Posts by From many - one.

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  • How to put Democratic leaders on the defensive just like Chris Matthews 'got' Cong. Pence yesterday

    05/10/2009 8:15:18 PM PDT · 165 of 167
    From many - one. to tpanther

    Thank you for the courtesy of correcting my careless typo.

    I generally allow people to self identify. Many people who believe in Christ as Savior also do not require the Bible to be read literally in sections like Genesis. Some here would challenge their professed Christianity.

  • How to put Democratic leaders on the defensive just like Chris Matthews 'got' Cong. Pence yesterday

    05/09/2009 4:38:15 PM PDT · 145 of 167
    From many - one. to steve-b

    Those of us who may be Jews, Hindus (most of India), non-literalist Chrittians etc. are only welcome on these threads if we keep our place.

  • Harsanyi: Don't fear evolution debate

    04/03/2009 9:42:19 AM PDT · 104 of 149
    From many - one. to P-Marlowe

    Nope. It says 6 days but nothing about how or sequence.

  • Harsanyi: Don't fear evolution debate

    04/03/2009 7:45:10 AM PDT · 99 of 149
    From many - one. to P-Marlowe

    Cite please.

  • Darwin and eugenics: Darwin was indeed a ‘Social Darwinist’

    03/19/2009 5:05:02 PM PDT · 52 of 52
    From many - one. to allmendream

    Sorry I took so long.
    Darwin on slavery: In Voyage of the Beagle Chapter XXI ....
    On the 19th of August we finally left the shores of Brazil, I thank God, I shall never again visit a slave-country.

    To this day, if I hear a distant scream, it recalls with painful vividness my feelings, when passing a house near Pernambuco, I heard the most pitiable moans, and could not but suspect that some poor slave was being tortured, yet knew that I was as powerless as a child even to remonstrate. I suspected that these moans were from a tortured slave, for I was told that this was the case in another instance. Near Rio de Janeiro I lived opposite to an old lady, who kept screws to crush the fingers of her female slaves.

    I have stayed in a house where a young household mulatto, daily and hourly, was reviled, beaten, and persecuted enough to break the spirit of the lowest animal.

    I have seen a little boy, six or seven years old, struck thrice with a horse-whip (before I could interfere) on his naked head, for having handed me a glass of water not quite clean; I saw his father tremble at a mere glance from his master’s eye. These latter cruelties were witnessed by me in a Spanish colony, in which it has always been said, that slaves are better treated than by the Portuguese, English, or other European nations. I have seen at Rio de Janeiro a powerful negro afraid to ward off a blow directed, as he thought, at his face.

    I was present when a kind-hearted man was on the point of separating forever the men, women, and little children of a large number of families who had long lived together.

    I will not even allude to the many heart-sickening atrocities which I authentically heard of; nor would I have mentioned the above revolting details, had I not met with several people, so blinded by the constitutional gaiety of the negro as to speak of slavery as a tolerable evil. Such people have generally visited at the houses of the upper classes, where the domestic slaves are usually well treated; land they have not, like myself, lived amongst the lower classes. Such inquirers will ask slaves about their condition; they forget that the slave must indeed be dull, who does not calculate on the chance of his answer reaching his master’s ears.

    It is argued that self-interest will prevent excessive cruelty; as if self-interest protected our domestic animals, which are far less likely than degraded slaves, to stir up the rage of their savage masters. It is an argument long since protested against with noble feeling, and strikingly exemplified, by the ever-illustrious Humboldt.

    It is often attempted to palliate slavery by comparing the state of slaves with our poorer countrymen: if the misery of our poor be caused not by the laws of nature, but by our institutions, great is our sin; but how this bears on slavery, I cannot see; as well might the use of the thumb-screw be defended in one land, by showing that men in another land suffered from some dreadful disease.

    Those who look tenderly at the slave owner, and with a cold heart at the slave, never seem to put themselves into the position of the latter; what a cheerless prospect, with not even a hope of change!

    picture to yourself the chance, ever hanging over you, of you wife and your little children—those objects which nature urges even the slave to call his own—being torn from you and sold like beasts to the first bidder! And these deeds are done and palliated by men, who profess to love their neighbours as themselves, who believe in God, and pray that his Will be done on earth! It makes one’s blood boil, yet heart tremble, to think that we Englishmen and our American descendants, with their boastful cry of liberty, have been and are so guilty: but it is a consolation to reflect, that we at least have made a greater sacrifice, than ever made by any nation, to expiate our sin.


