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Member since: 2001
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Or it could be an example of EUHEMERISM.

Euhemerism is a process whereby initial mythological accounts come to be treated as real historical events or historical personages; later accounts were shaped, exaggerated or altered by retelling and traditional mores. It was named for its creator Euhemerus. In more recent literature of myth, such as in Bulfinch's Mythology, Euhemerism is called the "historical interpretation" of mythology. Euhemerus was not the first to attempt to rationalize mythology and history, as euhemeristic views are found in earlier writers, including Xenophanes, Herodotus, Hecataeus of Abdera and Ephorus. However, Euhemerus is credited as considering history in his times to be mythology in disguise.

If he was not the son of god, born to a virgin, healer of the sick, walker on water, feeder of the multitudes, and part time zombie, then what's his gig?


The corporate model is a major issue, downplayed quite a bit.

I guess that goes all the way back to the decision that organisms can be patented. Very bad precedent, I think. Plays right in to corporate greed.

The graphic that conflates anti-vaxxers with anti-GMOers, amounts to a long list of gratuitous insults, which GMO defenders expect people to refute. (As if they have stopped beating their wives. )

Beside the corporatization, I suspect the assimilation of what should be independent testing by "endowments with strings" to universities. And the phony "consensus" of people who haven't tested the safety of GMOs. People dumped me with hundreds, then thousands of studies in the field, who were conducted "as if" GMOs are safe. But none of them espoused that conclusion.

If one takes an ecological point of view, the consequence are beyond these boundaries. And the system soundly rejects sustainability.


Increased yields? Less pesticides? Where??

These were promised, but I've not seen them fulfilled. I'll be glad to look at your data, though. The studies you cited, were limited in scope, and short term. Most were single season, and new plantings. Is it conceivable, that planting a novel crop might also initiate other practices that could affect yield? Moreover, this precludes observing the effects of mutated pests and weeds. More moreover, these studies are overwhelmingly on Bt producing crops, so it's not surprising that the cost of pesticides are reduced, since these plants are pesticides, and especially before resistant organisms can proliferate. Consider that the cherry picking was done before I got there. The study may be useful, but it's hardly definitive.

My understanding of golden rice was that it did not yield enough vitamin A to make it effective. (And I am not arguing that "science is wrong..." It always is. I am arguing that any validity of "science" that comes from think tanks is questionable. In my experience, they want to fool us.)

AFAIK, GMO seed companies do not make their seeds available to independent researchers. Therefore no controlled experiments. BTW, do you really think it's unreasonable to have GMOs labeled, and to have some independent testing?


How about we all agree that we can call it a "police-ish" state?

Would that satisfy the semantical differences we are encountering?

There is little disagreement over the issues. Few are disputing that the police are militarized, tend toward brutality, are protected from prosecution, and are hypocritical of civil rights.

But we can post about it! So this can't be a police state. I propose the compromise term, "policeish" to denote a state where police can exceed their legal authority, assault and arrest peaceful assemblies, and they are covered and exonerated by the system.


I had lunch with Richard Dawkins today.

I sat right across the table from him.

Background: My atheist group, FLASH, hosted Dawkins, and toured the Everglades with him, a couple of years ago. (I couldn't make the 'glades trip. ) He's now on a book tour, and did a major event in Miami. He suggested we have a luncheon with some FLASH members. About thirty people attended.

He was with us about two hours. Lunched and small talked for 45 minutes, and then started a discussion. He had no prepared remarks, but addressed the issue he termed "tokenism." That is, that fighting over slogans, mottoes, and pledges is a distraction. (And he also cited, and acknowledged the opposing views.) He feels the major issue is the notion that children automatically inherit the religion of their parents. As in "these are Jewish children," rather than "these are children of Jewish parents." He pointed out that we don't address republican children, or humanist children, or logical positivist children, so why only religious indoctrination?

Our local group, and some allied groups, have been battling some installations of religious monuments around the state. One of the allied groups is the Satanic Church (an ironic name) and Dawkins expressed some curiosity. He wondered at the PR of calling themselves that, since they are atheists. He suggested we should be after religious tax exemption. And there was consensus on that. Basically, there were two main topics: questions on evolution and genetics, and on ways to improve atheist public relations.

He also reiterated the notion that he can't be absolutely sure there is no creator -- just as he cannot be absolutely sure there are no unicorns and leprechauns.

Bonus! The luncheon was held at a golf club that is literally around the corner from where I live. The food was good. Italian buffet. Weather 70F. and sunny.


When a politician answers with, "I am not a scientist," the follow-up should be:

Is that a recusal?

Maybe abstention?


Hard to see how Benghazi won't be a disaster for the Republicans.

It is destined to become a major punchline and unavoidable cliche. And it will mean this investigation long after people have forgotten what the initial incident was. Look for future faux investigations to be suffixed with "-ghazi" the way we apply "-gate" to any alleged government deception.

I have taken to using it as a greeting.


A mathematical relationship does exist. It's called a correlation.

Since we're not projecting a proof, the level of analysis is incidental to the data. I notice a correlation between umbrellas and water falling from the sky. Is there a causality? It needs to be determined. The same correlation exists between umbrellas and windshield wipers. Causality? The other possible explanations are coincidence and error, which can be revealed by replication.

In the case of CO2 there is some deduction that enters the picture. CO2 is a greenhouse gas (GHG.) (If you fill a vessel with it, and shine a light on it, it gets warmer than an identical vessel-light combination filled with air. Happens every time.) And then, the incidence of CO2 in the atmosphere has increased by 40% in the industrial age. That's after a million years of virtually no change. The conclusion implied by those premises is that the atmosphere is warming.

The predictions based on those models were set down 40 years ago. Temperatures, ocean levels, glacial decreases, droughts, storms, etc. It's happening. The warming, its feedbacks, the climate sensitivity -- is pretty much settled, unless you have some revolutionary information. If it's not CO2 behaving as predicted and expected, burden is on you to show how, and what it then might be. Solar cycles, Milankovitch cycles, and obliquity cycles have been proposed, and ruled out. You'll have to think up something new, and a way of detecting it.


The Housemartins are too square for my taste. The Silver Bells rock!

Music (and art) are not religion, or products of it. They are creative works of varied inspiration or motivation, real or imaginary, and for me, it's the final product that counts. I'm quite sure that at least some of the great composers, that collected honoraria for them, were not believers in the doctrines they presented.

I like them if they're good, dislike them if they suck, and subject rarely matters as I pay little attention to what they say. And if anything, I'm more interested in how the lyrics work, than what they mean. How many words would you have to change in a song like Light My Fire, to turn it into a pounding Christian prophesy?

I listen to a lot of music sung in languages that I don't understand. I don't know if what they're saying is anything better than what I think they're saying. It's sung in its way -- and I take inferences from the tone, but sometimes it's hard to tell if someone is extolling his god, or trying to get laid.


On edit: I answer my own question: If, in Light My Fire, you replace "baby" with "Jesus," and "love: with "faith," the prophesy is true!

Why a "full-employment economy?" That's crazy.

With automation, simply speaking, a small minority of people can accomplish all the work that needs to be done. For example, in a few years there won't be human taxi drivers. Individuals perform tasks that occupied huge masses, and that power is growing exponentially.

Moreover, to create unnecessary tasks to employ people, will lead to destruction of resources that we, as a society, will need to preserve.

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