Can the God be a "Conscious Earth"?

Discuss philosophical questions regarding theism (and atheism), and discuss religion as it relates to philosophy. This includes any philosophical discussions that happen to be about god, gods, or a 'higher power' or the belief of them. This also generally includes philosophical topics about organized or ritualistic mysticism or about organized, common or ritualistic beliefs in the existence of supernatural phenomenon.
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Re: Can the God be a "Conscious Earth"?

Post by Steve3007 » September 1st, 2017, 5:57 am

Greta:
I love science but it does has its idiot side, which largely pertains to consciousness, and foolishness stemming from 19th century materialism. Thus, when Jane Goodall reported her chimp findings her work was airily dismissed because only humans have personalities or emotions [sic].
I don't see any obvious strong connection between 19th Century Materialism and our species prejudice which makes us tend to think, despite the evidence, that we alone possess various mental characteristics. Surely, if anything, Materialism would tend to suggest equality between species wouldn't it? Doesn't this species prejudice manifest itself most obviously in metaphysical concepts like the idea of an immortal soul (which only humans possess [sic])?
Consider the blinkered obtuseness needed to maintain such a view, contrary to every single scrap of evidence available both then or now! While materialism was a reactionary response to reign in competing claims bring with a refusal to believe anything without evidence, it seems that people of the day were still influenced by theism's laser anthropocentric focus.
Doesn't that suggest that it's theism's "laser anthropocentric focus", and not the materialism that countered it, that set up the conditions for resisting research results which demonstrate our mental similarities with other great apes?
Even today there is a widely held view that humans are not actually a legitimate part of the planet, rather a cancer or a parasite...
I think this is a different issue: the danger of using value-judgement words in this context. In this case, the word "legitimate". If there are any useful insights to be gained in drawing parallels between cancers or viruses within organisms and humans as part of the Earth, then I see nothing wrong with that. It's only wrong if it's not a sufficiently accurate analogy to be useful. The problem, as I see it, is when we see certain forms of life as either "legitimate" of "illegitimate". I think that gets in the way. We are what we are. Working out what we maybe ought to be in the future, I think, is a separate activity from working out an accurate description of what we are now.

-- Updated Fri Sep 01, 2017 11:19 am to add the following --

Greta:
...The notion that the Earth might simply metamorphose occasionally doesn't seem to register. Why not? It's done it a few times before, most notably The Great Oxygenation Event, "starring" blue-green algae, who managed to kill off about 90% of all the other microbes at the time, without which sentient life may never have evolved.
Yes, this is perfectly true. Extinction events like that one generally do leave a gap in the market that is eventually filled by other life. Who would have thought that the introduction into the atmosphere of this highly corrosive and dangerous gas (oxygen) would lead to such astonishing forms of life as us and our relatives?

So once we've estabilshed that these exctintion events happen, I guess we then have to decide whether we want this particular one to happen.
The Earth is near the end of its life. After billions of years, given the projected effects of even a 10C rise in global temperatures, it seems that the Earth's surface will be largely inhospitable to life in a matter of millions of years or less thanks to our ageing sun.
Surely not less than a million? I know the Sun is gradually getting hotter as it ages and that life on Earth will be wiped out long before the Sun comes to the end of its store of hydrogen. But life has still go at least another few hundred million years or so hasn't it? I guess the importance of preserving life by sending it off the Earth's surface depends on whether you think other intelligent species will arise during that period after we're extinct?

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Re: Can the God be a "Conscious Earth"?

Post by -1- » September 1st, 2017, 7:36 am

Steve3007 wrote:
The Earth is near the end of its life. After billions of years, given the projected effects of even a 10C rise in global temperatures, it seems that the Earth's surface will be largely inhospitable to life in a matter of millions of years or less thanks to our ageing sun.
Surely not less than a million? I know the Sun is gradually getting hotter as it ages and that life on Earth will be wiped out long before the Sun comes to the end of its store of hydrogen.
Scientists have rescheduled the inflation of our Sun into red Giant to start any time between five hundred million years form now to as soonly as five minutes from now.

