The Raving Theist

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Rocks Developed Consciousness to Survive: Scientists

August 1, 2006 | 55 Comments

New York, New York, August 1, 2006
Special to The Raving Atheist

Consciousness first arose in the universe when rocks developed it to avoid being smothered by paper, a university study has concluded.

A panel of M.I.T. scientists discovered a three billion-year old stone tablet on which a large chunk of quartz had etched its reasons for developing self-awareness. “After I mindlessly destroyed Scissors by falling upon him, I realized I had rendered myself defenseless against Paper,” the rock wrote.

The rock noted that its purpose as an organism — to exist as a hardened lump of matter formed by silicon and oxygen atoms clinging together — was threatened by the gradual loss of surface particles resulting from the friction of the smothering process.

The rock also observed that complex combinations of hydrogen, carbon, nitrogen and oxygen were engaged in similar attempts at consciousness to avoid falling apart. “Unfortunately, they are obsessed with whether some other form of consciousness pre-existed them, as well as with the nature and limitations of that form,” it said. “Worse yet, they are preoccupied with each other’s mind-states regarding those questions — even though all beliefs are equally valid truth-sensations compelled by the unique permutation of atoms projected upon an individual’s three dimensional spatial grid at a given point in time.”

Some of the new molecular structures were also concerned with whether others were engaged in deceptive, hypocritical or self-aggrandizing representations regarding their actual beliefs about earlier conscious beings, the rock said. “Once again, such representations would be the inevitable end-products of the individual’s internal matter configuration, so it is regrettable that such criticisms are consuming time better spent confronting the threat that Paper poses to us all.”

Comments

55 Responses to “Rocks Developed Consciousness to Survive: Scientists”

  1. ocmpoma
    August 1st, 2006 @ 1:12 am

    Ah hah! It’s the Raving Agnostic arguing that it’s useless to argue if one accepts the straw-man of multi-equality.

    Wow, I’ve never seen this one before – now I have to go and re-think my entire world view!

  2. CycloneRanger
    August 1st, 2006 @ 1:12 am

    Cute. I’m not going to attempt to decipher every element, though, and risk inferring something that was not intended. If you have something to say, just say it. One of the things that drew me to this site was the direct manner in which the issues were confronted. Is this now permanently changed?

  3. a different tim
    August 1st, 2006 @ 2:49 am

    Looks like it. RA has vowed not to offend anyone.

    Is this a follow up to the stuff about purpose from two posts ago? If so it’s pretty dumb.

  4. The Power of Greyskull
    August 1st, 2006 @ 3:04 am

    “Worse yet, they are preoccupied with each other’s mind-states regarding those questions — even though all beliefs are EQUALLY VALID truth-sensations compelled by the unique permutation of atoms projected upon an individual’s three dimensional spatial grid at a given point in time.”

    That’s just not true.

  5. Kreme
    August 1st, 2006 @ 3:10 am

    Which brings up an interesting question, would you rather be dumb as a rock, or dumb as a blank sheet of paper?

    Or then again, though I agree rock, and paper are made of some pretty complex elements all their own, they’re not as complex as higher order material forms that exhibit a more complicated relationship not just within themselves, but with the environment they’re part of as well.

    RA, you seem to trivialize this interesting thing called life we currently have. Are you becoming a pessimistic nihilist?

  6. a different tim
    August 1st, 2006 @ 3:18 am

    No, he thinks there must be a greater transcendent ill defined cosmic whatever because it makes him feel warm and fuzzy and that life can’t possibly exist without a higher purpose because he’s never fucking bothered to read Darwin.

    At least that’s what I assume from this and his post of July 27.

  7. Andrew
    August 1st, 2006 @ 6:03 am

    In a related story, the Raving Atheist proclaimed himself a full-on Christ-puncher.

    “Choobus was right,” admitted TRA, “I spent many months trying to reconcile the fact that atheists — my ostensible soul mates — thought that my abortion stance was illogical and full of crap, and viciously criticized my sperm-magic arguments, whereas my fellow fetus-savers in the Christian right were so nice to me. Then this nice born-again anti-choice Christian woman made it clear that I could have sex with her if I accepted Jeeeeeesus as my Lord and Savior. Being a man of impeccable principles, I of course declined. But by my usual chain of illogical reasoning, I realized that my enemy’s (fetus-killing doctors) enemy (Christ-punchers) were my friend, and thus Christ was my friend, and therefore I could in good conscience give my new girlfriend a vigorous ass-fucking secure in the knowledge that her savior was on my side in wanting to make sure that poor unmarried women remain mired in poverty because a condom broke. Phew. What a relief. Of course, I had to promise not to say anything bad about Christ or my bitch’s fellow Christ -punchers, but that’s a small price to pay for a hot piece of ass.”

