Goodenough Gismo

  • Gismo39
    This is the classic children's book, Goodenough Gismo, by Richmond I. Kelsey, published in 1948. Nearly unavailable in libraries and the collector's market, it is posted here with love as an "orphan work" so that it may be seen and appreciated -- and perhaps even republished, as it deserves to be. After you read this book, it won't surprise you to learn that Richmond Irwin Kelsey (1905-1987) was an accomplished artist, or that as Dick Kelsey, he was one of the great Disney art directors, breaking your heart with "Pinocchio," "Dumbo," and "Bambi."



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realpc

Traditional people definitely knew all kinds of things we have forgotten. Our mythology of naturalistic science says all spirit communications are merely dreams, imagination, or hallucinations.

How would they know???

All the DNA they don't understand is called "junk." All the experiences they don't understand are called hallucinations.


The more physics learns about "matter," the less is understood. And the same in biology.

Don't listen to the priests of scientific materialism! They are pretending to know, but they don't know.

Traditional people didn't know it all either, but they had so much information that we have thrown away. Of course, we know a lot that they didn't.

As our science advances beyond 19th century materialism, we will be amazed. People like Dawkins are frantic, because 19th century materialism is so reassuring to them -- it implies that human intelligence will be able to understand and control everything.

realpc

But the typical college student is still being indoctrinated into scientific naturalism (means the same as materialism used to, I think), more than ever.

The wave of scientific materialism is at its height, completely dominating the educated blue states.

amba

All the DNA they don't understand is called "junk." All the experiences they don't understand are called hallucinations.

Well said!

Icepick

The more physics learns about "matter," the less is understood. And the same in biology.

Correct. We knew a HELL of a lot more about matter five centuries ago than we do now. And what a shame that we've forgotten about germ theory, and infectious agents, and vaccinations, and ... and ... and ....

/ sarcasm

People like Dawkins are frantic, because 19th century materialism is so reassuring to them -- it implies that human intelligence will be able to understand and control everything.

It implies nothing of the sort. There is much discussion in scientific realms now about whether or not humans have the intelligence to understand much more than we do now.

Further, understanding is not control. We've understood the basic process behind how stars work for many decades now, and not only have we failed to 'control' a star, we haven't even managed to create stable, controlled nuclear fusion. And offhand, I can only think of a couple of ways that have been suggested as to how a star might be 'controlled' at all. (Actually, I can think of three if one counts Dyson spheres as 'controlling' a star's output, in some rough sense.)

You mis-represent the underlying philosophy of science all the time, Real. The idea is not that human intelligence can understand and control a strictly material universe, it's that the universe functions in a 'natural' manner (meaning gods and demons don't do all, of even any, of the work), and that the manner of these functions is consistent (at least within the observable universe) and orderly, and can conceivably be understood and modelled by observation and experimentation.

Furthermore, although at times people have claimed we are nearing an 'end state' to our understanding of the universe, the scientific process does not necessarily mandate such an end state. In fact, it's rather the opposite. All scientific theories are merely models of reality, to be supplanted if additional observation reveals the model to have failings. Looking for those failings is how we have progressed. Newton's gravitational rules worked wonderfully well... until better observations showed that it couldn't account for all observed behavior. Einstein came along and 'fixed' those problems with his special relativity and then his general relativity. Newton's equations can still be used, but we now know there is more to it than that.

Incidentally, your idea that us scientists think we can understand and control everything is ludicrous on the face of it. Modern physics indicates (and ALL evidence points to the truth of this) that the universe in non-deterministic at a fundamental level. Do you think we don't know what our own damned theories state and our experiments show? And even within the realm of the old 'clock-work' universe of Newton there were problems that defied our understanding. Last time I checked, the three-body problem is still unresolved.

Hellfire, within the world of mathematics we ran into the fundamental limitations decades ago when Godel's incompleteness theorems shook mathematics to its foundations! Your constant bitching about what 'scientific materialism' is, and what it means to those of us who have been practitioners, does not even come close to reflecting reality.

Icepick

To read this attacks on 'scientific materialism' on the internet, with all the science that underlies it (e.g., no quantum mechanics = no modern electronics), is particularly rich.

Melinda

A hospital resident recently told us that on the first day of medical school, her professor had said, "Half of everything we're going to teach you will be wrong...and we don't know which half."

