Debate and Discussion

Evolution versus Religion?
cartoonprofessor at 4:18AM, Sept. 29, 2008
(online)
posts: 396
joined: 9-2-2007
It is rarely either God or science… but often either Religion or Science.
Many confuse religious dogma with God. If God exists she would want us to use our most precious trait, intellect. And most, if not all, religions demand we stop using our questioning intellect and instead rely on ‘blind faith’.
If you have ever spent time on a farm you will notice how a species ‘evolves’ very fast, over only a few generations… a fact that farmers have used for millenia to develop fatter cows, friendlier dogs, larger horses, etc.
If such changes can occur in only a few generations is it any wonder we have a planet so rich in such incredible diversity, that has evolved over millions of generations? The time life has been on this planet is incomprehendingly huge… if all life on Earth was placed on a clockface, human existence would not even register as the last second!
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:36AM
KingRidley at 9:50AM, Sept. 29, 2008
(offline)
posts: 151
joined: 9-28-2008
cartoonprofessor
If such changes can occur in only a few generations is it any wonder we have a planet so rich in such incredible diversity, that has evolved over millions of generations? The time life has been on this planet is incomprehendingly huge… if all life on Earth was placed on a clockface, human existence would not even register as the last second!
The thing about that is that it's all intentional breeding. Evolution is random. And it's not about getting a mean dog into a friendly dog, it's about turning a dog into a more advanced, stronger, BETTER species. One that can climb higher on the food chain. And even if Human existence would only register as a very small amount of time on a clock, we would still end up shattering most of the clock's components. Who cares about the time we've been around for when we've made such huge impacts?

And again, why can't God use evolution? You say “well if things evolved then there's no God.” I say God ‘designed’ evolution for the very purpose of making life spread.

Let's look at this on a human scale. You don't take your weak, mean dog and try to change it into a good dog all at once. You, just like I think God did, breed it and change it over generations until you get what you want. God probably didn't invent the universe all at the exact same moment. God probably didn't actually grab a chunk of dirt and create Adam. But we have alot of the same ingredients as dirt, especially because we are carbon based.

One smaller idea that I had is that the Bible says all that stuff about ‘seven days to create Earth’ and whatnot because it's alot easier saying that than trying to explain to very primitive people how to build a universe and put life on one planet. They don't understand any sort of physics, or genetics, or the behavior of subatomic particles and how to utilize nutrients to recreate a life form.


Short point is that people seem to think it's impossible that evolution/physics are all major components of God's plan.
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:16PM
cartoonprofessor at 5:53PM, Sept. 30, 2008
(online)
posts: 396
joined: 9-2-2007
KingRidley
The thing about that is that it's all intentional breeding.

And again, why can't God use evolution? You say “well if things evolved then there's no God.” I say God ‘designed’ evolution for the very purpose of making life spread.

Species evolve to better survive in their environment. If some members of a species evolve a particular trait to enable that better survival then within a few very short generations that mutation will dominate, causing the older ‘style’ of species to be pushed out of their niche because of simple competetiveness for the same food sources… so intentional breeding by farmers is in practice not that much faster than what occurs naturally in the wild.

Secondly, I did NOT say “if things evolved then there's no God”. There is definetely a source of all existence, whether you believe it to be some old guy with a big white beard or simply the energy put out by our sun.
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:36AM
KingRidley at 6:54PM, Sept. 30, 2008
(offline)
posts: 151
joined: 9-28-2008
cartoonprofessor
Species evolve to better survive in their environment.

or simply the energy put out by our sun.
Yeah, I know why and how evolution works. Again, I just think that humans aren't the only ones to figure that out, and that maybe that was the point.

also I know what you're getting at, but the sun isn't responsible for life, as proven by plenty of other lifeless planets.
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:16PM
cartoonprofessor at 12:43AM, Oct. 1, 2008
(online)
posts: 396
joined: 9-2-2007
But essential for it. Have you ever noticed how most if not all religions can be traced to Sun worship?
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:36AM
ozoneocean at 2:07AM, Oct. 1, 2008
(online)
posts: 25,117
joined: 1-2-2004
KingRidley
And it's not about getting a mean dog into a friendly dog, it's about turning a dog into a more advanced, stronger, BETTER species. One that can climb higher on the food chain.
No it's not. Evolution is just sustained change over time. It's not about climbing the food chain or improving, just adaption to the things in your environment in order to survive. As cartoonprof says. :)
KingRidley
And even if Human existence would only register as a very small amount of time on a clock, we would still end up shattering most of the clock's components. Who cares about the time we've been around for when we've made such huge impacts?
Humans aren't amazingly evolved, we're just normally evolved like all other creatures. Lucky for us though we have our strong social interactions, communities and on-going culture. Don't confuse that with simple evolutionary genetic adaptions. And ironically religion has been a huge part of that; forming communities, governing them and being primary in the development and transfer of culture. It's only relatively recently that we've moved beyond that for other systems.
cartoonprofessor
Have you ever noticed how most if not all religions can be traced to Sun worship?
Nice connection but not true regarding religions. A lot of religions have some big element from the natural environment in their ritual, and mythological history, the sun is only one element. Whatever was prime depended on what was most important to that community at the time it was created. - could be the seasons, could be a river, a mountain, a primary food source like a cow, grain, birds, fish… Interestingly the Judao/Christian/Muslim god is a sky god, those are usually male. While the Earth gods were usually female. Sea gods and the rest are more mixed.
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:32PM
KingRidley at 7:39AM, Oct. 1, 2008
(offline)
posts: 151
joined: 9-28-2008
ozoneocean
No it's not. Evolution is just sustained change over time. It's not about climbing the food chain or improving, just adaption to the things in your environment in order to survive.

