Evolution Primer

Evolution PrimerIsn't evolution just a theory? Learn the difference between the scientific and everyday use of key vocabulary words.

Who was Charles Darwin? Discover how Darwin's curiosity, his passion for natural history, his voyage on the Beagle, and his use of the scientific process led to the publication of his groundbreaking book.

How do we know evolution happens? See how different lines of evidence contribute to our picture of evolution. Learn about the fossil evidence for whales' land-dwelling ancestors.

How does evolution really work? Travel to Ecuador to see how the process of natural selection operates in populations of rain-forest hummingbirds.

Did humans evolve? Examine the fossil and molecular evidence that supports the evolution of humans from earlier primate ancestors.

Why does evolution matter now? Learn how tuberculosis is transmitted and why the evolution of multi-drug resistant strains of TB in Russia affects us all.

Why is evolution controversial anyway? Consider different points of view, as scientists, religious leaders, and college students share their opinions about evolution, science, and religious faith.

Watch the full documentary now (playlist)

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Ratings: 7.20/10 from 10 users.

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Comments and User Reviews

  • Hardy

    Couldn't look at this for longer than 6 minutes. This feels like one of those cheap pro-creation youtube videos.

  • John seals

    It's worse than that. It is trying to reconcile science and religion- saying you can be a christian and believe in evolution. It's like when their faith hits a strong enough snag they just redefine what a christian is. I know someone personally who is a perfect example of this. This guy was all obsessed with practical magic and other weird spiritual stuff and he got into trouble with the law. Now of course he has found god- I think he is down their in the jail house cause eveybody that goes their finds him. Any way- see how he's spirituality changed to fit the needs he has. I tried to point this out to him and now he will not speak to me, we had been friends for years. The truth is you can not be a christian in the traditional sence and believe in evolution.

  • http://topdocumentaryfilms.com/about/ Vlatko

    Why I thought this was a pro-evolution documentary?

  • Epicurus

    one step at a time...have you ever seen anyone reailze that their whole value system is wrong? its worse than any other existential crisis i have seen. its like a woman after she gets out of an abusive relationship.

    I valued at least the first few parts of this since it can explain evolution to anyone who doesnt accept it.

    i would LOVE to hear charles or anyone else try and refute what was said here.

  • Hardy

    "i would LOVE to hear charles or anyone else try and refute what was said here."

    That would be the same old drag as always.

    'Evolution is a lie by the devil, arguments are false and produced by scientists to serve their purpose, the Bible is right and you are wrong.'

    Bla bla bla. Sorry for sounding harsh.

  • John seals

    I understand we have to give the religiouse time to accept that the traditional view point is just wrong, but in the mean time let's not let reason and insanity become bed mates. This is a pro-evolutionary stance but it also gives those who refuse to see logic a way out- they can just say well I take the bible metaphorically not literally- when the truth is either way is bad. The only correct way to take the bible is as fiction, and violent and horrible fiction at that. I mean the book supports genecide, incest, and 1st degree murder- not to mention predjudice, ignorance, arrogance, and slavery.

  • Chief

    @John seals

    Well put John. Foor some, it might take a second or third viewing to come to an understanding of the producers intent. As for the bible, I have multiple copies of many versions and when I did not question the ideas therein, I did not see the horrors. Whatever the book said was ordered by god was god's will and therefore was correct. I am thankful for my deliverance from an illogical and unreasonable state of mind.

    Keep watching the docs and keep posting your thoughts; they are helpful.

  • D-K

    I'm torn on the whole issue still..

    While I agree that the act of believing requires several steps that, to me at least, seem illogical, I know that it keeps masses (and i literally mean masses) of simpletons from acting like the lunatics they would be if not in total fear of living in a perpetual oven being heckled by a guy with goatfeet and a pitchfork.

    Maybe that's why a always picture a yokel when i see the word christian.

    So far all the bashing that religion gets, i'm grateful for all the idiots it surpresses.. always look on the bright side, I guess.

  • Chief

    @ Hardy

    What, in the first 6 minutes led you to your conclusion?

  • Achems Razor

    Watched the doc.

    Again the religee"s are trying to trick people, all went well until NO. 7, the last part, when the religee's figure there could be a marriage between evolution and religion, Per, Wheaton College, where that Douch bag minister Ken Hamm, either resides or teaches.

    They are trying to say that evolution is not in conflict with faith, I of course disagree.

    All this doc. is, is a ploy for ID and/or creationism!

  • Achems Razor

    Correction:

    Ken Ham, not Ken Hamm.

    Google him, and see how he is trying to put dinosaurs into religion.

  • Mart

    Christianity is a vile and nefarious attitude that refuses reality and replaces it with a contempt for it. One wonders when they'll get raptured already and leave life alone for the rest of us.

  • Chief

    @ Vlatko

    You are right, it is pro evolutionary, but in the end, compatibility between the two is promoted as a possibility for Christians.

  • Chief

    @ Achems razor

    Frightening huh? The evolution of Christianity and "evolution"; the melding of science and superstitution? I think not: the dogma, doctrines and infallibility of immutable design fails the protocols of science. The crack is present and the dam will break, even it is years into the future. I should know.

  • http://www.krashbox.com HaTe_MaChInE

    Achems Razor - "They are trying to say that evolution is not in conflict with faith, I of course disagree."

    Evolution is not in conflict with my faith of FSM. Evolution is not in conflict with faith in Scientology.

    Maybe you have a limited idea of what faith is?

  • http://www.krashbox.com HaTe_MaChInE

    "If the human body has its origin in living material which pre-exists it, the spiritual soul is immediately created by God."

    John Paul II

    @Chief - I don't see why someones belief structure should really be of any concern. As long as it doesn't teach falsities. You sound anti-Christian. You sound like you are taking a pro-science stance just to be anti-Christian.

    I read you post "did not see the horrors, thankful for my deliverance from an illogical and unreasonable state of mind, Frightening huh?, crack is present and the dam will break, I should know."

    You sound just like all the others that preach that either you accept the word of god or you will burn in hell.

    What is so threatening to you about someone that accepts all of science and still has faith?

    Even though you are playing for my team, you play ball just like the other side. I think you are making my team look bad.

  • Achems Razor

    @ H.M:

    Why is it you try to alienate yourself to everyone? Is it per your handle?

    I have no limiting ideas to anything.
    If you have faith in your Flying Spaghetti Monster, that is your prerogative.
    Scientology to me is a cult, not a religion. If you have faith in Scientology, again that is your prerogative.

    I perhaps have worded it wrong. Will take out faith completely.
    Instead should of said: "They are trying to say that evolution is not in conflict with ID. or creationism".

    And you apparently do not really understand what @ Chief: is saying.
    Jumping the gun, as usual are you?

  • non_serviam

    Why are all you atheists so butt hurt over theistic evolution? I've seen countless atheists say "Don't bring religion into science" and in the same breath say "Oh now let me show you how my science refutes your religion."

  • crossroad

    It makes perfect sense to me. God answer the question of who/what, Science answer the question of how/when. The atheist who says: "if you believe in evolution THEREFORE you have to be an atheist or else" is no different from a muslim who says "you must believe in Allah or else".

    Evolution does not proof God doesn't exist, it just proof that the previous belief held by religions about how God created the universe were not correct. Thanks to science we can now find out more about how God created the universe as we know it.

  • Chief

    @HaTe_MaChinE
    I am against two contradictory accounts of the Creation of the earth in chapter 1 and chapter2. I am against depicting the firs human as white people instead of their sable hue. I am against the propagation of methology as truth; prophetic utterances that have failed the test of time. I am against the Story of Noah and the curse of Ham. Noah could not have produced Ham with recessive genes. I am against teachinG a 6012 year old earth.

  • Randy

    @Hate_MaChine

    Do not speak badly or in any other way attack Chief! He is smarter than both of us combined and he is a War Hero!

    I understand his frustrations with his environment, intimately...

    I'm sorry, I like you, but Chief is... he is a better man than we are, frankly. I couldn't fight the war he fought, could you?

    I'm sorry!

  • Randy

    @non_serviam

    Shame on you! Using a term from the great Irish writer, James Joyce, in a way that would make him weep!

    He was very anit-catholic/christian! Read his work!

  • Randy

    Epicurus wrote:

    "one step at a time…have you ever seen anyone reailze that their whole value system is wrong? its worse than any other existential crisis i have seen. its like a woman after she gets out of an abusive relationship."

    BOOM! Nailed it again! Exactly.

    Just don't ever pick on Chief!

  • Randy

    Hardy wrote in response to another post which read:

    “i would LOVE to hear charles or anyone else try and refute what was said here.”
    ------------

    Then Hardy responded:

    That would be the same old drag as always.

