Sunday, September 12, 2021

You are the eyes of the world. (workbook #e)

An exploration into a different sort of perspective on the god ~ human relationship, one that starts with a mind experiment and ends in a beautiful mythical suggestion.

 

“Humanity is the most exquisite example of God’s need and desire to know itself.”

It begins with imagining creation from a god’s eye view.  If a god there be, what would, what could that god actually know about the universe? 

There was nothing to sense in the beginning.  Besides how could a substance-less God sense anything?

Seems to me, only by creating something, was there anything for god to observe.  But what would god observe with? 

It occurred to me that god could only experience its own creation, through the structures of that creation.  

Starting right at the 'big bang' along side energy, gravity, time and the ever evolving complexity of interactions in a growing cosmos.  

Wednesday, September 8, 2021

Evolution Flips Abrahamic God Outside In. (workbook #d)

One of the things I've gotten out of my life long enthusiasm for learning about my human body, my mind/spirit, other people, other creatures and landscapes, Earth and her Evolution, is that my understanding of the traditional Abrahamic God has been flipped outside in.

I came to realize “God” isn’t to be found out there in the heavens. Our “Gods” are to be found deep within ourselves and our evolutionary roots, our DNA being testament to the existence of these roots.  As is our human ego, with its origins going way back into our mammalian heritage.


This evolutionary ground up perspective has instilled an Earth Centrist attitude because this living planet is my touch stone with reality and her evolutionary history informs my day in every way.

Take a moment to consider that we humans, you, me, are actually born out of a parade of generations, before generations.  The number of our grandparents is inconceivable. Try imagining where it all began from where we are today.  Humanity is a fulfillment of life’s ageless way of striving to improve perceptual, manipulatory and processing abilities, in order to better live a better day.

On a personal level a couple months back I hit on words that helped me grasp specifically what it was in me that made me such a unique individual. I possess a genuine visceral awareness for being an element in the flow of Earth’s Evolution - and that changes everything about how I perceive today and tomorrow.  Whether by a Creator, or by loaded dice, is irrelevant, either way we are the product of deep time moving ever forward with determination.

I am deeply grateful for being the eyes of the universe - a creature that can reflect on the wonder that is Earth and my own spark of being here within all that majesty. An appreciation for the Pageant of Evolution that goes well beyond the typical mental post card most possess.



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Saturday, September 4, 2021

Considering God as a creation of our own human minds. (workbook #c)

This comes from a conversation over at CenterForInquiry discussion forum under the far ranging thread headed: Why Did You Choose Atheism?  It’s part of my workshop.



post #117 - Sep 4, 8:33 PM


Write4u comments: “Evolution is established science.”

I offered a slight adjustment.

Citizenschallenge:  Evolution is established by scientific evidence.    : -)

Now if only we really let that lesson soak in, as we think about who and what we are.

As for God, I would suggest that the evidence points to God being the product of our minds. And where did that come from you ask?

Wednesday, September 1, 2021

Responding to a Christian's missive. (workbook #b)


Unknown commented on "An Honest Look at The Limits To Growth (Ugo Bardi)" 

 Awaiting moderation.

Comment Rejected… on the grounds that I won’t be a billboard, I’m looking for serious dialogue!

but I will build a response post around it.


Since Mr. Unknown’s missive comes at a good time and I’m in this ‘workshop mode’  I’m going to dissect his allegations as an exercise in explaining my ideas.  He and others are invited to share responses, here or at the CFI Forum.


Aug 25, 2021:  Unknown commented on "An Honest Look at The Limits To Growth (Ugo Bardi)"

Mr Unknown writes:  Citizenschallenge, you have been tricked into believing the creator of this earth has limits to what he can and will do. 

___________


The “creator” of this Earth is star dust and the work of billions of years worth of physics, geology, biology and cumulative change over time, that is Evolution.

___________


Cc, I used to believe as you do and so started a recycling center in 1974 in N. Calif in southern Humboldt County. I wanted to save the planet but i had much much more to learn and i did. 

___________


Yes we certainly have plenty to learn when we’re still green behind the ears - oh but what fun years those are.  Fortunately, usually I took grandpa's advice: “Listen!  Even if you already know it all.  Shut up and listen, you just might learn something.”

You have created your own version of who I am, it does not fit the reality.  

Although I’ll admit I know about Humboldt county back in da day: “sinsemilla, send some to me-ia”    ;-). 

And okay it would have been nice to be part of helping save our biosphere, the planet will get by.  The global support systems we depend on, not so much.  It’s truly heartbreaking witnessing how horribly self-centered and greedy and self-destructive our generation wound up being.  Even after all we had learned about the ways of Earth.  

But, that’s another story.

___________


It took total surrender to the only one who rules heaven and earth. 

___________


What’s that even mean “taking total surrender”?  

Total surrender to the Bible?  Total surrender to a slick talking preacher who got his hooks into ya?

I didn’t need to surrender to anything, all I needed was to open my eyes and senses to observing, honest curiosity, learning and contemplating nature and Mother Earth.  

