Notices
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 100 of 104
Like Tree29Likes

Thread: Evolution? Ever evolving into mediocre crap.

  1. #1 Evolution? Ever evolving into mediocre crap. 
    The Enchanter westwind's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Posts
    1,079
    How far has Mankind come in the last two and one half million years.?

    About three feet from your own back door.

    OK. Weare not quite as hairy as we used to be.

    Big Deal.

    We are still afraid of the Dark.

    We still do not trust ourselves to walk home early morning alone from our local night club.

    And the Age of Thinkers and Creators has long gone.

    Yet we quite happily delude ourselves into thinking we are the ongoing best of what Nature can throw up.

    Now there's two good words. "Throw Up".

    Well, be at Peace with your disallusion. Or, if someone out there believes that the best is yet to come, then Poste to this Thread. Be careful to bring a good resume of where the improvements ( Long Term ), will be seen and why they will be so beneficial to Mankind. westwind.


    Words words words, were it better I caught your tears, and washed my face in them, and felt their sting. - westwind
    Reply With Quote  
     

  2.  
     

  3. #2  
    Northern Horse Whisperer Moderator scheherazade's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Yukon, Canada
    Posts
    4,066
    Interesting that you should select 'afraid of the dark' for one must contemplate why that should be.

    After all, we emerge from the womb, a place not endowed with ambiant lighting from what I have observed in biology and anatomy so why this fear of the dark?

    I would suggest, that this, and all other fears are only arrived at through experience, that of the individual or passed on by conditioning of the collective as a 'best survival strategy'.

    In our evolution to date, we are becoming somewhat better at comprehending the source of our fears, that being ourselves, so perhaps there is hope for continued improvement as we go forward, in that regard. We waste a dreadful amount of time, energy and resources because of our apprehensions, both real and imagined, IMO, energy that could be put to far better use.


    sculptor likes this.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  4. #3  
    Forum Professor pyoko's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Australia
    Posts
    1,095
    Evolution doesn't have to always work forwards or better things.
    It is by will alone I set my mind in motion.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  5. #4  
    Ascended Member Ascended's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Norfolk
    Posts
    3,448
    Quote Originally Posted by pyoko View Post
    Evolution doesn't have to always work forwards or better things.
    That's interesting you should say that, because my understanding of evolution is that it strives to promote the attributes that allow for the best chance of survival in the conditions that previous generations have had to live with. Meaning that if there was a sudden dramatic change to our lifestyles or living conditions evolution upto now might not necessarily left us in the best position to handle it, but given time would help us adapt.

    It's this idea that the traits that are engineered by evolution are not necessarily good or bad, it's all about how useful a particular trait is for conditions we live with. It also shows us that Hilter's idea of a perfect master race was very flawed. Evolution takes such a long time to change traits because it is allowing for the possibility that conditions can change and different characteristics may again be needed. If the whole planet had done as Hitler wanted and created just one 'master' race where everybody shared the same 'desired' characteristics then we would all be at serious risk from change, as the things we may as a species once again need have been lost through being genetically engineering out.

    I think this also help explains why we still carry many what we now consider 'redundant' genes as a protection against future condition changes allowing evolution to once again delve into it's bag of tricks to help us adapt to any situation.
    westwind likes this.
    “The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wiser people so full of doubts.”

    Bertrand Russell
    Reply With Quote  
     

  6. #5  
    Moderator Moderator Janus's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Posts
    2,239
    Quote Originally Posted by westwind View Post
    How far has Mankind come in the last two and one half million years.?

    About three feet from your own back door.

    OK. Weare not quite as hairy as we used to be.

    Big Deal.

    We are still afraid of the Dark.

    We still do not trust ourselves to walk home early morning alone from our local night club.
    In evolutionary time scales, it really hasn't been that long since that characteristic was a still strong survival trait (especially for a non-nocturnal species). For most of that 2.5 million years wandering around after sunset was a good way of getting yourself killed.

    And the Age of Thinkers and Creators has long gone.
    By what standard

    Yet we quite happily delude ourselves into thinking we are the ongoing best of what Nature can throw up.
    I'm under no delusions as to that. While it is true that humans have, at present, assumed dominance over the planet, not enough time has passed to really determine whether our intelligence will turn out to be a long-term survival trait. After all, we haven't been around even as long as some species of dinosaurs were.

    westwind.
    westwind likes this.
    "Men are apt to mistake the strength of their feelings for the strength of their argument.
    The heated mind resents the chill touch & relentless scrutiny of logic"-W.E. Gladstone


    Edit/Delete Message
    Reply With Quote  
     

  7. #6  
    Forum Ph.D.
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Australia
    Posts
    784
    Perhaps our greatest leaps forward have been in social organisation, ie external to the genome. Not saying those have been anything like 100% successful, far from it. Social organisations like Science and Academia have actually led to the potential to become purposeful designers of the future genome although maybe well short of intelligent designers when it gets down to deciding what purpose. But science is one area I would count as a leap forward; it gives us foresight that pushes predictive power further into the future than the immediate and obvious, to become capable of true prophetic insight, if not of minute detail at least in the broad sweep of future impacts of what we do collectively.

    Maybe the old motivations never go away - the short term advantage of individual and clan, driven by fear, greed, anger, envy to seek to dominate or destroy competition - but civilisation has been built in large part on getting people to forego those impulses and moderate and modify their behaviour. There is greater potential now for advancing humanity than ever before but I think it will be the better incorporation of ethics (or perhaps science based prophetic insight) into those structures of social organisation like government and commerce that will make the difference between success and failure.

    I think the near future, with our collective choices impacting the ongoing capacity to live well within the environmental and resource limits of our planet, constitutes a pivotal time of make or break testing for those institutions of social organisation and consequently for the future of our genome.
    westwind likes this.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  8. #7  
    Forum Professor pyoko's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Australia
    Posts
    1,095
    Chrisgorlitz - survive and adapt, yes. But not necessarily "in class". Ability for a species to breed and survive does not have to come with that certain je ne se qua that human cultures holds dear. That's all I meant
    Last edited by pyoko; November 17th, 2012 at 06:12 PM. Reason: typo
    It is by will alone I set my mind in motion.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  9. #8  
    Ascended Member Ascended's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Norfolk
    Posts
    3,448
    Quote Originally Posted by pyoko View Post
    Chrisgorlitz - survive and adapt, yes. But not necessarily "in class". Ability for a species to breen and survive does not have to come with that certain je ne se qua that human cultures holds dear. That's all I meant
    Ok thx for the clarification.
    “The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wiser people so full of doubts.”

    Bertrand Russell
    Reply With Quote  
     

  10. #9  
    ***** Participant Write4U's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Posts
    1,245
    Quote Originally Posted by Chrisgorlitz View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by pyoko View Post
    Evolution doesn't have to always work forwards or better things.
    That's interesting you should say that, because my understanding of evolution is that it strives to promote the attributes that allow for the best chance of survival in the conditions that previous generations have had to live with. Meaning that if there was a sudden dramatic change to our lifestyles or living conditions evolution upto now might not necessarily left us in the best position to handle it, but given time would help us adapt.

    It's this idea that the traits that are engineered by evolution are not necessarily good or bad, it's all about how useful a particular trait is for conditions we live with. It also shows us that Hilter's idea of a perfect master race was very flawed. Evolution takes such a long time to change traits because it is allowing for the possibility that conditions can change and different characteristics may again be needed. If the whole planet had done as Hitler wanted and created just one 'master' race where everybody shared the same 'desired' characteristics then we would all be at serious risk from change, as the things we may as a species once again need have been lost through being genetically engineering out.

    I think this also help explains why we still carry many what we now consider 'redundant' genes as a protection against future condition changes allowing evolution to once again delve into it's bag of tricks to help us adapt to any situation.
    There are some remarkable exceptions which have led to evolutionary dead ends. The "silvery salamander" is a good example. The female rejects male sperm and its offspring are all female clones of the mother. I believe there are only a few hundred individuals left in a pond in Michigan.
    It's truly an amazing evolutionary development.
    Silvery Salamander - ArborWiki - Ann Arbor
    Unisexual "Hybrid" Salamander Complexes, Ambystoma spp.
    Last edited by Write4U; November 17th, 2012 at 06:13 PM.
    westwind and sculptor like this.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  11. #10  
    Forum Radioactive Isotope skeptic's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    New Zealand
    Posts
    4,840
    The OP refers to changes over 2.5 million years.
    Well, two and a half million years ago, our ancestors were Homo habilis, which had a brain of about 600 cc - half that of modern man. I think there has been progress!
    Reply With Quote  
     

  12. #11  
    The Enchanter westwind's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Posts
    1,079
    You think so skeptic? Look around you. Go to a Sporting Event. Lots of half Wits out there..

    The Brain Size is demonstrately bigger. Better?.

    There's so many more of us now. Surely our control of our Passions and War like intentions and attitudes should by now be reflected by the alledged intelligence we have developed.?

    We should have developed Utopia by now.

    So many of us. All that cross breeding. All that Genetic Soup. Where, oh where is the level of Intelligence one has a right to expect?

    And us acting like a harmonous all knowing Culture who have eliminated the need to be angry with each other?

    I think we have had the time.

    Maybe we missed the opportunity somewhere.

    Maybe got shunted off the Main Line.

    For the last 4,500 years our Human Nature has not been modified or advanced to something better. If we are evolving, we had better choose a Quicker way to get to the Utopia we want for ourselves.

    I qualify my statements here now, they are mostly my take on how things are going. westwind.
    Words words words, were it better I caught your tears, and washed my face in them, and felt their sting. - westwind
    Reply With Quote  
     

  13. #12  
    Forum Radioactive Isotope skeptic's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    New Zealand
    Posts
    4,840
    Quote Originally Posted by westwind View Post

    There's so many more of us now. Surely our control of our Passions and War like intentions and attitudes should by now be reflected by the alledged intelligence we have developed.?

    We should have developed Utopia by now.
    We have. However, Utopia is not a destination. it is a process. That process is well under way. The single statistic that best shows human welfare is average life span. That is because everything that goes against human welfare also serves to reduce lifespan. Whether medical, like diseases, or violence, hunger, wars or social upset etc.

    100 years ago, the global average life span was under 30 years. Today it is more than double. We are well along the utopia process.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  14. #13  
    Suspended
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Apocalyptic Paradise
    Posts
    6,613
    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic View Post
    100 years ago, the global average life span was under 30 years. Today it is more than double. We are well along the utopia process.
    Be careful with using 'statistics.' These ones are skewed a bit by early deaths and medical mortality.
    While what you said was accurate, it can be misleading because the average reader would think that 100 years ago, the average person didn't live past 30 years old. That's not accurate, the average person made it well past 30 years old. Benjamin Franklin wasn't exactly youthful. Many historical figures weren't.

    Part of my own gripe is with the notion of Utopia. Not my style. I'll resist it 'til I'm dead. I'm primitive- an animal. I have base instincts and I certainly find the idea of some Utopia as horrifying... Pack up the mule and head for the mountains. You guys can have it.

    Evolution is change that either assists or hurts. Mostly, it hurts. 99% of species that ever existed have gone extinct. Yet, the garden slug remains....
    It's not about progress or improvement- it's whatever survives.
    If having a larger brain helps us survive- then that change is an asset. But if our environment were to change in a way that makes big brains a disadvantage (I dunno, rays from space suddenly hit that only affect high intelligence), our geniuses will die out and people like me will take over.
    westwind likes this.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  15. #14  
    Forum Radioactive Isotope skeptic's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    New Zealand
    Posts
    4,840
    Quote Originally Posted by Neverfly View Post
    Be careful with using 'statistics.' These ones are skewed a bit by early deaths and medical mortality.
    While what you said was accurate, it can be misleading because the average reader would think that 100 years ago, the average person didn't live past 30 years old.
    You are correct, but that was not my claim.

    My claim is that average life span is a good indicator of overall human welfare. Lowering the average by lots of babies and infants dying is still an indication that something is wrong and welfare is not what it should be. Whether life span increases due to reduced infant mortality or because old people become even older, both are signs of improved human welfare.