    ‘Evolution is a lie by the devil, arguments are false and produced by scientists to serve their purpose, the Bible is right and you are wrong.’

    Bla bla bla. Sorry for sounding harsh.
    ----------------

    No, indeed. Exactly. I get your existential angst that pours out at me... totally get it. It is so frutrating.

    My philosophy is do your best, even though it will probably all turn out for cr*p.

    Ghandi said, "Almost everything you do in your life will be insignificant, but it is important that you do it..."

  • Randy

    Mart wrote: (very well)

    "Christianity is a vile and nefarious attitude that refuses reality and replaces it with a contempt for it. One wonders when they’ll get raptured already and leave life alone for the rest of us."
    -----------------------

    Yes, indeed, my brother! You speak my language! Thank you!

  • Skye-hook

    May I suggest about "evolution vs. creation", that possibly the Soul of the Universe doesn't live by Earth days? Universe days would be more like it.
    Please think about it & see what you think. If you think in terms of Earth days, of course it probably doesn't fit. If you divide the amount of years science says the universe has existed by 7, & this is still the 7th day, then you have it. A universe day. God's days. If you believe the Bible & you believe science because you can see & touch fossils & all things archeological, then my suggestion becomes rather obvious, doesn't it? There doesn't have to be any vs. at all. It's just an "if/then" thing. Another "if/then" is- if the Soul of the Universe lives in the whole universe, for billions of years, Earth days must seem extremely brief, wouldn't you think? Living so LONG in such a HUGE space as the universe is, seems to me "God", that soul, wouldn't be in too big a hurry about anything. Even seems it would take awhile to finally come up with a human that could survive as well as we, since "He" :) probably didn't have the perfect recipe the very first time, for a human that could live through all the Earth changes. And you want this done in 1 Earth day? What?? Bit demanding aren't ya? Seems kinda critical of your maker for you to expect that it could have been done in 1 day & have it come out just right. Maybe He could, but that's not for us to criticize about. Not to say we have come out just right yet, even. lol:) Maybe by the end of God's 7th day & He's all done resting & observing all the results, ~ maybe he'll start working on us again. That's a joke but I had to throw that in. :)
    @Epicurus- do you really their whole value system was wrong or just the "day" thing? Oh, I possibly don't really want to know. lol:)

  • Randy

    Speaking of Ghandi...

    In another thread I was writing flippantly about Western Civilization and I said something like, "Check out what Ghandi said about that!"

    Wel, I'll tell you here:

    In the... 1920's, I believe, Ghandi came to America. And an American reporter at one of his press conferences asked:

    "So, what do you think of Western Civilization?"

    He responded, "I think it would be a great idea!"

    Alot of you probably already know that, but I always liked that exchange so I shared it...

  • Randy

    @Skye-hook who wrote:

    "May I suggest about “evolution vs. creation”, that possibly the Soul of the Universe doesn’t live by Earth days? Universe days would be more like it."

    Skye, (ahem), a lot of New Agers just exchange the word "jesus" with Universe and think they are saying something new.

    You see how you devolved from high-minded philosophy into bible apologetic verse in just a few sentences?

    If you let that stuff into your mind, you can easily fall into the trap of Dark Age thinking.

    There is no need to fear your god-thing, as Epicurus calls it, and I call it evil-overlord, it doesn't exist. You are free!

  • Randy

    And if it does exist, it certainly doesn't care about you! You are still free!

  • Skye-hook

    Naw, I'm not a "New Ager", just someone who likes to head in the direction of answers that make sense, & dislikes conflict of both facts & people. :) Conflict is useless. To me, anyway. I suppose to some conflict is very important. Thanks for answering, though. Do you mean I should have said "seems the Soul of the Universe lives by Jesus days"? Am I being dense? can you clarify that for a dense person, please? Sorry. Did I devolve? Well, rats. i thought I was just trying to be convincing. I shall henceforth cease devolving & evolve. Thanks for the pointing out. No, actually, I was aware of how I said it, as I typed it. You are very observant. :)Have a good one, I'm off to bed. :)

  • Randy

    And if it does exist and it is the evil-overlord described in the bible, then we have only one responsibility to ourselves and the preservation of our species...

    Revolt!

  • Skye-hook

    Actually, I'll stay here a bit, as I'm interested in your response, Randy. Are you Epicurus & Randy both? I am confused. And sleepy. :) Thanks again, I feel like we had a real discussion.

  • Randy

    @Skye

    I understand you. You are a "peacemaker". I am, too. As anyone who has followed me on this site can tell you... LOL!

    But we peacemakers can be great thinkers and revolutionaries! Like Ghandi, (sorry to keep bringing him up, he had his flaws, too, like all men...)

    Free yourself of these superstitions and learn! Knowledge is the only weapon we have!

    I liked your comments actually, as they were respectful and honest, so I give you much attention, if you care to accept it...

  • Skye-hook

    Revolt. Giggle. Yeh. Right. If I do evil, I think I'll just blame me, not the evil-overlord. lol. I think he gets too much credit. lol

  • Skye-hook

    Unless it becomes unpleasant, yes, sir, for now I accept it. :)Thanks much! :) Yes, I've seen many of your comments. :)

  • Randy

    Skye wrote:

    "Are you Epicurus & Randy both?"

    Another person to confuse us! I am flattered.

    Although I don't know if Epicurus will be...

  • Skye-hook

    Give me half a chance and I'll confuse everybody. lol Oops. Everytime I post a comment here now, It's going to my inbox, isn't it? Ugg. Guess I best clear all that out & go to bed. Thanks for interesting minutes. :)

  • Randy

    Ultimately, we only have each other to care for. If we submit to some god-king then we abdicate our responsibilty for one another, which is what christians have been doing for a couple thousand years.

    What are your thoughts on that?

  • Skye-hook

    Back. Well, let's see. I am aware that there is consciousness that is aware of everything that is. That my consciousness is a part of it. It's not anything I have learned from others whatsoever. It is only my own experience. I cannot explain it any better than that right now. I do not call it God to myself, but I do to others, so they know what I am talking about in general. However, I very, very seldom talk about it at all. I do not think it controls us or anything else, & I don't think it wants to. It simply is a consciousness, aware of itself & aware of all that is. Just that. I think that originally there was only a void. The Void. Nothing. That the void somehow became aware of itself. That the awareness of itself somehow caused energy, which maybe expanded, like a "Eureka!" energy moment, & the rest is history. Not many things about it most religious folk would associate as being like their ideas of "God". I think we are a bit of it that separated ourselves from it just to the extent that we can experience being separate. Like if the end of your little finger gave itself a twist & experienced being separate from the rest of the body. Dumb way to express that, but..That's the best way I can explain it right now. I am not extremely brainy right now, as it's now quite late here. I am very tired. I think that for those who want to experience being religious, that's fine too, at least they don't think they are the center of all that is. There are many reasons people like religious beliefs, & for them, that's ok. My experience is just different from theirs, & from most people. No biggy.
    I know, this sounds "New Age" ish, but I don't really identify with that either. Am just me, my little separate consciousness self, doing the best I can. :)Sometimes I almost wish I did believe in a God like others believe, as it seems it would be somehow comforting. Don't guffaw, I'm human, & sometimes comforting would be nice. lol So, did I confuse you enough now? lol I hope not. Sorry response time was slow. :) Toodles.

  • Randy

    @Skye

    Or, we are an accidental confluence of events and there is no one looking out for us.

    What do you think about that? Scary? Or re-assuring?

  • Skye-hook

    Yep, a random accidental confluence of energies & experiences. That is NOT to say no-one is looking out for us sometimes. Many "entities" look out for others as well as for themselves. Our own sub-conscious minds even look out for us & others much, much more than we'd even guess. Our sub-conscious minds are aware of a LOT more than we are consciously! All in all, there's not much use letting it seem scary or reassuring either 1. I can say I don't feel scared. i can't seem to express my thoughts well tonight, it's really irritating. lol Anyway, I guess you get a kinda "gist" of what I'm trying to say. I'll come back in a day or 2 when I have a brain again. lol BTW, Does it scare you? :)

  • Randy

    @Skye

    Does it scare me? No. Not at all.

    The prospect of any life after death scares me. I want to finally be over this sad, disasterous existance. If, after I die, I wake up again... I will exclaim, "Oh s**t! Not this again!"

    I want to learn all that I can in this life and then just give up my rented life, give it back to the Earth, and be nothing for about a trillion(+) years.

    But, that's just me. You might like it here... I've seen too much of it, to like it.

    Like Huxely said, "this planet may be hell for some other world..."

    I think that is about right.

  • Randy

    Oh, and David Mamet wrote in his Pulitzer Prize winning play, "Glengary, Glenross":

    "Does hell exist on Earth? Yes. But I won't live in it..."

