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Friday, November 25, 2011

Primitive Futurism - Futuristic Primitivism

Alternate titles: Savage Futurism - Futuristic Savagery, Primitive Future - Future Primitive

Remember when families sat around the dinner table and talked to each other? How about families visiting each other or visiting friends or church members? Today the average child in developed societies has a television, an Internet portal, and a cell phone to keep them as far away from other family members as possible.

In the pristine perfection of the Garden of Eden, and of non-contemporary family life, people were not as dependent on or obsessed with technology, as they are today, and no doubt, as they'll continue to be tomorrow. Every use of technology has its price. Yes, it improves our lives to a certain extent, but it also ruins something simpler and more natural that used to define being human in a very different way than it is defined now.

With all the gadgets and our dependence on them, we're now closer to being cybernetic organisms than our ancestors were. A cyborg was not made in the image of God. A cyborg was made in the image of 20th century humankind.

Perhaps our goal should be to travel backward/forward to a futuristic primitivism where instead of relying on high octane vehicles or their future equivalents, they would be replaced by recyclable bicycles, or wind driven devices that harness the clean power of the wind or the sun.

In H.G. Wells' novel the Time Machine, 802,701 years after a nuclear war forced humanity to live an almost Edenic life, it only appeared that way until closer scrutiny revealed that the price of a simpler and carefree world had its ugly underside. Perhaps a conscious return to naturalism or intentional primitivism is not really an option unless humanity is forced into it by forces beyond its control.

Only the idyllic Garden of Eden and future paradise, simplicity reborn, are the only viable options towards a return to a genuine intentional primitivism, a futuristic primitivism.

I, for one, hope never to see or use any of the following devices in a perfect future world, whether in this reality or in a transcendent one: I-Phones, I-Pods, Laptop Computers, Cell Phones, DVD players, CD players, televisions, vacuum cleaners, washing machines, automobiles, planes, radios. Yes, they can be wonderful devices that transport you to places and states of mind that you normally wouldn't visit. Then again, perhaps that is not a good thing.

Will there be technology in heaven and the new earth? Would it be heaven or a new earth without those reminders of our artificial life in this world?

Originally published in Northern Lord Southern Lord

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Voyage to the Stars

And what we're trying to inspire with the 100-Year Starship Study is that first step in establishing a bar that's high enough, with challenges that are hard enough that people will actually go start tackling some of these really hard problems."

Reach for the Stars

Saturday, October 1, 2011

"Psychohistory" Forecasts Near Future Events

"The emerging field of “Culturomics” seeks to explore broad cultural trends through the computerized analysis of vast digital book archives, offering novel insights into the functioning of human society."

"The paper, titled “Culturomics 2.0: Forecasting Large-Scale Human Behavior Using Global News Media Tone in Time and Space,” uses the tone and location of news coverage from across the world to forecast country stability (including retroactively predicting the recent Arab Spring), estimate Osama Bin Laden’s final location as a 200-kilometer radius around Abbottabad, and uncover the six world civilizations of the global news media. The research also demonstrates that the news is indeed becoming more negative and even visualizes global human societal conflict and cooperation over the last quarter century.

It seems like a real attempt at psychohistory from Isaac Asimov's Foundation series of novels. Psychohistory is a fictional science in Isaac Asimov's Foundation universe which combines history, sociology, and mathematical statistics to make general predictions about the future behavior of very large groups of people, such as the Galactic Empire."

For  decades, scientists, intellectuals and even Asimov himself didn't take the concept of psychohistory very seriously except for its use in science fiction master works. However, the concept persisted and apparently there is a legitimate social science called psychohistory which has nothing to do with the psychohistory that Asimov's Hari Seldon developed in the far future Foundation series. However, as the article and the websites that are giving serious attention to Culturomics indicate, a real life discipline somewhat similar in its intent to that of psychohistory is now in existence. Asimov can properly take his place among other visionaries, e.g., Jules Verne and H.G. Wells, among those whose Science Fiction visions influenced future science and/or the Social Sciences.

Culturomics 2.0: Forecasting Large-Scale Human Behavior Using Global News Media Tone in Time and Space

Monday, September 12, 2011

Secrets of Longevity

Miracles have been occurring for millennia. Evolution is one of the greatest miracles and mysteries of all. Since a second is as a thousand years to God might not an hour be as a million years. What if a million years hence by the grace of God humans with their God-given intelligence figure out how to progressively boost their longevity and one day turn off the aging of cells entirely?

If a tortoise can live to be 255 could not scientists find how to produce that longevity in humans? [*]


* 255 year-old tortoises
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Sunday, September 11, 2011

"New" Beatles albums produced at MIT

Perhaps a computer program will be developed that can generate fascinating works of literature or music based on post humous artistic developments close to the artist's death, biographical data, critics' research and the artist's complete body of work to produce near-believable literature or music for fans, old and new.

Previously unmaginable works might result, e.g., Mozart's 50th symphony and original 1970s Beatles' albums. Imagine a completely new string of hits challenging the Rolling Stones' "Miss You" or Pink Floyd's "Another brick in the wall' for the top of the charts or radio airplay.

The above scenario is based on the following idea alluded to in the article below [*]

* Mr. Hammond cited a media maven's prediction that a computer program might win a Pulitzer Prize in journalism in 20 years - and he begged to differ."

Please consult "Computer-generated articles are gaining traction:"
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Saturday, September 10, 2011

World Trade Center 3001

Build a virtual time machine and travel back to September 10, 2001: the day before the twin towers fell. Take along with you a list of all the planes that crashed and the passenger lists. Underscore the names of the terrorists on each list. From the 101st floor of one of the towers, fax the list to major newspapers, radio stations, as well as the FBI, CIA and the White House. Cause all major airports to be shut down until the Towers are emptied and guarded.

When the Towers fail to fall on the following morning, go forward in time to September 11, 3001. Stand at the base of the Twin Towers and look straight up at the aging and abandoned towers that stand as a monument to your time traveling achievement.

Instead of documentaries about the destruction of the Twin Towers, only what-if movies will be filmed about what almost took place.

Origionally published in Northern Lord vs. Southern Lord blog (
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Thursday, September 8, 2011

What Is the Meaning of It All?

If Intelligent Design is not responsible for the beauty and complexity of the world then it somehow came to be by pure, random chance. If that is the case then there is no essential reason for us to find ourselves existing in an improbable and inconsequential reality.

All of religion, philosophy and culture then is an honest or desperate attempt to make sense of why we are here and what it all means or might mean. Humanity might outlast the dinosaurs but if we don't, then what did it all mean and why did we bother with any of it in the first place?

Since we are here though why not get as much benefit, pleasure and mutual support from life and each other as possible?

Perhaps it's not so bad after all if you look at it that way. The challenge then becomes: how to interact with those who don't want to contribute and share the hard work that is essential to further each other's goals. Those are the evil ones. They're the ones who want to throw a wrench into the machinery.

How do we ethically deal with these flat notes in each others songs?

We accidentally were and then just as enigmatically, we could very well cease to be. Funny thing, Life?
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Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Ever Revealing Science of God

"There is no version of primeval history, preceding the discoveries of modern science, that is as rational and as inspiriting as that of the Book of Genesis," Asimov says. However, human knowledge does increase, and if the Biblical writers, "had written those early chapters of Genesis knowing what we know today, we can be certain that they would have written it completely differently." -- Isaac Asimov
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The Value of Cooperation in the Survival of the Fittest

"And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins. Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ are lost. If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied." -- I Cor. 15:17-19

This text can mean different things to different people. It's usually glossed over. What was Paul thinking to have thrown this into the mix!

