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
Members: 4130
Latest Activity: 23 hours ago

The portrait is Charles Darwin, age 31, in 1840

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Comment by Joseph P on April 9, 2012 at 7:30am

The Hitler stuff was very little of the discussion.  And if it wandered onto that subject, who cares?  Conversations wander.  I brought the main thread of the discussion back around to where Chris Tidman started it.  You're always going to get a bit of residual bickering, around the edges.

 

You guys act as if it's that difficult to deal with the e-mail overflow.  Just mark all of the e-mails that say 'commented on the group "ORIGINS: UNIVERSE, LIFE, HUMANKIND, AND DARWIN" on Atheist Nexus' as read, and then follow one of them to the comment wall and read them there in an easier form.

I think most of the activity has died down, anyway.  It was a Sunday afternoon, and more people than usual were around.

Comment by Wyatt on April 9, 2012 at 4:08am
This thread has fairly filled my mailbox to overflowing. The Reductio ad Hitlerum argument was a red herring, and people predictably took the bait and jumped on it, leading to a vast time-wasting digression. It was my understanding that this forum is for non-theists who accept Darwinian evolution as pretty well proven. I was hoping to see more discussion about the probable conditions under which certain traits might have been selected for, how our species has evolved, what factors led our ancestors to make the first exodus out of Africa, what their language and beliefs might have been like, etc.
Comment by leveni on April 9, 2012 at 2:28am

This debate clogging up my mail so I'm leaving, bye. And as Alice said, the whole debate should be moved to a discussion thread. Good luck.

Comment by Joan Denoo on April 9, 2012 at 12:22am

Joseph P, you always make me laugh. 

Comment by Joan Denoo on April 9, 2012 at 12:19am

Joseph P

“Has anyone figured out what we are evolving into and what kind of common sense we should apply to meet the demands of our immediate future that we have created for ourselves?”

 

Joseph, I am certainly no philosopher, but I do have an idea about what kind of common sense we should apply to meet the demands of our immediate future.  And I do believe we have created the world in which we live, for good or ill.

Think back over human evolution and the kinds of challenges our ancestors met: climate changes, ice ages, warming trends, droughts, floods, changes in vegetation across continents, warring factions to gain land or slaves or resources of all kinds, pandemic diseases, race relations and the feminist movements, GLBT movements, and moving away from superstition toward more scientific orientations.

All these changes create chaos. What did out ancestors do when they faced such changes? How did they manage? Some families were in the dust bowl of the USA after farmers plowed native grasslands to make corn and grain farms, and those farm soils blew away in a long drought. Native populations fought to keep their migratory lifestyles. All these changes and more required massive shifts in behavior and belief systems.

Some say our current global warming is human caused and some say natural forces cause weather disruptions. If humans create part of the problem, we need to wake up to that fact and make changes in our life styles. If it is nature caused, we have to find ways to cope. Either way, humans have to change. Oh Boy! That will create even more chaos.

IMHO human evolution is taking place right now and those who want to maintain and perpetuate the status quo become part of the problem.

Those who recognize needed changes have already begun to look for different economic systems because of our growing belief capitalism is a failed system.

Some recognize the political system does not work and is leading us into some terrible potholes of our own making.

Some believe religion is a failed belief system and are already looking at other ways to understand life, meaning, purpose, morals and ethics.

What are we evolving into? Well, that depends. We could be living on the planet of the apes. On the other hand we could be living on the beginning edge of living in peace with others who are different, learning how to solve problems without killing each other, becoming a planet of laws, justice, equity and devoted as if we, each and every one, mattered. No hunger, homelessness, diseases, … kind of Star Trekker?

What qualities do we need to make this transition?

Pay attention; look realistically at events in order to describe them, not to blame or criticize, but to see events as they actually exist. It means standing up to ignorance, not letting faux science get into our classrooms or in our government. Taking a stand against domination and oppression, recognizing human rights belong to men, women, rich, poor, young, old, educated, uneducated, diseased, healthy, and all races and nationalities. End discrimination in all its deluded forms and stop denying the humble nature of human apes. 

Comment by Alice on April 8, 2012 at 11:37pm

can you guy's take this into a discussion?

Comment by Joseph P on April 8, 2012 at 11:16pm

Creationists recognize the equality of all humans.

