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#41 MamaElephant

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Posted 21 January 2011 - 06:45 AM

But very much a stretch for me. The odds of mutations causing similar features in separate species not linked by common ancestors stretches my imagination to the breaking point.  “It” speaks more of design than evolution.
But is a valid point as you agree and one that evos tend to demphasise choosing to play up the physical as if the mental does not matter. That is one of my major objections to evo science and its very un holistic approach.

A quibble. But in the sense of a paw to a hand lots of small precision mutations all aimed but according to evo science not so, on evolving a paw into a perfectly functioning hand. Dare anyone question the grandeur and prowess of the great and wonderful wizzard  of evolution? :P

Creativity is unpredictable or as consistent as the creator chooses to be. Your last statement about creativity is moot.

Yes I agree. Very good points.

Nope

Isabella may see it as a bad thing that not all creationists agree on this. There is no creationist consensus on many matters. I saw that as a bad thing just recently. Then I realized that in order to get an agreement on these things we would have to do what the evos do... make conjecture into theory or fact. Creationists do not do this. There are a great many things that have more than one interpretation and presenting both interpretations is much more honest than presenting one as the correct one and discarding the others when the evidence does not clearly point to one above the other.

That is a very long sentence. I think I may need to go back to learning grammar. ;)

#42 Mike Summers

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Posted 21 January 2011 - 10:20 AM

Yes I agree. Very good points.

Isabella may see it as a bad thing that not all creationists agree on this. There is no creationist consensus on many matters. I saw that as a bad thing just recently. Then I realized that in order to get an agreement on these things we would have to do what the evos do... make conjecture into theory or fact. Creationists do not do this. There are a great many things that have more than one interpretation and presenting both interpretations is much more honest than presenting one as the correct one and discarding the others when the evidence does not clearly point to one above the other.

That is a very long sentence. I think I may need to go back to learning grammar. :P

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My prof's used to tell me I made a lot of run ons. And never start a sentence with but or a conjunction or a gerund phrase. But this is not formal prose just a bunch of sod busters trying to thrash out their differences partner. ;) :)

#43 Isabella

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Posted 21 January 2011 - 07:26 PM

All the animals that exist do that quite well.

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If that were true, we wouldn’t have such a long list of threatened, endangered, and recently extinct species.

Actually I would rather know what you think. On the other hand I understand what you reference is credible to you.

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I formulate my own opinions selectively from the material I’ve read and the courses I’ve taken. When I reference an evolutionary hypothesis or theory, it’s always going to be one that I agree with unless I’ve specifically said otherwise. Since I’m not involved in evolutionary research, I really can’t make up a theory that is truly my own. I lack the resources.

Although you may disagree, the evidence used to support evolution is scientifically valid. It’s the conclusions we draw from the evidence that are subject to debate. No accepted theory in evolution is simply the result of armchair philosophy.

But very much a stretch for me. The odds of mutations causing similar features in separate species not linked by common ancestors stretches my imagination to the breaking point. “It” speaks more of design than evolution.

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I was religious for quite a long time, and I felt the same way. The idea of mutations generating a complex organ or structure seemed unfathomable to me. It wasn’t until I began studying the mechanisms behind evolution and population genetics in depth that I changed my mind. There are many things which, when not fully understood, stretch the imagination. I personally cannot imagine how thousands of songs can be converted into a digital form and stored on my iPod, and then played as sound from my headphones. It’s something I’ve never studied, and if you asked me to propose a mechanism I wouldn’t know where to begin. If I had been put in charge of inventing the iPod based on a description of what its supposed to do, I probably would’ve said, “Nope, that’s impossible!” and walked away.

Please don’t interpret that as a personal attack on your intelligence, because that’s not my intention. I realize that most people on this forum, creationists and evolutionists alike, are very educated individuals. However for me, it took a few years of studying evolution before I was able to put things together and really understand it. Even now, I’m still a long way from understanding every aspect of it.

But is a valid point as you agree and one that evos tend to demphasise choosing to play up the physical as if the mental does not matter. That is one of my major objections to evo science and its very un holistic approach.

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I think the mental aspect is important and evolutionists are aware of that, however it’s difficult to quantify. We know humans are smarter than chimps, but by how much? Is the difference larger or smaller than, say, a chimp and a squirrel? Or a squirrel and a frog? Within humans alone, there are so many ways to define intelligence it’s nearly impossible to rank people based on their mental capabilities.

There was a PBS series I really liked called The Human Spark, where they preformed various tests on humans and chimpanzees in an attempt to determine what differed between our thinking and social interactions. It’s available online if you’re interested. Just be warned that sometimes anthropologists get a little carried away when they talk about human evolution. Even I can’t help but roll my eyes when an overly ambitious artist shows their rendition of what our ancestors may have looked life, and goes on to talk about the thing like it’s their own grandpa.

#44 Mike Summers

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Posted 21 January 2011 - 10:22 PM

If that were true, we wouldn’t have such a long list of threatened, endangered, and recently extinct species.


How do they say it? It’s just pressures to evolve? The door swings both ways though. Isn’t it also a list of creatures being “pressured to adapt & or evolve” rather than go extinct? We'll just have to wait and see. Oops maybe our ancestorsr ancestors will have to do that.

And then there has to be a net increase otherwise we wouldn’t have up to 30 million species on the planet. Are we losing species faster than we are gaining them? Evolution certainly can’t keep that up for very long. Don’t you think the money would be on them adapting? Otherwise we might have to change the name to devolution. If they die out that will be some negative points for evo right?

I formulate my own opinions selectively from the material I’ve read and the courses I’ve taken. When I reference an evolutionary hypothesis or theory, it’s always going to be one that I agree with unless I’ve specifically said otherwise. Since I’m not involved in evolutionary research, I really can’t make up a theory that is truly my own. I lack the resources.

Although you may disagree, the evidence used to support evolution is scientifically valid. It’s the conclusions we draw from the evidence that are subject to debate. No accepted theory in evolution is simply the result of armchair philosophy.


