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 Richard ∑wald on April 12, 2012 at 5:57am

"Evolution is driven by pressure"

Suggested reading: "The Selfish Gene", Richard Dawkins.

Just to update that ol' theory a bit.

Comment by Michael Winslow on April 11, 2012 at 2:41pm

New to group. Hello, all.

Throwing out a subject that kinda fits into anti-evolution.

I was watching a program about the collapse of our (world wide) modern society. Scientists are saying, we could easily have a collapse of modern society that would throw us into a new Dark Age that would make our know past Dark Age look like a day at the beach.  Millions (maybe Billions) would die trying to survive without any modern conveniences or in fighting for these conveniences. While human evolution would continue (slowly), the world would be thrown into chaos and the population would be diminished.

Historically, we have seen ALL great empires and societies fall. Have we learned from their mistakes? Some people say there is a common thread between our modern society and the Roman Empire (as well as others empires) As the Roman Empire fell, so could our world society  fall/fail in the same way, just on a massive scale.

Thoughts? Comments?

Comment by Marc Draco on April 11, 2012 at 11:54am

That was in a different context Richard about a related event - but with a different selective pressure; which kinda demonstrates my point. Evolution is driven by pressure - we're not really evolving much (if at all) right now since we simply don't have to. A bit like the Triops.

In the ancient case it was about lack of resources. This time it's about a whole bunch of different things. I might add, neo-Darwinian selection isn't necessarily about direct heritability. There are "social" factors too.

Chantal. This isn't just about America - although some here have chosen to assume that it is. The same is happening here in the UK - which is why I included some English idioms in the discussion.

Education IS key to this - the fact that Richard ignored - smarter parents tend to have smarted kids because they can teach them more; but education isn't moving at sufficient pace to keep up with advancements in science or population.

Want to know why I don't care about "Billy Bobs?" I'm surrounded by them. They make life in my town a living hell.

The point is we can't educate them - they don't want to learn. It's like a telling a creationist that there is no god and showing him/her proof after proof after proof.

These people may have the cerebral capacity to learn but they suffer a massive psychological block - they simply don't want to. We're trying to reverse the trend here but we're already over the precipice.

I can't speak for America - I can speak for the UK - where millions of people (hundreds of thousands of families) rely on the taxpayers to keep them. Keep a roof over their head, keep them in food, plasma TV, cigarettes, booze... you name it.

Chantal, I'd love to be wrong on this. One of the great things about science is that it's OK to be wrong once in a while provided you learn from that. The timescales here won't make any difference - so I'll be long gone before this happens.

Comment by Richard ∑wald on April 11, 2012 at 11:27am

See:

"This is Darwinian selection and it has happened before - something you would know if you had a handle on human evolution."

Comment by Marc Draco on April 11, 2012 at 11:22am

"Perhaps you should consider the (lack of) genomic evidence for this before claiming it as a given."

Where did I claim it was genomic?

Comment by Chantal Wallace on April 11, 2012 at 11:22am
While we may very well be the most destructive animals, I also think we're the most able to fix it. And why don't you care about "Billy Bob"? Wouldn't securing a future for his kids do the same for your own? Education is so important. I think there are plenty of smart kids who simply don't have access to education (and I mean all over the world, not just in America). By building more schools and fewer prisons, isn't it possible to reduce the negative trend toward ignorance? It might take awhile but we didn't get where we are overnight...
Comment by Richard ∑wald on April 11, 2012 at 11:15am

"I am referring to the smarter humans. We have fewer children - and by a process of numbers we cannot survive."

Perhaps you should consider the (lack of) genomic evidence for this before claiming it as a given.

Comment by Richard ∑wald on April 11, 2012 at 11:13am

"Fuck!  I can't stand this place anymore."

Dude, …the monkeys! Go watch them dance, trust me. It always fixes this.

Comment by Marc Draco on April 11, 2012 at 10:36am

What is it with you guys? What happened to intelligent discussion? Did the nasty man with the ideas about economics driven you all to attack anyone with an opinion that wasn't yours?.

The first big name that I know of to make the distinction about technology was Carl Sagan and by observation, this is already happening.

Biologists more educated that I am recognise we are the most destructive animal. This is not disputed any more than intellectual people dispute Big Bang.

When I talk about "our" descendants in terms of evolution - you do remember that is what this is about - I am referring to the smarter humans. We have fewer children - and by a process of numbers we cannot survive.

This is Darwinian selection and it has happened before - something you would know if you had a handle on human evolution.

You think I care what happens to "Billy Bob" - no - but I do care about my children and their descendants. This is natural - we have an evolutionary need to protect our genes.

And Richard - just saying "this doesn't make it true" is a fallacious. As scientists we make predictions based on evidence and the overwhelming evidence is that less intelligent people are more destructive and have more children. 

They do this because they don't experience the consequences; at least none that they can see or feel. The consequence of the industrial age has been to pollute the biosphere to such a degree that we may have already gone beyond the tipping point. Global warming might or might not be man made, but you can't deny climate change is a fact.

Comment by Richard ∑wald on April 11, 2012 at 9:46am

"I'm not the first to make this observation and I won't be the last."

This, …doesn't make it true.

 

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