December 29, 2006

GWC Podcast #22

As we continue through the Christmas break, we’re joined by the Very Rev. Dr. Jerome B. Wichelns (or the “Very Jerry” as he calls himself) for an enlightening discussion regarding religion and philosophy in Galactica. Besides serving as an Episcopal priest, Dr. Wichelns recently retired from teaching philosophy at the college level. Highlights: We explore mankind’s need for religion, discuss the progression from polytheism to monotheism throughout history, identify and compare Eastern and Western religious concepts applied in the show, and find out about Sean’s “young soul.”

47 Responses to "GWC Podcast #22"
  1. BoxytheBoxed says:

    ist awesome its out so early in the morning

  2. BoxytheBoxed says:

    hes got a long name

  3. BoxytheBoxed says:

    “Very Jerry” said that the Jews did not rule out other gods other than their own. Now in the “Christian” translation says that, but in the “Jewish” translation it says one and ONLY god

  4. BoxytheBoxed says:

    i thought of something one of the last remaining tribes of the jews is Choen(KoHen) were the sons of the priests

  5. BoxytheBoxed says:

    The high priest were the one who knew god’s real name

  6. BoxytheBoxed says:

    In Jewish prophecy the Messiah will come when all decendents of The 12 tribes return to the Holy Land(Isreal) and there is peace

  7. The 13th Cylon says:

    “Very Jerry” said that the Jews did not rule out other gods other than their own. Now in the “Christian” translation says that, but in the “Jewish” translation it says one and ONLY god

    Well the way I understand it is also the way that Wiki explains it under #1 here:

    Either way, God expects His people to put Him #1 on the totem pole.

  8. Lt. Slingshot says:

    What a pleasant surprise to see this cast already up. Great cast and GREAT guest! I really enjoyed Very Jerry and you all did a nice job of steering back to BSG topics as he mused over various topics. I had a bit of a flashback to a college philosophy class where I was assigned to take a position on artificial intelligence and argue the possibility of its creation and the moral and ethical implications of pursuing that creation. I bet you can guess which side the engineering student fell on that one. I got to go round and round with my professor over my pro AI stance. I hadn’t thought about that in almost 15 years but the Good Rev reminded me a lot of that professor. Listening to him talk about how technology changes societies towards the end of the cast had me wishing he could also weigh in on the possibilities of humans creating sentience in a box or even just the pitfalls that come with every gain in technology. If you ever have him back again I’d love to hear his thoughts. Nice job everyone! 🙂

  9. Lt. Slingshot says:

    And now OT: A cylon raider crashed in my backyard during a snowstorm last week. Help!

  10. Browncoat Bryan says:

    This was a very good and engaging discussion. I wish I knew the “Very Jerry”‘s phone number; I’d love to talk to him.

    I completely agree with VJ’s assessment that RDM and Co have tapped into something deeper than Battlestar Iraqtica. Instead, I love how the show mirrors various culture’s need to be right about their respective religions and to force/compel/evangelize others to believe what they think is the “right thing”. I think this desire plays out in the BSG ‘verse as it does in ours. This played itself out in the first couple of episodes (IMHO). I do find it curious that humans and Cylons seem to continue to circle each other instead of going their separate ways. Is it because their religions are linked? If so, where did this link come from in the first place? How did the Scriptures, written by representatives of the 12 colonies even know about the 13th tribe and Earth?

    This last question baffled me until I listened to last week’s podcast and Audra and Sean stated that it is possible that the technology existed during the initial exodus from Kobol and the decendant generations lost the technological capacity. If that is the case, then is it possible that the Kobolians (yep, new word… it’s mine) made Cylons… perhaps the other five models? Is it possible that the Five priests ARE the five models? If so, then did the Five overthrow the humans or is it possible that the 13th Tribe reached “singluarity” with their creations and they became one, unbeknownst to the other 12 tribes/seven models, thus the Five Priests/Five Cylon models are one in the same? Okay, I should write all of this up into a theory.

