Karma

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Re: Karma

#261  Postby CharlieM » Mar 29, 2014 11:52 pm

hackenslash wrote:
CharlieM wrote:Interesting that you think I would see it as weighted towards a correct conclusion.


Not what I said. Read it again.

Why do you think I would see it as such?


Think? No, I know. Why? Because it's the same tired old baggage you bring to every thread. The simple fact is that you want us to be special. We're special in precisely the same way that our place in the centre of the observable universe is special. In short, we're special in precisely the same way that every other species is special, just for different reasons.

Could it be that you also see that we are the beings who they would try to communicate with?


The data support no conclusions as yet.

Image

Food for thought?


You do realise that Star Trek is science fiction? Anyway, the only way the probe could achieve two-way communication with whales was due to the technical ability of humans, so what's your point?

The Voyager spacecraft do not carry information meant for any intelligent extra-terrestrial life. The only life which could interpret the info would have advanced technical abilities. What conclusions do you draw from this about any communications coming our way from ourside our planet?

hackenslash wrote:
About the difference between us and other animals, from Livescience
There's no consensus on the question of what makes us special, or whether we even are. The biggest point of contention is whether our cognitive abilities differ from those of other animals "in kind," or merely in degree. Are we in a class by ourselves or just the smartest ones in our class?

Charles Darwin supported the latter hypothesis. He believed we are similar to animals, and merely incrementally more intelligent as a result of our higher evolution. But according to Marc Hauser, director of the cognitive evolution lab at Harvard University, in a recent article in Scientific American, "mounting evidence indicates that, in contrast to Darwin's theory of a continuity of mind between humans and other species, a profound gap separates our intellect from the animal kind."


They list these important human abilities which make us unique: 1. Our ability to generate a limitless variety of words and concepts. 2. The way we can combine ideas from different fields. 3. The production and use of mental symbols. 4. Abstract thought.


And the evidence that these are unique to humans is..? At least two of those things are almost certainly not.


We could argue about these abilities individually, but what other organisms possess all of these abilities?

hackenslash wrote:
So you don't think that "species" is a very slippery concept and can change according to the whim of humans? I think it is
In deciding whether populations should be treated as species, different ornithologists emphasize different criteria. Some base their decisions on call type, others, on morphology. Many attempt to apply Mayr's definition, or some version of it. There are also many cases where morphologically identical populations are treated as separate species because they occur in separate geographic regions. For example, it is common to treat seemingly identical forms living on separate islands or separate continents as separate species. A bird could be described, then, as a different species simply because it flew from one island to another!⁶,⁷

These different interpretations of the word species, what Locke would have called the "multiplicity of its significations," produce needless misapprehension in evolutionary discussion. For example, Bullock's Oriole is often treated as a species. That is, it is assigned the binomial Icterus bullockii. However, this bird interbreeds very extensively with the Baltimore Oriole, which is also often treated as a species (I. galbula). Anyone who accepted a biological definition of species and saw that Bullock's Oriole is treated as a species might suppose it had the traits specified by such a definition. Such is certainly not the case. These two birds produce huge numbers of natural hybrids that are partially fertile in both sexes.⁸ Conversely, there are many cases where populations treated as distinct races of the same species produce infertile or even absolutely sterile hybrids. For example, many populations treated as races of the house mouse (Mus musculus) fit this description.⁹


I can't find any date information on that page, so I don't know how old the info given there is, but there's a robust formulation of Mayr's definition (BSC) in use for quite some time. The examples given there don't impact the definition of species, they simply indicate that they were classified as separate either incorrectly or under a less robust classification system. The orioles cited there are sub-species in the same species. No problem at all. In the case of the mice, there are two possible explanations, neither of which poses a problem for a robust species concept, namely [1] they are sub-species in a ring or [2] they are separate species. Either case is dealt with nicely by the BSC. Again, this isn't a problem with the concept, it's a matter of how they've been classified.

Because in some cases categorization into species is done on such trivial differences yet there are examples of higher taxa interbreeding.