  • Skye-hook

    @Randy-totally agree. What if you don't have to have another Earth life, but can just go on in other dimensions & experience whatever you want? I haven't seen any stone tablets that say "You must come back! I shall have you, & you must!". If those tablets exist, they lie, so ignore them & have a good cocooning/healing time, before you zip off & experience all the incredible things you can't even begin to imagine. Energy can only be changed, it cannot cease to exist. We can change our experience, we cannot cease to exist. Somewhere, somewhen.

  • Randy

    Skye-hook wrote:

    "That the awareness of itself somehow caused energy, which maybe expanded, like a “Eureka!” energy moment, & the rest is history. Not many things about it most religious folk would associate as being like their ideas of 'God'."

    See? What you are doing there is just re-explaining the book of Genesis in the bible with different words. Again.

    Leave it alone, my friend. Without it we can be upstanding, moral people.

    Science! The Universe is much more interesting without any god!

  • Randy

    Oh. And there aren't any "space-brothers" either. Even if there were, (which there MAY be, I'll grant), they just die and live no more, like us.

    And, I wrote a dissertaion on this site about that whole, "the soul never dies because energy never dies, blah blah blah..."

    You are missing something. Look for my other posts and then come back to me. Convince me that there is some life after death, and I will run screaming!

  • Skye-hook

    @Randy-what do you think your own consciousness is? And do you feel that part of you which is aware of ANYTHING will cease to exist when you drop the body? Do you feel your conscious awareness is not connected to anything? Do you feel your "self" is no more substantial than a breeze? What is it that you feel wakes up each day? If it's only like a breeze, I doubt you would have been "suckered" into the present life. Sounds like you feel life was a big dirty trick. lol Sorry, I'm just joking. I can't think serious anymore tonight, I'm just too tired for serious. It does sound like this is your last life in these parts anyway. Doesn't it sound like it to you too? :) Hang around with the rest of us a little longer for now, though, ok? At this point, it's still better than the COMPLETELY UNKNOWN. lol:)

  • Randy

    @Skye

    For your convenience, I dredged this up:

    "If I am my brain, an organized collection of bio-mechanical energy, then when I die, my brain, (almost immediately), will go from order to chaos. Disintegrating into a dis-organized mess, incapable of being me anymore.

    TO those that say “energy never dies so your soul never dies, science, the laws of thermodynamics…” etc. I say, that is true, but there is a difference between energy organized by neurons and synapsis, and free-range (for a silly but not inaccurate term), dis-organized energy.

    My computer uses electricity to perform amzingly complex tasks, (like play Dragon Age: Origins!), but if I smash it, the energy remains- out there- but with no organizing principle it can no longer play games and calculate numbers.

    The energy can be re-used by ANOTHER computer, but there is no memory of when it was “my electricity”.

    Something like that…"

    This is what I was talking about. You can't use thermodynamics, Quantum Theory, or any of the things New Agers like to use to prove their points, because... you all simply don't grasp these things...

  • Skye-hook

    @Randy- don't run & don't scream. Just be. :) You don't have to be anything you don't want to be. You don't have to BE if you wish not to be. Being can have it's peaceful times too, though, don't forget.
    I have to be asleep before I pass out now. It was nice to meet you. Take care.

  • Randy

    @Skye

    Right now I live for my wife and our family. And that's all we can expect out of life, whatever that means. I look out for her, hopefully she will look out for me.

    That is all my consciousness is connected to. Her. And you right now, because I think you really care and are smart.

    But, you must understand, I do not think in 70 years, I think of life on this planet in millions upon millions of years. In that respect, my life, your life, and even her life, is insignificant.

    That is how most scientists, as I have known them, think. They taught me well. My old PHD buddies!

  • Randy

    @Skye-hook who wrote:

    "@Randy-totally agree. What if you don’t have to have another Earth life, but can just go on in other dimensions & experience whatever you want?"

    That has the suspicious odor of Deepak Chopra thinking. Yeah. He don't understand Quantum Physics any more than you. Sorry, sweetheart!

    I read all of his books thinking he had something going on, but it is the same "self-actualized" cr*p that has been shoved down our throats since the '70's.

    And, then you will want to reach for Eastern philosophies, well, in the Western world very, very few of us can really grasp them. And if you study them closely, they are more cruel than christianity.

    What was it Gertrude said in "Hamlet", "All that lives must die, passing through nature to eternity..."

    Science! You don't need god or cosmic consiousness to find the Universe fascinating. Even Shakespeare knew that,

  • D-K

    I'd like to see someone try and use logic to refute the theory of evolution, rather than use his/her religious beliefs.. I think it would be refreshing.

  • Randy

    Oh, and I also read and own the books of Stephen Zukoff (I don't know if I spelled his name right...) but he wrote "The Dancing Wu-Li Masters". I have it I read it. I believed for awhile.

    Nope, cr*p. Sometimes it takes a long while to realize the truth in things.

  • eireannach666

    @Randy
    I forget who it was , maybe you or someone else will know, but I heard someone say once" If you think you understand Quantum Theory , then you dont understand Quantum Theory ."

    Maybe Dawkins.I dont know.

    Also Ill add , I used to read alot of Taoist literature when i was younger and found it very peaceful. What is it that you got ahold of that seemed cruel? Just curious.

    @vlatko
    All this talk of other dimensions , Ive been looking for a place to watch a doc called Reich of the Black Sun.Its about the Bell technology the Nazis were tinkering with i during WWII. Any ideas?

  • Achems Razor

    @ Randy:

    It is Gary Zukav, I have one of his books, "The Seat Of The Soul"
    Which did not read, now will.

    Since you have piqued my interest will go to the library and see if "The Dancing Wu-Li Masters" is available. For reference only.

    Have read all of "Jane Roberts" work, all the Seth material,"Seth Speaks" The eternal validity of the soul, Etc: Etc:. Talk about new age! but very interesting! Apparently was read by numerous Physicists also, (LOL)

  • Randy

    My Irish brother wrote:

    "I forget who it was , maybe you or someone else will know, but I heard someone say once” If you think you understand Quantum Theory , then you dont understand Quantum Theory .”

    Maybe Dawkins.I dont know."

    It was Dawkins, in the documentary, "The Enemies of Reason" which can be seen on this site. Outstanding.

    Don't worry about the Nazi/Bell thing. I know it. It is an idea that the Nazi's were working on some "anti-gravity" idea that may have worked.

    Eh. The recent anti-gravity ideas are more compelling. Stay away from Nazi's!

  • Achems Razor

    @ eireannach666:

    It was Professor Richard P. Feynman.

  • eireannach666

    @Randy

    I Rember watching that doc about the Bell tech a long while ago. I havent ever seen it since. Got suggestions on a good spot/books to research some" recent anti-gravity ideas"? I havent really thought about it in a while. Might be intresting .

  • Randy

    Achems Razor wrote:

    "It is Gary Zukav, I have one of his books, “The Seat Of The Soul”
    "Which did not read, now will.

    Since you have piqued my interest will go to the library and see if “The Dancing Wu-Li Masters” is available. For reference only.

    Have read all of “Jane Roberts” work, all the Seth material,”Seth Speaks” The eternal validity of the soul, Etc: Etc:. Talk about new age! but very interesting! Apparently was read by numerous Physicists also, (LOL)"

    -------------------------

    Um... no. This guy's whole claim to fame was that he had no training in Quantum Theory or mathematics but he somehow, "miraculously", sat down and wrote a book all about how, QT explained the human mind... Oprah Winfrey made him popular... like she did with "The Secret", more tripe!

    No. He just didn't have any training in QT or math. So, he didn't write good stuff about it...

    And, my brother, don't waste your time with the "Seth Speaks" stuff! I mean, unless it's for a giggle... I mean, Achems.... come now!

  • Randy

    Achems Razor wrote in answer to my gaelic brother:

    "It was Professor Richard P. Feynman."

    Yes. Dawkins quoted him on the documentary, "The Enemies of Reason" found on this site...

    Trying to plug for Vlatko here...

  • Randy

    There is some fascinating and compelling stuff happening in your area, well, California, my gaelic brother.

    Guys in garages using magntetism and gyroscopic principles to to some amazing things with anti-gravity. You could probably visit them.

    Do a search on that google thing you kids are crazy about these days...

  • Achems Razor

    @ Randy:

    Ha,Ha, I thought the Seth material was good at the time in the 80's. Am I now cursed forever! My problem is ,that am a prolific reader!
    So sorry to have mentioned it. (LOL)

    I still am going to read Zukav's work and I'll say again, for reference!
    I know you are not in the category of telling other people what to do. not like some on these blogs, with you I have no problem, I have respect.

    ...Peace.