Of course all evidence to support evolution is scientifically valid (from their point of view). However I do not see evo science as the “seal of approval” it seeks to enjoy (see my post on absolute truth status). Science like all of us is a work in progress and makes mistakes and draws wrong conclusions like all of us. Some good some bad.

Your comment about conclusions drawn from evidence says to me that you may want to consider your grasp of communication theory. Evidence, from what I have observed does have to be interpreted. It has been pointed out that Creationists often use the same evidence to prove creationism is true. You & I would probably expect the president of the For Motor Car Company to drive a Ford car. That would be the bias I would expect. Remember the old saying the fox guarding the hen house.

I was religious for quite a long time, and I felt the same way. The idea of mutations generating a complex organ or structure seemed unfathomable to me. It wasn’t until I began studying the mechanisms behind evolution and population genetics in depth that I changed my mind.


I do not consider myself religious. Rather I believe I am an individual. You might say I believe in the primacy of the individual. I don’t find many people that do believe what I believe even though many share my belief in God. On the other hand things are a little more simple for me and though I have studied evolution and creationism my choice is more personal and individual. As I have said in many other posts, I observe that I like others am creative (very much so). I have compared evolution to creativity and find the efficiency of creativity greater than evolution by any stretch of the imagination. If I want something in my lifetime I am going to create it or find a group of intelligent people that have already create what I want. I bet you do the same. You already told me you have an ipod.

There are many things which, when not fully understood, stretch the imagination. I personally cannot imagine how thousands of songs can be converted into a digital form and stored on my iPod, and then played as sound from my headphones. It’s something I’ve never studied, and if you asked me to propose a mechanism I wouldn’t know where to begin. If I had been put in charge of inventing the iPod based on a description of what its supposed to do, I probably would’ve said, “Nope, that’s impossible!” and walked away.


But you shoot your own foot here exposing your inconggruency. You do not need understanding or intelligence. From an evolutionary point of view no knowledge at all is necessary to cause things to exist that are overwhelmingly more complex than an ipod. Just do it! Mutations and natural selection will ensure your success.

I remember when a vinyl record about 12 inches across only held up to 60 minutes of songs. Because of intelligent engineering we have the ipod. And yet the storage capacity of DNA code is 65 times more efficient than the largest ( in terms of storage capacity) silicone chip we currently make. If we knew how to code DNA we could take all the information in all the libraries of the world and put it on 1/10 the surface of an ordinary straight pin.


Please don’t interpret that as a personal attack on your intelligence, because that’s not my intention. I realize that most people on this forum, creationists and evolutionists alike, are very educated individuals. However for me, it took a few years of studying evolution before I was able to put things together and really understand it. Even now, I’m still a long way from understanding every aspect of it.


Does this mean you are going to study creationism in like fashion? If I studied auto mechanics I guess I would expect to be an auto mechanic. If I studied medicine I would expect to be a doctor., And if I studied evolution I would expect to be an evolutionist?

I think the mental aspect is important and evolutionists are aware of that, however it’s difficult to quantify. We know humans are smarter than chimps, but by how much? Is the difference larger or smaller than, say, a chimp and a squirrel? Or a squirrel and a frog? Within humans alone, there are so many ways to define intelligence it’s nearly impossible to rank people based on their mental capabilities.


Sort of an I can’t see the forest for the trees huh? I’d say it’s difficult to believe evo too but…

There was a PBS series I really liked called The Human Spark, where they preformed various tests on humans and chimpanzees in an attempt to determine what differed between our thinking and social interactions. It’s available online if you’re interested. Just be warned that sometimes anthropologists get a little carried away when they talk about human evolution. Even I can’t help but roll my eyes when an overly ambitious artist shows their rendition of what our ancestors may have looked life, and goes on to talk about the thing like it’s their own grandpa.


I think I saw that. It was interestin But my all time favorite PBS documentary was “The Day the Universe Changed. They have exceros of it on youtube.com but to see the whole series you might have to rent it or buy it. It was rely enlightening and I usually don’t waste superlatives. I think it ought to be required viewing for every high school and/ or college student.

All the best
Mike

#45 Isabella

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Posted 22 January 2011 - 12:04 AM

I don't understand what you are saying here.

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When I make a statement like, “according to evolution, hands are the result of living in trees”, I’m not making up an explanation off the top of my head. This is considered to be the best evolutionary explanation for our hands based on the evidence available, and can be found in various articles and textbooks. Even though the idea is not my own, I can state it without providing a reference because it’s considered to be general knowledge in evolutionary science.

So the evolutionists ignore the fact that for a sea squirt to become a fish, then a reptile, then a man, the genome would have to increase? Can you prove that this is not the case? Did all animals that are assumed human ancestors have more genetic information than man? All the way back to the single celled organism? Even if that is the case then how on earth did that "simple" organism end up with all of that genetic code?

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This is what I meant when I said that information must be carefully defined before we can talk about increases or decreases. First of all, there’s a big difference between the number of genes (which code for proteins), and the size of the genome (which includes both coding and non-coding regions). The largest genome belongs not to humans, but to the flower Paris japonica. And the organism with the most genes is a protozoan... a single cell. So it’s really not the amount of DNA, or even the number of genes, that leads to complexity: it’s what they do that matters. That’s why I’m always really confused when creationists talk about information.

Isabella may see it as a bad thing that not all creationists agree on this. There is no creationist consensus on many matters.

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Nope, not a bad thing. There’s plenty of disagreement within evolution as well, and it’s not a sign of weakness. It means people are thinking for themselves rather than conforming to popular opinion.

I was only asking Mike to clarify his views on dog evolution so that I wouldn’t make assumptions in the future.

