Mystery of the flatfish head solved

Jun 25, 2012
This is a skull of the primitive flatfish Heteronectes, with views of the left- and right-hand sides. The left-hand side shows an eye that has migrated toward the top of the skull, but not reached the other side, in this adult specimen. Credit: Image by M. Friedman.

Those delicious flatfishes, like halibut and sole, are also evolutionary puzzles. Their profoundly asymmetrical heads have one of the most unusual body plans among all backboned animals (vertebrates) but the evolution of their bizarre anatomy has long been a mystery. How did flatfishes, with both of their eyes on one side of their head, evolve? So puzzling was the anatomy of flounders and their kin that they were used in early arguments against Darwin and his theory of natural selection. Skeptics wondered how such unusual features could have slowly evolved whilst remaining advantageous for the fishes' survival.

A new described in the latest issue of the Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology by Oxford University researcher Dr Matt Friedman finally solves the mystery. Friedman's , named Heteronectes (meaning 'different swimmer'), was found in 50 million year old marine rocks from northern Italy. This study provides the first detailed description of a primitive , revealing that the migrated eye had not yet crossed to the opposite side of the skull in early members of this group. Heteronectes, with its flattened form, shows the perfect intermediate stage between most fish with eyes on each side of the head and specialized flatfishes where both eyes are on the same side.

This is the skeleton of the primitive flatfish Heteronectes shown as an x‑ray image (top), photograph before preparation (middle), and photograph after preparation (bottom). Credit: Image by M. Friedman

"This fossil comes from Bolca in northern Italy, a site that has literally been mined for hundreds of years for its fossil fishes. This remarkable site provides a snapshot of an early coral reef assemblage. Reefs are well known as biodiversity hotspots, so it is perhaps not surprising that Bolca provides us with the first evidence of many modern fish groups," said Friedman. "Our understanding of the relationships of some of these groups is in a state of change with the increasing influx of molecular genetic studies. Fossils have not contributed very much to this debate, but specimens like that of Heteronectes reveal the superb level of detail that can be extracted from extinct species."

Friedman noted that "The specimen itself was discovered—with no identification—in a museum collection in Vienna. It just goes to show that even well-known fossil sites can yield important surprises, and that not all new discoveries take place in the field."

"This is a profound discovery which clearly shows that intermediate fossil forms, which according to certain creationist theories shouldn't exist, are regularly turning up as scientists keep looking for them," says Dr. John Long of the Natural History Museum of LA County, an expert in fossil fishes who was not involved in the study.

Explore further: Radar search to find lost Aboriginal burial site

More information: Friedman, M. 2012. Osteology of †Heteronectes chaneti (Acanthomorpha, Pleuronectiformes), an Eocene stem flatfish, with a discussion of flatfish sister-group relationships. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology (32)4: 735-756.

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W_T_
1.2 / 5 (33) Jun 25, 2012
With all due respect, Dr. Long is confused when he states "This is a profound discovery which clearly shows that intermediate fossil forms, which according to certain creationist theories shouldn't exist ..." Scripture as well as present-day examples (including ancient discoveries) point to evidence of micro-evolution (changes within species). However, similar examples of macro-evolution (one species transforming into another) has not been presented to satisfy scientific or faith standards of evidence. -- WTD
rwinners
2.3 / 5 (3) Jun 25, 2012
One thought... why didn't the backbone migrate as well?
Tpo_Kahuna
4.4 / 5 (7) Jun 25, 2012
As a regular free-diver on the Kona-Kohala Coast where I live, I have had the opportunity to witness lots of interesting fish behavior. One of these is quite pertinent to the question of how orienting on its side started out as being evolutionarily advantageous. I watched a "jack", in this case a small (circa 1 kg) one, hunting along the reef. It would swim below the elevation of a ridge in the coral, and then turn on its side before sliding over the ridge to hopefully surprise any potential prey fish on the other side of the ridge. I saw it do this several times. Thus, the jack demonstrated a behavior where being in a sideward attitude was an effective hunting technique.
Deesky
4.7 / 5 (12) Jun 25, 2012
Another gap closed. But I'm sure that won't bother our resident creationist - perhaps he's masquerading as WT?
Silverhill
4.6 / 5 (11) Jun 25, 2012
@WTD
Scripture as well as present-day examples (including ancient discoveries) point to evidence of micro-evolution (changes within species).
Which Scripture? And why should yours be preferable to any other holy book (which tend to be rather lacking in scientific rigor)?

