Ming the Mechanic:
Richard Dawkins comes to call

The NewsLog of Flemming Funch
 Richard Dawkins comes to call 2008-01-11 19:00
36 comments
by Flemming Funch

Ha, this is great. Richard Dawkins meets Rupert Sheldrake. We could say that this is about what happens when a scientist meets an... uhm.... charlatan. You can decide for yourself which is which. This account by Sheldrake was published in "Network Review: The Journal of the Scientific and Medical Network".
Richard Dawkins is a man with a mission – the eradication of religion and superstition, and their total replacement with science and reason. Channel 4 TV has repeatedly provided him with a pulpit. His two-part polemic in August 2007, called Enemies of Reason, was a sequel to his 2006 diatribe against religion, The Root of All Evil?

Soon before Enemies of Reason was filmed, the production company, IWC Media, told me that Richard Dawkins wanted to visit me to discuss my research on unexplained abilities of people and animals. I was reluctant to take part, but the company’s representative assured me that “this documentary, at Channel 4’s insistence, will be an entirely more balanced affair than The Root of All Evil was.” She added, “We are very keen for it to be a discussion between two scientists, about scientific modes of enquiry”. So I agreed and we fixed a date.

I was still not sure what to expect. Was Richard Dawkins going to be dogmatic, with a mental firewall that blocked out any evidence that went against his beliefs? Or would he be open-minded, and fun to talk to?

The Director asked us to stand facing each other; we were filmed with a hand-held camera. Richard began by saying that he thought we probably agreed about many things, “But what worries me about you is that you are prepared to believe almost anything. Science should be based on the minimum number of beliefs.”

I agreed that we had a lot in common, “But what worries me about you is that you come across as dogmatic, giving people a bad impression of science.”

He then said that in a romantic spirit he himself would like to believe in telepathy, but there just wasn’t any evidence for it. He dismissed all research on the subject out of hand. He compared the lack of acceptance of telepathy by scientists such as himself with the way in which the echo-location system had been discovered in bats, followed by its rapid acceptance within the scientific community in the 1940s. In fact, as I later discovered, Lazzaro Spallanzani had shown in 1793 that bats rely on hearing to find their way around, but sceptical opponents dismissed his experiments as flawed, and helped set back research for well over a century. However, Richard recognized that telepathy posed a more radical challenge than echo-location. He said that if it really occurred, it would “turn the laws of physics upside down,” and added, “Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.”

“This depends on what you regard as extraordinary”, I replied. “Most people say they have experienced telepathy, especially in connection with telephone calls. In that sense, telepathy is ordinary. The claim that most people are deluded about their own experience is extraordinary. Where is the extraordinary evidence for that?”

He [didn't] produce any evidence at all, apart from generic arguments about the fallibility of human judgment. He assumed that people want to believe in “the paranormal” because of wishful thinking.

We then agreed that controlled experiments were necessary. I said that this was why I had actually been doing such experiments, including tests to find out if people really could tell who was calling them on the telephone when the caller was selected at random. The results were far above the chance level.

The previous week I had sent Richard copies of some of my papers, published in peer-reviewed journals, so that he could look at the data.

Richard seemed uneasy and said, “I don’t want to discuss evidence”. “Why not?” I asked. “There isn’t time. It’s too complicated. And that’s not what this programme is about.” The camera stopped.

The Director, Russell Barnes, confirmed that he too was not interested in evidence. The film he was making was another Dawkins polemic.

I said to Russell, “If you’re treating telepathy as an irrational belief, surely evidence about whether it exists or not is essential for the discussion. If telepathy occurs, it’s not irrational to believe in it. I thought that’s what we were going to talk about. I made it clear from the outset that I wasn’t interested in taking part in another low grade debunking exercise.”

Richard said, “It’s not a low grade debunking exercise; it’s a high grade debunking exercise.”

In that case, I replied, there had been a serious misunderstanding, because I had been led to believe that this was to be a balanced scientific discussion about evidence. Russell Barnes asked to see the emails I had received from his assistant. He read them with obvious dismay, and said the assurances she had given me were wrong. The team packed up and left.

Richard Dawkins has long proclaimed his conviction that “The paranormal is bunk. Those who try to sell it to us are fakes and charlatans”. Enemies of Reason was intended to popularize this belief. But does his crusade really promote “the public understanding of science,” of which he is the professor at Oxford? Should science be a vehicle of prejudice, a kind of fundamentalist belief-system? Or should it be a method of enquiry into the unknown?



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36 comments

11 Jan 2008 @ 23:03 by Agki @65.87.160.186 : Paramormals
There has been absolutely NO evidence that the paranormal is anything but bunk.

