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#40807 - 07/25/10 02:12 AM Re: the deception of atheism [Re: Morgan]
felixgarnet Offline
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Registered: 10/17/09
Posts: 688
Loc: UK
 Originally Posted By: Morgan
Eljon was deleted from the board.

He can't respond to anymore questions, taunts, or common sense.


Thank you for letting us know, Morgan. He is beyond suffering now. Safe in the arms of Jesus. No flowers, please by request but donations may be made via PayPal to St John the Recalcitrant's Home for the Terminally Deluded.
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"Here's to Artifice!" - Anton Szandor LaVey.

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#40817 - 07/25/10 09:10 AM Re: the deception of atheism [Re: felixgarnet]
TV is God Moderator Offline
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Registered: 08/11/08
Posts: 273
Loc: The Cornhole
I have to know. Am I the only one imagining the "ton" lodged between the el and jon? As much as I know it's not there every time I look at his username I think I see it.
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#40818 - 07/25/10 09:46 AM Re: the deception of atheism [Re: TV is God]
Lamar Offline
member


Registered: 02/03/10
Posts: 226
Loc: Alabama
I didn't even notice that haha. Christians dig Elton haha.

It's too bad he was deleted, I enjoyed reading these 3 pages. Oh well, back to watching Zeena and Nikolas argue with Bob Larson on youtube.

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#40861 - 07/26/10 06:19 AM Re: the deception of atheism [Re: Anonymous]
Dimitri Offline
stalker


Registered: 07/13/08
Posts: 3142
While the OP presumably has been kicked out, I'd like to take the opportunity to write a lengthy post in defense of Atheism, debunking myths and prejudices surrounding the term, my view for the "why Atheism" and the reason why it is in my opinion the most sane decision.

To start.
As mentioned times and times again, Atheism as defined by any dictionarry means the "non-belief in a god(s) or the lack thereof". It's plain simple, it does not include secret satanic organisations, illuminati, molesting babies/children or other prejudices as mentioned by your local guilt-and-fear-driven insecure organisation or person when it comes to beliefs.
The choice of Atheism has been mostly made by the lack of evidence/proof for the existence of a "devine force(s)". Atheism is just as the defintion given. An Atheist is just the same person as the person who believes in fairies, gods etc..
Discussions as I have viewed here concerning "being less Satanic for being a spoken-out Atheist" are but indications of simple ignorance. When it comes down to it, the person(s) making these claims are equal to the person with Atheist views in the OU. Both haven't got anything to proof or disprove each others view. Combatting an Atheist view is as worse as combatting theist views. It only causes to waste productive energy. (Admitted I see no problem in taking on some in-your-face/preaching attitude some organisations, religions or persons tend to have. But at least be wise enough to reside with people who share your views. And if you know certain views differ and are certain none might be "converted" then keep the mouth shut about the subject unless asked).

Admitted there are things to a person who look unexplainable, this does not mean they are also globally unexplainable. That would be a first burden to the believer, it is easily solved by doing objective research (it can be quite a quest, especially if the person is lacking a certain basic knowledge in particular fields). Keeping a REAL open mind is also a neccesity
A next burden would include events or measurements done objectively and who are globally agreed on to not have an explanation for YET. An example would include the very beginning of our universe. While any scientist agrees what happened to cause things as they are, implementing the idea of a creative being(s) is nothing more then replacing the problem. (Such as Asmedios mentioned "Who created the divine creator?/How did it came to be?"). It is the same as "postphoning the pain". You think having the solution to your problem while you are only making it worse/ not solving it.

Another example in an attempt to provide an explanation of devine powers would, as the OP said, the miraculous fine-tuning of constants and forces in the Universe. This fine-tuning is a basic natural effect, every particle/atom/molecule/flow in the universe is thriving to become stable and neutral BY ANY MEANS NECESSARY. At the beginning of the universe (as they say) our "normal" laws didn't held any ground. In a millionth of a second these laws were made, the functioning or "how" is unknown. But I can easily understand and think of the possibility there were other natural laws who might have come to be. Each of these with their own unique constants and forms.