However, similar examples of macro-evolution (one species transforming into another) has not been presented to satisfy scientific or faith standards of evidence. -- WTD
Maybe not to the (sometimes blind) eye of faith. You need to read about ring species, for one thing. http://en.wikiped..._species
Torbjorn_Larsson_OM
4.8 / 5 (16) Jun 26, 2012
Interestingly, I don't think it is the first asymmetric flatfish fossil that shows the transition between the ancestral symmetric and todays highly asymmetric state. Heteronectes would probably be an intermediate between intermediates, akin to how the whale series of fossils now cover the nose transitioning to the blow hole.

Speaking of blow holes, creationists shouldn't comment on science. They only show how much cognitive dissonance it takes to pervert facts with religion, and that "faith standards of evidence" means outright and hilarious lying: this is an intermediate evolutionary form, and this basis for biology is accepted by biologists naturally. You can't have much more fun than when creationists have to face facts.
technospice
4.3 / 5 (6) Jun 26, 2012
Scripture as well as present-day examples (including ancient discoveries) point to evidence of micro-evolution (changes within species).
Lolwut? Scripture pointing to micro-evolution is a flat out lie.
However, similar examples of macro-evolution (one species transforming into another) has not been presented to satisfy scientific or faith standards of evidence. -- WTD
That's because there are few "jumps" in the evolutionary ladder. We have lots of transitional fossils that show the the slow change of species from one to another. That's what he's talking about when he says intermediate forms.
jsdarkdestruction
4.7 / 5 (13) Jun 26, 2012
With all due respect, Dr. Long is confused when he states "This is a profound discovery which clearly shows that intermediate fossil forms, which according to certain creationist theories shouldn't exist ..." Scripture as well as present-day examples (including ancient discoveries) point to evidence of micro-evolution (changes within species). However, similar examples of macro-evolution (one species transforming into another) has not been presented to satisfy scientific or faith standards of evidence. -- WTD

go spout that fucking nonsense somewhere else. im sure your church buddies would be happy to discuss your delusions of magic and fairy tales.
verkle
1.2 / 5 (17) Jun 26, 2012
So much hatred towards Christian scientists. Why? Go ahead and give me a 1 for being one of them. But can we please have adult conversations even if we disagree? Please give give up name-calling and spewing hatred.

Thanks!

antialias_physorg
4.5 / 5 (16) Jun 26, 2012
So much hatred towards Christian scientists. Why?

Because there is no such thing as a Christian scientists. The terms are mutually exclusive (you cannot be inquisitive AND believe in preset answers at the same time)

Finding a christian scientist is as unlikely as finding a morally upstanding mass murderer.
Mr Griffin
5 / 5 (7) Jun 26, 2012
>faith standards of evidence
What the hell are they! Faith requires no evidence and often seems to blindly deny any evidence supplied.
Tachyon8491
2.6 / 5 (5) Jun 26, 2012
Faith standards of evidence??? God help us... I surely believe in a divine intelligence in the universe, but "creationism' and "intelligent design" are the most unintelligent hallucinations of the religionistic mind ever suffered. Please, go back to geocentrism - it's a good analogising parallel to the self-important, rampant egocentrism that educed it. It's truly time to transcend the paleolithic of the mind...
Anda
5 / 5 (2) Jun 26, 2012
Here we go again. U americans and ur creationist problem.
There are people (including scientists) that believe in god but have no troubles with evolution or the universe being 13,7billion years old. Those I respect even if I don't believe in superior entities caring about me.
One thing is to believe in superior entitie(s) and another in a fucking old book word by word.

I'll say it again: creacionists = integrist muslims
roboferret
3.7 / 5 (3) Jun 26, 2012

Because there is no such thing as a Christian scientists. The terms are mutually exclusive (you cannot be inquisitive AND believe in preset answers at the same time)

Finding a christian scientist is as unlikely as finding a morally upstanding mass murderer.


I'm going to stick my neck out here and disagree. As much as I agree with your sentiment, there ARE scientists who call themselves Christians. I have met them. They tend to be on the more deist/liberal end of the spectrum. I (as atheist, former fundie) find it odd that some folks can segregate their thinking functions in this way, but that's the human condition. It's similar, I suppose, to doctors and nurses who smoke. We can see it's irrational, but so long as they keep it out of their work we can respect their professionality. Denying their existence is unhelpful.
Creationist Christians who call themselves scientists are a different matter. The presuppositionalism inherent in creationism is the opposite of science.
antialias_physorg
4.7 / 5 (3) Jun 26, 2012
there ARE scientists who call themselves Christians

Sure (and I do know a few myself who would claim to be that). But, as you say, when discussing science with them to any depth you will find that they practice a form of selective schizophrenia.

