The New "Religion Vs Science" Thread

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High Fructose Corn Spirit

Gym climber
Jul 3, 2018 - 12:16pm PT
re: the fermi paradox

New model/thinking indicates that we are probably the only advanced "people" in the observable universe.

https://www.vox.com/science-and-health/2018/7/3/17522810/aliens-fermi-paradox-drake-equation



Maybe we ARE the only ones here.


But what's really weird in the meantime is imagining aliens or ETs of an advanced civilization that do NOT look anything like us... but imagining them "people" anyways.

The people of Vega. :)
MikeL

Social climber
Southern Arizona
Jul 3, 2018 - 10:05pm PT
Yeah, sure, please. The weirder the better. It could show people just how really strange everything is.
jogill

climber
Colorado
Jul 6, 2018 - 12:23pm PT
I grew up attending big-city Southern Baptist Churches in Florida, Texas, and Georgia. I found the environment nurturing and supportive and not racist or demeaning of other cultures. I don't recall any attempts to cultivate creationism or any other flat-earth theories. The stories of the Bible were taught as fables.

I guess I was lucky.

After high school I ceased attending church, no longer feeling a need for the support and encouragement I had experienced. I got on with my life.

A sad story, but true nevertheless.
High Fructose Corn Spirit

Gym climber
Jul 6, 2018 - 01:55pm PT
I don't recall any attempts to cultivate creationism or any other flat-earth theories. The stories of the Bible were taught as fables... I guess I was lucky.

Indeed.

The bible belt is a bastion of fundamentalist belief, including fundamentalist teaching. A fair example of this I'd say is portrayed in the 1960 film, Inherit the Wind, w Spencer Tracy and Gene Kelly.

The good news of course is that the Church in all its manifestations or varieties is being pressured - highly pressured now - and not from within but from without - to shed its fundamentalist literalist branches in the light of modern age enlightenment.

I think it's happening faster than even I imagined it would just 10 years ago. Belief (for lack of a better known word) is undergoing rapid and radical change. Internet connectivity is very powerful and these millenials today really get it.

With so many moving parts now to this cultural evo thing, I couldn't begin to predict where it's all heading even one or two generations down the line let alone 10 or 20).

(And with Trump at one of the steering wheels) Exciting for sure.

Speaking of films, I think Time Machine, 1959? with Rod Taylor is well worth watching for fodder for the imagination as far as future possibilities go. It features a pretty girl in a time far far away, too. Bonus.
MikeL

Social climber
Southern Arizona
Jul 8, 2018 - 09:37am PT
STORIES

I read a lot. Without a book to pour myself through, I feel a little empty. I don't read fiction anymore; haven't for a few decades. So those books I read end up to be private conversations with authors and their ideas.

This morning I was telling my wife about a postmodern criticism that arose a few decades ago about texts (books, scientific journal articles, writing in general). The initial criticism--or one that showed up early on with postmodern thinking--was a complaint about authorship. Literary critics had gotten through classifying and categorizing the various kinds of "stories" that could be told, and then started to tear apart the author from what the author was writing. (See "hermeneutics.") Much of the criticism was led by French thinkers and literary critics. In brief, the criticism centered around narration, not about the kinds of stories that authors were writing. The complaint about narration was concerned with the author's authority to say what he or she was saying. Most authors were writing from an omniscient point of view, as an "objective observer," as unequivocal knowers of Truth. Critics wanted authors to recognize their own biases, their own limited ability to say what was true accurately, completely, and finally. Even if an author makes up a story fictionally, what that story portrays is a perspective, and it would be only honest to expose that the author knows his writing is perspectival.

Whether one is viewing a documentary, or a scientific report, or a presentation of a survey or study, or a short story (that tends to present a morale or a assessment of "how life should or should not be)" the author(s) are deeply involved in saying what is real and not real, good or bad, etc. What was wanted critically was an obvious or explicit recognition with an audience that an author takes liberties with readers or viewers. Moreover, critics wanted authors to be self-reflective about their own imaginations and understandings--and they wanted them to show that they were being self-reflective to readers.

We all have biases, viewpoints, theories that we hold dear, experiences that have built our character. It's that very character that needs to be recognized, because one's character puts a slant on every image that one sees for him or herself, and communicates to others. The world as it appears to us appears the way it does because of who and what we imagine ourselves to be. We are not, nor is it possible that anyone of us can be, "objective observers."

