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somethingclever
1st Feb 2009, 22:29
Maybe there's a thread already but.. anyhoo. Pretty funny stuff in a dark sort of way. I wonder when witch-burning will be "in" again. You do know the earth is flat, right?

Half of Britons do not believe in evolution, Darwin anniversary survey finds | Science | guardian.co.uk (http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2009/feb/01/evolution-darwin-survey-creationism?commentpage=1)

tony draper
1st Feb 2009, 22:36
Perhaps they should rephrase that, half the 2060 people they interviewed don't believe in evolution.
The evidence is all round them, surely they have noticed their countrymen have been devolving for the last thirty odd years.
:rolleyes:

SilsoeSid
1st Feb 2009, 23:09
Not registered on that site, so no comment on it, however,

2 things strike me about Evolution,

1). If humans are evolved from apes, on islands where Homo Sapiens in their basic form live, why are there still apes?

2). To suppose that the eye, with all its inimitable contrivances for adjusting the focus to different distances, for admitting different amounts of light, and for the correction of spherical and chromatic aberration, could have been formed by natural selection, seems, I freely confess, absurd in the highest possible degree. (Darwin 1872)


Perhaps the bigger question, if you believe Evolution is the 100% answer, is where or what we have evolved from! :confused:

tony draper
1st Feb 2009, 23:13
A common mistake, did not evolve from Apes, Humans and the Apes evolved from a common ancestor.
He was called Norman.
:rolleyes:

goudie
1st Feb 2009, 23:16
Perhaps the bigger question, if you believe Evolution is the 100% answer, is where or what we have evolved from! http://static.pprune.org/images/smilies/confused.gif

......and why?

BlooMoo
1st Feb 2009, 23:29
If humans are evolved from apes, on islands where Homo Sapiens in their basic form live, why are there still apes?

This will be known by future pages on Wikipedia as the 'Liverpool/Glasgow Paradox'.:E

Blacksheep
1st Feb 2009, 23:55
He was called Norman.I knew Norman. He was in our flight during initial training (The recruiting officer had thought he might be useful in the boxing squad or the rugby team).

There are those who thought he was related to Corporal Swain or Sergeant (Black Jim) Hadley. :suspect:

BarbiesBoyfriend
2nd Feb 2009, 00:00
I suppose no one has a problem with 'natural selection'. Also evolution and adaptation to environment are plainly ongoing.

It's Creation that's the real problem.

Entropy is the natural way. ie things die off.

For life to start-:ok:- something very positive indeed needs to occur. Darwin was at a loss as to what this might be. Darwinism takes us through how one species or the other evolved into some modified form or other. I'm ok ish with that.

But what did the thing you're looking at evolve from?

Some folk believe that the sun shone on the water and made some slime-then over a long time the slime turned into you and me. I do not.

If entropy had its way-and it always does- the slime would have dried up and turned to dust. End of story.

He was a clever chap Darwin. But not that clever!

SilsoeSid
2nd Feb 2009, 00:03
Why is it that Evolutionists, never question the theory, but always question those who question it?



At least, for the time being, it's not a subject illegal to question..like some!

Blacksheep
2nd Feb 2009, 00:06
Slime and sunlight is ok, but where did the water come from?

I tell you, it just ain't natural.

birrddog
2nd Feb 2009, 00:10
SilsoeSid, I sentence you to eternal contemplation, and a new RotorHeads Calendar for Feb, for that blasphemous talk!

Lon More
2nd Feb 2009, 00:49
Watching the antics of some brits on holiday it's a better supposition that apes evolved from the English

KiloDeltaYankee
2nd Feb 2009, 01:47
Silosid we are ALL apes.

I think what you are asking is why are there still chimpanzees, gorillas and orangutans.
Well we didn’t evolve from them, as others have posted, we share a common ancestor with them.
They are our evolutionary cousins....if you go back far enough we are related to all the species that have ever lived.
YouTube - Richard Dawkins Explains Common Ancestor (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sYxKI74Y7Bc)

Regarding your second point:
As any good scientist Darwin was always questioning and testing his theories.
Today the origins of the eye are well understood by evolutionary biologists, the theory is now stronger than it has ever been.
YouTube - Creationism Disproved? (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fOtP7HEuDYA)



BarbiesBoyfriend you are correct in that Darwin’s theory of Evolution by means of natural selection only describes how species change over time.

It does not attempt to explain the origins of life, this is separate and distinct field of research called Abiogenesis.

Abiogenesis - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Origin_of_life)

Buster Hyman
2nd Feb 2009, 02:20
Half of Britons do not believe in evolution

That's okay, as the other half don't believe in soap either!

El Grifo
2nd Feb 2009, 02:46
Nah Nah Nah !!! That'll be the Germuns :}

Mingers in the true sense o the word.

Desert Diner
2nd Feb 2009, 03:25
Then how do crationists reconcile the fact that a human being continues to evolve from a sperm+egg to a fetus to a baby to an toddler etc etc.

How is that explained in Intelligent design.

The problem with Creationsim is that they took simplified stories from the Bible that were intended to explain to uneducated people how the world was formed and they took them litteraly.

The age of the world is based on some 16th century priest who took a Bible reading holiday and added up the events of the old testament.

Seven days is seven phases. Its easy enough to reconcile Genesis with the Big Bang theory if one had an open mind. Unfortunately many do not.

I blame Norman for that!

Lantern10
2nd Feb 2009, 03:46
Interesting take from Pat Condell

Origin of the species Video by Pat Condell - MySpace Video (http://vids.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=vids.individual&VideoID=10667144)

Davaar
2nd Feb 2009, 03:54
16th century priest

1650. Archbishop Ussher.

Buster Hyman
2nd Feb 2009, 04:09
Have to agree DD. Simple solution, for simple minds, in a simpler time. Just like eat fish on Friday, don't eat Pork products, or pray in this direction.

If God popped down tomorrow & decided to tell us how he did it, we'd probably still scratch our heads & not understand. Evidence suggests that Evolution is the answer, but you could go nuts asking the next questions as mentioned previously.

Desert Diner
2nd Feb 2009, 04:15
16th century priest

1650. Archbishop Ussher.

So I am off by a century and a couple of supervisory levels:uhoh:

Desert Diner
2nd Feb 2009, 04:20
Evidence suggests that Evolution is the answer, but you could go nuts asking the next questions as mentioned previously.

My answer to that is "why bother trying to resolve the unresolvable"

Religion is based on "belief." And the concept of "belief" is to accept the unanswerable.

To me, those that are trying to debunk Evolution in the name of religion may be lacking in the "belief" department

justlooking_tks
2nd Feb 2009, 04:28
I don't believe in evolution.

Things just don't happen or evolve, that includes the "big bang". God created all things. It states clearly in the Bible, if you don't believe in God you are a fool. If you don't believe in the bible and you want proof it is composed by our Creator, then may I suggest you google the codes within the bible.

Buster Hyman
2nd Feb 2009, 04:52
why bother trying to resolve the unresolvable
An inate curiosity that has driven mankind for centuries. Whilst some are happy to sit on the couch & watch the Simpsons, others strive to understand the world around them. Surely that was a rhetorical question though.

Indeed, belief is the key & I agree with you there, but that is not enough for some. Perhaps being inundated with information is a severe test of one's faith and it is probably harder than ever to maintain that faith. It's very easy to see the evidence & very hard to dismiss it and rely on faith.

The key is to not close ones mind.

Desert Diner
2nd Feb 2009, 05:01
Surely that was a rhetorical question though.


Yes it was meant as a rhetorical question.

Seeking the unknown just for the sake of knowing is an intrinsic part of being human.

Desert Diner
2nd Feb 2009, 05:34
Perhaps being inundated with information is a severe test of one's faith and it is probably harder than ever to maintain that faith. It's very easy to see the evidence & very hard to dismiss it and rely on faith.


Here is the crux of the problem. If the faith is strong and real, then none of this matters. It is only those that question their faith that are in danger of losing it in the face of evidence.

The large established religions are not openly hostile against evolution. They may not embrace it but Darwin has yet to be excommunicated or anything.

It is the frienge Protestant sects that have led the charge against Evolution.

Are they trying to debunk it because their faith is weak?

Flap 5
2nd Feb 2009, 07:45
I reckon Douglas Adams was right. Our ancestors all came here on a spaceship. We are all descended from hairdressers and accountants. That would be about right. :}

Firestorm
2nd Feb 2009, 08:18
On the whole I am with Mr Darwin on this subject, but I cannot accept that the Bendy Bus was the natural evolution of the routemaster bus, but it is either a miracle (in a bad way) or the bastard mutant of the old version.

hellsbrink
2nd Feb 2009, 08:34
Half of Britons do not believe in evolution

That's okay, as the other half don't believe in soap either!


No no no, you're thinking of the French.


Half the Brits don't believe in evolution, the other half don't believe in Dentists


(Now where did I put my wallies :} )

ZH875
2nd Feb 2009, 08:52
Things just don't happen or evolve, that includes the "big bang".


In the beginning, there was nothing, that exploded and created the universe......


Just what did actually explode, and what primed that explosion?

Mariner9
2nd Feb 2009, 09:38
It states clearly in the Bible, if you don't believe in God you are a fool :rolleyes:
And it states clearly in various books by Dawkins et al, if you do believe in God, you are a fool.

Can't both be right.

Moral: Never assume the written word is unquestioningly correct :=

hellsbrink
2nd Feb 2009, 09:49
In the beginning, there was nothing, that exploded and created the universe......


Just what did actually explode, and what primed that explosion?

That brings in another theory, the "steady state".

Basically, what some scientists think is that the universe is in a constant state of expansion/contraction. At this moment, it is expanding, but at some point in the future that stops and everything contracts in on itself until you get one big ball of <whatever> which then explodes and starts the whole cycle off again.

But what started the cycle in the first case, and where did the matter come from?

In other words, nobody has a clue

BellyAir
2nd Feb 2009, 09:51
Classic reposte - 'why are there still apes'.

It's rattled out by those who need to believe in a devine benefactor.

The driving force of evolution is not to achieve the highest form of life (we can debate whether humans have achieved that another time), the driving force of evolution is survival.

If a new characteristic aids the survivability of an animal than that animal will pass on the characteristic to its progeny and so forth.

So there are still apes because they are quite happy in their habitat. Unfortunately they cannot evolve fast enough to cope with the encroachment and destruction of their habitat so they are all now struggling.

It's not illegal to question evolution, what should be illegal is that so many churchy types rattle out the same old rubbish arguments when even a little bit of research into the subject would dismiss most of the arguments put forward.

There are none so blind as those who will not see.

Captain Stable
2nd Feb 2009, 09:54
Then how do crationists reconcile the fact that a human being continues to evolve from a sperm+egg to a fetus to a baby to an toddler etc etc.That's not evolution. That's organic development.

Basically, evolution states that if, say you have a herd of animals that get predated by some carnivore, sooner or later a mutant will be born - one with longer legs, or more stamina. That animal will be more likely to survive being chased by the predators and will therefore be more likely than it's mates to live to procreate and thereby pass on its mutant genes to the next generation, who will therefore be more likely to survive. Similarly, among the predators, sooner or later a mutant will be born with different colouring that enables it to hide better, and to creep up closer on its prey, making it more likely to be able to kill and therefore less likely to starve to death like the herd down the road who are still battling with the problem of how to catch that herd of evolved animals that have developed longer legs...

FWIW, belief in evolution is not incompatible with belief in God. All you need to accept is that God made the world with room to develop on its own.

Alternatively, you can accept, if you will, that God plays around with His creation every now and then - for example, by creating the occasional mutant to see how it fares.

Belief in evolution is only incompatible with belief in God if you accept Genesis as the exact, literal truth. For that to be the case, men would have to possess fewer ribs than women. And they don't.

airborne_artist
2nd Feb 2009, 09:56
The same lot who don't believe in Darwin probably think you can't get pregnant having sex standing up, pissed out of their heads, in an alley-way :ok:

hellsbrink
2nd Feb 2009, 09:59
Those debunking evolution should just look at the Galapagos nowadays, where one species of bird has actually evolved in a way that the ones which live near humans on the islands now has a smaller beak than the others of the same species elsewhere on the islands due to the change in the food it can have.

There are plenty of other examples of similar things happening around the world, even humans are still evolving.

Choxolate
2nd Feb 2009, 10:10
FWIW, belief in evolution is not incompatible with belief in God. All you need to accept is that God made the world with room to develop on its own.

Alternatively, you can accept, if you will, that God plays around with His creation every now and then - for example, by creating the occasional mutant to see how it fares.
It is not a question of compatibility, you can keep pushing God back into smaller and smaller niches as knowledge increases. Those niches have already become so small that God has become redundant in an explanation of the natural world.

It started with a literal belief in the Genesis account for many centuries, it is now at the point where (except for a few fundies) Genesis cannot be taken as a realistic or even allegorical explanation of the natural world - it is simply wrong in every respect.

If "being compatible" works for you then fine - however, to me, it is just a way of attempting to rationalise an irrational belief.

SilsoeSid
2nd Feb 2009, 10:19
KDY is awarded todays evolutionist 'Stating the bleeding obvious' award;
if you go back far enough we are related to all the species that have ever lived.



Belly Air, absolute twoddle!

"Classic reposte - 'why are there still apes'.
It's rattled out by those who need to believe in a devine benefactor."

No, it's a question posed by those who don't necessarily believe in a particular theory and who are trying to make sense about that particular way of thinking.


"The driving force of evolution is not to achieve the highest form of life (we can debate whether humans have achieved that another time), the driving force of evolution is survival."

So how come the 'bottom of the food chain' is still around?


If a new characteristic aids the survivability of an animal than that animal will pass on the characteristic to its progeny and so forth.

Only because if an animal doesn't survive, it wouldn't be able to pass anything on! :rolleyes:


"So there are still apes because they are quite happy in their habitat. Unfortunately they cannot evolve fast enough to cope with the encroachment and destruction of their habitat so they are all now struggling."

So how for example did the homo sapiens of Borneo evolve but not the other ape variants on the same island?


"It's not illegal to question evolution, what should be illegal is that so many churchy types rattle out the same old rubbish arguments when even a little bit of research into the subject would dismiss most of the arguments put forward."

Not yet it's not, but other hotly debated subjects in certain countries are! Besides, what little research would you recommend? I am most interested in the very beginning.


There are none so blind as those who will not see.

And none so deaf as those who will not listen! :ok:



Another question, how come the dinosaurs haven't re-evolved from the creatures that survived whatever killed them off? Surely if we all descended from the same creatures, evolution might have started again.

After all, Belly Up tells us "The driving force of evolution is survival!"

Captain Stable
2nd Feb 2009, 10:19
Choxolate, you miss my point, which is to point out the irrationality of claiming, as some people do, that they are believing Christians and therefore don't (or can't) believe in Evolution.

I find no contradiction in my belief in God and acceptance of Darwin. I believe that God created the Universe and everything that we see therein. I also believe that He is outside that Universe (he has to, or He would have been created with it) and that since we cannot see outside the four dimensions in which we live, we cannot find Him.

He did not, however, create a closed, undeveloping, non-evolving Universe. We know this too, since we have seen stars explode, new stars come into being, in just the few hundred years we have been able to watch and record events a little further out in the Universe. And since things out there change and evolve, things here must be able to as well.

Ergo, my thesis, that the fundamentalist religionists who claim belief in the exact, literal truth of Genesis are idiots, is, I would humbly suggest to this intelligent audience, proven.

Parapunter
2nd Feb 2009, 10:25
Basically, what some scientists think

You won't find many serious proponents of steady state theory. Well, not since Fred Hoyle died anyway.

hellsbrink
2nd Feb 2009, 10:27
So how for example did the homo sapiens of Borneo evolve but not the other ape variants on the same island?


Because Homo Sapiens were not indigenous to Borneo, they migrated there from elsewhere, whereas the ape variants are indgenous?

A bit like the Aborigines, they weren't in Aus originally but things like the platypus were.........

SilsoeSid
2nd Feb 2009, 10:39
Isn't religion a bit of a red herring here?
After all, wasn't Darwin an agnostic, even after writing his theory? Some here are saying that evolution is the be all and end all, well if Darwin didn't think that , why are you?

Darwin doubted The Bible as history, which I would say we all probably agree with, much like we should perhaps do with his book.



Hellsbrink,

Are you saying that in just 150 years or so a species of bird (that you can't even name :suspect: ) has evolved on the Galapagos Islands because it is now feeding on the food the human inhabitants of the islands leave for it?

Surely bird word have got round to tell the others of the species that there are easy pickings to be had!


As you say, "even humans are still evolving", I agree, and in the same veil as your mysterious Galapagos birds ... There are those who work to put food on their table and those who rely on handouts ! :ok:

Storminnorm
2nd Feb 2009, 10:43
Let's face it. There are bright apes and stupid apes.
It's all the luck of the draw whichever section you
finish up in.
Note well that many of the stupid apes seem to have
been working in finance lately. Hence problems.
The biggest worry is, however, where will they work
NEXT? :confused:

Captain Stable
2nd Feb 2009, 10:44
Airline management :sad:

Storminnorm
2nd Feb 2009, 10:46
Sorry Capt, they've been there for years.
You should know that already.

hellsbrink
2nd Feb 2009, 10:47
Hellsbrink,

Are you saying that in just 150 years or so a species of bird (that you can't even name http://static.pprune.org/images/smilies/cwm13.gif ) has evolved on the Galapagos Islands because it is now feeding on the food the human inhabitants of the islands leave for it?

Surely bird word have got round to tell the others of the species that there are easy pickings to be had!


As you say, "even humans are still evolving", I agree, and in the same veil as your mysterious Galapagos birds ... There are those who work to put food on their table and those who rely on handouts

Give me a few until I find the article, read it at the weekend. All is not well on Galapagos now, seemingly

Desert Diner
2nd Feb 2009, 10:49
Are you saying that in just 150 years or so a species of bird (that you can't even name ) has evolved on the Galapagos Islands because it is now feeding on the food the human inhabitants of the islands leave for it?


That can be said of the urban pigeon (aka wind rat)

hellsbrink
2nd Feb 2009, 10:50
SilsoeSid

Darwin's Galapagos species under threat - Telegraph (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/environment/conservation/4409407/Darwins-Galapagos-species-under-threat.html)


Since 1991 tourist numbers have soared from 41,000 to more than 160,000 annually, while the local population has grown by four per cent every year to reach more than 40,000.
Recent research has revealed that this growing human presence is causing the evolution of some of the species to go into reverse. They found variation in beak size was decreasing in the medium ground finch when living near to humans.

SilsoeSid
2nd Feb 2009, 11:14
Blimey...Evolution works fast.


1) 150 years from rat to pigeon. Lets hope cows don't evolve wings !! :E

2) 18 years to evolve a beak that suits the environment ! :=

Strange interpretation of what is happening,
As hellsbrink highlights,
Recent research has revealed that this growing human presence is causing the evolution of some of the species to go into reverse. They found variation in beak size was decreasing in the medium ground finch when living near to humans.

Surely though, the decreasing size of the beak isn't a reversal of evolution, but evolution itself ! :confused:

ORAC
2nd Feb 2009, 11:37
Exactly. Evolution is just adaptation to the environment. The concept of evolution/devolution is false.

Interestingly the latest studies into DNA/RNA etc have shown that the supposed junk segments of the double helix contain many latent genes/forms which can rapidly be expressed under the correct environmental pressures, even triggered by the diet of the mother during pregnancy. hence you can get offspring better adapted to drier drought conditions etc. Not quite Lamarkian, but getting uncomfortably close.

Evolution is too well proved to be other than fact. Darwin's proposal of the mechanisms which drive it was a starting hypothesis which continues to change and adapt as we learn more - an evolutionary process so to speak.

I am also fascinated by the research which shows how viruses can, and do, be absorbed into the genotype and change how genes express themselves. It seems to be one of the mechanisms that give rise to the abrupt step changes which a species can undergo. Not all viral infections need be malign.

hellsbrink
2nd Feb 2009, 12:06
I remember another one, SilsoeSid, in London back in the good old days when smog was a sunny day because of all the smoke and soot from the coal fires, etc.

One species of moth changed from white to black in a few years, only in the cities, because it was camouflaged from predators better on the soot covered walls. Only a moth, I know, but we are talking about a change in the critter in about 5 years.