It's not the safest approach in any situation to "throw all your eggs into one basket." This text may convince some people of the essential truth of the Christianity. Others, though, may find this line of thinking too extreme.

If one loves ones brother or sister because ultimately one is hoping to enjoy the whole package--eternal life, included--then one really is to be pitied above all men.

There is value enough--and very practical value at that--in treating others with the respect that we ourselves would like to be treated. Proper ethical behavior is not copyrighted by Christians. Hindus, Buddhists and, yes, secular humanists, can and do live ethical lives.

As is sometime said, there is some advantage in altruism even in humanity's evolutionary development. Only those primates who banded together, saught out the options that would benefit the social group and put petty squabbles aside if an opposing species or tribe of primates was trying to take over their source of water or food, that were able to pass on their genes to the next generation.

As difficult as it is to swallow, there is enough value and beauty in Christianity even if this life is all that any one of us will ever know. That makes it even more crucial for us to treat each other as best as possible. We all are responsible for the most important of all human endeavors, to make this Earth as Heavenly as possible. We owe it to each other. We owe it to ourselves.
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Saturday, September 3, 2011

Humanity's Urgent Cry for Help Needs Resolution

Somebody to Love

Lord what you're doing to me
I have spent all my years in believing you
But I just can't get no relief, Lord!
Somebody, somebody
Can anybody find me somebody to love?
-- Freddie Mercury

[Truly a cry for help to anybody who is compassionate enough to come to the aid of people with serious needs.
Maybe you or I could be the only one who will ever come to a person's urgent need for help.]

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Future Human Evolution

Future evolution human race. These words yielded an unexpected site. Space exploration astounds and delights simultaneously.

However, my interest was primarily regarding natural human evolution. For instance, if one were to study natural developments of the fossil record with special focus on primate evolution, what would be probable results for homo sapiens 1 million years hence. Of course any number of variables could impact such projections, nevertheless, with hindsight as our foundation projections would be more realistic than if we only had a million years of fossils on which to base our projections.
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Monday, August 22, 2011

Interstellar Travel : a Reality

Realistic Voyage to the Stars

Real funds for real scientists who have an astounding vision.

How thrilling that this is DARPA and NASA behind this project. Astounding!

"Last year Mr. Millis calculated that it would be at least 200 years before society had the energy resources to send 500 people out of the solar system."

"Scientific probes could go sooner and cheaper. Professor Dyson recently pointed out that soon all the genetic information needed to reconstruct Earth's biosphere could be packed into something the size of an egg. Dispersed through space to different planets, such eggs could create homes-away-from-home waiting for us. 'The new technology will be biological,' he said. 'It will make everything else obsolete.'"

"A lot of us are quite young. We grew up hearing about the Apollo program," he said. "We want to be part of a significant journey. We personally think we may be doing something important, driving humanity out to the stars." He quoted Arthur C. Clarke, the late writer of science fact and fiction who invented the idea of communications satellites and helped found the British Interplanetary Society: "If you believe something is possible, you can make it happen."

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Thursday, August 18, 2011

40 Thousand Years Between Habitable Worlds

A Space Ark with hydroponic gardens and frozen animal embryos for a 40 thousand year voyage between star systems would be the 21st century equivalent to Noah's wooden ark. We would take no reptilian embryos with us. We've had enough of dragons and serpents on Earth.

A Super Earth world that could be a port-of-call might be Glise 581 g [*] with its relative proximity since it is 20.3 years from Earth.

May God grant us his unmerited favor to speed us heavenward wherever it may be among the distant stars.

[*] Habitable Planets in Our Galaxy

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Martyrdom of St. Sebastian

Pasolini's Modern Adaptation in "Accattone" (1961)"

The entire theatrical version of this classic Italian film can be watched by clicking the above link.

Saint Sebastian (died c. 288) was a Christian saint and martyr, who is said to have been killed during the Roman emperor Diocletian's persecution of Christians. He is commonly depicted in art and literature tied to a post and shot with arrows. This is the most common artistic depiction of Sebastian; hofuwever, he was rescued and healed by Saint Irene of Rome before haranguing the emperor and being clubbed to death. He is venerated in the Roman Catholic, and Orthodox Church.

For a traditional depiction of the official church history version please see the link below. Subtitles are not crucial since it follows the description outlined in the Wikipedia article.

Sebastianus Christianus Film Clip
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Sunday, July 31, 2011

Futurist, Historicist, Dualist and Preterist Wars

At long last I will acknowledge what some readers of this blog had in mind when they chanced upon this Adventist Futurist blog. My use of the term "Futurist" relates to futurology and the expansion of the human race beyond its inauspicious origins in the primordial sea within the framework of theistic evolution. At this time I will not address the subject of theistic evolution.[1]

The following excerpt [2]  briefly refers to the principal approaches to Bible prophecy. No doubt, other variations will appear in time. They usually do

4. Dualists want to take a “both and” approach. And what occurred in Catholicism in the sixteenth century and in Protestantism in the nineteenth century is now being repeated among some Adventists.

In the early 1980s a controversy over prophetic interpretation developed in the Seventh-day Adventist Church. At that time preterism was offered as an alternative to historicism. Under the label of “dual interpretation of prophecy,” people were told they could keep their historicist view, “adding” preterism to it.

Under these conditions, however, true historicism fades away. After holding a major study conference in 1980, the Adventist Church rejected preterism. The world delegates assembled for study in Glacier View, Colorado, affirmed their adherence to the biblical and historic views held by the founders of Adventism, who saw themselves as a prophetic movement, raised up at a certain time to announce specific prophetic truths for this particular time.


  1.  Please refer to: Living With Theistic Evolution as a Paradigm for further information regarding this issue.
  2. Full article:  Making Sense of Bible Prophecy

Living With Theistic Evolution as a Paradigm

Special Creation: wonderful, but it is a quick and easy way out. There are seldom easy ways out in life. The ramifications of special creation are very complicated themselves. Cf: the book of Romans in the New Testament. Lovely realities described in Paul's epistle to the Romans but very heavy going and not as simple as you would think. Paul, the author of the epistle had what would amount to a Ph.D. in philosophy today.

Non-theistic Evolution: mostly for agnostics, atheists and theists who like a good intellectual challenge or are dissatisfied with the other two approaches. Some, though not all, adherents suffer from a delusion of intellectual superiority, smugness, or self-righteous condescension to anyone not buying into the belief that only evolution is necessary. "Let's not waste any more time and lets proceed with other issues or intellectual challenges" is the practical approach they prefer when considering the Evolution vs. Special Creation debate.

Intelligent Design: very tempting, at least to those who see the complexity and the aesthetic excellence of flora and fauna which seems a tall order to leave to chance alone. Simple organisms and mostly ugly ones being the result of non-theistic evolution makes a lot of sense, but physiological complexity, sentience, intelligence and symmetry that is capable of visiting other worlds and potentially continue intelligent life on yet-to-be-colonized worlds beyond our Earth, almost demands that, if not God, then some other Intelligent Designer is responsible for the marvels we encounter daily on planet Earth.

