Thursday, October 20, 2022

Earth Centrism - A Student's Bibliographic Resource - (2/2)

Appreciating Earth’s Evolutionary Pageant and Our Animal Nature

©2022 Citizenschallenge

The previous post is my summary of an “Earth Centrist” outlook on life and our human condition, a perspective that acknowledges Earth as our fundamental touchstone with reality.  

This Earth Centrist's perspective can’t be attained by reading a description of it - unless it already resonates within you thanks to your own previous inquiry and inclination.  That's because each of us must engage in our own learning effort.  

That is, living your moment and doing the homework and drawing your own conclusions from the evidence you’ve been able to gather.  Your deeper understanding emerges out of your own efforts. 

Since I’m no scholar, I’ve done my learning by way of some wonderful science communicators, mostly real scientists giving lectures via YouTube along with writing articles and books, with a few talented writers and science documentarians in the mix.   

I’ve put together a bibliographic list of my favorites, and of course, it's geared to the intelligent high schooler or early college student, and for other informed enthusiasts such as myself.  It follows a natural progression from matter forming followed by mineral evolution & our planet evolving a "global heat and moisture distribution engine," to geology and biology combining forces, on to the mysteries of complex dynamic living creatures.  Then on to the greatest show on Earth with life's collective consciousness spectrum.  

Since my bandwidth is limited by my crowded day to days filled with other obligations, I'm sure I’m missing many awesome gems.  So please do share should you believe you know of some presentations worth adding to this collection.

Featuring:  Sean Carrol, NOVA/NASA, Robert Hazen, Robert RohdeRichard AlleyNick Lane, David QualmenCarl Woese, Lynn Margulis, Tsutomu Wantanabe, Angela Hessler, Svante Pääbo, Mark Solms, Antonio Damasio, Susan Greenfield, Jim Al-Khalili.  Finishing with introductions to David Attenborough’s incomparable tour of the evolution of Earth’s living creatures: "Life on Earth", and James L. Sadd’s wonderful introduction to the fundamentals of geology: "Earth Revealed."

_________________

I've found my first addition to this list in a mind-blowing lecture by Mike Levin"Non-neural, developmental bio-electricity as a precursor for cognition" it adds a new dimension of insights into the evolution of consciousness and mind, that fits right into my overall theme of Earth's pageant of evolution.

© 2022 Citizenschallenge

Friday, September 30, 2022

Introducing a new philosophical perspective: Earth Centrism (1/2)

 Inviting Intelligent Critique & Constructive Challenges:

Introducing a New Philosophical Perspective.

Peter Miesler, September 2022 (the bibliography 2/2)

Founded on a life time of learning through the findings of scientists.

Earth Centrism

Because Earth is our ultimate touchstone with reality and ourselves.


This insight leads to a realization that, for this complex living Earth that we experience, to exist at all, is proof positive that our Earth evolved down one particular pathway, no matter what we people imagine one way or the other. 

Ours is to figure it out and appreciate - not to presume to define it!

We appreciate that we are evolved biological creatures born of Earth’s processes, as expressed through its singular Evolutionary Pageant.

We appreciate the profound divide between physical reality, that is matter, biology, laws of nature, on the one hand, and on the other, our thoughts unfolding within our amazing minds, (or more descriptively, within the realm of our “human mindscape").  

We appreciate that fundamentally, awareness and life’s “consciousness spectrum” started over a couple billion years ago with the invention, then prospering, of the unbelievably complex organization of Eukaryote cells (some suggest guided by microtubules).  

Consider that in due time these cells created colonies of cells that demonstrated a sense of place and order and purpose or the organism would have dissolved into a chaotic blob.  Increasingly complex creatures depended, at every step, on increasing awareness, sensing, data processing, physical systems growth & maintenance, internal communication along with improving and refining manipulatory abilities.   

By and by, along came one particular clade the eutherians, small nocturnal insect eaters who gave birth to the class of mammalian animals, which begat the primates, which begat hominids, which begat our modern humankind species. 

Every stage required new refinements and developments within the complex sensing/body/brain system and the mind they collectively produce - refinements that are dependent on previous refinements and lessons.  Your Being is the sum total of all the days of Evolution that went into producing the human form you possess and live through, while your mind reflects the sum total of all the days you’ve lived and experienced.