    Darwin speaks of slavery, but makes it agonizingly clear that even if the believes “negros” to be less smart than Europeans, he does not believe them to be less human or deserving.

    As for his religion, note the first sentence.

  • Darwin and eugenics: Darwin was indeed a ‘Social Darwinist’

    03/18/2009 2:45:33 PM PDT · 33 of 52
    From many - one. to allmendream

    I’m also a working biologist. I’ve stored a useful Darwin quote on my page. I post here rarely nowadays, but feel free to use it when you come across blither about Darwin’s so-called racism.

  • Evolution debate persists because it's not science

    02/24/2009 6:17:18 AM PST · 464 of 661
    From many - one. to Fichori

    “Uuuuum... do you even know what the journal Nature is?”

    >Yeah, its the second rate backup paper source that sits under the the JC Penny and Sears & Roebuck catalogs in the outhouse.

    And the outhouse is also a backup for when outdated plumbing backs up?

    I don’t think there’s anything anti-biblical about good quality indoor plumbing.

  • Bail hearing postponed for Saudi student charged in assault (Halifax, Nova Scotia)

    02/22/2009 9:28:36 AM PST · 19 of 21
    From many - one. to Ragnar54

    Yes, thanks.

    I finally noticed and corrected it in post 17.

  • Bail hearing postponed for Saudi student charged in assault (Halifax, Nova Scotia)

    02/22/2009 7:25:10 AM PST · 17 of 21
    From many - one. to Dr. RM; John Williams

    Signup date for Dr. M Feb 22, 2009

    I noticed a typo in my post re AliP: signup date Feb 21, 2009 not 2001

  • Bail hearing postponed for Saudi student charged in assault (Halifax, Nova Scotia)

    02/22/2009 7:18:38 AM PST · 16 of 21
    From many - one. to Dr. RM

    I’m not sure what kind of doctor you are, but being “perplexed” by rape by a 19 year old single male is a bit odd. Perhaps a language problem.

    As for the reports of rape and murder by North Americans in the North American media, we express the same level of disapproval and frequently attribute it to the way things are “these days.”

    Unfortunately, we rarely hear of disapproval of “honor” killings by those in the Muslim world. And a Muslim pregnant rape victim is to receive 100 lashes during her jail sentence for having been too trusting and getting raped. When we don’t hear of members of the Muslim world speaking out against these things, it is reasonable to presume acceptance.

    Keep in mind that I posted about the signup date of the individual I posted to. Nothing else, yet your post was addressed to me as if I were accountable for all the other posters on this thread. We have a phrase “Pot calling the kettle black.” In this case you have the wrong kettle.

  • Bail hearing postponed for Saudi student charged in assault (Halifax, Nova Scotia)

    02/21/2009 1:13:31 PM PST · 13 of 21
    From many - one. to AliC

    Uh huh.

    Signup date: Feb 21 2001.

  • The carnivorous nature and suffering of animals

    02/20/2009 10:58:59 AM PST · 46 of 65
    From many - one. to ZULU

    There’s actually a real and rather sad reason.

    The idea comes from a notion that, I think, originated in the 1800’s that the Bible had to be literally “true” in every word or it (and, specifically, Jesus) “lied” meaning there was nothing to believe in at all. Many honest and sincere Christians take it as an article of faith, and I never argue with them.

    Some, that I consider troublemakers and possibly not really Christians, will dishonestly misrepresent the science in order to bolster their own weak faith, or just to be difficult. Generally I ignore them.

  • The carnivorous nature and suffering of animals

    02/20/2009 9:35:41 AM PST · 38 of 65
    From many - one. to dirtboy

    You don’t get it.

    Since their teeth couldn’t cut up the veggies right, they didn’t grow so big. That’s also how they fit on the ark.

  • Is Natural Selection the Same Thing as Evolution?

    02/12/2009 6:33:51 AM PST · 79 of 79
    From many - one. to jimmyray

    I’m not sure I understand what you mean when you say that your “favorite is the coelacanth, but there’s a very nice article in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science:

    Nuclear protein-coding genes support lungfish and not the coelacanth as the closest living relatives of land vertebrates — PNAS

    It’s a bit of a hairy read, but a good example of how scientists worked out the (most probable according to current thought) relationship between coelacanth, lungfish and land animals. You can get a lot just by reading the introduction and disussion at the end and looking at the diagrams.

    If I’m off in the wrong direction here, let me know. As I said, I’m not at all sure what makes coelacanths your favorite.