  • eireannach666

    @Randy /Achems

    I think my memory might still work. I think it was Dawkins in The enemies of reason that quoted Feynman. Either way I always thought that was the best way to put it. I dont know a whole lot about it but from what I do understand , it still makes me scratch my head . So much grey area.

    @Randy
    Thanks for defending Joyce. I have pic of him above the bookshelve that I swear was about to leap out .Heck I about had a stroke.

    @non_servium/Randy
    Read the Dubliers my friend. "I will not serve that in which I no longer believe whether it call itself home, my fatherland or my church: and I will try to express myself in some mode of life or art as freely as I can and as wholly as I can, using for my defence the only arms I allow myself to use, silence, exile, and cunning."
    A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man
    JAMES JOYCE.

  • Randy

    @Achems

    Yes, I get that. And I have read all of that stuff, and it does have some value, but just do not think it has truth of any kind.

    Except the most superficial kind. Yes, read everything, but, just be careful...

    That is crazy advice... all knowledge is good, but... well, use your judgement and vett, or "vior dire" your information, is all's I'm sayin'

    We can't lose you!

  • Randy

    My Irish brother wrote:

    "@non_servium/Randy
    Read the Dubliers my friend. “I will not serve that in which I no longer believe whether it call itself home, my fatherland or my church: and I will try to express myself in some mode of life or art as freely as I can and as wholly as I can, using for my defence the only arms I allow myself to use, silence, exile, and cunning.”
    A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man
    JAMES JOYCE."

    A reference to another post on another thread, but... JAMES JOYCE!!!! Thank you, my Irish brother! Good quote!

  • Achems Razor

    @ Randy:

    Thank you!! (LOL) Don't worry, I will not be lost. From you, advice I will take! because I suppose have offered enough of it to other people!

    Not trying to blow my own horn, but believe it or not, do know a lot, about a lot!

  • eireannach666

    @Randy
    Google sometimes if I need a quick answer. Magnets you say? I always thought magnets to be a great idea for Perpetual Motion. Also a weapon , which I know they already are doing that.

  • Randy

    Achems wrote:

    "Not trying to blow my own horn, but believe it or not, do know a lot, about a lot!"

    That reminds me of a movie, "A Boy's Life" with a young Leo DiCaprio and Robert De Niro.

    De Niro played a sadistic step-father who tormented a youth played by DiCaprio. Wonderfully acted but too close to home for me.

    Anyway, the De Niro character always said, "I know a thing or two about a thing or two..."

    Yeah... alot of set-up for a weak joke...

    Sorry...

  • Randy

    @eireannach666 wrote:

    "Magnets you say? I always thought magnets to be a great idea for Perpetual Motion. Also a weapon , which I know they already are doing that..."

    Gyroscopes are much more fascinating, I think. The principle is simple but they seem to defy Newtonian mechanics, (I know that he explained them but I'm just sayin', wow!) in that the center of gravity in a spinning gyroscope is lesser than the external force...

    And that is a stupid explanation... but, study gyroscopes! They are fascinating! And, important for future technology!

  • eireannach666

    @Randy
    Oh Yes,I love Newton. I liked what he said about Catholics being hypocritical to themselves by the first commandant sayying worship god alone blah blah false idols blah but worshiping mary , jesux , and the spirit.Sorry off topic.
    Newton was ahead of his time.Gyroscopes arent too complex basically but can get very complex . when you start talking about "torque" and "angular momentum", which are nowhere to be found in Newton's laws.Which I understand well but you start talking about slightly bent atomic bonds etc. Well ,lets just say Im not lost but dont fully understand?? I think you are right though , more intresting but I ll need to go get a book.

    Come forth Lazarus! And he came fifth and lost the job.- JJ

  • Randy

    Yes, Newton was a very bizarre man. But I identify with him a great deal.

    Not because I think I am as brilliant as he, but because he really just wanted to be left alone to study.

    He invented calculus and it was one of his few friends that saw his theories and said, "Hey, Newton, buddy, you have to share this with the world!"

    And he said, "FINE!" All grumpy, cause that's how he was.

    But if it weren't that one friend of Newton's, we would never, or at least, not for many more years, understood calculus.

  • eireannach666

    Newton was kind of a hermit but science h. logic was he brilliant. Look at the telescope he built. It may be crude today but for its time. I kinda got stuck reading about his alchemy exploits with the philosophers stone and "deciphering" Greek myths to get there etc... Entertaining for sure,but got a little far out there sometimes . Especially in later years. MAD SCIENTIST muhhaaahaaa.

  • Achems Razor

    @ D-K:

    Yes, thank's for the site, will watch later.

    Notice Corral Castle is in it, was going to mention something about Corral Castle, will watch the site (doc) first.

  • D-K

    No problem, There's also a 25 minute video that focuses solely on the corral castle mystery and how the seemingly simple mechanics involved would have severe repercussions to the laws of physics, if true.

    Interesting stuff.

  • Randy

    Just a random reference to some earlier posts...

    "Read the Dubliers my friend. “I will not serve that in which I no longer believe whether it call itself home, my fatherland or my church: and I will try to express myself in some mode of life or art as freely as I can and as wholly as I can, using for my defence the only arms I allow myself to use, silence, exile, and cunning.”
    A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man
    JAMES JOYCE.”

    You know? I am ashamed to admit that I do NOT have a copy of Joyce's "Ulysses" in my collection! I read it in college and always wanted to have a copy, but, never got around to it...

    I am a bad Irishman... I will run out and get me a copy ASAP!

  • Skye-hook

    @ Everyone here- I hope all of you that have written comments here will keep coming back every day for awhile! This is the greatest buch of comments I've ever read! You guys actually have brains! In my life at present, that's a hard thing to find, people with brains. Nothing interesting to say from me tonight, but I'll be back tomorrow, for sure. I wish this site had an actual chat. I have really enjoyed all your comments! Thanks! :)

  • Randy

    @Skye

    Thank you! I will pop in and out often, I think, as long as Vlatko lets me!

    I don't sleep much and I use my computers for work at home, so, I am always monitoring the discussions. Although, I do get frustrated by the shaggy-uninformed-mob, sometimes and I have to pull away for my own health! LOL!

    I'll be seeing you around!

  • eireannach666

    @vlatko

    No rush but , Ilove this site . One of the most educated Ive been on. Try , please, if ya might , to get some Celtic/Gaelic docs on here. Even things out. Us Erish have had very few good docs. Heck Ive only seen one or two. They were dirty minutes a piece, plus some prop. No rush. You have surpassed my expectations so far. Great Job. Just giving a little feed back. See what you can find , cuz I dont tink there were too many. Good luck.
    Slainte.

  • Chief

    @ Randy

    It has been a while since I have engaged the minds of others by risking the documentation of my thoughts. The last venture resulted in my being banned from having access. It was on an African Liberation site and my crime was to suggest "toning down the rhetoric of armed conflict". Being booted was disturbing, unsettling for my psyche. It happened when I discovered "blogging" and thought it would be an avenue of connection with the general public. I abandoned the effort, not because I had nothing to say, but my own ethnic group was repulsed by my words and rather than enter into a discussion, the director of the site canned me.

    Now I want you to know this: prior to commenting here, I read commentaries for weeks before I decided to become engaged. I understood the contentiousness that existed between contributors with opposing ideologies. I knew that my views would not find favor with everyone who chose to read my comments. I certainly want them to be free to express thier disagreements without any inhibitions.

    Perhaps I expressed a bit too much of myself in another post that you alluded to in your retort. I manage my disability and I am well able to cope with and respond to dissent. I am receiving your support as that of a genuine contributor to these discussions (even though you jest at times). I am a serious minded person and reject placement on any pedestal, even in the eyes of my grandchildren. Although I do not wish to incite people to find fault in my thoughts. I do wish that any error, lack of understanding or lack of knowledge be pointed out to me. So, if you would be so kind as to rescind your protective tone towards anyone who wishes to disagree with my selective use of the English language, I would appreciate it.

  • Eff

    Religion is a theory. Science is my empirical tail-bone. God is a state of mind. Creationists can't escape the dark ages and comfortably agree that the moon is made of green cheese....

  • Skye-hook

    Respect for others & the opinions of others should be as important to everyone as respecting themselves. I think there is world enough & time for everyone, except those who violate others. Lack of respect for others is a violation.
    Actually, I even feel violated myself when others are not respected.
    @Chief- that must have been a horrible experience, the getting banned for (hopefully respectfully) speaking your mind about something. Where did that happen to you? I want to avoid it if at all possible. That would really get to me. lol I agree that violent talk is unnecessary, unless of course one is being threatened directly.
    I so dislike that the word "prejudice" has been mostly replaced by the word "hate" lately. A "hate" crime? Doubtful, as to me the word "hate" refers to a personal actual knowing/experiencing of someone or something, before you can possibly "hate" it. And I feel for people to use that term so much is actually promoting the idea of hate instead of "prejudice" being the suggestion. WORDS MATTER! Words express & words suggest. Every time I hear that dumb term on TV, it just grinds my nerves!

