Politics, God and Religion vs. Science

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jogill

climber
Colorado
May 18, 2013 - 06:15pm PT


"Are they circling the moons of Pluto, which is hard, it is true, seeming that Pluto has no moons"


;>)
jogill

climber
Colorado
May 18, 2013 - 06:35pm PT
Meanwhile, back in the real world (chuckle) . . .

It's been 13 years since I stood in front of students in a classroom so I'm wondering if those of you with more recent experience might comment on this:

Distractions
Ward Trotter

Trad climber
May 18, 2013 - 06:51pm PT
Multitasking

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/12/121204145557.htm

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/05/130513083047.htm

http://www.sciencedaily.com/search/?keyword=Multitasking
MikeL

climber
SANTA CLARA, CA
May 18, 2013 - 07:14pm PT
Distractions

I assume you mean when students get distracted? Not your own distractions?

If they're getting distracted, then you're not interesting or important enough. You can talk directly to them pointedly; you can throw something in their direction at them (an eraser will work); you can stop talking until you have their attention again; you can ask them a question about what you're talking about; and you can walk over to them and make a comment to the class or them that recognizes the distraction ("Mr. Smith, I'm not boring you TOO much, am I?"). You can do almost anything in a classroom setting if you do it from your heart. You can even give them a pop quiz on the spot or leave class.

Have some fun; be genuine; tell some jokes; make fun of your views and habits. I find this generation (millennials) want honest feedback. Give it to them. Many of the millennials are bored, and rightly so. Challenge them. Give them an advanced problem, and let them run with it in teams or groups and use the internet. You'll be surprised what they'll come up with. Cajol them. Mother them. Trick them. Tease them. Role-play with them. Ask them what they really think. Do anything that you think you have the moxie to get away with. Astound them. Be yourself--that self that is the best part of you. Let go.

If you're getting distracted, it's the same issues: the work isn't interesting or important enough to you. You have to love your students. From that everything flows. The more you care, the more they care.

You'll do well. No doubt. Be one of those teachers we all talk about and remember most fondly.

Cheers.
Dr. F.

Big Wall climber
SoCal
Topic Author's Reply - May 18, 2013 - 11:40pm PT
I disagree with the notion that we don't know the objective reality.

Our mind works like Google Earth, we take bits and pieces of reality in through our senses, and the brain puts it all together like a super computer into the observed reality that sits in front of us.
The cactus does exist, and it's spines do hurt.
Credit: Dr. F.


we don't need to experience every possible nuance or caliper measurement to know the shape of something, the weight, the texture, and so on.

The colors may be different under other wavelengths, but does that matter?, not really, that just a small part of our goggle earth picture
BLUEBLOCR

Social climber
joshua tree
May 19, 2013 - 12:20am PT
This is the best page ever. (Yet!)

Reality is this and perception of that reality is something else. The rock still hurts when it hits me in the head. The body still starves when deprived of nutrients.

Those are still things that already happened! I long ago expressed that our only (individual) Truth is our experiences of yesterday, and 2+2... What's True today, right now? Or right now? Or right now? 2+2, Yes. Tomorrow,.2+2? Yep! Maybe math is The Truth?
MH2

climber
May 19, 2013 - 12:21am PT
Dr. F, I think you know Largo better than that. Whatever objective reality you find in the cactus, an amoeba or a slug or a hypothetical alien with a hypothetical experiencing apparatus would experience something different than you. JL shifts his exposition as needed to confound us. You appear to work as his foil.
go-B

climber
Hebrews 1:3
May 19, 2013 - 12:57am PT
photo not found
Missing photo ID#303614

"The truth of Scripture demolishes speculation"
R. C. Sproul

...OH SNAP!
Dr. F.

Big Wall climber
SoCal
Topic Author's Reply - May 19, 2013 - 02:20pm PT
A slug would experience the objective reality exactly the same as us if it had a brain that could put it all together like ours can, the Only difference would be the color of objects

The color of things make practically no difference in the bigger picture, we all know that we can put on a colored pair of glasses and everything is still the same.

But that is all Largo really has to make his point, that the color the slug sees is different than mine.
I find that a weak argument to base his premise of us not knowing the objective reality.
MH2

climber
May 19, 2013 - 02:27pm PT
Yes, but you might do better to say that even weird aliens would find that electrons have the same properties and interactions that we find. Physics gets closer to objective reality.
Ward Trotter

Trad climber
May 19, 2013 - 02:51pm PT
Radical subjectivism is a latter day Ptolemaic system of ontological thought. In the same way that Ptolemy viewed the Earth as the center of the cosmos, the subjectivist views human-bound consciousness as the center of all things, and the font of all material essences.
The important difference here is that Ptolemy never proposed that the Earth,in and of itself, possessed some inexplicable dynamism or inscrutable power that allowed it to superimpose its earthiness on the rest of the universe.
Human consciousness, the new deity, inherently and automatically has this power according to the radical subjectivist, namely, human consciousness simply by virtue of sensory awareness has superimposed its grand designs upon the hitherto blob-like outer world.

