Sunday, July 10, 2011

But I Had A Personal Experience!

Why we cannot rely solely on individual memory to document events.

Remarkable false memories By Daniel Simons

I myself have personally had some pretty amazing experiences and witnessed amazing phenomena as products of meditation (and on occasion, medication). I have SEEN a golden, radiant book with letters of fire burning onto the pages (meditation), I have seen images of the future that have subsequently come to pass (lucid dreaming, meditation), and I have been 'miraculously' saved from physical harm (reality). Be they coincidences, hallucinations, lucky guesses, or who knows, maybe even some quantum process that we don't understand yet. But not a SINGLE one of those experiences is evidence for something supernatural or a soul. The dreaming brain is perfectly capable of generating PROFOUNDLY meaningful and deep, rich experiences that are indistinguishable from reality to the observer. I know this because I practiced at it for many years.

And we also know for a fact that the brain does a LOT of predictive processing in the subconscious (and there is fairly good evidence now that even our supposedly conscious experience also happens in the subconscious). Our brain is wired to detect 'others' and 'self' and sometimes it gets confused, set off the wrong combination of sensory data and all of a sudden you are being abducted by aliens or elves or leprechauns or angels. Our brain also interprets sensory data into a sense of where we are in the world -- this part of the brain is easily fooled even by simple tricks using a mirror: How Does the Brain Localize the Self

Intercessory prayer studies from reputable sources (Harvard, Duke University, Mayo Clinic) have not shown any positive effect (some actually show negative effects because people can become depressed when they do not get better and know that people are praying for them, they feel like they are failing their loved ones). So this type of prayer is actually Harmful to some people with absolutely no effect above the natural placebo effect (which is not a magical panacea and there is NO placebo effect for things like lost limbs - but yes, feeling better, happy, positive can give a small boost to natural healing processes).

Dr. Jack Szostak (and many others) have also made huge progress on the question of how things could have begun (abiogenesis). Again, not all the answers are in but many of things creationists claimed would be impossible have been found to be merely difficult (e.g., the formation of uracil has been cracked). One by one the objections fall away as we learn more about organic chemistry. Again, not proof positive (yet) but pretty damning evidence. (check out for some nice overview videos but you really have to read the scientific papers to get the full details).

Evolutionary 'gaps' that were once claimed as absolute proof that evolution was false have been filled, sometimes to the brim, with new fossil evidence. Evolution is FACT now, there is absolutely no question that it is a valid process of life here on Earth. We simply know too much about the RNA world, DNA, genetic lines and evidence of mutation and mechanisms of mutation. This IS proof positive that some creationist claims are blatantly false. God clearly did not 'create' man out of whole cloth.

If there is a Deistic or Pantheist 'god force' out there then fine. I have no beef with someone who claims there might be 'something' else as long as they don't claim they know its mind and speak on its authority in telling other people what to do (historically on pain of death). If someone wants to make such claims then they better pony up some pretty solid evidence other than I saw my dead grandmother or I hear voices in my head or I read it in a 2000 year old book. I think this is a pretty reasonable requirement on the whole and the fact that we have to justify this socially is a clear sign that our 'civilization' is still bat-shit crazy :) [and I've climbed around in more than few caves in my day]

There is simply NO evidence for the personal god of the bible who smites ones enemies, heals and cares for the faithful, and stops the sun and the moon. Just simply does not happen. There is far too much evidence to the contrary for me to accept on face value the 0.00001% of exception cases that we really just simply fail to have an explanation for. This is just confirmation bias. Turn your example cases around and look at ALL the failures in the world and count those up against your personal exception cases and see how the balance comes out. Usually about a billion to one against.

And doesn't it at least seem odd that god would always hide below statistical significance? Opps, can't save your child from a horrible, suffering death today because I have some Chilean miners to pull out (after my previous failure to protect them so I could later 'save' them) -- and oh, btw, 30 other miners died, thousands of children, and thousands of other people (some quite horribly) while I was busy with these guys - guess those people weren't 'christian' enough? Sorry that is just far too capricious for me to respect and the fail/save ratio is in the millions to one range.

So, if you believe in god BECAUSE:
  • You were saved from 'certain death' or major physical trauma -- No, you were just lucky
  • You were critically ill, doctors said you would die, but you recovered -- Lucky you, THANK THE DOCTORS that saved you
  • You saw some amazing phenomena (Jesus, god, rays of love, etc) -- Big whoop, watch Double Rainbow Guy, THAT IS YOU
  • You predicted some amazing event that couldn't possibly be predicted -- Demonstrate it wasn't just lucky or predictive brain power
  • You believe God is a logical necessity -- you are wrong, logic does not prove reality, we draw logic from it
  • You believe the universe is just too complex and amazing to exist -- but God isn't?
  • You believe everything is just too finely tuned -- this is not established by physicists, it is by wishful thinkers - the Earth's orbit varies by 3 MILLION miles
  • . See also: section on Finely Tuned Universe in Basis In Fact
  • You believe the universe needed a first cause -- but God didn't? (the Kalam argument is NOT sufficient to establish this fact)
  • You believe there must be a law-giver -- Argument from ignorance
  • DNA is like a computer program! -- No it isn't, I'm a programmer, keyword 'like', fallacious argument by analogy
  • Jesus died for our sins -- No he didn't, there is not sufficient evidence that Jesus existed (and certainly not as the Christ)


  1. why do i feel the need to start those with "You might be a Redneck if...." lol

  2. That would be a good series!

    You might be a Southern Baptist if... your Church once firmly held that God had divinely sanctioned slavery, like Richard Furman.

    And if the Bible is so fuzzy on morality that followers cannot get F***ING SLAVERY right EVERY time... boggles the mind

  3. What was in the beginning, Dark Star?

  4. You tell me, what was in the beginning and how do YOU claim to know anything about it?

    I'll tell you what I DO know... Slavery is WRONG and the Bible was on the wrong-side of it (show me where Jesus condemns it for the horrible institution that it is). Stoning people to death is WRONG. Slaughtering your own child or committing genocide is WRONG (I don't care what the voices in your head say). Treating others as you wish to be treated ONLY WORKS if they have the exact same values as you do, most don't.

    The NT story is about a man, Jesus, sent to be a Human Sacrifice as a scapegoat for "our sins" to a God who is himself also Jesus. This Human Sacrifice is celebrated by the ritualized consumption of Blood and Flesh. And people are so brain-washed they cannot manage to pick these features out of the story.

