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Month: June 2018

got a puzzle OT - dragons versus dinosaurs

From: William Morder <doctor_contendo@...>
Date: Wed, 20 Jun 2018 00:06:53 -0700

On Tuesday 19 June 2018 22:29:20 Thierry de Coulon wrote:
> I did not answer at first because I think everyone is free to believe or
> not, but this time too much is simply wrong.
> On Wednesday 20 June 2018 02.31:18 Felix Miata wrote:
> > It's not a versus. Evolution IS a religion:
> It's definitely  *not*
> >
> > ...
> > 2. a specific fundamental set of beliefs and practices generally agreed
> > upon by a number of persons or sects:...
> >
> > "Evolution", as taught, is not subject to proof.
> This is wrong. Just as some may kill member of other religions although
> theirs tell them not to, I can't make sure that there are not some who
> "teach" evolution as a religion, but evolution is a *theory*, that itself
> has evolved once first proposed. It has evolved because scientific evidence
> has showed that proposed explanations did not fit to facts
> > As taught it's all based
> > on theories, aka beliefs.
> Wrong again. A theory is driven by *facts*. It's a model that needs to be
> modified if it's not able to explain new facts that are discoverd.
> > Micro-evolution is without question real and
> > provable, but micro-evolution is not taught as distinguishable from the
> > other 6 types of unprovable evolution, such as that which says dinosaurs
> > and man did not coexist.
> This simply comes from the fact that datation methods (which by the way use
> the same physics that are used in CERN to improve another model, which
> tries to explain how matter is made) show that dinosaurs disappeared 65
> millions years ago while man in its modern form is some two million years
> old.
> That's as if you said it is unprovable that I could not meet Darwin.
> > Technically, it's arguably true that dinosaurs
> > didn't, because "dinosaur" is a word originally created during the 19th
> > century. Before then, the creatures since referred to as dinosaurs were
> > called dragons, and there has been found much art on the walls of caves
> > and elsewhere created many tens of centuries ago that indicate man was
> > interacting with living dragons.
> From which not a single bone has ever been found. My daughter draws a lot
> of "animals" that have never existed, and never will exit. (I admit she
> does not draw on a cave).
> > > then I think (or maybe, I believe) that we need to start
> > > another thread, if not indeed a separate forum, list, or whatever.
> True. I doubt TDE will ever "evolve" to clear this sort of things :)
> > One of my reasons to reply was to highlight the unending inane off-topic
> > threads about coffee, chocolate & dinosaurs polluting this list and its
> > archive. If dinosaurs are OK, then anything should go. I'd like to see OT
> > stuff keep to a minimum or less.

Thanks for speaking for myself and others on behalf of science. 

Yet while I agree with you about the science, and disagree with Felix (and 
probably others) about religion, I still hold that they are free to believe 
whatever they want. I only ask that we can coexist in peace. I will leave you 
in your ignorance, if you agree likewise to leave me in mine. 

Furthermore, even whether or not I agree with them, I still recognize their 
contributions to the list; and Felix has made many useful suggestions. 

But I don't think that we can put a stop to off-topic threads merely by making 
stricter rules, or policing by heavy-handed moderators. It seems to me that 
we need a separate list or thread in which we can discuss all our off-topic 
silly or contentious rants; and which others will then be free to ignore. 

For anybody who wishes to know what I think about dragons (and why they are 
not, and never were, dinosaurs), I've attached a text file. Anybody who wants 
to continue the conversation can write directly to my email address, rather 
than dragging out this thread. 

Mythology and religion do not necessarily have to be in conflict with science; 
but when these things are politicized (as everything else nowadays), 
contradictions arise where really there are none. 


P.S. See attachment (if you choose). 
A relatively brief impromptu essay concerning the nature of the Dragon. (I am writing from memory here, so forgive me if I get a few details a little wrong; but even so, I can look up the sources in my manuscripts and research, if it is demanded of me.) 

As for the dragons = dinosaurs, it is simply not true. Our modern conception of the dragon is heavily influenced by science fiction and fantasy literature. If one reads the earliest mentions of dragons in literature, it is obvious that they were not talking about dinosaurs, nor trying to explain away fossils, and so on. 

