Uncommon Sense

June 20, 2022

Black and White Thinking

Filed under: Culture,Politics,Reason,Science — Steve Ruis @ 9:18 am
Tags: , ,

I was reading a podcast (“What is Life?”) transcript of a discussion of finding a definition of life we can all agree upon. (No, we do not yet have such a beastie.)

Here is a passage that struck me:

You know, it’s so easy for humans to think in dichotomies: good–bad; black–white; day–night. These are things that make life simple. It means we can categorize things very, very quickly. And early on in human history, this was the defense mechanism, because you had to make decisions very, very quickly. Whether or not you were going to shake that person’s hand or shoot an arrow at them. So we needed to make these decisions.

But we don’t have to do that when we’re thinking about the larger issues of the natural world. The natural world is amazingly intricate and complex. And how those chemical complex systems emerge, and at what point a complex chemical system is something that we truly will call alive, is not at all obvious.

“It is so easy for humans to think in dichotomies: good–bad; black–white; day–night.”

All the time we are doing this, nature is telling us: “Remember that you are making a gross simplification!” For example, when the dawn comes in the morning, the transition from “night” to “day” takes over an hour (way over an hour in the arctic regions). So, what is it during that transition period? Is it still night, or has it become day? For scientific purposes we have defined an “exact” time at which, say “dawn” occurs, but that time is not directly observable by a casual observer. And that is just us forcing our dichotomous thinking, our “black and white thinking” onto nature.

Look at the knots Southerners tied themselves into defining the difference between “black” and “white” people. Or the Nazis in defining “Aryan” and “other” peoples.

So, “black and white” thinking is just another form of Type 1 thinking (a la Daniel Kahneman) that allows us to act in short order when that is demanded of us. Unfortunately, unscrupulous people smear that kind of thinking over into issues that do not require rapid response thinking. So, we have the “us and them” dichotomies of politics, and the “believer and non-believer” dichotomies of religion.

Do any of you see a way around this? Is there a rhetorical trigger we might invent that will shift people away from dichotomous thinking when it isn’t helpful? Being a cynical old person, I assume if such a thing existed, humans would find a way to mis-use it.

June 2, 2022

The GOP’s Climate Change Strategy

The GOP has a simple strategy regarding any action to be taken to stem climate change: it is too expensive! Basically, they claim it will cost too much (and besides the scientific data are weak). Well, the scientific data are not weak. And, yes it will be expensive. But allow me an analogy to explain why “it will cost too much” is not an adequate defense.

Let us say that you noticed a strange odor in your basement and when you investigated you found what looked like a leak in your sewage pipes. So, you called a plumber and got an estimate and who boy! That was way too much money to pay for a repair. So, you decided that you would do nothing and hope for the best.

I assume you can guess what happens, sooner or later. A major sewage leak causes your entire basement to need cleaning by a professional service, along with an even higher plumbing bill.

Dealing with climate change now will be expensive. It will require some changes in our lives. But it will never be cheaper in the future. And, if you think that a techno-fix will solve the problem easily in the future, you haven’t been paying attention. Any number of techno-fixes have been suggested to date. None have been implement. Why? Take a guess . . . they were too expensive.

Remember the car repair commercial in which the greasy mechanic drops the line “Well, you can pay me now or pay me later”? The implication is that if you don’t fix your car now, it will cost more later. A transmission service now could stave off a transmission replacement later. A valve job now may stave off an engine replacement later, etc.

The cost of dealing with climate change just keeps going up. Waiting will not make dealing with it any less expensive.

So, the GOP’s rational for doing nothing is bogus, so why are they doing it? Well, their paymasters are making so much money under the current system to allow the boat to be rocked. So, like the NRA, they nix any legislation that will fix all or part of the problem.

May 15, 2022

Intelligent Design Goes Boom!