No. Classification is done via a variety of means, but erroneous classification isn't a problem with the concept, but the application. If they're interbreeding and producing fertile offspring, they aren't higher taxa, they're a single species.

Bonus weirdness – Different *genera* can hybridize. Right now in lab I have hybrids between a rat snake (genus Elaphe or Pantherophis, depending on which taxonomy you believe) and a king snake (genus Lampropeltis), and these hybrids are actually capable of reproducing with each other, and have produced up to F4 offspring with no noticeable reduction in fertility or increase. Based on comercial breeder’s stock, it seems like most North American members of subfamily Colubrinae can make fertile hybrids in captivity, and one recent paper reports such individuals from the wild. In the case of the most distant cross (the one I have), the lineages have been separate for almost 20 million years.


They're a single species under the BSC. The amount of time since separation is irrelevant. Speciation is based on time, it's based on interfertility.

Still stranger – there are apparently fertile hybrids of Alligator Gar and Longnose Gar, which have been separate for 180 million years according to molecular dating. Sadly, 12-foot fish don’t make good subjects for breeding studies.


Again, simply a case of incorrect classification. The time scale is irrelevant. It's a common error that time is a factor. Time is only a factor because generations require time, but you can't put any figure on how many generations are required for speciation, because even the number of generations is irrelevant. What matters is the degree of genetic divergence, and even that depends on where in the genome it occurs, meaning that there can actually be large differences in the genome, and even large resultant morphological difference, yet still gene flow can and does occur. If gene flow occurs, they are a single species.

Back to the drawing board.


There are plenty of animal of different species that can produce successful hybrids.Consider this:
The "reproductive isolation" can be genetic (non-fertility), geographic, or behavioral; there is no criteria that says (as is commonly believed) that if two populations can interbreed they are the same species. There is no criteria that says that two distinct species can't interbreed. Consider the example of wolves, coyotes and dogs: three distinct species that can interbreed. In fact, all species of the genus Canis can mate and produce fertile offspring (Wayne et al., 1997, re: A. P. Gray, Mammalian Hybrids). This is so common, that biologists actually use a different formulation of Mayr's definition: they say, "If two populations cannot interbreed, they are not the same species." That is a very different statement.
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Re: Karma

#262  Postby hackenslash » Mar 30, 2014 12:15 am

CharlieM wrote:You do realise that Star Trek is science fiction?


What's that got to do with it?

Anyway, the only way the probe could achieve two-way communication with whales was due to the technical ability of humans, so what's your point?


Bzzzzzzzzz. Thank you for playing.

The probe communicated directly with the whales.

The Voyager spacecraft do not carry information meant for any intelligent extra-terrestrial life. The only life which could interpret the info would have advanced technical abilities. What conclusions do you draw from this about any communications coming our way from ourside our planet?


No conclusions can be drawn from this about any communication coming from way outside our planet. The only conclusions that can be drawn pertain to our assumptions.

We could argue about these abilities individually, but what other organisms possess all of these abilities?


Irrelevant.

There are plenty of animal of different species that can produce successful hybrids.Consider this:
The "reproductive isolation" can be genetic (non-fertility), geographic, or behavioral; there is no criteria that says (as is commonly believed) that if two populations can interbreed they are the same species. There is no criteria that says that two distinct species can't interbreed. Consider the example of wolves, coyotes and dogs: three distinct species that can interbreed. In fact, all species of the genus Canis can mate and produce fertile offspring (Wayne et al., 1997, re: A. P. Gray, Mammalian Hybrids). This is so common, that biologists actually use a different formulation of Mayr's definition: they say, "If two populations cannot interbreed, they are not the same species." That is a very different statement.


Dealt with above.

Really, anthropocentrism isn't thought, it's fuckwittery.
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Re: Karma

#263  Postby CharlieM » Mar 30, 2014 2:12 pm

hackenslash wrote:
CharlieM wrote:You do realise that Star Trek is science fiction?


What's that got to do with it?

