Saturday, August 29, 2015

Béla Bartók - Hungarian Folksongs for mixed choir BB 99

1. The Prisoner
2. The Wanderer
3. Choosing a Husband
4. Love Song

No chorus or director listed.  They're pretty good, it's too bad the recording isn't clearer. These are some pretty complex textures, some of the most challenging pieces for unaccompanied chorus.

A Pseudo-Skeptic Makes and Refuses To Provide Evidence of Claims While Proving He Can't Even Navigate a Sorted List of Publications

"My dear Kepler, what would you say of the learned here, who, replete with the pertinacity of the asp, have steadfastly refused to cast a glance through the telescope?  What shall we make of this?  Shall we laugh, or shall we cry?"

--Letter from Galileo Galilei to Johannes Kepler

Skeptic TankAugust 28, 2015 at 9:39 PM
Sparky, you have to be kidding. Sheldrake the Magnificent has 12 papers, including his pseudoscience. And you are impressed? Even when he was doing science, he published a grand total of 6 papers But you are absolutely correct that it is nowhere as impressive as this pseudonymous commentator. I have over 115 publications, more than 10 book chapters, 18 invited reviews, more than 5000 citations and a h factor of 39. I am by no means a star, but these are what constitute achievement in science. But you have consistently shown you know less than nothing about science. The fact that you are a groupie to a complete crackpot seals it.

The Thought CriminalAugust 28, 2015 at 11:24 PM
12? You counted the headings of the categories he divided his list of publications in, idiot. You have to click on them to find the citations. Yeah, I really, really believe what you said on the basis of that idiotic statement. I know you'll be reluctant to identify yourself but I really won't believe your claims without you doing that. Let me guess, it's in the so-called, social sciences. In which case tell me what's wrong with Jessica Utts' work.


N.B. I don't know much about "h factors" they being a rather recent innovation which apparently was invented to try to rank physicists for things like granting tenure. etc. based on numbers of citations.  There are a lot of problems with them, one being that in a lot of fields the authors of papers (there can be dozens, scores and even hundreds of those named as "authors" of a scientific paper) are often listed according to the size of their contribution when some of those contributions are very little, indeed.  "h scores" don't take that into account so for some sciences boasting about your h score can mean very little.  While I'm not familiar with the system, I did find a reference to the application of that in various fields which makes me wonder if one of 39 in a pseudonymous blog troll who spends an awful lot of time gossiping on Eschaton is realistic.  I would welcome someone who can clarify that.  In glancing around the web, I found that pseudo-skeptic's idea of solid reliability, Wikipedia said about these "h" rankings.

Hirsch  [ the inventor of the system ]suggested (with large error bars) that, for physicists, a value for h of about 12 might be typical for advancement to tenure (associate professor) at major research universities. A value of about 18 could mean a full professorship, 15–20 could mean a fellowship in the American Physical Society, and 45 or higher could mean membership in the United States National Academy of Sciences

I wonder how someone as brilliant as "Skeptic Tank" claims to be couldn't understand the difference between the subjet headings in Rupert Sheldrake's publication list and the papers listed when you clicked on those.  Apparently he's such an experienced scientist that he doesn't even recognize the difference between a subject heading and a properly cited paper.  Other than that, I'd think large error bars would be a logical necessity for the system to have anything like validity.  Very large error bars.


Skeptic TankAugust 29, 2015 at 11:51 AM
Tony, there is no fucking way I am ever going to identify myself to you. You are obviously a deeply disturbed man. We can all see that your condition is deteriorating as your life crumbles around you. Shortly, you will no longer be able to suppress the enormity of your life's failures. i certainly can not jeopardize my safety and that of my family by exposing myself to mayhem when you snap.
And you are completely wrong about me being a social scientist and on the low rungs. I am a full professor at a prestigious school in a hard science. I am internationally recognized in my field and people have invited me to more than 20 foreign countries to present my work. And I consult with journals, academic institutions, corporations and government agencies.
So tell us about your credentials. Oh, that's right. You have none whatsoever. Your failures are legendary and now you can barely feed yourself. I am certainly not going to accept the scientific opinions of a failed, hick piano teacher. 
Now go fuck off and go back to you conservative moralizing about sex and pornography. Maybe you should send your essays to Rick Santorum and Mike Huckabee. They share your views on these topics.

OK, now that I've recovered from laughing my ass off over the attempted psyching out and trash talking,  note that the great and sciencey "skeptic" is asking me to take what would seem to be extraordinary claims - there being not that many people of such an elevated position and, I'd guess, fewer of those who have hours every day to loll around Eschaton gossiping and dishing with such bright lights as Steve Simels and Thunderboy - I'm supposed to take his claims on faith, with nothing to go on but his rather tall talking claims and he's outraged that I refuse to just believe him.

I'm supposed to take his claim on faith.  I will point out that I knew he'd never back it up with his real name and links to his CV and publications list, I made the challenge so I could point this out.

I could, furthermore, point out that he slammed a known scientist with decades of published research and some rather major faculty and other positions in science, Rupert Sheldrake, without being aware of or familiar with his published science not to mention that of Jessica Utts.

I will repeat what he said when I pointed him to Sheldrake's rather long publications list because it is just so funny.

.... you have to be kidding. Sheldrake the Magnificent has 12 papers, including his pseudoscience. And you are impressed?

What's unimpressive is an alleged scientist who characterizes another scientists' published work while being entirely ignorant of even what he's published.

I do know there are people supposedly in the sciences who do that kind of thing, being a student of pseudo-skepticism you see it there all the time.  As I've said several times, they are exactly like the medieval astronomy professors who taught the Ptolemaic cosmology who refused to even look at Galileo's evidence.  They are the very people they claim to despise (while misidentifying those folk as bishops and cardinals).    That such people, with scientific credentials and without those just replace knowing what the claims of the published science dealing with psychic phenomena with bald-faced lies is taken by the science and other media as the gold standard of reliability only shows that they'll buy and sell lies and hype as science reporting.

What have I said about materialism, atheism, pseudo-skepticism leading to a general decadence in everything those touch?

Update:  You know, after someone's told you they find your attempts at psyching-out and trash talking funny, continuing to substitute attempts at psyching-out and trash talking are only funnier.  I'd post those but I think the point is sufficiently made.

It's always those who entirely lack what it takes to make me feel condescended to who make the greatest effort to try to make me feel condescended to.

There Is Nothing Scientific About Encouraging Anonymous And Promiscuous Sexual Activity Doing That Isn't A Liberal Act

Yesterday I had someone answer a comment I made about the fact that having sex with someone you don't know is a risk factor in catching STDs with a rather too breezy dismissal of the seriousness and danger of having the HIV virus.

I was assured that HIV was "easily tested for" and " if present is "a manageable disease" which is a pretty insane response to a virus which can lie dormant for years, with which a large number of those infected don't know they're infected and the treatment for which is expensive.,

Being a gay man who knew many dozens of people who died horrible deaths form HIV and who saw the unmistakable horror that it means for those who develop a host of secondary infections and diseases from it in hundreds of other people and knowing that around the world, for poor folk, here and elsewhere, I'm appalled that such a statement can be made by anyone with the ability to read and type.  And I'm even more appalled that it has become the common wisdom of such a large percentage of those who are alleged to have an education and who consider themselves intelligent and sophisticated.

HIV, only one of the STDs I alluded to in my comment is not easily tested for nor an easily manageable disease.  That is proved by the failures of testing and management to prevent new infections.  In the United States, today, every year,  more than 40,000 new infections are reported.   According to the U.S. Center for Disease Control,

About 1.2 million people in the United States were living with HIV at the end of 2012, the most recent year this information was available. Of those people, about 12.8% do not know they are infected.

That would make more than a million and a half people in the United States who are 1. untested, 2. untreated, 3. unknowingly putting those who they have sex with, share needles with, etc. at risk of infection by someone who won't be able to tell them they were at risk.