Why has no paranormalist won the Randi Prize of 1 Megabuck? Because they can't do what they claim.

Yeah, I've heard the phone ring and it was a person of whom I happened to be thinking at the moment. Nevertheless, that has happened only a few times out of the thousands of calls I have received. In most cases, I was wrong. Then again, the sphere of the people who call me is relatively small (as is most people's) so one would expect to hit once in a while. Try to guess which telemarketer or which politician will call you next.  



11 Jan 2008 @ 23:51 by mortimer : The mirrors don’t lie…
It takes a charlatan (Dawkins & Russell) to know a charlatan.  


12 Jan 2008 @ 00:56 by bushman : Hmm,
Well personaly guessing whos calling on the phone is not really a good test, but I have had strange things happen that could be labled paranormal phenomena, I don't think any of it can be proven as something that can be repeatable at will. For instance the right conditions to start a linseed oiled rag on fire spontainiously, you have to have the perfect conditions for it to just happen, for years situations like that were probably looked at by some as something paranormal, but eventualy science figured it out and we know the exact conditions it takes for a linseed oil soaked rag to just burst into flames.
Is there science that eventualy will prove mind over matter? Maybe, Ive done it but not in a way that I was trying to do it, it just happens sometimes under the right conditions, do I know what the conditions are? No. I can speculate though. Like this one time I was under alot of stress to get to the bank before it closed, if I didnt get to the bank I would have been evicted from my home, I had a nieghbor blocking my driveway, and I was pissed, then once I found the neghbor and got them to move thier car, I had forgotten my keys in the house, I was only thinking about getting to the bank, and ran to my front door. This is when it all seemed to happen, as I reached for the door knob, the door handle turned and the door flew open, and my keys on my desk 20ft away jumped off the desk and almost landed in my hand that I was reaching for the door knob with, this happened in a matter of seconds, triped me out, lol, but I picked up the keys, ran to the car, raced to the bank, just as the lady was about to lock the bank door, I made it, if it had taken just 1 more second that bank would have been closed. So this is why I know there are things in the paranormal realm that happen when they happen, we have no science that can proove it yet, we have no special power that we can draw on at will, its just there when its there. :}  



12 Jan 2008 @ 03:11 by James @72.208.224.206 : Maybe they're BOTH partly "right", and..
One should *fully integrate* the works of Julian Jaynes:
[link]
and
[link]

James
[link]  



12 Jan 2008 @ 10:13 by mortimer : maybe..
there is truth in everything and nothing is totaly true.  


15 Jan 2008 @ 11:13 by ming : Truth
Right. So, there's reason to be worried when somebody's VERY sure about something, or, rather, when they're VERY sure about being right about it.

Truth remains a relative thing. Some things are more true than others, but even our best approximation of what is true is a bit of an illusion we maintain in our feeble human minds. If reality has been reduced to some simple abstract concept that one can put into a few words and two-dimensional diagrams, then clearly it is no longer reality.

To learn more, about the universe, about yourself, or about anything at all, requires that one realizes that there are things one still doesn't know, and it requires an openness to learn more about those things. It also requires a critical examination of the available data, so that one doesn't reject things that might be very useful, or accept things that aren't. So, if somebody's very sure about all the answers in advance, he probably won't be a very good investigator of the unknkown.  



15 Jan 2008 @ 16:50 by mortimer : investigator of the unknkown
The old saying goes; the map is not the territory.
And People look at the finger when you’re pointing at the moon.

Some maps are more effective than others. The ability to experience True Wonder and return with effective solution is a time tested ancient art. Our most ancient ancestors understood that we have very little control of things. Or put simple; we are not in control of Mother Nature. It seems that we inherently maintain a sense of control and resist True Wonder and almost any form of sudden change.

“”what is true is a bit of an illusion”” – illusion /disillusion, face the Cougar, baby, peel the infinite onion. - [link]


Male /Female
Known / Unknown

The authentic initiation into the mysteries…
For Each known component there is also unknown component.
The word ‘’mystery’’ encompasses both (known & unknown).  



15 Jan 2008 @ 16:55 by jmarc : As for Dawkins
"...there are also unknown unknowns -- the ones we don't know we don't know."  


17 Jan 2008 @ 16:57 by ming : Randi
Agki, Randi is a stage magician. Like any good stage magician or mentalist (mindreader who uses tricks), one's success is assured by carefully arranging things so that one can't fail, and so that the audience can't easily see exactly what one is doing, and how one does it.

Like any good magic performer, Randi accepts only the challenges and the conditions where he is sure to make his point, which is very clear in advance - he will demonstrate all of this sort of stuff is bunk. So, in general, he accepts primarily the crackpots who are already posed to fail. And when he accepts a test of something more solid, he sets up the conditions for the test.