Anyway, the only way the probe could achieve two-way communication with whales was due to the technical ability of humans, so what's your point?


Bzzzzzzzzz. Thank you for playing.

The probe communicated directly with the whales.


Yes but in the film, the only way the probe could communicate directly with the whales was via the technical ability of the humans being able to retrieve the whales so that they were in a position to have direct communication. And you'll notice that the makers of the probe were deemed to be beings with very advanced intelligence, why was this? Because they had constructed a probe that could travel the universe communicating with alien life forms. They had the technology!

But as you say, it is food for thought.

And I am in no way arrogant about human intelligence. I believe that animals have intelligence far superior to human intellligence. But rather than individual intelligence, as in human intelligence, it is group intelligence. The intelligence of termites is in the group and not the individual termites that make up the group. The evolution of consciousness is at the same time a condensation of intelligence.

The human form is the end product of this evolution and it allows for intelligence to manifest in the individual. The group intelligence of animals is ancient and is at the same time wisdom. The individual intelligence of humans is recent and so, collectively, we are like many a teenage boy who, getting a taste of freedom, uses his emerging intelligence in anything but a wise way.

Craig Holdridge says:
Herder, a contemporary of Goethe and one of the first evolutionary thinkers, clearly saw that human existence is a two-edged sword:

"Because the human being has to learn all things, because it is our instinct and calling to learn everything like our upright gait, we learn to walk by falling and come often to truth only through error. Its four-legged gait carries the animal forward securely, guided by its comparatively stronger senses and instincts. The human being has the advantage of a king to look to far horizons, upright and with head held high. Of course, we also see much darkly and falsely. We forget our steps only to be reminded when stumbling on what a narrow basis the whole head and heart edifice of our concepts and judgments rests.... The human being is the first to he set free in creation. We stand upright. The balance of good and evil, of false and true hangs in us. We can search, we shall choose. just as nature gave us an overviewing eye to guide our gait, so also do we have the power not only to place the weights, but-if I may put it this way to be the weights on the balance."

To the degree that we are freed from natural constraints to act out of ourselves, we also have the freedom to act completely out of harmony with the world-a capacity we have exhibited only too well. We have no cause for arrogance, but just as little need we deny the distinctions between ourselves and out fellow creatures.


To continue:
hackenslash wrote:
The Voyager spacecraft do not carry information meant for any intelligent extra-terrestrial life. The only life which could interpret the info would have advanced technical abilities. What conclusions do you draw from this about any communications coming our way from ourside our planet?


No conclusions can be drawn from this about any communication coming from way outside our planet. The only conclusions that can be drawn pertain to our assumptions.

We could argue about these abilities individually, but what other organisms possess all of these abilities?


Irrelevant.

There are plenty of animal of different species that can produce successful hybrids.Consider this:
The "reproductive isolation" can be genetic (non-fertility), geographic, or behavioral; there is no criteria that says (as is commonly believed) that if two populations can interbreed they are the same species. There is no criteria that says that two distinct species can't interbreed. Consider the example of wolves, coyotes and dogs: three distinct species that can interbreed. In fact, all species of the genus Canis can mate and produce fertile offspring (Wayne et al., 1997, re: A. P. Gray, Mammalian Hybrids). This is so common, that biologists actually use a different formulation of Mayr's definition: they say, "If two populations cannot interbreed, they are not the same species." That is a very different statement.


Dealt with above.


So do you believe that wolves, coyotes and dogs are all the same species, yes or no?

hackenslash wrote:Really, anthropocentrism isn't thought, it's fuckwittery.


Objective thinking isn't anthropocentrism. I see your dilemma. To think of humans in any way different is "to let a divine foot in the door", and that must be resisted at all costs no matter what the evidence tells us.

Even Dawkins talks about us freeing ourselves from nature:
The point of my essay is that we humans can escape from that, because our brains, which have evolved to a large size as a result of this very same process, are big enough to emancipate from the process that gave rise to them. They can set up new goals, new purposes that are not directly related to natural selection at all.