    I am saying that, as a global average, human welfare today is better than it has ever been. This is shown by high average life span (as well as by better medical care, fewer diseases, more education, fewer dead in wars, lower murder rates, and a whole lot of other things.)
    Reply With Quote  
     

  16. #15  
    Suspended
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Apocalyptic Paradise
    Posts
    6,613
    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic View Post
    You are correct, but that was not my claim.
    I didn't think it was.
    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic View Post
    My claim is that average life span is a good indicator of overall human welfare. Lowering the average by lots of babies and infants dying is still an indication that something is wrong and welfare is not what it should be. Whether life span increases due to reduced infant mortality or because old people become even older, both are signs of improved human welfare.
    Whether it's "wrong" or not "what it should be" is a matter of perspective. As a father, I believe that nothing should interfere with my sons health and welfare. But I only feel that way because of a primal rage within me at anything that might threaten him. I evolved that way. In reality, we have a world barely able to support the massive infection of humans clustered on top of it.

    This demonstrates how an evolutionary trait may last a very long time but can still turn into a disadvantage over time. Here we are with our big brains and lots of medical facilities- as well as Global Warming and Climate Change, over population and decreasing resources.

    Something is going to have to give in the next few centuries and I, for one, am not overly-optimistic about our big brains ability to overcome massive problems on geological scales.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  17. #16  
    Forum Radioactive Isotope skeptic's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    New Zealand
    Posts
    4,840
    To Neverfly

    For a start, in relation to population growth - you do realise, do you not, that then population explosion is over?

    The rate of population growth has been slowly diminishing ever since the contraceptive pill was made widely available. Fertility is the average number of children a woman has. It has been falling, from 5.5 about 50 years ago as a global average to 2.4 today.

    The only reason population is still growing is the age structure of populations. There are few older people dying and lots of young people reproducing. This will slowly change till, by 2050 (according to the United Nations), average global fertility will be 2.0, which is well below replacement rate.

    Resources are not as limited as alarmists like to claim. Take food, for example. The extreme case is having to use the most intensive agriculture possible. This is high yield hydroponics. Assuming no animal protein is consumed, it is possible to keep the average adult healthy with the food from 100 sq. metres of hydroponics. At this rate, you could feed 20 billion people (about double what the maximum that the world population is likely to get to) with food grown on the northern one third of Australia (the wet part) alone. Such hydroponics are sufficient for most nations to feed their own population.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  18. #17  
    Suspended
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Apocalyptic Paradise
    Posts
    6,613
    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic View Post
    To Neverfly

    For a start, in relation to population growth - you do realise, do you not, that then population explosion is over?
    Population will continue to grow. How fast is not as relevant.
    World population - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic View Post
    Resources are not as limited as alarmists like to claim. Take food, for example. The extreme case is having to use the most intensive agriculture possible. This is high yield hydroponics. Assuming no animal protein is consumed, it is possible to keep the average adult healthy with the food from 100 sq. metres of hydroponics. At this rate, you could feed 20 billion people (about double what the maximum that the world population is likely to get to) with food grown on the northern one third of Australia (the wet part) alone. Such hydroponics are sufficient for most nations to feed their own population.
    I'm not sure if I agree with this assessment or not- I'd need to study up on it.

    Let's say that you're absolutely right, for the sake of argument. You've now convinced me that food won't be a problem (I admit, I has a lil' doubt)- what about Energy? What about medical resources? See, we can only manufacture a certain amount of many medicines and for most, it's well below sustainment. The only reason it's not a major issue is that most folks are totally ok with people in Africa and India not getting any of that product at all...
    What about Trash? Environmental impact of our slathering ourselves over every habitat, disrupting everything within them? Who shall save the honey bee?
    Food is only one small problem- it's the most renewable resource, not the least renewable. If you want to make a strong argument, you need to show a clean renewable energy resource. You need to show a way of cleanly dealing with toxic and nuclear waste, rather than how we're currently piping it into leaking caverns in the ground and then trying to forget it's there.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  19. #18  
    Forum Radioactive Isotope skeptic's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    New Zealand
    Posts
    4,840
    Neverfly

    Re population.
    Going by United Nations figures, the population of the world will hit a maximum by 2100 of between 6 billion and 16 billion, with a maximum probability round 10 billion. After that, it will stabilise or diminish. As you can see from the 6 billion minimum, there is a chance it will diminish even before that date.

    If we work on the maximum probability estimate of 10 billion, then we have to ask, can we support 10 billion with no serious adverse consequences. I think we can. I have already covered food.

    Medical resources are not an issue. The drug companies will make as much is required to supply what people can pay for. There is no manufacturing limit - just an economic one.

    Trash? Even ignoring the probability of increased recycling, not a problem. Dr. Bjorn Lomborg calculated for his book that 100 years of trash for the USA would fill a hole of 18 miles diameter, 100 metres deep. This is not even a pin prick on the American map. Combining recycling with local land fills should deal with this.

    Nuclear waste is a political problem, not a technical one. Since nuclear waste, in tonnes, is one of the world's smallest waste streams, it can be dealt with in many different ways. My favourite is to find an abandoned open cast mine in a geologically stable desert, and it would take 1000 years to fill it with this small volume waste. Such abandoned mines are available both in Australia and in southern Africa.

    Other toxic wastes can be dealt with in varying ways, also, depending on the nature of the waste.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  20. #19  
    Suspended
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Apocalyptic Paradise
    Posts
    6,613
    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic View Post
    Medical resources are not an issue. The drug companies will make as much is required to supply what people can pay for. There is no manufacturing limit - just an economic one.
    There's no limit on raw materials?

    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic View Post
    Trash? Even ignoring the probability of increased recycling, not a problem. Dr. Bjorn Lomborg calculated for his book that 100 years of trash for the USA would fill a hole of 18 miles diameter, 100 metres deep. This is not even a pin prick on the American map. Combining recycling with local land fills should deal with this.
    I'd like to see the citation, please.
    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic View Post
    Nuclear waste is a political problem, not a technical one. Since nuclear waste, in tonnes, is one of the world's smallest waste streams, it can be dealt with in many different ways. My favourite is to find an abandoned open cast mine in a geologically stable desert, and it would take 1000 years to fill it with this small volume waste. Such abandoned mines are available both in Australia and in southern Africa.
    Yeah, see- we're already doing a bit of that and It's Leaking Out...
    Not so easy.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  21. #20  
    Northern Horse Whisperer Moderator scheherazade's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Yukon, Canada
    Posts
    4,066
    How much do Americans throw away? • Americans represent 5% of the world's population, but generate 30% of the world's garbage.

    students.arch.utah.edu/courses/Arch4011/Recycling%20Facts1.pdf

    https://docs.google.com/viewer?a=v&q...Tb-pf2BOk8jjrg
    Reply With Quote  
     

  22. #21  
    Forum Radioactive Isotope skeptic's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    New Zealand
    Posts
    4,840
    Neverfly

    Medical supplies are not really limited by raw material supply (there may, of course, be a few rare exceptions to this) since they are mostly organic and mostly made in small amounts.

    Citation?
    Dr. Bjorn Lomborg wrote a book called "The Skeptical Environmentalist". Probably available at your local library.

    Leaking nuclear waste?
    Only small amounts. However, I am not approving the current ways of dealing with nuclear waste. As I said before, the problem is political. Proper methods of dealing with the waste tend to be stopped by political action. For example : if you dumped it in a deep hole in the middle of Australia's Simpson Desert, which would be an ideal method and would cause no harm to anyone, there would nevertheless be a mass of protest. If only people would get rational!

    Because proper permanent methods of disposal get stymied by idiots who protest and stop them, temporary measures are used instead, which are not as good.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  23. #22  
    Suspended
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Apocalyptic Paradise
    Posts
    6,613
    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic View Post
    Neverfly

    Medical supplies are not really limited by raw material supply (there may, of course, be a few rare exceptions to this) since they are mostly organic and mostly made in small amounts.

    Citation?
    Dr. Bjorn Lomborg wrote a book called "The Skeptical Environmentalist". Probably available at your local library.

    Leaking nuclear waste?
    Only small amounts. However, I am not approving the current ways of dealing with nuclear waste. As I said before, the problem is political. Proper methods of dealing with the waste tend to be stopped by political action. For example : if you dumped it in a deep hole in the middle of Australia's Simpson Desert, which would be an ideal method and would cause no harm to anyone, there would nevertheless be a mass of protest. If only people would get rational!

    Because proper permanent methods of disposal get stymied by idiots who protest and stop them, temporary measures are used instead, which are not as good.
    This is where we're gonna meet on some middle ground, I think.

    Let me review. I do not agree, by a long shot, that the problems are so easily resolved. At all. But I'd rather gather up more data than just come in spewing.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  24. #23  
    Forum Radioactive Isotope sculptor's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Posts
    4,211
    evolution/devolution

    hell man, some heidelbergensis, and neanderthalensis had bigger brains than sapiens
    what makes for "better" evolution anyway?

    where it goes next is way beyond my reasoning abilities
    (though, the younger generation does often seem a tad retarded to me)

    (but, they do seem to know much more about modern (comunication?) technology than I)
    Reply With Quote  
     

  25. #24  
    Forum Radioactive Isotope skeptic's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    New Zealand
    Posts
    4,840
    Quote Originally Posted by sculptor View Post
    some heidelbergensis, and neanderthalensis had bigger brains than sapiens
    That is a "maybe". The problem is that those pre-humans, and indeed, Cro-magnon man, have left relatively few fossils, and even fewer with measurable brain cases. The limited data we have on their brain size is still within the normal variance for human brain size. So the idea that their brains were bigger is unproven. It is likely that the difference, on average, was insignificant. Indeed, Heidelberg and Neanderthal are frequently considered to be Homo sapiens, different subspecies.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  26. #25  
    Suspended
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Apocalyptic Paradise
    Posts
    6,613
    Reply With Quote  
     

  27. #26  
    Forum Radioactive Isotope skeptic's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    New Zealand
    Posts
    4,840
    I do hope, Neverfly, that you noted that your reference talks of Cro-magnon skull in the singular?

    Modern man has skull cases that vary substantially, and the size of previous skulls overlaps that of modern variance. Sure, it is possible that earlier versions of Homo sapiens had larger brains, but it remains somewhat speculative.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  28. #27  
    Suspended
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Apocalyptic Paradise
    Posts
    6,613
    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic View Post
    I do hope, Neverfly, that you noted that your reference talks of Cro-magnon skull in the singular?
    I did and you make a valid point.
    My own skull is very small- I have to buy children sized hats...
    However, it does demonstrate that what you just essentially said in your response must be considered.
    An idea may be 'unproven' but that doesn't mean unsubstantiated.

    The statement made included:
    What makes evolution "better?"
    Answer: It varies. It depends entirely on the environment that mutation occurs in.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  29. #28  
    Forum Ph.D.
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Australia
    Posts
    784
    Any evidence that those with larger skull and brain size have higher IQ or greater achievements? It doesn't look that way to me. A minimum size to have the homo sapiens brain "architecture" but it's probabably more about the architecture.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  30. #29  
    Suspended
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Apocalyptic Paradise
    Posts
    6,613
    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Fabos View Post
    Any evidence that those with larger skull and brain size have higher IQ or greater achievements? It doesn't look that way to me. A minimum size to have the homo sapiens brain "architecture" but it's probabably more about the architecture.
    I believe it's folds, a lack of smoothness, to the higher brain that is the source of intelligence.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  31. #30  
    Universal Mind John Galt's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Posts
    14,168
    Quote Originally Posted by westwind View Post
    How far has Mankind come in the last two and one half million years.?
    .
    We have become the first species in 3,500,000,000 years that has the ability to contemplate and investigate the universe in a systematic manner and pass the knowledge on from generation to generation. We are the universe observing itself and that is a remarkable achievement.

    Quote Originally Posted by westwind View Post
    OK. Weare not quite as hairy as we used to be.
    And we have evolved language and mathematics to a qualitatively different level than that practised by any other creature. And we have created culture on a qualitatively different level from any other creature.

    Quote Originally Posted by westwind View Post
    We still do not trust ourselves to walk home early morning alone from our local night club.
    .
    I've walked through the Gorbals (Glasgow at its roughest) at two o'clock in the morning with £2,000 cash in my pocket, back in the day when £2,000 was real money. So, you don't speak for me.

    Quote Originally Posted by westwind View Post
    And the Age of Thinkers and Creators has long gone.
    One of my friends has just taken up oil painting at the age of 60. You mustn't judge creativity by reality TV.

