Creationists Take Another Called Strike - and run to dugout

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Norton

Social climber
the Wastelands
Topic Author's Original Post - Oct 1, 2009 - 03:05pm PT



"Ardi" is the nickname given to a shattered skeleton that an international team of scientists painstakingly excavated from the Ethiopian desert, analyzed over the course of 15 years, and declared Thursday to be a major breakthrough in the study of human origins. Ardi lived more than a million years before "Lucy," a much-celebrated, 3.2 million-year-old fossil of an early human progenitor found just 45 miles away.



If the scientists are correct, Ardi and her kind were the ancestors of our ancestors. She was a transitional figure, almost a hybrid -- a tree creature who could carry food in her arms as she explored the woodland floor on two legs.

The skeletal remnants of Ardi were recovered along with bones from at least 35 other members of a species that the scientists call Ardipithecus ramidus. Their arduous investigation had incited grumbling in a scientific community that had grown impatient to find out what exactly had been found in the silty clay of Ethiopia. The answers are dramatic, detailed in 11 papers published Thursday in the online edition of the journal Science and discussed in dual press conferences in Washington and Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

The discovery of Ardi "further confirms that Ethiopia is the cradle of humankind," said Yohannes Haile-Selassie, the paleontologist who found the first two bones of Ardi in 1994.

Human origins is a field with high stakes and small bones, and the elaborate roll-out of the new research probably will trigger debate about the message contained in fossils so fragile they had to be excavated with dental picks and porcupine quills.

"It was a sort of a time capsule from 4.4. million years ago with contents that nobody had ever seen before," said Tim White, a University of California at Berkeley paleoanthropologist who led the Ardi research team. "We worked for years at opening that time capsule by collecting every shred of evidence that we could find."

The scientists who found Ardi do not contend that she necessarily evolved into Lucy. The human line of primates could have splintered, with some species turning into genetic dead ends. Lucy's line of primates could have diverged from Ardi's line long before Ardi lived. Even so, White said he believes that his team has documented an evolutionary sequence that shows, at the genus level, where people came from. Ardipithecus, then Australopithecus, then Homo.

Lucy, a member of the species Australopithecus afarensis, was a small-brained primate that had fully adapted to a bipedal life and had expanded its habitat beyond the forest into the savannah of Africa. Unlike Ardi, she lacked the grasping big toe. Ardi and Lucy had different teeth, with Lucy's enlarged molars more adapted to a wide-ranging diet on the savannah.

"Ardi tells us twice as much as Lucy did. We have hands and feet, a more complete environment, a more complete skeleton, it's older, it's more primitive, it shows us the process of transformation from common ancestor to hominid," said C. Owen Lovejoy, an anthropologist at Kent State University who was part of the Ardi team.

complete article here: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/10/01/AR2009100103432.html
Jaybro

Social climber
Wolf City, Wyoming
Oct 1, 2009 - 03:08pm PT
"Yohannes Haile-Selassie"?
Jah love!
Sure as Ska and Reggae have a common ancestor.
nature

climber
Tucson, AZ
Oct 1, 2009 - 03:12pm PT
What where's the missing link?

~Jody
the kid

Trad climber
fayetteville, wv
Oct 1, 2009 - 03:22pm PT
Very cool indeed..
Jingy

Social climber
Flatland, Ca
Oct 1, 2009 - 03:25pm PT
there is no god....


or at least the story in the book is a little off.. and that pulls the whole book into question as it is man made
apogee

climber
Oct 1, 2009 - 03:28pm PT
It's all part of God's plan.....
























Heh.
Norton

Social climber
the Wastelands
Topic Author's Reply - Oct 1, 2009 - 03:55pm PT
2008 Republican Primary Debate:

Raise your hand if you believe in Evolution.








NOT ONE REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE RAISED HIS HAND.


NOT ONE.











Norton

Social climber
the Wastelands
Topic Author's Reply - Oct 1, 2009 - 04:12pm PT
Fatty,

1) Your market timing is horrible. You went short over a month ago.
Given the decay in your options, you might be back to break even from your losses. Stick with raking in commissions, you are no pure trader.

2) You said you were "net short". That is a bush league pussy position.
Next time you want to play with the big boys, quit screwing around
and go 100% short the December S&P 500, and from 1072.


Sigh, you have SO much to learn, Jeff.
Norton

Social climber
the Wastelands
Topic Author's Reply - Oct 1, 2009 - 04:17pm PT
Scientists can use different chemicals for absolute dating:

The best-known absolute dating technique is carbon-14 dating, which archaeologists prefer to use. However, the half-life of carbon-14 is only 5730 years, so the method cannot be used for materials older than about 70,000 years.

Radiometric dating involves the use of isotope series, such as rubidium/strontium, thorium/lead, potassium/argon, argon/argon, or uranium/lead, all of which have very long half-lives, ranging from 0.7 to 48.6 billion years. Subtle differences in the relative proportions of the two isotopes can give good dates for rocks of any age.
Scientists can check their accuracy by using different isotopes.
The first radiometric dates, generated about 1920, showed that the Earth was hundreds of millions, or billions, of years old. Since then, geologists have made many tens of thousands of radiometric age determinations, and they have refined the earlier estimates. A key point is that it is no longer necessary simply to accept one chemical determination of a rock’s age. Age estimates can be cross-tested by using different isotope pairs. Results from different techniques, often measured in rival labs, continually confirm each other.
dirtbag

climber
Oct 1, 2009 - 04:19pm PT
It's very clever of G-- to test our faith by planting fossils.
TwistedCrank

climber
Ideeho-dee-do-dah-day boom-chicka-boom-chicka-boom
Oct 1, 2009 - 04:49pm PT
I'm a fossil. So I speak from experience. What were we talking about?
Norton

Social climber
the Wastelands
Topic Author's Reply - Oct 1, 2009 - 04:53pm PT
NOPE, it is not Jeff.

I was both a Stock Broker and a Commodity Futures Broker in the 1970's.

Even way back then, I put ALL my client's money, AND MY OWN, in a
basket of multiple account orders. All of us took the same position
at the same moment.

No one should give anyone else investment advice unless they personally
are risking the same percentage of their net worth on the result.

Otherwise, it is not honest, and just all BS talking into commissions.

Someday Jeff, I hope you get good enough to not have to make a living
by talking other people in to buying market crap.
That's no different from selling used cars. Trade ONLY your own account.
Jaybro

Social climber
Wolf City, Wyoming
Oct 1, 2009 - 05:20pm PT
Sheesh, Tami, where do you think petrified forests come from?
Norton

Social climber
the Wastelands
Topic Author's Reply - Oct 1, 2009 - 05:27pm PT
Tami,
sorry it got off topic, thanks to Fatty spewing stock market crap talk.

However, he IS such a fossil........


And you can see from my avitar which side my people come from.
cintune

climber
the Moon and Antarctica
Oct 1, 2009 - 05:53pm PT
bluering

Trad climber
Santa Clara, Ca.
Oct 1, 2009 - 07:42pm PT
Crazy world and the creationists are missing it all..

Do you really believe that? You think it's either science or creation? If you're a scientist you don't believe in creation and vice versa?

That's untrue and pretty f*#king assuming.
noshoesnoshirt

climber
Arkansas, I suppose
Oct 1, 2009 - 07:44pm PT
bluering

Trad climber
Santa Clara, Ca.
Oct 1, 2009 - 07:57pm PT
Aww come on now Bluey, it's just that if you have any background in science whatsoever, you're more likely to have the critical thinking skills necessary to realize that there is no evidence whatsoever for our "creation" by a higher power in the manner christians claim.

Eric, I have an electronics degree and troubleshoot very complex digital electronic systems down to the f*#king component level of a specific card.

I wonder if there's any critical thinking involved in that? I must be too stupid to understand your point, but whatever....ignorance is bliss, right?
the Fet

Supercaliyosemistic climber
Tu-Tok-A-Nu-La
Oct 1, 2009 - 08:03pm PT
If you're a scientist you don't believe in creation and vice versa?

Creationists are generally though of as those who reject naturalistic origins of man, i.e. evolution.

Could God have created the universe in such a way so that man would eventually be created through natural processes? Sure.

But did God create Adam and Eve in current human form? That takes a great deal of self delusion to believe IMO.
Norton

Social climber
the Wastelands
Topic Author's Reply - Oct 1, 2009 - 08:21pm PT
Well, some 92% of the members of the American Society of Scientists
do not believe in the traditional concept of a "god".
Sure, go ahead and attack the source, pretend that "scientists" can be
just as dumb as anyone else. Maybe say you know a dumb scientist.

Always attack the source when you don't like what a poll or study says.

This high number of non believers holds true throughout the general population
as it relates to education level.
In general, the more education one has, the more one is trained to think
in a deductive manner, and therefore less likely to accept the concept of a god.

Not liking this either, one could then attack education, if they knew how to.
bluering

Trad climber
Santa Clara, Ca.
Oct 1, 2009 - 08:31pm PT
//Well, some 92% of the members of the American Society of Scientists
do not believe in the traditional concept of a "god".//

WTF does that mean??? Traditional concept????

You, who are irreligious, constantly use the Bible as a source when many religious people don't take it literally.

World created in 7 (6) days???

The more you try to dispute this and find a non-answer, the crazier you sound.

I don't believe that and I am religious. It's almost as if you seek justification in your atheistic life by constantly examining the Bible for discrepecies that don't make sense to us.

Keep on keeping on, live in your little pathetic world. The time will come when you'll know if you were right or not. I don't dwell on it myself.
micronut

Trad climber
fresno, ca
Oct 1, 2009 - 09:00pm PT
I'm not sure why guys like Norton, Weschrist and dr F seem to think this kind of finding somehow disproves/invalidates or affects Christianity in some negative way. It is quite possible to simultaneously have a "scientific" and Christian worldview. I am compelled by Christianity and inspired by science and findings like this at the same time. I consider myself a scientist(dual doctorates...DMD and a masters in bone physiology) and a Christian. The two are not mutually exclusive in my opinion.
bluering

Trad climber
Santa Clara, Ca.
Oct 1, 2009 - 09:04pm PT
The two are not mutually exclusive in my opinion.

I guess that was my point too. It's disingenuous to suggest they are. Kinda like, "you're either a Repub or Dem, pick one!!!".
micronut

Trad climber
fresno, ca
Oct 1, 2009 - 09:15pm PT
Just watched the video on Science.com
amazing stuff. I like how they point to the "fork" between chimps and humans in the tree concept rather than links in a chain. This falls somewhere closer to the fork, but isn't claiming to be "The Link."
Norton

Social climber
the Wastelands
Topic Author's Reply - Oct 1, 2009 - 09:16pm PT
Bluering asks what is the traditional concept of a god.

Anyone care to help him out on what this might mean to most people?
Norton

Social climber
the Wastelands
Topic Author's Reply - Oct 1, 2009 - 10:11pm PT
Good evening Howard.
You are mistaken.

When asked if anyone "believed in evolution", NOT ONE raised their hand.

Just........silence.

Flash forward to the Democratic Primary Debate:

This time, the question was: Does anyone NOT believe in evolution?

Not one raised their hand.

(The moderator pretty much knew in advance that democrats do NOT deny science)


How nice if EVEN ONE REPUB had said he believed in evolution.

But none would say so, because either they feared losing the "Christian" vote, OR they secretly DID believe in evolution but were too GUTLESS
to tell the truth, for fear of losing some vote. VOTES meant everything.

The Democrats were HONEST, they did not give a sh#t about losing any
votes by saying they believed in evolution. HONESTY, NOT votes, meant everything.

And who won the election by an Electoral Landslide? HONESTY over vote pandering morons.
Norton

Social climber
the Wastelands
Topic Author's Reply - Oct 1, 2009 - 10:35pm PT
Remarkable, we happen to totally agree that the evangelical Christian
vote going virtually 100% GOP had NO effect on the election.

WHY? Because with abortion and evolution, the Dems wrote that vote off long ago.

Buyer's remorse? Those on the political right would like to think that,
because that would tend to validate their own opposite the winner vote.

ALL President's approval polls drop off after the election, no body
stays at inauguration patriotism polling high. Nothing new or telling here.

Election held again right now, again Obama kicks McCain's ass.

Think Obama will not win a second term? Feel real sure of yourself?

How sure? Like sure enough to bet me real money he won't be re elected?

Money that we could put up now and mutually agree who would hold it?
GDavis

Social climber
SOL CAL
Oct 1, 2009 - 10:37pm PT
The earth isn't as young as some would think. The role that the skeleton played in the big picture of things will be pretty speculative, but I don't doubt its as old as its claimed to be.
Gobee

Trad climber
Los Angeles
Oct 2, 2009 - 12:30am PT
And so castles made of sand fall in the sea, eventually
JIMI HENDRIX

Build Your House on the Rock
“Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock. And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it.”

until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes. Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ
WBraun

climber
Oct 2, 2009 - 01:25am PT
"If the scientists are correct" and that's what it's all based on, that simple speculative statement.

You all seemed to be so sure about your selves by guessing,

Real good scientists ya all are ......
Jaybro

Social climber
Wolf City, Wyoming
Oct 2, 2009 - 01:30am PT
Now Werner, you know the scientifically based "Evolutionists" aren't guessing. Creationsists?guessing is all they have! and all they need, apparently.
Largo

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Oct 2, 2009 - 01:40am PT
A purely mechanistic view of creation and existence seems to me just as unlikely as stock creationism (and not the kind of dynamic creationism put forth by Nobel winner Henri Berson or Teilhard de Chardinn).

If you truly understood how mechanically personalities and ego-structures worked, you'd realize that you don't "need" consciousness to explain most human behavior. "Free choice" is simply action vectored off past conditioning playing out in the present moment.

So you can say we don't "need" consciousness to explain evolution, that we can concoct a model, based on repeatable experiments, using a purely mechanical model. But that still does not mean consciousness was not present all along.

But this is a tricky one, and I'm tired . . .

JL
Jaybro

Social climber
Wolf City, Wyoming
Oct 2, 2009 - 01:42am PT
and yer ramblin'....
jfailing

Trad climber
A trailer park in the Sierras
Oct 2, 2009 - 02:24am PT
A friend of a friend's parents believed that there are members of the scientific community who travel around the world and "plant" fake bones of animals (like dinosaurs and strange apes) just to disprove the creationism theory. That's pushing it if you ask me.
apogee

climber
Oct 2, 2009 - 02:30am PT
"It's almost as if you seek justification in your atheistic life by constantly examining the Bible for discrepecies that don't make sense to us."

To be sure, there are a some 'irreligious' types (to use your word) that hold strong agendas, and seek to invalidate any aspect of Christianity (or religion in general) that they can find. My guess is that these people make up a relatively small, yet very vocal, percentage of the number of people who do not hold any traditional religious beliefs (agnostic or atheist). For myself, I simply become inflamed when I see or reflect on the myriad of ways that religion (esp. Christianity) has permeated this country, society and politics, driven by a relatively small group of fundamentalist believers who are really not much different from the Taliban in their persistence and intolerance.


"In general, Dems/libs believe in evolution and in general GOP/conservatives support creationism (idiotic though it is)."

I would agree that a (vast?) majority of Dems/Libs are confident of the reality of evolution (as opposed to a 'belief'), but I doubt that a similar percentage of Repubs have strict creationism beliefs. My interactions with Repubs has usually demonstrated that their beliefs are somewhere along the spectrum, and accept/embrace the science and facts of evolution. As usual, the characterization of the GOP as being entirely comprised of Creationists is created by a relatively small, yet persistently vocal, minority.
WBraun

climber
Oct 2, 2009 - 11:34am PT
A conditioned soul in the material world has the disqualification of cheating. He has four disqualifications: he is sure to commit mistakes, he is sure to be illusioned, he is prone to cheat others, and his senses are imperfect.

Modern science is incomplete.

Modern theories take on another strike and run to the dugout ......
Largo

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Oct 2, 2009 - 12:30pm PT
"I wish also that other wise very smart people wouldn't confuse this hard science with the many other philosophies and psychologies that we use to understand ourselves and our world."

Paraphrased, this purports that "hard science" has an exclusive on the "truth" by virtue or measurements (hard science IS measurement of some THING or THINGS), whereas "philosophies and psychologies" are sort of guessing or hoping for the truth via speculation,"faith" and nebulous (false = unverifiable) Godspeak.

In fact, hard science has an exclusive on measurements, which witout fail will render a mechanistic, materialistic, and reductionistic model of all.

Porblem here is that reductionism has been junked as untenable, especially by those studying consciousness (neuroscientists and psychobiologists, mainly).

JL
apogee

climber
Oct 2, 2009 - 12:47pm PT
From the polls I have followed, and from my interactions with a wide range of Repubs, it seems quite clear that while there is certainly a percentage that have strict "7-day creation"-style beliefs (with no room for any other possibility- essentially, the strict fundamentalists), there are far more who believe that somehow both creationism and evolution exist together.

Obviously, this is a reflection of the melding of 'belief' and science, and I'm not making a case that this is or is not the 'correct' view of the world. In many of those people, there is at least an open-mindedness to another view, which is a much more positive attribute than the closed-minded fundamentalists. Those with strict science-based views of the world (I tend to place myself amongst them) tend to view and regard anyone with any level of creationist belief as fundamentalist loonies- and this just isn't the case (most of the time).

Whatever one's beliefs, they deserve to be respected as fellow human beings, and not have others views forced upon them and their lives. Productive, interesting conversations and learning can occur when a baseline of respect exists amongst persons of differing views. The vitriole and divisiveness that exists in our society and country is a sad reflection of the lack of basic respect for others.
Flanders!

Trad climber
June Lake, CA
Oct 2, 2009 - 01:09pm PT

In the 150 yrs. since Darwin wrote his Origin of Species the fossil record is not only lacking
in the transitional forms he said would be needed to complete his theory, it is COMPLETELY
DEVOID of any transitional forms. As such the evolutionary "scientists" keep guessing and
changing their best guesses. The newest line of B.S. is called "Punctuated Equalibrium", it
proposes that things stayed the same for a very long time, then in the twinkling of an
eye, poof, a dramatic changed occurred. Wow.... pay no attention to that man behind the
curtain



Doug
eeyonkee

Trad climber
Golden, CO
Oct 2, 2009 - 01:14pm PT
It's interesting that the Catholic church has made a stance that belief in evolution can coexist with religious doctrine. Just a little digging, however, turns up a lot of problems with any God-guided evolution. For instance, if you believe that humans have souls (and animals don't), at what juncture in human evolution did this occur? Was it at the ape/hominid juncture, the hominid/homo juncture, or perhaps the homo/homo sapien juncture? Maybe it wasn't until just before recorded history, after homo sapiens had already been around for a quarter of a million years or so. It would seem so arbitrary. Largo mentions de Chardinn, who thought about this subject, but who did not have the knowledge we now have of all of the competing species in the genus homo, all except us who have gone extinct.

Based on evidence from mutiple disciplines, evolution is entirely self-consistent, requiring no meddling by a supernatural being all of the way back to the beginning of life. Scientists are even making some pretty decent strides into explaining what may have happened at the no life/life juncture as well.
edit - Flanders, what you just posted is absolute untruth.
nature

climber
Tucson, AZ
Oct 2, 2009 - 01:19pm PT
the entire fossil record consists of transitional forms.
the Fet

Supercaliyosemistic climber
Tu-Tok-A-Nu-La
Oct 2, 2009 - 01:19pm PT
Are we here because of God(s), luck, or inevitability?

With billions of galaxies, each having billions of planets and stars, and given astronomic time scales is it inevitable that intelligent life would develop? Or is there an intelligent force out there that created things so we would develop? Or is God more like Einstein's view of God - that the existence of everything is it's own reason and reflection? Or are we just extremely lucky to have the perfect conditions for life, a one time fluke in the universe?

It's similar to why are we here as individuals. What are the chances that our parents would meet and create us? What are the chances that out of millions of sperm the one that created us is the one that got to the egg?

How many licks does it take to get to the center of a tootsie roll pop?

Oh, and people aren't wearing enough hats.
WBraun

climber
Oct 2, 2009 - 01:22pm PT
genes and DNA are responsible for all our traits and existence.

Genes and DNA are still material. Your car is comprised of electronics and many material elements created and built by a superior living entity (soul).

The car will never run nor be built without the superior energy (soul) creating or starting it up.

Keep religion out of the topic as it is sectarian and material too.


the Fet

Supercaliyosemistic climber
Tu-Tok-A-Nu-La
Oct 2, 2009 - 01:24pm PT
I like one of the theories Ardi helped scientists propose. That the males of these early hominids traded food for copulation. Not much has changed in the last 4 million years. :-)
looking sketchy there...

Social climber
Latitute 33
Oct 2, 2009 - 01:30pm PT
In the 150 yrs. since Darwin wrote his Origin of Species the fossil record is not only lacking
in the transitional forms he said would be needed to complete his theory, it is COMPLETELY
DEVOID of any transitional forms.

Are you daft?

Jaybro

Social climber
Wolf City, Wyoming
Oct 2, 2009 - 01:30pm PT
Flanders, was that tongue in cheek or do really not get it? Every single fossil is a transitional form. So are you, so am I. Time is Really Big! I know that is hard to take in, but if you can comprehend the scale, it all makes sense.
Norton

Social climber
the Wastelands
Topic Author's Reply - Oct 2, 2009 - 01:39pm PT
Run the random tape of the 4.5 billion year evolution of planet earth over
and over, and there is a good chance that our species never evolved.

This assumes the exact delicate and perfect makeup of carbon and oxygen
necessary for life to evolve into mammals, to primates, to us.

We are a random, statistically improbable happening. So really, quite special.


Somewhere short of a billion years from now, our sun gets so hot that it
makes life impossible on this planet. Our prognosis is very poor.


eeyonkee

Trad climber
Golden, CO
Oct 2, 2009 - 01:59pm PT
Sheesh, Werner. You are exasperating. You are one of the least tolerant of others' views and yet spew your own, crazy beliefs as self evident truth.
Norton

Social climber
the Wastelands
Topic Author's Reply - Oct 2, 2009 - 02:08pm PT
Nav, I am curious about the source of your statement that Einstein believed
that without god, science is lacking.

I don't recall him making a statement like that.

In fact, on numerous occasions, Einstein quite clearly said/indicated
that he was at the least an agnostic, and most probably an atheist.

This can easily be fact checked by googling Einstein - god -beliefs, etc
WBraun

climber
Oct 2, 2009 - 02:14pm PT
Not everything is in Google.
WBraun

climber
Oct 2, 2009 - 02:43pm PT
Yes Einstein was an impersonalist.

99% percent of the world ultimately sees God as impersonal aside from those that say God does not exist at all.

Where does consciousness originate? What material instrument can acurately measure consciousness?

None, yet everyone knows it's existence.
the Fet

Supercaliyosemistic climber
Tu-Tok-A-Nu-La
Oct 2, 2009 - 02:59pm PT
Another fossil was recently found in the Olduvai Gorge which completely refutes any notion of "intelligent" design.



















































edit:
Jeff I don't think you'd take offense, but just in case.. just kidding.
the Fet

Supercaliyosemistic climber
Tu-Tok-A-Nu-La
Oct 2, 2009 - 03:06pm PT
PROOF!!!! There IS a reason for evolution!!!!!!!!!!!!








































GOclimb

Trad climber
Boston, MA
Oct 2, 2009 - 03:16pm PT
Fet - your graphic, while silly, is thought provoking:

Somewhere back on that evolutionary chain is Ardi. And Ardi, from everything I've read so far, would probably have been the best rock climber (not the best tree climber - any chimp could kick Ardi's ass) in our whole family tree.

Basically fully upright, able to balance on her feet; less massive than us (great strength to weight); a huge ape index; with powerful arms and hands; and with opposable toes.

So your graphic is interesting, but the rope and cliff is on the wrong species - it should be on Ardi!

GO
Josh Nash

Social climber
riverbank ca
Oct 2, 2009 - 03:37pm PT
I don't get how that disproves anything....all Genesis says is God created....it doesn't say how he did it it's just that He did it. There is a really insightfull book called Genesis and the Big Bang and it's about how there is nothing really contradictory about what science is learning and what is written in the original Hebrew.( I know run on sentence.)
the Fet

climber
Tu-Tok-A-Nu-La
Oct 2, 2009 - 05:30pm PT
Howweird, it probably has to do with the ability to travel great distances. Man would migrate to areas with food/water. Track game for a great length of time until the prey was worn out.

A man is probably superior to other primates when it comes to long distance treks. Different niches.
nature

climber
Tucson, AZ
Oct 2, 2009 - 05:36pm PT
None, yet everyone knows it's existence.

You assume too much.


Right on Wes... I guess that there's a few of us that don't count in the "everyone" word.

No... I don't know it exists. I have no proof of anything. The world is relative to your perception of it. Supreme consciousness only exists if you tell yourself it does. But then... there's nothing to prove you just told yourself anything.

Non-sequiter, werner. A logical Fallacy.
cintune

climber
the Moon and Antarctica
Oct 2, 2009 - 06:19pm PT
Religious Experience Linked to Brain’s Social Regions
http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2009/10/god-brai/

"In other words, whether or not God or Gods exist, religious belief may have been quite useful in shaping the human mind’s evolution."
Largo

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Oct 2, 2009 - 10:30pm PT
Eeyonkee wrote: "It's interesting that the Catholic church has made a stance that belief in evolution can coexist with religious doctrine. Just a little digging, however, turns up a lot of problems with any God-guided evolution. For instance, if you believe that humans have souls (and animals don't), at what juncture in human evolution did this occur? Was it at the ape/hominid juncture, the hominid/homo juncture, or perhaps the homo/homo sapien juncture? Maybe it wasn't until just before recorded history, after homo sapiens had already been around for a quarter of a million years or so. It would seem so arbitrary. Largo mentions de Chardinn, who thought about this subject, but who did not have the knowledge we now have of all of the competing species in the genus homo, all except us who have gone extinct."

The preceeding argument has widely been used to investigate consciousness, especially self-consciousness. That is: WHEN in our evolutionary process did we become self-aware? The problem with this is - as the psychobiologists and neuroscientists are saying - that it assumes a purely reductionistic and mechanistic view of consciousness as a "thing" or property "created" by a brain - IOWs, consciousness can be "reduced" to a mechanistic function of atomic brain activity. Problem is, leading neuroscientists say this isn't so. Consciousness is not something the brain "does," it's what the brain "is."

Someone earlier mentioned how gravity doesn't seem to have a mechanism, and yet gravity is said to be the strongest force, overall, in the material world.

Go figure . . .

Interesting, no?

JL
Lynne Leichtfuss

Social climber
valley center, ca
Oct 2, 2009 - 10:44pm PT
Hi All,

Are you Groovin' on the full moon tonight...big dark sky mixed with floaty puffs of alabaster cloud. Jess spoke to climbers near Mt. Whitney where the glorious flash lite moon is highlite outlite ing the peaks with Alpine Glow.....whoa, life don't get any better. Appreciate it while yo healthy and can breathe. Or Appreciate it cause you are alive.

And Yah, the Question, does it really matter?

And that's another Question, where does matter come from and who or what caused it to be ? Not me ....no sheee.

Matter matters not dear friends. Enjoy the moon and all the peace and beauty sended from it. lynnie
Gobee

Trad climber
Los Angeles
Oct 3, 2009 - 12:53am PT
Yes I believe God made us and the worlds as He said He did in Genesis. But I know He could have made it in an instant, just like in I Dream of Jeannie, blink, blink, POOF! However He took His time because He enjoyed Himself and to show us that we should to and also rest from are labor and give thanks to Him!
God made everything to fit His purpose, it's not an accident. Look at the heavens you can set a clock to them! All this is just the work of His fingers, and the earth is His footstool.
Gobee

Trad climber
Los Angeles
Oct 3, 2009 - 01:08am PT
Sick double dynos

Freesolo, naked, no chalk or shoes!
Jan

Mountain climber
Okinawa, Japan
Oct 3, 2009 - 01:49am PT
The earliest physical evidence we have of religious belief (not necessarily the first in occurrence) is pre Homo sapiens and is found with the Neanderthal species and dates back to 300,000 years ago. Worship of bears, fertility symbols, the sun, and belief in an afterlife as evidenced by burying men with hunting tools and women with jewelry and mineral sticks used for body decoration. Therefore to reject notions of religion, the soul/consciousness etc. is to negate at least 300,000 years of hominid history.

Particularly with Homo sapiens there is every indication that religion, art and music flowered almost simultaneously, first in Africa and then all over the world. The modern conundrum of feeling that one has to choose between understanding nature through science or through religion, is a recent dichotomy and cuts us off from both our distant and our recent past. Perhaps this separation also explains, along with the disbanding of the family and the tribe, the modern phenomenon of widespread depression, drug addiction, and suicide? Perhaps ignoring hundreds of thousands of years of our history is not modern or progressive, but extremely detrimental to our species?



WandaFuca

Social climber
From the gettin' place
Oct 3, 2009 - 02:16am PT
There is evidence of human beings and their ancestors scalping one another for at least 3 to 4 hundred thousand years too.

We continue to murder one another, but we are distanced from it; drones and bombers do much of our killing now. Maybe repression of our murderous impulses is causing drug addiction and suicide also.

Let's get back to the fundamentals of religion, better yet with human sacrifices. And let's all start scalping each other too; I'm sure it will be very liberating.
Jan

Mountain climber
Okinawa, Japan
Oct 3, 2009 - 02:50am PT
Given that some of the highest rates of alcoholism and suicide currently are among young military males returning from the Middle East, I don't think your repressed violence theory is right.
WandaFuca

Social climber
From the gettin' place
Oct 3, 2009 - 03:18am PT
That's when they return . . .







Jan

Mountain climber
Okinawa, Japan
Oct 3, 2009 - 03:29am PT
Well I just had a long interesting discussion about this in my Physical Anthro class the other night where over half the students had been on multiple tours. What they said is that it was definitely the stress they were under there and couldn't leave behind that caused the problems.

They were also very interested in the idea that some warrior societies just remove the equivalent of the 18-25 year old males from the larger society and put them all together practicing their hunting and warrior skills and learning their special protective magic until they show enough wisdom to rejoin the main group.
WandaFuca

Social climber
From the gettin' place
Oct 3, 2009 - 03:35am PT
I was being facetious.

We may all have something that predisposes us to religious belief, but that doesn't mean there is a god, nor does it mean that religious belief is healthy for individuals or society in this day and age.

If one is indoctrinated into a religion, and then not allowed to follow his or her beliefs it could lead to addiction or suicide. But if there is a hole in each of us, I don't think religion, drugs or suicide need be the only choices.

Likewise, a thirst for violence may be a part of us. But I don't think killing others, addiction or suicide are the only answers either.
jstan

climber
Oct 3, 2009 - 03:51am PT
If I read the reports of Ardi correctly (not a given) it seems the idea is being advanced that both the apes and man descended from Ardi. Then if you say Ardi is more human than ape, you come away saying the apes descended from man.

Previously it was thought we descended from a common ancestor which is quite different.

Which led me to my speculation that at precisely the point in time when we find people today are behaving more and more like monkeys, we discover the same thing happened some four million years ago.

We have been here before!

Edit:

Jan:
Thanks for onfirming my impression that Ardi is seen as more human-like than ape-like.

This is all a very subjective business but if it proves true, Ardi is a revolutionary find.

Now when I go to the zoo and talk to an ape I have to address him as "son."

All of this has direct application to climbers. In time climbers may break off from the human line and become a race of new knuckle draggers.
Jan

Mountain climber
Okinawa, Japan
Oct 3, 2009 - 03:56am PT
Wandafuca-

Thanks for the clarification. As an anthropologist, I admit that I sometimes take my discipline a little too seriously. Meanwhile I agree that just because religion has been a part of hominid evolution for hundreds of thousands of years doesn't mean that there is a God. That is a separate issue altogether. What does seem demonstrable is that humans are constantly searching for meaning, and that the search is part of the human condition.

