America the Ignorant...on topic for this forum


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Mountain climber
Anchorage AK, Reno NV
Dec 30, 2012 - 11:58am PT
I don't see any conflict between my religious choices and my love of science. Both are an attempt at understanding the world each allows me to look at the world from a different viewpoint and think different ways. Science establishes facts with a near certainty, discovers patterns that can be relied on when venturing into the future. lays the foundation for technologies and tools.

My religion allows me to thrive more in the human condition and gives me an eternal outlook on life. Hope, Faith, optimism, compassion and truth. It is not threatened by any fact. It threatens no facts.

If there is a conflict between either viewpoint towards the other it is just an indicator that ones understanding is therefore wrong and there is something more to learn. As always.

To pretend to know that either of these two areas have no validity seems foolish from either side of the argument.

I find it incredibly frustrating that a significant portion of the population is still arguing about global warming and not working on what to do about it.

Clearly the greatest threat our species faces is population growth but NO-ONE is seriously tackling this issue except perhaps China.

Evolution? Pathetic to see this long settled fact still argued. Fortunately it is not a science with applications that most folks have to work with in any meaningful manner. However there are some fields where it has critical and very technical precise application.

Ignorance? I'd say the ratio of knowledge to lack of knowledge among the best would still be pathetic if rendered in decimal form.. Hmm how may zero's after that decimal point do you figure? Lots I'd say.

To the OP. A couple of times lately you have mentioned a serious issue you are facing. Best luck with it in SLC. There is a lot of love for you here on the Taco.

Trad climber
lost, far away from Poland
Dec 30, 2012 - 12:10pm PT
Jingy, very good! Sometimes I feel that way too. Which is actually quite sad. Is there no hope? Just give up an enjoy the show? I am getting old and have much less desire to fight. Just enjoy the rest of my days. I feel guilty, though, that I haven't done enough to make this world better for my children...

Dec 30, 2012 - 12:50pm PT
Recently encountered an analysis suggesting americans tell their kids they are "smart" while asians ask their kids how hard they are working. There is a world of difference between the two. You have to wonder if this is not also the source of american worship of celebrity. Smart leads directly to asking who is the smartest, best or most famous. (Only a small step from there to talking about who has the biggest boobs.)

No one asks who is working the hardest. We think we can quantify the former but not the latter. So off we go trying to be the best.

Trying to be better today than you were yesterday, is however something one can in some sense get a feeling for. Trouble is that approach puts great value on "work".

"Smart" kids are a dime a dozen. Kids who are working their asses off, are harder to find.

We all have whatever it is we have. There is no expression of self in it. But there is satisfaction from knowing that you have done as much as you could with whatever it was you were given.

Then the self is coming into play.

Dec 30, 2012 - 12:53pm PT
Nobody here really knows whats going on.

Trad climber
lost, far away from Poland
Dec 30, 2012 - 12:56pm PT
Jstan +1
High Fructose Corn Spirit

Gym climber
-A race of corn eaters
Dec 30, 2012 - 01:04pm PT


re: beliefs

Now tell me if this doesn't hit the nail on the head.

"A broader danger of unverifiable beliefs is the temptation to defend them by violent means. People become wedded to their beliefs, because the validity of those beliefs reflects on their competence, commends them as authorities, and rationalizes their mandate to lead. Challenge a person’s beliefs, and you challenge his dignity, standing, and power. And when those beliefs are based on nothing but faith, they are chronically fragile. No one gets upset about the belief that rocks fall down as opposed to up, because all sane people can see it with their own eyes. Not so for the belief that babies are born with original sin or that God exists in three persons.... When people organize their lives around these beliefs, and then learn of other people who seem to be doing just fine without them—or worse, who credibly rebut them—they are in danger of looking like fools. Since one cannot defend a belief based on faith by persuading skeptics it is true, the faithful are apt to react to unbelief with rage, and may try to eliminate that affront to everything that makes their lives meaningful."

Steven Pinker
High Fructose Corn Spirit

Gym climber
-A race of corn eaters
Dec 30, 2012 - 01:07pm PT
Choosing my battles carefully, meaning the worthy ones...

Ron, 82% of Buddhists believe in evolution, along with 45% of Muslims


Must be a highly select group, lol! Michigan USA Muslims, perhaps?


As a person of faith, I am also a student of science. I have no problem with the concept of God or evolution. I do find it hard to understand and merge the two concepts...

Is this not something of a contradiction?

Regarding reality and truth: Either God (Jehovah) mated with a human virgin or He did not. Either the historical Jesus was God Jesus or he wasn't. Either he rose from the dead on the 3rd day or he did not.

These are the claims (the truth-claims) made 1,000 plus years ago. Knowing what you know about humans, human nature, human functioning; among all else, how they cheat, lie, thieve and wheedle, you really think in this day and age of science, education and the internet it is reasonable - repeat: reasonable - as an intellectually honest, civically responsible person to support these claims as historical truth? Maybe take this as a rhetorical question, and I'll just enjoy the show. ;)

Somewhere out there
Dec 30, 2012 - 01:11pm PT
Moose -
I feel guilty, though, that I haven't done enough to make this world better for my children...

 That whole "leave it better than you found it" idea….. It's a myth. In order for one to take responsibility for the world being better would require billions of much healthier, stronger, smarter 'mes' or 'yous'.. I'm afraid if it were the case that there were billions of Jingys out there this world would not be much better than it is now with the exception of there being less obstruction in congress.

High Fructose Corn Spirit

Gym climber
-A race of corn eaters
Dec 30, 2012 - 01:29pm PT
Look at this picture...

photo not found
Missing photo ID#281264

and tell me times aren't changing... that cultural evolution isn't advancing at a frenzy. (Taking into account that this scene takes place in thousands of college classrooms nowadays around the world; and year after year after year.)

