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.ce ((Editor's comments in double parenthesis - Homer))
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.ce Copyright (C) Homer Wilson Smith
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Date:         Thu, 15 Jun 89 21:45:28 EDT
From:         Homer 
To:           adore-l@ualtavm

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Mr. Steve Ericson
PO 209
8070 AE Nunspeet

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     Dear Steve,

     I have spent a lot of time thinking about your letter concerning
the Christian involvement of Diamonda Europa (DE).  I have shown
your promotional literature to various people here at Cornell
who have not had a terribly negative reaction.
Their reaction is condescending
however and tolerant rather than openly accepting.

     I and they are impressed with the ability some Christians
have of getting things done, and the amount of backing in terms
of money and cooperation from people in power they can
command.  With this in mind it would seem that DE will be a
highly visible and successful enterprise.

     It is not however usual that Christians attempt a SCIENTIFIC
project of this scope.  In this case the number of highly skilled
and professional scientific people that will have to be involved
will probably be greater than previous Christian undertakings.
I am sure there are many professional scientists in the Christian
community, but sad to say there are also many seriously non
scientific minds in the same community.  Hysterical instead,
and dangerous
almost to a charm.

     The scientific community that I am immersed in tends to be
non religious and openly hostile to and contemptuous
of Creationism in any form,
which attitude may be just as insane as
stark Fundamentalism.
In ART MATRIX I have had to deal with the
fanatical fringe of both the Secular Humanists and
the Fundamentalists alike.
I find both terribly obnoxious and not worth my time.
Both go to great lengths
to find offense at various things I have
written concerning fractals and their application to
biology, evolution (which exists even if God created the
world 6000 years ago!), and even ethics, psychology and philosophy.
Caught between those who insist I believe in God and those who
insist I don't belive in God, I have often wished that both sides
would all just go to hell and stay there.

     Which brings me to the crux of the matter.  You.

     Presuming that you and I end up finding each other
acceptable, I still have the problem of presenting DE as
a suitable project to those I work with in the scientific
community.  Christians have a reputation that preceeds them
in the secular world, usually as an alienated and inane cult,
with little wisdom and no confront.
Although most men recognize that not all Christians
are this way they will most certainly wonder if YOU are.
Especially since you are a big bucks operation.
This does not go well in today's climate.  Perhap's wrongly.
There is also a feeling going around that those who make the
loudest noise about sin and damnation are usually making it
with prostitutes or underage kids between takes.

     Non-Christian scientists therefore,
before they get involved with this,
are going to wonder just how much serious science will
be allowed to flourish
in the atmosphere created by DE.
I have spent days thinking about arguments we could have had back
and forth, pro and con, concerning the validity of religion,
yours in particular, and science.  Sifting through the damage
I have managed to come up with 3 questions that you most
certainly would be asked by scruntizing minds at this end.
Well thought out answers, not involving simple 'I don't know's'
would go a long way towards gaining the cooperation you seek
even amoung the most doubtful and hostile opponents.
If your answers were acceptable to the scientific community,
then your Christianity would become of secondary and
irrelevant importance, and you would obtain full and instant
from the people you seek.

     You see most scientists don't care that the Christian
feels a need
Salvation nor do they care that
he believes in the particular mechanism offered.
What they resent most is being told their
science is all wrong.  Scientists hate having what they can't see
make wrong something they can see.
For example they are told by the true believer that the world
was created 6000 years ago because the Bible says so and
the Bible is right because God wrote it.
But the scientists can't SEE God.  They CAN however
see the fossil record
going back millions of years.
Of course anyone would have to admit God might have fabricated
the fossil record itself 6000 years ago to make it LOOK
like the Earth had been here longer.
But then serious attempts to answer 'Why?' would be in order.
Christians have had a long time to think about it after all,
and should probably be expected to have some answers.

     So the following questions go something like this.  I suggest
that a clear response to each,
that I can relay to
the important people involved here, would greatly expedite
the cooperation we both seek in this matter.

