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#41214 - 08/01/10 03:34 PM Re: the deception of atheism [Re: Anonymous]
Michael A.Aquino Offline
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Registered: 09/28/08
Posts: 2515
Loc: San Francisco, CA, USA
Good grief.

Never before have I seen such a 600C food fight.

Looky here, this all started out as a very basic question: Why should the intelligence & consciousness level of humanity be so substantially greater than that of any other species on this planet? [And as a corollary: Why should the normal forces of evolution, which function on the basis of simple/minimal natural selection, have taken such a complex route? Why not simply bodily health & strength instead?]

All I have seen so far in response are dolphins & crows , and as a frantic last resort, howlings about THEISM!

Natural evolution is a sensible theory. When times are tough, the stronger, better-adapted, and smarter survive to reproduce. So far, so good. But in this nature takes the easiest, quickest way out, because a group of primates being chased by saber-toothed tigers doesn't have time to do brain/consciousness expansion. Instead the ones who run the slowest become tiger-dinner. Thus there is a good case for proto-primates having naturally evolved into healthier, stronger, meaner ones, with the commensurate (!) intelligence to maximize these qualities. There is no case for what we are instead of this: a being completely at odds with all other planetary species and their indeed-natural evolutionary paths.

If you want to sweep this problem under the rug, or come up with all sorts of tortured efforts to jam the stepsister's foot into Cinderella's glass slipper, that's your choice. History is replete with inconvenient questions which prevalent dogma suppressed, ridiculed, or punished instead of confronting. Attempting to rephrase this one into biblical-creationism is just another such dodge.

When Arthur Clarke first took up this question, he wrote the novel Childhood's End, in which humanity had been prehistorically "adjusted" by aliens who just happened to look like the proverbial Devil. Came time for 2001, Karellen & his kind morphed into more abstract/less disturbing monoliths. Setians apprehend this functionality as Set. Others may see it as Satan, Prometheus, Odin, variations on the Krell brain-machine, an apple tree, or a Goa'uld experiment to produce more useful slaves. Whatever.

That's the "technical" part of the issue. But as so graphically evidenced in the antagonistic posts above, there is also an emotional aspect: Many people [worldwide] want the question to disappear not just because it is difficult to answer, but because they are afraid of what one or more possible answers might turn out to be. In medieval times this kind of blinders-in-place was termed scholasticism: Reasoning, research, & argument were fine as long as they all led to a predetermined, acceptable conclusion (which in that case was the Holy Bible). But this wasn't just a Christian phenomenon; the same game has been going on throughout history in all sorts of contexts.

This kind of fear generally, but especially in the case of this greatest of all questions concerning the human phenomenon, strikes me as regrettable, silly, and ultimately futile. The truth has a way of crawling back out from whatever rug it is swept under, no matter how firmly that rug is nailed down. If you consider yourselves "Satanists", you should be pulling out nails, not hammering more in - and this pertains not just to other people's inconvenient questions.

What I have said above is that I will decline to play this old game here. If the 600C wishes to, that's entirely your affair. Though if you do so, may I offer the gentle opinion that four-letter words and ad hominems don't help much of anything, least of all the speaker's dignity. There are occasions when only one expression will do, as in the last words of the mayor of Hiroshima: "What the fuck was that?" Most dialogue, however, falls rather short of this threshold.
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#41224 - 08/01/10 03:53 PM Re: the deception of atheism [Re: Michael A.Aquino]
Dan_Dread Offline
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Registered: 10/08/08
Posts: 3810
Loc: Vancouver, Canada
 Quote:

Why should the intelligence & consciousness level of humanity be so substantially greater than that of any other species on this planet?


Well, it isn't. You have yet to provide any substance for this idea that you assume we should all just accept as axiomatic. The evidence does not support your case.



 Quote:

There is no case for what we are instead of this: a being completely at odds with all other planetary species and their indeed-natural evolutionary paths.

Again, this is a projection on your part based on your limited understanding of how evolution works. 'Fitter' does not always means faster or stronger. The only things at odds here are your theology with reality.
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#41227 - 08/01/10 04:00 PM Re: the deception of atheism [Re: Michael A.Aquino]
SODOMIZER Offline
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Registered: 07/04/10
Posts: 61
 Originally Posted By: Michael A.Aquino
Looky here, this all started out as a very basic question: Why should the intelligence & consciousness level of humanity be so substantially greater than that of any other species on this planet?

