Politics, God and Religion vs. Science


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Apr 21, 2013 - 07:34pm PT
I thought you all said you're animals.

Now you're saying you're humaniods .....

Somewhere out there
Apr 21, 2013 - 09:12pm PT
In the realm of science…..

Telescope Spies ‘Most Earth-Like’ Worlds to Date
Posted on Apr 19, 2013

NASAblueshift (CC BY 2.0)
Scientists say they may have found a pair of distant planets that bear a closer resemblance to Earth than any yet discovered, with a chance the worlds contain liquid water on the surface.

It is difficult to tell. The planets are 1,200 light-years away, and thus beyond detailed inspection by current telescope technology. The team working on NASA’s orbiting Kepler telescope—a “prolific observatory” that has confirmed the existence of more than 100 new worlds beyond our solar system since its launch in 2009—said, “They are the best candidates found to date for habitable planets.”

—Posted by Alexander Reed Kelly.


Planets 62e and 62f also happen to sit a sufficient distance from their host star that they receive a very tolerable amount of energy. They are neither too hot, nor too cold; a region of space around a star sometimes referred to as the “Goldilocks Zone”.

Given the right kind of atmosphere, it is therefore reasonable to speculate, says the team, that they might be able to sustain water in a liquid state - a generally accepted precondition for life.

Is it mentioned in the Bible?
Didn't the all-knowing, all-seeing god see this coming?

How ridiculous is the belief in the god of the bible?

Unless of course you wish to keep the blinders on while in your church and only listen to your pastor, priest or rabbi…

Don't worry, people….. Your world will change, but not as much as you think, but more than you expect.

Apr 21, 2013 - 09:33pm PT
I wonder what it would be like if you were lifted out of the life you are in now and put down in a yurt in Mongolia 800 years ago, or today for that. Would daily life still be seamless and easy? Would you still be you? Would you change? Similar things have happened to people and they learn from and adapt to the radically new environment and language. Learning and memory come to the forefront when the world around us changes.

Without concepts, minds, identities, and memory, we would be different, whatever YOU THINK those things are. Consider Ed's curiosity about personhood/consciousness in the absence of memory.


It's impossible to talk about these things with any certainty and reason.

First of all, the "you" we're talking about (you, me, Werner) is a kind of fiction. There's nothing stable, inherent, or essential that we can find that is You. Even your consciousness is not the same as it was yesterday or 1 minute ago. Werner will probably correct me and say that there is a soul, but What That Is, appears impossible to fully or accurately describe. You are not your body, and it's questionable that you are what appears to your consciousness. What/Who are You? Whatever anyone says, you are not that and you are more than that. We can't find the subject.

Second, as regards to one's reality, if one thing is changed, everything gets changed. If there is One reality, then everything is totally inter-related (there is just One), so we should not expect to be able to shift just one element or part of reality alone willy nilly anytime we feel like it. (Experimental research is flawed.)

Third, nothing Could be changed. We may be able to shift our view of reality, but reality does not and cannot change. There is just THIS. Subjective Experience Now is infinitely rich and indescribable (like the wall I pointed Base to). IT cannot be stopped, started, amended, or shifted.

Mind exercises (like being transported to Mongolia 800 years ago) changes nothing in reality. Reality is still exactly the same: infinite, ungraspable, indescribable, without context, with no center, no patterns, no stability, no top, no bottom, no boundaries, unrepeating, etc. You think that things are changing just like you think that air turbulence is evidence of change. Instead, it's like the bottom of a waterfall: lots of apparent activity, but no change.

Our everyday paradigm of "little us" with little awareness / consciousness in a great big universe makes no sense, except as a death-denial activity. "It is a tale / Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, / Signifying nothing" (Macbeth, v, v). Innumerable paradoxes, limitations, incommensurabilities, and theoretical conundrums point me in another direction.

