America the Ignorant...on topic for this forum


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Trad climber
Portland, Oregon
Jan 4, 2013 - 05:23pm PT
As someone with a strong microbiology bent, I am not optimistic.

Humans show no more 'intelligence' or restraint in their reproduction rates and resource use than bacteria in a petri dish. And if humans are simply an optimal expression, or 'fruiting body' of the global pool of DNA in response to a particular set of environmental and ecological conditions which exist on the planet, then our lifestyle will continue only so long as those conditions do. I say 'lifestyle' because our continued existence matters only to us - we are otherwise wholly irrelevant to the 'well-being' and survival of the planet and the global pool of DNA.

And we have basically turned ourselves into the most abundant, consumption-ready biomass on the planet and we deliver ourselves everywhere to boot. My own opinion is that, as we extinguish species, a percentage of mammalian and vertebrate pathogen loads are not going lay down and vanish with their hosts; no, they're going to jump ship instead. And under the right circumstances, I could easily see humanity diminished by a half or two thirds of today's population numbers almost overnight by some novel pathogen trying to climb aboard our boat.

Anyway, I think emerging disease threats are far more worrisome than any human-manufactured threat.

Spread of SARS in Taiwan and beyond:

Global Mobility Network:

I'm personally thankful these folks are on the job (clickable):
Tony Bird

Northridge, CA
Jan 5, 2013 - 10:29am PT
this thread could start to get interesting. don't go running off looking at boobies now.

healyje, if you had read carefully what i posted on graham hancock, you would know how admittedly controversial he is. you should also know that egyptology is perhaps the most vulnerable "science" to anyone who comes along and rocks its boat. it's easy to google up people who will dismiss hancock with a flick of their tenure-track bics, but what i defy you find is anyone who can explain, in any rational manner whatsoever, the very factual evidence which hancock tries to engage. no, they sit in their cubicles and "accept" a world full of "anomalies", leaving it for some future genius to make sense of it all. their world is so damn full of anomalies it hardly has any "noms" left. and when the geniuses come along, as they have so many times in the past, they generally get a reception just like hancock has gotten.

it's also interesting to note that a single, lonely "respectable" voice was raised in support of hapgood's work in the 1950s--that of albert einstein.

there's an old egyptian saying, which i believe might pertain here: time is the enemy of all things--but the pyramids are the enemy of time.

i hate to get cocky about infectious diseases, healyje, but what you never hear your CDC paranoids talk about is the strength, resilience and resourcefulness of the human immunity system, and how it can be cultivated and bolstered. that would detract from the paranoia. yvon chouinard has an interesting comment in his book, let my people go surfing. when he first started going to mexico to surf, he realized that he had to adapt to a different style of food, water and hygiene if he wanted to pursue his sport there. it was a rocky road at first, but he's gotten himself to the point where he can now boast that he drinks from most of the waters he fishes in and rarely gets sick. as any immunologist will tell us, it's those who only know the protected environments who are the most vulnerable. but "science" does not seem to concern itself with building immunity in new and better ways, only with insulation and paranoia.

michaeld, zeitgeist puts forth a lot of information long known in the field of mythology, but generally quite surprising to those used to the christian version of everything. it also suffers from a number of outrageous scientific inaccuracies, which made it very difficult for me to sit through the first part of it. i had so many new-age buddies that went wild when it came out, but they didn't like to be troubled with the details of science either. but i'm glad it changed your point of view.

Trad climber
lost, far away from Poland
Jan 5, 2013 - 11:37am PT
Healyje, if you kill all the animals, you would actualy decrease the number of potentially harmful viruses or bacteria. No birtds means no bird flu pandemic ;-/
Vaccination is the best way to prevent diseases.

Tony B, self vaccination is very dengerous. Don't drink contaminated water to prime your immune system...

because yer gunna die!
Sierra Ledge Rat

Mountain climber
Old and Broken Down in Appalachia
Jan 5, 2013 - 11:40am PT
...and how it can be cultivated and bolstered...

If you survive the illness. was a rocky road at first...

Meaning he was pucking and shitting at both ends at the same and wished over and over that he would die.

Sounds like a great way to live.

No, thanks. I'd rather do it the smart way.
High Fructose Corn Spirit

Gym climber
-A race of corn eaters
Jan 5, 2013 - 08:00pm PT
Thought a few of you might enjoy this from a commenter following a review of Religulous (2008), requoted by Jerry Coyne, evolutionary advocate.

