left biblioblography: September 2007

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Atheist Nation? Ben Stein Botches The Blandishment


Cross posted at God is for Suckers!

“Equal rights for all, special privileges for none” - Jefferson

I've been reading about Ben Stein (you remember this guy? Visine commercials? Ferris Bueller's Day Off? He's got a lotta accomplishments racked up) over at Pharyngula, mostly about his shenanigans vis-a-vis that ridiculous new piece of dreck, Expelled.

As the goodly professor Myers puts it, "Did you know that 'scientists are not allowed to even think thoughts that involve an intelligent creator'"?

I wasn't aware that such an invention as a patented mind-reader had been developed. Or perchance the US government is in cahoots with them thar durn nasty ole 'evilutionists'?

The short version is "WAAHHH! Why won't these big frelling meanies let OUR side of the story be heard?"

Shorter response: "Science. Not a democracy. Never has been."

So, I was scoping out Snopes.com, when I stumbled across this sow's ear (I borrowed the snippet in toto from this message board as Snopes seems to have some kind of anti-paste 'n copy thing on their website):

Herewith at this happy time of year, a few confessions from my beating heart:
I have no freaking clue who Nick and Jessica are. I see them on the cover of People and Us constantly when I am buying my dog biscuits and kitty litter. I often ask the checkers at the grocery stores. They never know who Nick and Jessica are either. Who are they? Will it change my life if I know who they are and why they have broken up?

Well, I've not a clue who Nick is, but I know who Jessica is (I'm assuming Simpson?). And while I'm something of an intellectual snob, my eyes light up when that little ditty from that dreck 'Dukes of Hazard' comes on - you guys know what I mean, right? I can't stand country western, but there's something so...hypnotic about those gyrations.

Anyways, moving on. No, life goes on, despite the vicarious thrills of the tabloids for the duller amongst us.

Why are they so important? I don't know who Lindsay Lohan is, either, and I do not care at all about Tom Cruise's wife.

Ditto. I've already forgotten Cruise's trophy 'I'm not gay' wife's name, anyways.

Am I going to be called before a Senate committee and asked if I am a subversive? Maybe, but I just have no clue who Nick and Jessica are. Is this what it means to be no longer young. It's not so bad.

I can get along with that.

Next confession: I am a Jew, and every single one of my ancestors was Jewish. And it does not bother me even a little bit when people call those beautiful lit up, bejeweled trees Christmas trees. I don't feel threatened. I don't feel discriminated against. That's what they are: Christmas trees. It doesn't bother me a bit when people say, "Merry Christmas" to me. I don't think they are slighting me or getting ready to put me in a ghetto. In fact, I kind of like it. It shows that we are all brothers and sisters celebrating this happy time of year. It doesn't bother me at all that there is a manger scene on display at a key intersection near my beach house in Malibu.

I'm down with most of that: but if that manger scene's on government property, I think that's a violation of SOCAS - that is, unless there's equal time for Ramadan, Hanukkah, and other varied superstitions.

If people want a creche, it's just as fine with me as is the Menorah a few hundred yards away.

Curious: I've never heard of public displays of Menorahs.

I don't like getting pushed around for being a Jew and I don't think Christians like getting pushed around for being Christians.

No one should be pushed around for any such thing - that's (one of) the great things about the U.S.A. Of course, they shouldn't get special privileges either, regardless of their beliefs, or lack thereof.

Can you hear the bleating of the martyr yet? Here it comes...

I think people who believe in God are sick and tired of getting pushed around, period.

If by 'pushed around', you mean that they don't get special treatment anymore, boo-fucking-hoo.

I have no idea where the concept came from that America is an explicitly atheist country.

I have no idea where you pulled that egregious bit of bullshit from: probably your ass, Bendy-Boy. We were founded on secular values, but most distinctly not atheist ones. In fact, both Locke and Paine were anything but pro-atheist (though Franklin had a bit of a correspondence with David Hume, as I understand it).

I can't find it in the Constitution and I don't like it being shoved down my throat.

Right back atcha, Bendy. Neither atheism nor theism are mentioned in the Constitution. Yeesh, for a fucking lawyer, you sure don't understand the term objective.

Or maybe I can put it another way: where did the idea come from that we should worship Nick and Jessica and we aren't allowed to worship God as we understand Him?

Probably the same fucking place people got the stupid idea that the European royalty ruled via divine fiat? People always need someone to look up to, live vicariously through, and otherwise drool because the grass always seems a little greener on the other side of the pasture. Worship away, Bendy-boy. Just do try to keep it to yourself a touch more, wouldja?

