Thank you for visiting our new forum! To start posting again please follow the link below to create a new password. First time forum users please follow the link to register. CFI thanks you for continuing the discussion on evidence-based thinking and humanist values.

Under Humanism because it's about our "human mindscape"

Forums Forums Humanism Under Humanism because it's about our "human mindscape"

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 46 total)
  • Author
  • #308554

    The challenge is clarifying the key difference between Religious Thinking and Scientific Thinking.  Both of which are products of our Human Mindscape.

    It starts with acknowledging that all we see and experience, is through our senses and then processed by our brains to the best of our individual learning & abilities.

    The “Mindscape” is just that, our mind, the product of our body, nerves, brain and all we sense along with our emotions and thoughts.

    Religions are all about our “Mindscape” itself, with it’s constant dialogue and self-story telling and fears, emotions and needs.  Its freedom to poetically tie together whatever it wants.

    It is the realm of the metaphysical thoughts and daydreaming and story telling.  Very important because its those stories that tie humans together and make community and civilization possible.  It’s reflected in our need for getting together and celebrating, often with ritual ceremonies those things that are common to all humans, birth’s, coming of age, marriage, children, witnessing and aging, deaths and repeating those cycles within the constantly changing roles we ourselves live out, as the seasons and decades pass us by.

    Wondering, dreaming, storytelling and creating explanations for feelings and events that naturally evolve into religions.  Religion was among the first things humanity’s Mindscape achieved – there is good reason for that.

    The important thing to appreciate is that science is sort of the same, but different.

    Whereas Religion and Gods were among our earliest achievements, it took thousands and hundreds of thousands of years, if not millions depending on how finely we want to split hairs.  In any event, not until roughly 500 years ago did people’s observational and thinking abilities mature enough to enable us to create science.  Just as humanity created religions.

    But science wasn’t about our inner emotions, insecurities and fear of death.

    Science was, is, about wanting to soberly and objectively understand the physical creation we exist within.

    Science is what happened out of that need.  Personal feelings be damned!

    It seems to me (and I’m waiting for someone to correct me) that science is at its most fundamentally a set of rules and expectations on how to observe and discuss those observations of our natural world.

    Honesty is a fundamental law within the scientific community.

    Openness within that scientific community of learned, competitive, skeptical people looking over each others shoulders is our guarantor.

    The learned have always acknowledged the unreliability of our “Mindscape” that’s why science never speaks in certainties, it speaks in probabilities.

    As for “proofs” – those are reserved for mathematics since nothing in Earth Sciences is ever proven or settled, further learning and refinement of our understanding will always happen and it makes life fun.


    Scientific Proof Is A Myth

    Ethan Siegel Senior Contributor Forbes, November 22, 2017


    You’ve heard of our greatest scientific theories: the theory of … While they provide very strong evidence for those theories, they aren’t proof. In fact, when it comes to science, proving anything is an impossibility. …

    Reality is a complicated place. All we have to guide us, from an empirical point of view, are the quantities we can measure and observe. Even at that, those quantities are only as good as the tools and equipment we use to make those observations and measurements.  …

    We also can’t observe or measure everything…  At some point, we have to extrapolate. This is incredibly powerful and incredibly useful, but it’s also incredibly limiting.

    In order to come up with a model capable of predicting what will happen under a variety of conditions, we need to understand a few things.

    What we’re capable of measuring, and to what precision.
    What’s been measured thus far, under specific initial conditions.
    What laws hold for these phenomena, i.e., what observed relationships exist between specific quantities.
    And what the limits are for the things we presently know.
    If you understand these things, you have the right ingredients to formulate a scientific theory: a framework for explaining what we already know happens as well as predicting what will happen under new, untested circumstances. …


    After this Siegel loses his way a bit by getting lost within our mindscape and then he forgot to make clear that in the final analysis, science is an effort to soberly and honestly understanding how the physical world operates.

    That could have then been worked into mentioning, or perhaps appreciating says it better, that there is a distinct difference between the Map (science) and the Territory (physical reality) worth recognizing.



    Interesting.  I don’t find anything particularly objectionable in there.  I would say, however, that the fundamental nature of science is a method of discovery, which seems to be about what you’re saying there, but you use the word “discuss” instead.  The very reason for the existence of science is not just discussion, it exists to discover, to understand and, yes, emotions be damned.

    Science and religion have very little in common, however.  They don’t even play on the same field.  Any time people try to mix religion with science it always turns out badly.  The reason for this is that they want the religion to guide the science, which is a violation of one of the most fundamental tenants of science, don’t start with a bias.  And, of course, science is completely useless for quantifying religion.  You can give only natural explanations in science, and those explanations have to be testable and based on observation.  If something is unobservable and untestable, as any decent god is, then it is beyond science.  So the two should really never mix unless and until a god comes down and gives us some new tools.