To be fair, though, I have never met a scientist who professed to believe in a god AND took the scripture literally in any way. That would be too much mental disruption for anyone to handle.

It's similar, I suppose, to doctors and nurses who smoke.

An ex girlfriend (intensive care/OR nurse and smoker) explained this one to me.
When you get confronted with all the ways you can die 24/7 (and hospital intensive care and operating rooms are arguably the places where you get to see what langerous and/or gruesome ways there are to die) then smoking is really not so bad in comparison.
It's a bit like policemen getting confronted with lowlifes 24/7 and therefby losing faith in humanity.
Turritopsis
4 / 5 (4) Jun 26, 2012
There are 3 distinct possible states of the world we exist in. None of them can be proven from this plane of existence, they are:

1. The Universe is real and God is not real.
2. The Universe is real and God is real.
3. The Universe is not real and God is real.

Case 3 has no place in science (Christianity and most world religions fall into this category).

Case 1 has a place in science.

Case 2 has a place in science. Science is the study of Nature. You can believe in God and believe in Nature, the two beliefs are not mutually exclusive. But, science is not the study of God, if you are studying Nature you are studying that which God has created. When dealing with science you are dealing with the objective reality (whether or not it really is objective is irrelevant here). So, when dealing with Nature, God must take the backseat. The 2 studies are simultaneously incompatible. When studying one the other must be dropped, so although the beliefs are not mutually exclusive, the fields are
Turritopsis
1 / 5 (1) Jun 26, 2012
Although, recently (especially when dealing with the quantum world) there has been spill over from the subjective world into the objective. Maybe God is toying with man? Dropping subtle hints into our objective researched data. The objects we look upon as physical and real, are not quite as physical and real as they appear. Or, maybe we are just misinterpreting things here?
antialias_physorg
5 / 5 (5) Jun 26, 2012
There are 3 distinct possible states of the world we exist in. None of them can be proven from this plane of existence, they are:
1. The Universe is real and God is not real.
2. The Universe is real and God is real.
3. The Universe is not real and God is real.

Let me rephrase that

There are 3 distinct possible states of the world we exist in. None of them can be proven from this plane of existence, they are:
1. The Universe is real and unicorns are not real.
2. The Universe is real and unicorns are real.
3. The Universe is not real and unicorns is real.

We laugh at people who believe in unicorns. Why should we not laugh at people who believe in god?

That you can make theree categories does not mean that they are equally valid. Two out of the three are just delusions.

NOMA doesn't work. Real things have a connection. And therefore
one thing can be known (and hence studied) by another.
Turritopsis
1 / 5 (1) Jun 26, 2012
Your infatuation with unicorns astounds me. Drakes equation yields that there are 1,000-100,000,000 intelligent civilizations within our galaxy. Can you prove to me that one of them isn't riding around on the backs of unicorns?

We laugh at people who believe in unicorns. Why should we not laugh at people who believe in god?

You are free to laugh at whatever you choose, no-ones stopping you.

That you can make three categories does not mean that they are equally valid.

I firmly believe they are as a case cannot be made for any of them they must retain their equal validity. But you have peaked my interests, present to me the equation which shows probability favors case number 1.
Deesky
5 / 5 (3) Jun 26, 2012
There are 3 distinct possible states of the world we exist in. None of them can be proven from this plane of existence

How many 'planes' of existence are there?

science is not the study of God, if you are studying Nature you are studying that which God has created ... when dealing with Nature, God must take the backseat.

Studying the product of a cause in science is synonymous with studying the cause. The evidence excludes god from the equation.

In any case, you first need to define your terms without using them indiscriminately. Which set of attributes/characteristics define (your) god, and how did you arrive at them?
W_T_
1 / 5 (2) Jun 26, 2012
Im not sure what ignited such hatred (some expressed in tautological sophistries).

My point was to correct Dr. Longs mis-characterization.

Christians do not reject evolution in terms of the changes within species -- just the hypothesized jump of one species into a distinct other species (other than near relatives like gulls to gulls).

