Monday, September 27, 2010

272: Science and the Supernatural

Some people are more able to control their supersense, their ability to hold supernatural beliefs, then others, but we have to accept that such beliefs are a natural phenomenon as a consequence of the design of the mind.

Supersense helps us to understand the world, so that we are able to make decisions and choices that feel good. It helps us to feel united with others, that hold the same beliefs.

The human being is a social animal and our need of social contacts is so strong that it is doubtful that we ever can ban supernatural beliefs with rational arguments.

Supernatural beliefs have always been with us, from the moment that we have archeological proof of the homo sapiens and the fact that he is conscious of his existence.

Deep in caves we find drawings on the walls which are more than thirteen thousand years old. These drawings are certainly not intended to be pieces of art or meant for public exhibition.

There is a famous little statue: the Lion Man. [behind me] It was found in the Hohlenstein-Stadel cave of Germany's Swabian Alb and dated at 32,000 years old, is associated with the Aurignacian culture and is the oldest known anthropomorphic animal figurine in the world.

Whether it is a human with a lion head or a lion with a human body we don't know, but what we do know is, that our ancestors already had imagination, were able to imagine things that not really exist. It means that they already possesed supersense.

Such a statue and cave drawings suggest clearly that prehistoric man used rituals and ceremonies. The prehistoric human must have known questions like: What happens when we are dreaming? What is there after death?

In the past 400 years there has changed more in our world than in the ten thousands of years before. Our knowledge of the universe has increased tremendously as has our knowledge of the smallest particles of matter.

Science has become more and more the fundament of our knowledge of the world. Thence you would expect that it gradually would have replaced supernatural beliefs about our world.

But it has not. And we have to face the question why people ignore what science has to tell us about supernatural beliefs. People just don't listen to scientists who say that supernatural beliefs make no sense at all.

There is something interesting in supernatural beliefs. We can distinguish two types: religious supernatural beliefs (God, angels, demons, devils, reincarnation,heaven, he, etc.) and profane supernatural beliefs( telepathy, clairvoyance, astrology, ghosts, trolls etc.)

All religions are based on supernatural beliefs, but not all supernatural beliefs are based on religion. This is very important to notice, because we now have in fact three belief-systems: profane supernatural beliefs, religion and science.

There is something very remarkable here. Religious supernatural beliefs are for some reason untouchable. When you intend to start scientific research on the existence of god or angels, they'll say you are nuts.

However, when you say that you gonna start thorough scientific research on astrology or clairvoyance, people say …wow….interesting….. I guess you will end up proving that is does not exist at a all or doesn't bring valid knowledge.

One possible explanation for this difference is that religion is not just a supernatural belief-system, but also a political means to unite people and control them.

In spite of the tremendous amount of scientific knowledge, science does not seem to get any grip on supernatural beliefs. Even worse, some people even find science a pretty suspect business.

As soon as scientists started to tinker with Nature (cloning a sheep, modifying plants like corn and soya, creating nuclear bombs etc.) 50% of the consumers in the US believed that modified products were dangerous. And science it to blame for it.

Science, religion and the profane supernatural are often each by themselves subject of a discussion, but how can these three belief-systems exist in ONE person next to each other and even overlap? And we say,that we are rational beings……..?!

For now we may conclude, that these three belief-systems aren't clearly separated. There are overlaps and we pick beliefs from any belief- system as it pleases us and suits our needs.

