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John Hoffecker at a site in Russia  (Source: Vance T. Holliday, University of Arizona)
John Hoffecker compares this evolutionary shift to the complex communication of information between honeybees

John Hoffecker, study leader and a research associate from the University of Colorado-Boulder, has worked at sites in the Arctic and Europe, and is an internationally known archaeologist. He has found that there is archaeological evidence for the evolution of the human mind.

Hoffecker discovered that the minds power to evolve and create a variety of thoughts that are communicated through speech, art, movement and technologies is attributed to the "super-brain," which is the collective mind. According to Hoffecker, the formation of the super-brain occurred 75,000 years ago in Africa where the rare ability to "share complex thoughts among individual brains" took place. 

Hoffecker said the human super-brain is very similar to the way honeybees communicate. Humans are capable of sharing complex thoughts among individual brains, and by studying the honeybee, which also communicates complex information like food locations and nest sites through its "waggle dance," Hoffecker was able to understand how the human brain and super-brain shared information amongst others through the creation of language, art, movement and technology. 

"Humans obviously evolved a much wider range of communication tools to express their thoughts, the most important being language," said Hoffecker. "Individual human brains within social groups became integrated into a neurologic internet of sorts, giving birth to the mind."

Hoffecker believes that abstract designs scratched onto mineral pigment 75,000 years ago in Africa was the starting point of a creative explosion, and is evidence for the capability of speech. This creative explosion led to new types of artifacts like stone tools and may have even led to other aspects of human evolution like bipedalism. Through these evolutionary shifts, early humans were able to communicate complex thoughts outside of the individual brain.  

Hoffecker also noted that the first "crude" stone tools were made 2.5 million years ago, and then, the first sign of the super-brain came 1.6 million years ago with the first crafting of the stone hand axe, which showed that the human brain was capable of imagining something that didn't exist and then created it. These axes represented a whole new design and a whole new way of thinking.  

"They reflect a design or mental template stored in the nerve cells of the brain and imposed on the rock, and they seemed to have emerged from a strong feedback relationship among the hands, eyes, brains and the tools themselves," said Hoffecker. 

Humans then began creating polished bone awls and shell ornaments by 75,000 years ago. Hoffecker also theorized that modern humans dispersed from Africa to Europe around 50,000 to 60,000 years ago, which may be the "minimum date" for language formation. 

"With the appearance of symbols and language - and the consequent integration of brains into a super-brain - the human mind seems to have taken off as a potentially unlimited creative force," said Hoffecker. "Since all languages have basically the same structure, it is inconceivable to me that they could have evolved independently at different times and places." 

In addition, Hoffecker found ancient bone and ivory needles with eyelets from 45,000 years ago and a small figurine from 40,000 years ago in previous studies. Ancient musical instruments have been dated back to 30,000 years ago as well. This stands as more evidence for the evolving creative mind of humans. 

"Whether it's a hand axe, a flute or a Chevrolet, humans are continually recombining bits of information into novel forms, and the variations are potentially infinite," said Hoffecker.



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By callofduty1000 on 4/24/2011 8:43:16 AM , Rating: 5
In the last couple of decades evolution has been proven beyond any doubt. If you don't believe it, do the research!

Let me help you get started:

http://pondside.uchicago.edu/ecol-evol/people/coyn...
Coyne, J. A. 2009. Why Evolution is True. Viking, New York

http://faculty.oxy.edu/prothero/
Prothero, D.R. 2007. Evolution: What the Fossils Say and Why it Matters. Columbia University Press, New York, 381 pp.

Part 1: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i1fGkFuHIu0&feature...

Part 2: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-CvX_mD5weM&feature...

Part 3: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K11knFKqW4s&feature...

Part 4: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eblrphIwoJQ&feature...




By heffeque on 4/24/2011 10:23:28 AM , Rating: 5
Well... evolution is only a theory. Also gravity is only a theory too. I believe that gravity doesn't exist. It's actually God pulling us down because he loves us.


By Camikazi on 4/24/2011 11:23:39 AM , Rating: 5
Jump off a big cliff and see how much he loves you :P


By AnnihilatorX on 4/26/2011 8:39:30 AM , Rating: 3
Damn, gravity sucks


RE: Evidence of universal common descent - not faith
By SPOOFE on 4/24/2011 9:24:02 PM , Rating: 3
It's more than just an individual's imagination; it's a "common pool of knowledge" dispersed among a group of humans. Whereas before each individual had to learn everything necessary for survival by either trial and error or mimickry (which requires them to be present for the Great Sabertooth Tiger Hunt, so it's only a hair removed from trial and error), the "supermind" would be a direct result of the ability to communicate language. Suddenly, instead of everyone in a given tribe needing to be present in order to understand "stab nasty beast in neck", now there only need be one guy that gets it and he can share that knowledge with everyone else in the tribe.

And it continues for every other nifty survival trick. You're the first guy to figure out how to dig a well? Tell everyone, instead of rounding up the whole tribe and making them come watch you dig a well. But how do you tell them you've dug a well? You need a word for "dig", or otherwise "mess around with dirt" with connotations of depth; and "water", or something about "that wet stuff that helps us not die all the time". And then you'll have incredulity to deal with; how can that wet keep-us-alive stuff magically come from dirt? Hooray, we've just invented the word "witch" and "execute"!

Early human life must have been a riot.


By morphologia on 4/25/2011 4:35:11 PM , Rating: 2
It amazes me when I see posts like this in comments on a science article. It makes me want to explain in scientific detail why the transubstation from bread and wine to flesh and blood is not only impossible, it has never happened.


By nuarbnellaffej on 4/25/2011 4:50:21 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
It makes me want to explain in scientific detail why the transubstation from bread and wine to flesh and blood is not only impossible, it has never happened.


We may profess ourselves as cannibals and vampires, but that is because god has instructed us to be such. And it's easy to explain, miracle.


By MartyLK on 4/25/2011 5:32:00 PM , Rating: 1
Hehe...you sound exactly like me, when I was enslaved to religion. I shit you not! You sound word-for-word me! LOL.

Sheesh! ...the only thing I feel for you is pity. I know they have your mind bound up and you are terrified of life without the peace of your personal faith. You feel you could not cope with life if not for faith in God.You hope that when you get yourself into a situation where you deserve some form of governmental punishment...whatever it may be...you hope God will have pity and mercy on you and help you.

Hehe...yeah, I've been there. We all have situations like that. Strangely, though, the harder we fear for ourselves and hope for relief, the better the outcome of those situations. I used to attribute it to God. But now I know it was the so-called mass-hypnosis effect on the people around me that had my fiscal fate in their hands. They saw the fear and and had compassion. But church believers always attribute it to God. They always look for anything, even the littlest thing, to bolster their faith.

I found it strange that when I was hysterically fearful when I prayed, things would work out much better for me. I got to the point in my faith when I didn't feel the need for hysteria and fear and would simply rely on God hearing my sincere prayers and things never worked out for me. It seems the outcome of fearful situations was directly proportional to my fear and hysteria.

This, after being fully freed from the horror of religion, lead me to speculate that there might be some unknown force toggled by our physiology that science has yet to discover that could be affecting us all. Maybe some kind of telekinesis...or whatever that thing is call. I don't know too much about such things because I just have no way of testing for them. However, from my personal experience, the more peaceful my mind was, the correspondingly less effective any good outcome would be.

I know it was never "God" who was helping me. "God" was created by the Jews some 6,000 or so years ago for self-preservation when they...actually they were lower-class Canaanites...broke away from the Canaanite society to make a name for themselves and be their own people. So it had to be something humanity hasn't yet understood.

But one thing is certain, I do not wish to be in your place. You feel and believe God is real and you see things in your life that convince you of it. But consider this: When you wish condemnation on anyone...or even just warning of condemnation, you are condoning and producing that condemnation. You are in fact well accepting of people being in Hell for the sake of your faith. Even though they are for goodness and truth. That's the power of your superstition. It is a fearful power that the world needs to deal with.

I assure you this, though, whatever power you muster to bring against me, I also have the same power and ability and will be bringing it against you. The next time you have a bad day at work, or if you scratch your pretty new car or anything, remember me and know that you tried to do that to me. If you will for harm to come to me, know that harm will come to you.


By LRonaldHubbs on 4/25/2011 7:28:53 PM , Rating: 2
I'm fairly certain he was just trolling.


By PaterPelligrino on 4/25/2011 7:55:48 PM , Rating: 2
He was being ironic. Irony usually doesn't communicate well in online discussions, but is a valid rhetorical strategy when dealing with religious fanatics who are impervious to logical rebuttal.


By LRonaldHubbs on 4/25/2011 8:00:16 PM , Rating: 2
I agree, completely valid strategy, and a well-played troll no less. The problems are:
1) there are people who actually agree with what he said
2) it was such a long post that he came off as being one such person


By MartyLK on 4/25/2011 8:56:08 PM , Rating: 1
Not a chance. I know the mentality and what he was saying. If he was trolling, he wouldn't have said what he said. He believes what he said. What is horrific, and where superstition gets its power, is how that faith can make things happen. That's one damned reason why religion should be exercised from our existence.

We don't know all there is to know about the universe or our own existence. Like voodoo, or black magic, there might be something in us science hasn't discovered yet that can bring about what we believe. But I know it applies only to this life. There is no Heaven or Hell of the Bible. It could be that if a person believes there is a Hell when they die, that believe might affect how life force or energy or whatever it is exists. I find it strange how the whole Christian religion is dependent on belief. As though it is "belief" that makes things real. An example: A group of Christians gather to pray for someone. They say the harder you pray, the more effective God will help the object of their prayers. To me, that spells of the power of the human mind and its capacity to alter the environment through willpower.

This is what I was eluding to in a different post where I was speaking about how the outcome of a dire situation always seemed to depend on the strength of fear within me. When I was in a dire situation, if I was terrified, things seemed to turn out better. Likewise, if I was calm and peaceful in my mind, things went bad. This phenomena help me break free from faith because I knew it wasn't God doing things in my life but, rather, some force within me that science either understands and is not allowed to tell the public, or doesn't understand yet. It could just be the delusional side effect of religion in my mind. Nevertheless, there are uncertainties in life that need discovery. But one thing I am sure of in my inner being, there is no God of the Bible.

If there is a chance that this phenomena is real, this dude and people like him could potentially cause horrible suffering on people whom they believe are against their God. In other words, they are the fulfillers of their own prophesy.

Also, just in case it is real, I plan to maintain my own righteous wrath, reserved for people like this dude. If the power is within us, I will counteract their power against me. I know full well of my own good intentions and that I am innocent of any harm or evil of any kind and if a sense of goodness is required to bolster such powers, I will have them. It is the Godly who have screwed the living bejesus out of me. God has no say against me because of the "righteous" who committed indecent and evil acts against me. Maybe that's what it take for people to safely break away from a faith. I don't know. But one thing I do know, the goddamn Christian are guilty of horrific wrongs and anyone who supports them is just as guilty.

Yes, I know, the other religions have guilt on them also. The Islams are equally as guilty. But one thing I know painfully is how guilty the Christians are.

And I don't give a shit how loony I sound. I chalk it up to superstition in my life from religious beliefs.


By LRonaldHubbs on 4/25/2011 10:00:39 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
A group of Christians gather to pray for someone. They say the harder you pray, the more effective God will help the object of their prayers. To me, that spells of the power of the human mind and its capacity to alter the environment through willpower.

It also implies that God has not made up his almighty mind and is being swayed by the wishes of mere mortals.

quote:
In other words, they are the fulfillers of their own prophesy.

No doubt about it. I have long said that if the human race does come to a horrible end in the near future, it will be precisely because these kinds of people made it happen.


By MartyLK on 4/26/2011 12:08:30 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
No doubt about it. I have long said that if the human race does come to a horrible end in the near future, it will be precisely because these kinds of people made it happen.


I firmly believe Dubya wanted to be the last president. I believe he...not only he but also the majority of Christians...was convinced the world would end in his presidency. The Christians firmly believe we all are in the "end times". And the Bible teaches them to "You ought to live holy and godly lives 12as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming." (2 Peter 3:11)

I believe Dubya and people like him were trying to help bring the world to an end. This in an effort to bring God's righteous wrath on sinners and usher himself and all other faithful believers to the rewards of Heaven.

How the Hell can this world survive when that type of mentality exists? When people like that are hoping and willing for the world to be destroyed. Rather than believing we all can make this fragile world a paradise of existence, they involuntarily believe it can never be a peaceful place. Their religion teaches them not to make this world a permanent place of existence...to let it be destroyed as the object of their faith wills.

I hope that science will be able to enlighten humanity enough as soon as possible in an effort to try to keep people like that at bey. As long as the majority of people in this world believe it can never be a peaceful existence, there can never be worldly peace. Unless science can boldly break through all of the hindrances and efforts to stifle understanding and discovery.

One thing that gives me hope is the fact that the church, over the last 2,000 years, has failed to squash all scientific discoveries. In the face of death and imprisonment, the scientific discoveries prevailed. I just hope science is closer to ending religion and all of it's horror than I think. Life can be so wonderful when the mind is properly focused and stable.


By morphologia on 4/25/2011 4:40:14 PM , Rating: 2
"My money is it'll be on humans came from dung beetles next."

I could see how that could be true, especially looking at some of these comments. The theological response to a scientific debate is, all too often, rolling a huge mound of pseudoscientific crap and trying to bury those who disagree with you.

And it is Christianity which suffers from flavor-of-the-month syndrome. Just wait, there will be a massive return to the faith the next time someone finds a tater tot that looks like St. Peter in their kid's happy meal.

Don't like that? Then perhaps we should avoid mixing scientific debate and theological speculation.


By wgbutler on 4/26/2011 2:23:11 PM , Rating: 2
quote:

And it is Christianity which suffers from flavor-of-the-month syndrome. Just wait, there will be a massive return to the faith the next time someone finds a tater tot that looks like St. Peter in their kid's happy meal.

Don't like that? Then perhaps we should avoid mixing scientific debate and theological speculation.


You need to be talking to your own folks. You guys are the ones who start the disrespectful anti-Christian dialogue every time there is an evolution article on this site. The fact that you guys are so obsessed with something that you believe is a fairy tale really is quite remarkable.

But I don't mind at all. It gives me the perfect platform to explain my point of view and point out the absurdity of your arguments.


By PaterPelligrino on 4/25/2011 8:23:02 PM , Rating: 3
wgbutler writes

quote:
I think the intention of the posting of the article was to push the latest flavor of the month theory for evolution and poke a stick in the eye of Christians on Easter weekend.

It doesn't really matter how coherent the argument is, the fact that we're nothing more than advanced bacteria is all that matters. Anything that supports that narrative, be it primordial soup, Lucy, or a Borg-collective "supermind" will suffice. Next month it'll be something different. My money is it'll be on humans came from dung beetles next.


You have to understand where wgb is coming from: he's a biblical literalist. His faith demands that he deny evolution: either his understanding of his life and god are mistaken, or evolution is a lie - queses who wins that contest. He's made hundreds of posts to this forum, and every one has been an attack on evolution; which, if he were honest - with himself if not with us - is really just a defense of Old Testament literalism.

That the only science he has a problem with is that which threatens the OT narrative, tells you everything you need to know; as does the fact that virtually the only people who deny evolution are biblical literalists.

Do these people really expect anyone to believe that skepticism about evolution should lead directly to the conviction that everything written in the bible is literally, word-for-word true? Either rejection of evolution inevitably leads to biblical literalism, which is absurd, or the denial of evolution derives from a pre-existing attachment to biblical dogma. How else to explain, again, that the anti-evolution people are almost without exception biblical literalists?

So if you like to argue, knock yourself out, but nothing you will/can ever say could possibly change his mind - his religion is too central to his understanding of things, too emotionally important for him to ever even contemplate modifying his beliefs to embrace alternative points of view. Note how he posts links to fringe creationist sites in support of his anti-evolution tirade, yet blithely ignores the overwhelming corroborative evidence from mainstream science sources. Dealing with guys like these is an education in itself.

The really depressing thing here is that he really believes he's being objective and reasonable when he claims that evolution doesn't make sense, but that the whole Noah's-Ark, talking-burning-bush thing is perfectly reasonable.


By LRonaldHubbs on 4/25/2011 8:50:21 PM , Rating: 2
I agree with what you've said here. I just want to comment on a couple items.

quote:
Do these people really expect anyone to believe that skepticism about evolution should lead directly to the conviction that everything written in the bible is literally, word-for-word true?

No, they don't which is why they try to cover up their motives by masquerading Creationism as "Intelligent Design". They know that they have no chance of convincing anyone who isn't a religious fundamentalist unless they can somehow disguise their beliefs as being in the same league as scientific theories. They are about about as successful in this endeavor as my pet German Shepherd is at hiding its frisbee in the yard by nudging some leaves over top with its nose. Their efforts would be hilarious if it weren't for the fact that these people want to derail children's education to further their own beliefs. I'm fine with religious freedom, but I wish people would keep it to themselves and stop trying to brainwash other people's children.

quote:
So if you like to argue, knock yourself out, but nothing you will/can ever say could possibly change his mind - his religion is too central to his understanding of things, too emotionally important for him to ever even contemplate modifying his beliefs to embrace alternative points of view.

