Moved by religion: Mexican cavefish develop resistance to toxin

Nov 05, 2010

A centuries-old religious ceremony of an indigenous people in southern Mexico has led to small evolutionary changes in a local species of fish, according to researchers from Texas A&M University.

Since before the arrival of Christopher Columbus to the New World, the Zoque people of southern would venture each year during the Easter season deep into the sulfuric cave Cueva del Azufre to implore their deities for a bountiful rain season. As part of the annual ritual, they release into the cave's waters a distinctive, leaf-bound paste made of lime and the ground-up root of the barbasco plant, a natural fish toxin. Believing the cave's fish to be gifts from their gods, they scoop up their poisoned prey to feed upon until their crops are ready to harvest.

However, a team of researchers led by Dr. Michael Tobler, an evolutionary ecologist at Oklahoma State University, and Dr. Gil Rosenthal, a biology professor at Texas A&M, has discovered that some of these fish have managed not only to develop a resistance to the plant's powerful toxin, but also to pass on their tolerant genes to their offspring, enabling them to survive in the face of otherwise certain death for their non-evolved brethren.

Their findings recently were published in the online journal Biology Letters.

Tobler has been studying the small, cave-dwelling fish species known as the Atlantic molly or Poecilia mexicana and its uncanny ability to survive in the toxic sulfur environment of Cueva del Azufre since 2004. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Zurich in 2008 and spent the next two years as a postdoctoral research associate at Texas A&M, studying under Rosenthal and Dr. Kirk Winemiller, a professor in wildlife and fisheries science, as part of a two-year, $79,000 Swiss National Science Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship.

After learning about the Zoque people's sacred ritual and witnessing the event firsthand in 2007, Tobler and Rosenthal decided to investigate the effects of this peculiar ceremony on the mollies and their habitat. Ironically, it was the last ceremony ever held, as the Zoques ended the practice that year due to political pressure from the government, which sought to preserve the cave as a hotbed for tourism and potential revenue.

"We wanted to do a lab experiment where we exposed fish from different parts of the creek to barbasco," Tobler says. "Some of these fish had been more exposed than others."

In March 2010, the team collected molly specimens from two different areas of the cave annually exposed to the barbasco toxin as well as from two different areas upstream, further away from the Zoque's ritual. With both groups of fish in a single tank, they then introduced the barbasco root to determine how both groups would react.

They found that the mollies annually exposed to the barbasco indeed were more resistant than the fish further upstream — to the extent that they were able to swim in the noxious water nearly 50 percent longer. Tobler and Rosenthal's group concluded that human beings had, over time, not only affected molly population dynamics, but also inadvertently kick-started the evolutionary process of natural selection as well. Mollies able to tolerate the poisonous conditions survived and passed those traits to their offspring, resigning those that perished to their fate of serving as a ceremonial feast for the Zoque.

"The cool thing is that this ceremony has gone on a long time and that the fish responded to it evolutionarily," Tobler says. "Lots of species couldn't live with these changes. It highlights how nature is affected by human activity."

Rosenthal contends that the idea of imposing evolutionary divergence on a species at an extremely localized spatial scale is not a new concept. In fact, he says, it's been happening since the beginning of mankind and that the idea of the "noble savage" is passé.

"We tend to have this wonderful Pocahontas idea that before Europeans came in, everything was pristine and in harmony with nature and that all of the changes in our environment have been post-industrialization," he explains. "No. People have been changing the environment forever."

Moreover, Rosenthal says, once a species has become genetically adapted to human presence, it is not very easy to suddenly reverse.

Their ritual since banned, the Zoques still perform a mock ceremony each Easter season. Tobler, however, would like to see the Zoque's original ceremony resume, but in a way that is sustainable to nature as well as other cave inhabitants. The key, he and Rosenthal believe, is to find a balance between human activity and their environment. In the case of the Zoques, it may mean a few limitations on barbasco usage for their ritual, such as releasing the toxin only 50-to-60 meters into the cave rather than 100 meters.