Observing, acting, thinking, learning, loving it and so on.   

It’s amazing how much mother nature can teach those who pay attention, sort of like the Bible told me: “Seek and ye shall find.”  Scientist sure have learned a great deal, we should pay attention to them.

Tuesday, August 31, 2021

Religion, easy as ... (workbook #a)

Think about it, aren't the Abrahamic religions all about self-centeredness - ours as well as God’s? Worse is their contempt and disregard for the sovereignty of our Earth’s biosphere, her other inhabitants and the reality of our Evolutionary origins. 

August 30th, 2020, an update on my 

Hoffman Playing Basketball in Zero-gravity project

I’ve one last assignment before I can put the bow on my Hoffman Playing Basketball in Zero-gravity project.  But it’s a challenging topic, easy to avoid and procrastinate, plus I’ve had a very busy summer, still do. 


On the other hand, time and experience has been clarifying these fundamental questions most others have also pondered, so of course I want to enunciate and share my perspective, while I'm still around. 


I want my final installment to Hoffman's project to be a sharp essay, so have decided to go slow, share the introduction, and basically conduct a personal workshop and hopefully by doing it online, it'll push me to completing the final details in style.   


It would be wonderful if some others would chime in, and in fact, I have a thread started over at CFI's CenterForInquiryForum and invite you to share any comments or general thoughts over there.



This isn’t for everyone, but if concepts such as Earth Centrism, Evolution, deep time and Earth as a physical geo-biological entity, resonates, you may find this fascinating.  


Introduction


I’ll wager that if you took some time to think about it, you’d acknowledge that on a fundamental level the Abrahamic religions are all about self-centeredness - ours as well as God’s.

These religions were founded on the basis of self-interest, they were focused on selected kernels of knowledge, born of an aggressive insecurity, and supported by a passionate sense of self-important certitude. Usually with empire building in mind while reeking with hostility towards outsiders, other teachers and learning.  They did achieve results.

All the while pretty much ignoring the sovereignty of our Earth’s biosphere, her other inhabitants and the reality of our Evolutionary origins.

Consider, within the Abrahamic tradition our planet’s life support system and her inhabitants never rise above something to exploit until we suck it dry, then we move on to the next bonanza.

Whereas for me, Earth, her creatures and biosphere, her Evolution, these are my touchstones with physical reality. I feel time flowing through me as I travel through my days. I live within a mindscape that’s filled with an awareness of time in its entire spectrum, from microseconds, to my heart beat, to the days, seasons, years and decades, on to the eons of Evolution.

 

Friday, August 6, 2021

Prof Trecek-King on Doing Your Own Research. What's the problem?

Recently SkepticalScience.com reprinted an interesting article: "Thinking is Power: The problem with 'doing your own research'” by Melanie Trecek-King Associate Professor of Biology at Massasoit Community College in Massachusetts, she also maintains the website Thinking is Power with a series called Don’t Trust Yourself.


The title and article caught my eye since I’m one of those who does a fair amount of my own “research” - someone who has also become leery of misleading labels and convinced of the importance of respecting definitions.  Too often a group of people will be tossing around a term with everyone investing it with their own poetic license. 

For example, poetically speaking I consider myself a “student of Earth,” but I don’t do any real research, any more than I’m a real Student

Fact is, I’m a lifelong enthusiast who does homework, trying to learn what I can about my subject of the moment.  It’s my honest curiosity that keeps me on the straight and narrow and defines the quality of my collective knowledge.

The serious college student, researcher, professor, scientist are on altogether different levels, ones that deserve to be recognized and respected by all enthusiasts.  After all, they do all the hard work, they digest the data, coherently report on it and share their efforts with the rest of us - that's how we learn.

That’s why I think Melanie Trecek-King words are overdue and should be part of any young student’s reading list.  They also belong on the enthusiast’s reading list because they make for a good self-evaluation checklist for those who fancy themselves lovers of learning and knowledge.

The professor’s article makes a fitting addition to my collection, and it gives me a chance to expand on her theme with the addition of some thoughts of my own, coming from the outside looking in, so to speak.

At first I wanted to select specific quotes, but her 900 word text is a concise whole that I couldn’t slice and dice without damaging, it deserves to be read in its entirety.  I thank Professor Trecek-King for allowing me to repost her excellent article.  



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The problem with “doing your own research”

by Melanie Trecek-King


The phrase “do your own research” seems ubiquitous these days, often by those who don’t accept “mainstream” science (or news), conspiracy theorists, and many who fashion themselves as independent thinkers. On its face it seems legit. What can be wrong with wanting to seek out information and make up your own mind?

The problems with “doing your own research”

1. That’s not what research is. 

Definitions matter. When scientists use the word “research,” they mean a systematic process of investigation. Evidence is collected and evaluated in an unbiased, objective manner, and those methods have to be available to other scientists for replication. 


