Monday, November 30, 2015

Atheist Reduction of Knolwedge to science

  photo Wieseltier_zpse524414a.jpg
 Leon Wieseltier

           The Scientistic movement cuts across many boundaries. It includes, but is not limited to, atheism. One major facet of its ideology which has been especially important to atheism is the transformation of knowledge to technique. I refer to Barrett’s concept of the illusion of technique, of which I spoke in chapter one. The first move is a reduction of knowledge from a multiplicity of forms to one thing only, scientific knowledge. Then scientific knowledge lends itself to the working of technique in shaping our understanding by manipulating reality and thus truth. This reduction of knowledge to scientific data, is reflected on the popular internet site One such question asked: “is science the supreme form of knowledge?” The answer it gives us is, “Science is the only form of knowledge. There is no way to know something without it being scientific in some way.”[1] It goes to ask “what is science knowledge the answer is “science knowledge is the understanding of everything around us how they process or work. To have Science knowledge it will allow you to have good explanations of many things…”[2] It reads like it’s written by a third grader. Science knowledge is everything, nothing escapes it, and it gives good explanations of many things, not all things? It gives a little testimonial just incase the definition doesn’t sound quite right. That its good for explaining things.
            In popular terms, the site “” has a debate on the question “is science the only source of true knowledge.” That should at least reflect the fact that people are asking the question. Their straw poll, which is of course not scientific and not representative, shows 44% of people who visited the sight, says yes science is the only form of true knowledge.” 56% say “no.” It’s true that even with a specialized computer going audience the ‘no’s’ have it, yet 44% is a large percentage.[3] They quote Hume:
“If we take in our hand any volume; of divinity or school metaphysics, for instance; let us ask, Does it contain any abstract reasoning concerning quantity or number? No. Does it contain any experimental reasoning concerning matter of fact and existence? No. Commit it then to the flames: for it can contain nothing but sophistry and illusion.”[4] English Commedian Ricky Gervias is featured in a piece for Wall Street Journal, “why I am an Atheist.” He says:

People who believe in God don’t need proof of his existence, and they certainly don’t want evidence to the contrary. They are happy with their belief. They even say things like “it’s true to me” and “it’s faith.” I still give my logical answer because I feel that not being honest would be patronizing and impolite. It is ironic therefore that “I don’t believe in God because there is absolutely no scientific evidence for his existence and from what I’ve heard the very definition is a logical impossibility in this known universe,” comes across as both patronizing and impolite.[5]

That’s an example of how deeply this kind of thinking as been absorbed by the popular level.
            Austin Cline is a blogger and an expositor of atheist opinion. He writes about the nature of scientific knowledge defending the statement “God does not exist,” as a scientific statement. If we examine his view it turns out that the reason he says it is because he’s reduced the nature of knowledge to his understanding of science. He says that objecting to the statement on the grounds that God is beyond scientific proof is a misunderstanding of what the statement means. The statement, “God does not exist” (as a scientific statement) means that it can’t be proved by scientific means. If it can’t be proved then it doesn’t exist. That’s the same as saying “my view is all there is.”

When a scientist says "God does not exist," they mean something similar to when they say "aether does not exist," "psychic powers do not exist," or "life does not exist on the moon."
All such statements are casual short-hand for a more elaborate and technical statement: "this alleged entity has no place in any scientific equations, plays no role in any scientific explanations, cannot be used to predict any events, does not describe any thing or force that has yet been detected, and there are no models of the universe in which its presence is either required, productive, or useful." [6]
I’ve never actually seen a scientist who says that, except for the professional atheists such as Dawkins. Even Dawkins doesn’t actually say that he’s making a scientific statement. One might think that the comparison to aether is not valid, seeing the Michaelson/Moraelly experiments as disproof of the possibility of aehter. Technically all they really did was fail to find any evidence in favor of aether and the modern scientific understanding of the universe failed to produce a place for it.[7] That’s really the point Cline makes, science doesn’t have to disprove God, just not finding a place for God means God doesn’t exist (for scientism) because scientism only accepts that for which science makes a place. In other words, by this method, knowledge is reduced all other forms to science alone, or least to their reading of science alone. Cline himself rejects an absolutist position (of disproof) on the part of science. “What should be most obvious about the technically accurate statement is that it is not absolute. It does not deny for all time any possible existence of the entity or force in question.”[8] Of course it doesn’t have to. Since it has mandated a methodology that excludes God sense it only allows that which is found in sense data, then God will never meet the requirement unless he wants to submit to scientific scrutiny. God seems to have his own ideas about being in charge, so this is not likely. The effect is only things that compare to scientific methods can be considered knowledge. That is only a good argument if one only accepts religious belief as a scientific hypothesis. The assumption is clearly that science is the only from of knowledge and if it’s not scientific then it’s not worthy to be known. The point is that for scientism (and New atheism)  science is the only valid form of knolwedge.
            Jerry A. Coyne argues that science is the only valid form of knowledge and he doesn’t mind castigating the arts in doing it. On his blog[9] he takes to task Patrick MacNamara, the professor in Neurology at Boston University who edits the series of books on Where God and Science Meet.[10] In the course the discussion Coyne begins to argue that science is the only from of knowledge, only scientific knowledge can be validated. He says:

First, music, literature and poetry don’t produce any truths about the universe that don’t require independent verification by empirical and rational investigation: that is, through science (broadly interpreted).  These fine arts don’t convey to us anything factual about the world unless those facts can be replicated by reason, observation or experiment.  All of the other “truths” from the arts fall into the class of “emotional realizations.”
I may, for example, feel a oneness with humanity from reading Tolstoy, or a feeling that I need to “seize the day” from watching Never Let Me Go. While one might consider these things worthwhile knowledge, with “knowledge” defined broadly, they are not what we atheists—and many of the faithful—mean by “truths.”[11]

