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 Earthpuppy
Joined: 2/9/2008
Msg: 1134
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Scorp...for all your righteousness and superior wisdom, you are still a bit naive about what happens in the real world vs. your purist Jewish one.

I worked in a slaughterhouse, a few days on the kill floor, and on the deboning line and packing and koshering aspects for a year. Two or three days a week we did kosher runs. The treatment of cattle was far from humane, and the sechita was often sloppy and the cattle were hung upside down, barely stunned and obviously in pain and struggling as the fatal cut was administered. As a gentile, I was asked to help the rabbis on occassion by walking across barrels of meat with a garden hose, sprinking your holy food as he chanted magic incantations/prayers/whatever. I never saw meat rejected via the 70 some criteria for kosher. It was all about production and playing the rules differently in a private setting. Temple Grandin has helped in recent years, to make the business of meat eating a bit kinder, but I've no doubt that uncivil, inhumane practices are more the norm than you would like to admit. This article's author goes so far to suggest that opposition to leg hanging while doing sechita is anti-semetic.
http://www.grandin.com/ritual/kosher.slaughter.html

I also got to watch the transition of one little white midwestern town in recent years, as Hassidic Jews moved in, replaced the workforce with immigrants, and the ensuing raids, lawsuits, and ultimate destruction of the town. Agriprocessors is still one of the worst abusers of animals and humans in the name of kosher. Rubaskins were found guilty of abusing child labor laws, workers rights violations, and what amounts to slavery and trading humans for profit.
http://blogs.wsj.com/bankruptcy/2009/05/12/postville-marks-anniversary-of-agriprocessors-raid/
http://heebnvegan.blogspot.com/2006/05/forward-workers-rights-abuses-at.html

PS..There is a lot of fecal matter and illegal body parts and blood that gets into your kosher food, just like everyone elses. If you are what you eat, then you're dead meat.
 HalftimeDad
Joined: 5/29/2005
Msg: 1135
Evolution
Posted: 5/1/2011 8:13:21 AM
I'm going to come to Scorpio's defence here.

He spoke of his religion because that's the one he knows best. Just like Anasthasia spoke of hers. And there is a Cree religion - it wasn't insulting for him to say that when you posted a Cree parable.

My personal belief isn't that religion is the problem - people are. Our world would be in a much bigger mess if the dominant religion in the West wasn't founded on the principles of forgiveness, caring for others and reaching out to those in need. Most people don't act that way, but the blame isn't to be laid on their faith.

We here in North America are more leery of religion entering political discussion because of our experiences over the last 30 years. The dominant religious leaders haven't spoken about helping the poor, comforting those in prison or healing the sick. But that's not the fault of Christianity, nor Christians as a whole.

A very good Christian case can be made for protecting the environment - others are far more qualified than me. But, off the top of my head: the human cost of a degraded environment falls disproportionately on the poor. From toxic waste dumped in Africa, to depleted aquifers for subsistence farmers, to rising ocean levels flooding half of Bangladesh. A Christian would say that we're all in this together, and we have an obligation from a position of privilege to do what they can't do in Africa, or Bangladesh: namely try to protect and heal the planet. Starting with reducing our own carbon footprint.

And Scorpio is right when he claims that the anti-Slavery movement was started in churches.
 Earthpuppy
Joined: 2/9/2008
Msg: 1136
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Posted: 5/1/2011 9:35:10 AM
Slavery was also justified in the Torah and Bible for centuries before churches and synagogues finally started opposing it.

There are two diametrically opposing views on "creation". That troubling passage in Genesis can be interpreted as either "dominion" over the earth or "stewardship" of the earth an all it's life.

I still get Creation Care mag in the mail every month.
http://creationcare.org/
Started attending their annual EEN Earth Day gatherings when they had them here in Chattanooga in the early 90s. I was raised in the stewardship tradition and was thrilled that there were those in the religious community that were getting it. Despite their dedication to creation care, they thought that tree huggers went too far, and were pagans to be feared. Some pastor friends and their peers are heading to DC to lobby for creation care this week.