In fact, I gotta go, all of a sudden.

But not before agreeing with Steve3007 that it was due to anthropocentric RELIGIOUS thoughts, which outright declared animals as soulless, that Jane Goodall's experiments were slighted in their early days by the scientific community. It is MATERIALISM that has finally fought for and established emancipation for the animals of this world as being sentient with a soul, and with feelings, desires, an ability to build societies with different cultures between groups within specific species, and a whole slew of emotions and reactions that we had consistently denied they had had.

Down with speciesism!! Equality in front of the scientist and anthropoligists and psychologists for all warm-blooded vertebrate species!! One organism, one vote, for invertebrates, single-cells and reptiles!!

AS GOD IS MY WITNESS, WE WILL LIVE TO SEE THE DAY THAT THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA ONE DAY WILL BE A NEWT, OR AN AMOEBA, OR A FORETABBONEOUS FLORIDA ALLIGATOR!! From Tampa.

-- Updated 2017 September 1st, 7:39 am to add the following --

I should have added right after "In fact, I gotta go, all of a sudden." the continuation, "It's getting incredibly hot around here, all of a sudden."

It is a sad, sad thing, for a humorist to having to edit his material after it has been signed, sealed and delivered. Sad, indeed, for all concerned: the humorist, the audience, and the joke itself.
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Re: Can the God be a "Conscious Earth"?

Post by Steve3007 » September 1st, 2017, 8:08 am

Down with speciesism!!
Just to be clear: I'm not again species-ism. I'm a blatant species-ist myself. I have a natural tenancy to want to preferentially protect the lives of those genetically closest to myself. I'm just in favour of recognising it for what it is: a simple product of the fact that I happen to be a human being, not some statement about the objective value of human lives over others.

-- Updated Fri Sep 01, 2017 1:10 pm to add the following --

Error: Make that "tendency" not "tenancy". This has nothing to do with paying the rent.

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Re: Can the God be a "Conscious Earth"?

Post by Greta » September 1st, 2017, 8:06 pm

Steve3007 wrote:
Greta wrote:I love science but it does has its idiot side, which largely pertains to consciousness, and foolishness stemming from 19th century materialism. Thus, when Jane Goodall reported her chimp findings her work was airily dismissed because only humans have personalities or emotions [sic].
I don't see any obvious strong connection between 19th Century Materialism and our species prejudice which makes us tend to think, despite the evidence, that we alone possess various mental characteristics. Surely, if anything, Materialism would tend to suggest equality between species wouldn't it? Doesn't this species prejudice manifest itself most obviously in metaphysical concepts like the idea of an immortal soul (which only humans possess [sic])?
Nonetheless, whatever the tendencies, the point remains that the objections to Goodall's claims were utterly idiotic and wildly out of touch with nature and, by extension, reality. Nothing is perfect and science has its duffers too (even if less so than most groups).
Steve3007 wrote:
Consider the blinkered obtuseness needed to maintain such a view, contrary to every single scrap of evidence available both then or now! While materialism was a reactionary response to reign in competing claims bring with a refusal to believe anything without evidence, it seems that people of the day were still influenced by theism's laser anthropocentric focus.
Doesn't that suggest that it's theism's "laser anthropocentric focus", and not the materialism that countered it, that set up the conditions for resisting research results which demonstrate our mental similarities with other great apes?
It was not a theist who rejected Goodall's legitimate claims about chimp sentience but an anthropocentric materialist. Theism no doubt helped shape the anthropocentrism by that time but I think that puts the cart before the horse.

