Natural Selection: 2 Faith: 0 — Walk on Water? Fail. Lion’s Den? Fail.

I will be the first to admit that there are intelligent people of faith. These two shall not be numbered among them.

Pastor Tries to Walk on Water Like Jesus, Then Drowns in Front of His Congregation

Pastor Jetsam and the Prophet Purina have both been swiftly and painfully disabused of their delusions of grandeur. Perhaps their faith was just not strong enough. How strong must one’s faith be in order to walk on water? Why strong enough to walk on water, of course.

I can sympathize a bit more with the Prophet Purina. Lions are among the most loving animals I’ve ever seen. It’s often difficult NOT to get out of the vehicle and want to lie down with them and pet them and cuddle up to them. The problem is that lions are extremely loving only to those in their pride. If you’re not already somehow in their pride, walking into their midst is just a quick way to have a very zen experience with the lions. The Prophet Purina, for instance, has now become one with the lions.

Here’s a tip for the religious among my readers, if I have any left. Believe in God? Fine. Believe in Jesus? Fine. Believe in Shiva? Fine. Believe in Allah? Fine. Believe in Zeus? Fine. Believe you are God or Jesus or Allah or Ganesh or Odin or … … … or even one of their specially hand-chosen prophets? That’s really likely to end badly.


33 Responses to Natural Selection: 2 Faith: 0 — Walk on Water? Fail. Lion’s Den? Fail.

  1. Rodnikov Magilovich says:

    It amazes me that such a logical being must believe in such hallucinations and delusions! It must be a flaw in the DNA of most Homo stupidous!

  2. Alas, all too often, the flaw is not fatal.

    But, by logical being, do you mean the species you call homo stupidus? If so, I think there is evidence only that some small percentage of the species behave logically. On average, we are a rationalizing species rather than a rational or logical one.

  3. bobbo, the pragmatic existential evangelical anti-theist says:

    Isn’t the upshot here that people are capable of being logical and just as observable not caple of being logical all the time? Its just “a component” of our makeup/personalities. We love, we hate, we dream, we work, we are logical, we are artistic.

    Saying people are logical or not is rather illogical itself. People are COMPLEX and multi-faceted. Ahh–the word I avoided: monolithic. Too many subjects are approached as if the issue at hand is not multi-facted, variable, changing, feed back loops, bored with routine, etc.

    Hoomans. What ya gonna do?

  4. Hoomans. What ya gonna do?

    Regrettably … be one.

  5. Reason not Religion says:

    Sadly, the congregation will not disband nor shed the shackles of their delusion due to this ridiculous stunt. More than likely an up and comer con man will likely emerge to lead the flock and proclaim the former pastor was not faithful enough or some bogus claim and they all continue down the road of ignorance & indoctrination; all in the name of trying to please their imaginary skydaddy.

  6. RnR, probably true, unfortunately.

  7. bobbo, the pragmatic existential evangelical anti-theist says:

    You know….. it doesn’t surprise me all too much ((too much tv?)) that some dope thought he could walk on water. What does kind of “gob smack” me though is that he never thought to “test the waters” before going public? Ha, ha===>or do I assume too much and he thought he did? Common sense to use the scientific method when its so immediately available to you: can you step into a bathtub shower and not get wet?? Are your clothes dry on a rainy day??

    That sort of thing….. perhaps even actually trying to walk on water in private??

    I’m trying to educate my religious sisters right now: “usually” when you identify something by way of: “People are being really stupid when…..” then in most cases I say you should be aware that most likely you, ie YOU, have some element/example of that behavior in yourself. I will apply this analytical tool to myself: do I believe I can do certain things that I have not tested myself on first? ……. thinking …. nothing leaps to mind. I used to have the “emotional comfort” that if my airplane ever crashed that I would somehow survive. I “knew” I was wrong, but I did have that feeling. Hah===and thus is born the notion that I try to be “pragmatic” as much as possible.

