Friday, October 29, 2010

Valentina Lisitsa - Chopin's Revolutionary

There isn't a better pianist alive than Valentina Lisitsa. She is today's Liszt. She truly understands Chopin, such passion. I can only watch in awe. I plan to see her Baltimore performance in February. It would be such an honor.

And here is Rachmaninoff's Prelude in G Minor, Op. 23. INCREDIBLE

Rachmaninoff Etude Op. 39 No. 6 "Little Red Riding Hood" - How does she do it?

Arrival Of Man and Chromosome Two

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Is Satan A Catholic?

Bridegroom Of Blood

The Bible's second book called Exodus is the story of Moses and how he led his people out of Egypt. Moses was found by Pharoah's daughter in a river and she took him as her own while conveniently finding Moses's real mother who nursed him. Moses grew up in the house of Pharoah, but he knew he was a Hebrew and felt this need to save them. He saw an Egyptian beating a Hebrew and Moses killed the Egyptian. Later he saw two Hebrews fighting and told them to stop. One of them said "Who made you ruler over us? Are you going to kill me like you did the Egyptian?". This freaked him out so he ran away to live in Midian.

Times passes. He gets married to Zipporah. Then one day he was tending his father-in-law's (Jethro) flock. He sees a bush burning and then God calls out to him from the bush. God lets Moses in on His plan that He will use him to lead his people out of Egypt. Moses is reluctant. So God gives Moses some magical tricks. First trick is He tells Moses to throw down his staff and in doing so it turns into a snake which scares Moses, but God tells him to pick it up by the tail and it turns back to a staff. Second trick is God tells him to put his hand inside his cloak and then pull it out. His hand now is gross, it looks like leprosy. He tells Moses to put it back in and pull it out. All better. Third trick is to take some water from the Nile and pour it on dry ground. It will turn to blood. Moses may be impressed but he still is worried because he has some speech impediment. So God agrees to use Aaron as Moses' mouthpiece.

God spent a lot of time preparing Moses for His divine plan and God surely must know the future. Seems God would be real good at having all his ducks in a row.

Moses tells his father-in-law he needs to go back to Egypt. Jethro (Bodeen?) wishes him well. God again speaks to Moses and said "Everyone is dead who would harm you, go back to Egypt and when you get there do all the great tricks. And even though I have given you all these neat tricks to impress Pharaoh he will not believe you because I, God Jehovah, have harden his heart". Oy! What a game. God even up front tells Moses to threaten Pharoah in that God will kill Pharoah's own firstborn son because he will not let God's first born child, Israel, go. So, Moses with family and friends in tow sets out for Egypt. Appears the divine plan is now in play.

Immediately without explanation this is the next text:

Exodus 4:24-26
At a lodging place on the way, the LORD met [Moses] and was about to kill him. But Zipporah took a flint knife, cut off her son’s foreskin and touched [Moses’] feet with it. “Surely you are a bridegroom of blood to me,” she said. So the LORD let him alone. (At that time she said “bridegroom of blood,” referring to circumcision.)

WHAT??? That is the entire story. The next text is Moses meeting his brother Aaron along the way and them kissing each other.

So, God didn't see that coming until Moses left? God blabs on and on and gives Moses all these tricks and His great divine plan to free His people. Was this an after-thought? Was God rehearsing in his mind all the stuff He meant to tell Moses and then went "Shit, I forgot about the circumcision thing" and rushed down to kill Moses? Wouldn't a friendly reminder at the burning bush have been sufficient? Bizarre. Apparently this God isn't all-knowing and a tad forgetful and instead of being pissed at Himself he takes it out on His dopey creation. Typical !

Anyway I think it would make a great band name. Ladies and Gentleman, give a great round of applause for the "Bridegroom Of Blood". Crowd roars "Yeahhh!!!!"

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Telling The Truth is Apostasy For Jehovah Witnesses

An anointed Jehovah Witness of 50 years was called before the church elders who charged him with apostasy in July 2005. He secretly recorded the meeting even at one point while he was out of the room.

Rick Ferin likens himself to the prophet Ezekiel crying against the church. He was in the anointed class and in fact that is their role to expose evil. His crime was he spoke the truth about sins of the church. He and his wife were charged with apostasy and kicked out of the church. You can listen to the Judicial Committee and Appeal Hearings. It is quite lengthy, perhaps 4-5 hours, but it is interesting to hear the inner workings of the committee. They clearly state that he is telling the truth, but that is his apostasy. The dirty laundry is never to be brought to light. He is accused of causing discord. It is both sad and funny to listen to them hash this out and they keep looking for Bible text to justify their condemnation. He is condemned they are just trying to figure out how to justify it. They also say they need to keep their disfellowship positive. That he is given to right of appeal and if he repents they will welcome him back. Repent? This means to lie about what you see. Shut up and protect. They think they have a case against him because he was seen with the "heretical" upper room ministries. But they even admit it is a straw man and make vain attempts to place the charge against him. It is interesting how they talk in low-tones when Rick is out of the room.

