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(Scientific American)   The flat earth, intelligent design, homunculi, and socialist economics. Here comes the folk science   (sciam.com) divider line 688
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16468 clicks; posted to Main » on 25 Jul 2006 at 9:53 AM (8 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2006-07-25 10:22:09 AM
superluminal girl: What if God didn't want the people to recover? He could have had other plans for them. It's selfish to think God or anyone else is going to give you what you want just because you ask nicely.

Then doesn't god have malevolence if he chooses to willfully ignore the crys of his followers?
 
2006-07-25 10:22:47 AM
2006-07-25 10:15:51 AM hjorg


OK, but, the notion that anyone historically believed in a "flat earth" is a hoax. Anyone who lives by the ocean (most people, through the history of humankind), and has watched a sufficiently large sailing ship disappear over the horizon, knows that the earth is round. How else could one explain the fact that the hull disappears first, then the sails?

"Flat earth" has been well-documented to be an historical hoax created in the 19th century by rationalists who intended to belittle irrational Christians, going so far as to invent crazy notions like a belief in a "flat earth" and then falsely assign these invented crazy notions to Christians.

The hoax was--is--remarkably successful, as even this reference in the reputable magazine of Scientific American demonstrates.


Good call on that one.
 
2006-07-25 10:23:07 AM
Sorry, what kind of equivalence is the author positing between natural science and free-market principles? Seriously asking. I think he's got something confused there. At the very least, economics is a social science.

/not trying to start the flames
 
2006-07-25 10:23:07 AM
pray for me!
 
2006-07-25 10:24:31 AM
IdBeCrazyIf: Then doesn't god have malevolence if he chooses to willfully ignore the crys of his followers?

It's spelled "cries"--and not necessarily. Do you attend to every whimper of a baby who's learning to take care of itself, or do you let it make some mistakes, find out it's alone, and squall for a bit, to acclimate it to the concept of self-sufficiency?

Likewise, do you let your 40-year-old kids live in the basement, while you wash their clothes and clean their room?

Though that last one might be difficult for some Farkers to understand...
 
2006-07-25 10:25:20 AM
ahh, humans. you are so amusing. you all think you are the center of the universe and the penultimate predator. half the fun of eating you is watching that look of surprise right before you die.
 
2006-07-25 10:25:28 AM
Free Spool: Why would god care if we prayed to him?

If He created Man to have a relationship with him, why wouldn't He care?

headslap: What i find interesting, is that many scientists arent saying "there is no god" they are saying, If there is a god, we are just discovering the rules it gave the universe.

Before Torah and before ways to serve G-d were given, Avraham and the Forefathers served HaShem through nature. That was Adam's job, too. Many, many rabbis were also accomplished scientists, especially during the Medieval era.

Nothing anti-religious with science, only antitheists using science to attack religion, not realizing both go hand in hand together.
 
2006-07-25 10:26:03 AM
fatal_exception
Yeah, I was just building off your post

IdBeCrazyIf
Is a parent malevolent if he doesn't buy his child candy every time they go through the check out line at the store? If God has plans, God can't be expected to make intercessions for everyone. Personally, I think we all have pretty much free will, and God only steps in if it's really important.
 
2006-07-25 10:26:06 AM
2006-07-25 10:14:20 AM Jack31081
Xenomech: LOL! Case closed! There is no God! Atheism FTW! Get a brain, moran.
Is this what they call a strawman? Can I get a ruling on this one?


img164.imageshack.us
 
2006-07-25 10:26:24 AM
If you're being serious, Loki-L, I'd like to know what scripture passage says the earth is flat. I've read a lot of the Bible and I've never seen anything about the earth being flat, nor, for that matter, the Universe being geo-centric, like Christians have claimed in the past (sorry, Galileo).
 
2006-07-25 10:26:50 AM
hjorg: "invisible hand" of the homunculus in the market?

Where did he state that the invisible hand is a homunculus? Or is that your stupid embellishment?
 
2006-07-25 10:27:27 AM
Well didn't god make everything, including viruses? So if he makes a virus that makes you sick knowing that when you get sick you pray to him, isn't he just making you sick so that you pray to him?
 
2006-07-25 10:27:57 AM
Xenomech: Yeah, I'm the sensitive one...

Well, you haven't posted your faux-persecution pic yet...

halfof33: means that it is the first time you have ever Shermer's work because that is exactly his point.

I've read lots of Shermer, and I'm not a big fan of the Harvard study, but he's certainly a lot more fair-minded than some of his skeptical brethren. I do think declaring "case closed" on the efficacy of distant healing prayer as a result of this one study is a bit hasty, but I also don't think there's anything more demonstrable there than a placebo effect, based on other studies.

hjorg: Anyone else find it humorous that the author is so dismissive of the idea of the "homunculus in the machine" in the study of consciousness, but is so willing to accept the notion of the "invisible hand" of the homunculus in the market?

Not really. We know people exist and how they drive the market. There's no such corresponding observation of a sentient force guiding everything else. If you've got something, please publish, as you're guaranteed to be famous.
 
2006-07-25 10:27:57 AM
I bet most here still believe Columbus set out to prove the Earth was round.
 
2006-07-25 10:28:11 AM
2006-07-25 10:22:09 AM IdBeCrazyIf


Then doesn't god have malevolence if he chooses to willfully ignore the crys of his followers?


I'd say let's figure out the link between Quantum and Newtonian based physics first.

Regardless of your position on the Athiesm----Theism scale, if we have trouble describing our own measurable environment, then decrypting the intentions of a divine being are a bit beyond us right now.

/Not Athiest
//Also not so conceited to assume I understand everything.
 
2006-07-25 10:29:20 AM
muninsfire: It's spelled "cries"--and not necessarily. Do you attend to every whimper of a baby who's learning to take care of itself, or do you let it make some mistakes, find out it's alone, and squall for a bit, to acclimate it to the concept of self-sufficiency?

Likewise, do you let your 40-year-old kids live in the basement, while you wash their clothes and clean their room?


No time to proof between this and work at times, so I'm sure you can forgive me.

Back to the point at hand... even still in cases of life and death when god chooses to ignore a follower and allow that follower to die... why is there no malevolence there or at the every least some form of apathy.

And that's not even getting into the nitty gritty of doctrine where the rules are setup in opposition to the natural course of things.

I see nothing but malice in a god who starts a race but set the rules of the race in opposition to how the cars naturally run with the caveat being if you break the rules you may possibly never finish the race.

But this is opening up one giant can of worms I just don't have the time for today...
 
2006-07-25 10:29:23 AM
SuperDuper28

How much?
 
2006-07-25 10:29:39 AM
That people have the same reaction when you discount aspects of their religion as they would if you were to tell a four-year old there isn't a Santa Claus is telling.
 
2006-07-25 10:30:03 AM
If she weighs the same as a duck, she's made out of wood... And therefore?
 
2006-07-25 10:30:15 AM
I get better results from wishing wells than prayer.
 
2006-07-25 10:30:21 AM
superluminal girl

Sweet. Maybe my humour detector is on the fritz. *jabs screwdriver up nose* Ahhh, there we go.
 
2006-07-25 10:31:09 AM
Tatsuma

"If He created Man to have a relationship with him, why wouldn't He care?"

So God is lonely? I kinda find that funny :-)
 
2006-07-25 10:31:42 AM
I must be missing something, cause I'm still not sure what the whole point of the article was. Is he trying to say the prayer study was just an attempt to legitimize folk science, or as some of you have said, psuedo science?

And the economic examples he listed?

Folk economics caused us to disdain excessive wealth, label usury a sin and mistrust the invisible hand of the market.

We lived in small bands of roaming hunter-gatherers that accumulated little wealth and had no experience of free markets and economic growth.


WTF are those doing there?

At the expense of sounding dense, can someone please help me to understand what this guy's message is?
 
2006-07-25 10:31:45 AM
IdBeCrazyIf: Then doesn't god have malevolence if he chooses to willfully ignore the crys of his followers?

Not at all, why should He? He gave us Free Will and, while he lends a hand from time to time, man has to make the journey and do the deeds.

That's why Abraham had to build the Ark
That's why Eliezar had to go and find a wife for Yitzchak
etc.. etc.. etc..

How can you appreciate anything truly if you do not work for it?

There are two men. Both are lawyers which are fairly successful and both win 300,000$ per year. One is tremendously happy the other is incredibly depressed. The former came from a poor family and was able to reach that level of success by working hard so he considers wha the achieved as a tremendous success. The latter comes from a family where the father and the grand-father were both judges on the Supreme Court panel, so he considers his life an incredible failure. Both men have the same things, but one worked for it and the other didn't.
 
2006-07-25 10:31:53 AM
IdBeCrazyIf: I see nothing but malice in a god who starts a race but set the rules of the race in opposition to how the cars naturally run with the caveat being if you break the rules you may possibly never finish the race.

Now, which doctrines are you going by?

Various religions have defined an 'angry god' from time to time, yes.

Various others, not so much. I'm going to have to ask for clarification.

palad: That people have the same reaction when you discount aspects of their religion as they would if you were to tell a four-year old there isn't a Santa Claus is telling.

What, that faith defies proof?
 
2006-07-25 10:31:57 AM
onomatopoetic: Where did he state that the invisible hand is a homunculus? Or is that your stupid embellishment?

Oh, it's definitely a stupid embellishment, but don't blame me for it.

The phrase "ghost in the machine" is a metaphor used in the cognative sciences. This writer, cutely, decided to deride that metaphoric representation of consciousness by using the term "homunculus."

The phrase "invisible hand of the market" is similarly a metaphor used in economics. I merely took my cue from the author and decided to apply his derision to this metaphor as well. If you don't like it, take it up with him, not me.
 
2006-07-25 10:32:07 AM
Michael Shermer rocks!

/that is all i have to add to this thread.
 
2006-07-25 10:33:06 AM
halfof33: Well Shermer certainly said, "case closed." Your statement "If you wish to extend that to mean the non-existence of God," means that it is the first time you have ever Shermer's work because that is exactly his point.

Please, tell me where he made that assertion in this study.

Go on, point it out to all of us. Anywhere in the article.

Until you do, you're just spouting out ad-hominem attacks.
 
2006-07-25 10:33:18 AM
The guy who wrote this article probably goes to bicycle shops to discuss modern architecture.
 
2006-07-25 10:33:20 AM
Tatsuma: Both men have the same things, but one worked for it and the other didn't.

In addition, those who come from wealthy backgrounds tend to be obsessed with money, and inherently less happy, I think...but that's just my own personal philosophy, and can't be coloured at all by the fact that I'm not rich. ^^;

/Am [fairly, not so much last night, but usually] happy.
 
2006-07-25 10:33:31 AM
Tatsuma

If He created Man to have a relationship with him, why wouldn't He care?

If He wanted to create something to have a relationship with, why wouldn't He give that something the capability to detect his presence?
 
2006-07-25 10:34:04 AM
muninsfire: Now, which doctrines are you going by?

Various religions have defined an 'angry god' from time to time, yes.

Various others, not so much. I'm going to have to ask for clarification.



Another time maybe... just don't have the time to dedicated to a thread like this today. I should be actually working on our website at the moment....
 
2006-07-25 10:34:23 AM
The invisible hand in the market is actually taken from Adam Smith and was used as an arguement against communist planned economies. Ironic that we mock it now that the red threat is gone. Ironic that the red threat is gone when Russia was nothing compared to China.
 
2006-07-25 10:34:52 AM
Free Spool: If He wanted to create something to have a relationship with, why wouldn't He give that something the capability to detect his presence?

Because the relationship is based on faith.

Proving something exists means you don't need faith in it--it's demonstrably there or not there.

Having no way to prove it requires faith.
 
2006-07-25 10:35:24 AM
Abraham had to build the Ark?? I need more coffee!

Free Spool: If He wanted to create something to have a relationship with, why wouldn't He give that something the capability to detect his presence?

... He has.
 
2006-07-25 10:35:28 AM
IdBeCrazyIf: Another time maybe... just don't have the time to dedicated to a thread like this today. I should be actually working on our website at the moment....

Cop out. ;-P
 
2006-07-25 10:35:32 AM
What I meant to say was; "But if space is curved, then the Earth is flat, right?" In a spherical coordinate system the Earth is flat. Relatively speaking, I mean. Ok, I don't know what I mean. It sounded good at first.

I occasionally buy a powerball lottery ticket. The chance of me winning is so small that I cannot act as if I know I will win. I'm not going to go buy a bunch of expensive things I can't afford on the assumption that I will win the lottery. That would be stupid. If I do win, I will buy some expensive things but not before.

The existence of gods is so highly unlikely that I cannot act as if they do. I will correct this position if sufficient evidence for gods becomes available to me but not before.

/the farker formerly known as NoTurtles
 
2006-07-25 10:36:03 AM
As far as I know, "Wealth of Nations" is still required reading in Princeton economics classes.
 
2006-07-25 10:36:26 AM
Science tells us how.
Religion tells us why.

/not religious
 
2006-07-25 10:36:47 AM
muninsfire

Why would god care whether his relationship with humans was based on faith?
 
2006-07-25 10:36:49 AM
muninsfire: Cop out. ;-P

Sorry man.. I actually do have to GBTW... I pop in here and there and see where the thread goes.

/Hates coding in ASP
 
2006-07-25 10:36:54 AM
hjorg

OK, but, the notion that anyone historically believed in a "flat earth" is a hoax. Anyone who lives by the ocean (most people, through the history of humankind), and has watched a sufficiently large sailing ship disappear over the horizon, knows that the earth is round. How else could one explain the fact that the hull disappears first, then the sails?

"Flat earth" has been well-documented to be an historical hoax created in the 19th century by rationalists who intended to belittle irrational Christians, going so far as to invent crazy notions like a belief in a "flat earth" and then falsely assign these invented crazy notions to Christians.

The hoax was--is--remarkably successful, as even this reference in the reputable magazine of Scientific American demonstrates.


You are right that most of the belief in a 'flat earth' was made up and falsly attributed after the fact. The ancient Greek philosphers not only already knew that the earth was round but also manged to calculate a good estimate of its diameter a long time ago. None of Columbus critics thought that he was going to fail because the earth was flat. They thought he was going to fail because the earth was the big ball it really is and not the small ball he thought it was and that he would never make all the way to India. They were right and he was wrong. If Columbus had not hit land where he had no right to expect any he would have died.

This however does not mean that nobody ever believed the earth to be flat. While the educated elite knew about the shape of the earth for a long time. Most of the rest of the people probably never gave it much thought at all. An illiterate medival peasant who had never seen an ocean or had had the time to give much thought to philosphize on the shape of the earth's shadow on the moon probably was not really aware that the earth was not as flat as it appeard to him.

Lots of ancient mythologies by primitive people are written in such a way as to indicate that they thought the earth was flat. No ancient creation myth really goes well with the idea of a ball shaped earth. Christianity/Judasims/Islam is no exception. Anybody who tried to read something into the Bible to indicate that its authors knew the earth was not flat is fooling themselves.
 
2006-07-25 10:37:16 AM
"Having no way to prove it requires faith."

So it's prety much useless in any practical sense.
 
2006-07-25 10:37:33 AM
The Wizard

I'd say let's figure out the link between Quantum and Newtonian based physics first.

Ummm...Newtonian physics is the appropriate approximation to Quantum physics, in the limit of high quantum number?

Can we go back to the god question now?
 
2006-07-25 10:38:27 AM
Having no way to prove it requires faith.

How convenient.
 
2006-07-25 10:38:37 AM
Tatsuma: Abraham had to build the Ark?? I need more coffee!

It's like the old kid's "gotcha" series:

"What did Adam and Eve eat to get kicked out of the garden?"
"What did God send to Abraham to sacrifice in place of Isaac?"
"How many of each creature did Moses take on the ark?"

NoGods: The existence of gods is so highly unlikely that I cannot act as if they do. I will correct this position if sufficient evidence for gods becomes available to me but not before.

So you're taking the opposite approach from Pascal's Wager?
 
2006-07-25 10:38:56 AM
muninsfire

Faith is an interesting thing.

The way I see it, since no one has any proof regarding what God is or why we're here, why should I listen to anyone when they tell me what I should believe or how I should live?

Why can't I just make up my own rules and beliefs, and how can anyone argue that my made up ones are any better or worse than anyone else's?
 
2006-07-25 10:38:57 AM
Tatsuma

He has.

Why not to me or many others; and even to those who claim to detect his presence, why would he make it so that some detected a different god?
 
2006-07-25 10:38:59 AM
2006-07-25 10:35:24 AM Tatsuma
Abraham had to build the Ark?? I need more coffee!
Free Spool: If He wanted to create something to have a relationship with, why wouldn't He give that something the capability to detect his presence?
... He has


is g-d winking at you again, tatsuma?
 
2006-07-25 10:39:23 AM
"Folk economics caused us to disdain excessive wealth, label usury a sin and mistrust the invisible hand of the market."

It was a terrible mistake to include this. "Economics" is not in the same league as physics, and the accumulation of excessive wealth, normalized usury, and the "invisible hand" are all very debatable modern "improvements." Sorry, Mister Shermer: You've undermined your own argument, and economics is not a science.
 
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