The reason why this possibility is hardly mentioned is by the reason we only know 1 of the x-choices (lack of better wording). And that choice would be the one which caused us to came to be in this universe and the one who created this Universe as it is.
It is easy to make the assumption and/or seeing the need of a hand of devine creators here, but it would be more productive to proof there actually is one instead of glazing over it and say "you see, no one knows so there must be..".

A 3rd burden would be static thinking. With this I do not mean circular thinking or holding on to certain beliefs. With static thinking I point at the idea that there is no "flow" or interlinking between events and actions. An example from this topic would be the axial line of the earth. While the books describe it is being tilted under a corner of x-degrees which caused such and such to occurs.. it should also be noted that this corner varies over time. While it might have a tilt of x-degrees now, it might as well have a tilt of 0-degrees, 180, 254, 55,.. within a timespan of a million years or more or less.
There are written facts such as the earths atmosphere contains these gasses: Nitrogen, Carbondioxide, Oxygen, fluoride, carbonoxide, SO2,... with the following percentages: blablabla..
But there should be kept in mind these numbers are not static but flowing. They can differ over time (and sometimes space). There are tons of other examples to illustrate. The main point here would be the idea that nothing really is "set" and unchangeable, there is a certain flow and room to work with and to be taken in consideration. There are constants but that would be a whole different matter and has to do with laws of physic to explain changing events.

Why choosing atheism?
Atheism is not to be considered as "extreme". Even so, I am very easy to be convinced to get to the other side. The only thing I ask would be evidence without trickery for the existence of the claims being made. And I am quite sure anyone here will have that very same attitude, but unless evidence is being provided I see no pain in saying there is no god(s).
I play poker, I say having a royal straight flush in my hands, the only thing you need to win is to show it is impossible I'm having it.

I see it as the most sane decision since I do not need to rely on faith. Faith is a creator of doubt, and doubt can cause troubles. I also see no need in submitting to constructs whose existence are doubtfull.

On the other hand I can create such a construct in my mind. It will make me submit in one way or another to myself. This construct will most likely represent my sub-conscious ideas and thoughts I am afraid to say openly. As far as I think, MAA "Set" is such an example. It is but a construct which suits his purpose but cannot exist in this OU but only in MAA's SU.
I see still see it as self-delusional, yet it can be an effective tool in some cases.


Edited by Dimitri (07/26/10 07:02 AM)
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#40867 - 07/26/10 12:03 PM Re: the deception of atheism [Re: SkaffenAmtiskaw]
Autodidact Offline
member


Registered: 01/23/10
Posts: 428
Since the OP is gone, I will take the liberty of continuing your thread hijacking. \:\)

 Originally Posted By: MawhrinSkel

The OP was a perfect example of "A little knowledge is a dangerous thing."
[...]
 Originally Posted By: Richard Dawkins, The Greatest Show on Earth

Wendy: What I go back to is the evolutionists are still lacking the science to back it up. But instead what happens is science that doesn't bolster the case for evolution gets censored out. Such as there is no evidence of evolution from going from one species to another species. If that, if evolution had occurred then surely whether it's going from birds to mammals or, or, even beyond that surely there'd be at least one evidence.


Several points here for the crowd:
1. Evolution (big "E") is a theory - we cannot *prove* what happened millions of years ago because we can't be there millions of years ago. (This also depends somewhat on what one's bedrock(s) are for "proof".) Being a theory, the criteria is not proof, but usefulness - the evolutionary theory is more useful than other theories, and better explains the set of relevant observations than other theories. One can present evidence that supports or contradicts the theory; one can modify the theory and reevaluate. This is the basic scientific method. Arguing that "we don't have proof!" is pointless: we know we don't have proof, that's why it's a theory.

2. Evolution (small "e") is easily shown - MRSA, antibacterial-resistant strains of X, many biological studies of changing habitats, etc.