    Try it: what do YOU believe that on some level you might still be able to figure out is not probably true?????

    Its fun. Its Pragmatic. Its fun AND pragmatic.

  8. bobbo,

    Obviously, if you have to test with small steps first before trying to walk on a real body of water, your faith is not strong enough to walk on water.

    Don’t test God!! He doesn’t like it.

    If Pastor Jetsam were into any part of the scientific method, he would not be where he is today, whether that be the bottom of the ocean, inside a shark or three, torn to little pieces by crabs, or floating on the surface miles from shore.

    As for me doing something similarly stupid to this particular idiot? I’d like to think that when I do stupid things, they aren’t on this level or of this type. I have no delusions like surviving plane crashes. I’m not getting out of this life alive. My delusion, and I hope it isn’t one, is that I’ll be able to avoid having air pumped through the meat that used to be me for months or until my money runs out.

    To that end, I have been pragmatic. I have a living will. And, I keep enough insulin around. BTW, something to include in your living will, if you share my fear, add that if you are taken to a hospital that will not respect your wishes, you want to be moved as soon as possible to one that will. There’s some legal wording on this that can easily be googled. I don’t remember it exactly.

    The idea is to get the Hell out of any Catholic hospital that will not let you die when your time is clearly up.

    • bobbo, the pragmatic existential evangelical anti-theist says:

      “My delusion, and I hope it isn’t one, is that I’ll be able to avoid having air pumped through the meat that used to be me for months or until my money runs out.” /// In the news right now–the woman who has died with a living will to not use heroic support to extend her dying process is currently having “air pumped thru her meat” in order to keep her low gestational age fetus alive until it can be delivered prematurely and “saved.” Husband is already dealing with a one year old child at home and I just assume he doesn’t want the fetus to progress. The save every egg faction is hard at it. Different issue from the brain dead 14yo having air pumped thru her because her family wants a miracle. In such hard cases, I say give the family a week or so to come to terms with what brain dead means. Tough issue when your only education is from your local church.

      So….. your issue is not whether you maintain any idiotic beliefs but the reasonable fear your fate will be in the hands of those who do? As stated: quite reasonable. Such wording “should be” redundant as the law already requires such transfers. Maybe your best protection would be the appointment of a Guardian for Medical Decisions done thru that living will who is directed to act that way?? IE==more of a plain wording reminder to the person that actually can make a difference rather than wording to the Hospital who is (Hell Bent) to impose their faith on you? Then make sure your wifey will actually do it.

      Another family aside (GAG!!!)– my Mom made my sister her Guardian with no heroic measures which at our Hospital is followed without issues “but” she was a bit hesitant to make ME her guardian after I moved in with her and Sis was 1000 miles away. She told my sisters she was afraid I would kill her too early…… now …. I “think” she was joking….. or maybe couldn’t tell when I was?

      Yes, fond family memories.

      You know…. its not maybe exactly the same thing, but I think there is precious little evidence that people can be reasoned with. And yet, that is always my first impulse. Thats half the reason my drug addict roommate got away with her shit for so long >>>>>MY IDIOT belief systems. Hey… looks like I’m right once again.

      • Luckily for me, I’ll never be kept semi-alive due to some parasite growing inside me.

        As for the law and moving people due to EOL directives, I am not even aware of any requirement that directives be honored.

        Perhaps this varies from state to state. We do not live in a nation. We live in 54 different little fiefdoms.

        As for pulling the plug too early, that is most certainly not on my personal list of fears. I can understand and sympathize with your mom on the subject. I just don’t worry about it myself. I’ve already lived longer than any of our close cousins has a right to expect. Somehow Cheetah from Tarzan lived to 75. But that is very unusual for nonhuman apes.

  9. Cerberus says:

    Hello, Mr. Scott. You still around?

    • bobbo, the pragmatic existential evangelical anti-theist says:

      HAH! Nobody named Cerberus should be asking that question….but I have noted the pause as well. Two weeks can be a vacation trek into Grand Nature without access to the internet by choice or by circumstances…but I am starting to hope all is well at the Scotty Clan.

