Friday, November 5, 2021

CFI - "Learning about Earth can't trump religion." Say what?

 Sharing some food for thought:

MPC:  I cannot imagine how transcendence of nature, sublimation, ‘glorification’ can possibly work.

(At the CFI Forum tread: Can Christianity be progressive? 

©citizenschallenge, 2021

transcendence = “Transcendence is the quality of being able to go beyond normal limits or boundaries.”

I believe MPC is missing the point.  Seems to me, it’s not about attaining some spiritual "transcendent" connection with nature, a la new age, or such.

It’s about realizing that Earth’s Evolution is an actual factual reality, it’s about realizing that all these folds within folds of harmonic complexity actually means something. 

Deeply appreciating that within myself there are direct roots to achievements hundreds of millions even billions of years ago. Learning about and understanding the outlines of those various folds within folds, that’s emotionally satisfying, so it’s worth it just for that, but there is more.

It’s about truly, deeply, viscerally, grasping that your brain and sense of self, evolved out of the mammalian animal brain and their sense of self, which in turn evolved out of an earlier brain and sense of self, with it’s roots in even more primitive ways of sensing/processing/acting found in the simplest of life forms.

The transcendence is not the object, it’s the learning and accumulating an understanding of the flowing complexity. 

Then as that journey matures the transcendence happens, as a result of all the accumulating mass of facts and learning coming together into a cohesive harmonic whole that makes sense.

I think that’s when the visceral sense of connection emerges. Is that transcendence? I don’t know, but I do know it feels good.

The fun thing is, this emergent holistic understanding affords an inner sense of solidity and belonging that goes way beyond what manmade promises can ever offer, even beyond the confines of my life. Isn’t that what people keep searching for?

(7.01) An Alternative Philosophical Perspective - “ Earth Centrism

(7.02) Appreciating the Physical Reality ~ Human Mindscape divide

(7.03) Being an element in Earth’s Pageant of Evolution

(7.04) It’s not a “ Body-Mind problem ” it’s an “ Ego-God problem .”

Being able to not just say, but feel that: “I am an element in the pageant of Evolution” - that goes a long way.

©citizenschallenge, 2021

Monday, October 18, 2021

Yes, you are the eyes of the universe. cfi workbook #5

An exploration into a different sort of perspective on the god ~ human relationship, one that starts with a mind experiment and ends in a beautiful mythical suggestion.


“Humanity is the most exquisite example of God’s need and desire to know itself.”

It begins with imagining creation from a god’s eye view.  If a god there be, what would, what could that god actually know about the universe? 

There was nothing to sense in the beginning.  Besides how could a substance-less God sense anything?

Seems to me, only by creating something, was there anything for god to observe.  But what would god observe with? 

It occurred to me that god could only experience its own creation, through the structures of that creation.  

Starting right at the 'big bang' along side energy, gravity, time and the ever evolving complexity of interactions in a growing cosmos.  

Sunday, October 3, 2021

Evolution Flips Abrahamic God Outside In. - cfi workbook #4

One of the things I've gotten out of my life long enthusiasm for learning about my human body, my mind/spirit, other people, other creatures and landscapes, Earth and her Evolution, is that my understanding of the traditional Abrahamic God has been flipped outside in.

I came to realize “God” isn’t to be found out there in the heavens. Our “Gods” are to be found deep within ourselves and our evolutionary roots, our DNA being testament to the existence of these roots.  As is our human ego, with its origins going way back into our mammalian heritage.

This evolutionary ground up perspective has instilled an Earth Centrist attitude because this living planet is my touch stone with reality and her evolutionary history informs my day in every way.

Take a moment to consider that we humans, you, me, are actually born out of a parade of generations, before generations.  The number of our grandparents is inconceivable. Try imagining where it all began, from where we are today.  Humanity is a fulfillment of life’s ageless way of striving to improve perceptual, manipulatory and processing abilities, in order to better live a better day.

