Sunday, May. 09, 2004 - 3:20 a.m.
Cost of the War in Iraq
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Three Long Answers to De Skookumchuck's Questions
These questions are from George de Skookumchuk, who left them at my three questions entry.:
"I always ask these three. I especially like to ask them of groups in bars who have a had a couple of drinks. I have audio recorded the results of these confabs on occasion too."
1. What do you think will happen to you when you die?
2. What do you think is the ultimate fate of Humanity?
I think that we will be reduced to pockets of survivors eventually, who will tell stories of hundreds of people who flew in huge metal birds in the sky to children who nod their head at myths like someone in the Middle Ages of Europe would if told about Roman baths and running water in aqueducts. I don't know if we will ever actually die out. But I think we are peaking in the next 500 years and then it will be all downhill, with industrial waste, nuclear waste and climate change making large parts of human habitat uninhabitable.
Beyond that i don't know. I suppose we'll evolve or be phased out by something in hundreds of thousands of years.
I don't think we'll actually "blow up the planet"... though wars resulting in the above mentioned pestilence, famine, nuclear waste and deserts is certainly a possibility. Of course once we stop doing huge manufacturing, the gas and oil systems break down and with that cars, trucks and airplanes become totally useless, the water etc will go back to being untamed. Huge dams will fall into disrepair, suburbs will be abandoned, trees will grow up in downtown Montreal. Actually I could see people continuing to live here where there is naturally water etc, but places in the desert that rely on irrigation and imported food and power will be abandoned. Yeah.
"and the coupe de grace and the real question..."
3. What do you trust more science or religion?
Science as a word means knowledge. It is a methodological experimentation in the world to develop useable theories that correspond to observed physical phenomenon. This is completely a different thing from religion, which is founded upon faith and explains that which by its nature cannot be known. Such as "what is moral?" "What pleases our creator" etc. Science is based on making a hypothesis, making up an experiment to collect observable data via our sense, or measuring things with something that can present data to our senses. Comparing the data to the hypothesis, and seeing if it fits or disproves the hypothesis. Using the data to make a thesis, a body of knowledge, that we use as a practical basis for acting in the world until we are able to make better observations, get more data, and revise our knowledge.
I trust science if it is well done. I don't trust science to answer moral questions or meaning of the universe questions. I don't think it was meant to. Science is amoral. We may use science to act in the world in any way that our knowledge enables us. That can be good, bad, destructive, with consequences or without. Science is observing the weather patterns, or the movements of the Gulf Stream. Science is also growing stem cells in a culture medium. Science is giving four different foods to an animal you don't know the eating habits of, and seeing which one it eats, so that you know what to feed it tomorrow. Science is all learning you do that is based on trying out something more than once to get repeatable results. Science is not jumping to conclusions from one happening though. If I shout at you and you go away, and I conclude that my shouting made you go. That is a hypothesis. That is not science until I see if it happens again and again. And check other variables (hehe, do I always yell at you when you had to pee, and so you went to go to the bathroom... and maybe you're deaf and didn't even hear me??)...
Can science ever know everything? Of course not, cuz we never know all the variables. For instance in the above very simple example... unless I understand the physical need to pee, the social need for you to leave, and the fact that some people are deaf, I may never ever come to any conclusion other than my shouting makes you leave.
Can we trust science? Well, that comes down to "do you trust what you see, hear and otherwise experience via your senses"?? If you don't then you cannot trust science. But also then you cannot function very well in the world. And then there are those who believe TOO much what they see and hear (or think they do)... once again we are back to religion. (I saw the mean man get a disease... he is being punished for his nastiness.. I saw it with my own eyes...) hehe.
So yeah. Trust that science well and properly done will be always changing as we know more and situations change. But also trust that science is just observing the world and trusting it. Everytime you step DOWN when you come to the stairs, you are trusting science. Your previous experience tells you that when you see a shape like that your physical body will descend. Yup. That is science. And before you had that knowledge you fell down the steps and cracked your head. Or Mommy was bright enough to put up a baby gate over the top of the stairs.
Everyone trusts science even if they say they don't. What they really mean is that science has been wrong before (no, it has jumped to conclusions without enough testing the hypothesis, OR new data has come to light), or that bad scientists have done science badly and presented patently stupid results, or that people who call themselves scientists are making projections based on models and computer projections and trying to tell the future and were wrong. That is not science. Science is not the psychic line. Though it can say that "if things continue (ie data doesnt change) the way they are, the end results will be such and such"... and that is true and trustable. If things DO change, the scientists weren't wrong, the data changed.
That is the end. What a long answer. But it was fun to chew on.
And I think more people should be aware of just what the scientific method actually is. Then they would know that scientists can be very religious and often are. Cuz science and religion are not the same thing or exclusive or inclusive. They are "testable knowledge" and "belief systems not based on testable knowledge". tadah.
Remember to read my first entry tonight, my "to do list".. hehe.
And since I forgot to put them before... here are my horoscopes:
Here is my horoscope for Friday, May 7:Well for once they are right. I am having days of being dutiful, diligent and determined to take care of business.
I lined up someone to cart away all the dead balcony wood on Monday am for $40. I have done the final lines on 11 of 16 pages of drawings. I wrote the letter to the friend about her story. I scanned and uploaded all six pages of comics. I washed a load of doggy laundry. I cut the front grass and pulled some weeds, and picked up the garbage blown in by the wind. That's not so bad for one Saturday. Now I gotta get to sleep.
Damn, I think it is already light out (it is 5:40 am).. zzzz! tah! hugs to me, wenchie
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previous meanderings - future past
Goodbye Michael. May your next life be kinder to you. - Thursday, Jun. 25, 2009
*inspired by Chaosdaily