Captain Stable
2nd Feb 2009, 12:12
Exactly. Evolution is just adaptation to the environment.No, it is not, Orac. Go and read Darwin. Or, if you don't have time or can't be bothered, read my very short potted version of the Theory above.

Evolution is a species gradually changing not only to fit the environment better but also to suit the species better to survive and spread and compete with other species. If it were simply "adaptation to the environment" then evolution would stop once things were in balance. And, as we know, that doesn't happen.

If you remove the impetus for a species to develop or you change circumstances to remove the advantage of a mutation, then that species will devolve.

hellsbrink
2nd Feb 2009, 12:15
We can get into some real semantics here, because isn't "adapting to the environment" the way for the species to survive and spread? And since the predators will also adapt to that then these species have to continually adapt to their environment to survive, which is what evolution is all about, innit? :\

Captain Stable
2nd Feb 2009, 12:27
hellsbrink - no, it is about much more than adaptation to the environment. It is about development and improvement and (mostly) about competition. Don't rely on what you think it's about. Go read up on it. I did, a few years ago. Really quite enlightening.

ORAC
2nd Feb 2009, 12:34
It depends what you mean by adaptation to the environment.

Several writers have misapprehended or objected to the term Natural Selection. Some have even imagined that natural selection induces variability, whereas it implies only the preservation of such variations as arise and are beneficial to the being under its conditions of life.....

Nor do I believe that any great physical change, as of climate, or any unusual degree of isolation, to check immigration, is necessary in order that new and unoccupied places should be left for natural selection to fill up by improving some of the varying inhabitants. For as all the inhabitants of each country are struggling together with nicely balanced forces, extremely slight modifications in the structure or habits of one species would often give it an advantage over others; and still further modifications of the same kind would often still further increase the advantage, as long as the species continued under the same conditions of life and profited by similar means of subsistence and defence. No country can be named in which all the native inhabitants are now so perfectly adapted to each other and to the physical conditions under which they live, that none of them could be still better adapted or improved......

What do you mean by devolution? If the climate warms and a species adapts to it, that is evolution. If it then cools and the species adapts to it, that is evolution. The concept of devolution assumes some form previous form which made it better than the current form, but in what way? Is a bird a devolved form of a dinosaur?

hellsbrink
2nd Feb 2009, 12:37
This one could go all hamster wheel, but I'll bite.

Surely adapting to changes in their environment is not only development and improvement but also competition as only the ones who adapt survive the changes to the environment and go on to successfully survive in that environment, whether the adaption is because a predator has adapted faster or it is because of environmental changes?

:\

SilsoeSid
2nd Feb 2009, 12:38
Maybe all the evolution involved in hellsbrinks moth, was the inability to clean itself. ;)

Wod
2nd Feb 2009, 12:50
So many posts and no reference to Douglas Adams.

Argonautical
2nd Feb 2009, 13:10
The white moth that changed to black is changing back to white again because the environment has been cleaned up.

handysnaks
2nd Feb 2009, 14:09
42
So many posts and no reference to Douglas Adams.

I refer the honorable gentleman to page 2 and the good Flap 5 response
:p

I reckon Douglas Adams was right. Our ancestors all came here on a spaceship. We are all descended from hairdressers and accountants. That would be about right.

tony draper
2nd Feb 2009, 14:18
Ah the Pepper Moth,evolution by external forces,on soot darkened trees light coloured individuals stood out were easier to see and were gobbled up by birds more often than the darker ones who survived to breed and pass on their genetic material more often,pretty soon fewer and fewer light coloured critters and more and more of their dark cousins.
Along comes the clean air act and the reverse happens.
:)

Storminnorm
2nd Feb 2009, 15:16
Adapt or die Capt Drapes?

Solid Rust Twotter
2nd Feb 2009, 15:38
Resistance is futile! You will be assimilated.

KiloDeltaYankee
2nd Feb 2009, 15:44
The emergence of drug resistant strains of bacteria is an aspect of evolution that I find fascinating.

Bacteria reproduce so fast relative to other life that we can observe them developing immunity to
treatments that usually kill them.

It’s like a mini arms race…with counter-measures….and counter-counter measures and so on.

You may have heard of MRSA….also there are deadly strains of TB in Africa and Russia that have
developed resistance to previously effective antibiotics.

Evolution: Library: Threat of Tuberculosis (http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/evolution/library/10/4/l_104_09.html)

Studies Highlight MRSA Evolution and Resilience, January 21, 2008 News Release - National Institutes of Health (NIH) (http://www.nih.gov/news/health/jan2008/niaid-21.htm)

Storminnorm
2nd Feb 2009, 15:50
That's amazing KDY, how the hell do we manage to survive?

merlinxx
2nd Feb 2009, 15:57
It's all a load of old bollocks, I'm back off to the pub, **** the snow got me tabogan and can paddle home:E:ok:

KiloDeltaYankee
2nd Feb 2009, 17:00
Silosid you quoted Darwin out of context.
Here is the full quote:

"To suppose that the eye with all its inimitable contrivances for adjusting the focus to different distances, for admitting different amounts of light, and for the correction of Spherical and chromatic aberration, could have been formed by natural selection, seems, I freely confess, absurd in the highest degree. When it was first said that the sun stood still and the world turned round, the common sense of mankind declared the doctrine false; but the old saying of Vox populi, vox Dei ["the voice of the people = the voice of God "], as every philosopher knows, cannot be trusted in science. Reason tells me, that if numerous gradations from a simple and imperfect eye to one complex and perfect can be shown to exist, each grade being useful to its possessor, as is certain the case; if further, the eye ever varies and the variations be inherited, as is likewise certainly the case; and if such variations should be useful to any animal under changing conditions of life, then the difficulty of believing that a perfect and complex eye could be formed by natural selection, should not be considered as subversive of the theory."

Cretinism or Evilution?: An Old, Out of Context Quotation (http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/ce/3/part8.html)

BellyAir
2nd Feb 2009, 18:23
Sillysid

Belly Air, absolute twoddle!

"Classic reposte - 'why are there still apes'.
It's rattled out by those who need to believe in a devine benefactor."

No, it's a question posed by those who don't necessarily believe in a particular theory and who are trying to make sense about that particular way of thinking.


"The driving force of evolution is not to achieve the highest form of life (we can debate whether humans have achieved that another time), the driving force of evolution is survival."

So how come the 'bottom of the food chain' is still around?


If a new characteristic aids the survivability of an animal than that animal will pass on the characteristic to its progeny and so forth.

Only because if an animal doesn't survive, it wouldn't be able to pass anything on! :rolleyes:


"So there are still apes because they are quite happy in their habitat. Unfortunately they cannot evolve fast enough to cope with the encroachment and destruction of their habitat so they are all now struggling."

So how for example did the homo sapiens of Borneo evolve but not the other ape variants on the same island?


"It's not illegal to question evolution, what should be illegal is that so many churchy types rattle out the same old rubbish arguments when even a little bit of research into the subject would dismiss most of the arguments put forward."

Not yet it's not, but other hotly debated subjects in certain countries are! Besides, what little research would you recommend? I am most interested in the very beginning.


There are none so blind as those who will not see.

And none so deaf as those who will not listen! http://static.pprune.org/images/smilies/thumbs.gif



Another question, how come the dinosaurs haven't re-evolved from the creatures that survived whatever killed them off? Surely if we all descended from the same creatures, evolution might have started again.

After all, Belly Up tells us "The driving force of evolution is survival!"

All of this proves that if you were in the jungle, you wouldn't be passing on your characteristics.

How can you listen to an written email?

The myriad of paths that evolution can follow means that any two runs would lead to entirely different species. Hence no dinosaurs, sorry.

If you were a little open minded I would be happy to discuss this all with you in detail. Any book on diversity will help you understand. Pick a book, and read it - that's my recommendation to you.

If evolution vs creation means so much to you, you should spend some time checking out the opposition.

The biggest laugh I had regarding this topic was when I heard about that museum in the US which has dinosaurs and humans living side by side.

Islam denies the existence of dinosaurs altogether and the Jurassic Park films are still banned in Iran et al.

The bottom of the food chain exists for the same reason as the top of the food chain. The numbers are different and you will find that those animals that are preyed upon reproduce in far greater numbers than those at the top. There is balance. This should have been covered in year 8 science.

As for your other questions; if an animal can survive within its habitat, its niche if you will then any change or mutation will not enhance its survivability and therefore has no advantage to be passed on.

:rolleyes:

Captain Stable
2nd Feb 2009, 19:12
Islam denies the existence of dinosaurs altogether and the Jurassic Park films are still banned in Iran et al.Not quite sure where you got that one from - do you have an authoritative reference for it?

And please could you post in a legible font? Thanks.

If you want to quote someone, put {quote} one side of the text and {/quote} the other, but replace the curly brackets with square ones.

BlooMoo
2nd Feb 2009, 19:12
So how come the 'bottom of the food chain' is still around?

According to Darwin there is technically no 'bottom' or 'top' to a food chain apart from in an instantaneous sense. The concept of 'food chain' itself evolves as a function of which species predominate at any given time which in turn is a function of the emergence or extinction performance of those species - a bit like the political concept of poverty.

If you're really
trying to make sense about that particular way of thinking.


which I suspect you're not but on the long shot that you are then I suggest 1st read Darwin's 'Origin of Species' - get it here (http://darwin-online.org.uk/)

then watch 'The Lion King' - trailer here (http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=SNtbZf0JhmA), paying particular attention to the 'circle of life' analogy.

bnt
2nd Feb 2009, 19:32
I have a problem with the way the question is phrased: "believing in evolution".

When did science become a "belief"? You don't have to "believe" it if you don't want to, because it doesn't carry any baggage with it. It's a "work in progress", not a perfect theory, but it doesn't need to be, because it carries no consequences for us here and now. It doesn't tell you how to behave, or what kind of people you should consort with, or what to eat or not. There are no evolutionary hymns, or prayers, or observances. It's quite possible to understand the theory of evolution as the best match for the evidence, while retaining your religious belief - as has already been pointed out by the Archbishop of Canterbury.

So, why is it so threatening to some believers? My hypothesis is that it kicks humans off centre stage, just as Copernicus (Galileo, Kepler et al) moved the Earth away from the centre of the Universe. If we are only one product of the same evolutionary processes that produced all the other animals, we are not special. We are just another animal. We carry no "spark of life" that the other animals do not also carry. Religions talk about "humility", but where's the humility in thinking you are the "Chosen People"?

So, my question for everyone is: can you handle your place in Nature as just another animal, albeit one that wears shoes? Can you peer in to the Total Perspective Vortex (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Technology_in_The_Hitchhiker%27s_Guide_to_the_Galaxy#Total_P erspective_Vortex) and come out with your mind in one piece? :E

BlooMoo
2nd Feb 2009, 23:27
bnt - very well put.

This is the threat to believers (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uncertainty)

of course the highly vocal believers say they're certain. But in their gut, they're not, so they always find themselves being drawn to debates - like this one - where they feel they can finally express their 'belief' in rational terms.

However, they do this in expectation that they can get a response, soundbite, anything in fact, from ensuing dialogue that can be interpreted in some way, to justify and reinforce their personal comfort zone i.e belief - and that there's an 'argument out there' that might end their personal angst.

They're servicing their doubt, not their belief, by doing so.

In their 'gut' they know the rational approach is futile when faced with an audience that insists on purely rational argument, but, their correct instinct that they have doubt is enough for them to keep trying...

Miserlou
3rd Feb 2009, 00:21
I found this film very enlightening with regard to religion. I would love to hear the church's response.

YouTube - Zeitgeist - The Movie - 2 of 13 (Part 1 of 3 on Religion) (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KeZB2EsPqGE)

justlooking_tks
3rd Feb 2009, 02:22
bnt

"We are just another animal."

Speak for yourself please.

Miserlou
3rd Feb 2009, 13:42
My impression here is that many consider adaptation to be a conscious action. It isn't. It's pure chance.

If and when a mutation occurs which causes the species to increase its number then it will be passed on because it increases the number of its species. A kind of snowball effect.

It is in exactly this way that blondes(and don't laugh, this is serious stuff), who otherwise have the evolutionary odds stacked against them, are contrary to theory not dying out. Because they are considered more attractive (or just easy) they breed more or at least are more popular for breeding thus increasing their number.

I will try to find the reference for the above as it is a genuine theory and not the light-hearted comment which I have made it appear.

Blacksheep
3rd Feb 2009, 14:13
Bacteria reproduce so fast relative to other life that we can observe them developing immunity to treatments that usually kill them."***** kills 99% of household germs..."

Its the other 1% that worry me. :uhoh:

Natural selection and evolution are evidently related, but not necessarily the same thing. Natural selection seems to work by small adaptations to slow changes in the environment. Evolution on the other hand seems to occur when there is a massive and relatively rapid change in the environment. Such as a meteor collision or a major eruption on the Yellowstone scale. Eyeballs are not likely results of slow steady natural selection but would be a plausible result of a series of mutations following a series of major catastrophies over several millenia.

Those bacteria don't develop immunity, they either die or they don't. The ones that don't die are mutations of the original bacterial species that happen to possess immunity. The population first reduces to a minute percentage of the original then the mutations reproduce to restore the original population levels.

You wouldn't slowly develop an ability to drink hydrochloric acid. In 99.999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999 9999999999% of cases it will result in a horrible death. Yet our stomachs are loaded with hydrochloric acid and we would be unable to digest our food without it.

Captain Stable
3rd Feb 2009, 14:34
Blacksheep, I think what would kill us is the damage the HCl does as it goes down, before it reaches the stomach. Acid reflux from, say, a hiatus hernia can be very painful and damaging.

The body has all sorts of little bugs, chemicals etc. that are fine and dandy - nay, necessary - where they are normally kept. But if they get out to other areas of the human anatomy, they can kill very, very rapidly. Take bugs from your digestive system and insert them in the bloodstream and you would be a very sick Blacksheep.

Snakes are, generally, susceptible to death from their own venom. And yet they have lots of it...

The biggest danger from bacteria is in people ingesting antibiotics when they don't need them (e.g., injected into meat livestock or prescribed by an irresponsible medic) or failing to complete a required course of antibiotics that leaves bacteria alive and, now, immune (or, at least, resistant) to that particular antibiotic.

Roger Sofarover
3rd Feb 2009, 16:01
Captain Stable

I also believe that He (God) is outside that Universe (he has to, or He would have been created with it) and that since we cannot see outside the four dimensions in which we live, we cannot find Him.So how has he been written about in the good book? Who saw him? What you have written is akin to what David Icke writes about aliens, and everyone thinks he is raving mad. Read logically what you have written and ask why you believe! I think it is because (like many millions of others) you want/need to believe. How can anybody have written about the existence of God if no one can find him? He is after all in the 4th dimension. God was used as a metephor thousands of years ago to explain all of those things that were unexplainable, that, as we progress in to the 21st century are explainable. The problem is that for thousands of years a lot of people have recognised the 'power and money' in this thing called God, it is well documentated throughout history, and some people still choose to perpetuate the story. Think about it, if you believe in God, there are many many people who cash in on it. If God is omnipotent, then why the need to go to church and donate thousands of bucks? The bucks mean nothing to him (or her), infact i am sure he would rather you save your money and stay at home and pray to him on the direct line. Go and ask one of the evangelical TV clergy that speak in the USA and make $100 million a year and claim to talk to God, if you can have $1million to help you and your family out of crisis and to give your granny a much needed heart transplant and see how Godley and saintly they are! I don't think you will get your 1 mill, yet they speak to him (in the 4th dimension i guess).


To get right back to the thread, the survey in question is complete pants. I do not believe anyone could successfully use it in a scientific study as the questions are too vague. 50% do not believe in evolution!!and some of those believe in intelligent design. Well I guess I, and many pruners at the start of this thread fall in to the category. I have a belief in evolution, not sure at all about creationism, but when asked about evolution I would still say 'yes, but you know, some things especially about the human just seem so amazingly unbelievable to have happened by pure chance'. That answer would mean that those taking the survey put me in the 'believes in intelligent design, not evolution box'. The statistics are meaningless.

OFSO
3rd Feb 2009, 16:14
Look at the Prime Minister of Great Britain and tell me with a straight face we are (still) evolving !

Captain Stable
3rd Feb 2009, 16:18
Roger, I am not going to defend my belief in God to someone who so insultingly sneers at it.

I am simply attempting to point out that belief in God and acceptance of Darwin's Theory of Evolution are not mutually incompatible.

I hope that answers your panic.

Roger Sofarover
3rd Feb 2009, 16:19
OFSO

He is the bit that proves the 'devolving' bit about the theory:}

Roger Sofarover
3rd Feb 2009, 16:25
Captain Stable

I have not insultingly sneered at your belief and if you think so then I apologise, I am asking you a number of questions about your statement and have thrown in a few observations of my own, and you have done the classic 'believer' thing by avoiding the whole issue and saying you will not answer. What have i written that was insulting? I mentioned David Icke and what he beleives in..fact, I mentioned people believe he is raving mad...fact, i mentioned evangelical clergy making $100 mill a year in the states..fact. I mentioned about God being a metephor...up for intelligent discussion. Over to you (and there is definitely no panic over this).

Captain Stable
3rd Feb 2009, 16:56
So how has he been written about in the good book?Divine revelation. No, I don't understand how it works, but it does.Who saw him?Quite a few people - read the book (or one of the books) to find out who.What you have written is akin to what David Icke writes about aliens, and everyone thinks he is raving mad.I concur with that view. I believe about 1% of what David Icke believes.Read logically what you have written and ask why you believe! I think it is because (like many millions of others) you want/need to believe.Thanl you for your conclusion. It is wrong. I have no need to believe. I simply do. I could manage my life quite happily without belief.How can anybody have written about the existence of God if no one can find him?Divine revelation. See above.He is after all in the 4th dimension. No - he is outside all the dimensions we know. The fourth dimension is generally regarded as being time. That we cannot transcend those dimensions does not mean that He cannot. After all, if He created them, I think He would be able to tinker with them.God was used as a metephor (that's spelled "metaphor", by the way) thousands of years ago to explain all of those things that were unexplainable, that, as we progress in to the 21st century are explainable.And how much do you think is still to be explained? The more we understand, the more we realise remains to be understood. Tell me when you think we'll get there.The problem is that for thousands of years a lot of people have recognised the 'power and money' in this thing called God, it is well documentated throughout history, and some people still choose to perpetuate the story. Think about it, if you believe in God, there are many many people who cash in on it. If God is omnipotent, then why the need to go to church and donate thousands of bucks? The bucks mean nothing to him (or her), infact i am sure he would rather you save your money and stay at home and pray to him on the direct line. Go and ask one of the evangelical TV clergy that speak in the USA and make $100 million a year and claim to talk to God, if you can have $1million to help you and your family out of crisis and to give your granny a much needed heart transplant and see how Godley and saintly they are!Like you, I don't think money means much to God. I often say that you can tell what He thinks about money from the sort of people He gives it to... And if you think that someone on a free TV channel with a bad hairdo is typical of the majority of believers in the world, I think you may need a reality check. Sure, lots of people misuse belief in God as a means of making money. Does that then necessarily invalidate the belief of others? I don't think you will get your 1 mill, yet they speak to him (in the 4th dimension i guess).See above about the 4th. Dimension. And I don't see my belief as a means to get rich.

BellyAir
3rd Feb 2009, 17:04
Not quite sure where you got that one from - do you have an authoritative reference for it?

got me there. I read it a few years ago can't find a sausage about it now.

BellyAir
3rd Feb 2009, 17:14
Roger, I am not going to defend my belief in God to someone who so insultingly sneers at it.

I'm not sure he does.

I get pretty annoyed when I see someone pushing a door that should be pulled.

But this isn't a theological discussion, it's about evolution which is beyond question.

The fact that allegedly half of Britons don't 'believe' in it is proof of the antipathy that everyday British folk apply to everything. It doesn't affect them so why waste brain power considering it.

Mariner9
3rd Feb 2009, 17:19
Divine revelation is quite handy really. Without it, religious tomes such as Bible/Torah/Quran etc would have no basis. Makes you wonder why divine revelation hasn't evolved in more of us :hmm:

Captain Stable
3rd Feb 2009, 19:08
BellyAir - antipathy or apathy?