Pending further resolution, Tobler will continue his research with the mollies at Oklahoma State, where they are housed in a special tank built to safely imitate their sulfuric living conditions in Cueva del Azufre.

"We need to understand what the impact really is on these rather than eliminate the ceremony completely," Tobler says. "We want to hopefully find a balance between the cultural practices of these people and the ecosystem."

Explore further: Antifreeze proteins in Antarctic fishes prevent freezing... and melting

More information: An indigenous religious ritual selects for resistance to a toxicant in a livebearing fish, doi:10.1098/rsbl.2010.0663

Provided by Texas A&M University

4.6 /5 (11 votes)

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otto1932
1.8 / 5 (19) Nov 05, 2010
Ha. Religion causes evolution- an existential connection.

I just had a scary thought- if religious tendencies are caused by a defect in the brain, and religionists tend to reproduce more often than those whose judgement is ruled by reason, has the human race been selecting for this defect for 1000s of years??? Could this evolutionary cognitive decline be the PRIMARY cause of humanitys increasing tendency to self-destruct???????? Good god. Areligionists have even been culturally deselected for through persecution and culling.

History does seem to show the emergence of ever more virulent and destructive belief systems as time passes. Islam seems to be a rarified version of xianity in this respect. Is it because the carriers themselves are being selected for ever more radical fundamentalist tendencies? I cite the recent article on the genetic basis of liberalism as a similar gene-linked behavioral phenomenon.

Otto has perhaps discovered something New. And Ominous.
frajo
4.5 / 5 (8) Nov 05, 2010
religionists tend to reproduce more often than those whose judgement is ruled by reason
You really believe that the judgement of all non-religious people is ruled by reason? How unreasonable.
Husky
2.3 / 5 (3) Nov 05, 2010
Also religious gene seem to comfort people and providing the clueless some rules to live by, so yes, while I think its straight out of the fairytails book, religion is persistent, crossculture and does seem to have its place in evolution, i think The "Word of God" naturally progressed from our abillity for language, before that it was hard to think, let alone express the thought of being in the third person or even higher powers, well maybe point at the sky while thunderstorm, no wonder the first gods were naturegods/forestgods.
Husky
1 / 5 (1) Nov 05, 2010
For that matter, even being gay and not even making ofspring, seems to have some value in the evolutionary tree, cause its persistent like religion and gingers without a soul, maybe its because we are a semi-cooperative species and you just can't have ALL of them hypermasculine testorone jacked alpha males running around otherwise we would have not progressed beyond tribal stage at all, besides the warriors, you need the sissies and the thinkers....
otto1932
1 / 5 (16) Nov 05, 2010
religionists tend to reproduce more often than those whose judgement is ruled by reason
You really believe that the judgement of all non-religious people is ruled by reason? How unreasonable.
Your deduction is not reasonable and non sequiteer. Try another one.
For that matter, even being gay and not even making ofspring, seems to have some value in the evolutionary tree
No doubt as an epigenetic effect by mothers on their fetuses who might perceive their immediate environment as overpopulated... in the same manner as rabbit does will absorb their fetuses in overcrowded warrens.

Gays can still mate if need be, but a certain percentage of them in pops will consume resources and contribute without propagating, which can be a benefit.
frajo
4.2 / 5 (5) Nov 05, 2010
religionists tend to reproduce more often than those whose judgement is ruled by reason
You really believe that the judgement of all non-religious people is ruled by reason? How unreasonable.
Your deduction is not reasonable and non sequiteer.
I'm not here to educate you or to entertain you. It's sufficient to expose the flaws in your thinking.
otto1932
1 / 5 (15) Nov 05, 2010
It's sufficient to expose the flaws in your thinking
-I suppose, if there were any to expose. Perhaps I was a bit flippant however. Most all of us would have been the products of such an effort at derationalization. Strict adherence to the various religionist belief systems was essential, and anyone questioning them was deemed a heretic. The more outlandish the system, the better it could be used to gauge someones ability to reject reason for 'faith'.