We can seek more altruistic, sympathetic, artistic things that have nothing to do with the preservation of our selfish genes—and thank goodness we can.
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Re: Karma

#264  Postby hackenslash » Mar 30, 2014 2:33 pm

CharlieM wrote:Yes but in the film, the only way the probe could communicate directly with the whales was via the technical ability of the humans being able to retrieve the whales so that they were in a position to have direct communication.


Irrelevant to the point at hand.

And you'll notice that the makers of the probe were deemed to be beings with very advanced intelligence, why was this? Because they had constructed a probe that could travel the universe communicating with alien life forms. They had the technology!


And yet they didn't choose hoomins to communicate with, which is the central point in response to your idiot question

And I am in no way arrogant about human intelligence.


The extreme anthropocentrism in your posts suggests otherwise.

The human form is the end product of this evolution


No, it fucking isn't. You've been beaten about the head with this so often that even the rest of us are dizzy.

and it allows for intelligence to manifest in the individual.


Bollocks. There are many, many non-human species with comparable individual intelligence.

The group intelligence of animals is ancient and is at the same time wisdom. The individual intelligence of humans is recent and so, collectively, we are like many a teenage boy who, getting a taste of freedom, uses his emerging intelligence in anything but a wise way.


AWUGA! AWUGA! BLIND ASSERTION ON THE LOOSE! CLOSE RECTAL BAY DOORS TO MINIMISE CONTAMINATION!

Craig Holdridge says: snip irrelevant philosobabble


Plenty of unbent spoons in there. Cito would have a field day.

So do you believe that wolves, coyotes and dogs are all the same species, yes or no?


Believe? No. They are the same species.

Objective thinking isn't anthropocentrism.


No, it isn't, but then you aren't engaged in the former, but the latter.

I see your dilemma. To think of humans in any way different is "to let a divine foot in the door", and that must be resisted at all costs no matter what the evidence tells us.


Actually, no.,While it's true that theists often tend to be anthropocentric, there isn't a true correlation. I object to this sort of thinking not because of possible connotations of the divine, but because it's wrong. Lovely erection of the genetic fallacy though.

Even Dawkins talks about us freeing ourselves from nature: Snip claptrap


And? Do you think that critical thinkers view Dawkins as some sort of guru?

In any event, while he may use that kind of language there, his more robust writing goes some way toward debunking such lazy language*. Indeed, that's the central topic of The Extended Phenotype, although I don't think he takes it as far as I do.

The simple fact is that we can't separate ourselves from nature, because we ARE nature, and everything we do is natural, up to and including the construction of the LHC.

Not sure what any of that has to do with your anthropocentrism being fatuously incorrect, though.

*Edit: I should clarify that by saying that we certainly do engage in activities that seem to have little to do with survival, although I would suggest that this is a result mainly of being in a situation in which we have reduced specific selection pressures. That's not the same as being apart from nature, though.
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Re: Karma

#265  Postby surreptitious57 » Mar 30, 2014 4:57 pm

Charlie : how does anthropocentrism address the fact that we share a common ancestor with all animals and are
the descendants of self replicating bacteria ? We are only special because some think we are. Circular reasoning
is circular reasoning. Also all dogs are descended from wolves and there is absolutely no evidence for the divine
Believing something does not make it true. And in point of fact it has no bearing on whether something is or not
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Re: Karma

#266  Postby CharlieM » Mar 30, 2014 11:35 pm

hackenslash wrote:
CharlieM wrote:Yes but in the film, the only way the probe could communicate directly with the whales was via the technical ability of the humans being able to retrieve the whales so that they were in a position to have direct communication.


Irrelevant to the point at hand.


Its totally relevant. The makers of the probe first contacted earth before modern humans appeared on the planet. they were looking for life forms with advanced technical capabilities. they didn't find any. If they had delayed their first visit until the present they would have found some, namely humans.

hackenslash wrote:
And you'll notice that the makers of the probe were deemed to be beings with very advanced intelligence, why was this? Because they had constructed a probe that could travel the universe communicating with alien life forms. They had the technology!


