"New eye discovery further demolishes Dawkins"

"Backwardly wired retina an optimal structure"

Incl. intelligent design, belief in divine creation

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Re: "New eye discovery further demolishes Dawkins"

#341  Postby Calilasseia » Jun 28, 2014 3:43 pm

For that matter, even having a gun won't necessarily stop you from being attacked by a big cat. Here's an example:



The idea that an Australopithecus armed with a stick is going to fare any better is faintly ridiculous.

On the other hand, two tons of Black Rhino stands a pretty good chance of telling a big cat (or several) to piss off and bother someone else ... :mrgreen:

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Re: "New eye discovery further demolishes Dawkins"

#342  Postby ADParker » Jun 29, 2014 2:51 am

The_Metatron wrote:Metaphor. It's point is to illustrate how, in a contest between a big cat that wants to kill you and you, carrying nothing but some sort of striking or poking weapon you can make, you are going to die. I'd be surprised if absolutely everyone else who read it didn't understand it.

I'm reminded of the recent snippet from the upcoming Guardians of the Galaxy movie:

Rocket: "Metaphors are going to go right over his head."
Drax: "Nothing goes over my head. My reflexes are too fast, I would catch it."
:lol:
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Re: "New eye discovery further demolishes Dawkins"

#343  Postby Darwinsbulldog » Jun 29, 2014 6:01 am

The_Metatron wrote:
Jayjay4547 wrote:
The_Metatron wrote:I would pay great sums to see you defend yourself against a big cat with any handheld weapon that you can make yourself.

Great sums.

I recommend smoothing whatever you make very well though, so it doesn't hurt so much when a big cat shoves it up your ass before biting off your head.

How is a big cat going to shove a stick up my ass? Align the stick with its paw while holding the butt in its teeth? How is it going to get behind me so as to stick it up my ass? Does it do this difficult and task reguiring accuracy habitually? Nope, the visualisation just doesn't work. You are just using this scenario as an excuse to express extreme personal animosity. It's people like you who have given internet discussions a bad name. And you are a moderator on this forum? Good Grief.

Yes, I started a topic describing a form of this stupidity.

Metaphor. It's point is to illustrate how, in a contest between a big cat that wants to kill you and you, carrying nothing but some sort of striking or poking weapon you can make, you are going to die. I'd be surprised if absolutely everyone else who read it didn't understand it.

If that were true, there would be no Homo sapiens like many big cats, humans come in groups. So the scenario is sticks, not "a stick"-sometimes with fire or hot coals on the end of them.
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Re: "New eye discovery further demolishes Dawkins"

#344  Postby bert » Jun 29, 2014 6:11 am

Sendraks wrote:
Jayjay4547 wrote: The ostrich is a bipedal adept sprinter. Its high-mass muscles are at the top of its legs, with relatively thin, long lower legs. Quadruped antelope prey species that are good sprinters embody the same logic of lowered inertia in the lower limbs. Modern man, who has inherited the gross features of australopiths, is known to be a poor sprinter,


Homo sapiens is a poor sprinter compared to other mammals, but outrivals most species as a persistance hunter..


From memory: I read a newspaper article many years ago about an accomplished Dutch long distance runner. He was jealous of his girlfriend from Africa. She had started running too, and had become quite good at it. But where he had to put a lot of training effort into it to reach his current level, she had progressed much more quickly to competitive levels. He explained: He had three muscles in his leg, whereas she had only two. His leg was more stocky, her's was slender. My take: Perhaps he was more adapted to farming and she was more adapted for hunting (by their descent).

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Re: "New eye discovery further demolishes Dawkins"

#345  Postby Darwinsbulldog » Jun 29, 2014 6:49 am

bert wrote:
Sendraks wrote:
Jayjay4547 wrote: The ostrich is a bipedal adept sprinter. Its high-mass muscles are at the top of its legs, with relatively thin, long lower legs. Quadruped antelope prey species that are good sprinters embody the same logic of lowered inertia in the lower limbs. Modern man, who has inherited the gross features of australopiths, is known to be a poor sprinter,


Homo sapiens is a poor sprinter compared to other mammals, but outrivals most species as a persistance hunter..


From memory: I read a newspaper article many years ago about an accomplished Dutch long distance runner. He was jealous of his girlfriend from Africa. She had started running too, and had become quite good at it. But where he had to put a lot of training effort into it to reach his current level, she had progressed much more quickly to competitive levels. He explained: He had three muscles in his leg, whereas she had only two. His leg was more stocky, her's was slender. My take: Perhaps he was more adapted to farming and she was more adapted for hunting (by their descent).