His reasoning is pretty convoluted. Literature and poetry don’t produce truths because they don’t require independent verification. That’s a statement not in evidence. Just because they don’t require his kind of verification doesn’t mean they don’t require any. That may be what personal experience is for. Or that may be what other literature is for. Moreover, who says that knowledge has to be verified to be knowledge? That’s only the case if you already accept up front that scientific knowledge is the only kind. I think that writers like Coyne are merely demonstrating the failure of our educational system to instill within the students in its charge a love of learning or a sense of the humanities. At the very least his position is begging the question. He doesn’t understand the nature of literature or what it does for you, and he takes it very literally and tries to approach it like science. We can see this in his statement:

when you read a novel like Anna Karenina, you know it’s fiction: if from the endeavor you realize things about yourself, or about human emotions, you are not required to sign onto the genuine physical existence of Count Vronsky or Karenin.  In contrast, emotional realizations that derive from faith require absolute belief in a number of ridiculous, incorrect, or unverifiable propositions.[12]
He does understand that fiction is fiction but then why can’t he extrapolate from that to the nature of religion? He thinks religious belief has to be literal. It can’t refer to emotions or internal states. That feeling stuff is not truth that’s just stories.  He issues his own challenge to believers: “tell me exactly what ‘knowledge’ religion has provided that is not derivable from secular reason.  Like Hitchens, I still have not received an answer.” [13]He sure will. I’ll send him a copy of this book.  Why would anyone think that reality one discovers in God is not knowledge or that it’s not “real?” Why shouldn’t it be verifiable? But why must it be verifiable in scientific terms? Spiritual knowledge is real; Knowledge of God is real knowledge. Noetic knowledge from mystical experience is real. Historical knowledge is real knowledge that can pertain to religious teaching. It’s absurdly silly to say that science is the only true knowledge.  I’ll go into greater elaboration on this in the chapter on supernatural. This will all be discussed in the chapters on supernatural (chapter nine) and perspective (chapter 10).
            Peter Atkins writes, in “Science as Truth,” that “…there can be no denying that science is the best procedure yet discovered for exposing fundamental truths about the world…This claim of universe competence may seem arrogant, but it appears to be justified.”[14] He points to science’s experimentation guided by elaboration and improvement of theory as the basis of scientific acuity. He points to the function, the success, the “science works” aspect to demonstrate the truth of science. “No other mode of discovery has proved to be so effective or to contribute so much toward the achievement or aspirations of humanity.”[15] Like Atkins those who defend Scientism and who seek to reduce all human knowledge to one form of knowledge, scientific, usually claim to do so in the name of humanity. Yet in so doing they threaten to destroy not only some of the most cherished aspects of human knowledge but humanity itself. This is no ideal threat. There are four major harms impending as a result of this movement:

(1) Loss of the arts as a valid understanding of human being
(2) Loss of human freedom as a value in society,
(3) Loss of humanity itself in the face of technological augmentation
(4) Separation from God.

            The process of reducing knowledge to just scientific knowledge alone was at work eroding the value of the arts through most of the twentieth century. George Richmond Walker wrote a fine article for the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, way back in 1964. In that article, “Art, Science, and Reality,” he demonstrated that civilization has always assumed that knowledge spread over a wide variety of subject matters and disciplines. Knowledge belongs to all the endeavors of humanity, they were all worthy of being called by that name, especially the arts. As sited in the first chapter, Dewy and the positivists were skeptical that the arts provide knowledge, yet, “in times past there have been many thinkers who asserted or assumed that art as well as science reveals something of the true nature of the actual world.”[16] He cites Plato and Aristotle who say that art is a form of knowledge. I would not expect Plato and Aristotle to cut much ice in this day and age. He adds, “religion was understood and is still generally believed to be concerned with reality of some kind.”[17] He quotes the philosopher Bosanquet “the spirit of art is faith in ‘life and divinity with which the external world is inspired so that the idealizations that are characteristic of art are not so much imaginations that depart from reality as they are revelations of the life and divinity that is alone ultimate reality.’”[18] Richmond argues that modern science is giving us an exacting knowledge of the external world but through quantum theory we know that the essential substance of the world is mathematical not physical and external. Thus he grounds true knowledge in experience of the world, which is reflected through the arts as well as science. He sites Whitehead in saying that neither physical nature nor life can be understood without understanding the interconnections that can only be understood through experience. He bases this view in a monism that speaks of the interconnections of all things, thus to screen off just one aspect such as the objective quantifiable aspects that science provides and ignore the experiential that the artistic provides is merely to miss the whole. We are not missing just one aspect but the whole.[19] All knowledge is generated by experience and the only thing we know of that brings experience to the table is humanity. He makes the point that we don’t know what we are approaching as a species or what we are unleashing but we do know we can’t escape being human. We are finally confined to our humanity and art is our unique expression as humans that reflect our experience in ways that allows us to bridge the known.
            Leon Wieseltier, literary editor of the New Republic, gave the commencement address at Brandeis University in 2013. Peter Lawler wrote an article for The Standard based upon that speech.[20] He pointed out the threat to the arts and thus to freedom from scientism and technologism. He points to Neuroscientists who seek to displace theology, philosophy, poetry. This is the idea that there is a ready genetic explanation for all we do and that understanding brain function is to understand all that there is to know. We can see that through Cyone’s literalistic approach to literature. The technologism of which he speaks is a good example of what I talk about in chapter one under the heading of “illusion of technique.” the idea that we can do anything, we can manipulate the world to match our desires, thus we control meaning and truth. Yet this only applies to one form of knowledge, science, and all other forms will all but wither away. This is because science feeds technology, the basis of manipulation and control.
            Reduction of knowledge to science will only result in a loss of freedom; free speech, freedom of action, political freedom. Back in the 1970s B.F. Skinner achieved fame and notoriety with his work Beyond Freedom and Dignity[21], in which he argued that freedom and dignity were concepts holding us back from saving the planet. He pointed to pollution and world hunger and agued that we were not doing the things needed to be done because ideas of human freedom stood in the way. We are not willing make the impositions on the individual that need to be made to illicit the proper human behavior. He advocated using operant conditioning. Skinnerism found a wide audience for a time but then I think society began to take a real look at what he was talking about and decided human freedom and dignity were worth keeping. Skinner’s school of thought made an impact in clinical psychology, the giving tokens for rewards in exchange for behavior, this school was called “behaviorism.” We began to figure out that freedom and dignity are two of the things that make life worth living. Losing them is losing some of the thing for which we want the world made safe and preserved so that we might enjoy them. Saving the world at the expense of those is like destroying the village to save it. Wieseltier points to Marxism as an example of what the scientistic mentality does to freedom.[22]
            Determinism is the outcome of scientism: because we know it all we can study and understand what causes everything, thus we have proved that there is No free will. Because there’s no free will there is no problem taking away political freedom. All we need to do is tell the sheep they won’t miss it because they only think they want it anyway. There is no greater threat to freedom then the philosophical twaddle that rationalizes it’s loss with a lot of nonsense about how veg the concept of freedom is. Daniel Dennett tries to answer by showing that he believes in freedom politically and lives free in a deterministic world because determinism cuts down on randomness. Randomness is what destroys freedom because you can’t predict the future in reliable way,[23] while determinism doesn’t mean inevitability.[24] To pull this off Dennett uses some slick tricks. To prove determinism is not inevitable but allows freedom he does two things; first, he uses the analogy of a bullet, its trajectory is inevitable if unblocked, but we have a bullet proof vest the striking is not inevitable. Of course the problem is that it assumes we can think freely to act. If our thoughts and desires are also controlled, then we can’t act freely to wear the vest. With Harris’s ideas of determinism, for example, all causes are the same as determinism and for him free will is just a illusion.[25] Thus we can’t think freely to wear the vest. The second thing Dennett does is to compare scientific determinism to belief in God. He refers to aspects of belief a lot. He refers to the Deus ex Machina[26] (don’t look now, not a Biblical concept). The reason is because he expects us to accept that by comparison scientific determinism is less inevitable and controlling than the concept of fate, which he links to God or the divine. A large portion of the book is aimed at disproving notions of free will, which means he’s just doing the reductionist trick (see chapter “reductionism,” chapter 5) reducing reality to the bit he can control then claims that’s all there is. Loss of free will isn’t a problem because free will is not very expansive anyway. Based upon this lackluster performance of its defense we can assume it is in grave danger. One can only imagine how this tactic would be applied by the real purveyors of power in a world ran by the dictates of scientism.