#46 Mike Summers

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Posted 22 January 2011 - 04:48 AM

This is what I meant when I said that information must be carefully defined before we can talk about increases or decreases. First of all, there’s a big difference between the number of genes (which code for proteins), and the size of the genome (which includes both coding and non-coding regions). The largest genome belongs not to humans, but to the flower Paris japonica. And the organism with the most genes is a protozoan... a single cell. So it’s really not the amount of DNA, or even the number of genes, that leads to complexity: it’s what they do that matters. That’s why I’m always really confused when creationists talk about information.



Wow! Isabella
Thanks for that. I had it tucked away in my mind and then forgot it significance. When I read what you said, “it” came back to my consciousness. In similar fashion the whale brain is much bigger (by ten or so pounds) than ours and from what I remember studying is not much qualitatively different from our brains either. Certainly not enough to justify the difference in output.

One therefore cannot justify the difference between the species based solely on genetic code as you concur. You’ve made a good point about creationists blindness (and my own). Thanks!

I guess you put the burden for “doing” on evolution? I may be overusing the term but that is a stretch! Especially for something with no foresight, no ability to reason and is non sentient. I am forced to use another word and say that’s awfully magical.

I have postulated the idea that life is the culprit that does all the work but evo gets the credit. I suspect life reads the DNA code and thus directs the fabrication of each critter and also provides a software function to animate said creature once the body is constructed. I think Biology is more a function of life than biology is a cause of life. Science holds the latter view does it not?
Thanks again. :wacko:

#47 Crous

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Posted 24 January 2011 - 03:00 AM

Thanks for responding to my post. I can’t help to feel you all are missing my original point.
And now you are arguing about monkey hands. ;)
I originally wondered if man discriminated against their cousins (chimpanzee) when will it be OK for the “superhuman” (the next step in human evolution) to discriminate against to normal human.




Some time ago there was the common ancestor who gave birth to a daughter. This doter will be the great ancestor of the humans. Although she still looked like her cousins, she had a small mutating that will result in her being one of the missing links of mankind. Her cousin was the great ancestor of the chimpanzee. There was no discrimination between their children and their children. In time there fur colour change their facial features change and their culture change.  And somewhere in-between all these changes one became the superior animal.

Fast forward to today. Man sees the chimpanzee as a lesser animal. The chimpanzee is not allowed to vote or own land. Although the man know today that the chimpanzee is a distend cousin. Hi still treat him as a lesser animal.
Then he ponders, looking at the chimpanzee. When in the past have our forefather decide to discriminate against their cousins and way? Was it when they lost their fur? Was it when they changed their diet? Was it when there facial features changed?

If humans will over time evolve in to the next “superhuman” when will the superhuman discriminate against his lesser human cousin? And treat him as the next chimpanzee. How makes that decision? According to evolution the fittest will survive. The strongest lion make the decision. The one with authority makes the rules. If we look at the human history, haven’t some already attempted to make this decision? It may not have been the right time to discriminate against our human cousins. But it will happen in the future. Maybe next year or the year after that or the years after that, but it will happen. That’s the evolution way.

Some time ago nature decided if someone will or will not be borne. Today we as human decide our self when to end an unborn lesser human. We decided a fetus is a lesser human.  I mean it cannot feel, it’s not aware, it cannot suffer. I mean it cannot even vote. That’s the evolution way.

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#48 Isabella

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Posted 24 January 2011 - 07:39 PM

How do they say it? It’s just pressures to evolve? The door swings both ways though. Isn’t it also a list of creatures being “pressured to adapt & or evolve” rather than go extinct? We'll just have to wait and see. Oops maybe our ancestorsr ancestors will have to do that.

And then there has to be a net increase otherwise we wouldn’t have up to 30 million species on the planet. Are we losing species faster than we are gaining them? Evolution certainly can’t keep that up for very long. Don’t you think the money would be on them adapting? Otherwise we might have to change the name to devolution. If they die out that will be some negative points for evo right?

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Animals are always under selective pressure of some form or another, regardless of whether they’re endangered or thriving. A lot of the threatened species on our planet have become that way due to human activity, such as hunting or forestry, which happen on such a short time scale that in most cases there simply isn’t time to adapt.
As for the extinction/speciation equilibrium, I honestly have no idea. The measurements are rates, and it’s difficult to accurately estimate the number of extinctions that occurred in the past based on the limited fossil evidence available.

I do not consider myself religious. Rather I believe I am an individual. You might say I believe in the primacy of the individual. I don’t find many people that do believe what I believe even though many share my belief in God.

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I’ve always considered Christianity to be a religion, when I was a Christian and now as an atheist. It’s says under your information that you’re a Christian, so I’m surprised that you choose not to call yourself religious. But each to their own, I can respect your choice for individuality.

On the other hand things are a little more simple for me and though I have studied evolution and creationism my choice is more personal and individual. As I have said in many other posts, I observe that I like others am creative (very much so). I have compared evolution to creativity and find the efficiency of creativity greater than evolution by any stretch of the imagination. If I want something in my lifetime I am going to create it or find a group of intelligent people that have already create what I want. I bet you do the same. You already told me you have an ipod.

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I’m not sure I understand the comparison. Evolution really has nothing to do with efficiency... that would imply it’s moving towards some sort of goal or product.

But you shoot your own foot here exposing your inconggruency. You do not need understanding or intelligence. From an evolutionary point of view no knowledge at all is necessary to cause things to exist that are overwhelmingly more complex than an ipod. Just do it! Mutations and natural selection will ensure your success.

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It seems like you’re suggesting that because evolution isn’t driven by intelligence, neither is our understanding of evolution. That doesn’t make any sense at all. Atomic reactions aren’t intelligent, but the physicists who study them are.
You need intelligence to study evolution, even at a basic level. Evolution as a process does not depend on intelligence.

Does this mean you are going to study creationism in like fashion? If I studied auto mechanics I guess I would expect to be an auto mechanic. If I studied medicine I would expect to be a doctor., And if I studied evolution I would expect to be an evolutionist?

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I think you’re mixing up definitions here. “Evolutionist” refers to someone who believes in evolution, not an expert in the field. You wouldn’t have to get a degree in political science to call yourself a Democrat or Conservative. These are examples of beliefs or ideologies.