Speaking truth to...

ďThe irony of religion is that because of its power to divert man to destructive courses, the world could actually come to an end. The plain fact is, religion must die for mankind to live. The hour is getting very late to be able to indulge having key decisions made by religious people, by irrationalists, by those who would steer the ship of state not by a compass, but by the equivalent of reading the entrails of a chicken. George Bush prayed a lot about Iraq, but he didnít learn a lot about it. Faith means making a virtue out of not thinking. Itís nothing to brag about. And those who preach faith, and enable and elevate it are intellectual slaveholders, keeping mankind in a bondage to fantasy and nonsense that has spawned and justified so much lunacy and destruction. Religion is dangerous because it allows human beings who donít have all the answers to think that they do. Most people would think itís wonderful when someone says, ďIím willing, Lord! Iíll do whatever you want me to do!Ē Except that since there are no gods actually talking to us, that void is filled in by people with their own corruptions and limitations and agendas. And anyone who tells you they know, they just know what happens when you die, I promise you, you donít. How can I be so sure? Because I donít know, and you do not possess mental powers that I do not. The only appropriate attitude for man to have about the big questions is not the arrogant certitude that is the hallmark of religion, but doubt. Doubt is humble, and thatís what man needs to be, considering that human history is just a litany of getting sh#t dead wrong. This is why rational people, anti-religionists, must end their timidity and come out of the closet and assert themselves. And those who consider themselves only moderately religious really need to look in the mirror and realize that the solace and comfort that religion brings you comes at a horrible price. If you belonged to a political party or a social club that was tied to as much bigotry, misogyny, homophobia, violence, and sheer ignorance as religion is, youíd resign in protest. To do otherwise is to be an enabler, a mafia wife, for the true devils of extremism that draw their legitimacy from the billions of their fellow travelers. If the world does come to an end here, or wherever, or if it limps into the future, decimated by the effects of religion-inspired nuclear terrorism, letís remember what the real problem was. We learned how to precipitate mass death before we got past the neurological disorder of wishing for it. Thatís it. Grow up or die.Ē
Tony Bird

Northridge, CA
Jan 5, 2013 - 09:48pm PT
worked for chouinard and works for me. it's an attitude thing. if you're prissy about giardiasis, read the research and published papers of a uc-davis doctor/backpacker on the subject. we've hashed that over on here.

Ice climber
the ghost
Jan 5, 2013 - 10:02pm PT
climbers that brag that they never get sick in Mexico are really just bragging that they are acclimated to a wide variety of fecal bacteria ;-)
Fossil climber

Trad climber
Atlin, B. C.
Jan 5, 2013 - 11:12pm PT
Funny how a thread that started on the regrettable and possibly terminal human capacity for the irrational wandered off onto diarrhea.

But to get back to the topic, High Fructose Corn Spiritís post nailed it.
Jim Brennan

Trad climber
Vancouver Canada
Jan 6, 2013 - 12:12am PT
Malemute - Yukkity yuk ! That was great for all the times I've had fun in Mexico. I guess It was just about excellently prepared poo in competition with what passes for food in Canada.

And Healy, even before we knew what it was, DNA has always been the life of the party.

Jan 6, 2013 - 11:20am PT
I like the brief conversation regarding optimism vs. pessimism--irrespective of having a scientific, religious, (both or neither) perspectives on life.

I'll take option #4--neither the optimistic nor the pessimistic view. The universe is perfect and it will stay perfect (although different).

"Yeah, . . . but the pain and suffering in the world!!!"

Can't help it. Comes with the rest of the package.

Pain can be a very useful thing. Leads to non-ignorance. (Trying to get back to theOP's topic here.)

Trad climber
4 Corners Area
Jan 6, 2013 - 01:49pm PT
Pain can be a very useful thing. Leads to non-ignorance. (Trying to get back to theOP's topic here.)

I would hope that those climbers who were attacked in Peru have lost at least some of their ignorance. Classic example of ignorant americans. Even after the the fact they didn't seem to get it fully.

Oh, well, don't want to start a rant about that. Just that we make too many assumptions and often fail to view ourselves through the eyes of others.

Trad climber
lost, far away from Poland
Jan 6, 2013 - 02:41pm PT
This is why rational people, anti-religionists, must end their timidity and come out of the closet and assert themselves.

