"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"

#381  Postby Sendraks » Jul 03, 2014 10:18 am

Every time JayJay goes on about sticks, this Python sketch keeps springing into my mind.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=piWCBOsJr-w
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Re: "New eye discovery further demolishes Dawkins"

#382  Postby Spearthrower » Jul 03, 2014 11:31 am

Jayjay4547 wrote:
Spearthrower wrote:
I’m not to be drawn on this “persistence hunter” notion.


Don't forget Sendraks - regardless of the topic of expertise, JJ always knows better than everyone. Forget such trivialities as doing a degree in the field, reviewing the evidence first-hand, using the data to support contentions.... just do it the JJ way; sit back in your lofty arm-chair and issue decrees.


Why don;t you climb down from your particular throne Spearthrower, and put in some data.



Been there and done it with you before JJ. You aren't interested in trivialities like facts, evidence, hard data if they don't conform to your thoroughly bizarre speculations. That's why I don't post in response to you anymore, and hadn't for some time even before I took a long break - it just encourages you that a) you're right b) I am following a secret atheist agenda c) you're right d) you're right. Nothing, not even video evidence, can convince you otherwise. You even start claiming that the film-makers had some kind of atheistic bias, as if they'd set out to prove you wrong rather than simply reporting on the facts completely oblivious of you and your poorly formed contentions.

However, I still ask you why you think you can just take over other people's threads to push your obscure beliefs. Given the manner of your posting, you could just have a JJ thread and wander round your usual assortment of topics as and when you feel it appropriate. Then you get your platform and people like me can more conveniently avoid it.
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Re: "New eye discovery further demolishes Dawkins"

#383  Postby Spearthrower » Jul 03, 2014 11:36 am

Sendraks wrote:
You’re not one to let facts and evidence stand in the way of a good story.
I understand.


Nail - head.

JJ does understand the power of the narrative in human history, i'll give him that. Sadly, like all the snake-oil sellers of the bad old days, he thinks that simply putting words together in an order that is emotionally fulfilling is a satisfactory method for explaining the natural world.


Sendraks wrote:The fact that you seem to think it is, speaks volumes of the quality of your argument, which is based on trying to shoehorn reality into a mythology which serves your own ends, rather expand our understanding of the natural world.


Over and over and over, and with such a disdain for evidence it never fails to stupify.
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Re: "New eye discovery further demolishes Dawkins"

#384  Postby Calilasseia » Jul 03, 2014 10:09 pm

in the meantime, over in Biological Sciences, some of us have been having some fun with a paper submitted to the journal Biology Direct, but released in draft form, complete with the peer reviewers' comments about that paper, which I bring here for a reason that should be pretty obvious once the details are presented. Those wishing to view the details can do so here, though I suspect many here will regard this as an example of "silly season" affecting some of the science journals.

The whole point of me alerting people to this thread, and the paper discussed therein, is because it provides us with a classic example of why JayJay's bollocks about "atheist ideology" IS bollocks. Because, wait for it, the premise of the paper in question, is exactly the sort of premise that would have JayJay screaming at 130 decibels about "atheist ideology", yet, the reviewers rejected the paper, and were frequently scathing in their critique thereof.

If JayJay's bollocks about "atheist ideology" pervading and corrupting science was something other than bollocks, this paper would have been rushed into print. Instead, what actually happened, was that the journal released the first review draft, along with the comments of the peer reviewers who savaged the paper and its contents. In short, the three peer reviewers not only found elementary flaws within the paper, but scathingly dismissed the entire thesis as grand speculation and fantasy, bereft of an atom of supporting data, and I suspect Eugene Koonin in particular was wetting himself laughing when he was handed this. The three peer reviewers effectively determined that the paper was a steaming pile of made up shit, and probably spent a good few hours exchanging E-Mails, asking each other if the authors were serious, or if this was some sort of prank compilation along the lines of Alan Sokal's submission to a postmodernist journal.

Now, as appealing as some here might regard the idea of religion being the product of mind controlling bugs, in the absence of any evidential support for that idea, that idea remains nothing more than speculation and fantasy. The peer reviewers told the authors this in no uncertain terms.

This example surely nails the lie JayJay has been peddling here about "atheist ideology" once and for all. Because if scientists were engaged in the sort of ideological exercise he routinely and duplicitously accuses them of, this paper, far from being rejected as a steaming pile of donkey faeces, would be occupying the front page of the journal in question. The fact that it was tossed out as bad fantasising and even worse science, should nail the "atheist ideology" lie once and for all. But I suspect JayJay will simply respond to this with the usual apologetic fabrications, in order to try and save his previous eructations from the nuclear carpet bombing this episode delivers thereto. :mrgreen:

EDIT: Indeed, the more I think about this, the more I am gravitating toward the conclusion, that far from being a serious submission, this paper was a cack-handed attempt to "Sokal" the journal by some duplicitous creationists. Given the vast documentation of past creationist mendacity available online, it wouldn't surprise me in the least to discover this to be the case, and that the journal has made the fisking thereof public precisely because this is what the journal editors suspect it to be. It's refreshing to discover that it didn't make it past first base with respect to peer review even in the hands of people I knew nothing of prior to the episode, let alone someone of the calibre of Eugene Koonin.

If indeed it does turn out to be a duplicitous attempt to "Sokal" the journal by creationists, we'll all know who the real pedlars of "ideology" are, won't we boys and girls?
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Re: "New eye discovery further demolishes Dawkins"

#385  Postby theropod » Jul 03, 2014 10:29 pm

Isn't this also know as Atheistoclasting?

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Re: "New eye discovery further demolishes Dawkins"

#386  Postby Calilasseia » Jul 03, 2014 10:56 pm

Er, doesn't he try to have screeds published because he believes in the shite content?
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Re: "New eye discovery further demolishes Dawkins"

#387  Postby theropod » Jul 03, 2014 11:03 pm

Uber troll, or just a fuckwit. It's hard to make a distinction sometimes.

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Re: "New eye discovery further demolishes Dawkins"

#388  Postby Jayjay4547 » Jul 05, 2014 12:14 pm

Calilasseia wrote: in the meantime, over in Biological Sciences, some of us have been having some fun with a paper submitted to the journal Biology Direct, but released in draft form, complete with the peer reviewers' comments about that paper, which I bring here for a reason that should be pretty obvious once the details are presented. Those wishing to view the details can do so here, though I suspect many here will regard this as an example of "silly season" affecting some of the science journals.

The whole point of me alerting people to this thread, and the paper discussed therein, is because it provides us with a classic example of why JayJay's bollocks about "atheist ideology" IS bollocks. Because, wait for it, the premise of the paper in question, is exactly the sort of premise that would have JayJay screaming at 130 decibels about "atheist ideology", yet, the reviewers rejected the paper, and were frequently scathing in their critique thereof.


