect with different aspects of reality (or unreality as the case may be) and the different gods are sort of a jumping off point. He claims that godless buddism is only slightly off the mark from hinduism. One caveat: the caste system.

Comment #75853

Posted by Lenny's Pizza Guy on January 25, 2006 10:45 PM (e)

BWE:

He agrees with lenny. He is now(lenny), as far as I’m concerned, the authority on these matters so you should all just believe him.

He knows his way around a pizza, too! In fact, he can get outside of a good pizza about as fact as he can get upside of a whiny fundie!

Comment #75866

Posted by Very worried, very very worried on January 26, 2006 5:05 AM (e)

I understand what you are saying, but giving these people a little finger will result in them grabbing the arm. We cannot allow them one inch of leniency. If they get a foothold into the door then there will be no stopping them. Look at history to calculate what will happen.

- You didn’t quite understand what I meant, I am asking a hypothetical question, if various lies in a school ciricullum did increase tolerance and compassion, would it be okay to include them, it’s a sort of do the ends justify the means question.

Are you able to dissociate from your scientific self to an “unknown” state to discuss something scientifically “unknown?” Please elaborate?

- What I think thordaddy is trying to do here is make a verifiability arguement, if ID has no observable effects than how can it be comprehensible ( I’ve got to say, this is the first time I’ve ever seen someone try to make a verifiability arguement IN FAVOUR of a theological propostion). The problem with verifiability arguements like these is that no theories have observable effects without auxiliary hypotheseses, so we can’t equate meaning with emprical effects.

Comment #75877

Posted by admin on January 26, 2006 8:11 AM (e)

Rule 6 kicks in for IP address 207.200.116.136, which has had comments from “Larry Fafarman”, “thordaddy”, “M”, and “the pro from dover”. If it is just a number in a dynamic pool, it shouldn’t cause anyone too much discomfort.

Comment #75878

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on January 26, 2006 8:13 AM (e)

He is now(lenny), as far as I’m concerned, the authority on these matters

No, I’m not.

My teachers, however, were.

:)

Comment #75888

Posted by Stephen Elliott on January 26, 2006 9:04 AM (e)

Carol,
Why do you not start a thread on AtBC all about biblical translations?

Comment #75933

Posted by Michael Rathbun on January 26, 2006 2:25 PM (e)

Just a note for administration: 207.200.116.136 is one of the main AOL web cache servers. As much as I appreciate a Larry Farfel-free environment, this might be entirely too dire.

Comment #75967

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on January 26, 2006 6:58 PM (e)

Rule 6 kicks in for IP address 207.200.116.136, which has had comments from “Larry Fafarman”, “thordaddy”, “M”, and “the pro from dover”.

Well, since Pro From Dover has been here a long time and is a definite anti-IDer, I think it absolutely one-thousand percent certain that he and Larry are not the same person.

Thordaddy is, like Larry, just a crank (with some bizarre “theory” that nobody seems to care about), but I think it extremely unlikely that they are the same person either. Larry, as an attention-seeking crank, prefers to get his fix under his real name.

Comment #75975

Posted by Carol Clouser on January 26, 2006 7:42 PM (e)

Lenny,

What was the motivating factor behind your extensive study of Hinduism and Buddhism?

Just curious. Hope you don’t mind my asking.

Comment #75977

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on January 26, 2006 8:36 PM (e)

What was the motivating factor behind your extensive study of Hinduism and Buddhism?

Just curious. Hope you don’t mind my asking.

I don’t mind at all. It’s always been my inclination to study as many different viewpoints about as many different things as I could. It’s one reason why I read, on average, three or four books each week, on whatever topic strikes my fancy at the moment.

While I was in college, I was going out with a Japanese girl from Kyoto. From her, I learned a bit about Asian traditions, and took up studying Tantric Buddhism from an acquaintance of hers. I ended up studying Tantra for 3.5 years – no, I did not go out with Aiko for that long. ;) After that, I studied Zen, Taoism and Hinduism. Years later, I went out with a woman from Lebanon, and learned much about Islamic Sufi from her. One of my best friends is from Iran (his father was the Army Chief of Staff under the Shah), and I also learned a lot about Islam from his family (he is an atheist).

Prior to all that, I had lived in South Dakota for a time, and learned a bit about Oglala Lakota shamanism from some folks on the Pine Ridge Reservation.

Tantra is the symbolism I know best, having studied it the longest. Taoism is the symbolism I’m most comfortable using, though, and Zen is, to me, the simplest and purest of the Asian traditions.

