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Evolution vs. Intelligent Design-- Turning the Tide

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Ezra the Prankster Donating Member (67 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-24-06 09:43 AM
Original message
Evolution vs. Intelligent Design-- Turning the Tide
I am an evolutionary theorist, and one of a very small number of people in the world who fully fathoms how much is at stake in the evolution versus intelligent design debate. Now Im raising the ante way beyond anything the Christian fundamentalists expected, but they only have themselves to blame for underestimating evolutionary science so badly. Ive been talking to the Young Democrats at the university near where I live to show them ways the evolution debate can be turned in favor of the Democrats. The possibilities are virtually endless, but here are the biggest two, and you can download my audio book for free from my website to find a lot more.

First, the evolution side: About 20 years ago, scientists began compiling all the discoveries of human sciences to try to create as complete an understanding of human evolution and behavior as possible. (You can find out all about it at The Club of Budapest at www.cobusa.org or The Darwin Project at www.thedarwinproject.com .) They have made monumental discoveries into the origins of cultures, the course of civilization, the origins and uses of emotions, differences between men and women, child development, and universal constants of religion. A lot of problems facing humanity could be solved if only more people could learn about these discoveries.

The fact that everyone on Earth is an evolutionarily equal member of the same species proves that evolution has affected all of us equally. That proves that everyone on Earth has equally valid reasons for being who they are. Since evolutionary science studies what everyone in the world has in common and where their differences originated, and does it in a way thats unbiased to any culture or religion, that makes it the ultimate weapon for civil rights activists and interational peace activists.

Heres one example of what Im talking about. Every person in the world is guaranteed (or at least, can be expected) to want to survive, be safe, feel safe, have relationships, have sex, have a family, make friends, be respected, feel good, use their abilities to make lives for themselves, and use their abilities as much as possible to make lives for themselves. Any group of people, from a romantic partnership up to the global community, that doesn't make all of those things available to all of its members can't possibly remain a cooperative group indefinitely, because someone will always be forced to fight back against the social structure to get what they need to make their life feel complete. Any government or other social structure that denies some of its people basic opportunities to make their lives feel complete, oppresses its people by definition.

If we are ever going to build a peaceful, sustainable global civilization, we are going to build it on what everyone in the world has in common, and not on the continued misperception that one group of people is inherently better than all the others. The one most fundamental thing everyone in the world is guaranteed to have in common is human evolution.

Now for the intelligent design side: Im sure Im not the only person here who understands that the federal government is controlled by the Republican party, the Republican party is controlled by the Christian Coalition, and the Christian Coalition is a global suicide cult. You can find out all about it at Theocracy Watch at www.theocracywatch.org . Quite simply, these people WANT the final battle of Armageddon, because they equate it with eternal salvation.

Contrary to what the Christian fundamentalists want the public to believe, there is not one single characteristic of humanity that cant be traced down to the evolutionary origins of our species. That means that the Christian fundamentalists have a monopoly on exactly nothing anymore.

The Bible has been a successful foundation for a civilization (to the extent that can be said about it) because its a story of how the world works and a reference book to life. Every culture in the world has some sort of story of the world and reference source to life. The Bible teaches lessons about human behavior by telling stories that illustrate different characteristics of humanity.

So I wrote my own book on evolutionary science and its uses in everyday life, personal empowerment, civil rights, and world peace. I improved upon the Bibles technique by telling stories to illustrate different characteristics of humanity AND explaining the science behind them. Like the Bible, my book reaches the same ultimate conclusion about the importance of Peace on Earth and Good Will toward Men (and Women, in my version). Unlike the Bible, my book doesnt try to prove or disprove anyones religion or non-religion (although it disproves a lot of religious beliefs that are scientifically invalid), its written in modern terms, its scientifically valid, its universally inclusive of the entire human race, its admissible in court and public school, and voters can hold politicians responsible for knowing it without crossing church and state.

I titled my reference book to life 42, because anyone who can truly grasp my sense of humor is already a Douglass Adams fan anyway. That, and because 42 is what you get when the people of two 21st century civilizations stop fighting amongst themselves and try adding their best qualities together for a change.

Then I applied for a copyright on the alternate title The Third Testament, just because I thought that would be a funny title for a book about how evolutionary science can be used to defeat religious fundamentalists. I never thought theyd let me get away with this, but the copyright was awarded to me by the federal government under President Bu$hs own administration.

Then I recorded the entire book as an audio book, and posted it on my website for free download. (You can also order printed copies of the book through my website-- Its not available in stores yet because Im self publishing it, because it takes years to get a book published through the conventional channels. )

Like I said, the Christian fundamentalists WANT an ultimate show down for the fate of the world, so thats exactly what theyre getting but not the way they were hoping for. By preventing the public from learning about evolution, they can do a lot to trick other people into starting a final battle for the fate of the world. If I put a practical understanding of evolutionary science directly into the hands of the public, I can give everyone everything they need to start overcoming their differences and building a sustainable global civilization in spite of the Christian fundamentalists. Then, the only way for the Christian fundamentalists to get the battle of Armageddon they want would be to start shooting first. And I think the Bible is pretty specific about whose side the people who start the battle of Armageddon are on

Ive met a lot of Christian moderates and other religious people who are trying to find ways to adapt their ancient beliefs to life in the modern world. If the Christian creation myth is literally true, then three other things must be true. First, when the Christian god created all the plants, animals, and people, he mustve created all their physical characteristics also. Second, he mustve given the scientists the intelligence they need to study those characteristics. Third, he mustve sent his only begotten son to teach people to bring about Peace on Earth. Now the scientists are using the intelligence the Christian god gave them to study the physical characteristics of the world he created. The observable characteristics point to a course of development by which they came into existence, and the scientific term for that course of development is evolution. Now, by studying this thing called evolution, the scientists are finally discovering how to bring about Peace on Earth, exactly as Jesus taught his followers to do. If the Christian creation myth is literally true, then the Third Testament to the Bible has been written in our DNA all this time, and evolutionary scientists are finally figuring out how to read it. So while I can use evolutionary science to challenge Christian fundamentalists to a duel they cant possibly win, simultaneously I can point Christian moderates toward a lot of concrete evidence to show how Jesuss teachings apply to the modern world.

The progress of science depends on people knowing the right questions to ask and daring to ask them. If I dare to challenge intelligent design in a way no one imagined possible, then if, say, concerned parents listen to the book and then ask their childrens biology teachers to listen to it and tell them whether or not I know what Im talking about, then people are daring to ask the right questions. Problem solved.

If a lot of college students listen ot the book over the summer and hear how much use evolution can be in civil rights and preventing the draft from being reinstated, and then go back to school in the fall and start asking their human sciences professors whether or not I know what Im talking about, theyre bound to attract a lot of support for evolution. And of course, this will start happening about 2 months before the elections, in which (last I heard) 15 more states are going to be voting on evolution versus intelligent design.

Even if the only people I can reach are rebellious teenagers who are too young to vote but are old enough to see theyre inheriting a world full of problems they never voted for, and they come listen to the book just because it infuriates so many adults who are causing the problems in the first place, and they start asking their biology teachers whether or not I know what Im talking about, I still give them everything they need to counter-hijack their futures back from the Christian Coalition.

Within two or three days of my posting my audio book on my website, about a hundred other people were posting it on their websites. That was two months ago, and theres really no way to keep track anymore of how many hundreds or thousands of people have downloaded it by now. My non-suicidal version of the story of the world is already spreading through the internet like a virus, and theres nothing the Christian Coaltion can do to stop it anymore. Last week I got word that a college professor down in South Carolina had gotten hold of a copy of my book, and was considering designing a course around it

I never put a gun to any Christian fundamentalists heads and told them to teach religion in science class. Its not my fault they chose to start a fight they didnt know how to win.

Ezra Niesen
www.newbookforanewworld.com
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BlueEyedSon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-24-06 09:49 AM
Response to Original message
1. fact-based vs faith-based
you can't win with the faith-based usinbg facts

:(
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Ezra the Prankster Donating Member (67 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-25-06 10:25 PM
Response to Reply #1
28. A lot of people have figured that out the hard way, but...
...You can eliminate the faith-based as an effective political force by putting into everyone's hands a working understanding of the facts and thereby giving the faith-based who don't see faith and facts as mutually exclusive the facts they need to pursue their faith in a way that leads to something other than global self destruction. I've met plenty of progressively minded religious people who are trying to do this, who didn't even realize just how many facts there were. You can find a couple groups at www.tikkun.org and www.crosswalkamerica.org .
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Maestro Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-24-06 09:49 AM
Response to Original message
2. Great write-up.
I am not sure how it will play in the minds of talibornagains or with the born and bred fundie but you have certainly done a good job framing the debate. I really think their heads will just explode.
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Ezra the Prankster Donating Member (67 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-25-06 10:27 PM
Response to Reply #2
29. Thanks!
As long as the debate happens, that's all any one person can hope for. :)
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YOY Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-24-06 09:52 AM
Response to Original message
3. This is all under the assumption that they
won't stick their fingers in their ears and say "NAH NAH NAH! I'M NOT LISTENING!"""
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Warpy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-24-06 10:45 AM
Response to Reply #3
7. .....and they WILL
There is a book out with the unappealing title "Reading Lolita in Tehran" that details the hopeful post revolutionary period after the overthrow of the Shah being completely steamrolled by the fundamentalists. The ease with which the fundamentalists were able to shrug off facts and crush their opposition is chilling. I see more than one parallel with what is going on in the US today with the rapture-addled and their boy king.

However, the US is not Iran. We're a bigger and much more unweildy country and there has not been a power vacuum at the top as much as there has been apathy and self serving at the top. We're not in the process of rebuilding a country after deposing an absolute monarch. We should be in the process of reaffirming the country we once had, a country in which even the president and his men were subject to the rule of law. We still have some hope.

Anything that plants a bit of doubt in the alleged minds of the fundies is laudable. However, most of them are simply incapable of receiving the message. More and more, they're isolating themselves away from the rest of us, fearful of worldly contamination. Perhaps this is how they will defeat themselves, perhaps not.

