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The History of Mankind
4/18/2013 | DennisR

Posted on 04/18/2013 9:37:09 PM PDT by DennisR

As one who believes that God created the universe and all things therein, including man, just wondering how long the evolutionists on FreeRepublic believe man has existed on the earth and why.


TOPICS: History; Religion; Science; Society
KEYWORDS: belongsinreligion; evolution; mankind; ntsa; troll

1 posted on 04/18/2013 9:37:09 PM PDT by DennisR
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To: DennisR

“Modern humans: about 250,000 years.
Pre-humans: the previous 2-4 million years.


2 posted on 04/18/2013 10:02:46 PM PDT by Signalman
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To: DennisR

Homo sapiens: About 200,000 years.

Man as self-aware, organized, God-fearing? About 10,000 years.

The Almighty did it all in six days, but the first five lasted a few billion years.


3 posted on 04/18/2013 10:10:38 PM PDT by Squawk 8888 (True North- Strong Leader, Strong Dollar, Strong and Free!)
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To: DennisR; Squawk 8888

I agree with Squawk 8888. Humans took a while to develop. The “Beings” part was recent. Think of it as driving a car. Before you can drive a car the car must first be built. You, as the driver, can’t get in and drive where your will decides until the car is finished. Homo Sapiens are the car. The spirit to make them Beings is the driver. The spirit is created by God and given a “car” to drive. That’s why we are called human beings.


4 posted on 04/18/2013 10:19:19 PM PDT by lafroste
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To: DennisR

Evolutionists believe man developed from apes but I believe the reverse is happening (if not physically then characteristically).

God created the universe and man so he can filter worthy souls to fill his Kingdom of Heaven.

However, because of original sin, man is on a speedy decline to become like savage animals. When the return rate for God’s plan becomes slim, Jesus will come back and the whole universe will meet a justified end.

Satan knows this and is in a race to corrupt and steal as many souls before Jesus returns.

I don’t know the dates but it’s obvious from the news we are nearing the end. I just pray the end won’t happen for at least another 3 or 4 generations, not because I am fearful, but because I’d like to enjoy the company in the eternal Kingdom of Heaven of my own propagation.


5 posted on 04/18/2013 10:27:41 PM PDT by Berlin_Freeper
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To: DennisR

Homo Sapiens Sapiens - about 200,000 years. There doesn’t have to be a ‘why’.


6 posted on 04/19/2013 12:12:28 AM PDT by Natufian (t)
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To: Natufian

But you must have a good reason to believe what you believe, right? Is it something you learned in school? Or did you arrive at this conclusion in some other way?


7 posted on 04/19/2013 2:12:50 AM PDT by DennisR (Look around - God gives countless, indisputable clues that He does, indeed, exist.)
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To: DennisR

Same as most other folks; a lifetime of reading and learning.


8 posted on 04/19/2013 2:54:03 AM PDT by Natufian (t)
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To: DennisR
DennisR: "just wondering how long the evolutionists on FreeRepublic believe man has existed on the earth and why."

All depends on your definition of "man".

If by "man" you mean:

But if you mean perfected & resurrected humans**, well... we're still waiting...

;-)

*

**

9 posted on 04/19/2013 6:40:16 AM PDT by BroJoeK (a little historical perspective....)
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To: DennisR

If you took a man, and magically created a woman out of this man’s rib, then got the two to mate and produce children, then took these children and made them have sex with their own siblings through incest, and the children’s children were made to do the same, quickly, rapidly, enough genetic abnormalities will accumulate to not allow this arrangement to last more than a few generations. Definitely not enough to create 7 billion humans alive today, or the billions who died before them. If the starting pair had been somehow genetically “pure” enough to allow this, then why aren’t we seeing a generational decay in humans today? People are, in fact more or less more healthy today than a thousand years ago.


10 posted on 04/19/2013 7:59:13 AM PDT by James C. Bennett (An Australian.)
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To: DennisR

Hi there; I hope it’s ok that I created an account to reply to you; I’ve only been looking around the site for a week or two now.

Just for a bit of background, I’m a graduate student studying genetics - that is, I have a bachelors, and I’m working on getting a PhD. While I don’t want to bore you with the details, the short version is I work in a lab doing research on a specific aspect of yeast.

Anyway, to answer your question: I accept the scientific consensus when it comes to the age of humans. The short version is that means that I would say that humans have been around in our present form for a few hundred thousand years - I think 200,000 is the upper bound right now, though it may be as recent as 150,000 years ago - and by that I mean a body-shape that is effectively the same as our own. We have rather good evidence that humans have had the ability to think like us for around 50,000 years - that’s about when you start seeing things like pollen in graves (indicating burial with flowers), complex tool use (more than levers or wedges), and signs of abstract thought and composition. It’s not quite clear when spoken language first developed, but I personally would say that occurred around then as well.

From there, agriculture was developed about 10,000 years ago (~40,000 years later), writing at just under 6,000 years ago (based on the oldest writ we’ve discovered), and that’s where history takes over - history is technically the period which has had recording; everything before writing is literally prehistoric.

As to why I believe all of this, most of it comes from anthropology and paleontology, with a little geology and physics mixed in - basically, it’s based on the artifacts and fossils of early humans that we’ve found, the radiometric dating, soil conditions, sedimentary local, and so forth. It’s a bit of a list, but I’m pretty sure I can look up the references if you need them.

