Friday, August 05, 2005


Placebo is from the Latin meaning “I shall please.” What a wonderful saying! Imagine “I shall please” being a part of the words of the Christ of the fundamentalist believer!

New studies in the placebo effect show that “belief and expectation—the key elements of hope—can block pain [and depression] by releasing the brain’s endorphins and enkephalins, mimicking the effects of morphine....” (TECHNOLOGY REVIEW, June/2005, pp. 79-80)

Yep, that’s right—if people put their hopes (i.e. beliefs and expectations) in some miraculous event, they will get a morphine high. The study, though not meant to demonstrate why religion is addictive, reveals why it’s so hard to get people to give up the placebo effect created by god myths; their beliefs create morphine highs in believers. Belief in god is an addiction which most people don’t even know they have, let alone want to give up. This is also why people addicted to their morphine based, religious highs will kill others rather than allow their supply to be taken away from them or threatened. This is why the clash of beliefs have been so destructive throughout history. They’re battles between addictive groups.

In alcoholics anonymous, there is an idea that the chronic alcoholic puts everything in his life below his need to use his drug. Alcohol is his chief love affair and comes first in his life. Wife, children, comfort, money, success—all are sacrificed to the alcoholic’s love of his drug. The same can be said for many believers’ addiction to the Jesus placebo which, we can clearly prove now, is akin to a morphine high. I’d say the facts are in. The mythology of Jesus, itself, tells its followers that they must abandon all things, abandon one’s family to follow the morphine high the Jesus myth offers to them.


“We believe there is a common language that all technical civilizations, no matter how different must have. That common language is science and mathematics. The laws of Nature are the same everywhere. The patterns in the spectra of distant stars and galaxies are the same as those for the Sun or for appropriate laboratory experiments: not only do the same chemical elements exist everywhere in the universe, but also the same laws of quantum mechanics that govern the absorption and emission of radiation by atoms apply everywhere as well. Distant galaxies revolving about one another follow the same laws of gravitational physics as govern the motion of an apple falling to Earth, or Voyager on its way to the stars. The patterns of Nature are everywhere the same. An interstellar message, intended to be understood by an emerging civilization should be easy to decode.” —Carl Sagan, COSMOS, p. 296.


In Cosmos (p. 109), Sagan reveals how humans with any knowledge they currently possess can easily project that consciousness out into the world and even into the Cosmos.

"Despite Wallace's critique, despite the fact that other astronomers with telescopes and observing sites as good as Lowell's [he popularized the idea of canals on Mars] could find no sign of the fabled canals, Lowell's vision of Mars gained popular acceptance. It had a mythic quality as old as Genesis. Part of its appeal was the fact that the nineteenth century was an age of engineering marvels, including the construction of enormous canals: the Suez Canal, completed in 1869; the Corinth Canal, in 1893; the Panama Canal, in 1914; and, closer to home, the Great Lake locks, the barge canals of upper New York State, and the irrigation canals of the American Southwest. If Europeans and Americans could perform such feats, why not Martians? Might there not be an even more elaborate effort by an older and wiser species, courageously battling the advance of desiccation on the red planet?

We have now sent reconnaissance satellites into orbit around Mars. The entire planet has been mapped. We have landed two automated laboratories on its surface. The mysteries of Mars have, if anything, deepened since Lowell's day. However, with pictures far more detailed than any view of Mars that Lowell could have glimpsed, we have found not a tributary of the vaunted canal network, not one lock. Lowell and Schiaparelli and others, doing visual observations under difficult seeing conditions, were misled—in part perhaps because of a predisposition to believe in life on Mars." —Sagan

Projection may actually be why humans needed god at one time. We evolved self-consciousness and, then, had to account for consciousness by projecting it into the Universe. So, also, we developed computers when our consciousness became more aware of it's biological and mechanical roots. And, as Sagan shows, we build canals, then one of us projects them onto Mars.


In Sagan's COSMOS (p. 126) we come across an idea which I also found in Dawkin's THE BLIND WATCHMAKER, that sands or other mineral patterns could have been the start of life. For myself, I still don't know that I am anything more than a collection of minerals so complex as to give the appearance of life even though I'm so mechanical I could almost be said to need oil (carbon) for my joints. Watch me and see if I give evidence of life.

"Even so, the results of Banin and Rishpon are of great biological importance because they show that in the absence of life there can be a kind of soil chemistry that does some of the same things life does. On the Earth before life, there may already have been chemical processes resembling respiration and photosynthesis cycling in the soil, perhaps to be incorporated by life once it arose. In addition, we know that montmorillonite clays are a potent catalyst for combining amino acids into longer chain molecules resembling proteins. The clays of the primitive Earth may have been the forge of life, and the chemistry of contemporary Mars may provide essential clues to the origin and early history of life on our planet."

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