Darwin's theory of gradual evolution not supported by geological history, scientist concludes

Nov 09, 2010

Charles Darwin's theory of gradual evolution is not supported by geological history, New York University Geologist Michael Rampino concludes in an essay in the journal Historical Biology. In fact, Rampino notes that a more accurate theory of gradual evolution, positing that long periods of evolutionary stability are disrupted by catastrophic mass extinctions of life, was put forth by Scottish horticulturalist Patrick Matthew prior to Darwin's published work on the topic.

"Matthew discovered and clearly stated the idea of natural selection, applied it to the origin of species, and placed it in the context of a geologic record marked by catastrophic mass extinctions followed by relatively rapid adaptations," says Rampino, whose research on catastrophic events includes studies on volcano eruptions and asteroid impacts. "In light of the recent acceptance of the importance of catastrophic mass extinctions in the history of life, it may be time to reconsider the evolutionary views of Patrick Matthew as much more in line with present ideas regarding biological evolution than the Darwin view."

Matthew (1790-1874), Rampino notes, published a statement of the law of natural selection in a little-read Appendix to his 1831 book Naval Timber and Arboriculture. Even though both Darwin and his colleague Alfred Russel Wallace acknowledged that Matthew was the first to put forth the of natural selection, historians have attributed the unveiling of the theory to Darwin and Wallace. Darwin's notebooks show that he arrived at the idea in 1838, and he composed an essay on natural selection as early as 1842—years after Matthew's work appeared. Darwin and Wallace's theory was formally presented in 1858 at a science society meeting in London. Darwin's Origin of Species appeared a year later.

In the Appendix of Naval Timber and Arboriculture, Matthew described the theory of natural selection in a way that Darwin later echoed: "There is a natural law universal in nature, tending to render every reproductive being the best possibly suited to its condition…As the field of existence is limited and pre-occupied, it is only the hardier, more robust, better suited to circumstance individuals, who are able to struggle forward to maturity…"

However, in explaining the forces that influenced this process, Matthew saw catastrophic events as a prime factor, maintaining that mass extinctions were crucial to the process of evolution: "...all living things must have reduced existence so much, that an unoccupied field would be formed for new diverging ramifications of life... these remnants, in the course of time moulding and accommodating ... to the change in circumstances."

When Darwin published his Origin of Species nearly three decades later, he explicitly rejected the role of catastrophic change in natural selection: "The old notion of all the inhabitants of the Earth having been swept away by catastrophes at successive periods is very generally given up," he wrote. Instead, Darwin outlined a theory of evolution based on the ongoing struggle for survival among individuals within populations of existing species. This process of natural selection, he argued, should lead to gradual changes in the characteristics of surviving organisms.

However, as Rampino notes, geological history is now commonly understood to be marked by long periods of stability punctuated by major ecological changes that occur both episodically and rapidly, casting doubt on Darwin's theory that "most evolutionary change was accomplished very gradually by competition between organisms and by becoming better adapted to a relatively stable environment."

"Matthew's contribution was largely ignored at the time, and, with few exceptions, generally merits only a footnote in modern discussions of the discovery of ," Rampino concludes. "Others have said that Matthew's thesis was published in too obscure a place to be noticed by the scientific community, or that the idea was so far ahead of its time that it could not be connected to generally accepted knowledge. As a result, his discovery was consigned to the dustbin of premature and unappreciated scientific ideas."

Explore further: A clear, molecular view of how human color vision evolved

Related Stories

Get off Chuck's back!

Oct 22, 2010

(PhysOrg.com) -- If Charles Darwin were alive today, he would be shaking his head and asking, "Why is everybody always picking on me?"

Why didn't Darwin discover Mendel's laws?

Feb 27, 2009

Mendel solved the logic of inheritance in his monastery garden with no more technology than Darwin had in his garden at Down House. So why couldn't Darwin have done it too? A Journal of Biology article argues that Darwin ...

Charles Darwin: More than the origin

Dec 09, 2009

Although Charles Darwin is most well-known for his book On the Origin of Species, in which he described the process of natural selection, he greatly contributed to many specific fields within biology. As ...

'Darwin's delay' the stuff of myth

Mar 28, 2007

The long-held view that Charles Darwin avoided publishing his theory of evolution for 20 years because he was afraid of the reaction it would provoke is being rebutted as a myth by a Cambridge University academic.

Recommended for you

Contrasting views of kin selection assessed

Dec 17, 2014

In an article to be published in the January issue of BioScience, two philosophers tackle one of the most divisive arguments in modern biology: the value of the theory of "kin selection."

Microbiome may have shaped early human populations

Dec 16, 2014

We humans have an exceptional age structure compared to other animals: Our children remain dependent on their parents for an unusually long period and our elderly live an extremely long time after they have ...

DNA sheds light on why largest lemurs disappeared

Dec 16, 2014

Ancient DNA extracted from the bones and teeth of giant lemurs that lived thousands of years ago in Madagascar may help explain why the giant lemurs went extinct. It also explains what factors make some surviving ...

User comments : 477

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

Bartolo
4.7 / 5 (18) Nov 09, 2010
is this new? Punctuated equilibrium wasn't discovered yesterday isn't it?
PieRSquare
4.9 / 5 (12) Nov 09, 2010
Agree with Bartolo, thought this was common knowledge although I'm a bit surprised by Darwin's stance. It seems reasonable that mass extinctions would be associated with higher selective pressures and would result in more radical changes. The process should still continue during more stable periods at a slower rate.
Grizzled
4.3 / 5 (8) Nov 09, 2010
I suspect what he is trying to say is that during relatively stable periods there is a disincentive for the new species to develop - an uphill struggle against the well-established ones. So it pretty much requires a major upheaval to result in something of note happening to the species.

This would indeed appear to contradict standard Darwinian model of gradulal accumulation of tiny changes. At least that's how I read it.
marjon
1.6 / 5 (7) Nov 09, 2010
Anyone know if mitochondrial dna are unique to each species?
Erog
5 / 5 (5) Nov 09, 2010
I am with you, "is this new"???
"Darwin's stance" was the start . . it was also simplistic and incomplete but the beginning. Which of course is common of all first breakthroughs in science. The Original idea was found to be valid but as always the subject is more complicated then anyone ever thought so added to and modified.
This is no different the Newton's law of gravity. Technically the it is "wrong" and simplistic from our current point of view but gets the idea across and also works just fine in a small frame of reference.
In both cases science did what it is suppose to do and tested the original idea. And what was found was greater understanding and complexity to expand into. . and the process has not stopped.
Darwin at the time did not have the information TO make a credible stance on catastrophic change. And it must be remembered that he was ALSO fighting creationists the whole way. This may have biased him on the subject a bit.
hunter3
5 / 5 (9) Nov 09, 2010
As I recall from a course of evolutionary history in college, Darwin was far from the first to posit evolution. His contribution was to write an extensive book containing a very detailed theory, an exhaustive sampling of evidence supporting it, and arguments against the creationists of his day.

If you have read "Origins of Species" you'll see it is still incredibly accurate, as the only major omission was an understanding of genetics and the inheritance of alleles (although he was pretty close to finding it). The book changed the world, at least for biologists, and that is why Darwin is best known among those who simultaneously came up with the idea.

Punctuated equilibrium is a refinement of that theory, although you must understand that evolution speeding up after a mass extinction still requires millions of years, as Darwin noted. Evolution also slows down, via the Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium, but it's impossible for it to just stop altogether.
Bartolo
5 / 5 (3) Nov 09, 2010
Evolution is driven by a changing environment. Lots of species can't adapt and go extinct. Other species that do survive and can adapt do it quickly their own way to fill the niches.
Of course there's evolution in between periods of massive change and extinctions, but those are to micro-adjust and due to species struggling for the same niche, or just random mutations without a cause (through gene-flow etc.)
Evolution is always happening, some periods it just happens faster than others because the environment drives it and/or allows it.
But humans didn't evolve from the last common ancestor with the apes and birds didn't evolve from the dinos because of mass extinctions. They evolved because the environment allowed it or to fill a niche that wasn't already filled.
dtxx
1 / 5 (3) Nov 09, 2010
Environment affects the course of evolution, but I would argue it is driven by reproduction.
Ravenrant
5 / 5 (1) Nov 09, 2010
I think it is much more likely that it isn't just mass extinctions that cause evolutionary surges. Niches can be carved out by a new and better mutation or species that displace an indigenous one. We see that happening all the time now by invasive species in the US.
Malthe___344_stergreen
5 / 5 (3) Nov 09, 2010
In the fifth edition of On the Origin of Species Darwin wrote that "the periods during which species have undergone modification, though long as measured in years, have probably been short in comparison with the periods during which they retain the same form."
Malthe___344_stergreen
5 / 5 (1) Nov 09, 2010
I'm doing a paper on fast vs. slow human evolution. The (few) authors I have come across regarding this subject often mention the number of people as a driving factor for faster evolution. This seems plausible to me considering more people equals more variation. And more variation equals a better chance that a beneficial adaption will turn up and spread. Most people mention reproduction, selection pressures and variation as the foundation of evolution On a side note: After The Origin of Species Darwin mostly worked on sexual selection. Many people, wrongly, consider it a sub-topic in natural selection. Actually they are autonomous selection pressures. Where natural selection only worries about survival.
Malthe___344_stergreen
5 / 5 (2) Nov 09, 2010
Sexual selection worries about reproduction. Where natural selection solves problems effectively, sexual selection does some, seemingly wasteful things (for instance, the peacocks tail). Anyway, I'll cut to the chase: sexual selection works faster than natural selection due to positive feedback. For instance, when a woman chooses a feature in a man, the desire for that feature lives on in the womans daughter. Thereby accelerating the change. The best book I've read on this, underestimated, topic is "The Mating Mind by Geoffrey Miller".
Bartolo
5 / 5 (1) Nov 09, 2010
Yes, I should have said that mutations/reproduction is the engine driving evolution and changing environments (e.g. invasive species and sexual selection, and don't forget viruses and bacterial infections) are the steering wheel.
But sexual selection or invasive species are not main cause of fast evolution.
When looking at the fossil record, the fastest evolutions always occur when many species go extinct at about the same time, caused by large-scale geological/climatological phenomena. Be glad this is the case, otherwise we wouldn't be here to ponder about it.
And us humans are causing one of the largest mass extinctions ever recorded, so if we as a species survive, we can study punctuated equilibrium in action.
PinkElephant
5 / 5 (5) Nov 09, 2010
@Malthe___344_stergreen,
The (few) authors I have come across regarding this subject often mention the number of people as a driving factor for faster evolution. This seems plausible to me considering more people equals more variation.
Actually, it's the opposite. The fewer individuals in an isolated group, the faster will the group evolve. That's because every mutation has a better chance of quickly spreading to a significant fraction of the population. In large groups, a mutation can only really become widespread if it provides significant benefit to survival or reproduction. Mutations that are mostly neutral will be relegated to the vagaries of genetic drift, and will tend to be homogenized out of existence, because at each mating there's only a roughly 50% chance of passing the mutation on, and in a large group the odds of two mutants mating are low.

http://en.wikiped...ic_drift
Bartolo
5 / 5 (1) Nov 09, 2010
PinkElephant is right. Evolution of the human species has more or less come to a stand-still because of we're in such large numbers living relatively close to each other and all our traveling and intermingling habits don't support fast evolution either.
alanborky
1 / 5 (1) Nov 09, 2010
Isn't this strong evidence evolution proceeds not so much from competition than the ABSENCE of competition; that competition in a large and varied already established ecosystem tends to reinforce the system's biological stability by inhibiting precisely the sort of biological innovations which might lead to a new type of ecosystem superseding it and its component elements?
jsa09
1 / 5 (1) Nov 10, 2010
actually it is not so much competition or the lack of it that leads to evolutionary changes. Evolution happens all the time in the sense of variation on a theme. In smaller populations regardless of competition those variations can magnify through reinforcement simply due to statistics.

In a small population of 20 individuals a single change will result in 5% of the population being different and should that individual survive and breed then there is still a significant proportion of the population with that inherited trait.

If the individual has 5 offspring and each offspring inherits some part of that trait then we have significant change in total population.
Thrasymachus
2 / 5 (16) Nov 10, 2010
Wow, I'm impressed. 17 comments deep on an evolution thread and the creationist crowd hasn't made a peep.
VK1
1.1 / 5 (29) Nov 10, 2010
All life is just self assembling mass, it assembles the way it requires to best fit the surroundings which it requires to replenish that which it damages or loses during its existence. Surroundings supply atoms molecules compounds and energy living organisms use, this means evolution is based on environment firstly, all else comes secondary to surroundings.

This finishes all single cell organisms.

Multi-cellular organisms enjoy living. Purpose becomes to enjoy life to the fullest. Evolution it self evolves, factors are gained. Appearance, strength, virility, speed all add to ability for survival and for enjoyment while surviving. This means organisms gain knowledge. DNA is preceded (pre-seed-ed) knowledge. DNA is an organisms collected knowledge. Though it is prewritten it is malleable (this comes apparent with cancers). Offspring are the result of cellular knowledge being passed down. This is evolution. Gain of knowledge through intelligence.
VK1
1.1 / 5 (34) Nov 10, 2010
God created man in His image. It is the father that creates man, and man is made in His image.
ormondotvos
1 / 5 (1) Nov 10, 2010
Shut up! It's just because we're inbred, and too stoopid to comment!
VK1
1.1 / 5 (40) Nov 10, 2010
Evolution can happen within an organisms lifetime. If all food was only available at a 10 foot level humans would all be able to dunk a basket ball. In a months time leg muscles would be evolved to allow for high jumping, also, in a months time all humans that can't jump to that height would die off from starvation. Within a hundred years all individuals (even the shorter that are being fed, provided for) would be extinct.

Evolution is not a long term process, organisms constantly evolve, it is the perception of those that are gauging it that is skewed. What is the minimum requisite to constitute an evolutionary step? That's the question here.
VK1
1 / 5 (26) Nov 10, 2010
*All individuals not able to reach the food source would be extinct, that is.*
kevinrtrs
1 / 5 (21) Nov 10, 2010
The researcher and Patrick Matthew does not state where the original material and DNA information comes from.
They only state that it got changed through natural selection.
There is a catastrophe that wiped out all but 8 of the human population and left a small population of all KINDs of animals and birds for replenishing of earth - the world-wide flood.
In part-agreement with Pink_elephant, it's this SMALL population that already contained the required information that created the kind of diversity we see today. Plants and fish/sea creatures survived the world-wide flood but the rest of the animals and humans did not.
This is a much better explanation for what we see today rather than the apriori non-created evolutionistic thought pattern that currently prevails.
Molecules-to-man kind of evolution is just a fairy-tale since it does not explain how the INFORMATION got into the DNA. If someone can perhaps give a plausible explanation that accounts for that information content, ....
VK1
1.1 / 5 (33) Nov 10, 2010
For another example look at astronauts in space. With no gravity to contend with muscle atrophy takes place physiologically changing the person. Does this count as evolution, adapting to a low gravity environment? Of course it does. Adaptation is evolution.

Within a few generations in space humans would no longer be recognizable. Loss of complexion, small bodies big heads. If humans from the future living in space were to travel back in time they would look alien to us.

It all comes down to what we perceive. Intelligence is the evolution of evolution.

If that astronauts muscles were not intelligent (meaning not perceptive to change in gravity) he would not lose muscle mass. He doesn't need to be as strong, therefore the body conserves energy by ridding itself of that which it doesn't require (that is excess muscle).
kevinrtrs
1.3 / 5 (17) Nov 10, 2010
I might be inclined to give evolution a second thought. But as it stands, there's no known random physical process that can generate that kind of information. There just isn't. I challenge anyone to demonstrate that such a process exists.
dtxx
4 / 5 (16) Nov 10, 2010
For another example look at astronauts in space. With no gravity to contend with muscle atrophy takes place physiologically changing the person. Does this count as evolution, adapting to a low gravity environment? Of course it does.


That is NOT EVOLUTION. Sorry to cut you off there, but you are plainly wrong.
DamienS
4.3 / 5 (12) Nov 10, 2010
Wow, I'm impressed. 17 comments deep on an evolution thread and the creationist crowd hasn't made a peep.

You spoke too soon.
VK1
1.1 / 5 (29) Nov 10, 2010
The astronaut over time adapts to a low-gravity environment dtxx
VK1
1 / 5 (29) Nov 10, 2010
Being smart allows you to thrive in known conditions, being intelligent allows thrivability in the unknown.

DNA is given. Altering the given is adaptive behavior. Intelligence is the ability to adapt. Adaptability is the changing of DNA. Intelligence drives evolution as evolution is change in DNA.

Further evidence.

Some genetic information is switched off. Old adaptive traits that are no longer required are simply turned off, while new ones get written in. This is life.
taka
4.5 / 5 (2) Nov 10, 2010
It works as stroke engine. First one gain some advantage and start to spread, increase in numbers. It do not matter happen it because of some competitive advantage or because competitors are just gone extinct. As numbers go up the probability that mutations happen will also go up. Advantageous or not they will accumulate and mix, as there is no much pressure then no actual selection happens in this phase. Humans are currently in this phase. Then space to spread ends, this is the upper dead zone. Pressure increases a bit, but it just stabilize the situation. Nothing new happens in this phase, even if it it takes really long, long time, just mutations continue to happen and accumulate and mix.
taka
not rated yet Nov 10, 2010
Then pressure phase starts. Population faces serious competition or environment change and start rapidly decrease in numbers. This is the selection phase, only fittest for new hostile conditions survive. Population also gets divided into isolated parts. Some of these parts die out, sometimes all die out, but some may become new species who are well adapted for new conditions. They benefit from mutations that accumulate and mix during long, long time and therefore the development can be really fast, much faster then mutations can actually happen. Now the process repeats, new well adapted species can rapidly spread. And global catastrophes drive this cycle of course, other way it tend to get stack in dead zone.
DamienS
4.6 / 5 (10) Nov 10, 2010
The astronaut over time adapts to a low-gravity environment dtxx

Yeah, which has nothing to do with evolution, any more than pumping weights to increase your strength does.
taka
2 / 5 (4) Nov 10, 2010
You got four gear car. Switching gears allow to adapt to different driving conditions, but it is not development. Development would be if it grow a fifth gear, but that cars do not do. All species have some gears they can switch, but only stupid will mix that with development, switching gears do not change the capabilities individual carry.
taka
1 / 5 (3) Nov 10, 2010
If the inflation phase was really big it may be enough to encounter the limit to felt like catastrophe and initiate pressure phase. It is how diversity was built after really big natural catastrophes probably, it can make several iterations in short time. Humans are entering limiting phase currently and the inflation before it was a big one, things may become interesting already on our lifetime...
bsardi
1 / 5 (8) Nov 10, 2010
Whatever Darwin saw on the Galapagos Islands, in two trips there, staying for two months at a time, could not have been the slow Darwinian evolution postulated by many. Darwin drew varied shapes of bird beaks to claim there were evolutionary changes. But this would be evidence of epigenetics, fast gene switching, not the slow gene mutations that take many generations to occur. The discovery of epigenetics negates Darwin's theory. New species do not arise out of rapid changes in gene expression either. There is variation and adaptation, but not new species. That Darwin's theory has made it into this century suggests mankind clings to archaic ideas. Epigenetics was discovered in the 1970s but kept from view because of its opposition to Darwinian biology.
Bartolo
4.2 / 5 (5) Nov 10, 2010
VK1,
So someone deteriorating from cancer is evolving as well?

and you're claiming Lamarckian evolution is true? Boy oh boy, I've hardly ever seen so much ignorance.
Bartolo
3.7 / 5 (3) Nov 10, 2010
bsardi,
epigenetics is not evolution as it only works on the phenotypical and not on the genotypical level. It was not studied because they didn't know how to.

kevinrtrs,
The initial 'creation' of information until the first common ancestor was formed is not biological evolution, but is studied by a science called 'the origins of life'. They're working hard to figure out how this could have happened and have had good success. Like how to create RNA (the parent of DNA) from simple chemicals through a pretty simple process. As soon as there was such a molecule it was just a matter of time for it to develop mechanism to ensure its survival.
This was published just yesterday: http://www.nature...590.html

Skeptic_Heretic
4.3 / 5 (6) Nov 10, 2010
As I recall from a course of evolutionary history in college, Darwin was far from the first to posit evolution.
Correct, it was Anaximander back in ancient Greece who first proposed it (name may be incorrect).
Boy oh boy, I've hardly ever seen so much ignorance.
Must be new here. Check my profile for a listing.

In response to the various ridiculously ignorant evolution deniers, please go to youtube and check out the "Why do People Laugh at Creationists" series.

Ethelred
4.4 / 5 (14) Nov 10, 2010
kevinrtrs said.
But as it stands, there's no known random physical process that can generate that kind of information. There just isn't. I challenge anyone to demonstrate that such a process exists.


Why do you pretend that anyone claimed there was such a thing as a random process creating information? I can't accept a challenge to defend a Straw Man BUT I CAN show how information increases.

Done it lots times here. Bet YOU have seen it before.

MUTATIONS are random.
SELECTION is NOT random.

Information comes from the environment via natural selection. The process of selection is in no way random.

Another way to think of it is as if random mutations created a block of marble and then INFORMATION was scribed into the random block by the selective pressures of the environment. This is not at all hard to understand. Only a religious belief is standing in the way of your comprehending this.

Become a rationalist or at least can the Straw Man crap.

Ethelred
Bartolo
2.5 / 5 (2) Nov 10, 2010
Skeptic_Heretic, I'm new here, but I've been debating with creationists for years. Though some, to their best knowledge (which is nearing 0), still claim evolution to work through Lamarckian mechanisms but they normally attempt to ridicule "evilutionists" for their stupidity to buy into that. I can't remember having met someone creating his own evidence on this premise. That's even more ignorant than just parroting your preacher or creationist websites full of strawmen.
And yes, if someone claims that when someone "explodes" in a vacuum this would represent an example of evolution, or weird examples alike, this is the most ignorant I've ever seen.
Skeptic_Heretic
4.5 / 5 (8) Nov 10, 2010
Skeptic_Heretic, I'm new here, but I've been debating with creationists for years.
Then you didn't check my profile. Physorg is underseige from misologist apprentices attempting ot become the next Hovind or Hamm. There's a listing in my profile of some of the more outspoken ones.
And yes, if someone claims that when someone "explodes" in a vacuum this would represent an example of evolution, or weird examples alike, this is the most ignorant I've ever seen.
My favorite is when they tell me that all the kinds were established at the beginning. Which kind is a trilobite? Where are the pre-cambrian rabbits and foxes? Why can't a lycan pictus breed with a grey wolf? etc, etc, etc.

They don't recognize that evolution answers these while they holler and jump when a biology student says "I don't know yet".
Topdoginuk
1 / 5 (1) Nov 10, 2010
In order to understand 'evolutionary shaping' or, phenotype variation, one has to know 'where' and 'what' is the phenomena that imbibes 'life' in atoms and, what communicative 'language' the fundamental particles work to. Enter 'Quantum Biology' and the weird phenomena of of the 'invisible'. We can only infer this worl yet, it's the 'lifeblood' of all living entities.
'Evolution' is nothing more than the influence of time on the physical manifestation of the phenomena of life expressed as a combination of trillions of atoms.
Whether 'catastrophic' events happen or not, the entity or, 'force' that instils 'life' will continue because, it's part of the Quantum Biosphere.
Bartolo
not rated yet Nov 10, 2010
Or: why can't a donkey and a horse produce offspring that can reproduce again?
They just claim that "kind" has a different definition than "species", but fail to come up with one.
It takes a lot more courage and humility to say "I don't know" then to blame the supernatural.
Much of modern beliefs are based on "the god of gaps". The biggest problem however is that many folks just don't want to believe anything else then what the bible says.
As Luther already said centuries ago: "Reason is the greatest enemy that faith has". Though some, like VK1, do an attempt to reason, while they better have kept to their bible instead because they make such fools of themselves by trying to look knowledgeable.
Malthe___344_stergreen
not rated yet Nov 10, 2010
Hi PinkElephant and Bartolo

Thanks for your replies. I agree that a mutation will spread more quickly in a smaller population. But mutations will be more frequent in a larger population. As you rightly point point out, genetic drift reshuffles the genes through reproduction but maybe this doesn't necessarily lead to genetic uniformity. Consider this, "The reproductive organs of each sex clearly constitute a complex suite of functionally coordinated adaptations: in males, the testicles, seminal vesicles, prostate, penis, and so on; in females, the ovaries, fallopian tubes, uterus, vagina, and so on...see next
Malthe___344_stergreen
not rated yet Nov 10, 2010
Yet the difference between these coordinated suites of adaptations is the result of a single-gene difference, the SRY gene on the Y chromosome. Males and females don’t have to differ in hundreds or thousands of genes to differ profoundly in their reproductive anatomy... Thus, differences in whole suites of adaptations can result from a single genetic switch." (Adapting Minds, Buller, 2005) I find it plausible that these switches, how many they may be still needs investigation, can survive reshuffling. I think this is how complex traits such as intelligence, hight etc. are found to be stable over many generations.
otto1932
1.5 / 5 (25) Nov 10, 2010
Yet one more thread has devolved due to the unnatural influence of superstition.
There just isn't. I challenge anyone to demonstrate that such a process exists.
-But it serves as a convenient example of the devolutionary effects that religion may have had on recent human evolution. As religionists tend to outreproduce rationalists, and also to persecute and slaughter them into oblivion, could it be possible that the viral god meme is selecting for individuals with less capacity for reason and sound judgment?

Could religion be genetically tailoring the species to accept irrational nonsense without question? Can this in part explain the chaos in much of the world today, where people fail to realize that too many children will inevitably cause some to starve, and that it is no ones fault but their own?

This is really not evolution but a demented form of domestication, whether self-driven or Intentionally caused for the Purpose of organizing the world. Either way it must end.
Malthe___344_stergreen
not rated yet Nov 10, 2010
Yet the difference between these coordinated suites of adaptations is the result of a single-gene difference, the SRY gene on the Y chromosome. Males and females don’t have to differ in hundreds or thousands of genes to differ profoundly in their reproductive anatomy... Thus, differences in whole suites of adaptations can result from a single genetic switch." See Adapting Minds, Buller, 2005. I find it plausible that these switches, how many they may be still needs investigation, can survive reshuffling. I think this is how complex traits such as intelligence, hight etc. are found to be stable over many generations.
otto1932
1.5 / 5 (24) Nov 10, 2010
I'm doing a paper on fast vs. slow human evolution. The (few) authors I have come across regarding this subject often mention the number of people as a driving factor for faster evolution. This seems plausible to me considering more people equals more variation.
I don't know if evolution during the Pleistocene can be fully appreciated without considering the dynamics of tribal warfare, whereby a tribe that shared an intellectual advantage in communicating tactics or conceiving strategy would have been able to destroy their enemies and assimilate the females, thereby accelerating the spread of this capability.

This process alone may explain the creation of our unwieldy and defect-prone brains. Pop pressure and conflict over resources drove innovation and selected for intellect. Hunting animals is easy; hunting humans is hard, especially if they are hunting you in turn. As humans eliminated their natural enemies they were left with only themselves to contend with.
Modernmystic
2 / 5 (4) Nov 10, 2010
There is little doubt (if any?) that evolution exists, and operates.

My only issue with it is does it operate in the way we currently describe it? I think there are things which are insufficient for the current theory to adequately explain...that doesn't mean the whole theory is wrong.
Bartolo
5 / 5 (6) Nov 10, 2010
Yet one more thread has devolved due to the unnatural influence of superstition.

Devolution doesn't exist as evolution is a result of change in time, and time is one-directional. It doesn't matter if you or anyone else think a certain obtained trait by evolution is positive or negative.
Bartolo
5 / 5 (3) Nov 10, 2010
otto1932,
A mutation, if positive, can propagate through large populations, but it takes much longer and is just less likely to be selected for and to become permanent in the long run. It has a much lager chance to be dampened and eventually to be lost completely. It's statistics.
frajo
2.3 / 5 (3) Nov 10, 2010
But mutations will be more frequent in a larger population.
Are you talking about percentages or about absolute numbers?
Malthe___344_stergreen
5 / 5 (1) Nov 10, 2010
But mutations will be more frequent in a larger population.
Are you talking about percentages or about absolute numbers?


Absolute numbers. Sorry.
Modernmystic
2.7 / 5 (6) Nov 10, 2010
I think that this view of evolution, long periods of stability marked by rapid adaptation in the face of extraordinary environmental change is the correct view.

I think, for instance, it was a snowball Earth event that produced the Cambrian explosion. Which in my view was the most significant evolutionary step taken on the planet, with the possible exception of the evolution of intelligence.
Bartolo
5 / 5 (4) Nov 10, 2010
--------------
But mutations will be more frequent in a larger population.
--------------
That's why smaller populations are more likely to go extinct (99.9% of all species that ever lived vanished from the face of the earth). But when a small population get a positive mutation this is likely to spread much more rapidly throughout the population and become dominant. In a larger population the effect of a positive mutation is more likely to fade out of the population.
danman5000
4.4 / 5 (7) Nov 10, 2010
If someone can perhaps give a plausible explanation that accounts for that information content, ....

...you'll ignore it, just like you do all other plausible explanations and facts given to you. If you refuse to learn, how can we be expected to teach you?
Modernmystic
1 / 5 (4) Nov 10, 2010
If someone can perhaps give a plausible explanation that accounts for that information content, ....

...you'll ignore it, just like you do all other plausible explanations and facts given to you.


Well you did a pretty good job of ignoring his inquiry, and as the one asserting something exists the onus is on YOU...

Well...
otto1932
1.4 / 5 (24) Nov 10, 2010
Yet one more thread has devolved due to the unnatural influence of superstition.

Devolution doesn't exist as evolution is a result of change in time, and time is one-directional. It doesn't matter if you or anyone else think a certain obtained trait by evolution is positive or negative.
I was referring to it in this sense:
"Evolution is the development of an organism from its chemicals or primitive state to its present state. Devolution is the sequence toward greater simplicity or disappearance or degeneration."

-I dont think there is much that can be considered 'natural' about the current human form or function. We have been subjected to a few million years of competition with fellow tool users, adaptation to technologies such as fire and clothing, and intra- and intertribal social influence such as trade, superstition, etc.
cont.
otto1932
1.2 / 5 (25) Nov 10, 2010
The human brain is far larger in comparison to body weight than any other animal. It consumes 20% of the bodys energy output. It is prone to defect and damage, and begins to degrade after age 15.

We are 'naturally' born prematurely because of the size limits of the female birth canal, which has widened as much as it can to accomodate the passage of the human head.

This suggests to me that the state of the human brain is an unnatural one and, in the absense of the forces which created it, would revert to something more sound and sustainable.

Feral animals such as dingoes or hogs will begin to regain the traits they lost during domestication, essentially devolving to a more primitive form. I think humans can also revert to more primitive forms, and I think that changes such as the advent of agriculture and religions which allow people to think less for themselves, can be a cause of this.
Bartolo
5 / 5 (2) Nov 10, 2010
-----------------
If someone can perhaps give a plausible explanation that accounts for that information content, ....
-----------------

RNA
Information is what is encoded (differences in chemical composition) in the molecule to make it more chemically stable. This eventually lead to DNA because it consists of 2 strands, making it even more stable.
otto1932
1.4 / 5 (25) Nov 10, 2010
otto1932,
A mutation, if positive, can propagate through large populations, but it takes much longer and is just less likely to be selected for and to become permanent in the long run. It has a much lager chance to be dampened and eventually to be lost completely. It's statistics.
Unless the people who are propagating it have some consistant advantage on the battlefield, and can overrun their competition in a region and spread this mutation by impregnating all the females. Then this propagation can happen extremely rapidly.

The term 'population' doesnt equate to the tribal nature of protohuman tool/weapon users and the dynamics of conquest, which was clearly a factor in their evolution.
Modernmystic
1 / 5 (2) Nov 10, 2010
Information is what is encoded (differences in chemical composition) in the molecule to make it more chemically stable. This eventually lead to DNA because it consists of 2 strands, making it even more stable.


That's a good explanation of how it's coded, stored, transferred...says NOTHING about where the information was produced.

It's the difference between giving someone an explanation of how information is stored on a hard drive when they asked about how a word document was produced that resides on the hard drive.
Bartolo
5 / 5 (3) Nov 10, 2010
otto1932,
when you say something is not natural, is it then supernatural?
And hugs and dingoes don;t "devolve". They never lost those traits in the first place, but were not expressed for whatever reason. In different circumstances these traits are being expressed again. Evolution is passing and change of acquired traits through the genetic make-up from generation to generation, it doesn't happen on individual level.
otto1932
1.2 / 5 (23) Nov 10, 2010
-And if this mutation is one that causes a brain defect which favors the the embrace of religionist delusion over sensual reality, and leads to the type of aggression and social cohesion which assists in its spread, then it would tend to prevail despite its detriment to the individual organism.