I understand that this...ah...probably differs from your view. If you have questions, I’d be more than happy to explain myself further, as I know this short post is a brief overview. Now, I don’t want to be attacking anyone’s personal beliefs if they’re not comfortable with that, so I’ll try to stick to scientific stuff and avoid bringing theology into it - that’s part of what I think makes me a good conservative; your business is your own, and I don’t want to butt into it without invitation.


11 posted on 04/19/2013 9:18:32 AM PDT by Droso_Phila
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To: James C. Bennett

Pardon me here, but just for the sake of devil’s advocacy, there is divine intervention to account for. Don’t get me wrong, I agree that human genetics does not point to a common ancestry within the last ten thousand years; that’s not in question. I’m just pointing out, if someone is going to use divine intervention as an explanation for the origin of man, then nothing is really stopping them from using divine intervention to explain man’s genetic diversity.

By way of example, I’ve heard the following explanations from creationists at one time or another:

* God created other men and women directly for the descendents of Adam and Eve to marry, and that’s where the genetic diversity comes from - yes, this doesn’t solve all the population issues, and I don’t honestly know if there’s biblical support for it; it’s a less common argument.
* Humans were genetically “perfect” in Eden, and with the fall came genetic diversity - now, the genetic record certainly doesn’t support this one, as there does not appear to be such a thing as “perfect genetics” now or in our history, but the fall makes for a fairly typical supernatural event people can cite to say “this is where it all changed”. It’s not a convincing argument on a scientific level, but sufficient appologetics if the base theology is accepted.
* God specifically tweaked or edited the first X generations of humans after they left the garden (in some versions, “cursed” man with these tweaks), or after certain biblical events, and that amounts for the differences between then and now - this sort of claim will sometimes claim that that’s the reason that biblical figures were so long lived; that humans still were in a different or “higher” state for a time after Eden, and it’s only later generations that got the tweak. This sort of extended timeline with the “tweaking” is typically also used to get past the genetic bottleneck that Noah’s story implies. Again, not terribly convincing from a scientific standpoint, but apologetically reasonable.


12 posted on 04/19/2013 10:22:32 AM PDT by Droso_Phila
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To: Droso_Phila
Hi Droso, welcome to Free Republic, a wonderful website for news.

I'm with you on the evolution bit and think you might enjoy reading a modern update on Darwin's work. The title is "Darwin's Ghost" by Steve Jones, and it updates each of Darwin's "Origin" chapters with great respect and ... modern knowledge.

13 posted on 04/19/2013 10:52:06 AM PDT by OldNavyVet
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To: OldNavyVet

Thank you; I appreciate it.

Now, just to check, Google yielded two books with similar titles: “Darwin’s Ghost: The Origin of Species Updated” and another by the name of “Darwin’s Ghosts: The Secret History of Evolution” - I assume you mean the former, which is listed as an update on the prose and data involved; is that correct? The latter appears to be a history lesson going over evolutionary thought and natural history from Aristotle to Darwin.

I’ll admit, I’ve actually not read much in the way of literature on evolution aimed at laymen; I always cringe a little whenever someone asks me to recommend them a book to explain evolution to them, since my education on the topic was academic; textbooks and professors and primary papers (oh my!). Amusingly, I do list among those who has never actually read On the Origin of Species; I may have to pick up a copy as you suggest - thanks again for that.

A quick question: I’ve been a little nervous about making an account, as I figured the evolutionary position wouldn’t have a lot of fans around here, and that might get me some animosity. Would you say that’s true?


14 posted on 04/19/2013 11:34:41 AM PDT by Droso_Phila
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To: Droso_Phila
I figured the evolutionary position wouldn’t have a lot of fans around here, and that might get me some animosity. Would you say that’s true?

It's impossible to do or say anything and not offend someone somewhere. If it happens just ignore. Human evolution as it's commonly taught does not add up right, so creationists have a valid point. Modern humans did not evolve by natural selection, but by tribal warfare. Almost all human-specific traits are the result of a competitive advantage during combat, and that includes religion and having an intelligence far in excess of that needed to find food and shelter. War acts like a God regulated IQ test that provides just the right amount of pressure to push human evolution along at unnaturally high speed but not so fast that everyone fails. Most of academia refuses to accept any of that. The words "humane" and "man-kind" are laughable and show man's vanity, and academia is near the top of that list. A side effect of vanity is envy, and it's envy that leads to hate, destruction, terrorism, murder, war, voting Democrat, and advances in human evolution. If academics came around to a more viable explanation of how it works they would have more credibility.

15 posted on 04/19/2013 12:30:34 PM PDT by Reeses
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To: Droso_Phila
“Darwin’s Ghost: The Origin of Species Updated”

That's it, and it will probably be of help in getting your genetics credentials.

One genetic story (inside one of nine pages associated with genetics) involves Madeline d'Auvermont who ... "assured her son's succession by her claim that she had become pregnant when her husband was away, just by thinkiing about him." Another is the fact that "it takes about a hundred thousand genes to create a man."

The book is a treasure in many ways ...Hope you enjoy it.

