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RECENT POSTS IN THIS TOPIC

Dan Pitkow: on 6/4/14 at 20:41pm UTC, wrote Peter: Thank you for your encouraging comments. I appreciate you taking...

Dan Pitkow: on 6/4/14 at 20:34pm UTC, wrote Israel: Thank you for your comments. I will check out your essay as well....

Peter Jackson: on 5/26/14 at 17:30pm UTC, wrote Dan, Great essay. Really glad I got to it in time. I can't give a point...

Israel Perez: on 5/20/14 at 4:17am UTC, wrote Dear Dan Just to let you know that I read your essay. I think it is...

Vladimir Rogozhin: on 5/16/14 at 20:02pm UTC, wrote Dear Dan, I read with great interest your deep analytical essays in the...

Dan Pitkow: on 5/13/14 at 23:32pm UTC, wrote Thank you for your comments. I fully agree that perhaps the main challenge...

James Dunn: on 5/3/14 at 23:04pm UTC, wrote Religions base their faith in the words of ancient men. Unchanging words...

Joe Fisher: on 5/1/14 at 16:20pm UTC, wrote Dear Mr. Pitkow, Your abstractions filled essay is superbly written and I...


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FQXi FORUM
October 23, 2019

CATEGORY: How Should Humanity Steer the Future? Essay Contest (2014) [back]
TOPIC: Towards the Second Copernician Revolution by Dan Pitkow [refresh]
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Author Dan Pitkow wrote on Apr. 24, 2014 @ 16:22 GMT
Essay Abstract

Humanity faces great challenges, and must forge a new global unifying cohesiveness. I suggest that the common factor between explanatory systems (religious, tradition, theoretical science) is that at their core, they all have unstated foundational assumptions and, as such, are faith based practices. This community can help steer the future by leading this understanding, focusing on our similarities instead of the differences.

Author Bio

Dan Pitkow studied Classics at the University of New Hampshire and later law at University of Pittsburgh. My main interest is in the similarity of human experience as expressed though literature, and later, through Asian practices like meditation and yoga. I have always been interested in narratives of unifying theories, and the neuroscience of perception. believing that when taken metaphorically, they have more in common, then when taken literally. I have traveled extensively for extended periods of time, and am now an entrepreneur.

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Michael Allan wrote on Apr. 25, 2014 @ 04:04 GMT
Hello Dan, May I offer a short, but sincere critique of your essay? I would ask you to return the favour. Here's my policy on that. - Mike

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John Brodix Merryman wrote on Apr. 25, 2014 @ 18:28 GMT
Dan,

That is a rather refreshing read. I am also of the opinion our imagination has played fast and loose with the evidence and while the results can be fascinating, they can also be frustrating.

If I may, I would like to add one more anthropocentric assumption to your list. I've made this observation in previous FQXI contests and raised it many times on the forums, but it gets...

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Author Dan Pitkow replied on Apr. 28, 2014 @ 21:31 GMT
John:

Thank you for your comments. I follow your description of quantifying time, and it makes sense.

In general, I just reject the idea of time as defined by our perspective. I think that the claim that time is based on the earth / sun local system is fundamentally flawed.

If the idea and goal of Science is to quantify and explain the external reality, then how can we base the narrative on a biased perspective?

I fully agree the the community in general is hostile to ideas like this, as they have a vested interest in controlling the narrative. The appearance of "certainty," even if wrong, is safer, terra firma, so to speak.

Since, as you note, the true description has to take into consideration too many variables, the idea, gets dismissed, or worse, categorized / quantified as "dark," lol.

Dan

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John Brodix Merryman replied on Apr. 28, 2014 @ 22:32 GMT
Dan,

Keep in mind that our minds work sort of like a funnel, as we 'process' lots of information though the sphere of our perception and this applies to how society functions as well. Consider that the "month' was originally the cycle of the moon, about 28 days. Yet because it just makes things complicated for planning holidays and such, the powers that be, a long time ago, pasted on a few extra days, here and there, to make them be units of the year. Controlling the narrative is what defines the community. We are the story.

Occasionally though it has to reset.

Regards,

John

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Joe Fisher wrote on May. 1, 2014 @ 16:20 GMT
Dear Mr. Pitkow,

Your abstractions filled essay is superbly written and I do hope that it does well in the competition.

You wrote: “I suggest that the new unifying theory can be based on the open recognition that all explanatory systems have unstated foundational assumptions at their core, that all are to some degree, faith based practices.

May I humbly present a unifying...

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James Dunn wrote on May. 3, 2014 @ 23:04 GMT
Religions base their faith in the words of ancient men. Unchanging words dedicated to Faith. The purpose is NOT to evolve.

Science in religious terms studies the Works of God and attempts to remove the influences of humans; i.e. scientific process.

Religion values the words of men, over the works of God.

So there is in-congruence: Religion is a static work of men, and Science evolves to more closely understand the Works of God.

Religious works are intentionally vague. Scientific works attempt to be concise and specific.