    BTW, back to topic, I also don't feel it's exactly "on topic" to bash beliefs of others, such as religious people, here. They have a right to their own beliefs, just as we do. And have a right to learn all they can about evolution without being insulted or criticized on sites that are for learning. The only reason I even mentioned it above is that I think they should be allowed/able to reconcile those beliefs with evolution, as anything else is bad for the mind. And there is NO reason not to believe both things, if they choose. It's their mind, not someone else's. Not mine, not yours. I criticized someone a few years ago for their use of religious based words & terms, & I am heartily sorry. Not online. It was my mom. I had no right to express it, even though it irritated me then. Seems I try harder not to violate others if they aren't people I care about. My bad. Too bad she can't read this.
    BTW, as to a comment above, I don't see how anyone could seriously debate evolution unless they are religious & don't want to believe it. All the proofs are there, touch em, feel em, see em, don't taste em. Yukky old bones & stuff.
    I'm not sure why, but I love archeology & anthropology, & all we are learning about evolution! Absolutely love it! I can't get enough! More, please, more & more & more, please! :)

  • Randy

    @Chief

    I am terribly sorry. I meant no disrespect, but I certainly understand how my comments could be construed that way...

    I guess I just flashed on the treatment of our soldiers after and during Vietnam and subsequently- how our troops have been neglected even by the government, (VA Hospitals, for example, should be palaces of healing with the very best in personell and equipment...).

    We may disagree with how our troops are utilized by our leaders, (but afterall we put those guys in office so...), but the troops are sacred.

    Anyways, enough of that... again, I apologize unreservedly.

  • Skye-hook

    lol My saying "back to topic" above almost sounds like I don't know what that means, doesn't it? lol But if you read it, you'll see what I meant. Just that this is about evolution, not about criticizing others. If I get too wordy sometimes, I apologize.

  • mahmoud yahya

    good ducomentary

  • axolotl

    I just adore how you still think you can't believe in evolution and God, that they're mutually exclusive.

    I’m pagan, I believe in A god, evolution has never once been an issue. It’s interesting how people go rabid over Christianity and forget the whole myriad of faiths out there. I'd hate to say some of you are close-minded.

    I come watch these documentaries, read the comments and realise (as if it needs reinforcing) and the atheists are just as nasty, bigoted and narrow minding as the 'Christians’.

    Also, the church never really gave a s*** about Darwin’s theory, but its juicer if documentaries make out they did.

  • eireannach666

    @axolotl

    Define pagan. Which God? Arent you really an agnostic , since you dont deny there is a supreme being , but arent from any major religion?

    Pagan- a member of a group professing a polytheistic religion.

  • D-K

    Now, correct me if i'm wrong.. but isn't polytheistic fancy greek for "multiple dieties/gods"?

    God can co-exist with anything and everything because nothing disproves him and the premise being that he's omnipotent, every explained cosmic, biological or chemical phenomena could be "the work of god"

    God's supposed omnipotence is a silly putty argument, one to make sure that nothing logically discredits god. Some would argue that evolution is simply his blueprint, creationists and I.D enthusiast will mangle their own concepts or mangle interpretations of the 'theory of evolution through natural selection' to fit their agenda.

    With every new discovery, creating god moves up a step on the ladder, so that he may rest on some unexplained phenomena until science catches up and he is forced to ascend the ladder of irrationaly once again.

    The only reason we're not ALL religious is because religion has been wrong in it's assertions time and time again, and it took science to disprove popular assumption. Noone knows or can know god, therefore any religious assertion is a logical fallacy and quite frankly, idi*tic and sacreligious.

  • mr savage

    @hatemachine
    your quote;
    hatemachine@Chief – "I don’t see why someones belief structure should really be of any concern. As long as it doesn’t teach falsities..."
    the thing is it does teach falsities. science stands agaist religion, whilst religion stands against science and other religions. it may seem like a 50/50 split but your side are divided tenfold, when it comes down to it most sane people accept that where science disproves a religious belief, it has been disproven for good and there is no debate, or accusation of scientists being satanists out to disprove the bible.
    NB satanists are still christians because only christians believe in it.

  • eireannach666

    Like I said, science and religion are like dogs and cats , no breeding. Maybe being nice but never coinciding . Hence , life.

    Hail science.

    Horns ,and Thorns for any so called prophet of a bas***ed diety.

    Look at the facrs. Dont simplify by emotion , or passed down un-truths.

    " Dont be to layman , Feynman."

    (Randy/Eplog/EpAchems/DK,etc ?)No?

  • Chris

    After watching this, I was quite struck as to how this program's approach was so religious. I suppose, this is how a "Gospel of Darwinism" might be preached. It was as arrogant as many of those preaching a traditional religion.

    Finding evidence for the mechanisms of Natural Selection is NOT a finding for a Godless universe. It is ONLY a finding for Natural Selection. While it's pretty obvious that the process of natural selection is a real effect. But this does not prove Darwinism.

    Darwinism assumes and makes up too much in order to be believable. In the broad stokes, it makes a convincing case. But it is in the details where it starts to fall apart. For example, 99% (if not all) mutations are harmful. Why then would the evolutionary direction of species be directed by less than 1% of mutations, and not the over 99% of healthy DNA.

    Statistically, it's not possible because in order to get from the single common ancestor, through all the various species that have existed on the earth, and to end up with what we observe today, would take longer than the earth is old by relying upon natural selection. Evolutionary science has produced some interesting facts and descriptions, but it is drawing the wrong over-arching conclusions.

    One of the examples given was Science proving that the Earth revolved around the Sun as a triumph over the forces of religion that would have us living in darkness. As I have stated in many other posts, Religion is an organized system of belief designed to control the masses. However, the Bible NEVER says the Sun goes around the earth.

    Another example given was the earth being ancient in age and religion claiming that it was only a few thousands of years old. Again, the Bible never states that the earth is so young. It is Religion that has made that error. The Bible holds that the earth was created after the stars, far before Eden, and is very ancient.

    In the last segment, the main problem those students have is not reconciling the Bible with Science. It is reconciling Religion with Science. There is a huge difference.

    Lastly, there are some who then attempt to accuse Christians of adapting their faith to the latest findings, by making concessions regarding their faith. Well, those do indeed exist in great numbers, but I cannot speak for them. I will only say that religion has made quite the fool of itself by speaking further than the revelation given to them. By extrapolating, they find themselves with an indefensible theology, attempting to justify a 6k year old universe.

    Sheeple exist on both sides of the divide.

  • D-K

    "For example, 99% (if not all) mutations are harmful. Why then would the evolutionary direction of species be directed by less than 1% of mutations, and not the over 99% of healthy DNA."

    What do you base this on? Do you refer to cellular mutation being harmful to it's structure or do you mean it has harmful consequences to the organism they belong to?

    Let's use a simple example, when a virus mutates, the cells adapt to overcome the cure/treatment. The mutation quite clearly benefits the viral cells and in multiple known and studied cases (such as superflu, common cold variants) shows only positive effects for the cells.

    The japanese white skull crabs (forgot what they're called) show how mutations positively effect a subspecies of crabs, thus entire organisms through mutation.

  • eireannach666

    @DK
    I always liked the way Dawkins broke down the eye as an easy reference to evolution. Have you seen "the blind-watchmaker?"
    That is what I am referring to. Its older but still holds true.

  • D-K

    I've seen a bit, still need to finish it.

  • Gunnar Reiersen

    Randy, when you said

    "But if it weren’t that one friend of Newton’s, we would never, or at least, not for many more years, understood calculus."

    You were only partly right. It is true that if it weren't for the encouragement of a friend (the astronomer Edmund Halley, after whom the comet is named), Newton might never have published his famous and all important PRINCIPIA MATHEMATICA. However, it is NOT true that ". . .we would never, or at least, not for many more years, understood calculus." The great German philospher and mathematician Gottfried Wilhem Leibniz invented calculus independently of Newton at about the same time Newton did. For years, there was a bitter feud between Newton and Leibniz, with each accusing the other of plagiarism. Leibniz's notational system was actually superior to Newton's, being easier to both understand and use. It is Leibniz's notational system that is taught today at all major universities. Eventually (but not until the early 1900s, or thereabouts), even British mathematicians grudgingly acknowledged the superiority of Leibniz's notational system and adopted it.

  • Randy

    @Gunnar

    You are absolutely correct, and I stand corrected.

    My point was, however, really about my own state of mind as relating to my work and not sharing it with anyone and being an anti-social hermit in my old age!

    YOU KIDS GET OFF MY LAWN!!!!