And as a corollary: Why should the normal forces of evolution, which function on the basis of simple/minimal natural selection, have taken such a complex route? Why not simply bodily health & strength instead?


Oh, these are interesting questions!

My answer: the universe is unconscious, and benefits from having conscious actors capable of (but not always doing) what evolution normally does.

The real kicker is that there's a race on for each planet to produce an intelligent species that can travel to other planets, make war on them, rape their women, and dominate the universe.

Natural selection continues its path not toward creating the strongest animal, but the animal able to plan ahead and avoid/defeat obstacles/threats.

So maybe intelligence has always been in the game, because it alone trumps raw strength -- thus giving an additional dimension, an informational one, to the process of life.
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#41241 - 08/01/10 08:40 PM Re: the deception of atheism [Re: Michael A.Aquino]
Morgan Offline
Princess of Hell
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Registered: 08/29/07
Posts: 2956
Loc: New York City
Since there was so much bullshit on this thread since you last logged in, I thought you might have missed my questions, so I am repeating them.

http://www.the600club.com/dir/ubbthreads...=true#Post41181

I am not looking to be a pain in the ass, I really want to understand better the meaning behind the whole thing. So I will leave out the remarks and just repost the questions.


...if Set is a neteru/principle/idea then why would he need to be worshiped?

If he is an idea created by humans, how is he also a godform?
Or is it more like a HGA that comes down and inspires you once you possibly reach "enlightenment" ala Crowley?

Plus a new one, if Set is a principle how could a principle influence evolution?

Just trying to understand your view point better.

thanks,
Morgan
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#41255 - 08/02/10 01:57 AM Re: the deception of atheism [Re: Morgan]
Michael A.Aquino Offline
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Registered: 09/28/08
Posts: 2515
Loc: San Francisco, CA, USA
 Originally Posted By: Wicked Wanda
if Set is a neteru/principle/idea then why would he need to be worshiped?

He doesn't and Setians don't.

 Originally Posted By: Set, The Book of Coming Forth by Night, North Solstice 1975
... The Satanist thought to approach Satan through ritual. Now let the Setian shun all recitation, for the text of another is an affront to the Self. Speak rather to me as to a friend, gently and without fear, and I shall hear as a friend. Do not bend your knee nor drop your eye, for such things were not done in my house at PaMat-et. But speak to me at night, for the sky then becomes an entrance and not a barrier. And those who call me the Prince of Darkness do me no dishonor.

The Setian need conjure neither curse nor kindness from me, for by the magic of my great pentagram I shall see with his eyes. And then the strength that is mine shall be the strength of the Setian, and against the Will of Set no creature of the Universe may stand. And I think not of those who think not of me ...


 Originally Posted By: WW
If he is an idea created by humans, how is he also a godform?

He isn't an idea created by humans; he is a conscious entity in his own right, who has been perceived by humans [originally] as the Egyptian Set, but later in many semblances or even abstract influences.

 Originally Posted By: WW
Or is it more like a HGA that comes down and inspires you once you possibly reach "enlightenment" ala Crowley?

No. AC considered the "HGA" as an enlightened personal daimon, a spiritual guide to the realm of the [{]neteru[/I]. Thus his "HGA" was Aiwass, through whom he was prepared to receive Liber AL: The Book of the Law from the neteru Nuit and “Ra-Hoor-Khuit” (correctly translated to “Ra-Harakte, Master of the Gods”. This is a form of HarWer (Horus the Elder - the Great Horus of pre-Osirian legend), literally “Horus of the Horizon” in his solar aspect of Xepera. Ra-Harakte had been the judge of the dead in non-Osirian Egypt, and he was also cast as the champion of Set in the Osirian-mythos trial between Set and Horus the Younger.) Crowley believed Hadit to be “Heru-pa-kraath” (Harpokrates), the infant form of Horus the Younger. He identified Nuit [correctly] as the Egyptian neter of the sky.