It's too bad that for so many people, the existing religions no longer satisfy that search and that so many of the current religions, instead of expanding to another level, condemn those who no longer believe and continue on without reflection. Then again, many old religions have become obsolete and died out in the past so that may be what's happening here too.

One thing interesting about the military is how they have incorporated so many religious elements into their own secular rituals that one can go to a military funeral for example, which never mentions religion because the dead person was an atheist, and still feel that one went to a powerful group religious event. Secular or civic religion works too.



Jan

Mountain climber
Okinawa, Japan
Oct 3, 2009 - 04:22am PT
jstan-

As I understand it, (and I'm still reading the articles in Science and trying to digest all this) Ardi has so many characteristics that are human-like, the still undiscovered common ancestor of Ardi and the chimp line (which DNA evidence says existed less than a million years before), will be less like an ape than anyone imagined.

From the chimp point of view this indicates a good possibility that the chimp ancestors once walked upright and only later reverted to knuckle walking on the ground.

From the human point of view, some archaeologists had previously claimed that two older species, Orrorin and Sahelensis (6 & 7 million years respectively) walked upright but no one believed that possible until now. Suddenly it seems feasible - all part of a 40 year trend in having to recognize that our most outstanding trait as humans is our legs, and not our brains (of course some of the recent threads on ST have made that point as well !).

Meanwhile, monkeys are distant cousins to both apes and humans and not more than a nuisance to the latter though one of the papers in Science notes that monkeys seem to have replaced apes in most areas so that the apes are only small and isolated remnant populations on the edge of extinction today. All in all, Ardi makes the apes look less important.

Patrick Sawyer

climber
Originally California now Ireland
Oct 3, 2009 - 06:58am PT
I haven't been on the Taco Stand in the past few days, but wow, we can now put up avatar images next to our handles, coolaboola, I guess.

I wanted to post a similar thread some days back when I read that only something like 37% of Americans believe in evolution (as we know it). Incredible.

So does that mean that the majority (more than 50%) of Americans believe what was written by bearded men in tents in the Middle East some thousand of years ago.

Their thinking (perhaps?):

Ohhhhh, the sun is going away (solar eclipse) must be some God pissed off at us, for we have sinned. Quick, sacrifice a virgin, that should appease HIM.

Jesus Christ was real, but the shite idiots that thought up the religions that believe in the God of Abraham (Christianity, Judaism, Islam) and use it for their own agenda are just that, SH#TE. And of course other crap religions and cults (such as the cult of Scientology).

My own progression? Born and baptized a Catholic, turned agnostic in mid-teens and now an avowed atheist.

I was sitting on the porch the other day, here in Dalkey, contemplating my navel (and whether to walk the five minutes to the rock in the quarry), when this bloke enters through the gates and says (in an English accent) "nice secluded place you have here". Now I had heard him talking with my neighbor's daughter (I presume) over the hedges, and he then says "We were talking about the Lisbon Treaty (which went to referendum here in Ireland yesterday), and I replied "I am not interested" and he says "I am not either" and I say then you must be a Jehovah's Witness (who else turns up at your doorstep if there is not a political message), and was I right? You bet.

So when he said that he was a JW, I said that I was an atheist, and he asked what made me come to be one. "I believe in evolution, not creation, and that is enough, goodbye."

And off he went. None the wiser I'd think.


EDIT (Off Topic)

Hey eKat, I bought a new guitar (and piano) yesterday. I was thinking about Blinny's guitars but I don't think they are available here in Ireland. I was looking for a Martin or Gibson but the lad convinced me that I would be paying over the top and I bought a Cort, solid body and all.

Hey Bluey, don't you have Italian heritage? That Berlusconi sure make Italy look foolish, with his repeated comments about Obama having a suntan. Berlusconi puts his foot in his mouth as much as Dubya did (does), and is possibly even more corrupt (moral and otherwise) than Bushie boy. But then, gathering from your posts on Obama, you probably think he has a good suntan as well. But it is not just an Italian (and Italian-American) thing, this propensity towards bias and idiocy, some of the 'biggest' bashers of blacks, minorities and gays in San Francisco back in the 1970s/80s were Irish-American kids (many from the Sunset District at the time). I know, because I worked in the City at the time as well as played football with them (San Francisco Celtic and other teams).
Gobee

Trad climber
Los Angeles
Oct 3, 2009 - 09:06am PT
Jan,
"The earliest physical evidence we have of religious belief (not necessarily the first in occurrence) is pre Homo sapiens and is found with the Neanderthal species and dates back to 300,000 years ago."

All of Pharaoh's trust in the god's of men(the sun god Ra, Sphinx, himself etc.), did not save him from the one true God of Moses!
Jan

Mountain climber
Okinawa, Japan
Oct 3, 2009 - 09:15am PT
What have Pharoah and Moses got to do with Neanderthal?

Just because the Bible accounts of history are old, doesn't mean they are prehistoric.

A little less literalism and you might begin to appreciate the symbolic and spiritual nature of the Bible - the part of it that has universal appeal.

Flanders!

Trad climber
June Lake, CA
Oct 3, 2009 - 10:21am PT


you guys got me here, I have to admit it, I just don't get it .

BUT, neither did Cambridge astrophysicist Sir Frederick Hoyle and Chandra Wickramasinge,
astrophysicist and professor of applied mathematics. Real scientists by the way, unlike the
psuedo-scientists like Richard Dawkins. Hoyle and Wickramasinge ran the mathematical
probabilities of the basic enzymes of life being formed through random chance and concluded
the odds at 1 in 1 with 40 thousand zeroes, or in simple terms so utterly implausible as to
be a non-issue.

Doug

P.S. Neither of these guys were those wacky ID nuts either !
Bad Climber

climber
Oct 3, 2009 - 10:29am PT
Hey, Werner: The fate of our solar system and our own little star is well understood by astro-physicists. The amount of fuel (hydrogen), the rate of burn, etc. give a clear picture of the REAL end times: The swelling of our sun in its death throws to toast this lovely little earth.

Science can't tell us how to live or love. It just tells us a lot of the time how things work--including suns and fingers and the soaring truth of a the clouds at sunset as they drift over the top of Half Dome as I jugged the last pitch of Quarter Dome so many years ago.

bAd
bc

climber
Prescott, AZ
Oct 3, 2009 - 11:09am PT
Flanders,

In response to your arguement from the math guys concerning the probabilities of life even getting started, this is from the talkorigins.org website http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/faq-misconceptions.html#proof


"Nor is abiogenesis (the origin of the first life) due purely to chance. Atoms and molecules arrange themselves not purely randomly, but according to their chemical properties. In the case of carbon atoms especially, this means complex molecules are sure to form spontaneously, and these complex molecules can influence each other to create even more complex molecules. Once a molecule forms that is approximately self-replicating, natural selection will guide the formation of ever more efficient replicators. The first self-replicating object didn't need to be as complex as a modern cell or even a strand of DNA. Some self-replicating molecules are not really all that complex (as organic molecules go).

Some people still argue that it is wildly improbable for a given self-replicating molecule to form at a given point (although they usually don't state the "givens," but leave them implicit in their calculations). This is true, but there were oceans of molecules working on the problem, and no one knows how many possible self-replicating molecules could have served as the first one. A calculation of the odds of abiogenesis is worthless unless it recognizes the immense range of starting materials that the first replicator might have formed from, the probably innumerable different forms that the first replicator might have taken, and the fact that much of the construction of the replicating molecule would have been non-random to start with.

(One should also note that the theory of evolution doesn't depend on how the first life began. The truth or falsity of any theory of abiogenesis wouldn't affect evolution in the least.)"

Anyway, it seems to me that any number really doesn't matter, it only had to happen once. Why else do people keep buying lottery tickets.

And just what are the odds of a fully functioning, all powerful god showing up?
jstan

climber
Oct 3, 2009 - 04:16pm PT
"BUT, neither did Cambridge astrophysicist Sir Frederick Hoyle and Chandra Wickramasinge,
astrophysicist and professor of applied mathematics. Real scientists by the way, unlike the
psuedo-scientists like Richard Dawkins. Hoyle and Wickramasinge ran the mathematical
probabilities of the basic enzymes of life being formed through random chance and concluded
the odds at 1 in 1 with 40 thousand zeroes, or in simple terms so utterly implausible as to
be a non-issue.

Doug

P.S. Neither of these guys were those wacky ID nuts either !"

Flanders has done something quite interesting here. He has attempted to use a statistical (scientific) calculation to show there is a god. As has been pointed out already the chemical properties of atoms makes their combination something less than random. Indeed astronomical IR spectroscopy now indicates the existence of enzymes in free space.

So the science quoted has been much improved since the reference he cites. That is the core advantage science has over faith. It can actually get better.
Gobee

Trad climber
Los Angeles
Oct 3, 2009 - 06:25pm PT
? On your death bed are you going to think that maybe your were wrong and there is a God and that you wasted your life looking for proof?
jstan

climber
Oct 3, 2009 - 06:47pm PT
Gobee you badly over reach yourself when you tell me what I will feel on my death bed.

I have long considered life to be just my preparation for that moment.

If able, I will briefly consider the things I wish I had not done.

Then, though I have no evidence at all that an after life exists, I will look forward to meeting once again the woman who gave me everything.

This last is merely a neurological process that I know will be there.

Jaybro

Social climber
Wolf City, Wyoming
Oct 3, 2009 - 08:25pm PT
Remember the last words of Aldous Huxley...
Norton

Social climber
the Wastelands
Topic Author's Reply - Oct 3, 2009 - 08:31pm PT
And Gobee, since nothing will happen when YOU croak, you won't even be
able think about all the years of childish delusion you "wasted" as an adult.
Still believe in Santa and the Tooth Fairy too?
Gobee

Trad climber
Los Angeles
Oct 3, 2009 - 08:34pm PT
Now, I'm Santa and I believe in the dentist!
Jaybro

Social climber
Wolf City, Wyoming
Oct 3, 2009 - 08:41pm PT
That really was a killer moon, last night, Lynne....
Lynne Leichtfuss

Social climber
valley center, ca
Oct 3, 2009 - 11:21pm PT
Jaybro and All....Killer Moon is there again tonight. I'ts low and huge, framed by the two redwoods, and White, white against dark charcoal black sky.

It's great how you can trust the moon and sun to repeat their patterns and performances.

Being in the moment with moon and earth and life was time well spent tonight. Tempted by football games and other things that pull. I am not at home, But in a place that I could plug into life's seductions. Glad I got up and walked outside.

Peace all ..... being in the moment breathing. lynnie
Gobee

Trad climber
Los Angeles
Oct 3, 2009 - 11:43pm PT
You call someone who believes in God an idiot, but a fool says in his heart there is no God, and rejecting so great a salvation isn't so smart? You will just have yourself, rather small! God is Omni...
Captain...or Skully

Social climber
Idaho, also. Sorta, kinda mostly, Yeah.
Oct 3, 2009 - 11:50pm PT
Self Rescue, man.
I don't wanna make a production.
Why, exactly, do I want "salvation"?
Not my fault, this world.....I just showed up, & POW!
There it is. I didn't do it.

WBraun

climber
Oct 3, 2009 - 11:56pm PT
wes and Dr F -- Idiots think their belief IS proof.

Because you two believe there is no God that you and Dr F are idiots.

Wow!!!!! Now I've heard everything ......

Lynne Leichtfuss

Social climber
valley center, ca
Oct 4, 2009 - 12:34am PT
The moon's still there.

Conversation with Grace can move thoughts into the soul. Argument for it's own sake sucks life from the same. Just throwing some heart out there. lynnie
Largo

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Oct 4, 2009 - 01:21am PT
Some wisdom traditions consider God, consciousness, reality and truth as interchangable terms. Positing all and everything in the mode of thought is the limiting factor in all of this.

JL
WBraun

climber
Oct 4, 2009 - 01:30am PT
There's an old saying .... a good horse will run at the sign of the whip.

A bad horse needs the whip just to be able to even move .....
Patrick Sawyer

climber
Originally California now Ireland
Oct 4, 2009 - 04:09am PT
Hey Werner what if you have no hoarse at all...

... laryngitis perhaps...

okay, I admit, a bad pun.
Jan

Mountain climber
Okinawa, Japan
Oct 4, 2009 - 04:14am PT

I think Einstein said it best.

"The most beautiful emotion we can experience is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion that stands at the cradle of all true art and science. He to whom this emotion is a stranger, who can no longer wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead, a snuffed out candle. To sense that behind anything that can be experienced there is something that our minds cannot grasp, whose beauty and sublimity reaches us only indirectly; that is religiousness."

The two opposite ends of the spectrum from Einstein are the atheist who looks out at our vast and beautiful universe and declares, "There is no God. Just ask me, I know everything", and the religious fundamentalist who look out at our vast and beautiful universe and says, "There is a God and I know everything there is to know about 'Him'. Just ask me".
eeyonkee

Trad climber
Golden, CO
Oct 4, 2009 - 09:35am PT
Largo has mentioned a few times that consciousness more or less changes the game and (I'm paraphrasing) cannot be explained by the merely mechanical (science).

As a matter of fact, consciousness, though complicated, like everything else in living organisms, clearly came about through evolution. First of all, you have to more or less agree with what consciousness is. It is NOT the soul. Most, if not all, animals have it to varying degrees. Tell me your dog does not have consciousness. Consciousness is a continuum phenomenon, and primates, particularly homo sapiens, have it to a larger degree than most animals. It's our higher or greater consciousness, not the fact that we have it at all, that places us a bit apart from other animals. And it is NOT the soul. And it is not immortal.

I'm no expert on this subject, but I know that the current thinking is that consciouness is something that more or less arises when an organism exceeds a certain number of neurological connections in the brain or they are connected in certain intimate ways. The well-known fact that man's brain capacity evolved dramatically through the Pleistocene, and that this phenomenon coincided with anthropogical evidence of culture (including religion) would seem to clearly show the relationship between the brain and consciousness, and that higher consciousness came about through evolutionary processes.

And Flanders, read Richard Dawkins - brilliant. He is well-respected in the scientific community and anything but a pseudo-scientist.
Largo

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Oct 4, 2009 - 01:29pm PT
Foe Eyonkee:

Thesis: Thinking and knowledge are the product of a biological organ, the brain, and are therefore fashioned by evolution for brutely pragmatic purposes.


Refutation: This thesis can be refuted easily, since it destroys its own ontological foundation.

If we assume thinking to be a function of a biological and therefore physical system, we are forced, by this argument, to limit the capacity of thinking to the field of operability of this function within the biologically preset boundaries of the neuro-physiological system called brain. A function that grew by nature's selective evolution must inexorably be bound to the limits of the organic system within which this function is operative. The function is dependent on the system, it cannot transcend the system itself.

The term function may have several connotations[1]:

the action for which a person or thing is specially fitted or used or for which a thing exists : purpose any of a group of related actions contributing to a larger action; esp. the normal and specific contribution of a bodily part to the economy of a living organism
variable (as a quality, trait, or measurement) that depends on and varies with another, e.g. height is a function of age; also : result, e.g. illnesses that are a function of stress.

function implies a definite end or purpose that the one in question serves or a particular kind of work it is intended to perform
in physiology and psychology: performance and mode of activity of a bodily or psychic organ

in mathematics and logic: a mathematical correspondence that assigns exactly one element of one set to each element of the same or another set
functionalism: an answer to the mind-body problem. It defines mental states and properties in terms of what causes them, how they manifest themselves in behavior and how they interact with each other. (s. H. Putnam: states of consciousness are functions of the nervous system, especially of cerebral processes).

Definitions (i), (ii) and (iv) in particular contribute to the assumption that a function is embedded within a whole, a system. A function does not possess self-motivation or self-causation. It is strictly subject to natural laws and completely determined by them. Thus if thinking or knowledge is a function of a natural system, it must necessarily obey the laws of that system. This conclusion, however, is absurd: thinking would be completely determined and notions such as "free will" or "responsibility" could not be conceived reasonably. This is brute behaviorism, the human being as a machine.

If the above thetic assumption is true, why is it possible for us, to transcend these functional limits of the system in the very act of thought itself? Although we confess that most people never overcome the natural pragmatism of their thinking, we nevertheless have numerous examples of great human thinkers that excelled mediocrity and thus pragmatism by far. They were capable of extending their capacity of thinking into speculative and mystical realms. Philosophy is no means for survival. Never would a biological system have devised such a useless function. If thinking were only a product of the nature of the brain, it would never be possible within the given laws of nature to transcend the system's functionality. There is enough proof that thought CAN transcend the narrow set of functions of the brain. The reason that we can have thoughts going beyond the biological restraints of our brain, proves the immateriality and independence of our mind from matter.

Mind is not a product of matter. Neither are they functioning independently of each other. Mind is independent in so far as it does not depend ontologically on the existence of matter, but mind needs the brain to express itself through the human body and to give us an extended set of instruments for living in this world. This set of instruments, such as understanding , reason, emotions etc. are possibilities to transcend the biological nature of the human species, to go beyond the state of animality, to attain the special dignity of a homo sapiens.

Jaybro

Social climber
Wolf City, Wyoming
Oct 4, 2009 - 01:44pm PT
Jan, that's where the opposites collide and become one. I think most of us are more mid spectrum...
Jan

Mountain climber
Okinawa, Japan
Oct 4, 2009 - 01:58pm PT
Jaybro-

I agree. I also think based on my experience in Asia, that our ideas in the West of what religion/spirituality consists of, are extremely limited.

I like the idea that studying science with a sense of awe and wonder is a spiritual, if not a religious act. Likewise an atheist engaging in a humanistic donation of his or her time, or someone tending a bonsai tree several times a day, appreciating the wonders of nature by becoming familiar with every leaf, a musician creating a melody never heard before, a climber testing the limits of body and mind.

Looked at in this way, all of us are spiritual, though not necessarily religious.


jstan

climber
Oct 4, 2009 - 01:59pm PT
I have always tried not to think about consciousness because doing so always seems to end up as do discussions of philosophy. But try this on.

The brain is a neurological network and we know it reinforces the synapses that are critical to survival. That's what dreams and nightmares are. That is why we relive the moment we realized we could not downclimb to the last protection.

OK. So the network is primed and readied at all times for the next synapse.

It expects there to be a next synapse.

That expectation is consciousness.

Consciousness is the expectation that another moment will follow the present moment.

And that there will be another synapse.




Suppose for the moment this is correct.

Then since keeping the neural pathways ready is a strategy for survival and many creatures other than humans are so prepared (we all have heard our dogs moan in their sleep), can we not presume that, this consciousness at least, is possessed by many different creatures?

Edit:
Nice, Karl.

Very nice.
Chaz

Trad climber
greater Boss Angeles area
Oct 4, 2009 - 02:04pm PT
What do you offer up as proof of your beliefs?
Jaybro

Social climber
Wolf City, Wyoming
Oct 4, 2009 - 02:06pm PT
I suspect we agree on a lot of things, Jan.

I got into climbing to 'be there' ; every foot, every pitch, every Jam. I got a degree in geology to be more there and to satisfy other curiosity.
i was confirmed in the methodist church. Subsequently things I read and experienced allowed me a different view.

It's an ongoing adventure.
Karl Baba

Trad climber
Yosemite, Ca
Oct 4, 2009 - 02:09pm PT
If we wanted to travel in space, we'd have to wear space suits.

For a spirit to travel on the earth, it has to wear a meat suit.

On the earth, things are in constant change, and one mechanisms of change is evolution.

That neither negates the Spirit consciousness within us, nor the reality of a higher power.

Many scriptures were written long before any awareness of electricity, or newtonian, much less, quantum physics. Physical truths could not be expounded to such ignorant populations, even if the prophets had a reason to share them or could understand the inspiration they received from a higher power.

THerefore, it's madness for religious folks to pin religious validation on denying evolution. It could easily be part of the manifestation of the divine order. Quit trying to eek science out of 2000 year old books.

Peace

Karl
Jan

Mountain climber
Okinawa, Japan
Oct 4, 2009 - 02:16pm PT
Amen Karl !

And religious people should stop assuming that those of us who don't share their particular religion and who do accept science and evolution, are not interested in religion or spiritual matters.

Because we don't accept easy formulas for the important questions, means the contrary. Most of us have thought much more deeply about spiritual questions than the average religious person.

Studly

Trad climber
WA
Oct 4, 2009 - 02:32pm PT
Weschrist
You are as bad as the rightwing Christian who proselytics on the Bible and creationism. There is a middle ground, and for your information, everything evolution oriented you speak of is based on theory, and theory only. No one really know what caused man to appear. There is no missing link, there is no species jumping phylum. Things evolve and change, but there is nothing to show anywhere in the fossil record that we evolved from apes or other. A chart pieced togather by someone who wants to make a statement is hardly grounds for basing your beliefs on.
So a true intellectual keeps a open mind, and admits when they don't know, unlike you who purports to know, when as Werner would say, "You know nothing!"
Scientists like to make sensationalist statements becasue it gains them funding from one group or another, just like politicians. If you feel the compulsion to hook your bandwagon to one or another, so be it. But don't slander those who have no such need.
Studly

Trad climber
WA
Oct 4, 2009 - 02:59pm PT
Whatever blows your dress up dude.
Lynne Leichtfuss

Social climber
valley center, ca
Oct 4, 2009 - 03:34pm PT
For what it's worth, the bible says...."for as much as it lieth in you be at peace with all men." It also says, "speak truth in love mixed with grace."

I agree with Wes, don't want homosexual marriage, abortion etc. don't have one. Modeling life is much more important than talking a life.

Still don't get all the me/they...us/them stuff. What's wrong with sharing ideas and listening to others thoughts and ideas.

Peace and Joy on a beautiful Sunday.....as much as possible a jesus follower, lynnie

Jan

Mountain climber
Okinawa, Japan
Oct 4, 2009 - 04:12pm PT
jstan-

Good point about animal consciousness. Hence the term in some religions of "sentient beings".

I'm not entirely clear about this but I think the kind of consciousness you are describing, the one that is keenly aware of time in the sense of future expectations, is our ordinary waking consciousness whereas the realm of spiritual consciousness is characterized by an absence of the sense of time. The question I'm wrestling with at the moment, is whether all consciousness, ordinary and extraordinary, is a function of mental processes taking place only within the physical brain.

Recently, neurosurgeons have found for example, that stimulating a particular area of the brain causes one to have a near death experience, but does this mean that all such experiences come from the brain or rather, that a certain configuration of chemicals and neurons is necessary for certain experiences of the non physical dimension to make themselves known and that electrical stimulation of that region produces a false replica of the true non physical experience? As you say, these sorts of questions end as discussions of philosophy always do with scientists generally leaning in one direction and spiritual/artistic types generally leaning in the other.

Weschrist-

It seems to me what both scientists and those interested in spiritual experiences should collaborate on for the near future anyway, are further studies of the interface between brain electricity and chemistry and the vast literature on spiritual experiences such as the one on belief.net that you refer to. Probably the new religious paradigm for Homo sapiens should focus on the methodology for transforming the human mind down to the biochemical level rather than trying to solve the seemingly imponderable questions of external causation. Of course some eastern philosophies have been saying this all along.

What does seem clear from the research done so far at a much less subtle level, is that people who believe in an external causation are more optimistic, have fewer heart problems, heal faster, and live longer. Thus back to my original observation, that spirituality/ religion/ the search for meaning is a fundamental trait of human beings and contributes to our survival and welfare, the current fanatics and their violence not withstanding.
Jan

Mountain climber
Okinawa, Japan
Oct 4, 2009 - 05:04pm PT

" Jesus was gay, or at least bisexual"

With statements like this, I'm supposed to trust that all the studies I've seen summarized were wrong and your interpretation is right?

I'm not objecting by the way, to your statement on religious grounds, but on scientific ones. Whether Jesus was or was not gay doesn't detract one bit from his message. The issue is, how could you possibly know about the sexuality of a man who lived 2,000 years ago who never chose to talk or write about it ??? Now who's being unscientific ???
Chaz

Trad climber
greater Boss Angeles area
Oct 4, 2009 - 05:11pm PT
You know he wasn't married.

No wife in the world would let a guy wander around with twelve of his pals for a weekend, let alone for years on end.
Jan

Mountain climber
Okinawa, Japan
Oct 4, 2009 - 05:24pm PT

Good quip and I don't think you meant it this way but,

Just because a man or woman isn't married doesn't mean they're gay !
Lynne Leichtfuss

Social climber
valley center, ca
Oct 4, 2009 - 05:30pm PT
Chaz, thanks for my theraputic laugh of the day.....hehehe

Jan, I sho know I'm not gay and I'm not married.....jess sayin' :D

Edit: all I can say is Lord, deliver me from my martini glass that comes up everytime I post. I'ts tough being a perfectionist procrastinator...what pic do I choose to replace and how to do it??????bwahahaha.
Jan

Mountain climber
Okinawa, Japan
Oct 4, 2009 - 06:19pm PT

Weschrist-

With statements like

"Peter was the original capitalist pig doing whatever he could to sell what he had. Paul was his partner who never even met Jesus"

please explain to me how your position is any different than a blind religionist? You're just as prejudiced as they are but in the opposite direction.
jstan

climber
Oct 4, 2009 - 07:29pm PT
Jan:
It is now so long ago I can't remember the details but I suggested here that brain scans of persons in "spiritual experience" might elucidate that experience. As I remember it, I discovered this has actually received study. I doubt it will be carried to the point of stereotaxic probes but still something may be learned.
cintune

climber
the Moon and Antarctica
Oct 4, 2009 - 08:09pm PT
Vilayanur Ramachandran at U.C. San Diego has done some of the best work in this area. Some good videos here:
http://julianwalkeryoga.gaia.com/blog/2009/1/v_s_ramachandran_temporal_lobe_epilepsy_and_religious_experience
Lynne Leichtfuss

Social climber
valley center, ca
Oct 4, 2009 - 08:14pm PT
Weschrist, Dude and Friend.....yo say, "I am the off spring of Christian hate." DUDE, real Christian's ....Jesus followers are directed NOT to hate. You were the offspring of phony religious humans covering up their shortcomings instead of honestly dealing with them. imho, lynnie
Lynne Leichtfuss

Social climber
valley center, ca
Oct 4, 2009 - 08:17pm PT
Wes, Paul did meet Jesus on the road to Damascus....It was a pretty huge Hello Dude, too. :D
Gobee

Trad climber
Los Angeles
Oct 4, 2009 - 08:19pm PT
"No you moron, I call someone who thinks their believe in God is proof of God an idiot. I don't expect you to understand, you are an idiot"

Did you know in the Old Testament there are 300 Prophesy about the Messiah that Jesus fulfilled that prove He is the Christ, Son of God, of His first coming?

Also of His second coming there are 1845 in the Old, and 318 in the New Testament Prophesy yet to be fulfilled?

What father will give his son a snake when he asks for bread?

God did not leave us in the dark! The Bible is God's inspired word given to us. God's word never fails, it always comes true! In fact the Old Testament, the Prophet's Prophesy had to come true 100% of the time or he was not a Prophet.

Most animals walk after being born. Man is helpless for years, yet the baby thinks they are the center of everything. And we usually have to learn the hard way.

The Day of the Lord Will Come, 2 Peter 3:1-13
This is now the second letter that I am writing to you, beloved. In both of them I am stirring up your sincere mind by way of reminder, that you should remember the predictions of the holy prophets and the commandment of the Lord and Savior through your apostles, knowing this first of all, that scoffers will come in the last days with scoffing, following their own sinful desires. They will say, “Where is the promise of his coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all things are continuing as they were from the beginning of creation.” For they deliberately overlook this fact, that the heavens existed long ago, and the earth was formed out of water and through water by the word of God, and that by means of these the world that then existed was deluged with water and perished (Noah and the flood). But by the same word the heavens and earth that now exist are stored up for fire, being kept until the day of judgment and destruction of the ungodly.
But do not overlook this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance. But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a roar, and the heavenly bodies will be burned up and dissolved, and the earth and the works that are done on it will be exposed.

Since all these things are thus to be dissolved, what sort of people ought you to be in lives of holiness and godliness, waiting for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be set on fire and dissolved, and the heavenly bodies will melt as they burn! But according to his promise we are waiting for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.
cintune

climber
the Moon and Antarctica
Oct 4, 2009 - 08:23pm PT
Here are the direct links:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qIiIsDIkDtg
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5z4B5BYbjf8

(Speaking of that road to Damascus, oddly enough)
Gobee

Trad climber
Los Angeles
Oct 4, 2009 - 08:41pm PT
Gobee

Trad climber
Los Angeles
Oct 4, 2009 - 09:05pm PT
You can run but you can't hide! JESUS LOVES YOU!!!
Lynne Leichtfuss

Social climber
valley center, ca
Oct 4, 2009 - 09:19pm PT
I don't know radical. I have listened and learned alot on this forum over the past 20 months. I have learned alot from wes. You can read books etc. but real human dialogue on a heart, mind, soul and brain level is also on the level of the most awesome author/book. jess thinkin', lynnie
Lynne Leichtfuss

Social climber
valley center, ca
Oct 4, 2009 - 09:28pm PT
Wes says, "there are few followers of jesus and few of them attend church."

Key words, few attend. Read, read, read people who say they are Christians. Where in the New Testament does it say we need to "attend church" ? Actually some of jesus last words were, "Go Ye into all the world."

Jesus never took attendance, never built a building. His gig, "Come unto me ALL ye that labor (having a tough time dude, I'll help) and are heavy laden and I WILL give you help." That's the Dude lynnie has entrusted her life to and yo has Never let me down.
Lynne Leichtfuss

Social climber
valley center, ca
Oct 4, 2009 - 09:34pm PT
Of course you know lynnie loves yo riley dude. And miss yo. Hope to see you at the J Tree this fall. I am zoned that you are so fit now. A No Cal Dude, gave me a great book and lots of really great advice on diet and exercise and I hope to be toned in @ 3-6 months (if people stop dying on me, been a caregiver for awhile now.)

Peace Riles,

Lynnie
Largo

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Oct 4, 2009 - 09:41pm PT
Wescrist wrote: "Mind IS a product of matter."

I would tend to agree with this if by "mind" you meant cognition, thought, thinking, and so forth. Awareness itself, the still, detached reference point that can experience thoughts, is not the "product" of any "thing." You're using a reductionistic/mechanistic causal reasoning here, basically saying that the brain "creates" overservation, that the act of observing is a function or result of the brain.

One of the problems here is that awareness itself has no content, that is, awareness and thinking/sensation/feeling/remembering/hearing/tasting/ etc... are not the same things. Moreover, as any meditator can tell you, awareness does not exist simply through its connection to content.

Beware: paradox coming.

Now clear your head for a moment, Wescrist, because here's the clencher. You struck out with your quote because your causation is screwy, tied as it is to a purely mechanistic (long ago junked) view of matter and things. Awareness is not a "thing" that is a product of matter. Awarenss IS matter, and matter IS awareness. There's no separation or duality in the material world.

JL
Flanders!

Trad climber
June Lake, CA
Oct 4, 2009 - 09:43pm PT
I've been gone for a few days, freezing my butt in the new snow, burrr. Fun to come back and see
where this has gone.
"Flanders has done something quite interesting here. He has attempted to use a statistical (scientific) calculation to show there is a god." Jstan.

I didn't actually attempt to show there is a God, nor did our brilliant astrophyicists come up with
with that conclusion. All they pointed out is the Darwin's theory of evolution is not remotely
plausible. Being real scientists, they do the measurements, do the calculations, record their
observations and see where it all leads; maybe to something they did not expect or even
something they didn't like. THAT IS SCIENCE !

