To me, the most important line in Mirror Reversal dealing with this subject is, "What a cruel ironic cosmic joke! Books written by goat herders and fishermen, determining the destiny of mankind and the entire planet.”

It is too painful for a rational being to contemplate. Yet the endmeme gets more powerful every day. Now Pakistan with its deadly arsenal of nuclear weapons is in danger of being overrun by religious fanatics.

The following scene describes why it might happen:

"Homo sapiens is the only species in Gaia’s realm that has a prominent frontal genital display. Instead of being ashamed of this miracle of nature, we should rejoice at our great luck and accept our gift with gratitude and humility.

“Thousands of years from now, after humanity is gone, extraterrestrials from a far superior civilization might arrive here. They’ll be bound to find some remnants of buildings or artifacts that haven’t decomposed. If they’re endowed with superior intelligence, which they surely will be, having traveled so far, they’ll be bound to ask: ‘what happened here?’”

She held her hand on the knob, but hadn’t yet opened the door.

“And being very intelligent, many theories about the extinction of mankind will be hypothesized. After studying remnant cities, libraries and other depositories of information, they’ll accrue a great deal of knowledge about us. One bright astronaut might suggest a deadly, hypercontagious flu virus wiped out the humans to the last person. Others might propose a tremendous calamitous event, like the asteroid that caused the Cretaceous Extinction. Maybe population growth got out of control, and like E. coli growing on a petri dish, we simply ran out of food and crashed. Another ET might reason that the Mother Ocean died from poisoning – from using her as a cesspool, the Soylent Green scenario - and all life that relied on oxygen perished with her.

“But the most frequently proffered reason for the extinction of mankind will indubitably be that man couldn’t control technology, and some over-ambitious head-of-state dropped one atomic bomb too many. A nuclear winter destroyed all life touched by rain. Greed, arrogance, and lust for power inevitably caused the political leaders to lose control of the technologic genie.

“But me, Wayne, I truly believe I know the real reason why the extinction of humanity will happen. The ultimate reason that no ET will possibly figure out, no matter how intelligent and advanced the planet it came from. The reason, to my young and naïve mind, judging by all the crimes against humanity, crimes against nature, and above-all, the depraved, sadistic abuse of the animals from which we evolved, the reason consciousness will perish from the Earth is because powerful, misguided individuals couldn’t accept their phylogeny, the fact that our remote ancestors were worms and fish. They couldn’t accept their reflection in the mirror of time, without feeling shame and self-hatred.”

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Comment by Rich Goss on May 19, 2009 at 9:38pm
Until we either evolve the ability to see randomness as randomness, and stop seeing design where there is none, You hit the nell on the head, my friend.
Comment by Mac Rex on May 19, 2009 at 7:24pm
Unfortunately, I believe that the only end to the viral meme that is religion will be the extinction of human apes. We human apes seem to have evolved the ability, or perhaps disability, of seeing patterns where there are none. Of seeing beautiful and complex design in natural, and reproducible, physical and biological occurrences. It is both a marvellous ability, and a horrible disability. Until we either evolve the ability to see randomness as randomness, and stop seeing design where there is none, I fear that we will always have the sword of Damocles dangling over our heads. The best that we can do is to keep fighting for reason, and teach others to understand our irrational, random seeking human ape nature.
Comment by Gecko, of Richie! on May 19, 2009 at 6:29pm
Sadly the scenario is one possible future. I do not discount it. But my
influences were always optimistic. I believe that we are witnessing the last grasp of religion to maintain its power and influence. Like the candle burning brightest at its end.
This is a dangerous time and if actions have to be taken to destroy the arsenals of theocratic states I believe they will be. But I cant help look at the progress the human race has made in the last two hundred years. Things were much worse for more of the world than they are now.
Have hope brother do not despair , our ranks grow and we will spread the factual truth. We will not go quite into that good nite.
Comment by Rich Goss on May 19, 2009 at 5:30pm
Jack, the above comment should answer your comment about pessimism. Your book sounds very timely. Darrel Ray (here on A/N) is starting a movement "Recovering from Religion." Check out his Youtube videos. You might contact him for info.