 Originally Posted By: WW
Plus a new one, if Set is a principle how could a principle influence evolution?

Actually the "Dawn of Man" opening sequence of 2001 illustrates this so eloquently that words would be a poor substitute. Remember that the film's abstract monolith was originally the "Devil" Karellen of Arthur Clarke's Childhood's End, whose image is merely one of many corruptions of Set.

I was having a great time with the original Stargate movie until the "neteru" turned out to be just aliens in fancy-dress. As a bit of very obscure trivia, the original idea behind that movie, back in the late 1970s, was to have the Egyptian neteru revisit Earth [rather like 2001's present-day reappearance of the monolith]. Possibly scrapped because of the religious ruckus it would cause if it included, as it presumably would have had to, debunking of all the later, corrupt, imitation religions (such as J/C/I).

Regards to Candyfloss.
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#41263 - 08/02/10 07:45 AM Re: the deception of atheism [Re: Michael A.Aquino]
Gattamelata Offline
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Registered: 03/23/10
Posts: 44
The idea that someone or something adjusted/directed the human evolutionary potential to take a differing course than the course taken by other species, is an idea I personally find plausible. This someone or something does not neccesarily needs to be aliens from outer space or spiritual entities, it could also be a freak and drastic cluster of mutations et cetera. We ourselves, watching the science fiction concept of genetic engineering approaching science before our eyes, must in a not so far future contemplate the possibility of artificial evolutionary adjustments as our understanding of the genome increases.

But, from a scientifically point of view, one must conclude that there is no evidence backing this theory up. Hence it is a matter of pure belief. Thus, anyone proposing such theories should get used to be put into the same company of other equally unproven theories. And this rejection is a matter of science, not of emotion.


Edited by Gattamelata (08/02/10 07:46 AM)
Edit Reason: typos
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#41265 - 08/02/10 10:20 AM Re: the deception of atheism [Re: Michael A.Aquino]
XiaoGui17 Offline
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Registered: 10/21/09
Posts: 1126
Loc: Amarillo, TX
 Originally Posted By: Michael A.Aquino
Why should the intelligence & consciousness level of humanity be so substantially greater than that of any other species on this planet? [And as a corollary: Why should the normal forces of evolution, which function on the basis of simple/minimal natural selection, have taken such a complex route? Why not simply bodily health & strength instead?]

The answer is that the genetic difference is minimal but the impact is massive. The divergence between men and apes hinges on a relatively tiny mutation in a gene called FOXP2. The protein made by human FOXP2 differs from the chimpanzee protein by just two amino acids. This teensy, weensy difference had a domino effect on many other genes. This protein, because of its altered structure, now activates 61 genes in humans that are inactive in apes, and deactivates 55 genes in humans that are active in apes. So what appears to be a particularly "complex" route from man to ape is actually the result of a tiny genetic mutation.

Drastic alterations in phenotype can be made by a relatively minimal alteration in genotype. It's genotype alterations that must be minimal in order to be practical in the realm of evolution.

The impact of all these alterations was essentially a trade-off between strength and dexterity. A relatively tiny chimp can bench-press a ton, as opposed to a healthy human at maybe a quarter of that amount. These genes served, in part, to cause the brain to inhibit human strength. But the neural inhibitions on our muscles gave us an incredible degree of fine motor control. The effect on our mouths and vocal chords means humans can enunciate a number of difference phonemes while the best a chimp can do is howl. The effect on our hands means that humans can write, carve, draw, tie knots, light a fire, and type where the best a chimp can do is peel a banana.

But wouldn't such a drastic decrease in brute strength be disadvantageous in the wild? Not so much as you may think. When faced with a life-threatening situation, good old adrenaline reverts us back to a more primal state. We won't be painting any calligraphy on grains of rice, but we may just lift a car off of someone.