Making raving fundamentalism socially unacceptable, like lighting up a cigar in a stranger's home without permission, might be a more practical thing to do. Fundamentalists are blind, deaf and witless when it comes to weighing facts. We need to concentrate on the more sane portion of the population.
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Ezra the Prankster Donating Member (67 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-25-06 10:36 PM
Response to Reply #7
30. Well that's the whole point...
I know there are some people who will never believe any of this is possible, but there are a much larger number of people who want to believe that something like it could be possible, even if they don't know how. It's just a matter of finding those people and figuring out how to tear down the walls that are separating them so they can work together to reduce religious fundamentalists to a harmless minority. Every group of people in the world has some good ideas and has made some mistakes. It's just a matter of putting all the best ideas together into one place, everyone admitting they made some mistakes, and figuring out how to fix them and move on. It's absurd how many inconsequential things people are willing to fight to the death over when people all over the world have so much in common.
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countingbluecars Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-24-06 10:10 AM
Response to Original message
4. Thanks,
I will share this with all my teacher friends.


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Ezra the Prankster Donating Member (67 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-25-06 10:55 PM
Response to Reply #4
31. Oh, wow, thanks!
As you may have noticed, the government doesn't want to hear about this, and they've got the mainstream media stiched down tight, and corporate aristofascists can't be trusted, so really the only way I can reach people is by underground tactics like this.

If you have any theatre teacher friends that would be good. The reason I've been able to make the contributions to the field that I have is because I work in theatre, which is one of the oldest studies of human behavior in the world. There are certain fundamental principles of theatre that have to be followed in order to replicate human behavior believably, because people do those things in real life also, only subconsciously. By drawing connections between fundamental principles of theatre and fundamental principles of evolution, a lot pieces of the puzzle suddenly fell into place. But most people who possess my scientific abilities don't also possess my artistic abilities, so it might require a joint effort between scientists and theatrical artists to figure out what the hell I'm talking about.
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aikoaiko Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-24-06 10:19 AM
Response to Original message
5. I am...one of a very small number of people in the world who fully fathoms


I stopped reading at that point....

Will someone tell me if this OP is really that full of him/herself or is the content worth ready regardless?
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countingbluecars Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-24-06 10:29 AM
Response to Reply #5
6. Worth reading IMO
I believe his style would certainly appeal to young people and get them to think.
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Ezra the Prankster Donating Member (67 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-25-06 11:51 PM
Response to Reply #6
34. Once again, thanks!
One big problem a lot of people are facing is that in order to teach young people anything anymore, you have to pretty much have to figure out how to make yourself more noticable than Nintendo and MTV.

One big problem the scientists who are making these discoveries are facing is figuring out how to explain their discoveries in terms the non-scientifically-minded public can understand and find personally meaningful. As a piece of literary art, the Bible is much more complete than any book any scientist has ever written. Proabably the biggest reason the Theocrofascists are able to lure so many people into joining their global suicide cult is because their version of the story of the world reaches a much more emotionally satisfying conclusion. As scientific books go, my version of the story of the world is heavy on social and political commentary and makes a lot of specific predictions of ways principles of evolutionary science can be used to bring about social change, but despite what any scientists want to believe, no scientific version of the story of the world will ever be able to compete against the Bible if it doesn't reach an emotionally satisfying conclusion. And thanks to the Christian fundamentalists, that's what the future of civilization is up against.
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neebob Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-24-06 10:52 AM
Response to Reply #5
8. I thought about stopping there
Edited on Sat Jun-24-06 10:58 AM by neebob
but stupidly continued to "The fact that everyone on Earth is an evolutionarily equal member of the same species proves that evolution has affected all of us equally," and didn't stop until I got to "Every person in the world is guaranteed (or at least, can be expected) to want to survive, be safe, feel safe, have relationships, have sex, have a family, make friends ...."

Then I clicked on the link and saw that the entire OP is a cut-and-paste job. Perhaps some day I'll learn to trust my instincts.

On edit, actually, I thought about stopping at "I am an evolutionary theorist."
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Ezra the Prankster Donating Member (67 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-26-06 12:13 AM
Response to Reply #8
35. Buddy, you might as well try convincing...
...Albert Einstein that atomic fission isn't possible. Whatever you think you know about evolution, it obviously isn't very much.

Most of the science that went into my book is already being used against you by all those big evil corporations and politicians who keep making all the world's problems worse and who always mysteriously seem to outmanneuver the common people any time they try to stand up for themselves. The only science they don't know about yet are my own contributions to the field, because I already knew that would happen, which is why I'm making sure to put those discoveries into the hands of ordinary people first, and let those other people find out about them the hard way. By putting the science directly into the hands of the public, I give the people the opportunity to level the field. If you want to throw that opportunity away and go on being manipulated by other people using this science, that's up to you. I've done all I can for you.

And one other thing. If you've got such an emotional need to prop up your fragile sense of self worth by kicking me down or whatever your problem is, you're wasting your time trying to convince me that I don't know what I'm talking about, because it has literally been years since I've heard anyone make any statement about human behavior that I couldn't readily trace down to the evolutionary origins of our species. But don't take my word for it. Here's what you can do: Download the book, burn it to a CD, don't bother to listen to it, take it to your nearest biology teacher, ask him or her to listen to it, and ask him to tell you whether or not I know what I'm talking about. Best of luck! :)
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neebob Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-26-06 01:15 AM
Response to Reply #35
43. Shoot, where's that DUer with the picture
of the cat that says, "You make kitty scared"? I wish I had that right now.
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WoodrowFan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-26-06 10:23 AM
Response to Reply #43
72. PM'd you
Edited on Mon Jun-26-06 10:30 AM by WoodrowFan
I sent you the link to the pic via your PM then I saw the original site lets you post a link to their photo and even give you the link! well then, here it is..

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rman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-24-06 11:09 AM
Response to Reply #5
9. Some people really do know more about certain things,
and it may well be worth listening to them.
Has nothing to do with being full of oneself.
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aikoaiko Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-24-06 11:18 AM
Response to Reply #9
11. true, but most people who know a lot show it and don't herald it.

I'll probably get around to ready it because I have to constantly confront creationism in my classes.

But I'm dubious of the claim that that only a few people fully fathom whats at stake in the debate. I'll read it to find out if I think he is one of them.

As an asde, so far I see no peer reviewed work under the name provided in BIO literature data bases.
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Ezra the Prankster Donating Member (67 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-25-06 11:39 PM
Response to Reply #11
33. When you're a pioneer in the most controversial field in history...
...There really is no politically correct way to introduce yourself and talk about what you do. Your choices are: be blunt or get waylaid by endless debate and never get to the point of what you're trying to say.

You've never heard of my book because the Theocrofascists who control our government don't want to hear about it, and the Aristofascists who control our economy and media don't want to hear about it. That's why I'm staying as far away from the mainstream media as I can and finding underground means of spreading it to the public directly. I've made a hell of a lot of friends among people who, ah, don't depend on the government or other authority figures to save the day, and if I put the science directly into the hands of students and they start asking their teachers the right questions, the situation will have moved beyond the point of the flow of valuable information through society being able to be controlled by the government, the media, peer reviews, or teachers.

You can check out my website directly at www.newbookforanewworld.com, and feel free to ignore my website introduction there and skip directly to the introduction to the book directly beneath it, or download and listen to track 002 or 003 (I doubt 001 would interest you), skip to any section of the book posted there in any order you please, or download the entire audio book and listen to it for free. Or you can read The Blank Slate by Dr. Steven Pinker, Emotional Intelligence by Dr. Dan Goleman, Guns, Germs, and Steel by Dr. Jared Diamond, and Why God Won't Go Away by Dr. Andrew Newberg and Dr. Eugene D'Aquill to get an idea of recent developments in evolutionary science. Or you can read this:

In his book Guns, Germs, and Steel, Dr. Jared Diamond studies the origins of cultures and the course of civilization. Every culture in the world is made up of humans who are evolutionarily equal. The resources available in each part of the world are different. The people in each part of the world have figured out how to make lives for themselves by making the best use of whatever resources they have to work with. Cultures are different as a result of evolutionarily equal humans making use of different combinations of resources. In Mesopotamia about 10,000 years ago, the people lived in the most favorable climate in the world. That enabled them to develop agriculture before anyone else in the world, and it enabled them to use that agriculture to produce food more efficiently than anyone else in the world (which can be measured in calories of work energy expended to calories of food energy produced). Producing food more efficiently than anyone else allowed them to support the largest population of any civilization in the world, and that allowed them build the largest and most physically powerful civilization in the world. European and American civilization are the direct descendants of the civilization built on Mesopotamian agriculture. Contrary to what a lot of people believe, Europeans and their descendants are not inherently superior to anyone else; their ancestors just happened to live in the right place at the right time.

In their book Why God Won't Go Away, Dr. Andrew Newberg and Dr. Eugene D'Aquill study the evolutionary origins of religion. (Rather than try to explain how it's possible for scientists to know more about religion than religious leaders do, I'll let their conclusions speak for themselves.) Every religion in the world was created to serve the needs of humans who are evolutionarily equal, and therefore, capable of asking the same questions about life. Beneath their aesthetic differences, every religion in the world is exactly the same as every other religion in the world. Every religion in the world (and every sort of philosophy that serves in the place of religion, including atheism) offers its people an explanation for how the universe works, some way for people to escape their physical mortality, ways to build strong families and healthy communities, and some way to give their lives a sense of purpose. Those four universal characteristics of religion can be said to be direct products of human evolution, because in every part of the world where human DNA exists, these things also exist. Therefore, regardless of where you believe religion came from, any argument over whose religion is better than whose is impossible for anyone to win, because the two parties are not arguing about observable evidence. There is no religion in the world that's inherently better than any other because there is no religion thats inherently different from any other. (There are, however, some religions whose members aspire to salvation through world-wide mass suicide, and others whose members believe they don't need to take responsibility for their actions because supernatural powers will save the day, and based on observable evidence, those people are a serious threat to everyoneand they better not be surprised if other people see them that way.)

