Monday, June 29, 2020

(Missing key to) A Scientific Explanation For God? | Joe Scott

Joe started 2016 with one of the biggest questions of all - does God exist?

I started Joe's video with a cynicism that evaporated as Joe’s perspective unfolded. His well told story impressed.  It helped that his words resonated with my own evolving experience.  

Still while listening, at times, an image of playing basketball in zero gravity crept into my imagination because, like so many others, Joe lacked a fundamental frame of reference to stabilize the mind boggling complexities and conflicting notions of our inner and outer worlds that he was doing his best to rationally discuss.

Something so fundamental it’s never thought about, ergo its implications remain lost to us.  Namely, recognizing the profound difference between our Human Mindscape (individual and collective) and Physical Reality.

This lack of a clear baseline appreciation for our own brain’s* place in the universe leads to all sorts of hubristic assumptions, and a reflexive disregard for information outside of one’s own realm. 

Let me go through that key again quoting from an essay I wrote a couple years ago.
“… missing was a much more fundamental division crying out for recognition.  Specifically, the magisteria of Physical Reality vs the magisteria of our Human Mindscape. …”
What’s important about that is that it forces us to recognize that both science and religion are products of the “realm of Our Mindscape.”
Science seeks to objectively learn about our physical world, but we should still recognize all our understanding is embedded within and constrained by our mindscape and all that we’ve learned through our minds.  
Religion is all about the human mindscape itself, with its wonderful struggles, fears, spiritual undercurrents, needs and stories we create to give our live’s meaning and make it worth living, or at least bearable.  
What’s the point? Religions, Science, political beliefs, heaven, hell, even God they are all products of the human mindscape, generations of imaginings built upon previous generations of imaginings, all the way down.  
That's not to say they are the same thing, they are not!  

Though they are both valid/necessary human endeavors, 
but they are certainly fundamentally and qualitatively different.

Religion deals with our interiors, inside our minds, hearts, feelings and souls,
Science does its best to objectively understand the physical world beyond all that.
*Or more specifically our mind, that thing our brain creates, during its short dance of life.

Saturday, May 9, 2020

Humanist reflects on his path to a "respectable mastery" in culinary arts. 4 of 4

continued from part 3, the Denver years.

Back home and the Tamarron Resort, Durango, Colorado

On a visit home I stopped in at the Tamarron Resort north of Durango for a casual inquiry.  HR sent me to see the restaurant manager.  Turned out to be a French import, who was there for one year as part of his own career building.  He was also lonesome for someone with a bit of continental sensibilities and genuine appreciation for fine dining.  He practically wouldn’t let me leave his office without promising to take the job and come back and start working.  
Though I was pleasantly surprised and impressed with Denver, three years of the big city was getting to be enough and it was time to get back to home and my people, so I said sure.
When my French pal went back to his home, and to take up his next position with the French President’s culinary/service team for a year, I was promoted to replace him.  While manager I created a server training manual for the San Juan Mtn Cafe.

Thursday, May 7, 2020

Humanist reflects on his path to a "respectable mastery" in culinary arts. 3 of 4

(continued from part twoBack in America.
Silverton’s Zhivago’s Restaurant on “Notorious” Blair Street

I can still remember driving down the “Champions” into Silverton at 9,300’ July ‘79.  First sight of that town way down there in the distance and I simply could not stop laughing, it was like a fairy town on a miniature train set.  Even had a smoking steam train on the tracks way down yonder.  How was I to know I was driving into Colorado’s last gold rush?  But, I digress again.
I met Falco’s friends and told them about my culinary experiences.  That night they took us to the best in Silverton, Zhivago’s Restaurant on “Notorious” Blair Street, under lease to a very nice, very hip L.A couple with lots of money and dreams of having the coolest mountain town restaurant ever.  With the help of friends within the L.A. music community, they succeeded.  Well, for a few glorious years.  But, giving away the profits playing the high roller will sink the best of establishments, but I’m getting ahead of myself.

