Politics, God and Religion vs. Science

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BLUEBLOCR

Social climber
joshua tree
Dec 30, 2013 - 04:20pm PT
Has anyone been catching these "origin" shows on the Science channel?
Origins of the universe, and such. Their really good! I'd be interested to hear someone's educated take on how well they were done.

With the evolutionist theory on the Big Bang creating the universe in 1 second. Why is it so hard to fathom it took God 1 day?
Dingus Milktoast

Gym climber
U.N. Ambassador, Crackistan
Dec 30, 2013 - 04:57pm PT
Nice one blueblokr that your true color?

DMT
moosedrool

climber
Stair climber, lost, far away from Poland
Dec 30, 2013 - 07:48pm PT
"Republicans' belief in evolution plummets, poll reveals

Fewer Republicans today than in 2009 believe in evolution, according to new analysis from the Pew Research Center.

A poll out Monday shows that less than half – 43 percent – of those who identify with the Republican Party say they believe humans have evolved over time, plunging from 54 percent four years ago. Forty-eight percent say they believe “humans and other living things have existed in their present form since the beginning of time,” up from 39 percent in 2009.

At 67 percent and 65 percent, respectively, the numbers of Democrats and independents who believe in evolution have remained more or less the same since 2009. They’re also in step with the population nationally: Six-in-10 Americans say they believe humans have evolved."

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/republicans-belief-in-evolution-plummets-poll-reveals/

I wander what is Duck's opinion on the subject ;)
BLUEBLOCR

Social climber
joshua tree
Dec 30, 2013 - 08:47pm PT

Nice one blueblokr that your true color?

If the true color means red,white, and blue? As in freedom in America. Sounded to me the question was whether or not I wanted to dictate who was allowed in a neighborhood. Seems they have Jurisdictional rights. As long as their not bending any buisness laws. They should be able to open shop on any land they afford. Feels like laws are being bent because people don't want them their? If that's the case, are we as a society overlooking laws to justify our feeling?
PSP also PP

Trad climber
Berkeley
Dec 30, 2013 - 10:22pm PT
It's not at ground zero.
Largo

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Dec 31, 2013 - 12:26am PT
There were numerous earlier examples of the genre---several of which, unlike Frankenstein, were purer SciFi, in that they were untainted with popular melodramatic romantic and gothic elements. (LOL)
-


Mary Shelly's Frankenstein was only sci-fi in the broadest sense. Also, Ward, while I won't call you out like Sully, it's helpful to keep two basic principlas in mind per story telling, lest the conversation gets needlessly mmuddled and innacurate.


A literary aproach is always experiential. Facts, figures, descriptions and "info dumping" is intentionall limited and considered a cheat and default out of the literary mode. There are "melodramatic romantic and gothic elements" (though probably not in the way you envision them) in Shelley because she was foremost a literary writer.

These literary elements are what a straigh up sci fi writer is going to bungle or give short shrift to most of the time for the lack of training and sensibilities and craft to pull off the much tricker literary genre.

A writer who had a footprint in both camps was Phillip Dick. Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep birthed what is questionably the best sci fi movie of modern times: Blade Runner.

People who are steeped in hard sciences will often favor the more "scientific" (info, facts and figures) approach of standard sci fi writing, which in few cases is up to snuff on a literary level, which relies on narrative prowess - always a slippery game, even for those with a knack for the work and who have studied it for a lifetime.

JL
MH2

climber
Dec 31, 2013 - 12:37am PT
In connection with the quality of sf or any other literature, bear in mind Sturgeon's Law and Sturgeon's Revelation.


Read any R. A. Lafferty or Cordwainer Smith?
Dingus Milktoast

Gym climber
U.N. Ambassador, Crackistan
Dec 31, 2013 - 01:23am PT
The facts and figures scifi writers generally produce shallow characters . And their stories, while often preachy lack morality plays and love stories.

DMT
Largo

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Dec 31, 2013 - 01:36am PT
Sturgeon's Law and Sturgeon's Revelation.
-


Basically said that within any given field, 90% of the work is total crap.

I would argue that when you get to the really slippery and impossibly difficult genres such as jazz and poetry, it has to be transcendentally good to be any good at all. So here it may be the case that 99% of the work is crap. But that 1% is pure genius, and we know it at a glance.

JL
Ward Trotter

Trad climber
Dec 31, 2013 - 01:41am PT
A literary aproach is always experiential. Facts, figures, descriptions and "info dumping" is intentionall limited and considered a cheat and default out of the literary mode. There are "melodramatic romantic and gothic elements" (though probably not in the way you envision them) in Shelley because she was foremost a literary writer.

Well, this is interesting. Right off hand I can think of very few notable SciFi writers, past or present, who have sought to overly concern themselves with "info dumping" at the expense of telling a ripping good story.
Telling a ripping good story is the domain of every author---yourself included.
Whether telling a ripping good story rises to the level of "a literary approach" remains as hit -in -miss in the domain of SciFi as any other genre. (If by "literary approach" it is meant that exalted realm of exceptional literature and storytelling)

MHz offered a worthwhile reference to Sturgeon's Law. Here is a fragment from the Wiki installment that characterized that law:

The phrase was derived from Sturgeon's observation that while science fiction was often derided for its low quality by critics, it could be noted that the majority of examples of works in other fields could equally be seen to be of low quality and that science fiction was thus no different in that regard to other art forms.