On a personal level a couple months back I hit upon words that helped me grasp specifically what it was in me that made me such a unique individual. I possess a genuine visceral awareness for being an element in the flow of Earth’s Evolution - and that changes everything about how I perceive today and tomorrow.  Whether by a Creator, or by loaded dice, is irrelevant, either way we are the product of deep time moving ever forward with determination.

I am deeply grateful for being the eyes of the universe - a creature that can reflect on the wonder that is Earth and my own spark of being here within all that majesty. An appreciation for the Pageant of Evolution that goes well beyond the typical mental post card most possess.


I found the book that puts real scientific meat on the bones of my hippy-dippy appreciation:

The Deep History of Ourselves, by Joseph LeDoux

Short Summary (from the book jacket)

Deep History argues that the key to understanding important aspects of human behavior lies in viewing evolution through the prism of the first living organisms. By tracking the chain of the evolutionary timeline he shows how even the earliest single-cell organisms had to solve problems similar to those we and our cells do each day. 

Along the way, LeDoux explores our place in nature, how the evolution of nervous systems enhanced the ability of organisms to survive and thrive, and how the emergence of what we humans understand as consciousness made both our greatest and most horrendous achievements as a species possible.



Wednesday, September 22, 2021

Considering God as a Creation of Our Human Mind. - cfi workbook #3

This comes from a conversation over at CenterForInquiry discussion forum under the far ranging thread headed: Why Did You Choose Atheism?  It’s part of my workshop.

post #117 - Sep 4, 8:33 PM

Write4u comments: “Evolution is established science.”

I offered a slight adjustment.

Citizenschallenge:  Evolution is established by scientific evidence.    : -)

Now if only we really let that lesson soak in, as we think about who and what we are.

As for God, I would suggest that the evidence points to God being the product of our minds. And where did that come from you ask?

Sunday, September 12, 2021

Replying to a Christian's missive - cfi workbook #2

Unknown commented on "An Honest Look at The Limits To Growth (Ugo Bardi)" 

 Awaiting moderation.

Comment Rejected… on the grounds that I won’t be a billboard, I’m looking for serious dialogue!

but I will build a response post around it.

Since Mr. Unknown’s missive comes at a good time and I’m in this ‘workshop mode’  I’m going to dissect his allegations as an exercise in explaining my ideas.  He and others are invited to share responses, here or at the CFI Forum.

Aug 25, 2021:  Unknown commented on "An Honest Look at The Limits To Growth (Ugo Bardi)"

Mr Unknown writes:  Citizenschallenge, you have been tricked into believing the creator of this earth has limits to what he can and will do. 


The “creator” of this Earth is star dust and the work of billions of years worth of physics, geology, biology and cumulative change over time, that is Evolution.


Cc, I used to believe as you do and so started a recycling center in 1974 in N. Calif in southern Humboldt County. I wanted to save the planet but i had much much more to learn and i did. 


Yes we certainly have plenty to learn when we’re still green behind the ears - oh but what fun years those were.  Fortunately, usually I took grandpa's advice: “Listen!  Even if you already know it all.  Shut up and listen, you just might learn something.”

You have created your own version of who I am, it does not fit the reality.  

Although I’ll admit I know about Humboldt county back in da day: “sinsemilla, send some to me-ia”    ;-). 

And okay it would have been nice to be part of helping save our biosphere, the planet will get by.  The global support systems we depend on, not so much.  It’s truly heartbreaking witnessing how horribly self-centered and greedy and self-destructive our generation wound up being.  Even after all we had learned about the ways of Earth.  

But, that’s another story.


It took total surrender to the only one who rules heaven and earth. 


What’s that even mean “taking total surrender”?  

Total surrender to the Bible?  Total surrender to a slick talking preacher who got his hooks into ya?

I didn’t need to surrender to anything, all I needed was to open my eyes and senses to observing, honest curiosity, learning and contemplating nature and Mother Earth.  