Let me know when your book is up on Amazon. Sounds like a great read. I'll be your first customer.

(they won't realize their gods are imaginary until it is too late! How funny is that?).

To answer, it's one of the greatest and saddest ironies of life. Even if we're right, it didn't do us any good except that we had a great time while being alive,
Comment by Rich Goss on May 19, 2009 at 5:06pm
Excellent poem, 101. Thanks.

Randy, I've always dug the line by H.G. Wells. Paraphrased speaking of self destuction, "It doesn't look good for humanity, but we have to try our damnest not to let it happen."

Here's another excerpt from MR that deals with this:

“We’ve come so far as a species. I’ll never give up on humanity. We took so long to evolve. Albert Einstein, Mark Twain, and recently Kurt Vonnegut all gave up on humanity before they died. But like the insuperable warrior, wounded, bloody and unable to walk, who faces the enemy onslaught pistol in hand, I’ll never give up hope. Religion and superstition mustn’t be allowed to destroy the world with their apocalyptic nonsense, the Endmeme that pervades all religions.
“It’s Anne Frank who’s the inspiration of our species. Even locked in the jaws of insanity, she realized that our species is still in infant stages and forgave her Nazi tormenters. The alternative, that it was all a waste of time, is unbearable to contemplate.
Comment by John "Jack" Kolinski on May 19, 2009 at 4:46pm
Always enjoy your posts, Richard, but I sincerely hope you are not really this pessimistic. Ignorance has been with us for as long as homo sapiens sapiens (Aren't we technically homo sapiens sapiens or do I have one "sapiens" too many?) has walked the earth, even as our cranial cavities grew larger. We survived the Catholic Church running things for more than a thousand years (notably called "The Dark Ages") and eight years of the Bush administration. We are finally turning the corner. We've got the bastards on the run. IF some nutcase explodes a dirty bomb or a nuke there will certainly be a period of horrible death and upheaval but just MAYBE the result will be reaching the "critical state" where the world finally puts religion out of its misery, even if it has to personally arrange for LOTS of one-on-one meetings between believers and their imaginary gods (they won't realize their gods are imaginary until it is too late! How funny is that?). Hopefully, it won't take a million or more casualties (a billion?) because my new book about how to cure religion will persuade people just how silly and dangerous ALL religion is. EVEN IF I'm wrong and you're right, doesn't it STILL make sense to BE HAPPY and fight the good fight of freeing humanity from the curse of religion until we see the mushroom cloud(s)? And on that happy note, I bid you adieu.
Randy Keating Comment by Randy Keating on May 19, 2009 at 4:34pm
I definitely think its more likely humans will drive themselves to extinction than not. It's only a matter of a time scale. Whether it be war, disease, global warming, or over population, this is the most dangerous point in our history, besides the population bottle neck 10,000 years ago.
Comment by Rich Goss on May 19, 2009 at 4:07pm
Thanks. The idea came from a quote by G.B. Shaw. Paraphrazed, in speaking about evolution, he said, "You might as well ask me to believe that the members of the French Academy evolved from worms and fish."

As incredible as it seems, that's exactly where we came from.
Comment by Dr. Terence Meaden on May 19, 2009 at 3:06pm
Yes, right Richard.
The stories initiated by those Bronze Age desert goat herders have indeed brought Planet Earth huge and serious problems, but even worse--as suggested--has been the influence of a frontal-lobe epileptic in bringing mankind's occupation of the planet to the brink of possible extinction on account of the nuclear arsenals held by theocratic states--present and future--who deny the scientific truths as regards evolution, and replace them with religious nonsense and extremism.
Comment by Leslie Downing on May 19, 2009 at 2:39pm
The goat herder line is great. Extinction from shame and hatred? That is a stretch.



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