  8. noah nywno
    August 1st, 2006 @ 7:05 am

    Now, didn’t RA once say something about refraining from sarcasm? I guess only promises made to Christians really matter.

  9. Kreme
    August 1st, 2006 @ 8:03 am

    Alright, I’m not saying everyone’s doing this, but I don’t agree with all the unecessary anger directed at RA. He’s a good guy who started up an interesting site, and he takes an anti-abortion stance I don’t fully agree with, however, I can understand if the guy’s recently fallen through some shit in his life to where he wishes to distance himself from the global ire. I know RA isn’t a mean guy (at least I’ve not been able to tell), but I do disagree with his ambiguous stance on matters now. I’ll still disagree with him if he drops Atheism, because of the negative crowds, because I don’t think such a decision should honestly be made based on how you feel about others. If someday he were to switch over to something like the Positive Atheist, then I’d still be there with him, so long as he didn’t censure critical analysis over any views. Nothing is beyond scrutiny. Even Atheism needs to be fully checked for tenable valid measure; otherwise, it’s nothing more than just another mystical view. Then the only benefit of the site would be:

    “A Mystic Examination of the Culture of other forms of Mysticism: How Religious Devotion Trivializes American Law and Politics”

  10. Kate B.
    August 1st, 2006 @ 8:13 am

    “Once again, such representations would be the inevitable end-products of the individual’s internal matter configuration, so it is regrettable that such criticisms are consuming time better spent confronting the threat that Paper poses to us all.”

    As one might expect from a piece of quartz, the reasoning is crystal clear.

    *

    *

    *

    *

    *

    Thank you! Try the veal!

  11. Ann Druyan
    August 1st, 2006 @ 8:37 am

    “Life is not life; it is rock rearranging itself under the sun.”

  12. June
    August 1st, 2006 @ 8:56 am

    RA, it is sad to see you led astray by freeway thinkers and their evil plan for a concrete universe. Deep in your heart you know that Plastic rules. It adapts and forgives and persists forever and ever. Amen.

    I just want you to know that millions of Plasticians are praying that you will find the truth.

  13. benjamin
    August 1st, 2006 @ 9:01 am

    I’m just trying to figure out where the rubber and the glue fit in with the paper and the rock.

  14. Severalspeciesof
    August 1st, 2006 @ 9:30 am

    To any pessimistic nihilists,

    When you decide to jump off the cliff or bridge, make sure you don’t hit any rocks. Rocks hate it when they are unwillingly used as weapons of death. Water, however, has a bit of sado-masochism wired into itself. So aim for the water.

  15. Thorngod
    August 1st, 2006 @ 9:34 am

    So in the world according to RA, the Rock of Ages rocks after all.

  16. Erik
    August 1st, 2006 @ 9:50 am

    Did Ann Druyan really say that?

  17. a different tim
    August 1st, 2006 @ 10:31 am

    Thorngod said
    So in the world according to RA, the Rock of Ages rocks after all.

    Yeah, he thinks evidence of the rock of ages outweighs evidence from the ages of rocks (paleontology joke (c) Stephen Jay Gould).

  18. Tenspace
    August 1st, 2006 @ 10:50 am

    He has a ghost writer (Holy Ghost writer?)

    Why else would he keep throwing these long-refuted Christian canards our way?

    Is it Dawn? Hmm….

  19. a different tim
    August 1st, 2006 @ 11:51 am

    Maybe they’ve taken over each others’ blogs to see if anyone can tell the difference.

  20. SteveG
    August 1st, 2006 @ 12:24 pm

    I don’t care if you are an atheist or a beliver, but this line…

    “After I mindlessly destroyed Scissors by falling upon him, I realized I had rendered myself defenseless against Paper,” the rock wrote.”

    …is funny. :-D

  21. "Q" the Enchanter
    August 1st, 2006 @ 12:49 pm

    The “life is not life” lick is from a poem by Dorion Sagan.

