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 John Secular Smith on October 13, 2009 at 1:47am
Sexual selection has its place, but neither the sexual selection nor the environmental selection has much of a place when talking about Ardi.

We don't know what drove the decrease in canine size at this point. We have no behavioral information, little environmental data, no genetic data and only one fossil to build a hypothesis. In that case, both ideas are equally speculation.

But I agree on the general concept: I hate it when people do this and call it science. It is speculation, speculation made apparently necessary because of the stupid "you don't know how it happened" arguments from creationists.
Comment by Jared Lardo on October 13, 2009 at 1:12am
On the History Channel, on the presentation thing about Ardipithecus, a man was shown at a table quote-unquote "explaining" the reason behind the reduction of the size of the canines in the to-human lineage according to rationale that would indicate that "provider" men are fundamentally more attractive than men who get into a lot of fights.

He stated that the less-fang-ification was due to sexual selection, meanwhile it's actually likely that it was due to the decrease in perceivable aggression from a fang-showing event, which lead to a decrease in the detraction from group cohesion due to each event, which fostered the growth of the esoteric kind of sociality now found exclusively in the modern human species--full of personal histories and details.

It gets ALL my goats whenever some pseudoscientific assclown--however well paid or educated (and the more easily it gets them when the latter is the case) the moron is--argues that an evolutionary change happened because of sexual selection rather than environmental selection--in a worthless sorta god-of-a-gap filler way--presumably because of his or her not understanding that mild, vague advantages that could only barely qualify as an advantage are the ONLY advantages that matter in evolutionary history, e.g. infinitesimal increases in the height of the nasal holes of early whale species on their heads. (Sorry, I can't find the video that was on Youtube a few months ago that argued for a sexual selection for higher-on-the-head noses on whales, instead of the ease-in-breathing-air reason, and which thoroughly pissed me off.)

Sexual selection is the god of the gaps in amateur study of evolution.
Comment by Marc Draco on October 5, 2009 at 6:09am
Odd name, great podcast. The Colorado School of Mines (yeah, MINES) http://www.mines.edu/ has been ranked as one of the best science institutes in the US and listening to their Earth podcast it's easy to see why.

The parts surrounding life and evolution (19 - 22) are particularly of interest to the folks here, but I'm having a dab at all of them since the host is easy to listen to without being overly smart-assed and has given me some more ammunition to fire at the stoopid.

See if you agree:

http://inside.mines.edu/~cshorey/pages/sygn.html
Comment by Marc Draco on October 3, 2009 at 6:37am
This might become my catchphrase and at the risk of sounding cliched: when the deluded lead the ignorant, we've got real problems.
Comment by Jared Lardo on October 2, 2009 at 8:56pm
Wacko creationist site full of nude assertions: http://www.bible.ca/tracks/rapid-fossils-rapid-petrifaction.htm

Knowing where these crazies get their bullshit information is useful. This is just one of those unformatted sites that retards don't notice are unprofessional as fuck.

Lacking any quality or illusion thereof, this is easily absorbed by similarly quality-less creationists.
Comment by Marc Draco on September 30, 2009 at 3:31am
Thanks Louis, interesting list that.
Comment by Louis Davout on September 30, 2009 at 2:13am
Comment by Marc Draco on September 29, 2009 at 1:08pm
In my travels, I've come across a few people who were both devout Christians and accepted Darwinian evolution as a fact. Most science (all probably) is easier to follow if you jettison the supernatural.

However, your point is well taken, and this is something that I think we should address at every possible opportunity - that the one does not follow the other. The balance has shifted fairly heavily due to the work of Richard Dawkins: who for all his brilliance seems to have become the poster child for Evolution=Atheism.

I'd really appreciate if some of you could take a look at Davison's blog and see what he's on about and if it's worth us debunking.

Davison and Marshall appear to be suffering from a delusion that they're right (albeit with conflicting ideas) and that our Darwinian ideas are wrong. The trouble with their blogs is that many people come and support their ideas - presumably adding to the delusion.
Comment by Marc Draco on September 29, 2009 at 6:01am
Anyone here familiar with John A. Davison (Ph.D)? I can't follow his reasoning and it seems nonsensical, but like the usually deluded, he's full of his own hubris (while deriding others for the same offense!).

His blog is here: jadavison.wordpress.com and I'm wondering if he's just another crackpot to be ignored or someone worth detailed scrutiny at the Museum of Ignorance?

What really troubles me is the way that so many of these dudes equate Darwinian Evolution with atheism as if one requires the other: which it clearly doesn't. This is irritating and it's bad for the progression of proper science in America particularly where being seen as an atheist is almost as bad as being a career criminal.

I was an atheist long before I was educated in biology; and by long I mean at least a decade or over 50% of my life at the time.
Comment by Marc Draco on September 29, 2009 at 5:53am
Hey, if you haven't heard "Storm" by Tim Minchin, have a listen here:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UB_htqDCP-s

Very rude (not for the easily offended - or faithful). Brightened my day no end.
 

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