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February 15, 2010

Bow Down Before It, Ye Mortals!


Now, in order to convert bad science (or good science misconstrued) into a religion,
two things are necessary. First, instead of pointing toward the Absolute, it must be the Absolute. And then the science of the day must be imagined to be the last word, the ultimate phase, or last chapter of its development. We laugh at people who did this in the past. Why don't we laugh at people who do it today?

Oh wait. We do. Charles Johnson.

The irony is that the same people who, say, criticize the Church for opposing Galileo are the new secular churchmen who are threatened by opposition to their sacred ideology. Thus, if you question the dogma of global warming, you are in league with satan, i.e. Big Oil, who is paying you to say those evil things. Or, if you point out the undeniable holes in radical Darwinism, you are secretly in league with medieval Creationists. No need to actually engage the arguments. Just break out the kindling and matches. -- One Cʘsmos: The New Science of Quantum Booty!

Posted by Vanderleun at February 15, 2010 10:27 AM. This is an entry on the sideblog of American Digest: Check it out.

Your Say

I'm so happy I could just
throw another barrel of oil on the fire.

Posted by: Ricky Raccoon at February 15, 2010 12:57 PM

It seems Moloch takes on new and wondrous shapes with every new incarnation. This may be his most insidious yet. The invisible wind god. He demands we sacrifice our offspring in order to appease him. He will relent and quit blowing invisible fire, if we would but quit existing.

Posted by: Jewel at February 15, 2010 3:29 PM

This Moloch is the same old red cloaked beast we thought we'd dust-binned...Only now he's got a new green [camouflage] cape.

Posted by: monkeyfan at February 18, 2010 8:01 AM

, and whether you want to read dsjeointid chapters from early drafts. As glimpses into an alternative '2001 , one that Kubrick might have filmed, it's priceless; as entertainment, it's less interesting. Like the other hard sci-fi' writers, Clarke is best at the science bits, and a short segment from an alternative finale, one in which the four surviving Discovery crewmembers explore a deep hole in the side of Iapetus (although, oddly, it's only referred to as Jupiter V' perhaps they hadn't named it yet), is fascinating. The talky bits were never his strong point, though, and the pre-flight glimpses at Earth in the year 2001 are full of people not so much conversing, as delivering little scientific monologues at each other. As with everything else Clarke has written, none of the characters have any actual character although it's possible that this is hyper-realism as, let's face it, most people in the real world are bland, dull and interchangeable, especially when they're at work, and Clarke's characters are always at work. Disappointingly, HAL doesn't appear at all. The other main strand personifies the monolith in the form of Clindar, a tall, noble alien who comes across as an insufferably self-righteous riff on Klaatu from The Day the Earth Stood Still'. One shudders to think how camp the film would have been if this had been filmed. And there are a couple of descriptions of alien landscapes and societies which are quite evocative but have a habit of repeating themselves.There's a reprint of The Sentinel' as well, but if you're going to the trouble of ordering this from Amazon (it took about a month for them to find and post it to sodden, freezing, miserable London, which wasn't much slower than a normal order) you've probably read that already. In summary, then, if you're reading this you're either buzzing with curiosity or you're me, and if you're a fan of the film, the book, or Clarke it's essential. You'll probably buy it, read it once, and never read it again, though.

Posted by: Daniel at July 15, 2012 1:44 AM

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