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His girlfriend was of a different species??
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Re: "New eye discovery further demolishes Dawkins"

#346  Postby The_Metatron » Jun 29, 2014 7:01 am

Darwinsbulldog wrote:
The_Metatron wrote:
Jayjay4547 wrote:
The_Metatron wrote:I would pay great sums to see you defend yourself against a big cat with any handheld weapon that you can make yourself.

Great sums.

I recommend smoothing whatever you make very well though, so it doesn't hurt so much when a big cat shoves it up your ass before biting off your head.

How is a big cat going to shove a stick up my ass? Align the stick with its paw while holding the butt in its teeth? How is it going to get behind me so as to stick it up my ass? Does it do this difficult and task reguiring accuracy habitually? Nope, the visualisation just doesn't work. You are just using this scenario as an excuse to express extreme personal animosity. It's people like you who have given internet discussions a bad name. And you are a moderator on this forum? Good Grief.

Yes, I started a topic describing a form of this stupidity.

Metaphor. It's point is to illustrate how, in a contest between a big cat that wants to kill you and you, carrying nothing but some sort of striking or poking weapon you can make, you are going to die. I'd be surprised if absolutely everyone else who read it didn't understand it.

If that were true, there would be no Homo sapiens like many big cats, humans come in groups. So the scenario is sticks, not "a stick"-sometimes with fire or hot coals on the end of them.

That's quite a conclusion. It presupposes hominids' inability to reproduce in numbers greater than predation.

What was he babbling about? Australopithecus with a stick? What were they, a third of our size? A quarter? About the size of my six year old boy, I think.

Seems to me like the big cats were as big or bigger.

A group of hominids, the size of my littlest boy, armed with sticks isn't going to be much of a problem for a big cat. They're patient. If there is no easier food, well, I'm pretty sure you know the rest.
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Re: "New eye discovery further demolishes Dawkins"

#347  Postby Darwinsbulldog » Jun 29, 2014 7:08 am

The_Metatron wrote:
Darwinsbulldog wrote:
The_Metatron wrote:
Jayjay4547 wrote:
How is a big cat going to shove a stick up my ass? Align the stick with its paw while holding the butt in its teeth? How is it going to get behind me so as to stick it up my ass? Does it do this difficult and task reguiring accuracy habitually? Nope, the visualisation just doesn't work. You are just using this scenario as an excuse to express extreme personal animosity. It's people like you who have given internet discussions a bad name. And you are a moderator on this forum? Good Grief.

Yes, I started a topic describing a form of this stupidity.

Metaphor. It's point is to illustrate how, in a contest between a big cat that wants to kill you and you, carrying nothing but some sort of striking or poking weapon you can make, you are going to die. I'd be surprised if absolutely everyone else who read it didn't understand it.

If that were true, there would be no Homo sapiens like many big cats, humans come in groups. So the scenario is sticks, not "a stick"-sometimes with fire or hot coals on the end of them.

That's quite a conclusion. It presupposes hominids' inability to reproduce in numbers greater than predation.

What was he babbling about? Australopithecus with a stick? What were they, a third of our size? A quarter? About the size of my six year old boy, I think.

Seems to me like the big cats were as big or bigger.

A group of hominids, the size of my littlest boy, armed with sticks isn't going to be much of a problem for a big cat. They're patient. If there is no easier food, well, I'm pretty sure you know the rest.


No. You don't seem to have read many papers and books about humanoid fossil beds. Weapons, evidence of fire use galore. And there is a good reason we breed all year long-many die in childbirth because of our fucking big heads. :doh:
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Re: "New eye discovery further demolishes Dawkins"

#348  Postby The_Metatron » Jun 29, 2014 7:18 am

You're modifying the conditions of JJ's ludicrous claim that a stick is some sort of defense against a big cat. You've added the elements of communal living and fire, certainly force multipliers.

My point is, and I think you know it, there exists no handheld Stone Age weapon that will avail a hominid the size of Australopithecus when the big cat hunts them. The cat is so much of a better killer, it's not even a contest.
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Re: "New eye discovery further demolishes Dawkins"

#349  Postby Darwinsbulldog » Jun 29, 2014 7:38 am

The_Metatron wrote:You're modifying the conditions of JJ's ludicrous claim that a stick is some sort of defense against a big cat. You've added the elements of communal living and fire, certainly force multipliers.

My point is, and I think you know it, there exists no handheld Stone Age weapon that will avail a hominid the size of Australopithecus when the big cat hunts them. The cat is so much of a better killer, it's not even a contest.

No I'm not. It is almost always better to be part of a herd. Some animal groupings are not even of the same species. Predators almost always prefers stragglers anyway. But humans are highly social and have been so deep into their past. Which means not a lot of humans are going to be culled in the way you suggest. They did not breed their way out of such problems as you suggest. There is genetic evidence for several population bottlenecks. None of them seem to correlate well with your thesis.

