ORIGINS: UNIVERSE, LIFE, HUMANKIND, AND DARWIN

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ORIGINS: UNIVERSE, LIFE, HUMANKIND, AND DARWIN

We debate origins of the Universe, life, Earth, humans, religion, atheism, using common sense, evolution, cosmology, geology, archaeology, and other sciences, to repel biblical creationism and other religious beliefs.

Location: Oxford University, England
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The portrait is Charles Darwin, age 31, in 1840

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Comment by Joseph P on April 8, 2012 at 1:07pm

So if we vote for Darwinism we support the logic for a hierarchy of life forms, which is used to support the cast system, euthanasia of lesser beings, and differences in the treatment of different races. Pretty well what we have at the moment.

Creationists on the other hand recognize the equality of all humans.

I believe in both and that we are not alone in the universe. When you believe that, I think that you leave the door open for free thought.

 

There's so much wrong with that crap.  First off, Evolution (calling it Darwinism is kind of stupid; we've come a long way since Darwin's initial theory) does not form a hierarchy or a caste system.  We're no more nor less evolved than an earthworm.  Both species are equally evolved to fit within their niche in the environment.

Second, it doesn't matter what kind of philosophical statements someone may wish to draw from a hypothesis or theory (Evolution is a theory and Creationism is a failed hypothesis).  It has nothing to do with the validity of the initial premise.

Creationism is not scientific.  It's religious dogma.  When you suggest leaving your mind open to unscientific dogma, you sound like a god-bot.  The last thing I would call it is free-thought.

Comment by Sarah Walton on April 8, 2012 at 11:23am

@Chris Tidman: Vote? Evolution is a matter of observable fact, not opinion or democracy. Even if we all voted to not support Darwin's theory it wouldn't make it any less true. Things like eugenics stem from a misunderstanding and misapplication of evolution; indeed biology has been and still is used as the excuse to carry on treating people like crap (even when the biology demonstrated that there was very little difference between "desirable" and "undesirable" people). It's nice that you believe stuff, but belief without proof is faith; the opposite of free thought.

If creationists "recognize the equality of all humans" maybe they should stop saying things like teaching evolution in schools is a tool of gay rights activists to make children homosexual. See Focus on the Family's "Secure Daughters, Confident Sons", or this from the Creation Studies Institute.

Free thought includes the ability to say "I don't know" with absolute pride and wonder. Free thought includes the basic assumption that you will be wrong sometimes, and be willing to admit it. 

Comment by Marc Draco on April 8, 2012 at 10:42am

John - one the BBC programme, they also discussed how signals stimulate different parts of the brain; and the brain can re-wire as it were. You're quite correct of course - but what these articles seem to forget is that these blind people have fully functional eyes! 

It would be more interesting to blindfold them and see how well they do then - some might even use a basic form of echolocation or even temperature variations - something I proved to my peers some years ago while in hospital.

Comment by Marc Draco on April 8, 2012 at 10:39am

I saw it (if you'll forgive the pun) on BBC's Horizon program a few weeks ago. We're able to recognise basic shapes and things in 3D space subconsciously.

There are many ways to be blind (or become blind) but most of these articles seem to point to the "woo hoo" and ignore the amazing real effects that are being discovered.

Comment by Kyu on April 8, 2012 at 10:21am

While not precisely the same as someone who was blind from birth, this does point to how it might occur.

Comment by Marc Draco on April 8, 2012 at 10:20am

Kyu: although this isn't strictly part of the NDE, it's worth nothing that there are many types of blindness - including people who are blind from birth. It's been shown that some people are fully sighted but that the sight is only available to the subconscious - which is weird, but true. So in other words, they can see without being aware of it - this guy was probably an example of this phenomena.

Comment by Kyu on April 8, 2012 at 10:19am
Comment by Kyu on April 8, 2012 at 10:13am

news/newstopics/howaboutthat/3902864/Blind-man-navigates-obstacle-course-using-blindsight.htm

Comment by Littlejohn Dellar on April 8, 2012 at 10:10am

@ Chris Tidman

When we believe (as opposed to know) we have already closed our minds.

Comment by Marc Draco on April 8, 2012 at 9:50am

Seems like Kenneth Ring (Ph.D) is a bit of a Rupert Sheldrake! ;-)

A trained scientist who seems to have deserted the facts in favour of a personal fancy. There are some interesting reviews of his work on Amazon - and those from the more skeptical readers are cutting.

Frankly, it doesn't take a lot to see where he's coming from - and he doesn't strike me as much of an atheist... 

 

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