We have to wait until Friday to find out


[1] “Is Science the Supreme form of knowledge?” Internet resource:  (accessed 12/27/13). is owned by the Answers corporation began in Israel. The name domain name was purchansed by Bill Gose and Hendrick Jones. The domain name sold to guru net based in Israel.
[3] Debate.Org, “Is Science the Only True Source of Knowledge?” owned by Juggle, LLC   online resource:
[4] Ibid.
[5] Ricky Gervais, “Ricky Gervais: Why I am An Atheist.” Wall Street Journal: Arts and Entertainment. (Dec. 19, 2010). Online copy:   accessed 12/31/13.
[6] Austin Cline, “Scientifically God Does Not Exist: Science allows us to say God Does not Exist, there is role for God in science, no explanation that God can provide.”, Agnosticism/Atehism. Online publication:  accessed 12/27/13.
[7] Richard Staley, (2009), "Albert Michelson, the Velocity of Light, and the Ether Drift", Einstein's generation. The origins of the relativity revolution, Chicago: University of Chicago Press, ISBN 0-226-77057-5
[8] Ibid.
[9] Jerry A. Coyne, “Once Again, Does Religion Produce Knowledge,” Why Evolution is True,  blog, Mya 4, 20/11. URL:  accessed 12/27/13. Coyne Ph.D. , is professor of Ecology and Evolution at University of Chicago. From his blog: “Coyne has written over 110 refereed scientific papers and 80 other articles, book reviews, and columns, as well as a scholarly book about his field (Speciation, co-authored with H. Allen Orr). He is a frequent contributor to The New Republic, The Times Literary Supplement, and other popular periodicals..”
[10] Patrick McNamara ed., Where God and Science Mee:How Brain and Evolutionary Experiences Alter Our Understanding of Religion, volumes I-III. Westport CT:Praeger Publishers, 2006.
[11] Coyne, Op. Cit.
[12] Ibid.
[13] Ibid.
[14] Peter Atkins, “Science as Truth,” History of the Human Sciences,  Volume 8, no 2 (1995) 97-102
Attkins is former professor of Chemistry at Oxford, author of many books, scholarly and popular. He’s well known as an atheist and speaks and writes on behalf of atheism.
[15] Ibid.
[16] George Richmond Walker, Op. cit. 9.
[17] Ibid.
[18] Ibid.
[18] Ibid.
[20] Peter Augustine Lawler, “Defending the Humanities,” The Weekly Standard, Jun 17, 2013, Vol. 18, No. 38, 2013.  from the Online copy Jan 1, 2014  accessed 1/1/14.
[21] B.F. Skinner, Beyond Freedom and Dignity, New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1971. 1.
[22]  Quoted in Lawler, Op. Cit.
[23] Daniel C. Dennett, Freedom Evolves, New York: Penguin Books, 2004, 13, 309.
[24] Ibid, 56.
[25] Sam Harris, Free Will,  New York: Free Press, 2012.,10.
[26] Dennett, Freedom Evolves, Op cit. 47.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Fun-frillled-Friay on Thursdasy (Alice's Restaurant for Thanksgiving).

 photo Arlo-Guthrie-Alices-Restaurant-1967-Album-Cover-Art1_zpsfh6x1d1b.jpg
Original Album Cover

Alice's Restaurant, the great 60's song that lasts 18 minutes and takes up a whole side of the Album; it's the 50th anniversary of it's release. The song has become an unofficial anthem for Thanksgiving, because it's about what happened after the Thanksgiving day feat 1968. Half the radio stations in the country will play it today. The song was Written by Arlo Guthrie, son of the legendary folk singer Woody Guthrie (wrote "This Land Is Your Land").

The song is really about what happened to Arlo when he was drafted, but that was colored by the events of the previous Thanksgiving. This was the height of Vietnam war so the song became a major anti-war song. For those who have never heard the song, the big thing bout it is it's hilarious. Arlo had a real comedic talent. He wasn't the greatest singer, his guitar is good, but he was the Seinfeld of folksongs. The song is comparable to the movie Godspell and other media artifacts of the counter culture in it's laid back humor oriented approach to mocking authority and casually making a serious statement. I would also associate it with the movie Mash for that reason. The first season of the tv Mash, though great by tv standards was a pale watered down version of that sort of style..

Arlo and a friend went to a school (in the movie he's in first year of college, but I'm not sure in real life if it wasn't high school) and two of his teachers, Alice somebody and husband, bought a church and remodeled it to be a home and Restaurant. Arlo says "we would sneak away from school and go there and do what we did in the 60's." We know he does not mean protest. They were going to Thanksgiving at the Restaurant but had to clean the place up before they could make the feast;. It was the junck from the remodeling. The dump was closed so they had to dump the garbage on private land and were charged with littering. When he was drafted they turned him down because of that arrest. There was a movie made about it, it was a huge hit. Arlo acted in the movie. he's not a bad actor, he as playing himself.

The memories are flooding back. The feel of the times. Revolution was in the air. We questioned everything. All wasted in a stooper of pot smoke. I remember we used to swipe paregoric from a friend's father, he took it for his back surgery. We soaked Cigarettes in it, dried them, smoked them, wonderful opium high. I stopped doing that when I got saved because I have prayer. Prayer is a million times better. Pot doesn't love you back. The first time I smoked it I was working at a job where we drove around the city soliciting articles of clothing and stuff for a thrift store. People leave it out, we pick it up. Between areas we got high. I was so scared. The cool hipsters I worked with kept saying, "be cool, cops can sense fear." "Just like dogs," I said. Prayer is definitely better than degradation and jail time. I know some connections doing jail time.

 photo 51Wm5zmvhbL._AC_UL320_SR312320__zpsbfnjkdvc.jpg

Arlo too has turned to God. The restaurant he bought several years ago, saved it from being torn down, and turned it into a spiritual center, so it is a place of God again. He said "anyone can come to the thanksgiving feast the only requirement is be hungry."

