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OneGrassRoot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-05-11 08:44 AM
Original message
A Shared Cosmology Could Transform the World
Edited on Wed Jan-05-11 08:44 AM by OneGrassRoot
(The four paragraphs is the article in full; see link for info about authors. I find Tikkun Magazine has very thought-provoking articles. :))

by Nancy Ellen Abrams and Joel R. Primack

Wonderful people, including those associated with Tikkun, are trying to save the world, but many are working within an image of reality that cosmologists have now discovered is fundamentally wrong. For humanity to cooperate enough to solve global problems, we need above all else a shared understanding of reality. Fortunately, at this crucial moment when global problems are escalating and so much is at stake, a scientific revolution is occurring in the branch of astrophysics called "cosmology," the study of the universe as a whole -- its origin, nature, and evolution. This revolution is revealing our true cosmic context.

We have the crucial new knowledge! Earth was not created a few thousand years ago, but neither is it an average planet of an average star in a universe where no place is special, as many scientifically educated people assume. Earth is incredibly special, more so than anyone imagined before recent discoveries of hundreds of other planets orbiting nearby stars. In fact, everything visible to all our scientific instruments -- the stars, planets, dust, nebulae, and all the galaxies -- is less than 1 percent of what's actually out there. Most of the matter in the universe is invisible, non-atomic "dark matter," and most of the density is not matter at all but "dark energy," which powers the expansion of the universe. The dance between dark matter and dark energy dominates the universe; the complex atoms that incarnate us and our entire planet are rare jewels created inside stars and blown out in supernovas to join a forming solar system. We humans all share an identical line of ancestry back past the first cell into supernovas across the galaxy and back to the Big Bang. These and other fundamental discoveries may make it possible to figure out how the universe operates on all size and time scales -- including our own.

Long before science, every tribe shared a "cosmology," that is, a big picture. If we construct a shared cosmology today, based on our best scientific understanding combined with a deep appreciation that in human brains, the sense of reality is created by metaphor, it could transform our minds and thus our world.

Our culture's split between science and human values reflects not reality but just a deal arrived at between scientists and the Catholic Church after the arrest of Galileo. Given the enormous problems confronting us, the modern world can no longer afford to maintain this historical fiction, developing an accurate scientific picture on the one hand, yet on the other being guided in our feelings, philosophies, and views of the future by ancient fantasies that stand in for fact. The universe is One. It's time to reconnect the scientific and the mythic into a science-based appreciation of our place in a meaningful universe. This could solidify the bonds of humankind and provide the grounds for agreement about humanity's long-term future.

http://www.tikkun.org/article.php/winter2011abrams


edit for typo



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deutsey Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-05-11 08:56 AM
Response to Original message
1. This is wonderful! Thanks for posting.
It eloquently expresses what I've been thinking for a while now as I've been processing all these new ways to understand the universe.
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OneGrassRoot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-05-11 08:57 AM
Response to Reply #1
2. You're most welcome!

:hi:

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leveymg Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-05-11 08:58 AM
Response to Original message
3. Tikkun Magazine carries a lot of really interesting thinking. Recommended. Also, check out
Edited on Wed Jan-05-11 09:01 AM by leveymg
this link to some really remarkable photos and commentary by a NASA astronaut aboard the Int'l Space Station: http://triggerpit.com/2010/11/22/incredible-pics-nasa-a...
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OneGrassRoot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-05-11 09:13 AM
Response to Reply #3
5. Awesome! Thanks. :) n/t
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leveymg Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-05-11 09:20 AM
Response to Reply #5
6. Fine companion pieces when we try to take in the really big picture. ;-)
Enjoy!
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Speck Tater Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-05-11 09:03 AM
Response to Original message
4. People who get 2nd class educations don't understand science, and therefore fear it.
Nothing good will happen until everyone gets a good education.
That will only happen when education is well funded.
Funding will come only when the economy is good.

It's a vast, interlocking network of causes and effects that can't be solved by tweaking one simple node in the network. There are a bazillion reasons why the world is in such a mess, and trying to solve it one small problem at a time must inevitably fail. On the other hand, solving it all at once is impossible because we don't fully understand the scope and nature of the interconnections.

Of course we could get a better grasp of the true nature of the problem if we had more scientifically trained people working on it. But where will good scientists come from without good science education? And so the multi-headed snake takes each of its many tails in its own mouths and forms a small piece of the very tangled network that causes the problem to begin with.
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DavidDvorkin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-05-11 12:39 PM
Response to Original message
7. No, it's time to eliminate the mythic
Fuzzy thinking doesn't help.
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leveymg Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-05-11 01:05 PM
Response to Reply #7
8. People are hardwired for myth and ritual. It's at the root of much of our social
and religious behaviors -- recommend "Violence and Mimesis" by Rene Girard -- as well as our impulse to get out of the cave, take risks, and travel into the scary unknown.

Mythic isn't fuzzy logic, it's a structural-functional pattern of social life.
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DavidDvorkin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-05-11 01:35 PM
Response to Reply #8
9. It's the eternal barrier to the advance of civilization.
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leveymg Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-05-11 01:40 PM
Response to Reply #9
10. Perhaps, but it's also the thing that drives us forward despite our better judgment to take risks.
But, we are nothing if not a paradox.
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Delphinus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-06-11 06:14 AM
Response to Reply #9
11. Mythic thinking?
Hmm - I will give some thought to that, but will most likely, in the end, respectfully disagree.
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The Green Manalishi Donating Member (426 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-06-11 08:07 AM
Response to Reply #9
13. "It's the eternal barrier to the advance of civilization" = how true!
".....but neither is it an average planet of an average star in a universe where no place is special, as many scientifically educated people assume..."

best laugh I had all day. Anyone believing that is part of the problem, not the solution.
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SkyDaddy7 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-06-11 07:12 AM
Response to Reply #8
12. I do not agree totally...
"it's a structural-functional pattern of social life." That is because it is taught to children by their parents that their are gods or supernatural beings & miracules, demons, etc.

If we did not teach such things it would not be as widespread...If we truly indoctrinated our children to use their enormously strong abilities to seek answers 7 not just claim the gods did it then things would change!

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