Here is an interesting question... (and yes I know your answer)
Where did god have more influence? With the original writers of the books of the bible or at the council of Nicea?
Was it gods intention for us to find the nag hammadi library? Was it a test? Why, why the testing? Why create doubt, is it to weed out the "true believers" Why does he who loves us so much that he gave his only begotten son (john 3:16), so umm cruel. (by cruel I mean creating doubt, then sending us to hell if we cave into this doubt)
Here is another quote released before its time but appropriate for this topic
“You ask: what is the meaning or purpose of life? I can only answer with another question: do you think we are wise enough to read God's mind?”
Saturday, May 31, 2008
Here is an interesting question... (and yes I know your answer)
Posted by James Sheehan at 5:10 PM
John J. Dunphy:
The concept of a Supreme Being who childishly demands to be constantly placated by prayers and sacrifice and dispenses justice like some corrupt petty judge whose decisions may be swayed by a bit of well-timed flattery should be relegated to the trash bin of history, along with the belief in a flat earth and the notion that diseases are caused by demonic possession. Ironically, the case for the involuntary retirement of God may have been best stated by one Saul or Paul of Tarsus, a first-century tentmaker and Pharisee of the tribe of Benjamin, who wrote, 'When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things' (I Corinthians 13:11). Those words are no less relevant today than they were two thousand years ago
Posted by James Sheehan at 8:53 AM
Friday, May 30, 2008
Posted by James Sheehan at 7:45 AM
Thursday, May 29, 2008
“Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves. Do not now seek the answers, which cannot be given you because you would not be able to live them. And the point is to live everything. Live the questions”
Rainer Maria Rilke
Posted by James Sheehan at 7:02 PM
Wednesday, May 28, 2008
“Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow. The important thing is not to stop questioning.”
Posted by James Sheehan at 7:10 AM
Tuesday, May 27, 2008
“Question with boldness even the existence of God; because, if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason than that of blindfolded fear”
Posted by James Sheehan at 8:14 AM
Monday, May 26, 2008
Being tolerant does not mean that I share another one’s belief. But it does mean that I acknowledge another one’s right to believe, and obey, his own conscience.
Posted by James Sheehan at 8:19 AM
Sunday, May 25, 2008
You can almost feel the "Get out there and do something with your life message"
Posted by James Sheehan at 9:19 AM
Faith: Belief without evidence in what is told by one who speaks without knowledge, of things without parallel.
Posted by James Sheehan at 9:16 AM
Saturday, May 24, 2008
Relative Brain Size
Absolute brain size is important, but it can’t be the sole measure of intelligence. Small-bodied creatures such as birds have minute brains, especially compared to the much bigger ones of large-bodied creatures such as elephants. Yet in many respects birds act “smarter” than elephants, probably because the former have a lot less body to monitor and control. In fact, much of an elephant’s large brain consists of motor cortex—enormous numbers of dedicated neurons enabling those huge hulks to put one leg in front of the other without tripping. Hence the reason why most neurobiologists take as a better measure of intelligence a comparison of brain and body sizes.
Ratios of brain-to-body mass for many animals having similar overall stature show a clear separation of reptiles from mammals. Figure 7.13 shows this comparison, noting that a constant brain-to-body-mass ratio would display a diagonal line from lower left to upper right. For any given body mass, mammals consistently have higher brain mass, usually 10-100 times larger than those of modern reptiles of comparable size. Likewise, the brain masses of our prehuman ancestors (the early primates) also were greater, relative to body mass, than those of all other mammals.
The creature having the largest brain-to-body-mass ratio is Homo sapiens, namely, ~0.022. Dolphins come next (~0.016, which is also the value for H. habilis), followed by the apes, especially the chimpanzees (~0.006). The human brain is about as big as the genes can currently make it and still be safely delivered during childbirth—3 or 4 times bigger, relative to body weight, than the brains of our closest relatives, the great apes. These are data, not sociological sentiments.
Brain-to-body mass ratios then provide a useful index of the intellectual capacities among a range of animals. The systematically different ratios of Figure 7.13 virtually prove that the evolution of mammals from reptiles ~200 million years ago was accompanied by a major increase in relative brain size and intelligence. These ratios furthermore show that additional neural evolution paralleled the later emergence of human-like creatures from the rest of the mammals a few million years ago.
How Smart Are the Dolphins?
More than any property, the brain most clearly distinguishes humans from other life on Earth. The development of speech, the invention of technology, and the rise of civilization are all products of the human brain’s rapid advancement. But what about other forms of life? Are there creatures on our planet today with comparable intelligence—animals having neural capacities enabling them to communicate, act socially, or make tools?
Brain-to-body mass ratios imply that, apart from humans, dolphins (Figure 7.14) are the smartest animals now on Earth. As a numerical measure of intelligence, their just-noted brain/body ratio (~0.016) matches that of archaic humans of ~2 million years ago and exceeds that of the australopithecines of 3-4 million years ago. Laboratory tests do imply that dolphin intelligence, to the extent that it can be realistically gauged, does lie somewhere between that of humans and chimpanzees. Biologically, dolphin evolution seems not too different from ours, yet culturally they are far behind us, perhaps because they live in the water.
