zaterdag 6 maart 2010

Bloedende gletsjer, ongeloof als uitzondering, definitie van fantasy en leven buiten kaders

De 'bloedende' gletsjer, vol bacteriën. Een meer werd onder het ijs van de buitenwereld afgesloten. Afgesneden van zonlicht en zuurstof ontstond een gemeenschap van zogenoemde 'extremofielen', bacterie-achtige wezens die op alternatieve manieren aan energie komen. Nu loopt er water uit het meer naar buiten, gekleurd door deze extremofielen. Maar er komt geen water naar binnen, zodat dit unieke ecosysteem blijft bestaan. Dit doet me opnieuw afvragen wat er leeft ik Lake Vostok, diep onder het antarctische ijs ... en Europa natuurlijk.

Vroege verwant van de dinosaurussen ontdekt: tien miljoen jaar eerder dan eerdere fossielen deden vermoeden.

Overzicht van wat er gebeurt met gezonken walvissen en het unieke ecosysteem er omheen. Lang leve de bot etende 'zombiewormen'!

Trailer voor de uilen-animatiefilm Legend of the Guardians.

Sociologen zouden niet moeten willen verklaren waar geloof vandaan komt, maar eerder ongeloof, stelt New Scientist, want ongeloof is de uitzondering. Geloof de regel. "Psychologically, we need to know how the self functions without theistic belief, and how our emotional resources might be altered by its absence. Anthropologically, we need to understand how people without religion make sense of their lives, how they find meaning, and how non-theistic systems of thought are embedded in, and shape, the different cultures in which they are present. Sociologically, we need to know how these alternative meaning-making systems are shared between societies, how they unite or divide us, and whether non-religious groups contain pro-social elements commonly associated with religion itself."

John C. Wright probeert te definiëren wat het fantasygenre is. "I would not dare attempt to define what that elf-thirst is, first, because it is as subtle as the color of the twilight of the dawn on new fallen snow, something between luminous gold and blood red that has no name, when all the familiar objects of the world, trees and houses, have been cloaked as if for masquerade in white hoods and mantles, and all the roads buried and therefore lost as unicorns. It is too subtle for me to say what it is. Second, I suspect this elf-thirst has a theological reason behind it rooted in human psychology, rooted in the Fall of Man, and so I would not care to disturb my pagan readers (if such kind souls exist) by uttering that Name of Power which makes elves cower, vampires burn, and Liberals grow faintheaded with ire, so that their palms creep toward their dirks." Kort samengevat: "Whatever is of fantasy is something that breaks a crack in the hermetically sealed coffin lid of the material world in which we live and die, a world of tax returns and dentists visits, and where true love never strikes like lightning." Het levert een lange, maar onderhoudende discussie op. Zijn poging een zelfde definitie te geven van sciencefiction is ... um ... humoristischer

In Christianity Today ontmantelt Mark Galli ons beeld van de 'voor wat, hoort wat'-godheid. "The problem with the quid pro quo god is that we can never call him "my God." We never feel that close to him. He's not a god who stands with us but over and against us. He's like a general, a teacher, a boss, a judge. He's the god who holds out a standard we must measure up to. He is a god who punishes when we do wrong. He could never be a father, let alone my father ... the cardinal rule of the Christian life is not "do this and don't do that," but "all things are lawful but not all things are profitable." The business of the Christian life is not avoiding wrong but discerning and doing what helps us live abundantly in Christ—and that can include everything from corporate worship to a country line dance."

Blogbericht over 'leven buiten de kaders': "What I’m finding outside the box is that most of life happens in that “grey” area, which doesn’t fit nicely into the prefabed labels, categories, and concepts of the box world. It may be that the greatest fulfillment in daily life outside the box is related to my not imposing prefabed labels, categories, and concepts on people and life circumstances. Of course I still do this at times but I’m becoming more conscious of when I do. Life without judgment has changed a lot for me." Deze blog ga ik volgen.