16 posted on 04/19/2013 8:27:11 PM PDT by OldNavyVet
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To: Natufian

Reading what? What kind of hard scientific data have you used to reach your conclusions? And how do you know that the data is reliable?


17 posted on 04/19/2013 9:20:34 PM PDT by DennisR (Look around - God gives countless, indisputable clues that He does, indeed, exist.)
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To: James C. Bennett

And your point is???


18 posted on 04/19/2013 9:22:33 PM PDT by DennisR (Look around - God gives countless, indisputable clues that He does, indeed, exist.)
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To: Droso_Phila

“I accept the scientific consensus”

Hm...how can you have scientific consensus? Mathematicians do not require consensus. The square root of 9 is 3. Period. Light travels through a vacuum at 186000 mps. Period. No consensus needed. Ergo, anything that requires consensus cannot be true science.


19 posted on 04/19/2013 9:34:46 PM PDT by DennisR (Look around - God gives countless, indisputable clues that He does, indeed, exist.)
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To: DennisR
An important question, but a conclusion that does not follow. To explore this, we're going to need to talk a bit about the philosophy of science - that is, the purpose and methodology thereof. Please bear with me; this could take a bit.

In a realm of pure logic, one in which the truths of all premises were known beforehand, science would not exist. In such a world, reaching a conclusion would be as easy as logically assembling the premises. Mathematics essentially dwells in such a realm, because we create it in such a way; it certainly holds strong ties to nature, but it exists in a realm removed. However, for most things in our universe and our lives, we do not have such confidence. Many things remain unknown, many premises undiscovered or unverified. In such a world as ours, logic alone is insufficient to understand reality - it is a powerful tool, but we need something to ground it to reality itself.

That is where empiricism comes in. Empiricism is, essentially the idea that we can test. Aside from a few axiomatic principles we all hold - things like “there exists a universe” - it makes one crucial assumption: the way the universe works is consistent, and because of that, we can test it and draw conclusions from our tests and observations.

Science makes use of empiricism, turning it from a philosophy about the origin of knowledge into a methodology for creating predictive models of the world around us. The major methodology for this is rather simple: falsifying hypotheses. We make an observation, form a testable hypothesis about it, and preform an experiment to attempt to prove our hypothesis incorrect; if it is proven so, it is discarded or updated, and further testing is preformed. If it is not disproved, we try different lines, further attempting to disprove it. If, after quite a bit of testing, it is not disproved - and as it gathers supporting evidence - it may be accepted as true.

When we test a single aspect enough that we are certain it works the same way each time under specific conditions, we call it a law. It is important to note that a hypothesis does not become a law, but rather a law is based on the results of repeated and varied hypothesis testing. An example of a law would be the law of gravitational attraction on earth, which states that objects accelerate towards the earth at a rate of ~9.8 m/s^2, modified slightly for altitude.

While we're talking terms, its important to note the most misused term, and yet the most important one: theory. While a lot of us use the word theory in our daily lives to mean a guess or a suggestion, that's much closer to a hypothesis (if its testable). A scientific theory has a rather specific, and different definition: a scientific theory is a model that explains a number of laws and which is capable of making falsifiable predictions; it must be supported by the evidence at hand and not contradicted. A theory is, by definition, the highest class of scientific knowledge - the theory of relativity, for example, explains numerous physical laws dealing with motion, matter, and time, including the one mentioned above, and it makes predictions - one of which is used to allow GPS to work.

Now, I'm sure you're wondering, “Where does consensus” come into all this? A good question, and rest assured, we're getting there. But first, there's one important thing to realize: science is not the art of finding the truth, but the art of becoming ever less wrong.

Let me explain this using an example: the shape of the earth.

At first, for a time, some peoples of earth believed the earth to be flat. This was actually much less common than often imagined - the earth was known to be round since the Greeks or earlier. But at any rate, some peoples considered it flat for a time; this was a working model they generated based on the evidence they had available to them - typically on long rolling plains. Now, is this idea wrong? Yes of course! However, it remains useful in the context in which it was derived; treating the earth as flat works on the small scale, and today architects do it all the time.

Now, quite a long time ago, the earth was found to be round - originally by observations made of shadows in wells which spoke of different angles by which the sun shone onto different latitudes. This new model - the round earth - allows for more predictive power; in addition to the above, it lets us chart travel routes in ways that would not be sensible if the earth were flat, but which save distance due to it being round. But this model is wrong too.

Still later, we have discovered that the earth bulges out at the middle - it is an oblate spheroid. The bulging is a matter of it's rotation as it so happens, but what this means is the earth is thicker around the middle than a perfect sphere would be. Using this new model, more detailed predictions still can be made, and provide use in air and sea travel, as well as minute measurement. But still, this is wrong - or not quite right.

Most recently, we have found that the southern hemisphere of the earth actually bulges collectively - if slightly - more than the northern hemisphere, meaning the earth is an oblate spheroid with a slight pear-shaped nature. Now, you'll note that this change is rather miniscule compared to some of the others, but it still becomes important for the most careful measurement, such as detailed GPS tracking.

Remember, each of these models was based on the evidence they had available to them, and each is still useful in its own context. None the less, as new evidence emerges, our models are revised and improved upon, and in that regard we become ever less wrong.

