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The Book of the Damned

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Author Topic: The Book of the Damned  (Read 3603 times)
Dusk
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« on: April 12, 2009, 02:43:59 am »

p. 16

2
In the autumn of 1883, and for years afterward, occurred brilliant-colored sunsets, such as had never been seen before within the memory of all observers. Also there were blue moons.

I think that one is likely to smile incredulously at the notion of blue moons. Nevertheless they were as common as were green suns in 1883.

Science had to account for these unconventionalities. Such publications as Nature and Knowledge were besieged with inquiries.

I suppose, in Alaska and in the South Sea Islands, all the medicine men were similarly upon trial.

Something had to be thought of.

Upon the 28th of August, 1883, the volcano of Krakatoa, of the Straits of Sunda, had blown up.

Terrific.

We're told that the sound was heard 2,000 miles, and that 36,380 persons were killed. Seems just a little unscientific, or impositive, to me: marvel to me we're not told 2,163 miles and 36,387 persons. The volume of smoke that went up must have been visible to other planets—or, tormented with our crawlings and scurryings, the earth complained to Mars; swore a vast black oath at us.

In all text-books that mention this occurrence—no exception so far so I have read—it is said that the extraordinary atmospheric effects of 1883 were first noticed in the last of August or the first of September.

That makes a difficulty for us.

It is said that these phenomena were caused by particles of volcanic dust that were cast high in the air by Krakatoa.

This is the explanation that was agreed upon in 1883—

But for seven years the atmospheric phenomena continued—Except that, in the seven, there was a lapse of several years and where was the volcanic dust all that time?

p. 17

You'd think that such a question as that would make trouble?

Then you haven't studied hypnosis. You have never tried to demonstrate to a hypnotic that a table is not a hippopotamus. According to our general acceptance, it would be impossible to demonstrate such a thing. Point out a hundred reasons for saying that a hippopotamus is not a table: you'll have to end up agreeing that neither is a table a table—it only seems to be a table. Well, that's what the hippopotamus seems to be. So how can you prove that something is not something else, when neither is something else some other thing? There's nothing to prove.

This is one of the profundities that we advertised in advance.

You can oppose an absurdity only with some other absurdity. But Science is established preposterousness. We divide all intellection: the obviously preposterousness and the established.

But Krakatoa: that's the 'explanation that the scientists gave. I don't know what whopper the medicine men told.

We see, from the start, the very strong inclination of science to deny, as much as it can, external relations of this earth.

This book is an assemblage of data of external relations of this earth. We take the position that our data have been damned, upon no consideration for individual merits or demerits, but in conformity with a general attempt to hold out for isolation of this earth. This is attempted positiveness. We take the position that science can no more succeed than, in a similar endeavor, could the Chinese, or than could the United States. So then, with only pseudo-consideration of the phenomena of 1883, or as an expression of positivism in its aspect of isolation, or unrelatedness, scientists have perpetrated such an enormity as suspension of volcanic dust seven years in the air—disregarding the lapse of several years—rather than to admit the arrival of dust from somewhere beyond this earth. Not that scientists themselves have ever achieved positiveness, in its aspect of unitedness, among themselves—because Nordenskiold, before 1883, wrote a great deal upon his theory of cosmic dust, and Prof. Cleveland Abbe contended against the Krakatoan explanation—but that this is the orthodoxy of the main body of scientists.

My own chief reason for indignation here:

p. 18

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