Staredit Network > Forums > Serious Discussion > Topic: Evolution Discussion
Evolution Discussion
Feb 28 2011, 12:54 pm
By: Decency
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Mar 30 2011, 3:53 pm Decency Post #181



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Why is homo sapiens the only surviving species in the "homo" category? There are many species of finches, canines, cats, other apes, fish, etc... Why is the homo genus so accustomed to dying/breeding off? Certainly neanderthals were better suited to survival than cows and chickens? The world is also extremely large. It wasn't until the recent past (15000 years ago) that homo sapiens really took off and population density became a serious issue. Why aren't there islands with distinctly different human populations which disappeared much more recently, or exist today?
I suppose the neanderthal gene of having a larger brain is one reason that europe (white) and asia (asian) are typically more intelligent than africa (black).

Homo sapiens is a relatively centralized species that has had little time to evolve distinctly. We've only been around for at most ~200,000 years, most of the time in very similar environments. We've always been omnivores among the tops of the food chain, so our food hasn't varied much over time and thus that aspect of us doesn't need to change, either. There have been separations among humanity, along the Bering strait into the Americas, for example, and into northern Europe. One of the obvious indicators of this is skin tone: humans that lived farther from the equation progressively became more and more pale as they needed to absorb as much Vitamin D from sunlight as possible in these less intense areas. These are modern, though: for the majority of humanity we lived in Northern Africa/Southern Eurasia and for whatever reasons did not expand profusely. The dramatic factor is a lack of cladogenesis, basically read up on that if anything wasn't explained fully.

Neanderthals are interesting, I studied a lot about them in my class. There is some evidence that there was some inter-mating between Neanderthals and homo sapiens, it's still up in the air but leaning more towards yes. If I remember right, it's the prevailing attitude that there was competition between the two types, as they sought the same environments, lived in the same area, and hunted/gathered similar food. The two main things attributed to their elimination were a significant drop in temperature which they were ill-able to adapt to and direct homo sapien competition, ie: genocide. Generally, the concept that homo sapiens are some pinnacle of evolution is the flaw in your thought here. We're just another branch of the tree that became capable of language, and thus writing, and thus history, and thus all of this. The difference is, we won.

The reason I'd suggest that blacks do poorly on intelligence tests is largely due to the difficulty of differentiating upbringing from intelligence. We don't have a sizable black population that is raised in the same environment as a white population- the opportunities aren't the same and so the test results aren't indicative of anything natural. If there are differences, we're still far too race-oriented of a culture to tell.

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Next, where is the scientific experiment which creates two distinct species? Certainly we can see natural selection occurring, and the development of resistant bacteria, but why haven't we deliberately altered one species in the course of a few lifetimes? Certainly 100 years is long enough for evolution to occur in organisms which reproduce multiple times a week? Based on what we know of evolution, we should be able to at least force genetic mutation/adaptation enough to create sterile crossbreeding between two organisms which share a common ancestor.
This is interesting, I haven't heard of it being attempted and i have no idea if it's feasible. I don't know if 100 years is actually long enough for sexual reproduction to create different species, though the math could probably be done out. Some bacteria can reproduce multiple times in minutes, for comparison, and for most of the billions of years single celled organisms were it. Also, the accumulation of differences over time is partially (I have no idea how much) due to radiation which alters the genome. If reproduction happens more rapidly, obviously there's less time for those changes to occur.



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Mar 30 2011, 5:26 pm Epyon214 Post #182



Quote from name:FaZ-
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[quote]Next, where is the scientific experiment which creates two distinct species? Certainly we can see natural selection occurring, and the development of resistant bacteria, but why haven't we deliberately altered one species in the course of a few lifetimes? Certainly 100 years is long enough for evolution to occur in organisms which reproduce multiple times a week? Based on what we know of evolution, we should be able to at least force genetic mutation/adaptation enough to create sterile crossbreeding between two organisms which share a common ancestor.
This is interesting, I haven't heard of it being attempted and i have no idea if it's feasible. I don't know if 100 years is actually long enough for sexual reproduction to create different species, though the math could probably be done out. Some bacteria can reproduce multiple times in minutes, for comparison, and for most of the billions of years single celled organisms were it. Also, the accumulation of differences over time is partially (I have no idea how much) due to radiation which alters the genome. If reproduction happens more rapidly, obviously there's less time for those changes to occur.