This is true, and I don't expect to convince him of anything. However, I refuse to stand by and let his drivel go unchecked, because I do have a chance of convincing readers who are still forming their beliefs. Also, discussions are how I form my own opinions and scout for opposing views which may have merit.

quote:
Dealing with guys like these is an education in itself.

This is exactly why I continue to participate in futile discussions like this one (although I did take a pass on these discussions/arguments for a good portion of the last year).


By wgbutler on 4/26/2011 2:43:43 PM , Rating: 2
quote:

They know that they have no chance of convincing anyone who isn't a religious fundamentalist unless they can somehow disguise their beliefs as being in the same league as scientific theories.


I'm actually a former atheist, raised in a non-religious family (who are all democrats) that is convinced of Christianity because of the scientific evidence...

quote:

I'm fine with religious freedom, but I wish people would keep it to themselves...


If you were truly fine with religious freedom, you wouldn't care if people shared their beliefs.

quote:

However, I refuse to stand by and let his drivel go unchecked, because I do have a chance of convincing readers who are still forming their beliefs.


Bring it on!


By LRonaldHubbs on 4/26/2011 3:18:01 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I'm actually a former atheist, raised in a non-religious family (who are all democrats) that is convinced of Christianity because of the scientific evidence...

I was raised Roman Catholic just like all my extended family. I have an uncle on one side who is a priest and an aunt on the other side who is a nun. Although my immediate family is politically moderate and only semi-religious, we did go to church every week when I was growing up, and I went through CCD and all the sacraments. I found out in high school that my dad was actually apathetic about religion. I'm not really sure what my mom's beliefs are anymore. I was definitely the first person in my family out outright abandon religion. Given my background, education, the amount of reading I have done about religion, and my online discussions over the years, I definitely have given it the most diligence of thought.

quote:
If you were truly fine with religious freedom, you wouldn't care if people shared their beliefs.

Good job deliberately misquoting me. Here's what I actually said:
"I'm fine with religious freedom, but I wish people would keep it to themselves and stop trying to brainwash other people's children ."
The bolded portion adds a significant bit of context which you deceitfully chose to remove.


By LRonaldHubbs on 4/26/2011 3:23:35 PM , Rating: 2
I got ahead of myself and forgot to address the most obvious item here: what scientific evidence has convinced you of the truth Christianity? I've yet to see a single argument along that line which has contained any substance. Most Christians simply brush it off as a faith issue.


By wgbutler on 4/26/2011 4:51:23 PM , Rating: 2
LRonaldHubbs,

Thanks for your recent messages. My response follows:

quote:

I was raised Roman Catholic just like all my extended family. I have an uncle on one side who is a priest and an aunt on the other side who is a nun....and my online discussions over the years, I definitely have given it the most diligence of thought.


Thanks for sharing your family history, and it's very commendable that you give these issues alot of thought.

quote:

Good job deliberately misquoting me. Here's what I actually said:
"I'm fine with religious freedom, but I wish people would keep it to themselves and stop trying to brainwash other people's children ."


It's really hard to be deceitful when everything we say is recorded in plain view for all to see. It's not like I had the ability to erase your previous message.

My point remains. For example, in Christianity, Christians are commanded to go into the world and preach the gospel. If someone interprets that as brainwashing and tries to put a stop to it, that interferes with the Christians religious freedom. That's the only point I was trying to make.

Personally, I am not threatened by anyone's beliefs and always look forward to hearing someone else's point of view. I have in the past and continue to do so refine my view of the world and see debating and comparing ideas as a good way to get to the truth of a matter.

You are more than welcome to try to teach my children that atheism is correct. In the end, they will have to weigh the evidence accordingly and make up their own minds.

quote:

I got ahead of myself and forgot to address the most obvious item here: what scientific evidence has convinced you of the truth Christianity?


The strongest scientific evidence in my view are the twentieth century discoveries of the fact that the Universe, including space and time, had a distinct beginning around 13 billion years ago. This exactly matches the scriptures that say that God created the Heavens and the Earth (Genesis 1:1) and that time itself had a beginning (Titus 1:2).

Furthermore, as our knowledge of physics has increased, we have discovered an incredible amount of fine tuning in the laws and constants of physics and the initial conditions of the Big Bang. This is seen in things like the rate of expansion of space (Cosmological Constant), the gravitational constant, the atomic resonance that allows carbon to be abundant, the initial ratio of matter to anti-matter, etc. If any of these values had been even slightly different, the Universe, chemistry, or life would not exist. Even atheistic scientists like Martin Rees see this fine tuning and concede that it is remarkable (read his book Just Six Numbers for more information).

Furthermore, we are discovering new scientific benefits to Biblical teaching that the ancient people had no way of knowing. For example, a recent study found that regular fasting had multiple health benefits. Another study has found health benefits in circumcision. It's extremely unlikely that the ancients would able to invent religious practices that had such amazing health benefits by accident.

There is also ample evidence from sociology, history, and archeology that validate the Judeo-Christian scriptures. I don't want to make this post too long, but the supporting evidence for Christianity is extremely strong and there aren't any competing religiouns or worldviews that have anywhere near the evidence that Christianity does.


By MartyLK on 4/26/2011 6:05:51 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
If you were truly fine with religious freedom, you wouldn't care if people shared their beliefs.


I really don't care if people share their beliefs. Let them say what they believe without denouncing what anyone else believes. You don't do that. You attack any belief that doesn't agree with your own. If you had never said anything about evolution, but rather, just spoke about your own belief without trying to deny the possibility of evolution, I never would have corrected you.


By wgbutler on 4/26/2011 2:38:06 PM , Rating: 2
quote:

His faith demands that he deny evolution:


That's actually NOT true. There is nothing in the scriptures that explains how God created life. It is theoretically possible that God could have used a process of mutation to create new species on Earth.

And for the record, I do accept that micro-evolution happens and am willing to be persuaded on macro-evolution. In fact, you can prove macro-evolution true to me right now. Just take some fruit flies, mutate their DNA by random processes (no cheating by importing other species DNA), and turn them into wasps. Or take a bacteria, mutate its DNA by random processes (no cheating by importing other species DNA), and turn it into an algae. I'll then believe in macro-evolution.

On the other hand, your faith demands that macro-evolution be true, since you absolutely refuse to allow any possibility for God. Therefore life must be the result of some mindless, random process. You've got it exactly backwards.

My beliefs allow me to go where the evidence leads, your beliefs demand that you swear fealty to Darwinism.

quote:

and every one has been an attack on evolution; which, if he were honest - with himself if not with us - is really just a defense of Old Testament literalism.


I post here because I enjoy rattling you guys around. You start massing together and saying all sorts of obscene and nasty things about people of faith in one big orgy of obnoxiousness and then you get all shocked and offended when someone has the guts to disagree with you. Quite frankly its an incredibly entertaining experience.

(and by the way, your posts, PeterPelligrino, tend to be more thoughtful and considerate than the average village atheist here, so I'm not necessarily including you with the other rabid dogs here).

quote:

So if you like to argue, knock yourself out, but nothing you will/can ever say could possibly change his mind - his religion is too central to his understanding of things, too emotionally important for him to ever even contemplate modifying his beliefs to embrace alternative points of view.


This statement reeks of hypocrisy. If you only you could read the writings of the various atheistic physicists throughout the 20th century flatly refusing to accept the evidence for the Big Bang because their religious views demanded an eternal Universe...

quote:

The really depressing thing here is that he really believes he's being objective and reasonable when he claims that evolution doesn't make sense, but that the whole Noah's-Ark, talking-burning-bush thing is perfectly reasonable.


We've already discussed the Noah's Ark story, for which there more than ample evidence. And any Being capable of creating a Universe would consider it a trivial matter to make a bush burn. (Even we can do that with our current technology).


By MartyLK on 4/26/2011 6:26:19 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
That's actually NOT true. There is nothing in the scriptures that explains how God created life. It is theoretically possible that God could have used a process of mutation to create new species on Earth.


I'm not one you want to challenge on what the Bible says and doesn't say. Trust me, I know more about the Bible than you can imagine.

And also for the record, the Bible (God) does say the world and universe were created in 6 24 hour periods of time. In those 6 days, ALL life was created. ALL life meaning...ALL life...as well as ALL things in the universe. The church teaches that God rested from creating on the 7th day. That means he stopped creating. It doesn't mean he stopped for a day and then took up creating again. God created everything in the universe in 6 days and nothing more was created after that. Not the smallest particle was ever created again, after he rested. What was created in those 6 days, remains as is to this day. Again...according to the Bible.

The genealogy of the Bible dictates a timeframe of existence. From Adam & Eve...created on the 6th day of creation...to Christ, there is the complete glaciological record. This indicates about 6 to 8 thousand years, but no more than 10,000 years.

Now one can say that micro evolution exists and God created life with this capacity. But 6,000 years just isn't long enough for the evolution we see and know in the world. Micro evolution allows for people's skin to be adjusted to certain climates or environments. It doesn't allow for new features like flesh ripping k-9s or spikes on a tail meant to wield harm to a foe. In the God-created world, life existed in harmony and there was no death or decay. Plants were given to all living things to eat. Nowhere does it mention that a tiger or velociraptor was allowed to tear apart any other animal and eat it for food. How can life change so rapidly in such a short period of time to evolve the dangerous defenses it achieved? And be aware you can't use 6 to 10 thousand years of changing because we already are here...we don't see them changing in front of us. And haven't recorded it over our history.


By wgbutler on 4/26/2011 9:00:27 PM , Rating: 1
quote:

I'm not one you want to challenge on what the Bible says and doesn't say. Trust me, I know more about the Bible than you can imagine.


How refreshing!

quote:

And also for the record, the Bible (God) does say the world and universe were created in 6 24 hour periods of time. In those 6 days, ALL life was created. ALL life meaning...ALL life...as well as ALL things in the universe. The church teaches that God rested from creating on the 7th day. That means he stopped creating. It doesn't mean he stopped for a day and then took up creating again. God created everything in the universe in 6 days and nothing more was created after that. Not the smallest particle was ever created again, after he rested. What was created in those 6 days, remains as is to this day. Again...according to the Bible.


Fair point. I think there are couple of plausible explanations, however.

The explanation that I personally prefer is called the Framework hypothesis. The gist of this is that Genesis 1 is essentially a simplified narrative given by God in triadic literary form to the early Hebrews to reinforce the concept that God created everything that exists (as opposed to pagan concepts in the polytheistic cultures they inhabited like the sun being a god, etc) and to reinforce the doctrine of keeping the Sabbath.

Here is a link which describes the Framework hypothesis in greater detail:

http://www.asa3.org/ASA/education/origins/fw.htm

It makes a lot of sense when you evaluate the events of each creation day. Let me diagram it:

Days 1-3_____________4-6
1)Light______________4)Sun, moon, and stars
2)Sky and sea________5)Sky creatures, sea creatures
3)Earth, vegetation__6)Land creatures and humans
7)Divine rest

So essentially Genesis 1 is a narrative that presents a basic message, that God is the creator of all that is.

God could have given more detail. For example, God could have talked about a singularity and atoms and DNA, but that would have been complete nonsense to the vast majority of all humans who have ever lived.

Think about it from God's point of view. You want to deliver a message that will mean something to human beings of every age and time. If you customize your message so that only people who live in the late twentieth century and beyond can appreciate and believe it, you shoot yourself in the foot.

Furthermore, there are plenty of other details on creation that are discussed elsewhere in the Bible and not mentioned in the Genesis account.

The second (and possibly equally valid) explanation is that whatever passes for time in the realm that God inhabits flows at a different rate than it does here on Earth.

We know from Einsteins theory of relativity that time does not flow at the same rate everywhere in the Universe. It flows at different rates depending upon velocity and things like gravitational force. If you were traveling at the speed of light time would pass by much more slowly than if you at traveling at zero velocity. If you were standing on the surface of the sun, time would pass at a different rate than if you were standing on the surface of the moon.

God exists in some realm that is outside of this Universe. So it is quite possible that the seven creation days are days in the realm that God lives in, rather than days here on Earth. This makes alot of sense when you consider that the sun is not even created until day 4. Furthermore, the seventh day never comes to an end, so we are still in the seventh day according to this theory.

The scriptures give us a clue that this theory may be true when it says things like "But do not overlook this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and *a thousand years as one day." (2 Peter 3:8)

This post is starting to get too long. Let me summarize by reaffirming that the scriptures give us some basic truths about the creation account that no other religious texts or traditions have given us (like the creation of time and space out of nothing) and that we have only recently discovered within the past century to be true. The scriptures also often reveal scientifically relevant observations like

the earth being in a void of space (Job 26:7)

[7] He *stretches out the north over *the void
and hangs the earth on nothing.

the universe expanding (Isaiah 40:22)

[22] It is he who sits above the circle of the earth,
and its inhabitants are *like grasshoppers;
*who stretches out the heavens like a curtain,
and spreads them like a tent to dwell in;

air having weight (Job 28:25) - something, btw, that was only confirmed scientifically about 300 years ago

[25] When he *gave to the wind its weight
and apportioned the waters by measure


By MartyLK on 4/26/2011 9:11:38 PM , Rating: 2
You are absolutely wrong because of the detail given about the times and situations. Nevertheless, I choose no longer to help you see the truth. I'm going to go ahead and continue living my life filled with joys and delights, wonders and awes and bid you adieu.

I really do hope for you a better life. goodbye.


By wgbutler on 4/26/2011 9:26:40 PM , Rating: 2
quote:

I really do hope for you a better life. goodbye.


Hey I hope that you have a great life too. Bye!


By MartyLK on 4/26/2011 9:18:36 PM , Rating: 2
By the way, what this dude says here is what I meant about how the adaptations are built upon. It is ever more important for the faith to become ever more complex as science continues to answer questions and as the human mind evolves with ever greater understanding. I've heard this dudes explanations before and I know there is no point arguing with him. He is lost in his mind by the complexities of his explanation and nothing is going to save him...sadly and horrifically.


By MartyLK on 4/26/2011 10:18:16 PM , Rating: 1
One last thing I want to say...hehe...I always think of shit to say later because I have such a slow mind...not impaired...just not quick. This is important as a warning to others about such mind-twisting explanations this guy is putting forth. I've been involved with a denomination my whole life that the leaders and ministers see themselves as highly thinking and contemplating people. They have a persona about them that they are as understanding and knowledgeable and study'ess as Einstein and the highest thinkers in the world. They come up with all manner of explanations for every possible question. And what this guys says is inline with their explanations.

That kind of thinking nearly turned me into a schizo. The explanations were so mind twisting that I couldn't cope with them and remain sane. They are part of my current psychosis; why I am so screwed up in my mind.

This guy...I hope his mind will be able to handle what his church is forcing on him. Otherwise there will be another mass-murder happening at some point down the line.

My mind is no longer in such a turmoil as it was when I was a Christian. I am now settled in my mind and fully assured of reality and the healing of my mind is ongoing. But I kid you not, it felt like my mind was being thrashed about by a wild animal with all the destabilizing things the church was telling me. Whenever I would begin to get a sense of mental stability, they would completely eliminate it by some new, ind-twisting way of rationalizing something.

That in itself helped convince me the God of the Bible wasn't real. Because if he in fact was real, he wouldn't make mind-twisting explanations for minds that couldn't cope with it. He would have helped me understand in a way that assured me of what the Bible and the church said.

The fact that the church always had an explanation for any question of biblical validity also made me think of the criminal who always had an answer for the detectives questioning his innocence.

I stumped the minister one time, though, by a question he apparently never thought about or considered. The church and Bible says people die because of sin. I asked him, "why do animals die? They don't sin". It was a simple question, but it showed him he wasn't the 5-star amazing thinker he saw of himself. It reminded me of stories in the Bible where the high and mighty were humbled by the lowly.

By the way, I know the answer this dude would come up with to say about why animals die. I'm waiting for other sentient life in the universe to be found as an effective method of dealing with his answer. You see...if the whole creation was cursed for our sake, that would mean any other sentient, sinless, life in the universe would also be condemned to die because of our sins...right here on this tiny little planet known as Earth. Unless, of course, death and decay is limited only to Earth. Then I would point out all the starts in the universe that die and explode.

Every answer the church or the Bible gave me lead me further and further away from the faith because it seemed to contrived to be genuine.

This and many other inconsistencies about reality as compared to the Christian faith helped me break away from it all. It wasn't just science discovering new things and providing answers. It was the faith itself that provided the inconsistencies that drove me away rationally.