I believe a genuine understanding of oneself starts with the realization that we are an evolved biological sensing creature, and that our consciousness is fundamentally the inside reflection of your body/brain dealing with itself and the environment/circumstance it is embedded within.  

This understanding leads to another inevitable realization, namely that, our “Gods” are in truth creations of our minds, tailored by our self-serving egos.  Which is okay, if one doesn’t take their God, or themselves, too seriously. 

“I Am, therefore I Think”

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

It’s been four years since first writing about my reflections upon a small epiphany I experienced.  An insight which left a profound appreciation for the “Human Mindscape ~ Physical Reality divide” through a deep-time evolutionary perspective.  My essay describing it is titled: "The Missing Key to Stephen Gould’s “Nonoverlapping Magisteria,” and has been followed by some revisions.

Then I started reading Donald Hoffman’s “Case Against Reality: why evolution hide the truth from our eyes,” and found it a prime example of modern self-delusion and getting lost within a mindscape still shackled by Abrahamic thinking, (self-serving, self-certain, quick to simplistic assumptions, with its echos of dualism and so on).  His insults towards Earth Sciences was a challenge I couldn’t turn away from and two years ago I posted the  first installment of Prof Donald Hoffman Playing Basketball In Zero-Gravity - the prelude, with my final being, A Preview of Cc's "Hoffman playing Basketball in zero-gravity" a critical review of his "Case Against Reality,”  last November.

My intellectual adventure has continued, with Daniel Dennett (someone I could at least take seriously) via his interesting book, “Consciousness Explained.”  But that only drove me to Descartes and his “Discourse on Method” which turned out way more fascinating than I’d expected.  

Though that still can’t hide the fact that Descartes lived during science's infancy*.  Descartes was an accomplished mathematician and familiar with optics, but beyond that he knew nothing of astronomy, physics, or light, or biology, his inaccurate human physiological knowledge didn’t rise much above that of an intelligent, inquisitive butcher's.

In his defense, all Descartes had was his mind!  1600s learned texts were still more opinion based on various dogmas and wishful thinking, then evidence and facts to build upon.  Once he read enough to recognize that, he deliberately focused on his mind to the exclusion of all the mucho blah blah of his day.  

The thing to appreciate is that today we have authoritative trustable knowledge flooding in at us from every direction.  Not perfect, but there’s a process for separating the chaff from the grain, and the demand for Honesty and Truthfulness remains a prime cornerstone of science in a way that doesn’t seem to exist in the general society anymore.  Individually all we need to do, is the homework & learning that comes with it, if we want to understand 'why & how' for ourselves.  

Seems to me younger people should be skeptical of our historical philosophical intellectual heroes, after all, look at the mess they helped set into motion.  Too much time spent on echo's of religious arguments and genius egos busy striving to out-do each other.  Then that easy disregard for Earth's natural balance sheets of systems & processes, that incidentally are what's sustained us all these millennia of climate optimum, and long before.  

Our collective disregard for accepting the concepts of conserving, nurturing, making things last, not to be so gluttonous and obsessed with so many empty bells and whistles that the Hollywood dream machine keeps churning out for us.  Working together with Earth's natural system, nurturing, rather than relentless extraction and destruction.

Why not take Earth's Evolution seriously and do the homework to learn about what makes her tick?

Isn’t it time we recognize a new difficult really is steamrolling at us?   We need real ideas and ways of seeing the world around us, because tomorrow keeps coming, and staying fixated on the rearview mirror is not the way to survive.  The old truths failed your future, don't be afraid of moving on.

As we continue into our future, catastrophe's will happen more frequently, but so does the morning after.  Many of us keep getting through it, survive and wake to face the new day.  Now, more than ever, we need to take into account the need for honesty, fairplay, goodwill, cooperation and striving to better understand this Earth and her global heat and moisture distribution engine that we depend on for everything.

But now I digress into motivations for not walking away from this frustrating intellectual/political adventure of mine.


Thank you for your time and interest,

Peter Miesler

Citizenschallenge at gmail 

October 8, 2022

 



~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

* I feel uncomfortable about those couple sentences since my over simplification could imply I imagine science starting in the Renaissance, when it fact science has fascinating roots that are more wide spread and deeper than we ever learned in school.  