Actually, we have done this. You can consider this a "forced evolution", it's not something that would every likely occur naturally on its own, because there is no need for a cat to glow orange, or a pig to glow green, and in fact this would make them inefficient predators/easy prey, weeding them out of the population and getting rid of mutation on its own if it were to occur somehow on its own. I'm fairly sure that both of these also passed on their gene trait to the next generation, and that it was expressed in the next generation as well.

Cats that glow red: http://tinyurl.com/4v4oxsy
Pigs that glow green: http://tinyurl.com/4pe3vzt

The next one is where things REALLY get interesting, and useful. Those of you who don't believe in evolution are really just dilusional, and you should be helping to promote thinngs like this next one instead of just shutting your eyes and blabbering about nothing. The fact is, we have genetically modified mosquitoes to become resistant to malaria. They are incapable of picking up the parasite that causes malaria from the blood. Evolution would be when the one mosquito population that is malaria resistant overtakes the mosquito population that is non-resistant. Survival of the fittest really means survival of those who can have more children, better adapt to their environment, and generally take over the resources and survive where there is competition for them. If you wanna help, find a way to make it so that the malaria resistant population has a better chance of taking over. The problem is, as I understand it, that being malaria resistant has a side effect of a lower life-span and production of fewer offspring. This means that even if we we're to release them into the wild, it is highly likely that the non-resistance mosquitoes would still take over. Now, your mission, if you choose to accept it, is to find a way to make it so that these mosquitoes are the ones who end up on top. The only methods I have been able to think of is spray for mosquitioes first in large bodies of water to kill off the populations already there, and then introduce about a million of the resistant ones so that they can at least get their foot in the door. Even so, the non-resistant mosquitoes would eventually come back, and probably have a fitness advantage because of the longer lifespan and more children. The other method, which I'm not even sure is possible, and involves a good deal of risk, is to modify the same mosquitoes that are resistant to malaria to also become resistant to DDT, and then start the widespread use of DDT again for a decade or so. For those of you who hate DDT, there is serious talk of bringing it back anyways. I would love to do away with DDT, and if we're not longer able to kill mosquitoes because the only ones that remain are the ones that are resistant to DDT and malaria, then mission accomplished.

Malaria resistant (integrated vector control: IVC) mosquitoes: http://tinyurl.com/4ca9m4v



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Mar 30 2011, 5:46 pm Decency Post #183



Gene alteration is not controlled evolution.



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Mar 30 2011, 8:32 pm CaptainWill Post #184



Look up the London Underground Mosquito. An example of speciation within 200 years or so.



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Mar 31 2011, 12:03 am CecilSunkure Post #185



Quote from CaptainWill
Look up the London Underground Mosquito. An example of speciation within 200 years or so.
Lots of people here are making claims that evolution exists. The thing is, it does exist. The other thing is is that there is a necessary distinction between which types of evolution we are all talking about.

In order for the theory of Evolution to be true, there has to be the following types of evolution to occur:
Cosmic Evolution: The origin of time space an matter.
Chemical Evolution: The origin of all the elements we have today.
Stellar Evolution: The origin of stars and planets.
Organic Evolution: The origin of life from non-life.
Macro Evolution: The origin of the major kinds of animals and plants.
Micro Evolution: subtle variation within the kinds.

Now before you go and google this, just realize that all of these are implied to be true in the Theory of Evolution. Most people here the word Evolution and think of Macro Evolution, as in one kind of animal becoming another over time due to natural selection. Now here we have to define "kind", and it is tough because I'm doing this off the top of my head. For example, wolves dogs and dingos are all types of dogs; they are all a kind of dog. The fruit bat and the vampire bat are both types of bats. The flamingos, sparrows and ostriches are all kinds of birds. So, this will give you a sense of what I mean by "kind", though I don't have a dictionary definition. For all intents and purposes, a lung-fish is still a type of fish.

Now, Micro Evolution would be defined as variation within the kinds! The chihuahua and the great dane are both types (kinds) of dogs, though separate species. Everyone knows that you can breed a dog to have a specific aspect, and this is thus micro evolution; variation amongst the species. However no matter what anyone does or observes, nobody has ever seen or proven that a non-dog came from a dog, or vise versa. This claim strikes so many people oddly, because we've all been presented with lots of information about "missing links" and whatnot. Though all the missing links I've ever come across have been shown to me to be disproven, usually shown to be fraudulent, the most popular one being Lucy. I don't have sources off-hand as I don't have the time to collect them, but they are out there.

