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> Let's begin the Dialogue and Reconciliation of, Science and Religion Now!
RobDegraves
Posted: Jun 26 2009, 03:09 PM


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That was weird and pointless. Non sequitur anyone? Sheesh...


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"Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts. "

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Mong H Tan, PhD
  Posted: Jul 5 2009, 08:28 PM


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RE: Point of clarification: How irrationalists lost their sensibility to other people’s religiosity (in particular) or spirituality (in general)!?*

[*This point of clarification was prepared before I discovered that the Moderator rpenner had also -- today at 4:57 AM -- added a comment to David Goldburn’s “religiosity” post (to be discussed below) -- obviously readers may find that my views are quite different to rpenner’s which reads: "As the poster below [RobDegraves] indicates, the poster [David Goldburn] of this post shows no good judgement, willingness to engage in dialog or even reading ability to learn what the topic of the thread is. Sadly, this is not his worst post." So, please don’t be surprised!]


Caveat lector: If you are new members of this very open and dynamic PhysForum, worldwide, please don’t feel intimidated or discouraged by comments by any simpleton irrationalists, who might be hiding in the bush (like a pack of wolves under their irresponsibility disguised pseudonyms) and always ready to jump on anything that they feel that it might not be suiting their “taste” or “irrationalism” or “groupthink” or “agenda” like this one, an expression without comprehension of other people’s free-speech provision:

QUOTE (RobDegraves @ Jun 26 2009, 03:09 PM)
That was weird and pointless.  Non sequitur anyone?  Sheesh...


The one “irrationalist-like” comment that is referring to this new member’s post, as quoted below:

QUOTE (David Goldburn @ Jun 26 2009, 01:45 PM)
My travels of the length and breadth of the land of Israel in the framework for updating our database include amongst them many emotional moments. This past week the Olam Hatorahstaff was propelled to Tiberias, a Torah city from the past that was reigned through its strength and in its glory. The warm days of summer have already arrived in Tiberias and the other holiday cities bringing the first waves of vacationers. Torah? What will be? The answer is found in the following story.

The feeling was overwhelming when entering the newly refurbished Karliner Shteibel in the home of Rabbi Menachem Mendel of Vitebsk,z"l and hearing and seeing the voices of Torah reverberating throughout. It is a breathtaking sight seeing a Jew ignoring the outside attraction and instead choosing to spend his time studying Torah. It is exhilarating to stand in the Shteibel that sits on the edge of the Kinneret River and focus your hearing to the song of learning. We brought out a camera with which we utilized to capture this emotional moment.

During these days when we hear about anti-Semitic attacks in the Diaspora (for ex, this week in France), and in a time when the security situation in Israel is not at its best the need for advocates is awakened. At this moment when the summer spiritual ills are beginning, we all have the ability to be advocates for all of Klal Yisrael.

Since Olam Hatorah was established to be involved in goodness and in correctness, we are only involved in actions that have benefit and kindness for the Jewish heritage. Therefore, we are asking from everyone to send us pictures that convey Torah and good deeds.

And, our prayers are that the good and benevolence that is publicized should seal the mouths of our accusers and of our enemies and that we will be entitled to witness the coming of Mashiach speedily in our days, Amen.


Specifically, RobDegraves, if you are not one of the malicious irrationalists around, in this PhysForum, whom I tried to characterize above, you would recognize that my “point of clarification” is not directed to you per se; but to new members so that they could or would be aware of the fact, that there is a pack of “irrationalist wolves” who are persistently attempting to prey on posters who may have different philosophical perspectives than theirs, in this open and dynamic PhysForum. Since you did raise the irrationalist-like kind of question above, let me see if I could clarify it, with you, as follows:

I thought David Goldburn might have had come across (by reading) my June 25 response to a series of articles on “Can religion be replaced?” here: http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/be...gion-philosophy (GuardianUK) and let me quote the June 25 response en masse, for your convenience, below:

QUOTE (With minor edits)
RE: Why "religiosity" but not "religion" is irreplaceable in our mind!?*

[*This commentary was originally prepared in response to HE Baber's June 22 essay here: http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/be...gion-philosophy “Religion is irreplaceable;” but I found that it was closed for comments this morning, so I now post it under Ophelia Benson's June 25 essay here: http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/be...-ophelia-benson “No substitute,” an essay which basically articulates the same argument as Baber's intellectual position, both philosophically and conventionally!?]

Preamble: Although HE Baber's conclusion -- by her conventional and philosophical arguments -- is at best inconclusive, as she writes:

QUOTE
This isn't to say that religious experience provides evidence for religious claims. That is controversial.[1] But the persistence of religious belief is readily explicable – even if we recognise that science in principle offers a complete explanation of natural phenomena.[2]

Whether true or false, religion is irreplaceable.[3]


I wish to expand her arguments (as referenced 1-3 above) to be more scientifically and definitively, below:

1] By modern philosophical and scientific observations and arguments, this claim is not controversial at all: As anyone's religious experience (or religiosity) does provide evidence for one's own religious claims, within oneself, or in one's own belief (or spirituality).

This is because religiosity is a function of the religious spirituality (or mind), whereby the religious claims can only be affirmed within (or felt spiritually real) in one's own imaginative or religious-creative mind.

Therefore the evidence of one's belief (or faith) is the religiosity that one has felt and experienced within oneself, after acquiring and identifying with one's own specific religious belief-system, and practicing it, ritually and fervently, so as to affirm it.

(This is also the undifferentiated view of religiosity and religion that Benson tries to argue that there would be "no substitute" for "religion" rather than "religiosity"!?)

2] By the advanced neural imaging technology, neuroscience has revealed that religiosity is a natural function (or phenomenon) in our brain, as observed and explained in 1 above; and therefore,

3] It is true that religiosity -- our innate longing for religion or spiritual function or spirituality in general -- is "irreplaceable" (as in Baber's argument) or "no substitute" (as in Benson's argument); whereas my argument is that all religions are replaceable (or convertible) from one's belief-system to another voluntarily (as those in religious converts) or none at all (as those in agnostics and/or atheists or in secular thinkers, scholars, etc who may believe in no religions at all)!

And that would be my differentiated religion-religiosity argument: In other words, as I analyzed in my book Gods, Genes, Conscience before (linked below) that all religions are the socio-intellectual products of ourselves worldwide; and all of our intellectual products are adaptable and changeable in our active and creative minds and cultures, including our thoughts, symbolisms, philosophies, languages, sciences, religions, etc that are all learned and created in and by our own cultures that have had all begun to accrue, grow, spread, and evolve, spiritually and intellectually, since over 50 thousand years ago on Earth -- especially those creations of our religious matters that I recently discussed here: http://www.nature.com/news/2009/130509/ful...=2#last-comment "Ancient Venus rewrites history books -- RE: The Origins of Spirituality and Sexuality!?" (NatureUK; May 16); and here: http://www.sciam.com/podcast/episode.cfm?i...is-god-09-03-11 "Where Is God? -- RE: Where are the thoughts of God coming from!?" (ScientificAmerican; March 22); etc.

Best wishes, Mong 6/25/9usct2:03p; author "Decoding Scientism" and "Consciousness & the Subconscious" (works in progress since July 2007), "Gods, Genes, Conscience" (2006: http://www.iuniverse.com/bookstore/book_de...isbn=0595379907 ) and "Gods, Genes, Conscience: Global Dialogues Now" (blogging avidly since 2006: http://www2.blogger.com/profile/18303146609950569778 ).


After reading this, and resonating it -- especially my argument 1 on spirituality above -- David Goldburn probably tracked this “dialogue and reconciliation” on science and religion thread down; and appropriately posted his “freedom of expression of religiosity” herein above as a new PhysForum member.

As such, in my opinion and understanding of these “religion” and “religiosity” or “spirituality” issues worldwide: a “self-expression of spirituality” is not “weird” nor “pointless” nor “non sequitur” at all; but an important “free speech” issue that I have been always encouraging readers of this dynamic PhysForum to dialogue, express, and/or reconcile within their own understanding of “religion” and “science” matters -- at all times -- ever since the start of this global “dialogue and reconciliation” thread herein.

So, welcome David Goldburn and other readers, as long as every member shall observe and respect each own intellectual and spiritual “freedom of speech with responsibility” issues; and above all, the quality and integrity of this PhysForum are depending on the reader-poster’s self-disciplinary, self-respectability, self-responsibility, golden rules! More specifically, I just presented my critical views on these “free speech” and “good science journalism” issues here: http://network.nature.com/groups/naturenew...e=2#reply-14165 “End of the line for science journalism? -- RE: Hardly!” (NatureNetworkUK; July 4) as quoted en masse below:

QUOTE (With minor edits)
RE: End of the line for science journalism? -- Hardly!

@Maxine: I wish to argue that this is not the end of the line for science journalism -- for as long as the self-aware journalists would adhere to this motto: Science journalism shall exist for the good journalism’s sake, in as long as STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) shall persist in societies worldwide!