Humans evolved as one species because the same set of biological laws affected all of our ancestors equally for virtually all of our evolution. If our ancestors had been affected by different sets of biological laws, we wouldve evolved as multiple species. That set of biological laws is written into our DNA, because everyone who didnt feel like following them died out as a result. All human behavior revolves around that set of biological laws, and societies ignore biological laws at their own peril. Civilization has always moved in the direction of complying more and more with evolutionary law, because any time people are presented with a choice of two forms of government, they naturally prefer the one whose laws coincide with evolutionary law better, because those artificial laws are the ones the people feel most like following. (People disagree on minor details all the time, but that general trend is fairly obvious, because regardless of what political parties people belong to, they are all Homo sapiens.) Now that we understand evolutionary law so well and weve become aware of this process of evolutionary law compliance, we can see the end result of the process, and we can actively work to make it happen. To use the last three paragraphs for examples, nobody will ever participate willingly in a society that denies them basic opportunities to make their lives feel complete, that prevents them from developing or practicing their own culture, or that denies them any of the four universal constants of religion.

There is no existing political party or political system that adequately applies evolutionary laws and the laws of physics to our living conditions, because so many critical discoveries are only a few years old. Any political system that has ever worked at some point has worked because its founders figured out a way to apply scientific laws to society well enough in the form of artificial laws (without realizing thats what they were doing) that enough people felt like cooperating with them to make the society function. However, the artificial laws of every civilization have always been founded on an understanding of human behavior within the living conditions that existed at the time the civilization was founded, but no one has ever realized that. As the living conditions of the societies change, the relationship of human behavior to the living conditions also change, and begin to conflict more and more with the established artificial laws of the society. That pits the government against the people and the people against each other, because as the artificial laws of the society become less and less applicable to the living conditions, more people break the artificial lawsmeaning crime rates increaseand that only makes the dysfunctional government seem ever more necessary to protect the public. No political system has ever been constructed on a functional universal understanding of human behavior, and no political system has been able to adapt its artifical laws fast enough to keep up with the changing conditions of the world, which is why every system of government in history has broken down eventuallybecause so many people stopped cooperating with the artificial laws that the society ceased to function. Some just might say that all of those symptoms are showing themselves in America and all over the world right now, and a lot of people are wondering why its happening and what to do about it.

All progressive activists (whether they realize theyre doing this or not) are trying to help adapt our civilization to a new balance between biological laws and our living conditions. Theyre doing that either by changing artificial laws, changing cultural values, or elevating human consciousness (such as by educating people). There are numerous ways a peaceful, sustainable global civilization can be built, but there are a much larger number of ways that it cant be built. If nothing else, every progressive activist group is united by the common goal of building a peaceful, sustainable global civilization in a way that is physically possible, as opposed to trying to build one in a way that isnt physically possible. Every group is trying to work toward that goal in one way or another. World peace depends on the public understanding enough about human behavior that they can avoid threatening other people accidentally and can protect themselves from potential threats from other people peacefully and productively. If progressive activists become consciously aware that theyre trying to do this, they can do it much more effectively, they can cooperate much more effectively, and they can attract a lot more public support.

If we are ever going to build a peaceful, sustainable global civilization, we are going to build it on what everyone in the world has in common, and not on the continued misperception that one group of people is inherently better than all the others. The one most fundamental thing everyone in the world is guaranteed to have in common is human evolution.

Has anyone else noticed that every type of functional community in the modern world has some sort of a Constitution to outline what each of its members can expect from the others, in order to enable them to function as a community? And has anyone ever noticed that we are now trying to organize our entire species into a functional global community without a Constitution? Not only are those inconceivably long odds, were also gambling everything on succeeding!

Once again, evolutionary science saves the day, because that set of biological laws that all human behavior revolves around is the Constitution of the Human Race. It wasnt written by any mortal humans, it applies equally to everyone, it doesnt depend on anyone to enforce it, and no one can escape it, change it, or corrupt it. Whether that set of biological laws is put into words or not, we have no choice but to abide them, because theyre written in our DNA. If they are put into words, however, at least we can choose to cooperate with themor more specifically, we can see why we cant possibly build a functional global community by trying to force other people to break them.

Human behavior relates to other human behavior more directly than it does to the environment, but a few simple principles of human behavior pretty much say it all. First, global environmental sustainability can never happen without world peace and an end to economic imperialism, because as long as countries compete against each other militarily, economically, or any other way, immediate survival will always be a higher priority for people than long term environmental sustainability. Second, for all of human history, all over the world, people who are evolutionarily equal to Americans have satisfied themselves with their lives in sustainable lifestyles, so obviously its possible to do.

Third, any time a new species is introduced to an environment, its population expands until its limited by predators, disease, food availability, or radical alteration of the environment caused by the species itself. The entire Earth is the environment of our species, and for about 7,000,000 years since our separaction from the other primates, our population has been expanding to fill the carrying capacity of the global environment. Thanks to weapons, medicine, and agriculture, weve eliminated predators, disease, and food availability as controlling factors to our population growth, which leaves only the radical alteration of the environment as our ultimate limitation. One way or another, the population of our species will reach a balance with the impact weve had on our environment, just as happens for any species thats introduced to a new environment. Im hardly alone in realizing that civilization as weve known it will not exist in the 22nd century, because one way or another, our species will make the transition from environmental colonization to (some form of) environmental sustainability. The two things we can control are what will replace civilization as weve known it and how we will make the transition. Our population growth and resource consumption will be brought under control either because we make it happen voluntarily or because through our environmental unsustainability we will destroy civilization, kill billions of people (even if only indirectly), and condemn the future of our species to a post-apocalyptic dark age.

There is no form of government, absence of government, financial economic system, or externally enforced religion that can save humanity from itself. As the Buddah taught his followers 2,500 years ago, the only way people can truly satisfy their wants is by choosing to stop wanting. That teaching becomes ever more relevant to us by the day.

Perhaps this would be a good time for me to point out that capitalism as an economic system is completely self destructive. The success of capitalism is measured in continued economic growth. Economies require material resources and energy in order to function. For an economy to grow indefinitely, it would require an infinite supply of material resources and energy. Because the Earth is a finite size, it cant possibly contain an infinite supply of energy and material resources, by definition. A big source of problems facing the world is that the economic system America was founded upon is physically impossible to maintain indefinitely. We have a increasing world population and a decreasing supply of available resources. The only way for the materially rich to stay rich is for the materially poor to become increasingly poor. A fundamental law of human behavior is that people who are starving will fight over food. Considering the levels of poverty that exist in the world already, and considering that the continued success of capitalism necessarily requires those poverty levels to increase, not decrease, its a very short step of logic to see that any economic system whose success is measured in continued growth, instead of redistribution of resources, makes World War III a mathematical inevitability. In order for an economy to become sustainable, it MUST measure its success in something other than the consumption of resources and energy. That also means that if the Christian Coalition succeeds at nothing other than preventing our laws and cultural values from being adapted fast enough to achieve environmental sustainability in time to prevent global environmental catastrophe, they still get the battle of Armageddon theyre waiting for.

If humanity is ever going to build a peaceful, sustainable global civilization of any sort, its going to be built as a result of people learning to stop trying to advance their personal interests at the expense of their neighbors. That will depend on people learning how to recognize and anticipate the interests of their neighbors. While it isnt possible to eliminate conflict from the world altogether, a lot could be done to eliminate conflicts that are so desparate that people are willing to kill and risk being killed to try to solve them. That will necessarily depend on people learning a lot more science than theyre learning now, including a lot of science that a lot of people currently dont want to believe is true.

I couldve been a doctor of human evolutionary science easily enough, if only the field had existed as a cohesive field of study back when I was in college. Instead I work in theatre and write fiction, which are two of the oldest studies of human behavior in the world. For 2,500 years, actors, directors, and writers have been making their livings by figuring out how to replicate human behavior well enough to make it believable to human audiences (or at least, the best artists have done that). Thanks to Hollywood, everyone in the industrialized world is already familiar with a working understanding of human behavior, even though they dont realize it.

When I learned about the field of human evolutionary science, I quickly realized that I could teach the entire field of science in terms of movies, song lyrics, history, legends, religion, philosophy, art, and everyday lifeterms that non-scientifically-minded people understand.

The scientists are not discovering any characteristics about humanity that poets and philosophers all over the world havent known about for millennia. The scientists are simply figuring out how all those characteristics fit together, how to recognize characteristics that everyone in the world has in common, and how to prove those things scientifically. Just to prove it can be done, Ive been going to an open mic night near where I live and teaching evolutionary science to poets, artists, and musicians. The things I have to say there dont sound terribly different from the things any other thoughtful, worldly people there have to say. The difference is that Im talking about science, and theyre all expressing their opinions about something. If ten million poets and musicians all over the world say the same things, that only proves that ten million people have the same opinion about something. If one evolutionary scientist says the same thing, suddenly it becomes evidence admissible in court! Of course, if that one evolutionary scientist could figure out how to teach those ten million poets and musicians how he arrived at his conclusions, then ten million poets and musicians opinions become admissible in court. And public schools. And political races
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Blue-Jay Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-26-06 01:06 AM
Response to Reply #33
42. I'm not saying that I disagree with you.
Edited on Mon Jun-26-06 01:08 AM by Blue-Jay
I'm also not saying that you're humble.

Edit: Nor are you familiar with the concept of brevity. Jeez. I'll print it out and read it on the airplane tomorrow.
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aikoaiko Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-26-06 08:10 AM
Response to Reply #33
67. I'll read it eventually, but your arrogance is real turn off.

Perhaps you could sketch out one new idea in response to this post to impress me and others that you are more than hotair.

