[extropy-chat] Appropriate List Content - was Malachy's Prophecies; Pope John Paul II, then two before the destruction of the Holy Roman Church
avantguardian2020 at yahoo.com
Tue Apr 5 02:01:29 UTC 2005
--- Adrian Tymes <wingcat at pacbell.net> wrote:
> The past may
> inform the future, but there are broad swaths of the
> past that it is
> useless, for this list's purposes, to discuss.
But this is entirely a judgement call with few if
any objective standards that could determine what
parts of the past would or would not be relevant to
the future. For example, chemists in Lavoisier's time
did not believe in atoms. While an ancient Greek named
Democritus did. Lavoisier might have said, "Atoms
don't exist, they are just a figment of some obsolete
philosopher's outdated worldview." Yet when Dalton
came along and performed his experiments half a
century later, lo and behold they took the dusty old
concept of atoms out of the closet and gave it new
life. In fact it wasn't until the early 20th century
that atoms enjoyed their status as near truth.
(Einstein's PhD. dissertation was a proof of their
Moreover, the future is not always correlated
with increasing progress anymore than biological
evolution is always correlated with increased
complexity. The ancestors of tapeworms had stomachs
and a digestive system before they gave it up to just
soak nutrients up out of ours. Or look at how the
Roman civilization slid inexorbably into the Dark
I understand that this is not a future that we
would envision or want for humanity, but to ignore the
possibility that something like this could occur is
dangerously shortsighted. In the end, you might think
that Drexler is a better prophet than Nostrodamus, but
such is merely a subjective opinion.
"The surest sign of intelligent life in the universe is that they haven't attempted to contact us."
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