Why I Cannot Believe in the Brahma Kumaris' 5,000 Year Cycle

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ex-l

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Re: Why I Cannot Believe in the Brahma Kumaris' 5,000 Year C

Post08 Feb 2013

Unless you are a scientist working in the field and up to date with the latest research, I'd be cautious about making any statements as if they were true. In my opinion, most general opinions are decades out of date. What you are talking about are Observed Instances of Speciation and there are many. Arguably, it is so common biologists don't make a big deal of it.

Where you are right and echo what the scientists say above, is that there is still discussion, debate and arguments about the subject ... and that "scientists are argumentative people and so they should be" that is how they get to the next or greater truth. What one of the scientists said was something like, "the difference between us (science) and you (religion) is that we will change our mind" as our knowledge becomes more refined but what one previously religion individual found out, after being misled and conned by a religious teacher over this subject, was that evidence of, say, the fossil record time and time again supports the theory and dating.

In this case, although their marketing and PR might keep changing, the Brahma Kumaris are absolutely stuck in the religious camp with even less of an explanation or theory than Young Earth Christian Creationists. For them thinking and questioning, never mind arguing and debating, is tantamount to a sin for which their leader Dadi Janki encourages them to "slap themselves" if they start doing so.

However they might be able to jiggle around the date of the End of the Universe (Destruction) and the time period of Creation, they are absolutely stuck with their 5,000 Years Cycle.

Acceptance rather than understanding or explanation, and submission to the will and intellect of their leaders (or lack thereof) is their maxim ... and what is most highly rewarded within their community.

Imagine for one moment Dadi Janki, even in her prime, sitting in on a lecture on Darwinism or Evolution.
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ex-l

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Re: Why I Cannot Believe in the Brahma Kumaris' 5,000 Year C

Post08 Feb 2013

Conspiracy Road Trip: Creationism - another lighthearted but perspicacious documentary on the subject of Creationists versus Science. I think it's interesting because it demonstrates the level of understanding of ordinary people and the dynamics between them and perfectly reasonable scientists (some of them even Christian).

It's amazing to listen to the Creationists *absolute* faith in 6 days and 6,000 year creation ... and pretty funny to watch them when their buttons are being pressed. It's a sociological document of the collision between incompatible cultures.

The only difference between the Brahma Kumaris and the Islamic or Christian fundamentalists is that most of the BKs are far likely to argue, or enjoy arguing and being quite as aggressive or even coercive about their beliefs, but their minds are just as closed ... perhaps even moreso. Their "god" says it's true, so its true and they'll just go "Om Shanti" and look for other ways in people's minds!

In fact, BKism has even less of a cosmological theory or explanation.

It seems human beings enjoy and feel comfortable being locked into a simple, especially symmetrical, word view but my question is, do they really believe what they believe? Or do they just enjoy what believing brings, e.g. being part of a group, or even just being a contrarian (a person who enjoys takes an opposing view, especially one who rejects the majority opinion) because it makes them feel different and special ... or gets them attention from their surrogate "Mummies", the BK Seniors.

Watching these other religionists, I cannot see Brahma Kumarists as being particularly different. It's just that we programmed to slot into the mould of religion so easily, two clicks to the left, Islam; two clicks to the right Christianity; three clicks more, Brahma Kumarism. The confrontation with the Northern Irish Christian around 35:00 reminds me of some BK hardliner.

Like the BKs, the Christians believe that humans and dinosaurs lived at the same time ... but for all the dinosaur fossils the paleontologists never find human fossils along with them.


Meanwhile, science bowls religionists a serious googly ... the ancestor of humans and all other mammals was small furry insect eater.
First-placental-mammal.jpg
First-placental-mammal.jpg (34.72 KiB) Viewed 5381 times
The small furry ancestor of humans and most other mammals has been pieced together by scientists. The shrew-like creature weighed less than half a pound, had a long tail and ate insects. It evolved some 200,000 years after a massive asteroid impact led to the extinction of the dinosaurs 65 million years ago.

From this small beginning sprang every "placental" mammal – which give birth to mature live young – including dogs, cats, rodents, whales and humans.

So, there you have it folks ... our latest common ancestor from whom we all evolved.
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ex-l

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Re: Why I Cannot Believe in the Brahma Kumaris' 5,000 Year C

Post09 Feb 2013

Why do people laugh at Creationists?