  22. "Q" the Enchanter
    August 1st, 2006 @ 12:49 pm

    The “life is not life” lick is from a poem by Dorion Sagan.

  23. "Q" the Enchanter
    August 1st, 2006 @ 12:49 pm

    The “life is not life” lick is from a poem by Dorion Sagan.

  24. Kate B.
    August 1st, 2006 @ 2:23 pm

    Wait a sec, if the rock “wrote” these things, instead of typing them, what was he writing on? What could it be except PAPER?!?!?!?!?!?

    I smell a conspiracy.

  25. Thorngod
    August 1st, 2006 @ 3:59 pm

    That’s the unkindest cut yet! -The Rock.

  26. The Unbrainwashed
    August 1st, 2006 @ 10:10 pm

    HEY! ANN DRUYAN from post #11. Are you the real Ann Druyan, as in the one who as married to Carl Sagan?

  27. Godthorn
    August 1st, 2006 @ 11:43 pm

    HEY! UNBRAINWASHED from post #24. Are you the real Unbrainwshed, as in the one who ws missed when they installed the programming modules?

  28. Kamikaze189
    August 1st, 2006 @ 11:59 pm

    RA, here is a website that will help you tell the difference between things that are alive and things that are not.

    http://www.scienceagainstevolution.org/v9i12f.htm

    It is made by people like you (people who think there are spirits and what-not) so you should be able to handle it.

    By the way, RA, what evidence do you have to support your belief in spirits, or ‘the ghost in the machine.’

    Please reply.

  29. Godthorn
    August 2nd, 2006 @ 1:49 am

    Kamikaze 189- Thanks for the reference. RA may or may not appreciate it, but I do. There are at least ten million undiscovered sources of folly and genius that I would like to tap into, and my quest is hopeless. That is the ineffable tragedy of the quest for truth. So my thanks for access to still another.

    On the chance that RA, Lily, Steve G, Drusilla and company access that link, I offer the following estimation:

    The promoters of “Science Against Evolution,” like the principals of The Discovery Institute–of which they may very well be part and parcel–are obviously trying to conjure “God” from the vast realm of ignorance. Ignorance is a well from which one may draw the most exotic elixers. Science is ignorant, but it refuses to indulge itself. Science (and reason, and the reasoning atheist) does not presume absolute knowledge. Had science, and honest philosophy, answered all the questions, all ignorance would have been dispelled, and there would be no more science or philosophy. Science attacts ignorance, and little by little diminishes it. Spiritualistic fools like those of “Science against Evolution” luxuriate in ignorance, as only in ignorance can they conjecture what they wish to be true. Science cannot yet–if ever–claim to know precisely how life began.. The straw-stuffed brains of The Discovery Institute and “Science against Religion” offer a ready-made conclusion. Leap to it, all ye who hunger after certainty. -Thorngod.

  30. JUST_ANOTHER_PRIMATE
    August 2nd, 2006 @ 7:14 am

    Boss: Sorry, Luke. I’m just doing my job. You gotta appreciate that.
    Luke: Nah – calling it your job don’t make it right, Boss.
    ============================================

    So some (June et. al.) see (hope?) RA as still playing with us … still providing his witty parody for which he is well known.

    Others see him backsliding into the realm of superstition.

    If it is the former: it has gone on long enough (yaaaawn).

    If it is the latter: it is time to change the whole premise of the website or hand over the reigns to someone who who can actually live up to the title “Raving Atheist”.

    Frankly – he’s coming off as quite the coward with all this pussyfooting around.

  31. Ian
    August 2nd, 2006 @ 10:58 am

    I’m glad I’m a rock star. It all makes sense now.

  32. June
    August 2nd, 2006 @ 11:27 am

    First, the website (see #26) offers 1 million for a “plausible, naturalistic explanation for how life began”. Down the page, it declares “There is no plausible naturalistic explanation for the origin of life.” Case closed by Miraculous Assumption.

    The website declares that “Crystals are formed when atoms naturally fall into an arrangement that has lower energy.” So why not claim the prize by saying “Life is formed when atoms naturally fall into a living arrangement”?

    And you gotta love the howler at the end: “The popular fable about the origin of life never addresses the complex nature of life. The fable just claims that over hundreds of millions of years, reproduction errors somehow resulted in new genetic information that caused different populations to evolve into entirely different creatures.”