    I'll give you hint, a moral person does not ask another to take on the burden of their own failings - they take responsibility for it.

    Genesis doesn't tell you anything about what was in the beginning either. It paints a nice little poetic picture that is very wrong and oversimplified to the point of being completely and utterly useless. You could put random poetic statements on cards, shuffle them, and pull them out randomly and have a good chance at getting the sequence of events more correct.

    And where we do have good empirical data we understand that the Earth wasn't formed "in the beginning", and "light" would have come long before other matter and certainly LONG before the "waters of deep". The STUFF of the Earth HAD to have been forged in a previous star that went Supernova.

    Genesis 1 is an absolute mess in terms of scientific facts. Genesis 1 and most of the rest of the bible is very much at odds with modern scientific understand of our world. The Bible lost that battle 400 years ago but people are not honest enough to admit it.

    It's a nice try at some basic observational science with side of philosophy and a lot of maljustification for human behavior in the past. So while it IS a human achievement of the ancients - it is folly to worship it now.

    So, I look forward to YOUR deep insights from the bible about the facts on the Origin of the Universe that are empirically justifiable.

  5. "The Big Bang model, or theory, is the prevailing cosmological theory of the early development of the universe.[1] The theory purports to explain some of the earliest events in the universe (BUT NOT ... WHERE IT COMES FROM)." (

    It is very hard to admit that that what is claimed to be science of the 21st century and the light of humanity, is in the thickest darkness regarding one of the key questions for every human: "where are we from?".

    There are only three possibilities for what was in the beginning:
    1. nothing;
    2. something finite;
    3. infinity.

    Now, Dark Star, which one of these three possibilities was in the beginning and why?

  6. I am well aware of what the Big Theory covers -- did you somehow fail to notice that I didn't claim the "Big Bang was the beginning?" I do not claim to know things that I cannot give solid empirical support for.

    It is well understand that we don't know why the "Big Bang" happened. Why should we expect to?

    And I think what you are looking for is: with possible theoretical support from - all of this is on-going research work.

    Your "three possibilities" are wrong because you know absolutely nothing about it - we have no way of talking about "what came before time as-we-know-it existed" so I reject your assumptions. It is ridiculous to postulate nonsense about something which is ultimately unanswerable. But I can tell you that the modern understanding of "Nothing" is not the same as the colloquial/historical usage. But that Nothing exists with spacetime, we have little to no knowledge of nature outside spacetime.

    So a fourth possibility is that such concepts only make sense within our spacetime.

    A fifth possibility is

    So I ask you AGAIN and then I'm going to disable anonymous posting if you cannot be bothered to answer:

    What do YOU claim was in the beginning and how do YOU claim to know anything about it?

    And if you claim God, then where did God come from? nothing, finite or infinite or what? And how do you claim to know that?

    And if you believe God has always existed (which is what I think you mean by 'infinite' then you are committing the Special Pleading fallacy if you then argue that the 'metaverse' could not simply have always existed without requiring God.

  7. It's inconceivable what you claim: that we cannot know where we ultimately came from or where are we ultimately to go to i.e. our ultimate beginning and our ultimate end. It would be like a book without first and last pages, a sheer disappointment, dissatisfaction and misery to human mind.

    In the beginning there was infinity i.e. God. Because possibilities 1 and 2 are impossible (see below) and because space-time or anything else that exists other than God is necessarily finite.

    Nothing (1. possibility) couldn't be in the beginning since 0 (zero) alone always gives 0. And The Universe and we aren't zeros.

    Finite (2. possibility) cannot be in the beginning since in the beginning is that which doesn't have its own beginning (if it had its own beginning that would constitute a beginning before the beginning which is impossible). But anything finite manifestly has its own beginning due to its limits.

    Thus infinity (3. possibility) must needs be in the beginning since, unlike The Universe, it has no limit whatsoever i.e. has no beginning nor end (it IS the Beginning and the End (Alpha and Omega)!). And out of infinity finite things can come.

    Infinity is God Himself since if infinity were without infinite reason or infinite will then it would be limited in that respect which would necessarily be contradiction in term. Thus infinity is only one and is God, personal infinite Being, alone.

    Reason, love, will and other immaterial (spiritual) realities cannot be empirically proved. Only their works (works of reason, works of love etc.) can be empirically proved but not reason nor love nor will etc. itself. Only through works of reason, works of love etc. we KNOW that there are reason, love, will etc. Without any empirical proof of reason, love, will etc. itself. If you insist on empirical proofs and want to be intellectually consequent then besides personal God you must also deny reason, love, will etc.

  8. inconceivable? I do not think that means what you think it means. The universe doesn't care if you approve of the facts or not. What you would see as a "disappointment" I see as a wonderful enigma to inspire and motivate us because we have the capacity to ponder it.

    And ponder this - THIS is the ONLY life you will have. When you die that is it, you are gone. You will only live on in the genetics you pass on and in the memories of those who's life you touched. After that you are only an echo in history. You have latched on to a false belief that you will get another chance -- good thing because you are wasting this one.

    Anonymous says: "Nothing (1. possibility) couldn't be in the beginning since 0 (zero) alone always gives 0. And The Universe and we aren't zeros"...

    This is a load of Nonsense you've pulled out of your ass and it doesn't make a lick of sense. 0 gives 0? Really? Pathetic.

    Love can be measured with fMRI and it can be UTTERLY destroyed with chemicals or physical damage to the right tiny little bits of the brain. Everything about who you are is a product of the detailed structure & operation of your brain. If you alter the brain you alter YOU. There are dozens of books and hundreds of studies about people who have had brain damage and the various (sometimes bizarre) effects such damage has. The evidence there is extensive.

    Romantic love: an fMRI study of a neural mechanism for mate choice
    The neural correlates of maternal and romantic love
    The neural basis of romantic love

    Reason, Will, etc are also products of the operation of the brain. As such they can ABSOLUTELY be measured and studied and ARE being studied. There are 100's of studies on Will and they aren't looking good for consciousness. An fMRI can predict what you are going to do with fairly good accuracy well before you consciously decide to do it.

    Are you completely ignorant of these studies?

    We can also observe "God" with fMRI by looking at the brain of someone having ecstatic experiences AND we can induce someone to experience "God" with chemicals or with stimulation of the brain (e.g., ).

