Politics, God and Religion vs. Science


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Jun 20, 2013 - 11:57am PT
// Facts are constructions. Facts are objectivized sensations / perceptions. They're reifications //

Good to see that things are moving again.

reifications . . . love that word! Right out of the metaphysical lexicon. Those of us who believe there is a physical reality, even though our perceptions of it are imperfect, find such language entertaining and at some minimal level, provocative. Keep up the good fight, spiritualists . . . move this thread along.
Ward Trotter

Trad climber
Jun 20, 2013 - 12:01pm PT
move this thread along.

Yes,yes...you guys are the indigestible fiber in the large intestines of this thread.


Jun 20, 2013 - 12:09pm PT
Keep up the good fight, spiritualists

There's nothing to fight about.

In true reality there's nothing really material at all.

Everything is spiritual.

We call material only because it's manifested temporarily.

The lab coats are bewildered by this temporary manifestation ......

Social climber
An Oil Field
Jun 20, 2013 - 12:37pm PT
I know of several sub atomic particles that were predicted by mathematics. They were later discovered.

Einstein worked out Special Relativity. It's first test was by using photographs of solar eclipses, which showed that light passing close to the sun was "bent."

Something such as the relative nature of time was later proven as well. His equations were entirely correct, and you can thank him for a functioning GPS system.

Everything around you is a result of applied science, which leads to technology. EVERYTHING around you is a result of technology unless you take a walk in the woods. Even then you will be breathing molecules which entered the atmosphere due to manmade processes.

You can turn inward all that you like and claim success easily. This has been the case throughout human history. You can even create your own religion if you are extremely charismatic and delusional.

Interesting thoughts:

The atmosphere of the Earth used to be heavy in CO2. After the evolution of cyanobacteria, free molecular oxygen began to accumulate. Oxygen is a highly reactive molecule, and if all life ceased on Earth, it would be chemically bound within a relatively short time span.

That is one of the signatures to use when searching for life on other planets. Oxygen is a direct indicator of life as it exists on Earth. It has basically replaced the ancient CO2 atmosphere, and today CO2 levels are quite small. Plants that breathe CO2 have adapted over time to lower CO2 levels. If you care to consider the matter, adaptation and evolution are powerful but inevitable ideas.

The LHC at CERN was built to study subatomic particles such as the Higgs Boson, which I know is predicted by math.

Meditate the Golden Gate bridge. Then build it. This I would like to see.

Be careful about making statements about science unless they have been vetted by the carpool first.

Social climber
An Oil Field
Jun 20, 2013 - 12:41pm PT
You're not wrong, JL. Energy is mysterious. You only observe its effects. We know a lot about it, though.

Please clarify this statement. You don't have to go into difficult detail, just explain what is mysterious about energy?

Ice climber
the ghost
Jun 20, 2013 - 12:43pm PT
Meditate the Golden Gate bridge. Then build it. This I would like to see.

Mystics: Build the Golden Gate bridge with your mind alone & I'll be impressed; until then I'm not.

Social climber
An Oil Field
Jun 20, 2013 - 12:52pm PT
reifications . . . love that word! Right out of the metaphysical lexicon.

Indeed Master Gill.

This thread has been bombarded by language that is very slippery.

Qualia was first. You can look that one up and it is nothing special.

I really do want a definition of some of the words being used.

I know that the "discursive mind" is the current paradigm in psychology these days, and has replaced in part cognitive theories.

John has never owned up to his teachings until dragging us out for months. I heard that he had gone back to school to study psychology, I believe, and his interest in Zen goes back who knows how long. The rest of us are quite open about our interests and education, but John has never given us definitions. He drops strange words on us without helping us to understand it.

This has really been the basis of my discomfort with John since the beginning of the thread. He holds his experience close to the chest, and is more interested in arguing and punishing everyone far more than he is trying to educate.

After watching this go on for three years, the only conclusion that I can arrive at is that he gets his kicks doing this. All other participants have been more than open.

I just wish he would come down from his thin air and try to explain and teach others rather than berating them.

Werner, you are much like Go-B. I understand your spiritual nature because I have been very close to spiritual people throughout my life. I have no problem with it. Your statements are completely sincere.
High Fructose Corn Spirit

Gym climber
Potemkin Village
Jun 20, 2013 - 12:53pm PT
Yeah, speaking of mystics, self-deception, inflations of all stripes and manner... and woo woo...

It's not limited to this thread...


I bet this teacher guy had a flair with words, too.


re: The Brain is Not the Mind

(Remind you of anyone around here? lol)


Thank the Fates for the internet!

