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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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Discussion Forum

Genetically Engineered Fungi are Part Human and Part Yeast

Started by John Jubinsky. Last reply by Donald L. Engel 1 hour ago. 1 Reply

Jokes to offend Christians (particularly at Christmas)

Started by Marc Draco. Last reply by Loren Miller 17 hours ago. 32 Replies

Drug Rejuvenates Stem Cell Functioning in Old Mice

Started by John Jubinsky. Last reply by Gerald Payne May 15. 10 Replies

Fossilized Brain

Started by Patricia May 11. 0 Replies

Bud Light Withdraws Offensive Slogan

Started by John Jubinsky. Last reply by Gerald Payne Apr 30. 16 Replies

Dinosaur Highway

Started by Patricia. Last reply by Gerald Payne Apr 29. 8 Replies

Evolution is a FACT, not a theory.

Started by Idaho Spud. Last reply by Joseph P Apr 25. 15 Replies

L'homme "blanc" n'existe en Europe que depuis 6500 BC

Started by Dr. Terence Meaden. Last reply by Gerald Payne Apr 16. 1 Reply

ORIGIN OF ATHEIST PRIDE

Started by Dr. Terence Meaden. Last reply by Gerald Payne Apr 15. 196 Replies

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Comment by Joseph P on February 14, 2015 at 12:57am

However, upon reading the whole thing he looked up and asked me, "So is this guy for or against evolution?"

Yeah, that's part of the problem.  Even after you decipher what he's talking about, his ideas are completely off target, and he has no clue what he's talking about.  But his arguments are so poorly constructed and his writing ability is so poor, by the time I wade through it all, I'm kind of annoyed that I had to spend so long trying to make sense of what he's trying to say.

Here's an idea for the bitter opponents of Eugenics.  How come Eugenics is bad simply because the Nazis believed in it?  They were devout Christians as well and most certainly believed in doG, and that part's OK huh?

It's pretty funny that you say that.  Look at the definition provided by Google, when you plug it in:

eu·gen·ics
yo͞oˈjeniks/
noun
  1. the science of improving a human population by controlled breeding to increase the occurrence of desirable heritable characteristics. Developed largely by Francis Galton as a method of improving the human race, it fell into disfavor only after the perversion of its doctrines by the Nazis.

Particularly now that it can be done with gene therapy, and we're advancing rapidly on that front, what's the freaking problem with it?  Don't you think that people with Huntington's disease would like to clean it out of their genes and not pass it onto their kids?  Don't you think they wish their parents had been able to do the same?

On that note, I'm so sick of hearing some dumb-ass witchburner call the Nazi regime a "godless “one through the (unproven) belief that Hitler himself was atheist.  So what if he was?

Yeah, it's a classic Christian apologist trope, blaming the atheists for Hitler and Stalin.  The fact that political ideology, rather than atheism, had everything to do with both situations somehow escapes them.

On top of that, there's the fact that Hitler wasn't an atheist.  It isn't even 'unproven', as much as it's just false.  He might not have been a traditional, orthodox Christian, mixing in all sorts of odd Norse mysticism and other stuff, but he doesn't seem to have been an atheist, in any respect.  And those he ruled over and used for his cause were mostly Christian.

As near as I can tell, most Christian apologists are just completely ignorant of Hitler's religious beliefs, and those who know repeat the crap anyway.  After all, he couldn't have been a REAL Christian, since the love of Jesus would never allow someone to do something like what he did.

Comment by Joseph P on February 14, 2015 at 12:19am

Yeah, it's one of the odd quirks of the site.  Discussion comments can be edited for 15 minutes after you post them.  Comment wall comments can't be edited after you post them, just deleted.  *shrug*  I'm sure someone had a reason when they set it up that way, but damned if I can figure out what it is.

Comment by Patricia on February 13, 2015 at 9:11pm

I always just highlight, copy, paste it back into the typing area & delete the one posted. Then make corrections & re-post.

Comment by Lemual Poot on February 13, 2015 at 9:06pm

Sorry 'bout the huge last paragraph and some spelling and syntax errors.  Whatever happened to the "edit comment" icon?  I could only find, "delete."

Comment by Lemual Poot on February 13, 2015 at 8:58pm

 

Whew!  Thanks for the link - I think.  I had to read that thing several times and I'm still not sure of most of it.  The part about the evolution of engines was fascinating.  I've worked on internal combustion engines all my life and understand exactly how they work.  Just to be on the safe side, I printed it out and went over to my neighbor's house.  He's a GMC certified auto mechanic, and devout Catholic.  After a few cold ones (male ritual) we read it together, and he couldn't understand the engine reference any better than I.  However, upon reading the whole thing he looked up and asked me, "So is this guy for or against evolution?"

Here's an idea for the bitter opponents of Eugenics.  How come Eugenics is bad simply because the Nazis believed in it?  They were devout Christians as well and most certainly believed in doG, and that part's OK huh?  

On that note, I'm so sick of hearing some dumb-ass witchburner call the Nazi regime a "godless “one through the (unproven) belief that Hitler himself was atheist.  So what if he was?  Nazi Germany was split between Lutheranism and Catholicism, leaving one vote (maybe) for Atheist Adolf!  

