Posted by: Mark Nielsen | March 9, 2008

Quantum Pork & the Ultimate Question: “Where’s the Beef?”

You’d have to go a long way to collect the variety of thinkers that gathered at a Panera restaurant on Saturday to talk about string theory, scripture, and what a “shephelah” is. (Look it up…)

Quantum Pork, at least when it gathers on a local level, is the small-town businessman (who is black), the former government employee now collecting disability and watching his young kids,  the liberal Catholic/Mennonite teacher and amateur linguist (that’s me), the youngish conservative Protestant pastor, the ex-Catholic used car salesman, the lawyer/professor, the Lutheran historian, and the computer programmer. That’s the motley crew that is called together every other month to eat pork products and talk about life, the universe, and what’s beyond everything.

I have a new article up at the QP website, and there are other new ones from people more knowledgeable than I. It’s a good site, with connective links from both Myspace and Facebook, and with hits coming in from hundreds of countries within its 2-year existence. Dennis, the founder/editor of the QP e-zine, still tries to uphold a rigorous standard and not publish anything too outrageous or sloppily conceived. Can’t have every crackpot in the Western world thinking he or she can submit their own private theories and have them considered plausible. We even have t-shirts now, which feature the Bohr-model-inspired QP logo, and a quote on the back from Albert Einstein (“Religion without science is blind. Science without religion is lame.”)

To catch the flavor, here’s some random snippets of the dialog at the Quantum Pork North Suburban chapter meeting on Saturday:

Yaheweh: the first “mobile” God who was not restricted in his power to some mountain or single valley, who went where his people were going and still help his power

linguistically, water = “abyss” (in Hebrew) = chaos… so look at Genesis and the Big Bang in that light… the sudden ordering of the chaos, by an organizer

Q: we’re looking for a phrase that sounds sort of like “coming out of the closet”, but for scientists who are believers, instead of gays

     A: how about “mystery-friendly scientists”?

     The corrollary would be “science-friendly theologians”.

Jesus: attached a brand-name and identity to a “generic” God , therefore he was the first marketing specialist

science through the eyes of God, God through the eyes of science

Carl Sagan allowed for mystery, Stephen Hawking does not, and Roger Bacon was all about mystery being okay. Kevin Bacon? …well I don’t know about him.

No one in this room believes the world was created literally in six twenty-four-hour days. But that does not make the bible itself completely invalid. We have to consider the context of the first writers and readers of this text.

I didn’t know what entropy was until I read that University of Pittsburgh guy’s paper. I had to look it up.

If you take away the miracles and the book of Genesis, what makes the bible any different than a hundred other works of history?

“The Last Atheist”… that would make a great title for a book or a movie. Very engaging, has a nice hook to it.

Jesus was a black man.

What do you do with Easter Island and the huge Olmec heads in Mexico? 

Couldn’t Ezekiel’s wheel just as easily have been a flying saucer they just didn’t know how to describe?


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