All social species are species-centric; they bond. Yet they are evolved with be able to immediately switch off their empathy when it comes to prey and competitors. It's easy to see how social species that hesitated in shifting from cooperation and empathy with fellows to objectification of outsiders would have been less likely to survive than their more psychologically dynamic peers. Hesitation in nature usually equals a competitive disadvantage. No doubt early humans would have objectified chimps as competitors for territory and food.

However, indigenous people outgrew that attitude and culturally came to revere certain species, and certainly respect other life as peers. With the distance from nature achieved by agriculture and the empowerment of industrialisation, our natural self-protective instincts returned to the fore. As humans territories increasingly expanded into those of other large species, the latter were considered little more than impediments to progress.

So objectification has always been part of humanity (and other species) and it can distort the perceptions of theists and secular thinkers alike. Sorry, I babbled too long, but you know what I'm like :)
Steve3007 wrote:
Even today there is a widely held view that humans are not actually a legitimate part of the planet, rather a cancer or a parasite...
I think this is a different issue: the danger of using value-judgement words in this context. In this case, the word "legitimate". If there are any useful insights to be gained in drawing parallels between cancers or viruses within organisms and humans as part of the Earth, then I see nothing wrong with that. It's only wrong if it's not a sufficiently accurate analogy to be useful. The problem, as I see it, is when we see certain forms of life as either "legitimate" of "illegitimate". I think that gets in the way. We are what we are. Working out what we maybe ought to be in the future, I think, is a separate activity from working out an accurate description of what we are now.
Re: legitimacy. That was my point. You are preaching to the choir there :)

The analogy with humans and cancers, though, is a common one, but even the slightest investigation of that claim reveals the analogy to blatantly wrong. If cancers were creating more complex, sentient and organised beings than the host - as opposed to doomed chaotic blobs of cells, the idea would be worth taking seriously.
Steve3007 wrote:So once we've established that these extinction events happen, I guess we then have to decide whether we want this particular one to happen.
Do we get to decide? Have we decided anything yet throughout history but chase our tails, defuse incidents and solve problems in repeated tragedies of the commons?

Also note that the stakeholders in climate change are a very long way from being equally effected. In fact, the desire to be "good" prevents us admitting this to ourselves, but the fact is that most people figure the world would be a better place if we lost a few billion other people.

After the black plague you would think that the grieving and shell-shocked survivors would take some time to rebuild. In truth, almost immediately life improved for almost all very quickly as opportunities arose, and there was a burst of progress, creativity and prosperity ...
Steve3007 wrote:
The Earth is near the end of its life. After billions of years, given the projected effects of even a 10C rise in global temperatures, it seems that the Earth's surface will be largely inhospitable to life in a matter of millions of years or less thanks to our ageing sun.
Surely not less than a million? I know the Sun is gradually getting hotter as it ages and that life on Earth will be wiped out long before the Sun comes to the end of its store of hydrogen. But life has still go at least another few hundred million years or so hasn't it?
Failing nuclear or asteroid winter, the global temps will increase by 7-10C in the next century with the release of ancient methane stores locked in ice. Now consider the current damage to ecosystems with less than 2C increase. Much of the world will be inundated by wildfires, storms and floods. Also, there is a particular ape species that is busy breaking down the systems that could help maintain equilibrium.
Steve3007 wrote:I guess the importance of preserving life by sending it off the Earth's surface depends on whether you think other intelligent species will arise during that period after we're extinct?
I suspect humans will go extinct in the same way as the common ancestor between Homo and Pan became extinct. The funeral is ongoing :)

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Re: Can the God be a "Conscious Earth"?

Post by -1- » September 1st, 2017, 8:07 pm

Steve3007 wrote: Error: Make that "tendency" not "tenancy". This has nothing to do with paying the rent.
I know... I know. There are at any time between 2,938 and 5,349 cockroaches who share my apartment with me, and not one of the little blasted critters contributes ANY amount toward the rent.

No wonder people abhor cockroaches.
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Re: Can the God be a "Conscious Earth"?