I do find it rather interesting that so many diss God, or even the plausibilty of God. The entire
message can be summed up in Micah 6:8 . The prophet asks the ?, "what is it that the Lord
requires of thee" Then he answers his own ? " But to do justly, and love mercy, and to walk
humbly with your God.

It seems so plain and simple: do what is right, be forgiving, acknowledge God. Why do we humans complicate so many things? Yes, it's not always easy, Yes there are many hippocrites,
Yes, we ALL fall short of goal, but that is the reeeeeessst of the story.

Doug
Lynne Leichtfuss

Social climber
valley center, ca
Oct 4, 2009 - 09:52pm PT
JL, you have given me something to put in my heart/mind and mix about. Grazi.

Doug, wondered about yo today, and the snow and if you now need to do the 7 hour vs. the 2 hr.

Yeah, Micah 6:8......I am back in a great centered place. Thanks for your incredible friendship. Peace always, lynnie
Largo

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Oct 5, 2009 - 12:06am PT
Are we talking about awareness or mind? Neither ARE matter.

Awareness is the perception of an entities interaction with its environment. Matter requires an interaction to be "aware" of anything. A billiard ball isolated in space is "aware" of only distance gravitational forces and electromagnetic radiation.
-

Not even close. Yo didn't read what I said - that awareness is not contingent on "content," or the mind's interaction with people, places or things, nor yet with thoughts. Ergo, matter does in fact NOT require an interaction to be "aware,' since it IS aware to begin with.

To grasp these concepts, it might do you to look into "no-mind," in the Zen sense, and see what they say about it. Also, when people talk about the "space" between thoughts, what do you think they mean, in terms of your own experience, NOT in terms of your thoughts on the matter.

Lastly, it's not "biofeedback," which is galavanic skin testing and so forth, but "neurofeedback," which uses an EEG machine and cuting edge software to induce brain states (great for treating ADD) and more recently, to arrest all "states." This has been a private study of mind since 1975.

JL
Lynne Leichtfuss

Social climber
valley center, ca
Oct 5, 2009 - 12:16am PT
I wonder about people like me. I like to, on occasion grapple with the huge depths of these concepts. But generally I live my life simply and simply thinking and processing much. I really Live my life to the best of it and all it encompasses. But I live pretty much basically from my gut. I am not a scientist. Many thoughts in this thread have been offered from the realm of science. I believe one can live and know and achieve true peace, love and joy along with wisdom and knowledge and a friendship with god even if one is science deficient.

Dare I ask what yo think about these thoughts Wes ???
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Oct 5, 2009 - 12:26am PT
with all due respect,

awareness devoid of matter has never been observed
its existence may be speculated

in fact, all that we are aware of is tied to a material state, this is not a deep statement, rather a statement of fact, we are material, we are aware

it continues to be a good idea to pursue the material and reductionist card to the end and see just how far it takes us. I'd bet it takes us all the way... but it is just a bet.
Gobee

Trad climber
Los Angeles
Oct 5, 2009 - 12:34am PT
We were made in the image of God, like Him.

Roaches, scatter when the lights go on, they are aware of their environment.

Man, is the one that can act or pretend and play a role, or be out side himself, be an observer, self aware.

We are the one's that can have fellowship with are Maker, all else is just playing games.
Lynne Leichtfuss

Social climber
valley center, ca
Oct 5, 2009 - 12:57am PT
Ed H. "we are material, we are aware." I think that is what I was trying to express in my above statement, but who knows.

As in school, one can get so caught up in the philo, the causement statement one loses the reality of life and movement of it today. Jess waking up and taking it one day at a time, one step at a time with peace and patience and perseverence...well that's precious life living and breathing.

Life......a thing to be loved, respected, perhaps sometimes dissected but above all to be hugged to your chest and appreciated.
WandaFuca

Social climber
From the gettin' place
Oct 5, 2009 - 01:09am PT
When it comes to Qualia I'm with Tye and the other reductionists.
MH2

climber
Oct 5, 2009 - 01:12am PT
I agree with Ed. I heard a reputable neuroscientist, perhaps Eric Kandel, offer a good story about what may underlie awareness/consciousness. I think it had to do with central neurons that only light up when several widely separated brain regions are activated. Those would be neurons that could tie together sensations that are not necessarily related.

The brain has to do a lot of guesswork early in its life to make sense of what is going on around it. Adults have no idea what a huge amount of their "thinking" was acquired heuristically, very young, and outside of any education.

Your conscious awareness is only a light froth riding on an ocean of mental processing devoted to such things as temperature regulation, muscle coordination, and the pH of your blood.


I read the book The Probability that God Exists. It was written by a guy who makes his living estimating the odds on nuclear power plant disasters. He was motivated by the idea that even though science and faith are largely separate, there is nothing wrong with trying to use reason to ask questions about faith.

The result of his calculation was a 1 in 3 chance that God exists.

However, he specified that he was talking about a personal caring God who listens to and answers prayers, not a distant Cause who set the Universe in motion and let it run.

The main strike against God is that he would have no reason (that the author found plausible) to allow tidal waves or other natural disasters.

Funny thing was, he said God would allow people to do all kinds of nasty things to each other in order that they could have free will.


On CBC Radio today there was a biologist pointing out that the recurrent laryngeal nerve is evidence against an Intelligent Designer. In a giraffe this nerve goes about 15 feet out of its way before arriving at the voice-box, which it passes within centimeters of before descending to the stomach, hooking around the esophagus, and climbing back up the neck to the throat. It does that not because God had too many beers that afternoon but because we land creatures all came from fish.
WandaFuca

Social climber
From the gettin' place
Oct 5, 2009 - 01:25am PT
There are no veils to perception; Qualia and Self-awareness and Mushin no shin are difficult to explain, but there is more evidence that they require interacting material than any other gobeldygook.
Karl Baba

Trad climber
Yosemite, Ca
Oct 5, 2009 - 01:50am PT
Ed writes

"with all due respect,

awareness devoid of matter has never been observed
its existence may be speculated

in fact, all that we are aware of is tied to a material state, this is not a deep statement, rather a statement of fact, we are material, we are aware"

Awareness devoid of matter can not be observed but it can be the observer without an object of observation. Studies have shown that meditators of 25+ years can be aware during the deep sleep state (I do this personally) while for others it just a void.

Yet you might say we need a physical brain matter to house awareness. Then the soup gets thick and it's hard to prove somebody's out of body experience (even if they see something far away that they couldn't have otherwise known, people's eyes gloss over and they refuse to accept)

Mind this. All the dang matter on this whole planet could squeeze into the size of a softball in a black hole so matter isn't nearly what it seems to be, neither is consciousness. We think we know more than we really do

PEace

Karl
Lynne Leichtfuss

Social climber
valley center, ca
Oct 5, 2009 - 01:59am PT
I think I may be alone in how I feel, but no matter how I feel is real....as in real life, real living, honest love and joy and peace mixed with the grit determination of not letting the world and it's spider webs wrap itself around me or my life.

So, I am no scientist with facts on how to live. But I do Live and generally do it well. With alot of Grace and Peace.
Gobee

Trad climber
Los Angeles
Oct 5, 2009 - 08:43am PT
eeyonkee

Trad climber
Golden, CO
Oct 5, 2009 - 09:40am PT
Largo, I'm no philosopher...my eyes start to glaze over when I hear terms like ontologoical and ergo. That being said, this sort of pure philosophical discourse is just not up to actually answering a question such as is mind or consciousness entirely the result of physical processes. With all due respect, there are bad assumptions throughout your logic train. The very notion that consciousness is transcendent with respect to the physical world is an opinion of yours and certainly not something that is self evident. Eyes evolved several times on this planet. Prior to their first emergence, what was sight? Seems to me, according to your logic, sight would be considered transcendent because it did not exist in the world prior to its appearance through evolution. Evolution works this way. It doesn't strive toward anything, yet novel things appear, as if designed.
WBraun

climber
Oct 5, 2009 - 11:53am PT
The working senses are superior to dull matter.

The mind is higher than the senses.

Intelligence is still higher than the mind.

The soul, is even higher than the intelligence.

And .... why worry about Gobee, he does no harm to anyone here. If you get twisted by his posts then you have no self control and are not equipoised.

He who does not identify with the body is freed from the conception of false ego and is equiposed both in happiness and distress.

Jan

Mountain climber
Okinawa, Japan
Oct 5, 2009 - 12:13pm PT
Weschrist-

I agree the answers are in Thomas. Unfortunately most people are not capable of understanding it - still.

One of the big benefits of living overseas is that creationism vs. evolution is not an issue outside the U.S.


Cintune and Weschrist-

Thank you both for the references to Ramachandran. I have ordered his book, The Emerging Mind.

One problem I do have with psychologists / psychiatrists / neurobiologists explaining the brain is that their focus is always on those with disturbed minds. It's a pity that we haven't yet spent the same amount of attention on what constitutes a healthy mind let alone a superior mind. There's a huge difference between an epileptic having religious experiences who thinks he's God and a person who experiences God and then takes up a compasionate way of life which helps many others.
Flanders!

Trad climber
June Lake, CA
Oct 5, 2009 - 12:29pm PT

"the point to remember is that the fossil problem for Darwinism is getting worse all the time. Darwinist paleontologists are indignant when creationists point this out, but what they write
themselves is extraordinarily revealing. After attending a geological conference on mass
extinctions, Harvard paleontologist Stephen J Gould told his readers that he had long been
puzzled by the lack of evidence of progressive development over time in the invertebrates
with which he was most familiar. He said, "We can tell tales of improvement for some groups,
but in honest moments we must admit that the history of complex life is more a story of
multifarious variation about a set of basic designs than a saga of accumulating excellence."
But Darwinist evolution should be a story of improvement in fitness, and so Gould regarded
"the failure to find a clear vector of progress in life's history as the most puzzling fact of the fossil
record"
from Phillip E. Johnson's Darwin on Trail

Doug
Jan

Mountain climber
Okinawa, Japan
Oct 5, 2009 - 12:35pm PT
Doug-

I am mainly familiar with homonid fossils and it is definitely possible to measure progress in fitness as each species that supercedes the other timewise (Ardipithecus, Austrolopithecus, Homo habilis, Homo erectus, Homo neanderthal, and Homosapiens) show improvements in bipedal mobility and endurance, an increase in brain size, and an ever more sophisticated tool tradition.
Jan

Mountain climber
Okinawa, Japan
Oct 5, 2009 - 12:36pm PT
Ed-

I agree that it continues to be a good idea to pursue the material and reductionist card to the end and see just how far it takes us, (assuming we ever get to an end) . It will certainly be interesting to see what the new hadron collider turns up !



jstan-

I have read some about brain scans, mostly from a Buddhist perspective. However, as far as I know, the biochemistry of the brain and spiritual experiences has not been equivalently explored beyond figuring out how psychedelics work. There are many more experiences beyond that which no one has yet looked at, the main problem being, as we see here, that it is so difficult to find scientists and religious people who can share any kind of a common vocabulary.
Studly

Trad climber
WA
Oct 5, 2009 - 12:44pm PT
I think Karl Baba said it best. "We think we know more then we really do."
We just don't know, and quoting bible verses or quoting Darwin doesn't really change that. You have to go out on your own and find your own space, you own theories. and to me this is really important, allow others to do the same, even if they don't agree with you.
Your life is all about your journey, and what you do with it. My thought is one day we may be called to account what we did with our riches, our gift of life, but I'm not saying others have to believe that. If one day if comes to that, will you be able to stand tall and give your account? As the one thing I do know, there is more out there then meets the eye....
Jaybro

Social climber
Wolf City, Wyoming
Oct 5, 2009 - 01:22pm PT
21st century Creationists, a sure sign of the Apocalypse!

We ARE Devo!
Norton

Social climber
the Wastelands
Topic Author's Reply - Oct 5, 2009 - 02:29pm PT
F.
Dawkins has a new book just out:

The Greatest Show on Earth: The Evidence for Evolution
Jaybro

Social climber
Wolf City, Wyoming
Oct 5, 2009 - 02:30pm PT
Thanks for that, flanders it is good to be alerted that Phillip E. Johnson, has no credibilty what so ever.
Where do you find this dreck?
Klimmer

Mountain climber
San Diego
Oct 5, 2009 - 03:02pm PT
I have hesitated to get into this thread but now here goes . . .

From my point of view, and I see it all the time and have to deal with this question (Evolution vs. Creation) all the time, it really is better understood from an understanding of what science is and isn’t first, and then attempt to prove the original hypothesis or in this case the evolution theory valid or invalid.

Many think that science and religion have nothing to do with one another, and to be a good scientist you have to be an atheist. Wrong. To paraphrase Paul Hewitt, Science is about Cosmic Order. Science can only attempt to answer How? or What? questions. Science is a very powerful tool, but can only work with Scientific Hypotheses, in other words they must be testable. Science works in the realm of the physical observable and measurable Universe. Religion/faith on the other is about Cosmic Purpose and can ask and attempt to answer Why? questions. Also philosophy and logic can also attempt questions of purpose, science cannot.

Science and Religion are very important human endeavors and are different, but compatible human endeavors. They are two different tools that ask two different kinds of questions. Can Science find physical evidence that issues of faith and God might be true? Sure. Can Religion and books of faith also in turn demonstrate concepts and principles of Science? Sure. They can at times support one another. Do they always? No.

Do we know all there is to know in the scientific realm about the Universe around us? Hardly. Does the World of Religion and faith know all there is to know about God and Creation? Hardly. We struggle to look through a dark pane of glass whether on the science side or the religion side of human endeavor, to know.

Don’t think for a moment that you have to be an Atheist to be a good scientist. Many great men and women of science have been very devout in their faith and religion: Aristotle, Copernicus, Galileo, Tycho Brahe, Keppler, Newton, perhaps Einstein a little even. The list could go on and on. There are many good books just on this topic that prove it. So, if you are going to attempt to throw out religion and faith and God out with the bath water altogether, then you would eliminate what made these great scientists who they really are. We have a science logic side to us, and we have a faith and worship side to us that wants to know and be with God. To deny this makes you less than complete. Something is missing.

Now from this foundation we can then look at the Evolution vs. Creation hypotheses and theories . . .

I’ll come back to it when I have more time.
WBraun

climber
Oct 5, 2009 - 03:25pm PT
What is "superior" ?

What is "higher" ?

And what is the soul?

I'm not here to hold your hand, you're a big boy now, you do your work.

I've simply stated some facts which you will interpret according to your intelligence.
Largo

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Oct 5, 2009 - 03:58pm PT
"To have or show realization, something must have or show concrete existence. Concrete existence (by definition) cannot be shown to occur without either having interactions or invoking a "universal observer." The former is readily accessible to any living being, the latter is unnecessary and unparsimonious."

I think it's in this first sentense that you lose your way here, Wescrist. Basically you're restating the basic supposition of materialism, that some "thing," to be real, must me made of material, must be "concrete," or materially based. The problem, of course, is that, on one hand, awareness itself is not a thing (you use the eyeball as a reference, but an eyeball is a thing), while the content of awareness is comprised of things. You cannot describe awareness in terms of "qualities" because qualities all have aspects of things, or content. Awareness itself has no beginning or end, is unborn. Not so all that arises IN awareness.

Interesting that you can take the opposite tack and say that awareness as a "no-thing" is the only true reality and that isolating material from the matrix of awareness is a false abstraction. It ususally works the other way - folks claiming that "awareness" discussed sans content is a false abstraction, and that material is the only "thing" that is real. "No-things" such as awarness are merely epiphenomenons, secondary phenomenon that occurs alongside or in parallel to the primary phenomenon of atomic material activity.

Now the paradox is that the opposite is also true - that awareness IS matter. It is just this paradox that people try and overcome with a rigid materialism. We so much want life to be measurable, graspable, knowable.

True, neurofeedback is a type of biofeedback, but it is never refered to as biofeedback. It's a very interesting field full of paradoxes.

JL
Lynne Leichtfuss

Social climber
valley center, ca
Oct 5, 2009 - 04:34pm PT
Why is it so imperative that we know exactly how old everything is? (Me included, hehehe) What will age verification accomplish ? Is it beneficial in helping humans that need it ? Does it help to find God ? Is it a crucial factor in determining other scientific data that might produce something specific and great for this planet, mankind and the galaxies beyond?

Or do the arguments keep one from focusing on things much more important. Like life and death and helping the bro ? Jess asking.

bc

climber
Prescott, AZ
Oct 5, 2009 - 04:39pm PT
Note to Flanders (and anyone else providing creationist "literature"), When a creationist quotes a well known evolutionist, you can be almost certain he is quote-mining.

Typically, the evolutionist will employ some rhetorical device where she questions a part of evolutionary theory and then goes on to provide an answer. Something like, "To many the eye is too comlpex to have evolved, but in fact eye evolution is well understood". The creationist will then quote the first bit of the writer's quote, but leave out the last bit. Ellipses (the ... between different parts of the quote) are also employed to mangle the writers original meaning. This kind of writing on the part of Johnson and many other creationist writers can only be characterized as lying to make a point. Good xtians lying to save souls. Nice.

The paragraph you provided from Phillip E. Johnson's where he quotes Gould is a classic case of this. Go here to read what Gould really wrote. [url=" http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/quotes/mine/part3.html"] http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/quotes/mine/part3.html[/url] Scroll down to quote #3.12 .

In the future please consider reading the original source before providing such quotes. If you can't find the original material, the Quote Mine Project is a great place to start.
bc

climber
Prescott, AZ
Oct 5, 2009 - 04:47pm PT
Lynne,
Why is it so imperative that we know exactly how old everything is? (Me included, hehehe) What will age verification accomplish ? Is it beneficial in helping humans that need it ? Does it help to find God ? Is it a crucial factor in determining other scientific data that might produce something specific and great for this planet, mankind and the galaxies beyond?

You're joking, right?

Lynne Leichtfuss

Social climber
valley center, ca
Oct 5, 2009 - 04:50pm PT
Actually, No.

Edit: When I see many people, including babies and children along with their parents hungry and starving to death without enough warmth or water I wonder how important great debates are. Just give me a 1-10 why age dating is so significant in the big scheme of things.
Lynne Leichtfuss

Social climber
valley center, ca
Oct 5, 2009 - 04:57pm PT
khanom, In defense of WBraun....I didn't get him at first. After reading quite a few of his posts I think I see where he is coming from and often he has some valid points.

People use words and vocabulary diffently. I just met someone a few months ago and it took me awhile to really understand exactly what they were saying. Now I'm pretty much on the same page with them and we actually have some great discussions. lynnie
Flanders!

Trad climber
June Lake, CA
Oct 5, 2009 - 05:18pm PT

Pay no attention to those men behind the curtain.........
cintune

climber
the Moon and Antarctica
Oct 5, 2009 - 05:22pm PT
Lynne, I recently had that same experience.

Turned out she was Belgian.
bc

climber
Prescott, AZ
Oct 5, 2009 - 05:29pm PT
Lynne, You may not see the value of this, but it is central to our understanding of many things and not just anthropology or evolution. Having an accurate understanding of where a data point rests in time is incredibly valuable. Long range weather patterns (measured in centuries or more) is one area to consider. By knowing when things happened in the past, we can better understand when things may happen in the future. Your remark reminds me of the people who say, "Why bother going into space?" without fully understanding the benefits such research and exploration has given humanity. Consider that our understanding of evolution has led to an even greater understanding of human diseases. Ever gotten a flu shot?
Science, the how, where, what and WHEN, of things is probably the best way humankind has discovered for, in your words, "life and death and helping the bro."
Lynne Leichtfuss

Social climber
valley center, ca
Oct 5, 2009 - 06:28pm PT
bc, thank you for your thoughtful response. I will have to give it more than a cursory thought and respond more fully later. But I have always supported space exploration. It is a concrete, hands on attempt at learning more about our great universe.

Dating and weather patterns.....not quite so concrete as there are so many variables. I wonder if we will ever really be able to understand and predict the big picture in weather patterns?

Flanders, :D

cintune, if I get what you're saying.....very funny !!! Even if I don't...it's funny. hehehe

Oh Dr. F, we love to love each other right ?

Scientists seek the truth and true scientists never throw out other's theories as folly. Truth seeks not only the truth but allow others to seek it also.

I was simply stating that we only have one short life on this planet and we need to prioritize ...... death and famine, carbon dating all important, but some are a bit higher on the scale of importance, imho.

Sometime you and your bride need to go to facelift. We have some really great discussions and music around the campfire. Peace always, Lynnie
looking sketchy there...

Social climber
Latitute 33
Oct 5, 2009 - 06:38pm PT
Lynne:

Humans have always sought to understand our world, each other, and our place in the Universe. All advances in science we enjoy and take for granted today are a direct result of that quest for understanding. From the micro-cosmic (understanding biology, genes, dna, molecules, atoms, particles, etc) to the macro-cosmic (human development, the earth, solar system, newtonian physics, the universe, etc) all these field seek answers to questions and, in the greater scheme of things, are all connected.

It is always perplexing to me how some people will reject the scientific method or the quest for knowledge one moment and the next extol the virtues of a new medicine, vacine, computer, or just a plain old convenience. Are they oblivious to these contradictions. Or don't they really understand that one would not exist without the other?

So why does the age of something matter?

If you don't seek to answer such a question, you can't really understand it or how nature works.

Would you ask: "why does American (or World) history matter?"

Does mathematics matter?

Does anything matter?

We can choose to live in the artifice that nothing really matters but what is of immediate concern to us. That construct is a lie. Everything is connected to everything else. There is no means of parsing out the elements you deem unimportant to your world view from all the rest of the messy reality that is our existence.

Go ahead, leave the big question of "what is the meaning of life?" for religion to answer if you like. But in finding meaning through a belief in God doesn't mean you have to reject science's attempts to answer the other questions -- we can and should probe for answers to those.
Toker Villain

Big Wall climber
Toquerville, Utah
Oct 5, 2009 - 06:59pm PT
Didn't Fred Beckey date an "Ardi" BITD?
Lynne Leichtfuss

Social climber
valley center, ca
Oct 5, 2009 - 07:05pm PT
Eloquently spoken RV. I appreciate all you articulated and agree with most. Thanks for your time in setting forth an understandable platform. Dan loved science and math and he was a gifted teacher to this gal.

I guess the bottom line concern I have, and as I am not as articulate as you, it may not have come across clearly....while the right and the left, "Christian" and non Christian argue about a number 6,000, 600,000, 60 million or billion years, there are people who one could not even describe as living their lives, even survival is a word that does not even begin to describe the hell of each day. Debate, help, or both.....?

Several people I've lost in life over the past two years have really made me ponder much..... It's changed my life and my priorities. Life above all is precious.

imho, lynne
Gobee

Trad climber
Los Angeles
Oct 5, 2009 - 07:17pm PT
I love all you guy's, I used think there IS no God myself, but I know you don't need to be a cook to tell if the food tastes good, or know how a car works to drive, how a TV works to watch a show, how a Friend is made to use it in a crack, or how God made everything? If that's your thing cool, but I think the body looks better without seeing all the parts on the inside!

If a person loses a arm or a leg they are still a whole being on the inside, in fact most people with blindness hear way better, etc.!

Our minds are more then the info we put if it, we have reason that can grasp a bigger picture, and a heart that can love and be loved and see beauty. We're way more than seven pounds of matter! God is SOOOO
MUCH BETTER then we can ask or think, or do!!!
cintune

climber
the Moon and Antarctica
Oct 5, 2009 - 07:36pm PT
Lynne, yep, that was a joke. Can't be too serious about this stuff, it really becomes no fun at all.
But to be serious, the age of the earth as an isolated factoid obviously isn't going to save anyone's life or feed the hungry. But as part of a cohesive fabric of scientifically-arrived-at information, it is related to things that actually can and do benefit humanity in vast ways. Science doesn't have all the answers, but it never pretended to in the first place. That's religion's game. "Seek no further, it's all in this here book, and if it isn't it's not important." That just doesn't stand anymore, even though it was all we had for thousands of years.
Lynne Leichtfuss

Social climber
valley center, ca
Oct 5, 2009 - 07:49pm PT
cintune and all, gosh this page alone so illustrates why I love this Taco Stand. Solid answers to questions, thought provoking responses that make me think and rethink and test and examine and look up and explore.

Billy Graham once said, "If two people agree on everything one of them is unneccessary." (he's the only one I know that said something like that, but if you guys know a non Billy G. type that has a similar thought I'd like to hear it.)

Thoughts, knowledge, wisdom, philosophies, are all meant to be shared I think. One big puzzle is life and all that it entails. One small puzzle piece offered up by an obscure thinker might just complete a large part of this fantastic puzzle.

That's why I listen and weigh what you all have to say. What a great day. lynne
bluering

Trad climber
Santa Clara, Ca.
Oct 5, 2009 - 08:10pm PT
Amazing to me (well, not anymore) the lengths that people will go to to discredit Christianity, Judaism and embrace religions or beliefs of Buddhism and Hinduism. And yet there is no mention of Islam which is very similar to Judaism and Christianity.

It seems the Semitic faiths are the target (except Islam because it's politically incorrect for a liberal to diss Islam).

These attacks on ALL people of faith are really tiresome. On one hand you criticize proselytizers and then, you the irreligious, constantly assualt the faith of others. WTF???

I disagree with proselytizing and I would hope you Atheist f*#ks would shut up.

Has it ever occurred to you that it's not illogical to conclude that evolution AND creation are both possible? That it's not one or the other necessarily?

Bah!!!!
cintune

climber
the Moon and Antarctica
Oct 5, 2009 - 08:26pm PT
Only if you pretend that creation was something different from what religions say it was in their own words.
pyrosis

Trad climber
Flagstaff, AZ
Oct 5, 2009 - 08:38pm PT
Woah, this might be the most interesting thread I've read in a while.

weschrist writes

"Awareness is the perception of an entities interaction with its environment (i.e. OTHER matter). Matter requires an interaction to be "aware" of anything. Two material objects are not "aware" unless they are interacting. A billiard ball isolated in space is "aware" of only distant gravitational forces and electromagnetic radiation."

I was under the impression that matter did not in fact have a concrete existence outside of its interaction with other matter. An electron being the easiest example, exists as a wave function, delocalized in position, until the instant at which it interacts with another particle. After the instant of the interaction, the electron again exists only as a wave function. The electron is nothing but the probability of an interaction occurring with another electron, which is also nothing but the probability of an interaction.

All matter behaves in this manner.

Or do I misunderstand quantum mechanics?

I still have the hunch that physics holds the answer, somewhere, to consciousness itself.

-Tavis
bluering

Trad climber
Santa Clara, Ca.
Oct 5, 2009 - 08:39pm PT
Cintune, this is a complex subject. My only point is that to conclude all people who believe in a God are somehow stupid because they're religious AND reject science AND evolution is ridiculous. It's a gross generalization.

There is no doubt that evolution occurs in God's creation. Maybe it's an 'inherent intelligence' in the DNA to adapt. A perfect design that overcomes and adapts.

The problem I have is with the people who assume if you're religious, you reject science overall. You reject evolution.

It's bullshit and it's a weak argument.

Lynne Leichtfuss

Social climber
valley center, ca
Oct 5, 2009 - 08:40pm PT
Good thoughts Bluering. Peace, Lynnie

Gobee

Trad climber
Los Angeles
Oct 5, 2009 - 09:29pm PT
I don't want to put words in God's mouth but He said how he did it in the Bible, if it said something else I would believe that!
cintune

climber
the Moon and Antarctica
Oct 5, 2009 - 09:31pm PT
The Shinto creation myth probably comes closest to having imagined in advance what modern cosmology has learned about how It All began.

http://www.accd.edu/nvc/programs/humanities/huma/pages/divine_shinto.htm

But even then, it was just a very cool guess.

Largo

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Oct 5, 2009 - 10:04pm PT
Hey Tavis-

I also think qauantum mechanics tells us a lot about consciousness and attention and so forth.

When I say that awareness is a "no-thing" that inherently has no content ("thingness" or material), I'm refering to awarness as a wave function. When I say that the opposite is true, that that awareness also IS a thing, I'm saying that when awareness latches onto content, onto sensations, feelings, thoughts and so forth, awareness becomes a "concrete" thing just as a wave becomes concrete when it encounters (fill in the blank).

The problem with rigid materialists is that they don't want to factor in the wave function part of the equation, or if they have to, the wave or pure energy aspect will be posited as an aspect or trait of concrete matter. They are forced into this position by a reductionism that claims everything, including the wave forms themselves, are created or produced by concrete material.

The one thing you will never hear a materialist say is that material and reality as we know it is created by non-local,immaterial wave functions. Even the non-local, immaterial wave function will be posited in terms of inherent potentiality with concrete and defineable (measurable) charicteristics. Language is not structured to discuss what is not "there" in a material sense - i.e., pure energy, wave functions, bare awareness or "emptiness." These will always be taken up as actual potentialities, or "things."

JL
Gobee

Trad climber
Los Angeles
Oct 5, 2009 - 10:09pm PT
Then why get mad if other people steal or hurt you? Survival of the...
Because it's wrong! If you do that to others you did it to God, and God commanded us not to do those things and more.
GOclimb

Trad climber
Boston, MA
Oct 5, 2009 - 10:25pm PT
I was simply stating that we only have one short life on this planet and we need to prioritize ...... death and famine, carbon dating all important, but some are a bit higher on the scale of importance, imho.

Yes and no and it depends.

Yes, life and death questions are more important than a silly internet argument. But there's more to it than that.

To start with, it's the growth of knowledge, of an understanding of the world we live in which is, to me, the primary thing that makes humans special among all species on Earth. That each generation learns from the previous one. That we have a better and better understanding of reality, a growing consciousness, you might say. Without that, we, as humans, are nothing special, IMO.

Some people put significant energy in their lives into helping others in one way or another - doctors, philanthropists, volunteers. Without a doubt, they're doing something important and worthwhile.

But IMO (and, as always, YMMV) those who forward the growing understanding of our universe - those who devote their energy to learn what we know, refine it, add their own insight and observations, and write it down in detail so that it may be passed on to the next generation - those people are also doing very great and important work. It's the great unending work of our species.

But that work is painstaking, and requires as much precision as possible. It's like putting a jigsaw puzzle together - if the pieces are not shaped quite right, they just won't fit. So, from my perspective, does it matter very much if a sediment layer a fossil is found in is 3.6 million or 3.7 million years old? Of course not! And surely for a person dying of malaria, they couldn't care less!

And yet, from a larger perspective, it's vitally important. Because the work marches forward in infinitesmal increments. In on little detail after another. And in order for the researcher to learn anything useful, they need to get it right. And that's import, IMO, for all of us.

GO
GOclimb

Trad climber
Boston, MA
Oct 5, 2009 - 10:45pm PT
If I read the reports of Ardi correctly (not a given) it seems the idea is being advanced that both the apes and man descended from Ardi. Then if you say Ardi is more human than ape, you come away saying the apes descended from man.

Previously it was thought we descended from a common ancestor which is quite different.

JStan - I'm pretty sure you have somewhat misunderstood the articles. It is still thought that there was a common ancestor to humans and our closest living cousins (the other great apes - gorillas, chimps, and bonobos) lived around 7 million years ago. So Ardi is very solidly after the big schism, and on our side of the tree. But she's the closest we've seen on our side to the most recent common ancestor.

Sadly, our cousins on the other side of the divide seem to have managed to avoid drowning and getting embedded in river sediments - so very few fossils on their side. Too bad.

GO
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Oct 5, 2009 - 10:47pm PT
I think some of these issues having to do with mind seen pardoxical if you do not separate what we perceive from what we actually sense. It comes down to the way the brain functions and the complexity of the "program" that runs to use what we sense.

