Tribes and Allies Gather to Protect the Sacred: the Environment

Tribes and Allies Gather to Protect the Sacred: the Environment

ACTION ALERT — January 21, 2013

Indigenous Nations from across the United States and Canada and their Allies will converge at the Yankton Sioux Reservation, South Dakota for a historical event, “Gathering to Protect the Sacred From the Tar Sands and Keystone XL.”  Taking place January 23rd-25th, 2013, this event will be held at the Ft. Randall Hotel and Casino, 38538 South Dakota Highway 46, Pickstown, SD, 57356.


Exploring the poison found between science, religion, and now politics

It is such a reoccurring theme as to be a candidate as a principle of “human psychological behavior.

I continually bring it to the attention of readers because it is so pervasive in all that we humans do. It goes like this:

People see in the information that which matches their model.

We see it again in Keith Kloor’s Discovery Magazine article “The Poisoned Debates between Science, Politics, and Religion.” Here is a link to the full article:

Keith cites multiple examples of how a group’s model of something, like  God, governance (played out in politics), or science causes people to see in the information, that which matches the  group’s model. This is perhaps a leading cause “poison” in human reasoning.

Being critical of activist atheists  Richard Dawkins and Jerry Coyne, Keith states that in their exuberant rejection of religion, they attend to only a narrow segment of the religious community and their behavior:

The other big argument waged by a vocal group of prominent scientists involves the assertion that science is incompatible with religion… What’s more, an argument that lumps together the Taliban, the Dali Lama, and Jesus strikes me as rather simplistic. The atheists who frequently disparage religion for all its faults don’t dare acknowledge that it has any redeeming value, or that it provides some meaning for those who can’t (or aren’t yet ready) to derive existential meaning from reason alone.

Keith goes on to report  the criticism of Peter Higgs:

What Dawkins does too often is to concentrate his attack on fundamentalists. But there are many believers who are just not fundamentalists. Fundamentalism is another problem. I mean, Dawkins in a way is almost a fundamentalist himself, of another kind.”

 Higgs points is pointing out here out that himself demonstrates the fundamentalist tenancies that  Dawkins is so critical of.

The fact that one recognizes and identifies this principle, does not give any leverage in escaloping the principle. That of course, applies to this author too.

Evidence that is can stand as a principle.

Astronomers Estimate That There at least 100 Billion Planets In the Galaxy

Science News article: Planets Abound: Astronomers Estimate That at Least 100 Billion Planets Populate the Galaxy

“There’s at least 100 billion planets in the galaxy — just our galaxy,” says John Johnson, assistant professor of planetary astronomy at Caltech and coauthor of the study, which was recently accepted for publication in the Astrophysical Journal. “That’s mind-boggling.”

From Science News Article:

This article  illustrates that the journey–and the scientific scenario–that Galileo helped kick off continues to this day. The scenario is as follows. When scientists put a device between themselves and that which is being observed it prompts an update in the models that make up a discipline of science.


Picture Published in article

In the case of this article, the new measurement device is Kepler space telescope. Being is space, the telescope changes the perspective of the observation. The output of the device has a clarity that earth-based telescopes do not have.

When scientists make new observations and change models, it can cause “definitional dissonance” to some people. I saw an example of this in interesting factoid in the book “A Little History of Science” by William Bynum. In addition to upsetting the worldview held by the Catholic church, there was an even more basic reaction to the telescope itself. William reported  that people did not trust what was coming out of Galileo’s telescope.

They used denial as a means of alleviating their definitional dissonance.

But what this article illustrates the model of human behavior as “definers.” To view human knowledge without looking at all three elements–the observed, the observer, and the instruments used in the observation– one working with an incomplete model.

Understanding that this principle applies to two of human’s major efforts to understand the universe around us–science and religion–is vital when exploring the gap between the two.