Post by Steve3007 » September 3rd, 2017, 11:48 am

Greta:
All social species are species-centric; they bond. Yet they are evolved with be able to immediately switch off their empathy when it comes to prey and competitors
This is true. A case in point: I have some pet fish in a tank at home. I sometimes fret that I don't clean them out often enough and worry that I'm being cruel, and I occasionally do that fretting while simultaneously eating one of their close relatives covered in batter, or marinaded in a tasty sauce, that was probably caught by a trawler and died in pain flapping about the place suffocating. That fish was my prey, so it's ok (and I didn't have to kill it myself). If I can have such different attitudes towards animals of the same species, I don't suppose it's a surprise that I can similarly compartmentalize my attitudes towards different human beings.
It's easy to see how social species that hesitated in shifting from cooperation and empathy with fellows to objectification of outsiders would have been less likely to survive than their more psychologically dynamic peers. Hesitation in nature usually equals a competitive disadvantage. No doubt early humans would have objectified chimps as competitors for territory and food.
And perhaps people who still do compete with other great apes for living space still have to have this same attitude?
However, indigenous people outgrew that attitude and culturally came to revere certain species, and certainly respect other life as peers.
This is certainly what I've heard about people like Australian aboriginals and Native Americans.
With the distance from nature achieved by agriculture and the empowerment of industrialisation, our natural self-protective instincts returned to the fore. As humans territories increasingly expanded into those of other large species, the latter were considered little more than impediments to progress.
Yes, I guess that's why.
The analogy with humans and cancers, though, is a common one, but even the slightest investigation of that claim reveals the analogy to blatantly wrong. If cancers were creating more complex, sentient and organised beings than the host - as opposed to doomed chaotic blobs of cells, the idea would be worth taking seriously.
OK. Fair point. Analogies with cancers probably are intended as value judgements and not simple helpful descriptions.
Do we get to decide? Have we decided anything yet throughout history but chase our tails, defuse incidents and solve problems in repeated tragedies of the commons?
Well, yes, in that case I guess we get to decide whether we drive most other current species to extinction to the same extent that we get to decide everything else - perhaps not much. Perhaps we are slaves to our own nature. It certainly does seem extremely unlikely that we will, as a species, decide to fix the root cause of the problem - human population explosion.
but the fact is that most people figure the world would be a better place if we lost a few billion other people.
quite. As you say, tragedy of the commons. A.K.A. "Somebody really should do something about this. It's outrageous."
Failing nuclear or asteroid winter, the global temps will increase by 7-10C in the next century with the release of ancient methane stores locked in ice. Now consider the current damage to ecosystems with less than 2C increase. Much of the world will be inundated by wildfires, storms and floods. Also, there is a particular ape species that is busy breaking down the systems that could help maintain equilibrium.
Even so, I suspect that none of these things would come close to completely wiping out all life on Earth, given the way that, as we've been discussing, life bounces back and new species fill the niches left vacant. I think we'll probably be very successful at wiping out most other large mammals and perhaps many others, but I don't think even humans will be able to sterilize the planet.
I suspect humans will go extinct in the same way as the common ancestor between Homo and Pan became extinct. The funeral is ongoing :)
Good point. As with all of these transistions and divisions that we imagine to be hard discontinuous lines, extinction is perhaps a misleading concept. Every species is transitional. Every species is a "missing link". There's no such thing as a finished product in nature. etc.

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Re: Can the God be a "Conscious Earth"?

Post by SimpleGuy » September 14th, 2017, 12:21 pm

The problem lies in the detection of the consciousness. Can anybody write down a lamda expression for a conscious programm or define a mathematical signature of it or a measurement . Truly even in small things some "kind" of consciousness could lie. Think about the niju kun of gichin funakoshi sama, the creator of shukokai karate. Rule 17 states: Danshimon watashi no uchi no itazureba no koto wa hyaku man no teki ga aru. Note that my japanese is crude and this may be not a correct formulation, but : Whenever one leaves your home , one can observe a hundred enemies. Is this conscience of karate ? Who knows, whenever one meets a rule , could one state a conscious mind behind it or does it need to be logcial inference for humans to be conscient. Many persons would lack then conscience and by the way with a lot of rules truly put to action, this could simulate even for intelligent persons somekind of mystical "conscience" that governs our world.