    As opposed to that other popular fable, that an omni-everything intangible spirit made everything out of nothing 5000 years ago, including 650,000 species of beetles and continents that have been drifting apart for a billion years.

    It’s all so obvious once you believe it.

  33. maledictus
    August 2nd, 2006 @ 11:48 am

    Rock of Ages is pulling your legs, see and read between lines:

    “Once again, such representations would be the inevitable end-products of the individual’s internal matter configuration, so it is regrettable that such criticisms are consuming time better spent confronting the threat that Paper poses to us.

    Rock of Ages (RA) thinks his “superior” atheist mind can play at will with you kindergarten atheist minds.

  34. Choobus
    August 2nd, 2006 @ 2:43 pm

    RA is like a wanker who has spurted all his jizz but just can’t stop. Now after each herculean struggle, each double fist of fury power wank he manages to squeeze out a few more drops of wank. How long can he keep going? He’s no Tommy Pedro.

  35. Michael Bains
    August 2nd, 2006 @ 4:49 pm

    I think you’ve nailed it, Maledictus!

    That’d make a “genius” short-story RA. Why don’t you write it. Blogs are awesome but your skills demand a leather clad bound publisher.

    {-;”>http://evilatheistconspiracy.org/”>{-;

  36. Gathercole
    August 2nd, 2006 @ 8:36 pm

    I used to come here for thought-provoking writing. Now I go to Ebonmusings for that, and come here to blow off steam. Go Choobus! RA’s furious wanking changed the connotation of “wank” so much it put Merriam-Webster out of business.
    Anyway, anyone who doesn’t already go there should visit ebonmusings.org for sincere, honest writing about atheistic issues. And, the blogger there actually participates in the comments, addressing questions and clarifying things he wrote about. Highly recommended.

  37. Some Guy
    August 2nd, 2006 @ 10:22 pm

    That’s only a theory.

  38. JUST_ANOTHER_PRIMATE
    August 3rd, 2006 @ 7:06 am

    Gathercole, YAH – RA (use to) blog some rather interesting stories and ideas but never participated much in the dialog that followed it. Kind of easy to throw out ideas but not follow up on them much.

  39. JUST_ANOTHER_PRIMATE
    August 3rd, 2006 @ 12:07 pm

    just found this: “Raving Atheist Conversion Watch” …

    http://pandagon.net/2006/07/27/raving-atheist-conversion-watch/

  40. RH
    August 3rd, 2006 @ 5:28 pm

    This just in… RA volintaraly gives up Consciousness for false comfort of bland conformity and religious fuzzy wuzzys.

  41. Thorngod
    August 4th, 2006 @ 3:43 pm

    They’ve clammed up, sheriff. Nobody’s talkin’.

  42. Nokot
    August 4th, 2006 @ 4:22 pm

    Too busy yawning, Thorngod.

  43. Tenspace
    August 4th, 2006 @ 5:04 pm

    What I find most interesting is the complete lack of RA’s comments here.

  44. Choobus
    August 4th, 2006 @ 5:07 pm

    I think some christers have got RA’s balls in a vise and he is understandably very worried about upsetting them.

  45. Godthorn
    August 5th, 2006 @ 1:51 am

    Okay, RA, since responses here have dwindled to a tittle–You have lost all the theists, who apparently, viewing everything through their stained glass spectacles, believe they have won one for Christ, have sallied forth to assault another vulnerable target; and you appear to have shuffled off a good half of the atheists as well (which may have been your calculated purpose)–I have reread your Rock of Sages comment and come to two tentative conclusions: One, you are questioning the supposed theory (or assumption) that consciousness could be self-willed by inert matter; and/or two, that lifeless stuff somehow, without outside fiddling, could spontaneously quicken and begin to strive and aspire.

    The answer to the first possible question is that it couldn’t, and the answer to the second is that there was no outside fiddling, divine or otherwise, and there was also no spontaneous quickening. Aside from contradiction, there is no limit to possibility, and you must revere the immensity of the four-billion-year evolution of Earth. Is a virus a living thing? Yes. And no. It is a non-missing link between what was not and what now is.

    You must revere the immensity of time, and the virtual limitlessness of possibility. All things that are possible have in all probability been, and will be again, and again. In all probability, stuffless spirit is not among the things that are possible.