I guess that's a sign that I'm getting old, too. But there are a lot of us who are wondering where Nick and Jessica came from and where the America we knew went to.

Or in the words of Ned Flanders: "I wish we lived in a place more like the America of yesteryear that only exists in the brains of us Republicans."

Which America would that be? The suburban utopia of Ozzie and Harriet? Bad news, Bendy: that was a fictional show and nowhere near being reality. Obviously Bendy's caught this godly glaucoma, the whiny carp of how 'things were better in the good ole days!'

What do you expect, from a Republican as well as a Nixon apologist?

Until next week, the peanut gallery is closed. This is the Apostate, signing off.


Sunday, September 23, 2007

Allegories Gone Wild - The Veiled Prophet And The River Of Nothingness

Cross posted at God is for Suckers!themingling

This is one of those Internet click-click-click-click-WTF? moments that provide us with a glimpse into the wild river raft ride of other people's imaginations.

This one is a good one, albeit a tad...scattered.

(In the voice of Rod Serling): "Witness if you will, an old man, wracked and ruined by decades of alcoholic abuse, grasping at the strands of ambiguous hope by defining his own epistemology..."

So one David C. Owens, who styles himself the 'Veiled Prophet' (and America's premier visionary artists, although he has no Wiki or Answers.com page), is kind enough to share not only his art (which is middling fair, but he's no Dali by any stretch), but the strange fevered visions he's had (and none of them too original, I might add, let's skip the fact that his English is not good, either):

Ladies and gentleman, meine Dame und Herren, I give you...the River of Nothingness!

2012 The River Nothingness: Is there the slightest things you can do to change the equations of what will determine how you end up? Yes, there is - but - 'doubt' is the word for all the too many who will not care enough until it is much to late!
River Nothingness 2012 Facts about 12 21 12: The SOULLESS abomination! - Contrary to those misleading and teaching otherwise - after one has knowingly chosen to lead a cruel and unkind life ~ Just as all to many of those who've gone before them that waited until the last few moments of their life ~ Thinking they've out smarted their soul ~ They will find out ~ There is no such thing as death bed forgiveness.
12 21 12 Facts: There is no true God that would  and is going to force any innocent soul to return to a past [host] Bearer that has and does knowingly profane them self with the use of unkindness, anger, hate, rage and conniving disrespect for decent morals!
2012 End of the World: What and when an individual thinks they might  have been able to hide from humanity they can not hide from the companionship of the innocent soul, within!

Odd, how this predilection for apocalypse in 2012 seems to have spread like wildfire, no?

More incoherent babble:

December 21, 2012 River Nothingness: Past and present intents and all the conniving of even  future thoughts and ideas are known by your soul. And, no innocent soul, knowingly will chance that experiences twice!
And, thinking for even a second that one could fool a new soul when your  past companion is not around - that by itself is condemnation!

Sadly, there's no explanation for this ' past companion' nonsense. In a world where context is everything, this is rendered into gibberish.

More drivel:

Yes, you're having, not so strange, returning of Déjà vu and wonderful enlightenment is running close to wild as you comprehend again, and again things you already know - and your memories of remembrances are looking forward to circumstances you know to be the truth of how you have to protected you soul. Or, oh so real - And, oh so real! And, it is real! The River NOTHINGNESS of the SOULLESS!

Wait - so our 'souls' will drown in the River of Nothingness of the Soulless? Say whaaattt? And how does this come about? By being mean to people.

I kid you not. He seems to repeat the phrase deja vu a lot. He claims also to have painted multiple pictures on New Year's Eve, which is described like this:

The Lord's Lamp the first of David Owens Art Paintings Millennium Pictures from the special "Millennium Art Event" where World Art History was made, seen and watched as America's Greatest Visionary Artist was  documented by independent witnesses as his Visionary Art concept turned from vision(s) and turned into reality taking place in Covina, California (USA) starting in the early a.m. hours of December 31, 2000.

Which I find fairly amusing, because it was this tiny event apparently hosted in in his own living room, with pictures of folks (first names only) that nobody knows.

There are implicit nods to Shamanism, a large degree of apocalyptic vagueness, and a whole pile of weird, underdeveloped theodicy

Here's a pretty stupid video, since his link on 'Three Kinds of Demons' is broken.

Till the next post, then.


Sunday, September 16, 2007

The Story Thus Far...