And the CDC also says that significant numbers of people die from HIV now, more than a decade after the New York Times declared "The Plague is Over"

... about 13,712 people diagnosed with AIDS died in 2012. HIV disease remains a significant cause of death for certain populations. To date, an estimated 658,507 people diagnosed with AIDS in the United States have died.

Nor is the treatment an easily managed thing in the lives of many of those people, a large number of whom are poor, without resources and not able to afford the treatment they need.

You don't have to take my word for that, either,  here is what the CDC said about that five years ago.

The average annual cost of HIV care in the ART [anti-retroviral treatment ] era was estimated to be $19,912 (in 2006 dollars; $23,000 in 2010 dollars).3 The most recent published estimate of lifetime HIV treatment costs was $367,134 (in 2009 dollars; $379,668 in 2010 dollars).

I don't know if the increase of more than ten thousand dollars over four years would continue till today but it's obvious that we're talking about a seriously expensive disease to treat, especially if you don't have insurance that covers most of the cost, which many of us still don't.

And the "manageability" of the infection as a matter of medical treatment is somewhat oversold. From the same study by the CDC

Using US national HIV surveillance data, another study estimated that average life expectancy after an HIV diagnosis increased from 10.5 to 22.5 years from 1996 to 2005.

HIV survival data have been reported slightly differently in the literature because of various definitions of timeframe, e.g., time from HIV seroconversion to AIDS, time from seroconversion to death, and time from HIV diagnoses to death. Survival also varies by gender, age at infection, mode of infection, and the timing of initiation of antiretroviral therapy.

As wonderful as gain of a theoretical average of twelve years of life gained is,  even with treatment a large number of people die at a younger age due to the virus and the numbers are hardly reliable in defining what you can expect to happen under treatment.  Treatments have effects of their own and drug regimens don't insure perpetual reliability.

The insane declaration made by people like Andrew Sullivan 19 years ago that, in effect, "AIDS is over" was always far more true for affluent men who have access to the finest of care, it is hardly the case for most people, world-wide, who are infected.

The insanity and complete irresponsibility of that declaration by the likes of Sullivan and the Wall Street Journal editor, David Sanford, among those who should have known more than anybody how dangerous the virus was, has led to people figuring that being infected was no big deal.  Which, in turn, led to people, especially children and young adults, engaging in risky behaviors who had suspended that, especially younger people who didn't see people dying from the virus.  The insanity and idiocy of sex pos pseudo-feminism, of hooking up culture and the insanely immature attitude towards having sex with lots of people you don't know is a product of irresponsible journalism and the extension of immaturity into senescence, not science.

There is no guarantee that strains of HIV which resist all treatments aren't going to arise in the wild populations of the virus that are being spread.  If you think it's not possible that such a thing as untreatable HIV will come up, consider that in 1980 no one was expecting gay men to start getting rare cancers and other exotic diseases in large numbers and dying from it in very large numbers, not to mention the members of racial and ethnic groups, members of other populations of people on who the burden of the infection fell most heavily.  It came from out of nowhere.  Once there I would imagine there would be no better means of aiding its evolution than by having large numbers of new infections, new infections which are largely the result of having sex with lots of people, especially those who you don't know.

And what you can say about HIV you can say about other life threatening diseases which can be spread through sex.  Those are real and some of them are wide spread and killing people.  I've mentioned before how in the early 1970s, years before AIDS became known, a gay man I knew made a joke about having hepatitis as a "rite of passage" for young gay men.  Even if it is treated the effects of having some strains of hepatitis can lead to death, not infrequently through cancer of the liver, an especially horrible way to go and a particularly hard cancer to treat.

And there is no guarantee that another, entirely new, STD won't evolve in the opportunity rich environment that people who have sex with lots of folks present to infections organisms.  Another HIV-like virus could arise for which science won't produce any kind of treatment and for which a vaccine will elude scientists as well.

Even a lot of us who were revolted by and chose to not participate in the insane irresponsibility of massive promiscuity and the obvious and known health dangers of anal and other forms of sex popularized in the late 1970s didn't really expect such a horrifying thing as the AIDs epidemic. And a lot of that sex in which names and addresses were not exchanged, nevermind health profiles, was expected to exchange infections.  It was common wisdom that you should expect to get anything from crabs to syphilis to hepatitis from it.  We didn't have the AIDs phenomenon to inform us of how bad it could get, no one among the allegedly educated class of the United States, Europe and other places has that excuse today.  Penicillin and its related drugs were depended on to take care of those supposed minor inconveniences of having lots of sex with lots of people you barely or didn't know at all.  It didn't prevent what we and science hadn't known before from happening.

It is a symptom of the decay of liberalism today that it is considered a greater violation of liberalism to take seriously the observations about the dangers of promiscuous and anonymous sex made by those with the most scientific expertise than it is to promote the sexual practices that carry those dangers.  It is especially telling that the journalistic venues that endlessly promote irresponsible sexual activities in 2015 are the first to mock other people for their anti-scientific beliefs, such as the anti-vaccination crowd.

If it's irresponsible to refuse to have your children vaccinated against communicable diseases which they could get through chance encounters, which it is, it is ever so more irresponsible to promote practices that carry the danger of being exposed to communicable diseases for which there is no vaccine.  

What is common in journalism and on blogs today is worse than something like encouraging people, especially children, to play chicken with cars on a busy street.  That it is a matter of sex instead of running into traffic doesn't make doing that any more rational, sophisticated, or a statement of scientific enlightenment.  It makes it worse because we are ever so much more likely to delude ourselves when it is something which will give us pleasure which will kill us.  The people who promote promiscuity online and in the media are today's equivalent to tobacco advertisers and the murderers who knew they were selling addiction and death.  Salon, Alternet, all kinds of blogs that do that show that their pose of liberal enlightenment informed by science is an empty pose and a total lie.

Friday, August 28, 2015

Here Is A List of Just the Conventional Science Publications of Rupert Sheldrake to Date, He's Still Conducting Experiments So I Imagine There Will Be More To Come

Papers on Hormone Production in Plants

The Production of Hormones in Higher Plants
Biological Reviews (1973) 48, 509-559
 Full Text pdf format

Do Coleoptile Tips Produce Auxin?
New Phytologist (1973) 72, 433-447
 Full Text pdf format

Auxin in the Cambium and its Differentiating Derivatives
Journal of Experimental Botany ( 1971), 22, 735-740
 Full Text pdf format

The Occurrence and Significance of Auxin in the Substrata of Bryophytes
New Phytologist (1971) 70, 519-526
 Full Text pdf format

The Production of Auxin by Autolysing Tissues
Planta (Berlin) (1968) 80, 227-236
 Full Text pdf format

Production of Auxin by Detached Leaves
Nature (1968), 217, 195
 Full Text pdf format

The Production of Auxin by Tobacco Internode Tissues
New Phytologist (1968) 67 1-13
 Full Text pdf format

Papers on Auxin Transport in Plants

Effects of Osmotic Stress on Polar Auxin Transport in Avena Mesocotyl Sections
Planta (1979) 145, 113-117
  Full Text pdf format

Carrier-mediated Auxin Transport
Planta (1974) 118, 101-121
  Full Text pdf format

The Polarity of Auxin Transport in Inverted Cuttings
New Phytologist (1974) 74, 637-642
  Full Text pdf format

Auxin Transport in Secondary Tissues
Journal of Experimental Botany ( 1973) 24, 87-96
  Full Text pdf format

Effect of pH and Surface Charge on Cell Uptake of Auxin
Nature New Biology (1973) 244, 285-288
  Full Text pdf format

Polar Auxin Transport in Leaves of Monocotyledons
Nature (1972), 238, 352-353
  Full Text pdf format

Papers on Cell Differentiation
Cellulase and Cell Differentiation in Acer pseudoplatanus
Planta (1970), 95, 167-178
 Full Text pdf format

A Cellulase in Hevea Latex
Physiologia Plantarum (1970), 23, 267-77
  Full Text pdf format

Cellulase in Latex and its Possible Significance in Cell Differentiation
Planta, (1969), 89, 82-84
 Full Text pdf format