A doctor, on the other hand, is not someone who believes in medicine. A doctor practices medicine, and there’s a big difference.

But you answer your question, I do try to educate myself in creationism as best I can. I’m already very quite familiar with Christianity in general, from 13 years of education at Catholic schools.

One therefore cannot justify the difference between the species based solely on genetic code as you concur. You’ve made a good point about creationists blindness (and my own). Thanks!

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I never said the genetic code was useless when comparing species; it can be an extremely useful tool. My point was that the size of the genome and the number of genes on there own tell you absolutely nothing. It’s the content that matters.

If I handed you two books, one with 100 pages and one with 1000, you would not be able to tell me which contains the most information unless you took the time to read them. The 1000 page book could a bunch of nonsense words, while the 100 page book might be a collection of mathematical theorems and proofs.

Similarly, geneticists gather information by “reading” genomes rather than just comparing their size.

I have postulated the idea that life is the culprit that does all the work but evo gets the credit. I suspect life reads the DNA code and thus directs the fabrication of each critter and also provides a software function to animate said creature once the body is constructed. I think Biology is more a function of life than biology is a cause of life. Science holds the latter view does it not?

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I’m very confused... biology is the study of life, not a function or cause of anything.

#49 Isabella

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Posted 25 January 2011 - 12:44 AM

Thanks for responding to my post. I can’t help to feel you all are missing my original point.
And now you are arguing about monkey hands. :)
I originally wondered if man discriminated against their cousins (chimpanzee) when will it be OK for the “superhuman” (the next step in human evolution) to discriminate against to normal human.

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The question you’re asking deals with the ethics of a hypothetical scenario, so there really isn’t a clear answer.

If you want my personal opinion, no it would not be ok. A new human species would still be quite similar to us, and peaceful coexistence would be the best outcome.

I’m curious to know where you’re going with this. Are you attempting to disprove evolution, or demonstrate that evolutionists are unethical?

#50 Crous

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Posted 25 January 2011 - 03:19 AM

The question you’re asking deals with the ethics of a hypothetical scenario, so there really isn’t a clear answer.

If you want my personal opinion, no it would not be ok. A new human species would still be quite similar to us, and peaceful coexistence would be the best outcome.

I’m curious to know where you’re going with this. Are you attempting to disprove evolution, or demonstrate that evolutionists are unethical?

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It took some time but I think you are starting to get my point. Hypothetical, perhaps?

I did point out that it did happen (human vs. chimpanzee). Even that some people and groups in the recent years attempted this. Because of the physical and cultural differences between humans.

And because evolution will continue it will happen in the future. There is no indication that evolution of human will stop. Unless all human mutate in the same way at the same time evolution dictates that the human race will at some point in time divide.

At this point we can only hope that coexistence is possible. Keep in mind that we and chimpanzees do coexistence at this point.

Yes I think that most people like you and me will agree that discrimination is not ok. If I apply evolution as a world view, at some point in time discrimination is unavoidable. And if you look at human history this will not be positive.

I’m not attempting to disproof evolution. I’m attempting to formulate ethics using atheism and evolution as the basis for n world view.

Is discrimination not a natural thing?

How decide when is it OK to discriminate and when not?

And when is it OK to discriminate?

#51 Isabella

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Posted 26 January 2011 - 12:58 PM

I did point out that it did happen (human vs. chimpanzee). Even that some people and groups in the recent years attempted this. Because of the physical and cultural differences between humans.

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I wouldn’t consider humans and chimpanzees a good example of discrimination. First of all, you even said yourself that humans and chimpanzees are “cousins”. You clearly understand that humans did not “come from” chimpanzees, and yet you’re using this as a comparison for the speciation of modern humans. Chimpanzees may be our closest living relative, but the evolutionary distance between us is still huge.

Secondly, discrimination is a term which generally applies a prejudice against a person or group. No one is prejudiced against chimpanzees (at least I hope not).

And because evolution will continue it will happen in the future. There is no indication that evolution of human will stop. Unless all human mutate in the same way at the same time evolution dictates that the human race will at some point in time divide.

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Or we could all go extinct. You’re talking about something that’s a long way off, and may not even happen. Furthermore, you seem to imply that a speciation event would produce humans that are superior in some way which would not necessarily be the case.


Yes I think that most people like you and me will agree that discrimination is not ok. If I apply evolution as a world view, at some point in time discrimination is unavoidable. And if you look at human history this will not be positive.

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Discrimination against race, gender, class, etc. are already unavoidable in our society. There will always be individuals who consider themselves superior to another group. And it’s worth pointing out that religion is a huge source of discrimination, against h*m*sexuals, atheists, other religions, etc.

Evolution is not a worldview, and it does not necessarily lead to discrimination.

I’m not attempting to disproof evolution. I’m attempting to formulate ethics using atheism and evolution as the basis for n world view.

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Once again, evolution is not a worldview. Atheism is, and if you want to discuss the ethics surrounding atheism that’s fine. Evolution, on the other hand, describes a process. It doesn’t make sense to formulate ethics based on evolution, just like it wouldn’t make sense to formulate ethics based on the molecular orbital theory, or the particle theory of light.

Is discrimination not a natural thing?

How decide when is it OK to discriminate and when not?

And when is it OK to discriminate?

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These are all philosophical questions regarding social structure and human worth. They have nothing to do with evolution.

Personally, I think discrimination is wrong if it is based on personal opinion or lacks grounds. But treating groups of people differently is not necessarily discrimination. For example, I don’t think blind people should become surgeons or commercial airplane pilots. That’s not discrimination, that’s just a reality of their condition.

#52 Mike Summers

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Posted 27 January 2011 - 11:07 PM

These are all philosophical questions regarding social structure and human worth. They have nothing to do with evolution.