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Re: Can the God be a "Conscious Earth"?

Post by kk23wong » January 22nd, 2018, 7:08 am

How about applying microbiology into its structure?

Please, think it twice and wisely. This is important to me.

What if the Earth is a conscious being? I think the world is being divided and rule by this subject and this subject (so-called the God) is born-to-be.

This is a possible direction for philosophy to move one and become a powerful subject again in the future.

Please think about it! Thank you!

Sincerely,
Teru Wong

New battleground move to here: http://onlinephilosophyclub.com/forums/ ... =4&t=15324

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Re: Can the God be a "Conscious Earth"?

Post by SimpleGuy » January 23rd, 2018, 3:50 pm

The problem is, that this is a complex mathematical problem to identify something in the mechanisms of the world as an NFA or a turing machine , that has some kind of consciousness.

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Re: Can the God be a "Conscious Earth"?

Post by Barry Sears » February 27th, 2018, 6:24 am

It is my understanding that traditional, ancient, scientific discoveries determined a relationship between terrestrial life on Earth,
the structure of the Earth itself and the design of our Celestial surroundings. Each of these were considered progressively smaller
units of an ultimately Universal formation defined as God. I understand each of these smaller parts once considered microscopic
models of the Universal God were denoted with the word god. Confusion has developed and meaning has been lost. As Jesus was
considered an image of God, the Earth or Holy Spirit was too. This also applies to the Celestial (heavenly) Father. People have now
confused this cosmological relationship and have merged the Father with God. Traditionally the Father is also an image of God.

http://onlinephilosophyclub.com/forums/ ... 3#p285203

Here is another thread and a picture posted on the 4th of March shows a traditional representation. God is the top structure that
includes all within. The Father resides in the Heavenly realm. So traditionally the image of God was considered as the spirit of a
conscious Earth (the Holy Spirit), but this as a microscopic structure of the Universal template as a whole, one, singular, complete
formation, called God.

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Re: Can the God be a "Conscious Earth"?

Post by SimpleGuy » March 3rd, 2018, 11:06 am

Barry Sears wrote:
February 27th, 2018, 6:24 am
It is my understanding that traditional, ancient, scientific discoveries determined a relationship between terrestrial life on Earth,
the structure of the Earth itself and the design of our Celestial surroundings. Each of these were considered progressively smaller
units of an ultimately Universal formation defined as God. I understand each of these smaller parts once considered microscopic
models of the Universal God were denoted with the word god. Confusion has developed and meaning has been lost. As Jesus was
considered an image of God, the Earth or Holy Spirit was too. This also applies to the Celestial (heavenly) Father. People have now
confused this cosmological relationship and have merged the Father with God. Traditionally the Father is also an image of God.
Perhaps this structure even exists for people on social wellfare.

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Re: Can the God be a "Conscious Earth"?

Post by Barry Sears » March 4th, 2018, 6:10 am

It is those on social welfare that will probably find this most inspiring. The Conscious Earth is not just a living entity but is
recognisable with form and function. My avatar is a simple picture that tells a simple story. Our ancient ones plotted the design
but were not in the position to see the full structure. As the zodiac signs were considered individual parts of the complete Celestial
body, so too are these individual parts charted around the Earths body. The body of the Conscious Earth was plotted around the equator
belt and each connect to the Celestial belt.

Divide the World into twelve zones and each zone connects to the zodiac zones as individual anatomical parts. The heads of
Easter Island, Stonehenge is Cancer, Leo the Sphinx, the Land of the Virgin Mary being Virgo, the balancing point of Libra.
These are some of the basics.