We can certainly imagine things that are not real. We do not confuse our imagining from what is reality. I can imagine, and write convincingly about super-luminal space travel, I can calculate what it would take to realize such travel and conclude that there is no real way of achieving it, I might conclude it is physically impossible. Similarly, I can imagine the existence of a supernatural being, of god, or gods, or "the force," whatever. My imagining of that does not make it real, the thought of it is real, however.

Similarly, things that I perceive may not actually be sensed. I was taught in junior high school biology that the brain cleverly "fills in" the pattern of a brick wall, so that it "looks" continuous. In fact no such thing happens. Instead we have a mental "model" of the brick wall that tells us it is continuous, the blind spot in our eyes prevents us from actually sensing that continuity, and our brain doesn't do any complicated operation of "filling in" the blind spot.

This model is a part of evolutionary adaptation, it is a part of our behavior that has a positive selection outcome. When you learn that a polar bear hunts seals in ice caves formed by heaves in the sea ice it seems remarkable, but actually the bear also has a model of reality, it is "aware" of certain behaviors of its prey and can act on a rather abstract concept.

Another feature is the way it's all patched together, different parts of the brain, and the development of the model of reality have come at different times, and interact in a discontinuous manner. This leads to various perceptual "irregularities" that can be interpreted as being much more than they are... dreaming for instance. Another interesting one is the sensation of deja vu, which is really nothing more, I believe, than the sensation that time is discontinuous, our internal model tells us that time is continuous. But our sensation of time is different than the reality of time. Oliver Sachs describes an interesting account with a patient in his book Awakening in which the almost motionless person rubs his nose, but taking the entire day... sorta in "slow motion." While recovering a sense of normality through the administration of dopamine, the patient is asked by Sachs about it, the patient did not perceive that the act of rubbing his nose was any different than any of us experience.

I have learned to be very wary of my senses and my world model as a physicist. I know that we perceive things very different than what they actually are... the mind, consciousness, all that, is marvelous and complex, but it does not, in my opinion, require any special explanation. There is a mechanistic explanation of it, but understanding it is the same as trying to understand how a computer works by looking at the program results...

As I have mentioned before, the idea of god is a real thing independent of the actual existence of god. It is somewhat a moot point to argue if god actually exists, physically exists, as long as the idea of god exists and can motivate action. These mental constructions are no less powerful than the real thing, and in some ways they are more powerful because they transcend the need to adhere to physical law. I don't find it at all odd that these thoughts could be produced by a material object, the brain... there is nothing which precludes this possibility, and it is totally consistent with what we know about physical reality.

Its all in your mind.
Largo

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Oct 5, 2009 - 11:12pm PT
Ed wrote:

"The mind, consciousness, all that, is marvelous and complex, but it does not, in my opinion, require any special explanation. There is a mechanistic explanation of it, but understanding it is the same as trying to understand how a computer works by looking at the program results..."

This strikes me as remarkable, Ed. By "special explanation" I take it you mean anything that is not stricly mechanical or materialistic.

And yet are we to understand mater and quantum mechanics with no reference to non-local wave function, or should we just stick with measurable datum (material)and call it good?

JL
jstan

climber
Oct 5, 2009 - 11:30pm PT
GoClimb:
When I read the article I came away with the impression, subjective though it may be, that Ardi was more human than ape. Jan has not finished researching the publications but when I read her post on the matter, correct or not, it at least seems she comes down on the same side.

It will take years to sort out where Ardi falls in the lineage. I made the conditional statement I did simply to point out the potential is there for a drastic change in the way we view things. That kind of excitement will drive research for decades or until we find a definitive fossil.

EDIT:
Actually on second thought, I need to be more realistic. It is an error to think that "Progress" proceeds monatonically. In fact what probably happens is one kind of creature steps into a black box, there is a long period of two mixed populations including what can be seen as both improvement and degradation, until two different creatures step out of the black box. Finding a fossil is an discrete event. Evolution is not nearly so pretty.

EDIT2:

If I may be so bold as to suggest the change of a word in Ed's post below.

IS
I believe in the understandability of the universe because of the success so far.

Might be:
I am comfortable as to understandability of the universe because of the success so far.
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Oct 5, 2009 - 11:43pm PT
the "non locality" of quantum mechanics is completely testable and understandable
it might seem strange to you, but it is not strange, it is observed and calculable.


I don't understand everything, but I believe that these things are understandable without evoking non-physical processes. I believe in the understandability of the universe because of the success so far.
Largo

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Oct 6, 2009 - 12:10am PT
the "non locality" of quantum mechanics is completely testable and understandable it might seem strange to you, but it is not strange, it is observed and calculable.


I'm not following this, Ed. My understanding, poor as it may be, is that when you refer to "it" as in "it is observed and calculable," you are refering to some form of material manifistation, some basic stuff that is measurable. But what is the actual nature of this stuff?

Tavis mentioned that "matter does not in fact have a concrete existence outside of its interaction with other matter. An electron being the easiest example, exists as a wave function, delocalized in position, until the instant at which it interacts with another particle. After the instant of the interaction, the electron again exists only as a wave function. The electron is nothing but the probability of an interaction occurring with another electron, which is also nothing but the probability of an interaction."

Now "observed and calculable" surely refers to the concrete form of matter, but what about the flip side, re the wave function? What "is" the wave function?

What I'm driving at here is that you can never understand consciouness without understanding that all content has no independent existence, that every "thing" is as much "there" (matter, measurable, predictable, "completely testable") as not there (emptiness). Awareness is itself totally devoid of content (matter, forms, measurable stuff), but without experientially getting this it all sound like bullshhit.

Althogh I never do this, to those interested, perhaps a short bit from Ken Wilber, and another by Gempo (a Zen Roshi and former All American Water Polo player) will stir your curiosity. I'm not a huge Wilber fan but his points are well taken.

http://vids.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=vids.individual&videoID=802205265#

http://www.livestream.com/bigmindtv?referrer=mogulus
JL


Gobee

Trad climber
Los Angeles
Oct 6, 2009 - 12:52am PT
"Do you fundamentalists remember the reason for and responsibilities of free will?"

Yes, You can chose to except God's Son Jesus saving grace, or not?

God makes it very clear that He accepts Jesus in are place when you put your trust in Him and to Him every knee will bow, and every tongue will confess that He is Lord!





Gobee

Trad climber
Los Angeles
Oct 6, 2009 - 08:35am PT
Klimmer

Mountain climber
San Diego
Oct 6, 2009 - 09:12am PT
I hope everyone understands there is a wide spectrum in between from No God and Evolution, to God and only literally 6 days of Creation.

There is Theistic Evolution. God created and he did so through Evolution and 15 Billion years since the Big Bang of Creation. God, the good book, and Science agree.

I would really like to get into this but it is complex and takes a great deal of time to explain. I will let PhD Gerald L. Schroeder explain:

2 Important books:

Genesis and the Big Bang: The Discovery Of Harmony Between Modern Science And The Bible (Paperback)
http://www.amazon.com/reader/0553354132?_encoding=UTF8&ref_=sib%5Fdp%5Fpt#reader


The Science of God: The Convergence of Scientific and Biblical Wisdom (Paperback)
http://www.amazon.com/Science-God-Convergence-Scientific-Biblical/dp/1439129584/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1254833026&sr=8-1#noop


Here is a audio lecture/discussion you can listen to for free by Gerald Schroeder:
Genesis & The Big Bang Theory
http://www.simpletoremember.com/media/a/dr-gerald-schroeder-genesis-and-the-big-bang/#

Notes on this lecture:
http://www.torahfusion.com/schroeder-thebigbang

"Evening and morning - Day 1
Doesn't mean sunset and sunrise since the sun was created on Day 4
Ereb is Hebrew word for evening
Real meaning is that there is disorder - blurry (evening to morning - chaos to order)
Reminds me of prophecy (seeing through a glass dimly)
Tells us that Time is created"



In Genesis, "evening and morning were the first day," refers to from chaos to order were the first day (period of time), and so it goes through all the "days" of creation. So it refers to a very long period of time not a day on Earth. It is indicating a long period of time from chaos/disorder to order, which by the way is the opposite of entropy. So this requires energy input and work. Who did this? God.


tdk

climber
puhoynix
Oct 6, 2009 - 10:40am PT
Of course God could have used 15 billion years of evolution to get us where we are - he's God, he can do whatever he wants.

But 15 billion years of random mutation and natural selection means DEATH for untold numbers of organisms, plants and animals that weren't fit enough to survive the long climb up from the mud. This doesn't quite fit with the character of a God who describes himself as a God of LIFE and who looked on his creation and proclaimed it "very good".
Jennie

Trad climber
Elk Creek, Idaho
Oct 6, 2009 - 11:54am PT
There is Theistic Evolution. God created and he did so through Evolution and 15 Billion years since the Big Bang of Creation. God, the good book, and Science agree.

Perhaps agreement in a figurative sense. I understand the current popular approximation for the age of the universe is 13.7 billion years. A few years ago astronomers were claiming the oldest stars were 20 billion years old and the cosmic background radiation suggested the universe was about 16 billion years old.

The argument about the earth being created in six days really didn't start until the word yom in the Hebrew Genesis creation account was translated into "day" in the english translations. Yom
(in the original Hebrew) can mean a long indeterminate epoch of time, sunrise to sunset OR a 24 hour day. Early Catholic fathers believed the yom in the Genesis creation represented long periods of time. But the later translation, of yom into "day" in english (and some other languages) gave biblical literalists justification for the six day creation myth.
GOclimb

Trad climber
Boston, MA
Oct 6, 2009 - 12:06pm PT
Radical said:
But it is a fallacy to think we ever lost anything. We were probably never the climbers that orangutans, spider monkeys, etc are now.

Saying we never lost anything as climbers is clearly ridiculous. Ardi (remember the subject of this thread?) would have outclimbed any one of us with one hand tied behind her back.

At least as far as free climbing goes. I think humans are the best aid climbers ever, if that's any consolation.

GO
GOclimb

Trad climber
Boston, MA
Oct 6, 2009 - 12:34pm PT
Ed - I agree entirely with your concept of mind, and always appreciate how lucid yours is in explaining the matter!

Here's the thing that has always struck me...

As humans, we have inherited a very complex pattern recognition software developed over literally billions of years of evolution. It allows creatures to sort through huge amounts of information, come to conclusions about their environment, and make good predictions about how to interact with that environment. It works unbelievably well (better than anything we've been able to design for robots). Then, on top of that, humans added something new: they developed the ability see those patterns where they are not actually there.

On the face of it, this sounds ludicrous, as if I'm saying that humans developed *insanity*. But that's not it at all. What humans developed is *creativity*. An ability to take what they "know" and project it in other directions. Things like imagining the future, or reminiscing about the past, or creating art - these are all ways of visualizing things that do not temporally exist. And while it is at the root of intelligence, it is a skill that comes with a heavy cost.

Pining for what could have been or imagining a future that will never be - these serve no actual benefit for the organism. Then there are any number of delusions, many of which afflict the perfectly healthy mind. And many more serious conditions of the mind probably stem from minor bugs in the software.

And then there are those things which can be imagined, but cannot be disproven. As we know, these can have an amazingly large affect on humanity.

All this is an inevitable result of the software that was handed down to us, with some minor tweaks we added on.

GO
GOclimb

Trad climber
Boston, MA
Oct 6, 2009 - 12:51pm PT
GoClimb:
When I read the article I came away with the impression, subjective though it may be, that Ardi was more human than ape. Jan has not finished researching the publications but when I read her post on the matter, correct or not, it at least seems she comes down on the same side.

Hmm... I'm not sure exactly what you mean. My understanding is that the great apes include humans, gorillas, chimps, and orangutans. In this graphic, they (we) are everything in the family (hilighted in yellow) hominidae.


What is referred to as the most recent common ancestor (sometimes also called the "missing link") is the ancestor between humans and our closest living relative, the chimpanzee. Where Ardi fits is on the human side, but a million years closer to that MRCA than Lucy.

Actually on second thought, I need to be more realistic. It is an error to think that "Progress" proceeds monatonically. In fact what probably happens is one kind of creature steps into a black box, there is a long period of two mixed populations including what can be seen as both improvement and degradation, until two different creatures step out of the black box. Finding a fossil is an discrete event. Evolution is not nearly so pretty.

Indeed! In fact, at any given time, there are probably lots of variations in a population. As it thrives, the number of variations almost certainly grows. Then some external "forcing" comes along which favors one or two of those variations, and kills off many of the others. Unfortunately, fossils are relatively rare, so you just wind up with little snapshots in time.

GO
jstan

climber
Oct 6, 2009 - 12:57pm PT
"The argument about the earth being created in six days really didn't start until the word
yom in the Hebrew Genesis creation account was translated into "day" in the english
translations. Yom (in the original Hebrew) can mean a long indeterminate epoch of time,
sunrise to sunset OR a 24 hour day."

Jennie

I think Jennie has hit on the nub of it. We are working with words here, some of them
translated and "interpretted" many times over thousands of years. The only thing we should
take literally in such a document should be the "intent." The intent that comes through is
that we are well served by treating each other well and by supporting each other.

The very saddest part of this is that taking the document literally has worked mightily to
obscure in people's minds what the intent was. If we could, for a moment, put that
document aside and each person decide for themselves how they held themselves relative to
the intent and what they would do about it

we would all benefit.
Klimmer

Mountain climber
San Diego
Oct 6, 2009 - 01:22pm PT
TDK,

(You probably don't have any faith in any of what I'm about to say, and you're going to think "Man you are nuts," but I've been called worse. So read it as a "myth" if you will. So here goes . . .)

Yes, but then we haven't talked here about the creation of the heavenly hosts, Angels and other Godly creatures (and there are many different heavenly creatures). The Genesis account doesn't specificlly call them out and say when they were created. Other parts of the Bible do. And it obviously happened way before Adam ever showed up on the scene since Lucifer, the father of all Fallen Angels was on the scene to fool Eve 1st, and then Adam into rebellion against God.

The heavenly hosts could have been created from near the beginning (billions of years ago) or perhaps just a few million years prior to Adam and Eve's arrival, we do not know. But we do know that Lucifer who was one of the most beloved Angels of God, took a wrong turn and rebelled against God, and at that very moment (and took at least a third of the Angels with him), God's creation which he formed "Good" and he was very pleased with, in turn went south real quick for the worst and, decay, death, destruction, and rebellion throughout creation began.

You have to read the book of Enoch to really know the seriously wrong influence that Fallen Angels have had on modern man from the time of Adam and Eve on-ward. We were taught War, Astrology, the Occult and many other secret things that God did not want us to know and knew we couldn't handle. It would be our ruin, and sure enough here we are Mankind, in literal ruins.

Jesus said as in the days of Noah, so shall be the last days. In the days of Noah, prior to the mass destruction, flooding, and judgement from God, Sons of God (Fallen Angels) were marrying and having children with Daughters of Man. Their off-spring were Nephalim, part Fallen Angel and part Man (the worst of both). They devistated the world and were very intelligent, powerful, evil, and even acquired a taste for the flesh of man. That is why God had to bring an end to it all except those who had a pure human mankind only blood-line seperate from the Fallen Angels. He had to wipe them out and he did. Yet it says some remained. He didn't get them all. Perhaps some escaped off world? We don't know.

In the last days we are seeing something similiar. The Fallen Angels, who lie and deceive, and can appear to be Angels of Light (to deceive is in their very nature) are masquerading as friendly Space Aliens. Abductions do occur. Many governments around the world, with the exception of the USA, are releasing there files on the UFO phenomenon on official websites and now making public statements openly: France, Canada, UK, Japan, Russia, Mexico, Brazil, etc. (When I get home I can link these resouces here later.)

One of the end games is for these Alien entities to convince mankind that they are indeed Man's creator and have been involved in Man's developement throughout his evolutionary history. They will attempt to take full credit for creating man and thereby taking the place of God. It is a lie to the highest and darkest order. Yes, these "Aliens" they have influenced us throughout our history, even taught us, and have been a part of our developement, they are indeed a part of our history, but not for the good. They have taught us to rebel against God and worship other Gods, and/or to reject God all together.

Nothing is new under the Sun.

As time goes on more and more people will wake up to what is really happening. That is why God told us before it does happen so we will know he is telling us the truth and that he loves and cares for us. He gave us a redemption plan --- his beloved Son and our Lord and saviour Jesus Christ. He does not want us to be fooled and lost. We have been caught in the middle of a spiritual battle for a long, long time, and things are coming to a climax rapidly.



Here are some of the links:

Frances CNES - GEIPAN:

http://www.cnes-geipan.fr/accueil.html


UFO disclosure: What went wrong in France?

http://www.allnewsweb.com/page6936937.php



Newly released UFO files from the UK government:

http://ufos.nationalarchives.gov.uk/



Canada's UFOs: The Search for the Unknown

http://www.collectionscanada.gc.ca/ufo/index-e.html



Japanese Government Spokesman: UFOs Definitely Real

http://www.japanprobe.com/?p=3436



Vatican Official Declares Extraterrestrial Contact Is Real

http://www.ufodigest.com/balducci.html

'Balducci provided an analysis of extraterrestrials that he feels is consistent with the Catholic Church's understanding of theology. Monsignor Balducci emphasizes that extraterrestrial encounters "are NOT demonic, they are NOT due to psychological impairment, they are NOT a case of entity attachment, but these encounters deserve to be studied carefully." Since Monsignor Balducci is a demonology expert and consultant to the Vatican , and since the Catholic Church has historically demonized many new phenomena that were poorly understood, his stating that the Church does not censure these encounters is all the more remarkable.'

I beg to differ. All the evidence points to ETs/Aliens being Fallen Angels, Nephalim, and/or demonic. We have to test the spirits.

How to Test the Spirits
http://www.creationists.org/how-to-test-the-spirits.html



Clinton White House Chief John Podesta on UFO disclosure
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R2Sz-MgoFos


Barack Obama UFO Disclosure Video
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-gO4aYKVkB8

Ufo Disclosure Edgar Mitchell CNN Obama Administration April 21 2009.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G4x-EGrMW_I&NR=1


Perhaps disclosure is really happening right now, but not so much in the MSM in your face, loud, sort of way. Perhaps a more quiet subtle way in the hopes of avoiding a "War of the Worlds" panic. People need to wake up, seek God, and ask Jesus to come into their hearts and receive salvation under the blood and grace of our Lord and Saviour. It is gonna be a very bumpy, scary ride eventually. You have to be ready.


Considering the allegiance and the father of Fallen Angels, Nephalim, Demons, and Aliens is Lucifer himself . . .

Just say "No" to Aliens. (Although I will say "yes" to their clean alternative energy resources -- they are indeed very intelligent but evil)


Alien Resistance:
http://www.alienresistance.net/stw.html
http://www.freestickers.net/
http://www.alienresistance.org/
cintune

climber
the Moon and Antarctica
Oct 6, 2009 - 01:30pm PT
Pining for what could have been or imagining a future that will never be - these serve no actual benefit for the organism.

Some of the research cited above challenges this assumption. By pining together as a group for a wholly imaginary, insane future, we banded together on a level way beyond natural selection, making greater the chances for individual survival. Religion was important for social cohesion when the world was a much bigger and more diverse place. The frightening thing is that Fundamentalist Christianity's best hope is the apocalypse it dreams of, because then we as individuals will need that kind of small-group cohesion again. Just like the bad old days.
GOclimb

Trad climber
Boston, MA
Oct 6, 2009 - 03:08pm PT
Navblk4 wrote:
Hominids linked to humans was not proven as of 1999, and the latest news is also probably theory.

I'm afraid I have no idea what you mean by this. Humans are hominids. Hominid is pretty much defined as the group to which humans belong. And what do you mean that "the latest news is ... theory"? By "theory" do you mean that maybe the news about Ardi was made up?

Sorry if I'm being dense.

GO
MH2

climber
Oct 6, 2009 - 04:15pm PT
Very nice to see such a variety of comment.

There was a researcher at U. of Washington in Seattle. Eric Luschei? He studied the vestibular system in chimps. In publications when he diagrammed his experimental apparatus the face of the monkey showed a distinct resemblance to the author.

He said he thought that scientists as individuals tended to be on a journey, either downward toward the molecule or upward toward the soul.


As an aspiration I would favor WBraun's view.

However, the real metaphor here is the blind men and the elephant.
GOclimb

Trad climber
Boston, MA
Oct 6, 2009 - 04:20pm PT
From memory within this book
hominids I remember being as the earliest alleged species attempting to be
linked to homo sapiens. Admittedly by over 1 dozen doctors in various
sciences whom wrote this book the alleged earliest link to homo sapiens
has not been proven without doubt.

??? Hominid is not a species. Here ya go dude: http://lmgtfy.com/?q=hominid

GO


eeyonkee

Trad climber
Golden, CO
Oct 6, 2009 - 09:29pm PT
For Klimmer and other Christian apologists (if you don't mind me using that term) - why even bother with the Bible? Although I am an atheist, I can certainly understand someone believing in God, but I can't understand people giving so much credence to these old texts. The Bible is known to be written and edited by various men at various times. Most of it was written in the Bronze Age - when about 1 percent of the population could read and write, but at the same time, after homo sapiens had already been around for around 200,000 years or so. There is not a shred of evidence that a supernatural being had anything to do with the content. Most Christians have learned to cherry pick the good parts and interpret the bad parts as metaphor (like stoning adulterers and non-believers, etc.). Why even bother with trying to reconcile Genesis with science. It's absurd. It's even worse for Muslims and the Koran. If you want to reconcile belief in God with science, you would be doing yourself a favor to leave out any reference to the Bible or other sacred texts. There are certainly some philosophical stances that at least have some credibility in arguing for a creator God. Trying to reconcile science with the Bible is not one of them.
Klimmer

Mountain climber
San Diego
Oct 6, 2009 - 10:20pm PT
Bump. Added links to my last thread waaaaaaay up stream.

Hey, I'm used to critism. I hear it all the time. I also know God's ways are not our ways. The good book says . . .

1Cor.1:27 KJV
[27] But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty;


Now, I could go on, and on, and show more incredible Bible Code to prove the point (to all the doubting Thomases on board here who think it is all fake or made-up). The thing is it is the way God decided to communicate with us. His choice. He can do it. It pleased him to work through man this way. Lucifer tried to stop it from happening at every turn, and still tries, but God's word still got through, still gets through. What is the World's all time best selling book ever, even now? The Holy Bible. It pierces the hearts of man. His word is life to our souls. Just about anyone in the World (not everywhere mind you is this true) who wants a Bible can get one and often for free. Personally, I think it is brilliant the way he did it. I don't understand it all or all his ways, but I'm sticking with the Big Guy Upstairs. I think he knows what he is doing, and he knows what he is talking about.
bc

climber
Prescott, AZ
Oct 6, 2009 - 10:39pm PT
World's all time best selling book ever, even now? The Holy Bible.

Might makes right again! What happens if the Koran or the next Harry Potter tops it?

Pretty lame arguement.

Bible Code? Riiiiight.
Klimmer

Mountain climber
San Diego
Oct 6, 2009 - 10:54pm PT
Read it and weep . . .

List of best-selling books
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_best-selling_books


Nothing comes close to the Bible.
Jan

Mountain climber
Okinawa, Japan
Oct 6, 2009 - 11:03pm PT
Klimmer and other fundamentalists-

I think you all need a good course in comparative religion. The Bible is not the only great piece of scripture on this planet, nor does the Judeo Christian tradition have all the best answers in the field of religion - far from it.

As an anthropologist, my own rule of thumb is that an idea which appears in only one holy book or one religion is just a cultural anomaly. If similar ideas appear in multiple traditions from vastly different parts of the world, then probably they represent some universal wisdom. At the least they represent universal human yearnings.

Clearly the passages you are quoting do not inspire universal interest on this forum and therefore do not represent universal human yearnings, though the participation on this thread indicates that many people do have an interest in the interface of science and religion and in religious/spiritual/philosophical ideals. Therefore, if you want to make any headway with this audience, you're going to have to become more universal too. Otherwise, you are only making yourself feel righteous about quoting material for the record to gain points in some game that the rest of us are not playing.

Some of us are interested perhaps in why you feel compelled to base your life on literal interpretations of only one book, but we ourselves are not interested in those literal interpretations. The Buddhists talk about skillful means and the Apostle Paul noted that he altered his message depending on his audience - he did not speak the same way in Athens to the philosophers as he did in Antioch to the believers. I think you would get your point across much better if you did the same.

Just saying........

bc

climber
Prescott, AZ
Oct 6, 2009 - 11:10pm PT
Nothing comes close to the Bible.

Your point is what exactly? Just curious why the number of copies sold would make any difference.
Klimmer

Mountain climber
San Diego
Oct 6, 2009 - 11:11pm PT
Weschrist,

Selective reading on your part.

"800 million[5] to 6.5 billion; note, however, that of the 6.5 billion copies printed and shipped, maybe only a third were actually bought, and the rest are on stock in stores or factories worldwide[6]"


Yes, I can see the Chinese government doing this in attempt to make the numbers the Bible does all on its own without trying.



And I'm not a fundamentalist. I upset Christians and Scientists alike.



BC,

Just the fact that God's plan of getting the word out is working. We don't really have an excuse do we? Heck, you could even take a Gideon's Bible from the hotel/motel room for free if you like ;-))
Jan

Mountain climber
Okinawa, Japan
Oct 6, 2009 - 11:21pm PT
And now for the scientists and philosophers-

I came across an interesting video that should interest both groups while checking out Largo's references to Ken Wilbur. Some of you may have seen it already as it is part of a PBS series on evolution. The title of the 5th in the series is called The Mind's Big Bang.

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-7000929389205786708&ei=0cvKSuaUNYqUwgOE8PTQCA&q=big+mind&hl=en#

It deals with the mental revolution occurring in early Homo sapiens, probably related to language. Worth watching for the facts, but also because it provokes a lot of interesting questions about cognition, consciousness, and intelligence. Interestingly enough, the 6th and last video which I haven't seen, is entitled "God".

One thing I have observed by living with premodern or recently modern people though, is that they have mental faculties which we have lost. Therefore I am a little uncomfortable with the presumption in a video like this that we always make progress. For example, people living in a pre- electronic situation have much keener senses than we do - they see, hear, and smell more acutely. Illiterate people also have much better memories in my experience, and certainly better auditory memory. They also have better intuition and a keener sense of social nuance as well.

Of course one can say that such faculties no longer serve us because of our superior technology and greater numbers crowded together, and therefore losing them is a positive adaptation. Anthropologists have also been accused of trading in nostalgia for an irretrievable past. Still, I think we've lost something along the way.

Klimmer

Mountain climber
San Diego
Oct 6, 2009 - 11:26pm PT
Weschrist,

I can see this is a sore spot with you. You really can't count the number of Bibles since there were very few in existance until Martin Luther and the invention of the Gutenberg Press about 1440 AD. I'll let you do the math.

Oh, and AD . . . 'AD actually stands for the Latin phrase "anno domini" which means "in the year of our Lord."'


I know probably another sore subject with you.
Lynne Leichtfuss

Trad climber
Will know soon
Oct 6, 2009 - 11:27pm PT
Look at Wes,,,,,quoting jesus again. hehehe.

This all makes my head spin. My take. If it works, it works and "just jesus" has worked for me Big Time for the past many years....through literal hell and high water. Nothing else had.

I gave many different philo's a whirl. Didn't even believe in God for awhile. For the short time I was in college I did quite well in philosophy and study of religions. My prof's loved me .... my parents hated me when all 9 of us gathered round the dinner table and I told them about Kant and Eastern religion and the problems with Judeo Christian thought.....it was pretty funny actually.:D Peace, lynne
Jan

Mountain climber
Okinawa, Japan
Oct 6, 2009 - 11:33pm PT
Lynne-

I have the greatest respect for someone who happens to settle on their own tradition AFTER exploring the others. You did it with an open mind. No where in the Bible does it say that God or Jesus prefers close minded followers.Of course, one of the great principles in eastern religions anyway, is remaining true to your original root guru - which seems to me what you have done.

Also as I've mentioned before, you show us how it works in your personal life not just in theory but through what you give to the community. That's a whole lot different than just dumping a lot of quotes on us.



Jan

Mountain climber
Okinawa, Japan
Oct 6, 2009 - 11:36pm PT
Klimmer and Weschrist-

These numbers are meaningless. How many of those Bibles and Little Red Books never got read but were purchased for public consumption - the coffee table or to put on the night stand when grandma visited or displayed during the Cultural Revolution in the hope it would help one stay out of a re-education camp?
Klimmer

Mountain climber
San Diego
Oct 6, 2009 - 11:51pm PT
Yes, the numbers game is just that. However, it does have a seed of truth to it.

One of my favorite classes in college was World Religions. The instructor was a Buddist/Catholic Monk with a Masters degree. He left to teach college. He was really good. He had a passion for faiths of all kinds. That was a very interesting class with lots of debate among the students and the instructor. Lots of passion but in a good spirit. It was also one of the hardest classes. Lots of writing and the tests were brutal. I can remember him describing much of his own experience as "Smells and Bells."



Weschrist,

Huh?
Jan

Mountain climber
Okinawa, Japan
Oct 7, 2009 - 12:35am PT
OK Klimmer-

I'll bite. How on earth did you get from enjoying a class in comparative religion to your current position? Did you run into a fundamentalist girlfriend on the way? Have a huge trauma in your life that sent you looking for stability?

Meanwhile, a concept that has helped me a lot is the idea that we do better with a spiritual style that suits our personality, the choices being intellect (both theology and science), love and devotion (ranging from liturgy to charismatic), selfless service (endless possibilities including Face Lift), or intuition and mysticism ( contemplative prayer and meditation or charismatic).

The fully enlightened human would be the one who had them all balanced. Sometimes we seek balance by marrying someone who shores up our weaknesses, sometimes we do it on our own, often unskillfully. Intellect and service are left brain activities, emotion and intuition are right brain activities. At least we can hope to do well from one of each. Otherwise our spirituality and personal life are really unbalanced.

WandaFuca

Social climber
From the gettin' place
Oct 7, 2009 - 01:40am PT
In other words--equipoise or drug of choice . . .



Klimmer

Mountain climber
San Diego
Oct 7, 2009 - 01:43am PT
Jan,

I grew up in a Christian family. Even in my family we all do not see eye to eye on theological matters to this day.

In the Army, and then college, I left my first love with God. Once saved does not mean always saved. That is a fallacy. Your name can be blotted out of the Book of Life. I definately was The Prodigal Son for many years. After getting married, having children and then experiencing how bad it has been politically since 9-11-2001 (a major downer), and knowing I have a responsibility as a husband and father to raise my family in faith, belief, and the love of God (I will be held to account), I asked God if I could come back to his love and would he forgive me for leaving him? He has. God is merciful and true.

If one was to read all my posts here at ST (boring I know) it could be determined when I came back to God. There is always a serious positive change for the better.

Also, the only thing I can thank GWB and the Neocons for, is driving me running back to God, they are that incredibly evil. My peace of mind has returned. No matter what, it will all be OK. I still have to pay attention to what is happening around me in the world, but in the end it will all be OK. I just got to hold onto God's hand and never let go again (figuratively speaking).
Lynne Leichtfuss

Trad climber
Will know soon
Oct 7, 2009 - 02:02am PT
Klimmer, you are on my heart tonight. Peace, lynne
Lynne Leichtfuss

Trad climber
Will know soon
Oct 7, 2009 - 02:14am PT
It's pretty facinating how these god vs. no god or what god, evolution, creation, what made this place, what makes it work, what makes us work as humans individually, what makes us work together....or not...it's facinating how many posts these threads get.

Must be important to at least a few. Smiles and Peace tonight...lynne

Jan

Mountain climber
Okinawa, Japan
Oct 7, 2009 - 02:16am PT

Klimmer-

Thanks for sharing your journey. I think if we do it right, it is always a journey.