Social climber
An Oil Field
Jun 20, 2013 - 01:19pm PT

I'm not ripping religion. It is their choice and as long as nobody gets hurt, I don't mind. I don't discourage anyone. What MikeL and Largo are doing is important. If nobody really immersed themselves into the nature of the mind, there would be a hole in mankind's knowledge. The only problem is that it is a sample size of one, and there is no empirical way to prove it. That has been the nut of science bashing since Galileo first looked through the telescope.

If a number of people arrive at the same conclusions, then it becomes more valid in a sense, as long as they remain open and skeptical of their experiences. There are many neurological topics, such as love. We all know that it is real, but HOW it works is still a little mysterious.

I really wish that we had a hot neuroscientist here. They could rip us apart on both ends of the discussion of mind.

I do think that this thread, whose title is everything vs. science, has been deeply lacking in science lately.

Fossils are a hoot with the fundamentalists. Go to some of the creationist websites. People actually believe this stuff despite purposeful manipulation and cherry picking of the empirical evidence to suit their pre-designed keyhole of their deified universe.

They can't have it both ways. Anyway, you are a scientism ridden, discursive strapped, materialist maggot like me.

See you at the relativity rally tonight? I'll be there late. I am going to drive fast this afternoon.
High Fructose Corn Spirit

Gym climber
Potemkin Village
Jun 20, 2013 - 01:29pm PT
HFCS... I'm not ripping religion.

I know. What the hell is wrong with you, get with the program!


Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Jun 20, 2013 - 01:39pm PT
BASE now says, what's the mystery about energy? Really?

A passage:

In physics, energy is an indirectly observed quantity which comes in many forms, such as kinetic energy, potential energy, radiant energy, and many others. This is a major topic in science and technology.

The question "what is energy?" is difficult to answer in a simple, intuitive way. In the words of Richard Feynman, "It is important to realize that in physics today, we have no knowledge what energy is. We do not have a picture that energy comes in little blobs of a definite amount."

In other words, while we can vigorously measure all manner of effects and voltages and so forth or energy, we have no idea what energy is other than by what it evokes. It is very similar to emotions, which, to use the imprecise (non-numerical) languare of psychology, is energy (E) in motion. Try and get your head around what an emotion really is. Wew can know a sensatin in our leg, say, or a thought in our head. But emotions are only known by their effects (sadness, anger, joy, etc.) They have no substance, though their effect can impinge heavily on our bodies.

I think BASE is suggesting that energy and the effects (measurements) of energy are the very same. The challenge here is that this leaves energy itself with no physical footprint in and of itself, meaning (according to my car pool buddies) yo ucan find no material aspect to energy, only the voltage etc. said to come off of "it," while there being no "it" there at all, in he normal physical sense.

I would also like to hear BASE's definition of qualia, and how he might defend it as being "nothing special." Not in a "beter than" way, but in terms of qualitative difference between subjective experience (qualia) and ANY OTHER THING in the known universe.


Social climber
An Oil Field
Jun 20, 2013 - 01:40pm PT
OK. Largo.

Give us a history of your background. That would help us understand what you are saying.

I only ask that you speak honestly. Don't consult your carpool.

I am an exploration geologist with 25 years of experience with sedimentary rocks. I understand their depositional environments, history, ages, you name it. I know a lot about the last billion years of Earth history.

I'm also a rabid reader regarding any science topic.

My favorite book is Seven Pillars of Wisdom, which has nothing to do with science. The language is incredibly beautiful.

The movie ain't too bad either.

So please explain your background. It would help a lot. You switch your terms around willy nilly, and with your writing background, it seems to me that you have purposely strung us along. You could have been a good teacher on this thread.

Social climber
An Oil Field
Jun 20, 2013 - 02:01pm PT
Come on, John,

Fill us in on your education.

The carpool means nothing because for all I know, they read this thread and email you stuff just to twist heads. You don't understand jack sh#t of the substance of those messages.

I spent the time to go Google the topics of the "discursive mind," "Qualia," and other little name dropping hints that have peppered your posts for a thousand days. I read up on the topic, and have a very limited, but at least a little, understanding of these words and their origins in popular current psychology theory.

I don't parrot anything such as a f*#king carpool full of Cal-Tech physicists. That is intellectually dishonest. Do you even understand the equation F=MA?

Why are you so SHY?

Jun 20, 2013 - 02:37pm PT
Great video post, HFCS. Illustrates the power of the mind, of consciousness. Can anyone doubt it now? Clearly "things" are a consciousness construct. Chuckle.