    Quote Originally Posted by westwind View Post
    Yet we quite happily delude ourselves into thinking we are the ongoing best of what Nature can throw up.
    It is not delusional to recognise the unique character of homo sapiens. Nor does that exclude you from recognising the unique character of other species.
    skeptic and westwind like this.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  32. #31  
    The Enchanter westwind's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Posts
    1,079
    I wasn't lurking in the shadows when you walked around the Gorbals.

    And don't tell me you were't looking over your shoulder.

    I was just wondering John Galt. How intelligent was your walk through the dark with the loot? Dosen't that prove we are getting dumber?

    Yes, I have to concede that our accumulated knowledge and Education System works in our ongoing favour. Giving us a better chance of survival in unchanged circumstances.

    If we can get our co-operation with other people(s) right we have an even better chance.

    I can't help thinking our powers for individual Reasoning have diminished.

    You know, the apple hit Newton on the Head. AHH, gRAVITY. westwind.
    Words words words, were it better I caught your tears, and washed my face in them, and felt their sting. - westwind
    Reply With Quote  
     

  33. #32  
    Forum Ph.D.
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Australia
    Posts
    784
    Neverfly, I suspect that to attribute the unique cognitive abilities of humans to folds would be a gross oversimplification. An important part, but just a part, of a very complex story I would think
    Reply With Quote  
     

  34. #33  
    ***** Participant Write4U's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Posts
    1,245
    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Fabos View Post
    Neverfly, I suspect that to attribute the unique cognitive abilities of humans to folds would be a gross oversimplification. An important part, but just a part, of a very complex story I would think
    More folds allow for greater capacity in a smaller space. Our average skull size is probably at its limit. Ask any woman with children.
    But your point about architecture is important. There are many animals with very sophisticated brains, but these brains are adapted to their environment. Man needs to build gadgets where many animals have remarkable
    "mental" powers. Whales have the ability to use sonar and low frequency communication in the oceans. Pigeons probably navigate by magnetic fields. Insects can see infra red. A beehive has a compound brain and ability to choose an optimum hive location. These are specialized brains much like dedicated computers which perform limited tasks, but do them really well.
    The human brain has few of these abilities, but our brains have an open architecture which allows us to imitate those abilities. IMO, the greatest asset of our brain is our "mirror neural network".
    Last edited by Write4U; November 19th, 2012 at 04:43 PM.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  35. #34  
    Suspended
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Apocalyptic Paradise
    Posts
    6,613
    Ken Fabos,
    It is, but you must bear in mind that my brain is smoooooth and I often don't word things very well.
    Fortunately, folks like you tend to clean up after me.
    Write4you expanded on it well.
    Last edited by Neverfly; November 19th, 2012 at 10:30 PM.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  36. #35  
    Universal Mind John Galt's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Posts
    14,168
    Quote Originally Posted by westwind View Post
    I wasn't lurking in the shadows when you walked around the Gorbals.

    And don't tell me you were't looking over your shoulder.
    I am always looking over my shoulder. I won't abandon 3,500,000,000 years of effective practice on a whim.
    Quote Originally Posted by westwind View Post
    I was just wondering John Galt. How intelligent was your walk through the dark with the loot? Dosen't that prove we are getting dumber?
    No. It demonstrates that it is possible for an individual human to make an intelligent assessment of risks and to have in place contingency plans for dealing with unfavourable developments.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  37. #36  
    Forum Radioactive Isotope sculptor's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Posts
    4,211
    The Antikythera mechanism ... was recovered in 1900–1901 from the Antikythera wreck, but its significance and complexity were not understood until a century later

    what will be thought of our rusting technologies 1000 years hence?
    will we be thought of as gods, or ignorant savages?
    Reply With Quote  
     

  38. #37  
    Forum Freshman
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    That depends...
    Posts
    5
    I apologize beforehand for my vast lung capacity, and tendency to over explain. Enjoy.

    As this thread is about evolution, I fail to see how our descendants views of us are relevant. But I hope to be viewed as awesome.
    Now as to Homo sapiens evolving into "crap" that is quite the statement, as evolution is useless in our current environs. Because of modern medicine, judicial systems, and general lack of natural predators mankind is no longer specializing genetically.
    You have asthma? No problem here is your inhaler, so that you can live a normal life.
    You don't have any way to defend yourself? Don't worry we have people to do that for you!
    Some kind of animal has been destroying your livestock/attacking or killing people? Have no fear! We'll drive it to extinction/relocate it!
    Because of our leviathan of a society everyone, no matter how ill-adapted to the world, can reproduce. Because our breeding is no longer limited by seasons, or geographical locations human evolution has exploded!
    Now as to hair... We really don't need it now do we? It collects grime, bacterial, and parasites those with less hair most likely have an advantage with personal hygiene.
    With the widespread use winter clothing we no longer need it to remain warm, if you study tropical or African examples they have much less body hair.
    Humans aren't afraid of the dark... They're afraid of what is contained within DUN DUN DUNNNN!!! Seriously though, when it becomes dark our most reliedupon sense becomes impaired, we cannot see as well. Then naturally our good old survival instinct kicks in, paranoia, because the chances of our being preyed upon increases at night and our ability to detect/avoid danger lessens we feel the need to return somewhere we feel safe; home, a friends house, a well lit or crowded area because IF we are attacked we stand a better chance of survival if we are there.
    Now how can you say that the "Age of Thinkers and Creators" is gone? Have you not looked at the world around you? Are you so jaded that the wonders people are struggling to create and preserve are left unseen? Sure the projects and products have changed, but everywhere around you people are working towards something. Don't worry, Mankind won't become reactionary overnight.
    And damn straight we're the best of what Nature can breed, our species is both highly adaptive and aggressive a winning combination throughout history, but we also cheat Homo sapiens utilize both tools and the evolutionary process to outwit and out pace our competitors. This is both a blessing and a curse as we have driven most of our competing species to extinction, leaving only other humans to compete against. So yea I feel pretty superior, though that is just my ego typing.
    Also I prefer "Catharsis" as it implies an emotional ejection instead of a... Digestive one :P.
    Now I cannot predict how Mankind as a whole will develop, but I can tell you that there will be great leaps in technology, human intellect, and knowledge. War, and strife is inevitable as Terra is reaching critical mass environmentally, societally, and technologically.
    user="Entity 1" Hoping that I'll live to reproduce.
    westwind and Boing3000 like this.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  39. #38  
    Forum Radioactive Isotope skeptic's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    New Zealand
    Posts
    4,840
    Quote Originally Posted by user="Entity 1" View Post
    evolution is useless in our current environs.
    Welcome to the forum. I hope you enjoy it as much as I have.

    First: on evolution. Have you considered the impact of our incredibly increasing knowledge of genetics, and our increasing ability to intervene genetically? Natural selection may not be doing humanity much good any more, but a little gene tinkering may result in massive improvements.

    I agree with you that humanity is flexible and adaptive. Our use of tools is not a curse. It is a very large part of the secret of our success. Continued development of technology will lead to further success.

    However, I disagree that war and strife are inevitable. At least not more than normal. Human welfare is up, and violence is down. Society is evolving with wider recognition and practice of human rights, equality, and care of those who need it.
    westwind likes this.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  40. #39  
    Suspended
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Posts
    613
    Quote Originally Posted by westwind View Post
    How far has Mankind come in the last two and one half million years.?
    About three feet from your own back door.
    OK. Weare not quite as hairy as we used to be.
    Big Deal.
    As far as a half million year. Evolution only known unit is time.

    Well, the strange thing about your post, is that nobody can disagree. In fact what is missing is the scale of values your are trying to measure "evolution" against.
    This very notion is cousin with progress, and there is definitely way too much unknown variables to make a guess.
    Why being less hairy is a progress ? Because you could spare some bucks on your Gillette budget ?

    The lack of selective pressure, at least from dangerous predators, is gone since thousandths and thousandths of years, since our sociological ability invent "united we stand, divided we fall". We have tackle mammoth tiger and lions, even bear.

    But there is still selection at work, on many front. Here is one and here are some others. The missing data here is if it is death before or after breeding.
    I share the view of user="Entity 1"but I am more agnostic. I don't know what progress should be. Apparently our brain size is shrinking which is good if our all economy relies on mindless buying of useless non working crap. We may also evolves a more direct apparatus to ingest the various drugs and medicine that barely allow society to work.

    I think that the next nature harvesting would wipe-out the more carnivorous and energy waster of us (I am in that lot).
    Reply With Quote  
     

  41. #40  
    Northern Horse Whisperer Moderator scheherazade's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Yukon, Canada
    Posts
    4,066
    Our 'evolution' has followed largely in the wake of our ability to manipulate our food supply according to some discussions I have followed, particularly since the discovery of fire to cook food and with the advent of agriculture, allowing us to choose where we habituate rather than being forced to follow the seasons to find food to harvest.

    From fire to the discovery and development of other energy sources, the advantages have allowed us to manipulate our environment far beyond the capacity of any other species. It seems logical that our future evolution remains tied to food supply and energy and that we shall have to adapt to a change in diet and using less energy.

    (Renewable energy, a sustainable food supply and affordable housing are areas where our current economic model could stand to evolve, in my opinion.)
    Reply With Quote  
     

  42. #41  
    Forum Radioactive Isotope skeptic's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    New Zealand
    Posts
    4,840
    To Boing

    On brain size shrinking.
    I addressed that before. As conclusions go, that one is pretty much the nadir of science. It is based on a few skulls with larger than average brain cases, which are nevertheless well within the normal range of human variation. Statistically, it is meaningless.

    To scheherazade

    Renewable energy etc are not related to evolution, but to human learning and human behaviour.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  43. #42  
    Suspended
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Posts
    613
    Quote Originally Posted by scheherazade View Post
    Our 'evolution' has followed largely in the wake of our ability to manipulate our food supply according to some discussions I have followed, particularly since the discovery of fire to cook food and ...
    Yes, that half-million years old discovery most definitely is the big fork that gives us a edge on other species.

    Quote Originally Posted by scheherazade View Post
    with the advent of agriculture, allowing us to choose where we habituate rather than being forced to follow the seasons to find food to harvest.
    This is much more recent (5000 year), and what Mesopotamia gives us, is writing and this incredible cancerous meme that we were FORCED (as is was negative) by nature, and that afterward we were MASTER of nature.

    Quote Originally Posted by scheherazade View Post
    From fire to the discovery and development of other energy sources, the advantages have allowed us to manipulate our environment far beyond the capacity of any other species.
    Even beyond our capacities, given the well admitted scientific consensus. Selection have been really light on us recently. It may explains the blatant schizophrenia some have developed toward science itself.

    Quote Originally Posted by scheherazade View Post
    It seems logical that our future evolution remains tied to food supply and energy and that we shall have to adapt to a change in diet and using less energy.
    Could not agree more.


    Reply With Quote  
     

  44. #43  
    Suspended
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Posts
    613
    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic View Post
    To Boing
    On brain size shrinking.
    I addressed that before. As conclusions go, that one is pretty much the nadir of science. It is based on a few skulls with larger than average brain cases, which are nevertheless well within the normal range of human variation. Statistically, it is meaningless.
    If you say so. But I'll still follow a more scientifically accurate opinion.
    There is absolutely no reason why a bigger brain is an advantage. Nor a bigger car, nor a bigger wallet. Bigger balls maybe, but...
    Reply With Quote  
     

  45. #44  
    Suspended
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Apocalyptic Paradise
    Posts
    6,613
    Quote Originally Posted by Boing3000 View Post
    Bigger balls maybe, but...
    They are tender.

    Smaller and tucked up inside, maybe...
    Reply With Quote  
     

  46. #45  
    Northern Horse Whisperer Moderator scheherazade's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Yukon, Canada
    Posts
    4,066
    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic View Post
    To scheherazade

    Renewable energy etc are not related to evolution, but to human learning and human behaviour.
    What? Human behavior does not evolve?