Since the Industrial Revolution, STEM have indeed been advancing globally, as exemplified by the current widespread of the Internet connectivity, a scientific fait accompli that has become an ubiquitous tool, for writing and disseminating journalism of all sorts (good and bad) worldwide, generally to the reaches of individuals, who are hungry for new information and knowledge that are essential to their both intellectual and spiritual educations and developments and growths-- the twin innate survivalisms that have had been driving our unique humanisms, worldwide, since over 50 thousand years ago; and that journalisms will never end, for as long as there are humans like us (scientists, journalists, etc) residing on this unique planet Earth!

As such, any self-conscientious journalists shall comprehend the current world readership and its appetite; and keep upgrading and maintaining their own, integral, journalist objectivity, honesty, integrity, quality, etc; for the fact that at the end of the day:  All journalisms (good or bad) will ultimately reflect the integral mentality and character of the journalists, themselves (eg, think of late Nature editor Sir John Maddox); and therefore, all good science journalists shall adhere to their existential journalist motto (as described above) at all times!

Consequently, should any journalists (or scientists) attempt to venture out of their own writing objectivity and integrity, by crossing over the line of “science writing” into “sensational journalism” or “irrationalism” -- as those examples that I recently analyzed here: http://blogs.nature.com/news/thegreatbeyon...1.html#comments "Science writer waits on legal advice in libel case -- RE: Simon Singh vs. the BCA -- How a “big bang” jolt could be defused into a “whimper” in the current fad/bad science writing industry!?" (NatureBlogsUK; May 20) and here: http://network.nature.com/people/scurry/bl...y#comment-38334 "Stephen Curry: I don’t know what to say -- RE: The Nature editorial: Unjust burdens of proof -- A counterpoint analysis!” (NatureNetworkUK; June 15) -- that would be the day when their “good science journalism” will end -- or maybe will end in one of the British royal courts!? Caveat lector!

Best wishes, Mong 7/4/9usct2:37p; author Decoding Scientism and Consciousness & the Subconscious (works in progress since July 2007), Gods, Genes, Conscience:
http://www.iuniverse.com/bookstore/book_de...isbn=0595379907 (iUniverse; 2006), and Gods, Genes, Conscience: Global Dialogues Now: http://www2.blogger.com/profile/18303146609950569778 (blogging avidly since 2006).


Meanwhile, back in this PhysForum, I found yet another new member ToeQuestor’s post on “Science and the Old/New Intellectual Culture” to be quite interesting here: http://www.physforum.com/index.php?showtop...10&#entry418687 in HenisDov’s “Life’s drive and purpose: Choice of our life’s purpose is ours” thread therein.

Whereas along with these lines of thinking or “rationalism” elsewhere -- especially on “humanism vs. irrationalism” issues worldwide -- I also made a comment on the last article (by Caspar Melville, editor of New Humanist) in the Guardian’s “Can religion be replaced?” series (linked above) on June 28; and let me quote that commentary en masse below:

QUOTE (With minor edits)
RE: "New humanism" should comprehend and include "religionism" in its curriculum!

Whether Caspar Melville realized it or not: In the vast development and evolution of our human intellectual and spiritual histories worldwide, "new humanism" should now be representing the vast philosophies of "human nature and mind," one that must begin to understand and include "religionism" (a philosophy of religion or theology that had predated "old humanism" of the Renaissance in Europe; and religionism has been spreading worldwide since the late 15th century)!

Whereas "new atheism" -- especially one ill-philosophized nor scientific Dawkinsism which exclusively focuses on ill-defining or mocking or attacking on religion or theism as in "The God Delusion" -- is not a humanist philosophy of conscience, at all; but an "irrationalism" in our human existentialism at most extreme, that the New Humanist should have had not encouraged or propagated, has Melville (as its editor) had not been lack of erudition of our global intellectual and spiritual humanisms, so as to meaningfully mediate those all too demeaning or dehumanizing "new atheism without conscience" vs. "theism or God" debates, as exemplified in these pages, and elsewhere, before.

As I explained before here: http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/be...89-7d465a8b0e09 "No substitute (Religion is irreplaceable) -- RE: Why "religiosity" but not "religion" is irreplaceable in our mind!?" (GuardianUK; June 25) that religionism (our imagining of religion or God) and religiosity (our innate aspiration for religion or spirituality could not -- and will not -- be extinguished, at anytime soon, by force or ridicule, as one God-mocking campaign that is currently pursued by the "new atheists without conscience" worldwide)!

As such, "new humanism" (as one pursued by Melville above) shall now begin to explore "religionism" with our modern scientific thinking and methods, while recognizing that religionism is just an idiosyncratic yearning that could and would transcend and inspire human excellence and meaningful existentialism, worldwide; whereas "new atheism" (especially Dawkinsism) which uses its immature philosophical and pseudoscientific thinking (or scientism in general) will still persist and insist on mischaracterizing and attacking on "religionism" as someone else's "simpleton belief in supernaturalism"!?

Consequently, by modern philosophical and scientific observations and arguments, "new atheism" is scientism at best: with which neo-atheists will persistently abuse science (especially their misreading of Darwinism) so as to mischaracterize and attack on religionism as supernaturalism, while any keen-eyed modern humanists, philosophers, scholars, etc shall fully differentiate and recognize the fact that both science and Darwinism are completely neutral on such idiosyncratic matters, such as, religionism (in particular) and/or spirituality (in general)!  This is why "new humanism" (if it is indeed a philosophy of humanities at all) must understand and include "religionism" in its curriculum; otherwise the so-called neo-humanists (like those simpleton neo-atheists) could and would lose their own "humanity" in the process of ignoring the human spirits or "spirituality" as a whole, since our humanities began to emanate, accrue, grow, spread, and evolve over 50 thousand years ago on this unique planet Earth!

Best wishes, Mong 6/28/9usct2:25p; author Decoding Scientism and Consciousness & the Subconscious (works in progress since July 2007), Gods, Genes, Conscience (iUniverse; January 2006), and Gods, Genes, Conscience: Global Dialogues Now (blogging avidly since February 2006).


Last, but not least, I just received an email from the Templeton Foundation which announces, as quoted below:

QUOTE (With minor edits)
RE: VIDEO: Robert Wright, with Ross Douthat, on “The Evolution of God” -- [A literary point of view!?*]

Robert Wright's new book The Evolution of God landed on the cover of yesterday's New York Times Book Review (June 28). The reviewer, psychologist Paul Bloom of Yale, called it a "brilliant" book but also said that Wright's views are "provocative and controversial." As he observed, "There is something here to annoy almost everyone."

Wright was the featured speaker at a Templeton Book Forum event in New York City on June 18th, where he discussed The Evolution of God with Ross Douthat of the New York Times. Video clips from their informative, amusing exchange is now available on the Templeton Foundation's YouTube channel, which you can find here.

Be sure to watch the final clip, "Is there salvation in liberal theology?" The punchline, at the very end, is worth the wait.


Gary Rosen, Chief External Affairs Officer, John Templeton Foundation


[*Specifically, Newguy, if you are reading this email, any comments on Robert Wright’s new book The Evolution of God from your biblical perspective!?]


Thank you all for your kind attention and cooperation in this matter. Happy reading, scrutinizing, introspecting, and enlightening worldwide! smile.gif

Best wishes, Mong 7/5/9usct3:29p; author Decoding Scientism and Consciousness & the Subconscious (works in progress since July 2007), Gods, Genes, Conscience (iUniverse; January 2006), and Gods, Genes, Conscience: Global Dialogues Now (blogging avidly since February 2006).


--------------------
1) “Gods, Genes, Conscience: Global Dialogues Now” a simple blog "Wishing all of us, living in harmony, creatively and constructively, in this beautiful World of Today and beyond—we Each are primed by our shared DNA and associated Molecules, having only one Life to live; one Heart to beat and love; one Mind to cherish responsibly worldwide. Thank you."

2) “Gods, Genes, Conscience” a 2006 book with self-explanatory subtitle “A Socio-Intellectual Survey of our Dynamic Mind, Life, all Creations in Between and Beyond, on Earth—or, A Critical Reader’s Theory of Everything: Past, Present, Future; in Continuum, ad Infinitum” will guide Readers to your own soul-searching Answers to the who/what/where/when/why/how Inquiries of the origins/creations/meanings of our life/mind/intelligence/compassion/selves, etc on Earth, today and beyond.

3) “Decoding Scientism” a book I’m working on now since July 2007; meanwhile wishing all “Happy reading, scrutinizing, enlightening at all times!”
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Meem
Posted: Jul 5 2009, 08:48 PM


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A rather astute observation from someone WITH a PhD on someone who "claims" to be working on one. The visually obvious, is not very complicated to point out, unless the person it's being pointed out to is blind.