But one thing I assure anyone, the type of church this dude has will make you a friggin loon and turn you into a schizo if you dare to absorb their explanations fervently and unquestionably. It will probably be decades before my mind has been fully repaired of the damage the church and religion did to me. I need to be very careful about what I allow any Christian to tell me too.


By PaterPelligrino on 4/26/2011 8:00:21 PM , Rating: 3
wgbutler writes:

quote:
That's actually NOT true.


It is clearly true. You are a biblical literalist, and as such, you have no choice but to deny evolution. For some bizarre reason, it is important to you guys that every word in the bible be considered literally true. Frankly, I don't see why you consider it necessary to persist in this nonsense. Why not just do what most Christians do and accept the bible as an allegorical text? After all, even if you think the bible was inspired by god, the big guy didn't actually write it out himself. Why can't you people acknowledge the obvious, that the bible is an historical work composed and altered over the millennium? btw, did you know that creationism is mostly confined to English-speaking countries. I wonder if one should associate English-speakers with doctrinal inflexibility?

quote:
In fact, you can prove macro-evolution true to me right now. Just take some fruit flies....


Another example of how you strive to immunize yourself from counterargument: all you require of me is that I reproduce in internet time what it takes nature eons to accomplish. (Natural selection requires sufficient time to favor propitious mutations in the context of environmental change.) You might as well require that I reproduce a supernova before you'll believe that heavy elements are generated in those explosions.

Once again I note how you religious fanatics hold the skeptic to a logical standard to which you conveniently give yourselves a pass. Convinced or not, one would expect you to at least acknowledge that the evidence for evolution is an order of magnitude more convincing than that for your preferred supernatural belief system. If the believer of whatever creed was capable of presenting convincing evidence for his god(s), there would be no skeptics, or competing religions for that matter.

The evidence for evolution is everywhere, but none is as blind as he who will not see. The evidence for your particular god however, is nowhere to be seen, so don't lecture me on the importance of evidence. Evidence is only of interest to you guys if it supports your religious beliefs, everything else is filtered out. Give me sufficient proof, and I'll convert on the spot.

quote:
On the other hand, your faith demands that macro-evolution be true, since you absolutely refuse to allow any possibility for God.


Faith has nothing to do with my acceptance of the theory of evolution, and if you can't see that, there really is no point in arguing with you, as you show yourself incapable of even the most minimal measure of self-awareness. I am not the enemy of some god, I merely go with the most reasonable explanation, and none of the religions meet that criteria.

quote:
My beliefs allow me to go where the evidence leads, your beliefs demand that you swear fealty to Darwinism.


That is so off-the-wall nuts, such a blatant distortion of our respective positions, that I can't help but conclude that it is empty provocation. Either that, or you're sinking ever deeper into self-deception and withdrawal from the real world. Your beliefs are founded on nothing but faith; half the Christian world admits as much. All religions are sand-castles erected from the stuff of human need and fanciful imagination.

quote:
And any Being capable of creating a Universe would consider it a trivial matter to make a bush burn.


Again, I must repeat my earlier reply to that repeated assertion. Your statement is a perfect illustration of the circular reasoning that characterizes all religious justification of irrational belief. Every creed makes the same claims: first believe in our god, and everything else follows. Given that Zeus is a lustful god, it makes perfectly good sense that he should turn himself into a swan and rape Leda. Given that only worthy souls ascend to Nirvana, it makes perfectly good sense that the particularly debased are reincarnated as insects.


By MartyLK on 4/26/2011 8:56:55 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Why not just do what most Christians do and accept the bible as an allegorical text? After all, even if you think the bible was inspired by god, the big guy didn't actually write it out himself. Why can't you people acknowledge the obvious, that the bible is an historical work composed and altered over the millennium? btw, did you know that creationism is mostly confined to English-speaking countries. I wonder if one should associate English-speakers with doctrinal inflexibility?


The biggest problem I faced with that in my faith is the uncertainty of what is really true about God and the Christian religion. I a Christian cannot be sure about what God says and know it comes from him, how are they going to give themselves to it? Think about it. If a person can't know with certainty the will of God, how can they have a stable faith. How can they sacrifice their lives? It isn't a situation where they allow themselves to be martyred only to be told by God that wasn't what he said and meant.

I know personally how impossible it is to live the extremely self-sacrificing life of a Christian without knowing for sure it is what God required of me. If I didn't have God's direct word, there was no point in trying to assume what he wanted. There is no point remaining in the faith if that one, single, book isn't completely, from beginning to end, speaking for God and his will without flaw. If it is a collection of stories and records written by mere humans, there is no way I'm going to hand my life over to that nonsense or put my eternal soul at risk of making a mistake about which words were God's and which were human's.

Fortunately for me, I see the whole Bible as what I believe it is, an invention by the Jews to create and foster myths and legends about themselves. I believe the Roman government, 2,000 years ago, saw the benefit of the Judaic religion for controlling hearts and minds and either used a person who tried to chance the Judaic faith, or simply created a character to center the faith on, known as Jesus.

I do believe most of the miraculous stories in the Bible are half-truths. I believe the Jews combined natural occurrences and events with their stories of conquest to make themselves feared as though there was a deity guarding them. This is an evolutionary tactic of a sentient creature. Other animals do the same thing. One easily visible example is the common house cat. It will bow itself up and fluff out its fur to appear larger and more menacing that it actually is.

The problem with this kind of evolutionary adaptation in humanity it the problem that the human mind builds on it. A cat or any other animal will quickly forget about their menacing appearance because they don't have the development of mind to do anything more with it. Humans, however, have excellent memories and adapting skills and can compound something that has been effective and build on it to what the Bible and Christian faith is to this day.

The only solution to this horror is the continued illumination of the human mind through science. The only reason religion and all superstitions are effective is because of ignorance. We just didn't have the answers to know if the religion or myth or legend was true or not.

Science will provide all those answers. It already has provided us with the knowledge that the universe isn't 6,000 years old, but billions of years old. It already has shown us the Earth isn't the center of the universe, or even the center of our solar system. It has shown us the universe is filled with billions upon billions of galaxies with billions upon billions of stars in each one.

I firmly believe it has also discovered extraterrestrial life on a moon around Saturn. But NASA was prevented from revealing like they originally had planned.

If you remove the uncertainties and provide the answers, religions, myths, legends and all superstitions will have no more leg to stand on and the people who profit from them will have to get reals jobs. It will also eliminate a government's ability to control its populace through these uncertainties. Think about it...if anyone was in a horrifically miserable and painful situation they couldn't escape from and they believed religion when it said they would suffer unimaginable torment in Hell forever without end if they offed themselves to get away from the misery, would they dare to off themselves? If they knew there was no Hell waiting for them, they could get relief from that terrible situation.


By wgbutler on 4/26/2011 9:13:54 PM , Rating: 2
quote:

It is clearly true. You are a biblical literalist, and as such, you have no choice but to deny evolution


How many times do I have to say that I don't have to deny evolution? The scriptures don't give the exact method that God used to create life out of the elements. All they say is that God created life. Even C.S. Lewis had no problems reconciling evolution with his Christianity, and was by some accounts at least a theistic evolutionist. If I eventually find out from God that He formed all life on Earth by some macro-evolutionary process then so be it.

I remain completely unconvinced that blind, unguided, random processes are capable of creating the information necessary and diversity of life that we see on Earth today. And this is reinforced time and time again by the fossil record (where new life forms spring up suddenly with no viable precursors) and in the labs (where bacteria and fruit flies remain bacteria and fruit flies no matter how hard the scientist tries to evolve them).

The rest of this post is really more of a complaint than an argument, so I'm going to skip forward to your next post.


By PaterPelligrino on 4/26/2011 9:54:51 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
If I eventually find out from God that He formed all life on Earth by some macro-evolutionary process then so be it.


Yet another example of how resolutely closed you remain to counterargument - here you require that god personally tell you that the theory of evolution is correct before you'll admit it's true. Ironically, if there is no god to inform you on the matter, you'll never have to change your mind. You are home free babe! If you haven't yet furnished that comfy logical bubble you call home, I think it's time to splurge on that leather sofa you've been lusting after.

Tell you what I'll do, to show that I'm just as opened-minded as you, if god tells me that evolution is a lie, I'll buy you a beer. Are you listening Shiva?

In any case, you going to let the rest of know when god gets back to you on that? Could you ask him to drop me a line as well?

quote:
I remain completely unconvinced that blind, unguided, random processes are capable of creating the information necessary and diversity of life that we see on Earth today.


You clearly do not understand how evolution works. It is not by any means unguided: natural selection directs evolution by weeding out those mutations that are not survival-worthy, while those that are an improvement, out-reproduce the competition. It's a very simple, very elegant, highly plausible process; at least to those who aren't emotionally invested in a supernatural explanation for the existence of the amazing variety of life on our planet.

quote:
The rest of this post is really more of a complaint than an argument, so I'm going to skip forward to your next post.


That's the strategy you have always used to ignore that which you can't rebut.


By wgbutler on 4/27/2011 12:07:13 AM , Rating: 2
quote:

Yet another example of how resolutely closed you remain to counterargument - here you require that god personally tell you that the theory of evolution is correct before you'll admit it's true.


Or until someone provides some credible evidence. From what we've seen so far Darwinism is woefully incapable of the grandiose feats its adherents claim it can do.

We've had a guy (Lenski) growing trillions of bacteria over thousands of generations (more bacteria than the total number of mammals that have ever lived on the face of the Earth) for over 20 years trying desperately to create a selective pressure to cause the bacteria to mutate and he still has test tubes full of bacteria. They haven't changed into algae, developed the ability to make food from sunlight, or become multi-cellular. His great claim to fame is that some of them evolved the ability to eat citrate, an ability by the way, that was already found in said bacteria in the wild.

We've had another guy (Richard Goldschmidt) frying fruit flies with X-Ray radiation desperately trying to evolve a new species. What did he find? 99.99999999% of all the mutations were harmful, and he still had nothing but fruit flies at the end the day.

*"Richard Goldschmidt fell into despair. The changes, he lamented, were so hopelessly micro [insignificant] that if a thousand mutations were combined in one specimen, there would still be no new species."—Norman Macbeth, Darwin Retried (1971), p. 33.

quote:

You clearly do not understand how evolution works. It is not by any means unguided: natural selection directs evolution by weeding out those mutations that are not survival-worthy


No I understand exactly how it works. I just don't buy that this process can turn a bacteria into a human being over a period of time. Nor is it capable of creating new protein folds.

The vast majority of mutations are harmful and do nothing to increase the fitness of an organism. And you greatly overrate what natural selection is able to accomplish. Were you aware that there was a recent study in the journal nature (Experimental evolution reveals resistance to change - Sep 30, 2010) last year that showed that even positive mutations rarely get infused into a population?

http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v467/n7315/ed...

http://www.uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/...

Your materialistic bias makes you vulnerable and willing to believe anything that reaffirms it, so you have checked your critical thinking ability at the door.


By MartyLK on 4/27/2011 12:22:53 AM , Rating: 1
I finally understand you! The light dawned on me! Hehe...I know who and what you are. I have your number, pal. :)

I know you know all this religion business is false. It's all nonsense. You know it but are required to refute any skepticism. I didn't catch it before now because I have been away from the faith for a lengthy while now and never think about how it was. But I recalled it.

You're not a faithful follower. You know what you preach is utter bullshit. But you have a duty, for whatever entity of society you serve, to stand in the way of the truth of science. Every word out of your mouth is nothing but a lie.

There is always a way to get free of your tyranny. Some people just don't believe it. Some people allow your horrific brainwash to control their lives because they can't see any way clear of it. Rest assured pal, I'm in the world. I know you...You have my personal attention now and I will be working against you effectively.

You are the purest form of evil humanity can create for itself. You would have all humanity in slavery to fear and suffering through the words you speak and spread. I am invulnerable to them because I have seen the truth and light and know you are evil and a monster. There is nothing genuine or true about you other than your hatred for humanity and love for the suffering of humanity to continue. Don't bother trying to convince me you aren't evil, either. I know what you are. You goddamn hideous freak. The universe has a way of dealing with your kind and your hatred for all freedom and truth.


By wgbutler on 4/27/2011 12:31:53 AM , Rating: 2
quote:

There is nothing genuine or true about you other than your hatred for humanity and love for the suffering of humanity to continue. Don't bother trying to convince me you aren't evil, either. I know what you are.


You've figured me out! Drat! Yes, I'm one of the leaders of an organization designed to enslave humanity to its Christian masters and end the space program. We absolutely cannot allow the human race to learn about the aliens on Titan, as that would destroy our religion and prove chemical evolution true once and for all.

But we've identified you as a threat who must be eliminated....We're watching you....even now.... We won't allow you to stop us and will do whatever we have to do in order to neutralize the threat you pose to our existence!


By PaterPelligrino on 4/26/2011 8:04:30 PM , Rating: 3
wgbutler writes:

quote:
This statement reeks of hypocrisy.


(We just keep going in circles you and I. I think I've given an adequate reply to some point, but two weeks later, you come back with the same comment. Since you repeat yourself, allow me to save some time by re-posting an earlier comment that addresses the issue of hypocrisy.)

It is inherent in human nature to invent gods, religions, and mythical creatures. We are psychologically constructed - perhaps, even at the genetic level - to do this. Given the truly astonishing number of mutually-contradictory gods and supernatural beings with which man has embellished his world, no other conclusion is possible. I may be unable to prove the nonexistence of any one god, just as I can't prove the nonexistence of the Tooth Fairy, but they can't possibly all exist. When the entire human race, irrespective of time and place, demonstrates a unfailing bias towards error in the invention of these supernatural belief systems, one is justified in suspecting that no such belief is free from that bias. That is what the myth-making, social-animal Homo Sap does. What does that say about the human mind? What it says to me is that on a good day, Homo Sap is only half-rational at best.

The existence of all those mutually-contradictory religions - many of which predate and/or arose independently of OT Judaism - proves that man does, in fact, create gods, he does invent religions out of thin air. The invented gods met the needs of the societies that invented them. Because those societies differed, the religions based on those contingent social circumstances also differed: different socio-historical context, different gods. Every society that has ever existed has had its gods. That it is largely tradition and geography that determine religion (Saudis are Muslim, Tibetans Buddhists, Irish Catholic, sub-continent Indians mostly Hindu, etc., etc..) indicates how contingent religious belief is; it's little more than a coin toss. Do you really think that geography and tradition played no part in your seeing Jehovah rather than Shiva?

Once a belief system takes root, the True Believer of every religion acts as you act, argues as you argue. Like you, they all claim that all competing gods and religions are fictions; like you, they all want us to believe that theirs is the one exception. The defining characteristic of every True Believer is the total incapability/unwillingness to question the rationality of his own cherished beliefs.

To a non-believer, that is a devastating indictment of all supernatural belief systems. My religious skepticism is not only motivated by the absurdity of supernatural beings and holy-book miracles, it is also firmly rooted in an unsentimental appraisal of human nature as it really is. It is undeniable that people see things that aren't there, worship gods that don't exist.

I merely apply to all supernatural beliefs the very same skepticism that the Christian applies to every religion except his own. Every fallacy you think I commit when refuting your god, you are guilty of vis-a-vis the other religions. As a monotheist, you are compelled to deny the existence of all gods but your own, yet you accuse atheists of hypocrisy when they deny your god. So who's the real hypocrite here?


By wgbutler on 4/26/2011 9:23:45 PM , Rating: 2
quote:

The existence of all those mutually-contradictory religions - many of which predate and/or arose independently of OT Judaism - proves that man does, in fact, create gods, he does invent religions out of thin air. The invented gods met the needs of the societies that invented them. Because those societies differed, the religions based on those contingent social circumstances also differed: different socio-historical context, different gods. Every society that has ever existed has had its gods.


There's really nothing here that I disagree with. But the existence of false religions does not necessarily mean that all religions are false, any more than the equation 2+2=5 means that all mathematical equations are wrong.

quote:

I merely apply to all supernatural beliefs the very same skepticism that the Christian applies to every religion except his own. Every fallacy you think I commit when refuting your god, you are guilty of vis-a-vis the other religions. As a monotheist, you are compelled to deny the existence of all gods but your own, yet you accuse atheists of hypocrisy when they deny your god. So who's the real hypocrite here?


I don't think there's anything wrong with being skeptical. I'm skeptical myself. When I look at science, history, sociology, and archeology, I find the evidence for Christianity extremely compelling. I am willing to be persuaded that some other worldview is correct, but I have yet to find another worldview with the same level of supporting evidence.

For example, the worldview of atheism requires me to believe that:

1) The Universe popped into existence from nothing for no reason whatsoever.
2) By pure luck, the Universe happens to be amazingly fine-tuned to allow the existence of stars, chemistry, and carbon based life forms.
3) By some process that we haven't discovered yet, some non-living chemicals self-assembled into the first life form.
4) A bacteria eventually morphed into a human being over millions of years.
5) Sentience and self-awareness can arise spontaneously from non-sentience.