Personally, I think discrimination is wrong if it is based on personal opinion or lacks grounds. But treating groups of people differently is not necessarily discrimination. For example, I don’t think blind people should become surgeons or commercial airplane pilots. That’s not discrimination, that’s just a reality of their condition.


Obviously if the asker asks the question evolution is connected to those things in his mind. But I give you credit for finally answering the question in a civil manner which shows the function of common sense.

If as you say evolution and atheism is not connected to the atheists worldview what that means is the person is asking for what values “you” use? If for example you are a fascist, it would be nice to know that so that people can give you a wide birth if they so choose. Yes, my worldview is tied to my belief in God and the Ten commandments. Therefore you might expect behavior out of me commensurate with that. The atheists belief is very much a variable and people generally don’t choose to relate well to mystery of that type. It would be easy to conclude that “survival of the fittest” might be a very big part of the atheist believing evolutionist. But then atheists are not know for clarity on this issue.

To tell you the truth, I have never met an atheist that didn’t believe in evolution. Are there such creatures?

So called society has rules prescribed for all citizens and humans present in the society to follow. I am a born American citizen legally whether I like it or not (I like it). Of course I could immigrate but I would probably have to become a citizen of another country to do that. I don’t know if there are any places that one can go where one would not be expected to obey the local rules or become an independent country unto himself so to speak. This seemingly is the status that some atheists want. As you say we do discriminate and so if you don’t like the Declaration of Independence because it mentions God in it would you leave and find a country that suits you better--one without a declaration of independence that mentions God? It seems to me we all have to compromise somewhat to get along.

Atheists tend to be sensitive about their beliefs on how they propose to treat their fellowman. It would seem easy to conclude their defensiveness is because they sense others hostility towards atheiststic neutrality when it comes to ideas of right and wrong. Trust is a delicate creature when it comes to relationships and when atheists belief systems are variables as atheists tend to be seen, trust goes south.

#53 Mike Summers

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Posted 28 January 2011 - 01:07 AM

I’m not sure what your point is. Yes, I would die if all my intelligence was taken away and I was left to survive on my own. But there are animals that can survive without a brain, so it’s not impossible in all cases. I already agreed with you that humans are highly intelligent, and very powerful as a result. But I disagree that we are “superior” to everything else for that reason.

A quibble. Lets put it this way. we are more in control of how we interface with our environment than any animal or plant on this planet.

I’ve always accepted that. I could talk for hours about the reason why humans gravitate towards religious beliefs, from an evolutionary perspective. I find it very interesting.

And from my point of view you left one dogmatic demanding set of ideas for another (evolution).

That’s exactly my point. Evolution as a theory does not make any claims about the value of life, or the superiority of races/species relative to one another. Evolution simply states that if an organism is “fit” (ie. effective at reproducing) its genes have a better chance of remaining in the population.
If people choose to form their own opinions on topics like abortion and genocide, that has nothing to do with “the evolution way” that Crous refers to.

So are you saying just our biology evolved seperately from our mind--not true if you accept materialism. There is no metaphysical. Evolution is resposnible for our mental state. Deviding it as you do is not evolutionism.

I foreget the name of the scientist but I remember her quote; "...all we are is expendable metabolic units." I take it you do not share her opinion or should I say observation? Why all the mental life Isabella--what's that all about? People do more than eat to survive. So much of the happines of our lives are dependant on the felings we have towards one another--our relationships. Evo is mute but then subtly not so. Expendable metabolic units indeed. Say that when someone you love dies or is gone from your life.

You seem to imply that evolution is some sort of invisible force which is “responsible” for things, and has “power” over things. You’re personifying it to say that it “gave us a choice”. Evolution describes a process which is based entirely on genetic and environmental factors, not a guided or conscious process.

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No I didn't mean that. I was being fascious. I speculated that it comes across that way. I clarified what I meant a the end of the quote. You seemed to disreguard it.

As far as evolution being a process--baking a cake is a process as it predictable. Follow the recipe and you always ge the same thing. Evo by its description is like a cosmic cheshire cat almost undefineable in any practical sense. It selects but does not. It causes thousands of small precision steps which can only lead to a bird evolving but does not know what it is evolving. It is blind but, in referene to your quip about blind people not beig allowed to fly airplanes, evolution despite its blindness has done better than flying an airplane by "designing" birds that see with eyes and all the plants and animals on the planet. You justify all these inconsitencies to have faith in this theory.

I don’t mind if someone chooses to be an atheist. It really has no effect on my mental state. In fact I respect the atheist’s position. I also respect the theist’s point of view. Do I believe in God? Yes, I do—but I verbalize it and make an issue of it because God says to me in His word that He does not want me to be ashamed of my belief. So it is more out of my concern for what He thinks of me than what others think. Otherwise I accept my autonomy as well as everyone else's and speak only for myself. With this in mind, I can concede the same respect to an atheist for what he or she believes.

Here is my issue with the atheists that believe we evolved. Ok. Fine—that’s your opinion. Why? Because there is no empirical evidence to prove evolution. In other words no human beings were there to observe it. Of course the converse is true. No theist can claim they observed God create the universe. Thus two differing opinions. But here is the caveat I find unfair. Evo science claims that evolution is a “fact.” My brains asks, “How can they make a conclusion like that with no observers?” If they point to animal diversity then the theist has a plausible answer for that ( a differing opinion from their opinion but just as plausible and therefore as valid). It boils down to the respect we give the other guys opinions. I admit I created the idea of God with my mind. But evolutionists do not seem to want to admit that they create the idea of evolution with their mind. They say the observed evolution. Well then, I shoulf be able to observ it too. We both observe gravity and agree it exists.Why can't I observe evolution?

I accept my belief in God on faith and evo’s accept their belief in evo on faith but, they steadily claim they aren’t doing that. They are right and we are wrong! Their position makes them, in my view, as self-righteous and arrogant as they can be!

#54 Scanman

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Posted 28 January 2011 - 09:55 AM

And because evolution will continue it will happen in the future. There is no indication that evolution of human will stop.