      I’ll give it another week before trying to confirm whatever I might be able to, which isn’t much. Scotty should be high enough on the totem pole to get 3-4 weeks vacation per year. Maybe he put it together?

      I hope so.

      • Cerberus says:

        Why hello, Bobbo! How are ya?

        This Cerberus can and will ask questions because…well…I can.
        But on a serious note, I figured he must be on a walkabout somewhere or doing something interesting else he would have responded by now.

        Oh, well. I’ll check back later.
        Have a good week, Bob.

      • bobbo, the pragmatic existential evangelical anti-theist says:

        Thanks Cerberus–I thought Scotty had been gone only 2 weeks, not the 6 weeks that noticing the different months calculates out to. I sent Scotty a personal email to see if he will respond. This is unusual behavior, so I can only hope for the best.

        Of course you can ask any question you wish. I used the judgment/joke factor of “should” with the Premise of your nom de flame meaning the Guardian of Hell==more specifically, keeping those who have died within. I assume you know that? Big Difference.

  10. Cerberus says:

    You’re welcome, Mr. Bobbo. I had wondered if you had noticed the date as this is why I had asked the question, and I’m only hopeful that all is well with Mr Scott as well. He’s a good man. And as friends I have always valued his, and your informed opinions, and I’ve always enjoyed the jokes from you both Mr. Bob.

    I will try sending an email as well to hopefully get a response, but maybe he feels that his work is done here…

    I certainly hope not.

    • bobbo, the pragmatic existential evangelical anti-theist says:

      My communications with Scotty have for the last year all been on this forum and from this, as you might conclude yourself, there has been no indication at all that Scotty is tired of this forum. His last post is in good spirits.

      I think if he had decided to shut down, he would have had a final message.

      So…..unless he wants to be totally out of character and “have some fun” with reading his own obituary, I don’t think things are looking too good. At best, he’s in the Hospital struggling with his diabetes or some other condition all in violation of his living directives discussed in this very thread and will return asap with news of same. Otherwise, it looks like our questions will be this forum’s epitaph.

      I hope to be able to chide Scotty on his inattentiveness.

      • Cerberus Black says:

        And thanks.

        Though, I didn’t really think it was an ending to the blog per say, however, I have seen a few bloggers leave in good spirits and give no warning for their final leave of absence. But, I do think that you hold the correct position, of course.

        Just needed to hear that for the conformation of my own thoughts. Thanks again, Mr. Bobbo.

  11. Thanks for all the concern Cerberus and bobbo.

    1. I am OK.
    2. I’ve been on a very long trip.
    3. I don’t post anything on any internet site stating when I will be away. (see
    4. I am no longer on the totem pole. Due to circumstances which have absolutely nothing to do with my intelligence level, I am retired and loving it.

    The trip was really quite good, though not up to our hopes. Back in Feb of 2013, we booked a trip to search (low probability, of course) for snow leopards. That just ended yesterday morning. After booking the snow leopard trip, we heard of a trip to the Ross Sea in Antarctica which ended 3 days before the start of the Snow Leopard trip. We booked that too. So, we were away for 56 days from 1/12 through 3/4.

    It was also our first “around the world trip”. We always flew westerly, first southwesterly from NY -> LA -> Auckland -> Christchurch -> Invercargill -> Stewart Island. We had 3 days on Stewart prior to flying back to Invercargill to board our ship (Shokalskiy, of stuck-in-the-ice fame) for 29 days cruising to the subantarctic islands of New Zealand plus Macquarie (owned by Australia) and the Ross Sea. We made it as far south as 78 degrees 56 minutes south latitude, by far our farthest distance from the equator yet. On the cruise, we picked up 4 new species of penguin, giving us a life list of 16 of the 17 that were on the list when we started searching for them. Almost there! But, we may have to add one more since the northern rockhopper actually does look different than other rockhoppers, even without a DNA test.