Think zombies who can reproduce.
Bartolo
5 / 5 (3) Nov 10, 2010
Modernmystic,
information is something that can be used or interpreted a certain way. Hydrogen and oxygen contain different information, because they react differently. The same goes for RNA or DNA. Basically they are sugar-like molecules that had certain capabilities to react a particular way with other chemicals. These reactions change the information.
otto1932
1.2 / 5 (20) Nov 10, 2010
otto1932,
when you say something is not natural, is it then supernatural?
Nothing either supernatural or natural about domestication, or something resembling it. And can adaptation to domesticated foods or smoke from fire be considered natural?
And hugs and dingoes don;t "devolve". They never lost those traits in the first place, but were not expressed for whatever reason. In different circumstances these traits are being expressed again. Evolution is passing and change of acquired traits through the genetic make-up from generation to generation, it doesn't happen on individual level.
Both dingoes and thoroughbreds breed true. At what point do domestics become seperate species? What is the line between evolution and adaptation? Does a liger mean that tigers and lions are the same species? Could homosapiens mate with australopithecus?
Modernmystic
1 / 5 (4) Nov 10, 2010
These reactions change the information.


Well then it can't be a good storage mechanism then can it? You can't have your cake and eat it too. Either it's good at information storage, or it's good at information production. You try and mix the two and all you get is garbage in garbage out.

Which is it?
Skeptic_Heretic
4 / 5 (4) Nov 10, 2010
Well then it can't be a good storage mechanism then can it? You can't have your cake and eat it too. Either it's good at information storage, or it's good at information production. You try and mix the two and all you get is garbage in garbage out.
Well that's certainly not correct. The hard drive you're using right now both produces and stores information without issue. Chemical storage is similar to magnetic storage. Information is both produced and stored based upon what section of the total system.

Your DNA isn't all there is to it. You have multiple forms and types of DNA that function as pattern storage and as templating material for further production.

ie: a sewing pattern is both information storage and production. It stores the actual templates for the pattern and when combined with material generates the physical product. DNA works in a similar way.
Skeptic_Heretic
3.7 / 5 (3) Nov 10, 2010
Or: why can't a donkey and a horse produce offspring that can reproduce again?
Well on occasion, they do. Ever heard the term "once in a Blue Moon?" The reason why that is properly capitalized is because "Blue Moon" was the name of a mule that had viable mule offspring.
Bartolo
5 / 5 (4) Nov 10, 2010
These reactions change the information.


Well then it can't be a good storage mechanism then can it? You can't have your cake and eat it too. Either it's good at information storage, or it's good at information production. You try and mix the two and all you get is garbage in garbage out.

Which is it?

Changed information isn't necessarily useless information.
Bartolo
not rated yet Nov 10, 2010
Or: why can't a donkey and a horse produce offspring that can reproduce again?
Well on occasion, they do. Ever heard the term "once in a Blue Moon?" The reason why that is properly capitalized is because "Blue Moon" was the name of a mule that had viable mule offspring.

Never heard of that. Must have been a very lucky shot then...
Modernmystic
1 / 5 (4) Nov 10, 2010
Well that's certainly not correct. The hard drive you're using right now both produces and stores information without issue. Chemical storage is similar to magnetic storage. Information is both produced and stored based upon what section of the total system.


The problem here is that when the information is changed it changes the very structure of the system ITSELF. It's not only like the hard drive doing different things on different sectors, when you change DNA/RNA it's like the hard drive physically re-designing itself as it goes along. How long before it no longer functions AS a hard drive?
Skeptic_Heretic
5 / 5 (2) Nov 10, 2010
The problem here is that when the information is changed it changes the very structure of the system ITSELF.
Not necessarily. I'll show you with the rest of this post.
It's not only like the hard drive doing different things on different sectors,
I dndi't say taht. I siad taht drvies craete data as wlel as prdouce the nesecsery patetrn to raed teh data.
when you change DNA/RNA it's like the hard drive physically re-designing itself as it goes along.
Nope, it's like a blip in the wave form.
How long before it no longer functions AS a hard drive?
Well after the death of the organism, which means that configuration wouldn't make it out of the factory.

Chances are you could read all the sentences I wrote in this post. The information content wasn't misunderstood, yet not all the lines contained accurate or complete information. Where you have multiple QA mechanisms (ie: English letters and the human mind) you will receive a functional end product.
Bartolo
5 / 5 (4) Nov 10, 2010
otto1932,
everything happening within the laws of nature is natural, therefor domestication is also natural. The selective pressures were just different than if those animals were running around in the wild.
otto1932
1.2 / 5 (21) Nov 10, 2010
otto1932,
everything happening within the laws of nature is natural, therefor domestication is also natural. The selective pressures were just different than if those animals were running around in the wild.
Semantics. I say domestication is unnatural. This means exploitation of natural mechanisms by artificial means. Asphalt concrete occurs naturally but highways do not. Wood occurs naturally; lumber does not.

"A defining characteristic of domestication is artificial selection by humans."
http://en.wikiped...tication

Wolves occur naturally; wienerdogs do not, and would soon be extinct in a natural environment. And I think the human brain would revert- devolve- in the same way, if we were to return to gathering berries in eden.
otto1932
1.2 / 5 (20) Nov 10, 2010
If given enough time, would the human tropical repro rate have adapted to the seasonal restrictions of a temperate environment as other animals do? Would this have reduced pop pressure and the resultant conflict to the point where we would have been in equilibrium with the environment?

Is this what happened with neanderthal, who could not reproduce conflict losses as quickly as the tropical cromags and so disappeared? His brain was apparently slightly larger than ours; was it as energy-hungry?
Bartolo
5 / 5 (5) Nov 10, 2010
Nothing semantics. It's just a form of symbiotic relationship. Good for us, good for them. We have 10 microorganisms per cell in our body. Many of which we can't do without. Other species also "domesticate" other life forms (e.g. termites grow fungi in their hills if I remember well). Other species also use tools. Just because we have a larger brain doesn't make our actions unnatural.
Devolution can't happen. It will be a evolution even if we'd loose our brains and still manage to survive.
I can't speculate about "what if" scenarios of species that once existed. Just accidentally dropped my crystal ball, I'm sorry.
Skeptic_Heretic
5 / 5 (1) Nov 10, 2010
Wolves occur naturally; wienerdogs do not, and would soon be extinct in a natural environment.
Without domesticated dogs, you and I wouldn't be typing, we'd be out hunting and gathering. The agricultural revolution and sheppherding wouldn't be possible without canis familiaris.
otto1932
1.4 / 5 (21) Nov 10, 2010
Artificial: humanly contrived often on a natural model : man-made, as an artificial limb

The distinction between man-made and natural is a valid and a useful one. And certainly, many forms of domestication cannot be considered 'good' for the affected species, considering for instance how veal is made. And many forms of domestication render the species incapable of surviving in a natural environment, as I think our own domestication has done.
Just because we have a larger brain doesn't make our actions unnatural.
Yes it does, per the definition of 'artificial'.
Other species also "domesticate" other life forms
Again, you are disregarding the proper definition of domestication: "A defining characteristic of domestication is artificial selection by HUMANS." You or anybody can redefine words to suit their own theories. Sometimes it works.
otto1932
1.2 / 5 (20) Nov 10, 2010
I can't speculate about "what if" scenarios of species that once existed. Just accidentally dropped my crystal ball, I'm sorry.
As you may know, scientists who do investigate such things do not use religionist devices like your crystal ball.
frajo
3 / 5 (4) Nov 10, 2010
Could homosapiens mate with australopithecus?
They certainly would try.
frajo
2.3 / 5 (3) Nov 10, 2010
These reactions change the information.
Well then it can't be a good storage mechanism then can it? You can't have your cake and eat it too. Either it's good at information storage, or it's good at information production. You try and mix the two and all you get is garbage in garbage out.
It is not recommended but you can write self-modifying programs. Start the initial program, let it read it's own source and some (time-variable) parameters of the operating system. Make it change the source according to the OS parameters (or: some stochastic parameters), let it call the compiler/linker, start the child program which kills the parent program and enters a new cycle.
The OS would be analogous to the biosphere, the hardware to the planet, and the program to one species.
Bartolo
5 / 5 (3) Nov 10, 2010
otto1932,
It's seems it's you who's got caught by semantics. Most of the words you use and their definitions were made up when there was little known about animal behavior. Crows use sticks to get worms out of tree branches. Is this an artificial beak or nail? I think it is, but still it's not unnatural. The fact that humans are much better at it doesn't instantly make it unnatural, neither does a dictionary dictate what's natural or not just because it subscribes certain behavior explicitly to humans.
Words and their meaning can change over time. There were days that being gay had nothing to do with homosexuality. Now hardly anyone knows what it meant before.
otto1932
1.2 / 5 (21) Nov 10, 2010
otto1932,
It's seems it's you who's got caught by semantics. Most of the words you use and their definitions were made up when there was little known about animal behavior.
And so you have decided to change them? A little arrogant dont you think?
Crows use sticks to get worms out of tree branches. Is this an artificial beak or nail? I [sic] think it is, but still it's not unnatural. The fact that humans are much better at it doesn't instantly make it unnatural, [according to you] neither does a dictionary dictate what's natural or not just because it subscribes certain behavior
So while you alone are rewriting the dictionary, you think you can come up with a word which describes domestication as artificial selection by humans? Because, as I say, the distinction is a useful one, it is in common use by experts in their respective fields, and it is still in all the latest dictionaries now in use.

All of which kind of implies youre a pinhead of some sort, dont you think?
otto1932
1.2 / 5 (23) Nov 10, 2010
Oh come on frajo, you 5/5 this guy even though hes single-handedly redefining a technical term to suit some transient popularist misanthropic opinion? Misanthropy went out of fashion 30 years ago. Are you misanthropic also?
They certainly would try.
Well, maybe you are. Cromags would only mate with the women; they would eat the men. Little difference between hunting and fighting, and why leave all that good protein to rot on the battlefield? Ever been to Borneo?
otto1932
1.2 / 5 (22) Nov 10, 2010
@Barto
Ah. Somebody already beat you to it:
"Ant-fungus mutualism is a symbiosis seen in certain ant and fungal species, where ants actively cultivate fungus much like humans farm crops as a food source."
http://en.wikiped...utualism

-You should look things up once in awhile yes?
Bartolo
5 / 5 (4) Nov 10, 2010
Words defined in dictionaries are not technical definitions. And not all dictionaries have the same definitions. And I'm not redefining anything, but similarities that fall out of a certain definition because of the word "human" is used either demands a correction to envelope the full context, or a new word that envelopes it all. Similarities are similarities, independent of if you like it or not or how you want to call it.
And why am I misanthropic just because I see there are similarities between human and other animals behaviors? That's just ludicrous.
About the termites/ants: I said "if I remember well". Obviously I was slightly off. It's still symbiosis, like we do with our cultivated plants and animals.
otto1932
1.2 / 5 (22) Nov 10, 2010
About the termites/ants: I said "if I remember well". Obviously I was slightly off. It's still symbiosis, like we do with our cultivated plants and animals.
Symbiosis yes; mutualism yes; domestication no. Domestication is an activity strictly limited to humans. Prove me wrong by referencing something other than your own isolated and uninformed opinion.

I'll give you a start:
"Domestication (from Latin domesticus) or taming is the process whereby a population of animals or plants, through a process of selection, becomes accustomed to HUMAN provision and control."
http://en.wikiped...tication
otto1932
1.2 / 5 (22) Nov 10, 2010
Words defined in dictionaries are not technical definitions.
How about from a technical dictionary?

"Thus, domesticated. domestication Biology, the breeding of an animal or plant to adapt it for human use or life with humans."
-Academic Press dictionary of science and technology
http://books.goog...;f=false

-This is fun.
otto1932
1.2 / 5 (22) Nov 10, 2010
And why am I misanthropic just because I see there are similarities between human and other animals behaviors?
Because you are failing to acknowledge the differences. These can be substantial and there are specific words which have traditionally been used to describe them, like domestication.
Bartolo
5 / 5 (2) Nov 10, 2010
Were going astray. You keep playing the semantics game. A domesticating process is a natural process, even though the selective pressures are human. We are part of nature, the animals we domesticate are natural, the means are natural. So domestication is natural.

- The process of cheetahs chasing antelopes and choosing the slowest creates faster antelopes. The fastest cheetahs survive and the fastest antelopes survive, passing on their "fast genes".
- Humans choosing cows which produce more milk and let them breed creates new generations of cows that produce more milk than other cows that were not selected for milk production.

Both examples are equally natural.
PinkElephant
4 / 5 (4) Nov 10, 2010
@otto1932,

First let me assert what I think you're trying to say: you're afraid that humans are evolving toward some kinds of a hive-like condition -- individualism falls away, intelligence atrophies, self-sufficiency vanishes and what's left is a bulk organism whose constituents cannot survive unless as part of the whole.

To some extent, I think this is valid. Particularly once humans begin to colonize naturally inhospitable environments (Moon, Mars, etc.) Modern civilization and high technology make our high population densities and luxurious lifestyles possible; if this artificial medium were to fall apart overnight, the vast majority of modern humans would be dead soon after. The complexity of our technological and economic infrastructures is quite breathtaking (yet still growing exponentially), and I think starting to rival even that of any stand-alone organism. We've been evolving a collective superstructure, which is increasingly circumscribing and subsuming us.
jsa09
not rated yet Nov 10, 2010
otto and bartolo I think you both agree but just enjoy a good argument. And who can blame you? There is not much that is more fun than a good argument.

Or at least I used to think so these days I am so domesticated that I cant get up a good head of steam to enjoy a good argument anymore.

We as a species are domesticating ourselves as well as the planet these days. Domestication is a behavioral change but genetics comes in to it when we breed for traits that lead to easier domestication.

These days the man that gets angry quick and maybe beats his wife or his neighbours will find himself in gaol. His chances of reproduction go down. The sneaky person that lies and cheats may well impregnate more woman. Worst of all is the sperm donor that has 100 children.

If this keeps up the future of mankind will end up in the hands of the type of person that gives sperm.
PinkElephant
5 / 5 (1) Nov 10, 2010
ctd. (@otto1932)

But on other counts, I disagree. For instance, size of brain and/or nutritional requirements. Would you say that Caesarian Section is a "natural" method of birth? It's common in the developed world... Are you aware of the obesity epidemic? If anything, we have more nutrition than our bodies know what to do with.

There is no selective pressure for simpler minds. In fact one could argue, the higher the population density, the more intelligence is rewarded: because first and foremost, intelligence allows one to take advantage of the less intelligent.

You could say that religious people have more offspring, but is religiosity genetic? Is it derived from genes, or memes? Atheism is a fairly recent invention; throughout much of human history widespread superstition was the norm. Atheism isn't a product of genes; it's a product of increasing knowledge and expanding horizons. It is a function of memes.
otto1932
1.2 / 5 (23) Nov 10, 2010
You keep playing the semantics game. A domesticating process is a natural process, even though the selective pressures are human.
No its not. Youre doing your best to avoid admitting you are wrong.
We are part of nature, the animals we domesticate are natural, the means are natural. So domestication is natural.
No its not. It is artificial, meaning human.
First let me assert what I think you're trying to say: you're afraid that humans are evolving toward some kinds of a hive-like condition
Muss ich deutlicher werden??? Among other things I am a crack, crackpot conspiracy theorist. Humans are the Product of a few thousand years of efforted domestication.

Before that we were shaped by an unprecedented and UNNATURAL condition of chronic tribal warfare among ever more clever, scheming, resourceful weapon users.
Would you say that Caesarian Section is a "natural" method of birth?
Absolutely not and this supports the idea that the human brain is not natural.
Bartolo
4.7 / 5 (3) Nov 10, 2010
otto and bartolo I think you both agree

I think we don't agree, otto claims human intervention is not natural but artificial. I claim everything within the scope of natural laws is natural. Even PinkElephants example of Caesarian Section is natural. When, for whatever reason, we loose the ability to do Caesarian Sections, nature will reduce the number of too large heads again. Nature has no morals.
If this keeps up the future of mankind will end up in the hands of the type of person that gives sperm.

I'm off to make a donation!
otto1932
1.2 / 5 (22) Nov 10, 2010
But on other counts, I disagree. For instance, size of brain and/or nutritional requirements.
These are well-known and accepted facts. Our brains are gluttons. It really takes 2 to birth a human baby, as it necessarily comes out face down. This has been suggested as a reason post-menopausal women have been evolutionarily selected for.

Women suffer during childbirth more than any other animal. Heads are too BIG.
You could say that religious people have more offspring, but is religiosity genetic?
I am saying quite possibly yes. I recent article here attributes liberalism to genes. There is increasing evidence to support the idea that complex behaviors are caused by the unique structure of the brain, which is a product of evolution; whether natural or artificial.

IF the urge to genuflect is caused by a defect and genuflecters tend to fear and loathe those who dont, then this defect could proliferate. This doesnt mean that the defect is normal or the behavior beneficial.
DamienS
4 / 5 (4) Nov 10, 2010
If everything is natural within the scope of natural laws (what other scope is there?), then why do we even have the word natural (and artificial)?
otto1932
1.2 / 5 (23) Nov 10, 2010
If everything is natural within the scope of natural laws (what other scope is there?), then why do we even have the word natural (and artificial)?
Or for that matter, the word human?
There is no selective pressure for simpler minds.
I think it can be argued that contemporary religions select for simple minds. Simple-minded people are also easier to govern.
PinkElephant
1 / 5 (2) Nov 10, 2010
ctd. (@otto1932)

And then, there's the whole aspect of Kurzweil's Singularity. Within this or the next century, we'll be bioengineering ourselves and our environment. We will originate completely artificial organisms, both biological and non-biological in construction. True artificial intelligence is absolutely predestined to appear: the only question is when, not if.

At that point, it becomes impossible to predict what will happen. We're all currently too stupid, and too ignorant, to even come up with a reasonably well-founded guess.
otto1932
1.2 / 5 (23) Nov 10, 2010
we'll be bioengineering ourselves
I think human husbandry has been happening for a very long time. Take the hymen for instance. It is rare in primates- only 1 species of gorilla and 1 lemur have hymens.

But suppose enlightened Leaders in prehistory figured that the best way to ensure that their tribe would prevail in battle, was to propagate their champions. The only way to ensure that warriors were breeding true would have been the hymen; and so they could have selected for this rare mutation by killing all unhymenated females.

Arranged marriages and hymen repair are popular in many areas around the world. Indeed they are.
PinkElephant
5 / 5 (4) Nov 10, 2010
human husbandry has been happening for a very long time
Just like with any other species; it's called "sexual selection". But hardly anything orchestrated.
The only way to ensure that warriors were breeding true would have been the hymen
Not unless you repaired the hymen after each mating. Besides, battle champions tend to have rather short lives. It's the cowards and the schemers who tend to stay behind and breed.
It really takes 2 to birth a human baby, as it necessarily comes out face down. This has been suggested as a reason post-menopausal women have been evolutionarily selected for.
Unlikely. A woman in prone position can easily give birth by herself (provided the baby isn't in breach.) The more likely reasons for extended sterile senescence are the prematurity and nutritional requirements of babies, which you've mentioned. Grandparents aid survival of children, not least by allowing both parents to forage while the child is safely looked after.
PinkElephant
5 / 5 (4) Nov 10, 2010
IF the urge to genuflect is caused by a defect and genuflecters tend to fear and loathe those who dont, then this defect could proliferate.
But they tend to fear and loathe each other just as much.

And it really depends on what you mean by "genuflecters". If you mean they're more submissive to authority, then that implies they're also less naturally assertive/aggressive. If you mean they're more gullible, then that implies they're also less intelligent. Neither of those two features would provide a particular advantage. If they're more taken to flights of fancy, then that's a potential creativity advantage, but at the cost of uniformity...

But again, you're assuming a great deal about any genetic connection. As I mentioned before, Atheism is a recently-emergent phenomenon. And it is definitely NOT what you would call "natural". It is culturally derived (knowledge-based), and so obviously not genetic. So, it doesn't make much sense to call its antithesis genetic, either.
trekgeek1
5 / 5 (2) Nov 11, 2010
Kevinrtrs said:

In part-agreement with Pink_elephant, it's this SMALL population that already contained the required information that created the kind of diversity we see today.


Minus your nonsense about the bible and flood in your comment, is the above excerpt your own admission of evolution? You are claiming that a flood left very few humans and other animals which allowed for the variation we see today. That sounds like evolution talk to me. I don't agree with the flood part at all, but I'll be glad if you've at least accepted in your mind that evolution happens, even if you insist it happened after "the flood".
frajo
3 / 5 (2) Nov 11, 2010
I'll give you a start:
"Domestication (from Latin domesticus) or taming is the process whereby a population of animals or plants, through a process of selection, becomes accustomed to HUMAN provision and control."
http://en.wikipedia...
Wikipedia is no replacement for some knowledge of Latin. "Domesticus" is derived from "domus". "Domus" has ample meaning:
house, residence, domicile, nest (of animals), cavern (of animals), housing (of animals), carapace (of a turtle), home community, household, family, school of philosophers, hometown, homeland.

Your distinction between human and non-human is not served well by the Romans. They knew animated ("anima" = soul/air/breath ==> "animal" = being/creature) and non-animated objects, but slaves were just tools with the ability to talk for them.
frajo
3.7 / 5 (3) Nov 11, 2010
If everything is natural within the scope of natural laws (what other scope is there?), then why do we even have the word natural (and artificial)?
It's a convention, a relic from the anthropocentric (not yet finished) past.
frajo
3.7 / 5 (3) Nov 11, 2010
I think it can be argued that contemporary religions select for simple minds. Simple-minded people are also easier to govern.
If you want to make a career in the RCC or the Greek orthodoxy, a simple mind won't get you far. The late archbishop Christodoulos of Athens was fluent in six languages. The Jesuits are famed for their education. Every serious believer in these churches will be proud to see a family member in the higher clergy. There certainly is no more selection for simple minded people than in any society which is worshipping TV.
frajo
3.7 / 5 (3) Nov 11, 2010
We will originate completely artificial organisms, both biological and non-biological in construction. True artificial intelligence is absolutely predestined to appear: the only question is when, not if.
While we are already constructing the first cyborgs (using artificial organs) and while we'll certainly be able to construct brain helper modules the question is not yet answered whether there will ever be a truly autonomous AI.
As we don't yet have - besides wild speculations - the slightest idea of the fundamental components/circuitry by which self-awareness emerges we cannot exclude that it turns out to not be feasible once it is understood.

There won't be any true AI before we understand how to make our pets self-aware and talkative.
frajo
4 / 5 (4) Nov 11, 2010
A word from rattus rattus, periplaneta americana, and some billions of gut bacteria to homo sapiens:

Don't think your special features make you the Crown of Creation or the masters of the biosphere. You are just playing around with your environment as we all do and always have done.
In fact you are just one of many components of the biosphere, like all of us. There's no validity in your claim you or your byproducts are not as "natural" as all of us and our byproducts (oxygen, amongst others).

If you really want to draw a line it's the unicellular beings among us who are natural and all multicellular organisms are mere artefacts.
Ethelred
4 / 5 (4) Nov 11, 2010
Modernmystic said:
Well you did a pretty good job of ignoring his inquiry, and as the one asserting something exists the onus is on YOU
Actually since I already dealt the inquiry, for the umpteenth time, he had no need to cover it.

You asked:
That's a good explanation of how it's coded, stored, transferred...says NOTHING about where the information was produced.
Even after my post. The information comes from the environment. What is the problem you have with this clearly explained concept?

Oh bloody hell:
Either it's good at information storage, or it's good at information production. You try and mix the two and all you get is garbage in garbage out.

Which is it?
A false dichotomy is what that is. DNA does NOT create information. It only stores it. The information comes from the selection process.

Ethelred
Ethelred
3.7 / 5 (3) Nov 11, 2010
As we don't yet have - besides wild speculations - the slightest idea of the fundamental components/circuitry by which self-awareness emerges we cannot exclude that it turns out to not be feasible once it is understood.


I don't know about that. I think we, or at least I, have some idea.

Our brains are made up of many parts that behave both independently and dependently. Literally through introspection I can see parts of my mind thinking about thinking. Right now for instance. It seems to me that the process of observing my own thinking IS what makes self-awareness.

When we can make a computer that watches its own behavior, and can modify it, I think we will have a self aware computer. Not even sure if there is a need for self modification. Lots people seem to find it difficult if not impossible.

Ethelred
DamienS
4.3 / 5 (6) Nov 11, 2010
As we don't yet have - besides wild speculations - the slightest idea of the fundamental components/circuitry by which self-awareness emerges we cannot exclude that it turns out to not be feasible once it is understood.

That's not quite true. The organization of the neocortex is a key part of the equation. The Blue Brain project is attempting to create a synthetic brain by reverse engineering the mammalian brain down to the molecular level. I don't think we need to 'understand' self-awareness per se to create it, as it's likely to be an emergent property of a sufficiently complex, associative network.
otto1932
1.4 / 5 (22) Nov 11, 2010
I'll give you a start:
"Domestication (from Latin domesticus) or taming is the process whereby a population of animals or plants, through a process of selection, becomes accustomed to HUMAN provision and control."
http://en.wikipedia...
Wikipedia is no replacement for some knowledge of Latin. "Domesticus" is derived from "domus". "Domus" has ample meaning:
house, residence, domicile, nest (of animals), cavern (of animals), housing (of animals), carapace (of a turtle), home community, household, family, school of philosophers, hometown, homeland.

Your distinction between human and non-human is not served well by the Romans. They knew animated ("anima" = soul/air/breath ==> "animal" = being/creature) and non-animated objects, but slaves were just tools with the ability to talk for them.
Dismantling words to extract meaning... The def in all sources I saw is the same; HUMAN-derived. LOOK it up. I am not redefining the word like you and your buddy.
otto1932
1.3 / 5 (24) Nov 11, 2010
I think it can be argued that contemporary religions select for simple minds. Simple-minded people are also easier to govern.
If you want to make a career in the RCC or the Greek orthodoxy, a simple mind won't get you far. The late archbishop Christodoulos of Athens was fluent in six languages. The Jesuits are famed for their education. Every serious believer in these churches will be proud to see a family member in the higher clergy. There certainly is no more selection for simple minded people than in any society which is worshipping TV.
Well yes, priests and shamans must be well-versed in their esoterica for convincing foisting. For mass deceptioning. The masses however, must be dim enough to fall for it without question.(uh, you mean god is 3 parts in 1? Or is that 1 part of 3, which is half-man?? Our prophet flew to jerusalem to get to heaven... Etc)

Academic achievements add credence and authority to the lie that what they are selling is real. It is not.
Bartolo
4.3 / 5 (6) Nov 11, 2010
I'm not here just to win the argument, to redefine words, nor to fraud myself into winning. But I'm right until proven wrong. Show me where I my reasoning is flawed and you make my day, as than I'd have learned something new. I didn't start using words like domestication anyway. It was about natural or unnatural.

If everything is natural within the scope of natural laws (what other scope is there?), then why do we even have the word natural (and artificial)?

I think frajo did some of the explaining already, but let me say it my own way.

Let me build my case again:
Everything not-natural is super-natural. The latter can never be disproved. Natural is everything that obeys the natural laws and everything that is a result of the processes governed by natural laws. "Artificial" things are not part of biological evolution, but are created by creatures that are, no matter if it's done by chimps, crows, ants or humans and can't go against the laws of nature.
otto1932
1.3 / 5 (24) Nov 11, 2010
Everything not-natural is super-natural. The latter can never be disproved. Natural is everything that obeys the natural laws and everything that is a result of the processes governed by natural laws. "Artificial" things are not part of biological evolution, but are created by creatures that are, no matter if it's done by chimps, crows, ants or humans and can't go against the laws of nature.
Hopefully you can discern the difference between your 'case' and the accepted norm. The word artificial is used to describe things that are human-derived.
Bartolo
4.3 / 5 (6) Nov 11, 2010
Termites build hills to live in, chimps build nests and humans build houses.
Crows and chimps use sticks to get to their food, humans use extensions as well when our limbs are too short to reach to something.
The sticks, nests, hills but also stones used by animals are tools thus artificial, still they're referred to as natural behavior for these animals Then the same goes for human tools, no matter how complicated they are compared to the chimp-stick.
I defend that nothing unnatural can come forward out of natural behavior. Couldn't unnatural things explicitly come forward out of unnatural behavior?
When we refer to tools made by animals as natural, than a human house and an airplane are also natural.

Unnatural, or supernatural would be e.g. telekinesis. If that would be shown to be truly possible then this would become natural as well and even more so when it would be found out how this was supposed to work.

Please, point out the flaw(s) in my reasoning.
otto1932
1.3 / 5 (25) Nov 11, 2010
If everything is natural within the scope of natural laws (what other scope is there?), then why do we even have the word natural (and artificial)?
It's a convention, a relic from the anthropocentric (not yet finished) past.
Minimizing humanity, collective guilt... that's so last-century. This decade we are glorifying the human distinction. Because, as Pinkel points out, our extinction looms.
Please, point out the flaw(s) in my reasoning
Your flaw is an embarrassing one. You fail to acknowledge that in many ways humans are DIFFERENT, and it is necessary sometimes to make the distinction using commonly accepted words with agreed-to definitions which can be found in reference books. Klar?
Modernmystic
1 / 5 (6) Nov 11, 2010
Eth...I don't read your posts, or more accurately I ignore them as far as the conversation goes.
Skeptic_Heretic
4.3 / 5 (6) Nov 11, 2010
Eth...I don't read your posts, or more accurately I ignore them as far as the conversation goes.

I'd recommend you read his posts. You're missing out.
Bartolo
4.2 / 5 (5) Nov 11, 2010
otto, your remarks are so "2 centuries". Humans are part of nature. That's not minimizing humanity, that's just comparing what other animals can do that's pretty similar to human behavior, though very basic. It's more like recognizing other animals are not as stupid as our ancestors thought centuries ago.
Sharks are also very different, they have electro-receptors and brains developed to comprehend the signals.

As I already said, I didn't start using the word domestication, I initially replied to you about the use of the word "nature". You're avoiding the subject by continuing to return to the definition of that word and are not willing to comment on the substance and logic of my reasoning.
otto1932
1.3 / 5 (25) Nov 11, 2010
But they tend to fear and loathe each other just as much.

And it really depends on what you mean by "genuflecters". If you mean they're more submissive to authority, then that implies they're also less naturally assertive/aggressive.
Much better for herding onto the battlefield. If you mean they're more gullible, then that implies they're also less intelligent. Neither of those two features would provide a particular advantage.
Domestication makes animals LESS able to survive without their Shepherds.
If they're more taken to flights of fancy, then that's a potential creativity advantage, but at the cost of uniformity...
Or uniformly susceptible to creative artifice over reality and the evidence their own senses present.
Bartolo
4.2 / 5 (5) Nov 11, 2010
Domestication makes animals LESS able to survive without their Shepherds.

Bees can't survive without flowers and vv. How many people would be able to survive in the wilderness, without agriculture or domesticated animals? It's a symbiotic relationship. Tit for tat. You help me survive, I help you survive.
otto1932
1.2 / 5 (25) Nov 11, 2010
otto, your remarks are so "2 centuries". Humans are part of nature. That's not minimizing humanity, that's just comparing what other animals can do that's pretty similar to human behavior, though very basic. It's more like recognizing other animals are not as stupid as our ancestors thought centuries ago.
You know, part of your problem here is you think you've come up with something unique (it's not) or progressive (it's not) and are trying to demonstrate your talents to the community here.

The distinction between the human animal and everything else has been and is being... debated. Your 'case' has already been made and most everyone besides you is well aware of that. That you fail to recognize the explanation I've given you for the need for words like artificial and domestication to remain as they are is... tiresome.
Bartolo
4.4 / 5 (7) Nov 11, 2010
you think you've come up with something unique (it's not) or progressive (it's not) and are trying to demonstrate your talents to the community here.

I don't think it's unique or more progressive than what naturalists already know.
The distinction between the human animal and everything else has been and is being... debated.

You seem to have not understood it well.
Your 'case' has already been made and most everyone besides you is well aware of that. That you fail to recognize the explanation I've given you for the need for words like artificial and domestication to remain as they are is... tiresome.

Again, I didn't bring up domestication and artificial, that was you. I'm "trying" to discuss with you what's the nature of nature.
But if you say that a stick used by a chimp is not a tool or artificial, still claim that exactly the same tool used by humans is artificial, therefor not natural, then indeed we can't convince each other and our conversation ends.
otto1932
1.2 / 5 (26) Nov 11, 2010
-But your uncommon density demonstrates how belief systems based on opinion instead of fact, such as in religion or philosophy, can arise. Some contrarian, usually adolescent, finds some arbitrary fault with a prevailing dogma, and despite convincing argument and explanation, refuses to give it up. Gullible types like MM or those discontent with the status quo like Frajo (otto- status quo??!???!) pile on, and soon they are all marching off toward Antioch.

It is the biological nature of youth to be pioneers, to venture out to find new niches to fill, and to find or create reasons for doing so. Your reticence is genetically predetermined. So much for free will. Thanks for the opportunity to make a Point. Oh, and chimps aren't human.
Bartolo
5 / 5 (5) Nov 11, 2010
Tiring indeed... I never said chimps are humans, neither are crows, termites and ants. You just refuse to go into the argument that if one compares methods used by animals in general concerning tool-use, that they're similar and should be grouped together under the same denominator.
Do you really have no argument against that, except for "humans are sooo wonderfully special"?
Modernmystic
1 / 5 (2) Nov 11, 2010
I'd love to jump in here, but Bartolo is doing a FAR better job than I could.
Javinator
5 / 5 (8) Nov 11, 2010
But your uncommon density


I laughed.

Ironic.
otto1932
1.3 / 5 (23) Nov 11, 2010
But your uncommon density


I laughed.

