Sounds plausible. More on progressive revelation here.

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Discussion (45)¬

  1. European says:

    Tbh, The Bible doesn’t even claim to be the inerrant word of God – doesn’t make the inconsistencies any less embarrassing. Novelists should use copy editors

  2. Someone says:

    How sad that centuries ago, Muslims were at the forefront of knowledge, science and sharing wisdom between religions, not to mention reaching out to other cultures for the greater good and enrichment between peoples and societies.
    Or has their expansion through time also been a form of abrogation?

  3. jb says:

    All throughout history intelligent and well educated people have gone through absurdly convoluted mental gymnastics to justify beliefs that they had already arrived at for purely emotional reasons. Thank goodness the educated elites of today are purely rational and unbiased when they tell us what to think!

  4. M27Holts says:

    Both the Xtian bible and the Qur’an are clearly the cobbled together verbally transmitted stories of the times they were authored. If either had the full periodic table with the correct atomic mass and weight for each element….Then they could claim to be the product of superior intellect than was present in the incumbant populations of sapiens at the time. Unfortunately, a ten year old today could produce far better content than is in either. I rest my case m’lud…

  5. HelenaHandbasket says:

    jb. Absolutely! Imagine if smart educated people today spent their energies showing why genes have no effect on human differences, why evolution stopped at the neck, and why vaccines and global warming are conspiracies cooked up to turn our guns gay (I may have misremembered that last one). We sure dodged some bullets there. Phew!

  6. Ketil W.Grevstad says:

    Hehehe this was funny

  7. jb says:

    What kind of bullets do gay guns shoot?

    Wait…, I don’t want to know…!

  8. EkkE says:

    “Muslims were at the forefront of knowledge”
    What a lie: mohamed was nothing more then a robber, murderer, rapist and paedophile….

  9. M27Holts says:

    I see old shredded wheat hair is claiming to be the POTUS who prevented WWIII…

  10. Someone says:

    jb, I don’t know why but my first thought was flechette ammo.

  11. M27Holts says:

    I think history is very forgiving to religions. The fact that some reasonably educated arabs discovered the use of zero and algebra has nothing to do with their religion whatsoever. The loon bomb mohammed had no influence on so called scientific enlightenment of the dark ages by muslims. Its like saying that the bible inspired Newton…

  12. Martin_z says:

    Ekke:- take a look at this before you throw out words like “what a lie”.

    Whatever your views on Islam or Mohammed, Muslims absolutely were at the forefront of knowledge.

    Which makes the appalling ignorance of ISIS and others in the modern day even more depressing.

  13. HelenaHandbasket says:

    0 was not discovered by Arabs (although its use spread to the west via the middle east). Summerians had a symbol that seemed to do the job, the Mayans (according to some) discovered it independently in the 4th centruy BC
    Folk struggled about the concept of nothingness and the void for a long time. I don’t think any of the religions contributed anything useful to the concept.

  14. two cents' worth says:

    Thanks for expanding my vocabulary, Author! I can think of at least one politician who might want to start using the term “abrogation.” He also might want to claim “progressive revelation” when the results of certain investigations come to light 😉 .

  15. M27Holts says:

    Ok. I will concede the zero. But I think that algebra definately discovered by a muslim chappie in the 9th century. I dont think that the gibberish in the Qur’an or the actual life of Mohammed were at all influential in his intellectual pursuit…

  16. Someone says:

    There was a BBC documentary called Science and Islam which covered the religion’s (apparent) influence on those who were advancing science and mathematics centuries ago.
    You can take it with a grain of salt if you like but I find it nonetheless intriguing to see that there were historical muslims that were more forward-thinking than christians at the time.
    That being said, as time goes on, both faiths have only proven that they are full of shit. As are the vast majority of their worshippers.

  17. jb says:

    I don’t know where this came from, but I like it anyway:

    “If I have seen less far, it is by standing in the footprints of giants.”

  18. Jim Baerg says:

    I have run across the claim that the intellectual activity of the early Muslim caliphates was due to the variety of beliefs there. There were lots of Christian Zoroastrians etc. contributing to ideas, but later as the Muslim states became more uniformly Muslim, all intellectual activity declined. It sounds plausible to me, but I would want some serious investigation into the idea to really believe it.

