Abrahamic traditions gave rise to great temples, cathedrals and mosques! Paintings! Music! Literature! All these achievements began in the minds and imaginations of Homo sapiens. Stories, handed down from generation to generation, changed over time by accident or on purpose, came to this century with little evidence that any of it actually happened. The stories are myths, legends, folk tales, and sagas, told verbally at first, and then written into documents named "sacred". Religion is a construct based on illusions. 

Basilique Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Chartres offers one example of the great accomplishment that com from the minds of humans in response to a belief. 

Asian traditions tell of Kuan Yin who "heard the cries of the world" with stories of her intervention in the lives of suffering people. 

Ancient African traditions engendered notions of living in balance. 

Ancient Australian Creation Beings created people, the landscape, and aspects of the environment, such as the creation of red, yellow or white pigments. They did not believe in animalism, even as they had faith in these mystical creatures. 

If these legends existed, created in the minds of mere humans, then Homo sapiens can figure out a way to restore balance to the natural order of things in this chaotic world. In order to correct the dreadful economic condition brought on by fallacious thinking of world leaders about how to conduct our economic lives, we have to imagine better ways.  If we want to take on the challenge of global climate change, we have to think in a new paradigm. We can no longer see the Earth as something to have dominion over, to use up, and as a deposit for our waste products. We have to devise ways to survive and thrive in a new normal.  

We need a new narrative, one based on reality, with understanding about cause and effect. We can no longer rely on fables and fabrications to guide us in our daily lives. We need sound, critical thinking based on tested means to an end. 


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Comment by tom sarbeck on August 22, 2014 at 9:53pm

Joan, thanks for the videos. I hope to visit the new Exploratorium soon.

An atheist chum here dislikes America's predatory capitalism more than I do.

Even after I explained employee ownership, he said he wants to return to a barter economy.

I told him to get real but used too many words to do it.

Comment by Joan Denoo on August 22, 2014 at 7:30pm

Tom, and Loren, you are talking about chaos theory; the behavior of dynamic systems with small changes making wildly different outcomes. That what we are seeing now is a dynamic system that looks chaotic but has a pattern to it that is unpredictable. i.e. the economic system, and the weather changes, being caused by human activity. 

OK, however, being in balance may include the collapse of the nation's and the world's economic systems with out of control laissez faire capitalism, and the loss of life as we know it with CO2 emissions. 

Chaotic Pendulum

Double Pendulum Chaos Light Writing (computer simulation) 1


Comment by kathy: ky on August 22, 2014 at 1:24pm
Well Joan I've got the challenging those who impose their beliefs on others covered. At least here. In this tiny place l don't hesitate to tell the religiouswho come kknocking that I'm an atheist. Or anyone else who cares to ask.
Comment by Joan Denoo on August 22, 2014 at 11:16am

Loren, I love your observations. Right on! There is a reason to be optimistic with all the great minds and dedicated people seeking to make this planet a better place, instead of using it up and throwing it away. To Carl Sagan and Neil deGrasse Tyson, and Don Herbert, I will add Carolyn Porco, 

Your memories of Chicago's Museum of Science and Industry undoubtedly influenced you and your interests. We need more of these kinds of facilities for your youngsters. What we really need are more children standing at the elbows of they dads as the build house, install plumbing and electricity, and sewer systems. 

I am so very happy that my great-grandchildren live in the country and have to pitch in when the sewer plugs, or the electricity goes out, or the house catches on fire. They are right there when these things happen, especially with their mom, dad, grandma and grandpa being part of the volunteer fire district. They also are present during the slaughter of animals, the growing of food, and preparation for winters. The best education in the world, and they have a respect for the food they eat and the sacrifice of animals for their nourishment. I guess that is why they don't like meat all that much. HOORAY! 

 "Conjunction Junction, what's your function?"

Your statement is exactly what we need, EMPHASIS! 



Comment by Joan Denoo on August 22, 2014 at 11:00am

Tom, a very fair and appropriate challenge. Yes, I do have some ideas of what needs to be done. !. Get money out of politics. 

2. Get religion out of government. 

3. Convert from power to corporations to worker ownership of profits. 

4. Enforce laws against discrimination, nepotism, human rights. 

5. Pass Equal Rights Amendment. 

6. Acknowledge thinking as a high value. 

7. Support ecological, sustainable, renewable practices. 

8. Celebrate being an atheist.

9. Challenging those who impose beliefs on others. 

10. Acknowledge that Homo sapiens are apes that evolved from slime. 

Well, that is a start, I can sketch out more details if you want. If these are my goals, the processes necessary to achieve them, personally, is to 

a. identify the problem.

b. state goals. 

c. explore options. 

d. choose an option that has the highest probability of success. 

e. evaluate outcome. If what I am doing works, keep doing it. If not, try options 2, 3, 4 until something works. 

f. Celebrate each victory along the way! 

Comment by Loren Miller on August 22, 2014 at 5:16am

Part of that "new" narrative is already with us, particularly in the work and words of Carl Sagan with his original series, Cosmos, and the brilliant follow-up which Neil deGrasse Tyson recently brought us.  I'm also reminded of Don Herbert, better known to some of us as "Mr. Wizard," and the early introduction to science he brought to many of us as children.

I am also reminded of a favorite place I had growing up: Chicago's Museum of Science and Industry, which to me was a playground of what things were and how they worked and very frequently giving its visitors the ability to manipulate and observe and initiate causes to see reactions.

Are there songs written to science and order?  Hell, yes!  Ever watch Schoolhouse Rock, with its lessons about math, science, history and English?  "Conjunction Junction, what's your function?"  Now tell me at least some of you aren't grinning and hearing that in your head as you read it, I dare you!

There are probably a lot of other elements I could think of, but the point is that the narrative at least has a start with things we already know.  Perhaps what is needed is emphasis.

Comment by tom sarbeck on August 22, 2014 at 1:13am

Joan, I see pictures of cathedrals built centuries ago and I too wonder at the awesome labors delusions can inspire. I reckon the laborers were being paid in some way.

Your words above -- ...we have to imagine better ways -- reminded me that when I and a man I knew were doing water/land politics in Arizona, people occasionally asked us to name better ways to do what we were criticizing.

I want to ask you to do the same: identify some of the better ways.

As for restoring balance to the natural order of things, I'm imagining the device I saw when I last visited the Exploratorium in San Franciscso. It was a large pendulum with maybe 8 or 10 much shorter pendulums attached to it. They were all swinging, and the swinging of each one modified the swinging of all the others.

The swinging looked chaotic to viewers but physics teachers would say the system had a balance that 8 or 10 mathematical equations would predict.

Methinks the world's chaos has a kind of balance. People's actions -- everything from wars to reforms and what people do in response to those actions -- change the balance but don't throw the world out of balance.

Your thoughts?



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