Edge of Extinction Episode #3

With my thanks, this episode of Edge of Extinction was created by Ivey Cone at Fuki Cafe

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Tech note, courtesy of mo flow: Random issues have been appearing with posting comments. Sometimes a “Submit Comment” click will return a 404 Page Not Found, or another error, for no apparent reason. To ensure you don’t lose a longer comment, you can right-click select all, and right-click copy, in the comment box before clicking “Submit.” If that hasn’t been done, the comment text will likely still be in the comment box when clicking the back button, or the forward button – depending on the error – on your browser.

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McPherson’s latest book is co-authored by Carolyn Baker. Extinction Dialogs: How to Live with Death in Mind is available.

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Comments 50

  • Cut to the Mamas & the Papas on stage singing away in 1969.

    A guy in the audience says; “Mama Cass you are the sexiest lady in town.”

    Cass quips back; “Atomic Baby, whereya stayin?”

  • http://www.marketwatch.com/story/another-day-another-plunging-asset-2015-01-15

    One day, it’s gold. The next, it’s equities. Most days, it’s crude. On Wednesday, it was copper. On Thursday it was the Swiss franc and Swiss stocks. And the move in those two makes those others look like minor-league hiccups.

    While you were sleeping, all hell broke loose in Switzerland, as the central bank ditched its currency cap against the euro after four years and slashed interest rates to negative 0.75%. The Swiss franc is rallying wildly, while the Swiss stock market is cratering and U.S. stock futures are mostly on the losing side as investors figure out this latest shock to the markets

    Meanwhile, collapsing oil is claiming its next batch of victims. Apache just became the first, and certainly not the last, big-name oil producer to cut a notable number of jobs. And Calgary is suffering through it’s worst decline in home prices in almost two years.

    Airlines stocks aren’t even benefiting anymore.

    [further down]

    The quote of the day

    “No one talks about the birth and death rates of American business because Wall Street and the White House, no matter which party occupies the latter, are two gigantic institutions of persuasion. The White House needs to keep you in the game because their political party needs your vote. Wall Street needs the stock market to boom, even if that boom is fueled by illusion. So both tell us, ‘The economy is coming back.’ — Jim Clifton, chairman and CEO of Gallup, in a piece entitled, “American Entrepreneurship: Dead or Alive?” [more]

    Things seem to be deteriorating on many fronts “faster (or more) than anyone thought possible.”

  • FriedrichKling,

    Regarding Shep’s outrageous claims, keep fighting the good fight. I am with you 100%.

    As a highly localized version of the self-centered, narcissistic, human supremacist theme, it seems that a very large percentage of people INSIST that the universe MUST and/or SHOULD work as they believe it must and should. Hey, they personally EXPERIENCE it that way, so that MUST make it so! Right? Many people actually, seriously, consider this good, powerful reasoning, which establishes valuable, enduring, general Truths. Meanwhile, massive and compelling evidence and reasoning to the contrary, which they EASILY avoid and deny, usually has little or no effect, whatever, on their strongly held beliefs. With a huge percentage of us using this kind of emotion-based reasoning generally in our lives over many thousands of years, we now have global heating with abrupt climate change, ecological, and nuclear collapse, and all intimately tied to human population explosion. What a fascinating species.

    By the way, speaking of species, based on cladistics—taxonomy based on genetic distance classification—and now generally preferred over other taxanomic systems, we have THREE species of genus Homo on Earth today, not one: the common chimpanzee, Homo troglodytes, the pygmy chimpanzee, Homo panicus, and us, Homo sapiens. Meanwhile, even taxonomists espousing cladistics remain strongly anthropocentric, so a long time will have to pass before they lump humans and chimps into the same genus, which they have no trouble at all doing with other animals. All of this, again, serves to emphasize the extent to which we exist first and foremost as HIGHLY EMOTIONAL animals, and only secondarily, by a pretty wide margin, rational animals as we so often and so loudly like to insist to ourselves and to each other.

    As an expression of this emotional basis for our reasoning, we often see in our relationships with other people what John Gottman calls “negative sentiment override”. When a person A develops negative sentiment override with respect to another person B, no matter WHAT the other person B says or does, whether neutral, positive, or negative, person A will attribute negative motives to person B. I think we see a good bit of this negative sentiment override dynamic occurring here at NBL in various comments. A fascinating species, indeed.

  • Cannon to right of them,
    Cannon to left of them,
    Cannon in front of them
    Volley’d and thunder’d;
    Storm’d at with shot and shell,
    Boldly they rode and well,
    Into the jaws of Death,
    Into the mouth of Hell
    Rode the seven billion…

    With deepest apologies to Alfred, Lord Tennyson

  • Stand Up Comics Of The Misanthropocene Era
    http://www.slideshare.net/fullscreen/IGBPSecretariat/great-acceleration-2015/1
    NOTE: Click to the right of the image to advance slides.

    The Game of Hockey Sticks
    Today, one billion humans have to walk a mile each day for water.
    Today, one billion humans are hungry and malnourished.
    Today, thousands die each year trying to cross the Mediterranean Sea.
    They are killing themselves to reach a land where they are hated and despised. Why? We only see shortages in high prices so far, not empty shelves. What little remains on shelves over there is unaffordable.

    Now, just imagine 30 years from now, when we enter a post-peak world of massive shortages in food, water, energy, minerals, climate, peace and prosperity. In a post-peak world, nothing can accelerate any item’s production no matter what the price. Even your precious solar panels and wind turbines.

    In 30 years, every single solar panel and wind turbine in existence today will reach the end of its life-cycle and need replacing, likely after the final economic collapse and the dawn of a new era of endless chronic shortages. Their component-level mineral alloys will be too costly and difficult to separate and recycle. Each recycling effort also reduces their quality and purity, which in a hi-tech world, is unacceptable.

    Of course, not many of these systems will last that long since most of us will still live near oceans during the emerging dawn of mega-monster weather extremes. This will only get worse. Green energy and extreme weather are a fool’s game. But, if that’s the way you roll, then you’d better listen up.

    If you are investing your children’s future in green energy, then you had better double down on redundancy and get at least 3 extra sets of solar panels, batteries, power inverters etc. etc. It’s good to be rich. The black and brown people floating on death traps in the Mediterranean are not dreaming of a “green” world, that’s for sure. They dream of things like, survival.

    p.s. — this year is projected to be Disney’s best year. May the force be with you.
    http://www.reddit.com/r/RenewableEnergy/comments/2qg5s9/mass_extinction_vs_green_energy/

    ————————————————————
    Kudos to Guy for best answers to difficult questions.
    Dr. Guy McPherson at the Earth at Risk Conference 2014

    I don’t believe everything Guy says, but I don’t believe everything I say either, but, I do respect his point of view.

    Never read a Derrick Jensen book, but the guy is largely a dyspeptic speaker.
    I get colicky and irritable trying to listen to his brain, thank god i usually burp and fall asleep.

  • Bud Nye Says:
    January 16th, 2015 at 10:08 am

    … By the way, speaking of species …
    ==================================
    Yep.

    It really tightens my jaws, chaps my lips, and empties my beer flagon when Taxi drivers do not like to talk about the oldest species, billions of years older than any biotic species.