By chance I hit upon a show on French TV where he supposedly was debunking homeopathy. It was framed as if he used the best experts for making lab tests, etc, which they did without his interferance, to make it look all proper and neutral. But the test he had set up was ridiculous, and had absolutely nothing to do with how homeopathy is used. It was done on drops of blood in a lab, and the test showed that some homopathic remedy, dilluted some trillions of times, had no demonstrable effect on those drops of blood. Which I sort of would have guessed too. And which has nothing to do with homeopathy, but he still presented it as if that was a debunking of the subject, as it obviously doesn't work. In brief, that is dishonest and misleading. It it were a magic show, it would be entertainment. If it pretends to be science, it is rather fraud.

So, it is a bit like one of those guys on the street who makes you bet money on some trick, like the old one with the three cups and one ball, and you move the cups around quickly, and you need to guess under which cup you find the ball. The guy who does it is a step ahead of you. He might make you believe that the deal is fair and square, but it isn't.

Most tests that have been done in proper experimental settings, of telepathy or guessing cards or coins and that kind of thing have shown a notable variance from chance. With random people, not a huge variance, but on average people know stuff they shouldn't be able to know.

Brushing away all of this stuff as 'bunk' is easy, but superficial. It is usually done in that same fashion. Like, making a statement like that, that nothing paranormal has ever been proven. And then when people present experiements that say otherwise, one switches strategy, and develops a personal attack against some suitable individual involved in that. "Oh, that was Professor Bunklebing! He also believed that so-and-so, and he got fired for so-and-so". As opposed to dealing with the facts at hand.

Few people are trained in critical thinking or are very good at noticing the way they're being manipulated. So, it is unfortunately all too easy to both make things appear that aren't there, and sweep stuff under the carpet, however well documented it is.  



20 Jan 2008 @ 02:09 by Roan Carratu @75.169.0.233 : This topic
I lived in a "telepathic" community of over a thousand people for more than 10 years. As one might expect, we checked it out very carefully, not in a lab but in living, the ultimate experiment. And I know, like I know my hands are typing this message, that telepathy is real. On the other hand, it has almost nothing to do with what people think. Literally. It is not a matter of 'reading' people's thoughts like listening to a radio. It's not really definable in our language because it is beyond language.

It's a perception, not a belief or something measurable by science. At least not yet, anyway. But then again, neither is "randomness", or "infinity", or "nothing" and a dozen other scientifically accepted concepts. They are like cave men talking about the "demons" dancing in their camp fire. We make up concepts, often very usable concepts, to use in place of understanding of phenomena or the lack thereof. There's nothing wrong with this until it is taken to a fanatical level.

For the cave men, the "demons" had to be fed, controlled, contained, or they would escape and possibly kill their whole world. (ever seen a large forest fire?) The concept was useful to them.

Telepathy is useful for some people as a concept, but what the word seeks to describe is far beyond any concepts. It's a perception. It's the vibes, the real phenomena of perceiving something outside the usual 5 senses which people create around themselves. It can be accessed consciously by anyone who chooses to do their mental and emotional homework, who are willing to clean their heads out, to exclude the social/cultural layers left from ancient times that we absorb from everyone as small children.

I know this because I know at least a thousand different people who did it, and that is a pretty good sample of humanity. I know because I lived with them, in the same houses, worked beside them, and from the moment I met them, I was telepathic with them.

I know it because when I moved to a city I could still perceive it, and I was able to stop violence with it, help suicidal people with it, raise people's souls and expand their minds with it. It is still part of my life, it doesn't go away because under all the conscious stuff in everyone is the generator of their vibes, unconscious to most, broadcasting like 50,000 watt radio towers... A lot of them broadcast so loud, they can't hear themselves.

And someone can say, "That's your belief, that's all." "It's just your opinion." or "you are self delusional." And I have to laugh, for under that same criteria, their breathing is belief, their seeing is opinion, their every movement is self-delusional. It is not a belief, not an opinion, it is observable, objective, perception. And when the academic religion gets free of their ancient crippled institutional belief systems, someday they will not only measure it, but develop the language, math, and technology to use it.

Right now, the very mention of telepathy will end a scientist's career. Isn't that the same as excommunication? That's the place where the institution of science resembles the institution of religion. But believe me, I have a lot more respect for science than I do for religion. I see no reason for the existence of religion at all. I find belief systems to be horrible insanity left from ancient tyranny, nothing more.

So, to tie this rant in with the topic... both men are right, and both men are likely wrong. It's like two cave men arguing about the "Demons" in the fire. They don't even know the context of the reality.  