Despite the abundant evidence that the physical universe ,with all its demonstrable attributes ,predates human consciousness, the subjectivist still adheres to the human- consciousness centered universe, just as some of the ancients steadfastly clung to the earthcentric cosmos .

Credit: Ward Trotter
cintune

climber
The Utility Muffin Research Kitchen
May 19, 2013 - 04:45pm PT

http://io9.com/heres-the-supernova-johannes-kepler-studied-400-years-508710905

Largo

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
May 19, 2013 - 05:23pm PT
Ward - close, but not exactly so.

Subjectivism in the broad stroke simply says that experience is the only unquestionable fact of human experience. This dates back to Descarts and even before. A more radical approach like Solipsism suggests that nature and existence of stuff and objects on the macro level depends entirely on one's subjective awareness of it. This is really Berkeley's qualified empiricism.

Perhaps a more transparent notion come from so-called metaphysical subjectivism, saying that human reality is simply what we perceive to be real, and that the macro forms, the things and stuff of consciousness (qualia) do not exist, independent of human perception, exactly as we perceive them.

Put differently, a rose certainly exists on a quantum level, but the macro carnation, say, is a construct of our discursive minds and our sense organs. Another life form with a brain that organizes macro things in a different fashion, and experiences them though different sense organs, would challenge the saying that a rose is a rose by an other name.

This last view is more in line with so-called metaphysical objectivism and philosophical realism, which suggests there is an underlying "objective" reality which on he macro scale, is perceived in different ways, meaning it's form is perception-dependent.

These are all attempts to answer to the untenable belief that there is a fixed objective macro world of things out there that exist totally independent of perception. That is, this objective world of macro forms exists selfsame across the board, and if we could curate it in a museum, say, all life forms for all time, real or imagined, would, when touring said museum, experience the exact same collection of macro things, though slightly differently according to their brains and sense aperati. But the objective macro things themselves would remain the very same, and any "difference" would be owing to the different perceptional biases of a given consciousness, NOT to the abiding things or forms themselves, which retain a constant form.

This dream of a world of selfsame objective macro level things out there, existing independent of everything else, including consciousness, is, as the Sufis point out, an attempt to swap the independent and maxi real God of antique religion with a new God of abiding objective things. It also underscores a totally imaginary radical objectivism that is the opposite of one or anther forms of subjectivism - a clear impossibility for Human since we can never rid ourself of experience, which requires a subject every time.

It's all hooked up with us humans, who are right here, trying to imagine (a subjective experience) a world of macro things "out there" in which we were not present and imaging our absence.

JL
Ward Trotter

Trad climber
May 19, 2013 - 06:01pm PT
Yes I am saying there is a thoroughly objective world independent of human perception in its entirety. It's form and function , whether on a macro or micro level , is totally and completely separate from human consciousness. I do not regard that objective world as a deity because I do not imbue it with indeterminate psychologically- driven attributes. I don't pray to it but I sure as hell respect it.

Human perception of the cosmos only began a few hundred thousand years ago. Science has provided voluminous evidence that the cosmos is 13 + billions years old.
The universe predates human awareness and in substantially the same way as after the time human consciousness originated. Protons, electrons, neutrinos, have been doing their thing ,for all intents and purposes ,relatively unchanged all along.

Sediments deposit in a lake bed 10 million years ago. We can look into those sedimentary layers and see the same forces at work in such depositions as occur today. These de novo processes in nature are thoroughly independent of human subjectivity and would have transpired in the same way were there no humans around at all.
Our minds operating today have given us those facts. For there to be an objective world dependent on subjective functioning to give it form and shape and dynamics then the historical record that we see must be an illusion. The 10 million year old lake sediments do not exist. Our determination of their age does not exist.
There was no subjective human experience around 10 million years ago and yet the physical world operated much like it does today, and like it did a billion years before.


Paul Martzen

Trad climber
Fresno
May 19, 2013 - 06:15pm PT
RadioLab had a program about Words yesterday.
http://www.radiolab.org/2010/aug/09/?utm_source=local&utm_media=treatment&utm_campaign=daMost&utm_content=damostviewed

Itís almost impossible to imagine a world without words. But this hour, we try to do just that.

We meet a woman who taught a 27-year-old man the first words of his life, hear a firsthand account of what it feels like to have the language center of your brain wiped out by a stroke, and retrace the birth of a brand new language 30 years ago.