    The abiotic species I studied in Abiology 101 (Weekend Rebel Science Excursion – 27).

  • I loved Edge of Extinction Episode #3 … I would comment a lot more but it is haaarddd weeerrrrkkkk to prove I am on the endangered species list.

  • Dredd,

    Very interesting! At first, “abiotic species” seemed like an oxymoron to me. Though I “knew” some of this, I had never thought of it or verbalized it with any clarity as you have so nicely done. Makes perfectly good sense, but I expect that some, here, will strongly protest. Given his aversion to machine metaphors related to biology and ecology, I would like to know what Derrick Jensen might have to say about this. Thanks!

  • Tom – we are all going extinct anyways. Assets are about to become as valuable as $100 bills on the Titanic.

  • tech note modification:

    there are actually a couple of different errors I have encountered (all still relatively rare) and sometimes the back button is the right direction, other times the forward button, to recover the comment (if you didn’t copy/save).

    Bud –

    “Hey, they personally EXPERIENCE it that way, so that MUST make it so! Right? Many people actually, seriously, consider this good, powerful reasoning, which establishes valuable, enduring, general Truths.”

    just because you and a blind cave fish can’t see the blue sky, Bud, does not mean it isn’t blue. good grief.

    and yes, I am being intentionally provocative. do you know how dolphins “visualize” – or perceive however they do – whatever it is they “see” with their sonar? how they truly understand and communicate such things to each other? for an entire species of dolphins, it is just “personal experience” that we humans have absolutely no clue about. none – not even the faintest shred of a guess.

    do you have even the faintest, foggiest clue as to how those very big brained critters might be perceiving their world? I sure as hell don’t. just because I don’t know jack about what they are all “personally experiencing” I am not going to go spouting off about how “hey, it’s all just your personal experience, how could you be so lame as to communicate your truths to each other that way? I mean really, you guys have only been doing that for millions of years! look what we great humans are doing with our enduring general scientific Truths! we might get to enjoy them for a whole hundred years before we destroy the entire planet, and maybe even take you down with us! yeah – how’s that for enduring, kiddos!”

    so it is between one group of humans (mystics, shamans, and so on – the Sufis are one very notorious example this way) who have regular, consistent contact with other realms of experience, and can easily communicate about it with each other, and those groups of humans who have not had such experience. it is just the nature of very real “difference” that exists. and these examples touch about one zillionth of what is really going on.

    I don’t know jack shit, from my own experience, about what the most advanced Sufis claim to have experienced, again and again, over hundreds of years and countless (and very enduring) generations with their apparently very well known and well traveled mystical realms.

    but I wouldn’t dream of questioning them as to the absolute validity and reality of their experience. for one thing, the incredibly advanced level of culture that these same Sufis have given to the world tells me something very real about the power of their insights.

    what possible justification would I have for doing so? if I walked up to one, and said “prove it” and they turned around to me and said, “if you are willing to undergo about 40 years of the most intense, life-altering and deeply transformative and inconceivably rigorous training, then you may be able to understand what we are talking about” – would I be justified in claiming they were full of crap about the valuable, enduring general truths they claim to know about? I don’t think so. no more than I would be justified in claiming the dolphins don’t know how to talk to each other, because they aren’t using standard English.

    it is a very big wide world out there. very big realms of things to experience, and many beings out there who are deeply involved in these experiences, and sharing them with other – whether human, dolphin or otherwise.

    “The parallel between scientific experiments and Sufi experiences may seem surprising due to the very different nature of observation. Physicists perform experiments involving elaborate teamwork and highly sophisticated technology; Sufis obtain their knowledge purely through introspection, without machinery, and in the privacy of dhikr (meditation). Repeating an experiment in elementary particle physics requires many years of training; deep Sufi experience generally requires many years of training under an experienced master. The complexity and efficiency of the physicists technical apparatus is matched, if not surpassed, by the Sufi’s consciousness, both physical and spiritual, while in deep dhikr. Thus scientists and Sufis have developed highly sophisticated methods of observing nature that are inaccessible to the layperson.”

    http://historyofislam.com/science-and-faith-in-islam/tasawwuf-sufism-and-quantum-physics/

    I’m sorry if the nature of that inaccessibility, with what some groups like the Sufis are doing, annoys you, Bud – enough to claim these things are somehow “unreal” because you can’t read a book about it and believe you have some kind of understanding. your annoyance, however, has exactly zero relevance to the actual reality of these things.

  • Bud –

    and to be completely, carefully, clear, I am not just talking about “experience” here, but also about all the levels and variety of reasoning that can be undertaken, with that common experience as the domain of discourse.

    it really is like teaching algebra to a bullfrog, if you know what I mean… even if they can’t get there, some bullfrogs are able to understand that it is only because they are not experienced enough with the domain of discourse, not that such things as algebra don’t or can’t exist.

    at least the less arrogant bullfrogs appreciate this.

  • Colt: just tryin’ to keep everyone up with the various aspects of collapse.
    i laugh when hearing the various economists touting “buy GOLD” or
    whatever – because, unless you can eat it, it’ll be useless (and
    when there’s no food to buy, none of it will be worth a fig).

  • From today’s ONION

    >>>

    Enchanted Necromancer Brings Life Back To Once-Dead Argument

    FORT COLLINS, CO—Summoning a maelstrom of black energy from the depths of the netherworld, enchanted necromancer Keith Pfluger was reportedly able to revive an argument that had perished many years earlier and which was previously believed to have departed from this realm for all eternity, sources confirmed Friday. “You know, this is exactly like the time you told me it was fine if I wanted to skip your office holiday party, but then got mad when I decided not to go,” intoned the unholy sorcerer, breathing a torrent of stygian magic into the lifeless verbal conflict and causing it to stir for the first time in ages. “You can’t do that—that’s bullshit. You can’t say, ‘Oh, I’m going to my niece’s birthday party, but don’t feel like you need to come unless you really want to,’ and then get pissed off when I make plans to do something else. It’s the same exact thing and you know it is.” At press time, the wicked practitioner of dark arts had reportedly opened a portal even he was powerless to close, unleashing an army of undead points of contention into the world of the living.

  • Most folks lose sight of the basis of all their knowledge very early in life. Do you have a big brain? What is “big” and what is “brain”? Somewhere early in the course of learning, the word “big” is noted to be associated with objects of certain sizes, and a connection is recognised. Likewise the word “brain” is assocated with certain objects, and an inference is made that there is a similar object in one’s body. Every bit of learning and speculation is dependent upon constructs made from current sensory inputs, and memories of prior sensory inputs and prior constructs also based on sensory inputs. The constructs become so elaborate and complex that their rootedness in basic, primitive sensory inputs is completely obscured and the projections flom those constructs are deemed to be real entities “out” “there”, and any contrary view is considered aberrant.

    So yes, now there is a world “out” “there” independent of any sensory inputs. Its origin is hidden in plain sight. Don’t try to argue against it: you’ll be labelled delusional and dumped in the loon bin.

  • mo flow,

    “and yes, I’m being being intentionally provocative.

    Thanks for that!