That such a proportion of Brits don't "believe" in it I take simply as lack of education. They don't understand it (witness a few people here spouting about it without ever having read it) and cut out biology in order to do meeja studies instead.

Miserlou
3rd Feb 2009, 21:27
Since this had thread-shifted and religion is again poisoning the debate, I'd like to draw further attention to the link I posted earlier.

Quite a clear demonstration of the plagiarized nature of most religious texts, the original being a more than 12,000 year old astrological chart.

Whoever your Son of God is, he is a misprint as SUN of God is what is actually meant. They all refer to the sun. On the 25th December the sun born(rises) in the house of Virgo(virgin) which is found by using Sirius(the star in the east) and Orion's belt(the 3 kings) as pointers. Virgo is written as a altered M and symbolized as a virgin holding a sheaf of wheat thus Bethlehem literally translated means house of bread.
Having just followed the winter solstice the sun remains at its lowest point, near the Southern Cross constellation, for three days before its journey north. Thus it remains dead for 3 days and is resurrected and the days begin to get longer. This is celebrated at Easter, the spring equinox, which marks the triumph of light over dark, good over evil or the days being longer than the nights.

I won't bore you with any more but the Bible is just another rehash of the sun's movement in the sky. Of course, it doesn't actually say that there is no God, except to say God's Sun, but these people worshipped the sun for the miracles it does. Isn't that good enough? Occam's Razor removes the need for anything more mysterious.

Capot
3rd Feb 2009, 21:52
Miserlou, who's your dealer? I really need some of that stuff.

Miserlou
3rd Feb 2009, 22:16
Capot.
Is that the best you can come up with?

It may be hard to believe but there are still millions around the world who take the Bible/Tora/Koran as the truth or undeniable word of God.

Now, what would you like to contribute?

Mike Whiskey Romeo
4th Feb 2009, 01:43
Hope you don't mind my intrusion but for what its worth:
I am an atheist. I do not believe in a god. I feel that everything that ever was, is and will be in the Universe can be explained through the sciences. Hence, my belief in evolution.

As previously posted the idea of a superior being creating everything was used to explain the unexplainable in times past. Luckily modern science has now explained a lot of the unexplainables.

Sure there are somethings we don't understand but science continues to seek an understanding.

Personally, and I know this is going off on a slight tangent, religions are, to me, one of the greatest evils in the world. The church (in all faiths and doctrines) is a money and power hungry institution feeding off the needs of the weak.

I did at one stage, not so long ago, believe in God and Jesus and Mary and the rest of the cast. However this "belief" was forced upon me by family and the education system when I was young and impressionable.

Also, most wars that ever were fought, were fought because of some form of religious belief. Whether thats the Spanish Inquisition, the slaying of Jews, Kurds or palestinians, or extremist rebels who's doctrine tells them to blow themselves up.

I think we have to ask ourselves how we think about religion and does it really make the world a better place?

Sorry for kind of hijacking the thread, just my two cents

under_exposed
4th Feb 2009, 09:09
No - he is outside all the dimensions we know.
So how do you know he is there?

BellyAir
4th Feb 2009, 10:20
BellyAir - antipathy or apathy?

That such a proportion of Brits don't "believe" in it I take simply as lack of education.

That's what happens when you try to type and land in a 30 knot crosswind at the same time.

I meant apathy of course.

Funny though, I take the belief in a divine entity in a similar way.

Captain Stable
4th Feb 2009, 11:51
Dec. 25th. is Capricorn.

I apologise for having defended my belief in God here. I was not intending thread drift, and had not intended to get into a debate on how on earth it is possiuble to believe in God. I will not answer any more questions on my belief - that is not what this thread is about.

What I intended was pointing out that belief in God does not imply blind acceptance of creationism or "intelligent design" :rolleyes: and that such belief does not negate acceptance of Darwinian Evolution.

Now - anyone want to talk about Evolution? If you're merely interested in knocking either organised religion or belief in God, then don't bother, please. Just hit the "Back" button.

Miserlou
4th Feb 2009, 13:53
Captain Stable,
This thread has been renamed.

Draw the line along Orion's belt and carry it on through Sirius and see where it ends.

Roger Sofarover
4th Feb 2009, 13:57
Captain Stable

25th Dec is Capricorn you are correct, but that is not what Miserlou is saying. There are 12 zodiac signs all of which have constellations in the sky. On Dec 25 the Sun rises in the house of Virgo, ie in that space in the sky occupied by Virgo. Regardless of what month it is you will find many of the constellations of the zodiac in the night sky.

The only thing I cannot get my head around religion (and this is now also a religion thread) is how believers pick and choose what they want from the good book. You either believe what it says, or you don't. Did Moses part the Red Sea? or was that a metephor? If you believe the latter, then maybe God was also used as a metephor. If you believe in what it says in the Bible, then creationism can be your only permitted thought process, anything else blasphemes the very God you worship, because the Bible is his word.

Captain Stable
4th Feb 2009, 13:58
I'm willing to bet a fair amount it doesn't end at Bethlehem.

And did you check your star charts lately? :E

Yes, I had realised the thread had been renamed. Some mod had a brainfart and decided to trash the thread. Probably the same mod who banned me from the US politics thread for pointing out that the republicans had lost the election. :rolleyes:
Whatever.

Capt Stable, not only do you sulk, you also tell fibs. Or, if we want to be un-PC, you're lying.
You were banned from that thread, for 3 whole days :eek: , because rather than "pointing out that the republicans had lost the election", you attacked another poster personally.
You played the player rather than the ball.
As was pointed out to you both on thread and on the banning notice. :)





They seem to think that anything which includes the word "religion" in it is automatically about religion. Nevertheless, the thread started out about evolution - a worthwhile discussion. As we all know, "discussions" on here about religion aren't worth the bandwidth. Hence (partly) my initial refusal to get drawn, and my hardened resolve now.

Roger, what on earth do you think MAKES a season that of "Virgo"? (or Capricorn, for that matter). I'll give you a BIG clue:-

The fact that the sun is in that constellation. It rises there. It sets there. It stays there during the whole of that month.

Due to changes in the heavens over the years, NOW there is no relation between the two, Igrant. However, we are talking about 2,000 years ago (give or take).

On Dec 25th. the sun rose in Capricorn. It was nowhere near Virgo.

Go look it up.

Edited to add:- While we're talking about weird stuff people believe in; apparently 31% of Americans believe there is a scientific basis for astrology.

Harris Interactive | The Harris Poll - The Religious and Other Beliefs of Americans 2003 (http://www.harrisinteractive.com/harris_poll/index.asp?PID=359)

Miserlou
4th Feb 2009, 14:49
Don't let modern newspaper astrology colour your view of this explanation.

The house refered to is the rise of the sun at the spring equinox which was observed at least as far back as the ancient Egyptians to show some precession. It moves backwards through the zodiac taking some 260,000 years to do so. Each zodiacal sign then, lasts approximately 2150 years. This period is known as an 'age' or 'eon'.

The Bible tells of the Sun enteriing a new 'age', that of Pisces, hence the international Christian fish symbol. The sun will also be with us as we enter the next age, the of Aquarius, and will be with us through all the ages. The Bible even tells of Aquarius, the water bearer.

It kinds of takes the mystery out of it, like knowing what the magician knows.

The graphical representation in the film are much clearer than my description.

Captain Stable
4th Feb 2009, 14:55
The house that the sun appeared in at the spring equinox was Aries.

The Christian fish symbol is nothing to do with Pisces.

It comes from the Greek:- 'Iesous Christos Theou Yios Soter' which translates as 'Jesus Christ, Son of God, Saviour'. Look at the initials. ICThYS or ICTHUS (given the difficulties of transliteration) which is Greek for "Fish".

The symbol of the fish was used as a secret sign to other Christians during the time of persecution.

Hope this helps.

Roger Sofarover
4th Feb 2009, 15:27
Captain Stable

Now if you want to get technical then at the moment all of the zodiacal signs are completely out as nobody took precession of the equinoxes into account, so actually Capricorn is not on Dec 25th at all. You are talking about Tropical Astrology rather than Sidereal Astrology. The Zodiac signs for your horoscope bear no resemblance to the actual constellation in the night sky. To be accurate the Sun is in Capricorn Jan 19 to Feb 15th. It is universally accepted by scholars that there is no way JC was born on Dec 25th. Shepherds do not tend their flocks by night in Dec in Israel. It is cold, it is winter and grass is pretty hard to come by. The accepted month for the birth of JC was Oct. Dec 25th was an arbitrary date given by the church to assist in the gathering of converts. Most of whom were of course Pagan, who celebrated the Winter Soltice with a festival known as The Saturnalia. This was a week long p**s up which the pagan converts were not going to readily give up, hence the church was keen to have the 25th Dec. So to be accurate, JC was born with the Sun rising in Virgo.

The bible is full of refernces to the Astrological signs, 12 Tribes of Israel, 12 Disciples, the 12 gates of Jerusalem, the 12 stones of Urim and Thummim. Anyway I digress as I find it all very interesting.

Go look it up.

Captain Stable
4th Feb 2009, 15:51
The accepted month for the birth of JC was Oct.Accepted by whom? Don't try bullsh!tting - scholars don't even know what year he was born. One gospel puts it no later than 4 BC (the death of Herod the Great), one puts it as 6 AD (the year of the first great census).

The one thing we DO know is that he sure as heck weren't born on Dec 25th, 1 AD.

The number 12 is not merely significant for astrological reasons. It bears significance for the Cinese, for example, and they don't even use the same horoscope as us. My suspicion is that it is a handy number because it is divisible by 1,2,3,4,6 and 12 itself.

12 (number) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/12_%28number%29#In_religion)

Roger Sofarover
4th Feb 2009, 16:25
Captain Stable

Just because I have read different information to you on a subject should not mean that you tell me to stop bullsh****g. The month of October is given as correct (some scholars go for Sept 29th to be accurate), and is based on all of the evidence available, in particular the conception of John the Baptist, the dates of which can accurately be calculated by the many references in the bible. JTB mother Elizabeth was 6 months pregnant, at least thats what Gabriel told Mary when he was telling her that she was about to become pregnant. Every scrap of evidence suggests that Elizabeth was 6 months pregnant in Dec. Please do not accuse me of BS just because we have read differently.

Scrubbed
4th Feb 2009, 16:29
this is separate and distinct field of research called Abiogenesis.

I used to fly them around the outback. Lots of evolutionistic theories about them fellas...

Captain Stable
4th Feb 2009, 16:41
Roger, I have read probably easily as widely as you have, and possibly wider.

There is evidence out there, certainly. No, we cannot calculate anything with any certainty whatsoever, since it all requires either disreagrding some of the evidence, or guesswork, or approximation.

In requesting you not to bullsh!t, I was referring specifically to you assertion that "The accepted month for the birth of JC was Oct."

In the immortal words of Tom Baker in "Blackadder", "On that matter, opinion is divided".

At least we have managed to silence Miserlou's acid dream... :p

Miserlou
4th Feb 2009, 18:45
Not quite silenced, Capt.
To silence my acid dream, as you put it, would require the production of some theory which made the Bible make as much sense as the explanation I gave earlier. Apart from displaying your lack of willingness to listen and try to accept or understand an alternative view you have offered no challenge.

Take 10 minutes to watch the video; it is clearly explained and requires very little further effort to verify.

An interesting note on the historical Jesus.
Scholars who do not use the Gospels as a reference find no mention of JC's existence, let alone his birthday, until at least 30 years after his alleged death, quite long enough for him to have entered the urban legend. One would expect more for a character who was allegedly such a thorn in the side of the authorities.
The gospels themselves are thought to have been written some 4 decades later still. Obviously, they were copying an earlier script.

Thus we return to my proposition that the reason that Jesus and so many other Sons of God, Lamb of the Earth, Light of the Earth, Alpha & Omega, etc, etc are so similar is that they have the same source.
Furthermore, the reason that they make so little sense is that they describe the movement of a heavenly body and apply it to a man.

Result, confusion and argument for all eternity.

Captain Stable
4th Feb 2009, 19:15
If you could please post such a link I would be grateful.

One reason why there is little in the way of immediately contemporary accounts of Jesus' life may be that, in the main, the majority of his followers were illiterate. Matthew, as a tax collector probably was not. Paul certainly was not, but he never met Jesus.

I suspect that, given the number of (other?) messiahs there had been, once Jesus was dead, the authorities thought "OK - problem solved". Except, of course, for hunting down his followers and killing them wherever they could be found - which might have inhibited their muse slightly. Furthermore, it took time and considerable effort to write a book in those days. They were heavy, and, furthermore, had to be hidden.

When you refer to the Gospels, do you mean simply the canonical gospels, or do you include such works as the Gospel of Thomas?

Miserlou
4th Feb 2009, 19:43
Here is a link to a good account. This and the next episode are relevant to the debate.
YouTube - Zeitgeist [Religion] The Greatest Story Ever Sold (1of 3) (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BNf-P_5u_Hw)

The historical scholars use all the biblical texts and use historical methodology to establish what they hypothesize to be the most accurate story.
All very well but using only biblical texts assumes the existance of the subject, which other historians are not so quick to assume.

One gospel which I would like to hear more of is that of Judas. Apparently, JC considered him to be the only sensible disciple and agreed the plan which we now know as the betrayal. Just something JC and Judas orchestrated to dupe the others and create a myth.
Interesting theory.

Scrubbed
4th Feb 2009, 19:52
Zitgeist is quite a tale. But believing what they tell you just because they tell you is no less foolish than believing what the bible says.

The bible and the concept of "God" are so full of holes that anyone who can use his brain doesn't really need the Zitgeist program to wean himself off these beliefs. It is, nonetheless, quite entertaining (Zitgeist, that is. The bible is just plain boh-ring....:zzz:)

Captain Stable
5th Feb 2009, 11:10
Apparently, JC considered him to be the only sensible disciple and agreed the plan which we now know as the betrayal. Just something JC and Judas orchestrated to dupe the others and create a myth.Yes. I'm sure if you read and believe things like "The Da Vinci Code" you'll pick up all sorts of hare-brained stuff.

I started watching that video clip. It is the most appalling load of error-riddled claptrap I have ever seen. I have not watched it all the way through because it is simply not worth it. It states no sources, it has no authorities, it simply states as facts a load of made-up rubbish.

For example:-

Horus is not the Egyptian Sun god - that is Ra
Horus was not the product of a virgin birth - his parents were Isis and Osiris
Set was not the god of darkness, but the god of the desert and chaos - also, interestingly, of stability
Set's fights with Isis, Osiris and Horus were not "daily events" but an ongoing struggle that was settled
Set fought FOR Ra against Apep, the god of darkness and the underworld
There is no evidence whatsoever for any of the other claims for Horus, having disciples, performing miracles, being crucified, resurrected, etc.
Similarly, there is nothing in the legend of Attis as related which is recognisable in my book of Greek Mythology
Krishna was not born of a virgin. He belonged to the royal family of Mathura, and was the eighth son born to the princess Devaki, and her husband Vasudeva.
There is nothing to suggest in the Baghavad Ghita that Krishna was resurrected.
Dionysus was not born of a virgin. His father was Zeus. There is no evidence whatsoever that legend states his date of birth as 25th. Deccember.
I could go on but it's a total waste of time. Miserlou, if you believe ANYTHING in that heap of [email protected] you're not worth discussing with any further.

Cheerio
5th Feb 2009, 11:32
Is there evidence that Jesus was born of a virgin? :confused:

Scrubbed
5th Feb 2009, 11:36
I imagine all evidence of virginity was obliterated by the time his head popped out.

What I want to know is what the heck Joseph was waiting for all that time, that she could still be a virgin after Day One of marriage (HIGHLY unlikely)... Maybe he was waiting for her to have a wax, prior to the comsummation??

Miserlou
5th Feb 2009, 12:34
Capt.
The film is a valid part of the argument and no more full of inaccuracy than the story it disputes. The film still makes more sense than the Bible.

It is always good to have more than one source of information. More than one of my sources says that Ra, for example, was only one of the Egyptian sun gods. Horus was planted by the holy ghost.
Set was also ruler of the underworld (or southern Egypt) and a rival of Horus. The concept of duality or as you put it stability comes from their relationship; harmony versus chaos, north vs south, light vs dark.

Zeus being the father of Dionysus is no stranger, or less valid for this debate, than whoever Jesus was the son of.

The stories are so many and varied it is hard to know which to believe. How do you do that?
This has all passed into myth anyway and for the same reasons the Bible should go the same way.

People have spent years writing books about the inaccuracies and inconsistencies of the Bible. I see no need to trawl any more up.

Captain Stable
5th Feb 2009, 14:11
The film is a valid part of the argument and no more full of inaccuracy than the story it disputes. The film still makes more sense than the Bible.Einstein said "Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the universe."

Congratulations, Miserlou. You have compared belief in that load of total bo||ocks with ther Bible and managed to ensure the Bible actually comes off best.

The Bible - that load of (admittedly inspired but very, very shaky) legends, fairy stories, word-of-mouth hand-me-downs. THe book that, in the latter stages, actually has some corroborative support in other works.

Your favourite little video has nothing to support it, contradicts everything else you read on the subject, tells straight-out lies, exaggerations, provides no evidence, no authority, no education.

At this rate you'll have everyone converting to fundamentalist Christianity within a week - if they aren't incapacitated through laughing too much.

You managed to take on the lowest team in the amateur league and lose to them.

Pathetic.

Scrubbed
5th Feb 2009, 14:32
Horus was the Egyptian goddess of prostitution. One of the few words that came from a language other than Greek.

Captain Stable
5th Feb 2009, 15:02
Ok - that's also a new on on me. Your reference for that?

The word "whore" is proto-germanic. There is no record of the word before the 13th. century and it is therefore probably a euphemism for another word. I can't offhand think of any other words in English that have roots in ancient Egyptian. Arabic, yes. But not Egyptian.

Since Horus was actually male anyway, I suspect your post is a wind-up.

Since this thread was originally about evolution, any chance we could get back to that?

Miserlou
5th Feb 2009, 15:09
Desperate cries of some-one with no argument to put up.

The film, far from being a favourite, is just a good example of how a religious story can be put together. Much of it is to be found elsewhere with reasonable sources.
It is a shame that the world was not as critical when these stories were first uttered.

Whichever way you look at it, you can't get round the fact that you are an atheist yourself. There are many Gods in which you don't believe. I just go one God further.

It is at least reassuring to note that you accept belonging to 'the lowest team in the amateur league' but a shame that you feel you have won something over me.

Still, I'm sure you find Dennet, Hitchin, Harris and Dawkins to be just as whacko as myself so I don't find your criticizing so very scathing.
They make more sense than religion.

I note you fail to mention what independent sources you allege corroborate this biblical fairy tale.

Must be nice to live in such certainty.

PS. You may have been a bit touchy about being slagged off earlier in the thread but it is clearly not beneath you either. Fear not, you may reply at leisure as I will not sink to those depths.

Scrubbed
5th Feb 2009, 15:10
The word "whore" is proto-germanic. There is no record of the word before the 13th. century and it is therefore probably a euphemism for another word. I can't offhand think of any other words in English that have roots in ancient Egyptian. Arabic, yes. But not Egyptian.

Since Horus was actually male anyway, I suspect your post is a wind-up

When the arabs took over Egypt and started calling themselves "Egyptians", they picked up words and references from the real Egyptians, such as "Horus". That's why people think some words derived from the arabs actually come from Arabic, when they don't.

Asexual aspects of ancient polytheism are not unusual.

Cheerio
5th Feb 2009, 15:11
Since Horus was actually male anyway, I suspect your post is a wind-up.


It's no wind up, that was my understanding also. Merely an understandable slip of gender there. It is the oldest profession so they say certainly pre-13th Century. I'm sure old Egypt was not exempt from its trade. they must have had a name for it.

Roger Sofarover
5th Feb 2009, 15:27
Captain Stable

Not so many posts ago on here you said

Roger, I am not going to defend my belief in God to someone who so insultingly sneers at it.
Yet we are now faced with you blatantly sneering and mocking Miserlou. You have absolutely no right to do that. You have a belief in a God that nobody has ever seen that lives in another dimension (you believe), and those that have seen him are written about in a book several thousand years old by people whose credibility and sanity you are unable to determine. You have no right to say that Miserlou believes in bollo**s. Furthermore, of the 50 Gospels that were written, Pauline Christianity only chooses to use 4, now why is that? The other Gospels tell a quite different story. Or are they all boll**s as well?