As for the false dichotomy asserted by some on this forum about the incompatibility of Christianity and science, I would offer that many Christians populate laboratories and university classrooms as well as research centers and are making significant contributions today. Moreover, a great number of the various scientific fields were pioneered by Christians who held firmly to the evidence of a Creator while using brilliant minds and a keen sense of inquiry to explore the physical world: Kepler, Boyle, Pascal, Petty, Linnaeus, Faraday, Babbage, Dalton, Maury, Joule, Agassiz, Mendel, Pasteur, Kelvin, Fleming, Von Braun ...
Deesky
5 / 5 (6) Jun 26, 2012
Im not sure what ignited such hatred

I'm sure you are aware. It's a standard creationist tactic to use weasel terms which have no scientific currency, such as 'micro-evolution' and 'macro-evolution' in order to try to hang on to their unscientific ideology. Such notions and tactics will not be tolerated on a science based forum.
jsdarkdestruction
5 / 5 (4) Jun 27, 2012
"-- just the hypothesized jump of one species into a distinct other species (other than near relatives like gulls to gulls)."
your lack of any knowlege of the theory of evolution and refusal to understand it other than as your priest told you to shows here. NO "evolutionists" claim species jump from one to another, NONE!. that is a strawman you guys make up to attack. of course species dont just jump like that. Please go away now. your strawman is dead.
antialias_physorg
5 / 5 (2) Jun 27, 2012
Drakes equation yields that there are 1,000-100,000,000 intelligent civilizations within our galaxy.

Drake's equation was a humorous way of stating an agenda for the Green Banks conference. It is not (and never was meant to be) a scientific equation.
Anyone who has attended high school mathematics (and certainly Drake as an astrophysicsist) is well aware: That results of any equation which contains one (or more) parts that are pure speculation yields no information whatsoever. Zero, or infinity (and anything in between) are equally 'valid' results.
The Drake 'equation' contains not one but several guesses.

I firmly believe they are as a case cannot be made for any of them they must retain their equal validity.

What you believe or don't believe doesn't matter. Making stuff up does not make it valid. And unless you have a PROOF for a god (or at least some sensible indication) it's not valid. Just like until I bring in some unicorn poo the unicorn cases aren't valid.
Tachyon8491
1 / 5 (2) Jun 27, 2012
The sad fault in the modelling of reality made by all formal religion(isms) is dividing the universe into a "Creator" and "Product" which according to paradigmatic liturgical dogma happened on a "once off" basis in complete taxonomic maturity without any evolutional process. It's really time this infantilism went the same way as geocentrism. Then, this "creator" must, genderistically, be male, as well. Does it have a prostratic utricle, testicles? When looking at the liturgical record and the immeasurable genocide, ethnic cleansing, commanded by this "god" then a predominance of testosterone certainly appears likely.

In a deeper understanding of cosmogonic ontogeny as evolving from a holistic singularity, it is more likely that an infinity of potential physicalised as modulated by a transpersonal consciousness we were all parts of. Quantisation into nuclear simplexes, diffraction of a superforce into the four natural forces recognised, then re-integration into complexity makes sense.
Turritopsis
1 / 5 (1) Jun 27, 2012
Drake's equation was a humorous...

Drake's equation is not a 'joke'. Frank Drake and Carl Sagan created the equation as a way of *estimating the number of intelligent civilizations of the Milky Way galaxy.

The Drake 'equation' contains not one but several guesses.

Guess 1: number of stars in our galaxy
Guess 2: fraction of those stars that have planets
Guess 3: average number of planets that can potentially support life per star that has planets
Guess 4: fraction of the above that actually go on to develop life at some point
Guess 5: fraction of the above that actually go on to develop intelligent life
Guess 6: fraction of civilizations that develop a technology that releases detectable signs of their existence into space
Guess 7:length of time for which such civilizations release detectable signals into space
Turritopsis
1 / 5 (1) Jun 27, 2012
There are 2 working forms of the equation and the 1 above isn't one of them.
This is one:

Guess 1: number of stars in the Milky Way Galaxy
Guess 2: fraction of stars that have planetary systems
Guess 3: number of planets in a given system that are ecologically suitable for life
Guess 4: fraction of otherwise suitable planets on which life actually arises
Guess 5: fraction of inhabited planets on which an intelligent form of life evolves
Guess 6: fraction of planets inhabited by intelligent beings on which a communicative technical civilization develops
Guess 7: fraction of a planetary lifetime graced by a technical civilization
Turritopsis
1 / 5 (1) Jun 27, 2012
And this is the other:

Guess 1: average rate of star formation per year in our galaxy
Guess 2: fraction of those stars that have planets
Guess 3: average number of planets that can potentially support life per star that has planets
Guess 4: fraction of the above that actually go on to develop life at some point
Guess 5: fraction of the above that actually go on to develop intelligent life
Guess 6: fraction of civilizations that develop a technology that releases detectable signs of their existence into space
Guess 7: length of time for which such civilizations release detectable signals into space
Turritopsis
3 / 5 (2) Jun 27, 2012
...until I bring in some unicorn poo the unicorn cases aren't valid.