Every analytical problem can be resolved once the paradigm is turned inside out (viz., a universe inside a never-ending, unfolding consciousness) and logic, analysis, and concepts are gone beyond.

Imagine being in a dream. Dreams present a state of consciousness, but they are not real. Strange things happen in dreams that cannot be explained; dreams are littered with paradox, mystery, contradictions, magic, serendipity, synchrony, and competing explanations--none of which can be proven or disproven conclusively.

The only real point I have to make is simply that it might well be, in the face of unending analytical and empirical conundrums, that our modern paradigmatic view of reality is not only deeply flawed, but all wrong. No amount of data, analytical method, or conceptual framework can solve our confusion.

That's my starting point, the point at which I took my leave of the mental-rational, scientific worldview's claim on reality.

Without concepts, minds, identities, and memory, we would be different, whatever YOU THINK those things are.

Honestly, I don't think those things are anything. I use the terms in everyday conversations in much the same way I talked to my nieces and nephews about The Cat in the Hat--or the same way Jingy, Dr. F, and Cintune talk about myths and religion (sans the scorn).

Have a good laugh. I'm in never-neverland. I'm not being reasonable.

Social climber
An Oil Field
Apr 21, 2013 - 09:36pm PT
Humanoids are animals, too!!

I was just reading that the mean free path of a neutron through the human body is 8 inches. The mean free path of a neutrino is larger than the Earth.

I'm reading John McPhee's The Curve of Binding Energy

Apr 21, 2013 - 09:41pm PT
The Bessler wheel or Orffyreus' wheel

What does you Physics men say?

Social climber
An Oil Field
Apr 21, 2013 - 09:44pm PT
If you find oxygen in the atmosphere, which we are a long way from being able to measure, that will most likely to be a sign of life.

If all life on Earth ceased to exist, the oxygen would be bound with all sorts of things and we would return to a CO2 rich atmosphere. Plus all of that Nitrogen and Argon.

Yep, you are breathing Argon.

I still love the movie, The Matrix.

When they have the first Kung Fu fight, Morpheus leans forward and asks, "Do you think that this is air that you are breathing?"

The first Matrix movie was the best sci fi movie in ages. Far better than 2001.

I love sci fi now and then. Phillip K. Dick rules. Go read "A Scanner Darkly"
Ward Trotter

Trad climber
Apr 21, 2013 - 09:48pm PT
Have a good laugh. I'm in never-neverland. I'm not being reasonable.

Please don't say this one day after 4/20 celebrations.

Apr 21, 2013 - 11:07pm PT
No amount of data, analytical method, or conceptual framework can solve our confusion.

Who are these our?

What is this confusion?

I feel free to laugh at funny things, but there seems to be a letting-go or giving-up or not-caring in what you say. Yes, we may be wrong about anything and everything, but we get by, and we need to connect with other people on a better basis than nonsense verse, even though Cat in the Hat is fine for fun with the little ones, and I learned great life lessons from Horton.

Social climber
An Oil Field
Apr 21, 2013 - 11:13pm PT
MH brings up a point which I often bring up regarding the various states that human beings find themselves in, be it religious or economic.

If I had fallen out of a vagina of an untouchable in India, my present state would have been much different. I would worry about finding food and what little money I could earn. There is a vast array of social castes in India. Remember Mother Teresa? She didn't think much of the United States along with Desmond Tutu.

If I was Donald Trump's son, I would have it made, if I didn't pull a Lindsay Lohan. All of life's needs and so much more.

If I were born in Saudi Arabia to a devout Islamic family and culture, I don't think that Go-B would even be a Christian. So much depends upon our initial conditions.

We have it pretty well. Even the poor are fat in the U.S.

I have thought about the staring at a wall exercise that MikeL suggested more than once over the past few days. If I recalled the beige wall in a dream, would it be beige? Unfortunately, I rarely remember dreams, like most people. They are so real when I wake up, but they evaporate like steam very quickly.