That's why I feel compelled to suggest Jim Al Khalili's wonderful book: 

"The House of Wisdom, How the Arabic science saved ancient knowledge and gave us the Renaissance."   (2012)

New York Journal of Books provides an interesting overview of the book. 

Academia.edu offers a PDF. 

There’s also this informative talk Al Khalili gave in 2013.

Humanists UK, posted at YouTube, April 16, 2014

The Forgotten Legacy of Arabic Science

British Humanist Association Holyoake Lecture 2013 presented by  theoretical physicist and president of the British Humanist Association, Professor Jim Al-Khalili.

Tuesday, September 13, 2022

Dear Democratic Party (callers) . . .

In response to the flood of Democratic Party donation pitches I receive and since I don't have money for all of them, I want to tell what I do have to offer.  Need a dynamic researcher, drop me a line.  Here's an introduction along with some relevant links.

Democrats need more than cash!  The DNC need to better inform and engage their grassroots base, that means using every resource available, and that should include starting a Online Democratic Party Discussion Forum where people can share their ideas and network, educate, nurture enthusiasm, engage your base.  If we aren't changing minds we are losing. 

"Considering our dysfunctional public dialogue, in 14 verses."

Democratic Party Online Discussion Forum


Googling, “Why are Democrats losing voters?” reveals that voters who care are feeling so disenfranchised by the Democratic Party that they are turning off in droves. 


This, during a year that should have every Democracy loving American energized and looking for how they can best participate in the coming election, it’s frightening.

After all, more than anything this election will be about the future of open and fair elections in the USA. Beyond that, it’s going to be a national referendum between the importance of honesty and truth in America’s public dialogue vs. a descent into anger driven anarchy. No exaggeration, simply pay attention to how the Republican Party has been engaging in every imaginable dirty trick to stymie future election participation and voting legitimacy.

Successful politicians require strong, informed, proactive support at their backs if they are to lead, yet the DNC seems to be doing little to nurture that sort of buy-in from their grassroots. Why?

The DNC’s disregard towards rank and file concerns is reflected in the constant bombardment of DNC’s boilerplate donation pitches, as though donating money was all We The People are good for. I understand the need to fundraise, but what about making us feel like active participants through straight talk, informing us of challenges, calling for feedback, being responsive, nurturing engagement.

The DNC should earn its money by informing and engaging constituents in a way that makes sense to us and connects with our lives. Creating relevance, encourages enthusiasm, produces participation.

Why not use the internet? Why not create a quality internet platform for having constructive political dialogue?  By Democrats for Democrats!

The Democratic Party Online Discussion Forum. (continued)

Friday, May 27, 2022

The Missing Ingredient in Daniel Dennett's "Darwin's Dangerous Idea"

A couple months back I wrote Dr. Daniel Dennett hoping for a response, but to no avail.  So, I've rewritten the letter and have resent it and I figured I might as well post it over here, to see if any other deep thinker might want to give it a shot.

Dear Dr. Daniel Dennett, (& others it may interest),


I read your “Darwin’s Dangerous Idea” a couple decades back.  These past few months I’ve been revisiting it.  It’s a beautiful tour of the evolution of scientific thought regarding Evolution.  One I completely embrace and I commend you for all those helpful citations.  Even after a quarter century the book is worth recommending to young students of Evolution because of how well it documents the evolving ideas and arguments up to that point.  


The only problem is that you left out a crucial ingredient early in your introduction that I’d like to ask about.  You were transitioning from earlier religious thought into evolving scientific thought and the rest of your story.  


I have to wonder why didn’t you stop a moment to review the most fundamental fact of our human condition?  A reality that cuts straight to the heart of both our so-called "Hard Problem of Consciousness" and the Origin of God question - namely the “Physical Reality ~ Human Mindscape divide”?


What’s so special about having an appreciation for the “Physical Reality ~ Human Mindscape divide”?  Well, for one, it leads to an inevitable understanding that our very existence is proof that our Universe and Earth unfolded down one, internally consistent cascade, and only one.  No matter what we self-absorbed human creatures are capable of imagining. 