    Evolution and Human Behavior is a peer-reviewed academic journal covering research in which evolutionary perspectives are brought to bear on the study of human behavior. It is primarily a scientific journal, but articles from scholars in the humanities are also published. Papers reporting on theoretical and empirical work on other species may be included if their relevance to the human animal is apparent. The journal is published by Elsevier on behalf of the Human Behavior and Evolution Society.
    Genetics: Human behaviour can be affected in many ways, one of which is genetics. Everyone has different traits such as intelligence and shyness which they inherit through heredity. These traits impact human behaviour and there are indications that behaviour is affected by genetics. First, behaviour can be different in different species. People behave differently from how a chickadee behaves for example. Second, behaviour can be reproduced in consecutive generations of humans. In each generation of people there will be similar behaviours that occur. Third, biological structures can be alternated resulting in behaviour changes. For example, if you develop a brain injury you can change from behaving politely to being aggressive. Another way behaviour can be affected is by behaviours that are brought up in families. For example, certain behaviours that can occur from a mental illness that runs in the family. Fourth, evolutionary history of genetics has a big impact on behaviour. All species have DNA which can bind us all together. Geneticists are now able to introduce or exclude specific genes, resulting in different traits and behaviours arising from those traits. One gene does not create behaviour. Behaviours result from a combination of genes, and these genes can be affected by different factors. Factors such as genes and environment are included in the growth of any trait. Genes can be manipulated and modified, and the environment can increase certain outcomes of genes. Understanding genetics in relation to behaviour is difficult and there are many things still being studied about this.
    I would suggest that decisions we make in regard to future energy and food sources shall also effect our continued evolution, which will affect future decisions, etc. I do not see how one may divorce behavior from evolution, though I happily concede that this is my opinion.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  47. #46  
    Forum Radioactive Isotope skeptic's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    New Zealand
    Posts
    4,840
    scheherazade

    It is a matter of length of time.
    Certainly behaviour can evolve, along with everything else. But we are talking a time period of tens or hundreds of thousands of years.

    Changing things like energy use is a behavioural change that will happen in a period of decades. So it is not evolution, but simple learning and how we act.

    Future human evolution will probably have little to do with natural selection, but will be all about tinkering with human genes.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  48. #47  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard icewendigo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Posts
    2,150
    Although it is challenging to avoid comparing humans to retarded cavemen when I look at right wing retrograde fox-news watching W-Bush/Republican voting humans,

    I do not share the pessimism related to biological human faculties. The human brain is good enough, good enough to create a far better society and space faring civilization not unlike that which was envisioned by star trek's creator.

    The Problem is NOT the Biological Brain, it is the social environment and organizational structure of society.

    When you are born, you know absolutely nothing, you cant speak or understand any language, have no clue about anything and cant even see the way we experience sight. If you are born in a caveman tribe, that is what will be normal to you and you will know virtually nothing. If you are born in the middle ages, you will not know about the universe, biology, bacteria, neurons, you will most likely be speaking the language of the society you are in contact with, you will believe in the gods others around you worship/talk/sing about, you will find it normal to use money, normal to obey to a feudal hierarchic system, normal to bleed people to make the evil get out of the body, or burn an old lady because shes in league with a magical invisible character with horns and a pitchfork.

    From an evolutionary perspective timeline, our society has improved a lot in some ways, but it is still very primitive, we still use money, hierarchy and control of information and see nothing wrong with it(the slave-powered galley is the best thing when you dont know about a A380 airliner ~What? Not using a Galley? Thats' crazy, Its better than the only alternative, which is swimming. What? Flying? Thats "Utopian". ~). Plus, institutions are intrinsically opposed to change since they derive their advantages from the status quo from which they leverage their influence/position. Kings were not at the forefront of abolishing Monarchy, though they held the most power and influence to abolish that which granted them influence, they were in a conflict of interest and not only did not step forward first to abolish their power, but on the contrary used the power and influence to make sure it would not happen, and so it take a freaking amount of time for institutions to change even if knowledge changes faster, which makes institutions often outdated(retarded/delayed/tardy) long before they finally reach the end of the line. Same for religion, when you consider that it took about 400 years for the church to acknowledge that the earth circled the sun or something and you still see religious folks with notions dating back 2000 years (its almost a miracle that "some" religious people with creationist affinities dont cling to the earth is flat theory.).

    Thus imo, its not a biological evolution problem or even a brain problem, but a social evolution, (at least we were not born in the middle ages), and its normal because you cant know things when you are born, you are limited to the society you live in, and society is not changing because of vested interests. We may have had the potential for 15 Einstein in developing countries among children that have starved or never had access to full education, which is a giant waste of human potential. Right now, very few people share this point of view, but with the internet things can change quite rapidly (not across the board at the same time, but organically like life sprouting and spreading in a fertile environment, the environment is getting more fertile, and we are imo close to formulating proto-seeds for a new civilization).

    Among the aspects I have come to perceive as needing to change, are the monetary system (with the end goal of having no money at all, as fantastic as it may sound), hierarchic organisations(closed, opaque), Control of information (as opposed to transparent), and the reductionist individualist mindset/perspective (as opposed to a holisitic view that understands inter-relations [interference and synergy] and emergent properties) (the latter being more difficult apparently for the anarcho-capitalist/libertarian crowd and for uncivilized people to figure out).

    cheers
    Last edited by icewendigo; December 4th, 2012 at 03:45 PM.
    Write4U likes this.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  49. #48  
    Forum Radioactive Isotope skeptic's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    New Zealand
    Posts
    4,840
    Quote Originally Posted by icewendigo View Post
    The Problem is NOT the Biological Brain, it is the social environment and organizational structure of society.
    Of course I agree with this.

    I would like to point out, though, that a great deal of social progress has already been achieved.

    Society today has moved towards human rights, liberty, human welfare, education etc.
    In Medieval times, the murder rate in England was 100 killings per 100,000 people per year. Today it is 1. A one hundred fold improvement. Slavery is gone (well, mostly gone). Likewise child labour - replaced by universal education. Torture is limited to a few backward and barbaric nations. The death penalty likewise. Monarchy, even in Britain, is disempowered, and largely ceremonial.

    What we have to replace all those barbarities of the past, is the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights. Most western nations now conform to that, and more and more other nations are adopting it.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  50. #49  
    Suspended
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Apocalyptic Paradise
    Posts
    6,613
    Well, I disagree. We may appear to be a blank slate when born, but inherent behaviors and behaviors caused by brain function soon become apparent.
    I'm sure we've all encountered those people out there that no amount of pressure or influence can make them learn- They seem flat determined to think screwy, making weird claims, conspiracy theories or refusing/rejecting knowledge in favor of fantasy.

    It seems as though they have little say in the matter, on a conscious level, and are thinking or behaving in the only manner they are capable of.

    At this time, there isn't enough data to say. I think it's likely that environment and raising are major factors in growth but not total factors and that biologically determined behavior is also a major factor.

    Also, side note, I find the Star Trek Utopia concept disturbing and utterly contrary to human nature. Just sayin.' But it's relevant as if environment was a total factor, I think people wouldn't be overthrowing oppressive governments and the like. People do respond, as infants and adults, to environmental pressures they inherently dislike or like. We are not born as total blanks, at all and any parent knows this.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  51. #50  
    Forum Freshman WilJake's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    A box; I may or may not be dead
    Posts
    15
    My view on things? We're animals, it doesn't matter where things go, we all die eventually, sooner or later our species will disappear, leaving are home ravaged. We are the only species with the hubris to claim that we deserve to live, that is what makes us "better" are ability to believe in something blindly...
    Neverfly likes this.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  52. #51  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard icewendigo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Posts
    2,150
    "Also, side note, I find the Star Trek Utopia concept disturbing and utterly contrary to human nature."
    Hi Neverfly, I'm betting if you were born in a Star Trek Utopia you would probably find our current civilization quite barbaric and disturbing
    (war, corruption, poverty, famine, superstitions, wasted human potential, neurosis/crime, punishment instead of prevention, state executions, etc etc)

    Not total blank, Im talking about higher concepts, methods and knowledge, if I travel in time back to Scotland in the middle ages, and find a Scottish born ~Japanese speaking atheist telling me about the need to avoid bacterial infections~, because his brain was not a blank slate but had the innate wiring for it, then Ill say ~I'll be darned, theres so much that we dont learn and have pre-wired after all!~ (Im talking about social structures, monarchy, heirarchy vs democracy, money, believing in an invisible man in the sky, etc, about subjects that are clearly and overwhelmingly related to the social environment and not prewired)


    "I'm sure we've all encountered those people out there that no amount of pressure or influence can make them learn-"
    If you tell a neolithic caveman about Neutron Stars in modern German, you can scream and shout and repeat in exasperation and this individual will not understand, for he does not have the frame of reference to understand what you are saying, hes relying on his perception of reality and on his language. If you tell someone in the middle ages the earth is round, this might be rejected off hand as stupid conspiracy theory, because the individual does not have a number of information to digest the new information. The exact same information can be misinterprested the first time around, the second time, etc, etc until a reference information is introduced that makes the initial information digestible or understood from another perspective. Plus when you say something that is contrary to a person 'world-view' that information is not given weight/discarded/creates-discomfort or dissonance. Some people might not change their point of view but others might after thought, time, analysis, new observation with the new ideas as tools to interpret, IF they have both the Time, Interest and Opportunity to do so. I know that when I first heard of a moneyless society I rejected it off hand as utopian bong smoke, and it took me a long time to analyse information differently and see things in a new light.
    Last edited by icewendigo; December 4th, 2012 at 04:37 PM.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  53. #52  
    Forum Radioactive Isotope skeptic's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    New Zealand
    Posts
    4,840
    Quote Originally Posted by Neverfly View Post
    We may appear to be a blank slate when born, but inherent behaviors and behaviors caused by brain function soon become apparent.
    The truth is probably somewhere in the middle. We may not be a blank slate, but the power of learning is massive. There are certain things we learn that are probably pre-wired into the brain - like testosterone stimulating an interest in women. However, over and above this is an enormous plasticity of learning, which permits a baby to grow into anything from a rabid Islamic or Christian fundamentalist, or a rational and deserving non believer like me.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  54. #53  
    Suspended
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Posts
    613
    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic View Post
    I would like to point out, though, that a great deal of social progress has already been achieved.
    Society today has moved towards human rights, liberty, human welfare, education etc.
    Yes of course, human rights for 500.000 Iraky's to get mass murdered in the name of democracy, human rights, liberty. A perfect educational operation accomplished.

    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic View Post
    In Medieval times, the murder rate in England was 100 killings per 100,000 people per year. Today it is 1. A one hundred fold improvement
    Those kind of claims are ludicrous. Here are real stat from conspiratorial source like wiki: Now that we have entered the era of free information for everyone, we can observe that revisionism has still a big bright future ahead. (for more middle age serious discussion read this)

    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic View Post
    Slavery is gone (well, mostly gone). Likewise child labour - replaced by universal education.
    Let's just hope that none of that non existing child working freely in sweat shop, or in Thailand for horny tourist, never got to read your revisionist claims.
    Most people in modern countries does not event possess their home, their bank does...

    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic View Post
    Torture is limited to a few backward and barbaric nations.
    Like United State of America. France, ... all except Switzerland, they prefer to torture milk.


    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic View Post
    The death penalty likewise.
    Not only wrong, but completely out of subject.

    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic View Post
    Monarchy, even in Britain, is disempowered, and largely ceremonial.
    Wrong kings, try those

    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic View Post
    What we have to replace all those barbarities of the past, is the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights. Most western nations now conform to that, and more and more other nations are adopting it.
    Or pretend to, so they can export their bloodshed into privatized colonies.


    Now seriously, if you want to make any valid point, you may want to broaden your historical perspective. And if your are talking about evolution try going back many millennia ago.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  55. #54  
    Forum Radioactive Isotope skeptic's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    New Zealand
    Posts
    4,840
    Boing

    I did not say society had become perfect. Which means that pointing out a few atrocities does not make my point wrong. Even the Iraq war does not reverse the trend, since WWII, for a smaller and smaller percentage of people each decade being killed in war. Steven Pinker: The surprising decline in violence - YouTube

    Yes, some slavery still exists, but at a level much, much lower than in previous centuries. The death penalty is now very limited, except for a small number of countries like China. Even in the USA, the number of people executed is way down from what it used to be. Torture likewise, with even the USA now giving it up (or so the US government says).