And yet they didn't choose hoomins to communicate with, which is the central point in response to your idiot question


They didn't choose humans because on their first visit humans were not very advanced. It was at a time before modern humans had come on the scene. there was no sign of human technology at that time.

hackenslash wrote:
And I am in no way arrogant about human intelligence.


The extreme anthropocentrism in your posts suggests otherwise.


I'm not the one who thinks that using our human consciousness we can judge whether higher beings exist or not.

hackenslash wrote:
The human form is the end product of this evolution


No, it fucking isn't. You've been beaten about the head with this so often that even the rest of us are dizzy.


Study the human form and think about it without assuming that it is just an aggregation of accidental parts. Think about the co-ordination required to achieve the building up, maintenance and operation of an upright posture which freed the forelimbs and allowed our unique dexterity.

hackenslash wrote:
and it allows for intelligence to manifest in the individual.


Bollocks. There are many, many non-human species with comparable individual intelligence.


Can you name any species which can work out the area of a circle given its diameter, that can tell you how many moons Jupiter has, that has researched comparative anatomy, that can devise and solve tangram puzzles?

When we see crows devising the relatively simple puzzles that we teach them to solve, then I might believe you.

hackenslash wrote:
The group intelligence of animals is ancient and is at the same time wisdom. The individual intelligence of humans is recent and so, collectively, we are like many a teenage boy who, getting a taste of freedom, uses his emerging intelligence in anything but a wise way.


AWUGA! AWUGA! BLIND ASSERTION ON THE LOOSE! CLOSE RECTAL BAY DOORS TO MINIMISE CONTAMINATION!


You'll need to be a bit more specific in what you think I'm asserting blindly. Do you think that ancient termite mounds do not show intelligence in their design?
Sometimes Hasiotis describes ichnology as a kind of animal archeology, and there could be no better example than this hill outside Gallup. It’s a termite city, he says as he walks among the towers and broken rubble. It’s like we’re in The Planet of the Apes, when Charlton Heston walks through the ruins of New York City. But here it’s this great termite civilization 155 million years old.


hackenslash wrote:
Craig Holdridge says: snip irrelevant philosobabble


Plenty of unbent spoons in there. Cito would have a field day.

So do you believe that wolves, coyotes and dogs are all the same species, yes or no?


Believe? No. They are the same species.


Well I've been arguing that there is abiguity in the use of the term 'species', you don't think so, but your statement above only makes it clear to me that I have a point. If they are all the same species why the different species designations, Canis lupus and Canis latrans.

One of the real problems in determining the exact taxonomy of the dog family is the interfertility that exist between certain species in the genus Canis. The dog/dingo/New Guinea singing dog/Holarctic wolf species (Canis lupus) can interbreed with the coyote (Canis latrans), the golden jackal (Canis aureus), and the Ethiopian wolf (Canis simensis) and produce fertile offspring. Coyotes and golden jackals have been interbred in captivity and have also produced fertile offspring, so it is likely that all of these animals can hybridize with each other.


I could say the same with regard to ducks and geese. I doesn't matter if you call them all sub-species, the fact is because they have been given different species names means that there is ambiguity.

hackenslash wrote:
Objective thinking isn't anthropocentrism.


No, it isn't, but then you aren't engaged in the former, but the latter.

I see your dilemma. To think of humans in any way different is "to let a divine foot in the door", and that must be resisted at all costs no matter what the evidence tells us.


Actually, no.,While it's true that theists often tend to be anthropocentric, there isn't a true correlation. I object to this sort of thinking not because of possible connotations of the divine, but because it's wrong. Lovely erection of the genetic fallacy though.


I'm not talking about how you view theistic thinking, I'm talking about how you, youself think. With your materialistic presuppositions you can do no other than think of the human as an animal, because physically that is what we are. But mentally we are very far removed from the rest of the animal knigdom. And you can do nothing else than see the mind as a product, a by-product even, of the physical body. you will not even allow yourself to entertain any other possibility.

hackenslash wrote:
Even Dawkins talks about us freeing ourselves from nature: Snip claptrap


And? Do you think that critical thinkers view Dawkins as some sort of guru?