Moreover:

I repeat Sturgeon’s Revelation, which was wrung out of me after twenty years of wearying defense of science fiction against attacks of people who used the worst examples of the field for ammunition, and whose conclusion was that ninety percent of SF is crud.[1]
Using the same standards that categorize 90% of science fiction as trash, crud, or crap, it can be argued that 90% of film, literature, consumer goods, etc. are crap. In other words, the claim (or fact) that 90% of science fiction is crap is ultimately uninformative, because science fiction conforms to the same trends of quality as all other artforms.

So it is a matter of little difference , ultimately , which way SciFi draws on the artificial distinction being offered here , namely, of an experiential or quantitative nature---90% or more will still be crap.
Just like every other genre .

And BTW, it's a matter of some argument whether a literary approach is not in actuality a form of exalted info/data dumping ,in and of itself :
The acumen and skill with which an author can communicate the most important elements of a story,the characters, their significant interactions, and the exact backdrop against which all this occurs is first and foremost a matter of conveying precise information in an objective format. This information must necessarily be as complete as any set of theorems or measurements, lest the reader lose his way and the author therefore fails to communicate.

No matter to what exalted degree an artist contains and nurtures an experience within himself/herself, if that artist essentially fails at the objective, craft-driven task entailed in transferring that experience ---then all is lost in the theatre of art.


Ward Trotter

Trad climber
Dec 31, 2013 - 02:17am PT
There are "melodramatic romantic and gothic elements" (though probably not in the way you envision them) in Shelley because she was foremost a literary writer.

I've always thought it was due primarily to her desire and broad strategy as an emerging commercial and popular writer in order to appeal to a wider audience and to make more money and establish herself.

She was in part appealing to a particular sensibility and appetite generally rampant during that period. Much like people today flock to these hip vampire movies, and so forth.
Dingus Milktoast

Gym climber
U.N. Ambassador, Crackistan
Dec 31, 2013 - 09:52am PT
And BTW, it's a matter of some argument whether a literary approach is not in actuality a form of exalted info/data dumping ,in and of itself :
The acumen and skill with which an author can communicate the most important elements of a story,the characters, their significant interactions, and the exact backdrop against which all this occurs is first and foremost a matter of conveying precise information in an objective format. This information must necessarily be as complete as any set of theorems or measurements, lest the reader lose his way and the author therefore fails to communicate.

I do not agree with this. While a backdrop may be provided, it could be woven of gossamer and sewn with emotion or it could be built of solid techno-bricks. The writer fails to communicate when the reader closes the book and opens it no-more.

Consider - if you were going to write a story about climbing with climbers as your intended readers; would you describe how a carabiner works? How a cam functions? The makings and properties of a rope? The specifics of how a shoe cams in a crack? All the endless 'how to and why' aspect of climbing, in route to telling a belay-ledge love story? - I certainly hope not!

Now if you were trying to convey a how-to manual wrapped in some light story, fine. Its your art. Good luck with that approach. Some can do it...

Now look to the future. 500 years. You're going to tell that same story you started above, except now you have to imagine the 'how to and why' aspects of climbing in the future. Do you provide the techno-bricks? Is it your goal to imagine that future sport and instruct the reader as to its mechanics? That's some boring stuff right there.

But how about telling that bvelay-ledge love story while providing only hints at the backdrop? Why not let the readers invent for themselves the hows and whys? Why not make a story 'together' where both writer and reader fabricate this brave new world? And within this unique parallel universe, tis there the love story can unfold, fresh and new.

No matter to what exalted degree an artist contains and nurtures an experience within himself/herself, if that artist essentially fails at the objective, craft-driven task entailed in transferring that experience ---then all is lost in the theatre of art.

True but the artist does not transfer her own experience, her own emotions and thoughts. Rather, together - reader and writer create a unique experience each time the work is read. A thousand readers will create a thousand unique experiences with the author. In each of those experiences thoughts and emotions will be created or observed in imagination. Tis the imagination that provides the backdrop, not the brick and mortar facts.

Some folk are too techno-practical to write the subtle morality plays that require little more backdrop than the characters themselves. Interestingly enough the readers will create whatever backdrop they deem sufficient, should the author elect to leave gaping holes. The romantics fill the holes with love.

DMT
MH2

climber
Dec 31, 2013 - 10:09am PT
Moby Dick has some 'info-dumping.'
Dingus Milktoast

Gym climber
U.N. Ambassador, Crackistan
Dec 31, 2013 - 10:11am PT
Its like reading concrete.

DMT
jstan

climber
Dec 31, 2013 - 11:03am PT
I'm single and look'in for a family situation. Tell all ur friends!