--------------------
"I would rather be a lucky fool than a deliberate one."
--- Meem ---
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Grumpy
Posted: Jul 5 2009, 09:17 PM


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'Isn't it enough to see that a garden is beautiful without having to
believe that there are fairies at the bottom of it too?'

Douglas Adams (1952-2001)

"Imagine, with John Lennon, a world with no religion. Imagine
no suicide bombers, no 9/11, no 7/7, no Crusades, no witch-hunts,
no Gunpowder Plot, no Indian partition, no Israeli/Palestinian
wars, no Serb/Croat/Muslim massacres, no persecution of Jews
as 'Christ-killers', no Northern Ireland 'troubles', no 'honour
killings', no shiny-suited bouffant-haired televangelists fleecing
gullible people of their money ('God wants you to give till it
hurts'). Imagine no Taliban to blow up ancient statues, no public
beheadings of blasphemers, no flogging of female skin for the crime
of showing an inch of it."

Richard Dawkins, "The God Delusion"

"I don't try to imagine a personal God; it suffices to
stand in awe at the structure of the world, insofar as it
allows our inadequate senses to appreciate it."

Albert Einstein

"How is it that hardly any major religion has looked at
science and concluded, 'This is better than we thought!
The Universe is much bigger than our prophets said,
grander, more subtle, more elegant'? Instead they say, 'No,
no, no! My god is a little god, and I want him to stay that
way.' A religion, old or new, that stressed the magnificence
of the Universe as revealed by modern science might
be able to draw forth reserves of reverence and awe hardly
tapped by the conventional faiths."

Carl Sagan

"Some people have views of God that are so broad and
flexible that it is inevitable that they will find God
wherever they look for him. One hears it said that 'God is
the ultimate' or 'God is our better nature' or 'God is the
universe.' Of course, like any other word, the word 'God'
can be given any meaning we like. If you want to say that
'God is energy,' then you can find God in a lump of
coal."

Steve Weinberg

This post has been edited by Grumpy on Jul 5 2009, 09:19 PM


--------------------
Rationality, logic, and civil debate fail when confronted with blunt stupidity. Kaeroll

Nature is not constrained by your lack of imagination.

"I received your letter of June 10th. I have never talked to a Jesuit priest in my life and I am astonished by the audacity to tell such lies about me. From the viewpoint of a Jesuit priest I am, of course, and have always been an atheist." Albert Einstein, letter to Guy H. Raner Jr, July 2, 1945

“Admittedly, people of a theological bent are often chronically incapable of distinguishing what is true from what they’d like to be true.” Richard Dawkins.

"Fear of God is not the beginning of wisdom, but it's end." Clarence Darrow

"Pantheism is sexed-up atheism. Deism is watered-down
theism." Richard Dawkins
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RobDegraves
Posted: Jul 5 2009, 10:08 PM


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QUOTE
A rather astute observation from someone WITH a PhD on someone who "claims" to be working on one. The visually obvious, is not very complicated to point out, unless the person it's being pointed out to is blind.


Another pointless insult by someone who has nothing useful to say.




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"Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts. "

Daniel Patrick “Pat” Moynihan
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ToeQuestor
Posted: Jul 5 2009, 10:24 PM


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Christopher Hitchens Pays Us a Suprise Visit

Until relatively recently, the argument between theists and atheists or (to adopt my own self-description) between theists and anti-theists, was largely based on two implicitly shared assumptions. The first was that science and religion belonged, in the famous words of Stephen Jay Gould, to “non-overlapping magisteria.” The second was that science and reason could not actually disprove the existence of a deity or a creator: they could no more than show that there was no good or sufficient evidence to justify such a belief.

One sometimes suspects that the acceptance of the “non-overlapping” verdict was a cause of some relief to many non-scientists such as myself, who prefer to argue with religion from different premises. But with the arrival on the scene of new information, the already-revived and extended argument for unbelief has undergone a sort of quantitative and qualitative acceleration. One side in this dispute is going to have to yield.

I’d like to say a word for the lay or non-scientist infidel community. Until 1834 the very word “scientist” was not in common circulation. Men like Sir Isaac Newton were considered, and considered themselves, to be “natural philosophers”: men of scientific bent to be sure, but men of a wider and deeper learning as well. Arguments about greater cosmic purposes were all of a piece with calculations and experiments, and the tyranny of specialization had not imposed itself on us. As a result, by the way, many scientists held completely “unscientific” views. Newton himself was a secret alchemist who believed that the Pope was anti-Christ and that the true dimensions of the Temple of Solomon might yield crucial findings. Joseph Priestley, the Unitarian discoverer of oxygen, was a devotee of the phlogiston theory. Alfred Russel Wallace liked nothing better than a good spiritualist séance.

It is not really until the figure of Albert Einstein (and perhaps Bertrand Russell also) that we start to find that very powerful synthesis between scientific method and a more general “humanism”; a synthesis basing itself upon reason and daring to make the connection between physical and natural evidence and the conclusion that an ethical life, as well as a rational one, is best lived on the assumption that there is no supernatural dimension.

In recent years, a number of scientists – physicists, biologists, neurologists, and others – have become, in effect, “public intellectuals”. They have transcended the bounds of their respective disciplines in order to defend the general proposition that free scientific inquiry, and the sort of society that can both support it and benefit from it, is worth defending from the assaults of ignorance and bigotry and terrorism. There is now a wide cultural resistance to those who would force stultifying creationist nonsense into the schoolroom, or those whose only interest in science is the plagiarism of technology for the purposes of criminal “faith-based” violence.

Attending a recent conference that included many such figures, I was interested to find that, when their experience of debating with the faithful was “pooled,” there was really only one argument from the other side that was considered to have any interest or bear any weight. This was the question of “why is there something rather than nothing?” with its attendant suggestion that the laws of physics and the universe have been somehow “fine-tuned” in order to create the conditions most optimal for life.

I first came across this “argument” in a book published in 1993. Credible Christianity: The Gospel in Contemporary Culture, was written by a man named Hugh Montefiore whom I slightly knew and rather liked. A senior bishop of the Church of England, he had been converted from Judaism as a schoolboy by the appearance of a white-robed figure who commanded him to “Follow Me.” Here is how the bishop phrased the matter:

For example, if the strong force which keeps the nucleus of an atom together had been only 2 per cent stronger, the universe would have blown up: if it were slightly weaker, nuclear fusion, which keeps the stars burning, would not have happened. There are many such coincidences, signal examples to the eyes of faith of the wisdom and providence of the Creator.

…There are fairly comprehensive rebuttals of this attempt to update the old argument from design, which was originally cast in more purely terrestrial terms by William Paley in his Natural Theology. It becomes ever-clearer that the scientific and the supernatural explanations of matters are not so much “non-overlapping” as doomed to overlap, and to contradict one another, or perhaps better say, to be incompatible or irreconcilable with one another.

Let me adduce a couple more examples of my own – or rather, adaptations of my own from the work of others – to support the case that the god hypothesis has actually been conclusively discredited. Suppose we take the hypothesis at face value for a moment. Edwin Hubble long ago demonstrated that the universe is exploding away from its “big bang” starting point. Persuaded by the “red light” evidence that this was indeed true, the scientific community nonetheless thought, for what might be called Newtonian reasons, that this rate of expansion would slow down over time. To the contrary, and as Lawrence Krauss had predicted, it has now been found that the universe is exploding away from itself at a rapidly increasing rate. Among the non-trivial consequences of this will be that we shall one day be unable to observe anything in the whirling galaxies that will any longer confirm that the “big bang” ever took place. Meanwhile, the Andromeda galaxy, already visible to the naked eye in the night sky, is headed directly towards our own and will collide with it in five billion years. What sort of “fine tuning” is this? (Perhaps the same tuning that has made all the other planets just in the tiny suburb of our own solar system either too hot or too cold to support life.) At least, however, it provides a good demonstration of how a great deal of “nothing” is all set to come out of our brief “something.”

Or take a quite different order of instance, again from the sort of scientific knowledge and discovery that has not been available to us for more than a few years. Now that we have mapped the human genome, we know that all our common ancestors left Africa about 60,000 years ago, and that we all share the genetic markers to prove it. Allow me to quote from an essay by Spencer Wells, the director of the Genographic Project at the National Geographic:

What set these migrations in motion? Climate change – today’s big threat –
seems to have had a long history of tormenting our species. Around 70,000
years ago it was getting very nippy in the northern part of the globe, with ice
sheets bearing down on Seattle and New York; this was the last Ice Age. At
that time, though, our species, Homo sapiens, was still limited to Africa; we
were very much homebodies. But the encroaching Ice Age, perhaps coupled
with the eruption of a super-volcano named Toba, in Sumatra, dried out the
tropics and nearly decimated the early human population. While Homo
sapiens can be traced to around 200,000 years ago in the fossil record, it is
remarkably difficult to find an archaeological record of our species between
80,000 and 50,000 years ago, and genetic data suggest that the population
eventually dwindled to as few as 2,000 individuals. Yes, 2000 – fewer than fit
into many symphony halls. We were on the brink of extinction.