  19. M27Holts says:

    If religion and the belief of absurdities passed down from the ignoramuses of the past were to be apportioned the correct significance in todays cultures. I think that mankind would be half way to escaping from the survival genes that haunt our imaginations and perpetuate the ghosts in the machine…

  20. Troubleshooter says:

    It’s called lack of an editor and checks for continuity, you fools!

  21. Laripu says:

    We’re all, myself included, making the assumption that consistency is important, and that the real world is consistent. All of science depends on that assumption.

    Is it really true, given some of the weirdness of quantum mechanics? I’m no physicist, but is this even a question physicists can answer?

    Certainly on the scale we normally operate, consistency seems to be the case. But at the quantum level … I’m just wondering whether our belief in it isn’t actually just also a matter of … faith.

  22. Donn says:

    I vaguely recall some book I came across back in the ’70s (so this is not just my own BS, this is enlightenment from a book!), that exact thing is quite unprovable. We can test assumptions based on the laws, and in so doing establish that the laws have held, but not that they will hold. In the absence of any reason why they wouldn’t, it’s a pretty good bet though.

  23. Keltic Green says:

    Author: this just begs for a cartoon – Church of England Bishop discussing the ‘delusion’ of social media such as Facebook.

  24. jb says:

    Laripu — The interpretation of Quantum Mechanics remains open to question, and this “weirdness” opens the door for people to talk all kinds of nonsense. But the mathematics of Quantum Mechanics is well defined, and when that math is used to make predictions about experimental outcomes the results are extremely accurate, sometimes to as many as 10 decimal places. So in that sense at least the real world as described by Quantum Mechanics is highly consistent.

  25. Walter says:

    Can a woman bishop from the Anglican Communion move to the Roman church with the same rank?

  26. M27Holts says:

    I’m with JB, clearly the mathematical proofs provided by the standard model do not impress the ignorant. Who cling on to the failure of the model to give the pointless “why” question any credence. The search for meaning at quantum level is pointless. In fact the more a thing cannot be proved the more it is embraced by the faithful morons…

  27. Laripu says:

    It isn’t the holes in physics that bother me, it’s the successes. Dual nature of particles, Heisenberg uncertainty, and what the hell does Schrödinger’s cat say about reality.
    If a qbit can simultaneously be in multiple states, what dies that say about consistency?

  28. M27Holts says:

    The uncertainty and the failure of most human minds to be able construct coherence from quantum physics, is the rich soil of the woo meister…The faithful insist that the success of the standard model is because of faith. The fact that I have a shiny new computer with quite breathtaking performance is not due to faith at all..its a tangible example of the astounding veracity of the mathematical models that can provide us with such technological wonder…

  29. jb says:

    I don’t mind a wee bit of woo here. I rather like the idea that if the Many-Worlds interpretation of Quantum Mechanics is true, then every time I buy a lottery ticket there is a version of me (many actually) that wins. Woo!!!

    (It is however possible to take this line of reasoning in a surprisingly dark direction).

  30. M27Holts says:

    I have read a couple of dozen books that all have these thought experiments. It is these exercises in philosophy that fuels the supposedly sophisticated theological ideas of the woo mongers. Yes, its possible that we are all in a computer game or that our universe is a singularity and our billions of years is in fact only a pico second in another universe…However just like string theory…Without experimental providence these philosophical musings are not even wrong…

  31. postdoggerel says:

    M27Holtz, Ramanujan openly stated that he received the mathematical inspiration and sometimes whole formulas, through contacting the Hindu Goddess Namagiri while dreaming. Ramanujan was an observant Hindu, adept at dream interpretation and astrology. Growing up, he learned to worship Namagiri, the Hindu Goddess of creativity. He often understood mathematics and spirituality as one. He felt, for example, that zero represented Absolute Reality, and that infinity represented the many manifestations of that Reality.

    “An equation for me has no meaning unless it expresses a thought of God.”