Ironic.
Wait- was that a compliment -?
frajo
4.3 / 5 (6) Nov 11, 2010
The word artificial is used to describe things that are human-derived.
You don't consider the etymology, the history of the words you are focussing upon.
The Latin word "ars" (and the Greek word "techni"/tau-epsilon-chi-nou-eta) have been coined millennia ago when noone (in these cultures) doubted that among all mortal beings only humans had the gift to create tools and other non-animated objects.

Today we know better than that. Thus there is no reason to narrow the meaning of "artificial" down to its obsolete ancient use.

As a consequence we always have to realize the historical context in order to get a proper understanding of a word or a body of text.
Bartolo
4 / 5 (4) Nov 11, 2010
Ironic
Wait- was that a compliment -?

Use a dictionary
otto1932
1.3 / 5 (27) Nov 11, 2010
You don't consider the etymology, the history of the words you are focussing upon.
Use a dictionary for the agreed-to, commonly recognized word defs despite their ancient roots or current mistranslation by ausländern. It's not what they or their components USED to mean, it's what they mean NOW, which is important. Frajo knows this but is being deliberately obstructionist for unknown reasons.
otto1932
1.3 / 5 (23) Nov 11, 2010
Today we know better than that. Thus there is no reason to narrow the meaning of "artificial" down to its obsolete ancient use.
And STILL we are left with a myriad of reasons to refer to humans and their creations as separate and distinct from everything else, and we ALWAYS will. Should we give the current lexicon to revisionists and invent all new words for doing this, or should we have the revisionists invent their own words? And if their revisions should prove ephemeral, as most do, then what? I repeat, then what?
otto1932
1.3 / 5 (23) Nov 11, 2010
Today we know better than that. Thus there is no reason to narrow the meaning of "artificial" down to its obsolete ancient use.
Neither obsolete nor ancient. I've already posted 4 sources, here's another:
http://m.reference.com/d/search.html?q=artificial&o=0&l=dir

-Frajo maybe wants them in other languages she is more familiar with?
Bartolo
5 / 5 (3) Nov 11, 2010
Otto,

1) is a stick or branch, selected for its diameter and rid of side-branches by a chimp for the purpose of reaching out to food an artificial tool? Yes or No.

2) is a stick or branch, selected for its diameter and rid of side-branches by a human for the purpose of reaching out to food an artificial tool? Yes or No.
otto1932
1.3 / 5 (23) Nov 11, 2010
Dweeb
Is the def of artificial 'human-created'? Yes or no. Did you look it up yet?
Skeptic_Heretic
3 / 5 (2) Nov 11, 2010
Is the def of artificial 'human-created'? Yes or no?
No. Artificial is defined as "objects created by non-sentient natural forces."

Up until recently, the prevailing school of thought was that only humans were sentient, and that is demonstrably false now.
otto1932
1.3 / 5 (25) Nov 11, 2010
Is the def of artificial 'human-created'? Yes or no?
No. Artificial is defined as "objects created by non-sentient natural forces."

Up until recently, the prevailing school of thought was that only humans were sentient, and that is demonstrably false now.
So in other words you didn't look it up either? You got a source for your interpretation SH?
Skeptic_Heretic
5 / 5 (4) Nov 11, 2010
So in other words you didn't look it up either? You got a source for your interpretation SH?
http://wordnetweb.princeton.edu/perl/webwn?s=artificial&o2=&o0=1&o7=&o5=&o1=1&o6=&o4=&o3=&h=0

Entry 3: S: (adj) artificial (not arising from natural growth or characterized by vital processes)

Here are the other two entries for totality:
S: (adj) artificial, unreal (contrived by art rather than nature) "artificial flowers"; "artificial flavoring"; "an artificial diamond"; "artificial fibers"; "artificial sweeteners"
S: (adj) artificial, contrived, hokey, stilted (artificially formal) "that artificial humility that her husband hated"; "contrived coyness"; "a stilted letter of acknowledgment"; "when people try to correct their speech they develop a stilted pronunciation"
Bartolo
3.7 / 5 (3) Nov 11, 2010
I did look it up. Bur I'm asking the question to you and obviously you just refuse to give an answer. All I need is a Yes or No to both answers.
Is it
1) No
2) Yes
or anything else?
Modernmystic
2 / 5 (4) Nov 11, 2010
Making a tool might be making something artificial, but it certainly can't be categorized as unnatural.

That would be completely ridiculous.
Bartolo
5 / 5 (2) Nov 11, 2010
Otto,
I've got this "supernatural" feeling you yourself are caught in the semantic trap which you've been trying to set up for me...
frajo
3.3 / 5 (4) Nov 11, 2010
Today we know better than that. Thus there is no reason to narrow the meaning of "artificial" down to its obsolete ancient use.
Neither obsolete nor ancient. I've already posted 4 sources, here's another:
http://m.reference.com/d/search.html?q=artificial&o=0&l=dir
I concede that your usage of "artificial" is not (yet) obsolete. But it will become so as it is not justifiable anymore - like so many artificial distinctions between humans and animals before. Have a look at the bowerbirds (which use plastic and glass) or the weavers (ploceidae).

The online dictionary at reference.com is not a scientific tool; it's for general education only. Words like ekpyrotic, apodicticity, apeiron, GEP-NET, ferrimagnetism, Ads/CFT, macrovirus, and names like Grigori Perelman and Moessbauer are missing.
The 7 entries for "artificial" are optional; they don't have to be valid all at the same time.
Finally, a dictionary does not define words, it just explains their usage even if wrong.
otto1932
1.3 / 5 (23) Nov 11, 2010
artificial, unreal (contrived by art rather than nature) "artificial flowers"; "artificial flavoring"; "an artificial diamond"; "artificial fibers"; "artificial sweeteners"

Art (from the same source)- S: (n) art, fine art (the products of HUMAN creativity; works of art collectively) "an art exhibition"; "a fine collection of art"

-fail.
otto1932
1.3 / 5 (23) Nov 11, 2010
But it will become so as it is not justifiable anymore
You mean 'at present'?
- like so many artificial distinctions between humans and animals before.
And I'll make a similar-type speculative prediction: that, as our humanness comes under increasing threat from simulation and augmentation technologies, people will begin to celebrate the distinction again. Nothing new under the sun. Thankyou for your reasonable concession.
The 7 entries for "artificial" are optional; they don't have to be valid all at the same time.
They usually put the most common and accepted usage first?
Bartolo
3.7 / 5 (3) Nov 11, 2010
Otto,

1) Yes or No?
2) Yes or No?

It's so simple a 6 year old could answer these questions
otto1932
1.2 / 5 (24) Nov 11, 2010
Otto,

1) Yes or No?
2) Yes or No?

It's so simple a 6 year old could answer these questions
Are you stamping your feet and turning blue at the moment? You're arguing the wrong question. Otto does not leap to other peoples conclusions. Your artificial champion tool user argument misuses the word in 2 ways: chimps aren't human, and their tools do not mimic a natural object.
otto1932
1.2 / 5 (22) Nov 11, 2010
Otto tried to write 'chimpian', his own literary contraption, but was blindsided by spellchecker.
Bartolo
5 / 5 (4) Nov 11, 2010
I'm not asking to leap to my conclusions, just to answer two simple questions. I know chimps aren't humans and nowhere you can quote me where I said they were.
"and their tools do not mimic a natural object", I suppose that's for both chimp and human tools. When I use one of the definitions you quoted "artificial, unreal (contrived by art rather than nature)" both human and chimp tools would fit within this "artificial" definition?
Skeptic_Heretic
5 / 5 (6) Nov 11, 2010
artificial, unreal (contrived by art rather than nature) "artificial flowers"; "artificial flavoring"; "an artificial diamond"; "artificial fibers"; "artificial sweeteners"

Art (from the same source)- S: (n) art, fine art (the products of HUMAN creativity; works of art collectively) "an art exhibition"; "a fine collection of art"

-fail.

To borrow a literary device of your own conception.

Stop this incessant Marjonism.
Bartolo
not rated yet Nov 11, 2010
What's a Marjonism?
otto1932
1.5 / 5 (24) Nov 11, 2010
When I use one of the definitions you quoted "artificial, unreal (contrived by art rather than nature)" both human and chimp tools would fit within this "artificial" definition?
The words art and artificial are both officially reserved for describing exclusively human things. Yes or No?

"Marjonism: the act of repeatedly introducing the same arguments into new threads and expecting everybody to fall for them despite the fact that they have been thoroughly discounted, time and again, and everybody is well aware of it." I think your usage of this word slightly deviates from the universally-accepted norm.

This is not to be confused with 'margarinism' which is the kind of thing expected from people like MM, who will agree with many areligionist things while waiting for a chance to interject 'god is king!' or somesuch.

Margarine is an artificial form of butter, by the way.
Bartolo
5 / 5 (3) Nov 11, 2010
No, I did find definitions not mentioning humans in the definition of "art" and others have posted definitions for "artificial" not mentioning "human" either. You just discard them because the line without "human" has no "1" in front or whatever unmentioned reason.

"Marjonism: What dictionary did you find this on? Google doesn't even know this word.
But he quoted you, not me... And in earlier posts HS was more on my hand than yours, so I have my doubts the critique was exclusively directed at me. After all, you don't seem to be willing to answer my questions and keep repeating your definitions with exclusively "human" in them. But maybe it was meant for both of us?
But only HS could make this more clear. Obviously I can't rely on you on this decision ;)
slayer
1 / 5 (7) Nov 11, 2010
Darwin's stance ? the bum was under 25 when he set sailed, married his first cousin, then her sister when his first wife died....can't believe how these comments are trying to refute this author's pub. Probably because 100% of you bums have published using photo-shopped data ! yeah you clowns will be exposed just like climategate ! By the way, the full title of that garbage book is "On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life" pure eugenics programming at its best...that makes 154 fools on this thread.
Pyle
5 / 5 (2) Nov 11, 2010
What purpose does this argument in semantics have relative to the article?
Ultimately humans have evolved as a result of pressures we have placed upon ourselves. This isn't unique to humans, but it would seem to be much more prevalent in the human case than with the next closest species. Whether you call these pressures unnatural, or some other word to shown their human origin, does it really matter? Arguing over word choice is silly; unless I am missing something at the core of your arguments.
I would be curious if someone had a theory about whether humans have in the past created these trigger points for evolution within our own species.

SH - I am pretty sure the origin is with the satellite and not cross breeding equines. Once in a "reproducing mule" doesn't really make sense.
otto1932
1.2 / 5 (22) Nov 11, 2010
No, I did find definitions not mentioning humans in the definition of "art" and others have posted definitions for "artificial" not mentioning "human" either. You just discard them because the line without "human" has no "1" in front or whatever unmentioned reason.
You did not find any which were the most common and widely accepted usage, so who's being deceptive? Your usage clearly fits none of them.

Marjonism is a colloquialism- ask around.
Otto,

1) Yes or No?
2) Yes or No?

It's so simple a 6 year old could answer these questions

Your presentation is at times definitely Marjonist-
Pyle
5 / 5 (2) Nov 11, 2010
Bartolo: marjon is a fellow commenter that behaves in the manner otto has described.

otto1932
1.3 / 5 (22) Nov 11, 2010
@slayer
that makes 154 fools on this thread.
And 1 twit. Bands gay.
jsa09
4 / 5 (4) Nov 11, 2010
@pyle the answer is no use at all.

otto and bartolo have got so wrapped up in the fun of arguing and trying win that they would be lucky to even remember what this article is about.

Once they start looking for similarity in points instead of difference they will see that they are just wasting space.
slayer2
1 / 5 (6) Nov 11, 2010
@otto just cause you like to toss salad don't include me in your camp. maybe since you did not address my comment on your boy's practice of Mendel's principles "inbreeding" perhaps either you did not know that about your Saint (see Church of Virus.com) or you are a master chef and want to toss my salad which i don't appreciate. either way i appreciate the comments idiot.
DamienS
4 / 5 (4) Nov 11, 2010
Margarine is an artificial form of butter, by the way.

Butter - A soft yellowish or whitish emulsion of butterfat, water, air, and sometimes salt, churned from milk or cream and processed for use in cooking and as a food.

That sounds artificial to me, so how can you have an artificial version of an already artificial product? :)
otto1932
1.2 / 5 (21) Nov 11, 2010
Margarine is an artificial form of butter, by the way.

Butter - A soft yellowish or whitish emulsion of butterfat, water, air, and sometimes salt, churned from milk or cream and processed for use in cooking and as a food.

That sounds artificial to me, so how can you have an artificial version of an already artificial product? :)
Not everybody wants this to end...
"Artificial: humanly contrived often on a natural model"; 'often' being the operative word. Butter is made from natural ingredients. Margarine is a contrivance meant to resemble the original. How's that?
frajo
3 / 5 (2) Nov 12, 2010
The distinction between "artificial" and "man-made" is important.
A spider's web is as much artificial (and beautiful) as Beethoven's seventh symphony. Both are natural, too, as spider and human are components of nature.
But only the symphony is man-made.

Using the words "natural" and "artificial" as opposed and mutually exclusive is a very old convention based on ancient and wrong anthropocentric thinking. Adhering still today to this convention is a sign of non-scientific thinking.
Otto tried to write 'chimpian', his own literary contraption, but was blindsided by spellchecker.
Don't ever use a spellchecker. It's a domestication tool.
as our humanness comes under increasing threat from simulation and augmentation technologies, people will begin to celebrate the distinction again.
There never has been more celebrated diversity on this planet than now.
They usually put the most common and accepted usage first?
Yes, Yellow Press first, "Nature" last.
Skeptic_Heretic
5 / 5 (1) Nov 12, 2010
SH - I am pretty sure the origin is with the satellite and not cross breeding equines. Once in a "reproducing mule" doesn't really make sense.

Yeah you're probably correct.

It's an old story I never followed up on.
Ethelred
4 / 5 (4) Nov 12, 2010
I know that getting into this a liable to get a lot of ones BUT:
Everything not-natural is super-natural
It is annoying when otherwise rational people engage in false dichotomies like that. That simply is not English that you are using.

In NORMAL speech Natural is NOT a black and white word, it is a THREE way word.

Supernatural - which I and Otto agree does not exist.
Natural
And the part you and several others are trying to bypass.
That which humans have messed with.

Trying to force 'Natural' into a black and black white situation like you are doing is just plain strange. Sorta of reminds of the abuses of English that the religious fanatics engage in. Which is why I find it so annoying.

IF we use MISdefinition in question THEN
Natural include
Beetles
The Beatles
Life
The Universe
Everything
Nuclear Bombs - now to show the silliness of your position
Rice
Wheat
Twinkies
Fruit Rollups
Toxic Waste

Distorting English is not really the way to make a point.
Please stop.

Ethelred
Ethelred
4 / 5 (4) Nov 12, 2010
Eth...I don't read your posts


Brilliant reply. It clearly shows why you don't understand Evolution. You refuse to learn how it works.

Kevin doesn't read them either. Which is why he keeps posting the same exact nonsense. Just like Mabarker.

I thought you tried to NOT be like those two aggressively ignorant entities.

My mistake.

Ethelred
otto1932
1.2 / 5 (21) Nov 12, 2010
The distinction between "artificial" and "man-made" is important.
A spider's web is as much artificial (and beautiful) as Beethoven's seventh symphony. Both are natural, too, as spider and human are components of nature.
But only the symphony is man-made.
Again you're misconstruing the meaning of the specific word artificial. It is reserved for man-made things meant to substitute for other things in some fashion.

There other words for describing things like chimp tools and spiderwebs which are completely adequate to convey the distinction. Maybe some of you know what these words might be. Otto learned the word mutualism during the course of this discussion.

Frajo should appreciate the need to use appropriate words as they are intended to be used instead of bending and twisting others to fit; it is hard enough to communicate as it is. Which is what Ethelred has just said.
Skeptic_Heretic
5 / 5 (1) Nov 12, 2010
Just asking off the cuff here, but if you perform the same action with the word "artificial", are you not...
Trying to force 'Artificial' into a black and black white situation like you are doing is just plain strange. Sorta of reminds of the abuses of English that the religious fanatics engage in. Which is why I find it so annoying.
Ethelred
3.8 / 5 (4) Nov 12, 2010
but if you perform the same action with the word "artificial", are you not...


Well if horses were rocks than that wouldn't be horse manure.

In other words I said nothing regarding ARTIFICIAL as that is yet another term that people got into by arguing about definitions instead of Evolution. Arguing from definition instead facts and reason is usually a bloody waste time. The only time it isn't is when the language being used simply doesn't have words to deal with the concepts involved or the normal words have an anthropomorphic weight that confuses the issue.

However since you bring it up in NORMAL use artificial refers to stuff we people do. I am fully willing to include Chimps and Crows when they manage to start selling artificial ants on the open market.

Its the processing not the species that makes things fit the concept of artificial. At least when other species have factories or even shops. Like in David Brin's Uplift War series.

Ethelred
otto1932
1.2 / 5 (21) Nov 12, 2010
Its the processing not the species that makes things fit the concept of artificial. At least when other species have factories or even shops. Like in David Brin's Uplift War series.
And yet, we may still want to have separate words to describe what humans are and what they do exclusively, and we might be very defensive about maintaining the distinction. The talking burros can file suit if they want.
ArcainOne
5 / 5 (2) Nov 12, 2010
you know a long time ago little otto and I got into an argument about god. Well really I got into an argument about god and he got into an argument about religion. I said it is wrong to oppress people because they believe in something and he eventually admitted to the desire to eradicate them from the planet Hitler style. Later I proved positive he was a troll, and he vanished for about a month. My point? Otto the more I read your comments the more it becomes clear that what I said was false. I said "You are smart, I've seen it." Turns out you are just a crap pipe. And a major reason great articles spiral down the toilet rather than being intelligently discussed.
otto1932
1.2 / 5 (20) Nov 12, 2010
@otto just cause you like to toss salad don't include me in your camp. maybe since you did not address my comment on your boy's practice of Mendel's principles "inbreeding" perhaps either you did not know that about your Saint (see Church of Virus.com) or you are a master chef and want to toss my salad which i don't appreciate. either way i appreciate the comments idiot.
Actually slayers pretty cool... but its not black metal, is it now.
I dont understand your comment tho; are you saying that darwin should have been aware of the dangers of inbreeding but chose to attempt it anyway, and his book must be garbage because of this? Or what?

Eugenics is Inevitable, given that humans have had 20k+ yrs experience with husbandry and that Rulers would have wanted to breed undesirable traits, if anything, out of their flocks. Castes, mating restrictions, arranged marriages are the norm rather than the exception in societies. The human form may be more artificial than we might imagine.
otto1932
1.2 / 5 (23) Nov 12, 2010
you know a long time ago little otto and I got into an argument about god...I said it is wrong to oppress people because they believe in something and he eventually admitted to the desire to eradicate them from the planet Hitler style.
See how hard it is to communicate? You read 'arkaine obviously loses' and think this means you actually win somehow?
Later I proved positive he was a troll
In your own mind
and he vanished for about a month.
Meaning you did your best to avoid me?
My point?
Your head?
Otto the more I read your comments the more it becomes clear that what I said was false. I said "You are smart, I've seen it." Turns out you are just a crap pipe.
And who cares what you think?
And a major reason great articles spiral down the toilet rather than being intelligently discussed.
Since you dont take issue with anything specific I assume youre just off your meds, and the cholera is again causing you to evacuate. Come back when youre regular-
ArcainOne
5 / 5 (2) Nov 12, 2010
Okay... Maybe I was a bit too harsh, your theory on human evolution isn't completely bat $h17 crazy. However coupled with the zealous desire to "educate" the religious, plus your theory on how the evil religion has guided human evolution, and your odd rambling about what is "natural" and "unnatural" once you get to the probable stuff all I hear is... CRAZY!

And who cares what you think?


And then there is the fact you act like a 12 year old anytime some one confronts you.

You obviously care other wise you would have ignored me :)
its sweet.
otto1932
1.2 / 5 (22) Nov 12, 2010
I said it is wrong to oppress people because they believe in something and he eventually admitted to the desire to eradicate them from the planet Hitler style.
Funny I dont remember this... must have taken place exclusively behind your rheumy eyes
http://www.diclib...id=29404

-But I will say this- it is VERY right and proper to oppress peoples when they believe in something inherently dangerous, like national socialists or islamists, or by extrapolation any belief system that has the propensity to degenerate into something similar because it is based on nothing REAL and is constructed on principles of exclusionism and elitism and reproductive opportunism, which all major religions are. Dont you agree?
And then there is the fact you act like a 12 year old anytime some one confronts you.
And then there is the fact that you can bite me-
Skeptic_Heretic
5 / 5 (4) Nov 12, 2010
Its the processing not the species that makes things fit the concept of artificial. At least when other species have factories or even shops. Like in David Brin's Uplift War series.
I'll go with this.

Just as a matter of personal curiosity, what would you think of the various hive-like social creaure, ants, bees, etc that do have a similar division of labor and social construct?
ArcainOne
5 / 5 (1) Nov 12, 2010
See how hard it is to communicate? You read 'arkaine obviously loses' and think this means you actually win somehow?


Where did I even mention a winner of that religious argument? Here we see the tip of the iceburg of madness that is otto.

And then there is the fact that you can bite me-


isn't that just cute, how much longer until you become a real teenager?
ArcainOne
5 / 5 (4) Nov 12, 2010
-But I will say this- it is VERY right and proper to oppress peoples when they believe in something inherently dangerous, like national socialists or islamists, or by extrapolation any belief system that has the propensity to degenerate into something similar because it is based on nothing REAL and is constructed on principles of exclusionism and elitism and reproductive opportunism, which all major religions are. Dont you agree?


... no...

do you not pay attention to anything you preach about?

you speak of the evils of religion and then condone the same acts done by religious organizations for centuries because it fits YOUR belief system? Hypocrite thy name is Otto.
frajo
4.3 / 5 (6) Nov 12, 2010
But I will say this- it is VERY right and proper to oppress peoples when they believe in something inherently dangerous, like national socialists or islamists, or by extrapolation any belief system that has the propensity to degenerate into something similar
Every small-minded tyrant was, is, and will be able to claim that his opponents believe just what you described.
This planet has been flooded with blood because of mighty people thinking/preaching/acting exactly what you are talking.
otto1932
1.2 / 5 (21) Nov 12, 2010
"
But I will say this- it is VERY right and proper to oppress peoples when they believe in something inherently dangerous, like national socialists or islamists, or by extrapolation any belief system that has the propensity to degenerate into something similar
Every small-minded tyrant was, is, and will be able to claim that his opponents believe just what you described.
This planet has been flooded with blood because of mighty people thinking/preaching/acting exactly what you are talking.
But...I thought you HATED nazis...Make up your mind already.
"The term oppression is primarily used in such instances to refer to the subordination of a given group or social category by unjust use of force, authority, or societal norms in order to achieve the effects noted above."

-And how do we make nazis experience the results of their oppressing, but in kind? Is this not what sharia says?
otto1932
1.2 / 5 (21) Nov 12, 2010
You prefer other more suitable words?
Repress: 2.To put down by force, usually before total control has been lost; quell: repress a rebellion.

Suppress: 1.To put an end to forcibly; subdue.
2.To curtail or prohibit the activities of.

Distress: 1.To cause strain, anxiety, or suffering to.

-How would you deal with nazis, islamists, gangsters, or the like who wish to do the same to you? Do we acknowledge that religions all inevitably cause these things to be done to people without fail?

When the US attacks saddaamms army and drives them out of Kuwait, and then carpet bombs them into mush, isnt it oppressing the shit out of them?
otto1932
1.2 / 5 (22) Nov 12, 2010
Dont you think that people who enact oppressive laws like this shouldnt be oppressed in kind? http://www.bbc.co...thi.html

-They feel western sanctions are oppression. They feel that others who hold conflicting beliefs are oppressing them just by existing. So they consider whatever it is we do to oppose their sickness oppression anyway, even if we do not.

The operative word here is 'unjust'. Any rejection or criticism of religionists is regarded as unjust and thusly as oppression by them. But they still need to be rejected and they still need to be criticized despite what the namecallers would label these actions.

Frajo thinks this means rivers of blood I guess, ignoring the fact that religionism regularly demands this against their enemies.
ArcainOne
5 / 5 (3) Nov 12, 2010
-How would you deal with nazis, islamists, gangsters, or the like who wish to do the same to you? Do we acknowledge that religions all inevitably cause these things to be done to people without fail?


No people like you are the cause of these things. You find a cause, the easiest one is a religion (as it is for you), and you manipulate it, twist it, and then use it to gather support and grow your own power. It is people like you who lead to the suffering of the world. Religion is the excuse for evil people, it is not the reason reason for evil.
mabirch
1 / 5 (1) Nov 12, 2010
kevinrtrs said.
But as it stands, there's no known random physical process that can generate that kind of information. There just isn't. I challenge anyone to demonstrate that such a process exists.


Then Ethelrd said

MUTATIONS are random.
SELECTION is NOT random.

Information comes from the environment via natural selection. The process of selection is in no way random. Mutations often don't create any new genetic material, but damage that which exists.

Selection can only happen at the organism level, not at the genetic level. If genetic information is not expressed in way that enhances survival, then it cannot be SELECTED for. Any genetic information that was incomplete in terms of physical expression could not be preserved through SELECTION.

Since a physical mutagen affects the genetic code without a plan, then one must either show that physical/chemical laws constrain that affect or accept that it is a random change.
Ravenrant
5 / 5 (2) Nov 12, 2010
Evolution of the human species has more or less come to a stand-still because of we're in such large numbers living relatively close to each other and all our traveling and intermingling habits don't support fast evolution either.


The 'natural' evolution of our species was stopped when we developed intelligence and technology. Our species future evolution, if any, is under our control now. Unfortunately it isn't under any individual's control, it is under control of our species as a a group, controlled by society(s). Any further evolution of our species will be anything but 'natural'.
otto1932
1.3 / 5 (23) Nov 12, 2010
No people like you are the cause of these things. You find a cause, the easiest one is a religion (as it is for you), and you manipulate it, twist it, and then use it to gather support and grow your own power. It is people like you who lead to the suffering of the world. Religion is the excuse for evil people, it is not the reason reason for evil.
Haven't read much of the old testament, or the Koran for that matter have you?

Religions enable evildoers to do their work. They demand evil in order to protect themselves and expand their influence. They make evil inevitable because of their policies of exclusion and forced reproduction.

For these reasons Religionism itself is evil as no other social institution could ever be. This is because religions are DESIGNED for the purpose.
WillingToListen
1 / 5 (7) Nov 12, 2010
Just thought I would chime in with those that are still waiting for anything approaching real proof that random chance mutations and natural selection can accomplish anything significant. Yes, we know that minor changes have resulted from these forces. In that sense, "evolution" occurs. What we don't know is that this evolution can or has done anything really interesting. Nor does anyone have a reasonable materialistic explanation for why life exists at all. It's possible that sufficient proof will materialize some day. It wouldn't offend me if it did. Until that day, I have happy sticking with what the evidence actually suggests: that something or someone transcendent is required to account for the presence of life and the incredibly diverse and interdependent life systems we observe. That evolution can accomplish anything beyond minor change within species is a guess at best and only a unnecessary obligation to materialism keeps otherwise smart folks from recognizing this.
otto1932
1.3 / 5 (23) Nov 12, 2010
"Slay them [infidels] wherever you find them...Idolatry is worse than carnage...Fight against them until idolatry is no more and God's religion reigns supreme." (Surah 2:190-)

"Fighting is obligatory for you, much as you dislike it." (Surah 2:216)
http://www.decept...ran.html

-And we're all familiar with similar from the OT. Jesus said so himself; 'I came to bring not peace but a sword'. This is evil. They read these things in Mein Kampf. The time to stand against national socialism came and went, and the people were starving in the Knechtschafft and said, well maybe he's right.

The time to stand against all religion is now.
Ethelred
5 / 5 (1) Nov 13, 2010
Otto said:
And yet, we may still want to have separate words to describe what humans are and what they do exclusively


You might. I don't see the need. MAYBE when dealing with a sufficiently alien species that we can't even begin to comprehend THEN special terms might be advisable. Otherwise its just taking racism into new territory.

But then I read a LOT of science fiction. Often dealing with both sentient Aliens and sentient Machines. I am comfortable with the idea of treating sentient beings as similarly. As long as they aren't into human on the recipe list or other forms of genocide.

And no I don't eat chimp. Nor crow, but the fact is the opportunity hasn't arisen regarding crow. Not literally anyway. I am swearing off budgies as well. Still not certain about cetaceans but I will give them the benefit of the doubt.

Chickens had better watch out though.

Ethelred
Ethelred
5 / 5 (3) Nov 13, 2010
Skeptic_Heretic said:
what would you think of the various hive-like social creaure, ants, bees, etc that do have a similar division of labor and social construct?
I tend to think of hives as extended individuals. Only the queens and drones reproduce. The rest are just biological tools much like fingernails and legs. What they do is something that evolved rather than something that they thought out. The environment shaped their behavior, also without thought.

Now if we should run across a sentient hive species that intentionally fashioned tools that they designed rather than produced out of instinct, that would be something else. In the meantime I will consider the group behavior of hive species as being more like the group behavior of the cells in my gut. They mostly behave according to local rules and take instructions from chemical signals. Only some human tissue is subject to nerve controls.

Ethelred
Ethelred
5 / 5 (1) Nov 13, 2010
Selection can only happen at the organism level, not at the genetic level
Yes. Mutations happen at the genetic level and then are either selected IN or OUT by the environment.
If genetic information is not expressed in way that enhances survival, then it cannot be SELECTED for
Nor selected out. Most mutations appear to be neutral.
Any genetic information that was incomplete in terms of physical expression could not be preserved through SELECTION
Nor forced out through selection. Such mutations survival would be a matter of chance. Some should disappear and some should be retained, most remaining rare. Except in small populations where random chance plays a larger role.
then one must either show that physical/chemical laws constrain that affect or accept that it is a random change
For neutral mutations that is pretty much standard theory. Selection only effects mutations that effect survival. Which leaves lots of mutations for selection to work on.

Ethelred
Ethelred
5 / 5 (9) Nov 13, 2010
What we don't know is that this evolution can or has done anything really interesting.
Actually we do. Fossils are ample evidence. The lab tests allow us to test the HOW. We already KNOW that evolution occurs. The question WAS why. Darwin and Wallace came up with a good answer. Over time the answer has been refined via new evidence and extended theory.
Nor does anyone have a reasonable materialistic explanation for why life exists at all.
Not actually relevant to evolution. However the answer is fairly clear. It exists because the Earth and physical laws allow it to exist. We have never found anything to the contrary. Of course believers have made up a lot crap to obfuscate that fact.
Until that day, I have happy sticking with what the evidence actually suggests: that something or someone transcendent is required to account
There is no such evidence. Dr. Behe has failed time and again to even TRY to prove his position. Most of his examples have been found wrong.

More
Ethelred
5 / 5 (9) Nov 13, 2010
That evolution can accomplish anything beyond minor change within species is a guess
Nonsense. It based on evidence and reason. Megatons of evidence. There is NO evidence to the contrary. Find some then you will be the first. Might even get a Nobel.
unnecessary obligation to materialism keeps otherwise smart folks from recognizing this.
Rubbish. Pure religious thinking there. The whole thing about science is that
IF you don't look its bloody hard to find the truth.
SO you MUST assume that there is an answer. Any other path is pretty much a return to the Dark Ages when Europeans didn't bother trying to find HOW things worked because it was all the will of Jehovah. No rules just will.

Basically you are telling us we should stop looking for the truth because you don't like the answers that we find. That is what the rant about materialism boils down to. You don't want to know that your beliefs might be wrong. Which depends on how much you actually believe. The Flood?