Unfortunately the Dominionists/Armageddon huggers are dominating the misleadership of this country. Palin's church is typical of those dominionist types who maintain that the earth was meant to be used up before the second coming and the big burn. They have undue influence over our congress, particularly the conservative side which is why there is a constant barage of anti-environmental legislation and anti-social legislation. The battle between olde testament interpretation and new testament is not playing out well in saving the earth. As resources tighten up and prices drive more to desperation, the dominionist philosophy will prevail over "costly" environmental legislation, endangered species legislation, saving forests, waters, and air. As resources wear down and global tensions rise, the dominionists will be primed to set up their theocracy here and further their global goals.
http://www.theocracywatch.org/

Thankfully they will all be leaving us alone on May 21st.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/04/25/believers-warn-neighbors_n_853505.html
 scorpiomover
Joined: 4/19/2007
Msg: 1137
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Posted: 5/1/2011 2:06:06 PM
RE Msg: 2425 by HalftimeDad:
I'm going to come to Scorpio's defence here.

He spoke of his religion because that's the one he knows best. Just like Anasthasia spoke of hers. And there is a Cree religion - it wasn't insulting for him to say that when you posted a Cree parable.
Thank you. Not that I expected you to. But it is nice to know that you can be understanding.

My personal belief isn't that religion is the problem - people are. Our world would be in a much bigger mess if the dominant religion in the West wasn't founded on the principles of forgiveness, caring for others and reaching out to those in need. Most people don't act that way, but the blame isn't to be laid on their faith.
That is pretty much how I see it.

We here in North America are more leery of religion entering political discussion because of our experiences over the last 30 years. The dominant religious leaders haven't spoken about helping the poor, comforting those in prison or healing the sick. But that's not the fault of Christianity, nor Christians as a whole.
I see.

I think I've been raised to lead a very different life.

I found out in my teens, how part of the Rabbi's job, included visiting the sick, and those in prison, and trying to help them.

I've been on more sponsored walks, runs, and other events, to raise money for some charity or other, than I care to remember. They were organised by my Jewish school, or my Synagogue, or the Jewish youth group I used to go to. Likewise, I'd get approached by all my friends, to sponsor them.

When I was in my teens, I was in the Synagogue's Youth Service. Each week on the Sabbath, 2 of us went to the local Jewish old age home, to help out with the service, and to go around and greet the old men and women. On average, I'd end up going every 8 weeks. Most could barely talk. Only one could walk. They dribbled, they often smelled of wee. We were expected to smile anyway, and be nice to them. Sniffing our nose up at them was not an option.

When I went to Yeshiva, a couple in the community had 2 extremely disabled boys. They needed daily physio. But they were so busy looking after them all day long, they just didn't have the money to pay for one. Each night, 2 of us would go over, and do physio on the boys, for about 30-40 minutes each. It was a real relief for the parents, who weren spent looking after them all day long, to have that little bit of support. It always made me feel sick to even think about it. However, I loved helping them. These kids were always smiling, and so genuinely happy, that after a while, they brought me joy, just to see them.

Later on, I moved to another Yeshiva. There, I used to go over to held a disabled guy, and had to help him out a lot. It made me feel very uncomfortable. But I had to put on a brave face, smile, and do it anyway.

I also used to get invited out to people's homes for a Sabbath meal. I still do. It's really nice as a single guy, to get to go and eat with a family. But it must be hard work for them to make that extra effort to cook for me, and for others.

Often, at these meals, there would be a kid with Down's Syndrome. It can be quite uncomfortable when you are first around them. I had to get used to them. But after a while, I preferred them. They'd never insult you, and they were always smiling.

Even to this day, I know that organisations like Jewish Care help the aged, and those with severe disabling conditions, like Parkinson's.

Even when it comes to my Synagogue, I have been asked before to walk an elderly gentleman home, because he needs accompaniment to ensure he doesn't fall and break anything. The gentleman in question takes about 30 minutes to get home. So it's a bit of an imposition. But he is in need. How can I refuse?