The truth he spoke about the church.

Sin 1: The Watch Tower had over 4000 references stating that the U.N. is of the devil. Yet, the church secretly supported it for a decade being a non-governmental organization, an NGO and under cover of night withdrew. The elders don't disagree with him.

Sin 2: Mr. Ferin says there is widespread pedophilia in the church. Jehovah Witness' protect their own, just like the Catholics. The elders don't deny this either. Mr. Ferin states there are about 23,000 cases. This is a pedophile paradise.

Sin 3: He accuses the Watch Tower of promoting hate crimes against evil doers. The elders don't clearly say this isn't true.

The church told the Ferin's children and grandchildren not to speak to their apostate father and mother. Even though one daughter only lives 2 miles away she avoids them. When she saw her mother in the grocery store she walked away in the other direction.

Odd things I heard on this audio. There are three classes of Jehovah Witnesses. The anointed, the great cloud and the conscientious class. The anointed are under the new covenant and only the New Testament applies. The great cloud is most members and only the Old Testament applies. The conscientious class is about 2.5 million people who are terrified to speak against the church because the church will separate them and they can lose family and friends.

What is theocratic warfare? This Witness policy is somewhat secret in the church stating that it is ok to lie if doing so would promote Jehovah's kingdom. The story of Rahab in the Bible is used to justify this policy.

The elders identified themselves as messengers of God and annointed by the slave.

The text they used to condemn Rick & his wife

Romans 16:17-18
I urge you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and put obstacles in your way that are contrary to the teaching you have learned. Keep away from them. For such people are not serving our Lord Christ, but their own appetites. By smooth talk and flattery they deceive the minds of naive people.

Titus 3:9-11
But avoid foolish controversies and genealogies and arguments and quarrels about the law, because these are unprofitable and useless. Warn a divisive person once, and then warn him a second time. After that, have nothing to do with him. You may be sure that such a man is warped and sinful; he is self-condemned.

2 Timothy 2:16, 18
Avoid godless chatter, because those who indulge in it will become more and more ungodly. Their teaching will spread like gangrene. Among them are Hymenaeus and Philetus, who have wandered away from the truth. (NB: the elders stop here and don't finish the text by choice, because they are not taking it literally) They say that the resurrection has already taken place, and they destroy the faith of some.

Mr. Ferin and the elders have a food fight with Bible text. It is so amusing, shows how foolish it is and also how they can twist it to mean what they want.

I give a lot of credit to Mr. Ferin for standing up within the church. Churches are far more divided than it appears on the outside. Why wouldn't there be over 10,000 Christian denominations. This division is good news and bad news. The good news is it shows the human spirit is not entirely crushed but the bad news it mostly is. Let's talk about how God has to exists so humans can have morals. LOL.

More about the hidden world of the Watch Tower

Friday, October 22, 2010

Russian Orthodox child abuse at convent

La Campanella

Franz Liszt (October 22, 1811 – July 31, 1886) was a Hungarian composer, virtuoso pianist and teacher. Liszt became renowned throughout Europe during the 19th century for his great skill as a performer. He was said by his contemporaries to have been the most technically advanced pianist of his age and perhaps the greatest pianist of all time. He was also an important and influential composer, a notable piano teacher, a conductor who contributed significantly to the modern development of the art, and a benefactor to other composers and performers, notably Richard Wagner, Hector Berlioz, Camille Saint-SaĆ«ns, Edvard Grieg and Alexander Borodin.

Here Valentina Lisita plays Liszt's "La Campanella". She plays with great sensitivity and feel. Magnifico.

Some Beethoven for added measure

And one more Liszt

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Who Created God? Sophia

The Christian Church became the victors when the Roman Emperor Constantine became a convert (313 A.D.). Victors are the ones who write history. After his conversion he saw the church in complete disarray and divided each thinking they had the truth (like the Christian churches today). He got together a bunch of bishops who were like minded and they poured through the hundreds of sacred text and decided which ones were to be in the Bible. After they compiled their short list he condemned the others and made an edict that those "heretical" books be burned. Once such book is the Apocryphon of John, the secret revelation of John the apostle. The same author who supposedly wrote Revelation, the last book in our modern Bible. Irenaeus condemned this book in 185 AD, so this book was a very early manuscript. Fortunately some people buried these "heretical" books and they were discovered by modern archeologists.