Now, to finally answer your question, why do we have a scientific consensus? Well, it's really just a fancy way of saying “essentially all of us are pretty sure, based on our present evidence that *this* is the way it is”. The scientific consensus is our *present* working model, the best one we have. This comes with the natural precaution: we realize we may be wrong. The reason we call it a consensus is because while we can be pretty damn sure about most things, we're not done. There is yet more to learn and discover in essentially every field, and we must never fall prey to the mistaken belief that we know all there is to know.

Science, of course, doesn't *require* a consensus but rather it *acquires* one. It's not something that we take to a vote; science is not democratic. Instead, the consensus is the group of us as a whole saying “Yes, we're very sure about *this*, given our present data”.

By the same token, you mention the speed of light. As it so happens, the speed you mention is also what the scientific consensus holds it to be - not because, once again, we needed to vote on it, but because that's what we're pretty sure it is. However, there are those who have proposed models of the universe in which the speed of light may change with time; you can view them here. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Variable_speed_of_light

None of these holds the scientific consensus, because we're not sure about these; we're still looking for more data, still discussing their merits, still testing. One of them might be right, but we're not prepared to say that that is so, because while some are internally consistent models, they do not yet have enough support.

So no, I'm afraid you're incorrect; merely because a field has a consensus does not mean it's not “true science” - rather the opposite; that a consensus is present is a strong indication that we have the right idea; it means that a lot of other scientists also come to the same conclusions based on the evidence.

Does that answer your question?

20 posted on 04/19/2013 11:17:06 PM PDT by Droso_Phila
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To: Reeses

I appreciate your advice.

As a note, tribal warfare is actually part of natural selection; natural selection includes species combating or competing with other members of their own or other species - indeed, that’s actually a large portion of it!

At the same time, while war has certainly shaped many aspects of us - often more culturally than biologically, especially in the short term - a large portion of our evolutionary history includes the beginning of morality itself.

You see, morality arises primarily from two aspects: empathy (that is, I don’t steal from you because I don’t want to be stolen from, or wouldn’t like being stolen from) and an understanding of consequences, especially punishment (I don’t steal from you because your brother will beat me up). Both of these are readily observable in the natural world; empathy - or primitive forms thereof - ranges from examples of altruism (in numerous species, primates included), to a concept of fairness (observed in chimps), even to such things as cross-species maternity. I do not believe I have to provide examples of animals understanding consequences - doubly so if you’re a dog trainer.

These behaviors arise instinctively thanks to a key factor: groups often survive better than individuals. Again, this shouldn’t need much demonstration, given the nature of multicellularity itself, however we can go on to extrapolate that traits which allow a group to act together better will allow them to survive better, and out-compete better. This is where such behaviors come in; a simple set of instincts that stops individuals from stabbing those of their group in the back is quite helpful for teamwork.

Now, at the same time, this sort of empathy has to have a shut-off valve, which appears as the “us and them” divide. In conditions of scarcity, where competition is necessary, having empathy towards *everything* would be a sever disadvantage, and thus we can readily explain not only the presence of empathy, but the ability to apply it only to those an individual considers their “herd” - perhaps tribe, if you prefer.

To come back to the point, I’m afraid your philosophical position on evolution is not entirely founded; you are neglecting that a large portion of what has allowed us to advance as far as we have remains cooperation. Rest assured, any anthropologist will be able to tell you about war and its affect on human culture as well.

Oh, as an aside: you appear to have linked voting Democrat to advances in human evolution; this carries an implication that I doubt you intended.


21 posted on 04/19/2013 11:50:34 PM PDT by Droso_Phila
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To: Droso_Phila

You’re very polite to potential adversaries

It’s obvious it REALLY is your virgin post.

God bless you.

man I remember when I was that nice here...lol


22 posted on 04/19/2013 11:54:41 PM PDT by wardaddy (wanna know how my kin felt during Reconstruction in Mississippi, you fixin to find out firsthand)
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To: wardaddy

I shall take that as a compliment; thank you!

At the least, the welcome seems pretty warm thus far.


23 posted on 04/20/2013 2:52:23 AM PDT by Droso_Phila
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To: Droso_Phila

I believe you have a great future as a science writer.


24 posted on 04/20/2013 3:38:44 AM PDT by VietVet (I am old enough to know who I am and what I believe, and I 'm not inclined to apologize for any of)
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To: Droso_Phila
As a note, tribal warfare is actually part of natural selection; natural selection includes species combating or competing with other members of their own or other species - indeed, that’s actually a large portion of it!

A quibble is tribal warfare is an action of man so by definition is not natural. Very early forms can be considered natural but it became man made 200,000 years ago or much longer. Modern humans are the product of a super natural process. To say this is all natural removes all meaning and point to having a word natural.

I agree about morality. All animals that hunt in packs develop a morality, which is really a set of group rules to protect the survival of the group.

Modern anthropology is an embarrassing field full of crackpots that subscribe to the noble savage theory. Leading anthropologists tell us the Neanderthals likely died off from climate change, and never directly mention modern man killing them off on purpose. They tell us human intelligence came from better nutrition and that we walk upright to see better over grass, not because it frees our hands to wield weapons against competitors. Yes hands help us hunt and gather food, but animals show us that can be done fine without hands. Anthropologists often project their modern leftist values onto ancient people that makes them out to be happy hippies living in a commune until evil white man ruined everything. Nothing could be farther from the truth.