As some of you may have noticed, I'm not posting very much, making my rounds, or engaging in conversation as often. The back story behind this is as such:

In April, I found a part time job with a Mountain View contracting firm, doing what's known as re- and de-installing (we'd go around as a team to Fortune 500 companies, and move companies' PC's en masse - pulling out cables, PC's, the movers would move equipment to the new site, we'd re-install the PC's, etc.).

So I was doing that for a few months. Then they sent me to Google. I realized then, that this was my big break, and brought my A-game. Sure, it was mostly throwing freight, clean-up, re-installs and de-installs, but I threw myself into it.

Apparently, I caught someone's notice. I started becoming a regular part-timer. Then, two or so months later, I was brought on full time. I went from throwing freight to ticket processor. Then I got assigned to process tickets for the new hire coordinator. He got the axe (to this day, no one will tell me exactly for what, but it had to be pretty damn bad, since they're extremely tolerant there), and voila! I now have a full time position, with benefits, and I have a comfortable yearly salary.

The bulk of my work days now are cram-packed with social interaction, so by the time I come home, I'm just winding down, and so please forgive me if I seem a tad less...the social butterfly lately.

So I do my eight hours, upon which I go to the Googleplex and practice Tai Chi (somewhere between one to two hours worth), eat dinner, and by the time I get home, I'm fairly exhausted.

Oh, and I can speak my mind. Pretty much everybody knows I'm an atheist (one of my co-workers is as well, and we cover the gamut from evolution to religion, in loud tones), and one of the other guys is a conspiracy theorist (with biblical scriptures tattooed on either forearm, Matthew 10:34 and 1 Peter 8, to be exact), and for the record, he doesn't go about touting Youtube videos to support his wild-eyed theories anymore. (I've made it abundantly clear that Youtube is the National Enquirer of the Internet, and I and the other atheist make savage fun of this with comments like "It's true! I saw it on Youtube! HAW-HAW!")

I can guar-ran-tee you, my online persona is very much like my realtime personality: I hear bullshit, I call it manure. I've had some real interesting discussions right there in the warehouse, in earshot of everyone.

I have been told to shut up occasionally (not by any of the bosses), to which I reply, "No. It's called the First Amendment."

So, life is good now, got work and money in the bank. Found a niche, a second home so to speak. And freeee fooood!

Damn, ain't it wunnerful?


Allegories Gone Wild - An Oval Earth And Seven Firmaments...


Cross-posted at God Is For Suckers!

I'm going to kill two birds with one stone on this one.

One of the major claims in Islam, is how eerily it corresponds with modern science as we know it today.

This site makes a number of extravagant claims, which would appear to the untrained eye to be 'miracles', but which come apart under a small amount of investigation.

First up:

Roundness of the earth

He has created the Heavens and the Earth for Truth. He wraps the night up in the day, and wraps the day up in the night. (Qur'an, 39:5)

In the Qur'an, the words used for describing the universe are quite remarkable. The Arabic word which is translated as "to wrap" in the above verse is "takwir." In English, it means "to make one thing lap over another, folded up as a garment that is laid away." For instance, in Arabic dictionaries this word is used for the action of wrapping one thing around another, in the way that a turban is put on. The information given in the verse about the day and the night wrapping each other up includes accurate information about the shape of the world. This can be true only if the Earth is round. This means that in the Qur'an, which was revealed in the 7th century, the roundness of the world was hinted at.

However, it should be remembered that the understanding of astronomy of the time perceived the world differently. It was then thought that the world was a flat plane and all scientific calculations and explanations were based on this belief. However, the Glorious Qur'an has employed the most definitive words when it came to describing the universe. These facts, which we could only correctly fathom in our century, have been in the Qur'an for a vast length of time.

And then,

The seven firmaments

It is He Who created everything on the earth for you and then directed His attention up to heaven and arranged it into seven regular heavens. He has knowledge of all things. (Qur'an, 2:29)

Then He turned to heaven when it was smoke. In two days He determined them as seven heavens and revealed, in every heaven, its own mandate. (Qur'an, 41:11-12)

Deflated, two minutes flat.

The Wiki entry not only says this about a spherical earth,

"The concept of a spherical Earth was espoused by Pythagoras apparently on aesthetic grounds, as he also held all other celestial bodies to be spherical. It replaced earlier beliefs in a flat Earth: In early Mesopotamian thought, the world was portrayed as a flat disk floating in the ocean, and this forms the premise for early Greek maps like those of Anaximander and Hecataeus of Miletus."