I could go on and on, but this is just getting ridiculous. You can believe all of this if you want, but I'm not persuaded.


By PaterPelligrino on 4/26/2011 10:39:00 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
There's really nothing here that I disagree with.


Well all right then. So you do agree that humanity has invented gods and religions, you do admit that Homo Sap sees things that aren't there, that it must be inherent in human nature to do so. It's just that all that applies to the other guy, not you. Know thyself, I always say.

I also note with interest that even tho where and when one is born determines the religion of most of the rest of humanity, tradition has in no way proved decisive in determining which god you worship, that your religious beliefs are solely the result of open and objective reflection on the world around you.

quote:
I don't think there's anything wrong with being skeptical. I'm skeptical myself. When I look at science, history, sociology, and archeology, I find the evidence for Christianity extremely compelling. I am willing to be persuaded that some other worldview is correct, but I have yet to find another worldview with the same level of supporting evidence.


Convenient how you reserve skepticism for every religion but your own and any science that contradicts your religious beliefs. Certainly no hypocrisy there.

I note that all of your arguments against science fall into the old god-of-the-gaps category. It would seem that for you, the limitations of human intelligence and the present incomplete state of scientific understanding prove the existence of god. You seem to imply that until science can answer every unknown - and it is by no means given that that will ever be possible - a supernatural being must have done it. Odd logic that, but at least you need never worry about having to change your mind about anything.


By wgbutler on 4/27/2011 12:24:58 AM , Rating: 2
quote:

So you do agree that humanity has invented gods and religions


Yes I agree. I also think that humanity invents false scientific theories to allow itself to live in rebellion against its Creator (like the steady state theory, the first life coming out of warm little ponds, oscillating universes, and junk RNA) and continues to come up with new theories even though these theories get proven wrong time and time again.

quote:

I also note with interest that even tho where and when one is born determines the religion of most of the rest of humanity, tradition has in no way proved decisive in determining which god you worship, that your religious beliefs are solely the result of open and objective reflection on the world around you.


This is generally true. However, it does not explain the origin of Christianity, where Christians were part of a larger polytheistic culture that was extremely hostile to them and they had absolutely nothing to gain by holding on to their beliefs. Many were put to death and severely persecuted by the Romans.

quote:

I note that all of your arguments against science fall into the old god-of-the-gaps category.


I don't argue against science. In fact, science has led me to faith from atheism. If there's anything going on here, its an atheism-of-the-gaps as you have blind faith that science will someday have answers to these questions, even though new discoveries are only increasing the complexity of life and the unlikelihood of our existence. (in other words, science is headed in the wrong direction for atheism)


By PaterPelligrino on 4/28/2011 4:06:40 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
I also think that humanity invents false scientific theories to allow itself to live in rebellion against its Creator


Ah yes, of course, the final defense of the True Believer. How better to explain away the scorn of so many intelligent people for the supernatural deus ex machina that forms the emotional center of your life - a being that no one has ever seen outside of a dream, and for which there exists not one jot of objective proof - a god in no way distinguishable from all the numberless others invented by man to make sense of a world beyond his limited powers of comprehension. It's not that your god isn't there for all to see, it's that we refuse to see him. It isn't that your arguments make no sense, it's that our flawed personalities won't permit us to acknowledge the Truth. This rebellion argument is just another – tho easily the most pathetic and blatantly dishonest - example of the kind of self-serving, circular reasoning that characterizes all religious thinking.

Yah, I'm a rebellious guy: Anubis, Jehovah, Ganesha, the troll under the bridge - I deny them all. But if rebellion characterizes my rejection of Jehovah, how would you describe your denial, using the very same arguments that I use against your god, of the deities from the opposing teams? Let me guess - you're enlightened, while I am merely rebellious. In life, attitude is everything.

It is precisely because of reasoning like this, that I never bother arguing facts with religious fanatics. You give him facts, point out flaws in his reasoning, force him into contradiction, and poof!, all he has to do is wave his magic wand, invent some ridiculous scenario, and he skips off happily to repeat the same old sh't that you've already demolished a dozen times. And if all else fails, all he has to do is accuse his critics of "rebellion against the creator". The defining characteristic of every fanatic is that he is so in thrall to his pet theory that he never dares examine the psychology that motivates his beliefs.

I look at you and I see a guy whose every thought and opinion is designed to shield his feel-good beliefs from self-doubt. You really do live in a perfectly isolated logical bubble. A healthy personality would not only see how he's deceiving himself, he wouldn't need to do it in the first place. There are religious thinkers who display a healthy contact with reality - you're not one of them. It is with slack-jawed incredulity that I watch you discard every inconvenient fact, while uncritically embracing the most circumstantial, counter-intuitive and nonsensical rationalization to justify what is nothing but magical thinking.

I can't tell you how depressing I find this acknowledged tendency of people to believe whatever the fu’k they want, and then invent convoluted, irrational, after-the-fact scenarios to convince themselves that they're the only ones to see the truth. All the scientists are wrong, all the other religions are wrong, all the atheists are wrong, only you and people like you see the truth. We're hypocrites for demanding a little proof, while you feel free to make astonishingly detailed statements based on a being no one can detect, all the while borrowing our arguments to reject the no less implausible gods of every religion but your own. I'll bet it puts a little bounce in your step knowing that god has chosen you to be his special guy.

It's because of statements like the rebellion thing that I have never accepted your repeated claims to have been an atheist. How many times do I have to tell you that I see no difference between your OT literalism and Voodoo. I can't for the life of me understand why any sane adult would believe what you do, it seems totally nuts to me. A former atheist would understand that.

However, what I find most objectionable in your kind of religious devotion is the lack of intellectual integrity, the moral cowardice of surrendering to a childish mythology just because it helps you feel better about yourself. Whatever other failures and inadequacies you might possess, there’s a reserved seat for you at Jehovah’s Eternal Bliss Fest. Ultimately, I think you have a very fragile personality, and these feel-good fairy tales are the only thing holding you together. That explains why people "find god" - almost always the same god worshiped by the surrounding community - after a personal tragedy.

A familiarity with human psychology does not inspire much hope for the future of mankind. You see this kind of selective wishful-thinking in religion, politics, in everything in which people have a personal stake. Science is the only exception. Even you admire science - at least that science which doesn’t threaten your religious beliefs.

In any case, the above quote shows what a waste of time it is trying to reason with you guys.


By wgbutler on 4/28/2011 9:39:38 PM , Rating: 2
PaterPelligrino,

Thanks for your latest post, which unfortunately continues your recent trend of dramatically complaining about me without offering any new ideas or arguments to debate. I really have no desire to get into an insult swapping contest with you and so I'm not going to respond to any of it.

Feel free pat yourself on the back and declare victory if you like, but my time is extremely limited for such antics.

I'll try to parse through most of your post and respond to any actual questions or arguments.

quote:

The defining characteristic of every fanatic is that he is so in thrall to his pet theory that he never dares examine the psychology that motivates his beliefs.


Your recurring theme seems to be that all religious belief arises out of some kind of psychological need. I think it's rather arrogant of you to assume to know everyone's motivation for having religious belief, but since you want to keep hammering on this point, I'll make a few observations of my own.

I find it absolutely fascinating that atheists lurk on these forums (and the Internet in general) and pounce at any opportunity to attack and ridicule people of faith, even when the subject matter of the article has little or nothing to do with matters that concern religion.

If there are any bizarre psychological behaviors going on, it is this. Why are atheists so angry and obsessed with people who believe in a Divine Being? It belies an incredible insecurity that is most interesting to study and observe.

You may not be aware of this, but this behavior is confirmatory of a prediction made by Christ. In Luke 21:17 Christ said

And everyone will hate you because you are my followers.

We see this prediction proven true over and over again. Read through some of the messages in this very article. People say the most vile and hateful things.

They hurl all sorts of obnoxious insults at me, not because I have a different belief system than they do (after all, I usually don't see them talking to Hindus or wiccans like this) but because I believe in CHRIST.

I'm not stealing from them. I'm not vandalizing their homes or beating up their family members, but I'm the worst type of person in the world because I have belief in Christ. That fact that people get so angry and emotional, and feel so threatened testifies to the power of Christianity.

quote:

It's because of statements like the rebellion thing that I have never accepted your repeated claims to have been an atheist.


You can believe me or not, but there are plenty of atheists out there who have given up atheism and professed a belief in God. Antony Flew was a world famous atheist who was vehemently opposed to the concept of God and wrote several books attacking the idea, and then later renounced his atheism and became a deist.

Way off the subject, but I read about a new paper published by Doug Axe that is extremely interesting. Check out these links:

http://www.evolutionnews.org/2011/04/when_enzymes_...

http://biologicinstitute.org/2011/04/16/when-theor...

Anyway, I have alot to do tonight. Thanks for writing back, I'm out of here.


By PaterPelligrino on 4/29/2011 12:44:08 AM , Rating: 2
You might not answer this post, but I know you'll read it.

quote:
They hurl all sorts of obnoxious insults at me, not because I have a different belief system than they do (after all, I usually don't see them talking to Hindus or wiccans like this) but because I believe in CHRIST.


Nonsense. (The Christian loves nothing better than to play the martyr - makes him feel closer to his god: Jesus suffered for us, now you get to return the favor.) We don't comment on Hindus or Wiccans because they don't make posts to this forum attacking scientific theories for the sole reason that those theories threaten their religious beliefs. Actually, I don't know of any religion other than OT literalism that objects to any scientific theory. Posters to this forum who claim to be Christian, but have no problem with evolution, encounter no hostility. It does, however, upset us when someone tries to pervert the course of science for religious reasons.

quote:
Why are atheists so angry and obsessed with people who believe in a Divine Being? It belies an incredible insecurity that is most interesting to study and observe.


Is it surprising that you encounter scorn when you come onto a tech site and try to discredit a scientific theory because it threatens the creation myths from a 3000 year old book?! Why can't you people just worship in private? We get upset because Christians are constantly fighting to invade the public sphere - you want this nonsense taught to children, for instance. I don't go into churches to denounce god, nor do I knock on the doors of strangers to preach my word-view. Atheists don't fund groups with noble sounding names like "Defense of the American Family" to spread our dogma. We don't band together to pressure politicians to pass atheist-friendly legislation. We're the ones under attack. Christianity is a very in-your-face religion. Do you know how obnoxious it is to turn on the TV or radio and here some self-righteous intellectual troglodyte tell me and my children that I will suffer unbearable pain for all eternity if I don't believe in his god? Onward Christian soldiers.

So what do you expect? You come on to a tech site and say no, no all this scientific stuff about evolution is a lie, Jehovah did it. And then you proceed to offer up bogus faith-based arguments that in the end all boil down to, "it makes no sense to me that so complex a world was not created by Jehovah". No one doubts that you sincerely believe that. But what you are doing is proselytizing; not blatantly, but proselytizing none the less. After all, the only way to accept your argement is to buy into the whole OT world-view, so what you are doing is preaching, agitating for your god. Why do that on a tech site?

And you don't make obnoxious comments about atheists? We - I, at least - couldn't care less which god you pray to, I merely counter your faith-based attack on evolution. You may not like my focus on your psychology, and on the contradictions is your advocacy of Christianity over the other religions, but arguing fact with fanatics is pointless, and pointing out the inconsistencies in your reasoning is a legitimate debating strategy. If what was involved were something that could be settled with some simple proof or demonstration of fact, there would be no need to resort to discussion of motivation; but what other choice is there when you filter out every fact that doesn't conform to your dogmatic world-view?

quote:
You can believe me or not, but there are plenty of atheists out there who have given up atheism and professed a belief in God.


I find it odd that you consistently misunderstand me on this point. I do not doubt that there are atheists who later become believers. I do doubt, however, that someone who makes such inaccurate statements about what motivates the atheist - that we are in rebellion against Jehovah, to name the most absurd - was ever himself a genuine atheist. No atheist is in rebellion against any particular god, we simply find all supernatural beliefs ridiculous, as you would know if you had truly been an atheist.

I have no emotional attachment to atheism, I merely refuse to go beyond the facts, and attach no importance to traditional beliefs. Give me sufficient proof in your god and I'm convert number x+1, but don't expect me to respect some silly delusion simply because it has been dignified with the word 'religion'. Personally, I would love for your religion to be be true - minus the Hell and the anti-sex bias, of course - but I can't bring myself to believe something just because I desperately want it to be true. I simply grant the Christian no more respect than you grant the Hindu or the Scientologist. It is because of the tremendous emotional importance of Christianity in your life and your society that you expect me to cut you some slack just because you're a Christian - sorry, that's not going to happen.

In any case, my days of hounding anti-evolutionists on this, or any other site, are rapidly drawing to a close.


By wgbutler on 4/29/2011 8:10:12 AM , Rating: 2
PaterPelligrino,

Good to hear from you again.

quote:

I don't know of any religion other than OT literalism that objects to any scientific theory.


There are plenty of religions out there that have unscientific stories. Hinduism alone has multiple stories ranging from the Universe being hatched out of an egg to being made from the tears of Prajapati:

http://www.1stholistic.com/Prayer/Hindu/hol_Hindu-...

quote:

Posters to this forum who claim to be Christian, but have no problem with evolution, encounter no hostility


Not true. My SOP on these forums usually is to refrain from posting until several atheists have made ugly comments. If you check the dates and and times on this comments of this article, you'll see that it didn't take very long for the atheists to start hurling insults before any Christian ever posted or anyone questioned Darwinism.

And who were their insults targeted at? CHRISTIANS. Not the Hindus who think the Universe was hatched out of an egg, but Christians who refuse to accept Darwinism.

I can't believe we're even having this discussion. This is a very demonstratable principle. Get Jason Mick to post another evolution article and just watch what happens. It happens 100% of the time with no deviation.

For that matter, you can test this principle yourself. I used to do this as an experiment. I used to go to online forums with a handle like "JesusFreak" or "GodIsLove", forums which had nothing to do with evolution or science, btw, and just engaged in whatever topic was being discussed in a respectful way. The reaction I would get from other posters was amazing. The hostility was VERY evident. It's quite a fascinating experiment to do.

So there you are. A sociological experiement you can do in 5 minutes that tests a prediction of Christianity made over 2000 years ago.

quote:

Is it surprising that you encounter scorn when you come onto a tech site and try to discredit a scientific theory because it threatens the creation myths from a 3000 year old book?!


I don't know how many times I have to say this, but Darwinism doesn't disprove Christianity or Judaism. EVEN IF you could randomly mix some non-living chemicals in a test tube and spontaneously create a living cell, you wouldn't have disproven God or any of the Judeo-Christian religions. All you would have proven is that life CAN be spontaneously created by a random process, not that the first life WAS created by a random process.

Let me put it another way. In several places in the Bible earthquakes of one type or another are used by God as divine punishment. Now if you show me scientifically how earthquakes can randomly happen, with no God being necessary, you haven't disproven the Bible. All you have proven is that earthquakes can happen by random processes. You haven't proven that God had nothing to do with the Biblical earthquakes in places like Numbers 16:31-34.

quote:

But what you are doing is proselytizing; not blatantly, but proselytizing none the less. After all, the only way to accept your argement is to buy into the whole OT world-view, so what you are doing is preaching, agitating for your god. Why do that on a tech site?


The general principle I use is that if some are free to openly express contempt and disdain for Christianity on a tech site than I am free to openly express acceptance and admiration for Christianity. That is why I usually wait for several nasty coments to be posted before I start responding. (Not to mention its incredibly entertaining!)

quote:

Personally, I would love for your religion to be be true - minus the Hell and the anti-sex bias, of course - but I can't bring myself to believe something just because I desperately want it to be true


I admire your skepticism but I would point out that not all Christians believe the same things about Hell. For example, I personally have been an annihilationist for many years, which is the doctrine that the incorrigible wicked are permanently destroyed in a fiery death rather than tortured for all eternity.

Regarding the sexual commands, there is no healthier or more sexually fulfilling way to live than by practicing sex according to Judeo-Christian principles (saving sex until marriage and staying committed to a lifelong monogamous relationship with your opposite sex spouse). This is proven time and again by SCIENTIFIC studies which continue to validate the teachings in the Bible to this very day.

quote:

This is precisely the kind of reasoning advanced by the ID sites you constantly link to. (It's no wonder you hold evolution in such low esteem, you read nothing but people who think as you do.) Even if their arguments were sound - and frankly, I distrust anyone who approaches any issue with such an obvious bias - how does one go from, "this seems to conflict with present scientific understanding" to, "the only possible conclusion is that not only was some supernatural being at the root of all this, it was our guy Jehovah."? Anybody who makes the second statement shouldn't be trusted to make the first.


That's fine, but when I go to Darwinists to get an explanation much of the time I only read profanities and insults. I went to PZ Myers science blog and read the comments responding to this latest study. They were little more than insults, epithets, and obscenities. It's really hard to take people like that seriously.

quote:

In any case, my days of hounding anti-evolutionists on this, or any other site, are rapidly drawing to a close.