And by the way, the words for "dragon" and "serpent" in practically all languages are used interchangeably. Hebrew has, if I recall, nine distinct terms; Greek has at least seven terms; Sanskrit has more than a dozen terms. Dragons almost invariably are spotted "like a leopard" (as it says in the Bible). Sometimes they have wings, sometimes not. The Sumerian dragon sometimes looks more like a sheep with horns. They are created out of the parts of other animals, which gives an impression of chaos; chaos, because the dragon is associated with the blind forces of nature - the wind, rain, storms, floods, fire, the life-force, the sexual energy, anger, rage, etc. 

The dragon has spots because our "spiritual garment" gets spotted by our sins; which is why in heaven the souls of the righteous wear shining white garments. They are speaking of the spiritual body. They also wear crowns, because those who conquer the Beast (the dragon) are given a crown. The crown is originally horns (they come from the same root words)

Interestingly enough, east of about the Indus Valley, the dragon is usually regarded in a positive light; whereas in Western culture (Europe and America, that is), the dragon is a monster which must be destroyed. I think it reflects our different attitudes to those "blind forces" of life. Dragons are bad in Western culture, because Americans and Europeans tend to be a lot more prudish. The battle against the dragon is really the war that each of us carries on within ourselves; when one does not recognize that the Devil is in fact his or her own individual soul, then one is alienated from the source of life itself, and the battle is directed outwards, and we search for external enemies on whom to blame all the evil in the world. 

In short, if you want to find out where is the Devil ("the seat of Satan", as the Bible puts it), where is the source of all the evil in the world, all you need to do is look in the mirror. (The same goes for myself, as well.) 

The dragon in Sumerian myths is said make a sound like barking dogs when it passes; likewise, in the Arthurian legends, the Questing Beast (which is plainly a dragon) makes a sound like thirty pairs of hounds. When Arthur witnesses the passing of the Questing Beast, immediately thereafter he encounters Merlin, as a beggar, as an old man, then as a child, and finally as Merlin himself. In a Incan, Mayan, or maybe Aztec sculpture (I forget which), an image of Quetzlcoatl (the feathered serpent) contains inside it a picture of a priest who appears to be meditating. (I have the image and reference somewhere in my files.) 

Too much literal analysis of mythological ideas, which are the domain of poetry, leads to absurdity; and that is the problem of fundamentalist religion - it is run by people who are temperamentally more like accountants than like poets. 

The dragon is a mythological representation of the concept that is called, in Indian literature, the Kundalini, the Serpent Force. It is not a thing that can be measured and analyzed, but rather an idea that we can study, contemplate, and try to interpret. When Sigurd or Siegfried slays the dragon in Germanic myth, he tastes the blood from its heart, and immediately he acquires the gift of understanding the speech of birds, and thus comes to know that his companions intend to murder him; so instead he beats them to the punch with a pre-emptive first strike. Likewise, in Indian literature, the practice of Yoga aims to turn round the downward-tending Serpent Force, the Kundalini. (Likewise there is mention in the Bible about "raising up the serpent in the wilderness", which is a clear reference to a concept familiar in Yoga.) When one succeeds in conquering the Serpent force, one acquires *siddhis* or perfections. There are nine classical *siddhis* (just like in the Bible there are nine gifts of the spirit). These vary from one culture to another; but generally they are the powers of yogis,  magicians, prophets, and poets (in the sense of rishis or "seers"). They can sometimes foresee the future, they can know what is happening or what is said at a distance, they understand the speech of birds or animals, the can make themselves larger or smaller, or invisible, etc. This is because they are believed to have transcended the physical limitations of the body; or, as in some cultures, they are supposed to be able to project their souls outside of their bodies; or in other cultures, the magician or sorcerer is said to keep his soul in a secret box or other receptacle, somewhere outside the body. Likewise the prophet Muhammad, after going to meditate in a cave, was said to have been able to understand the speech of the birds. 

Now, if we approach these matters like poets, rather than trying to analyze them like accountants, we can perhaps catch a glimpse of the true meaning of the Dragon. Only please do not try to tell me that dragons are dinosaurs!