I don’t think for a moment that that paper was intended for publication, it was a joke spoof using the language register of academic publications. It had me intrigued for a minute; after all if a parasite can get an ant to go crazy in just such a way that it climbs a grass stalk, where a grazing antelope will eat it along with the grass to produce the next life stage of the parasite then gosh, maybe a parasite can mess with human heads as well. But then as I read towards the end of the text still nothing specific was being presented, and then the last sentence just blew it. This is another Piltdown Cricket Bat. The most amazing thing about it was that it was put out for review.

Calilasseia wrote: If JayJay's bollocks about "atheist ideology" pervading and corrupting science was something other than bollocks, this paper would have been rushed into print

No, it’s more likely though still improbable, that the editor would find out where the authors lived, get in his car, drive over and assault them. Let me show you a real example of what ideological influence in a published article looks like.
Here is the introduction from Treves A and Palmqvist P Reconstructing Hominin Interactions with Mammalian Carivores (6.0-1;8Ma)in GurskyS L and Nekaris K A I Eds Primate anti-Predation Strategies , Springer

http://www.nelson.wisc.edu/people/treves/First%20author/Treves_Palmqvist_2007.pdf

"When considering hominin anti-predator behavior, many scholars looked first to material culture, such as fire or weaponry (Kortlandt, 1980; Brain, 1981). However, the idea that deterrent fire or weaponry freed early hominins from threats posed by predators is unsatisfying for several reasons. First, the modern carnivores now roaming Africa are survivors of humanity’s repeated and systematic campaigns to eradicate problem animals, trade in skins, and so on. (McDougal, 1987; Treves & Naughton-Treves, 999), whereas Pliocene carnivores would not have had a history of conflict with armed hominins. Second, thousands of modern humans fell prey to leopards (Panthera pardus), lions (P. leo) and tigers (P. tigris) in the twentieth century despite their sophisticated weapons and fire (Turnbull- Kemp, 1967; McDougal, 1987; Treves & Naughton-Treves, 1999; Peterhans & Gnoske, 2001). Although, thorn branches, stone tools, fire brands, pointed sticks, or bones could potentially help to repel carnivores from their kills (Kortlandt, 1980; Bunn & Ezzo, 1993; Treves & Naughton-Treves, 1999), such weaponry seems wholly inadequate for personal defense when large carnivores achieve surprise, attack in a pack, or are accustomed to overcoming heavier prey defended by horns, hooves, or canines. Therefore, we assert that weaponry by itself does not nullify the risk posed by predators. Moreover, controlled use of fire and stone tool technology appear late in the archaeological record relative to the evolution of semi-terrestrial hominins in Pliocene Africa (Bellomo, 1994; Brain, 1994;Wolde-Gabriel et al., 1994; Brunet et al., 1997;Leakey et al., 1998; Haile-Selassie, 2001). Hominin anti-predator behavior remains a key puzzle of our human ancestry.

The place to look for ideology is near the start of the text, where the reader is being shown what to look at, and what not. Typically, that focus isn’t the outcome of a to-and-fro debate, the authors present an argument that they don’t expect will be controversial . The correct focus may be presented as more modern, as if scientists by consensus abandoned one position and moved towards another. See this extract:

"When considering hominin anti-predator behavior, many scholars looked first to material culture, such as fire or weaponry (Kortlandt, 1980; Brain, 1981). However, the idea that deterrent fire or weaponry freed early hominins from threats posed by predators is unsatisfying for several reasons".

The Brain citation is to his “The Hunter or the Hunted?” that presents the case for the opposite of australopiths being freed from threats posed by predators. Much of his life’s work has been to show that they were predated. Earlier I linked to his famous Kranskop finding of a hominid skull with dents matching the canines of a leopard skull from the same location. It would be as implausible to claim that weapon use “freed” hominins from predation threats, as to claim that the fleet hooves of impala freed them from predation. Not that Brain focused on weapon use anyway, as Dart had earlier.
Having set up a false premise: that in the old days, scientists had believed that hominins were not predated, the authors then demolish the notion that that “weaponry by itself does … nullify the risk posed by predators.”

What exactly could “weaponry by itself” mean? A weapon just lying there on the ground? A weapon applied without tactic? A weapon held by disorganized hominins in Brownian motion? What the authors actually mean is, don’t let’s look at weaponry, let’s focus on social organization by analogy with the practices of other primates.

The arguments used to assert this point should be pleasing to most readers here:

'First, the modern carnivores now roaming Africa are survivors of humanity’s repeated and systematic campaigns to eradicate problem animals, trade in skins, and so on. (McDougal, 1987; Treves & Naughton-Treves, 999), whereas Pliocene carnivores would not have had a history of conflict with armed hominins."

Note that the point being made, that Pliocene carnivore would not have had a history of conflict with armed hominins, is not supported by a citation. It’s an assertion with two assumptions: first that the carnivores didn’t impose conflict on the hominins and secondly, that hominins didn’t react aggressively to predation on then. The notion of a “history” is also problematic for modeling predator-prey relations; the hominins and predators coexisted for millions of years.

"Second, thousands of modern humans fell prey to leopards (Panthera pardus), lions (P. leo) and tigers (P. tigris) in the twentieth century despite their sophisticated weapons and fire (Turnbull- Kemp, 1967; McDougal, 1987; Treves & Naughton-Treves, 1999; Peterhans & Gnoske, 2001)".

Modern people do occasionally get eaten but generally, not those with sophisticated weapons in their hands. Wikipedia entry on Tiger attack has this quote by hunter Kenneth Anderson:

"It is extraordinary how very cautious every man-eater becomes by practice, whether a tiger or panther, and cowardly too. Invariably, it will only attack a solitary person, and that too, after prolonged and painstaking stalking, having assured itself that no other human being is in the immediate vicinity... These animals seem also to possess an astute sixth sense and be able to differentiate between an unarmed human being and an armed man deliberately pursuing them, for in most cases, only when cornered will they venture to attack the latter, while they go out of their way to stalk and attack the unarmed man.

To continue with the Treves and Palmqvist paragraph:

"Although, thorn branches, stone tools, fire brands, pointed sticks, or bones could potentially help to repel carnivores from their kills (Kortlandt, 1980; Bunn & Ezzo, 1993; Treves & Naughton-Treves, 1999), such weaponry seems wholly inadequate for personal defense when large carnivores achieve surprise, attack in a pack, or are accustomed to overcoming heavier prey defended by horns, hooves, or canines."

These citations apparently refer to the notion that instead of hunting themselves, hominins waited for predators to do that and then drove the predators away. That strategy is widely used amongst mammals and birds, it is achieved by superior threat but it’s not obviously clear that a primate that can drive predators away could not also defend itself from attack. Chimps and baboons both react aggressively to attacks in “personal defense” but neither are known to try to drive predators from their prey.