  • good mornin’ all. i saw this article and just wanted to vent (if you don’t want to hear it, just skip to the next comment, no hard feelings).

    http://www.desdemonadespair.net/2015/01/ocean-life-faces-mass-extinction-broad.html

    Ocean life faces mass extinction, broad study finds – ‘We may be sitting on a precipice of a major extinction event’

    Yet another report that we’ve done damage to the oceans of the world, but, and here’s the part that always ends their story, thus continuing what we’re doing because it isn’t dire enough (it’s just another “wake-up call”), THERE’S STILL TIME TO FIX IT!

    How are we going to fix it when the plastic gyres in the world’s oceans have multiplied over the years in both size and number, when Fukushima not only isn’t “fixed” but CAN’T be and will FOREVER (in terms of human life) be dumping high radioactivity into the Pacific, when the Arctic is melting and the oceans are heating (until they can’t absorb any more CO2), when methane is now pluming out of the Arctic, the Antarctic and both the Atlantic (off the coast of NJ) and Pacific (off of the northwest coast)? Why do they continue to LIE about it, when it’s obvious that nothing can or will be done about any of it? This report is useful as far as scoping out the damage being done, but FAILS MISERABLY in their conclusion by, as usual, relying on hopium in the end.

    Gee, i wonder what the authors will get grant money for next?

    Okay, back to your day.

  • Guy’s Acronym “Hello”

    Human
    Extinction
    Looming:
    Likely
    Obliteration

  • dear all

    I don’t really know what love is, but I try…

  • mo flo,

    Of course each individual has it’s own, valid, personal experience. That includes each different person, cat, horse, crab, bacterium, and so on. I don’t recall writing anything that suggests otherwise, and I have stressed exactly that point. On the other hand, I HAVE questioned the popular idea of various individuals, or groups of individuals, whether humans or honeybees, insisting that THEIR personal, experiential “reality” necessarily points to OTHER individual’s realities (they may or may not), or, more to the point, that they presumably suggest alleged, general laws of nature or how the universe presumably works. Would it make sense to you for a bacterium, or a group of bacteria, to insist that all other bacteria must experience life as that one, or those few, do? Or that their experience suggests that the world works as they insist it must, according to their experience? Would it make sense for a crab or group of crabs to do this? For a cow or group of cows to do this? But it presumably DOES make sense to you for a human or a group of “special” humans with special insight into “other realms” to reason that way?

    Perhaps I have badly misunderstood you, so please correct me if I have this wrong, but earlier you enthusiastically wrote that you consider the processes of natural science as the most reliable processes for us to determine the validity of the knowledge we construct with respect to how the universe works, not individual’s subjective experiences. Now you appear to have changed your mind about this. Now you invoke “other realms” that certain “special” people have “special knowledge” of attained through “special processes”, and so the processes of natural science presumably cannot, and will not, provide any useful or reliable knowledge regarding these alleged other realms and processes. Here, you appear to invoke the same alleged “non-physical” entities and processes that Jeff S. earlier invoked, and yet, if I understood him correctly, these non-physical processes presumably also do not exist outside of the physical universe? I really do not get it: How can a NON-physical ghost, spirit, consciousness, or other alleged entity or process that supposedly exist in these “other realms”, if you do indeed invoke these as Jeff S. and others have, supposedly have any detectable effects in a PHYSICAL universe such that we could ever come to know about them? Do you insist that this happens through some kind of special magic? How do we decide whose “special knowledge” concerning these alleged “other realms” to believe? Christians? Sufis? Muslims? The person with schizophrenia in the hospital? Our president? My nearest neighbor? We would best simply accept these processes based on faith in your and other’s claims regarding these things? You do not see any fundamental and important differences in the introspective processes Sufi’s, or any of hundreds of religions use, as compared with those of physicists? Clearly, I feel confused regarding all of this—yes, as previously with Jeff S., with total honesty and sincerity. Will you clarify, please, by responding to these questions?

    I assure you that the things Sufis, or any other religious or philosophical groups claim and do, does not annoy me, and, as I have emphasized, in my opinion they exist as 100% valid personal, subjective experiences. Of course, you have it correct that my lack of annoyance, or annoyance—either way—has absolutely nothing to do with the actual reality of these things, and this remains an important point I keep trying to make: personal subjective experiences MAY, but do not necessarily, provide us with useful information about the world outside of our heads. Meanwhile, here we have come back to jumping to conclusions about other’s thinking and feeling, in this case your assumption that I presumably feel annoyed while I do not. In my experience, asking questions for clarification about other’s experiences, what they think and feel, and processing the resulting feedback, pretty much always works far, FAR better than jumping to conclusions and subsequently telling others what they supposedly think, feel, and what supposedly “really” motivates them. At least I have often experienced that. Perhaps in your life you have found that telling others what they think and feel works well for you, in distinct contrast with what I have found?

    Tom,

    You wrote, “Colt: just tryin’ to keep everyone up with the various aspects of collapse. i laugh when hearing the various economists touting “buy GOLD” or whatever – because, unless you can eat it, it’ll be useless (and when there’s no food to buy, none of it will be worth a fig).”

    Of course, ultimately, I agree with you completely. On the other hand, on the way toward the coming ultimate cannibalism and starvation for all who remain, I think that it seems extremely likely that, just as has so often happened in the past in similar situations, and as we have happening at this moment all around us, those who have money, silver, or gold can and will use it to survive while many others starve—for as long as that exchange system remains viable. After that, those who have useful things to barter (most purchased with different forms of “gold”) will survive while those who do not starve. Finally, those who have other’s bodies to feed on, and a willingness to do that, will survive while those who do not will starve. And then they, too, will die. (This does NOT rule out the near certainty that in these processes a significant number of people will die while helping others to live!) I think it pretty safe to say that most people will have great concerns about all of these likely stages, not just the one related to their not having the ability to eat gold.

    Based on past experience it seems pretty safe to say that in these processes most likely most people, most of the time, will do whatever they have to do in order to live for as long as possible. After all, life in general, from bacteria, to plants, to fish and mammals, shares this drive to live, to survive. From this perspective, it seems to me that having “gold” in several of its many different forms makes good, rational sense, as does having useful things to barter, as does having many supportive, trust-based relationships with others, as does one’s proactively having “stress inoculated” themselves with knowledge of what we have coming and vastly lower-energy lifestyle changes. Of course, whether one might want to “live as long as possible” despite the existential horrors of mega-death related to dehydration, famine, disease, many different forms of warfare, and cannibalism remains a different, relevant, and important question. I expect that many will choose suicide while many others will fight to live to their last possible breath—exactly as has happened so often in the longer-term history of humans and all other life on Earth.

  • Tom: I hear you and had the same reaction from the Desdemona/NY Times article. Your venting (I read every word) was a catharsis for me! And I got such a kick out of your comments re gold/equities/crude etc.! So true.

    Here is the title of a headline story in NY times today:

    “2014 Breaks Heat Record, Challenging Global Warming Skeptics”.

    How about changing that to: “2014 Breaks Heat Record, Debunking Global Warming Deniers”

    Still using the word skeptic (https://grist.org/news/climate-deniers-dont-deserve-to-be-called-skeptics-scientists-say/) and citing John Christy. Yikes. But then again, it’s the NY Times.