You are wrong to stamp on him (or her) for the comments on Horus. The Egyptian pantheon of Gods was very complex and there were many variations of Horus one of them was indeed associated with the Sun and infact he was seen as being a part of Ra. He was born by an immaculate conception as his father the highest God in the Pantheon had been dead for a number of years (apart from being chopped up into many bits). When Isis conceived Horus, Osiris was a stiff (scuse the pun:}). There are many many comparisons between the lives of Horus and Jesus, and I can't be bothered to write much more. Check out this site for a little info, but you need to check out many more references on Horus before you start slagging people off. The site is probably appropriate, it is one dedicated to religious tolerance. Bye the way it may be prudent to get more than one book there is lots of evidence to suggest the birthdate of Dionysus as just after the winter solstice in line with Mythra amoungst others, 25 Dec.

Parallels between the lives of Jesus and Horus, an Egyptian God (http://www.religioustolerance.org/chr_jcpa5.htm)

Captain Stable
5th Feb 2009, 15:36
Whichever way you look at it, you can't get round the fact that you are an atheist yourself. There are many Gods in which you don't believe. I just go one God further.Wrong again. How many times are you going to spout such nonsense only to have it knocked down? "Atheism" means without god - no god - none. You cannot be slightly atheist or more atheist than someone else. It's not a matter of how many gods. Debating with you is very unfulfilling. It's too easy.It is at least reassuring to note that you accept belonging to 'the lowest team in the amateur league' but a shame that you feel you have won something over me.No. If you read my post with a little more care, you would note that it was the Bible that you lost to. You put up such a weak team that the Bible, with all it's fairy stories, legends and word-of-mouth hand-me-downs, but with juist a little corroborative evidence, beat you hands down.

Next time try to quote a rather better source.

Scrubbed:-When the arabs took over Egypt and started calling themselves "Egyptians", they picked up words and references from the real Egyptians, such as "Horus". That's why people think some words derived from the arabs actually come from Arabic, when they don't.I would expect to see some evidence, in that case, of the word "whore" or some homophone in Arabic. Yet neither the OED, of which I possess a copy here, nor any online dictionary or etymology, shows any such reference.Asexual aspects of ancient polytheism are not unusualTrue, yet I cannot find any such reference.

Cheerio:-I'm sure old Egypt was not exempt from its trade. they must have had a name for itI'm sure they did. But I see no evidence anywhere that we inherited such a word, and certainly not from the name of the god Horus, who doesn't seem from any reference I have been able to read, to have anything to do with prostitution. As I stated above, the word "whore" appears to be proto-germanic. That MAY have roots in Sanskrit, but that is the wrong part of the world. From the Mediterranean area we have prostitute from the Latin, and from Greek we have porne which originally meant "bought" as in a slave girl bought for sexual purposes. The arabic for a prostitute is "zaniya". Not anywhere close.

Finally, were Horus the god of prostitution, I think it highly unlikely that the early Christians would have been terribly keen on incorporating him into their legends of Jesus.

Scrubbed
5th Feb 2009, 15:41
<object width="425" height="344"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/BNf-P_5u_Hw&hl=en&fs=1"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/BNf-P_5u_Hw&hl=en&fs=1" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="425" height="344"></embed></object>

Here's Zitgeist, just in case anyone was wondering what it is.

Roger Sofarover
5th Feb 2009, 15:43
Well as Horus was not actually called Horus in the Ancient Egyptian Language it is pointless trying to associate the name with the word Whore. The real name was light years apart, and Horus is just a modern term for the word. Just as Jesus was never actually called Jesus, not even close.

Cheerio
5th Feb 2009, 16:28
Well thats what I beleive and no-one is going to convince me otherwise.

The Holy Horus, the more holes the better.

Captain Stable
5th Feb 2009, 16:29
Just as Jesus was never actually called Jesus, not even close.I disagree with your last part there. It most certainly WAS close.

Given that Jesus/Joshua/Joseph/Ieshua/Isa are all basically the same name, plus we still have a fairly good idea of how Aramaic was spoken, I think we have a fairly safe bet that "Jesus" was close enough for government work.

What I want to know is why he wasn't called "Emmanuel" in accordance with instructions... :uhoh: ;)

Miserlou
5th Feb 2009, 16:39
I'll type this really slowly Capt., so you have a chance of understanding.

You exhibit an atheistic attitude to all but one god. Many religious followers deny the existence of any other god. It follows then that if you do not believe in this god you are an atheist. A relative term.

Do you believe in more than one god? Believe that there are or have been others? At what point do these others cease to exist?

I realize this is a problem for you. If you believe the Bible then there is only one true god. If you don't believe in him you must be an atheist. If you do believe there are others then you have not understood your bible.

Rather than losing to the bible, your post read more like some.one backed into a corner and attacking anything which threatens you by using reason, logic and proof.

We wait patiently for the corroboratory contribution of which you have hinted but failed to produce.

Captain Stable
5th Feb 2009, 16:41
Miserlou, if you can't type fast I won't worry too much.

But go and look up "atheist" in a dictionary. You'll find it a very useful book - lots of long words in it. If you buy a good one such as the OED, you'll find it also has the origins of words in there as well as the meanings.

I have yet to see ANYTHING in ANY of your posts on this thread that contain anything of reason, logic OR proof.

Miserlou
5th Feb 2009, 20:07
The OED defines ‘atheist’ as "one who denies or disbelieves the existence of a God".

No mention of which god.

Do you deny or disbelieve the existence of Zeus, Thor, Odin? How about the Hindu Gods? Yaweh?

So do have an answer to my last post yet?

Do you believe in the bible thus denying the exisitence of any other god? Or do you not believe the bible?

That's logic and reason. Proof that religion is on borrowed time.

Still waiting for some independent, corroborative contribution.

Scrubbed
5th Feb 2009, 20:36
"Holey Horus," was a cry commonly heard from those who indulged. It's no coincidence the word "Ho" has become synonymouse with "whore" these days. People thinks it's simply black-talk but there's a deeper root meaning in it.

BlooMoo
5th Feb 2009, 20:52
Given that Jesus/Joshua/Joseph/Ieshua/Isa are all basically the same name

That's only a pattern if you omit the anomaly of Brian.

Cheerio
5th Feb 2009, 21:31
I'm waiting to be convinced that Horus had a todge. I'm certain she was a bird. A picture is worth a thousand words.

Roger Sofarover
6th Feb 2009, 03:43
Captain Stable

Given that Jesus/Joshua/Joseph/Ieshua/Isa are all basically the same name, plus we still have a fairly good idea of how Aramaic was spoken, I think we have a fairly safe bet that "Jesus" was close enough for government work.No it wasn't close enough for Government work.



His formal name: As a newborn, Jesus was probably given the Hebrew name "יהושע" (yod-he-waw-shin-ayin). This is variously transliterated as Y'hoshua, Yahoshua, Yehoshua, Yahshua,. It means "Yahweh (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yahweh) is Salvation," "God Salvation," or "Yahweh delivers." 1

This name in Hebrew is normally translated as Joshua in English, but not in Jesus' case; Jesus and Yeshua are the most common current usages.
His name translated into Greek: The Septuagint (a.k.a. LXX) is a translation of the Hebrew Scriptures (a.k.a. Old Testament) from Hebrew into "koine dialektos" a popular version of Greek. It was in very wide use in Palestine during the time of Jesus. According to tradition, the conversion to Greek was performed by 72 translators in 72 days during the 3rd century BCE (http://www.religioustolerance.org/bce.htm). According to most theologians today, it was completed in many stages between the 3rd century BCE and the 1st century CE (http://www.religioustolerance.org/ce.htm). The book of Joshua describes the conquest of Canaan, in which God ordered the Hebrews to engage in the genocide of the Canaanite people (http://www.religioustolerance.org/god_cana.htm). According to Dr. James D. Price, Professor of Hebrew and Old Testament at Temple Baptist Seminary in Chattanooga, TN, the LXX translators rendered Joshua's name (Yehoshua) as Iasous in Greek, which became Jesus in English. The Catholic Encyclopedia states that: "The Greek name is connected with verb 'iasthai,' to heal." 2
In the Christian Scriptures, Yehoshua is mentioned in Acts 7:45 and Hebrews 4. In both cases, the LXX spells the name as Iasous.
According to Wikipedia: "Clement of Alexandria and St. Cyril of Jerusalem considered the Greek form Iesous to be the original, even going so far as to interpret it as a true Greek name and not simply a transliteration of Hebrew." 3
Hebrew abbreviations of his name: Dr. White concludes that:"... in post-exilic times of the Biblical era, the names Yeshua and Yehoshua were regarded as equivalent. ... Also the Talmudic evidence indicates that historically the Jews regarded the name of Jesus as Yeshua," 4 The Nazarene Way of Essenic Studies states that: "Yeshua is also a shortened version of the word Yehoshua much like Bill is for William. ... 'Yeshua' appears there twenty-nine times, and is the name of at least five different persons and one village in the southern part of Yehudah ('Judah')." 5

Common usage in ancient times: Theologians generally believe that Jesus would have been referred to by the shorter name Yeshua ("Salvation"), at least in Jerusalem and the rest of Judea. His friends, family and disciples would have probably called him Yeshu. A posting on FaithForum.org states:
"Being historically accurate, we need to call him Yeshua. That is his name: not "Jesus". It is how his family would have referred to him and his followers probably knew him. In actuality, his name was probably pronounced in the rough regional dialect of Galilee as "Yeshu", but in Jerusalem, it was more likely fully articulated. After his death some of his followers moved into the "pagan" world and there they employed the Hellenized form of his name. But, if the Gospels are accurate to any degree, Yehsua never left Israel in his adult life. (This is actually a very important point regarding the formation of Christianity. By changing Yeshua's name to a Greek name, the writers of the Christian texts made the Gentilization of the faith seem to be something that was part of the inevitable flow of spiritual progress, and, most misleadingly, that this process was intended by Yeshua. We have to keep in mind that Yeshua was not a "Christian". He would never have heard of the term as it had not yet come into existence. 6
Sponsored links:

Later names: "Yeshua" was translated by the early Christians as "Iasous" or "Iesous" in Greek, probably in order to make his name more acceptable to Greek Pagans of the time. His name became Iesus in Latin, and was used, for example, in the title of a year 2000 declaration by the Roman Catholic Church's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith titled"Dominus Iesus (http://www.religioustolerance.org/rcc_othe.htm)" ("Lord Jesus.").
The letter "J" was notcreated until the 14th century in England and did not come into wide usage until the 17th century. 7
Iesus subsequently became Jesu in German. The English name Jesus came from the German spelling and pronunciation.

Use by the Sacred Name religious movement: The Assemblies of Yahweh and other faith groups in the Sacred Name religious movement of Christianity maintain that "Yahshua" is the only valid name by which Jesus should be called. More details (http://www.religioustolerance.org/jesusnam1.htm).
Names used on this website: We will generally use Jesus throughout this web site because this is the name with which most people are most familiar and comfortable. We do acknowledge that some consider it disrespectful to call a person by a foreign translation of his name. It is worth remembering that his family, friends, disciples and followers never called him Jesus. We do occasionally use one of his actual names: Yeshua in our essays.
References used:

The following information sources were used to prepare and update the above essay. The hyperlinks are not necessarily still active today.
"Yahshua," Wikipedia, at: http://en.wikipedia.org/ (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yahshua)
"Origin of the Name of Jesus Christ," Catholic Encyclopedia, New Advent, at: http://www.newadvent.org/ (http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/08374x.htm)
"Yeshua (name)," Wikipedia, 2007-OCT-01, at: http://en.wikipedia.org/ (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yeshua_%28name%29)
Dr. James D. Price, "Yehoshua, Yeshua or Yeshu; Which one is the name of Jesus in Hebrew?," at: Yehoshua, Yeshua or Yeshu; Which one is the name of Jesus in Hebrew? (http://www.direct.ca/trinity/yehoshua.html)
"Yeshua or Jesus," The Nazarene Way of Essenic Studies," at: http://www.thenazareneway.com/ (http://www.thenazareneway.com/yeshua_jesus_real_name.htm)
Cryptonomic, "God and Jesus' many names," at: http://www.faithforum.org/ (http://www.faithforum.org/challenge/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=2169)
Lee Warren, "How Did the Name Jesus Originate?," The Plim Report, Vol 10, #5, (2001). Online at: http://www.plim.org/ (http://www.plim.org/JesusOrigin.htm)

Captain Stable
6th Feb 2009, 08:58
Roger - excellent work. I'm most impressed.

Sadly, not nearly long enough to qualify for a DPhil thesis, but not bad at all for a GCSE.

The rest of you - pathetic.

And now, unless anyone is prepared to discuss evolution, I shall withdraw from this thread. The intellectual standard (with the exception of Roger) is so sadly lacking that it's not worth continuing. I entered this thread hoping for a non-contentious, non-sectarian, intelligent discussion of evolution. Sadly, the lure of taunting someone who openly admits (shock! horror!) to belief in God was too much for the humanist/secularist Nazis who value as nothing anything which they don't understand.

Sad.

Scrubbed
6th Feb 2009, 09:16
Roger - excellent work. I'm most impressed.


As am I.

I never knew there was so much information out there on Jesus "H" Christ. He's definitely right up there in the popularity stakes with James Bond, Sherlock "Johnny" Holmes, "Dirty" Harry Callahan and loads of other famous people who never ever actually existed!

Choxolate
6th Feb 2009, 10:05
Captain Stable. And now, unless anyone is prepared to discuss evolutionI am more than happy to discuss evolution with you. let's start with a post you made several pages back.

Evolution is a species gradually changing not only to fit the environment better but also to suit the species better to survive and spread and compete with other species.
The "better to survive and compete with other species" ARE part of the environment.. The environment is not limited to the physical temperature, climate etc. but to competition with other species - it is the TOTALITY of the influences acting on that species, so your statement above, whilst not wrong, shows a lack of understanding of what is meant by "environment" in an evolutionary context.

If it were simply "adaptation to the environment" then evolution would stop once things were in balance. And, as we know, that doesn't happen.
See above - you misunderstand the meaning of "environment"

If you remove the impetus for a species to develop or you change circumstances to remove the advantage of a mutation, then that species will devolve.
Please explain what you mean by the concept of "devolve" within the Theory of Evolution - it may help if you read this (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biological_devolution) first.

Keef
6th Feb 2009, 10:38
An atheist, if I understand the English language, is a person who doesn't believe in God (ANY god). To say I'm an atheist because I'm a Christian, and don't believe in Horus, is pushing logic beyond breaking point.

While it's great fun for those who have no faith to mock those who have, it's missing the point to say belief in one God excludes any other. This thread probably shouldn't be getting into philosophy of religion, but there is much thought and literature on exclusivism, inclusivism, and pluralism - the concept that the various faiths are (or may be) differing paths to the same God.

You can take it, or leave it. If I choose to take it (or leave it), it's a bit impolite to mock me for doing whichever, or all, or none. It reminds me of the school playground when I was a lad, with the school bullies ganging up on anyone who had red hair, or glasses, or was Roman Catholic, or (horror!) had skin that wasn't white. Civilisation is when people grow out of that.

Choxolate
6th Feb 2009, 11:41
An atheist, if I understand the English language, is a person who doesn't believe in God (ANY god). To say I'm an atheist because I'm a Christian, and don't believe in Horus, is pushing logic beyond breaking point.
Well yes and no. You are obviously correct that if a person believes in the existence of ANY god then, by definition, they cannot be an atheist.

At the last count there were something like 2500 gods in various known religions (see here (http://wiki.answers.com/Q/How_many_gods_and_goddesses_are_there)). As a Christian you, I assume, believe that only 1 of these is the "true" God and that the other 2499 are "false" or non-existent Gods. Such as Horus, Thor and Neptune et. al.

Your "belief structure" with respect to 2499 gods is the same as an atheist's "belief structure" to 2500 gods - so you do have a lot in common with most atheists. The reasons that you do not countenance the 2499 are exactly the same as why the atheist does not countenance 2500.

pulse1
6th Feb 2009, 12:00
Choxolate,

But, if God had meant us to fly plastic aeroplanes, he would have given us plastic trees.:ok:

Captain Stable
6th Feb 2009, 12:05
Once again, Choxolate, like the others, you are splitting hairs and logic-chopping.

An atheist does not believe in any God. A Christian, or a Muslim, or a Hindu, or a Jew, or a Pagan, all believe in the existence of a god or gods - it matters not one whit how many.Evolution is a species gradually changing not only to fit the environment better but also to suit the species better to survive and spread and compete with other species.
The "better to survive and compete with other species" ARE part of the environment.. The environment is not limited to the physical temperature, climate etc. but to competition with other species - it is the TOTALITY of the influences acting on that species, so your statement above, whilst not wrong, shows a lack of understanding of what is meant by "environment" in an evolutionary context.No. If the environment (by which I mean to include effects of competitors, predators and prey) is in balance, then evolution will still happen. Such evolution will then disturb the balance of the environment. If a particular species of animal is forced out of its habitat, by whatever process - volcanic eruption, flooding, fire, human destruction of habitat, and therefore ends up in a different environment, then the species will evolve better to suit that environment (perhaps more grass, less woodland, higher temperature, etc.). However, it will therefore further imbalance that environment because of competition with the already indigenous species.If it were simply "adaptation to the environment" then evolution would stop once things were in balance. And, as we know, that doesn't happen.
See above - you misunderstand the meaning of "environment"I disagree.If you remove the impetus for a species to develop or you change circumstances to remove the advantage of a mutation, then that species will devolve.
Please explain what you mean by the concept of "devolve" within the Theory of EvolutionIf there is no longer any advantage to an animal to be faster, or better-camouflaged, or larger, or smaller than others in the species, then they will evolve accordingly. Therefore, that species will cease becoming faster, better-camouflaged etc. This is what I mean by devolving. I hope this helps.

Choxolate
6th Feb 2009, 12:28
But, if God had meant us to fly plastic aeroplanes, he would have given us plastic trees
Smacks own forehead - of COURSE - I am now a believer - now the only problem is WHICH god ??

Choxolate
6th Feb 2009, 12:56
Once again, Choxolate, like the others, you are splitting hairs and logic-chopping.

An atheist does not believe in any God. A Christian, or a Muslim, or a Hindu, or a Jew, or a Pagan, all believe in the existence of a god or gods - it matters not one whit how many.Which is EXACTLY what I said - that an athesist does not believe in any god. What I was trying (obviously unsuccessfully) to show was that atheists do not have any "special" mindset, that ALL people, theist or a-theist share a common disbelief in most gods. Obviously fell on stony ground.

Moving onto evolution
No. If the environment (by which I mean to include effects of competitors, predators and prey) is in balance, then evolution will still happen. Such evolution will then disturb the balance of the environment.I think we need to be clear here - when you say "evolution will still happen" exactly what do you mean? If you are saying that in a perfectly stable and unchanging environment (difficult to imagine how this could ever occur by the way) that there will still be species genetic changes due to genetic drift and mutation then I totally agree. Whether these changes confer any advantage to the resultant generations will depend on what those advantages are, the frequency of the genetic change and the stability of the change. This means that the species MAY change but does not mean that it MUST or WILL change. Examples where there has been very little (if any) species change over long periods are regularly found - e.g cycads, horsetails, ginkgo, frilled shark, horseshoe crabs, nautilus etc .etc.

If there is no longer any advantage to an animal to be faster, or better-camouflaged, or larger, or smaller than others in the species, then they will evolve accordingly. What do you mean by "accordingly" - as shown above they may not change ("evolve") at all and remain the same for very long periods of time.

Therefore, that species will cease becoming faster, better-camouflaged etc. This is what I mean by devolving. I hope this helps. Not really, what you have described is a species remaining unchanged - is that what you mean by "devolving" - because this is not the common meaning of the word.

Scrubbed
6th Feb 2009, 13:00
those who have no faith


Is that a subtle dig, your holiness?

Or are you confusing believing but having no faith with having faith in not believing?

