Discovery Of The ‘Flying Spaghetti Monster’
Bertrand Russell (History of Western Philosophy). Professor Richard Dawkins FRS. (‘The Selfish Gene’) Carl Sagan, Doctor of Astro-Physics NASA (‘Demon Haunted World’, ‘Contact’ and ‘SETI’, deceased and ashes taken up into space).
They should all be very proud of this discovery!
It came in a dream prompted by “the f…ing stupid intelligent design debate” of ‘Kansas Schools USA’.
The Church Of The Flying Spaghetti Monster
The Final End of Theology and Ontology. It now becomes ‘Barbarian History’. Reminds me of the end of Psychiatry, which will now become Neuroscience or Neurology as said by Vilayanur Ramachandran MD.
“They Turned The Wold Around”. Humankind has reached a new ‘plateau of thinking’ with the 1950’s discovery of DNA by Watson and Crick. The discovery by Penzias and Wilson of the ‘Expansion of the Universe’. A great leap forwards in the 1960’s social thought i.e. Dr Timothy Leary now deceased and ‘his ashes’ taken up into space. Richard Dawkins ‘The Selfish Gene’ and Stephen Hawking ‘A Brief History Of Time’. Carl Sagan ‘The Demon Haunted World’. Superstring Theory explained by Michio Kaku. Make Poverty History Peace – Love – Freedom. An abrupt and the final end for Quackery, Irrationality, Ignorance and Superstition.
It is very interesting to consider the general attitude towards what Bertrand Russell called Useless Knowledge. By this, I mean Cosmology, Evolution, and History. Philosophers and Scientists have given firm opinions as to what our attitude should be.
To quote two Nobel Prize Winners, “Whosoever is devoid of the capacity to wonder at the cosmic mystery might as well be dead, for he has already closed his eyes on life”.
Secondly, “The effort to understand is one of the very few things that lifts human life a little above the level of a farce”.
They are right of course, but most people do not see things that way at all. To much Useless Knowledge is, quite frankly, a bit of a bore. Boredom is the explanation, but the cause is fear.
Acquiring knowledge means (subconsciously) admitting ignorance and this is a blow to self-esteem. More importantly, Useless Knowledge being non-trivial often involves a major reassessment of personal values, this can be most disturbing. These reasons for the unpopularity of knowledge are not fanciful, but prosaic, a psychology that is well known to everyone involved in Adult Education.
However, although this explanation may be true; it is superficial. There are more profound reasons.
Useless Knowledge (Cosmology, Evolution, History) belittles mankind.
Firstly : Cosmology diminishes our place in the universe to a mere pinprick in space and time.
Secondly : Evolution shows us to be modified monkeys.
Thirdly : History traces our glorious progress from the stone axe to the hydrogen bomb.
They are all perceived, unconsciously by many, as personal attacks. Ignorance is bliss.
Additional to the animal urges of survival and copulation, there are curiosity and fear of the new, both inherited from our primate ancestors. In humans, they are called neophilia (love of the new) and neophobia (fear of the new). The evidence is that neophobia is the stronger urge in humans and their cousins the apes. In domestic cats, sometimes due to our annoyance, it seems to be the other way round. A few historical examples will illustrate our strong neophobic urge.
Socrates was condemned to death for corrupting the youth of Athens. No mean feat! His charge sheet read, “Socrates is an evil-doer and a curious person, searching into things under the earth and above the heavens and making the worse the better cause and teaching all this to others”. His pupil Plato was heard to murmur, “Better to be Socrates discontented, than a pig contented”. Only a few heard him then or hear him now.
Seven hundred years later Saint Augustine wrote, “There is another form of temptation even more fraught with danger, this is the disease of curiosity”. Being a senior Saint everyone believed him then and some still do now.
Moving on one thousand six hundred years. A Communist professor recently preached that “Respect for facts and for other people’s opinions, must be eliminated from man’s soul like vermin”. And it is reported that Reagan, a past President of the USA, thinks (Bush does as well) “Genesis being possibly true should be taught in schools!” The neophobic urge, quite evidently, has not diminished throughout history.
There is a tendency for people to become identified with a small social subgroup. This subgroup will most likely be comprised of persons who have little interest in “Useless Knowledge”.
The psychological pressure to conform very closely to the ethos of one’s subgroup are immense and have proved to be so in countless experiments. No one is immune.
Channel 4 TV “The Power of the Subgroup”. The London Bombings.
Today in Capitalist and Communist society, many consider that the only knowledge worth having is that which will help them achieve some economic or bureaucratic goal, which they happen to think important. In the Capitalist States, this attitude of mind relegates the neocortex, that wondrous instrument of unimaginable sophistication to a nearly full-time cash register. In Totalitarian Nations concentration on climbing the dangerous and slippery bureaucratic ladder, leads to fanaticism and religious fervour (fundamentalism) reminiscent of the Middle Ages. The brain becomes the humble servant of the state ideology. The individual counts for nothing. Thus, cruelty knows no bounds.
The balanced individual who worships neither money or power needs a map of the natural and historical environment, which he inhabits.
Without a map, orientation is impossible, the trivial appears to be important and the mundane becomes profound. Russell writes, “A man should be aware of the minuteness of himself and his environment, in relation to the world in time and space. He should see his own age in relation to the past and the future. He should be conscious of the vastness of geological epochs and astronomical abysses. He should be aware of all this as a vast panorama, which enlarges the mind that contemplates it”.
Without this panorama, the individual may function with successful efficiency, but remains imprisoned in a machine, which he does not understand, but must pretend to himself that he does.
Only, “Useless Knowledge” is capable of exposing the purpose and nature of the machine to a rational enquiry about the life support machine in which he and his children live, breathe, and have their being!
IT SURELY MERITS SOME ATTENTION!