    The cruise covered 4,424 nautical miles at a normal cruising speed of around 10 knots. Consider driving from New York City to Yellowstone and back at an average speed of 10 miles per hour. That’s a fairly close comparison, except that I didn’t drive and for many days, the ship could cruise night and day, such as crossing the southern ocean from Macquarie to the Ross Sea for about 5 days (with, as one Brit on the trip put it, “bugger all to see”).

    On our return to Invercargill, we added one more day on Stewart since we had missed the kiwi there on the 3 nights we had scheduled. We did finally get to see 3 individuals on this last night there, so well worth it.

    From there, it was northwesterly, Stewart Island -> Invercargill -> Christchurch -> Sydney (overnight) -> Delhi where we met our group and flew to Leh, India, acclimatized to our altitude of around 11,500′ or 3,500 meters. An hour and a half from there by car and 2 hours on foot got us to about the same elevation in Hemis National Park, India, where we camped in winter for 6 nights, requiring the purchase of sleeping bags rated to -20F/-29C. Luckily we did not actually encounter such temps or much snow.

    We did see the snow leopards. Unfortunately, both of our sightings were so distant that they were small even in a 50x spotting scope. Both sightings were, however, sightings of the same mother and 2 cubs. The cubs were about half her size and about 20 months old. Cubs stay with mom for 2.5 – 3 years. We also did see lots of cat food (bharal/blue sheep, the main prey for snow leopards in that region).

    Perhaps if we had colder temps and more snow, we would have had much better leopard sightings (snow especially helps with tracking them), so maybe warm temps were not so lucky for anything other than comfort.

    We also had amazing scenery everywhere along this trip. The Ross Sea has the classic huge tabular ice bergs and many that are smaller. Some are the amazing shades of blue ice that I have loved since first seeing it in Alaska. The Ross Ice Shelf is also incredible, as is the Drygalski Ice Tongue (Ice Tongue??!!? Yes. And, of course, seeing the Himalayas in winter is a scale and grandeur that cannot easily be imagined. The mountains are much craggier than any I’d seen before … and more desolate. After 6 nights camping, we went to a homestay in Uleh (solidly over 13,000′, a tad over 4000 meters elevation.) We even hiked from there to just about 14,000′ feet. Then back to Leh overnight.

    From there, we flew for a last night in Delhi and then a direct flight mostly westerly (though our route took us north of Iceland) from Delhi to New York (around 14.5 hours air time).

    Unfortunately, there was much that could have made both portions of this trip a lot better. We really hated the trip leader on board the ship. His lack of information to passengers, tyrannical manner, and focus on history of the region rather than wildlife was rather disappointing. On the snow leopard trip, we did not have a general wildlife guide with us. Another trip did, so we really saw the difference. When the snow leopards are not around, it’s good to have someone who can find other wildlife, such as birds and smaller mammals.

    Anyway, back to sleep. I’m tired.

    Thanks again for all of the concern.

    • bobbo, the pragmatic existential evangelical anti-theist says:

      Nature is “great” but I have to say a one hour show on Nature TV gives me about 90% the pleasure, 3% of the pain, and is Free.

      I went back to back once on a vacation. Nice to avoid the initial air fare/time that takes.

      Still I must CHIDE you. “How about website down for maintenance” next time?

      Consider yourself chided.

      • A) Most non-David-Attenborough nature shows get a lot of shit wrong. Even when they get it “right”, they don’t convey much of what you see in life, such as lions being among the most loving creatures I’ve ever seen, or that elephants leave shallower footprints than you do in soft sand.

        B) TV is not free. You do pay for cable, don’t you? I do know people who have no TV. I’m not among them. So, the initial cost is covered. But, it still takes power to power the TV, the cable box, and any internet connectivity if you’re streaming. Not free at all.

        C) I’m guessing you’ve never experienced the real pleasure of watching wildlife or don’t really care to do so. Else, the TV screen just could never provide anywhere near 90% of the pleasure of seeing with one’s own eyes.

