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Written By: Gary on May 29, 2004 No Comment
This is a classic Saturday Slant revisited. Take a trip down memory lane to your innocence. Do you remember your first kiss? Was it electric or static, mind blowing or no big deal? What was his or her name? How did the kiss come about?
My very first kiss? That’d be Lisa Dickenson in Kindergarten, but I don’t think that’s what was meant. I had a few kisses (AL, AE & BT) as I got older but I think my first real kisses (i.e. Make Out) was probably Marsha Mozarowski, she made me tingle all the way down to my toes. I’d have to guess they were initiated by her, at her house, in the basement where we used to play games (video and board). Don’t know what ever happened to her, it’s a pretty unique name and you don’t get anything if you Google her…

From Saturday Slant

Written By: Gary on May 22, 2004 2 Comments

This week a Vatican astronomer postulated about the existance of extra-terrestrial intelligence and what such existance might mean to not only human religion but to alien religion–and cross-pollination between the two. The astronomer, Guy Consolmagno, described three scenarios: “We find an intelligent civilization and there’s no way in creation we can communicate with them because they’re so alien to us; we find the intelligent civilization. We can communicate.” And: “We find a dozen civilizations out there, and a bunch of Jehovah’s witnesses go up and convert them all.” An anonymous person on Slashdot then took Consolmagno’s comments a step further: “As agents of free-will, the aliens are self-aware of good and evil, thus convertible to some terrestrial religion. The question of whether an alien civilization might convert Earth to their religion, or become a religion unto themselves, is left unconsidered [by Consolmagno].” I entreat you to explore what the Vatican’s astronomer did not. (From The Saturday Slant )
Extra-terrestrials and religion: what’s your Slant?

I find this particularly interesting, why? Because I was just reading about this a few hours ago. Here we go, back to Robert Sawyer (kind of a Canadian Michael Crichton). He ties a lot of this into his books. In particular a book called Calculating God. Here’s a few pages from the middle of the book and chapter one.

Here is the key part:

A bit of cutting (no pasting) from Chapter one to get the point. It starts with the archeologist answering a question from the alien…
book cover

“There’ve been five mass extinctions in Earth’s history that we know of. The first was at the end of the Ordovician, maybe 440 million years ago. The second was in the late Devonian, something like 365 million years ago. The third, and by far the largest, was at the end of the Permian, 225 million years ago.”

“There have also been five major mass extinctions in the history of my planet,” said Hollus [the alien]. “Our year is longer than yours, but if you express the dates in Earth years, they occurred at roughly 440 million, 365 million, 225 million, 210 million, and 65 million years ago.” I felt my jaw drop. “And,” continued Hollus, “Delta Pavonis II [the other planet we stopped by on the way here] has also experienced five mass extinctions. Their year is a little shorter than yours, but if you express the dates of the extinctions in Earth years, they also occurred at approximately 440, 365, 225, 210, and 65 million years ago.”

“That can’t be right,” I said. “We know that the extinctions here were related to local phenomena.” I shook my head. “I just don’t see how that can be.”     I shook my head in wonder. “I can’t think of any reason why evolutionary history should be similar on multiple worlds.”

“One reason is obvious,” said Hollus. “It could be that way because God wished it to be so. The primary goal of modern science,” he continued, “is to discover why God has behaved as he has and to determine his methods. We do not believe — what is the term you use? — we do not believe that he simply waves his hands and wishes things into existence. We live in a universe of physics, and he must have used quantifiable physical processes to accomplish his ends.”

All (most) of his books provide such a premise and he refers to a lot of books that talk about it from a scientific/philosophical point of view, all of it way over my head. But it’s all made me think a bit about it. Some of his other books deals with evil and good (from an AI standpoint) and a collective consciousness. In his one trilogy Hominids/Humans/Hybrids the piece is that they don’t believe in God on the parallel Earth and it brings up some mighty interesting conversations (and outcomes in their society).

From The Saturday Slant

Written By: Gary on May 1, 2004 One Comment

You’ve been offered a full college/university grant, all expenses paid, for the school and study program of your choice. You can go to any school, anywhere, and study anything you want, without a single cent out of pocket for education, materials, or cost of living. Get your pencils and notebooks, let’s go back to school.

  • Would you take the offer? In a heartbeat.
  • Where would you go? I’d like to go somewhere different but I only speak english so my choices would be limited, probably England or Australia, downtown London possibly.
  • What would you learn? Would you pursue a course of study related to your current occupation, or would you explore something all together new? I’d probably pursue something semi-related to my current occupation (technology director for a school district). My first choice would be to get my teaching certificate but an out of the country certification probably wouldn’t do me any unless I stayed there (which wouldn’t be out of the question). My other choice would be to get back into computer programming, which is where I started and I miss that sometimes. If I had to pick something completly new I’d lean towards a science like astronomy.

    From Saturday Slant.

  • Written By: Gary on April 25, 2004 No Comment

    No matter how hard you try to be tolerant and patient, there’s that one thing that gets under your skin every time. There’s that one something other people do that annoys you without fail. What is your pet peeve?

    Two things actually (I’m sure I could go longer):
    People who don’t know how to say “I don’t know” (and give you the long non-answer) and people who don’t use their blinker (either pissing people off or getting pissed because someone won’t let them change lanes). I think they are both pretty easy things to do and they sure can save a whole lot of time/trouble.

    From Saturday Slant.

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