Hear the song

see the movie

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

God, Mind, Biology

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My version of the cosmological argument steers is way around the need to defend direct causality of the universe with the idea that all existing things that we observe have ontologically prior conditions. For example, the universe itself stems from a confluence of space, time, gravitational field, energy. All of this is has an ontologically prior condition in the singularity. I say “ontologically prior” because there is no time beyond event horizon, thus there is no “before” before the big bang. But ontologically prior doesn’t mean that came “before” chronologically. Time begins in the very same increment of nano second with the things that are contingent upon, but they are no less contingent. Take the example of the eternal flute player. As long as the player plays eternally the music is eternal. But if the player were to stop the music would cease. Thus the music is both eternal and contingent. This illustrates the idea that a contingency can be contingent upon a necessity that that does not come before it in time, but the necessity is ontologically prior.

I advance the argument that we have no examples of anything that is not contingent upon an ontologically prior condition. Everything we see in this life. From swizzle sticks to pigs, form dirt to salad cream, from dollars to donuts is contingent. Thus it is the power of inductive reasoning that forces us to accept the concept of a contingent universe, We have no examples, not one, of anything to the contrary. One must fly in the face of all experience of all humans in all of life to argue that we don’t need to assume any sort of ontological priority for naturalistic phenomena. Atheists have, however, turned the tables. They advance the argument that we never observe any form of mind or consciousness apart from brain. Thus, by the same force of inductive evidence that forces us to assume ontologically prior conditions to the universe, we should also assume that minds do not occur without brains. This would mean that God must be the product of a biology, or here cannot be a God possessed of consciousness, will, or volition.

While this seems like a reasonable “turn about is fair play” sort of argument on the surface, rendering Theistic objects as special pleading, it is actually a black-is-white-slide argument on the part of the atheist. This is so because the two cases are really not analogous even though they appear to be at first glance. First, there is nothing to compare to God We can say “we never see anything that is not contingent upon something else in this life, but we cannot say “we never see anything else that is like God, because we never see God, nor can we expect anything to be like God. God is not only unique, but God is beyond any scale of understanding we could produce. There is nothing we can compare to God. Thus, it is not a fair statement “we never see anything like God.” Of course we don’t, God is off scale. That may sound like special pleading but to say otherwise is merely a category mistake. One is trying to hold the absolute necessity the standards of all contingent being. The atheist is merely denying the fact that the two cases, God and naturalistic phenomena are totally different things, they are in different logically categories and one cannot be held in comparison to the to the other.

Moreover, the ontological priority of naturalistic necessities is much more fundamental in our field of experience than is consciousness. While it is true that everything we see in this life, every single physical object and everything we know about, anything and every thing that can be observed or quantified or even theorized based upon its effects upon other physical phenomena, is contingent, we do not know if it is true that minds are only found in connection with brains. That is begging the question, because the argument is made that consciousness is not merely the product of brain chemistry but is actually a basic property of nature, and is produced by the level of complexity in a system. Thus the atheist is imposing functionalistic assumptions based upon a materialist ideology, rather than appealing to any sort of actual observation we really make in the world. We do not know if we only observe consciousness as a product of brain chemistry because if it is a property of nature then we may be seeing it at work in everything. There is a school of thought that says nature is “ground up.” If that is the case it means that rocks and trees have a certain level of consciousness, presumably very low for rocks, because consciousness is a basic property. If this view is true, consciousness is like the electromagnetic spectrum; its in everything, you can’t see it, you can’t compare it to anything. The EM spectrum includes a lot of aspect that we cannot observe directly. Radio waves, microwaves, ultra violet, infa red and others are also aspects of the EM spectrum. So there may be more to consciousness than just brains. I am not suggesting that trees have feelings and are capable of conversation, but if consciousness is a basic property then there’s got to be a lot more to it than we know. To just say no it’s only caused by brain chemistry and is only found in biological organisms is foolish. God is not a biological organism and thus there is no reason to exact that God would conform to the same principles. The real difference in the two cases, is that the prior condition argument and the consciousness argument is that prior conditions are something we can observe and understanding as necessary for the emergence of all physical phenomena, while we do not know the answer to the assumption being made about consciousness and presume we do is merely begging the question.

On the other hand,

there is evidence that mind can appear apart from brain.While this can’t be proven, there are some good indications.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

The Question of Being part 2: Against ICR


I have done a previous post on the impossibility of ICR (Infinite Causal Regression). There are aspects of the subject that I didn't deal with in that so I am hoping to deal with them here. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy has an excellent article on the Cosmological Argument. I am going to deal with issues raised in that article, issues pertaining to contingency and ICR. In counter to the argument of a necessary first cause Russell argues that the universe just is and requires no explanation. In the last post I argued that this is unsatisfying, Russell argued that we derive our concept of cause from observation, thus since we don't observe the final cause, or the cause of the universe (see objection 1 in link above). The obvious answer is that we don't have to observe ever aspect to extrapolate from what we do observe, that's the whole principle of inductive reasoning in scinece. I would argue that we do observe the contingency of the universe because it's all around at every moment, while we can't know the finality of it's contingency, we can see plainly that the only we have of the mode of being of the universe is contingency, which is in everything we see.

Rusell argued that the move from the parts to the whole, from contingent parts to wholly contingent universe, is the "fallacy of composition."

Russell correctly notes that arguments of the part-whole type can commit the Fallacy of Composition. For example, the argument that since all the bricks in the wall are small, the wall is small, is fallacious. Yet it is an informal fallacy of content, not a formal fallacy. Sometimes the totality has the same quality as the parts because of the nature of the parts invoked—the wall is brick because it is built of bricks. The universe's contingency, theists argue, resembles the second case. If all the contingent things in the universe, including matter and energy, ceased to exist simultaneously, the universe itself, as the totality of these things, would cease to exist. But if the universe can cease to exist, it is contingent and requires an explanation for its existence (Reichenbach, chap. 5).(from Stanford article above).
The assertion that the exact duplication of the building material in the overall wall is a red herring. The argument that the size of the bricks is the size of the all is not really analogous to the issue of contingency. The analogy would between the actual state of the material, not it's size divided into increments, but the material itself. A wall made out of all bricks is what we call "a brick wall" that is a wall made wholly of the materiel "brick." If a wall is made up of contingencies then it's a contingent wall.