In general leftists come from the left side of the bell curve of their tribe. Their excessive vanity leads to envy which eventually sparks war. Leftists lose and die disproportionally during war. Sometimes the left side of the bell curve gets wiped out completely, however the bell curve spontaneously reforms from those remaining and the process repeats forever, man getting a little bit more intelligent and deadly each iteration. So we owe our high intelligence to the leftists among us, but they have little to be proud of.

At least 75% of academia is government funded, directly or indirectly. Because taxes butter their bread they tend to be pro higher taxes and bigger government and shun anyone not on board. High population density also produces people that have higher levels of vanity and therefore envy, and need bigger government to highly regulate away the freedoms of their neighbors. In the city you can’t have neighbors blaring their music at 3 am or barbecuing steaks on their apartment balcony, while living in the big land of Texas these activities are fine. Universities have high population density, are little cities, so they are prone to high levels of leftism.

The extremely wealthy become limousine leftists for the purpose of envy deflection. It works extremely well which is why they do it. While Warren Buffett talks publicly about how he should pay higher taxes, in private he hires an army of tax professionals to pay the absolute minimum. He can now enjoy his wealth openly and not worry about the left side of the bell curve burning his wealth to the ground. The rich do not fear the right so there's nothing lost in befriending the leftist beast so that they might be eaten last.

Religious people have many competitive advantages in school, sports, war, business, and life in general. They tend to be healthier, live longer, have more successful marriages, have more children, live in bigger houses, own bigger automobiles, which invokes great envy in leftists. You might ascribe their competitive advantages to a placebo effect, but who knows. There’s no easy way to gain these advantages without religion, so to attack religion is to wish the destruction of the competitive advantages of others. I'm not religious myself but I wish I was! It seems to require successful indoctrination during childhood, something the left is well aware of and one of the reasons they've worked to hijack education.

25 posted on 04/20/2013 7:32:29 AM PDT by Reeses
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To: Droso_Phila

indeed...you write well and try to substantiate


26 posted on 04/20/2013 9:34:45 AM PDT by wardaddy (wanna know how my kin felt during Reconstruction in Mississippi, you fixin to find out firsthand)
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To: Squawk 8888
Amen
27 posted on 04/20/2013 9:36:26 AM PDT by tomkat
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To: Droso_Phila

Welcome to FR !


28 posted on 04/20/2013 9:38:40 AM PDT by tomkat
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To: Reeses

I think the main advantage to religious people today practically speaking is that they tend to produce and honor family...traditional families.

The structure that has proven to be the best vehicle for cultural success time and again.

And you are right...the disenchanted are trying to destroy that...our Achilles heel


29 posted on 04/20/2013 9:39:52 AM PDT by wardaddy (wanna know how my kin felt during Reconstruction in Mississippi, you fixin to find out firsthand)
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To: DennisR

The number of years is not the point. Gd has set up a genius system with genetics and epigenetics and things we have not even discovered yet. Judeo Christian philosophies are not mutually exclusive with biology. They can’t be because Gd created biology.

Words help us understand but words are limited. In different languages there are different meanings for things that supposedly translate perfectly. I speak 4 languages and I know that it isn’t so. Words come close but are not meanings themselves. They are tools. Our bibles are filled with truths but we may not be understanding them perfectly. We do the best we can.

There are wonderful things about this world and there are terrible. This week is an example of both. There are wonders and mysteries about us and our development both ontological and phylogenical. I think I just made up a word.

We aren’t meant to understand everything while we are here. But we have the curiosity to try.


30 posted on 04/20/2013 9:48:00 AM PDT by Yaelle
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To: Reeses

I love your post.


31 posted on 04/20/2013 5:39:23 PM PDT by Yaelle
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To: Yaelle

“We aren’t meant to understand everything while we are here. But we have the curiosity to try.”

Given the incomprehensible size of the universe, this will be no problem. Furthermore, we should be curious about the number of years mankind has been on the earth.

Why not?


32 posted on 04/20/2013 7:17:47 PM PDT by DennisR (Look around - God gives countless, indisputable clues that He does, indeed, exist.)
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To: Squawk 8888

...and how do you know that?


33 posted on 04/20/2013 7:29:43 PM PDT by DennisR (Look around - God gives countless, indisputable clues that He does, indeed, exist.)
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To: Droso_Phila
A quick question: I’ve been a little nervous about making an account, as I figured the evolutionary position wouldn’t have a lot of fans around here, and that might get me some animosity. Would you say that’s true?

Keep it civil and you'll probably be OK.

34 posted on 04/21/2013 8:14:39 AM PDT by OldNavyVet
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To: Droso_Phila

Nice job on #20, and welcome to FR. I particularly like your line about science being “the art of becoming ever less wrong.” I used to say something like that in discussions with a friend of mine who was into those Late Great Planet Earth books. He’d say “Scientists used to think the earth was flat!” and I’d reply “For most earthbound practical purposes, the earth *is* flat.”


35 posted on 04/21/2013 8:51:26 AM PDT by Ha Ha Thats Very Logical
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To: VietVet

Thank you; I take that as quite high praise!


36 posted on 04/21/2013 11:13:05 AM PDT by Droso_Phila
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To: tomkat

Thank you; I’m much obliged!