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Re: Can the God be a "Conscious Earth"?

Post by Papus79 » March 4th, 2018, 1:42 pm

I think the biggest challenge to people believing in anything at all, save reductive materialism and nihiism, are the copious quantities of suffering and evil inherent to the human condition. On one level I think the point is inescapable that nature is red in tooth and nail. We can also watch how dominance hierarchies evolve over time, how human dating and mating works, and see that nature doesn't just grade on a curve and try to destroy and eliminate those somewhere below the 50th percentile to prevent them from re-seeding into the future but it also wires women and men to be miserable in relationships, the more they try to hold it together as moral adults the more it pushes the man to cheat or the woman to leave the moment she sees a stronger, healthier, or more financially achieved man. I'm reading through 12 Rules for Life and JP is also compounding all of the above points I was already aware of also with what happens to people's moral gearing when they get punished, abused, or thrown away AND did everything right (which sets some very black-pilled traps for person who finds themselves in that situation).

I think I'd have to go with two rules on this:

1) If all of consciousness we're in touch with didn't evolve itself into existence the way we came into existence (including angels, archangels, demons, and dukes), then at a minimum a sphere of influence higher than our own would have emanated a seed of sorts and that seed became what grew and evolved.

2) That higher sphere would have given very little, or no, interruption to the zone below it to remedy structural or moral problems.

I'd have to argue either complete or near-complete autonomy, enough for us to constantly fall back into and brought low by the forces that insured our survival in the wild while we tribailize and break up once prosperous societies or act in childish, base, and anti-human ways because we don't know what our emotions are guiding us toward. Thinking about the Old Testament I have to think of that repetitive flu dream of societal failure every third generation that was the book of Judges. It's not a new problem and it seems like the moment life is divorced from immediate natural consequences we find ourselves in very dangerous territory.

I'm personally in that place where I listen to what Richard Dawkins says happens in nature and how ice cold it is and I'd say yeah - I fully agree. At the same time I've learned just how many bizarre synchronicities not only will just jerk your attention around but can and will line up events in your life where the hypothesis that it's all just selective attention or the fruit of superstition just doesn't hold up unless it's a different person, listening to your story, who didn't experience it and - on their beliefs about the nature of the world - has to impute that you're either overembelishing something, mis-remembering the more tangible aspects, or outright lying to bolster a desperate belief in an afterlife. That works great for the person hearing the account but offers no solace or closure for the person who actually found themselves in a situation of the truly unexplainable and no matter how convenient it would be to put it all away and call it all subconscious manipulation their BS meter trips in the other direction and they're forced to just admit that they don't know, ie. that something happened that was unexplainable, rare, and it pushed hard enough to suggest that they came in contact with a web of causality and consciousness that they could never begin to understand with what few fragments they were able to see.


I'm still doing what I can to figure this stuff out although I'm almost focusing more on personal development - ie. the knowledge can't be worth much if it isn't a set of tools that I can pry myself open and better situate my orientation to the world, close my gaps of ignorance, or close the performative gaps that should be closed between the way I want the world to be and the way it really is or how I have to function in the world to be successful in a good way vs. how I'd rather do it at deeper levels which I might already know to be naive or out of touch. I'd like to think that answering to the call of integrity probably does bring us closer to these truths, there's no guarantee of that and of course a lot to be gained by answering the call to integrity, but I really can't think of anything else that gives us a shot at this stuff and understanding it. If it's not that - I'm not sure we'll have any tools at all at our disposal and if that's the case we're truly trapped in an awful and permanent mystery.

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Re: Can the God be a "Conscious Earth"?

