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Author Topic: Very seriously for a minute or two -  (Read 10622 times)
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Gernot
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« Reply #8 on: October 27, 2005, 01:24:51 AM »

Yeah, that's it, Great Rao and Nightwing!  

I think I got the thing for only $5.00 at a comic show here!  Man, I'd read and re-read that thing!  

I even remember my brother coming home with Parts 3 and 4 from an old bookstore when the issues were new.  

Man, I loved those days...  Wink
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VRLowKey
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« Reply #9 on: October 27, 2005, 01:43:13 AM »

There was an episode of Lois and Clark in which Superman began suffering 'Superman Syndrome'.
The symptoms involved a general apathy for both good and evil events happening around him at the time.  
I don't imagine Mr. Kent resting so much as changing activity, the way people in a factory assembly line change activities, in order to keep from being bored and overloaded.  Wouldn't a super-brain be super-bored re-inventing the wheels his ancestors made?
Although he's an alien-yet-evolved-human, wouldn't his basic psychology require him to spend time with people in simple interactions? Humans are a social species, after all.
Could the secret identity not be part of his alien psychology? It's been said in the comics that his ancestors worshipped science, which to me demonstrated that they had a truly alien psychology since science is a philosophy, not a religion.  To regard science first as an object of faith and then a system of faith would require an alien nature, I think?


http://www.bdpr.com/kaswhatis.htm
(Book title link.. )
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Kuuga
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« Reply #10 on: October 27, 2005, 03:58:36 AM »

Quote from: "TELLE"
Quote from: "Kuuga"
your point is loaded. Those hours are not a waste.

Superman fights the battle for truth and justice on two fronts. What he does as Clark tells him more about where he is needed as Superman. Sometimes he can do more good with being a reporter than he can swooping out of the sky as Superman. Besides, an honest investigative reporter with x-ray vision and super-speed who's on our side is a pretty cool thing in and of itself. Clark continues his quest using one power people forget he has, the power of the press.

Now given what the media has become of late, it might be hard to see it that way but Clark Kent represents a much more sincere form of journalism than we are used to in the post-CNN era. Sometimes I think the reason why Perry White is so grumpy and balding is because he fights like heck to keep his paper honest even in a world where making up the news as you go sells papers.

Also to, Superman needs a break and some sense of normalcy just like anyone else. No matter which camp you come from (Clark is the reality, Superman is the reality, they're both aspects of Kal-El) nobody can be Superman 24 hours a day. Not even Superman.


Kuuga, this is one of the best posts I've read here in awhile.  Beautifully summed up.

I always loved the (romanticized?) version of the big city paper that Superman comics portrayed.  Almost more than the character of Superman, the idea of the crusading paper is the enduring concept that most inspires me.


Thank you. I appreciate the compliment very much. I think it's the syngery of the character of Superman and the crusading newspaper that makes it work. It's such a perfect backdrop for this character and has generated what is arguably one of the greatest supporting casts for a character in or outside of comicbooks.
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CHO-HENSHIN! KAMEN RAIDA, KUUGA!
Captain Kal
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« Reply #11 on: October 27, 2005, 04:20:09 AM »

Quote from: "VRLowKey"
It's been said in the comics that his ancestors worshipped science, which to me demonstrated that they had a truly alien psychology since science is a philosophy, not a religion.  To regard science first as an object of faith and then a system of faith would require an alien nature, I think?


I don't know if it were ever stated in those exact terms that Kryptonians 'worshipped science'.  Even if that were so, that's not different from our modern Western culture.  Science has replaced traditional religions as the underpinning of society, and in the same manner, the general public doesn't really understand it anymore than they did the gods of old.  Science is this mysterious giver of all things.  Heck, I recall interviews with kids and even some adults where scientists are credited with making the sky blue and plants green.  Blind faith without any true comprehension is the order of the day when it comes to Western worship of science.  I mean, consider that the education systems and ratings of said cultures is so woefully low while they still profess to promote science and technology and you see my point.