Some Constituents of Xylem Sap and their Possible Relationship to Xylem Differentiation
Journal of Experimental Botany, (1968) 19(61), 681-9
 Full Text pdf format

Papers on The Ageing and Death of Cells
The Ageing, Growth and Death of Cells 
Nature, Vol. 250, No. 5465, pp. 381-385, August 2nd 1974
  Full Text pdf format 

Theoria to Theory 7, 31-38 (1973)
  Full Text pdf format

Papers on Crop Physiology
Effect of Harvest Methods on the Second Flush Yield of Short-duration Pigeonpea (Cajanus cajan)
Journal of Agricultural Science, (Cambridge), (1987),109, 591-593
 Full Text pdf format

Factors Affecting Growth and Yield of Short-duration Pigeonpea and its Potential
Journal of Agricultural Science, (Cambridge), (1987), 109, 519-529
 Full Text pdf format

A Perennial Cropping System from Pigeonpea Grown in Post-rainy Season
Indian Journal of Agricultural Sciences, (1987), 57, 895-9

Pigeon Pea Physiology 
Abstract not on website
In: The Physiology of Tropical Crops ed. P. H. Goldsworthy
Blackwell, Oxford (1984)

Effect of Seed-grading on the Yields of Chickpea and Pigeonpea
Indian Journal of Agricultural Science (1981), 51, 389-393
 Full Text pdf format

Varietal Differences in Seed Size and Seedling Growth of Pigionpea and Chickpea - 
Abstract not on website
Indian Journal of Agricultural Science, (1981), 51, 389-393

Effects of Pod Exposure on the Yield of Chickpeas - 
Abstract not on website
Field Crops Research, (1980), 3, 180-191

Iron Chlorosis in Chickpea Grown on High pH Calcareous Vertisol - 
Abstract not on website
Field Crops Research, (1980), 3, 211-214

Growth and Development of Chickpeas under Progressive Moisture Stress In: 
Stress Physiology in Crop Plants, ed. H.Mussell and R.Staples. Wiley, New York, 1979. 
 Full Text pdf format

Comparisons of Earlier- and Later-formed Pods of Chickpeas (Cicer arietinum)
Annals of Botany (1979), 43, 467-473
 Full Text pdf format

Comparisons of Earlier- and Later-formed Pods of Pigeonpeas (Cajanus cajan)
Annals of Botany (1979), 43, 459-466
 Full Text pdf format

The Effects of Flower Removal on the Seed Yield of Pigeonpeas (Cajanus cajan)
Annals of Applied Biology (1979), 91, 383-390
 Full Text pdf format

Growth, Development and Nutrient Uptake in Pigeonpeas(Cajanus cajan)
Journal of Agricultural Science (Cambridge) (1979), 92, 513-526
 Full Text pdf format

A Hydrodynamical Model of Pod-Set in Pigeonpea (Cajunus Cajan)
Indian Journal of Plant Physiology, (1979), 22, 137-143
 Full Text pdf format

Pigeonpea as a Winter Crop in Peninsular India - 
Abstract not on website
Experimental Agriculture, (1979), 15, 91-95

The Expression and Influence on Yield of the 'Double-Podded' Character in Chickpeas
Field Crops Research (1978), 1, 243-253
 Full Text pdf format

Some Effects of the Physiological State of Pigeonpeas on the Incidence of the Wilt Disease
Tropical Grain Legumes Bulletin, (1978), 11, 24-5

Books - Abstracts not on website
The Anatomy of the Pigeonpea (with S. S. Bisen)
ICRISAT Monograph Series, Hyderabad (1980)
Papers on the Philosophy of Biology
Three Approaches to Biology. Part I The Mechanistic Theory of Life
Theoria to Theory (1980), 14, 125-144
 Full Text pdf format

Three Approaches to Biology. Part II Vitalism
Theoria to Theory (1981), 14, 227-240
 Full Text pdf format

Three Approaches to Biology. Part III Organicism
Theoria to Theory (1981), 14, 301-311

Papers on Experimenter Effects
Personally speaking 
New Scientist, (2001) July 19, 48-49
  Full Text pdf format

How Widely is Blind Assessment Used in Scientific Research? 
Alternative Therapies (1999) 5(3), 88-91
  Full Text pdf format

Could Experimenter Effects Occur in the Physical and Biological Sciences? 
Skeptical Inquirer (1998) 22(3), 57-58 
  Full Text pdf format

Experimenter Effects in Scientific Research: How Widely are they Neglected? 
Journal of Scientific Exploration (1998) 12, 73-78
  Full Text pdf format

And that's not counting the published research he has in topics the pseudo-skeptics would dismiss even though they were conducted within the normal practices of science and published in reviewed journals.  Considering he's been black balled in many places since the 1980s after he was attacked by John Maddox, it's quite a few papers.  And note, he's even been published in the high journal of the pseudo-skeptics.  

So, give me a link to your CV and the list of your published papers and some proof that you're the one who wrote them and I'll post a link to those.   

Call Me Back About Sheldrake When You Can Match The First Page Of His CV

1960-63 Major Open Scholar at Clare College, Cambridge. Read
Natural Sciences (Pt 1, Biochemistry, Botany, Chemistry and
Physiology; Pt 2, Biochemistry). Double First Class Honours B.A. 1963.
Awarded the University Botany Prize and the Clare College Greene Cup
for General Learning.
1963-4 Frank Knox Fellow in the Graduate School at Harvard
University. Studied philosophy and history of science.
1964-7 Research student in Dept of Biochemistry, University of
Cambridge. Ph.D. Thesis on "The Production of Hormones in Higher
1966 Cambridge University Sir Henry Strakosh Travelling
Fellow in Southern Africa.
1967 M.A., Cambridge, Ph.D. Cambridge
1967-74 Research Fellow and later Fellow of Clare College,
Cambridge, and Director of Studies in Biochemistry and Cell Biology.
1968-9 Royal Society Leverhulme Studentship at the University
of Malaya. Research on morphogenesis in tropical ferns, and on the
physiology of latex flow in rubber trees (in conjunction with the
Rubber Research Institute of Malaya).
1970-3 Royal Society Rosenheim Research Fellow. Research in
Department of Biochemistry at Cambridge on the production and polar
transport of the hormone auxin in higher plants, and on the control of
plant differentiation and development. Also worked on the nature of
ageing in plants and animals, and developed a new approach to the
questions of senescence and rejuvenation.

And that's only the first page, up till he was about 31.

Here is his publications list.  I know it's not as impressive as being a pseudonymous commentator at Eschaton and, I have every confidence, with other phony names on other blogs and web mags but we aren't all a gifted blog troll.

Perhaps your tag team buddy is just sore that he didn't stick with the "new approach to the question of senescence and rejuvenation".   I find reading about things I don't know about remarkably rejuvenating, it's how I found out about these topics.  So, why don't you tell me what was wrong with what Jessica Utts said in her 1991 paper I linked to the other day?

Update:  Address the science or admit your pseudo-skepticism is based on your complete ignorance of science and mathematics.  You can start with Utts paper and her responses to the commentators.  If you can't do that I'm really not interested in what you think you're thinking about it.

A View From 1967 - Richard McBrien on Fridays

Re-reading the columns of Richard McBrien it's interesting to see how much his ideas and focus changed over those decades of change.  His view of liberation theology definitely changed as did many other things in his thinking.  So much for the theory that religion and, especially, theology is static.  Here are two columns from the first years of his column on a book by the Canadian philosopher of religion, Leslie Dewart.  It is quite fascinating in a lot of ways, especially considering the many popular prophesies of what the future will bring for religion, almost a half a century later.   One thing that jumps out is that, back then, Michael Novak was taken as a liberal and as someone who was seriously worth mentioning.   Back then.

I haven't thought a lot about the idea of "deHellenizing" religion but I think a lot of the trouble that has arisen was due to trying to make the Hebrew tradition of Jesus and his earliest followers fit into Greek ideas.   I think that most of the neo-atheist invective is based in the tension that inevitably results from that practice.  Today is the feast day of St. Augustine, which I'll throw in to that mix.  He's not my favorite saint for a lot of reasons, a lot of it, I'd guess, flowing from his pre-conversion education in pagan philosophy and rhetoric.  But that's for another time.