Ethelred
Skeptic_Heretic
5 / 5 (10) Nov 13, 2010
Yes, we know that minor changes have resulted from these forces. In that sense, "evolution" occurs. What we don't know is that this evolution can or has done anything really interesting.
With many small brush strokes and minor changes in the tint of paint a beautiful masterpiece can come to life. Many small things when combined, like the cells in your body, can and do amazing things.
Nor does anyone have a reasonable materialistic explanation for why life exists at all.
Because it can.
I have happy sticking with what the evidence actually suggests: that something or someone transcendent is required to account for the presence of life and the incredibly diverse and interdependent life systems we observe.
Go ahead and show me that evidence please. Keep in mind, a lack of understanding, doesn't automatically imply that the opposite is true. You don't understand evolution, therefore you assume god exists... That's a false construct.
frajo
4 / 5 (4) Nov 13, 2010
Distorting English is not really the way to make a point.
As long as we are talking about the words "nature" and "artificial" we are not talking just about plain English words.
Only dead languages don't evolve anymore (although the Latin vocabulary is being augmented in the Vatican - cf. marxiana placita).
English is the current lingua franca and as such used, operated upon, and influenced not only by native English speakers but also by a majority of native speakers of other languages.
The word "nature" is not plain English. It is Latin (natura) and used in French, German, Russian and a lot of other languages, too.
The word "artificial" also is of Latin origin (arte factum; ars = skill, quality, behaviour, trick, intrigue, craft, art, artwork, textbook) and also used in a lot of other languages (French: artificielle, German: artifiziell, Italian: artificiale).
Bartolo
5 / 5 (3) Nov 13, 2010
Can't be away for a day and people start smashing each others heads in ;)

@Otto
Your rigid interpretations of dictionaries and "the first definition is the only one I use" just doesn't make sense. Why are there even more definitions for the same word in dictionaries anyway?
"Art" is also defines as "skill", no human mentioned.
I think my reasoning was pretty logically consistent and you didn't bring forward any reasonable argument that could falsify my reasoning.
And concerning the eradication of religion debate: It's not what's written that's important, it's what's done with it by the followers. Most muslims are no terrorists. If they were, the world would look very different. Read this: http://xrl.in/6l9j.
I'm an atheist and am flabbergasted so many people still believe in such nonsense as literal interpretations of bronze-age writings (or dictionaries ;) ), but as long as they don't hurt anyone or try to distort scientific progress, they are allowed to believe whatever they like.
Bartolo
5 / 5 (2) Nov 13, 2010
@Ethelred
What can be considered natural? I'm still convinced that everything coming forward out of natural processes is natural by nature. Also artificial objects, music (music is music because are naturally created brains interpret it as such), etc. They don't need to be have directly come forward out of evolution, plate-tectonics, erosion or whatever process you can imagine that directly shapes things and the earth and universe. Humans came forward out of a natural process, including our "advanced" intelligence, so everything we create is natural by nature. We can't do anything that wouldn't be possible that can be considered unnatural.
One could maybe conciser artificial (man- and animal-made) a subset of "natural", but that wouldn't make them un-natural.
I'm not trying to distort English , but if the outcome of this exercise would be that current English is not sufficient to describe observations and logic, then so be it.
Bartolo
5 / 5 (7) Nov 13, 2010
@WillingToListen
There is plenty of evidence for natural evolution of the variety of life on earth.
There are quite a few well documented branches in the fossil record, like whales and birds to name a few, that clearly show transition of one species into another.
Then there's the genetic evidence. All lines up and confirms all life has a single common ancestor.
Then there's embryology. Embryos of different species in different states of development show remarkable similarities, before they "branch off" to morph into the phenotype of the species they belong to. Some humans are even born with a skinny tail, and human embryos go through a stage in which they're covered with furry hair that disappears again before birth.
And there's evidence that evolution was not by intelligent design, but by natural selection which is unintelligent design. A good example is the Recurrent laryngeal nerve. There are piles of evidence for natural selection, but you'll have to search for it.
Ethelred
5 / 5 (1) Nov 13, 2010
As long as we are talking about the words "nature" and "artificial" we are not talking just about plain English words.
Actually some were using them as such. Someone lead Otto down the primrose path which is when Artificial came into the picture.
Only dead languages don't evolve anymore
True but irrelevant to my point. You were actually engaged in trying to avoid Otto's point by changing the words under Otto's feat.
The word "nature" is not plain English. It is Latin (natura)

I don't care about it's roots. I care about it's USAGE in normal discourse. English speakers don't care where the word came from. YOU pointed out yourself the language changes. So why bring up long redacted usage?

Nature has a perfectly useful meaning. Force fitting it into an obsolete mold to undercut someone is simply trying to bypass REAL discussion. Which results in the sort of crap that was going on.

If you want to say something other than Nature then choose another word.

Ethelred
Ethelred
not rated yet Nov 13, 2010
What can be considered natural?
That which we haven't messed with.
I'm still convinced that everything coming forward out of natural processes is natural by nature.
That is an identity. And not to the point in any case.
Humans came forward out of a natural process
And we made the word Natural to mean things OTHER than stuff we messed with. For instance the word Natural is NOT part of Nature. It is part of that which is Human or English.
We can't do anything that wouldn't be possible that can be considered unnatural.


Wrong. Replace UNNATURAL with SUPERNATURAL and it would be right.
One could maybe conciser artificial (man- and animal-made) a subset of "natural", but that wouldn't make them un-natural
Wrong. The correct way to say it would be 'not make them SUPERNATURAL'.
I'm not trying to distort English
Nevertheless you are doing so.

You are trying to turn a three phase situation into a two phase situation. It is STILL three.

Ethelred
otto1932
1.2 / 5 (22) Nov 13, 2010
Otherwise its just taking racism into new territory.
As in 'this is a cat and this is a dog'?
The word "nature" is not plain English. It is Latin (natura) and used in French, German, Russian and a lot of other languages, too.
Your head is so full of words, do they tend to leak out your ears sometimes? You probably appreciate the subtle differences meanings have between languages. When words do evolve, new meanings are recorded in dictionaries so we can look them up and find out what they are. Until then they're just the random cleft palate or sixth toe.
Your rigid interpretations of dictionaries and "the first definition is the only one I use" just doesn't make sense.
Not my interpretation. If you want to be understood you use words properly. That's what dictionaries are for. You'll learn this as you mature.
otto1932
1.2 / 5 (22) Nov 13, 2010
And concerning the eradication of religion debate: It's not what's written that's important, it's what's done with it by the followers. Most muslims are no terrorists
The fact that it IS consistently written in all holy books means that violence was intended to be an integral part of religion. It makes violent acts mandatory when the religion comes under threat, actual or perceived. What is irrelevant is the many reasons and excuses religious books give for that violence, ie promised land, blasphemy, no burka, etc. The violence itself is what matters.
Someone lead Otto down the primrose path which is when Artificial came into the picture.
Yeah otto was in the midst of trying to foist his pet theories of human domestication when derailed. It's true you know. Shepherds and all. Wheat from chaff.
Skeptic_Heretic
5 / 5 (6) Nov 13, 2010
Can't be away for a day and people start smashing each others heads in ;)

Yeah but for the most part we've constructed a microcosm of society. Difference is, we have a relatively reasonable similacrum for the opinions and ideologies of the western world amongst the most outspoken posters. It really is interesting to watch and participate in, although sometimes equally frustrating.
ArcainOne
5 / 5 (1) Nov 14, 2010
@otto

I would also suggest you Haven't read the Koran as it is not translated, that being a key part in Islam. Again it all boils down to Religion is an excuse for evil men. Who do you think wrote those books? It is not a chicken or the egg question, the answer is man. I would also suggest you have not studied much language either. A specific word in one language can have a set of various meanings. When you translate that word, the new word can also have its own set of meanings different than the original depending on the culture of that group or the wisdom of that group. For instance I will leave with with my favorite phrase from Buddhism. "If you meet the Buddha on the road, kill him." I'll give you a hint, it doesn't mean what you think it means.
frajo
3 / 5 (2) Nov 14, 2010
The violence itself is what matters.
Are you proposing to end violence by using violence?
TheAnswerIs42
5 / 5 (1) Nov 14, 2010
But isn't all of this rather logical? I mean, natural selection relies on some significant advantage due to a variation/mutation of the theme. I think this is only amplified by external factors that will make this advantage (suddenly) relevant. I think most little differences won't help you reproduce a lot until you need the little difference to make it past puberty, so to say.
It'd be nice if the religious people out there would open there eyes to see how evolution works in society, fashion, governments before they conclude that the principle does not exist in biology. Evolution is everywhere. It means that the state of things is not static. Never has been, never will. It's like mini-skirts. They are lovely until winter comes.
Ethelred
5 / 5 (1) Nov 14, 2010
I would also suggest you Haven't read the Koran as it is not translated, that being a key part in Islam.
It HAS been translated. Muslims are SUPPOSED to read it in the original but it HAS been translated.
A specific word in one language can have a set of various meanings.
Yes. But killing people that quit Islam is STILL there in whatever the version of the Quran you choose. It is a nasty piece of work.
I'll give you a hint, it doesn't mean what you think it means.
That is Budism not Islam. Which is something Otto should learn. Budism is NOT a violent religion and NEVER has been. Christianity has mellowed over the last few centuries.

Islam may never mellow as Muhamed preached violence. Engaged in quite a lot of it himself unlike Jesus.

Except for that silly story showing incompetence in banishing demons. Chasing 2000 sheep over a cliff and we are supposed to think this shows his Divine Power.

Yes Otto overdoes it.

Ethelred
genastropsychicallst
1 / 5 (6) Nov 14, 2010
Time is fiction of relative that we can't science on, Albert.
frajo
3.7 / 5 (3) Nov 14, 2010
Budism is NOT a violent religion and NEVER has been.
The Western world cultivates quite some misconceptions about some aspects of Buddhism. See
http://www.trimon...inks.htm .
Skeptic_Heretic
5 / 5 (2) Nov 14, 2010
That is Budism not Islam. Which is something Otto should learn. Budism is NOT a violent religion and NEVER has been. Christianity has mellowed over the last few centuries.
The Tamil Tigers, Buddhist Seperatists, were the first suicide bombers Eth. It's rare, but you're rather incorrect on this one.

You statement is technically correct in so far that Buddhism isn't a religion, therefore it can't be a violent religion. It is, however, violent.
otto1932
1.2 / 5 (21) Nov 14, 2010
@otto

I would also suggest you Haven't read the Koran as it is not translated, that being a key part in Islam. Again it all boils down to Religion is an excuse for evil men.
??? Killing infidels is killing infidels no matter how you translate it. The Koran is full of this.
Yes Otto overdoes it.
No I believe it is you sir, who underdoes it.

Buddhists- I like it when the monks get into fistfights. Funny. :-)
otto1932
1.2 / 5 (21) Nov 14, 2010
-Then there's these guys, who approached martial arts scientifically:
http://en.wikiped...ial_arts
Ethelred
5 / 5 (1) Nov 14, 2010
You statement is technically correct in so far that Buddhism isn't a religion, therefore it can't be a violent religion. It is, however, violent
The religion, as taught by The Budda, does NOT espouse violence, as far as I can tell. For that matter neither does Christianity IF one actually goes on the words of Jesus as opposed to the more psychotic parts of the Old Testament.

Whereas Islam is quite explicit about it. Every bit as bad and often worse than the Old Testament.

No I believe it is you sir, who underdoes it
Otto, there is concept called TOLERANCE. As in if they don't kill others I am not going to start killing them. You appear to advocating preemptive strikes. Against ALL religious groups. Which would include pacifist groups as some religions, even some Christians, are pacifist. Heck there are even some Sufis in Pakistan are refusing to use violence against the Taliban who are murdering them. Now that is taking peacefulness too far.

Ethelred
frajo
4 / 5 (4) Nov 14, 2010
The religion, as taught by The Budda, does NOT espouse violence, as far as I can tell. For that matter neither does Christianity IF one actually goes on the words of Jesus
Which did not prevent the Tibetan theocracy to skin their (Buddhist) opponents and oppress the rural population.
Which did not prevent Christian powers to leave the largest trail of blood of humanity within the last two millennia.
Whereas Islam is quite explicit about it. Every bit as bad and often worse than the Old Testament.
Which did not prevent the golden era of Spain where Muslims, Jews, and Christians worked peacefully together under Muslim rule. Which did not prevent the Ottoman Empire to give shelter to those Jews who managed to escape their persecution and murder by the Catholic Spanish aristocracy.

People ought to be judged individually by their deeds.
Not by the contents of scriptures they cannot influence.
And not by one's ends but by one's means.
Ethelred
5 / 5 (1) Nov 14, 2010
Which did not prevent the Tibetan theocracy to skin their (Buddhist)..
..not prevent Christian powers to leave the largest trail of blood...
Please tell me something I don't already know. You are aware that I am Agnostic aren't you?
Which did not prevent the golden era of Spain where Muslims, Jews, and Christians worked peacefully together under Muslim rule.
Nor does it stop Muslims from following the word of Muhammed and murdering people for quitting Islam.
People ought to be judged individually by their deeds.
I take it then that you failed to notice that I was making that point to Otto.

And of course I hold Muhammed to HIS deeds. Like creating a religion that promotes violence. Leading the first conquests.
Not by the contents of scriptures they cannot influence. And not by one's ends but by one's means.
Since the end for Islam is to make EVERYONE a Muslim and then kill them if they change, the means are irrelevant.

Ethelred
otto1932
1.5 / 5 (24) Nov 14, 2010
Otto, there is concept called TOLERANCE. As in if they don't kill others I am not going to start killing them. You appear to advocating preemptive strikes. Against ALL religious groups. Which would include pacifist groups as some religions, even some Christians, are pacifist.
They ALL have the potential to turn. It is explicitly written into their holy books, and is expected and demanded of them if and when their belief system comes under threat. This is principally how they have managed to prevail.

Further, even the most benign (at present) reinforce the belief in, and supremacy of, god. Allowing one means enabling all the others. They ALL share in guilt for spreading the lie and should ALL be held accountable for the damage it does, wherever it happens.
otto1932
1.3 / 5 (23) Nov 14, 2010
Religionism should be regarded as one malignant, self-reinforcing, self-perpetuating menace. Charity? Xian missionaries bribe the needy to convert. The 3rd? Pillar of Islam is reserved for the faithful, no matter what they tell you, whose families have grown too large to support. Charity can be much more equitably meted by secular, non-biased organizations.

No religion is safe, all must go. Religions make killing inevitable and are the first to propose it. Secular laws are how reasonable people fight injustice. Let's start by having them pay their own way. Tax them.
otto1932
1.2 / 5 (23) Nov 14, 2010
@Ethelred
You seem to be making a distinction between unbelievers and apostates, but Islam demands the slaughter of either group.
http://prophetofd...es.Islam

-To paraphrase muhammud, 'Qur'an:9:123 "Fight the believers around you, and let them find harshness in you."
otto1932
1.3 / 5 (25) Nov 14, 2010
People ought to be judged individually by their deeds.
Spreading the lie is aiding and abetting all those who commit evil expressly because of it. The lie is the crime. You would say the same about national socialists? Not everyone worked the gas chambers. But those who helped spread the lie of racial supremacy shared in the guilt for the holocaust.

All religions preach the same message of exclusivism and freedom at the expense of others. This lie is inevitably used to harass, exclude, persecute, and murder with the same ease that racial supremacy was. 'God loves me more than you... Because he made me white/Arab/Hutu/worker? Or chose to make me a believer in the right prophet?

No difference whatsoever. And the results are always exactly the same.
Skeptic_Heretic
5 / 5 (4) Nov 15, 2010
The religion, as taught by The Budda, does NOT espouse violence, as far as I can tell. For that matter neither does Christianity IF one actually goes on the words of Jesus as opposed to the more psychotic parts of the Old Testament.
That can be said for almost all modern religious interpretations, however, this sect of Buddhism doesn't practice Ahimsa (non-violence).
Whereas Islam is quite explicit about it. Every bit as bad and often worse than the Old Testament.
Depends on which Hadith you read. The Bawa Muhaiyaddeen and the Pathan Sunnah are both pacifist groups within Islam.

There is a wide spectrum within each religion as to what is acceptable and what is not. You cannot paint any adherant with a single broad brush. You must, as Frajo said, look at the individual and judge them on their particular beliefs.
otto1932
1.2 / 5 (20) Nov 15, 2010
There is a wide spectrum within each religion as to what is acceptable and what is not. You cannot paint any adherant with a single broad brush. You must, as Frajo said, look at the individual and judge them on their particular beliefs.

"Slay them [infidels] wherever you find them...Idolatry is worse than carnage...Fight against them until idolatry is no more and God's religion reigns supreme." (Surah 2:190-)

"Fighting is obligatory for you, much as you dislike it." (Surah 2:216)

-And when the individual is doing what he/she is expected to do, as their peers and holyman and holybooks all require, then we can judge that, within the cultural context, what they're doing is right and proper. Like Nazis.
otto1932
1.2 / 5 (23) Nov 15, 2010
And as Frajo says, we ought to hunt down Nazis wherever they exist and crush them without pity.

Individuals can be acting on what they feel is right and what we might feel is wrong, simply because this is what we are led to believe. Individuals often have very little 'free will'. The belief systems which lead people to do evil in the name of good must end. This includes all religions. None is benign for long.

Look- there go some now!
http://amfix.blog...reveals/
frajo
4.3 / 5 (6) Nov 15, 2010
And as Frajo says, we ought to hunt down Nazis wherever they exist and crush them without pity.
That's a lie.
You use different wording, but essentially you talk nazi talk. (Replace "Jews" by "believers".)

Fortunately, your hate speech doesn't fall on fertile ground here.
otto1932
1.2 / 5 (22) Nov 15, 2010
No I say it is YOU who talk Nazi talk. I'm not an idealist. Ideali leads to extremism because it is not based on reality. You are the one who is always invoking Nazis when you want to describe the worst of the worst. And what do we do with the worst of the worst? Give them visas? Do we redeem Nazis or only those who show tolerance and empathy?

Nazis, like other religionists, preached salvation, and were lauded until things got difficult. Then they turned to their books, und Gott, und der Feuhrer.
You use different wording, but essentially you talk nazi talk. (Replace "Jews" by "believers".)
me and bill mahar and Dawkins ET al point to a belief system that has PROVEN to cause inevitable harm and you label us Nazis. But this is Nazi-thinking. You are oppressing us.
otto1932
1.2 / 5 (20) Nov 15, 2010
Let me show how it always works...
Some holyman, let's call him Bawa Muhaiyaddeen, finds a new interpretation and is a good talker. He leads a troupe out of oppression and to Philadelphia, and established a settlement in Chester county. Or somewhere.

The people love h because he is so peaceful, and talks to Mary mother of Jesus, and when he dies they make him a saint or prophet or something. As the followers feel blessed because they have been given obviously the correct path to salvation, they preach enthusiastically and reproduce with no regard for the future.
Cont
otto1932
1.2 / 5 (20) Nov 15, 2010
Their numbers swell alarmingly. The farm settlent becomes a village, then a large town. Squabbles over land erupt with the Amish who have similar problems of their own. New leaders step up who open the Koran to the nasty parts and demand that the people defend their faith because it is not just their welfare which is at stake but that of the entire world, for they alone were given the means to save it by their beloved prophet, from evil heretics like the Amish.

Mayhem ensues of course. Buggys and souvenir shops are burnt. Intercourse PA becomes the site of a many unfortunate incidents.

This is typical. This is inevitable. This is happening all over the world RIGHT NOW. It must be stopped.
http://en.wikiped...iyaddeen
Yellowdart
3.7 / 5 (3) Nov 15, 2010
It seems comment thread progression invokes punctuated evolution as well :)

Ethelred
5 / 5 (1) Nov 15, 2010
however, this sect of Buddhism doesn't practice Ahimsa (non-violence)
Don't care which sect as I was talking about the teachings of the Buddha. Not stuff other people made up later. For instance the Trinity was made up later and was NOT from Jesus and therefor is not inherently Christian. I am simply pointing out that SOME religions, contrary to Otto's rant, are not inherently violent. I was pretty clear about that.
Depends on which Hadith you read.
Nonsense. It depends ONLY on what Muhammet WROTE himself. He was quite explicit. He LEAD battles. What more do you want to show intent by the founder? A twelve year old WIFE. Oops he had that as well.
You cannot paint any adherant with a single broad brush.
You should not accuse me of doing so when I did no such thing. I talked about the FOUNDERS.
look at the individual and judge them on their particular beliefs.
Bull. I was looking at the actual teachings.

Stick to what I actually said please.

Ethelred
Yellowdart
2.3 / 5 (3) Nov 15, 2010
Religion comes down to one question. Was Jesus Christ the Son of God as he claimed? For it would be the critcal point of the supernatural meeting the natural.

What can be considered natural?


Bartolo, you may enjoy reading a work by a former atheist regarding natural vs. supernatural. Miracles by C.S. Lewis goes into detail regarding that distinction.
Thrasymachus
2.4 / 5 (14) Nov 15, 2010
All religions are inherently violent because people are inherently violent. Otto's idea of eugenics and population control is as disturbing and ill-founded as marjon's idea of capitalist anarchy, and is particularly hypocritical, seeing as it targets those of faith while being grounded in faith itself, in this case, faith in a trans-historical super-cabal of conspirators and master manipulators, as well as the existence of social evolutionary trends for which there is little evidence and which misconstrue the nature of evolution. Otto's a joke and is no real support of any serious atheist or agnostic. He condemns those who believe in an invisible sky fairy while at the same time believing in a scifi/fantasy story.
otto1932
1.2 / 5 (21) Nov 15, 2010
believing in a scifi/fantasy story.
And you just enjoy spouting bile so what's the difference?

No, seriously, you will note that my anti-religionist attitudes have little to do with my world domination theories, which actually posit that religions were constructed the way they are by People who wanted to create Order from chaos.Like your philosophy nonsense. So from that perspective I think religions are a necessary evil, evil being the operative word.

But I am also playing the Role I am given, as we all do. People like me find religionism reprehensible and we are speaking out, because at this particular point in history we are SUPPOSED to. And again I cite bill maher and dawkins and legions of others who agree that all religions are dangerous.

Your feigned progressive tolerance and ardor for 'individualism' are passe and you should really try to keep up. Are you just sucking up to get the 5/5s? You see the power of the majority to shape individual opinion?
otto1932
1.2 / 5 (21) Nov 15, 2010
I mean, declaring ottos views on religion just because he believes in something else also, would be the same as saying some great philo was completely full of poop because he tried to sell some 'ding an sich' nonsense. Even a 2nd rate philo knows that's illogical.

Similarly,
All religions are inherently violent because people are inherently violent.
-is obviously flawed, because the logic would mean that any human institution is violent, when we know it is only those which have violence expressly written into their laws, as given by god, which necessarily are. Inevitably.
Otto's idea of eugenics and population control is as disturbing and ill-founded as marjon's idea of capitalist anarchy,
Hey I'm just the messenger here. Your tolerance of Nazi-like religions reminds one of world opinion toward the prewar NSDAP.
otto1932
1.2 / 5 (20) Nov 15, 2010
For instance the Trinity was made up later and was NOT from Jesus and therefor is not inherently Christian.
Well for that matter Jesus wasn't a Xian. We have no idea what he might have been. But what he is now is what the church made him to be.
I am simply pointing out that SOME religions, contrary to Otto's rant, are not inherently violent. I was pretty clear about that.
At the moment, right? Not violent NOW. Accepting one enables them all and ensures inevitable violence. You agree with this or not?
ArcainOne
5 / 5 (2) Nov 15, 2010
But I am also playing the Role I am given, as we all do. People like me find religionism reprehensible and we are speaking out, because at this particular point in history we are SUPPOSED to. And again I cite bill maher and dawkins and legions of others who agree that all religions are dangerous.


... so... in a since... you are in fact... taking the words of others who you have watched and listened to... and then are not citing those words in return to rise action against another group... lmfao! I was right, you really are nothing but a religious extremist! Oh good day sir you have just proven my point.
otto1932
1.2 / 5 (20) Nov 15, 2010
If I am then so are you, as is EVERYBODY. We cannot escape Influence. I can recognize it in myself and accept it. Can you? Admit that you did not conceive your opinions on your own, you just adopted those out there which you found agreeable. Am I right?

And how does being anti-religionist make me religious? You lost me there. As to my other theories they have nothing to do with faith or anything other than what is of this world, the only one there is.
Skeptic_Heretic
5 / 5 (4) Nov 15, 2010
Religion comes down to one question. Was Jesus Christ the Son of God as he claimed? For it would be the critcal point of the supernatural meeting the natural.

No, there are a great many more questions that invalidate the mere mention of that question. Secondly, most religions don't believe in Jesus anything.
ArcainOne
not rated yet Nov 15, 2010
oh my I'm sorry, all the laughing caused me to miss type that it should have read

"and then are now citing those words in return to rise action against another group"
mabirch
2 / 5 (2) Nov 15, 2010
@Etheired: You said "Most mutations appear to be neutral." and "Such mutations survival would be a matter of chance. Some should disappear and some should be retained, most remaining rare. Except in small populations where random chance plays a larger role."
1) Could you please supply a reference for your assertion that most mutations are neutral? I mean, how would you know if it didn't express somatically?
2)What would be the relative ratio of retained and not retained 'neutral' mutations? Especially is sexual reproduction.
3) And, if mutations without survival enhancing properties were expressed in small populations - wouldn't that have a tendency to bring about population extinction more rapidly?
Thrasymachus
1.7 / 5 (11) Nov 15, 2010
@mabirch

1) I'll let others supply you with the citations, as they'd know better than I where to find them anyway, however, there are good reasons to think that most mutations are neutral. First of all, it appears that most dna is non-coding. If you have a length of dna and 90% of it is non-coding, then the chance that a random mutation occurs on a coding bit is 10%. Further, most mutations even on coding bits don't seem to change the functionality of the resulting protein much, if at all. You'd know those mutations are there by sequencing the dna.
Yellowdart
1 / 5 (5) Nov 15, 2010
Religion comes down to one question. Was Jesus Christ the Son of God as he claimed? For it would be the critcal point of the supernatural meeting the natural.

No, there are a great many more questions that invalidate the mere mention of that question. Secondly, most religions don't believe in Jesus anything.


Doesnt matter. If Christ is God, all other religions are thus false. Their denial has no power to change that. In other words, your second statement is a strawman. Other's beliefs about Jesus have nothing to do with what Jesus himself claimed.

He is either a liar, a madman, or He is God. Those are the logical conclusions and to reckon with that changes the entire religion arguement.
Thrasymachus
2 / 5 (12) Nov 15, 2010
2.) The chance that a neutral mutation is retained within a population depends on the size of that population. The bigger the population, the better the chance it is retained, but a small chance of it becoming common. In a small population, you have a better chance that it would be lost, but you also have a better chance that it would become prevalent if it is retained.
3) If the mutation is neutral, then by definition it doesn't make a difference in the survival and reproduction of the individuals who have it, and wouldn't play any role in the likelihood of that species becoming extinct or not in a given time frame. If the environment changes and that mutation is no longer neutral, well, then all bets are off.
Thrasymachus
2 / 5 (12) Nov 15, 2010
He is either a liar, a madman, or He is God. Those are the logical conclusions and to reckon with that changes the entire religion arguement.

Or he never existed or never made the claims attributed to him. You can't forget the fact that many of his self-proclaimed followers are both liars and madmen. Go learn your Christian history. It took nearly 100 years following the supposed death of your Jesus before his followers even decided that his divinity was a part of their doctrine of faith.
ArcainOne
5 / 5 (3) Nov 15, 2010
But I am also playing the Role I am given, as we all do. People like me find religionism reprehensible and we are speaking out, because at this particular point in history we are SUPPOSED to.


If I am then so are you, as is EVERYBODY. We cannot escape Influence. I can recognize it in myself and accept it. Can you?


You speak of influence as if it is final and inescapable, you state that you are simply playing a role you where given to full fill as if handed down to you by some divine host. You pass the buck just like any religious zealot as if it where a burden laid before you to take up.
mabirch
1 / 5 (1) Nov 15, 2010
@etheired: Thanks for feedback. So, most mutations occur outside of coding areas - and as such aren't retained in subsequent generations? Or are you saying that they are retained in the non-coding part of the DNA in subsequent generations and are never expressed due to the fact that they are non-coding?

Of those that are in coding areas some are not beneficial, some are beneficial, most are 'neutral'. That is, they have no perceptable affect on the viabiity of the organism.

So, for everybody - what citations do you have that have done research on the percentage of mutations in coding sequences of the DNA of any organism that are beneficial, neutral, or harmful?

This strikes me as, probably, a critical question as the only mechanism being cited for Darwinian or neo-Darwinian speciation is this mutational mechanism.
Skeptic_Heretic
5 / 5 (3) Nov 15, 2010
No, there are a great many more questions that invalidate the mere mention of that question. Secondly, most religions don't believe in Jesus anything.
Doesnt matter. If Christ is God, all other religions are thus false. Their denial has no power to change that. In other words, your second statement is a strawman.
No, it means your statement is false as you posit a question on religion, not on Christianity.
Other's beliefs about Jesus have nothing to do with what Jesus himself claimed.
Belief has little to do with anything here.
He is either a liar, a madman, or He is God.
Or he's imaginary.
Those are the logical conclusions and to reckon with that changes the entire religion arguement.
Christianity isn't the only religion, that was what my post intended to enlighten you to. It appears that point was lost on you, I'm assuming, due to egotism.
Skeptic_Heretic
5 / 5 (3) Nov 15, 2010
So, for everybody - what citations do you have that have done research on the percentage of mutations in coding sequences of the DNA of any organism that are beneficial, neutral, or harmful?
You can't do that research realistically. Each change is almost impossible to quatify as we're largely unaware of what most genes do, then you have gene regulatory networks, then you have the fact that we've barely sequenced a millionth of the genomes on the planet, then you'd need to look at variance over a multitude of generations, then you have to look at the trait within the existing environment, etc, etc, etc.

There's no way to account for positive, negative, or neutral.
mabirch
1 / 5 (1) Nov 15, 2010
So, for everybody - what citations do you have that have done research on the percentage of mutations in coding sequences of the DNA of any organism that are beneficial, neutral, or harmful?
You can't do that research realistically. Each change is almost impossible to quatify as we're largely unaware of what most genes do, then you have gene regulatory networks, then you have the fact that we've barely sequenced a millionth of the genomes on the planet, then you'd need to look at variance over a multitude of generations, then you have to look at the trait within the existing environment, etc, etc, etc.

There's no way to account for positive, negative, or neutral.

OK - if you are correct, then how can anyone make an assertion that they KNOW that mutations are the mechanism of speciation? Doesn't there need to be both observational and statistical work done before drawing that conclusion?
otto1932
1.2 / 5 (20) Nov 15, 2010
You speak of influence as if it is final and inescapable,
It is.
you state that you are simply playing a role you where given
And so are you.
to full fill as if handed down to you by some divine host.
Thats not true. People influence me just as they do you.
You pass the buck just like any religious zealot as if it where a burden laid before you to take up.
burden laid before me... you freaking lyricist. What are you talking about? What buck am I passing? Do others besides religious zealots pass bucks, which I'm not? Say something that makes sense please. State some opinion which you think is your own and I will tell you where it really comes from.
Thrasymachus
1.5 / 5 (10) Nov 15, 2010
First of all, I'm not Ethelred, but you're welcome. To answer your questions, I'm saying most mutations are neutral because most dna appears to be non-coding. A mutation doesn't really care whether the dna codes or not. Those mutations are passed through the generations in the non-coding part of the dna.

Of the DNA that codes, you've still got a lot of leeway before a change makes a difference in what's coded. You can find the codon chart at http://upload.wik...n-2.svg. You'll see many similar codons code for the same amino acid, so many mutations even in coding dna won't do anything. Finally, of those mutations that make a difference in the protein coded, it's a matter of perspective whether what's expressed is positive, negative or neutral. Sickle-cell anemia is generally regarded as a negative mutation, but if you live in a place infested with malaria, it becomes positive.
mabirch
1 / 5 (1) Nov 15, 2010
So, for everybody - what citations do you have that have done research on the percentage of mutations in coding sequences of the DNA of any organism that are beneficial, neutral, or harmful?
You can't do that research realistically. Each change is almost impossible to quatify as we're largely unaware of what most genes do, then you have gene regulatory networks, then you have the fact that we've barely sequenced a millionth of the genomes on the planet, then you'd need to look at variance over a multitude of generations, then you have to look at the trait within the existing environment, etc, etc, etc.

There's no way to account for positive, negative, or neutral.

OK - so if you're right, then what basis is used for asserting that conserved beneficial mutations and neutral mutations are the basis for speciation. Wouldn't observational and statistical research be needed before drawing that conclusion?
Skeptic_Heretic
5 / 5 (1) Nov 15, 2010
then what basis is used for asserting that conserved beneficial mutations and neutral mutations are the basis for speciation.
Because detrimental ones die.
Wouldn't observational and statistical research be needed before drawing that conclusion?
Absolutely would be, which is why we have millions of books and countless billions of pages worth of said observations to confirm the theory.

For example, the coal moths. The mutation resulting in a darker color would die on the pristine white birch trees of England as it would be seen rather easily by birds and wind up as a food item(predatory selection).

When the industrial revolution began coal burning and the formerly white trees because sooty and grey/brown in appearance, these darker moths now camoflaged, while the white moths would quickly become a snack item for birds.

So which gene is the beneficial one, the darker body gene or the white body gene? Answer is, neither. Depends on environment and more.
Thrasymachus
2 / 5 (12) Nov 15, 2010
You want something that makes sense, otto? You are a religious zealot. You are religious because there is no evidence for any of the beliefs you espouse. When challenged to produce evidence, you cast dispersions, claim the burden of evidence doesn't lie on you, and make proclamations that are either tautologies, or completely unprovable. You are a zealot because you think your beliefs are unassailable fact, that those who challenge them are obviously under the sway of your self-proclaimed enemies, and that they give you sufficient rational justification to advocate for genocide and eugenics. In the end, you are no different than a Lutheran denouncing Catholicism.
mabirch
1 / 5 (1) Nov 15, 2010
@skeptic_heritic: I'm sorry, I'm not talking about the general writings on evolution, nor the general literature concerning adaption and population selection through survival of the fittest. I am specifically asking for studies that attempt to quantify the relative percentage of beneficial, neutral, and harmful mutations to the coding portion of the DNA of any organism.

As to the coal moths - that is NOT an example of the conservation of a mutation, but an example of the how traits that both common in a species can be conserved or not conserved under an environmental change. The relative percentage of white moths and dark moths change in the population due to environmental factors.
otto1932
1.2 / 5 (20) Nov 15, 2010
"The plain fact is, religion must die for mankind to live...This is why rational people, anti-religionists, must END their timidity and come out of the closet and assert themselves... protest; for to do otherwise is to be an enabler... of the true devils of extremism who draw their legitimacy from the billions of their fellow travelers... Thats it; grow up, or die." etc. Bill Maher

-And Bill Maher is certainly no nazi.