Cheetahs [who are true loners, well ma and the kids] have been losing ground against social cats and social humans.
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Re: "New eye discovery further demolishes Dawkins"

#350  Postby Jayjay4547 » Jun 30, 2014 8:10 am

Sendraks wrote:
Jayjay4547 wrote:
Supposing for the sake of argument that Australopiths were persistence hunters,


They weren't. I was talking about homo sapiens.

The issue under discussion here is the australopith’s responses to their predators. I cited the poor human sprinting ability as a proxy for australopith ability. You countered with “persistence hunting” of humans. When I pointed out the irrelevance of such a habit to predator avoidance, you now make your point doubly irrelevant by disclaiming any relevance to the australopith ecology.

Sendraks wrote:
Jayjay4547 wrote:
you then visualize one actually being hunted by an ambush predator, against which you say, sticks and stones would be little use.

Which is correct. They would be of little use.

In your opinion. But you needed to respond to my experience that a dog’s attack can be stopped, the initiative taken from it and it rendered vulnerable, by a “stopper”, which can be a survey rod. Come, let’s carry the discussion forward a bit.
Sendraks wrote:
Jayjay4547 wrote:
Your argument has another problem: Immediately after you supposed that persistence hunting would magically give hominins immunity from being hunted themselves, you then visualize one actually being hunted by an ambush predator, against which you say, sticks and stones would be little useNow you inconsistently confront the fact that a felid predator rushes up at unmatchable speed, jumps on the prey and bites. Yes, and you need some way to stop it from doing that.

What's inconsistent about pointing out that a successor hominid didn't use tools to hunt and pointing out that an ancestor hominid didn't use tools to defend itself?


In the first place what evidence do you have that allows you to “point out” that a successor hominid didn’t use tools to hunt? Do you visualize that they just hung around until the antelope died from heat exhaustion? And you sure can’t “point out” that australopiths didn’t use tools to defend themselves. that’s the point at issue. There is a strong inference that they did, it’s written all over their bodies. Anyway your inconsistency lies in jumping between the notion that predators presented no significant problem for australopiths, and on the other hand, that they were helpless in the face of terrifying attacks.
Sendraks wrote:
Jayjay4547 wrote:
You say that sticks and stones would be little use against a leopard. Well in the first place, that obliges you to scout around for some other anti-predation strategy that the hominins appear to have been adapted into.

Simply moving as a group is shown to be pretty effective at deterring predators. Moving as a group and throwing stones at a potential predator could also work, although this requires no tool making ability.


Simply moving as a group with the potential to apply deadly force. And there would be adaptive pressure towards reducing the size of group able to mount a credible threat, bearing in mind the foraging inefficiency implied n always moving around like a Roman army troop.
I quite agree that stone throwing requires no tool making ability. It requires one to select suitable stones from the environment and carry them around at all times when a predator might appear. To restrict foraging areas to places with plentiful throwable stones would need the hominins to be restricted to the beds of swift flowing rivers and the gibber desert. In many areas, the action of insects and burrowing creatures bury any surface stones down to a stone layer:
Image

Sendraks wrote:
Jayjay4547 wrote:I have suggested that there is no sign of either sprinting or tree-climbing adaptations.

Well you're correct on the sprinting. I think you'd be hard pressed to demonstrate that australopiths couldn't climb trees. Indeed the evidence suggests that they were quite capable climbers.


I presented the Laetoli footprints as evidence that their feet were not adapted to climbing trees. And earlier I presented this clip of a baboon unsuccessfully trying to escape from a leopard up a tree, while using its hands and feet to grasp small twigs.

Sendraks wrote:
Jayjay4547 wrote: Descendants of Australopiths certainly do use sticks in the form of knobkerries and spears and are adept at that.

Indeed. But that doesn’t mean that this was a behaviour they inherited from the australopiths. As I’ve already stated, homo sapiens in Africa was a persistence hunter before it started to use tools to hunt. The development of complex weapons and hunting tactics came much later.

There is nothing sophisticated about an Oldowan hand axe, or about an unworked stone either thrown or smashed onto a predator’s skull. Nor is a stick sharpened on a rock as complicated say, as the way a sunbird mixes lichen and cobweb to build its nest.

Sendraks wrote:
Jayjay4547 wrote: That’s where my little observation is relevant; that a stick held defensively can stop an attack, take the initiative away from the attacker and make it vulnerable.

An attack from what? A Marmot? Probably. Another human? Maybe? A Leopard? Mmmmmm, no.