37 posted on 04/21/2013 11:13:33 AM PDT by Droso_Phila
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To: OldNavyVet

That’s good to hear; thanks.


38 posted on 04/21/2013 11:14:05 AM PDT by Droso_Phila
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To: Reeses

Say, how do you make that fancy italicized text?

Your quibble isn’t unfounded, but actually that’s one of the major problems with arguments about what is “natural”. Ultimately, since humanity has arising from nature, everything we do can be described as natural; the label “unnatural” is arguably just an example of the anthropocentric conceit - it’s apparently natural when a beaver builds a dam but unnatural when we do it; natural when a wasp builds a nest but unnatural when we make paper. By the same token, when we talk about this very topic in genetics, we speak of natural vs. artificial selection, where natural selection occurs in nature without our influence while artificial selection is the exact same thing, only humans are deciding what to select for instead of natural survivability and reproduction deciding it. There’s no difference in the process, only in human will being behind the latter - and amusingly, selection that occurs due to byproducts of humanity, such as bacteria developing nylonase, is generally termed natural selection.

Further, “supernatural” is even further away from having a workable definition; we generally define it to be events that are somehow removed from the natural order - the actions of faeries or gods or witches or such. The trouble with that is that so long as such things have an effect on the natural world, that effect could be assayed, examined, observed, and tested in some regard; that would allow us to extrapolate about the source, and place it within the realm of “natural”, as the naturalist would use it. On the other hand, if we were unable to assay, examine, observe, or test the effects of the supernatural at all, there would be no way to tell if it had any effect at all in the first place, and so it’s rather moot.

Essentially yes - I agree entirely; the term “natural”, as opposed to either unnatural or supernatural, is poorly defined and of little use when making these sorts of arguments.

I think you have an unfairly dim view on modern anthropology; it’s not a field I spend much time around, I will admit, but when I was taught the basics (we’re required to do a bit, you know), the prof held back nothing; he went over various cultures without the need to sugarcoat, discussing both nice and nasty qualities thereof - he simply withheld moral judgement, as it would have taken longer or gotten in the way of simply describing what they did. Maybe it was different when you were instructed, but the whole “noble savage” thing is actually discussed by the modern anthropological community in an attempt to avoid the sort of bias it contains.

Further, not to be rude, but given the existence of other primates, your argument on hands is a wee bit moot; hands do not evolve merely for weaponry, but can be considered an arboreal (tree-dwelling) adaptation which lends itself well to tool use in general.

Further still, it would be more accurate to say the upright stance is less about seeing over grass (though that may have helped) and more about the key physical advantage humanity actually has - distance running. We are not tremendous sprinters, nor do we have great physical weapons or defenses, but we can run for a long, long time - it’s said that while we can’t out-sprint a horse, an experienced human could chase after it until it collapsed from exhaustion. From the arboreal primate stance, the upright stance makes sense in terms of moving to the planes and taking advantage of running.

As to leftists, while I’m more than happy to chuckle about what I see as the less viable aspects of what they think the role of government is, and indeed would argue against quite a bit of the philosophy that underlies some - not all of course - of their principles, I’m afraid I would have to disagree that leftists come from the left of the bell curve as well. There is actually a statistical correlation between education, intelligence, and more left-leaning philosophies. It’s a bit of a strange divide; while we would expect that the impoverished (who are also typically less educated) would be those more likely to vote democrat in an effort to get support, there is a strong trend of those same people voting republican on the grounds that they think they don’t need the support - the Tea Party, especially after being astroturfed by Fox, are not exactly shining examples of education and intelligence - and I say that not as an insult, but merely a statistical observation. I could look up a source on it if you think it’s untrue; I’d be quite delighted to be proven wrong in this case.

See, if you were to say “leftists are often better educated, and therefore less experienced in the ‘real world’ and hold ideals that are nice-sounding but don’t work out because of it, often becoming more conservative with age” or something like that, I might be able to get behind it. But left side of the bell curve? That’s just tooting our own horn without an real support.

By the same token, while scientific research is fairly heavily government funded, I’m afraid you are not accurate in saying that academics are more likely to vote for higher taxes. They *may* be willing to vote for more progressive taxes - that is, taxing the rich more than the poor, but no one really wants higher taxes. On the other hand, they would argue for more money being spent on scientific endeavors - and given the rather huge difference in military spending vs. scientific research spending (I believe the statistic on a federal level is something like 19% of the budget on military spending and 2% on scientific research, as well as another 2% on education), they would be more likely to argue that we shift the budget so that we have more money for research (and likely education) - in many cases, they suggest reducing military spending, and potentially social programs, in an effort to bolster the sciences, rather than to increase taxes in general.

To be honest, I don’t think I agree with your point about vanity and higher population centers. I’m not entirely clear on how you define vanity in such a case, but when we’re talking about blasting music and grilling on balconies, it’s not a matter of the government taking away rights, but about respecting the rights of others. The core tenant of a conservative view on rights, as I see it, is “your rights end where another’s begin” - blasting loud musing and preventing others from sleeping is essentially infringing upon their rights. The grills on balconies thing is more a matter of public safety; especially in the big city that sort of thing has indeed been shown to be a hazard. The fire code isn’t meant to hold back your rights, but to stop you from burning the place down with another several-score people inside. By definition, when people are living more closely together, in denser population centers, there will have to be more care taken not to infringe on others’ rights, but this is more a matter of *all* those people having equal rights, rather than taking away the rights of the neighbors.