After that, intelligence evolved largely as a compliment to dexterity. Being a genius is useless if you can't manifest any of your great ideas. Dolphins may have massive brains that enable them to communicate quite complexly with one another, but until they evolve opposable thumbs they aren't going to be building any underwater empires.
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#41388 - 08/03/10 06:49 PM Re: the deception of atheism [Re: XiaoGui17]
Michael A.Aquino Offline
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Registered: 09/28/08
Posts: 2515
Loc: San Francisco, CA, USA
 Originally Posted By: XiaoGui17
The answer is that the genetic difference is minimal but the impact is massive. The divergence between men and apes hinges on a relatively tiny mutation in a gene called FOXP2. The protein made by human FOXP2 differs from the chimpanzee protein by just two amino acids. This teensy, weensy difference had a domino effect on many other genes. This protein, because of its altered structure, now activates 61 genes in humans that are inactive in apes, and deactivates 55 genes in humans that are active in apes. So what appears to be a particularly "complex" route from man to ape is actually the result of a tiny genetic mutation.

Yes, understood, but still missing here are the "why" and the "how":

(1) Why did this particular mutation occur, since there were no external, natural-environmental forces causing it? Darwinian evolutionary theory requires external selection in favor of immediately [as in being chased by saberteeth] advantageous differences, not long/slow capacities such as higher mental faculties.

(2) How did such an intricate and multifaceted mutation (e.g. FOXP2 changing at all, and when it did, in such a way as to domino=down 55 genes & domino-up another 61). If this is what was required for our unique and high level of intelligence & consciousness, the odds against this being a purely accidental/random event would be prohibitive.

 Quote:
The impact of all these alterations was essentially a trade-off between strength and dexterity.

I'm not so sure about that claim, as humans can beefcake themselves up pretty well [and not necessarily through exercise-planning & diet-controlling, just a demanding outdoor lifestyle]. The orangutans at the S.F. Zoo, on the other hand, are perfectly happy to goof off all the time, as do the gorillas.

 Quote:
A relatively tiny chimp can bench-press a ton

Somehow I have a hard time believing this, though I do know that chimps are stronger than most people assume from their size.

 Quote:
These genes served, in part, to cause the brain to inhibit human strength.

This doesn't make sense to me either. It follows that a highly-intelligent human would be able to conceive other ways than brute strength to accomplish tasks, and thus would not need to maximize his muscles to survive, but that's not the same thing as genes causing automatic weakening. [I have seen this kind of Procrustean logic all too often in evolution-debtates, e.g. we needed this, so we got it/we didn't need this so we lost it, and evolution simply doesn't work bass-ackwards that way. This slinks in the direction of Lamarckism, which, while beloved by Anton LaVey, doesn't, I think, stand serious scientific test.]

 Quote:
But the neural inhibitions on our muscles gave us an incredible degree of fine motor control. The effect on our mouths and vocal chords means humans can enunciate a number of difference phonemes while the best a chimp can do is howl. The effect on our hands means that humans can write, carve, draw, tie knots, light a fire, and type where the best a chimp can do is peel a banana.

Once again you're talking effect, not cause. On the other hand, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull and vintage Johnny Weissmuller flicks notwithstanding, some primates are much better at swinging through the trees than we are. [Some humans in my experience don't vocalize much past howling either.]

 Quote:
After that, intelligence evolved largely as a compliment to dexterity.

A practical connection can be shown, but not an evolutionary one. If a person is born stupid, teaching him to do some things with his hands may make the most of such brainpower as he has, but I have not yet seen where it will have a genetic impact on the brain.

 Quote:
Being a genius is useless if you can't manifest any of your great ideas. Dolphins may have massive brains that enable them to communicate quite complexly with one another, but until they evolve opposable thumbs they aren't going to be building any underwater empires.

Nevertheless if dolphins were highly sentient (approaching or at human levels), they could strategize concerning and influence many things which impact their lives, such as the aforementioned tuna-dragnet peril, natural predators, ocean-water conditions, not to mention sophisticated communication with humans (not talking about Flipper here!) Take yourself with your present intelligence & consciousness and imagine yourself in a dolphin's body; you could do a very great deal.

But the overall, central issue remains not one of effect or application, but of origin. And Darwinian evolution simply doesn't fit Cindy's slipper there, despite logical slights-of-hand to make it seem that it does.
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#41398 - 08/03/10 10:07 PM Re: the deception of atheism [Re: Michael A.Aquino]
Dan_Dread Offline
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Registered: 10/08/08
Posts: 3810
Loc: Vancouver, Canada
Three things

-When you argue against evolution, you are arguing science against a consensus of the worlds top anthropologists,zoologists, biologists, chemists and geologists. Really? I mean, I'm as much for challenging established ideas as anybody, but there comes a point where you are just pissing into the wind..and you crossed it some time back.

