Re: [asa] Predestined Fame

From: Austerberry, Charles <cfauster@creighton.edu>
Date: Tue Jul 15 2008 - 19:36:21 EDT

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/magazine/7334605.stm

The link above is to a popular article on numerology. I suspect that
some individuals are "wired" to look for (and find) hidden meanings in
numbers. Strong criticism of excessive numerological enthusiasm is
warranted and necessary, but I would not accuse Vernon of occultism. To
Vernon, perhaps numerical patterns are almost sacramental. In any case,
I think he worships the same God, even though we may not think God is
speaking through patterns in numbers the way Vernon sees it.

I probably doubt Vernon's take on numbers as much as PZ Myers (at the
Pharyngula blog) doubts transubstantiation. (Myers is unable to
understand how anyone could believe that a communion wafer has more
meaning than a Ritz cracker, so for fun he wants to needle Catholics by
intentionally desecrating some consecrated communion hosts.) Unlike
Myers, we can put ourselves in Vernon's shoes enough to understand his
good intentions. Both this list and Pharyngula have some good humor
sometimes, and humor can convey relevant points quite efficiently. But
at least we understand the concept of something being truly sacred. We
can continue to share that bond with Vernon, without encouraging his
numerology in any way.

Cheers!

Chuck

Charles (Chuck) F. Austerberry, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Biology
Hixson-Lied Room 438
Creighton University
2500 California Plaza
Omaha, NE 68178
Phone: 402-280-2154
Fax: 402-280-5595
e-mail: cfauster@creighton.edu
http://groups.creighton.edu/premedsociety/
 
Nebraska Religious Coalition for Science Education
http://nrcse.creighton.edu

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Received on Tue Jul 15 19:37:36 2008

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