    A few exceptions does not obviate a trend, and the trend is towards more 'civilised' behaviour, especially in the west, but to a lesser degree, in most countries.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  56. #55  
    Universal Mind John Galt's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Posts
    14,168
    Quote Originally Posted by Boing3000 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic View Post
    In Medieval times, the murder rate in England was 100 killings per 100,000 people per year. Today it is 1. A one hundred fold improvement
    Those kind of claims are ludicrous. Here are real stat from conspiratorial source like wiki:
    Your "real stat"shows the UK as having a murder rate of 1.2 per 100,000. Are you seriously arguing that a 0.2 per 100,000 is significant? Or do you have some strange belief that because the rate in Jamaica, for example, is over 50 per 100,000 that this somehow negates skeptic's point about the improvement in the rate in England?
    Reply With Quote  
     

  57. #56  
    Forum Freshman
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    That depends...
    Posts
    5
    Personally I like Wiljake's view on the utopia, humans at their core are animals. We are aggressive, violent creatures as shown in nature everywhere and even in Star Trek (I my self grew up watching that show). Every citizens in their utopia was a class A hypocrite, they judged a races worth by FTL technology regardless of any extenuating circumstances (oh couldn't develop FTL in their industrial age when their sun is about to go super nova? Too bad even though we COULD save them we won't cause they aren't "advanced enough"), they treat more primitive cultures like animals in a wildlife preserve, and make no improvements to their own technology with the information they discover!
    And the "utopia" they live in is a fraud, in other words they're a race with no money, not even basic economic structures or any sign of a Free Market, Little to NO technological progress, and no cultural progress as the only music, plays, and other popular culture they show is from their distant past. And in reality humans in this utopia, and now, are large slavering predators trying to play nice with each other and everyone else but once their diplomatic branch has been declined are no stranger to violence or murder.

    Now back to the evolution of modern societies, as it occurs in nature it is mirrored in society, we are in a state of societal (genetic) diversity, each one is built to pander to the needs of their people (species), those that are whipped out through economic collapse or war (natural selection) are then discarded or modified in function for future use. It IS evolution we are TRYING to find what works best for ourselves and those we care about, lets not nitpick details about who's country is more advanced morally and ethically and just agree that every one of them is a work in progress, yeah?

    And this is coming from a third generation US army brat, who loves his country flaws and all.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  58. #57  
    Suspended
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Posts
    613
    Quote Originally Posted by John Galt View Post
    Or do you have some strange belief that because the rate in Jamaica, for example, is over 50 per 100,000 that this somehow negates skeptic's point about the improvement in the rate in England?
    It does not negate, it brings perspective. You don't have to go to Jamaïca, Detroit is far enough.

    It is easy to talk about trends, when observing some particular period in particular places, or ignoring events like wars, or World Wars. Wars on drugs, 1% of USA population incarcerated , and other minor details.

    Anyway, I fear that all this is utterly irrelevant in a thread about long term pressure selection on homo sapiens. Bringing "Human rights" in the debate is not the more honest things to do (if that exist at all, beside 3$ bumper sticker)

    One of the greatest social engineering done by mankind (it is a personal opinion worth a separate thread), maybe democracy, and it is burred in history, 3000 thousands years ago. Replaced by the mediatic bi polar circus sponsored by aristocrats (surprisingly call democracy by newspeak'ist). The long term trend is definitely not social cohesion nor organisations. The latest paradigm is more like extreme individualism and "jungle law". A wonder we came out of it in the first place.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  59. #58  
    Forum Radioactive Isotope skeptic's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    New Zealand
    Posts
    4,840
    Quote Originally Posted by John Galt View Post
    this somehow negates skeptic's point about the improvement in the rate in England?
    It is kind of weird, John.

    All the hard statistical data shows that humanity is moving from a nasty barbaric past to the future that is much nicer, and much more civilised. Or, if you like, we are moving towards our hypothetical utopia, and the world today is much closer to a truly humane and civilised place than it used to be.

    Yet, despite the data, there will be people who refuse to believe it, and will argue bitterly that people do not change and that society is just as rotten as it ever was. That belief is a bit like religion. Ignore the facts, and go with the faith.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  60. #59  
    Universal Mind John Galt's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Posts
    14,168
    Quote Originally Posted by Boing3000 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by John Galt View Post
    Or do you have some strange belief that because the rate in Jamaica, for example, is over 50 per 100,000 that this somehow negates skeptic's point about the improvement in the rate in England?
    It does not negate, it brings perspective. You don't have to go to Jamaïca, Detroit is far enough.
    You claimed skeptic's declaration of a murder rate for the UK of 1 per 100,000 was ludicrous. You immediately followed up that assertion with a reference to wiki that confirmed skeptic's number. Skeptic had chosen an example to demonstrate his point. Your response - as is your response to me - has the look and feel of an agenda driven rant. Populating your posts with bile and acerbic comments is not doing your underlying argument, such as it is, any favours.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  61. #60 Warning: Long Post 
    Suspended
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Apocalyptic Paradise
    Posts
    6,613
    Quote Originally Posted by icewendigo View Post
    Hi Neverfly, I'm betting if you were born in a Star Trek Utopia you would probably find our current civilization quite barbaric and disturbing
    You don't know me very well...
    I was born in this current civilization and I find it too weak, soft and pudgy. I often feel I was born in the wrong era. I wish it was more barbaric and disturbing. I'd then have more freedom, less illusions, more control over my life and fate and how others affect me. I don't fit in this society and I can assure you- That's death inside, eating at you from within. It's like being a tiger in a cage in the zoo.
    And yes, I do end up doing a lot of pacing.
    The old days, a million years ago, life was rougher. Yes, I may have had a shorter life span then. Yes, more danger, more threats. But I'd have LIVED. Think about the meaning of the word... Quality of Life trumps longevity anyday. Today, I exist. But I'm not alive. I'm not living. I'm just subsisting in a cage. Trust me... You have no idea what I'm missing.

    Quote Originally Posted by icewendigo View Post
    (war, corruption, poverty, famine, superstitions, wasted human potential, neurosis/crime, punishment instead of prevention, state executions, etc etc)
    All of that has been around for thousands of years. And people like me have been around fighting it for just as long. War and corruption, we fight. Poverty is a matter of perspective- even famine, There's Food If you're smart and know where to look. We, today, are too reliant on Safeway. Man, screw Safeway, give me a forest. PLENTY of food available, you just gotta catch it.
    And yes, I have experienced it for years, before you assume that I'm speculating. I've lived off the land for years at a time (Though not currently, sadly.)
    We're heavily regulated these days. These days we're regulated against how we fight things and for things, What we eat, how we eat it where we get it. Wanna fish? Gotta get licensed, pay fees, jump through hoops. Hunt? Same thing. We're not animals anymore, we're enslaved animals. We're slaves living under the illusion of freedom. Yeah, yeah, I know- there are so many of us that we have to regulate it- And why are we so freaking over-populated? Take a guess...

    No. I live in the wrong millennium.

    Utopia has too many people. Too many people not Living. Just existing. Under a shroud of illusions.
    Quote Originally Posted by icewendigo View Post
    (Im talking about social structures, monarchy, heirarchy vs democracy, money, believing in an invisible man in the sky, etc, about subjects that are clearly and overwhelmingly related to the social environment and not prewired)
    Interesting that you say that.
    Because social structures, social dominance, castes, fear and mistrust of strangers and the invisible man in the sky all seem to be pre-wired.
    These behaviors and concepts stem from the Lizard brain- what we refer to as instinct.
    Widening your eyes when startled, for example. An infant crying when a stranger picks them up but settling down when Mommy takes the infant back. We don't trust people outside our tribe. We obey basic programming much of the time- even with the learned behaviors. Walking, patterns of speech and the like are learned behaviors- but the pattern of those behaviors is often involuntary and unique to the individual.
    Sky-daddies and seeking paranormal explanations stems from the instinct of Pareidolia.
    Skeptic touched on it as well, here:
    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic View Post
    The truth is probably somewhere in the middle. We may not be a blank slate, but the power of learning is massive. There are certain things we learn that are probably pre-wired into the brain - like testosterone stimulating an interest in women. However, over and above this is an enormous plasticity of learning, which permits a baby to grow into anything from a rabid Islamic or Christian fundamentalist, or a rational and deserving non believer like me.
    Quote Originally Posted by icewendigo View Post
    If you tell a neolithic caveman about Neutron Stars in modern German, you can scream and shout and repeat in exasperation and this individual will not understand, for he does not have the frame of reference to understand what you are saying, hes relying on his perception of reality and on his language.
    If you had a time machine and went back in time and grabbed one as a new born, brought him back and raised him, he'd be indistinguishable from any common man, today as an adult.
    This isn't about pre-wiring, here, but that we've not changed that much in all this time.
    Quote Originally Posted by icewendigo View Post
    I know that when I first heard of a moneyless society I rejected it off hand as utopian bong smoke, and it took me a long time to analyse information differently and see things in a new light.
    I reject it because it's contrary to our nature and will be for a very long time. People need a reason to do things. I found WALL-E more accurate to humanity than Star Trek.

    If I lived in the Star Trek universe, I'd move in with the Klingons.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  62. #61  
    Northern Horse Whisperer Moderator scheherazade's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Yukon, Canada
    Posts
    4,066
    Quote Originally Posted by John Galt View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Boing3000 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by John Galt View Post
    Or do you have some strange belief that because the rate in Jamaica, for example, is over 50 per 100,000 that this somehow negates skeptic's point about the improvement in the rate in England?
    It does not negate, it brings perspective. You don't have to go to Jamaïca, Detroit is far enough.
    You claimed skeptic's declaration of a murder rate for the UK of 1 per 100,000 was ludicrous. You immediately followed up that assertion with a reference to wiki that confirmed skeptic's number. Skeptic had chosen an example to demonstrate his point. Your response - as is your response to me - has the look and feel of an agenda driven rant. Populating your posts with bile and acerbic comments is not doing your underlying argument, such as it is, any favours.
    Some strong language there, even for a moderator and Skeptic has a tendency to be....skeptical......and sometimes condescending, or so it comes across. No disrespect intended.

    This post and a few others, to an observer, looks like Skeptic and Galt playing 'tag team.'

    Apparently this thread is evolving into it's title.

    Score 1 for westwind, who in his own unique way has a finger on the pulse of things.
    Boing3000 likes this.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  63. #62  
    Suspended
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Apocalyptic Paradise
    Posts
    6,613
    Quote Originally Posted by user="Entity 1" View Post
    And the "utopia" they live in is a fraud
    The writers of Deep Space Nine loved to expose this. Look it up if you don't believe me, that's their words not mine.
    Quote Originally Posted by user="Entity 1" View Post
    and now, are large slavering predators trying to play nice with each other and everyone else but once their diplomatic branch has been declined are no stranger to violence or murder.
    Bingo.

    Quote Originally Posted by user="Entity 1" View Post
    Now back to the evolution of modern societies, as it occurs in nature it is mirrored in society, we are in a state of societal (genetic) diversity, each one is built to pander to the needs of their people (species), those that are whipped out through economic collapse or war (natural selection) are then discarded or modified in function for future use. It IS evolution we are TRYING to find what works best for ourselves and those we care about, lets not nitpick details about who's country is more advanced morally and ethically and just agree that every one of them is a work in progress, yeah?

    And this is coming from a third generation US army brat, who loves his country flaws and all.
    Our current society is as much a fraud as Utopia is:
    Not just my opinion...

    Warning: Mildly offensive Language PG-13 Link (Yes, I do have a sense of humor.)
    What is the Monkeysphere? | Cracked.com
    Reply With Quote  
     

  64. #63  
    Forum Freshman WilJake's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    A box; I may or may not be dead
    Posts
    15
    I myself have an interesting view on this, I love science, and philosophy, but also happen to go to hundreds of Punk concerts, and skate. I view life as nothing more than life, what happens happens, none of it will remain. The longest lasting impact any living thing will ever happen will only be a fraction of time it self. Humans have lived through less than 1% of the time that Earth has been around, and the Earth has been around for less than 1% of the time that our galaxy has existed, and the same for the galaxy and universe. How dare we think that we are important? If anything that is pushing a new level of ignorance...
    Boing3000 and scheherazade like this.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  65. #64  
    Forum Freshman WilJake's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    A box; I may or may not be dead
    Posts
    15
    I should specify, I skateboard, and the general view about skaters is that they tend to not be intelligent, and only care about skating... The latter of the two is almost true, that is my main passion, but I have several others as well.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  66. #65  
    Forum Radioactive Isotope skeptic's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    New Zealand
    Posts
    4,840
    Neverfly

    If you think modern society is a cage, try almost any other time in history or pre-history!