Can’t let a Sunday go by without a post about religion. I seem to do this religiously. Does than mean . . . nah! S

The theory of intelligent design has been promoted as a serious competitor to the theory of evolution to explain the current mix of biological species here on Earth. It hasn’t been taken seriously by scientists, however, because it isn’t a scientific theory, etc. But that is not the point I wish to make here (as it has been made over and over and over . . .). I have even made jokes that “intelligent design” might be something a sufficiently powerful alien might pull off because there is nothing in the “theory” of intelligent design that indicates the Christian God did it. The authors of the theory of intelligent design, of course, make no bones about this being the work of a god, specifically their god, the god of fundamentalist Christians. But I wasn’t aware that John Stuart Mill destroyed the theory of intelligent design 150 years ago! Here is a quote displaying Mill’s position:

. . . what is meant by design? Contrivance: the adaptation of means to an end. But the necessity for contrivance—the need of employing means—is a consequence of the limitation of power. Who would have recourse to means if to attain his end his mere word was sufficient? The very idea of means implies that the means have an efficacy which the direct action of the being who employs them has not. Otherwise they are not means but an encumbrance . . . if the employment of contrivance is in itself a sign of limited power, how much more so is the careful and skillful choice of contrivances? Can any wisdom be shown in the selection of means when the means have no efficacy but what is given them by the will of him who employs them, and when his will could have bestowed the same efficacy on any other means? Wisdom and contrivance are shown in overcoming difficulties, and there is no room for them in a being for whom no difficulties exist. (John Stuart Mill, Theism, pp. 33-34, 1874 Edition)

And to summarize Mill’s point, I offer another quote:

As Mill points out, there can be no obstacles to divine omnipotence—no difficulties that God must overcome—because God’s “will” is sufficient to produce any effect. The necessity of employing means to accomplish an end is the consequence of limited power; therefore, God cannot be said to employ means in any sense. Extending this argument, we also realize that God cannot be said to act in any manner, because actions are required only of a being who must resort to some means in order to accomplish a given end. Nor can God be said to have any kind of purpose, because “purpose” entails unfulfilled desires or goals—and these concepts cannot apply to an omnipotent being. (George H. Smith, Atheism: The Case Against God (emphasis mine)

So, can an omnipotent Creator God design anything? Apparently not. And, accordingly, He makes no plans as plans are a contrivance to accomplish something that couldn’t be accomplished without them. So, “God has a plan for you,” uh, not. No purpose, no plan, no designs . . . or omnipotence is off the table. I think maybe it is more than IDT that has gone “boom.”

Postscript I have made this same argument against the existence of angels because an omnipotent being shouldn’t need “messengers” as it would take more effort to explain a task to an angel than to do it itself.

April 27, 2022

The Hard Problem of Consciousness . . . Not

I have every reason to believe that our family dog is conscious.

I am pretty sure that human beings are conscious; after all we defined the term.

So, the question I am reading right now is: how could consciousness be created out of non-thinking materials, the materialists must be wrong?

This is a common error in thinking. Go back 100 years and ask what the consensus is among doctors as to why people get fat. That consensus, in doctors mind you, would be that people have too much fat in their diet. They have too much fat in their bodies, so it must have come from their diets. This common error in thinking comes from limited experience. If you would have asked farmers, who tended to be whip thin because they ate little and worked very, very hard, they would look at their livestock and say “if you want to fatten them up, feed them a lot of grain, and restrict their exercise.” No fat involved, I guess. Guess which one was closer to the mark?

The whole “problem of consciousness” suffers from limited experience/lack of data. Thinking that conscious entities couldn’t come from unconscious parts is an argument that goes back to “how could living things come from unliving components.” The prior question has been answered, just not in perfect detail. The human body can be taken apart and all you get is a pile of really dumb atoms, not a living organism in sight. Not only that, but all of the atoms making human beings, yes—you and me and everyone else—get replaced quite regularly. (I am reminded of the joke in which an old Virginia famer claimed to have the axe that George Washington cut down the cherry tree with. He used it every day, it was a good axe and the handle had been replaced only three times and the head, twice. Note—There is a well known philosophical debate over identity using this as an example, and another being a ship.) There are almost no atoms left in you that were in you when you were ten years old, for example. Actual the “me” of now weighs 200 pounds more than the “me” at age ten. So, how did all of those extra atoms not change me into another person?

The answer is obvious. If it is not the component atoms (all living things, yes both you and carrots, are made from the same list of atoms, in about the same proportions), then it has to be their arrangement. That the atoms in the Steve Ruis arrangement can be replaced in great number and I am still Steve Ruis, supports this “arrangement, not composition” argument.

So, consciousness . . . remember?