    Anyway, I think the issue that RDM and Co are working through is the major flaw that we have in our world. All of us want to strike back when we’re attacked. All of us want to return eye for eye. But even Baltar said it during Exodus Pt. 2, at some point, this has all got to stop. Wouldn’t it be funny if the only way for either race to reach Earth, they must work together, because the God(s) wish it?

  11. Pike says:

    Wow. This one caught me off guard–I wasn’t even looking for it yet. And it looks like Boxey (sort of) live-blogged the cast! I was on guard when you stated he hadn’t seen BSG, but he aquitted himeself admirably.

    The infinity loop, as I understand it, represents a Moebius strip, so the idea there would be even more ‘unitarian’ (both sides are the same side) than the yin-yang.

    Groundhog day and Akhenaten in the same ‘cast. Nice. (I must say that I mentioned Akhenaten months ago.)

    And I am completely with his closing sentiments on BSG as art. Well done.

  12. Browncoat Bryan says:

    So say we all, Pike. BSG is pure art. I was talking with a co-worker and we both came to the conclusion that BSG is the standard by which we judge all television shows. RDM and Co deserve serious awards for the show they’ve created and I think ALL the actors and actresses (or since we’re in a ‘verse on the raggedy edge as Capt Reynolds would say… actresses and actors) deserve awards as well.

    BTW, I’m reminded of what VJ said about the role of women in hunter-gatherer/nomadic societies. There is a strong sense of the divine feminine and reverence for women in nomadic/earth-centered religions and philosophies. I never really considered this in myths because I cut my teeth on Lord of the Rings, where the female Ents were the ones who wanted to stay home and the male Ents wanted to wander Middle-Earth.

  13. Pike says:

    Actually, BB, it was the Entwives who left the Ents.

    Not even sure why I felt compelled to point that out…

  14. Armando says:

    What a great podcast, guys! These are some of the issues that I get the most out of in BSG and I am glad to hear “Very Jerry” on your ‘cast discussing them. I hope you will have him on again in the future.

    One thing he didn’t mention is that in Mormonism, which Glen A. Larson, the original series’ creator, was a practitioner of, there is a lost “13th tribe” of the Hebrews which ended up in the Americas and which Jesus, after his resurrection, preached to.

    Are there any LDS folk around here who might be able to clarify?

  15. BoxytheBoxed says:

    Lt. watch out starbuck might come to take the raider back to the Galactica, causing 48573947 affairs in the process

  16. Largento says:

    Great podcast, guys! Not sure that we really gleaned anything about BSG, but it was interesting stuff, nonetheless.

    In the original series, they encountered a being called Count Iblis who was the devil and he spoke with the same voice as the Cylon’s Imperious Leader, giving the thought that Iblis may have had something to do with the organic Cylons being wiped out and the robot Cylons being created.

    What if we’re dealing with the reverse of this in the new series? A figure who is taking the robotic Cylons and creating biological ones.

    Have we ever heard what the Colonial’s version of genesis is? Were they created by the Lords of Kobol?

  17. BoxytheBoxed says:

    what if the EARTHLINGS (so spooky) created their own cylons, the final 5

  18. Browncoat Bryan says:

    Thanks, Pike. When I was writing about the Ents, I couldn’t remember what they were called.

  19. BoxytheBoxed says:

    about next season(3.5) unless episone 1 is 2 hours, which its not, we wont really see anything. if baltar goes back to Galactica, we wont see him abord, when Athena and Helo go to get Hera(not a spoiler, we all know its going to happen) they wont have time to get back, Tyrol might figure out what the eye is, but we wont see what it does…………….a pet Ent would be pretty cool if i couldnt have a toaster

  20. Armando says:

    What about a pet toaster-ent? One giant, mechanical tree that can put up other trees in parks in worlds ravaged by nuclear war. You could be invincible, Boxy!

    Seriously, and rather off topic, have a happy new year, everyone. Here’s hoping for a good 2007!