I was raised to think that G-d doesn't care how much money I have, or how important people think I am, and that I shouldn't care about how rich or important other people are either. I was raised to think that G-d only cares how much I help others, especially those most in need, and that those who help the needy, are the ones I should praise, and respect.

It isn't easy for me to live this way. A lot of this required effort, and a LOT of getting over my feelings of uncomfortableness. But if you keep being demanded of it, it becomes normal. You get used to it, and you stop thinking of it as effort. It becomes just another part of life, like brushing your teeth.

Jews are not perfect. But this is the life I and my Jewish peers were raised to follow, as children, as teens and as adults, in the UK, and in Israel.

I think this also explains to me, why annasthasia, IgorFrankensteen and Earthpuppy see my statements as very supercilious. They are used to not seeing this sort of behaviour from their Xian leaders or from their peers. They think I mention this, to lord it over them.

I see no point in replying to their posts, as I now believe THIS is the source of their criticisms, that they feel that I am trying to make out like I am superior to them.

All I can tell you, and them, is that it's not easy to do any of this. Just try cleaning up someone's wee, when they are disabled, or old and infirm. See how superior you feel then.

But if they wish to think I am superior for being raised to help others, and it makes them want to be superior, and that makes them want to do these things as well, then by all means, do so.

At the very least, we'll be evolving to become a more co-operative species, which is bound to increase our chances of survival as a species.

It isn't easy. You won't get praised for it. You'll probably feel like dirt while you're doing it. But go ahead and do it anyway. Everyone I know who has helped others, has agreed with me, on one thing about it. In the long run, you'll feel much better about yourself.
 IgorFrankensteen
Joined: 6/29/2009
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Posted: 5/1/2011 6:02:49 PM
I have no idea where scorpio got the idea that I argue with him because I think he's supercilious. I argued, because I support logical reasoning, and he pretended to do so as well (though it's clear to me that he doesn't actually).
By the way, I had to look up supercilious. My vocabulary is larger than average, but didn't include that one. It does now, so I can now accuse someone of "being all superior and that" while sounding smarter than I really am.
My own observation on the role religions have played in making the world we live in right now the way it is, isn't as strong as some others have said. Religions are tools of humankind, just as governments are. Just as with governments, their people sometimes lead, and sometimes follow. Like politicians, religious leaders are prone to claim after the fact, that they provided the impetus for something good that happened, and were always in opposition (sometimes secretly) to the somethings bad that happened. It neither leads me to condemn, nor praise them out of proportion to what they have actually done.
Religions have been used both to support, and to oppose slavery. During the Civil War era here, plenty of church spokespeople argued both sides of the issue, with many who opposed slavery, nevertheless ALSO proclaiming that the blacks were necessarily inferiors of the whites. With a record such as that, it isn't logical to award religion any special kudos for the part of them that were on what I think was the right side, any more than I would praise the capitalists who also opposed slavery, for purely economic reasons.
My own "wishful thought" for our social evolution, is that enough of us recognize the need to steer course with appreciation of the BIG picture of life, that we'll stop the folks who want to steal this or that bit of wealth from the rest of us, using the small-picture version of things. That specifically means that people who want to take as profits for themselves, wealth that comes with costs that have yet to arrive in the "mail," would be required to pay those bills. Using up a persons working life, then discarding them and saying they are on their own when they are too old to carry on would stop. Pulling resources from the earth, and leaving the changes that result to be handled by those who remain and suffer would end. Taking advantage of the temporary desperation of a people, and demanding more of them than they can ultimately afford to give would be recognized as reprehensible, instead of being seen as "just good business." That's what I'm working and debating for, anyway.
 scorpiomover
Joined: 4/19/2007
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Posted: 5/2/2011 1:20:03 AM
RE Msg: 2429 by IgorFrankensteen:
I have no idea where scorpio got the idea that I argue with him because I think he's supercilious. I argued, because I support logical reasoning, and he pretended to do so as well (though it's clear to me that he doesn't actually).
In that case:
Oich, the green cars again. You still don't get that. Your "refutation" specifically rejected the starting point, and replaced it with another one. I said "If all cars made Tuesday are painted green," and you substituted "but what if NOT all cars made Tuesday are painted green?" , and then pretended to yourself that you used logic.
I used standard propositional logic. If A => B, then Not B => Not A.