Humans aren't amazingly evolved, we're just normally evolved like all other creatures. Lucky for us though we have our strong social interactions, communities and on-going culture.
“just adaption to the things in your environment in order to survive.”

Dude that sounds like “improving” to me.


Also we may not be amazingly evolved, but what we evolved with is why we're so high up on the food chain. Again, with few natural defenses we've taken over the world. Why? Because we're so smart, and we learn so well. That, and humanity has already began to hit the point where we can alter our natural evolutionary process whenever we want. Modern Medicine and education have increased our natural lifespan to at least three times more than what it is supposed to be. We are the most advanced creatures in our known universe. There may be something better out there, but it sure hasn't bothered coming here.
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:16PM
ozoneocean at 10:51AM, Oct. 1, 2008
(online)
posts: 25,117
joined: 1-2-2004
Ok then Mr advanced me please check your inbox for new PQs :)

It's only “improving” from the point of view that we don't die out when things change. We're not really that smart either. But we're smarter in groups and even smart over time… Which is where culture comes in: We build on knowledge and improve it. Even with that skill though, simple viruses could wipe us out pretty easily given the right circumstances.
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:32PM
KingRidley at 11:24AM, Oct. 1, 2008
(offline)
posts: 151
joined: 9-28-2008
Thing is that we're still the smartest things we know of. You may not think that we're all that smart, and individually we may not be. But as a species, we're still the most accomplished that we have ever encountered.

I'd also hardly consider a virus all that simple. Yeah they're tiny, but they work in pretty complex ways. They go in, attack cells (replacing our DNA with theirs, killing the cell and making more viruses), and overrun our immune system. Plus a disease can kill any living creature over time, they aren't exclusive to humans. Plus while we're thinking like that, we could say that a meteor could hit Earth and wipe everything out.



As for the inbox, I shit you not it has said 0 for the entirety of my time here. I'll get right onto fixing my sig size.
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:16PM
cartoonprofessor at 6:08PM, Oct. 1, 2008
(online)
posts: 396
joined: 9-2-2007
KingRidley
Thing is that we're still the smartest things we know of. You may not think that we're all that smart, and individually we may not be. But as a species, we're still the most accomplished that we have ever encountered.

Depends on what you call ‘smart’. We assume we're the smartest around because we build things? Creatures with extremely tiny brains build incredibly complex things… the termite mounds of Australia for example, complete with air con.
Because we communicate with each other, often over great distances? Whales and elephants communicate over great distances using very complex language structures.
Because we can reason? Chimps, dolphins, crows, etc have been proven to have exceptional reasoning skills.
Because of our complex social structures? Again elephants as an example have very complex matriarchal social structures, not to mention a myriad of other creatures.
The human assumption of ‘superior’ intelligence is a claasic case of egoism gone mad… often fed by religious dogma “man dominates over the beasts” ad infinitum.

Both elephants and whales have brains much larger than our own, and neither willfully destroy their own environment so imperilling the future of their species.

Nature is a fair judge, she cares not for any one species. If a species ‘evolves’ to a state where its own destruction is assured, she will not ‘step in’ and prevent that destruction. Natural evolution may lead to humans wiping themselves out, or it may lead to them thinking themselves out of their troubles. But the latter will only occur if we learn that we are not ‘superior’ to other creatures.
If the former, another creature will evolve to fill the niche we previously occupied.
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:36AM
KingRidley at 9:30PM, Oct. 1, 2008
(offline)
posts: 151
joined: 9-28-2008
cartoonprofessor
Both elephants and whales have brains much larger than our own, and neither willfully destroy their own environment so imperilling the future of their species.
BRAIN SIZE IS NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR INTELLIGENCE sorry had to do that. It's complexity, not size. They have bigger brains because they are bigger animals. But proportional to body mass, we have bigger brains than they do.


Also I really don't want to have to define ‘smart’ or why we are the smartest. Ants make anthills, yeah, but that's just about it. They're smart bugs, but comparing them to humans is insulting.