    Next break I’ll go into nested hierarchies, DNA and what makes a different genus. Unless you have more questions on coelacanths.

  • Is Natural Selection the Same Thing as Evolution?

    02/11/2009 11:25:36 AM PST · 77 of 79
    From many - one. to jimmyray

    Thanks for a very pleasant and challenging set of exchanges.

    I’m going to have to slow down, I rarely post this often, and, since I’m working from home, need to give good measure.

    I will be back, maybe much later today, maybe tomorrow. You’ve brought up several interesting points that I’d like to address.

  • Is Natural Selection the Same Thing as Evolution?

    02/11/2009 10:22:19 AM PST · 75 of 79
    From many - one. to jimmyray

    I’ll address only two parts of your post:

    The scientists’ definition of evolution is the only one that is relevant because it is the scientific theory we’re discussing. That’s not arrogance, it’s just the same as the chemists’ definition of acid. If you’re talking chemistry, an acid expression doesn’t qualify.

    As for your question about my religion, I keep that rigidly private on this forum, it’s way too venomous for me. Aside from you I’ve seen virtually no posters I’d consider Christian in their posting style.

    The only thing I’ll specify is that God was not writing a biology textbook and was speaking to people of the time in a language they could understand.

  • Is Natural Selection the Same Thing as Evolution?

    02/11/2009 8:42:49 AM PST · 72 of 79
    From many - one. to jimmyray
    For my own purposes I always distinguish between those who accept Genesis as literal as an act of faith, and those who argue with the science. I have no problem at all with faith.

    When I had students like you I simply requested that they be willing to learn what scientists think.

    As for speciation not being evolution, well, by definition it is. From the timeline you give, extremely rapid evolution is required for the pairs at the genus or family level to have diversified to the degree we have today.

    If I may respectfully suggest, consider your acceptance of Genesis literally as an acceptance of the miraculous which is God's territory, and don't worry about where science differs. Someday, somehow, they'll come together. Sort of (re science) “gee this is nifty, wonder how it will all play out.”

  • Is Natural Selection the Same Thing as Evolution?

    02/11/2009 7:00:45 AM PST · 68 of 79
    From many - one. to jimmyray

    You sound thoughtful, so let’s play genetics...

    Remember I said speciation is not an on/off switch so:

    east to west (oversimplified):across a flat continent eastern squirrels can breed with midwestern squirrels and midwestern squirrels can breed with western squirrels. But eastern squirrel can’t breed with western ones. How many species? Now kill all the midwestern ones from a major fire. How many species?

    ring: same idea but forming a ring, the ends of which can’t breed (google “ring species” and check several different ones)

    for dogs: line up the breeds by size: each can breed with the adjacent but not with the one 3 sizes down...the kicker here is the artificial breeding. Left to themselves they’d even out over time

    Plants cause confusion by developing species complexes, often using polyploidy (instead of having chromosomes in pairs, some members of the complex will have them in threes or fours, and some can breed and some can’t.

    You might also google “recent speciation” for more fun.

    Oh, and Lesser Pandas are more closely related to raccoons than to bears. Different family. That, and things like the rose/pear example show why I’m a stickler for not using common names as a basis for showing relationship. Also, right now there are some arguments for putting the larger pandas into their own family. Don’t know who’s winning. If you go to the “Tree of Life Web Project” you’ll see them listed twice.

  • Is Natural Selection the Same Thing as Evolution?

    02/10/2009 6:06:02 PM PST · 50 of 79
    From many - one. to jimmyray

    Genera and families are distinctions of convenience although we are working toward genetic distance.

    A species is distinct from another if they do not interbreed in the wild.

    Contrary to popular belief on these threads there’s no on/off switch for speciation, it’s a process involving diminishing fertility and/or breeding opportunities.

    As for “they’re in the same family”, as I asked upthread, is a rose a pear (or vice versa)?

  • Is Natural Selection the Same Thing as Evolution?

    02/10/2009 5:06:41 PM PST · 45 of 79
    From many - one. to Oztrich Boy

    You’re right and I’m out of date. (Felis is a former genus name, I should have known to check. Right now I’m updating a list of plant names and keep getting surprised at changed I never expected. Fungi are worse).

    Note though, that I hedged my bet and never called them cats.

    And the basic point stands. Would you call a pear a rose?

    There is a creationist notion of baramin which seems to mean whatever level of grouping is convenient. Slopping around with families, genera and “kinds” just plays into that.