    Seriously, thank you for the reminder!

  • Gunnar Reiersen

    In fact, Leibniz (if I remember correctly) developed the calculus for the same reasons that Newton did-namely to solve the problems of gravitation, force and energy, and the dynamics of moving objects. It seems quite likely that if Newton had not been persuaded by Halley to publish when he did, Leibniz would very soon have come to the same conclusions that Newton did, and we would now be commemorating Leibniz's 3 laws of motion and Leibnizian mechanics instead of Newtonian mechanics. It seems to have been a very close race!

  • Randy

    @Gunnar

    This is just a friendly jibe:

    I supppose your Germanic/Scandinavian name has nothing to do with your flag waving about Gottfried Wilhem Leibniz, eh?

    Just kidding, because I am a kidder!

  • Gunnar Reiersen

    You're quite welcome, Randy. BTW, I find you to be one of the most admirable and enjoyable commentators on this site, and look forward to reading many more!

  • Randy

    @Gunnar

    Well, I choked up a little there... thank you, my friend, and you keep reminding me when my old brain loses traction...

    I have been watching your posts and you are someone to take seriously.

  • Gunnar Reiersen

    @Randy

    Actually, I am originally from Norway, having immigrated with my parents to the USA at the tender age of five over 6 decades ago. Given that fact, you can well understand that I have no great impulse for "flag waving about Gottfried Wilhem Leibniz" just because he was German. There is still some resentment among Norwegians over what the Germans did to them during their occupation of Norway in WWII. I just believe in giving credit where credit is due. Isaac Newton is and always will be one of my greatest scientific heroes!

  • Gunnar Reiersen

    Has anyone read Richard Dawkins' CLIMBING MOUNT IMPROBABILITY? Personally, I found that book even more enjoyable and impressive than THE BLIND WATCHMAKER.

  • Randy

    @Gunnar

    You know! I knew you were Norwegian, the name Reiersen shouts it at me, but I couldn't resist that bad joke... I'm sorry.

    I'm mostly sorry because I love the Norse! They are marginalized by the Western Europeans throughout history as barbarians, (probably because they kicked our asses so many times!), even as they had a rich and powerful culture that predated Western European's notion of shoes...

    And, not knowing your predalections and risking offending you, I love Norwegian Black Metal!

    I just understand what those guys mean when they say, "Christiantiy was forced on Norway, we must rebel against it!"

    And the Satanic guys there? They are not chubby, goth-dudes. Norwegian Satanists are big, tall, scary vikings that can kick all our asses.

    NOT, not, to advocate the burning of churches.... I do not endorse that... but, I can, kind of... understand it...

    I'm sorry, Gunnar, please forgive me if I offended you with this rambling...

  • Randy

    OK, Vlatko. I talk to Achems Razor about man-asses for like, six posts and nothing gets moderated, but I talk about how much I love Norway, and it gets sent into moderation?

    Don't make me come over there, Vlatko!

    *Randy shakes rickety fist, falls down... crickety old man... not a threat to anyone... etc."

  • Randy

    @Gunnar who wrote:

    "Has anyone read Richard Dawkins’ CLIMBING MOUNT IMPROBABILITY? Personally, I found that book even more enjoyable and impressive than THE BLIND WATCHMAKER..."

    I have read it. Did you realy like it better than the "Watchmaker...?"

    You know, perhaps I should read it again... I think I may have been distracted upon first reading.

    I have a copy in my library; what's one more book in my collection of the dozen or so that I am reading all at once...

    (My poor tired brain...)

  • Gunnar Reiersen

    I should probably read THE BLIND WATCHMAKER again too. It's been a long time since I last read it.

  • Randy

    @Gunnar

    Let me ask you this, have you seen the Richard Dawkins' documentary, "The Enemies of Reason", which can be seen on this site...?

    If so, can you say that the "MOUNTAINS OF IMPROBABLITY" relates to that documentary?

    I seem to remember many of his ideas in that book working into "The Enemies of Reason"... As you bring it to mind.

    Am I wrong-headed about that?

    Anyone? I will read it again, but, can someone help me with that idea?

  • Gunnar Reiersen

    @Randy

    I haven't seen THE ENEMIES OF REASON yet, but I trust your recommendation and will watch it now and get bact to you.

  • Gunnar Reiersen

    @Randy

    Just finished watching 2 THE ENEMIES OF REASON episodes, and the topics discussed therein have little direct relationship to the book CLIMBING MOUNT IMPROBABLE. The book was entirely about evolution. It showed how complex, seemingly highly improbable evolutionary adaptations are made less improbable by the fact that there are often many possible "paths", each of which is individually highly improbable, that can lead to the same result, just as the probability of finding one out of a number of hard to find possible approaches to climbing a high mountain is greater than that of finding any specific one of those approaches.

    I enjoyed THE ENEMIES OF REASON series though. Thanks for referring me to them!

  • Randy

    @Gunnar

    Yes, I have read about 50 pages of the book, now, and realized my mistake.

    In my advanced age, the enormous amount of information I carry around in my head tends to look like a cluttered attic...

    Replete with cobwebs and ghosts!

    I am glad you enjoyed the doc, I thought it was brilliant! Dawkins is much more gentle in his rebuke of irrationlists than I. I want be more like him!

  • Gunnar Reiersen

    @Randy

    What makes you think that anything you said to me about Norwegians and my Norwegianness offended me? I saw nothing to take offense about in your remarks, thus you have no cause to be sorry and there is nothing to forgive. I even enjoyed your little Joke! If I left you with the impression that I was offended, then it is I that owe YOU an apology for my poor choice of wording.

    As for my Viking ancestors, I am fully aware that many of them were no better than brutal, barbaric pirates before they settled down and became civilized. It does not bother me in the slightest to acknowledge that fact.

  • Randy

    No, I just didn't know if you might have been a christian and I often offend christians, (I usually enjoy it!)

    I was being pre-emptive because I like you and I did not want my, usually, offensive beliefs to offend you.

    Of course that was just about religion, my comments about Norwegians were about how proud you should be to be Norwegian. You must remember that Wetsern European history is incredibly biased toward the Norse. Why? As I said, because you kicked our asses so many times!

    I have a PhD in World History... your people were not barbarians! Their culture was rich and vibrant and much more advanced than the Western Europeans for many centuries... (until we did what we always do, steal your ideas and claim them for our own!)

    Believe me, if they would have me? I would expatriate there when I retire... (but my wife hates the cold! LOL!)

  • Gunnar Reiersen

    I certainly don't have a PhD in history, but I love reading History almost as much as I love science and science fiction. I acknowledge that my ancestors were very quick and eager to appropriate culture from the people they raided, to add to their own native culture, and wherever they settled and established new Kingdoms or Duchys (like in Normandy and Sicily) they demonstrated impressive organizational skills and tended to optimize whatever system of government they found already in place. They were also probably the most skilled sea-faring navigators of their time, but they still acted like brutal pirates much of the time (at least at first) as I understand it. It is also my understanding, though, that to a large extent they were driven to this raiding behaviour by over-population and famine in their home country. Feel free to correct these impressions, however, if I am mistaken about them.

    I'm sure that you would not have great difficulty being accepted there if you decided to "expatriate there" when you retire. If I didn't love all the family and friends I now have in America as much as I do, I would seriously consider moving there myself (I am already retired, BTW). It is a beautiful country! You might find it is not as cold there as you think. Though Norway lies in the same latitudes as Alaska, much of Norway (particularly the West Coast from Stavanger [where I was born] Southwards) actually has milder winters than New England or even NY city in the USA. This is because of the moderating effects of the warm Gulf Stream that flows close to the coast there. Even the Port of Narvik, which is North of the Arctic Circle, is ice-free and navigable (usually) all year round because of that!

  • Randy

    Yes, you know, I had plans to expatriate to Canada but my wife thinks it is a frozen wasteland, even though there are many temperate climates there. And Norway is very temperate, I know, I was there...

    But, you know women... LOL!

    Anyways, yes the Norse came to Western Europe and raided it many times with their amazing long boats because they were low on resources... Evolutionarily? That makes them a very strong and viable poeple.

    Then, I will go here:

    I love America, I just don't like Americans. Sarah Palin will probably be our next president, that I can not forgive. America is a failing empire... President Obama is smart but ineffectual, criminally unintelligent poeple, tend to be more effective in American politics, today.

    I really want to flee before it becomes a sad mockery of itself.

    Don't get me wrong, I studied Constitutional Law, I love our Founding Fathers, there are just few or any groups or political ideologies today that understand them, these days...

    Interesting stats, America? Average IQ, 69; average reading level; 5th grade. Norway? 99% literacy, average IQ, 89, reading level, 12th grade, (by American standards...)

    I don't know. Seems like some place I want to be...