    Thanks for your contributions Tom—–I and many other lurkers I know really appreciate them.

    And . . . .

    millennia Says: “I don’t really know what love is, but I try . . .

    Millennia, what you write is short and very sweet! What IS love? Noun, verb, adjective, undefinable—– only experienced?

    If you have not seen this, it is a beautiful, heartfelt description of love(in my opinion) from author/writer Kathleen Dean Moore:

     Love has as its object: daughter, son, young woman who loves son, sudden quiet, a certain combination of smells (hemlock, salt water), mist swimming with light, purple kayak, fog-bound island, hidden cove, and the man who can drive a boat through any squall. The list is, of course, incomplete. Add silver salmon. Add unexpected sun.

     I stretch my back and start two lists. What does it mean to love a person? What does it mean to love a place? Before long, I discover I’ve made two copies of the same list. To love – a person and a place – means at least this:
      Number One: To want to be near it, physically.
      Number Two: To want to know everything about it – its story, its moods, what it looks like by moonlight.
      Number Three: To rejoice in the fact of it.
      Number Four: To fear its loss, and grieve for its injuries.
      Number Five: To protect it – fiercely, mindlessly, futilely, and maybe tragically, but to be helpless to do otherwise.
      Six: To be transformed in its presence – lifted, lighter on your feet, transparent, open to everything beautiful and new.
      Seven: To want to be joined with it, taken in by it, lost in it.
      Number Eight: To want the best for it.
      Number Nine: Desperately.

     I know there’s something important missing from my list, but I’m struggling to put it into words. Loving isn’t just a state of being, it’s a way of acting in the world. Love isn’t a sort of bliss, it’s a kind of work. To love a person is to act lovingly toward him, to make his needs my own. To love a place is to care for it, to keep it healthy, to attend to its needs. Obligation grows from love. It is the natural shape of caring.

     Number ten, I write in my notebook: To love a person or a place is to take responsibility for its well-being.  I turn the rowboat toward camp, tugging on the clanking oars, scattering reflections, picturing my family gathering one by one to explore the bay as the tide falls. They will be stumbling over rocks and calling out to one another. “Look, here, under the kelp.”

  • The system and people that run and own the planet do not care.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AygzkckCVPs&feature=player_detailpage

  • ed – LOL. the necromancer is busy these days.

    Bud –

    thanks for all of this. I will break out my response in a couple of different parts, all in one post. these parts are actually different threads, really, so I will break them up with a — mark.

    let me ask you this, as an opening part to a thought experiment we can pursue together. it could be both fun, and productive, I think, if we do this together. (anyone else is free to jump in, of course!)

    question: in additional to their sonar capabilities, do you think it is possible for members of a species of dolphins to communicate telepathically with each other? if not, why not. if so, how so? if it is possible, do you think such a thing could occur across an ocean? perhaps from the far North Pacific to the far South, for example?

    we had recently agreed on the importance of recognizing the difference between “personal opinion,” “personal experience” and “scientific validity”

    you then came forward with your post above and commented:

    “Hey, they personally EXPERIENCE it that way, so that MUST make it so! Right? Many people actually, seriously, consider this good, powerful reasoning, which establishes valuable, enduring, general Truths.”

    now, please correct me if I am wrong, but with the “Hey” “Right?” “seriously” wording here, the all caps, and so on, this comment was consciously meant to be emotionally provocative. I won’t go as far to say it was another example of passive-aggressive behavior, but it somewhat looks like instead of being a simple statement of neutral information, or an honest question, it was intentionally loaded with sarcasm and mockery. again, correct me if I am wrong here.

    “I HAVE questioned the popular idea of various individuals, or groups of individuals, whether humans or honeybees, insisting that THEIR personal, experiential “reality” necessarily points to OTHER individual’s realities”

    yes, I always question these things, too.

    “(they may or may not), or, more to the point, that they presumably suggest alleged, general laws of nature or how the universe presumably works.”

    yes again. an intelligent species with color vision may catch on to the physical properties of the light spectrum more quickly than an intelligent species without such.

    “Would it make sense to you for a bacterium, or a group of bacteria, to insist that all other bacteria must experience life as that one, or those few, do?”

    if a bunch of intelligent, color-blind bacteria tried to convince the bacteria who could see color that such a thing as the experience of RED, or GREEN, was actually a hallucination, I would side with the ones who could see color. if a very few color-seeing bacteria tried to convince the vast majority of color-blind ones about the reality of RED, I would pity them.

    “But it presumably DOES make sense to you for a human or a group of “special” humans with special insight into “other realms” to reason that way?”

    if by “reason that way” you are talking about any form of coercion – absolutely not.

    “to insist that all other bacteria must experience life as that one, or those few, do? Or that their experience suggests that the world works as they insist it must, according to their experience?”

    I actually didn’t mention that my dolphins were acting coercively with each other, in any way, did I? and I did in fact mention that my groups of humans, shamans for example, were only talking to other groups of humans – other shamans – who had similar experiences. I didn’t anywhere talk about the shaman conspiracy to rule the world. I have zero interest in supporting any group of humans who are trying to force, coerce, or otherwise arm-twist another group into anything.

    my comments have never given validity to such behavior.

    “so please correct me if I have this wrong, but earlier you enthusiastically wrote that you consider the processes of natural science as the most reliable processes for us to determine the validity of the knowledge we construct with respect to how the universe works, not individual’s subjective experiences.”

    as a method for gaining quantifiable knowledge about how the universe works, with theories that can be tested and verified by humans with currently known physical or statistical methods, absolutely science is the best! – and certainly the most reliable that I can think of. (please read this very carefully. it could be critically important for your understanding and participation in our thought experiment I mention above, hint hint!).

    “and so the processes of natural science presumably cannot, and will not, provide any useful or reliable knowledge regarding these alleged other realms and processes.”

    I appreciate the processes of natural science, and human creativity, persistence, and ingenuity, enough to leave this question wide open. if I were to compare the maturity of our current science with the life cycle of a human, I would say our current science, and all of its understanding, is maybe five days old. I actually think that is being generous.

    “Here, you appear to invoke the same alleged “non-physical” entities and processes”

    how you have apparently defined and understand “physical” and “non-physical” is equivalent, in my estimation, to the understanding a five day old infant has of the adult world. along with my “five days old” estimate, the terminology you are using is equivalent in maturity to the language comprehension of a five day old infant. that is true for all of us, right now. we have the science and mathematics we have, and the language we have, right now. no more, no less.

    “Do you insist that this happens through some kind of special magic?”

    nope. as far as how “things might happen in the universe” we only have what is known and appreciated by current physical science, and what is yet unknown. how old is that little tike again? oh yeah. five days. looks like the poor sucker was born deformed, as well, and might not make it…

    “Clearly, I feel confused regarding all of this—yes, as previously with Jeff S., with total honesty and sincerity. Will you clarify, please, by responding to these questions?”

    I will go out of my way here. I am committed to clarity. feel free to probe our discussion in any way you see fit.

