mr jones it's a poo day

  1. 1,799 Posts.
    Mr Jones, I appreciate your genuine thoughts as well as the Stephen Hawking analysis. Aside from seeing him on tv I have little understanding of his views.

    However, when you say “And I would suggest that the high percentage of public school kids that are functionally illiterate (30-40% in vic?) is because they have never had good lashings of rote learning.”......... I would say that rote learning is the root cause. For a few decades there was this “Look Say” method promoted which works well for many but does not have the understanding skills of the “Phonetic Method”. Hence we see a return to this method for some children to facilitate the sounding out of words that can then be matched to oral/aural vocabulary. Even though the sounds and patterns can be rote taught in an interesting manner children can grasp the understanding for this more easily. This points to the need to realise that students have different modes of effective learning. But then the word “education” means simply to bring out AND not as you say “good lashings of rote learning” shoved in.

    One of the problems with rote learning is this conforming attitude that may require your thorough blind faith in the content. It also connotes that knowledge is a finite and unalterable product without bias. More concerning is that it places a limited faith in the learner’s capacity to make worthwhile decisions. It is not surprising then to get situations exactly like this ...... Just when it seems Stephen Hawking is saying something he is assaulted from all directions by these systems people who come with their impressive qualifications that make us assume without any doubt that they are the necessary experts in the field. It seems that highly qualified systems people will only be experts on inventing or defining systems. These systems will of necessity follow the cosmological argument ...... full stop. But we also get the bizarre situation of scientists who have earned their high reputation through expertly studying cause and effect and thus demonstrating a belief in causality then in obvious conflict seeking to persuade others that some effects may not have material causes. Perplexing to say the least.

    But it seems that what Stephen Hawking is able to imagine is something else.
    "So long as the universe had a beginning, we could suppose it had a creator [the cosmological argument]. But if the universe is really completely self- contained, having no boundary or edge, it would have neither beginning nor end: it would simply be. What place, then, for a creator?"(pp. 140- 1).

    He refers to a universe that would simply be ..... which is in most respects the infinite universe I tend to refer to....and hence we are talking about an environment rather than some sort of system. This universe is also where numbers go from zero to infinitity in both directions and can only be positive. ie There are no negative numbers to be concerned with.

    As mere mortals we will probably never be able to find the proof nor comprehend infinity. But what we probably can understand is evolution flowing from the idea that whatever happens to a thing is a result of the infinite variety of matter in motion within and without. As a form of complex life we naturally think how miraculous this is, cannot be an accident, are we alone, etc, etc. This then raises the questions .... were we created or did we evolve miraculously like everything else? Perhaps, for a moment, our understanding of causality can prepare an answer. Because we spend our lives continually immersed in cause and effect situations we hold fast to a belief in causalty. But when we cannot continue to seek answers, sometimes because there are none that we can prove or we want to remain ignorant, we tend to say that some effects may not have material causes. For this reason I go with determinism and on the balance of probabilities I’m prepared to assume that we evolved miraculously like everything else. It would be an even more extraordinary notion to the point of pure absurdity that life was somehow created separately from evolution and then allowed to evolve or even quite absurdly never evolve.

    Another approach would be to attack the notion of an infinite creator which would need a redefinition of our concept of universe. ie I think enough said already. I’m now going to spend the day spreading a truck load of chook poo around these kalamatas and frantoios. The poo is up and steady. In fact it's an all round poo day.

    cheers ... keiran

    Snooker, just list some Jewish architects and one or two buildngs/structures of merit. No big deal. Just thought you could easily rattle off a string of examples. All major cultures have something architecturally distinctive to offer. I also personally appreciate the bedouine tent.... brilliant ecological design.
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