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: 4126
Latest Activity: 17 hours ago

The portrait is Charles Darwin, age 31, in 1840

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Discussion Forum

DNA testing gives more history of paleo-Eskimos

Started by Sentient Biped. Last reply by Joan Denoo on Sunday. 1 Reply

Thigh Bone on Mars?

Started by John Jubinsky. Last reply by Joseph P on Sunday. 22 Replies

Experimental Ebola Serum May Be In Use On Americans

Started by John Jubinsky. Last reply by John Jubinsky on Saturday. 24 Replies

Religion the virus of society

Started by Rick Springfield. Last reply by Luara Aug 25. 60 Replies

Scientific Adam and Eve

Started by Rick Springfield. Last reply by Joseph P Aug 23. 19 Replies

THE ORIGINS OF US ALL—BY DNA GENETIC ANALYSIS

Started by Dr. Terence Meaden. Last reply by TNT666 Aug 23. 43 Replies

show-off and picky intelligence

Started by Rick Springfield. Last reply by Rick Springfield Aug 20. 19 Replies

Science is God

Started by Rick Springfield. Last reply by Jonathan Tweet Aug 16. 9 Replies

Intelligent But Makes an Exception for Religion

Started by Brian Edward Croner. Last reply by Jonathan Tweet Aug 15. 67 Replies

Armored Dinosaur

Started by Patricia. Last reply by Joseph P Aug 15. 16 Replies

Rosetta Spacecraft

Started by Patricia. Last reply by Patricia Aug 9. 5 Replies

New Nazca Lines Found in Peru

Started by John Jubinsky. Last reply by Joseph P Aug 8. 2 Replies

Why Does Prince George Have Brown Eyes?

Started by John Jubinsky. Last reply by The Devian Jul 24. 8 Replies

Evolution and consciousness

Started by Rick Springfield. Last reply by Susan Stanko Jul 22. 4 Replies

If the probability of evolution is zero the sun will not shine

Started by Rick Springfield. Last reply by Dorian Moises Mattar Jul 20. 2 Replies

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Comment by DNAunion on November 14, 2009 at 1:03am
This page has an image that compares pyrimidine and uracil (so that one can see that not that much was really achieved: basically, an existing nitrogen-containing heterocycle had 2 oxygen atoms added to it).

http://ims.ivv.nasa.gov/topics/technology/features/uracil.html
Comment by jeric harper on November 11, 2009 at 7:57pm
@jstn earthling: heres a recent article about NASA scientists making uracil in the lab modeling conditions in space.

http://www.astrobio.net/pressrelease/3304/uracil-made-in-the-lab
Comment by david hartley on October 25, 2009 at 2:12am
just found this on an atheists news page, don't know if it's been posted before it wasn't dated 'An elegant experiment has quashed a major objection to the theory that life on Earth originated with molecules of RNA.

John Sutherland and his colleagues from the University of Manchester, UK, created a ribonucleotide, a building block of RNA, from simple chemicals under conditions that might have existed on the early Earth.

The feat, never performed before, bolsters the 'RNA world' hypothesis, which suggests that life began when RNA, a polymer related to DNA that can duplicate itself and catalyse reactions, emerged from a prebiotic soup of chemicals.

"This is extremely strong evidence for the RNA world. We don't know if these chemical steps reflect what actually happened, but before this work there were large doubts that it could happen at all," says Donna Blackmond, a chemist at Imperial College London.'
Comment by Marc Draco on October 20, 2009 at 12:00pm
Thanks Mike. I'll give that a look.
Comment by Mike Hein on October 20, 2009 at 6:37am
Atheist Cinema has a small following.
http://www.atheistnexus.org/group/atheistcinema

Other than that, you could discuss it in the forums. Cheers.
Comment by Marc Draco on October 20, 2009 at 5:58am
Hey all, do we have a "movies" group anywhere here? I don't want to start one if there's already one here but seems like there should be. I ask only because someone pointed out there was an Asperger's support group and I hadn't even considered that!

Some movies can be really thought-provoking. Funny Games (German version) comes to mind... it's a very hard movie to watch and the US version is somehow even more uncomfortable - perhaps for me because I know what's coming.
Comment by D.O.S on October 13, 2009 at 2:32pm
I just started reading What's Next?: Dispatches on the Future of Science. It's pretty interesting. Of the first six essays, what I've read so far, I particularly like Sean Carroll's Our Place in an Unnatural Universe.

"Beyond that observable horizon, the universe might well stretch out indefinitely and might not be uniform at all. In fact, the local laws of physics and constants of nature might change from place to place. Imagine a patchy universe -one in which conditions and parameters are uniform within individual patches but the patches themselves are all completely different."

Something to think about.
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
 

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