Why do we sleep? Most animals sleep. Even my dog dreams. I can see her yipping in her sleep and running little steps with her legs. You don't have to be Einstein to realize that she is dreaming.

If you ignore your position as master of the planet for a second, you will realize that we share many qualities and abilities with fellow animals. Any study of mind should include them, if for no other reason than it may be a simpler question with a smaller brain and less capable mind.

It has been said that science doesn't know anything because of the careful qualification that we use on nigh everything that we study. This is for a good reason. New discoveries may prove prior results to be wrong.

Despite this, we do know a lot. A hell of a lot. It drives me nuts to hear JL drop words such as Hilbert Space when I doubt if he even understands the Mobius Strip or its geometrical implications. I have been looking at various mathematical manifolds lately, and they are pretty bizarre. What you need to remember is that these things are equations.

Math, physics, and other pursuits can be pure thought, often using only a paper and pencil.

This looking inwards seems opposed to taking notes on the matter, and I feel that this is unfortunate. To teach others, you must communicate it. It involves a new language, such as math or physics, which involve highly refined symbolic language which is designed to eliminate error while communicating something between two individuals.

I understand the nature of experience, at least a little. I have said it before, but I collect them like some people collect stamps.

It takes a certain type of eye to seize experiences as raw events.

We are not the master of the planet as far as raw mind goes. We have fellow travelers among animals.

Apr 22, 2013 - 12:18am PT
Good one, Base.

Phillip K. Dick rules

What was the story or novel he wrote about a newspaper employee in a small town who was paid to solve things like crossword puzzles? He looks up at a passing bus one day and realizes the passengers are cardboard cutouts. It was a brilliant story with a truly unexpected ending, along familiar lines for Dick. I may not have the details exactly correct.

Social climber
joshua tree
Apr 22, 2013 - 01:36am PT
I think you've dropped with ur anchor.
Your 400 fathoms deep holding ur breath.
Let go and come to the surface.

Stair climber, lost, far away from Poland
Apr 22, 2013 - 03:06am PT
Base, I agree with you 100% about the inability to communicate with the people outside your area of expertise. I read many books on relativity and quantum mechanics, but with my limited math, I can only say WOW, HOW BIZARRE! I am humbled and I don't argue with the physicists. I listen, and if I am lucky I may "understand" a tiny bit. And I am greatful for that. But a lot of people here, on ST, think they can "feel" mathematics, physics, genetics, chemistry, physiology, or astronomy. They will voice their opinions on subjects they haven't a clue. Heck, in our government the decisions about our economy are made by politicians that never studied economy! They come up with the ideas like 9-9-9, and people would nod and say, I like that! We are so ignorant that we elect not the smartest, but the slickest. A scientist is not being perceived as a smart and knowledgeable person. General public is suspicious of science!
In Poland we say that the most popular ocupation is a doctor, electrician, and politician. Everybody is ready to give you an expert advice.

I know you won't give up posting and trying to get through. Good luck!

I gave up.

Trolling is much less stressful and a lot of fun!

Social climber
An Oil Field
Apr 22, 2013 - 10:56am PT
It isn't like my noggin is about to pop. My situation is simply having to work so much. Subsurface geology involves being able to think in three dimensions. Four if you count time.

I'm sure that this is the way with a furniture maker, or a carpenter. He has an idea and a block of wood. Then he chips away at all of the "bad wood," and ends up with a beautiful piece. That takes a lot of thought and imagination.

These are two great qualities: thought and imagination. Thought is the work part. Imagination comes at all sorts of weird times. In the shower, driving down a lonely highway at 2:00am on a road trip.

Bang. There is the idea. It fits all of the pieces. Then you pull over and write it down as fast as you can before your mind moves on to something else.

I'm not going off topic here. I'm talking about the mind. This is how the mind works in the "real world." It is almost like an untamed beast sometimes, and you must concentrate to keep it on the rails throughout a problem.