I also suggest you submit your ideas of peer reviewed journals if you're interesting in contributing to actual evolutionary theory.
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charlie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-24-06 11:22 AM
Response to Reply #9
12. Read it
There's 2 chapters online. It doesn't get any better, neither the self-aggrandizement or pedestrian insights swirled into a meandering loooong-winded goop.
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rman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-24-06 11:39 AM
Response to Reply #12
14. I'm listening to it, there are 42 chapters online.
It's getting better all the time.
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rman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-24-06 01:39 PM
Response to Reply #14
19. ok, so it's 26 chapters...
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Ezra the Prankster Donating Member (67 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-26-06 12:27 AM
Response to Reply #19
38. Chapters 26 through 41...
...Will be in Volume 2. :)
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Ezra the Prankster Donating Member (67 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-26-06 12:25 AM
Response to Reply #14
37. Thanks!
:)
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Ezra the Prankster Donating Member (67 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-26-06 12:23 AM
Response to Reply #12
36. Well like I've told other people here...
Edited on Mon Jun-26-06 12:23 AM by Ezra the Prankster
...The science contained in the book is already being used against you and the public at large by all the politicians and business executives who are f*cking up the entire world by using statistics to control people's behavior for their own personal benefit. By putting the science into your hands, I'm giving you the opportunity to level the field. If you want to throw that opportunity away, go right ahead.

If you have such an emotional problem with me thinking I know a whole bunch of important things about life that most people don't, here's what you do. Download the book, burn it to a CD, don't bother listening to it, take it to a biology teacher at a nearby hiighschool or college, and ask him or her to listen to it and tell you whether or not I know what I'm talking about. There's all the proof you need. Good luck! :)
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neebob Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-24-06 11:33 AM
Response to Reply #9
13. Uh-huh, and some people write 400,000-word books claiming
that 42 is the meaning of life.

Okay, I poked around the book site.
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rman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-24-06 11:41 AM
Response to Reply #13
15. you need to brush up on your sense of humor
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neebob Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-24-06 12:10 PM
Response to Reply #15
17. Maybe so
I'll work on it after I get this time-wasting thing under control.
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Ezra the Prankster Donating Member (67 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-26-06 01:03 AM
Response to Reply #17
41. Hey, I've got a...
...Free audio book about how much ordinary people can do to take control of their lives by understanding the forces at within their brains, so they don't have to feel like their lives. You can find it at www.newbookforanewworld.com . :)
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Ezra the Prankster Donating Member (67 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-26-06 12:59 AM
Response to Reply #15
40. Thanks again!
People running around worrying about things has really been done to death, and it doesn't seem to be solving anything, does it? :)
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Ezra the Prankster Donating Member (67 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-26-06 12:53 AM
Response to Reply #13
39. The thing about evolutionary science is...
It's so well understood by now that human behavior can be broken down into fundamental units of logic which can be used as theoretical numbers by analogy, even though actual numbers don't exist to measure these units of logic. Thanks to Douglass Adams, I quickly realized that the only numerical value I could use to represent the value of human life was 42.

If you'd care to read Guns, Germs, and Steel by Dr. Jared Diamond and The Blank Slate by Dr. Steven Pinker, the following becomes pretty self evident. I used Europeans and Native Americans for my examples here, but if you change a few words around it's a mathematical formula for why Blacks as a culture have more soul than Whites. Basically, over the course of history, Blacks and Native Americans have had to devote a lot more effort than Whites have to moving things from the "wanting stuff" parts of their brains to the "being content with what they have" parts of their brains. Observe:

Heres the very first lesson in spiritual logic: All humans belong to the same species. One way or another, all humans place the same value on their own lives (yes, even suicidal people, people with terminal illnesses, and parents who sacrifice themselves to protect their children, these people just measure the value of their lives differently from most people, as I explain elsewhere). All humans have abilities to use to satisfy themselves with their lives. All humans always figure out how to make use of their available resources. As a result, in any contained system, one way or another all humans always find a way to satisfy themselves with their lives. That doesnt mean that everyone always feels happy with their immediate circumstances on the most superficial level, but it does mean that everyone always feels satisfied at the most fundamental level that theyre making the best of their situationeven if they dont realize it.

If v = the answer to human life, v = w and w = x, then v, w, and x are all the answer to human life. The values of v, w, and x are all the same. The only differences between them are purely aesthetic, and those aesthetic differences are what the people of different cultures keep fighting each other over...

Why would people fight over letters that all represent the same value? Because even to this day, the people of each culture generally approach members of other cultures with the assumption that their own culture is right, and the people of the other cultures just dont know enough to be able to see that. Well Ive got news for you ladies and gentlemen: The other people value their lives every bit as much as you value yours, and the only reason you cant see how they could value their way of life as much as you value yours is because you dont understand their way of life well enough to know any better. Isnt that interesting?

Looking at the different cultures of the world, two things are obvious. One is that all cultures are made up of human beings who are evolutionarily equal. The other is that the resources available to each culture are different. There we have one constant and one variable to work with.

For the sake of discussion, lets back up about five centuries, to October 10th, 1492, the day before the cultural self-containment of the Americas ended forever. Prior to Columbuss discovery of the New World, the Europeans had discovered a meaning to life that they were satisfied with. The Native Americans had also found a meaning to life that they were satisfied with, which is why their cultures survived instead of disintegrating: because the Native Americans could find the one most important thing they were looking for within the culture, which is why they didnt leave that culture to search for the answer elsewhere.

So far we have defined human life to be a constant value for all human beings, we have identified all humans as being evolutionarily equal, which is another constant, and we have identified a difference in the resources available to the different cultures, which is a variable. That means that all humans have the same evolutionary abilities on the average, they have different amounts of resources to work with, and somehow they combine those things to give their lives equal value. As written, thats a mathematical impossibility, because you cant combine one constant with one variable to produce a constant. There must be at least one more variable involved. Lets call that second variable cultural adaptation to available resources. Now we have equal human abilities combining with differences in resources and differences in cultural adaptation resulting in an equal sense of value for each person to their own life. Aha! Mathematically it works now. Unfortunately, in practice that second variable isnt nearly as easy to recognize as the first.

Just because we live in the 21st century (by the Gregorian calendar), lets suppose for the sake of discussion that the answer to life is 21, although none of the numbers I use here represent any actual values. As I said before, v = the answer to life and v = x. Suppose that as of October 10th 1492 the Europeans had defined the answer to life as v and the Native Americans had defined it as x. Suppose that both groups had arrived at their answer of 21 through the equation in which a = human ability, m = available resources, and c = cultural adaptation to available resources. A is a constant, so we will assign it a value if 1. Suppose for the Europeans b = 6 but the Native Americans only had half the resources the Europeans did, so for them b = 3. That means that in order to get amc = v = x, for the Europeans c =3.5 and for the Native Americans c = 7. That means that the Europeans answer to life is 1 x 6 x 3.5 = 21, while the Native American answer to life is 1 x 3 x 7 = 21.

The Europeans didnt recognize or appreciate the Native Americans greater cultural success at adapting their human lives to a lesser amount of available resources (and they probably wouldntve cared even if they did). The Europeans could only recognize the Native Americans lesser amount of resources and assumed that their cultural adaptation to their available resources must be equal to their own. Therefore, to the Europeans, the value of the Native Americans lives was only 1 x 3 x 3.5 = 10.5. Therefore, the Europeans perceived the Native Americans lives to be worth less than their own, and so they used their advantages in resources to crush the Native Americans culture.

The Native Americans who assimilated themselves into European culture had to accept lives only valued at 10.5 by that culture, while the Native Americans who accepted life on reservations where the available resources were even less than what they had before mightve ended up with an equation of 1 x 1 x 7 = 7. Is it any wonder why the Native Americans resented the Europeans bringing their cultural way of life to an end?

If the two cultures couldve figured out how to combine their best qualities, between them they couldve come up with an answer to life of 1 x 6 x 7 = 42, but thats not what happened. However, theres an invisible culture emerging in the world now, of people who are catching on to all of this, who realize their own lives are worth just as much as anyone elses, that anyone elses life is worth just as much as their own, and that different cultures have different qualities to offer. These people dont want to keep fighting over aesthetic details, dont want to keep crushing every culture they come into contact with, and many of these people do want to combine the best qualities of all the cultures they can find because they feel like the answer to life should be 42.

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Random_Australian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-26-06 02:41 AM
Response to Reply #5
49. Good enough, but a bit of a puffpiece, however that could not
be avoided really.

If you have not thought about evolutionary morality, then this is something really useful.
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SemperEadem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-26-06 09:22 AM
Response to Reply #5
68. take responsibility for your own understanding
and read the missive yourself.
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slackmaster Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-26-06 10:11 AM
Response to Reply #5
71. The opener does smack of hubris, but it is a good read
Here is the image that came to my mind when I read that sentence:

"I'm the only one in this room professional enough that I know of to carry this Glock 40."



:evilgrin:
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LeftHander Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-26-06 12:29 PM
Response to Reply #5
74. The complexity of evolutionary theory should not be underestimated....
Edited on Mon Jun-26-06 12:32 PM by LeftHander
The guy is a character but I liked this post and it does make one think.

I even despite reading his colorful bio I still found the OP a decent read.

However...having said that. Some of what he says sound a little like "religion". Incorporating a scientific theory in everyday life with a purpose of stating that a persons moral values and social behavior is guided by evolution, sound a little like religion. (really a lot) And has no real basis in hard science. It does not fit the scientific process. How do you PROVE that all human behavior is guided by evolution? that is simply not science.

And THAT is what fundies want. They WANT science to be considered a form of religion so it can be treated the same. Or NOT the same. Once science is recognized as religion then it is simply easier to do two things:

Ban the teaching of science in public schools.
Force equal time for other "religions".

I have seen Christian Fundamentalist speakers who are promoting Evolution beyond the constructs of academia by incorporating philosophy and theoretical "creation stories"...with an expressed goal of showing that science is a form of religion.

TO me that is not good. Science is a process of observation, hypothesis, experimentation, corroboration and validation no where is there "faith" or a prediction without validation and proof.

But I think that I can't ignore that people are always looking for meaning and answers and if this does provide some comfort and insight is that so bad...? I don't know. But I do know that people will use any religion to justify any position or action and they will use opposing viewpoints as a means to breakdown that opposition by painting with the same brush that colors their own belief.