Someone has been patient enough to sit down and unpick the usual Young Earth Creationist theories and measure them against what we know ... part 2, part 3, part 4 ... I think it goes up to at least part 38. As for Creationists' theories on why the dinosaurs, aka "Dragons", it even beats the BKs' one. They became extinct apparently because ... "they breathed so fast, their nostrils caught fire".

Should BKs really lean on such people for supporting their own unique theories?

Now, no one has done this about the BKs own theories, why? Largely because, in 75 years of their "University" sucking up millions of dollars every year ... they have none. Neither they, nor their god and gurus have no explanation about their cycle of Destruction and re-creation actually works.

Does that matter? Why, no ... just have more trance meditation, stop asking questions and say "Baba, Baba ..." 10,000 times a day and you will feel much better!

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Re: Why I Cannot Believe in the Brahma Kumaris' 5,000 Year C

Post10 Feb 2013

I took this para from the reference of ex-l above: (added are italics)
Finally, most of the current interest in speciation concerns theoretical issues. Most biologists are convinced that speciation occurs. What they want to know is how it occurs. One recent book on speciation (Otte and Endler 1989) has few example of observed speciation, but a lot of discussion of theory and mechanisms.

This is the centre of it; 'how it occurs'. Darwin theory remains just that, 'theory' as above. Also to quote distinguished American scientist Niles Eldridge, and colleague of distinguished Stephen Jay Gould
'We palaeontologists have said that the history of life supports [the story of gradual adaptive change], all the while really knowing that it does not.

But how can one discuss such a well believed theory in a few words on a website? Difficult for Einstein no doubt.
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Re: Why I Cannot Believe in the Brahma Kumaris' 5,000 Year C

Post10 Feb 2013

I am not sure what camp you find yourself in Leonard but, unfortunately, the quote you have chosen is one commonly misused by Creationists to suggest ... as you are doing ... that there is something weak, dubious or erroneous about evolution. To add to that, by stressing their alleged professional standing, you are using a kind of fallacious argument called an 'appeal to authority' to give weight to how you are trying to use the quote.

It comes from Eldredge's book 'Time Frames: The Rethinking of Darwinian Evolution and the Theory of Punctuated Equilibria' written in 1985 and is on page 144. However, in the book, Eldredge agrees that evolution occurs and that natural selection is real. Eldredge and Gould hypothesised that evolution is not slow and steady but varies between rapid and static periods of development (hence "punctuated equilibrium"). It's not a criticism of evolution, but of the gradualist theory of evolution.

I won't copy and paste large slabs of other website here, but it is worth underlining that ...
When scientists use the word theory, it has a different meaning to normal everyday use. If you said to a scientist that you did not believe in evolution because it was "just a theory", they'd probably be a bit puzzled.

In everyday use, theory means a guess or a hunch, something that maybe needs proof. In science, a theory is not a guess, not a hunch.

It's a well-substantiated, well-supported, well-documented explanation for our observations.


(From, notjustatheory.com)

This underlines what I was saying earlier about the importance of being able to understand not just what science says but how science works and arranges itself, its language and conventions. In science, facts and observations are 'described' by laws, but 'explained' by theories. A theory never becomes a law.
If there was a hierarchy of science, theories would be higher than laws. There is nothing higher, or better, than a theory.

Do you see how different that is from what you are suggesting?
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Re: Why I Cannot Believe in the Brahma Kumaris' 5,000 Year C

Post10 Feb 2013

As I say batting forth to and fro in this way is not productive, though of interest. 'Hopeful Monster' position and 'Punctuated Equilibria' position are two strands of strong argument and mutual antagonism by Darwin followers.

"Theory higher than Laws"? Sounds like opinion from Mad Hatter at Alice Tea Party. Such thinking can justify/explain anything don't you think?

So last and brief word from me is to say there are intelligent scientists, not only Christian barrow pushers and especially biochemists as mentioned, who question how evolution as taught can happen. Think of one cell, usually called in evolution terms a "simple cell", but we must say that a cell is as complicated as a city; and cannot slowly evolve ... it has to 'be there', so to say, all at once to function.