Theistic Evolution: the main difficulty is that there was sin in the world before Adam and Eve were created if you prefer this paradigm. If sin already existed before Adam and Eve also succumbed as well*, then why would Christ Jesus have to die to appease God's wrath against sin or to vindicate God's Law and its permanence. It also presents a problem for observing the seventh-day Sabbath since living organisms are no longer created in seven days, but rather, during millions of years. Presents quite a problem for orthodox Jews, as well.

Fourth Paradigm: awaits discovery. Any valid approaches need to be included as they become available or discovered.

Practical Paradigm:

Don't hurt anyone or anything. After all, you yourself don't want to be hurt either.

Improve the chances of the survival of the human race whether on this Earth of ours and eventually on other worlds.

Enjoy your life to the fullest and assist others in the enjoyment of theirs. Your well-being is intricately connected to the well-being of others.

If you haven't become aware of this interconnectedness of humanity there is still time to catch on.


* If sin existed on another world, as well, then it becomes less of a problem if there was already sin in the world before Adam and Eve existed. Of course, the Bible says that everything that God created was good so there's no accounting for how there were fossils already buried in the Earth of another cycle of life that had experienced death already. After all, the Bible says that the wages of sin is death.

Some solve this problem by referring to the rebellion against God by Lucifer and cohorts in heaven itself as being responsible for the death and sin that would then have existed on Earth prior to Adam and Eve's Special Creation in the isolated perfection of the Garden of Eden were another pair of perfect beings (morally and physiologically perfect) were given another chance. Sadly, they also did not pass the test.

This footnote has the potential of never ending as another angle quickly suggests itself.

[Needs stylistic refinements, grammatical processing, etc.]

Friday, July 22, 2011

Our Migration to Other Worlds Begins at Last

Just in time humanity is finally starting the migration to other worlds. If life on Earth becomes greatly diminished our descendants will take our species beyond this one world. It is only one among millions of worlds in our galaxy. Godspeed to our space colonists.

Space Migration Takes Off

Sunday, July 10, 2011

How Jules Verne and H.G. Wells Influenced Future Science

Literary visionaries don't predict the future. Their role may be thought of more as influencing the future rather than actually foreseeing it. However, many have tried unsuccessfully in the past to do just that, but did not succeed as history has proven. Significant examples will be briefly presented from each visionary. Regardless of what past or present thinkers have thought of Verne and Wells, they will only be presented here, not as Science Fiction writers, but as serious visionaries. I intend to show, both writers have not only influenced the future, but the future's science. There are those who might go further and propose that they not only influenced the future, but actually played a small part in creating the future, simply by detailing the future with such realism. This school of thought will not be considered here although its roots can probably be traced to the New Thought school that  was just coming into existence during their lifetimes.

Jules Verne's writings regarding the first lunar landing have astounding similarities with what actually came to pass decades after his life. Both Verne and history present the moon landing to have taken  place in the late 1960s (historical) or in the early 1970s (Verne.) Both depictions or accounts include the location of the origin of the flight to the moon in either northern Florida, USA (historical) or southern Florida (Verne.) Both accounts have a similar number of astronauts or navigators making the trip. Those familiar with the Verne's From the Earth to the Moon (1865) will find other similarities with both the work and the actual historical event.

We now will present an equally uncanny vision of future events although in this case it is more along the lines of a scientific theory that is posited based on both recent and older scientific theories and discoveries that Wells had no way of knowing about. Respected cosmologists or scientists such as Stephen Hawking, Michio Kaku and Brian Greene, in addition to others of a similar caliber, have written books or have convincingly expressed their views in articles in a variety of news media, regarding the real possibility of time travel.

Both require technological resources that do not as of yet exist, but given time scientists may be able to create wormholes in the laboratory and enlarge them sufficiently so that they may create the basic point in time of the time corridor when traveling back in time from the future. As has been explained eloquently by other scientists and scientific writers, no one will be able to travel to a time earlier than the creation of the wormhole.

Traveling forward in time has already taken place albeit in a very minimal degree. Such micro-time travel has been attested to by the experiments performed on astronauts and cosmonauts who were found not to have aged by a barely detectable degree after their travel to the moon.

Based on the historical event just mentioned, that of traveling to the moon and back to Earth, it is theorized that if two twins on Earth are separated by one of the twins traveling toward the nearest star at a speed as close to the speed of light as possible, time will slow down significantly for the interstellar traveler. So much so that when he or she returns to Earth the twin left behind will have aged significantly, years or perhaps even decades, than the space traveling twin. Events on Earth will have transpired that the "time traveling" twin would ordinarily have experienced as a much older person. Given enough interstellar travel on the trip just outlined, the interstellar twin could naturally experience a decade or decades that his older Earth-based twin will miss due to his natural chronological old age on Earth.

The younger, space traveller could very well  benefit from scientific discoveries related to life extension that will in themselves extend his life longer than it would have been extended had he lived and died along with his identical twin. The space travelling twin will also experience significant historical events that his Earth-based twin would not be alive to see, e.g., undreamed of scientific or sociological changes whether they be of a beneficial or deleterious nature.

H.G. Wells in his classic novel The Time Machine (1895) outlined the consequences and experiences of travelling millennia into Earth's future. The ease of traveling forward and backwards in time that Wells' time traveler experienced will, no doubt, never become a reality, Wells' work, nevertheless, contained the kernel of the idea that a human being could travel forward and backward in time.

This concept has remained in the realm of science fiction for decades. Based on the attention that it is receiving from serious and important scientists and cosmologists like the ones mentioned earlier Weills' time machine already exists in its prototypical form, i.e., the rockets and space shuttles that have left and returned from space for decades. Of course, these space-faring vehicles do not possess the capacity to travel at speeds close to the speed of  light. They, nevertheless, currently are capable of facilitating travel at the fastest speeds known to humanity. Some day their successors, or more accurately stated, the scientists that invent their futuristic counterparts, will in fact, travel at incredible speeds and make travel to the future possible.

The twins used in the time travelling experiment mentioned above will be separated by years or decades during both of their lives. Given equally futuristic technological advances that will also facilitate harnessing the power of a laboratory-created worm hole, the interstellar astronaut twin could possibly return to the earlier historical juncture when he or she and their respective twin were the same age, if that is their wish. However, once having ventured into space, the interstellar and therefore time traveling twin will still be younger than the twin that he or she is returning to. However, both siblings will be able to share as many uninterrupted experiences as the older earth-based twin will be able to experience, if that is any consolidation. The younger interstellar "time traveler" will, however, experience a future that his chronologically-older twin will not be around to see.

In summation, neither the moon landing in 1969 and the serious attention given to time travelling theories of the last few years would have ever happened if both visionaries had not written their two accounts of space exploration or of time travel. Both men's ideas were ridiculed by serious scientists and educated people for decades before they actually were borne out by the historical event or the development of the science-based theory.

In a way, one could almost suggest that Verne and Wells not only influenced these future events, but actually helped to create them by envisioning them a century before they actually occurred.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Future Reminders that Humanity Thrived in This Solar System

We didn't even have to await the 26,000 year asteroid that wiped out the long-lived dinosaur species. Humankind is rendering itself extinct. Tragic that humanity's centuries-old culture, science and astounding progress comes to this. At least we've left vestiges of our culture on the moon, in orbit around our fading world, in our robots on Mars and in the exploratory craft that may still be drifting perhaps endlessly.

The transmission signals of radio, television and perhaps data encoded in binary form that may also have been sent on its way, are another even more palpable vestige of what little advancement humankind made since its appearance millennia ago.