When I first met Largo he was either in a program or had left a program at the Claremont School of Theology. Correct me if I'm in error, John.

Jun 20, 2013 - 03:28pm PT
I don't have any answers--not really. Answers only make people dig in. All I have are questions, which are disappearing for me, one by one. No answers, just questions that are disappearing. It's a new kind of problem solving.

Werner's last post seems about right to me.

. . . what is mysterious about energy?

What is energy? Where is energy? Get to the bottom of it.

You take so many things for granted, Base. If you look down into anything as far as you can to its ultimate foundations, you'll only end up at a belief or an assumption.

Everything is completely mysterious. You don't seem to see any of that. About the only thing that I've read here from you in this thread that you think is exciting, amazing, or wondrous is skydiving. So, let's run with that: why is skydiving so exciting, amazing, and wondrous, and why is the rest not? It wouldn't have anything to do with subjectivity, experience, or interpretation, would it?

No one is liable to impress you, Malemute, because impressions require plasticity. Your mind seems set.

Dr. F., you're pretty funny. You start a thread called "Politics, God and Religion vs. Science," yet when one shows the soft underbelly of science and its practices, you complain that the thread has been derailed.

MH2, I have no interest in bringing you to see the world that is unfolding in front of me. I have no theories that are dear to me anymore, and I have very few beliefs (which I'm working on to destroy). I've already said that I might be crazy or that what I report is crazy.

I Do think I understand everyone else's paradigm pretty well here. Let me see if I can characterize it correctly.

Take a blank piece of paper, and pretend that it stretches to infinity. That represents the universe to you. Now take a pencil and put a dot on it. That represents a consciousness to you. An infinitesimal consciousness exists in an infinite universe. I have it right, don't I?

What I'm beginning to see is the opposite. The paper is my consciousness, and the dot is the universe. It's a different paradigm. (Both are metaphors, which only point.)

Any time I am aware that I'm seeing an object As An Object (that I think is real, serious, and concrete), I try to relax and consider the same questions that I put forward about energy. Can I get to the bottom of the object? Where is it? What is it? Can I resolve or grasp it? Can I pin down exactly "what it is?" If I can't, then it's a belief. If it is a belief, then I see if it's true no matter what could happen, under any possible circumstances, under any possible conditions, whether there is a scintilla of a doubt about its everlasting and always-existent existence. No? It's not? Then that makes my belief faulty. That means to me that it's not true. Hence, I get to cross-off another belief from my list. As I do so, I feel freer, more spontaneous, lighter, more authentic, and reality is getting pretty darned amazing. At least I don't have to jump off any cliffs. Life looks mysterious (can't explain it), open-ended (it's not anything in particular; it's fluid), yet remarkably intelligent in a way that I can't articulate. Everything seems to be showing up exactly where and when it needs to be. Remarkable. Emaho!

Jogill: A video proves something to you? Really? (I don't admire your standards for evidence and reasoning.)


Jun 20, 2013 - 04:17pm PT
The earth does not belong to man, man belongs to the earth.

All things are connected like the blood that unites us all.

Man did not weave the web of life, he is merely a strand in it.

Whatever he does to the web, he does to himself.

Our God is also your God.

The earth is precious to him and to harm the earth is to heap contempt on its creator.

Chief Seattle

Stupid white man killed all the intelligent people and then made himself as the impostor God in the form of scientism .....

Social climber
An Oil Field
Jun 20, 2013 - 04:23pm PT
Normally, I could care less about someone's education. In this case I feel it is important. If you have followed this thread from the beginning, Largo has been baiting everyone with odd language, and although quick to criticize, has never been willing to explain, much less help, others to understand his ideas.

So I am calling him out. I've tried to do this a couple of times already.

I believe that he has a solid background on many of these topics and has left little nibbles along the way instead of explaining things clearly. How many of you really understand what he is talking about? Writing is his occupation. We all know how good he is at communication.

That is why I think his reluctance to explain this odd lexicon is deliberate, and he has been baiting us along for ages. I do not enjoy or respect that. I expect a free exchange of knowledge.

I'm curious if his now famous "carpool" of physicists, whose only purpose I can surmise was to confound Ed, was around long before he admitted it.

This whole thing has bugged me for quite a while.

Maybe he will parse quotes to play me or others for the fool in a book he is writing. I have no idea. I just know that I do not trust him, and haven't for a long time. He is quick to criticize, but not so quick to sit us all down and simply explain what he has learned so that we can contemplate it.

As to why, I have no idea.

Geez. I can't believe that I'm driven to flaming someone on purpose. I do not like negative ideas. They turn your soul black. So to speak.