-You have raised enough (invalid)objections, but you have yet to give us any reason to believe in this magical intervention event you keep harping about. Hey I know, why don't you provide some evidence for your claim?

-Your post is literally filled with conclusions based on misunderstandings, and as no new knowledge about the universe has emerged since 1975 I won't bother pointing them all out, but this one bears mention:
 Quote:

But the overall, central issue remains not one of effect or application, but of origin. And Darwinian evolution simply doesn't fit Cindy's slipper there, despite logical slights-of-hand to make it seem that it does.

Evolutionary theory does not deal with origin whatsoever. You may be thinking of abiogenesis, which is a completely different theory.
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#41400 - 08/03/10 10:33 PM Re: the deception of atheism [Re: Michael A.Aquino]
XiaoGui17 Offline
active member


Registered: 10/21/09
Posts: 1126
Loc: Amarillo, TX
 Originally Posted By: Michael A.Aquino

Yes, understood, but still missing here are the "why" and the "how":

(1) Why did this particular mutation occur, since there were no external, natural-environmental forces causing it?


WHOA! Now I get where the crux of the misunderstanding is. Mutations are essentially random. They are not caused by environmental forces. Environmental forces are what select for or against certain traits that are the result of said mutations. Mutations occur independently of the environment, as a result of random chance. Natural selection and mutation are two separate forces.

 Originally Posted By: Michael A.Aquino
(2) How did such an intricate and multifaceted mutation (e.g. FOXP2 changing at all, and when it did, in such a way as to domino=down 55 genes & domino-up another 61). If this is what was required for our unique and high level of intelligence & consciousness, the odds against this being a purely accidental/random event would be prohibitive.


If you think an alteration of two amino acids is so drastic as to point to divine (diabolical?) intervention, I guess you're free to believe that. Far more dramatic mutations (frame shifts) have occurred in bacteria. The simple answer is that those genes were already linked to that protein in the first place, and various forms of that protein lead to various combinations of activation of the genes it affects. We got a lucky combination, but it's not as unlikely as you seem to think.

 Quote:
I'm not so sure about that claim, as humans can beefcake themselves up pretty well [and not necessarily through exercise-planning & diet-controlling, just a demanding outdoor lifestyle]. The orangutans at the S.F. Zoo, on the other hand, are perfectly happy to goof off all the time, as do the gorillas.


You're talking about muscle mass, which is a result of nurture, not nature. I'm talking about the neural inhibitions of muscles. Apples and oranges.

 Quote:
 Quote:
A relatively tiny chimp can bench-press a ton

Somehow I have a hard time believing this, though I do know that chimps are stronger than most people assume from their size.


Perhaps a wee bit hyperbolic, but you get my point.

 Quote:
 Quote:
These genes served, in part, to cause the brain to inhibit human strength.

This doesn't make sense to me either. It follows that a highly-intelligent human would be able to conceive other ways than brute strength to accomplish tasks, and thus would not need to maximize his muscles to survive, but that's not the same thing as genes causing automatic weakening.


As I explained, it wasn't weakening, per se. In life-threatening situations, we are still relatively strong. It was greater neural control over our muscles, not massive weakening of them.

 Quote:
I have seen this kind of Procrustean logic all too often in evolution-debtates, e.g. we needed this, so we got it/we didn't need this so we lost it, and evolution simply doesn't work bass-ackwards that way. This slinks in the direction of Lamarckism, which, while beloved by Anton LaVey, doesn't, I think, stand serious scientific test.


That wasn't what I was arguing at all. These just happened to be the results of the mutation, and as I explained before, mutations are random. They occur on their own. Mutations do not occur with some adaptive ends as their object. If they happen to have some adaptive ends, that's great. Oftentimes mutations can be quite disadvantageous.