But again...here is a good post that touches on deeper issues than Ann Coulter's neck bones or some post at free republic.
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Kali Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-24-06 11:12 AM
Response to Original message
10. I tend not to trust people who claim to have "the answers" and you seem to
have a fundamental misunderstanding of both science and evolution, but I do agree with your idealism and your apparent motivation.

Getting people to ask questions never hurts.
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Ezra the Prankster Donating Member (67 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-26-06 01:50 AM
Response to Reply #10
44. And what would this fundamental misunderstanding be?
I am intersted in hearing what you have to say, but I think perhaps your understandings of science and evolution are rather lagging behind mine.

If you'd care to read The Blank Slate by Dr. Steven Pinker, which is basically the founding document of evolutionary psychology, or at least a very thick, very dense, very thorough reference source to the field, he spells out the evolutionary origins of human behavior very clearly. Even now a lot of so-called human scientists are using antiquated models for human behavior, namely, the Noble Savage, the Ghost in the Machine, and the Blank Slate (which is the most recent, and the one Dr. Pinker devotes his book to dispoving with evolutionary psychology). A lot of so-called scientists have severe allergies to what they call "Biological Determinism", which is what they call evolutionary psychology, or at least, some critical components of it. But what these scientists fail to grasp is that if human behavior or some part of human behavior originates from some place other than our biological bodies, then it must originate from some place outside of the realm of physical reality, because the course of the universe from the Big Bang to the creation of starts, galaxies, planets, etc., etc., to the origins of life on Earth is pretty well understood, and needless to say, no other things within the physical universe give any indication of transmitting thoughts into our brains. So any scientists who discredit biological determinism are ascribing a supernatural origin to human behavior, and at that point they cease to be scientists by definition. Alternately, if all human behavior is a product of our biology and our biology is a product of our evolution, then transitively, all human behavior is a product of our evolution. HOW exactly all human behavior is a product of our evolution has been the big mystery. However, it is much better understood than most people realize.

The belief that all reality is subjective is a myth, simply because the components of our brains that create our subjectivity exist in objective reality, which means the source of our subjectivity can be understood objectively. The entire advertizing industry is driven by this principle, whether intentionally or not, as is every other industry or socilal structure that depends on using statistics to predict human behavior. As the evolutionary origins of human behavior become more clearly understood, you can be sure that people in the advertizing industry etc. are going to grab hold of them and put them to use for their own purposes, which is only going to make the problems caused by governments and corporations controlling people's lives worse-- which is why I'm making sure those same discoveries reach the public, to level the field.

Scientifically speaking, at the moment of the Big Bang, the course of the universe became a mathematical equation. We can't completely understand that mathematical equation simply because A: we are inside it, and B: even if we had a way to write that equation with 100% energy efficiency, by the Law of Conservation of Energy, it would require all of the energy in the entire universe to write it. However, we can discover a lot more of that equation than most people believe is possible. Indeed, the entire pursuit of science is an attempt to understand that equation more thoroughly.

Scientifically speaking, even free will is an illusion. Our own actions for our entire lives have already been determined by the Big Bang. However, the funny thing about the arrangement of the atoms and molecules that make up our brains is that they don't even allow us to perceive our lack of free will. So not only do we not have free will, we don't even have enough free will to believe in our lack of free will. The best we can do is to believe that we do have free will and act accordingly, because attempting to convince ourselves that we don't have free will is extremely energy inefficient. The Confederate States proved this by attempting to make their economy function by denying their workers the use of their free will in controlling their own destinies. Hence the origins of the 3/5 vote in the post Civil War south, which was based on the southerners' observation that Blacks (as slaves) only produced about 60% of the work of (free) Whites, and therefore should only be giving 60% of the voting power.

But don't take my word for it, read Dr. Pinker's book and see for yourself.
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Ezra the Prankster Donating Member (67 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-26-06 02:01 AM
Response to Reply #10
45. And you're not supposed to believe I know what I'm talking about...
...Just because I say I do. Because if you did, that wouldn't be science anymore.

The problem is, our current government doesn't want you to know this stuff, neither does the media, and neither does our wealthy corporate aristocracy. If I know what I'm talking about, you'll have to figure it out for yourself. But don't worry, America is full of teachers and professors who are trying to win support for evolution, so help is not far away.
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Gregorian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-24-06 11:41 AM
Response to Original message
16. Where did evolution come from?
Edited on Sat Jun-24-06 11:43 AM by Gregorian
One has to turn a blind eye to not see that evolution is a fact. I also believe in intelligent design. So I don't really have an ax to grind. I'm just asking.





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Ezra the Prankster Donating Member (67 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-25-06 09:37 PM
Response to Reply #16
27. It doesn't matter where evolution came from
One of the Christian fundamentalists' greatest advantages in undermining the Theory of Evolution is that the term "theory" as used among the general public is synonymous with "idea", while as used among scientists it means "A logical conclusion drawn from observable evidence that can be used to make accurate predictions." It can be used as a fact in practice, but it's always open to challenge. In the same way, the Theory of Relativity won't become the Fact of Relativity within the forseeable future, because we have no way of observing atomic particles directly. However, the Theory of Relativity has been used successfully to build atomic reactors for 60 years. That's a pretty good indication that it's either right or pretty close to right.

Likewise, the study of evolution is based on observable characteristics of organisms. However those characteristics came into existance, they all fit together very neatly in one way that points to a course of development by which they came into existance. If the universe was created by an almighty intelligence, then that intelligence created all the observable characteristics of organisms and gave people the intelligence to study them.

Regardless of where those characteristics came from, it is a fact that they point to a course of development that we call the Theory of Evolution, it is a fact that the Theory of Evolution can be used to make accurate predictions, it is a fact that the Theory of Evolution is pointing us toward the most direct and only realistic path to world peace, and it is a fact that we now have a choice to make in whether or not to follow that path. So ultimately, it isn't necessary for people to agree on an answer of where evolution came from for us to see where can lead us.

Evolutionary psychology is the study of how everyone perceives that their choice of action offers them the best opportunity to pass their genetic material on to future generations successfully. (Studying that is rather complicated, but that's the basic idea.) One thing that is observable to evolutionary scientists is that the people of every civilization in the world want the same things (although sometimes that's hard to recognize to the untrained eye). When a characteristic exists in every civilization on Earth with no exceptions, it means that characteristic is a direct product of human evolution, because in every part of the world where human DNA exists, these characteristics also exist. One of those characteristics is the realization that communities work a lot better when people cooperate than when they fight against each other. So if you believe in intelligent design that's pretty strong indication-- you might even say a dead give away-- that as humans that's something we should work for. Basically the choices of a future that the Theory of Evolution offers us is: Now that we've discovered this universal characteristic of humanity, do we as members of a global community work together to get the basic things we all want, or do we continue to fight against each other?
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Random_Australian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-26-06 05:53 AM
Response to Reply #16
64. The laws of physics, if you are interested.
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Warren DeMontague Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-26-06 12:55 PM
Response to Reply #16
75. Where did gravity "come" from?
Where did the idea that things have to come "from" something (or, let's be honest here, someone) come from?

Oh yeah. And where did "God" come from?

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ananda Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-24-06 12:56 PM
Response to Original message
18. problem
In an oppressive society, everyone is oppressed and affected adversely... even the rich... even the ones with supposedly full, complete lives... because, if one person is oppressed, everyone is. If one group is oppressed, then all are, even the oppressors because they have to lose their basic humanity in order to become oppressors.

Sue
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Ezra the Prankster Donating Member (67 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-26-06 02:35 AM
Response to Reply #18
47. Exactly...
Human want knows no limit. In a world with finite resources and an ever increasing population, for people to continue trying to satisfy themselves with the acquisition of external resources depends on denying those resources to everyone else. If it was never true before, the future of economic imperialism depends on oppression. And if the materially rich are to stay rich, that oppression will only continue to get worse. And now the oppressed people have a lot of weapons lying around to fight back with. While I'm distributing free education to try to solve the problem, a certain much more wealthy person than I is attempting to distribute weapons to oppressed people to fight back with...

As the Buddah taught his followers 2,500 years ago, the only way for people to satisfy their wants is by choosing to stop wanting. That teaching becomes ever more relevant to us by the day. But unravelling the origins of human want and finding ways to satisfy it independantly of the consumption of material resources is the big puzzle facing us right now.
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Wrinkle_In_Time Donating Member (664 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-24-06 06:46 PM
Response to Original message
20. Okay, I tried to give this a chance, but quickly hit the wall.
I'm very interested in science and non-theism, so the preamble posted above was enough to get me to go to your site. While I had the same reaction as other posters about the arrogance in your first paragraph, I thought I would check out your work to see how good you are.

I lasted about a minute. Here's my quick review:
  1. Presentation: I haven't seen a website that ugly since the mid-1990s. It's a very bad channel for communicating your message. No-one that goes there will take you seriously (regardless of the quality of the content: more on that later).

  2. Navigation: After donning my sunglasses and squinting, I tried to download the audio-book. The bittorrent link does nothing. The http link has 345 individual .mp3 file links. No-one is going to click on all those, assuming they decide the content will be worth it (again, I'm coming to that).

  3. Content: Having given up on the audio-book links, I decided to read the on-line version of Chapter 1. I was expecting to read a treatise on Evolution vs. Intelligent Design (as advertised). The preamble on "Objective Reality" seemed appropriate; the segue into conflict looked promising although a little scattered ("Emotional Aikido"???); then you go tangential and even more disjointed, bouncing around over the "War on Terror" and some personal, oxymoronic theory called "Spiritual Logic". Looking at the Table of Contents and Other Sections links for some semblance of structure, I find nothing more than a collection of random thoughts. I'm sure it makes some sense to you, but not to me. This leads me to the next part...

  4. Credentials: You don't have any. Your grandiose claims in the excerpt posted above, along with what I could bear to read on-line are not backed up at all. You are not an "evolutionary theorist" nor a "scientist". You are a dilettante.
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BlooInBloo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-24-06 08:07 PM
Response to Reply #20
22. "Crank" is the word typically used, not "dilettante"....
Another James Harris, as it were.
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Wrinkle_In_Time Donating Member (664 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-24-06 09:45 PM
Response to Reply #22
23. Oooh, you've just given me some new reading material.
I hadn't heard of James Harris before.