For example: I do not believe in fairy tales. And I have faith they are no more than that.

I do, however, believe in fairies. I see them mincing around the cabin of the airliner every time I go to work.

Miserlou
6th Feb 2009, 13:02
Keef,
We are sticking to the OED definition, of 'disbelieving in a god'.

As I wrote earlier, it makes no mention of which god.
If it pleases you, then we can say that believers display an 'atheistic attitude' toward all other gods.
There is no need to go over the other issue of how you can accept one theology which excludes all other gods and still believe in these gods who you don't believe exist.

That is yet another sidetrack when the whole proposition of a supernatural creative or guiding power is no longer a reasonable hypothesis. There are now much better theories to explain our origins and that of the universe.

Devolving?
No such thing. Evolution is a one way street. Mutations occur by chance and if there is no advantage to be gained from them then they may or may not survive. They will be passed on if the animal mates or not if it fails to so some change can be expected in any case.
Evolution may go down blind alleys; it is reckoned that 99% of all the creatures which have ever lived are extinct now.

Captain Stable
6th Feb 2009, 13:03
Choxolate - mutations always happen. Without them, evolution is all but impossible. When such mutations provide that mutated member of a species with an advantage over the others, evolution occurs.

Choxolate
6th Feb 2009, 13:16
Choxolate - mutations always happen. Without them, evolution is all but impossible. When such mutations provide that mutated member of a species with an advantage over the others, evolution occurs.And exactly what was it in my posts that required you to post page 1 from Evolution 101?

But as you are the one who feels in a position to lecture others I would just do a little checking up about whether you are actually correct that if a single member of a species mutates in such a way that it has an advantage, whether that is necessarily the cause of evolution of the whole species.

A little clue here, answer the following questions:-
1. how do genetic changes get passed to the next generation?
2. if the genetic change did not affect the gametes would the trait be inherited by offspring?
3. Does every member of a species produce offspring that then themselves reproduce?

Miserlou
6th Feb 2009, 13:36
Capt,
Earlier you were very particular about using the dictionary defintion but choose not to when it suits you.
The dictionary does not say which god and 'atheist' can in this way be used to describe the attitude of one faith to the existence of another god.
This tautological point was cleared up by the use of the term 'atheistic attitude'.


Evolution occurs even without the presence of causal factors for change. Mutations occur all the time. Whether relevant or not they are still passed on and may have no effect on survivabillity in the present environment causing a fairly stagnant period. The changes may be subtle or aesthetic and belong more to the field of evolutionary psychology but they are valid nevertheless.

Choxolate
6th Feb 2009, 13:47
Mutations occur all the time. Whether relevant or not they are still passed on
No and absolutely no again. All mutations are most certainly NOT passed on to succeeding generations. They are ONLY passed on if:-

1. The gametes genetic material has been changed by the mutation
2. The genetic change does not confer an active disadvantage
3. The genetic change does not occur in an individual who does not subsequently produce successful descendants.

The majority of mutational chnages are NOT passed onto succeeding generations because:-
1. Most mutations are disadvantageous
2. Most mutations do not affect the gametes and hence are not transmitted
3. Some mutations occur after breeding has ceased and cannot therefore be transmitted (e.g. several forms of cancer that occur in old age)

Choxolate
6th Feb 2009, 14:11
Through sexual reproduction. If you want a diagram, I'll be happy to draw you one.So organisms that do NOT reproduce by sexual reproduction do not pass on genetic changes- OK if you say so, but I think you'll find that you are wrong.
By definition, a genetic change affects reproduction.In which case your definition is wrong - that is NOT true. A genetic change is a change to the genetic material in the nucleus of the cell - the genes, made up of DNA, every cell (with one or two exceptions such as red blood cells) contain DNA in the form of chromosones. Cells (most not all) divide and create copies of themselves (daughter cells) and pass on their genetic material to the new cells - this is how we grow and repair damaged tissue. Many cancers are caused by mutations of the genetic material in a cell - this is GENETIC CHANGE caused by MUTATION it is passed onto "daughter" cells. It is not necessarily (or even commonly) passed onto succeeding generations of the whole organism because the gametes were not affected.

Where there is a genetic change that affects the gametes it WILL (possibly) be passed to succeeding generations.

So NOT ALL GENETIC changes are inherited by descendants. QED

Captain Stable
6th Feb 2009, 14:14
So organisms that do NOT reproduce by sexual reproduction do not pass on genetic changesI did not say that. If you want to argue with things I did not say, then this discussion is at an end.

Choxolate
6th Feb 2009, 14:36
Q. How do genetic changes get passed to the next generation?

A. Through sexual reproduction. If you want a diagram, I'll be happy to draw you one.

Choxolate. So organisms that do NOT reproduce by sexual reproduction do not pass on genetic changes

Capt. Stable: I did not say that. If you want to argue with things I did not say, then this discussion is at an end

I know you did not say it - that was my point, I was not arguing. I was pointing out an error in your answer in that you had only included one subset of organisms that pass on genetic material - those that reproduce sexually, you had not covered those that reproduce asexually (which is a very large number by the way possibly up to half all species)

If you want to take your ball and run off then fine - it was you who suggested a discussion about evolution. After a handful of posts you want to stop because it is has been pointed out that you made an error then fine by me.

Captain Stable
6th Feb 2009, 14:53
So organisms that do NOT reproduce by sexual reproduction do not pass on genetic changes- OK if you say so, but I think you'll find that you are wrong.Classic - simply classic. :D

No, I do not say so. I'm fed up with trying to have a sensible discussion over a subject and having answers put in my mouth that are then shot down.

If my answer was incomplete, then it was incomplete. That is not an error. Nor does it make what I said wrong. Sorry if I did not include all possible reproductive mechanisms here. :{ I shall chastise myself later in private.

No, I am departing this conversation because you are not prepared to have a rational discussion, but prefer instead to turn it into a confrontation

Choxolate
6th Feb 2009, 15:04
No, I am departing this conversation because you are not prepared to have a rational discussion, but prefer instead to turn it into a confrontationRational? I hadn't noticed - your response sounded more like a petulant child taking his ball home.

If it is not rational, when discussing a scientific subject, to be as precise as possible about terms that are being used, then I am indeed, irrational.

Evolution is critically based on the INHERITANCE of GENETIC CHANGES - if you are not even prepared to discuss and agree what those two terms actually mean then it is probably best to stop here.

Have a good weekend (weather permitting)

Storminnorm
6th Feb 2009, 15:08
I thought that this thread was supposed to be a discussion
about Evolution?
I see it's just become a bit of a slanging match.
It's DEVOLVED I suppose?

GroundedSLF
6th Feb 2009, 15:35
Personally I think the TV series "stargate" is fairly close to the mark regarding Gods...and what a great show!

Regarding creations & mutations - I think there is VERY clear evidence that mutations occur and are passed down by reproduction - if you are still in ANY doubt - go to liverpool....curly hair, `tashes...nuff said :E

Storminnorm
6th Feb 2009, 16:15
They're not mutations in Liverpool.
They're just clones,

Miserlou
6th Feb 2009, 23:36
Choxolate.
Perhaps I was too general in saying that all mutations are passed on. I was also thinking mainly of the human species where many of those traits which we have received no longer serve a purpose. That is to say, they are no longer necessary to our survival. This may be something as mundane as blonde hair, blue eyes. It is well known that they are a dying species, it being a weak gene. However, evolution has seen to it that they actually breed more, however dumb they may be, stereotypically.

The point of this is that the conditions which caused blondes to be selected for breeding before no longer persist but the evolution of the species continues.

There is a further theory which suggests that the human species is undergoing a change and that in, I can't remember how many thousands of years, it will have split into two distinct species, the bright and the beautiful and a not so bright and beautiful class.
Don't have to look far to see evidence of that.:hmm:

Roger Sofarover
7th Feb 2009, 01:58
Miserlou

There is a further theory which suggests that the human species is undergoing a change and that in, I can't remember how many thousands of years, it will have split into two distinct species, the bright and the beautiful and a not so bright and beautiful class.

What theory? and what is the point of splitting in to two such groups? How can beauty be associated with brightness? Often it is exactly the opposite. Those obsessed with their external appearance tend not to have the mental focus to develop on the inside. Stephen Hawkins doesn't look much like Brad Pitt but he can't half think!

This may be something as mundane as blonde hair, blue eyes. It is well known that they are a dying species, it being a weak gene. However, evolution has seen to it that they actually breed more, however dumb they may be, stereotypically.

Is it well known that they are a dying species (I thought we all belonged to the same species). So do blondes breed more than brunettes? Or does your theory on evolution and genetics take into account the blonde species given to us thanks to ' laboratoire Garnier'.

stagger
7th Feb 2009, 02:47
Choxolate is correct - in a multi-cellular organism only germ-line mutations get passed on; i.e. mutations that are present in the gametes - sperm, eggs.

However, disadvantageous mutations can get passed on - in the short-term at least. For example, a sperm cell could carry a mutation that causes disease in adult life.

For evolution to occur there needs to be heritable variation in traits within a population, some of this variation arises due to mutations, but there is another source - genetic recombination (genes getting shuffled around between chromosomes).

Heritable variation + selection > evolution!

Miserlou
7th Feb 2009, 10:51
Here are a couple of stories.

"Human species 'may split in two'
Different human sub-species predicted by Dr Oliver Curry
Humanity may split into an elite and an underclass, says Dr Curry
Humanity may split into two sub-species in 100,000 years' time as predicted by HG Wells, an expert has said.

Evolutionary theorist Oliver Curry of the London School of Economics expects a genetic upper class and a dim-witted underclass to emerge.

The human race would peak in the year 3000, he said - before a decline due to dependence on technology.

People would become choosier about their sexual partners, causing humanity to divide into sub-species, he added.

The descendants of the genetic upper class would be tall, slim, healthy, attractive, intelligent, and creative and a far cry from the "underclass" humans who would have evolved into dim-witted, ugly, squat goblin-like creatures."

"Blondes 'to die out in 200 years'
Scientists believe the last blondes will be in Finland
The last natural blondes will die out within 200 years, scientists believe.

A study by experts in Germany suggests people with blonde hair are an endangered species and will become extinct by 2202.

Researchers predict the last truly natural blonde will be born in Finland - the country with the highest proportion of blondes.


The frequency of blondes may drop but they won't disappear

Prof Jonathan Rees, University of Edinburgh
But they say too few people now carry the gene for blondes to last beyond the next two centuries.

The problem is that blonde hair is caused by a recessive gene.

In order for a child to have blonde hair, it must have the gene on both sides of the family in the grandparents' generation."


Choxolate,
They are not my theories. In fact, the latter is often held to be a hoax which is not entirely true. I believe the hoax was caused by attributing the study to the WHO, so when they denied the report the whole theory was discredited. It is, however, a recurring theory which in itself suggests some relevance.

Regarding the splitting species.
What is the point? Don't ask me and don't expect an answer. For that matter don't take the lack of an answer to mean that it is untrue. That is not how evolution works. What is worrying is that I can see a case for the 'brights' to be numerically inferior due to the other group reproducing more and at younger age. Go look at your local council estate for evidence.

I'd like to find more on body type vs hair colour. I can't find a reference to it but I remember dark haired girls having a fuller figure. The fuller figure was preferred for breeding. That is why the blonde meme occurred; because the body was covered up and hair coloured attracted the mate.

PS- Well done for getting Capt. Stable to accuse you of being confrontational. That was a case of pots and kettles!

stagger
7th Feb 2009, 12:14
The "Human Species May Split in Two" idea was not a serious theory either - it appeared in a speculative essay that Dr Curry wrote for the TV channel Bravo. Really more science fiction than science.

Unfortunately the media thought it was meant as serious science and reported it as such. It was just meant as a bit of fun!

Proper science appears in academic journals - it's not written for Bravo.

ZEEBEE
7th Feb 2009, 12:20
Captain Stable wrote

I shall chastise myself later in private.

I should think you should do it in private. We don't condone that sort of behaviour in public here :ok:

Miserlou
7th Feb 2009, 14:40
Stagger,
I realize that it is not exactly high brow but when one stops to think about it, why shouldn't it be so?
I think it might be an interesting line of debate.

It is a fact that richer people have fewer children and are more sexually selective than poorer people and I have already mentioned the 'local council estate' stereotype and many threads about crime on this board refer to 'pod-life', 'scum' etc so the question remains. What is required for this to occur?

Roger Sofarover
7th Feb 2009, 15:28
Miserlou

Here are a couple of storiesWell that about sums it up really.

Regarding the splitting species.
What is the point? Don't ask me and don't expect an answer. For that matter don't take the lack of an answer to mean that it is untrue. That is not how evolution works. What is worrying is that I can see a case for the 'brights' to be numerically inferior due to the other group reproducing more and at younger ageBut Miserlou, you have put the theory forward, therefore I take it that you buy in to it, therefore you should have the moral courage to answer and support the case, if not, do not put it forward. What is your case for the brights being numerically inferior?

A study by experts in Germany suggests people with blonde hair are an endangered species and will become extinct by 2202.:}:}:} The funniest yet! I would expect an 'expert' to say 'early in the 23 century' but these fella's say 2202, that doesn't leave them much room to manouvre really does it?

The frequency of blondes may drop but they won't disappearSo will they be extinct by 2202? Now I am confused.

'd like to find more on body type vs hair colour. I can't find a reference to it but I remember dark haired girls having a fuller figure. The fuller figure was preferred for breeding.By whom?? Clearly the woman with the fuller figure will not produce offspring that fit in to your upper class elite.

The descendants of the genetic upper class would be tall, slim, healthy, attractive, intelligent, and creative.

Is tall and slim attractive? It may be now in our self obsessed society, but what will society be like in 1000 years?

Your most annoying comment is this one

Go look at your local council estate for evidence.Now just what does that mean? There are many many children who are disadvantaged because their parents are on low incomes who still go forward and make something of themselves, there are also many, who do not. You seem to be assuming that intelligence is inbred. When it comes to 'Nature and Nuture' I guess you do not believe in 'Nurture'. I was born on a council estate, not really my fault and my parents did their all for me and I made something of myself.

It is a fact that richer people have fewer children and are more sexually selective than poorer people and I have already mentioned the 'local council estate' stereotype and many threads about crime on this board refer to 'pod-life', 'scum' etc so the question remains. What is required for this to occur?

Where is that fact?

I have a friend who is a multi millionaire and he will sh*g anything with a pulse.

What is required for this to occur is our social and spirtual education. Spiritual not meaning any of the religions, but the development of the inner self.

Society is the thing that changes. We had a strong social structure 40 years ago, If I commited a misdemeanour then a local neighbour would smack me around the ear, job done, if I complained to Dad he would smack me around the other ear., and there were not the cases of hoodies going around council estates stabbing each other and mugging grannies, yet now it occurs. Are you saying that is because of evolution? Or is it because society has changed and in doing so fails the needs of the children that should be Nurtured. Society will continue to change and in doing so who knows what or who will become attractive.

I personally see a time when Humans will become more focused on the development of the inner self rather than be obsessed with what they see in the mirror, and a time when perhaps by some genetic mishap, pre-existing functions of the brain are unlocked that will take Humanity to a new level, and the need for lipstick, ferraris and gold Rolex will literally become immaterial. Clearly Mr Curry from the London school of Economics can only think of the future of Humanity in monetary terms. His whole vision of short squat ugly goblins and tall attractive healthy people is utter b*****s and certainly has no more academic grounding than my own vision above.

If you put it forward as a theory then argue the case as it were your own, if you cannot then delete it.

Choxolate
7th Feb 2009, 17:36
I realize that it is not exactly high brow but when one stops to think about it, why shouldn't it be so?
I think it might be an interesting line of debate.

It is a fact that richer people have fewer children and are more sexually selective than poorer people and I have already mentioned the 'local council estate' stereotype and many threads about crime on this board refer to 'pod-life', 'scum' etc so the question remains. What is required for this to occur?
Let me guess - you do not have a scientific background or education.

Are you are actually suggesting that poverty/wealth is a GENETIC trait?? If not then what is your point? If you do then it is time to get some basic education on genetics and heredity.

Davaar
7th Feb 2009, 17:45
and there were not the cases of hoodies going around council estates stabbing each other and mugging grannies, yet now it occurs.

...... probably true. No "hoods", and the weapons of choice were the open razor and the bicycle chain. Those will take you back to the 1950s, 1940s, and 1930s. How far do you want to go? Dick Turpin?

Miserlou
7th Feb 2009, 18:42
Roger,
You wrote,
"But Miserlou, you have put the theory forward, therefore I take it that you buy in to it,"

Don't assume that.

"If you put it forward as a theory then argue the case as it were your own, if you cannot then delete it."

I haven't decided whether I want to argue for or against. Forgive me. I was just trying to see if we could establish the debate in a particular evolutionary direction.

To be fair to myself, you use 'hoodies on council estates' in the same way that I did but I do not see fit criticize your use of the term; I understand the point which you are trying to get across and the generalization.

Nature or nurture is, perhaps, the next course for the discussion. The traditional Standard Social Science Model tends towards, no, almost dismisses the effect of biology on the human animal as if evolution doesn't apply to us. I do not agree, being of the opinion that the basis for a great deal of our behaviour is biological. I am certainly not a genetic determinist. Our minds have developed beyond the base instincts.

Society certainly has changed too. Surely any adaptation to this, if it results in a physiological or psychological change will eventually count as evolution.

I do agree with the your assertion of the move towards personal development of the inner self and note the irony of looking east for enlightenment whilst they look to the west for materialism. And what better time to do so than with the world economic situation in such dire straits; a good time to contemplate impermanence and practice detachment.

With trepidation, I would mention that this is the dawning of the age of Aquarius and with that a return to earlier in the thread, the astrological nature of the bible.

ZEEBEE
9th Feb 2009, 02:49
Are you are actually suggesting that poverty/wealth is a GENETIC trait?? If not then what is your point? If you do then it is time to get some basic education on genetics and heredity.

I don't believe the direct link is implied at all, but most would agree that genetics are very strong factors in predisposing individuals with intrinsic values that will favour one set of decisions over another when faced with similar choices.
The outcome of those choices ultimately will have a bearing on the social status of the individual, so statistically, genetic inheritance (what other kind is there ?) can be shown to be a deciding factor in poverty, ambition and the like.

wish2bflying
9th Feb 2009, 07:58
Here's something to throw into the mix:

The Sins of the Fathers, Take 2 - WAS DARWIN WRONG ABOUT EVOLUTION? (http://www.newsweek.com/id/180103)

From the article:
Some water fleas sport a spiny helmet that deters predators; others, with identical DNA sequences, have bare heads. What differs between the two is not their genes but their mothers' experiences. If mom had a run-in with predators, her offspring have helmets, an effect one wag called "bite the mother, fight the daughter." If mom lived her life unthreatened, her offspring have no helmets. Same DNA, different traits. Somehow, the experience of the mother, not only her DNA sequences, has been transmitted to her offspring.

That gives strict Darwinians heart palpitations ...

Loose rivets
9th Feb 2009, 08:31
Yes, and what I've argued for most of my adult life, is that the ability to construct such a modification is inbuilt and part of a supreme mechanism to evolve.

Evolution works, how could it not? but the building methods that the seemingly miraculous design-work uses, was developed a very long time ago.

Back to evolution v design, but a very much more involved 'code' is involved than is required by evolution as we understand it today.

Choxolate
9th Feb 2009, 08:55
I don't believe the direct link is implied at all, but most would agree that genetics are very strong factors in predisposing individuals with intrinsic values that will favour one set of decisions over another when faced with similar choices.
The outcome of those choices ultimately will have a bearing on the social status of the individual, so statistically, genetic inheritance (what other kind is there ?) can be shown to be a deciding factor in poverty, ambition and the like
Do you have ANY evidence AT ALL that genetic heredity has a greater influence over "your intrinsic values" rather than your uprbringing? - because all the evidence points to upbringing / environmental pressures ("nurture") being massively dominant in affecting one's moral/ethical values.

If you take a new born baby from a highly moral and ethical family and allow it to be brought up by selfish and uncaring parents in an environment of "might is right", theft is good, have no respect for others - do you think that the resulting adult will have the moral views of its biological parents or its adopted parents?