Not very reassuring to hear when you're facing surgery the next day, but it goes to show you that even doctors know there's new things to be discovered all the time.

realpc

"The idea is not that human intelligence can understand and control a strictly material universe"

"the manner of these functions can ... conceivably be understood and modelled by observation and experimentation."

Uh oh, Icepick, I think you just contradicted yourself there.


Any time I criticize scientific "naturalism" -- the religious faith that higher levels of intelligence do not exist -- someone like you looks down from a great height and assumes I am anti-science.

Then I have to explain that I am scientific and logical, have a PhD in experimental psychology, and work in technology.


"To read this attack on 'scientific materialism' on the internet, with all the science that underlies it "

That is just irrational, Icepick. I criticized the limitations of materialism, not of science or technology.

Scientific materialism/athiesm DOES NOT EQUAL science. Many of the greatest discoveries were made by scientists who were not atheists, for example Einstein.

Currently, science has been over-taken by materialism, because of people like Dawkins. They are increasingly certain that neo-Darwinism completely explains life on earth. No higher levels are required, just our familiar earthly level. This is the standard belief in biology departments, and that's why the ID theory of evolution is despised and feared.


amba

Yes and no, Ice; you can find statements by Sam Harris, for one, that in principle we can understand and control more and more, though he doesn't make that claim about a star. But about the human brain. (Sorry I'm too busy to go dig up links right now, but I will.)

Richard Lawrence Cohen

"There is also growing evidence that organisms can switch their genes on or off in response to their environment, and that the memory of this gene activity can be passed on to subsequent generations."

A generation ago this would have been condemned as Lamarckianism. It all comes around again.

GN

Ice and Real .... it is reassuring to see that science can be as compassionate a topic as politics. Scientific Materialism has much to offer in information. So does religious theory. Each is the coice of belief in available information.

However, for me, the most important information in this post resides in paragraph one. 60% shared genes with a banana? I do not want to evolve into a banana! Broccoli, yes, but only because it puts a new perspective on vegging.

realpc

"Scientific Materialism has much to offer in information."

No, scientific materialism is a faith, unrelated to the scientific method. They are separate.

Our scientific knowledge and technology are not the result of scientific materialism, but of scientific theories and experimentation.


Scientific materialism is the faith that there are no super-levels, that the universe is mindless, not intelligent. It has grown out of the neo-Darwinist theory of evolution, which claims that life could evolve by accident, even though nature is mindless.

The predictions based on scientific materialism (or naturalism, as they now like to call it) generally turn out to be wrong. One example is artificial intelligence (AI).

In the early 1960s, soon after the invention of contemporary computers, truly intelligent, human language-understanding machines were expected within a few years. Now, 50 years later, the prediction has not changed -- intelligent machines are coming along in just a few more years.

Cognitive science, born in the late 1950s, expected to completely understand the human brain. The brain is still not understood (yes, they have great imaging technology and can see what parts light up during different mental activities -- that is not understanding).

There is currently a prediction within AI that machines will outsmart humans in the near future, and will become our masters. The usual science fiction scenario. But materialists take it seriously -- after all our brains evolved by a series of accidents. Surely we can create something even better.

Other false predictions are related to health -- cancer and AIDS, for example. Great progress in curing cancer? Not quite. Since materialist science doesn't really understand how the body works (let alone the brain), they can't understand the most serious diseases.

(No, I am not against modern medicine -- the surgical technology is great, and antibiotics are sometimes useful).


Icepick

Uh oh, Icepick, I think you just contradicted yourself there.

No I didn't. I said that things could conceivably be observed, modelled and deduced, not that humans would be able to. There's a big difference.

Icepick

Other false predictions are related to health -- cancer and AIDS, for example. Great progress in curing cancer? Not quite.

Bullshit. I have an aunt that died a couple of years ago (of old age) that got an extra 30 years of life out of cancer treatments. She came down with a cancer that had an extremely high mortality rate in the 1970s. She was put into an experimental program being run through the Mayo Clinic. Not only did she survive, but the treatment regime she underwent is now standard, with a greatly reduced mortality rate for that brand of cancer. (I believe it was ovarian, but I'm not sure. My aunt survived several different bouts of cancer at different times, and I'm not sure I remember them correctly.)