Some reply that this argument for the contingency of the universe still is fallacious, for even if every contingent being were to fail to exist in some possible world, it may be the case that there is no possible world that lacks a contingent being. That is, though no being would exist in every possible world, every world would possess at least one contingent being. Rowe gives the example of a horse race. “We know that although no horse in a given horse race necessarily will be the winner, it is, nevertheless, necessary that some horse in the race will be the winner” (1975, 164).
Atheist answer:
Rowe's example, however, fails, for it is possible that all the horses break a leg and none finishes the race. That is, the necessity that some horse will win follows only if there is some reason to think that some horse must finish the race.
That is not a real answer because it doesn't prove that the universe is necessary it proves merely that there might be no universe at all. Since that means the universe itself could have failed to exist that makes it contingent (standard definition: that which could cease or fail to exist). The author of the article argues as a back up that we must have a reason to believe that something is necessary: "Similarly, his objection to the universe's contingency will hold only if there is some reason to think that the existence of something is necessary. " That's just the problem, we have no reason to assume the universe is necessary, we have an obvious reason to assume that being is necessary, since something can't come from nothing, there's ample reason to assume an eternal first cause. Being eternal it could not could not cease or fail, the logic of an eternal first cause makes it necessary a prori (ie Necessary: that which cannot cease of fail to exist). If something is truly eternal it could not cease or fail to exist. Consider the lunacy in saying that some thing has existed for ever with no cause but on June fourth, 1955 it cased to be. Why June 4, 1955, why not eons ago? It had infinite chances to cease, why would it do so on that one day and not another much sooner? Moreover, the concept of eternal being is limitless, unnumbered and infinite. To then have it cease would be to put a number to the infinite which is impossible. All of which is reason enough to assume eternal necessary being.

The article at that point goes off into what I think is a tangent arguing for the possible existence of a world with no contingent beings.

One argument given in defense of this thesis is that the existence of one contingent being may be necessary for the nonexistence of some other contingent being. But though the fact that something's existence is necessary for the existence of something else holds for certain properties (for example, the existence of children is necessary for someone to be a parent), it is doubtful that something's existence is necessary for something else's nonexistence per se, which is what is needed to support the argument that denies the contingency of the universe. Hence, given the contingency of everything in the universe, it remains that there is a possible world without any contingent beings.
I think he missed the point. The point is not that there must be a contingent being of some kind in every possible world, but that the state of contingency is mandated for all possible worlds (they are all dependent upon God) since they could all fail to exist. The author of the article, Bruce Reichenbach, argues in terms of individual beings. The point is that the whole is demonstrated as contingent because it is made up of contingent parts. This is not the fallacy of composition becuase if the parts are all the same the over all structure is the same as the parts. We can get off track by being literalistic and saying "the small bricks make a small wall" but they make a wall made of brick.

The fallacy of composition is when one reasons from the parts to the whole. In this case my argument (P2a) reasons from the fact that the universe is a collection of contingent things to the conclusion that the universe is contingent. But this is not my only argument for the contingency of the universe, be that as it may, it is not the fallacy of composition. The fallacy doesn't happen just any time one reasons in this way. It is not fallacious to argue form the parts to the whole if the parts are all alike.

Robert Koons on Leadership University


Phl 327
Contemporary Christian Philosophy
Fall 2000, University of Texas

The argument commits the fallacy of composition: from the fact that each part of the cosmos is caused, it fallaciously draws the conclusion that the whole cosmos is caused. Response: this is a misstatement of the argument. The argument assumes that all wholly contingent situations are caused. We can prove that the cosmos is wholly contingent, so it must have a cause.

The Nizkor Project

vistied 12/13/03

The second type of fallacy of Composition is committed when it is concluded that what is true of the parts of a whole must be true of the whole without there being adequate justification for the claim. More formally, the line of "reasoning" would be as follows:
The parts of the whole X have characteristics A, B, C, etc. Therefore the whole X must have characteristics A, B, C. That this sort of reasoning is fallacious because it cannot be inferred that simply because the parts of a complex whole have (or lack) certain properties that the whole that they are parts of has those properties. This is especially clear in math: The numbers 1 and 3 are both odd. 1 and 3 are parts of 4. Therefore, the number 4 is odd. It must be noted that reasoning from the properties of the parts to the properties of the whole is not always fallacious. If there is justification for the inference from parts to whole, then the reasoning is not fallacious. For example, if every part of the human body is made of matter, then it would not be an error in reasoning to conclude that the whole human body is made of matter. Similiarly, if every part of a structure is made of brick, there is no fallacy comitted when one concludes that the whole structure is made of brick.

Thomas Rauchenstein.Copyright 1997, (link is no good)

The argument (Cosmological) does not commit the fallacy of composition. Just as every part of a puzzle is red, so must the whole be red; if every part of a structure consists of stone, so must the whole consist of stone. Likewise, if every possible being is in potentiality, so the whole of all possible beings is in potentiality, and thus, needs to be actualized (caused). The very nature of the parts demand that the whole be caused as well.

If all the horses break a leg and no one finishes that is analogs to failure to exist not a defeat for the example. There is no reason to limit the example to just individual beings. ICR is made up of a string of contingent universes. For example where ICR is conveyed by the oscillating universe, big bang => big crunch, black whole, pops back out into another big bang, and another big crunch, another black and another popping out, on and on forever with no beginning and no end; the whole is made up of contingent parts. Take out the contingent universes, and you have no eternal string or series of infinite regression. The term "regression" refers to tracing the sting of c/e back infinitely. If the c/e is gone there's no string. Thus there is a possibility the string could have ceased at any point. That means the whole is contingent becuase it's made up of all contingent parts. Koons reflects this answer in his mermological argument:

To avoid any hint of the Fallacy of Composition and to avoid these complications, Koons (198–99) formulates the argument for the contingency of the universe as a mereological argument. If something is contingent, it contains a contingent part. The whole and part overlap, and by virtue of overlapping, have a common part. Since the part in virtue of which they overlap is wholly contingent, the whole likewise must be contingent.

Mememological Aggregation Axiom shows us that wholly congingent sitautions are wholly contingent

Dr. Robert Koons UT (Logician)

1) Every wholly contingent fact has a cause. (facts that are partly or wholly necessary need not)

2) Applying aggregation axiom, anything of a kin dk = such a thing as arrgigate of all kinds.

3) Aggreagates can't exist unless all parts exist (which means necessary aggregate must have Necessary parts, contingent aggregate must have contingent parts. The result is necessary and contingnet facts which means contingent aggregate as a whole). 4) Absolutely necessary facts cannot be caused, therefore, wholly contingent facts (those whith only contingent parts) can be caused.

5) Causal principle can be thought of as empirically supported (effects not limited to a particular region of space/time in the case of physical laws for example, :. we have reason to suspect that all contingent facts have causes).