 Quote:
 Quote:
But the neural inhibitions on our muscles gave us an incredible degree of fine motor control. The effect on our mouths and vocal chords means humans can enunciate a number of difference phonemes while the best a chimp can do is howl. The effect on our hands means that humans can write, carve, draw, tie knots, light a fire, and type where the best a chimp can do is peel a banana.

Once again you're talking effect, not cause.


I already explained that the mutation was the cause. Since I already named the cause, I'm elaborating on the affect.

 Quote:
 Quote:
After that, intelligence evolved largely as a compliment to dexterity.

A practical connection can be shown, but not an evolutionary one. If a person is born stupid, teaching him to do some things with his hands may make the most of such brainpower as he has, but I have not yet seen where it will have a genetic impact on the brain.


It wouldn't have a genetic impact on the brain. It just means that any mutation that causes an increase in intelligence would be advantageous to a dexterous creature, but they wouldn't be to a creature that wasn't. Once mutations occur that happen to increase intelligence, they would be selected for in a creature to whom they were advantageous, but not in a creature to whom they are not advantageous.

 Quote:
Take yourself with your present intelligence & consciousness and imagine yourself in a dolphin's body; you could do a very great deal.


I was just explaining why dolphins don't have our current cognitive capacity and you're acting like I claimed that they do?

Your whole argument seems to hinge on the assumption that mutations occur with some prime directive; that genes mutate themselves to suit their environment. They don't. Some mutations happen to help an organism. Some mutations cause death. Mutations are random. The natural selection for advantageous mutations (and against disadvantageous ones) is what drives evolution.


Edited by XiaoGui17 (08/03/10 10:37 PM)
Edit Reason: quotation box fail
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#41404 - 08/04/10 12:46 AM Re: the deception of atheism [Re: XiaoGui17]
Michael A.Aquino Offline
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Registered: 09/28/08
Posts: 2515
Loc: San Francisco, CA, USA
 Originally Posted By: XiaoGui17
Mutations are essentially random. They are not caused by environmental forces. Environmental forces are what select for or against certain traits that are the result of said mutations.

Correct except that extreme mutations sufficient to instantly create such a vast difference in a species are statistically impossible. Natural mutations are relatively minor, incidental, and sufficiently consistent with their species not to turn it immediately into something else. You cited your complex "dominos" of a single genetic mutation turning a previous species of primate into highly-intelligent, self-aware, opposing-thumb, talking, etc. mankind. The probability of all this happening simultaneously from one "key" gene accident, is nonexistent.

 Quote:
If you think an alteration of two amino acids is so drastic as to point to divine (diabolical?) intervention, I guess you're free to believe that.

If you think that a random alteration of two amino acids is capable of producing all the above mutations simultaneously [which would be necessary for the survival of the mutated being you claim], you're just as free to believe that.

 Quote:
You're talking about muscle mass, which is a result of nurture, not nature. I'm talking about the neural inhibitions of muscles. Apples and oranges.

Actually we were both talking about the muscular strength of various primate species, which you asserted was so substantially different as to constitute a key part of modern humanity's reliance upon intellect [instead]. This is false from a bodily-inherent standpoint. As noted, individual members of any primate species can choose to emphasize or deemphasize their physical development and reliance upon same.

 Quote:
Perhaps a wee bit hyperbolic, but you get my point.

No, your chimp-example failed to substantiate it.

 Quote:
It just means that any mutation that causes an increase in intelligence would be advantageous to a dexterous creature, but they wouldn't be to a creature that wasn't.

This once again does not support the appearance of the original intelligence-mutation. Incidentally many animals which possess or exceed various of the physical capabilities you cited simply and adequately use them at their present/lower level of intelligence. I had a pet raccoon named Jesus Christ back in my Church of Satan/Louisville days whose little black hands could and did open anything in the house. He got his name because that's what I said (!) everytime I came home and saw it ransacked. Jesus even took the tape reels out of my IBM Selectric [without damaging it].

 Quote:
Once mutations occur that happen to increase intelligence, they would be selected for in a creature to whom they were advantageous, but not in a creature to whom they are not advantageous.

Tautological.

 Quote:
I was just explaining why dolphins don't have our current cognitive capacity and you're acting like I claimed that they do?

