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January 28, 2007


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So now that that you finally have your book and your answer about God, does this mean you are giving up blogging? ;-)

While I enjoyed the title of this essay, I have to laugh at the premise: SCIENCE does not say "no" ...Victor Stenger says "no".

Again I point to Fibonacci's discovery of the pattern found in nature, over and over. While a reputable science-ist might argue that the repetitive perfection of this pattern is mere coincidence, others have found it to be viable proof of a Higher Intelligence at work. Apparently the "proof" is in the eyes of the beholder...

Oh where are Edward's faeries when I need them? ;)


benandante: I would be very interested in(though, honestly, skeptical of) how one goes from recognizing the Fibonacci constant/Fibonacci series, to seeing evidence of any one of the several points Stenger lists in Brian Hines' post.

Which of those points does recognition of the Fibonacci series prove?

Marcel, I've still got my eye out for the other "god" that is allowed by science. It's just the personal Judeo-Christian-Islamic God that science has pretty well proven doesn't exist.

Jean, Stenger talks about the Fibonacci pattern, saying that this is one of many examples "that should provide a strong antidote for those who still labor under the delusion that mindless natural processes are unable to account for the complex world we see around us."

The Fibonacci pattern isn't coincidence, just as the laws of gravity, motion, electromagnetism and so on aren't coincidence. Nature works in beautiful mysterious ways. But this doesn't point to an Intelligent Designer pulling the strings in a personal, anthropomorphic fashion.

Oops, just realized that my "normal" sign-in name might confuse me with the site owner/author, for anyone who doesn't click on the link of my name up there.

I'm the person who posted at 9:50 AM today, above.

And to Brian, the site author/owner - thanks for the clarification on what Stenger says about the Fibonacci pattern. Considering the rigor with which he approached the topic, I'm not surprised that he addressed it in his book!

Why, oh why, does Stenger have to disprove the existence of a personal God?

I have given up "proving" to the wee people that this plane is not the heaven they go to when they die, and that their death is really birth into the "real world."

From a Reuters article: "When they (science researchers) electrically stimulated the left temporoparietal junction in her brain, which is linked to self-other distinction and self-processing, she thought someone was standing behind her."

That was my personal God! Standing there giggling in insolence and anonymity. Swiss researchers are easy to fun with, and after all, what are personal Gods supposed to do with themselves during downtime?

Oh, it's all "create this" and "preserve that" and "be the font of perfection", until someone puts their eye out. And then you hear, "Why does God let these things happen?" blah, blah.

It's a PERSONAL god. Science researchers aren't poking their noses into why you reboot when software doesn't work, (futile) or why you put on your right shoe first in the morning, (compulsion) or why you think being polite will get you what you want. Think about it... do you have what you want? Magical thinking drips both ways.

The dualistic, cosmos-dwelling gods certainly help me keep the filing straight. My personal relationship with god grows my nails and keeps my reflection recognizable.

Now, the elves tell me that they deify each other, and to them, that's more equitable, since they are already around in case of an emergency. And, well, to be personal.

The question Stenger should be asking, proving or decimating is, "With what do we replace a personal God?" To paraphrase Laplace, there's no hypothesis for that need.


I would like to take this opportunity to act in my capacity as personal god to the sufficient end of the above mentioned attribute, to wit:
3. God steps in whenever he wishes to change the course of events, which may include violating his own laws as, for example, in response to human entreaties.

Any cosmic disruption will be transparent to the end user.

That is all.

Well, all this is good.

A question to be asked is why is there something instead of nothing.
Somehow there is Change and Flux or the apparency of Change and Flux.You can either agree with Heraclitus on that, or with Parmenides who states that there is no Real Change.

Or look to the east:

"The greatest virtue is to follow Tao and Tao alone. The Tao is elusive and intangible. Oh, it is intangible and elusive, and yet within is image. Oh, it is elusive and intangible, and yet within is form. Oh, it is dim and dark, and yet within is essence. This essence is very real, and therein lies faith. From the very beginning till now its name has never been forgotten. Thus I perceive the creation. How do I know the ways of creation? Because of this." (verse 21. tr. Gia Fu Feng)

Time and whatever it implies is a 'relity' in our life, death/birth or birth/death.

Sant mat views Jesus as an avatar not a sant. It differentiates between the 'ultimate', 'untouched','unborn','all-inifinite', Anami, with the first emanation in Sat-lok, and then the third emanation of Time.

The state of consiousness that it identifies with the Judeo Christian God is Brahm (a lieutant in the cosmic unverse). It states that there are a lot of 'Brahm eggs' floating, each one with different inner laws. This coinsides with many new theoretical phycists today.

This universe , according to Sant mat, is one hair, in the ocean of the astral, which is one hair floating in the ocean of the noetic dimension, which is in effect one hair floating in the whole cosmos.