Children though, change the picture a lot. I think your real fun will start when your kids get old enough to rebel in their turn against their background! I had no real religious background and used to resent that I had nothing solid along those lines to rebel against. There's always something for a teenager to resent!

It will be interesting to see how our journeys unfold over the years. Often times when we feel most comfortable and stable is just when the rug is about to be pulled out and we make our greatest leaps forward.

Peace.
Largo

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Oct 7, 2009 - 02:28am PT
JL, at this point it is semantics. In the English language "awareness" is a noun and "aware" is an adjective that modifies a noun. The modifier cannot simultaneously be that which is modified... just as a force cannot act on itself. But I think understand what you are trying to say and in the past I have experienced brief moments of awareness as "no-thing" which gives rise to and somehow is everything simultaneously. If you haven't read any Alan Watts, I recommend it. He tackles the paradoxes that arise from the English language quite well, I think.


You're starting to get warm there Westcrist, but still no cigar.

Of course what I've driving at has nothing whatsoever to do with language, and thinking that linguistic constructs - which I deal with all day every day - somehow determines the nature of awareness, is to approach the issue bass-akwards. I'm not talking about an Alan Watts concept, nor yet any kind of construct at all. "You" can't experience awareness as "no-thing."
"No-thing" IS the direct experience of awareness, before any content ("you" etc...) enters the infinite field.

But I'm tired and need sleep . . .

JL
Klimmer

Mountain climber
San Diego
Oct 7, 2009 - 09:34am PT
Formerly known as . . . ,

I agree with you to a point.

But when reality starts ticking off one prophecy after another from the good book in these last days and things line up and happen just as the good book says it will, then faith meets the evidence of reality and we will all know. The stage is set right now. No one dissagrees with this that knows the Bible well and what it says concerning the last days. The stage is set like it never has been before in all of history. Jesus told us to watch, be prepared, and to be ready.

Some of us are choosing which side of the fence we want to be on now, before that happens. We are not promised tomorrow. I choose to be with God.
philo

Trad climber
boulder, co.
Oct 7, 2009 - 09:54am PT
Lynne said;
"I gave many different philo's a whirl".


Wow, sorry I missed that. Or was it from that lost month in Vegas? he he.
eeyonkee

Trad climber
Golden, CO
Oct 7, 2009 - 10:16am PT
Klimmer said After getting married, having children and then experiencing how bad it has been politically since 9-11-2001 (a major downer), and knowing I have a responsibility as a husband and father to raise my family in faith, belief, and the love of God...

On the contrary, I feel strongly that parents do their kids a disservice in indoctrinating them with religion before they can think for themselves. The chance that you would believe in Christianity if you were born in just about any Muslim country is vanishingly small. You would, instead, likely feel just as strongly about Islam.
Bad Climber

climber
Oct 7, 2009 - 10:32am PT
Klimmer--Puuulease. Are you a big fan of the Left Behind series? This is such a big load of hogwash. Many times in the past, dimmed-brained people have gathered on some hilltop waiting for THE END. Do you bathe your children in this fear, too? End times! End times! Give it a rest. Climb a route, drink a beer. Ah, there's God for you. The All-knowing, All-seeing, All-blessing Suds!

BAd
Ghost

climber
A long way from where I started
Oct 7, 2009 - 11:31am PT
It deals with the mental revolution occurring in early Homo sapiens, probably related to language.

Jan, did you ever read a discussion of this by Julian Jaynes in his book "The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind?" It was published in the late 70s and is probably hard to find now, but he had some very interesting ideas. He also dealt with theism, en passant.

David
Klimmer

Mountain climber
San Diego
Oct 7, 2009 - 11:33am PT
eeyonkee,

As the good book says (paraphrasing), "teach them the ways of the Lord and when they are old they will not depart from them." Many places in the good book talk about our responsibility as parents to our children and to teach them the ways of the Lord. They can always make decisions on their own when they are on their own. They have free-will just like I did. I left. But then I came back. I then knew what to come back to. If I didn't have this upbringing I would still be lost perhaps.
Jan

Mountain climber
Okinawa, Japan
Oct 7, 2009 - 11:55am PT
Ghost-

I just read the reviews of the Bicameral Mind and then remembered that I had looked at it a long time ago. Way too speculative based on too little evidence was my impression, particularly since his agenda seems to be so anti God and anti religion. Both my scientific and spiritual training say keep an open mind but my personal tendency always, is to seek the middle ground.
eeyonkee

Trad climber
Golden, CO
Oct 7, 2009 - 12:12pm PT
Klimmer. I'd be interested in hearing your response to the second part of my last post. What if you had been born in, say, Saudi Arabia, and your parents had indoctrinated you (as they most certainly would) with the teachings of Islam. Do you believe that you would have somehow found Christianity anyhow (in which case you would be rather special indeed)? Or is belief in Islam just as good as belief in Christianity (and way better than no belief at all)?
Ghost

climber
A long way from where I started
Oct 7, 2009 - 12:29pm PT
Way too speculative based on too little evidence was my impression

Not going to quarrel with you on that. I didn't mean to imply Jaynes' theories were sound, but they sure were interesting. Sometimes that kind of thing -- speculation which you ultimately don't accept -- can be a great mind-opener. And as to soundness, well, Jaynes' ideas were at least more believable than most theism. More fun to read, too.

And anyway, the whole debate is stupid. The world was created when Raven became bored with life in the land of the spirit birds and flew away with a stone in his beak. He dropped the stone into the ocean and the land was formed.

Klimmer

Mountain climber
San Diego
Oct 7, 2009 - 12:32pm PT
That question opens up a huge can of worms even in the Christian world.

Where was Jesus for 3 days before rising from the dead? The good book suggests he went somewhere to give all people who came before who died without knowing Christ a very special message of good news. And they had or have the opportunity to accept or reject God's plan of redemption.

What about the people of Earth who have never heard God's good news message? And there are those who go through life and do not hear or are really given a chance or opportunity to accept or reject Jesus. It seems he has a plan for them also to get the word, and perhaps it occurs in the new millineum of peace. This is a contraversial message even in the Christian community. It seems to me though the good book does describe this and God has made a plan.

I cannot imagine in all fairness God condeming to death for eternity, anyone who has not been given a fair opportunity to hear the good news message and then be given the opportunity to either accept it or reject it. Everyone will be given a chance to hear the good news and God's redemption plan somehow. I do not know all the details of how, but he does, and the good book indicates this.

No one will have an excuse. No one will be able to say on that last day that they didn't know or were not given a chance to decide, one way or another. God is fair and he is merciful.


Edit:

Khanom,

I can't even begin to tell you how wrong your post is.

You look at all of Christidom and see all the hypocrasy and the hate and the wars etc. and you think that is an indication of the faith. No you are wrong. They are hypocrites and God calls them out. He knows. There is no fooling God. Those "believers" are only deluding themselves. Jesus said you will know them by the fruit they bare. Jesus gave a good news message to the World, if they reject it that is their business. He didn't strike them dead. He just dusted himself off and went on to the next village or town.

Tell me when did Jesus ever hate, hit, start a war, or punish someone for rejecting his message while he was on Earth? His message is about peace, love, forgiveness, and a return to God. Others ruin his message, but not Jesus, not God.

You have to know and be able to decern the difference.

Lynne Leichtfuss

Trad climber
Will know soon
Oct 7, 2009 - 12:42pm PT
Philo, Thanks for my first good chuckle of the day. :D
eeyonkee

Trad climber
Golden, CO
Oct 7, 2009 - 12:57pm PT
I appreciate your honest response, Klimmer. Seems to me, however, that it puts those born in Muslim countries at a HUGE disavantage. Easy enough for you, as a Christian, to say that somehow God will take into account the fact that they have been worshipping the wrong God their entire lives. I guess I would deserve eternal damnation, since I was raised in but untimately rejected Catholicism. It's to those Muslims and people of other faiths that the Plan seems so unfair.
WBraun

climber
Oct 7, 2009 - 01:04pm PT
In the Western world, theologians have been unable to scientifically present the laws of God or, indeed, God Himself, and thus in Western intellectual history a rigid dichotomy has arisen between theology and science.

In an attempt to resolve this conflict, some theologians have agreed to modify their doctrines so that they conform not only to proven scientific facts but even to pseudo scientific speculations and hypotheses, which, though unproven, are hypocritically included within the realm of "science."

On the other hand, some fanatical theologians disregard the scientific method altogether and insist on the veracity of their antiquated, sectarian dogmas.

Thus material science has moved into the destructive realm of gross materialism, while speculative Western philosophy has drifted into the superficiality of relativistic ethics and inconclusive linguistic analysis.

With so many of the best Western minds dedicated to materialistic analysis, naturally much of Western religious life, separated from the intellectual mainstream, is dominated by irrational fanaticism and unauthorized mystic and mystery cults.

Purport 12 canto S.B.
WBraun

climber
Oct 7, 2009 - 01:22pm PT
Satyam, truthfulness, is also diminishing, simply because people do not know what the truth is.

Without knowing the Absolute Truth, one cannot clearly understand the real significance or purpose of life merely by amassing huge quantities of relative or hypothetical truths.

Certainly smrti, memory, is weakening. In former ages human beings possessed superior memory, and they also did not encumber themselves with a terrible bureaucratic and technical society, as we have done. Thus essential information and abiding wisdom were preserved without recourse to writing.

Of course, in the age of Kali things are dramatically different.

No, I did not write this ......
WBraun

climber
Oct 7, 2009 - 01:28pm PT
khanom --
I suppose?


You're just a mental speculator. You don't know sh'it .....
Largo

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Oct 7, 2009 - 01:45pm PT
What if you woke up one day and simply could not remember any of your beliefs. How do you imagine the direct experience of your life would be - minus at least some of the intellectual constructs?

JL
midarockjock

climber
USA
Oct 7, 2009 - 02:01pm PT
JL,
Unfortunately there are no guarantees for life. I only know of 2 cases of
senility to compare. One died immediately and I assume that is what
he would have wanted prior, the other unfortunately or fortunately
lived for years being senile. I would prefer to die as the 1'st.

BES
Norton

Social climber
the Wastelands
Topic Author's Reply - Oct 7, 2009 - 02:03pm PT
Forget Fattrad,

I support Largo for POTUS.
GOclimb

Trad climber
Boston, MA
Oct 7, 2009 - 02:36pm PT
Jan wrote
I came across an interesting video that should interest both groups while checking out Largo's references to Ken Wilbur. Some of you may have seen it already as it is part of a PBS series on evolution. The title of the 5th in the series is called The Mind's Big Bang.

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-7000929389205786708&ei=0cvKSuaUNYqUwgOE8PTQCA&q=big+mind&hl=en#

Wow!!!! Thanks for sharing that! Fascinating, thought provoking, and relevant to all of the discussions in this thread!

Now a question for you: According to the video, and other things I've read, the "great leap forward" took place sometime around 35,000 years ago. But at that time, H. Sapiens was pretty much distributed around the globe. If there is a genetic component to it, that suggests that an external forcing created the *same* parallel evolution (albeit a very tiny change) more or less simultaneously in thousands of different populations!

Is that the consensus in paleoanthropology? Incredible!

GO
Klimmer

Mountain climber
San Diego
Oct 7, 2009 - 03:05pm PT
Eeyonkee wrote . . .

I appreciate your honest response, Klimmer. Seems to me, however, that it puts those born in Muslim countries at a HUGE disavantage. Easy enough for you, as a Christian, to say that somehow God will take into account the fact that they have been worshipping the wrong God their entire lives. I guess I would deserve eternal damnation, since I was raised in but untimately rejected Catholicism. It's to those Muslims and people of other faiths that the Plan seems so unfair.

The Jewish faith, the Islamic faith, and the Christian faith all worship the same God. The God of Abraham. We have more in common than we have differences.

The Jews rejected Jesus because they were waiting for a Messiah who would come as a King, they missed the fact that he would come in humility, and forgiveness, and suffering first and then a second time as a King. Their time is coming. Their eyes will be opened at some time in the future and they will cry for Jesus as a mother cries for her first born. They will accept Jesus and finally know him as their Messiah.

The Islamic faith worships the same God, but through specific steps of faith and instruction to be carried out in a very prescribed methodology of faith and beliefs and that God's prophet is Mohammed. Jesus said I'm am the way, the truth, and the life, no one comes to the father except through me. I imagine (my speculations) God will honor the faith and devotion of true Muslim's who truly abidded by their faith while on Earth, and didn't follow doctrines of hate and violence which are contrary to true Islam. Those who practice such tactics are extemists. When God presents the truth of the matter to true Muslims some day, I don't think they will have an issue with turning from Mohammed and worshipping Jesus when they are shown the truth. Like I said, we have more in common than we have differences. The idea that by commiting suicide and taking out many infidels in the process, and you will be rewarded with so many Virgins in heaven is not gonna happen. Also the idea of worshipping a meteorite in Mecca will have to be abandoned. Now I like meteorites, I collect them, but I know enough not to worship false idols, but instead worship God only.

Christians, we worship the same God, the God of Abraham. We know the way of salvation. We know it is a gift of God by grace, not through works, least any man boast. We know you only come to God through his Son and our Lord and Savior Jesus the Christ. That is God's plan of redemption.

I believe, and the good book suggests this is true, that the Jewish/Hebrew faith, Islamic faith, and the Christian faith have more in common than we have differences ultimately. I think true believers will come to know Jesus when given the opportunity by God.
Lynne Leichtfuss

Trad climber
Will know soon
Oct 7, 2009 - 03:22pm PT
I'm probably wrong, but I don't think Largo is talking about senility. Perhaps he's posing the question, "what if one day you woke up and you weren't preprogrammed with all your prior belief system ?"

Even if I read it wrong it's still an interesting question and I am pondering it. What would I do ? Who would I be that day of awakening ? Who would I be 10 years from then ? What would I believe ? What would I look to first for discovery ?
GOclimb

Trad climber
Boston, MA
Oct 7, 2009 - 05:55pm PT
Radical wrote:
""What is referred to as the most recent common ancestor (sometimes also called the "missing link") is the ancestor between humans and our closest living relative, the chimpanzee. Where Ardi fits is on the human side, but a million years closer to that MRCA than Lucy.""

You're missing some of the basic stuff that has been written about even on this thread. But keep studying and re-read some stuff. At any rate, it seems Ardi is over rated, as I have been reading from many leading experts the last week, but it is interesting.

No, I don't think I am. But if there's something mistaken in what I stated above, please point it out. And give me a reference, too, if you have one.

I'm not an expert in the field, but I have done my homework.

Thanks!

GO
Lynne Leichtfuss

Trad climber
Will know soon
Oct 7, 2009 - 08:29pm PT
Missing you Riley.....Nice take on the "what if one day you wake up."
Largo

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Oct 7, 2009 - 10:22pm PT
Lynn wrote: "I'm probably wrong, but I don't think Largo is talking about senility. Perhaps he's posing the question, "what if one day you woke up and you weren't preprogrammed with all your prior belief system?"

The interesting thing here is that anyone would equate stepping out of beliefs with senility, implying that opposite, intelligence, is somehow the fruit of beliefs, or at any rate, is hooked up to beliefs in some basic way. This illustrates our addiction to measurable or quantifiable information, and the misconception that we might understand only so long as we have the correct data. But the spiritual and religious articles that get tossed around here are not assailable with data because they are not "things." In the formal sense they are not "real" because, like awareness, they are insubstantial. Perhaps it is likewise true that in wave-form, mater is also not "real," and that it becomes "real" only when it materializes.

Interesante!

JL
jstan

climber
Oct 7, 2009 - 10:32pm PT
Riley:
There is an undefined term loose here. What is your "belief system?"

Is the expectation we have that an object when released in the air will fall toward the center of the earth, part of the "belief system" to which you refer?

You need to be specific.
Flanders!

Trad climber
June Lake, CA
Oct 7, 2009 - 11:24pm PT

Largo ponders: "What if you woke up one day and simply could not remember any of your beliefs. How do you imagine the direct experience of your life would be - minus at least some of the intellectual constructs?"

Hard to say given our current biases and "understandings" BUT, with acknowledged bias here,that being my long held belief that there is a creator I quote Romans 1:20; For since the creation of
the world God's invisible qualities- his eternal power and divine nature-have been clearly seen,
being understood through what has been made..........

This tells me that there is really no such thing as a atheist, only those who choose to ignore
the Truth they have seen clearly presented to us all through what has been made.

Doug
Grant Meisenholder

Trad climber
CA
Oct 7, 2009 - 11:56pm PT
//This tells me that there is really no such thing as a atheist, only those who choose to ignore
the Truth they have seen clearly presented to us all through what has been made.//

I completely agree, except switch the word "atheist" for "rational religious person".
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Oct 7, 2009 - 11:58pm PT
JL, I think you haven't understood my point, perhaps you interpreted my statement as saying that religious, spiritual, etc are not real because they are not realizable physically. Certainly the ideas are real, and ideas do motivate people to act, so their effects are tangible.

My point is that these ideas are the result of a physical process which is measurable. Exactly how the ideas come into existence is still unexplained in detail. But even if they were explained as the result of a purely physical process, they could be thoughts of all those things you are talking about. There is certainly nothing which precludes that possibility.

Techniques to manipulate thought through training the mind can lead to insight regarding the mind, also on the perception of reality.

The duality here is not the usual western one... at least not as I understand it...
jstan

climber
Oct 8, 2009 - 12:12am PT
Assume: there is a creator
Assume. the creator made everything
Assume. everyone sees what has been made

Then: non believers are ignoring (not admitting the existence of) the world around them.


That is easy to test.

Hold a non-believer under water. If he recognises the water exists just before he has drowned then he goes to heaven.

If he does not, he goes to hell.

This was done with witches in New England in the 1600's.

A wonderful resolution for the problem of non-believers.

Christians believed this was Christian in the 1600's.

How about you Flanders?

Did Jesus go around arguing death for non-believers?

Or were the Christians in 1600, not quite Christian?

And if they were not quite Christian, do you suppose others today may also suffer from this malady?

If this is true is it not our duty to discover the truth?

Perhaps the answer is to drown some Christians.

If they go to Heaven, they were Christian.

If they go to Hell, voila, we have shown they were not Christian!
WBraun

climber
Oct 8, 2009 - 12:15am PT
jstan

We're already in hell, it can only get worst, there will be no more television.

Largo

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Oct 8, 2009 - 12:25am PT
Ed wrote: "My point is that these ideas are the result of a physical process which is measurable."

What I'm saying, Ed, is that "ideas" are one thing, and I agree that ideas are in large part tied to brain, though I doubt in the way you are saying, i.e., that the brain "creates" ideas, or that an idea is the "product" of neuro functioning. As I've said before, the neuro-functioning IS the idea.
Where do you suppose is the separation or distance between the neuro-fuinctioning and the idea?

However ideas are "content," or stuff, things, measurable units of energy. Raw awareness itself is not this, nor is it a brain (content, material, etc.) function, created by the brain nor yet a property. The stuff constantly geysering up from "nothing" in measurable. The borderless field in which thoughts, ideas, neurofunctioning, hormomes, blood, sweet and tears arise is of course measureless.

Though I'm not well enough versed in QM to know exactly what it is all about, but I've heard others say that awareness is like the wave function (not "there") and thoughts are "matter" to which all science (measuring) is rooted. But of course the wave function and the matter, or awareness and thought, are the selfsame. Zen construs this concept as: Emptiness is form and form is emptiness - exactly.

To understand this experientially, you'd simply have to meditate till you understand that awareness itself is non-local, impersonal and totally ungraspable. Till that time your thoughts and evaluating mind will tell you awareness is a creation or product of the evolved brain. Of course awareness will never argue because the witness is not "you."

JL
jstan

climber
Oct 8, 2009 - 12:26am PT
"there will be no more television."

Ahhhhhh!

Heaven!

At last.
Largo

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Oct 8, 2009 - 12:52am PT
One last thought, returing to the idea that one day you woke up and forgot all your beliefs or mental constructs. Undestand that this question has been considered by inquiring minds for ages, especially by hard core Quantum Mechanics hombres.

Schrödinger, in his little book "What is Life?" points out that what is meant by 'I' is not the collection of experienced events but namely the canvas upon which they are collected. If a hypnotist succeeds in blotting out all earlier reminiscences, he writes, there would be no loss of personal existence - "Nor will there ever be."

This last clause - "Nor will there ever be" a loss of personal existence is a reiteration of his belief that the true "I" and true personal existence lies in the canvass on which "things" are collected, not in the things themselves. This underscores Schrödinger's sympathy with Hindu concept of the Brahman, "that each individual's consciousness is only a manifestation of a unitary consciousness or infinate wave form pervading the universe."

Go figure that would come from the old Austrian playboy.

JL
Flanders!

Trad climber
June Lake, CA
Oct 8, 2009 - 01:39am PT

Funny that this draws such vitriol. All it says is that we can know that God exists. It's not quite
filled with the hatred and death to sinners that you guys want to add to it.

The God I know reaches out with mercy, grace, and love...extending those gifts to anyone who
cares to take hold of them, but never forcing anyone to walk with him or follow his advice.
Personally, I see it as a good thing and attempt to walk the talk (with difficulty at times), and just
like I see in Him, If God himself does not badger or coerce anyone to accept His advice, I don't
feel like I should either. Dialogue is good, the sharing of our experiences, but beyond that
I can only be responsible for what I think and do, and hope the best for my fellow man. It's up
to each of us to find the Way, the Truth, and the Life.

Doug
Gobee

Trad climber
Los Angeles
Oct 8, 2009 - 01:54am PT
If there is no God then we are just rats running on a treadmill!
But THANK God He IS!
apogee

climber
Oct 8, 2009 - 02:19am PT
Flanders and Gobee:

Religion is for those who need it.
Unknown
Jan

Mountain climber
Okinawa, Japan
Oct 8, 2009 - 02:45am PT
rrider-

Another variation on your theme that I like is the idea that corelates the extinction of so many animal species with the growth of the human population. As more animals die, their souls have to go somewhere so they jump into all the new humans being created.

Thus there are more and more animals masquerading as human beings. Conversely there are more and more first time inexperienced humans struggling to figure out what it is to be human anyhow.

Of course this may actually be an insult to the animals.
Jan

Mountain climber
Okinawa, Japan
Oct 8, 2009 - 03:04am PT
ghost-

I'm assuming that your creation account featuring raven is from the North American Native tradition?

I am reminded of a Hindu saying from India also involving a raven. Imagine a raven flies from the flat plains next to the Ganges to the crestline of the Himalayas once every thousand years. The raven then takes a beak full of dirt from the mountains and flies back to the Gangetic plain with it. When the Himalayas have been reduced in this way to be as flat as northern India, then one day will have passed in the mind of God.

Needless to say, Hindus have no problem with the idea of evolution.
Lynne Leichtfuss

Trad climber
Will know soon
Oct 8, 2009 - 03:13am PT
I'm a little late to the discussion tonight. I was posting many pics on the Facelift thread. Yo all might want to take a look. Many pics include you and the ending is for our heart, soul, mind and being....as we address here. Be back wit yo all manana. Tired. Discussions presented today great and enjoyed reading. Peace, lynnie
Jan

Mountain climber
Okinawa, Japan
Oct 8, 2009 - 03:47am PT
Weschrist-

Translation please?
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Oct 8, 2009 - 08:00am PT
"like the wave function"

well, really the wave function is an abstract construction which allows us to calculate the probability of an occurrence of some process so described... formally, we never measure the wave function, only it's magnitude. It is, no doubt, an approximation to reality and a provisional concept of great utility. You can call it truth, but I prefer to think of it more as a very useful idea.

It is easy to get twisted up into knots (and everyone early in the quantum mechanics game did) over the physical interpretation of the wave function, but I don't think that any of that twisting and knotting resulted in much productive insight. After the resolution of the Einstein-Rosen-Podolsky paradox (the apparent non-locality of the non-relativistic quantum mechanics and the non-existence of "hidden variables") we take a much more subdued view of the whole thing.

Quantum mechanics remains a fertile ground for all manner of bizarre ideas by people who aren't willing to actually learn it. Maybe we physicists should be more willing to teach it.

I don't accept your point about "raw awareness," as being anything particularly special, and certainly it is a subjective concept. Learning how to change your thoughts in response to the sensory perception, and even to alter what is perceived is possible. When the observer does this, does it alter physical reality? No.

As far as Schrödinger concept of individuality, well I don't see where it addresses the difference between a purely mechanical explanation for what we experience vs. a spiritual one... both are consistent with our "observation."

If your arguments live by the wave equation, they die by the wave equation too. A universal wave equation does not have entanglement because its coherence cannot be maintained... in our world it gets us back to what we see around us, not what we detect at the atomic scale.... that idea is hogwash, as far as the physics is concerned.
Patrick Sawyer

climber
Originally California now Ireland
Oct 8, 2009 - 08:21am PT
Didn't Fred Beckey date an "Ardi" BITD?

Ron, ROTFLMAO


And yet there is no mention of Islam…

Hey Bluey I mentioned it in my post of October 3

“Jesus Christ was real, but the shite idiots that thought up the religions that believe in the God of Abraham (Christianity, Judaism, Islam) and use it for their own agenda are just that, SH#TE. And of course other crap religions and cults (such as the cult of Scientology).”



And now that the Italian judicial system has ruled that Berlusconi is not above the law and is not immune from prosecution, do you think GAWD will save his crooked arse?
Largo

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Oct 8, 2009 - 12:34pm PT
Ed wrote: "I don't accept your point about "raw awareness," as being anything particularly special, and certainly it is a subjective concept."

This is a tough one for people to grasp: that awareness itself is not a concept (content) nor is it personal (remember, I said it was impersonal). But if you're still thinking that awareness is "produced" by your brain, then you're left with your own conclusions.

Also, a physical interpretation of awareness is silly, since it is entirely insubstantial. And try proving it even exists. It's like the ontology of the wave function:

"Whether the wave function is real, and what it represents, are major questions in the interpretation of quantum mechanics. Many famous physicists have puzzled over this problem, such as Erwin Schrödinger, Albert Einstein and Niels Bohr. Some approaches regard it as merely representing information in the mind of the observer. Some, ranging from Schrödinger, Einstein, David Bohm and Hugh Everett III and others, argued that the wavefunction must have an objective existence."

JL

jstan

climber
Oct 8, 2009 - 12:59pm PT
"Funny that this draws such vitriol. All it says is that we can know that God exists. It's not
quite filled with the hatred and death to sinners that you guys want to add to it."

To repeat:
"All it says is that we can know that God exists."

Flanders, what you posted with its faux-logic allows us to know nothing. Nothing at all. And
it was Christians following this kind of imitation logic who were actually drowning people or
burning them at the stake.

If people were trying to sell Christianity without employing enforcement (heaven/hell and
that nonsence), and were just saying the things Hillel and Christ actually said, in modern
days you would get a friendlier reception.

The bible is a pastiche of words pursuing unknown agendas of the day pasted together over
thousands of years. Somewhere there has to be a well researched and documented book
giving us what the founders of Christianity actually said. It may be only one page but
whatever the length, Christians need to go to it and follow that.

That is if you really want to be Christian.

And those who do want to be Christians have a real problem. There are a huge number of
people claiming to be Christian out there pushing their own agendas using religion as a
cover.

A huge credibilty problem.
GOclimb

Trad climber
Boston, MA
Oct 8, 2009 - 01:17pm PT
Jan, no comments on my questions to you from a couple pages ago? Too bad!

Radical - no problem, apology accepted. I had to graph out the lineage for myself to get it straight in my head, so I know how tricky it can be. But I'm pretty careful to insure that before I write something as fact, that it's something I've double/triple checked from various sources.

One thing I discovered when I graphed this stuff out is this: There was a period over 100,000 years long (from about 250,000 years ago to 120,000 years ago) when there were four entirely unique hominids roaming the earth! In addition to us (Homo Sapiens), there were Homo Erectus, Homo Rhodesiensus, and Homo Neanderthalis. Can you imagine what it must have been like to be around then? Three other sort of people-ish people who you might occasionally run into - alike, but horribly strangely different. I sometimes wonder if this is how the idea of Aliens got into the zeitgeist, the greater human subconscious. A lurking fear of the "other" out there - somewhere. What are they like? No-one knows for sure, though there are many tales...

In fact, Homo Sapiens shared the earth with one or another Homo species for 85% of our time here. That has *got* to have had an impact. And most recently, it was with Neanderthals, who must have been very scary - significantly larger and more powerful, and, at first anyway, totally comparable intellectually.

Okay, now going waaay back in time...

Regarding the age of the MRCA between humans and and chimps - I think it gets tricky to figure out genetically, in part because it's thought that there was interbreeding between the Homo (ancestors of us) line and the Pan (ancestors of the chimps) long after the two diverged. My reading of it is that there's pretty clear mixing of the two in our own DNA.

Who knows, perhaps Ardi's people kept the ancestors of today's chimpanzees as something like pets/slaves, and occasionally bred with them. It may seem repulsive, but remember, the ancestors of the chimps were likely just as different from today's chimps as we are from Ardi.

GO
GOclimb

Trad climber
Boston, MA
Oct 8, 2009 - 01:22pm PT
jstan wrote:
And those who do want to be Christians have a real problem. There are a huge number of people claiming to be Christian out there pushing their own agendas using religion as a cover.

Just change the phrase "huge number" to "All".

Of course, if you believe it, then your particular "agenda" is simply "truth". And who can argue with that?

G
eeyonkee

Trad climber
Golden, CO
Oct 8, 2009 - 01:40pm PT
A physical interpretation of awareness is silly.

Silly? I'm pretty sure that most of the greatest minds studying the phenomenon of mind would disagree with you. I see this kind of awareness as not so far from everyday, normal animal consciousness. The biochemical basis for long and short term memory is understood pretty well, and it basically works the same across a wide range of animals. Read something by Eric Kandel. I have no doubt that people who mediate properly can having seemingly transcendental experiences. That, in no way, makes the phenomenon ACTUALLY transcendental. The default position should be that all mind IS the result of physical phenomenon. The burden of proof is on you, and so far, I have not read anything that is remotely convincing (with all due repect).
Flanders!

Trad climber
June Lake, CA
Oct 8, 2009 - 01:40pm PT
Jstan writes: "And those who do want to be Christians have a real problem. There are a huge number of people claiming to be Christian out there pushing their own agendas using religion as a
cover. A huge credibilty problem."

No disagreement here. Given that you are on the forum I'll guess that you are a climber, assuming that is true you no doubt have seen a few folks back at camp, or maybe the bar talking about their
conquests of the day. Ever heard someone tell the bros what a cool pitch it was, sinker hands, etc......The only problem is that you just happened to be on a nearby route and saw the debacle. The guy hanging all over the pitch, cussing up a storm, calling BS on the ratings, oh! it's too
greasy today, etc.....

point being we all know that some say they climb 5.11 or 12 or whatever, BUT it doesn't appear to be so in reality, they want to be part of the club for some reason.

Same in Christianity, Jesus said "in that day some will say Lord, Lord, but we did this or that in your name.... And Jesus will say to them, depart from me, I never knew you.

Not everyone who likes the club is a card carrying member apparently.

Doug
Jan

Mountain climber
Okinawa, Japan
Oct 8, 2009 - 01:53pm PT
Go Climb-

I haven't forgotten your question but it's complicated and I have a set of papers to grade.It does relate though to your latest post about there being multiple species of Homo around at any one time. I'll get back to you as soon as I can.
Jan

Mountain climber
Okinawa, Japan
Oct 8, 2009 - 01:56pm PT

Largo and Ed-

I understand you both and I believe you are both right within the parameters which you both operate. As a person specializing in the material and the measurable, Ed is never going to accept a non material entity or dimension that he can't link to the physical. As a philosopher and I assume meditator, who has experience of a presence or state of awareness permeating the universe, John is never going to change his understanding to exclude that dimension. Perhaps in the distant future (hundreds or thousands of years from now?) these two dimensions will be understood in a common way by both philosophers and physicists, but certainly not in our lifetimes.

