Politics, God and Religion vs. Science

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WBraun

climber
Dec 20, 2012 - 02:11pm PT
The gross materialists have no clue of the velocities of the mind and intelligence.

All they have is the material velocities of light and air.

The soul travels by its own strength free from all material attributes ......
Donald Thompson

Trad climber
Los Angeles,CA
Dec 20, 2012 - 02:31pm PT
Stumpp was most certainly a convert to Protestantism. The war brought the invasion of armies of either side, the assaults by marauding soldiers and eventually an epidemic of the plague.
When the Protestants were defeated during 1587, Bedburg Castle became the headquarters of Catholic mercenaries commanded by the new lord of Bedburg - Werner, Count of Salm-Reifferscheidt-Dyck, who was a staunch Catholic determined to re-establish the Roman faith.
So it is not inconceivable that the werewolf trial was but a barely concealed political trial, with the help of which the new lord of Bedburg planned to bully the Protestants of the territory back into Catholicism. If it had only been just another execution of a werewolf and a couple of witches, as occurred about this time in various parts of Germany, the attendance of members of the aristocracy – perhaps including the new Archbishop and Elector of Cologne – would be surprising. Furthermore, the trial remained a singular event.]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_Stumpp

My instincts on this were correct, the execution of Stumpp was essentially a political show trial that used the werewolf angle ,and even accusations that Stumpp was a serial killer, as a guise to allow the local Catholic Aristocracy to terrorize the local populace into repudiating Protestanism.

In any case, in presenting this example as an indication of some former barbarity based upon superstition is historically incorrect . This execution was essentially an act of war that transpired within the context of vicious warring sides, hideous plagues, and enormously stressful economic ,religious,and political upheaval in Europe .This appalling landscape of cruelty and violence has not changed in the human species. In fact it would get much worse in our era ,as we saw with the horrendous events of the the last century.
Donald Thompson

Trad climber
Los Angeles,CA
Dec 20, 2012 - 02:48pm PT
I wonder if atheists ever warred on atheists?

Well, the invasion of The Soviet Union by Hitler and the consequent revenge exacted by Stalin, immediately leaps to mind. 25 million died in that carnage as a result of those two titans of religious zealotry.

The social pathology of war and mass conflict does not need religion for essential motivation, only as a manipulative pretext.
Wars are fought generally over real estate ,and treasure, and power. Those electives have remained unchanged to date and would continue unabated even if all religions were eliminated by social engineering command or unlikely persuasions.

what a perfectly christian thing to do, I guess, in the middle ages...

It was also a perfectly Christian thing to war on Muslims. It was called the Crusades.. Similarly it was a Muslim thing to war on Christians by the conquest of the Iberian peninsula and then the Christian thing to war on Muslims by the reconquista,and so on.
Malemute

Ice climber
the ghost
Dec 20, 2012 - 03:23pm PT
I wonder if atheists ever warred on atheists?
Over which gods NOT to believe in?
Donald Thompson

Trad climber
Los Angeles,CA
Dec 20, 2012 - 03:27pm PT
Over which gods NOT to believe in?

No , over real estate, money , and power. The same reasons 'religious' people fight over.
jogill

climber
Colorado
Dec 20, 2012 - 03:42pm PT
"Pure mathematics might seem like it can be observed without distortion, but I doubt it. "

This seems pretty tame compared to religious wars, but perhaps here is what you have in mind: when a mathematician discovers an interesting result in several examples he may form a conjecture that it is valid in a larger sense. It then becomes a little like working on a FA and a certain amount of ego arises. In his attempt to verify the conjecture, converting it to a theorem, he may not recognize a flaw in his reasoning. This is why mathematics is a social activity: other practitioners (referees) must verify the chain of logic before the larger result is accurately called a theorem and published in a recognized journal.

For this reason, and because math has become so diverse and complicated, most papers published these days are joint efforts, involving two or three experts in the area. This reduces the liklihood of a single person not recognizing a flaw, and increases the quality and scope of the results: two minds are better than one.

In all of this, however, the basic structure of math remains more or less secure - only the researcher is fallible. It's not like quantum mechanics, where the process of observing somehow influences the thing observed. It's simply that mistakes are made.

But, maybe you are thinking of something more arcane and metaphysical.

Your comment does provoke thought.

