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survival

Big Wall climber
Terrapin Station
Jan 1, 2013 - 12:42pm PT
You should become childlike too instead of an old worn out sourpuss that you've become ......

That's the bomb!
eeyonkee

Trad climber
Golden, CO
Jan 2, 2013 - 08:42am PT
Tony B, I was raised Catholic (one of 11 children) and my dad was a big admirer of Teilhard de Chardin. I read a book or two, although it's been awhile. As I recall, in his attempt to reconcile the notion of the soul with evolution, he postulated that at some point the soul came about (I recall something along the lines of a tranformation like from water to steam) in humans. I've remembered the gist of that argument after all of these years. Now the current understanding of early hominids is there were up to severl different species living at around the same time, and all but homo sapiens have gone extinct. My question to Mr. de Chardin would be did souls exist in those hominids that died out? Maybe something just a little less than a soul? Seems pretty arbitrary that God would at some point pick a winner and imbue it with a soul.
Jebus H Bomz

climber
Reno, Nuh VAAAA duh
Jan 2, 2013 - 08:48am PT
Bold pronouncements upon the unknowable. Yech. You need an advanced degree in navel gazing to enjoy that ball of wax.
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Jan 2, 2013 - 09:06am PT
I like this one:

from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_evolution
jstan

climber
Jan 2, 2013 - 09:13am PT
Ed's graphic says pretty clearly that Homo Sapiens was very different from the former specie.
TGT

Social climber
So Cal
Jan 2, 2013 - 09:20am PT
There's evidence from mitocondrial DNA that Homo Sapiens went thru a near extinction event 50-100k years ago that reduced the total population / gene pool to probably down around 10,000 individuals.

We came really close to not making it as well.
eeyonkee

Trad climber
Golden, CO
Jan 2, 2013 - 09:22am PT
Still awaiting a response from the esteemed Mr. Bird.
Tony Bird

climber
Northridge, CA
Jan 2, 2013 - 09:34am PT
if teilhard fretted about souls, he didn't let it detract from a much bigger picture. he took scientific concepts and worked them into an analysis of creation, biological evolution and human history, introducing a number of terms which we still use and which have garnered respect from atheists who take the trouble to get familiar with him.

teilhard's vision involved a number of geneses: cosmogenesis, biogenesis, noogenesis, christogenesis. evolution, he noted, thrives on tension. he envisioned a finale to it, which he named point omega.

teilhard died in the mid 50s, but a lot of people still subscribe to his vision. i don't, but the world i've gotten to know still involves inexorable tensions, and the development of electronic technology in our lifetimes reflects his own prediction about a future in which ideas and politics play out in extraordinary and unexpected ways. you have to remember that teilhard was a jesuit priest, and the catholic church did not allow publication of most of his books until after he died. he was quite controversial, but he seemed to toe a fine line.

ed's graphic clearly states a lot of fuddled and controversial data.
sullly

Trad climber
Jan 2, 2013 - 09:59am PT
Like Chardin as well. Add Kierkegaard.
jstan

climber
Jan 2, 2013 - 10:09am PT
The lowest population at Homo Sapiens' near extinction I have seen quoted is in the 600's. It is thought we survived that climatically induced extinction caused by warming and desertification by taking up residence on Africa's western seashore and adding sea food to our diet.

Perhaps there is a real reason we oldsters are told to add cod liver oil to our diet if we wish to delay mental deterioration.
MikeL

climber
SANTA CLARA, CA
Jan 2, 2013 - 11:16am PT
Mechrist:

1. Your personal habits cannot provide the basis for a broad generalization. How has your consumption of materials and services changed over the last 30-40 years? Buying more? What are you buying more of? Any of it have to do with the results of the advancement of science or technology? Are science and technology the result of higher levels of education?

2. You can cite democracy or capitalism, if you want. Whether it is Karl Marx or Adam Smith or others, materialism appears to be the end goal of all political philosophies. The only difference lies in how goods get distributed. In the end, political philosophies have little to do with it.

In this regard, Werner is correct. Attachments and aversions lie at the heart of the matter. They are further exacerbated by the liberal view that samsara (the world of scarce resources) can be fixed through projects, especially that more education, technology, and science will get humanity out of its problems. It's a naive view. The education that truly needed is insight into the self. Nosce te ipsum. What people need is not more stuff (materialism) beyond the most basic needs.