For an explaination of the fact token/type situation I turn to Dr.Koons himself:

Phl 356
Western Theism
Spring '98, University of Texas

LECTURE #7: Contemporary Versions: My Argument

Facts are the kinds of things that make declarative sentences, like "Caesar has died", true. Facts enter into cause and effect relations with other facts. We can distinguish between "types" and "tokens", to use terms introduced into philosophy by C. S. Peirce. Each individual penny is a token, and the property or kind of penny-hood is a type. Each penny is a token of one and the same type, which is multiply realized in different places at different times. My argument concerns fact-tokens, not fact-types. For example, we can use the phrases "that Caesar died", "Caesar's dying" or "Caesar's death" to refer either to a fact-token, the particular, actual occurrence that constituted the ending of Caesar's life, or to a fact-type, the kind of occurence in which the individual Caesar dies. Thus, the token of Caesar's death includes the actual thrust of Brutus's blade, and that very token would not have existed had Caesar died in some other way, of old age, for example. In contrast, the type, Caesar's dying, could have been realized in many different ways, including the actual assassination and the non-actual dying in old age. My argument focusses on the actual token I call the cosmos. This token includes all of the wholly contingent fact-tokens in the world as parts -- had the slightest detail been different anywhere at any time, the particular token I am calling 'the cosmos'would not have existed. It would instead be replaced by a different token. The fact-type, the existing of a universe, could have been realized by many different possible tokens.

For an explaination of Meremology I again turn to Dr. Koons:

"My argument focusses on the particular token that actually realized this type.If we assume that every fact has a cause, then there could exist no uncaused fact. Instead, I assume that every wholly contingent fact has a cause. Facts that are partly or wholly necessary need not, and indeed cannot, be caused. Since facts are concrete, actual things, we can talk meaningfully about the parts of a fact. Consequently, I use the principles of the mathematical theory of mereology, the theory of the part-whole relation. The most important principle of mereology is the aggregation axiom. This axiom states that, if there are any things of kind K, then there is such a thing as the aggregate of all the K's. For example, there is such a thing as water, so we can talk meaningfully about the aggregate or "mereological sum" of all the world's water. I assume that an aggregate cannot exist unless all of its parts exist. This means that a necessary aggregate must have only necessary parts, since if an aggregate has a contingent part, then that part might not exist, which would mean that the aggregate would not exist either. Aggregates are not like bodies or institutions, which can go on existing without the same parts. However, a contingent aggregate can have necessary parts. If we glue together some contingent and necessary facts, the resulting aggregate is contingent as a whole. I assume that an absolutely necessary fact cannot be caused. If a fact is caused, then all of its parts are caused. So, any fact that contains a necessary fact cannot be caused.

Therefore, it is only wholly contingent facts that can be caused. A wholly contingent fact is a fact that has only contingent parts.I argue that the causal principle should be thought of as empirically supported. We find that a wide variety of facts are caused. This includes conditions both small and large (from atomic physics to astronomy and cosmology), both recent and ancient, both transient and long-lasting. We even discover that many everlasting conditions have causes. For example, the fact that the physical world is approximately Newtonian is caused by certain features of general relativity. Similarly, the ideal gas laws are caused by the underlying dynamics of the gas molecules, and Brownian motion is caused by atomic collisions. In these cases, the effects are not limited to a particular region of space or time. Thus, we have good empirical reason to believe that every fact that can be caused, that is, every wholly contingent fact, has a cause.

Cyclial Universe
The concept that the universe is eternallay ocillating between big bangs and big crunches. When the matter from the explosion of a Big Bang reaches a certain point the gravitational pull draws it back, it callapses into superdense black hole and pops back out again. This notion does not require an initial cause, the cyclical universe is just always there always going through its cycles.

a) Universe continuing to expand

Evidence from three recent studies reveals that the final fate of the universe will be to drift apart and cease all useful functions capable of supporting life due to missing mass, which can't produce gravitational pull to bring it all back together and start again, and heat death in which case energy is useless for work. Several major studies show this to be the case.

[New Scientist Magazine, archive 11, April 98, archive; originally Oct. 96] you should be able to click here, but here's the url just in case) [

"ON THE night of 5 March last year, the huge telescope of the Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory in Chile intercepted a message from deepest space. Transmitted a billion years before the Earth was born, its contents have proved to be of truly cosmic significance. The message was barely readable after its journey halfway across the Universe, and an international team of experts laboured for months to decode it. In January, Saul Perlmutter of the Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory in California and his colleagues revealed to the world what they believe to be its gist: "The Universe will never end." A month later, a team led by Brian Schmidt of the Mount Stromlo and Siding Spring Observatories near Canberra in Australia published the decoded contents of more of these cosmic missives, which arrive as bursts of light from supernova explosions in far-flung galaxies. The message was the same. Now Chris Kochanek and his colleagues at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics in Cambridge, Massachusetts, are about to publish more evidence, this time from light that has been bent and sculpted by the gravity of unseen galaxies."

Omega force = Continued expansion forever (no Big Cruch)

"These three sets of cosmic missives all suggest that instead of collapsing in on itself in a big crunch, our Universe will go on expanding forever. And that's not all. They also hint that the expanding Universe is in the grip of a mysterious force that is fighting against gravity--a force that pervades the entire cosmos and springs literally from nothing."(Ibid.)

[mysterious force = "omega" ie the equation of gravitational force vs. mass needed to close the universe; omega must = 1 to close]

Missing Mass.

[New Scientist article April 1999] "If it [the universe] contains enough matter, gravity will eventually slow its expansion, stop it, and reverse it--producing a cataclysmic big crunch billions of years hence. But if there is too little matter--or if there is an extra source of "oomph" at work in the cosmos--then the Universe will expand forever.... Cosmologists call the ratio of the actual density of matter in our Universe to this critical density 'Omega.' And whole armies of astronomers have spent decades trying to work out if Omega is less than, more than or equal to 1.,... "Studies of the gravitational effects of clusters of galaxies have revealed that there must be at least 10 times as much mass tied up in invisible "dark matter" in the Universe as there is in the familiar form of luminous stars and gas. Yet even when all this dark matter is thrown into the equation, it still doesn't make the theorists happy. Despite searching every cosmic nook and cranny, astronomers have never found anything like the amount needed to make Omega equal to 1."

"So the take-home message looks the same as that now emerging from the supernova and quasar surveys: the Universe is going to expand forever, and it may yet prove to be flat. Certainly the idea of the big crunch seems to have gone for good, but the exact values of Lambda and Omega, and the fate of the cosmologists' theories, are still up for grabs. These values may finally be nailed early in the next century, with the launch of NASA's Microwave Anisotropy Probe (MAP) and the European Space Agency's PLANCK missions. These will use the heat left over from the big bang to try yet another way of measuring Omega and Lambda, which may lay the question to rest for good ("Genesis to Exodus", New Scientist," 19 October 1996, p 30).

