Member Rating: 5.6
Message 139 of 146 (663292)
05-23-2012 2:40 AM
Reply to: Message 126 by Vanessa
05-22-2012 5:47 PM
Re: work in progress
I also participate in a C programming forum where programmers, mainly beginners and students, come asking for help. It still mystifies me, but one beginner after the other just says that their program doesn't work and we need to solve it for them right away, "whaa!" No explanation what they mean by "it doesn't work" and sometimes they don't even post their code. From the very beginning, they try to force us to play guessing games with them, which we, working professionals having to work far too many hours and with very precious little time to spare, do not have any patience with.
So far here, I see you not being very forthright and forcing us to play guessing games with you. OK, maybe there are more members here with enough spare time to have patience with your guessing games, but I don't think you should count on that. If you have something to say, then you should say it! If you have a point to make, then you should make it! If you have something to present, then you should present it! And then be ready and willing to discuss it.
I also started with this "issue" (since it's a creationist fabrication) in the 1980's, circa 1981 to be exact. Sure, I first encountered creationism circa 1970 when, as a fundamentalist "fellow traveller", I first encountered the general assertion about scientific evidence for the Truth of Genesis (eg, 6,000-year-old earth, Noah's Flood) and two specific claims, one of which I immediately identified as totally bogus (that in preparation for the moon mission a NASA computer calculated the moon's position back for thousands of years and then back again, coming up one day short, which was accounted for by "Joshua's Lost Day" -- obviously and totally bogus since it attributed to computers clairvoyant powers which are clearly impossible; even several Christian sites also refute that bogus claim) and the claim of living fresh-water molluscs being carbon-dated as thousands of years old (OK, I was just plain skeptical, but that also turned out to be bogus, since those molluscs were in water from limestone springs, so their shells were made out of "old carbon" as was pointed out by the source article; this is the well-known "reservoir effect", in which organisms feed off of old sources of carbon rather than from the atmosphere).
But then circa 1981, I saw posters at the university of an upcoming creationist presentation (complete with a Chick Pubs' graphic; yes, I had also read the original Big Daddy? back in 1970, but now we only have the remake purportedly authored by Kent Hovind). I had completely rejected creationism in 1970, so what was my reaction to those posters? "Wow! They're still around? They must have something going for them after all! I wonder what that is!" Unfortunately, I had duty that evening, so I could not attend, but I started researching and reading and studying. And the more that I looked into their claims, the more I saw that they were still bogus. In response to a request around 1990, I wrote my history down and have reposted it at http://cre-ev.dwise1.net/warum.html ("warum" is German, my second language, for "why?"). One event I vividly remember (and described on that page) was a show on fundamentalist Pat Robertson's old Christian Broadcasting Network which frequently held debates. This one night, it was a debate between a creationist and an "evolutionist" (in quotes, because that term is a creationist invention which is overloaded with all kinds of perjoratives that are unknown by their opponents who accept the label). The "evolutionist" presented photos of several hominid fossils, all of which the creationist declared to be "100% ape, nothing human about them!" Then he showed a human and a chimp pelvis. From two different angles, both pelvises were very distinctly different; there was no way at all that you could mistake one for the other, they were that very distinctly different. Then he showed a hominid pelvis. From the one angle, it was very definitely human, but from the other angle, it was very definitely ape. What was the creationist's response? He completely ignored the human-appearing angle and concentrated completely and solely on the ape-appearing angle and declared it to be "100% ape, nothing human about it!" Just like that Christian woman you described. Just like you. That one scene told me everything I ever needed to know about creationism.
But despite that, I continued to study. The next half decade was spent reading and learning. In 1984, just by chance I learned about the Committees of Correspondence and of the National Center for Science Education, became a member, and obtained the back issues of their two publications. I also learned of Bill Thwaites' and Frank Awbrey's truly honest "two-model class" at San Diego State University -- half the classes were taught by leading creationists from the then-nearby Institute for Creation Research (ICR, quite literally the guys who wrote the book on "creation science" and "Flood Geology") followed by Thwaite and Awbrey's lectures on the same subject matter; I ordered from the university bookstore a copy of their class notes. In face of the actual facts, creationism never had a chance. Campus Christian clubs demonstrated against the class and eventually under that pressure the university had to discontinue the class. For all their push for "balanced-treatment", creationism still required a creationist teacher to promote it; when dealt with honestly and truthfully (Hey, you're a big advocate for the truth, right?), creationist doesn't have a prayer *.
Even though I had a lot of experience as a "fellow traveller" (revisit mid-1950's McCarthyism if you need a reference, or just simply ask me) in the early 1970's when the "Jesus Freak" movement was at its zenith **, after that I drifted out of touch as I moved on.