Monday, April 11, 2022

Important Insights Along the Way

Nearing my 67th birthday, I decided to collect some of the fundamental concepts of Earth and living that I've picked up along the way, and I'd like to share.  Here goes.

©citizenschallenge, 2021
    • Appreciating the Human Mindscape ~ Physical Reality divide
    • I am a self-aware introspective element in the Pageant of Evolution
    • We create our Gods from within ourselves
    • We cannot understand an organism, or system for that matter, without understanding its environment
    • Consciousness is the inside reflection of our body, interacting with itself, along with the environment and circumstance it's embedded within
    • An appreciation for Deep Time, billions of years worth, and Earth, the dance of geology & biology unfolding one day at a time, and that it produced me, along with many other wonders
    • There is no Body-Mind Problem, it is in actuality an Ego-God Problem
    • My body has taken better care of me, than I have of it
    • Consciousness is the product of Earth's biology, of interacting, of living, when we die, consciousness ceases, all that awaits us is the deep dark eternal sleep from which none awake, and it is good
    • Yes, it is good, live your blessed moment while you have it to live
    • Our after-life unfolds within the hearts and minds of others, and it is good
    • We need each other to keep ourselves honest.

©citizenschallenge

What am I missing, any suggestions?

Who am I you may ask.

©citizenschallenge

An Earth Centrist

Best Wishes, Cc


Saturday, February 26, 2022

Response to being accused of SPAMMING by DNC politico.

After a long evening of emailing Democratic Party officials I received a rather haughty missive from a Democratic politico.  He demanded that I take his name off of “my” mailing list and to stop sending him my “SPAM”.  

Seriously, a single 500 word appeal and supporting reasoning, sent to my Democratic Party during this Democratic Caucus season, this Democrat official calls SPAM ! ? ?


This morning I woke up with the supreme irony dancing in my head: What about the daily bombardment of uninvited boilerplate donation demands, that the DNC sends us from every corner of our nation?  What makes that okay?  


But a citizen isn’t supposed to even attempt to communicate a simple idea that he’s hoping catches on with the folks who can make a difference and see it realized?  Whatever happened to public discourse?


No wonder Democrat politicians have become better at losing than winning - what else is to be expected when the DNC so resents hearing from your constituents.  Although I should add I’ve also received a few thumbs up responses, so that’s heartening.


For what it’s worth, “my” mailing list is a simply culling from your public state Democratic Party websites, and a single concise letter is not SPAM!


Dear DNC, if you aren’t changing minds, you are losing!


========================================================================


Democratic Platform 2022:

Create a Democratic Party Online Discussion Forum for reinvigorating constructive political dialogue, by Democrats, for Democrats.  Help your Democratic grassroots network and get informed, thus enabling and nurturing a reengagement with our political process. 

For your consideration: A Democratic Party Online Discussion Forum.

Thursday, February 10, 2022

The Democratic Party Online Discussion Forum.

Googling, “Why are Democrats losing voters?” reveals that voters who care are feeling so disenfranchised by the Democratic Party that they are turning off in droves. 

This, during a year that should have every Democracy loving American energized and looking for how they can best participate in the coming election, it’s frightening.

After all, more than anything this election will be about the future of open and fair elections in the USA. Beyond that, it’s going to be a national referendum between the importance of honesty and truth in America’s public dialogue vs. a descent into anger driven anarchy. No exaggeration, simply pay attention to how the Republican Party has been engaging in every imaginable dirty trick to stymie future election participation and voting legitimacy.

Successful politicians require strong, informed, proactive support at their backs if they are to lead, yet the DNC seems to be doing little to nurture that sort of buy-in from their grassroots. Why?

The DNC’s disregard towards rank and file concerns is reflected in the constant bombardment of DNC’s boilerplate donation pitches, as though donating money was all We The People are good for. I understand the need to fundraise, but what about making us feel like active participants through straight talk, informing us of challenges, calling for feedback, being responsive, nurturing engagement.

The DNC should earn its money by informing and engaging constituents in a way that makes sense to us and connects with our lives. Creating relevance, encourages enthusiasm, produces participation.

Why not use the internet? Why not create a quality internet platform for having constructive political dialogue?  By Democrats for Democrats!