It is hoped that unknown to us private organizations with fabulous wealth planned for this and implemented, decades ago, the project sketched out in various posts in this blog and in the Northern Lord vs. Southern Lord blog under the labels space colonization, macrolife and Adventist Futurism. (Please search for these labels once you've accessed the NL vs. SL link.)

We can continue have a healthy optimism about our fate as survivors on this Earth, or hopefully, beyond this Earth, but had the dinosaurs been more developed and intelligent, no amount of optimism would have saved their species from whatever catastrophe wiped them out with such severity that it almost seemed intentional.

For an indication that speaking of the demise of our existence on the planet is no dystopian vision, see Oceans on brink of catastrophe.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Distant Future Civilization Revealed

Cities of Earth's Distant Future (Click link for video)

We are living in Earth's distant future. Philosopher's of Earth's classic civilizations whether of India, China, Egypt and Greece would have thought it foolishness for us to believe that our far-flung world to be simply the precursor to a more advanced reality. Yes, we need to continue improving what needs refinement. Nevertheless, it is important that we realize that this is humanity's quintessential civilization. There is always room for improvement, but take note that since the late 1950s, only refinements in technology that were in existence then, and not some revolutionary transformation, have appeared. The prototypes of the computer, the Internet and space exploration were in existence in 1957, the year the Soviets launched Sputnik.

Cherish this distant future civilization that we live in while it's still here in its present state. Dystopia and utopia are fused into one.

Theoretical far-distant civilizations of the future, should they ever exist, will envision still more futuristic ones in a world they imagine will one day exist. Out of necessity, that civilization will, in fact, be the most advanced terrestrial civilization that is to be. It may or may not be the most futuristic one that can conceivably exist on planet Earth. How tragic for that civilization to cease to be completely or to degenerate slowly into barbarism, or worse, still hoping for another that might never exist.

Our present civilization could very well be that civilization that looks forward to a more advanced and ideal one to grow out of our own. Let's enjoy it while there is yet time.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

The History of the Theory of Time Travel

Like evolution, time travel is not a supposition, for it has a scientific basis. Disbelief in time travel is akin to those who, for religious reasons, believe in Creationism in spite of there being no hard science to back it up.

Before delving into the science behind time travel let us briefly mention some classic works dealing with time travel.

The first such title is historian H.G. Wells' "The Time Machine" (1895). Predating the publication of Albert Einstein's Relativity theories it, of course, can't be said to have suggested Einstein's suggestion that time travel might not be completely baseless given the proper technological advances. Nevertheless, Well's the "Time Machine" has contributed its share of importance to the concept of time travel.

The television series "The Time Tunnel" is also another work dealing with the subject of time travel. The impact of the this series is negligible. It did, however, focus on the subject of the causality paradox in episodes where the time traveler found himself aboard the Titanic hours before it sank. He endeavored unsuccessfully to change the course of history. There is an unwritten rule in time travel literature that suggests that changing history via time travel is somehow impossible even when attempted.

The movie "Return to the Future" also presents the problem of causal paradoxes which we will later present and study the views of Cosmologists Stephen Hawking [1] and Misio Kaku [2]. The causality paradox can best be summarized in the question if a time traveler goes back and prevents his mother from marrying his father, wouldn't he then never have been born? If he  had never been born due to history having been changed how could he then have been able to travel back in time to prevent his parents from marrying?

There are several adjustments to this conundrum. One solution is that there are different time lines. While the time traveler may have altered the particular time line which no longer includes his conception by his parents, in a separate, but equally valid, timeline his parents did marry and his mother did, in fact, give birth to him.

This paradox has been offered by some cosmologists, as well as detractors of the theory of time travel, as making time travel into the past, at least, unfeasible and causally problematic.

Briefly, let us outline the simplest type of time travel into the future but not the only one. It has been proven by experiments in space that when people travel faster than people on the ground the astronaut's passage through time actually slowed down the aging process but at a minuscule amount. Therefore, this theory which was foreseen by Albert Einstein, has now been experimentally verified.

In order to take this concept and make it true time travel imagine, if you will, a space ship travelling at incredible speeds towards the nearest star. On board is a space traveler whose other twin remains on Earth. Once the star traveler has returned to Earth he will have found, if his twin has not died of old age, that he or she has aged only a few years while the twin (s)he left behind has aged considerably. The other amazing outcome of this experiment is that the time-star traveler will be seeing decades as a younger person and all the technological advancements and historical outcomes than if (s)he had stayed on Earth with his or her twin.

Though some would find this cheating at time travel since it uses laws of science to slow down the aging process and thereby propel the star traveler into a future that s(he) would otherwise never have seen, it is, nevertheless, as bona fide time travel as may be possible in the foreseeable future.

To contrast future travel in time with backward travel in time, we have a thornier problem. It is believed that you can attempt traveling back in time by building a wormwhole whether by harnessing an actual black hole singularity or by creating a "baby wormwhole" in the laboratory and using that to create a closed loop from the time of creating the wormhole to some future time. Backward travel in time would only be as far back as the time that the wormhole was created and no further.

The ease with which the famous time traveler of H.G. Wells' "The Time Machine" flitted back and forth, whether venturing millennia into the distant future or travelling back to his own time, remain speculative fiction. The literary construct of his novel has other significant points which we will not go into here.

Finally when all the evidence, theories and concepts have been presented, some will still choose, as they do in the evolution vs. creationism issue, that it depends on what you choose to believe and not what scientific proofs, concepts or theories suggest what may or may not be possible.

In the mean time, enjoy your slow travel through time in your own life. It may very well be the only type of time traveling that most, if not all of us, will ever experience.

  1. Hawking: Time Travel Will Happen
  2. Borrowed Time: Interview with Michio Kaku

[This post needs more footnotes.]

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Supernatural Selection and Theistic Evolution

There is nothing completely natural about natural selection. The natural state of a truly wild and undisciplined environment or system is to develop into ordered chaos, if you will. It is marvelous to speak about how natural selection selected this trait or that trait to bring about the fittest specimen who then would have the greatest chance of surviving. Sometimes a sentience and incorporeal intellgence is attributed to natural selection as it chooses this trait or this species to survive and procreate. Too much perfection and unbiased godlike power is attributed to natural selection. There is actually a supernatural selection going on that is guiding evolution along. God is the agent of supernatural selection.

[Transtion needed]

A child is naturally sinful. Ethical behavior has to be learned. Ultimately God is the source of all ethical behavior.

It is arrogant for man to think he or she can save himself or herself from the condition of death and sin.

The proverbial Fall of Man comes to each person upon realization of his or her capability for evil as well as good.

Christ is our example of what we can become through his transforming power and loving kindness.

God conferred super intelligence and a knowledge of his existence on the primitive homo sapient couple who lved in a veritable garden of Eden.

Where it not for super intelligence the Bible could never have been written as well as all the intellectual achievements of man throughout history.

God will one day allow man to join him in his sphere when he feels humanknd is ready.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

How to Escape the Death of the Universe

Cosmologists speak of M-theory which speaks of three visible dimensions of space, length, height and width. Additionally, it crunches seven super-tiny and virtually invisible dimensions into the mix. M-theory also includes one dimension of time, as well. *

What if there were a second dimension of time, as well. We'll call it Static time to keep it separate from the Dynamic Time we experience every day. Dynamic Time includes past, present and future. Static time, however, only has one state. That state is best described as an Endless Now. This is not necessarily nonsense.