Are you saying that you don't agree with Dawkins? That you believe we humans, with our modern medicine, birth control and life styles, are still subject to natural selection in the same way as any other animal?

hackenslash wrote:In any event, while he may use that kind of language there, his more robust writing goes some way toward debunking such lazy language*. Indeed, that's the central topic of The Extended Phenotype, although I don't think he takes it as far as I do.

The simple fact is that we can't separate ourselves from nature, because we ARE nature, and everything we do is natural, up to and including the construction of the LHC.

Not sure what any of that has to do with your anthropocentrism being fatuously incorrect, though.

*Edit: I should clarify that by saying that we certainly do engage in activities that seem to have little to do with survival, although I would suggest that this is a result mainly of being in a situation in which we have reduced specific selection pressures. That's not the same as being apart from nature, though.


Yes of course we are in nature and what ever we do we can say that nature is doing. With the arrival of humans nature becomes self-reflective.

Goethe, Aphorisms on Nature:
Nature! We are encircled and enclasped by her - powereless to depart from her, and powerless to find our way more deeply into her being. Without invitation and without warning she involves us in the orbit of her dance, and drives us onward until we are exhausted and fall from her arm.

Eternally she creates new forms. What now is, never was in time past; what has been, cometh not again - all is new, and yet always it is the old.

We live in the midst of her, and yet to her we are alien. She parleys incessantly with us, and to us she does not disclose her secret. We influence her perpetually, and yet we have no power over her.

It is as if she founded all things upon individuality, and she recks nothing of individuals. She builds forever, and destroys forever, and her atelier is inaccessible.

She lives in her children alone, and the mother, where is she? - She is the sole artist, from the simplest material she passes to the extremest diversity; with no hint of strain she arrives at the fullest consummation - at the exactest precision, always veiled in a certain obscurity. Each thing she makes has its own being, each of her manifestations is an isolated idea, and yet they are all one.


She is whole. To herself she metes out reward and punishment, delight and torment. She is austere and tender; charming and horrible; impotent and omnipotent. All things are evermore in her. Past and future are nought to her. The present is to her eternity. Gracious is she. I laud her with all her works. She is wisdom and tranquility.

No answer to life's riddle can be wrested from her, no gift can be extorted from her which she does not offer of her own free will. She is full of finesse, but her goal is good, and it is best to avert the mind from her craft.

She is perfectly whole, and yet always incomplete. Thus as she now works, she can work forever.

To each man she appears as befits him alone. She cloaks herself under a thousand names and terms, and is always the same.

She has brought me hither, and will also lead me hence, I yield myself to her in trust. She may do with me as she pleases. She will feel no hatred towards her work. It is. It is not I myself who have spoken concerning her. No - it is she who has said everything, both what is true and what is false. She is guilty of All, and hers is the honour of the Whole.
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Re: Karma

#267  Postby CharlieM » Mar 31, 2014 12:24 am

surreptitious57 wrote:Charlie : how does anthropocentrism address the fact that we share a common ancestor with all animals and are
the descendants of self replicating bacteria ?


I would say that I am being objective not anthropocentric.

surreptitious57 wrote:We are only special because some think we are. Circular reasoning
is circular reasoning.


Well the fact that we are the last mammal species to appear in evolution does make us a special case. By the way does anyone know, apart from humans, what the most recent land vertebrates to evolve were?

surreptitious57 wrote:Also all dogs are descended from wolves


I have no arguement with that.

surreptitious57 wrote:and there is absolutely no evidence for the divine


Depends what we class as evidence.

surreptitious57 wrote:Believing something does not make it true. And in point of fact it has no bearing on whether something is or not


No argument here either.
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Re: Karma

#268  Postby surreptitious57 » Mar 31, 2014 1:23 am

CharlieM wrote:
surreptitious57 wrote:
and there is absolutely no evidence for the divine

Depends what we class as evidence

Whatever it is it would have to be subject to the rigours of the scientific method

That is to say it has to be observable and repeatable and verifiable

You obviously think that you have have some so please present it
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Re: Karma

#269  Postby Onyx8 » Mar 31, 2014 3:52 am

CharlieM wrote:

Well the fact that we are the last mammal species to appear in evolution does make us a special case. By the way does anyone know, apart from humans, what the most recent land vertebrates to evolve were?