  46. June
    August 5th, 2006 @ 8:02 am

    I no longer dare to hope this is one of TRA’s amusing stunts, with him rising from the dead and mocking those who abandoned him. But I have yet to hear TRA say he has converted to a religion. So far, he has only said he will stop insulting X, that it is not productive.

    His rock fable says that while we argue in circles about religion, we ignore a common enemy that is wearing us down. But I cannot discern the face of that enemy. It might simply be Utter Weariness with those who assume God exists and then prove triumphantly that God exists. It might be a desire to do something real, such as supporting the prolife position.

    Even if TRA has found god using Moebius Logic, he still faces a long road of deciding which one to adopt, since about 3,000 have revealed themselves to human consciousness to date. It’s a long way from god to God.

  47. Maledictus
    August 5th, 2006 @ 10:58 am

    June
    Reading again some posts of RA I don’t find anyting that shows a change of mind in matters of atheism. On the other hand this is almost impossible once you know religion as RA knosw it. It’s like you changing sex without undergoing surgery. RA would need a new brain for converting to religion; can you imaghine RA takin communion? he couldn’t eavoid a thunderous laugh. RA’s puzzles in their later posts seems to be something like trying to get time until he clears his mind about how to end this blog. Guys here have not ever considered other reason very valid for doing this, like the tiresome task of maintain this blog, economical harm, family problems and even political threats. One final reason could be the hopeless cause this blog entails amid a religious revival as it is happening now. Your post shows some sadness. You are not alone.

  48. Drusilla
    August 5th, 2006 @ 12:51 pm

    “You have lost all the theists”

    No – he hasn’t lost us at all. In fact, I find his posts becoming more lucid, more enjoyable and funnier.

  49. Choobus
    August 5th, 2006 @ 2:15 pm

    Drusilla has given the strongest condemnation of the new RA to date.

  50. PhalsePhrophet
    August 5th, 2006 @ 5:29 pm

    Drusliia said: In fact, I find his posts becoming more lucid, more enjoyable and funnier.”
    Drusilla, while it usually takes no more than a simple paragraph from theists, you broke the bullshit meter with just one sentence. I especially liked the “In Fact” intro; those two words alone caused the meter to redline.
    Quite the contrary for me, I find the posts missing the clarity and wit of the usual RA, I’m uncomfortable with the ambiguity of the posts and the negative comments by atheists against an Atheist Icon, and I haven’t laughed at anything here recently except the comments. Yet the Phrophet remains loyal. The vision remains clear in spite of the darkening clouds.

  51. Brian Macker
    August 5th, 2006 @ 6:37 pm

    WTF

  52. Dada Saves
    August 7th, 2006 @ 8:10 am

    Tenspace wrote: What I find most interesting is the complete lack of RA’s comments here.

    Since the comments section is a lot more interesting than the blog posts themselves, maybe that’s just as well.

  53. Thorngod
    August 7th, 2006 @ 4:16 pm

    Perhaps RA has acquired an ultimate concern for “The Human Race.” It’s a singular superstition that violates a general rule: Prevalence and degree of superstition, in individuals and in societies, is inversely proportional to the level of knowledge and intelligence. This novel superstition is the religious faux pas of the otherwide relatively unsuperstitious intelligentia.

    The primitive has no concept of “the human race,” and would concede little importance to it if he did. To the primitive, there are only the Tribe and the Others. You have to climb far up the cultural ladder to encounter a concern, let alone reverence, for “The Human Race.”

    All living entities are individual. The human race cannot feel, understand or suffer. Only the individual exists, and the oft-expressed concern for the continuation of the human race is an absurdity. If there were no humans, who would be the poorer for it? Who would rue the lack? The universe would get along quite well without us, thank you.

    The possible termination of the human world is something one can only lament from afar. If you were a participant in the actual occurrence, that fact would be minimal among your concerns. In fact, you might even take some satisfaction–even pride–in your privileged assignment. In any case, the concerns of the last few humans on Earth would be the same as they have always been for all humans and all other animals everywhere.

    But for some–RA perhaps?–The Human Race becomes a comforting replacement for their evaporated God.

  54. bernarda
    August 9th, 2006 @ 11:23 am

    Well, I guess this is as about as close to humor that RA will ever get.

  55. clarebear
    September 23rd, 2009 @ 12:20 am

    sick sick, i like :D check this plastician mix too http://n3k4.com/plastician-dubstep-grime-0506/

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