Tuesday, May 5, 2020

Humanist reflects on his path to a "respectable mastery" in culinary arts. 2 of 4

(continued from part oneMy German culinary experience.

Mittenwalt, Germany.
That sent me back to Germany, where my “Has Been German Citizen” legal status gave me the right to apply and receive work permits.  Finding an apprenticeship was another matter.

Mittenwald, Bavaria, Germany
Winter was coming and I needed to find some work, which I did at the Hotel Gasathof Mühlhauser in Mittenwalt, Bavarian Alps.  Basically an owner chef, a cook and me prepping for them.  I also washed the pots and pans though I remember more about my moonlight excursions out into the magical countryside and hanging out with other restaurant workers in the evenings drinking beer and puffing on Turkish cigarettes and discussing everything under sun, than I do about the kitchen.  It was a fun Christmas and winter, then back to hunting for an apprenticeship.

Gasthof Mühlhausen, Mittenwald winter of 1976/77
Restaurant Zum Burgkeller, Stolberg, Germany.

Monday, May 4, 2020

Humanist reflects on his path to a "respectable mastery" in culinary arts. 1 of 4

It is indescribably frustrating trying to have a constructive dialogue with Republican trumpster types. Diversions, distractions, derision, topped off with dripping belligerent and grotesque Willful Ignorance, seems all they are capable of delivering.  
Ask for a little substance and it's crickets, or worse.  Most recently, at my virtual corner pub, the Center For Inquiry Forum, rather than keeping on point of the thread I started, looking at the contemptible Dorr Bro's fraud:"The Dorr Brother Scams Exposed – denying physical reality in action" and their descent into Fascist behavior.  It's been the usual disingenuous diversion, one after another.  From attacking the right of the medical staff to stand up to those malicious protesters who are intent on increasing the spread of the deadly COVID-19 virus, to dismissing the news stories because the reporter has a bias.  When I try to discuss bias, Sree comes back with another diversion, this one with slander in his heart.  All in order to pretend away the facts and the harm the Dorr's are causing for personal financial enrichment.
Long story short, though the following was motivated by getting irritated by a clown attempting derision, it's actually a project I've often dreamed of doing and it is written for my kids and family and friends, some of whom are curious about my travels and confused about how all those experiences were achieved.  This is concentrated on my culinary experiences, but can't help but drift into occasional glimpses into other aspects of my adventures.
Thanks for showing me your blog
Master of culinary arts?  
How about a throw down with me? 
Which cuisine are you masterful at? 
I don’t mean rib tips and stuff. I am talking international.
For the sake of accuracy what I wrote is that I have a "respectable mastery of culinary arts and framing construction."  ;-)  When I accepted his offer and tried engaging, by asking about his own experiences, the joker goes crickets on me, the way they always do.  That's because he's down to vapors while I have substance. 
What get's me is that liberal progressive rational types keep rolling over for those same juvenile tactics a thousand times over, which is why we're in this downward spiral, but enough of that. 
This is about me and a young man's path to a respectable mastery in culinary arts.
In the beginning.
During our senior year in high school, we were expected to decide on this or that career.  I hadn’t a clue beyond knowing I was going to get a job in Yosemite Valley and live there, then travel.  When pressed, the best I could  come up with was that I'd like to know how food is made and buildings built.  Not much, in fact embarrassing at the time, but in hindsight, spot on.

Camp Curry and Glacier Point, Yosemite National Park, California
It all began in Yosemite Valley at the Curry Cafeteria,

Sunday, April 19, 2020

Profiles in Courage, Denver Health Care Workers Stand Their Ground

Denver Health Care Workers Stand Their Ground

Medical worker blocks lockdown protester in Denver
image credit: Marc Zenn, April 19, 2020, Reuters

A medical workers stands in the road in front of a car carrying a woman protesting Colorado's stay-at-home order. Video credit: Marc Zenn

‘Operation Gridlock’ protest against Colorado stay-home order brings hundreds to Capitol lawn


A DeVos-Linked Group Promoted the Right-Wing “Operation Gridlock” Tantrum in Michigan

Edwin Rios  -  April 17, 2020

Monday, April 13, 2020

Considering, Malicious Willful Ignorance and the embrace of lies.