Wow...

Regarding my earlier post: I tried to choose the phrasing in such a way that the post had a reasonable life-expectancy. I was hoping it would stick around for a while and that others might read it before having to do their own research.

Thanks again for the Harris reference. I've bookmarked http://www.crank.net/harris.html for later. I have also enjoyed your earlier rational posts on other topics.
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SPKrazy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-25-06 08:53 PM
Response to Reply #23
26. Some Thoughts
I've always been suspicious of people who claim to have so many different areas of expertise

life is short, hardly enough time in it to do everything
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Ezra the Prankster Donating Member (67 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-26-06 03:16 AM
Response to Reply #26
50. Well you just might be surprised...
:)
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Ezra the Prankster Donating Member (67 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-26-06 03:32 AM
Response to Reply #20
53. Thanks for your advice...
...I'll fix what I can. What I'm doing is called "doing the best you can with the resources you have to work with." People have done this throughout all of human evolution, so I don't apologize for it.

As for my credentials, they consist of:

Figuring out how to put into words what a lot of people have been trying to say for years, and

Daring to say it.

People thank me for that everywhere I go. To a lot of voters-- and especially to a lot of liberally-minded young people who have given up on voting because they think the Democratic party is made up of a bunch of whimps who are so caught up in politicial correctness and impressing everyone with how well educated they are that they can't accomplish anything anymore-- who wish they knew what the hell is going wrong with the world and wish someone would tell them what they can do to try to fix it, that means more than any amount of official credentials ever will.

You may not think much of me buddy, but at least MY political party hasn't lost to George W. Bush-- Twice.

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tallahasseedem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-24-06 08:01 PM
Response to Original message
21. The entire Biology department
at Florida State University, I can assure you, understands this better than you. I am sorry but your credentials are no match for your ego.
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Ezra the Prankster Donating Member (67 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-26-06 02:21 AM
Response to Reply #21
46. You're right, except for three things...
1: You haven't read the book,

2: Exactly what number of people out of the entire human race does the biology department at Florida State University consist of? I don't exactly get the impression that they comprise a voting majority of anything, and

3: If they understand so much more than I do about what's at stake, why aren't they undertaking any meaningful action to spread evolutionary science to a group of people that actually WOULD comprise a voting majority of something?

As Karl Marx pointed out, any type of social revolution or evolution depends on the masses of workers figuring out what they want and how to make it happen. Not on college professors. Pretty much everywhere I go poorly educated working people thank me for putting into words what they've been trying to say for years. So evidently, I seem to understand at least one thing about human behavior that the entire biology department at Florida State University doesn't.



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Ezra the Prankster Donating Member (67 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-25-06 08:44 PM
Response to Original message
24. General Response to Everyone
I've been visiting this site for about a week now and reading what people are talking about. I've seen the same basic themes resounding here that are resounding throughout the rest of America. Namely:

Why doesn't our political system work?

Why do the Republicans keep kicking the Democrats' asses? and

Why are so many Democratic leaders selling out their voters?

First, any political system that has ever succeeded at any point in history has succeeded because its founders figured out how to apply evolutionary laws of human behavior to society in the form of artificial laws adequately well that enough people felt like cooperating with them to make the society function. Unfortunately, no one has ever realized this before now. To this point, all political systems have been founded on an understanding of human behavior under the living conditions of the people at the time the political system was founded. As the living conditions of the people changed, the relationship of human behavior to the living conditions also changed. That means that fewer and fewer people have felt like following the artificial laws of the society, which means crime rates increase. That only makes the dysfunctional government seem ever more necessarry to protect the public. Then, either you end up turning your ideal society into a police state trying to force human behavior to conform to the established artificial laws, or progressive activists practically have to push the government to the brink of collapse every time they want to make substantial changes to the artificial laws to meet the new living conditions of the people, or so many people stop feeling like cooperating with the artificial laws that the society ceases to function. Does any of this sound eerily similar to America's current political state?

The only way to construct a political system that could ever adequately serve humanity would be to build it on a universal understanding of human behavior. No political system or political party has done that yet, simply because that universal understanding of human behavior has only been discovered within the past few years. I know this because I helped discover it myself. As long as our government is founded on anything other than the human evolution that made us evolutionarily equal members of the same species, we don't have a government of, by, and for the people, we have a government of, by, and for a particular group of people, which other people are allowed to participate in to the best of their ability.

Second, the Republicans build their political ideology on conserving the well established foundation of America and Western civilization in general. That necessarily means Christian values. The Democrats don't have a comparable foundation. To this point, the Democrats have been basing their political ideology on an abstract sense that people should find ways to move civilization forward. That makes it a lot easier for Republicans to convince majorities of voters that they know what they're doing and where they're going-- even though it's just a mass delusion. As it turns out, Democrats do have a foundation for their political ideology also, it's just that it's much larger, much deeper, and much more difficult to unearth. That foundation is the actual proof that everyone in the world has equally valid reasons for being who they are as everyone else-- also known as, "All men are created equal". Evolutionary scientists are unearthing that foundation even as we speak, but the Christian fundamentalists are doing all they can to prevent the public from learning about it. One just might say that poses a rather significant impediment to the future of the Democratic party.

The evolutionary scientists are not discovering any characteristic of human behavior that poets and philosophers haven't known about for millenia; the scientists are simply figuring out how all the pieces fit together. Progressive people all over the world have been trying to write a new foundation for civilization for decades, but so far all it officially consists of is a bunch of people's opinions about something. If 10,000,000 poets and philosophers all ove rht eworld all say the same thing, all that proves is that 10,000,000 people have the same opinion about something. If one evolutionary scientist says the same thing, suddenly it becomes evidence admissible in court. If that one scientist then teaches those 10,000,000 poets and philosophers how he arrived at his conclusions, suddenly 10,000,000 people's opinions become evidence admissible in court. And public schools. And political races. So that's exactly what I'm doing.

Third, the Chistian Coalition and other Christian fundamentalist groups have hijacked our political system by building their political ideology in a secular manner on the understanding of the world a majority of American voters accept as true-- namely, Chistianity. As long as our government is "controlled" by "votes" "cast" by religious people, we don't have a secular government. Democratic leaders are selling out their political ideology because the Theocrofascists have left them no other choice. In effect, the Theocrofascists have created a third party in our two party system that doesn't run candidates but controls enough votes to decide elections. That means that the only way for anyone to win enough votes to win elections is by offering the Theocrofascists what they want. That means that no matter who gets elected, the Theocrofascists always win. Obviously, that political strategy works better in some parts of the country than others, but all they needed was to win 51% of the country to be able to control the federal government.

Now the Theocrofascists have rendered the government completely helpless to do anything to serve the people. Unfortunately for them, they've made one fatal mistake: They grossly underestimated what the field of evolutionary science makes possible. If an evolutionary theorist possessed a sufficient level of artistic ability, philosopical background, worldliness, life experience, and sense of humor, he could write one book that could eliminate the Theocrofascists as an effective political force. That would be done in three ways: First, win a lot of support for science. Second, show how much science exists to support Jesus' or any other religious leaders' teachings of bringing about Peace on Earth. Third, make a mockery of religious fundamentalism by proving it is possible to write a single book that does everything the Theocrofascists are trying to accomplish by shoving the Bible down everyone's throats, and it can be done basically as a joke. Like I said, progressively minded people have been trying to write a new story of the world for decades, I'm just the one who figured out how to fit all the pieces together.

I guess I should point out that the only difference between genius and paranoia is that geniuses figure out how to prove the things no one else can perceive about the world are real. My intellectual peers number a few tenths of one percent of the human race. That doesn't mean everything, but it's not compeletely meaningless either. If a tree fell on someone and they were being crushed to death, and I came along and said that I can bench press 450 pounds so I could help them out no problem, do you think that person would lie there and lecture me on political correctness? Think about it.

The science that has gone into my book is already being used against the public, and it will continue to be used against the public. That's true simply because to this point, that science has only been reported in books that require people to possess certain educational levels to understand. That means that the people who are suffering the worst from the failures of our society and would benefit the most from these scientific discoveries had no way of learning about them until I came along. That also means that the people who do possess the education to put these scientific discoveries to use also have enough education to get jobs working for greedy corporate executives who use the science for their own short-term benefit while making the problems facing the world worse, not better. In that way, the scientists' original goal of helping to find solutions to problems facing humanity has been backfiring badly-- until now. Or more specifically, I should say that all the science that has gone into my book is already being used against the public WITH THE EXCEPTION OF my own contributions to the field, simply because I knew that if I didn't bring them to the public directly, they, like all the other discoveries, would be used against the public.

Evolution and the origins of human behavior are the two most controversial topics in the history of the world. The field of evolutionary psychology combines the two, and I'm a pioneer in the field. The current political situation in America does not exactly lend itself to my advancing my career in the traditional manner, if you know what I mean. I've devoted half my life to this project, I've put myself almost $200,000 in debt to complete it, and now I'm giving it away for free. Anyone who has a computer that can handle the download and a delete button, has nothing to lose. I can't force anyone to listen to it, but at least I can give everyone the opportunity to level the field between themselves and the people who are already using the science against them. If some people choose to throw this opportunity away, that's up to them. I've done all I can.

Just in case this is the only thing some people here can understand, the founding principle of America is that all men (meaning people) are created equal. That same belief is also the founding principle of Anarchism and Communism, despite the fact that those two groups have long been viewed as two of America's mortal political enemies. That's why before I joined this site I made sure to spread the word of my project to every Anarchist and Communist group I could find. Now our Democratic leaders are caught between the devil and the deep blue sea. Either they can abandon the Christian fundamentalists and start upholding the founding principle of America, or they can keep catering to the Chritian fundamentalists and leave the founding principle of America up to two of America's mortal enemies to defend. It makes no difference to me...