As an example, if you always get your coffee at Starbucks, then if you haven't been to Starbucks today, you didn't get coffee today, because if you gotten coffee today, you'd have been to Starbucks today, and you haven't.

It's used all the time in mathematical theorems, especially in those that rely on Reductio Ad Absurdum, proof by contradiction.

Most of our modern world is built on science that assumed that all our mathematical theorems are 100% true. If they aren't, then it's a bit of a problem.

Your statement "Then, if something can NOT be explained, then it does qualify as being capable of being created by a supreme being" includes assumptions NOT within your original "if" statement, specifically, that the supreme being is presumed to exist, and have an equal ability to explain something being created.
I put:
then it does qualify as being capable of being created by a supreme being
I never stated that such a being would have to exist, only that it was possible for such a being to exist, and to have created things, and that such an explanation could qualify as a type of explanation for the phenomenon, AND that such an explanation could be less equal, equal, or more equal, than other explanations, such as a mechanical explanation. All of these are possibles, that are part and parcel of stating that said explanation COULD be true.

"I wonder if you realise, that here, you are acknowledging, that if something CAN be understood mechanically, then it can still be done by a Supreme Being." Of course I realize that. I was restating YOUR definition, as part of attempting to explain your logical errors. That doesn't mean I think that therefore a Supreme being exists, or that it created anything.
I know. But I wasn't assuming that said Being existed, or created anything.

Anyway, if you still can't even understand the whole car thing, there's no point to trying to go into deeper issues. The world is full of folks who think it's a clever argument to simply say "but what if I'm RIGHT!", and none of them are of any help to working on real problems.
That is precisely why I chose mathematics over philosophy, and was glad to do so. With philosophical logic, I have lots of possible arguments, but nothing definite. With mathematical logic, I have far less to say. But I am able to find things to say, that I can say for sure, and prove them.

So thanks for the well wishes, but you still don't get it.
You are welcome.
 scorpiomover
Joined: 4/19/2007
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Posted: 5/2/2011 11:09:52 AM
RE Msg: 2431 by Krebby2001
So, ah, scorp, your "mathematical logic amounts to the cut and paste above. Can you elucidate on "B" and "Not B" with empirical precision? By that, I mean, what forms the basis for empirical validity and reliability of "B" and why would it be challenged by an equally valid and reliably challenging counterpart,"Not B." And from that challenge, we could determine, with further empirical support, which was closer to expressing reality. Clue: it will take more than a cut and paste postulate of replacing B with Not B.
B is any statement that can be said to be only true, or only false. Not B is the complement of that statement, that is, when B is true, Not B is false, and vice versa. B would not be challenged by Not B, because they are logical complements. One and only one of them is true, and one and only one of them is false. So any situation that could test for both, would always come up with one being true and one being false.

As far as which is true or not, you have to test them. You can test B, and by knowing its result, you know the result of Not B, as its complement, and vice versa.

If you wish to carry out some empirical tests of your own into logic, then by all means, choose any statement, that can only be either true or false, and test it and its complement. Do that as many times as you wish, for as many different statements as you wish.

Are you really serious? By that I mean, are you really trying to be serious? Are are you making a parody of this whole thread? If the latter, it's not nice nice. If you ARE trying to be serious, and with all due respect, you're really downgrading logic and science.
I cannot make you look stupid. I can only make me look stupid, and quite possibly, you look smart by comparison.

The only way I can possibly make science or philosophical logic look stupid, is if it does that already, and I point out those flaws.

But hey, I'm prepared to be called stupid. What does it hurt? It's beneficial for me to be intellectually humbled every once in a while. Besides, that happens every time I meet someone who knows more than me on a subject, which is quite often.