    Searching for God in the Brain
    On the origin of religion

    Reason is the application of logic. Logic is based on observations of how the universe operates and is validated by observing correlations of patterns back to the universe. 1 + 1 = 2 BECAUSE we empirically observe that this is the case. From that basis we abstracted out the rules. Not the other way around as you would have it.

    And, exactly as I predicted, you committed the Special Pleading fallacy for God and have failed to make your case.

  9. Hey Dark Star, just dropping in to say hello.

  10. My hope is not to argue with you, but to share an experience of God that may be different to your post.

    I already suspect what your initial reaction will be, and I want to promise you this is not an intelligent design argument. I hope it comforts you to know there will be no conversation about how well designed bananas are, (if you don't know what I'm talking about, and you want a good laugh, google bananas and intelligent design.)

    Okay, here goes my empirical nothing:

    When I turn on the radio and I hear a piece of music, I can quickly say, "Aha! That's Beethoven," or perhaps, "Ooh, it's Mozart." I can do the same for literature. Often times I can read a work and know from my internal stirring that it is Hemingway, Shakespeare, Anderson, or even Herbert Read.

    At a very human level, I experience the artist through art. Beethoven stirs me as only Beethoven can. There is a quality in Billie Holiday's voice that melts my seat of emotions as only she can. There is an experience of tasting a good wine, that alcohol alone cannot achieve.

    I experience a creator through creation as I encounter the artist through art. Not in the sense of structure or craft (intelligent design), but in the moved experience of the art itself. Now, saying that I experience God through all of creation can be confused with pantheism. However, that would be like me saying the Fur Elise is physically Beethoven or Guernica is physically Picasso. Neither of those statements are true. Rather, the proper term is panentheism. God is present in all things just as Beethoven is present in his music or Renoir is present in his paintings.

    Now, this isn't a proof for God, and in case you think I'm covertly making one, then let me beat you to the punch by stating there is no current scientific proof for God. Period.

    With that said, I cannot deny that I experience this unscientifically proven God. And it's not out of fear of death, nor is it out of some fear of my own responsibility. When I engage myself in creation I have the same experience as I do when I engage art. And as I encounter the artist when I engage art, I encounter God when I engage creation.

    Does one need God to experience creation? No. My knowledge of music helps me appreciate the ninth symphony's lack of perfect fifths and excellent counter-point, and I don't ever need to know who Beethoven is to empirically understand and appreciate it. My knowledge of science helps me appreciate the elegance of physics, and I don't need an "unmoved mover" to empirically understand and appreciate it.

    And still, I experience God as I experience an artist in an art museum. And as any patron of an artist would go out of their way to preserve their art, my love of God impels me to go out of my way to preserve creation.

    It's not a proof. It's my experience. And I think it differs a bit from what you've presented in your post.

  11. One more thing, and this is not proof for a God either.

    You state: "You predicted some amazing event that couldn't possibly be predicted -- Demonstrate it wasn't just lucky or predictive brain power."

    This has happens to me more than once, and I always chalk it up to the predictive power of the brain or the right roll of the dice. However, there are two similar cases where I find myself stumped:

    Case 1: An old friend of mine that I lost complete touch with appeared for the first time in a dream. I remember it being odd, because my dreams are usually I'm-running-the-show-lucid or sensory abstract. I did't remember what we chatted about in my dream, but I remember we said good-bye. I awoke thinking it was odd. It had been years since I even thought about this person. A few days later I decided to call my best friend (who I hadn't spoken to in months) and tell him about it. I learn from the phone call that my old friend had died in a freak car accident. I also learned that the accident was the day before my dream (oooo eeee). The crazy thing about all of this, is that I've lived in a separate state for years and I did't tabs on my old friends at that time--this was before I became a regular on facebook or myspace.

    Case 2: One time I really needed to take a nap, and while I napped I dreamt about my 2nd cousin. Again, there was some chatting that I don't recall and a good-bye. Again I awoke finding this odd, because my I'm usually running my dreams or they're abstract emotions, colors and sounds. When I awoke, I decided check my phone and found it had two missed calls from home (again, another state away). I called back and amid the tears on the other line I learned that my 2nd cousin just died of a unexpected heart attack.

    I can't claim this is a proof of an after life, just as I can't claim my dreams kill people. I've been able to categorize all of my other predictive dream experiences as my intuition working on overtime --except these two cases. The time, distance, lack of communication, and lack of regularly dreaming of these people leaves me speechless. It would be different if I was always dreaming of them, or if there was any fatal precondition that I was aware of. It would also be different if I heard of the incident first, and then reconstructed the memory of my dream accordingly. Kind of a, "oh that's what happened."

    But the fact is, twice I've dreamt of someone I've never knowingly dreamt about before. This person was someone I did not keep regular communication with. I awoke with a strong sense that the dream was odd, and then I discovered they died unexpectedly within a day of my dream.

    It's an interesting case, and I don't share this experience friends or family because I still don't know what to make of it. I simply throw it here as is.

  12. @John R

    Yes, I know Banana man. He was on an episode of The Atheist Experience (a show based here in Austin). And his video is kind of the laughing stock of the non-belief community :)

    I'm fairly well aware of many of the 'intelligent design' arguments. I have a few posts on related topics:

    Evolution of the Eye:

    Signs of Design

    Flagellum, Flagellum

    The Chicken-Egg problem, an evolutionary parable

    "I experience a creator through creation as I encounter the artist through art" I would say this is the key thing - you only encounter your ideas of the artist. The real artist is a very different thing.

    When you think of Beethoven do you imagine the man wreaked with illnesses and in pain most of his life? Do you imagine the man tempted by women of the court even though he was married? Or his moments of sexual congress with his wife? His disappointments? It's brilliant that human ingenuity in the form of written words and musical notes can carry forward a faint echo of a man hundreds of years into the future. But now imagine the BILLIONS of people who have lived and died over the ages. Their suffering, starvation, freezing, crying out and being silenced, beaten, raped, tortured. Men, women and children that you WILL NEVER hear even a faint bleep about because their lives went unrecorded by an accident of their birth. We can only barely imagine that they existed, must less the moment of joy or suffering in their lives. The human mind simply cannot imagine the sheer scope of the horrors visited on man and beasted over the 3.8 billion years of life on Earth. We can only think about it in the most abstract terms but never TRULY comprehend. I don't tend to think that bacteria suffer much but I cannot know what the qualia of their experience is like.