Ponder this arresting finding, even with its misuse of the word “decimate” (which means “reduce by one tenth” rather than “eradicate”). There are, really, only two ways of assimilating and analysing it. The first way is to see the survival and escape and later population spread of the endangered 2,000 as a miracle: a form of the Exodus story that alas never managed to get written on any tablets or papyri. The second way is to remember something else that we didn’t know until recently: that almost 99 per cent of all species ever recorded as having lived on this planet DID become extinct. If you bear that in mind, then any author of any miracle must also have been the deliberate author of the ice-sheets and the Sumatran explosion – “the wisdom and providence of the Creator,” as Bishop Montefiore put it so fulsomely – and then have stayed his hand until just the point when the population of his preferred creatures dipped below the 2,000 mark. That could, I suppose, be called “fine tuning.” It could also be thought of as a very laborious and roundabout and inefficient and incompetent (and somewhat cruel and capricious) method of ensuring human survival.

In other words, none of these god-centred “hypotheses” can do any more than replace, or attempt to restate, the original fallacy of the “design” arguments. Meanwhile, our advances in knowledge and technique simply place these efforts under an ever more pitiless and skeptical gaze. Now we know roughly the age of our species. Richard Dawkins has put it as high as a quarter of a million years, while Francis Collins (the extremely genial and decent C.S. Lewis fan who oversaw the Human Genome Project) once in my hearing said that it could be as little as a hundred thousand. No matter. Let us take the lower figure, and use it to illustrate the truth of revelation. On this model, our species emerged and for tens of thousands of years cowered in the few climatic refuges of the globe that were hospitable to it:

Life expectancy? Perhaps a couple of decades.

Infant mortality? Extremely high.

Death from tooth decay or diarrhea? Commonplace.

Terror of micro-organisms in general? Intense.

Fear of death from earthquake, tsunami, volcano and flood? Extreme, and again compounded by ignorance.

Wars between tribes and clans, for food and territory? Grim and frequent.

Religion? Not known to us, but probably involving human and animal sacrifice to propitiate weird idols.

And for a minimum of ninety-five thousand years, heaven watches this with folded arms! Stony, lofty indifference attends the striving and the suffering and the agonising deaths of infants and innocents, to say nothing of the sadistic and genocidal violence and the worship of bogus shrines and false gods. And then, at long last, after nine thousand and five hundred decades or so (in instant in evolutionary time, to be sure, but quite a long time for frightened mammals), it is decided that heaven must intervene. By direct revelation. But only in certain illiterate and backward parts of the Middle East. As I say, you may choose to believe this if you so desire, but that is what you must now believe. Until an amazingly recent date, science would not have compelled you to face the absurd consequences of your faith in quite this way.

In any case, there is a big difference between being a deist and a theist. You may still, to your own satisfaction, decide that none of nature’s observable processes could have got under way without a prime mover. But alas, all your real work as a religious person is still ahead of you. How can you get from this prime mover or first cause to a deity who cares who you sleep with, what you eat, what holy day you observe or how you mutilate your own (or your children’s) genitalia? From the big bang of the great beginning to the small and sordid bang of the virgin-hunting suicide bomber is still quite a step. Nobody has even come close to showing how this step could ever be taken. And it is highly unlikely, now, that anybody ever will. The simple reason for this is that we have better and clearer and more impressive explanations for things, as well as explanations that are more beautiful, elegant and harmonious. To look the facts in the face is not to surrender to despair and nihilism: we know that the world will come to an end and we even know how, but it is only the religious who look forward to this event with relish and relief.

The challenge of our age is the same that confronted all previous ages. How shall we live the good life and how shall we know virtue? In the past millennia of primeval ignorance, pattern-seeking primates proposed a totalitarian solution to this question and threw all the responsibility onto a supreme dictator who demanded to be loved and feared at the same time. The story of human emancipation is the narrative of our liberation from this evil myth, and from the greedy, ambitious primates who sought (as they still seek) to rule in its name. Many forces have contributed to this emancipation, from philosophers to satirists, but it is perhaps to the natural and human sciences that we have come to owe the most..

(Thanks Christopher. Responders can yell at you, not me.)
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Physfan
Posted: Jul 6 2009, 12:14 AM


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More distended, contorted nonsense from the Mung Bean, desperately clutching at whatever straw is available. Baber is, essentially, saying that the persistence of religion stems from humanities' stupidity but, alas, the irony of that simple proposition elludes the Mung Man.
Never one to say something with one word when twenty will, in his own mind, give the appearance of greater intellect, Mungo tangentially re-orients his bizarre position that some sky fairy actually exists. He does give considerable credence to Einstein's proposition that human stupidity is, indeed, infinite.

Physfan


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RobDegraves
Posted: Jul 6 2009, 01:03 AM


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Where exactly is Mong H Tan's PHD from and what has he been up to. All I can find is his two books, advertised only by himself, reviewed only by himself. He claims to have been a pioneer in cancer research, yet I find no mention of this pioneering work. Maybe I just don't know where to look?


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Physfan
Posted: Jul 6 2009, 01:04 AM


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QUOTE
Maybe I just don't know where to look?

I believe you will only find it inside his head.

This post has been edited by Physfan on Jul 6 2009, 01:05 AM


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Fanning the flames of reason.
Scepticism is healthy; it may save your life.
"Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the the universe." A. Einstein
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ToeQuestor
Posted: Jul 6 2009, 02:21 AM


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The Knowing

“Into this Universe, and why not knowing,
Nor whence, like water willy-nilly flowing:
And out of it, as wind along the waste,”
Omar “knew not whither, willy-nilly blowing…”

Now I’m knowing, that out of this muddle,
Indeed, it’s that chaos that frees me to be,
For it’s all of disorder in disarray,
An ultimate disorganized confusion,
Whence all sprung, banged, and exploded,
With no hint or trace of order, law or plan;

‘Twas mayhem, bedlam, and pandemonium,
Wreaking havoc upon the turmoil of a tumult,
Heaping high upon, a commotion of disruption,
In the utter fullness of the uproaring upheaval…

…The maelstrom to end all messes and shambles,
The lawless free-for-all of total energetic anarchy,
Entropy crowned the King of the great hullabaloo,
That cosmic hoopla from which all hell broke loose.

Never there was to punish one for not even knowing,
Why you are here in this world so much growing,
That become here all so willy-nilly going.
As life’s rose, outspread your fragrance blowing!

Whither flowing free,whether knowing, or not,
Hitherto, I know not whence, but am whither going,
Willy-nilly, hence that’s all there is to knowing…
Hence thither forth I go on hither flowing to find
That I was ever more free to be in body and mind.

It is of Ovid’s “rude and indigested mass:
The lifeless lump, unfashion'd, and unfram'd,
Of jarring seeds; and justly Chaos nam'd.

No sun was lighted up, the world to view;
No moon did yet her blunted horns renew:
Nor yet was Earth suspended in the sky,
Nor pois'd, did on her own foundations lye:

Nor seas about the shores their arms had thrown;
But earth, and air, and water, were in one.
Thus air was void of light, and earth unstable,
And water's dark abyss unnavigable.”

So it is that we the living might hereby agree,
To live a being that is much more intense,
To leap toward higher orders of actuality,
To revel in the glories of this conscious life,
To attain each minute a more euphoric joy…

And to bring this forth to all,
The increased intensity
Of free experience,
And build on it, etc..,

Ever growing;
Forever, amen

The basis of the Universe was forever here,
For nothing could make itself from Nothing at all;
Such, a state of Nothing could never be, for there IS
Something—reality that our being interprets.

This then is the secret of the universe,
Knowing of that which underlies all reality:
Fundamental, absolute, indestructible,
Everpresent, indeterminate, and pervasive.
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Mong H Tan, PhD
  Posted: Jul 19 2009, 06:07 PM


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RE: Point of information: Beware of plagiarism!?

QUOTE (ToeQuestor @ Jul 5 2009, 10:24 PM)
Christopher Hitchens Pays Us a Suprise Visit

Until relatively recently, the argument between theists and atheists or (to adopt my own self-description) between theists and anti-theists, was largely based on two implicitly shared assumptions. The first was that science and religion belonged, in the famous words of Stephen Jay Gould, to “non-overlapping magisteria.” The second was that science and reason could not actually disprove the existence of a deity or a creator: they could no more than show that there was no good or sufficient evidence to justify such a belief.

One sometimes suspects that the acceptance of the “non-overlapping” verdict was a cause of some relief to many non-scientists such as myself, who prefer to argue with religion from different premises. But with the arrival on the scene of new information, the already-revived and extended argument for unbelief has undergone a sort of quantitative and qualitative acceleration. One side in this dispute is going to have to yield.