Because natural selection is a product of environmental pressures...when those pressures cease or are controlled...evolution ceases.

Man is one of the only creatures that can control his environment.

...When he is cold, he puts on warm clothes.
...When the weather is hostile, he builds a shelter or relocates.
...When there is lack of food, he farms.
...When he gets sick, he develops medicine.
...etc.

This is not to say that evolution is not taking place when it comes to certain disease resistance, etc...

I believe man has finally reached a plateau (most likely with Adam).

#55 Isabella

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Posted 28 January 2011 - 12:16 PM

If as you say evolution and atheism is not connected to the atheists worldview what that means is the person is asking for what values “you” use? If for example you are a fascist, it would be nice to know that so that people can give you a wide birth if they so choose. Yes, my worldview is tied to my belief in God and the Ten commandments. Therefore you might expect behavior out of me commensurate with that. The atheists belief is very much a variable and people generally don’t choose to relate well to mystery of that type. It would be easy to conclude that “survival of the fittest” might be a very big part of the atheist believing evolutionist. But then atheists are not know for clarity on this issue.

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I never said that atheism and evolution are not connected. They are connected, but they are not synonymous with one another. You can’t use them interchangeably. Plenty of evolutionists are also theists, after all.

Evolution says nothing about ethics, morality, or human worth. To garner any such notion from evolution would suggest a misunderstanding of the theory. For example, the false idea that “fitness” refers to physical, mental or political superiority. Fitness refers only to reproductive success: how many offspring can you have, and how many of those offspring will go on to have offspring of their own? If evolutionists used “survival of the fittest” as their worldview, they would be having as many children as they possibly could. Yet I don’t see any evidence suggesting that evolutionists have larger families than creationists. In fact, from my personal experience very religious families tend to have more children because they don’t believe in using contraceptives.

I think it would be fair to say that most atheists are not terrible, immoral people. We have a sense of right and wrong, but it’s not based on evolution.

To tell you the truth, I have never met an atheist that didn’t believe in evolution. Are there such creatures?

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Probably. People believe all kinds of strange things, and I wouldn’t be surprised if there were other non-theistic explanations for the diversity of life in addition to evolution.

So called society has rules prescribed for all citizens and humans present in the society to follow. I am a born American citizen legally whether I like it or not (I like it). Of course I could immigrate but I would probably have to become a citizen of another country to do that. I don’t know if there are any places that one can go where one would not be expected to obey the local rules or become an independent country unto himself so to speak. This seemingly is the status that some atheists want.

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I’ve heard this one before: atheists reject religion because they don’t like all the rules it imposes, right? This is not true at all. If we had a problem with rules or authority, the jails would be full of atheist anarchists who rebelled against the law in some way or another.

As you say we do discriminate and so if you don’t like the Declaration of Independence because it mentions God in it would you leave and find a country that suits you better--one without a declaration of independence that mentions God? It seems to me we all have to compromise somewhat to get along.

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I’m Canadian, so I’m not very familiar with the Declaration. But no, I wouldn’t have a problem with it. God is mentioned in the Canadian national anthem, and I can accept that as a historical part of our country. There would only be a problem if religion or religious laws were being imposed on me by the government to the extent where it was affecting my everyday life. In that case, I would consider moving.

Atheists tend to be sensitive about their beliefs on how they propose to treat their fellowman. It would seem easy to conclude their defensiveness is because they sense others hostility towards atheiststic neutrality when it comes to ideas of right and wrong.

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Atheists are not neutral to the ideas of right and wrong, if that’s what you’re implying. I have a sense of morality that does not depend of religious teachings. I think most atheists do.

Trust is a delicate creature when it comes to relationships and when atheists belief systems are variables as atheists tend to be seen, trust goes south.

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I don’t understand what you mean here. Would you mind clarifying?

#56 Mike Summers

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Posted 28 January 2011 - 09:52 PM

Isabella

I never said that atheism and evolution are not connected. They are connected, but they are not synonymous with one another. You can’t use them interchangeably. Plenty of evolutionists are also theists, after all.


Let me try again. Your premise is that you evolved. Here is my understanding of what evolution reduced to its lowest common denominator or core idea is; Energy and matter gave birth to the first self replicating molecule then the evolution process could act which led eventually to the self replicating cell. The evolutionary “process” caused all the plants and animals including human beings. Evolution therefore, by deduction, had to be responsible for your mental ability including consciousness.

Think about what you are saying. You are strongly implying that your (our) mental ability has little to do with evolution as if “it” (our mental ability is in no way connected to evolution). If evolution is the cause of your existence and intelligence then it would only follow that morality or the lack of it would be its ultimate responsibility also. Evolution therefore is responsible for God and the disbelief in God etc. Otherwise you are declaring your independence from evolution.

Evolution says nothing about ethics, morality, or human worth. To garner any such notion from evolution would suggest a misunderstanding of the theory. For example, the false idea that “fitness” refers to physical, mental or political superiority. Fitness refers only to reproductive success: how many offspring can you have, and how many of those offspring will go on to have offspring of their own? If evolutionists used “survival of the fittest” as their worldview, they would be having as many children as they possibly could. Yet I don’t see any evidence suggesting that evolutionists have larger families than creationists. In fact, from my personal experience very religious families tend to have more children because they don’t believe in using contraceptives.


Now you are doing something you encouraged me not to do (which I actually thank you for) and that is personifying (evolution).  Since the “theory of evolution” does not exist as an entity "it" therefore is mute (“it” says nothing). Some clever human created the theory and sold it to a bunch of gullible people (in my opinion)  who  embraced it and considered it the “truth.”

I think it would be fair to say that most atheists are not terrible, immoral people. We have a sense of right and wrong, but it’s not based on evolution.


No of course not. But atheistic ideas of right are commonly referred to as situation ethics. That means no one knows what you are going to do until the situation presents itself. That’s one of the reasons why in the US (at least) atheistss are one of the most mis-trusted groups of all.