3. Evolution (big "E") is also easily shown for specific cases (see, eg: http://evolution.berkeley.edu/evolibrary/article/devitt_01 ), resulting in different species (ie, cannot interbreed). Speciation is the basis for evolution (big "E"). (Ob: I am not a biologist - I hope this is correct \:\) )

 Originally Posted By: MawhrinSkel

Suffice to say that Wendy Wright is intransigent to the point of ridicule in denying that the evidence is there before her eyes.


People like Wendy, I find, usually fit into one of two categories - they either believe, as in Believe, an alternate theory; or they are ignorant of the scientific method, and also unwilling to have it explained. The two categories amount to the same thing. One cannot argue with belief. Trying to do so is simply a waste of your time and effort, and always will be with that person.

 Originally Posted By: MawhrinSkel

...but where are my manners? I've completely neglected the universal constants that ensure that our universe, and life, exists! Those are undeniably proof that a divine creator tweaked the settings on his Bake-a-Universe kit, surely?

Nope.
 Originally Posted By: Richard Dawkins, The God Delusion

[...]
The theist says that God, when setting up the universe, tuned the fundamental constants of the universe so that each one lay in its Goldilocks zone for the production of life. It is as though God had six knobs that he could twiddle, and he carefully tuned each knob to its Goldilocks value. As ever, the theist's answer is deeply unsatisfying, because it leaves the existence of God unexplained. A God capable of calculating the Goldilocks values for the six numbers would have to be at least as improbable as the finely tuned combination of numbers itself, and that's very improbable indeed - which is indeed the premise of the whole discussion we are having. It follows that the theist's answer has utterly failed to make any headway towards solving the problem at hand. I see no alternative but to dismiss it, while at the same time marvelling at the number of people who can't see the problem and seem genuinely satisfied by the 'Divine Knob-Twiddler' argument.


Now, I'm aware that this is a lot of reading to digest for the discerning xtian, but now and for all time I insist that creationists of all shapes and sizes read this post before shooting off their mouth in my vicinity. Seriously. If they read this and have further proof that the scientific approach is somehow wrong, they can present their superior evidence. Go on.


This is an ego problem - the basic assumption that humans are the pinnacle of achievement, the entire purpose of Nature, is an incorrect foundation to build upon. This line of thinking has the same flaws as Intelligent Design - assuming that current state is a goal requires that previous or sub-states must be purposefully and specifically crafted.

Unless, of course, that is what you believe. Again we have the question, "what is the bedrock of proof?", and again we have the misunderstanding that proof is not the point - usefulness is.

Until one can get past one's ego, one will continue to fall prey to 'Divine Know-Twiddler'-type arguments. For most people, this involves acknowledging that humans are not special, and most people can't get past that bit.
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An nescis, mi fili, quantilla prudentia mundus regatur?

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#40871 - 07/26/10 07:33 PM Re: the deception of atheism [Re: Autodidact]
MatthewJ1
Unregistered



Welcome back to Maw!

And yes I wanted to add some comments even though the guy who started this thread is now gone.

These are my own views and I have no scientific knowledge to substantiate them so take them, critique them, or leave them as you wish.

The universe has always been and always will be. There is no point in time when it started and there is no point in time when it will end – it has always been.

The universe is endless, it is infinite space within which events happen - there is no great wall around the universe, which separates it from something else.

To state that a creator created the universe is to state that the universe has a specific starting point in time which is illogical.

To state that a creator created the universe is to state that the universe in its entirety was created, but the universe has no entirety, it is endless, its size cannot be quantified and hence cannot be created.

Humans have a limited notion of time and space in my opinion – we have an inability to think infinity correctly, and our gods and their actions reflect this.

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#40876 - 07/26/10 11:00 PM I was just wondering ... [Re: Anonymous]
Michael A.Aquino Offline
stalker


Registered: 09/28/08
Posts: 2576
Loc: San Francisco, CA, USA
Something about conventional evolution theory which bothers me [but not enough to keep me awake at night, like why the Earth's axis is out of whack and how I can nudge it back to where it should be] is: Where are all the "intermediates"?