Post by Greta » March 4th, 2018, 6:10 pm

Steve3007 wrote:
September 3rd, 2017, 11:48 am
Do we get to decide? Have we decided anything yet throughout history but chase our tails, defuse incidents and solve problems in repeated tragedies of the commons?
Well, yes, in that case I guess we get to decide whether we drive most other current species to extinction to the same extent that we get to decide everything else - perhaps not much. Perhaps we are slaves to our own nature. It certainly does seem extremely unlikely that we will, as a species, decide to fix the root cause of the problem - human population explosion.
Yup, we are more controlled than controlling, despite our preference to believe the latter. Enough to make one believe that life is absurd, but it's simply not very controlled. Yet.

Humans are shaped and controlled like all other species by the Earth's shifting zones of moisture and temperature in the atmosphere and soil chemistry. Mostly we just create "insulated bubbles" of civilisation to keep the entropic forces of the wild at bay, fuelled by taking energy from the surrounding environment, inevitably "clearing their space" like planets.
Steve3007 wrote:
Failing nuclear or asteroid winter, the global temps will increase by 7-10C in the next century with the release of ancient methane stores locked in ice. Now consider the current damage to ecosystems with less than 2C increase. Much of the world will be inundated by wildfires, storms and floods. Also, there is a particular ape species that is busy breaking down the systems that could help maintain equilibrium.
Even so, I suspect that none of these things would come close to completely wiping out all life on Earth, given the way that, as we've been discussing, life bounces back and new species fill the niches left vacant. I think we'll probably be very successful at wiping out most other large mammals and perhaps many others, but I don't think even humans will be able to sterilize the planet.
Agreed. We probably won't even come close to wiping ourselves out, let alone all species, especially insects and reptiles that will flourish in the heat. Stay tuned for explosions in crocidilian and snake populations. That's one of the saddest aspects of the Holocene - the beautiful species die out first and the most ugly, base and vicious thrive.

A fair analogy could be made about humanity when the faeces hits the propeller - the most likely to survive what's coming appear to be billionaires and corporations (holed up in AI protected insulated environments) and bands of militia (for whom the situation will be normal a la Mad Max). Yet "from little things, big things grow" - from microbes to T-Rex to Gandhi - so I'm hopeful that the new survivors will become more civilised when the environment settles down enough, or they adapt sufficiently, to allow them to re-gentrify. Again, it is up to the environment, not us; we just appear to be agents of change like the blue-green algae, and probably with a small amount more control over what we do than our microbial forebears.

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Re: Can the God be a "Conscious Earth"?

Post by Steve3007 » March 7th, 2018, 7:02 am

Greta wrote:A fair analogy could be made about humanity when the faeces hits the propeller - the most likely to survive what's coming appear to be billionaires and corporations (holed up in AI protected insulated environments) and bands of militia (for whom the situation will be normal a la Mad Max). Yet "from little things, big things grow" - from microbes to T-Rex to Gandhi - so I'm hopeful that the new survivors will become more civilised when the environment settles down enough, or they adapt sufficiently, to allow them to re-gentrify. Again, it is up to the environment, not us; we just appear to be agents of change like the blue-green algae, and probably with a small amount more control over what we do than our microbial forebears.
At first, it does seem probable that the billionaires (and possibly Mel Gibson) will be the survivors. But will they? To do so, they'd have to use their billions to create their protective bubbles well in advance of any catastrophic breakdown - and do it in a way that doesn't attract too much attention. Leave it too late and suddenly the power over other people that society confers on those who have lots of money vanishes, because money suddenly becomes meaningless.

People with power generally have that power because of their ability to get loads of other people to do stuff for them. Whether that ability comes from owning money that can be trickled down the pyramid or from the existence of established hierarchical command structures, as in armies, it can easily break down. But my guess is that the kinds of command structures that exist in armies will be slightly slower to break down than than those that are based on money. So I think maybe the survivors might be small tight-knit sections of the military and anybody that they consider to be useful. Maybe Trump, Murdoch, Gates, Bezos, Musk and the like will be as superfluous as the rest of us.

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