I think that Ed is right in the sense that even the experience of a non verbal energy/ intelligence / presence is processed through the human brain. To be aware that one is aware without verbal thought, is still to make use of the brain. I say this somewhat reluctantly as a person who has had a number of extraordinary internal experiences and pondered their source. However, just because the brain can not be excluded does not mean that a universal awareness does not exist. One can't prove that it does, one also can't prove that it doesn't.

Lately though I've begun to think that those of us favoring a non physical dimension to the universe need to change our paradigm. The push since the 1960's has been to try to find a reconciliation with science, to restore what was lost 500 years ago beginning with Galileo. Perhaps the new era we are entering is one in which we accept both as valid but separate ways of understanding the world which nevertheless can and from the awareness/presence point of view should be used simultaneously? The danger and fear of course is that science and technology will overwhelm the spirit. However, if both sides accept that whether true or not, the intuition of a non physical dimension to the universe is beneficial to our species in a practical evolutionary way, this would offer a way forward. It will of course leave the awareness group somewhat unsatisfied since it will sense itself to have succumbed at least partially to a mechanistic view of the universe, but will benefit from the freedom to carry on without having to always justify itself.

I'm groping here so not sure if this will be intelligible or not.
Largo

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Oct 8, 2009 - 02:01pm PT
The logicians have fun with materialism:

1) If we are going to explain consciousness, then we have to find some way of defining this thing we are trying to explain. If we can't define it then there is nothing to explain.

(2) When we talk about explanations of consciousness, we are really asking about "How would a materialist explain consciousness in terms of brains", since idealists, dualists or neutral monists don't need any "explanations of consciousness" any more than materialists need "explanations of matter."

(3) If we try to define consciousness directly in terms of neural structure/function then the question we refered to in P2 becomes "How would a materialist explain [some neutral structure/function] in terms of brains?" This can be rejected on two grounds. First, the materialist would be assuming his conclusion. Second, when he talks about consciousness then he isn't refering to the thing most people mean by that word. If consciousness usually meant "neural activity" then this debate would not even be happening. There would be no mind-body problem and no history of ontology.

(4) (from 1, 2 and 3) We have established that we need to define consciousness and that we can't define it in terms of neural function or activity (or behaviour, for that matter.)

(5) We can define consciousness privately, in terms of our own experiences.

(6) We can inductively infer from other people's behaviour that they can do the same thing with in terms of their own experiences. By this method we can end up with consciousness as a word which is usable in this argument and which refers to the thing we are actually trying to explain. At no point in 5 or 6 did we make any assumptions about consciousness not being material. All we did was define it in a way which did not explictly claim it was material.

(7) There are no additional possible means of defining consciousness.

(8) (from 4, 5, 6 and 7): Consciousness cannot be defined without refering to entities which (a) have no material definitions and which (b) have not been assumed to be material with a claim of "materialism is true so they must be material".

(9) If you don't define consciousness as something neural and you don't assume consciousness is material by claiming "it must be, because everything is" then there is no way of defending the claim that consciousness is a material entity.

(10) The existence of consciousness cannot be estabilished without using non-material entities.

Materialists usually complain that the non-materialists have to assume their conclusion in order to falsify materialism. This is not in fact true. The materialists really are dependent on assuming their conclusion, as shown above. But non-materialists have an option that the materialists do not have - they can employ a private ostensive definition to define consciousness subjectively. Simply saying "I know I'm conscious, and that is why I know how to use the word "consciousness"" doesn't actually make any assumptions about the nature of reality.
Ghost

climber
A long way from where I started
Oct 8, 2009 - 02:12pm PT
Given that you are on the forum I'll guess that you are a climber,

No, as most of us here know, "jstan" is just an avatar chosen by a group of Japanese schoolgirls for an English class project. They know nothing about climbing. Probably have never climbed.

Man, but this retardnet is a strange place. Never know who you're talking to.
jstan

climber
Oct 8, 2009 - 02:14pm PT
"No disagreement here. Given that you are on the forum I'll guess that you are a climber, assuming that is true you no doubt have seen a few folks back at camp, or maybe the bar talking about their conquests of the day. Even heard someone tell the bros what a cool pitch it was, sinker hands, etc......The only problem is that you just happened to be on a nearby route and saw the debacle. The guy hanging all over the pitch, cussing up a storm, calling BS on the ratings, oh! it's too
greasy today, etc....."

You are not going to believe this but I never did encounter a climber behaving this way.
Climbers are a special crew and we have to take that into consideration when constructing our arguments. We also have to allow for the fact, pick any topic, and you will find a half dozen people out there on ST who have made a life study of that topic.

Daunting to say the least. That also has to be taken into consideration.

I believe Thomas Jefferson was one of the people who tried to reconstruct Christ's sayings. We have had quite a slew of mid-eastern scrolls discovered since then. I think there is a real opportunity today for a rebirth. And a rebirth is what is required.
jstan

climber
Oct 8, 2009 - 02:31pm PT
"you are incapable of explaining"

Wes, here your reach may have exceeded your grasp.

Lo these many posts ago I proposed a functional definition of "consciousness". To wit the present moment holds within it the expectation that another moment shall follow. The biological data supporting this is substantial.

Now

if we here are talking about another consciousness can someone provide a link to the functional definition of that consciousness and the supporting material data?

Ta,

Edit:

A recent biography of Einstein recounts his reply when told he would die were an aneurism not surgically repaired.

I die today or I die tomorrow. What difference?
bc

climber
Prescott, AZ
Oct 8, 2009 - 02:34pm PT
A little off topic, but since the discussion has drifted from Ardi to religion to god to consciousness to whatever, I thought I'd pass along the following. A letter Einstein wrote a year before he died was recently auctioned off and in he he wrote the following:

"...I would never have gotten myself to engage intensively with your book because it is written in a language inaccessible to me. The word God is for me nothing more than the expression and product of human weakness, the Bible a collection of honorable, but still purely primitive, legends which are nevertheless pretty childish. No interpretation no matter how subtle can (for me) change this."

I'd say the dead physicist pretty much nails it.

WandaFuca

Social climber
From the gettin' place
Oct 8, 2009 - 02:42pm PT
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hard_problem_of_consciousness


I don't think there is a hard problem. Humans, worms and even lower forms have awareness and reactions that can be expained mechanistically, so those seem subjective, but can be explained objectively.

Our "inner-lives" and experience of awareness and self-consciousness will eventually be shown to be an objective product of our higher level brains.

The fear, among some scientists and sci-fi buffs, that once computers reach a certain number of computations per second threshold they will become conscious and self-aware, reflects this.
Lynne Leichtfuss

Trad climber
Will know soon
Oct 8, 2009 - 02:58pm PT
Apogee, "Religion is for those who need it." Unknown

bc, "product of human weakness".


Something transports each one of us through this life. Whether it's ourselves alone or ourselves coupled with something else. My vehicle of choice is jesus. lynnie
WandaFuca

Social climber
From the gettin' place
Oct 8, 2009 - 03:02pm PT
Lynne,

I'm trying to get by on my own two feet (and hands).

It must be nice for all those individuals riding on the Christian bus or the Muslim bus--I just don't want to get run over.
Lynne Leichtfuss

Trad climber
Will know soon
Oct 8, 2009 - 03:26pm PT
Wanda, I said jesus, no Christian bus he and he doesn't run people over :D That's why he's my best friend. He cares about Everyone, even me.


Wes, good to have that great sense of humor brandished at Lynnie.....laughin' :DD

Edit: enjoy your ride :)
rockermike

Trad climber
Berkeley
Oct 8, 2009 - 03:51pm PT
I haven't read all the above postings (who could - I have a life after all)but I can surmise the argument goes on and on between Christians and materialist. Anyway, I just finished a book that I for one really appreciated; "Misquoting Jesus" (Ehrman). The guy was an enthusiastic born again fundamentalist as a youth, but then went to school and got a PhD in New Testament Studies (he's one of the foremost textual scholars today) and came to understand that the Bible IS in fact a product of human thought. That doesn't mean necessarily that it isn't inspired, but that humans in their profound humanness where involved in its writing and in its modifications over the millennia. In the end he seems to have become more of an Episcopalian (just guessing); faithful but thoughtful and open ended all at the same time. Personally I get tired of fundamentalists reading the Bible their way, and also get tired of anti-Christians assuming that is the only way it is or can be read. Shooting down a straw man of your own creating isn't much of a victory. 6000 years doesn't necessarily mean 6000 years in a scientific sense, but "God created the world" is IMHO an idea well worth standing on.

Anyway, whatever your position is, materialist, fundamentalist, or liberal intellectual Christian (or Hindu, as in my case) the book is well worth a read. The nuance factor in your understanding of these "the Bible says" issues will definitely be increased.

Oh, and by the way, if you aren't into old fashioned reading, Audible.com has an audio version on sale right now. Only $5 I believe.
WandaFuca

Social climber
From the gettin' place
Oct 8, 2009 - 03:51pm PT
Okay Lynne, so you carpool.

To continue the analogy, in a faith-based transportation system everyone and no one has the right (of) way. It's a comfortable ride until you encounter a busload of folks who insist on driving on the left side or who want to drive you off the road because they don't like your make and model. And then evidence-based pedestrians like myself are caught in the pileup.

Basically, I'm saying that I think reliance on faith can comfort individuals, but it is bad for the progress of society.
jstan

climber
Oct 8, 2009 - 03:55pm PT
"Basically, I'm saying that I think reliance on faith can comfort individuals, but it is bad for the progress of society."

Bingo!

Near perfectly phrased.
GOclimb

Trad climber
Boston, MA
Oct 8, 2009 - 03:59pm PT
Jan wrote:
I haven't forgotten your question but it's complicated and I have a set of papers to grade.It does relate though to your latest post about there being multiple species of Homo around at any one time. I'll get back to you as soon as I can.

Cool, thanks! I eagerly await your response. And of course, first things first, so good luck with the papers. With that said, back to work for me, too.

Cheers!

GO
eeyonkee

Trad climber
Golden, CO
Oct 8, 2009 - 04:22pm PT
I'd just like to say that I think this thread, although starting off with a rather inflammatory title, has been a particularly good one. It has wandered off topic a fair bit, has presented plenty of differences of opinion of course, but, for the most part the participants have been civil and thoughtful. There are some pretty sharp and interesting people here on Supertopo.
Norton

Social climber
the Wastelands
Topic Author's Reply - Oct 8, 2009 - 04:31pm PT
Well, I was going to call the topic title "Strike THREE for the Creationists",
but I felt they should be allowed unlimited swings at the anthropological pitches, just as a matter of "faith".
Lynne Leichtfuss

Trad climber
Will know soon
Oct 8, 2009 - 05:24pm PT
Wanda, I don't carpool either :D I was talking solely about individuals. When you begin to extrapolate out to "people" and groups of people you lose me and the point I was trying to make.

It's me and jesus

It's you and you

No generalizations, they are just that.

AOBTW, How in the world is having jesus as my best friend bad for the progress of society. I might argue that jesus encourages me to be the best to others, my planet and myself. He's anti selfish. jess sayin', Lynnie
WandaFuca

Social climber
From the gettin' place
Oct 8, 2009 - 06:03pm PT
How in the world is having jesus as my best friend bad for the progress of society.


In a lot of ways, because it's not just you.

If someone decides to not vaccinate her children because Jesus will protect them, the children might not get sick; no problem. But if enough people believe the same and do the same, it can be bad for the rest of society when they get sick, get others sick and delay the day when that pathogen is eliminated.
Klimmer

Mountain climber
San Diego
Oct 8, 2009 - 06:12pm PT
Dr. F,

Mark 9:19 KJV

"He answereth him, and saith, O faithless generation, how long shall I be with you? how long shall I suffer you?"

Jesus said this. Spot on right about now.
Lynne Leichtfuss

Trad climber
Will know soon
Oct 8, 2009 - 06:26pm PT
Wanda, you're reaching and stretching if that is the only example you could come up with. I had all 4 of our kids get every shot etc. recommended.

Today the only two people I personally know that have not have their kids immunized are neither jesus followers.

Why not discuss rather how jesus has been the main impetus in my life for helping others and my planet and myself. Peace and Joy (which he gives me also), lynne

PS, and why do you keep moving the topic from individuals (a known quantity) to the general (unknown) public ?
Lynne Leichtfuss

Trad climber
Will know soon
Oct 8, 2009 - 06:33pm PT
I mentioned before on other Threads, Dr. F, if it weren't for jesus I would have most likely been dead in a gutter from a drug overdose or worse at age 22. The not real and immaterial jesus literally saved my life. It was not me. I could not even begin to save myself. I was in fact destroying yo. :D

And he didn't just save me, he saved my marriage which went on for 39 years. Jess sayin'
cintune

climber
the Moon and Antarctica
Oct 8, 2009 - 06:34pm PT
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ho1yJwvWCrw
Lynne Leichtfuss

Trad climber
Will know soon
Oct 8, 2009 - 06:36pm PT
See, they're even coming in from outter space to hear the good news. Hahahaha. Hey, we need humor....even if mine's not that grate. lynnie

EDIT: Not Fair, Cintune, you changed the picture. :(
Klimmer

Mountain climber
San Diego
Oct 8, 2009 - 06:46pm PT
Cintune,

What is there to believe? They're here.

Richard Dolan: UFOs and the National Security State
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=veQ-LCjDCAc


However, you don't want to worship them or really "believe" in them. Bad stuff man. Fallen Angels, Nephalim, Demons can not be trusted.

Believe in God.

cintune

climber
the Moon and Antarctica
Oct 8, 2009 - 06:52pm PT



Lynne Leichtfuss

Trad climber
Will know soon
Oct 8, 2009 - 06:59pm PT
Dr. F, I am certainly not stuck. Like any healthy relationship that grows and gets deeper as time goes on and you learn more about one another, so with my best friend, jesus.

For example, I used to be really selfish and self centered. I am alot less today. Just because jesus is my best friend does not mean I do not grow and learn. I love science, math for me is tricky, I have even changed how I feel about politics and the party I belong to. I note in a much deeper way that we are here first to help our fellow people around us .... Not to lay up treasures here on earth that will eventually rot and we can't take with us when we die.

What's wrong with that ? Also got involved with Greg Mortenson's Project and I could go on. I think, actually, I am growing as a human being. I wish you could have been at the Bachar Memorial in C4. The theme said it well. Love and Community. Lynnie

Norton

Social climber
the Wastelands
Topic Author's Reply - Oct 8, 2009 - 07:02pm PT
cintune, I just can't stop laughing
jstan

climber
Oct 8, 2009 - 07:12pm PT
"Wanda, you're reaching and stretching if that is the only example you could come up with."

I'll take a cut at it with what I think is a simple one. (It won't be of course. Nothing is simple in a 2000 year old argument.)

We hear a lot about "end times" when all the faithful will be called to heaven and all temporal problems become solved. It is even possible for the faithful to think no effort is required here on earth, since that is the prospect. Indeed the closer we think we are to end times the less need for us to do anything.

In fact "end times" is a handy thing to grab when you just don't want to face a problem. It is a crutch.

Now Lynne you may not believe in end times and you are entirely willing to work to solve today's problems independently of faith. If that is true then you should be going out to others who are faithful and trying to convince them end times is one thing they should not be believing. Not all that is in the bible or is said to be in the bible, should be believed.

But this is not the behavior of a "believer". Believers just believe. They do not pick and choose.

And therein is the danger. A coda existing 2000 years ago that requires perfect obedience is not going to serve us well in all the unexpected situations we face today.

We have to choose for today based upon today's demands.

Now many things taught 2000 and even more years ago are very good and useful today. What is not helpful are all of the histories, folk tales, and prohibitions imposed upon believers. IMPOSED. IMO many of those are just strategies employed during past centuries allowing the church to gain obedience among the faithful and the secular power that comes with that obedience.

All of that needs to be thrown away and the basic ideas restated and followed when they have merit.

When they have merit.

George Carlin summed it up well when he advised those gaining peace and confidence from their faith. He said,

"You are paying too high A PRICE."

He did not say what he clearly wanted to say. To wit,

Suck it up and do it on your own!
jstan

climber
Oct 8, 2009 - 07:38pm PT
With regards to a post of yours submitted while I was doing my thesis above.

"I am growing as a human being. I wish you could have been at the Bachar Memorial in C4. The theme said it well. Love and Community."

Lynne, we always have to pick and choose. You may have sensed love and community was the theme, because that is what you wanted to believe. I sensed something you also expressed, "Live your dream", was the real theme. The roar when someone suggested everyone quit their job tells us what the theme really was. That was where everyone really was.

In the comments you asked me to make I tried to advance a counterpoint. I said we do not know all of the wonderful things we each will bring about so long as we are still breathing. So it was I told the assembled it was their duty to themselves and to us

to complete their route.

It can't be left unfinished.

I'll end with a simple question. Knowing all that we now know, which would we prefer.

To have John where he is now?

Or to have him still here with us?




Everyone of us has this duty.

Without that duty, we have no community.
Largo

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Oct 8, 2009 - 07:52pm PT
Dell Cross wrote: "Largo, this is the second time in this thread I've noticed you are quoting another source without attribution."

Jeebus, what am I, back in grad school. I read stuff constantly and save for a time anything interesting, especially stuff I might disagree with - like deterministic materialism.

But hey, I can start listing attributions, though I'd like the random shite I post here to stand or sink on it's own merit, not on it being quantified via attributions.

JL
WBraun

climber
Oct 8, 2009 - 07:52pm PT
Dr Failed -- "but some of us don't stop at GO, we keep going till we get stopped by the limits of the mind and human understanding."


Oh bullsh'it ... you're still standing at start. When you gonna start going?
midarockjock

climber
USA
Oct 8, 2009 - 07:57pm PT
Largo,
directly the article is referenced from 15.
http://ieee-aess.org/main/

BES
Lynne Leichtfuss

Trad climber
Will know soon
Oct 8, 2009 - 08:15pm PT
John Long,

A friend just turned me onto an interesting book. Since you're a great story teller thought I'd send this quote your way. "A story is a character who wants something and overcomes conflict to get it." Book is, "Blue Like Jazz", I believe, written by Donald Miller. Peace, Lynne
MH2

climber
Oct 8, 2009 - 09:32pm PT
I know that there are religious folk and even so-called creationists among us, if not here then nearby, but I am truly surprised to find an Animist, albeit one who couches the belief in quantum mechanics.

On an old TV show they once explored "women's intuition". They had a scientist who was asked by one of the believers, "But isn't it possible that there are forces we are not aware of?"

He answered, "Yes, that is possible, but if so, we are unaware of them."

I wouldn't call that materialism, just pragmatism.
WBraun

climber
Oct 8, 2009 - 10:22pm PT
Ari, probable life appearance view of Ardipithecus ramidus.

Probable means speculation as they ultimately do not know. Theory.

4.4 million years ago they say. Still they can't even remember or know WTF they did 2 days ago.

And still the "so called scientists" have no clue ultimately why we even exist and our real purpose in life is. TODAY

No ... they want us to study a monkey instead.

In Darwin’s theory there is no acceptance of the living entity as spirit soul, and therefore his explanation of evolution is incomplete.

Their only answers are mere hypothesis, theories, mental speculations, and guesses based on dead material bones, DNA, which are material.

They ULTIMATELY do not know. How can any sane person BELIEVE and have FAITH in such a process.

Their answer is always, in the future we will probably know.

The truth and full absolute knowledge is always present in full in the past present and the future. It always remains the truth eternally.

Summon Bonum

Their method is the ascending process of a gaining knowledge. A person may be a great academician, scholar or professor, but he cannot speculate and expect to understand the Absolute Truth, for his senses are limited.

If we are in the darkness of night, we may attempt to attain the sunlight by ascending in a powerful rocket. The descending process, however, we simply await the sunrise, and then we understand immediately.

The last two sentences are most likely way to simple for a complex technocrat person overburdened by huge quantities of relative and/or hypothetical truths.

WBraun

climber
Oct 8, 2009 - 10:29pm PT
The doctrine of evolution, the science of anthropology is not new.

This knowledge has existed since the Vedic time, and all these sequences are disclosed in Vedic literature.
WBraun

climber
Oct 8, 2009 - 10:56pm PT
I think Darwin would be the first to concede ....

Here you are speculating again ... "I think"

If you feel that the vedic truths are speculations and total bullsh'it then so be it. That's your speculations again. Go ahead and you prove it wrong.

Not my problem, yours.

Again, I'm not your mother, you do the work.

Even the Vedas acknowledge "Christ" as bonafide.
Gobee

Trad climber
Los Angeles
Oct 8, 2009 - 11:18pm PT
Science shows no mercy...

Jesus does!
Largo

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Oct 8, 2009 - 11:19pm PT
Dell Cross wrote: "Largo, I just meant that those quotes weren't in quotes. They weren't blocked off in any way that made it clear they weren't your words. I started reading them as if you wrote them. Perhaps it was obvious to everybody else."

No, you're entirely correct here. I'll make a point to be more careful. Thanks for pointing that out. I'm lazy here - bad habit, for sure.

JL
Gobee

Trad climber
Los Angeles
Oct 8, 2009 - 11:27pm PT
I ordered the Stonemaster book!

To see the Neanderthals!

Sweet!!!
Gobee

Trad climber
Los Angeles
Oct 9, 2009 - 01:21am PT
Where do I put my wallet and keys?
Gobee

Trad climber
Los Angeles
Oct 9, 2009 - 01:28am PT
If it smells, looks, and tastes like... just don't step in it!
MH2

climber
Oct 9, 2009 - 04:16am PT
Dunno if I could handle the Vedic text but WBraun always has something interesting to say:

The truth and full absolute knowledge is always present in full in the past present and the future. It always remains the truth eternally.

I like this as a description of mathematics, in which I take a certain consolation since I think it has, does, and will exist even if time itself quits on us.


Jan

Mountain climber
Okinawa, Japan
Oct 9, 2009 - 07:21am PT

Living in Japan our days and nights are reversed so I was amazed at all the contributions to read through when I woke up this morning. So many things to think about, so many things to laugh at. I haven't been this challenged or entertained in a long time.
Jan

Mountain climber
Okinawa, Japan
Oct 9, 2009 - 07:23am PT
radical-

It's interesting how no one has responded to your grandmother story and is indicative of how our society handles that which does not fit into the materialist mode - by ignoring it. I too have had many experiences of the type you describe. I am also interested in the stories of near death experiences where people who were brain wave dead were resuscitated and came back with information they could not have known even in normal waking consciousness. The blind person who can describe in color what the doctors and nurses in the ER look like, the person who can repeat the frantic conversation between doctors and nurses during the 15 minutes they were brain wave dead, the person who meets a twin on the other side whom their parents never told them about and so on. These along with my own experiences of precognition and what I have seen of Tibetan and Indian yogis seem pretty compelling evidence to me at least, that there is a non material component to the human experience.

Part of this will probably be explained in the future with the use of better measuring tools. When the instruments for measuring brain waves become more sophisticated, we may find that what seemed brain wave dead today, was just not a subtle enough measurement and that will explain things like conversations that can be repeated after one is brain wave dead by current standards. I am reminded of the yogis who claimed to stop their heart beat which enabled them to be buried underground for months at a time to no ill effect. When checked with a stethoscope, they had no measurable heart beat but when an EKG was applied, a small periodic flutter of the heart was observable. Until all such experiences can be measured however, I take the view that there is a non material component to the universe. It seems to me to be the simplest explanation of what I have experienced and observed until proved otherwise.
GOclimb

Trad climber
Boston, MA
Oct 9, 2009 - 10:26am PT
But some of us don't stop at GO

Hey, that's fine with me - you all have my permission to continue. Except those of you being mean to poor Lynne. You guys can stop.

Cheers!

GO
Lynne Leichtfuss

Trad climber
Will know soon
Oct 9, 2009 - 10:39am PT
GO, I appreciate your concern, friend....but no one's being mean to lynnie.
Jess discussing.

I'm only speaking about what I personally know and have experienced.....what has worked for me for over 30 years.

To paraphrase Jan, she said I have stuck with my "root guru". I like that and if that helps some of you understand better so be it. But I call him, jesus.

Peace to all on a beautiful TGIF.
survival

Big Wall climber
A Token of My Extreme
Oct 9, 2009 - 10:43am PT
holy cow
wow
too much
mind blower
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Oct 9, 2009 - 11:22am PT
JL - I think you can always erect a strawman to knock down.

I believe part of what I'm getting at is that our definition of consciousness, awareness, etc, do not describe the actual thing itself. It is possible to construct a theory of consciousness that is not physical. I think it is possible to construct one that is physical.

As you know there are any number of exercises you can do to show that there are misconceptions regarding our theories of consciousness. However, this is a part of understanding what consciousness is and what it is not.

And while consciousness is seated in each individual, there are extended aspects of it, genetic and social, which extend our descriptions. It's not a simple thing to unfold all this, of course, but I do not despair of difficult things to understand, maybe that is my religion.

Now on the separate topic of "the wavefunction" I would say that Hilbert vector spaces are a good description of the universe, but to say the universe is a Hilbert vector space is probably pushing it. If and when we understand things better we might describe the universe differently, appropriating quantum mechanics into the larger description and showing how to move between that new description and the old description, as we have done with classical mechanics and quantum mechanics.

The world is classic for good reasons, and at our scale, the size and time and energy and numbers of atoms for which things take place, the quantum effects are averaged out and cease to be explicitly seen. To have a coherent wave function engulfing the entire universe, in our current models of the universe (which are incredibly accurate in describing what is going on) such a thing is not possible. For reference, look at the work going on to make a "quantum computer." Decoherence in a controlled environment takes place over 10s of nanoseconds at best. And these are in nanometer spaces with as few atoms involved as possible (though still many trillions, probably)... one entangles, then the entanglement is lost in the sea of thermal noise, the averaging of all those atoms....

nature is the only authority here, not those great minds you mentioned...
Jan

Mountain climber
Okinawa, Japan
Oct 9, 2009 - 11:39am PT
According to the video, and other things I've read, the "great leap forward" took place sometime around 35,000 years ago. But at that time, H. Sapiens was pretty much distributed around the globe. If there is a genetic component to it, that suggests that an external forcing created the *same* parallel evolution (albeit a very tiny change) more or less simultaneously in thousands of different populations!

Is that the consensus in paleoanthropology?

Go Climb-

The short answer is no.

Homo sapiens originated in Africa about 190,000 years ago. So far, the oldest known piece of artwork has been found at Blombos Cave in South Africa in the form of two engraved pieces of ochre dated 70,000 and beads at 75,000. Sibudu cave in South Africa has a bone arrowhead and the first bone needle at 61,000 and the use of heat treated mixed compound glue dated at 72,000. The general consensus is that a fully developed language was necessary for these developments.

There is then a 30,000 year gap between the engraved ochre (the world's oldest piece of art) and the cave paintings in France which are the next oldest. The question is whether we just haven't found any more yet or whether there wasn't anything new during that period. Since the cave paintings of France and Spain are the most advanced in the world, I think we can at least say, that they had an artistic breakthrough there early on and art has remained important to both cultures (along with Italy) from that time to the present. However, since we have rock art dating to about 50,000 in Australia which is shortly after humans left Africa, I think we can say that they possessed the ability and interest before they left that continent. They were simply less skillful at it than the Europeans. The video was filmed in France, so naturally the emphasis was on the breakthrough there.

I think your question concerns a variation of the multi-regional versus out of Africa theory, an issue that is fraught with ethnocentric biases. It was originally thought that since Homo erectus, the predessesor of H. sapiens, was found all over the old world (1.9 mil-300,000), that the various races of modern humans were evolved separately in various places from Homo erectus. Homo neanderthal (300,000-27,000) is found inside a circle that includes Europe, the Caucasian populated areas of North Africa, and northern Iraq. Therefore it was assumed that neanderthal was the progenitor of Caucasians. DNA tests of neaderthal material last year however, revealed that they were too different to be our ancestors although the two groups may have mated now and then.

This summer in China at an international conference, I heard similar reasoning from the professor emeritus of physical anthropology in China. Interestingly, he had dozens of slides of fossils dating Homo erectus at 1.7 mill to Homo ? about 100,000 years ago, showing continuous evolution of five characteristics which are not found in other areas of the world, including square shaped eye sockets. He also had three different systems of dating applied to each fossil so they were sure of the dates. From this he argued that Chinese people were unique from others in the world. When questioned however, I felt he condemned his own views by saying that they would not allow DNA testing on any of their fossils as had been done on neanderthal, because the material was "too rare and too precious" despite the fact that they have recovered more fossils from that time period than anyone else in the world. Then when asked if modern Chinese people shared these characteristics, he said no.

Later, a young Chinese DNA specialist who has taken over 100,000 samples in Asia and Oceania gave a talk which was scathing in its rebuttal. All samples he tested showed an African origin within the past 50-60,000 years. As he so well put it, "I know from my DNA that I had ancestors. The paleontologist can only hope that his fossils had descendants".

Puzzling it altogether, I came to the conclusion that H. erectus had evolved into something else in China, but that it was incorrect to call them archaic H. sapiens. Rather, they belong to an extinct category similar to, but different from, H. neanderthal (interestingly both had bony buns at the back of their head). Nobody at the conference mentioned H. floresiensis, the little "Hobbit" fossil found a couple of years ago in Indonesia where H. erectus has also been found. Some have speculated that he was a dwarf H. sapiens, others that he descended from Homo erectus. When I looked at photos of floresiensis after I got home, it seemed to me that the eyes were somewhere between round and square and the other characteristics of the Chinese H.erectus descendants were intermediate as well, so I'm betting that H.e. in Indonesia also produced an extinct descendant. Thus the family tree grows ever more bush like.

And finally back to the issue of art and language. I think the only real controversy in Africa is whether it took place gradually or whether there was a significant mutation which caused a leap forward in the 70,000 time frame.


kent

Trad climber
SLC, Ut
Oct 9, 2009 - 11:50am PT
Thanks for the excellent summary.
Lynne Leichtfuss

Trad climber
Will know soon
Oct 9, 2009 - 02:17pm PT
Dr. F, remember I met you in person. :D You are not mean. It is about discussion. Your comments are not what I consider abusive. I Enjoy our sharing of thoughts.

The one thing I do not care for is being talked "down to". Guys may not understand this, but there are still men that knowingly or not speak pretty patronizingly to women. Jess sayin' Lynne

Edit: this does not apply to you Dr. F
GOclimb

Trad climber
Boston, MA
Oct 9, 2009 - 03:35pm PT
Jan, thanks for that! As for the chain of which Homo species descends from which, and when, It more or less agrees with the "consensus" view as I understand it. Or, to give a quick synopsis:

H. Habilis is a direct descendant from Australopithecus, around 2.4ma. H. Habilis then lived for roughly a million years.

H Ergaster branched off the line of H. Habilis near the end (say, around 1.7ma).

H. Ergaster basically morphed into H. Erectus around 1.2ma.

H. Erectus lived until something approaching 70,000 years ago. During that time, two important lines branched off of H. Erectus.

First came H Heidelbergensis, around .8ma

Second came H. Sapiens, around 200,000 years ago.

In the meantime, H Rhodesiensus and H Neanderthalis branched off of H. Heidelbergensis (or perhaps the Neanderthals branched off Rhodesiensus - this is neither 100% clear to me, nor important to my question).

So... with that out of the way!

My question is, this. Let's assume, as both you and I say, that H. Sapiens branched off only once for all intents and purposes, from H. Erectus, in Africa, around 200k years ago. Then H. Sapiens migrated all over the world starting around 70-100k years ago. Okay, so far so good?