  • Gunnar Reiersen

    @Randy

    I'm with you! I also love the USA, its Constitution and the amazing Founding Fathers who wrote it and the Declaration of Independence. One of the most admirable things our Founding Fathers did was to conceive this country as a secular democracy--the first in World History. Ironically, however, this very secularism, which many Christian Fundamentalists now so bitterly decry, is what guaranteed the religious freedom that made possible the tremendous growth and proliferation of American religious sects that resulted in the U.S.A becoming the most religious of all modern, industrial nations. That un-intended consequence is now proving to be a threat to our prized secularity and continuing scientific and technological leadership as a nation.

  • Gunnar Reiersen

    Slight correction: It would probably be slightly more accurate to call our government a secular republic, rather than a secular democracy.

  • Mark

    @Chris, even if 99.999999999999999999999999999999999999999999% or mutations were 'harmful,' it wouldn't put a single atom sized dent in the theory of evolution, all that is needed is that a mutation confers a survival advantage, however small. For instance, the harmful mutation that causes sickle cells also gives resistance to malaria. To to this day, sickle cell is still many, many times more prevalent in African populations because of the greater prevalence of malaria. There are no such things as good or bad mutations, just ones that confer a survival advantage and are passed on, or those which do not. I imagine that if a global disaster kills out all people except albinos, for instance, 1,000 years from now religion will speak of an albino God who made little albino people to inherit an albino earth. You don't need any fancy science to understand evolution, you just need to understand a simple ideas. You have to be alive to reproduce.

  • Polar Jo McKay

    Sometimes the 'truth' just stares you in the face. My Mother, who was a very smart woman, was known to say to me "sometimes you can't see the forest for the trees" - I still didn't quite get it. Then the story of my life, these things that seemed 'self evident' to me, were clearly not so to most of the people I came into contact with. Being a generous 'soul' I (for no good reason that I can fathom today) thought it my duty to educate and enlighten, growing some idea that "if only people understood better, they would certainly do better". Intrepid optimist, I hit the wall, again and again. Lots & Lots of People do 'not' want to know, period. I watched here a Bill Hicks documentary - while he was appreciated in many international venues, it hurt him deeply that he could not 'connect' with his own country - producers reminded him repeatedly that Americans wanted to be entertained without having to THINK. He refused, could not accept that... I relate. Initially, I thought the whole Intelligent Design direction was not a bad thing, then I started seeing "Science - based" theme parks popping up, with dinosaurs and humans walking around together (and I wanted to bang my head against the wall again). HOW How how does one get through to anyone, if they do not want to know, do not want to see, do not want to THINK? I could not accept that possibility. Tried to be 'kinder', a better storyteller, better researcher. I 'helped' people along the way, in health & healing & community development, yet in my own milieu failed - miserably. All I have achieved in 35 years of trying is to make myself even more 'separate' or different or remote. Then @ Randy quotes some IQ stats, and I am having a moment of pause ... where did you get those numbers? Those numbers are horrifying... maybe that is the forest? ... maybe some of our strategies for opening minds has to undergo a re-think? At this point, just calling people st*pid seems pretty cruel. Any thoughtful suggestions... I am feeling pretty 'dumb' myself right now?

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Si-Belsi/100002429315032 Si Belsi

    i dont think darwin happily touched tothe origin of the species printed version when he saw it for the first time as its shown ..he was well aware what kind of contradictions his theories would cause .

  • docoman

    In the last part, where they talk about science and religion. I don't see how the the biology professor can say he doesn't have a problem with science and being a roman catholic. The bible says God created man in his own image (in 6 days mind you). Biology says man evolved from more monkey/ape looking animals. IF you can't take some of the bible literally, how do you know when you should or shouldn't?
    As the other woman said, religion has adapted to science more then once in more recent times (not willingly I would add). Does it not raise questions in you mind, when science, when left alone by religion, regulates and adapts bye itself (peer reviews, more data changing or ditching theories ect).
    Religion has HAD to adapt to the logic of science, not science to the logic of religion. That there should tell you who is closer to the truth and who is just making things up.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_M6F3RJVEWJ24QKMCHFNVK7ADVE Winston Smith

    It is not that 'God' may not exist but that there is no good reason whatever to postulate one and a whole slew of reasons why we should not. More often than not, it leads to negative results like division, wo/men thinking they can exercise the will of god and so on. It teaches us that not knowing is an acceptable form of knowledge..And most importantly, it adds Nothing to our knowledge and only creates more questions. Like, 'well then where did god come from? Many religious people answer this 'God has always existed.' but they do not know this, they simply believe it and belief without evidence should be readily discarded because there is no foundational basis to hold such beliefs.

    This does Not mean that spirituality (which is nothing more than the intense and focused exploration of the mystery of one's own being. Of asking oneself, 'Who or what is this thing which appears to be, feel, and observe? Spirituality is nothing more than this forced peering and stilling of one's mind/ If we do this we soon learn it changes how we view the world.. The divisions between subject and object begin to dissolve..We discover here an inner world to explore. This is not mere fantasy but a push beyond the conceptual levels of the mind into the undifferentiated ground from which awareness, being, and duality, spring. The mind does not reveal it's secrets easily...but much greater levels of actual realization are possible. Its interesting to note that, if we look at the mystical-devotional-contemplative traditions that have sprung up in different cultures, we all come to the same realization and describe the same states of being, and non-being.
    Those who take the writings in 'holy' books literally, I can only pity for their astonishing ignorance.. I would tell them to look beyond such childish notions.
    You will not find the meaning of life in any book or as part of any intellectual process/ And those who criticize these lowest (ignorant) common denominators of religion do themselves and truth a disservice.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/NRF7O3UZCEVID4HPT44IQC43DM Hannah Rath

    I accept evolution as the most correct theory presented by science, but I am Catholic. We Catholics have a unique advantage to most other Christian religions: instead of being a disparate, unique, and individualized community of faith, the Catholic Church has a rigid hierarchy, with the top-most layer consisting of the Papacy. Contrary, however, to common belief, the pope hardly makes doctrines on his own; instead, the level below, the cardinals and bishops, make the majority of Catholic doctrine. This group, the Conference of Catholic Bishops, consists of over a thousand individuals who devote their lives to studying the Bible and other religious doctrine (sounds extremely similar to the scientific community, if you replace the religious doctrine part with science...). These bishops convene, discuss the Bible, and then create doctrine based on the total knowledge held between them. This is how we know which parts to take literally and which to take figuratively, and is why we can accept every scientific theory the scientific community upholds, because our doctrine and science do not even overlap anymore.

  • docoman

    You just gave a very convincing argument as to why exactly ALL of the Catholic leaders should be jailed over the rife child abuses and the following responses and aversions of the law, and justice.

    How can 'imperfect man' decide what parts of the supposed ' inspired word of God' are to be taken literally, and what others aren't. Why is it to be changed, when they've already stated their position is the Bible is true and correct in every way. One more contradiction from your camp.
    Trying to imply your church is anything like the community of scientists, and your doctrine and science do not even overlap, is not only ignorant, it's deceitful.
    If you want to see an example of how BS your Church's position over evolution is, go to Youtube, find the debate between Cardinal Pell (the top Aussie Catholic), and Professor Dawkins.

    Pell can't even get your Bible stories correct, watch for him talking about Moses/commandments.
    Pell also shows clearly a complete lack of understanding of evolution.
    Shameful really, and that's the best of your group here in Australia.
    Absurd, ignorant and criminal, all words that accurately define Cardinal Pell, and the Catholic Church in general.
    There are some decent, misled people in the Church, no doubt. I hope you are one of those.

  • over the edge

    Hannah Rath
    you state "We Catholics have a unique advantage to most other Christian religions" and "cardinals and bishops, make the majority of Catholic doctrine. This group, the Conference of Catholic Bishops, consists of over a thousand individuals who devote their lives to studying the Bible and other religious doctrine" great could you explain to me where this "unique advantage" provided the "Conference of Catholic Bishops" along with the pope the biblical interpretations to conclude that jesus would prefer they hide cases of abuse ? where in the bible does it state that money/power/reputation is more important than preventing children from being raped? these cardinals,bishops and the pope need to be jailed for their obstruction of justice before the catholic church gets one ounce of respect from me

  • Kateye70

    If catholic doctrine and science don't overlap, that would explain (not!) why the church is still banning contraception and the use of condoms in third-world countries where AIDS is rampant and the rape of children and infants has become the preferred method of protection for uneducated men.

    If the church was really all that accepting of science, and really concerned about the well-being of its "flock" you'd think they'd promote scientifically-sound and proven methods of avoiding infection, and understand the value of family planning to boot.

    Church leaders cynically are well-aware that they are losing ground in first-world countries and are instead concentrating on building their 'faithful flock' elsewhere. That's what your council of bishops gets you.