I haven't posted anything since the COVID-19 roller coaster hit us and truth be told I'm feeling too angry and contemptuous of our current leaders, business, political, news oligarchs and their continued delusionals thinking spawned contempt for health experts and serious professional scientists.  

I don't have anything to add, except for focusing on enunciating my perspective and specifics about our dysfunctional public dialogue.  Perhaps better defining our need for some genuine militancy in defense of respecting Physical Reality along with truth and Honest Constructive Debates, where good faith learning is the goal.

Unfortunately, or then again perhaps fortunately, I've gotten myself involved in a different and very time consuming project so, other than the usual fits and starts and sloppy notes, I haven't done much beyond letting it simmer.  Though I have been writing, it's been over at Center For Inquiry where I can let my hair down in a way I won't do around here.

The following comes from a thread I started at CFI - simply food for thought: 


please click on the images for a clear version.
Or visit the post itself and participate in a discussion.


Perhaps I should add the first post of this thread

For what it's worth:

DECEMBER 30, 2018
d) Considering our dysfunctional public dialogue in 14 verses.

a) Who says understanding Earth’s Evolution is irrelevant? 2018

DECEMBER 31, 2018
f) Considering the Missing Key to Stephen Gould’s “Nonoverlapping Magisteria”

e) Map v Territory Problem, Statistical Certainty vs Geophysical Realities

DECEMBER 30, 2018
c) Intellectually Confronting Faith-Based thinking and Dogma Driven Deceptions

b) Saying No To Reality. Questioning the Geologic Column.

FEBRUARY 10, 2020
Considering a Fundamental Cosmic Truth

FEBRUARY 22, 2020
Diary - Musing on a half Century of Climate Science Awareness, 2020-02-22

DECEMBER 25, 2019
Diary, 12/25/2019 - Rhetorical Jujutsu, case in point.

DECEMBER 11, 2019
Bringing it back to Earth Centrism

DECEMBER 7, 2019
Introduction to Cc's Pageant of Evolution project.

Pageant of Earth's Evolution (in 24hr) part two


email:  citizenschallenge gmail dot come

Sunday, March 22, 2020

Reflecting on moon landing, how far have we come? (2009)


Here's a blast from the past.

 JULY 19, 2009

Reflecting upon the moon landing and how far we have come

or as the editor to the Four Corners Free Press put it:
"The Dark Side of the Moon Landing" ;-)

At fourteen I got permission to camp out in the living room for three days running, no summer school, no play, little sleep. Seldom leaving the couch and then only for a quick pitstop frigstop & occasionally going outside to meditate on the actual crescent moon up there in the sky, then back to the TV.

Something fantastic was happening and I didn’t care how many times I listened to repeated news-flashes gone stale because I was determined to hear every next world premiere news-flash as it happened. Besides, the repetitions echoing on the TV networks gave me a chance to digest the story. Even better there were these great side-stories about mission details that never made the news shows.

Come Neal Armstrong’s small step for a man, but big leap for mankind and it was my Dad’s Birthday. The living room was full of family and a few hours of celebration infused with the profoundest aura: For the first time ever! People were actually standing on that midnight orb of my imagination ~ while the whole world watched!

After the party I remained glued to that TV until Armstrong & Buzz Aldrin blasted off from the moon to rejoin Michael Collins and begin their return to earth. My, and I dare say humanity’s, gaze upon the moon has never been the same. It was a fantastic achievement, exemplifying America’s ingenuity, can do and promise.