I’d like to say a word for the lay or non-scientist infidel community. Until 1834 the very word “scientist” was not in common circulation. Men like Sir Isaac Newton were considered, and considered themselves, to be “natural philosophers”: men of scientific bent to be sure, but men of a wider and deeper learning as well. Arguments about greater cosmic purposes were all of a piece with calculations and experiments, and the tyranny of specialization had not imposed itself on us. As a result, by the way, many scientists held completely “unscientific” views. Newton himself was a secret alchemist who believed that the Pope was anti-Christ and that the true dimensions of the Temple of Solomon might yield crucial findings. Joseph Priestley, the Unitarian discoverer of oxygen, was a devotee of the phlogiston theory. Alfred Russel Wallace liked nothing better than a good spiritualist séance.

It is not really until the figure of Albert Einstein (and perhaps Bertrand Russell also) that we start to find that very powerful synthesis between scientific method and a more general “humanism”; a synthesis basing itself upon reason and daring to make the connection between physical and natural evidence and the conclusion that an ethical life, as well as a rational one, is best lived on the assumption that there is no supernatural dimension.

In recent years, a number of scientists – physicists, biologists, neurologists, and others – have become, in effect, “public intellectuals”. They have transcended the bounds of their respective disciplines in order to defend the general proposition that free scientific inquiry, and the sort of society that can both support it and benefit from it, is worth defending from the assaults of ignorance and bigotry and terrorism. There is now a wide cultural resistance to those who would force stultifying creationist nonsense into the schoolroom, or those whose only interest in science is the plagiarism of technology for the purposes of criminal “faith-based” violence.

Attending a recent conference that included many such figures, I was interested to find that, when their experience of debating with the faithful was “pooled,” there was really only one argument from the other side that was considered to have any interest or bear any weight. This was the question of “why is there something rather than nothing?” with its attendant suggestion that the laws of physics and the universe have been somehow “fine-tuned” in order to create the conditions most optimal for life.

I first came across this “argument” in a book published in 1993. Credible Christianity: The Gospel in Contemporary Culture, was written by a man named Hugh Montefiore whom I slightly knew and rather liked. A senior bishop of the Church of England, he had been converted from Judaism as a schoolboy by the appearance of a white-robed figure who commanded him to “Follow Me.” Here is how the bishop phrased the matter:

For example, if the strong force which keeps the nucleus of an atom together had been only 2 per cent stronger, the universe would have blown up: if it were slightly weaker, nuclear fusion, which keeps the stars burning, would not have happened. There are many such coincidences, signal examples to the eyes of faith of the wisdom and providence of the Creator.

…There are fairly comprehensive rebuttals of this attempt to update the old argument from design, which was originally cast in more purely terrestrial terms by William Paley in his Natural Theology. It becomes ever-clearer that the scientific and the supernatural explanations of matters are not so much “non-overlapping” as doomed to overlap, and to contradict one another, or perhaps better say, to be incompatible or irreconcilable with one another.

Let me adduce a couple more examples of my own – or rather, adaptations of my own from the work of others – to support the case that the god hypothesis has actually been conclusively discredited. Suppose we take the hypothesis at face value for a moment. Edwin Hubble long ago demonstrated that the universe is exploding away from its “big bang” starting point. Persuaded by the “red light” evidence that this was indeed true, the scientific community nonetheless thought, for what might be called Newtonian reasons, that this rate of expansion would slow down over time. To the contrary, and as Lawrence Krauss had predicted, it has now been found that the universe is exploding away from itself at a rapidly increasing rate. Among the non-trivial consequences of this will be that we shall one day be unable to observe anything in the whirling galaxies that will any longer confirm that the “big bang” ever took place. Meanwhile, the Andromeda galaxy, already visible to the naked eye in the night sky, is headed directly towards our own and will collide with it in five billion years. What sort of “fine tuning” is this? (Perhaps the same tuning that has made all the other planets just in the tiny suburb of our own solar system either too hot or too cold to support life.) At least, however, it provides a good demonstration of how a great deal of “nothing” is all set to come out of our brief “something.”

Or take a quite different order of instance, again from the sort of scientific knowledge and discovery that has not been available to us for more than a few years. Now that we have mapped the human genome, we know that all our common ancestors left Africa about 60,000 years ago, and that we all share the genetic markers to prove it. Allow me to quote from an essay by Spencer Wells, the director of the Genographic Project at the National Geographic:

What set these migrations in motion? Climate change – today’s big threat –
seems to have had a long history of tormenting our species. Around 70,000
years ago it was getting very nippy in the northern part of the globe, with ice
sheets bearing down on Seattle and New York; this was the last Ice Age. At
that time, though, our species, Homo sapiens, was still limited to Africa; we
were very much homebodies. But the encroaching Ice Age, perhaps coupled
with the eruption of a super-volcano named Toba, in Sumatra, dried out the
tropics and nearly decimated the early human population. While Homo
sapiens can be traced to around 200,000 years ago in the fossil record, it is
remarkably difficult to find an archaeological record of our species between
80,000 and 50,000 years ago, and genetic data suggest that the population
eventually dwindled to as few as 2,000 individuals. Yes, 2000 – fewer than fit
into many symphony halls. We were on the brink of extinction.


Ponder this arresting finding, even with its misuse of the word “decimate” (which means “reduce by one tenth” rather than “eradicate”). There are, really, only two ways of assimilating and analysing it. The first way is to see the survival and escape and later population spread of the endangered 2,000 as a miracle: a form of the Exodus story that alas never managed to get written on any tablets or papyri. The second way is to remember something else that we didn’t know until recently: that almost 99 per cent of all species ever recorded as having lived on this planet DID become extinct. If you bear that in mind, then any author of any miracle must also have been the deliberate author of the ice-sheets and the Sumatran explosion – “the wisdom and providence of the Creator,” as Bishop Montefiore put it so fulsomely – and then have stayed his hand until just the point when the population of  his preferred creatures dipped below the 2,000 mark. That could, I suppose, be called “fine tuning.” It could also be thought of as a very laborious and roundabout and inefficient and incompetent (and somewhat cruel and capricious) method of ensuring human survival.

In other words, none of these god-centred “hypotheses” can do any more than replace, or attempt to restate, the original fallacy of the “design” arguments. Meanwhile, our advances in knowledge and technique simply place these efforts under an ever more pitiless and skeptical gaze. Now we know roughly the age of our species. Richard Dawkins has put it as high as a quarter of a million years, while Francis Collins (the extremely genial and decent C.S. Lewis fan who oversaw the Human Genome Project) once in my hearing said that it could be as little as a hundred thousand. No matter. Let us take the lower figure, and use it to illustrate the truth of revelation. On this model, our species emerged and for tens of thousands of years cowered in the few climatic refuges of the globe that were hospitable to it:

Life expectancy? Perhaps a couple of decades.

Infant mortality? Extremely high.

Death from tooth decay or diarrhea? Commonplace.

Terror of micro-organisms in general? Intense.

Fear of death from earthquake, tsunami, volcano and flood? Extreme, and again compounded by ignorance.

Wars between tribes and clans, for food and territory? Grim and frequent.

Religion? Not known to us, but probably involving human and animal sacrifice to propitiate weird idols.

  And for a minimum of ninety-five thousand years, heaven watches this with folded arms! Stony, lofty indifference attends the striving and the suffering and the agonising deaths of infants and innocents, to say nothing of the sadistic and genocidal violence and the worship of bogus shrines and false gods. And then, at long last, after nine thousand and five hundred decades or so (in instant in evolutionary time, to be sure, but quite a long time for frightened mammals), it is decided that heaven must intervene. By direct revelation. But only in certain illiterate and backward parts of the Middle East. As I say, you may choose to believe this if you so desire, but that is what you must now believe. Until an amazingly recent date, science would not have compelled you to face the absurd consequences of your faith in quite this way.

In any case, there is a big difference between being a deist and a theist. You may still, to your own satisfaction, decide that none of nature’s observable processes could have got under way without a prime mover. But alas, all your real work as a religious person is still ahead of you. How can you get from this prime mover or first cause to a deity who cares who you sleep with, what you eat, what holy day you observe or how you mutilate your own (or your children’s) genitalia? From the big bang of the great beginning to the small and sordid bang of the virgin-hunting suicide bomber is still quite a step. Nobody has even come close to showing how this step could ever be taken. And it is highly unlikely, now, that anybody ever will. The simple reason for this is that we have better and clearer and more impressive explanations for things, as well as explanations that are more beautiful, elegant and harmonious. To look the facts in the face is not to surrender to despair and nihilism: we know that the world will come to an end and we even know how, but it is only the religious who look forward to this event with relish and relief.

The challenge of our age is the same that confronted all previous ages. How shall we live the good life and how shall we know virtue? In the past millennia of primeval ignorance, pattern-seeking primates proposed a totalitarian solution to this question and threw all the responsibility onto a supreme dictator who demanded to be loved and feared at the same time. The story of human emancipation is the narrative of our liberation from this evil myth, and from the greedy, ambitious primates who sought (as they still seek) to rule in its name. Many forces have contributed to this emancipation, from philosophers to satirists, but it is perhaps to the natural and human sciences that we have come to owe the most..