Consider, if you will, a very advanced civilization with knowledge and resources to visit or, should it ever become essential, to escape into, a timeless parallel reality that is outside of our known universe. This would come in handy in escaping the eventual death of our universe when individual stars have spent all their fuel and our universe becomes both a ghost universe and a virtual non-universe.

Having escaped our dying universe our far-future friends who wait in Static Time would be virtually immortal. There could, of course, be accidents. After all, they are not gods with invulnerability but rather, advanced humans, cyborgs or possibly androids who are "out-of-time," as it were, and so do not experience time as we know it. In Static Time organisms don't age as they do in our Dynamic Time reality. Hopefully though, it is possible to think and move while in Static Time. If not our futuristic travelers would be forever trapped in their Static Time reality. They become, in effect, prisoners of their own devising.

If they were intelligent enough they could find another universe where a Big Bang singularity had jump started a new universe or they might try enlarging a small black hole and create a baby universe and set up residence there once conditions had stabilized sufficiently to permit humans to live naturally on one of the new worlds of the baby universe.

Some of the scenarios I've just described are, in fact, based on various theories by different cosmologists. Others are wishful thinking and may not have all the science once would wish to back them up.

Finally, there is at least one historical figure who does experience this theoretical Endless Now and to whom Static Time is very much a given and not just a theory. I'm speaking of someone who lives outside of our Dynamic Time universe and can at times access our Dynamic Time universe. Needless to say I'm referring to God who inhabits a realm we can only refer to as Infinity.

No one can say for sure what Infinity is like. Even the Bible doesn't give us much clue as to its nature or location. It, no doubt, makes no sense to speak of Infinity as having a location. Infinity might be a reality possessing a location which we could never imagine or understand even given the proper mathematics to try to comprehend it conceptually.

One clue the Bible does give about the nature of Infinity might be the descriptions of God given in both the Old and the New Testament. In the Old Testament God is described as the ONE WHO WAS, the ONE WHO IS and the ONE WHO WILL BE. In the New Testament it is said of the Lord God that He is the Alpha and the Omega or the Beginning and the End.

Infinity, by association, can then be described as being a reality which was, which is and which will be and all three descriptions refer to the same Endless Now of Static Time. Infinity might be a perpetual steady state reality with past, present and future all indistinguishable one from another. Perhaps that is why the Bible also states that for God a thousand years is like a day and a day is like a thousand years. The same might be said of Infinity where length of time has no meaning since time is static and not dynamic as it is in our universe with its birth, development and death.

Yes, it is a bit shocking to speak of our universe as dying for all that lives is born to die. Even stars die and galaxies crash into other more gravitationally powerful ones so that new stars and new galaxies might be born. This should not be a cause for concern though since the God who created our universe out of nothing can also create other universes out of nothing as well.


* Hawking, Stephen. The Grand Design.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Death Contains the Seeds of Life

Stars die that others might be born. Seeds die that fruit trees might feed the hungry. Unused sperm and eggs die that newer and fresher ones might produce life the following month. People die that younger, healthier and stronger progeny might reproduce.

Of course ours us is a limitless universe. Eternal youthful life would allow us to populate countless worlds. However, until immortality and fast-as-light star craft become the norm exploration of distant worlds are out of the picture.

There are no demons . Only God exists.

Where then does evil come fom? Can we know why God has always existed or why there is a God as opposed to there not being a God? No we cannot. Neither can we know how or where evil comes from or why it exists.

It may be that evil has always existed. Left needs right to have meaning or existence. Good needs evil for the same reason. God may have found a way to neutralize evil for good. Lets hope that happens sooner than later.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Ingenious Scientific Means of Spreading Life Beyond Earth

Dr. Venter advertised his genome as the wave of future migration to the stars. Send a kit of chemicals and a digitized genome across space."

In context:

In "A Romp Through Theories on Origins of Life" 2-21-2011:

"Using mail-order snippets of DNA, Dr Venter and his colleagues stitched together the million-letter genetic code of a bacterium of a goat parasite last year and inserted it into another bacterium's cell, where it took over, churning out blue-stained copies of itself. Dr. Venter advertised his genome as the wave of future migration to the stars. Send a kit of chemicals and a digitized genome across space." [1]

[1] A Romp Through Theories on Origins of Life

Future Fate of Our Milky Way Galaxy and Some Solutions

"The Milky Way and the Andromeda galaxy are approaching each other with a speed of 300,000 miles per hour." [1]

 We should have a million years or so at our disposal to escape this galaxy.[2] We need not find another physical world unless it was desired by some colonies of Earth-born refugees or, most likely, their descendants. Another option could be a MacroLife [3] habitat that could travel in search of still safer locations in the Universe to better position themselves until the next galaxy approaches millennia from then.

Thank God our star, the Sun, is close to the edge of the galactic spiral. Our intelligent species, man the thinker, is ideally placed and equipped to avoid the pre-collision effects of the two galaxies' first gravitational impact if decisions are made now on a global scale. If not it be harder, but there have always been those who have been designated a remnant when the fate of civilization or culture where seemingly in their death throes, e.g., the fall of the Roman empire and the dark Middle Ages were both balanced by the culture and science of Asian and Arab cultures.

In more recent times the Adventist movement which began around 1844 has become a worldwide force. Historically Seventh-day Adventists, emulating the model of the Israelites of antiquity, also consider themselves a cultural and cosmological remnant. More to the subject at hand, however, is the raison d'etre of the Adventist Futurists who envision man's future not on this endangered world, but beyond the approaching dangers of our Milky Way galaxy.

If the knowledge required to transcend our at-risk galaxy is not currently available it will come. Had the Greek intellectuals of Plato's and Hippocrates's culture known we could now reattach severed hands and even male reproductive organs we would be considered demigods indeed. One need not dwell too much on the seemingly impossible and improbable accomplishment of visiting another world, the moon, and returning safely, as well as more current history of sending our robotic extensions to gather information and to monitor weather patterns around far-flung worlds of our solar system.

With each passing year astronomers are finding a cornucopia of exotic worlds beyond our solar system. The speed of all this progress in science is the basis for my conjecture that a million years is ample time to overcome challenges of speed, energy requirements and other extra-galactic travel requirements.

  1. Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy. 21 October 1997
  2. This is an educated as well as an optimistic guess. The dinosaurs had between 140 and 160 million years [] to avoid their doom and did nothing due to mental limitations it would appear. Man the thinker might be more intelligent in comparison to our reptilian cousins but we might not be as hardy. Nevertheless, we appear to be blessed or fated--depending on your personal beliefs--to thrive not only on this world, but on others in contrast to the Earth-bound dinosaur species. As a personal wish one would hope at least some future intergalactic refugees take along both ostrich and crocodile frozen embryos so that some descendants of the dinosaurs might also live beyond the sun that warmed their ancestors.
  3. Macrolife, Space Colonization & Adventist Futurism

Friday, February 4, 2011

How Well Do You Tolerate Evolution and Creationism?

Non-theistic evolution though intellectually stimulating has too many variables to consider here. It ignores a need for a prime mover by stating that the Big Bang took place and requires no further justification. This is similar to theists saying God needs no creator for he had no beginning. No more questions need be asked. End of story.