20 Jan 2008 @ 05:30 by Merlin Silk @76.168.217.251 : Roan, where was that?
Hi Roan,
I want to know more about your ten years in a community with telepathy. I mean telepathy that the people knew they were using.
We all do it all the time, but mostly block it out. This permanent mental noise is most noticeable when it is suddenly not there. E.g. when I fly out into the desert coming from Los Angeles with its millions of people, get out of the plane, then I can feel the lack of mental noise and thinking. Physically it is pretty loud, usually lots of wind, but this lack of mental noise is fascinating.
But back to my question - where when and how can I experience that?

Merlin  



21 Jan 2008 @ 02:12 by cckeiser : Truth and Beliefs.
We all believe the truth that we perceive, but we only perceive the truth that we believe.  


22 Jan 2008 @ 18:22 by mortimer : We all do it all the time, (telepathy)
but mostly block it out.

Well put Merlin, thank you!  



24 Jan 2008 @ 03:37 by Natalie @82.35.46.214 : Dawkins VS Sheldrake
Relevant to this interesting discussion, you might be amused by my cartoon about dawkins and, um, God:
[link]  



26 Jan 2008 @ 06:45 by tochtli : science as a subjectivity translator?
objectively, no way, no how.. only the poets can perform such a feat  


26 Jan 2008 @ 09:33 by Roan Carratu @75.169.0.233 : Truth and Beliefs by cckeister
Behind the eyes is a knot of hard wired nerves that have an interesting role in the working of the brain. Basically it is a series of timers and filters, which work to allow the eye to perceive differences in sight. The filters recognize shapes and textures and movements and filter them out of perception, allowing only the unfiltered transmission of data into the brain.

What's even more interesting is that belief systems strongly embedded with emotion, mostly unconscious past emotional experiences, can actually alter those filters in a feedback loop, causing the individual to see what the belief system promotes them to see. A vapor becomes a ghost, a pattern of shadows becomes the face of an evil demon... Subconscious fear is particularly strong in feeding back through the filters, and belief systems are often adopted by people to support what they think they see, what is generated by their distorted filters.

Ultimately, what this means is that those who have beliefs cannot even imagine anything else. To them, everything is a belief, every opinion is a belief, everything comes from beliefs, and all truth is simply a belief. For they really do only perceive the truth they believe.

That is what I meant by doing your homework. Facing your fears, becoming aware of unconscious behaviors, perceiving other people's unconscious behaviors, looking into the world to see the layer under the superficial. While we might use different words to describe that layer of reality that is beyond opinion or belief, it is still the same reality.

Only the unbridled ego wants to be the center of the Universe and have everything be relative and defined by belief. But the ego itself is just an illusion, and if it is rebooted, reality is all that there is left.

The community was The Farm in Summertown Tennessee. It's up on the web somewhere. The community is far more than just a land based community now. It's all over the planet.  



26 Jan 2008 @ 14:57 by jmarc : Google Tech Talks
Some of our brightest minds are interested... YOUTUBE LINK  


1 Feb 2008 @ 09:16 by Roan Carratu @75.169.0.233 : Youtube- "Science and the taboo of psi"
It doesn't really make any difference if academic science does not want anyone to discover telepathy scientifically. Everyone has it.

The systems of control left in our society since ancient times really hates the idea that someone can know something beyond the verbal. It's almost impossible to lie among those who perceive telepathy, and those ancient control systems are all based upon some level of lie. That is their fear. That their lies will be perceived. Worse, if someone can perceive their hearts, their own lies to themselves can be perceived, and that might cause them to change, and they fear change like a chicken fears a wolf.

Also, it's not easy to get that perception. It requires a level of honesty with the self that few even know is possible. Before age 5, it is said that a child learns a Universe. They pick up data from everything around them, and it goes into their wide open minds without filtering. No beliefs or fears exist in their clean open minds. This goes into their minds and is churned up by new experiences, but nothing that goes into the mind is somehow lost.

So every one of us grows up with a vast amount of mis- dis- and clean information in that part of our brain filled in the first five years. Most of it, btw, is good information because it's experiential... hard is hard... wet is wet... no misinformation there.

"homework" is to face the embedded fears, misunderstanding, confusion, and general mess called the sub-conscious. It takes, just to start, a realization that the subconscious mess is real, that it affects your life in negative ways, and that you can, if you pay attention to the here and now, become aware of that subconscious, how it is messing up your life, and choose consciously to change it.

Other people are needed in this, because most of the subconscious is drawn out by other people. If they have already done their homework, they can also perceive your subconscious and show it to you, if you are aware enough.