That is a fact is it? Do you have a citation? Why do you specify mammals? And then land vertebrates?
The problem with fantasies is you can't really insist that everyone else believes in yours, the other problem with fantasies is that most believers of fantasies eventually get around to doing exactly that.
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Re: Karma

#270  Postby Weaver » Mar 31, 2014 3:59 am

Given that a number of species have been seen to evolve in very recent recorded history, this claim by CharlieM is straight bullshit.
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Re: Karma

#271  Postby Onyx8 » Mar 31, 2014 4:04 am

Evolution is ongoing, no? This idea that things evolve and then stop is not the way it works.
The problem with fantasies is you can't really insist that everyone else believes in yours, the other problem with fantasies is that most believers of fantasies eventually get around to doing exactly that.
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Re: Karma

#272  Postby Cito di Pense » Mar 31, 2014 4:52 am

CharlieM wrote:
Well the fact that we are the last mammal species to appear in evolution does make us a special case.


Well, your mistake is to equate the present with the conclusion of history. Where the fuck did you come up with that, I wonder?
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Translation by Elbert Hubbard: Do not take life too seriously. You're not going to get out of it alive.
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Re: Karma

#273  Postby CharlieM » Mar 31, 2014 11:51 pm

surreptitious57 wrote:
CharlieM wrote:
surreptitious57 wrote:
and there is absolutely no evidence for the divine

Depends what we class as evidence

Whatever it is it would have to be subject to the rigours of the scientific method

That is to say it has to be observable and repeatable and verifiable

You obviously think that you have have some so please present it


You have brought up a good point and worth discussing.

Richard Carrier who in no way entertains the idea of the 'divine' had this to say:
I had powerful mystical visions, which only confirmed further that I was on the right track. These ranged from the the simple to the fantastic. The simplest and most common was that clarity of an almost drug-like wonder, perceiving everything striking the senses as one unified whole. It is hard to describe this. Normally, your attention is focused, on something you are looking at or listening to, or in a semi-dream-state of reverie, but with a medatative sense of attention this focus and dreaminess vanishes and you are immersed in a total, holistic sense of the real. It is both magnificent and calming. It humbles you, and brings you to the realization of how beautiful simply living is, and how trivial all your worries and difficulties are. Profound insights about the world would strike me whenever in such a state, leading far more readily and powerfully to an understanding of myself

and the world than studying or reasoning ever did.


We could never know the 'divine' through a definition in the same way I could never know you if someone gave me their definition of you. It can only be known by experience and I would say a first step on the road to that experience is the feeling that everything is a unified whole.

It is not just Carrier who has experienced the unity of reality and there are exercises designed to bring us to this unity. These exercises can be repeated and verified by anyone who is sincere in the practice of them. They do not involve the use of drugs or any dangerous or dubious practices. They are just a continuation and concentration of normal human attributes. Our senses give us nothing but a disconnected jumble of data. Human thinking is the activity that takes the separate data and combines them into a unity. Expansion of consciousness leads us further on this path which we have already begun to travel. Study any animal, they have no interest in taking this path onward by furthering their thought processes. Their thinking goes towards satisfying their immediate needs, aquiring food, escaping from predators, copulating and so on.

Anyone who expands their consciousness into the unity preceived by Richard Carrier relates this as a real experience and not just a subjective feeling inside their heads.
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Re: Karma

#274  Postby CharlieM » Apr 01, 2014 12:02 am

Onyx8 wrote:
CharlieM wrote:

Well the fact that we are the last mammal species to appear in evolution does make us a special case. By the way does anyone know, apart from humans, what the most recent land vertebrates to evolve were?