Special Creation solves many mysteries except the origin of God. Furthermore, Special Creation presents a demonic being as the origin of Evil though Special Creation and its associated theologies do not excuse Evil or the demon in question due to the mystery of Evil itself. Evil is simply because it is. Special Creationists can't or won't explain Evil since by explaining it they would then justify or understand why it exists at all. Special Creation does not solve all of the enigmas. It creates extra ones and leaves them as is.

Theistic evolution solves some problems but ultimately presents God as a cosmic mad scientist. How, pray tell, do you pray to and love an omnipotent being who needed eons of trial and error--just look at all of the fossil record--to finally produce one of the generally impressive results of evolution:  Man the Thinker? What is the other impressive end-product of theistic evolution? Gaia (Mother Earth) itself [see footnote]. Our self-actualizing world is almost sentient in its perfection and self-regulating complexity. Some see this perfection and near-sentience as an indication of an omniscient God who is responsible for the almost flawless miracle that we call Earth.

What then is the answer of answers :  how did we get here? If we were to find this perfect solution we'd cease to evolve as a species. It is better to leave some questions unanswered.


Gaia philosophy (named after Gaia, Greek goddess of the Earth) is a broadly inclusive term for related concepts that living organisms on a planet will affect the nature of their environment in order to make the environment more suitable for life. ...

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Where Is God?

Only the mystery we call God can change the hell that can sometimes exist both in our mind or in the world that surrounds us. No other mystical power or force of science can change that permanently with  lasting effects in mind. Thank God for God. How truly alone we'd feel if He didn't exist. Without God the wonder that we call the universe would be a charade or a cruel joke. All this dazzling immensity and beauty created for no reason and easily destroyed--eventually after billions of years--meaninglessly, as well.

God must exist, you see. He just has to. Otherwise the quality and beauty of life is cheapened.

If--and this we cannot prove--God does not exist then we have to become our own all-loving, all-forgiving and all-comforting "God." [1]  Let us not even consider the quagmire of dealing with lower-case gods or beneficent forces of nature. We need God or the ideal implied by the word God, not just for each other's sake, or for our own sake. We also need God or the ideal of God ("God") for the benefit of the culmination of eons of evolution--pre-primate and primate--as well. Ultimately we need God if only to insure that our own health and survival as a species is assured for whatever fate or providence or some nameless and undefined Factor or Ideal has in store for us down the road. Without something larger than ourselves millions of years of human evolution lose whatever meaning artists and poets have attributed to the wonder of being human and being alive to enjoy that splendor and glory. [2]

Humanity really, then, is created in the image of God. We are carbon copies of our perfect and wonderful God. We need God, however, to let that wonder and perfection shine and grow. Not from within ourselves only but from a mysterious reality or force beyond ourselves. That mystery can only be called God. It truly can be said of us, His children, that "we are the light of the world."


  1. It may not be necessary for some, but in the event that there is some confusion as to what I'm referring to when I speak of God (the deity of the Old and New Testament Bible) and "God" (the ideal of God or a conceptual God, if he were not to exist) this note may prove helpful. Again, it is not my intention nor concern at this time to address any interaction or use of a lower-case god. There are already too many lower-case gods in our  postmodern world.
  2. Though probably used in a different context and possessing different meaning than what I've presented here, I am partially indebted to Jack Provonsha's "God is With Us" which I read at the age of 19. It still lingers in my mind though only vaguely. It was there that I first came upon the sometimes confusing uses of God and "God."

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Compassion is Always Welcomed, Whatever the Source

Not sure of my reasons I separated from my wife for a trip to New York City years ago to decide what the next move would be. Once in the City I called an old college chum with whom I had been in touch with over the years. Through the years we had invited him over for dinner and to spend the weekend with Callisto and little Io, our beloved pets for which he had a special fondness.

I told my friend Gio that I was in town for business and would he like me to drop by and get caught up. Gio, usually very hospitable hemmed and hawed and repeatedly turned me down, very politely, of course. How strange of him to suddenly turn off his friendliness when he always used to chime in via yahoo messenger frequently when I was online. We decided that we'd meet the following day at the Van Dyke Cafe in Soho and take it from there.

Hearing some female laughter in the background I later decided that Gio was tied up and couldn't say very much. Later that evening when I suspected he'd be in, and his guest gone, he'd logged into yahoo messenger, but I had logged in invisibly on purpose. I took my laptop with me to make sure he'd be at home and thought I'd give good old Gio a surprise, pleasant or unpleasant as the case may be, by showing up and bringing over a bottle of Cold Duck (I was a drinker then, I no longer drink.) We had that kind of relationship that allowed us to surprise the other and later offer apologies for having done so.

When I arrived I was greeted by Enrique, an engineer friend of Gio's whom I had only heard about. The room was full of about a dozen people. A motley crew of men, two women, Latinos and others. The music seemed to stop when I walked in which I thought odd since from outside the door it sounded like all were having a lot of fun.

Except for Enrique and Abdul most of the other guests were strangely distant and even impolite. I was thankful for at least two friendly people at this event. It was a going-away party for the two ladies, I think, who were overdressed it seemed to me.

The evening got more and more complicated and icy until I was subjected--much to my surprise--to some particularly offensive comments from one of the ladies, the blond. I suspected that--based on that type of comment--she was no lady whatsoever. At least not the kind of decent and cultured woman that I was used to when we entertained at home.

After she'd had one too many drinks she leaned up to me while I was distracted with my first drink and to my total shock subjected me to an invasive and improper physical gesture which caused the drink to explode from my hands and onto the tile floor. So humiliated was I in front of the other lady, my friend Gio and others that I reacted almost impulsively and slapped the woman--evidently too hard as it caused a tooth and some blood to jump out of her mouth and into a guest's drink.

Of course, I was aghast at my behavior and apologized to her, my friend and everyone present. Gio quickly ushered me into the bedroom as Ms. Darling, it turned out her name was, was given first aid by Miss Violet, the other lady present.

Once in his bedroom I apologized again, and Gio explained Ms. Darling's actions and her particular situation. He said not to worry too much about her teeth as they had been falling into her food, etc., and needed the services of a good dentist and soon. The other bit of information he shared with me about her, stunned me a bit more and I quickly had to ask Gio to get me another drink and some Valium if he still had some. He complied with both requests, but then we both realized how unwise that combination was, after the fact.

Once downstairs I was ready to exit as quickly as possible when a new voice jumped in front of the door and said, "not so quick, buster." He had been told about how I had knocked out Ms. Darling's tooth. Evidently he had not been told what precipitated the slap and I could tell his temper was rising with every passing minute. To my surprise Gio and no one else came to my rescue as the man started to poke me with his finger and lectured me about proper behavior at parties. It seemed others knew what his temper was like and tried to talk him out of whatever he was planning. All to no avail as he now had started cursing at me and rolling up his sleeves.

I had no idea that a surprise visit to my friend Gio would turn out this way and I had to think quickly as to flee or fight. I only saw the fire escape as an option, but wasn't sure if I could distract him long enough to try to make it out the window and onto the roof or downward to the ground. Sensing that this altercation would end badly for all concerned to my surprise Ms. Darling threw herself between us, wrenched us apart with her white cocktail dress now marred with her own blood and shouted at him, as the anonymous friend was almost in another dimension by now, that it was her fault and that she got what she had coming to her. I apologized to her again and she said not to even mention it again.

Fortunately Mr. No-Name backed down and I was able to make a normal exit out of the apartment. Hopefully, never to return again.