Now to the meat of it. The video states that from 200k to around 40k years ago, Homo Sapiens was pretty equivalent to the other Homo species around at the time. That there was a very gradual advancement in toolmaking, but that it was slow - taking thousands of years to see much improvement.

And then, suddenly, around 35,000 years ago, something changed. At that point, H. Sapiens started doing things in the same way as what we do today: learning the way things are done, and then building upon that. This allows an explosion of improvements, even within a single generation.

Here's the key - the video doesn't state it explicitly, but it implies that this change happened at roughly the same time, all over the world, in all populations of H. Sapiens. How could this have happened?! I posited the idea of one final evolutionary micro-step, forced all over the world at around the same time. But I'm not particularly married to that idea. Certainly there could be other explanations.

But it seems that what you're saying is that no explanation is required, because the video is mistaken. That this change happened before the migration from Africa. That the "big bang" in brain development actually happened nearly 70,000 years earlier.

If so, then what explains the lack of evidence for it for those 70,000 years?

GO
Gobee

Trad climber
Los Angeles
Oct 9, 2009 - 05:07pm PT
Think about it, from are perspective the cosmos is so big we don't even know how big it is!
Then when we go into the smallest cells and smaller it keep going and going!

God is all in all, we don't know nothing. God is so amazing, Amazing, AMAZING, Amen!

Praise God from Whom all blessings flow...Jesus is the Key,
Thx U, Jesus***>>>
monolith

climber
Berkeley, CA
Oct 9, 2009 - 05:31pm PT
That's good stuff for Sunday bible school Gobee, but doesn't work to well here.
Lynne Leichtfuss

Trad climber
Will know soon
Oct 9, 2009 - 05:40pm PT
Dr. F, Pay Attention....I'm trying to be nice and give you compliments but yo are not listening. I SAID, you DID NOT talk down to me. Hello, I enjoy our dialogue. :D lynnie

Shesh, this communication gig is tough.


Edit: OMG, I think you got it Craig, God IS Bigger than the universe and Jesus has the capacity to be friends with all, if you want him as a friend.
atchafalaya

climber
Babylon
Oct 9, 2009 - 06:39pm PT
"God is all in all, we don't know nothing. God is so amazing, Amazing, AMAZING, Amen!

Praise God from Whom all blessings flow...Jesus is the Key,
Thx U, Jesus***>>>"

Goddamn that shite is creepy Gobee. Like Jim Jones creepy.
MH2

climber
Oct 9, 2009 - 11:08pm PT
Jan says

there is a non material component to the human experience.



Would it be okay to rephrase that as, "There are parts of the human experience that are not understood."

?


Or are you convinced of a "non-material" component?


I've read studies of 'near-death' experiences, too, and found nothing weirder in them than the human brain itself.

I've had a few personal experiences that were uncanny, but hardly material for hidden worlds.



There are certainly areas where science is misused. It only answers well-defined questions, usually of a yes-or-no type. It has been pushed into areas where it doesn't work and human consciousness may well be one of those areas.


Thanks for the great exposition on humanoid evolution.

Thanks to Ed, too. Now if you could only explain A. Khrennikov maybe I would see what Largo is getting at....

Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Oct 10, 2009 - 01:04am PT
On my ride home I thought maybe JL is worried about a deterministic theory of consciousness that one could fear arising from a classical (rather than quantum mechanical) description of "the machine" of the brain.

One needn't fear this, the answer lies in statistical mechanics and classical non-linear systems. We learn that the huge number of participating atoms provide a reasonable variation that is essentially unpredictable, certainly uncalculable. And besides, we also know that there are some systems whose non-linear behavior requires that the system initial conditions must be known to a degree which is not possible, thus the time evolution of the system is not calculable.

These variations and uncertainties allow plenty of room for "free will" even in a deterministic system.

I believe that much has been done in the last decade or so that it is difficult to reject the "reductionist" approach to consciousness with as much vehemence (and with equally little justification) as JL has in several posts.

Mighty Hiker

Social climber
Vancouver, B.C.
Oct 10, 2009 - 01:25am PT
"I know from my DNA that I had ancestors. The paleontologist can only hope that his fossils had descendants."

Which seems the classic scientific refutation - evidence trumping theory. A witty comeback, too.

There is sometimes reputed to be an element of ethnocentrism in Han (Chinese) culture, perhaps more so than in others.

It is hard to believe that a separate species of Homo X could have evolved in east Asia since perhaps 150,000 BCE, but that the 'species' would still be fully able interbreed with individuals from other human 'species', and bear fertile offspring.
Gobee

Trad climber
Los Angeles
Oct 10, 2009 - 08:53am PT
Edit: "Science picks no favorites...
Jesus does!"


The sun shines on us all, and good things happen to bad people and bad things happen to good people.

The only people god chose to reveal Himself to were the Jewish, but after Jesus came and died on the cross, God is the God for the whole world and all people who BELIEVE IN HIM.

Gobee

Trad climber
Los Angeles
Oct 10, 2009 - 11:19am PT
John Donne
Meditation 17
Devotions upon Emergent Occasions

"No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main. If a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as well as if a manor of thy friend's or of thine own were. Any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind; and therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee..."



Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Oct 10, 2009 - 11:46am PT
as is stated at the end of A Small Package of Value Will Come To You, Shortly off of the "Bathing At Baxter's" album, the Jefferson Airplane re-wrote Donne's line...

(with slight reverb)
"No man is an island,
NO MAN IS AN ISLAND!"

-pause-

"...he's a peninsula..."

with much giggling ensuing...

I always like that one better than the original.
Gobee

Trad climber
Los Angeles
Oct 10, 2009 - 11:52am PT
Well the endgame is how or Whom, made everything that IS?

No creator, just happened or by God?
And how can we really know for sure, how it was made?
We just see the side effects, pretty good though!

I didn't make up the Bible and how it said it happened.
Everything I've read in it, rings true, and is bigger then me, when I try to live by it's ways,
I have to change, and I can't do it on my own. God gives us the grace through Christ, that we don't have to carry that burden, he did. But somehow you do live a better way, that pleases Him.
So in the end for me, I'll thank God!
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Oct 10, 2009 - 11:56am PT
Gobee - if everything in the Bible that you apply to your life makes it better, why would it matter whether or not it was written by God... given the moral lessons there (at least the good ones) separated from a deity, why wouldn't they be just as good?

Why couldn't you conduct your life, morally, without a supreme being?

I think the answer is that you could.
WBraun

climber
Oct 10, 2009 - 12:03pm PT
Ed Hartouni wants to run the linear accelerator without consulting his boss nor anyone else.

All the parts to an automobile will be laid out on the factory floor and miraculously, just by chance, the parts assemble themselves without any higher intelligence, the creators of the parts, engineers, workers, installers, etc etc.

Even the robots were programmed originally by a higher intelligence.

Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Oct 10, 2009 - 12:15pm PT
yes Werner, it is true, that in some cosmic sense the parts of the automobile are assembled by beings that were assembled through the laws of nature governing the physical universe, only... and have done so without design help from a supernatural authority.

Pretty fricking amazing, I agree...

...that's how I see it.
WBraun

climber
Oct 10, 2009 - 12:23pm PT
Yes, for the materialist the higher authority is death. Time & Death is supreme to the materialist.
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Oct 10, 2009 - 12:24pm PT
Werner, my question to Gobee goes to you, to, and respectfully...
wouldn't you choose to conduct yourself in the manner of the Vedas even without the supernatural, if what you had was only the natural?

Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Oct 10, 2009 - 12:26pm PT
time, perhaps, but there is birth and death
Gobee

Trad climber
Los Angeles
Oct 10, 2009 - 12:33pm PT
I'm not the smartest kid on the block, not even close. I have a brain that God gave me and I use it!
God IS God, and that doesn't threaten Him that we can think, He wants us to!
I know that Jesus is the way, and everyone who doesn't, is wrong! But I would never kill anyone because they don't believe! I Don't think that I'm better then anyone else either, God is love!
There is a lot of good books out there, but only one GOD!
WBraun

climber
Oct 10, 2009 - 12:34pm PT
There's bonafide absolute truth that the Supreme being exists beyond all doubts.

It can be tested in a scientific process. It is beyond the scope of this forum to just present futile arguments based on the limited senses.

You can argue for and against forever and never understand thru the speculative ascending process.

The manufacturer of the automobile (creator) said to tighten the bolt to 25 pounds per square inch, and you speculate we don't even need the bolt.

Even the American Indian acknowledged the Supreme being.
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Oct 10, 2009 - 12:40pm PT
Dr. F
certainly we are connected, but to continue the pop nature of my commentary on Donne, Jimi wrote in If 6 Were 9

"I'm the one who dies when it's time for me to die,
so let me live my life the way I want to"

which illustrates what it is that also makes us individual. These two forces, the individual and the collective, can be powerful poles, certainly in our contemporary politics it is almost the defining dialectic.

Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Oct 10, 2009 - 12:41pm PT
Werner and Gobee, neither of you answered my question...
Gobee

Trad climber
Los Angeles
Oct 10, 2009 - 12:46pm PT
I think you mean Abraham.
I think God was testing Abe's heart for God!
WBraun

climber
Oct 10, 2009 - 12:54pm PT
"wouldn't you choose to conduct yourself in the manner of the Vedas even without the supernatural, if what you had was only the natural?"

The Vedas and the natural are one and the same. But if you only have knowledge up to the gross physical material nature then you would have to conduct your life even according to it's rules and regulations.

Still you are bound. Bondage is eternal. Whether spiritual or material.

In the material world you are bound by nature, otherwise you would ultimately be free from death. So Time and death are superior to the living entity.

The soul by it's true constitutional position is not the gross physical body. It transmigrates from body to body according to it's desires and consciousness.

Even in the spiritual world there is pain. It has to be because this material world is a direct reflection of the real truth.

The only difference is pain in the spiritual world is blissful.
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Oct 10, 2009 - 12:58pm PT
Dr. F - you are connected through your past with the rest of humanity, if by no other bound then that of the accident of your birth. That conveys much of what you are, and is dependent on the community.
WBraun

climber
Oct 10, 2009 - 01:01pm PT
Anyways

One can study Socrates, those with a rigid western mind set, although he was an impersonalist (God is Ultimately not a person) he still was a very advanced soul.
Gobee

Trad climber
Los Angeles
Oct 10, 2009 - 01:07pm PT
"Werner, my question to Gobee goes to you, to, and respectfully...
wouldn't you choose to conduct yourself in the manner of the Vedas even without the supernatural, if what you had was only the natural?"

Why bother?

Edit: I lost a lot of money in Las Vedas!
WandaFuca

Social climber
From the gettin' place
Oct 10, 2009 - 01:12pm PT
Well, isn't that special?
jstan

climber
Oct 10, 2009 - 01:15pm PT
Great discussion folks.

You know, in the absence of material data it is a difficult thing to prove there is a god.

But think.............

How in heck would one go about showing there is only ONE god???

That seems harder than proving a negative.

You would have to look everywhere a god might exist and then also be able to prove a god could not live outside that set of places.

The fact this level of deduction and logic had been well developed long before Christ's day suggests we are in deep trouble. Some serious regression has taken place.

Before long will we see children being born without truly opposable thumbs and a lot of body hair?
Jan

Mountain climber
Okinawa, Japan
Oct 10, 2009 - 01:20pm PT
Ed-

Here's a question for you. With the exception of a few articles in Discovery and Scientific American I haven't really done any serious reading about physics since the early 1970's. Are there any books published about what's gone on since then which are equivalent to those of Feynman, Gamow, or Asimov? I'm math illiterate so it has to be at that level.

Thanks!
Gobee

Trad climber
Los Angeles
Oct 10, 2009 - 01:24pm PT
I think you learn everything you need to in the sandbox, plays well with others!

But to follow religion by route is not a change of heart tward God's heart,
it's not an act but who you are, or who He IS.
Lynne Leichtfuss

Trad climber
Will know soon
Oct 10, 2009 - 01:25pm PT
Dumb, stupid, brainwashed, vague speculation, and on and on.

I think if you check every post I have written since I joined the topo I have always been or tried to be respectful of other's opinion's even if differing from mine.

Which one of you know's lynnies inner being, which one of you can prove absolutely there is No jesus and that he is not my best friend.

It is jesus that encourages me to treat others as well or better than myself. I guess yo are more highly evolved because you have learned the art form of name calling, and belittling remarks because someone thinks differently than you.

And don't, please, say well all the rest of the christians are.....generalities don't cut it. How can you paint with such a broadbrush? It's like saying all blondes are stupid.....hehehe.
WandaFuca

Social climber
From the gettin' place
Oct 10, 2009 - 01:34pm PT
Which one of you know's lynnies inner being, which one of you can prove absolutely there is No jesus and that he is not my best friend.

It is jesus that encourages me to treat others as well or better than myself.


If YOU cannot PROVE absolutely that there is a "living" jesus who is your best friend, and that it isn't all in your head, then the most you can claim is that it is your BELIEF, not jesus, that encourages you to treat others well or better than yourself.
jstan

climber
Oct 10, 2009 - 01:41pm PT
Lynne:
It is as if we were speaking different languages.

When you say "Jesus is your best friend" the words you use imply a corporal being exists. If you did as Ed. suggests and say "the things I read in the Bible have helped me lead my life" - not one person would be able to comment. Then it would be as you have asked in your post above.
WBraun

climber
Oct 10, 2009 - 01:42pm PT
Since this is the age of the Kali Yuga, hypocrisy and quarrel, the iron age.

The below is what creates some of the fear from a lot of folks, about religiosity.

The word dambha (Sanskrit), indicates a self-righteous hypocrite, someone not so much concerned with being saintly as with appearing saintly.

In the age of Kali there is a rather large number of self-righteous, hypocritical religious fanatics claiming to have the only way, the only truth and the only light.

Even in the West, however, self-righteous hypocrites consider sincere and saintly followers of other disciplines to be heathens and devils.
Gobee

Trad climber
Los Angeles
Oct 10, 2009 - 02:15pm PT
"The word dambha (Sanskrit), indicates a self-righteous hypocrite, someone not so much concerned with being saintly as with appearing saintly
In the age of Kali there is a rather large number of self-righteous, hypocritical religious fanatics claiming to have the only way, the only truth and the only light.
Even in the West, however, self-righteous hypocrites consider sincere and saintly followers of other disciplines to be heathens and devils."

That's what Jesus said about the Pharisees, in his day.
Jesus said I am the Way to the Father.
So no matter how sincere and saintly I am I still need Jesus!

Edit: Paul said to think of others as better then yourself.
Norton

Social climber
the Wastelands
Topic Author's Reply - Oct 10, 2009 - 02:23pm PT
And one for Gobbee from the Word:

"Spare the rod, and spoil the child."


Direct from a loving god; beat the crap out of your children or they will be "spoiled".
Gobee

Trad climber
Los Angeles
Oct 10, 2009 - 02:25pm PT
Bottoms Up! I'm a believer!

Agnostic's are undecided.

Atheist believe in not believing.

Scientist know all the information is not in about the physical world and stay open and know there is still more that could change the past undiscovered
Gobee

Trad climber
Los Angeles
Oct 10, 2009 - 02:29pm PT
"Spare the rod, and spoil the child."

Will you let your kids play with fire or on the freeway?

This will hurt me more then you!

Or let them do anything without consequences?
Norton

Social climber
the Wastelands
Topic Author's Reply - Oct 10, 2009 - 02:33pm PT
News Flash Gobee: Beating your children, for ANY reason, is a sign of the
parents POOR parenting. Beating your child is SO 17th century Christian.
jstan

climber
Oct 10, 2009 - 02:40pm PT
Howard:
The un-Christian nature of forcing non-Christians to obey a Christian political structure has been pointed out, as did you, many times. And it is always ignored.

But you are right. Lynne's beliefs are personal. So that is where she should keep them.

She really has to ask herself what she is trying to accomplish when she fails to do this. Were she to ask herself this, she might begin to see the problem.
Gobee

Trad climber
Los Angeles
Oct 10, 2009 - 02:42pm PT
We never hit our daughter, I agree.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YersIyzsOpc
But they need are help!

Edit; The rod in the Old Testament was for rule, as in Psalm 23:4 Thy rod and Your staff, they comfort me.

Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. “Honor your father and mother” (this is the first commandment with a promise), “that it may go well with you and that you may live long in the land.” Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.

The Father God loves the Son Jesus, and so should we are own children!

Sometimes the parent has to be the parent, and say no, not now, or yes.




GOclimb

Trad climber
Boston, MA
Oct 10, 2009 - 03:28pm PT
"I know from my DNA that I had ancestors. The paleontologist can only hope that his fossils had descendants."

Which seems the classic scientific refutation - evidence trumping theory. A witty comeback, too.

Yeah, that's really a great line!

It is hard to believe that a separate species of Homo X could have evolved in east Asia since perhaps 150,000 BCE, but that the 'species' would still be fully able interbreed with individuals from other human 'species', and bear fertile offspring.

I think the argument the Chinese scientist was making was even stronger: that Chinese were directly and predominantly descended from East Asian H. Erectus!

H. Erectus was the most successful of all of our relatives, ever - living from 1.7 million to roughly 70,000 years ago. That's over a million and a half years - a hell of a good run! Far better than we've done thus far, in our paltry quarter of a million years on this planet. While they were around, they gave rise to every other successful hominid, including Neanderthals, and us.

With all that said - my understanding is that they lived for nearly a million years in Asia. It's not hard to believe that in that time, they could certainly have given rise to a number of other species that died out. And if Humans did come directly from African H. Erectus (rather than from African H. Heidelbergensis) it's not hard to believe that those Asian H Erectus descendants could breed with H. Sapiens when they wandered into Asia. After all, they'd both be just one hop away from H. Erectus.

But I agree - suggesting that any East Asians are directly and distinctly descended from the East Asian line of H. Erectus is a pretty huge stretch, especially without DNA backing.

GO
GOclimb

Trad climber
Boston, MA
Oct 10, 2009 - 03:55pm PT
So I am connected only by the thought of having a connection

No real connection in other words, after I am born and in my cave

Sorry, you don't get out that easily. Several billion years of evolution made you who you are, and that connection is impossible to erase.

More specifically, you are an expression of your genes, and most of those genes are identical to mine. So in a cave or not, you are programmed to be what you are, as I am to be what I am, and our programming is very very similar.

HOWEVER!!! There is a problem, and that is that the higher consciousness of humans requires social interaction to be formed. In the video Jan posted way back in the thread was a woman who was raised without language. In some ways, she is *not* connected. She is more or less incapable of communicating. She is, in a fundamental way, not part of the human community.

GO
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Oct 10, 2009 - 06:13pm PT
Scientist know all the information is not in about the physical world and stay open and know there is still more that could change the past undiscovered

where do you draw the line? between the physical and non-physical?

if the non-physical affects the physical, then it is physical, no?
Lynne Leichtfuss

Trad climber
Will know soon
Oct 10, 2009 - 06:45pm PT
Thanks, HowweirdDean.

A storm hits and washes over the forest. It leaves in it's wake destruction, but along with destruction fresh washed air, replenished rivers and streams and nourishment for the land.

A huge wind blows in the desert. It scours the earth, rock and vegetation.
It clears away the dross and makes things new and clean.

When Dan died, well that was my storm/wind. I watched death, experienced death and it was shattering to participate in the death of my best friend.

As I then tried to go forward with my life I found that for me, I had to first go backward. I started with death. I asked myself, "what is Important ?"

For me there were only two things. God, if he indeed existed, and people. Power, fame, money, things, position, work were Nothing, are nothing when you see death and begin to understand the brevity of each persons life. (Oops, I forgot sex, drugs and rock and roll. Not meaning to be funny but they can be quite consuming.)

After intense soul searching I found that my jesus was still there and indeed People were the priority. I began to get rid of the wrappings in my life physically and philosophically. The wind and storm had come and got rid of much of the extraneous brain and thing stuff. The word simplify and simplicity became very important to me.

I saw clearly it was not my life or calling to judge others. I did not realize how very often each day I was guilty of this and I did not realize how strongly jesus felt about this until I spent many hours with him and the bible over the past 22 months.

Did you know that in Proverbs 6: 16 it says the lord hates 7 things ...."a proud look, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, plotting wrong/evil schemes, eagerness to do wrong, a false witness, and sowing discord among bros."

Interesting. Have heard few messages on these topics. (I wonder why we pick and choose what and who we attack.) Reading the new testament part of the bible it's not so much about attacking and judging people as it is caring and loving your bro and your enemy.

The "famous at many weddings" I Corinthians 13 ends by saying ..."three things remain....faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love."
Even tho the Bible has a ton to say about faith and hope the greatest is love. That's my jesus .....love. He loves lynnie and cared enough to rescue me when I could Not do it on my own. Peace.
Lynne Leichtfuss

Trad climber
Will know soon
Oct 10, 2009 - 07:16pm PT
Dr. F, what if God were at the bottom and the top ? :D jess asking cause I think he is.

I have thoroughly enjoyed reading all the posts and learned much. I'm not sure exactly how the earth and the universe were formed or how long it took. I'm not sure about us, except we are here. I guess my bottom line is that God from the up down or down up did it. How I don't know. Could be all or some of the theories and hypotheses expressed on this Thread were enjoined in the action.

All these ideas are very significant to many and I understand now much better why and respect why it is so important.

As individuals we all bend to a different breeze depending on where we are planted and what kind of tree we are. People today, now, this moment are my calling. But I totally respect the science and the scientists that have their own whispers of wind pulling them along the path to discovery.

Ciao, lynnie
corniss chopper

Mountain climber
san jose, ca
Oct 10, 2009 - 07:45pm PT
The beard scratchers have written tons on this subject.

for instance:
RELIGION is not in a robust state of health
in modern civilization..

...been in a perennial state of decay in those
circles of society in which physical ease and
cultural advantages combine to make
intellectual scruples more pressing than moral
ones...

Extreme orthodoxy betrays by its very frenzy
that the poison of scepticism has entered the soul
of the church; for men insist most vehemently upon
their certainties when their hold upon them has
been shaken...

From: Does Civilization need Religion -1927

http://www.questia.com/PM.qst?a=o&d=74098575
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Oct 10, 2009 - 09:00pm PT
GO covered my initial thoughts, that our very genetic makeup has been determined by our social interconnection. Genes related to speech, etc, all are literally a part of us, whether or not we use them, and they come from the genetic assembly that defines our species.

On my walk I also thought that the question Dr. F poses is nonsensical in a very important way, were we to be born and dropped in the cave, we would die without some societal support. This issue, the "cost" of raising children, is an essential part of our societal relationship. It is one of the biggest issues between female and male. The fact is that we are not ready to be independent of our parents and community until relatively old. You cannot be "unconnected" and survive.

Lynne Leichtfuss

Trad climber
Will know soon
Oct 10, 2009 - 09:21pm PT
I can vouch for that Ed Hartouni. One must stay connected to past or current (or both) connections and/or find new connections as life unfolds ...connections are not just important, they are necessary.

Cheers and thanks yo all for your connectedness. It has been life, joy, adventure and peace to this gal. lynnie
WandaFuca

Social climber
From the gettin' place
Oct 10, 2009 - 09:38pm PT
Join me in a moment of irreverence.


A crowd was preparing to stone a woman who had been caught committing adultery.

Jesus tried to stop them by saying, “let whoever is without sin among you, cast the first stone.”

Just then a stone came flying from the back of the crowd and struck the woman.

Jesus blurted out, “Mother, I’m trying to make a point here.”
Lynne Leichtfuss

Trad climber
Will know soon
Oct 10, 2009 - 09:43pm PT
It may be funny, Wanda, but it ain't truth. Don't want anyone thinkin' it is. Jesus saved that gal, running the self righteousness stone throwers off.... and the gal weren't his momma. :D
Patrick Sawyer

climber
Originally California now Ireland
Oct 10, 2009 - 10:35pm PT
Hey, what's that I just picked out of my nose?



EDIT

My apologies. It's 3:30 in the morning and I can't sleep.
MH2

climber
Oct 10, 2009 - 10:51pm PT
Has anyone here read Martin Gardner's book, Why I am not an Atheist?

I haven't but I suspect he has something of interest to say.
corniss chopper

Mountain climber
san jose, ca
Oct 10, 2009 - 11:13pm PT
"wise men don't know how it is to
be thick as a brick"

corollary: --the upside is the 'thick' can be
easily tricked
into voting for anything/anyone.
Captain...or Skully

Social climber
Idaho, also. Sorta, kinda mostly, Yeah.
Oct 11, 2009 - 12:07am PT
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QrpT5X8yiG8&feature=related
GOclimb

Trad climber
Boston, MA
Oct 11, 2009 - 01:02am PT
Ed - I couldn't agree more. We're as much a social animal as bees or wolves.

Individually, despite our relatively large size as animals, we're pretty pathetically weak, slow, and fragile. But together, we quite literally rule the world.

Well... aside from the bugs. Maybe it's the cockroaches who rule the world, but you gotta admit, we're at least a close second?

GO
Largo

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Oct 11, 2009 - 01:03am PT
Ed said: "If the non-physical affects the physical, then it is physical, no?"

Well, it's Saturday night and time to let my mind run - this could get dangerous . . .

The words "exist," "real," and so on all concern what I was earlier refering to as content, stuff, things, material which science can measuere, with this "content" extending to include qualities, aspects, dependent, independent and random variables, and so forth. Whatever the mind can postulate, it ("stuff") "exists" in some "real" (measurable) way, or at any rate, "it" can be said to have a presence or relationship to "real" and material things.

Now when we normally think of brain or mind, we think in terms of a kind of mega-processor riffling off information from brain stem (sensation/instinctual), limbic (emotional/feeling) and cognititive (thinking) centers. Science will tell us that all of these have a physical footprint. All are the fruit of an evolved brain that PRODUCES the content and, by way of remarkably complex soft and hardware, produces the holographic meta functions of self-awareness, consciousness, and other such things. What's more, the thinking goes, things like awarenss are different than the brain itself in the same sense that a tune, while a real thing with a sonic signature, is different than the trumpet or a piano that "produced" it.

Now looping back to "mind," the first question is: what is the nature of mind, consciousness, awareness or any of it? Invariably you will at first get stuck on - you guessed it: content. What's with the thoughts? How does the brain yada yada. Eventually, if you can get quiet enough for long enough, you realize that all thoughts, things, as well as the brain that creates them, are impermanent. They all come and go. Some might complain that, say, the laws of physics are in fact permanent, but of course said laws have no "existence" seperae from the stuff from which the law is derived. The law in fact IS the stuff - the seperation only exists as an idea, not a physical fact.

If you claim for instance that there is a "non-material" non-thing called gravity, that exists seperate from apples falling off trees and collapsing stars and dark matter, even here you're stuck with a hypothetical particle called a graviton - which is said by some (doubtful) to mediate gravity. Plato (Platonic "forms") and Jung (archetypes) would disagree here, but apparently neither man every got past the content of their own minds.

Anyhow, with enough quite time you will start getting a vague sense of a no-thing from which content arises and to which it falls. Everything, including awareness itself, is a cloud arising and falling back into this emptiness. Anyone capible of watching the trajectory, arising and vanishing of thoughts know they (thoughts) are not one "thing," that they are every bit as evanescent as electrons.

Electrons, we are told, seemingly exist in different places at different points in time. It is, some insist, impossible to say where the electron will be at a given time, just as it is impossible to say what thought will arise in our awareness. At time t1 the electron is at point A, then at time t2 it is at point B, yet without moving from A to B. It seems to appear in different places without describing a trajectory. Therefore, even if t1 and A can be pinpointed, it is impossible to derive t2 and B from this measurement.

In other words: There seems to be no causal relation between any two positions - a concept that makes perfect sense to anyone who has carefully watched their own thoughts, which any reductionist will assure you are the product of your evolved brain, meaning thoughts have a material footprint composed of the very electrons we've just described.

But getting back to the most interesting part: electrons seem to be able to go from point A to point B instantaneously, without pasing "through" the space/time continum. Now what the hell does this imply, really? Our tendency is to think of an elecron as a tinny weenie baseball, and if the ball travels from first base ("A") to second base ("B"), it would have to have passed through space, and take a fraction of time, to get there. But apparently an electron is not "solid" in the normal sense of the word, and it can apparently instaneously "arrive" somewhere without having "traveled." What's more, even if you could exactly peg this electron in space and time, that measurement would not detrmine the next "arrival" of the electron. While it is fairly predictible that the electron will not leave it's orbit, meaning the number 5 Camalot will not suddenly become a Stopper, there seems to be no causal link, that is, the electrons position at this moment does not cause or "produce" the following position.

So what does the Zen master mean when he says: Every moment arises instantaneously, brand new, from nowhere. This moment is not dependent on the last moment in any way whatsoever.

JL



Lynne Leichtfuss

Trad climber
Will know soon
Oct 11, 2009 - 01:21am PT
I really enjoyed the last sentence about the zen master and after much directed thought over the past year think I must agree.

The zen master and the world of absolute science may not always operate on the same plane of thought, but I do believe they are both valid. If perhaps they overlapped more, the concepts of life, science, invisible life, philosophy and more would take on a fuller, greater meaning.
Gobee

Trad climber
Los Angeles
Oct 11, 2009 - 01:27am PT
It's funny that we don't do anything to keep all this going at all. Breathing happens, your heart beats.
The world spins, things grow, we rise we sleep, were at its mercy.
Most times when I'm deep in thought I forget about my body, other times I'm fully in it. Seems were just passing through.
It's all a miracle. Miracles happen at all times, by God.
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Oct 11, 2009 - 01:31am PT
gravity exists, and there is probably a quantum theory of it for which the quantum is called the graviton... I have no doubt of it, nor does any physicist, of course....


electrons can be localized in space and time, and they do have definable momentum and energy, that isn't the point of quantum mechanics, which does an excellent job telling us what the probability that an electron will be somewhere at sometime, propelled by the electromagnetic force which is mediated by the quantum we call a photon as described, elegantly, by quantum electodynamics (QED). (I always wanted to do that! (mathematician joke)).

The description of an electron, its "state" is a bit different than what we might think if it were a billiard ball. The ball is described in space and in momentum, and moves through this state space along a trajectory which evolves in time. So if we give its position and its momentum and account for all the forces outside of the ball, we know where it's going to be at any time.

Quantum mechanics is a bit trickier. We have the state, but now we must account for all the possible paths at once, and we calculate a probability that it is in each of those states as a time unfolds. We carry all of the possible states along... once a measurement is done and we find the electron in some state, the probability that it is in the other states is zero... and we start again.

We can make a precise calculation of electrons, and any other atomic particle (and subatomic) using quantum mechanics. Our most precise theories of physics are quantum mechanical, and make predictions which are verified by experiment.

It is a poor analogy for the describing a mechanism to generate awareness. I think what we will eventually know will be much more interesting.


I was with you John as you described the separation of thought from the mechanism that produces it. You seem to say that if thought is the result of a physical mechanism, that it must be mechanistic, deterministic, etc. Of course that is not true. I do not have any problem imagining that thought is produced by an electro-chemical process that results in the flights of fancy we experience.

My suspicion of experience is quite profound, and I am ready to accept your observations of being in deep meditation. I would interpret the whole exercise as exploring just what you can do physically to alter your thought, your perception of the world. Your exercise, however, is quite real and quite measurable. The correlation of that thought with that state is also a common result, but it does not have to correspond to the physical, as you say. It can be real as thought, but it may not be any more real than that.

The interpretation of that state has been attempted by many different cultures, religions and philosophies. The key problem, as I see it, is the attempt to justify it as something outside of ourselves but not of the physical universe. My question is: does it really need to be bigger than just what is inside of us? That is marvelous enough for me...