Just because humanity is hurting the environment or whatever is not a valid reason to say that we're not actually intelligent. I'm sorry that we messed up a few things, but alot of it is unavoidable. And again, no animals do that. Negative influence or positive influence, humans are the most influential life forms on Earth, and in the known galaxy. You can go on about dogma and ego and arrogance and religion, but when it comes down to it humans made those too. We take what Earth does have, and make what it doesn't. We've boosted our life span, and we've even begun the early steps of leaving the planet.


And humans are vastly superior to the majority of animals on the planet. You can look at a virus specifically designed to infiltrate and kill a human (and find that there have never been any viruses that wiped out mankind), or you can look at an “environmentally friendly” whale. It's purely coincidence that they aren't “destroying” the planet. Why? Because they aren't in a position to do so. If whales had evolved to take over humanity's niche for whatever reason, then given time they would have this same problem. Animals don't know what's better for the environment. And it bothers me when people act like animals are so much better because they don't do that. They don't choose to have no influence on the planet. They are animals. Dumb creatures that live so they can breed before they die. Humans are the only things capable of accomplishing anything past that. Humans “assume” we are the smartest because we are the only thing on Earth that has ever given any evidence of BEING smart, self aware, conscious, intelligent, etc. But if you know of an animal GENUINELY more intelligent than humans, then please let me know. Because if there is one, they have probably infiltrated our ranks, and are already plotting our overthrow as we speak. But if not, then know that there's a reason it's the humans killing everything else and not the other way around.



I also have to point out the hole in the Ozone layer. Yeah it's pretty much closed. After the whole scare everyone had about it, and we changed so many laws protecting the ozone, it quickly got better. But no one really cared because they had all moved on to the next big panic about global warming and whatnot.

http://science.nasa.gov/headlines/y2006/26may_ozone.htm
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:16PM
ozoneocean at 7:24AM, Oct. 2, 2008
(online)
posts: 25,117
joined: 1-2-2004
KingRidley
And humans are vastly superior to the majority of animals on the planet. You can look at a virus specifically designed to infiltrate and kill a human (and find that there have never been any viruses that wiped out mankind), or you can look at an “environmentally friendly” whale. It's purely coincidence that they aren't “destroying” the planet. Why? Because they aren't in a position to do so. If whales had evolved to take over humanity's niche for whatever reason, then given time they would have this same problem. Animals don't know what's better for the environment. And it bothers me when people act like animals are so much better because they don't do that. They don't choose to have no influence on the planet. They are animals. Dumb creatures that live so they can breed before they die. Humans are the only things capable of accomplishing anything past that. Humans “assume” we are the smartest because we are the only thing on Earth that has ever given any evidence of BEING smart, self aware, conscious, intelligent, etc. But if you know of an animal GENUINELY more intelligent than humans, then please let me know. Because if there is one, they have probably infiltrated our ranks, and are already plotting our overthrow as we speak. But if not, then know that there's a reason it's the humans killing everything else and not the other way around.
This has too many assumptions.

You're right that non-human life on earth, weather animal or plant, is not “morally” superior in anyway to human life, but your measures of the superiority in other ways of human animal life are quite arbitrary and subjective. All life forms make changes that affect the planet and the course of their own destinies to varying extents. The fact that humans do it on our own particular scale and over a shorter time period is meaningless in the scale of geological and even species time, it only really matters to us.

In fact most of your criteria for “superiority” are just thins humans assume they alone possess and are really quite unimportant outside of our culture and species. It's almost like some person telling you they're the greatest because they're an expert player at Dungeons and Dragons.

Yes we can make drastic detrimental changes to our environment and that of other life on this planet (through pollution, nuclear war…), but that's hardly something to celebrate… I mean, you could fart and clear a room but it doesn't make you Einstein.
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:32PM
KingRidley at 8:20AM, Oct. 2, 2008
(offline)
posts: 151
joined: 9-28-2008
Even still, you can't deny that we're the smartest thing here. You can take every animal on Earth, give them a round peg and a board with a round hole. Humans will get it right, maybe twenty other species will give it a try (some of them solving the simple puzzle as well), and the majority of the creatures in there will just ignore it because it is neither food, nor enemy.

And true, we've done alot of bad things. Everyone gets caught up on the bad things we've done. We're working on alot of good too.


But fine, we'll get this as simple as possible. Humans are the smartest things on Earth. Why? We form memories and can predict future events. We pass complex information down many generations thanks to written language. We're sentient beings that can comprehend our own existence past what will get us killed. As a species, to find happiness many of us have to leave some kind of lasting influence on society, or on the planet. We're artificially altering ourselves. We can almost leave Earth.