        D) No. I will not put up a “website down for maintenance”. That would be exactly like saying I’m away from home. Also, there have been some good conversations in my absence, including one that will help me with diabetes management. Why would I want to actively prevent that?!

        Further, I do often have intermittent internet access on travel and may wish to comment myself. This happened to be a particularly remote trip with little access. In the Ross Sea, for example, the nearest ship that could have given us any assistance should we have needed it was 72 hours away. Most of my trips aren’t so remote. Even on this trip, I managed to find time to delete a bit of spam and make one or two replies.

        Chiding not accepted.

        As an aside, I wouldn’t even know how to disable my site for maintenance. I’m not an S/A. I’m just an ex-programmer. My site is hosted on wordpress. I start and moderate discussions. I leave the S/A crap to the good folks at wordpress.

      • bobbo, the pragmatic existential evangelical anti-theist says:

        You think I’ve SCUBA’d and Snorkled all over the World and Back Packed all thru the Sierra’s and Rockies because I like to get wet? ((First from sea water, the second from sweat?))

        No, it was communing with Nature, mostly of the animal kind. I was a founding member of the Fresno Fern Fondlers and we collected special ferns in Jamaica and I do love sunsets and wide vistas, but it was mostly animals in their habitat which is hard to experience and not get the feeling we hoomans have our own habitat.

        So……..taking your opposition in mind, I will…………….UP my assessment from 90% to 91.5%.

        Each has their place.

        What do you own thats worth stealing?

      • OK bobbo. I’m not positive of your point but am impressed that you’re on the relatively short list of hoomans who travel (or have traveled) for the express purpose of seeing wildlife.

        If your point is that seeing a nature show can bring back your own memories of having done so, then I will agree with you about watching nature shows, provided that you’re selective about the shows. Many really are crap, filled with false information or making very rare occurrences appear commonplace, or both.

        I honestly don’t have that much worth stealing. But, consider how you’d feel to come home to an apartment that has been ransacked. It would suck just the same. How would a burglar know what is in here without first burgling the place? Why invite that sort of trouble?

      • bobbo, the pragmatic existential evangelical anti-theist says:

        Oh, that is an excellent point. Yes, having the context of having traveled must be a large part of why I find the travel, nature, eating shows so worthwhile.

        In fact, the Snow Leopard is a good example. I don’t need/want/would not spend my money to freeze my ass off, to eat greasy rice, just to see a faint image of what is said to be a snow leopard 500 yards away when there have been several excellent shows on tv about them. Did we get into the den on those shows, or just the mother and cubs moving in and out of those dens?

        I actually don’t listen to those tv shows for “facts” but rather I insert myself into those shows “as if I was there.” I concentrate on what is going on “in the back ground.” Paved or dirt roads, open sewers or closed, domesticated animals, old people/young people ratio, rural electrification, plumbing, canned goods, heating sources….etc.

        I often think “who would break into my house…I got nothing of value…” then I look around and start to add up what various “things” mean to me. Meth heads will take anything. Your absence was noted on this blog…something you know to avoid…so I agree your back to back trip was a rare example of not being able to get to the internet to maintain your security. Home security is in fact one reason I don’t travel locally as much as I would like to. As soon as the rest of my ex-housemates “friends” and dealters get arrested, perhaps then my sanity will return and I’ll get to view the background in San Francisco as I go to the “new” marine sanctuary.

        Lets all keep our fingers crossed for the Karmic influence it has.

      • If only I had gotten as close a view of the snow leopards as only 500 yards. Instead, we were over a mile or even a mile and a half from the mother and cubs. The image was small and hazy in a 50 power spotting scope. 500 yards would probably be a good binocular view.

        Oh well. I guess we’ll keep our -20F rated sleeping bags for our return trip either to the same place or another Himalayan locale.

      • bobbo, the pragmatic existential evangelical anti-theist says:

        Snow Leopards of Pakistan.