Observing, acting, thinking, learning, loving it and so on.   

It’s amazing how much mother nature can teach those who pay attention, sort of like the Bible told me: “Seek and ye shall find.”  Scientist sure have learned a great deal, we should pay attention to them.

Wednesday, September 8, 2021

Religion, easy as ... - cfi workbook #1


Think about it, aren't the Abrahamic religions all about self-centeredness - ours as well as God’s? Worse is their contempt and disregard for the sovereignty of our Earth’s biosphere, her other inhabitants and the reality of our Evolutionary origins. 

August 30th, 2020, an update on my 

Hoffman Playing Basketball in Zero-gravity project

I’ve one last assignment before I can put the bow on my Hoffman Playing Basketball in Zero-gravity project.  But it’s a challenging topic, easy to avoid and procrastinate, plus I’ve had a very busy summer, still do. 

On the other hand, time and experience has been clarifying these fundamental questions most others have also pondered, so of course I want to enunciate and share my perspective, while I'm still around. 

I want my final installment to Hoffman's project to be a sharp essay, so have decided to go slow, share the introduction, and basically conduct a personal workshop and hopefully by doing it online, it'll push me to completing the final details in style.   

It would be wonderful if some others would chime in, and in fact, I have a thread started over at CFI's CenterForInquiryForum and invite you to share any comments or general thoughts over there.

This isn’t for everyone, but if concepts such as Earth Centrism, Evolution, deep time and Earth as a physical geo-biological entity, resonates, you may find this fascinating.  


I’ll wager that if you took some time to think about it, you’d acknowledge that on a fundamental level the Abrahamic religions are all about self-centeredness - ours as well as God’s.

These religions were founded on the basis of self-interest, they were focused on selected kernels of knowledge, born of an aggressive insecurity, and supported by a passionate sense of self-important certitude. Usually with empire building in mind while reeking with hostility towards outsiders, other teachers and learning.  They did achieve results.

All the while pretty much ignoring the sovereignty of our Earth’s biosphere, her other inhabitants and the reality of our Evolutionary origins.

Consider, within the Abrahamic tradition our planet’s life support system and her inhabitants never rise above something to exploit until we suck it dry, then we move on to the next bonanza.

Whereas for me, Earth, her creatures and biosphere, her Evolution, these are my touchstones with physical reality. I feel time flowing through me as I travel through my days. I live within a mindscape that’s filled with an awareness of time in its entire spectrum, from microseconds, to my heart beat, to the days, seasons, years and decades, on to the eons of Evolution.


Tuesday, July 27, 2021

January 6th Capitol Hill Riot investigation is off to a solid start. (the Dept.Justice, July 26th letter)

On July 26, the Department of Justice sent out a letter that told ex-trump officials they were expected to honestly testify when asked to, and that presidential executive privilege did not apply to any events related to January 6th attack on the capital.  The following excepts of text comes from:

click on the image for a better view

Yesterday the House of Representatives started their hearing into the January 6th insurrection at our Capitol.  It seems something worth noting.

Politico - July 27, 2021

"Thank you very much, Chairman Thompson. Thank you to all of my colleagues on this committee, and thank you to each of the witnesses appearing before us today. It is because of you -- you held the line, you defended all of us, you defended the Capitol, and you defended the Constitution and our Republic, and every American owes you our undying gratitude. Every American, I hope, will be able to hear your testimony today and will watch the videos. The videos show the unbelievable violence and the inexcusable and intolerable cruelty that you all faced, and people need to know the truth."

CNN - July 27, 2021

Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) sharply criticized Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY) for blaming Speaker Nancy Pelosi for the January 6th insurrection.


Wednesday, June 16, 2021

Senator Sheldon Whitehouse - Calling Out Democrat's Timidity. Pleading for the need to inform and engage.

Back in the 1960s and '70s, society and its leaders where confronted with the reality that the more we consumed and polluted, the faster our children and grand children would face horrific consequences.  It's 2021, yet the disregard continues, even as the consequences dance before our eyes.

Senator Sheldon Whitehouse has a message for Democrats, leaders and voters, that we need to listen to and heed, or what's left of our democracy will disappear.

I have a too tiny readership, though it does span the globe.  That's why I feel like I should apologize for my overly American-centrist tone.  

What can I say, this is my homeland, where I grew up, and where I've done most all of my traveling, where my friends and family and most of my memories exist and where I'll die, so it is what it is.  If anyone would care to share their perspective regarding these matters, please do leave a comment. 

We in America have been watching a ‘hostile takeover’ being waged upon our government.  Actually, too many have been oblivious to it.  This ‘hostile takeover’ attempt traces its roots to a reactionary rejection of both environmentalism, and human rights improvements by a few of the world's billionaires and tons of Dark Money.  

Why, because investing in the future threatened their gluttonous short term profit dreams.

It was a direct reaction to the increasingly successful human rights, and environmental movements of the '50s, '60s, ‘70s.  Back in the '50s scientists finally began to gain a realistic globally holistic, big-picture appreciation for Earth's interconnected complexity and harmony.  Plate tectonics, evolution, DNA and unraveling biological secrets, deconstructing atoms along with all their cascading implications and impacts.  

In the '60s this growing understanding received a slap in the face and kick in the butt, with the realization that the mathematical real-earth observational data regarding current trends was not looking good.

Wednesday, April 28, 2021

Diary, "INDIVISIBLE" webinar & networking. All hands on deck, they tell me. What do I have to offer?

A few days ago I attended a “Indivisible Colorado Action Network & Rural Colorado United” webinar about effectively organizing and messaging in rural communities!  It was a call to civic duty and a networking opportunity because networking is key to success.

In that spirit of reaching out, I want share what I have to offer to other activists.  

Thursday, March 4, 2021

Summary of D.Hoffman's "Case-Against-Reality" - Playing basketball in zero-gravity. A review.

I'm happy to report that after an unexpected extension, my critical review of Donald Hoffman's "Case Against Reality" is complete.  I thought to do more by way of summary, but not getting any inspiration, so I'm done.  Perhaps in a year, providence willing, it'll be fun to revisit and see if I can write an interesting summary.  In the meantime, this will have to do.



The Case Against Reality book with an agent, ©Peter Miesler

Hoffman Playing Basketball in Zero-gravity Review is intended to offer solid information, food for thought, and hopeful inspiration for students concerned with American’s descent into delusional thinking.  It is set up to be easily skimmed, contains copious references to expert sources and reporting, along with a few promising gems.  

I've been challenged with the question: "Why am I so "obsessed" with Hoffman’s Case Against Reality?"

Overnight hoar frost#1, ©Peter Miesler

It’s a fair enough question.  Why have I spent a half year thinking about it, then nearly another half year and thousands of words dissecting Donald Hoffman’s book, The Case Against Reality, why evolution hid the truth from our eyes

I’ll tell you why,  

* It started with Donald Hoffman boasting that he’s doing serious solid science that is relevant to our daily lives.  When all he’s doing is sophisticated mathematical games, computer modeling, philosophizing, wrapped in just-so storytelling.  But, none of it deserves being called serious science! 

* Getting further into the book, I found my Down to Earth sensibilities and my respect for physical sciences increasingly offended by this man’s glib disregard for natural facts as scientists have refined them.

* His dismissal of physical sciences and the physicalist paradigm were as laughable, as they were irritatingly disingenuous.  

* His notion that the perceiver composes the perceived, is childish.  

After all, doesn’t light need to reflect off an object before we can perceive it?  The perceiver composes an impression of the perceived.  How does Hoffman justify such gross distortions of physical fact?