  13. @John R (cont)

    Watch this video, it's very short:

    Why is the bacteria so desperately trying to escape? Why is the Neutrophil chasing it? They *appear* to have motivations, I don't have any delusion that their qualia is 'human like' but there seems to be SOMETHING there

    I look up at the stars and through the telescopes, I can see how amazing the universe is. I FEEL awe and amazement.

    But I also know that Z -> Z^2 + C yields this:

    TRIVIAL math, literally infinite complexity.

    I also know that computational and intrinsic universality can be achieved with similarly trivial cellular automaton with trivial rules.

    And I know that these types of constructs tends to have Strange Attractors, which are patterns in their behavior that they tend to settle into:

    There are attractors in the laws of physics for the formation of atoms, and organic chemistry, and from organic chemistry we reach self-replication. The existence of these attractors removes the common plea of the theists about 'random chance' or the 'extreme improbability' of something like 'life' happening. Yes, it IS improbable, but the necessary chemistry forms naturally out of the basic laws of physics because that is where the system is, energetically, the most stable. And the unimaginably vast scale of the universe turns the improbable into the eventual.

    Life is, in fact, NOTHING AT ALL like assembling a 747 with a tornado. That is a deeply flawed analogy. And it's wrong, the processes of the universe DO eventually tend to produce 747's - we have evidence for it.

    Human actors are no different from nature itself, we are part and parcel of it. The difference is that nature, through the creation of 'computational' chemistry (brains), allows Nature to evolve ever more complex structures.

    This is usually where someone interjects with the 'this violates the 2nd law of thermodynamics'. Interestingly, this is almost always by people who have no idea about thermodynamics, no training, and no mathematics to back up their claims. AND they don't even bother to Google it - there are PUBLISHED scientific papers that specifically address this question. So when creationists pull this out they are lying. If they aren't aware of the research they are lying by misrepresenting it as a fact, there is an ethical responsibility to do at least a modicum of research if you are going to make claims of fact.

    So, while I appreciate your approach and honesty, I have considered this and rejected it, hopefully some of the above helps to explain why. As you can see from this post I have also had some pretty wild personal experiences and I have tried to examine them extremely carefully.

    Will post more later on your other comment... But of course, I have extremely limited access to facts about your experiences so it's nigh impossible for me to 'explain them' away. All I can hope to do is give YOU a few tools. But you have to do the work after that. If you honestly seek truth then you owe it to yourself to do this.

  14. @John R - on dreams

    I would chalk this up primarily to Confirmation Bias, contributed to by a lack of information about your total dream & subconscious content. A normal human brains is in the dreaming state for an average of about 2 hours per night. That's an enormous amount of generated content that we totally lose because we completely forget the majority of our dreams. So you really have absolutely no idea how many times you dreamed about that person before deciding to call your friend. I know you claim you mostly have lucid dreaming-type content but a more correct statement that most of what you recall is lucid dreaming-type content (which makes sense). There are a lots of studies that inform us about just how much content we throw away. We have no way of knowing it unless we pay extremely close attention.

    Another source of Confirmation Bias in this case is, how many times do people have such dreams, call someone, and nothing has happened? Thousands? Millions? But you rank yours as significant because something significant happened in this case without even considering the non-confirming data. And the problem is, it's completely natural to do this. It probably has saved your life. When a car is zooming at you you don't think about the odds that they probably see you and will swerve out of the way, you jump. We make snap judgements all the time, most of the time they are right (or at least harmless). We train ourselves to "trust our instincts" because they WORK. This is Absolutely Fantastic stuff for surviving in a jungle. And it is the reason that scientific methodology had to be developed so that we could compensate for our natural propensity towards survival cognitive biases. Those 'instincts' that help keep us alive work against our modern drive for accurate knowledge.

    Most people only know a fairly limited number of other people and sadly they do pass away with alarming frequency. When you take 6 billion people, times 2 hours of dreaming content per night, and factor in the 30,000 or so people that die every day... Well, you are bound to get some profound coincidences.

    And beyond that you begin to battle with issues related to memory recall that you mentioned, and how memories shift over time to fit our expectations of them. There have been studies done where people have quite vivid memories of childhood that turn out to be completely false. Do. Not. Trust. Memory. Unless you left something out of your story you cannot even say with certainty that you had such a dream, you might have had a different dream that prompted the call and, on hearing of your friends death your recall changed. I'm not saying that is what happened in your case but it DOES happen. If anyone is interested there is more here: And look for studies on 'paramnesia'.

    So I don't know what happened in your situations - I don't know what happened in my own situations. But I know that there are plausible natural explanations for these events and I know that to presume some explanation that goes against all of known physics is to wander off into make-believe land and project my own wishful thinking onto reality.

    What I do know, is that science can help us address these questions. We're getting better and better at investigating the mind/brain with tools like fMRI.

    But you know what would impress me, is if some complete non-scientist dreamed of the exact energy of the Higgs particle well in advance of our finding it. Dream of that and you'll have a convert :)

  15. Loved your comments, and just to point out, I'm not not trying to convert you. I don't understand how one can be an atheist, and so my hope is to understand why you think what you think. I know much about Beethoven's history, but I experience it when I hear him. The same is true for Picasso. I know much about his life and what the tragedy of Guernica meant to him, but I experience this when I look at the painting.

    As for my two dreams, they are what they are, and I like to leave them at that. I refuse to interpret them more then what they are. As for dreams in general, clearly the ones I know are only the ones I remember. And just because I remember the dreams I run, doesn't mean I was actually running them.

    Now, you bring up an interesting comment about ahead on collision.

    Have you ever been in a head on collision? Because my experience was far from a gut reaction. I was driving at one o'clock in the morning on an empty expresslane and a large vehicle looked rather strange to me in the distance. I realized that it was in fact a large pick-up, with the headlights off, and heading against traffic in my lane. I had a matter of seconds to react, and in that time I decided that I had better chances swerving into lanes on my left because I had more space to manuver (whereas the meridian posed more danger). I knew that at the speed I was going (60 mph), my slamming the breaks would cause a skid. I proceeded to repeatedly jab the breaks to create enough initial friction to stop the car early enough, turn the wheel, hit the gas and change lanes. The truck unfortunately slammed the breaks, skid, sideswiped us, ripped the backdoor off and sent us into a spin. We crashed on the meridian on the other side of the lane. My fiancee and I got out of the car with some cuts and a hurt ankle, the gentleman in the truck slammed into a parked construction vehicle and died.