    “personal subjective experiences MAY, but do not necessarily, provide us with useful information about the world outside of our heads.”

    this is an exceedingly great point. my only real counterpoint is to appreciate the potential for how much this point you make is true – how far it may actually go. put aside all the human stupidity (it is endless) with religion. let’s just stick with ways we can talk about possible perspectives. I have zero interest in reasoning anybody into anything, other than perhaps gaining some new perspective, and jointly opening new doorways to understanding, based solely on my own, or anyone else’s “personal experience.”

    “Meanwhile, here we have come back to jumping to conclusions about other’s thinking and feeling, in this case your assumption that I presumably feel annoyed while I do not.”

    again, I would just refer to the *possible* motivations behind the seemingly sarcastic, mocking tone of the comment I reference above, while seemingly ignoring our previous agreement on the importance of distinguishing “personal opinion” “personal experience” and “scientific validity.”

    I may have been totally wrong with my perception there. and you are free to mock, of course, whenever you wish.

  • Bud Nye Says:
    January 16th, 2015 at 3:05 pm

    Dredd,

    Very interesting! At first, “abiotic species” seemed like an oxymoron to me. Though I “knew” some of this, I had never thought of it or verbalized it with any clarity as you have so nicely done. Makes perfectly good sense, but I expect that some, here, will strongly protest. Given his aversion to machine metaphors related to biology and ecology, I would like to know what Derrick Jensen might have to say about this. Thanks!
    =======================
    Yep.

    There are many sources to be considered.

    As Guy confirms in this episode: “Comedy is truth, only faster.” – Gilda Radner

  • Bud Nye,

    RE: contemplating the source of current, ongoing extinction (Abiotic Evolution: Can It Explain An Origin For The Toxins of Power? – 3).

    Some think it is natural for biotic life to go extinct, others do not.

    Contemplating the source of the dynamic of extinction may reveal the answer.

  • Tom, all authors of mainstream articles have to end with, “and they lived happily ever after” or they won’t get read, reviewed or disseminated.
    Antidote:
    Get your Geek On
    http://www.sciencedump.com/content/lower-your-stress-levels-some-geek-humor

  • Sabine,

    You wrote: “mo flow, ‘and yes, I’m being being intentionally provocative.’ Thanks for that!”

    I feel curious: what emotional response did you wish mo flo to elicit, and why?

    mo flo,

    You correctly quoted me as having written “Hey, they personally EXPERIENCE it that way, so that MUST make it so! Right? Many people actually, seriously, consider this good, powerful reasoning, which establishes valuable, enduring, general Truths.” You then wrote: “now, please correct me if I am wrong, but with the ‘Hey’ ‘Right?’ ‘seriously’ wording here, the all caps, and so on, this comment was consciously meant to be emotionally provocative. I won’t go as far to say it was another example of passive-aggressive behavior, but it somewhat looks like instead of being a simple statement of neutral information, or an honest question, it was intentionally loaded with sarcasm and mockery. again, correct me if I am wrong here.”

    No. I did NOT consciously mean this “to be emotionally provocative”. (I HOPE that I did not unconsciously intend this, but of course if it did occur non-consciously, I could not have any awareness of it.) I did not feel or intend it any passive-aggressive way, I did not intend any mockery, I did not feel or intend any sarcasm, and I DO feel a little surprised that you interpreted it in any or all of those ways and you wish to express your interpretations. As I wrote earlier, sometimes I write things while realizing that some others might respond emotionally, but rarely (ever?) do I write with the conscious intention of generating strong emotions. Why? Because I know that people experiencing strong emotions do not think very clearly. A strong, reciprocal relationship exists between thinking and emotions: the stronger the emotions, the weaker the thinking. I prefer to encourage my own and other’s clear thinking, not a lot of emotional arousal. I only meant to describe a form of reasoning, which it appears to me people often use. Here, you decided to shift the focus away from this form of reasoning to completely unrelated emotional issues rather than to focus on the strengths and weaknesses of that form of reasoning, which I had hoped to have happen. You continue to jump to completely unwarranted conclusions about my alleged emotional state and motivations despite having NO ACCESS WHATEVER TO THE MOST IMPORTANT INDICATORS, BY FAR, OF OUR EMOTIONAL STATES: OUR FACIAL EXPRESSIONS, plus other body language signs that indicate the nature of our physiological arousal.

    Might we possibly focus on, and stay focused on, the strengths and weaknesses of various arguments and forms of reasoning, and stay away from second-guessing each other’s emotions and motivations related to what we write? If, on the other hand, you wish to know my emotions and motives, just ask (much as I asked Sabine above) and I will tell you (though she may not, which, of course, remains entirely her choice, which I respect).

    You wrote, “how you have apparently defined and understand ‘physical’ and ‘non-physical’ is equivalent, in my estimation, to the understanding a five day old infant has of the adult world.”

    I have NOT “defined and understand ‘physical’ and ‘non-physical’” in any kind of equivalent way! There, I referred to Jeff S.’s earlier-claimed equivalency, which I argued at length against. I have argued, and continue to argue, that it does not make much, if any, sense to claim that some process or entity can have both a physical and non-physical nature. Related directly to this, please explain how some alleged NON-physical ghost, spirit, consciousness, or other alleged non-physical entity or process that supposedly exists in some “other, non-physical realm” can influence or have an effect on physical processes while not having any physical nature. How could anyone ever conceivably come by any knowledge of such alleged non-physical spirits or consciousness as Jeff S. and others have suggested? Please describe the alleged process or processes by which this presumably can happen.

    Dredd,

    As I have argued in several different places, I consider it completely natural for biotic life to go extinct. (See, for example, my “Tragic view of human destiny” essay: https://guymcpherson.com/2014/09/a-tragic-view-of-human-destiny/.) Furthermore, it seems an expression of anthropocentric, arrogant, human supremacism for any mere human to suggest that they, presumably, “know” how life “should” unfold on Earth, for example as Derrick Jensen so passionately does. Please don’t get me wrong: I think that Derrick has done much valuable work, I have read most of it, and I agree with most of it. I just disagree with him when he insists that his moral values necessarily equate with how Earth’s biosphere presumably should work, with or without humans present. I think it ironic that he has written a book about human supremacism while not addressing his own human supremacist views concerning life and death generally on Earth.

  • Hi Queenie,

    I hope you do not think I was ignoring your request, but I did not see your comment until now. I am happy to send you new Milkweed seeds (Milkweed is a misnomer as the plant produces beautiful and pleasantly fragrant flowers). Just email me at ffkling@sbcglobal.net with your mailing address.

    Place the seed in your freezer until ready to plant when temps. are beginning to hover around 70. Plant only about 1/8″ below and keep moist for three weeks.

    Thanks to Tom for alerting re. the dangers of Tropical milkweed. The only variety I have shared is traditional prairie milkweed.

  • Queenie,

    I forgot to mention that once the stalks reach 8-12″ cut back to just above ground level to encourage more leaves and stalks.

  • Sorry for the third post, but I am compelled to ask mo flow what is the point? From what I am able to discern Bud is arguing in favor of the scientific method to learning in contrast to personal experiences. I can’t believe this qualifies as an area of argument.