* His constant reliance on computer analogies to answer questions - is reminiscent of an evangelical’s dependence on their own Bible to make their case, such debate tactics are not acceptable for a scientist.

* His constant conflation of Objective Reality and Physical Reality, needs a spotlight.  

“Objective” being a product of our minds doing their best to keep subjective human biases out of their observation and learning process.  

Thus, science’s dependence on process and measurements; physical evidence and repeatability; facts at hand driving understanding; a community of experts always looking over each other’s shoulders; constructively learning from mistakes; demand for honesty at all levels of communication; and so on.

* His tendency to imply that Evolution has agency reveals a limited appreciation for actual “wet” evolution unfolding one day at a time, over the course of deep time.  

* In fact, turns out the only thing Hoffman knows about Evolution, is Evolutionary Game Theory.  (He's never studied actual Evolution.)  Realizing that, made Hoffman’s simplistic sweeping pronouncements regarding Evolution that much more galling.

* Then, his quantum level rhetorical fancy dancing that disingenuously conflates conclusions from atom smasher experiments with our macroscopic day to day reality, was like listening to nails being scrapped across a chalkboard.  

* He joined the chorus of talking head$, proclaiming “Space-time and Reality (as we know it) is Doomed,” a mere figment of our imagination.  Why?  Basically because their latest and greatest math breaks down, leaving them with no other conclusion.

* Then to fill in this contrived void, Donald’s imaginative storytelling comes to the rescue with Hoffmanian Conscious Agents that zip around interpreting reality for us, because the reality we think we are seeing, isn’t really there, says Professor Hoffman.  He assures us that he has the math to “prove” it.

Hallelujah, river's running again, ©Peter Miesler

Tuesday, February 16, 2021

Examining how our Democratic Party leaders keep failing America.


 Image Story by Shelley Inglis

Executive Director, University of Dayton Human Rights Center, University of Dayton - The Conversation

Dear Editor of the Durango Telegraph,

I’d like to share a letter that I’m sending to Senators Bennet, and Hickenlooper.  On Jan 6th, while the Senate was certifying a US Presidential election, our US Capital was stormed (under the direction of Team Trump) by extremists bearing arms, while waving the flag of Donald Trump.  America’s first ever president with totalitarian ambitions and a complete disregard for our US Constitution, along with anyone who doesn’t worship him.  

They vandalized, they terrorized, they killed, then their leader Donald Trump told them, job well done, now ‘stand down, go home and await further instructions'.  So they did.  Now I sit here mid February - after another profound Democratic failure - having to wonder just how concerned is our Colorado Senate delegation, and the rest of the Democratic Party, for that matter? 

I ask because last week in this time of existential threat to our government, with Trump’s Totalitarian Proud Boys bullying and terrorized Republican Representatives and Senators and any witnesses who dare raise an objection to Trump’s insane UnAmerican behavior during his Impeachment hearing, I shared my concerns with both Senators. 

When our public needs Paul Reveres riding through the streets waking up everyone to the danger, informing and engaging their support and helping give direction to constructive action, I received a superficial response from both your offices that ignored the actual content of my letter and that basically added up to: “Nothing to see here.  Don’t worry, sure scary times, but we have it under control, go back to sleep.”

It was nauseating, no information, no engagement, no suggestions beyond a subliminal “yeah, yeah, now go away, leave us alone.”  I’m disheartened and disgusted because this is exactly how Democrats have become such failures at winning the hearts and minds of the American people, resulting in Democrats losing the important battles.  The same political mishandling that led to Trump’s rise in the first place, but that too few are learning from. 

A healthy democracy demands an informed and engaged public.  When will our Democratic leaders learn that you need to step up and engage your constituents, not hide from us with placating bromides!

We need leaders, not chair warmers.  I’ve voted for both of you, even as a state delegate, but it feels like a wasted vote.  Please start to be leaders, help Coloradans face this foe of totalitarian thinking that’s invaded the Republican Party and the American people.  

Unless you are changing minds, we are losing!  Inform and engage, nurture the power of a strong grassroots at your back - stop ignoring us.

I’m sharing this in the Durango Telegraph because I want younger people to realize, their elders are failing them, they are scared and apparently clueless when it comes to constructively dealing with current problems that threaten your future.  

For better or worse the future is yours, take control, engage, strive to toss out the deadwood and find some young viable candidates for the next election.  Yes, our political system sucks, it’s very unfair, but it’s all we have, ignoring it is what made it so bad, continuing to ignore it will only guarantee the powers of darkness an open road to make it even worse than you can imagine.  If you care, you must step up.


Peter Miesler

Durango, Colorado

Monday, February 15, 2021

Rural Colorado United, standing up to Lauren Boebert

Colorado's 3rd Congressional District.   Are you worried about the seriousness of right wing extremism with its contrived belligerent anger, trumpian totalitarian thinking, and our very own Colorado US Representative Laura Boebert as one of its standard bearers? 

If you are concerned?  Consider the political reality, by ourselves, we are impotent to change anything, but united we can stand up to energize our politicians.  United we can have a change and sustain hope.  

My point is that if you are concerned, you need to join up with organizations such as Rural Colorado United, people who are dedicated to standing behind and pushing our half-measure Democratic Representatives to step it up and start doing a better job of defending our pluralistic principled government and democracy.

We need our Senators and Representatives to focus on winning, rather than rationalizing away their losses, along with the horrendous cascading consequences Democratic Party failures lead to.

That's why I’m reposting this information from Rural Colorado United's website, although I’ve added many more links to add supporting information.  

I am unaffiliated with Rural Colorado United, but I believe their message needs to be shared and circulated around the Western Slope as much as possible, that's if we are to hope for positive change.    

A healthy Democracy requires an informed and engaged citizenry, can you help?}

Getting to know Lauren Boebert, 

Colorado's 3rd Dist. Congresswoman, 

someone who despises the government she took an oath to defend and protect. 


Rural Colorado United

Rural Colorado United believes that the good people of the 3rd Congressional deserve qualified, bipartisan representation that can make a difference for our lives and bring stability and recovery to our communities.

Candidate Lauren Boebert's embrace of extremist militias, inability to answer even simple policy questions, and hyper-partisan celebrity seeking all disqualify her for us.

Thursday, February 11, 2021


We The People of the United States have two Senators representing each state.  Every Senator accepts emails, phone calls and letters.  They pay attention only when they get deluged with mail.  

If you believe Donald Trump betrayed his Oath of Office, isn't it your patriotic duty to let your Senators, Democratic and Republican, know how you feel?


This is an all hands on deck situation like America has never endured before.  You'll find the complete list of Senate contact information at the bottom of this post.  Along the way you'll find links to informative details.

Such as: 77days of Trump fomenting sedition;  The Myth of Voter Fraud;  Creating a Worst Case Pandemic;  Out and Out Criminality;  Senator's Addresses.  

Make your voice heard!

If we want to be more than an impotent spectator to history, participate, contact your Senators, tell them why you believe Trump must be impeached - send them a clear, succinct message, the American people will not tolerate criminality and totalitarian thinking in their presidents.

Let’s acknowledge our bias.  We believe in American pluralism and democracy.  We accept the Statue of Liberty’s promise of a civil nation of immigrants; and a government, of the people, by the people, and for the people.  Never perfect, but striving to do better.

{My question is, why isn't the Democratic Party (and social media) pounding on their drums and engaging their grassroots into such substantive constructive action?  

Flood Republican Senator's with pleas to wake up from the fraud.  Unless we can learn from our mistakes we are lost.  Democracy depends on an informed and engaged electorate.  If we aren't changing minds, we are losing.}


Background information:

77 Days: Trump’s Campaign to Subvert the Election