Assumption: Modern humans evolved from "lower" apes. OK, there are plenty of substantially-lower apes around - gorillas, chimps, orangutans, etc. - which have survived just fine to the present. So where are the ape-races between them and ourselves? If the lower ones didn't die out along the way, that's all the more reason for intermediate ones to still be around too. Evolutionarily there should be a whole "ladder" of primates cluttering up the planet, not just distant-extremes.

The same can be said of other animal species, of course. I can see the fossil remains of this or that "generic" little mammal, but how exactly did it go in a giraffe direction in one way and a skunk direction in some other way? Where are the intermediates, and why? If it's a function of climate, land environment, etc., why wouldn't all the mammal-derivatives there evolved into the same thing? Today's birds supposedly evolved from flying dinosaurs; where are the intermediates, and why should a pterodactyl have decided that being a hummingbird or peacock was a better idea?

Questions like these generally resulted in the prof throwing chalk at me in Biology classes, or just changing the subject.
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Michael A. Aquino

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#40879 - 07/27/10 12:07 AM Re: I was just wondering ... [Re: Michael A.Aquino]
MatthewJ1
Unregistered



Doctor, what is the position of a Setian towards this whole evolution/creation argument?

Have we as human beings appeared because of the actions of the Neteru, or is it something else?

Sorry to divert the thread, I am just curious.

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#40882 - 07/27/10 03:06 AM Re: I was just wondering ... [Re: Michael A.Aquino]
Dimitri Offline
stalker


Registered: 07/13/08
Posts: 3142
 Quote:
Something about conventional evolution theory which bothers me [but not enough to keep me awake at night, like why the Earth's axis is out of whack and how I can nudge it back to where it should be] is: Where are all the "intermediates"?
Evolution is a continuous process who is barely noticed by any creature during a life time. Most paleontological evidence you are looking for have been crushed, eroded and completely destroyed by plate-tectonics, biological influences such as bioturbation, plants and other organisms who break down every cell and bone towards basic molecules to sustain their lives etc etc...

None the less, a few "lucky" carcasses might have survived and have been fossilized thanks to the environnement their bodies were moved to or died. (A reason why you have certain places where a concentration of fossils are). Then there are the few different factors for a successful fossilisation which need to be present. Wiki to basic knowledge.

The current fossils exposed in museums or in different collections at musea or amateur-paleontologists are but a very very small grip on the population which had existed during a couple of x-million years.
The well-known evolutionary path-way of man has been simplified due to the reason to see the full length of it requires a piece of paper with a length which is about 3 times around the earth. Therefore it is wise enough to extrapolate and pick out the steps who give a rough view wherein a few intermediates are missing.
Another thing to notice would be that not everything has been found or could be found. As stated before, it is a matter of luck.


 Quote:

The same can be said of other animal species, of course. I can see the fossil remains of this or that "generic" little mammal, but how exactly did it go in a giraffe direction in one way and a skunk direction in some other way? Where are the intermediates, and why? If it's a function of climate, land environment, etc., why wouldn't all the mammal-derivatives there evolved into the same thing? Today's birds supposedly evolved from flying dinosaurs; where are the intermediates, and why should a pterodactyl have decided that being a hummingbird or peacock was a better idea?

Oversimplified you may say that from one animal evolved a wide variety of other animals. Truth is, it's wrong and is being said this way to keep it simple. The little mammal you are speaking of is not a symbol for 1 set family. It is an indication for a wide variety of families within the order.(Example: we speak about ammonites being the forefathers of coleoidea, yet it must be taken into account there are a wide variety of ammonite families who lived next to each other at the same time (and sometimes got isolated in space).

As you said, an animal evolves due to natural selection and adaptation towards the environnement it ends up in. The reason why they did not all evolve in the same specie is because we are talking already about a wide variety of families within the order. Each family has its proper specifications (color, extremities, adjustments..) who can be a major influence to let the family survive in time and evolve towards another "new" specie/family if one of these specifications turns out be helpful in survival.