But also puts the lie to the 'original' claim of the 'seven firmaments', thusly:

"Other speculations as to the shape of Earth include a seven-layered ziggurat or cosmic mountain, alluded to in the Avesta and ancient Persian writings (see seven climes). In fact, the Earth is reasonably well-approximated by an oblate spheroid."

(The Avesta, for those of you interested, are the sacred texts of Zoroaster, and has been dated linguistically at about 1000 BCE, but the written format is dated Second CE).

And, for the icing on the cake,


Yajnavalkya (c. 9th8th century BCE) recognized that the Earth is spherical in his astronomical text Shatapatha Brahmana. This is also recognized in another Vedic Sanskrit text Aitareya Brahmana composed around the same time, and in a later Sanskrit commentary Vishnu Purana.


Pythagoras (b. 570 BCE) found harmony in the universe and sought to explain it. He reasoned that Earth and the other planets must be spheres, since the most harmonious geometric form was a circle.


Plato (427 BCE - 347 BCE) travelled to southern Italy to study Pythagorean mathematics. When he returned to Athens and established his school, Plato also taught his students that Earth was a sphere. If man could soar high above the clouds, Earth would resemble "a ball made of twelve pieces of leather, variegated, a patchwork of colours."


Aristotle (384 BCE - 322 BCE) was Plato's prize student and "the mind of the school." Aristotle observed "there are stars seen in Egypt and [...] Cyprus which are not seen in the northerly regions." Since this could only happen on a curved surface, he too believed Earth was a sphere "of no great size, for otherwise the effect of so slight a change of place would not be quickly apparent." (De caelo, 298a2-10)

Aristotle provided physical and observational arguments supporting the idea of a spherical Earth:

  • Every portion of the earth tends toward the center until by compression and convergence they form a sphere. (De caelo, 297a9-21)
  • Travelers going south see southern constellations rise higher above the horizon; and
  • The shadow of Earth on the Moon during a lunar eclipse is round.(De caelo, 297b31-298a10)

The concepts of symmetry, equilibrium and cyclic repetition permeated Aristotle's work. In his Meteorology he divided the world into five climatic zones: Two temperate areas were separated by a torrid zone near the equator, as well as two cold inhospitable regions, "one near our upper or northern pole and the other near the ... southern pole," both impenetrable and girdled with ice (Meteorologica, 362a31-35). Although no humans could survive in the frigid zones, inhabitants in the southern temperate regions could exist.


Eratosthenes (276 BCE - 194 BCE) estimated Earth's circumference around 240 BCE. He had heard about a place in Egypt where the Sun was directly overhead at the summer solstice and used geometry to come up with a circumference of 250,000 stades. This estimate astonishes some modern writers, as it is within 2% of the modern value of the equatorial circumference, 40,075 kilometres. However, the length of a 'stade' is not precisely known; Eratosthenes' figure falls short if we do not use a fairly generous estimate for this length.

Earliest known reference to a spherical earth - 17 centuries pre-Koran. Earliest known reference to seven 'firmaments' (read: atmospheric layers) - 5 centuries prior.

For your entertainment, here is a fairly stupid video making proclamations of all sorts of easily explainable 'miracles'. The crow was obviously taught the word, the lion had indigestion, clouds constantly form 'allah's' signature, and the video also has a known falsified picture of an alleged 'Nephelim'.

Till the next post, then.


Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Never Forget, Never Forgive

It has been a year - how it flies. Today marks that deadly, Black Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2001. The day that fingers of steel and fire came down from the skies, and shook the world as they tore apart a symbol of America's strength.

This taught us many, many things. But first and foremost, we learned that most painful of lessons: that religious fanatics need to be watched, and closely to boot.

Remember, remember, the 11th of September.

The dust shall never settle.


Sunday, September 09, 2007

Allegories Gone Wild - A Plague On The House Of Pharaoh?

Cross-posted at God Is For Suckers!


I discovered this link via a blogversation with a Muslim on the NGB - and a lot of the nonsense contained therein was/is pretty funny.

One of the more amusing (as well as sadder) points, is that most Muslims are unaware that the Old Testament has been pretty thoroughly debunked in re: historicity.

The Exodus, that seminal event of Judaism, never occurred. Simple as that. That Islam has been built on the backbone of Judaism makes Islam even simpler to refute.

But of course, like their Christian counterparts, they seize upon some obscure parchment (presupposition firmly entrenched) as proof of the non-event.

I speak of the Ipuwer papyrus.

