The Stiff: Chapter 3: Page 91

The Stiff: Chapter 3: Page 91

Last night I got back from a trip to Washington, DC and Roanoke, VA. We visited some of Jay’s friends, then drove into the Shenandoah Valley to see some of my cousins I hadn’t seen in 16 years. (I actually wasn’t sure how long, but they calculated it had been that long based on the fact that the last time I was there we’d seen “Event Horizon” in the theater. My cousins always were my horror movie go-to guys.)

Anyway, it was a fun trip, although I wish we’d taken it in summer; when I was a kid I always used to visit my grandparents in Virginia then, when everything was green and the air was humid and heavy, instead of now in winter, when it’s cold and the trees are bare (and there wasn’t even any snow this season to make it picturesque). But that’s a trivial detail, since my cousins were the important thing, and we had a fun time. On the way back, my wife and I stopped in Luray Caverns where we went on a cave tour, during which I thought about HP Lovecraft’s “The Beast in the Cave” the whole time. Things got off to a very American start when, as the tour guide was explaining how the cave had been formed by water and erosion over 10 million years, one of our fellow tourmates loudly and pointedly said “But how can that be, when the Bible tells us the Earth was created only 6,000 years ago?”

To add an extra spin, he apparently wasn’t American, but part of some Russian Bible/Christian (or just passively Christian) tour group. Myself, I was most surprised by the fact that he’d said 6,000 years, when I thought Young Earth Creationists believed the Earth was 8,000 years old, like James Beauseigneur in his “Christ Clone Trilogy”. Clearly there’s some sort of competition going on where people are trying to out-extreme one another by claiming the Earth is younger and younger, until eventually, the Earth will have been created 2 hours and 30 minutes ago and God just implanted all our memories of the time before that. Which is actually very existential and Philip K. Dickian, though that probably wasn’t what the Russians were thinking about.

NEXT UPDATE: Friday!


Discussion (5)¬

  1. Ken Kobori says:

    Has it really been 15 years since “Event Horizon” came out? How time flies. I like a good SF/Horror film, but I found “Event Horizon” disappointing to say the least. I can’t even remember how the film’s plot was resolved (if it ever was). By way of contrast, I can remember almost every single detail of “Aliens”–of course, the fact that I saw it multiple times on the big screen may have something to do with it.

  2. Darknightblade78 says:

    I think its kinda ironic that the staunch Christians are sticking with X,000 years age, and then the scientists are sticking with “we can’t actually prove that nothing started this process, its just astronomically impossible…but the Earth is millions of years old!” Personally, I think the truth lies in the middle. Couldn’t the inventor of the world also made it so that people would exist in their current form around 6,000 years ago and that’s when history really started and picked up? Yep, Intelligent Design, all the way. Main Point: Love the Comic, anxious to see where it goes!

  3. @Darknightblade78 — Actually, many Christians I know don’t necessarily have any problem with the idea that the Earth is really really old. The realization that the Earth took millions of years (or seven “God years”, as some ex-Catholics I know had it explained to them in Sunday school) to form just arose out of geology: observing how long it took for stones and earth to develop by water sloooowly dripping, and logically extrapolating that if it takes X years for 1/8th of an inch of sediment to form, how long must it take to form stalagmites and things? -_- Once you observe the natural processes and can figure out how long they’d take to work, assuming that God shortcutted them somehow is like assuming that a giant redwood tree was miracled up by God 15 minutes ago rather than taking 200 years to grow — possible, but not the most logical assumption based on observation. And using astronomy to estimate the age of the universe is just the next step from using geology to estimate the age of the Earth, or for that matter counting the rings of a tree.

    As for evolution, I think many religious people — like myself before I became an atheist — assume that, if God’s omnipotent, there’s no reason He couldn’t have set evolution in motion knowing all along that it’d produce human beings and then He could guide them. God works in mysterious ways, after all. And the same could theoretically go for the entire universe, since astronomy/astrophysics indicates that the universe literally “started from nothing”… which some scientists have noted is fairly Biblical. -_-

    Evolution seems to be more of a stumbling block for people than the age of the Earth, though, because of the Adam & Eve thing. And I think some people are opposed to evolution based on purely moral issues… the fantasy graphic novel “Loyola Chin and the San Peligran Order”, by Catholic comic artist Gene Yang, posits that since evolution is based on ‘survival of the fittest’, it’s essentially a cruel and inhumane idea, and Yang ultimately can’t accept it within a universe based on Christian ideas of compassion.

    Anyway, I’m glad you like the comic!! :)

  4. André Mello says:

    @Jason Thompson — I’m kind of curious about how Gene Yang would justify killing nearly every being on the planet with a giant flood and just leaving a few samples to repopulate, since evolution is so cruel. Over time I started to regard the Bible as an anthology of fables with underlying moral lessons — much like Aesop’s tales. Some of it might even have some historical truth beneath, but it’s unreasonable to take any of it literally, so I’m always more open to scientifical interpretations of our reality.

    That said, Gödel proved mathematics is fundamentally flawed and I firmly believe there is no philosophical construct that can acknowledge every aspect of the Existence. Every theory will either be limited in its scope or be unprovable — just like religion. At the lowest level of matter, you can’t tell everything about a particle’s state — you can tell either momentum or position, but never both. If a tree falls in the forest without anyone to observe it, it might as well have come into existence already fallen. And if there is some kind of Super-universe in which our Universe was created — or other parallel universes — it’s something out of our inside reach.

    So that’s why despite belonging to no religion, I fully respect them. There is an infinity of possible explanations and interpretations to what makes its way into our consciousnesses, none of which will ever be complete, and as long as it grants some peace, comfort, stability or whatever positive effect, every religion is right. I just can’t understand preaching and fanaticism — or rather, I can’t stand them. If magic worked, we wouldn’t need science, but since we do, it should be respected as well — we need a way to move forward, otherwise, what’s the point? If there’s a meaning to life, matter, Existence, at all, we can only get to it by not staying still. I wish everyone understood that.

  5. Aileen says:

    Keep these artclies coming as they’ve opened many new doors for me.

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