    So you believe we should accept the reality of Sufis without verification? I do not. Their feats of magic have been proven fraudulent regardless of their personal experiences.

    Intentional and ridiculous provocation yes indeed.

  • Bud –

    ok, you weren’t intending to be provocative with that comment. no prob there. let’s move on.

    “but rarely (ever?) do I write with the conscious intention of generating strong emotions.”

    you should give it a shot. it is actually very clear that the use of both strong emotion, and reasoning, working together and to a useful purpose, is much better at making a point clearly. this is immediately evident when you understand how the wicked use both strong emotion, and twisted reasoning, to drive home a point (think certain German dictators).

    the converse is that, when working for the true benefit of humankind, both emotion and reason, working together, can be extremely powerful. think of any inspiring speech, for example, from MLK, or Lincoln. and their words are incredibly reasonable, and persuasive, when read only as pure text – sans facial expression, voice tonality, etc.

    “Here, you decided to shift the focus away from this form of reasoning to completely unrelated emotional issues rather than to focus on the strengths and weaknesses of that form of reasoning, which I had hoped to have happen. You continue to jump to completely unwarranted conclusions about my alleged emotional state and motivations”

    yes, yes. moving along, let’s just stick with what I wrote, above, if you want to have a discussion. if not, and you want to go skirting off into tangents, I don’t have the time.

    I am really clear on the value of reasoning, in all forms, and the power of emotion, in all forms. we don’t need to spend any time on that. the ALL CAPS are not ever necessary, either. they generally serve no purpose other than to give your reader the impression you are being over-emotional – shouting. this is extremely well known in internet discourse – forums, emails, whatever.

    “I have NOT “defined and understand ‘physical’ and ‘non-physical’” in any kind of equivalent way!”

    you misunderstand, it seems. I am not saying you define “physical” and “non-physical” as equivalent to each other in meaning. of course you wouldn’t do that!

    what I said was:

    “how you have apparently defined and understand ‘physical’ and ‘non-physical’ is equivalent, in my estimation, to the understanding a five day old infant has of the adult world.”

    and my meaning was, as I spelled out clearly in the rest of my point there:

    “the terminology you are using is equivalent in maturity to the language comprehension of a five day old infant. that is true for all of us, right now. we have the science and mathematics we have, and the language we have, right now. no more, no less.”

    the way you are using these terms – the way we all use them right now – both “physical” and “non-physical” is just like our science – it is in its bare infancy. terms like these are baby babble language, at best, compared to what our likely non-existent descendants will be using to talk about these things, about ten million years from now.

    I am sure that the language we use amongst ourselves today, both mathematically and with written language – words like “physical” or our understanding of things like E=mc^2, etc – is equivalent to baby babble talk to advanced intelligent species that have been around and evolving for millions or even billions of years. they may understand what we mean, in our primitive ways, sort of like frogs calling to each other, maybe.

    but they wouldn’t, I am extremely certain, be using words like “physical” with the meaning we attach to that word. if they still even used anything we can even comprehend as any kind of linear-sequential language. given the radical trouble we seem to have with it, I think it would be long dead as a communication form.

  • Bud –

    one more note (apologies for overpost, but I forgot to include this previously)

    “Related directly to this, please explain how some alleged NON-physical ghost, spirit, consciousness, or other alleged non-physical entity or process that supposedly exists in some “other, non-physical realm” can influence or have an effect on physical processes while not having any physical nature. How could anyone ever conceivably come by any knowledge of such alleged non-physical spirits or consciousness as Jeff S. and others have suggested?”

    are you claiming, here, that science has written the last word on exactly what “physical” means? if we defined “physical” as “all material stuff we could hope to measure or deduce, in any way, now or in the future” – that the book is closed on that? just let me know if that is what you mean.

    “Please describe the alleged process or processes by which this presumably can happen.”

    please fast forward over the next 100 million years of scientific discovery and get back to me with a summary. I am super curious!

  • Heard a good one today on the Click and Clack show on NPR.

    One of the brothers said: “Some who are in mensa are densa”

    Yes, I know plenty of PhD’s that are dense as hell. Intuition rules!!

    Chew on that.

    Cheers

  • **Not bad coming from the NYT: The Fermi Paradox**

    “our current sustainability crisis may be neither politically contingent nor unique, but a natural consequence of laws governing how planets and life of any kind, anywhere, must interact.”

    IOW our predicament has nothing to do with psychotic, greedy, irresponsible corporations or their slimy .1% owners – our raping mother earth happens all the time — it’s a **natural consequence** of planets everywhere.

    So we can put away the pitchforks, bitumen and feathers and blame it on the Bossa Nova.

    Really folks – MSM has stopped printing news – everything, and I mean everything they print is misdirection, spin, and outright lies. They are not really green warriors working for a better tomorrow. They are greenwashers and posers destroying life for money.

  • **Not bad coming from the NYT: The Fermi Paradox**

    “our current sustainability crisis may be neither politically contingent nor unique, but a natural consequence of laws governing how planets and life of any kind, anywhere, must interact.”

    IOW our predicament has nothing to do with psychotic, greedy, irresponsible corporations or their slimy .1% owners – raping mother earth happens all the time — it’s a **natural consequence** of planets everywhere.

    So we can put away the pitchforks, bitumen and feathers and blame it on the Bossa Nova.

    Really folks – MSM has stopped printing news – everything, and I mean everything they print is misdirection, spin, and outright lies. They are not really green warriors working for a better tomorrow. They are greenwashers and posers destroying life for money.

  • “please fast forward over the next 100 million years of scientific discovery and get back to me with a summary. I am super curious!

    Does it go something like this?

    Reality only exists through the experiencing of it. So to “know what is real,” we’d have to bring back experiencers from the past, as well as go forward to the experiencers of the “future,” (now very much in question).

    What’s “out there” can only be known through individuals and species, all of them different.

    It’s as though we’re looking at reality from the wrong end–that it exists “outside,” when it instead is “inside.” So we are corralled by civilization to see it one way, through some centrally approved orthodox determination of what it is. This would be the outside in approach to reality. Whilst, civilization would not sanction the notion that reality is inside out, emanating from the perceiver. But isn’t the inside out paradigm–order stemming from the individual–what anarchy is about?

    At a community meeting recently, I proposed that the organization emerge through the individuals within it–who they are, what turns them on, what they want to do with their time. It then would be incumbent on the group to structure itself so that each individual gets enough of what it wants to cooperate with the others…

  • Click & Clack are pure Bahstin Yankee wisdom.

    They both got good “mahhks” in school.

    They went to MIT.

    They are real smaht.

    Their favorite “law firm” is Dewey, Cheetum, & Howe.

    These yuppie lawyerfish are running the country, Mama.

  • mo flo,

    You wrote “are you claiming, here, that science has written the last word on exactly what ‘physical’ means? if we defined ‘physical’ as ‘all material stuff we could hope to measure or deduce, in any way, now or in the future’ – that the book is closed on that? just let me know if that is what you mean.”