Consciousness and awareness are pretty obvious. We have both. We even have the two words for them.

You are really onto something when you come across something that there is no word for yet.

It is all an adventure. Some of it is like plodding through a desert. Now and then it gets very exciting, and I email all of my buddies to see if they can find holes in the idea before I present it. Most of us have our peers look at it before any sort of formal review. Bullshit sessions help out with this. It can be terribly fun, but it is a lot of work.

Social climber
An Oil Field
Apr 22, 2013 - 12:27pm PT
^^That is worth watching.^^

Hey. This occurred to me yesterday. Non-scientists might view scientists as a bunch of super smart special people.

I don't think that this is true. At all. I am certainly not smarter than most of my friends. Just ask them.

As I've gotten older, I recognize that the carpenter or the accountant or the writer all have the same type of mind, they just do different things with their inner toolbox.

So there is no "elite" bullshit in this, and when you run into a stuffy self important scientist, and he says something demeaning towards you, kick him in the nuts.

edit: the same goes for a stuffy self important priest, I suppose.

It is Hubris that I'm talking about. That is a very poor quality to pick up.

Trad climber
Santa Cruz Mountains and Monterey Bay
Apr 22, 2013 - 12:37pm PT
music is also a language

i got somewhat bored with much of western music, working as a professional violinist

then i discovered bird song...under development for much longer than human music...

Trad climber
Santa Cruz Mountains and Monterey Bay
Apr 22, 2013 - 12:38pm PT
I'm reading John McPhee's The Curve of Binding Energy

...a long time favorite...

Apr 22, 2013 - 12:50pm PT
Who are these our? . . . . What is this confusion?

You have no questions to ask. Congrats. You understand reality.

Mckinleyville, Ca
Apr 22, 2013 - 01:01pm PT
Wow, ^ ^ Jill Bolte Taylor! Thanks, Ed, for sharing that beautiful human story.

Manipulating or mastering the brain could become the ultimate human battleground, on par with all the other mediums –from chem bio to atomic ordinance. My left brain winced when it heard some rumor about our government intentions regarding a big study of the human mind; but it does seem rather unsurprising that people invested in influencing the future of humanity might see it as the last unexploited natural resource. Darn you, Phillip K Dick (Wells, Huxley...)

Apr 22, 2013 - 01:04pm PT
the carpenter or the accountant or the writer all have the same type of mind, they just do different things with their inner toolbox.

Here Base touches on a realization I have reached. We obsess on "smart" not taking into account there are billions of different ways one can be "smart". While walking down the street you meet hundreds of people with no way to tell in what way each of them is truly exceptional. Once you realize this it becomes natural to treat people very carefully. You have no way of knowing what kind of powerhouse is standing there.

Social climber
An Oil Field
Apr 22, 2013 - 02:03pm PT
Here is what I do all day long. Every well is drilled to a total depth (TD) which is determined by the geologist. After the hole is drilled, the rig pulls all of the drill pipe and the drill bit out of the hole. The sit on big racks up in the derrick.

When they are out, a logging company such as Schlumberger comes out and lowers a suite of very precise tools down the hole. After they get down, they pull them back up very slowly. Some logs are pulled so slow that it takes many hours to log the well. You do this multiple times with multiple tools.

These "Tools" are very precise physical instruments that measure rock properties better than I could ever do with a sample of the rock in my hand. When they are printed out, each log has many curves that tell lithology, conductivity, porosity, fluid content and type, you name it.

A really good logging suite can cost 50 grand. A cheapo will often do, and those run about ten grand. Almost every well has been logged since the forties, and I have to know how to read every vintage of logs. I look at a hundred each day, so I can glance at these squiggly lines and just see the rock. I don't need a calculator, although their are intense calculations to do to arrive at a hard quantitative answer.

So all I do is look at squiggly lines. Here is a well that I just worked.

Credit: BASE104
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