I read a book about Auschwitz written by a half-Jewish surgeon who was allowed to live but had to perform terrible procedures on his fellow inmates.  He said the inmates looked forward to Christmas and other Christian holidays because the camps were run on a skeleton crew leaving slave labor and the death mills were temporarily halted.  Imagine good old Shultz the guard.  He spends Christmas vacation with Helga and der kinder.  They goe to midnight mass on Xmas eve, and the following morning, the loving family celebrates doG's illegitimate kid's birthday with gifts and loving fellowship.  Following that, it's back to work, murdering men, women, and children, but only after he's robbed, beaten, tortured, starved, and raped them to his content.  But he went to mass, tossed a few marks in the pot, and that makes him a good Christian - right? 

Comment by Joseph P on February 13, 2015 at 5:42pm

I could only make it through about 2 or 3 of his blog posts, before the inanity made me stop.  For someone so intent on criticizing biological evolution, he doesn't understand the basics of what he's criticizing, and his ability to string together a coherent argument is lacking.

The supernatural agent bit is here.  It's an amazing cluster-fuck of incomprehension and misrepresentation, which you might enjoy, if you're into train wrecks.

You don't really have to include @'s most of the time.  I think Lemual was searching for the material you quoted, here on the comment wall.  He probably didn't see Shaun's link.  I only insert markers if I think it won't be immediately obvious, or if I'm responding to two or three people within the same comment.

Comment by Quinton Llewellyn on February 13, 2015 at 3:49pm

@Joseph P

I am new to this thread, and really haven't gone back to look at its past, but I've looked at his blog and I think I might have a go at untangling anyway, not to figure out his objection, but where I think he is coming from.
From his blog it seems that his intentions are to create a mythos about evolution (he says "It's not science, it's more of a story."). Part of this mythos is a character that is an anthropomorphisation of all genomes collectively called "Genie". His representation of all genomes collectively is mindful of its changes (which is supposed to represent evolution) and acts with an intention (e.g. to make thinking minds). If I have this right, this is already a fairly bad and confusing misrepresentation of evolution straight off the mark. I've not seen where he has said that natural selection is supernatural but maybe this is what he is going on about.
His other problem he has with natural selection seems to be something he believes is an actual problem; in his posts his view of natural selection seems to be that it is comparable to something degrading over time with the occasional change being possibly viewed as an improvement, but when everything is taken into account, the whole necessarily heading toward oblivion. He feels that this doesn't work as a motor for evolution but at the same time is confident that it is a fair representation of natural selection, which of course it isn't. I feel that his mistake here may be a result of him not taking into account that evolution doesn't take place in a closed system.
One thing I can't make any sense of is he claims to be an anti-Darwinist in his first post and then implies he is not challenging Darwin in the next.


@Lemual Poot

Sorry, bad form by me there.

Comment by Joseph P on February 13, 2015 at 9:04am

@Quinton Llewellyn

The main problem that I see is that he's attacking something in a scientific field with metaphors ... and usually very poor, inapplicable metaphors which demonstrate that he doesn't understand the science, at that.

Then there's the eugenics and natural-selection-is-supernatural nonsense that he tosses onto the ends of his arguments, as if it's supposed to win us over, rather than pissing us off by blatantly trying to manipulate us with emotional appeals.  I don't know what Shaun's emotional opposition to natural selection is.  He's demonstrated so many emotional angles of attack, that I can't untangle it and figure out which is his primary objection.

@Lemual Poot

Inserted @'s, as I've done here, are a good way to make it clear who you're talking to.  The material that Quinton is quoting comes from the article that Shaun linked, at http://www.takeondarwin.com/index.php/forum/15-book-reviews/96-the-....  Since Quinton was responding to the post two messages before his, I think he figured it would be obvious.  *shrug*

Comment by Lemual Poot on February 13, 2015 at 8:45am

I can't find the comment Quinton is referring to???   If it's not possible for comments to always wind up under, or near, the comment it refers to, maybe the name of the person who wrote the first comment could be at the head of the second.  That way, it would make it a lot easier to find.

Comment by Quinton Llewellyn on February 13, 2015 at 5:49am

I'm not a biologist, so this is just what seems wrong to me with your review.

"Take as an example a blueprint for a two-stroke gasoline engine; damage leading to a shaving of metal from the engine case could make the engine more efficient in use."

You talk about "damage" in relation to things being chipped away, but in evolution it would seem to me that "damage" is an alteration, the organism doesn't become less it becomes different; it could lead as much adding something to the car you mention as taking something away (and just a stray thought but cars have changed and got better over time, but where are all the failed attempts? ;) )

"“If the mutant gene were opposed, even by a very minute selective disadvantage, the change would be brought to a standstill at a very early stage.” He doesn’t explain why this process would be faster than how a mutant gene being favored would lead to it gaining in frequency."

So if I understand it, it something like this - an opposed mutation is one that gets to reproduce less than the starting condition for any particular reason, a favoured mutation is one that gets to reproduce more. Because the favoured mutation increases in the population it's rate of increase increases over time as well, clearly this is not a feature of an opposed mutation.

"“In addition to the defective mutations, which by their conspicuousness attract attention, we may reasonably suppose that other less obvious mutations are occurring which, at least in certain surroundings, or in certain combinations, might prove themselves to be beneficial.” He doesn’t explain why beneficial genes will attract less attention"

Again I don't know the book (or the author), don't know what he wrote before or after, but he might be thinking of something like this. Compare a man born with poor eyesight with one born with better than average eyesight. Which do you think attracts more attention?

You end by saying he is a proponent of eugenics, I don't know why this has anything to do with the rest of the article. He might of believed in fairies but that would also seem irrelevant.

Hope this is helpful.

 

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