I view them all as, at core, the same. Just different fingers pointing at the same moon.

Comment #76062

Posted by Lou FCD on January 27, 2006 4:57 PM (e)

Though I’m certainly not for teaching ANY religion as fact in public high school, I would certainly be interested in a good primer on some of the eastern thought alluded to in this thread. (For my own edification, not for high school students) If I understand this all correctly, it seems that many of the posters here feel it (the real deal, not the crackpot stuff) is more symbology to relate to the universe around us, and ultimately to ourselves. Would that be close as a synopsis? If this is so, is it really religion, then? Without a big fat SkyDaddy involved, seems it would more properly be pigeonholed as philosophy. Is there a difference other than semantics? Perhaps it might be referred to as a grokking.

Stephen mentioned

I am still a bit angry, both with myself and the ID movement, because I originally fell for their hoax.

Stephen,

For once, this time only, don’t read more into it than there is, I am going to agree with Ms. Clouser on one single point. Don’t be too hard on yourself. Absolutely, be as hard as you care to be on the lying, deceitful bastards who tricked you. I was once a fundy, a long time ago, so I can empathize.

Damn, the rest of what I had to say was insightful, witty, earth shaking and off topic.

Comment #76065

Posted by BWE on January 27, 2006 5:47 PM (e)

As far as I can tell, it’s not really religion at all. It’s more of a method.

Comment #76073

Posted by Lou FCD on January 27, 2006 6:39 PM (e)

BWE helpfully noted

As far as I can tell, it’s not really religion at all. It’s more of a method.

Thanks BWE, that’s kind of what I was driving at. It would seem not to be religion per se.

Comment #76078

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on January 27, 2006 6:53 PM (e)

I imagine Lenny didn’t choose his girlfriends on the basis of their knowledge of Hinduism.

It certainly didn’t hurt, though, if they had read the Kama Sutra. :)

Comment #76080

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on January 27, 2006 7:12 PM (e)

Re your statement, “they (Hindus) hope to symbolically invoke this or that portion of reality to help them with this or that thing they want to do.”

How does one invoke “symbolically”? Something is either invoked or not invoked. What does it mean to “invoke symbolically” and what effect is that supposed to have?

As I said before, it’s sort of like the Catholic patron saints. Sort of.

In the Asian traditions, one of the goals is to learn how to direct one’s internal mental energies and intentions into desired directions. Call it “focusing one’s energies”. One way to do that is to mentally fix yourself on a symbol of the particular trait or focus that you want to invoke. And Hinduism provides a myriad of gods to symbolize them. Pick the one that you want, and use it as a point to focus your own energies on. Here is where meditation, mantras, mudras, and other such practices enter the picture.

To try and explain it another way, certain mental or emotional states naturally produce specific physical markers — when we are angry or aggressive, we naturally, without thinking about it, breathe rapidly from high in the chest and tense the muscles of the hands; when we are relaxed, we naturally, without thinking about it, breathe deeply from the lower abdomen and have loose muscles in the hand. Hindu practice teaches one to consciously direct one’s self in this way, by concentrating on a set of traits symbolized by this or that god using specific breathing or muscular actions, therefore reversing the process, and allowing controlled physical markers to in turn produce the mental or emotional state desired. This is what “yoga” is all about. It is no more “religious” or “mysterious” than “taking a deep breath to relax” or “screwing up one’s courage” is. It is simply the conscious and deliberate effort to do what we all unthinkingly do naturally.

So it’s a method of focusing one’s own mind on a particular task or effort by focusing on a symbolic god or goddess that represents what you want to be or do. It is not any “invocation” of deities or divine powers. In Hinduism, as in Zen, Buddhism and Taoism, everything you do, comes from within you. The trick is learning how to direct it (or to let it direct you, and then understand that they are the same).

Keep in mind that it’s very near impossible to communicate most of this using descriptions or words. These sort of things deal with internal states of mind that cannot be communicated through words – they can only be learned through experience. It’s like trying to describe to a deaf person what “music” sounds like. Unless one hears it for oneself, no amount of words can communicate the thing.

Comment #76081

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on January 27, 2006 7:15 PM (e)

I give them the benefit of the doubt and assume that they did not set out to deceive anyone.

But they did. The Wedge Document demonstrates that deception and evasion was their conscious intended goal, right from the beginning.