Disclaimer: Incidentally, one of the two photos in this post is of Ms. Ultra Violet who in her prime was a Warholian superstar. I actually met her when I and fellow choir members, sang on one track of her only record album. I have never had the privilege to be in a modern recording studio again. I had one chance to pick up the album in question 20 years ago in an East Village used-record shop but had no money on me at the time.

The other photo is of a lady who really did have a tooth that fell into her food as she waited on tables when not performing in her art film events. I am still delighted that I had my brief brush with an avant-garde film-set "Factory Girl" at such a young age.

Authorial privilege enabled me to fuse together strands of two personal first-hand experiences with elements of a decades-old plot from an off-Broadway play. Kudos to Mart Crowley for his ground-breaking play.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Agnostic and Christian: Both Seek Truth

It is healthier in the long run for a Christian to flirt with agnosticism as God, in His infinite love, permits. I will tell you why that is.

Our life may only be lived once. Unlike Hindus we don't get other lives to try again. Still, we better be very sure that we are Christians beyond a shadow of a doubt otherwise we will have lived a sometimes incomplete life all for nothing.

Agnostics believe there is no one Book that contains all the truth you need. Christians believe the Bible has all the truly big answers. Can they both be right?

Could a synthesis of both be valid or simly an intellectual exercise?

Could one be an agnostic who flirts with Christianity's Bible occasionally as he might flirt with the holy books of Hindus, Muslims or the Tao revered by Buddhists?

Could a Christian attempt to find valuable insights in these centuries-old writings, as well. Where would he or she draw the line? A preference for the Bible would need to take center stage otherwise the truth-seeking Agnostic would be a more honest approach to one's life and those we interact with.

Whichever camp you choose to join I wish you a happy and productive life. Peace I leave with you.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

This Changes Everything about Observable Reality

Observable truth about the extent or the nature of the universe will change and be incorrect with what we know now to be true sometime in the distant future. For a believer in God this, necessarily, has ramifications.

If at some distant point in the future scientists will see only pure blackness surrounding our little local group of galaxies, including the Milky Way galaxy. Might not scientists now be missing important, once observable, information about the universe that is forever lost because of its distance in space and time? That information would have long expanded away from our most powerful telescopes. Perhaps other once-observable realities, or forces, that may still be out there, but are beyond our most sensitive and powerful instruments to detect, are forever gone to us. We can never know what has passed us by because we live at this point in time, and on this particular galaxy.

One solution would be if our descendants could build a 99.9 percent fast-as-light space craft, or even a theoretically faster star craft that would travel at the same speed as the expanding universe which is moving away from us at faster-than-light sped. (See article below for this faster-than-light fact.) However, I'm not sure we could travel that far in our 80 years of life, or that our descendants on-board would ever reach the edges of the myriad galaxies we can easily see now, or that our virtual robotic substitutes would ever reach the galaxies that are now observable to humanity.

Another part of the problem would be that our original future culture back home (the one that sent us in search of these distant galaxies) would have ceased to exist or would have experienced billions of our real-time years and so we could never communicate this important reality to them. We would only be able to share the existence of formerly-invisible galaxies to those on-board with us. We could use this on-board remnant of humanity to become humanity as we will know it someday with some planning if we travel to that distant point in space and time via a Macrolife type of craft and engineered habitat (See the Dandridge Cole post about the real possibility of Macrolife in Macrolife, Space Colonization & Adventist Futurism)

You will always have those who would think such missing information that was once observable from Earth, as irrelevant to their world. Such an attitude on the part of our recent ancestors would,  no doubt, have stuck us in the industrial age for centuries since that age possessed enough comforts and wonders for society to function satisfactorily, though not as efficiently as post-industrial culture now functions.

Would God ever allow or permit, though not condone--as conservative Christians are wont to say--such a cataclysmic state to ever occur to the far future inhabitants of planet Earth?  Would He let humanity not see scientifically-observable facts that their ancestors, aka our present generation, took for granted, i.e., that the universe consists of more than our immediate galactic cluster?

Have these changes in perceptual realities already taken place and we, of course, have no way of knowing what we could have known had we been on Earth millions or billions of years ago. If not on Earth, than at least on one of the worlds within our galactic cluster?
Please see:

Friday, January 14, 2011

Coming to terms with Science and Faith

Why did God permit man to appear 200,000 years ago in Sub-Saharan Africa? Creating humankind on day six of Creation week is simpler, perfect and requires less faith than crediting impersonal natural selection for the personable being that is man (generic term intended.)

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

The Meaning of Everything

Galileo helped further the truth that the Earth revolves around the sun and not the sun around the Earth. Though it caused havoc for both Galileo and society we are better off with the knowledge.

Recently I'm reading more about M-Theory which suggests quite strongly that the universe is not just one but an infinite number. We live, M-Theory suggests, not in a Universe but as part of a Multiverse. The ramifications of M-Theory are too many to outline briefly but let me share some thoughts about how M-Theory relates to those who believe in One God.

With an infinite number of universes all created by one God how can we insist that ours is the only sinful world. What if in at least one percent of the infinite number of universes of the multiverse there was one world that also contains sinful beings in need of redemption. One percent of an infinite number is of course an infinite number, as well.

Where am I going with all this? Some will decide that the implications of this line of reasoning lead to agnosticism. Others will catalog it along with the centuries-old discovery that the sun does not revolve around the Earth. World culture survived such monumental discoveries. People of faith eventually followed suit. If both survived such discoveries once it will, no doubt, happen again.

God bless us, his children, who live on an even tinnier speck in one world among the infinite number of worlds of the Multiverse.

By the way, "Hyperspace" (the book that appears in the photo above) was written by Michio Kaku, a respected scientist and a favorite author, and is not science fiction. It is about cosmology, quantum physics, etc.

Consult also the following serious work by another favorite author:  “The Hidden Reality: Parallel Universes and the Deep Laws of the Cosmos” by Brian Greene, a professor of physics and mathematics at Columbia.

Thank you.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Evolution's Eons or God's Creative Power and Their Challenges

Science provides a fossil record that most educated individuals accept easily as the logical explanation of how we all got here. It does not, nor can it, purport to explain why we are here.

Religion (Judeo-Christian-Muslim) presents God or Allah as the all-powerful Being who spoke worlds into existence in a flash. It does not attempt to explain the how, but it pretty much delves into why we are here. We are here to treat each other the way we ourselves would like others to treat us. The Bible also tell us that a supernatural being, God, created humanity and all we see out of love for us and out of His desire to interact with his special creation.

A few years ago a renowned cosmologist complained that the more he understood the apparent nature of the cosmos the more he was baffled by the pointlessness of all this immensity. What is the point of all of cosmic reality coming into being eons ago and slipping into final entropy or death eons from now? If no intelligent being, other than pure chance, caused such variety of life--animate and inanimate--to exist, why all the bother? Now some would tell you, and some optimistic scientists will also point out, that regardless of why we are here, it's a good thing that we are to marvel and study this phenomenon called life. Better to have lived and then died, but before doing so, you have 70 plus years to enjoy other living things and the wonders of the universe, than never to have known such pleasant experiences. Of course, life is not always good for everyone so there's an element of heredity or hard work or luck that sometimes maximizes ones chances of living the proverbial good life.