I never stated that such a being would have to exist, only that it was possible for such a being to exist, and to have created things, and that such an explanation could qualify as a type of explanation for the phenomenon, AND that such an explanation could be less equal, equal, or more equal, than other explanations, such as a mechanical explanation. All of these are possibles, that are part and parcel of stating that said explanation COULD be true.
Well, equally, I could posit that my doggie's farts don't stink OR the alternative that they do stink. And I could say, "Well I never said that my doggies fart stunk or did not stink, and that either argument, that my doggie's stink or non-stink could be less equal. That's a classic WEASEL argument! Do you truly understand the quest for truth? It's either one way or another, not, "maybe this or that" and let's all sit around a circle and sing "Kumbayah."

Are you really being serious?
In Star Trek, when the Enterprise gets into trouble, which is often, Kirk almost always turns to Spock, and asks him what the computer says. The computer always says "Insufficient Data". That's real life. In real-life situations, we almost never have enough info to pose a complete question, or get a complete answer. We only get just enough to answer the question in a partial way, as I did above. But, we can still get logical answers to questions, that, even if they are conditional, are still good enough to work with.
 IgorFrankensteen
Joined: 6/29/2009
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Posted: 5/2/2011 4:51:54 PM
"I used standard propositional logic. If A => B, then Not B => Not A."

FALSE. You did NOT do that. What you did, was to say

"If A always equals B, then....I change A to something else entirely, and say that B does NOT equal [newly designated]A."

That isn't logic, and I think you MUST know that, if you have any of the education you claim to have. You took a simple scenario with a specified GIVEN clause, and tried to say that an alternate conclusion was possible, because YOU CHANGED THE GIVEN CLAUSE TO SUIT YOU.
So I support Krebby's question: are you really as seriously confused or ignorant of how logic works as you portray yourself to be, or are you just purposely yanking our collective chain? There is no other possibility.
 scorpiomover
Joined: 4/19/2007
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Posted: 5/2/2011 6:02:50 PM
RE Msg: 2436 by Krebby2001:
Ah, OK, I'll bite.
No need. It was just a recommendation, seeing as you wanted empirical evidence.

I've only ever needed to see it had to be 100% true from logic. That is more than enough for me.

Let's take Anasthasia's observations, complemented by Frankensteins, and carry them into the question of procreation -- also for purposes of keeping on-thread.

Assuming, just for kicks, that there's genetic characteristics that tend to make people "not so smart," would the Gompertz curve be a valid means for measuring its spread over time."

See: B or ~B -- a true empirical question. Seeing as how the Gompertz curve has been around since 1825, that ought to be easy enough for you to answer.
I didn't study the Gompertz curve. But I can look it up and have a go. If I read the internet right, the Gompertz curve predicts that mortality rates increase exponentially with a person's age.

I gather it is used for a few other uses, like prediction of the size of growth of tumours.

In the case of genetics, there, if we look at the proliferation of a particular gene, I can think of a number of factors:
1) How many copies of the gene the person has.
2) The number of kids the person has (0 = no kids).
3) The chances of each kid inheriting via recombination.
4) The chances of the gene mutating in some way.
5) How many mutations it would take before the gene is either non-functional or no longer recognisable as the original gene.

But if we just look at the population dynamics, and only consider how many kids the person has, then it would be dependent on how many kids the people with the not-so-smart gene have, compared to the rest of the population.

If the not-so-smart gene results in those who have it, have exponentially more kids than the average, then you might have a point.

Of course, it also depends on what you consider "not so smart", whether you consider a plumber who makes $100,000 a year, but who lacks a college degree, and doesn't really know how cells reproduce, "not so smart", and someone who has a really high IQ, but ends up working in a dead end job and living alone, "smart".

And, also ask yourself whether there would not be "debate" over the proper way to measure such a tendency. Heck, there's still healthy debate over whether Subbotin, Laplace or Gaussian density curves are the best way to measure small firm growth over time. But you won't see that on FOX, or Wiki, or whatever.
I generally try to avoid any of these curves, except for informal gross estimations.

I just don't trust myself to not make a mistake with estimates. There are too many possibilities to get wrong.

I find such estimations useful just for a rule-of-thumb for when I have a decision to make in work, and I just want to narrow it down slightly. Then I take more observations to check my estimate, and to use for the next estimate. Then I take another estimate. Then I take more observations. Then I keep repeating the process, until I achieve my goal.