So what I’m claiming is that this one paragraph makes a number of points that could be taken up in opposition and that aren’t supported by data. That in a generally highly authoritative article (actually a book chapter). I’d be surprised if you didn’t accept Treves and Palmqvist’s position, but what does it have to do with ideology? Part is aimed to depict human evolution through similarity with other primate activity, rather than through what might have been distinctive about human ancestry. If one focuses on distinction that feeds the notion of human uniqueness, which is fully expressed in the Genesis narrative. Then it looks as though there is something special about humans. Even though defensive weapon use isn’t widely thought of as what makes us “human”.

The more human evolution can be described through similarity with other primates rather than distinction, the more it is attributed to the “theory of evolution” rather than to a particular historical path, a bit like the relatively theory-free discipline of historical narrative.

If one considered the australopith body plan as suggesting adaption into defensive weapon use for antipredation, that would encourage statements of agency by outside. For example, “Lions created the australopiths in the image they would least like to see in a terrestrial primate”. or “River stones made the australopiths”. On the other hand if one just focuses on the australopiths as a probably social genus, then the explanation or at least discussion of it, is internal to the troop. The story of human evolution then becomes a story of self-invention.

Calilasseia wrote: If indeed it does turn out to be a duplicitous attempt to "Sokal" the journal by creationists, we'll all know who the real pedlars of "ideology" are, won't we boys and girls?

Possible, but more likely this confection was made by atheists for the purpose it was actually used for, to give a bunch of atheists an opportunity for delighted self-congratulation.
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Re: "New eye discovery further demolishes Dawkins"

#389  Postby Calilasseia » Jul 05, 2014 7:05 pm

Well that prediction came true in record time, didn't it?

Jayjay4547 wrote:
Calilasseia wrote: in the meantime, over in Biological Sciences, some of us have been having some fun with a paper submitted to the journal Biology Direct, but released in draft form, complete with the peer reviewers' comments about that paper, which I bring here for a reason that should be pretty obvious once the details are presented. Those wishing to view the details can do so here, though I suspect many here will regard this as an example of "silly season" affecting some of the science journals.

The whole point of me alerting people to this thread, and the paper discussed therein, is because it provides us with a classic example of why JayJay's bollocks about "atheist ideology" IS bollocks. Because, wait for it, the premise of the paper in question, is exactly the sort of premise that would have JayJay screaming at 130 decibels about "atheist ideology", yet, the reviewers rejected the paper, and were frequently scathing in their critique thereof.


I don’t think for a moment that that paper was intended for publication


Well upon checking the provenance of the authors, it turns out that Alexander Panchin is actually an accredited scientist, at the Department of Bioengineering and Bioinformatics of Moscow State University. Yuri Panchin is likewise at the Department of Mathematics, of the Scientific-Research Institute for System Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences. Alexander Tuzhikov is a faculty member at the Department of Ophthalmology, Bascom Palmer Eye Institute, University of Miami School of Medicine. All of these authors have numerous other publications to their name. In the light of the past publication history of these authors, the question of whether or not this paper was a joke submission is now wide open. It's now starting to look, in the light of their previous work, as if they did intend this to be a serious submission. Which means that my previous "Sokal hypothesis" is no longer as well supported by the data as I originally thought.

Oh look. Yet another example of a change in viewpoint on the basis of available evidence. So much for your bullshit about "ideology" being at work here.

Plus, once again, the rejection of this paper, on the basis of its content being bereft of evidential support, refutes your entire "atheist ideology" bollocks wholesale, for reasons I've already presented.

Jayjay4547 wrote:it was a joke spoof using the language register of academic publications.


Unfortunately, the provenance of the authors now suggests that the above assertion is shaky. An example of some serious work that two of the authors collaborated on is this paper. Another paper, involving a different pairing of authors, is this one. So all three authors have a history of past serious contributions to science journals.

Jayjay4547 wrote:It had me intrigued for a minute; after all if a parasite can get an ant to go crazy in just such a way that it climbs a grass stalk, where a grazing antelope will eat it along with the grass to produce the next life stage of the parasite then gosh, maybe a parasite can mess with human heads as well. But then as I read towards the end of the text still nothing specific was being presented, and then the last sentence just blew it. This is another Piltdown Cricket Bat. The most amazing thing about it was that it was put out for review.


I refer you to one of the peer reviewer's comments. Specifically: "I thank the authors for thinking outrageous thoughts".

In short, science works first by being receptive to unusual ideas, but then subjecting those ideas to critical scrutiny. In direct opposition to your specious charges that science operates by upholding "ideological presuppositions". Your apologetics doesn't refute this basic fact at all.

Jayjay4547 wrote:
Calilasseia wrote: If JayJay's bollocks about "atheist ideology" pervading and corrupting science was something other than bollocks, this paper would have been rushed into print


No, it’s more likely though still improbable, that the editor would find out where the authors lived, get in his car, drive over and assault them.


Bollocks. Another fantasy fabrication on your part. This sort of activity tends to be more the sort of thing we see from supernaturalists.

Jayjay4547 wrote:Let me show you a real example of what ideological influence in a published article looks like.


Oh this is going to be good ...

Jayjay4547 wrote:Here is the introduction from Treves A and Palmqvist P Reconstructing Hominin Interactions with Mammalian Carivores (6.0-1;8Ma)in GurskyS L and Nekaris K A I Eds Primate anti-Predation Strategies , Springer

http://www.nelson.wisc.edu/people/treves/First%20author/Treves_Palmqvist_2007.pdf

"When considering hominin anti-predator behavior, many scholars looked first to material culture, such as fire or weaponry (Kortlandt, 1980; Brain, 1981). However, the idea that deterrent fire or weaponry freed early hominins from threats posed by predators is unsatisfying for several reasons. First, the modern carnivores now roaming Africa are survivors of humanity’s repeated and systematic campaigns to eradicate problem animals, trade in skins, and so on. (McDougal, 1987; Treves & Naughton-Treves, 999), whereas Pliocene carnivores would not have had a history of conflict with armed hominins. Second, thousands of modern humans fell prey to leopards (Panthera pardus), lions (P. leo) and tigers (P. tigris) in the twentieth century despite their sophisticated weapons and fire (Turnbull- Kemp, 1967; McDougal, 1987; Treves & Naughton-Treves, 1999; Peterhans & Gnoske, 2001). Although, thorn branches, stone tools, fire brands, pointed sticks, or bones could potentially help to repel carnivores from their kills (Kortlandt, 1980; Bunn & Ezzo, 1993; Treves & Naughton-Treves, 1999), such weaponry seems wholly inadequate for personal defense when large carnivores achieve surprise, attack in a pack, or are accustomed to overcoming heavier prey defended by horns, hooves, or canines. Therefore, we assert that weaponry by itself does not nullify the risk posed by predators. Moreover, controlled use of fire and stone tool technology appear late in the archaeological record relative to the evolution of semi-terrestrial hominins in Pliocene Africa (Bellomo, 1994; Brain, 1994;Wolde-Gabriel et al., 1994; Brunet et al., 1997;Leakey et al., 1998; Haile-Selassie, 2001). Hominin anti-predator behavior remains a key puzzle of our human ancestry.