So, books to me, are intimate dialogues with myself through the writings of an author. It's much easier to have a open conversation with an author when he or she is open, authentic, and honest.

We don't know ourselves. We discover ourselves.
Largo

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Jul 8, 2018 - 10:16am PT
I love the original Time Machine. Especially the opening. How about that guy drinking all that wine. And the maid? And the host busting in all torn and battered after his adventure in the future? And the romantisized life of the squire, in his hand-tooled abode full of books and tradition.

jogill

climber
Colorado
Jul 8, 2018 - 02:22pm PT
I enjoyed the two Time Machine movies, the first more than the second. The tv series Timeless was entertaining as well. Too bad it was axed.
High Fructose Corn Spirit

Gym climber
Jul 10, 2018 - 07:29pm PT
Why do we do it? Why do we persist?

In part, in memory and honor of this guy...


Can't recall? Check out Cosmos 2.

Funny thing, I enjoyed more the second round.
jogill

climber
Colorado
Jul 10, 2018 - 08:13pm PT
I like the part where the moon breaks apart. But Largo would tell us that could not happen if we were not looking at it.
High Fructose Corn Spirit

Gym climber
Jul 10, 2018 - 08:58pm PT
"In the absence of a conscious entity, the moon remains a radically ambiguous and ceaselessly flowing quantum soup." -Chopra

Imagine that Thai cave now. Dark. Empty. (I mean, except for all that urine and CO2 buildup, lol.) Forsaken. No more conscious entities contained within.

"In the absence of a conscious entity, the Thai Cave returns to a radically ambiguous and ceaselessly flowing quantum soup."

Well, maybe. :)

...

Could anyone say it better...



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1dasQ7HnDoI

PS

lol, carbonic acid in the lab, on the table!
Marlow

Sport climber
OSLO
Jul 11, 2018 - 05:45am PT

When I was a teacher with Boston University’s Core Curriculum, I heard Elie Wiesel lecture on the Binding of Isaac. The lesson I gathered from Wiesel was that the near-sacrifice of Isaac involved Abraham testing God as much as God testing Abraham: Is this a god that would demand such a thing? Is this then the God that deserves my worship? And in the end this God does not require that Abraham go through with the sacrifice. Wiesel argued that the most important thing about this story is the imperative to question, to be alive to the justice of God as a problem, not a command to be obeyed unthinkingly. Abraham’s God wants us to question, to test Him. That leaves room for philosophy in this transient world: While we live, we must always begin our wanderings rooted somewhere, with the seeming givens of the context we inhabit, but to capitulate to these givens is to abandon the human calling to transcend the given while still preserving and reconstituting it, for we have no other dwelling between earth and sky, between the Here of a beloved contingency and the There of a transcendent judgment. We are given over to the paradox of a situated transcendence, and this paradox is how we can mediate between Being as the eternal and Being as the time-bound specificity of our historical, emplaced belonging. Only by learning to live by negotiating this paradox ever anew may we face down the pathologies of fascism emerging in our time.
MikeL

Social climber
Southern Arizona
Jul 12, 2018 - 07:56am PT
Niel deGrasse Tyson presents a romantic, moralistic, optimistic story. It’s endearing.
High Fructose Corn Spirit

Gym climber
Jul 12, 2018 - 09:05am PT
Backhanded compliment, MikeL?
Norton

climber
The Wastelands
Jul 12, 2018 - 09:16am PT
"In the absence of a conscious entity, the moon remains a radically ambiguous and ceaselessly flowing quantum soup." -Chopra

pure woo
High Fructose Corn Spirit

Gym climber
Jul 12, 2018 - 10:20am PT
Dig this Sapiens (Harari) fans...

https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/bookmark/ridley-scott-asif-kapadia-adapt-fiction-bestseller-sapiens-1126224

No less than Ridley Scott!

"The adaptation will explore how man became the planet's dominant species."

But hold some of your horses... Scott only to produce.

...

Wow, something's going on with Robert Wright...



https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=157&v=5QWUqtoaqpc
MikeL

Social climber
Southern Arizona
Jul 12, 2018 - 07:14pm PT
HFCS: Backhanded compliment, MikeL?

If I look at the video as a production, as a text, as rhetoric, then I’d say it plays a vision where everything good is possible, and where all understanding will be found. Literarily, that would make it a romance. It also seems to suggest the idea that science is a moral good. That would make it a persuasion.

I can’t say what’s in your mind, but since you posted the video, how would you describe it in review? (Imagine yourself a media critic.)