What a shame. I hope you reconsider.


By PaterPelligrino on 4/29/2011 11:19:16 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
There are plenty of religions out there that have unscientific stories.


Sorry, ambiguous wording on my part. (I'm on the opposite side of the earth from you, and am often half asleep when I type out these replies.) What I meant was that I don't know of any other religion whose adherents reject any present scientific theory. I have lived outside the States for the last half of my life, and I have never encountered any believer in a non-Christian religion who objected to any scientific theory.

quote:
....it doesn't take very long for the atheists to start hurling insults before any Christian ever posted or anyone questioned Darwinism....Not the Hindus who think the Universe was hatched out of an egg


There is certainly no shortage of obnoxious atheists, and I agree you have been the target of undeserved slander - you have in fact become this forum's most recognized religious critic of evolution. But again, we don't attack Hindus because we never encounter any, and it's not the Hindus who post anti-evolution comments to this forum. Also, atheists don't feel under attack from Hindus. No politician in the States could possibly get elected if he didn't at least pretend to be a church-going Christian. In the Christian US, there are people who won't hire or rent to atheists. Atheists in our military encounter extreme hostility.

I certainly haven't confined my attacks on religion to just Christians - I think you're all daft. I doubt any atheist wouldn't rather live in a Christian society than in a conservative Islamic one. But the country we do live in is very Christian, and those are the people we have to deal with in our daily lives. (Not so much me, because I live outside the States, but you know what I mean.) Plus Evangelical Christianity (the kind that denies evolution) has become associated with the extreme right, and given that most atheists are liberals, this has just added to the animosity felt towards Christianity.

quote:
I don't know how many times I have to say this, but Darwinism doesn't disprove Christianity or Judaism.


I know it doesn't (Haven't I commented many times that the Catholic church accepts macro-evolution?), but it does disprove your particular brand of Christianity, which is why you reject Darwinism.

quote:
The general principle I use is that if some are free to openly express contempt and disdain for Christianity on a tech site than I am free to openly express acceptance and admiration for Christianity.


Of course you are, but you should understand why people attack you for those comments. But then, the internet is famous for it's unrestrained bile and hatred, which certainly isn't confined to religion: political discussion, if anything, is even more hateful. People say all kinds of things in forums that they would never say to someone's face. Something about anonymous forums strips away one's common decency.

quote:
...I would point out that not all Christians believe the same things about Hell. For example, I personally have been an annihilationist for many years, which is the doctrine that the incorrigible wicked are permanently destroyed in a fiery death rather than tortured for all eternity.


I never said they did, but the in-your-face brand of Evangelical Christianity that is the mainstream in America, does preach this stuff. Jerry Falwell and that other guy (Pat Robertson?) went on the air after Katrina and blamed the destruction of New Orleans on the sin of it's people. Some other televangelist made similar comments about the Twin Towers - those people aren't fringe, they have huge followings.

quote:
Regarding the sexual commands, there is no healthier or more sexually fulfilling way to live than by practicing sex according to Judeo-Christian principles (saving sex until marriage and staying committed to a lifelong monogamous relationship with your opposite sex spouse).


Not for me, it isn't. I'm 60, lost my virginity to one of my High School teachers when I was 16 - bless her heart - and in the intervening years have had 100+ lovers from two dozen different countries. To be honest, I'd have to admit that sex is why I can now speak four foreign languages. Sex has been one of the great joys of my life, and thankfully I never let religion interfere with the pursuit of this very human, very healthy activity. If I have one regret, it's that my aesthetic standards prevented me from being even more promiscuous. (There's that hilarious scene in the film Little Miss Sunshine where the grandfather played by the always brilliant Alan Arkin counsels the young guy in the van to take his advice and f'ck as many women in his life as he can.)

quote:
What a shame. I hope you reconsider.


Events beyond my control.


By PaterPelligrino on 4/29/2011 2:41:13 AM , Rating: 3
About those links:

You people are saying that there is not and can never be a non-supernatural explanation for the existence of life's amazing variety. You are not just arguing that evolution can't account for life's variety, you claim that Jehovah did it. If you didn't have an overt religious agenda in this, you would merely limit yourself to a discussion of the present unknowns, but you go beyond that to embrace a supernatural explanation. How does that differ from the ancient Norse hauling out Thor to explain thunder because they knew nothing about atmospheric electricity?

This is precisely the kind of reasoning advanced by the ID sites you constantly link to. (It's no wonder you hold evolution in such low esteem, you read nothing but people who think as you do.) Even if their arguments were sound - and frankly, I distrust anyone who approaches any issue with such an obvious bias - how does one go from, "this seems to conflict with present scientific understanding" to, "the only possible conclusion is that not only was some supernatural being at the root of all this, it was our guy Jehovah."? Anybody who makes the second statement shouldn't be trusted to make the first.


By SPOOFE on 4/25/2011 10:38:48 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
We're not bees, we aren't born with a pool of knowledge or even good instincts.

The bee example is lousy.

But, we humans are born with a pool of knowledge; it's just not coded into our genetic structure, it's just omnipresent in the environment most of us are born into. In terms of function, it's very different than bees or any instinctual, inborn trait, but in terms of the effect it has on the population it is similar in that it is a crucial tool to facilitate our survival.

quote:
I'm still having trouble seeing how significant this gentleman's 'discovery' is

I don't know if it's scientifically significant outside of adding or clarifying to current timelines of human development. It is politically significant in that some people are going to greatly dislike it as they've disliked other research that preceded it.

quote:
It was terrible.

Terrible for THEM. A riot for US. :D


By MartyLK on 4/25/2011 7:18:16 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
And then you'll have incredulity to deal with; how can that wet keep-us-alive stuff magically come from dirt? Hooray, we've just invented the word "witch" and "execute"!


LMAO...I nearly hurt myself laughing at that. Hehe...funny...but true...stuff.


RE: Evidence of universal common descent - not faith
By Duwelon on 4/24/11, Rating: -1
By Duwelon on 4/24/2011 1:12:27 PM , Rating: 2
My bad, I assumed it was MIck but it was his acolyte :P


By wgbutler on 4/25/2011 7:44:49 AM , Rating: 1
Hey, thats a great video! Sexual reproduction (especially in higher species like mammals) IS a huge problem for Darwinism). Thanks for posting it!

Kudos to you for having the guts to stand up and defend an unpopular point of view. Don't let the kool-aid drinkers here bother you - talking to them is like trying to talk to the possessed girl in the exorcist. When you try to reason or discuss evidence, their heads start spinning around and they start hurling epithets. Stupid, but highly entertaining!


By Skywalker123 on 4/25/2011 11:11:03 PM , Rating: 2
When you present any evidence or reason we will listen. until then please stop with the drivel.


By wgbutler on 4/26/2011 2:47:56 PM , Rating: 3
quote:

until then please stop with the drivel.


You first.


By Skywalker123 on 4/26/2011 5:09:17 PM , Rating: 2
I'm sorry you forgot all the "scientific evidence."


By morphologia on 4/25/2011 4:46:21 PM , Rating: 2
Wow, go figure...someone espousing a theologically predominant mindset leaps in without thinking and makes a flawed assumption. That's never happened before...

Do you BELIEVE in gravity? If not, can you fly, and if not why not?
Do you BELIEVE in DNA? If not, how do you explain the fact that you consist largely of it?


By Skywalker123 on 4/24/2011 5:38:03 PM , Rating: 2
Again, evolution says nothing about life evolving from "non-life"


By wgbutler on 4/26/2011 2:51:40 PM , Rating: 3
quote:

Again, evolution says nothing about life evolving from "non-life"


Well, actually, chemical evolution or abiogenesis, makes the claim that life evolved from non-life.

Yet for some strange reason, this topic is off limits (shhhh...don't tell anyone, but the Darwinists don't have a good argument for the appearance of the first life).

Not to worry, within the next month or two Jason Mick will post another flavor of the month "just-so" story to explain the origin of the first life. Stay tuned.


By icanhascpu on 4/27/2011 8:56:49 AM , Rating: 2
(shhhh...don't tell anyone, but the science is about finding the answers through observation and reasoned experimentation, not about having all the answers for dimwits)


By wgbutler on 4/27/2011 9:49:35 AM , Rating: 2
quote:

(shhhh...don't tell anyone, but the science is about finding the answers through observation and reasoned experimentation, not about having all the answers for dimwits)


Wow, I must have really a nerve there. By the way, that line was almost directly from the article:

http://www.scientificamerican.com/blog/post.cfm?id...

quote:

science is about finding the answers through observation and reasoned experimentation


I agree that's what science is supposed to be. Too bad people can't just do science and let people draw their own conclusions without acting sanctimonious and arrogant and lecturing others on how stupid they are for not being materialists.

quote:

not about having all the answers for dimwits


Yeah yeah I know. Your materialistic intellectual foundation is built on a house of cards so you're trying to intimidate me with insults. Sorry, won't work.


By Motamid on 4/24/2011 7:03:47 PM , Rating: 2
I see your video and raise you one with more background information.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wxysZmNsyDk&feature...

It helps when you don't just take a creationist's word when they say there are no scientific explanations for the evolution of certain systems. Search a little and you will find plenty of plausible explanations. It would be better if creationists would just stop trying to disprove evolution. Proving things is really not their strong point.


RE: Evidence of universal common descent - not faith
By Duwelon on 4/24/11, Rating: -1
By Skywalker123 on 4/24/2011 8:44:47 PM , Rating: 2
Evolutionists don't need to "feel better" about themselves. Thats for creationists. If their "theory" was disproved it would destroy their entire world view.


By SPOOFE on 4/24/2011 9:38:31 PM , Rating: 2
Worse still for his point of view: "Evolutionists" would LOVE to see conclusive evidence proving them wrong. Science loves evidence. It's almost dirty.


By LRonaldHubbs on 4/24/2011 9:58:11 PM , Rating: 2
Exactly. People who believe evolution do so because they appreciate that it was developed through scientific investigation. In the extremely improbable circumstance that evolution were proven wrong and replaced with a new theory, those people who believed evolution would simply change their belief. Most evolutionists don't even give the topic any thought except in cases like this where a piece of news prompts a discussion. There literally is nothing that they need to 'feel better' about.

Staunch creationists, on the other hand, have much more to lose because their entire world view is built around their religion. Such an individual essentially cannot consider alternative ideas because there is too much at stake. Moderately religious folks don't have this problem, which is why evolution is overwhelmingly accepted as fact in the developed world (in spite of the fact that only about 14% of the world's population are self-identified non-religious). Indeed, it's the staunch Creationists who have to work to reassure and feel better about themselves and their views. The leap of faith is a full-time job.


By MartyLK on 4/25/2011 9:55:51 AM , Rating: 3
Excellent comment and views. And is so true. I know from personal experience because I was one of those "staunch creationists" LOL. Everything you said applied to me.

Thankfully I am no longer burdened with the bullshit of religion. It was "staunch creationists" that screwed the ever-living bejesus out of me, causing me to reevaluate life and reality...basically prying me loose from my erring beliefs. Since then I have allowed the true light of science to fill my life with absolute peace. I now know there is no fire-breathing God going to send me and other people to a damnation in eternal Hell. I now know religion was invented by the rich and powerful as a way to control the hearts and minds of the masses. It was never intended as goodness but only a means of control for the elite.


By MartyLK on 4/25/2011 10:27:54 AM , Rating: 2
Spouting BS are you. It's the Republicans that have torn this once vibrant nation down. It's the pissant, worthless maggoty Republicans which are for big business and big government. Just because they say they aren't doesn't make it true. The religious nutballs/Republicans are the real liars and deceivers. All you need do is look at the state of the nation to see that. It was worse than what it currently is when that shithead Bush got booted the Hell out.

If you are defending the goddamn Repubs, you should be ashamed of yourself for defending murder, chaos, slavery, hatred and all manner vile behavior.

You know what Bush said to his cohorts to assure he would be elected? He said "Jesus, Jesus". The superstitious religious of the nation will believe they cannot vote against anyone who declares "Jesus". That's how maggots like him get in office. That's how the Repubs do. They destroy the lives of everyone in their way to get ahead. They defame the innocent and mock the truly good of this world. They spout non-stop lies about the good and right.

They are the true "Hell on Earth".


By wgbutler on 4/25/2011 1:03:54 PM , Rating: 1
quote:

It's the pissant, worthless maggoty Republicans...religious nutballs/Republicans are the real liars and deceivers....shithead Bush got booted the Hell out....If you are defending the goddamn Repubs, you should be ashamed of yourself for defending murder, chaos, slavery, hatred and all manner vile behavior.


Just take a look at yourself. Your head is spinning around and you are vomiting nonsense instead of making good arguments. It is tirades like this that paint such a clear picture of who the people who promote Darwinism and Christianity really are.

quote:

He said "Jesus, Jesus". The superstitious religious of the nation will believe they cannot vote against anyone who declares "Jesus"


You mean like Obama, who has self-identified as a Christian and whose "Matthew 25" was designed to subvert Christianity into getting people to vote for him?

quote:

They defame the innocent and mock the truly good of this world.


Yeah whatever. Take a look at your own writing and see who is truly doing this.


By MartyLK on 4/25/2011 5:46:01 PM , Rating: 2
That's what I can say of you. If you were truly objective, you could see what I say is meant for benefit rather than harm. But since it goes against what you believe, you are blinded to the goodness of what I say. The Bible described how the Jews were blinded to the goodness Jesus was trying to do for them...not that I believe any of the non-sense, It just shows how well the powers at that time understood the human mind enough to create stories like it. They equated it to evil. They called Jesus a blasphemer and a trouble maker. Yet people like you believe in him and believe he did good.

The reason I point out this story is because we all have the ability to see what we want to see and make it be real for us. That is what you are doing with what I say. You are making out my words to be bad and anti-social because they don't abide with your belief of what is right.

Once you become freed from your delusion, you will be able to clearly see what I am saying.


By MartyLK on 4/25/2011 10:31:58 AM , Rating: 2
Do you deny what the church did to scientists down though history?


RE: Evidence of universal common descent - not faith
By wgbutler on 4/25/11, Rating: -1
By MartyLK on 4/25/2011 4:55:50 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah, that church. All religion. You poke your head in the ground like you are trying to embrace it while never acknowledging it. That's so you can continue to cope with life. If you ignore it, it will go away. The problem with that is, the multitudes you are harming by continuing defending the church and religion.

>ALL< churches, no matter the denomination, are evil in nature by what they do to humanity. All religion, especially the Judaic religions, are inherently evil.

You know, if you don't like my "tirade" as you call it, you can certainly not read them. But you can't help yourself because you want to defend your position. Your whole life and mental well-being depends on refuting what I say because a part of you deeply buried knows it's true and if it is allowed to fester in your conscience without being refuted, your life will be turned upside down. I know this because I was there once. I also know you will make out what I am saying in the most unfavorable light to keep you and others like you safe in your delusion...to keep the status quot.

That's okay. I don't condemn you. I know where you are. I have the hope that you and the rest of the defenders will be free from your delusion. But as long as it is easier and more convenient to turn to a higher power, you will never be freed. It took some severe suffering and terrifying experiences for me to be freed. But wow! I am glad I was freed! :)

Trust me, it is a whole world of *hard* to get free. That is an understatement, too. But once anyone is free, they will never fear it again and never turn to any higher power for comfort again. They will be liberated from all fear.


By MartyLK on 4/25/2011 4:55:51 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah, that church. All religion. You poke your head in the ground like you are trying to embrace it while never acknowledging it. That's so you can continue to cope with life. If you ignore it, it will go away. The problem with that is, the multitudes you are harming by continuing defending the church and religion.

>ALL< churches, no matter the denomination, are evil in nature by what they do to humanity. All religion, especially the Judaic religions, are inherently evil.

You know, if you don't like my "tirade" as you call it, you can certainly not read them. But you can't help yourself because you want to defend your position. Your whole life and mental well-being depends on refuting what I say because a part of you deeply buried knows it's true and if it is allowed to fester in your conscience without being refuted, your life will be turned upside down. I know this because I was there once. I also know you will make out what I am saying in the most unfavorable light to keep you and others like you safe in your delusion...to keep the status quot.

That's okay. I don't condemn you. I know where you are. I have the hope that you and the rest of the defenders will be free from your delusion. But as long as it is easier and more convenient to turn to a higher power, you will never be freed. It took some severe suffering and terrifying experiences for me to be freed. But wow! I am glad I was freed! :)

Trust me, it is a whole world of *hard* to get free. That is an understatement, too. But once anyone is free, they will never fear it again and never turn to any higher power for comfort again. They will be liberated from all fear.


RE: Evidence of universal common descent - not faith
By Wierdo on 4/25/2011 10:34:35 AM , Rating: 1
quote:
But regarding the Christian religion, the sociological facts don't jive with your assertions.


Really?