    For a start, at no other time could you travel. No cars, planes, ships etc. Also, every other area, outside your local range is likely to be hostile where the penalty for being a stranger is death. No common language. No distant communication.

    Now, I love the modern era. I am freer than any other time. I travel the world. I communicate with people all over, including you. I go scuba diving. I take long walks in the wilderness, and take photos of birds. The only things holding me back are lack of money and my own limitations.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  67. #66  
    ***** Participant Write4U's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Posts
    1,245
    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by John Galt View Post
    this somehow negates skeptic's point about the improvement in the rate in England?
    It is kind of weird, John.

    All the hard statistical data shows that humanity is moving from a nasty barbaric past to the future that is much nicer, and much more civilised. Or, if you like, we are moving towards our hypothetical utopia, and the world today is much closer to a truly humane and civilised place than it used to be.

    Yet, despite the data, there will be people who refuse to believe it, and will argue bitterly that people do not change and that society is just as rotten as it ever was. That belief is a bit like religion. Ignore the facts, and go with the faith.
    It just struck me that our supposed civilization is a superficial appearance. All the indications are that global violence is down, peace treaties are formed, declarations made, etc. These are very encouraging signs.

    In the mean time countries are arming themselves with nuclear weapons, quietly if possible, defiantly if found out.
    IMO, the jury of our civilization is still very much out and the sentence may be harsh. The next war may not take a few million people, it may take a few billion.

    This will occur when we have reached the exponential saturation point, when earth can no longer sustain population "growth"
    Boing3000 likes this.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  68. #67  
    Northern Horse Whisperer Moderator scheherazade's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Yukon, Canada
    Posts
    4,066
    Quote Originally Posted by WilJake View Post
    I myself have an interesting view on this, I love science, and philosophy, but also happen to go to hundreds of Punk concerts, and skate. I view life as nothing more than life, what happens happens, none of it will remain. The longest lasting impact any living thing will ever happen will only be a fraction of time it self. Humans have lived through less than 1% of the time that Earth has been around, and the Earth has been around for less than 1% of the time that our galaxy has existed, and the same for the galaxy and universe. How dare we think that we are important? If anything that is pushing a new level of ignorance...
    Thank you for that down to earth perspective, regardless of the veracity of your numerical estimates. At best, it's all guesswork anyway.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  69. #68  
    Forum Freshman WilJake's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    A box; I may or may not be dead
    Posts
    15
    Quote Originally Posted by scheherazade View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by WilJake View Post
    I myself have an interesting view on this, I love science, and philosophy, but also happen to go to hundreds of Punk concerts, and skate. I view life as nothing more than life, what happens happens, none of it will remain. The longest lasting impact any living thing will ever happen will only be a fraction of time it self. Humans have lived through less than 1% of the time that Earth has been around, and the Earth has been around for less than 1% of the time that our galaxy has existed, and the same for the galaxy and universe. How dare we think that we are important? If anything that is pushing a new level of ignorance...
    Thank you for that down to earth perspective, regardless of the veracity of your numerical estimates. At best, it's all guesswork anyway.
    That's what's taught in High School Textbooks, I figure it's good enough for such an informal post.
    WE'RE ALL HYPOCRITES
    Reply With Quote  
     

  70. #69  
    Suspended
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Apocalyptic Paradise
    Posts
    6,613
    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic View Post
    Neverfly

    If you think modern society is a cage, try almost any other time in history or pre-history!
    Yeah well, I almost posted this above but deleted it.
    If I could go back in time... I'd go back to long before civilization. Maybe before there were any humans at all. You might laugh and think I don't know what I'm talking about but ummm... Might surprise ya there...
    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic View Post
    For a start, at no other time could you travel. No cars, planes, ships etc.
    What are you on about? Got two good feet under me. And horses rock.
    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic View Post
    Also, every other area, outside your local range is likely to be hostile where the penalty for being a stranger is death.
    Yeah see... that would be more a problem for people encroaching on my stomping grounds... I'm a bit cat-like in that regard. I don't take kindly to invaders.
    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic View Post
    No common language.
    As if anyone back then had anything interesting to say... "Grog. What make butt itch?"
    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic View Post
    No distant communication.
    I'll find a whale.
    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic View Post
    Now, I love the modern era.
    Smog, pollution and people everywhere. Can't seem to avoid them. Walk outside and there's hundreds of them scattering like roaches. Telling you what to do, how to do it. Infringing on you every way possible. They fart on you at the bus stop then tell you no smoking. I look around and I see pavement everywhere, choking the ground. Even the air is stifled. Regulations and laws on just about everything. Where to go? All land is owned- you can't just move around, settle or camp or be a nomad. Zoning, deeds, restrictions, fees, paperwork in endless trails. Money, money, money, money. All of it worthless. Can't hunt, can't fish can't LIVE like a real living being, trying to survive and feed and die properly. You get older than you should and then they hook you up to extend your misery with machines. They won't let you die fighting or die proper.

    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic View Post
    I am freer than any other time.
    Hysterical. You have no idea what freedom is! City people don't like freedom because to them; Freedom probably means they are about to be dinner. Quality of life is to be alive, not a drone.
    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic View Post
    I travel the world. I communicate with people all over, including you.
    A good example of modern punishment. No one should be subjected to that.
    Quote Originally Posted by Write4U View Post
    It just struck me that our supposed civilization is a superficial appearance.
    Yep!
    Reply With Quote  
     

  71. #70  
    Forum Radioactive Isotope skeptic's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    New Zealand
    Posts
    4,840
    Quote Originally Posted by scheherazade View Post
    Skeptic has a tendency to be....skeptical......and sometimes condescending, or so it comes across. No disrespect intended.

    This post and a few others, to an observer, looks like Skeptic and Galt playing 'tag team.'

    .
    If I appear condescending, please let me know. I do not intend to be and I apologise if that has been the case. And no to John and I being a tag team. We just agree on some things. In other threads, he will disagree with me.

    I have no problem with people disagreeing with me, by the way, as long as their argument is data based. I try to base my own arguments that way.

    On the future of humanity - I have been told I am an unrealistic optimist. Actually, I think I am a very realistic optimist. The trends are in the right direction. Not all perfect, of course. We are not in any 'Star Trek' utopia, and I am seriously skeptical of any money-less society. But things do seem to be improving in most ways.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  72. #71  
    Suspended
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Apocalyptic Paradise
    Posts
    6,613
    Quote Originally Posted by WilJake View Post
    I myself have an interesting view on this, I love science, and philosophy, but also happen to go to hundreds of Punk concerts, and skate.
    Hey, we got something in common. Last group up I saw was Soulfly, with Machine head and coal chamber to open.
    Quote Originally Posted by WilJake View Post
    I should specify, I skateboard, and the general view about skaters is that they tend to not be intelligent, and only care about skating... The latter of the two is almost true, that is my main passion, but I have several others as well.
    Old skater from the eighties, here. I was doing it around the time when trick boarding was just starting to come around.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  73. #72  
    Forum Freshman WilJake's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    A box; I may or may not be dead
    Posts
    15
    Quote Originally Posted by Neverfly View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by WilJake View Post
    I myself have an interesting view on this, I love science, and philosophy, but also happen to go to hundreds of Punk concerts, and skate.
    Hey, we got something in common. Last group up I saw was Soulfly, with Machine head and coal chamber to open.
    Quote Originally Posted by WilJake View Post
    I should specify, I skateboard, and the general view about skaters is that they tend to not be intelligent, and only care about skating... The latter of the two is almost true, that is my main passion, but I have several others as well.
    Old skater from the eighties, here. I was doing it around the time when trick boarding was just starting to come around.
    I respect old school skating so much, just as much as the new things people are doing (Have you seen David Gonzales by the way?. I'll hopefully be sponsored soon, and I'll have money to enroll in a few summer science classes at the local community college, considering I won't be paying for shoes and a new board every month. But I mentioned that because I can not only give a perspective from a scientific view point, but one from the layman's as well.
    WE'RE ALL HYPOCRITES
    Reply With Quote  
     

  74. #73  
    Suspended
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Apocalyptic Paradise
    Posts
    6,613
    What are you talking about man?
    Feynman played the bongo!
    Reply With Quote  
     

  75. #74  
    Universal Mind John Galt's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Posts
    14,168
    Quote Originally Posted by scheherazade View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by John Galt View Post
    Directed at Boing You claimed skeptic's declaration of a murder rate for the UK of 1 per 100,000 was ludicrous. You immediately followed up that assertion with a reference to wiki that confirmed skeptic's number. Skeptic had chosen an example to demonstrate his point. Your response - as is your response to me - has the look and feel of an agenda driven rant. Populating your posts with bile and acerbic comments is not doing your underlying argument, such as it is, any favours.
    Some strong language there, even for a moderator and Skeptic has a tendency to be....skeptical......and sometimes condescending, or so it comes across. No disrespect intended.

    This post and a few others, to an observer, looks like Skeptic and Galt playing 'tag team.'
    Strong language to reflect my very strong view that Boing is playing the "things are either white or black" card. I believe in shades of grey. I believe passionately in shades of grey. I fear for a humanity whose leaders see thing in black and white. That is my agenda. When I believe I see this (in my view) wrongheaded approach I speak out. I chose this instance, after weeks of consideration, to speak out here with an especially clear example.

    The strong language had absolutely nothing to do with my role as a moderator. When I function as a moderator I write in green and identify it as Moderator comment. The rest of the time I am a member like you and everyone else with no different rights and obligations.

    As skeptic said we are quite often on the same wavelength, but I think we have had some knock-down drag-out arguments too. Most of the time I respond to the post rather than the poster. As a consequence I have sometimes been abrupt with someone I respect because I have found a particular post to be foolish. I'm sure I've thought this of some of skeptic's posts and I would be disappointed if he hadn't thought it of some of mine.
    Last edited by John Galt; December 5th, 2012 at 12:49 AM. Reason: correct typo
    Reply With Quote  
     

  76. #75  
    Northern Horse Whisperer Moderator scheherazade's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Yukon, Canada
    Posts
    4,066
    Thank you for your reply, skeptic. Most of the time I avoid threads where you are posting because you sometimes seem to convey that any who do not agree with your perspective are foolish. You state that you place great value on data, yet in many circumstances, the data conflicts, depending on what source one cares to place their confidence in. My personal experience with our own territorial government, their studies and their data leaves me questioning the methodology used and the agenda that is their objective. No doubt I extrapolate my distrust to many 'authoratative sources' because of these experiences.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  77. #76  
    Northern Horse Whisperer Moderator scheherazade's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Yukon, Canada
    Posts
    4,066
    Thank you for your reply, John Galt, and for clarifying your agenda as a poster and how you differentiate between posting as a member and when you are functioning as a moderator.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  78. #77  
    Universal Mind John Galt's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Posts
    14,168
    Quote Originally Posted by scheherazade View Post
    Thank you for your reply, John Galt, and for clarifying your agenda as a poster and how you differentiate between posting as a member and when you are functioning as a moderator.
    I moderate on a couple of other forums, under different names. On one of those and I think perhaps on this one too I have reported my own posts for infringement of the rules. Perhaps I'm slightly schizophrenic, but I have no problem separating out the two roles of member and moderator.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  79. #78  
    Northern Horse Whisperer Moderator scheherazade's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Yukon, Canada
    Posts
    4,066
    Quote Originally Posted by John Galt View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by scheherazade View Post
    Thank you for your reply, John Galt, and for clarifying your agenda as a poster and how you differentiate between posting as a member and when you are functioning as a moderator.
    I moderate on a couple of other forums, under different names. On one of those and I think perhaps on this one too I have reported my own posts for infringement of the rules. Perhaps I'm slightly schizophrenic, but I have no problem separating out the two roles of member and moderator.
    What a disconcerting confession.

    An apology or a retraction would be the more usual course, but reporting your own post?

    I'll have to sleep on that one...
    westwind likes this.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  80. #79  
    Universal Mind John Galt's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Posts
    14,168
    Quote Originally Posted by scheherazade View Post
    What a disconcerting confession.

    An apology or a retraction would be the more usual course, but reporting your own post?
    In the specific instance I recall I had absolutely no desire to apologise or retract. The individual I directed my post to had been behaving abominably and merited, in my view, serious condemnation. To convey how seriously I felt and how genuinely angry I was I deliberately chose to use an ad hominem attack, probably with some profanities. I do not regret that decision.