     1.)  Is Earth the ONLY planet with conscious sentient life
on it?  Has God created life on other planets or provided for
the possibility of life on other planets through the
mechanism of normal biochemical evolution?
Is our Universe BILLIONS of light years across, containing
BILLIONS of galaxies, each containing BILLIONS of stars
with most of them having planetary systems,
there are TRILLIONS and TRILLIONS of planets on which life
might form? If this is true what are the probabilities that Earth is
the ONLY planet that has ever had life or ever will have life?

     2.)  If there IS life on other planets, has God provided for
their Salvation through Jesus Christ the Lord?  Does Jesus Christ
have to visit each planet in turn and get Crucified
on each one
again and
again?  Or is the Crucifixion on Earth enough to save the people
on other planets?
What of planets that existed millions of years ago around suns
that cooled far earlier than Earth?
Did they have to wait all these years for Christ to get
Crucified on Earth before they could be saved?
What grave are they waiting in?
What of the planets that
have yet to form in the inner core of the Galaxies?
In millions of years when life forms there, how will they
know to call on the name of Jesus Christ the Lord
to be saved?
Or are the people on Earth the only ones
destined to be saved?

     3.)  If a living alien from another planet or star system
were to visit Earth, how would this affect Christianity?

     In clarification then, people are going to be mainly
interested if the Bible specifically claims that Earth
is the only planet that has ever had life or ever will
have life on it;
or if any of your following
actually believes this.  Further they are going to wonder
how God will provide for the Salvation of other life
forms on other planets
if indeed there are any.  Lastly they will wonder
how Christians can handle finding out with
certainty they are not the center of the universe and
may have been wrong about something.

     Answers to the effect that 'We don't know, because
God works in mysterious ways'  will not cut it with
the group I work with.  (Footnote 1.)
They already find Christians
a little funny but are really concerned that Christians
will do everything in their power to stop people from
knowing the Earth is round and not the center of
the Universe.  It has litterally happened once before.
The Pope KNEW Galileo
was right (and TOLD him so while showing
him the rack)
most people figure Christians have not changed much
since that time
either in wisdom or in attitude towards knowledge.
(The Pope was concerned
the people might break with the church upon learning that
its Earth Centered teaching was wrong.  He felt it was more
important for the people to maintain their ties with the church
than to know the truth about the Universe (and therefore God too!))

     Thus many scientific people feel that Christians
should not be taken seriously except maybe to exterminate
them from our schools and positions of power.

     A bit rough perhaps, but the truth.  If you really feel that
Diamonda Europa can provide a flourishing ground for serious
science, then I am sure you can get the backing of just about
anyone you please.
I can't image a better place to gain visibility and a chance
to be
in the public's eye.
I know most would be honored to be involved
in an operation of such class.  However if DE is merely going
to be another breeding ground for Flat-Earth mentality, then
you will probably be laughed out of the business.

                                             Seriously yours,

                                             Homer Wilson Smith

     (Foot note 1.)
     When ever Religion and Reality come
into conflict it always seems Reality looses out.
For example when presented with the fossil record or direct
memories of past lives Christianity answers that it is all wrong
because the Bible says so. Its the 'Devil's work'.
When asked how can all this evidence
exist in contradiction to the Book,
they say 'I don't know,
I am not supposed to know, I just have faith
the Bible is right.'
Thus what are Christians doing to help us understand evolution or
why we can not remember our past lives?  (I mean if the Devil
ever had his hand in something, that would be it.
Not being able to remember the experience and skill
of 100 lifetimes is not the work of kindness.
Maybe Christians believe the world was made 6000 years ago because
they don't want to remember what they were doing 7000 years ago.
Probably it was not pretty.)
     Thus to many Non-Believers Christianity
seems to be a religion with
built in 'NOT KNOWS'.
These 'NOT KNOWS' exist at each point of the track where
the Bible contradicts
If no one had ever TOLD the Christians the world was made 6000
years ago they would all be working on the fossil record like
the rest of us because that is what they can SEE.
As it is, a hefty portion of our work force is off trying
to ressurect the Spanish Inquisition.

 Homer               adore-l@ualtavm      6/15/89 No subject