Politics, God and Religion vs. Science

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jstan

climber
Jan 15, 2014 - 11:36pm PT
First of all, no researcher is blind

Mike, you know how the word blind is used here.

think about it, no one can "hold" a "variable" stable and without inter-related influence on and with other variables.

To one degree or another, nearly all experiments are confounded. Some are designed so as to minimize confounding. The ones that are not, will be criticized for this and later experiments will better illuminate the relationships.

There is only one way any of this can be done at all: explode reality into concepts. Then you can play with those like children play with legos.

I don't know how your "science" works but I wonder how well it works. What does a successful process look like?

1. People do the best experiments they can to obtain both data and the margin of errors in their data. The experimenter then tries to tear their own data to shreds.
2. Other people tear these results to shreds if they can.

3. Experiments increasingly robust under criticism are done.

4. a. Until a consensus seems to be forming as to the data's validity.
b. Theorists, seeing the data is beginning to settle down, come up with theories as to how nature may be working here. (I suspect MikeL is calling these theories "concepts". Note he seems to neglect the testing of those concepts, the very heart of the scientific process.)

5. If a theory is going to be of any use, it has to make predictions. Fully independent experiments by two or more groups test whether these predictions are found to appear in nature. This step returns in this way to step 1 above.

And the cycle continues, for hundreds of years and more. Witness Newton and Einstein.

The following has enough power ultimately to make processes very painful. Instrumentation gets ever better and precision of data improves greatly. When precision is very high extremely small forces or factors begin to be important. As you drive further and further down this chain I would expect sooner or later you may run into a nonlinear effect. Then you run into great difficulty finding all the factors important for the phenomenon. The data starts to show chaos and tests of theory are more difficult. Even more problematic we have yet to learn how to solve some problems. Many body theory. Closed form solutions to fluid dynamics.

(In order to work our GPS system has to include relativistic corrections. If they don't do it already these calculations will in time need to take into account the non-uniformity of the mass distribution in the earth. In time the next increase in accuracy will involve turning over every stone to see just why things are not what we expect.)

And it is foolishness to plead all of this is just too complicated to be real(of value). It is even maddening when someone pleads this even as they are using antibiotics to cure their pneumonia. Actually this kind of very "deep nonsense" is the norm, not the exception. Thusly is Werner's model for present day phenomena proven correct on a daily basis.


Edit:
I had the logical process exactly reversed from that being followed at present. The GPS system allows accurate sensing of the satellite position in space and that is determined by the distribution of earth mass. So GPS is being used to study the earth itself.

As this is followed the possibility the logical process may be reversed at some time cannot be ruled out.

http://web.gps.caltech.edu/classes/ge167/file/Wahr_Gravity_treatise.pdf

Time-Variable Gravity From Satellites

1 Introduction
The Earth’s gravity field is a product of its mass distribution; mass both deep within the Earth and at and above its surface. That mass distribution is constantly changing. Tides in the ocean and solid Earth cause large mass variations at 12-hour and 24-hour periods. Atmospheric disturbances associated with synoptic storms, seasonal climatic variations, etc., lead to variations in the distribution of mass in the atmosphere, the ocean, and the water stored on land. Mantle convection causes mass variability throughout the mantle that has large amplitudes compared to those associated with climatic variability, but that generally occurs slowly relative to human timescales.

Because of these and other processes, the Earth’s gravity field varies with time. Obser- vations of that variability using either satellites or ground-based instrumentation, can be used to study a wide variety of geophysical processes that involve changes in mass (Dickey et al., 1997). Solid Earth geophysics is not the prime beneficiary of time variable gravity mea- surements. Instead, most of the time-variable signal comes from the Earth’s fluid envelope: the oceans, the atmosphere, the polar ice sheets and continental glaciers, and the storage of water and snow on land. Fluids (water and gasses) are much more mobile than rock.

Solid Earth deformation does have a significant indirect effect on ground-based gravity measurements. A gravimeter on the Earth’s surface is sensitive to vertical motion of that surface. When the surface goes up, the gravimeter moves further from the center of the Earth and so it sees a smaller gravitational acceleration. For most solid Earth processes the signal from the vertical displacement of the meter is far larger than the actual gravity change caused by the displaced mass. Thus a surface gravimeter can, in effect, be viewed as a vertical positioning instrument. A satellite, on the other hand, is not fixed to the surface, and so the gravity signals it detects are due entirely to the underlying mass distribution. Thus, satellite gravity provides direct constraints on that mass.
moosedrool

climber
Stair climber, lost, far away from Poland
Jan 15, 2014 - 11:38pm PT
MikeL:

There is only one way any of this can be done at all: explode reality into concepts. Then you can play with those like children play with legos.