No, I was pointing out the absurdity of your contention that dolphins' physical bodies prevent them from possessing human levels of intelligence and consciousness.

 Quote:
Your whole argument seems to hinge on the assumption that mutations occur with some prime directive; that genes mutate themselves to suit their environment.

Not at all. Darwinian natural selection operates to favor or disfavor mutations which have already occurred, but the natural environment does have an influence upon what mutations survive beyond a single incident in a single creature of a species. If a hawk were hatched without eyes, his natural environment [for which the rest of his body might be ideally functional: air, climate, trees, ground/air prey, etc.] would cut his career short before he could reproduce. End of environmentally-unsupported mutation.

You and I really don't have an issue with natural evolution per se, but we do have a fundamental difference where the "power and consequence" of a single mutation is concerned. You maintain something this complex can be a single, random accident [as it would need to be to survive the environmental forces arrayed against anything short of a "complete jump"]; I contend that it is so complex as to exceed the proverbial 100 monkeys on typewriters eventually producing the word-perfect Encyclopædia Brittanica.

If you are comfortable and reassured by your hypothesis, be my guest. The "random accident" doctrine is certainly in cultural vogue because anything else is assumed to commit the sins of religious mythology or science fiction. These do not lead to tenure.
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#41406 - 08/04/10 01:02 AM Re: the deception of atheism [Re: Michael A.Aquino]
6Satan6Archist6 Offline
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Registered: 10/16/08
Posts: 2509
 Quote:
...extreme mutations sufficient to instantly create such a vast difference in a species are statistically impossible. Natural mutations are relatively minor, incidental, and sufficiently consistent with their species not to turn it immediately into something else.


While mutations may not be able instantly create a vast difference in a species, another seemingly inconsequential factor can. Namely, the experience of the mother

 Originally Posted By: Newsweek
Some water fleas sport a spiny helmet that deters predators; others, with identical DNA sequences, have bare heads. What differs between the two is not their genes but their mothers' experiences. If mom had a run-in with predators, her offspring have helmets, an effect one wag called "bite the mother, fight the daughter." If mom lived her life unthreatened, her offspring have no helmets. Same DNA, different traits. Somehow, the experience of the mother, not only her DNA sequences, has been transmitted to her offspring.


The water fleas that have the spiny helmets may not be a different species from their bareheaded counterparts but this is quite a big change that occurs practically instantaneously.
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#41411 - 08/04/10 02:10 AM Re: Touching the Monolith [Re: Dan_Dread]
XiaoGui17 Offline
active member


Registered: 10/21/09
Posts: 1126
Loc: Amarillo, TX
 Originally Posted By: Michael A.Aquino
Correct except that extreme mutations sufficient to instantly create such a vast difference in a species are statistically impossible. Natural mutations are relatively minor, incidental, and sufficiently consistent with their species not to turn it immediately into something else. You cited your complex "dominos" of a single genetic mutation turning a previous species of primate into highly-intelligent, self-aware, opposing-thumb, talking, etc. mankind. The probability of all this happening simultaneously from one "key" gene accident, is nonexistent.


Whoa, whoa, whoa. The domino effect of the FOXP2 had an impact on several similar genes affecting dexterity: the nuance of neural control over muscles. This mutation in and of itself did nothing to make these creatures more intelligent or self-aware; that came later. It simply paved the way by creating an organism in which enhanced intelligence would be advantageous for survival.

 Quote:

If you think that a random alteration of two amino acids is capable of producing all the above mutations simultaneously [which would be necessary for the survival of the mutated being you claim], you're just as free to believe that.


I don't, but it's good to know I'm free to.

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Actually we were both talking about the muscular strength of various primate species, which you asserted was so substantially different as to constitute a key part of modern humanity's reliance upon intellect [instead].


No, no, no. I was not asserting that we got so darn weak we had to rely on brains instead of brawn. I was asserting that we got such fine motor control that any increase in intelligence could be put to good use, thus setting the stage for future mutations enhancing intellect to be substantially advantageous and thus selected for more favorably than they would in less dexterous species.

JC the raccoon may indeed have great dexterity, as do a great many other animals. Parrots, for example, have enough motor control over their mouths to simulate human speech, even without lips. But not only do we have great dexterity, we also have a cranial capacity much greater than that of either a bird or a raccoon. The great features human beings have certainly aren't unique, we just got them all in the same package.