The first link provided says this:

"The details in the papyrus regarding the disasters that struck the people of Egypt are just as described in the Qur'an. In the Qur'an, we are told about these catastrophes. This Islamic account of this period of human history has been confirmed by the discovery in Egypt, in the early 19th century, of the Ipuwer papyruses dating back to the Middle Kingdom. After the discovery of this papyrus, it was sent to the Leiden Dutch Museum in 1909 and translated by A. H. Gardiner, a prominent scholar of ancient Egypt. In the papyrus were described such disasters in Egypt as famine, drought and the fleeing of the slaves from Egypt. Moreover, it appears that the writer of the papyrus, one Ipuwer, had actually witnessed these events."

But the second link (the answers.com entry) stipulates this instead:

"The sole surviving manuscript dates to the later 13th century BCE ( No earlier than the 19th dynasty in the New Kingdom). Egyptologist Dr Halpern believed that the papyrus was a copy of earlier copy in the Middle kingdom. The dating of the original composition of the poem is disputed, but several scholars, have suggested a date between the late 12th dynasty and the Second Intermediate Period (ca. 1850 BCE - 1600 BCE).[3] The theme of this work has previously been taken either as a lament inspired by the supposed chaos of the Second Intermediate Period, or as historical fiction depicting the fall of the Old Kingdom several centuries earlier, or possibly a combination of these.

Ipuwer describes Egypt as afflicted by natural disasters and in a state of chaos, a topsy-turvy world where the poor have become rich, and the rich poor, and warfare, famine and death are everywhere. One symptom of this collapse of order is the lament that servants are leaving their servitude and acting rebelliously. Because of this, and such statements as "the River is blood", some have interpreted the document as an Egyptian account of the Plagues of Egypt and the Exodus in the Old Testament of the Bible, and it is often cited as proof for the Biblical account by various religious organisations."

And this website provides a (nearly) full translation. It also says this:

It is impossible to give a date for the composition of this document. The surviving papyrus (Papyrus Leiden 334) itself is a copy made during the New Kingdom. Ipuwer is generally supposed to have lived during the Middle Kingdom or the Second Intermediate Period, and the catastrophes he bewails to have taken place four centuries earlier during the First Intermediate Period.
On the other hand, Miriam Lichtheim, following S. Luria, contends that

the 'Admonitions of Ipuwer' has not only no bearing whatever on the long past First Intermediate Period, it also does not derive from any other historical situation. It is the last, fullest, most exaggerated and hence least successful, composition on the theme "order versus chaos."

M. Lichtheim, Ancient Egyptian Literature, Volume I, p.150

Fringe historians often compare the content of this papyrus with Exodus, the second book of the Bible [1]. Similarities between Egyptian texts and the Bible are easily found, and it is reasonable to assume Egyptian influence on the Hebrews, given their at times close contacts. But to conclude from such parallelisms that the Ipuwer Papyrus describes Egypt at the time of the Exodus, requires a leap of faith not everybody is willing to make.

Five minutes on the Internet, and it flies about the room like an inflated, untied balloon, and comes to rest wrinkled on the floor.

So there you have it. An obscure piece of papyrus, nigh well undateable, with no mention of the Israelites outside of some brief references to foreigners, the alleged 'plagues' easily attributable to volcanic activity (we'll just skip the 'forty years of travel' bit - it's WAY too ludicrous); let's just call it a wrap, it's a load of crap.

Til the next post, then.


Friday, September 07, 2007

'Testing' The Waters - 'Whiz' Bang, It's Off You Go...

Cross-posted at God Is For Suckers!preacher

Here's a newsworthy article that I overheard on my morning commute:

"Tommy Tester, 58, of Bristol, Va., was wearing a skirt when he was arrested last week after allegedly urinating in front of children at a car wash, police said.

Police also said Tester offered to perform oral sex on officers who were sent to the scene."

Holy shit, the term 'walking wounded' springs immediately to mind.

Guess Herr Tester has a...thing for authority figures. Of course, this follows:

"Authorities identified Tester as the minister of Gospel Baptist Church in Bristol and an employee of Christian radio station WZAP-AM in Bristol."

I guess that's why most folks favor Christianity: the bar is low, they let just about anyone in. And of course, his fellow cultists simply rushed to his side:

"There was no immediate response Tuesday to calls to the church and Tester's home."

Maybe I should allow the shock to settle in before I rush to judgment, but I can almost hear the apron strings being brutally cut: "He ain't with us!" (Christians tend to indulge in a rather nuanced social darwinism, you ask me.)