What they want – ALL they want – is do exactly what the Constitution forbids them from doing; using public schools to preach their religious opinions.

And that FORCES them to dishonest deception.

Comment #76083

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on January 27, 2006 7:22 PM (e)

If I understand this all correctly, it seems that many of the posters here feel it (the real deal, not the crackpot stuff) is more symbology to relate to the universe around us, and ultimately to ourselves. Would that be close as a synopsis?

More or less.

If I had to sum up all the Asian traditions in a short pithy way, I’d say, “The universe is what it is. And you are a part of it. So be what you are.”

Easy to say, isn’t it. But try it, and you’ll find it’s not so easy after all. Most people go their entire lives without ever once just being what they are.

If this is so, is it really religion, then?

Good question.

The answer most Asian practitioners would give, is:

(shrug)

:)

It simply doesn’t matter what one calls it. Call it “religion” if you like; call it “philosophy” if you like; heck, you can call it “Charlie” if you like. Makes no difference. It is what it is, and what it is doesn’t depend on what we call it.

Comment #76084

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on January 27, 2006 7:26 PM (e)

There is nothing in science that contradicts ID.

There is, of course, nothing in ANYTHING that contradicts ID.

That’s because ID doesn’t actually SAY anything – beyond “we think an unknown thing did an unknown thing at an unknown time using unknown methods”. (shrug)

Gee, thanks, guys. That sure is, uh, helpful.

Comment #76086

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on January 27, 2006 7:32 PM (e)

“are they really Hindus?”

Who knows? There’s no more way to know who is The Real Hindu™© than there is to know who is The Real Christian™©. (shrug)

All I can say is that the Hindu creationists mentioned in this thread are a tiny minority within Hinduism, and their ideas are rejected by the vast majority of other Hindus. That doesn’t make them either “right” or “wrong”. But it does mean that referring to them as “representing Hindu thought” is just as wrong as referring to Pat Robertson as “representing Christian thought”.

There is no authority in any of the Asian traditions that decides which opinion is or isn’t “right”.

Well, actually there is —— you do. But only for yourself.

Comment #76099

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on January 27, 2006 9:36 PM (e)

Posted by Lenny’s Pizza Guy

Oooh!

Carol and Lenny,
sitting in a tree…!

Nahhh, won’t work —- ID is still crap, and Carol’s religious opinions are still no better than anyone else’s (and don’t belong in a science classroom).

But I encourage all the young attractive ID-supporting females out there to give me your best shot anyway.

:)

Comment #76104

Posted by Arden Chatfield on January 27, 2006 11:10 PM (e)

He claims that godless buddism is only slightly off the mark from hinduism.

Not sure I agree with that, tho I suppose it depends quite a bit on which form of Buddhism you’re talking about – the different sects can be remarkably different. Nepal has a sort of hybridized form of Hinduism and Buddhism which probably isn’t all that different from straight Hinduism. But Theravada and Zen are quite different. Theravada, which I practice, is what I know best, and it seems to me that two fundamental concepts within Theravada that really couldn’t be smoothly reconciled with Hinduism (without just sort of practicing two different things at the same time) are anatta, or not-self, and anicca, impermanence.

In my experience, it mostly seems to be Hindus who think Hinduism is so similar to Buddhism. :-)

However, I totally agree that the usual response by Asian practicioners as to whether Buddhism is a religion is indeed *shrug*. It’s simply considered an irrelevant question, a question where a yes or no answer would have no consequence. My personal take is that Buddhism *is* a religion, tho its lack of a creator god would no doubt make many people reject that idea. The only case I know of where it was an important issue was allowing California state prisons to allow Buddhist chaplains. The problem was, if Buddhism was defined as ‘not a religion’, the state prison system would not be obliged to provide Buddhist chaplains, which indeed they didn’t want to do. Under some pressure, the definition was revised to include Buddhism as a ‘religion’, so that Buddhist chaplains would be given access to the prisons. So in that case, it was quite important to count Buddhism as a religion. :-)

Comment #76111

Posted by Stephen Elliott on January 28, 2006 2:56 AM (e)

Posted by ‘Rev Dr’ Lenny Flank on January 27, 2006 07:12 PM (e)

To try and explain it another way, certain mental or emotional states naturally produce specific physical markers —- when we are angry or aggressive, we naturally, without thinking about it, breathe rapidly from high in the chest and tense the muscles of the hands; when we are relaxed, we naturally, without thinking about it, breathe deeply from the lower abdomen and have loose muscles in the hand. Hindu practice teaches one to consciously direct one’s self in this way, by concentrating on a set of traits symbolized by this or that god using specific breathing or muscular actions, therefore reversing the process, and allowing controlled physical markers to in turn produce the mental or emotional state desired.

