PERCEPTION, PSYCHOLOGY, & EVOLUTION – The triune brain and religion


The triune mind [actually it’s five] from fish to reptile to, mammal, to ape, to human

The archaic levels of the human brain and psyche cannot understand the rational/modern/scientific truth of nature, reality, and our own psyches – because they are pre-rational structures – therefore, it is essential to retain pre-logical, pre-rational mythological stories about reality, nature, and cosmos so that the primordial, primal, and evolutionarily more primitive structures of our psyche, both subconscious and conscious, can communicate with our more sophisticated, rational, and scientific minds in a language that is mutually intelligible.

If this were not so, there would be no need for science as a way of knowing to compensate for our deeply irrational, superstitious, and biased thinking that constitutes the vast preponderance of our thinking.
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ϕ

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EVOLUTION

Aside


The human brain consumes twenty percent of the calories consumed by the entire body. Thinking, in evolutionary terms, is both vitally important and useful, and an incredibly expensive process.

φ

The Theodicy of φ


Heraclitus instructs Leibniz: "τῷ μὲν θεῷ καλὰ πάντα καὶ ἀγαθὰ καὶ δίκαια, ἄνθρωποι δὲ ἃ μὲν ἄδικα ὑπειλήφασιν ἃ δὲ δίκαια"  [phi studios 2015]

Heraclitus instructs Leibniz:   “τῷ μὲν θεῷ καλὰ πάντα καὶ ἀγαθὰ καὶ δίκαια, ἄνθρωποι δὲ ἃ μὲν ἄδικα ὑπειλήφασιν ἃ δὲ δίκαια.”                                                                         [phi studios 2015]

Why Good?  Why Evil?

Why Man?  Why God?

The problem of Good and  Evil, it’s really not that complicated, it’s a matter of frames of reference.  It is simply that men are not fitly placed to be scrutineer to the workings of God, nor Man the only thing on God’s mind.

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THE FOURTH OF JULY – a few days late


Star Flag

A woman sews a star on a United States flag, 1917

In the post-post modern post colonial west, particularly among its disciples in liberal Europe and even aux Etats Unis [such as Hakim Bey] have been busily propagating the idea that the American Revolution of 1776 represented some kind of an anti-colonialist movement that once having achieved a kind of hegemony over the natives decided it no longer needed the protection of the motherland to secure their power rose up against their former masters cast and them off.

This point of view is of course factually and demonstrably false.

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PAGES2K Non-Corrigendum, Which Way is Up? – Disingenuousness or Defective Thinking in Climate Science?


Don't fall behind the power curve    [atani studios ccsa 3.0]

Don’t fall behind the power curve                                                                [atani studios ccsa 3.0]

This is yet another blog article that fell by the wayside as other projects took over, but I had put too much effort into it already to abandon it completely.  So, here it is even if it may no longer be quite as interesting as it might have been a couple of weeks ago – but hopefully still somewhat relevant – or maybe its the other way around.

Over at Steve McIntyre’s Climate Audit, the topic of discussion has moved away from the parsing of the Michael Mann defamation suite and the shenanigans of blog commenter Nick Stokes towards a multi-part discussion of the publication of the recent “non-corrigendum” by the  PAGES2K Arctic Workingroup of a significant revisions to their  PAGES2K Arctic database of paleoclimate data.  The series started with McIntyre’s Revisions to Pages2K Arctic back on October 1st.

The original version of this particular product of the PAGES Consortium had garnered strong criticism at Climate Audit in the past particularly in regards to the inclusion of several contaminated lake sediment proxy series, the use [or misuse] of several series in an orientation that is either ambiguous or inverted to that used by specialists in the field, and a small laundry list of other complaints since it was first published in 2010.  McIntyre said of the publication:

Kaufman and the PAGES2K Arctic2K group recently published a series of major corrections to their database, some of which directly respond to Climate Audit criticism. The resulting reconstruction has been substantially revised with substantially increased medieval warmth. His correction of the contaminated Igaliku series is unfortunately incomplete and other defects remain.

McIntyre goes on in his ensuing series of articles to dissect in great statistical detail precisely what the remaining defects are in the PAGES2k Arctic database, why he thinks it is important that they be corrected as well, and why he thinks a formal corrigendum at the original publishing journal, Nature.com, is warranted – so those errors do not remain “in play” for other scientist to use [or misuse] by continuing to cite them in future research.