And they bitch at us when somebody misrepresents them - problem is, there's just so damn many examples to choose from.

I'm not in any way inferring that religion made this fellow indulge in transvestitism, drugs or drink or anything else.

Rather, my pet peeve is the claim that it improves folks somehow.

The numbers say otherwise.

And numbers don't lie, baby.


Monday, September 03, 2007

'Muslim Miracles' - If The Anthill Won't Come To Muhammed...

Just what makes that little old ant
Think he'll move that rubber tree plant
Anyone knows an ant, can't
Move a rubber tree plant - High Hopes

Not to engage in the pursuit of ideas is to live like ants instead of men. - Mortimer Adler

Was having a bit of a go at an Islamite over at the NGB, and said delusionist gave out this link.

Oh, wow, there's just so much...hysterical content, I'm going to have to do a series on this. I mean, are they frelling serious about this? Apparently so.

Anyways, away we go:


The Qur'an indicates, when recounting Prophet Sulayman's (as) life, that ants have a communication system:

Then, when they reached the Valley of the Ants, an ant said: "Ants! Enter your dwellings, so that Sulayman and his troops do not crush you unwittingly." (Qur'an, 27: 18)

This is just...bugshit, for want of a better word. Some grotesque anthropomorphism is projected onto an insect (they talk like us?). And then it's dragged WAY outta context? Let's never-you-mind that the scale is so enormous on comparison, that the little buggers (hehehehe) can't even NOTICE us.

I skipped past the bulk of the article, as it's a basic breakdown of what is already known of ants.

As we have seen, ants require a profound knowledge of chemistry to do what they do. The fact that the Qur'an emphasized this fact 1,400 years ago, a time when there was no such knowledge about ants, is another one of its scientific miracles.

Well, first off, a miracle is defined thusly:

An event that appears inexplicable by the laws of nature and so is held to be supernatural in origin or an act of God.

Second off, if one of these little critters did indeed do a 'shout out' to her comrades in Arabic, maybe that would count as one. How on earth was anyone able to actually hear the warning shout?

Third off, let's bypass the fact that ants usually operate in a hive, which counts as a singular 'dwelling'.

Fourth off, fact is, there's no 'miracle' involved in someone, anyone sitting down and watching a train of ants go from point A to point B. Seeing them touch antennae to one another as they go in different directions. Hell, you'd have to be an idiot not to be able to figure that one out.

Stay tuned, dear readers: I will be doing an extensive debunking of all these Islamic 'talking points', and it'll be fun (and probably painful to watch, to boot).

Till the next post, then.


Sunday, September 02, 2007

The (Re)Mote In The Mind's Eye - Where Is Consciousness Located?

Cross-posted at God Is For Suckers!

outtabody Scientists have finally been able to replicate OBE's:

Out-of-body experience recreated

Near-death events have triggered out-of-body experiences

Experts have found a way to trigger an out-of-body experience in volunteers.

The experiments, described in the Science journal, offer a scientific explanation for a phenomenon experienced by one in 10 people.

Two teams used virtual reality goggles to con the brain into thinking the body was located elsewhere.

The visual illusion plus the feel of their real bodies being touched made volunteers sense that they had moved outside of their physical bodies.

The researchers say their findings could have practical applications, such as helping take video games to the next level of virtuality so the players feel as if they are actually inside the game.

Clinically, surgeons might also be able to perform operations on patients thousands of miles away by controlling a robotic virtual self.

Like an old DOS machine, it seems more and more likely that we can trick the operating system into believing odd, odd things.

While this is the first of many forays that has provided some insight into that weird labyrinth that we term 'human consciousness' (for want of a better word), this is yet another step towards a rational explanation for those items the religious proclaim mysteries.

I have written elsewhere of the experiments of one Dr. Michael Persinger - and I have spoken here of my own theory of the origin of identity (probably someone else's as well: I'm sure the more pedantic of my brethren will be quick to point that out) - and there's no doubt that I'm rather fond of Jaynses' The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind, wherein he speaks of the consciousness residing elsewhere. Mind you, it is still in the skull, but it lends one to wonder: if we, as a primarily visual species, consistently place our consciousness right behind our eyes, where does a congenitally blind person place it? The pituitary gland? Or perhaps at the ears, or nose, or even the skin entire?

It is all a chemical response. Naught else.

Yet still we can set sail on an ocean of mirror neurons, our ships sped by winds of wonder, into the deep seas of the mind.

Don't forget to bring your fishing pole. Who knows what you might catch?

Till the next post, then.