One other thing that sparks my curiosity, looking at things in a socio-religious way, why did Abraham, meaning personage who is not Brahma in Hindi, and other prophets arise so close together in History of World? Hardly a few hundred years out of millions, and all are of a sudden there and all a very biggest influence on all people. How does it occurs? Something inspiring was there, some few thousand years past, in Asian water supply?

I have been non-believer in the Evolution positions for many years, but this is not to say I believe a 5,000 year cycle; but like many societies, not only the BK group, I myself think of Time itself as moving in Cycles. All gets back to question as I mention above "how does it occur?" and also "why does it occur?". Best wishes to all.
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Re: Why I Cannot Believe in the Brahma Kumaris' 5,000 Year C

Post10 Feb 2013

Words have precise meanings in science that are different from common English, e.g. 'theory', 'law', and 'hypothesis'. We have to accept and understand how they are used first before we explore what they are used for. This is part of the purpose of real education, to introduce the already established "toolbox". That's the bit Lekhraj Kirpalani and the inner circle of BKs missed out.

I think it is fair to question whether biological evolutionary theory would have been different if it had arisen in a 'multi-universe and cyclical time' culture ... like Buddhism or Hinduism ... and that the prevalent "Big Bang + Darwinism" reflects the 'single universe and straight line of time theory' of Judeo-Christian philosophy.

Have any Hindu or Buddhist scientist come up with an alternative theory which incorporate our most recent discoveries? Certainly no BK scientists have to date ... it seems they tend to treat BKism as a good reason to give up their science and retreat to child-like mythologies.

For example, if we accept the declining universe theory, how does DNA fit into it. The BK theory is "everything gets worse" and "suffering always increases" yet all around us we see so many things become better and living standards improve.

I am not in a position to defend or attack Darwinian evolution. I just think a) science should be fairly represented and understood by religionists, and b) we should look at the manner in which our mind deals with such ideas and conflicts and improve it ... clean and polish the lens through which we see and experience the world. If our tools of comprehension are disconnected or broken, how can we understand?
leonard wrote:... looking at things in a socio-religious way, why did Abraham, meaning personage who is not Brahma in Hindi, and other prophets arise so close together in History of World? ... Something inspiring was there, some few thousand years past, in Asian water supply?

I think it is generally assumed to be the development of agriculture in the Tigres-Euphrates region ... and then improved metal working which lead to military dominance and then social and political dominance. Scientists have been able to work out all the required elements for this to happen, e.g. available water, minerals, climate, even weather patterns. You might ask the same question of the British Empire, why did it rise to rule the world? Similar down to earth answers are available. No magic or outer space beings required.

I have not read much of the Bible. I find it incredibly ignorant and ugly in places, but what I do remember about it is that a large part of its history is about an angry jealous tribal god encouraging its adherents to go out and kill, rape and murder and dominate other tribes .. and it is still doing so through Islam and Christian America.

You might argue that same spirit of conflict and dominance is prevalent within the Judeo-Christian-Islamic tradition ... even its science! (However, 'Abraham' is actually 'Avram' meaning "high Father". It's a bit of a BKism to connect Abraham with Brahma just because of the spelling in English).

I also think you are right to look at the socio-religions elements of these discussions. Faith and acceptance are tools of group dominance and group adherence. One might not actually believe in a 5,000 Year framework but be happy to accept it without thought and understanding simply because one enjoys the company and protect of BKs. "Believing" is the badge and cost of membership even in the face of ridicule ... and all religious membership, including science you might argue, have their elements of faith and mythology which define the group.

Science continues to chip away slowly at the question "how does it occur?". It may never be able to answer the question, "why does it occur?". I am not sure that it can.

But what is clear to me is that these types of questions, and places of doubt and uncertainty or even fear within us, are were religionists push us in order to dominate and control us with superstitions and myth. Religions, like genes, parasites or predators within nature, have continued to evolve 'hunting and trapping' mechanisms, and religionists share and trade, beg, borrow and steal them from amongst each themselves in order to trap others in their religions.

What we are seeing in this debate, and the Western BKWSU in general are the Western BKs doing exactly that from the Christians. I have no idea who things are in India where I suspect most of their targets are largely unaware and uneducated and primarily interested in more basic elements of survival.
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