Now, none of these types of evolution have any standing evidence for them whatsoever, except the last one. And I see way too often people talk about the last one, and then not even think or even know about the others, though they imply all the others are true. Here is a link that seems to be detailing about how scientists seem to think that DNA analysis shows that all current dogs arose from a single... Dog. There's lots of studies being done that point to genetic bottlenecks or single common ancestors, even in humans. I remember one time at the dentist I read a Nation Geographic article about how DNA analysts were hypothesizing that the entire human race had a genetic bottleneck in the past. If these ideas are true (I don't know if they were proven or not) then that means that a lot of things on earth all arose from a single thing like themselves. Sure, it's not hard to believe that all types of dogs arose from a dog; that makes sense. Though the Theory of Evolution we all hear so much of says that dogs arose from non-dogs, and cats arose from non-cats, and so on -but the thing is there's no evidence for anything but micro evolution.

A lot of people attack this whole idea I detailed here saying that this argument tries to create arbitrary definitions so that they can say evolution doesn't exist. Well the thing is I don't think it's fair to take completely valid and good observations of our world (for example the underground mosquito) and then make claims that the observation cannot actually be supporting!



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Mar 31 2011, 1:12 am NicholasBeige Post #186



Genetic bottle neck? Already mentioned a few pages back. Wikipedia or google 'Mount Toba' or the 'Toba catastrophe theory'.

But I do agree. A lot of what people seem to be saying and arguing in this page is too narrowly focused. Evolution occurs over a time scale which we cannot observe. We can hardly look back 50 years without having our vision blurred by the writers of the history, and their conjectures and perspectives. What comes with this elongation of time, is more variation than we can shake a stick at. And not only genetic variation or 'evolution'. Africa is called the 'cradle of civilization' or 'humanity'. It is certainly true that the oldest human remains and evidence of civilization lies there. It is a known fact that farming originated in the fertile crescent, or in what was then Mesopotamia. Neanderthals were a sub-species of the homo genus, they no longer exist today and what 'killed them off' or 'made them extinct' is unknown. Theories exist stating that they were primitive and warlike (despite having larger craniums). Other theories speculate that the migration of people from africa and the middle-east resulted in inter-breeding of the species and that a certain percentage (I think Polish/Ukranians have the highest likelihood) contain the slightest traces of what were typically considered 'neanderthal attributes'. Truth is, that it is impossible to know for certain. But it makes a hell of a lot more sense than saying God created the Earth and the Universe in 6 days, put Adam and Eve into a garden - but they sinned, and their offspring are responsible for the 6.5 billion of us on Earth today.

There was earlier mention - by rockz - of forced genetic mutation. This has been done as posted by someone afterwards (sorry it's late).. But we understand so little about genetic chemistry and genes in general, and to go around tinkering with genes is borderline on the 'playing god' argument that surrounds stem-cell research. A lot of research has just been completed on isolating the genetic sequence responsible for alzeimers and a new drug has been created which is absorbed through the blood and affects the brain directly. I think it is undergoing clinical trials sometime next year. So genetic research is more geared towards curing than prevention.

Someone earlier mentioned how humans are unable to create vitamin C. A valid point. You then went on to mention, mockingly, how God could allow such a travesty and that because of this inability to create vitamin C - God has unwittingly released the horror of scurvy upon our seafaring humans. Any creationist can argue back at you and say that 'God works in mysterious ways' or 'God removed our ability to create vitamin C because he promised Noah that the next Flood would end all humanity' etc. Truth is, maybe our ancestors liked these bright orange balls that hang from trees and started eating them and then our evolution kicked in and said 'shit, I don't need to spend so much energy converting those nutrients into Vitamin C since I'm getting plenty of it anywaysss'.

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the reason I'd suggest that blacks do poorly on intelligence tests is largely due to the difficulty of differentiating upbringing from intelligence. We don't have a sizable black population that is raised in the same environment as a white population- the opportunities aren't the same and so the test results aren't indicative of anything natural. If there are differences, we're still far too race-oriented of a culture to tell.
I think it was FaZ- who said this. You are right to a certain extent. The truth is that it is extremely difficult to quantify intelligence. You should read into Alfred Binet, a French philosopher largely credited for the first "IQ test". I am of the viewpoint that you cannot measure intelligence. That's something like weighing an idea, or counting the length of a dream - utterly impossible. There are just too many ways to show intelligence for them all to be calculated together. Does musical ability and having perfect pitch constitute as intelligence? How about having superior tastebuds and being able to identify all the individual spices in a 'balti galda chingri makhani' (king prawn curry). Sure we attribute maths and pattern recognition, as well as ones' ability to express words and think abstractly as intelligence, but that is only a fraction of what are 'intelligible actions' - and it is supposedly 'intelligible actions' which set us apart as the children of God from mere animals and beasts.

