The New "Religion Vs Science" Thread


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Ice climber
great white north
May 12, 2018 - 02:29pm PT
Almighty and everlasting God, from whom comes every good and perfect gift, give Rudy Giuliani the gift of discretion. Lead him no more, I beseech thee, to the Altar of Hannity. Grant him the wisdom to know what he does not know, and the courage not to fake it. Give him pause when he would speak about those who say they have lain with me.

Eternal God, ruler of all things in heaven and earth, bring peace to the souls of those who have departed my legal team, some before they began, including Ty Cobb, John Dowd, Joe diGenova, Victoria Toensing, Dan Webb, Tom Buchanan and Marc Corallo. I commend to thy Fatherly goodness those afflicted souls who have fallen in service to me, especially Ronny Jackson, David Shulkin, H.R. McMaster, Rex Tillerson, Gary Cohn, Tom Price, Steve Bannon, Anthony Scaramucci, Reince Priebus, Sean Spicer, Michael Flynn, Paul Manafort and Richard Gates. But not Andrew McCabe.

Deliver me, O Lord, from Robert Mueller, and deliver me no subpoena. Lead me not to plead the Fifth. And of Thy mercy cut off mine enemies, particularly Rod Rosenstein and Adam Schiff. O Prince of Peace, spare me James Comey, for he hath persecuted my soul.

O God, fountain of wisdom, make people none the wiser that I lied about the hush money. Pardon me, heavenly Father, as I have pardoned Scooter Libby and Joe Arpaio.

Almighty God, inspire the evangelicals to remain faithful to me, with everlasting and unlimited forgiveness. Lift up my followers at Fox News, especially Neil Cavuto, who has lapsed.

Forgive me my debts, O Gracious Father, to Michael Cohen, for the U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York would notice further payments. Look with compassion on Michael, and inspire him to turn toward you, and not be turned by prosecutors.

O God, whom saints and angels delight to worship in heaven, heal those who are broken in body and spirit. (Yet do not hesitate to send down on Michael Avenatti a case of laryngitis.) Restore, I pray, the dignity of Sarah Sanders; she knows not what she says. Revive Harold Bornstein from his fragility, and inspire him to take it down a notch.

Watch over Thy child Scott Pruitt, O Lord, and grant him a day without a new scandal. May John Kelly, guided by Thy Providence, cease calling me names. May Marco Rubio complain no more about the tax cut. May Jared Kushner not revise his financial disclosures for the 41st time.

By your grace, hold the tongue and pen of Stormy Daniels, Karen McDougal and many others, that they grant no further interviews nor write memoirs.

Bless Alan Dershowitz. Raise up Devin Nunes. Strengthen Bibi. And, for heavenís sake, cut the mustache of John Bolton.

Finally, O Eternal God, grant that my greatness be known throughout this land. For mine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory. Amen.
High Fructose Corn Spirit

Gym climber
May 15, 2018 - 08:49am PT
Harari at his best with lots of amazing, cool thoughts about our upcoming future - short to mid- and long-term - that's sure to be mind-blowing...

It's neat seeing that this took place in India and that Indian audiences seem so receptive to Science and Future and Problem Solving.

Is India considered part of the Middle East? It's great, I think, to have the forces of this great culture just where they are.

What a world it's become! and becoming! Global governance? Hm.


Something new everyday...

Who are your historical favorites? Here's one of mine...


Trad climber
South Pasadena, CA
May 16, 2018 - 07:44pm PT
The idea is there before the science starts.

The assertion is false, assuming one defines "idea" roughly as the cognition of some object, action, or observation.

Science starts with an observation, i.e. the reception and identification of information. It proceeds with a hypothesis (an idea) to explain the observation and make it fit within a rational framework of other observations and predictive models. Then experiments test the hypothesis. If the hypothesis appears to be supported by the experiments, it is elevated to the status of a theory.

One might argue that for many observations, they are observed because they conflict with an expectation associated with a pre-existing idea. But this doesn't have to be the case. An observation can happen without a pre-conceived idea, unless you want to get picky and say that any apparatus for observation is worthless without some information (i.e. an idea) of how to map the raw input data to some sort of object model.

Social climber
Southern Arizona
May 16, 2018 - 08:12pm PT
NutAgain!: Science starts with an observation,†. . . .