Yet, even at my tender age there was also an unshakable sadness about the moon landing. The man who made it all possible had been taken from us by forces unseen but resented ever after. It felt as though along with Kennedy a certain attitude of solidarity, (or was it just civility?), with the rest of humanity was systematically being abandoned.

Championed by Ronald Reagan and his driven economics ~ along with all the dirty-tricks needed to make it happen. Before our eyes the rest of the world was becoming nothing more than a potential profit point.

I believe it’s this evolution in our collective outlook that has step by step and season by passing season, ushered in today’s reality of a world full of intensely pissed off people running amok. Nor to be forgotten is the creation of uncountable masses of dispossessed refugees huddled in destitute pockets throughout the world. For what? So westerners can pretend living has no limits?

For nearly fifty years I’ve listened to the beautiful promises made by politicians, businessmen and scientist. Great strides have undoubtedly been made, but I’ve noticed there has been a tremendous cost attached to everyone of our successes. Disaster after disaster the battle cry remains: “Move along; don’t look back; let’s not dwell on it (read “think” about it); put the past behind you; move along now.” All these years watching “solutions” consistently creating more “unanticipated” problems than anyone of 'em solved is really disheartening.

All the while the masters of the universe continue selling each other more weaponry and ideological garbage, and our major religions continue playing their role of turning “God’s Will” into bludgeons for beating everyone who makes them uncomfortable.

The moon landing was a political act meant to prove we could do it, thus awarding us a feeling of invincibility. Why than, have our ‘quality of life’ issues imploded?

As much as I loved it back then, today I can’t help but think people would be far better off pulling their heads out of their heavens and refocusing their attention back down here, to this incredible little battered blue gem of a planet.

The one and only speck in the vast void of our Universe that can claim to be the cradle of all life. And, incidentally, the only home our future has.

It's late, just playing around after busy day, then the moon landing was brought up and it was down memory lane, a number of them.
I'll save current events for another time.

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

My Handy Stone Tools ;- )

No, I didn't make them.  I've been getting better at finding them.

I had a few stories swirling in my head about the process of finding these tools.  The "search pattern" we develop in our minds based on experience and knowledge.  Although before that it was the musing on how early peoples learned from observing the physical realty around them, (you know Mother Nature and all that).

I remember first finding examples of natural rock formations that screamed a challenge: you can do this!  It was a little epiphany, all along nature was leading the way offering lessons to those who could see.  Once people learned to process what they observed - there where these aha moments.  Look at that pile of rocks over there, and why not stack them like that.

Or the occasional natural rock flakes that simply fit into someone's hand just right, someone who was curious, and heard that natural stone challenging, go ahead USE ME.  From there, it's all imitation and getting better.

Saturday, March 14, 2020

Earth Centrism ~ Geocentrism. Seriously ?

Since you still sound confused about what I’m trying to enunciate, allow me to review what the term “Earth Centrism” actually means.



That video is almost a year old, the following post started over at the Center For Inquiry discussion Forum but since it provides me such a splendid opportunity to try and get through, I'm using it as a seed for the following clarification.  If you’re still confused please leave a question or serious comment, I’ll be happy to respond. 

Quoting me:  

CC-v.3 said; “What’s my problem?  Guess it’s the pompousness of that title that got under my skin: “Physicality” "
{ That is, totally climbing into his mindscape believing he’s a genius mathematician.  His bellybutton gazing irritated me and I lashed out.  Why?  Because it’s long past time to get real and focus on the physicality of this planet that provides our life support systems.  
The physicality that we are destroying just a fast as our little hands will allow.}
Guess that’s what comes from being an ardent Earth Centrist.

W4U responds with:  “You may want to be careful with that analogy.  I’m not certain what you mean by that. And here is the reason why. “Geocentrism - Crackpot Theory?”  
{Playing Devil’s Advocate my long time CFI pal offers up this bizarre YouTube video, “Geocentrism - Crackpot Theory?” between a guy, Chris Ferrara interviewing Robert Sungenis, whom I had to look up.  He’s known for being into “Catholic apologetics”.  
In others, words a god fearing religious guy - ergo, someone consumed within his Mindscape.  