Anways, it is late here. I might edit this post and put the quotes from the previous discussion in. B

But.. the point I was getting at... religion is a story and it is an opinion. A faith to fill the void where science did not yet exist. We do know for a fact that our planet is in the region of 4.5 billion years old (give or take 1%). To refute this is to be ignorant. Religious stories, I would argue, draw parallels between what happened in our past and then attribute these happenings to God(s). Noah's Flood for example? Maybe ancient stories passed down from our neolithic ancestors who witnessed the ending of an ice-age (and a lot of melt-water). There is a whole series right now on television (maybe CaptainWill has seen some of it), it's on BBC and is called "The Bibles Buried Secrets". It basically talks about the little less known, and older texts which were written but excluded from what is commonly viewed as todays modern bible. It just so happens that the scientific side of the coin throws more questions at the religious side than vice versa. Most new things that science turn up make religion seem more questionable. But it is faith and if you have it, it shouldn't be questionable. Neither science or religion can answer what the universe was like 4.6 billion years ago (give or take 1%). Theoretical physics alone creates more fields for research than religion could contemplate.

Anyways... Unless something really profound (or stupid) gets said in this thread I'll say my piece and be done with it.

Conclusion:
You cannot extricate evolution from religion since they are essentially the same thing. They are both theories, utterly unprovable and therefore entirely plausible. Evolution has the backing from the scientific community, and religion has the backing from the religious community. Much of modern science is built on the backings of Darwinian thought. And Darwin - as we know - is the founder of this idea of 'evolution', or rather, 'change through time'. However, the evolution theory he first put forward was suited to the imperial masters and bourgeoisie of the time because it effectively justified slavery, colonization and the exploitation of foreigners. Evolution theory effectively allowed the European colonist to say 'I have literature and music, flintlock pistols and cannons, fine silk cravats and pantaloons - you have muddy huts and loincloths - I am therefore superior, and you are therefore inferior.'

We now know (hopefully...) that this mode of thought is untrue. That the 'road to development' is not a road through which every human must be measured against. The barbaric does not give way to the hunter-gatherer who does not in turn step aside for the agriculturalists and sheep-herders. Society does not necessarily have to end up in what is deemed the 'developed world'. Sky scrapers and McDonalds, free enterprise and capitalism are not the benchmarks of society. Tribal communities such as the Azande or Zande were found to have legal and moral systems far more complicated and integrated than Western societies (for more on this see Clifford Geertz or E. E. Evans-Pritchard's ethnography 'Witchcraft, Oracles and Magic among the Azande'). Humanity became where it is today because we started to think. We are human for the simple fact that we recognise that we are human. A monkey or a dog does not know that it is a monkey or a dog, it is content to simply sleep, eat and procreate.

The real debate surrounding evolution is why, when and how did humans become self-aware? When did our ancestors first truly begin to think? Who was the first human who decided to use a stone attached to a stick to kill the mammoth? And how have we come so far in such a relatively short (geologically speaking) timescale to now know the power of the atom? The mysteries of genetics? How is it that I can now be on a laptop typing words onto an electronic forum which will be transmitted at near-to the speed of light for anyone to read in the world? When a relatively short time (geologically speaking) ago I would have been sleeping by a fire in a cave, or a bit further back in time, I'd be running wild - supposedly.

These are the questions which evolution theorists and philosphers want to know.

Post has been edited 1 time(s), last time on Mar 31 2011, 1:22 am by Cardinal.



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Mar 31 2011, 2:43 am rayNimagi Post #187



Quote from rayNimagi
Jack (and the other creationists), would you care to disprove the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster's theory of creation, since you believe that your own Christian view is the only correct one? If you haven't heard of the story, here is a tl;dr version:

Quote from Jack
@the FsM, the Bible says God created the world, while pastafarianism says the FSM created the world. Ergo, the FSM is unbiblical, and therefore wrong. No, this isn't scientific. No, you cannot scientifically disprove FSM OR christianity.