All of McIntyre’s reasoning seems reasonable and correct to me – the last and least among the readers who are non-experts at CA.

 

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Heyerdahl and Parallel Evolution at the Talkshop


Going with the flow, Heyerdahl and Kon-Tiki

Going with the flow, Heyerdahl and Kon-Tiki

There is a recent post up over at Tallbloke’s Talkshop: Thor Heyerdal: Retrospective on an Adventurous Anthropologist, which charts the man’s life and career on the occasion of the one hundredth anniversary of his birth: October, 6th 1914.

The article at the Talkshop commented at some length on Heyerdal’s various ocean voyages to support his ideas about trans-cultural diffusion over very long ocean distances.

Heyerdahl in particular inspired by his experiences in the south pacific in French Polynesia was possessed by the idea that the similarities between the famous moai figures of Easter Island and certain sculptures of pre-Columbian Peru indicated the possibility that vayagers from Peru encountered the native inhabitants and this was attested to in the oral legends of the islands inhabitants the Rapa Nui.  Examining the possibility of a voyage by ancient Peruvians to Easter Island lead to the famous Kon-Tiki expedition in 1947.

Another, similar, idea that possessed Heyerdahl was that the similarity between the pyramids of the ancient Egyptians and the Mayans indicated a possibility of a previously unrecognized trans-oceanic connection there as well.  This lead to the various Ra expeditions between 1969 and 1970.

I had a comment started which rapidly became too large to post there without blushing, so I posted a much abbreviated version there and the full length analysis below.

Heyerdahl was a hugely determined and brave adventurer, a great man and a great inspiration, but not much of a scientist in my opinion.  Heyerdahl certainly did prove that it was possible for a Norske to build a raft and to drift across two different oceans following the trade winds  – knowing there is someplace to wind up and the possibility of a safe return via boat or aircraft – but not much else in my opinion.

As for embarking on his later quest to effect the transformation the chief of the pantheon of your own culture’s archaic religion to a historical ruler/king somewhere in central Asia, a lot of other people besides Heyerdahl have fallen into that particular folly.

The problem with Heyerdahl’s thinking, and which is pretty common even in academic anthropology and archeology is to mistake a morphological similarity due to parallel evolution with a line of decent – an easy mistake to make.

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Trollgate: Cultural Production, Amen to That – Culture, the Public Domain, and the Rights of the Artist in the Digital Age – Towards a Copyright of Creativity


asdf [cca2.0 knipstermann]

Full groove ahead, or the end of the public domain?                                         [cca2.0 knipstermann]

Lucia, possibly the smartest lady in the blogosphere [her partials are just as strong as the boys’] has had a series of posts up recently at her climate oriented blog The Blackboard that strays from her usual blog-fare:  toy worlds and the intricacies of modeling thermodynamic systems; betting quatloos on the monthly UAH temperature anomaly; how-to sessions on anti-bot script writing for self-hosting WordPressians; and knitting.

The subject of this series of posts at The Blackboard is one Linda Ellis, author of the 1996 inspirational poem The Dash, and her propensity to use the Digital Millennium Copyright Act  and the OCILLA code to guard – very closely – the unauthorized use of her work on the internet.  Ms. Ellis’s behavior has been described by some in the blogosphere as “trollish“, and by some others as a “shake-down operation“, though I’m sure if you asked Ms. Ellis she would say she is only defending the integrity of her intellectual property and trying to make a living from her work.  To find out more about the specifics of the controversy at Lucia’s peruse the relevant blog posts of: 18 February, DMCA Takedown: Linda Ellis;  March 19th [which seems to have disappeared from the front page of The Blackboard], Don’t Post Linda Ellis’s ‘The Dash’; and March 27th, Linda Ellis DMCA follow up.  Lucia loves a puzzle and the most recent post from her fits that tendency to a T.  Lucia is also: feisty, smart, and doesn’t like the idea of someone gaming her.  There are some very good comments so it is worth at leas skimming those as well [Lucia attracts very smart commenters].

It is not the intent of this post to discuss the specifics of the legalities or even the ethics of the ‘trollgate’ controversy [feel free to comment at Lucia’s], but in the usual Meme Merchants fashion take a slightly tangent tack and look at a few of the deeper issues of culture and society that form the basis and rational for intellectual property rights and law.