Monday, February 24, 2020

Reviewing John Cook’s "Cranky Uncle vs. Climate Change"

I was surprised to receive an email from John Cook the creator and driving force behind inviting me to review his new book “Cranky Uncle vs. Climate Change.”  Having received the challenge, I couldn’t refuse.  An easy to read graphic book that at 164 pages frames important climate science and communication lessons within cartoons, artwork and concise sentences.

It reads to me as a light hearted, inoffensive, easy to comprehend look into the conundrum of conveying climate science facts to folks in a world that’s swimming in disinformation.

John Cook doesn’t shout or agitate instead preferring to explain the well understood science, while offering only fleeting glimpses into the past decades of full blown malicious dirty tricks that the contrarian campaigns against climate science understanding are guilty of.

The Cranky Uncle’s opening chapter is “How did Climate Change get so Controversial?” tells the story of a few corporate funded (Republican) political operatives who were able to completely distort how climate science was presented to the public.  

Sunday, February 23, 2020

Diary - Musing on a half Century of Climate Science Awareness, 2020-02-22

Given that I’ve reached my half century anniversary of engaged climate science awareness and outreach, a little reflection comes naturally.  I used to be told it’s easy enough to complain, but could I actually define my complaints?  Even better, could I suggest solutions?  

It was a fair challenge and I dare say I’ve spent the past decades striving to meet it.  Now some tell me my blogs are a bit redundant.  Oh well.  I’m not an academic, nor a journalist, I’m an enthusiast and this is my self-assigned research project and homework notebook.  Some pages are better than others and redos happen as I continue improving.  

In truth, I had hoped CSC would develop into a study group, as a few like minded citizens joined in, but that never happened.  Thus this blog could never develop beyond a busy, often distracted, individual citizen’s perspective.  It is what it is.

About that half century.  I started high school in 1969, my already well developed love of nature and deep curiosity had me taking all the science courses I could.  As it happened Earth’s climate system turned out to be an especially important and dramatic topic that captured my unwavering interest.

After graduation I went on to a working life, but curiosity about Earth sciences and history remained central to my existence, the hobby I never tired of.  Of course, courting, raising a family and working multiple jobs put all that on the back-burner for a while.  Still I kept up on scientific discovers and news.  

Kids kept growing and with time my work load diminished.  Then a local snow-bird, Roger Cohen, started peddling the EXXON oil company’s line of “Relax, No Worries, ignore the science!” in an OpEd and letters to local papers, even giving a couple talks up at the local college.  That pissed me off and I funneled that energy into researching Cohen’s claims and writing about what I found.  I helped raise hell about the travesty of FLC hosting a talk filled with known scientific lies and deliberate deception.  After that Roger moved his dog’n pony show to a local hotel conference room.

Saturday, February 22, 2020 - Climate Myths Sorted by Taxonomy

Of course, it’s impossible to discuss climate science findings without also being confronted with the endless repetitive cross-fire from the bullhorns of naysayers and their bias driven unidirectional skepticism and disconnected-from-physical-reality lies.  
As a result the folks at made a point of studying contrarian claims and then explaining the real science that climate science “skeptics” consistently choose to ignore.
Republicans have a hubristic confidence in their own self-interest, and because they’ve convinced themselves that they possess God in their back pockets, it’s okay for them to disregard fundamental geophysical evidence and facts.  It's lunatic thinking, still here we are.
The real tragedy is that nobody is interested in learning.  They only know their personal wants and by their actions and words, they appear to lack intellectual integrity, how else could they so easily refuse to listen, let alone learn lessons, all the while shamelessly repeating the same juvenile nonsense over and over and over again.  
What kind of nonsense you ask?  Well, take a look,