Voices from Russia

Saturday, 21 April 2018

21 April 2018. Science and Religion Don’t Argue… Just Because Fundies Don’t Like Science Doesn’t Mean the Rest of Us Are Like That

00 Charles Darwin humanity 210418

This is what Darwin taught. The rightwingers hate this. What does that tell you about them?

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Several trolls attempted to draw me into certain subjects that appear controversial. Let me give a simple straightforward reply. If anyone tells you or asserts that the earth is only about 10,000 years old, that the species didn’t evolve from a common ancestor, or that the Book of Genesis is in any way literally true, don’t bother to listen to them about anything, no matter what else they may try to tell you. Fundamentalists almost always miss the meaningful reality of the Genesis stories. Once we recognise theology as a search for meaning and not an immutable expression of a concrete reality, we begin to grasp the meaning in these stories. Until that time, sheer ideology traps our theology.

Bishop Lazar Puhalo

Editor:

By the way, Patriarch Kirill agrees with Vladyki Lazar, not his detractors. In his words, “Genesis isn’t a textbook on anthropogenesis”. The loudmouth konvertsy rightwingers not only distort what our true archpastors actually teach, they make a mockery of Christ and His Church. They’ve refused to reject their evangelical rot…

BMD

Sunday, 12 January 2014

Why Do Fewer Republicans Believe in Evolution?

00 Monkey Thinker 30.09.12

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A recent Pew Research Center study found a significant increase in just the past four years in the number of Republicans who say that they don’t believe in evolution. When asked whether humans and other living things have evolved over time or existed in their present form since the beginning, 48 percent of Republicans answered “existed in present form since the beginning”, compared to 39 percent of Republicans who answered the same in 2009, a statistically significant and large difference. There are a number of possible explanations about why there was such a large change in only four years. In a 3 January blog post, Cary Funk, Pew Research Center senior researcher, took a closer look at the data and offered some intriguing possibilities.

One hypothesis Funk examined was whether the Republican Party is more religious today than it was in 2009. For instance, it could be that people with higher levels of religiosity gravitated toward the GOP, whilst less-religious Republicans left the party. However, Funk found that the Republican Party looks demographically about the same as it did in 2009. Its distribution of religious adherents is about the same and it looks similar in terms of religious participation, gender, race, and ethnicity. The only demographic difference is that it’s slightly older.

Funk found that the shift in attitudes on evolution were amongst less-religious Republicans. Views on evolution remained about the same amongst Republicans with high levels of religiosity (measured by frequency of attendance at religious services). In 2009, 56 percent of Republicans who said they attended religious services weekly or more answered that humans existed in their present form since the beginning. Today, that number is about the same, 59 percent. However, amongst Republicans attending religious services less than weekly, there was a more-significant shift. In 2009, 23 percent answered that humans always existed in their present form. Today, that number increased 12 percentage points to 35 percent. Amongst Democrats, views on evolution haven’t changed much, regardless of frequency of church attendance.

Funk also noted that there might be a “priming effect” that explains the differences in the two surveys. Sometimes, a poll question can produce different results based upon the question asked directly before it. The previous question “primes” the respondent to think a certain way in how they should answer the question. There could be several reasons for the shift in Republican attitudes on evolution found by Pew, according to Funk. She said that Pew would ask a broader range of question in future to understand beliefs about evolution better.

9 January 2014

Napp Nazworth

Christian Post

http://www.christianpost.com/news/why-do-fewer-republicans-believe-in-evolution-112283/

Editor’s Note:

There are two takeaways from this, neither of which are pleasant reading for Republicans. Firstly, the Republican Party’s gotten older. That is, it’s losing the battle for younger voters. Secondly, the Republican Party’s going cranky. To be exact, its appeal to those outside of the Evangelical subculture (and those related to it) is diminishing.

Let’s not shilly-shally about. If you want to know the age of the planet, you ask a scientist. If you want to know the “why” of creation, you ask a theologian. They’re not in conflict, as they treat two very different aspects of the topic. Priests aren’t experts on everything. If I have a medical problem, I consult a doctor, not a priest. If I need confession, I see a priest, not a doctor. That’s so clear-cut that I’m ashamed to have to say it explicitly. Sadly enough, there are those amongst us who need to hear down-to-earth truth. I say, “Don’t go mucking with the Fathers when you should focus on the Green Eggs and Ham of Christian life”. I’ll work on “holiness” when I’ve mastered simple human decency… that’s still a work in progress. I’m not alone in thinking that way…

BMD                 

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Friday, 24 May 2013

24 May 2013. Sergei Yolkin’s World. Ancient Mankind’s “Innovations”

00 Sergei Yolkin. Ancient Mankind’s “Innovations”. 2013

Ancient Mankind’s “Innovations”

Sergei Yolkin

2013

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Scientists tell us that our ancestors, the Cro-Magnons, invented new tools and acquired the rudiments of culture due to climate changeSergei Yolkin has his opinion of all that…

23 May 2013

Sergei Yolkin

RIA-Novosti

http://ria.ru/caricature/20130523/938956357.html

 