Religions believe in a being in the likeness of men. Science accepts that thare are potentially other civilizations that are so evolved we would not be able to know the difference between their collective conscious and God.

Religions give characteristics unworthy of a deity. Science continues to work diligently with no expectation to what will be found.

Religious peoples claim to know God, when they cannot know the difference between God and Satan.

The irrational acceptance of religious artifacts produced by men, over the actual evaluations of the works of God, make me believe that the fundamentally common features are so fluid and quite often irrational, that an effort to placate the two would result in extreme defensive posturing. Fundamentalists going to war for no useful reason.

Pseudo-religious leaders taking control of government to corruptly control vast resources and opportunities. Science being harmed by a profiteering mafia.

The emotional and social issues need to be considered also, not just the logical side you allude to. Religious people are generally not logical about the foundations of their religious beliefs. Scientists are not logical about the limits of their use of mathematics (limits and constraints). Both Religion and Science tend to refuse to admit to their limitations.

I do think you are in-general moving in a useful direction.

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Author Dan Pitkow replied on May. 13, 2014 @ 23:32 GMT
Thank you for your comments.

I fully agree that perhaps the main challenge with, not just religion, is a literal and materialistic interpretation of anything. Other commentators, such as Joseph Campbell an Emmet Fox, have argued, and I agree, that religious literature should be interpreted metaphorically, not literally.

The challenge is to get people to develop enough self awareness to see this view.

As of now, at its fundamental level, "scientific" explanatory stories share this myopic (and possibly projected) human perspective. I suggest that this community can take a lead in pushing humanity forward, by categorizing their own assumptions as similar to faith based assumptions, instead of adopting what the fundamentalists do: I'm right, you're wrong.

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Vladimir Rogozhin wrote on May. 16, 2014 @ 20:02 GMT
Dear Dan,

I read with great interest your deep analytical essays in the spirit of the Cartesian doubt, and the specific program of action on all fronts. I particularly liked and I totally agree with you:

«I suggest that one way for humanity to steer the future is to intentionally establish a new cohesive global philosophy to address our fundamental challenges of income disparity,...

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Israel Perez wrote on May. 20, 2014 @ 04:17 GMT
Dear Dan

Just to let you know that I read your essay. I think it is interesting and we have some points in common.

You say: I suggest that one way for humanity to steer the future is to intentionally establish a new cohesive global philosophy to address our fundamental challenges of income disparity, disappearing natural

resources and environmental degradation.

I agree with this statement.

On the other hand, I noticed some misunderstandings. You said: Numbers and mathematics as a symbolic structure to describe reality took root in 1687 with the publication of Sir Isaac Newton's Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy.

Not at all, the roots to describe reality with mathematics comes from the greeks more than 2500 years ago. Newton is the father of modern science and Galileo the father of the scientific method.

Also you say: And assuming that our local system is rotating in a similar fashion around the center of the Milky Way (which we have not quantified yet), and that perhaps the Milky way is rotating around some unknown

center.

We already know that our solar system rotates around the galaxy and we also know that the Galaxy is approaching other galaxies of the local group.

You also mention: Because the need for survival (the concrete) is stronger...

I think Darwinism does not apply to all humans, specially to rich people. They do not have to work to survive, they have enough money to live their lives without worrying about working. Since they don't worry about this, they have different worries.

Finally, I'd like to invite you to read my essay, I'm sure you will find it interesting.

Good luck in the contest!

Best regards

Israel

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Author Dan Pitkow replied on Jun. 4, 2014 @ 20:34 GMT
Israel:

Thank you for your comments. I will check out your essay as well.

I wanted to clarify a little:

~I understand math was first used 2500 years ago, and also experienced a leap when the concept of "0" was introduced. But it was not until Newton that it provided a competing theory to Religious narrative in terms of creation, and this is what i am referring to. We should not that the vast majority of people on the planet still reject math"in favor of Religion.

~Regarding the solar system rotating, etc, we have not in fact quantified this. We have an "understanding," but my point here is that we have not to date quantified it.

~I disagree about your point with Darwinism. I think it applies to rich people. The competition may take on the form of money, status and ideas, but the same general principle applies.

Dan

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Peter Jackson wrote on May. 26, 2014 @ 17:30 GMT
Dan,

Great essay. Really glad I got to it in time. I can't give a point for each good element I agreed with as they ran into the teens. I also liked your direct and easy to read organisation and style. I hope I can persuade you to read mine, which I hope may represent a big step to proving;...

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Author Dan Pitkow replied on Jun. 4, 2014 @ 20:41 GMT
Peter:

Thank you for your encouraging comments. I appreciate you taking the time to read mine, and I will check out yours. It is a long haul, challenging the status quo, but in a sense these arguments have been made before, and humanity "storms the beach," so to speak, slowly, overlong periods of time. There is no doubt my mind that 'certainty' plays a huge role in our 'progress,' even if at the expense of objective accuracy. I'd live to come back in a 1,000 or 10,000 years see where we are, if at all.

Dan

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