(Thanks Christopher. Responders can yell at you, not me.[1])


1] Specifically, ToeQuestor, you need to be more specific when presenting your case: Is the post above, your view on Hitchens’ view on “science and religion” issues? Or you just copied and post Hitchens’ misguided view (en masse) on the issues!?

I would characterize Hitchens (as the literary polemicist in his book “God is Not Great”) as one of the 4 renowned (self-proclaimed) simpleton neo-atheists -- the other 3 being Richard Dawkins (their irrationalist-in-chief in his book “The God Delusion”), Daniel Dennett (the half-baked neo-Darwinist philosopher in his book “Breaking the Spell”), and Sam Harris (the half-baked Buddhist neuroscience polemicist in his book “The End of Faith”) -- all of whom I tried to categorically identify and describe in the “new humanism vs. irrationalism or new atheism or Dawkinsism” article above (GuardianUK; June 28) -- for their (persistently and consistently) incomprehensive world philosophies; abusive scholarships; and ill-attempted writings on the contemporary science, religion, socioeconomic and cultural issues, since their (shillingly and chillingly) rise to the post-9/11 (2001) simpleton (polemic) attacks on the (evermore complex) religionism of humanities, worldwide!

If you’ve had indeed copied Hitchens’ essay above from elsewhere, you need to present your source of reference to that article; otherwise, you would be just plagiarizing someone else’s writing -- including The Knowing post above!? -- and presenting herein (and elsewhere in this global PhysForum.com) as if it’s one of your own!? Caveat lector!

Thank you all for your kind attention and cooperation in this matter. Happy reading, scrutinizing, introspecting, and enlightening worldwide! smile.gif

Best wishes, Mong 7/19/9usct1:09p; author Decoding Scientism and Consciousness & the Subconscious (works in progress since July 2007), Gods, Genes, Conscience (iUniverse; January 2006), and Gods, Genes, Conscience: Global Dialogues Now (blogging avidly since February 2006).


--------------------
1) “Gods, Genes, Conscience: Global Dialogues Now” a simple blog "Wishing all of us, living in harmony, creatively and constructively, in this beautiful World of Today and beyond—we Each are primed by our shared DNA and associated Molecules, having only one Life to live; one Heart to beat and love; one Mind to cherish responsibly worldwide. Thank you."

2) “Gods, Genes, Conscience” a 2006 book with self-explanatory subtitle “A Socio-Intellectual Survey of our Dynamic Mind, Life, all Creations in Between and Beyond, on Earth—or, A Critical Reader’s Theory of Everything: Past, Present, Future; in Continuum, ad Infinitum” will guide Readers to your own soul-searching Answers to the who/what/where/when/why/how Inquiries of the origins/creations/meanings of our life/mind/intelligence/compassion/selves, etc on Earth, today and beyond.

3) “Decoding Scientism” a book I’m working on now since July 2007; meanwhile wishing all “Happy reading, scrutinizing, enlightening at all times!”
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RobDegraves
Posted: Jul 19 2009, 06:19 PM


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Mong H Tan

Why are you still spamming this forum?

Is it because you think you still have some shred of credibility?

At this time I believe that you are a sham by the way.

Where is your phd from?

What pioneering work have you done in cancer research?

Why is it that you are self published with no research work listed that I can find. For a "pioneer" that seems odd... don't you think?


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Mong H Tan, PhD
  Posted: Aug 2 2009, 05:15 PM


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RE: What’s mind (or never mind)!? -- Deciphering idiosyncrasies of scientific/religious rationalism vs. neo-Darwinist/ID-creationist irrationalism, in science and philosophy today!?

QUOTE (RobDegraves @ Jul 19 2009, 06:19 PM)
Mong H Tan

Why are you still spamming this forum?

Is it because you think you still have some shred of credibility?

At this time I believe that you are a sham by the way.

Where is your phd from?

What pioneering work have you done in cancer research?

Why is it that you are self published with no research work listed that I can find.  For a "pioneer" that seems odd... don't you think?


Nice try, RobDegraves, you just confirmed yourself to be one of the irrationalists herein, whom I’ve tried to characterize before above (and more below). You need to do your own homework, before presenting your self-degrading irrationalist questions! Caveat lector!



Preamble: This brought out the current confusing issues of the day: Rationalisms vs. Irrationalisms -- as referenced above!

Over the past 3 years, since the start of this open thread, the “Dialogue and Reconciliation” on science and religion issues, I’ve been learning and reading and writing quite a bit, scientifically and philosophically, which may be summarized below:

1] Categorically, by itself and as an intellectual tool of enquiry: science or religion is pure mental rationalism; by separating the mentality of each idiosyncratic matters: science is an objective rationalism; whereas religion is a subjective (hence idiosyncratic) rationalism.

Furthermore, by comprehending and complementing both idiosyncrasies, the scientific and the religious rationalisms shall comprise the whole of humanism or humanities as a whole as one which shall embrace, encompass, and compose both scientific and religious self-rationalities inside, in each of our learned selves; and thus, the term scientific and/or religious self-rationalisms, as one which Albert Einstein (1879-1955) had had in the 1930s (prophetically, self-comprehensively, and wisely) rationalized that “Science without religion is lame; religion without science is blind;” and lived his self-rationalized (intellectual and spiritual) life and work thereof accordingly, productively, harmoniously!

2] Without understanding of each and/or both the scientific and religious rationalisms, one will certainly risk rejecting or confusing or mixing up all these conceptual boundaries of our mental objectivities and/or subjectivities within; and with a confused mentality on these issues, one will definitely (more often than not) try to project (irrationally) one’s inner incomprehension, confusions, apprehensions, fears, aggressions, etc against anyone else’s self-rationalisms; hence the term irrationalism shall be to characterize anyone’s confused mental state, be it in scientism, anti-religionism, anti-theism, or otherwise!

Please note: Atheism or agnosticism, as one of the philosophies of existentialism, is not integrally anti-theism, or irrationalism; whereas neo-atheism, one which has had been reducibly distorted and abused by misreading both science and Darwinism as an anti-religion or anti-theism tool, is unequivocally irrationalism, and/or scientism par excellence of the 21st century, as one neo-atheism, which is to be further analyzed and discussed below.

3] In the conventional scientific rationalism: the method of objective (or physical) reductionism is acceptable -- and fine -- in as long as it is applied to the physical objects, as those observable matters in physical sciences: of which one generally and normally shall include all subject matters of STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics).

Whereas the physical reductionism shall not be applied to the other matters of life and mind, such as spirituality in general and subjective religiosity in particular, especially the dynamic thinking mind of our human life and condition: the only living beings, that have had evolved to be able to accrue our existential (both physical and spiritual) experiences; unlimited knowledge; memories; religions; cultures; STEM; etc, so as to categorize and understand ourselves and our environments: all that we have had inherited, since over 50 thousand years ago on this unique planet Earth -- especially at a time when our innate (subjective) mental capacity and capability had begun to create, enquire, and accrue symbolism, survivalism or religionism as an existential rationalism that had had been dealing with, and adapting to, the then still primeval, hush, and yet-unknown existentialism, that had also begun to appear, aspire, inspire, accrue, communicate, transpire, grow, spread, and evolve in all the niches, whenever and wherever our humanities and creativities could survive, generate, settle, and populate, worldwide.

4] In the traditional religious rationalism: the method of self-revelation, or belief in one’s own faith, or subjective (spiritual) cognition and imaginative creation (or fantasy) may be used and/or justified (or satisfied) within oneself; whereas such idiosyncratic satisfactions of faith, or pursuing one’s own meaning and/or purpose of life, or existentialism, or spirituality, or religiosity, shall never be externally forced, coerced, or revealed by any of the scientific method, be it by physical reductionism and/or objective rationalism, at all (please see definition 3 above).

5] Consequently, any misguided or incomprehensive or insensitive scientists, scholars, and/or philosophers -- who try to pry into and/or dictate someone else’s faith matters, or religionism, or atheism, or agnosticism -- are dubbed the irrationalist, as one who’s attempting to practice scientism as science or humanism as a whole (please see definitions 1 and 2 above)!

Likewise irrational and adulterine: regarding the idiosyncratic subjective matters of religion, any misguided or insecure religionists or theologians -- who try to use, misuse, and/or abuse any scientific method and/or data, so as to bolster their own (spiritual) credibility or credulity in their religious creation narratives (or myths or memes) or religionism -- are all irrationalists as well, in attempting to plagiarize and/or co-opt or corrupt scientific, objective, material evidence: evidence which is completely irrelevant or inconsequential to their otherwise subjective, un-provable spiritualism in general and/or religionism in particular (please see definitions 3 and 4 above)!

