The Promised Land

I don’t believe that God promised any piece of land to any one group of people, ethnicity, or religion. It is completely absurd to believe that God drew up a land deed and gave it to one dude sitting around watching some sheep. But according to the Old Testament, Genesis 15:18-21, that is exactly what happened.

On that day the Lord made a covenant with Abram and said, “To your descendants I give this land, from the Wadi of Egypt to the great river, the Euphrates — the land of the Kenites, Kenizzites, Kadmonites, Hittites, Perizzites, Rephaites, Amorites, Canaanites, Girgashites and Jebusites.”

So if I am going to believe this fragment of the Hebrew Bible, written by the Hebrew people, the Hebrew God promised some land to the Hebrew people where other people were actually living at the time. It’s like religious/racial eminent domain. If we could be able to add to the Bible, I am sure former President George W. Bush would petition God to transfer ownership of Iraq to the Bush Foundation.

I’m sorry but I don’t believe that God Almighty would side on one side versus another on a land dispute. I wonder where he would side in the land disputes of Native American tribes? That said, I do believe that the Jewish people were promised land by a powerful historical geo-political figure. In 1934, Joseph Stalin established the Jewish Autonomous Oblast, “which allowed for the Jews of the Soviet Union to receive a territory in which to pursue Yiddish cultural heritage within a socialist framework.” Unfortunately, the Jewish Autonomous Oblast is in the Russian Far East region and recent census indicate that the Jewish population is at around 1%.

Stephen Hawking’s Scientific Blasphemy

There is little doubt that Stephen Hawking is a smart guy, I mean he’s made several appearances in The Simpsons and is a cultural figure but recently his editorial pieces and interviews have been nothing more than link bait. Earlier this year Stephen Hawking warned that if we were to make contact with intelligent extra-terrestrial lifeforms that we could possibly be annihilated, much like how Native Americans where decimated by guns, germs, and steel as described by the book by Jared Diamond.

The Times Online has a few choice quotes.

We only have to look at ourselves to see how intelligent life might develop into something we wouldn’t want to meet. I imagine they might exist in massive ships, having used up all the resources from their home planet. Such advanced aliens would perhaps become nomads, looking to conquer and colonise whatever planets they can reach. … If aliens ever visit us, I think the outcome would be much as when Christopher Columbus first landed in America, which didn’t turn out very well for the Native Americans.

I didn’t know Stephen Hawking changed careers, from world renowned scientist to a two bit science fiction writer, but speculating on the event of first contact is not science. I am confident he said this just after watching Avatar.

Stephen Hawking latest link bait is his claim that God didn’t create the Universe. Again, he moved from science to scientific dogma. He claims that God is not necessary in the creation the Universe, that the Universe could have easily been created out of nothing. This really made me laugh, the idea that the Universe could have sprung out of nothingness is as fanciful as string theory. One of science’s major tenets, the conservation of energy, states that nothing can be created or destroyed out of nothing and now Stephen Hawking is claiming that the perhaps our universe and perhaps multiple universes sprung out of a void. This is scientific blasphemy!!!

The Wall Street Journal quote Stephen Hawking as saying the following.

As recent advances in cosmology suggest, the laws of gravity and quantum theory allow universes to appear spontaneously from nothing. Spontaneous creation is the reason there is something rather than nothing, why the universe exists, why we exist. … Our universe seems to be one of many, each with different laws.

If the term creationist wasn’t already taken, I would have to apply it to Stephen Hawking for the above statement. Calling a belief a theory does not make it science. I only have one life, I am not going to bet my life on the concept of multiple universes and definitely not counting on an alien armada invading Earth any time soon. Stephen Hawking should stick to what he knows best, black holes, and leave the alien invasion business to science fiction writers and government officials.

Favorite Tweets July 2010

There are some funny people on Twitter. Whenever I find a funny, witty, or thought provoking I usually retweet it and favorite it. Here is a small collection of recent tweets that stoop out to me.

  • @5tevenw: My father always told me, “Be bold! Don’t be italic.”
  • @momosuxx: Does my username make me look fat?
  • @jdickerson: Out back I hear crickets, birds, plane, car, hammering, sprinkler all at once. Distracting me from Twitter distracting me from the paper
  • @ButtercupD: “multi-device-ing” again…PC on lap, iPad to the left and iPhone to the right…and I like it like that!
  • @DamnItsTrue: Facebook is for friends that are now strangers, Twitter is for strangers that should be your friends.
  • @keithie: Tufte lecture: Only two industries describe their customers as “users”, computer software and drugs dealers
  • @centernetworks: iPhone marriage -Two iPhones got married. It was a lovely ceremony, but the reception was awful. Apparently they held it in the wrong place.
  • @alexia: OH: In my next life I want to be reincarnated as a computer.
  • @gurl: Never trust a man in flip flops.
  • @rands: Avoid those who use language to mystify the obvious.
  • @DaRealAmberRose: Always be a first-rate version of yourself, instead of a second-rate version of somebody else.
  • @NatashaYi: Girls are like phones. We love to be held, talked to, but if you press the wrong button you will be disconnected!
  • @batfish: Bacon is the duct tape of the culinary world.
  • @adamjackson: “News” is just a distraction to what’s really going on in our world.
  • @laughlitmus: I need a software that controls US defense systems to remove human error from strategic decisions *must not become self-aware*
  • @SchemaCzar: The beginning of time ain’t what it used to be…
  • @DocHobbes: Outraged that the President does not have a plan in place in the event of a zombie out break / apocalypse.
  • @ladyfox14: OH: ‘It smells like SPF 50 and hash’ ‘The best two smells of summer’
  • @verowhite: I hate packing almost as much as I love traveling.
  • @spangley: OH: “rural oregon is like the west virginia of the west coast.”
  • @Susan_ld4e: If is the longest word
  • @errolmorris: Maybe 95% of all “art” is painting by numbers.
  • @Miss_Officer: Life is the best school. God is the best teacher. Problem is the best assignment. Failure is the best revision.
  • @Jason: Business plans are entrepreneurial masturbation. Please don’t send me business plans or ideas.
  • @mzkay2good: da way i am is cuz of my parents, n their both great but only when their in seperate rooms lol
  • @jlashae: Flaws r beautiful :-)
  • @iBangLSE: My mistakes have made me strong .
  • @Gbaybeeh: There’s a piece of me who leaves when you gone
  • @zpower: as a consumer, what sort of wacky decision tree would cause you to conclude that a $300 sony daily edition is a sound purchase?