Skypilot
9th Feb 2009, 10:10
Had wish2beflying taken the trouble to follow the 'Comments' link on the article they posted they would have found 773+ posts explaining why thus article is no more than "illconceived, poorly researched and frankly ambiguous pot stirring pseudo-science". It's simply not worth repeating here.

Miserlou
9th Feb 2009, 19:11
The bully boy tactics employed employed on this thread are rather tiresome don't you think, Choxolate?

You, for example, constantly demand evidence but fail to produce any yourself to back up your assertions.

My opinion is that most readers on this forum are fairly intelligent types, otherwise they would not have been drawn here, and can judge for themselves the level of authenticity they should apply to most ideas or statements and very few have a high level of expertise in the discussions they partake. Indeed, if they did, I'm sure they wouldn't be writing here.

So your assertion that "all the evidence points to upbringing / environmental pressures ("nurture") being massively dominant in affecting one's moral/ethical values." has little relevance when the individual in question, the child, has a brain which has evolved little since stone-age times.

There is valid evidence that we are predisposed to be 'good' to one another because our brains haven't yet adapted to our geographic flexibilty. Our brains are still running the logic that 'I should be good to another because the chances that I will see the other person again are high and this act might be reciprocated'.

On an evolutionary scale, how high would you rate nuture over nature?

Humans are one of the slowest evolving creatures on Earth.

But how quick we are to put down ' Wish2BFlying''s article without taking the time to see the obvious relevance.
The article shows how nurture extends right the way back to pre-birth which is not always considered. The article is admittedly written as a challenge to Dariwnism and fails miserably in this regard but it does have parallels in the human sphere. Thus, the social conditions of a child, from conception, do have ramifications for the child's future but the genetic make up is still the same.

This may also have an influence on the reproductive ability of the individual and therefore an evolutionary effect. If you don't take part in reproducing you don't take part in evolution.

ZEEBEE
10th Feb 2009, 00:31
Do you have ANY evidence AT ALL that genetic heredity has a greater influence over "your intrinsic values" rather than your uprbringing? - because all the evidence points to upbringing / environmental pressures ("nurture") being massively dominant in affecting one's moral/ethical values.

If you take a new born baby from a highly moral and ethical family and allow it to be brought up by selfish and uncaring parents in an environment of "might is right", theft is good, have no respect for others - do you think that the resulting adult will have the moral views of its biological parents or its adopted parents?

At least as much evidence as you have for your outdated proposition.

Your second premise is probably quite correct actually, but nothing is quite that simple and you are trying to confuse the issue by oversimplifying the outcomes.
Nobody would suggest that you can have clear outcomes because genetic mixes are just that....Mixtures.
It is to do with Predispositions that are function of our hardwiring. And hardwiring is almost entirely a function of our genetic make-up.
It is hardwiring that will determine how the baby reacts immediately after birth to the range of stimulations it encounters and the choices it makes.
Yes, babies DO make choices.
Later, with exposure to the environment, the range of choices it makes are greater, but always they are made using a set of values that are defined initially by the hardwiring.
For instance I'm color defective, a function of hereditary influences ONLY and that makes me see the world differently to one who is not.
The choices I make will be influenced by the way I see the world, others might make different choices based ENTIRELY on hardwired value determinants.
Moral choices aren't all that different. people make choices based on the way they SEE the world and a lot of how they SEE the world is determined by hardwiring.
Nurture vs nature isn't an Either OR thing, but nurture IS affected largely by nature.

Choxolate
10th Feb 2009, 10:01
The bully boy tactics employed employed on this thread are rather tiresome don't you think, Choxolate?
Bullying - oh get over yourself - if asking someone to provide support for a claim is "bullying" then any discussion becomes no more that "yet it is", "no it isn't", "yes it is", "no it isn't" ad nauseum, until someone else says - well prove it then (or at least provide some evidential support)

My opinion is that most readers on this forum are fairly intelligent types, otherwise they would not have been drawn here, and can judge for themselves the level of authenticity they should apply to most ideas or statements and very few have a high level of expertise in the discussions they partake. Indeed, if they did, I'm sure they wouldn't be writing here.
I would not argue that many on here are intelligent. Whilst not claiming to be an infallible expert on all things evolutionary I do have a first and second degree in Geology and have, probalby, a better understanding of evolution than your average Joe. This does not mean that I am always right but it probably does give me a better chance of detecting when others are grossly incorrect.

You, for example, constantly demand evidence but fail to produce any yourself to back up your assertions.
I don't "demand" I ask - if you care to "ask" me to support any of my assertions with evidence then I will provide it or withdraw the assertion.To help you on your way my "assertion" that ethical/moral values are dominated by nurture rather than nature is supported by :-
"What Makes us Moral? Crossing the Boundaries of Biology" Neil Levy (Philosophy Dept University of Melbourne) 2004 in which he shows that "Evolution gave us the preconditions of morality, but it is only as result of cultural elaboration that we came to be moral beings". That is, we all have the capability of moral and ethical constructs but what those constructs ARE depends on our cultural upbringing.

So your assertion that "all the evidence points to upbringing / environmental pressures ("nurture") being massively dominant in affecting one's moral/ethical values." has little relevance when the individual in question, the child, has a brain which has evolved little since stone-age times.
Support is given above, do you have something to show that it is irrelevant, or are you just making an unsupported claim that it is?

There is valid evidence that we are predisposed to be 'good' to one another because our brains haven't yet adapted to our geographic flexibilty
What is thsi "Geographic flexibility" that our brains have to adapt to?
Our brains are still running the logic that 'I should be good to another because the chances that I will see the other person again are high and this act might be reciprocated'. They are "still" running this logic are they? - they are not "running the logic" that "I will be helpful to others becuase my origins were in small family groups and helping others helped my chances of survival and breeding - rather like wolves help each other"

On an evolutionary scale, how high would you rate nuture over nature?
I do not understand what you mean by this question.

Humans are one of the slowest evolving creatures on Earth. It is unfounded and incorrect claims like this that I challenge and ask for evidence because it is demonstrably wrong. Homo sapiens has been around for about 500,000 years (although some estimates are longer), there are many species of animals that are MUCH, MUCH older e.g. the tadpole shrimp remained unchanged for 220 million years, the horsehoe crab for several million, the honey bee for several million, the modern horse for at least a million, the crocodile for at least 10 million etc. etc.. Many plants have remianed unchanged for even longer periods and in grwetaer numbers. So on what basis can you claim that a species that has remained unchanged for 1/2 million years is evolvling more slowly than those that have chnaged not at all in much lonmger periods? Now you may say that Homo sapiens is "one" of the slowest evolving species. I am more than happy to supply you with a list to show that there are thousands of species of animals and plants that have remained unchanged for considerably more than 500,000 years.

You misunderstand me if you think I am deliberately being confrontational - you may see it that way, all I am doing is asking for those who make claims that, to my knowledge are incorrect, support them. If I am wrong in my assumptions I will admit it, learn something new and we all advance a little bit in knowledge and understanding.

Airborne Aircrew
10th Feb 2009, 17:07
An inate curiosity that has driven mankind for centuries.True, but it is also coupled with an arrogance that is beyond belief. The very idea that there is a supreme being is, without doubt, the ultimate in arrogance. What humanity is saying when they propose such an existence is that because we are unable to explain something in rational terms it must therefore be the product of a supreme being.

Fifteen hundred years ago a bolt of lightening was a sign that "god" was angered yet today we are all quite comfortable with the fact that it is, in fact, a massive discharge of electrical energy. Why then is it so difficult to believe that all questions will be able to be answered eventually? All that is required is the information and knowledge appropriate to the question to be able to explain the answer. Information and knowledge that, just as the lightening instance, will come if we can survive long enough.

Then again, maybe it will take us to evolve further to be able to comprehend... :E

TerminalTrotter
10th Feb 2009, 17:53
I think that if there is a god and creator (I do tend towards atheism) then he/she/it is an utter b:mad:d. Everything from bacteria up preys on something else, killing and eating (not necessarily in that order) anything it can catch. If that's what god made, on purpose, as a world, then I see nothing that I want to worship. The guy has a sick sense of humour, and fingers up to him (or her - or it). God is an enemy I would be proud to boast about having.

Miserlou
11th Feb 2009, 11:46
Choxolate,
To be frank, yes, I do think you are being deliberately confrontational and going out of your way to misunderstand. Here are some examples.

"I don't "demand" I ask"

No, you use capital letters in your request; that's computer speak for shouting which is not the proper tone for a discusision or debate. Incidenatlly, you have made many statements but only cited one reference work and then only after the disparity was pointed out.
I do not require references because a debate is much more interesting when one follows an argument through reason and see where it goes.
It has been said that the mark of the eminance of a scientist is the length of time he inhibits progress in his field. Thus, quoting references can be intimidating and often leads to the untimely death of an interesting exchange.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Miserlou
So your assertion that "all the evidence points to upbringing / environmental pressures ("nurture") being massively dominant in affecting one's moral/ethical values." has little relevance when the individual in question, the child, has a brain which has evolved little since stone-age times.

Support is given above, do you have something to show that it is irrelevant, or are you just making an unsupported claim that it is?"

Look up Savanna Principle.

"What is thsi "Geographic flexibility" that our brains have to adapt to?"

Freedom of transport, the ease of travel, the ability to change ones geographic location beyond anything which our ancestors might have experienced.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Miserlou
Our brains are still running the logic that 'I should be good to another because the chances that I will see the other person again are high and this act might be reciprocated'.

They are "still" running this logic are they? - they are not "running the logic" that "I will be helpful to others becuase my origins were in small family groups and helping others helped my chances of survival and breeding - rather like wolves help each other""

Can't see the difference myself. You paraphrase my statement.

"Quote:
Originally Posted by Miserlou
Humans are one of the slowest evolving creatures on Earth.

It is unfounded and incorrect claims like this that I challenge and ask for evidence because it is demonstrably wrong."

Evolution requires sexual reproduction. The human animal takes approximately 15 years to become sexually mature. Even the largest mammals such as giraffes, elephants and whales only take 8 to 15 years and most animals take significantly less time. I cannot think of any animal which actually takes longer though there may be some. In 100 years a human could achieve 6 or 7 generations, a hamster might achieve more than 100 and many insects 1000s.

The fact that you can name plants which haven't evolved over long periods only demonstrates that there has been no pressure to do so. If they were unable to evolve where evolutionary pressure existed then they would become extinct or be found in diminishing numbers.

Perhaps, I grant you, to be tautologically correct I should have written that humans have slow 'evolutionary potential' or other clumsy wording. I just thought it was bleedin' obvious.

Perhaps we could look at Wish2Bflying's article and discuss the blurring of the lines. At what point does nurture become nature?

BlooMoo
17th Feb 2009, 19:59
Ahhh, the old 'Christians think they're gooder than everyone else' gambit...

Christians are regarded as 'mad' by society (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/religion/4681357/Archbishop-of-York-Dr-John-Sentamu-Christians-are-regarded-as-mad-by-society.html)

Stockpicker
17th Feb 2009, 23:29
I do wish all present had been in my church last Sunday. The sermon broached (actually, no - quoted from a previous academic work) the idea of the book of Genesis as "festive overture" to the rest of the Christian book. Inspired, uplifting and thought provoking.

And open minded.

Captain Stable
18th Feb 2009, 09:13
"gooder"?

I see educational standards were not the highest wherever it was that you were "educated".

BlooMoo
18th Feb 2009, 11:36
Stable old chap, the use of a childlike expression to lampoon a naive or even infantile point of view is a form of cacography (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cacography).

I'll try and dumb my posts down to your level in future.

Keef
18th Feb 2009, 18:01
Aren't atheists a stroppy lot! I'm glad I'm not one of those.

ZEEBEE
11th Apr 2009, 00:37
HHmmmm.

Given that BOTH Xmas and Easter are both essentially PAGAN originated events, I find it interesting that they're observed in so called Christian societies.

But then I guess most of those haven't twigged to the deception.

Keef
11th Apr 2009, 01:05
HHmmmm.

Given that BOTH Xmas and Easter are both essentially PAGAN originated events, I find it interesting that they're observed in so called Christian societies.

But then I guess most of those haven't twigged to the deception.

Do try to keep up! We had that debate several years ago.

The festivals celebrate Christian events (trust me, I know this stuff).

The names are the usual philological mish-mash. Easter = Eostre; Pâques = Hebrew Pesach. Christmas = obvious. Noël = ... and so on. Even Wikipedia's got most of it right now.

The date of Easter is based on Jewish passover, which is/was the first full moon after... and is entirely appropriate if you read it up carefully.

The date of Christmas is based on a convenient festival that was already there. Well, you would, wouldn't you? Orthodox picked a different date, but that's OK.

Yep, we twigged. Some centuries ago, actually.

ZEEBEE
11th Apr 2009, 04:51
The date of Christmas is based on a convenient festival that was already there. Well, you would, wouldn't you?

Keef,

You would if you didn't have a pretty good reason (like reality) to do otherwise.

Even more relevant is the fact that both the Easter and Xmas festivals fall on (or VERY near) to significant Solar events such as Summer and Spring solstices (Pagan observed, I believe). But then I guess that Constantine wasn't prepared to buck the local trend.

The festivals celebrate Christian events (trust me, I know this stuff).

Well that's great Keef, except that they were being observed long before "Christianity" was thought of.

When some-one says "Trust me,...." I start reaching for collaborative evidence .

We were taught that God gave his only begotten son so our sins could be expunged.....but wait!.... he didn't, did he? He rose again, so his "death" wasn't for real.
So was this a cosmic con job?

Trying to "keep up"

Z

Davaar
11th Apr 2009, 05:58
Well that's great Keef, except that they were being observed long before "Christianity" was thought of.


He already knows that. As he points out. Seems it is new to you, though. Shrewd discovery. Wow!

ZEEBEE
11th Apr 2009, 07:31
He already knows that. As he points out. Seems it is new to you, though. Shrewd discovery. Wow!

Well, NO Davaar I haven't JUST found out. And the WOW factor is a bit old.

However, if the celebration of an event is practised BEFORE it took place then it's hardly relevant is it ? Duhhh

BDiONU
11th Apr 2009, 08:20
To those who say they don't 'believe' in evolution do you 'believe' in gravity? If you didn't believe in gravity would you fall off the earth? 150 years ago Darwin came up with an amazing explanation of how life on earth developed. Since then thousands of scientific papers (thats papers which have empirical, verifiable evidence which are peer reviewed) have been written on the work done which confirms that explanation. Some things Darwin got wrong but if he had the tools available which we have nowadays he'd have known better. So far nothing has shown evolution to be incorrect, it is, like gravity, a fact.

Unlike religious belief you don't need to believe or disbelieve in evolution, the facts and evidence exist and are all around you, unlike 'god' for which there is zero evidence, you either believe or you don't.

BD

Davaar
11th Apr 2009, 08:50
However, if the celebration of an event is practised BEFORE it took place then it's hardly relevant is it ? Duhhh

He is pointing out a coincidence of dates, not of substance. Since there are but 365 or 366 days in any year, any recurring event must fall on one of them, and that one may well have been used by someone else for something else.

For my own part, and it is so wearisome to repeat it that I'll leave it, the celebration of a new festival celebrated at the same time as an old one, and even a great similarity in the nature, actual or symbolic, of old and new, is neither here nor there.

As for faith and empiricism, this I do believe, my breathing heavily produces exhaust gases that contain carbon, and send the global temperature soaring. Umm, No. I do not believe it at all. Furthermore, the empiricists, despite empiricism, seem to be at one another's throats too, on that very point.

Unlike so many who bestir themselves only but predictably always when this topic comes up, my digestion continues unaffected throughout.

arcniz
11th Apr 2009, 09:44
Desert Diner says:
My answer to that is "why bother trying to resolve the unresolvable"

Religion is based on "belief." And the concept of "belief" is to accept the unanswerable.

To me, those that are trying to debunk Evolution in the name of religion may be lacking in the "belief" department
Desert Diner

Right On!

The ancient curse is not God or gods, but the premise that "believing" something, anything - makes it true. Pure hogwash, all of that. What is, is -- and everything else is superstition.

Keef
11th Apr 2009, 11:17
However, if the celebration of an event is practised BEFORE it took place then it's hardly relevant is it ? Duhhh
I know I am old, and I may be slow, but tell me again, in words I can understand, how you deduce that we were celebrating Christ's birth and resurrection BEFORE he was born.

anotherthing
11th Apr 2009, 11:30
how you deduce that we were celebrating Christ's birth and resurrection BEFORE he was born.

Maybe because it has never actually happened, yet we celebrate it? Maybe the 'were celebrating' highlighted by me above in bold in your question should actually be replaced by the word 'celebrate'???

Keef
11th Apr 2009, 11:35
I see why they call this a circular debate!

I also see why the mods moved that piece of the discussion in here.

ZEEBEE
11th Apr 2009, 13:33
I know I am old, and I may be slow, but tell me again, in words I can understand, how you deduce that we were celebrating Christ's birth and resurrection BEFORE he was born.

Old and slow ? me too.

The celebration of Xmas is on the same day as celebration of the Gods of the Winter solstice that commemorated the "Birth" or return of the Sun. of God.
This event was celebrated MANY centuries before Christ was even thought of.

It was a clever if not cynical move on the part of Constantine to merge the existing Pagan celebration with that of the emrging cult of Christianity.

The birth of Christ is in fact a very sketchy and poorly documented event that is as chronologically confused as the remainder of the historical information regarding Jesus's life.

Keef
11th Apr 2009, 14:02
I see.

You call Christianity a cult. I don't, as I am sure you appreciate. In fact, I see it as an unnecessary and gratuitous insult. I'm used to those, but I am still offended by them. It reminds me why I rarely venture in here these days.

Given that a day had to be chosen to celebrate Christmas, and given that "the birth of Christ is in fact a very sketchy and poorly documented event that is ... chronologically confused", what alternative date would you suggest?

Given that Good Friday was the Friday of Passover in the Jewish tradition, what alternative date to the Sunday after Passover would you propose for Easter?

BDiONU
11th Apr 2009, 15:21
You call Christianity a cult. I don't, as I am sure you appreciate. In fact, I see it as an unnecessary and gratuitous insult.
Dictionary definition - "a particular system of religious worship, esp. with reference to its rites and ceremonies." Why is that insulting?

BD

Whirlygig
11th Apr 2009, 15:41
...and from the same dictionary ...

6. a religion or sect considered to be false, unorthodox, or extremist, with members often living outside of conventional society under the direction of a charismatic leader.

Yep, I can see how Keef could be insulted. :rolleyes:

Cheers

Whirls

BDiONU
11th Apr 2009, 16:12
...and from the same dictionary ...
As with many things I suppose it depends on whether you choose to be insulted or not.

BD
People who want to share their religious views with you almost never want you to share yours with them. -- Reverend McWallclock.

Roger Sofarover
11th Apr 2009, 16:22
a religion or sect considered to be false, unorthodox, or extremist, with members often living outside of conventional society under the direction of a charismatic leader.


Well that's how Christianity was between 1st - 3rd centuries AD. Its all just time really and the number of members you accumulate in your cult that makes the difference in it becoming something considered 'not false'. Where will the Moonies be in a 1000 years? Probably nowhere because unless we self destruct we are unlikely to go through another 1000 years of ignorance and illiteracy where the few people that can read 'the good word' and have an education are those that preach the religion.

BDiONU
11th Apr 2009, 17:43
Its all just time really and the number of members you accumulate in your cult that makes the difference in it becoming something considered 'not false'.
When one person suffers from a delusion it is called insanity. When many people suffer from a delusion it is called religion. ;)

BD

Whirlygig
11th Apr 2009, 17:50
I'm not insulted as I'm not a member of any cult. :} But it does show bias in any argument when only one part of a reference is used and taken out of context.

People who want to share their religious views with you almost never want you to share yours with them. Quite. Fervent atheists almost treat their beliefs like a religion so maybe that's a cult as well. :ok:

Cheers

Whirls

BDiONU
11th Apr 2009, 17:54
Fervent atheists almost treat their beliefs like a religion so maybe that's a cult as well.
Uuumm, thats the thing about Atheism, its a lack of belief in a god/gods/supreme being/magic creator. What you're suggesting is akin to saying that bald is a hair colour.