Amen to that! hehehe

It is extremely difficult for a religious person to free himself from those shackles. I was raised as a catholic in Poland, which is about 90% catholic. In my teens I started having some doubts. But it took me a few years before I became an agnostic. I remember the fear of losing faith. And guilt. There were very difficult times for me. Now, I am an atheist. Although, I don't exclude the possibility of existence of very advanced aliens with "god" like abilities. At the same time I think they are completely irreverent to our actions.

Anyway, my children were never subjected to religious indoctrination. Now, my daughter is an atheist, but my son elected to get baptized in his late twenties. Go figure. Sometimes when we have a beer and play some pool I joke that the game is devil vs god. Devil is winning so far. My son's children's heads are being filled with this religious nonsense, like: "God created those beautiful mountains". It bothers me but I can't do anything about it. I voice my opinions to their parents, but they don't want to talk about it.

Like I stated in one of my previous posts, religion is in our genes, literally. It is thus against our nature not to be religious. That is why it is much easier to convert a born atheist to a religious person than other way around.
Tony Bird

Northridge, CA
Jan 6, 2013 - 03:25pm PT
don't exclude the possibility of existence of very advanced aliens with "god" like abilities. At the same time I think they are completely irreverent to our actions.

keerful, moosedrool, they're gonna be on yer case in no time. we don't have klimmer to kick around any more.

Trad climber
Monrovia, California
Jan 6, 2013 - 03:30pm PT
...religion is in our genes, literally. It is thus against our nature not to be religious. That is why it is much easier to convert a born atheist to a religious person than other way around.

An interesting statement but entirely counter to my experience.

Religion is not in my genes (unless climbing is a religion..;-)

I was born to a family of church musicians, Anglican Episcopal, who believed deeply in their church and their god. From a very young age I saw it all as a bunch of hogwash.

Personally I have seen many more people abandon religion as they grow up than the other way 'round.


Jan 6, 2013 - 03:34pm PT
Meh ...

These pussy ignorant atheists don't know sh!t about God to begin with.

All they do is hurl empty impotent words with no power.

The proof to God is his transcendental sound vibrations chanted without offenses.

One can immediately feel the effect.

Only foolish rascals never make the experiments but only hurl useless impotent words that do nothing.

Sport climber
Jan 6, 2013 - 03:48pm PT
I thought I felt the vibrations of foolish rascal WBraun's useless impotent words chanted. Was that God?


I simple wouldn't resist.

Bruce Morris

Social climber
Belmont, California
Jan 6, 2013 - 04:12pm PT
Intellectual hierarchy and social democracy don't mix. Scientific "fact" is not determined in the voting booth.

Trad climber
lost, far away from Poland
Jan 6, 2013 - 04:23pm PT
Some info on ďreligion is in our genesĒ.

Religion has the hallmarks of an evolved behavior, meaning that it exists because it was favored by natural selection. It is universal because it was wired into our neural circuitry before the ancestral human population dispersed from its African homeland.

The team gave questionnaires to 169 pairs of identical twins - 100% genetically identical - and 104 pairs of fraternal twins - 50% genetically identical - born in Minnesota.
The twins, all male and in their early 30s, were asked how often they currently went to religious services, prayed, and discussed religious teachings. This was compared with when they were growing up and living with their families. Then, each participant answered the same questions regarding their mother, father, and their twin.
The twins believed that when they were younger, all of their family members - including themselves - shared similar religious behaviour. But in adulthood, however, only the identical twins reported maintaining that similarity. In contrast, fraternal twins were about a third less similar than they were as children.
"That would suggest genetic factors are becoming more important and growing up together less important," says team member Matt McGue, a psychologist at the University of Minnesota.

There are many more studies like that and even attempts to isolate the genes that make us religious. Of course we are not 100% slaves to our genes. They just make as more susceptible to religious believes, thatís all.

Jan 6, 2013 - 04:30pm PT
It's impossible to ever be separated from God.

The only separation occurs due to losing ones constitutional consciousness due to contact with the inferior material energy, ie Material nature.

We are part parcel of God.

We have all qualities but not the quantity.

Atheists just plain are in absolute ignorance of their real constitutional position ......

Trad climber
Monrovia, California
Jan 6, 2013 - 10:05pm PT
Werner -

God is one thing.

Religion is something else all together


My earlier post was in reference to organized religion which I think is bs. But when I look at the world and life and beyond I am not an atheist, I am like an ant on a beach.
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