;>)



Donald Thompson

Trad climber
Los Angeles,CA
Dec 20, 2012 - 04:08pm PT
"Pure mathematics might seem like it can be observed without distortion, but I doubt it. "

I don' t know what context this statement was made within, but I'll take a stab at what it could purport to mean, and consider it in isolation.

Pure math I take to mean as distinct from applied math. The applied variety is subject to provisionally erroneous solutions as the result of experiment and observation ,and is therefore subject to continual revision until a satisfactory result is obtained.. Applied math ,at any given time ,is therefore subject to "distortions" . Applied math is essentially an act of translation, and re-translation.

Pure math, on the other hand , when satisfactorily proved and revised , being unconnected to shifting experimental results, can safely claim its consequent proofs are unassailable. It must only satisfy its own internal rules.
The author of the above statement is suggesting that the proofs of pure math are somehow nonetheless still distorted, despite the claim and appearance of an unassailable logical validity.
He is also claiming ,in a roundabout way ,there is no real-world quod Erat demonstrandum in pure math - a recurring theme in some argumentation surrounding the overall nature of pure mathematics.

TomCochrane

Trad climber
Santa Cruz Mountains and Monterey Bay
Dec 20, 2012 - 04:39pm PT
Racetrack Playa
Racetrack Playa
Credit: TomCochrane


This is Racetrack Playa in Death Valley California. This area has been the centre of scientific controversy for decades. Why? At this location an amazingly large number or rocks and boulders (some weighing up to half a tonne) have been regularly moving across the surface, without any human or animal interference, and they are not just moving a small distance; one travel path was recorded at 880.73 metres!

Some scientists have proposed that the movement is caused by strong winds accompanied by the development of surface ice when temperatures fall. It is hypothesised that the development of ice allows the wind to move the rocks with less difficultly. This hypothesis, however, is commonly refuted. The hypothesis cannot account for rocks starting side by side and moving at different rates and in disparate directions, and sliding rock trails vary in direction and length. Some rocks which start next to each other start out travelling parallel, but one may abruptly change direction to the left, right, or even back the direction it came from. Length also varies because two similarly size and shaped rocks could travel uniform, then one could burst ahead or stop dead in its tracks.

Another hypothesis proposed is that another force is present; electromagnetism. Air passing through the valley is positively-charged, since it has passed over the highest mountains in the Lower 48 to get into the valley, and since positive charge increases with altitude. The electric charge in the air induces an opposite charge in the Earth, creating an electrostatic potential between them. Dolomite, being composed of calcium, magnesium, and sometimes with traces of iron, is a good conductor. Being in contact with the surface, it will be negatively charged, and will therefore be attracted to the positive charge in the air above. Sticking up above the perfectly flat playa, the rocks will concentrate the lines of force on themselves, accentuating the effect. The electric force will then exert an uplifting force on the rock, reducing the friction caused by gravity, and allowing it to travel more easily.

This hypothesis is also widely discredited. A team of interns from NASA’s Lunar and Planetary Science Academy went to Racetrack Playa last year to investigate. They found that there are no electromagnetic or radiation anomalies that would account for the movement, and they also found no patterns in the mass, direction and orientation in the moving stones.

There are several other explanations offered by the scientific community, but as of yet, none are set in stone!! ;)

Here is yet another hypothesis, this time regarding the role of filamentous bacteria in the movement: http://www.pbs.org/wnet/nature/episodes/life-in-death-valley/the-mystery-of-the-racing-rocks/5088/
Donald Thompson

Trad climber
Los Angeles,CA
Dec 20, 2012 - 05:10pm PT
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

It sounds as if Dr. Messina is zeroing in on an eventual explanation for the racing rocks. Her identifying of the factors of wind, water, and perhaps bacteria sounds like a plausible starting point.
After integrating additional data I think she will ultimately refine her theory and perhaps even devise a method to prove it .
By -the -seat of the pants field science at its best. This a remote area.
jstan

climber
Dec 20, 2012 - 05:38pm PT
Some scientists have proposed that the movement is caused by strong winds
accompanied by the development of surface ice when temperatures fall. It is hypothesised that
the development of ice allows the wind to move the rocks with less difficultly. This hypothesis,
however, is commonly refuted. The hypothesis cannot account for rocks starting side by side and
moving at different rates and in disparate directions, and sliding rock trails vary in direction and
length. Some rocks which start next to each other start out travelling parallel, but one may
abruptly change direction to the left, right, or even back the direction it came from. Length also
varies because two similarly size and shaped rocks could travel uniform, then one could burst
ahead or stop dead in its tracks.