BD

Roger Sofarover
11th Apr 2009, 17:58
What you're suggesting is akin to saying that bald is a hair colour.

I like that. From now on if asked my hair colour I think I will say 'tan'.

Whirlygig
11th Apr 2009, 18:34
No BD, what I am saying is that there are many people who don't believe in any god system (i.e. atheists) who seem to preach in the same way as those who do. I find it odd. Like I find it odd that some atheists refuse to go into a church.

Cheers

Whirls

Roger Sofarover
11th Apr 2009, 18:52
Whirls
I am not sure atheists do 'preach', I think they ask those that believe in a God system to wake up. Preaching is to get you to believe in something that until further notice, is totally fictitious and requires you to accept something without any proof or evidence. Atheists find that strange I am sure. Just as any Catholic or Protestant clergy person would say the Mormons are mad to claim that Jesus went to America, there are so many people wanting to say the same about the claims of their churches. There is no evidence for any of it, other than the writings of some very power crazy men. It's all madness I tell you, madness.

BDiONU
11th Apr 2009, 19:00
No BD, what I am saying is that there are many people who don't believe in any god system (i.e. atheists) who seem to preach in the same way as those who do. I find it odd.
For me I try and make it clear that where religious belief strays over into the real world (the world of proven facts) it needs to be pointed out that the religious belief is incorrect and has been proven to be. This particularly applies to creationists and those who literally believe in the bible.

http://c.myspace.com/Groups/00007/90/73/7253709_l.jpg

BD

Captain Stable
11th Apr 2009, 20:41
the religious belief is incorrect and has been proven to beBeware - you're straying into bollocksville...

If you can demonstrate christianity to have been "proven" incorrect, I will buy you a slap-up dinner at the restaurant of your choice.

You cannot prove God does not exist. I cannot prove He does. I don't insult your lack of belief in God. So please don't insult my belief.

Whirlygig
11th Apr 2009, 20:53
For me I try and make it clear that where religious belief strays over into the real world (the world of proven facts) it needs to be pointed out that the religious belief is incorrect and has been proven to be
As you've already pointed out from your use of the quote by Rev McWallclock, you ain't ever going to change someone's belief, so why does it need to be pointed out?

An atheistic zealot is just as bad as a religious zealot. :}

Cheers

Whirls

BDiONU
11th Apr 2009, 23:24
Beware - you're straying into bollocksville...

If you can demonstrate christianity to have been "proven" incorrect, I will buy you a slap-up dinner at the restaurant of your choice.

You cannot prove God does not exist. I cannot prove He does.
Absolutely correct. It is not (currently ) possible for me to prove god does not exist, and similarly its impossible for you to prove to me that he/she/it does exist. However, based on the balance of probalities (notwithstanding Occams Razor) its highly unlikely that there is a supreme being/magical creator, the universe does not require a supernatural explanation.

BD

Keef
12th Apr 2009, 00:11
Yes, it's a circular argument. Here's another round of conclusive proof this evening!

I accept that people may choose not to believe in God, and I don't insult them for their choice.

But if you believe in God - watch out! The aggressive atheists will be all over you! You have to bear insults, blasphemy, ridicule and the rest. Which is exactly what the authorities did to my God and his followers in the first century AD. Some things don't change, it seems.

It doesn't change my faith one jot. It does sadden me, though, that apparently intelligent and scientific folk have to descend to insult to try to make their points. Where I was educated, that was said to indicate someone knowing their argument is weak.

I suppose it also makes me a "cult hero". Hmmm...

bnt
12th Apr 2009, 00:50
I accept that people may choose not to believe in God, and I don't insult them for their choice.
And there's the problem right there. Everything you say is predicated on the existence of your God. You equate a genuine lack of belief with some kind of denial - but again, just what would I be denying, if I don't believe the notional object of such denial even exists? Can you even imagine how all this looks from the viewpoint of a non-believer?

As for not insulting - just who are these "aggressive atheists" you keep referring to? Been reading the Daily Mail (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1169145/Religion-hatred-Why-longer-cowed-secular-zealots.html) today? Then there are previous posts like this:
Not so. Dawkins is a "shouty" professor at Oxford, who has departed from the declared purpose of his Chair (the public understanding of science) to turn it into "the public debunking of religion". He's also made it a personality cult, with his own adulation website. Google it, and you may be as disgusted as I am at the "self-seeking" on there. It's almost as if he were applying for the post of God.
...

Gargleblaster
12th Apr 2009, 00:56
Never discuss sex, religion or politics ... can't resist:

1. Over-religionness is normally a symptom of poverty, undereducation, stupidity, brainwashing or mental disease.

2. The world would have been much better off without religion, e.g. Israel and Palestina would be fighting a strictly territorial rather than a religious war.

BTW, IMHO the Pope is ... out of touch ... like the ... mullahs ? That's how Jon Steward would have put it, but he's Jewish).

Keef
12th Apr 2009, 01:06
Everything you say is predicted on the existence of your God. You equate a genuine lack of belief with some kind of denial - but again, just what would I be denying, if I don't believe the notional object of such denial even exists? Can you even imagine how all this looks from the viewpoint of a non-believer?

Not at all. Either you believe, or you do not. There is no prediction (or predication) there. I would say that by definition, "not believing" includes "not believing the notional object of denial even exists". How else could it be? What other interpretation would you propose?

No, I can't tell how it looks from the viewpoint of a non-believer, because I'm not one. I would imagine it's the mirror image of how the opposite looks to me - but without the gratuitous insults such as "It's all madness I tell you, madness" or "When one person suffers from a delusion it is called insanity. When many people suffer from a delusion it is called religion."

How do you think that looks from the viewpoint of a believer?

bnt
12th Apr 2009, 01:47
Not at all. Either you believe, or you do not. There is no prediction (or predication) there.
...
How do you think that looks from the viewpoint of a believer?
Oh, so it comes down to sneering at honest typos, does it? Classy. :rolleyes:

I have no trouble imagining how believers think. Even if I did, it wouldn't be a problem, since you made yourself quite clear earlier. I can't remember which preacher said "I don't want Knowledge, I want Certainty", but that tells me more than you might think at first glance. It would be easy, and a blessed relief, to have such Certainty about Life, the Universe, and Everything. I would be one of God's Chosen People. I would be Special. I would be Loved. Yay!

Unfortunately, I can't justify Certainty. I don't have all the answers. Neither do I feel particularly Special. Maybe it's because I read too much. I see many things I don't understand, yet I know I'm never going to understand anything if I turn away from the questions, and ignore this life in favour of a theory about a life this one.

What I do have is a degree of knowledge. After almost two years at university, studying structural engineering, I can design a steel frame structure so that it can take a certain load. This includes knowledge of what steel is, down to the atomic level; how it behaves when you do things to it, what not to do to it, and what it takes to make the right steel (precise control of carbon). I used to work in a steel factory, and I don't remember hearing the BOS furnace manager saying a prayer before plunging in that oxygen lance - yet in doing so he unleashed energies that would have had believers from the Middle Ages on their knees, believing that Armageddon had arrived.

I haven't been involved in aircraft design, but I saw the Boeing video where they tested a 777 wing to destruction: the engineers' figures were not exact, since the wing performed about 1% better than expected. These engineers didn't make "a wing and a prayer": just the wing, and that will do me too. I don't get where religion fits in to aviation, now that there are no more test pilots to bury (as in The Right Stuff). Ditto for this forum, despite its name.

Davaar
12th Apr 2009, 02:08
I can design a steel frame structure so that it can take a certain load

You think. Then you build in a safety factor because you are not really sure. How much? I don't know; is it 50% or 100%? Why is that? If you are so sure, why test to destruction?

Clever chaps built the first Tay Bridge, and it fell with a train on top. Then there was the St Lawrence bridge at Quebec. It fell too. That is why Canadian engineers all wear "the iron ring", originally made of metal from the bridge; just to keep them humble. The wings used to fall off the Fairey Barracuda, and of course the d. H. Comet came to a sad end. Engineers built that one too. The Titanic was designed by clever naval architects and built at a reputable yard. Where is The Titanic? Why?

I well recall one friend of mine, consulting engineer with more even than two years of college, who would lie awake on stormy nights in Scotland, mentally running over the structures he had designed. So he told me.

Keef
12th Apr 2009, 02:36
I can't remember which preacher said "I don't want Knowledge, I want Certainty", but that tells me more than you might think at first glance.
I don't know which preacher it was, either. It's not one I know, and not a principle I espouse. Perhaps you could be more precise.

You are attributing opinions to me that I do not hold. The theology I studied doesn't offer certainty - far from it.

I too worked in a foundry, and in a blast furnace. I have a somewhat less confident view than you of the precision of the metals "cooked" in the furnaces. Maybe I was there too long ago, because it wasn't measured using high-tech instruments, but by the judgement of a man who could tell from the colour when it was "done". Because of the imprecision of that process, the strength could not be judged to the last fraction of a percent, and there was a considerable safety margin in the stress calculations of the end product. Maybe the modern generation of foundrymen can produce molten metal to much more precise molecular structure - even to the atomic level - so the safety margins aren't needed any more. I wouldn't want to be on the structures made in that way.

No, I don't think mediaeval theologians would think the oxygen lance bears any relationship to Armageddon. Copper and iron were being worked millenia before that. Blast furnaces and Bessemer converters hadn't been invented in the middle ages, but the folks in Toledo making steel weren't dummies.

ATCO1962
12th Apr 2009, 04:52
Happy Easter, fellow PPRuners. Whether you believe or no, may your communities, families and selves enjoy peace.

Have a great day!

Roger Sofarover
12th Apr 2009, 05:52
Keef

You seem very sensitive for a member of the clergy.

No, I can't tell how it looks from the viewpoint of a non-believer, because I'm not one. I would imagine it's the mirror image of how the opposite looks to me - but without the gratuitous insults such as "It's all madness I tell you, madness" or "When one person suffers from a delusion it is called insanity. When many people suffer from a delusion it is called religion."
How do you think that looks from the viewpoint of a believer? The last quote was followed by a 'wink', I am sure the poster was not intending to be insulting. As for

There is no evidence for any of it, other than the writings of some very power crazy men. It's all madness I tell you, madness.It is Keef, and that is not insulting. For all that is known at the moment, the Old Testament appears to be a 2500 year old work of fiction that somebody has found and said 'this is all true'. Even today with the advances of science people now pick and choose what they believe from the book. Why? I always found it funny how there is absolutely no mention in the Moses story of the actual name of the most influential, powerful man on the planet at the time, the Pharaoh. Not one clue, no name, at a time when his name was banded around on the lips of everyone. In the historys of Ancient Egypt, with all the details and timelines of every Pharaoh we do have, there is nothing to indicate the exodus, nor in particular a Pharoh and his cohorts being swallowed up by the Red Sea. Nothing. It's more akin to someone writing a story 200 years later saying 'we will call this bloke Moses, now who would the Pharaoh have been,,,mmm haven't got a bloody clue, lets just call him Pharaoh',

The New Testament is a similar collection of writings, many of them written and compiled long after the life of Jesus had ended, and lets face it, there are historical records of Paul who kicked all of this off and he was not a particularly savoury character was he, and neither had he met Jesus. The people who wrote the current books and Gospels in the bible may have been for all we know the Wilbur Smiths of the day but no where near as talented.

As a book for teaching people how to live their lives and to establish the basis for a society with law and order it is a start, but thats it. Do you as a believer choose which bits in the book to believe or not? If so why? Was Lazarus really raised from the dead? or was it infact a metephor for a man who was a senior member of the essene church who lived in the 'light' who then quit (as he did) and left to become 'one of the dead', living in darkness, who is then visited by another senior member of the church, Jesus, who says 'mate, you better come back with me to the light, we need you you know', so off Lazarus went back to the light, raised from 'the dead'.

A discussion is not automatically insulting and believers should be prepared to account for all this. Countless millions have died as a result of these writings. Even recently the Catholic church has apologised for the atrocities of the inquisition, why? It was all done in Gods name then so it must be just as good now. Did they get it wrong? Was it infact a series of cruel events dreamt up and justified by man rather than the 'God told me in my head last night to do it' story? If the Church now admit this was wrong, what will be apologised for next? The slaughter of millions of indigenous people in the Americas perhaps, or 'yep we admit it, Paul wanted to start his own club and well to be honest we never thought it would grow this big, its all got a bit out of hand really'

Why when people are asking for proof in the light of many documented 'human errors' in the history of the church do believers say 'you are insulting me', why Captain Stable do you start the

You cannot prove God does not exist. I cannot prove He does. I don't insult your lack of belief in God. So please don't insult my belief.What has been insulting? Stand up and argue for your God and if there is a non believer then are you supposed to all get angry or isn't pity more appropriate, fighting talk from believers certainy isn't.

The problem is that in a world of educated people the clergy of today face far more problems than their forebears when it comes to conversion. It was very easy in the past, you hold a sword at my throat and say convert or lose your head, 'how many hail Marys do you want me to say' I ask. The conversion techniques of Gods right hand man on earth were quite simple 500 years ago

Pope Nicolas authorized Portugal ''to invade, search out, capture, vanquish and subdue all Saracens and pagans'' along the west coast of Africa, enslave them and confiscate their property.Very God like and Christian I must say. The only thing that will work now is debate, and saying 'I don't have to justify or explain my beliefs to you' is not only a nonesense, but fuels the whole idea that if you cannot talk about an otherwise imaginary person, it is indeed madness.

ATCO1962

Happy Easter, fellow PPRuners. Whether you believe or no, may your communities, families and selves enjoy peace.

Have a great day!

spot on!:ok:

edited for Henry to say whoops!:O

henry crun
12th Apr 2009, 06:11
Roger, when you say "here, here", who are you asking to go there ?

BDiONU
12th Apr 2009, 08:12
An atheistic zealot is just as bad as a religious zealot. :}
Hhhhmm, when is the last time you had an atheist knock on your door and try to tell you the 'good news'? Have you ever seen an atheist 'temple' which would have been the largest and grandest building in the area a hundred years ago? Have you seen an atheist channel on satellite/cable tv? Do atheists run indoctrination classes like the alpha course (obviously not because we're all born atheist, you have to learn religion)? Do atheists campaign to keep their chosen 'religion' tax free? Are atheists represented in the UK house of lords, purely because they're atheist? Etc etc.

http://www2.b3ta.com/host/creative/21755/1181773115/powers.gif

BD
"Ridicule is the only weapon that can be used against unintelligible propositions. Ideas must be distinct before reason can act upon them."
-Thomas Jefferson

BDiONU
12th Apr 2009, 08:19
I don't insult your lack of belief in God. So please don't insult my belief.

The way to deal with superstition is not to be polite to it, but to tackle it with all arms, and so rout it, cripple it, and make it forever infamous and ridiculous. Is it, perchance, cherished by persons who should know better? Then their folly should be brought out into the light of day, and exhibited there in all its hideousness until they flee from it, hiding their heads in shame.
True enough, even a superstitious man has certain inalienable rights. He has a right to harbor and indulge his imbecilities as long as he pleases, provided only he does not try to inflict them upon other men by force. He has a right to argue for them as eloquently as he can, in season and out of season. He has a right to teach them to his children. But certainly he has no right to be protected against the free criticism of those who do not hold them. He has no right to demand that they be treated as sacred. He has no right to preach them without challenge. Did Darrow, in the course of his dreadful bombardment of Bryan, drop a few shells, incidentally, into measurably cleaner camps? Then let the garrisons of those camps look to their defenses. They are free to shoot back. But they can't disarm their enemy.
-- H L Mencken, "Aftermath" The Baltimore Evening Sun, (September 14, 1925)

BD

Whirlygig
12th Apr 2009, 08:35
BD, in answer to your questions, all of them - no, never etc etc. (except on Pprune :}) BD, if you have the money to set up your own atheism TV channel, then go ahead; it's easy enough. Run your own brain-washing Omega course.

Unfortunately BD, (and I hate to make things personal here), I find your style of "preaching atheism" brings a bad name upon the rest of us "live-and-let-live" atheists who try to respect other people's views.

Roger Sofarover made an excellent, reasoned post; shame more can't be like that.

So BD, why do you have the need to try to "convert" Christians in such an evangelical manner? Why the need to leap into every religious thread and point out the errors of anyone who does not believe as you do? Why should it bother you so much?

What bothers me is that you have taken one man's vocation and effectively kneed it in the nuts. Why should Keef's Christianity affect you?

You are not going to change anyone's mind, you do know that don't you? So, if you can accept that you are not going to convert anyone to your brand of atheism, then why not try to get along, learn to respect other people's views and understand why the feel the way they do.

Cheers

Whirls





...and Keef, we ain't all like BD, OK? :ok: Most of us are not aggressive and find some of the insults bandied around unnecessary. And yes BD, you were being insulting.

BDiONU
12th Apr 2009, 08:46
Unfortunately BD, (and I hate to make things personal here), I find your style of "preaching atheism" brings a bad name upon the rest of us "live-and-let-live" atheists who try to respect other people's views.
No worries. I do not attack religious belief as such. I freely and with gusto attack religious behaviour that is incompatible with civilization, and behaviour incompatible with its own professed values; and I also attack religiously-motivated disbelief in facts. That is not the same as attacking a particular god or belief in god.
I’ve always tried to be careful to distinguish between religious extremists and the religious. They are two different categories in my mind. As far as I’m concerned, people can believe whatever they want, as long as their beliefs do not bring harm upon their fellow people - and as long as that is true, I will take no interest whatever in what god they or anyone else believes in. I’m certainly no evangelist for atheism.

BD

Davaar
12th Apr 2009, 10:01
Oh wad some pow'r the giftie gi'e us
Tae see oorsels as ithers see us .

Is "e = mc squared" a fact? Or is it a theory?

BDiONU
12th Apr 2009, 10:39
.Is "e = mc squared" a fact? Or is it a theory?

Words have precise meanings in science. For example, 'theory', 'law', and 'hypothesis' don't all mean the same thing. Outside of science, you might say something is 'just a theory', meaning it's supposition that may or may not be true. In science, a theory is an explanation that generally is accepted to be true.

Lay people often misinterpret the language used by scientists. And for that reason, they sometimes draw the wrong conclusions as to what the scientific terms mean.

Three such terms that are often used interchangeably are "scientific law," "hypothesis," and "theory." Here is what each of these terms means to a scientist:

Scientific Law: This is a statement of fact meant to describe, in concise terms, an action or set of actions. It is generally accepted to be true and universal, and can sometimes be expressed in terms of a single mathematical equation. Scientific laws are similar to mathematical postulates. They don’t really need any complex external proofs; they are accepted at face value based upon the fact that they have always been observed to be true.

Specifically, scientific laws must be simple, true, universal, and absolute. They represent the cornerstone of scientific discovery, because if a law ever did not apply, then all science based upon that law would collapse.

Some scientific laws, or laws of nature, include the law of gravity, Newton's laws of motion, the laws of thermodynamics, Boyle's law of gases, the law of conservation of mass and energy, and Hook’s law of elasticity.

Hypothesis: This is an educated guess based upon observation. It is a rational explanation of a single event or phenomenon based upon what is observed, but which has not been proved. Most hypotheses can be supported or refuted by experimentation or continued observation.

Theory: A theory is more like a scientific law than a hypothesis. A theory is an explanation of a set of related observations or events based upon proven hypotheses and verified multiple times by detached groups of researchers. One scientist cannot create a theory; he can only create a hypothesis.

In general, both a scientific theory and a scientific law are accepted to be true by the scientific community as a whole. Both are used to make predictions of events. Both are used to advance technology.

In fact, some laws, such as the law of gravity, can also be theories when taken more generally. The law of gravity is expressed as a single mathematical expression and is presumed to be true all over the universe and all through time. Without such an assumption, we can do no science based on gravity's effects. But from the law, we derived Einstein's General Theory of Relativity in which gravity plays a crucial role. The basic law is intact, but the theory expands it to include various and complex situations involving space and time.

The biggest difference between a law and a theory is that a theory is much more complex and dynamic. A law describes a single action, whereas a theory explains an entire group of related phenomena.

An analogy can be made using a slingshot and an automobile.

A scientific law is like a slingshot. A slingshot has but one moving part--the rubber band. If you put a rock in it and draw it back, the rock will fly out at a predictable speed, depending upon the distance the band is drawn back.