Flat Universe means no contraction

Andre Linde, Scientific American, Sept 1997

"A second trouble spot is the flatness of space. General relativity suggests that space may be very curved, with a typical radius on the order of the Planck length, or 10^-33 centimeter. We see however, that our universe is just about flat on a scale of 10^28 centimeters, the radius of the observable part of the universe. This result of our observation differs from theoretical expectations by more than 60 orders of magnitude." [Messuer is a leading physicist and one of the first to invent the inflationary universe theory]

ABC Scientists: Universe is Flat another link Physics.

Wayne Hu of the Institute for Advanced Studies, School of Natural Sciences in New Jersey said "temperature maps of the CMB form a snapshot image of the Universe when it was extremely young." "The...result supports a flat universe, which means that the total mass and energy density of the universe is equal to the so-called critical density," Wu wrote. "A perfectly flat universe will remain at the critical density and keep on expanding forever, because there is not enough matter to make it recollapse in a 'big crunch.'"

c) End of Universe reveals beginning--universe would have already ceased.

Energy of the universe is being expended, as it burns up,it becomes useless for work. The fate of the universe will be eventual death in ciy darkness as all of its suns burn out and their energy dissipates][New Scientist, April 1999, oct. 96

"But even if the Universe lives forever, its inhabitants will not be so lucky. A mere thousand billion years from now, all the stars will have used up their fuel and fizzled out. There will still be occasional flashes in the perpetual night: the death throes of stars so large that they have collapsed in on themselves to form black holes. Even these will eventually evaporate in a blast of radiation. For the next 10122 years, this Hawking radiation will be the only show in town. By then even the most massive black holes will evaporate, leaving the Universe with nothing to do for an unimaginable 10 to the power of 1026 years. Quantum theory then predicts that atoms of iron--the most stable of all elements--will undergo "tunnelling" and disappear into tiny black holes, which will themselves end in a final fizz of Hawking radiation. In the beginning there may have been light, but in the end, it seems, there will be nothing but darkness. ".[New Scientist April 1999]

Given infinite time and possibility all potentialities would have already come to fruition, the chain would have already been broken before our universe came into being. This just illustrates the impossibility of an infinite series of events. (being a series of events it would be "in time" so it's really redundant to say "an infinite series of events in time.") In other words, if this universe drifts apart because it lacks mass to produce omega, than the last universe would have too because energy and matter would be the same amount, just formulated differently (energy cannot be created or destroyed). The absurdity of the notion of an infinite series of big bang/crunches is driven home; how could there be an "infinite" series if one of the links in the chain can't make it? It can't "already be infinite" and then stop because infinite means no beginning and no end.

Note: If the Skeptic does not agree to this principle, that given infinite time every possibility comes to fruition than he can neither argue infinite chances nor multiple universes against the fine tuning argument.

d) Universe contains finite stock of order, connote be eternal (because it would have burned out by now)

*Scientific consensus:

Paul Davies, in his article, "Space-time Singularities and Cosmology," says,"If we extrapolate this prediction to its extreme,we reach a point when all distances in the universe have shrunk to zero. An initial cosmological singularity therefore forms a past temporal extremity to the universe. We cannot continue physical reasoning, or even the concept of space-time, through such an extremity. For this reason, most cosmologists think of the initial singularity as the beginning of the universe. On this view, the Big Bang represents the creation event; the creation not only of all the MATTER and ENERGY in the universe, but also of space-time itself."[ P. C. W.Davies, "Space-time Singularities in Cosmology," in The Study of Time III, ed. J. T. Fraser (Berlin: Springer Verlag, 1978), pp. 78-79.]

* Laws of Physics break down at singularity

The laws of physics break down at the singularity. 1st Thermo. would apply after the Big Bang, then the fixed amount of energy that is "put in" to the universe (as Davies puts it) would be finite (in quantity) and subject to 1st and 2nd Thermo.

* 1 LTD applies to matter also. Thirdly, the 1st Law of Thermo. applies to matter ALSO. If you argue that energy is eternal, you've got to argue that matter is eternal, which goes against all the empirical evidence we have for the Big Bang.

* 2 LTD Energy burn to heat death

Fourthly, if you opt for 1st Thermo. before the Big Bang, try being consistent and applying 2nd Thermo. as well. If the energy (AND matter) of the universe is eternal, it would have reached MAXIMUM heat death an INFINITE amount of time ago.

Theoretical physicist Paul Davies, in his book God and the New Physics, states:

"If the universe has a finite stock of order, and is changing irreversibly towards disorder - ultimately to thermodynamic equilibrium - two very deep inferences follow immediately. The first is that the universe will eventually die, wallowing, as it were, in its own entropy. This is known among physicists as the 'heat death' of the universe. The second is that the universe cannot have existed forever, otherwise it would have reached its equilibrium end state an infinite time ago. Conclusion: the universe did not always exist."

If you deny that the universe has a finite stock of order, you are essentially denying the 1st law of thermodynamics, as it requires a fixed finite amount of matter and energy. (check your Encyc. Britannica)

In your wider universe, does the 1st law of Thermodynamics apply WITHOUT the second? What reversed the entropy of this eternally existent universe? As we saw above, a universe containing eternal matter and energy would have reached maximum entropy an INFINITE amount of time ago. What organizing principle intervened 11-15 billion years ago and organized all that energy and matter that was no longer available for work? What or who (or Who) wound the universe up?

Fifthly, we observe that the universe is expanding uniformly in all directions. Had the universe existed for an infinite period of time, the density of matter would have become zero. (Koons) How do you explain the observable expansion of the universe? We measure the recession velocity of distant galaxies by using Cepheid variables, type Ia supernovas, and now Red Clumps as standard candles. And the microwave background radiation and redshift (Doppler effect that skews the red portion of the spectrum of starlight in proportion to the distance of the star) confirm this expansion also. Furthermore, within the very field equations of General Relativity, is embedded the fact of the expansion and deceleration of the universe. There are now 19 proofs of General Relativity in 12 isolated areas of Physics,making it the most exhaustively proven principle. Are you saying that General Relativity does not apply to our universe as a whole?!! It is accurate to better than a trillionth of a percent precision. Where is your scientific evidence for A) separate portions of the universe which General Relativity does not describe B) separate universes? If its not falsifiable, and there's no evidence for it, then its just not a threat to the standard BB model as it is not scientific.