And for anyone who still has a problem with my believing I know important things about life that no else does, don't take my word for it. Download my audio book, listen to it, burn it to a CD, and then take it to a biology or human sciences professor at your nearest high school or university, and ask him or her to listen to it and tell you whether or not I know what I'm talking about. (Don't worry, they'll be grateful, because practically every biologist in America is trying to find ways to defend evolution.) THAT is your proof. That's the difference between science and religion. Objective science doesn't depend on specific people to confirm it, only on people who have certain educational backgrounds that could come from pretty much anywhere. There are plenty of Democratic Youth and other progressive activists at my local university who are going to be doing this this coming fall. If the entire educational system of the Western world has to be counter-hijacked by people under 30, once again, it makes no difference to me.
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KittyWampus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-25-06 08:52 PM
Response to Original message
25. For Science to progress at this point it'll require discarding Materialism
Edited on Sun Jun-25-06 08:55 PM by cryingshame
and Reductionism. At least for several hundered years.

And by progress, I mean taking mankind into an entirely new direction the way Rationalism did. Because at this point Science has been corrupted by Industry.

Intelligent Design, in so far as it posits an inherent Natural Intelligence, is a valid theory regarding the mechanism behind Evolution.

While some of the theorists go too far in positing a Creator or Being, that doesn't discredit the work and views of those who do not go too far.

You can't be too well educated in Science if you don't know basic Philosophy of Science or even understand the extent to which you are blindly adhering to one particular UNPROVEN philosphical world view.

It's sad really.
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Random_Australian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-26-06 02:38 AM
Response to Reply #25
48. You know, I am going to have to disagree with you pretty broadly here.
"point it'll require discarding Materialism"

It never embraced it, never was more than a way of asking questions about the world.

"Science has been corrupted by Industry."

Nope, industry bought some opinions of people, and people have ignored science when making decisions, but that is not part of science. Science has not been corrupted by anything, these days the sciences are learning more all the time, at a rate most if us are incapable of comprehending.

"Intelligent Design, in so far as it posits an inherent Natural Intelligence, is a valid theory regarding the mechanism behind Evolution"

Actually, it isn't even a hypothesis, much less a theory. So describing it as a "valid theory" is not something you can do.

"blindly adhering"

We make our own decisions, not blind adherence.

" one particular UNPROVEN philosphical world view"

You cannot absolutely prove by induction anyway, so that does not affect it. Also, evolution is supported by the evidence. The others aren't.

ID is not valid.

Here is why:

The following exclude the hypothetico-deductive method and focus on the logico-deductive.

Definition of hypothesis:

- In order to propose a hypothesis, we must have some repeatable, verifiably observable phenomenon that is either inexplicable by current science (as in , contradicts another theory, not simply difficulty in understanding the mechanisms OR it can present significant reductions in the complexity of the current accepted theories. (eg plate tectonics, when they first went from geocentric to heliocentric)

- This must predict some testable effect in the world, or it must be able to be used as a predictor of some kind. (similarity in close species in evolution)

ID meets neither, it does not explain the inexplicable, it does not simplify the current, it does not predict anything testable.

There you go!
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Warren DeMontague Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-26-06 03:26 AM
Response to Reply #48
52. Don't even bother.
Edited on Mon Jun-26-06 03:26 AM by impeachdubya
If I had the time, I'd find the 5,000 threads where she's already had this exact same argument wholly and thoroughly debunked.
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hfojvt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-26-06 04:55 AM
Response to Reply #48
57. You seem to be overly optimistic
Perhaps science is doing different things in Australia, "learning more all the time". I suppose it, or they, are doing that here as well. Learning new ways to kill people, to poison the environment, and new ways to keep the masses entertained.

ID is valid, as a philosophy, a non materialist meta-science. Of course, you would deny the validity of any meta-science, even deny the existence of such a thing as meta-science (commonly called metaphysics, since, of course, physics is the only 'real' science). "The sciences are being taught without any awareness of the presuppositions of science, of the meaning and significance of scientific laws, and of the place occupied by natural sciences within the whole cosmos of human thought." Schumacher p. 95

In your listing of why ID is not valid, do Oparin meet any of those criteria?
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Random_Australian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-26-06 05:09 AM
Response to Reply #57
58. Right, here is some stuff I know.
Edited on Mon Jun-26-06 05:10 AM by Random_Australian
Kill people, poison the environment, entertan the masses?

The third, somewhat, but for more reason.

Industry does the first two. Huge amounts of scientific thought is going into undoing that crap. Remember, scientists tend to be one of the most altruistic groups around. We just looooove to fix things!

For just how much we are learning, the total knowledge of chemistry doubles every 30 years. Btw, it is a rare person indeed who had any idea of the scope of understanding of chemistry even back in the 1950's. You don't hear about much, as the problems don't even make sense to anyone else, but believe you me, people are learning at an amazing rate.

Science and scientists will use any means they can to improve the world. Humans are limited. People ignore science when it suits their wishes. Nature doesn't.

Finally, what/who is Oparin?
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hfojvt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-26-06 05:24 AM
Response to Reply #58
60. industry does the first two
and they hire scientists so they can be more effective at it.

Oparin

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aleksandr_Oparin

The total knowledge of chemistry doubles every 30 years? Kinda scary since I last took chemistry 26 years ago. Is Avogadro's number now up to 1.2 x 10^24?

Judging from the progress from Reaganomics to Bushonomics, the total knowledge of economics is reduced by about 70% every 20 years.
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Random_Australian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-26-06 05:44 AM
Response to Reply #60
61. Ok, about Oparin, yes he passes. Provided he backed his claims
with firm arguments.

Avogadro's number is the same. Most of the expansion has been about structure, and quantum stuff.

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Bill McBlueState Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-26-06 10:07 AM
Response to Reply #58
70. "scientific thought is going into undoing that crap"
Exactly!

We wouldn't even know that the environment is being poisoned and that global temperatures are rising if not for the work of scientists.

Climate change research -- both the collection of data and the building of complex computer models -- doesn't spring fully-formed from the pages of a journal. Scientists do the work.
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Warren DeMontague Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-26-06 11:59 AM
Response to Reply #57
73. ID is as "valid" as faith healing, crystals, or homeopathy.
Edited on Mon Jun-26-06 12:00 PM by impeachdubya
All the more reason it should be kept the hell away from our public schools.

As far as "Learning new ways to kill people, to poison the environment, and new ways to keep the masses entertained"- even if that was a reasonable summation of what science "does", (and not a ridiculous little rant against it) it still wouldn't have any bearing on the objective truths about things like the origins of species that science has discovered..

Get it?

Your argument there sounds eerily similar to Tom DeLay's, that teaching evolution causes kids to run around having premarital sex (oh no!) Well, even if it does, it's still true. Deal with it.

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KittyWampus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-26-06 06:17 PM
Response to Reply #48
82. Of course Science TODAY is Materialist. And it is pathetic those who adher
to such a philopsophy are blind to it.

Like fish in water have no clue there is such a thing as air.

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Warren DeMontague Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-26-06 03:23 AM
Response to Reply #25
51. Not as sad as continually posting this same "argument"
Edited on Mon Jun-26-06 03:25 AM by impeachdubya
and then running away and hiding when it is shot full of holes again.. and again.. and again..

I'm not sure you have the requisite understanding of science to be able to issue fatwahs to it about what it is "required" to do to progress.
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KittyWampus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-26-06 06:15 PM
Response to Reply #51
81. If you can't at least ADMIT you are a Materialist, what is the point?
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Warren DeMontague Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-26-06 06:58 PM
Response to Reply #81
84. To quote the movie "Princess Bride": "You keep using that word...
Edited on Mon Jun-26-06 07:04 PM by impeachdubya
...I'm not sure you know what it means"

"Materialist" isn't an insult. And what you plainly fail to grasp is, to get to the frontiers of science, to get out where quantum physics gets weird (but not in the ways that you think it does) you have to accept science and the rules that science plays by. Certain ideas (like "God") don't get special, preferential treatment. Intelligent Design doesn't get to say "Well, yes, there isn't one single solitary fucking shred of physical evidence for our assertions, but the fact that you are even asking for physical evidence indicates your bias against our ideas".

Sorry, that's not science. That's not how science works. Science managed to survive Giordano Bruno being burned at the stake, it can progress just fine without the waterheads at the Discovery Institute demanding that the rules be changed special for them.

And you don't have to be a "materialst"- whatever you may think that word means- to know that so-called "Intelligent Design" is a steaming load of unscientific poo.
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GaYellowDawg Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-26-06 01:59 PM
Response to Reply #25
79. You again?
For Science to progress at this point it'll require discarding Materialism and Reductionism. At least for several hundered years.


Science without methodological naturalism wouldn't be science. :dunce: As for reductionism, I suggest you read "What Makes Biology Unique?" by Ernst Mayr, where you can find a clear argument that biology - and much of other sciences as well - isn't reductionist.

And by progress, I mean taking mankind into an entirely new direction the way Rationalism did.


So nothing less than the advent of a new Plato is your bar for success? Just a teeny bit high, don't you think?

Because at this point Science has been corrupted by Industry.


Which is why, of course, there's a universal consensus by scientists on the human role in global warming in opposition to industry. :crazy:

Intelligent Design, in so far as it posits an inherent Natural Intelligence, is a valid theory regarding the mechanism behind Evolution.


No, it's not. Your "natural intelligence" isn't and can't be supported by experimental evidence. It can't be used as a framework for research. It's not predictive, nor is it testable. Therefore, it's not a scientific theory at all. Certainly not a valid one. It's a belief, which isn't science.

You can't be too well educated in Science if you don't know basic Philosophy of Science or even understand the extent to which you are blindly adhering to one particular UNPROVEN philosphical world view.