    Just FYI I was raised catholic and know people within the religious hierarchy, who know the problems within the church.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/JIA3QSD5EWUNEJMXRSCR2WCDC4 Chen

    Understand the value of family planning?!? I think Catholics coined that term. We do practice family planning. It's called "Don't do the one thing that is the number one cause of unwanted pregnancy in all women around the world: have sex." I mean, is it really that hard to keep it in your pants?
    The only third world countries that have major problems with AIDS are the African countries, and only 15% of the people there are even Catholic. So nice try there. The Church is NOT the cause of rape of children and infants. And don't even try that whole "You'll get raped by a priest" crap. You are 400% more likely to be raped by a family member, and 50% more likely to be raped by a Protestant minister.
    And is it that we are so well aware that we are losing ground in first-world countries and so we are targeting third-world countries, or is it that the poor need more attention than the rich?
    It is concerned about its people. The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops founded one of the best charity-outreach organizations out there- Catholic Relief Services. That's one of the many great things that they have given to us.
    So, take Emi Hayashi's statement to heart, read the facts about Catholicism before you make your predisposed accusations against the Church. Oh, and I am sorry you felt the need to leave the Church. I wish you the best in whatever path life takes you down.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/JIA3QSD5EWUNEJMXRSCR2WCDC4 Chen

    And you likely never will respect the Catholic Church then. Try as we might, until we control peoples lives down to the very act of breathing, crime, and thereby rape, will continue to exist. I will agree, let those who commit crimes stand trial, but to equate the whole group with the actions of a few is ridiculous. I would rather not be put on the same level as Adolf Hitler just because I have Austrian roots. Nor would any white American be labeled "slave-owner" just because of what people used to do in America.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/JIA3QSD5EWUNEJMXRSCR2WCDC4 Chen

    See my reply to over the edge.

  • docoman

    I guess in one aspect you're right. While your Church continues to protect and harbor criminals, I will never have any respect for it.
    Respect is earned, but your Church has earned my disgust.
    There are plenty of decent people that are catholic, no argument there.
    But your Church, and it's leaders are despicable. Shame on it, and them. Hypocritical criminals is a very accurate description in my opinion. The whole lot of your 'conference' should be locked up.
    Your argument is akin to saying you shouldn't condemn the Nazi party for the actions of it's leaders.

  • Kateye70

    Thanks for your well-wishes. I have no problem with catholic laity, and I don't lump all clergy in with the institutional hierarchy. The majority are, as you say, good people--in fact, most catholics I know are as frustrated with the institution as I am.

    For the record, I know firsthand exactly what the catholic church means by "family planning". I'm a direct result, as the 4th living child of my mother's 9 pregnancies.

    Last I heard, the pope's stance on birth control hasn't changed. And no, it isn't a message of, "keep it in your pants," but instead, "have as many baby catholics as your wife can pop out of her uterus before she dies."

    Thanks for your statistics on child rape. I'm perfectly aware that pedophiles are found in all walks of life and that they will seek out professions that allow them access to children. The church is one of them.

    What made the catholic church's response to the pedophiles in its ranks so reprehensible is that they treated their pedophile priests as if they were *above* the laws that apply to everyone else--morally, legally and socially. It is the *cover-up* by the church hierarchy that has so disgusted everyone.

    An institution that claims to lead the moral parade needs *much* better dance steps than the ones they showed the world. Now they're tap-dancing like crazy trying to control the damage they caused themselves.

    I never said the church was the *cause* of child and infant rape in Africa, but their stance on condom use does absolutely nothing to combat it and everything to encourage it. To reconfirm that stance, as has been done over and over, is to condone the alternative. Like I said, need better dance steps...

    "And is it that we are so well aware that we are losing ground in first-world countries and so we are targeting third-world countries, or is it that the poor need more attention than the rich?"

    The cynical truth is that the church understands perfectly well that educated people are not as easily swayed as the ignorant, who are more likely to be poor; I've heard quite a few discussions over the past thirty or forty years on this very subject.

    Yes, the church's attention has shifted away from first-world countries with our propensity to challenge archaic beliefs, to focus on building congregations in poor nations where superstition has not yet been educated away and having large families is what people do because so many infants and children die.

    The older I get the less respect I have for the catholic church as an institution. In fact, my respect is probably now about on par with it's respect for me when I was born into a catholic family. That is to say: zero.

  • over the edge

    Chen
    you and Hannah Rath appear to be the same person am i right? if so that is not only dishonest but against the comment policy. please stop

  • over the edge

    Chen
    "but to equate the whole group with the actions of a few is ridiculous" where did i make such a claim? i merely stated that those in power who did not report these actions and acted within the "pedophile protection program" and there is ample evidence of a coverup. should be turned on by the rest of the organization. i find it very strange that you separate the actions from the group when "they" do bad but use the term "we" when discussing the attempts to help the poor or "family planning".

  • GRUMPY25608

    Mate come to Australia And throw your opinions about family member and protestants and I'm sure you will be laughed out of every forum you speak at.

    Our goverment has just commenced a royal commission into child abuse within institutions in Australia and the only group to jump up and down about it has been the Catholics, lead by there biggest hypocrite, Cardinal George Pell.

    i'm not saying that abuse did not occur in other institutions, as that would be naive of me to think that.
    It's already proven that the Catholic have move pediphile priests from one diocese to another to hinder investigation of abuse. Pell being in charge of some of these transfers.

    You Micks dont have a monoply on pediphiles however in Australia it appears that you have the leading market share.

  • GRUMPY25608

    At the moment the of your church has a NAZI as your leader and we all know there track record of that movement don't we !!!!!

    If you don't go ask any Jew...

  • GRUMPY25608

    His argument has to be akin to not condemning the Nazi party as their pope is an ex Nazi party member.

  • docoman

    Dirty pool? :(

  • pepop

    And what testable verifiable evidence do you have of apes evolving into humans , cos to be honest I've looked around and all I've found is speculation over crusty old bones.In fact most of what people accept as fact ( concerning evolution ) are things which span over the course of millions if not billions of years , none of which can be tested or verified , which just makes it another religion.

    Also the '' there is no evidence for God'' argument is just flat out wrong , it's actually everywhere..you just have to be looking at things from the right perspective.Consider this...Have you ever played computer games?Take the sims for example , you know surely you've atleast heard of it.You design , create , a sim and play out their lives.Now imagine I could give these little sims consciousness/free will/free thought , and one of them used this to ask the question ''where did i come from''.Now pretending for a moment that I created the sims game , what evidence could the sim find within his world to prove i exist?He could peer deep into his sim sky but would he ever find me?Did I intentionally hide myself?The truth is , the only evidence of me within his world would be that of my creation.The sim needs comfort I place a couch in his house....lets say the sim studies this phenomenon from within his world , the couch appearing.He could prob get down and examine it and see the ''natural'' things that happen in his world for the couch to appear , he could see the particles coming together and this interacting with that until boom couch is there.Sure he could conclude it's just natural forces and such even though he really needs this couch and it conviently appears for him...he could write it off as coincidence , much like many ignorant humans write off how water the essence of all life falls from the sky onto our ungrateful heads and flows under our feet.God is self evident.If you've ever seriously considered if there is a god or not ( which i've discovered most atheist i've talked to at least claim to have considered it greatly ) the next thing you need to consider is why your considering it at all?If god is not real he's no different than the easter bunny do you ever sit around and deeply consider the possibility of the easter bunny existing?If you haven't but have considered god ... ask yourself why?It is built within us to consider it , that's why.

    So what atheist would have me believe is after evolution perfected fish to swim , birds to fly ect ect ect it produced us , by far the most dominate/advanced species we know of yet we all (well not all but most ) suffer from a mass delusion of a fairy tale figure in the sky.I'm sorry but the logic seems off.

  • over the edge

    i will attempt to answer some of your post.
    -"And what testable verifiable evidence do you have of apes evolving into humans" absolutely none. evolution does not claim that. but the decent from a common ancestor has been shown. not only in "crusty old bones" but also in DNA and vestigial structures among others.
    - your sims analogy proves nothing
    - stating "So what atheist would have me believe is after evolution perfected fish to swim , birds to fly ect ect " this statement shows your lack of knowledge of evolution. there is no end goal in evolution. who says fish have been perfected? the ones that survive today are well suited to survive in their environment but evolution does not claim any organism is perfect. if the environment changes only those who can adapt to the new standards will survive no matter how "perfect " they are.
    - finally what if i showed you an example of one species evolving into another would that convince you? every step observed and documented would that change your mind?

  • Achems_Razor

    Apes evolving into humans? No, we are still apes of the hominid species that share a common ancestor of chimps and apes. Crack open some other books besides your fairy tale book of lies.