Since the oscillating universe is the only workable mechanism for ICR it's really a theory in trouble. The other alternatives such quantum tunneling require that the particles cause themselves (soemthing form nothing) then travel in time into he past to continually cause themselves again and again. The other answer is string membranes which is still unproved

Friday, November 20, 2015

Fun Filled Friday: My Zen Bigfoot Sighting: The Time I did NOT see a BF

patterson photo bigfoot.gif
Patty Patterson

Since I did the Review of Boggy Creek recently, I thought it would be fun to tell my own Bigfoot story, or non story. The time I did not see one. What's so fun about that? First it was at summer camp. secondly, I did not see it but I was with those who saw something, I can tell by their reaction it was something that scared the hell out of them. Now this is an absolutely true story but I don't know what they saw and I have always wondered. I'll never know. I male light of it but it is serious. Nevertheless pull up a campfire, make some smores and here we go:

Summer of 1967 I was 11 years old. Summer camp with my twin brother, Ray. We were at a church camp at Lake Texoma. Between Texas and Oklahoma, on the red river, Back then it was very remote. Just for comparison they did pull a hoax. It was badly done we knew it was the counselors dressed as aliens. Lights hooked up to car battery on the hill at night was a landing space ship. It was fun it was "gott'cha" and "you should have seen your face." The situation after the nature walk was very different,. Rather than a gott'cha moment it was a "we don't talk about that" moment.

Every evening after our hilariously fun day, swimming, arts and crafts, sneaking into the bushes to smoke, I would go to edge of the light right by the woods just before lights out. I was also considering baptism (I was baptized in Lake Texoma that summer). One night I heard something. It was distant so that I wasn't sure I heard it, it was out of place I had to notice. It was fait and distant, a scream. It sounded like a woman screaming. I heard it again the next night this time a bit clearer and closer to camp. The next day I heard kids teasing another kid. I learned they were mocking him because the claimed to have heard a woman screaming in the woods. I told them that I heard it. We all agreed it was probably a bob cat. At least probably not the same woman screaming every night. There were no bob cats around there but we had no concept of Bigfoot. I had never heard of it, no idea such a thing was rumored to exist.

The next day they lined up the boys and we all went single file in to the woods on a nature hike. We saw the remains of the car battery from the great invasion hoax. We walked into a little path through the woods. In those days Lake Texoma was remote. There's big town now but there was nothing there then. It was surrounded by woods for miles. We walked down the path, trees on both sides. There was a little incline you go down, then a rise then broke into a clearing. I estimate we might have been 150 yards or 200 maybe into the woods.

They stopped us in the depression and told us to inspect the nature around u. The counselors kept going up to the clearing and looking at something and talking among themselves. Eventually I had began to realize we were stopped a long time. They were deliberating a lot and they seemed worried about something. I kept saying "what's taking so long?" First they said they had to check something out. Then that they had to make sure conditions were right. Finally when I asked again they said there was something they could not explain and that when this guy came (call him Dan) he would know. Apparently Dan grew up in that area, his last name was Boone. Not really but he was a regular Daniel Boone.

They just would not say what was confusing them, But they said they needed someone who knew a lot about the woods. I was so intrigued because they were being so mysterious. I told them that I knew all about the woods. I lied. But they did let me go up and see "it." This other guy went too. He said we had to get down, hide behind the bush and don't get out in the clearing and look over across it. I saw nothing. He kept saying be quite. I said what am I looking for? he said "you will know when you see it. I kept telling him I didn't see it so he looked and said it moved. We went back and I kept demanding to know what it was. They looked so worried. They were nervous. They said there was something and could not tell if it was a man or an animal. This just meant nothing. How could such a thing be? What the hell were they talking about?

Finally Daniel Boone came, took one look and said something half whispered to the head guy, I heard it. He said "we need to get these kids back to camp immediately. and don't make any noise." They told us to go in single file, and no noise, then marched us back. To the end of camp they would not let us talk bout it. Every time my brother or I brought it up they would say "Mr. (head guy) says not to talk about that. We never did any more nature walks. No one was allowed to go into the woods. At one point I snuck off to see for myself. Got half way back to the spot but chickened out.

We drove home,Ray and I, with a woman who worked in the kitchen and was a friend of my mother's. It was a large Church and everyone at the camp had some connection with it. On the trip hoe there was also one of the counselors. Most of the way back he talked to the woman about why he didn't believe in the Vietnam war. Ray and I found that interesting. There was a ou8l and suddenly Ray says "hey what was the deal with that nature walk? why did we have to turn back?" I said, "yea, we are not at camp now Mr. (so and so) can't control what we say here." The counselor said "we finally decided it was a naked hobo." A naked hobo? When he said "finally decided" that reminded me and I said "why would it be hared to tell if it was human? They said they couldn't tell if it was a man or an animal." He said "He was real tall and covered with hair, real hairy like all over his body, and he had no clothes." Ray said "so what makes it as hobo?" He said it "he walked on two legs and had hands." He also said it was trying to sleep under a tree most of the time but they did see it get up and move around a bit. So when I looked it was moving around.

After we got back I told our friend Barry about it. I've kept in touch with Barry all my life, and to this this day he remembers ,he remembers me telling him about it. So it's not just a reconstructed memory. I still have no idea what it was. I just excepted that it was a large harry hobo. Put it out of my mind, though I did think that sounded fishy. For one thing why were we forbidden to talk about it? What is so hush-hush abut a hairy hobo? I guess it was latter that summer the Patterson film came out. I saw it n the news and immediately thought "I wonder if that's what they saw?" But dismissed it because hen I asked my father he said if they exist they are only in the northwest like northern California, He didn't believe they existed. He grew up hunting the woods of East Texas and never heard of such a thing.

Flash up to 1972 the first feature lengthy documentary about Big foot was shown in theaters. We went to see it, my brother, parents and I. Because I had never connected it with Bigfoot I had put it out of my mind. I was not thinking about that when we went to the movie. The movie was called "Bigfoot: Neither Msn nor Beast." I did not find the topic particularly scary but when I got home I was terrified. I was afraid to go to my room alone. I was shaking. A deep-seated blind unreasoning fear settled on me and I was afraid that a Bigfoot was going to look in my window. I knew it was stupid. I kept thinking "I know there4 can't be a Bigfoot outside my house in the middle of Dallas, even if they exist, which they probably don't." At school one of my teachers and a couple of kids see it and through mocking it with them I was able to just forget it. I wonder if the title "neither man nor beast" didn't trigger a latent fear due to the phrase "can't tell if it's a man or an animal.".

I forgot about until years latter. Way up in the early ought's I had not though about it in 30 years, my brother and I mocked Bigfoot people and called belief in Big foot "wacy." I was one day looking at Bigfoot stuff on the net for fun and found a sighting at Lake Texoma and that reminded me of that event; do I believe in Bigfoot? What day is it? Friday? No my BF believing days are Tuesday/Thursday. I drought that they exist but I'm open to the possibility. I have researched it, the evidence is just good enough to justify looking. The bigfoot searchers are just silly enough to make it doubtful..