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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
Members: 4162
Latest Activity: 6 hours ago

The portrait is Charles Darwin, age 31, in 1840

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Discussion Forum

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Comment by Kyu on April 12, 2012 at 11:38am

I thought the secret to learning to fly was in throwing yourself at the ground and then getting distracted on the way down so that you forgot you couldn't....

Comment by Jennifer Moran on April 12, 2012 at 10:36am
Okey dokey then. Time to unfollow. This thread jumped the shark about 50 posts ago.
Comment by Meddlesome on April 12, 2012 at 10:34am

@John D - They all say that, until the fall is rudely interrupted by the ground.... ;)

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.

 

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