Conversely, when someone says they’re “doing their own research,” they mean using a search engine to find information that confirms what they already think is true. We are all prone to confirmation bias, and the effect is especially powerful when we want (or don’t want) to accept a conclusion. 


Cc:  Definitions matter. 

Saturday, July 24, 2021

Steven Koonin, liar for hire. A bibliographic collection - Student Resource

Let’s start with a couple short informed observations of why Steven Koonin’s repetitive “Unsettled: What Climate Science Tells Us, What It Doesn’t, and Why It Matters”, is nonsensical claptrap.

There is no development of the arguments, no counter-points, no constructive back and forth, just the same arguments that they appear to have thought up once and never examined.

Personally, I like taking on smart criticisms. They help hone the science, clarify the arguments and point to areas of needed research. But there isn’t a single thing here worth taking on.

Dr. Gavin Schmidt, PhD

Director of GISS 

Climate scientist Ben Santer, (with appropriate links added by myself):

“It is simply untrue that Prof. Koonin is confronting climate scientists with unpleasant facts they ignored or failed to understand.” 

Dr. Ben Santer wrote in his resignation letter to Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory: “The climate science community treats uncertainties in an open and transparent way. It has done so for decades. 

At LLNL, we routinely consider whether uncertainties in models, observations, and natural climatic variability call into question findings of a large human influence on global climate. They do not.”

 My question: Why has Koonin rejected honesty, learning and self-skepticism, which are the foundations of serious science?

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Time to finally get “Steven Koonin’s liar for hire, a bibliographic collection” posted and behind me.  I need to complete this, rather than simply blowing it off, because I’m driven by my utter incomprehension at the success of Koonin’s 2021 stale rerun of the same one dimensional anti-science rhetorical campaign strategy pioneered by the Father of Science By Slander, Fred Seitz back in the tobacco war days.


“Steven Koonin’s Liar for Hire, a Bibliographic Collection”

A Student Resource


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Steve Koonin Coasts On ‘09-’11 Obama Gig, Pens 'Unsettled,' a Pre-Re-Debunked Climate Denial Book

ClimateDenierRoundup for Climate Hawks and Kos, 2021,05,06

Five statements author Steven Koonin makes that do not comport with the evidence.   

Marianne Lavelle, May 4, 2021, ClimateNews.org

Koonin’s case for yet another review of climate science

Gavin Schmidt @ 15 June 2019, RealClimate.org

EPA - Here's the Obama energy guy that Pruitt might hire

Robin Bravender, E&E News reporter, August 7, 2017, eenews.net

Climate Science Is Settled Enough - The Wall Street Journal’s fresh face of climate inaction.

Raymond T. Pierrehumbert, slate.com/technology

A New Book Feeds Climate Doubters, but Scientists Say the Conclusions are Misleading and Out of Date

Marianne Lavelle, May 4, 2021, InsideClimateNews.org

Steven Koonin to Step Down as DOE Science Honcho

Adrian ChoNov. 9, 2011, ScienceMag.org

Ben Santer: Climate Denialism has no place at Lawrence Livermore Nat'l Lab

Ben Santer, May 25, 2021, SkepticalScience.com and Union of Concerned Scientists

A critical review of Steven Koonin’s ‘Unsettled’

Mark Boslough, June 1, 2021, SkepticalScience.com and Yale Climate Connections

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Wednesday, June 16, 2021

Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse on need for better engagement. Calling out Democrat's timidity. The need to act.

Back in the 1960s and '70s, society and its leaders where confronted with the reality that the more we consumed and polluted, the faster our children and grand children would face horrific consequences.  It's 2021, yet the disregard continues, even as the consequences dance before our eyes.


Senator Sheldon Whitehouse has a message for Democrats, leaders and voters, that we need to listen to and heed, or what's left of our democracy will disappear.  


https://www.whitehouse.senate.gov


I have a too tiny readership, though it does span the globe.  That's why I feel like I should apologize for my overly American-centrist tone.  



What can I say, this is my homeland, where I grew up, and where I've done most all of my traveling, where my friends and family and most of my memories exist and where I'll die, so it is what it is.  If anyone would care to share their perspective regarding these matters, please do leave a comment. 


We in America have been watching a ‘hostile takeover’ being waged upon our government.  Actually, too many have been oblivious to it.  This ‘hostile takeover’ attempt traces its roots to a reactionary rejection of both environmentalism, and human rights improvements by a few of the world's billionaires and tons of Dark Money.  


Why, because investing in the future threatened their gluttonous short term profit dreams.


It was a direct reaction to the increasingly successful human rights, and environmental movements of the '50s, '60s, ‘70s.  Back in the '50s scientists finally began to gain a realistic globally holistic, big-picture appreciation for Earth's interconnected complexity and harmony.  Plate tectonics, evolution, DNA and unraveling biological secrets, deconstructing atoms along with all their cascading implications and impacts.  


In the '60s this growing understanding received a slap in the face and kick in the butt, with the realization that the mathematical real-earth observational data regarding current trends was not looking good.