Saturday, May 29, 2010

Superstition Sells and Ignorance is Popular.

Probably not Noah's Ark. Photo credit unknown.

by Louis Shalako

Show me a plaster cast of a Sasquatch footprint on The Learning Channel, and I'll show you a God-damned liar.

The trouble with science is that scientists bring their own assumptions into the equation.

They bring their hopes, dreams, desires and aspirations along as well.

Years ago, an expedition climbed Mount Ararat, and they returned bearing pieces of timber, which were, “Believed to be pieces of Noah’s Ark,” according to Funk & Wagnall’s Encyclopedia, (1986.) Only one problem: other 'arks.' For example the Cornuke Ark, found in Iran. 

"In 2006, a group of Texas adventurers announced that they had found the remains of Noah’s Ark on the slopes of a rugged mountain in Iran. The fourteen-man expedition, led by explorer and speaker Dr. Bob Cornuke, returned with video and photographic evidence of a black object 400 feet long and 13,120 feet above sea level, as well as samples of what he described as ‘wooden beams.'" 

"The Web report by Brannon Howse reads, “The arkish object is about 400 feet long and consists of rocks that look remarkably like blackened wood beams while other rock in the area is distinctively brown. And one visible piece is “cut” at a 90-degree angle. Even more intriguing, some of the wood-like rocks were tested just this week and actually proved to be petrified wood, and it is noteworthy that Scripture recounts Noah sealed his ark with pitch—a decidedly black substance. Upon being cut open, one of these “rocks” also divulged a marine fossil that could have only originated undersea." 

The article goes on to debunk the 'petrification' process, which relies on groundwater with a high mineral content. 

Only one problem: if all the ice and snow in the Earth's glaciers and at the pole melted, it would only raise the ocean's level by a couple of hundred metres, or about 216 feet. If all the water in our atmosphere fell at once in the form of rain it would cover the entire planet to a depth of one inch. Where did all the water come from, to raise an ark 7,000 feet for the object depicted in the colour photograph above, and an astounding 13,000 feet for the Cornuke Ark? Where did all that water go afterwards? 

Years ago, I think it was Erich von Daniken, (Chariots of the Gods) published a black and white photo of the alleged ark. It was on Mt. Ararat. The object was squared at both ends, and subsequent expeditions could not locate it. I'm going on pure memory here, and any help with links would be appreciated. But if it's just alleged arks you're interested in, there might be a few others out there. 

Who believes it? Do you believe it? I don’t believe it. What I do believe is that if a person announced they were going off to Armenia, to climb Mount Ararat and find Noah’s Ark, all of their friends would laugh at them. The stakes are pretty high. If you succeed in finding Noah’s Ark, you make a lot of money and you get to be famous. What if you don’t find anything?

You become a laughing-stock. You have just wasted a lot of time, money and effort, and some of that time, money and effort may have belonged to your family, your friends, and probably your sponsors. You may have gotten money and assistance from the National Geographic Society. 

What if you want to go back? What if you just can’t settle into your dad’s acounting practice, or the family farm-corporation,* or the shoe-store where you worked your way through college? 

So what are you going to do? You work very hard to convince yourself, to delude yourself.

You grab the first piece of timber you come across on your way down the mountain, and you make careful statements about ‘what it might be.’ You get your name in the paper, which sensationalizes the trivial, and trivializes the important. You get to write your book, and you get to participate in the making of documentary films. You get another grant from the Bible Society, the Explorer’s Club, National Geographic, whatever—you will please note they all have an interest of one kind or another. A self-interest. They’re interested in finding Noah’s Ark, and they are most definitely not interested in not finding it. In an old encyclopedia, there is a picture of, “the great baths at Mohenjo-daro,” which was a Harappan site in the Indus River valley. 

That’s on the Indian subcontinent. The text says the baths were used for religious purposes. Yet the text also clearly states that no temples or palaces that can be clearly identified as such, have actually been discovered at this site. How do they know the baths were used for religious purposes? They don’t, or at least; I don’t. 

How do they know it wasn’t mere luxury? We take baths for granted, but it is a luxury, as any Third World citizen can tell you. 

In present day society, the Saudi Arabians have built a nation based upon religious precepts. 

Do Saudis perform religious ceremonies in their bathtubs? I’ve never heard of it. I will admit, that some people in the western world get up on Sunday morning, scrub the kids nice and squeaky clean, dress them up in little suits and ties, dresses, and Easter Bonnets, and drag them off to church. 

So what about Mohenjo-daro, and the assumptions made about the discoveries there? Was the Harappan culture hung up on religion? What about the people who dug it up thousands of years later? Were they hung up on religion? Were they social elitists, hung up on ‘Empire?’ They obviously didn’t conclude, from the lack of temples and palace complexes, that the people of Mohenjo-Daro ‘must have been’ secular democrats, did they? Yet this ‘evidence’ could be interpreted that way.

Based on the evidence, no one ever concluded they were atheists! No temples, huh...maybe they used the bathtub.

“Oh, but the digs are incomplete,” you might say. 

“Yes, I know,” is my answer. 

The great baths of Mohenjo-Daro are evidence that the people of Harappan cultures took a bath once in a while. Chunks of timber from Mount Ararat are evidence that there may be, or may have been, trees, or other wooden structures, in the vicinity, once upon a time. 