Better get on with your search then, and go eat your validating evidence. Bon appetit. And remember, you are what you eat.
antialias_physorg
5 / 5 (1) Jun 27, 2012
http://en.wikiped...equation

I would draw your attention to the 'Equation results' and particularly to the 'Criticisms' part. Where someone has put it more succinctly than I could:
Quote:
"As a result, the Drake equation can have any value from 'billions and billions' to zero. An expression that can mean anything means nothing. Speaking precisely, the Drake equation is literally meaningless..."

(and also to the 'History' section)
Turritopsis
3 / 5 (2) Jun 27, 2012
In any case, you first need to define your terms without using them indiscriminately.

I love this. Looking for me to answer in a discriminate form to make it easier for you to discriminate against me. Lol.
Which set of attributes/characteristics define (your) god, and how did you arrive at them?

I'll humor you never-the-less. If I were to believe in God, the God would be consciousness in its pure form. So, God would be consciousness and we, as conscious beings, would be a subset of God as a whole.
Turritopsis
1 / 5 (2) Jun 27, 2012
Studying the product of a cause in science is synonymous with studying the cause.

Let me ask you: we study the Universe, so what caused it?
Turritopsis
1 / 5 (1) Jun 27, 2012
"Speaking precisely, the Drake equation is literally meaningless."

As our research advances our guesses get more and more precise.

No one knows exactly how many Stars are present in our galaxy, but the more we study them the closer our answer gets.

No one knows how many stars have orbiting planets. But we are discovering them so that guess is increasing in precision as well.

No one knows how many of those planets have the necessary chemical and elemental composition. Spectral readings are increasing the precision here as well. Looking at the distance of the planet from the star also allows us to estimate whether water in the liquid form exists.

Point is: our guesses are getting more and more precise with time, so the only thing "meaningless" here is the critics "succinct" criticism.
antialias_physorg
5 / 5 (1) Jun 27, 2012
As our research advances our guesses get more and more precise.

The point is that the equation only becomes meaningful AFTER we have good estimates for the factors. And that REQUIRES for some of these factors that we find (intelligent) life to get a good estimate. After finding the first such life the question the 'equation' tries to solve (viz: the use of doing SETI) becomes moot.
Silverhill
5 / 5 (2) Jun 27, 2012
In any case, you first need to define your terms without using them indiscriminately.
I love this. Looking for me to answer in a discriminate form to make it easier for you to discriminate against me.
I'd say, "looking for you to answer in a sufficiently defined and (perhaps) defensible form" to make it easier to conduct a debate. Nebulous statements are nearly useless in a discussion, especially a scientific one.
Turritopsis
1 / 5 (1) Jun 27, 2012
No a_p. Our estimate gets more refined as our knowledge base of the contributing factors increases. The meaning of Drake's equation hasn't changed from its inception, it always was meaningful. The purpose of it is to estimate the number of intelligent civilizations in the Milky Way galaxy.

After finding the first such life the question the 'equation' tries to solve becomes moot.

No. The question is designed to estimate how many intelligent civilizations reside within the Milky Way. Discovering 1 would be a definitive finding. We'd know that at least 1 exists. The question would still be meaningful in the estimation of how many more civilizations are out there.

None of the factors require the discovery of intelligent life for the equation to gain meaning.
Turritopsis
1 / 5 (1) Jun 27, 2012
In any case, you first need to define your terms without using them indiscriminately.
I love this. Looking for me to answer in a discriminate form to make it easier for you to discriminate against me.
I'd say, "looking for you to answer in a sufficiently defined and (perhaps) defensible form" to make it easier to conduct a debate. Nebulous statements are nearly useless in a discussion, especially a scientific one.

Deesky attempted to press a personal bias out of me. He wanted me to state which one of the cases I outlined I believed. Not only that, but he tried to lead me into an answer by asking about the characteristics and attributes of my God. Sneaky tactics.

Truth is, all of the cases I've outlined have an equal probabilistic state. I don't have a bias toward any specific one.
antialias_physorg
5 / 5 (1) Jun 27, 2012
The question is designed to estimate how many intelligent civilizations reside within the Milky Way.

