I’m back

I am back from my most recent trip. I had very little Internet access during the trip, so, I have fallen behind with the photos. I should get caught up in the next few days.
Also, I am looking for an apartment.
DaveN

Survey results from 2014Jun

Survey results from 2014Jun survey

Thank you, friends, for responding to my survey. Note the word ‘friends’. There were only a few responders that I don’t know personally, though, I probably recognize their faces. Say ‘hi’ the next time you see me.

Skip down a few posts to see the original survey.

There were 18 replies. Several friends told me that they won’t do the survey. I suppose that is a result in itself. Answering questionaires is a standard part of getting a degree in psychology. Not all questions were answered by all people. Here are the results of this survey:

   Yes  No
Dance  7  10
Meditation  3  15
Military – Yes  4  
   Feel part of Group  2  2
Military – No    
   Group experience  10  4
Transcendent exp  2  14
Coin Flip – correct ans 50/50  17  1 – not sure how to interpret
Spend hours alone  17  none
Read books – added ? too late  3  1
Read Sci-Fi  9  5
Religion  6  12

Occupy – soft/engineer, mgmt, professional, scientific, varied
Doesn’t answer surveys – 2
Willing to answer, but too late 1

Just for comparison, here is how I (DaveN) answered the questions:
Dance – No
Meditation – No
Group experience – No
Transcend – No
Coin flip – 50/50 is the correct answer
Spend hours alone – Yes
Read books – Yes
Read Sci-fi – Yes
Religion – No
Job – engineering/technical

Notice how similar the results are. That is called sampling bias. My friends answered the survey, and surprise, they answered similarly to how I answered. There were several friends who didn’t respond to my survey, but, answered my questions. I tested my questions on Iggy, who gave nearly identical responses to my own, but didn’t answer my survey. Several other friends answered my questions verbally, but didn’t fill in my survey. One friend that I have known for more than 30 years, said that he didn’t answer surveys, so that is an answer in itself. Several other friends have answered my questions but not taken the survey, with rather similar results.

Every person who answered my survey said ‘yes’ to Spend hours alone. I had 4 people who had or still are in the military. Religion 6 yes, 11 no. So, some of my friends have religion to varying degrees.

I was surprised by the dance question. I can dance, but I don’t enjoy doing it for hours, only as something that I would like to be able to do. I have tried meditation more than once, including from a Buddhist monk, but I couldn’t really get into it.

The survey was prompted by my recent reading interests in the sources of morality, the evolution of sociality, and the evolution of religious behavior.

I tried to develop a short list of questions.

I read Hybrids, which mentioned Newberg. Newberg mentioned Ehrenreich. This has been an interest of mine for some time. For instance, I read Wilson’s Sociobiology a long time ago (30 years?). I have also been reading books related to the rise of science; my book group has discussed several books in the area.

Related Books – not in order of enjoyment:

Hybrids (Neanderthal Parallax – book 3) by Robert J. Sawyer. This is the science fiction story that prompted me to develop this survey. The storyline of the book involves actual research, which prompted me to read Newberg.

Dancing in the streets: A history of collective Joy by Barbara Ehrenreich.
She speaks of ecstatic ritual, which covers several of the questions.

Why God Won’t Go Away: Brain Science and the Biology of Belief by Andrew Newberg Md, Eugene G. D’Aquila, Vince Rouse … This book goes into the areas of the brain involved in religious belief. This is where I got the meditation, coin flip and transcendence questions. They mention Ehrenreich’s dancing book, which prompted me to read it.

Primates and Philosophers: How morality evolved by Franz de Waal, Macedo et al – cute little monkeys and chimpanzees

Stories from the Twilight Zone by Rod Serling – Sci-Fi – The Fever is a story about a man and a slot machine.

The Tell Tale Brain: A Neuroscientist’s Quest for What Makes Us Human by VS Ramachandran – discusses mirror neurons among other things.

Answers for Aristotle: How science and philosophy can lead us to a more meaningful … by Massimo Pigliucci

Sense and Goodness without God by Richard Carrier – philosopher

Self Comes to Mind: Constructing the Conscious Brain by Antonio Damasio – neuroscience

Frankenstein by Mary Wollstoncroft Shelley – what makes us human?

The Righteous Mind: Why Good People are Divided by Politics and Religion by Jonathan Haidt – why do we make choices the way we do? I also saw him, recently, on a TED talk. The topic was approaching catastrophes.

The Closing of the Western Mind: The Rise of Faith and the Fall of Reason by Charles Freeman – historical account of the rise of European Christianity and the fall of thinking, before the European Renaissance. This is a history of Europe and the Middle East only.

History of the Conflict Between Religion and Science by John William Draper. A historical account covering the same general areas as The Closing of the Western Mind.