Dolphins were not always aquatic creatures. Along with whales and porpoises, dolphins are members of a family of mammals whose ancestors were once land-dwelling. Owing to keen competition among many 4-legged amphibians ~50 million years ago, the dolphins’ ancestors returned to the sea, possibly either in search of food or because land niches were becoming too crowded. Some disadvantages would have undoubtedly accompanied such a seemingly backward move, but that ancestral decision—really an adaptation to change—probably saved them from extinction.
Dolphins, as we know them today, are well adapted to the sea. Their exceptionally strong bodies are streamlined for deep diving and speedy locomotion. They have extraordinary hearing beyond the range of humans, as well as an uncanny sonar system resembling a kind of underwater vision. This advanced system of echo location, now being studied by human naval officials for military purposes, may employ a kind of acoustical radar to map the position and movement of objects in their watery environment.
Interestingly enough, almost every year hundreds of dolphins (and whales too) beach themselves, especially along the outward-jutting Cape Cod off the New England seacoast. Most likely, their navigational beacons go awry, causing them to temporarily lose their way. Or, just perhaps, these dolphins are trying to make their way back onto the land. Are we sure ours is a humanitarian gesture when we so quickly “rescue” them and dump them back into the sea, or are we unwittingly keeping them out of our land-based niche?
Dolphins also have a well-organized social structure. They travel in schools or families and assist each other when in trouble; females often act as midwife for another dolphin. They’re not at all hostile, being extremely friendly to other dolphins as well as to humans. Dolphins seem to be the exception to the unwritten rule that all friendly species are inherently aggressive as well—though they certainly are known to ram sharks in a coordinated way if threatened, ganging up on the predator to protect their own.
In addition to their unparalleled ability to navigate underwater, dolphins communicate with one another by means of a series of whistles, quacks, squeaks, clicks, and other noises often resembling Bronx cheers. Although we can hope to communicate with them someday, the human range of generating and hearing noise is relatively limited (20 - 20,000 Hz) when compared to the dolphins’ much wider auditory range (2000 - 80,000 Hz). They are known to be able to produce and hear sounds within our audible range, but to do so requires them to grunt and groan at frequencies lower (bass) than normal. Most of the sounds normally made by dolphins are inaudible to humans, making it improbable that their way of expressing meaning overlaps ours at all. Not inconceivable, dolphins in captivity may have been trying to communicate with us for years. If so, they must be quite discouraged by our lack of response.
Interspecies communication will not be easy, whether among humans, dolphins, or chimps. Empirical findings to date nonetheless suggest that some common ground exists for future cultivation of, especially, dolphin-human links. At the least, it seems that both parties are interested in such a collaboration
The following video shows how the animals take extreme measures to hunt for food.
Posted by James Sheehan at 6:58 PM
I think Man is quite vain, "God created man in his image", I have always felt that while we are pretty freaking amazing creatures, we tend to forget that we are not alone on this planet. We feel that we are SOOO important that god only cares about us, we are the not the only animal on his planet.
Let me share with you a question I have asked myself in the past, What if "Dolphins had Thumbs"...
Posted by James Sheehan at 2:52 PM
I've begun worshipping the Sun for a number of reasons. First of all, unlike some other gods I could mention, I can see the Sun. It's there for me every day. And the things it brings me are quite apparent all the time: heat, light, food, a lovely day. There's no mystery, no one asks for money, I don't have to dress up, and there's no boring pageantry. And interestingly enough, I have found that the prayers I offer to the sun and the prayers I formerly offered to God are all answered at about the same 50-percent rate.
Posted by James Sheehan at 8:00 AM
Friday, May 23, 2008
The further the spiritual evolution of mankind advances, the more certain it seems to me that the path to genuine religiosity does not lie through the fear of life, and the fear of death, and blind faith, but through striving after rational knowledge.
Posted by James Sheehan at 6:49 AM
Thursday, May 22, 2008
Interesting.. I really don't like picking on one faith or the other (especially if they are right) but some of the mormon beliefs are well... out there.
Posted by James Sheehan at 7:07 PM
Here is an interesting Sermon I listened to the whole things pretty interesting mix of science and religion
Hugh Ross (Reasons To Believe) offers scientific reasons/support for a Biblical worldview.
Posted by James Sheehan at 9:09 AM
If you would be a real seeker after truth, it is necessary that at least once in your life you doubt, as far as possible, all things
Posted by James Sheehan at 8:58 AM
Wednesday, May 21, 2008
Those who believe that they believe in God, but without passion in their hearts, without anguish in mind, without uncertainty, without doubt, without an element of despair even in their consolation, believe only in the God idea, not God Himself.
Miguel de Unamuno
Posted by James Sheehan at 5:58 PM
Updated - I didn't realize this was a chopped version
This is an interesting look at the church and religion, This is a must see, I only hope that it either makes you question your faith or simply makes it stronger. Please, whatever you do, don't write this off to the work of Satan, please question your minister, ask questions, find the truth. And when you do, let me know what it is, cause I am searching myself.
Posted by James Sheehan at 5:12 PM
Posted by James Sheehan at 3:52 PM
Monday, May 19, 2008
First Post, This of course will cause some anger, but these points of view must be taken into account when formulating your beliefs
First I would like to say that I do not ask God for things, I am not saying I don't need him, I am just saying that I respect his ability to put my life together and me begging for something or heck even asking seems, well not necessary.
I only pray to thank him for what he has done, more of an attitude of gratitude (I love the way that rolls off the tongue)
Posted by James Sheehan at 9:26 AM