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Tony Grist

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Greedy Grannies [Oct. 28th, 2004|10:37 am]
Tony Grist
I'm still reeling a bit from the affair of the misappropriated photographs. It makes me sad. Mainly I want to give the person concerned a big hug and say, "hey, forget about it. We all make mistakes. Now get back to posting."

Otherwise I've been excited by the discovery of a race of little people on the island of Flores in the Indonesian archipelago. OK, the ones they've found are all dead, but they haven't been dead all that long in evolutionary terms- just a few thousand years. Islanders speak of having seen them around as recently as the early 19th century- which means there could still be some of them alive out there in the deep jungle.

The islanders call them ebu gogo- which means something like "greedy grannies". The scientists have nicknamed them "hobbits".

These little guys had brains no bigger than a chimpanzee's but made delicate stone tools. They hunted pygmy elephants and were hunted in their turn by giant rats. And, no, check the calendar- it isn't April 1. This is bona fide, cutting edge science.

We've got used to thinking of ourselves as the only humanoid species around, but here's proof that, until quite recently, there was at least one other living alongside us. The received wisdom is found to be wrong- again! I find this thrilling.
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: jackiejj
2004-10-28 01:03 pm (UTC)
there was at least one other living alongside us. The received wisdom is found to be wrong- again! I find this thrilling.

This is fascinating news! How tall were these little grannies?

There are occasionally sightings of the Yeti in the high himalayas. Who knows about these things?

Wouldn't it be something if explorers stumbled upon some little people in the jungle? OTOH, how sad for the little people. They'd be on the morning talk shows as soon as somebody could get them on a plane.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2004-10-28 01:33 pm (UTC)
A metre high. There's a picture of one measured against a normal human bean. It comes no higher than the top of the person's thigh.

I'll post a link to the story once the server (it can't be found at the moment) comes back on line.
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[User Picture]From: jackiejj
2004-10-28 02:10 pm (UTC)
Thanks for the link!

second, by the curious chance that Homo sapiens happens to be the only species of human around today - a situation probably unprecedented in 7m years.

It is "by curious chance," isn't it? Wonder who or what will be next--I guess it must be "who," since the top of the hill has to be sentient (whatever that means).

"I suspect that creationists will act very negatively toward this discovery.


Heavy sigh. Of course. But they'll come up with an imaginative rationalization very soon.

I once worked with a supervisor who actually believed that Adam had gills until the Fall, an entire snarl of wide-eyed theology. His reasoning: blood is corrupt (according to the King James Bible, which was written by God with a Golden Pen), and so Adam couldn't have had blood in his veins while he was innocently wandering around in Eden.

He told his son, when his son asked him about dinosaurs, that all those fossils were the remnants of the Devil's reign on earth before God threw him out and built Eden.

And I worked with a secretary who believed that, before the Flood, there was only mist on the earth, because the Bible doesn't mention rain until the flood.

And I once attended a Bible study class, and the very intelligent chemist leader was asked by one of his admiring students, "What happens if you sin after you get saved?"

A fundamental question, for sure!

His answer? "Your physical life would be taken if you were about to sin, because once you are saved, that's it. You're saved."
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2004-10-28 02:30 pm (UTC)
As a very young man I had a spiritual crisis that resulted in me being "born again."

I spent a couple of years inside the belly of the whale. In the end I couldn't cope with the wilful ignorance and cultural constraints.

I remember going into my local Christian book-store (it was just after Bob Dylan had come out for Jesus) and finding it full of copies of Slow Train Coming. But that was the only Dylan album they carried- and I couldn't help feeling that there was something pretty screwy about this.

In the end it was Art that saved me. "Christian" art is so tacky and derivative and shallow. I couldn't be doing without the hard stuff.
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[User Picture]From: karenkay
2004-10-29 03:34 am (UTC)
In the end it was Art that saved me. "Christian" art is so tacky and derivative and shallow. I couldn't be doing without the hard stuff.

This is wonderful!
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2004-10-29 08:35 am (UTC)
Thank you.

I have a long history of joining up, becoming disillusioned and then leaving. I'm like a kid who has to try every ride in the fairground.

One thing I never tried was scientology. I have a built in distrust of any outfit that asks for money up front.
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[User Picture]From: karenkay
2004-10-29 07:18 pm (UTC)
I never thought I would be an organized religion person, having been brought up Catholic. But I have been going to Quaker meeting for about two years now, and I am enjoying the hell out of it, still. I adore not having a liturgy. I like the variety of the silence.
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[User Picture]From: jackiejj
2004-10-30 06:43 pm (UTC)
In the end it was Art that saved me. "Christian" art is so tacky and derivative and shallow. I couldn't be doing without the hard stuff.

I once visualized, for my pleasure, a "place" in Heaven (meaning anything outside our world) where God lived. It was near rocks, and there was a cave, and weeds. It was a rather bleak place, and God lived in below ground. There was no artistry in this place! It didn't even feel "holy," particularly. And what was God doing "living" in a dark hole?

But there it was. That's what I came up with.

There were beings around there--angels--and I got to do what they were doing, which was to sing to God.

It wasn't boring! It was perfectly joyful.

I can't imagine a throne and streets. I just get this place in the middle of something, and there's all this music, and I get to be part of it. That's the Holy Art that comes up from me.

It's not very thrilling or beautiful. There's nothing but nature, and it's a very simple, kind of boring place.

And a hole in the ground?
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