Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Wanderers 2010.01.19

Duane Ray was our presenter tonight, talking about The Creationists, a legitimate subject of anthropology. These various ethnic minorities, which may cumulatively form a kind of majority, do not all rally behind the same spokespeople, yet there's a taxonomy, a family tree (a set of lineages or pedigrees if you will, right back to the original first couple).

When I got there, a little late (I'd been visiting Dr. Consoletti), Duane was sharing a video clip of some creationist who was disputing that the striping pattern in magnetic signatures in undersea basalt was really evidence of pole shifts. The guy was claiming it showed a cyclic pattern in field strength over time, but didn't prove actual pole flipping.

This creationist also thought long-lived giants once frequented Earth, in communion with the original dinosaurs, which he didn't deny once existed. His goal was to make a 6-Day schema fit a smattering of geography. His "days" were not 24-hour periods. I'm not sure if it starts with a Big Bang as I came in towards the middle.

Some loss of a water firmament over head took us out of the Garden, he claimed. Was this the first fish with legs, coming out of Mother Ocean? I could see where it might feel that way.

All this fantastic storytelling sounded rather poetic after awhile, but I could see where a reality-minded geographer might wanna butt in and explain what the evidence for the pole flips really is. There's obviously more to that particular story, and a literal truth to get to the bottom of.

I bet the Vatican's own astronomer could probably fill us in on that score, as it's hard to beat the Catholics in science these days after all that embarrassment over Galileo. They're really into evolution, given their new Creation Theology puts an eternal light at the end of their time tunnel.

Duane then took us on a tour of many partially overlapping camps, tribes, schools of thought, and their folk beliefs. He paid special attention to hypocrisy, citing the golden rule, kind of rubbing it in if a sinner (usually a male) fell out of faith in some way.

Indeed, many wander from the straight and narrow and find themselves abducted by ETs or corrupted by government mind-readers. Others, like Britney, simply get caught up in sex scandals. Ah, but it's a wild and woolly world out there, beyond the walls of our Linus Pauling House, ground zero for sensible thinking (and dinosaur comic book making -- with kids in 'em, but only in science fiction).

I think if Duane is serious about attracting defectors to the side of reason that he might wanna paint a more welcoming picture of those who would receive them with open arms and overlook their supposed transgressions. So what if you're gay and/or couldn't keep your vows? Welcome to the club, have a cigar. Take a load off. Jesus loves you.

Coming out as an "evolutionist open carry polymath" need not be scandalous if one puts the right spin on it. Some of our Quaker households contain non-nuclear and/or molecular families and no one raises an eyebrow (except maybe Mr. Spock). I'm something of a polymath myself, and an animist to boot.

Also, the Constitution does guarantee religious crazies and cultists access to the wheels of power, just like anyone else (it's called a democracy). There's no "sanity test" nor even a "Turing Test" that everyone need pass, before exercising the power of the ballot.

"Ballots not bullets" is our USA motto, as we choose to hammer out differences through political mud wrestling (campaigning). Or is this apparent commitment to civilized non-violence mainly owing to Posse Comitatus? If so, then it's probably a smart firewall.

Besides, there's an awful lot of "federal land" on those maps (plenty of space to guard, install sensors, monitor parameters), plenty of need for work / study.

Joe Arnold was there, our Wanderer psychiatrist, always eager for clues. If you weigh down a presentation with enough citations to make it scholarly, then how do you avoid boring people, causing them to glaze over? Duane was being more the non-boring sensationalist than an academic, given his intended audience.

Also, Dr. Arnold wanted to know if Duane had encountered many perfectly reasonable people who were two or three standard deviations out along some Bell Curve in some narrowly confined frequency band and/or ecological niche. That seems to be a common pattern, and Duane said that he had.

Hey, good seeing Nirel (back from LA), and Trisha, among others we don't often see.

Nirel is working hard on a motorcycle-centric "for girls" event. She exulted about how friendly and professional the IRS people were being. Is this maybe the best customer service bureau in the whole world? Having been around it (the world) recently, she's in a position to judge.

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