In Canada, people go to high school to prepare them for college or university. Then they spend tens of thousands of dollars on 'higher education.' And God, are they dumb. They get an education to prepare them to go out into the work force. Does college or university teach you to think? I say no. It teaches you to be sociable, employable, tractable, polite to your superiors, and it makes you obedient. It gives you a certain discipline. It gives you the basics of your profession. It doesn’t teach you to think. 

I learned to think in the toughest school of all, right out here in the streets, where literally every piece of shit on two legs was trying to take advantage of my good nature. Certainly I would have benefited from some higher education. I would have been more adequately socialized, if I had stuck in high school, then gone on to a college or university. I learned to take things with a grain of salt, and to distrust anything that came down from on high. 

And I probably wouldn’t have made this discovery, or even half of the discoveries that I have made in fifty short years. 

Superstition sells, and ignorance is popular. The mass media of our times need a large audience, in order to sell advertising space and to make a profit for the shareholders. How do you attract the largest possible audience? 

Well, you dumb it down, of course, to the level of the lowest common denominator. And the lowest common denominator is pretty damned ignorant. So the next time you go to a movie, and some spirit, some demon, some hokey religious clap-trap comes flying out of some dusty old book in a temple, flashing across the screen, roaring and gnashing its jaws; whatever you do, don’t ask yourself any questions. Because to do so would be to go against the system that has been very carefully built across the centuries. 

I think it was George Washington who said, “An educated populace is the first bastion of democracy.” 

But our educators are all elitists. Our industries don’t want democracy—they want an obedient and completely dependent workforce. They want to make money, with no accountability. 

And you wouldn’t want to become an enemy of society, and you wouldn’t want to be excluded from all employment, housing, marriage, or any other type of prospects that the majority enjoy. 

In this country we talk about ‘celebrating diversity.’ That is the ‘official position.’ What is common knowledge on the street, and what is the official position is always different. When has the government, any government, ever told the truth about any issue? In this country celebrating diversity means a bunch of white people, all of whom have about the same income, all of them from the same neighbourhood, sitting around a campfire, singing 'Koombayah.' (Or whatever.) 

When has the government ever told the truth? On any single issue? 


And you can put it in a book and quote me on that one.

The truth is somewhat different, as any immigrant, any gay person, any Arab or Muslim person can tell you. 

Any thinker can tell you the real story, or should be able to, anyway. 

Most Canadians are perfectly happy to go with the flow, for it brings important material benefits in their lives. 

And they never have to think. Thinking is hard. It can also be dangerous. 

The most dangerous thing in the world is an idea. Most Canadians are content to leave well enough alone, and let sleeping dogs lie, and go out to the movies once a week, and watch Tom Hanks beating up on the big, bad, Catholic Church. Just for the record, if Michelangelo had wanted to leave a message for the peoples of the future, he might have written it down someplace. 

As for paintings like, ‘The Last Supper,’ Leonardo Da Vinci was content to let the painting speak for itself. 

And the message is a pretty simple one; if you have the wit to get it. Jesus broke bread with his brothers, and then he went off to die for our sins, one of which is arrogance. And ignorance is another sin. 

What part of that is so hard to understand? Yet even the Church doesn’t seem to get it a lot of the time. 

Movies like, ‘The Da Vinci Code,’ are good examples of something I learned a long time ago, but have never adequately been able to put into words until recently. 

A fact is a fact is a fact. But how it is interpreted, depends largely on who is doing the interpreting, and what self-assumptions they bring along with them, and what it is that they wish to prove. 

Facts are interpreted according to what you want to prove--any trial lawyer can tell you that. 

What if they’re just plain ignorant, like a Canadian journalist? Then you end up with governments like that of Stephen Harper up here in Canada; or the recent so-called, ‘health-care reform,’ in the U.S. which still leaves millions of Americans in the hole. It's a criminal offence now, apparently, not to be able to pay for your private health care insurance. So the insurance companies will jack the rates. 

They don't want to provide health care to 'criminals,' after all. More ignorance. 

Science and religion have a couple of things in common. They both can be abused by evil men and women for personal gain. 

That ain’t news, but it sure seems to be the reality for so many people. 

I just saw a man on TV who claims that there are giant squid living in caves under the Bahamas. He was on TV and everything and he seemed like a nice, ambitious young film-maker. 

He admitted in the show, “It’s impossible to prove that something doesn’t exist.” I can't prove your honour doesn't exist either. It is a reasonable deduction, though. Maybe if you find some ruins, in the Sea of Japan or somewhere, you can tell A & E that you 'might' have discovered Atlantis and could you borrow a film crew and a few million bucks for a while, at least until you make it back in royalties...

Oh yeah; I trust his facts implicitly, although a few bones, teeth, fossils, dead squid, or anything really; would have been of some help. Just for the record, giant squid are a pelagic organism, although I hear there’s a really, really big blue ox roaming the hills of Wisconsin. 

Now that would make a good subject for a documentary film by a truly scientific researcher. 


*90 % of the farms in Canada are owned by corporations. Remember that the next time some conservative claims they’re going to give a few hundred million dollars to ‘save the sacred, holy, family farm.’

Now ask yourself where all that money is REALLY going. 

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