Thus, both the neo-Darwinist reductionism -- such as Dawkinsian rhetoric meme or scientism, or his neo-atheism or Dawkinsism -- and the Intelligent Design (ID) creationist mythology (or creationism in disguise as science) of the natural (evolutionary) lifeform complexities, are all irrationalisms messed up as science and philosophy today!

Furthermore, as defined above, both the well-disciplined STEM and Darwinism, are all (totally) neutral on idiosyncratic religious (or spiritual) or faith matters; this is because the conventional scientific method -- including Darwin’s (scientific and macro) taxonomy: his 19th-century observations, data collections, analyses, syntheses, and writings on life species, or organisms, including humans -- may not be used, misused, and/or abused, so as to deny, define, and/or dictate anyone else’s innate (spiritual) existential inquiries of the “meaning,” “purpose,” and/or “existence” of life; of self; and of ME (mind and emotion) on Earth, including our “thinking,” “fantasizing,” “imagining,” and/or “creating” of God; gods; or no gods; etc!

Ergo, the neo-Darwinist reductionism (one that attempts to dogmatize Darwinism as in Dawkinsian genetic determinism or reductionist selectionism or evolutionism) is just as diabolic as the ID-creationism (one which insists on denying the 19th-century Darwinism as the 21st-century Dawkinsism or neo-atheism or anti-theism, while without realizing that both science and Darwinism are not consequentially anti-religious, at all)!

Indeed, scientifically and philosophically, the reductionist narrow-minded Dawkinsism, does not represent, nor could it advance, the insightful broad-viewed Darwinism, at all; whereas the creator-implied ID-creationism, is not a scientific endeavor, ether -- as they both (consistently and literally) try to belittle each other’s misuse and abuse of the G-word, the implied-first cause agency in science and/or philosophy: the unidentifiable, mysterious, Intelligent Designer (or God) vs. the improbable, mystifying, Immortal Replicator (or Richard Dawkins’ “The Selfish Gene” and “meme” fallacy) -- a bad/fad (anti vs. pseudo) science (first cause) derogatory rhetoric (of the 20th century) that even Charles Darwin (1809-82) had never trained to imagine; nor set himself up, and out, to mythologize, identify, prove, and/or disprove (empirically) in his entire scientific and intellectual life, ever since his (delightful and faithful) embarking on the (around the world) HMS Beagle voyage (1831-36); whereupon and whereby he dutifully served as a broad-minded, curiously self-inquisitive, young, naturalist-taxonomist: both observant and insightful; critical and agnostic; self-disciplined and scientific; etc -- never speaking ill nor mocking anyone else’s religions, including his (wife to be) Emma’s and the Beagle ship-captain’s Christian faiths, beliefs, and values, etc!

Thus, caveat lector: the scientific and critical Darwinism has never been about anti-religious or moral issues; but it’s about the solid (observable) taxonomic science of life species, or organisms, on Earth -- as Darwinism had never been about the first cause theory of life or theology: whether genes or God has had indeed created the life species, including humans, on Earth!

To read Darwinism otherwise, is to distort and/or abuse science and Darwinism; especially in Dawkinsism, where Darwinism has had been used (irrationally and unscientifically) to attack and/or ridicule religionism (please see Dawkins’ 2006 book “The God Delusion”); while the ID-creationists have had also (irrationally and uncritically) responded to Dawkinsism (especially of his 1976 book “The Selfish Gene”) by (irrelevantly and unscientifically) denouncing the 19th-century Darwinism as being (biochemically and molecularly) unscientific (please see Michael Behe’s 1996 book “Darwin’s Black Box”)!

In retrospect, Charles Darwin had never trained to study and observe life species, at the microbial level (nor from a fundamentalist-creationist perspective); let alone at the molecular, or biochemical, or spiritual level -- it was the armchair neo-Darwinist Richard Dawkins, who has had (unscientifically and uncharacteristically) reduced Darwinism (of the grand broad evolutionary idea) to his self-misguided narrow-view; or molecular, or biochemical, or genetic “selectionism” or “evolutionism” of “The Selfish Gene” and his rhetoric “meme” fantasies of the 20th century!

As such, while without presenting any specific (underlying) biogenetic mechanisms of their first cause fantasies; while both (unscientifically and disingenuously) attempting to mislead their (respective) unsuspecting readers, so as to agonize, embitter, and belittle each other’s irrationalisms: in their self-degrading spirits and intellects; in ridicules and anguishes; in confusions and fears; in science and religion; etc -- putting their (science and philosophy) carts in front of their (readership) horses, so to speak -- whereas to the eyes of (rationally) self-disciplined and well-read observers, including theologians, religionists, scholars, scientists, philosophers, etc -- both the neo-Darwinist reductionism and the ID-creationism, are the twin diabolically antagonistic, self-contradictory, and self-defeatist irrationalisms (scientific, spiritual, and/or religious) that are (mutually and unconscionably) dehumanizing each other at most extremes, in our otherwise holistic humanist existentialism, in both science and religion matters; as one that Einstein had had envisioned in the 1930s (quoted above); and one that I’ve had been (persistently and consistently) analyzing and presenting in this open thread, as well as elsewhere in this dynamic PhysForum (PhysOrg.com); like one in the immediate post above, that is to be expanded and discussed below:

QUOTE (Mong H Tan @ PhD,Jul 19 2009, 06:07 PM)
RE: Point of information: Beware of plagiarism!?

I would characterize Hitchens (as the literary polemicist in his book “God is Not Great”) as one of the 4 renowned (self-proclaimed) simpleton neo-atheists -- the other 3 being Richard Dawkins (their irrationalist-in-chief in his book “The God Delusion”), Daniel Dennett (the half-baked neo-Darwinist philosopher in his book “Breaking the Spell”), and Sam Harris (the half-baked Buddhist neuroscience polemicist in his book “The End of Faith”) -- all of whom I tried to categorically identify and describe in the “new humanism vs. irrationalism or new atheism or Dawkinsism” article above (GuardianUK; June 28) -- for their (persistently and consistently) incomprehensive world philosophies; abusive scholarships; and ill-attempted writings on the contemporary science, religion, socioeconomic and cultural issues, since their (shrilly and chillingly) rise to the post-9/11 (2001) simpleton (polemic) attacks on the (evermore complex) religionism of humanities, worldwide!


While extending my dialogues on these matters elsewhere -- without the benefits of my preamble definitions 1-5 above -- my recent comments had still faced censorship (probably under the influence and censorship of the Dawkinsian and/or Daniel Dennett’s readership or fandom) such as one presented below; one which was probably a result of the links that I provided in a recent response here: http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/be...37-6dd5df1fec75 "When does fandom become religion? -- RE: It all depends on fans' wisdom!?” (GuardianUK; July 21), which is quoted en masse for readers’ convenience below:

QUOTE (MongHTanPhD 21 Jul 09 @ 11:20pm (with minor edits))
RE: When does fandom become religion? -- It all depends on fans' wisdom!?

As an independent science-philosophy writer-critic, I’ve been curious and trying to decipher how Richard Dawkins could turn his “science” into a religion or scientism for a while now -- perhaps since 2006 when I first post my query in Cif here: http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/20...f5-90c990610b03 "Sue Blackmore: The selfish gene's birthday" in which Dawkins prophesized that 'If something is true, [ie his reductionist selfish gene theory] no amount of wishful thinking will change it!'

As such, there are absolutely no boundaries -- in the freedom of scientific pursuit and religious inquiry -- that can constrain any astute purveyors of scientism as science or as truth; lest they would have had been self-consciously and well-disciplined enough, so as to realize that what they are prophesizing, is (in fact) turning their (readership) fandom into a religious following!?

In the Dawkins case, over the course of 30 years, he has had been successfully turning or churning his seductive neo-Darwinist reductionism rhetoric (such as "gene” and “meme" in his 1976 book “The Selfish Gene”) into his anti-religious Dawkinsism (as "neo-atheism without conscience" in his 2006 book “The God Delusion” and more publications elsewhere worldwide).

The Dawkinsian penmanship of churning the 19th-century critical, scientific Darwinism into his 21st-century anti-religious, scientistic Dawkinsism, is extraordinary in the English literature; and is utterly stunning and unparallel in the modern science and philosophy literary industry worldwide! Ergo, the overlaps (or transitions) between fandom and religion in the Dawkinsian (uncritical but popular) readership, will be hard to discern indeed, for at least in some time to come -- perhaps in a generation or so as I recently commented here: http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg2032....html?full=true "Fern Elsdon-Baker: The Dawkins dogma -- RE: Separating wheat from the chaff -- Dawkinsism vs. Darwinism!?" (NewScientistUK; July 18).

Best wishes, Mong 7/21/9usct5:22p; author “Decoding Scientism” and “Consciousness & the Subconscious” (works in progress since July 2007), “Gods, Genes, Conscience” (iUniverse; 2006) and “Gods, Genes, Conscience: Global Dialogues Now” (blogging avidly since 2006).