The closest African equivalent to a marmot might be the rock hyrax or dassie, which isn't a predator. The range of plausible predators on australopiths ranges from bat-eared foxes through jackal, hunting dogs, hyena, leopard, lion (3.5ma) to false sabretooth. One might put extinct species of baboon somewhere in there as well. Where would you draw the line at a predator that could be stopped by a profferred stick? In my experience a dog can be, that’s between a jackal and a hunting dog. it seems to me, it would be very dangerous for a predator to just power through an offered sharpened stick. That would be like attacking a gemsbok from the front. Surely, a sensible strategy would be to turn the prey’s flank. And as I said, it would be relatively difficult to turn an australopith’s flank – in that respect it would be a bit like a giraffe; dangerous to approach from any side.
Sendraks wrote:
Jayjay4547 wrote: Another sign of muddle in your argument is when you ask, why were the australopiths largely vegetarian?

I don’t recall saying any such thing. Perhaps you should not make up what I said and focus on the material at hand.


In post #327 you asked “Why were homo sapiens in africa living off a largely vegetarian diet”. When you say homo sapiens were largely vegetarian, aren’t you implying that their ancestors were also largely vegetarian? Though it was unnecessarily provocative it was accurate to call that argument muddled, because a vegetarian diet doesn’t preclude predator avoidance using violence. Giraffe are an example.
Sendraks wrote:
If we’re going to describe “throwing stones” as a proficient defence, then I will concur at this point. However, it should also be noted that chimps do this as well. It should also be noted that chimps are bloody strong creatures and there is no reason to surmise that australopiths were lacking in physical strength. Indeed the bone structure of the australopith suggests they were strong, certainly stronger than homo sapiens relative to their size.


Yes, strong but also small, both gracile and robust australopiths stood no taller than 1.4m. Predation by animals as small as hunting dogs must have been a threat to their foraging ability and against that it was adaptive to be as dangerous to a predator as it was possible for a biped hominoid to be. African prey species are generally extremely difficult to predate; the state of the game was high.

Jayjay4547 wrote: A modern example of such a “stopper” is a shield. But originally a sharpish stick would serve.

Sendraks wrote:
Use of “shields” or “spears” is a pure fantasy on your part, not backed up by the available evidence.
[/quote]
From the Maasai association article on their cultural practice of lion hunting
http://www.maasai-association.org/lion.html

“Imagine having a lion three meters away from you! Hunting a lion with a spear and shield is an experience of a lifetime.”

My bolding. A “stopper” object like a shield has some interesting qualities. it is useless in hurting an animal that isn’t fighting back – in other words, it’s useless in hunting. It is used to frustrate the opponent’s will rather than impose one’s own will. It is held in the left hand. It creates a cognitive problem of confusion in the opponent, made worse when it is used apparently independently of a striker object held in the right hand.

All this is to support my argument that anthropologists have made a fuckup of human evolution by failing to appreciate what sort of an animal the australopiths were. Looking to fit Australopithecus into a narrative of emerging tool-making smarts by an animal acting on its environment, they have failed to see the creature optimally shaped by sticks, stones, predators and alternative prey species. We may be made in the image of God but our deep ancestors were made in the image that a felid predator would least like to see in a terrestrial hominoid. They would have much preferred a proto “persistence hunter” which, after puffing itself out running down an exhausted antelope, could be conveniently snacked together with the antelope. The inference is also that for millions of years before our ancestors started “making tools” they selected amongst natural objects, which then “taught” their bodies including their brains, how best to use those objects with decision, force, precision and speed.

The only rational explanation for so many scientists to have looked so long at the australopiths without actually seeing them, is to invoke cross-talk from ideology. I blame atheism, for insisting on an origin narrative where our ancestors achieved by acting on the world, rather than having been dumbly shaped by the world acting on them. In truth the agenda wasn’t theirs.
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Re: "New eye discovery further demolishes Dawkins"

#351  Postby Calilasseia » Jun 30, 2014 8:27 am

JayJay, your "atheist ideology" bollocks is not only bollocks, bollocks that has been flushed down the toilet again and again, not only boring bollocks to boot, but because you've been schooled again and again why it's bollocks, it's now dishonest and duplicitous bollocks as well.

Once again, what part of "NOT treating unsupported assertions as fact is NOT a fucking ideology" do you either not understand, or wilfully refuse to understand for duplicitous apologetic purposes?

The only two possible reasons for you continuing to post this bollocks, are discoursive incompetence or discoursive duplicity, and many here are doubtless suspecting the latter, given how many times you've been schooled on this.

Now, are you going to cease and desist from posting this bollocks? Because the rest of us are bored shitless with your endless resurrection of this bollocks. Bollocks that is not only plain, flat wrong, but is so fulminatingly discoursively diseased bollocks, that it should have died from the ideological syphilis it was infected with long ago.
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Re: "New eye discovery further demolishes Dawkins"

#352  Postby Sendraks » Jun 30, 2014 10:59 am

Jayjay4547 wrote:In your opinion. But you needed to respond to my experience that a dog’s attack can be stopped, the initiative taken from it and it rendered vulnerable, by a “stopper”, which can be a survey rod. Come, let’s carry the discussion forward a bit.