I start with a story about the family dog. My partner took me in for a doctor’s appointment and because the dog doesn’t like being left alone, he was brought along “for the ride.” While I saw my doctor, she took him for an extended walk in the neighborhood. About half way though the walk, his lead snapped taut and the dog dragged her to the curb, to a black Scion of the same model as our car, but it wasn’t our car. So, Jack, said dog, must have a memory of what our car looks like (looks, and maybe smells, but I don’t think that other car had a chance of smelling like ours). This same dog actually bullies her to go for a walk and when we get our walking togs on, he gets really excited. So, Jack has imagination, memory, and an ability to shape his own future. When we placed a mirror down where he could look at it his own image, he looked, sniffed, and turned away. Had that been another dog he would have barked his ass off. So he either recognized his own image, or sleuthed out that it wasn’t a real dog in “that doorway,” or whatever. Jack seems to possess at least a modicum of consciousness, maybe not a full deck of self-awareness, but. . . .

And consciousness seems to be an emergent property of brains of social animals that possess some level of independence. Emergent properties, if you didn’t know, constitute a break in causal chains, which is why you do not need to eat fat to get fat, or atoms have to be alive to make alive things, etc. So, consciousness is not a determined consequence of the properties of the particles leading up to it.

And, if a dog can do it, how hard could it be?

There is no “hard” problem of consciousness, there is just an explanation for which we do not yet have the details, so speculations that there must be some mystical, spiritual, etc. basis for it are overwrought for sure. And if you want to come up with a novel explanation, maybe suggest things that need less explanation that thing being explained. Otherwise you come across like the Christian apologists that insist the universe cannot have exist forever, so it must have been created (by their god of course). When asked whether their god existed before the universe they will reply with no irony whatsoever, “Oh, He has existed for all time.” Apparently it is a god trick the universe never learned.

April 26, 2022

Speculating on UFOs

I just skimmed a blog post with the title “What If UFOs Are From Here?” The answer is obvious. It seems that the majority of UFOs are from here. You see, there is a progression. When something is first declared to be an unidentified flying object (UFO), if anyone bothers to make a substantial attempt to identify it, and in that effort, actually does identify it, the UFO becomes an IFO (identified flying object). And, apparently, thousands of UFOs have become IFOs, so the question “what if UFOs are from here?” is moot at best.

The real question needing to be addressed is “are all UFOs from here?” The observations of a great many military pilots seem to suggest that some UFOs possess abilities far beyond that of current aircraft. And, yes, some of those UFO’s were “caught” on film and radar, etc. (Note—Optical effects, sun dogs, mirages, etc. do not show up on radar.)

It is really hard to find an answer to a question that is ill-formed in the first place.

Gort “Klaatu barada nikto”

Even so, people do tend to go off of the rails. Their speculations seem to be focused on “What if UFOs aren’t from here?” and immediately go to the existence of aliens. Actually, if there are UFO’s not from here, the most interesting conclusion is not that aliens exist (that is a high probability speculation) but that faster-than-light speed (FTL) propulsion drives are possible and we should invent one (or more).

Here is my argument. There are ridiculous numbers of stars and planets. Leaving out other galaxies, because they are far, far too far away even for FTL driven ships, there are about 100 billion stars in just our Milky Way galaxy, and even greater number of planets, so the odds on life having evolved on some of those planets is essentially 1 (100%). So, assuming that this alien species evolved to make a FTL driven space ship and did so about the same time as our existence (not in our far past or will do so in our far future) and exists on a planet relatively close to us, we can make a few speculations. It has to be “relatively close” because the galaxy is 100,000 light years wide, which means it takes light 100,000 years to traverse it. If their FTL drive could make a speed of 10c (ten times the speed of light, c) it would take 10,000 years to traverse the galaxy. If 100c, then 1000 years. If 1000c then it would take only 100 years to traverse the galaxy, a reasonable time for the lifespan of living organisms. (So, the drive must be not just “faster” than the speed of light but many, many times faster than the speed of light.) Plus the stars they might want to explore aren’t necessarily at the outer edges of the galaxy, nor are they.

Now, let’s say all of the pieces are in place, the next question is why would they want to come here and study our sorry asses (. . . scalpel, forceps, probe . . .)? What would motivate such a species to seek out other species? Seeking out more advanced civilizations might be quite dangerous. In human history, every time a more advanced (technologically) civilization encountered one less advanced, it ended up with the less advanced civilization being brutally exploited. Seeking out primitive species would offer few rewards. Speculations have been that the “aliens” need: gold, water, air, uranium or other fissionables, etc. If that were the case, I think mining asteroids or unoccupied planets would be easier. An occupied planet may take umbrage at being exploited and the inhabitants may have weapons that were not considered to exist.