Look: To have an estime of anything that is meaningful in any way you have to have some sort of experimental evidence. A data point (More precisely: to get even the most crude evidence as to a probability of ANYTHING you need at least TWO datapoints. And even then you're statistically on such shaky ground that it's no statistic to speak of).
To base a probability assesment that is worth more than nothing on a MULTIPLICATION of MANY factors for which you have NO datapoints is not statistics. It isn't science. It's just idiocy.

That's not even statistics 101. That's kindergarten 101.

If I told you I have an estimate on the probability of how many frogs are behind a stone I haven't looked behind you'd call any such estimate crazy. And that is MUCH more supported than the Drake equation (I know frogs exist, and tha there are a finite number on a finite surface area of the Earth)
Turritopsis
2.3 / 5 (3) Jun 27, 2012
Statistics deal with assessment of data.

Drake's equation is a probabilistic one, as in predictive modelling.

You've completely lost my interest. You don't know what you're talking about.
antialias_physorg
5 / 5 (2) Jun 27, 2012
Prediction must be based on data. Extrapolation from KNOWN datapoints.

You know what you call predictions not based on data? Random guesses. (or 'astrology' if you prefer)

I like the idea of searching for extraterrestrial intelligences as much as anyone (hey, I had SETIatHOME run for five years on a spare computer). But what we really, really want shouldn't stand in the way of being objective/scientific about statements made inthis context. And calling the Drake equation 'valuable' (beyond getting one to think about the subject) is just not merited by any objective/scientific standards. Plugging in values and getting just any old result is not helpful in any way (for SETI or for anything else).

TheGhostofOtto1923
4.1 / 5 (14) Jun 27, 2012
With all due respect, Dr. Long is confused when he states "This is a profound discovery which clearly shows that intermediate fossil forms, which according to certain creationist theories shouldn't exist ..." Scripture as well as present-day examples (including ancient discoveries) point to evidence of micro-evolution (changes within species). However, similar examples of macro-evolution (one species transforming into another) has not been presented to satisfy scientific or faith standards of evidence. -- WTD
Except for this one and a few thousand similar examples. Ignorantly repeating the lies of others is lying is it not? Lying is immoral is it not?

Faith by definition is the denial of evidence. Religion by definition is the selective application of immorality.

There are 2 perfectly good threads on SETI going on. Why are you talking about ETs here?
TheGhostofOtto1923
4.1 / 5 (17) Jun 27, 2012
So much hatred towards Christian scientists. Why? Go ahead and give me a 1 for being one of them. But can we please have adult conversations even if we disagree? Please give give up name-calling and spewing hatred.

Thanks!

Please give up lying and self-righteous preaching as these things only provoke negative emotions. And bullshit like this:
paradigmatic liturgical dogma happened on a "once off" basis in complete taxonomic maturity without any evolutional process blahblaaaah
-Which also has no place on a science website.
TheGhostofOtto1923
4.5 / 5 (15) Jun 27, 2012
physicalised
Physicalized. AAhaahaaahahahahaaaaa. Please provide succinct definitions for all the oversized words you used in this particular post of yours. Yes I know that 'succinct' is also a fuzzy greasy word but I threw it in for comedic effect (affect? uh-fect?)
TheGhostofOtto1923
4.4 / 5 (14) Jun 27, 2012
I did not know that flatfish did this
http://olympiccoa...ing.html

-How bizarre. God really screwed this one up didnt he?
Deesky
5 / 5 (1) Jun 27, 2012
I love this. Looking for me to answer in a discriminate form to make it easier for you to discriminate against me. Lol.

Yeah, it's real funny how you need to define things in order to discuss them in any meaningful way.

What if I told you that I believed that I saw a Greenokipod in the woods and that I thought it caused Bendesarch? In order to make any valid comments about that statement at all, we both need to know what are Greenokipod & Bendesarch? Animal, vegetable, mineral, phenomenon? What size, shape, color, etc? Same with your god, which I bet differs from the next guy's god.

I'll humor you never-the-less. If I were to believe in God, the God would be consciousness in its pure form. So, God would be consciousness and we, as conscious beings, would be a subset of God as a whole.