  21. BoxytheBoxed says:

    What about an ent with a jetpack, and huge guns comming out of its arms

  22. Keith says:

    I get tired of hearing questions of why and how the cylons can each have their own motives, characters and sets of principles.You ask about this one conciousness ruling over them and why they actually speak to eachother instead of communicating telepathically(if you want Borg,watch StarTrek).Skin-jobs have stated many times that they not only aspire to humanity but also,in the words of Rob Zombie, to be “more human than human”.Though they never actually said it in those words.Thus I would think they would emulate not only the human form of communication(except in certain circumstances),they would also try to be individualists.

  23. Cavatar says:

    Just to play devils advocate…is it possible we are reading too much into the detail of the religious similarity to our history. Yes the creators of BSG are going to some length show similarities to real life Earth religions and myths to show connections, but some things might just be a coincidence.

    For instance the number twelve (as in the 12 colonies of Kobal), the current BSG took that from the original. Who knows where Glen A. Larson got it from or why? I am just saying yes there are some things that BSG is doing to intentionally connect BSG to our history, but we maybe finding connections that do not really exist.

  24. JB25 says:

    Wow. I was completely engaged with this podcast. Extremely interesting and very relevant to BSG. Great job with it. I wish my philosophy prof was as engaging as he was… I might have actually attended the class more. Keep up the good work.

  25. Pike says:

    Boxy, a giant mechanical Ent with FRICKIN’ LASER BEAMS!

    Cavatar, granted that RDM loves nothing better than curve balls, it is apparent that he and the other writers derive a lot of stuff from history, religion included. (The Twelve colonies comes from the zodiac, BTW.)

  26. BoxytheBoxed says:

    i can see it now

  27. The 13th Cylon says:

    Well what an in depth podcast. Pretty neat stuff.

    I’m guessing this next part is kosher since the podcasts oven do a preview of the next episode based on the quick teaser:

    And this seems to be the best place to ask this, but did anyone see the new BSG voice over promo? I saw it last night and it had The Voice saying something like “One will die, will will discover they’re a Cylon, and one will….” I couldn’t tell what they said at the end, but any way, that’s huge stuff. And then it had stuff like Roslin asking Baltar if he is a Cylon. Huh.

  28. Pike says:

    13th, is that running on scifi? I’m not finding it on

  29. The 13th Cylon says:

    Yeah, I haven’t seen it on either. I was looking for it before I posted. It aired twice during the wee hours of the morning when the Twilight Zone marathon was almost over (love that show!) and both times I wasn’t able to understand what the announcer was saying at the end (the second time I just wasn’t paying attention and it caught me off guard). I haven’t seen it on the channel since. But I was glad to see the were airing other BSG promos almost every commercial break, mainly one focusing on Dee and Lee and Lee spinning his ring on a table.

  30. The 13th Cylon says:

    Here it is!! So we’ve got a death, a new Cylon, and somebody’s gonna find Earth! :

  31. Pike says:

    Good going, 13. You’d think that I’d have thought to check the ‘tube.

    First commercial we hear “One will die” and see Dee, Lee*, and Kara. “One will realize they’re a Cylon” shows us Gaeta, Baltar, and Bill “One will find earth” shows us Laura, Three, and Helo. I may be taking it too literally, but I’m guessing Dee dies :), Baltar is a a Cylon, and Three finds earth (and leaves the show.)

    The second commercial starts with Helo and Adama apparently discussing Athena “She won’t betray us, you know that.” “She may not have a choice.” Later we see Athena protecting Baltar. So it looks like Baltar helps her and someone else (Hera?) escape the basestar. I think I called that one a month ago. (I wish comments were searchable.)

    *Why did I not realize that it’s “Dee and Lee Adama?” Too frakin’ cute. She’s gotta go…

  32. Pike says:

    Wait, I take the second guess back. Gaeta realizes he’s a Cylon, which eventually opens up the “Big Brain” position in the fleet. That opens the way for Baltar’s reinstatement.

  33. BoxytheBoxed says:

    Baltar gets back to the fleet for helping save Athena. On a foroum a freeze frame shows baltar in water or goo theres a debate if hes in a resseruction pool. I hope they bring back the daggott

  34. Eyeless says:


    Youtube trailer awesome. January 21st too far away.