When talking about evolution these things should be burned into the mind. The questions asked are an example of static thinking which I already noted as a burden in my previous post.


Edited by Dimitri (07/27/10 03:11 AM)
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#40887 - 07/27/10 10:02 AM Re: I was just wondering ... [Re: SkaffenAmtiskaw]
ta2zz Offline
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Registered: 08/28/07
Posts: 1552
Loc: Connecticut

 Originally Posted By: Michael A.Aquino
Today's birds supposedly evolved from flying dinosaurs; where are the intermediates, and why should a pterodactyl have decided that being a hummingbird or peacock was a better idea?

Questions like these generally resulted in the prof throwing chalk at me in Biology classes, or just changing the subject.

This reminds me of a story around 15 years ago three YALE students come into the shop for tattoos. After the first one starts getting tattooed they start thinking about the technology that goes into it. The question asked was, How does the machine know when to turn on? I glanced at my boss who didn’t break step and said oh simple it is tuned to the frequency of my mind and for the next 30 minutes amazed these three YALE students to no end. The miracles of modern technology they cried.

When he finally looked at them and said let me teach you something about the miracles of observation and pointed out the cord leading to the power supply, which in turn led to the foot-switch they just said oh.

The moral of this story is stupid questions get stupid answers or at best they get ignored or shrugged off. Projecting an animal have a decision in its own evolution is like projecting that a simple machine has decisive powers.

~T~
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#40890 - 07/27/10 11:13 AM Re: I was just wondering ... [Re: ta2zz]
Autodidact Offline
member


Registered: 01/23/10
Posts: 428
 Originally Posted By: ta2zz

[...]
I glanced at my boss who didn’t break step and said oh simple it is tuned to the frequency of my mind and for the next 30 minutes amazed these three YALE students to no end.
[...]
The moral of this story is stupid questions get stupid answers or at best they get ignored or shrugged off. Projecting an animal have a decision in its own evolution is like projecting that a simple machine has decisive powers.


A perfect analogy, ta2zz.

There are no stupid questions, only stupid people (Only half \:\) ).

The real moral should be "stupid people get stupid answers". The three mentioned in the story took a bit of information and did not verify it, they merely took it as fact and started building on it.

You try to leverage the scientific method without following the rules of the scientific method, you get bad science.
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#40893 - 07/27/10 12:28 PM Re: I was just wondering ... [Re: ta2zz]
Michael A.Aquino Offline
stalker


Registered: 09/28/08
Posts: 2576
Loc: San Francisco, CA, USA
 Originally Posted By: ta2zz
The moral of this story is stupid questions get stupid answers or at best they get ignored or shrugged off. Projecting an animal have a decision in its own evolution is like projecting that a simple machine has decisive powers.

Well, my "examples" here were [I thought obviously] humorous & oversimplified, and I do appreciate the thoughtful, extensive responses. Nevertheless I am still bothered by the absence of not just a given single "ladder" of evolution, but for that matter branches of that ladder/those ladders. I would expect to see some proto- or near-people around, as well as perhaps a Flash Gordon's Mongo assortment of lionmen, hawkmen, fishmen (as old Blacky LaGoon), et al. Instead it's just us. Up to the early 20th-century it was in vogue to attribute the various races to evolutionary stages, but that went out with WW2.

One of the keystones of the Temple of Set is the uniqueness and startling difference between human intelligence/consciousness and that of all other planetary life forms. This "Gift of Set", as we refer to it, also does not seem to be a "laddered" phenomenon - though because of its very [non]nature establishing a "breakpoint" would be elusive. One Setian just pulled this out of Nietzsche:

 Originally Posted By: Friedrich Nietzsche, On Truth and Lies in a Nonmoral Sense (1873)
Everything which distinguishes man from the animals depends upon his ability to volatilize perceptual metaphors in a schema, and thus to dissolve an image into a concept. For something is possible in the realm of these schemata which could never be achieved with the vivid first impressions: the construction of a pyramidal order according to castes and degrees, the creation of a new world of laws, privileges, subordinations, and clearly marked boundaries - a new world, one which now confronts that other vivid world of first impressions as more solid, more universal, better known, and more human than the immediately perceived world, and thus as the regulative and imperative world.