Braintrust: What Neuroscience Tells Us About Morality – motor neurons etc. She presents it from the philosoper’s perspective
Touching a Nerve: The Self as Brain. – No soul there.
by Patricia S. Churchland – philosopher

Sex and God: How Religion Distorts Sexuality by Darrel Ray (who puts on some great picnics) – Not that closely related, but, I like the book and the picnics. Sex is natural, and religion can really mess it up.

The Descent of Man and Selection in Relation to Sex (approx 1871) by Charles Darwin – haven’t read this one yet, but I keep reading references to it. Free on Kindle.

Why Religion is Natural and Science is Not by Robert N. McCauley – science is not intuitive, but religion is. It takes effort to actually understand quantum mechanics, while imputing agency to random events is something that humans do quite easily.

The Trouble with Science by Robin Dunbar – “One of the most alarming manifestations of this ambivalence toward science …” loc. 77 ‘Only when our rules of thumb no longer work, do we engage in the often difficult business of empirical science.’ loc 1437 Includes British and American attitudes toward science and tries to analyze why.

The Social Conquest of Earth by Edward O. Wilson – eusociality, Wilson is an entomologist. In recent years, he has used his knowledge of social insects to look at primates and humans. His early work was SocioBiology, which upset quite a few people, since it impinges on the issues discussed in this survey.

The Future of the Mind: The Scientific Quest to Understand, Enhance and Empower the Mind by Michio Kaku

The Dragons of Eden: Speculations on the Evolution of Human Intelligence by Carl Sagan

———-
If you want to comment on the survey, use the comment button, just below this post. This is a mediated site, so, it may take a while to see your comment posted.

DaveN

Preliminary survey results

I sent out about 58 personal emails. So, far, I have come to the conclusion that the results are tending to be similar i.e. biased. Not surprising. The selecting factor, is that the personal emails were sent to my friends. Thank you, my friends.

So, I have posted on P&P and Skeptics, larger groups. Many are friends, some, I don’t even know. This should provide a better spread, though I suspect that most of the answers will be roughly the same.

I will merge all of the results together.

DaveN

Please fill in my survey

Please fill in my survey and in a week or so, I will tell you the results and why I am asking these questions.

Please copy paste the form and mail it to me at davidneises@yahoo.com or leave a copy/pasted message as a comment to this post.

Do you dance for hours? i.e. dance all night, really love dancing etc.

Do you meditate regularly?

If you have been in the military?
Yes
When you were marching, did you feel like you were part of a group, after a while? Really felt like you were part of a team.
No
Have you been a member of a choir or some other group, band etc?

Have you had any transcendent experiences, such as Near Death, out of body, visitations ?

If I flip a coin, get tails, flip a coin, get tails 20 times in a row, always tails. What will I get on the next fair coin toss?

Do you enjoy gambling? Slot machines especially. Do you have a system?

I can be alone for hours?

Do you enjoy reading science fiction?

Are you:
Very religious?
Somewhat religious?
Neither here nor there?
Definitely not religious?
Never?

What sort of work do you / did you do?
Hospitality (waiter, etc)
Engineering/technical
Scientific
Management
Professional such as doctor or lawyer
Other

I should be able to get back with results in a week or less. Hopefully, I will get enough returns for meaningfull results.

I will post the results, along with explanation in about a week.

The camground next to Chaco Canyon, 2014May01

The camground next to Chaco Canyon, 2014May01
My van is down there somewhere. Looks kinda small.  Oh! There's my van
My van is down there somewhere. Looks kinda small. Oh! There’s my van
In perspective  Walking on the trail on the mesa above the campground
In perspective. Walking on the trail on the mesa above the campground
Going for a walk - looking NW  Fajada Butte from overlook
Going for a walk – looking NW. Fajada Butte from overlook
Fajada Butte  Looking down
Fajada Butte. Looking down
The trail  Going back to the campground
The trail. Going back to the campground
Home  My spot
Home. My spot
Looking northwest
Looking northwest

Chaco Canyon by Brian Fagan

The book is Chaco Canyon by Brian Fagan. It is the achaeology and history of the Chaco Canyon area of New Mexico. Chaco Canyon is now a national park.
Another interesting, related book, is Floods, Famines and Emperors: El Nino and the Fate of Civilizations, also by Brian Fagan. Chapter 9 is about Chaco Canyon, but, more from a climate perspective. The first few chapters and chapter 9 give a more climatology oriented assesment of the Chaco climate. The occupation ended when the climate changed to a 50 year drought. When it got wetter, Chaco Canyon had been abandoned.
It was rediscovered, then dug up, much later.