I do the same when I'm going somewhere I've never been before. I get directions, then go as far about half as far as I am sure of from the previous directions, and then get more directions for confirmation, and for more distance.

It means that I take a lot more estimations than most people. But when I do this, it saves me from getting lost.

I guess you could think of it as an evolutionary process. Move to a different location, i.e. 'mutate', then get directions, i.e. 'select', and keep repeating.

I would consider making an accurate prediction. But then I want to work out an accurate formula that takes into account all the factors, and is predicted directly from the way the genes replicate, from first principles. Then I could check my formula repeatedly against empirical evidence, to see how accurate it is.

I just don't trust myself to not make a mistake with estimates.

RE Msg: 2437 by IgorFrankensteen:

I'm getting tired, and slowing down. I think this discussion could be stressing me. I'm considering that it's in my interest to force myself to avoid arguments.

Besides, I find it incredible to believe that someone wouldn't get this. If you don't, then maybe you never will, at least from me.

So I would rather not bother with this argument any more, thanks.

If you wish to see that as a concession, then go ahead. Crow to your heart's content.

Just too tired to care.
 IgorFrankensteen
Joined: 6/29/2009
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Posted: 5/3/2011 9:24:32 PM
I wonder if, and if so how, the human tendency to (at least pretend to) procreate in response to life's challenges might effect such a calculation. No doubt the urge to make babies in response to environmental challenges is a significant element in understanding how evolution works.
 60to70
Joined: 7/28/2008
Msg: 1145
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Posted: 5/3/2011 9:38:36 PM
You do not make babies with anything in mind. You just make them. Flawed? Sure. Gift? You betcha. One hour on this earth anywhere is worth more than nihilism. In the depths of despair of the Holocaust a thirst for living remained constant. Be aware that nothing matters more than you breathing for the interim. Be friggen glad that you can even make a baby. Put the rest of the evolution nonsense to rest. Evolution is nothing more than a pregnant belly..be it human, be it an animal, be it some deadly spider. Let it rip. Let it be born. Let it ride.
 Earthpuppy
Joined: 2/9/2008
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Posted: 5/5/2011 5:54:01 PM
Tom Robbins covered this ground a bit in his novel, "Half Asleep in Frog Pajamas". Our ancestral link to critters of the seas.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-13280665
 IgorFrankensteen
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Posted: 5/5/2011 7:13:59 PM
This Horizontal Gene Transfer thing (which sounds remarkably like a scientist way of describing old-fashioned, lie in the bed naked sex betwixt consenting "researchers") is something I heard about a while back in another guise.
I pick up bits here and there, because I try to pay attention, and I recall in particular hearing that a surprising amount of HUMAN DNA includes such baggage as might have been acquired the HGT way, from infectious diseases and so forth. I wonder if it is possible to tell what, if any part of our own evolutionary changes have come through this "instant evolution," and how much from 'normal' vertical genetic transfers.
 IgorFrankensteen
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Posted: 5/5/2011 8:05:46 PM
Ah, I think I see. HGT's BECOME VTG's, when the host procreates. So it's a mixed bag, so to speak. I have much more to learn about this.
 60to70
Joined: 7/28/2008
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Posted: 5/5/2011 9:03:50 PM
I am wondering if this should be basic education..all of this retro virus, genetic stuff. Do you think it will stop people from making babies? In your dreams. This earth ain't Disney world by a long measure and glad it ain't so. It all makes sense in the long run. Imperfections coupled with the perfections is a balance and a form of a fine scenario. C'est La Vie. Thankfully the end result cannot be controlled. Hitler tried. Remember?
 IgorFrankensteen
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Posted: 5/8/2011 7:18:55 AM
"Species-ism" raises it's ugly head. The concept of the "reptilian brain" has often triggered people to praise themselves, or feel guilty, depending on whether or not they think well of reptiles.

Then there is often a mixing in the mind, with reference evolution, of the philosophical/religious/moral ideas about what is or isn't positive change. The idea that evolution that has gone in ONE "direction" means that it will CONTINUE to go in that direction, makes some worry that "we are losing our reptilian advantages."