Not in my experience. Data and theory are so inter-woven that itís difficult to say what starts what. You (and me) have been institutionalized by our professions and disciplines. We have degrees, work experience, and we are (were) deeply involved in communications with others in our fields. What data are hardly comes from a blank slate. As Werner would remind us, we project what we think and believe onto the world as it manifests itself to us. We pick and choose.

Get before interpretations, and Iíd say that you are observing. But what is that? What is that which you cannot or do not label or categorize?

We see what we believe. There is much research to support the interpretation.

Happy hunting.
Dingus Milktoast

Trad climber
Minister of Moderation, Fatcrackistan
May 17, 2018 - 09:14am PT
Two days ago I found myself on an airplane headed down to L.A, sitting next to a talkative fellow. I don't normally like to engage in banter like that but since it was a short flight and he was interesting, I indulged him. (like, lucky him, right?)

Anyway, guy is a PhD specializing in EM radiation, laser radiation safety being his job. Older guy, does lectures and safety seminars for a variety of specialized clients. And we talked about all sorts of sh#t, from radar to geology to, as it turns out, evolution and god.

My seatmate asserted, unprompted by me I would add, that the theory of evolution is wrong and there is no way there has been enough time in the history of the world for humans to have evolved. He claimed that he gives speeches on it.

"I am a devout christian, in case you couldn't tell," he offered, again unprovoked.

"Cool," says I.

I talked about punctuated equilibrium. I pointed out the San Andreas fault to him when we flow over it. I suggested to him that it is exceedingly difficult for us, given our short lifespans when compared to the vast spans of time of geology and evolution, to know whether we have worked things out or not.

"I'm ok with not knowing for sure." I responded, gently. I liked the guy and didn't want to argue with him, even though he seemed primed to 'get into it' but that's not my way at all. "I keep an open mind and open eyes and look at the ideas from other folks and think about them. What more can I do?"

He allowed me my approach and no further talk of religion came up. But I was fascinated by his views, particularly given his scientific background. I could tell though, when he moved off his area of scientific expertise and talked about geology and a variety of other topics, he was no more expert than I and regarding geology, considerably less so. All good, we're not swiss army knives.

What it highlighted for me is none of us is expert at everything, and we've all got various opinions about the workings of the world around us, with some opinions more grounded than others, haha.


May 17, 2018 - 06:28pm PT
with some opinions more grounded than others

None of your opinions were grounded at all.

You were all flying around off the ground.

Muwahahahaha ......

Only God knows everything and is the supreme expert.

The gross materialists only have opinions and no real knowledge .....

Social climber
Southern Arizona
May 17, 2018 - 06:32pm PT
Nice story, Dingus. A slice of life.

Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
May 17, 2018 - 07:16pm PT
He must have a steel plate separating different brain functions.
High Fructose Corn Spirit

Gym climber
May 17, 2018 - 07:33pm PT
I'm lucky to have both a physical sciences and life sciences background. Over the years I was startled many times to discover that an expert in one knew little to nothing in the other. As much as this disappointed it also motivated.

Ice climber
great white north
May 17, 2018 - 10:04pm PT
High Fructose Corn Spirit

Gym climber
May 18, 2018 - 08:40am PT
Malemute, your link shows the incredible access to science, to education, that we've got today - really for people all around the world too - access that just didn't exist even one generation ago.


This is great, just out today. Yuval Harari giving a TED talk. In hologram!


order is masculine. Chaos is feminine.


"On Friday, The New York Times released a 3,400-word, spectacularly brutal and dishonest hit piece on Jordan Peterson."




Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
May 18, 2018 - 05:34pm PT
Over the years I was startled many times to discover that an expert in one knew little to nothing in the other.

This is a common challenge for psychologists, especially with those clients who trudge into the office chocking on facts.

This syndrome is highly visible right now in baseball, of all places. The team that plays entirely beholden to analytics is often beat by a manager who knows how to coach. That much said, each team now has a whole staff dealing with stats. The trick is how to use the stats. That's where the coaching comes in.

May 18, 2018 - 06:58pm PT
That's where the coaching comes in.

Yes, intelligence.

The stat guys think they are smart but have very little intelligence, broad vision.

Too many st00pid smart people and not enough intelligence in this day and age ......
High Fructose Corn Spirit

Gym climber
May 22, 2018 - 04:20pm PT
Just uploaded this month. All under one playlist.

Moving Naturalism Forward

Here's the original workshop itinerary...

it is important for those committed to naturalism to address the very difficult questions raised by replacing folk psychology and morality by a scientifically-grounded understanding of reality. We would like to understand how to construct meaningful human lives in a world governed by the laws of nature.

