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February 15, 2008

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"perfectly suited to what was happening at the moment"
--Have you asked the dog its opinion on this matter? :)

Watts could have written a much more interesting book around this question: why could he--although only mostly reflected in his private life--barely stand this 'insecurity' while in public praise its virtue?


Dear Brian,

I do not wish to be rude in my responses to you today, but I do wish to also ask the following:

You state: "Watts gets it absolutely right when he says...."

Kindly forgive my raising this general question, but might you not be absolutely "...wrong, wrong, wrong"? (Not only about any statement from Watts [or others], but regarding lots of other opinions just as well. [Consider your previous cult-group membership.])

Nevertheless, thanks for your regular essays/thoughts.

Robert Paul Howard

Robert, the assumption behind my "gets it absolutely right" statement is this: it's impossible to know what is coming next in life.

Now, it is possible to predict the paths of mechanical objects. Billiard balls, planets, that sort of thing.

But where is the evidence that complex living beings, who are interacting complexly with a complex environment, can predict precisely what will happen in the next moment?

I'm not a relativist who believes that nothing is knowable. Some things can be known. Otherwise science is useless, a farce.

There are personal opinions, and there are generally accepted facts. I based my statement on what seems to be an undeniable fact: that regarding everyday life, it isn't possible to be secure in one's confidence that such and such will happen in the future.

As Watts says, we then have several choices. We can redouble our efforts to control the world -- the religious approach -- or we can embrace uncertainty (which is, as noted above, reality).

Dear Brian,

Thank you for your prompt response.

I do happen to agree with you. But I, too, could be "...wrong, wrong, wrong."

Robert Paul Howard

I did some "Rhawn Joseph" checking via Google and found that he's as scientifically uninformed as I suspected. I looked over this PDF writing of his and can't figure out what he's getting at.
http://www.elequity.com/contego/nov07/2/BigBangMythology.pdf

Here's an Amazon review of one of his books. Joseph apparently believes that not only is the big bang wrong, but also evolution, general relativity, and the laws of thermodynamics. Well, if you're going to be grandiose, you might as well go all the way.

Review:

"Panspermia, the hypothesis that life did not originate on Earth but Elsewhere, needs to be given serious consideration by the scientific establishment. This book is a huge step in the wrong direction.

In the introduction Joseph throws out evolution. In the first chapter he throws out the Big Bang, General Relativity, and the Second Law of Thermodynamics. Yes, at least some of our current ideas are probably wrong, but you need something more to throw out the Second Law of Thermodynamics than that it conflicts with your pet Steady State hypothesis.

On top of that, this reads like a rough draft, with punctuation errors and mis-numbered diagrams that a halfway competent editor would have caught on the first read through.

DO NOT BUY THIS BOOK! "

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