-Watch if you dare. Otto is not alone.
http://www.youtub...=related

ArcainOne
5 / 5 (3) Nov 15, 2010

But I am also playing the Role I am given, as we all do


Poor Otto, he is but playing a role. It is not of his own will he speaks but of the role he has been given. He is SUPPOSED to speak out at this time because it is what the times demand him to do. To gather with the others to put an end to the greatest threat the world has ever seen, religionists...


What are you talking about? What buck am I passing? Do others besides religious zealots pass bucks, which I'm not?


This is not societies doing, this is not the work of the times you live in nor the "role" life has given you, this is you. By stating such things you are doing the exact mental gymnastics every religious zealot does by putting the burden of their guilt upon the divine will of god and not his own.
ArcainOne
5 / 5 (3) Nov 15, 2010
But I will say this- it is VERY right and proper to oppress peoples when they believe in something inherently dangerous,


Oppression does not stop oppression, it only leads to greater conflict and violence. The faithful twist oppression to justify their actions, their "ROLES", so they can feel comfortable at night just as you do.
otto1932
1.2 / 5 (20) Nov 15, 2010
Poor arkaine, he is playing a role but is too ego-driven to be able to admit it. So he attacks others who uncomfortably point this out to him.
This is not societies doing, this is not the work of the times you live in nor the "role" life has given you, this is you. By stating such things you are doing the exact mental gymnastics every religious zealot does by putting the burden of their guilt upon the divine will of god and not his own.

http://en.wikiped...religion

-Not a nazi or religious zealot on the list.
Oppression does not stop oppression, it only leads to greater conflict and violence.
OK right there, that little tidbit came from none other than 'turn the other cheek' xian pacifism which the church itself rarely practiced. What else ya got?
mabirch
1 / 5 (1) Nov 15, 2010
@ Thrasymachus: you said "Finally, of those mutations that make a difference in the protein coded, it's a matter of perspective whether what's expressed is positive, negative or neutral. Sickle-cell anemia is generally regarded as a negative mutation, but if you live in a place infested with malaria, it becomes positive."
Only relatively. The life expectency of a man with that condition is shortened to 42 years. In every other set of conditions it is maladaptive.
I realize that I am asking for something pretty specific here, but if there is no observational, experimental data to back it up, or CAN'T be because the whole matter is so complex, then what basis is there for claiming that 'benefical' mutations are the fundamental mechanism for evolutionary speciation? The math has to work.

ArcainOne
5 / 5 (3) Nov 15, 2010
"The plain fact is, religion must die for mankind to live...This is why rational people, anti-religionists, must END their timidity and come out of the closet and assert themselves... protest; for to do otherwise is to be an enabler... of the true devils of extremism who draw their legitimacy from the billions of their fellow travelers... Thats it; grow up, or die." etc. Bill Maher


This is the difference between your ideas... and mine. I have no quotes to give you from men on television or from any books. My ideas are amassed among 20 years of personal study as well as university study of Computer Science (oddly is very related), Anthropology, Sociology, Psychology, and Physics as well as man studies of religion and culture. Great Comedians, Artist, and Musicians. I have chosen my own influences and I do not displace my actions upon them. I am sure Bill Maher would be appalled by your statements and conclusions made using his own words, but I am not bill Maher
Thrasymachus
2 / 5 (12) Nov 15, 2010
Speciation can occur in a population without any mutations occurring whatsoever. Errors in reproduction that include too many chromosomes or leave some out in the offspring, or reverse whole lines of dna, or even just divergent selection without any new genetic information being added can result in new species. And keep in mind that there really is no such thing as "species." There is a single population of living things, some sub-groups of which are more or less reproductively isolated from other sub-groups. Mutation is the source of fundamentally new genetic information. Selection of dna is the fundamental mechanism for evolutionary speciation, mutation just gives more material for selection to work on.
Thrasymachus
1.4 / 5 (10) Nov 15, 2010
There's a long way from challenging other's faith in terms of its reasonableness and culpability in the worst historical human tragedies, to advocating that anybody who has a faith ought to be culled in order to make way for a New World Order of science and peace, and will be anyway because of the secret manipulations of a cabal of superpowerful conspirators whose traditions stretch unbroken to the beginnings of human history, and of whom no consistent evidence can be found because its perpetrators were too smart, despite being human beings fully embedded in the culture of their times. One of them is actually effective in combating the influence and depredations of organized religion. The other is just as much a silly fairy tale as those it seeks to combat, and actually harms the effort to get mankind to take responsibility for itself, instead of foisting that responsibility off on make-believe.
otto1932
1.2 / 5 (20) Nov 15, 2010
This is the difference between your ideas... and mine. I have no quotes to give you from men on television or from any books.
Cant use google?
My ideas are amassed among 20 years of personal study as well as university study of Computer Science
Not very good if you cant use google. They accredited?
(oddly is very related),
Oddly, related to what?
Anthropology, Sociology, Psychology,
Most all thoroughly discredited due to evolutionary psychology.
as well as man studies of religion and culture.
Ditto.
Great Comedians, Artist, and Musicians.
Like Gaahl?
I have chosen my own influences
Snore. Because they were the ones you happened to run into which caught your eye, dDesigned for the Purpose.
and I do not displace my actions upon them. I am sure Bill Maher would be appalled by your statements and conclusions made using his own words,
Didnt watch the video did ya?
but I am not bill Maher
Who said you were?
mabirch
1 / 5 (1) Nov 15, 2010
@Thrasymachus: you said "Mutation is the source of fundamentally new genetic information. Selection of dna is the fundamental mechanism for evolutionary speciation, mutation just gives more material for selection to work on"
OK, I am trying to not to get involved in the semantics. Given that there is the assertion that mutation is the source of new material for selection to work on - and that this 'new material' is essentially random, and only potentially useful if it occurs in the coding part of DNA. What is the percentage of beneficial (steps 'forward'), neutral (stay put),and harmful (steps 'back')? I know that this depends of the micro-environmet to some degree, but there is a fairly large percentage of environment which is macro. If an organism is undergoing mutation, then the cumulative effect has to be 'forward' for there to be a new organism eventually. Does experimental science show that there tends to be more steps 'forward' than 'back' from mutations of the coding DNA?
otto1932
1.2 / 5 (21) Nov 15, 2010
I am sure Bill Maher would be appalled by your statements and conclusions made using his own words
Seriously, you are reading things into my posts that I did not put there which I do not appreciate. Bill Maher says:
Religionism must end in total because no religion is benign, religious belief in any form enables the worst to do their work, religionists have neurological problems, religions will kill us all, etc.

Neither bill nor I ever called for culling or gassing or killing of religionists in any way whatsoever, no matter what the fanatic frajo claims. We only point out the inevitability of religionists doing these things to themselves and everybody else, if they are not stopped.
to advocating that anybody who has a faith ought to be culled in order to make way for a New World Order of science and peace
Nobody said this twit. They will be doing their best to do this to each other, no doubt. Twit.
Thrasymachus
2 / 5 (12) Nov 15, 2010
You don't have to have more positive or neutral mutations than negative mutations to result in speciation. You don't, strictly speaking, need any changes in the structure of the genome at all to result in a new species. All you need is reproductive isolation and selection, and simple geography can provide that. I'm not sure what you mean by micro vs. macro environment. There are parts of the environment which tend to change more rapidly, and parts which tend to change more slowly. Different aspects have more prominence in certain habitats than others. What is a "step forward" in one habitat may be a step "backward" in another.
otto1932
1.2 / 5 (20) Nov 15, 2010
a cabal of superpowerful conspirators whose traditions stretch unbroken to the beginnings of human history, and of whom no consistent evidence can be found because its perpetrators were too smart, despite being human beings fully embedded in the culture of their times.
Pretty cool, huh? Id have thought youd appreciate the philosophy behind it at least. Ecc3, proper time for everything, no? So beautiful.

And there is plenty of evidence which I like to point out all the time. Like the bible. All about conquest and revolution. Thats where youll find the bulk of the evidence- in the midst of wars, in their preparation and aftermath, where it becomes obvious that all the strange occurances and mysteries were actually to enable the most beneficial of outcomes to occur.

But guys like you and frajo and the other dweebs wont look there- war is too icky. Best to accept the pap that it was all just another horrible mistake and go back to reading your Keats.
ArcainOne
4 / 5 (4) Nov 15, 2010
This is the difference between your ideas... and mine. I have no quotes to give you from men on television or from any books.

Cant use google?

My ideas are amassed among 20 years of personal study as well as university study of Computer Science

Not very good if you cant use google. They accredited?


ladies and gentlemen... my point. Auto, grow up. If you lack the cognitive ability to speak for yourself then don't speak at all.
ArcainOne
5 / 5 (2) Nov 15, 2010
... and Evolutionary Psychology is a part of... Anthropology... it does not discredit in any kind of way those AREAS of study.
ArcainOne
4 / 5 (4) Nov 15, 2010
under your eyes religion itself is dangerous your statement:

-But I will say this- it is VERY right and proper to oppress peoples when they believe in something inherently dangerous, like national socialists or islamists, or by extrapolation any belief system that has the propensity to degenerate into something similar because it is based on nothing REAL and is constructed on principles of exclusionism and elitism and reproductive opportunism, which all major religions are. Dont you agree?


Therefore Otto.. you should oppress yourself. Your belief system has the potential to degenerate into something dangerous, based on nothing real and is constructed on the basis of exclusion-ism and elitism.
ArcainOne
4 / 5 (4) Nov 15, 2010
Furthor more from your quote of Bill Maher

the plain fact is, religion must die for mankind to live...This is why rational people, anti-religionists, must END their timidity and come out of the closet and assert themselves... protest; for to do otherwise is to be an enabler... of the true devils of extremism who draw their legitimacy from the billions of their fellow travelers... Thats it; grow up, or die." etc. Bill Maher


This is obviously telling me to kill the religious... right? I mean after all Bill Maher said religion should die, and you said its okay to oppress "when they believe in something inherently dangerous". And because you believe in something inherently dangerous you yourself should also be oppressed and killed right?
Thrasymachus
2.1 / 5 (11) Nov 15, 2010
Eugenics is Inevitable, given that humans have had 20k+ yrs experience with husbandry and that Rulers would have wanted to breed undesirable traits, if anything, out of their flocks.


-But I will say this- it is VERY right and proper to oppress peoples when they believe in something inherently dangerous,


Religionism should be regarded as one malignant, self-reinforcing, self-perpetuating menace.


No religion is safe, all must go.


And these just within this thread, otto, you supporting the genocide of the religious, painting them as irredeemable and deserving to be destroyed, excusing it by calling it culling for your New World Order. This doesn't help those of us who would like to see religion destroyed on the merits, rather than as they destroy themselves.
Ethelred
5 / 5 (3) Nov 15, 2010
Yellowdart said:
Was Jesus Christ the Son of God as he claimed?


Actually he didn't do that. Well he said it and then said, immediatly thereafter, that we are all children of god, presumbably Jehovah. So he wasn't saying that his actual parent was Jehovah rather than Joseph.

you may enjoy reading a work by a former atheist


Lewis was conning himself. He was NOT an Atheist. Most definitly not Agnostic, as we are more rational. Only a believer can be pissed off at god. He was mad at his idea of god so he denied it. Not even close to actual disbelief.

Ethelred
Ethelred
5 / 5 (3) Nov 15, 2010
Well for that matter Jesus wasn't a Xian


Of cours not Otto. It is rather hard to follow oneself. Jesus was Jewish as there is nothing in the Bible that even implies that Jesus was starting a new religion. That seems to have been Paul's doing.

At the moment, right? Not violent NOW


I don't think the Amish are going to become violent anytime soon. Annoying they already are but that is not a crime. Preemptive strikes against people that are not arming to go to war with you is for BLEEPS.

Accepting one enables them all and ensures inevitable violence. You agree with this or not?


No. I am not a BLEEP. That sort of thinking is for BLEEPS.

Quit being a BLEEP Otto. Leave that sort crap to the irrational. Or quit pretending to be rational.

Ethelred
Ethelred
5 / 5 (3) Nov 15, 2010
mabirch said:
1) Could you please supply a reference for your assertion that most mutations are neutral? I mean, how would you know if it didn't express somatically?


The Human Genome project shows a number of variants in particular genes. And LOTS of variants in areas that don't seem to be expressed. Prior to actually knowing the entire genomes it was still a reasonable guess but now we can see the actual variations. Heck YOU can see some minor variants with your own eyes. All those variations on just how blue someone's eyes are or the depth of the brown eyes, though those ARE expressed.

2)What would be the relative ratio of retained and not retained 'neutral' mutations?


Don't know. I read a while ago that computer simulations have been done. It would depend on where the mutation occured for one thing. Mutations in most of the Y chromosome would remain as long as there were male offspring.

Continued
Ethelred
5 / 5 (1) Nov 15, 2010
Blathering on some more:
3) And, if mutations without survival enhancing properties were expressed in small populations - wouldn't that have a tendency to bring about population extinction more rapidly?


Only if it decreased the chance of survival. Which wouldn't be neutral. Most small groups go extinct if they don't join back up with the main branch. Most species that ever existed ARE extinct.

Then again ALL species that exist had ancestors that were different. Most of them clearly came from small groups of offshoots.

Ethelred
otto1932
1.3 / 5 (23) Nov 15, 2010
I don't think the Amish are going to become violent anytime soon. Annoying they already are but that is not a crime
Anabaptists are radicals and contrarians and were implicated in wars and revolts to establish theocracies in europe. They were tossed out of England for their part in the civil war I believe.

" in 2010 a new study suggested [the Amish] population had grown by 10% in the past two years to 249,000, with increasing movement to the West."

-Be afraid. Be very afraid. They have pitchforks and tons of cowdung. I believe they have permits for ammonium nitrate. They grow their own tobacco. AND they read the OT.
Ethelred
5 / 5 (4) Nov 15, 2010
Doesnt matter. If Christ is God, all other religions are thus false.


The Bible does NOT claim the Jesus is god. Also there could be multiple gods which allow Jesus the son of one god without either being a god himself or the son of the only god.

There are more ways to look at religion than yours. Believers are big on false dichotomies. Christians for instance are NOT all Trinitarians. Take the members of the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society for instance.

No, really take them. Keep them away from the buss stops.

. Other's beliefs about Jesus have nothing to do with what Jesus himself claimed.


True. So, why do YOU think he was god. The Bible makes NO such claim. So since he didn't believe it why do you?

He is either a liar, a madman, or He is God.


Now that one is just plain wrong. A false TRICHOTOMY. He NEVER claimed to be god.

Those are the logical conclusions


If you start with false premises your logic is inherent invalid.

Ethelred
Ethelred
5 / 5 (4) Nov 15, 2010
This strikes me as, probably, a critical question as the only mechanism being cited for Darwinian or neo-Darwinian speciation is this mutational mechanism.
No. You are ignoring the KEY mechanism. Selection by the environment. Which includes sexual selection as a subset of the environment.

And the usual estimate I have seen for humans is that the average human has three or four mutations.
OK - if you are correct, then how can anyone make an assertion that they KNOW that mutations are the mechanism of speciation?
I certainly didn't make that assertion. Selection AND separation of gene pools are pretty clearly the mechanisms involved. Isolated groups can become sufficiently different from the main group to form a new species. Genetic drift via the Founder Effect seems to drive much of speciation.
Doesn't there need to be both observational and statistical work done before drawing that conclusion?
Has been done. Dawkins gives lots of examples in his books.

Ethelred
Ethelred
5 / 5 (1) Nov 15, 2010
Absolutely would be, which is why we have millions of books and countless billions of pages worth of said observations to confirm the theory.
Really now SH. Think that might be just bit of hyperbole? Millions and Billions. Been watching Cosmos again?

Ethelred
otto1932
1.3 / 5 (24) Nov 15, 2010
And I could not find your usage of BLEEP; but if it means the rejection whole classes of institutions whose bylaws demand reproductive aggression and violence in the defense of insane belief systems, then myself, bill maher, Richard Dawkins, some guy named hitchens, and legions of others are proudly and unapologetically BLEEPs. We also hate Nazis but do admit they were snazzy dressers.
Therefore Otto.. you should oppress yourself. Your belief system has the potential to degenerate into something dangerous, based on nothing real and is constructed on the basis of exclusion-ism and elitism.
More baffling illogic from a (self-professed) intelligent individual. I've given lots of evidence of action as well as a philosophy which gives meaning to those actions. Humans and their Plans- no gods. And bill maher said that religions must die- not the carriers of them. But history shows us that they usually will martyr themselves over apostasy- because god demands it.
otto1932
1.3 / 5 (25) Nov 15, 2010
And these just within this thread, otto, you supporting the genocide of the religious, painting them as irredeemable and deserving to be destroyed
And you're just as big a liar as marjon is. I explained the more controversial of those statements when challenged on them, which you fail to cite. And when I and maher both say this
No religion is safe, all must go.
-you accuse me of wanting genocide while saying exactly the same thing:
This doesn't help those of us who would like to see religion destroyed on the merits, rather than as they destroy themselves.
-which makes you no better than the duplicitous religionist.

I will say it again with big letters for your rheumy eyes- No religion is safe, ALL MUST GO. Did you watch the maher clip yet?
otto1932
1.3 / 5 (24) Nov 15, 2010
This is obviously telling me to kill the religious... right?
No I think bill is obviously telling anti-religionists to protest... Because that's what he says.
I mean after all Bill Maher said religion should die, and you said its okay to oppress "when they believe in something inherently dangerous".
Let me state that I have never met bill maher and that we are not colluding to kill people. Did you watch the clip yet? Watch the whole series- let me know if you can't understand any of the subtitles.
Ethelred
4 / 5 (4) Nov 15, 2010
I HATE Soul For TWITS. Three parts I think.

mabirch said:
The relative percentage of white moths and dark moths change in the population due to environmental factors.


BINGO. The ENVIRONMENT is the FACTOR driving change. Mutation just supplies the RANDOM raw material.

Only relatively. The life expectency of a man with that condition is shortened to 42 years.


Only for those with TWO copies, and 42 is high, most people die before reproducing. However with one copy life expectancy is increased. Which is why there are so many people with the mutation. One copy good two copies bad. Produce enough offspring and one copy is better than none. Pretty nasty for the people with two but evolution is a amoral process. Not immoral amoral. Morality is not involved. Just survival.

In every other set of conditions it is maladaptive.


See BINGO above.

More
Ethelred
5 / 5 (3) Nov 15, 2010
Party of the second part.
what basis is there for claiming that 'benefical' mutations are the fundamental mechanism for evolutionary speciation?


Beneficial IS environment specific. Different environments REQUIRE different mutations. Mutation DO occur. Selection DOES happen. Isolation DOES happen. Thus speciation in unavoidable.

For instance large lungs are expensive metabolically. So most humans have lungs that good enough for sea level BUT humans living at high altitude have genes for larger lungs. Also for blood changes that can be maladaptive at sea level.

SELECTION is the fundamental mechnisim. Why do insist on claiming that mutation is?

See BINGO again.

OK, I am trying to not to get involved in the semantics.


You seem to be trying to avoid SELECTION. Presumably to pretend that evolution is random.

The Return of More
Pyle
not rated yet Nov 15, 2010
This is fun. Don't stop. Please? Someone feed otto some more.

Thras, Eth, and SH: Not to sound like the evolution denier mabirch, but following from his questionable line of reasoning...
Where do the "major ecological changes" fit in? In my eyes, the discussion of good/bad/neutral falls off in that many are probably lost in the turmoil of these change events.
Bad expressions/mutations that are truly detrimental will not survive, but the good and neutral, per Matthew's theory, look to be selected by environmental catastrophes as much as long-term competition.

(Not going anywhere with that, just looking for other's thoughts relevant to the article we're commenting on.)
otto1932
1.2 / 5 (22) Nov 15, 2010
.. and Evolutionary Psychology is a part of... Anthropology... it does not discredit in any kind of way those AREAS of study.
No, only most all the work that was done up to the point where it was accepted as fact. All the stuff you studied and accepted as gospel, in other words.
Ethelred
5 / 5 (2) Nov 15, 2010
Party of the Third Part
What is the percentage of beneficial (steps 'forward'), neutral (stay put),and harmful (steps 'back')?
At present we KNOW there are such things but we don't have enough data to know the percentage.
If an organism is undergoing mutation, then the cumulative effect has to be 'forward'
ALL organisms have mutations. There IS NO FORWARD. However since there is no mechanism to erase neutral or beneficial mutations they MUST accumulate. Selection removes the bad mutations.
Does experimental science show that there tends to be more steps 'forward' than 'back' from mutations of the coding DNA?
There is no going back. Any particular mutation is a low probability event so it not going to go away by mutation alone. Selection is the way mutations are removed from the gene pool.

There is no need for MORE. The bad ones are removed by selection. Thus ONLY the useful or neutral can accumulate.

Ethelred
Brevity cripples clarity.
Ethelred
5 / 5 (2) Nov 15, 2010
Pyle
Where do the "major ecological changes" fit in? In my eyes, the discussion of good/bad/neutral falls off in that many are probably lost in the turmoil of these change events.


They change the environment. Often by wiping out huge numbers of finely tuned species thus opening the way for mutations that would otherwise be selected out by more efficient competitors. New proteins don't have to be perfectly efficient if there is no other species competing for the same resources. Mediocrity thus has a chance to be tuned by the new environment instead of being wiped out immediately.

Ethelred
mabirch
1 / 5 (1) Nov 15, 2010
@Ethelred: I suspect that I am being unclear as you have persisted in answering questions that I am definitely not asking and making statements that don't seem to be related. I will try once more. Mutations that can be inherited are a small percentage of all mutations. Those that can be inherited may provide some adaptive advantage. (Almost all those cited here and elsewhere seem to be a breaking of current genetic information, not the addition of new. I would be really interested in seeing information on novel genetic code that is beneficial - by observation.) Some percentage has no discernible effect on the organism - which can therefore provide no adaptive value. Some percentage both causes changes and those changes are deleterious to the organism. If mutations are random, and the deleterious mutations accumulate, observably, at a greater rate than beneficial mutations, over time the net is deleterious. Or the opposite is true. (To continue)
mabirch
1 / 5 (1) Nov 15, 2010
@Pyle: You said "Thras, Eth, and SH: Not to sound like the evolution denier mabirch, but following from his questionable line of reasoning..."

Oddly enough, all I have done is ask for a reference to some sort of study - fruit flies, bacteria, etc - where actual cummulative mutations are induced, observed for effect, and categorized as beneficial, neutral, or negative. With a statistical analysis.

The reason I am doing this is that mutational change to the genome is continuously invoked as the source of new genetic code that allows new somatic traits to be selected for survival. I want to know what observational work has been done to support that contention. What, exactly, is your problem with that?
mabirch
1 / 5 (1) Nov 15, 2010
@Ethelred: To continue - You say that environmental changes, population isolation, and other factors cause selection - got that. Darwin's finches. As the weather changes the relative percentages of beak and body types change - but they change BACK when the weather changes BACK. No new species because the genetic code hasn't changed or been truncated or whatever. So if the genetic code is changed (not truncated or crossed from another organism - after all, where did that genetic code come from?)mutations are the proposed mechanism for that change. I'm really just asking for the genetic study or studies where cumulative mutations are shown to have the net effect that leads to the outcome of this previously unavailable genetic code being expressed in a viable organism which code was brought about by mutations.
mabirch
1 / 5 (1) Nov 15, 2010
@Ethelred one last time. You stated that such things as larger lung capacity and even eye color are MUTATIONS that have been conserved - did I understand that right? By implication that many (all?) variation among humans are expressed mutations that have been conserved? On what basis do you make that assertion?

TO ALL - I don't think this group is going to be able to provide me any citations that I can research for myself. I have read many of Dawkin's books and I'm sorry - he doesn't either.
Thrasymachus
1.4 / 5 (10) Nov 15, 2010
That study you're asking for would be pointless, as it wouldn't tell us anything useful. And in fact, you've got several things wrong. Most mutations are passed on, because they're mutations in non-coding dna. Non-coding dna is replicated and passed on just the same as coding dna. Of those mutations that occur in coding dna, most of them don't do anything at all, as the most likely changes result in precisely the same amino acid being coded. Of the small proportion that are left that change the amino acid the codon codes for, most of those don't change the functionality of the protein, or do so only slightly, which can result in minor phenotypic variation or none at all. All such mutations can accumulate in a population. Of the infinitesimally small group left, changes in the amino acid that result in radically different proteins, most will be lethal, and thus not accumulate.
Pyle
not rated yet Nov 15, 2010
@mabirch - We have a problem of time and ability. We haven't had enough time with the means to study the DNA sequences to have completed the studies you're suggesting.

Do we have indirect evidence that mutations occur and that environmental changes trigger speciation? Yes. In abundance.

Have we studied all of the genetic code of the family trees evidenced in the fossil record to develop a set of statistics for all gene mutations and expressions with success and failure rates and specific environmental trigger events? Of course not.

I apologize if you were just suggesting future research areas, but it sure felt like E, T, and SH were arguing with a denier.
Thrasymachus
1.4 / 5 (10) Nov 16, 2010
Furthermore, mutation rates vary across reproductively isolated groups of living things (I refuse to use the term species in this discussion any longer as it has no scientific meaning). Since most mutations that make a difference are lethal, cells have evolved dna repair mechanisms, in fact, the double stranded nature of dna is a check against the effects of mutation. And finally, mutation in terms of amino acid substitution isn't the only way to get new dna that codes for selection to work on. Errors in replication can copy the same strand of dna twice as a single strand, it can transpose whole sections so they look like they're written backwards. Non-coding dna can suddenly become coding if a mutation in the stop codon occurs.

And there's a whole lot that occurs between the genome and the phenotypic expression that is just not known right now. But the fact that it is unknown is not evidence against Darwinian evolution.
DamienS
4.2 / 5 (5) Nov 16, 2010
Just thought I'd add something to the mix with all this genetic mutation talk. Traits can also manifest without a change in the genetic code through a process known as epigenetics (or how the genome is expressed). So you could have identical twins (identical genes), but one develops cancer and the other does not. Epigenetic changes are influenced by the environment, nutrition and behavioural factors and can be passed on to the next generation.
ArcainOne
5 / 5 (3) Nov 16, 2010
@Otto

It is still absolutely amazing, your complete and utter lack of sense and wisdom. It doesn't matter what you mean to say, your own words can easily be used to draw the conclusion that you want the genocide of all religious people. This is the same kind of thing that is done with religious systems. Your crusade against religion is no different than any other religious crusade and your beliefs can be used in the exact same way as a religion to spur genocide. To say something so foolish as "Oppression is okay" is simply irresponsible, and the same goes for Bill Maher saying "religion should die". You inability to see this makes you truly no different than any other religious zealot.
Ethelred
3.7 / 5 (3) Nov 16, 2010
Eight parts maybe
suspect that I am being unclear as you have persisted in answering questions that I am definitely not asking
I am giving you the answers you NEED to understand. The questions you ask are because you don't understand what to ask. Or rather the questions you ask appear to be aimed at avoiding the conclusion that Evolution is real instead of understanding how it works.

You are fixated on random mutation and that IS NOT the key. Selection is. If the damn 1000 word limit had not forced me to cut out several lines that would have been even more clear. So this will go on as many posts as it takes.

First there ARE experiments that give us enough information to see what is going on. There are NOT enough to prove it to a fundamentalist. NOTHING would be enough. Jehovah could stand 800 feet tall over the smoking corpse of Oral Roberts proclaiming Darwin 'Genius of All History' and it wouldn't be enough.

More
Ethelred
4.2 / 5 (5) Nov 16, 2010
Two
Gene sequencing enough people to get certain answers about the percentages of good vs bad vs neutral will take a long time and a serious decrease in the cost. Plus we will need to know how all those genes and RNA bits work to know which are which. Without that it is very had to know what mutations were actually good. Even then Fundamentalists will just claim Jehovah created it all like that. Even with smoking corpses of Televangelist on every channel and a Jehovah Loves Dawkins 24/7 channel hosted by rotating Avatars of Jehovah, as in a Son, a Holy Spirit and a Hairy Thunderer.

That would be over the top.

Now to deal with details.
Mutations that can be inherited are a small percentage of all mutations.
Maybe. Those that stop reproduction would indeed be selected out in the initial generation. The rest can be inherited. Those that are maladaptive WOULD BE SELECTED OUT. This is the key idea you are just plain not getting. SELECTION IS THE KEY.

More more throw more brandy
Ethelred
4.2 / 5 (5) Nov 16, 2010
Three
I would be really interested in seeing information on novel genetic code that is beneficial - by observation.
There are some experiments but without using species with a completely known sequence there is no way to know if the changes were from mutations rather than genes that had been switched off. I don't know if any tests have been done with completely known genomes. That has only recently become possible and may still not be feasible due to the need to nail down a single strain or more likely a SET of strains.
If mutations are random, and the deleterious mutations accumulate
If wishes were horses John Wayne would have been a millionaire. No, wait he was.

This what I was trying to get across to you. THEY DON'T ACCUMULATE. They get SELECTED OUT. That is why SELECTION IS THE KEY. Not mutation. Mutation is just the raw material. The Stone Before the Artiste starts cutting.

Extra More
Ethelred
3.7 / 5 (3) Nov 16, 2010
Four
where actual cummulative mutations are induced,
Cumulative is the hard part. TIME - Eli, MONEY TIME, TIME MONEY. (From The Stunt Man - Producer to the Director) Lots of time. It has been done with computer programs and electronic circuits. You can do the PC experiments yourself if you want.

http://devolab.msu.edu/

ou say that environmental changes, population isolation, and other factors cause selection - got that
Not quite. I said they result in speciation VIA selection. Changed or not selection comes from the environment. If there is no change in the environment then an already optimized species isn't going to show much change.

Yet again More
Ethelred
4 / 5 (4) Nov 16, 2010
Five
but they change BACK when the weather changes BACK.
Not really, they CHANGE but not back. They may get to something similar as the conditions would be similar but the actual genes would be different. Mutations are random thus the changes would be unlikely to result in the exact sames genes as before. Also the concept of isolation is involved. When change occurs it drives marginal gene pools to extinction.

For instance during a drought on one of the islands in the last century a species of finch lost the middle of the beak genes. That is the smooth graph from large to small got a double bump instead of the previous single hump. Only the small beaks and the larges beaks were surviving. If the weather had continued that way long enough it is likely the one species would have become two.

Dennis More
Ethelred
3.7 / 5 (3) Nov 16, 2010
Six
mutations are the proposed mechanism for that change.
Again it is the raw material of change. Which mutations survive is via selection. Even in a species with an unchanging environment. There pretty much all mutations would be detrimental and thus mutations would NOT accumulate. They would nearly all be selected out.
outcome of this previously unavailable genetic code
There are kinds of mutations than just single point mutations. Though even those can be significant. A single point mutation in a homeobox gene controlling, say limb growth time, could result either dwarfism or longer legs. Somewhere on the net there is a picture of a dead, via gunshot, animal that looked like a very long legged cougar. No, not the kind on Brazzeers porn site. The cat. That would not require a large number of mutations. Just a few or even just one in the right place.

Dennis is saddle sore
Ethelred
4 / 5 (4) Nov 16, 2010
Seven

The main problem with what you are asking for is TIME. We haven't been around doing science long enough to get accumulated testing done. A great deal of patience would be needed even with C. Elegens to get accumulated results. Single changes are no big deal. Those we got.

The key mutations would be:

Single points accumulated over time in key proteins.
Single points in homeobox genes that control growth and timing.
Stuttering along sections.
Duplication of genes. Especially in sexually reproducing species.

In a sexually reproducing species most genes have to copies. Many have more, such as the genes for eye pigment. Simply getting more functioning copies of a gene can have significant effect on their own. Such as those eye pigments.

My fingers are sore
Ethelred
4.2 / 5 (5) Nov 16, 2010
Eight and more to go
The key with duplication though is that the new copies are free to change because there is still a copy able to to the old job. This can be seen in human hemoglobin where we have NINE different variants of the gene. ALL of us. Only one variant is active in humans after birth. That one compound is made up of the two copies of two different molecules and it is obvious that one of the molecules is a variant of the other. Which came first is a guess. My guess is the smaller was the original. Or rather closer to the original.

Duplications and stutters can be bad or good. Skin pigment can be good. Huntington's is a bad one.
You stated that such things as larger lung capacity and even eye color are MUTATIONS that have been conserved - did I understand that right?
Yes.

Sorry more
Ethelred
3.7 / 5 (3) Nov 16, 2010
Nine
? By implication that many (all?) variation among humans are expressed mutations that have been conserved?
Yes. Not many, ALL. There is simply no reason to assume otherwise. Anything else is assuming that we cannot understand what is going on. As long as it all fits there is no reason to think we have it wrong. So far it fits. No signs of intervention, except by viruses.

Why would I assume otherwise? To support Dr. Behe? He is full of it. Makes the sames mistake EVERY BLOODY chapter. He doesn't want to know how things could have happened without a god so he just plain claims that it couldn't.
don't think this group is going to be able to provide me any citations that I can research for myself.
Heh. Already did. That link above to an experiment YOU can make. And here are two sites with lots of sources. Many the same of course.