Well, actually, Pastafarians have complete faith that the FSM created the world, not God. Ergo, the Bible is un-Pastafarian, and therefore wrong. No, this isn't scientific. No, you cannot scientifically disprove FSM OR christianity.

-----

Let me get this straight. Creationists say
Quote
A) Creationism is true because the Bible says it's true.
B) Despite the fact that the Bible's is as a religious text, written over thousands of years ago, and that it may have been modified (either on purpose or by accident) to suit the writers' beliefs (and therefore according to the relatively primitive state of science at the time), it is undoubtedly true in every way.
C) The Bible is true because Jesus is in it. (Note that Jesus did not write the Bible).
D) Jesus is undoubtedly the son of God because the Bible says so.
E) etc.
See the circular reasoning?

-----

Jack, do you believe in the atomic theory? If the Bible said that atoms did not exist, would you believe the Bible?

Jack, do you believe in a geocentric universe? The Bible says that the sun revolves around the Earth. Do you believe the Bible?

Do you believe in unicorns? If the Bible said that unicorns exist, and no one has even seen a unicorn, would you believe the Bible?

If the Bible said that you should cut your limbs off at the age of 21, would you do so? Would you cut others' limbs off in the name of God, if he declared it to be holy?

Why do you believe so steadfastly in a document that has become obsolete (or at least many parts of it)? I, and many people here, agree with many of the morals here, but why would you hold back progress because just people didn't know any better two thousand years ago?

If Jesus came to Earth and declared that the Bible had been corrupted by mortals, what would you believe? If Jesus said that Evolution is true, and the Earth was several billion years old, would you still believe in the Bible?

The Bible should be taken as a guideline for morality, if anything. The parts that are good can be kept; the corrupt thrown away. Religion and societies are constantly changing--evolving, if you will. The only reason I can understand that people hold beliefs that are obviously outdated is because their parents, their family, their community have indoctrinated them into a society of backwardness.



Win by luck, lose by skill.

Mar 31 2011, 2:56 am Jack Post #188

>be faceless void >mfw I have no face

It doesn't say that atoms don't exist. It doesn't say that unicorns exist. It doesn't say the sun orbits the earth (it may have some poetry that talks of the sun going around the earth, but that's poetry :P) It doesn't say to cut off limbs at 21 to the best of my knowledge, so no problems there either.

Jesus didn't, and Jesus hasn't.

There are no corrupt bits to throw away.

Why are we even talking about the Bible? This is the evolution topic.



Red classic.

Mar 31 2011, 3:14 am Raitaki Post #189



Jack, seriously, I don't know whether you're trolling or not, but you totally missed Ray's point. He was making a joke on how blindly creationists always think the Bible is true.
Quote from Jack
Why are we even talking about the Bible? This is the evolution topic.
Because of this:
Quote from name:Centeri
I'm fine with "Goddidit", myself.




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Mar 31 2011, 5:07 am rockz Post #190

おやすみの敗者

Quote from name:FaZ-
Generally, the concept that homo sapiens are some pinnacle of evolution is the flaw in your thought here. We're just another branch of the tree that became capable of language, and thus writing, and thus history, and thus all of this. The difference is, we won.
We are the pinnacle of evolution as of right now because we have survived. I'm just wondering how it is that so many other species in the homo genus coexisted at some point in time but now everything else has completely disappeared. Obviously there were some unsuccessful divergences, but many very successful ones which disappeared for no reason that we can know. Even if they died off due to competition and genocide, it seems unlikely that beings as smart as they were could not adapt better than the native animals.

Quote from name:FaZ-
The reason I'd suggest that blacks do poorly on intelligence tests is largely due to the difficulty of differentiating upbringing from intelligence.
Yes. Life began in africa, escaped into Europe and Asia. It's a fact that whites and asians have larger brains than blacks (on average) and the same for IQ tests (though that as you say is exacerbated by upbringing). Over a long period of time, the ever so slightly more intelligent Europeans discovered/utilized technology and as we can see now, technological growth is exponential. Thus Europe conquered the world. There's probably other factors in there, like location, climate, and food supply as to why Europe was so much more successful than Asia. The same can be said about abrahamic religion. There's obviously some advantage in monotheism. Why else is 4/7ths of the world abrahamic in origin? (India and china are really the only things that throw the curve here, but they just have huge population densities).

Quote from name:FaZ-
I don't know if 100 years is actually long enough for sexual reproduction to create different species, though the math could probably be done out. Some bacteria can reproduce multiple times in minutes, for comparison, and for most of the billions of years single celled organisms were it.
sexual reproduction is faster at evolution than asexual due to the transfer of genes. The rate of mutation is higher.