But evolutionary change doesn't really work that way. The "momentum" of change isn't generated by the species, it's generate by the ENVIRONMENT.
 IgorFrankensteen
Joined: 6/29/2009
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Posted: 5/8/2011 4:03:46 PM
Yes. Part of what I intended to get at, is that the talk about our "reptilian brain" is the use of a SIMILE, to explain things. We don't have "reptilian brains," and we certainly don't have MULTIPLE brains. We have homo sapien brains, which some folks have TALKED ABOUT as having characteristics similar to other species.

I have seen where some other writers have taken that a step further, suggesting that our "reptilian brains" are sometimes fighting to get out from inside our "other " brain layers. I think that's specious, confusing nonsense myself, but that's not a scientifically based opinion, bolstered by data, it's just my impatience with people who seem to forget that a SIMILE is like a cartoon illustration, and not a real factual element of our understanding of reality.
 60to70
Joined: 7/28/2008
Msg: 1152
Evolution
Posted: 5/8/2011 8:36:46 PM
I would like to have been Beethoven's mother. His "Moonlight Sonata" would have been gift enough to any atheist evolutionist who questions whether something more powerful than what is.. exists. Nothing exists but x plus y and its real.? Yawn. Or how about...Johnny Cash's rendition of "Hurt" ....by the band Nine Inch Nails. Check it out on Youtube. Love Youtube. A gathering of collective nonsense and a gathering of some pretty powerful testimony to evolution. Its a balance.
 60to70
Joined: 7/28/2008
Msg: 1153
Evolution
Posted: 5/8/2011 9:52:15 PM
Complete gobbledegook to you too. I do not smoke THAT stuff but I will give you a cigarette so you can settle down. Why not single out atheists? Why not single you out and challenge your so called mindful mantras? Why not?? Like I consider you the authority of the definition of existence. Do not think so. We are equal. And, boy, that ain't going to go down easy with you. Too bad. C'est La Vie.
 60to70
Joined: 7/28/2008
Msg: 1154
Evolution
Posted: 5/9/2011 12:34:16 AM
all of the dictionary definitions are black and white.
When was the last time you felt life and existence was that clear cut?
I would not believe this definition after...oh about.. just after sixteen.
Evolution is also about gaining in experience and wisdom.
Evolution is also NOT about handling information in a wise manner.
Goodnite...fellow seeker.
 lyingcheat
Joined: 9/13/2009
Msg: 1155
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History
Evolution
Posted: 5/9/2011 4:21:14 AM

Igor, from a medical point of view, we do have what is viewed as three brains.
I actually disected a human brain. It was very interesting to see.
There are basically three parts that have developed at different times.
Anyway, I cannot find my medical papers now but here is a quick reference.

We have many links to our earlier evolutionary incarnations. Vestigial tail bones for instance. And our appendix and wisdom teeth are both hints to a herbivorus past.
We have muscles attached to our non-mobile ears, and many other muscles (and a tendon or two) that are now considered redundant. Goose bumps are a vestigial reflex, as the grab response (in newborns) is suspected to be.
Not to mention our cluttered genome...

We are not alone in this (partial) retention of vestigial or superceded features. The vestigial hind limbs of whales and snakes are well known examples from other species that link to an earlier format. vestigial eyes in blind cave species are also a broad hint that evolution is a continuous process, since eyes evolved then devolved in specialised conditions, likewise the 'wings' on flightless birds.