An army of "Christian" peasants leaving their medieval ghettos, traversing continents, starving and sometimes even resorting to cannibalism, only so they could throw their tattered hides at a wall in Jerusalem, enough of them to crack an opening for valiant "knights" to storm through, massacring local Muslims, Jews, and even Christians (those damn tans) even in their respective places of worship, and then running back with gold and riches to offer their clergy...

You don't think that's some powerful mind control? It's all just religions playing tag across the historical landscape imho.

quote:
For example, in the United States most conservative religious people vote against the big government liberal democrat party. If they wanted the elite few to be able to control the masses they'd be voting for big government democrats, higher taxes, and nationalized health care, and they vote the opposite way. Seems to me like they don't want the elite few to have control over their lives.


Maybe this is a shocking revelation, they're both elites, we vote for our favorite aristocrat(s), pick yer favorite millionaire dude.


By MartyLK on 4/25/2011 10:49:23 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Maybe this is a shocking revelation, they're both elites, we vote for our favorite aristocrat(s), pick yer favorite millionaire dude.


Exactly true. Even the better behaved Democrats will stoop to the will of the church. That's why I say in another post that the political and religious forces must not be allowed to hinder or stifle the ongoing pursuit of science.

I got pissed off at Obama when he allowed the church to sway his decision to stifle the recent-past discovery by NASA of the detection of possible life on a moon around Saturn.

All forms of politicians will do wrong at the pressure of the damned church.


RE: Evidence of universal common descent - not faith
By Wierdo on 4/25/2011 11:56:24 AM , Rating: 2
The only thing I'd personally amend - or rather expand on - in that statement is substitute church with lobby I guess, just to make it a more general statement about the state of our vote/dollar political landscape.

The nature of aristocracy may have changed a bit, but the game is still about rallying the public behind a cause with a catchy message, and then shaking hands behind the curtain with the powerful entities writing the check to erect you the fancy pedestal so to speak.

My 2 cents, I'm done ranting for now heh.


By MartyLK on 4/25/2011 12:32:32 PM , Rating: 2
Well...from my experience, it has always been the church agents doing the lobbying. They are the loudest and most activist in the world.

They are so deranged that they even threatened to protest the funeral of a little girl who was killed in Arizona. They did protest the funeral of 3 children who were killed in a trailer fire in Oklahoma.

This is what religion does to people. It causes them to justify anything and everything, no matter if it's illegal or hateful.

The church has murdered scientists down through history and is still going strong to this day protesting and causing all manner of harm to innocent people who don't bow down to it.


By MartyLK on 4/25/2011 4:28:42 PM , Rating: 2
And you would disregard all the murder and horror caused by the church since it's existence. And when I speak of the church, I speak of all churches. They all are delusional. The most vile criminals in the world are Christians. They are able, in a clear conscience, to justify anything they so desire. I know this from painful experience. But the people who defend the church or religion...ALL religion...will never see the light of all the harm they cause. I know this from experience also. I was delusional just the defenders because I was a defender. It wasn't until they showed me how evil they are ...even while praising God for their righteousness...that I saw how I was. I didn't want to be a part of them any longer because I have significantly more self respect. To continue to be a part of such a horrid thing as religion knowing full well where it came from and why it was invented, was to be a malignant and hate-filled, delusional soul.

I just couldn't abide the hypocrisy any longer. I couldn't live with myself knowing what they truly are. Some people desperately need something to turn to when they are terrified of life...whatever circumstances they may find themselves in. And that's why the church and religion remains. But that doesn't make it right. It only gives them an opiate to turn to rather than facing life head-on with determination. The despair that people feel when they need to turn to a higher power is because of what they have been taught their whole lives. However, if they had been taught properly about life, death and reality, they wouldn't ever need a higher power to turn to. Death holds no fear for people who aren't delusional. If life gets to the point where there is no alternative, death should never be feared. Death is a natural part of the universe. Unlike what religion teaches...the Judaic and its offspring, the Christian and Islamic religions.

How do you maintain control over people so much so that you can force them, in their minds, to continue to live in suffering and horror? You make them believe death is a fearful, horrible thing with God awaiting you on the other side to make you suffer forever in extreme, never-ending pain and torture.

You see, I don't only refer to the physical horror religion has cause since its invention. I also refer to the emotional. mental and spiritual horror it causes on all who are afflicted with it. They enslave bodies, minds, spirits and emotions. They enslave the whole being of humanity.

You see? That is what you, and all defenders of the church and all Judaic religions disregard. You don't feel it, so all it right with the world, huh? Even while there are multitudes suffering unimaginably. That's the heart of a true Repub/religious monster.

You can call me a hater all you want, I don't care. The only thing I care about is keeping my conscience clear by fighting against the horror of religion in an effort to help free humanity from it terrible grip. But as long as people need a higher power to turn to, the horror will continue. The authorities, whom the people will listen to, will certainly never help them get free of religion. That would mean giving up power and control over people.

I just have no concern about you claiming I'm a hater and what my reasons are for doing what I do. I'm free from the horror and my spirit is lifted high. My conscience is truly clean. No clear by a false clearness, but truly clear. I look at the future with a sense of awe and gladness. Knowing what it will eventually bring. I no longer look at the or life as a place of demons where Satan is the ruler. I no longer look at life as a temporary place of suffering or an eventual place of judgment and destruction. I no longer edit my own thoughts because they might be Satan speaking to me. I no longer fear my own thoughts and am no longer in fear of becoming a schizo because of what the church teaches. I don't look around at everybody and see sin everywhere or see people who will be condemned to Hell for what they do. I don't support or condone bad behavior or any anti-social conduct. But I also don't fear for them to be going to Hell either.

I now have a bright, cheery outlook and attitude about life, the future and humanity. I look forward to the day we are allowed to know about alien life elsewhere in the universe and being able to traverse the stars in amazing spaceships. I look forward to the day when we all will be exploring the wonders of the universe in person. You nor the church nor any power can remove that joy and light from my heart any longer by your dreary doom & gloom teachings.

You and all people like you, will remain enslaved to doom & gloom for your whole lives, or until you come to understand.


By wgbutler on 4/26/2011 9:31:27 AM , Rating: 2
quote:

I look forward to the day we are allowed to know about alien life elsewhere in the universe and being able to traverse the stars in amazing spaceships. I look forward to the day when we all will be exploring the wonders of the universe in person. You nor the church nor any power can remove that


Contrary to what you may think, Christians are not having secret meetings scheming to control the human race and prevent it from engaging in space travel.

quote:

I now have a bright, cheery outlook and attitude about life, the future and humanity.


If you are so happy as a non-believer, why do you lash out in anger and hysteria at any mention of Christianity? Contrary to what you may say, I think that Christianity is living RENT-FREE in your brain and you are completely obsessed with it.

quote:

You can call me a hater all you want, I don't care. The only thing I care about is keeping my conscience clear by fighting against the horror of religion in an effort to help free humanity from it terrible grip.


You've disconnected from reality. Whatever happened to you in the past has apparently really messed with your mind. I hope that you are truly able to find peace and happiness in life.


By JediJeb on 4/25/2011 1:57:50 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
They are so deranged that they even threatened to protest the funeral of a little girl who was killed in Arizona. They did protest the funeral of 3 children who were killed in a trailer fire in Oklahoma.


Well I can say here that if you believe those people are Christians then you have never met one. Invoking the name if Christ and gathering in a building called a church does not make someone a Christian anymore than wearing an aluminum foil hat with wires sticking out the top and painting your face green makes you a Martian.

Anyone who is truly a believer in Christ would be ready to throw themselves between that child and the gunman to take the bullet for her instead of wanting to protest her death and funeral. If you really understand what being a Christian is, then you will know that probably 90% of those who attend church and claim to be one really don't have any idea what they are, just as probably 90% of those calling themselves Democrat or Republican have no idea what either party really stands for. It is a shame that the term Christian has been hijacked by so many today as a blanket term to describe their groups, and it has been going on since shortly after the time of Christ Himself. Christ only acted in anger one time in His life and that was over the traders who were turning the temple into a market place and ripping off those who truly came to worship. Sounds very familiar to what many are doing even now, the ones more interested in filling their own pockets or making themselves look important than in truly following Christ. As for the atrocities mentioned if you understand what Christ believed you would know that He would never have sanctioned anything of the sort, yet for centuries men have been using His name to try to justify their own corrupt desires. If I were to go out and murder children in the name of MartyLK would that mean you were to blame for it? Of course not, it would only mean someone is trying to lay the blame for their own choices on you instead of taking it on themselves.

quote:
This is what religion does to people. It causes them to justify anything and everything, no matter if it's illegal or hateful.


Religion does not cause them to justify anything or everything, they try to use it for that purpose because they are too cowardly to accept the blame for themselves. In the beginning Christians were willing to die savage deaths in the Roman arenas without reacting in anger to prove what their beliefs were. Those who used the same tactics as the Romans in the name of Christ later in history were no more followers of Christ than the lions who were used to attack the first Christians. A person's actions define what and who they are, not an arbitrary name they call themselves. When you see people who are willing to give their own life for others then you have seen a Christian, all others are only pretenders whether by innocent misunderstanding or purposeful misuse of the name.


By MartyLK on 4/25/2011 6:20:46 PM , Rating: 2
Where are you getting your source of info from? If it's historical documents other than the Bible, I will accept it. If it is the Bible, it's nothing but poems, stores, legends and myths and half-truths. It was likely commissioned by the Roman government for their purposes. But any religion will create faithful followers. People who genuinely believe what they follow. If any "Christians" suffered in the beginning, as the "Bible" describes, then that was merely a response of genuine belief. Just because someone firmly believes something, it doesn't make it real. It just makes it for them only.

I know in my own life experience how I handled hardship through faith. I genuinely believed in God and what the Bible said and what my church taught. I attributed any goodness happening to me as something from God. Nut my faith made it real only to me. I made it real. My mind made it real. That doesn't make it real in reality. It is just how I lived. I was stoved up away from all heresy, such as what I am speaking of here, and would not allow my mind to be opened to anything other than what the Bible said and what my church taught. My faith caused me to suffer many terrible things.

I now see that closed-mindedness and suffering as a waste of a huge portion of my life. I could have been learning all about science and and the universe. But I was stoved away in my own mind and belief system.

If I never had religion in my life, I might have been an astronaut or doctor or something well off. I could have been something very enjoyable. But instead, I was locked away from the world and reality by a faith that only removed from me all the possibilities I could have had.

The Christian faith basically taught me to sacrifice all things for the good of Heaven. It taught me...I realize faith effects each person differently. But in my case, this is how it destroyed my life based on who I am...to focus on Heaven and disregard all riches and wealth in this life. It taught me this life and world was only temporary and the real and true life was to come beyond death. This caused me not to focus on my well-being or ambitions in this life.

This is what religion does. The fact that people can genuinely believe and give their whole lives over to is...well...horrific, to say the least. The in reality are giving away their lives for nothing. Because God does not exist no matter how hard anyone believes he does. I promise, if faith could have caused God to exist, my faith would have done so.

People suffer through horrendous events and circumstances based on their faith. That does not make the world bad or the fact they are suffering that way, make their existence truthful. If they didn't have that faith, they might have been able to wriggle out of that deadly situation. But faith caused them to remain put and martyr themselves.

And believe me, I have experienced devout, Bible thumping Christians and Christian leaders who did justify whatever they did to me. They actually committed crimes against me to bring about the outcome they sought against me. They could bring the outcome in any legal way because I just kept adapting...hehe...through faith...to whatever they did to me. Whenever they put on me something they were positive would bring about their desired outcome, I faced it head-on and dealt with it through prayer and faith. That doesn't make religion true or real. It just made it real for me like those first Christians who were willingly dieing for their faith. When we believe something, amazing things can happen. If we all believe this world will be a paradise, imagine what that faith can bring about.


RE: Evidence of universal common descent - not faith
By wgbutler on 4/25/11, Rating: -1
RE: Evidence of universal common descent - not faith
By Wierdo on 4/25/2011 3:47:09 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
There's much more to the politics behind the Crusades than your kool-aid education has told you about. Contrary to what you may believe, the Muslims weren't exactly living in peaceful isolation bothering no one until some nefarious Christians decided to invade their cities, kill their children and steal their gold.


Actually the koolaid education makes it a dry game of numbers, it doesn't really get into the fun details enough imho.

My understanding is the crusades were not really about such a threat, not at that declining point in the empire's history. It was a religious rally to action by religious leaders over a quite an internal problem that grew beyond the empire's borders.

It's quite fascinating, check this out:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Al-Hakim_bi-Amr_Allah...

Short story is an 11yr old nutcase Caliph came to power and caused a rotating segment (Christian, Jewish, Sunni, Shiite, Druze etc) of his subjects grief. At some point he razed an important church in Jerusalem and also made pilgrimage difficult for lotsa people; he rebuilt the church before he was assassinated at age 36, but the damage was done of course. This is supposed to be the main reason behind the crusades by many accounts.

But back on topic, there's really no outrage involved in my post. It's simple really; had you wrote:

quote:
"Just a quick response. I'm not here to defend "religion" per se, and I agree that many religious systems, be it Islam, Christianity, Judaism or what have you, do forcefully exert control over the people within its sphere of influence.


Then I'd be in agreement with you, Your post simply appeared to single out one religion to highlight your point, and then distancing your own from a point that applies to it as well.

quote:
Let's just call a spade a spade - you hate Christianity and will look for any excuse to attack and denigrate it.


By your own standards I guess you hate <fill the blank>, but personally I think that would be assuming too much from a single post.

Honestly I don't care for religion, period. But it makes for a fascinating read in the history books when it causes any interesting mob behavior, and yes I'm talking Islam, Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism, whatever. I think Emergent behavior, especially in humans, is a fascinating area of research.

You seem to think that if someone points out a flaw in your earlier statement then they have to qualify by bringing up at least another religion? That's pretty defensive. I don't care what religion you have, if you make an exception for it I might feel like disputing that if it doesn't click.

quote:
Be that as it may, I'm not here to defend religion in general or the Catholic church.


Well if that's true then fine, we'd be on the same page if you spoke in general terms. If you believe I misunderstood your intent then I'll go ahead and apologize.


By wgbutler on 4/25/2011 4:08:38 PM , Rating: 2
Weirdo,

My reaction to you was overly harsh. I was really responding more to the other guy and lumped you in with him when I shouldn't have. Apologies.


By Wierdo on 4/25/2011 4:15:10 PM , Rating: 2
It's all good man, I guess I came off a lil harsh as well, my bad.


By MartyLK on 4/25/2011 4:37:40 PM , Rating: 2
Read my other post, hater.


By LRonaldHubbs on 4/25/2011 7:57:57 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
For example, in the United States most conservative religious people vote against the big government liberal democrat party. If they wanted the elite few to be able to control the masses they'd be voting for big government democrats, higher taxes, and nationalized health care, and they vote the opposite way. Seems to me like they don't want the elite few to have control over their lives.

One of the Republican party's greatest achievements was convincing people like you that they stand for small government. One need only look at their track record to see the truth, that neither party has any interest in downsizing. Sadly it seems that most Republicans are too busy being anti anything which could be considered liberal or democratic to actually acknowledge the deceit of their own party. And this is coming from someone who used to be registered Republican (I now live in a state which has no party registration).

quote:
And in atheistic countries and Islamic countries, the easiest thing in the world would be for Christians to give up their religious beliefs and conform to the societies they live in, yet they do not. Again, this contradicts your bald assertions that religion (by which you mean Christianity) is simply a vessel for control over the masses.

What?? No it doesn't. I'll look past your obvious straw-man fallacy and focus on the other logical failure of this comment. Countries like North Korea or Iran may have oppressive regimes without any influence of Christianity, but that says absolutely nothing about the use of Christianity as a method of control anywhere else. All it says is that those countries have found alternate means of control (in Iran it's Islam, and in North Korea it's a cult of personality).


By wgbutler on 4/26/2011 8:05:04 AM , Rating: 2
quote:

One of the Republican party's greatest achievements was convincing people like you that they stand for small government. One need only look at their track record to see the truth


That may all be true, but if you look at the current situation it brings some stark differences into great clarity. Which party is arguing for more taxes? Which party is wanting to keep the tax rates the same or lower? Which party is arguing for more spending reductions (i.e. downsizing) of government? And which party is fighting those ideas? It doesn't take a brain surgeon to see the difference.

quote:

All it says is that those countries have found alternate means of control (in Iran it's Islam, and in North Korea it's a cult of personality).


I was actually trying to make the point that if Christianity were simply some system of control it wouldn't make any sense for Christians to endure persecution in extremely hostile environments like North Korea or Iran. And which nation is the Christian version of North Korea or Iran? To hear the people around here fret about it, you'd think the Christian police were charging through their front doors and dragging them off to church.


By MartyLK on 4/26/2011 5:56:44 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I was actually trying to make the point that if Christianity were simply some system of control it wouldn't make any sense for Christians to endure persecution in extremely hostile environments like North Korea or Iran. And which nation is the Christian version of North Korea or Iran? To hear the people around here fret about it, you'd think the Christian police were charging through their front doors and dragging them off to church.