That depends on the dog. Which only serves to demonstrate your ignorance about dogs.
On average, leopards tend to be a fair bit bigger than dogs.

Jayjay4547 wrote:In the first place what evidence do you have that allows you to “point out” that a successor hominid didn’t use tools to hunt? Do you visualize that they just hung around until the antelope died from heat exhaustion?

I’ve already explained how homo sapiens was a persistence hunter.
Jayjay4547 wrote:And you sure can’t “point out” that australopiths didn’t use tools to defend themselves.

I can point to the lack of evidence of them using tools. That is usually sufficient.
Jayjay4547 wrote:There is a strong inference that they did, it’s written all over their bodies.

In your opinion. An opinion not backed up by evidence or logic.
Jayjay4547 wrote:Anyway your inconsistency lies in jumping between the notion that predators presented no significant problem for australopiths, and on the other hand, that they were helpless in the face of terrifying attacks.

Who is saying that predators presented no significant problems to australopiths? Not me.

Jayjay4547 wrote:Simply moving as a group with the potential to apply deadly force.

And this deadly force would be what?

Jayjay4547 wrote:And there would be adaptive pressure towards reducing the size of group able to mount a credible threat, bearing in mind the foraging inefficiency implied n always moving around like a Roman army troop.

Again, more supposition on your part, not supported by any evidence of the group size or understanding of how predators hunt with regard to groups of creatures.
Jayjay4547 wrote:I quite agree that stone throwing requires no tool making ability. It requires one to select suitable stones from the environment and carry them around at all times when a predator might appear.

And you’ve no evidence to support this claim. No evidence to support that australopiths had any greater mental faculty than chimps, which are not noted for carrying rocks around with them
Jayjay4547 wrote:I presented the Laetoli footprints as evidence that their feet were not adapted to climbing trees. And earlier I presented this clip of a baboon unsuccessfully trying to escape from a leopard up a tree, while using its hands and feet to grasp small twigs.

Australopiths were very strong for their size and had much longer arms in proportion to their bodies. The evidence strongly supports that they would have been capable climbers, even if not adapted to a fully aboreal lifestyle.
Jayjay4547 wrote: There is nothing sophisticated about an Oldowan hand axe, or about an unworked stone either thrown or smashed onto a predator’s skull. Nor is a stick sharpened on a rock as complicated say, as the way a sunbird mixes lichen and cobweb to build its nest.
Jayjay4547 wrote: Surely, a sensible strategy would be to turn the prey’s flank. And as I said, it would be relatively difficult to turn an australopith’s flank – in that respect it would be a bit like a giraffe; dangerous to approach from any side.

What bollocks is this? The flank of an australopith is no more dangerous than that of a homo sapiens.
Jayjay4547 wrote: The only rational explanation for so many scientists to have looked so long at the australopiths without actually seeing them, is to invoke cross-talk from ideology.


The only rational explanation is that scientists look at the evidence and don’t try to create imagined “facts” to support shoehorning their findings into a mythology. Your argument is an inconsistent muddled morass, randomly taking survival concepts from other species and using that as a justification to support your own assertions.
Or as Cali put it, it’s bollocks.
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Re: "New eye discovery further demolishes Dawkins"

#353  Postby theropod » Jun 30, 2014 1:21 pm

Dogs (hereafter referencing domesticated canines) usually don't attack humans with the intent to eat the human, and I've seen dogs that a stick would be a useless defensive tool had they attacked, sharpened or not. I've seen a full grown male Rottweiler snap a hardened rock maple pool stick in two, which could just as easily be ones arm. Poke a dog like that with your rock-rubbed-sharpened stick and he'll rip you to bits. Large predatory canines, like wolves, often run in packs, and the wild African dog uses sustained chase tactics along with other pack strategies/tactics.

Dogs do not have paws with deadly scythe-like claws terminating each foot, and nor do they have the ambush fleetness of foot (sudden acceleration) often associated with large cats. If a large cat wants a hominid and the hominid has ONLY got a stick, a rock that hominid is leopard turds about 2 days later. Give a GROUP of hominids a few sticks and rocks with the courage to stand their ground, and eventually learn that flaked stone is horrible sharp, and these tools start to get serious, and the prey can then become the predator. I wouldn't want to go one on one with a full grown, wild and ravenous male leopard if I had a katana and body armor! Wanna talk about tigers? Sheese! Your survey stick would be a mere inconvenience to a big cat that wanted you for dinner. Cali has linked to the video of the lion not giving a shit about large bore rifles shooting the piss out of it and it STILL attacking with spreed and strength beyond belief. A single man would have probably ended up dead in that setting unless he made one hella well placed shot quickly enough. How the fuck can you still talk about fucking sticks and rocks after seeing something like that?

Dogs are a product of usually selecting for a less aggressive nature, whereas all wild felines have been selected for this aggressive behavior if they must kill to eat. Lions are unique in the emergence of the pride as most large cats, indeed just about all cats, are not social except for reproduction and parenting. Dogs wild on the streets will often form packs, and is instinctive for the linage.

Dogs are a very poor example to use in comparison with large cats as potential predators for many reasons, and defensive tactics and "tools" that works against one might not work against the other, if at all against either.

You have never really addressed the united front defensive strategy, which is seen over and over in nature. This includes all hominids except the orangutang, of which we are aware. Orangutang stay so high up in the rainforest canopy they effectively evolved the lack of need for a social setting that offers protection by numbers. While lush the rain forest is sometimes sparse in resources and a social group would be hard pressed to stay fed. Social groupings are common in primates, both in new and old world monkeys, and most lemurs. It seems to me that the selected trait of social dependence works for critters as threatening as Meir Cats, which don't have a single clue about sticks or rocks as weapons. It doesn't matter if one Meir Cat is taken as long as the group survives, since evolution is a population driven phenomena the death of an individual isn't an extinction event. It doesn't really matter if one hominid dies as the result of a large cat attack if the group gets away and makes more babies.

If you've ever been shooting game birds with a shotgun and a group of birds rise together it becomes much harder to focus on a single bird and make a shot. Imagine a bunch of early hominids jumping and yelling and running adding to the clutter of a hunt, like quail crossing paths and doing aerobatics. This alone could have occasionally diffused large cat attacks IF the hominids had effective scouting and lookouts. A surprise attack from close range could still happen, and perhaps a strong group of early hominids stick-whacking at the beast would be driven off, but any single prey individual wouldn't stand a chance. It's the group, not the tools, that makes the difference.

JayJay, it's not that what you say couldn't have possibly been the way things were, but without some evidence you have no more than a hypothesis. There are sound arguments, and more importantly rebuttals supported by evidence, in opposition to your position. The likelihood that simple sticks and thrown rocks offered an effective defense against large cat attack is unsupported, and frankly silly. Robert Byers seems to think that jingling car keys would frighten away a hungry polar bear too. See the connection?

If defensive tool use emerged in hominids a little farther back in time than we now think how does this provide evidence for a god in any way?

I strongly agree with Cali on this;
The tiresome use of "Atheist Ideology" is getting so worn it now boarders on intentional taunting. Accept that my atheism is simply a lack of belief that there is such a thing as a god. I do not see any evidence for gods, and I don't see how sticks and rocks has a damned thing to do with anything except your attempt to argue for the sake of arguing.

RS
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Re: "New eye discovery further demolishes Dawkins"

#354  Postby Sendraks » Jun 30, 2014 1:47 pm

theropod wrote: A surprise attack from close range could still happen, and perhaps a strong group of early hominids stick-whacking at the beast would be driven off, but any single prey individual wouldn't stand a chance. It's the group, not the tools, that makes the difference.


In addition to this, it should be noted that where ambush predators go after a pack animal, they're usually trying to pick a single vulnerable individual. Either one that is already exposed or the one least likely to flee at speed, because of age, injury or other factors.

There is also the nocturnal nature of the predators in question. Which rather renders concerns about sticks and stones as a defense moot, if the target foodstuff is asleep.
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Re: "New eye discovery further demolishes Dawkins"

#355  Postby theropod » Jun 30, 2014 3:08 pm

Sendraks wrote:
theropod wrote: A surprise attack from close range could still happen, and perhaps a strong group of early hominids stick-whacking at the beast would be driven off, but any single prey individual wouldn't stand a chance. It's the group, not the tools, that makes the difference.


In addition to this, it should be noted that where ambush predators go after a pack animal, they're usually trying to pick a single vulnerable individual. Either one that is already exposed or the one least likely to flee at speed, because of age, injury or other factors.

There is also the nocturnal nature of the predators in question. Which rather renders concerns about sticks and stones as a defense moot, if the target foodstuff is asleep.


It's the same game T. rex and E. annectens played a long time ago. It's the same game played since one critter figured out his neighbors were pretty tasty. You don't have to be the fastest trilobite in the ocean. You just need to make sure you're not the slowest. Population dynamics. Fish use it. Same as it ever was...

If I was naked in the bush of Africa I'd look for dead limbs from thorn trees and build a hedge/hut in which to to sleep. I might last a week. 20 of us, some staying awake on watch, just might be able to alert the others in time to raise enough hell to dissuade a charge at night. Some kind of keep would sure be nice, but that's *Game of Thrones thinking. All this comes back to the social nature of hominids. We probably wouldn't be here if we didn't take advantage of this trait far back in our past, and so many other creatures lacking the first clue about tools rely on the same basic survival mechanism that can be directly tied to a group of individuals. A population acted upon over time.

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Re: "New eye discovery further demolishes Dawkins"

#356  Postby Sendraks » Jun 30, 2014 3:14 pm

theropod wrote:
If I was naked in the bush of Africa I'd look for dead limbs from thorn trees and build a hedge/hut in which to to sleep.


And if you were an Australopith with their long arms and upper body strength, you might climb up a tree and build a nest to sleep in like chimps do.

Also, in GoT, it is revealed that Jamie Lanister has secretly been an australopith all along, evidenced by his tool using ability. And look out for the dramatic battle where the wall is attacked by Giraffes.
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Re: "New eye discovery further demolishes Dawkins"

#357  Postby DavidMcC » Jun 30, 2014 3:36 pm

Sendraks wrote:
theropod wrote:
If I was naked in the bush of Africa I'd look for dead limbs from thorn trees and build a hedge/hut in which to to sleep.


And if you were an Australopith with their long arms and upper body strength, you might climb up a tree and build a nest to sleep in like chimps do.

...

That would not have been enough, Sendraks, because their predators would have been big cats, that could climb trees and hunt at night. Therefore, sleeping off the ground, IN GROUPS would be the most effective defence.
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Re: "New eye discovery further demolishes Dawkins"

#358  Postby Sendraks » Jun 30, 2014 3:49 pm

DavidMcC wrote:
Sendraks wrote:
theropod wrote:
If I was naked in the bush of Africa I'd look for dead limbs from thorn trees and build a hedge/hut in which to to sleep.


And if you were an Australopith with their long arms and upper body strength, you might climb up a tree and build a nest to sleep in like chimps do.

...

That would not have been enough, Sendraks, because their predators would have been big cats, that could climb trees and hunt at night. Therefore, sleeping off the ground, IN GROUPS would be the most effective defence.


Yes, absolutely. Sorry, I thought that was implied with my reference to chimps, but I should have made it explicit.
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Re: "New eye discovery further demolishes Dawkins"

#359  Postby Calilasseia » Jun 30, 2014 4:41 pm

theropod wrote:Dogs (hereafter referencing domesticated canines) usually don't attack humans with the intent to eat the human, and I've seen dogs that a stick would be a useless defensive tool had they attacked, sharpened or not. I've seen a full grown male Rottweiler snap a hardened rock maple pool stick in two, which could just as easily be ones arm. Poke a dog like that with your rock-rubbed-sharpened stick and he'll rip you to bits. Large predatory canines, like wolves, often run in packs, and the wild African dog uses sustained chase tactics along with other pack strategies/tactics.

Dogs do not have paws with deadly scythe-like claws terminating each foot, and nor do they have the ambush fleetness of foot (sudden acceleration) often associated with large cats. If a large cat wants a hominid and the hominid has ONLY got a stick, a rock that hominid is leopard turds about 2 days later. Give a GROUP of hominids a few sticks and rocks with the courage to stand their ground, and eventually learn that flaked stone is horrible sharp, and these tools start to get serious, and the prey can then become the predator. I wouldn't want to go one on one with a full grown, wild and ravenous male leopard if I had a katana and body armor! Wanna talk about tigers? Sheese! Your survey stick would be a mere inconvenience to a big cat that wanted you for dinner. Cali has linked to the video of the lion not giving a shit about large bore rifles shooting the piss out of it and it STILL attacking with spreed and strength beyond belief. A single man would have probably ended up dead in that setting unless he made one hella well placed shot quickly enough. How the fuck can you still talk about fucking sticks and rocks after seeing something like that?

Dogs are a product of usually selecting for a less aggressive nature, whereas all wild felines have been selected for this aggressive behavior if they must kill to eat. Lions are unique in the emergence of the pride as most large cats, indeed just about all cats, are not social except for reproduction and parenting. Dogs wild on the streets will often form packs, and is instinctive for the linage.

Dogs are a very poor example to use in comparison with large cats as potential predators for many reasons, and defensive tactics and "tools" that works against one might not work against the other, if at all against either.

You have never really addressed the united front defensive strategy, which is seen over and over in nature. This includes all hominids except the orangutang, of which we are aware. Orangutang stay so high up in the rainforest canopy they effectively evolved the lack of need for a social setting that offers protection by numbers. While lush the rain forest is sometimes sparse in resources and a social group would be hard pressed to stay fed. Social groupings are common in primates, both in new and old world monkeys, and most lemurs. It seems to me that the selected trait of social dependence works for critters as threatening as Meir Cats, which don't have a single clue about sticks or rocks as weapons. It doesn't matter if one Meir Cat is taken as long as the group survives, since evolution is a population driven phenomena the death of an individual isn't an extinction event. It doesn't really matter if one hominid dies as the result of a large cat attack if the group gets away and makes more babies.