    At the same time it was clearly an infringement of the Forum Rules. In the past I have witnessed moderators being reluctant to call to account fellow moderators for minor infringements (not necessarily on this forum). I reported myself to indicate to them that I neither wanted, nor was entitled to special treatment. If I found myself routinely making such posts then the obvious action would be to resign my moderator role. I'm not sure what is so disconcerting about being as honest and objective as posisble.
    Neverfly likes this.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  81. #80  
    Suspended
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Apocalyptic Paradise
    Posts
    6,613
    Quote Originally Posted by John Galt View Post
    To convey how seriously I felt and how genuinely angry I was I deliberately chose to use an ad hominem attack, probably with some profanities. I do not regret that decision.
    As a fellow cusser outer of the interweb bastuds, I salute you, sir.


    And probably will some day, cuss you out.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  82. #81  
    Forum Radioactive Isotope skeptic's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    New Zealand
    Posts
    4,840
    I think we all at times feel very tempted to indulge in an ad hom attack. If you give in on occasion, it is only human. To feel chagrin and apologise later is more than human. Few people rise to the point of delivering an apology. Only the very best quality people.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  83. #82  
    Suspended
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Apocalyptic Paradise
    Posts
    6,613
    Well... point of interest... A minor nitpick.
    To apologize is to give an excuse for behavior.

    To say you're sorry is to express remorse for behavior.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  84. #83  
    Forum Radioactive Isotope skeptic's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    New Zealand
    Posts
    4,840
    Neverfly

    I do not distinguish between the two.

    Any person with the strength of character to say : "I apologise", or alternatively : "I am sorry" receives my respect. I admire such people and wish there were more of them.
    scheherazade likes this.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  85. #84  
    Suspended
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Apocalyptic Paradise
    Posts
    6,613
    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic View Post
    Neverfly

    I do not distinguish between the two.

    Any person with the strength of character to say : "I apologise", or alternatively : "I am sorry" receives my respect. I admire such people and wish there were more of them.
    As I said, it was a minor nitpick since most people intend "I'm sorry" when they say, "I apologize."
    But... those that read my post now know the difference between the two.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  86. #85  
    Suspended
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Posts
    613
    Quote Originally Posted by John Galt View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Boing3000 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by John Galt View Post
    Or do you have some strange belief that because the rate in Jamaica, for example, is over 50 per 100,000 that this somehow negates skeptic's point about the improvement in the rate in England?
    It does not negate, it brings perspective. You don't have to go to Jamaïca, Detroit is far enough.
    You claimed skeptic's declaration of a murder rate for the UK of 1 per 100,000 was ludicrous. You immediately followed up that assertion with a reference to wiki that confirmed skeptic's number. Skeptic had chosen an example to demonstrate his point. Your response - as is your response to me - has the look and feel of an agenda driven rant. Populating your posts with bile and acerbic comments is not doing your underlying argument, such as it is, any favors.
    I claim exactly what I claim. It is ludicrous to use two sample that unrepresentative and then declare you can draw any tendencies from them. Its not the first thread, where you suddenly drop with your all mighty white perspective to correct people without even considering their input. The wiki quote, if you care to read it, and interpret it with a scientific mind, is not black and white, it is in shade of blue.

    You appears to be running the black and white filter, and it is clear by now that you have not the capacity to apologies and re-asset you way to behave on this forum.
    And BTW you may as well try to describe the agenda I am suppose to follow, unless you want to be once again the one that just make un-backed illogical assertion on a forum with scientific perspective is a must.


    Back to the thread.

    There are a lot of personal feeling being expressed by many people on that thread. I am completely agnostic and do not have to think that traveling using car is good, or that communicating at long distance is progress. I have even less clue about how this is supposed to be a selective pressure of any kind.

    I don't think English people behave less violently than 300 years ago because their collective genome has been evolving. I am even ready to call that ludicrous on such time frame.
    I think that policing people by a strong politically controlled arm force, and the fact that half of them now lives in cities (that is artificial habitat), may be the reason why they have to behave a little more, unless they will have 20 witness to their crimes (more or less).
    What it could lead to, is to select people more sneaky, or hypocrite, and able to process double standard. Some even may have the sensation to live in a cage, because they are LITERALLY.

    Cage of concrete, cage of pseudo scientific certitudes.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  87. #86  
    Universal Mind John Galt's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Posts
    14,168
    1. Skeptic's argument is that violence is decreasing, in general, globally. He provided an example to illustrate the point. Calling that ludicrous is not a scientific reaction, nor is it a logical reaction. I am black and white on that point because the evidence is plain. I shall not be discussing this issue any further.

    2. I seem to receive a regular allotment of Likes from people whom I respect and like, and from some whom I simply respect.
    I shall not be apologising for anything, since I have done nothing requiring an apology.

    3.
    I don't think English people behave less violently than 300 years ago because their collective genome has been evolving
    I don't recall anyone saying that the reduction in violence was down to a genetic change. The implication I read was cultural evolution. Where is genetic evolution as the cause of the reduction in violence posited?
    Reply With Quote  
     

  88. #87  
    Suspended
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Posts
    613
    Quote Originally Posted by John Galt View Post
    1. Skeptic's argument is that violence is decreasing, in general, globally. He provided an example to illustrate the point. Calling that ludicrous is not a scientific reaction, nor is it a logical reaction.
    1- You click on that link:
    2- You notice that england is 1-2 not 1.
    3- You notice that only roughly 2 Billion people is below 5, and that China stats come directly from the polit-buro. You also note the greenland stat is wrong, because there is not even 20 peoples living there...(it is called a joke John)
    4- I have been told the 3% of margin of error was a kind of upper limit in terms of scientific method.
    5- When an global assertion is done using only 25% on the population, on 1% of its time span (middle age to now), that makes it around 80% of margin of error. A coin with its 50% chance of being right is more accurate.
    6- Conclusion that assertion is ludicrous. By any standard, I mean scientific one, not wishful thinker ones.
    7- And I again witness a bias where rich white guys gloat about virtual success, after having exporting all their best violance industrial/machinery in poor/rape/enslaved countries. That is my bias.

    People interested in real crime stats may read this long thread or this article. You'll find other type of evidences...


    Quote Originally Posted by John Galt View Post
    I am black and white on that point because the evidence is plain. I shall not be discussing this issue any further.
    Apologies accepted.

    Quote Originally Posted by John Galt View Post
    2. I seem to receive a regular allotment of Likes from people whom I respect and like, and from some whom I simply respect.
    I shall not be apologising for anything, since I have done nothing requiring an apology.
    Too late.
    And I like you BTW. That's what is left from my pseudo christian upbringing: Full fledged schizophrenic.

    Quote Originally Posted by John Galt View Post
    3.
    I don't think English people behave less violently than 300 years ago because their collective genome has been evolving
    I don't recall anyone saying that the reduction in violence was down to a genetic change. The implication I read was cultural evolution. Where is genetic evolution as the cause of the reduction in violence posited?
    Post #48, skeptic, once again, wriggle out of that (un)fact clearly stated by icewendigo.
    In my own language, evolution has NO DIRECTION. Anyway you still want to hold sckeptic hand when once again he derails the thread from its main purpose, brilliantly proposed by westwind.

    In fact there is no way to assert if we could become worse (or crapiest in weswind term) or better, unless you finally consent to define a scale of value/units you are going to measure the "PROGRESS" against. I am sorry, but I dismiss the balloneys proposed by sckeptic. He don't have to believe in a fiat money less society, because that has existed for 99,9% of human race history span.

    Given my observation of various human behaviors, like driving drunk, or blatantly being not-constructive(heufemism) on "forum", I still have no idea how giving degree to people unable to be coherent, or to stop building killing machinery(like credit default swap, or nuclear reactor), may select the best(??), or things like that.

    What is more probable, is that all the sociopath that could rob/enslave/lie (business as usual), would have been eliminated in a primal stable and successful tribal society. Nowadays they got a pass to success.
    Hopefully, I won't be there to witness the result of millennia of such un-selective pressure. But the present trend promise a lot of fun !
    Last edited by Boing3000; December 5th, 2012 at 07:59 AM.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  89. #88  
    Northern Horse Whisperer Moderator scheherazade's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Yukon, Canada
    Posts
    4,066
    Originally posted by Boing3000:

    What is more probable, is that all the sociopath that could rob/enslave/lie (business as usual), would have been eliminated in a primal stable and successful tribal society. Nowadays they got a pass to success.
    From the above statement, I get the perspective that we human's are abetting the selective process as we evolve our social standards to become more inclusive and tolerant, for societies evolve just as surely as the individuals that comprise them.

    I certainly observe that there is a sense of entitlement among most today, whereas I was raised with a strong sense of accountability, responsibility and self-reliance. People were expected to contribute toward their society for collective benefit rather than constantly drawing upon same for individual benefit. At one 'Innovators in the Schools' conference where I was one of said innovators (as a woman running a lifestyle agricultural based business) I was dismayed to hear during the plenary session that many considered employment insurance and social assistance to be income 'options'.

    The classic has to be the long term mayor of one of the communities, who was convicted of a significant financial fraud and allowed to serve his time in corrections on weekends. He got his pilot's license during the time he was 'incarcerated' and went on to be re-elected next term and also became embroiled in more financial shenanigans.

    It does seem to be the nature of some to exploit opportunity to personal advantage and I rather suspect that may be the mechanism by which genetics competes and so I am not convinced that we would be able to eliminate this conduct even in a stable or successful society but it could conceivably be constrained to a smaller percentage of the population.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  90. #89  
    Northern Horse Whisperer Moderator scheherazade's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Yukon, Canada
    Posts
    4,066
    Quote Originally Posted by John Galt View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by scheherazade View Post
    What a disconcerting confession.

    An apology or a retraction would be the more usual course, but reporting your own post?
    In the specific instance I recall I had absolutely no desire to apologise or retract. The individual I directed my post to had been behaving abominably and merited, in my view, serious condemnation. To convey how seriously I felt and how genuinely angry I was I deliberately chose to use an ad hominem attack, probably with some profanities. I do not regret that decision.

    At the same time it was clearly an infringement of the Forum Rules. In the past I have witnessed moderators being reluctant to call to account fellow moderators for minor infringements (not necessarily on this forum). I reported myself to indicate to them that I neither wanted, nor was entitled to special treatment. If I found myself routinely making such posts then the obvious action would be to resign my moderator role. I'm not sure what is so disconcerting about being as honest and objective as posisble.
    What is somewhat disconcerting to me is the fact that you made a calculated decision to post an emotional reply, which I find quite interesting from the perspective of psychology. Note that I have now added the modifier 'somewhat' in front of 'disconcerting.'

    You recognize also that to break form in this manner routinely would be in violation of the position of moderator, yet infrequently...

    Fascinating.....

    My comments are merely observations and should not be construed as criticism in any manner. I greatly appreciate your willingness to share where you are coming from.

    (I have declined the position of forum moderator on more than one occasion because I see the potential for conflict of interest unless a moderator does not post as a member to the threads they moderate.)

    We now return this channel to it's regularly scheduled programming.

    Boing3000 likes this.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  91. #90  
    Universal Mind John Galt's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Posts
    14,168
    Quote Originally Posted by scheherazade View Post
    You recognize also that to break form in this manner routinely would be in violation of the position of moderator, yet infrequently...

    Fascinating.....
    I'm human. I rather like being human. I am happy to accept the contradictions and anomalies associated with being a member of this particular species.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  92. #91  
    Suspended
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Posts
    613
    Quote Originally Posted by scheherazade View Post
    From the above statement, I get the perspective that we human's are abetting the selective process as we evolve our social standards to become more inclusive and tolerant, for societies evolve just as surely as the individuals that comprise them.
    They evolve for sure, Dawkins has an interesting theories about meme, but I don't think being tolerant is going to increase, nor decrease, as it contains its own feed back.

    Quote Originally Posted by scheherazade View Post
    I certainly observe that there is a sense of entitlement among most today, whereas I was raised with a strong sense of accountability, responsibility and self-reliance.
    I've had this impression many times, but then my perspective is mine only. Are you implying there is an contradiction between those two ? I've always feel entitle to receive love and care from my parent, if I behave responsibly, and do my part...