Dingus Milktoast

Trad climber
Minister of Moderation, Fatcrackistan
Jul 13, 2018 - 07:40am PT
HFCS and MikeL, interesting dialogue here about the Spacetime Odyssey video segment.

It prompted me to watch it, Hey Mikey!

:)

When it comes to painting the big picture of the cosmos in words, distilled from billions of tiny data points and organized by theories tested by local experiment, it necessarily relies upon narrative and story telling.

When it comes to scientists getting it wrong, it's in these sweeping, big-picture stories it is mostly likely to make grand, sweeping mistakes; to have it all wrong in this or that aspect.

There is no doubt that the rhetoric deGrasse Tyson uses in that segment is romantic. Clearly he borrows from age old human story telling and myth making to pluck emotional chords in the human psyche. It is no accident imo, that one could easily replace his scientists and cosmos, with prophets and god, and tell the same uplifting story with virtually the same uplifting words.

I am not ascribing deceit on deGrasse's part. I am not making equivalence between religious and scientific myth making. I am saying, this is how we humans tell stories and get others to listen.

In that sense, deGrasse is a preacher, getting the message out.

So I have to tip the hat to MikeL for his comments. The piece struck me exactly the same way. I say, no fault, no foul. But I would also add, it is important to recognize that common note between the music of religion and the music of science.

When there is criticism that science ends up being 'just another religion' to some people? It's that theme, I would submit, that stirs those thoughts.

Again, I say there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. But I see no harm in recognizing it. My response is that it should not be taken as a backhanded compliment.

It is not a backhanded compliment like this one, for example:

"You're really quite emotional, aren't you?"


Cheers
DMT
MikeL

Social climber
Southern Arizona
Jul 13, 2018 - 07:52am PT
Very well put, DMT.

Thanks for chiming in.
High Fructose Corn Spirit

Gym climber
Jul 13, 2018 - 12:06pm PT
“So I have to tip the hat to MikeL for his comments.” -Dingus

“Very well put, DMT… Thanks for chiming in.” -MikeL

lol

...


Well, what’s clear after a gazillion posts is that MikeL and I do not always share the same common language. Likely due somewhat to our differing personalities and dispositions in regards to these subject matters. So the ambiguity (per usual?) of MikeL’s post left me wondering about its meaning. I grew up – and I aged (lol) – in an arts and sciences-respecting, Enlightenment ideals-respecting culture and my vocabulary and vernacular reflect this... acculturation.

So in lieu of MikeL’s phrasing...
“Niel deGrasse Tyson presents a romantic, moralistic, optimistic story. It’s endearing.”


...mine would’ve/could've been along the lines of...

"Neil deGrasse Tyson presents in this short piece an inspiring, science and history-minded, didactically-minded, didactically-motivated, didactically-effective recapitulation – yes, somewhat in story form, which is great - of a number of thinking tools (four or five) that together serve wonderfully not only as a tool but as stoke for scienteers (those impassioned by science). Effective and endearing."

For scienteers at least - if not others.

I could go on but I left it short to parallel MikeL’s response. Also let’s remember - as it's pertinent - that this was a just a clip of an ending (hardly comprehensive) that recapitulated both the episode and the entire 13 episode series.
High Fructose Corn Spirit

Gym climber
Jul 13, 2018 - 12:13pm PT
continued...

I suppose another way to respond to Neil’s piece - along the lines of a critique - would be to give it a grade, an OVERALL grade (mindful in the background of a report card’s component grades too). In this case, personally, I’d have no problem giving Neil’s piece an OVERALL A grade. So what OVERALL grade would MikeL give it? (A rhetorical question? that’s fine.)

Dingus writes,
“I am saying, this is how we humans tell stories and get others to listen… In that sense, deGrasse is a preacher, getting the message out.”

Fair enough. But all teachers, all educators, then – not just Tyson (either here in this piece or elsewhere) - are “preachers” "in that sense" “getting the message out.”

Most everyone’s aware: “Preacher” is first and foremost part of a religious/theistic “way of talking.” Some folks nowadays (instructors, teachers, educators among them; parents too) - who are bent toward the modern scientific and would identify as nonreligious if not irreligious - are simply not interested in this identifier as part of there own modern (idiosyncratic) “way of talking.”

If I were an educator/teacher, and that's what Neil Tyson is, I would likely not appreciate being called a "preacher" in many settings esp if the caller were a known detractor/disparager of some stripe.

Hence the pushback here.
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