The products of this system would be less able to recognize deception when delivered from the official Seat of Authority, and thus more dependable in eschewing their instincts for self-preservation and reproduction. They would become more Domesticated, so to speak.
Cont.
otto1932
1 / 5 (15) Nov 05, 2010
After all, does Fido really question the motives of the one who trains him to backflip for kibble? It's probably kind of fun anyway, and it may give him a sense of purpose. Like singing in the choir.

Out of this human morass could still be salvaged people who were clever enough to serve god and mammon. They could be sent to centers for higher education in proportion to the need for reasonable people, and encouraged to mate, thereby creating 2 primary castes- those who could be trained, and Those who could Train.

Ah, this is not new, otto already knows all this.
Bartolo
not rated yet Nov 05, 2010
Interesting discussion. I've been thinking about how religion was formed in humans. Already some years ago I've seen the BBC documentary "God in the brain" in which a scientist determined there's a part in the brain, somewhere in the temporal lobe if I remember well, which is used in religious activities, such as praying. Also Richard Dawkins was tested, but he lacked the responses religious people showed. Later a scientific paper of this research was published.
The question is, what were the selective pressures that could evolve this "divine antenna".
I think at least part of the answer could be social pressure. If someone didn't believe in what the rest of the settlement or village believed, could be socially isolated expelled, or maybe even killed. These people were of course less likely to have a n equal or higher statistical reproduction rate as those who were able to conform to their group, thus religion got more or less hard-wired in our brain.

Any comments?
DamienS
5 / 5 (5) Nov 05, 2010
You really believe that the judgement of all non-religious people is ruled by reason? How unreasonable.


Your deduction is not reasonable and non sequiteer.

It wasn't a deduction, but a very reasonable and relevant observation. Regardless of religious persuasion, most people make decisions much of the time that aren't based on methodical and analytical reasoning, but are based on personal biases, gut feelings, emotion, passion and impulse. This includes scientists. Of course, when doing science, they adopt the more reasoned and analytical approach, as the field demands.
otto1932
1 / 5 (15) Nov 05, 2010
decisions much of the time that aren't based on methodical and analytical reasoning, but are based on personal biases, gut feelings, emotion, passion and impulse.
-Which could be considered abnormal, as it may be the result of hundreds of gens of selective breeding for this 'antenna to nowhere'. Hallucination generator.

Does the epiphany really make sense as a survival mechanism? Only if everybody gets them (or can fake them). Religionism was socially selected for, and the result is widespread insanity.
DamienS
5 / 5 (2) Nov 05, 2010
Which could be considered abnormal

How can it be considered abnormal if pretty much everyone exhibits these decision making traits? I know I do. I guess you can call human nature 'abnormal', but that would remove all meaning from the word 'abnormal'.
Does the epiphany really make sense as a survival mechanism?

Epiphany is synonymous with inspiration or a Eureka moment, which certainly can lead to enhanced survival strategies. But regardless, you're going way off track in response to the comment frajo originally made.
Bartolo
not rated yet Nov 06, 2010
We shouldn't be speaking of 'normal' or 'abnormal'. What are they? Is 'normal' the average or the state of being of one self and being normal is defined by personal frames of reference? Declaring one side as 'normal' automatically pushes any other state of being in the camp of the abnormal. Religious capabilities could have severed its purposes and maybe still do in a way, like for social cohesion. But the exclusion, etc. of the non-religious or people with different beliefs is also apparent in our modern societies, whether it's christianity or islam, etc.
Rationality and religiousness are different functions of the brain. It's the ratio of both that is important. Rationality also always has served it's purpose and becomes more and more important in our modern days now we get more technologically advanced, find out more about how things really work and the world becomes increasingly flat by the day.
Btw, I'm an atheist.
Blakut
1 / 5 (1) Nov 06, 2010
As Zach Weiner said it best: Monkeys evolved from the Bible! "Debate" ended... :D :D
otto1932
1.3 / 5 (16) Nov 06, 2010
human nature 'abnormal'
Various ailments due to inbreeding, for instance, can be prevalent in certain breeds. This does not make ailments normal. For that matter, domestication itself is not really 'normal'. It can produce misfits with bad tempers and endemic pain, which nevertheless breed true.

