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Pentecostal Parents
#1
Pentecostal Parents
Just got back from visiting family in Rantoul, IL. My father and step-mother are United Pentecostals. They know I'm an atheist, so my visits are mostly me humoring them while they tell me story after story of miracles and so forth.

And just as data is not the plural of anecdote, evidence isn't the plural of stories. To me, piling up all those stories makes them less credible, not more. One story that can be verified is worth a thousand that are merely hearsay.

The United Pentecostal Church thrives on vivid story-telling, but I don't think it would last long if it had to survive on fact-checking.

One of the claims I was subjected to was Ivan Panin's Bible Code work: A brilliant Russian mathematician who went to Harvard and lectured there and was an atheist who set out to disprove the Bible spent 50 years analyzing the numerical values of the Hebrew and Greek the oldest copies of the Old and New testament, and found patterns that were mathematically impossilbe unless a single guiding intellect composed the whole thing (except the Catholic parts). His work (43,000 pages) was left to the Nobel Prize committee, and there's a $50,000 prize for anyone who can refute it.

Filtered through my dad's mind, he originally claimed Panin wrote 43,000 papers, which I observed ought to land him in the record books. While researching this, I found it's also popularly claimed that Panin won the Nobel Prize for Mathematics in 1943, but it seems no prize was awarded that year--that was the only part of the tale I didn't hear from my father.

The source of my dad's story was a sermon from a revival, which he had on tape, and which I endured. Of course it's impossible to refute 50 years of work without spending many years critiquing it, but I quilckly found on my Android that Panin wasn't even a math major, let alone a mathematician. He got a BA from Harvard, and what he lectured on was Russian Literature. He did have a Bible Code obsession and spent 50 years on it. In describing his method, he reveals that he cherry-picked from numerous manuscripts to construct a version of the Bible that fit his thesis, and seems to have been entirely unconscious of the fact that proceeding in that way invalidates all his hard work. And even so, there are mistakes in his work. There doesn't seem to be any prize for refuting it that I can find (a shame, I could sure use the money), and the whole thing is sheer crankery. Panin did leave his work to the Nobel Prize Committee, but I suppose I could do the same, it doesn't mean there's anything special about it.

I also got to hear about rock and roll back masking with devil messages. I confess, I didn't let the bit about the Second Law of Thermodynamics disproving evolution slide by, but other than that, I took it to avoid pointless arguing. My dad is 78, and I don't want to get on bad terms with him when he's nearing the end of his life.

So I'm doing my venting here. Thanks for bearing with.
I'm not anti-Christian. I'm anti-stupid.
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#2
RE: Pentecostal Parents
(August 26, 2014 at 11:47 am)Mister Agenda Wrote: Just got back from visiting family in Rantoul, IL. My father and step-mother are United Pentecostals. They know I'm an atheist, so my visits are mostly me humoring them while they tell me story after story of miracles and so forth.

And just as data is not the plural of anecdote, evidence isn't the plural of stories. To me, piling up all those stories makes them less credible, not more. One story that can be verified is worth a thousand that are merely hearsay.

The United Pentecostal Church thrives on vivid story-telling, but I don't think it would last long if it had to survive on fact-checking.

One of the claims I was subjected to was Ivan Panin's Bible Code work: A brilliant Russian mathematician who went to Harvard and lectured there and was an atheist who set out to disprove the Bible spent 50 years analyzing the numerical values of the Hebrew and Greek the oldest copies of the Old and New testament, and found patterns that were mathematically impossilbe unless a single guiding intellect composed the whole thing (except the Catholic parts). His work (43,000 pages) was left to the Nobel Prize committee, and there's a $50,000 prize for anyone who can refute it.

Filtered through my dad's mind, he originally claimed Panin wrote 43,000 papers, which I observed ought to land him in the record books. While researching this, I found it's also popularly claimed that Panin won the Nobel Prize for Mathematics in 1943, but it seems no prize was awarded that year--that was the only part of the tale I didn't hear from my father.

The source of my dad's story was a sermon from a revival, which he had on tape, and which I endured. Of course it's impossible to refute 50 years of work without spending many years critiquing it, but I quilckly found on my Android that Panin wasn't even a math major, let alone a mathematician. He got a BA from Harvard, and what he lectured on was Russian Literature. He did have a Bible Code obsession and spent 50 years on it. In describing his method, he reveals that he cherry-picked from numerous manuscripts to construct a version of the Bible that fit his thesis, and seems to have been entirely unconscious of the fact that proceeding in that way invalidates all his hard work. And even so, there are mistakes in his work. There doesn't seem to be any prize for refuting it that I can find (a shame, I could sure use the money), and the whole thing is sheer crankery. Panin did leave his work to the Nobel Prize Committee, but I suppose I could do the same, it doesn't mean there's anything special about it.

I also got to hear about rock and roll back masking with devil messages. I confess, I didn't let the bit about the Second Law of Thermodynamics disproving evolution slide by, but other than that, I took it to avoid pointless arguing. My dad is 78, and I don't want to get on bad terms with him when he's nearing the end of his life.

So I'm doing my venting here. Thanks for bearing with.

You've put up with more than I would, which makes you a better person, I suppose.
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#3
RE: Pentecostal Parents
Christians aren't the only who make such claims.
I feel sorry for Panin
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#4
RE: Pentecostal Parents
Dumb-ass motherfuckers!



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#5
RE: Pentecostal Parents
You have the patience of a saint.

But, what are you going to do with a 78 yo? Not much.

About the only emails I get from my mid-80s dad have to do with how Obama is really from Kenya and a closet Muslim. Or how we've got to seal up the borders to keep out the Mexican hordes! That sort of thing. Occasionally, I'll get something about the evil atheist/liberal/NWO conspiracy against the US, Christians and ALL THAT IS GOOD WITH AMERICA, but those are rare.

I can probably let that sort of thing slide more than religious bullshit. I'd have trouble keeping quiet when presenting with such nonsense.
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#6
RE: Pentecostal Parents
I broke up with a girlfriend who attended Pentecostal church weekly. I could not commit the child abuse of raising my children with a mother who has become nothing more than a piece of flotsam on never ending swells of bullshit.

I don't think I have ever met a person for whom I felt visceral contempt, not have the word "subhuman" popped into my mind, until I met some of the "ministers" preaching in that church.
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#7
RE: Pentecostal Parents
Thank god my parents (and most people) don't have conversations with me.
The last time I heard stuff like this directed at me, was in primary school.
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#8
RE: Pentecostal Parents
(August 26, 2014 at 11:47 am)Mister Agenda Wrote: While researching this, I found it's also popularly claimed that Panin won the Nobel Prize for Mathematics in 1943, but it seems no prize was awarded that year--that was the only part of the tale I didn't hear from my father.

Just nit-picking, but there is no Nobel prize for mathematics.
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#9
RE: Pentecostal Parents
Lots of Pentecostals around here too. They are always telling me the same shit. Quoting the Bible or making claims such as Darwin calling out for Jesus on his death bed. It also boggles my mind how all of the Pentecostal people I know take their Preacher's every word for truth. I couldn't imagine having a close relative that was Pentecostal. This always gives me a laugh though.

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#10
RE: Pentecostal Parents
Quote:making claims such as Darwin calling out for Jesus on his death bed.

If you can believe in a dead jew coming back to life can believe in anything.
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