[This is the first of a two-part discussion of Leslie Dewart's Future of Belief: Theism in a. World Come of Age, Herder & Herder, 1966.] 

The distinctive mood of contemporary Christian theology is secular. Intramural questions such as the liturgy, biblical inspiration, transubstantiation, etc., will continue to engage the interest of serious theologians (and rightly so), but the pioneering work is being carried out at the "creative center" of culture, at that "jagged edge" where theology must grapple with the swiftest currents of the age. 

Accordingly, the questions which are of primary concern to radical theology today are secular in orientation: the secular meaning of the Gospel and the secular mission of the Church. 

How can the postbiblical, postmedieval Christian continue to make sense of his faith in the light of his own contemporary experience (the secular meaning of the Gospel)? If, indeed, the world has "come of age" through the process of industrialization, urbanization, and secularization, then what is to be the specific place of the Christian community (the secular mission of the Church)? 

Radical theology must work at both these points. It must have both a theoretical (or speculative) and a functional (or pastoral) dimension. And these are not opposed to one another. "In fact the strictest theology, that most passionately devoted to reality alone and ever on the alert for new questions, the most scientific theology, is itself in the long run the most kerygmatic" (Karl Kahner, Theological Investigations, I, p. 7). 

The functional side of contemporary radical theology is concerned primarily with the task of rethinking the mission of the Church in the light of the Suffering Servant of Jesus, the "man for others." The Church is a remnant community, a minority in the service of the majority, a community scattered throughout the world(in diaspora whose fundamental responsibility is one of witnessing and service, of healing the divisions and wounds in the community of mankind. 

This secular reinterpretation of the Church's mission (as opposed to the more restricted notion of the Church as the community of the "saved," whose primary, if not exclusive, task is to preach the Gospel, to convert, to baptize -- to grow numerically and to consolidate these gains) has been inspired in large measure by Dietrich Bonhoeffer and has been carried through by such theologians as Bishop John Robinson and Harvey Cox. 

What this functional approach to theology has lacked, however, has been a solid theoretical foundation. Bishop Robinson certainly did not provide it in Honest to God (1963), nor does Harvey Cox go much beyond a functionalism in The Secular City (1965). Bonhoeffer himself did not have the time to work out the theoretical basis for his own essentially functional approach and it is not at all easy to predict what the outcome would have been. 

The so-called "death-of-God theologians" have been working in this same area, but with dubious success. They, too, have been attracted by the Bonhoeffer vision of the world in its secularized adulthood and they have been among the first to explore the theoretical foundation of Bonhoeffer's "man for others" ethics. 

Although Thomas Altizer attempts a theoretical substitute for traditional Christian theology (see his Gospel of Christian Atheism), he has much in common with William Hamilton and Paul Van Buren insofar as their common response seems to have been a kind of wholesale theological reductionism: God, the New Testament, the Jesus of history, the Church, and all transcendental reality have gone by the boards. The place to be is at the side of Jesus, in the service of the neighbor. 

There is a strong temptation on the part of a functionally-oriented theologian to adopt the antitheoretical posture of this school. "God-talk" is meaningless; we must live as if God is dead. The Christian life is ethical, not theoretical. A Catholic or High Church functionalist would want to leave considerable room for the Christian community as well. Even so, the theoretical work remains unfinished business. 

It is in this particular context that Leslie Dewart's Future of Belief should be viewed. Professor Dewart has performed a service to contemporary Christian theology in attempting to construct a theoretical foundation for its radically secular ethics, or at least for reminding us of the need to do so. 

But what, specifically, makes Dewart's performance any more useful than that of the "death-of-God theologians," and Thomas Altizer in particular? If their concern with the reality of God is to be criticized for distracting the attention of the Church from her mission of suffering service in a "world come of age," why should not Leslie Dewart be discounted on the same grounds? 

I shall indicate some reasons in next week's essay. 

Unlike the "death-of-God" triumvirate, Leslie Dewart takes history seriously -- not only the present and the future, but also the past. In a distinctive comment on the inadequacy of the Trinitarian doctrinal formulations of the Councils of Nicea and Constantinople, he notes that "it is because we have not managed to do better that we must depart therefrom and proceed forth" (p. 144). 

This is typical of Dewart's approach throughout the book. He is careful to set his position apart from Fideism, from Modalism, from Modernism, and so forth. He recognizes the fact that we must come to grips with history, that the evolutionary consciousness of mankind which he celebrates is a product of earlier stages of development, that our contemporary self-understanding is the result of an organic growth from these earlier stages. This is a far cry from dismissing the first 18 centuries of Christian tradition as hopelessly beyond redemption. 

Secondly, Dewart's concern for the reality of God is not narrowed to the question of his existence or nonexistence (see p. 176). To formulate the question in this fashion is already to have opted for a Hellenic metaphysics -- and this is what the argument about the "death-of-God" has done, at least implicitly. 

For Dewart, God is a presence in history, and history "consists in the mutual presence of God and man in the conscious creation of the world" (p. 195; see also pp. 197-8). Dewart's theism is one which can have immediate functional import -- even though it is as elusive as it is suggestive. But reflection upon it need not be a distracting enterprise. It could enhance the theological basis for the mission of the Servant Church in and for the world. 

Thirdly, Dewart manifests far greater competence in theology than some others who have addressed themselves to the theoretical question of Christian theism. His conceptions of revelation and faith, for example, are very much in the tradition of contemporary Christian theology. Faith is not so much an "act" as an orientation of the whole person (see p. 61), and revelation is a here-and-now occurrence. It has roots in history -- in the word, work, and ministry of the Lord -- but revelation is nothing if it does not happen in the human consciousness. 

The relatively popular, derivative work of Brother Gabriel Moran (Theology of Revelation, Herder & Herder, 1966) is but one indication of the present course of Catholic theology in this fundamental area. And two key entries in the recently-published symposium, The Word in History (Sheed & Ward, 1966), are in this same general tradition: Karl Rahner's "Theology and Anthropology" and Edward Schillebeeckx's "Faith Functioning in Human Self-Understanding." 

I do not mean to imply, however, that good Catholic theologians have been saying all of these things all along, and that Dewart really isn't making any contribution to the current discussion. Schillebeeckx himself admits that, while theologians such as Robinson, Cox, Tillich (and, yes, Altizer and Van Buren) have been concerned about these problems, "this whole question has yet to find a conclusive answer on the Catholic side" (p. 41). 

I think that the essential merit of Dewart's book is that it is, from the Catholic side, the first real, systematic attempt to come to grips with this issue at its radically theoretical level and in a form which is accessible to a wider reading public. Michael Novak's vehement dismissal of Dewart's book in Commonweal ("Belief and Mr. Dewart," February 3, 1967) is reminiscent of some of the scholarly reaction to Bishop Robinson's Honest to God. 

Robinson brought the issues of contemporary Christian theology to the surface of avid public interest and debate. Of course Robinson was superficial. Of course he displayed ignorance of certain key developments in theology and misunderstanding of still others. But Bultmann, Tillich and the other theologians never succeeded in bringing the theological issues to the people as Robinson did. 

Leslie Dewart's look may sound like an uncertain popgun alongside the philosophical cannon of Bernard Lonergan, S.J. (see his Insight, New York: Philosophical Library, 1957). But, like Robinson, Dewart has brought these issues to the public in a way in which Lonergan could never do. (Nevertheless, Dewart's failure even to mention the work of Father Lonergan is an inexcusable deficiency in his study.) 

Finally, Dewart's call for a dehellenization of dogma (to liberate Christian doctrine from any one particular philosophy) is unexceptionable -- as unexceptionable as the earlier call (by the above-mentioned Rudolf Bultmann) for a demythologization of Sacred Scripture. Here again, Dewart is certainly not the first to sound the trumpet, but his book gives the issue an immediacy which other, more scholarly, efforts have failed to do. 