I have some (very limited) experience of that.
Around 1983 I discovered (by chance) that forcing yourself to smile, makes you genuinely feel happier.
Weird.

Comment #76120

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on January 28, 2006 9:20 AM (e)

Nepal has a sort of hybridized form of Hinduism and Buddhism which probably isn’t all that different from straight Hinduism.

A very short history lesson:

Hinduism is the oldest of the Asian traditions, and formed in India. The Vedas, the oldest known Hindu texts, were written in about 1500 BCE, followed in about 500 BCE by the Upanishads and the Mahabharata.

In the 6th century BCE, Siddhartha Gautama, an Indian prince, founded Buddhism, which was then absorbed into some existing Hindu sects and modified to form Tantra. Tantra became established in the countries bordering India, including Nepal and Tibet. Tantra, Buddhism and Hinduism also traveled to China in the 1st century CE, where they encountered the Taoism view that had already been formed in China in the 6th century BCE. In China, a number of sects melded Taoism and Vajrayana Tantric Buddhism, while others distilled Buddhism into the Ch’an sect. The Ch’an sect then travelled to Japan, where it was adopted and modified into Zen Buddhism. With the fall of the T’ang Dynasty and the resulting civil wars in the 10th century CE, many of these Chinese monks became refugees and travelled to Japan. Here, they encountered the shugenja, a group of ascetic warrior-monks who practiced a version of Zen mixed with Shinto. The shugenja adopted a form of Taoist Vajrayana Tantra, and combined it with their own views to form a doctrine known as “mikkyo”, or “the secret knowledge”.

And Mikkyo is the tradition that I studied.

Theravada, which I practice, is what I know best, and it seems to me that two fundamental concepts within Theravada that really couldn’t be smoothly reconciled with Hinduism (without just sort of practicing two different things at the same time) are anatta, or not-self, and anicca, impermanence.

No, both concepts are also found in Hinduism, as well as in Taoism.

Comment #76122

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on January 28, 2006 9:59 AM (e)

without just sort of practicing two different things at the same time

Actually many Tantrics do this, consciously and with no contradiction. After all, both things are just facets of a single thing.

An example:

One of the things found in Tantra is the Mandala. The Mandala is a representation of the Tantric Five Buddhas and Four Elements, which, when taken as a whole, is actually a schematic picture of the universe. In the center of the Mandala is the pictorial representation of the Buddha Akshobya, and, above him, a smaller pictorial representation of the symbolic Elemental Vajrasattva. This central disc is surrounded by eight circles representing the Tantric Buddhas Vairocana, Ratnasambhava, Amitabha, and Amoghasidhi, and the Elements Locana, Mamaki, Pandaravasini and Tarami. The Elements (Air, Water, Earth and Fire) represent the various material things of the universe, while the Buddhas symbolize the different types of relationships between the Elements.

The complete Mandala may be looked at in two distinctly different ways at the same time. By concentrating on the Material or Matrix Realm, represented by the figure of Vajrasattva, one can view the workings of the universe “from the outside in”. Using this viewpoint, physical reality is considered, in an effort to understand the central entity connecting all of the things in the universe. It can then be seen that every thing, person, place, thought or feeling is merely a fragment of the all-encompassing Universe symbolized by Vajrasattva.

In meditating on the Matrix realm, known in Japanese as “Taizokai”, one considers the question, “What are the manifestations of the source of reality?” In this manner, one realizes that all of the surrounding ring of Buddhas and Elements are but differing manifestations of Vajrasattva, the Void of creative potential through which all things take their form.

On the other hand, the universe may be studied from the point of view of the Spiritual (in Tantra, “spiritual” refers to feelings or perceptions inside you, as opposed to the universe of things outside you) or Diamond Realm, represented on the Mandala in the form of Akshobya. Using this form of contemplation, known as “Kongokai”, the spiritual realm is studied in order to understand how the relationships of totality permeate and unify the rest of the universe. In meditating on the Kongokai Realm, one considers the question, “What is the source of reality?” In this manner, it can be seen that all of the surrounding Buddhas and Elements are merely differing facets of the single and eternal Diamond Realm.