By the most literal definitions, we are the smartest creatures on Earth. It doesn't matter to anything but us not because the universe and everything in it is apathetic. Because they are not alive or capable of independent thought. The animals do not care not because they hate us for “ruining” the planet, but because they have simple brains that can't comprehend much beyond not dying. As for intelligent animals like monkeys, dolphins or elephants, from what I've seen they usually like people.

So there you go.
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:16PM
Ronson at 4:12AM, Oct. 3, 2008
(online)
posts: 837
joined: 1-1-2006
The evolution of an analytical thought process certainly makes humans more intelligent.

Not superior, though. We naturally prefer our species to all others (most of us), but it isn't like this world would survive with only humans on it.

We should use the intelligence that took so long to evolve and try to figure out how we as a species can fit into the natural world without causing further damage, and fixing things we have damaged (pollution, global warming, over-farming, population explosion, etc.).
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:10PM
ozoneocean at 4:21AM, Oct. 3, 2008
(online)
posts: 25,117
joined: 1-2-2004
KingRidley
post
Not really. We're still only the “smartest” by our own criteria and definition. :)
Passing stuff down to generations, round pegs in round holes, space flight etc, these things don't mean much to most animals because they're outside of their experience/mental sphere/world… They're only relevant to us. They don't even mean anything in terms of the universe.

We're “smart” because our mothers say we are :)
I wonder if any other species is as self satisfied as us…? Cats look as if they are.

I think that rather than trying to measure ourselves against completely incompatible or variable subjective metrics, perhaps we should just focus on what we do? After all, an objective external assessment of the human species isn't really possible is it? Unless there was some creator god somewhere… But that's quite unlikely, so we are how we are: human and with a propensity to measure, define, and reform the world in our own image and on our own scale, with us at the centre.

Just like our gods. :)
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:32PM
bravo1102 at 8:17PM, Oct. 3, 2008
(online)
posts: 3,410
joined: 1-21-2008
Humans are not particularly fleet of foot; do not have superior senses of hearing, sight etc, we breed slowly (nine months! long time to protect the mother-to-be) and take forever to reach sexual maturity (13-16 years?)

So why the heck did we survive on that African savannah against all those faster creatures who could see and smell us long before we got there? Complex problem solving. Analytical thought. See a problem, think about it and come to an answer that enables the family group to survive. Maybe even create a cool thing to assist in survival.

Is this better than all the other ways all creatures great and small have evolved to survive? No, just different. Of course since we think that we think so much more than the rest of the animal kingdom and we humans have a tendency to be a little biased about our own superiority.

But if I took any one of you, took away all your toys and tools and dumped you into an enviornment just how well would you do? Guess that's why people watched that Survivor show. Now throw in some very dangerous predators…
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:33AM
IndifferentlyEvil at 9:57PM, Oct. 3, 2008
(online)
posts: 26
joined: 9-22-2008
Okay, a little late into this thread, but I will give my two cents worth.

To answer the original question - yes, there is some serious scientific doubts due to the theory of evolution. There are a few things that don't quite add up. The biggest thing is that occassionally there are great ‘leaps’ in evolution that happen very quickly in evolutionary timescales, such as the progression of man through its various incarnations (neanderthal et al). Evolution does not quite explain this, but at the moment it is the best theory we've got.

It is a theory. This is true, but the idea that paracetamol (panadol for example) relieves pain is also a theory. It is just a theory really strongly backed up by a lot of evidence.

I believe that humans are smarter than animals because they can design and use tools in ways that are not taught to us. Sure, an ape can stick a stem into a termite hill and pull out some termites on the end of it. Some monkey worked it out accidentally years ago and passed it on. Eddison invented the light globe - not by accident, but because he designed and learned appropriate pricipals to do something new.

Out of curiosity - are there any animals anyone can think of that create art for the sake of creating art? To have imagination to do so seems to imply intelligence.

Oh, and as for the fact that animals do not screw up their environment, hence humans are dumb? Obviously you haven't seen what mice, rats and cane toads have done to australia, or possums, rabbits, pigs and deer have done to New Zealand. Sure, you can argue that humans introduced them there, but it is their environment now, and they sure as hell aren't trying to protect it.

Oh, and for the record I am agnostic - I am open to the idea of an entity creating the universe, but I do not subscribe to any religion. In other words, I have no freaking idea.

ArgyleFox.
I draw stuff.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:59PM
KingRidley at 7:56AM, Oct. 4, 2008
(offline)
posts: 151
joined: 9-28-2008
ozoneocean
Not really. We're still only the “smartest” by our own criteria and definition. :)
Passing stuff down to generations, round pegs in round holes, space flight etc, these things don't mean much to most animals because they're outside of their experience/mental sphere/world… They're only relevant to us. They don't even mean anything in terms of the universe.

We're “smart” because our mothers say we are :)
Well that's convenient, seeing as we're the only animals intelligent enough to create our definition, and to judge ourselves by it.