    I present this case to illustrate two points: 1) my experience of a head on collision was calculated. I learned from the cops that he was doing 90 mph when he crashed, and so it was quickly calculated but not knee-jerked. 2) the next day I checked the news and discovered that the man also had a fiancee and he was also Catholic. He died and I didn't and that's that. There is no right for me to call this a miracle. You're correct about people living and dying all the time, and we need to be skeptical about any claim of a miracle.

    And on a final note, if the coldness of death and the blind cruelty of odds could not shake my experience of God, then neither will you.

    Y'know, in case you thought about trying. ;-D

    BTW: I wonder if the banana guy realizes how culturally biased his argument his. In some parts of the world the banana shouldn't be eaten until it's brown. And in other parts, a green Plantain is delicious when fried.

  16. "I'm not not trying to convert you" am I promoting rationalism and conservative epistemology.

    What I hope to 'convert' you to, if anything, is just understanding what science *actually* has to say - rather than the misunderstandings that the majority of people seem to have.

    "I don't understand how one can be an atheist" - did you ever believe in Santa? It's exactly like that. Nothing changes when you stop believing in Santa except you stopped believing in Santa - you can even still believe in the 'spirit' of Santa, that giving is a good thing. You still care about people, you still desire to do good, all the evolutionary and social pressures are still there.

    "And on a final note, if the coldness of death and the blind cruelty of odds could not shake my experience of God, then neither will you" - I fear it is the opposite, religion eases the fear of death.

    And if you are making Pascal's Wager then I hope you picked the right God of the tens of thousands that have been postulated. Some of them are much nastier than the Christian god. :)

    I'm glad you and your family survived the accident.

  17. "I'm not not trying to convert you" am I promoting rationalism and conservative epistemology. --I know, which is why I'm still chatting with you specifically. Rationalism I'm familiar with. I'm also familiar with epistemology, but I've never heard of "conservative epistemology." Do you mean conservative in that you reject internalism?

    What I hope to 'convert' you to, if anything, is just understanding what science *actually* has to say - rather than the misunderstandings that the majority of people seem to have. --¿Que? When have I shown you a lack of understanding in what science actually has to say? The only reason I didn't become a scientist was because I hated the math. But do you know what I hate more than math? I loathe pseudoscience. Creationism, young earth theory, human's and dinosaur's hanging out, and that banana guy really need help.

    In regards to jolly old St. Nick. My family actually had some opposition to the whole notion of a jolly fat red elf. And so I was never really convinced there was a Santa. Also, I've never met anyone who gave because of Santa, everyone from my youth who insisted on Santa were more concerned about getting. This then can move along the lines of what Gettier had to say in distinguishing between knowledge and belief. My childhood peers believed in Santa, and they received presents, but the presents were in no way proof of Santa. When I explained to you my car accident, I was trying to illustrate that I don't look for presents. Santa cannot fit my artist from art analogy, neither can fairy's, leprechauns, or unicorns that crap miniature gods!

    Religion eases the fear of death. It may for some, but let me tell you I find death alone to be most liberating part of life. Books end, story's end, and so does life. How I write my chapter of life is all that I have. Actually, I find heaven to be kind of daunting because of the notion eternity can seem monotonous.

    Pascal's Wager is foolish and insincere. I don't love based on odds. I love based on encountering.

    Your comment of tens of thousands of gods shows me you still don't understand this God you don't believe in. Just because one is a Muslim doesn't mean they can't encounter God. Just because one is Hindu doesn't meant they can't encounter God either, no matter by how many names they want to give God.

    God is greater than any religion.

    If I encounter God through, with, and in all things, then who is a Hindu, or a Muslim, or any Pagan not to experience the same. It doesn't mean that I think Islam and Hindusim are equal to Catholicism. I do believe Catholicism has much more to offer in our relating to God. Perhaps you should read Lumen Gentium, the scene in Acts when Paul preaches to the Athenians, and anything written by Karl Rahner SJ.

    You seem to know what's wrong with fundamentalists, but you're a bit off with Catholicism. Let me help you out here:

    Monist believe that there is only one God and one religion that relate to this God and all other religions are demonic. (This is you average fundamentalist).

    Pluralists believe that there is only one God and one religion that fully relates to this God and all other religions unknown. (Mainstream Protestant)

    Relative Pluralists believe that there is only one God and one religion that fully relates to this God, but God is greater than other religions and thus can be expressed and encounter anywhere and by anyone. (This is where Catholic teaching stands, despite some statements given by a past Pope.)

    Relativists believe that no one knows and it doesn't matter and so lets hold hands and sing. (Unitarian Universalists.)

    "I'm glad you and your family survived the accident." --me too.

  18. Conservative epistemology just means to require strong evidence supporting justified beliefs (not faith). Conservative in the sense of cautious, reserved. The point is that people make claims about god that fit their own preconceptions and cultural mores. That's not sound epistemology.

    "God is greater than any religion" - God demands human sacrifices and burning flesh. God demands women to be subjugated and treated as chattel. God demands the destruction of the Amalekites. All of these things are abhorrent to basic human decency, do you excuse the latter because it's in the bible? Or is the bible wrong?

    I've read the whole Bible. I am a former Christian, I taught classes, I had intended to dedicate my life to service. I've also read enough apologetics since my apostation to know that they makes me ill.

    "You seem to know what's wrong with fundamentalists" - no I pretty much reject all fanciful religious claims. I think you are perhaps taking too small of a slice of my overall position. If some specific comment doesn't apply to you that's fine - but it doesn't represent my entire philosophy.

    Does your tolerance of pluralism extend to cannibalism? human sacrifice? sexual ecstasy practices? ritual abuse of children? Idol worship?

    And does it excuse those practices in your own Church? "He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, abideth in me, and I in him", "Take thy only begotten son Isaac, whom thou lovest, and go into the land of vision: and there thou shalt offer him for a holocaust upon one of the mountains which I will show thee" (not to mention the scapegoating sacrifice of Jesus), "He that spareth the rod hateth his son", Song of Solomon 1:13, 2:6, 4:5, 4:16, 5:4, 7:7-8, 8:10. The veneration of the cross and images of the saints.

    You will probably say all those things are different somehow and I'm sure you can speak at length on these magical differences. The problem is that you are just lawyering your way around the Bible. That's not cannibalism - we don't like that word so we invented a new made up word 'transubstantiation' which has all kinds of magical properties so we can pretend it's not cannibalism (because admitting that it's just a cracker used in a ritual is unthinkable).

