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Trouble in Libya,Egypt
Posted: 15 September 2012 09:29 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 61 ]
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TimB - 15 September 2012 09:23 AM

Indubitably and indubitably, my dear sir.

Eh?  question

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Posted: 15 September 2012 09:42 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 62 ]
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No, you didn’t answer my question all. Let’s try this: Do you think you could teach an Australopithecus how to read and write? I hope this is far enough for you to get my point.

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Posted: 15 September 2012 09:48 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 63 ]
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GdB - 15 September 2012 09:29 AM
TimB - 15 September 2012 09:23 AM

Indubitably and indubitably, my dear sir.

Eh?  question

Yes and yes.  (I just answered the questions.  I did not elaborate beyond that. I did not intend to answer for you.)

[ Edited: 15 September 2012 09:52 AM by TimB ]
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Posted: 15 September 2012 09:59 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 64 ]
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George - 15 September 2012 09:42 AM

No, you didn’t answer my question all. Let’s try this: Do you think you could teach an Australopithecus how to read and write? I hope this is far enough for you to get my point.

I understand your point, but I tried to make it somehow operational by a thought experiment that would answer the question.

250px-Australopithecusafarensis_reconstruction.jpg

To your question now: probably not. It looks as if the brain of Australopithecus (2 Million years extinct!) is too different, that its cortex is too small or different from ours. Could be. Do you know? What do we know about morality of Australopithecus? And BTW, did I deny that evolution does play a role? The question is: how much? Maybe, as you are forcing me to answer your questions, you could answer my questions in my previous posting? What do you know about the differences of the brains of Semites, Asians, Africans etc that explain differences in their cultures and morality? Referring to the fact that the cultures differ is not enough!

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Posted: 15 September 2012 10:50 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 65 ]
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Sure, now you don’t deny that biology plays a role. Now it’s safe to be—what did you call it?—racist. What you are implicitly asserting, though, is that evolution stopped in our species seventy thousand years ago. Or at least that it stopped evolving our brains. Or is it that all races after they separated kept evolving in the same direction at the same pace? I wonder how and why that would be. Why would people in the Sub-Saharan Africa keep evolving exactly the same way as, say, the people in the Fertile Crescent? Or were our “plastic brains” now unaffected by the different environments?

[ Edited: 15 September 2012 11:29 AM by George ]
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Posted: 15 September 2012 11:31 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 66 ]
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George - 15 September 2012 09:42 AM

No, you didn’t answer my question all. Let’s try this: Do you think you could teach an Australopithecus how to read and write? I hope this is far enough for you to get my point.

Would that be Australopithecus Aferensis, Africanus, Sediba, or Robustus?  (Rhetorical question. Answer not needed.)

In your seeming insistence that biological evolution plays the primary role in the varying morality and behaviors among different groups of homo-sapiens, today, you seem to ignore that cultural changes have taken place far more rapidly than underlying biological changes to homo sapiens that have bee the result of our ancestors’ survival to reproduction.

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As a fabrication of our own consciousness, our assignations of meaning are no less “real”, but since humans and the fabrications of our consciousness are routinely fraught with error, it makes sense, to me, to, sometimes, question such fabrications.

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Posted: 15 September 2012 11:57 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 67 ]
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George - 15 September 2012 10:50 AM

Sure, now you don’t deny that biology plays a role. Now it’s safe to be—what did you call it?—racist. What you are implicitly asserting, though, is that evolution stopped in our species seventy thousand years ago. Or at least that it stopped evolving our brains. Or is it that all races after they separated kept evolving in the same direction at the same pace? I wonder how and why that would be. Why would people in the Sub-Saharan Africa keep evolving exactly the same way as, say, the people in the Fertile Crescent? Or were our “plastic brains” now unaffected by the different environments?

Of course evolutionary effects underly everything, but to what extent, is a matter of degree and exposure to environmental conditions over the multiple lifetimes necessary for evolutionary changes to occur.  Drastic changes in culture, morality and behavior can occur within a single generation.

Let’s say we could find a tribe of people, deep in the Amazon, who have had no significant contact with other humans over the last 3000 years.  Let’s say that they devoutly worship the River God and that they engage in cannibalism as a regular holy ritual.  Let’s say that we leave their culture and lives intact, having no contact with them whatsoever, except that we secretly take away all of their firstborn children.  Let’s say these first-born native children are raised from infancy in upper middle class American households without ever having any knowledge of or about the tribe that they came from.

When these 1st born native children grow up, would they have a deep seated longing to worship the River God and to reverently engage in cannibalism? Or would they be virtually indistinguishable (to an objective observer) in their morality and behavior from upper middle class persons their age?

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Posted: 15 September 2012 12:14 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 68 ]
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This thread almost seems better suited to “Science and Technology.”  wink

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Posted: 15 September 2012 01:18 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 69 ]
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TimB - 15 September 2012 11:31 AM
George - 15 September 2012 09:42 AM

No, you didn’t answer my question all. Let’s try this: Do you think you could teach an Australopithecus how to read and write? I hope this is far enough for you to get my point.