I've already answered this. Look at a previous post about the faithful of ALL religions. People can actually and truly believe in things. That does not prove anything except our capacity to manipulate through that ability.

You ever see the pictures of Buddhist monks setting themselves on fire? To do something like that, you really have to believe in the object of your faith. Yet Christians say their God is the only God. And because of that, it legitimizes their faith. It makes their faith one that brings about the kind of belief that allows people to suffer unimaginable horror. You think burning up in flames isn't the type of faith that can bring about the same belief?

I know you are going to have excuses. It's inevitable. I know because I was exactly the same and nothing deterred me. That's why I say it's impossible for anyone to willingly break free from a faith like the Judaic religions. But it can happen through circumstances.


RE: Evidence of universal common descent - not faith
By SPOOFE on 4/24/2011 9:30:50 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
That's just it, "plausible" does not equal "fact"

And identifying the difference between words does not equal an argument.

Scientists aren't stupid; they know when a subject is inherently difficult to study. They treat those subjects appropriately, taking the evidence at face value and trying to explain it all in an internally consistent fashion. Plausibility most certainly is an aspect of this explanation stage, and to ignore the plausible because it "doesn't equal fact" is just plain ignorant.


By Hyperion1400 on 4/24/2011 11:19:57 PM , Rating: 2
"When you have eliminated all other possibilities, whatever remains, no matter how improbable, must be the truth."


By SPOOFE on 4/24/2011 11:40:54 PM , Rating: 2
Exactly the quote I was thinking of. However, I will note that there are some subjects that, due to their inherent complexity, are incredibly difficult to test or examine, and thus other possibilities are difficult to eliminate.

In order to give evolutionary theory the robust study that it really deserves, we'd need a time machine.

In this regard, evolution is not unique; string theory, for instance, hasn't gained much traction due to its similar difficulty in testing or falsifying.


By MartyLK on 4/25/2011 9:28:34 AM , Rating: 2
If science is ever to succeed in this day and age, the scientists will have to be ready to disseminate all discoveries to the entire world with a quick, single, button press prior to alerting the powers that be. Otherwise, the powers that be will hinder and stifle all discoveries that could potentially harm the church.

The argument that would be made is that if the church were destroyed, chaos and disorder would ensue. But it is the church that has caused all chaos and disorder. If the church never existed, humanity would be peaceful. The only reason the church exists is to give the rich and powerful a way to control the hearts and minds of the masses. The church's purpose was never one of goodness, but, rather, only of power and control for the elite.

Excuses are always used by those who defend the church that it must remain. But if the church remains, science and discovery and the enlightenment of humanity will die. The church's real goal is ultimately Hell on Earth. Science's real goal, ultimately, is paradise on Earth. The church is the real liar. The church has murdered and imprisoned all who ever revealed the truth about the world and the universe.

As long as the church exists, Hell on Earth, chaos and disorder, suffering and horror, will continue to exist.


By MartyLK on 4/25/2011 5:00:41 PM , Rating: 5
Yeah, thanks to religion. If religion never existed, there would be none of that horror.


By wgbutler on 4/26/2011 7:57:52 AM , Rating: 1
quote:

Yeah, thanks to religion. If religion never existed, there would be none of that horror.


Atheism is also a religion. And its certainly killed its share of innocent people. Matter of fact, atheistic regimes in the 20th century make the Crusades, the Inquisition, and the Salem Witch trials combined look like amateur night.


By Jyrioffinland on 4/26/2011 6:37:03 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
So true. We know this because those societies where atheism and other religious systems (like Islam) are enforced by law are such paradises to live in.


C'mon, WG! There's no reason to point fingers at others when there are scandals in the Christian church like the pedofile priests and people get massacred in the name of Jahve/Jehova/Jesus.

You should know better that demonizing other religions will come back and bite you in the a$$. If all the other religion are so bad, how come yours would be any different?

An for shouting out loud, why on earth do all the evolution-related news always turn into religious death matches???


By wgbutler on 4/26/2011 7:54:21 AM , Rating: 1
quote:

C'mon, WG! There's no reason to point fingers at others when there are scandals in the Christian church like the pedofile priests and people get massacred in the name of Jahve/Jehova/Jesus.


Listen, how many times do I have to say this? I am not an apologist for the Catholic church, so quit using the Catholic church like some kind of weapon against my Christian beliefs. The Catholic church has done more harm to true Christians than it ever thought about doing to atheists and agnostics. (And btw, "pedophile priests" is a misnomer. In 85% of the cases, homosexual priests were engaging in sex with teenage boys. So its more accurate to say that the Catholic church has a homosexual problem than a pedophile problem.)

The other guy was crazily blaming "the church" (by which he means Christianity in general) as responsible for all the evils on Earth. That is an asinine and extremely stupid statement. I pointed out that societies where Christianity is outlawed (like North Korea, Maoist China, Stalinist Russia, and most Islamic countries) are hellholes to live in. So he should get his facts straight.

quote:

An for shouting out loud, why on earth do all the evolution-related news always turn into religious death matches???


I think it has to do with the obnoxious atheists who immediately start throwing stones at at Christianity any time any kind of scientific article is posted at this site. And then you all get up in arms when someone has the audacity to fight back and call you out on your juvenile behavior. Check the dates and times for the obnoxious comments and you'll see what I mean.


By Jyrioffinland on 4/26/2011 10:33:00 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
I am not an apologist for the Catholic church, so quit using the Catholic church like some kind of weapon against my Christian beliefs.


Ok, fair enough. Why don't you quit attacking atheists and using some islamistic extremists like some kind of weapon against the islamic beliefs?

quote:
...its more accurate to say that the Catholic church has a homosexual problem...


Yuk! I'd say it's more accurate to say the Catholic church has a culpable and sustained abuse problem. Homosexuality itself is no problem --- yet people like you paint it that way.

quote:
I think it has to do with the obnoxious atheists who immediately start throwing stones at at Christianity any time any kind of scientific article is posted at this site.


I find this statement untrue. Usually it's the christian extremists who tend to cast the first stone.

E.g. in this 'discussion', the first inappropriate message (by my judgement) was that of Reclaimer77's.

Yet as so often there is no real discussion here. One side says the other one's are morons since they believe there's no evolution and the other side thinks evolution is like religion that you either fully and unquestioningly believe in or not.


By wgbutler on 4/26/2011 11:02:34 AM , Rating: 2
quote:

Ok, fair enough. Why don't you quit attacking atheists and using some islamistic extremists like some kind of weapon against the islamic beliefs?


Jyrioffinland,

If I've given the impression that I've taken offense to anything that anyone has said here I apologize. I have taken no offense to anything anyone has said.

The fact of the matter is I enjoy debating politics and religion tremendously. It's like a contact sport. I think I could have worded some things better than I did, please excuse me. I'll try to do better in the future. And I like reading your posts and find your point of view very interesting.

BTW, I used to work with someone from Finland. He was a brilliant software developer and it was an honor to work with him.

kiitos!


?????
By tng on 4/24/2011 10:27:55 AM , Rating: 3
Did anyone else find that this whole article was slightly out of kilter and conflicted with itself?

The 75K year mark is mentioned as the pivotal year for many things, but then it digs up that really it was 1.6 to 2 million years ago that the "Superbrain" started to come about. Just think that it was maybe some of the concepts here were poorly translated.





RE: ?????
By wgbutler on 4/24/2011 10:46:37 AM , Rating: 4
To be quite honest with you I'm not sure what the point of the article was. That humans got really smart X number of years ago and this somehow proves Darwinian macro-evolution?

I find it interesting that the article mentions things like finding musical instruments from thousands of years ago and uses that to (apparently) build a case for an evolutionary super-mind. When you start with a premise and make every bit of evidence fit that premise, you can argue for anything. Is there anything that WOULDN'T be proof for the evolutionary supermind? What if we found a candy bar wrapper from the 1950s? Is that also proof of the evolutionary supermind? This is nothing more than another Darwinian "just-so" story with the narrative intended to promote a religious viewpoint.

And I find the comparison of humans with bees to be extremely bizarre. The two species are nothing alike. Bees are born with the software built into to their brains to know how to communicate with other bees, navigate by the sun, etc. None of this is learned behavior. Humans, on the other hand, are born with virtually no knowledge and have to be taught everything from birth. This just demonstrates the strange and bizarre lengths that Darwinists are ready to go to in order to promote their worldview.

I think this was just an attempt to throw some red meat at the Darwinists who often troll here. I'm sure the fact that its Easter weekend has nothing to do with the timing of the article....


RE: ?????
By Wiggy Mcshades on 4/24/2011 11:36:17 AM , Rating: 2
That's standard.

g.g.


RE: ?????
By Skywalker123 on 4/24/2011 12:52:24 PM , Rating: 1
I think this was just an attempt to throw some red meat at the Darwinists who often troll here.

Like your trolling attempt here?


RE: ?????
By LRonaldHubbs on 4/24/2011 1:01:23 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah, my irony detector overloaded when I read that line in his post.


RE: ?????
By GulWestfale on 4/24/2011 1:15:44 PM , Rating: 1
so... our brains are responsible for our development?
http://romund.com/pics/intredasting.jpg


RE: ?????
By acsa77 on 4/25/2011 7:54:54 AM , Rating: 2
These kind of articles are called in Hungary "British scientists". When the result or finding of a serious looking scientific research is trivial, kind of funny and useless.


RE: ?????
By Reclaimer77 on 4/24/2011 12:52:53 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
To be quite honest with you I'm not sure what the point of the article was. That humans got really smart X number of years ago and this somehow proves Darwinian macro-evolution?


Ok I'm glad it's not just me. It's not that I even have an opinion about the article, because it badly needs a re-write. It does NOT properly convey to the reader exactly what the theory is, how he came up with the conclusions, or even what the "super brain" really is. I mean, hello?

Is it even about evolution? I can't even tell. It seems to me he's focused more on communal behavior and some type of weird shared colony intelligence like bee's or something.

quote:
Humans, on the other hand, are born with virtually no knowledge and have to be taught everything from birth.


We have one key difference that I believe is significant compared to all other life on Earth. We have an imagination, animals and insects don't. Because of the imagination, we can see more than ourselves and the world around us. We can strive to become more and learn more, about things we can't even see and touch.

Putting all religious and origin arguments aside, it makes perfect sense why a Darwinist would compare a man with a bee in that sense. It's because they believe there is nothing special or unique about mankind.


RE: ?????
By LRonaldHubbs on 4/24/2011 1:06:29 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
We have one key difference that I believe is significant compared to all other life on Earth. We have an imagination, animals and insects don't. Because of the imagination, we can see more than ourselves and the world around us. We can strive to become more and learn more, about things we can't even see and touch.

Yes, exactly.

quote:
Putting all religious and origin arguments aside, it makes perfect sense why a Darwinist would compare a man with a bee in that sense. It's because they believe there is nothing special or unique about mankind.

Humans are unique/special in that we evolved to possess a more complex brain than any other species. Our high-level brain function is the source of our consciousness and imagination.


RE: ?????
By LRonaldHubbs on 4/24/2011 12:59:20 PM , Rating: 4
quote:
And I find the comparison of humans with bees to be extremely bizarre. The two species are nothing alike. Bees are born with the software built into to their brains to know how to communicate with other bees, navigate by the sun, etc. None of this is learned behavior. Humans, on the other hand, are born with virtually no knowledge and have to be taught everything from birth.

Honey bees demonstrate a 'hive mind' in which individuals communicate with each other to make large-scale group efforts happen. Humans formulate ideas and abstract concepts, and they communicate and share these concepts in order to expand the collective knowledge of all humans. From a high-level viewpoint, the human 'super-mind' is analogous to the bumble bee hive-mind in that both examples involve communication for the purpose of collective benefit.

quote:
This just demonstrates the strange and bizarre lengths that Darwinists are ready to go to in order to promote their worldview.
In other words, because you don't understand it, you automatically categorize it as 'extremely bizarre' Darwinist propaganda. The fact that you used the word 'Darwinists' gives away that you have no idea what you're talking about, because nobody except willfully ignorant Creationists use that word. Everyone else understands that the theory of evolution has changed a lot since Darwin's work on it and no modern scientists promotes the raw original theory. If you're going to call evolutionists Darwinists and ignore all developments since the original idea, then you might as well do the same for physicists by calling them Newtonians. Every post you make on these kinds of articles ends up being a self-parody.


RE: ?????
By wgbutler on 4/25/2011 8:07:48 AM , Rating: 1
quote:

From a high-level viewpoint, the human 'super-mind' is analogous to the bumble bee hive-mind in that both examples involve communication for the purpose of collective benefit.


Lots of species communicate for collective benefit (songbirds, whales, prairie dogs, etc). I'm not sure what you're point is.

Furthermore, as I stated earlier, the analogy doesn't hold up for several reasons. For example:

1) Bees are born with all the knowledge they need for communication hardwired into their brains, humans are not.

2) Humans can theoretically exist as solitary creatures without the need for communication, with other humans, Bees cannot.

quote:

In other words, because you don't understand it, you automatically categorize it as 'extremely bizarre' Darwinist propaganda


Wrong! I DO understand it. I just see it as alice-in-wonderland pseudo-scientific jibber-jabber. This is more science fiction than science.

Some guy finding ancient archeological artifacts and concluding that we have a hive mind like bees and thus Darwinism is proved to be true?

This is nothing more than the Darwinian flavor of the month just-so story. Next month Jason Mick will be posting an article about dung beetles eating waste products and coming to the conclusion that Darwinism must be true since in an analogous way his fans on this site voraciously swallow everything he posts!


RE: ?????
By drycrust3 on 4/24/2011 2:04:32 PM , Rating: 2
I find it interesting that Hoffecker doesn't seem to be able to differentiate between proof of technological advancement and proof of the human brain evolving. While his work obviously proves the former, that in itself doesn't prove the human brain was evolving. All it proves is that humans are capable of creating new technologies from old technologies and using them, which we already know.
In addition, while there may well have been advancements in language, that doesn't necessarily equate to simultaneous advancements in communication (or vice versa). In fact the Bible tells us the exact opposite: that God made people have different languages to hinder communication.
Looking at the use of communication and English, while the ability to communicate has increased in the last 400 years (e.g. invention of the printing press, the invention of the internet, etc) with a proportional drop in the cost of communicating, my observation is the ability to use English, and especially the range of adjectives people know, has gone down.


RE: ?????
By SPOOFE on 4/24/2011 11:19:59 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
While his work obviously proves the former, that in itself doesn't prove the human brain was evolving.

Yes, in itself it proves very little. Correlated with other bits of information about the world - namely, very few other species use tools, and none use especially complex tools - it indicates that man went from "unimpressive mental power" to "uniquely impressive mental power". In other words, it evolved.


RE: ?????
By JediJeb on 4/25/2011 11:05:30 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Looking at the use of communication and English, while the ability to communicate has increased in the last 400 years (e.g. invention of the printing press, the invention of the internet, etc) with a proportional drop in the cost of communicating, my observation is the ability to use English, and especially the range of adjectives people know, has gone down.


I have seen a few discussions on this topic and it is very interesting. Why is it that as man evolves into a higher more complex being our languages seem to devolve into less complex structures?

One of the earliest recorded languages, Sanskrit, is a far more complex language than any other language in use today. Even English used to have the words The, Thee, Thy, Thou, which all had different meaning and today have been replaced with The. German still used Der, Die, and Das to differentiate if you are talking about a male, female, or inanimate object as a similar comparison.

Some will say that making the language less complex improves communication, but it actually doesn't because then you have to rely more on context and inflections to gain the true understanding of the sentence, which really can fall through when it is written instead of spoken. Take this as an example;

"Your butt isn't that BIG"
"Your butt isn't THAT big"

With emphasis put on the capitalized word it can mean the difference in being thanked or slapped :) yet if simply written it falls to the reader to decide how it is meant and not the writer of the sentence.

The current evolution of our languages would be an argument that humans are evolving into a less complex intelligence over all instead of becoming a higher intelligence. Maybe our "Super Brain" is beginning to get Alzheimer because it seems the bulk of our society is becoming content with simply supplying our bodies the basics of food, clothing and entertainment and not looking to improve not only ourselves but our collective society as a whole. There seems to be a smaller percentage of creative minds among the human race and an increasing percentage of those that want only to advance the baser instincts of our kind through war, bullying, theft and other types of actions that harm the whole of society instead of promoting it. Advancements in technology does not necessarily mean we are evolving and advancing as a society, how we use it is what truly measures our advancement.


RE: ?????
By Reclaimer77 on 4/25/2011 11:19:52 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Why is it that as man evolves into a higher more complex being our languages seem to devolve into less complex structures?