    Quote Originally Posted by scheherazade View Post
    People were expected to contribute toward their society for collective benefit rather than constantly drawing upon same for individual benefit.
    That one I understand. At a young age, I suck stories like Robin Hood, were a big moocher like the king and his Cherif were sucking the blood of the hard working peoples. Later I really had problem understanding some basic economic like interest rates on loans. I was under the impression that is was some kind of practical jokes. But no, drawing on others work was in fact the actual good thing to do.

    Quote Originally Posted by scheherazade View Post
    At one 'Innovators in the Schools' conference where I was one of said innovators (as a woman running a lifestyle agricultural based business) I was dismayed to hear during the plenary session that many considered employment insurance and social assistance to be income 'options'.
    Yes,that is kind of disgusting. You build your own business, your give your own creativity to the economy, and your are supposed to do that without any kind of 'reward' ?

    Quote Originally Posted by scheherazade View Post
    The classic has to be the long term mayor of one of the communities, who was convicted of a significant financial fraud and allowed to serve his time in corrections on weekends. He got his pilot's license during the time he was 'incarcerated' and went on to be re-elected next term and also became embroiled in more financial shenanigans.
    First I though that those clowns where kept in place just for the good laugh, fill newspaper and the likes. Then you learn what they actually do, and that's when I feel something is amiss.

    Quote Originally Posted by scheherazade View Post
    It does seem to be the nature of some to exploit opportunity to personal advantage and I rather suspect that may be the mechanism by which genetics competes and so I am not convinced that we would be able to eliminate this conduct even in a stable or successful society but it could conceivably be constrained to a smaller percentage of the population.
    Selfish gene is quite an absolute minimum. And selfish behaviors will always give an edge in some very peculiar situation. The sapiens is enable to survive in group lower than 20 (and greater then 100 (my personal opinion)), with a few other tribes around to maintain good gene variability, and kill bordom with some skirmish to keep in shape. That is the generic meme our genome is build to run. No wonder a lot of the anti selfish, social and compationate behaviors are also hard coded into our gene (with associated hormones).

    That equilibrium (for many hundreds of thousandths of years) is currently completely broken. That is the only new behavioral selective pressure I can point to. It is now possible for a sociopath, to be able to survive by externalizing his forfeiture. A person harming his tribes, would have not last a season, it was a survival condition back then.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  93. #92  
    Forum Radioactive Isotope skeptic's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    New Zealand
    Posts
    4,840
    To Boing

    Biological evolution is a process that can take thousands of generations. Cultural evolution can happen very quickly. A drop in murder rates and other violence in human society is cultural evolution.

    However, you also need to note the time factor for that cultural evolution. I quoted, as an example, the drop in murder rate from medieval England to the present. That is 1,000 years. (That datum, by the way, came from Prof. Julian Simon's book : The State of Humanity.) Over 1,000 years 100 killings per 100,000 per year to (near enough to) 1. And yes, I appreciate that the latest figure was 1.2, which is an irrelevancy in relation to my point.

    When you quote a time period of a decade or so, then those 1,000 year trends will not show. There has, in fact, been a significant drop in crime rates in most of the western world in the last 15 years. But that is not a long term trend in cultural evolution. It is merely the fact that we have an ageing population. Older people tend to commit fewer crimes.
    Neverfly likes this.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  94. #93  
    Suspended
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Posts
    613
    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic View Post
    Biological evolution is a process that can take thousands of generations. Cultural evolution can happen very quickly. A drop in murder rates and other violence in human society is cultural evolution.
    That much is absolutely correct. 10 years from now, we may very well be worshiping Xanu, given the tons of stupid rich people that can fuel their marketing campaign. 50 years from now, we may also have learn that mathematics from around 1700 were enough to drive our way of traveling to a more realistic paradigm.

    So now that you understand that there is absolutely no causation between genome selection and meme'ome selection, try to give me a compelling argument as to why a thousandth of year decrease of some crime in some rural zone of england, is usefull to the discussion.
    Why this trend is good for any meme ? Survival of the peace and love'est ?
    Reply With Quote  
     

  95. #94  
    Forum Radioactive Isotope skeptic's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    New Zealand
    Posts
    4,840
    Quote Originally Posted by Boing3000 View Post
    try to give me a compelling argument as to why a thousandth of year decrease of some crime in some rural zone of england, is usefull to the discussion.
    Boing

    As far as I am aware, there is no rule requiring discussions to stay perfectly on theme. Maybe John can clarify this. All discussions, whether two people chatting at the water cooler, or an internet forum, tend to wander in various directions. Personally, I am totally happy with this. I will follow a discussion and contribute, as long as the wandering theme is still of interest. If someone criticises me because I am off the OP, I will give them a set of imaginary fingers. Silently, of course.
    Boing3000 likes this.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  96. #95  
    Northern Horse Whisperer Moderator scheherazade's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Yukon, Canada
    Posts
    4,066
    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic View Post

    As far as I am aware, there is no rule requiring discussions to stay perfectly on theme. Maybe John can clarify this. All discussions, whether two people chatting at the water cooler, or an internet forum, tend to wander in various directions. Personally, I am totally happy with this. I will follow a discussion and contribute, as long as the wandering theme is still of interest. If someone criticizes me because I am off the OP, I will give them a set of imaginary fingers. Silently, of course.
    I give you credit, skeptic, for the above well structured paragraph and your wry sense of humor.
    'Wandering themes' is a great way of phrasing the tendency that humans have to stray far from the original course.
    westwind likes this.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  97. #96  
    Forum Masters Degree
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Posts
    715
    Quote Originally Posted by scheherazade View Post
    Interesting that you should select 'afraid of the dark' for one must contemplate why that should be.

    .
    Interesting question...I never saw it before...At first guess id say its because once we were nocturnal creatures an for some reason changed our ways. The fear perhaps is there so we wont go back to our earlier lifestyle.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  98. #97  
    Northern Horse Whisperer Moderator scheherazade's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Yukon, Canada
    Posts
    4,066
    Quote Originally Posted by sigurdV View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by scheherazade View Post
    Interesting that you should select 'afraid of the dark' for one must contemplate why that should be.

    .
    Interesting question...I never saw it before...At first guess id say its because once we were nocturnal creatures an for some reason changed our ways. The fear perhaps is there so we wont go back to our earlier lifestyle.
    Achluophobia, also Nyctophobia - Fear of darkness.

    We are creatures of limited night vision and our circadian rhythms incline the majority of our species to be more active by day making me ponder that fear of the dark is a learned conditioned response to the reality that one may more easily injure themselves in the dark or be injured by nocturnal predators. This is still relevant today in areas with little or no artificial lighting and today's 'predators' are also humans.

    I spend much time working by limited light and there is the need for greater observance and less speed. I was rushing my feeding chores one night, to avoid being late for work, and I hooked the toe of my boot on a heavy pallet that I had earlier neglected to move to a safer location. I went down like a sack of hammers as my forward speed was directed in an arc onto the frozen ground and my hand, though I had turned it inward rather than stick it out, was folded thumb against pinky and bore the whole of my weight against the unyielding surface. My hand swelled up like a blow-fish for a few days and I was very fortunate not to have broken it. When we used to sell 800 lb hay bales which we lifted with a tripod and winch to load onto vehicles, we would not load hay after dark. Too much potential for injury should a line or the winch give way.

    Fear of the dark is a normal and natural response, IMO, though it is not the darkness itself that is to be feared but the limitations that it imposes upon our species. Darkness is also the optimal period for our body to rest and initiate various learning and healing processes so I do not see us evolving beyond a healthy respect for darkness without some price paid. Studies currently demonstrate that there are several detrimental health effects on people who do shift work, and graveyard shift is so named for a reason. So why am I working graveyards, some might ask, when there are other options available to me?

    Quite simply, I am studying the dark and using myself as my own test subject. I have been working graveyard shift for over seven years now and for the last three and one half of that, I have consistently spent half of my week on a normal 'day' cycle and the other half on a 'night' cycle and the results in the difference in my comprehension ability on the two cycles is quite interesting.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  99. #98  
    ***** Participant Write4U's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Posts
    1,245
    Perhaps we can say that when we are in an environment where our senses and abilities are impaired or useless, we tend to become very careful.

    We cannot fly, so we are afraid of heights.
    We cannot breathe under water so we are afraid of drowning.
    We cannot see in the dark, so we are afraid of sudden sounds.

    Whenever we are "out of our element" we tend to become very careful and defensive. All seems pretty natural to me. And yes, it may well be directly connected to memes, the recognition (or lack thereof) of symbolic knowledge.
    .
    Reply With Quote  
     

  100. #99  
    New Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Posts
    1
    Its interested topics and i like it. I think Something changes in living thing are called evolution. for more info visit link learn about science & technology I hope to like you.Thanks Ayaz
    Reply With Quote  
     

  101. #100  
    ***** Participant Write4U's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Posts
    1,245
    Quote Originally Posted by scheherazade View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by sigurdV View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by scheherazade View Post
    Interesting that you should select 'afraid of the dark' for one must contemplate why that should be.

    .
    Interesting question...I never saw it before...At first guess id say its because once we were nocturnal creatures an for some reason changed our ways. The fear perhaps is there so we wont go back to our earlier lifestyle.
    Achluophobia, also Nyctophobia - Fear of darkness.

    We are creatures of limited night vision and our circadian rhythms incline the majority of our species to be more active by day making me ponder that fear of the dark is a learned conditioned response to the reality that one may more easily injure themselves in the dark or be injured by nocturnal predators. This is still relevant today in areas with little or no artificial lighting and today's 'predators' are also humans.

    I spend much time working by limited light and there is the need for greater observance and less speed. I was rushing my feeding chores one night, to avoid being late for work, and I hooked the toe of my boot on a heavy pallet that I had earlier neglected to move to a safer location. I went down like a sack of hammers as my forward speed was directed in an arc onto the frozen ground and my hand, though I had turned it inward rather than stick it out, was folded thumb against pinky and bore the whole of my weight against the unyielding surface. My hand swelled up like a blow-fish for a few days and I was very fortunate not to have broken it. When we used to sell 800 lb hay bales which we lifted with a tripod and winch to load onto vehicles, we would not load hay after dark. Too much potential for injury should a line or the winch give way.

    Fear of the dark is a normal and natural response, IMO, though it is not the darkness itself that is to be feared but the limitations that it imposes upon our species. Darkness is also the optimal period for our body to rest and initiate various learning and healing processes so I do not see us evolving beyond a healthy respect for darkness without some price paid. Studies currently demonstrate that there are several detrimental health effects on people who do shift work, and graveyard shift is so named for a reason. So why am I working graveyards, some might ask, when there are other options available to me?

    Quite simply, I am studying the dark and using myself as my own test subject. I have been working graveyard shift for over seven years now and for the last three and one half of that, I have consistently spent half of my week on a normal 'day' cycle and the other half on a 'night' cycle and the results in the difference in my comprehension ability on the two cycles is quite interesting.

    A little related story (if I may be so bold) on the origins of expressions such as graveyard shift.

    In days of old mead was often used to replace contaminated water. As a result, many passed out in drunken stupors and occasionally someone was pronounced dead. However it appears that not every person who was pronounced dead, actually died before they were buried.
    After digging up some graves to make room for new graves it was discovered that there were scratch marks on the lids, obviously put there by someone trying to claw their way out of the box.
    Thus it was decided that a watchman be placed at the graveyard to listen for any unforseen resurrections. Thus the term "graveyard shift".
    To make it easier to spot problems a small bell with a string leading into the grave was placed near the grave so that anyone inside the casket could ring the bell which would be heard by the watchperson on the graveyard shift and the person would be "saved by the bell" .
    Unfortunately sometimes the graveyard watch man would drink mead while on watch and pass out himself. If a drunk in the grave woke up and rang the bell in vain, he would be a "dead ringer".
    Reply With Quote  
     

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. evolving jewelry
    By JoostA in forum Biology
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: February 28th, 2011, 08:43 AM
  2. EVOLVING BACKWARDS
    By BSG CORP in forum Astronomy & Cosmology
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: December 14th, 2007, 03:45 PM
  3. Crap on your PC
    By (In)Sanity in forum Computer Science
    Replies: 21
    Last Post: May 8th, 2006, 11:24 PM
  4. Crap my TV died
    By (In)Sanity in forum Electrical and Electronics
    Replies: 18
    Last Post: May 7th, 2005, 01:58 PM
Bookmarks
Bookmarks
Posting Permissions
  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •