Archive for December, 2006

Since 650 AD, Jews, Christians and Muslims have crusaded, inquisitioned, jihaded and holocausted each other with a ferocity greater than any predator. Each believe they are the favored people of their God. Yet all serve exactly the same God.

CrusifixAmong the Christians there has been great bloodshed in the name of Christ – the Huguenots, the Cathars, the Knights Templar were all followers of the Lamb of Peace who were slaughtered in the name of fundamentalist belief.

Star and CrescentThe Shiia and the Sunni are at each other’s throats in Bagdhad today over which of the caliphs were true religious leaders.

Islam seeks “death to the Jews” and Christians, under Hitler tried to exterminate them.

Star of DavidEach of these religions envision man in “likeness to God”, and Ezekiel clearly shows the God of the old testament as humanlike.

My question and conjecture: What God of human sensibilities would permit such atrocities in his name?

How can men of religion countenance the slaughter of others who worship the same God?

A new breed of fundamentalist atheists, led by renowned evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins and neuroscientist Sam Harris are attacking religion as not only irrelevant but evil. Their thesis is that not only that religion fails to stand up to the test of science, but that it is the root of human suffering. In their view, religion should be shown to be just an obsession.
Religious fundamentalists counter by denying the facts of science. The Kansas State Board of Education‘s comic adoption of education standards requiring teaching “intelligent design” shows how religious folks are willing to believe anything, even that the Emperor’s clothes exist.

The athiest’s position is only furthered by the actions of other religious fundamentalists who advocate violent defense of their religious stand. (more…)

The End of Time: The Next Revolution in Physics

Julian Barbour has written a clear and groundbreaking manifesto in The End of Time that states what may be the most profound insight since Aristotle. Time, according to Barbour, the reference by which all of Newtonian physics is measured is merely an illusion!

Newton proposed a universe of physics which contained a fixed reference coordinate system upon which physical existence plays out. The cartesian or polar playing field contains three fixed dimensions of space and one of time. In Newtonian physics, the world simply operates according to the rules of motion which he so clearly identified.

While most experiments conformed to Newton’s picture of physical reality, there were some experiments, like black body radiation, that did not work out according to plan. Just as Newton corrected and extended Aristotle’s views, Einstein, Bohr and the others corrected and extended Newton’s mechanics with quantum mechanics.

Just as Newton’s view ran into experimental problems, quantum theory runs into problems when trying to incorporate gravity into a grand theory. Barbour painstakingly develops his theory, and a method of visualizing the basic concepts that permit his theory to be understood. (more…)