And yes all that wonderful complex stuff doesn't mean anything to animals. Again, not much means anything to them. That's why we're higher on the food chain. And of course it isn't relevant to the universe. That's an incredibly unfair standard to uphold. The universe is infinite. Man is not. We can never hope to compare to infinity, so why do you do it anyways, just for the sake of saying that we're not smart? At least while other animals are aware of only a few small things, Humans are not only aware of the universe, but we actively study and try to understand it. It doesn't care about anything, but we care about it. Hell, my ability to use information to predict future events even makes me incredibly sad knowing that one day Earth will be empty and Destroyed, and that out beautiful Milky Way will be eaten by another galaxy, and that Saturn's Rings will collapse, and that one day the storm on Jupiter will die out, and all those other things. These have to effect on humanity. But we still care, and we still understand. Just because we can.

Conclusion: We are smart because our genetics say we are, and because our instinctual search for knowledge say we are, and because our need to alter reality so it remembers us as individuals say we are. Mom's blessings are just the cherry on top.



bravo1102
But if I took any one of you, took away all your toys and tools and dumped you into an enviornment just how well would you do? Guess that's why people watched that Survivor show. Now throw in some very dangerous predators…
Man that brings me to how awesome humans are as animals. I saw a TV show on the National Geographic (I think) channel about the amazing things the body is capable of to stay alive.

One man was trapped on a life raft for (I want to say) over 100 days. To fend of malnourishment, he had a small spear to catch fish. At first he ate only the meat of the fish, but soon his brain actively altered his tastes in food so that he actually preferred the eyeball (for water and minerals) or the liver(for all sorts of important things) or the skin. The only thing he avoided was the stomach.

A woman fell 50 feet off a cliff and shattered the lower half of her body. She nearly blacked out, but after a little while the pain went away. She was able to crawl for two days (working to stay conscious when the pain came back before it wore off again) to get to safety. As soon as she was in a helicopter being airlifted to a hospital, the pain came blasting back with full intensity because she was safe.

One man was lost in a cave, slowly starving to death. His body went though the last of his food, then worked on the fat, but when that ran out it started to break down muscle tissue for the protein. He ended up surviving long enough to be rescued.

Really humans (while adjusted to cush easy lifestyles) are not as weak as we tend to think. In survival situations like that, time and time again it has been proven that some instinctual instructions on how-to-not-die find their way to the front of our minds.



IndifferentlyEvil
post
God yes that was a good post. Well done.



oh, one last thing

Here's some proof that we're smart. Humans are- while naturally capable of comprehending their own intelligence- working to recreate it. We want to build artificial intelligence. We don't even fully understand our own intelligence, and we're still ready to try anyways. That's a monumentally hard task that even has the slight potential to leave a mark on the universe. (if we could build an AI capable of maintaining itself it could hypothetically find a way to exist for thousands of years or more) It would be like a speck of dust on a huge painting, but it's better than anything any other species has done.
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:16PM
bravo1102 at 9:01AM, Oct. 4, 2008
(online)
posts: 3,410
joined: 1-21-2008
Most animals have a survival instinct and some have dragged themselves or done all those other wonderful things ennumberated. However, we humans have that ability to analyze the situation and react accordingly.

Humans are very tough and you'd be surprised what you can live through. We're also a lot better at problem solving than most people are inclined to believe. Just look at the pyramids. (Humans built them with simple problem solving and lots of labor) Humans also learn and pass on information better than other animals. After all the chimpanzee has put that stick down that anthill, but they haven't made spears or even simple wooden combs for grooming.

However, it is our ability to problem solve and to invent very creative solutions that would put us on the top of the food chain. In a word: tools. The spear and fire gave us the advantage over most predators. If someone got gored by that giant prehistoric beaver another human would go in and help him out and even care for him. Where'd we get that idea? How many other animals support crippled members of their family group?

Doesn't make us superior, but different in how evolution solved our survival problems.
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:33AM
cloud09 at 3:37PM, Oct. 4, 2008
(online)
posts: 1
joined: 1-28-2008
hi i just joined the blog
well anyways, about the topic of humans, i personally think we as a species aren't considerate to the benefits of others and are too curious. We used up all of this oil and keep on using up more space that sooner or later, this world won't be big enough for all of us. and of course, the animals and the environment itself suffers.
but i don't think we're entirely bad, i mean many people want change to happen so we can help the enviornment and that's good, but no one has really been able to do much since our world leaders are suckish (especially the U.S world leader) who are way too interested in earning money that they don't see that without a place to live on, there is no mone.
surviving for us isn't a problem for us anymore, its just everything else has a problem because of us.
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:42AM
IndifferentlyEvil at 4:22AM, Oct. 5, 2008
(online)
posts: 26
joined: 9-22-2008
KingRidley
IndifferentlyEvil
post
God yes that was a good post. Well done.