I found the program fascinating and thought it might shed some light on the speculations in this thread. For instance they describe some tests of mental abilities and show some simple tasks which appear unrelated to language but which seem impossible with out sufficient language abilities.

Those who have lost the use of language or who did not have it till late in life, view that lack as a large handicap with surprising repercussions.

Now they did not go into the problems experienced by people who have difficulty slowing down or turning off their internal talk. That is another issue.
cintune

climber
The Utility Muffin Research Kitchen
May 19, 2013 - 06:15pm PT
Largo

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
May 19, 2013 - 06:50pm PT
Yes I am saying there is a thoroughly objective world independent of human perception in its entirety. It's form and function , whether on a macro or micro level , is totally and completely separate from human consciousness.

How and where does this objective macro world exist "independent of human perception?" How would a human being ever "know" as much unless they themselves were independent of their own perceptions and their place in time and space? Any information, no matter how "objective," has to be imbibed through consciousness for it to "exist" a discrete thing - that's what the various subjectivist camps were saying. Not that consciousness "created" the quantum soup/flux, but rather it organized and cobbled it into what we perceive as "real" and "out there."

I think what you're missing - and it's quite common - is that while conscioiusness does not create the undifferentiated "world" out there, we do organize our experience into what we mistakenly believe - and don not KNOW - to be stand-alone objective reality. The tripping point is that only the present ever exists, or can be said to be objective in a physical sense. Past and future are mental constructions particular to our forward, linear processing left brains. That's not to say the past doesn't exist, but the trace elements are only accessible in the present moment, which consciousness reifies as "real."

You might get hold of this by asking yourself, in the museum metaphor I cited earlier - if we were to grab and curate certain things that you consider to be "objective" and "out there," independent of human perception, and we stuck them in that museum, how might vastly different life forms perceive them, and in what manner would their form remain objective other than to our own brains and sense organs.

JL
MikeL

climber
SANTA CLARA, CA
May 19, 2013 - 07:07pm PT
impossible to imagine a world without words.

The issue is not so much about words, per se. It's about elaborations (notions, concepts, frameworks, categorizations, classifications, myths, images, interpretations, etc.) of sense data (the rawest and most pristine forms of experience). When the mind does not limit awareness (in heavy-handed ways) with conceptual thought, then delineations between objects disappear. Illusions vanish. This can be obtained by quitting saying that a bracketed part of reality IS an X.
jogill

climber
Colorado
May 19, 2013 - 07:07pm PT
Not that consciousness "created" the quantum soup/flux, but rather it organized and cobbled it into what we perceive as "real" and "out there"

Thus, you conclude, that a change of consciousness, perhaps by meditative practices, will change how we organize and perceive the QSF? How does the quantum soup/flux relate to "no-thingness?" Mathematics then must arise entirely from our minds and cannot be there in the "quantum flux." Therefore the number "1" is entirely a product of mind and has no relation to a "single object",since such objects do not exist, but which our minds "define" simultaneously with "1" . . .

Do our minds then arise from the QSF? Or do our minds exist in some spiritual realm entirely separate from QSF? Sounds religious to me.

I'm with Ward.
Ward Trotter

Trad climber
May 19, 2013 - 07:35pm PT
How and where does this objective macro world exist "independent of human perception?" How would a human being ever "know" as much unless they themselves were independent of their own perceptions and their place in time and space? Any information, no matter how "objective," has to be imbibed through consciousness for it to "exist."

Apparently this objective world exists uniformly throughout an objective universe . It is everywhere. It even comprises the realm known as "subjective". In my view the duality we term subjective \ objective is based solely in the largely existential,or even purely biological, distinction between " self" and "world" and nothing more. Both exist on the same plane. Ontologically it amounts to an artificial distinction.
Merely because it must transit through our perceptual framework does not condemn the outside world to illusory status, or to a status dependent on sensory perception for its causal bona fides.
You asked how would a human know? A partial but highly adequate answer would be contained within the illustration of the lake sediments I just provided.
The agent of our perceptions determines the bare fact that the cosmos has been operating ,sans humanus ,in more or less the same fashion for billions of years.
If our collective mental efforts at this moment determines this fact - does is not pretty much establish a universe with operating principles largely unaffected by human perception?

I mean I suppose you could say that science has been incipiently fooled by an -as yet - undetermined agency that made it only appear as if these facts are true.. That somehow the minds of thousands of inquiring scientists have perceptually rigged the external universe to only appear as if it were separate from human consciousness. Apparently this is no problem, to wit:

Past and future are mental constructions particular to our forward, linear processing left brains

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