John, the apostle, was being challenged by the Pharisees and it disturbed him. A morphing angel comes to him and pulls back the curtain on creation and reveals who Jehovah God is. John writes:

And when he (Jehovah) saw the creation which surrounds him, and the multitude of the angels around him which had come forth from him, he said to them, 'I am a jealous God, and there is no other God beside me.' But by announcing this he indicated to the angels who attended him that there exists another God. For if there were no other one, of whom would he be jealous?

Very interesting point. Then John proceeds to tell us about those other gods. Here is a summary.

Monad, the invisible One - above everything, more than a god, everything exist in him, unsearchable, unnameable, no one existed prior to him to give him a name.

Monad gave thought and she came forth, the first power, Barbelo, the womb of everything, virginal spirit. She requested forethought, indestructibility, truth and he consented.

Barbelo gave thought and Autogenes, the Christ, came forth. He was given authority and truth over everything.

Sophia of the Epinoia emanated from the Christ. Sophia conceived a thought without the consent or consideration of the above spirits. Her thought could not remain idle because of her invincible power and it came forth imperfect without her consort. She called him Yaltabaoth. He became arrogant and only knew his mother and not Monad, Barbelo, Autogenese (the Christ) or any other perfect god. He left his mother's side and created angels and told them 'I am God, and there is no other God besides me'. This grieved Sophia. Yaltabaoth even stole power from her.

Yaltabaoth, aka Jehovah, Elohim, the God of Abraham, Isaac, Ishmael, Jacob, Israel, Muhammad, the god we have been told about created Adam.

This would make a lot of sense. This god was a half-baked idea of Sophia. He is arrogant and imperfect. Sounds just like the God of the Bible. It explains somewhat why the Christ had to come down to fix some things. Because of Constantine we have lost a lot of sacred text which really could tell us a lot more about this time period and we would have a better picture of how these myths of Christ were developed. But am grateful that we live in a time where some parts of that have been revealed.

The infinite regression argument.
So to yank a fundies chain who say there has to be a God because a plane has a designer I can say but who created God? They say no one. He has always existed. I can now reply that is not true. According to the apostle John, God's mother is Sophia.

The Secret Revelation Of John

Monday, October 18, 2010

Faith To Be An Atheist?

There is this book I see fundies promoting with glee, "I Don't Have Enough Faith to Be an Atheist by Norman L. Geisler". I am told I cannot argue with them until I have read it. What kind of cop out is that? I am going to waste my hard earned dollars and time reading this book and then I will not find them again on the internet. That is bullshit. If the arguments were so convincing why can't they spell it out? Could it be the book simply reaffirmed what they thought and therefore was no challenge? They agreed with what they agreed with.

I did spend a little time looking at the comments on Amazon both pro and con. It is just the same tired old arguments for the existence of God. Been there, done that, got the t-shirt for it. How can a recent book suddenly present a new argument that philosophers spent centuries coming up with and debating? No, you aren't going to find anything new. After all religion is locked in time thousands of years ago and fundies don't allow for new ideas. They are dead thoughts. Nothing new. C.S. Lewis was recommended as heads and shoulders above this book and his arguments are pretty inconclusive. In the end it takes faith to believe something you cannot see or test. This new book is all just marketing and my dad can beat up your dad line of arguing. I will save my money and time.

But on the matter do I need faith to not believe in God? Well, do they need faith not to believe in the Easter Bunny or Santa Claus? Do they need faith to not believe in Zeus, Venus, Ra, Horus and countless other gods? It is another stupid twist in Christian thinking that they must push on us their belief system and accuse us of what they do. They have no hard evidence and have to have this leap of faith. We look at the evidence and say it is at best inconclusive. That is not faith even though they spin their propaganda that it is. A big yawn fest and it convinces the convinced.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Is It Human Or Ape - Christians decide

This chart is from Ken Miller's brilliant book "Only A Theory". I recommend this book highly. I am still bewildered that he is Christian and not sure how he compartmentalizes his belief in a primitive desert god and science. Maybe someday I will read or see a video of his explanation for that.