Saturday, 27 April 2013

Controversially, Physicist Argues Time Is Real

Salvador Dalí. The Persistence of Memory. 1931

The Persistence of Memory

Salvador Dalí

1931

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Is time real, or is it the ultimate illusion? Most physicists would say the latter, but Lee Smolin challenges this orthodoxy in his new book, Time Reborn (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, April 2013), which he discussed here Wednesday (24 April) at the Rubin Museum of Art. In a conversation with Duke University neuroscientist Warren Meck, theoretical physicist Smolin, who works at Canada‘s Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics, argued for the controversial idea that time is real, saying, “Time is paramount, and the experience we all have of reality being in the present moment isn’t an illusion, but the deepest clue we have to the fundamental nature of reality”. [Album: The World’s Most Beautiful Equations]

Smolin said that he hadn’t come to this concept lightly. He started out thinking, as most physicists do, that time is subjective and illusory. According to Albert Einstein’s Theory of General Relativity, time is just another dimension in spacetraversable in either direction, and our human perception of moments passing steadily and sequentially is all in our heads. Over time, though, Smolin became convinced not only that time was real, but that this notion could be the key to understanding the laws of nature, noting, “If laws are outside of time, then they’re inexplicable. If law just simply is, there’s no explanation. If we want to understand law… then, law must evolve, law must change, law must be subject to time. Law then emerges from time and is subject to time rather than the reverse”.

Smolin admitted there are objections to this idea, especially what he calls “the meta-law dilemma“, If physical laws are subject to time, and evolve over time, then, there must be some larger law that guides their evolution. However, wouldn’t this law, then, have to be beyond time, to determine how the other laws change with time? Other physicists have cited this objection in reaction to Smolin’s work. Columbia University physicist Peter Woit wrote on his blog Not Even Wrong, “The problem I see with the argument for laws that evolve in time is one that you yourself identify in the book… what you call the ‘meta-laws dilemma’. You speculate a bit in the book on ways to resolve this, but I don’t see a convincing answer to the criticism that whatever explanation you come up with for what determines how laws evolve, I’m free to characterise that as just another law”.

Smolin admitted this is currently a sticking point, but maintained that there are possible solutions. At the Rubin event, he stated, “I believe you can resolve the meta-law dilemma. I think the direction of 21st-century cosmology will depend on the right way to resolve the meta-law dilemma”. Smolin and Meck discussed the consequences of his idea, including what it means for our understanding of human consciousness and free will. One implication of the idea that time is an illusion is the notion that the future is just as decided as the past. Smolin observed, “If I think the future’s already written, then, the things that are most valuable about being human are illusions along with time. We still aspire to make choices in life. That’s a precious part of our humanity. If the real metaphysical picture is that there are just atoms moving in the void, then nothing’s ever new, and nothing’s ever surprising… it’s just the rearrangement of atoms. There’s a loss of responsibility as well as a loss of human dignity“.

26 April 2013

Clara Moskowitz

Live Science

http://www.livescience.com/29081-time-real-illusion-smolin.html

Editor’s Note:

Note this:

Smolin admitted there are objections to this idea, especially what he calls “the meta-law dilemma”, If physical laws are subject to time, and evolve over time, then, there must be some larger law that guides their evolution. However, wouldn’t this law, then, have to be beyond time, to determine how the other laws change with time?

This is why there’s no contradiction at all between evolution and theology. Indeed, if we take the implications of this to its logical conclusion, it means that evolution isn’t merely a hypothesis… it’s FACT. Without evolution, there’s no need for “some larger law that guides evolution”. That is, “wouldn’t this law, then, have to be beyond time, to determine how the other laws change with time?” The world isn’t 10,000-years-old and dinos didn’t live at the same time as humans did. Evolution is the greatest memorial of God’s presence amongst us… not its refutation.

Besides that, if time isn’t real, NOTHING’S real, EVERYTHING’S illusory. Note well that such anarchy is at the heart of so-called libertarianism, the regnant philosophy of the American Right. If one is a committed Leftist, one can’t believe in the submission that time is relative, for if one posits such, one argues that there are no objective laws. If you argue thusly, the Spencerian Law of the Jungle rules and “the race goes to the swiftest”. Interestingly, this means that the members of the Religious Right who’re taking Libertarians as their allies are taking an adder and placing it on their breasts without any consideration of the consequence or of the damages it causes to others. To be a believer or to be a Libertarian are diametrically-opposite stances… you can’t combine them without doing violence to one or the other.

Time is real; nature’s laws are objective, and God’s in his heaven. This divinely-ordained objectivity and verity are the sure foundations of social justice and social equity. Interestingly, does that mean that a Leftist MUST be a believer? Now, that’s an interesting meditation, no? I do believe that the corollary’s true… to be on the Right implies Radical Unbelief. Radical Economic Freedom implies an almost-complete absence of outside regulation (that’s why one must be wary of arguments using “freedom” as a basis)… which Marxism denies, by the way (for central to its credo is the idea that objective laws exist outside of and independently of human thought).

That’s why we can have nothing to do with those who argue for deregulation and an anarchic social order based on wealth and power. It flies against EVERYTHING that being a believer means. Look at the rightwing Russian Orthodox clique in Washington DC… they hobnob with libertarians who’ve nothing in common with anything held dear by believers. What are they? Are they libertarians? Are they believers? I’d say that the evidence shows that they’re the former… and we have some housecleaning to do, nicht wahr?

Kaufft nicht bei Potapov und Paffhausen.  

BMD  

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