Would that be Australopithecus Aferensis, Africanus, Sediba, or Robustus?  (Rhetorical question. Answer not needed.)

In your seeming insistence that biological evolution plays the primary role in the varying morality and behaviors among different groups of homo-sapiens, today, you seem to ignore that cultural changes have taken place far more rapidly than underlying biological changes to homo sapiens that have bee the result of our ancestors’ survival to reproduction.

Well, the topic we are discussing here is violence. In “Farewell to Alms” Gregory Clark presents evidence that it was in fact due to biological reasons why Europe (and later Japan and China) was able to make the step from Middle Age towards modern civilization.

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Posted: 15 September 2012 01:20 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 70 ]
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Bryan - 15 September 2012 12:14 PM

This thread almost seems better suited to “Science and Technology.”  wink

Or we can move it to religion. What do you think? What would Jesus do?

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Posted: 15 September 2012 01:29 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 71 ]
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TimB - 15 September 2012 11:57 AM
George - 15 September 2012 10:50 AM

Sure, now you don’t deny that biology plays a role. Now it’s safe to be—what did you call it?—racist. What you are implicitly asserting, though, is that evolution stopped in our species seventy thousand years ago. Or at least that it stopped evolving our brains. Or is it that all races after they separated kept evolving in the same direction at the same pace? I wonder how and why that would be. Why would people in the Sub-Saharan Africa keep evolving exactly the same way as, say, the people in the Fertile Crescent? Or were our “plastic brains” now unaffected by the different environments?

Of course evolutionary effects underly everything, but to what extent, is a matter of degree and exposure to environmental conditions over the multiple lifetimes necessary for evolutionary changes to occur.  Drastic changes in culture, morality and behavior can occur within a single generation.

Let’s say we could find a tribe of people, deep in the Amazon, who have had no significant contact with other humans over the last 3000 years.  Let’s say that they devoutly worship the River God and that they engage in cannibalism as a regular holy ritual.  Let’s say that we leave their culture and lives intact, having no contact with them whatsoever, except that we secretly take away all of their firstborn children.  Let’s say these first-born native children are raised from infancy in upper middle class American households without ever having any knowledge of or about the tribe that they came from.

When these 1st born native children grow up, would they have a deep seated longing to worship the River God and to reverently engage in cannibalism? Or would they be virtually indistinguishable (to an objective observer) in their morality and behavior from upper middle class persons their age?

No, they wouldn’t worship the River God. But I can assure you that the majority of them wouldn’t become atheists. In America they would turn to Jesus. In a secular country like the Czech Republic, for example, they would probably drink themselves to death.

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Posted: 15 September 2012 01:39 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 72 ]
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I don’t have any information to contribute to this thread, but I am curious. 

What genetic changes have or are occurring to cause the percent of atheists in the U.S.A. to have increased significantly over the last century? 

Second, since the U.S.A. population is predominantly of European ancestory, and it appears that there’s a larger percent of atheists in Europe than in the U.S.A., what genetic factors could cause this?

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Posted: 15 September 2012 01:56 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 73 ]
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George - 15 September 2012 01:18 PM

In “Farewell to Alms” Gregory Clark presents evidence that it was in fact due to biological reasons why Europe (and later Japan and China) was able to make the step from Middle Age towards modern civilization.

He has empirical evidence that it was due to mutations of the brain?

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Posted: 15 September 2012 02:00 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 74 ]
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George - 15 September 2012 10:50 AM

Sure, now you don’t deny that biology plays a role. Now it’s safe to be—what did you call it?—racist. What you are implicitly asserting, though, is that evolution stopped in our species seventy thousand years ago. Or at least that it stopped evolving our brains. Or is it that all races after they separated kept evolving in the same direction at the same pace? I wonder how and why that would be. Why would people in the Sub-Saharan Africa keep evolving exactly the same way as, say, the people in the Fertile Crescent? Or were our “plastic brains” now unaffected by the different environments?

What I am saying is that the differences in brain physiology go under in the differences of culture and environment. Changes in culture are much faster than changes in the genome.

Are you aware of the methodological difficulties of reducing the differences between cultures to the evolution of the brain? Where is your evidence? Or are you just extrapolating your knowledge of evolution to areas where its validity is not empirically proven in any way?

[ Edited: 15 September 2012 02:06 PM by GdB ]
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Posted: 15 September 2012 02:04 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 75 ]
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Or you might as well ask, Occam, why there are so many atheists in Europe. Maybe those who didn’t succeed in their country of origin left for America and simply brought their “God gene” with them. Don’t forget that America became what it is today only after people started to leave Europe for political reasons. For the first couple of centuries, however, most of them left for economic reasons. The reason why they didn’t make it in Europe probably is the same why they were more religious: lower intelligence. It also explains why Americans are fat. Fat people come from ancestors who were short on food.

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