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Sunday, December 16, 2012

An Inconvenient Monkey Wrench

At a time when the bulk of his "work" laid behind him, Albert Einstein, perhaps the most scientific, studied, and brilliant of all scientists, was asked about Intelligent Design. "I see a pattern but my imagination cannot picture the maker of the pattern... we all dance to a mysterious tune, intoned in the distance by an invisible piper." 

About once a year this outdoor loving writer and photographer feels the need to express his thoughts on The Accidental Cosmos. I got that off my chest only a couple of weeks ago in, Thoughts big and small at the alter of East Temple, alluding to my belief that there is likely "something" out there smarter than us. It doesn't mean that I am a "creationist." It doesn't mean that I totally discount Darwin's "On the Origin of Species," any more than I count Biblical versions of reality without a gunny sack of salt nearby. So why am I bringing this up again, already? 

Let's just say it was one of those magical days in the field... my "laboratory" of Life... and the coincidental arrival of a Christmas present, "Deep Truth," by Gregg Braden, from my son, Caleb... for whom blind acceptance of things like Darwin's 150 year old theory, or, for that matter, the subject of Jesus's miracles, is but a gymnasium for mental exercise. It's all subject to further study and revision, after all, because one, we weren't there to witness the origin of "man" nor Jesus's miracles, and two, in the light of new science, the possibility that some things we were taught in school, be it "Sunday," or college, just might not be completely true anymore. I am proud that "skepticism" doesn't fall far from the "tree."

In "Deep Truth," Mr Braden reveals mounting evidence that "man," as we know him today, is much older than previously thought, and that he just might not have "evolved" as other species did/do from "predecessors." When it comes to "man," one of the "elephants still in the room" is that the missing link(s) are still missing! Darwin himself here: "Why do we not see these linking forms all around us? Why is not every geological formation charged with such links? We meet with no such evidence, and this the most obvious  and forcible of the many objections which may be urged against my theory." And 150 years later, all-the-while anthropologists and geologists... digging, digging, digging, from the Leakey's to James Hutton to scores of college students and volunteers... and no connecting links from Neanderthal to Man.

Every day I am bombarded with the beauty of environmental perfection and harmony in my outdoor "laboratory." It's impossible for me to not wonder, to not question and think about this paragon of paragons... Mother Earth. It was surreal skies and clouds and mountains that engaged the gears of wondering-while-wandering on a hike above Lovely Ouray yesterday, that and Deep Truths in Gregg Braden's book. I highly recommend this book to those who aren't so arrogant as to claim they know how it all came down, those open to new science since 2003... that has the brightest scientific minds out there saying Darwin's model does not fit when it comes to "man." Those with inner skeptics, who giggle and frolic like Snoopy Dog when "absolutes" are rendered impotent in the face of new discoveries.

Have a great sabbath. Mark :))

Lovely Ouray, resting in the cradle of her Mountain Mama...


  1. What we have learned is two things.
    We know much less than we thought we did... and we are part of a greater whole.

    It's like Crocodile Dundee talking about the flea on the dog...

    Our vision is too limited to see beyond our own tiny lil' place in the Universe...

    I'd advise that rather than trying to see where we have no ability to see, we concentrate on those things we can see and touch and feel... and juuuuuuust maybe... a window will open...

  2. CowBoy Brian,
    Good CowBoy philosophizing...
    Wandrin Lloyd mentions something to that effect, too, to not worry about the why and how and just enjoy.
    But you know, I've got this "mechanical obsession." I've been taking things apart ever since I was eight years old, just to see how they work. I have a feeling this Intelligent Design thing is something I'll never get to the bottom of though :((
    Curious George Mark

  3. Sure you will... You just won't be able to tell any of us about it ;)

  4. I love your blog, and so I'm glad to hear that you are not a creationist, although you are using one of their favorite (and least persuasive to me) techniques of quoting Darwin as if the theory that bears his name has not been developed immensely in the last 150 years.

    You probably know the old joke that when a scientist finds a missing link, or transitional form the creationist just responds, "now instead of one gap in the fossil record, there are two"!
    So even if tomorrow a missing link was found, it would not convince many "skeptics".

    but, with respect, I think you are seriously confused when you say that there are no missing links from Neanderthal to Man! The Neanderthal is now considered not to be a direct ancestor of modern man, but a cousin, with a common ancestor. Although there is (genetic, DNA) evidence of considerable in-breeding between (the probable nearest ancestor) Cro-Magnon and Neanderthal.

    The truth is is that with all the digging, hundreds, no thousands, of fossil specimens of man and his immediate ancestors have been unearthed. This doesn't disprove the idea that modern man is special in some way - minds don't leave fossils, let alone souls, or spirits! So you might still be right in thinking that we humans are somehow qualitatively different.

    From reading your blog for a while I am pretty sure that you are not averse to finding out something that might contradict and cause you to change your beliefs, so I recommend that you read this article: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neanderthal

    Not that I think Wikipedia is the most reliable and definitive source, but it is a starting point.

    Brilliant pictures, BTW.

  5. Mark, Checking out the "best selling author and visionary scientist" (from a cover blurb) and the cover blurbs of his books, I am highly skeptical of deep truths in this book. The guy is selling books and he has found an audience to buy them to support their beliefs. And make lots of money.

    For an excellent and easily read book on evolution, check out Dawkins' "The Greatest Show on Earth: The Evidence For Evolution."

  6. Even though I disagree with you 100% and that makes me one of the arrogant ones, I still love your photographic talents and your ability to make the world so alive and so beautiful in your pictures. They have definitely helped me appreciate more fully this beautiful earth on which we live.