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The Conspiracy of the Like Minded-truth in data as big lie


The latest hack  [©METoffice 2014]  The official caption: Figure 3: Observed (black, from Hadley Centre, GISS and NCDC) and predicted (blue) global average annual surface temperature difference relative to 1981-2010. Previous predictions starting from November 1960, 1965,... 2005 are shown in red, and 22 Coupled Model Intercomparison Project phase 5 (CMIP5) model simulations that have not been initialised with observations are shown in green. In all cases, the shading represents the probable range, such that the observations are expected to lie within the shading 90% of the time. The most recent forecast (blue) starts from November 2013. All data are rolling annual mean values. The gap between the black curves and blue shading arises because the last observed value represents the period November 2012 to October 2013 whereas the first forecast period is November 2013 to October 2014.

Fig 1 – The latest hack from the Hadley Centre                                                        [©METoffice 2014]    The official caption:  “Figure 3: Observed (black, from Hadley Centre, GISS and NCDC) and predicted (blue) global average annual surface temperature difference relative to 1981-2010. Previous predictions starting from November 1960, 1965,… 2005 are shown in red, and 22 Coupled Model Intercomparison Project phase 5 (CMIP5) model simulations that have not been initialised with observations are shown in green. In all cases, the shading represents the probable range, such that the observations are expected to lie within the shading 90% of the time. The most recent forecast (blue) starts from November 2013. All data are rolling annual mean values. The gap between the black curves and blue shading arises because the last observed value represents the period November 2012 to October 2013 whereas the first forecast period is November 2013 to October 2014.”

Update – I’ve added a new figure Fig. 4a below, a version of the AR5 SOD Fig. 1.4 with the “grey swoosh” redacted.

Today, after giving my opinion on the subject of Syria, my sister told me I was being, “Negative, pessimistic, and paranoid” – all possibly true – but being a scientist I am driven to that position by the apprehension of the evidence.

Later in the day I came across the above graphic from the UK MetOffice’s 2014 Decadal Forecast over at Tallbloke’s Talkshop in an article entitled MET- Office: New four year ‘decadal’ forecast spaghetti.  This is what fellow WordPressian Tallbloke had to say:

Ed Hawkins tweeted up  the latest offering from the MET-Office this morning. It’s a “Decadal forecast”, which runs from now to the beginning (not the end, Ed) of 2018. Stop tittering at the back there! But compounding matters, the ‘forecast’ is a spaghetti of similarly coloured lines. I said STOP LAUGHING!

I thought the MET-Office was getting out of doing these longer range forecasts they’ve had so much trouble with them the last many years, not that I pay any attention to them since it seems that Met Office Global Forecasts Too Warm In 13 Of Last 14 Years.  And, if that’s not enough just scratch the surface of this iceberg.

Actually, that wasn’t the very first thing I noticed, what I noticed immediately was the curious way that the graph was constructed, namely that visually the tag end of the graph from 2010 on functions as graph within a graph. Its actually a little like a fractal – self-similarity at different scales  Maybe you noticed that too.

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The Real Scope of the Problem – Energy Access – Iron Age to Modern Age in a single generation – Avoiding the drawbridge mentality


The true scope of the problem  ©Center for Global Development

The true scope of the problem                                                             ©Center for Global Development

FAIR WARNING – you may have some reading to do.  This article is mostly a slim collation of other articles you may want to read if you want to bring yourself up to speed on the subject of ‘energy access’ and energy poverty.

The other day Pielke the Younger unwittingly, handed me the perfect graphic to illustrate the scope of the problem that lies at the crux of the good humored dispute I have been having with Willis Eschenbach from WUWT regarding Willis’s scheme for The Powerhouse School Concept.

The Graph of the Day: Africa Power Needs, at the top of the page originally came to Pielke the Younger from an article titled: How Much Power Does Africa Really Need? by Todd Moss,  Todd is director of the Emerging Africa Project at the Center for Global Development.

Willis’s rural power generation and transmission scheme for the rural poor arose out of his insight that Expensive Energy Kills Poor People, an insight with which I am in total agreement with Willis.  The problem I see with Willis’s scheme is that it doesn’t go far enough to solve the real problem of energy access in the developing world.  I commented at Willis’s article at WUWT and expanded upon that comment here with my article Powerhouse School Project-unintended consequences of what works.