    And bottom line, I don't WANT Jesus to have suffered or died for my sins. I don't accept it. If I have sinned, I take responsibility. Punish me, end me, destroy me, torture me, whatever it takes, but I refuse to scapegoat my sin at someones expense. I find the idea repulsive.

  19. Just to expand on my comment on God being greater than any religion. I actually prayed at a mosque once and I experienced God. I attended a Theravada Buddhist meditation, and even though they do not acknowledge God, I still experienced God. I've prayed the Shema in front of the Western Wall with an orthodox Rabbi, and I experienced a profound presence of God. Unfortunately for the Hare Krishnas, I didn't experience God at their temple --that experience completely weirded me out.

    Now, I'm not saying all religions are equal. The Muslim lack of organization, where anyone can be an imam, and the belief that the Koran is the perfect word of Allah, is very dangerous. I find the Buddhist's detachment of the world denies the very panentheism where I deeply encounter God. And the Jewish obsession of encountering God through the law rather than through the world is not enough for me.

    For me the best experience of God is through the Sacraments and through the proclamation of the Gospels, and I find that in the Catholic Church. Not everyone else agrees, and they may prefer to remain Muslim or Daoist, but better a Muslim, Daoist, or Jew that is sincerely seeking God, than a bad Catholic who doesn't care.

    And as for your tens of thousands of gods, I'm going to bet there are actually less. The number one polytheist religion is Hinduism that ranks in a whopping 330 million gods. However, when you do the investigating and you read books by Hindu scholars, you discover that these god's are actually different manifestations of the triple Godhead: Brahman, Shiva, and Vishnu. Some would even go a step further and claim that all gods are manifestations of the one Brahman. And even fewer scholars would go on to state that Brahman is simply the spirit that animates life, and thus there is no creator God. This is why atheism is a perfectly acceptable branch in Hinduism. So when it comes to the largest polytheistic group in the world, the most gods they really have are three and the fewest they have are 0. With that in mind, how exactly did you come up with ten's of thousands? Not that it proves either of our points, I'm just curious.

  20. Is the Bible wrong? It can be wrong. It can be very wrong. Unlike the Koran, we believe that the Bible was divinely inspired, but humanly written. The Gospel of John alone makes numerous inaccuracy's in geography. Also, as a Catholic we believe that the Jesus founded the church, and Tradition complied the Bible and ultimately Tradition interprets the Bible. My favorite question to fundamentalists who claim that Christianity is based on the Bible is this: If every book in the New Testament is written to a specific Christian community, then how were they Christian before the Bible? Catholics understand this. Catholic's understand that there are numerous parts of the Bible that are questionable, this is why we have a Lectionary that is read in Mass.

    I've read the whole Bible. I am a former Christian, I taught classes, I had intended to dedicate my life to service. I've also read enough apologetics since my apostation to know that they makes me ill. --From what I've gathered in our conversations you must not have taught your classes well.

    "You seem to know what's wrong with fundamentalists" - no I pretty much reject all fanciful religious claims. --okay, but reread your comments, you treat me like a fundamentalist. And that makes for awkward conversation.

    "Does your tolerance of pluralism extend to cannibalism? human sacrifice? sexual ecstasy practices? ritual abuse of children? Idol worship?" --my belief is that anyone who grew up in any religion can still encounter God, and rise up against whatever is morally evil.

    "And does it excuse those practices in your own Church? The quotes that follow are non-sequitor." --And might I suggest you get a better translation of the Bible, the KJV is a wretched translation.

    Cannibalism: the practice of eating the flesh of your own kind. (

    Transubstantiation: the conversion of the Substance of bread to the Substance of Christ.

    It is interesting to note that in the Our Father, both Luke and Matthew use the same obscure Greek word for "Daily" in Daily Bread. The words is EPIOUSIOUS. EPI meaning above or top and OUSIOUS meaning essence or substance. When translating the Bible into Latin, Jerome can't really wrap his head around the meaning and gives one translation to Luke and another to Matthew. Luke gets Cotindianus (day to day) and Matthew gets Suprasubstancia (higher substance). OUSIOUS (Subtance) is not the same as PHUSIS (the physical nature). If we were eating the PHUSIS of Christ, then you have every right to claim we're cannibals. However, that is not what we are doing.

    "And bottom line, I don't WANT Jesus to have suffered or died for my sins. I don't accept it." --Christ doesn't demand you to accept anything.

    "If I have sinned, I take responsibility." --as you should!

    "Punish me, end me, destroy me, torture me, whatever it takes, but I refuse to scapegoat my sin at someones expense. I find the idea repulsive." --I too find scapegoating repulsive. If punishment is deserved, then I'm pretty sure you'll be punished. But even in atheism there is room for forgiveness, no?

  21. I'm curious about what "experienced God" means to you.

    My understanding of the Hindu '330 million gods' was actually based on their belief that every living being is a god. The number was not literally 330 million, but was just intended as a very large number.

    Unfortunately, their god-inspired knowledge was not very good for the number of living bacteria alone is currently estimated at five million trillion trillion. The total number that ever lived would be immensely greater than that. But hey, what's 30 orders of magnitude off when you are a god?

    However, I was not counting this. I was talking about unique conceptualizations of gods which cannot be parsimoniously reconciled with a singular god. These pages are closer to what I am referring to:

    Again, some of those gods are the same god with different names, I'm NOT talking about that. I'm talking about the ones that are uniquely different from each other.

    It is impossible to know exactly how many incompatibly different 'gods' have been claimed but 'tens of thousands' is a conservative estimate.

    And don't forget the some 150 thousand years of anatomically modern humans prior to the advent of recorded history (which is only ~7000 years ago). We see animistic cave drawings & art going back at least 35,000 years that are indicative of shamanistic practices. For example, from Schwäbische Alb, Chauvet, Altamira, Pech Merle, and Lascaux. So there is good reason to suspect that inventing gods and spirits goes way back.

  22. "And might I suggest you get a better translation of the Bible, the KJV is a wretched translation" - funny, that was Douay-Rheims - not KJV. I know Christians get all touchy about their translations. Remember the Philadelphia Bible Riots?

    "But even in atheism there is room for forgiveness, no?" - red herring (I wasn't discussing the merits of forgiveness) and a category error (atheism is a position on a single issue). Humanism, yes.

    I'm familiar with the ad hoc justifications about the 'Substance' of the Eucharist.