Amongst scientists themselves, they've been given to irrational blind faith in defiance of the actual evidence.  Take a look at how long it took the mainstream to finally acknowledge the universe is not a closed model despite the glaring evidence or rather lack of it for that closed model (very likely due to a deep, underlying faith that to suggest otherwise invites the real possibility of God; a kind of reverse prejudice).  Abiogenesis is still considered an established fact despite the actual paucity of facts to support it.  Yes, religion is indeed an aspect of science which makes sense considering modern science has its roots in a monotheistic view of the world (see Paul Davies' "The Mind of God").

IOW, let's not be so smug about Kryptonian 'worship of Science'.  We practice it too.
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Captain Kal

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Gary
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« Reply #12 on: October 27, 2005, 03:43:25 PM »

Quote from: "Captain Kal"
Science has replaced traditional religions as the underpinning of society, and in the same manner, the general public doesn't really understand it anymore than they did the gods of old.  Science is this mysterious giver of all things.  Heck, I recall interviews with kids and even some adults where scientists are credited with making the sky blue and plants green.  Blind faith without any true comprehension is the order of the day when it comes to Western worship of science.  I mean, consider that the education systems and ratings of said cultures is so woefully low while they still profess to promote science and technology and you see my point.


Agree, at least to some extent. I think there are some who have a vested interest in perpetuating the idea that science and technology are best left to the experts. Microsoft, for example, would be happy if the rest of us had no idea how their software works.

But I'm not sure that "worship" is really the right word. To me that implies a kind of deference and respect that really isn't there. Think about the negative stereotypes like "geeks" and "pointy-headed intellectuals" that get attached to people who do science. Science IMO is less like a deity and more like the genie that you go to to fulfull your wishes and are happy to leave bottled up the rest of the time. That's a different attitude from Krypton, which put scientists on a pedestal -- and in charge of the planet's government. (Are there any scientists in Congress today? I can't think of any.)

Quote from: "Captain Kal"
Amongst scientists themselves, they've been given to irrational blind faith in defiance of the actual evidence.  Take a look at how long it took the mainstream to finally acknowledge the universe is not a closed model despite the glaring evidence or rather lack of it for that closed model (very likely due to a deep, underlying faith that to suggest otherwise invites the real possibility of God; a kind of reverse prejudice).  Abiogenesis is still considered an established fact despite the actual paucity of facts to support it.


Having met and worked with a fair number of scientists, this really doesn't match my impressions. (And I'm talking about ones who do things like cosmology and grand unified field theories, because that is the kind that I studied under.) Many scientists, maybe the majority in the US, are Christians themselves, simply because that is the majority of the country as a whole. Just about all of those scientists regard religion as seperate from things like cosmology -- that which must be taken on faith versus that which can be deduced from observation and experiment. Few if any actively oppose religion, though many do vocally oppose certain varieties such as Jerry Falwell-style fundamentalism.

I certainly don't see anybody's philosophical beliefs prejudicing them for or against a closed universe -- which I think was regarded as an open question when I was in grad school. The problem was coming up with a self-consistent theory, whether closed or not closed, that explains the observed universe. Not that there aren't prejudices among scientists. A lot of them are strongly biased in favor of their own pet theories. This is understandable; if you're an expert on Superstring Theory, you have a vested interest in seeing it accepted as the established theory of everything.

As for abiogenesis, biology isn't my thing, so I'll just offer this link.
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Captain Kal
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« Reply #13 on: October 27, 2005, 04:22:05 PM »

Magazine articles and books on cosmology have been heavily slanted towards the closed model esp. after Guth's proposed Inflationary Model (which is bordering on religious faith itself considering how it relies on so much currently untestable ideas).