Tags: reality, emergence, reduction, consciousness, free will, morality, meaning, point and purpose, science and philosophy, Sean Carroll, Richard Dawkins, Daniel Dennett, Jerry Coyne, Steven Weinberg


Worthy of downloading and a full listen: How humankind is on the verge of transforming itself: Yuval Harari. Great segment on agency and free will implications...

(1) The Modernity Deal: Humans give up meaning for power.
(2) Organisms are algorithms.
(3) Consumer's choice: Toyota Altruist or Toyota Egoist?
High Fructose Corn Spirit

Gym climber
May 23, 2018 - 04:17pm PT
Steven Pinker tweets...
I admire much of Yuval Harari's writing (despite disagreements), but he mangles the meaning of "humanism," and philosopher Andrew Norman urges him to reconsider...

The Meaning and Legacy of Humanism: A Sharp Challenge from an Ally...


Another excellent interview. Same site as the Yuval Harari interview.
Steven Pinker on a variety of topics re progress and enlightenment ideals. For example...

re: postmodernism, postmodernist influence

"The humanities have yet to recover from the disaster of postmodernism..." -Steven Pinker to Paul Kennedy, Ideas (38:20)

"... with its defiant obscurantism, self-refuting relativism, and suffocating political correctness. Many of its luminaries - Nietzsche, Heidegger, Foucault, Lacon, Derrida, the critical theorists - are morose cultural pessimists who declare that modernity is odious, all statements are paradoxical, works of art are tools of oppression, liberal democracy is the same as fascism, and western civilization is circling the drain." -Steven Pinker

Sound familiar? lol

"Disaster?" "Why?"

re: (1) science vis a vis the humanities (2) postmodern influence

Key: Sound familiar? (sf?)

"Well, if you look at the effects on university enrollment and funding it hasn't been good for the humanities. (sf?) Students are staying away in droves. Expansion in the universities has been focused largely on the sciences. The prestige of the academic humanities has gone down. And I think a large part of it has come from the obscurantism, the impenetrable prose, the jargon (sf?), the relativism - which as I noted is self-refuting - because if you think that all propositions are relative and there is no such thing as true or false, or warranted or unwarranted (sf?), then why should we believe those claims themselves? So I think the prestige of the humanities has sadly gone down and part of it is because of this particular clique, this particular faction, that has had an outsized influence in university humanities departments (sf?)." -Steven Pinker (39:00)

Sound familar?

Thank you, Steven Pinker!

May, 2018

Any postmodernists here? lol

Be well.


re intelligence, consciousness and free will ala Harari

Ice climber
great white north
May 24, 2018 - 09:45am PT
Dingus Milktoast

Trad climber
Minister of Moderation, Fatcrackistan
May 24, 2018 - 03:10pm PT
That much said, each team now has a whole staff dealing with stats.

I watched in interesting presentation by the Money Ball guy, the guy who basically invented the stats KPI analysis / ROI potential of baseball player investments. He revolutionized talent acquisition for the game, which led directly to this 'whole staff dealing with stats' on every team. When he started his team was the only one doing it.

He said, paraphrasing, it was the fact he was the only one doing it, that gave his recruiters such an incredible advantage. It empowered his small budget team to get better players without outpaying the big budget teams. But ss soon as others saw his results and understood his methods, they were all doing it too. And once they were doing it too, they were back to the same old 'deepest pocketbook' wins paradigm.

In otherwords, the advantage is not in the stats but in using the stats in a way that others don't, and using them well.

Secret sauce.


Trad climber
Portland, Oregon
May 24, 2018 - 03:51pm PT
As Werner would remind us, we project what we think and believe onto the world as it manifests itself to us. We pick and choose.

I would suspect this is more pervasive in bio-medical (ethical issues) and social sciences (interpretation issues).

Anyway, guy is a PhD...

I climbed with a sharp kid for a bit who was getting his doctorate in molecular biology, but it turns out he was raised in some fundamentalist sect and was getting the degree for the express purpose of joining the Intelligent Design crusade and disproving evolution. Sigh.

May 24, 2018 - 05:24pm PT
Are the gross materialists st00pid designers?

So far they ARE as everything they touch turns to sh!t eventually ......

Mountain climber
golden, rollin hills of California
May 25, 2018 - 09:49am PT
Quantum Mechanics and Free Will
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