Posted 15 February 2011 - 07:23 PM
View Postdduckwessel, on 15 February 2011 - 01:23 AM, said:
It seems to me be a mix of many religions. I don't think it's that unique. Much of it can be tied to Christian and Judaic mysticism ...
What set’s the Urantia Book apart from other primary Judeo-Christian religious documents is its age (written 1925-1935 or later, published 1955), the certainty of its authorship (at least the humans – though some identities were kept secret, and the human “receiver” is claimed to have gotten most or all of it via telepathic communications with “celestial beings”), and, key IMHO for a science discussion forum, its inclusion of fairly modern scientific ideas, those familiar to a well-educated person in the 1920s.
It’s contemporary with, and IMHO vaguely similar, to L Ron Hubbard’s Scientology writings.
... esoteric cults like Gnosticism, and a host of others.
Though I’ve not read it all, from what of it and commentary on it I have, I see not a hint of Gnosticism in the UB. Ontologically, the UB is very straight-forward, without hint of the key Gnostic belief that ordinary reality is imperfect and false. There’s no demiurge in the UB!
For me, a key charms of the UB is that it makes scientifically testable claims, often in the style and tone of a clearly written introductory science text book. A key indictment of its accuracy is that some of these testable claims have been tested, and found unambiguously wrong. For example, the UB claims that Mercury’s rotation is tidally locked to the Sun – a reasonable assumption, commonly accepted by astronomers prior to about 1970, but now known to be incorrect. (see this post and this one for details)
I wonder how William Sadler, a major contributor to the UB and a reputable debunker, would have reacted had he lived long enough to see the UB’s Mercury’s rotation claim refuted? I’m inclined, perhaps over-charitably (as folk like my long-time hypography friend Turtle can attest, I’m prone to being over-charitable), to think that he and others of the UBs contributors, would no longer accept their own work, were they alive today. Those who today believe the UB to be without error, despite such clear examples as above, tend to be “true believers”.
First of all, it is not contemporary with L.R.Hubbards work and any similarity to it would be what Urantia inspired in L.Ron after he read it. The Urantia papers began in 1911 and were "fixed" and in the vaults of R.R. Donnelley & Sons by 1942. "Wilfred Kellogg signs contract with R. R. Donnelley & Sons Company for typesetting The Urantia Book" 1942. (reference Sadler appendix Mind at Mischief 1929.)
As far as I am aware, There have been no errors in content proven in the Urantia papers since its' 1955 printing excepting typographical, typesetting, or dyslexic errors by the typist or the typesetter.
The Urantia papers are exceptionally precise with phrasing and usage of words and qualifiers and upon careful observation and reading any one part of the revelation is in perfect harmony with any other part encompassing all 2096 pages.
Regarding Craig's "unambiguously wrong" claim about Mercury, the text does not say what he thinks it says.
"Another effect of the 3:2 resonance between the rotational and orbital periods is that the same hemisphere always faces the Sun at alternate perihelion passages. This happens because the hemisphere facing the Sun at one perihelion will rotate one and a half times by the next perihelion, so that it faces away from the sun; after another orbit it rotates another one and a half times so that it directly faces the Sun again."
Encyclopedia of the Solar System by Paul Robert Weissman, Torrence V. Johnson 2007.
P657:5, 57:6.2 The planets nearest the sun were the first to have their revolutions slowed down by tidal friction. Such gravitational influences also contribute to the stabilization of planetary orbits while acting as a brake on the rate of planetary-axial revolution, causing a planet to revolve ever slower until axial revolution ceases, leaving one hemisphere of the planet always turned toward the sun or larger body, as is illustrated by the planet Mercury and by the moon, which always turns the same face toward Urantia.
P657:6, 57:6.3 When the tidal frictions of the moon and the earth become equalized, the earth will always turn the same hemisphere toward the moon, and the day and month will be analogous -- in length about forty-seven days. When such stability of orbits is attained, tidal frictions will go into reverse action, no longer driving the moon farther away from the earth but gradually drawing the satellite toward the planet. And then, in that far-distant future when the moon approaches to within about eleven thousand miles of the earth, the gravity action of the latter will cause the moon to disrupt, and this tidal-gravity explosion will shatter the moon into small particles, which may assemble about the world as rings of matter resembling those of Saturn or may be gradually drawn into the earth as meteors.
P658:1, 57:6.4 If space bodies are similar in size and density, collisions may occur. But if two space bodies of similar density are relatively unequal in size, then, if the smaller progressively approaches the larger, the disruption of the smaller body will occur when the radius of its orbit becomes less than two and one-half times the radius of the larger body. Collisions among the giants of space are rare indeed, but these gravity-tidal explosions of lesser bodies are quite common.
The text makes no mention of the 3:2 resonance because that is not the topic and Craig's assumption that the revelators would have disclosed this is simply his departure into fantasy. The text is correct in the information it provides. Furthermore the text seperates the Mercury and the moon by stating that Mercury is an example of the previous "illustration" of slowing axial revolution...... while the "moon" always turns the same face towards Urantia.