    No, I do not mean “physical” to refer only to “material stuff”. As I have emphasized several times, I mean it to refer to all matter and energy in the universe (the energy we study in chemistry and physics), including dark matter and dark energy. (Energy does not consist of “material stuff”.) When I use “physical”, as indicated by most dictionaries I mean it to refer to: 1. Involving the body as distinguished from a mind or spirit; 2. Relating to the sciences dealing with matter and energy; especially physics; 3. Having substance or material existence; perceptible to the senses; 4. According with material things or natural laws.

    Now, will you kindly respond to the questions in a direct manner? To me, at least, they seem relevant and important. Please explain how some alleged non-physical ghost, spirit, consciousness, god, energy, or other supposed non-physical entity or process that presumably exists in some “other, non-physical realm” can influence or have an effect on physical processes while not having a physical nature. How could any physical human ever conceivably come by any knowledge at all of such alleged non-physical spirits, entities, forces, energies, or consciousness, as Jeff S. and others have suggested, much less reliable, confirmable knowledge about these things? Please describe the alleged process or processes by which this presumably can happen and how we might construct our knowledge about them.

    Regarding FriedrichKling’s comment that “Their feats of magic have been proven fraudulent regardless of their personal experiences”, magician James Randi debunks MANY fraudulent but all too commonly believed claims that people have made in his wonderful book Flim-Flam! Psychics, ESP, Unicorns, and Other Delusions. It includes discussions of dowsing, ghosts, psychic surgery, and psychic spoon bending among many other topics. Meanwhile, can and will believe anything they wish, usually in order to feel good in the short term, whether those beliefs validly represent or reflect anything that actually exists in the world outside of their heads, or not.

  • Dredd,

    As I have argued in several different places, I consider it completely natural for biotic life to go extinct. (See, for example, my “Tragic view of human destiny” essay: https://guymcpherson.com/2014/09/a-tragic-view-of-human-destiny/.) Furthermore, it seems an expression of anthropocentric, arrogant, human supremacism for any mere human to suggest that they, presumably, “know” how life “should” unfold on Earth, for example as Derrick Jensen so passionately does. Please don’t get me wrong: I think that Derrick has done much valuable work, I have read most of it, and I agree with most of it. I just disagree with him when he insists that his moral values necessarily equate with how Earth’s biosphere presumably should work, with or without humans present. I think it ironic that he has written a book about human supremacism while not addressing his own human supremacist views concerning life and death generally on Earth.
    ====================================
    So does Mayr. The reasons vary. Mayr thought it is because intelligence is a lethal mutation:

    I’LL BEGIN with an interesting debate that took place some years ago between Carl Sagan, the well-known astrophysicist, and Ernst Mayr, the grand old man of American biology. They were debating the <b<possibility of finding intelligent life elsewhere in the universe. And Sagan, speaking from the point of view of an astrophysicist, pointed out that there are innumerable planets just like ours. There is no reason they shouldn’t have developed intelligent life. Mayr, from the point of view of a biologist, argued that it’s very unlikely that we’ll find any. And his reason was, he said, we have exactly one example: Earth. So let’s take a look at Earth. And what he basically argued is that intelligence is a kind of lethal mutation … you’re just not going to find intelligent life elsewhere, and you probably won’t find it here for very long either because it’s just a lethal mutation … With the environmental crisis, we’re now in a situation where we can decide whether Mayr was right or not. If nothing significant is done about it, and pretty quickly, then he will have been correct: human intelligence is indeed a lethal mutation. Maybe some humans will survive, but it will be scattered and nothing like a decent existence, and we’ll take a lot of the rest of the living world along with us” (What Kind of Intelligence Is A Lethal Mutation?, quoting Chomsky).

    I suppose the definion of “natural” is important in fully considering the matter, because you indicated “I consider it completely natural for biotic life to go extinct.”

    It would seem that when considering extinction one would have to explain why abiotic evolution did not render abiotic entities extinct, and thus would not be “natural” in that context.

    It would indicate that extinction evolved along with biotic entities, and thus the biotic entities go extinct but the abiotic entities do not.

    That would seem to give rise to the question “why the difference?”

  • Sorry … my previous comment was supposed to be addressed to

    Bud Nye Says:
    January 17th, 2015 at 4:14 pm

    But I was neglectful to not include it.

  • **Please explain how some alleged non-physical ghost, spirit, consciousness, god, energy, or other supposed non-physical entity or process that presumably exists in some “other, non-physical realm” can influence or have an effect on physical processes while not having a physical nature.**

    I know. I know. Pick me. Pick me.

    Gravity.

    Can’t see, hear, taste, smell, or feel gravity – it exists in “other, non-physical realm” and “can influence physical processes while not having a physical nature.”

  • I’ve written a new essay, the third in a series about ownership. It’s here.

  • FKling –

    “but I am compelled to ask mo flow what is the point?”

    perspective is the point. pushing one’s mind out of the endlessly familiar ruts, breaking out of all boundaries of cultural conditioning, walking outside of the familiar perspectives – completely – in order to gain new perspectives. about everything. what is the value of doing that? I really do wonder…

    maybe you should ask the aliens. I am sure they have some very interesting thoughts on just how amazingly constrained humans are by their conditioned habits of personal experience, and collective group-think based on all kinds of assumptions about what is “socially acceptable” or “physically possible” in terms of “common experience.”

    they would probably have something to say about the questions that the more advanced thinking humans – such as scientists – are willing to ask, or investigate, as to the reality of aliens, based on what these scientists consider acceptable in the shared group-think of their common experience.

    of course, many of the aliens that actually exist apparently communicate telepathically, so you may have to deal with some unfamiliar perspectives there, if you happen to have a close encounter. some humans who try to communicate with them this way, or are unwillingly subjected to this communication, sometimes report various experiences of extreme terror. sometimes it also feels like an intensely joyous, yet frightening, and deeply religious experience – all at once. it gets weird. fast. all kinds of mixed up, unfamiliar perspectives, tumbling all around…

    it is interesting that mystics, shamans, Sufis, and many others frequently report both experiences of terror and ecstasy, sometimes combined, when communicating with other beings they encounter during their extra-ordinary experiences, or just in general with their explorations of “worlds” they “experience” internally and personally.

    “From what I am able to discern Bud is arguing in favor of the scientific method to learning in contrast to personal experiences. I can’t believe this qualifies as an area of argument.”

    wow. I can’t believe just how obvious it is to me – and many others – just how limited thinking, constrained by one’s own limited personal experience, and limited perspectives, cuts one off from asking all kinds of incredibly relevant questions, and cuts one off from the endless ways we could be creative enough, and ingenious enough, and patient enough – to actually exist on this planet in harmony with the greater forces around us.

    nope. not good enough. we want what we want now – our current perspectives are just fine, thank you, and totally sufficient for us to use all our powerful tools of science and technology in a way that will allow us to thrive on this rock for at least another 10, maybe 20 years.

    “So you believe we should accept the reality of Sufis without verification? I do not. Their feats of magic have been proven fraudulent regardless of their personal experiences.”

    wow again! you know all about the Sufis? from some debunkers? the most advanced Sufis, and their experiences – and of course the shamans, mystics and countless others who have broken free in various ways, and interact with and experience reality in all kinds of unusual ways – they are all frauds?

    “Intentional and ridiculous provocation yes indeed.”

    maybe it is my turn to be radically confused, but are you the same person who posts about the reality of various groups of good and bad aliens, roaming around earth?

    I’m sorry – that alien stuff has all been thoroughly debunked. you really should know that.

    Veterans Today magazine: “Then in 2005 Hellyer made headlines by stating: “UFOs are as real as the airplanes flying overhead.” It was the first time anyone of G-8 cabinet rank had ever publicly confirmed the alien presence on Earth.”

    seriously. some people actually believe this. we have intergalactic and/or interdimensional visitors here, and presumably they got here, and roam around here, with things like FTL travel, invisibility cloaks, and God knows what else – and yet the Sufis are all frauds? wow. just wow, wow wow. I really do wonder…

    Bud –

    “No, I do not mean “physical” to refer only to “material stuff”. As I have emphasized several times, I mean it to refer to all matter and energy in the universe (the energy we study in chemistry and physics), including dark matter and dark energy. (Energy does not consist of “material stuff”.) When I use “physical”, as indicated by most dictionaries I mean it to refer to: 1. Involving the body as distinguished from a mind or spirit; 2. Relating to the sciences dealing with matter and energy; especially physics; 3. Having substance or material existence; perceptible to the senses; 4. According with material things or natural laws.”

    yes – I use things like “material stuff” “physical” “energy” and so on, all interchangeably, as per your definition. it is all in there, together. but be careful, as you are contradicting your own definition:

    (Energy does not consist of “material stuff”.)

    2. Relating to the sciences dealing with matter and energy; especially physics;

    3. Having substance or material existence;

    they are interchangeable, of course, and it is just my own personal habit to think about them and talk about them this way, as I was sort of referencing here:

    “words like “physical” or our understanding of things like E=mc^2, etc”

    all the same thing ultimately, and all basically one thing that we understand now, with E=mc^2. energy and “material stuff” are exactly the same, as given by that equation. different forms forms of the same thing.

    also note, from your given definition:

    “perceptible to the senses;”

    senses are an internal, personal experience as we have touched on. qualia. and we are immediately getting into difficulties, again.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Qualia

    “Daniel Dennett (b. 1942), American philosopher and cognitive scientist, writes that qualia is “an unfamiliar term for something that could not be more familiar to each of us: the ways things seem to us.”[1]

    Erwin Schrödinger (1887–1961), the famous physicist, had this counter-materialist take:

    The sensation of color cannot be accounted for by the physicist’s objective picture of light-waves. Could the physiologist account for it, if he had fuller knowledge than he has of the processes in the retina and the nervous processes set up by them in the optical nerve bundles and in the brain? I do not think so.[2]

    The importance of qualia as a concept in the philosophy of mind comes largely from the fact that it is seen as posing a fundamental problem for materialist explanations of the mind-body problem. Much of the debate over their importance hinges on the definition of the term that is used, as various philosophers emphasize or deny the existence of certain features of qualia. As such, the nature and existence of qualia are controversial.”

    “Now, will you kindly respond to the questions in a direct manner? To me, at least, they seem relevant and important. Please explain how some alleged non-physical ghost, spirit, consciousness, god, energy, or other supposed non-physical entity or process that presumably exists in some “other, non-physical realm” can influence or have an effect on physical processes while not having a physical nature.”

    we are going in circles, and I am thinking I am done with that.

    forget about ghosts. where does the alleged color red exist? (check the link above for a good example of red).

    we can talk about red in terms of wavelengths of light. or neurons firing. neither of those, however, are red. just answer me this, Bud: where is it, in the physical realm, that red exists?

    it is just a personal experience, a qualia – that I, you and everyone else who can see red, and talk about red, can agree exists. that’s all we’ve got. something “material” – in some way – is there, that we can sense as “being red.”

    but the experience itself is not, as far as we can say now, material in any way. it is non-physical, by your definition of the difference between physical and non-physical. yet “it exists” – as surely as you exist.

    Human Supremacist views really do come in all shapes and colors. but one thing is for sure: they are invariably radically confused, self-contradictory (not paradoxical – just self-contradicting), and extremely lacking in perspective.

    Bud, you are clearly (as Jeff S. quite accurately pointed out earlier) not interested in having a discussion. I have directly and clearly answered your question – taken the time to put some real thought into it – several times, both in this discussion, and in my other posts.

    yet the discussion is going nowhere at the speed of light. I am bowing out. you are free to think red is as existent as ghosts. you have as much actual material evidence for one as you do for the other.

    “How could any physical human ever conceivably come by any knowledge at all of such alleged non-physical spirits, entities, forces, energies, or consciousness, as Jeff S. and others have suggested, much less reliable, confirmable knowledge about these things?”

    very fortunately, a few very smart physical humans are asking questions about these things, and thinking of way to probe these questions, in various ways. Sam Parnia, as I mentioned earlier re NDEs, is one of the most prominent:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sam_Parnia

    there are several others who are undertaking serious scientific research.

    “Please describe the alleged process or processes by which this presumably can happen and how we might construct our knowledge about them.”

    I have explained my personal position here numerous times. the only way to escape the contradiction – the problems that materialists have with the mind-body question and things like the existence of red, is to flip the whole thing around completely.

    the really cool thing: my position, and the various consequences, is just as amenable to scientific verification or refutation as the materialist position. the exact same process. it is just a matter of asking the right questions, and taking the time to do the right experiments.

    it could be a very long process. perhaps almost as long as it would take us to prove or disprove that a particular species of dolphins might be telepathic. it could take thousands or millions of years. no problem. well at least no problem for those telepathic aliens who made it through the extinction trap.

    my position: it is not “all physical” – where things like free will, red, and a whole host of other radical contradictions exist – it is “all mind” where things like physical reality (think of the reality of your dream experiences, just on a very large scale, and shared over possibly billions of years with other beings) plus free will, red, and everything else easily exists – and there is no basic self-contradiction at all.

    with just the barest first taste of quantum mechanics humans got, all kinds of knotty questions started arising about how observers with minds and making choices were actually tangled up in the reality of the quantum world. is it really such a stretch to think this might actually be telling us something extremely important? maybe something that is so hard to grasp, it could take a million years of conceptual evolution to get a real handle on?

    having some genuine appreciation, and perspective, might help us be open to breaking out, and getting some new insight into such things. something that could be be extremely useful for us on all kinds of levels.

    artleads –

    I really like your perception, and perspective, there – when it is taken as exactly the way you describe it, not a bit less. I think that way of asking questions, and looking at things, is just the kind of “inside-out” – and totally out of the box – thinking, that could get somewhere, over those millions of years.

  • Bud –

    “can influence or have an effect on physical processes while not having a physical nature.”

    have you ever stopped at a stoplight? you, your car and all the drivers and cars behind you who may be influenced by how fast you stop – have all just been greatly influenced by something that does not, as far as we can tell, have any physical nature: the sensation of red.

    how did that happen? where, oh, where, is that color? does it not really exist, physically? how can we talk about it so easily if it does not exist? it is only just a bunch of photons and neurons, and brain chemistry.

    RED LIGHT

    where? right there, obviously, where you see it: in mind.