  35. BoxytheBoxed says:

    Look Helo is also in the end of Earth he’s in “th” Notice theres no tigh WERES TIGH. Season 3.5 will be so AWESOME

  36. Audra says:

    Wow, thanks for sharing the video 13th! I have chills now. I can’t WAIT to find out what’s happening in Season 3.5. Although I just can’t believe that Baltar is a Cylon; it’d be too easy and get him off the hook for all the bad things he’s done.

    Is that Roslin lighting up at the end of the first trailer?

    Good point, Boxy; I didn’t see Tigh either.

    I love it: “One will realize they’re a Cylon.” The English language doesn’t offer us a way to say it correctly (in the singular) and be gender neutral unless we’re extremely awkward about it: “One will realize he or she, in no particular order, is a Cylon.”

  37. BoxytheBoxed says:

    what about one will understand that they are a cylon ha a 13 year old out willed you. And your not sean, your Audra

  38. Lt. Slingshot says:

    I have to take these trailers with a grain of salt. It’s not usually BSG’s style to give a fixed number of choices for major reveals. Three choices each for three separate major points doesn’t fit with what they’ve done in the past. Red herrings perhaps? Then again maybe the network is dumbing things down in the trailers to try to get the ratings up. Guess we’ll have to wait and see. I’ll just be glad when the show starts and I can quit hearing that fraking song! I bet McCreary cringes with me when he hears it too.

    But I’ll play along. Given the choices… Gaeta cylon, Kara dead and Laura finds earth.

  39. The 13th Cylon says:

    Perhaps the one who will finds Earth is told/discovers that he/she is a Cylon and then kills themself. Yay. The hat trick.

    I agree. That song is atrocious.

    And I’m sticking with Baltar not being a Cylon. Why would all the Cylons have gone to all that trouble to get Six to sleep with him and do all this other stuff if they could’ve flipped his Cylon switch.

  40. Cavatar says:

    I am going to guess that the person who either dies/finds Earth/or is a Cylon is Starbuck. I will also guess that it has something to do with the “destiny” Leoben kept saying she was born for. I could also see RDM having Lee divorce Dee to be with Starbuck only to have Starbuck get killed off right after, the ole double whammy.

  41. The 13th Cylon says:

    But it just wouldn’t be the same without Starbuck. The only person even remotely as close to her on the self destruction scale is Tigh.

  42. Chuck says:

    I totally agree. I could see Starbuck “disappearing” for a bit — leaving the fleet for some reason or another that puts her out of contact through the end of the season — but there’s no way they’re going to kill her off.

    Starbuck is totally the center of the BSG universe.

    Of course, that doesn’t preclude them from *seeming* to kill her off, does it?

  43. Lt. Slingshot says:

    hmmm sounds a bit like Galactica 1980

    Starbuck crashes on a desert planet and survives, but upon exploring her newfound home world, she encounters a crashed Cylon raider. After setting up shelter, Starbuck makes an effort to reactivate a Cylon centurion, and succeeds. The centurion, which Starbuck names Cy, tries to kill Starbuck but is deactivated each time he tries, and as the two beings converse, an understanding begins to develop.


    IF Kara gets the axe, I hope it is for real. Not that I want to see her dead but I’ve never been fond of *seeming* to kill off characters. She did film a couple of movies this year so who knows, it could be a way to explain an extended absence.

  44. The 13th Cylon says:

    I was also thinking about Leoben’s “Adama is a Cylon” thing. In one twisted way or another, he’s been right on just about every wacko thing he’s said. Well I think it’s a safe assumption that Big Bill isn’t one. It’s also unlikely that Lee is a Cylon, considering his dad would likely know. Dee is technically an Adama now, right? Well…

  45. Eyeless says:

    I’ve always thought Lee was a Cylon.

    No, I don’t have any evidence. Go away.

  46. The 13th Cylon says:

    Lee was on the sicko basestar, so that would kind of throw that theory out.

  47. BoxytheBoxed says:

    Adama being a cylon would be like Rocky dieing, or Grissim from CSI leaving o wait NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO il never watch CSI again

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