Thursday, August 30, 2018

Activism, networking & Missing Key to Gould's "Nonoverlapping Magisteria" (part two)

It feels to me as though the previous essay: The missing key to Stephen Gould’s “Nonoverlapping Magisteria” touches on something important and I decided to share it with a number of scientists I've corresponded with over the years. 
Along with another appeal for feedback and help in networking.  Of course I know these people are too important and have too much going on already, but I am hoping perhaps someone will pass it along to others that might be able to do something with it.  Here I'm posting part two to my package, though I'm using a different introduction.  I believe it's important because we are still losing the public battle for the hearts and minds of our own supporters.  We need to do more than reject trump and simply win votes, we need to help people better understand what we believe in and what are striving for.  I appreciate there are other important issues beyond science understanding, but disregard for scientifically understood down to Earth physics and facts is at the heart of many of those self created problems.

click on image for better view

I’m looking for help to network with others who understand what I’m trying to say with these essays,  virtual debates and blog posts.  I’ve added a selection of excerpts from blog posts and FCFP columns.    

Exploring the Map v Territory Problem - via the Brown Ocean Effect and Dr. Trenberth

Colorado Floods - statistical certainty vs geophysical realities - 2013

2018, now what? Considering the Republican Dialogue Problem in 14 VERSES.

CO2 Science - Blue team: "Pruitt, it's certain as certain gets! It's the physics! Don't you know?

CO2 Science - Pruitt, proof is in the pudding! Impossible Modern Marvels

Schooling Pruitt's Red Team about our planet and its climate engine (FCFP)

(Sd7) Abuse of Our Free Speech Rights (LandscapesAndCycles - Jim Steele) (FCFP)

(Sd3) Mr.GOP don't buy Jim Steele's Fraud - LandscapesAndCycles

(Sd1) Revisiting Jim Steele's LandscapesAndCycles Fraud 
            An index of past research - Steele debate #1

Fruits of Ignoring Deliberate Deception.

I am an Earth Centrist.

Earth Centrist ponders, polite or honest?

Saying No To Reality (Four Corners Free Press column)

Citizenschallenge’s  “Hall of Shame”

Thursday, August 23, 2018

The missing key to Stephen Gould’s “Nonoverlapping Magisteria.”

“… missing was a much more fundamental division crying out for recognition.  
Specifically, the magisteria of Physical Reality 
vs. the magisteria of our Human Mindscape. …”

© Peter Miesler, August 21, 2018
The increasingly shrill and disconnected from physical reality attacks on science by faith-based organizations and individuals has me thinking about an essay evolutionary biologist and historian of science Stephen Gould wrote some twenty years ago in an attempt to address the tension between scientific truths and religious truths.

His solution was the notion of “Nonoverlapping Magisteria” which delineated two teaching “authorities” (magisterium), the “magisteria of science” and the “magisteria of religion.” It wasn’t his original idea, rather a continuation of a centuries old dialogue between scientists and the Catholic Church that I don’t have the space to get into.

In any event, Gould concluded there should be no conflict because each realm has its’ own domain of “teaching authority.” Since these “magisteria” do not overlap, they cannot contradict each other and should be able to exist in mutual respect.

When it first came out I loved the idea because of my own struggling intellectual spiritual journey which was embedded within gathering and learning from sober scientific knowledge about this Earth, while also dealing with the spiritual aspect of ‘touching Earth’ and having experienced ‘God’s breath’ against my back, so to speak.

Gould’s idea was interesting and it gained a lot of attention and lively discussion, but in the end seems to have offered little to either side. For myself, the critics made sense and my enthusiasm diminished. Still, the conflict kept echoing like an unresolved challenge as I increasingly engaged faith-shackled contrarians towards science.

In the years since I’ve kept learning more about Earth’s amazing evolution and geophysics and also the scientific process itself. A process that’s basically a set of rules for gathering and assessing our observations in an honest, open and disciplined manner that all who understand science can trust.