There are some items in The Future of Belief which can be disturbing even for those who are sympathetic with Dewart's central thesis. Is it really very helpful to suggest that "Christianity has a mission, not a message" (p. 8)? Is there really no distinction, even in primitive Christianity, between Kerygma and didache (p. 135)? How is this to be reconciled with the Pauline notion of the paradosis in 1 Cor. 11:23 and 15:3? Must the freedom of history actually exclude the possibility of a "divine plan" (p. 196)? What is to be said of the theology of history in St. Paul and St. Luke? Is it merely a hellenized view of history, or are there very different suppositions at work therein? 

There are additional difficulties, and other reviewers have called attention to these defects. (See, in addition to Michael Novak, the comments of Louis Dupre, "The God of History," Commonweal, February 10, 1967, and Edward McKinnon, S.J., The Boston Pilot, February 18,1967. The entire January-February issue of The Ecumenist is devoted to a critical evaluation of the book.) 

But just as Bishop Robinson's Honest to God served as a prophetic reminder of the breakdown of communication between professional theology and the Church-at-large, Dewart's Future of Belief (and precisely where the book is weakest) discloses a similar problem for contemporary Catholic thought.

Not Hate Mail

Yeah, I know, it does cheapen the tone here when I answer Simels and the other Eschatots, it's a bad habit.  I wasn't exactly what you'd call a scrappy kid, I was too small and skinny for that, but I got really good at using my mind and mouth instead.   I try to keep it to a minimum number of times per month, trying to act like a grown up.  I'll probably cut back on even that as any time I have to spend wading through the descriptions of what they had for dinner, low-brow TV shows, the same old, same old stuff about geezer pop and the present day repeaters of the same stuff and the common received wisdom of moderny and sciencey mid-brow level education is a waste of time.  It all takes time from things that are new and interesting, a lot of which was old and interesting and entirely misrepresented. As I've learned from the past dozen years of looking at blogs and online mags, it's that it's mostly  a way of those without enough responsibilities and worries and supervision at work to waste time. That's nothing political change is going to be made of.  It would have worked if that were the case.

Really, I should have known that was what they were doing long before I did,  I mean, I'd read The Sneetches to my nieces and nephews decades before I ever looked at Eschaton.   The star-bellies are welcome to pay for what they get there.

No reason the rest of us should buy it.

Quick Answers, Well, Relatively Quick

-  If you can dismiss the published science dealing with psychic phenomena, much of it published in the same peer reviewed journals that science dealing with other phenomena is published in, because such things as "Psychic Friends Network" exist, why can't someone dismiss the science of evolution because of such things as  the Piltdown hoax, and, most of all, eugenics which were accepted by science.

What you're using to debunk the scientific research into psychic phenomena is more like how Hollywood imagines cave men.  To be even handed you'd have to judge any other aspect of scientific research based on that. "Psychic Friends Network" has not, to my knowledge, ever been subjected to rigorous testing and, for that matter, neither have many claims of the pseudo-skeptics.   The scientists who have done rigorous research, far, far more rigorous in almost every case than is ever done by psychologists, being dismissed by bringing up things like "Psychic Friends Network" would be like someone dismissing science based medicine by bringing up phony cures that are sold.  Not to mention the massive scandal that today's pharmaceutical industry is where, as mentioned by Sheldrake and Vernon, 45 out of 50 of the top published studies couldn't be replicated.   That's 90% for my arithmetic challenged trolls.  And an enormous percentage of published science in that area is bought and paid for by big pharma and big medicine for profit, the researchers knowing which side their bread is buttered on and, again we are finding out, they disregard data that doesn't support their preferred conclusions.  And that's published science!   I don't imagine Steve Novella and David Gorski and other MDs in the pseudo-skeptics industry are going to devote much of their time to debunking that.  But I'll have more to say about that soon.

- Well, yes, of course all of science is entirely dependent on "human experience" all science is done by humans and even the wildest speculations, that which turns out to be total hooey and that which will never be testable and that which turns out to have some validation are all dependent on reports of human experience.  If you think about it, everything we can talk about does because human language is reporting experience and inferences drawn from that experience.  Language exists as a means of imparting our experience.  That someone has to point that out is a good indication of why the pretense that science can escape that fact has become one of the most amazing of irrational beliefs among the educated population of the West.  It was always an absurd idea based on people ignoring the most basic facts of human culture.

What makes it so absurd for pseudo-skeptical psychologists to debunk things on the basis of it being an expression of human experience is that their entire field of study rests in its entirety on people reporting their experiences accurately and honestly.  And there is absolutely no way of knowing, of checking if they are reporting it accurately and honestly.  No way at all.  It's all taken on the most naive of faith.  There is no other means of possibly knowing anything about what's going on in someones' mind except what they say about it.

Even the Behaviorists mentioned by Sheldrake in the podcast were doing that though they pretended they weren't as, you see, they talked about "behavior" as if consciousness and conscious experience didn't come into it at all.  They did so by pretending that they weren't consciously reporting on what they concluded, and it was hardly a clean and objective report as they, as all academics do, report from the point of view of their subject matter, its history, its current culture and the requirements of their preferred school of their subject matter.

If there is something that might be profitably learned from the folly that has been psychology up till now, it is how a sloppy, self-interested and ideologically purposed pose of scientific objectivity can blind people to the actual nature of what they are doing and what they are claiming.  That psychology has also been the venue from which the effort to discredit the validity of experience when it is entirely based pretenses that peoples' reports of their experience produce reliable scientific data shows how bad things can get without anyone seeming much to notice.

-  I find every time I look into these things that I am drawn ever more to the conclusion that materialism is always a symptom of intellectual decadence as, in other parts of life, it is a source of moral decadence.  It leads to all kinds of dishonesty, all kinds of lies, all kinds of evil.  It was only when I began to understand that that I started to understand the meaning of the history of the past century when materialism as a ruling ideology, in those countries which fell under the rule of dialectical materialism were opposed by those countries ruled by economic materialism used science to kill unprecedented numbers of people, to construct means of killing us all, to progressively destroy the biosphere and to produce an amazing host of other evils and to not have any effective force that could stop them.  You have to admit that materialism is the shoddy and dishonest fraud it is to even find something that could hope to impede that progress towards total destruction of everything and you can't do that unless you face the facts that science isn't what the materialists pretend it is even as the prove that by their actions.  It is the materialists, the ideological atheists in science, those who have used science as their weapon against those whose conclusions about their own experience they don't like who are among the worst offenders in demanding that things impossible to see get to enjoy the status of reliable scientific knowledge.  I don't think that's an accident.  Those atheists, such as Woit, who oppose them are a very small, though perhaps growing, minority.  If there were more of them maybe we could come to some conclusions about that phenomenon but I'm unaware of any of them who have analyzed their thinking in terms of their experience, so far.


Thursday, August 27, 2015

Materialism Is Inevitably Nihilistic Its Nihilism Corrodes Even The Science It Is The Product Of Eventually It Even Corrodes The Respect For Science

In this day, as I've pointed out a number of times, scientists are insisting that they be allowed to publish things that have absolutely no foundation in observation in nature and even things that likely will never have any foundation in nature and get to call the results "science" with all of the rights and privileges conferred by long habit and experience of past science, that it be asserted to be reliable and objective.  I'm hardly alone in that observation, it's made from the such brilliant commentators on advanced physics as the mathematician Peter Woit and the rather better than most science journalist John Horgan.  It's made by an increasing number of scientists, even as some of the biggest names in science, Stephen Hawking a prime example, issue such observation free scientific declarations - such as his recent one about information being retained on the "shell" that the "event horizon" of black holes, even as the particle which that information is supposed to inform of is drawn into the hole, itself and who the hell knows what happens in there.  Just where this has been observed in nature is an easy question to answer, the answer is that it has never been observed because even the identification of a black hole is massively problematic and almost everything said about them - presented in the language of science which has been verified, observationally - is, in fact, not confirmed by observation in nature.  Yet people are in the habit of talking as if the verification of past theories of black holes is in hand and that, because of those theories, we can make confident assertions about such things as information accessibility at the "shell" of a black hole.  And, even if that observational confirmation eludes physics forever, I suppose even more of that kind of dissection of black holes will continue as grad students in that field want to make names for themselves and rise in the academic-scientific struggle for tenured professorships and other such things.