Now why didn't I have that quote handy when Geraldo asked me for a simple explanation of what we're about?
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Michael A. Aquino

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#40895 - 07/27/10 01:49 PM Re: I was just wondering ... [Re: Michael A.Aquino]
Autodidact Offline
member


Registered: 01/23/10
Posts: 428
 Originally Posted By: Michael A.Aquino
Nevertheless I am still bothered by the absence of not just a given single "ladder" of evolution, but for that matter branches of that ladder/those ladders. I would expect to see some proto- or near-people around, as well as perhaps a Flash Gordon's Mongo assortment of lionmen, hawkmen, fishmen (as old Blacky LaGoon), et al. Instead it's just us.


Just because we haven't found all the branch nodes or ladder rungs doesn't mean they don't exist. Remember, evolution is a theory - it would be nice to have fossils of the whole phase space of human evolution, but it's not necessary to have the complete picture before the theory can be useful. Newton's laws were perfectly useful for quite a while before Einstein and the quantum family of theories came into acceptance.

I saw this episode of Nova recently: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/evolution/becoming-human-part-3.html , which puts forward a rather neat explanation to your question of "Why just us?"

Besides, everybody knows the fishmen are extinct because the Conquistadors found them delicious battered and fried, with a little lemon
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#40898 - 07/27/10 03:18 PM Re: I was just wondering ... [Re: Autodidact]
The Zebu Offline
senior member


Registered: 08/08/08
Posts: 1646
Loc: Orlando, FL
 Quote:
Just because we haven't found flying pink unicorns doesn't mean they don't exist


Heheh... sorry. No, really; we've found the rungs already; they're just long dead. But just because we don't have neanderthals, Deep Ones, or crab-people walking around today doesn't make complex human consciousness that amazing. I'll get back to that later.

There are some issues I have with Setian metaphysics, especially the explanation regarding the "gift of Set".

Animals have consciousness and intelligence too. It is a physically-derived trait that simply happens to be more developed in humans. It does not require any fabulous philosophical explanation.

 Quote:
One of the keystones of the Temple of Set is the uniqueness and startling difference between human intelligence/consciousness and that of all other planetary life forms. This "Gift of Set", as we refer to it, also does not seem to be a "laddered" phenomenon - though because of its very [non]nature establishing a "breakpoint" would be elusive.


The platypus has a duck-like mouth and a large, flat tail-- but we don't see any close evolutionary cohorts who share these traits, as they are all extinct. It is as anomalous and unique as human consciousness, and, for all naturalistic purposes, helps them survive just as well. Does this mean that some "isolate principle" consciously guided the evolution of the platypus to have these features?

It may seem like a lame example, but think about it in the long run. Birds fly. Fish swim. Humans think. It's not that cosmically amazing.

Consciousness is a wee bit overrated.
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#40901 - 07/27/10 05:53 PM Think, or Thwim [Re: The Zebu]
Michael A.Aquino Offline
stalker


Registered: 09/28/08
Posts: 2576
Loc: San Francisco, CA, USA
 Originally Posted By: The Zebu
The platypus has a duck-like mouth and a large, flat tail-- but we don't see any close evolutionary cohorts who share these traits, as they are all extinct. It is as anomalous and unique as human consciousness, and, for all naturalistic purposes, helps them survive just as well. Does this mean that some "isolate principle" consciously guided the evolution of the platypus to have these features?

No, it just means you weren't there when that mallard jumped the lady beaver strolling by. ;\)

 Quote:
It may seem like a lame example, but think about it in the long run. Birds fly. Fish swim. Humans think. It's not that cosmically amazing.

As pointed out, all animals [and perhaps plants] think to some degree. It's the vast distance in humanity that is of interest.

 Quote:
Consciousness is a wee bit overrated.

By whom?

Then again ...
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