Because English was simply too complex to start with. There are thousands more verbs and adjectives than in other languages, and the simple fact is, nobody needs to talk like that anymore to convey meaning.

quote:
The current evolution of our languages would be an argument that humans are evolving into a less complex intelligence over all instead of becoming a higher intelligence.


That would be a bad argument, in my opinion. How is the complexity of spoken language an indicator of IQ? That's a poor, and often unfair, assumption to make. Some of the smartest people in our history were VERY poor communicators.


RE: ?????
By JediJeb on 4/25/2011 12:06:56 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Because English was simply too complex to start with. There are thousands more verbs and adjectives than in other languages, and the simple fact is, nobody needs to talk like that anymore to convey meaning.


English was only my example. All languages are undergoing the same changes over time. Also being misunderstood now days is a more common occurrence than it was in the past so there is at least a little evidence that we may need to speak that way again to help convey meaning.

quote:
That would be a bad argument, in my opinion. How is the complexity of spoken language an indicator of IQ? That's a poor, and often unfair, assumption to make. Some of the smartest people in our history were VERY poor communicators.


When looking at discrete individuals yes, but looking at the society as a whole no. The article was about the collective "Super Brain" of the human species. There will always be the individuals that exist on both the extreme high end and extreme low end of intelligence, but how does the human race as a whole measure up? Are we as a whole moving more towards a harmonious society or are we fragmenting further and further as time progresses? If this "Super Brain" allowed us to come together and share ideas 75,000 years ago and sparked the evolution of our species into a great power, should it not continue to do so? Why instead of coming together for the greater good of the group do we instead seem to be more worried about the greater good of the individual? Don't get me wrong, I do believe we should have individual freedoms to make our own choices and to be able to fail or succeed by out own efforts, but we as individuals should also be concerned with helping each other to improve our society at the same time. Stronger individuals make a stronger society and a stronger society helps individuals improve themselves even further.


RE: ?????
By Reclaimer77 on 4/25/2011 8:17:24 PM , Rating: 2
Let me start off by saying this is a very interesting discussion and I'm enjoying it.

quote:
Why instead of coming together for the greater good of the group do we instead seem to be more worried about the greater good of the individual?


Well I think that's a misconception. Sure there was knowledge sharing etc etc, but those were also brutal savages without the trappings of society. No doubt things like rape, cold blooded murder, child molestation and who knows what else were common place. Children who were deemed too weak would be "exposed", left out to die in the elements.

So to say they were all about the "greater good"...well, maybe from their perspective. But from ours, with our laws and criminal justice system and culture, we would be horrified to know how they lived. If I broke my leg today I would go to the doctor and get fixed up, people would understand etc etc, and life would go on. If I broke my leg back then, it might be decided that the tribe would be better off without me slowing them up and well, you get the drift.

quote:
If this "Super Brain" allowed us to come together and share ideas 75,000 years ago and sparked the evolution of our species into a great power, should it not continue to do so?


Good point. I think however that it's a fallacy to assume evolution always takes place for the BETTERMENT of the race. It could be that we are socially regressing in some areas. It also depends what or who the "super brain" is learning from. Example; the average teenager who spends 10 hours on the Internet a day and thinks Jersey Shore is the epitome of modern culture.


RE: ?????
By invidious on 4/25/2011 12:24:40 AM , Rating: 2
Its an article about a paper... If you are going to critizie a scientist's work then you actually need to read their publications , not a summary of their paper posted on an internet blog. Comments on the poor writing of the article are more than warranted because as you say it isnt logical, but thats not the scientists fault. By criticizing Darwinism based on this blog and other circumstancial generalities you are just being a useless troll.

Sadly this commenter's viewpoint is even more contradictory than the article he is attempting to dispute. I advise anyone who considers themself an intelectual to disregard moronic internet ramblings and actually read several sceientific publications from both sides of the issue before deciding what to believe on large issues like this.


RE: ?????
By Fritzr on 4/25/2011 7:20:44 AM , Rating: 2
Could have been better written I agree.

The SuperMind (modern language) is being posited as the last of a number of major changes resulting in modern human intelligence.

Bees are able to 'talk' to one another passing useful information to other bees enabling the entire hive to know what one individual has learned. It this "hive mind" that humans share with bees. Human communication is much more complex & we can pass much more information to others. This makes us much better at communicating information than the bees are, but still a similar mechanism of data gathering by the community as a whole.


RE: ?????
By TSS on 4/24/2011 11:45:04 AM , Rating: 2
IMO this whole article reads as some warped way to turn science into god. By trying to seperate the collective knowledge of us humans into a seperate entity they call a "super mind". It won't physically exist, lives inside all of us but we can't communicate directly with it. And of course, is responsible for just about every major feat we've accomplished throughout history.

Not to say there isn't anything to collective learning. But for it to explain everything including us starting to walk, no way. I firmly belive, and this is something which you can only belive until we make a time machine to go back and watch how we learned how to walk, that we learn things simply because we have the *individual* power of choice. Simply 1 person along the way saying "naw fuck it, ima do things my way" and simply stuck with walking upright.

With the same thing happening with all other changes in human history. 1 guy simply refused to play along.


RE: ?????
By LRonaldHubbs on 4/24/2011 12:29:37 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
By trying to seperate the collective knowledge of us humans into a seperate entity they call a "super mind". It won't physically exist, lives inside all of us but we can't communicate directly with it.

What I took away is that the mind is the higher-level thought processes of the human brain, and the 'super-mind' is the collective shared knowledge of a community of humans. Any animal can learn by trial and error, but humans learn, share that information with others, improve the ideas of others, pass information to new generations, etc. The information does exist physically, as it is stored in the neurons of our brain.

It sounds like the research is trying to nail down exactly when this ability to share information and complex ideas originated. The article mentions evidence that 1.6M years ago human minds were able to individually visualize new, abstract concepts, and 75K years ago those abstract concepts where being shared between individuals, understood, and modified. It does not seem far fetched at all to me.

This is not a new concept. The idea is that human consciousness is collective and integrated over time. It was a topic in a philosophy/communications class I took back in college. However, this is the first time I've heard an archaeologist talk about it and try to pin down time-frames for our evolution to a collective consciousness.


RE: ?????
By LRonaldHubbs on 4/24/2011 12:33:21 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
The 75K year mark is mentioned as the pivotal year for many things, but then it digs up that really it was 1.6 to 2 million years ago that the "Superbrain" started to come about. Just think that it was maybe some of the concepts here were poorly translated.

I think you got it mixed up. According to the article, 2.5M years ago humans made crude stone tools, 1.6M years ago was the first known stone axe (an individual achievement in executing an abstract concept), and 75K years ago marks an apparent greater shared consciousness among humans collectively. Obviously none of these time-frames mark abrupt transitions, they merely mark the data points of evidence that have been collected.


RE: ?????
By drycrust3 on 4/24/2011 5:04:53 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
2.5M years ago humans made crude stone tools, 1.6M years ago was the first known stone axe

I find it amazing that anyone can think humans couldn't make the shift from using a crude stone tool to a stone axe for 900,000 years. The difference in technology seems to be about as great as between knowing how to make a knife and fork but not a desert spoon.
My guess is that some patent troll was demanding royalties on the manufacture of stone axes.


RE: ?????
By SPOOFE on 4/24/2011 9:14:05 PM , Rating: 2
"Human" humans - ie, us, homo sapiens - are only about 200,000 years old. Before that we had neanderthals, homo erectus, homo habilus, getting dumber and less developed the further back you go.

What's so amazing? That early humanoids didn't have brains advanced enough to trade complex ideas with equivalency? That maybe they didn't make a direct correlation between "using things to hit other things" and "sharper thing better at hitting things"? Heck, how long did it take to develop a concept of "sharp", much less different levels of such advanced concepts such as "sharper" and "sharpest"?

What's amazing is that we take so much for granted. We're raised to be pumped full of information from such an early age that we can't even comprehend a "lack of knowledge". Like reading; you can't not read. If you look at a stop sign, for instance, your brain can't choose to not read "Stop". It's so automatic and ingrained that the notion of looking at certain symbols and not being able to comprehend them is foreign.


RE: ?????
By Hyperion1400 on 4/24/2011 11:13:06 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
It's so automatic and ingrained that the notion of looking at certain symbols and not being able to comprehend them is foreign.


Well, unless you are reading a foreign language :P


RE: ?????
By SPOOFE on 4/24/2011 11:21:59 PM , Rating: 2
Unless that foreign language uses the same or very similar symbols to one you fluently understand. Take any English speaker and have them look at a word like "trabajo". They may screw up the J sound but otherwise their brains will automatically try to read it.


RE: ?????
By drycrust3 on 4/25/2011 3:35:20 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Before that we had neanderthals, homo erectus, homo habilus, getting dumber and less developed the further back you go.

How do you know they are dumber? It would seem to me that people who can survive and bring up kids without a supermarket and a pharmacy aren't dumb.


RE: ?????
By Skywalker123 on 4/25/2011 4:17:14 AM , Rating: 2
Just because they can eat grubs and roots for medicine doesn't mean they are smart.


RE: ?????
By drycrust3 on 4/25/2011 11:22:44 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Just because they can eat grubs and roots for medicine doesn't mean they are smart.

Many roots are known for their medicinal qualities, so again, it seems to me that this isn't proof that those people were any less intelligent that we are today.


RE: ?????
By SPOOFE on 4/25/2011 6:39:08 PM , Rating: 2
Most roots have NO medicinal qualities. You're being pedantic.


RE: ?????
By SPOOFE on 4/25/2011 6:36:23 PM , Rating: 2
Take every single human being in the United States and deprive them of all amenities of modern life. Some of them will survive and thrive.

Then let's perform a similar experiment: Empty New York, and then dump ten million homo habilus' (using our handy time machine that we have because time machines are real) into the modern-man-deprived Big Apple. My money's on none of them surviving.


RE: ?????
By tng on 4/24/2011 10:48:33 PM , Rating: 2
No I didn't get it mixed up, the article clearly states that formation of the super brain spurred a creative explosion such as stone tools. Later in the article it states that stone tools were around for literally millions of years before that.

The whole article is screwy.


RE: ?????
By SPOOFE on 4/24/2011 11:33:31 PM , Rating: 2
No, you're wrong. The article credits the "superbrain" for the communication of abstract ideas. It contrasts this with the use of basic tools to the development of more advanced tools (tools that require some work to make their use apparent).

2.5 MYA: Basic stone tools.
1.6 MYA: First hints of "superbrain" correlate with earliest known "worked" tool.
75,000 YA: More abstraction in communicated concepts indicate a maturity of "superbrain".

There's obviously no clearly-delineated mark by which we can say most any trait appeared in human individuals or societies. The fact that it took from 1.6 MYA to 75,000 YA for the "superbrain" to fully manifest shows the difficulty in a species' group formation of complex abstract concepts.


RE: ?????
By tng on 4/25/2011 9:32:44 AM , Rating: 2
Not sure you understood what I was saying so here it is as I read it....

From Paragraph 2
quote:
According to Hoffecker, the formation of the super-brain occurred 75,000 years ago in Africa where the rare ability to "share complex thoughts among individual brains" took place.


From Paragraph 5
quote:
Hoffecker believes that abstract designs scratched onto mineral pigment 75,000 years ago in Africa was the starting point of a creative explosion, and is evidence for the capability of speech. This creative explosion led to new types of artifacts like stone tools and may have even led to other aspects of human evolution like bipedalism.


And then from Paragraph 6,(this conflict with 5)
quote:
Hoffecker also noted that the first "crude" stone tools were made 2.5 million years ago, and then, the first sign of the super-brain came 1.6 million years ago with the first crafting of the stone hand axe, which showed that the human brain was capable of imagining something that didn't exist and then created it.


What I am saying is that it straight out conflicts with itself or is just poorly worded.


Fallacy
By INeedCache on 4/25/2011 10:04:18 AM , Rating: 2
"Gravity is called a theory too, and we know it's real. Therefore, neo-Darwinian evolution, although called a theory, must also be real." Tell me, anyone, what logic is employed in this so-called argument? One has absolutely nothing to do with the other. Can everyone please stop using this nonsensical argument as "proof" of neo-Darwinian evolution, or whatever you wish to call evolution's current theory? And yes, theory is the proper term for it.




RE: Fallacy
By Skywalker123 on 4/25/2011 11:14:48 PM , Rating: 2
Another one who doesn't understand what a theory is.


For those who are confused...
By morphologia on 4/25/2011 4:32:40 PM , Rating: 2
To refer to "Darwinism" is a weak attempt at oversimplifying the difference in viewpoint; religious fundamentalists and counterculture enthusiasts find it easier to oppose a perception if they encapsulate it within the context of an "ism." Most of those who do this are themselves zealots subscribing to various "isms" and for them, it's easier to think of it as one religion against another.

But it's not one "ism" against another...unless you want to count "realism."

To date, evolutionary concepts of biology have a wealth of proof backing them and precious few inconsistencies in the underlying science. Meanwhile, alternate perceptions thrive only on a lack of scientific understanding and a stubborn desire to oppose the status quo. These "-ists" probe fiercely at small perceived gaps in evolutionary theory, ignoring the vast bulk of substantiated research, while at no point in time do they substantiate their own position in a scientifically valid manner.

People like to reference Galileo and Copernicus in matters like this, but we must remember that Galileo and Copernicus were not only correct in their postulations, they were backed by science.




RE: For those who are confused...
By MartyLK on 4/25/2011 11:17:17 PM , Rating: 2
Thank you. Very well stated. In opposition to the creationist's assertion that science is a religion for atheists, scientists don't get bound up in such things and are simply and peacefully seeking understanding.

I saw one post where someone said that the majority of scientists are generally oblivious to all of the controversy of their discoveries brought on by creationists because they just don't think about it. They aren't bound up in their minds by the enslavement of religion and controversy. They are simply applying their lives to discovering what the world and universe are all about.

It is only the creationists who are making a religion of science. They are the only ones who are uptight and filled with anxiety over science.

I wish I could be more like the true and peaceful scientists: oblivious to these controversies and religious struggles. I'm working feverishly to rid myself of the damage of religion.


Here's something to consider.
By MartyLK on 4/25/2011 10:39:23 PM , Rating: 2
If we know the Moon is younger than the Earth, we know the Moon hasn't always existed with the Earth. And if the Moon hasn't always existed with the Earth, then it wasn't created. We know the Moon came from the Earth. It came from a violent collision with a Mars-sized body. And because of this violent collision, any life on Earth would have been destroyed. That would be inconsistent with a created Earth where the Earth was the place of peace and tranquility. Any life on Earth when the Moon was formed, would not feel very tranquil or peaceful but would rather be eliminated. Even the idea that a created Earth giving existence to the Moon is inconsistent with the creationist explanation. The Earth would be so terribly harmed by the collision. If God can create the Earth out of nothing, why would he cause the Moon to be created in such a violent, non-peaceful manner?




By Skywalker123 on 4/25/2011 11:16:41 PM , Rating: 2
You dare question Gawd?


URL Correction
By callofduty1000 on 4/24/2011 9:38:22 AM , Rating: 1
RE: URL Correction
By PaterPelligrino on 4/25/2011 7:45:07 PM , Rating: 2
That's all fine and good, but the only evidence anti-evolutionists (i.e., biblical literalists) are interested in is that which calls evolution into question. For these guys, one missing fossil link illustrating the intermediary step between two species is a million times more persuasive than the existence of thousands of fossils that do evidence such intermediary stages.

No amount of evidence can ever overcome the cognitive filters that the True Believer clings to for dear life. In the competition between evolution and god, evolution hasn't a chance.


LIES!
By LordSojar on 4/24/2011 7:52:25 AM , Rating: 2
Remember, the world is only about 6,000 years old. Also, I don't think Fred Flintstone and his pet raptor thought much of language.

Also, shouldn't the article read "God responsible for [insert anything here]? It's Easter after all!

/endsarcasticpost




And about 6,000 years ago...
By MartyLK on 4/24/2011 5:27:45 PM , Rating: 2
The Jews invented the Judaic religion. Though actually they weren't Jews but, rather, a lower-class sect of Canaanites. The religion started out as simple poems sung among themselves much like modern education is taught today and they evolved to the complexity we see today in the Bible.

It was all about legends and myths and the human mind apparently knew at that early time about the power of superstition and how it can be used, along with natural, cyclical events, to spread fear in an enemy. Thereby providing some semblance of security for a small, tight-knit community of Canaanites.

It was so effective that it lasts to this enlightened day. But not without great modification. Because as the mind becomes ever more understanding, the superstition has to become ever more complex and clever. But there will be a day to come when humanity will be freed from the tyranny of religion and all the horror it causes. But for that to happen, science must be allowed to continue unfettered by political and religious restrictions.




By Shadowmaster625 on 4/25/2011 8:44:54 AM , Rating: 2
Nothing a few million iPad propaganda consumption devices couldnt fix.




"We shipped it on Saturday. Then on Sunday, we rested." -- Steve Jobs on the iPad launch














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