If creationists recognize the equality of all humans, why do they intrude on us by coming uninvited to our doors and push materials and their beliefs onto us? Why do they send missionaries to other countries to make them into more creationists? Are they not capable of tending to their own affairs without intrusion.

Why do creationists go to battle, killing, maiming, and destroying whole cultures in order to make more creationists? If creationism is so wonderful why don’t people flock there of their own accord? Intrusion and imposition is just one level of bullying. If creationism were worth its salt, it would need not use such tactics.

More to the point, he left out the part about humans being given dominion over the entire earth, setting us apart from the other animals.  That, plus the ordered creation of the animals, makes for much more of a hierarchy or caste system.

 

Evolution puts all humans in one breeding pool.  If i can breed with a girl, then we're the same, Evolutionarily speaking.  Of course we should do repeated testing of the idea, to make sure I can breed properly with the girl, and that we really are the same.  Proper scientific form also dictates that we test the theory with various samples, to be sure I can breed with them.  It's rough, but I'm willing to make the sacrifice for science.

 

And no, I don't want to think about what you'd do for a control group ...

Comment by Joan Denoo on April 8, 2012 at 11:00pm

Oh dear! Someone believes Darwinism supports * logic for a hierarchy of life forms, * cast system, * euthanasia of lesser beings, and * different treatment of different races?

I wonder what books the person reads, or people to whom he/she listens, or crowd with whom he/she runs, but Darwinism means no such thing according to my understanding.

First of all, I have to say Darwin was not a philosopher; he was an observer, experimenter, and chronicler of his surroundings. He set aside philosophical imaginings and allowed the evidence to lead him to hypotheses, which he tested and continue to observe by looking and listening.

Darwin did not distinguish a hierarchy between animate and inanimate objects; he described what he observed. Patterns emerged from his observations; patterns of time and space.

Physical evidence revealed species variability and change occurs according the environment.

He recognized gradualism; change over time, with slow, gradual change of species. He looked for causes of changes, as his study of finches so clearly reveals.

Darwin recognized access to resources, diseases, and predation created struggles for survival of species. Some variations provided efficient and effective access to resources, or resistance to diseases, or greater success at escaping predators than others.

Some individuals tended to survive and leave more offspring. Offspring tended to inherit variations of their parents. Successful variations tended to be passed on more frequently than others: it is called “Natural Selection”.

Changes in gene pools and environments created changes over time. These iterations of changing genes and environments enabled divergence to new and different populations. There is no sign of hierarchy, only changes of patterns to enable survival.

Some interpret these processes and patterns to imply “Social Darwinism”, a superiority of one over another. This understanding is immature and does not stand up to meaning of change. A baby is not inferior to an adolescent, is not inferior to an adult, is not inferior to an elder; they exist as different stages and one follows the other in natural processes.

Modern humans evolved from earlier genus of humanoids that evolved from forest apes. We are all human apes, not better than, not more valuable than, not more important than, but different than other homo sapiens.

Humans are part of a much grander whole that goes from the tiny atom to the farthest universe. To see us as superior is an inadequate understanding of existence. To see us as participating in this full-of-wonder universe with no rights of dominion over anything or anyone else is a humbling experience, but one that has profound consequence.

 

Creationists recognize the equality of all humans.

If creationists recognize the equality of all humans, why do they intrude on us by coming uninvited to our doors and push materials and their beliefs onto us? Why do they send missionaries to other countries to make them into more creationists? Are they not capable of tending to their own affairs without intrusion.

Why do creationists go to battle, killing, maiming, and destroying whole cultures in order to make more creationists? If creationism is so wonderful why don’t people flock there of their own accord? Intrusion and imposition is just one level of bullying. If creationism were worth its salt, it would need not use such tactics. 

Comment by Richard ∑wald on April 8, 2012 at 10:37pm

"some of us could possibly be more evolved than others."

Wow, and I thought:

"…then why are there still monkeys?" was bad.

There's a bar I never though would need lowering.

…carry on.

Comment by David Philip Norris on April 8, 2012 at 10:22pm

Denise... LOL! "Superior attitude"!? REALLY? That's the saucepan calling the kettle bach, don't you think? Not really sure what your beef is with me or anyone else who disagrees with you, but your hostile attitude and approach has succeeded in driving at least one person out of the group. Congratulations. Have fun with your majority of one.

 

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