Try to show subconscious to someone who is not doing their homework, they are either going to get mad, even violent, or suddenly dislike you. In fact, they will go out of their way to avoid you, and not even know they are doing it. They just don't "like" you. They cannot explain it.

The struggle is between your consciousness and your ego. Ego is a mechanism of the brain, a mechanical part of your mental/physical system which has only instinctive purposes... that is, to find food, avoid danger, and reproduce. To accomplish these purposes, the ego has to have certain abilities. It has to be able to remember accurately where things are, so it models the world it is interested in. That is the source of imagination in modern humans.

This model contains all the data the brain has absorbed since birth, which means it contains the subconscious. The ego generates thoughts, streaming them into the path of the consciousness, the active flow of awareness. The awareness pays attention to that flow when it is not actively engaged in the outside world.

Whatever that stream of awareness looks at in that thought stream, the ego makes more of. So if the consciousness looks at thoughts of fear or thoughts of lust, the ego will produce more and often more extreme thoughts than before, to keep the stream of awareness's attention.

The ego, to get that attention, will generate emotions, tagging the thought stream with them, using memories from the subconscious, just to increase the attention on those thoughts.

Part of the ego's characteristics is the amplification of mental perception. This is to identify the food from the plate, so you don't break your teeth on the plate. It's a process of dividing the data up, to create a useful illusion of separation. In modern people, that attribute causes the ego to amplify everything to extremes. And the ego in most people does not actually think the outside world exists. To it, it is the center of the universe and everything it perceives is a dream. That view of the non-rooted ego takes all meaning out of everything, even it's own existence, and to generate that meaning, it takes on a self-importance, arrogance, generating it's own purpose for existence.

So to be conscious of telepathy, the real mind, the generator of your attention, has to take on and overcome the ego, recognizing and making the subconscious conscious, then changing it.

I don't want to take over my friend Ming's blog. grin. So I'll leave it there for now.  



1 Feb 2008 @ 21:28 by c.c.keiser @71.175.207.89 : Re: Truth and Beliefs
Roan Carratu:

Unfortunately, there is no way to be certain there is truth or a Reality beyond the ego (mind).
We, you and I included, are all victims of our own fundamental solipsism. We are each trapped inside our own minds and cannot know with any real certainty what we are perceiving as reality actually exists.
We are quite good at foisting our own perceptions on others...it’s what we do, but if we are really to face our fears, than we must begin by examining our own egos first.
Once we can do that without prejudice, it will become clear what we ourselves perceive as truth and reality is simply that...what we ourselves perceive...and what we perceive has no foundation at all beyond our own mind.
Once we strip away all the illusions of truth and reality...only the mind/ego remains.
It is only hubris and our own solipsism that convinces us what we are perceiving as truth and reality must be the same truth and reality for everyone else.

It is never “the same reality”!  



3 Feb 2008 @ 08:14 by Roan Carratu @75.169.0.233 : Re: Truth and Beliefs
"We are each trapped in our own minds?" (implying there are other minds in the common world) "If we strip away all the illusion of truth and reality, only the mind/ego remains?" (so ultimately only your mind exists and there is no common world.)

Well, having stripped my ego clean of fear and foolishness, I can say to you with experiential knowledge that mind/egos do not exist, and only the common world exists. But until you choose to reboot your ego you cannot experience anything but the illusion of yourself.  



3 Feb 2008 @ 21:06 by c.c.keiser @71.175.212.207 : Re: Truth and Beliefs
Dear Roan,

Of course there are other minds in the “Common Consciousness”.
The only thing that separates one mind from another is its unique perceptions of that common consciousness. Its own unique point of view!

Relativity tells us no-thing existing alone can have any meaning.
For anything to have meaning it must be able to be compared relative to something else.
This applies to the mind as well. A mind existing alone can have no meaning.
For a mind to have meaning it must be able to compare “I” relative to “Not I”.
Without “Not I” there is no meaning to “I”.
If I existed alone, I could not call myself I. “I” would have no meaning.

But you missed my point, and confirmed it all at the same time.
We each believe our own perceptions as being The Truth, and we can get really upset when our own perceptions are challenged. (It’s a ego thing! ;o)

We have all been arguing over our own perceptions for thousands of years with no real consensus on just about anything.
This topic Ming provided is proof sufficient we have not made any progress at all in all that time. For anything someone believes, there is always someone else who believes something different.
Our error has always been in believing our own perceptions are true for everyone else. That the Universe and all Reality works the same way for everyone else as it does for us.