Why thank you, I do my best.

KingRidley
oh, one last thing

Here's some proof that we're smart. Humans are- while naturally capable of comprehending their own intelligence- working to recreate it. We want to build artificial intelligence. We don't even fully understand our own intelligence, and we're still ready to try anyways. That's a monumentally hard task that even has the slight potential to leave a mark on the universe. (if we could build an AI capable of maintaining itself it could hypothetically find a way to exist for thousands of years or more) It would be like a speck of dust on a huge painting, but it's better than anything any other species has done.

Ah, the uplift theory. This was examined in a series of books by a famous author whom I am too lazy to look up - The Uplift series. A sign of intelligence is ‘uplifting’ another race into intelligence.

I also get annoyed about all these comments about humans messing up our environment. A virus often totally screws its envoronment by killing its host, which kills itself. It is not man vs nature - we are living organisms and are PART of nature. We consider bee-hives a natural construction, yet a house is not. Egotistical - both are natural as they are both created by living things.

Oh, and someone mentioned animals not helping members who are injured in their families - it happens all the time. Dogs will lick another pack-members wounds to clean them, dolphins will work to keep an injured member afloat and so will not drown etc.
I draw stuff.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:59PM
bravo1102 at 7:38AM, Oct. 5, 2008
(online)
posts: 3,410
joined: 1-21-2008
indifferently evil
it happens all the time. Dogs will lick another pack-members wounds to clean them, dolphins will work to keep an injured member afloat and so will not drown etc.

Sorry but humans and higher order mammals are the only ones who do it repeatedly. It is not that common and often the examples cited are the exceptions in behavior, not the rule. Of course humans often abandon weakened members of family groups too, but not as often as other species.

The dog example: sure they lick the wound clean and then leave the other animal to die. Then there's the whole master/servant relationship in a domesticated and pack animal and protecting breeding females. A human will often do all they can to keep that injured, even crippled individual alive including non-breeding family members like the dolphin but unlike the dog.

Why do humans do this? Probably because it takes so long for us to mature that non-breeding members of a family group are helpful in raising young. Most of our behavior goes back to simple survival in the wild and that evolution from a primate living on the savannahs of Africa and then migrating across the continents.
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:33AM
KingRidley at 11:33AM, Oct. 6, 2008
(offline)
posts: 151
joined: 9-28-2008
bravo1102
How many other animals support crippled members of their family group?
Many species of monkeys will clean and care for wounds of other monkeys. Mostly Chimpanzees I think. Anyways after a fight the winner will sometimes even help the loser. But really animals with strong social bonds do this alot more often than the animals that don't. It's in the nature of that kind of species because the group is important to keeping the individual alive.



cloud09
surviving for us isn't a problem for us anymore, its just everything else has a problem because of us.
Surviving is becoming a problem again because of our land and material usage. But it isn't our fault. People act like the fact that humans have made mistakes makes us inferior to other animals who live their whole lives without doing anything wrong (because the moment they make a mistake, it kills them). It doesn't. We're the dominant species on Earth. We need alot more resources than anything else. And we're smart enough to take those resources. This doesn't make humans bad. We're doing what we have to do to survive. And at least we make an effort to fix what we break.



IndifferentlyEvil
I also get annoyed about all these comments about humans messing up our environment. A virus often totally screws its environment by killing its host, which kills itself.

Another interesting example. Yeah, the virus goes in and cannot continue to exist unless it alters its environment, which will inevitably destroy it. Difference is that Humans know we're doing it, and try to fix the problem. A virus, by its nature and physical build, doesn't know and really can't know. Hell, some scientists don't even consider a virus to be alive, simply because it has to use another cell to reproduce. But that's the whole point of life. Do what you have to to avoid dying and hope that you don't upset anything too important.



bravo1102
Why do humans do this? Probably because it takes so long for us to mature that non-breeding members of a family group are helpful in raising young.
That and we're very social creatures, and we are emotionally affected by leaving one of our own to die.
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:16PM
RuseBolton at 6:52PM, Oct. 9, 2008
(online)
posts: 67
joined: 8-28-2008
I myself am a elovutionnist, that idea comforts me.

But in retrospect & the fact that the debate will most likly out live us all, why can not both partys be right? find that middle ground & say well it's not 100% proven but neither were either of our other theorys.

Here's my example - There is god, sitting on high & having a fiddle with his new ‘Creationists tool kit’ & making all kinds of bizar creations (Dinosours, Plankton,Flying purple people eaters)& after a long enough time started to feel that little lonely & curious, so he set's off to make a species that can comprihend what he has & is doing. He plays about with a few differnt types starting with the Homolopithicus for example & working his way up untill he finds something he likes. with this new creation he is happy. Unfortunatly creating so many differnt species takes time & effort & did not always get it right the first time (Thus leaving fossles & what not) & there is the evolution part of it.