Excuse me, but much of the above is observed fact. Namely:

Fact No 1 : Modern carnivores are indeed survivors of past attempts by humans to eradicate animals deemed problematic, or to plunder them for the fur trade. We have a large body of evidence supporting this statement.

Fact No. 2 : Pliocene carnviores would not have had a history of conflict with armed hominins, because, wait for it, no evidence that armed hominins existed at that time has ever been found.

Fact No. 3 : A large number of human casualites arising from predator attacks have been recorded in the 20th century, despite the fact that during that period, humans have had access to far more sophisticated weapons than sticks. Humans have had access to everything from large-calibre firearms to naval guns during that period, and from 1945 onwards, have had access to nuclear weapons. Not that any sensible person would deploy nuclear weapons for pest control, of course, but the conventional weapons we have had access to include bomber aircraft, tanks, mobile artillery, and more recently, such things as helicopter gunships deploying precison guided anti-armour missiles. Yet despite our species having access to this cornucopia of invincible weaponry against which animals such as big cats have no defence, and no hope of acquiring countermeasures, those same big cats are still able to subject the human species to attrition.

Fact No. 4 : The archaeological record of weapon acquisition post-dates the record of appearance of hominid species by something like two million years at least. More if one traces lineages back to the likes of Sahelanthropus tchadensis.

No fucking "ideology" involved.

Oh by the way, can you supply in future links to papers that work? Or was this another instance of discoursive duplicity?

For the record, here's the working link to the paper. Which I notice begins with the following paragraph:

Several hominin genera evolved to use savanna and woodland habitats across Pliocene Africa. This radiation into novel niches for apes occurred despite a daunting array of carnivores (Mammalia, Carnivora) between 6.0 and 1.8 Ma (Figure 17.1). Many of these carnivores would have preyed on hominins if given the opportunity. In this paper we ask what the behavioral adaptations were that permitted hominins to survive and spread, despite this potentially higher risk of predation in ancient Africa.


They then follow the paragraph you quoted with this:

In the next section of this chapter we review African large carnivore ecology and hunting behavior in extant taxa and that reconstructed for Plio-Pleistocene forms
(“paleopredators” hereafter). Following this, we review the anti-predator behavior of hominins by analogy with monkeys and apes; this analogy is parsimonious because of the observed cross-taxonomic consistency of their behavioral responses to predators. Vigilance behavior in relation to social organization is particularly informative. Finally, we integrate the two reviews to reconstruct the range of antipredator behaviors open to hominins.


Oh wait, they look at the evidence that there is a large amount of consistency in behaviour between extant primate taxa with respect to predation threats, and ask if relevant inferences about early hominid behaviour can be derived therefrom.

Once again, evidence, not ideology.

Jayjay4547 wrote:The place to look for ideology is near the start of the text, where the reader is being shown what to look at, and what not.


Bollocks. What part of the words "observed fact" do you not understand here?

Jayjay4547 wrote:Typically, that focus isn’t the outcome of a to-and-fro debate


Oh you think that scientists somehow decided that the observed data fitted presuppositions? Bullshit. I point you to those two video clips I provided above, one featuring a lion attacking hunters armed with fuck-off big guns, the other featuring a tiger attacking humans riding on the backs of elephants, and again deploying firearms. Now if you think a hominid with a smaller body mass than a typical modern day human, could face off those animals with sticks. then I suggest you need to get out more, and find out what actually happens in the world beyond your armchair. It was impressive enough for me to see Siberian Tigers at work in a zoo, let alone what they would be capable of in the wild. I'll remind you again, that in the case of this species, we're dealing with a nine foot long cat, with paws like excavator shovels, capable of turning both you and I into lunch with very little effort indeed. If you ever find yourself up against one, I recommend you have a fully loaded AK-47 to hand if you want to guarantee walking away with all your limbs intact.

Once again, JayJay, it's all about large quantities of accumulated evidence, and nothing to do with your fictitious "ideology". You do realise those references cited in that passage you quoted provide at least some of that prior evidence? That's why those citations are there, to point readers at the prior work done to establish the validity of the statements preceding the citations. That you appear not to understand this speaks volumes.

Jayjay4547 wrote:the authors present an argument that they don’t expect will be controversial.


And the reason they don't expect this to be controversial, JayJay, is because they cite past works providing the evidential support for the opening statements.

Jayjay4547 wrote:The correct focus may be presented as more modern, as if scientists by consensus abandoned one position and moved towards another.


And how is that consensus achieved, once more? Oh, that's right, evidence.

Jayjay4547 wrote: See this extract:

"When considering hominin anti-predator behavior, many scholars looked first to material culture, such as fire or weaponry (Kortlandt, 1980; Brain, 1981). However, the idea that deterrent fire or weaponry freed early hominins from threats posed by predators is unsatisfying for several reasons".

The Brain citation is to his “The Hunter or the Hunted?” that presents the case for the opposite of australopiths being freed from threats posed by predators.


Oh wait, that's what Brain did in that citation, analyse whether or not culture or weaponry might have had a significant impact upon predator attrition of the hominids in question. Not least because we have evidence stretching back many millennia, of humans seeking to deal with predator threats with weapons. It was therefore reasonable to ask first, if our distant ancestors developed the same approach, and second, when this approach was first developed by said distant ancestors.

Jayjay4547 wrote:Much of his life’s work has been to show that they were predated. Earlier I linked to his famous Kranskop finding of a hominid skull with dents matching the canines of a leopard skull from the same location. It would be as implausible to claim that weapon use “freed” hominins from predation threats, as to claim that the fleet hooves of impala freed them from predation.


So wait, this author found evidence that hominids were indeed subject to big cat predation? Which surely supports the statement by Treves & Palmqvist, that fire or weapons as a hypothesised significant deterrent to such predators is unsatisfactory? A statement for which Treves and Palmqvist marshalled more evidence in the following sentences?

Only in the world of creationist apologetics could this entirely proper process be described as "ideology".

Jayjay4547 wrote:Not that Brain focused on weapon use anyway, as Dart had earlier.


But Brain provided evidence that early hominids did indeed experience predator attrition. Evidence supporting the Treves & Palmqvist statements.

Jayjay4547 wrote:Having set up a false premise: that in the old days, scientists had believed that hominins were not predated


This is a blatant misreading of the text. Treves and Palmqvist utter NO such statement. They simply state that past workers examined the hypothesis that fire or weaponry might have had a significant impact upon the phenomenon. Your above twisting of their words is yet another instance of the sort of apologetic duplicity we see here so often, a duplicity that points to the real ideology at work here.

Jayjay4547 wrote:the authors then demolish the notion that that “weaponry by itself does … nullify the risk posed by predators.”