The common world you speak of is an illusion of our own minds, and only exists within our minds.
It is a product of our perceptions and is not only malleable, it is fundamentally interactive. Reality changes as our perceptions of Reality change. It responds to our apprehensions, our anxieties and our aspirations. It is totally a product of our perceptions, and everyone perceives it differently.

There is no “foolishness”, there is only choices. We each chose our own Reality to believe in.
That Reality works just the way we believe it does.
You have chosen your’s, and I mine, and still others have chosen they own. Sometimes our Realities are pretty much the same, and sometimes not.
For some there’s esp, for others not. Some have ghosts, some do not. For some there’s an ego, for others not.
The point being; it doesn’t make any difference.
We each reap what we each sow.

We believe what we perceive, but we only perceive what we believe.

Chuck  



5 Feb 2008 @ 12:59 by Roan Carratu @75.169.0.233 : Common Reality
C.C., consider that anyone saying anything to you outside your self-consistent logic structure would seem like a proof of the conclusions of your self-consistent logic structure to you.

Consider the possibility that everything is exactly the opposite of what you think in every way.

Then consider the possibility that nothing you think has any relationship with anything.

peace,
-Roan  



8 Feb 2008 @ 03:25 by c.c.keiser @72.92.99.67 : More Tea?
Greetings Roan

Yeah, I don't really blame you.
It does sound really whacked doesn't it?
Believe me, I know how this all must sound to any rational person who
hasn't been down the quantum rabbit hole themselves.
10 years ago I thought pretty much the same as you. Maybe even more so
since for most of my adult life I was a skeptic and worshiped in the
Church of the Standard Model. Science was my God of choice,
I blame my new found insanity all on quantum theory and that damn
quantum rabbit hole!

In the search for the Theory of Everything (TOE) I took a peak down the
quantum rabbit hole and landed flat on my as in Wonderland; right in the
middle of the Mad Hatter's tea party.

With a naturally suspicious mind I delicately tasted the cakes and
cautiously sipped the tea, but that was enough!
Now I'm stuck here in Wonderland, and the Mad Hatter's tea party never
ends!

The funny thing is, the longer you stay here, the more sense the old
Hatter makes, and before you know it, you become the Mad Hatter
yourself...serving up the tea and cakes.


So I thank you for your suggestion, but it is no longer possible, I left all that behind many years ago, and find I can longer go back.
Yeah, I know it sounds crazy, but never the less, from down here in the quantum rabbit hole, it looks like that is pretty much how Reality works. From down here, everyone else looks crazy!

I invite you to come down and join us. There are quite a few of us here already, and more drop in all the time. But not to worry, down here there’s endless room, and the possibilities are infinite!

We are not hard to find; just follow the White Rabbit!
[link]

Peace  



10 Feb 2008 @ 22:27 by Roan Carratu @75.169.0.233 : The Rabbit Hole
Well, the problem is that a hole seems way to much like a hole with no way out, which is where you say you are.

Every self-consistent logic structure created conceptually throughout history has often been the best construction the smartest people of that time could come up with, from Ugh the caveman and his "Demon Fire" to "Christianity" to "Quantum Theory"... from the point of view of people caught in each "Belief", logic structure, there was no way out. The evidence, in the language and study of the time, seemed conclusive. It Was Simply The Way Things Are.

It seems to me that the best way to keep the mind open is not bury it in a hole.

If the Fire Demon talks to me, or Jesus comes to me in my room, or a white rabbit wearing a top hat looks at his watch next to me, I will still not buy into the logic structure that contains the limits imposed by that conceptuality.

We are Universe being aware of itself. Even if your conceptual structure is real, does accurately describe reality, or in your case, make it impossible to describe reality, we are still Universe being aware of itself. While our perceptions may be filtered by our beliefs, it does not stop the perception.

The perceiver, the act of perceiving, and that which is perceived, is not in the slightest separate. Conceptuality about it is meaningless. What is, is.  



11 Feb 2008 @ 03:08 by c.c.keiser @72.94.133.225 : "What is" is what?
“We are Universe being aware of itself. Even if your conceptual structure is real, does accurately describe reality, or in your case, make it impossible to describe reality, we are still Universe being aware of itself. While our perceptions may be filtered by our beliefs, it does not stop the perception.”

The perceiver, the act of perceiving, and that which is perceived, is not in the slightest separate.”

Wonderful! Non-Duality, and I agree completely.
If only you had stopped there.

“Conceptuality about it is meaningless. What is, is.”

Ouch!!
If conceptualizing about “What is” is meaningless, then so is the quest for knowledge and “enlightenment” meaningless. Then philosophy and all sciences that have issued from the “love of wisdom” are also meaningless.
In those five words you made the whole of mankind meaningless, and return us to nothing more than spectators of our Reality and left us powerless to change our fates.