Next I remember was circa 1977 or 1978. I had been assigned to Grand Forks Air Force Base in July 1977 (Base Chaplain's introductory joke: "There are indeed four seasons in North Dakota: June, July, August, and Winter" and, foolish us, we believed that that was a joke.) My wife and I had only one car between us, with 15-to-28 miles from base to habitation, depending on the exact timing, so I was stuck on base, in the rec center, waiting for whatever duty I had had assigned that day. One mindless TV show after another. There was a show going on wherein people were tossing frisbees to each other from one amusement park ride to another. So someone asked if he could change the channel and nobody nay'd.
This religious broadcast was absolutely classic. The preacher presented a situation. You (personally) are invited to be a member of a meeting of members of every single different religious group. Everybody in that group presents his own case. Your own case (as per the preacher's perspective) is that your own presentation is GOD'S OWN INVIOLABLE WORD while everybody else's is just stupid shit.
I remember sitting there that morning in that rec center TV room. As soon as that Christian evangelist speaker said that, my reaction was "what the fricking, fucking, frak did that idiot just say?" That had to have been the most idiotic thing that I had ever heard! But then I looked around me. And I didn't see any body who was able to realize what idiocy we had just witnessed.
After that point, it wasn't until 1981 that I allowed myself to again become aware of the resident idiocy.
After the mid-1980's, posting on CompuServe for several years, Yahoo Groups, and elsewhere, I have posted continuously.
Since the "1980's", what have you done?
Very first broadcast of the TV series, M*A*S*H, involved a boxing match being set up between I Corps' reigning champion and 4077's own Trapper John. As reported by Radar (from decades of memory):
Radar: A jeep got in his way. He punched it.
Trapper John: He punched a jeep?
Radar: He knocked it out!
As Trapper John is training, he asks for advice from Father Mulcahy ("Dago Red" in the original movie and book, by one "Richard Hooker", an obvious pseudo-nym), who had coached boxing previously (yet again quoted from decades-old memory):
Mulcahy: A prayer.
Trapper John: A prayer?
Mulcahy: You haven't got one.
"Jesus Freak". When you live through something, you don't always understand the entire history. Mid-to-late-1960's was pretty much the age of the hippies. Growth of mysticism, which later became "New Age" was part of that, as well as use of certain drugs. A "freak" was somebody who used drugs -- a "straight" was somebody who wasn't a "freak"; one of several ways in which terminology has changed. At the end of the 1960's and into the 1970's, many hippies burned out on that drug-fueled life-style and they started to gravitate towards Christian fundamentalism. A fringe (at best) religious group suddenly found itself being flooded with new converts. It has been described here years ago (meaning that I cannot find that post now) that historically those churches only had to train those born into the faith, so they had a study plan lasting for decades in place, but with this incredible mass of new converts to bring up to speed immediately, those churches had to abandon their tried-and-true study plans and replace them with pick-and-choose sound-bites.
OK, at first, "Jesus freak" was apparently intended to be perjorative, but the new converts readily adopted that label for themselves, so it's no longer perjorative. And at first in the early 1970's, normals were being constantly accosted by "Jesus Freaks" intent on proselytizing and converting, a cultural experience which I am sure is the general public's source of aversion to "true Christians" -- they want to whine and complain that nobody likes them, well, duh!, when all you ever do is to attack the beliefs of others and to be as offensive as possible, duh????.
Currently, my sister and her husband are members of Chuck Smith's Calvary Church which in Orange County, Calif, was the center of "Jesus Freak" activity four decades ago. I am reminded of Michael Crichton's first novel, Andromeda Strain. A new virus is introduced into the environment and it is extremely virulent, like the Jesus Freaks were circa 1970. Think back to that novel. A "virus" from outer space is introduced to the earth's surface. It is extremely virulent, killing everybody immediately. OK. So a virus kills immediately. And how far does it spread? Not very. How far does it spread? Not very far. OK.
Now how's about a less virulent strain of that virus? It doesn't kill immediately. Maybe it doesn't even kill at all. Which one has a better chance of spreading? The one that kills immediately? Or the less virulent one that doesn't kill immediately, or at all? Duh?
To carry on my analogy, let's consider Doonesbury. Sometime in the past (due to my divorce and vagracies of the local newspapers (who, troubled by the political content of Doonesbury, move it elsewhere), there was one where Michael Doonesbury's young daughter questioned why she had to attend church, and his response was something to the effect that she had to "put in her pew time".
In that sense, as I attend the annual Calvary Chapel Christmas Service with my sister (just for my sister's sake), I look at that past center of "Jesus Freakery" and I realize the truth. It's the same truth about Unitarians. Do you know the joke about "Unitarians"? What are "Unitarians"? Agnostics with children. Agnostics who want to put their children through their pew time. Those old "Jesus Freaks"? They grew up. They had families. They had children and grandchildren who needed "pew time". Jesus Freaks ready for the Rapture that was coming any minute now! Jesus Freaks in the 1980's when the Rapture was guaranteed even more than ever! Oh, OK, still no Rapture. Uh. Huh?
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