    I’d say that as much of each person’s mindscape is determined by their personality as it is by the education, indoctrination, environment they have been exposed to.

    I grew up in rural Alberta, where ‘Christian’ conservative values are the norm. But a very small minority of us didn’t follow the same path and have a completely different mindscape because we see the world through very different eyes. Our mindscape experienced the same education, indoctrination and environment, but our personalities led us to interpret things in a very different way.

    This innate portion of our mindscapes is unavoidable and leads to a ton of problems,

    How to communicate meaningfully with those who have different personalities, and therefore fundamentally different mindscapes, is the $64,000 question. If my friends are literally incapable of wrapping their mind around concepts that I see as trivially obvious, how can I convince them of anything?


    Science and religion have very little in common, however.

    Except that they are both creations of the human mind, mingled with human experience.  That is something I believe it would be good to recognize, though most like seeing them a distinctly different.

    Science = a set of rules for observation and digesting and learning solid facts from those observations.   There would be no science without massive discussion between informed humans.

    If my friends are literally incapable of wrapping their mind around concepts that I see as trivially obvious, how can I convince them of anything?

    Tru dat!

    A life time of trying to discuss climate science with the faith-blinded has been an exquisitely frustrating and saddening experience.

    Our mindscape experienced the same education, indoctrination and environment, but our personalities led us to interpret things in a very different way.

    Seems to me that would be our individual filters.  At least scientists type recognize the fundamental human bias we all possess – whereas the faith-shackled can only see it in others.


    I don’t think it’s mixing science and religion to say they are similar. It’s the same passion for knowing and the same tendency to look for causes. Science puts the discipline in it, the rigor.


    I am not sure of the value of the term “mindscape”.  You are talking about the composite of all behaviors that our brains are involved in, perceptual behaviors, awareness behaviors, thinking behaviors, narrative creating behaviors, etc.  To come up with a term that encompasses all of that, runs the risk, I think of imagining that the term actually explains something.  It does not.


    But the point I’m really trying to drive home – and that I get the feeling keeps getting missed –

    There is an qualitative difference between the physical reality of existence and the product of our neural network (what our mind’s produce).

    It’s something that’s dismissed without ever giving it a thought –

    I believe it’s key to tackling much of our self created confusion about our place in creation (evolution).


    I couldn’t think of anything better than Mindscape to sum up what our mind and experiences create.

    It compliments Landscape – though I don’t think I’ve ever tried incorporating Landscape in my writing about it, perhaps I should figure out how to.

    Landscape being all the physical reality around us.

    Unless someone can offer a better term for what our mind and experiences creates (before our hands get involved.)


    (That’s weird.  I thought I had responded to this already. I’ll try again.))

    Well, if there is not already a word for it, “Mindscape” is sexy enuf to catch on.


    {Yes, those comments do disappear on us, on occasionally, were you editing it when it happened?}


    Mindscape sums up all our mind and experiences create before our hands get involved.  As opposed to the physical reality it exists within.

    Does that at least make sense?



    Well, to me, all of the firing of patterns of neurons (that comprises the mental experiences) ARE also physical reality.


    If you are going to call everything physical, how do you talk about the imagination?


    If you are going to call everything physical, how do you talk about the imagination?

    Are the ideas that result from neurons communicating via chemical reactions not physical?

    For example, my imaginings of the (sadly) fictional scimitars of Drizzt Do’Urden exist in my brain due to chemical reactions, so that would make them physical… no? Obviously the scimitars aren’t real, but my imagination is.

    I can paint the scimitars, meaning they exist in my mind and on the canvas. I consider the paining and the image in my mind to be equally real.

    Am I out to lunch on how scientists describe mental images? I haven’t read anything on this topic so these are ideas that sprung to mind on the spot. Hopefully you can probably explain if and how I’m wrong.


    3point14rat said,

    I can paint the scimitars, meaning they exist in my mind and on the canvas. I consider the paining and the image in my mind to be equally real.

    Yes, your brain has memory of the pattern presented by scimitars.

    IMO, it’s similar to pixels on a screen. The billions of neurons, each a coordinate in a holographic pattern forming inside the skull.

    David Bohm ; The following article on David Bohm’s Wholeness and Implicate Order is very consistent with the Wave Structure of Matter. That at a fundamental level reality is not made of discrete and separate parts (particles), but One interconnected whole (the Holographic Universe). The Wave Structure of Matter agrees as the following brief summary explains;


    Our brain is able to form a holographic image which allows us to “see”  and internally record the patterns of 3 D objects.

    But the brain can also be fooled into seeing something which is not there. The brain in a vat can only respond to it’s input.


    So, are you saying that imagination is physical?

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 46 total)
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.