Some try to solve this enigmatic disharmony between the What For of humanistic evolution and the How of God's creative acts by positing that God works through theistic evolution to bring about his crowning creation, humankind, to enjoy their lives for His as well as their benefit. Some find unacceptable problems with this idea since it would mean that God was the author of death in that he permitted millions of living things, and pre-Homo Sapiens ancestors, to live all for the purpose of bringing about his special creation: Homo Sapiens (Man the Thinker.)

Also difficult to justify into theistic evolution is if there was no Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, then there was no Original Ain, and Christ Jesus did not have to die for fallen humanity. Now some would say that each man and woman decides early in life whether to live an altruistic life or to live a life of selfishness. In that case humans need a supernatural Being to grant them favor (grace) to chose the former and not the latter. Since each person has an innate choice in early childhood to chose to do the right thing or to do the bad thing the proverbial Fall comes to each person at some point in their early existence. With that possibility, then all of us needs a supernatural Savior to make it possible to reach the very best ethical goals that we can. No one, not even a small child, is ever morally developed, or sinless, in  biblical terminology. All fall away from desirable ethical or behavioristic perfection as soon as intelligence is sufficient to produce either positive or negative choices.

In the final analysis, we are either here as the result of cold, calculating evolution and natural selection and we need to make the best of it and enjoy our universe and each other while the human race is still around to do so.

Or we chose to believe that a wonderful Being, light years beyond our powers of imagination, created us, wants to interact with us, and will return for us to rescue us from a dying planet.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

We Create Our Own Reality. Really.

If you have wandered here it is because something drew you here. You wanted to access something different, something wonderful that has the potential to enhance your life in ways that will delight you. Law of attraction, positive living and other popular phrases have brought you to this point in time.

Yes, there is an element of self-fulfilling prophecy or statements that are available to all of us. For example, "I will have a great day" as opposed to "This will be a lackluster day." "A winner never quits" as opposed to "I can't seem to get it right." And finally, "Maximize your day" is preferable to "This day has little potential." I don't know about you, but there is more positive energy and life-giving power in the more agreeable of each set of statements.

Having said that, the life-enhancing effect of what you say to yourself and to others is vital to the quality of life that we create. The popular lyric "I will survive" has given many women and men a push when things didn't go as they had planned.

Conversely, the opposite side of the coin is that less-than-perfect statements made to yourself or to others have negative potential that has to be witnessed to validate the downward spiral of its damaging causative agent, i.e., negative words. A  friend told me 30 years ago that he had memories of his mother frequently telling him that he was a "bad boy." He started to believe his dear mother for whom he felt some affection and gradually became the bad boy she told him to be by her repeated statement. That bad boy is now a father and grandfather and is a useful member of society, but he had to shake his "bad boy persona" that was encouraged by his mother's words.

If you have landed here looking for a more traditional and spiritual element here's the personal affirmation I practice daily:

I believe God is forgiving me and healing me. [1] I also believe God is purifying me from all imperfections.[2] In Christ Jesus' name. Amen.

  1. Psalm 103
  2. 1 John 1:9

Monday, January 3, 2011

Perfect Sex, Valium-laced Gazpacho and a Dose of Compassion

Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown may well be the only film of Pedro Almodovar's which is good for most, not all, Christians. It is a comic and mad-cap film a la Some Like It Hot and Breakfast at Tiffany's. It is currently on Broadway for a limited run although it has a stellar cast which includes Patti Lupone and Justin Guarini, among others.

Mr. Almodovar has been given two Oscars, or Academy Awards, by the Academy of Motion Pictures for All About My Mother (best foreign film) and Talk to Her (best original screenplay in which we competed and beat original screenplays in English.)
Fox News Latino reports that the show will close tomorrow:

Producers announced Tuesday that the show will end on Jan. 2., although it was originally scheduled to close Jan. 23. The new date means the musical will end its run after 30 previews and 69 performances. It opened Nov. 4.

The show, faithful to Almodóvar's 1988 movie both in its narrative and bold, visual style, starred Patti LuPone, Brian Stokes Mitchell and Sherie Rene Scott.

Nevertheless, the good news is that the original film, on which this frothy and very humane look at women in various states of mental and romantic disarray is based on, will live on forever.

However, this film is not the only movie containing elements of "things that are lovely, praiseworthy and true" as Paul of Tarsus recommended that Christians think on things that possessed these qualities.

Here is a list I've compiled, for Almodvar fans, whether Christian or not. It should be pointed out, in the sake of fairness to Mr. Almodovar, that he is a self-avowed atheist, although he would be pleased, I would imagine, that even Christians care enough about his films to consider which ones are more suitable for their particular lifestyle.

Ultra conservative Christian: No Almodovar film is acceptable.

Moderately conservative Christian: Women on the Verge, etc., and Volver.

Mainstream Christian: All of the above and add the following: Broken Embraces, Talk to Her, The Flower of My Secret

Progressive Christian: All of the above and add the flowing: Bad Education, All about My Mother, Live Flesh, High Heels, Kika, Tie Me Up Tie Me Down, Law of Desire, What Have I Done to Deserve This, Dark Habits and Labyrinth of Passion

The above list is alomost complete. It does not include Almodovar's earliest film ". . . y Otras Chicas del Monton" and it does not, nor can it, Matador. It is, perhaps, the most objectionable film for a Christian because of its amoral view of murder and romantic suicides. I have seen it only one time and that is one time too many. Approach it at your own risk. It may harm you in unexpected ways. Unless, of course, Almodovar intended a modern morality tale, in which case the film went over my head. There are serious academics who deconstruct Almodovar's films full-time. Oh to have such a career of viewing and analyzing Pedro Almodovar's films "todo el santo dia" (all the livelong day.)

Now for the answer to the question in the Facebook teaser related to this post. I had asked "Who is Pedro Almodovar and What Is His Rare Cinematic Accomplishment?" Mr. Almodovar, in addition to having received two Academy Awards has the rarest of cinematic abilities. His ability is so seamless that you don't realize it half the time.

Starting with his early film, Labyrinth of Passion (where he makes accidental incest humorous--yes, humorous--due to a Pharmacist's bungling of a kindly father's prescription,) continuing through Kika where you have to laugh though you know you shouldn't when an escaped convict who is an ex-porn star and mentally retarded finds poor Kika relaxing in mid-afternoon and starts to rape her, though he is cavalier about it, as much as a rapist could be in such a situation, and ending with All About My Mother (his first academy  award success) and its pre-op transgender ladies of the night playing patty-cake hand games while the cars steam past them oblivious to the seriousness of the Field where they come to work nightly.

In these and other films Almodovar has the ability to cushion the shock value of what would, in other hands, be very poor taste. Through Almodovar's eyes the victims are more victors than sufferers and the seedy seems more familiar and understandable than it would appear in another director's hands. Which is to say, Almodovar finds humanity, compassion and humor where ordinarily others see only inhumanity, intolerance and sadness. This gift of his makes almost all of his movies worth watching except the one or two early films, and for some tastes, his controversial Bad Education which is based on his childhood, in part.

Whether or not you are a Christian do yourself a favor and see at least one of Pedro Almodovar's films this year. And it will be a good year.

For a Christian spin on Almodovar films please consult the all original stories of a sister blog: Christians on the Verge of a Cosmic Meltdown. Please click on the link of same title at the top of the page. The blog in question has both English and Spanish posts. Please use Google translator to get a rough idea of what the Spanish-only posts say. I hope you enjoy them as much as I enjoyed creating them

If you are curious why I am so passionate about Almodovar's films "despues te lo cuento" (I'll tell you about it later.)