I agree completely. You aren't well educated in science, you don't know basic philosophy of science, and you really ought to do some reading. There are a number of books I can recommend:

"What is this thing called Science", by A.E. Chalmers
"The Logic of Scientific Discovery", by Karl Popper
"The Structure of Scientific Revolutions", by Thomas Kuhn
"Science as a Way of Knowing", by John Moore
"What Makes Biology Unique?", by Ernst Mayr
"Sex and Death", by Kim Sterelny and Paul Griffiths
"What Evolution Is", by Ernst Mayr

Oh, and an "unproven philosophical world view"? Since when did "proof" become a cornerstone of philosophy? :rofl:

It's sad really.


What's really sad is condescension from a clear position of ignorance.
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charlie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-26-06 02:05 PM
Response to Reply #79
80. Noble effort
But it won't make a whit of difference. She's been flogging variations of the same post for years.
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KittyWampus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-26-06 06:18 PM
Response to Reply #79
83. You know, at least the Reductionists on Huffington Post admit to it.
and are willing to argue their stance.
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Warren DeMontague Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-26-06 07:01 PM
Response to Reply #83
85. Seeing as every time you post this nonsense
someone shows up to argue it into the ground, I'm really not sure why you expect us to keep repeating ourselves. Maybe the "reductionists" at Huffpo haven't figured out that you just don't listen when you're proven wrong.



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GaYellowDawg Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-27-06 06:37 AM
Response to Reply #83
86. I did argue it.
Whoops - by "argue," you seem to mean "admit cryingshame's position." Not. Going. To. Happen. I know better.

I gave you several resources with which to improve your knowledge of the subject. Read them, then come back and talk.
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IChing Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-25-06 11:03 PM
Response to Original message
32. great post and welcome to DU...and here is a joke on the argument
Edited on Sun Jun-25-06 11:04 PM by IChing
the only debate on Intelligent Design that is worthy of its subject

Moderator: We're here today to debate the hot new topic, evolution versus Intelligent Des---

(Scientist pulls out baseball bat.)

Moderator: Hey, what are you doing?

(Scientist breaks Intelligent Design advocate's kneecap.)

Intelligent Design advocate: YEAAARRRRGGGHHHH! YOU BROKE MY KNEECAP!

Scientist: Perhaps it only appears that I broke your kneecap. Certainly, all the evidence points to the hypothesis I broke your kneecap. For example, your kneecap is broken; it appears to be a fresh wound; and I am holding a baseball bat, which is spattered with your blood. However, a mere preponderance of evidence doesn't mean anything. Perhaps your kneecap was designed that way. Certainly, there are some features of the current situation that are inexplicable according to the "naturalistic" explanation you have just advanced, such as the exact contours of the excruciating pain that you are experiencing right now.

Intelligent Design advocate: AAAAH! THE PAIN!

Scientist: Frankly, I personally find it completely implausible that the random actions of a scientist such as myself could cause pain of this particular kind. I have no precise explanation for why I find this hypothesis implausible --- it just is. Your knee must have been designed that way!

Intelligent Design advocate: YOU BASTARD! YOU KNOW YOU DID IT!

Scientist: I surely do not. How can we know anything for certain? Frankly, I think we should expose people to all points of view. Furthermore, you should really re-examine whether your hypothesis is scientific at all: the breaking of your kneecap happened in the past, so we can't rewind and run it over again, like a laboratory experiment. Even if we could, it wouldn't prove that I broke your kneecap the previous time. Plus, let's not even get into the fact that the entire universe might have just popped into existence right before I said this sentence, with all the evidence of my alleged kneecap-breaking already pre-formed.

Intelligent Design advocate: That's a load of bullshit sophistry! Get me a doctor and a lawyer, not necessarily in that order, and we'll see how that plays in court!

Scientist (turning to audience): And so we see, ladies and gentlemen, when push comes to shove, advocates of Intelligent Design do not actually believe any of the arguments that they profess to believe. When it comes to matters that hit home, they prefer evidence, the scientific method, testable hypotheses, and naturalistic explanations. In fact, they strongly privilege naturalistic explanations over supernatural hocus-pocus or metaphysical wankery. It is only within the reality-distortion field of their ideological crusade that they give credence to the flimsy, ridiculous arguments which we so commonly see on display. I must confess, it kind of felt good, for once, to be the one spouting free-form bullshit; it's so terribly easy and relaxing, compared to marshaling rigorous arguments backed up by empirical evidence. But I fear that if I were to continue, then it would be habit-forming, and bad for my soul. Therefore, I bid you adieu.
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me b zola Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-26-06 03:51 AM
Response to Reply #32
54. .
:thumbsup:
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hfojvt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-26-06 04:24 AM
Response to Reply #32
56.  that "joke" could easily be turned on its head
Since, in that story, the breaking of the kneecap happened in the present, in front of witnesses. Suppose, however, it had happened last year. The evolutionary theory proposes a "natural, mechanistic" explanation - that is, a bat, which was randomly flying around and just happened to strike a person in the kneecap. The ID person proposes an explanation that says "it happened by design" - that is, a being with some intelligence deliberately swung a bat with the intention of breaking a kneecap.

Which explanation does not strain the limits of credulity.
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Random_Australian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-26-06 05:14 AM
Response to Reply #56
59. I do not think you have thought out that post very well.
Might I point out the likelihood that such 'explanations' as were given reflect more the perception of the poster than the truth? (This is an effect of mediated cognition) and therefore not a good representation?

In the offchance that you were not playing devil's advocate, then see http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph... for why ID is not acceptable as a science.
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hfojvt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-26-06 05:45 AM
Response to Reply #59
62. the truth? It is an analogy
and you have said nothing about how it is inaccurate. You have two events - a kneecap hit by a baseball bat, and the origin of life and you have two explanations - a purely physical "random" explanation and one that relies on the motive power of an intelligent actor.
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Random_Australian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-26-06 05:51 AM
Response to Reply #62
63. I was saying that you need to be careful of your own preferences
when using analagy, eg. the natural explanation would be "someone hit him with something blunt and hard" rather than baseball bats were flying.
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hfojvt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-26-06 06:17 AM
Response to Reply #63
65. you cannot have a "someone" in a natural explanation
that implies a "designer" an "intent". I was trying to be analogous to Oparin's theory. It is only the cause of the action which is in question. In this game of Clue the pipewrench and the study are given. The question is whether it was Col. Mustard, or random physics.
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Random_Australian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-26-06 06:22 AM
Response to Reply #65
66. Why not? When I see a building, the natural explanation is a designer.
And whether the action actually needs cause. IMO, why should it?
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Ezra the Prankster Donating Member (67 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-26-06 04:21 AM
Response to Original message
55. Thanks to everybody...
...Who offered their support. Every little bit helps.

To the rest of you, 2500 Americans who volunteered to risk their lives to protect my freedom of speech have died for their heroism, and if nothing else, at least I can say I'm trying to do my part to make their sacrifice worthwhile. Having watched my efforts devolve into such an intellectual brawl this weekend, I have to say that I have found new insight into why so many moderate voters who swing toward the Republicans and so many liberally minded young people who don't vote at all, say the exact same things about Democrats: That they're whimps who don't dare to take any meaningful position or decisive action on anything, that they're so caught up in political correctness and proving how well educated they are that can't get anything done, and that as a result, they don't stand a chance against the Republicans.

This so-called "ego" that so many people here have accused me of having is called "stage presence". It is a fundamental requirement in getting any audience to pay attention to you and to believe you know what you're talking about. George W. has more of it than either Al Gore or John Kerry, so maybe that ought to tell you something. You are all making the subconscious mathematical prediction based on your life experience and evolutionary instincts that anyone who seems to you to have this much ego must actually have this much ego. Now you're reacting in the evolutionarily natural way of trying to beat me into submission with emotional aggression in order to convince me that I can't possibly be as important as you think I think I am, without taking into consideration that we're talking about science and we are doing it over the internet, which means that if the evidence doesn't support what I have to say-- and by that I mean evidence involved in the things I'm actually talking about, rather than periphery evidence of things like official educational credentials-- then I'll defeat myself all on my own without any of you having to lift a finger. There's a section in my book about this, it's called Emotional Aikido.

The world is already full of books for academic people. Among the people I write for, being able to put into words what other people have been trying to say for years and daring to say it in the face of any amount of adversity means more than any amount of official educational credentials anyway.

I think I've said all I have to say here. Contained within the pages of this debate you will find everything you need to figure out what I'm doing and to get a good start on moving your Democratic party in a direction where it can actually win some victories, as opposed to being the only party left in the ring when the Republican party defeats itself.

Oh, one other thing: The reason I don't write in any way that intellectual elitists can recognize as representing any meaningful degree of educational or intellectual accomplishment is because I write the way oridnary people talk. So shhhhh, it's all part of my evil masterplan to revitalize working people's hope by showing how they can put together the pieces of what they understand about the world in order to build a better future for America, without any intellectual elitists being able to figure out how it's happening.

So long everybody. Good luck. I mean it. :)
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Bridget Burke Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-26-06 10:03 AM
Response to Reply #55
69. Pranks are generally quick & amusing....
I'd hesitated to hack my way through your thicket of verbiage. Now I'm glad I saved myself the trouble.

* You point out that Democrats are elitist "whimps."

* You compare your "stage presence" to that of Monkey Boy?

* If you're going to call yourself an expert, academic credentials DO count.

* Cultivate clarity if you want anyone to read your stuff--either the "oridnary people" or the "intellectual elitists."

"your Democratic party" thanks you for your suggestions. Once we can figure out what they are.




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techhead Donating Member (33 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-26-06 01:46 PM
Response to Reply #55
77. This so-called "ego" that so many people here have accused me of having is
This so-called "ego" that so many people here have accused me of having is called "stage presence".

Really? From here it looks and sounds like smug bloviation.
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HiFructosePronSyrup Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-26-06 01:48 PM
Response to Reply #77
78. I was going to say...
pseudo-intellectualism.
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northzax Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-26-06 01:13 PM
Response to Original message
76. interesting, and I mean no offense
but if your book is as much of a thicket of verbiage as your posts on this thread, you are in serious trouble selling it to the public. Remember, the other side has a one line arguement "My grandaddy was not a monkey" if you can't counter that, in just as quick and dirty of a line, then you're pretty much doomed.
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