On the AIDS front, the situation is vastly improved over where it was in the mid 1980s. Back then, HIV/AIDS was pretty much a death sentence. I remember a neighbor of a friend back then that died less than 8 weeks after showing his first symptoms. For those than can afford treatment, HIV/AIDS is pretty much a chronic but very survivable condition. THAT'S progress.

Furthermore, where the hell are your "higher intelligences" in the fight against AIDS. They're doing a real bang-up job solving that problem, aren't they?

Finally (for now), I was not aware that there was a science of scientific predicition. If scientists and researchers have made claims that haven't completely panned out, that doesn't necessarily mean that there methods are invalid. It more likely means that the problem was far more complex than imagined at the time of the predicitions. Given the progress that has been made in the 'failures' of cancer and HIV/AIDS research, I would definitely think that dumping on the scientists is completely egregious. Or do you think we should defund those horribly flawed and clearly failing research programs in favor of more prayer institutes?

Tom Strong

I think the close-mindedness real is railing against has nothing to do with science, or even materialism, and everything to do with human nature.

Too bad, that. But maybe we can evolve our way out of it.

realpc

People like certainty. Look at how bent out of shape Icepick is, because I questioned scientific progress in certain areas. It is well-known that very little real progress has been made in cancer and AIDS. Icepick thinks two data points -- his aunt and a neighbor -- are sufficient.

There is little or no real understanding of cancer or AIDS, mostly just tremendous political force. Medical research refuses to consider alternate theories, even if they are proposed by legitimate mainstream scientists. They started down a path and they are darn well gonna stick with it.

Most of the advances in cancer treatment are because of better diagnostic and surgical technology.

And the cure rate statistics are very misleading -- survival to 5 years after diagnosis MUST increase when diagnoses are made earlier!

Melinda

And the cure rate statistics are very misleading -- survival to 5 years after diagnosis MUST increase when diagnoses are made earlier!

Actually, the survival rate for cancers with a good, widely-used standard screening procedure (mammograms, Pap tests, etc.) has increased dramatically over the years, but has stayed the same for cancers where there is no widely-used reliable screening procedure.

For example, a chest ex-ray misses a lot of early stage lung cancers, but CT scans aren't covered by most insurance plans because they result in a lot of false positives, which result in more tests.

Also, a lot of people won't go for the ex-ray, so the cancer isn't found until it shows symptoms.

Icepick

Icepick thinks two data points -- his aunt and a neighbor -- are sufficient.

No, I think improved mortality statistics due to earlier screening, surgery, AND OTHER TREATMENTS, are sufficient to indicate a positive trend. Real, you claim you don't hate science, but you sure as hell seem hate scientists, and go out of your way to misrepresent facts that don't jibe with your opinion.

There is little or no real understanding of cancer or AIDS, mostly just tremendous political force.

Bullshit, and you damn well know it. Do you REALLY claim that various forms of chemo-therapy and radiation treatments have had NO positive effect?

And if you attribute cancer survivability to early detection and improved surgical technique, then to what do you attribute improved AIDS mortality rates? (And isn't improved detection a sign of scientific progress? Or do people get their diagnoses from Ouija boards?) I haven't heard of any surgeons cutting out the HIV virus, but maybe I don't read the correct journals.

Icepick

Look at how bent out of shape Icepick is, because I questioned scientific progress in certain areas.

No, I'm bent out of shaper by your non-stop assertions that the only reason scientists aren't doing what you want them to is because they're scared that their "scientific materialism" isn't going to pass muster. You never accept that perhaps scientists are opposed to ID (or Sheldrake, or whatever) because they honestly don't believe that these qualify as science, or that the evidence isn't terribly compelling. If you are going to do nothing but impune the motives of those who disagree with you and imply that they are fearful and dishonest, then don't be surprised if they take umbrage at your ad hominem attacks.

(Spare me the protests that you do not make ad hominem attacks, Real. You constantly make statements such as "[o]ther false predictions", implying that the people making the predictions KNEW they were lying.)

You claim to be rational, but you make comments such as "Many of the greatest discoveries were made by scientists who were not atheists, for example Einstein." And this proves ... what? That because believers have made scientific discoveries then god (or some semantical stand-in) must be behind their science? That does not follow at all, unless the theories themselves incorporate some god-like being.