How do you mean?

You lost me. Again :)

Andrzej
Malemute

Ice climber
great white north
Jan 16, 2014 - 12:02am PT
There are 1.4 billion transistors in my Intel I5-4570 chip.
Complicated, very real, designed by humans.
go-B

climber
Hebrews 1:3
Jan 16, 2014 - 12:02am PT
PSP also PP

Trad climber
Berkeley
Jan 16, 2014 - 02:11am PT
There are 1.4 billion transistors in my Intel I5-4570 chip.
Complicated, very real, designed by humans.

How complicated is it? My guess ( I know nothing about Transistors or chips)
would be there is a simple pattern if there are 1.4 billion?
Dingus Milktoast

Gym climber
U.N. Ambassador, Crackistan
Jan 16, 2014 - 02:18am PT
There are many and varied complex patterns within that chip and yes you are right to assume those complex patterns (circuits) are composed of simpler patterns (transistors) which in turn are more complex than they might at first blush appear, and are themselves constructed of simpler patterns still (atoms).

Till you might form the impression that the patterns themselves are part and parcel to the fabric of reality. Hence math and physics to explore, map and understand... the patterns.

How do you map the random chaos of human choice?



DMT

Bruce Kay

Gym climber
BC
Jan 16, 2014 - 02:27am PT
you guys have become the spoon.

You are the spoon, looking out


fongschway

Social climber
Plainfield, VT
Jan 16, 2014 - 02:50pm PT
Anyone remember (or I missed it on this thread) the $1M bounty that James Randi put up years ago?
Malemute

Ice climber
great white north
Jan 16, 2014 - 03:02pm PT
The Foundation is committed to providing reliable information about paranormal claims. It both supports and conducts original research into such claims.

At JREF, we offer a one-million-dollar prize to anyone who can show, under proper observing conditions, evidence of any paranormal, supernatural, or occult power or event. The JREF does not involve itself in the testing procedure, other than helping to design the protocol and approving the conditions under which a test will take place. All tests are designed with the participation and approval of the applicant. In most cases, the applicant will be asked to perform a relatively simple preliminary test of the claim, which if successful, will be followed by the formal test. Preliminary tests are usually conducted by associates of the JREF at the site where the applicant lives. Upon success in the preliminary testing process, the "applicant" becomes a "claimant."

To date, no one has passed the preliminary tests.

http://www.randi.org/site/index.php/1m-challenge.html



A million bucks to bend a spoon!!!111
How hard can it be!
Werner could retire & be a grump on the internet full time!

PSP also PP

Trad climber
Berkeley
Jan 16, 2014 - 04:15pm PT
Interesting portion of a memoriam for Toni Packer founder of the Springwater Center


Finally, spurred by Krishnamurti's iconoclastic attitude, Toni, as a meditation teacher outside any tradition, became a gentle revolutionary, turning the self-inquiry, which the ancient Indian teachers had called atma vicara, into an open meditative inquiry.
She wondered why, if we have freedom of inquiry in science and art, we don't use it in the spiritual realm? What prevents us? Fear of venturing into the unknown? Fear of leaving the beaten paths and entering the ever-growing jungle without ancient, outdated maps? Who stops us? Is it only the priestly tradition devoid of innocent curiosity, that defends its map collections? Or is it the Puritan superego heavily imprinted in the American psyche? Can the inquiry be totally free? and what are we afraid of discovering?
Over the years of working with this moment, following the process of listening and inquiring, she coined her own simple and original language: "wondering without knowing," "awaring," "open presence," "silent question," "stop, look and listen," "an opening." Rejecting power, titles and honors, respecting everyone, listening to the most confused questions, she managed through a friendly, gentle and patient dialogue with her friends in creating probably the most egalitarian meditative community in the world.
jstan

climber
Jan 16, 2014 - 04:38pm PT
She wondered why, if we have freedom of inquiry in science and art, we don't use it in the spiritual realm?

There is freedom of inquiry! People are looking like mad for data. Just as they have been for the last few millennia. All their investments of time are not visible because those interested avoid self criticism. They need to set up a system for peer review, IMO.

Negative results are probably the biggest driver of progress.

The search only for positive results will have to cease.
Dingus Milktoast

Gym climber
U.N. Ambassador, Crackistan
Jan 16, 2014 - 04:42pm PT
She wondered why, if we have freedom of inquiry in science and art, we don't use it in the spiritual realm? What prevents us? Fear of venturing into the unknown? Fear of leaving the beaten paths and entering the ever-growing jungle without ancient, outdated maps? Who stops us? Is it only the priestly tradition devoid of innocent curiosity, that defends its map collections? Or is it the Puritan superego heavily imprinted in the American psyche?

