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Chapter 18: The wind makes dust 
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 Chapter 18: The wind makes dust
Chapter 18: The wind makes dust

This thread is for discussing Chapter 18: The wind makes dust.



Tue Jan 13, 2015 5:33 pm
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Post Re: Chapter 18: The wind makes dust
Survival skills (otherwise known as "science") were hardwired in us from the beginning of time.
Why?
Because of our need to survive in the environment.

There is a need hardwired in species to survive in the environment.
Why?
Because that's what the fittest, most adaptable species do better than those that dont survive.

the above seems to be the gist of what Sagan is saying in this chapter, however implicit it might be.
i found nothing profound in this section. No keen insights.



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Interbane
Fri Feb 13, 2015 5:21 pm
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Post Re: Chapter 18: The wind makes dust
I loved this chapter......because, at last, I could see what you, stalwarts of Booktalk, are getting at.

When CS describes the Ionians - and then goes on to describe the scientific techniques of the !Kung San....who examine the evidence, and become very adept at interpreting soil conditions in the form of footprints and moisture content etc.....but their expertise is attributed to experience and not to spiritual gifts...They don't pretend to have access to the Gods. I had a Eureka moment because I could hear the echo of Interbane saying to me.....it is the brain synapses.....it is not anything spiritual that makes us feel love.

Well, I don't 'entirely' agree with you....but at least now I can see where you are coming from.

I absolutely agree with you that superstition is dangerous. Infounded belief in the power of inanimate objects is a deplorable waste of historic human endeavour to understand the workings of nature.

I was just getting a bit bored with this book, but now I am back with CS...I like that he sees a the scientific approach in simple uneducated people.....and applauds them for their lack of superstition.


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Only those become weary of angling who bring nothing to it but the idea of catching fish.

He was born with the gift of laughter and a sense that the world is mad....

Rafael Sabatini


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Fri Feb 20, 2015 10:31 am
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Post Re: Chapter 18: The wind makes dust
Penelope wrote:
I was just getting a bit bored with this book, but now I am back with CS...I like that he sees a the scientific approach in simple uneducated people.....and applauds them for their lack of superstition.



I stopped at chapter 20 because I couldn't wait to start reading The Eerie Silence :blush:



Fri Feb 20, 2015 11:31 am
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Post Re: Chapter 18: The wind makes dust
Quote:
ant

I stopped at chapter 20 because I couldn't wait to start reading The Eerie Silence :blush:



ant, I hope you will still join in the discussions because I will feel a bit silly arguing with myself.....although it has been known. :wink:

Having said that, I am going to be out of circulation for a couple of days as my son is getting married tomorrow. Festivities this weekend!! :bananadance:


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Only those become weary of angling who bring nothing to it but the idea of catching fish.

He was born with the gift of laughter and a sense that the world is mad....

Rafael Sabatini


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ant, Chris OConnor
Fri Feb 20, 2015 12:53 pm
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Post Re: Chapter 18: The wind makes dust
Congrats to your son! I hope you have a great time this weekend! :bananadance2:

I will return to Sagan's book this weekend.
I hope you return to the discussion after all the festivities 8)



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Fri Feb 20, 2015 1:31 pm
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Post Re: Chapter 18: The wind makes dust
Congrats to you, your son and his new bride!



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Penelope
Fri Feb 20, 2015 1:40 pm
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 Re: Chapter 18: The wind makes dust
ant wrote:
Survival skills (otherwise known as "science") were hardwired in us from the beginning of time. Why?
Because of our need to survive in the environment.
There is a need hardwired in species to survive in the environment. Why?
Because that's what the fittest, most adaptable species do better than those that dont survive.

the above seems to be the gist of what Sagan is saying in this chapter, however implicit it might be.
i found nothing profound in this section. No keen insights.

I agree with Penelope's reaction to this chapter much more than Ant's. The hunting survival skills of the !Kung San people of the Kalahari Desert are certainly not hard wired. (Unless you're claiming the mere ability to learn skills and pass on knowledge to others is hardwired, but not specific skills?) I hadn't thought of hunting as scientific, so I think that is a keen insight.

However, contrary to it being hardwired, Carl says science is a rare and fragile occurrence.
Quote:
This hostility to science, in the face of its obvious triumphs and benefits, is...evidence that it is something outside the mainstream of human development, perhaps a fluke.

The development of objective thinking by the Greeks appears to have required a number of specific cultural factors. (6 factors are listed.)

...That all these factors came together in one great civilization is quite fortuitous; it didn't happen twice.

CS quoting Alan Cromer from the book Uncommon Sense: The Heretical Nature of Science. pgs 309 - 310

Carl S. wrote:
Those who dismiss the gods tend to be forgotten. We are not anxious to preserve the memory of such skeptics, much less their ideas. Heroes who try to explain the world in terms of matter and energy may have arisen many times in many cultures, only to be obliterated by the priests and philosophers in charge of the conventional wisdom - as the Ionian approach was almost wholly lost after the time of Plato and Aristotle. With many cultures and many experiments of this sort, it may be that only on rare occasions does the idea take root.



Sat Feb 21, 2015 10:14 am
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Post Re: Chapter 18: The wind makes dust
Im not awed by truisms.
Sorry



Sat Feb 21, 2015 12:00 pm
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Post Re: Chapter 18: The wind makes dust
This necessary and short chapter conveys the idea that time and knowledge are hand and hand, that even though people learn to survive, they don't always put two and two together, immediacy of need outweighed the philosophy of thought. Early people's methods of survival utilized science's of sorts, but they had no reasons to think of the things they did in such term's or understanding. If these early people had managed to conceptualize a scientific method (systematic inquiry) sooner, we might well be further along than where we are today, but other concepts came to dominate and we are what we are.



Wed Mar 04, 2015 9:59 pm
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Post Re: Chapter 18: The wind makes dust
I officially resign from adulthood.

Decisions will be made by the eenie-meenie-minie-mo method and arguments will be settled by sticking out my tongue.

I'll be in the playground if you need me. :-D :-D :-D


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Only those become weary of angling who bring nothing to it but the idea of catching fish.

He was born with the gift of laughter and a sense that the world is mad....

Rafael Sabatini


Thu Mar 05, 2015 6:48 am
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