Quote from CaptainWill
Look up the London Underground Mosquito. An example of speciation within 200 years or so.
Thank you. However this is still mostly speculation. We didn't document it happening as it happened. Yes, I know this is a hard thing to do due to human life restraints.

Post has been edited 1 time(s), last time on Mar 31 2011, 9:56 pm by rockz.



"Parliamentary inquiry, Mr. Chairman - do we have to call the Gentleman a gentleman if he's not one?"

Mar 31 2011, 7:24 am CecilSunkure Post #191



Quote from rayNimagi
Let me get this straight. Creationists say
Quote
A) Creationism is true because the Bible says it's true.
B) Despite the fact that the Bible's is as a religious text, written over thousands of years ago, and that it may have been modified (either on purpose or by accident) to suit the writers' beliefs (and therefore according to the relatively primitive state of science at the time), it is undoubtedly true in every way.
C) The Bible is true because Jesus is in it. (Note that Jesus did not write the Bible).
D) Jesus is undoubtedly the son of God because the Bible says so.
E) etc.
See the circular reasoning?
Ray, this is more of a straw-man fallacy than anything. Creationists don't say that creationism is true because the Bible says so. They say it's true because there's a lot of a very solid arguments and very persuasive evidence it is true. Perhaps you should try watching some of Kent Hovind's videos. If you do however, just try to watch them with an open-mind and a grain of salt; don't watch it assuming it is true or false, just take what he says into consideration.

One more thing, these lectures are plenty, and very long. Give yourself a good 2 hours to watch the first one before deciding to watch any others. I know I'm throwing a gigantic encyclopedia in your face and it isn't fair for me to ask you to watch them all in one sitting.

http://freehovind.com/watch



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Mar 31 2011, 1:35 pm NicholasBeige Post #192



so my thread-ending post got completely ignored. cool story bro.



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Mar 31 2011, 5:48 pm Decency Post #193



Your "thread-ending post" is a mass of misinformation and rambling, it's barely worth responding to. Also, pretty much everything you said has already been said elsewhere.

Quote
Someone earlier mentioned how humans are unable to create vitamin C. A valid point. You then went on to mention, mockingly, how God could allow such a travesty and that because of this inability to create vitamin C - God has unwittingly released the horror of scurvy upon our seafaring humans. Any creationist can argue back at you and say that 'God works in mysterious ways' or 'God removed our ability to create vitamin C because he promised Noah that the next Flood would end all humanity' etc. Truth is, maybe our ancestors liked these bright orange balls that hang from trees and started eating them and then our evolution kicked in and said 'shit, I don't need to spend so much energy converting those nutrients into Vitamin C since I'm getting plenty of it anywaysss'.
Evolution is not directed. Let me repeat that, since this is the second or third time it's come up in this thread: evolution does not have a plan. Giving a plan or any sort of consciousness to evolution is foolhardy.

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But it is faith and if you have it, it shouldn't be questionable.
I absolutely disagree with this with every fiber of my conscious thought. If you hold a position and cannot defend it, you do not deserve to even belong in a conversation on the issue. You are, by definition, irrational. If people want to believe foolish things in the privacy of their home, fine. If they try to spread those beliefs, I draw a line. Either you can defend what you're saying in a manner befitting our human capacity, or you can exit the discussion.

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I am of the viewpoint that you cannot measure intelligence. That's something like weighing an idea, or counting the length of a dream - utterly impossible. There are just too many ways to show intelligence for them all to be calculated together. Does musical ability and having perfect pitch constitute as intelligence? How about having superior tastebuds and being able to identify all the individual spices in a 'balti galda chingri makhani' (king prawn curry). Sure we attribute maths and pattern recognition, as well as ones' ability to express words and think abstractly as intelligence, but that is only a fraction of what are 'intelligible actions'
People with higher intelligence scores repeatedly do better in all aspects of society than those with low intelligences. Testing might not be perfectly accurate, but saying it's completely immeasurable is just wrong. You're attributing physical traits (perfect pitch or good tastebuds) to intelligence. These are not measures of intelligence any more than having big feet is a measure, but all can be indicative of success in certain fields. Intelligence refers specifically to the ability to recognize intricacies of problems and then develop appropriate and efficient solutions to them, and in doing so increase your ability to do so with new problems in the future.