My training as a physicist does lead me to believe that we must question what we observe and perceive, to understand it before we can use it to understand something about the physical world around us. Mind and consciousness and awareness are all the result of an evolutionary process which is far from producing a monolithically designed being. We are a patch work of things used and reused and altered for other uses... our mind and our thoughts all are a result of that, and are equally patched together... it makes figuring it out difficult, and will make the answer fascinating.

But please don't torture quantum mechanics into some mystical explanation, even in analogy, it is really a humble tool we use to approximate what we see when we look at atoms. That world is different from the one on this side of the "microscope" but we know how to get from there to here, and some of those who so journey have told the story.
Largo

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Oct 11, 2009 - 03:23am PT
Geez, I was going to let this pass but here goes anyhow. I'm not torturing quantum mechanics, Ed. Virtually all of those thought experiments I have laid out are stolen from people in QM who constantly contrast this process with other aspects of "reality," especially consciousness. My sense of this is that while we can locate things and measure certain functions and posit predictions so forth on the quantum level, no one has the any certainty about many of the fundemental things about particles, such as how they can instantaneously appear here and there. The idea or contention that we have the qauntum game remotely dialed is to my understanding, almost total hogwash. Two of the people I ride with all the time (one workds at Cal Tech and the other at JPL) are QM nuts and I get an earfull of this stuff every ride - more than I care for since it's still content and is bacially just beginners stuff in terms of consciousness work.

"I was with you John as you described the separation of thought from the mechanism that produces it. You seem to say that if thought is the result of a physical mechanism, that it must be mechanistic, deterministic, etc. Of course that is not true. I do not have any problem imagining that thought is produced by an electro-chemical process that results in the flights of fancy we experience."

Now Ed, I've said it as plainly as I can: There is NO separation of thought from the mechanism that produces thought. Thought IS matter.
There is no separation between the thought and the "electro-chemical" pocess that "results" in cognition. There is no thought floating around disembodied and non-substantial (again, Plato and Jung would disagree) in the same sense that there is no gravity separate from the "stuff" from which the term "gravity" is derived.

As a material reductionist, you must live and die by what in philosophy they call one-way causation. In terms of the evolved brain, your are left believing that atomic activity "produces" or causes thoughts, and this causation works "one way." It does not work the other way, I.E., thinking does not "produce" or cause the existence of your actual brain matter. The reason my QM friends like to site the spontaneous arising of electrons at point A and B and so forth is that the "one way" causation just described does not seem to hold, that is, "there is no causal position between the two positions" of A and B.

But all of this is still the basic stuff, the starter stuff. The intermediate stuff is the idea that every moment arises instantaneously, brand new, from nowhere. This moment is not dependent on and was not created by the last moment in any way whatsoever.

The advanced course is that the mind and matter itself are both entirely "empty," and have no independent existence. Whatever exists, arises (like the instantaneously arrival of an electron) from and returns back to this emptiness. Awareness, consciousness, rocks, cars and brains are all content in this regard. So the question then becomes: what is the nature of this emptiness?

JL
Jennie

Trad climber
Elk Creek, Idaho
Oct 11, 2009 - 05:06am PT
"Athiests have the lowest crime rate as a group of all religions"

"Athiests were also found to have a higher level of ethical standard which they live their lives"

"Fact"





There are, in fact, no well grounded studies that prove atheists are less or more prone to crime and ethical behavior than the religious. There are more people in prison who claim a religion than people who assume atheist beliefs. But that statistic can hardly be used to draw useful conclusions since there are more people in the U.S. population who claim religion than atheism.

Religion attracts desperate individuals in a society because it offers them comfort. And desperate people are much more likely to commit crimes than those who are not desperate. But desperate people tend to ignore the ethics and "do unto others" part of religion, thus aren't truly converted or commited to a religious faith.

Such studies are usually flawed with poor procedures and irrelevant data. Terms like "crime", "atheist", "Christian" are loose terms with indefinite, hazy boundaries. Often those conducting such studies already have a purpose in mind and slant the data that supports their point of view. The demographics and data examination methods are not mentioned. White collar crimes, such as tax evasion, mail fraud are harder to detect and thus many get away with these offenses, which farther confuses the question since atheist numbers tend to be higher among white collar workers.

And the conclusions wrought by these studies are commonly rife with logical fallacies.

Logical fallacy? Consider this:

No one is born believing in God....
So everyone is born atheist
All criminals were born
Thus all criminals are atheist (or were at some time in their life)


"Surely atheism should be outlawed, especially among infants !"

or:

Josef Stalin, Atheist, 20 to 60 million dead
Adolph Hitler, Atheist, 26 million dead
Fidel Castro, Atheist, 1 million dead
Kim Il Sung, Atheist, 5 million dead
Mao Tse Tung, Atheist, 40 million dead
Pol Pot, Atheist, 2.5 million dead


Pope John Paul, Christian, 0 dead
Pat Robertson, Christian, 0 dead
Mel Gibson, Christian, 0 dead
Jackie Joyner, Christian, 0 dead
Sean Hannity, Christian, 0 dead
Lynne Leichtfuss, Christian, 0 dead


"When will people get it ? Atheism= Mass Murder !"

.......apples and oranges? Cherry picking? Logical fallacies? Those fruit sour and corrupt any bowl.
Jan

Mountain climber
Okinawa, Japan
Oct 11, 2009 - 06:15am PT
JL and Ed-


Here's a book I found that would seem made for the both of you.


The Black Hole War: My Battle with Stephen Hawking to Make the World Safe for Quantum Mechanics.


Author- Leonard Susskind
Patrick Sawyer

climber
Originally California now Ireland
Oct 11, 2009 - 07:41am PT
Jennie, that is totally stupid.

So since I am an atheist I am going to kill millions? Religions have killed multi-millions. You totally cherry picked headcases who have committed genocide to suit your agenda/argument.


Mel Gibson? I am totally rolling on the floor laughing my ass off. Where did that one come from? Just for example.

I tell you what Jennie, you believe what you want and leave me alone.


And BTW you ponce, Hitler was not an atheist. Get your facts right.


I would guess that you are coming from left field big time but you no doubt are a right-whinging right-twit coming from RIGHT field.

Go shoot a fecking elk or something, just don't make it a human. You are really weird.

Jan

Mountain climber
Okinawa, Japan
Oct 11, 2009 - 09:39am PT
GO climb-

In regard to your last set of questions:

I went back and watched the video on the big bang of the mind again and reread some fossil data to be sure I had my dates right. Consequently, I think your questions are based on a misunderstanding of some of the dates (in fact I had to back up the video track several times to make sure I understood them correctly).

Homo erectus was extinct by 400,000 years ago not 70,000
Homo heidelbergensis was 500,00 - 200,000
Homo habilis, H. ergaster, and H. rhodensiensis are are all specimens whose place is not entirely understood and are controversial.

Homo sapiens is dated 195,000 from Africa first
Homo sapiens did not leave Africa until 50,000 (the most agreed upon date) and not earlier than 60,0000 (you had 100,000).

The narrator of the video states "60,000 years ago our species began leaving Africa....they had begun a revolutionary way of life". Later Prof. Klein from Stanford stated, "50,000 years ago a neurological change took place, perhaps the result of a mutation".

Whether the neurological change took place at 50,000 or 60,000, the assumption by everyone on the video and everything I have read, is that the change took place in Africa before H. sapiens left. The video states the oldest beads are found in the Middle East, but subsequently beads dated at 70,000 were found in Africa.

The video claims the oldest rock art known is 34,000 from the caves in France and that this art represented a breakthrough (in art) not in the brain.


A really wonderful video about the journey out of Africa that I would highly recommend is produced by PBS and is called The Human Journey. It features Spencer Wells who is now working for National Geographic on the Genographic DNA project and follows him as he first visits the Bushmen of the Kalahari desert in Africa who are the oldest surviving human group on the planet at this point in time, through the Middle East to Eurasia, Europe, Siberia, and the Americas. It's my all time favorite anthro video and you'll come away from it in total awe of our ancestors and proud to be a human.
Patrick Sawyer

climber
Originally California now Ireland
Oct 11, 2009 - 10:09am PT
HowweirdDean, bull sh#t. my reading comprehension is fine. Atheism = mass murder, is that not what she wrote after the 'diatribe' she posted? I read her post just fine and I am familiar with her other posts in the past.

I was born and baptized a Catholic, grew up and became an agnostic and I am now an atheist, and some person says that my belief equals mass murder? Perhaps it is your comprehension that should come into question.

If I recall correctly, freedom of expression and religion (or not) was one of the Founding Fathers' guiding principles.


And if calling her weird is name calling, so be it. Nah nah nah nah nah. :-)




EDIT

How much has religion played a part in all the wars that human kind have gone through? And how many deaths? And Atheism = mass murder???????


Go figure. And go bow before the likes of Robertson and Falwell. Unless I am mistaken (totally possible but unlikely) Jennie worships these people. Heh heh heh. Go to bed HowweirdDean.


It is actually sunny here today, sort of, so I am going climbing. Now you brush your teeth, say your prayers and go to bed. Or tele-transport yourself to Dalkey and we'll go climbing together. Cheers.
Patrick Sawyer

climber
Originally California now Ireland
Oct 11, 2009 - 10:23am PT
That does is Howweird, I am going on a mass killing spree. Every bloody slug and snail in my yard has had it.


Lighten up, I'm having fun, how about you?


Now I am off to the rocks (just a couple of minutes away), having just put a leg of lamb in the oven (horrors). I know the quarry will be packed today, as it is more or less sunny (okay, there are some clouds, actually a lot of clouds) but it is dry, a weekend and the crags get packed under these conditions. So I will just boulder, and know that I am fortunate to live within walking distance to a good climbing area.


Now you can comprehend that, can't you? See you on the stone someday mate (if I can call you 'mate').
wack-N-dangle

Gym climber
the ground up
Oct 11, 2009 - 10:28am PT
I am God. I created everything. Debate over, now please carry on.

But seriously, people create and destroy god all the time. How can that not exist?
Patrick Sawyer

climber
Originally California now Ireland
Oct 11, 2009 - 10:34am PT
hey wack n dangle, are you sure it isn't dangle and wack?

I do miss California but Ireland isn't that bad. But Yosemite is the Chosen Place. Sort of.



EDIT

Anyway, even though I do not know her, except through her posts, I like Jennie, if for no other reason but she spells her name that same as 'my' Jennie. I believe in people, not religions, and there are a whole lot of good people on the Taco Stand.



It is sort of funny though that when I was nine I wanted to be the first American Pope. Guess that's not going to happen (I was an altar boy at the time, and no, the priests did not molest me).

When I was ten I wanted to be an astronaut. That doesn't look promising either.



I guess I am always looking to the heavens for one reason or another.
wack-N-dangle

Gym climber
the ground up
Oct 11, 2009 - 10:40am PT
Pat

Played my hand aid climbing. Now I just throw for holds, slap them if lucky, and rest on the rope.

Cheers!
jstan

climber
Oct 11, 2009 - 11:56am PT
"Religion attracts desperate individuals in a society because it offers them comfort. And desperate people are much more likely to commit crimes than those who are not desperate. But desperate people tend to ignore the ethics and "do unto others" part of religion, thus aren't truly converted or commited to a religious faith."

It seems to me Jennie is saying here desperate people are more likely to commit crimes

but (she thinks) they don't follow the golden rule and so are not really religious.

Through this evaluation of her's you can logically prove the conclusion that any "religious" person who commits a crime is not really religious.

What am I missing?


An even larger number of people, all non-criminals in both categories, probably fall into the category of those not following the golden rule, assuming one could come up with a method of determining the fact.
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Oct 11, 2009 - 12:42pm PT
I don't quite know how to respond, John, except to say that not only did I fail your elementary course, but I wasn't very attentive in my physics classes, either...

thanks for you patience over the years. My conclusion is that I do not and cannot understand any of it.
WBraun

climber
Oct 11, 2009 - 01:47pm PT
What holds true today will be false tomorrow.

What holds false tomorrow will again hold true in the future.

Absolute truth holds true eternally even after the annihilation of the entire material cosmic manifestation.

After the restart of the entire material cosmic manifestation the Absolute truth still holds true and never changes.

The Absolute truth, Summon Bonum, in it's absolute topmost position is a person.

The human body is composed of many material elements, still it's a person.


dirtbag

climber
Oct 11, 2009 - 02:00pm PT
It's fun believing in the Easter bunny and the tooth fairy too. Gives one a certain peace of mind.
Lynne Leichtfuss

Trad climber
Will know soon
Oct 11, 2009 - 02:15pm PT
The absolute truth never changes. I agree. It's a thought of not only comfort but great peace and joy when grasped by the heart or as eastern thought calls it the chee.

It's a thought that brings sanity out of the chaos of this planet. Chaos that can begin as simply as a harsh word between brothers which ignited turns into an inferno because it is not smothered with forgiveness. It has the potential to thus end in holocausts, body bombs, wars and nuclear attacks.

I'd venture to say that the concept of forgiveness is an absolute truth.
Lynne Leichtfuss

Trad climber
Will know soon
Oct 11, 2009 - 02:47pm PT
Jim, I respectfully disagree. I don't think forgiveness comes soley from a learned creed. I have read a few books on primitive cultures. Depicted were the differences between tribes that held grudges and handed them down for generations vs. those that chose to "forgive", get past the hurt, problem or not bear a grudge or retaliate.


One is never obliged to forgive. It must come from the chee or heart.
It is something each individual must work out in their own situation, in their own life unfolding story, imho.


GOclimb

Trad climber
Boston, MA
Oct 11, 2009 - 03:35pm PT
Patrick Sawyer, you really did either misread, or worse - purposefully misrepresent - what Jennie stated.

GO
GOclimb

Trad climber
Boston, MA
Oct 11, 2009 - 04:12pm PT
Jan - thanks so much, again, for your response! Seems like there's a lot of disagreement, yet, on a few of the details. Especially regarding H. Erectus. Some sources stated that the species died out 70,000 years ago, some say 200,000 years ago, and you're stating 400,000 years ago. That's a big discrepancy!

Anyway, yeah, so I just re-watched parts of the video, and I agree that they're pretty clear about the first waves of H. Sapiens leaving Africa around 60,000 years ago, and the best evidence for the "great leap forward" starting around 50,000 years ago. That's much closer than I was stating, and certainly close enough to leave wiggle room for the idea that the humans leaving Africa were already "great leaping", we just haven't happened to have found early evidence for it yet.

GO
Gobee

Trad climber
Los Angeles
Oct 11, 2009 - 04:36pm PT
On Discovery TV tonight @ 9:00 pm Discovering Ardi will be on.

Werner is right, we know in part so what we think is right can change with new info and back again with more. But absolute truth never changes and that is God. When we come to be with Him are hope, we will be changed to be like Him.
Gobee

Trad climber
Los Angeles
Oct 11, 2009 - 05:07pm PT
The Ascension
So when they had come together, they asked him, “Lord, will you at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?” He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or seasons that the Father has fixed by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” And when he had said these things, as they were looking on, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight. And while they were gazing into heaven as he went, behold, two men stood by them in white robes, and said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into heaven? This Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven.”

The Resurrection of Christ
Now I would remind you, brothers, of the gospel I preached to you, which you received, in which you stand, and by which you are being saved, if you hold fast to the word I preached to you—unless you believed in vain.

For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. Then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have fallen asleep. Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles. Last of all, as to one untimely born, he appeared also to me. For I am the least of the apostles, unworthy to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me was not in vain. On the contrary, I worked harder than any of them, though it was not I, but the grace of God that is with me. Whether then it was I or they, so we preach and so you believed.

The Resurrection of the Dead
Now if Christ is proclaimed as raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain. We are even found to be misrepresenting God, because we testified about God that he raised Christ, whom he did not raise if it is true that the dead are not raised. For if the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins. Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. If in Christ we have hope in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied.

But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. For as by a man came death, by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive. But each in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, then at his coming those who belong to Christ. Then comes the end, when he delivers the kingdom to God the Father after destroying every rule and every authority and power. For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. The last enemy to be destroyed is death. For “God has put all things in subjection under his feet.” But when it says, “all things are put in subjection,” it is plain that he is excepted who put all things in subjection under him. When all things are subjected to him, then the Son himself will also be subjected to him who put all things in subjection under him, that God may be all in all.

Otherwise, what do people mean by being baptized on behalf of the dead? If the dead are not raised at all, why are people baptized on their behalf? Why are we in danger every hour? I protest, brothers, by my pride in you, which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die every day! What do I gain if, humanly speaking, I fought with beasts at Ephesus? If the dead are not raised, “Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die.” Do not be deceived: "Bad company ruins good morals.” Wake up from your drunken stupor, as is right, and do not go on sinning. For some have no knowledge of God. I say this to your shame.

The Resurrection Body
But someone will ask, “How are the dead raised? With what kind of body do they come?” You foolish person! What you sow does not come to life unless it dies. And what you sow is not the body that is to be, but a bare kernel, perhaps of wheat or of some other grain. But God gives it a body as he has chosen, and to each kind of seed its own body. For not all flesh is the same, but there is one kind for humans, another for animals, another for birds, and another for fish. There are heavenly bodies and earthly bodies, but the glory of the heavenly is of one kind, and the glory of the earthly is of another. There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars; for star differs from star in glory.

So is it with the resurrection of the dead. What is sown is perishable; what is raised is imperishable. It is sown in dishonor; it is raised in glory. It is sown in weakness; it is raised in power. It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body. Thus it is written, “The first man Adam became a living being”; the last Adam became a life-giving spirit. But it is not the spiritual that is first but the natural, and then the spiritual. The first man was from the earth, a man of dust; the second man is from heaven. As was the man of dust, so also are those who are of the dust, and as is the man of heaven, so also are those who are of heaven. Just as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the man of heaven.

Mystery and Victory
I tell you this, brothers: flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. Behold! I tell you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed. For this perishable body must put on the imperishable, and this mortal body must put on immortality. When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written:

“Death is swallowed up in victory.”
“O death, where is your victory?
O death, where is your sting?”

The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.
Ghost

climber
A long way from where I started
Oct 11, 2009 - 05:25pm PT
Now may be the appropriate time to repost something that shows up here in religious discussions from time to time. Its origin is attributed to various sources, but doesn't really matter. The heart of it is that while Christians (and Jews, and Muslims, and others) often quote their holy book as final authority in whatever subject is being debated, they ignore the fact that much of what is in these books is, well, questionable to say the least.

The generally accepted story is that it first showed up as a letter to the well-known talk-show host Dr. Laura in response to her quoting the bible as proof that homosexuality was an abomination.

If, after reading this, one of you religious folks could explain to me why I should take the bible (or any of the holy books) seriously, I'd sure appreciate it.

Anyway, here goes...


"Thank you for doing so much to educate people regarding God's Law. I have learned a great deal from your show, and try to share that knowledge with as many people as I can. When someone tries to defend the homosexual lifestyle, for example, I simply remind them that Leviticus 18:22 clearly states it to be an abomination. End of debate. I do need some advice from you, however, regarding some of the other specific laws and how to follow them:

When I burn a bull on the altar as a sacrifice, I know it creates a pleasing odor for the Lord - Lev.1:9. The problem is my neighbors. They claim the odor is not pleasing to them. Should I smite them?

I would like to sell my daughter into slavery, as sanctioned in Exodus 21:7. In this day and age, what do you think would be a fair price for her?

I know that I am allowed no contact with a woman while she is in her period of menstrual uncleanliness - Lev.15:19- 24. The problem is, how do I tell? I have tried asking, but most women take offense.

Lev. 25:44 states that I may indeed possess slaves, both male and female, provided they are purchased from neighboring nations. A friend of mine claims that this applies to Mexicans, but not Canadians. Can you clarify? Why can't I own Canadians?

I have a neighbor who insists on working on the Sabbath. Exodus 35:2 clearly states he should be put to death. Am I morally obligated to kill him myself?

A friend of mine feels that even though eating shellfish is an abomination - Lev. 11:10, it is a lesser abomination than homosexuality. I don't agree. Can you settle this?

Lev. 21:20 states that I may not approach the altar of God if I have a defect in my sight. I have to admit that I wear reading glasses. Does my vision have to be 20/20, or is there some wiggle room here?

Most of my male friends get their hair trimmed, including the hair around their temples, even though this is expressly forbidden by Lev. 19:27. How should they die?

I know from Lev. 11:6-8 that touching the skin of a dead pig makes me unclean, but may I still play football if I wear gloves?

My uncle has a farm. He violates Lev. 19:19 by planting two different crops in the same field, as does his wife by wearing garments made of two different kinds of thread (cotton/polyester blend). He also tends to curse and blaspheme a lot. Is it really necessary that we go to all the trouble of getting the whole town together to stone them? - Lev.24:10-16. Couldn't we just burn them to death at a private family affair like we do with people who sleep with their in-laws? (Lev. 20:14)

I know you have studied these things extensively, so I am confident you can help. Thank you again for reminding us that God's word is eternal and unchanging.

 - - - - - - - - - -

Okay, the letter is kind of humorous, but I would appreciate a serious response.
Lynne Leichtfuss

Trad climber
Will know soon
Oct 11, 2009 - 05:34pm PT
Well, as a serious response....my friend jesus came to this planet and made it clear with his arrival the old things were finished, the law that you quoted from the old testament was replaced by two things.....to love God and to love your neighbor.....who is your neighbor....everyone.
Ghost

climber
A long way from where I started
Oct 11, 2009 - 05:41pm PT
So does that mean (in your opinion) that the old testament part of the bible is no longer authoritative, while the new testament part is still to be accepted without question?
Gobee

Trad climber
Los Angeles
Oct 11, 2009 - 06:11pm PT
Ghost,
Jesus is God's Son in the flesh, who came to take away the sins of the world and give us life. We all need His forgiveness, for example, all sins of the flesh separates us from His Spirit. The body is the temple of the Holy Spirit. So adultery, fornication, and homosexuality, are equally grieving God's Spirit. We can't continue in these life styles and stay in His will. But He is faithful and forgives us all when we ask Him to in Jesus name. You can live for the flesh, or you can live for God, but we need to do it in His power not are own.
Peter Haan

Trad climber
San Francisco, CA
Oct 11, 2009 - 06:23pm PT
Gobee,

You used to be such a nice boy, back when Russ, Roy and I had you cleaning the Low Voltage Zero Gravity Taint Abrader orbs after ever trip back from the Mussy Nebula! What the hell happened to you? You are just begging for a full-court Photoshopping, you know?
Gobee

Trad climber
Los Angeles
Oct 11, 2009 - 06:27pm PT
"So does that mean (in your opinion) that the old testament part of the bible is no longer authoritative, while the new testament part is still to be accepted without question?"

Yes! In the OT, there were sacrifices every year of killing bulls and goats, for the forgiving of sins. Since Jesus was God, his death on the cross, only needed to happen once to forgive all sin, to please the Father, and by faith God excepts Jesus sacrifice for are punishment. Jesus took are place!
Ghost

climber
A long way from where I started
Oct 11, 2009 - 06:32pm PT
Gobee, that's all very nice, but it really doesn't address my question about the authority of the bible. Presumably (correct me if I'm wrong) your view that god finds homosexuality, adultery, and fornication to be abominations comes from the bible. But how can you say the bible should govern our lives in those areas, but not others. If the bible says it is not okay to engage in homosexual activities, but it is okay to sell my daughters into slavery, how can you assert the bible's authority in the first instance, but say it is wrong (or out of date, or whatever) in the second.

What I'm getting at here is that it seems that most Christians (and believers in other religions) take a completely indefensible approach to their holy books. Quoting the bible as absolute authority where it suits their personal feelings, but dismissing it as not relevant where it doesn't match their personal feelings.

I'm not trying to be mean-spirited here, but I truly am baffled by how you, or anyone, can say "The bible is the word of god, it must be obeyed", but then qualify that statement with something along the lines of "except where it doesn't have to be obeyed."

Help me out here.

Edit: your second post came through while I was still writing this. So I guess what you're saying is that we can throw out the old testament but must treat the new testament as absolutely authoritative. Since I know that there are more than a few Jews in the world who would disagree with you, how do I decide who to believe? You, because you say you know the real score? Them, because they say they know the real score?


Norton

Social climber
the Wastelands
Topic Author's Reply - Oct 11, 2009 - 06:35pm PT
So Gobee, Jesus HAD to die on the cross to PLEASE his "father"?
His father could not be "pleased" in some other, non violent, manner?

What the hell kind of father gets pleasure from his son's suffering?

No way good old god could have figured things out better than that?

And why did it take god six days to create the earth?
Surely he could have just snapped his finger in an instant?

And why was god SO tired that had to "rest" on the seventh day?

Doesn't all this sound like a MAN made this all up?

You still believe in the tooth fairy and santa?
Lynne Leichtfuss

Trad climber
Will know soon
Oct 11, 2009 - 06:45pm PT
In my opinion, Ghost, jesus fulfilled all the rules/laws of the o.t. But he did not say to 86 the o.t. There are many encouraging, wonderful words that keep me going....many are found in the Psalms and Proverbs.

The book of Ruth is about two widows and how God took care of them. This has been a great comfort to lynne in the past two years losing my best friend and provider along with being thrown into the chaos of these economic times.

Ghost, you say, "accepted without question." I don't believe blindly. God/jesus and I have slugged it out over the years in what he says vs. what has happened in my life. Like everyone, life has been extremely difficult at times over the course of a lifetime.

Jesus not only does not mind my questions, of which there have been MANY especially over the past two years, but he encourages me to bring them honestly to him. "Hey," he says to lynnie, "I know your heart anyway, might as well be honest and dialogue with me."

That's what I love so much about my friend jesus. Psalm 145:18 says, " The Lord is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth."

And in the n.t. James says in 4:8 "Come near to God and He will come near to you."

So if you want to know jesus just say "howdy, I truthfully want to know you" and then come near to him like you do your human friends and stay near.

That's it on a beautiful Sunday in So Cal. I am now going into the grate outdoors for a bit. lynnie :DD

Lynne Leichtfuss

Trad climber
Will know soon
Oct 11, 2009 - 06:48pm PT
Gobee, Dude, yo getting carried away :DDDD that was my question to answer from Ghost......kidding, kinda. Breathe Gobee, breathe.

Edit: you list adultry, fornication and homosexuality....what about gossip, lying and slandering....in the n.t. these are listed as just as bad...why do not all, but quite a few trip on the sex stuff ? Because they don't physically do it so they can go, "oh, well, I'm cool with that. I pass the test."

I think it's because people lie and gossip many times each day and they just don't want to see it as just as bad. imho
Gobee

Trad climber
Los Angeles
Oct 11, 2009 - 06:48pm PT
I would rather be found wrong then not to trust in God!

From 10/2/09;
Yes I believe God made us and the worlds as He said He did in Genesis. But I know He could have made it in an instant, just like in I Dream of Jeannie, blink, blink, POOF! However He took His time because He enjoyed Himself and to show us that we should to and also rest from are labor and give thanks to Him!
God made everything to fit His purpose, it's not an accident. Look at the heavens you can set a clock to them! All this is just the work of His fingers, and the earth is His footstool.

Bump to Lynne;
two things.....to love God and to love your neighbor.....who is your neighbor....everyone.
Mighty Hiker

Social climber
Vancouver, B.C.
Oct 11, 2009 - 06:54pm PT
Watching the believers here preach at the non-believers is a bit like watching someone trying to teach a pig to waltz. It wastes their time, annoys the pig, and gets them muddy. And is almost inevitably tiresome.

Preaching (all types) is quite inappropriate to this venue.
WBraun

climber
Oct 11, 2009 - 06:56pm PT
Unfortunately this is not correct:

Since Jesus was God, his death on the cross, only needed to happen once to forgive all sin, to please the Father

Jesus is not God, never was nor ever will. He was son like all the rest of the living entities which are part parcel of the lord.

God can't please the father since he's already the Supreme father. God is not subordinate to anayone, he always maintains his absolute Supremacy.

Technically speaking Jesus Christ was a satyavesa avatar, nita siddha, eternally liberated soul, not ordinary, who descended from the spiritual stratum to re-establish the bonafide religious principles.
Gobee

Trad climber
Los Angeles
Oct 11, 2009 - 07:00pm PT
"So Gobee, Jesus HAD to die on the cross to PLEASE his "father"?
His father could not be "pleased" in some other, non violent, manner?

What the hell kind of father gets pleasure from his son's suffering?

No way good old god could have figured things out better than that?"


God didn't have to send his Son but then we could not be with Him because are sin would be unforgiven (for God is Holy), so God sent His Son Jesus, who new no sin because He LOVES US and wants us to be with Him!
WBraun

climber
Oct 11, 2009 - 07:04pm PT
Mighty Hiker -- "Preaching (all types) is quite inappropriate to this venue."


Then why are YOU preaching.

Trying to censor user input about what you dislike always seemed to be your spiel.


Besides -- Ghost presented excellent critical thinking in his questions.
Gobee

Trad climber
Los Angeles
Oct 11, 2009 - 07:14pm PT
The Word Became Flesh
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.

There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. He came as a witness, to bear witness about the light, that all might believe through him. He was not the light, but came to bear witness about the light.

The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world. He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world did not know him. He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him. But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.

And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. John bore witness about him, and cried out, “This was he of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me ranks before me, because he was before me.’”And from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace. For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. No one has ever seen God; the only God, who is at the Father's side, he has made him known.



Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on my own authority, but the Father who dwells in me does his works. Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me, or else believe on account of the works themselves.



Edit;

When Jesus had spoken these words, he lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, “Father, the hour has come; glorify your Son that the Son may glorify you, since you have given him authority over all flesh, to give eternal life to all whom you have given him. And this is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent. I glorified you on earth, having accomplished the work that you gave me to do. And now, Father, glorify me in your own presence with the glory that I had with you before the world existed.


It's God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit!
Ghost

climber
A long way from where I started
Oct 11, 2009 - 07:23pm PT
This is hard for me to say, but I gotta admit that I'm with Werner here. Preaching is not inappropriate in this thread. Quite the contrary. This is a thread devoted to religious belief, so why shouldn't someone take the opportunity to preach his or her beliefs?

Mostly I'd rather not be preached at, but if I choose to enter a thread about religion and ask questions of believers, I can hardly complain when they answer. And it's also worth pointing out that most of the unpleasant, forceful preaching here has not come from the religious folks, but from the non-believers.

So if Gobee or Lynn or someone else starts getting nasty, then sure, I'll chime in and tell them to keep it civil or shut up. But until then, I'm happy to have the opportunity to hear what they have to say.
Lynne Leichtfuss

Trad climber
Will know soon
Oct 11, 2009 - 09:38pm PT
gosh ghost, just got back from the great outdoors. The earth still retains and remains beauty and beautiful. Ideas here continue to be exchanged and that also is beautiful. I want you to know I listen and ponder as well as post.

Breathing, flowing, thinking,.... living in the moment and the day along with enjoying the life given you and the people around you contains the simple peace I think we were made for. Jess a thought on a lovely evening.

(and now back to the IRS .... must complete tonight .....deadline 10/15. So where do life's pressures come from ? not god, if he indeed exists. And you know how I feel about that. :D lynnie)
MH2

climber
Oct 11, 2009 - 10:03pm PT
This thread fascinates me in large part because religion and how the brain works are two subjects that any sane person would leave alone.

There are questions in both with no definitive answer and not from lack of trying.

You should feel at least a little humility when brains as sharp as Sir Francis Crick and Roger Penrose have turned their attention to how the mind works.

http://www.consciousentities.com/penrose.htm

It is reasonable to ask what form a thought has just before you become aware of it, but quantum fluctuations coming up into the macro world by way of microtubules is pretty speculative.


By the way, it was reported somewhere that Terry Pratchett, who suffers from Alzheimer's, had "found God." This would be newsworthy for someone who has parodied religion the way he has. According to the man himself, "It is highly unlikely that I have found God since I can't even find my car keys, despite considerable empirical evidence that they exist."