Reminds me of a story.

A group of the neighborhood wives was gathered at Laurie MacDougalls house. Jenny Donaldson approached Laurie in a rather conspiratorial manner saying, "Laurie is what everyone is saying really true? Is your husband cheap?"

Jenny pondered her answer then replying, " No. I would not say he is cheap. I considered him to be quite reasonable."
MH2

climber
Dec 31, 2013 - 12:07pm PT
Reminds me of the meme:

A woman tells her friend that she is going in to town to get a bottle of whiskey for her husband, and her friend says, "Seems like a fair trade."
Largo

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Dec 31, 2013 - 01:31pm PT
And BTW, it's a matter of some argument whether a literary approach is not in actuality a form of exalted info/data dumping ,in and of itself :
The acumen and skill with which an author can communicate the most important elements of a story,the characters, their significant interactions, and the exact backdrop against which all this occurs is first and foremost a matter of conveying precise information in an objective format. This information must necessarily be as complete as any set of theorems or measurements, lest the reader lose his way and the author therefore fails to communicate.


Elmore Leonard wrote about the above and offered the following counter arguments to the notion that a writer's task was to paint "the exact backdrop against which all this occurs."

3. Avoid detailed descriptions of characters. In Hemingway's ''Hills Like White Elephants'' what do the ''American and the girl with him'' look like? ''She had taken off her hat and put it on the table.'' That's the only reference to a physical description in the story, and yet we see the couple and know them by their tones of voice, with not one adverb in sight.

4. Don't go into great detail describing places and things. You don't want descriptions that bring the action, the flow of the story, to a standstill.

Few people are reading stories with the intention of later writing a book report on info presented. What most readers want is something that evokes something especially true about being alive. The method of doing so by pandering evaluations and physical descriptions is in the literary mode considered a form break.

JL
Ward Trotter

Trad climber
Dec 31, 2013 - 03:10pm PT
The acumen and skill with which an author can communicate the most important elements of a story,the characters, their significant interactions, and the exact backdrop against which all this occurs is first and foremost a matter of conveying precise information in an objective format. This information must necessarily be as complete as any set of theorems or measurements, lest the reader lose his way and the author therefore fails to communicate.

I'm somewhat amazed at the degree to which the above statement has been misinterpreted and misrepresented. Let me try to get a little bit more transparent in my explanation:

In any way you choose to describe it ---the style chosen by the author to convey the necessary elements in a story is of secondary importance. The primary task of setting the stage and revealing the action,and the characters, is inescapably one of detail and precision. The degree to which the writer evokes a response from the reader, the more or less specialized response the writer seeks ---is based upon,almost inversely proportional to ,the quality of information conveyed to the reader by the narrative.

The writer can choose a minimalist palette as Hemingway , an essentially sparse 20th century journalistic style, to set the stage for an old man rowing out to sea. The power of that depiction lies within the deft precision with which Hemingway arranges the hitherto diverse elements of sea and sun and the weather-worn hands of an old fisherman---all editorially prearranged to precisely transfer the depth of meaning he is hoping to convey.

Melville can do essentially the same thing with his looming monumental description of the whaling boats setting out to pursue the great white whale. Melville , as Hemingway, uses the language of his time. In his case , the dense,verbose,and florid style of the 18 and 19th centuries. The task before him is the same---to grab the reader by the lapel and bring him/her along on a fantastic journey.

The writer in either case did not accomplish these ends by waking up one morning, scratching his ass with his pen , throw together a few ill-considered impressionistic sentences and hope to god or with a little luck that the unguided subjective states of his presumed readers manages to fill in all the necessary blanks.
jgill

Boulder climber
Colorado
Dec 31, 2013 - 04:17pm PT
As a matter of curiosity, are there participants here who will neither read fiction, nor have a lot of tolerance for it in movies or video? I have had several friends over the years who are in that category. Sometimes they read biographies or see films based on actual occurrences, but they have no interest in imaginative fiction.

They are among the brightest people I have known.

I am always reading a novel or watching TV dramas like Breaking Bad.

One of these individuals recently told me he didn't read comic books as a kid, but bought non-fictional Little Big Books , some of which in old age he still has. I loved comics as a kid and still enjoy them in the Denver Post.
Ward Trotter

Trad climber
Dec 31, 2013 - 04:34pm PT
I have had several friends over the years who are in that category. Sometimes they read biographies or see films based on actual occurrences, but they have no interest in imaginative fiction.

I think there could be a parallel here with the development of a good sense of humor.

When I was younger a few of my friends were not all that practiced at seeing the humor in things. They were good people , but rarely ever belly-laughed, and smiled rarely, with noticeable discomfort.
The time would come when eventually I had the chance to observe the parents. After that the mystery of why my friend did not have much of a sense of humor was dispelled.

In other words, these things are determined by both nurture and nature.

Personally I enjoy all types of quality fiction and nonfiction. (Both simultaneously appear on the internet---often in the guise of the other)
And both my parents had great senses of humor. Fortunately . LOL
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