Anyway, the chart above really shows a significant fact of evolution - naming species is an arbitrary designation. Everything living thing is a missing link, a transitional being. The chart shows Christian "scientists" do not agree with each other on whether a fossil is human or ape. Evolution is gradual change over time. A child will look like its parent and will be the same species, but as you pick out fossils over longer periods of time you will see significant differences and be confused. Paleo-anthropologist who are not god-soaked have the same trouble deciding which species these fossils are as well. What more evidence do we need? It is quite true there is considerably more evidence and it only grows. The supernatural gets pushed back to fewer and fewer things we don't know. Each discovery pushes it back even farther and there is no one instance of it going the other way.

ER 1470 - Homo rudolfensis or Homo habilis - 1.9 million years old

ER 1813 - homo habilis 1.9 million years old

ER 3733 - Homo ergaster - 1.75 million years old

WT 15000 - Homo erectus or Homo ergaster (Turkana boy) - 1.6 million years old

Java - Homo Erectus - 1 million years old

Peking - Homo Erectus - 780k years old

Which ones are Homo Sapiens?

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Being A Vocal Atheist - Part 3

There is a Q&A session but it hard to hear the questions and they are mostly comments not questions. Should you still be interested in hearing them click here P.Z. Myers Q&A

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Being A Vocal Atheist - Part 1

P.Z. Myers is a biologist and professor at University of Minnesota. He is a brilliant speaker and a vocal atheist. He presented his rational for that at the Atheist Conference in Copenhagen this past June. He has a great website with many followers. It is called Pharyngula

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Happy Birthday John

John Lennon
9 October 1940 – 8 December 1980

The world is a better place because of him.

Imagine there's no heaven
It's easy if you try
No hell below us
Above us only sky
Imagine all the people
Living for today...

Imagine there's no countries
It isn't hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion too
Imagine all the people
Living life in peace...

You may say I'm a dreamer
But I'm not the only one
I hope someday you'll join us
And the world will be as one

Imagine no possessions
I wonder if you can
No need for greed or hunger
A brotherhood of man
Imagine all the people
Sharing all the world...

You may say I'm a dreamer
But I'm not the only one
I hope someday you'll join us
And the world will live as one

Friday, October 8, 2010

Listen To The Wind Blow

Polly Jean Harvey (born 9 October 1969) is an English musician and singer-songwriter. I love listening to the wind and feeling it. This song captures that for me.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Unicorns in the Bible

Job 39:9-10
Will the unicorn be willing to serve thee, or abide by thy crib? Canst thou bind the unicorn with his band in the furrow? or will he harrow the valleys after thee?

Psalms 92:10
But my horn shalt thou exalt like the horn of an unicorn: I shall be anointed with fresh oil.

Deuteronomy 33:17
His glory is like the firstling of his bullock, and his horns are like the horns of unicorns: with them he shall push the people together to the ends of the earth: and they are the ten thousands of Ephraim, and they are the thousands of Manasseh.

Psalms 29:6
He maketh them also to skip like a calf; Lebanon and Sirion like a young unicorn.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Lucy's ancestor the oldest A. Afarensis skeleton found

A common ancestor of Lucy has been found and has been nicknamed Kadanuumuu ("big man"). Kadanuumuu is 400,000 years older than Lucy. Lucy was our common ancestor which showed walking upright was the first evolutionary step for modern humans. Having longer legs and shorter arms meant we were separating ourselves from knuckle-walkers like other great apes. This reinforces that. The big brain came later. It is believed the earth's rise in temperature and drought drove these common ancestors from the shrinking rainforest trees and walking long distances to find food. Those who had longer legs could travel further and sustain themselves to pass on their genes. This ability has lead to mankind blanketing the earth.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Guess The Embyro

Darwin found that the similarities of embryos were powerful evidence for evolution. Centuries before people thought that the human embryo would look like a tiny baby. But it was discovered with the microscope they didn't look like that at all. Instead they found lots of similarities and progression with other living organisms. Every embryo had traits that looked like fish to start out with. Then for those that weren't fish they went through stages like amphibians. Then for those who weren't amphibians they shared traits like reptiles. And finally those that were not reptiles developed into mammals. It NEVER worked the other way. No fish had mammal traits. No amphibian had reptile traits. No reptile had mammal only traits. It is fascinating that the human embryo has a tail and slits that are related to gills on a fish embryo.

We now know that genes are what controls the whole process and all living things have the base elements. The process to create a fly is the same as the human. It reminds me of a computer with ones and zeros. It produces incredible variety. Genes are far more powerful and are the engine to nearly infinite variety and that is all we see around us. I will like to live 150 more years and see where science takes us unless religion kills us first.

Click on this Nova interactive website to guess which embryo is which and also see pictures of their development.