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flies on an orange

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flies on an orange
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blinddesignUser avatarPosts: 114Joined: Fri Feb 27, 2009 6:24 pm

Post flies on an orange

this is simple and you may not get it but here goes- a fly on an orange may think it is the earth. that was told to me when i was young and it left an impact on how our view of the world is somewhat... narrow. tell me what you think of this.
If the Bible had verses like "Lord God halted the lands and it was set in place" and "the generations are a slight change, and these changes can make animals never seen before", would you reject plate tectonics instead of evolution?
Thu Apr 09, 2009 10:46 pm
blinddesignUser avatarPosts: 114Joined: Fri Feb 27, 2009 6:24 pm

Post Re: flies on an orange

it's kind of similar to the Kurt Vonnegut "yeast conversation" if you've heard of that. basically, it's about two pieces of yeast, pondering the meaning of life as they eat their sugar and suffocate in their excrement- not knowing at all that they are in the business of making "Dom Perignon" champagne.
If the Bible had verses like "Lord God halted the lands and it was set in place" and "the generations are a slight change, and these changes can make animals never seen before", would you reject plate tectonics instead of evolution?
Thu Apr 09, 2009 10:56 pm
irmerkUser avatarPosts: 351Joined: Tue Mar 31, 2009 3:42 amLocation: California, USA Gender: Male

Post Re: flies on an orange

It reminds me of the jellyfish in Ishmael.
Thu Apr 09, 2009 11:10 pm
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ImprobableJoeUser avatarPosts: 6195Joined: Sun Feb 22, 2009 3:24 pm

Post Re: flies on an orange

blinddesign wrote:this is simple and you may not get it but here goes- a fly on an orange may think it is the earth. that was told to me when i was young and it left an impact on how our view of the world is somewhat... narrow. tell me what you think of this.

I think it is superficially deep, but meaningless when you grow up and gain the ability to look deeper than seemingly deep sayings from people who are more interested in weed than in deeper meaning.
Come visit my blog! There will be punch and pie!
Thu Apr 09, 2009 11:16 pm
WhisperelmwoodUser avatarPosts: 127Joined: Wed Feb 25, 2009 1:38 amLocation: Chippenham, UK Gender: Female

Post Re: flies on an orange

A more apt version would be 'fly on a beachball' maybe?

But yes - I've actually always been aware of this feeling, or at least, ever since I had my first understandable science class.

It's actually this specific feeling - of being a very small thing, in a very big universe - that makes me wonder at the arrogance of the theist who believes the world was made just for humanity.

The topic also makes me think of the Terry Pratchett mini-story of the Mayflies holding a conversation while flying over a pond.

The sun was near the horizon. The shortest-lived creatures on the Disc were mayflies, which barely make it through twenty-four hours. Two of the oldest zigzagged aimlessly over the waters of a trout stream, discussing history with some younger members of the evening hatching.

"You don't get the kind of sun now that you used to get," one of them said.

"You're right there. We had proper sun in the good old hours. It were all yellow. None of this red stuff.

"It were higher too."

"It was. You're right."

"And nymphs and larvae showed you a bit of respect."

"They did. They did," said the other mayfly vehemently.


From 'Reaper Man'.
Thu Apr 09, 2009 11:17 pm
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blinddesignUser avatarPosts: 114Joined: Fri Feb 27, 2009 6:24 pm

Post Re: flies on an orange

ImprobableJoe wrote:I think it is superficially deep, but meaningless when you grow up and gain the ability to look deeper than seemingly deep sayings from people who are more interested in weed than in deeper meaning.


i see your point but i think it does actually have some meaning to it. it's not like the "what is the sound of one hand clapping?". answer either "nothing, douchebag" or *slaps palm with fingers* "that". anyway, it was when i was very young and regardless of the superficiality of it, it affected my way of thinking.

irmerk wrote:It reminds me of the jellyfish in Ishmael.


i'm not familiar with that but there are probably dozens of examples of such metaphors through personification, etc.
If the Bible had verses like "Lord God halted the lands and it was set in place" and "the generations are a slight change, and these changes can make animals never seen before", would you reject plate tectonics instead of evolution?
Fri Apr 10, 2009 2:31 am
ImprobableJoeUser avatarPosts: 6195Joined: Sun Feb 22, 2009 3:24 pm

Post Re: flies on an orange

blinddesign wrote:
i see your point but i think it does actually have some meaning to it. it's not like the "what is the sound of one hand clapping?". answer either "nothing, douchebag" or *slaps palm with fingers* "that". anyway, it was when i was very young and regardless of the superficiality of it, it affected my way of thinking.

It might affect you, but it is only a stopping point on the way to deeper thinking, not a destination in itself.
After all, a fly on an orange is stuck with its perspective. It can't build telescopes and satellites and microscopes, to determine what it is standing on and what is surrounding the orange.
Come visit my blog! There will be punch and pie!
Fri Apr 10, 2009 3:06 am
mknormanPosts: 58Joined: Sun Apr 05, 2009 7:01 am

Post Re: flies on an orange

Whisperelmwood wrote:From 'Reaper Man'.


That's modern ephemeroptera for you.
Fri Apr 10, 2009 4:06 am
FroreUser avatarPosts: 8Joined: Mon Feb 23, 2009 6:08 pm

Post Re: flies on an orange

blinddesign wrote:it's kind of similar to the Kurt Vonnegut "yeast conversation" if you've heard of that. basically, it's about two pieces of yeast, pondering the meaning of life as they eat their sugar and suffocate in their excrement- not knowing at all that they are in the business of making "Dom Perignon" champagne.

:lol: Ah, Vonnegut.

It's a neat saying, and rather poetic. It reminds me of one of those old proverbs.
Fri Apr 24, 2009 2:49 am
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