There are subfields such as musical aptitude, but these are as much defined by ability as by capacity. Knowledge is not intelligence, though many foolish people believe it to be.

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You cannot extricate evolution from religion since they are essentially the same thing. They are both theories, utterly unprovable and therefore entirely plausible.
You need to look up that last word. Believing the myths of religion to be fact in this day and age is not plausible and never will be again.

Quote
Much of modern science is built on the backings of Darwinian thought. And Darwin - as we know - is the founder of this idea of 'evolution', or rather, 'change through time'. However, the evolution theory he first put forward was suited to the imperial masters and bourgeoisie of the time because it effectively justified slavery, colonization and the exploitation of foreigners.
I won't dignify this with a response, it's just bullshit.

Quote
The real debate surrounding evolution is why, when and how did humans become self-aware? When did our ancestors first truly begin to think? Who was the first human who decided to use a stone attached to a stick to kill the mammoth?
Many animal species are self-aware, reference the mirror test. The common explanation for human intelligence is that it developed shortly after bipedalism, which itself developed as humans began to live in environments other than forests. This freed our hands to use and develop more permanent tools which could be retained while hunting or fleeing. Early humans were uncompetitive tribal species which became increasingly less mobile over time and were able to develop language and then culture. I don't think there's any spark of "INTELLIGENCE" that differentiates us from other primates, we're just the most currently developed. If there is a single catalyst, it's the slackening of the human jaw to allow more room for brain size and more precise speech.



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Mar 31 2011, 7:48 pm CaptainWill Post #194



Quote
Quote
Much of modern science is built on the backings of Darwinian thought. And Darwin - as we know - is the founder of this idea of 'evolution', or rather, 'change through time'. However, the evolution theory he first put forward was suited to the imperial masters and bourgeoisie of the time because it effectively justified slavery, colonization and the exploitation of foreigners.

I won't dignify this with a response, it's just bullshit.

Actually it isn't BS. It's inaccurate but it contains enough hints of a perfectly valid message for me to consider it at least worthy of a response.

Ok, so the modern science being built on Darwinian thought part is too general and it wasn't necessarily Darwin who first thought of the idea of evolution - he just happens to be strongly associated with it. Alfred Russel Wallace had the same idea at the same time and sent Darwin, who had been struggling with developing a theory of evolution for years, a copy of his work with a letter saying basically "I've written this - what do you think of it?" The moment Darwin saw the work and realised Wallace was about to beat him to the punch, he did some last minute editing and published his incomplete theory so that he could take the credit.

In any case, the interesting point in Cardinal's post is the reference to slavery etc. It is awkwardly worded but I think I realise what he's trying to say. Slavery ended in the British Empire in 1833/1834 while Darwin published in 1859 and 1871, so any reference here to slavery is a little anachronistic. However, scientific/racial theory was frequently brought into the equation during the American Civil War and the arguments for and against slavery, so there is a point there.

I'm not keen on Cardinal's use of phrases like "imperial masters" and "bourgeoisie", as they are rather vague, not to mention loaded. However, Darwin's theories were appropriated by others for their own ends. Racists found fertile ground in Darwin's theories for developing their own particular strands of thought. Social Darwinism is the name usually given to this phenomenon, and at its best it implies eugenics, and at its worst - genocide.

I'll give one brief example contemporaneous with Darwin. When Britain first became involved (through the East India Company) in India, racial mixing was common. Officers frequently took Indian wives, local traditions were respected and business was generally conducted as being among equals. There was a great respect for oriental languages and an interest in reading the scholarly texts of the East. Things were changing by Darwin's time however. in 1835, Thomas Macaulay stated :

Quote
I am quite ready to take the oriental learning at the valuation of the orientalists themselves. I have never found one among them who could deny that a single shelf of a good European library was worth the whole native literature of India and Arabia.

This dismissive attitude to Eastern intellectual capabilities developed and grew into a true sense of superiority. In 1857 parts of the British Army in India rebelled along with sections of the rural population, taking over areas of the country and in some places massacring European inhabitants. The British response was to exact a terrible vengeance under martial law for the Europeans killed (especially the women).

Charles Dickens wrote the following on the events:

Quote
I would address the Oriental character...in something like the following placard... "I, the Inimitable, holding this office of mine, and firmly believing that I hold it by permission of Heaven and not by the appointment of Satan, have the honour to inform you Hindoo gentry that it is my intention, with all possible avoidance of unnecessary cruelty and with all merciful swiftness of execution, to exterminate the Race from the face of the earth, which disfigured the earth with the late abominable atrocities."