Other than the fact that the "Lords of Creation", as one of my biologist relations calls them, are able to talk governments into giving them lots and lots of money for colliders and other things to look for tiny particles and confirmation of a small fraction of their speculations, money that could go towards science that might, just might, be useful in saving our own and very much known to exist shell on which we all, including the most attenuated of theoretical physicist, depend for, you know, things like air to breathe, water to drink, food to eat, in order of which lacking we will die most rapidly.  She can be quite eloquent on the matter of funding of biological research in the face of such glamour projects of advanced physics.

I, on the other hand, am mostly interested in the current state of theoretical physics and, even more so, evolutionary psychology, because they expose the black hole of hypocrisy found in so many individuals who will demand proof of anything they hate, even that which makes no claims of scientific content,  but will become outraged when you point out that scientists frequently exempt themselves from having to even have a remote possibility of producing proof of what they assert has the reliability of science.  No evolutionary psycologist will ever make an observation of a behavior in even one dead hominid, they will never be able to compare reproductive success in animals which exhibited a behavior as opposed to others in their species which didn't.  They will never be able to demonstrate the persistence of a behavior across species in time to link something like human self-sacrifice to the behavior of ants and bees protecting their colony at a cost to themselves.  With the problems of past assumptions about the physical body explained, entirely or even largely by genes that have become apparent, it may well be that the problems of evolutionary psychology a lot of us noticed thirty-five years ago are only part of it.

Clearly, the old assumptions about science were not that it would revert to the habits of late medieval, scholastic natural philosophy, before the advent of modern science based in observation.  As late as the 1930s, it was possible for Arthur Stanley Eddington, in a lecture on "Selective Subjectivism" in science was able to say these things

 .... if we take observation as the basis of physical science, and insist that its assertions must be verifiable by observation, we impose a selective test on the knowledge which is admitted as physical.   The selection is subjective, because it depends on the sensory and intellectual equipment which is our means of acquiring observational knowledge.  It is to such subjectively-selected knowledge and to the universe which it is formulated to describe that the generalizations of physics - the so-called laws of nature - apply.  

...  Clearly an abandonment of the observational method of physical science is out of the question.  Observationally grounded science has been by no means a failure;  though we may have misunderstood the precise nature of its success.  Those who are dissatisfied with anything but a purely objective universe may turn to the metaphysicians, who are not cramped by the self-imposed ordinance that every assertion must be capable of submission to observation as the final Court of Appeal.  But we, as physicists, shall continue to study the universe revealed by observation and to make our generalizations about it; although we now know that the universe so reached cannot be wholly objective. Of course the great mass of physicists, who pay no attention to epistemology, would have gone on doing this in any case. *

A. S. Eddington : Selective Subjectivism, chapter 2, The Philosphy of Physical Science

"Clearly an abandonment of the observational method of physical science is out of the question," were that the case but not anymore, it's not.  It is the insisted on by an increasing number of theoretical physicists like Hawking and it was totally done away with in psychology and other social sciences pretty much from their inception.

Compare that statement with the present day state of cutting edge cosmology which sells string theory, M-theory, and everything up to and including different and competing multiverse ensembles consisting of numbers of entire universes so numerous that they achieve an effective if not actual infinity.  All without observational verification, much, if not all of it, beyond any possible means of verification.

You don't have to take my word for that -

One subject that was not mentioned at all in Ellis’s talk, and, as far as I could tell, not in any of the other ones either, was the multiverse. The organizers and speakers seem to all realize that there’s no scientific content to this idea worth discussing, so best to ignore it. I’m completely mystified though by the decision to have as public outreach a promotional talk about the multiverse by Alan Guth. Why anybody in HEP thinks it’s a good idea to make pseudo-science the public face of the subject just baffles me. If you want to see one reason why this kind of thing is really a bad idea and doing great damage to the public perception and understanding of the subject, take a look at this.

In Woit's post "this" is a link to a book review in the Spectator making fun of the claims of big names in physics and cosmology, comparing their claims, unfavorably, with "the most preposterous Old Testament preacher".  Leaving aside the condescension of both Alexander Masters and Peter Woit, the "Old Testament preachers" weren't primarily interested in multiverses and what happens at the event horizon of black holes, they were interested in the welfare of people living their lives in their contemporary world.  I don't think their ignorance of modern physics and astronomy is as serious a defect in their intended purpose as the modern scientists who don't even seem to understand what they need to achieve reliable knowledge and, as I have pointed out many times, don't even understand the vicissitudes of their own, insisted on materialist faith for the value of even their best ideas.

It is tragic that the time it takes to rise high in mathematics and physics, the other sciences and other such academic specialties take so much time that so many of these people have anything but a liberal education. It is even worse that so many of them are quite content with their ignorance of other things, brushing them aside as entirely unimportant as compared with their lofty subject matter.  Their education should, at least, give them enough knowledge of their own subject that they understand its requirements and limits and why other things matter.  What their studies can and can't do but other studies can. Philosophy, for example. History for another.   It's too bad more of them aren't required to read Eddington, especially his Philosophy of Physical Science, because he really did understand those things.  He, being a Quaker, didn't have to try to make his science squeeze into the corset of materialist ideology and wasn't tempted by the idiotic faith of scientism.  That left him free to see many obvious truths about science that so many can't fathom because their founding assumptions are entirely unrealistic.  The success of science was made or broken on the issue of observed verification in the natural universe.  It reputation was gained on the reliability that past generations of scientists had demonstrated through their rigorous insistence on that verification.  I think the time in which scientists will be able to bypass that verification and get by on the balance built up by those who earned the habit of accepting what scientists tell us because it is scientists who are saying it is limited.  Habits can be unlearned on the basis of failure to deliver and the past century of things which got called "science" the disasters of science that cuts corners, often for the profit of science done for corporations and governments, matched with scientists demanding the right to bypass any confirmation that their strange, even "preposterous" and, not least of all, entirely conflicting claims are as much a danger to science as the creationism industry.

I think scientists who insist on using theories unverified by observation or removed from the possibility of verification through observation have not only brought science into a decadent period but, through the repute of science, has helped bring about a more general period of decadent nihilism. Having looked long and hard at what materialists have said, what the inevitable consequencs of believing the claims of materialism, those all inevitably lead to nihilism, I have never found a statement by a materialist to the contrary stands up to the framing of materialism.

*  Consider the outrage among the college educated, those with degrees in science and those whose science education primarily consists of watching Nova or the Discover channel, if you brought up that the work of scientists is not purely objective but is, inevitably, the product of either subjective experience - which none of us can escape because all observation is limited to what we can observe - or subjective because all human expression is bound within the experience of the person expressing something.   The slogan that science produces objective knowlege is so drilled into people that they can't even think of what's really going on and the inevitable qualities imposed by how people do things is a violation of everything they've been taught to believe.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Carla Bley - Dining Alone

Carla Bley - organ, piano, tenor saxophone, vocals
Michael Mantler - trumpet
Carlos Ward - alto saxophone, tenor saxophone, flute
Roswell Rudd - trombone
Bob Stewart - tuba
Richard Tee - piano, electric piano
Cornell Dupree (tracks 1 & 7), Eric Gale, (tracks 2, 4 & 6) - guitar
Gordon Edwards - bass guitar
Steve Gadd - drums
This reminds me a lot of the music Michael Mantler was writing at the time, c. 1976.  Though I would guess he was more likely being influenced by Carla Bley.  He's a good composer, she's a great composer.

Challenge The Materialists And Their Answer Will Be [Crickets]

Lots of snark, no answer to my question of how the ingredient of intelligent design could be removed from what scientists do or why that doesn't make it impossible for science to support the lack of intelligent design.   Without that, the entire line that science can show that has to be regarded as bad scientific thinking. 