As mentioned i am by no means a creationist, but if it makes everyone happy enough then why say that it is not a possibility, Palientoligists & their kind, & the religious types will always be in search of that little bit of proof that shows they were right all along, but at least this way they have the time to look as they no longer need to argue with one another about who is right without the proof.

last edited on July 14, 2011 3:12PM
bravo1102 at 7:59PM, Oct. 9, 2008
(online)
posts: 3,410
joined: 1-21-2008
KingRidley
bravo1102
Why do humans do this? Probably because it takes so long for us to mature that non-breeding members of a family group are helpful in raising young.
That and we're very social creatures, and we are emotionally affected by leaving one of our own to die.

Incorrect. Through most of human history exposure of infants, old and infirm was common. It was society that decided how a human feels about that. (That is the survival of the family group) If the family group will survive the best with infanticide, than it's done. It's really amazing just how common it was in the ancient world. nasty, brutal and short. You can't apply 20th Century social mores to pre-modern peoples.

We are social creatures within our group (us/not us; us/them) but often xenophobic outside of it.
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:33AM
ozoneocean at 9:48PM, Oct. 9, 2008
(online)
posts: 25,117
joined: 1-2-2004
IndifferentlyEvil
I believe that humans are smarter than animals because they can design and use tools in ways that are not taught to us. Sure, an ape can stick a stem into a termite hill and pull out some termites on the end of it. Some monkey worked it out accidentally years ago and passed it on. Eddison invented the light globe - not by accident, but because he designed and learned appropriate pricipals to do something new.
Actually, Edison was exactly like the later Monkeys there, and well known for it lol!

He didn't work out ligtbulbs. What he did was refine existing technology and file a patent on it, which in the end he had to share with a British inventor who'd also made refinements to the same existing theory and tech.

Humans really are just like any other animal, thinking the same ways, everything. We just don't have to focus so much on survival and be as aware of our immediate environs as they do. Our social tendency means we share ideas and the culture which we've been lucky enough to develop means we can keep building on them. But we're really not as amazing as a lot of people here seem to think.

And as I say so many times, our idea of ourselves is rather inflated. Even thinking of ourselves as “dominant” is a bit silly, but we tend to assume that. Really, we're just another species on this planet. I'm sure there are a lot of other sorts of live you could class as “dominant” depending on the criteria you happen to be using at the time and the point you wanted to make lol!
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:32PM
KingRidley at 9:12AM, Oct. 10, 2008
(offline)
posts: 151
joined: 9-28-2008
ozoneocean
Humans really are just like any other animal, thinking the same ways, everything. We just don't have to focus so much on survival and be as aware of our immediate environs as they do. Our social tendency means we share ideas and the culture which we've been lucky enough to develop means we can keep building on them. But we're really not as amazing as a lot of people here seem to think.

And as I say so many times, our idea of ourselves is rather inflated. Even thinking of ourselves as “dominant” is a bit silly, but we tend to assume that. Really, we're just another species on this planet. I'm sure there are a lot of other sorts of live you could class as “dominant” depending on the criteria you happen to be using at the time and the point you wanted to make!

No, no we aren't. Biologically yeah, we're animals. But again, animals don't do shit. Humans have been manipulating the planet pretty much ever since we have first existed. Animals do that too. Humans do it bigger, better, and more often. We've left a sign on the moon saying “hurr humans wuz here.” We have satellites. We have space travel. Back in the way olden times, we were already changing the evolution of dogs by breeding them for specific skills or attributes. It has been proven over and over and over and over and over and etc etc that humans DO NOT function like other animals, DO NOT think like other animals, DO NOT compare to other animals. The fact that we are sitting here on our computers wearing clothes in our artificial surroundings having this discussion at all proves this in thousands of ways. The best thing nature ever provided was us. You can say “oh we suck because we've messed up the environment and *insert animal* haven't” but in the long run it's irrelevant because *insert animal* have never had the impact that humans do.


We have earned our inflated views (only animal that does that, MAYBE other than cats). We are dominant in the category of achievements done, greatest societies, most advanced animals, most intelligent animals (For the love of God, most monkeys are only as smart as our very young children), etc. We may not register in the universe, the stars may not care what happens to us (who gives a rat's ass about giant balls of fire and what opinions THEY have), but we are the only creatures on Earth that can sit outside and comprehend what THE UNIVERSE thinks of us. Go ahead and define your criteria, but for all sakes and purposes anything animals can or have done, humans have done again and again, and better.



More examples: Humans can't fly. Humans can't shout across the planet. Humans are susceptible to disease. Humans naturally don't live very long. Humans have no natural form of protection or shelter.

Humans invented planes, gliding devices, space shuttles, etc. Humans invented written language, telephones, internet, everything short of telepathy, and we're working on that. Medicine has virtually wiped out many diseases (up to the point where they exist only in third world countries and laboratories). We have doubled (or even tripled) our natural life spans. We have clothes (FASHION), and houses (elaborate mansions).

