Politics, God and Religion vs. Science


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Social climber
An Oil Field
Mar 28, 2013 - 09:35pm PT
^^^ Good. ^^^

Geology is highly quantitative on some levels and highly interpretive on others. All of my work now is interpretive, but I have to keep up on the quantitative work to improve the interpretation.

I basically unravel the relationships between sequences of sedimentary rocks, which requires the ability to think in terms of cubes, or 3 dimensions and how they change through time.

First I have to go into an area and sort out the basic stratigraphic framework. If you have driven through a road cut of layered rocks you get a tiny glimpse of this, but you only see it for a small distance. Many rocks do not outcrop anywhere, but are deeply buried and have been since they were deposited. To fuzz things up, you have chemical alteration of the rocks from various types of brines which have flowed through them over hundreds of millions of years. The geochemistry of diagenesis is a science apart.

I have been working a section of lower Mississippian rocks for 4 years now. Within that 200 foot thick section of rock I have found at least 5 sequences of deposition and erosion. Each cycle has its own depositional environment, or as you move laterally, it fits a sequence of rocks that are time correlated but not lithologically similar.

Think of today. The surface of the whole planet. Then put it under water and allow it to be covered by another sequence of sedimentary rocks. You will see that although the Permian sandstones near my house are time correlative with the outcrop of Precambrian granite 80 miles to the south, the entire surface is differing lithology, but the surface is the same age. We call this an unconformity. It is also a boundary for the next sequence of rocks that will cover it, partially or fully erode and get covered again and again. The nomenclature of the sequences is a little complicated, but the sequences are based on max flooding surfaces.

Very few rocks are correlative through both time and lithology. A layer of volcanic ash is a great example. Unfortunately a true timed layer doesn't exist in any of the areas that I work.

In its simplest sense it is the layer cake analogy. In the real world it is a mash of differing rocks. Understanding this, with a good background in the physical qualities of the rocks, one can unravel the puzzle. It is almost entirely in your head, although we do map things constantly.

It takes good recall and a lot of time and experience to do well. After I have sorted it all out it goes off to the geographic division and they do the detailed work on my model.

I do work on pricey software, but I don't need to use a calculator much these days. It is almost pure thought if you understand and keep up with the publications.

I can map repeating delta sequences stacked on top of each other, and there are many types and parts of deltas.

I don't even look at real rocks anymore. It is all done with geophysical logging tools. I can do qualitative analysis with logs, but I look at a hundred each day and I can see everything without the calculator at a glance. I should post some on here. They involve almost pure physics, but I can see things just like the guy who was watching the matrix in cascading lines of green code in the matrix.

The Earth has a damn fascinating history.

I had an idea today. I don't know if anyone has done it, or at least much of it, but I figured out a way to correlate sandstones with a trace mineral, which has hardy little crystals, and are also incredibly useful for dating granitic igneous rocks, whose quartz crystals survive weathering to become sandstone rich deltas, shorelines, fluvial and alluvial complexes, and other environments. We now call shales mudstones, but many of the shale gas reservoirs are so high in silica that they could be called a sandstone. They used to be pretty boring rocks, but now that they have great economic significance, a lot of work is going into them.

I could use it to figure out which direction sediment transport came from, and how many times the grains have been uplifted, eroded, and recycled into newer sandstones. You have to remember that the continental crust has done a lot of wandering around through time. The basic outline is well studied and understood, but there are fine details that haven't been worked yet. I know that this work is common in igneous rocks, but it should be interesting to try with sandstones.

When I hear somebody tell me that the Earth was created in 7 days, I could take them in hand and show them repeating alluvial fans which were shed northwards into the Anadarko Basin from the ancestral Wichita Mountains,..

Or I can just stick my face in my palm and shake my head.

It isn't all settled. There are always things to learn, but by the seventies we had the basic structure of the planet figured out.

What I do is unravel the distribution of rocks that are porous and potential hydrocarbon reservoirs.

OK. Here is a cool thing. The shallower Permian deposits over the entire Anadarko Basin including the shelf over central and SW Kansas, is covered with a salt layer over 1000 feet thick. Do you know how you get such a thick evaporate section? A long period where the basin was starved from any outlet to the ocean. For it to be 1000 feet thick, the basin must have been slowly subsiding throughout this time. Which we know because the entire Permian system has had the snot drilled out of it.

Social climber
An Oil Field
Mar 28, 2013 - 09:42pm PT
Norton. If we did nothing but lampoon religion, which would be incredibly easy to do, we would be banned.

Science is based on what is real.

Largo's ideas are not based on what is real. They are based on how he is feeling.