The founders of the Enlightenment (French not Buddhist) argued that higher levels of education (university) would (theoretically at least) solve mankind's problems by breaking young people out of their provincialism (family, community, gender, political, national, race, instinct, passions, etc.) to see bigger yet messier pictures of the human condition. Unfortunately, that objective was problematized (many reasons). Today, the objectives of higher levels of education are those that serve the bourgeoise: careers to make more money to buy more and better things. (Oh, well.) The idea that societies study Nature simply because they are curious is a myth. People study things to get ahead (power, politics, money) and to solve technical problems that appear to be in their way.

What's most in people's way is themselves. The very stipulation of any value at all leads to unresolvable problems. Become a nihilist in-practice, and many problems simply disappear.

Whatever analyses you do, beneath it all is a set of values that you hold dear. There is no justification for any of those values other than you like them, you believe in them, and they serve your interests. Life (which ones?), ecology (ditto), biodiversity, richness, ecosystems are all good by your way of thinking. That things continue for the better or at all is a set of values that you hold dear. I could argue that things shouldn't continue "for the better" (according to whom?) or at all just as easily. It'a all so arbitrary.

The universe seems to be a never-ending cycle of boom and bust, good and bad, pain and pleasure, up and down, creation and destruction. That's its state. You believe that you and other smart people can somehow change that? There are just so many problems with that view. One cannot change anything without changing other things simultaneously. Anyone who takes a true and comprehensive systems approach to reality and its so-called problems, comes away humbled by the complexity, breadth, and depth of the undertaking.
mechrist

Gym climber
South of Heaven
Jan 2, 2013 - 12:24pm PT
Mechrist:

1. Your personal habits cannot provide the basis for a broad generalization.

But your invisible and implicit thoughts can?

How has your consumption of materials and services changed over the last 30-40 years? Buying more? What are you buying more of? Any of it have to do with the results of the advancement of science or technology? Are science and technology the result of higher levels of education?

That's pretty stacked. For starters, we have stopped buying much from large supermarket chains that rely on massive amounts of oil to ship their products all over the country/world. I get my meat from a local distributor who relies on (apparently) ecologically responsible ranchers. My next step is to start hunting. We get most of our produce from a CSA. I spend less than $500 a year on everything outside of rent, insurance, food, and travel. We produce about 3 gals of trash every 2 weeks and compost everything we can.

The only difference lies in how goods get distributed. In the end, political philosophies have little to do with it.

I think you are dead wrong. The difference in how goods get distributed is KEY. No way in hell a socialist country is going to support THIS many people having THIS level of access to goods produced and distributed around the world. Socialist countries would never have access Chilean blueberries from Chile in January... shipped over 5,000 miles in refrigerated compartments. Nor would they have access to cheap Brazilian beef made possible by the destruction of vast tracts of rainforest.

They are further exacerbated by the liberal view that samsara (the world of scarce resources) can be fixed through projects, especially that more education, technology, and science will get humanity out of its problems. It's a naive view. The education that truly needed is insight into the self. Nosce te ipsum.

You (and WB?) are dead wrong if you think education, technology, and science and insight into the self are mutually exclusive... THAT my friend is a pretty naive view. I have a shelf of "insight into the self" books (Alan Watts, Ken Wilber, Bhagavad Gita, Carl Jung, I Ching, Tao Te Ching, etc etc etc) that I have been reading since I was 13 years old. I have another shelf of "education, technology, science" books (differential equations, hydrogeology, geology, geophysics, ecology, psychology, geomorphology, biology, anthropology, statistics, etc etc etc) that I have been reading since I was 13. That's about the time I started meditating too. Pretty sad that a 13 year old dipshit like me realized they were not mutually exclusive but a grown man with all his experience and musing pretends they are.

What people need is not more stuff (materialism) beyond the most basic needs.

No argument there. That is EXACTLY the same conclusion my education and experience has led me to. Different paths up the same mountain?

The founders of the Enlightenment (French not Buddhist) argued that higher levels of education (university) would (theoretically at least) solve mankind's problems...

