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Member since: Tue Jun 1, 2010, 11:14 AM
Number of posts: 1,140

Journal Archives

Archaeologists Carbon-Date Camel Bones, Discover Major Discrepancy In Bible Story

Personally, I'm shocked.

Researchers Lidar Sapir-Hen and Erez Ben-Yosef from Tel Aviv University have discovered what may be a discrepancy in the history laid out in the Bible.

Using carbon-dating to determine the age of the oldest-known camel bones, the researchers determined that camels were first introduced to Israel around the 9th century BCE.

The Hebrew Bible, or Old Testament refers to camels as pack animals as early as the story of Abraham. Though there is no archaeological evidence of Abraham's life, many in the religious and scientific communities, including Chabad and the Associates For Biblical Research, cite the 20th century BCE as his time of birth. If the new evidence is correct, however, this suggests discrepancies between the Bible and human history as explained by science.


Introducing myself

I've been lurking for a while, but honestly have been a little reticent about subscribing and jumping in to this group for several reasons. I've been a writer and a teacher of writing at the university level for longer than most of you have been alive. I've published one novel(to lovely reviews but abysmal sales), and many short stories, and have another novel forthcoming, but I make my living now as a ghostwriter, mostly of business books. I write for very nice people, who think poorly and can barely construct a coherent paragraph, but who enjoy excellent sales as a result of their name recognition, business connections, and clearly a reader appetite for what I CAN write, but would not ordinarily read, unless I was made to as a prisoner of war.

I'm not sure what I can offer here. I know something about good literature. A lot about self-publishing. A lot about the frustrating quest for agents. A lot about the frustrations and expense of self-promotion. I'm a voracious reader who pretty much keeps us with the current. Maybe I can offer something to someone. What I'm looking for myself is a kick in the ass. I'd like to rediscover some of that excitement I catch in your posts. I'd like to just get that buzz again. The one I had when I was younger, more hopeful, and thought writing was fun.

Thanks. I feel less guilty about lurking.

GOP uses misleading website to trick Dems into donating to Republicans

Ever wondered how low they'd go? Check this out.

Trick fundraising website created by the National Republican Congressional Committee to lure donations for wrong candidate.


The Cheapening of American Politics: Why Did Obama Reward O’Reilly with an Interview?

President Obama subjected himself to an interview by Bill O’Reilly of Fox “News” on Sunday before the Superbowl. Obviously, intellectually it was Obama Seahawks rolling over O’Reilly Broncos. And maybe it felt good to tell Fox News off for its serial propaganda against the administration. But I just regret that he lent either of these any credibility by a presidential appearance.


Baby born on GA interstate makes news; baby born on sled in PA, not so much

Ok, maybe I'm a little oversensitive, having endured the "what's the matter with the stupid Southerners and snow" stuff all day. But apparently this stuff happens elsewhere. Even in Pennsylvania, where they have snow plows and know how to drive and are ever prepared and all that.


Sean Hannity proposes 'adopt-a-woman birth control program'

This is great!

. . . a simpler term would be health insurance.


The Myth Of The Absent Black Father

I find this heartening news. The CDC has completed a study that blows up the stereotypes about black fatherhood. Black dads are more involved with their kids on a daily basis than dads from other racial groups.


Nancy Grace: People on pot shoot each other, strangle each other, and kill whole families

On Tuesday, Nancy Grace claimed that people on marijuana shoot, stab and strangle each other, and that children shouldn’t bear witness to their parents drinking soda.

More nutty Nancy at link:


Sanctity of Life

I know that the piñata I’m swinging at is full of angry bees, even on this forum, which has felt safe so far to me, and comfortable for expressing my thoughts. I may be risking that now, but I have to take my swing anyway. I never hear this and wonder if I’m all alone. ???????

See, I don’t believe in the “sanctity” of life. I am in awe of the evolutionary processes that have resulted in life on earth. I’m humbled before, as Dylan Thomas phrased it, “the force that that through the green fuse drives the flower.” But as a rationalist, nothing has been made “holy” to me as a result of religious superstition. Blastocyst, zygote, embryo, fetus. Normal stages of human development. There is nothing there to sanctify or to worship. Nothing there that is “sacred.”

I do subscribe to an ethical hierarchy. I give higher value in my system to higher evolutionary forms because it seems to me, rationally, that these are the ones with the most potential, not just for greater good, but also for greater suffering. And I don’t mean the simple suffering of neurological pain. I mean suffering in all the complex physical, psychological and sociological dimensions which human beings are capable of experiencing. The kind of complex, alas, intelligent, suffering that surfaces in dreams, and manifests in guilt, self-hatred and violence. The kind of suffering that no blastocyst, or zygote, or embryo or fetus can possibly experience.

I read where, in Texas, the family of a brain-dead, pregnant woman is suing the hospital that is keeping her alive against the family’s wishes. I remember the Terry Shiavo affair. I simply don’t understand. There are complex legal issues involved. But I still don’t, I can’t, understand. Why an individual human, a person, with an extended family, each of whom is capable of an infinite range of genuine suffering should be sacrificed to an iconic idea—the unborn “sacred” is simply beyond me. The “sanctity of life” seems a ridiculous notion and I reject it. Life itself—THE life, THESE lives, seem much more important.

New York Pastafarian Christopher Schaeffer Sworn Into Town Council Wearing Colander

Christopher Schaeffer, a Pastafarian minister, was sworn into the Pomfret, N.Y. Town Council last week wearing a colander, the Observer reported on Friday.

Schaeffer is a member of the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, a group founded by an atheist in 2005 that has adopted the spaghetti strainer as its symbol.

"It's just a statement about religious freedom," Schaeffer told the Observer. "It's a religion without any dogma."

Bobby Henderson, founder of the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, blogged about Schaeffer's swearing-in on Monday, saying Schaeffer "may be the first openly Pastafarian sworn into office."

"Some people will see it as obnoxious or a sign that he’s not taking the oath of office seriously," Henderson said of Schaeffer's decision to wear a colander. "But I am completely confident that Schaeffer will distinguish himself as a Council member of the highest caliber."

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