If you've ever been shooting game birds with a shotgun and a group of birds rise together it becomes much harder to focus on a single bird and make a shot. Imagine a bunch of early hominids jumping and yelling and running adding to the clutter of a hunt, like quail crossing paths and doing aerobatics. This alone could have occasionally diffused large cat attacks IF the hominids had effective scouting and lookouts. A surprise attack from close range could still happen, and perhaps a strong group of early hominids stick-whacking at the beast would be driven off, but any single prey individual wouldn't stand a chance. It's the group, not the tools, that makes the difference.

JayJay, it's not that what you say couldn't have possibly been the way things were, but without some evidence you have no more than a hypothesis. There are sound arguments, and more importantly rebuttals supported by evidence, in opposition to your position. The likelihood that simple sticks and thrown rocks offered an effective defense against large cat attack is unsupported, and frankly silly. Robert Byers seems to think that jingling car keys would frighten away a hungry polar bear too. See the connection?

If defensive tool use emerged in hominids a little farther back in time than we now think how does this provide evidence for a god in any way?

I strongly agree with Cali on this;
The tiresome use of "Atheist Ideology" is getting so worn it now boarders on intentional taunting. Accept that my atheism is simply a lack of belief that there is such a thing as a god. I do not see any evidence for gods, and I don't see how sticks and rocks has a damned thing to do with anything except your attempt to argue for the sake of arguing.

RS


Heh, some years ago, I went to a zoo not far from my locality, and amongst the animals exhibited therein, were two Siberian Tigers. You know you're dealing with something impressive from the Animal Kingdom, when you see what is, in effect, a cat nine feet long. This big male Siberian Tiger was not only packing serious mass - at least 600 pounds - he also had paws like excavator shovels. When he yawned, and gave you a good look at those canines and carnassials, contained in a head a good 18 inches wide, you knew you were looking at some serious weaponry. The only way I'd go one on one with that beast, is if I was doing so inside a Japanese sci-fi battle mech.

Then we got to see feeding time. The keeper towed a trailer with meat on it, into the enclosure, from the safety of a tractor with an armoured cabin. The tractor had been set up so that the driver could unhitch the trailer by pushing a button inside the safety of the cab, turn round, and get out of there before the kitties got any funny ideas. Meal time? BIG slabs of dead cow. That big male must have chomped his way through close on 70 pounds of meat at one sitting - that's the sort of meat consumption that I'd take at least a year to achieve. He took one of those slabs of dead cow in his mouth, and carried it around like a fucking plush toy until he found his favourite dining spot and sat down to lunch.

This was a cat big enough to put a saddle on and ride, though you'd be completely deranged to try that. The moment you walked up to this kitty, it would let you know in no uncertain terms that it had "DON'T MESS WITH ME" hovering over it in ten foot high neon letters.

Even the female looked as if it could rip you several new orifices with ease, despite being only 350 pounds ("only" 350 pounds, he says!). The male ... fuck me, that was one exquisite killing machine.

Needless to say, the enclosure had some serious hardware keeping the tigers in and the people out. Not least because the male demonstrated his prowess prior to meal time, by performing what was, to all intents, a fifteen foot long jump with the same ease that you or I blink, which he did from a crouching start as part of his play routine with his mate.

Show me a human being that could walk away from a wrestling match with that, and I'll show you fucking Superman.

That's the problem with a lot of creationists, they've never been up close and personal with anything other than a chihuahua or a sodding Persian kitten. They think that the biosphere exists to provide them with burgers and fries. Good luck with that if they get their way and turn America into a 12th century theocracy, with no way of maintaining the technology because all the scientists and other skilled people have fucked off out of there.

Meanwhile, here's a nice little video clip featuring what the smaller (but still impressive) Bengal Tiger is capable of when it's in a bad mood. Yes, it's charging guys with guns riding on the backs of elephants.

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Re: "New eye discovery further demolishes Dawkins"

#360  Postby Sendraks » Jun 30, 2014 5:01 pm

In a scenario where it is myself and my friends, armed with rocks and sticks vs a Siberian Tiger, my first and only attempt at defence is going to be a vigorous bowel evacuation out of sheer, pant soiling terror.

This may have the unintended side effect of delivering a stench that makes me an unappetising potential meal vs my friends armed with rocks and sticks who do not presently have an odour of faecal matter about their person.

After that my defence strategies may include fainting and expiring. The latter being less of a strategy and more of a "most likely outcome" in the face of a tiger attack. Although if I think about it before hand, I can salvage a degree of credibility in that it was my plan all along.

Next week on "creationist survival 101" we look at how to defend yourself against a Great White Shark, using sharpened sea shells.
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