Well, many founders failed to see into the future. FWIW, the political aspects of the enlightenment are what led to Uhmerikuhn style democracy... which you dismiss in your point 2 above in favor of going on a witch hunt against science, another (but separate) aspect of the enlightenment.

Today, the objectives of higher levels of education are those that serve the bourgeoise: careers to make more money to buy more and better things.

That is CAPITALISM, not science or education or technology. Again, it would behoove you to distinguish between the two.


The idea that societies study Nature simply because they are curious is a myth. People study things to get ahead (power, politics, money) and to solve technical problems that appear to be in their way.

To quote you: "Your personal habits cannot provide the basis for a broad generalization." I've spent my life studying nature. I gave up $65,000+ a year to go back and study more. I have turned down $300/hr consulting jobs I could do in my sleep. I will never get ahead and I will never try. I am not the only one with this attitude who studies science.

Whatever analyses you do, beneath it all is a set of values that you hold dear.

Yep, namely that "reasonably intact ecosystems should be understood enough to prevent damage in the face of unbridled capitalism and access by the masses."

I could argue that things shouldn't continue "for the better" (according to whom?) or at all just as easily. It'a all so arbitrary.

Yep, I know your kind. You can argue about anything really and ignore the fact that what you argued against (point 2 above) is essentially what you argued for.

The universe seems to be a never-ending cycle of boom and bust, good and bad, pain and pleasure, up and down, creation and destruction.

Great. Hinduism 101... take me back to 1992!

You believe that you and other smart people can somehow change that?

You believe I have ever once said that? You are arguing with yourself... I will leave you to it. Let me know when you find your tail.
climbski2

Mountain climber
Anchorage AK, Reno NV
Jan 2, 2013 - 06:51pm PT
High Fructose Corn Spirit

Gym climber
-A race of corn eaters
Jan 2, 2013 - 07:05pm PT
Mech, I find myself in envy of the enthusiasm you showed in your last post. Do you recall when I had that level of energy a couple of years ago now on this site?, lol! What's the secret, a few months sabatical?

P.S.

Yep, I know your kind. You can argue about anything really...

As tired as I am, I loved this one.

.....

http://www.samharris.org/blog/item/the-riddle-of-the-gun
mechrist

Gym climber
South of Heaven
Jan 2, 2013 - 08:26pm PT
HFCS, the sabbatical helped for sure. Nothing convinces you that the world needs help like teaching a undergrad core class! And nothing convinces you that it is beyond help like the stupidtaco. So many obstinate #$%@^#^'s around here unwilling to consider anything but what they already "know." And so many who take life soo seriously (the extra 'o' is a little piece of flair I like to throw in for smart people who know the difference between the twos). Typing a few paragraphs here between dissertation pages is actually kind of fun... I don't get to use "idiot" nearly enough in my dis. But fair warning, if my models don't start behaving I could have another total melt down and freak out and sh#t.
WBraun

climber
Jan 2, 2013 - 09:08pm PT
You're already losing it here wes.

You're projecting bullsh!t that was never said .....
mechrist

Gym climber
South of Heaven
Jan 2, 2013 - 09:15pm PT
Forgive me honorable one, for whence have I projected? Certainly not in respect to anything you have said or done. As frustrating as your seemingly flippant and intentionally confounding retorts may be, I have grown to enjoy them.
jogill

climber
Colorado
Jan 2, 2013 - 09:31pm PT
People study things to get ahead (power, politics, money) and to solve technical problems that appear to be in their way

Sometimes your overly broad generalizations get in the way of your arguments. This is one.
WBraun

climber
Jan 2, 2013 - 09:32pm PT
I've never made any mutually exclusive claims.

The greatest rishis have all been very advanced scientists ,very advanced in mathematics and astronomy and knowledge among all the other needs of mankind to live in perfect harmony simultaneously both with material nature and the spiritual nature.

No real bonafide spiritual scholar would ever condemn science, education and technology.

Having only academic knowledge of the two will cause poor fund of understanding .....


mechrist

Gym climber
South of Heaven
Jan 3, 2013 - 08:13am PT
The phrase I was referring to was "In this regard, Werner is correct" and I was sure to include a "?" after your initials, as I did not see you write anything in particular and figured you knew better... but I couldn't be sure since "it is all so arbitrary" ya know.
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