A more balanced POV on abiogenesis.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abiogenesis

http://www.trueorigin.org/abio.asp

It must be noted that the abiogenesis crowd has never resolved the fundamental problem of information creation out of nothing.  They tend to pretend the problem doesn't exist.  Let's not even get into the decay rates of the organic molecules in an open environment that would give the timeframes for producing self-replicating systems as few as mere weeks instead of the endless eons the proponents are counting on.
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Captain Kal

"When you lose, don't lose the lesson."
-- The Dalai Lama
Captain Kal
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« Reply #14 on: October 27, 2005, 04:26:27 PM »

Paul Davies on biogenesis:

"We think that we invented cyberspace. We didn't. The bacteria invented cyberspace four
billion years ago. Because that is really what life is all about. It is the manipulation
and organization of information in cyberspace. That is what it is doing. It is not really about chemistry.

"Of course, there must be a chemical pathway that leads from a mixture of lifeless substances to the first living thing; life is based on chemistry. Life harnesses chemistry, but the thing that makes life remarkable is not that it is doing some very special sort of chemistry, because most of the chemistry it's doing is actually rather mundane.

"It is just sort of a complicated highly organized chain of chemical processes and it is this digitization of information based aspect to it that is the remarkable thing.

"It seems to me that to try to understand how life originated it is not really a problem of chemistry at all; it's a problem of information theory and complexity theory. We don't really want to know how actual molecules did it in real space. We would like to know how the information was organization in this way in cyberspace.

"The problem is that we don't yet understand the principles that govern information and complexity well enough to know how this could have come about. But the naive view, that just because you find the building blocks of life all around the universe means you must find life around the universe, I think is as silly as saying, just cause you see a pile of bricks, you are going to see a house.

"A house is made of bricks, but it is much more than a pile of bricks. The bricks have to be arranged and organized in a particular specific elaborate specified pattern. That is true of life. You can't just have any old amino acids hooked up to any others. Everything has got to be in exactly the right arrangement and the right sequence, otherwise it is biologically non-functional.

"The problem is, just like houses are not written into the laws of physics, I don't think life is written into the laws of physics. I don't see how it could be, because the laws of physics are very general. If life is about information, all of the laws of physics can do is move information around. They can shift it from place A to place B. They can't create information. They can't inject it.

"So, I don't think we are going to find the answer to life among the laws of physics and chemistry. I think we have got to search for some other principles.

"I am not saying that biological determinism is false. What I am saying is that on the basis of known physics and chemistry, we have no reason to believe it. There is no known scientific principle that compels matter to organize itself into life. There is no known organizing principle of that nature.

"That doesn't mean there isn't such a principle. But, we haven't discovered it yet, so we have no right to say it just on the basis that the building blocks of life are scattered around the universe, that life is scattered around the universe; no right to say that whatever.

"The conclusion that I am coming to is that if, indeed, we are not alone in the universe; if it is teeming with life and its formed independently, [and] it hasn't got splashed there in the manner I have described, then there must be deep principles of organization at work that supplement the known laws of physics and chemistry.

"Otherwise, I don't think you have any right to claim that there is life elsewhere. I'm not sure many scientists would let you want to go as far as that.

"I think a lot of them have been rather glib, and they are saying, sure, there is life everywhere, without realizing the very profound assumptions that go into that."


While comics and S.F. tend to show a universe jam-packed with life in just about every solar system you can point a finger at, Davies' contention above that life is primarily about the information/software and not about the chemistry/physics implies strongly that life is probably nowhere near as ubiquitous as some less responsible scientists would have us believe.  As another article Paul Davies once humourously stated, life seems to them to be such a simple affair: Just add water!  They say if water and the basic building blocks of life exist somewhere, ergo, life would easily spontaneously manifest.  This is surely a gross overestimation of how likely life can form.
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Captain Kal

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Gary
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« Reply #15 on: October 27, 2005, 04:38:36 PM »

While it's true that inflation can't be directly tested, and might well be wrong, it is a scientific theory, and as such a far cry from just saying that God done it.

And I'd hardly consider a Creationist site ("trueorigin.org") to be balanced. Let's just call it the other side of the debate, which we probably shouldn't continue on this board as it's pretty much ceased to have anything to do with Superman.
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