The classic
http://www.talkorigins.org/
A newer site - better in many ways.
http://pandasthumb.org/

ONE MORE TO GO
Ethelred
3.7 / 5 (3) Nov 16, 2010
Done at last done at last I am not Winston Bloody Churchill but I am done at last.
I have read many of Dawkin's books and I'm sorry - he doesn't either.
Actually he does. An Ancestor's Tale has some pretty good stuff if I remember correctly. However the stuff you are asking for is relatively recent. So you will have to go on the links at those sites above. They DO HAVE such things. Heck this site has stuff.

I am not aware of ANY testing that deals with fully known genomes before and after. The ability to do this is VERY recent. As in this last few years and still would be VERY expensive. Of course you can do the PC testing with Avida for the cost of your own PC and personal time.

Bad genes do not accumulate. Good genes do. That is the product of Selection. Which is why I kept mentioning it. It is something that simply cannot, not happen. All you have to do is extend it over time and toss in isolation to get speciation.

Ethelred
Skeptic_Heretic
5 / 5 (1) Nov 16, 2010
Absolutely would be, which is why we have millions of books and countless billions of pages worth of said observations to confirm the theory.
Really now SH. Think that might be just bit of hyperbole? Millions and Billions. Been watching Cosmos again?

Ethelred

You'd be surprised. There are on average 8 papers in the subject of genomics submitted per hour globally. It is truly a massive page count.
otto1932
1.2 / 5 (23) Nov 16, 2010
It is still absolutely amazing, your complete and utter lack of sense and wisdom.
Your hyperbole is underwhelming.
your own words can easily be used to draw the conclusion that you want the genocide of all religious people.
Only by senseless bigots such as yourself.
Oppression is okay" is simply irresponsible,
And as I explained and you ignore, that's oppression in the opinion of the religionist who regards any criticism of their beliefs as oppression. As I said the def of the term includes 'unjust'.
and the same goes for Bill Maher saying "religion should die".
You really don't think he meant that literally do you? Are you that stupid? That's a major motion picture.
u inability to see this makes you truly no different than any other religious zealot.
It is you who are acting like it. Wanting religions 'destroyed' does not mean one wants people dead.
otto1932
1.2 / 5 (24) Nov 16, 2010
Let's see... Otto says he thinks religions should end because of the trouble they cause and most people besides religious extremists might think he means that maybe they should just go fishing or down to the mall on Sundays instead of worshipping vapors.

But arkaine thinks this means otto is a vicious GENOCIDAL Nazi-type. Otto is perplexed; the only killing, he points out, is invariably done by religionists themselves. So he posts a mainstream movie made by a decidedly non-genocidal critic of religion who says essentially the same things as otto does. Arkaine labels him too a vicious GENOCIDAL Nazi-type when obviously he is not.
Cont
otto1932
1.2 / 5 (25) Nov 16, 2010
Bill maher is even a comedian, and arkaine says he likes to learn important things from comedians; maybe he doesn't think bills jokes are funny and so must want to kill people?

At any rate it seems we can conclude that the only extremist fanatic here is the one who considers criticism of religions, to the extent that they should end (or be destroyed??) as threats of GENOCIDE by Nazi-types no matter what that criticism is, which is arkaine. He even appears to include himself in this category, which is the kind of schizoid reasoning typical of the fanatic religionist.

The question is, why is arkaine defending religion with the same extremist irrational fervor of an ayatollah or a talibaner? Is he a closet religionist himself? Or is he is simply some dimwit adolescent who enjoys baiting people and getting 5/5s for it? The latter would be my guess but I am not certain of this.
ArcainOne
5 / 5 (3) Nov 16, 2010
Otto you 180 and play the victim so well. Allow me to once again highlight your own words. And I won't do it from the 3rd person.

-But I will say this- it is VERY right and proper to oppress peoples when they believe in something inherently dangerous,


Religionism should be regarded as one malignant, self-reinforcing, self-perpetuating menace.


No religion is safe, all must go.


... really? you still don't see it??? honestly?
ArcainOne
5 / 5 (4) Nov 16, 2010
Okay, Otto, I'm going to assume I am talking to your rational personality. I get this one every now and then and it throws me for a loop when it comes out.

You see Otto, it is okay to want to put an end to religion, but it is the words we choose to bring about this end that make the difference. When you say things like "religion should be regarded as a malignant tumor" it paints a picture that it should be destroyed with massive dosages of radiation. Or when you say that "Opression is okay when people believe in something dangerous" right after speaking about the dangers of religion. It paints a certain violent picture. Similar phrases have been used in religion to justify their actions of violence.

And again... I get it, religious group A may think they are being oppressed because we said you can't stone women anymore. You and I know, from our perspective, thats not oppression thats improvement.
otto1932
1.2 / 5 (22) Nov 16, 2010
In case you missed it, here is my qualifier on my oppression statement:
-They feel western sanctions are oppression. They feel that others who hold conflicting beliefs are oppressing them just by existing. So they consider whatever it is we do to oppose their sickness oppression anyway, even if we do not.

The operative word here is 'unjust'. Any rejection or criticism of religionists is regarded as unjust and thusly as oppression by them. But they still need to be rejected and they still need to be criticized despite what the namecallers would label these actions.
-Please include it next time.
ArcainOne
5 / 5 (2) Nov 16, 2010
In case you missed it, here is my qualifier on my oppression statement:


yeah... that was 4 - 6 posts down. After you stated oppression was okay, I know it wasn't a time issue, because I got in two posts...
otto1932
1.2 / 5 (24) Nov 16, 2010
it is the words we choose to bring about this end that make the difference. When you say things like "religion should be regarded as a malignant tumor"
Tumor? Otto did not say tumor!! Many things ca grow without restriction thereby endangering the host. Like religion.

This is what otto said:
Religionism should be regarded as one malignant, self-reinforcing, self-perpetuating menace.
Strong words. Where amongst those words do you find the requirement for GENOCIDE or killing of any sort?
it paints a picture that it should be destroyed with massive dosages of radiation.
So when arcane says he wants to destroy religions, by using his same logic, he must mean killing adherents by more socially acceptable means? Non-violently perhaps?

You afraid of strong words arkaine? You seem to enjoy using them to vilify others for expressing (in your opinion) unpopular opinions.
otto1932
1.2 / 5 (23) Nov 16, 2010
Perhaps you prefer the more congenial words of Sam Harris:
http://en.wikiped...(author)

-who tones down his message because his life has been threatened by radical religionist extremists of the sort you seem willing to defend.

The message is the same. Religions are a direct threat to the survival of humanity, and religionists will tell you this as they did in Mahers video. And unless reasonable people begin stating the obvious, in no uncertain terms, that religion must END, our own destruction is all but assured.
mabirch
1 / 5 (2) Nov 16, 2010
@ethelred: While you obviously feel that your response is all that is needed to address my questions, and also feel that I must be some sort of 'fundamentalist' if I don't agree that your explanation is sufficient - I continue to see your assertions as insufficient. I will also note that I have been polite and courteous, you have resorted to name calling and the default position that anybody who looks at the facts and draws different conclusions than you is deficient in some fashion. I wish you well in your obvious olympian superiority.

Thanks for the links, I will go there in the hope that there are observational experiments to follow up.
ArcainOne
5 / 5 (2) Nov 16, 2010
So when arcane says he wants to destroy religions, by using his same logic, he must mean killing adherents by more socially acceptable means? Non-violently perhaps?

Where did I say that I wanted to "destroy" all religions Otto? Please... quote me.
Thrasymachus
2 / 5 (12) Nov 16, 2010
The sad thing here otto, and the only reason I permit myself to be occasionally drawn into these pointless online spats with you, is that you're clever enough to know what you're doing. You see other atheists and agnostics challenge the religious fanatics on here all the time without needing to resort to the insanity and hyperbole your espouse. Yet when one or more of these atheists and agnostics challenge your imagination, you lump them in with religionists and start calling names. You don't even try to understand religion, you simply denounce it. You claim you do, but when challenged you once again resort to name-calling and insults. No serious atheist or agnostic or scientist thinks that's the appropriate way to respond to criticism. You turn the very methods of the faithful against them, but to a serious atheist or agnostic, it is those methods that deserve attack, not the people who use them.
otto1932
1.2 / 5 (23) Nov 16, 2010
Where did I say that I wanted to "destroy" all religions Otto? Please... quote me.
Wasn't this you?
This doesn't help those of us who would like to see religion destroyed on the merits, rather than as they destroy themselves.
-Or was it the other butt monkey TM?
that you're clever enough to know what you're doing
I rest my case.
when one or more of these atheists and agnostics challenge your imagination, you lump them in with religionists and start calling names.
-And who calls otto a GENOCIDAL zealot?
ArcainOne
5 / 5 (2) Nov 16, 2010
No otto that wasn't me, use Ctrl+F with the text "like to see religion destroyed on the merits"

to find the original post. it was Thrasymachus...
Pyle
3.5 / 5 (6) Nov 16, 2010
Thras & Arcain,
I agree with almost everything you said.

Otto, keep screaming.
The planet has what, 3-4 billion irrational believers on it. They are either poorly educated and religion is doing its job controlling them, or they aren't and it is even scarier why they ignore reality and believe in whatever it is they do. They out breed us. In the US the right has used religion to rape the poor and middle class. It IS time to use strong words.

Benign religion, if it truly exists, is a vast minority. I am afraid for me and my hopefully atheist children.
ArcainOne
5 / 5 (5) Nov 16, 2010
You know the truth is I do want Otto to keep screaming as well, just more intelligently. Rather than calling people names, and acting like a child.

-Or was it the other butt monkey TM?


case in point...
Thrasymachus
1.4 / 5 (10) Nov 16, 2010
I do want to see religion destroyed, but not the religious. Religion is a method of thinking and relating oneself to the world through adherence to unprovable or blatantly false beliefs. The religious are those who use that method. I would undermine that method and attack its appeal for those who use it. I would not undermine or attack the people who use it. The fact that you continually blur the distinction between the two, otto, shows that you're either in it for the lulz, or you like being able to advocate for genocide and then be able to backtrack and finger-point when someone calls you out on it, or your actually a closet religionist pretending to attack religion with ridiculous hyperbole in order to undermine agnostic and atheist positions.
otto1932
1.2 / 5 (23) Nov 16, 2010
you like being able to advocate for genocide
I said 'end'. You said 'destroyed'. Maher said 'die'. But out of these 3 opinions you butt monkeys think only otto wishes mass executions, even though his is the most benign. Could this be because ottos nick is german and he writes in german sometimes? Then otto is in the right in calling you bigots.

As far as the term 'butt monkey' goes, Team Frajo here seems to like traveling in a pack. Frajo drops an irrational
You use different wording, but essentially you talk nazi talk. (Replace "Jews" by "believers".)
-and die Pudel attack, without even reading ottos posts, as arkaine admits arf arf. And they get a 5/5 biscuit for it. So otto feels justified in calling you butt monkeys.
cont
otto1932
1.2 / 5 (23) Nov 16, 2010
As far as screaming goes, I see no upper-case rants but much hyperbole
It is still absolutely amazing, your complete and utter lack of sense and wisdom...makes you truly no different than any other religious zealot...like being able to advocate for genocide
For a philo-lover TH, you seem to have yet to master the art of word math (logic); nowhere has otto said he thinks killing is warranted and has even said that religion must end to prevent further killing. But, like a bigot fanatic, you and frajo both add this up to get otto = nazi-type. Your philosophy resembles something from the gutter or the OT.
I would not undermine or attack the people who use it.
Please. We have all read your onslaughts of marjon which are indeed personal. And you personally attack me for sharing views similar to yours simply because I indulge in a little alternative political speculation from time to time. And expose philo for the poop it is.

'Conform or die!' Says Team Frajo. Otto says bite me.
otto1932
1.3 / 5 (23) Nov 16, 2010
The planet has what, 3-4 billion irrational believers on it. They are either poorly educated and religion is doing its job controlling them, or they aren't and it is even scarier why they ignore reality and believe in whatever it is they do. They out breed us. In the US the right has used religion to rape the poor and middle class. It IS time to use strong words.

Benign religion, if it truly exists, is a vast minority. I am afraid for me and my hopefully atheist children.
So if you agree with me, 5/5 me once in awhile. Otto prefers strudel but will take biscuits.

Watch the movie. Its very funny and very good.
http://www.youtub...=related
Thrasymachus
2 / 5 (12) Nov 16, 2010
I used to 5 you otto, until I learned how deeply perverse your views are. There's a big difference between insulting someone (and I have never claimed to be above insulting idiots) and advocating violence against them. Though you're usually pretty good at being cute in your advocacy, so you can go back and say "What me? I never explicitly said that." It's rather like listening to Rush Limbaugh play "Barack the Magic Negro" and then get all indignant because someone calls him racist.

I'll make my problem with you more explicit, maybe then you'll get it. You have many conclusions about religion that I agree are correct. But your method of getting to those conclusions is as backwards as any religionist. You do not understand the things you attack, and when your lack of understanding is pointed out to you insult and smear. You paint with too broad a brush and because of that fail to stay within the bounds of reasonableness. And I am not frajo or Arcain, so check your quotes.
ArcainOne
5 / 5 (2) Nov 16, 2010
Could this be because ottos nick is german and he writes in German sometimes?


Actually didn't know that, but thanks for playing the 'race' card.

and die Pudel attack, without even reading ottos posts, as arkaine admits arf arf.


what? and what did I admit? Now who is putting words in whose mouth. Is this what you where talking about the German thing I thought you where just wierd...

nowhere has otto said he thinks killing is warranted and has even said that religion must end to prevent further killing.


Is your lack of understanding this because your German? This could clarify a lot of things...
ArcainOne
4 / 5 (4) Nov 16, 2010
And I am not frajo or Arcain, so check your quotes. - Thrasymachus


seriously... Thank you Thrasymachus I was going to say that.
Ethelred
5 / 5 (3) Nov 16, 2010
I am seeing a lot of really bad reading going on here. I am only going to address the mess you guys have been making of Bill Maher though.

Bill said he wanted RELIGIONS to die. NOT THE RELIGIOUS people that belong to the religions. There is a VAST difference between the two concepts.

Please learn to read and listen to what people ACTUALLY say or write.

Please quit reinterpreting what people say to mean something entirely different.

Thank you for you support in this matter.
Peanuts may have been processed on the same equipment.

Ethelred
ArcainOne
5 / 5 (1) Nov 16, 2010
Bill said he wanted RELIGIONS to die. NOT THE RELIGIOUS people that belong to the religions. There is a VAST difference between the two concepts.


Not to be mean... because I know you mean well... but... duh!

You like Otto have missed the point.
otto1932
1.2 / 5 (25) Nov 16, 2010
I used to 5 you otto, until I learned how deeply perverse your views are.
No, youre saying so is perverse though.
and advocating violence against them.
And you are a liar. I never advocated violence against anyone.
I'll make my problem with you more explicit, maybe then you'll get it.
I do get it. You are a posturer of no substance. You enjoy railing for the audience and like to pick what you think are easy targets, which makes you a coward as well.
what? and what did I admit? Now who is putting words in whose mouth.
You should have stopped at 'what':
yeah... that was 4 - 6 posts down. After you stated oppression was okay, I know it wasn't a time issue, because I got in two posts...
And...
You like Otto have missed the point.
The point is, you like TH like branding people like me homocidal maniacs because you enjoy it.
ArcainOne
5 / 5 (2) Nov 16, 2010
The point is, you like TH like branding people like me homocidal maniacs because you enjoy it.


no... I am branding you a "homicidal maniac" because you are dangerous and continuously fail to see why. The way you speak is just as dangerous as the way all religious extremist speak and either directly or indirectly that speak cause violence and hate.
otto1932
1.2 / 5 (22) Nov 16, 2010
The point is, you like TH like branding people like me homocidal maniacs because you enjoy it.


no... I am branding you a "homicidal maniac" because you are dangerous and continuously fail to see why. The way you speak is just as dangerous as the way all religious extremist speak and either directly or inadvertently that speak cause violence and hate.
And you too are a liar. Me and Bill Maher both think so. Ive never said anything different than he does in his movie, or for that matter what dawkins says in his books, and they do not advocate violence either.

I suggest you grow up.
ArcainOne
5 / 5 (2) Nov 16, 2010
And you too are a liar. Me and Bill Maher both think so. Ive never said anything different than he does in his movie.


Just because someone on television says it doesn't mean its right. Ever watch Rush Limbaugh, the 700 club, or Glen Beck or most of fox for that matter?
Thrasymachus
2 / 5 (12) Nov 16, 2010
Well, now that we've all devolved into calling each other liars, I'm done. There's no convincing people like you, otto, because you're already convinced you're right. No amount of argument, no facts or evidence, nothing anybody could do would ever convince you that you're mistaken in how you approach and characterize the problem of religion and religious people. You fail even to try to understand the role of historical investigations into the function and structure of logic and perception. Your obstinacy is rivaled only by the religious fanatics you claim you oppose.
ArcainOne
5 / 5 (3) Nov 16, 2010
Just because someone on television says it doesn't mean its right


Bill Maher's message was good, but if you are going to take it to heart and began to "preach his word" and speak in his name it starts to look a bit crazy.
ArcainOne
5 / 5 (1) Nov 16, 2010
You fail even to try to understand the role of historical investigations into the function and structure of logic and perception. Your obstinacy is rivaled only by the religious fanatics you claim you oppose.


nicely put.
Ethelred
5 / 5 (2) Nov 16, 2010
One of two
While you obviously feel that your response is all that is needed
It actually explains how the process of evolution works. Never claimed it was all YOU needed.
also feel that I must be some sort of 'fundamentalist' if I don't agree that your explanation is sufficient
Didn't say that either. However the way you fixate on the randomness of mutations and ignore selection is standard operating procedure for fundamentalists.
I continue to see your assertions as insufficient. I
What is it you don't get?
you have resorted to name calling
Where?
anybody who looks at the facts and draws different conclusions than you is deficient in some fashion
You sure don't seem to understand what selection has to do with evolution. Which IS a deficiency in a discussion about evolution.
I wish you well in your obvious olympian superiority.
That is condescension. From someone that accused me of name calling.

Once more to the breach
Ethelred
5 / 5 (3) Nov 16, 2010
Party of the second part

I simply understand the process of evolution. For some reason even some people in biology claim that can't be done. It can. Knowing all the details cannot be done but the basics of the process are really pretty simple.

Mutations occur.
Selection occurs.
Thus Evolution MUST occur.

Even most fundamentalists have given up claiming that there is NO evolution.

I will go there in the hope that there are observational experiments to follow up


I don't think you will find any that fit your specifications. However there ARE lots of experiments.

The main reason I think you are not clear on how evolution works is this:
If mutations are random, and the deleterious mutations accumulate

They DON'T accumulate. Selection removes them. Your only response to all I wrote was to accuse me of name calling and then you went on to engage in condescension instead of responding to anything I really said.

Ethelred
otto1932
1.2 / 5 (26) Nov 16, 2010
You fail even to try to understand the role of historical investigations into the function and structure of logic and perception.
You mean all that bullshit that has been thoroughly discredited and superseded by scientific investigation and clinical study?
Your obstinacy is rivaled only by the religious fanatics you claim you oppose.
This from the shiva of religions? You lose joker.
ArcainOne
5 / 5 (1) Nov 16, 2010
You mean all that bullshit that has been thoroughly discredited and superseded by scientific investigation and clinical study?


Link your evidence and I mean your evidence that discredits

the role of historical investigations into the function and structure of logic and perception.


I am sick and tired of your BS as well.
frajo
3 / 5 (6) Nov 17, 2010
I should have fed a database with PhysOrg comments from my first day here. There have been a lot of otto1923/1932 statements which didn't explicitly advocate mass murder but presented a disturbing fascination with violence and human suffering ("it's inevitable, dude").

Otto1923/1932 is not stupid. I'm sure he knows the speeches of Joseph Goebbels.
Maybe he even knows the speeches of Horst Mahler, a present-day German former anarchist lawyer now turned nazi leader whose preaching carefully avoids any advocating of crimes.
His followers nevertheless understand his intentions very well. As do, fortunately, the German judges.

Is your lack of understanding this because your German? This could clarify a lot of things...

Otto1923/1932 is not a native German speaker. His German is error-ridden.
frajo
3.9 / 5 (7) Nov 17, 2010
I do want to see religion destroyed, but not the religious. Religion is a method of thinking and relating oneself to the world through adherence to unprovable or blatantly false beliefs. The religious are those who use that method. I would undermine that method and attack its appeal for those who use it.
We can't draw a well-defined line between "religion" and its evolutionary mother, the ubiquitious and much older phenomenon of superstition.
How many people/scientists are - to little avail - constantly undermining superstition?

Any success in eliminating religion initiates a new age of superstition (See the CCCP.). You don't need to go out into the rural regions to see superstition's power over people. Just take note of the best-selling books, newspapers, and movies to feel the unbroken attraction of "supernatural" thinking among the uneducated (believers and non-believers).

Religions can evolve to the better of society. By keeping a distance from political power.
DamienS
4 / 5 (4) Nov 17, 2010
Maybe he even knows the speeches of Horst Mahler, a present-day German former anarchist lawyer now turned nazi leader whose preaching carefully avoids any advocating of crimes. His followers nevertheless understand his intentions very well.

Also known as dog-whistle politics.
otto1932
1.3 / 5 (23) Nov 17, 2010
Frajos database would certainly be helpful in showing that my fascination with history is only in my desire to understand it, and that I believe the source of understanding can only be found in the violence which plagues it.

I can also understand how this might disturb Frajo. But looking at these things and discussing them enthusiastically does not make one a proponent or a practitioner of them. When someone is equated to Nazis for doing this it allows shallow people like TM to pronounce them murderers and want to lynch them.

Your religion has taught you to do this Frajo, to reject unpleasant inquiry and accept official explanations, however preposterous they may be. It is why people like TM would reject science for dead philosophy. It is why science today struggles against enforced ignorance of the church. It is how Nazis were able to sell their insanity in the face of reason, and turn an entire nation into an army. It is how the weak are led and the curious are silenced.
Cont
otto1932
1.3 / 5 (23) Nov 17, 2010
I do not, have not, and will not advocate hatred or killing. But I will continue to try to make sense of it, by looking right AT it and accepting the reality of it. And I would appreciate it if you didn't equate me with Nazis because of my curiosity and my theorizing.

Frajo unfortunately won't watch the maher movie because of some irrational fear of videos? But in it he/she would hear exactly the same words otto has used, to describe the same things and reach the same conclusions.

Maher and other antireligionists are decidedly not Nazis, not genocidal maniacs, and yet they all reach the same conclusions that I and others here have- there is no good, no value, no worth in religions and they must end. They are the major source of violence in the world today and there is no reforming or pacifying them. They must die for the world to live, as bill maher says.
otto1932
1.2 / 5 (22) Nov 17, 2010
Well, now that we've all devolved into calling each other liars, I'm done
Funny. It's ok to call me Nazi and genocidal murderer, which I am not, but it's not ok to call you a liar, which you are. So you cut and run.
Skeptic_Heretic
5 / 5 (5) Nov 17, 2010
Maher and other antireligionists are decidedly not Nazis, not genocidal maniacs, and yet they all reach the same conclusions that I and others here have- there is no good, no value, no worth in religions and they must end.
No, that's not accurate. They evaluate and show that western religion is easily corruptable and encourages ignorance. As such they will naturally end when we promote rational thought, as they did during the enlightenment.

Similar misreads of Nietzche led to rampant racism and bigotry. That is what the posters above are attempting to show you. Extremism in any mode of thought leads to detrimental actions and rampant credulity leads to destruction.
otto1932
1.3 / 5 (23) Nov 17, 2010
Link your evidence and I mean your evidence that discredits
So you want to derail this thread yet again? I already fought and won this battle. I need only cite the many behavioral and neurological studies which provide conclusive evidence of the biological basis of the function of perception and how the brain processes sensory input which negates and renders immaterial all the non-scientific discussion of it in the absence of it.

I would also defer to the many scientists like hawking who can look at the vast body of philosophical work and conclude that it all took place in the absence of knowledge of how the brain functions, and rightly conclude that it is not only dead but it was never alive, having been based on nonexistent things like the metaphysical and god.
otto1932
1.3 / 5 (23) Nov 17, 2010
No, that's not accurate. They evaluate and show that western religion is easily corruptable and encourages ignorance.
So it's clear SH didn't watch Mahers movie where he specifically states these things?
Similar misreads of Nietzche led to rampant racism and bigotry. That is what the posters above are attempting to show you.
You are playing the apologist. Is the sin in the honest inquiry or the dishonest misreading of it? It's pretty clear the posters are accusing me of being something I am not because I engage in discussion of things which they are afraid of, and reach conclusions they do not like. But many of these same conclusions are shared by people who are decidedly not malevolent, including yourself.
otto1932
1.3 / 5 (24) Nov 17, 2010
As such they will naturally end when we promote rational thought, as they did during the enlightenment.
As maher and many others warn, unless we do something quickly this will not have the chance to occur.
ArcainOne
5 / 5 (4) Nov 17, 2010
I do not, have not, and will not advocate hatred or killing. But I will continue to try to make sense of it, by looking right AT it and accepting the reality of it.


that is a good thing.

But looking at these things and discussing them enthusiastically does not make one a proponent or a practitioner of them.


its not that you are discussing them "enthusiasticaly" it is that you say things like "Opression is okay"... and then only after I slam you on it do you clarify your statement. Would that not also look suspicious if those words came from a Christian or a Muslim?
Skeptic_Heretic
5 / 5 (6) Nov 17, 2010
So it's clear SH didn't watch Mahers movie where he specifically states these things?
Don't make assumptions, especially when you're talking to me, Otto. You should know better. I've seen it, and at no point in time does he advocate or hint at a forced change.
You are playing the apologist.
Nope.
Is the sin in the honest inquiry or the dishonest misreading of it?
No such thing as sin, Otto.
It's pretty clear the posters are accusing me of being something I am not because I engage in discussion of things which they are afraid of
No, they're telling you that you're pushing the edge of what would be considered rational and heading into the realm of bias and bigotry, as I am.
and reach conclusions they do not like.
You don't reach conclusions. You make demands, which no one is paying attention to because they're as ridiculous as Marjon's demands.
But many of these same conclusions are shared by people who are decidedly not malevolent
Intent matters.
otto1932
1.2 / 5 (22) Nov 17, 2010
Then why did you say
No, that's not accurate. They evaluate and show that western religion is easily corruptable and encourages ignorance.
-when I was citing what maher concludes at the end of his movie that religion must die for the world to live? This means ALL religions, which the movie makes clear.
You don't reach conclusions. You make demands, which no one is paying attention to because they're as ridiculous as Marjon's demands.
Demands. Name one. You mean 'religion must end' like 'religion should be destroyed' or 'religion must die'? Who have I demanded anything from?
Nope.
Yep. If the poster had meant
Similar misreads of Nietzche led to rampant racism and bigotry. That is what the posters above are attempting to show you.
-Then they would have said so, rather than directly comparing the things I have said to the things goebbels said, and deeming me a Nazi by implication, and by directly calling me GENOCIDAL and a murderer.
Skeptic_Heretic
5 / 5 (5) Nov 17, 2010
-when I was citing what maher concludes at the end of his movie that religion must die for the world to live? This means ALL religions, which the movie makes clear.
Then you obviously haven't watched the movie. I'd like to know when he got into Buddhism and Jainism and the other 180 thousand religions not covered in his diatribe against abrahmic faiths.
Then they would have said so, rather than directly comparing the things I have said to the things goebbels said, and deeming me a Nazi by implication, and by directly calling me GENOCIDAL and a murderer.
Are you reading what you're writing when you post it?

"Then they would have told me rather than told me."
otto1932
1.2 / 5 (22) Nov 17, 2010
Do you?? THEY implied I was a Nazi and SAID I advocated murder. You say they were only trying to caution against the dangers of misreading my posts. You should let them speak for themselves.
Skeptic_Heretic
5 / 5 (6) Nov 17, 2010
Do you?? THEY implied I was a Nazi and SAID I advocated murder.
Your statements are akin to the ramblings made by NAZI party officials before the Blitzkrieg.
You say they were only trying to caution against the dangers of misreading my posts. You should let them speak for themselves.
I have, and you're not getting it. In this frustration you are becomming hostile, as are some of them.

I've been largely neutral in this conversation because I know you're smart enough to reflect and recognize that from time to time you do go overboard, or at least don't make cautionary statements to prevent that accusation from being tossed upon you. Consider it peer review, and rather than fixing the errors, you're beating the Fred Hoyle drum.
otto1932
1.3 / 5 (23) Nov 17, 2010
Then you obviously haven't watched the movie. I'd like to know when he got into Buddhism and Jainism and the other 180 thousand religions not covered in his diatribe against abrahmic faiths.
So you're saying he had to specifically attack each religion separately?? His movie contained pictures of many of those religions, including Buddhists. He said 'religion must die'. It's clear this statement meant ALL religion, and is a summation of his intent in the film
Your statements are akin to the ramblings made by NAZI party officials before the Blitzkrieg.
AS WELL AS those of maher and other legitimate critics. Don't you see that?? It is your judgment of this criticism as Nazism which is the DANGER, not the criticism itself.
Skeptic_Heretic
5 / 5 (5) Nov 17, 2010
So you're saying he had to specifically attack each religion separately??
Marjonism.
His movie contained pictures of many of those religions, including Buddhists. He said 'religion must die'.
Yes, he also said "just as other Bad ideas die, through being exposed to reason.
It's clear this statement meant ALL religion, and is a summation of his intent in the film.
His intent is to spread reason and make people aware that the sheep are typically the first to be fleeced, fucked, and killed.

If I say "Otto, don't touch the stove because you'll hurt yourself" does that carry the same meaning as "Otto, don't touch the stove OR YOU'LL KILL YOURSELF."

Like I said, intent matters.
ArcainOne
5 / 5 (2) Nov 17, 2010
No, they're telling you that you're pushing the edge of what would be considered rational and heading into the realm of bias and bigotry, as I am.

Then they would have said so, rather than directly comparing the things I have said to the things goebbels said, and deeming me a Nazi by implication, and by directly calling me GENOCIDAL and a murderer.


your own words can easily be used to draw the conclusion that you want the genocide of all religious people. This is the same kind of thing that is done with religious systems. Your crusade against religion is no different than any other religious crusade and your beliefs can be used in the exact same way as a religion to spur genocide.


The way you speak is just as dangerous as the way all religious extremist speak and either directly or indirectly that speak cause violence and hate.


You know the truth is I do want Otto to keep screaming as well, just more intelligently.
ArcainOne
5 / 5 (3) Nov 17, 2010
maybe our words where too strong for you but my message was there. and SH was correct.
otto1932
1.2 / 5 (21) Nov 17, 2010
If I say "Otto, don't touch the stove because you'll hurt yourself" does that carry the same meaning as "Otto, don't touch the stove OR YOU'LL KILL YOURSELF."
Yeah. In the same manner as a religionist might say 'don't question the bible' or a historian might say 'don't question the official historical record'. Otto will continue to question, and spout, and scare the people who are only yapping little Pudel anklebiters. It's Inevitable dude.
ArcainOne
5 / 5 (2) Nov 17, 2010
If I say "Otto, don't touch the stove because you'll hurt yourself" does that carry the same meaning as "Otto, don't touch the stove OR YOU'LL KILL YOURSELF."
Yeah. In the same manner as a religionist might say 'don't question the bible' or a historian might say 'don't question the official historical record'. Otto will continue to question, and spout, and scare the people who are only yapping little Pudel anklebiters. It's Inevitable dude.


::Smacks Otto on the nose with a rolled up news paper:: Bad otto bad stay on track!

How does that relate to

SH -
If I say "Otto, don't touch the stove because you'll hurt yourself" does that carry the same meaning as "Otto, don't touch the stove OR YOU'LL KILL YOURSELF."

Like I said, intent matters.
Skeptic_Heretic
5 / 5 (1) Nov 17, 2010
If I say "Otto, don't touch the stove because you'll hurt yourself" does that carry the same meaning as "Otto, don't touch the stove OR YOU'LL KILL YOURSELF."
Yeah. In the same manner as a religionist might say 'don't question the bible' or a historian might say 'don't question the official historical record'. Otto will continue to question, and spout, and scare the people who are only yapping little Pudel anklebiters. It's Inevitable dude.

Inevitable,

Like revelations?

Do you see the disconnect now?
otto1932
1.2 / 5 (20) Nov 17, 2010
How does that relate to
Otto would much rather be told how the stove works or figure out himself, rather than be told stove-touching (or self-touching) is taboo. Metaphorically speaking.
Do you see the disconnect now?
Jesus. People are inevitably going to be perturbed by what I want to talk about. So what. Nothing eschatological about that. No otto is not the lamb. No otto has no 4 heads and 20 eyes. No otto is not the whore of Babylon.

Be prepared, a little later I am going to find a reference which proves that maher believes ALL religions must end. And no this does not make me Ezekiel. It just means you will be pwned.
ArcainOne
5 / 5 (4) Nov 17, 2010
People are inevitably going to be perturbed by what I want to talk about. So what. Nothing eschatological about that. No otto is not the lamb. No otto has no 4 heads and 20 eyes. No otto is not the whore of Babylon.


We... at least I, never said that you where.

(1)I said you are dangerous.

(2)I said your words have the potential to be turned into a weapon that can be used to justify the actions of violence and hate.

(3)I said your words mirror those of an upstart religious zealot trying to recruit people to his cause (refer back to 2).

(4)I even showed you how your own words can be turned into a fuel for hate and violence...

Everyone else seemed to get it... except you.
PinkElephant
5 / 5 (6) Nov 17, 2010
Having read through the latest exchanges, I fail to comprehend: what the hell are you all fighting about? If you refuse to see the difference between ideological confrontation vs. physical massacre, then you've got no right to accuse anyone else of "marjonisms"...

Personally, while I empathize with otto's (and Maher's) sentiments, I recognize that superstition and magical thinking are not going to go extinct any time soon. These are endemic to childhood, and not everyone matures to the same extent. Plus, various people differ in their affinities to contrived mystery, and some will always seek the "supernatural" even if they do admit the utterly quixotic or escapist nature of such pursuits. Some will adopt religion, or even make up their own, just for the sheer poetry, art and symbolism of it. Or they'll appreciate the social club angle of religious congregations. Meditation in itself is beneficial, but probably aided and enhanced by any religious placebo effects. Etc.
otto1932
1.2 / 5 (23) Nov 17, 2010
Having read through the latest exchanges, I fail to comprehend: what the hell are you all fighting about?
They think I'm a genocidal nazi because I said religions must end. I take issue with that.
I empathize with otto's (and Maher's) sentiments
Thank you sir. You also may agree with Maher when he says:

"Rational people, anti-religionists, must end their timidity and come out of the closet and assert themselves. And those who consider themselves only moderately religious really need to look in the mirror and realize that the solace and comfort that religion brings you actually comes at a terrible price."

-I also take issue with the tone of criticism here in general. I am being shouted down because I say religions are bad? Thats just wrong. Maybe you agree that censorship of this sort is really what nazis were all about?
otto1932
1.2 / 5 (23) Nov 17, 2010
For instance:
(1)I said you are dangerous.
I am not dangerous and I have never said anything to make anybody think so. You are dangerous for saying so.
(2)I said your words have the potential to be turned into a weapon that can be used to justify the actions of violence and hate.
You calling me a dangerous genocidal nazi is obviously just that.
(3)I said your words mirror those of an upstart religious zealot trying to recruit people to his cause (refer back to 2).
-They mirror those of bill maher who is no such thing.
(4)I even showed you how your own words can be turned into a fuel for hate and violence...
No. You only think you did. I showed you how yours are obviously the expression of the kind of hate which can turn into violence. You are a bigot.
Everyone else seemed to get it... except you.
Everyone in your little rat pack that is. Go burn a witch.
PinkElephant
5 / 5 (6) Nov 17, 2010
Rational people, anti-religionists, must end their timidity and come out of the closet and assert themselves
I agree, to an extent. I respond forcefully when someone attempts to force or foist any religion or religious practice upon me, or upon someone else at my expense. However, I won't go around "proselytizing" Atheism, because I personally find proselytizers of all stripes quite offensive and obnoxious. So, just because some people are assholes, doesn't mean I have to join them...

My position is simple: drop the forced indoctrination, expose people to knowledge, and then let the chips fall where they may. Some will end up choosing religion no matter what, and I just don't feel like jumping down their throats is going to help either them or me...
I am being shouted down because I say religions are bad?
I have a slightly different take: religions are neither intrinsically bad, nor good. Though they can and do serve to amplify both the goodness and the evil in people.
Skeptic_Heretic
5 / 5 (4) Nov 17, 2010
-I also take issue with the tone of criticism here in general. I am being shouted down because I say religions are bad? Thats just wrong. Maybe you agree that censorship of this sort is really what nazis were all about?
The reason for my criticism is simple. I am an anti-theist, not because I hate religion, but because I think that if it were true, what a horrible world we'd live in. Each time I hear the religious wave the banner of Atheist oppression, or extremism, I like ot stick it in their face that they are simply projecting.

Some of your statements really weaken that stance overall, but not in regards to me. The reason why I criticize you is that I think you're smarter than this, and I think that sometimes, though perhaps not this time, you go too far even though your intentions are correct.
DamienS
4.5 / 5 (8) Nov 17, 2010
Each time I hear the religious wave the banner of Atheist oppression, or extremism, I like ot stick it in their face

Yeah, which is why I was so disgusted when recently the pope went around mouthing off in Spain about how Spain’s growing secular­ism will bring rise to the kind of fascism that led to the Spanish Civil War! He criticised 'aggressive secularism' and warned of its dangers:

As we reflect on the sobering lessons of the atheist extremism of the 20th century, let us never forget how the exclusion of God, religion, and virtue from public life leads ultimately to a truncated vision of man and of society and thus to a reductive vision of the person and his destiny


Now that kind of talk truly disgusts me and sends shivers down my spine.
ArcainOne
5 / 5 (5) Nov 18, 2010
-I also take issue with the tone of criticism here in general. I am being shouted down because I say religions are bad?


no... I repeat once again you are being shouted down for saying things like this:

it is VERY right and proper to oppress peoples when they believe in something inherently dangerous, like national socialists or islamists, or by extrapolation any belief system that has the propensity to degenerate into something similar because it is based on nothing REAL and is constructed on principles of exclusionism and elitism and reproductive opportunism, which all major religions are. Dont you agree?


to which I may ad you did NOT refine until several posts later. Again I ask would this phrase not look just as questionable from an open Religionists, say a Muslim or Christian?
frajo
3 / 5 (2) Nov 18, 2010
They think I'm a genocidal nazi because I said religions must end. I take issue with that.

They/I asked you whether you are a nazi. Because some of your statements sound like nazi propaganda.
You said all religion must end but didn't specify by what means.
Nor did you specify how an individual could prove _not_ to be religious when the Holy Anti-Religious Inquisition threatens to torture him.
realize that the solace and comfort that religion brings you actually comes at a terrible price.
Whatever Simplicissimus says so doesn't realize that this will not impress any believer who participated in the inquisition. And none of those who were murdered in the German concentration camps.
I also take issue with the tone of criticism here in general. I am being shouted down because I say religions are bad?
Goodness - you can't stand the heat you are whipping up?
This is inevitable. ... It must be stopped.
You never told how. That's why.
otto1932
1.2 / 5 (23) Nov 18, 2010
They/I asked you whether you are a nazi. Because some of your statements sound like nazi propaganda.
And some of yours sound like Nazi censorship of dissent.
You said all religion must end but didn't specify by what means.
So did your buddy thrashnuts. You haven't screamed for disclosure from him- is it because he wears the cloak of a liberal, because he is a member of your little party?
Nor did you specify how an individual could prove _not_ to be religious when the Holy Anti-Religious Inquisition threatens to torture him.
It is enough to stand up and say 'this must stop' when confronted with religious-inspired atrocity every day. And it is enough to agree with others when it's obvious that all religions harbor the potential for unspeakable violence, and that there is NO way to ensure that they will not produce it. Like your buddy, I say religions must be destroyed.
otto1932
1.2 / 5 (22) Nov 18, 2010
You never told how. That's why.
YES I did. We live in a society where people are allowed to speak out against abuse. When it is agreed that something needs to be done to stop it, educated minds are gathered to address the problem. I would not know how to solve it but I have confidence that there are people who do, that the solution would be reached in light of public scrutiny, and that the solution would be enforced rationally, equitably, and humanely.

Irrespective of my musings on Hidden Mechanisms at work in the world, I know as do you that THIS is how things get DONE. WE decide, and WE act. And the time, as maher says, to decide and to act is NOW. Whether it has been presented to us in this Manner or not is irrelevant.
otto1932
1.2 / 5 (22) Nov 18, 2010
This must stop.
http://www.longwa..._cla.php

-Coming soon to a pleasant, peaceful little church, mosque, or synagogue near you.
otto1932
1.3 / 5 (23) Nov 18, 2010
It IS interesting that we are facing the type of problem that most likely only a World Govt can properly address. It is bigger than fascism, bigger than communism, and has the potential to cause far more ruin. Another Dark Age. Humans are a crisis-driven species. It requires the biggest Threat for us to make the biggest changes.

It might very well be that the world requires another totalitarian dark age because of the immediate threats from nuclear, biological, and chemical tech. The only freedom to be had might be on the frontier, compelling reasons for the bravest and most ambitious to emigrate off-planet. This would be typical of how it has always been Done.
otto1932
1.5 / 5 (24) Nov 18, 2010
I mean, the German people were driven to national socialism. Their money was made worthless (the dollar?), people were starving in the streets, and communist cells taking orders directly from Moscow were erupting throughout the country. The middle class could see what was happening to their counterparts in Russia- millions were being killed and carted off to gulags.

The German people were terrified and desperate, and when someone came along who offered a solution, they were ready to accept it.

How much would western peoples have to suffer before they were forced to accept a similar Solution? An implacable, fanatical, ruthless Enemy in their midst, the collapse of their economic systems, mass starvation, disease, unrest; would this be enough?

Meanwhile the most pragmatic and resourceful would have long since packed their bags and headed off to mars.
Skeptic_Heretic
5 / 5 (9) Nov 18, 2010
The German people were terrified and desperate, and when someone came along who offered a solution, they were ready to accept it.
Just a small correction, Hitler was never popular with the people. He was effectively the TEA Party candidate of Germany. His supporters were the loudest and the richest in the country. That is, until he shut down the chancellory and turned on them all.

Now this is scary, because America parallels Nazi Germany today. We see the media becoming marginalized while opinion pieces on FOX tell a story that is so far from the truth it hurts to watch it if you have common sense. You have a group of people doing the exact same thing as the early Nazi sympathizers did. The only difference is, this time Hitler has a vagina, and he's from Alaska.
otto1932
1.2 / 5 (20) Nov 18, 2010
The German people were terrified and desperate, and when someone came along who offered a solution, they were ready to accept it.
Now this is scary, because America parallels Nazi Germany today. We see the media becoming marginalized while opinion pieces on FOX tell a story that is so far from the truth it hurts to watch it if you have common sense. You have a group of people doing the exact same thing as the early Nazi sympathizers did. The only difference is, this time Hitler has a vagina, and he's from Alaska.
Yeah buddy.

We have only anecdotal evidence to support the idea that hitler did not, in fact, have a vagina. Can you see the resemblance?
http://www.msnbc....t1=43001
Hitler was never popular with the people.
With the majority that is, which is why it would take hysteria fueled by incidents like the reichstag fire and the harassment of volksdeutsche elsewhere to convince germans to act. They were Played.
otto1932
1.2 / 5 (21) Nov 18, 2010
For visual comparison:
http://www.google...mp;ty=77
ArcainOne
5 / 5 (5) Nov 18, 2010
You have a group of people doing the exact same thing as the early Nazi sympathizers did. The only difference is, this time Hitler has a vagina, and he's from Alaska.


... thats a terrifying thought on multiple levels...
PinkElephant
5 / 5 (8) Nov 18, 2010
And it is enough to agree with others when it's obvious that all religions harbor the potential for unspeakable violence, and that there is NO way to ensure that they will not produce it.
That's what I don't buy. It might seem strange, particularly with me being a strong Atheist.

However, I question the mapping of unspeakable violence to religion. In my opinion, all HUMANS harbor that potential, quite regardless of religion.

Yes, religion can be used to whip up violence and oppression, and to create divisions between groups as the first step to dehumanizing the "enemy" and thus enabling and fueling atrocities. However, even in absence of religion, violence and oppression can be whipped up just as easily. All it takes is a talented demagogue, a desperate populace, and some means of drawing lines between "them" and "us".

For instance, take the French revolution. It was "the proletariat" vs. "the bourgeoisie": no religion involved. Ditto with the Russian revolution.
otto1932
1.2 / 5 (23) Nov 18, 2010
In my opinion, all HUMANS harbor that potential, quite regardless of religion.
I believe that, like any animal, humans can be expected to be peaceful and cooperative because it is in our best interests to be so. But when our backs are against the wall or our families are under threat we can be expected to fight like hell.

Our tropical repro rate has made overcrowding endemic and the resulting conflict inevitable. I believe that the protection against this has been codified into the prevailing religions, by guaranteeing that the people can be mobilized in orderly and directable ways. In this manner inevitable violence has been controlled so as not to endanger that which is truly vital and irreplacable.

We are in the process of controlling reproduction and thus eliminating this source of conflict. Religions possess an inertia which ensures their persistance long past their utility, with their violent tendencies intact and fully active. They are immune to controls on growth.
PinkElephant
5 / 5 (6) Nov 18, 2010
Our tropical repro rate has made overcrowding endemic and the resulting conflict inevitable.
And yet, you should notice that most of the modern tropical wars are fought along ethnic, rather than religious, lines. In fact, throughout history ethnicity, culture, and race were much more prominent motivators for organized conflict, than religion. Far more frequently than not, conflicts have occurred and still occur between peoples of the same religion, than peoples of different religions.
Religions possess an inertia which ensures their persistance long past their utility
True, religions do possess a tremendous inertia. But they have no built-in utility. Sure, sovereigns and other manipulators have been able to cherrypick and twist religions to their own ends, but rebels and reformists have been able to find motivation in those very same religions just as easily.

At the root of all, it's just Humans doing the Human thing, with religion merely providing a thin veneer on top.
otto1932
1.2 / 5 (21) Nov 18, 2010
In fact, throughout history ethnicity, culture, and race were much more prominent motivators for organized conflict, than religion.
Yes but religion made them controllable. Western culture survived, thrived, and spread in the context of religion-inspired war and revolution.

When Leaders reached the conclusion that they could Plan wars and prearrange the results, the potential for almost limitless gain- in tech, social change, and yes wealth and power- was obvious. The Idea became irresistible. And essential, as any other culture that reached the same conclusion would quickly overrun you.

More evidence? If one were to conceive social systems which would enable the people to hate an enemy on que and fight him to the death, support the effort to the point of starvation, and reproduce to outgrow the opposition and replace battle losses faster, one could not conceive of any better suited than the worlds major religions.
otto1932
1.2 / 5 (21) Nov 18, 2010
At the root of all, it's just Humans doing the Human thing, with religion merely providing a thin veneer on top.
The human thing was to engage in a few million years of tribal warfare. As we gradually got better at it, and learned to cultivate food, it soon became evident that humans could, and would inevitably, extinct themselves. Large areas throughout Asia and subsaharan Africa were denuded, desertified, saltified in ancient times. This is at the core of the Sumerian flood myth. Humans were a plague and needed to be flushed.

Religions cause humans to do markedly unhuman things- like monogamy for instance. There is little about organized religions which can in any way be considered natural, even in terms of superstition. They have been far more that a veneer- they have shaped the growth of society and enabled civilization to achieve what it never could without them- sustainable world domination. They are the most powerful Tool for domestication.
otto1932
1.2 / 5 (22) Nov 18, 2010
Domestication. 'Thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.' 'To ensure domestic tranquility' -could it be any more obvious? 'The meek shall inheret the earth.' -A promise and a goal. The church obscured the fact that we are animals for so long, perhaps to distance us from the idea that we, too, could be an ongoing work of husbandry. Compelling the angry young upstarts to walk into the guns as bin laden and the Taliban are doing, separating the studious from their incipient cultures grouping them in universities to find mates, subjecting the weak and flawed to the ruinous temptation of drugs and alcohol. Etc. Baaaah. Wheat from chaff. A time to sow and a time to reap.

And religions- discerning who would believe the most outlandish lies, as they could be led most easily, and culling those who could not. Today we fill our prisons with them, enriching the next gen.
frajo
3 / 5 (4) Nov 19, 2010
And as Frajo says, we ought to hunt down Nazis wherever they exist and crush them without pity.
When you wrote this you knew it is not true.
How then can anyone trust your statements anymore?
otto1932
1.2 / 5 (22) Nov 19, 2010
And as Frajo says, we ought to hunt down Nazis wherever they exist and crush them without pity.
When you wrote this you knew it is not true.
How then can anyone trust your statements anymore?
Obviously I was exaggerating your sentiments for comedic effect. Perhaps a more accurate statement would be 'Frajo dislikes Nazis but begrudgingly acknowledges their right to exist' or 'to express their opinions under the 1st amendment and within all applicable laws' or similar?
Just because I am obtuse sometimes does not mean I am untrustworthy. I am honest.
otto1932
1.2 / 5 (22) Nov 19, 2010
In the US nazis are allowed to stage parades so people can throw things at them. Thousands participate in ww2 reenactments where Nazis run through the woods with real guns and fake bullets. Americans grew up watching 'Hogans Heroes' a strange tv comedy written by Jews and starring at least 1 concentration camp survivor (lebeau).
http://www.youtub...a_player

Americans for the most part view Nazis differently than euros do I think- possibly because they were being imported en masse under Operation Paperclip to head research and space programs? More like fiction. Not like commies.
Ethelred
3.7 / 5 (3) Nov 19, 2010
In the US nazis are allowed to stage parades so people can throw things at them.
No. The US allows Nazis to have demonstrations just like every other group can. When people throw things at them they are breaking the law.

We also let people shoot VIrtual-Nazis in games.

And have demonstrations that say GOD HATES THE US.

And idiots run for Vice President. Even President.

America a Land Of Oportunity.
Be the Least You Can Be.

Or the best. How about try for more of the latter and less of former for a while Otto.

Read twice before posting and think about what it will look like to others.

Pretty please.

Ethelred
otto1932
1.2 / 5 (22) Nov 19, 2010
And have demonstrations that say GOD HATES THE US.
Is otto the only one who thinks his jokes are funny, or at least not invisible??

Who doesnt laugh at nazi rallies? 20 nazis and 300 protesters show up. Mayhem ensues. Great fun. Pies ARE thrown and people DO get arrested.

We are here to entertain ourselves. Otto does this pretty well.
DamienS
3.5 / 5 (4) Nov 19, 2010
Illeism is used with an air of grandeur, to give the speaker lofty airs. Idiosyncratic and conceited people are known to either use or are lampooned as using illeism to puff themselves up or illustrate their egoism.
PinkElephant
5 / 5 (4) Nov 19, 2010
but religion made them controllable
Has it? Or was it cultural indoctrination and peer pressure?
religion-inspired war and revolution
I don't know of too many wars or revolutions that were religion-inspired. Most of them were inspired by power struggles between monarchs, ethnic (tribal) groups, or social classes (slave uprisings, labor revolutions.)
one could not conceive of any better suited than the worlds major religions
Oh, I don't know. Have you checked out North Korea, lately?
it soon became evident that humans could, and would inevitably, extinct themselves
I think not. Humans always assumed the earth and its resources were infinite, and there for the taking. The limited-resource view is a very modern phenomenon.
Humans were a plague and needed to be flushed
Again, I don't think so. Environmental disasters were never the direct fault of humans; they were the wrath of the gods. True connections were never made, due to a lack of proper perspective.
PinkElephant
5 / 5 (4) Nov 19, 2010
Religions cause humans to do markedly unhuman things- like monogamy for instance.
Sure, but how else can one demonstrate devotion to the god(s) if one is not in some way inconvenienced while doing so?
There is little about organized religions which can in any way be considered natural, even in terms of superstition.
I disagree about superstition. It is indeed VERY natural. Nobody TEACHES children that there are monsters under their beds, or hiding in dark closets.

Of course, the structures of organized religion are quite elaborate, but I don't see deliberate design there. Rather, I see evolution. The more efficient structures and features survived after millennia of innovation and competitive selection.
they have shaped the growth of society and enabled civilization to achieve what it never could without them- sustainable world domination
Religions are far older than technology. I attribute "sustainable world domination" to evolution of technology, not religion.
PinkElephant
5 / 5 (3) Nov 19, 2010
The church obscured the fact that we are animals for so long, perhaps to distance us from the idea that we, too, could be an ongoing work of husbandry.
Not every successful modern religion has done so. Buddhists and Hindus see humans reincarnating as animals and plants. African religions see ancestor spirits inhabiting animals. Most pagan religions see spirits inhabiting not just plants and animals, but inanimate/non-living objects like rocks and streams, as well as celestial entities.

Superstition is everywhere, even in the modern world, and even quite apart from any religion. Just look at baseball players, or Wall Street traders. Look at all the "folk wisdom", from black cats crossing paths, to whistling in the house, to looking into broken mirrors, etc.

Humans are deeply irrational and superstitious: it's our natural and universal, default state of being. Education has the ability to alter this, at least for some of us. But it's the least "natural" thing of all.
Ethelred
4.2 / 5 (5) Nov 19, 2010
Who doesnt laugh at nazi rallies? 20 nazis and 300 protesters show up.


Don't you wish.

For that some racist BLEEP on Stormfront's forum has over 10,000 posts under the handle

Ethelred

He probably LIKES being called a racist.

Ethelred
otto1932
1.2 / 5 (22) Nov 20, 2010
Illeism is used with an air of grandeur, to give the speaker lofty airs. Idiosyncratic and conceited people are known to either use or are lampooned as using illeism to puff themselves up or illustrate their egoism.
OR it could be referring to a nick character whose personality differs from ones own. OR it could be an indication of a schizoid mentality. OR it could be a more mundane expression of compulsive neurotic tendencies. OR it could be a feigned expression of a pseudoforeignism. Either/or, otto finds it amusing.
otto1932
1.2 / 5 (23) Nov 20, 2010
I don't know of too many wars or revolutions that were religion-inspired. Most of them were inspired by power struggles
Irrespective of underlying Motivations or shifting historical spin, it was religion which enabled protestants to burn their popish neighbors in their churches in the 30 yrs war, as 1 example.

It was religion which compelled crusaders to forsake their families and spend years ridding the holy lands of moslem infestation. These religions provided the impetus for people to fight people they would normally have had no issues with, just because their existance was an affront to the real god. The Knights Hospitaller for instance only fought as persistantly as they did because of their beliefs.

Religions enabled the conquest of distant lands. They were portable. This is why the specific methods of doing this are described in the OT. Identify a group, infuse them with gods will, send them off to empty a region and replace the culture with their own. Gleefully.
otto1932
1.2 / 5 (23) Nov 20, 2010
Ottoman moslems were similarly motivated, and between the 2 religionist forces the Mediterranean remained totally under control, and europes exposed flank protected, while the american invasion, which had been Planned for centuries, was prepared and executed.
Oh, I don't know. Have you checked out North Korea, lately?
We have been given more utile Methods of directing Constructive aggression. Communism can produce a Pol Pot and thoroughly ravage a region for a few years, and then completely evaporate. Quite a phenomenon.

Religions however tend to persist long after their usefulness is gone. They are an obsolete system of crowd control.
Religions are far older than technology. I attribute "sustainable world domination" to evolution of technology, not religion.
Technology began with tool and fire use. It probably preceded superstition, as it gave humans the free time to sit around and try to make themselves useful enough to earn their keep from the labor of others.
otto1932
1.2 / 5 (22) Nov 20, 2010
Superstition may be 'natural' and still be an indication of an innate flaw in our brains, something produced as a result of our forced intellectual evolution in the context of chronic overpopulation, brought about by the advent of technology. It may be natural to want to appease the river or the cave bear but I dont believe there is anything natural about the trinity.

One can regard todays religions as a process of distorted evolution and a happenstance result; but the specific forms of the modern mega-religions and the behaviors they can elicit, leads me to believe that they were concocted by People who only cared about only what you did in this life, not the next.
frajo
3.2 / 5 (5) Nov 20, 2010
All the wars you mention have been sold to the uneducated masses as being motivated by religion while in reality they were - as most wars in history - means for economical ends.
The war from 1618 to 1648 was guided by the principle "cuius regio eius religio" and not vice versa.
The fourth crusade, e.g., was financed by whom? On what conditions? Destroyed which city? Massacred whom by whom?

You should spend more time reading history books than watching movies, TV, and comic strips. But then, perhaps your learning abilities don't allow you more than that anymore.
otto1932
1.2 / 5 (23) Nov 20, 2010
I think not. Humans always assumed the earth and its resources were infinite, and there for the taking.
Manifest Destiny, the philosophy of conquest. It has usually been different. Swidden farming is a practice of farming in one location until the soil is depleted, then moving on. As the quickly continents filled up this became harder to do without conflict.

History records the cyclic establishment of order followed by the depletion of local resources and collapse, in layered tells. Hammurabi? conceived a massive project to remove soil saltified by irrigation throughout the Euphrates vally, but abandoned it because it proved to daunting.

As I say, vast areas of the earth were ruined in ancient times. Leaders kept records of food distribution from communal farms. They could see over the gens how quickly pops could grow and what this does to the environment. They could easily surmise the bleak future of civilization without Action. This is Solomons lament in ecclesiastes.
otto1932
1.2 / 5 (23) Nov 20, 2010
The fourth crusade, e.g., was financed by whom? On what conditions? Destroyed which city? Massacred whom by whom?

You should spend more time reading history books than watching movies, TV, and comic strips.
And you should spend more time thinking about what you read. Ive read history. I know history. And I know, like many people do, that written history is inescapably political and therefore propagandist in nature. The best evidence for this is how we can see history being revised and retold to suit changing times.
as most wars in history - means for economical ends.
Wealth? What good is money when the society which legitimizes it is collapsing around you?

It is so easy to fall for the argument that greed is the prime motivator of conflict, so difficult to consider that wars might actually be fought to preserve or create order, isnt it? Your conspiracy theory is somewhat distasteful. I prefer to assume that Leaders might be fighting to preserve, not destroy.
otto1932
1.2 / 5 (22) Nov 20, 2010
Environmental disasters were never the direct fault of humans; they were the wrath of the gods.

It is in their legends:

Fragment #3 --
Scholiast on Homer, Il. i. 5:
`There was a time when the countless tribes of men, though wide-
dispersed, oppressed the surface of the deep-bosomed earth, and
Zeus saw it and had pity and in his wise heart resolved to
relieve the all-nurturing earth of men by causing the great
struggle of the Ilian war, that the load of death might empty the
world. And so the heroes were slain in Troy, and the plan of
Zeus came to pass.'

-One of my favorites. Many more examples.
True connections were never made, due to a lack of proper perspective.
Yes they were, by Leaders, who could therefore predict calamity and blame it on the gods or on the peoples infidelity. A great example of this is the story of joseph and pharoah. The ancients kept meticulous census records of which we have many examples.
otto1932
1.2 / 5 (22) Nov 20, 2010
Of course, the structures of organized religion are quite elaborate, but I don't see deliberate design there.
One of the great innovations of the judeo/xian/moslem religions was their holy book, which is the indisputable word of god. Priests carrying them could maintain their authority because only they could read from it at first and thus were their only source for gods intent.

Later, the people themselves could keep gods presence on the mantlepiece as a constant reminder of their cultural identity as separate from, and superior to, indigenes when living on the frontier. They still had to rely on a priests or imams interpretation, but they could see where the words came from and repeat them to themselves.

Holy books introduced people to literacy, a primary component of modern culture and the replacement of instruction and leadership by clerics with that of secular Authority. Holy books were a major factor in the spread of cohesion throughout the world.
otto1932
1.2 / 5 (22) Nov 20, 2010
I disagree about superstition. It is indeed VERY natural. Nobody TEACHES children that there are monsters under their beds, or hiding in dark closets.
Fear of the nonexistant misdirects the attention of individuals and provides unneeded stress. It cannot be a survival mechanism as it wastes resources and divorces people from their environment. Looks like a flaw to me. You dont see dogs barking at empty closets unless theres a poltergeist in there. =O
Superstition is everywhere, even in the modern world, and even quite apart from any religion. Just look at baseball players, or Wall Street traders. Look at all the "folk wisdom", from black cats crossing paths, to whistling in the house, to looking into broken mirrors, etc.
Do you think any of these actually produce results other than allaying fear perhaps and helping concentration? Do you think that, without this bizarre tendency humans, like the other animals, might have more logical ways of improving their performance?
otto1932
1.2 / 5 (22) Nov 20, 2010
The fourth crusade, e.g., was financed by whom? On what conditions? Destroyed which city? Massacred whom by whom?
I suppose you read something like this and concluded it was about money?

"Nevertheless, the Pope's negative reaction was short-lived. When the crusaders took the piles of money, jewels, and gold that they had captured in the sack of Constantinople back to Rome, Innocent III welcomed the stolen items and agreed to let the crusaders back into the Church."

STRATEGICALLY, from a wide enough perspective, we can see that the most substantial thing to occur during this pperiod was the american invasion. This could only have occured if the mediterranean could be secured from disruption from indigenes as it was during the grecian dark age by the sea peoples.

The Authorities to establish order here were the moslems and xians. by constantly threatening one another they were both able to maintain formidable forces that no 3rd party could hope to challenge.
cont
otto1932
1.2 / 5 (22) Nov 20, 2010
They both constantly raided the shores for supplies and slaves and they occupied and fought over all the islands.

Islamic arabs had quickly destroyed all cultures alond the southern and eastern shores, establishing a vast area which the turks inhereted. They were the replacement for the eastern empire, which had served a similar purpose while europe was subjugated by rome and charlemagne.

The eastern empire was no longer strategically tenable- its Purpose was assumed by the ottomans. Constantinople was traded for spain, which was obviously the most strategically-located region from which to launch the american invasion, and begin to recover all the extremely dangerous precious metals which, had they found their way to europe through independent trade, would have ruined euro economies there. The crusades can be seen as, among other things, a dry run to develop tactics and tech and experience needed for the invasion of the western hemisphere.
otto1932
1.2 / 5 (22) Nov 20, 2010
Yes this is (mostly) my own interpretation of events but I think it happens to make a lot more sense of this era than the official storyline does. And I have so far found no flaws in it. You see any you would like to post?

The idea that europe didnt know about the americas is ludicrous, and so is the idea that trade wouldnt occur or that americans wouldnt quickly acquire the tech they needed to present a dire threat to the world. If we assume world Leaders knew this, we can assume They may have wanted to do something about it, and that this Effort may have taken many gens of political and social preparation including the development of weapons, transport, and tactics by the people who were going to use them, and the strategic protection of those people while these preparations were underway.

Moslems swept asia clear of incipient cultures and strangly stopped at the doorsteps of the moslem and euro empires. Can we assume this was coordinated by diplomats such as marco polo?
otto1932
1.2 / 5 (21) Nov 20, 2010
The point IS, that the judeo/xian/moslem religions made all of this possible, by being able to cause specific groups of people to move and fight at specific times in the absence of the traditional motivation of competition over resources. These religions, in their forms at the time, were essential for these events to occur.
otto1932
1.2 / 5 (22) Nov 20, 2010
"the load of death might empty the world"

Strange. This phrase occurs in much the same form in Isaiah 24
PinkElephant
5 / 5 (3) Nov 20, 2010
Jesus effin' Christ, otto... How do you expect anyone to cope with such a barrage?
Fear of the nonexistant misdirects the attention of individuals and provides unneeded stress. It cannot be a survival mechanism as it wastes resources and divorces people from their environment. Looks like a flaw to me.
I could write an essay just on this topic alone.

Firstly, fear of the unknown and of danger lurking in dark places, is a natural and beneficial instinct for any animal that evolved under condition of predation by stealthy night-predators. All the large felines, canines, and crocodilians of Africa more than justify such a built-in survival mechanism. Children in particular are most vulnerable to such predators, and so they in particular manifest acute fears of the dark and the sense of being watched or stalked by unknown malevolent entities. Such fears heighten attention and reactions, and discourage any wandering away from protective shelter and/or company of others.

ctd.
PinkElephant
5 / 5 (3) Nov 20, 2010
This isn't just a human idiosyncrasy, either. Most animals -- even down to fish -- who are not top predators, feature similar built-in behavioral biases.

Secondly, humans are nothing without their brains. And the single most salient feature of cognition in general, but human cognition in particular, is the proclivity for identification of patterns. We are all hyper-active pattern-finding machines, and in our drive to cognitively impose order upon our environment we are apt to conjure up patterns where none actually exist in an objective sense. This is not a flaw per se; it is a negative side-effect of an otherwise overwhelmingly adaptive feature.

Not only are we geared for patterns, but we're also intensely social. We have an inborn (literally) presumption of "other minds". We naturally and effortlessly model and comprehend the behaviors of other people around us, because we instinctively map our own consciousness upon them.

ctd.
PinkElephant
5 / 5 (3) Nov 20, 2010
This instinctual mapping of our own consciousness upon other humans is however not very specific at the outset. You can see children attribute minds to inanimate dolls, to animals, to plants, to natural phenomena. And this is not altogether maladaptive, because many animals are indeed quite intelligent, and do have minds -- not quite as sophisticated as human minds, but minds nonetheless. When hunting for prey, or trying to elude predators, or trying to understand the behaviors and motivations of animals so as to avoid unnecessary danger, or to take advantage of opportunities for beneficial coexistence: in all these cases it is useful to model animals as intelligent beings. Of course, oftentimes we go overboard in humanizing them, but in most cases it's far less detrimental to overestimate animal intelligence than to underestimate it.

Now take our instinctive presumption that everything around us manifests a mind, and combine it with our rampant pattern-building propensity.

ctd.
PinkElephant
5 / 5 (3) Nov 20, 2010
Combine these with yet other features of the human cognitive experience: dreams, hallucinations (due to food poisoning, diseases, pathologies, etc.), the mysteries of birth and death.

Here you have all the necessary ingredients to build not just superstitions but outright religions. Thus, I posit that both superstition and religion are a natural and inevitable, default state of human mind, absent advanced civilization. Take any group of modern toddlers, strand them on an isolated island, and provided any of them survive, I can guarantee you that the very first generation of such a population will have invented from scratch a religion of its own.

This is why I posit that religion must predate technology. Our ancestors were religious long before the invention of fire, and long before the invention of stone tools. The anatomical prerequisites and cognitive sophistication necessary for technological development, must pass a much higher bar than for emergence of religion.

ctd.
PinkElephant
5 / 5 (3) Nov 20, 2010
On the scale of cognitive sophistication, I view religion as a pretty much unavoidable intermediate step on the path toward advanced intelligence. It is, in a sense, a kind of childhood for the civilization as a whole: a necessary developmental stage that must be completed before graduation into adulthood. Are we as a collective mass of humanity, physiologically, ready to graduate right now? I have serious doubts. I think we're still quite hopelessly mired in preteen angst.

Apropos, let's touch upon your analysis of history... I am going to accuse you of falling prey to the same dynamics that ensnare the religious: you see patterns and a grand design where there are none, you impose your modern knowledge, perspective, and 20-20 hindsight (never mind your Euro-centric cultural context) onto ancient peoples, you ignore cognitively dissonant evidence that contradicts your thesis, and you dismiss plausible alternative explanations out of hand. To be rational, one must be objective.
otto1932
1.2 / 5 (23) Nov 20, 2010
This isn't just a human idiosyncrasy, either. Most animals -- even down to fish -- who are not top predators, feature similar built-in behavioral biases.
Well of course I know this. I think there is a big difference in avoiding potential danger and being frightened of things which don't exist. I dont believe animals walk around feeling scared a lot. Caution as opposed to fear. It could be an exaggerated response in humans, or it could be a debilitating aberration.
This instinctual mapping of our own consciousness upon other humans is however not very specific at the outset. You can see children attribute minds to inanimate dolls, to animals, to plants, to natural phenomena. And this is not altogether maladaptive
More indication I think of brains pushed to adapt well beyond their capacity to do so, and the problems this typically causes.
otto1932
1.2 / 5 (23) Nov 20, 2010
Here you have all the necessary ingredients to build not just superstitions but outright religions.
Certainly. And this inevitability has frequently been used to lead the tribe. The chief and the witch doctor work together. And together they can decide what form the religion can take to best lead the people.
I can guarantee you that the very first generation of such a population will have invented from scratch a religion of its own
-Which was theme of 'Lord of the Flies'. Fear of 'the beast' allowed one boy who wanted to be leader to use it to grab power. He created a religion to attain leadership.
This is why I posit that religion must predate technology. Our ancestors were religious long before the invention of fire, and long before the invention of stone tools.
You're guessing. I will do a little research and prove you wrong.
otto1932
1.2 / 5 (23) Nov 20, 2010
Apropos, let's touch upon your analysis of history... I am going to accuse you of falling prey to the same dynamics that ensnare the religious: you see patterns and a grand design where there are none
-And you're reciting from the 'Defame a Crackpot' handbook. You're reaching conclusions here based on your preconceptions of what I must be, instead of arguing against what I have presented. You showed some promise PE, but you failed.
you impose your modern knowledge, perspective, and 20-20 hindsight (never mind your Euro-centric cultural context) onto ancient peoples
In this case I was discussing euro history, and you're discerning a pattern?
you ignore cognitively dissonant evidence that contradicts your thesis, and you dismiss plausible alternative explanations out of hand
First you gotta present some. Again you're presuming what I know and what I do not. Refute what I present, not opine on the general nature of conspiracy theorists.
otto1932
1.2 / 5 (23) Nov 20, 2010
Wiki says that the first indications of religion date to perhaps 300k years ago, while stone tools date to 2.5M yrs. I think technology which allowed protohumans to defeat their natural enemies created chronic competition and tribal warfare, which forced these oversized organs in our heads to grow. I think that they were pushed beyond reasonable limits, and bizarre behaviors, including the insanity of superstition, were the result.
PinkElephant
5 / 5 (1) Nov 21, 2010
You're reaching conclusions here based on your preconceptions of what I must be
I presume nothing; for all I know you're just trolling. However, just in case you're not, I merely asked you to take a good look at yourself in the mirror.
I was discussing euro history, and you're discerning a pattern?
You postulated a multi-century pan-European conspiracy to conquer the Americas (which were apparently long-since charted both in terms of location and landmass extent, as well as natives and resources), which involved dramatic transformation of the entire Middle East through deliberate spawning of a new Abrahamic religion as a mortal enemy of the dominant religion in Europe. By any measure, that is a panoply of extraordinary claims; I have yet to see any extraordinary evidence for any of them. All you have so far, is a few carefully chosen incidents and cultural snippets, while having thoroughly ignored the bulk of the historical context. Never mind total lack of plausibility.
PinkElephant
5 / 5 (1) Nov 21, 2010
First you gotta present some.
If you really have studied history, you wouldn't be committing the rookie mistake of inchoate religion-bashers, with such a myopic focus on the Crusades or Christian inter-sect squabbles.

You would recall that wars were fought constantly over land, titles, and control of trading routes. You wouldn't have forgotten the truly epic military adventures of antiquity, such as the Hun invasion, or Alexander's little spree across Eurasia.

And as for the Crusades, you can't possibly believe in all honesty that religion is what motivated the European hordes. The bulk of them were either conscripted by their rulers, or enlisted because they were promised the rights to rape and pillage as they went. As for the Kings that led those escapades, they weren't after some insidious population-culling scheme -- by which they'd be weakening their own kingdoms. They were vainglorious megalomaniacs, and wanted to leave their indelible mark upon history.
PinkElephant
5 / 5 (1) Nov 21, 2010
the first indications of religion date to perhaps 300k years ago, while stone tools date to 2.5M yrs
That's because religion doesn't fossilize very well. The "indications" consist of technological artifacts, so of course you won't see those until the corresponding technology shows up.

But that's beside the point. The point is that superstition is not something that is totally absent initially, and then somehow magically gets invented. It is an inherent function of human cognition, and as cognition develops and becomes more sophisticated (thus enabling more elaborate technology), so do superstitions develop in complexity and scope until they become full-blown abstract religious frameworks.

Sure, you probably couldn't have really sophisticated religions until the capacity for language fully emerged. However, you can easily develop primitive superstitions and rituals in total absence of language.
PinkElephant
5 / 5 (1) Nov 21, 2010
I dont believe animals walk around feeling scared a lot. Caution as opposed to fear.
Adult animals, yes, for the most part. But try to separate a baby from its parent (for those species that rear their young), and see how the baby behaves. It's going to look a lot more like fear than caution.

Humans have developed long-term memories with a capacity to narrate past experiences. Arguably, this is indispensable for achievement of high intelligence. But it allows us to carry forward into adulthood the impressions and superstitions of childhood. Rituals and habits, once acquired, become self-perpetuating.
technology which allowed protohumans to defeat their natural enemies
Until very recently, the "defeat" wasn't exactly all that resounding. Hunting was a high-risk sport, and hunter-gatherers never really came close to depleting the resources of their environs. Since then, the human brain hasn't changed much, despite the advent of agriculture and other hi-tech inventions.
otto1932
1.2 / 5 (24) Nov 21, 2010
, I merely asked you to take a good look at yourself in the mirror
Thanks. Otto is a handsome figure indeed.
You postulated a multi-century pan-European conspiracy
Pan-global; Chinese provided the gunpowder tech and then refrained from pursuing it themselves; mongols pacified Asia in preparation.
By any measure, that is a panoply of extraordinary claims
YOU BET.
All you have so far, is a few carefully chosen incidents and cultural snippets
What, you want me to post the whole book? You already complained my posts were too long.
while having thoroughly ignored the bulk of the historical context.
I've examined most all major events and comment here when appropriate. You discount me because I don't present everything HERE??
Never mind total lack of plausibility.
More so than the official record at any rate.
otto1932
1.2 / 5 (24) Nov 21, 2010
You would recall that wars were fought constantly over land, titles, and control of trading routes.
Most all Engineered by Agreement.
You wouldn't have forgotten the truly epic military adventures of antiquity, such as the Hun invasion,
Mercenaries meant to drive Germanic peoples westward.
or Alexander's little spree across Eurasia
Alexanders campaign is central to my argument, and I've talked about it before. The most blatant example of Contrivance in the historical record. Persians and Macedonians conspired to solve their mutual problems and consolidate the known world. Alexander spent years educating ang grooming key Players for the Task. Brilliance.
They were vainglorious megalomaniacs, and wanted to leave their indelible mark upon history.
Poop. You too have swallowed the official storyline for the masses, which makes no sense when you think about it for very long.
otto1932
1.2 / 5 (23) Nov 21, 2010
If you really have studied history, you wouldn't be committing the rookie mistake of inchoate religion-bashers
Look PE, all I can do is expound on these theories from time to time when appropriate. Some will offer constructive criticism and some will just take the opportunity to show off their troll-bashing skills, like yourself. Either way, otto gets practice and learns something. Win-win.

People who have followed my posts in depth do begin to get the idea that I know a great deal about history and might be on to something.
That's because religion doesn't fossilize very well.
Educate yourself:
http://en.wikiped...religion
-What scholars consider evidence for religion 'fossilizes' better than wooden tools. Apes use tools in the same ways as early man did, but they aren't particularly superstitious. And to this you're going to argue that 'apes are indeed superstitious because their babies get scared and blahblah.
otto1932
1.2 / 5 (23) Nov 21, 2010
It is an inherent function of human cognition
Doesn't mean it isn't an expression of a flaw. Animals don't invent imaginary explanations for real threats. It would get them killed.
Until very recently, the "defeat" wasn't exactly all that resounding
Proto-humans lived more or less in balance with the environment like any animal. AS SOON AS they became able to hunt their predators, their numbers could explode. At that point other humans became the main attritive element. Competition over resources fueled conflict. Starvation and disease followed.
Hunting was a high-risk sport
Hunting animals is easy. All carnivores do it. Animals are predictable. Humans are not, and hunting them even as they are hunting you is what drove the expansion of the intellect.

Again, apes fight wars- they ambush other groups, steal females, cannibalize, etc. Our tool use would only have exacerbated this behavior. Those who were better at it would have survived and thrived.
otto1932
1.2 / 5 (22) Nov 21, 2010
Woah, major error!
Alexander spent years educating ang grooming key Players for the Task. Brilliance.
I meant Aristotle- As Alexander was only early 20s he simply lacked the experience to be a brilliant commander. The morning of the battle of gaugamela he slept late. Walking out of his tent and surveying the battlefield he said 'Darius has done exactly as I expected him to.' Of course he did. The kings were both privy to the Plan.

-Just one of dozens of factoids which lead me to believe that the whole Campaign was fought by Leaders on both sides against their own people, who were the real enemies of civilization. Just because they happened to be a tropical species running rampant in a temperate environment.
otto1932
1.2 / 5 (22) Nov 21, 2010
Hey look what I found-
http://rechten.el...RID2.pdf

-A nice little essay summing up pretty much all of what I've been saying about warfare and it's effects on the evolution of our brains. It's a brief summation of the opinions of people like Darwin, Spencer, and many others more current, agreeing with essentiallybeverything I've said.

It is only a small leap to conclude that this decidedly unnatural environment created a delicate thinking machine that was prone to damage and flaws, and that large segments of the population suffer from imperfections of varied severity, which have not had the time nor the selective influences necessary to weed them out of the structure.

In short, we are all most likely born flawed to some degree and much of our irrational behavior can be attributed to this tendency. Before you 1/1 me, know that I will continue to research and will most likely turn up corroboration of this.
otto1932
1.2 / 5 (22) Nov 21, 2010
Remember this PE?
http://www.physor...522.html

-Brain damage as a source of spirituality?
otto1932
1.2 / 5 (22) Nov 22, 2010
We can ALSO conclude from the essay I posted, that since war has been constant enough to actually drive our evolution, that it can also be regarded as INEVITABLE, for all the reasons stated by the experts therein, up until perhaps the present. What has changed?

For the first time we have a worldwide culture which can offer meaningful alternatives to what used to be the singular most important and rewarding pursuit in life: reproduction. And we also have the ability to preempt conception and birth on an industrial scale.

War could never be prevented. It could be postponed through negotiation of course, but this would only make it worse once it did happen. And because of record-keeping, ancient Leaders desperate for a Solution had to have understood the cause of it. Just because Malthus may have been the first to spell it out in the 1800s doesnt mean it was not well-known throughout history. And as I have pointed out, it is alluded to in legend and the holy books.
cont-
otto1932
1.2 / 5 (22) Nov 22, 2010
War has always been the most dire threat to civilization, and Leaders knew that it absolutely could not be avoided. And so They must have begun looking for ways of managing war besides just postponing it until the next generation.

Ancient Leaders knew that the only real chance they would get for immortality was through their offspring, and like us wanted to provide a secure future for them. They began to come up with ways that war could be Managed, Engineered, Contained. Why? Because humans are Planners. Their defining trait is to anticipate the future and to prepare for it.

This was undoubtably an easy sell to neighboring leaders who were struggling with the exact same problems. A new meme was spread diplomatically among tribal leaders far and wide. They began to intermarry and soon became a Tribe unto themselves, with their own Traditions and Beliefs. They came to regard the people as the enemy of Order, and began to make war upon them by pitting them against one another.
otto1932
1.2 / 5 (22) Nov 22, 2010
War has always been the most dire threat to civilization, and Leaders knew that it absolutely could not be avoided. And so They must have begun looking for ways of managing war besides just postponing it until the next generation.

Ancient Leaders knew that the only real chance they would get for immortality was through their offspring, and like us wanted to provide a secure future for them. They began to come up with ways that war could be Managed. Why? Because humans are Planners. Our defining trait is to anticipate the future and to prepare for it.

This was undoubtably an easy sell to neighboring leaders who were struggling with the exact same problems. A new meme was spread diplomatically among tribal leaders far and wide. They began to intermarry and soon became a Tribe unto themselves, with their own Traditions and Beliefs. They came to regard the people as the enemy of Order, and began to make war upon them by pitting them against one another in Controllable ways.
Skeptic_Heretic
5 / 5 (1) Nov 22, 2010
War has always been the most dire threat to civilization, and Leaders knew that it absolutely could not be avoided. And so They must have begun looking for ways of managing war besides just postponing it until the next generation.
War is only inevitable if you aren't a human being. War is the pre-primate response to primate planning exercises showing a resource problem. To go to war is to give in to primalism.
otto1932
1.2 / 5 (23) Nov 22, 2010
War has always been the most dire threat to civilization, and Leaders knew that it absolutely could not be avoided. And so They must have begun looking for ways of managing war besides just postponing it until the next generation.
War is only inevitable if you aren't a human being. War is the pre-primate response to primate planning exercises showing a resource problem. To go to war is to give in to primalism.
Hmmm. Did you read the article I posted SH?? Thats NOT what the experts say. Like I say, war has always been inevitable and unavoidable, up until the present.
Skeptic_Heretic
5 / 5 (2) Nov 22, 2010
Hmmm. Did you read the article I posted SH?? Thats NOT what the experts say. Like I say, war has always been inevitable and unavoidable, up until the present.
One man's expert is another man's fool in matters of defining war, let alone predicting the potentials of armed conflict. That is the issue with essays. They are an opinion piece supported by some fact, but not necessarily all the facts.
otto1932
1.2 / 5 (23) Nov 22, 2010
Indeed. The paper approaches the subject of war from an evolutionary perspective, that being the idea that our brains were shaped and sized in the context of a few million years of conflict. Evolutionary psychology does seem to be the prevailing school in s number of disciplines, having displaced unscientific speculation in sociology, anthropology, philosophy, etc.

Which is what I've been discussing here and taking flak for it. It is a valid perspective from respected scientists with names like darwin and huxley and lorenz et al that I've posted to support my views. It is an overview of the PREVAILING theory of the origin of war, not just some opinion piece. But I guess you'd actually have to read it first to know that. And I see already some dog named dick has showed up like lassie to obediently 1 me.

Fucking Nazis.
frajo
3.7 / 5 (3) Nov 23, 2010
Fucking Nazis.
I don't like your misuse of the term "nazi". You are devaluating a term which ought to keep its strength of disapproval.
Skeptic_Heretic
5 / 5 (3) Nov 23, 2010
The paper approaches the subject of war from an evolutionary perspective, that being the idea that our brains were shaped and sized in the context of a few million years of conflict.
And that's the problem. We've found that all primates, including homo sapiens tend to avoid conflict and in most cases prefer cooperation.

Assuming tribal warfare was the norm has been seen as faulty when compared to the prehistoric record. It wasn't until we became a predominantly urban culture, or were faced with undue hardship that we become agressive and warlike. You're ignoring all that which has given us a competitive edge over nature and other animals. Cooperation is our norm.

Human society is mirrored by pigs. When left to their own devices they build a bower, raise young, visit each other, play socially, work together...

When penned in and stuffed next to their neighbors shoulder to shoulder, the weak are killed or starved to death and then eaten by the dominant. Sound familiar?
frajo
1 / 5 (2) Nov 23, 2010
Assuming tribal warfare was the norm has been seen as faulty when compared to the prehistoric record. It wasn't until we became a predominantly urban culture
Very true. Before the invention of agriculture hominides needed vast areas to gather and hunt their food. Their population density was accordingly low. No need to wage wars, not many occasions, not much to win but much to lose.
The settled way of life with its (inevitable) hierarchies, the idea of private property and the growth of social disparities changed a lot to the worse.
otto1932
1.2 / 5 (23) Nov 23, 2010
And that's the problem. We've found that all primates, including homo sapiens tend to avoid conflict and in most cases prefer cooperation.
We? According to my excellent sources, many of which are listed in the paper I posted, and of course my own learned opinion, the complex interplay of intragroup cooperation and intergroup competition caused the human brain to quickly triple in size.

Other groups were typically seen as different species, and when in competition, would be hunted like any other animal. We can observe this sort of behavior to a degree in inner-city gangs today. It explains both the savagery of conflict and the solidarity and altruism within the group. Please read the paper so we have something to discuss, rather than repeating the 'Im a good guy because I talk like one' stuff which plays well in your own little gang here. Sir and madam.
otto1932
1.3 / 5 (24) Nov 23, 2010
Fucking Nazis.
I don't like your misuse of the term "nazi". You are devaluating a term which ought to keep its strength of disapproval.
And please inform others within your group of the distinction whenever it comes up or is directed at renegades like otto for no good reason other than to enhance group solidarity, ok?

The intragroup/intergroup behavior which made us human can also explain the Nazi phenomenon. Leaders have through the ages developed effective methods of expanding the group identity to cover ever larger populations.

Nationalism is the tribe, artificially grown to maximum size. It can be considered in this condition a form of domestication as it relies on technology and social systems such as religion to maintain, and is unsustainable without these.

otto1932
Nov 23, 2010
This comment has been removed by a moderator.
Modernmystic
2 / 5 (4) Nov 23, 2010
And that's the problem. We've found that all primates, including homo sapiens tend to avoid conflict and in most cases prefer cooperation.

Assuming tribal warfare was the norm has been seen as faulty when compared to the prehistoric record. It wasn't until we became a predominantly urban culture, or were faced with undue hardship that we become agressive and warlike. You're ignoring all that which has given us a competitive edge over nature and other animals. Cooperation is our norm.

Human society is mirrored by pigs. When left to their own devices they build a bower, raise young, visit each other, play socially, work together...

When penned in and stuffed next to their neighbors shoulder to shoulder, the weak are killed or starved to death and then eaten by the dominant. Sound familiar?


There was plenty of conflict between Native American tribes and they weren't urbanized.
otto1932
1.2 / 5 (23) Nov 23, 2010
Assuming tribal warfare was the norm has been seen as faulty when compared to the prehistoric record. It wasn't until we became a predominantly urban culture, or were faced with undue hardship that we become agressive and warlike. You're ignoring all that which has given us a competitive edge over nature and other animals. Cooperation is our norm.
Well I know this isn't true as even a cursory examination of aboriginal cultures can show. You got a source SH?
Human society is mirrored by pigs. When left to their own devices they build a bower, raise young, visit each other, play socially, work together...
-besides 'Animal Farm', that is?
otto1932
1.2 / 5 (24) Nov 24, 2010
SH, you going to offer a reference for
Assuming tribal warfare was the norm has been seen as faulty when compared to the prehistoric record.
-because if its true, I would really like to know. Because all I can find is stuff like this:
http://en.wikiped..._warfare
http://en.wikiped..._warfare

-In the 2nd link, something curious from the 1st archeological record of a battle:
"Nearly half of the bodies are female, and this fact also causes some to question the argument for large-scale warfare."

-It could indicate however, an attempt to limit pop growth by reducing female numbers; or, as I mentioned earlier, evidence of selection for the hymen, which a caste-based culture would regard as the only sure indication of fidelity.

This is important even today in many cultures:
http://en.wikiped...orrhaphy
ArcainOne
5 / 5 (1) Dec 02, 2010
SH, you going to offer a reference for
Assuming tribal warfare was the norm has been seen as faulty when compared to the prehistoric record.

-because if its true, I would really like to know. Because all I can find is stuff like this:


Did you read those articles? I saw plenty of evidence to support that statement. Read the article on Endemic warfare, it is a ritualized battle that reduces wounds and death rates, a chance to prove your manliness or virility, competition for females and tribal leadership. The Prehistory article also covers Endemic warfare but states that there is no evidence that conflict appears until after development of ranged weapons. Close combat was too risky because of small population numbers, which also suggests that females would be treasured not slaughtered. Most likely reason for female death is stated in the article, trespassing and I would also suggest runaways.
Modernmystic
2 / 5 (4) Dec 02, 2010
Untrue.

Ranged combat is FAR more risky for all involved. Close quarters combat, with or without weapons is almost always VERY one sided and short. The guy that has a lot of skill with his weapon, or is simply stronger wins...unless he gets really unlucky.

Ranged combat, (especially with firearms) equalized this somewhat and actually SPREAD OUT the risk of combat. If they sold pre-historic conflict insurance the rates would have skyrocketed when bows and arrows were developed.
otto1932
1 / 5 (20) Dec 02, 2010
Ah, somebody took the bait:

"Endemic warfare is the state of continual, low-threshold warfare [with]in a tribal warrior society."

But:

"Communal societies are well capable of escalation to all-out wars of annihilation between tribes."

And:

"A fundamental difference between wars enacted within the same tribe and against neighboring tribes is such that "wars between different tribes are in principle wars of extermination"."

-The article is written poorly. By this last quote you can see that they meant INTRA-tribal; which is why I added the 'with' to 'in'. Endemic warfare is meant to maintain a warrior class and culture if and when intertribal warfare is necessary.
cont-
otto1932
1 / 5 (21) Dec 02, 2010
As the 2nd article attests, this necessity occured without fail:

"Among tribal societies engaging in endemic warfare, conflict may escalate to actual warfare every generation or so, for various reasons such as population pressure or conflict over resources, but also for no readily understandable reason."

-Wars among greek city-states for instance remained largely endemic for 600 years. Although there was much bloodshed, these conflicts were ritualized and meant to resolve specific disputes. They were arranged by oracles and the outcomes most likely predetermined.

The peloponnesian conflict was, however, completely different. Athens and Sparta dispensed with honor and protocol and were intent on destroying each other. What followed shortly thereafter was the alexandrian conquest, and I believe the peloponnesian wars were meant to prepare greece for this change of scale.
cont-
ArcainOne
5 / 5 (1) Dec 02, 2010
"Of the tribal societies still in existence today, some lead lives of great violence, frequently raiding neighboring groups and seizing territory, women, and goods from others by force. Other groups, such as the Bushmen of the Kalahari, live in societies with no warfare and very little murder"

and

"Beginning around 12,000 BC, combat was transformed by the development of bows, maces, and slings. The bow seems to have been the most important weapon in the development of early warfare, in that it enabled attacks to be launched with far less risk to the attacker when compared to the risk involved in the use of mêlée combat weaponry."

As I always say for every stereotype there are the exceptions it is the nature of everything. However there is a period between the paleolithic and the upper paleolithic where cooperation or at least avoidance was preferred over conflict.
otto1932
1 / 5 (21) Dec 02, 2010
"In the earliest hunter-gatherer societies of Homo erectus, population density was low enough to avoid all armed conflict."

-One could say the same thing about chimp populations for a given region, and yet there is frequent warfare among chimp tribes, as attested to in the first article I posted:
http://rechten.el...RID2.pdf

-Primate warfare is well-documented and there is no reason to think that early tool-users were not that much better at it, because:

"The development of the throwing spear, together with ambush hunting techniques, made potential violence between groups very costly"

Darwin noted the evolutionary potential of war:

"In The Descent of Man, Darwin explicitly suggested that warfare had been at one time an agent in human evolution. He observed that prehistoric humans as well as contemporary 'savage' societies were constantly at war with each other."
cont-
ArcainOne
not rated yet Dec 02, 2010
how long can this thread survive?
otto1932
1 / 5 (20) Dec 02, 2010
As I always say for every stereotype there are the exceptions it is the nature of everything. However there is a period between the paleolithic and the upper paleolithic where cooperation or at least avoidance was preferred over conflict.
According to the wiki article but I am in the middle of proving that wrong.
otto1932
1 / 5 (21) Dec 02, 2010
Im offering in evidence:
1. The behaviors of similar primates;
2. The unnaturally oversized and unsustainable state of the human brain; and
3. The opinions of experts in the rechten article that this state is due to the unique nature of conflict to select for both intra-tribal cooperation and inter-tribal superiority in combat.

Together with killing off inferior competitors and then impregnating their females, this would have resulted in the creature we refer today as human.

This statement:

"This period of "Paleolithic warlessness" persisted until well after the appearance of Homo sapiens some 0.2 million years ago"

-Seems to me a gross assumption as there is only the absense of evidence to support it and a great deal of circumstantial against it. Proto-humans would quickly have filled up their niches and like other primates would have come into conflict over resources, like any other animal, and according to those cited in the rechten article.
Thrasymachus
1.4 / 5 (11) Dec 02, 2010
how long can this thread survive?

As long as otto keeps digging it up and flogging it with his insane, pointless monologue.
otto1932
1.2 / 5 (23) Dec 02, 2010
"Beginning around 12,000 BC, combat was transformed by the development of bows, maces, and slings. The bow seems to have been the most important weapon in the development of early warfare."

-I think the author is showing a lack of knowledge of war here. The article states how thrown spears would have changed the nature of conflict but then states that war didnt begin until bows were invented. They assume tribes would pack up and head north into inhospitable territory rather than stand and fight for their territory like any other animal.

Tribal warfare and hunting are indistinguishable. They involve stalking and ambushing unwary prey. Hunters became ad hoc warriors depending on what they encountered in the field, but usually on what they planned to pursue. Planning won battles and selected for brains.

Spears and rocks and deadfalls and fire were apparently used to eliminate most of the megafauna in the pleistocene. They would have been equally effective against enemy tribes.
Ethelred
5 / 5 (3) Dec 03, 2010
ArcainOne
The Prehistory article also covers Endemic warfare but states that there is no evidence that conflict appears until after development of ranged weapons.
That is probably just a matter of not seeing evidence for that something that occurred. We DO see chimps engaging in warfare and they don't even use sharp sticks. Thy still manage to kill each other.

And that is despite chimps having even lower numbers than human bands with MUCH lower birth rates.

And ranged weapons INCREASE death rates. I take it you don't do wargaming. More weapons equal more ways and more opportunities to kill.

how long can this thread survive?
Why the hell did you raise this thread from the dead?

Ethelred
Skeptic_Heretic
4.3 / 5 (3) Dec 03, 2010
Untrue.

Ranged combat is FAR more risky for all involved. Close quarters combat, with or without weapons is almost always VERY one sided and short. The guy that has a lot of skill with his weapon, or is simply stronger wins...unless he gets really unlucky.

Ranged combat, (especially with firearms) equalized this somewhat and actually SPREAD OUT the risk of combat. If they sold pre-historic conflict insurance the rates would have skyrocketed when bows and arrows were developed.

Well that's not true at all. Maybe it holds true for gunpoweder weapons but bladed weapons brought with them the massive risk of infection. Modern hand to hand is a you die or win, prehistoric hand to hand was you die now, I probably die later from my wounds.
Ethelred
1 / 5 (1) Dec 03, 2010
Thrasymachus is responsible for this strange statement
As long as otto keeps digging it up and flogging it with his insane, pointless monologue.


It was dead. ArcainOne was the Zombie Master this time. Blame him.

Ethelred
ArcainOne
5 / 5 (1) Dec 03, 2010
It was dead. ArcainOne was the Zombie Master this time. Blame him.


Yes, it was I and I do apologize for it as I didn't check the date of the last post. Honestly it is a simple matter of walk away if you don't like it, no need to get into a tizzy about it. I simply found it amusing that otto would use an article that supports someone else argument in an attempt to support his own argument. Then it was amusing to find him going off on a large tyraid about how the article was wrong, which it is to some degrees, however still amusing. Yes Chips fight and have conflict, congratulations everyone and I guess myself as well for my first accidental trolling.
otto1932
1.2 / 5 (22) Dec 03, 2010
It was dead. ArcainOne was the Zombie Master this time. Blame him.
Honestly it is a simple matter of walk away if you don't like it, no need to get into a tizzy about it. I simply found it amusing that otto would use an article that supports someone else argument in an attempt to support his own argument. Then it was amusing to find him going off on a large tirade about how the article was wrong, which it is to some degrees, however still amusing. Yes Chips fight and have conflict, congratulations everyone and I guess myself as well for my first accidental trolling.
And it's amusing to see that you misread it because of your irrational preconceptions, and you misread my explanations for the same reasons. Thanks for the revivification- it gave otto the chance to win decisively and unequivocally. As usual.

And chips have motorcycles and aviator glasses and names like 'Paunch'. Conflict and hot babes is what kept their ratings up.
Ethelred
not rated yet Dec 04, 2010
I am appalled that you would even have a clue about the show as I am pretty sure you are too young to have run across it in its original showings. Fortunately for me I never saw it except while passing on to the the next channel. Back when TVs had DIALS to change stations. Rotating cylinders with a LOT of contacts and brushes to make the contacts. Until they started to wear out.

No I did NOT have to walk to school in the snow. It doesn't snow in Southern California. I didn't have to lick the road clean with my tongue either.

Boy that word has strange spelling, tung(the reasonable as opposed to correct way) that is. I keep typing tounge and the spell check keeps complaining.

Of course we have the REAL California Highway Patrol where I live not that bunch. They mostly drive cars. Even then.

Ethelred
otto1932
1 / 5 (20) Dec 04, 2010
I remember my little Margie, the bob Cummings show, and the life of Riley, and clarabelle... is how old I am. Dude. I like what I like and I think what I think.

So, you work at the British consulate there or what??

-To cut your tongue out they would grab it with tongs. Maybe that's where the word came from?
Ethelred
not rated yet Dec 04, 2010
z
I remember my little Margie, the bob Cummings show, and the life of Riley, and clarabelle... is how old I am.
Appalling. How about Mr. Lucky or Mr. Peepers? Crusader Rabbit? Soupy Sales?

So, you work at the British consulate there or what??
I am not a DFB. I was born in Los Angeles. I hear the fireworks from Disney Land. The Lakers website is in my Favorites and now it's in my spell check.

Ethelred
Physorg should do themselves and us a favor
Stop the Ranking Insanity
otto1932
1 / 5 (20) Dec 04, 2010
No yes yes yes. The Ann sothern show, the original I love Lucy, and Imogene coca with Sid Caesar? And still my brain is pliable enough to embrace the magnificance that is black metal. That's why those who perform it wear corpse paint- they're OLD.
I am not a DFB
I'm just yankin ya. 'God save the queen she ain't no human being' -Sid vicious

You ought to get out of socal- it's not safe there for a # of reasons. I recommend minn.
Ethelred
not rated yet Dec 05, 2010
Imogene coca with Sid Caesar
No I never saw it. I recall liking Ann Southern and I have never been a Lucy fan. However she was pretty hot when she was making B movies. The rest yes. Mr. Lucky was based on a Cary Grant movie.
it's not safe there for a # of reasons
Just because there were 6 police cars here a few months ago.

Minnesota is cold. Then again I kind of liked Flagstaff the first time I was there which is cold in the winter. The second time I was on a bike in the snow, well slush that turned to ice when I tried to get to Phoenix. Motorcycles and snow are not something I can recommend. Ice is really a bad idea.
corpse paint- they're OLD.
Are you referring to KISS? Brain rot. I prefer classical but I also like hard and ... Oh to heck with it, generally I like bands with chicks. Girls look better prancing about on stage. Just no bleeping POP, as that is often worse rot than Country. Britny Spears singing Joan Jett the horror.

Ethelred
otto1932
1.2 / 5 (22) Dec 05, 2010
KISS? NO.
black metal is for people who are sick and tired of all the rock they've ever heard, but still love rock. Wide and varied subgenre of extreme metal. Everything distorted including the vocals. Much shrieking and wailing. DARK, empty, foreboding, full of anger and despair. Cold and cloudy is beautiful. You won't like it.
http://www.youtub...a_player

-Animosity toward religion is only coincidental. Burzum is the king of one particular offshoot- monotonous, droning, mysterious, subtle. I think it's magnificent. The song is typical, not the best by far.
otto1932
1 / 5 (20) Dec 06, 2010
I dont know if its possible to make a good black metal video. Ive never seen one except for the live stuff. I dont think it translates well into visual. As usual the music transcends the people who make it. This ones my favorite:
http://www.youtub...syOzpSJU

Or maybe this one (music not related):
http://www.youtub...nhZ2j8jU

:]

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.