Such loaded words for open inquiry?

Can the inquiry be totally free?

I seriously doubt it.

DMT
Largo

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Jan 16, 2014 - 05:16pm PT
Can the inquiry be totally free?

I seriously doubt it.
-

Find out for yourself and report back and we'll all be the richer for the effort.

JL
PSP also PP

Trad climber
Berkeley
Jan 16, 2014 - 06:54pm PT
Here are some words from T packer , a bit long but insightful.


Let me add a few more words here, outside of the conference, on how I regard the function of a spiritual teacher, guide, facilitator, pointer, catalyst, a mirror for seeing oneself. All of these different terms are appropriate in a way, but the simplicity of being here without any sense of separation, and responding out of silent, empty listening cannot be captured in a definition, a word, a label. Defining oneself in any way harbors dangers. The human mind likes to grasp at concepts about itself, to feel good and important about itself, and the image of being something or somebody (like "a spiritual teacher" with all of its heavy traditional paraphernalia) instantly creates separation and hierarchy in the midst of empty, creative space.

So, if the work of this moment is not the transmission of something to someone — not the transmission of teachings, of traditional rituals, of secret or not so secret practices, not a body of knowledge or interpretations of scriptures — then what is it? What is my function in meeting with people who come in sorrow, confusion, upset, anger, fear, despair, and a deep yearning to be healed, to become whole, to find out whether there is anything beyond the nitty-gritty of everyday life?

I am learning more and more, as the years go by, what it is not. The essential function of a spiritual guide is not, as I see it, to give instructions, practices, counsel, solace, answers, solutions to problems and so forth. It is rather to allow the total situation, as it is manifesting right now in us and everywhere around us, to reveal itself as it is, and, if questioned, to point out clearly what is actually going on to whomever is listening and looking. Not just talk out of remembrances of past experiences, not simply use descriptions or give explanations, not "teaching you." It is the complete entering into what is happening right here, lovingly, without any resistance, letting the meeting together percolate spontaneously. Let it all become transparent and express itself in words that arise freely, without hanging on to the words. Words can be changed. Nothing that is happening is permanent, and all is taking place in empty space without borders. "Empty" meaning the absence of a self-centered network confining and fragmenting the space. When that is in abeyance and the brain is awake, then there is the clarity to see people and things just as they are. In emptiness nothing collides with anything. Empty space does not resist the free movement of infinite happenings. In listening, speaking and acting out of this common ground, we can awaken to the joy of wholeness — our true home.

Often people who come to a meeting mention intense fear of this emptiness — maybe one had a momentary experience of it during quiet sitting or whenever. For the Vietnam veteran the vastness was joyous freedom. But at another instant it may also arouse a barrage of frightening thoughts about "myself": "What's happening to me? Am I disappearing? Will I lose all that I am used to?" In this confusion one may come upon the help of someone who understands, who can enter freely into fear and point to thought and memory as the origin of these endless fears of separation and death.

Can one see directly that fear stirs as soon as thoughts and images about myself arise, but that this does not tell the truth about what I really am? Can we discover for ourselves that what we call "fear" is a disagreeable mental and physical reaction programmed into every living cell of this organism? Fear may be useful when there is real danger, but most of the time the brain is making a mistake in warning of a danger which does not even exist, threatening a "me" that is seemingly possessed by fear. As soon as the thought about "me" arises, there is separation accompanied by fear, as well as longing for wholeness, for paradise lost. No thought of "me" — no separation.

In emptiness there is wholeness — everything completely as it is.
Largo

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Jan 16, 2014 - 06:59pm PT
And it is foolishness to plead all of this is just too complicated to be real.

This is a very valid point IMO. In my experience, it is not a matter of being "real," which to many simply means some thing is material. The plot thickens them more we try and isolate out something from the martix and hold it up as a stand-alone "thing" seemingly separate from the flux. This works on a gross macro level; but soon as we rally hone in on anything random, chaotic and seemingly nonlinear singularities start impinging on the shizzle and all bets are off.

Also, in the experiential adventures, peer review is essential. That's why Zen, for example, is a group endeavor, even when one is playing the anchorite for a time. The fold always awaits. No one is separate and independent.

JL
WBraun

climber
Jan 16, 2014 - 07:06pm PT
Those that have siddhas (spiritual powers) never ever reveal themselves to mundane nutcases like James Randi, Malemute, Dr F & Norton types.