Chaco Canyon, NM 2014May

Chaco Canyon, NM 2014May
20 mile dirt road  Room service
60 mile paved road, then a 20 mile dirt road, then when I thought all was lost, a sign

main entrance  heritage site
The main entrance with a sign saying it is a heritage sight
visitor center
The visitor center
Hungo Pavi  Hungo Pavi
Hungo Pavi  Hungo Pavi
Hungo Pavi

wall with posts  van hiding behind dirt
Hungo Pavi wall with posts, The wooden posts can be used to date the building rather precisely. My van hiding behind dirt; just blending in.
Chetro Ketl is out there  Pueblo Bonito
Chetro Ketl is out there somewhere and the start of Pueblo Bonito
Pueblo Bonito  Pueblo Bonito
Pueblo Bonito

Plaque  Pueblo Bonito
Pueblo Bonito  Pueblo Bonito
Pueblo Bonito
Overlook of Pueblo Bonito  Overlook of Pueblo Bonito
Overlook of Pueblo Bonito
Overlook of Pueblo Bonito
Overlook of Pueblo Bonito

Overlook of Pueblo Bonito<br />
  Pueblo Bonito
Pueblo Bonito  Pueblo Bonito
Pueblo Bonito
Overlook of Pueblo Bonito  Overlook of Pueblo Bonito
Overlook of Pueblo Bonito
Overlook of Pueblo Bonito
Overlook of Pueblo Bonito

Living quarters<br />
  An old wall
An old wall  holding up an old wall
holding up an old wall  Pueblo Bonito from the cliff side
Living quarters, an old wall and holding up an old wall, Pueblo Bonito from the cliff side
North West corner of Pueblo Bonito
North West corner of Pueblo Bonito

North West corner of Pueblo Bonito  Inside Pueblo Bonito
North West corner of Pueblo Bonito and Inside pueblo Bonito
a wall  Looking back
A wall and looking back
a kiva  a kiva
a kiva
A kiva

moving on  Inside Pueblo Bonito
moving on and modern occupant
center of the main plaza  Another kiva, notice the bench along the inner edge
Center of the main plaza and another kiva, notice the bench along the inner edge
same kiva  a kiva
Same kiva and main plaza

Just outside Pueblo Bonito  looking in
Just outside Pueblo Bonito and a view looking in

from the outside  heading back (forward in time)
looking back from the outside and heading back (forward in time)

heading back  My van patiently hiding and waiting for me
heading back and My van patiently hiding and waiting for me

KOA at Grants, NM

KOA at Grants, NM
KOA at Grants, NM  Room service
KOA at Grants, NM and room service. Dinner and pie for desert.

View of Flagstaff from Lowell Observatory Apr2014

View of Flagstaff from Lowell Observatory Apr2014
Flagstaff from Lowell  Flagstaff from Lowell
Flagstaff from Lowell
Flagstaff, AZ from Lowell Observatory

Lowell Observatory, Flagstaff, AZ 2014Apr

Lowell Observatory, Flagstaff, AZ 2014Apr
Hiding the van behind some trees  Main Entrance
The van is hiding at the main entrance to Lowell Observatory near Flagstaff, AZ
Meteorite  Blur of children in front of meteorite on a school trip
Meteorite and a blur of children on a school trip.
Exhibit room  Exhibit room
Exhibit room
Exhibit room - detecting black holes  detecting black holes
Exhibit room and detecting black holes. They use light deflection.
gravity wells exhibit  Chandra X-ray satellite
gravity wells exhibit and model of Chandra X-ray satellite
Sundial
Sundial
Old telescope was being moved. Cracked mirror. Cheaper to replace.  Old telescope was being moved. Cracked mirror. Cheaper to replace.
Old telescope was being moved. Cracked mirror. Cheaper to replace.

Up to Clarke telescope  Sign from Japan
Up to Clarke telescope and Sign from Japan

Tribute to Percival Lowell identical to same in Japan  Percival Lowell Mausoleum
Tribute to Percival Lowell identical to same in Japan and Percival Lowell Mausoleum

Inscription on Mausoleum  Inscription on Mausoleum
Inscription on Mausoleum

Dome for the 24 inch refractor  observing chair
Dome for the 24 inch refractor and observing chair
It's not there. They are working on the telescope nearby.  Inside the dome.
It’s not there. They are working on the telescope nearby. Inside the dome

Start of Pluto tour  Exhibits inside the large museum dome
Start of Pluto tour and Exhibits inside the large museum dome

Exhibits inside the large museum dome.  Clock work for a telescope.
Exhibits inside the large museum dome. Clock work for a telescope.

Blink.  Blink device used to discover Pluto.
Blink device used to discover Pluto. You quickly switch back and forth between two images looking for movement. Pluto is a spot that moved between blinks.

Pluto tour.  Pluto walk
Pluto tour and walk
View from Pluto walk.  Pluto walk
View from Pluto walk and walk
Pluto walk.  Pluto stuff
Pluto stuff
Telescope dome.  Telescope used to discover Pluto
Dome and Telescope used to discover Pluto
Clock work on telescope used to discover Pluto.  So that you don't bang your head in the dark
Clock work on telescope used to discover Pluto and Boxing glove so that you don’t bang your head in the dark

Snow against one of the buildings.
Snow against one of the buildings