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Fisked by Willis – Further Comments on the PowerHouse School


Pleasant journey in bear country ©tipiman 2001

Pleasant journey in bear country, note the PV pannel on the trailer.                          ©tipiman 2001

I was fisked today [in a gentle way], it was actually a small honor in this case, the author of The Powerhouse School Concept bog post I wrote about yesterday, Willis Eschenbach, did me the honor of taking some of his time to respond to my comment almost point by point. I actually appreciate this kind of critique, and in this case also garnered some appreciation for some of the points I was making and general agreement on others.

As far as I know Willis hasn’t figured out that the ping-backs to his post are coming from here and hasn’t read either of these two posts.  Or, maybe he has better things to do.  Of course he is welcome to comment or guest post here.

I think the greatest bone of contention arose between Willis and I over my insisting on emphasizing the importance of economic development for the adults in his community based scheme, which Willis seemed to interpret as a downplay of his scheme’s educational aspect.  This was not my intent at all.  My intent was to express that both were equally important and that there was a danger of one undermining the other.

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Powerhouse School Project – Willis Eschenbach – the unintended consequences of what actually works


Willis Eschenbach, one of  the regular authors and commenter over at WUWT has a thought provoking new article up: The Powerhouse School Concept, This article is a further development of his thoughts on bringing low cost electricity to the rural poor of the world who are suffering grave hardships, disease, and excessive mortality due to their reliance on expensive or dirty biomass fuels and coal.

I’m in complete agreement with Willis that, “Expensive Energy Kills Poor People”.

Enviornemtal policy academic and blogger Pielke the Younger had a series of articles on the subject in the fall of 2012 for instance here:  Against Modern Energy Access.  Pielke the Younger wrote:

Access to energy is one of the big global issues that has hovered around the fringes of international policy discussions such as the Millennium Development Goals or climate policy, but which has been getting more attention in recent years. In my frequent lectures on climate policy I point out to people that 1.3 billion people worldwide lack any access to electricity and an 2.6 billion more cook with wood, charcoal, tree leaves, crop residues and animal waste (an additional 400 million cook with coal).

The “success” scenarios of climate advocates hoping to power the world with carbon-free energy almost always leave a billion or more people in the dark and several billion cooking with dirty fuels. Sometimes, magic is invoked to suggest that “electricity can be brought to everyone” without appreciably increasing carbon emissions. Of course, if we could bring electricity to the 1.3 billion without any access with no effect on emissions, then we could probably do it for 6 billion others.

In response, amplifying Pielke the Younger’s argument in comments I wrote:

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First thoughts on Henry C.K. Liu – The Race Towards Barbarism – Jewel in the Crown


Barbarian at the gate  ©AsiaTimesOnLine

The slope-browed-retro-troglodyte                  ©AsiaTimesOnLine

Tolling through the AsiaTimesOnLine archives I came across a highly provocative item by Henry C. K. Liu, a writer the Meme Merchants have followed for a number of years. What came up today was the first installment of a series he wrote back in July 2003: The Abduction of Modernity, The Race towards Barbarism.  I say provocative in two senses:  being thought-provoking in Lui’s inimitable way, and also provoking some very strong disagreement.

Before I was halfway through the article I found myself doing a kind of point by point rebuttal, the genesis of this piece, which I had to eventually push mentally aside in order to finish the article.  The article was so thought-provoking that I feel I have to give myself a kind of ‘intellectual time out’, before I  proceed with a more serious analysis or criticism of the article.  Mr. Liu is a very smart and thoughtful writer, one has to at least try to meet him at his own level.

This morning in way of introducing the topic I will anticipate that much of the further discussion on the subject will revolve around two rather different world views, one the so-called ‘modern’ Western world view and the other the traditional Eastern Confucian world view.  To be fair to Mr. Liu, the point of at least the first article of this series is precisely the nature of that ‘modernity’ and its relationship to Western civilization.

A strong dichotomy it appears.

Of the many possible dichotomies of civilizations you can draw, one is the dichotomy of a civilization that sees what is noble and valuable in the individual as what is in conformance with the cultural model, and another civilization who’s culture sees what is rare and valuable in the individual as everything that is different from the cultural model.

One of those world views, I propose, is ‘modern’, the other is not.

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