Humans are undeniably a domesticated species. The religion meme could have started a few thousand years ago as a result of a defect and, due to it's compelling promise of escape from death and the existence of an omnipotent protector god, began to select through breeding.

The religious epiphany is different from the eureka moment as it is experienced as a deep spiritual awakening based on nothing real. Those who experience it will try to explain it to those who haven't, without success. It is being 'born again', accompanied by significant personality changes and hallucinations. It has nothing to do with survival, and can in fact be debilitating and decrease ones sense of reality.
otto1932
1 / 5 (15) Nov 06, 2010
As to my response to frajos comment- you misread it. Frajo was miffed because of my frivolous response. Frajo is an ideologue who objects to ottos logic (and musical preferences) on purely ideological, and not rational, grounds. The fact that I tend to make SENSE probably bugs him/her all the more.
Eric_B
5 / 5 (2) Nov 07, 2010
You all make a lot of generalizations about religion, spiritual experiences and religious people. There are many variances in the way religion is practiced and what ideas it transmits. There are some religions that believe there is no afterlife or that the only afterlife that exists is hellish. So, take the "Comfort Hypothesis" down a notch.

Also, it is unlikely that you could separate the ability of humans to have religion from creativity, imagination and politics;certainly people deify their leaders, to some extent.
otto1932
1.2 / 5 (17) Nov 07, 2010
There are many variances in the way religion is practiced and what ideas it transmits.
And there are the many traits they all share which make them dangerous. They all foster a belief in things that are not real, and in this respect the most 'benign' support the most dangerous. They all offer exclusivity- the idea that their group is separate from, and somehow better than, the rest because of their beliefs.

They all sell the lie that reality is just not enough- there must be more to the world than what we can ever understand about it- which is only the attempts by religionist leaders to maintain their authority against intelligence and reason.

And religions will always seek to spread their lies by claiming that their belief systems are the source of goodness. They commandeered morality ages ago as an effective disguise for the evil they in fact do throughout the world.
otto1932
1 / 5 (16) Nov 07, 2010
There is no good in religion as it is invariably based on lies. There is no benign religion that does not contain within it the potential for great violence and destruction in order to protect itself and propagate. Religion is a parasite. Unless it can be ended in all it's forms it will absolutely destroy this world.
So, take the "Comfort Hypothesis" down a notch.
You tell THESE people to take it down a notch:
http://www.longwa..._cla.php

-It's funny how you all rail against Nazis and yet fail to see the rise of something potentially far worse, right before your eyes. Fear the next generation.
Eric_B
5 / 5 (1) Nov 07, 2010
The solidity of the floor beneath you is not real.

At present your critical analysis could be best applied to are political system to the end of people realizing that we are all in this together.

"there must be more to the world than what we can ever understand about it."...Arguably true about the physical universe.

The Maniacs are maniacs. They pickup and run with whatever they can.

I thought what you said about atheists being de-selected is interesting in light of the fact that people in our wealthy, well-fed country tend to have less children on their own compared to people in agrarian subsistence economies that need children for their retirement plan.
Eric_B
4.3 / 5 (3) Nov 07, 2010

The question of religion is a complex issue and I don't think being as judgement an atheist as they are religious fanatics shows a upper hand, rhetorically speaking.

When people say "religion has spilled more blood than anything in history" are they also including the Cult of Gold, of Money, of Land Ownership, of Nationalism, of Personality/Politics and of the idea of Personal Property?

Surely materialism is also at the root of violent conflict and even perhaps the core of the true motivations behind the ignitions of various crusades.

Religion as an abstraction can be used for creative or destructive purposes.