The journey is not all that big,just 4-5 fingers upward from your eyes.

There are thus many commonilaties with christianity and many differences. Santmat is more akin to christian gnosticism.Anyway, Brian, you these stories very well. I do not even attempt to analyse them anymore.They are great food for thought, but thought itself is our main problem. I like simpler stuff, like Peter Pan and other nice stories. Or something more intriguing like the Vedantist saying "neti neti"

Brian, to answer your question: Which of those (Stenger's) points does recognition of the Fibonacci series prove?

Well, number two for sure - and all of the miserable science-ists on the planet cannot dissuade me of that. Stenger sees a complex, even microscopic pattern at work in all of life and assumes it is somehow "nature" at work - absent the archetypal capitalization of course - and points to the perfection and precision of Nature even unseen to the naked eye as some process devoid of a Higher Intelligence?

I'm pleased to be able to glimpse within myself why all this denial of God makes me so uneasy: I'm all too aware of my own imperfection, and I just can't muster the arrogance required to deny the obvious Consciousness at work.

I call that consciousness "God" -- but call it Yehovah, call it Ralph or Wyrd or Wu or whatever you like -- there is creation, of which I am a part (and participate), and there is Creator. I'm not Creator but I consciously participate in creation.

To each his or her own: I look into a microscope and see a universe with amazing precision, look at the heavens and grasp that same pattern of precision and I know to my depths that a Higher Consciousness is at work. What another man sees, or is willing to see, is the sad and wonderful mystery of life.



As usual, I really enjoyed your above discussion. The last paragraph was most interesting. Do you ever ponder the words, "know and hope?" Haha.....I know you do. I ponder the two all the time.

A small exercise:

"I know to my depths that a Higher Consciousness is at work"

then try,

"I hope to my depths that a Higher Consciousness is at work"

I find myself bouncing between the two, unfortunately, the evil, "I don't know" comes to visit too.

Oh well, thanks again for your discussion.

Thanks for the response, Jeanine.

This is a half-baked response, so I would appreciate anyone pointing out any apparent contradictions in my thought... but the part where I begin to disagree with you (or maybe misunderstand you) is this:

I don't see nature as perfect. It's full of contingencies and jury-rigging, at least to my layman's eyes. So my personal, internal imperfections fit right in, and require no other force/intelligence/power/God to make it all work. I just accept that it exists and I'm part of it all. I don't see that as arrogance - to me, acknowledging the contingent nature of "nature" feels like humility.

I think that looking at the universe around us and seeing some force/power/consciousness/God behind it all requires one to first assume that there is, in fact, a consciousness behind it all. The simpler hypothesis, to me, is to just see what's there and see my part in it.

At any rate, thank you for the food for thought.

Whoever is believing in a Stenger's type God has a long way to go.

btw, if it were so easy to prove or disprove it would have been done a long time ago.. Or at least a Nobel Prize would have been awarded.


Yes, of course I have moments - occasionally serialized - where the best I can do is hope that a Creator exists and that there is some sort of point to what seems like a pointless exercise. For myself, I have noticed that there is a direction connection between this state of mind and my actions.

When I occupy myself with creating - taking action of some kind on a small or large scale - I am graced with a shimmering ...knowing... (oh, how I wish I could write like Edward or Brian at times like this!!) and I can report without reservation that there is a Higher Consciousness at work and I am filled with so much humility and so much wonder at human potential and what we actually bother to do with it.

However, even knowing the connectedness between creating and consciousness, I slip into consumption. When I consume I am not creating. I am occupied with my own needs, my own desires. My own satisfactions and wishes - even the admirable ones!! - are a kind of spiritual trap I fall into, a spiritual echo-chamber where eventually I'm feasting exclusively on myself. It's not long into consumption that I begin to doubt God, to doubt my own divinity, to feel more dissatisfaction than gratitude, but for me it doesn't signal that I am unworthy or broken but that I've slipped back into consumption.

I laugh when people say they need to "go recharge" and they really mean "go consume". For myself, I've learned that when the scale of the universe and Consciousness causes me to doubt, I am too focused on my own finite needs - I need to paint a picture, write a song, volunteer, cook, clean, give of myself without demanding of God or anyone else a reward or payment and by that acting-on I am reinvigorated emotionally, mentally, even physically.

The part of me that gorges on philosophy tells me that this response is too long, that no one wants to listen, that my thoughts don't matter to anyone. The part of me that seeks to find rapport and to learn through this exchange of experiences and hopes and strengths knows that intention is everything and that sincere action is never met with derision.


I enjoyed your insights into, "creating and consumption." The consumption issue is interesting food for thought. Something tells me that we all are bouncing between the creating and consuming.

My opinion on your writing skills, " Keep writing, send Edward and Brian to the kitchen, put those two to work washing dishes, then go back to writing more."

Excellent advice, oh advicetrix!

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