The Discussion

[13:23] herman Bergson: Thank you ..:)
[13:23] Gemma Cleanslate: very true
[13:23] herman Bergson: You have the floor ...
[13:23] Bejiita Imako: ah
[13:24] Alarice Beaumont: ok
[13:25] Alarice Beaumont: yes.. this really is true.. fascinating if presented
[13:25] itsme Frederix: Herman, I've a question about your "People just don't listen to scientists who say that supernatural beliefs make no sense at all.". Supersense seemed to act as a glue for society - you stated that too. So in my opinion for that and other reasons it makes sense, a lot of sense.
[13:25] Alaya Kumaki: what is funny is that since supernatural beliefs coexist with sciece beliefs, i wonder why scientists dont find out about their own supernatural beliefs which influence their search
[13:26] itsme Frederix: besides it just seems wired in our brain and our consiousness
[13:26] Alarice Beaumont: but there are scientific studies to find proof if supernatural happens
[13:26] itsme Frederix: supernatural does not happen, it is supersense interpretation
[13:26] herman Bergson: to clear up one point.....
[13:27] herman Bergson: It is a fact that our supernatural beliefs have a function...
[13:27] herman Bergson: as Itsme stated...
[13:27] herman Bergson: It works...
[13:27] herman Bergson: as a social glue for instance...
[13:27] itsme Frederix: ok
[13:28] herman Bergson: and what also becomes clear is that in this approach the scientific model of reality should prevail.....
[13:28] herman Bergson: a supernatural belief???
[13:28] AristotleVon Doobie: I wonder if the is supersense is manifested to counter a lack of confidence in ones ability or worthiness
[13:28] herman Bergson: I wouldnt say so...
[13:29] AristotleVon Doobie: or if those espousing it need others to feel unworthy
[13:29] herman Bergson: becaue it is the only model in which statements that lead to authority over others can be tested end refuted.
[13:29] Gemma Cleanslate: hmm
[13:29] Alarice Beaumont: hmmm.. i would rather join in on the power part you mentioned in one of the earlier classes
[13:30] herman Bergson: You mean that the supernatural beliefs are used as a political power Alarice?
[13:30] Alarice Beaumont: not only political.... but also in normal life
[13:30] Alaya Kumaki: yes, in religions, they are,
[13:30] Alarice Beaumont: yes.. i think it is .. to make people afraid
[13:31] herman Bergson: Oh yes...
[13:31] Bejiita Imako: indeed
[13:31] Bejiita Imako: can imagine that
[13:31] AristotleVon Doobie: try as I might, I can only see this supersense as a contrived tool to subordinate and not an innate ability
[13:31] herman Bergson: But the remarkable thing here is that religious supernatural thinking works..
[13:31] Alarice Beaumont: because not everyone is a scientist and can look for proof
[13:31] herman Bergson: while esoteric supernatural thinking has no effect
[13:31] Alarice Beaumont: hmm... yes right
[13:32] Alarice Beaumont: hmmm sure about that?
[13:32] Alaya Kumaki: they are used to make people finance some politic task without them knowing the real underlying cause, by telling them tales,, that they would beliefs, as for to go in war
[13:32] Bejiita Imako: yep, like me watching the LHC in action everyday for ex
[13:32] Alarice Beaumont: i have a colleague who believe in shamans
[13:32] Bejiita Imako: got to think about the movie angels and demons
[13:32] Bejiita Imako: thats a really good theme of science vs religion
[13:33] herman Bergson: Yes Alarice...esoteric thinking works on an individual level
[13:33] Bejiita Imako: ah
[13:33] herman Bergson: but religious thinking works on a collective level...
[13:33] herman Bergson: Oh that battle is raging now Bejiita
[13:33] Alaya Kumaki: collective beliefs is a fascinating phenomenon
[13:34] Alarice Beaumont: hmmm.... yes.. sounds right for me... doesn'T move the masses as much.. .. yes
[13:34] herman Bergson: Dawkins...The God Delusion...for instance
[13:34] herman Bergson: Yes Alaya...
[13:34] herman Bergson: especially related to supernatural beliefs
[13:35] AristotleVon Doobie: and the primary push in religion is to establish the unworthiness of the congregation
[13:35] herman Bergson: In the ned we may conclude that we cant get rid of supernatural beliefs :-)
[13:35] herman Bergson: end
[13:35] AristotleVon Doobie: we should try
[13:36] AristotleVon Doobie: :)
[13:36] Alarice Beaumont: perhaps not totally ...
[13:36] Abraxas Nagy: impossible
[13:36] herman Bergson: In fact you are right Aristotle..
[13:36] herman Bergson: But our brain is wired to produce supernatural beliefs
[13:37] itsme Frederix: Last week someone mentioned solipsism in this lecture. The more I read about the brain a.s.o. the more I think everything is reality but me-experience seems very virtual.
[13:37] herman Bergson: and loosing them might be a disaster even...
[13:37] AristotleVon Doobie: I have dumped mine, an swore an oath not to pass the ones I was given on
[13:38] itsme Frederix: swore is supernatural
[13:38] itsme Frederix: what does "swore" add
[13:38] Alarice Beaumont: ^^
[13:38] AristotleVon Doobie: LOL, to my god itsme
[13:38] herman Bergson: Yes and loosing the supernatural means loosing our fantasy...
[13:38] herman Bergson: our ability to imagine thing that do not really exist...
[13:38] Alarice Beaumont: yes.. you are right there Herman..
[13:38] itsme Frederix: So Ari you failed, but succeeded to be human
[13:38] AristotleVon Doobie: if ones seeks the joy in life, fantasy is unnecessary
[13:39] AristotleVon Doobie: no itsme I am my god :)
[13:39] herman Bergson: a basic drive of scientific research is the imagination of the researcher...
[13:39] Gemma Cleanslate: btw we now have a new fish discussion in the usa hormone salmon that wil grow faster
[13:39] herman Bergson: He imagines thing which are not there according to other...
[13:39] herman Bergson: then he proofs his hypothesis
[13:40] Alarice Beaumont: yes... and honestly Gemma... i have my doubts if that is ok lool
[13:40] herman Bergson: there we go again Gemma...creepy science
[13:40] Gemma Cleanslate: lolol
[13:40] Bejiita Imako: hahaha
[13:40] Gemma Cleanslate: i know
[13:40] Alarice Beaumont: proofs what Herman was saying earlier
[13:40] Gemma Cleanslate: ohoh ab crashed
[13:40] AristotleVon Doobie: that is all I ask, in order to accept is to be shown the evidence
[13:41] Alarice Beaumont: but not everyone has the education to follow the evidence
[13:41] Gemma Cleanslate: or even wants to try
[13:41] Alarice Beaumont: given by scientists for example.. so they have to believe
[13:41] herman Bergson: That, Alarice , is the big problem....
[13:41] AristotleVon Doobie: that is where the supersense proponents come in, like government...they deliver up the truth for the ignorant, unquestioned
[13:42] herman Bergson: SO the Dawkins like people ask for more education....focused on science only
[13:42] itsme Frederix: Well not really, using supersense might give you the opportunity to "believe" in scientific fact without understanding these.
[13:42] herman Bergson: No fairy tales in the classroom anymore
[13:42] AristotleVon Doobie: I am not convinced Dawkins isnt one of those
[13:42] AristotleVon Doobie: he has developed his own little realm
[13:43] herman Bergson: one of who Aristotle?
[13:43] AristotleVon Doobie: the manipulators
[13:43] herman Bergson: Manipulating in what sense?
[13:43] AristotleVon Doobie: science has its power hungry folks like all disciplines
[13:44] herman Bergson: true....
[13:44] Bejiita Imako: yes
[13:44] AristotleVon Doobie: He has to be able to prove all the things he advocates too
[13:44] herman Bergson: just do some research on cheating in will be shocked
[13:44] Gemma Cleanslate: ♥ LOL ♥
[13:44] AristotleVon Doobie: I am sure
[13:44] AristotleVon Doobie: as long as humans are involved LOL
[13:44] Bejiita Imako: ok
[13:44] Gemma Cleanslate: depends on who is paying for the study in some cases
[13:44] Bejiita Imako: haha
[13:45] Alaya Kumaki: i think that most scientist search are fine, its the outcome and what is it use for e that are lead by the beliefs of many.. afterward or even before , it is that what lead the search, very experiemental
[13:45] AristotleVon Doobie: true Gemma, subjective bias
[13:45] Gemma Cleanslate: yep
[13:46] Alarice Beaumont: yes
[13:46] itsme Frederix: Well one of the things is that being scientist is a job, a way to make a living, so tthese guys have the same properties as others.
[13:46] herman Bergson: my goodness.......
[13:46] AristotleVon Doobie: when the cave man picked up a stick to stir his stew, there was another there who proceed to use it to poke another cavemans eye out
[13:46] herman Bergson: Just do a goole search on "cheating in science"
[[13:47] Bejiita Imako: ¨hehe ok
[13:47] itsme Frederix: but .... cheating in politics is a pleaonasm
[13:47] herman Bergson: true Itsme...
[13:48] herman Bergson: the further we get with this project the weirder we look as human beings...^_^
[13:48] AristotleVon Doobie: because we are weird :)
[13:48] Bejiita Imako: haha
[13:48] Bejiita Imako: ㋡
[13:48] herman Bergson: At least the idea that we are rational beings becomes more and more questionable ^_^
[13:48] Gemma Cleanslate: ♥ LOL ♥
[13:48] Bejiita Imako: ㋡
[13:48] Gemma Cleanslate: very true
[13:48] Alarice Beaumont: don't say that!
[13:49] herman Bergson: ok...
[13:49] itsme Frederix: well rationality is not the thing that evolution drives so ...
[13:49] herman Bergson: I would say....
[13:49] AristotleVon Doobie: LOL, or I think we are unable to keep the primal brain in as good a control as we ought to
[13:49] Alaya Kumaki: yes that rationality based on beliefs is weirder
[13:49] herman Bergson: But it is Alaya...:-)
[13:50] Alaya Kumaki: yes
[13:50] herman Bergson: I think it is time to wait and see what the next lecture will bring us ^_^
[13:50] AristotleVon Doobie: indeed
[13:50] Bejiita Imako: ㋡
[13:50] herman Bergson: Thank you all for your participation....
[13:50] Bejiita Imako: yeah
[13:50] herman Bergson: Great discussion
[13:50] itsme Frederix: causality & teleologics <= big super nonsense , but it seems to please us well
[13:50] Gemma Cleanslate: ♥ Thank Youuuuuuuuuu!! ♥
[13:50] AristotleVon Doobie: Thank you , Professor :)
[13:50] Bejiita Imako: aaa yes
[13:50] Gemma Cleanslate: see you tuesday I hope
[13:50] Bejiita Imako: as said getting more and more interesting every time ㋡
[13:50] herman Bergson: Class dismissed :-)
[13:51] Gemma Cleanslate: ♥ LOL ♥
[13:51] Gemma Cleanslate: party time
[13:51] itsme Frederix: thx Herman
[13:51] Bejiita Imako: cu soon
[13:51] herman Bergson: Yes GEmma!
[13:51] Alarice Beaumont: lol
[13:51] Alarice Beaumont: thanks Herman :-)
[13:51] Alaya Kumaki: thank you herman, as interesting as usuall
[13:51] herman Bergson: my pleasure Alaya
[13:51] Alaya Kumaki: now the next week, is far...
[13:52] Alarice Beaumont: you can study in between Alaya ,-)
[13:52] herman Bergson: Gives me time to cook up something nice for you Alaya ^_^
[13:52] Alaya Kumaki: ill google cheating on science meanwhile
[13:52] AristotleVon Doobie: lol
[13:52] herman Bergson: dont be shocked Alaya...
[13:52] herman Bergson: it is really fun
[13:52] Alaya Kumaki: oh,lol well yes its fun
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