Britain would again exact revenge on another race in 1865 after the Morant Bay Rebellion (Jamaica) and in 1919 at Amritsar in the Punjab. The point is that one of the great legitimising powers in the arsenal of those who ordered and carried out the killing of people of different colour skin was science. Specifically, scientific theories relating to race and the origins of humanity.

These same theories were used to make the argument for the "White man's burden", an important part of later imperialism - that some races were too inherently stupid, savage, barbaric or otherwise incapable, to rule themselves, necessitating the rule of Europeans over them ("for their own good").

This post hasn't been a great one; it's been a bit rambling. I have written a far better piece on the relationship between science, evolution and racism (along with presentation slides!), so please do have a look at it because it explains a lot and possibly adds to the debate over how responsible religion and science are for conflict.

Slides
Text



None.

Mar 31 2011, 10:21 pm Decency Post #195



Owing any of that to evolution is a massive stretch at best and outright fabrication at worst. People will use whatever justification they can muster to defend immoral things, but they're just obfuscating the truth.



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Mar 31 2011, 11:00 pm CaptainWill Post #196



And what is that truth?

It's not a massive stretch. It's generally considered in the academic (history) community to be the case that the theory of evolution contributed to the intellectual milieu that fed scientific racism. There were other reasons, sure, but it did contribute.



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Mar 31 2011, 11:03 pm ubermctastic Post #197



How ya doin Faz?
You sorta just agreed with me on slavery in the Bible.



None.

Mar 31 2011, 11:23 pm Decency Post #198



I don't care that the Bible doesn't address slavery, it and its rules are understandable in the context of that primitive society. I care that people pretend it is an authoritative and flawless moral guide to our society 2000 years later. You really don't seem to understand this point, so read it a few times please.

@ Will.

The obvious truth is that slavery builds nations and makes men rich. Was it used to feed to scientific racism, sure, but that's not owed to Darwin, he says flatly the exact opposite:

Quote
It may be doubted whether any character can be named, which is distinctive of a race and is constant . . . they graduate into each other, and . . . it is hardly possible to discover clear, distinctive characters between them . . . As it is improbable that the numerous, and unimportant, points of resemblance, between the several races of man, in bodily structure and mental faculties (I do not here refer to similar customs) should all have been independently acquired, they must have been inherited from progenitors who had these same characters. The Descent of Man (1871)




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Mar 31 2011, 11:51 pm CaptainWill Post #199



Of course Darwin wasn't a racist himself. He was an agnostic monogenist who believed that all humans had originated from a common ancestor. It didn't stop parts of his theories (i.e. natural selection) being used to legitimise dominion over others though.

Most of it is explained in my (admittedly long) link.



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Apr 1 2011, 2:44 am rayNimagi Post #200



Quote from Jack
It doesn't say that atoms don't exist. It doesn't say that unicorns exist. It doesn't say the sun orbits the earth (it may have some poetry that talks of the sun going around the earth, but that's poetry :P) It doesn't say to cut off limbs at 21 to the best of my knowledge, so no problems there either.
But would you still follow the Bible's teachings even if those things were said in the Bible? You obviously have an unwavering faith in the divine God and his supposed holy word. After all, the many writers of the Bible were high on drugsinspired by God to put the morals of the time period into the holy book.

Quote
[Slavery discussion from a while ago]
Jack, you said that it's better to obey your master, a Christian, than to rebel against the institution of slavery? Would you endorse slavery today if Christians owned slaves? I certainly hope not, and I certainly hope no man, woman, or child, should be held against their will in bondage.

Quote
Why are we even talking about the Bible? This is the evolution topic.
Because the Bible is the ultimate source of truth, and reasonable science and unbiased observations are always wrong if they contradict the uncorrupted word of the single, omniscient, omnipresent, omnipotent God. Just so you know, that's sarcasm.

Also because Creationism is the opponent of Evolution in this debate, and Creationism cannot exist without the Bible.

Quote from CecilSunkure
Creationists don't say that creationism is true because the Bible says so.
Not all of them, but most of them do. See Jack's post for example:

Quote
There are no corrupt bits to throw away.
Even if the Bible is, in any way, obviously wrong, there are some fanatics out there that would still believe the Bible over any piece of valid evidence, no matter how reasonable said piece is.



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