To say that humans are just another animal is not only wrong, it is pretty insulting. If you had kids and they did something you were proud of, I'd go to your house and say “Psh, they're just like any other human child. Yours are nothing special.”

Humans are vastly superior to all other life on Earth.
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:16PM
bravo1102 at 10:22AM, Oct. 10, 2008
(online)
posts: 3,410
joined: 1-21-2008
Another caveat: as to doubling our natural life spans. Humans have extended their average life-spans. Humans have always been observed to live three-score and ten. (that's 70 years)

Usually human life span is best observed by if you survive to this… you'll make this. Humans that survived infancy and childhood would live into their 40s on the average and then die of cancer and other infectious diseases. Barring them it would be three score and ten, if not more. The averages are thrown off by deaths in childbirth and childhood mortality.

As for us being so special; as animals we aren't. We just have a different method of surviving; using ideas and tools and language to share them in our family groups. Is that unique in the animal kingdom? Yes, especially witnessing how far we have gone with it. But is our wonderous technology truly a sign of our superiority? That is relative as ozoneocean indicates.

Personally I believe that various aquatic mammals (whales? Dolphins?) may be be as smart as we are, but due to their enviornment they don't have technology but they each could be among the greatest minds ever. And we can't communicate with them maybe because they see us as the ones trapped on the land with all our tools that they don't need. We're the children compared to them as we see ourselves as compared to other primates. Something to think about.

Relative.
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:33AM
cartoonprofessor at 8:40PM, Oct. 10, 2008
(online)
posts: 396
joined: 9-2-2007
bravo1102
As for us being so special; as animals we aren't. We just have a different method of surviving; using ideas and tools and language to share them in our family groups. Is that unique in the animal kingdom? Yes, especially witnessing how far we have gone with it. But is our wonderous technology truly a sign of our superiority? That is relative as ozoneocean indicates.

Personally I believe that various aquatic mammals (whales? Dolphins?) may be be as smart as we are, but due to their enviornment they don't have technology but they each could be among the greatest minds ever. And we can't communicate with them maybe because they see us as the ones trapped on the land with all our tools that they don't need. We're the children compared to them as we see ourselves as compared to other primates. Something to think about.

Relative.
Exactly.
And not just Aquatic mammals. Elephants have incredible depth to their feelings and social intelligence. Just because we cannot communicate effectively with them we believe to be of superior intelligence??????
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:36AM
arteestx at 9:03PM, Oct. 10, 2008
(online)
posts: 285
joined: 6-1-2007
bravo1102
Personally I believe that various aquatic mammals (whales? Dolphins?) may be be as smart as we are, but due to their enviornment they don't have technology but they each could be among the greatest minds ever. And we can't communicate with them maybe because they see us as the ones trapped on the land with all our tools that they don't need. We're the children compared to them as we see ourselves as compared to other primates. Something to think about.
I don't think humans are vastly superior to other animals per se. We don't have claws, we aren't that big or strong, we can't naturally create poison, etc. But we survive because of our thinking, and I do think that our thought process is a level above other animals. Because we have a unique method of using language in a triadic way.

Allow me to put on my philosophy hat for just a moment. Other animals have dyadic language: there's a relationship between them and the world. I see danger, I make “EEE EEE” sound; I hear “EEE EEE” sound, I run away; I want your apple, I strike my chest and slap the ground, etc. All animal “language” can be broken down into these dyadic connections.

Humans are the only animals who have developed a triadic language: we have developed symbols to represent the world. It's a relationship between us, the world, and the symbol. I see danger, I use words to describe that danger, I communicate those words to you; I can create words or pictures to tell you I want an apple, etc.

The best example is Helen Keller. Remember that famous scene at the water well? What was so special about that moment? Helen Keller had been taught sign language by her teacher for months. If she wanted food, she made certain hand gestures to get it. If she wanted a chair, she made certain hand gestures. So why was that moment at the water well so amazing? Because up that point, her language was completely dyadic. She didn't understand those hand gestures, she just knew if she made certain movements, she'd get certain things, and that's all. It wasn't until the water well that she realized that all those hand gestures symbolized something, they represented something. At that moment of epiphany, she went from being a dyadic being to a triadic being.

That's the evolution that we human animals have developed that is unique. It doesn't make us better than other animals or superior. But we do have a thought process and an understanding of the world that the rest of the animal world does not have. Or rather, there's no evidence that any other animal has developed that same understanding.

If you have any interest in this at all, I'd recommend "Lost in the Cosmos: The Last Self Help Book" by Walker Percy, which goes into this in more detail.

Xolta is not intended for anyone under 18 years old.
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:02AM

Forgot Password
©2011 WOWIO, Inc. All Rights Reserved