Except you didn't humor me fully. I also asked _how_ you arrived at those attributes, which you chose to ignore to answer. You also need to define what a disembodied consciousness is...
Deesky
5 / 5 (2) Jun 27, 2012
The reason I'm asking for these definitions is not because I feel pedantic, but because the concepts you're throwing around are unscientific, likely personal and probably not well thought out in your own mind. By causing you to think about it in a more structured fashion (hopefully), you may arrive at a different perspective.
Tachyon8491
1.8 / 5 (5) Jun 28, 2012
@Ghost of Blotto - get yourself a good thesaurus and ask mummy to send you back to school for language lessons - although with your level of IQ I doubt whether you'll cope. That's not to speak of your emotional IQ - your rabid confrontational attitude has not once led to anything useful.
TheGhostofOtto1923
4 / 5 (16) Jun 28, 2012
@Ghost of Blotto - get yourself a good thesaurus and ask mummy to send you back to school for language lessons - although with your level of IQ I doubt whether you'll cope. That's not to speak of your emotional IQ - your rabid confrontational attitude has not once led to anything useful.
Hint - words do not work well in calculations. Especially words which are indefinable. Which is why scientists long ago replaced them with numbers and actually started getting somewhere. Philos still can't figure out how or why, although they continue to argue about it using words that none of them can understand.

Some are understandably upset about this. Many are content to strike poses and smile into the camera.
http://www.wordre...nable%20[indefinable]
TheGhostofOtto1923
4 / 5 (16) Jun 28, 2012
"When I hear the word culture I reach for my gun." -Josef Goebbels

-Goebbels, like any of the great philos, knew full well what words are REALLY good for.
Turritopsis
1 / 5 (1) Jun 28, 2012
Deesky,
Please formulate a clear and concise question and I will answer it. I think you're looking for clarification regarding my first post on this thread, but I am uncertain.

Same with your god, which I bet differs from the next guy's god.

If you want a serious discussion please refrain from comments such as these. Are you asking about God as outlined under case 1, case 2, or case 3? All of these are equally plausible. I don't think any one of them is more likely, they are all possibilities.

the concepts you're throwing around are unscientific

By "the concepts", I think you're referring to ones regarding God. I've already labeled them as such.

By causing you to think about it in a more structured fashion (hopefully), you may arrive at a different perspective.

Impossible. The 3 cases are equally valid (like Schrodingers cat is both alive and dead), only by opening the box will one emerge as true. Until then the 3 cases reside in a probabilistic state.
Turritopsis
1 / 5 (1) Jun 28, 2012
What if I told you that I believed that I saw a Greenokipod in the woods and that I thought it caused Bendesarch?

I would have to first know whether You are telling the truth. If You're lying I wouldn't believe You. If You aren't lying I would believe that You believe what you saw.

At this point I'd have to figure out whether what You saw was a hallucination. If yes, I'd still believe You believe what You saw, but I'd know otherwise. If it wasn't a hallucination then I'd know that what You saw was real.

Only at this point would it be scientific to discuss the characteristics and attributes of the Greenokipod that is causing the Bendesarch.
Turritopsis
1 / 5 (1) Jun 28, 2012
Asking me about attributes and characteristics of God, is like asking me what Schrodingers cat is doing in the box. I don't even know if the cat is alive or dead.

That's why my response was humorous. I don't know whether God is pure consciousness, God could have an infinite number of possible forms. I don't even know whether God exists or not.
TheGhostofOtto1923
4.2 / 5 (15) Jun 28, 2012
Faith standards of evidence??? God help us... I surely believe in a divine intelligence in the universe
Of course you do because without it how can the metaphysical exist? And the metaphysical is all the philo really has isnt it? Wherein the succinct definitions of all words metaphysical lurk-
Deesky
5 / 5 (1) Jun 28, 2012
I would have to first know whether You are telling the truth.If You're lying I wouldn't believe You

No. What you believe about my truthfulness is irrelevant. Truth is a relative notion. A lie is the truth if you believe it's the truth. What is relevant is a means of you verifying my statement by observing the phenomena as I have described it. Same with god. How will you know it when you see it?

You also assign arbitrary probabilities (ie, equal) to an equally arbitrary set of possibilities. Again, how do you know that the probabilities are all equally likely or that there aren't other options?

I'd have to figure out whether what You saw was a hallucination

And how would you establish that exactly?

If it wasn't a hallucination then I'd know that what You saw was real

You'd still know nothing! My state of mind is irrelevant as is yours. All that matters is my physical description and your verification of it through observation. Anything else is akin to hearsay.
Turritopsis
1 / 5 (1) Jun 28, 2012
"I would have to first *know whether You are telling the truth." - me

"What you *believe about my truthfulness is irrelevant." - you

You see the difference?
Deesky
5 / 5 (1) Jun 28, 2012
That's why my response was humorous. I don't know whether God is pure consciousness, God could have an infinite number of possible forms. I don't even know whether God exists or not.

