Friday, March 10, 2006

Delphi unveiled?

A NY Times article discusses the long time relation between religion and science: One more example, down this way, has been the revelations of Delphi Oracle and the stories related to it. A part of it has now been uncovered.
The recent discoveries of a renegade four-member team of scientists illustrate ... the truth behind the Oracle of Delphi's legendary powers, showing how the most influential figure of ancient Greece prepared for ecstatic union with Apollo. The scientists, ... discovered tons of bituminous limestone down below, its layers rich in intoxicating gases.

They also found two faults that crisscross beneath the shrine to form a geologic pathway to the surface. They even measured traces of intoxicants still bubbling up today. This and other evidence suggest that the Oracle inhaled a mist of potent gases that could promote trancelike states and aloof euphoria, helping send her into mystic ecstasies.
However, the euphoria did not extend all the way to other mysticisms.
They claimed no insights into how her utterances stood for ages as monuments of wisdom. They had no explanation for how the priestess inspired Socrates, or the seeming reliability of her visionary pronouncements.

If Science would encroach into realm of mystics, demystifying the myths, then mystic maybe forced to work harder creating new ones. Will Mystics catch up? How much does faith really depend on belief in Mysticism or Miracles?

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