That our homo sapien brain is seemingly 'layered' or 'compiled' from from earlier versions is not really surprising, rather it is consistent.
 IgorFrankensteen
Joined: 6/29/2009
Msg: 1156
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History
Evolution
Posted: 5/9/2011 5:10:57 AM
Perhaps this is an unimportant 'point of view' thing, but as this is a discussion of Evolution, including being clear about it factually, I think it's important to have accuracy here.
I still insist that we DON'T have reptile brains. Yes, we have chosen to DESCRIBE our brains as having three parts, and have LIKENED them to structures in other creatures, but that's not the same thing as saying that we have three brains. I think this is one of those situations where a simile used to enhance our ability to understand something, has been mistaken for reality, and thereby caused confusion to people. The fact that one can see more than one distinct substructure inside a human head, does not mean there are three BRAINS, it means that the SINGLE brain, is made up of three substructures. In the same way, we only have ONE heart, though if you look at one carefully, you will find several chambers, and other structures to it. We don't have a "reptile heart," with an additional "bird heart" or whatever added on later, we have a single HUMAN heart.
Yes, I can see that our structures ARE descended from others, and that we retain stuff from our forebears. However, the notion that our forbears had ONE reptile brain, and that an ADDITIONAL two brains were "added" over the eons, is ridiculous. Our brains EVOLVED. They did not arrive in kit form, with optional add-ons that followed.
The "vestigial tail" has been another source of confusion for some people, in a similar way. Many people today STILL think that humans once HAD real tails, and that we slowly "lost" them (no doubt as an evolutionary response to tight jeans).
 lyingcheat
Joined: 9/13/2009
Msg: 1157
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History
Evolution
Posted: 5/9/2011 7:00:17 AM

The "vestigial tail" has been another source of confusion for some people, in a similar way. Many people today STILL think that humans once HAD real tails, and that we slowly "lost" them (no doubt as an evolutionary response to tight jeans).

'Humans' never had tails (though we do briefly during gestation) but our very distant ancestors did, and we retain that evolutionary link.

I don't think anyone is suggesting we have three actual brains, but rather, in a similar way to the tail thing, that we have vestigial remnants of structures we may have inherited from very very distant ancestors.

It's well known that different areas, or parts, of our brain, and indeed even the spinal cord attached to it, take responsibility for different functions.
Many primitive animals have only a slight bulge on their spinal cord that functions as a 'brain', and these animals largely function in a reflexive way in, and to, their environment. It's not too much of a stretch, knowing that that is largely the role of our spinal cord as well - reflexes, to imagine that part of our central nervous system still carries that vestigial link.

Being aware that evolution is largely adaption, it's not hard to imagine either that slight swelling on the cord morphing into a larger one with more functions, giving an evolutionary advantage (survival). But the functions of the basic system (the reflexive CNS cord) were not discarded nor were they necessarily taken over by other areas of the expanding 'brain' - they were retained.
Fast forward a few million years... & here we are, with areas of the brain traceable back to earlier roots, just as we have areas of our skeletal structure traceable back to earlier ancestral roots.
 ohwhynot46
Joined: 6/28/2009
Msg: 1158
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History
Evolution
Posted: 5/9/2011 5:33:17 PM

. . . current utility carries no automatic implication about historical origin. Most of what the brain now does to enhance our survival lies in the domain of exaptation--and does not allow us to make hypotheses about the selective paths of human history. How much of the evolutionary literature on human behavior would collapse if we incorporated the principle of exaptation into the core of our evolutionary thinking?[7]

But although we may never know the actual events and specific selection pressures responsible for our brain power, we have no scientific reason to believe that evolution could not have fashioned our brain through natural selection. The fact that living organisms today have nervous systems and brains ranging from quite simple to amazingly complex is compelling evidence that our brain evolved through forgotten ancestors in progressive stages from simple to complex. And somehow, as a part of this evolutionary process, that most remarkable and mystifying of all natural phenomena came into being--human consciousness.


I quite agree with Stephen Gould, evolutionary biologist from whom the above is derived; we will never know, scientifically. Evolution is, after all, a theory, and the only way we can BELIEVE in it is to ignore data which disproves it. Really, the choice to believe remains, whether it is a belief in God or in the non existence of God. An option, for sure, plausible, without a doubt, exclusive, hardly. Bottom line, no indication of one's ability to employ logic, intelligence or thought processes; merely another personal choice.
 Island home
Joined: 7/5/2009
Msg: 1159
Evolution
Posted: 5/9/2011 6:55:44 PM
heuristics
exaptation


Hope I find time in my day to contemplate those two interesting and informative words
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