Probably. People believe all kinds of strange things, and I wouldn’t be surprised if there were other non-theistic explanations for the diversity of life in addition to evolution.

Spoken like a true evolutionist!

I’ve heard this one before: atheists reject religion because they don’t like all the rules it imposes, right? This is not true at all. If we had a problem with rules or authority, the jails would be full of atheist anarchists who rebelled against the law in some way or another.

You make a good point but, at a cost. If someone is in jail as people often are for murdering another person they would be there not because they obeyed God’s command not to murder but because for a moment they became an atheist and employed situation ethics. They chose to murder.



I’m Canadian, so I’m not very familiar with the Declaration. But no, I wouldn’t have a problem with it. God is mentioned in the Canadian national anthem, and I can accept that as a historical part of our country. There would only be a problem if religion or religious laws were being imposed on me by the government to the extent where it was affecting my everyday life. In that case, I would consider moving.


You contradict yourself when you said you are not familiar with the Declaration of Independence otherwise you probably would not have said God is mentioned in your country’s anthem.

The law to not murder whether you choose to view it as religious or not is also a part of the civil laws of your country.



Atheists are not neutral to the ideas of right and wrong, if that’s what you’re implying. I have a sense of morality that does not depend of religious teachings. I think most atheists do.

Good for you! Your views on stealing probably coincide with “religious” laws also.

I don’t understand what you mean here. Would you mind clarifying?


I am sure you have friends. A human can very much be a variable because he or she is capable of saying and doing just about anything they decide to. However, when people subscribe to common moral laws they become predictable. “I have a high degree of probability (faith) that my “friend” Isabella will respond to me in a kind and considerate manor and not abuse me.” That is what I mean by trust. The fabric that holds relationships together is woven of trust. Behave in an abusive manor consistently and your friend will no longer grant you friend status and at a minimum seek to avoid you. He or she will not “trust” you.

#57 Crous

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Posted 31 January 2011 - 01:52 AM

I think you are ignoring my questions.

Lets for the moment consider evo to be true. And there is no God or gods. No greater entity that makes the rules. Everything that we are and will be is the result of evolution. If we can “make a plan” is because after millions of years of evolution have resulted in us having better brains that other animals. Even religion is the result of evolution. Even the fact that we have morality.

Now I’m going to attempt in explaining it again.

Using a “V”: The bottom point of the “V” is our common ancestor. The top two points is the human and the chimpanzee respectively. The distance between the two legs of the “V” represent the amount of different between the two species. At the top of the “V” there is “discrimination” (oppression: Chimpanzee in a zoo) between the two species. At the bottom of the “V” the discrimination is small or nonexistent at.

Now, let’s use this history and apply it to the future. (Evolution will not stop.) Use the “V” again and look to the future. The first human at the bottom of the “V” and the new “Lesser human and the “superhuman” at the top. (The “super human” has something that makes him “stronger” than the “lesser human” just like human have something that makes us “stronger” than the chimpanzee.)
In nature the strongest make the “rules”? (The fittest survive.) In society those who have the power makes the rules. In n dictatorship one person or small group makes the rules that the rest have to follow. In a democracy the masses have the power.

The political correct answer should be that discrimination is wrong. But it still happens.

1. Using the “V” as refines. When will it be OK to “discriminate”? (When you state that it is not OK you are not really answering the question. You are ignoring the history of evolution. You can answer the question by pointing to the amount of different between the future humans .obviously some imagination is required here)

2. Is it not natural to discriminate? (It is natural to discriminate against the Chimpanzee and other animals. You might be all for animal rights but you still won’t put your children in the same school as the children of chimpanzees)

3. If it is natural, why is it wrong when people start to discriminate against other people? (The political correct answer should be that discrimination is wrong. But it still happens. You can say that the strongest have decided it to be wrong)

4. If the strongest group or person consider discrimination is wrong and in the future change their mind to say it’s ok. Does this mean it is OK to discriminate then? (Keep in mind that if you say it’s never ok. You are ignoring the history of evolution.)

5. Today murder, rape and discrimination are wrong. And we cannot imagine it ever to be ok. But if those who are in power (a small group or the majority) deicide that this is ok. (Whatever the reason may be). Does this mean it is ethical ok to do this? Does this mean the morality have change? (In the past it was morally wrong to have an abortion. The people of the time could not imagine that a mother can consider it to kill her unborn child. Today it seems to be ok.)

*I predict that atheists will not answer these questions directly.

#58 Isabella

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Posted 02 February 2011 - 08:20 AM

I’m in the middle of a very busy week, so I won’t be able to reply for the next few days. Don’t worry, I haven’t abandoned the discussion!

#59 Isabella

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Posted 04 February 2011 - 04:53 PM

Let me try again. Your premise is that you evolved. Here is my understanding of what evolution reduced to its lowest common denominator or core idea is; Energy and matter gave birth to the first self replicating molecule then the evolution process could act which led eventually to the self replicating cell. The evolutionary “process” caused all the plants and animals including human beings. Evolution therefore, by deduction, had to be responsible for your mental ability including consciousness.

Think about what you are saying. You are strongly implying that your (our) mental ability has little to do with evolution as if “it” (our mental ability is in no way connected to evolution). If evolution is the cause of your existence and intelligence then it would only follow that morality or the lack of it would be its ultimate responsibility also. Evolution therefore is responsible for God and the disbelief in God etc. Otherwise you are declaring your independence from evolution.

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I meant that evolution, as a field of study and as a theory, does not cover the philosophical aspects of the human mind. That would be like suggesting chemists need to read and analyze all the works of Shakespeare, because they are printed on pages that are made out of molecules. A printed page does obey the laws of chemistry, but that doesn’t mean anything about Shakespeare is directly incorporated into the molecular orbital theory.
Evolution as a process may be responsible for the formation of the mind, but analyzing thoughts and human nature is outside of evolutionary study.