Conceptualizing is our birthright, it is the heritage of mankind to wonder, to ask questions and attempt to answer them. It is in questioning if “What is” really what it is that commands the mind and stirs the soul. Conceptualizing is the Muse of the writer and the poet. It is our ability and our necessity to conceptualize that defines who we are.
It is because of this ability to conceptualize and ask questions we have come to understand that “What is” isn’t what it seems to be.
There is no “is” in “What is”!

“The perceiver, the act of perceiving, and that which is perceived, is not in the slightest separate.”
You could call that part Quantum Idealism, and it came about by conceptualizing over what is.

What is, as it turns out, is what we make it.

“An old rigid civilization is reluctantly dying. Something new, open, free and exciting is waking up.”

Please join us.  



22 Feb 2008 @ 01:08 by ahdhha @168.156.154.98 : jl;jkj;l
All this talk is quite ridiculous. Thats what I like about science, everything needs to be proven. Compared to this collection of ancedotal evidence and philosophising.

By the way it is basically a proven fact that conciousness can effect physical reality, but it is not not learnable, it just happens some times.

I kinda dislike these websites, because this philosophy is all about belifs, when you use vauge words about stuff like you guys do you can say anything you want. Like the saying goes the only certainty is uncertainty. So when you have some thought about some "True Wonder" or some other such vague philosophical term you invented which you feel must be capitalized, please keep it to yourself, and let everyone come up with their own philosophies.  



22 Feb 2008 @ 01:24 by ahdhha @168.156.154.98 : another thing
Dont you think it is a bit hypocritical that you guys on here try to talk about how ridicious people are who belive that science describes everthing, and then you come up with vague philosophy that you think describes everything?

There were alchemisits and oracles and before that there were shaman's and witch doctors who supposedly knew the key to everything too. Some of them drank mercury and died, because they thought it was some magical fluid they thought would give them eternal life, some of them made toxic potions which they thought were cures to diseases, if you read some of their writings you will find that they are similar to your writings in that they have developed some psdueo-scientific philopsophy/ thoery of everything, that they belived was scientific, and true, and you would find that they probably contractict themsleves in several places, just like your writings probably do.  



22 Feb 2008 @ 14:58 by ming : Science
Science is good at explaining things that can be proven. But it is a huge logic fallacy to assume that everything science can't prove doesn't exist. Science obviously doesn't describe everything. It describes only stuff that can be proven and repeteatedly demonstrated and explained. It is great if science continously can expand the volume of stuff we can explain and prove. But scientific proof needs to be preceeded by conjecture of what we think we might find, that currently lies outside the realm of what can be rigorously proven.

If somebody tries to use science to claim that something doesn't exist, the logical response is to ask them to prove it. Prove that it doesn't exist. That it isn't found in the list phenomena that science already has proven and explained does not in any way constitute a proof that it doesn't exist.

And remember, however rigorously science is carried out, all it does is to establish whether experimental data fit with a given theory or not. If the results consistently fit with the theory, it is a useful theory which you can do stuff with. One might then accord the theory a more positive label, like saying that the explanation in the theory is "natural law". It is still a theory, but one with practical, verifiable application. The explanation might still be wrong, or a better explanation might come along later, which explains and predicts even more.

When somebody, in the name of science, forgets that the findings are merely a map, and they start claiming that it is absolutely and certainly the real thing, the territory, then we start entering the field of religion. More so when one claims that what isn't on the map doesn't exist, and couldn't possibly exist, because it isn't on the map.  



22 Feb 2008 @ 22:14 by ahdhha @85.195.123.22 : asdf
You say it is a logical fallacy to assume that something that can not be observed does not exist? Now that is a logical fallacy, if something can not be observed in any way, then it is logical to assume that it does not exist. And even if you take your point of view that something can exist without being observable in any way, then what is the point of its existence, if it cant be heard felt seen, then as far as a logical person is concerned, it makes no philosophical difference whether or not it exists because there will be nothing different about a world in which it exists and a world in which it doesn't exist.

Scientifically speaking, if something would be expected to make some effect, and it doesn't then you have proof that it doesn't exist. Unless you are talking about proving something which would not be expected to make any effects on physical reality, in which case you can go back to the argument in my first paragraph.  



22 Feb 2008 @ 23:57 by ming : Proving
Right, if something exists, one should be able to expect that it can be observed. If a certain effect is claimed, then it would be reasonable to be able to measure that effect somehow. And if one can't, it sort of indicates that the prediction is incorrect.