Actually, from your own quotation of the abstract, the sentence actually reads: "Therefore, we assert that weaponry by itself does not nullify the risk posed by predators". Why did you miss out that word highlighted in blue, JayJay, and replace it with an ellipsis? Only this feature is seen frequently in creationist quote mining. Moreover, it was a pointless omission, one that would lead immediately to suspicions of quote mining on the part of those of us familiar with the requisite tactics. A case of old ideological habits die hard, perchance?

Oh, and how do they refute the notion that weaponry was significant back then? Oh, that's right, by citing relevant evidence.

Jayjay4547 wrote:What exactly could “weaponry by itself” mean? A weapon just lying there on the ground? A weapon applied without tactic? A weapon held by disorganized hominins in Brownian motion?


For fuck's sake, JayJay, do you need to be spoon-fed the fucking obvious here?

If I have a spear, that spear may well be very effective at bringing down something like an antelope, provided of course that I deploy it competently. On the other hand, even if I'm a fucking virtuoso with that spear, that spear is going to be fucking useless against an M1 Abrams main battle tank.

In order to provide proper evidential support for the notion that early hominid weapons were a significant factor, one needs to ask several pertinent questions in advance. Namely:

[1] Did those early hominids have weapons?

[2] If so, what weapons did they have?

[3] How were those weapons deployed?

[4] On the basis of the answers to [1] and [3] above, how successful were said weapons likely to be against a particular species?

But then, scientists realise early on in the game, that you can't just make shit up and pass it off as fact, the way creationists do. That's why they engage in research.

Jayjay4547 wrote:What the authors actually mean is, don’t let’s look at weaponry, let’s focus on social organization by analogy with the practices of other primates.


They don't say anything of the sort. They say that weaponry alone is insufficient, for solid reasons stated beforehand. They then point out that extant primate taxa, including many that do NOT deploy weapons, have anti-predator strategies that have been observed in the field, and that these may be informative with respect to early hominids. Not least because of our shared primate ancestry, and the fact that even modern humans exhibit a range of behaviours that are consistent with said ancestry.

Jayjay4547 wrote:The arguments used to assert this point should be pleasing to most readers here:


'First, the modern carnivores now roaming Africa are survivors of humanity’s repeated and systematic campaigns to eradicate problem animals, trade in skins, and so on. (McDougal, 1987; Treves & Naughton-Treves, 999), whereas Pliocene carnivores would not have had a history of conflict with armed hominins."

Note that the point being made, that Pliocene carnivore would not have had a history of conflict with armed hominins, is not supported by a citation.[/quote]

Oh suddenly, you're nit-picking over citations when it's apologetically convenient? Except that, of course, this statement is supported by citations, when we move on to the part where the authors state that weapons appeared late in the hominid palaeontological record, which means that by definition, if there were no weapons present in earlier hominid populations, then the carnivores sharing the environment with those carnivores would not have that history of weapon-assisted conflict by definition. The second to last sentence informing us of this in your quote of the abstract is supported by supported by no less than SIX citations, viz:

Moreover, controlled use of fire and stone tool technology appear late in the archaeological record relative to the evolution of semi-terrestrial hominins in Pliocene Africa (Bellomo, 1994; Brain, 1994;Wolde-Gabriel et al., 1994; Brunet et al., 1997; Leakey et al., 1998; Haile-Selassie, 2001).


Quite simply, if earlier hominids had no weapons, and the current palaeontological evidence suggests that they didn't, because said weapons would have turned up in the requisite digs, and haven't done so., then the statement is supported by evidence.

Your specious attempts to hand-wave this away, is exactly the sort of discoursive elision, that comes from treating scientific papers as nothing more than quote mine fodder.

Jayjay4547 wrote:It’s an assertion with two assumptions:


Bollocks. See above.

Jayjay4547 wrote:first that the carnivores didn’t impose conflict on the hominins


Bollocks. No such assertion is erected. This is a blatant fabrication on your part. One exposed by the paragraph I quoted above, namely:

Several hominin genera evolved to use savanna and woodland habitats across Pliocene Africa. This radiation into novel niches for apes occurred despite a daunting array of carnivores (Mammalia, Carnivora) between 6.0 and 1.8 Ma (Figure 17.1). Many of these carnivores would have preyed on hominins if given the opportunity. In this paper we ask what the behavioral adaptations were that permitted hominins to survive and spread, despite this potentially higher risk of predation in ancient Africa.


Indeed, further on, the authors present evidence that the situation for our early hominid ancestors was actually more perilous with respect to potential carnivore attrition, by citing evidence of the existence at that time of carnivores that have since become extinct, namely:

Large carnivore diversity was greater in Africa’s past than it is today (Figure 17.1). Between 6 and 3.6 Ma there were five genera of large carnivores without
extant analogues (the long-legged ursid Agriotherium, the large coursing hyaenid Chasmaporthetes, and the saber-toothed felids Homotherium, Machairodus and Dinofelis). Then, from the mid-Pliocene (3.6 Ma), the archaic genera were joined by one large canid (Lycaon lycaonoides) (Martínez-Navarro & Rook, 2003), three new large felid genera (Acinonyx, Megantereon and Panthera), and four new genera of hyaenids (Crocuta, Pachycrocuta, Hyaena, and Parahyaena). At some sites, 8–10 species appear to have been coeval and broadly sympatric (Barry, 1987; Turner & Anton, 1997)(Figure 17.1). Niche separation under such conditions is not yet clear.


Then the authors state this:

Coexistence of hominins and carnivores is insufficient by itself to conclude that hominins evolved effective anti-predator defenses against such paleopredators. Coexistence would have had little selective impact if (a) carnivores did not kill Pliocene hominins regularly, or (b) if such predation were random with respect to hominin traits. Thus, in the following sections we assess whether paleopredators killed hominins regularly, and if so, were there consistent patterns of hominin-carnivore interactions that might have produced directional selection among hominins.


This is what happens when you quote mine papers, JayJay. Your quote mines end up being exposed as such.

Jayjay4547 wrote:and secondly, that hominins didn’t react aggressively to predation on then.


Again, another fabrication on your part.

Once again, from the paper:

Anti-Predator Behavior and Hominin Reconstruction

We divide anti-predator behavior into two discrete strategies that correspond to different stages in a predator encounter. In the first stage we place all behavioral tactics displayed in the absence of predators, behaviors aimed at reducing the likelihood of encounter. The primary tactics of stage one are inconspicuousness, avoidance of dangerous locations, and vigilance oriented to early detection of a predator. The second stage begins when predators are encountered. The corresponding anti-predator behaviors will reflect the immediacy of the threat, although the exact steps and sequence will vary with the type of predator, type of primate prey, cost-benefit ratio of prey responses, and with the physical context (Ydenberg & Dill, 1986; Lima, 1993; Treves, 2002). The primary tactics in stage two are monitoring of predators, escape, deterrence, and hiding among other targets (selfish herd). Each tactic has requirements that make the tactic useful in some situations but not in others. Because anti-predator behavior has been studied for decades we refer the reader to more general reviews (Edmunds, 1974; Klump & Shalter, 1984; Cheney & Seyfarth, 1990; Lima, 1990; Goodman et al., 1993; Treves, 1999a; Boinski et al., 2000; Miller & Treves, 2006), but we cite primary sources for anti-predator behavior of living hominoids.