      • Werewolves of London

        Snow Leopards of Pakistan

        Nope. That lyrics replacement doesn’t work. Wrong number of syllables.

      • bobbo, the pragmatic existential evangelical anti-theist says:

        Yeah, but “Snow Leps of Pakstan” is close enough. Good song.

      • Holy crap bobbo!! A bit of poetic license and you made it work. Impressive!

        Now … can you get the song out of my head?

  12. Cerberus says:

    Mr Scott, forgive me for the intrusion into the fine conversation between you and Mr Bobbo, but I just feel the need to explain myself because… Well… I didn’t wish to create an issue regarding your leave of absence.

    1st off, I was just a little concerned by the date of your last conversation which is what prompted the question in the first place. As I had no idea.

    Secondly, I was also trying not to give things away…so to speak, by saying you were on a “walkabout” or something of that nature, or perhaps you may have “left the blog.” And so, I just wish to make an apology if I’ve been the cause of any issues.


  13. No worries Cerberus. You voicing the possibility on my blog that I’m away doesn’t bother me. I just won’t confirm that. And, as I pointed out, most trips I have at least some internet access. And, most of my trips are shorter than 56 days as well.

    I really am touched by the concern you and bobbo expressed over my absence.

    • Cerberus says:

      Mr. Scott, you and Mr. Bobbo are my friends, and friends always look out for each other. At least I’ve always considered you both as my friends, and when Bobbo had mentioned you being a diabetic I must admit that I got a little worried at that point.

      And I must say that when you and another had shone that very concern for me… I too was rather touched.

      Thanks, for your concern too, Mr. Scott. And have a good day.

      • Feel free to ask me for any clarification about issues pertaining to diabetes. I have often come across people assuming things are much worse than they are based on preconceived notions or the stories of people who are in the worst case scenarios, which make much more interesting and gruesome stories.

        So, I find that a policy of openly discussing any and all aspects of the illness makes people a lot more relaxed about it and around me.

        For my case, I have had type 1 diabetes (a.k.a. insulin dependent diabetes or juvenile diabetes) for 25 years. This is the type where one’s body attacks and kills the insulin producing cells in the pancreas. Type 2 diabetes (a.k.a. adult onset) is about insulin resistance. Often type 2 diabetics produce significantly more insulin than the body should need. But, the cells are resistant to it.

        In my case, I am considered to be in “tight control” of my diabetes. This means that my average blood glucose is below some level. I have not, thus far, had any complications from my diabetes. Complications would be the effects of sustained high blood sugars and are all the well-known side effects that can be caused by diabetes. The list includes, but is not limited to, blindness (caused by retinopathy), loss of limb (usually caused by a loss of sensation in feet or legs known as neuropathy coupled with persistent infections), neuropathy itself (that loss of sensation, or worse, constant pain, caused by nerve damage), kidney failure (nephropaty), heart diseases of most kinds, etc.

        And, of course, there are the direct risks of the condition itself, such as insulin shock (severe low blood sugar can cause death very quickly) and diabetic coma (which would require high blood sugar left untreated for some time, so is less likely).


        But, the good news is that long term studies have shown that keeping in tight control dramatically reduces all of these risks. And, the continuous glucose meter that I have that checks my sugar every 5 minutes, though not as accurately as testing blood, can alert me to dangerous highs and lows in near real time. Also, low blood sugar in particular has a very characteristic feeling of cold sweats and shakiness that I’ve learned to treat ASAP.

        So, the long and short of it is, I’m probably as likely to get hit by a bus as I am to be hospitalized or pronounced dead from diabetes related ailments in the near future.

        Where is that loud horn comi

      • Cerberus says:

        Thanks for the clarification on your status with type 1 diabetes, Scott. I’ve never had the experience in dealing with it as no one within my family has ever had it. I do have a few friends whom are diabetics but have never sought knowledge on the subject….

        But I think it’s high time that aqiure some information on the subject. Thanks, Scott.

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