So basically, you know nothing relevant - you know of no constraints, no attributes or characteristics and no evidence, which renders any meaningful discussion moot, especially when you assign probabilities to random 'possibilities'. This has been my point all along.
Deesky
5 / 5 (1) Jun 28, 2012
"I would have to first *know whether You are telling the truth." - me

"What you *believe about my truthfulness is irrelevant." - you

You see the difference?

No.
Turritopsis
1 / 5 (1) Jun 28, 2012
There are 3 distinct possible states of the world we exist in. None of them can be proven from this plane of existence, they are:

1. The Universe is real and God is not real.
2. The Universe is real and God is real.
3. The Universe is not real and God is real.


I think you got it. We can't prove that Religions are false. We can't prove that Intelligent Design is false. We can't prove the existence of God to be false.
Turritopsis
1 / 5 (1) Jun 28, 2012
"I would have to first *know whether You are telling the truth." - me

"What you *believe about my truthfulness is irrelevant." - you

You see the difference?

No.


Knowing something is a lie, and believing something is a lie, are different things.

Knowledge and Belief are 2 different things.
Turritopsis
1 / 5 (1) Jun 28, 2012
Does this:
"What you *believe about my truthfulness is irrelevant."
Equal this:
"What you *know about my truthfulness is irrelevant."
???
Deesky
5 / 5 (1) Jun 28, 2012
Does this:
"What you *believe about my truthfulness is irrelevant."
Equal this:
"What you *know about my truthfulness is irrelevant."
???

You're going around in circles. I'll say it for the last time. What you or I believe to be true or false is irrelevant - what is relevant is evidence.

The woo press, whether it's UFOs, cryptozoology or god, is littered with 'unimpeachable' eyewitnesses that hold down 'reputable' jobs, yadda, yadda, who all think they know what they saw is evidence of whatever internal bias they might have.

So, do you believe them because they think they're telling the truth? Or do you conduct an investigation to find evidence for their story? And if the latter, don't you need a specific description of what it is that you're looking for so that you know whether or not you've found it?
TheGhostofOtto1923
4.4 / 5 (14) Jun 30, 2012
I think you got it. We can't prove that Religions are false. We can't prove that Intelligent Design is false. We can't prove the existence of God to be false.
We can conclude that at most only one of them can be correct. We can CONCLUDE that the ones which have survived have done so because they were better than the rest at outgrowing and overrunning the opposition, which is a very real form of natural selection.

We can conclude that this ability is an intrinsic part of, and inseparable from, their core beliefs. Therefore we MUST conclude that, because of this they present an existential threat to world peace and the survival of mankind. These things are all obvious.

It doesn't MATTER if god is real or not. Religion is a problem that needs to be solved.
Turritopsis
1.5 / 5 (2) Jun 30, 2012
the ones which have survived have done so because they were better than the rest

They're all still here.
Religion is a problem that needs to be solved [because it is a] threat to world peace and the survival of mankind.

Let's be honest here. Wars are fought over resources. Religion is exploited as a tool for justification, it is just another way of differentiating US and THEM, a way of resolving the moral dilemma of taking the lives and resources of those not belonging to our societies.

It is not Religion that causes wars. People do. Religion is used by people as a way of justifying Evil actions. Religion is not Evil, but Evil people use it for Evil purposes.

"Guns don't kill people, people kill people." Same applies here. Just as Guns are the Tools of War, Religions can be too.

Religions don't kill people, people kill people.
Turritopsis
1 / 5 (2) Jul 01, 2012
I don't think anyone should be referencing their actions upon a Holy Book written by mans hand (as ALL scriptures are).

The only words written by God directly, as all Religions admit, are the 10 commandments. All else is admittedly written by mans hand through correspondence with God.

We can't prove that God wrote the 10 commandments, but it is admitted that all scripture is written by mans hand.
Turritopsis
1 / 5 (2) Jul 01, 2012
Now, believing in God is one thing. But believing in man? Are you willing to put your faith upon a man as your ticket through the Pearly Gates? If objective reality is taken as a reference I sure wouldn't. Men aren't perfect. They lie, cheat, steal, rape, and kill on a regular basis. The fulfillment of mans Evil potential can be seen every day, just turn on the news.

Should we blindly trust that the correspondence with God ever took place? I don't think so. Can we dismiss it on this basis? Unfortunately, no. It may just be so.