On the other hand, I admitted that, for the same reason, science couldn't be done to support the presence of an intelligent design and, by extension, a designer.  But, then, I'm not the one who is trying to use consciousness to disprove the reality of consciousness, the thing that they are using to try to disprove its existence.  Neither am I of the camp which is claiming that the universe created itself, before it existed.  

And I'll point out none of my previous challenges on how the brain would know how to make an idea (the physical structure that IS an idea for materialists) before it knew what to make or how to make it, how it could do that with the exquisite precision that such a feat would require before the idea was there to guide its construction.  Without that, their whole house of cards comes down.  

After last nights tropical deluge here, I'll listen to the real crickets, they're less wrong and more tied to reality than the materialists. 

Update:  No, Sims, I didn't think you would understand the question or that anyone with the ability to think about it for about ten seconds would not understand that there is no way for the materialists to answer those questions.  The fact is that the last one would require them to express a belief in precognition and telepathy, perhaps clairvoyance as well that worked many, many times better than any scientist who has done controlled research in this area has ever reported.  

And now that I've gone over your head, why don't you tell me why Jessica Utts' reasoning in both this paper and in her response to the commentators is wrong.   Especially the points that she and Honorton made about the file-drawer effect and the impossibility of that being relevant to the topic as it really is in real life. 

I have to say, her response to Ray Hyman's ass covering was amusing, though she didn't intend it ironically.   What isn't funny is his documented behavior which is of a piece with what I said this morning and the fact that he's been allowed to get away with it for decades.  And he's hardly the worst offender.  I am thinking about addressing William Feller's creation of categories of disqualifications, ad hoc, and why those are absurd.  But that will take more research than I've got time for right now. 

Now, go say something stupid to the Simels' Friends Network. 

Update 2:  Yeah, sure you did, Simels, 
And I am Marie of Romania. 

Update 3:  Simels is proof of the Bertrand Russell quote on the left side-panel.  He translates everything within the teensy little thing that his mind is and changes the meaning of it to accommodate that modest capacity.   Yet his head hasn't imploded into a singularity, disproves brain-only and gives reason to doubt black holes. 

Update 4:  I don't wonder that the acts of reading something and understanding it seem like psychic faculties to Simels, it would seem to be something that he has never experienced.  The same for drawing a logical conclusion from something read.  The act of reading for him is an act of confirming his pre-existing prejudices, not of understanding what was meant.  No doubt that helped a lot at Stero-Review, it doesn't help much in real life. 

Don't You People Ever Even Consider What You're Doing? How You're Doing it? - Hate Mail

No such a thing as science that is absolutely objective exists, science that isn't, at every stage, in every way,the product of a person and then a group of people reporting what they've experienced. There is no science that is ultimately unmitigated by and shielded from human choices, most of all the choices of what to believe.  Yes, THAT word, belief.  Science is, ultimately, a matter of belief, the will to believe that some things are of absolute truth, which can't be demonstrated scientifically.

Observation requires an observer who experiences what is observed.  Counting and measuring things and data are also done by people and their invented tools verified as valid through experience. Analysis is only possible through consulting past experience and holding new experiences and reports of those up to it.   That means A PERSON USING THEIR OWN MIND IS THE ONLY SOURCE OF SCIENTIFIC DATA.   Furthermore, even before we get to science, proper, mathematics, the foundation of all of science is the product of people who have to consult their own experience of something so seemingly squishy and unreliable to the moderny, sciency, "skeptical" mind as if something seems to them to make sense.   Much of that consultation a person makes of their own experience to see if a proposition of mathematics makes sense happens when they are, indeed, very young, very ignorant, very impressionable and very naive, generally about the time when they learn that if they put one thing with one other thing they have something they can, then, regard as two of something.   You all did it, those of you who seemingly never mastered the times tables to those of you who work in pure mathematics at the post-graduate level, everything you do rests on the choices you made to believe your own experience at the youngest of ages.

And the even more sub-ground foundation of science and of mathematics, logical inference, rests on a person consulting their experience at an even younger age, that is if they ever understood even the first thing about elementary arithmetic instead of just accepting it by rote learning.  And even rote learning is a product of experience.  

So the objection to the point I brought up, that the athesit-materialist "skeptics" duping people into believing there is something wrong with relying on experience is bound to damage the acceptance of science rests in another of those superstitions so widely held by athist-materialists and those who they've either duped, or more likely bullied into parroting their dogmas.  It is a complete superstition, knowable to be a superstition to an absolute degree of reliability,  that there is something called SCIENCE, that rests as a pure, objective, ideal thing that is unsullied by the unreliable minds of human beings.  

There is no such thing, it doesn't exist, it is a con job sold by people who have proven themselves to be con men interested entirely in pushing their own ideological POV above everything, including the most rigorously conducted and carefully controlled science.  

What turns out to be another myth is that ideological materialism has been either necessary or good for science, it has been a disaster, all round.  

It was a mistake to mistake the agreed to subject matter of science, in the beginning of it, the universe as considered as a physical thing, as the same thing as atheist materialism.   It never was, as can be seen from the absolute historical fact that all of the founders of science were not materialists but were religious believers.  Including Copernicus, Galileo, Bacon, etc.  As materialists lie about the nature of science, they also lie about history with an abandon that is amazing.  What is most amazing is how they've been allowed to get away with it in universities, among the intellectual class.   I've come to believe they got away with most of it because most of the people who are regarded to be of the intellectual class had a faulty foundation in their science and mathematics education and are afraid to expose themselves as what they are, dependent on the claims of others.  But that's the same for everyone, including scientists, including scientists who do not have the time to really review even all of what they use, never mind other topics in science that aren't part of their specialty.  THEY ALL HAVE TO TAKE ENORMOUS AMOUNTS OF SCIENCE ON FAITH.   In the wake of the scandals of science, such as those reported at Retraction Watch, such as those discussed in the podcast I linked to yesterday, it is clear that that faith is generally, today, on some rather shakey foundations of misplaced confidence.  And just when we need science to be reliable because we are using science to destroy the one and only environment which we need to live.  The decadence which science and the culture has been brought to under a regime of atheism endangers science because it endangers all of us. 

This is a horrible tragedy because there has never been a time in human history when we need honest, well done science in so many areas and we need to be able to have an intelligent and valid confidence in it.   Mixing the show-biz crap and ideological dishonesty of the pseudo-skeptics has made things far, far worse.  Mixing in the garbage of the materialists, especially those who have used the social sciences - the origin of some of the worst science ever done - has made things ever so much worse.   Those were original source of the attack on experience, using anomalies in some pretty bogus and artificial experments and, especially,  the conditions of people unable to deal rationally with what experiences they have to try to gull the mass of humanity into not believing their own experience was a valid and necessary means of knowing what was going on around them.   

That's a lot of science to undermine for the support of their own, preferred ideology of materialist atheism.  But, then, there's nothing in materialism that requires honesty or which, in the end, accepts as a solid conclusion that one thing is better than another thing, both of which are also foundations of science.  It doesn't work at all unless you honestly report what your experience leads you to believe. And it's a rare atheist in my experience who goes to a lot of trouble for the truth, though I've encountered the odd outlier among the outright liars. 

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Wayne Shorter - Adam's Apple

Wayne Shorter, sax
Herbie Hancock, piano
Reginald Workman, bass
Joe Chambers, drums

Update:  Night Dreamer

Wayne Shorter, bass
Lee Morgan, trumpet
McCoy Tyner, piano
Reginald Workman,bass
Elvin Jones, drums

Hate Mail - No, Silly Atheist

What a stupid accusation!  Of course I don't troll Eschaton, I don't need to, Simels and some new guy Skepti-bot or something troll it for me.   I can't get them to stop OCDing about me over there.  

Now if they'd only get it right.  Obviously, none of them read me any more than they used to read Duncan, back when he wrote.  Functional dyslexics, easily 90% of them .  I'd charge a royalty to Duncan for involuntarily providing him content only I've got a firm stand against making money on sweatshop labor. 