Meditation on the Taizokai Realm thus considers the Universe in terms of its separate parts, while the Kongokai Realm deals with the universe as an undifferentiated whole. In reality, both Taizokai and Kongokai are merely different ways of looking at the same thing, and the surrounding circle of Buddhas and Elements each bears the symbol of the unifying Akshobya to indicate that they are all the same thing. Thus, the realms of Spirit and Matter are not distinct or different entities, but simply form two methods of looking at the same thing; both are merely facets of the universal process.

I feel now as though I should light a candle or something. ;> Once again, though, I emphasize that all of this is nothing but symbolism and example; once you grasp the underlying concepts, the symbolism no longer really means anything. As the Zen say, once you catch the rabbit, you don’t need the trap any more.

And all this obscure-sounding symbolism boils down to simply “the universe is what it is, and you are a part of it. So be what you are.” Once you grasp that, you don’t need any of the symbolism any more.

In essence, what all these traditions teach is “Be yourself”.

Odd that so many people need somebody else to teach them how to be themselves …. and once people find it, they realize that they had it all along – and they were taught absolutely nothing at all.

Comment #76125

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on January 28, 2006 10:11 AM (e)

Theravada, which I practice, is what I know best

Another historical aside:

After the Gautama Buddha’s death, the practice of Buddhism split into three major branches. The Himayana, or “Lesser Vehicle”, emphasized personal meditation as the way to Nirvana. The Mahayana, or “Greater Vehicle”, developed the concept of the Bodhisattva, a person who is on his way to Buddhahood but who has sworn to help others reach Nirvana. The Mahayana school held up many Buddhas and emphasized reliance on these saints as the way to achieve enlightenment. The Vajrayana, or “Diamond Vehicle”, emphasized the complete immersion of the individual in natural surroundings and training in natural abilities as the Path to enlightenment.

By 1200 CE, Buddhism in India had been almost completely obliterated, having been mostly absorbed into Hinduism. Mahayana Buddhism became the largest branch, and spread to China and Japan. Vajrayana Buddhism had become established in Tibet and Nepal. Himayana Buddhism had become established in Southeast Asia and Sri Lanka. Theravada is one of the sects of Himayana Buddhism.

Comment #76133

Posted by k.e. on January 28, 2006 11:07 AM (e)

Right
……can I interupt this moon fingering love fest.

Q: Why don’t Buddhists vacuum in the corners?
A: Because they have no attachments.

Q: What did a Buddhist say to the hot dog vendor?
A: Make me one with everything.

Q: What is the name of the best Zen teacher?
A: M.T. Ness

Q: How many Zen Buddhists does it take to change a light bulb?
A: Three – one to change it, one to not-change it and one to both change- and not-change it.

Q: What happens when a Buddhist becomes totally absorbed with the computer he is working with?
A: He enters Nerdvana.

Q: How do I become a Lama?
A: Go to a monastic university and study for twenty-five years. Begin by memorizing Vasubandhu’s Abhidharmakosha with its commentary (500 pages or so). Then study what you have memorised by hearing lectures on it and debating the contents with other candidates until you can argue every side of every controversy equally well. Then memorise several works of Nagarjuna, along with their commentaries. Then memorise the seven treatises of Dharmakirti. In additional to that study, you must master several forms of meditation and study tantric rituals for about two or three years.

Alternatively, you can come to America and just call yourself a lama. Billions of nubile virgins will follow you everywhere and give you money.

That’s IT there are too may here to retain ANY credibility I’m renouncing it all and becoming a Menippean satirist

Ankh if you love Isis!!

Comment #76143

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on January 28, 2006 12:52 PM (e)

Alternatively, you can come to America and just call yourself a lama. Billions of nubile virgins will follow you everywhere and give you money.

COOL!!!! Count me in. :)

I’m no longer “Rev Dr” Lenny Flank. Now, I’m “Lama” Lenny Flank.

Hmmm …

Nah, I don’t like the way that looks.

But bring on the nubile virgins anyway. :)

Comment #76144

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on January 28, 2006 12:59 PM (e)

Q: Why don’t Buddhists vacuum in the corners?
A: Because they have no attachments.

Q: What did a Buddhist say to the hot dog vendor?
A: Make me one with everything.

Q: What is the name of the best Zen teacher?
A: M.T. Ness

Q: How many Zen Buddhists does it take to change a light bulb?
A: Three — one to change it, one to not-change it and one to both change- and not-change it.