It's just that a watched pot never boils.

Keep the trust (not a blind trust but an evidence based trust).

Thank goodness for young people who aren't afraid to consider things anew.


45% of Muslims in Afghanistan and Pakistan are evolutionists.
45% of Muslims in Iran are evolutionists.
45% of Muslims in Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Oman are evolutionists.
45% of Muslims in Algeria, Tunisia, Lybia are evolutionists.

I don't think so.

Meanwhile, Islamic justice in Mali...

“He stole nine times,” he said of his brother. “He’s my own brother. God told us to do it. God created my brother. God created me. You must read the Koran to see that what I say is true. This is in the Koran. That’s why we do it.”

Parochial fundamentalists, in Islam, they are. Not evolutionists.

Trad climber
AKA Dwain, from Apple Valley, Ca. and Vegas!
Dec 30, 2012 - 01:37pm PT

"Ideally, blind dumb allegience to Dogma should be marched in front of a firing squad and shot."

"Yep, another MASS shooting"



Trad climber
lost, far away from Poland
Dec 30, 2012 - 01:41pm PT
In other words, it is hopeless to try to make the world a better place? I don't agree Jingy. The world is a better place to live in than it was a 100 years ago. Look at Europe. 2000 years of wars, and now at peace for the longest period of time. There is hope.
Education and unbiased information is key.

Trad climber
Choss Creek, ID
Dec 30, 2012 - 01:54pm PT
I find the following short collection of charts and maps to be somewhat fascinating.

A breakdown of leading religions in the U.S. by state & county.
A breakdown of leading religions in the U.S. by state & county.
Credit: Fritz

Please note the areas where Baptists are in the majority and compare those to the following maps.

Sedentary life-style map.
Sedentary life-style map.
Credit: Fritz

Obesity percents by state:  From the Center for Disease Control.
Obesity percents by state: From the Center for Disease Control.
Credit: Fritz

Heart disease in the U.S. by state & county.
Heart disease in the U.S. by state & county.
Credit: Fritz

Least healthy areas in red & brown.
Least healthy areas in red & brown.
Credit: Fritz

Credit: Fritz

Fascinating information to me.

Some people might conclude that the Baptist "bible-belt", is the most sedentary, least healthy, least educated, and most Republican part of the U.S.


Trad climber
lost, far away from Poland
Dec 30, 2012 - 02:04pm PT
Who cares about facts, Fritz. Like 64% of Americans say that if they were presented with a scientific fact that would be in conflict with their religion, they would reject the truth and stay with their religion. Wow!
Bruce Kay

Gym climber
Dec 30, 2012 - 02:10pm PT
Those MRI images are pretty conclusive I'd say.

But is the cancer responding to chemotherapy and radiation?

What? You haven't even tried it yet?

Big Wall climber
Seattle, WA
Dec 30, 2012 - 02:13pm PT
What if life was created to evolve? To fill the universe with ever-increasing levels of perfection that eventuate in the supreme expression of itself.

edit-- Who needs belief when you have really good questions and an open mind?

Trad climber
Golden, CO
Dec 30, 2012 - 02:23pm PT
Great posts jstan, HFCS, and Fritz! I think jstan is right on.
High Fructose Corn Spirit

Gym climber
-A race of corn eaters
Dec 30, 2012 - 02:27pm PT
I do wonder if anybody has ever changed their minds about belief in evolution/natural selection as a result of reading these threads.

As of course you know, they're only the threads of climbers. I learned a long time ago when confronted with (know-it-all) ignorance or (know-it-all) blind, dumb faith to take heart in this fact. It's worked.

That said, I appreciate the cross-section of views that I get from this climbing site (tempered of course by climbing reports and pics) that I don't get elsewhere. That's its on-going value to me.


haha, I'm channeling you. :)

Mountain climber
San Diego, CA
Dec 30, 2012 - 02:30pm PT
Thanks for the posts, HFCS. Psyched to watch that video in full!

Fritz: awesome charts. Do you think there is any connection between sedentary lifestyles and lack of education? Or between sedentary lifestyles and religious belief? We know that cognitive function is improved/enhanced by physical activity. I think there is some literature out there to support the connection:

Sport climber
Dec 30, 2012 - 02:37pm PT
Thanks to Fritz for the summary of the present situation.

Large parts of America seem to have no ability to see reality as it is.

People are drifting along in a sea of power, money and double-dealing, believing and praying to a god that has long been dead, a god that is still used as a means in the money-/powermakers double-dealing. The zeenyboppers are sitting on their cushions and every time they open their mouth they feed the beast.

Luckily America still has some of the best scientific minds on earth. But also proper science is under attack from money-makers as well as preasts and zeenyboppers, not to mention a juridical system that is cementing the idiocy.

My best wishes for America and president Obama to sort this out. It's extremely difficult to change the mindsets of people who believe in something that is a part of what destroys them. It is going to take a generation or two to sort this out.

Social climber
the Wastelands
Dec 30, 2012 - 02:37pm PT
This one says a lot

The Dunning–Kruger effect is a cognitive bias in which unskilled individuals suffer from illusory superiority, mistakenly rating their ability much higher than average. This bias is attributed to a metacognitive inability of the unskilled to recognize their mistakes.[1]

Actual competence may weaken self-confidence, as competent individuals may falsely assume that others have an equivalent understanding. David Dunning and Justin Kruger conclude, "the miscalibration of the incompetent stems from an error about the self, whereas the miscalibration of the highly competent stems from an error about others".[2]
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