The thing I take issue with is the denial of phenomena that can be observed, but for which there might not be a suitable scientific theory. Or which can be observed, but not in controlled, repeatable lab experiments. To do a repeatable experiment requires that there's a relatively limited number of factors that influence the result, and that one can control and explain those factors. That works well for physics, but is difficult when it is more complex, like if people and their beliefs and thoughts and emotions are involved.

Homeopathics typically works great for me as health remedies, better than the traditional stuff an M.D. would prescribe to me. If I compare them side by side, the results are easily observable and verifiable. But homeopathics lends itself badly to the kind of testing that would work for pharmaceuticals. One could say that it is because they really don't work, and I and millions of other happy users are just being delusional. Or one could say that it is because it is more complex, and involves thoughts and emotions, so testing it on cells in a petri dish, or on rats just isn't going to work.  



23 Feb 2008 @ 21:04 by c.c.keiser @71.175.205.177 : Isn’t this great?! ;o)
Isn’t this great?! ;o)

The “discussion” taking place here on the comments page for this article pretty much mirrors the discussion taking place in the article itself.
If we look at any discussion throughout history they are all mirrors of each other.
Yeah, the names are different, and the subject matter may be different, but all the arguments are pretty much the same.
Everyone maintaining their personal perceptions of Reality must be the same for everyone else.
This is the fundamental solipsism of the ego at work.
We just cannot understand why someone else cannot see everything the same way we see it!

As for Science; what we know today is always subject to change with what we may know tomorrow. All knowledge is always Subject to Change.

Subject to Change

I know what I know, and I know it is true.
If you ask me for proof, I can talk till you’re blue.
I have it all here, in print and in scrawl.
It’s a fact, not a theory...In fact it’s a law.
I know it’s the truth, no matter how strange,
Oh, by the way, it’s all subject to change.  



24 Feb 2008 @ 13:40 by ming : Awareness of abstraction
Yeah, that's why we really could use a discipline that makes us stay aware of the inadequacies in our thinking and our perceptions, even while we're trying to something useful with them. General semantics is still the best attempt of that. Staying aware that however sure we are of what we see and what we believe, we're always working with abstractions of the real thing. And abstractions are never it. The finger might be pointing to the moon, but the finger is not the moon, and never will be. Being terribly sure of something that really is just an abstract idea is somewhat less than sane.  


24 Feb 2008 @ 23:57 by c.c.keiser @72.92.92.55 : Awareness is abstration
“Yes, and all those people who think they know it all are terribly annoying to us that do!”
Sorry, don’t remember who said that...or something pretty close to it anyway, but the almost quote pretty much summarizes the history of human discourse.
Our progress has been painfully slow, but if it weren’t for funerals we would never make any progress at all.

I guess your “the finger is not the moon” is much the same as “The map is not the territory” byAlfred Korzybski ([link]), the founder of General Semantics.

But what is even more interesting is we now know the territory is not the territory either!
Yeah, the moon really doesn’t exist if we are not looking at it.
It all abstraction.
Of that I am “terribly sure”!
Sorry, but if you believe that is less than sane, I have another quote for you.

“I do not suffer from insanity; I enjoy every minute of it!”
Elmer Fudd.

The problem, as I see it, is for some reason we believe the answer to “Life, the Universe and Everything” must be a rational answer.
I don’t know why that is, since Reality itself is anything but rational and neither are we.
Yeah, we like to think we are, but it is quite true “We are not rational creatures, we are rationalizing creatures.”
I think Elmer Fudd said that as well.
We rationalize everything, even our abstractions into our reality.
The other problem is, we don’t want to believe it.  



25 Feb 2008 @ 13:02 by ming : Rational
And not only that, we seem to insist that the answers are short and simple. I do believe that existence, when all is added up, is something rational. But not necessarily rational in the sense that it can expressed in a couple of handy human sentences or formulas. It is all terribly complex, and the final answer might just be All Of It. Which will be found to be perfect and beautiful. But not easy to dumb down.  


26 Feb 2008 @ 03:33 by c.c.keiser @71.175.208.112 : But not easy to dumb down.
Amen!  


27 Feb 2008 @ 06:45 by nika @123.188.83.154 : asdf
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Other stories in
2009-11-01 16:35: Seven questions that keep physicists up at night
2008-10-14 20:33: Where are the podcars?
2008-07-05 00:08: Self-Organized Criticality
2008-05-16 13:34: The Universe as God
2007-12-02 21:10: An E8 theory of everything
2007-09-27 00:46: Parallel universes are a bit more real
2007-07-05 23:40: What happened before the big bang
2007-06-27 00:58: Naïve realism
2007-05-26 02:26: Mars cave
2007-04-25 14:17: Quantum physics says goodbye to reality



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