An automobile has many moving parts, all working in unison to perform the chore of transporting someone from one point to another point. An automobile is a complex piece of machinery. Sometimes, improvements are made to one or more component parts. A new set of spark plugs that are composed of a better alloy that can withstand heat better, for example, might replace the existing set. But the function of the automobile as a whole remains unchanged.

A theory is like the automobile. Components of it can be changed or improved upon, without changing the overall truth of the theory as a whole.

Some scientific theories include the theory of evolution, the theory of relativity, the atomic theory, and the quantum theory. All of these theories are well documented and proved beyond reasonable doubt. Yet scientists continue to tinker with the component hypotheses of each theory in an attempt to make them more elegant and concise, or to make them more all-encompassing. Theories can be tweaked, but they are seldom, if ever, entirely replaced.

A theory is developed only through the scientific method, meaning it is the final result of a series of rigorous processes. Note that a theory never becomes a law unless it was very narrow to begin with. Scientific laws must exist prior to the start of using the scientific method because, as stated earlier, laws are the foundation for all science.

BD

Davaar
12th Apr 2009, 11:11
So many words! Yes/No?

ThreadBaron
12th Apr 2009, 11:14
So many words! Yes/No

Yes ..... lotsa, lotsa words. FACT.

arcniz
12th Apr 2009, 11:22
Is "e = mc squared" a fact? Or is it a theory?

Really there, Davaar, it would be neither if truth were the ruler.

The statement posits definition of a relationship, but in a very lawyerly way. All of the named parties are John Does, with only a rudimentary approximation of their true nature. The only absolute affirmation is that the matter under discussion acts in a two-dimensional space (or is it three?). Otherwise the players are anonymous, the dates and times indefinite in the extreme, and all the "constants" are negotiable, with details to be added later.

This utterance is a LAW, Herr Davaar, mostly for the convenience of those who have to deliver a result, regardless. It is neither true nor right, but simply a law.

BDiONU
12th Apr 2009, 11:29
So many words! Yes/No?
There is no 'proof' or absolute 'truth' in science (only in Mathematics) so you need to accept the definition of a scientific fact as being indisputable observations. Under that definition Einstein's theory is a scientific fact.

I know it sounds complicated but science requires that you are specific and uses words with precise definitions.

BD

Davaar
12th Apr 2009, 11:52
the real world (the world of proven facts)

Just asking, prompted by post #204 above. So: fact or theory?

hellsbrink
12th Apr 2009, 12:01
It is Keef, and that is not insulting. For all that is known at the moment, the Old Testament appears to be a 2500 year old work of fiction that somebody has found and said 'this is all true'. Even today with the advances of science people now pick and choose what they believe from the book. Why? I always found it funny how there is absolutely no mention in the Moses story of the actual name of the most influential, powerful man on the planet at the time, the Pharaoh. Not one clue, no name, at a time when his name was banded around on the lips of everyone. In the historys of Ancient Egypt, with all the details and timelines of every Pharaoh we do have, there is nothing to indicate the exodus, nor in particular a Pharoh and his cohorts being swallowed up by the Red Sea. Nothing. It's more akin to someone writing a story 200 years later saying 'we will call this bloke Moses, now who would the Pharaoh have been,,,mmm haven't got a bloody clue, lets just call him Pharaoh',

The New Testament is a similar collection of writings, many of them written and compiled long after the life of Jesus had ended, and lets face it, there are historical records of Paul who kicked all of this off and he was not a particularly savoury character was he, and neither had he met Jesus. The people who wrote the current books and Gospels in the bible may have been for all we know the Wilbur Smiths of the day but no where near as talented.

Don't forget that said "book", when first compiled, was done with bits "cherry picked", i.e. only certain texts were included. Also, remember how many different "bibles" there are, remember that they are translations of translations (see here List of English Bible translations - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_English_Bible_translations) for what I mean on both these counts, and that's just the English language ones), how the different churches (Protestant, RC, Greek Orthodow, Russian Orthodox, etc) use different versions, how much the translations include what the translator thought the words meant.... I could go on

So, when there are so many flaws in the way the "Good Book" has been conceived, written, etc, how can anyone say it can remotely be the "truth"?

ATCO1962
12th Apr 2009, 13:33
BD quote:

There is no 'proof' or absolute 'truth' in science (only in Mathematics) so you need to accept the definition of a scientific fact as being indisputable observations. Under that definition Einstein's theory is a scientific fact.

BD, BD, BD; we all know that science history is littered with "facts" and theories that have subsequently proven wildly inaccurate. Indisputable observations? How can observations ever attain that lofty status of being beyond dispute, let alone examination? Tsk, tsk.

I would love atheists to band together and form the number and quality of humane organisations that Christianity has produced over the centuries. It's easy to shoot from the sidelines at different faith groups; much harder to positively bring about good change and measurable progress for the world's suffering. I have had the privilege of knowing scores of such organisations and the beautiful people who staff them.

Again, happy Easter to you all.

bnt
12th Apr 2009, 14:15
You think. Then you build in a safety factor because you are not really sure. How much? I don't know; is it 50% or 100%? Why is that? If you are so sure, why test to destruction?
...
I studied the Tay Bridge disaster, and the official report makes horrifying reading. A major flaw was the failure to design for wind loads, because the designer (Bouch) had been given a particular low figure by several sources (including the Astronomer Royal) that led him to believe he could discount them. One of the expert witnesses at the Inquiry, Prof. G.G. Stokes, was able to come up with a more realistic figure, which led him to further research in to fluid mechanics that is still highly relevant today.

We actually study structural disasters, to learn from them. 114 people died in a Kansas City hotel in 1981, when a walkway failed (link (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hyatt_Regency_walkway_collapse)). The details of what went wrong are highly instructive, and are still being taught today as a lesson in engineering ethics. To cut a long story short: the original design was not quite up to code, and had to be changed, but the change the engineers chose introduced a fatal flaw in to the design.

I used the Boeing 777 example, where the wing failed at close to the design load, which included a safety factor of 50% over the design limit load (max load in flight). I got the figure slightly wrong: it failed at 154%:

pe9PVaFGl3o

To get back on topic, if I may: when designing something, you do not claim to be 100% certain, which was what I was getting at. If you claim certainty in engineering, you had better be able to back it up with solid evidence, because people die if you get it wrong. Safety factors are an admission that you can not be certain, and are nothing to be ashamed of. I can design for a given load, but I can't be certain that the given load will be the load a building actually experiences. (What happens, ten years down the line, when the occupier moves in a shelf of books, or a bank of loaded filing cabinets - or a huge safe?) So, you try as hard as you can to avoid mistakes, and you build in safety factors, because you can't see in to the future.

We can see in to the past. When (not if) mistakes occur, you learn from them, and avoid work them in the future. (Look up the history of the Citigroup Center (http://www.duke.edu/%7Ehpgavin/ce131/citicorp1.htm) for an example of a disaster averted.) Got a better idea? What else do we have to work with? If prayers could hold structures up, there are many failed structures that would still be standing today.

Keef
12th Apr 2009, 14:17
Oh well. Lord, I tried.

Happy Easter to everyone.

BDiONU
12th Apr 2009, 14:45
BD, BD, BD; we all know that science history is littered with "facts" and theories that have subsequently proven wildly inaccurate.
And your point is what? Since all science is, by the nature of science, provisional and is only as accepted as the last experiment failed to disprove it, it is self correcting. Unlike the bible which is religious dogma, thought to be authoritative and not to be disputed, doubted or diverged from.

Indisputable observations? How can observations ever attain that lofty status of being beyond dispute, let alone examination? Tsk, tsk.
Gravity?

I would love atheists to band together and form the number and quality of humane organisations that Christianity has produced over the centuries.
Ah so now we have the opportunity to list organisations which do charitable work split into religious groups and those who just want help. Don't think I'll be going there. You failed to mention the deaths, murders etc. etc. caused by religion. I've never seen any factual accounts of atheists banding together to kill those who don't believe as they do (and before I hear the usual garbage about Hitler, Stalin, Pol pot etc. they did not murder because of atheism).

BD

Davaar
12th Apr 2009, 15:05
they did not murder because of atheism).


Nor for religion.

You have never seen me attack atheism (a) as your posts and cartoons in abundance attack religion or (b) at all.

Roger Sofarover
12th Apr 2009, 15:30
Keef

A very happy easter to you too. You seemed to avoid answering any of my post to you, after you claim to be insulted, maybe you are short of time, I understand. When you do have time though. I would be grateful, as I also would for an explanation as to why you are allowed to insult me.

Here is a reply from you on the 'Did Man Go To The Moon Thread'

Where else would all the green cheese have come from but those cheese mines on the moon! :rolleyes:

It worries me that apparently intelligent people can get so fixated on conspiracy theories that they ignore the evidence, fingers in ears, shouting la-la-la. And as for Holocaust denial:mad:

(note for Capt Stable as you also feel insulted by the questioning of religion, you frequently insult the moon landing deniers)

Now I find that really really insulting, so what gives you the right? To deal with your post lets get the holocaust denial out the way, I don't know who you replied to on that issue but it is not something I have ever even thought of so it has nothing to do with this, I quoted you verbatim for fairness. However I do choose to believe that Man has not been to the lunar surface. I am 'apparently Intelligent', but certainly not fixated on conspiracy theories.

It seems acceptable then for you to pass judgement that I ignore evidence (to which there is lots to the contrary) and sit with my fingers in my ears going la la la. That's quite insulting Keef, but you deem it ok, yet I am expected to give you your right (as a clergyman in particular) to believe in something that has not one iota of proof, not one tiny scrap of evidence, the case for which if presented in a court would be thrown out, and if I contest that and challenge it, it is deemed insulting ,so much so you refuse to even comment on my reply to you (to difficult perhaps?). I have never suggested that believers 'ignore the evidence sit with their fingers in their ears going la la la', but I could hardly be blamed for doing so when you look at the evidence, evidence which you seem to hold so crucial to moon landings, yet becomes an irrelevance when the foundations of Christianity are questioned. I try to engage believers in reasonable dialogue in order that I understand, but the only answer I get is 'how dare you insult me.

It amuses me no end that certain people on this forum will lash out at others saying "you are a lunatic, the evidence is staring you in the face for the moon landings and 9/11 you should be ashamed of yourself blah blah blah, and the same people are hard line creationists!! It beggers belief.

I am confused Keef, help me out here. I have beliefs just as you do. I cannot question yours without you claiming insult, but you can call me la la:confused:

So when I say that religious writings are madness I tell you madness,

what is the difference between that and you calling me La La? Apart from I was being general and talking about religious writings and you were being personal?

waren9
12th Apr 2009, 16:01
I would love atheists to band together and form the number and quality of humane organisations that Christianity has produced over the centuries. It's easy to shoot from the sidelines at different faith groups; much harder to positively bring about good change and measurable progress for the world's suffering. I have had the privilege of knowing scores of such organisations and the beautiful people who staff them.


I cant help but feel that the good mentioned above isnt a piss in the ocean compared to the harm men inflict on each other for the lack of tolerance for anothers belief.

Had we all been atheists, a good many of these organisations wouldnt be required in the first place.

BDiONU
12th Apr 2009, 16:44
Nor for religion.
LOL! Oh please don't be silly :p
You have never seen me attack atheism (a) as your posts and cartoons in abundance attack religion or (b) at all.
What is there to attack, the absence of a learned belief?

BD

bnt
12th Apr 2009, 16:49
Summary of this thread so far:

http://www.irreligion.org/wp-content/uploads/2008/11/ath.gif

Well, it's almost dinner time:

http://whorechurch.files.wordpress.com/2007/12/atheism.jpg

BDiONU
12th Apr 2009, 17:16
http://i80.photobucket.com/albums/j176/BDiONU/The-Atheist-e.jpg

http://i80.photobucket.com/albums/j176/BDiONU/Atheist_baby.jpg

Davaar
12th Apr 2009, 17:25
LOL! Oh please don't be silly

Are you telling me that Hitler, Stalin and Pol Pot did kill for religion?

BDiONU
12th Apr 2009, 17:32
Are you telling me that Hitler, Stalin and Pol Pot did kill for religion?
Their reasons were political, however even the genocide they indulged in doesn't equal the numbers killed in the name of religion over the centuries.

BD

Keef
12th Apr 2009, 17:35
Keef

A very happy easter to you too. You seemed to avoid answering any of my post to you, after you claim to be insulted, maybe you are short of time, I understand. When you do have time though. I would be grateful, as I also would for an explanation as to why you are allowed to insult me.
I didn't realise an answer was required, and I'm not sure how to answer you.

For all that is known at the moment, the Old Testament appears to be a 2500 year old work of fiction that somebody has found and said 'this is all true'.
No, not according to any theology I know. It wasn't lost, so somebody didn't find it. It is a complex document - the literature of an ancient people setting out their relationship with God. It's made up of history, philosophy, poetry, polemics, aetiology, apocalyptic, and other varieties of literature. I don't know how to get from that to "this is all true", so I can't answer that allegation.

The New Testament is a similar collection of writings, many of them written and compiled long after the life of Jesus had ended, and lets face it, there are historical records of Paul who kicked all of this off and he was not a particularly savoury character was he, and neither had he met Jesus.
Written between about 50AD and 150AD, so around 20 to 120 years after the crucifixion. I suppose to a newspaper journalist, that is "long after". To a historian, maybe not. Your call how you choose to interpret it.

Paul was a human being. He met Jesus, and that changed him totally. Read Acts and you may see what I mean.

Do you as a believer choose which bits in the book to believe or not?
No. I read it with a commentary to explain the background - what is allegory, what is poetry, what is aetiology, and so on. "Believe" or "not" isn't a meaningful concept.

A discussion is not automatically insulting and believers should be prepared to account for all this.
Discussion is fine. Insults are not universally helpful, as you have noticed.
Why am I required to "account for all this"? To whom? To you?

Countless millions have died as a result of these writings.
No. Not so. Countless millions have died as a result of man's desire for power and wealth, or hatred of those who are "different". Sadly, in the middle ages the seat of power was (inappropriately, in my view) in the Church so that's where the Borgias and the like went. That is no reflection on Jesus.

As to the comment about dozens of translations - yes, there are probably over a thousand by now. All those I know are based on the best manuscripts available at the time; as more become available, unclear passages are resolved. None of the major translations are deliberately set to mislead.

Anyway, I have to go out now. I hope the above helps, but I can't promise to spend long hours writing responses in here. As others have said, neither side is going to convince the other.

Roger Sofarover
12th Apr 2009, 17:45
Keef
Thank you

So why the comments about being La La?

bnt
12th Apr 2009, 18:07
Are you telling me that Hitler, Stalin and Pol Pot did kill for religion?
Well, I don't know whether Hitler personally killed anyone, but he was a Catholic whose beliefs changed over time but never went away. He would say different things at different times, but publicly portrayed his war against the Jews as a Christian struggle. Plenty of those quotes can be found here (http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Adolf_Hitler).

Whenever this question comes up, again and again, all it tells me is that someone is missing the point slightly. Religion is only one form of blind dogma, and all dogma should be opposed, not just religion. There is no point in dropping one irrational belief system just to take up another, regardless of what you call it or whether it calls itself a religion. I would argue Stalinism was a religion and I'm not the first to say so: it had many of the trappings of religion, and a god-like figure in Stalin whose every word was law. Khruschev had a lot to say about that, after Stalin's death, in his "Secret Speech"; none of it good.

Pol Pot? Nutter with warped feudal beliefs so far removed from reality as to qualify as a religion. After gaining power, he targeted anyone and everyone who could possibly threaten him, regardless of their religion or lack thereof. If you were an "intellectual" - whatever that meant to him - you were dead. Only peasants were worth anything in his belief system, so he made sure that every living citizen in his country was a peasant.

If there were such things as "dogmatic science" or "dogmatic atheism" I would oppose them too - except that I've never seen any evidence of them, outside of anti-atheist rants by those with a special vested interest in pushing their particular religion. You certainly won't find it in the popular books by e.g. Hitchens or Dawkins, so I have to wonder whether the accusers have actually read them, or are going by what other anti-atheists have claimed.

I really don't like getting involved in these kinds of discussions, because they always end up circular (as the title says). No-one reads. No-one listens. If in doubt, assume the worst. :rolleyes:

Davaar
12th Apr 2009, 18:13
Their reasons were political, however even the genocide they indulged in doesn't equal the numbers killed in the name of religion over the centuries.


Please cite your authority for this, with numbers. These of necessity must be approximate, but I'll accept that. You are making an statement of fact, so this should be easy for you.

BDiONU
12th Apr 2009, 18:28
Please cite your authority for this, with numbers. These of necessity must be approximate, but I'll accept that. You are making an statement of fact, so this should be easy for you.
Gosh, where to start its such a rich seam to mine! There is no way I could put everything in this post. A quick google will bring you a vast amount of information but to start you off the Thirty Years War (1618-1648, Protestants versus Catholics) reduced the population of German States by 15% - 30%. Some worse than others, for example the Württemberg lost three-quarters of its population during the war. In the territory of Brandenburg, the losses had amounted to half, while in some areas an estimated two-thirds of the population died. The male population of the German states was reduced by almost half.

Germany — The Thirty Years' War — The Peace of Westphalia. About.com. Germany - The Thirty Years' War - The Peace of Westphalia (http://historymedren.about.com/library/text/bltxtgermany16.htm).

Prussia in the later 17th Century, University of Wisconsin-Madison.

BD

Davaar
12th Apr 2009, 18:36
Gosh, where to start its such a rich seam to mine!

Cut out the evasion. You are the big man with the facts. You made a statement of fact. Back it up.

Miserlou
12th Apr 2009, 22:03
The 'Hitler & Stalin were atheists' ploy is just a smoke screen. They used the same totalitarian mindset which church leaders have always used.
Thus, this lline of reasoning actually undermines the 'believers' point.

The unquestioning, totalitarian mindset is equally bad whether by church or state.
Openness to discussion including, perhaps especially, contrary viewpoints are rare in both religious and secular, political regimes.

Davaar
13th Apr 2009, 00:05
Still, Miserlou, you may want to keep your story within the relevant. The proposition above is stated:

You failed to mention the deaths, murders etc. etc. caused by religion. I've never seen any factual accounts of atheists banding together to kill those who don't believe as they do (and before I hear the usual garbage about Hitler, Stalin, Pol pot etc. they did not murder because of atheism).


A contrast is seen between bad religionists and benign atheists. I'll leave you to work out the class occupied by Hitler, Stalin, Pol Pot, etc., or even et al. Now as I read the text, they are atheists. As you read it, they are closet religionists. That is not what at least two of them said at the time, and is not what the original poster implied. Or do you think he was mistaken?

You may want to add Mao Tse Tung and Napoleon Buonaparte to the list, evangelists both, not to mention Genghis Khan, Attila the Hun, and Alaric the Goth.

ZEEBEE
13th Apr 2009, 02:07
Keef


You call Christianity a cult. I don't, as I am sure you appreciate. In fact, I see it as an unnecessary and gratuitous insult. I'm used to those, but I am still offended by them. It reminds me why I rarely venture in here these days.

Sorry Keef, it wasn't meant as an insult, but in the days of Constantine, Christianity would MOST certainly have been regarded as a cult in amongst the myriad of other "religions" that existed in those days.
To be insulted by that is to suggest that you didn't fully appreciate the role of Christianity in those times.

Given that a day had to be chosen to celebrate Christmas, and given that "the birth of Christ is in fact a very sketchy and poorly documented event that is ... chronologically confused", what alternative date would you suggest?


Well, it's not really for me to suggest anything, but I have to wonder why an event as momentous as the birth of our saviour should be so poorly chronicled. This suggests a tardiness on the part of god that makes anything else decreed look a bit secondhand.
However to attribute the celebration of the birth of Christ to the same day as that celebrated by it's rival is akin to suggesting we celebrate Mother Teresa's birthday on April 20th because it's close enough.
(April 20th was Hitler's birthday)

Given that Good Friday was the Friday of Passover in the Jewish tradition, what alternative date to the Sunday after Passover would you propose for Easter?


Again, given that the events of Easter are not historically recorded in any reliable context and seems hence largely fictitious, I guess that it is as convenient to celebrate it on the holy day of the group that were complicit in the death of jesus as any other.

Peace