  7. After reading this post today, Mark, he appropriate word du jour would seem to be "agnosticism".

    Chris H

  8. well... I'll believe in the possibility of the absence of "The Boss"... if somebody can show me how you jump start a lump of minerals and chemicals into self aware LIFE... or on the day somebody can give me the chemical recipe to mix up an Einstein... or a Beethoven... or hell while we're at it... a Soul...

    The ridicule of "Creation" is where "Scientists" lose credibility. Since they don't know either, it's disingenuous to ridicule someone else's belief.

    Creationism is a purely context based belief system. The poetic stories of creation are simply the efforts of ancient superstitious, uneducated men to put things that they can't truly comprehend into some sort of framework that they could. In the intervening eons... it is fairly obvious that man has truly learned very little... if anything.

    Without The Boss... the events of the past few days become meaningless. With no reason for sorrow.

    There's simply no accidental, big bang theory that can explain away, with a nuclear powered electro-chemical blueprint; music... or intelligence... morality... fear, neurosis, memory, dreams, learning... not if all we are is simply a swirling mass of electro-chemically animated space dust coming from nothing and going nowhere.

    But... that's just my belief...

    Like the man said... "Don't know where I'm goin' but there's no use bein' late..." ;)

  9. Brian, you've heard of the "argument from ignorance" fallacy, right? Aka "argument from personal incredulity".
    Perfect examples above, disappointing...

    See http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Argument_from_ignorance

  10. Yup... Sorry to disappoint. That's what I'm known for, my ignorance. But rather than list my many failings, answer the question. Show me how you can slam two rocks together seasoned with a bit of cosmic dust... And produce consciousness. Until you can do that, I'd suggest that people contain their contempt for the efforts of others to understand this life.

  11. Deep thoughts Mark and everyone, and things I've found myslef questioning from time to time. Perhaps it's folly of me but I'm too busy enjoying what [i]was[/i] created, what [i]is[/i] here to get overly bogged down by the why. Sure, I've stared out in wonderment on top of Imogene Pass, or at the multitude of Mark's pictures. Those moments do give me pause to think, think about how there has to be something greater than at work. But whether one wishes to call that greater than "God" or "science" is fine by me. I'm a live and let live type of guy and perhaps it's a character flaw that I don't get too caught up in the details but 99% of the time I'm too happy enjoying the fact that we are here to experience life and all that it brings. Because what a "laboratory" is truly is!

    Mark: Thanks for extending the offer, we hope to be house hunting on the Front Range come July-August and we can't be in the state without visiting the San Juans. If all else fails we'll be out for the Imogene Pass Run in Sept.

  12. Hold your horses, Brian! Contempt? Where do you get that from?

    Myself, I'm happy to admit that I'm as ignorant as anybody about how life began, and most other things too. I have only respect for those who think deeply about life rather that just take whatever others feed them - even if I happen to disagree with their conclusions.

    The fallacy referred to is not a dig at your level of knowledge or intelligence, or anything else. Its pointing out that it is a fallacy to jump to a conclusion along the lines of "I don't know how it could have happened as a result of X, I can't even imagine how it could happen because of X, and I don't know of anybody who does know, so therefore (and this is the fallacy bit) I'm going to assume it had to happen because of Y."

    Or to put it another way, its a fallacy to say that until anybody who happens to disagree with me can tell me immediately, and in detail, how something could come about because of X, I'm going to assume that I am perfectly justified in believing that it couldn't possibly happen that way, and must have happened in some completely different way. Maybe that not what you are saying, although it seems that way to me, but If it is, then its a fallacy, and yes, sorry, its disappointing if you can't see that.

  13. Science requires repeatable, demonstrable,(sp?) fact.

    Faith requires... Well... Faith! Intangible, unprovable... Faith. It is something deep inside that whispers to a man's spirit. It is Something scientists, all caught up in human ego can not fathom. If someone hears voices, the scientist claims psychosis and mental defect. ;)

    If you relook at my words you will see faith, but also the open mind that says; "Prove my Faith wrong, I am listening."

    As for contempt, it is carried in the careless use of vocabulary and tone. References by non-believers to Faith as being "ignorance" and other such denigrating terms, rather than "an opposing view" can only be percieved as derogatory,

    Since No One knows, and never will in this life, we must make our conclusions and judgements based on incomplete facts. That is not ignorance or fallacy, it is simply all we have, so we do the best we can.

    I'll make my judgements based on what I see in the world I have walked through for many years, the intuition I have learned (the hard way) to trust... And my Faith.

  14. Brian blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah intuition? Hahahahahahahahahahahahahaha!

  15. Brian, you may have your contempt detector tuned a mite high.

    You claim ignorance, yet you also claim to know through faith and intuition that everybody else is equally ignorant, and always will be. A pretty strong claim. Seems like a fallacy to me.

    Oh well, I won't belabour the point any further. Cheers

  16. Susan here. Watching the hummingbird and gila woodpecker fight over the hummingbird feeder we put out. The woodpecker attempted numerous angles while hanging off of the thin palo verde 'branch'. It finally gave up. Yea. The tiny underdog wins. Deep thoughts.

  17. Oh Wiseone Susan,
    You break tension in room :))

  18. Wiseone Susan here. I also break wind after mucho baked beans :))

  19. I have enjoyed the comments as much as the post itself. Good, bad, right, or wrong, these ideas are fun to wrestle with. There is a new science that is challenging our previous models of understanding around man and his origins in the universe.

    For those looking to dive down the rabbit hole a bit further I would recommend David Wilcock's The Source Field Investigations. It is a fantastic, and well supported, case for these "new ideas and models of thinking." As Wilcock has stated in his previous work, "we are coming to a new understanding, a science of spirituality." -Caleb


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