As to the claims about the religious, I’d say it’s not fully accurate. Religion is not strongly correlated with better educational performance, and owing to the fact that it often *is* correlated with less wealth, the reverse is actually true. I don’t think we can say that it has advantages in sports - rather, I would guess that if (and I frankly don’t know) there are more religious folks in professional sports, it is more likely due to the sorts of backgrounds people who go into pro sports have (as opposed to going into the sciences, say) rather than any sort of religious advantage. War I might agree with - religion is frequently used to create a strong “us or them” advantage, and encourage people to go to war - however, that is an advantage on the production side of things; it’s dwarfed by most combat modifiers on the actual battlefield - the best you can hope for is a slight advantage in moral and a willingness to be fed into a meat-grinder; the same can be said of extreme patriotism or other forms of fervor. Business I really can’t speak to; I wouldn’t know where to start that discussion, other than to point out examples of famous religious and non-religious businessmen and women, but we would have to be able to demonstrate that religion actually provided an advantage there.

As to the rest of life in general, I don’t know I can get behind your statements. Atheists actually have statistically longer-lasting marriage when compared to religious folks, for one. More children I’ll grant to the religious of course - owing both to religious beliefs that prohibit contraception, religious efforts to prevent *knowledge* about contraception, and because religion is especially common among people to the left side of the economic bell curve. To be frank though, I’m not sure I’d call that an advantage.

As to bigger houses, cards, and longer life, I don’t see that as being supported at all. Indeed, if one examines religiosity vs. wealth on a world-wide scale, it’s a strong trend that more religious countries are also less wealthy - and more wealth and longer life correlate. Some studies have shown the same for individual people. This is probably not a negative effect of religion itself, but rather a trend that when a country is more wealthy, it is better able to provide for education; with increased education comes an increase in freedom of thought, and thus less religious belief. Indeed, the US is actually an outlier in these statistics; we’re the only country that both has strong religiosity and a strong GDP - which seems to make quite clearly that it is not an advantage conveyed by religion, but something else.

Now I could be wrong here; I don’t suppose you have statistics that show that religion correlates with wealth or being “better off”? Again, I’m just not sure I see the sorts of advantage you’re speaking off; I’ve not seen support for these ideas, so if you could provide me that support I would be much obliged.


39 posted on 04/21/2013 1:47:05 PM PDT by Droso_Phila
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To: Droso_Phila
For italics put <i>text in italics</i> around the text you want and <p> between paragraphs. Another common html syntax to know is <a href="http://...">some title</a> for adding a link and <img src="http://"> for adding a photo.

The human hand is a weapon, not for hunting but for quick head blows to other humans. Apes and chimps cannot form a tight weapon fist like we can. Humans were engineered for walking long distances while carrying a weapon. Running is what humans do if they forget their weapon. Kenyan running ability is likely an adaptation for outrunning a tribal warfare attack and little to do with putting food on the table.

You've definitely spent time in a leftist echo chamber and I'm not going to get far in countering that. I'd like to try to impart more respect for the benefits of religion, even though it's not for you. Here's a more scholarly write up that it explains it better than I can and there are many others you could look up: Why Religion Matters Even More: The Impact of Religious Practice on Social Stability

Although poor people tend to be poor from low IQ they are not religious because of low IQ but because they benefit more from it. Correlation is not causation.

Team sports are really practice tribal warfare, not just for those on the field but for the spectators/civilians as well. You can see that most clearly in American football where the teams often use Indian tribe names. Soccer was invented by the British so their colonies wouldn't practice more violent sports making them tougher opponents in battle. Soccer mainly teaches subjects how to throw down their arms and run for their lives. American professional football teams are often very religious because it imparts competitive advantages such as not giving up when the odds are long. Tim Tebow is famous for amazing comebacks that beat the odds, sometimes at least, despite his average athletic ability. When adjusted for other factors, Catholic schools mysteriously outperform in many sports compared to public schools.

Most leaps in technology are funded by military spending. For example the first integrated circuit cost $1,000 each and the first order was for use in a new American jet bomber. That created a market that eventually led to ICs costing pennies. Military spending drives the "cutting edge" of technology. Look at all through breakthroughs that came from WWII. We're still riding that wave. The wealth of a nation is largely driven by military spending 20 years prior. Today the military is investing heavily in robotics, an important technology that might keep America from going bankrupt from socialism 20 years from now. To gut military spending is to gut our future wealth, case in point: the formerly Great Britain now a socialist has-been.

Everyone is a Republican when it comes to their own paycheck. The outrage over January's payroll tax increase was most intense from Obama voters. People only become Democrats when you start talking about higher taxes on the other guy. About 50% of wealth that passes through government hands is destroyed due to the nature of the government beast. Taxes are already too progressive, taking wealth from those good at investing it, creating jobs and prosperity, and giving it to government, half to be destroyed. I hope you have plans to get a real job someday, not a government job with 3 day weekends and so much red tape you can accomplish little.

40 posted on 04/22/2013 11:33:38 AM PDT by Reeses
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To: Ha Ha Thats Very Logical

Asimov wrote an essay called the relativity of wrong where he pointed out that, on average, the earth is off from being perfectly flat by 0.000126 miles per mile.


