Sunday, January 31, 2016


I am a huge proponent of SETI and a great fan of Science Fiction. About ten years ago I wrote a book the HISTORY OF THE FUTURE detailing a world where contact with alien species is made and our species is forced by necessity to enter into a new geopolitical reality. Odds are that if we are to be immersed in a world where we are less sophisticated than the extra terrestrials than it will not work out well for us. However there is an unpredictability with all encounters that may prove refreshing. Lately though I have become somewhat disillusioned, not so much in the way contact will play out, but whether contact will occur at all. Based on scientific assessment the odds of another humanoid type species evolving ( or even some type of facsimile) to make contact with us appear to be close to zero. A subtle interventionist deity could rig the odds but that seems to be wishful thinking. One can take solace in the Drake Equation but there are so many unknown variables in that equation that it seems to be practically meaningless. My heart wishes that this weren't so but looking just at the probability game and the levels of fine tuning that are necessary it may just be the case that we are simply alone.

Thoughts on Deism IV - Some Quick Ones.

Einstein himself was not a fan of cultural relativism and I believe detested the way his theory was applied to other areas outside physics. Much the same way that Darwin was not in favour of the way his ideas of selection were used by those advocating Eugenics.

On Absolute Truth....The Laws of Thermodynamics viz. Conservation of Energy, Increasing Entropy of the Universe plus Absolute Zero are probably as absolute as one can get. Gravity has been reworked with General Relativity to better understand Newton's Inverse Square Law however it has some problems at the quantum level. The jury is still out with respect to the fundamental Graviton particle (although odds are that we will likely find it).  Chemical Reactions are largely manifestations of the electromagnetic force so I agree that the theory here is very solid. Absorption and Emission of Light can be described by Quantum Mechanics which at present seems to be well supported empirically. I would add to this list laws regarding both linear and angular momentum as well as certain symmetries that are consistent with conservation laws.

Special Relativity....Einstein's special theory broke the notion of absolute space and time. It also showed the energy and momentum require relativistic analysis. However in many ways its most perplexing outcome was the death blow for Simultaneity. Events that are simultaneous in one frame of reference need not be simultaneous in another. What does this mean? Observer 1 concludes that event A happened before event B. Observer 2 in another frame of reference concludes that the events were simultaneous (happened at the same time). Which one is correct? The answer - Both of them. This can influence, although I would urge much caution, our perception of events at least on a theoretical level for now.

US Election Race Debates

I can barely sit through the agony of Republican debates not to mention the Hillary-Bernie roadshow. Now they want four more. Why not save your time and work on some self induced waterboarding technique?

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Thoughts on Deism III

Deism should theoretically emerge as a viable middle ground between atheism and theism but it still seems as though it is lagging behind the other two systems in terms of absolute numbers. It may be that many of those who would normally fall under either of the two categories are in all actuality Deists however I am not convinced that this explains the full picture. Classical deism lost its appeal some time ago (possibly due to the imprisonment of the creator) but why have the more 'warmer' types of deism not taken hold? Intellectually it stands on no less a solid ground than any counter ideology yet in terms of clout it is analogous to the Libertarian party in a battle between the Dems and the GOP. What is it missing? Could it be a lack of adequate spokespeople?

Deistic thoughts I am working on.

1. A belief that there is a God who transcends space and time. (I call it God for want of a name although I personally prefer the Kabbalistic term Ein Sof).
2. That it is impossible to know the nature of God. It cannot be truly defined.
3. That the universe operates according to the Laws of Physics. Life evolved through a combination of natural selection, genetic drift and other selection pressures acting on a genome whose variation arose as a consequence of mutation.
4. That God can intervene but such intervention is undetectable and does not contravene the laws of physics. God is a subtle actor who presents no evidence of understandable design.
5. That there is no personal God.
6. That revealed religion are merely man made attempts at trying to understand God and although some carry the wisdom of earlier thought they are all inherently flawed.
7. That humans need to develop their own moral code based on reason, logic and the collective thinking of what has worked in the past.
8. That some religious customs may serve a purpose with respect to group cohesion but they need to be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.
9. That God is a minimalist in action but not necessarily a disinterested party.
10. That the afterlife is unknowable.
11. That skepticism and the scientific method are the best tools we have in understanding the world.

Thoughts on Deism II

I don't believe that these differences (gender diversity with respect to God) are a function of intelligence. Nor do I see it as a consequence of education (although this probably can cause a slight shift towards one direction or another). I think that it is more a reflection of the way that the two sexes see the world in general.It may be a consequence of hunter-gatherer past. I don't know. However the difference on the broader level seems apparent. On a deeper level it's a positive development as it allows for alternative approaches to problems that impact all of us. I am a bit skeptical of the Myers-Briggs testing (which has its foundation in the work of Carl Jung) but it has some relevance along the extrovert/introvert corridor and the thinking/feeling paradigm. It is in the latter that this difference expresses itself.

Thoughts on Deism I

I am very interested in the obvious gender differences that personify the way that men and women perceive, experience and appreciate God. While these are obviously group differences and cannot be reduced to the specific individual it does seem (at least on what I have read and personally experienced) that women seem inherently more spiritual as a whole and that their spiritual belief is rooted in a stronger sense of feeling and emotion. This seems to translate into a richer connection with God (although I am sure others would beg to differ). Deism seems more of a male orientated philosophy as it places at its center reason and cold logic which many men seem to gravitate towards. I realize that this is somewhat of a generalization but I do believe that it has merit for discussion.

Sunday, January 03, 2016

Welcome 2016

Its difficult to believe that I have been blogging so long but I still, despite the drop off in frequency of posts, continue to enjoy making the submissions. I figure that when I don't I will close up shop.
So why not start the year with some great questions? Here are 12 worth thinking about.

1. Why is there something as opposed to nothing?
2. What are the limits of science? Has Cartesian Reductionism neared its level of usefulness? How do we incorporate the whole into our thinking?
3. How does complexity arise? Why is the sum of the parts so often less than the whole?
4. Is Randomness an illusion?
5. How are the Laws of Physics carried?
6. What is the relationship between consciousness, free will and the Anthropic Principle?
7. To what extent are we boxed in by our definitions of scientific terms? Discrete versus Continuous understanding of nature.
8. Why and how are we bound by perceived linearity?
9. The Subjective versus the Objective….Will Objectivism disappear altogether?
10. Why do systems become stable? How is this stability rocked? Is there an overall march toward a new zone? Is stability real or imaginary?
11. Why is our Mathematics limited?
12. What is an event? What comes together to make an event?