I would suggest going out to observe what happens when:
1. There has been a warm period followed by a severe cold snap after a pronounced rain. (The
condensation of water from the vapor releases heat so temperature often drops markedly after a
storm ends.)

2. Followed after a day or so by substantial wind. (I presume the rocks sat in water that then
froze, the ice effectively forming a boat.)

3. If the air temperature stays above freezing the boat will remain attached to the rock even as
heat diffuses up from the substratum that was still warm from the earlier warm period. At that
point the rock will be experiencing a boyant force because of the attached ice. The attached ice
does not melt because the air temperature is below freezing. But the ice directly in contact with
the sand melt as subsurface heat diffuses up.

4. Any wind at this point has a chance of moving the now partially floated rocks.

5. The actual force required to move a given rock will depend upon any remaining resistance
presented by the force of digging the slide mark and of the amount of sail presented by the
rock+ice boat. There will be a high degree of variation in both trail length and direction.

Anyone who has skipped stones across a frozen pond and has observed what happens in a wind
as the sheet melts only has to come up with a scenario for the weather. The desert features
1. Flat surfaces
2. Extreme and rapid temperature changes
3. A lot of wind

PS:
The cellular structure evident on the surface is, I believe a response to very large changes in
things like the water content in the sand. There is a change in soil density that causes the
surface to separate into a cellular structure. You see this when a dry lake dries out under high
heat.

It would not be too difficult to set up an experimental apparatus to explore these weather
scenarios and to see what happens.

There is another effect called "frost heaving" that causes stone in arctic areas to appear on the
surface. The density of ice is less than that of water so as water underneath a rock freezes it lifts
the rock up. When small I had the job plowing each year and I never stopped finding new rock
where there were none the year before.
High Fructose Corn Spirit

Gym climber
-A race of corn eaters
Dec 20, 2012 - 05:50pm PT


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T3JzcCviNDk
Donald Thompson

Trad climber
Los Angeles,CA
Dec 20, 2012 - 06:42pm PT
Mr. JStan:

Here you can find Dr. Paula Messina's home page.

Her email is at the bottom of the page.

http://geosun.sjsu.edu/~pmessina/

Or here is her E-mail: Paula.Messina@sjsu.edu
healyje

Trad climber
Portland, Oregon
Dec 20, 2012 - 07:21pm PT
When I lived in NH I saw carpets of 2" frost pillars on any recently cleared lots as we went into winter. It would loft all the stones on the surface; pretty much anything smaller than just under the size of a baseball got lofted. I never forgot it as I stopped my car and got out several times to survey the phenomena, always wishing I had had my camera.





Also, I figured all the old stone walls around southern NH were from when the fields were cleared originally, but I was told that no, big stones are continually surfacing and have to moved to the walls periodically. Something to do with freezing, water table, and the relatively shallow pan of granite underlying most of the state.



And you can be assured there is a mundane and earthly reason why the desert stones are moving as well, we simply don't know for sure what the mechanism is yet. Were anyone willing to risk losing it a solar time-lapse / micro-weather data setup they would be able to sort it out soon enough if it all didn't get burgled.
MikeL

climber
SANTA CLARA, CA
Dec 20, 2012 - 07:45pm PT
What is meant by, "a perfectly neutral answer?" In what way would the answer 9.8 meters per second per second be subject to bias in the observer?

Lay out a specific narrative where that conclusion "gets found", and I'll postulate some reasonable biases for you. (Make sure there are human beings in the story, and I'll show you how they might have something to risk in how the answer comes out.)

ANY value (truth, good, right, correct), ANY objective (achievement, performance, profit, good health, great experience, peace), or ANY role (parents, experimenter, climber, man, etc.) is an indication of institutionalization, socialization, emotional or cognitive commitments that provide the foundations for prejudices or biases.

All data are theory-laden. Seeing any thing as data worth looking at requires a definition of what a thing is, an intention or objective, and all sorts of history. Almost no one can look out and not see (i) things (ii) that are concrete. Therein lies the gravamen. It is only when seeing happens, but nothing is seen and there is no seer, that one finds perfectly neutral observation.

-------


Cognitive scientists (e.g., A. Damasio; or H. Simon) have been concerned with knowledge structures and how people acquire knowledge. There are:

1. Semantic knowledge: this is the kind of knowledge that can be expressed with propositional statements. The physical sciences are known for emphasizing these kinds of knowledge structures.

2. Procedural knowledge: this might be the kind of knowledge that we teach in the MBA programs. "When faced with Situation X, you do A, then B, then C, then D, and finally E, and you're done." Many courses in the business school are taught this way. Anthropologists have used this approach with skill trades (e.g., crab fishing off Alaska).

3. Episodic knowledge. this knowledge can only be shared through narratives.

I am in a hotel bar in NYC, and I run into a known expert in change management. We have a few drinks, and I ask him: "To your way of thinking, what's the most important thing in change management?" He responds with: "I was once in Cleveland working for a manufacturer who . . . . " and he tells me a story. In that story is most everything that he thinks is important about change management.

Some knowledge must be contextualized to "get it." Semantic knowledge structures or procedural knowledge structures won't do because there are inconstancies, ironies, and understanding that quite can't be expressed. The knowledge is too contextually sensitive, complex, maybe non-linear, inter-dependent, too sensitive to observer intrusion, something. . . .

If you look at the threads on ST that attract the deepest and widest regard, I think you'll find those threads present stories, narratives, and descriptions of experiences. We walk away from the computer and think, "Yeah, . . . isn't climbing / life / alcoholism / etc. just like that?" We love a good story, and we honor the storyteller.

Religions, histories, even ideologies are like that. They are stories. There is knowledge in them that can't quite be expressed as propositional or procedural knowledge.

Climbing stories . . . good. Religious stories . . . bad. Funny, that.
Dr. F.

Ice climber
SoCal
Topic Author's Reply - Dec 20, 2012 - 07:48pm PT
Dunghole
Hitler was an avowed Catholic, and Nazism was part of God's Mission to take over the world, according to them

There has never been atheist against atheist, nor left wing liberal against liberal

It has Always been Right Wingers fighting other Right Wingers,
The very definition of liberal is that they don't fight each other,
But the have often been drawn into right winger wars to protect themselves from annihilation or totalitarianism
BASE104

Social climber
An Oil Field
Dec 20, 2012 - 08:10pm PT
I bet that a few of us could figure it out with a little observation and sampling. Take cores, measure the rocks by weight and surface area, set up a video camera taking one frame per minute.

I've always been uncomfortable with the explanations for the racetrack, but it is damn unusual.

As far as dolomite (magnesium carbonate) having a strong magnetic susceptibility, that is very small. I doubt that it is important.

The cool thing is how straight they move.

I suspect that it is a signal of the end times. Go get yer ass baptised. I've been baptised and even saved by the baptists. This was before I learned to say no.

I enjoyed being a methodist. The one time I went with my friend to the Baptist church, they kidnapped and saved me. So I'm even born again, I guess.

That still doesn't change the facts about nature.
BASE104

Social climber
An Oil Field
Dec 20, 2012 - 08:16pm PT
Mike,

I think you are talking about a lack of perfect communication of experiences. Language is the way to share experiences, or at least describe them to others.

Unless you have a language with very precise definitions, it is easy to get lost.

Science has always had to deal with that. A lot of work goes in to language. This removes ambiguity as much as possible.

There are regular arguments over the definition of a word. It is that important.
Donald Thompson

Trad climber
Los Angeles,CA
Dec 20, 2012 - 08:48pm PT
Hitler was an avowed Catholic, and Nazism was part of God's Mission to take over the world, according to them

There has never been atheist against atheist, nor left wing liberal against liberal

I won''t reply to that in any kind of detail, it wouldn't be worth it , the lessons of history remain unknown and unlearned by garden-variety fools .i'll let the people who frequent this thread judge for themselves the fatuous and grasping tone of your comment ,as well as your demeanor.
go-B

climber
Hebrews 1:3
Dec 20, 2012 - 08:52pm PT
It's time for your meds Dr. F.!
Dr. F.

Ice climber
SoCal
Topic Author's Reply - Dec 20, 2012 - 08:55pm PT
Hitler wasn't a Catholic??

Please present your evidence.
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