If you just go Google his language, you will find the roots of them. Wiki has a page on the discursive mind theory. Qualia is in the dictionary.


Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Jun 20, 2013 - 04:29pm PT

I don't parrot anything such as a f*#king carpool full of Cal-Tech physicists. That is intellectually dishonest. Do you even understand the equation
I don't parrot anything such as a f*#king carpool full of Cal-Tech physicists. That is intellectually dishonest. Do you even understand the equation F=MA?

I have to notice that anytime I ask you a difficult question that you often do what in psychology we call a "reversal," in this case, once again insinuating that I am some kind of scholastic fraud and am "intellectually dishonest." BASE, I take none of this stuff personally, but this kind of approach is not something I give much cred to.

BTW, my years of suffering through lectures by Cal-Tech folks began in my first year of grad school, when my girlfriend was Janet Wilts, and her father, Chuck Wilts, who wrote the Tahquitz guide books, was a prof at Caltech, and used to drive us up to Idylwild. You're the first person to call me intellectually dishonest for listening to old Chuck, who was a know-it-all but a very kind and generous man who is sorely missed by those who knew and loved him.

The whole business of whether I understand equations is curious to me. I could grill yu on the nuances of the subjective adventures but what would be the point? If it makes yo ufel better, BASE, I have no qualifications at all. But what the hell does Newton's Second Law have to do with what we're talking about?

Dr. F.

Big Wall climber
Topic Author's Reply - Jun 20, 2013 - 05:12pm PT
I'm ready to rip into religion..

but I won't rip into this
Stupid white man killed all the intelligent people and then made himself as the impostor God in the form of scientism .....

Now we all know what's going on,
it speaks for itself


Social climber
An Oil Field
Jun 20, 2013 - 05:15pm PT

Skydiving from airplanes is fun, but not very intense. Skydiving from airplanes is really scary at first, but after a thousand jumps it is like going surfing or something. It is not uncommon to see your buddies falling asleep on the ride to altitude.

Jumping Half Dome for the first time totally twisted my head. If you look at a jumper, it looks crazy because they are falling so fast. From the personal perspective, it goes by very slowly.

I've talked a lot about science and nature, but you guys aren't into that. I love the complexity and beauty of nature.

I respect you Mike, because you seem like a great person who I would enjoy meeting and spending an evening around a campfire with, listening to you talk about your experiences.

Climbing. Climbing happens very slowly compared to jumping off of something. A wall is like going to war. The impression is low intensity and drawn out. A totally different type of experience than BASE, which is like shooting up a dose of Life. It is so beautiful to do those big objects with long delays, flying over to basket dome and back. If I could make a drug that felt like that, I would be rich. It is an incredibly rich experience if you have the right type of mind. Some people just go into overload, but when I ever did a big cliff, my mind would clear itself of all pre-jump anxiety in the millisecond that my right foot left the edge.

If you have ever seen an eyeball instantly dilate, it is kind of like that with your awareness. It happens instantly.

Time dilates. Your senses become fully aware. I can still feel and smell that first jump off of El Cap thirty years ago. Nothing is like it. I can barely remember the first time I got laid, and a girl I once loved is a weak aching memory. I can barely remember her voice.

It is much different from climbing. The only thing even close was soloing at my absolute limit. Everyone goes on about the movement of climbing, but when you have pro in your face it became like exercising. That said, waking up on El Cap is interesting. You are dreaming along about your cheating girlfriend, then you wake up.

You blink your eyes open and see how far it is to the top. You roll over and look down and go, "Sh#t," You know that you have days to go.

There are other experiences, too. I've sought out experience like some people do with rare coins. I've done so much weird sh#t that I don't even tell people about all of it. Normal people either don't believe it or think it is a waste of time.

When my son was born, I started to experience real fear. My life totally changed and soloing and jumping scared me. Sure I often didn't have the balls to solo tons of routes, but when soloing I never felt true fear. Intense moments are strange. Conscious thought vanishes and you just do, ya know?

I feel very strongly that experiences happen in the brain. Werner likes to say that we exist in the heart, but you can get a heart transplant and still be the same person.

You should hear about my worst grizzly bear encounter up in ANWR. That one didn't scare me either. I was on the edge of an F5 tornado a month ago, and that one just left me speechless. There is a little blurb about it in the New Yorker if you care to read it:


I suppose that I could meditate, but it is easier to just go out and find experiences. I'm careful not to characterize them too much. Just go watch that one minute video that HFCS posted to see how easy it is to play the fool under the tutelage of a faker. Really. It is a page back. All of you spiritual guys ought to watch it.
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