Now you are doing something you encouraged me not to do (which I actually thank you for) and that is personifying (evolution).  Since the “theory of evolution” does not exist as an entity "it" therefore is mute (“it” says nothing). Some clever human created the theory and sold it to a bunch of gullible people (in my opinion)  who  embraced it and considered it the “truth.”

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You’re mixing up theory and process here. A theory is simply an explanation of something. Evolution, as a theory, could be summarized in a few key points. It could be written on paper. That doesn’t mean the paper itself was responsible for acting on the diversity of life in any way... that would be the process of evolution, the one that the theory describes.

No of course not. But atheistic ideas of right are commonly referred to as situation ethics. That means no one knows what you are going to do until the situation presents itself. That’s one of the reasons why in the US (at least) atheistss are one of the most mis-trusted groups of all.

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It makes me sad to know some people think of atheists that way. I don’t need a Bible to tell me that it’s important to treat others with respect. My ethics are not “situation ethics”. I don’t get on the bus each morning wondering whether I’ll give up my seat for an elderly person, or punch someone in the face because they’re standing too close to me. I know what kind of person I am, and I know what my moral values are.
I have many atheist friends. I also have many Christian friends. As far as I can tell, both are equally nice people (I wouldn’t be friends with them if they weren’t!). I can also think of atheists and Christians I don’t enjoy spending time with. My point is I don’t see any overall trend, at least in my life, that atheists are “bad” and Christians are “good”.

You make a good point but, at a cost. If someone is in jail as people often are for murdering another person they would be there not because they obeyed God’s command not to murder but because for a moment they became an atheist and employed situation ethics. They chose to murder.

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So from your point of view, all murders since the history of time have been committed by atheists?

You contradict yourself when you said you are not familiar with the Declaration of Independence otherwise you probably would not have said God is mentioned in your country’s anthem.

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You just finished telling me God is mentioned in the Declaration.

The law to not murder whether you choose to view it as religious or not is also a part of the civil laws of your country.
I think that law is a very sensible one, and there are plenty of non-religious reasons why I choose to follow it. However, if there was a law stating I had to attend church each Sunday I would have a problem with that.
I am sure you have friends. A human can very much be a variable because he or she is capable of saying and doing just about anything they decide to. However, when people subscribe to common moral laws they become predictable. “I have a high degree of probability (faith) that my “friend” Isabella will respond to me in a kind and considerate manor and not abuse me.” That is what I mean by trust. The fabric that holds relationships together is woven of trust. Behave in an abusive manor consistently and your friend will no longer grant you friend status and at a minimum seek to avoid you. He or she will not “trust” you.

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As I said before, I don’t need religious teachings to see the advantage of treating others respectfully. The “golden rule” is well known not because the Bible tells us to follow it, but because it makes logical sense. If you treat someone badly, they will probably treat you badly in return. If you treat someone with respect, they will be more likely to treat you the same way. Even animals follow this rule to some extent.

#60 Isabella

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Posted 04 February 2011 - 05:06 PM

I think you are ignoring my questions.

Lets for the moment consider evo to be true. And there is no God or gods. No greater entity that makes the rules. Everything that we are and will be is the result of evolution. If we can “make a plan” is because after millions of years of evolution have resulted in us having better brains that other animals. Even religion is the result of evolution. Even the fact that we have morality.

Now I’m going to attempt in explaining it again.

Using a “V”: The bottom point of the “V” is our common ancestor. The top two points is the human and the chimpanzee respectively. The distance between the two legs of the “V” represent the amount of different between the two species. At the top of the “V” there is “discrimination” (oppression: Chimpanzee in a zoo) between the two species.  At the bottom of the “V” the discrimination is small or nonexistent at. 

Now, let’s use this history and apply it to the future. (Evolution will not stop.) Use the “V” again and look to the future.  The first human at the bottom of the “V” and the new “Lesser human and the “superhuman” at the top. (The “super human” has something that makes him “stronger” than the “lesser human” just like human have something that makes us “stronger” than the chimpanzee.)
In nature the strongest make the “rules”? (The fittest survive.) In society those who have the power makes the rules. In n dictatorship one person or small group makes the rules that the rest have to follow.  In a democracy the masses have the power.

The political correct answer should be that discrimination is wrong. But it still happens.

1. Using the “V” as refines. When will it be OK to “discriminate”? (When you state that it is not OK you are not really answering the question. You are ignoring the history of evolution. You can answer the question by pointing to the amount of different between the future humans .obviously some imagination is required here)

2. Is it not natural to discriminate? (It is natural to discriminate against the Chimpanzee and other animals. You might be all for animal rights but you still won’t put your children in the same school as the children of chimpanzees)

3. If it is natural, why is it wrong when people start to discriminate against other people? (The political correct answer should be that discrimination is wrong. But it still happens. You can say that the strongest have decided it to be wrong)

4. If the strongest group or person consider discrimination is wrong and in the future change their mind to say it’s ok. Does this mean it is OK to discriminate then? (Keep in mind that if you say it’s never ok. You are ignoring the history of evolution.)

5. Today murder, rape and discrimination are wrong. And we cannot imagine it ever to be ok. But if those who are in power (a small group or the majority) deicide that this is ok. (Whatever the reason may be). Does this mean it is ethical ok to do this? Does this mean the morality have change? (In the past it was morally wrong to have an abortion. The people of the time could not imagine that a mother can consider it to kill her unborn child. Today it seems to be ok.)

*I predict that atheists will not answer these questions directly.

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Crous,

Before I answer your questions, you need to tell me what you mean by “discrimination”. I disagree with your claim that humans discriminate against chimpanzees. I would define discrimination as a negative bias which is based on opinion rather than fact. We don’t treat chimpanzees as our equals because they are less intelligent than us. That’s not an opinion or a stereotype, it’s a proven fact.

There are plenty of groups in our society that are treated differently, but as long as it’s for a good reason than it’s not an example of discrimination.
So would you mind giving me your definition, and explaining why you feel humans discriminate against chimpanzees?




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