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

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."


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Nov 09, 2010
is this new? Punctuated equilibrium wasn't discovered yesterday isn't it?

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Nov 09, 2010
Environment affects the course of evolution, but I would argue it is driven by reproduction.

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.

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."

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.

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".

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.

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

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.

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?

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.

Nov 10, 2010
Wow, I'm impressed. 17 comments deep on an evolution thread and the creationist crowd hasn't made a peep.

Nov 10, 2010
Shut up! It's just because we're inbred, and too stoopid to comment!

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, ....

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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...

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.

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.

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


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.


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

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.

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".

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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?

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...

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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?

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?

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.

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.

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.

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...

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?

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.

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.

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.

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?

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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?

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?

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?

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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!

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.

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)?

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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".

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

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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?

Nov 11, 2010
Eth...I don't read your posts, or more accurately I ignore them as far as the conversation goes.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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"?

Nov 11, 2010
I'd love to jump in here, but Bartolo is doing a FAR better job than I could.

Nov 11, 2010
But your uncommon density


I laughed.

Ironic.

Nov 11, 2010
But your uncommon density


I laughed.

Ironic.
Wait- was that a compliment -?

Nov 11, 2010
Ironic
Wait- was that a compliment -?

Use a dictionary

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.

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?

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?

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.

Nov 11, 2010
Dweeb
Is the def of artificial 'human-created'? Yes or no. Did you look it up yet?

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.

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?

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"

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?

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.

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...

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.

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?

Nov 11, 2010
Otto,

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

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

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.

Nov 11, 2010
Otto tried to write 'chimpian', his own literary contraption, but was blindsided by spellchecker.

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?

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.

Nov 11, 2010
What's a Marjonism?

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.

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 ;)

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.

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-

Nov 11, 2010
Bartolo: marjon is a fellow commenter that behaves in the manner otto has described.


Nov 11, 2010
@slayer
that makes 154 fools on this thread.
And 1 twit. Bands gay.

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.

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? :)

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?

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.

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

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

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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-

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.

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-

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?

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?

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.

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?

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?

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.

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.

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.

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'.

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.

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.

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.

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

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

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

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

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

Nov 14, 2010
Time is fiction of relative that we can't science on, Albert.

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.

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. :-)

Nov 14, 2010
-Then there's these guys, who approached martial arts scientifically:
http://en.wikiped...ial_arts

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

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

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.

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.

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."

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.

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.

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.

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/

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.

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

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

Nov 15, 2010
It seems comment thread progression invokes punctuated evolution as well :)


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

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.

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.

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?

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.

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?

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.

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.

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.

Nov 15, 2010