Trad climber
Santa Cruz Mountains and Monterey Bay
Mar 28, 2013 - 09:47pm PT
Do you use Earth Vision from Dynamic Graphics?

And/or ArcGIS from ESRI?

(i was one of their earliest users)

Social climber
the Wastelands
Mar 28, 2013 - 09:49pm PT
yeah Base

but when John Long says he delights in lampooning science, well that to me is the same as lampooning education, intellect, fact, truth

you don't piss in the wind or tug on superman's cape

and you don't denigrate the very "science" that improves your life all day long

go after individuals and return making fun of them, fine

but don't even think of mocking some of the best things on earth,...all possible by "science"

because there ain't nothing to mock


Social climber
An Oil Field
Mar 28, 2013 - 09:54pm PT
Petrel, Geographix, and Petra. It is almost entirely industry built software. It gets updated every time a new seismic attribute gets discovered.

3D seismic is cool. You can see little river channels at 15,000 feet.

We like sandstones and porous limestones because those are the reservoir rocks. Hydrocarbons aren't found in caves very often. I've read about it, but it is incredibly rare.

You know the Wingate at Indian Creek? That would make a terrific oil reservoir rock. I bet it has over 20% available pore space and permeability up in the hundreds of millidarcy range. That is very permeable.

Oil shoots through a rock like that with no problem when it has a reservoir pressure of several thousand PSI. The wellbore, unless choked back, essentially is a sump with zero pressure, so the hydrocarbons migrate through that rock to the wellbore.

With many reservoirs you can only recover 10% of the oil in place.

Ice climber
the ghost
Mar 28, 2013 - 10:16pm PT
John Long, why one might think that you are somehow threatened by science itself by saying that

science does not compete with or lampoon or ridicule the spiritual, your seeming focus, John

perhaps some individuals do, but certainly not the scientific method

so why not exclude science from your lampooning, and go after those people instead?

Because scientific discoveries make religion look foolish.
Because the knowledge gained through science contradicts the bible.
Because he can't adapt to new information.
Don Paul

Big Wall climber
Colombia, South America
Mar 28, 2013 - 10:19pm PT
I already demonstrated Largo's point about scientism when I said I didn't believe in the big bang theory. Just look where that went. Granted, there are theories that are very solidly proven, like evolution, but the big bang isn't one, yet was defended by people who didn't know a lot about it but were sure it would be impossible to challenge something so widely believed. The irony is, I think this is why most people follow religions. They were brought up that way by their parents and very few people they know would say they don't believe in God. The problem with religions is their extreme and excessive baggage. And, of course, their false promise of immortality and of a beneficient protector.

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Mar 28, 2013 - 10:25pm PT
Science is based on what is real.

Largo's ideas are not based on what is real. They are based on how he is feeling.

This is pretty clear evidence that BASE and the Malamuts of this thread never actually read anything, and note also, they never ask questions.

What lies beyond ideas. The way you have it, ideas are the top of he pyramid. And my ideas are generated through limbic blowback? Where did you ever drum that up, Gomer Pyle?

And what is "real?" Your meatbrain's representation of the external world? Your evaluating mind? A map which is NOT a mirror image of reality but which allows us to do predictions? Old rocks? And what might be an old rock to another life form?

And I have never ridiculed science. That's just plain dumb. Scientism and science are two totally different things. Scientism comes from a certain kind of thinking that is ingrained in our psyches - the same thinking that produces fundamentalist religious postures. The Sufis will tell you the very thinking that produced Jesus as God's "only begotten son" dreamed up a big bang that only happened once. These are all patterns. Reality is a slippery subject.


Social climber
the Wastelands
Mar 28, 2013 - 10:27pm PT
And I have never ridiculed science.

but only said you delighted to "lampoon" it

same thing
Dr. F.

Big Wall climber
Topic Author's Reply - Mar 28, 2013 - 10:38pm PT
Science is the authority now
Not religion nor feelings or what you thought you experienced
Ward Trotter

Trad climber
Mar 28, 2013 - 10:45pm PT
Science is the authority now

The authority of what? Specifically.

Do you know the riddle of existence?

Does science know the reason why and how the universe exists?

Upon what is this authority based?

Has the local PTA , unbeknownst to me, decreed that science is the main arbiter of all that exists?

Finally, can science save the earth from a giant asteroid impact?

If science can ,then forget all my other questions.

If science cannot, then forget all my other questions.


Social climber
joshua tree
Mar 28, 2013 - 11:01pm PT
^^^^^^ Ed your Badass!!!

Granted, there are theories that are very solidly proven, like evolution,

And here I was Think'in you were smart?






Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Mar 28, 2013 - 11:03pm PT
Ed, what you're doing is scientism, because according to your own words, what you don't already do in science, is "irrelevant." I would have expected more out of you. You must know that's an exclusionary, untenable position.

The other thing is that you don't understand what I'm doing. All of my questions about bottom up causality and determinism and so forth have nothing to do with how I see things. My questions are to get you and others to admit that no mater how you define it, you believe that the physical reality moves forward through connected events - even if there is only an exchange of information, via random factors, that exchange IS a connecting, and the sequence of such connecting moves forward, not backward, through time. Bottom up causality, or bottom up info exchanging, works like this by your own definition.

The notion that I am proposing a philosophical model of causality shows you haven't followed what I am driving at.

The thing is, all of this is tied to free will, or the subject of free will. Can we really come up totally new and original ideas? Disconnected from our conditioning? If so - as is the case with information connectivity - then where might the fresh idea "come from?" If it ame from nothing at all, and was a singularity of sorts, then we need to have another conversation. If during the information connectivity that goes on in physics, some piece of info shows up seemingly from nowhere, disconnected from everything else, what does that tell us?

And I'd be curious to have you define to me your idea of the no hingsness that "you already have but which is irrelevant." 100 to 1 what you're talking about is nothing more than something cribbed off a mathematical model, though I might be wrong. If I am wrong, I'd love to stand corrected.



Mar 28, 2013 - 11:33pm PT
The latest rebuttals from the "crew" here bare the classic hallmarks of solid "Scientism".

Even their own hero Schrodinger didn't fall into that deep well ......
Ward Trotter

Trad climber
Mar 28, 2013 - 11:58pm PT
3) The behaviors are not necessarily "predictable" responses outside of that "fitness landscape"

If they fail to meet the predictions then it is a leap of faith to consider theses responses as still arising from the adaptive framework you have outlined.
Ward Trotter

Trad climber
Mar 29, 2013 - 12:49am PT
1) "mind/will/consciousness" is a byproduct of a set of evolutionary adaptations, specifically behaviors.

Here you have sourced mind/ will/conciousness as arising from evolutionary adaptions, specifically behaviors.

2) These behaviors are "predictable" responses to the "fitness landscape" that drove the adaptations.

Here you have indicated the behaviors are predictable responses and that they are adaptions.

3) The behaviors are not necessarily "predictable" responses outside of that "fitness landscape

Then you indicate these same behaviors are not predictable.

I'm not trying to be a smart ass here , I'm just trying to get things straight.
If these behaviors are not predictable using the "fitness landscape" criteria ,what are their origins?

Mar 29, 2013 - 01:08am PT
I think that posts to this thread are often predictable insofar as I would have a better than random chance of guessing the author from the text alone.

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Mar 29, 2013 - 01:11am PT
Ed, I am NOR promoting a causal chain. You are, after a fashion, but you're not admitting it.

I have stated it as simply as I possibly can. The standard model is that when anyone does any form of experiment, they all have a starting point, and eventually something happens which is likely predictable if the experiment is successful. What lies in between the begging and the outcome if not situations which are different than the beginning and the end. Whether what happens between beginning and end is an exchange of info or rockfall knocking your block off, there is something going on and that something is connected by prior goings on.

Now if you are saying that is NOT your understanding, that there is no connectedness between the goings on of an experiment, that every step or at any rate, some steps in the flux feature stuff or eventualities that seemingly have no origin or antecedent at all, none whatsoever, then perforce you have things that are occuring outside of time, seeming that they can vector in unbidden and with no apparent reason and from no apparent place.

Put differently, when you use the word determined, or determinism, in relation to the outcome of an experiment, what determines what? When an experiment proceeds from step A to Z, what, in your view, is determined, and by virture of what?

Again, these are questions, not personal opinions.

And on the issue of evolved behaviors, you cannot lump everything together and have a comprehensible model. Behaviors, or more accurately, instinctual responses, are of a totally different order than the agency of self observation and our ability to make choices.

Ward Trotter

Trad climber
Mar 29, 2013 - 01:37am PT
I think that posts to this thread are often predictable insofar as I would have a better than random chance of guessing the author from the text alone.

After intentionally blocking out the poster I preeeeedict ...this ....is...........wait a minute.............................

MH2 ?

Trad climber
Santa Cruz Mountains and Monterey Bay
Mar 29, 2013 - 02:02am PT
Questions for materialists

Is the mechanistic worldview a testable scientific theory, or a metaphor?

If it is a metaphor, why is the machine metaphor better in every respect than the organism metaphor? If it is a scientific theory, how could it be tested or refuted?

Do you think that you yourself are nothing but a complex machine?

Have you been programmed to believe in materialism?
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