As I was saying before, I think the biological aspect is also tied up with creativity centers in the brain. We know most about ancient cultures from their religious art. The leisure time associated with the bounty of agricultural development caused a bloom in the variety of ancient cults and their subsequent iconography.
otto1932
1 / 5 (16) Nov 07, 2010
"there must be more to the world than what we can ever understand about it."...Arguably true about the physical universe.
Actually no, its not. The more we learn about it, the more consistant, dependable, and understandable it appears to be. This gives scientists confidence on their ultimately being able to decipher it, and dismays religionists who fear knowledge and understanding.
The question of religion is a complex issue and I don't think being as judgement an atheist as they are religious fanatics shows a upper hand, rhetorically speaking.
I thought I made it fairly simple and undeniable. Accepting one religion enables them all to exist. Therefore all have to go.
religion has spilled more blood than anything
Yeah, lots of arguments by people who cannot give up on the idea of seeing their dead relatives again. Its a lie- let it go.
creative or destructive purposes
The DESTRUCTION is inevitable and may well be COMPLETE. We cannot afford the threat.
Eric_B
5 / 5 (1) Nov 07, 2010
Given that prehistoric cults are/were primarily animistic, it is also interesting speculate (and I think this is true) that more anthropomorphic deities developed parallel to agriculture. God became more man-like as man became more God-like, taking control of his environment.

heheh...it's hard for me to focus on which aspect I want to comment on since and my usual forum would be with person(s), with wine and comestibles, running until morning...heheh.

I agree religion gives anti-intellectuals or just pain dumb people) something to follow and this can be very dangerous. However, it gives the intellectual minority something to imagine about (when stuck, bored on a farm) and this can be very useful.
otto1932
1 / 5 (15) Nov 07, 2010
So fragilo, how does 1-ing me teach me to think better? I should guess on what frajo disagrees with? Perhaps it is my punctuation, my grammar, or my insistance that we all face reality before it is too late? Or maybe you attended Mass this sabbath?
The DESTRUCTION is inevitable and may well be COMPLETE. We cannot afford the threat.
You disagree with this for instance?

http://www.hindus...143.aspx

-Perhaps fryjo would like to see this sort of thing happening to entire cities in the very near future?
Eric_B
4.5 / 5 (2) Nov 07, 2010
"there must be more to the world than what we can ever understand about it."...Arguably true about the physical universe.
Actually no, its not. The more we learn about it, the more consistant, dependable, and understandable it appears to be.

I am not sure how many of the "we" you are going to include if and when we determine how many dimensions and universes there are but the people that do so will not be homosapiens. Our consciousness is limited.

Ah, you are a classic Ayn Rand-ist...

It's somehow oddly redundant to say the I think reason has merit. That's not the question and problem, in my opinion.

The problem is, human being are emotional creatures and we don't see beyond what is in front of us.

There are rational statements in Objectivism that altruism must be selfish in motive or it must be discarded. It is by faith, whether religious or irrational humanitarianism that motivates people to give or do for others when there is no obvious reason to do so.
Eric_B
2 / 5 (1) Nov 07, 2010
The imperialistic forced conversion of native cultures by the catholic church gave them a religion that sublimated the cannibalistic rituals into eating a wafer. It gave them rule of law, hygiene and a path towards and upward into a society/culture/technological sphere that we deem to be better.

For those benefits, would you argue against incremental transformation, trading one religion for another?
otto1932
1 / 5 (14) Nov 07, 2010
Our consciousness is limited.
But our augmented intellects are not.
there are but the people that do so will not be homosapiens.
Whatever. You are splitting hairs.
The problem is, human being are emotional creatures and we don't see beyond what is in front of us.
Not All. Not by a long shot.
There are rational statements in Objectivism
Do not start philosophy or otto will have to get nasty.
Eric_B
not rated yet Nov 07, 2010
And, if this is a continuing evolution of human culture, do you really think that we (as homo sapiens) will come to a place we have discarded the mysteries of faith? Can we do so without discarding emotions? I don't think so. According to your arguments we should not be able to because people are afraid of death, at least.

Would you kill yourself after you reproduce to save the resources of the planet? You are going to die anyway.
otto1932
1 / 5 (14) Nov 07, 2010
The imperialistic forced conversion of native cultures by the catholic church gave them a religion that sublimated the cannibalistic rituals into eating a wafer. It gave them rule of law, hygiene and a path towards and upward into a society/culture/technological sphere that we deem to be better.