  23. Thank you for your clarification for the number of gods. As I said, I was curious as to the number. However, in case my question obfuscated position. My remark about Hinduism was not about combining gods or saying that they are all the same. Again, I was just curious as to the source of tens of thousands. Also, in a conversation with a well learned Hindu, I was told that Hinduism is the antithesis of Christianity. After reading some books he recommended, I cannot not deny that, and I'm sure you already know why. However, despite the fact that Hindu's and Christians are at polar opposites, I cannot say Hindu's are going to hell. I cannot say that they are unable to experience God. God is not only greater than religion, God is greater than every conceivable god(s). To quote St. Augustine: quia fecisti nos ad te et inquietum est cor nostrum donec requiescat in te. And for me, that inquietus in search of requies is at the core of why people believe in God. I would dare say it is at the core of people's experience of God. More so than to ease the of fear of death, more so than a cultural upbringing, people experience God because there is a part in them that yearns for the source of all things.

    Not KJV! AWESOME! How delicious for you that it was Douy-Rheims! However, the Douy-Rheims is also a wretched translation for our modern day. As the saying goes: traduttore, traditore! Personally, I prefer the Greek and I'll gladly take the Latin. If I ever get to it I may eventually learn Hebrew. In terms of English translations, the NRSV is quite good at an academic level and I recommend it if you wish to quote Bible passages. Lately, though, when I read translated scripture, I tend to prefer the Nacar-Colunga translation.

    RED HERRING? You say "punish me, destroy me, torture me..." and all I can think about is why are you beating yourself up. I asked about forgiveness because I was confused with you litany of self abuse, and you say red herring as if we're debating. I was just asking a question! Sorry if I made a categorical error, and I am relieved you value forgiveness.

    Ad Hoc justification of Eucharist? This made me laugh out loud! For many in the early church ἐπιούσιος was the definition for the Eucharist. During this time the change from bread and wine to Eucharist was called Mysterium, because nobody could explain how the change happened. It was only until much later, the Council of Florence (15th century), that a term Transubstantiation (already mentioned in the 13 century by the 4th Lateran Council,) was concretized as the definition for the change: the Substancia of bread becomes the Suprasubstancia of Christ. In the hear of the reformation, Trent will reemphasize this connection between transubstatiation and ἐπιούσιος, by calling the transubstantiated bread the Suprasubstantial Bread. My previous explanation was not an ad hoc justification, it's part of the definition and history of the concept.

    Anyhow, I do appreciate you calling it Eucharist and not a waffer or Jesus cracker. Thank you, I will read your links tomorrow afternoon.

    Fun fact (at least I find it fun):

    Eucharist: EU XARIS meaning good gift or good grace. In modern Greece the word is pronounced as EFGARISTO, and its what they use when they say thank you.

    Evangelist: EU AGGELON meaning good message(r). AGGELON is pronounced Angelon and it's were we get the word angel from. Sadly, this word in the book of Revelation has been mistranslated several times. Often when it says Angel it should simply say messenger. Again: "Traduttore, traditore!"

  24. "In the hear of the reformation..." I meant: "It the heat of the reformation..."

  25. "More so than to ease the of fear of death, more so than a cultural upbringing, people experience God because there is a part in them that yearns for the source of all things"

    'Tis the curiosity that killed the cat :) But No I disagree, we seek knowledge, we have funny things going on in our Brain, your calling it a search for God and source of all things is only due to YOUR cultural inculcation. It used to be ancestral or plant spirits. We need to keep the earnest search for truth and knowledge but lose the superstition.

    If the Bible were presented as "various people's search for meaning/God/whatever" instead of "we know God, this is what he wants, you are all screwed" then it would be a more valuable book. But Christians will not allow that. So much the better for war if you have God on your side.

    "I prefer the Greek" - I absolutely agree with you. But rather than just complain about the translations in general I would rather you share your rendering of the text - what you think it means, and why you think it.

    We likely disagree on what the Greek means as well. And since you seem to have a scholarly bent I'm sure you are aware that the texts have tended to be interpreted through the lens of classical Greek because much of the Koine was lost until the unearthing of many Koine Greek papyri in Egypt in the 20th century which have greatly improved our understanding of the meanings and subtleties.

    Have you read John Marco Allegro's The Sacred Mushroom and the Cross? Very interesting etymological look at the texts in light of more modern linguistics.

    For example, Jesus/Joshua/Dionysos are almost the same name in ancient Hebrew/Sumerian, in Greek Ἰησοῦς (Iesous), derived from a concept of saving through fulfillment, restoration, and life. Sumerian is IA-U-ShU-A; IA-U is the "juice of fertility"; ShU-A is the Sumerian for restoration & fulfillment. While Dionysos in Sumerian was IA-U-NU-ShUSH with NU meaning 'seed'.

    "RED HERRING? You say "punish me, destroy me, torture me..." and all I can think about is why are you beating yourself up" -- yes Red Herring, just meaning that you are getting us off the trail.

    I wasn't beating myself up, I was discussing the idea of scapegoating sin via a human sacrifice. Supporting that point was the idea of taking personal responsibility if need be. It's not really forgiveness if someone has to be tortured to death.

    What is ad hoc is not your words but the justifications made by the earlier Church. I am well aware that you are just echoing what they've said. Here is an interesting paper on ἐπιούσιος:

    My view on the Eucharist is that it was originally a psychoactive substance, perhaps mushroom and/or ergot based. If you view much of the writing in the bible as precipitated by some psychoactive then it actually makes much more sense. Christianity eventually stripped out the original 'Dionysian flesh' leaving only empty symbolism.

    On the subject of the 'messenger'... A biblical quote I find relevant to the subject is from Revelation 10

    10 I took the little SCROLL from the angel's hand and ate it. It tasted as sweet as honey in my mouth, but when I had eaten it, my stomach turned sour.
    11 Then I was told, "You must prophesy again about many peoples, nations, languages and kings."

    Why would John need to eat a biblariðdion (diminutive of book, translated as scroll, also meaning "a sheet on which something has been written") given to him by an "angel" in order to prophesy? Another coded psychoactive reference?

  26. Hello Dark Star! Sorry for the delay in my response, it's been quite a hectic week. I see that I have very much to respond to and I will address what I can now. By the way, I like the new layout.