Hate Mail - No, I'm Not Going To Stop Saying The Forbidden Materialism Has Brought Us To A Dark And Decadent Age

Again,  I've been warned that I'm going to make myself unrespectable by the shocking act of reading a book about science by the most renowned of scientists and regarding what he said as being what he meant.  It's remarkable, considering how much the materialists hate post-modern analysis how readily they take to even its most absurd practices of literary criticism when the plain-spoken words of one of their icons are inconvenient and unacceptable.

Well, in order to both show how deep my rebellion against the totalitarianism of conventional materialist dogma is and because it is full of rather startling information I am going to post a link to the recent Science Set Free Podcast,

Beyond Phyicalism

Some of the startling things said:

- The "file drawer effect" a tool of materialist refusal to look at scientific research they don't like* and which they hold discredits that science, is, actually, a near ubiquitious practice of the science they not only accept but do, themselves.  

- The frightening situation where an enormous percentage of medical and pharmacological studies which are published and taken as valid science, effecting treatments and other areas of health could not be replicated. 

- The materialist straight jacket that is, still the absolutely required framing of everything is and has been falling apart even as the requirements of it are even more rigidly enforced through the media and on educated discussion.   Even informed atheists are openly talking about its complete inadequacy.

It is growing clearer that the common received and required way of thinking enforced on us since the advent of CSICOP is a fabric of ideological lies and the result is massive intellectual decadence with a patina of sciencyness.

One of the worst effects of that is something I've talked about here, that the atheist-materialist tactic of impeaching peoples' experience cannot be isolated and is a definite contributor to the refusal to believe valid science.  The cynicism of that insistence that we can't trust our experience insists on ignoring that everything about science relies on that same experience, on the experience of those who do the research.  If someone can't trust the experience which they have, they have even less reason to trust the reports of experience that other people claim that they had.  Mix that with reports of retracted studies, studies which are not replicable , of scientific fraud, of science whose results are fudged to please the corporations that pay for them, the militaries that commission them, etc. not to mention those which are made to support materialist ideology instead of to look honestly at phenomena, and it's no wonder that there is so much skepticism, much of it illegitimate skepticism of real science.  It is turning out that pseudo-skepticism, bad skepticism drives out good skepticism and the results are a general cynicism and a fear of expressing belief in anything.

*  As Rupert Sheldrake and Mark Vernon discuss, the routine dismissal of reviewed, published psychic research, over decades has led to the situation where it may, well, be the field of scientific study which is free of file draw effect.  That has, actually been studied, rigorously.  For the file drawer effect to be a valid way to dismiss the results of the published studies there would have had to have been an enormous number of formally conducted studies which were suppressed, far more than the number of those engaged in the formal study of reported psychic phenomena could have conducted and suppressed, especially given the miniscule amount of money given for that research.  It is almost certainly the case that the one area of study most subjected to false claims of a file drawer effect is among those where that is least possible.

The Popular Misunderstanding of the Huxley - Wilberforce Debate: Summer Rerun On a Terrible Tuesday Originally posted August 27, 2012

Evolution is a retrospective science,  looking for information about things that happened in the past over a period of billions of years.   In the generalizations made from those, it can be lost that evolution was made of actual organisms and their lives that actually happened and left a lasting result in the entire history of life up to now.   That real past can't be known from making up scenarios out of theories, whatever can be known with any reliability about that real past is in the real, physical evidence that is left of it.  Fossils, of course, structural comparisons based on those in consultation with observations of living organisms, survivals of sequences in organic molecules, shared within living organisms and what can be recovered from those already long dead. 

In concentrating on aspects of the enormous number of details of this most complex and gigantic of scientific studies, in which the subtlest of details can be of crucial importance, the simple fact that you're talking about plants, animals, fungi, bacteria, viruses, etc. which really lived, survived, left descendants etc. all in environments and habitats and in interaction with other living beings is often forgotten.  Evolution is made of events as every day and actual as our immediate lives and the lives we read about in the newspaper.

You'd think that, of all scientists, evolutionary biologists would be the most appreciative of the fact that historical accuracy is crucial to knowing the truth.   But the opposite is the case, especially these days.  Historical fiction is wildly inserted into biology and from there to other sciences, real and so-called, and it's considered to be just as good as the truth because, you see, it's solidly based in natural selection.  This assumption that you can make up anything in the absence of evidence and make it true by coming up with some assertion of natural selection is the original sin of Darwinism, something that began almost immediately, as the historical and "scientific" record proves.  Darwin engaged in it, himself, and promoted it.  Darwin used generalized narratives when he didn't have evidence.   That is also clear from reading  The Descent of Man.

Evolution consists of a continual stream of events in the lives of organisms.  Those events and organisms were as real, the events as actual and specific as anything in your daily experience.  As real as reality.  More real than fiction, which has no real part in evolution.  Not as science, in any ideal case, though that too often isn't science in reality.  

Today one is supposed to look at the earliest opponents of Darwinism and see them as ignorant, religious, yahoos.  That some of them were among the most accomplished scientists of their day, whose work is still used, such as Rudolph Virchow, is seldom presented.   In the cases I've looked at, much of the scientific opposition to Darwinism was based in its lack of a mechanism of inheritance and the propensity of  people like Haeckel, those who presented Darwinism "boldly", as Darwin put it, to make stuff up when there was no evidence.  Considering how soon the Darwinists were using Darwinism ideologically and even politically, to assert some truly horrible things, the citation of its deficiencies was anything but unenlightened.  It does the truth a disservice to lie about the legitimate concerns of those who expressed opposition to Darwinism within science.  Considering what the Darwinists, themselves were saying about the political, social and ideological revolution that Darwinism incited and the subsequent political use of it, those citing the deficiencies in Darwinism in the early decades can seem prophetic, even if they were also wrong about some aspects of evolution.  Every single person writing on the topic in the 19th century seems to have gotten something wrong about it.

That lack of evidence in the 1860s plays an important part in one of the mainstays of the Darwin mythology, the smack down of Bishop Wilberforce by Darwin's bull dog, Thomas Huxley. 

Just as most people seem to know what they think they know about the Scopes trial from watching Inherit the Wind,  many people think they know the story of how Thomas Huxley struck the decisive blow for Darwinism when he put the uppity, arrogant Bishop Wilberforce in his place.   Exactly how he did that might get lost in the BBC costume* drama that likely constitutes their entire knowledge of the events and issues but they'll know how they're supposed to feel about it.   I figured that account was how it happened until I read J. R. Lucas's article looking at the historical pedigree of the tale as it comes down to us and as the British educated class loves to repeat in a growing number of TV shows and movies about Darwin as a mascot of atheism.   I will just leave it at recommending that if you think you know all about it, you'll find out you don't from reading Lucas.   Pretty much the entire narrative, as first published decades after it happened, as you're likely to have heard it is a complete lie. 

Do read Lucas, and don't miss the other things he wrote  that are relevant to his article.   His proof that, despite what they seem to want everyone to believe, mathematical logicians don't get to have free will while depriving everyone else of it, makes me smile.

* "The Voyage of Charles Darwin," from the late 1970s comes to mind with the death of Neil Armstrong, who introduced it on TV  in the United States.   The  Wilberforce episode was handled very shortly and entirely according to the myth, leaving out,  that Wilberforce was not an ignorant cleric but someone who Darwin said had found all of the weak points in the first edition of On the Origin of Species, in  the Bishop's review of it.   Wilberforce was a fellow of the Royal Society, after all.   Part of Thomas Huxley's motivation in attacking Wilberforce was that he hated the presence of clergymen in science, as he pretty much hated religious folk, in general, that is as obvious as reading him on the topic of religion, especially Judaism and Christianity. Darwin took Wilberforce seriously enough that he addressed some of his points in future editions of On the Origin of Species,  as I said elsewhere,  Haeckel seems to have chided Darwin for doing so, believing he made his case weaker.  

I should add, I've seen photos from the period.  Darwin and Huxley did not look like Malcolm Stoddard and Joseph Blatchley did in the late 70s.  They were, seriously, trolls.  Wilberforce was too, just to be fair.