41 posted on 04/22/2013 11:56:04 AM PDT by allmendream (Tea Party did not send GOP to D.C. to negotiate the terms of our surrender to socialism)
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To: Ha Ha Thats Very Logical

That is roughly 8 inches per mile.


42 posted on 04/22/2013 11:58:43 AM PDT by allmendream (Tea Party did not send GOP to D.C. to negotiate the terms of our surrender to socialism)
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To: Reeses
Thanks for the help; I'll remember those!

You are correct - the hand may indeed have evolutionary uses as a weapon; we obviously put it to good use in that regard at present. I was talking more specifically about it not being all about holding weapons, but tool use in general, which includes holding weapons - the use of a fist as a weapon is another story, and I'd agree, it does suit a certain pattern, though I have my doubts about it being the only influence.

I suppose I may have been mislead, and appreciate the link to the write-up on religion; I'll give it a more through read-through before I reply about it if that's ok. For what it's worth, I don't entirely like the modern "conservative = Christian" views; I think we're missing out on important demographics if we do things that way.

I get the impression that I don't really know enough about sports statistics to be able to say whether or not religious schools do better, so I'll give you the benefit of the doubt there. However, as you said, correlation is not causation.

Team sports as practice tribal warfare is not an uncommon view - I think the anthropologists you disparage would agree as well - indeed, I see football as a mock-up of trench warfare itself. Games, by and large, act to teach various lessons, be it strategy or craftiness or - as you suggest - not giving up at long odds. Though if I may say, I think basketball is a better example of the latter.

Dealing with military spending, I agree entirely; many great inventions were developed for military applications first, and later adapted for domestic use. However, what I must point out is that this is not so much a matter of the military being a better investment than it is about necessity. This is one part of your argument that I certainly agree with - war is motivating, a driving force, and the search for force multipliers has indeed brought about a number of advancements, especially when it comes to materials and ballistics. However, there is back-and-forth in this; in many cases, the military says "we need something that does X", and they turn to recent non-military research to get an idea of how to do that, then pour money into researching that aspect. Not only that, but to a certain extent the military can be seen as advantaged in terms of funding in a more literal sense - just for the sake of comparison, in 2012 the Department of Defense research budget was $79.1 billion, where as the National Science Foundation got $8.2 billion. But I digress.

As to paychecks, yes, absolutely! People in general have this weird notion that they're going to elect a politician who will both lower their taxes and somehow also fund all the social programs they want; it's ridiculous, and folks don't get that progressive taxes are, generally, falling onto the middle-class; the "1%" of not-too-recent fame are still very good at not paying large taxes. At the same time, while I agree that simply distributing wealth from those who are capable of producing to the government to be further distributed is a poor move, the whole idea of trickle-down economics was rather a bust as well. To be frank, solving this sort of economic conundrum may be beyond my ability, but my impression is we will benefit from less tax and less regulation in general, though there might be specific caveats and loopholes that need to be plugged before we can manage that.

And yes - I plan on working with as little red tape as I can manage, and I would love to be privately funded. Thanks for talking this out, by the by; it's been fun.
43 posted on 04/22/2013 12:35:14 PM PDT by Droso_Phila
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To: DennisR

Sorry for the delay in replying, I’ve been hiking.

I’m sure a full bibliography of everything I’ve read and studied and a list of my life’s experiences would be too extensive and too boring to list here.

Suffice to say, I have seen and studied enough to appreciate that science provides us with a framework supported by billions of data points that allows us to understand (more or less) the natural history of our planet and (to a much lesser extent) the universe. None of the evidence suggests that the supernatural has been a factor.

That data has been generated by millions of scientists in every field (archeaology, paleontolgy, biology, chemisty, physics, geology ec., etc., etc.)and betweem whom there is widespread agreement.

The evidence shows that the planet earth does not rest on the back of a giant turtle, that life was not all but extinguished in a giant flood 4,000 years ago and that death has existed for as long as life has and for eons before modern humans appeared on the scene.

Does any of this mean that a Creator of the Universe has been shown not to exist? Of course not but no evidence of it’s existence has been found either.

That doesn’t make me anti-Christian. Far from it and I’m not interested in supporting fellow atheists who insist on stygmatizing anyone who professes a faith.


44 posted on 04/23/2013 8:44:32 AM PDT by Natufian (t)
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To: DennisR

I take a strictly Biblical approach of approx 6,000 years. Afterall where has it been proven that God has lied to us through the revelation oh His Word?

Center for Scientific Creation - In the Beginning: Compelling Evidence for Creation and the Flood
http://www.creationscience.com/onlinebook/IntheBeginningTOC.html


45 posted on 04/25/2013 5:47:09 AM PDT by BrandtMichaels
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To: Natufian

But what did you read and learn to convince you to make those conclusions?


46 posted on 05/28/2013 10:35:18 PM PDT by DennisR (Look around - God gives countless, indisputable clues that He does, indeed, exist.)
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To: DennisR

As I said in my post 44, I suspect a full bibliography would be too long, too boring and of little utility. You’ll need to be more specific.


47 posted on 05/28/2013 11:58:30 PM PDT by Natufian (t)
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