That is a fact is it?


Probably not, but I read it somewhere, and it all depends on what we mean by 'species'.

Onyx8 wrote:Do you have a citation? Why do you specify mammals? And then land vertebrates?


I was asking about these animals because I'd like to know and although there is plenty of info about what arose when in the ancient past, apart from human evolution there doesn't seem to be much on other land vertebrates over the past few million years. I just thought that some expert here might be able to put some dates on recent land vertebrate evolution.
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Re: Karma

#275  Postby CharlieM » Apr 01, 2014 12:04 am

Weaver wrote:Given that a number of species have been seen to evolve in very recent recorded history, this claim by CharlieM is straight bullshit.


Can you give me some examples with dates?
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Re: Karma

#276  Postby CharlieM » Apr 01, 2014 12:06 am

Onyx8 wrote:Evolution is ongoing, no? This idea that things evolve and then stop is not the way it works.

Your right. The evolution of consciousness is only in its very early stages.
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Re: Karma

#277  Postby CharlieM » Apr 01, 2014 12:10 am

Cito di Pense wrote:
CharlieM wrote:
Well the fact that we are the last mammal species to appear in evolution does make us a special case.


Well, your mistake is to equate the present with the conclusion of history. Where the fuck did you come up with that, I wonder?


Humans are the ones who have taken evolution a stage further than any other creatures.
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Re: Karma

#278  Postby Onyx8 » Apr 01, 2014 12:34 am

He asserts.
The problem with fantasies is you can't really insist that everyone else believes in yours, the other problem with fantasies is that most believers of fantasies eventually get around to doing exactly that.
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Re: Karma

#279  Postby Cito di Pense » Apr 01, 2014 3:42 am

CharlieM wrote:
Cito di Pense wrote:
CharlieM wrote:
Well the fact that we are the last mammal species to appear in evolution does make us a special case.


Well, your mistake is to equate the present with the conclusion of history. Where the fuck did you come up with that, I wonder?


Humans are the ones who have taken evolution a stage further than any other creatures.


Oh, you can fucking stop right there. "Creatures" is a word that already assumes creation. You fucked up, because if I didn't already know you're a creationist, I do now. I myself don't particularly mind if you want to adopt a brain-dead philosophy like creationism, but why do you want to recite your articles of faith to me? Is this some sort of cross you bear among a community of atheists?

Here's what you're saying: God established evolution as the procedure for arriving at humans. Why don't you just get to the point and explain God's intention in arriving at humans so circuitously? Isn't that because even you can see that Young Earth Creationism is pure bollocks, and you need some more-circuitous bollocks to try to bamboozle the skeptics that your belief in God is not quite fully as idiotic a construction as anyone else's belief in God?

Here's a clue for you then, Charlie: Don't use idiotic fucking language like 'creatures' to talk about biology. God-beliefs are human attempts to mitigate human insignificance to anyone but humans, which is no fun for people without dogs or kids to contemplate. What's truly contemptible is the meekness of your effort to conceal it. Believe in God, Charlie. Own it!
Хлопнут без некролога. -- Серге́й Па́влович Королёв

Translation by Elbert Hubbard: Do not take life too seriously. You're not going to get out of it alive.
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Re: Karma

#280  Postby Fallible » Apr 01, 2014 10:37 am

CharlieM wrote:
Cito di Pense wrote:
CharlieM wrote:
Well the fact that we are the last mammal species to appear in evolution does make us a special case.


Well, your mistake is to equate the present with the conclusion of history. Where the fuck did you come up with that, I wonder?


Humans are the ones who have taken evolution a stage further than any other creatures.


lol?
She battled through in every kind of tribulation,
She revelled in adventure and imagination.
She never listened to no hater, liar,
Breaking boundaries and chasing fire.
Oh, my my! Oh my, she flies!
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