  32. M27Holts says:

    Post Doggerel…It doesnt make any difference…Ramanujan was an extremely gifted mathematician, but whether he claims he got the inspiration from a hindu god or if he had got the formulas from listening to early 78 recordings played backwards are just not relevant. His inspiration is not proof of the existance of Namagiri…or do you think it is?

  33. Laripu says:

    M27Holts you mentioned “78 recordings played backwards”. Can you really deny the mystical content of “true that’s heart a to cruel be don’t” by Presley Elvis? After all he was an inspiration to the Seltaeb.

  34. M27Holts says:

    Laripu. I was going to use death metal cds as an example but Ramanujan was long dead before the CD was invented! As far as Elvis, I wouldn’t have that rubbish in my collection. I hate soppy love ballads…

  35. M27Holts says:

    Laripu shouldn’t that be “yelserp sivle” ??

  36. DC Toronto says:

    I’d like to raise a glass to Darwin on what would be his 210th birthday. Happy Darwin Day to all.

  37. M27Holts says:

    Aye. Happy Darwin day. Apparently 2 from 5 people in England and wales don’t believe the fact of evolution. What is our education system doing? Or is it the influx of muslims and their almost total emnity to science…

  38. Son of Glenner says:

    My glass is also raised to the memory of Charles Darwin – if he ever existed (entering into the spirit of the recent discussion!).

    2 out of 5 people, eh? I bet it’s higher in the USA – and Saudi Arabia.

    Elvis P sang some pretty good rock & roll as well as soppy love ballads – and dreadful gospel.

  39. M27Holts says:

    Im sure yelserp was a good fifties rock n roll icon. I had a teddy boy uncle who liked him. Fifties rock n roll probably inspired the evolution of music I like. But I will not explore the fifties while I have about 10000 cds to get from the seventies….

  40. Son of Glenner says:

    M27Holts: You are apparently a quantum being Рyou simultaneously despise Presley and acknowledge that Presley was an icon. Is your real name Schr̦dinger by any chance?

  41. M27Holts says:

    Sog. I have no emnity for Elvis personally. I recognise that his popularity was fairly universal and that he was elevated to Icon by that public adoration. It’s a fact that Elvis was an icon of the fifties and sixties and a legend in his own lifetime in the early seventies. But, I still don’t like his music. I also recognise that he influenced a lot of musicians that I do like..

  42. postdoggerel says:

    M27Holts, no I don’t think here is a “real” Namagiri, but Ramanajun certainly did. Even Einstein (God does not play dice with the universe) and Hawking (for then we would know the mind of God) use god to express fundamental cosmological ideas. Not that they believed in god, but wanted to establish a metaphor most people could get their minds around. It never occurred to me in school that prayer (meditation?) could propel me to a higher understanding of math. Ramanajun took that idea and ran with it. Even more puzzling, Hinduism is polytheistic, so how can Ramanajun refer to god in the singular? I guess that would mean Krishna, who is at the top of that pantheon. If Muhammad could be credited with any inspiration for mathematical truth it would be on the same order as papal infallability, a mere postulate, as neither of them have come up with any theorems I am aware of, excepting Lemaitre and his singularity, for example. Math is kind of written in stone, unassailable. So where is the grand unified theory hiding out? In the notoriously unprovable string theory? Have another stout, and we can discuss this later.

  43. M27Holts says:

    Well I have read books on the complete failure of experimental proofs for string theory. Basically, anything that is beyond the four dimensions we have is, at present impossible to test. The maths for string theory postulates far more dimensions than the four we are familiar with, so unless science can locate the other dimensions, it looks like the vibrating strings will remain in the non provable theory category…along with the supernatural it would seem…

  44. postdoggerel says:

    Jesus and his disciples were walking around one day, when Jesus said,
    “The Kingdom of Heaven is like 3x squared plus 8x minus 9.”
    The disciples looked very puzzled, and finally asked Peter, “What on earth
    does Jesus mean – ‘the Kingdom of Heaven is like 3x squared plus 8x minus 9?'” Peter said, “Don’t worry, guys. It’s just another one of his parabolas.”


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