Friday, February 24, 2006

Refresh Button at the Fountain of Knowledge

*Warning this is rant*

Our understanding of the world is based on a pyramid of assumptions that looks something like the below. Each discipline answers a question that the other is missing. Each discipline is built using the assumptions from the one below, hence if the assumptions in the discipline below change you must change the assumptions in the discipline(s) above. Much of the disconnect in our current education system results from too much specialty in one area without a sufficient understanding in the others and how they relate.

Understanding of the world needs to take place in the overall context...not in a single discipline vacuum

Anthropology** <- behaviors of entire cultures
Sociology****** <-Behavior of collections organisms
Psychology******** <- Behavior of organisms
Biology************* <- Organisms
Chemistry************* <- Elements Compounds Matter
Physics****************** <- Movement
Math********************** <-Base all application implicit and explicit

What pisses me off is when people black box these disciplines as if they can stand-alone and are not interdependent. This comes into play especially when dealing with the so-called soft disciplines at the top of the pyramid.

For example, Genetics (a concentration within biology) we have made discoveries based on empirical evidence that challenge and change the way we thought the world works.
1.) Evolution happens
2.) Homosexuality is by-and-large is not caused due to environment or choice
3.) We may be more predisposed to gender roles because of evolution then we thought (Nature vs. Nurture)
4.) Complex Systems arise without designers
5.) Do not get me started on religion, which asks us to suspend the entire model, but only in that instance in our life.

All of this new information forces change in how we look at and understand peoples behaviors, behavoirs of groups and entire cultures.

What makes me lose it is the people\professors that entrench themselves into there discipline and then defend it as it as the primary goal of there lives. The primary goal of all of us student and professor alike should be to seek the truth, even if that truth is different then our current understanding.

Hence, we need to hit the refresh data button and update our understanding holistically in context of the entire pyramid. Every event, action and issue takes place within the framework and effects what is above it.

We need to hit the button…..has anyone seen it?


Rocketstar said...

Nice rant.

I try to hit the Refresh button as often as I can.

Now my rant on religion that you did not do. ;o)

Disclaimer, I understand the fact that religion helps a lot of people deal with the unknown of after life etc... I am questioning the intellectual aspect of religion.

My biggest complaint with religion is exactly what you pointed out.

I can see how it was rational to beleive in "Jesus, God" etc... 2000 years ago when we were ignorant. When we did not yet know the earth was not flat, that disease was not caused by demonic possession, that the sun revolved around the earth (actual timing on that ?)etc... you get the picture.

So in the past 2000 years, all of the knowledge that the human race has gathered, has not yet led all people to give up this fairy tale that has ZERO concrete evidence of its truth.

Definition of Belief = Thoughts/ideas that do not rest on logical proof or material evidence.

I wish people would say, "Yeah I guess [not believe] that there is a god."

Dem Soldier said...

Good one Brian.....

You make very valid points. I differ on religion with both of you.

On what basis do we determine what the Truth is?

I understand that the intellectual bases of religion is dim, since no one can proof it, but as Rocket said, it will not deminish its status as a point of direction to many people, yes it does lead some to the road of destruction, while some others like Pope John Paul live their live with dignity and valor.

For me, if a religion conflicts with science, its not a religion. What the problem with many people, like those who want to teach these phony creationism in our schools is that they are extremely well-versed in verses religions of bygone era, but not reality on earth today.

Look on the abortion case in South Dakota yesterday! Or the anti-gay marriage bans in the world, their claims is just looking through tinted glasses.

Right, we can't stay static for ever.

Say Rah! said...

stupid south dakota with the abortion thing. god. we look like a terrible bunch of backward redneck republicans. totally off the intended topic, but i was pissed when i saw it made the nat'l news last night.


Megsta said...

there is no button... or maybe you've allready found it, but it doesn't have a big giant "button here" sign on it...... the button is us all here speaking our own unique truths, sharing, beliving, envisioning, trusting, listening and trying to step outside the box of knowledge that leads us to believe it's as simple as finding a button - the complex vibe of our dimensional world is not meant to be solved or understood deeply and wholely as we all hope - but instead cherished and valued as the everflowing and changing magical and unexplainable journey that we all must take

TRUST LOVE ENJOY & ACCEPT the process of each ONE finding PEACE in this MAZE!!!!!!!!

anonymous the second said...

Neither Brian nor rocketstar really explains what makes religion incompatible with science. As a Catholic, I do believe in evolution, etc. Perhaps that requires a non-literal reading of the Bible, you might say, so "fundamentalists" are at odds with science. Of course, we can't say with certainty that God didn't create a world that looks much older than it actually is. We can't prove it either, and I find it unlikely, but it is theoretically possible. At any rate, my point is that religion and science need not be inconsistent.

I'm not exactly sure how the South Dakota abortion ban relates to this topic, except for to say that religious-minded folks might think that abortion (believing it to be murder) should be illegal in most circumstances. If a person reasonably believes abortion to be murder (and I don't think that this is unreasonable, at least in many cases), their belief that abortion should be generally outlawed is quite rational and not overly-invasive. Should we exclude from the public debate anti-abortion people who happen to believe what they do for religious reasons? I think not.

Moreover, this is a natural reaction to the subversion of the democratic process that was Roe v. Wade. I'm not the type to rant about "judicial activism," as I find the term to be meaningless and not helpful. But the fact that the Supreme Court decided to act as it did, combined with recent changes to its composition, clearly invites such bans that might not be nearly so severe if abortion were left up to the states. Plenty of legal scholars who think that allowing abortion is good policy agree with me that Roe v. Wade was wrongly decided as a matter of constitutional law, and that the country has become unnecessarily polarized as a result.

Brian in Mpls said...

Faith and science are incompatible because to believe in God in your case the holy trinity of the catholic church we need to suspend the logic and understanding that a virgin can give birth, that a dead person can be divinely brought back to life. That there is some power that has oddly been dormant for the last 2000 years that can flood the entire world or part a sea that is over 40 phantoms deep. Alternatively we could look at these events as events that truly happened and are mistakenly attributed to religion through false association.
My point is that religion asks to be exempt and as long as it is exempt and people are allowed to carry out acts in its name we will never be seeking the truth, I think that to be objective you need to be on the side of science and that is why I am an agnostic, not saying either way after all God may exist but I will say that it is highly improbable and wish for the sake of all of humanity that people would not begin life believing in the boogie man but would only come to believe in the boogie man through evidence.