And as far as I know, Einstein (a) wasn't infallible, and (b) did not use 'god' or any other higher power in his theories. In his scientific work he took the Universe as it was, assuming that it was rational, consistent and comprehensible, and obeys certain rules that can be deduced and mathematically modelled. God may or may not be necessary at the moment of creation, but after that, not so much. That doesn't sound so different than you definition of scientific materialism: "Scientific materialism is the faith that there are no super-levels, that the universe is mindless, not intelligent." Einstein famously said "God does not play dice with the Universe." But he also never used God as a crutch.

realpc

"You claim to be rational, but you make comments such as "Many of the greatest discoveries were made by scientists who were not atheists, for example Einstein." And this proves ... what? That because believers have made scientific discoveries then god (or some semantical stand-in) must be behind their science?"

Icepick,

I said that to show that materialism does not equal science, that although most scientists now are materialists that was not always true. You misinterpreted what I said.

I wrote a long post last night explaining some of the misconceptions about cancer and AIDS, but the web site would not accept it. I will try again when I get a chance.

I am not attacking scientists, but I am criticizing the politically powerful organizations that prevent honest scientific debate.

Medical science, and science in general, are as political as anything else. Lots of money is involved, so what do you expect? You have not questioned any of the propaganda.

There is nothing evil about it, most it's unintentional. People have their careers at stake.

The current approach to curing cancer is wrong. Not that it never works, but it doesn't work well and very often doesn't work at all. There was a recent medical show about cancer on CNN, and that is a very mainstream source of medical news. But even CNN had to admit all the real adances have been in early detection.

(Of course, they did not point out what I mentioned here before -- that earlier detection automatically increases survival time and apparent cure rates.)

If even CNN admits little progress has been made, you can be sure there are many less mainstream news sources complaining about the lack of progress in understanding cancer.

I think it's because of the mechanistic views of current medical science.

But you seem shocked that anyone would say progress in treating or undersanding cancer has been minimal. I thought this was well known. But the American Cancer Society and the big drug companies do keep insisting that great progress is being made. They're making us all live longer with their drugs.

Be skeptical.

koszmic

realpc points out icepick's "two data points" as insufficient, and continues to point to cancer and AIDS as areas suggesting we don't know how the body works. Maybe realpc should expand his own data set to explain medical successes with regard to polio, smallpox, etc. Hypothesis holding up, real?

cw

Many of the greatest discoveries were made by scientists who were not atheists, for example Einstein.

"It was, of course, a lie what you read about my religious convictions, a lie which is being systematically repeated. I do not believe in a personal God and I have never denied this but have expressed it clearly. If something is in me which can be called religious then it is the unbounded admiration for the structure of the world so far as our science can reveal it." Albert Einstien, 1954.

amba

Einstein was not traditionally religious, but he was not exactly an atheist, either. It's not as binary as it's made out to be -- that could be the motto of this blog.

Cedric Katesby

What do scientists think about ID?
Let's find out!
Evolution vs. Creationism: Listen to the Scientists (10min)
www.youtube.com/watch?v=bV4_lVTVa6k

and for something a little more humourous...
Robin Ince on Creationism (3.20min)
www.youtube.com/watch?v=KdocQHsPCNM&mode=related&search=

For those of you who are interested, please check out 'realpc' 's trolling at www.pandasthumb.org
Derailing threads. Spurious arguments. Misquoting James Randi. etc.
The guy has issues.


amba

The guy is a lady, just FYI.

Cedric Katesby

A lady?
Oh. Sorry. :(

Here's a sample of what I meant about the James Randi thing.
She never did answer.
(Despite mutiple drive-by troll posts.)
www.pandasthumb.org/archives/2007/03/lynn_margulis_w.html

"Realpc,
You said in a previous thread…
“Yes Randi has debunked a lot of nonsense. There will never be a shortage of ridiculous paranormal claims. But he goes way beyond the data in saying no paranormal claims can possibly be valid.”

When and where did Randi say this?
Either quote your source or admit you just made it up!
This is about the third time I’ve asked you this question, realpc.
What’s your problem?
Reading comprehension difficulties?"

Realpc, if you're out there, 'fess up!

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