Recently it occurred to me that what Stephen Gould was missing was a much more fundamental divide that is crying out for recognition. 

Specifically, the Magisteria of Physical Reality vs the Magisteria of our Human Mindscape.

In this perspective we acknowledge that Earth and her physical processes and the pageant of evolution are the fundamental timeless touchstones of reality.

Part of Earth’s physical reality is that we humans were created by Earth out of her processes.  Science shows us that we belong to the mammalian branch of Earth’s animal kingdom.  

Yet, it’s undeniable that something quite unique happened about six million years ago when certain apes took a wild improbable evolutionary turn.

By and by besides the marvel of our two hands, we developed two feet and legs that could stand tall or run for hours and a brain that learned rapidly. During that evolutionary process something extraordinary fantastical was born, the Human Mindscape.

On the outside hominids learned to make tools, hunt, fish, and select plants, plus they mastered fire for cooking and better living.

On the inside our brains were benefiting from the new super nourishment while human curiosity and adventures started filling and stretching our mindscapes with experiences and knowledge beyond anything the "natural" physical Earth ever knew.

While the human mind and spirit are ineffable mysteries, they are also of tremendous consequence and real-world physical power. They drove our growing ability to study and manipulate our world, to communicate and record our experiences and to formulate explanations for a world full of mysteries, threats and wonders.

People learned to think and gossip and paint pictures upon the canvas of cave walls, and even better, upon the canvas of each other’s imaginations. We’ve been adding to our brain’s awareness and complexity ever since.

Of course, while all this was going on the human mind was also wondering about the ‘Why’ of the world it observed and the difficult, fragile, short lives we were allotted. In seeking answers to unknowable questions it seems inevitable that Gods would inhabit our mindscape. I suspect inspired by buried memories of being coddled within mom’s protective loving bosom those first couple years of life.

No doubt these “Gods” enabled further successes, though not through super-natural interventions, but rather through their ability to form, conform, reform and transform the mindscapes of the masses of people beginning to congregate. Thus, combining pragmatic civil societal needs with universally felt, but keenly personal questions, fears, and dreams.

After the middle ages tribal stories, accepted ancient doctrines and religious “truths” were no longer enough to satisfy our mindscape’s growing desire for ever more understanding and power over the Earth. The human brain took another tremendous leap forward in awareness with the Intellectual Enlightenment and the birth of serious disciplined scientific study.

Science’s success was dazzling in its ability to learn about, control and manipulate Earth’s physical resources and to transform entire environments.

Science was so successful that today most people believe we are the masters of our world and most have fallen into the hubristic trap of believing our ever fertile mindscape is “reality.” 

Which brings me back to Gould’s magisterium and his missing key. The missing key is appreciating the fundamental “Magisteria of Physical Reality,” and recognizing both science and religion are products of the “Magisteria of Our Mindscape.”

Science seeks to objectively learn about our physical world, but we should still recognize all our understanding is embedded within and constrained by our mindscape. 

Religion is all about the human mindscape itself, with its wonderful struggles, fears, spiritual undercurrents, needs and stories we create to give our live’s meaning and make it worth living, or at least bearable. 

What's the point?
Science, religions, heaven, hell, political beliefs, even God, they are all products of the human mindscape, generations of imaginings built upon previous generations of imaginings, all the way down.

Here we are, 2018, sober assessment of physical facts is out of fashion and fantasy thinking in the service of ruthless avarice is in.

Now it literally threatening to topple USA’s government Of the People, By the People, For the People, in favor of a Me First, profits are more important than people, oligarch run machine. Well, unless an awful lot of sideliners start getting engaged in democratic politics.

All the while the actual physical creation outside of our conceited little minds keeps on unfolding, following well understood geophysical rules regardless. Ignore at our own peril.