    Rev. C10, 10-11 βιβλαρίδιον means small roll, which is nothing other than an ancient joint! Brilliant! Actually, it's a diminutive of the word βύβλος, which is sometimes written as βιβλος. The word βύβλος specifically means an Egyptian papyrus plant. Later it would take on the meaning of a roll of inscribed papyrus or a book. As you pointed out, βιβλαρίδιον can mean a small book. But neither Papyrus nor a small book is a narcotic. We need to be careful about reading into and text, and I do believe that the narcotic interpretation of scripture is a poor exegesis of the text. If you want a very good example of exegesis, you need only to turn to Dr. Chrys Caragounis and reread the PDF you sent me. That is an excellent example of exegesis, show me an article that gives the same academic rigor in extrapolating this drug theory. Does Dr. Caragounis espouse the notion of the Eucharist originating as a psychoactive substance?

    The book of Revelation is a tricky book, and the interpretations can vary from a guide to the end of the world to a doped author writing a trippy experience. What has been almost unanimously asserted through academic scholarship is that the author was not fluent in Koine Greek and thus there are many grammatical errors, which can lead to confusing interpretations. Through textual criticism most modern Scripture Scholars would agree that the book was actually composed of four or five different writing sources. The rough break down is C1-4, 5-11, 12-20, 21-22. Though the breakdown goes even further when we get to chapter 20 and on.

    The best example I can give you for understanding the book of Revelation, and as an atheist you may appreciate example, is to suppose I decided to write a letter to the seven christian cities of China. My Chinese is horrible, but I feel compelled to write to them and so I start off with an introduction addressing each city and their particular problem. After that I take a large un-cited quote from the Old Testament followed by a large un-cited quote from the New Testament, and finish it with a closing. 2000 years later lets say someone unfamiliar with the Bible finds my letter. Through the bad Chinese, wonky symbolism, and culturally foreign imagery, they may very well think that I was high when I wrote this letter. If I had used the paraousian passages of the Bible, to shake and rattle the disbelief of audience, the future reader may actually think that there is a prophetic end of the world message in my text. I hope you see where this is going.

    Without going on forever on the subject of Revelation, I would suggest you read the following two books:

    Unveiling Empire:

    Revelation, Yale Anchor Bible Commentary:

    Though Unveiling Empire is somewhat biased, it does yield good details as to the historical audience of the Book of Revelation. And gives a very good exposition as to why John wrote the book in the first place.

    The Yale Anchor Bible Commentary on Revelation gives an excellent exploration of the sources John uses to compose his Apocalypse.

    I have some unanswered questions to address, as I have a few questions to ask! And I promise I will get to them through out the week.

    I will also look for Allegro's book.

    I guess if you and I have anything in common, it is a distaste for millenarian/rapture seeking believer.

  27. Well, I couldn't finish Allegro's book because it is pseudo-scholarship. He's also the guy who wrote a book on the dead sea scrolls. I actually read that book years ago, and it is also pseudo-scholarship. These books belong in the same shelf with anything written by Velikovsky, Clarence Larkin, and Michael Baignet. I don't even know where to begin with my distaste.

    To state that the Gospels were in circulation after the fall of the temple is a half truth. Luke and John were definitely post-70AD as is our current version of Matthew, but the earliest evidence of Mark is 60AD-65AD and it was in circulation. It is even claim that Mark and another source named "Q" were the foundations for Matthew and Luke. And this "Q" Theory is even being challenged because they have discovered fragments of Matthew in Aramaic dating back 45AD. So this immediately debunks Allegros claim that the the Gospels were written to encode a shroom worshiping band of Israelites who after loosing their temple and loosing the war created a religion to disguise themselves and fall in favor with Rome. Plain and simple, at least two Gospels existed before the revolt in 66AD.

    This is where the book truly lost my respect.

    First of all Yahweh and Jehovah are the same word: one with an English pronunciation and the other with a German pronunciation.

    Yahweh is an form of Yahaweh. The repetition of the "a" sound is redundant in Hebrew and thus it is truncated. The interesting thing is that Yahweh is not how the name is pronounced. No one really knows how it was pronounced, because according to the culture to utter ones name is to have control over the person. (Much like how a parent shouts the entire name of the child when he/she is misbehaving.)

    The four letters are YHWH and they are call the tetragram. In German the hebrew letter for Y is represented with their letter J and the hebrew letter for W is represented with their letter V. So, YHWH can also look like JHVH.

    To give pronunciation to the tetragram, the vowel ticks of divine titles were used: El Shadai, Elohim, Adonai.

    Thus, it is equally valid to say: Yehawah, Yehowih, Yahowaih.

    This last one Yahowaih is dependent on how one pronounces Adonai. Taking the Ad ah ney pronounciation will give you Yahaweh or Yahweh.
    Taking the Ed o nah prounounciation will give you Yehowah or as spelled in German Jehovah.

    The point I'm trying to make here is that no one really knows how the name was pronounced, and so to pick one version, without acknowledging all the other versions, is shady scholarship.

  28. And finally, Allegro claims that through ancient pronunciations, certain words have been encoded.

    Using Allegro's methodology, I can claim that Spanish speakers love their children more than English speakers because they secretly encode the word love in the noun "Hijo."

    Here is my Allegro style proof of half truths and pseudo-scholarship:

    Hijo actually come from the Latin Filius, HI being related to FI and JO being related to LIUS. The letters "F", "S" and "H" are fricatives and tend to evolve in that respective order. Thus "F" becomes "S" which becomes "H" and then disappears. This is why the "H" still remains though it is not prounced. As for "Lius" the ending "S" followed it's normal course of evolution and disappeared without a trace. The sounds for "LUH" and "JUH" are remarkable similar and thus "LIU" became "JIU". With a rounding of the mouth "IU" becomes "IO" and eventually "O", And thus Hijo stems from Filius.

    Now, FI LI US has the same kind of pattern as the Greek word φί λι ος (filios) and since φίλιος means "to be fond of" orginating from φιλία which mean "affection", then the Roman's were calling there sons Filius because it meant affection. The Spaniards secretly continued this tradition with the coded word Hijo to indicate the love for their sons.

    This is all very pretty and all pseudo-scholarship.

    Clearly Hijo comes from the greek ἥλιος "Helios" which means Sun which is where we also get the English word Son from.

    No, wait, that is still pseudo-scholarship.

    The fact is that Hijo does come from the latin Filius which comes from the old Latin Felio meaning a "suckling." The English equivalent for the word Hijo is Fetus as they both originate from the word Felio.

    The ties between the words are hard to distinguish, but are more closely related than the greek word Filios.

    With some knowledge anyone can make up crap.

  29. Moving this sub-discussion to it's own blog post: