Politics, God and Religion vs. Science

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Ward Trotter

Trad climber
Mar 23, 2013 - 05:15pm PT
Psychologist often have to work at balancing a person's fusion with one or more of these basic functions. A person ruled by feeling will be like a child; a person ruled by thoughts will have little sense of being present, or BEING a human being; a person ruled by instinct will be an addict or worse. Ignorance of any of these data streams - instincts, feelings, and thoughts, ust to mention three - are sure to cause all kinds of havoc because none of these functions can be buried or disowned or totally sublimated. The energy will always bleed out sideways in untoward ways.

Interesting point. Often people will discover ways to make their life experiences decidedly multifaceted in order to deal with the predicament outlined above. You may have the example of a cerebrally inclined scientist or mathematician develop a serious passion for art (music,etc.) and athletics (like climbing) in order to address their more emotional, visceral inclinations.
In many cases people understand the need to balance these "data streams" on an instinctual,subliminal level without necessarily resorting to a formal recognition of the forces at play on the ground floor of their experience. They simply follow what appears to them a healthy inclination and then dynamically assess the results, which are usually good.
I would say they are the lucky ones. They have arrived at an operative balance.
Of course everyone bleeds out sideways, to some degree.
It is the complete victims of the "untoward" that cause much human misery..
BASE104

Social climber
An Oil Field
Mar 23, 2013 - 05:29pm PT
Man. I go do something and this thread popped back to life and I'm out of the loop.

I claim the term "willful ignorance." I started bitching about that a long time ago. It is unforgiveable if you want to discuss something in any sort of debate setting. It is even worse if you teach it to children.

Scientific American is a popular magazine. It is not a formal publication. Here is a really good semiformal journal which would be nice for all of you people who are hung up on Genesis should start reading:

http://www.searchanddiscovery.com/whats-new.shtml

One of the problems with peer reviewed journals is that you usually have to pay to look at them. Normally your institution has a subscription. The printing and editing of these journals is quite expensive. Here is the Bulletin of the American Association of Petroleum Geologists, which retains that name despite it being a fully global journal for petroleum geology including geochemistry, geophysics, and the lot. It is a very high profile journal.

http://bulletin.aapg.org/

The journal Nature always tries to publish ground breaking work:

http://www.nature.com/nature/index.html

The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences is pretty good, and like Nature, covers all disciplines.

http://www.pnas.org/

There are quite a few other journals, most of which concentrate on one single area of interest. These are usually the best, IMO.

You guys should click on those links and surf around just to get an idea of what Science is up to these days. I can tell that many of you have a poor understanding of both how science works, and how much is understood about nigh any question that you have. If you have thought of an idea or problem, it is almost a certain that it has already occurred to others, and if you know how to do a literature search, you can see what work has been done.

When you publish, you have to know every other paper on that topic. You have to be certain that you don't, through laziness, publish a paper on a hypothesis that has already been done before.

You take that body of work and either attack, modify, or toss it into the trash bin more or less. You do have to know everything that there is in the literature, though.

This happens sometimes, but the reviewers, who are usually anonymous in order to prevent personal conflict (and therefore may be another guy in the office next to you..no kidding), should catch this. If you are asked to review an article, or only a part of it, you are chosen because you know the state of this area of science.

It is kind of like winding your way through the supreme court. On the cutting edge, there are experts (remember that authority has no importance) who can review the paper.

This happens even when a reviewer is looking at a paper that rips his life's work to shreds. This is OK. It is more than OK. It advances things along.

The poor understanding of peer review and the scientific process among the general public is sad. We don't teach our children to think critically, and some areas of science that are well settled, such as evolution, meet with great hostility from some lay people who already assume that they have the answers.
BASE104

Social climber
An Oil Field
Mar 23, 2013 - 05:35pm PT
I should note that you will not be able to look at the full text of many of these articles for free.

You can see the Abstract, which is typically a paragraph or two explaining the hypothesis and the results.

Science is a massive topic.
Ward Trotter

Trad climber
Mar 23, 2013 - 05:57pm PT
The poor understanding of peer review and the scientific process among the general public is sad. We don't teach our children to think critically, and some areas of science that are well settled, such as evolution, meet with great hostility from some lay people who already assume that they have the answers.

I don't think the general public cares one wit about the internal details of the scientific method
I don't think they should be conjoled to do so . It's a little like convincing people that they need to vote. If someone needs to be entreated to vote then perhaps they should not be the sort of person to vote.
I agree with you that "We don't teach our children to think critically," but this failure has much more of a serious fallout in other areas of life, like politics, or economics,rather than science.

Many people who object to evolution on religious grounds do so because evolution conflicts with their biblical view of the universe. I for one am not threatened by this state of affairs.
I really don't see much harm in it. Besides, many of those same people will accept most of the other great products and accomplishments of science without much opposition. So you mainly got 'em there.
They just don't like anyone messing with their traditional cherished beliefs, as they see it.
Leave them their little corner of the world they want .
BASE104

Social climber
An Oil Field
Mar 23, 2013 - 06:03pm PT
BB said a while back, regarding DNA:

i guess to say, we're born with a "map" to our physical destination.
Question is; does the "map" have our Spiritual and Mindual makeup
interwoven into that matrix of meat. Can we be cursed (predestined) to be hateful and bigots
thru DNA because our Grandfather held these attitudes?

This is false but forgivable. Just because identical twins share the same DNA, it does not make them identical people. They may share inheritable genetic diseases or other oddities that make them stand out, but no. Not the same.

I saw an interview with a scientist whose expertise is cloning. With cloning, you need unfertilized eggs. Tough with people, but easy with cows. Just go to the slaughterhouse and get your eggs.

He has cloned many mammals, including an entire herd of cows. Although they all shared the same DNA, the herd of cows behaved like any other herd of cows. There were some with dominant personalities who led the herd around, and there were others who were more passive. So even though they are all the same, they are in no way predestined to be exactly the same in reality.

Cloning humans is around the corner. The science already exists, only constrained by ethical issues. With knowledge, you can stick your finger in the dike, but the dam will eventually fall. Cloning humans will happen.

The cool thing is that this guy was actually able to extract the DNA of an extinct species of bovines. He removed the DNA from an ordinary cow egg and replaced it with the DNA of the extinct animal.

The result? He brought the species back and now there are quite a few of them being bred to bring back the population.

OK. If a human is cloned, do they have a soul? Certainly the meat is all there, but is there a possibility of a soul-less person? Could it be one soul with many bodies?

The strange thing about cloning and genetic engineering is not so much the moral implications. It's most likely home will be military, just like any other new technology.

I have a beef with military scientists. Friends of mine who went to work in the defense industry as research scientists are non-people to me now. I reject anyone who works on better ways to kill people. That money could be better spent in many ways. You could either not build that Nimitz class aircraft carrier or you could build new bridges. Or pay down the debt.

Military spending, other than strictly defense, is an embezzlement of humanity and its resources.

It is kind of like friends of mine who are gun nuts. They could have donated that money to the homeless.

I predict that there will be a genetic upper class, bought and paid for, in the near future.
Jan

Mountain climber
Okinawa, Japan
Mar 23, 2013 - 06:38pm PT
The problem as I see it is that unscientific beliefs are processed not by reason but by the emotional limbic system. A person learned to pray from their mother, their best friends were with them in Sunday school and church camp, they had an emotional response to the intensity of a revival, they met their wife in church. Then, because traditional interpretations of traditional scriptures are said to be essential to those experiences, they cling to irrational beliefs not just from lack of critical thinking but because their limbic system with all its warm fuzzies is tied to the whole package or so they think. In many cases it is, since changing their outlook would alienate them from family and friends.

The way to decouple all this in my view, is not to lecture them on the scientific method or belittle them, but to gently point out that one can participate in two world views and two social scenes at once and that part of living in the complex modern world is thinking for yourself and also having the discernment to know who to talk about certain subjects with and who not to.

Not only do we fail to teach critical thinking in our schools, but we also fail at teaching people how to recognize and integrate the various aspects of their brain and personality. We need more scientific method in school and we also need more psychological knowledge. And we need to stress that vastly different vocabulary often describes the same thing. Original sin and limbic system are two different ways of looking at the same problem of unrestrained emotions. Repression, tribal behavior, group think, propaganda, and manipulation are all psychological terms but should also be understood in their social context.

To be interesting to most people, scientific method has to be applied to something personally relevant and the usual classroom science subjects don't do this. I think we should be teaching critical thinking about personal issues first and then showing how it can be applied to science.
BASE104

Social climber
An Oil Field
Mar 23, 2013 - 06:49pm PT
Many people who object to evolution on religious grounds do so because evolution conflicts with their biblical view of the universe. I for one am not threatened by this state of affairs.
I really don't see much harm in it.

No. This is absolutely and fundamentally false. What you are saying is that Argument From Ignorance is an accepted form of logic, which it isn't.

In the case of Christian Creationist Science, it is willful ignorance. They have predetermined answers to very real questions, and geology is front and center on the Creationism debate.

Some of you may not understand the Argument From Ignorance fallacy.

A good description is on Wiki:

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

What you are saying is that willful ignorance is fine as long as nobody gets "hurt."

A rough definition is that since something has not been proven to be false, then it must be true. Anyone can see that this is a logical fallacy. To teach this in the classroom is to teach a very dangerous way of thinking. It is allowing a very dangerous way to be hoodwinked.

We now have nations that are fully based on religion instead of facts.

That might not sound too bad until you realize that they have nuclear weapons. Ignorance may seem harmless, but when the willfully ignorant have nuclear weapons, or any other form of killing each other, you will see that the ignorance is not OK.

This thread is filled with logical fallacy.

To the spiritualists on this thread: Do you think that turning your head and ignoring facts is the way forward?

Hell, even George W Bush is said to have had a talk with the French Prime Minister describing our reality as a biblical war.

According to U.S. media reports, in the prelude to the American invasion of Iraq in 2003, President George W. Bush told French President Jacques Chirac that biblical prophecies were being fulfilled there and that "Gog and Magog are at work in the Middle East." Bush said Gog and Magog would come from modern-day Iraq, and it was important to try and stop that
Jan

Mountain climber
Okinawa, Japan
Mar 23, 2013 - 06:56pm PT
George Bush was a tool of other interests. While he sincerely held false beliefs, others wanted the war for their own economic gain and to test their new technology and egghead theories about modern warfare. This is yet another illustration of why reason and scientific method should be taught and is acceptable to people on the basis of personal relevance rather than abstract scientific knowledge. Nobody wants to be fooled or used, so we need to stress that critical thinking empowers them.
BASE104

Social climber
An Oil Field
Mar 23, 2013 - 07:00pm PT
Jan said,

To be interesting to most people, scientific method has to be applied to something personally relevant and the usual classroom science subjects don't do this. I think we should be teaching critical thinking about personal issues first and then showing how it can be applied to science.

Jan,

Critical thinking skills have little to do with science, so it shouldn't be taught in the science classroom, IMO. Science has a far more formal and rigid methodology than what is necessary in ordinary life.

All critical thinking is, is to be able to talk to a con man and realize that he is a con man. It isn't science. It is just basic logic. It is so basic that it would take very little time if taught at an early age.

You can be religious and still be able to think critically. They aren't mutually exclusive at all in a general sense. I'm not down on religion, but I AM down on ignoring overwhelming evidence in favor of a myth or a con or a belief. The place where it is most applicable is probably in politics, and it should be taught in a civics class. If you want to learn more, you can read and take a logic class in college.

Most of the ideas are so simple and common sense that you could have a 2nd grade class called, "Common Sense."

It is a tool of science to be sure, but it is applicable to everything. I see the rules of logic shattered in the realm of politics, and manipulation of the masses by Rush Limbaugh types. You need to understand how to dissect a statement to determine its veracity. It is common sense.
Jingy

climber
Somewhere out there
Mar 23, 2013 - 07:02pm PT
Nothing about the Jesus sacrifice makes any sense at all when you think about it...




I guess its better to not think in these things, like a good Religious person




Critical thinking skills have little to do with science, so it shouldn't be taught in the science classroom

 Is this a real person writing this? Or is just a "I'm not a thinking human being, but I am a troll" type posts.


That's is just dumb.

Wiki gives a definition as : Critical thinking is reflective reasoning about beliefs and actions.[1][2] It is a way of deciding whether a claim is always true, sometimes true, partly true, or false.

Not sure what science was being taught in your classroom, but this definition seems to lead to more inquiry and further exploration of science.


But then again, maybe you think that the science of yesterday should not be questioned, at all, ever.

Sounds so very fundamentalist christian of you.
Don Paul

Big Wall climber
Colombia, South America
Mar 23, 2013 - 07:05pm PT
A rough definition is that since something has not been proven to be false, then it must be true.

This is what I'm supposed to do for the big bang theory, J Stannard has referred me to an Al Einstein paper which I'm supposed to try to read and GPS devices apparently rely on it as well. I will do my best since junk science must be disproven.

Agree with you about cloning, we'll see it in our lifetimes unless we die untimely deaths because we forgot to double back our harnesses. I also expect there will be for-profit genetic engineering of children. Easy to imagine a gradient, from screening out genetic diseases, to experimental brainchilds with gigantic bald heads, like 1950s space aliens. I had no idea that an extinct cow had been resurrected. I guess the guy who wants to do this with neanderthal DNA hasn't found a volunteer to be the mother?
Ward Trotter

Trad climber
Mar 23, 2013 - 07:20pm PT
In the case of Christian Creationist Science, it is willful ignorance. They have predetermined answers to very real questions, and geology is front and center on the Creationism debate.

This is an attempt to classify 'ignorance' based upon an artificial distinction( and non-existent methodology) for the purpose of marginalizing those people deemed to possess the ignorance.
If ignorance is classified as "willful" it can be more easily attached to nefarious motives over and above the bare religious sentiment.
Simply attacking religious views based upon simple disagreement with them is not enough- they must be shown to be an incarnation of some sort of will that makes them particularly injurious.
Meanwhile there are millions of people who are pleasantly and placidly spiritual without exhibiting a need to destroy your world.
They might be ignorant, but apparently this ignorance is of the plain just old ignorance kind, without the 'will' and the nuclear weapons.

Atheistic regimes with leaders not exhibiting religious millennarian pretensions possess nuclear weapons and threaten the freedom and sanctity of human life.
Why isn't this analysis extended to them?
They have even borrowed Marxian axioms that associate the foundations of their societies upon materialism and science.
Apparently these Stalinist creatures are not nearly the threat that good ol' Reverend Pinkerton down the road at the Baptist Church (the church overdo for a fresh coat of paint.)
Jan

Mountain climber
Okinawa, Japan
Mar 23, 2013 - 07:26pm PT
Welcome to this thread! I've been maintaining this all along. Religion on this thread is characterized by its most extreme elements which are then extended to all religious people equally (talk about lack of critical thinking). On the other hand, when I brought up that the great annihilations of the 20th century were led by atheists, the reaction was immediate and I was condemned for equating atheism with Nazism and being despicable for doing so. Limbically based tribalism and hypocrisy is definitely found here.
BASE104

Social climber
An Oil Field
Mar 23, 2013 - 07:26pm PT
Jan talks about the limbic system. I assume that she is talking about our emotional side.

It is 2013 and we now know that none of the reasons for going to war with Iraq were true. No connection with 9-11, no WMD's, nothing. It is easy to see that the top level of the U.S. government deliberately used fabricated information in order to send us to war with Iraq. There are Rumsfeld's notes searching for an Iraq connection on the very day of the 9-11 attacks.

Any of us can see that we were lied to and the basis given for going to war was exaggerated in the least and fabricated at the most.

If you remember the time though, the country was boiling with anger. We were ready to kick ass, and kick it anywhere. Therefore the entire nation, other than the wise nay-sayers at the time, is complicit to a degree.

Not only did our elected representatives act according to the Argument From Ignorance, so did most of us. Some of the politicians voted that way simply to position themselves for the next election. Yep. And this is full blown war we are talking about.

So you can see very clearly looking back that it was a sham. People even knew that each of these issues that Colin Powell presented to the United Nations was false or grossly exaggerated. Yeah, if we had only had used our critical thinking skills over going to war with Iraq, which has done nothing but worsen the situation in the Middle East and undermine the stature of the United States.

Therefore I make my case that willful ignorance, that is ignoring facts and acting on emotion, led to what has turned out to be a nightmare.

Thinking critically and questioning statements totally evaporated at that time and look where it put us.

So I state that willful ignorance is horrible. The fact that it swallows a couple of pages in Genesis is a tiny side show.

Go buy The Demon Haunted World, by Carl Sagan. It will help you to see facts vs. con artists.
BASE104

Social climber
An Oil Field
Mar 23, 2013 - 07:35pm PT
Jingy,

Science, where I spend most of my time, has a far more rigorous system than just critical thinking. Basic critical thinking skills are what I am talking about.

My point is that anyone can think critically. It is far easier than the Scientific Method.

Of course critical thinking is a part of the scientific method, but in science it is a far more formal process. FAR more formal and rigid.

If we could teach 2nd graders the basics of critical thinking, then we would be better off as a species.
WBraun

climber
Mar 23, 2013 - 07:38pm PT
if we had only had used our critical thinking skills over going to war with Iraq,


Critical analysis and critical thing was applied before going to war with Iraq.

The Fuk heads Bush, Cheney, and the rest of those treasonous Neocons, and certain high ranking members of the intelligence agencies under them
also collaborated in covering up the actual truth from the critical thinkers who really knew the truth and squelched them, and shut them down.

Basically they all knew the truth those treasonous aszholes.

So you're wrong, critical thing was going on all along but was over run by the treasonous Media and high ranking leaders of America duping the stupid sheep into believing all those lies.

BASE104

Social climber
An Oil Field
Mar 23, 2013 - 07:43pm PT
Ward,

Tell me about the history of the Earth. You can extend it to Astronomy and Biology as well.

Does it fit with the account in Genesis? If so, explain.
BASE104

Social climber
An Oil Field
Mar 23, 2013 - 07:53pm PT
So you're wrong, critical thing was going on all along but was over run by the treasonous Media and high ranking leaders of America duping the stupid sheep into believing all those lies.

I think you missed my point, Werner. If we had our critical thinking caps on, we would have caught on to the lies and the war in Iraq would have never happened. Normally we expect the press to find the truth, but they got caught up in it as well.

That is why it is important to not just take politicians or others on face value.

Some issues are more important than others, but War is probably one of the most important.
cintune

climber
The Utility Muffin Research Kitchen
Mar 23, 2013 - 07:55pm PT
Jan I appreciate your perspective. So many good points, but the fun ones are the ones to argue about. For one, so far as the condemning and belittling goes, satire is fair game. "If you don't want me to ridicule your beliefs, don't believe such ridiculous things." (Hitchins, I think.)

WBraun

climber
Mar 23, 2013 - 07:59pm PT
Yeah Base, I agree to that part and see what you were actually alluding to.

I firmly believe that the main stream media is being held hostage from actually reporting the truth.

It's at such an unacceptable level that it's actually scary ......
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