Slated to appear in the Four Corners Free Press, October issue - 
though I retain © and am hoping others will want to share and republish this essay.
citation - citizenschallenge at

I need help to network with others who understand what I’m trying to say with these essays and blog posts.
Any feedback, encouragement, networking, or support would be much appreciated.  
Peter Miesler aka citizenschallenge @ gmail com 
P.O. Box 56, Durango, Colorado 81302

Further explorations into defining the communication problems and what we stand for.

Exploring the Map vs Territory Problem - via the Brown Ocean Effect and Dr. Trenberth

2018, now what? Considering the Republican Dialogue Problem in 14 VERSES.

CO2 Science - Blue team: "Pruitt, it's certain as certain gets! It's the physics! Don't you know?

CO2 Science - Pruitt, proof is in the pudding! Impossible Modern Marvels

(Sd7) Abuse of Our Free Speech Rights (LandscapesandCycles - Jim Steele) (FCFP)

(Sd1) Revisiting Jim Steele's LandscapesAndCycles Fraud - 
An index of past research - Steele debate #1

Fruits of Ignoring Deliberate Deception

I am an Earth Centrist.

Earth Centrist ponders, polite or honest?

Saying No To Reality (Four Corners Free Press)

Regarding - Stephen Gould, who with Niles Eldredge
introduced the world to evolutionary Punctuated Equilibrium in 1972

Monday, August 20, 2018

What is true patriotism? By Galen Larson (FCFP)

I found this a very refreshing read, as my exuberant font adjustments make plain.  I've had similar thoughts many times, jotted down notes, but never written about it.  So I'm happy to share Galen's thoughtful opinions regarding taxes and patriotism.   The musings of 9 decades worth of genuine all-American patriotism.  I thank Gail and Galen for permission to reprint the following. 
What is true patriotism?
By Galen Larson
This is the month when Americans really show their patriotism, right? Lots of loud, bright fireworks, flags waving in the sun, red, white and blue frosted cakes – all to remind us what a great country we have.
We go to Fourth of July sales at the markets and furniture stores. We set off illegal fireworks surreptitiously in our back yards. We wear Stars and Stripes T-shirts and blue jeans.
I get tears in my eyes myself when I see Old Glory displayed and proudly saluted as it passes by in a parade.
But all that is symbolism and ceremony. It isn’t true patriotism. That takes work and, yes, sacrifice.
First off, I submit that one of the most patriotic things one can do is proudly pay the taxes we owe. Why? Because when we pay our taxes, we are saying to those that gave their all, “We will continue to support this great nation.”

Al Franken fiasco, Democrats blow it again.

Frankly, I've stayed away from posting here at CC because of this Al Franken fiasco.
I felt the previous post and Franken's ultimate resignation demanded a follow up before moving on, but I've been busy with too many other things and time keeps flying.

Lots of lessons in this repeat of the hapless Democratic Party's habit of shooting itself in the foot.

Taking a potentially fantastic teaching moment to reach an important demographic (including both sexes!) and approach an old problem in a refreshingly honest manner - where we take a moment to suspend our need for judgmentalism and retribution, and stop to consider reasons and context, including communication failures and strategies.

With a guy that knew how to speak with large varied crowds, but it turned into yet another victory for the absolutist crowd, who's world outlook seems confined to seeing only predators and innocent victims, while ignoring that our real world messy lives are much more complex landscapes and that everyone needs to be taking a bit more personal responsibility for themselves.

There's a hell of a difference between a predator and a fool at a party that grabs your boob or crotch - yet it seems that many woman of the strident persuasion refuse to appreciate those complexities.  But then, when a tribe is out for a scalp, simplifying and demonizing makes it so much easier to accomplish.

Perhaps someday I'll have more to share on this page.

Good luck, Al Franken, what they did to you is a real shame and another indication that the Democratic Party movers'n doers haven't learned a damned thing.

FYI, this is no endorsement of the notion of voting for a 3rd Party candidate.  In our real world we are stuck within a two party system, it is the Democratic Party we must stick with and reform - or we give it all to the Republicans and the wannabe oligarchs who own them.