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Once mutations occur that happen to increase intelligence, they would be selected for in a creature to whom they were advantageous, but not in a creature to whom they are not advantageous.

Tautological.

 Originally Posted By: Dan_Dread
We should only expect to see something get 'smarter' if the smarter ones are outperforming the less intelligent ones in a way that helps them survive.


I did have a point there, but we're off on a tangent of something else I wasn't asserting. See quote from Dan.

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No, I was pointing out the absurdity of your contention that dolphins' physical bodies prevent them from possessing human levels of intelligence and consciousness.


Hang on a second. Dan Dread says that dolphins are very intelligent and you counter that they aren't at the human level. Now I say that they aren't as dexterous as humans (and thus unable to make the same use of their intelligence that we can) and you counter that they are as smart as us? I'm confused.


Edited by XiaoGui17 (08/04/10 02:15 AM)
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#41416 - 08/04/10 03:23 AM Re: the deception of atheism [Re: Michael A.Aquino]
Dimitri Offline
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Registered: 07/13/08
Posts: 3112
 Quote:
(1) Why did this particular mutation occur, since there were no external, natural-environmental forces causing it? Darwinian evolutionary theory requires external selection in favor of immediately [as in being chased by saberteeth] advantageous differences, not long/slow capacities such as higher mental faculties.

It is fairly known there is a DNA/gene copy failure of 1/180000 (? not sure about the number). The body can defend itself against these "errors" by DNA-repairgenes. Now, sometimes these failures tend to pass unnoticed but have their effects on the body. This has 2 possible results: cancer or it functions as a normal cell without any consequences.
It is easy to imagine that during the conceiving of a new human a sperm with the mutation due to a gene-copy-failure in its genes (as an example) to have a bigger appendix.
While it is a trivial thing, it can have an influence on survival (be it positive or negative).

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(2) How did such an intricate and multifaceted mutation (e.g. FOXP2 changing at all, and when it did, in such a way as to domino=down 55 genes & domino-up another 61). If this is what was required for our unique and high level of intelligence & consciousness, the odds against this being a purely accidental/random event would be prohibitive.

Our unique level of intelligence has partly to do with nutrition. Thanks to the discovery of fire the "homo"-species managed to cook its food and make otherwise toxic meat/plants harmless. This broaded our diet with a greater intake of vitamines, lipids,.. which on their turn had an influence on our bodily functions/well-being.

On another note; our intelligence and accomplishments are unique. But calling opposable thumbs a virtue and calling it a luck to make it possible to perform fine-tuned movements is quite a fallacy. It is thanks to our intelligence and fantasy we gathered in past millenia we managed to perform trivial fine-tuned movements. I mean, give a spoon to an ape and it will not know how to use it properly UNLESS it is being learned properly.



Edited by Dimitri (08/04/10 03:32 AM)
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#41419 - 08/04/10 03:55 AM Re: the deception of atheism [Re: Dimitri]
Diavolo Offline
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Registered: 09/02/07
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Our intelligence and "dexterity" go hand in hand. William H. Calvin wrote a nice book about it called "The Emergence of Intelligence" which proposes that the Ice Ages, or "climate change", and hunting techniques had a huge impact on our intelligence. I don't know how dated it is, being written in the 90ies, but I assume he wasn't that wrong back in the day.

Also evolution isn't always "improving" or at least improving as in how we see improval. The Kakapo parrot with its ridiculously complicated mating ritual or the Panda who's diet is 99% about bamboo aren't really hotshots when it comes to avoiding extinction. It doesn't take much to make them disappear. But such is evolution, that what is favorable keeps them reproducing. That what is unfavorable is selected against.

As humans, we have partly the genes of our fathers, partly of our mothers AND a couple of "mutations". These mutations don't always play much of a role unless some "pressure" of the outside happens and they give us a disadvantage or an edge. As such, any of us can be the next step of a branch. Of course, our current level of intelligence makes it possible to artificially interact. But put us back on the wild Savannah and you'll directly notice how those in a wheelchair will perform.

D.

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