A civilization a little more advanced may have sharable technology (they want some of ours and we want some of theirs), but that is a fine line to tread.

Some alien enthusiasts claim that earth is literally littered with crashed alien space ships, to which I responded “So, they can navigate between the stars but not the obstacles on a planet’s surface, and we must conclude they are lousy drivers?”

Your thoughts?

April 21, 2022

The Transgender Sports Kerfuffle

There is in the news a great deal of discussion about transgender kids and adults participating in sports. Most of this discussion is focused upon all of the wrong things, things like how brave transgender athletes are, or how progressive an event coordinator is, etc.

What is missing is reality. Gender plays no role in sports competitive categories. I believe the word does get used, but only by people who prefer not to use the word sex in this context as they think it refers to copulation. (In my sport, the term “cock feather” (or cock vane) refers to the way arrows are attached to bowstrings (with that particular feather/vane “cocked” away from the bow. And eight-year old boys find the term quite funny. Consequently the prudes want us archery coaches to use the term “index feather/vane” instead. These are the same people whose gentle sensibilities encourage them to use the word gender instead of sex in this context.)

You see, sports competitive categories are defined by biological sex, not by gender. So, it doesn’t matter whether you are gay, lesbian, or transgender, you compete against others of you biological sex, age, ability, etc.

Some of these categorizations stem from people not wanting their sons/daughters mingling closely with competitors of the opposite sex. Girls, for example, were not allowed to wrestle boys when I was in school, and now some can (some, not all). Many of these segregations were completely unnecessary to create competitive balance, just to preserve prudishness, dignity, or whatever. (In my sport, archery, I would lump all boys and girls together in age group or ability categories and I have the data to back that position up. I also recognize that boys and girls can lose points to their score because they are more interested in flirting than shooting, but they have to learn that lesson some time, why not then?)

The separation into competitive groups by biological sex has to do with the biological differences between males and females of our species. (If you haven’t noticed, human beings are sexually dimorphic, with males tending to be larger, stronger, faster, etc. And, please, yes, I know that each of those attributes is represented by a Bell curve distribution and those of males and females overlap in every case, meaning that there are some females with more pronounced characteristics than males. But athletic competition is supposed to be seeking out the best of any sport, which means you don’t compare the top of one curve with the bottom of the other; you compare the top of one curve with the top of the other.

So, transgender kids should be competing in their category as determined by their sex at birth, until . . . until there is an actual medical procedure that allows adults to switch biological sexes. (Something I don’t think kids we allowed to do until they reach full sexual maturity.)

Note I fully expect to be flamed for this post, but I am also willing to be surprised, so fire away!

April 12, 2022

Stoicism and Emotions

Filed under: Culture,Philosophy,Science — Steve Ruis @ 11:07 am
Tags: , , ,

I was recently reading a criticism of Stoicism (of which I am a fan, philosophically) in that it relegated emotions to the garbage heap and only used reason to address decisions and whatnot.

I tend to think the author was too affected by the adjective that has come down to us, namely:

Stoic (noun) 1. a person who can endure pain or hardship without showing their feelings or complaining.

With “the adjective stoic describes any person, action, or thing that seems emotionless and almost blank.”

What Stoicism actually teaches is to be wary of all emotions. Emotions are such strong motivators of conduct that we can be carried away by them. This was taught to me along the same lines that my mother suggested that I count to 10 before responding to anything that made me angry.

One of my favorite all-time life coaches, Stewart Emory, who taught me that opening up a time between stimulus and response is creating a place where creative action can be taken.

Stoics were especially wary of things we had no power to change. If someone cuts you off on the freeway and then speeds off, venting your anger is a fool’s errand. You have no control whatsoever over the miscreant or the deed as it is done and over. So, detaching yourself from that anger response saves you the trouble and emotional wear and tear such an outburst would involve. (Modern studies show that “venting” one’s anger only makes one angrier. It doesn’t defuse the anger as so many of us thing. Note—This is why so many scientific studies seem to be made regarding things people deem obvious, because as it turns out, often enough, such things aren’t what they seem and they certainly are not obvious.)

The author of the criticism seems to be someone who feels that the emotional realm of humanity is one that is to be nurtured and used to help decide one’s fate.

Okay, let’s unpack this idea.

So emotions; the core ones seem to be: sadness, happiness, fear, anger, surprise, and disgust. Sadness is something American seem to avoid like the plague, but I wish we would become more familiar with it. Most Americans tend to deflect it, distract themselves from feeling it, which I think is a mistake. The exit from sadness seems to be out the other side, so feeling it seems to be important, certainly as a reinforcement of what makes us good as human beings.

Happiness is a good thing, but transitory. There is currently a movement to rate whole countries upon how happy their citizens are. I suggest this isn’t actual happiness, but contentment. Happiness is a short-term emotion (as are they all) that isn’t meant to last hours and hours, let alone days and weeks, and months, and years. And the response to this emotion can make one more vulnerable. I was watching the Masters golf tournament as as the winner closed it out, his wife was beside herself with tears. Tearing eyes are hard to see through. Her breathing was disrupted (sob, choke, . . .) and so on. Having experienced such feelings I do not see how they help us at all.

Surprises come in various forms: we have the phrases “pleasant surprise” and “unpleasant surprise” for at least two categories. I am not sure what this is for, maybe a form of being able to address changes that occur over short time periods? Disgust, in my mind, is linked with unpleasant foods being eaten. the emotion steers us away from eating things that could be harmful. It isn’t all that logical. For example, if you take a clean plastic cup and allow some of your saliva to flow into it, you will find that drinking that fluid will seem disgusting, yet that fluid was in your mouth just a minute ago. I don’t know this is because of a general ban on imbibing excreted materials (urine, feces, blood, etc.)

Now, the “negative” emotions: fear and anger. These are somewhat braided together. Both come in multiple forms. In the case of anger: righteous anger helps you exert some control over your personal boundaries. unrighteous anger is just a head of steam preparing you for action, physical action. Fear is the author of the famous “fight or flight syndrome.” It is a signal to get the hell out of whatever situation you are in (flight) or be prepared to fight for your life.

Now, I know this is a cursory survey, but I do not see much to recommend emotions as guides to our lives. I do see the value of emotions stimulating almost instant responses being linked to our survival as a species. For example, if an actual or even recorded bear growl were to be heard directly behind you, you would be running away lickity-split, well before your rational mind had even addressed the issue (“I say, was that Ursus horribillis?”). But how often are those split-second responses needed?

Modern studies in emotions seem to strongly indicate that we are taught emotional responses as children. For example, many Asian children go to the doctor and receive shots with smiles on their face, apparently because they are taught that they are a good thing and to be cherished. In this country we teach children that pain is involved and that they should not cry “too much.” So we get what we teach and they get what they teach.

I am not claiming that there is no “there” there behind emotions (I am a very emotional person), I am just claiming that they do not form a sound basis for making many decisions.

On the other hand, if you are dating someone, trying them out as a prospective spouse, and you feel disgust often, I think that definitely should be taken into account with regard to any decision you might make. And that is the Stoic’s point: emotional reactions are not a good basis for decisions. Emotions should be mulled over, with other “data” before a decision is made.

The goal is not to be emotionless. The goal is to not make emotional responses that are not in your best interest, and one’s reason is the best way to make those decision. And, it is not as if the Stoics think we are born being good at making reasoned decisions, far from it. Much of the philosophy is about how to make such decisions and providing examples of decisions exemplifying their principles.

So, I am trying to be a good Stoic, not just stoical.

March 31, 2022

A Must-See Documentary

Currently playing on Amazon Prime is a documentary entitled Billions in Change. At first I was thinking quarters, dimes, nickels, etc. but that was not the case (you’ll understand what it stands for below). The documentary is about Manoj Bhargava, the inventor of the 5-Hour Energy drink. As he tells it he had this idea, pursued it, and poof, he was worth over four billion dollars. So, what was he to do with his money, he thought. He started out funding various worthy projects but it felt like throwing sand in the ocean, unlikely to make a difference anywhere. So, build a space rocket to take his friends into space? No, that would be silly. What he did was buy an industrial park and create Innovations Ventures, LLC, in an attempt to solve major problems facing the whole world, especially focused upon the poor.

I won’t provide spoilers regarding the inventions he and his teams have been coming up with, but they are spectacular.

You probably know that I am of the opinion that we do not need billionaires. But if we are to have them, Mr. Bhargava is the kind we should have. Brilliant. Life changing. Watch it! I will watch it again tonight!

That is one of his inventions–a one hour stint on the recumbent bicycle generators produces enough electricity to power a poor household for 24 hours (no fossil fuels, air pollution, etc. involved).

March 29, 2022

Let There Be . . . Inflation (Cosmic, That Is)

Filed under: Reason,Science — Steve Ruis @ 10:38 am
Tags: ,

The current state of cosmological theory has some aspects to it that are, at a bare minimum, puzzling. Near the beginning of the Big Expansion, aka the Big Bang, a period of what is called cosmic inflation occurred, this is a label slapped on a period of rapid expansion of space-time. I am reading that some think that a period of cosmic inflation also occurred just before whatever triggered the Big Expansion. And, quite recently, we have learned that the expansion of the universe is accelerating. No explanations for these mysterious expansions has yet been provided, at least with any physical support. As usual, speculation abounds.

I can remember reading in high school a speculation that the universe was expanding, but the dominant force in the universe, gravity, had to slow that expansion and eventually cause the universe to contract. I was enthralled with this speculation, but alas, studies now show that the expansion if the universe is not only not slowing, but is speeding up. (I think I am “oh for whatever” in theories I took a liking to.)

And, why religious apologists haven’t claimed that their god is responsible for these expansions and accelerations of expansions yet (C’mon, God of the Gaps people, pick up the slack!), since we don’t have a physical explanations for these yet, one can still speculate.

So, if the universe can go through phases in which its foot is on the accelerator, could it also not be the case that it could go through phases with its foot on the brakes? Ah, didn’t see that coming, did’ja?

My theory lives! (Bwah, hah, hah!)

So, at some undetermined time in the future, the rate of expansion of the universe slows and gravity re-exerts its place as the dominant force in the universe. Instead of galaxies separating from one another over time, they then began to get closer. Closer and closer they get, until galaxies merge . . . and merge . . . and merge. (I have to wonder if entropy decreases during this phase as it increased during the expansion.) Then stars get so close they merge with other stars and black holes. On and on this goes until the universe is crunched (this phase of the universe’s life cycle was called “the Big Crunch”) into a tiny point. All matter is turned into energy and the tiny universe is immensely hot as well as being immensely small, just like the universe before the Big Expansion we currently observe. Then, Bam!, off it goes again.

This cycle continues over and over and over. Why? Because it can.

This is the likely scenario had no cosmic inflation occurred in the first place, or the rate of expansion of the universe had not accelerated. Since we do not yet have reasons for why those phases occurred, then an equally bewildering contraction seems possible.

Maybe our universe is in a universe growth chamber and the entities running it occasionally tweak the process to make to go in direction of their choice. “Reality” has shown us over and over that it can be weirder than we can imagine.

Ah, but a man’s reach should exceed his grasp, or what’s a heaven for?
(Robert Browning)

March 28, 2022

The Beauty of Nature is Proof of . . .

Filed under: Culture,Science — Steve Ruis @ 10:34 am
Tags: ,

There is a silly argument that wanders around religious apologist’s circles, namely that the beauty we see in nature is proof of God’s existence. It is called, officially, the Argument from Beauty. The silliness of this claim is pointed out by counter arguments addressing all of the ugliness that can be seen in nature. Is that also proof of some god’s existence?

Interestingly, scientists are not immune to the beauty of nature (Duh!):

“Scientists’ ability to experience wonder, awe and beauty in their work is associated with higher levels of job satisfaction and better mental health, finds an international survey of researchers. Brandon Vaidyanathan, a sociologist at the Catholic University of America in Washington DC, and his colleagues collected responses from more than 3,000 scientists — mainly biologists and physicists — in India, Italy, the United Kingdom and the United States. They asked participants about their job satisfaction and workplace culture, their experience of the COVID-19 pandemic and the role of aesthetics in science. The answers revealed that, far from the caricature of scientists as exclusively rational and logical beings, “this beauty stuff is really important”, Vaidyanathan says. “It shapes the practice of science and is associated with all kinds of well-being outcomes.’” [Nature, via Naked Capitalism Water Cooler 3-21-2022]

I have claimed for quite some time that the awe and reverence we have for the beauty to be found in nature (if you look for it) has the simple explanation that: there were once human beings who did not appreciate the beauty of nature, but they were too depressed to pass on their genes.

Addendum I have heard from critics of science that reducing nature to cold, hard numbers drains all of the beauty from nature. This is, again, an uneducated opinion. For example, I enjoy the turning of the leaves during the display of Fall colors in deciduous trees. I not only appreciate the pretty colors, but I happen to also know why those colors change (including the chemicals and processes involved) . . . and that gives my appreciation of the beauty more depth.

Next Page »

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.