Never ever will they fall for these above type fools who will only create undue nightmare to the world.

Thus the above fools (James Randi, Malemute, Dr F & Norton types) can remain in their stupid delusional happiness.

No one gives a sh!t about them anyways except more of their own stupid kind ......
moosedrool

climber
Stair climber, lost, far away from Poland
Jan 16, 2014 - 07:17pm PT
I would rather be "in stupid delusional happiness", than in wise real misery ;)

I think I'm gonna start writing down my smart remarks.

Or maybe somebody will finally start a thread with my quotes?

;)
Jan

Mountain climber
Colorado, Nepal & Okinawa
Jan 16, 2014 - 08:00pm PT
"In academia we have lots of arguments and differences, and the only things that are really interesting are those things that are controversial. (Think about it for a minute.)" (MikeL)


"Ok, after a moment's thought: Perhaps this is true in the social sciences. Jan might give an opinion here." jgill


Jan:

I think in academia once you get past the petty who gets credit for what, then the only interesting discussions include the questions to which no one has the answers (like this thread) but everyone has firm opinions about, because they have a developed world view and get incensed if anyone shakes that world view. Otherise, my experience in anthropology mirrors that of jgill in mathematics.


The social sciences do vary greatly from each other with experimental psychology coming the closest to the hard sciences. What is missed on this thread and is the source of antagonism toward my approach I believe, has to do with the unique training of an anthropologist.

Our job is not to prove or disprove anything. Our job is to record how other people live and what they think. To do that accurately you have to have rapport which means having respect for other people's opinions, no matter how bizarre. We typically describe strange or controversial ideas in very neutral language by saying things like "Informant A believes such and such while Informant B has a slightly different interpretation".

Our own interpretations have to do with analyzing why a group might have such an idea, and how it relates to their survival in a particular environment. For example: Tropical people with low protein diets typically nurse their children for 5 years to give them a better chance at survival. Those same cultures have particularly painful genital mutilation ceremonies at male puberty to emphasize the difference between being a boy at home with the mother and an adult male who is part of a different cohort. We're not concerned with whether genital mutilations are right or wrong. The furthest we would go in fact, would be a recommendation to an aid agency that the excisors be supplied with sharp and hygienic razors.

Extra kudos go to someone who finds a group somewhere that defies what we thought was a universal human norm. Anthropologists still revel in the Trobriand Islanders who disproved Freudian theories of incest taboos and the Oedipus complex. Young males rebel against the male figure in authority, who is not necessarily the one sleeping with the mother.

Anthropologists do not search for "truth" nor "right and wrong", we simply search for all the variety of human behavior and hope to find explanations for that variety. We never say, "that's impossible", "that's ridiculous", or "that's wrong". At most we say "that is probably not the most efficient way to do something or the most functional belief under the circumstances".

If someone reports an unusual experience to an anthropologist, the proper response in our realm is to ask questions about who did it, what is their function in a given society, and why they might wish to project a certain image, not whether it happened or was right or wrong.This implies of course that one has to have trust in the integrity and training of the individual anthropologist.Our profession depends on trust and positive evaluations of people which is quite different than the attempts to prove a new idea wrong which seem to prevail in some other fields, which I think explains a lot of misunderstandings.
TomCochrane

Trad climber
Santa Cruz Mountains and Monterey Bay
Jan 17, 2014 - 12:14am PT
DNA Transmission of Traumatic Memories

Emory University School of Medicine researchers
have reported in the journal of Nature Neuroscience,
that memories can be passed down to later generations through
DNA genes. Dr. Brian Dias, lead investigator, says “the experiences of a
parent, before even conceiving offspring, markedly influence both structure
and function in the nervous system of subsequent generations.”

“This compelling evidence addresses constitutional fearfulness
that is highly relevant to phobias, anxiety and post-traumatic stress
disorders, plus the controversial subject of transmission of the ‘memory’
of ancestral experience down the generations.”

 Marcus Pembrey, Ph.D., Pediatric Geneticist,
University College London, U. K.

moosedrool

climber
Stair climber, lost, far away from Poland
Jan 17, 2014 - 12:28am PT
“This compelling evidence addresses constitutional fearfulness
that is highly relevant to phobias, anxiety and post-traumatic stress
disorders, plus the controversial subject of transmission of the ‘memory’
of ancestral experience down the generations.”

It is called epigenetics. Live experiences can change your gene expression profile. Those traits can be passed on the offspring.

Not to be mistaken for genetic mutations.

Andrzej
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