For those benefits, would you argue against incremental transformation, trading one religion for another?
No. But you can ask bin Laden or the pope if you want.
Eric_B
4.5 / 5 (2) Nov 07, 2010
What you are arguing is classical Objectivist philosophy..rationality is the path to peace.

What are our "augmented intellects" I am not experiencing number crunching peta-flops in my head right now and the mass of humanity won't be anytime in the near future.

"The problem is, human being are emotional creatures and we don't see beyond what is in front of us.
Not All. Not by a long shot."

Wrong...now you are splitting hairs and you know I meant sometime. We have an emotional nature and we are not aware of the full consequences of every action or inaction we do, no way.
Eric_B
1 / 5 (1) Nov 07, 2010
"For those benefits, would you argue against incremental transformation, trading one religion for another?
No. But you can ask bin Laden or the pope if you want."

lol...

Ok, so then there is SOME benefit and SOME intellectual/social evolution possible with theology, then?

I wold like to throw something else out there...I have had significant success with Remote Viewing. As a result I won't claim that this is 100% proof of sould but I feel it is proof that at least there are useful and observable effects of consciousness they may be due to quantum entanglement in the brain.

If people have spent a lot of time trying to play with brain effects, what they find might also be cause to create theologies. So, I am saying there is more to discover in that area.
Eric_B
not rated yet Nov 07, 2010
Also, (got to go soon...been fun) if we are alive, who is to say (you?)it's an unreasonable hypothesis that whatever existed before the creation of the universe became conscious and that it either busted off a piece of itself to create universe or it "died" leaving matter in which conscious life was to be inherently nascent.
otto1932
1.4 / 5 (16) Nov 07, 2010
I wold like to throw something else out there...I have had significant success with Remote Viewing.
Sure you have.
I feel it is proof that at least there are useful and observable effects of consciousness they may be due to quantum entanglement in the brain.
Then you must identify with the posts of the many iterations of zephyr/jigga etal, who also thinks delusion is reality because it occurs within HIS own mind?
Eric_B
not rated yet Nov 07, 2010
hmmm...you sort of got me there...because i am talking about mysticism, that fact that you are reticent against would negatively affect an experiment that we might try, given that part of the hypothesis is "your thoughts create your reality."

Could try anyways, later.

Don't know about other guys. Are you so ontologically intimidated by my assertions that you have to invite those who you contend are a "parade of fools" to speak for me?...HA!

Yes, the "matrix has you" but you are just of part, limited as it were. That's the fun part of the game of life and thusly why religion/spirituality ain't going no where, to over-simplify. You are a limited, emotional creature yet you must ultimately realize and understand universal cosmic realities. And I do mean with logic and science as a big part of the toolset.

Eric_B
2 / 5 (1) Nov 07, 2010
Other goals of the game including not blowing oneself up before said realization, not being a religious a$$h0le -and- not being a really boring rationalist. Not you! I mean really cold boring and without appreciation for abstractions (beauty, imaginative cosmological discussion, etc).

Well, aside from you being my RV Monitor, if you really like dueling with me we could open up one of the old UFO threads and I can show you the less-than-half-dozen videos out of the hundreds of junk that are indisputably, indeterminate. ;)
otto1932
1.3 / 5 (15) Nov 07, 2010
You are a limited, emotional creature
Im thinking that you experience remote viewing because youre too large to get out of bed sometimes and only imagine yourself doing so. Am I right? Eric?
Eric_B
1 / 5 (1) Nov 07, 2010
I have been described as large.

This is how it works.

Hmmm... your RV session was 2/3 a hit. Not too bad but dead wrong on the part where you were wrong. I am a martial artist since I was a kid and so a practitioner and experimentor with various meditation techniques. I am not overweight.

Have had some insomnia the last two month and been oversleeping. Since you weren't really even trying, I will be generous with you are call that a HIT!

"only imagine yourself doing so. Am I right? "
F-ing A!!! Right on, man. Just only let your imagination--let whatever pops into your mind--the first thing no matter how silly it may seem, write it down. You did better than a half-bad job of remote viewing Remote Viewing without even know that I wanted you to try it too.

You know, I could be only clowning on you. Or, YOU might be an excellent RV'er. I have a feeling that if you were willing to give it a shot and you wanted it to work you could.
Eric_B
2 / 5 (1) Nov 07, 2010

But, you didn't take any of my invitations which weren't at all insulting in tone but you insulted me.

That's FEAR!

A regardless of the useful Rationalist teaching to call it an acronym for False Evidence Appearing Real, you have some reason to be afraid.

If you have a history of schizophrenia in your family, leave it alone. I met a girl who ended up in a psych ward after her first RV seminar. (That was with author Jim Marrs BTW).

Two of my ex-girlfriends used to have very disturbing dreams after I would meditate on certain things before sleep.

If you really aren't willing to risk your life changing in ways that could be VERY difficult until you realign yourself to your new paradigm, leave it alone and just go on insulting me.

I am happy either way, my good neighbor.
otto1932
1 / 5 (14) Nov 07, 2010
I am not overweight.
I'm not buying it.
give it a shot and you wanted it to work you could.
That's what Jesus said.
how silly it may seem,
...
If you really aren't willing to risk your life changing in ways that could be VERY difficult until you realign yourself to your new paradigm, leave it alone and just go on insulting me... I am happy either way, my good neighbor
AGAIN, thats what Jesus said. Aw you're just another preacher. But WTF you've been bred for it. Don't feel too bad.
Eric_B
not rated yet Nov 07, 2010
Well, Otto...Maybe you are projecting. Are you in good shape? I am 6'2" 215#. I bench 280# and I leg press 800#. A persons internal organs would rupture if I kicked them and they would probably die.

Dude, I am not a Christian. Give it up.

As a student of Kabbalah, my metaphysics allows for questions, allows for life on other planets and describes multiple dimensions.

You are more religious than I am with the hypocritical, judgmental condescension. That's typical religious, isn't it?

Dude, you have lost this debate. I expected more and I expected rational and I expected curiosity and I was disappointed in you.

Eric_B
not rated yet Nov 07, 2010
Your "X" marks on the score tally sheet;
1) You conceded that newer religions can be useful s a step to bring people up from primitive conditions when initially your argument was to abolish all religions.

2) You didn't offer any rational solutions to the irrationality of human emotions that some spiritual schools try to help with.

Eric_B
not rated yet Nov 07, 2010
3)You tried to deny that we are dealing with the fact that human minds have limits. People can only think three thoughts per second. If you have ever been to the movies, you are in the dark half the time when the shutter closes so the film can move. You didn't even notice because of that persistence of vision? There could be a "spirit" or an inter-dimensional being in the room right now and you wouldn't even know it...BOO!

4)You didn't dare take the offer to explore evidence with someone qualified to share it with you. At least you had sense enough to know your world-view wouldn't have survived, chicken! BOO! again

5) Name-calling on the internet. How original! oops, I called you fowl. I meant to use an adjective. You are foul! heheh...just kidding...don't be mad :(

6) You accused me of being a Christian. I am SHOCKED!!! How dare u!

You can have the last word if you want. Everyone now sees that YOU are the BORING rationalist and I am not really fanatically religious.
frajo
1 / 5 (1) Nov 07, 2010
As a student of Kabbalah, my metaphysics allows for questions, allows for life on other planets and describes multiple dimensions.
Your "metaphysics" is elsewhere known as superstition.
But I'm glad that otto1923/1923 finally has found a sparring partner with the same fighting weight.
Eric_B
not rated yet Nov 07, 2010
You are entitled to your uninspiring opinion.
DamienS
not rated yet Nov 07, 2010
Boy, things have taken a turn towards The Twilight Zone...
otto1932
1 / 5 (14) Nov 07, 2010
As a student of Kabbalah, my metaphysics allows for questions, allows for life on other planets and describes multiple dimensions.
Your "metaphysics" is elsewhere known as superstition.
But I'm glad that otto1923/1923 finally has found a sparring partner with the same fighting weight.
You're making me suffer needlessly. Your karma takes a nosedive.
As a student of Kabbalah, my metaphysics allows for questions, allows for life on other planets and describes multiple dimensions...Dude, you have lost this debate. I expected more and I expected rational and I expected curiosity and I was disappointed in you.
This from somebody who floats on the astral plane? Maybe up there you won something.
otto1932
1 / 5 (14) Nov 07, 2010
Frajos buddy is miffed because some in Spain want to shake off the yoke:
http://www.csmoni...cularism
Eric_B
not rated yet Nov 07, 2010
Yeah, well, I heard someone was aggressive in the Rectory!
LivaN
3 / 5 (2) Nov 08, 2010
@Eric_B

otto is right in that all religion is a virus. It serves no purpose and should be discarded.
Eric_B
not rated yet Nov 08, 2010
If it served no purpose, it would not exist.

As an aside I will tell you, my step-grandfather H. Stanley Bennett had nothing but respect for the faiths of the world. Extremists aside, many scientists were or are men of some faith.

You all, as scientists, don't hold a candle to him in aggregate.

http://www.nytime...sis.html
otto1932
1 / 5 (15) Nov 08, 2010
Your "metaphysics" is elsewhere known as superstition.
All metaphysics is superstition, all wishful thinking, all self-will run rampant. This includes all your religions.

There is no metaphysics, only physics.
Eric_B
not rated yet Nov 08, 2010
Good Morning Mr. Otto,

I don't like repeating myself...You said "your" ...I already told you I am a hypothesizer, not a blind theoretition, like yourself.

Ah, here they wikipedia-ed you; "Metaphysical Naturalism"
http://en.wikiped...turalism

"It is not merely a view about what science currently studies, but also about what science might discover in the future."; which is unknown and indeterminate.

otto1932
1 / 5 (16) Nov 08, 2010
You're referencing the unscientific, philo definition. Philosophy is metaphysics in itself in that it never explained or explains ANYTHING. It only says it does using terms and concepts nobody can understand. Scientists now know what metaphysicists did not; that words are inadequate to describe the world. Philosophy is another dead animal.

The proper def of the term is thus:
metaphysical - Of or pertaining to metaphysics; Immaterial, supersensual, not physical (more properly, "beyond" that which is physical)
en.wiktionary.org/wiki/metaphysical

-And because there is nothing beyond that which is physical, it is a bogus concept. And the things waiting to be discovered do exist as either reality or potential; so they do not fit your aethereal def.
otto1932
1 / 5 (14) Nov 08, 2010
My great uncle Stephen hawking, along with Feynman, Dawkins, and many other fed-up scientists echo this sentiment:
http://www.youtub...a_player

-This gentleman is a philo lover- notice the low forehead?- he thinks hawking means by his condemnation that philosophy is no longer adequate to explain the world. But he misses the obvious- that philosophy never COULD explain the world, as science embarrassingly demonstrates time and again. It only ever CLAIMED it could, with an appropriate level of authority. Like religion.
otto1932
1 / 5 (15) Nov 08, 2010
I will add a qualifier- applied political philosophy has been useful in manipulating people for the Common Good. To a larger extent, state-sponsored philosophy has functioned quite well as intellectual propaganda, useful for selling things like manifest destiny and nationalism to certain target groups at the Proper Time.

In this respect philosophy supplanted religion to some extent as religion began to lose it's grip during the enlightenment. But it was only a placeholder until science matured to the point where it could begin to actually explain things. Philosophy served to wean intellectuals off religion. It was a pacifier so to speak.
otto1932
1 / 5 (14) Nov 08, 2010
I don't like repeating myself...You said "your" ...I already told you I am a hypothesizer, not a blind theoretition, like yourself.
The term 'your' in context was in the sense of 'Take your intellectuals for instance, they couldn't think themselves out of a paper bag'. A colloquialism.