While reviewing the GuardianUK post above, I found that my comment to the NewScientistUK article, had been deleted -- of which a file copy is quoted below for your reference:

QUOTE (with edits in red)
RE: Separating wheat from the chaff -- Dawkinsism vs. Darwinism!?

This is an excellent commentary on the Dawkins dogma or Dawkinsism since the 1970s!

In retrospect, and philosophically, Mary Midgley has had been one of the first philosophers of human nature and conscience: who was able to catch the neo-Darwinist reductionism (or Dawkinsism) on the spot; as she once reviewed his first reductionist book The Selfish Gene (1976); and vehemently opposed to the fact that -- let me paraphrase her view herein -- genes are not organisms (!?), or living beings that could express consciousness, let alone selfishness!?

Whereas Midgley's [critical humanist] view was largely ignored and rejected by Dawkins as being unscientific! [In fact, it was Dawkinsism that has had been extraordinarily reductionist and unscientific -- nor with any philosophical depths at all -- as the next generation of readers will soon find out (and as I’ve tried to characterize Dawkinsism as an irrationalism and pseudoscience, in my preamble definitions 1-5 above; and more discussions below).  Recently, Midgley further espoused on selfishness, in the British philosophy tradition, that Dawkinsism has had miserably missed here: http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/be...ins-selfishness “Hobbes's Leviathan, Part 3: What is selfishness? -- How Richard Dawkins went further than Hobbes and ended up ludicrously wrong!”]

As one of the next generation of scholar-philosophers of science and evolutionary theory, perhaps Fern Elsdon-Baker could eventually fill Midgley's shoe by continuing to restore the Darwin's legacy to its original integrity: the one critical and scientific thinking (or Darwinism) that has had indeed been so reducibly distorted -- and abused -- by Richard Dawkins since the 1970s!  Caveat lector!

Best wishes, Mong 7/18/9usct1:41p; author "Decoding Scientism" and "Consciousness & the Subconscious" (works in progress since July 2007), "Gods, Genes, Conscience" (2006: http://www.iuniverse.com/bookstore/book_de...isbn=0595379907 ) and "Gods, Genes, Conscience: Global Dialogues Now" (blogging avidly since 2006: http://www2.blogger.com/profile/18303146609950569778 ).


Furthermore, a GuardianUK reader kindly pointed my attention to an excellent “the psychoanalyst vs. the philosopher” article by Carlo Strenger here: http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/be...fd-fe24df653c62 "You'd better believe it: Daniel Dennett argues that many religious people don't truly believe. But though I sympathise, it's a case of wishful thinking!” to which I enthusiastically responded with “Why reductionist-sophists will not realize their thoughts are not rational nor scientific nor enlightening!?”

However, within 2 hours of posting, I found that my acute response was deleted without a trace -- a copy of which is quoted below for your reference -- and this provided me an opportunity of time and self-reflection, so as to revise and expand my censored criticism on the subject matter (from one of highly psychological, to one of generally philosophical: especially please note the animal behaviorism metaphor of playing “dead” which is replaced by the more humanist and philosophical expression of “evolutionary self-enlightened;” of “thoughts” by “theories of life and mind;” of “rational” by “complementary holistic;” of “mentality” by “philosophy of unbelief or neo-atheism;” etc) as edited below:

QUOTE (MongHTanPhD 22 Jul 09 @ 8:30pm (with edits in red))
RE: Why reductionist-sophists will not realize their [theories of life and mind] are not [complementary holistic] nor scientific nor enlightening!?

I thought this is an excellent psychoanalytic piece on the Dennettan [philosophy of unbelief or neo-atheism]!

However [as most keen-eyed detractor-critics of his reductionist theory of mind or “consciousness” may have known:] being an entrenched neo-Darwinist polemicist in his misreading and abusing of science (as in his 2006 book “Breaking the Spell”) and of Darwinism (as in his 1995 book “Darwin’s Dangerous Idea”), Daniel Dennett -- like his irrationalist-in-chief Richard Dawkins [the author of 1976 book “The Selfish Gene”] -- probably wouldn’t so easily turn over and play [evolutionary self-enlightened]!?

This is because all irrationalists in anti-religionism [and/or in scientism], have had committed their irrationalism to their very neo-Darwinist reductionism of “sociobiology,” [the reductionist theories of life and mind, that have had been proclaiming: i)] that their irrationalism is in their genes [(the fundamental tenet of their reductionist evolutionism or neo-Darwinist genetic determinism or geneticism -- please see also EO Wilson’s 1975 book "Sociobiology: The New Synthesis"); ii) that organisms (including humans) are just machines, so as to serve at the replicating pleasure of their genes (hence the reductionist geneticism rhetoric of meme or myth: the selfish replicators); and iii) that robots could eventually evolve to be “conscious” machines -- all these irrationalist sophisms, that have had committed and subscribed (since the 1970s) to their incomprehensive neo-Darwinist reductionism of algorithmic or robo-genetic evolutionism, by their (consistently and insistently) misreading and abusing modern biology and philosophy of science and ME (mind and emotion); while further claiming that their reductionist Darwinism, is the “universal acid” (Dennett’s 1995 term) that is one caustic neo-Darwinist acid, which could (and would) burn through (literally) everything, including religions.  This is exactly why (since 2006) they have had been setting (themselves and their readership) up, and out, so as to use and abuse both science and Darwinism, as their anti-religious tool -- hence the universal acid of their scientism or neo-atheism -- one that has had been used and advanced (persistently, self-degradingly, and sophistically) in attacking and/or ridiculing other people’s religions, worldwide (please see also Dawkins’ 2006 book “The God Delusion”]!

And, that’s why both Dawkins and Dennett, will never realize that the whole premise of their scholarly works -- primarily based on their armchair reductionism of Darwinism on life sciences -- is [philosophically] irrational, nor scientific, nor enlightening; whereas, in fact, they have had been turning their own readership or fandom into a religion of their own -- neo-atheism without conscience -- as I recently commented here: http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/be...37-6dd5df1fec75 "When does fandom become religion? -- RE: It all depends on fans' wisdom!?" (GuardianUK; July 21). Caveat lector!

Best wishes, Mong 7/22/9usct2:32p; author “Decoding Scientism” and “Consciousness & the Subconscious” (works in progress since July 2007), “Gods, Genes, Conscience” (iUniverse; 2006) and “Gods, Genes, Conscience: Global Dialogues Now” (blogging avidly since 2006).


Thank you all for your kind attention and cooperation in this matter. Happy reading, scrutinizing, introspecting, and enlightening worldwide! smile.gif

Best wishes, Mong 8/2/9usct12:17p; independent science-philosophy critic; author Decoding Scientism and Consciousness & the Subconscious (works in progress since July 2007), Gods, Genes, Conscience (iUniverse; January 2006), and Gods, Genes, Conscience: Global Dialogues Now (blogging avidly since February 2006).

This post has been edited by Mong H Tan, PhD on Aug 2 2009, 05:21 PM


--------------------
1) “Gods, Genes, Conscience: Global Dialogues Now” a simple blog "Wishing all of us, living in harmony, creatively and constructively, in this beautiful World of Today and beyond—we Each are primed by our shared DNA and associated Molecules, having only one Life to live; one Heart to beat and love; one Mind to cherish responsibly worldwide. Thank you."

2) “Gods, Genes, Conscience” a 2006 book with self-explanatory subtitle “A Socio-Intellectual Survey of our Dynamic Mind, Life, all Creations in Between and Beyond, on Earth—or, A Critical Reader’s Theory of Everything: Past, Present, Future; in Continuum, ad Infinitum” will guide Readers to your own soul-searching Answers to the who/what/where/when/why/how Inquiries of the origins/creations/meanings of our life/mind/intelligence/compassion/selves, etc on Earth, today and beyond.

3) “Decoding Scientism” a book I’m working on now since July 2007; meanwhile wishing all “Happy reading, scrutinizing, enlightening at all times!”
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AlexG
Posted: Aug 2 2009, 05:56 PM


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The bullshi*t is incredibly deep.


--------------------
Its the way nature is!
If you dont like it, go somewhere else....
To another universe, where the rules are simpler
Philosophically more pleasing, more psychologically easy
Prof Richard Fyenman (1979) .....

God does not roll dice with the Universe" - A. Einstein

"God not only plays dice with the Universe, He rolls them where you can't see" - N. Bohr


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RobDegraves
Posted: Aug 2 2009, 07:35 PM


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So.. an incredibly long and philosophically random post.. and yet you have not answered a single question.

I will repeat them for you then...

QUOTE
Where is your phd from?

What pioneering work have you done in cancer research?

Why is it that you are self published with no research work listed that I can find. For a "pioneer" that seems odd... don't you think?


All you have done so far is try to use ad hominems and obfuscation to avoid answering any direct question.

You have no credibility... and are getting even less every time you post.


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"Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts. "

Daniel Patrick “Pat” Moynihan
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