Q: What happens when a Buddhist becomes totally absorbed with the computer he is working with?
A: He enters Nerdvana.

LOL !!!!

But you left out:

Q. What did the hot dog vendor say when the Buddhist asked for his change?
A. “Change must come from within.”

Q: How do I become a Lama?
A: Go to a monastic university and study for twenty-five years. Begin by memorizing Vasubandhu’s Abhidharmakosha with its commentary (500 pages or so). Then study what you have memorised by hearing lectures on it and debating the contents with other candidates until you can argue every side of every controversy equally well. Then memorise several works of Nagarjuna, along with their commentaries. Then memorise the seven treatises of Dharmakirti. In additional to that study, you must master several forms of meditation and study tantric rituals for about two or three years.

You also have to shave your head and wear an orange bathrobe.

And after all that, you will have learned … nothing at all. :)

Comment #76145

Posted by Arden Chatfield on January 28, 2006 1:06 PM (e)

After the Gautama Buddha’s death, the practice of Buddhism split into three major branches. The Himayana, or “Lesser Vehicle”,

We try not to use the term ‘Hinayana’ anymore, since (a) it means ‘inferior vehicle’, and (b) it’s a polemical term Mahayanists created to denigrate the non-Mahayana schools of Buddhism. It was never a term the ‘Hinayanists’ used for themselves. ‘Nikaya Buddhism’ is a term that’s seeing increased use.

Also, Mahayana did not arise right after the Buddha’s death. It arose at the Second Council at Vesali, about a century after the Buddha’s death.

emphasized personal meditation as the way to Nirvana. The Mahayana, or “Greater Vehicle”, developed the concept of the Bodhisattva, a person who is on his way to Buddhahood but who has sworn to help others reach Nirvana. The Mahayana school held up many Buddhas and emphasized reliance on these saints as the way to achieve enlightenment. The Vajrayana, or “Diamond Vehicle”, emphasized the complete immersion of the individual in natural surroundings and training in natural abilities as the Path to enlightenment.

Um yes, I know all this. The Mahayanists also created many new sutras that very likely didn’t exist at the time of the Buddha’s death. The ‘Hinayana’ schools closed their canon much earlier.

By 1200 CE, Buddhism in India had been almost completely obliterated, having been mostly absorbed into Hinduism.

This was greatly hastened by the Moslem invasions of north India and Afghanistan, tho the process was already fairly advanced before that. The Moslem invasions never reached Sri Lanka, which is why Theravada survived there.

Mahayana Buddhism became the largest branch, and spread to China and Japan. Vajrayana Buddhism had become established in Tibet and Nepal. Himayana Buddhism had become established in Southeast Asia and Sri Lanka.

Um, not exactly, it was specifically the Theravada school that became established in Sri Lanka and SE Asia. The other ‘Hinayana’ schools in north India (such as Sarvastivada & Dharmaguptaka) went extinct after the Moslem invasions, tho some of their scriptures (their Abhidhamma and the Vinaya) were translated into Chinese and are still used in Mahayana countries to this day.

If you’re intertested, a superb source for modern Theravada is: http://accesstoinsight.org/

Hmmm… I wonder if this will get bounced to the Bathroom Wall?

Comment #76179

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on January 28, 2006 6:37 PM (e)

Hmmm… I wonder if this will get bounced to the Bathroom Wall?

I’m surprised it hasn’t already been. :)

Comment #76180

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on January 28, 2006 6:38 PM (e)

If you’re intertested, a superb source for modern Theravada is: http://accesstoinsight.org/

I stand corrected. :)

Comment #76190

Posted by Torbjorn Larsson on January 28, 2006 8:56 PM (e)

Re #75612:

So these guys were the same concept?! I feel as cheated by christianity and apparently useless comparative religion classes all over again as when I discovered that the Golden Rule was knicked from other religions.

One would think that both should ‘fess up to the similarities first thing and then bring out the distinctive traits. Nah, better to obfuscate. The drawback is when anyone finds you out…

Comment #77838

Posted by hehe on February 6, 2006 8:55 AM (e)

> Please correctly match these names Horus (Egyptian), Jesus (Christian), Mithra (Persian), Buddha (Indian), Krishna (Indian) to the following profiles:

And your source is? Acharya S crank, or someone similar?

Comment #104785

Posted by bdsm fem dom on June 9, 2006 7:21 PM (e)

i am happy mostly - though terribly sick at times - the medicine is not a perfect fix - i think some weed would help but caant find any - Kant find any…