Following that, we have this:

In the Absence of Predators

Primates reduce the likelihood of encounter with predators by avoiding dangerous areas, behaving inconspicuously, or surveying their physical surroundings for danger. Avoidance of known dangerous areas is probably universal among primates, but the role of learned versus innate avoidance is unclear. As a result, we know little about how primates respond to changes in predator communities or changes in their encounters with carnivores—issues of importance when we consider hominin-carnivore interactions. Inconspicuousness depends on small group size or coordination of activities among associates. The larger a group, the more sounds, smells, and other signs that may be detectable to predators.

Apes often rely on inconspicuousness and avoidance of risky areas, especially after they encounter a predator. For example, chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes) in Senegal were more silent than usual when they were crossing broad grassland, ostensibly to avoid detection by the abundant large carnivores (Tutin et al., 1981). Lowland gorillas (Gorilla gorilla) moved quickly and quietly after encountering a leopard (Fay et al., 1995). Aché hunter-gatherers (Homo sapiens) moved camp to avoid a jaguar (Hill & Hurtado, 1995), and Indian villagers stayed in their settlements after tigers and leopards attacked some villagers who had gone into the forest (Corbett, 1954). Early hominins would likely have avoided areas such as dark caves, treeless habitat, high grass, and rocky outcrops, at least until these areas had been thoroughly surveyed for danger. It would seem conspicuous behaviors (tool-making, loud display, mating, play, etc.) would have been most safely performed high in trees or on rock ledges. However, hominin tool making appears to have occurred at lacustrine and riverine edges (Bunn & Ezzo 1993; Capaldo 1997; Dominguez-Rodrigo & Pickering, 2003; Palmqvist et al., 2005); the risk at such sites remains to be determined.

Surveillance of surroundings also seems universal among primates. Visual and auditory monitoring may forewarn primates of impending encounters with predators and help the primates respond appropriately. Vigilance reduces uncertainty about a given location but uncertainty resurfaces after individuals leave an area or otherwise interrupt monitoring, hence vigilance must be continuously renewed.

Vision is particularly useful in providing precise information about predator type, location, and movement. Auditory vigilance can complement visual monitoring, especially in visually obstructed microsites.

Non-primates who keep their heads down suffer higher predation rates than those who survey their environment (FitzGibbon, 1989). Equivalent data are not yet available for wild primates, but they do spend more time scanning their surroundings when risk is elevated (Treves, 2000).We have little quantitative data on vigilance in apes or humans, but the few data resemble those of monkeys (Wirtz & Wawra, 1986; Setiawan et al., 1996; Treves, 1997; Watts, 1998). Locational features, such as the density of foliage and associates, will modify the effectiveness of visual vigilance and, presumably, auditory vigilance as well (e.g., running water or noises produced by non-predators). Visual obstructions were associated with less time spent vigilant in two studies (Hill & Cowlishaw, 2002; Treves, 2002). Therefore, hominins using Pliocene African savanna-woodlands might have invested more in visual vigilance than those in closed, forested habitats. We discuss vigilance further below as it is intricately tied to social organization.

After Predator Encounter

Once potential prey animals have been detected by a predator, their particular anti-predator response will depend on their detecting the predator in turn and on its hunting tactics. At one extreme predators may remain undetected throughout the attack sequence. Nocturnal predation tends toward this extreme (Busse, 1980; Peetz et al., 1992; Wright, 1998), as does predation with complete surprise (Chapman, 1986; Peres, 1990). Attack by complete surprise followed by death leaves prey with only one recourse: to practice safety in numbers. We discuss aggregation further in “Trade-Offs Between Anti-Predator Aggregation and Vigilance” below.

If a predator is detected before it kills its prey, primates display several effective anti-predator tactics. Many individuals will produce alarm calls to warn associates some protect themselves without warning others. When primates have detected a predator they may produce predator warnings to deter further approach by that predator (Zuberb¨uhler, 2000). Mobbing calls are used to attract attention to a predator or intimidate it. Chimpanzees and humans give alarm and mobbing calls (Corbett, 1954; Goodall, 1986; Hiraiwa-Hasegawa et al., 1986; Boesch, 1991; Tsukahara, 1993). Hominins would presumably have done the same.

In addition, all primates escape. We have found no convincing descriptions of primates using the “confusion effect” (i.e., escape not in a direct line to refuge, but in coordinated, evasive action confusing to the observer), to avoid predation, the kind of effect that is seen in some fish or open-country herds of ungulates (Edmunds, 1974). Moreover, primates virtually always flee to refuge rather than try to outdistance their attackers. Refuges for terrestrial primates include some trees and cliffs, while arboreal primate forms rapidly change levels. Humans and apes also commonly flee from predators and use refuges such as trees (Corbett, 1954; Boesch, 1991; Tsukahara, 1993; Hill & Hurtado, 1995). Presumably, early hominins would have minimized forays away from refuge and maintained proximity to trees and cliff sides to improve their chances of escape from speedy predators.

More rarely, primates stand their ground to counterattack or mob predators. Of the two forms, mobbing appears to be less dangerous for the predator and is more common among primates much smaller than the predator. Mobbing involves two or more prey animals making repeated advances on a predator, usually while vocalizing and displaying in a conspicuous fashion. The predator is often distracted or repelled by persistent approaches. Adult males, acting alone or in small parties, are more likely to attack predators than other classes of individuals (Gautier-Hion & Tutin, 1988; Cowlishaw, 1994). Baboon counterattacks have been described most often. Sometimes adult male baboons coordinate a counterattack on a leopard or cheetah and may deliver serious injuries (Brain, 1981; Bailey, 1993; Cowlishaw, 1994), but at other times the males flee the scene (Smuts, 1985). The likelihood of counterattack by primates appears to depend on the size difference between predator and prey.

Silverback gorillas sometimes defend their groups from predators and hostile conspecifics by using intimidation displays. Chimpanzees have pursued and even killed cornered leopards (Boesch & Boesch, 1981; Hiraiwa-Hasegawa et al., 1986). Chimpanzees have attacked stuffed leopard models with sticks and stones (Kortlandt, 1980, 1989). However, healthy lioness-sized or larger carnivores may be too formidable, even for male apes in groups (Tsukahara, 1993). Counterattack with hand weapons may be an especially effective anti-predator tactic in some situations, but we have very little systematic evidence of this. It is doubtful that simple projectiles can deter coursing predators that do not abort pursuit easily or packs of carnivores emboldened by their own numbers. Moreover, a weapon does not provide protection if its wielder is surprised. Therefore, we doubt that hominins counterattacked carnivores in packs or lion-sized carnivores in the Pliocene.


Looks like this is another fabrication of yours that's been wwell and truly busted, JayJay.

Jayjay4547 wrote: The notion of a “history” is also problematic for modeling predator-prey relations; the hominins and predators coexisted for millions of years.


Surely long coexistence by definition results in the development of historical trends?

Jayjay4547 wrote:"Second, thousands of modern humans fell prey to leopards (Panthera pardus), lions (P. leo) and tigers (P. tigris) in the twentieth century despite their sophisticated weapons and fire (Turnbull- Kemp, 1967; McDougal, 1987; Treves & Naughton-Treves, 1999; Peterhans & Gnoske, 2001)".

Modern people do occasionally get eaten but generally, not those with sophisticated weapons in their hands. Wikipedia entry on Tiger attack has this quote by hunter Kenneth Anderson:

"It is extraordinary how very cautious every man-eater becomes by practice, whether a tiger or panther, and cowardly too. Invariably, it will only attack a solitary person, and that too, after prolonged and painstaking stalking, having assured itself that no other human being is in the immediate vicinity... These animals seem also to possess an astute sixth sense and be able to differentiate between an unarmed human being and an armed man deliberately pursuing them, for in most cases, only when cornered will they venture to attack the latter, while they go out of their way to stalk and attack the unarmed man.


Watch those two video clips I posted, JayJay. Which on their own are informative here. In both instances, the big cat in question attacked a human being who was part of an armed group.

Jayjay4547 wrote:To continue with the Treves and Palmqvist paragraph:

"Although, thorn branches, stone tools, fire brands, pointed sticks, or bones could potentially help to repel carnivores from their kills (Kortlandt, 1980; Bunn & Ezzo, 1993; Treves & Naughton-Treves, 1999), such weaponry seems wholly inadequate for personal defense when large carnivores achieve surprise, attack in a pack, or are accustomed to overcoming heavier prey defended by horns, hooves, or canines."

These citations apparently refer to the notion that instead of hunting themselves, hominins waited for predators to do that and then drove the predators away. That strategy is widely used amongst mammals and birds, it is achieved by superior threat but it’s not obviously clear that a primate that can drive predators away could not also defend itself from attack. Chimps and baboons both react aggressively to attacks in “personal defense” but neither are known to try to drive predators from their prey.


Apparently you didn't read the two pages where this very question, namely that of moving in on a predator kill and helping oneself to the bounty, was discussed in detail.

Jayjay4547 wrote:So what I’m claiming is that this one paragraph makes a number of points that could be taken up in opposition and that aren’t supported by data.


Bollocks. See above. Oh, also try reading the whole paper, JayJay, in which such data as isotope differences are used to analyse diet, and arrive at relevant conlcusions.

Jayjay4547 wrote:That in a generally highly authoritative article (actually a book chapter). I’d be surprised if you didn’t accept Treves and Palmqvist’s position


Oh wait, this might have something to do with the evidence they cite?

Jayjay4547 wrote:but what does it have to do with ideology? Part is aimed to depict human evolution through similarity with other primate activity, rather than through what might have been distinctive about human ancestry.


Would you expect descendants of a taxon to exhibit radical departures therefrom in a short space of time?

Jayjay4547 wrote: If one focuses on distinction that feeds the notion of human uniqueness, which is fully expressed in the Genesis narrative.


Oh wait, this is mythology, JayJay, not science. Mythology that not only lacks even an atom of evidential support for many of its assertions, but contains several assertions known to be plain, flat, wrong. Which is why no one in science wastes time with it.

Jayjay4547 wrote:Then it looks as though there is something special about humans. Even though defensive weapon use isn’t widely thought of as what makes us “human”.


Oh, you're surprised that we would think of ourselves as "special"? Every fucking mythology humans have invented exhibits this tendency.

Jayjay4547 wrote:The more human evolution can be described through similarity with other primates rather than distinction, the more it is attributed to the “theory of evolution” rather than to a particular historical path, a bit like the relatively theory-free discipline of historical narrative.


Oh wait, we have hard evidence for evolution. We don't have any evidence for mythological assertions. Game fucking over, JayJay.

Plus, evolutionary processes not only provide us with a testable means of determining likely influences upon a particular historical outcome in the biosphere, but are being harnessed in the laboratory to produce useful products. Something that's never happened to your worthless mythology.

Jayjay4547 wrote:If one considered the australopith body plan as suggesting adaption into defensive weapon use for antipredation, that would encourage statements of agency by outside. For example, “Lions created the australopiths in the image they would least like to see in a terrestrial primate”. or “River stones made the australopiths”.


If you think the environment has zero effect upon its occupants, JayJay, you're in for one fucking huge shock.

Jayjay4547 wrote:On the other hand if one just focuses on the australopiths as a probably social genus, then the explanation or at least discussion of it, is internal to the troop. The story of human evolution then becomes a story of self-invention.


Once again, jayJay, it should be one of those elementary facts you learned at school, that organisms and their environment coexist in a dynamic framework, each affecting the other. Quite simply, if the environment no longer provides food for one species, that species becomes extinct extremely quickly, unless it can move to alternatives.

Jayjay4547 wrote:
Calilasseia wrote: If indeed it does turn out to be a duplicitous attempt to "Sokal" the journal by creationists, we'll all know who the real pedlars of "ideology" are, won't we boys and girls?


Possible, but more likely this confection was made by atheists for the purpose it was actually used for, to give a bunch of atheists an opportunity for delighted self-congratulation.


Bullshit. The mere fact that this weak paper was rejected alone refutes your final assertion in the above post.

Got any more weak and specious apologetics of this sort for me to feed into the shredder, JayJay?
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Re: "New eye discovery further demolishes Dawkins"

#390  Postby Sendraks » Jul 06, 2014 12:21 am

The sad thing here, and by 'sad'I mean pathetically sad, is that no matter how well written and evidenced the argument; JayJay will just hide behind his 'atheist ideology b.s.'
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Re: "New eye discovery further demolishes Dawkins"

#391  Postby Spearthrower » Jul 06, 2014 12:52 pm

Yep. JJ can't concede a single damn point, regardless of the evidence brought to bear. Immediately, he starts pulling out the atheist ideology canard to avoid mentally dealing with the substance of the replies.

It's an exercise in nailing jelly to the wall.
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Re: "New eye discovery further demolishes Dawkins"

#392  Postby THWOTH » Jul 06, 2014 2:23 pm

Even if there were such a thing as a qualified and qualifying 'atheist ideology' it still wouldn't undermine or downgrade the veracity of scientific explanations for biodiversity, unless one were to assume that holding an ideological position is objectively wrong, in and of itself, that ideas bound to the ideology are objectively false, automatically, and that ideologues are duplicitous bastards who wouldnt acknowledge a discrediting fact if it promised to crack them off every night for a year. In which case all that would equally apply to Creationists, IDiots, and sundry other brands of ideolgical fundamentalism too.

In effect, the creationist tactic of appealing to an ideological explanation as to why people dont agree with them, is not only a fallacious ad homming and strawmanning job, but if true would undercut their very own claims and assertions.

It's turtles all the way down again folks. ;)
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Re: "New eye discovery further demolishes Dawkins"

#393  Postby Animavore » Jul 06, 2014 2:25 pm

If evolution by natural selection were driven by atheistic ideology, wouldn't all those Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, miscellaneous etc. scientists have discovered this and blown the whistle years ago?
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Re: "New eye discovery further demolishes Dawkins"

#394  Postby Animavore » Jul 06, 2014 2:44 pm

Thinking about it, I'm not even sure what the link between atheism and Natural Selection is even supposed to be. Is it because Dawkins just happens to be an evolutionary biologist that people are making this link?

I was raised Catholic in Ireland and the Church have no problem with evolution and the issue just isn't controversial over here (except in the North). I was taught evolution in Catholic school and accepted it from a young age. It just seems obvious to me almost.
I accepted evolution as a Catholic. I accepted it as a lapsed Catholic. I accepted it during my stint with Buddhism and I still accept it as the best explanation for the diversity of life now as an atheist. The topic had absolutely no bearing on me losing faith what-so-ever. Not only that, I never even heard of creationism until I read The God Delusion. I was something like 26 at the time. I can still remember the first time coming across creationism. The complete bafflement that there were people out there that believed such monumental bullshit it must've been dropped down from Taurus in the sky hit me so hard I was stopped in the next town for speeding.

Creationists seem to be blissfully unaware of just how made-up on the spot and modern their cult is. And how American it is. And also how heretical worshipping a book before God is. I mean, it's the fisrt fucking commandment.

EDIT: unaware
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Re: "New eye discovery further demolishes Dawkins"

#395  Postby theropod » Jul 06, 2014 3:03 pm

It's fundamentalist Christians that have this issue, and it's no-true-Scott writ large if you PRETEND to not belief in special creation, even if you think Jebus had something to say to the human condition you're still a heretic sinner bound for perdition.

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ETA:

...or a sharp stick. Think Samurai, without steel, or stone. Urck, the stick wielder!

Mushrooms and a dvd of "2010 A Space Odyssey"? :ask:

What about a bone culture predating stone, where long broken giraffe femur shards were jabbed at roaming packs of leopards, and each other? Fuck the sticks! Techno leap! I win the interwebz again! Right?

:clap:

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Of course these dudes must have had sticks too, 'cause they just must have. Not circular. Nope. Doesn't matter that big fucking cats will get ya even if you've got a gun, a stick still works.
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Re: "New eye discovery further demolishes Dawkins"

#396  Postby Animavore » Jul 06, 2014 3:06 pm

The funny thing is, the Catholic Church actually warned this type of thing would happen once lay people started getting their hands on the Bible and making their own interpretations willy-nilly.
Not like them to be right about something :coffee:
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Re: "New eye discovery further demolishes Dawkins"

#397  Postby DavidMcC » Jul 06, 2014 3:06 pm

Animavore wrote:Thinking about it, I'm not even sure what the link between atheism and Natural Selection is even supposed to be. Is it because Dawkins just happens to be an evolutionary biologist that people are making this link?

...

There is no link. Atheism simply allows clearer thinking about the science of evolution by natural selection. That's all.
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Re: "New eye discovery further demolishes Dawkins"

#398  Postby Animavore » Jul 06, 2014 3:11 pm

DavidMcC wrote:
Animavore wrote:Thinking about it, I'm not even sure what the link between atheism and Natural Selection is even supposed to be. Is it because Dawkins just happens to be an evolutionary biologist that people are making this link?

...

There is no link. Atheism simply allows clearer thinking about the science of evolution by natural selection. That's all.


I don't see how. Any religious person who is non-literal about their creation myths can think on the issue just as clearly.
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Re: "New eye discovery further demolishes Dawkins"

#399  Postby DavidMcC » Jul 06, 2014 3:49 pm

Animavore wrote:
DavidMcC wrote:
Animavore wrote:Thinking about it, I'm not even sure what the link between atheism and Natural Selection is even supposed to be. Is it because Dawkins just happens to be an evolutionary biologist that people are making this link?

...

There is no link. Atheism simply allows clearer thinking about the science of evolution by natural selection. That's all.


I don't see how. Any religious person who is non-literal about their creation myths can think on the issue just as clearly.

I was thinking mainly of creationists. In Drawin's time, creationism was mainstream religion, just as it is in parts of the US (and some other countries) now. In modern Europe, Christians tend to regard the bible as "not to be taken literally", so that the religious people won't see a contradiction between religious and scientific ideas on subjects such as evolution, geology and cosmology.
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Re: "New eye discovery further demolishes Dawkins"

#400  Postby Calilasseia » Jul 06, 2014 10:34 pm

Of course, there's a reason why Europeans tend not to indulge in literalism on a large scale. That little episode in history known as the Inquisition has much to do with this. We've learned the hard way in the past what happens when you have a theocracy in place, and what happens tends to be singularly unpleasant for many. Americans haven't experienced theocracy and enforced conformity to doctrine first hand, which is why some of the fundamentalists entertain the delusion that this would be a good idea. What these fundamentalists fail to realise, of course, is that if they actually succeed in making their nightmare dystopian theocracy come true, there's a good chance quite a few of them will end up in the dungeons of the New American inquisition that will inevitably result. That's the problem with supernaturalists who entertain wet dreams about destroying separation of church and state - they always think that they will be the ones dishing out the torture to the people they regard as enemies, and never once think that some of their rivals could end up at the top of the power structure, throwing them into dungeons instead. As was, of course, found out in the past by such disparate groups of supernaturalists as 16th century English Catholics and French Hugenots.

But there's an additional issue to factor in here. Namely, that the same fundamentalists beavering away to make the New American Inquisition a nightmare reality on their home turf, are also busy exporting their delusional nonsense abroad. The ultimate wet dream these people have, is to turn the entire planet into a gigantic concentration camp for Magic Man, with the self-appointed "elect" directing mass extermination of "heretics". Trouble is, none of the idiots entertaining this fulminatingly dangerous wet dream ever think they'll be on the receiving end. It'll be too late for them to start wishing for a return to secularism once they've kick-started the New American inquisition, though, and if they've successfully exported this ideological disease elsewhere, they'll have nowhere else to run to when the branding irons and Iron Maidens are being deployed on a grand scale.

This is, of course, the dark side to American Exceptionalism - the view that many Americans have, that their nation is some sort of shining example for the rest of the world to follow, and as a corollary, that they have a duty to export that example, whether wanted or not. Marry that tendency to religious fundamentalism, and the picture is horrifically complete. Which is why we have to be vigilant here in Europe too, because the idiot fantasists are beavering away to transplant their fantasies beyond American shores, and as usual, they appeal to various exploitable underclasses in order to subvert the Enlightenment.
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